Antagonizing Iran: A Strategic Miscalculation

Al Jazeera has published another outstanding Op Ed—“Antagonising Iran:  A Strategic Miscalculation?”—by our Iranian colleague, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Dean of the University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies.  It underscores the hypocrisy inherent in the West’s approach to the Iranian nuclear issue, and to the Islamic Republic of Iran more generally.  It also points out that unremitting Western hostility toward the Islamic Republic is ultimately counter-productive for Western interests.

To read the piece online, click here; we’ve also appended the text below.  As always, we encourage readers to offer comments both on this site and on Al Jazeera’s Web site.

Antagonizing Iran:  A Strategic Miscalculation?

by Seyed Mohammad Marandi

Even though it was a major exporter of crude oil and held some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, Iran made a compelling case over half-a-century ago that it needed, almost immediately, to produce an additional 20,000 megawatts of electricity by constructing 23 nuclear power plants.  At the same time, Iran’s government made the case that the country needed to acquire the capacity to enrich uranium in order to fabricate the reactor fuel for such an ambitious programme.

Western governments eagerly endorsed these arguments, praising Iran’s then Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s ambition to rapidly modernise Iran while overlooking the reality that he was presiding over a ruthless dictatorship and diverting much needed capital to purchase massive amounts of weapons from the US and other Western countries.  And so, during the 1960s and 1970s, billions of dollars were invested in establishing an Iranian nuclear programme and training thousands of Iranian nuclear experts in the West—until Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution replaced the monarchy with an Islamic Republic.

After charging enormous sums of money to build the infrastructure for a comprehensive nuclear industry in Iran, Western companies pulled out of the country, leaving large numbers of highly qualified experts and scholars wondering about their fate.  Iran’s new political leaders recognised the importance of an advanced nuclear programme to progress in fields such as medicine, agriculture, industry and energy; attempts were made to find foreign partners to complete the projects, but with little success.  Progress in Iran’s nuclear development only resumed after Iranians learned to rely on themselves and their own scientists to move the programme forward.

The US, which had enthusiastically supported Iran’s nuclear programme under the Western-backed shah, had now become Tehran’s leading antagonist, relentlessly threatening countries to refrain from cooperating with Iran.  Not only were friendly countries coerced into steering clear of Iran’s nuclear programme, they were even warned not to invest in Iran’s oil and gas industry.

The nuclear issue

The nuclear issue later became an excuse for the US, eventually joined by the EU, to impose “crippling sanctions” on Iran, in order to inflict severe pain on ordinary Iranians.  Among other things, these sanctions led to a critical shortage of imported medicines in Iran.  As a result, large numbers of children and cancer patients have died.  This outcome calls to mind then US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright’s response to a question about the more than half-a-million Iraqi children who had died because of US-instigated sanctions:  “We think the price was worth it.”

By now, the US and its European allies have accrued abundant experience imposing suffering on ordinary Iranians.  Before the revolution, they imposed and maintained a brutal monarchy in Iran.  After the revolution, the US gave refuge to the shah and his henchmen (which led to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran) and confiscated Iranian assets.

During the 1980s, Washington supported then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s ruthless aggression against Iran.  Not only did it assist the Iraqi dictator in producing chemical weapons and provide him with satellite photos so that his army could use them with greater precision against Iranian civilians as well as combatants, it even blocked the UN Security Council from identifying, condemning, or taking action against the perpetrator of these incredible crimes against humanity.

Following Saddam’s massacre of 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in Halabja in 1988, the US government—though aware of the facts—nonetheless attempted to attribute this atrocity to Iran.  Thousands of Iranians continue to suffer and die today because of such barbarism—yet, despite all this, the Islamic Republic has always refused to use or even to produce chemical or biological weapons.

Over the years, the West’s acts of sustained violence against the Iranian people have steadily grown—downing a civilian airliner, destroying naval ships and oil installations, support for groups conducting terrorist strikes inside Iran, and carrying out cyber-attacks.

Despite these grievances, successive administrations in Iran have repeatedly indicated that, if the US moves to recognise and respect the Islamic Republic as a sovereign and independent country, rapprochement would still be possible.  Iranian officials have frequently stated that respecting Iran’s rights, including its right to peaceful nuclear energy within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is a prerequisite for normalised relations and would significantly decrease regional tensions.

Many Iranians are convinced that their country’s offers for reconciliation have been rejected by Washington and its Western partners because of Iran’s opposition to apartheid in Palestine and the enormous influence of the Zionist lobby in the US.  In turn, the Islamic Republic’s determination to be a truly independent country motivates Western powers to seek to delegitimise it.

During former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration, Western governments and media outlets relentlessly attempted to depict the former president as a major threat to regional and global peace (paradoxically, when it suited the Western narrative, he was also portrayed as powerless). Following the 2009 Iranian presidential election, Western “experts” and policymakers cited unrest in Tehran (encouraged by Western-affiliated media outlets) to justify their refusal to come to terms with Ahmadinejad’s victory and attempted to depict him and the Islamic Republic as illegitimate.

With the election of President Hassan Rouhani, the anti-Iranian lobby and Western propaganda machine faced a different situation.  The new president was elected under the same electoral process used during the previous election and with a very high turnout.  Hence, it became clear that Iranians continue to trust the polling procedures and ignored claims of illegitimacy and fraud.

Demonising the new president has also become more difficult because of the sharp contrast between Rouhani’s approach and rhetoric and that of Ahmadinejad’s.  The new president has been careful not to make statements that could be wilfully mistranslated by Western media—a regular feature of their coverage of the former president.

‘Heroic flexibility’

Rouhani also took a more conciliatory approach towards the West, in order to provide an opportunity for the US government to reconsider what Iranians believe to be is its historically emotional and irrational attitude towards the Islamic Republic.

To this end, the new Iranian administration initiated an approach that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called “heroic flexibility,” to examine whether the Western members of the so called P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France plus Germany) are serious about a mutually acceptable negotiated settlement.  The initial result of this approach was the Joint Plan of Action concluded with regard to the nuclear issue in November 2013.

Despite the existence of an already intrusive IAEA inspection regime that has never revealed anything more than a peaceful civilian nuclear programme, the Iranian government agreed to even further transparency going far beyond its international obligations. These and other goodwill gestures came at a price, as some Iranians began to raise questions about the degree of flexibility being shown.

Nevertheless, US President Barack Obama and other senior US officials continue to threaten Iran with military strikes and to refrain from explicitly acknowledging Iran’s full nuclear rights.  This has increased suspicions among Iranians that the US still clings to a destructive, zero-sum worldview and that it believes it can somehow force Rouhani to sign away Iran’s sovereign rights.  This is a potentially dangerous misunderstanding of the Iranian president’s position and could lead to disastrous Western miscalculations.

Regardless of their moral implications, Western policies in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Syria in recent years have already had devastating consequences for the US’ global strategic position.  In this regard, the cases of Iran and Ukraine are particularly interesting examples of how the continuation of such policies by the US and its partners can inflict even more damage on their standing and influence around the world.

To force Iranian capitulation, Western countries have, among other things, excluded Iran, with the world’s second-largest proven reserves of natural gas, from the EU market, thus consolidating a Russian near-monopoly.  And now that they wish to impose a Kiev-based coup regime on southern and eastern Ukraine, they have almost no cards to play.  Ironically, crippling sanctions have started to cripple the tormentor.

 

184 Responses to “Antagonizing Iran: A Strategic Miscalculation”

  1. James Canning says:

    That the US has been less than brilliant in its dealings with Iran is obvious. I think it equally obvious that American policy is distorted by Israel and the Israel lobby.

  2. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    April 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    “I think it equally obvious that American policy is distorted by Israel and the Israel lobby.”

    Do you think the US dealing with Russia or Venezuela (2 major oil countries) have someting to do with the Jewish lobby as well ?
    Or do you think that the US policies are much different with Iran compared to Russia or Venezuela ?

  3. Empty says:

    Thank you for the post. Re: “Ironically, crippling sanctions have started to cripple the tormentor.”

    [Quran, Al-Emran: 54] و مکروا و مکرالله و الله خیروالماکرین

    [interpretation/translation; “They employed tricks/deception and God turned their tricks and deception on themselves; indeed God is most supreme in deception planning.”

  4. Empty says:

    Sammy,

    That was a feeble attempt (on my part) to try to translate the saying دیر و زود داره ولی سوخت و سوز نداره.

    I guess the simple meaning is that “it is inevitable” or “it will happen no matter what.” It’s sometimes tough to translate and fully convey the original meaning.

  5. Sammy says:

    Empty says:
    April 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    From previous thread:
    “Fact No.3) Because of 3 decades of sanctions (a true blessing) the only country that has an estimated oil/gas reserves very close to its actual reserves is Iran thus a hot target for attack.”

    Empty I clearly understood you , my question was what is ‘ inevitable ‘ , the attack ?

  6. Empty says:

    Sammy,

    Sorry. I misunderstood your question. I meant that the position of Iran being a hot target for attack is inevitable. There is nothing Iran can do to cause other players to leave her alone because she has a lot of “real assets” (and not imagined ones) that quite a few people covet. On a positive note though, just because others are coveting and targeting Iran, that doesn’t mean Iran would necessarily roll down and fall at their feet like a helpless victim. The future is quite bright.

  7. Karl.. says:

    Its of course illegal for what US are doing regarding the iranian UN envoy but UN wont do anything to fix it it seems

    http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-envoy-un-us-/25358870.html

  8. Sammy says:

    Merci Empty – Jan, of what you say is wise and correct…._

  9. Sammy says:

    May be Mr. RS Hack can comment on this one :

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/23/unstoppable-obama/

    Pathologic Hegemony Nonpareil
    Unstoppable Obama
    by NORMAN POLLACK
    Imperialism ad nauseam: If the new name of the game is liberal humanitarianism, the obfuscation is intentional, here, the militarization of advanced-capitalist expansion in pursuit of traditional objectives, from financial-commercial penetration to industrial outsourcing, raw-materials extraction, investment outlets, and good old-fashioned establishment of spheres of influence in the context of international power politics.

    One CP reader wisely cautioned me not to focus solely on Obama, who, in reality is the anthropomorphized tip of the iceberg—yet, for that, hardly blameless or inconsequential. Granted, he is the nominal head of an integrated power structure, there, in the first place, indeed, carefully groomed for the job, because he, in seemingly disarming fashion, serves so well both the needs of financial capital and the wider corporate system on one hand, the military and intelligence communities on the other, Obama therefore, whether as figurehead or puppet, or as decision-maker in his own right, performs a systemic role with objective consequences for all to see.

    What Arno Mayer just referred to as “national hubris and arrogance of power,” has met its primary exponent in Obama, who presides over a National Security State and national-security council so enmeshed in the interstices of global conquest that it would be disservice to critical analysis—and perhaps humankind’s survival as well—to downgrade his significance.

