Bacevich and Chomsky on the Iran Nuclear Deal

This week, Andrew Bacevich and Noam Chomsky—two public intellectuals whose work on American foreign policy we greatly admire (and who have been very generous in their praise for our book, Going to Tehran)—published important commentaries on the recent Iran nuclear deal.  In contrast to the overwhelming bulk of the voluminous drivel that has appeared on the subject in mainstream op-ed pages and online venues, the pieces by Chomsky and Bacevich are truly provocative, in the best sense of the word.  We want to highlight them here.

Appearing in the Washington Post’s Outlook, Bacevich’s essay, titled “With Iran, Obama Can End America’s Long War for the Middle East,” see here, offers a contrarian (and fundamentally correct) assessment of the drivers for the Geneva nuclear deal on the U.S. side.  Bacevich—in our view the most consistently and deeply insightful historian writing today about American foreign policy—places Washington’s current diplomatic effort vis-à-vis Tehran in a grand strategic context:  the failure of America’s decades-long imperial project in the Middle East.

In Bacevich’s reading, this project commenced in January 1980 with the enunciation of what came to be known as the Carter Doctrine.  Now, he writes,

“What Jimmy Carter began, Barack Obama is ending.  Washington is bringing down the curtain on its 30-plus-year military effort to pull the Islamic world into conformity with American interests and expectations.  It’s about time.

Back in 1980, when his promulgation of the Carter Doctrine launched that effort, Carter acted with only a vague understanding of what might follow.  Yet circumstance—the overthrow of the shah in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—compelled him to act.  Or more accurately, the domestic political uproar triggered by those events compelled the president, facing a tough reelection campaign, to make a show of doing something.  What ensued was the long-term militarization of U.S. policy throughout the region.

Now, without fanfare, President Obama is effectively revoking Carter’s doctrine.”

According to Bacevich, this nascent—and, as yet, largely unarticulated—shift in American grand strategy in the Middle East is hardly the product of policy success, as Obama and his acolytes would have us think.  Rather,

“Like Carter in 1980, Obama finds himself with few alternatives.  At home, widespread anger, angst and mortification obliged Carter to begin girding the nation to fight for the greater Middle East.  To his successors, Carter bequeathed a Pentagon preoccupied with ramping up its ability to flex its muscles anywhere from Egypt to Pakistan.  The bequest proved a mixed blessing, fostering the illusion that military muscle, dexterously employed, might put things right.  Today, widespread disenchantment with the resulting wars and quasi-wars prohibits Obama from starting new ones…In calling off a threatened U.S. attack on Syria, for example, the president was acknowledging what opinion polls and Congress (not to mention the British Parliament) had already made plain:  Support for any further military adventures to liberate or pacify Muslims has evaporated.  Americans still profess to love the troops. But they’ve lost their appetite for war…

Nothing is half so melancholy as to compare the expectations informing recent American wars when they began—Enduring Freedom!—with the outcomes actually achieved.  So in Obama’s Washington, moralism is out, and with good reason.  Only nations with a comfortable surfeit of power can permit themselves the luxury of allowing moral considerations to shape basic policy…

As America’s War for the Great Middle East winds down, it leaves the Islamic world in worse condition—besieged by radicalism, wracked by violence, awash with anti-Americanism—than back in 1980.  The list of dictators the United States has toppled or abandoned and of terrorists it has assassinated is impressively long.  But any benefits accruing from these putative successes have been few.  Ask Afghans.  Ask Iraqis.  Ask Libyans.  Or ask any American who has been paying attention.”

Against this long record of policy failure, the United States needs a new, reality-based template for dealing with the Middle East—and, especially, with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Like us, Bacevich finds President Richard Nixon’s opening to China in the early 1970s a salutary model:

“Back in 1979, the “loss” of Iran provided much of the impetus for launching America’s War for the Greater Middle East.  The shah’s overthrow had cost the United States an unsavory henchman, his place taken by radicals apparently consumed with hatred for the Great Satan.

At the time, the magnitude of the policy failure staggered Washington.  It was as bad as—maybe worse than—the “loss” of China 30 years before.  Of course, what had made that earlier failure so difficult to take was the presumption that China had been ours to lose in the first place.  Discard that presumption, and doing business with Red China just might become a possibility.  Cue Richard Nixon, a realist if there ever was one.  By accepting China’s loss, he turned it to America’s advantage, at least in the short run.

So too with Iran today…Accept the “loss” of Iran, which will never return to America’s orbit anyway, and turn it to U.S. advantage…The exit from America’s misadventures in the region is through the door marked “Tehran.”  Calling off the War for the Greater Middle East won’t mean that the political, social and economic problems roiling that part of the world will suddenly go away.  They just won’t be problems that Uncle Sam is expected to solve.  In this way, a presidency that began with optimism and hope but has proved such a letdown may yet achieve something notable.”

Published in Truthout, see here, Chomsky’s piece, “The ‘Axis of Evil’ Revisited,” underscores just how much America’s political class is going to have to change to go beyond the Geneva toward genuine rapprochement with Iran—and to end, really and truly, America’s wantonly destructive imperial project in the Middle East.  Chomsky writes,

“The ‘landmark accord’ indeed includes significant Iranian concessions—though nothing comparable from the United States, which merely agreed to temporarily limit its punishment of Iran.

It’s easy to imagine possible U.S. concessions.  To mention just one:  The United States is the only country directly violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (and more severely, the United Nations Charter) by maintaining its threat of force against Iran.  The United States could also insist that its Israeli client refrain from this severe violation of international law—which is just one of many.

In mainstream discourse, it is considered natural that Iran alone should make concessions.  After all, the United States is the White Knight, leading the international community in its efforts to contain Iran—which is held to be the gravest threat to world peace—and to compel it to refrain from its aggression, terror and other crimes.

There is a different perspective, little heard, though it might be worth at least a mention.  It begins by rejecting the American assertion that the accord breaks 10 years of unwillingness on Iran’s part to address this alleged nuclear threat.

Ten years ago Iran offered to resolve its differences with the United States over nuclear programs, along with all other issues.  The Bush administration rejected the offer angrily and reprimanded the Swiss diplomat who conveyed it.

The European Union and Iran then sought an arrangement under which Iran would suspend uranium enrichment while the EU would provide assurances that the U.S. would not attack.  As Selig Harrison reported in the Financial Times, “the EU, held back by the U.S. … refused to discuss security issues,” and the effort died.

In 2010, Iran accepted a proposal by Turkey and Brazil to ship its enriched uranium to Turkey for storage.  In return, the West would provide isotopes for Iran’s medical research reactors.  President Obama furiously denounced Brazil and Turkey for breaking ranks, and quickly imposed harsher sanctions.  Irritated, Brazil released a letter from Obama in which he had proposed this arrangement, presumably assuming that Iran would reject it.  The incident quickly disappeared from view.

Also in 2010, the NPT members called for an international conference to carry forward a long-standing Arab initiative to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the region, to be held in Helsinki in December 2012.  Israel refused to attend.  Iran agreed to do so, unconditionally.

The U.S. then announced that the conference was canceled, reiterating Israel’s objections.  The Arab states, the European Parliament and Russia called for a rapid reconvening of the conference, while the U.N. General Assembly voted 174-6 to call on Israel to join the NPT and open its facilities to inspection.  Voting “no” were the United States, Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau—a result that suggests another possible U.S. concession today.

Such isolation of the United States in the international arena is quite normal, on a wide range of issues.

In contrast, the non-aligned movement (most of the world), at its meeting last year in Tehran, once again vigorously supported Iran’s right, as a signer of the NPT, to enrich uranium…A large majority of Arabs support Iran’s right to pursue its nuclear program.  Arabs are hostile to Iran, but overwhelmingly regard the United States and Israel as the primary threats they face…The United States can be held to lead the international community only if that community is defined as the U.S. and whoever happens to go along with it, often through intimidation, as is sometimes tacitly conceded…

There are in fact two rogue states operating in the region, resorting to aggression and terror and violating international law at will:  the United States and its Israeli client…It is understandable that those rogue states should strenuously object to a deterrent in the region, and should lead a campaign to free themselves from any such constraints.

Just how far will the lesser rogue state go to eliminate the feared deterrent on the pretext of an “existential threat”?  Some fear that it will go very far.  Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations warns in Foreign Policy that Israel might resort to nuclear war.  Foreign policy analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski urges Washington to make it clear to Israel that the U.S. Air Force will stop them if they try to bomb.

Which of these conflicting perspectives is closer to reality?  To answer the question is more than just a useful exercise.  Significant global consequences turn on the answer.”

President Obama will, no doubt, continue to insist—as he did today in a public dialogue with Haim Saban at the annual Saban Forum on U.S.-Israel relations—that the next six months are a test to see if Iran is serious about negotiating a comprehensive nuclear settlement.  But the real test is for Obama, his administration, and the rest of America’s political order.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

277 Responses to “Bacevich and Chomsky on the Iran Nuclear Deal”

  1. Don Bacon says:

    Bacevich: “What Jimmy Carter began, Barack Obama is ending. Washington is bringing down the curtain on its 30-plus-year military effort to pull the Islamic world into conformity with American interests and expectations. It’s about time.”

    I don’t buy that at all. I don’t see where he gets it. There’s no basis for it. Bacevich is a military guy — what’s wrong with him?

    –Obama has not changed his tune in any way regarding the Iran “nuclear (weapons) program.”
    –The present agreement was more a result of Ruhani’s diplomacy then anything, with a boost from Zarif and Ashton. Kerry wasn’t even in the room.
    Obama:
    President Obama said Saturday the odds of a long-term nuclear deal with Iran are no better than 50-50, but diplomacy remains the best chance to deprive Tehran of the means to make nuclear weapons.

    SecDef Hagel just visited the Gulf and affirmed that NOTHING would change on US military presence, except to “enhance” (increase) it.

    Hagel:
    As we have withdrawn U.S. forces from Iraq, are drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, and rebalancing toward the Asia Pacific, we have honored our commitment to Gulf security by enhancing our military capabilities in the region.
    — We have a ground, air and naval presence of more than 35,000 military personnel in and immediately around the Gulf.
    — Two years after our drawdown from Iraq, the U.S. Army continues to maintain more than 10,000 forward-deployed soldiers in the region, along with heavy armor, artillery, and attack helicopters to serve as a theater reserve and a bulwark against aggression.
    — We’ve deployed our most advanced fighter aircraft throughout the region, including F-22s, to ensure that we can quickly respond to contingencies. Coupled with our unique munitions, no target is beyond our reach.
    — We’ve deployed our most advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to provide a continuous picture of activities in and around the Gulf.
    — And we have fielded an array of missile defense capabilities, including ballistic missile defense ships, Patriot batteries, and sophisticated radar.

    One aspect of US military policy simply can’t be abandoned and that is continuing the Iran “threat” in order to promote US foreign military sales to the only area in the world where they can afford seemingly endless amounts of military gear.

    Dec 6, 2013 — Pentagon Announces $2 Billion in Arms Sales
    –The U.S. Defense Department in the past week notified Congress of several international arms sales potentially worth almost $2 billion. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees so-called foreign military sales, issued six notifications with a combined value of $1.71 billion for an assortment of equipment, from F/A-18 fighter jet upgrades for Switzerland to UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for Austria to anti-tank missiles for Saudi Arabia.

    So what is Barack Obama is ending? Nothing. In fact for him to do anything really intelligent in foreign affairs would require expertise and character that he simply doesn’t possess.

  2. James Canning says:

    Yes, a welcome reminder of gross incompetence of George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, in rejecting a deal with Iran. Because Israel would not accept it, and Dick Cheney and his gang of warmongers wanted war with Iran.

  3. Don Bacon says:

    Chomsky is wrong too. (I’m on a roll here.)

    Chomsky: “The ‘landmark accord’ indeed includes significant Iranian concessions—though nothing comparable from the United States, which merely agreed to temporarily limit its punishment of Iran.”

    It may be an important accord, but it was nothing the US wanted, and it definitely did not include significant Iranian concessions. Iran’s nuclear program is intact and virtually untouched.

    As I’ve commented previously, the real effect of this accord will be in the actions taking place in the Gulf and in Europe and they will not be as a result of any US influence. The US players can pontificate and throw a few stones, but the adults are now in the room.

    Bacevich and Chomsky are seeing the US as the center of the world’s political firmament and those days are gone. There bare other world players now, and some of the best are in Iran.

  4. James Canning says:

    In the Financail Times Dec. 7/8, Geoff Dyer and John Reed report that some “western” officials say that Israel is pushing for the final deal with Iran to include “transforming the Arak heavy-water reactor into a light-water reactor”. . .
    (“Israel opts to shift tactics on Iran talks”).

  5. James Canning says:

    Should we note here that at the time Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait, the US military presence in the Persian Gulf was quite small?

  6. Don Bacon says:

    Asia isn’t going to let Europe come back into Iran unopposed–

    from The Diplomat–
    A major beneficiary of the Iranian nuclear agreement with the P5+1 powers in Geneva will be – India.

    Seizing on the potential opening of Iran’s economy and energy sector in light of the easing of international sanctions, on November 26 Indian national security adviser Shivshankar Menon chaired a strategy session with finance, shipping and petroleum ministry senior officials, who focused on India-Iran issues where New Delhi could try to improve relations with Iran. First out the starting gate, India is the first of Iran’s four main buyers to say it is looking to buy more oil from Iran after the agreement in Geneva….India will investigate purchasing additional oil from Iran over the coming six months covering the Geneva agreement, as well as explore the possibility of joint ventures in Iran’s oil sector. . .While some officials underlined the difficulties in working with the Iranians, Menon reproached them for failing to exploit opportunities with Iran that could be exploited instead by the U.S. and the West once they returned to that country. Underwriting New Delhi’s rising interest in Iran’s energy sector, India is now the world’s fourth largest energy consumer after the United States, China, and Russian Federation.
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/iranian-sanctions-easing-to-benefit-india/

  7. James Canning says:

    Fans of Philip Giraldi should not miss his comments about Israeli spying against the US, posted recently:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-hollywood-spy/

  8. Don Bacon says:

    This is better on arms sales to the Gulf —

    UPI, Dec 3, 2013
    U.S., Europeans battle for big Persian Gulf arms deals

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 3 (UPI) — U.S. and European defense companies, hard hit at home by shrinking military budgets, are battling to make big-ticket sales in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf monarchies, whose collective defense spending grew by 20 percent in from 2011 to 2012.

    “In some cases,” observed Oxford Analytica, “failure to win orders could mean the end of several major programs.”

    From 2008 to 2011, the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain — acknowledged arms deals totaling more than $75.6 billion, the U.S. Center of Strategic and International Studies reported in September.

    Nearly $52 billion of that, or 70 percent, consisted of weapons for Saudi Arabia while the Emirates, which have built up a formidable air and missile strength in recent years, accounted for $17.2 billion.

    It remains unclear what effect the interim nuclear agreement reached by the U.S.-led Western powers and Iran last month will have on the monarchies’ arms procurement policies given Tehran’s contentious nuclear program remains essentially intact.

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2013/12/03/US-Europeans-battle-for-big-Persian-Gulf-arms-deals/UPI-94101386092027/

  9. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    December 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Flynt and Hillary Leverett have marked the Persian Gulf war as the pivot-point for the US “imperial turn.”

    Bacevich pushes its conception back a decade, to the Carter doctrine.

    Carter also gave Israel a great deal of political space in Washington. Israel was seriously rattled by the Iranian Revolution; it lost the comfort of its “periphery” ally; a significant source of revenue through arms sales to Iran (tho that continued thru the Iran-Iraq war); but most importantly, Israel lost access to Iran’s political and governmental activities and decision-making.

  10. Irshad says:

    Fio,
    Further from what you wrote above, do you know where I can get more information about Isreals relation with Iran before the revolution? I understand from what tou wrote previously that the “lost” of Iran by Tel Aviv effected that entity where she had to turn around and tightly (suffocate?) hold on to US to make up the loss. Thank you.

  11. Fiorangela says:

    Irshad,

    Ronen Bergman’s The Secret War with Iran is the source for the comment that Israel was distressed by its loss of inside information on Iranian activities.

    “Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession,” by Haggai Ram, attempts to explain how Israel deals with this ‘separation anxiety.’ http www dot amazon dot com/Iranophobia-Israeli-Obsession-Stanford-Studies/dp/0804760683/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386470020&sr=8-1&keywords=iranophobia

    I’m afraid neither book is exactly on point, that is, they do not extensively discuss Israel-Iran relations before 1979, but they are the sources for the information I posted.

  12. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From previous thread:

    Sammy-jan,

    Thanks for posting the story.

    Some people on this forum think that the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been a “disaster”- especially for the women of north Tehran because they have to put a rag on their head which goes against there innate “human dignity”.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to compare and contrast the story of Ms.Balochzehi in Baluchistan of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the story of women in Baluchistan of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan- were female literacy is less than 10%.

    It’s like the good doctor from Mississippi said about rural healthcare in Iran: it’s a “miracle” and should be used as a model for rural healthcare in US.

  13. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From previous thread

    Fio-jan,

    No I think both men and women are necessary and they complement each other perfectly.

    At minimum, boys can learn from their fathers how to love, respect and protect their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

    Sounds old-fashioned but believe me it’s the thing that has sustained the human race for all these centuries.

    Putting decisions about procreation and future population growth solely in the hands of 18-35 year-old women of a nation is irrational. Of course they would rather work and make money than bear 3+ children (necessary for positive population growth). They can’t be the sole decision makers in such an important strategic question for a nation. Call it “conflict of interests” if you like.

  14. Karl.. says:

    Nothing new. But Chomsky is right on this:

    Chomsky “The ‘landmark accord’ indeed includes significant Iranian concessions—though nothing comparable from the United States, which merely agreed to temporarily limit its punishment of Iran.”

    US got what it wanted, Iran got nothing.

  15. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Obama warns ‘ideal world’ Iran deal not possible

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jHoyNAKycsLq1KKNiNX5QO-FEuvw?docId=61502028-a335-472f-9612-86d92e2b944a

    Quote:

    “We can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections but that permits Iran to have a peaceful nuclear program,” Obama said.

    Such a scenario, however, would not permit underground fortified facilities or advanced centrifuges.

    “Now, you’ll hear arguments including potentially from the (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) that says we can’t accept any enrichment on Iranian soil, period, full stop, end of conversation,” Obama said as he warned that such solutions of “an ideal world” were not within reach.

    “There are a lot of things I can envision that would be wonderful,” he said. “But … I think we have to be more realistic.”

    “It is my strong belief that we can envision an end state that gives us an assurance that even if they have some modest enrichment capability, it is so constrained, and the inspections intrusive, that they as a practical matter do not have breakout capacity.”

    Obama also sought to temper expectations on the likelihood of a successful final agreement with Tehran.

    “If you asked me what is the likelihood that we?re able to arrive at the end state that I was just describing earlier, I wouldn?t say that it?s more than 50/50,” he said.

    “But we have to try.”

  16. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Looks like we’re not gonna get a “comprehensive” deal.

    Well, another “experience” with the Americans.

    Zarif shouldn’t have invested so much of his “aberu”- as he said himself- in this affair.

    Very difficult for him to get approved for a green card now- especially after saying he’s “proud of the nation’s basiji defense capabilities”.

    In the green card interview for Iranians, they ask what you would do if there was a war between Iran and US.

    Zarif would probably answer: “I would move to Geneva.”

  17. Bibijon says:

    FULL TRANSCRIPT: Obama at Saban Forum
    ====================================
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.562259

    My observations:
    ————–

    On every point Obama contradicts Netanyahu’s position, even so far as calling Tom Friedman’s characterization of what Netanyahu brings to the table, as unvarnished craziness, to be the “prerogative” of ‘a very smart observer.” Notice Obama is vouching for Tom Friedman’s observation. He pointedly did not vouch for Netanyahu’s sanity.

    Obama boxed himself in (deliberately?) in two areas:

    Area 1)
    ———
    a) The continued acquiescence of International community to abiding by sanctions has the US motives in the dock, as much as Iran, if not more so.

    b) Extra sanctions and extra threats are useless in dealing with Iran, as per “honest” reading of history.

    a+b=c) The ‘international community’s verdict on US’ motivations can only be ‘guilty as charged’ if she engages in further sanctions/threat mongering when a priori the tactic has been conceded as useless in changing Iran’s calculations, and worse, risk unraveling the sanctions.

    Area 2
    ——–
    He also managed to lose Iran as a willing partner. Iran will be scratching their heads to figure out why a large country of 80 million is only entitled to “a modest nuclear program,” which has no passive defenses in this most peaceful of neighborhoods, and is forced to use obsolete technology (P-1s), and forgo the benefits of a hard-water reactor?

    ——–

    The extent of inspector’s access, and the size of stock piles, and the rate of expansion of the facilities are the only areas that can be negotiated. If these are not enough for Obama, my advice is he should find an exit out of his exit strategy.

  18. Fiorangela says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: December 8, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Hello Bussed-in Basiji,

    I took the low road (sexist insult) in my response to you because I thought your statement implied that WOMEN are incompetent to make reproductive decisions, and to recognize that their decisions bear on the future strength of the nation, but MEN are competent to make those decisions.

    It seems to me that an 18-35 year old man is the same age and general maturity as an 18-35 year old woman.

    My very limited understanding is that the Iranian/Islamic community-wide perspective on sexual activity is more reality-based and advanced than the American view. As well, it is my impression that the extended family is more prevalent in Iran than in USA; multiple generations play a role in raising children.

    In the USA, at least in my day which is pre-stone age, parents were terrified of talking to their daughters and sons about sex, child-bearing and child rearing; they passed that off to the nuns and priests, who mostly talked about sin. The idea that bearing children and committing 18+ years of one’s life to raising them, as a good for the community, was never, ever discussed. Perhaps because of my own experience, I do not perceive that the extended family plays much of a role in US family life. Iranians and Americans should try to understand about each other the profound difference between being a people who have lived on their land for thousands of years and have deep and secure roots, and an immigrant nation where as many as a third of our population has been here for only a generation or two and are still moving about, trying to find a place to fit in.

  19. Karl.. says:

    Next year another anti-iran movie will be all over the globe..

    http://www.blackbookmag.com/jon-stewart-preparing-directorial-debut-rosewater/

  20. Don Bacon says:

    @Bibijon
    Thanks for that, and Obama’s gyrations are interesting, and he never fails to give a speech, but I believe the situation is truly in the hands of the ‘world community’ now and not in the hands of the US believing IT’S the ‘world community.’ (See India, above, for one example.)

    The real issue has been to ‘get’ Iran not only on nuclear, but also on human rights, the elections, world’s major state sponsor of terrorism, etc. and the world community is tired of it. It’s time to make some money and get some energy, for many of the entities, and stop with this US failure route already. US — you have a lousy record, and here you go again.

    The major issue with the nuclear is enrichment and Iran will never give it up. That’s what Obama is conceding with his 50-50 baloney. He’s actually saying — no way, I’m going to fail yet again, as I’ve done on everything else I’ve done as president.

    So Bacevich can claim that the new Obama Doctrine is bringing a new Middle East, but that’s baseless hyperbole. The simple fact is that Iran is on the move, with its people and its natural resources, and the US can’t stop her as she interacts with others in the diplomatic and commercial fields, leaving the US with its useless military toys. Iran is bringing a new Middle East.

    It’s essentially China’s policy, which works. Both countries have US naval fleets sailing around off their shores, and constant words of disparagement thrown at them, and charges of this and that, but they go about there proper business in the diplomatic and commercial fields, and succeed both as governments and as commercial actors, while the US sinks in its inability to even function as a government, and has huge financial and social problems.

    Bacevich didn’t get it right.

  21. Rehmat says:

    Former Israeli Knesset Speaker, Avraham Burg, in a recent interview with daily Ma’ariv said that since Israel has a stockpile of both nuclear and chemical weapons – there is no reason that its neighboring countries should have those WMDs as deterrence.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/08/knesset-speaker-iran-can-have-nukes/

  22. Don Bacon says:

    Professor Juan Cole:
    It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976. According to Roger Stern, a Princeton economist, the US has spent as much on Gulf security as it spent on the entire Cold War with the Soviet Union! (end Cole)

    And the oil goes to Asia, mainly to China! The US spends all this money in the Gulf (and the western Pacific too) to protect China’s and other Asian oil supplies! And there was NO NEED of this ‘Gulf security.’ None whatsoever. Ships go in, ships go out.

    The US Fifth Fleet does not threaten Iran — quite the opposite. Iran knows that when the fleet is sailing around on the Gulf pond, vulnerable to cruise and ballistic missiles, torpedoes and smart mines, it would never attack Iran. Also the US facilities with troops and even their families are easy targets. So Iran would hate to see the ships leave, and of course they aren’t leaving. The US is putting bigger and fatter targets (USS Ponce) on that pond, in fact.

    It’s simply another huge mistake, the US relying upon military force and failing yet again, while going seriously into gigantic debt.

  23. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 8, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Don what are you saying is that US is becoming more of a barking dog rather than a biting dog, considering the events of this last decade that is eventual and I agree with.

  24. Fiorangela says:

    “University of Notre Dame Professor Brad Gregory discusses his new book, The Unintended Reformation, which shows how the unsolved doctrinal disagreements and concrete religio-political conflicts of 16th- and 17th-century Europe continue to influence American political, social, intellectual, and economic life today. In unexpected and mostly unacknowledged ways, the distant past of the Reformation era illuminates the character of the present.”

  25. Fiorangela says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Stewart is the Peter Principle in reverse — he’s resisting the tide of Iranophilia in a bid to embrace his inner Adam Sandler.

    Break a leg.

  26. Smith says:

    It is really shameful and self-degrading of Chomsky to term Iran as an aggressive state in words that imply Iran to be an insane aggressor. Shame on him. Shame on his life. Shame on his words.

    Iran is a country that has been there for 7000 years in one size or another.

    UAE is an artificial country created by mofu British colonialists in 1973. How can a country that young to lay claim on Iran’s territory and then some one like Chomsky jumps in and terming Iran as aggressive. Where was Chomsky when UAE was bankrolling Saddam, a clear act of aggression? Oh, as per Chomsky that would not qualify as aggression, since Sheikh has probably put some dollars in his pockets.

    The mofu British using the same methods of corrupting implications over the naming of Persian Gulf and questioning Iran’s sovereignty over Arvand river with artificial state of Iraq, kept fesad going on until they needed a war there in 1980. I thought Chomsky is smarter than a mofu british, but apparently he is not.

    The mofu british where ever they went raised fesad and enmity. The mofu british are bad people. They took Bahrain from Iran. More reasons to never trust a mofu british.

    Let’s never forget what mofu british have done to Iranians and to others around the world. Chomsky is sick. He should go and learn. He should go and read more history. He should take his meds.

    US is occupying Cuban territory, Chomsky should rather focus on that. US and mofu british are occupying thousands of island around the world which they got by massacring their local population. Chomsky should focus on these clear acts of aggression. Little Chomsky should stop towing the line of mofu british.