    The jinni is out of the bottle, now, not only serving those who summoned him, but also emerging in his own right, precisely because freedom to maneuver corresponds exactly to their needs and wishes. He adds to political-economic imperialism (e.g., in America, latter 19th century Open-Door policy) a ready willing to engage in the use of force—how many US presidents have sat down with their advisors poring over hit lists from which to personally select and authorize targeted assassination?—and the expansion of military and paramilitary operations on a vast scale for purposes of intervention and regime change, a consistency of purpose dedicated to unilateral-sponsored global architecture with the US as the pinnacle of power on all things, soup to nuts, in satisfying a counterrevolutionary vision of ideological supremacy.

    This provides context for Obama’s one-week trip beginning today (Apr. 22) to Asia in implementation of his infamous Pacific-first strategy. Yes, let’s give credit where credit is due; Obama has rescued from its dormant position in the bowels of the State Department the legacy of China-firsters of the late 1940s-early ‘50s, like Sen. Knowland, bound hand-and-foot to the China Lobby, in support of an Asian policy following World War II, essentially to prevent the rise of Communist China, facilitate the backdoor bombing (when the time was ripe) of the Soviet Union, and restore French colonialism to Indochina—a geopolitical framework which, with suitable adjustments, resembles that of the present. Only now, two things: a) the framework takes on urgency given the changing character of the global system, multipolar in direct challenge to America’s supremacy, which perceives itself threatened, even thwarted, in its megalomaniac ambitions toward world dominance (a valid perception, for the US is declining in all but its military capacity—itself testimony to the more fundamental decline), and b) the framework has been conceptualized and already put into practice in broader terms……

  10. Jay says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 23, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Within the US and with respect to her own citizens, the system of laws and legal constructs is in the process of being dismantled. The lesser partners of the US are following the same trajectory. Consider the UK where the Guardian is concerned about prosecution, and some journalists no longer travel to, or sometimes even through (transit), the country.

    The dismantling of the international legal system has been in the works for a bit longer – and, it is in the final stages! The case of Ambassador Abotalebi is a small manifestation of a completely corrupted system.

  11. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You appear to indicate you are not aware that neocons in the US and other countries were deeply involved in Ukraine, and neocons are noted for their hostility toward Russia and their partiality toward Israel.

  12. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US imports a substantial amount of oil from Venezuela but none from Iran. As I am sure you are well aware.

  13. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You should not miss the piece at Lobelog.com today, on Robert Gates’ opposition in 2007 to the supplying to Israel of munitions sufficient to enable Israel to attack Iran.

    James Jeffrey later became US ambassador to Turkey, and then Iraq. He promotes US assitance to Iraq in the fight against al-Qaeda.

  14. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Tony Blair wanted GW Bush to back him in his wish to get Israel out of the West Bank. Bush agreed to do so if Blair backed Bush in attacking Iraq.

  15. nico says:

    Jay,

    I am not suprised to see that the today’s Zerohedge article is as much cynical as my yesterday comment about the Piketty book : Nothing new.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/flash-boys-has-been-dethroned-top-amazon-bestseller-list-book

    It also provides an interesting insight about why inequality started to rise sharply and steadily from 1970…

  16. Nasser says:

    Yes I am sure the Russians are shaking in their boots. in fact though, tis just further motivation for the BRICs to come up with alternative financial mechanisms

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/04/17/iran-warns-russia-not-to-dismiss-u-s-sanctions-threat/

  17. Nasser says:

    “The confessional state and its secret Santa
    By aligning Pakistan with the Saudis in a conflict that might rip the Middle East along sectarian seams, Nawaz Sharif seems to be making a conscious decision to set this country up to formally become a Wahabi confessional state eventually”

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/20-Mar-2014/the-confessional-state-and-its-secret-santa

    In my opinion the shortsightedness of Iranian policy makers is also to be blamed. Out of desperation Pakistan turns to Saudi Arabia. When Iran was under such severe sanctions that its energy exports were cut in half it could have used some of those spare capacity to entrench itself in Pakistan. Many in Pakistan, like this journalist realize the corrosive effect of salafism on Pakistani society and would rather have a different patron. Iran never stepped to the plate.

  18. Nasser says:

    More on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran

    http://www.urduvoa.com/media/video/1871443.html

  19. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Nico,

    thank you for the reference to zerohedge. I understand your taste for these matters, but it is not mine. I read the material on zerohedge and, regrettably, found it superficial and sloppy. Let me give you an example.

    Piketty sets out two laws, upon which he builds a model, and allows it to run its course in order to predict “future”. These laws are simpler, and yet much more fundamental, than “gold” backing. Law 1: “at all times, capital’s share is equal to the rate of return on capital multiplied by the total stock of wealth as a share of GDP”. Law 2 (empirical): “over long periods and under the right circumstances the stock of capital, as a percentage of national income, should approach the ratio of the national-savings rate to the economic growth rate.” Contrary to the analysis of zerohedge and the reference to Capital in which Marx’s original critique of capitalism was that a rising concentration of wealth couldn’t be sustained politically, Piketty’s machine tells us that the model makes for lousy growth rates. His remedy is not “gold”, rather it is a global tax on wealth.

    To simplify things for the sake of this communication, Piketty’s conclusion is that “the current model” drives the outcome in which “a privileged few” will steer the system to what amounts to, colloquially, as corruption. Conspiratorial forces, gold, or religious affiliations are not the driving force. Rather, they are the consequences of the attractive forces generated by the machinery set in motion. There are fundamental lessons to be learned in his work – and, the data upon which the conclusions are built is impeccable. I tend to find the science behind this material more credible.

  20. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Was Iran unwilling to front the cost of construction, for extension of gas line into Pakistan?

  21. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Pakistan – as a polity – is not capable of responding to Iranian initiatives.

    There are many IT outsourcing outfits in India, Singapore, Egypt, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina that successfully services commercial entities in Europe and North America.

    None in Pakistan – that country could not even leverage her educated, English-speaking work force the way India leveraged hers in IT Outsourcing.

    Even Egypt did a better job in that sector….

  22. Khomeini says:

    To All

    Saudis are falling in line – slowly. They do not have much of a choice. Saudi ambassador to Tehran makes rare public meeting with Iranian official after US-EU-Turkey-Saudi-GCC backed anti-Syria terrorist war on Syria.

    Saudi official’s meeting indicates growing Saudi calculation that backing anti-Syria terrorists are useless. Syrian Assad is here to stay and Syrian military will clear up most, if not all, of Syria from terrorists by the end of 2014.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930204000212

  23. nico says:

    Jay says :

    Thanks for your insightful comment.

    I do not dismiss the Piketty book as void of interest.
    It has abviouly academic interest and it allows as a library success to put the subject on the agora to be discussed and debated.
    However under the academic varnish and scientific approach what he says is pretty gross.

    Law 1: “at all times, capital’s share is equal to the rate of return on capital multiplied by the total stock of wealth as a share of GDP”. Law 2 (empirical): “over long periods and under the right circumstances the stock of capital, as a percentage of national income, should approach the ratio of the national-savings rate to the economic growth rate.”

    Actually that is pretty basic math and obvious historical knowledge.
    Only brainwashed and dumbassificated people could think otherwise.

    But be sure that the elite knows that reality very well.

    The issue has always the issue of extremism.
    Extremists ideologs.
    Extremist Communists, extremists Liberals, extremists National Socialism

    Each one has its share of interesting ideas, advantages and backdrops.
    Nowadays the extremists are the liberals as were they in the 19th century or during the roaring 20ies.

    As I stated few months ago here, Communism and National Socialism were only reaction to the extremism of Liberalism.
    Communism or National Socialism have not come out of nowhere…

    Now for Piketty and other people to discover that is pretty amazing but says much about the level of intellectual idiocy of the west.

    And you have such people as Fukuyama claiming that Liberalism is the end goal and end of history…

    And the US leading from the 80ies the deconstruction of all the firewalls put in place after the 1929 crisis and that were cherished and consolidated in the afterwar…

    Well what can I say ? Appaling maybe…

  24. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Was Iran willing to front the cost of extending the gas line to Pakistani cities?

  25. Sineva says:

    Nasser says:
    April 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm
    There was plenty of short sightedness on the pakistani side as well,you would have thought that they would have been grateful to have an alternative source of badly needed energy that did not come with any saudi or western strings attached.Had the pakistanis been truly serious about the pipeline they would have done whatever was necessary to have constructed their side of it,personally I dont think the pakistanis were ever really serious about it,it was just a way to extract more concessions from the west,in the end the big losers here were the pakitanis

  26. Nasser says:

    Sineva says: April 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I agree with your comments. But my point was that Iran should make more serious efforts to check Saudi influence in Pakistan. And that it cannot be done on the cheap!

    Pakistan, like Egypt desperately needs money and has traditionally relied on Saudi Arabia and USA to be its foreign patrons. If you would remember even the Muslim Brotherhood government leveraged its potential ties with Iran to extract more concessions out of the US and Saudi Arabia.

    Egypt though is inconsequential to Iran but Iran does need to pay attention to Pakistan and I believe it can wean off enough Saudi influence on Pakistan if it made a serious effort to do so. And many inside Pakistan, like the journalist whose article I posted, would welcome it.

  27. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Nico,

    I wish I had your intuition and intellect to be able to find these matters, as you put it, “basic math and obvious historical knowledge”. I do not – and, therefore, I have to extend the effort to read and analyze.

    It is wonderful that these insights are natural and obvious to you, and you are willing to share it with us on this site.

  28. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Pakistani economy is substanitally impaired by chronic energy shortages.

  29. nico says:

    Jay says:
    April 25, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Well, I see you are upset.
    Sure I use strong words.
    But that is only truth and aimed at waking up people.

    I confirm that is very basic knowledge.
    i. e. Highschool math and first year college economics.
    What it requires however is critical thinking that is only aquired when you are out of the MSM matrix and know and analyse history.

    Let me demonstrate it to you in 2 basic definition, 3 charts and 2 highschool formula

    One definition of GDP (1st year college knowledge) is that it is equal to the sum of the Added Value generated in a country.
    Added value is distributed in two main stakeholder : that is Capital and Labor (1st year college knwoledge).

    Now that one understands that BASIC definitions.
    Then one can EASILY understand that for equality between Capital and Labor to be maintained then each one needs to grow as fast as the GDP.

    The issue is that the ultraliberal and finanacialization of the economy require a 10 to 15% per year as ROI.
    And it is considered in such paradigm that 2 or 4% is bad performance.
    While the GDP grew in average in the OECD countries by 2% a year in the last decade…

    Well where the difference is found ???

    EASY.. it is found by reducing the share of the labor in the added value.
    And well it is exactly what happened…

    http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/commentary/2012/2012-13.cfm

    And how that mecahnism of distribution between capital and labor happen to be ?
    Well that is the social negotiation between the corporations and the labor unions.

    And one BASICALLY understand that by putting local workforce in competition with low cost countries the corporationz squeeze the wages and maximize the Capital ROI.

    And one can BASICALLY understand that that is POLITICAL decision.
    By bringing down tariff barrier and allowing tax havens.
    Wild free trade is actually what generates inequality.
    Unregulated economics is what generates inequality
    Lack of relevant tax and redistribution policies is what generates inequality.

    And well that is called ULTRA LIBERALISM.

    And that is BASIC knowledge.