  27. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Don,

    To add to what you have said, the reason the US takes on this heavy “burden” of “protecting”the Persian Gulf is because of what Ambassador Freeman said about US involvement in the Persian Gulf in the first place:

    1. Access

    2. Transit

    3. Strategic denial

    In other words, it wants to be able to shut down oil supplies from the Persian Gulf to China/whatever country, whenever it wants to- for example in a major global conflict- and deny this capability to China, Russia, Iran, etc. in such a major global conflict.

    In that sense a pivot towards China would only enhance US desire to control the Persian Gulf region- contrary to what Bacevich concludes.

  28. Smith says:

    And if still Chomsky wants to insist on mofu british positions, then I say, bring it on. Grow some some balls and join UAE “army” and come and take the islands from us. If you can, that is. Your ally Saddam, who in his initial press release just after invading Iran had termed the non-issue of islands as one of his reasons to invade Iran, could not do it. If Saddam could not, Chomsky who is trying here to validate Saddam’s rational for invading Iran, will not be able to do so.

    This is another reason why Iran needs to have nuclear weapons to balance out white man. The white man even the most learned can become thirsty for blood and territory at any time without warning.

    And, yeah, Mr Chomsky, we have to take Bahrain back too. It does not belong to US fifth fleet. It belongs to Iran. Aggressive, huh?

  29. Don Bacon says:

    news report
    MANAMA, BAHRAIN — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the United States will attempt to sell weapons to Gulf Cooperation Council members as a block as opposed to individually as has been the case in the past.

    Speaking at the Manama Dialouge international security conference here, Hagel encouraged GCC members to create a military alliance and said he’d like to better integrate the US missile defense systems with those of the GCC to enhance collective capabilities.//

    Perhaps there’s a new treaty coming up, like NATO?
    Will it be PGTO or AGTO? (The US military calls it the Arabian Gulf. How petty.)

  30. Don Bacon says:

    Hagel: A $580 million construction-expansion program is under way for the US 5th fleet in Bahrain in what he described as the continuation of their advancement of presence in the region.

  31. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Fio-jan,

    I think we agree that when women of child bearing age stop having children to the level of maintaining positive population growth- for whatever reason- that nation eventually dies out.

    This is the case in most western countries and they compensate for that by immigration- in other words somewhere some lady is having 4+ children that then eventually emigrates to a western country and keeps the population growth positive.

    I would say there is a major portion of hypocrisy among liberal women in the west on this matter who generally favor abortion and unconditional female employment during child bearing age.

    What they are doing in effect is saying “I will forgo having children because of my career aspirations/personal choice/whatever reason and some lady in Guatemala or India will produce the child that will be the worker that provides me with services in my employment years and pays for my pension in my retirement years (not to mention is my caregiver when I’m old)”

    Of course you will never see it said like this in the west in polite society, only “crazy” conservatives talk like this in the west.

    Anyway, I think your Italian ancestors and I would be on the same page as this.

  32. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

    You are wasting your time.

    In the Shahnameh, the attitude towards (young) women as property is very clear indeed.

    And in numerous romances and tales coming to us from antiquity one could discern the young womb as the reward for heroic action.

    This man denies the moral autonomy of the individual – in particular the human female.

    His discourse is predicated on the desirability of the continuity of a civilization; as though civilization is anything but a tool for human survival.

    He is elevating to the level of a very high moral imperative on the altar of which the Liberty of human female must be sacrificed; a very good example of unclear and muddled thinking.

    Every human female that conceives risks her life.

    A discussion of low fertility rates in Europe, in Singapore and elsewhere must start by asking women in those societies for the cause of their decisions.

  33. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The Very large American naval etc etc presence in the Gulf has much more to do with ensuring sea lanes are kept open. Rather than enabling them to be closed.

  34. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Do you agree with Smith and FYI that Iran has no need to export oil?

  35. nico says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

    “Hello Bussed-in Basiji,I took the low road (sexist insult) in my response to you because I thought your statement implied that WOMEN are incompetent to make reproductive decisions, and to recognize that their decisions bear on the future strength of the nation, but MEN are competent to make those decisions.

    It seems to me that an 18-35 year old man is the same age and general maturity as an 18-35 year old woman.”

    You are speaking about woman and man responsabilities in an individual perspective.
    That is the individual western perspective of individualist utopia where individual liberty is above and beyond social responsibility.

    You are right.
    18-25 years people are certainly not always mature enough to see beyond their individual self be they woman or man.
    The more so when the global propaganda and social mantra is “enjoy”.
    And a large family start at that age.

    Well it is pretty clear that I share BiB opinion.
    And I thank him for his courageous stance in the politically correct freemason ideology we are living in.

    That question is truly what we are as human doing on earth and why.
    It is a question of trancendency.

    Crypto free masons like fyi think that man is on earth to “enjoy” and to make the world theirs.

  36. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Chomsky has the thing backwards. Iran is giving up virtually nothing of economic value.

  37. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The US had next to nothing available in the Persian Gulf, to prevent Iraq from occupying Kuwait.

    Jimmy Carter wanted to get Israel out of the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. He to this day is sorry that he was unable to accomplish this (other than the Sinai).

  38. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    December 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    My observation, is that in those countries, it is usually the males that do not want to reproduce. They just want the enjoyment of sex without taking responsibility for it. Also the legislation does not take into account the male risk taking behavior necessary for starting a family. State is usually absolved of its responsibility towards family by putting all the responsibility on males.

    If we go by the rules of Islam, female is not even responsible to breast feed the infant. But such males beat their women into doing it. So much so for an Islamic country.

    The desire in females for family, children, stability has always been greater than in males. But when the females see choomaq wielding, foul mouthed, rapist torturers trying to control their body, then they lose their desire to sustain such a society.

    What these chimps do not understand is that God does not need their tortures and rape to sustain humanity. Rather humanity is sustained by Him in His own ways. He does not need foul mouthed, wife beating, torturer rapists to sustain humanity.

  39. nico says:

    “My observation, is that in those countries, it is usually the males that do not want to reproduce. They just want the enjoyment of sex without taking responsibility for it. Also the legislation does not take into account the male risk taking behavior necessary for starting a family. State is usually absolved of its responsibility towards family by putting all the responsibility on males.”

    Someone made the discovery of the century…
    That is the institution of marriage and the so called “backward” traditional social reluctance to get sex outside marriage has some ground and reason.

    Thanks for your insight.

  40. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    As countries get richer and women are better educated, the women very often want fewer children. Or no children, sometimes.

  41. nico says:

    James Canning :

    “As countries get richer and women are better educated, the women very often want fewer children. Or no children, sometimes.”

    Please spare me your triviality.
    Educate yourself. And come back when you have something more interesting to say that your usual uncontrolable squirt.

  42. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ““Now, you’ll hear arguments including potentially from the (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) that says we can’t accept any enrichment on Iranian soil, period, full stop, end of conversation,” Obama said.”

    That’s amusing, since that was precisely his position during his campaign in 2008…and has been the official US position all during his administration.

    So now we’re supposed to believe he’s just changed his mind? That he just woke up and realized this wasn’t a feasible or justifiable position?

    Remember – this person is an inveterate LIAR. NOTHING he says can be trusted.

  43. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As an example of Obama’s lying, read this…

    Whose sarin?
    Seymour M. Hersh
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/12/08/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

    Quotes

    The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’

    The Obama administration, committed to the end of the Assad regime and continued support for the rebels, has sought in its public statements since the attack to downplay the influence of Salafist and Wahhabist factions. In early September, John Kerry dumbfounded a Congressional hearing with a sudden claim that al-Nusra and other Islamist groups were minority players in the Syrian opposition. He later withdrew the claim.

    Similarly, following the release of the UN report on 16 September confirming that sarin was used on 21 August, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, told a press conference: ‘It’s very important to note that only the [Assad] regime possesses sarin, and we have no evidence that the opposition possesses sarin.’

    (One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been ‘like providing close air support for al-Nusra’.) [NOTE: Those are PRECISELY the targets I have predicted repeatedly here would be targeted by the US and NATO, PRECISELY because THOSE targets directly threaten ISRAEL in an IRAN war. – RSH]

    End Quotes

  44. Richard Steven Hack says:

    He’s being optimistic – or more precisely, lying…again… They’re actually more like zero.

    Obama: Chances for Final Iran Deal 50-50 or Worse
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/obama-diplomacy-best-approach-iran-nuke-crisis-21135035

  45. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US Congress may throw wrench into Iran nuclear deal
    http://news.yahoo.com/us-congress-may-throw-wrench-iran-nuclear-deal-165251321.html

  46. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another attempt to get Israel to attack Syria…

    Syrians detonate bomb against Israeli patrol on Golan border
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.562236

    Note that the headline says “Syrians” – implying the Assad regime, instead of the far more likely insurgents trying to get Israel to attack Syria, i.e., Israel wants an excuse.

  47. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Obama’s 50/50 assessment surely is a good guess, re: chances of P5+1 deal with Iran.

  48. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Did you read Philip Giraldi’s piece, on the “revolt” inside American intelligence, to use of false intel to set up a missile strike on Syria? (After Aug. 21 CW event)
    Threat to go public, with mass resignations. (Amconmag.com)

  49. Fiorangela says:

    fyi @ 12:38 pm —

    “A discussion of low fertility rates in Europe, in Singapore and elsewhere must start by asking women in those societies for the cause of their decisions.”

    = = =

    I don’t know about Singapore, etc.

    Europe is an entirely different case.

    Those states, especially Germany, Italy somewhat, and Eastern European states occupied by Stalin post-WWII, were savaged by the Allies. German men were marked for eradication by Theodor Kaufmann and Henry Morgenthau, and the plan was carried out by Dwight Eisenhower, war hero extraordinaire. The US at least has enough decency to hold up a monument to Ike in Washington, DC. Kaufmann wrote a pamphlet titled “Germany Must Perish,” which “advocate[d] the genocide through sterilization of all Germans and the territorial dismemberment of Germany” (wikipedia). Morgenthau submitted a plan for post-war Germany that would have destroyed Germany’s industrial capabilities. And Eisenhower substantially carried Kaufmann’s proposal by rounding up German POWs in open-air enclosures, with no food, shelter, clothing, water, medicine, or oversight by Red Cross. No records exist for the numbers of men — and women, and boys — who died in Allied enclosure-camps post war, because the Allies did not take the required rolls, and when soldiers died, their dog tags were melted down.

    An addition 8- to 12-million Germans were transferred from West to East; an estimated 2 million died in transit.

    By the deliberate decision of Western Allies, Berlin was left to Stalin, even though FDR & his administration knew that Stalin was responsible for the slaughter of Polish officers at Katyn (see “Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage,” by Joseph E. Persico), and that Gen. Zhukov was a monster who achieved his successes by brutalizing his own soldiers, therefore could be expected to ignore any jus in bello conventions. Zhukov’s men raped approx. 2 million German women. (see “Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945” by Max Hastings).

    In short, Germany’s “breeding stock” was wiped out through deliberate policy decisions of the Allies.

    Pope Benedict XVI and former Italian prime minister Marcello Pera co-authored a book (“Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures”) that complained of the “lax morals” that resulted in the declining birth rates in European states, but they failed to take into account the genocidal acts of the Western Allies in WWII that set the foundation for those low birth rates. In Germany in the mid-1950s, there existed a gender imbalance in Germany such that women of child-bearing age outnumbered males by as many as 5 million.

    Allies assure themselves that “victors always write the histories,” thus, these bits of history are hidden from popular knowledge. But there is a high cost to such triumphalist delusions. One example of the effect of getting history wrong (or, as in the case of Croesus, misinterpreting the oracle) is offered by George H. W. Bush. When he decided to wage war on Iraq in 1990-91, allegedly to “liberate” Kuwait, but the dynamism driving Bush’s decision — the psychological force — was Bush’s conviction that

    “he stood in the pivot-point of history …’the first test of the post-war system … a bridge to a better world. [Bush’s] new world order . . .Bush saw in the Gulf war an opportunity… to demonstrate that Washington would continue to lead no matter what the future might bring, leading particularly to the kind of world promised to HIS generation as their reward for service in World War II.” (see “Into the Desert,” Jeffrey Engel, ed., 30 – 42 min.). ***

    Closer scrutiny of that war reveals that the USA did not behave as nobly as “the greatest generation” has been seduced to believe: Germany was crushed by starvation of German CITIZENS; by carpet-bombing of German CITIZENS; by the assault on Germany by Russians troops, who were known to have committed atrocities — the famine-starvation of as many as 8 million Ukrainians in 1933-34, and the slaughter of Polish officers in 1940 — and who could be expected to commit similar atrocities against the German people AND military, while Eisenhower held Allied forces back from any possibility of checking the brutality of Soviet troops.

    The New World Order that Bush’s generation “earned by their service” in World War II was one of dubious nobility.

    And the hash that Bush Senior and Bush Junior made of Iraq and the rest of the region subsequent to Papa Bush’s Duncan Hunter-esque fugue give potent witness that the “new” world order is just as rotten as the “old” world order at its foundation.

    Back to matters of reproduction: The United States experienced a ‘baby boom’ at the end of the second world war, even as other naitons where Bush’s colleagues had “served” and “earned a reward” experienced demographic stagnation and annihilation. Today, the USA is at a loss how to fulfill the promises made to that baby boom generation, which poses a drain on the US economy. US Congressmen such as Duncan Hunter, Mike Rogers, Chris VanHollen prefer to dabble in more Bush-ite foreign policy misadventures rather than deal with the real-world problems of their own states-bound congressional constituencies. They portend a double failure, because they base their thinking on lies and misinterpretations of history.