  30. Dan Cooper says:

    Off topic

    Reza Aslan is talking about Palestine, and Israel. watch it before it gets removed.

    http://youtu.be/zhngb7c9j5U

  31. kooshy says:

    After the Saudis, now the Brit, French and other European criminal assholes fearing return of their own Takfires, everyone remembers up to a few months back these western criminals were encouraging their young Muslims to go and kill poor innocent Syrians citizens with on their Arab clients payroll, I for one hope they get the taste of their own medicine and they can see organ eating up close and personal. In the mean time I remember with the return of Nam war losers to US small town crime went up.

    “Britain Moves to Prevent Young People From Joining Syrian War”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/world/europe/britain-syria-war.html?_r=0

    LONDON — The British police said on Thursday that officers would work with charitable organizations to prevent British Muslims from traveling to Syria as fighters in the civil war, urging women in particular to report would-be jihadists “so that we can intervene and help.” The move reflected growing concern among British and other European counterterrorism authorities that some of the hundreds of European Muslims fighting alongside Islamist forces in Syria could return home and commit terrorist attacks.

  32. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Nico,

    I regret that you took my compliment as an insult. Although your analysis has no relationship to what Piketty has demonstrated, you clearly demonstrate a sign of intuitive intellect on the subject. Please don’t be self conscious. Now, let’s get back to the subject of the thread because this is not helpful.

  33. Kathleen says:

    And the U.S. mainstream media outlets including NPR can be counted on for going along with the antagonizing. If Hillary Clinton gets in…next stop will be Iran. She is truly a warmonger

  34. Sineva says:

    Nasser says:
    April 25, 2014 at 2:33 am
    I think you are right.Iran should do whatever it can to offset saudi influence,after all the worst case scenario for iran would be a wahabist pakistan sitting on its border,and its also one potential way to pay the saudis back for what they`ve done in syria,and they do so badly need to be payed back for that.

  35. nico says:

    Jay says:
    April 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    “I regret that you took my compliment as an insult”
    That was no compliment that was irony and mockery.

    “Although your analysis has no relationship to what Piketty has demonstrated, you clearly demonstrate a sign of intuitive intellect on the subject.”
    That is totally related and what many are not capable to grasp and why I use strong words.
    Again that is basic knowledge and the important point is that only heavy propaganda and brainwashing impose another world view on us.

    “Please don’t be self conscious. Now, let’s get back to the subject of the thread because this is not helpful.”
    No problemo. Let’s move on.
    Thanks for opportunity to engage in this exchange that was interesting.

  36. nico says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-24/guest-post-demography-debt-doom

    A global economic view providing relevant prospective.

  37. Jay says:

    To all:

    Why Iran Doesn’t Trust the International Community

    By: Reza Nasri (an international lawyer and academic)

    http://fpif.org/iran-doesnt-trust-international-community/

    “The truth is that threats and coercion—whether military or economic—are incompatible with fundamental legal principles and the notion of good faith, especially in times of negotiations. Threatening a negotiating partner with more pressure, more sanctions, and more insecurity is not only contrary to core principles of law and morality, but it also has practical legal ramifications that could emerge in the long-term.”

  38. Sammy says:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/25/unite-against-imperialism/

    By ANDRE VLTCHEK
    In countless interviews, in personal letters, in face-to-face discussions, the questions I keep being asked are becoming very similar: “Now that it is obvious that the West is ready and willing to destroy everything that stands in its way to the total domination of the planet, what can still be done?”

    Some say: ‘Nothing’. There are plenty of discouraged, scared voices of people who have already fully given up, and come to the conclusion that the Empire is too powerful, too determined, and therefore, unstoppable.

    Others are praying. And there are also some, who are putting all their trust into those few brave ones that are ‘still fighting’.

    Hopelessness, fear and defeatism – this is how the Empire wants you to feel.

    Do not! Defeat is only purposefully encoded in the propaganda that is being spread by the West. In reality, nothing is lost.

    Actually, working all over the world, I am increasingly optimistic. People in the Middle East, in Africa, in many parts of Asia, are now waking up. People in Latin America woke up long time ago – they are alert, vigilant!

    These are actually truly breathtaking moments in our human history. But nothing is free. To save the world, we will still have to stand firm against neo-colonialism, and all that insane propaganda that is being constantly disseminated by the West. We will have to be determined and strong. If we are, this is not going to be the end, but the beginning!…..

  39. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Meanwhile in the real world:

    With fuel price increase of 75%, gold coins above 1 million, dollar above 3,300 and euro at 4,500 and nothing but insults from the US after months of negotiations, Rohani’s new nickname in Tehran is “Hassan Chakhan”.

    Whether in the US or in Iran- it’s always oligarchs versus the people.

  40. Sineva says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 26, 2014 at 9:47 am
    Forgive my ignorance but does “Hassan Chakhan” translate as “heroic flexibility” by any chance?

  41. Sammy says:

    By Jim Willie for Nico and BiB : ( I must laugh every time he mentions SCHEISS Dollar)

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article45353.html

    ….The USDollar pathogenesis and USEconomic collapse have included a truly nasty diabolic unfortunate unfolding of events and direction of developments. It has had a few pushes, and several still hidden elements. Nothing is exact, but the following sequence makes too much sense in hindsight. Consider the following key events in recent history:

    1) Kill Kennedy, install Nixon, abrogate Gold Standard, put Kissinger in charge, build Petro-Dollar Standard with the Middle East core of producing nations.

    2) Environmental movement combined with labor union power to discourage US corporations, who go offshore.

    3) Exploitation of cheaper Asian labor, Mexican labor, Latin labor made cost sense, but depleted US of legitimate income.

    4) Clean financial industry in US eventually led to extreme bond fraud, national savings diverted, bonds as chief export instead of tangible output.

    5) Rubin & Clinton stole Fort Knox gold with aid of Papa Bush and Wall Street banks, the narco routes used in distribution.

    6) Greenspan fed the beast, giving the US public and Wall Street banks what they wanted in cheap plentiful money.

    7) Bank Derivatives become a key glue to the wrecked banking structures which went insolvent in the early 1990 decade.

    8) Wall Street cut a deal with China to lease gold, give Most Favored Nation status, which paved the way for tremendous Foreign Direct Investment to China, but tragic loss of legitimate income and deep dependence for final time on the twin housing & mortgage bubbles.

    9) USEconomy had dependence on asset bubbles explode with the tech telecom stock bust in 2000 followed by the subprime mortgage bust in 2007, the climax that marked systemic breakdown.

    10) USGovt debt went out of control in volume at $1 trillion annually, with foreigners holding majority of debt.

    11) CIA narcotics business created a Shadow Govt with a $800 billion hidden budget, underground cities, bio-weapon research, tactical HAARP usage, gold caches, and more.

    12) US War Machine became an integral part of US foreign policy and USDollar defense.

    13) USGovt Security Agencies took control after 911, came out in explicit overt fascist style after 40 years of hidden nazi leadership.

    14) Weimar USFed monetary policy became fixed and permanent without potential alteration under the installed ZIRP Forever and QE to Infinity.

    15) The entire system breaks, systemic failure, economic disintegration, profit margin vanishing act, debt default, derivative cracks, oppressive health insurance costs, all in progress.

    16) Narcos on the verge of buying all major governments and police agencies in the world, to install global totalitarianism.

    17) Gold markets corrupt the price despite almost totally absent inventory while global police corner the banker cabal rats.

    18) War breaks out in as many spots as possible, this time led by the Langley black op corps without full support of the Pentagon.

    19) Internal rivalries are exposed within the United States Govt while external factions are revealed for deep cracks during high level US betrayals.

    20) Global Currency Reset has begun and the death of the Petro-Dollar is in progress, as the Eastern Hemisphere gathers critical mass in replacement of the USD-based trade payment system even as new gold-backed currencies are born to usher in the New Gold Trade Standard finally.

    As footnote, apologies for forgetting, omitting, or being ignorant of another 80 devious diabolical deadly deeds where numerous operations were launched, many people perished, and scattered nations were ransacked in support of the unsound fiat currency regime supported by surreptitious violence and outright military force.

  42. nico says:

    Sammy says:
    April 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Maybe that is what will be remembered by historians in a century or so.
    I am less sure about the haarp project.
    Describing real life is extraordinary enough… No need for wild assumption.

    As for that…
    “2) Environmental movement combined with labor union power to discourage US corporations, who go offshore.”
    … I am not sure to understand.
    Does it mean there is no need for environmental regulation or labor union ?
    That is simply erroneous.
    What allows the corporations to go offshore is the absence of regulation. That is free flow of capital wothout state surveillance and wild free trade, that is absence of tariff barrier.
    That is ultra liberalism.
    As for environmental dumping, it can be managed as well by tarrif barrier.

    That is typical US liberal thinking concerning the role of the state.
    Less state in their mind being better state.
    That is simply wrong policy.
    What a nation needs is a strong state with adequate, relevant and just policies.

  43. James Canning says:

    Reuel Marc Gerecht has one of his typical anti-Iran pieces today in the Wall Street Journal: “Holocaust denial and the Iranian regime”. Quote: “In Tehran’s worldview, if six million Jews didn’t die, then Israel has no excuse to exist.”

  44. James Canning says:

    From the Sunday Times (London) April 13th:

    “[The] number [of Asians originating in Indian subcontenent] have risen to 4.2 million in England and Wales, 7.5% of the population. In the 2013 Sunday Times Rioh List, 12 of the 88 billionaires were [South] Asians, compared with two out of 40 in 2005.”

  45. Sammy says:

    nico says:
    April 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    nico , of course I am not insisting that everything J.Willie says is accurate or necessarily makes sense, however since 3 years that I know him, I find him to be straightforward and to the point, especially that from his education he holds a PhD in Statistics, my favorite subject.
    I think that in utmost weird times we need utmost weird thinkers and may be J.Wilie is one of them, who knows.
    By the way, I found also following article in marketoracle regarding US export of gold to Hong Kong, again very weird and difficult to analyze.(I mean the big picture)
    If you have any comment, please share it with us.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article45358.html

    U.S. Exports A Record Amount Of Gold To Hong Kong
    Commodities / Gold and Silver 2014
    Apr 25, 2014 – 04:41 PM GMT
    By: Steve_St_Angelo

    Commodities
    The figures are out and it looks like the United States exported a record amount of gold to Hong Kong in January. Not only was this a one month record… it was a WHOPPER indeed.

    Last year, the U.S. exported a total of 215 metric tons of gold bullion to Hong Kong. This was not the total amount of gold exported to Hong Kong as some smaller quantities of Dore’ and precipitates made their way into the country as well.

    However, Hong Kong received more gold than any other country… Switzerland came in second at 150 metric tons. The table below shows the breakdown in U.S. Gold Bullion exports in 2013:

  46. kooshy says:

    “US War Machine became an integral part of US foreign policy and US Dollar defense.”