    *** James, you may be interested in Engel’s comments about US posture in the Persian Gulf region between 1979 and 1990. ~30 min. in video

  50. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Your belief that lower birthrates in richer countries, due to better education of women, is of no import, is simply wrong. Nothing unusual about that.

  51. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon, kooshy Rd

    Since you support the present deal. Obama say its 50% a deal could be made, do you agree?

  52. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “Your belief that lower birthrates in richer countries, due to better education of women, is of no import, is simply wrong. Nothing unusual about that.”

    You are the one to be simply wrong.
    France ended its demographic transition during the 18th century.
    At that time average age for marriage was 25.
    Your assertion about some kind direct link between birth rate and education is only a legend.
    There is no DIRECT link and certainly no direct causal effect.

    You are an idiot and arrogant fool.

  53. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Smith,

    You’re mentally ill, please go get some medical help.

  54. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Fio and I are having a pleasant conversation, no need for you to chime in.

  55. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I think in Italy it was clear to me that many women had a single child; the Italian definition of family was man, woman, and a single child – the price schedule for trains, for example, seemd to support that.

    On the other hand, there were very many cases of out-of-wedlock children; women with 1 more children by the same man and one wondered: “Why don’t they get married?”

    So, I think it is best to approach these types of discussions not through historical analysis but through the methods of survey research – ask people about their decisions and attitudes and then analyze the results.

    In Iran, there are millions of younger women who have chosen to remain single as well.

    At the moment, I do not think we have sufficient data to proceed further in a meaningful discussion.

  56. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    In Islam children are considered a great blessing and the more you have the better. One of the biggest mistakes of the Islamic Republic was to buy into the whole “small families” “population control” b.s.

    Thank God SL has reversed this idiocy and has announced a target of 150-200 million population.

    Of course this can’t be done when the majority of women of child bearing age don’t reproduce 3+ children and are busy making crappy wages in crappy jobs. Also Islam’s up to 4 wives rule really comes in handy on this one.

    Now we just have to get rid of the Persian mens’ main characteristic: zan-zalili (In the US, it’s called being “pussy-whipped”)

    Even China decided to rescind its one child policy because hey, it turns out kids without siblings who are the center of attention of all parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles end up as total freaks.

    Apparently it really helps to have a sibling in order to learn a little thing called “sharing”.

    It also turns out that these “one” children who produce other “one” children don’t have uncles, aunts and cousins. Great, now it’s just “me” “myself” and “I”- no pesky “other” to bother my “me” love fest- (fyi’s wet dream scenario).

  57. Don Bacon says:

    Earth Policy Institute:
    Female education is especially important. Research consistently shows that women who are empowered through education tend to have fewer children and have them later. If and when they do become mothers, they tend to be healthier and raise healthier children, who then also stay in school longer. They earn more money with which to support their families, and contribute more to their communities’ economic growth. Indeed, educating girls can transform whole communities.
    http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights13

  58. Don Bacon says:

    OT: Anybody know what the subject of that above photo is?

  59. Don Bacon says:

    news report:
    Dec 8, 2013 — Iran plant linked to nuclear program visited by UN inspectors

    U.N. inspectors visited an Iranian plant on Sunday linked to a planned heavy-water reactor that could yield nuclear bomb fuel, taking up an initial offer by Tehran to open its disputed nuclear program to greater scrutiny.

    The increased transparency is the result of a thaw in relations between Iran and the West that culminated in a deal struck last month under which Tehran is to curb its nuclear program in return for some easing of sanctions.

    It was the first time in more than two years that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been allowed to go to the Arak heavy water production plant, which is designed to supply a research reactor under construction nearby.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/iran-plant-linked-to-nuclear-program-visited-by-un-inspectors/article15817617/

    Actually the IAEA is not a UN agency — the media always gets that wrong. The IAEA was formed by the NPT ONLY to ensure non-diversion of energy to nuclear weapons programs.

  60. Don Bacon says:

    Afghanistan President finally agreed to cooperate — with Iran

    Dec 8, 2013
    Afghanistan, Iran plan cooperation pact amid tensions with U.S.

    KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran on Sunday, an Afghan official said, while continuing to resist signing a long-term security agreement with the United States.

    Karzai struck the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in a move that will be greeted with suspicion by his U.S. ally, which is trying to convince him to sign the security accord governing any post-2014 U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

    “Afghanistan agreed on a long-term friendship and cooperation pact with Iran,” Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said. “The pact will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace and security.”

    He said a formal document would be prepared and signed soon.
    http://news.yahoo.com/afghanistan-iran-plan-cooperation-pact-amid-tensions-u-171347263.html

    Juan Cole–
    A friendlier US-Iran relationship could contribute to a soft landing in Afghanistan. As the US withdraws all but a few thousand troops from that country and confines the remaining ones to a role as trainers and advisers to the Afghanistan National Army, the specter arises that Pashtun Sunni extremists (the Taliban, Hizb-i Islami, the Haqqani group and others) could launch an all-out attempt to topple the government in Kabul.

    Iran has strong ties to the Tajiks (Persian-speaking Sunnis) and to the Hazaras (Persian-speaking Shiites), and good relations with the Uzbeks of the north (who tend not to be adherents of political Islam). That is, Iran supports ethnic groups that are disproportionately present in the Afghanistan National Army and who despise Talibanism (which is mainly a Pashtun phenomenon, though a majority of Pashtuns also despise it). Iran’s support for the elected government in Kabul will be important to its survival, especially since far right wing elements in Pakistan and the Gulf may back the Taliban increasingly openly as the US contingent shrinks.

  61. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Don Bacon says: December 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Don, If you hover your cursor over the picture in your browser you can see in the status bar (the bottom) that this is general view from Milad tower of TRR or some verbiage like that.

  62. Fiorangela says:

    the image —

    “A general view from the Milad telecommunications tower shows as a research reactor in Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (bottom) in western Tehran October 7, 2008. Standing at 435 meters (1,427 ft.) from the base to the tip of the antenna, the building is the fourth tallest tower in the world, according to a media release. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)”

    – – –
    Is it true that Iran used to run telecommunications through Turkey, until it finished the Milad tower, only in the last 5-10 years?

  63. nico says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Well that is NOT proof of causal connection between female level of education and birth rate.
    That is correlation. And correlation is not scientific proof.
    However it is easy to use such correlation for ideological oriented people.

    Take the same picture as you linked and then replace female by male.
    And you will certainly find exactly the same correlation.

    Now I could make the assertion that birth rate is related to male level of education.
    And that will be false scientific poof as well.

    Because birth rate and level of education are related to another phenomenon.

    Now take the same picture and replace female by % of people living in urban area.
    Or replace it by GDP.

    You will certainly find the.same.

    With that I could just claim that Urbanization is due to male higher education.

    As a conclusiion that is BS.

  64. nico says:

    Dan Bacon,

    The picture you linked is actually idelogically oriented.
    As if the female were in former and barbarous times slave to male forcing them to make babies by the tens.
    But now that we have entered this feminist and enlightened era of female emancipation all is better.

    And well just see making babies is bad.
    Because when female are educated they make less babies.
    And obviously female being educated is good because and only barbarous male (that is islamists and other religious people who are, like everybody know it, retrograds) coule be against that.

    Truly pathetic oriented propaganda.
    Not yours, of course.
    But the world we are living in.
    With the cult of individual “enjoyment”.

  65. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Milad is currently the sixth tallest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_towers_in_the_world

    Towers do not have anything to do with international.country to country telecommunications.

    In the old days, they used to be important for the purpose of TV/Radio transmission over an entire city.

    With digitalization of mass media and the invention of cellular network communication, city telecom towers are obsolete. They are now only built for the purpose of pride. They have nothing to do with international telecommunications.

    Iran used to have microwave and HF links with Turkey as well as some other neighboring countries plus a couple of satellite gateways. Fiber optic cables have now replaced most of these for all practical purposes with main one connecting Iran to the world running through Dubai, with your gov listening in on everything.

    In alot of sense, a tower is just a very long building built for the fun of it and the pride comes from its length. Some Freudian psychologists believe its resemblance to male anatomy makes it socially important. But it certainly has nothing to do with long range communications which are done via fiber optic cables, geostationary satellites ,HF and microwave.

  66. Don Bacon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    So that is TRR?

  67. Don Bacon says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    December 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you, thank you.
    (Why didn’t I do that.)

  68. Smith says:

    Iranian solution to Pakistan’s woes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpwLfOK3uCs

  69. Smith says:

    Turkey continue to sink into the Syrian quagmire: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/turkey-rethinks-armed-syrian-groups.html

    May Turkey become what Pakistan has already become by supporting british terror. Amen.

  70. Richard Steven Hack says:

    New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On Seymour Hersh Syria Report
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/seymour-hersh-syria-report_n_4409674.html

    Of course they did – outright accusing Obama of lying is not “cricket” in journalism circles…

  71. M. Ali says:

    Finally! With all our pride over bulding jets and drones, why did it take us so long to build a plane?

  72. M. Ali says:

    Also, Smith, who do you like (aside from fyi)? Everyone you talk about is a rapist. The whites rapist brown people, the Iranians raping women, its like there are only two things in your world view. Rapists and Nuclear Weapons to protect yourself from these rapists.

  73. M. Ali says:

    My personal view on reproduction:

    I think today’s world plays against reproduction in many ways. Aside from the “me” idealogy, these are some other factors i see in my own life.

    1) The expectation of women to do more. Women read the news, look at tv shows, listen to friends, and women are split into two, the lives of their mothers who didn’t go anywhere and do anything, and the modern woman, who has achievements to her name.

    I understand this contradiction from the young woman’s perspective, and it is our responsibility to bridge the difference. A lot of conservatives in Iran try to challenge the new western idealogy by just trying to pull woman back in the kitchen. It doesn’t work, because its not attractive.

    The interesting aspect is that I have seen (this is anecdotal) that a lot of woman would LOVE to be housewives, but they are almost embarrassed to say so, given how much the world has degraded it.

    There is the pressure on today’s woman to make something of their lives. How can society present being an housewife and a mother as Making Something of their Lives? The traditional method is a shitty marketing tool.

    2) With the pressure to Do Something With Our Lives, comes marrying late. Men and women want to finish their school, then its getting their license, and oh, the men in our society have to also go 2 years of being drafted, and then its one year engagement, then its marriage, and the couple is nearing 30.

    In our society today, it is, study, work, then marry. But why not, marry, and study and work as a couple?

    FYI said something above which i find him to have found completely wrong,
    “In Iran, there are millions of younger women who have chosen to remain single as well.”

    Its not that they have “chosen” to remain single. I have seen lots of single people, both men and women, that want to get married, but find it difficult, which brings me to the next point,

    3) Disruption of the big family life.

    Maybe the biggest problem in Iran today is this, specially Tehran. Life is changing at such a fantastic speed, that in my time, I can compare the difference between decades.

    I remember how life was a mere two decades ago, in my community, both in Dubai and in my hometown in Iran. In my hometown, my grandfathers house had a large yard. Every day, the carpets would come out from the rooms, and the women would lay them on the yard, and the adults would sit there. The house’s big doors were open, and the extended family would pop in and out, my aunts, my uncles, neighbors, in laws of my grandfather’s children.

    I remember us kids playing outside the house, in the streets, dozens of kids. And as the evening wore on, we’d come in, tired of playing, and sit with the adults, and the fruits would come out. A watermelon would be split open and shared all around, and if a family member had come from Dubai, then it would be the prized, rare mangos.

    As it got darker, there would be games of cards between the men, and I’d sit politely behind one of the men, and look at the games. If there enough kids, we’d play our own game. We played our town’s version of “Hokm” (hokmeh kola) Sometime’s I’d get lucky, the adults had one member missing of their desired 6 players (3 vs 3), and they’d choose me.

    Soon, it would start getting late, and the people would start going home one by one. The wives of the card players would start getting sleepy, and you’d hear their gentle naggings to their husbands, “Isn’t the game over yet? When will you finish?”, and the white haired player would say, “it’ll be over soon”, and this would happen every 10 minutes, until by some divine chance, the game would somehow end when the patience of the wives were near an end.

    I remember the yard becoming empty, with the guests gone, and everyone going inside to sleep, except my grandparents who liked to sleep in the open air, with the fan to blow air in the summer night. And I’d sleept besides them, enjoying the moment.

    And in this crowd of family closeness, was it then a suprise that marriage was easy? Did men and women have to get to know each other from university or facebook or work? Boys and girls would have chosen each other from a small age, their knowledge of each other had a years of memories together, of teasings and hair pulling and shared experiences in family events.

    Cousin marriage is looked down in the west, but can be more easier and safer? Boys and girls knew each other, they’d decide easily, early, parents would support the marriage, assist in every step of the way, financially and emotionally, the new couple would be swallowed up in the greater family structure, nothing would be an issue, jobs would be given if needed, rooms provided temporarily, but houses would be built too, and it would be a completely smooth transaction. And bearing children would not be difficult too, because there would be aunts and mothers and grandmothers hoverig around the bride and the pregnancy, and the baby would be born into an ocean of love. How can you not want to procreate?

    And in only two decades, everything is changed. Look at me. I live in Tehran with my wife. My parents are in Dubai, living in a villa they built 15 years ago, which is now empty of guests. They seem me and their bride maybe once or two a year. In my hometown, my grandparents have moved to a new house, without a big yard, because people don’t like to sit outside anymore (its too hot, and no tv). No one visits anymore, because everyone is far now, scattered throughout Iran, throughout the world, and our point of meetings are now only at weddings, and even that, maybe.

    Then is it a surprise that I get scared in becoming a parent? Shouldn’t I wait for my wife to first finish her PHD so that she won’t regret it later? Do I need to save some more money? SHould I travel first because otherwise I’d have difficulty later on? Can my wife handle a child all alone, and can I handle my wife handling a child all alone?

    My father was 27 when I was born. I’ve already passed that age. And I remember the childhood memories of my father as a young man. He’d take me on hunting trips, fishing trips, and scuba diving. Would I be too old and too tired for my child?

  74. M. Ali says:

    Allow me to completely apologize for my above post. I started as a reasonable response, and turned into a personal memory lane.

  75. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali-jan,

    Don’t apologize, your personal story explains the issue very well.

    Thanks for sharing.

  76. M. Ali says:

    BiB, thank you.

    And also, let me use this opportunity, to ask you for some recommendations. I want to listen to some Iranian speakers when I’m at work and doing some routine stuff, and I wanted to know who would you recommend me to listen to? I’ve been listening to Ali Akbar Raefi Pour, and I’m enjoying his no-bullshit, straight talks.

    Just to clarify my request a bit. I’m not really interested in a speaker that talks about the tiny details of shiaism, because I’m not really interested in suddenly becoming a 12-imamer, but fortunately or unfortunately, the only ones that really want to move Iran forward seems to in this group. My sunni Iranian brethens are running in pointless circles chasing our own tails and the seculars’ idea of an Iranian progress is to just import ready-made norms & idealogies from the west.

  77. nico says:

    M. Ali says:
    December 9, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    In China they have the one child policy.
    Obviously it is not related to woman will to get higher education.

    My own personnal view is that it is much related to social organization and pressure.
    Yes there is some influence about woman wanting to have a blossoming social life outside the exclusive family circle. But obviously that is NOT the main factor.
    Many parents, as myself and my spouse, would like to have more than 2 children.
    We simply cannot afford because of the lack of money and time.
    My wife would be eager to spend few years at home to care for the Children. We simply cannot.
    Besides how do you manage your time when both parents spend 2 or 3 hours a day caught in traffic and public transport ? That coupled with children at various stage of growth and with no family close enough to bring support ?

    And then you need enough room in the house or condo which need to be paid for.

    Sure some people have much/enough money or have no such organization issues.
    Depending on where you live and your social status.

    That being said it also depends on government policies (as tax related to family) support and infrastructures (like available kindergarten and schools) and the social fabric and organization of a country.

    Just linking the issue with the level of education of women is at least simplistic or idiotic and at worst willfully idelogically driven and manipulative sofistry.

  78. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:
    December 9, 2013 at 3:58 am

    You are recalling events that are tinged by the hues of that magical time that is called Childhood.

    You wrote:

    “Cousin marriage is looked down in the west, but can be more easier and safer?”

    I direct you to the work of Dr. Sarvari published in 1377 on the effects of cousin marriages in the Isphahan basin.

    The world changes and one must change with it.

  79. paul says:

    The best comment I’ve seen about the situation with Iran and in Iran is at Global Research. They compare Rouhani to Gorbachev, as a leader who is not only willing, but eager, to surrender everything, while gaining almost nothing (for his people). The agreement already made already contains the essential surrenders of sovereignty at stake in the overall negotiations, and these cannot be walked back. The US, in return, has conceded virtually nothing. Meanwhile, Rouhani’s administration, as expected, has already begun making key ancillary concessions, which have to do de-nationalizing Iranian oil and inviting the US and partners in.

    Those intent on defending Iran’s concessions keep pointing out that US moves in the region have often actually yielded oil to China and others, and will likely continue to do so. That’s missing the point. The point is the US wants to control the spigot. Canning claims that US military intentions in the Gulf are sweet and pure: we only want to keep the straits open. Of course, as everyone can see, US military presence and involvement in the region would be massive, massive, massive overkill if keeping the trade routes open were the only objective. Clearly the real objective goes far beyond that. Why control a region militarily? Ah, to control it! So simple really. Not hard to figure out.

    So Rouhani is Gorbachev. Thanks to Gorby, the Soviet Union disintegrated into a sea of thug-ruled fiefdoms, most of which were easily snapped up by the US and Nato. Rather than carefully negotiate an end to the Cold War that would lead to a more peaceful and prosperous post-war world, Gorbachev gave up the keys to the kingdom in exchange for, one hopes, at least a nice dacha with a marble washstand. Such betrayal should really have its reward. To me, Gorby is the anti-Kruschev. K sought peace and reconciliation, but not through weakness and surrender. Had he and JFK lived and continued to govern a bit longer me might be living in a better world now. Ah well. Instead we got a world determined by the likes of Cowboy Ron and Name My Price Gorby.

    If Rouhani continues on the path he has set so far – which is no if at all, I’d say, as his political background and his moves so far tell us – Iran will end up bereft of oil and bereft of sovereignty, and China and Russia will find themselves in a far more precarious situation. At any time, they could have welcomed Iran into the SCO as a member. At any time Russia could have helped Iran beef up its defenses. They preferred to keep Iran under the gun. They preferred to keep the charade going. Now the situation seems to be blowing up in their faces.

    Peace is better than war, but this peace is coming at quite a price. A brutal economic war by the US has brought a proudly independent nation to its knees. Some call that progress.

  80. M.Ali says:

    “I direct you to the work of Dr. Sarvari published in 1377 on the effects of cousin marriages in the Isphahan basin.”

    I would also like to direct you to the word “arrogance” in the dictionary.

  81. M.Ali says:

    Thanks Paul for your comment, which I largely agree with.

    However, I’ve been thinking that Rohani’s failure at achieving anything significance will pave the way for a stronger Iran. The populace will finally realize that there is no quick-fix solution.

    I’m noticing the media & papers, and there a lot of optimism over the deal seems to be fading. Rohani’s government is an aging, fading group of old Iranian politicians. Their failure will their final nail, and will open the doors for a new generation of politicians.

  82. Empty says:

    Testing…

  83. Empty says:

    Oh, well….Not sure why it’s not posting the comment…

  84. nico says:

    Paul says:
    December 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

    “The best comment I’ve seen about the situation with Iran and in Iran is at Global Research. They compare Rouhani to Gorbachev, as a leader who is not only willing, but eager, to surrender everything, while gaining almost nothing (for his people). The agreement already made already contains the essential surrenders of sovereignty at stake in the overall negotiations, and these cannot be walked back.”

    Interesting comment.

    Could you be more specific regarding the exact kind of sovereignty surrendered by Iran that is making Iran a new crumbling USSR ?

    Actually Iran is against the US SOFA in Afghanistan. Should Iran not be supportive of that agreement according to your post ?

    Without specifics it seems your post is a bit dramatic.

    Regarding the oil contracts nothing has been concluded yet and it is a bit early to criticize something you do not know the specifics about.

  85. Don Bacon says:

    Baloney, Iran has gained sovereignty, not lost it. It has faced down the US, given up essentially nothing, and now is moving on the commercial and diplomatic fronts while the US stutters and stammers about what to do six months from now.

  86. Rd. says:

    Empty says:

    “Oh, well….Not sure why it’s not posting the comment…”

    some times during the submission of a post, if there is a hiccup along the way, your comment will be considered a duplicate and refused. (the comment is submitted to the server but not posted yet). you can make some general changes to your comment and try again. at times, the software can be pesky and will refuse the comment. in that case, you can post the comment in the next subject.

  87. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali-jan,

    Raefi Pour is good.

    You might be surprised but the best person I can recommend to you is Ayat. Khamenei himself.

    If you go on his Farsi website they have excellent search tools and you can search any subject and what he has said about it. A lot of it is on audio files going back to when he was President.

    http://farsi.khamenei.ir/audio-index

    I’m not saying this just because he’s the Leader but because he’s a very good religious scholar who has a lot of practical experience in the “real” world and is “mozushenas” as they say. He’s also very well read and familiar with non-Muslim thought and literature.

    Anyway, I’ve benefited a lot from reading and listening to his speeches and analyses.

  88. Bibijon says:

    All:

    Dr. Gelb on the Geneva nuclear deal

    (Obama 1 – neoconservatives 0)

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/04/obama-wins-round-one-on-iran.html

  89. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    What is your understanding of the relative strength of the US military presence in the Persian Gulf, at the time of Saddam Hussein’s attempt to annex Kuwait?

  90. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    I of course agree with you that Iran “gave up” next to nothing, to achieve the interim deal with P5+1. But I don’t think Iran “faced down” the US. A sensible interim deal was on offer, and Iran sensibly took it.

  91. Smith says:

    fyi,

    Interesting stats proving that TV raises autonomy for women in filthy backward societies, making the violence against women unacceptable and even decreasing fertility rates: http://home.uchicago.edu/eoster/tvwomen.pdf

    With cable TV in home, it suddenly becomes more difficult to beat the wife and belittle women.

  92. Smith says:

    Is consanguineous marriage religiously encouraged? Islamic and Iranian considerations: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17059617

  93. Smith says:

    Consanguinity, genetic disorders and malformations in the Iranian population: http://www2.sci.u-szeged.hu/ABS/2003/ActaHP/4747.pdf

    One interesting fact to note in this study, is the increased incidence of primary amenorrhea among children of cousin marriages. More interesting this fact becomes when one considers that a significant portion of Iran’s reduced fertility is actually due to another fact that Iran has one of highest incidence of infertility problems in the world with hundreds of thousands of couples being childless (Iran currently is going through a business boom for infertility clinics). Alas, the stupid ignorant hypocrites do not understand science.

  94. Smith says:

    With increasing age and life expectancy Iran’s Burden of Disease with be increasing as well, mainly in non-infectious (except HIV) DALY rates with significant contribution from preventable genetic disorders: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0076881

  95. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    December 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    Don Bacon, I of course agree with you that Iran “gave up” next to nothing, to achieve the interim deal with P5+1. But I don’t think Iran “faced down” the US. A sensible interim deal was on offer, and Iran sensibly took it.

    As you must know, I didn’t say that Iran “faced down” the US.
    Why do you claim that I did?
    I said Iran gained sovereignty.

  96. Smith says:

    Ayatollahs should term it a sin for parents producing a child burdened with a preventable genetic disease. In an era that a whole DNA test cost less than a hundred dollars, there should be no excuse to go about producing suffering with out taking responsibility for it. It should be criminal.

  97. Karl.. says:

    Zarif says the deal is dead if new sanctions comes. Maybe he should have thought of that before signing this bad deal.

  98. M.Ali says:

    Why do you hate Iranians so much, Smith?

  99. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interesting article…

    Is a Syrian “domino effect” being used in a power struggle in the US deep state?
    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/12/is-syrian-domino-effect-being-used-in.html

    Basically the argument is that “US-firsters” (as opposed to “Israel-firsters”) are winning the battle in the Beltway over US priorities in the Middle East. In other words, Obama was forced to deal with Iran because he failed in Syria (although as one commenter mentions, Obama’s deal making with Iran began months before the Syria chemical weapons deal – a valid point.) This could lead to major changes in US foreign policy not only in the Middle East and with Iran, but also with regard to Russia and the EU, with Israel and the Saudis as the big losers.

    My problem with this thesis is that the US foreign policy is basically completely controlled by three forces in the US deep state: 1) the military-industrial complex; 2) the oil companies; and 3) last in influence, the Israel Lobby. And of course, the financial community which is invested in the first two…

    Note, however, that ALL THREE have serious overlaps – so that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins. There are plenty of rich Jews in the Israel Lobby with investments in the oil companies and the MIC – and probably plenty of oil company and MIC execs and investors who are in the Israel Lobby or support the Lobby’s policies because they see those policies as leading to profits from oil price spikes and war.

    So I don’t see a lot of advantage in trying to disentangle them.

    And then the problem becomes: exactly what forces – economic or otherwise – can these supposed “US-firsters” (and Saker is merely positing they exist, he isn’t sure they do) bring to bear on the elected politicians in the White House and Congress to get them to stop listening to the people in the deep state who have financed their entire political careers?

    I don’t see any evidence of such forces except in vague terms about “the US is bankrupt”, etc. – which simply doesn’t apply as long as taxes are raised and shuffled off to the MIC and as long as oil continues to flow (or not, leading to even higher profits for oil companies.)

    Finally, again, the issue becomes: do leopards change their spots? Obama is a liar who is owned and operated by rich Chicago Jews and MIC corporations. What do the supposed “US-firsters” have to offer him that makes him willing to completely reverse his stance of the last five years and go against the policies of the people who financed his entire career (and will continue to control his future?)

    The notion that any of these people in the deep state are actually influenced by rational, reality-based analysis of real US interests is simply too unbelievable to be taken seriously. That’s how these people think.

    So I find it hard to take all these extrapolations as to the significance of the Syrian chemical weapons deal and the Iran nuclear deal seriously, given that a few weeks ago the US was about to start a war with Syria (despite allegedly negotiating with Iran at the same time in secret.)

    Bottom line: I counsel patience before rushing to judgment. Wait and see what happens over the next year. If things get better – there is a final deal with Iran that Iran can live with, and Syria gets better with no interventions – THEN we can talk about a shift in US policy.

  100. Richard Steven Hack says:

    An obsessive’s documenting of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon can show us how the West lost respect for international law
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/an-obsessives-documenting-of-israeli-war-crimes-in-lebanon-can-show-us-how-the-west-lost-respect-for-international-law-8991627.html

  101. Bibijon says:

    Karl,

    I think a US-Iran detente and rapprochement is intrinsically a good thing. But, when it means a realignment against regressive/reactionary forces of Zionism and Wahabism then it starts to have realpolitik significance in the league of Nixon-to-China realignment against what was then a bankrupt Soviet system whose continued survival translated into continued profound agony and insecurity for many in the world. If such a realignment will speed up the end of apartheid in Palestine, and confine the cannibals within Saudi borders, then a flash point

    The Geneva deal, which I do not condemn (which you equate with support) should be seen as a step towards that detente. The detente is a good thing for a country bursting with youthful energy and raring to explode with societal growth. Consequently any reasonable step towards that detente is a step in the right direction. In other words, it is not the deal per se that I support, it is the detente at the end of a process which includes an interim deal that makes me take favorable view of it despite its shortcomings.