    On this analogy I don’t think the Dollar linkage is quite right, I would rather think the demand and therefore fiat status of US dollar as originally was setup is dependent on dollar being the fiat currency to buy energy to get that going oil must trade in US dollar to get that to be the standard you need to impose hegemony on oil producing countries (that is reason OPEC was allowed to be created by US client states back in 70s)
    OPEC was supposed to set oil export price and demand only Dollar for any oil trade. To keep her hegemony and to provide the necessary security for these small backward client states US decided to make Iran strong enough to with stand and protect this states for about one week till US forces can come to the possible theater of operations, for this reason US allowed Iran to buy the most sophisticated US military equipment and to some point transfer of technology (1971-1979) was allowed. Remember US had lost the Vietnam had agreed PRC to become a veto member of UNSC and Brits could no longer afford to keep military in western Asia and had decided to leave the region in 1971. US planers had correctly assessed that the only country who could hold soviets moving south and threatening Iran and Arab client states was Iran, which in early 70 did in a limited way fought the communist /Leftist in Yemen and Oman. As usual of the think tankers this all looked and worked well on paper but they did not know or could anticipate the Iranian revolution which changed US fortune and plan. Mr. Carter was left with no other choice but to make his declaration that PG is of vital US interest and form a rapid force and eventually protect the oil lines and station a few bases to keep the fiat status of USD. Unlike the US policy makers and planers I don’t see this is viable forever or can be achieved for a long time to come.

    I meant the status of USD can only be achieved as long as US can maintain and control KSA, as well as other smaller Arab/ African oil producers, and as long as KSA can still pump over 8 MBD.
    One must admit the original dollar energy based fiat for a country that lost a 10 year old war and a bankrupt country in turmoil was a cleaver plan, if it wasn’t arrogant and also considered local factors and sentiments, but the American exceptionalist can never do that, see a recent example: Ukraine.

  47. nico says:

    Sammy says:
    April 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    The gold market is rigged.
    For one and simple reason, protect the USD banruptcy.

    Gold being the historical pivotal commodity used as currency for thousands of year, it is obvious that would gold price quoted in USD rise say ten fold in less than year then the USD would be bankrupt with problem of confidence in its value.

    China knows that the current trade unbalance with the US and US downward solvabilty is unsustainable.
    However China has no interest to see the USD collapse and the US know that very fact.

    Actually China is happy with the current arrangement with the US.
    China has access to raw material is pumping up western technology and know how through job offshoring and has access to western and world markets. What more could they desire ?

    Thus my take is that there are various phenomenon at play.
    First Gold follow market rule and demand is high with a global momentum to protect oneself against global fiat currencies issues.
    Second Gold has many other raw material is become naturally scarcer, difficult and more expensive to extract. Thus like oil or many other metals its price will rise.
    Then you have China piling up tons of gold as an investment just like other assests (commodities and precious metals, mines, lands, etc…) and preparing for the day after.

    China plays a balancing act with the US.
    By transforming on the first hand the USD earned through trade surplus with US in hard asset under the US imperium supervision.
    And on the second hand China is carefull not to collapse the USD until the last drop of technology and asset is squeezed out of the current arrangement.

    And you have the US profitering the situation by importing free stuff with irredeemable paper money backed by nothing. The US periodically protest the trade unbalance through diplomatic channel but that is truly half hearted protest.

    The real issue arise when the shift in the balance of power is consummated.
    Meaning what happens next when China GDP and world trade surpass that of the US by a good margin and when China pumped up all deemed necessary technology ?
    China will not need then the US anymore to sell its labor for cheap and the US will have accumulated huge debt…
    At that moment the China-US arrangement will self-collapse.

    Gold may ignite the USD collapse as an uncontrolable market factor precipating a bank run against the USD.
    And China is a major player in the Gold market but not the only one.
    But I think as long as China find the arrangement with the US satisfactory China will not push for the USD collapse.

    The real good question is why on earth the US are accepting such arrangement ?
    Clearly China is following a long term national strategy.
    But what the US have to gain in this in the long run ?

    Clearly the US are following short term interests, ideological doctrines and ultra liberal policies.
    But I feel something wrong and that that explanation is unsatisfactory and incomplete.

    At that step I can only venture wild guess ane free assumption…
    As an example is there any secret pact between the US or western Oligarchy and China concerning the Chinese one child policy.
    Actually that policy started around the same time as the Nixon raoprochement if I am not wrong (?).
    That policy may have made sense decades ago but it seems harmful to China nowadays with a huge demographic unbalance… Why such policy is still in force ?
    But again that last section is only wild guess and conspiracy theory.

  48. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    You seem to suggest the US welcomed Opec’s oil embargo and the signficant recession it caused. The US economy was hammeredd by the huge rise in oil prices (due to American support of Israel during 1973 war).

  49. kooshy says:

    GAV

    You seem to suggest that is 1960 Iran, Kuwait, KSA, and a bunch of other US client states likes of Venezuela were allowed and on their own could form an international oil organization specially an oil cartel, is that what you want to believe go ahead, Arab oil embargo was not an OPEC act, as matter of fact Iran and others did not join the embargo, oil price increase allowed this countries to buy and be armed for protecting the oil and the US currency’s backup. Just for you to know Iran wasn’t ALLOWED (although Iran was not officially a NATO/ aligned member) to become a NAM member until after the revolution. Actually I said plans made on paper may not necessarily work and if not it often has blowback, think of Al Qaeda / Taliban Afghanistan. Gav James “SHIR FAHM SHOUD”

  50. Khomeini says:

    Sineva says:
    April 26, 2014 at 11:11 am

    “Hassan Chakhan” would be bluff/boastful Hassan. This is in the sense that Hassan Rohani does lot of bragging or big talk but very little on action.

  51. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 27, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Thanks! Krugman captures it rather well – “… what’s really new about “Capital” is the way it demolishes that most cherished of conservative myths…”

  52. Fiorangela says:

    Conflicts Forum on Syria

    While ex pat think tankers and supporters of the rebels, and US/West/ Brennan see Syria in black-and-white terms in which, in their “melancholy” view the dark side — Assad — is winning, the Syrian people envision a broader spectrum, cultural dynamism, and seek reconciliation.

    http://www.conflictsforum.org/2014/conflicts-forums-weekly-comment-11-–-18-april-2014/

  53. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I have some difficulty understanding whether you claim the 1973 Arab oil embargo was an event the US wished to take place, or opposed.

  54. Kathleen says:

    Alert..alert

    Exclusive: Kerry Warns Israel Could Become ‘An Apartheid State’
    The secretary of state said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become ‘an apartheid state,’ like the old South Africa. Jewish leaders are fuming over the comparison.
    link to thedailybeast.com

  55. Niloufar says:

    Sammy says:
    April 26, 2014 at 9:46 am

    “Hopelessness, fear and defeatism – this is how the Empire wants you to feel…
    we will still have to stand firm against neo-colonialism, and all that insane propaganda that is being constantly disseminated by the West. We will have to be determined and strong. If we are, this is not going to be the end, but the beginning!”

    I agree, though we should appreciate that propaganda was always part of the imperial game. Perhaps we are more aware of it now. Still, was disappointed that the Anti-Apartheid Movement didn’t grow into something more permanent. Apparently, Anti-Arab Apartheid was not so important to fight against.

    Social media represent a double-edged sword. Governments and even the corporate-owned mainstream media tend to be better organized at manipulating social media, even if they lose some battles in the process.

    The battle against imperial propaganda is not new, and is probably permanent unless we evolve enough to get rid of the state in its present form.

  56. Sineva says:

    Yes,I thought it would be something like that.I just had to have a chuckle at the “heroic resistance” phrase as there doesnt seem to be much of either going on when it comes to the nuclear negotiations

  57. nico says:

    Jay,

    About Piketty’s book.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/bad-government-and-central-bank-policy-are-the-main-cause-of-runaway-inequality/5379433

    “Lawlessness Is a Core Cause of Inequality
    Joe Stiglitz said:
    Inequality is not inevitable. It is not … like the weather, something that just happens to us. It is not the result of the laws of nature or the laws of economics. Rather, it is something that we create, by our policies, by what we do.We created this inequality—chose it, really—with [bad] laws …”

    “Professor Black told Washington’s Blog:
    The industry that is the largest single driver of surging income inequality is finance. Finance dramatically increases inequality through three primary means”

    “The obvious means is the massive flow of profits out of the productive sector and into finance, particularly compensation for finance elites.”

    “The second means is that the three most destructive epidemics of financial fraud in history caused our financial crisis and hyper-inflated the bubble. This too was a “sure thing” because of the fraud “recipe.”” (subprime…)

    “Third, finance, even absent fraud, is a major cause of increasing inequality. It is the means of tax evasion, which is (in $ terms) a crime that is all about the 1%, hedge funds, and large corporations. It is also the means, and the excuse, for outsourcing American jobs in the productive sector and extorting domestic tax giveaways by putting U.S. states and cities in competition to induce them to locate in a particular city.”

    “Conclusion: Piketty’s a Little Rickety On Government Stupidity
    The bottom line is that Piketty has done a great job of documenting the extent of inequality, and some of its causes.  But he misses the degree to which bad government and central bank policy is responsible.”

    That is exactly my point.
    Cause of inequality is common and basic knowledge.
    Piketty does a great job to provide a scientific cover to it and to stimulate the debate.
    However the point is that that is POLITIC and not some inevitable phenomenon.

  58. fyi says:

    All:

    US Commitments to the Persian Gulf Arab states:

    http://www.mepc.org/hill-forums/us-commitments-gulf-arab-states

  59. James Canning says:

    The huge oil and gas project in Kazakhstan, at north end of the Caspian Sea, has cost $50 billion and now will be delayed for two more years for replacement of the oil and gas pipelines to shore facilities. Excellent report in the Financial Times today.

  60. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Gav 1973 Arab oil embargo had nothing to do with OPEC, or formation of OPEC, incremental increase in price of oil after 1971 (which was to finance oil producing countries purchase of western armament) was started before the Arab oil embargo of 1973.

  61. Kathleen says:

    Just sent my thank you to Secretary of State Kerry for going as far as he has. While we know he was hesitant to say what we know Israel is an apartheid state…amazing that he has gone as far as he has. Please take the time to thank him
    link to state.gov

  62. Sammy says:

    RE: PressTV news coverage regarding the Ukraine crisis.

    I am following the PressTV news coverage about Ukraine very carefully and they have dedicated a special news bulletin to cover the events there with regular updates, maps etc.
    I was hoping that PressTv would be able to reflect the ‘real ‘ news and not what we already hear from the western MSM whores, but now almost after 2 weeks it seems that PressTV stance on Ukraine is very close to the western MSM, almost identical, which is utmost disappointing.
    Also on IRNN I was following the Ukraine discussions in various news shows between many commentators and politicians and I have to judge that ALL of them are either ill -informed or not informed at all with no individual stance on none of the aspects surrounding this full – blown crisis.
    Very disappointing as this shows that our usually well informed analysts have no real clue of what is at stake in the Ukraine.
    I hope I am mistaken, but the facts are not pointing to a well balanced stance of the Iranian leadership and our thinkers as well, let alone the ordinary people.
    Did the SL take a stance on UKR, may be I missed something.

  63. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    “The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973 when . . . OPEC proclaimed an oil embargo.” (Wikipedia)
    Price of oil quadrupled in USD (from $3 to $12 per barrel)

  64. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I think you have things backwards. The weapons sales were a way to lessen the damage cuased by the great increase in oil prices (that was brought on by US support of Israel in the 1973 war).