  102. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    But Kerry have said the deal after 6 months mean Iran must reduce their program . This isnt possible because Iran wont support that, so how is this deal good? The situation will be worsened.

  103. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You may be wrong, in thinking Iran will refuse to “reduce” its “program”.

  104. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    You said “Iran has faced down the US”. That is why I wrote that you had said it. And I agree Iran gave up next to nothing of real value, in making the interim deal.

  105. Bibijon says:

    then a flash point for wwiii would have been doused.

  106. kooshy says:

    Karly

    To understand what is going on you would need to have a dynamic (heroic flexibility) mind set ( if you knew history of Iran you would understand, why Iran has survived for 3 millenniums and Rome didn’t) , and not a liner one (which is much like political practice of Germans).

    Like ayatollah Khamenei said at this point Iran would not lose anything by attempting to negotiate. A six month reduction in producing 20%, etc. that Iran no longer needs is not reducing Iran’s capability to respond, but if this peace plan goes through it means Iran’s current status is accepted if not we are back where we were except that we got a six month breathing room for both sides, especially since Iran calculates that is the westerners who will break the deal, therefore Iran will hold the moral ground no matter what the spin will be. This is what this heroic flexibility is all about. There is this proverb in Persian that translate like this “his Donkey has already passed the bridge” meaning he no longer can be effected, that is why Iran now accepted to be flexible had nothing to do with new government since the secret negotiations were conducted even before Mr. Rohani was legally allowed to announce candidacy.

    By the way with these Geneva negotiations, even making calculated tactical time constraint concession I do accept the decision to see if the other side has changed her calculation. And I think Iran should allow the other side to make whatever internal spinning she needs in order to make internal grounds ready for accepting strategic readjustments of her ME policies.

  107. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    “But Kerry have said the deal after 6 months mean Iran must reduce their program . This isnt possible because Iran wont support that, so how is this deal good? The situation will be worsened.”

    Try and distinguish between the interim deal, (a joint plan of action) and the final deal which has not even been negotiated yet.

    Kerry (and Obama) are navigating through various obstacles. To one audience they will say one thing, to another they might say something quite different. If you follow the news blow, by blow, you’re likely to get even dizzier than normal.

    Try and look at the logic behind the overarching geopolitical necessities.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/opinion/iran-from-enemy-to-ally.html?ref=opinion

    Suppose they fail to come to any acceptable final agreement. They could just extend the interim deal for another six months. After all, if it was good enough for the first six months, why wouldn’t it be good enough for the next six months. Do that a few times, and you would have had a de facto modus vivendi, i.e. Iran has been enriching uranium according to an understanding reached in November 2013, and that understanding, after a few extensions has become the new norm. Seeing as the P5 agreed and keep agreeing that its OK for Iran to enrich uranium, then the UNSC resolutions drafted by the same p5 start to lose their meaning for any third party who’s losing business opportunities in Iran. The sanctions will start to fall apart exactly as the story gets too old and repetitive for the media to follow.

    Meanwhile, US may well start evacuating troops and materiel out of Afghanistan through Iran rather than Taliban infested NW frontier; Iran gets the nod to be on the Syria conference; Kerry visits Tehran; etc. In short, detente without any final agreement on paper.

  108. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Thats the point, the final deal is connected to this deal. Today even Russia denied Iran had any enrichment right and said that it will be dealt with in the final deal in 6 months, so whats good with this deal? Nothing.

  109. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    “Thats the point, the final deal is connected to this deal.”

    Only if you insist to imagine things.

    “Today even Russia denied Iran had any enrichment right and said that it will be dealt with in the final deal in 6 months, so whats good with this deal? Nothing.”

    Only if you cannot comprehend English.

    “The [joint plan of action] document opens up the prospect for Iran to fully exercise its inalienable rights as a member-nation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, including the right to enrich uranium. It implies the gradual easing of the regimen of sanctions against Iran,” says in the commentary from of the Foreign Ministry information and press service circulated on Monday ahead of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Iran.
    Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_09/Russia-counts-on-positive-mindset-at-P5-1-and-Iran-talks-1576/

  110. Dan Cooper says:

    For over a decade the major US intelligence agencies have published detailed accounts of Iran’s nuclear program (see especially the National Intelligence Estimate 2007 (NIE)). The common consensus has been that Iran did not have any program for developing nuclear weapons (National Intelligence Estimate 2004, 2007). As a consequence of this ‘absence of evidence’, the entire Western offensive against Iran had to focus on Iran’s “potential capacity” to shift sometime in the future towards a weapons program.

    The current agreement is directed toward undermining Iran’s potential ‘capacity’ to have a nuclear weapons program:

    there are no weapons to destroy, no weapon plans exist, no war plans exist and there are no strategic offensive military operations on the Iranian ‘drawing board’.

    We know this, because repeated US intelligence reports have told us that no weapons programs exist! So the entire current negotiations are really over weakening Iran’s ongoing peaceful, legal nuclear program and undermining any future advance in nuclear technology that might protect Iran from an Israeli or US attack, when they decide to activate their “military option”, as was pulled off in the war to destroy Iraq.

    Secondly, Iran’s flexible and accommodating concessions are not new or a reflection of a newly elected President.

    As Gareth Porter has pointed out: Nearly ten years ago, on Nov. 15, 2004, Iran agreed “on a voluntary basis to continue and extend an existing suspension of enrichment to include all enrichment related and reprocessing activities” (Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service 11/26/13).

    According to Porter, Iran was ending “all manufacturing, assembly, installation and testing of centrifuges or their components”.

    Despite these generous concessions, on March 2005, the Europeans and the US refused to negotiate on an Iranian proposal for a comprehensive settlement that would guarantee against enrichment toward weapons grade.

    Iran ended its voluntary suspension of all enrichment activity.

    The US, led by Zionists embedded in Treasury, (Stuart Levey) then escalated sanctions. Europe and the UN Security Council followed in kind.

    The practice of the US and Europe first securing major concessions from Iran and then refusing to reciprocate by pursuing a comprehensive settlement is a well established diplomatic practice.

    Iran’s flexibility and concessions were apparently interpreted as “signs of weakness” to be exploited in their push toward ‘regime change’ (An Unusual Success for Sanctions Policy, FT 11/27/13, p. 10).

    Sanctions are seen as “effective” political-diplomatic weapons designed to further weaken the regime.

    Policy-makers continue to believe that sanctions should be maintained as a tool to divide the Iranian elite, disarm and dismantle the country’s defensive capacity and to prepare for “regime change” or a military confrontation without fear of serious resistance from the Iranians.

    The entire charade of Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons as a threat’ has been orchestrated by the Israeli regime and its army of ‘Israel Firsters’ embedded in the US Executive, Congress and mass media.

    The ‘Big Lie’, promoted by Israel’s propaganda machine and network of agents, has been repeatedly and thoroughly refuted by the sixteen major US Intelligence Estimates or NIE’s, especially in 2004 and 2007.

    These consensus documents were based on extensive research, inside sources (spies) and highly sophisticated surveillance.

    The NIEs categorically state that Iran suspended all efforts toward a nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not made any decision or move to restart that program.

    However, Israel has actively spread propaganda, based on fabricated intelligence reports, claiming the contrary in order to trick and push the US into a disastrous military confrontation with Israel’s regional rival. And

    the President of the United States ignores his own intelligence sources in order to repeat Israel’s ‘Big Lie’!

    Given the fact that Iran is not a ‘nuclear threat’, now or in the past, and given that the US, European and Israeli leaders know this,

    why do they continue and even increase the sanctions against Iran?

    Why do they threaten to destroy Iran with pre-emptive attacks?

    Why the current demands for even more concessions from Tehran?

    The current negotiations and ‘agreement’ tell us a great deal about the ‘ultimate’ or final strategic aims of the White House and its European allies.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37066.htm

  111. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Video interview with Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now!…

    Seymour Hersh: Obama “Cherry-Picked” Intelligence on Syrian Chemical Attack to Justify U.S. Strike
    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/9/seymour_hersh_obama_cherry_picked_intelligence

    I agree with Hersh that Obama was not stopped from attacking Syria by public opposition but by opposition from (some in) the Pentagon who preferred to see the Russian weapons disposal offer as a way out.

    In fact, I suspect it was the FACT, as Hersh reports, that there WAS NO valid intelligence behind the Assad accusation – and the FACT that this was KNOWN in the Pentagon and the intelligence community AND would likely LEAK if Obama attacked Syria – thereby tarnishing Obama’s credibility – that was the major factor in Obama’s backing down.

    In other words, given the NSA leaks, could Obama afford to have a Pentagon or CIA “Snowden” come forth in the middle of the Syrian war and PROVE that Obama had LIED about the casus belli?

    We know Obama is a deeply narcissistic personality and that he values his Nobel Peace Prize. We know that he acts essentially as a Pre-Emancipation South plantation foreman for the US deep state – presumably with the same negative self-image and the same psychological projection and coverup that status entails. So it’s likely that he suddenly decided that a Syrian war was too dangerous for HIM PERSONALLY in terms of his “legacy” image.

    It’s the same situation that I’ve said before that Obama does NOT want to be BLAMED for starting an Iran war, He would prefer the Israelis do it – just as Dick Cheney did in the Bush administration – and indeed would prefer that Iran do something – anything – to justify the war, rather than he himself be forced to initiate it.

    So the same applies to Syria. He looked for a casus belli, he thought he found one, he was going to go to war – and then he had second thoughts. Not because of popular opposition, but because there was people in the Pentagon and the intelligence community who were – as Hersh writes – ticked off that the casus belli was bogus – just like Iraq. But since Snowden, people that ticked off have ways of sabotaging the rush to war that could have cost Obama his Presidency via an impeachment – or at least ruined his (already poor) credibility.

    The Economist had a cover recently which showed Obama shoulders deep in the ocean, with the headling: “The Man Who Used to Walk On Water”.

    That says more about Obama than anything else – and probably explains his back down from the Syria war.

    But one has to ask the NEXT question: Does this mean Obama has backed down from his marching orders from the US deep state? Or is he just regrouping and resuming a way to meet those orders without compromising his own credibility?

    Until we see how events flow from here on out, it’s too early to assume anything has changed.

  112. Fiorangela says:

    Richard Steven Hack @7:48:

    “But one has to ask the NEXT question: Does this mean Obama has backed down from his marching orders from the US deep state? Or is he just regrouping and resuming a way to meet those orders without compromising his own credibility?”

    – – –

    Does this answer your question?

    In a conversation moderated by HAIM SABAN at the Brookings Institute Saban Center,

    “We put in place an unprecedented regime of sanctions that has crippled Iran’s economy, cut their oil revenues by more than half, have put enormous pressure on their currency,” said President Obama who spoke not about Israeli-Palestinian relations, but made a case for a six-month partial lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for a commitment to retract the country’s nuclear program. Obama boasted that the nuclear deal would unlock 7 billion in frozen revenue, but overall applied U.S. sanctions costs Iran around ten times that amount every year—and those sanctions would remain in tact.”

    Earlier in the Conference, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman

    QUOTE: compared Iran to Nazi Germany, stating that the government called Jewish-Israelis “pigs and dogs,” and that rhetoric was tantamount to “Nazi style accusations” that are “more serious than all the movies in Hollywood.” ”

    In an article in the Jewish World Review, http www dot jewishworldreview.com/1213…
    Bruce Bialosky wrote:
    “If the Iranians don’t agree, then the next step is crushing sanctions that will bring the government to its knees and revolution to the streets”

    Fascinating comparison from Lieberman, and amazing threat from Bialosky —

    —Early in March, 1933, “Rabbi Wise and the other boycott leaders were determined to form one cohesive international movement under the banner “Starve Germany into submission this winter.” ” http www dot jewishvirtuallibrary dot org/jsource…

    —In August 1933, Vladimir Jabotinsky told the 18th Zionist Conference:

    “We are conducting a war with murderers. …[We must] destroy, destroy, destroy them–not only with the boycott, but politically, supporting all existing forces agains tthem to isolate Germany from the civilized world.” (pg. 301, “The Transfer Agreement,” Edwin Black)

    So the comparisons are interesting but the dates are confusing.

    With respect to Jabotinsky’s claim of dealing with “murderers,” according to Richard Breitman and Allen Lichtman, in March and August 1933,

    QUOTE: “Some Nazi activists physically assaulted Jews in the early days of Hitler’s semilegal revolution. Once secure in their authority, ***Nazi officials curbed personal violence [against Jews].”*** END QUOTE page 1, “FDR and the Jews”.