  65. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I think most non-robots can tell the difference between OAPEC and OPEC, because it has an “A” in it.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

    The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo. By the end of the embargo in March 1974,[1] the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12.[2]

  66. kooshy says:

    Gav here is the gradual oil price increase after the events of 1971 (Brits leaving the PG and transferring the security to regional states) enjoy it / in 1970 Price per barrel of oil was around $1.20 before the October 1973 Arab oil embargo price was already tripled to $3.65 per barrel.

    http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/50146/28596081.pdf?sequence=1

    “The 1970 price of Saudi Light crude was $1.21, of which 89 cents was excise tax. By end-1974, the price was about $11, of which 30-50 cents was a fee paid to the former owners, now operators. The detailed history of the change does not support any model of resource scarcity, nor of an over- and under-investment cycle, nor any transient shortage. What happened was learning by doing. A nascent cartel gained experience and confidence by repeated success in raising prices. Despite excess supply (deficient demand) in 1971 and 1972, repeated excise tax increases raised the price. The expectation of continued tax/price increases, plus the threats of Saudi cutbacks, account for most of the excess demand in the first nine months of 1973, when the tax was raised to $3.”

    1971
    In March of 1971, the balance of power to control crude oil prices shifted from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to OPEC. By the end of 1971 six other nations had joined OPEC: Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Nigeria.

    1971
    January 12: Negotiations begin in Tehran between 6 Persian Gulf oil producing countries and 22 oil companies.
    February 3: OPEC mandates “total embargo” against any company that rejects the 55 percent tax rate.
    February 14: Tehran agreement signed. Companies accept 55 percent tax rate, immediate increase in posted prices, and further successive increases.
    February 24: Algeria nationalizes 51 percent of French oil concessions.
    April 2: Libya concludes five weeks of negotiations with Western oil companies in Tripoli on behalf of itself, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Iraq. Agreement raises posted prices of oil delivered to Mediterranean from $2.55 to $3.45 per barrel; provides for a 2.5 percent annual price increase plus inflation allowance; raises tax rate from a range of 50-58 percent to 60 percent of posted price.
    September 22: OPEC directs members to negotiate price increases to offset the devaluation of the U.S. dollar.
    November: U.S. Phase II price controls begin. Plan is to allow for gradual 2-3 percent annual price increases, however, domestic petroleum prices remain at Phase I levels.
    December 5: Libya nationalizes British Petroleum concession.
    1972
    January 20: Six exporting countries – Abu Dhabi, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – conclude ten days of meetings with Western oil companies. An agreement is reached to raise the posted price of crude by 8.49 percent to offset the loss in value of oil concessions attributable to the decline in value of the U.S. dollar.
    March 11: OPEC threatens “appropriate sanctions” against companies that “fail to comply with . . . any action taken by a Member Country in accordance with [OPEC] decisions.”
    June 1: Iraq nationalizes Iraq Petroleum Company’s (IPC) concession owned by British Petroleum, Royal Dutch-Shell, Companies Francaise des Petroles, Mobil and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon). The concessions were valued at over one billion dollars.
    June 9: In a show of support for Iraq, OPEC moves to prevent companies whose interests were nationalized in Iraq from increasing production elsewhere; appoints mediators between Iraq and IPC.
    October 27: OPEC approves plan providing for 25 percent government ownership of all Western oil interests operating within Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia beginning on January 1, 1973, and rising to 51 percent by January 1, 1983. (Iraq declines to agree.) Agreements signed on December 21.
    1973
    January 23: Shah of Iran announces that the 1954 operating agreement between a consortium of oil companies and Iran will not be renewed when it expires in 1979. The consortium was formed in 1954 as a means to settle a dispute between a new ministry in Iran and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The consortium included Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, SOCONY-Vacuum, the Texas Company, Gulf, Royal Dutch-Shell, the Compagnie Francaise de Petroles, and the AIOC.
    March 16: OPEC discusses raising prices to offset decline of U.S. dollar value.
    April 1: OPEC increases posted prices by 5.7 percent.
    .June 1: Eight OPEC countries raise posted prices by 11.9 percent
    October 16: The Gulf Six (Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) unilaterally raise the posted price of Saudi Light marker crude 17 percent from $3.12 to $3.65 per barrel and announce production cuts.
    October 19: Saudi Arabia, Libya, and other Arab states proclaim an embargo on oil exports to the United States.
    .
    December 22: OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974.

  67. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I rememeber the rise on oil prices in the early 1970s. And especially the huge rise caused by the Arab oil embargo that punished the US for its support of Israel in the 1973 war. (True, it already had risen considerably in percentqe terms.)

  68. kooshy says:

    The 1970 – 1973 allowed gradual oil price increase was in form of Taxing the foreign producing companies operating in OPEC countries in this way by increasing tax the money was transferred to states holders and not to the companies in which meaning directly taxing the western users (transferring money from western consumers to oil states) by gradually increasing the price of oil at pump. Obviously this gradual and slow upward increase of Tax on oil or in real term increase of the client states income (for pre-determined spending) was approved by the petro dollar printer in chief.

  69. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    You appear to be arguing the US encouraged the huge rise on oil price resulting from the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74. In fact, the US was punished for supporting Israel in the 1973 war.

  70. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Gav, read the dates I mentioned, I was talking about the 1970-1973 gradual tripling of the price of oil, and I was not talking about the increase due to oil embargo. the gradual increase from 1970-1973 was in form of state oil owners increasing tax on producing western companies operating in OPEC member states that was agreed by US, in way was a form of taxing western consumers to pay and transfer money to support arm purchase by the dependent oil producer countries. You can think of it any which way makes you feel better.

  71. BiBiJon says:

    The fog comes into sharp focus!
    ============================

    What do you do if you need a little time to adjust yourself to realities? One answer seems to be to destabilize the neighborhood around your competitors to keep them busy while you try and figure out a path out of your imperial doldrums.

    How do you keep Iran, KSA, and Turkey on their toes? Resist both a military and a diplomatic solution to Syria’s civil war.

    How do you keep Russia and Europe off kilter? Support Ukrainian hyper nationalism, exacerbate east European insecurity by needlessly provoking Russia, hold western European economies hostage to the specter of sanctions war on Russia, etc.

    How do you keep China busy? Well, how’s announcing pivots, and egging Japan on to provoke China.

    The scheme would not work if not for a bunch of morons playing along. Take KSA for example. They don’t realize their fear of Iran was planted in their heads so that they could be recruited to play regional spoiler at their own cost.

    How to explain steps towards rapprochement with Iran? Simple if you know how to make fog; Scare your allies of phantoms, and then don’t help them confront it, make your competitors busy with manufactured crisis, make your long-time adversaries comfortable. Iran is in that last category.

    Meanwhile, don’t miss:

    _http://www.yementimes.com/en/1776/opinion/3786/Tony-Blair-the-violent-Islamist%E2%80%99s-best-friend.htm

    _http://www.lobelog.com/israels-stolen-nuclear-materials-why-it-still-matters/

    _http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/visa-mastercard-required-to-pay-38bln-security-deposit-to-work-in-russia/498998.html

  72. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    April 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

    In regards to Mr. Blair; he hates Islam – Shia, Sunni, Sufi, etc. – on a very personal level; he suffers from a pathology, no doubt.

  73. Rehmat says:

    fyi said: “In regards to Mr. Blair; he hates Islam – Shia, Sunni, Sufi, etc. – on a very personal level; he suffers from a pathology, no doubt.”

    So how come, as a born-again Christian, the war criminal Blair loves Jews and Israel so much?

    “The Killing of Tony Blair”, the movie.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/04/07/the-killing-of-tony-blair/

  74. Karl.. says:

    Good RT debate on Russia/Ukaine with 2 heavyweights
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=S9674pRBm6g

  75. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    You clearly want to play down the punishment inflicted on the US by the Arab countries, for supporting Israel in the 1973 war. Why is that?

  76. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today quotes Obama’s attack on the promoters of the idiotic US invasion of Iraq. Same people today are pushing for aggressive moves regarding Ukraine.

  77. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If Tony Blair “hates Islam”, why is he paid millions of pounds for advice, by Muslims?

  78. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    And that he is willing to accept millions of pounds from the “Sex-Party Arabs” is supposed to prove what exactly?

    The only way his recent speech makes sense is an underlying hatred for Islam for once you target political Islam; i.e. asserting the normative-ness of Christianity against Islam, then you have become the enemy of actually existing Islam.

    The only Muslims he is willing to tolerate are the dead-do “Ma’am Sahib” Muslims – no doubt.

    I can state with empirical certainty that Mr. Blair would be incapable of dialogue with Mr. Khamenei or Mr. Amoli, for example.

  79. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt all of Tony Blair’s Muslim clients are in to “sex parties”. Perhaps I just lack sufficient information on this score.

  80. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    April 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Lauren Booth, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law who converted to Islam, said this in a Guardian peace:

    ” When Muslims on the BBC News are shown shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” at some clear, Middle Eastern sky, we westerners have been trained to hear: “We hate you all in your British sitting rooms, and are on our way to blow ourselves up in Lidl when you are buying your weekly groceries.”

    In fact, what we Muslims are saying is “God is Great!”, and we’re taking comfort in our grief after non-Muslim nations have attacked our villages. Normally, this phrase proclaims our wish to live in peace with our neighbours, our God, our fellow humans, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Or, failing that, in the current climate, just to be left to live in peace would be nice.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/03/lauren-booth-conversion-to-islam

    Mr. Blair is incapable of comprehending his own deep anti-Islam bias – his frame of reference set in the normative-ness of his self. Many a Brits like him are simply unable to get rid of this swagger of condescension!

  81. Rehmat says:

    People who hate Lauren Booth are gay, lesbians and their supporters among the pro-Israel Jews – such as British lesbian Julie Burchill, who had several husbands in the past, have been a drug addict, lived as a lesbian, and in 2009 she said that she was only attracted to girls in their 20s.

    Lauren Booth is convert to Shia Islam.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/11/03/booths-conversion-irks-lesbian-zionist/

  82. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Good RT debate on Russia/Ukraine with 2 heavyweights
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=S9674pRBm6g

    My only concern is that both heavyweights repeated their belief that inside the beltway, foreign policy elite hold on to the the notion of being a benign empire.

    While I think the beltway is controlled and manipulated. There is nothing benign about those who do the controlling.

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    As long as US, UK, French and other leaders do not acknowledge that they and their countries are waging a war against Islam, nothing will change. The wound in Palestine will fester, the war against the Shia Crescent will continue, etc.

    What they want is a servile Islam; they have no answer for Islam that has entered into the era of Mass Politics – all the while urging Muslims to learn to Love the Fantasy project of Jews in Palestine.

    Decades of war and bloodshed lies in the future for people Muslims – in the Near East as well as in Africa.

  84. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    April 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Keep in mind that the United States, by keeping festering wounds alive, has been positioning herself as the “Indispensable Nation” – as you can now see in Ukraine.

    The negative consequence of festering these wounds has been that over time, the costs have increased beyond any reasonable strategic or commercial gain; like in Palestine.

    In Palestine, Americans have lost the control of dynamics of the war there, they are at the mercy of others – Jews and Muslims, Arabs and Israelis, Iranians and Lebanese – being “Indispensable” in Palestine has made them into co-aggressors against Islam with Israelis – from which they no longer can extricate themselves with their own power.

    They did the same in Iraq, imposing the crippling sanctions that destroyed the professional classes in Iraq and caused the deaths of so many children. And just like in case of Palestine, they eventually lost the control of Iraq as well.

  85. Kathleen says:

    Anyone see Chris Hayes get rolled by Josh Block from the Israel Project. Chris allowed Block to get away with repeating a bucket full of false claims. A mountain of lies.

    Chris Hayes knew he was getting rolled by Block and parsed his response with guilty looking restraint. link to msnbc.com

    Wonder if Hayes will have anyone on like Noura Erekat to counter Block’s endless list of lies?. Block even said there was democracy in the West Bank. Hayes has the knowledge base to take Block’s lies and rip them to shreds but he did not.

  86. Kathleen says:

    Chris Hayes allows Israel Project’s Josh Block to repeat mountain of lies on his MSNBC program “All In”. Chris Hayes was rolled on his own program…you could see from the look on his face he knew it too and his tongue was tied by $$$. His job.

    http://www.msnbc.com/all

  87. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    April 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Yes, but on the positive side of the ledger from the US perspective is that a whole host of peer competitors, and other nettlesome nations have not been allowed a moment of peace and quiet, or respite from accusations, libel and demonetization to achieve anywhere near their natural potential.

    I suspect this calculus will continue to guide.

    One could take http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/30/ukraine-forces-helpless-stop-pro-russia-takeover-east

    “The beleaguered government’s slim hold on law and order in the east was further undermined on Wednesday as pro-Russian separatists seized control of state buildings in Horlivka, almost unopposed.”

    … and say the Ukraine policy is failing. Or, you could look at it as yet another perfect place for endless strife to keep Russia and Europe very busy with profoundly futile and unproductive activity, when the solution, just like Palestine-Israel, is easy, well-understood, and is quickly implementable.

  88. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    While the ideas come from the beltway in america, this is a problem for the whole west.
    I dont see how this issue will end peacefully unfortunately.

  89. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    April 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I think you could extend that argument and reason that those states that have not been left in peace by Axis Powers will have emerged stronger – should they survive.

    So, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and (North Vietnam) have emerged stronger – although at a very high price.

    Axis Powers would have been well-advised to take repeated offers made by Mr. Ahmadinejad 8 years ago.

    Now those offers are no longer on the table.

    I imagine that the joint Axis Powers-Russian Federation Plan for Ukraine – advocated by Russia back in late 2013 – is also now off the table.

  90. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 27, 2014 at 5:08 am

    I was waiting for this one! From none other than the “WSJ”

    Thomas Piketty Revives Marx for the 21st Century

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303825604579515452952131592

    The best argument the right wing critics can come up with so far:
    “it is marxism”, “it is the government’s fault”, “nothing new here”! Of course, I am excluding from the list the arguments by the Rush Limbaugh types: “it is stupid”, “it is ignorant”, “it is a liberal plot”!

  91. Jay says:

    EU states strike lucrative military contracts with China overriding embargo – report

    http://rt.com/news/155868-europe-exports-china-military/

    “British jet engines driving fighter bombers and anti-ship strike aircraft, German and French engines providing the rudder to the Chinese navy – the role European exports play in China’s military is undeniable.”

    In Britain, France, and Germany everything is for sale – at the right price!

  92. Rehmat says:

    “I knew Adolf Hitler as a boy and as a young man. I treated him many times and was intimately familiar with the modest surroundings in which he grew to manhood. I attended, in her final illness, the person nearer and dearer to him than all others – his mother,” Dr. Edward Bloch, Hitler’s Jewish physician in article, entitled My Patient, Hitler, Collier’s magazine, March 1941.

    Last week, people in Italy, France, Germany, Ukraine, Japan and India celebrated 125th birthday of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889. It was a major German holiday between 1933-1945.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/04/30/hitler-remembered-on-his-125th-birthday/

  93. nico says:

    Jay says:
    April 30, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Well, yes what were you expecting ?
    When one does not want to acknowledge basic principles and common sense, then how could you expect that they could aknowledge work like Piketty’s.

    Again your expectation is pretty decent. But that is unfortunately delusional.

    That is politics and doctrine.
    The US regime is like that. And there is no the least beggining of self-criticism in that regime.
    What the US need is a regime change.
    And that will not happen as long as the circumstances do not turn much worse.
    Maybe in 2020 or 2030.

  94. BiBiJon says:

    Jay says:
    April 30, 2014 at 11:12 am

    ‘Tis the era of labels. And, thus new meaning to old terms.

    E.g. WSJ’s new definition for a Marxist is one who writes a book wherein the data, and facts, and the conclusions are as unassailable as is the perceived affront to capitalism run amok.

  95. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    WSJ piece goes one step beyond “relabeling”. In a hilarious pretzel twist, the piece blames the “government” – the same “government” that is bought and paid for by the “0.1%” – for the problems caused by the “0.1%”. But wait! Not because the “government” has become the enabler, rather it asks that the “government” step aside to allow the “0.1%” to do more of the same!

  96. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    There is value in what BiBiJon called “…data, and facts, and the conclusions are as unassailable…” Everyone can opine about “causes”, but basic calculations demolish, in black and white, all “opinions”. That is why the conservatives have to run screaming “Marx”, “Stupid”, “Old news”, etc. – they do not have a place to hide!

  97. BiBiJon says:

    Ray (Rayburn, Raymond, Rayner) is at it again
    ==========================================

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-takeyh-iran-khamenei-nukes-20140430,0,42541.story

    Yes folks, the lasting effects of the fraudulent 2009 election, bla bla, is forgotten by those who think a nuclear deal is doable, so says Rayburn Takeyh.

    All efforts at compartmentalizing the nuclear issue so that it has a modicum chance of a solution is contrary to Raymond’s wishes. So, Rayner was tasked with muddying the water.

  98. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Chronic incompetence on the part of the government of Venezuela had badly injured the economy of that country. Oil industry has been seriously hampered.

  99. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Tony Blair backed GW Bush in his idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003, on express understanding Bush would back Blair in effort to resolve Israel/Palestine problem.

    You are of course aware virtually every Muslim country has agreed to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders. Israeli expansionism is the core problem, in my judgment.

  100. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    How do you know that “Tony Blair backed GW Bush in his idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003, on express understanding Bush would back Blair in effort to resolve Israel/Palestine problem?”

    I am beginning to sense that UK may have had a hand in getting Iran and US to talk to one another. Do you have any information on that?

  101. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    You live in a fantasy land – maybe Surrey?

  102. Nasser says:

    Saudi Arabia’s Missile Messaging
    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/saudi-arabias-missile-messaging

    The concerning aspect is Pakistan’s increasing cosiness with the Sauds not the missiles themselves.

  103. nico says:

    Jay says :

    “they do not have a place to hide!”

    Do they really try to hide ?
    That is right there in the open.

    And they are right when they call the debate as Marxist.

    That being said Marx was a genius of his time. A great philosopher and an major thinker.
    Surely the Utopia he suggested and which was adapted by the Communists proved to be a failure.
    However the social and macro economic analysis of the root causes of the issues of his time were correct.

    And the Krugman article in the NYT in my opinion does not entirely adress he point.
    Krugman speaks about meritocracy and inheritance.
    Well even if that is important that is actually secundary issue.

    The liberal doctrinaire argument is that inequality generates growth and wealth.
    And that such growth and wealth benefit everyone.

    The issue is that there is no real growth (or so little) and that it only benefits the wealthy.

    Actually, who really cares if there are more billionnaires ?
    And if they wanna leave an inheritance. Good for them.

    The issue arises when the richests generate their wealth at the EXPENSE of the others.
    And that is exactly what is happening nowadays.

    Liberalism discredited Communism by succeding to develop what is called the middle-class during the second half of the 20th century.

    The first and more important phenomenon is the shrinking of the middle class, the rise of the poor and the the rich become richer.

    Only at such point the second phenomenon of social seclusion ( meritocracy, wealth inheritance and social ladder) become an issue.

    When both phenomenon are put together… that proves the Marxist anaylsis is correct from the very start.
    That is class struggle.

    What Krugman avoid to say in his article is the first and more important phenomenon.

  104. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm
    “Tony Blair backed GW Bush in his idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003, on express understanding Bush would back Blair in effort to resolve Israel/Palestine problem.”

    Gav

    I wanted to thank you, this is the best bull shit I heard to date, this was even better than the WMD BS itself.

    But can you tell us if you agree regardless of whatever reason or intentions Tony BLAIR had to support and participate in illegal invasion of Iraq, and killing millions, he is a war criminal and has to be prosecuted for crime against humanity, please answer Yes or No.

    For all practical proposes, you don’t seem to have much credibility with bloggers on this site so you really not need to worry with any embaresment of answering NO.

  105. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I think the US suffered a disaster, by invading Iraq. And Tony Blair in my view was an essential element in the conspiracy to set up the illegal and idiotic US invasion of Iraq.

    But, Blair did want Israel out of the West Bank. (And Gaza, and the Golan)

  106. James Canning says:

    Interesting comment by Max Hastings: “[Guy] Arnold suggests that Britain’s endorsement of America’s unqualified support for Israel, heedless of its oppressive policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, has done us much harm.”
    Sunday Times (London) April 20th

    Arnold is of course quite right (in new book)

  107. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You are correct in thinking Britain has encouraged the US to deal with Iran (in effort to resolve the n dispute).

  108. James Canning says:

    Another interesting comment by Sir Max Hastings in the Sunday Times April 20th: “The American legal system continues to persecute – – and I use the word advisedly – -foreign companies, and BP is only its most conspicuous victim.”

  109. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I am sure the statement I made is correct, and that Tony Blair backed GW Bush in his invasion of Iraq on the express understanding Bush would help him resolve Israel/Palestine problem. I will check for print source.

  110. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    What other than your assertion can you offer that I am correct on UK mediation between US and Iran, and what other than your assertion can you offer that Blair participated in destroying Iraq as part of his bargain for ending the Israeli inhumanity towards Palestinians?

    With all (not much) due respect to a 20% champ, and a bad-PR-defender of war crimes, we need a bit more than just your assertions, repeated ad nauseam as it it will surely be, don’t cut it.

    A reference to a corroborated assertion by officials involved, or a reasoned argument why things you assert in short sentences are in line with the national self-interests, strategies, of the UK, would be nice, if you you can manage it.

  111. nico says:

    Battleground Ukraine: A Comprehensive Summary (From A Russian Perspective)
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-30/battleground-ukraine-comprehensive-summary-russian-perspective

    “All-in-all a must-read for westerners needing to understand what is really happening in both the Ukraine and the wider Anglo-US-NATO globalisation drive which it brings into sharp focus”

  112. BiBiJon says:

    The $20 Billion bribe
    ===================

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/iran-russia-energy-deals-no-threat-nuclear-talks.html#

    Cannot help but see the Iran-Russia oil for goods deal as nothing but an extortion by Russia, no different to the Persian Gulf monarchies purchase of weapons from the West as a way of recycling money back to the Don.