    The NSDAP actually achieved quite a turnaround in European society. In “Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World,” author Liaquat Ahamed wrote about the world-wide turmoil caused by financial panics:

    “By the middle of 1931 . . . as the global economy sank deeper into the second year of an unprecedented depression … Production in almost every country had collapsed—in the two worst hit, the United States and Germany, it had fallen 40 percent. Factories throughout the industrial world–from the car plants of Detroit to the steel mills of the Ruhr … were shuttered or working at a fraction of capacity. …

    “Armies of the unemployed now haunted the towns and cities of the industrial nations. In the United States, the world’s largest economy, some 8 million men and women, close to 15 percent of the labor force, were out of work. Another 2.5 million men in Britain and 5 million in Germany … had joined the unemployment lines. …

    “Gangs of unemployed youths and men with nothing to do loitered aimlessly at street corners, in parks, in bars and cafes. …[G]rim jerry-built shantytowns constructed of packing cases … grease drums, tarpaulins … sprung up in cities such as New York and Chicago … Similar makeshift colonies littered the fringes of Berlin [capital of Weimar Germany], Hamburg, and Dresden. …

    “Unemployment led to violence and revolt. In the United States, food riots broke out in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and across the central and southwestern states. In Britain, the miners went out on strike, followed by cotton mill workers and weavers. Berlin was almost in a state of civil war. During the elections of Septebmer 1930, the Nazis, playing on the fears and frustrations of the unemployed and blaming everyone else–the Allies, the Communists, and the Jews–for the misery of Germany, gained close to 6.5 million votes… Meanwhile in the streets, Nazi and Communist gangs clashed daily. There were coups in Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Spain.”

    That is to say, in 1931-32 economic chaos and unemployment leading to riotous behavior took place all over the world, including the United States and including Germany, then under the Weimar government.

    By 1933, Adolf Hitler had brought some measure of order out of chaos, “curbed personal violence,” and within the next few years, had achieved 100% employment of Germans, a statistic unmatched anywhere in the world. This is what Rabbi Stephen Wise and Vladimir Jabotinsky sought to disrupt and “destroy, destroy, destroy.”

    Not until the assassination of German diplomat November 1938 and Kristallnacht, write Breitman & Lichtman, did Jews experience “personal violence” in Germany under NSDAP.

    – – –

    No American should be forced to tolerate the threats and lies published on their soil — and uttered by their congressman! — against the Iranian people.

  113. Sineva says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm
    I think you are counting your chickens way before the eggs have even been laid,we are very far away from detente let alone a reproachment/grand bargain,this is a limited deal that has not even begun to take effect yet,lets restrain the giddy optimism until after the 6 months is up and we see how well the us has abided by the terms of the agreement,personally I`m cautiously optimistic,but its very early days yet and there is a lot that could still go wrong

  114. Sineva says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm
    You`re assuming the west had much respect for international law in the first place

  115. Don Bacon says:

    Focusing on the US part in this matter is myopic.

    news report:
    New Delhi: A draft of an agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop Iran’s Chabahar port—aimed at giving India access to landlocked Afghanistan—is ready and could be signed soon, Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali said on Monday.
    During Hamid Karzai’s visit to India, which starts on Friday, the President of Afghanistan is expected to seek India’s backing for his decision to delay signing a bilateral security agreement clinched with the US last month. The decision to delay signing the accord has caused a spike in tensions between Afghanistan and the US. The security agreement defines the legal conditions under which US troops would remain in the insurgency-wracked country after most international troops exit in 2014.//

    Iran and India are going to be the real friends of Afghanistan that the US never was, and in the process not only will the BSA be killed, and the US humiliated, but Iran and India will be the real winners of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

    As a result, the US will become irrelevant in Asian matters, except as an ally to non-democratic Gulf States and Israel.

  116. Don Bacon says:

    Soon Iran will reach many agreements based on the agreement, commercial and diplomatic.

    Regarding P5+1 vs. Iran, the six powers have already accepted Iran enrichment. Now in six months the US will probably propose a halt, or suspension, to enrichment. The six powers may or may not agree. If they do agree, and Iran doesn’t, what then.

    The commercial and diplomatic agreements cannot easily be undone, and there are other regional factors including Syria and Afghanistan — it’s not Iran in isolation.

    So the negative thinkers have to get beyond US-Iran. It’s bigger than that. The US is becoming more irrelevant.

  117. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    ” Only if you insist to imagine things. ”

    It seems that not only IRan got fooled but also yourself, Iran really think US would accept enrichment, Kerry have made clear that they wont, US might probably only accept 3-5% enrichment.

    “Only if you cannot comprehend English.”

    Really? So when Russia and US say that Iran doesnt have the right to enrich, they…have the right to enrich? Makes no sense just because there is no recognition and wont be, this might be the last time IRan enriched at 20%.

    Would be interesting to see how you will justify this deal in may 2014.

  118. Bibijon says:

    test1

  119. Bibijon says:

    test 2

  120. Bibijon says:

    test 3

  121. Bibijon says:

    Ok so I’ll post in bits, see where it gets stuck

    Installment 1

    Over at iranaffairs Cyrus is looking at Glenn Kessler fact checking Kerry’s claim that Iran offered Bush a nuclear deal in 2003.

    See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/12/09/kerrys-claim-that-iran-offered-bush-a-nuclear-deal-in-2003/

  122. Bibijon says:

    Installment 2

    Kessler has gone around asking the very people who dismissed Iran’s offer at the time and gives their take more weight because of their seniority in the Bush admin, while belittling the contrarian view as “Some mid-level State Department officials had wanted to test Iran’s unorthodox approach.”

    Lets think about this for a moment. Kessler asks the folks who inexplicably are not in jail, and who were too blinded by war hubris to entertain even momentarily the utility of peace, why they didn’t take the faxed offer seriously.

    E.g. “Richard Armitage, told PBS’s Frontline in 2007 that not much weight was given to the fax because it did not match up with other signals at the time from the Iranian government.”

  123. Bibijon says:

    Installment 3

    Kesser is fact-checking Kerry, when he should be fact checking Armitage. By the time that fax had arrived, Iran had provided invaluable help to US via the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan; had detained hundreds of al-Qaida fleeing Afghanistan through Iran, and had sent their passports to Kofi Anan. What signals was Armitage waiting for?

    So, Mr. Kessler, you are asking people who took the country to war on a pack of lies, whose foreign policy foresight foresaw nothing but success in Iraq, to explain if they saw the fax, and or why they didn’t act on it.

    Mr. Kessler, you are not fact checking, you are fortifying the lies of incorrigible fibbers who according to General Wesley Clark, had Iran on their list of countries to invade after Iraq.

  124. Bibijon says:

    Karl,

    Again, for your reading (and with luck comprehension) pleasure:

    The commentary from of the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press service circulated on Monday ahead of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Iran says:

    “The [joint plan of action] document opens up the prospect for Iran to fully exercise its inalienable rights as a member-nation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, including the right to enrich uranium. It implies the gradual easing of the regimen of sanctions against Iran,”

    Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_09/Russia-counts-on-positive-mindset-at-P5-1-and-Iran-talks-1576/

  125. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    December 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Yes I already responded to this?
    What Russia says is that Iran doesnt have any rights now and that will be set later on in the permanent deal.

    If you think Russia said that Iran have the right to enrich to 20% its you not me that have problem with the comprehension.

  126. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I see. Thank you very much for the clarification.

  127. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Correct, but now you need to clarify, do you think Russia said that Iran have the right to enrich to 20%?

  128. Bibijon says:

    Caestellio says:
    December 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm previous thread

    Other than global financiers wanting to take/own/steal Iran’s assets, there is another dynamic that bears paying attention to.

    Israel/Lobby/Netanyahu are going for broke over this Iran deal.

    Ditto Saudi Arabia.

    The fight they have started with the Obama admin (and the rest of P5+1) , and a portion of the US security/intelligence establishment has a tragic ending no matter which way it goes.

    If detente, and rapprochement happens despite all the Israeli/Saudi petulance, then what is to be made of the mythical power of the Lobby? Rather consequential if folks are right about the power derives from the myth.

    Conversely, if the deal with Iran is successfully derailed, what will become of the US government’s prestige in the eyes of the rest of the world? How many enemies will necons have made inside the security establishment? Will the war with the Lobby change venue from Iran to right here in DC?

    It occurs to me that Israeli/Saudi looking glass is showing them absolutely no future to behold, and hence, going for broke, regardless of consequences, has the logic of at least retarding the ‘present’, seeing as there’s no future to consider.

  129. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

    “Correct, but now you need to clarify, do you think Russia said that Iran have the right to enrich to 20%?”

    No. I think Russia said the current interim deal opens up the prospect for Iran to fully exercise its inalienable rights as a member-nation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, including the right to enrich uranium.

  130. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Correct, Iran have no encirhment right under this treaty according to P5+1. Iranian government is therefore wrong when they claim otherwhise.

    Meaning P5+1 will then later on decide what rights Iran should have. Thats not a good deal.

  131. Rd. says:

    Karl.. says:

    “Correct, but now you need to clarify, do you think Russia said that Iran have the right to enrich to 20%?”

    You are now an official graduate of Canning’s junior college of hasbara and miss-information program. Well done.

  132. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I see. Again thank you so much for the clarification. Perhaps you could write Netanyahu, and King Abdullah not to lose their shirts over this bad deal.

  133. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    You seems a bit confused?
    Now you say the deal doesnt recognize Iran’s right – Earlier it did according to yourself?

    goingtotehran.com/nuclear-negotiations-and-americas-moment-of-truth-about-iran#comment-23547

    You also said that Kerry would go to Iran before 2013 was over:

    goingtotehran.com/nuclear-negotiations-and-americas-moment-of-truth-about-iran#comment-23841

    Why not stop being bitter and admit you were wrong?

  134. Bibijon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 9:35 am

    The important thing is that you are right! There’s not much new about me being wrong, before, now, or later I take my own interpretations with a pinch of salt.

  135. Don Bacon says:

    Karl, has anyone recognized your right to comment on this blog?
    If not, does that right exist?

  136. Rd. says:

    Karl.. says:

    “Chomsky “The ‘landmark accord’ indeed includes significant Iranian concessions—though nothing comparable from the United States, which merely agreed to temporarily limit its punishment of Iran.”
    US got what it wanted, Iran got nothing.”

    What you and the hasbara team is amplifying, is nothing but noise..

    Iran got nothing;

    first of all, all the noise about the IRI about to have a nuclear bomb in a month, or 45 sec to a mAshroom have dis-appeared from the public dis-course. The enrichment is still there.

    The noise is no longer about the ‘non- existing’ nuc bomb. This by itself is tantamount to the axis dis-armament. The rest of the % this and that is just for distraction.

    Whilst all your big drums are amplifying noise, IRI is busy busting the sanctions, both from within and without. Also, note the sound regional diplomacy. By bringing in the regional countries together, IRI is building the ground work for a nuclear free ME. With Iran proven (as you highlight) got nothing (as in nuc bomb), the end goal will be to free ME from any and all nuc bombs.

    All the noise from US, Israel, Congress side, is about avoiding the UN-avoidable. Rest assured, this is not about fast food politics. However, you and canning are free to play the monopoly % game.

  137. Bibijon says:

    In other news:
    =============

    In the strongest signal in months, Pakistan announced on Tuesday it had agreed with Iran to speed up implementation of the much-delayed gas pipeline project designed to link Iran’s giant South Pars gas field with consumers in South Asia.

    ttp://tribune.com.pk/story/643682/pakistan-iran-agree-to-speed-up-work-on-gas-pipeline-project/

    Indian and Iranian officials are meeting this week to discuss how to unlock the first oil payments to Iran since the United States and other world powers eased sanctions last month in exchange for curbs to Tehran’s nuclear programme.

    ttp://profit.ndtv.com/news/industries/article-india-iran-meet-to-discuss-oil-exports-payments-374526

    Turkey revitalizes and reengages Iranian friendship

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/363691

  138. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Thats the issue, you have been wrong on many issues even when confronted with your own comments/links.

  139. Fiorangela says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 9:46 am

    The right to speak is inalienable, although sometimes imprudently exercised.

    The right to remain silent required specific definition.

    The right to enrich is inalienable.

    The right to nuclear technology without weaponization, and the obligations not to weaponize and to de-weaponize are defined by treaty. http www dot state dot gov/t/isn/trty/16281 dpt htm

  140. Karl.. says:

    Rd

    Yes Chomsky is right, the sanctions are there, new ones are coming meanwhile Iran got nothing.
    The only one that spread hasbara is you, like Israel you want Iran to surrender and get nothing back.

  141. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    The matter is what Iran have agreed upon now, to stop enrichment, thus Iran stepped away from its own rights without getting anything back by the P5+1.

    Yourself have said that the deal recognize Iran’s right but as we see, even Russia recognize no such right.

  142. Bibijon says:

    New alliances forming, while old alliances fraying
    ================================================

    “Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi threatened at the weekend that Muscat would pull out of the loose alliance if a union was announced, while Saudi Arabia, solidly backed by Bahrain, insisted it was time to move ahead.”

    From http://news.yahoo.com/gulf-leaders-focus-union-iran-ties-074551989.html

  143. Rehmat says:

    “In effect, Iran has conceded the maximum concessions regarding its strategic national defenses, nuclear facilities and uranium enrichment in what is supposedly the ‘initial’ round of negotiations, while ‘receiving’ the minimum of reciprocal concessions. This highly unfavorable, asymmetrical framework, will lead the US to see Iran as ‘ripe for regime change’ and demand even more decisive concessions designed to further weaken Iran’s defensive capacity. Future concessions will increase Iran’s vulnerability to intelligence gathering and undermine its role as a regional power and strategic ally of the Lebanese Hizbullah, the current beleaguered governments in Syria and Iraq and the Palestinians under Israeli occupation,” says professor James Petras.

    The end result: The end of Islamic Revolution in Iran.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/10/hersh-obama-lied-on-sarin-attack-in-syria/

  144. Bibijon says:

    Yet, yet another day, yet another poll
    ===================================

    USA Today Finds Public Doesn’t Like Iran Deal if They Don’t Know What’s in It

    http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/12/10/usa-today-finds-public-doesnt-like-iran-deal-if-they-dont-know-whats-in-it/

  145. Don Bacon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Don Bacon The matter is what Iran have agreed upon now, to stop enrichment,..