    However, long term, I see closer economic links among Russia, China and Iran as desirable.

  113. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    May 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

    What Iranians want from Russia is technology transfer.

    Russians are not yet prepared to do so although technology is the only thing that they have outside of oil and gas that they could sell.

    This deal is mostly talk – it will go nowhere.

  114. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Never less for independent non-aligned countries still is easier to get the technology from Russians / Soviets than the western nations. Base of heavy industries in China, India, and also Iran is started with Russian technology transfer, no western country was willing or I don’t think they ever will transfer their technology to a non-western aligned country.

  115. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    China bought “western” companies with valuable technology. Iran could do the same thing.

  116. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Ambassador of Russia to India, Alexander M Kadakin:

    “Russia has always stood by India in rain or shine. Like a sister, we readily share with India the best we have, be it nuclear energy, defence, aviation, etc. Hardly will you find another such example amongst nations. This cooperation will continue unabated by internal or international expediency.”

    From http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/interviews/The-winds-of-born-again-non-alignment-are-blowing-stronger/articleshow/34489910.cms

  117. BiBiJon says:

    On Blair’s avarice
    =================

    Philip Stephens of FT:

    “More worrying is the Manichean superficiality that has persuaded Mr Blair that everything that happens in the Middle East must be shoehorned into an epochal struggle between Islamists and modernity. Forget intense rivalries between states, confessional struggles between Sunni and Shia, ethnic rivalries, misdrawn post-imperial boundaries and the rest. All are mere sideshows against Mr Blair’s sweeping generality.”

    ——

    Manichean? No. I prefer fyi’s explanation: Islamaphobe

  118. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Philip Stephenms is an expert on Tony Blair. “Islamophobe” does nothing to explain Blair’s position.

  119. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Should have qualified. How does money grabbing, war criminal, lying, third rate salesman-cum-politician, destroyer of Labour, Islamophobe?

  120. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Why do you try to know what are Blair’s motives ?
    Does one wanna understand the motives of a rapist ?

    Sufficz to know that Blair knowingly lied to his people and the worls and manipulated the government to commit war crimes Irak.
    He is a scumbag and a criminal of historical proportion.
    Who cares about his motives ?

  121. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    This unusual specimen of a fellow human being has a number of influential positions from which he agitates tirelessly for aggression against Iran under various guises. His motives, his character, the historical record of his actions should inform his audiences while he remains out of jail.

  122. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Tony Blair does emulate Bill Clinton in gathering up large sums of cash. And he helped to bring on the catastrophe of the Iraq War. But I cannot see the “Islamophobe” angle. No meaning to it, in my view.

  123. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    “His motives, his character, the historical record of his actions should inform his audiences while he remains out of jail.”

    Well yes, he is a scumbag and a criminal of historical proportion.
    On top of that he is an Anglo.
    That is enough information for me…

  124. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I wasn’t aware of this…

    Why The War Party Is Playing With Fire: Much Of Putin’s Military-Industrial Complex Is In Eastern Ukraine!
    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/why-the-war-party-is-playing-with-fire-much-of-putins-military-industrial-complex-is-in-eastern-ukraine/

  125. kooshy says:

    Just in Eurasia

    Who lost Iran?
    Who lost Iraq?
    Who lost Afghanistan?
    Who lost Syria?
    Who lost Ukraine?
    Who is next?

  126. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    May 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Not true.

    Parchin started with American technical assistance; so did the Iranian nuclear industry.

    The ship-building received helped from Italy.

  127. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Re-read your proclaimed expert on Blair. For your convenience: “More worrying is the Manichean superficiality that has persuaded Mr Blair that everything that happens in the Middle East must be shoehorned into an epochal struggle between Islamists and modernity. Forget intense rivalries between states, confessional struggles between Sunni and Shia, ethnic rivalries, misdrawn post-imperial boundaries and the rest. All are mere sideshows against Mr Blair’s sweeping generality.”

    Why do you suppose Blair has gone after “Islamism” as the root cause of all anti-modernity evil? You take a look at Iran, which he has had his sites on for a long time, and you wonder where does he come up with Islamism to be the opposite of modernism.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/23/war-islamism-hatred-violence-blair-cameron-toxic

    nico says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Hate to misquote Rumsfeld, but all generalizations about Anglos are false, including the one I just made.

  128. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Radar and military electronics with collaboration with Israelis at the end of shah, Iran’s missiles with North Korea and is Russian based, Nuclear program had no meaningful/ Practical technology transfer before the deal with Pakistan’s Bhutto,
    I said base heavy industries, metal and metallurgy and industrial machinery much of it was with technology from Russia/ soviets/ Eastern Europe. The westerners were only willing to send kits and assembly lines to Iran.

  129. Jay says:

    I apologize for the long cut-and-paste, but I could not successfully submit the link.

    John Wight writing about Tony Blair

    The gravest threat to stability in the Middle East? Not radical Islam

    Former UK Prime Minister and current Middle East Peace Envoy, Tony Blair, recently took time out of his busy schedule as a consultant and advisor to oil corporations, financial institutions, and various governments to give a speech in London.

    The setting was the European headquarters of Bloomberg – the US business and financial news information conglomerate – and the topic of his speech was the Middle East, specifically the emerging threat posed by the growth of radical Islam across the region.

    The former Prime Minister, and key architect of the war on Iraq in 2003, claimed in his speech that “The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is destabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.”

    In the very same speech, however, Blair reveals that cognitive dissonance is a psychological condition common to Western ideologues such as himself. He said: “We call for the regime to change in Syria, we encourage the opposition to rise up, but then when Iran activates Hezbollah on the side of Assad, we refrain even from air intervention to give the opposition a chance.”

    The opposition Blair refers to in Syria is primarily made up of the very radical Islamists he describes as the greatest threat to the Middle East and, by extension, the world. He can’t have it both ways. He can’t be against radical Islam on the one hand, yet call for those governments and peoples that are engaged in a life and death struggle against radical Islam to be defeated on the other.

    But Tony Blair also has to answer for his own role in radicalising Muslims. Not only did the wars he advocated and participated in as UK Prime Minister result in chaos and carnage on a biblical scale in the Arab and Muslim worlds, they have led directly to the proliferation of the regressive ideology he now sees fit to rail against. The war in Iraq left the country devastated and has led inexorably to a society polarised along sectarian lines, with extreme violence a daily occurrence over a decade on. Blair’s role in the continuing controversy over the legality of the war has seen his political credibility torn to shreds, with repeated calls for him to face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague following him wherever he goes.

    Yet rather than demonstrate any regret over his role in the disaster of Iraq, it has reached the stage where no drumbeat to war would be complete without the former prime minister banging the loudest. This was confirmed by his response to the vote taken by Parliament in the UK to exclude Britain from any military action against Syria in 2013. Like that embarrassing uncle who ruins every family social gathering with his propensity for saying and doing the most outrageous things, offending everyone in the process, up popped the former prime minister in an interview with the BBC lamenting Britain’s historic break from Washington’s coattails on the matter of military intervention for the first time in a generation.

    For a man who has made a career, both in and out of British politics, as a proponent of might is right, this was tantamount to sacrilege. And for someone imbued with the belief that Britain’s influence in the world is in direct proportion to its willingness to hurl cruise missiles at wherever Washington wants them hurled, it marked nothing less than the nation’s ruin.

    At least Blair admitted in the BBC interview that the decision taken by the UK Parliament – an institution he treated with such naked contempt whilst Prime Minister – on Syria was heavily influenced by Iraq, the foreign policy disaster which he co-authored and pushed through with George W Bush.

    You might think that even the hint of a lesson from this disaster may have been learned. But, no, the former prime minister’s only regret was over how it had made Britain “hesitant” to repeat it with regard to Syria.

    This to be sure reveals the skewed outlook of a man so occluded from reality in the rarefied world of private jets, corporate boardrooms, and luxury homes and hotel suites he now inhabits, he no longer knows his political arse from his elbow. Not that he ever did, of course, but when prime minister he at least tried to give the impression that his feet were situated somewhere in the vicinity of Planet Earth.

    For let us be under no illusion what the proposed military intervention in Syria would have involved. It would have involved the West entering into a de facto military alliance with – wait for it – radical Islam, given that various radical Islamist armed groups were by then dominating the opposition forces fighting in Syria.

    Moreover, the justification for this proposed military action against the Syrian government at the time – i.e. humanitarian intervention bypassing the UN – would have constituted a breach of international law. No provision exists within the Fourth Geneva Convention for one state or any constellation of states to take aggressive military action on this basis. ‘Humanitarian Intervention’, it should be noted, is a concept out of the Tony Blair handbook. It was first rolled out to justify NATO’s 1999 air war against the Serbian people in the former Yugoslavia.

    In truth the gravest threat to stability in the Middle East and the world in general is not radical Islam but the Tony Blairs of this world: men who practice statecraft like gangsters, dividing up and policing their territories, smashing every obstacle in their way, interested only in power, wealth, and status. The legacy of Tony Blair is written in the blood of the untold thousands of men, women, and children slaughtered as a direct result of his messianic thirst for Western domination and hegemony.

    Rather than giving speeches to handpicked audiences of the rich, justice demands that Tony Blair be forced to account for his crimes in the dock at the International Criminal Court.

  130. BiBiJon says:

    Jay says:
    May 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    John Wight forgets to mention another irony re Syria. Which is that he is advocating the replacement of an non-Islamist, secular, b’ath government with decidedly sectarian, Islamists forces proped up against it.

    My only explanation for Blair’s “cognitive dissonance” is that the gentleman is all about Iran. He lives and breaths, spews and spits anything and everything to harm Iran any which way possible. Syria is but the latest avenue.

    Blair is in the pay of the PGCC monarchs whom he and his protege, David Miliband, have done so much to align with Israel against Iran.

    Once you see Iran is his agenda, and take stock of his avarice, then I think the guy is perfectly consistent, to the very last dollar.

  131. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    The attempt to rewrite history of Blair, or smooth out the rough and bloody edges, would have been humorous if it were not for Tony’s responsibility in killing and maiming of many thousands.

    Mr. Blair, to this day, does not admit that he was wrong in attacking Iraq, promoted attacking Syria, and wishes to attack Iran if Iran develops a “nuclear capability”! It is revolting to see that some still try to whitewash the crimes of this man.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/7974819/Tony-Blair-memoirs-we-must-be-prepared-for-attack-on-Iran.html

  132. kooshy says:

    Tony Blair like all recent past AMERICAN presidents is a war criminal who need to be prosecuted by an independent world/ Iraqi judiciary ( god willing). Whom ever refuses or ignores acknowledging his alleged criminal conduct should be prosecuted at the same time and if proven guilty they all must pay for their crimes against humanity.

    UK/US courts judiciary system /citizens are not whom to be trusted with his prosecution so discussing or convincing them to admit to their wrong doing is not an issue to be discussed since it’s obvious they willingly will not admit to their crimes or their country’s crime against humanity.

    James should be as ashamed of himself for his answers in this issue.
    .

  133. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I should be “ashamed” for saying the catastrophe of the Iraq War was partly the fault of Tony Blair?

  134. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Gideon Rachman of th3e Financial Times also saw the flawed “logic” of Blair’s speech. Condeming militant Islam while pushing for overthrow of Syrian government. By radical Islam, potentially.

  135. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I do not think Tony Blair had Iran in mind, when he spoke of radical Islam’s opposition to modernity. I’ll look again at what he has said on this score.

  136. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    May 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    “I should be “ashamed” for saying the catastrophe of the Iraq War was partly the fault of Tony Blair?’

    James unlike your boarding school upbringing, give an straight answer please: as an English/ British citizen do you agree or not that Tony Blair should be prosecuted by and independent judiciary outside of UK/US court system for “alleged” crime against humanity, further you agree that it is collective duty of every British citizen to bring him in front of said justice, since until then his alleged crimes is crime also committed by all and every UK electorates weather they agreed with his conducts or not.

  137. kooshy says:

    This is also correct and apply to every US citizen including myself .

  138. Rehmat says:

    US invasion of Iraq in 2003 had nothing to do with WMDs or the so-called “humanitarian war”. It was America’s proxy war for Israel.

    As far as Tony Blair is concerned, he is an Israeli “shamooze” who made tens of million by selling war against Muslim countries. In 2011, Tony told BBC that Iran was one of the biggest state sponsors of radical Islam, and it was necessary to prevent it by any means from developing a nuclear weapon.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/09/27/tony-blair-iran-and-the-israeli-shamooze/

  139. Nasser says:

    Just a few days ago one heard Dr. Slaughter recommend the US should bomb Syria to deter Putin in Ukraine!??

    But then there are also people like Paul Pillar and Ambassador Ryan Crocker shown in the video posted, who are pushing back and speaking a lot of sense.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiER1nJNvcI

  140. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    “Hate to misquote Rumsfeld, but all generalizations about Anglos are false, including the one I just made.”

    You are right.
    However one can not dismiss the Anglos pattern of behaviours and policies in the ME for centuries.
    Including in Iran.
    It would be ingenuous to dismiss it outright.

  141. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    May 2, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Not everyone in US is a jingoistic fool, in love with Israel and with a cross stitched to his chest; see below an article by Dr. Zakheim:

    http://nationalinterest.org/article/abandon-nation-building-10303

    But note the date of this article; so late – after US failures among Muslim polities could no longer be papered over nor the costs hidden away.

    The dual and contradictory faiths of Americans in Scientific Progress and in Christian America’s Blessedness have suffered yet another set back; the previous one being in the aftermath of Vietnam War.

  142. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    May 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Yes, it is quite clear that he is an enemy of Islam at a very personal level.

    A sane statesman or politician would never make a disparaging remark about any religion; even Mr. George Bush, his government officials, and jingoistic fools in US – by and large – were careful to use the phraseology of “Great War on Terror” lest they find themselves in a war against Islam.

    Likewise for Israeli leaders who have been very careful in their public comments in this regard.

    Iranian leaders have also couched their opposition to the state of Israel in terms of Justice for Palestinians and opposition to Zionism rather that to Judaism.

    Mr. Blair, in effect, is arrogating to himself to decide who is and is not a radical political Muslim – deserving of death or imprisonment.

    So we have a Catholic trying to tell Muslims how to be “good” Muslims.

    The only thing left for Mr. Blair to do is to stitch a cross to his jacket – he is already trying to raise an army to fight Iran specifically and Muslims in general by persuading US to do so.

  143. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Perhaps it would be useful to define “Zionism”, in considering Iran’s attitude toward Israel and its continuing oppression of the Palestinians. Iran probably would accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders, if the Palestinians make that deal with Israel.

  144. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You hate the “Anglos” for preventing Russia from annexing more of Persia than it did?

  145. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    There is no chance Tony Blair will be prosecuted for “war crimes”, for his assistance to GW Bush in setting up the idiotic US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I think it more useful to focus on the workings of the cabal that set up the war, and who continue to have too much influence in the making of American policies in the Middle East.

  146. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Interesting piece by Sheldon Richman that you just linked. Richman argues that arms manufacturers blocked the improvement in America’s relations with Iran that GHW Bush was pursuing in 1991. He doesn’t mention the Israel lobby, however. I would assume a combination of both lobbies worked to block a deal with Iran.

  147. James Canning says:

    In Tony Blair’s recent speech (Bloomberg) that received so much attention, very little has been said about his call for Britain, Russia and China to work together to combat Muslim extremism.

  148. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    May 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    “You hate the “Anglos” for preventing Russia from annexing more of Persia than it did?’

    James – do you know what happened in 1907 a year after Iranian constitutional revolution of 1906, here it is , I am very sure you know this but still make comments like what you wrote above please behave.

    The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
    Formally signed by Count Alexander Izvolsky, Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire, and Sir Arthur Nicolson, the British Ambassador to Russia, the British-Russian Convention of 1907 stipulated the following:

    That Persia would be split into three zones: A Russian zone in the north, a British zone in the southeast, and a neutral “buffer” zone in the remaining land.
    That Britain may not seek concessions “beyond a line starting from Qasr-e Shirin, passing through Isfahan, Yezd (Yazd), Kakhk, and ending at a point on the Persian frontier at the intersection of the Russian and Afghan frontiers.”
    That Russia must follow the reverse of guideline number two.
    That Afghanistan was a British protectorate and for Russia to cease any communication with the Emir.
    A separate treaty was drawn up to resolve disputes regarding Tibet. However, these terms eventually proved problematic, as they “drew attention to a whole range of minor issues that remained unsolved”.

    James please don’t make such idiotic comments any more it really is upsetting.

  149. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    “RE: In Tony Blair’s recent speech (Bloomberg) that received so much attention, very little has been said about his call for Britain, Russia and China to work together to combat Muslim extremism.”

    Surely you do see how Blair’s provocative statements are causing Britain to be attacked (or bringing an attack onto Britain) just as Libya and Iraq were attacked due to their respective statesmen’s provocative statements (if I recall correctly your posts about the subject). So, watch out.

  150. Rehmat says:

    US declares Israeli police ‘terrorist organization’

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/05/03/us-declares-israeli-police-terrorist-organization/

  151. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Philip Stephens of the Financial Times observed that Tony Blair did not condemn the Islamic extremism emanating from Saudi Arabia. I too noticed this.

  152. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Russia dluring the 19th Century would likely have annexed the remainder of Persian (beyond what Russia already had taken), had Britain not prvented it.

  153. James Canning says:

    Jim Lobe at Lobelog.com today has interesting comments on Robert Kagan’s piece in the Washington Post that attacked Aipac for encouraging US military support for Egypt since the coup. Kagan is a very well-known neocon.

  154. Rehmat says:

    James Canning,

    The so-called “Islamic terrorism” is in the heads of Judeo-Christian bigots. The terrorism was brought to the Muslim world by the Europeans thugs in late 19th century. As Noam Chomsky has admitted several times that world’s greatest terrorist state is United States. European Union poll in 2003, said that Israel is the greatest terrorist state.

    Saudi Arabia is NOT an Islamic state. It is Crypto-Jewish entity created by the British foreign office to keep the Muslim world divided. And in Tony Blair, people like you see your own faces.

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/08/10/terrorism-theirs-and-ours/

  155. humanist says:

    Disagreements between US administration and Israel?

    Read this :Inside the talks’ failure: US officials open up

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4515821,00.html

  156. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Ibn Saud conquered the Hejaz, to create Saudi Arabia. Britain was unable to prevent that conquest.

  157. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – your ignorance of history is laughable as your bigotry toward Muslims. Sure, British were so week to stop Ibn Saud, a member of Jewish tribe from Iraq – just like coward British was unable to stop European Jewish terrorist’ “conquest” of Palestine – Right?

  158. BiBiJon says:

    Engage Blair, and give him an intervention!
    ========================================

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/03/tony-blair-middle-east-intervention-speech

  159. [rew\\\\] says:

    BiBiJon says:

    May 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Reminiscent of the what we read in the Meditations of the late Marcus Aurelius – the Roman Emperor – to the effect that he personally regretted that he had to order Christians be killed, for they were not guilty of any crime – but he had to do it for the Reason of State.

    Much earlier, when Rabbis condemned Rome and her civilization, they had reason to do believe so.

    Last August, Mr. Obama, was almost apologizing for intending to bring more death and more destruction to Syria.

    Mr. Blair clearly is a lost soul and needs help; perhaps he can find someone in the Church to help him; God know that he does.

  160. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    May 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    In the book “Meditations” by the late Marcus Aurelius Antonius, the Roman Emperor expresses regret for the execution of innocent and blameless Christians – which he had ordered for the “Reasons of State”.

    Sort of the way Mr. Obama was apologizing in the days around August 21, 2013 for his ill-advised military campaign against Syria.

    While Mr. Blair can claim to have no animus against Islam, he is clearly a lost soul who needs guidance from God – if not other men.

    But his position is not unique: ” I will kill thee, And love thee after” as Othello (Atta o Allah) says in the play of the same name by William Shakespeare.

    Rest assured that you will hear the same garbage again from Axis Powers leaders when they decide that the time for war against Iran has arrived.

  161. Karl.. says:

    Find it ironic how western leaders speak out against guys like Hitler. Like “never again” etc. Here we have Blair a warcriminal running free and urge more death and destruction and majority of people especially the elite thinks its not only ok but that he is correct.
    Just as the way people accepted Hitler they accept Blair and other warcriminals today.

  162. Jay says:

    nico says:
    May 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Nico,

    was your link reference meant as a joke about the author’s lack of understanding regarding Marx?

  163. nico says:

    Jay says:
    May 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

    “was your link reference meant as a joke about the author’s lack of understanding regarding Marx?”

    Thank you for the “compliment”, if you know what mean…

    I feel sorry that you are able to link article, books or quotes on this site but not willing to listen critical thinking and argument about them.

    Surely I am harsh with facts and laugh at hypocritical and intelectually dishonest articles.

  164. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    After the Aug. 21st CW event in Syria, Obama was concerned that Iran would think it could proceed to build nukes, if the US failed to hit Syria hard. I think he was relieved he saw a way to get rid of the Syrian CW without hitting Syria with hundreds of cruise missiles etc etc.

  165. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Are you actually claiming the Sultan of Nejd did not conquer the Hejaz?

    Even if Ibn Saud was of Jewish descent, he conquered the Hejaz. Correct?

  166. fyi says:

    All:

    A good review by Ambassador Freeman – with much of which I agree

    http://www.mepc.org/articles-commentary/speeches/world-unforeseen-complexities

  167. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, interesting comments by Charles Freeman before an audience in British Columbia. I was, however, not one of those who were “stunned” by the collapse of the Soviet Union since I had been predicting it for decades.

  168. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    May 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I am gratified that Ambassador Freeman clearly expresses very similar ideas as I have expressed on this forum.

    Great minds think alike.

    There are 2 implications of our combined thinking that needs to be stressed:

    1- We could very well be at the threshold of a war such as World War I which will bleed the United States white as World War I did to France and UK.

    2- The only security for Iran lies in her being a nuclear-armed state – regardless of number 1 above.

  169. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You continue to think Iran would be allowed to build nukes. Not an accurate assessment, in my view.