    Iran hasn’t stopped enrichment, Karl — get a clue.

  146. Bibijon says:

    USA Today at least asks the clueless for an opinion nonetheless
    =============================================================

    But David Ignatius just makes it up: “The public doesn’t want war, but it doesn’t seem to like entangling diplomacy much, either.”

    http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/10/itching-for-confrontation-with-iran/

  147. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Daniel Larison refutes the nonsense of David Ignatius, that the American public does not want diplomacy. (Amconmag.com)

  148. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    So you deny that Iran have stopped its right to enrich at 20% under this deal?

  149. James Canning says:

    Financial Times has interesting report today, regarding some hotheads at Tehran University who are angry with Zarif for his comment that Iran is in no position to confront the US militarily. Which is obviously true.

  150. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You like to argue Iran has agreed to “stop enrichment”, when you mean Iran is ready and willing to end any enrichment to 20%. Correct?

  151. Bibijon says:

    From http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hgcXVoTiNqpEZNAJWJB3Zf_t95Tg

    Iran ready to halt 20% nuclear enrichment: Ahmadinejad

    (AFP) – Oct 4, 2011

    TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday reiterated Tehran’s readiness to “immediately” stop production of low enriched uranium of 20 percent, provided world powers give it the nuclear material.

    “If they give us the 20 percent (enriched) fuel, we will immediately halt 20 percent (enrichment),” Ahamdinejad said in an interview aired live on Iranian state-run television repeating his comments to the New York Times when he was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly in late September.

    ———–

    Well, it turned out that they didn’t give Iran the 20 percent (enriched) fuel. Iran produced it herself. And, not needing to enrich to that level anymore, it just became a useful bargaining chip.

  152. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    What “propaganda” do you think I have put out? I have said Iran can have a limited nuclear program, for years now.

  153. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I commend you for promoting a Middle East free of nukes. I have done this for years now.

  154. kooshy says:

    Commander of IRGC, General Aziz Jafari (Yazdi and originally student of Architecture) correctly understand and describes Iran’s purpose for participating in these nuclear negotiations he said “these negotiations can only end up with one of two results, either at the end reduction in sanctions will be achieved, or if not, if they put more pressure till Iran cross the red line, which brings us back to beginning, there is no third way”

    فرمانده کل سپاه با اشاره به مذاکرات 1+5 اظهار داشت: موضوع هسته‌ای یک بهانه است و آنچه که در دور اول مذاکرات دادیم حداکثری و آنچه گرفتیم حداقلی بود؛ البته مهم برای ما آینده است و تاکنون از خطوط قرمز نظام رد نشده‌اند.

    جعفری ادامه داد: این مذاکرات دو نتیجه دارد یا کاهش تحریم‌ها به نتیجه می‌رسد یا اینکه اگر بیشتر از این فشار بیاورند تا ایران از خط قرمز عبور کند، برمی‌گردیم به مرحله اول راه سومی ندارد.

    وی در همین راستا تأکید کرد: در هر حال تهدیدات برداشته نمی‌شود و الآن هم وجود دارد و مشکلات ما با دشمن سر جایش است

    – See more at: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920919001701#sthash.G9ivEPO5.dpuf

  155. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Richard Armitage generally tries to cover up the gross incompetence of the George W. Bush administration, in its dealings with Iran.

  156. kooshy says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Why do you even bother to waste your time with this hasbara troll, all he aims to do is interrupt the discussion. If he is really interested he should search all this himself, and if he really don’t care to know what the facts are, then he is entitled to believe what he wants.

  157. James Canning says:

    Scott McConnell has a fine piece commending Obama for his performance at Brookings the other day, in defending the deal with Iran:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/obama-at-the-saban-summit/

  158. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Are you calling Karl a propagandist?

  159. James Canning says:

    Gareth Porter has a great piece today:

    http://www.lobelog.com/wapo-fact-checker-fails-on-iran-nuclear-fatwa/#more-22440

    (Porter goes after Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post)

  160. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    December 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I commend you for promoting a Middle East free of nukes. I have done this for years now.

    Gav James

    Can you in any way, relate your above sentence to this proverb (specially reformulated for western Christian understanding)

    “Is forbidden to give the church the Candle that is much needed in one’s own home”

  161. Fiorangela says:

    It’s not so much that David Ignatius is a propaganda tool for the right wing, it’s that he’s so obvious a tool, and a talent-free hack.

    Wouldn’t you think the most mostest nation in the world would have better people doing its PR?

    As for Obama doing us all proud at Brookings, well, the fact that Haim Saban, a self-described Israel firster who made his fortune hawking cartoons, should be managing the Pres-ee-dent of the Freeee World, made me wanna holler.

  162. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    December 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    and

    James Canning says:
    December 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    How very Anglo of you.

    The NPT says that NO ONE should have nuclear weapons.
    The USA signed the agreement that requires the USA work to get rid of its nuclear weapons.
    USA has not done so.

    ditto for jolly old England.

    <a href = "http://peaceandhealthblog.com/2013/11/27/nuclear-weapon-free-iran/#&quot; How to Guarantee a Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran —

    “Israel, India, Pakistan, and the DPRK—have crossed the unpardonable line into the dangerous and amoral territory long since occupied by the US, Russia, the UK, China, and France. These nine are the real nuclear rogue States that should now stop using Iran (and each other) as an excuse for avoiding their own commitments to disarmament.

    A treaty banning nuclear weapons and compelling these nine to eliminate the 17,000 instruments of mass murder they hold among them is what the world should now focus its attention on. That will be the best guarantee that neither Iran nor any other nuclear-capable country will claim the right in the future to threaten the existence of us all.”

  163. Bibijon says:

    kooshy says:
    December 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Just hoping to figure out what other than release from the retards’ school, or in other cases release from sexual pervert rehab centers do hasbara recruits get to recompense them for their posts here.

  164. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    “Until we see how events flow from here on out, it’s too early to assume anything has changed.”

    “Ryan Crocker is no friend of the Assad regime. He is an unsentimental foreign policy realist. He seems to have come to the conclusion that the regime has prevailed over the United States and the West, and it is now time to sue for terms. “

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/syria-talk-to-assad

    One point to keep in mind RSH, as you point out, the intent is there.. no question.. however, the ability to continue with their project is increasingly diminishing.

    in the mean time, there will be lots of squealing from congress and alike. I gather, in about 6 months or so, you will hear yet another round of loud squealing coming from that zio/neo crowd.

  165. Bibijon says:

    Rd. says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    “One point to keep in mind RSH, as you point out, the intent is there.. no question.. however, the ability to continue with their project is increasingly diminishing.”

    Making the distinction between intent on the one hand, and the ability to attain the intended objective, does seem to be RSH’s weak point.

    Just to bolster Ryan Crocker’s remark, here is Obama himself on Saturday:

    “If I had an option, if we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, I would take it. But –that particular option is not available. And so as a consequence, what we have to do is to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to assure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. And the best way for us to assure it is to test this diplomatic path …”

  166. kooshy says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    “If I had an option, if we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, I would take it. But –that particular option is not available. And so as a consequence, what we have to do is to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to assure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. And the best way for us to assure it is to test this diplomatic path …”

    Bibijon when I read Obama’s remarks in Saban center last Saturday, I thought to myself what he really is telling the American community of Israel supporters is really this. Here is what I think he meant and was telling his financiers:

    “Look folks with regard to Iran with all honesty for years we did what you asked US to do, as per your suggestions and others we attempted various tools and tricks, we did war threats, sabotage, covert operations, assassinations, various sanctions, etc. none has worked we have failed in our policies, for a regime change or even to disarm Iran. There are not many options and none for what you are asking left. Believe me the only thing left is to resort to a no aggression détente, because if we don’t threaten Iran with a war or try to topple its system they wouldn’t retaliate in kind like if need be to make a nuclear device, but the other way around for sure they will make one and guess who will be the one who would get benefit of that.

  167. Rd. says:

    Bibijon says:

    “Obama himself on Saturday:
    assure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon”

    one of the side effect of this policy change is;

    when the mantle of Iran’s (non-existing) nuclear bombs is wiped off, invariably, the iziz nuke will be the hot plate that no one would want to touch.

    When the tide against the apartheid changed, no matter how much US/Reagan and Canning’s idol Thatcher supported that regime, it came to an end. Now 4 US presidents (and UK/EU Barons) go to SA to kiss the foot of Madiba. All because the world is changing and they have to, at least, pretend to be on its (right) side..

    The tide is changing once more…..

  168. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Many years before the end of white rule in South Africa, I easily could see the handwriting on the wall.

    But I did admire Margaret Thatcher, even if I did not agree with all she promoted or opposed.

  169. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I have supported Russia’s position re: Syrian civil war. It needs to be resolved by negotiations, with no “pre-condition” that Syrian gov’t agree to abandon power.

  170. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Are you not aware of the considerable reduction in numbers of nukes held by Russia and the US?

    Russia has been the party a bit reluctant to take nuke levels much lower.

  171. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Are you suggesting I do not see the merits of forcing Israel to get rid of its nukes?
    Or, are you annoyed for my pointing out I long have supported this?

  172. James Canning says:

    Pat Buchanan has some interesting comments on Ronald Reagan and South Africa:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/what-reagan-got-right-about-south-african-sanctions/

  173. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    December 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    My thumbs already having been pulled out of joint, I am engaging another form of torture — reviewing Jay Carney’s press briefings over the past several months.

    I shoulda filed the notes when I heard it the first time — when Carney explained that the US retained it nuclear stockpile as a ________ .

    In other words, the USA, just like Israel, makes its own rules — or ignores rules and the treaties that it signs.

    Yes, I am sorta kinda aware that USA has sorta reduced its nukes weapons arsenal. In 2011 Ellen Tauscher told the Commonwealth Club of California that the US is actually spending — er, investing more in its nuclear arsenal, and maintains redundancy, because it wants to be sure that if you need to use a nuclear weapon, it is going to be usable. In other words, the United States has not taken to heart the goal, function, deal and contracted promise it signed in the NPT:

    “Article VI

    Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

  174. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    December 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Kooshy,
    “are you annoyed for my pointing out I long have supported this?”

    Gav James –

    Since you are the Gav e nar of this blog, there is nothing your honor writes that annoys me. I just wanted and humbly tried to see if your honor’s brain in any way can relate the proverb (even though heavily modified to be comprehended by western Christians) I wrote to the nuclear free zone thoughts you had posted earlier. My intention was to see if your honor’s brain will get a hint from the proverb I wrote, and might relate and use to connect the dots for suggesting your nuclear thoughts to other parts of world, like with nuclear program in her majesty’s islands in and near north Atlantic. Gav James please let me know if and when the coin has dropped.

    Cheers

  175. Persian Gulf says:

    http://alef.ir/vdca6anuu49nww1.k5k4.html?208012

    Looks like a big #to me. Not sure what percentage of the overall # of couples this would be. Probably atleast 15-20%

  176. Don Bacon says:

    kooshy says:
    December 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    when I read Obama’s remarks in Saban center last Saturday, I thought to myself what he really is telling the American community of Israel supporters …….“Look folks with regard to Iran . . . Believe me the only thing left is to resort to a no aggression détente, because if we don’t threaten Iran with a war or try to topple its system they wouldn’t retaliate in kind like if need be to make a nuclear device, but the other way around for sure they will make one and guess who will be the one who would get benefit of that.

    How does Obama look at this?
    Obama, Saban Center:
    –But what I’ve consistently said is even as I don’t take any options off the table, what we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically.
    –what we’ve done in exchange is kept all these sanctions in place
    –we’ve turned the spigot slightly and we’ve said, here’s maximum $7 billion out of the over $100 billion
    –a comprehensive, verifiable, diplomatic resolution, without taking any other options off the table if we fail to achieve that.
    –if at the end of six months it turns out that we can’t make a deal, we’re no worse off, and in fact we have greater leverage with the international community to continue to apply sanctions and even strengthen them.
    –when people ask, why should we try to negotiate with them, we can’t trust them, we’re being naïve, what I try to describe to them is not the choice between this deal and the ideal, but the choice between this deal and other alternatives.
    –the best way for us to assure it is to test this diplomatic path, understanding that it’s not based on trust; it’s based on what we can verify.
    –we will continue to contest their efforts where they’re engaging in terrorism, where they’re being disruptive to our friends and our allies.
    http://tinyurl.com/lkvzqu2

    détente? I doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like a colonial master talking to a supposed servant nation. ‘It’s my way or the highway.’ Or worse — all options on the table.

  177. Don Bacon says:

    Thankfully Obama no longer controls the process (if he ever did). He’s a purposeless bag of hot air.

  178. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Don
    Tell me how would you understand this sentence of him “ If I had an option , if we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities

    And so as a consequence, what we have to do is to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to assure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.

    So to you this means that he has the option to achieve what he wants?, doesn’t that ifmeans he knows he doesn’t have the option, and since he doesn’t have that option he believes the best way to prevent Iran passing his red ( Having a nuclear weapon) line is to negotiate for some form of settlement , what format do you think Iran that has resisted for 35 years will agree too?, to me that means accepting Iran as is that is the détente I am talking about. Much of that is underway, Iran will test the water will accept some limited time restraints on his production but will not accept changing her regional policy or her posture.
    So if you don’t have a military option or if the sanction is not making Iran to fold may be the best option is to negotiate for some sort of détente, that all he is saying, I am not claiming what he will get he will like or will accept but like he says he doesn’t have much options but to accept an independent acting Iran or in few years or months to lose the coalition the US has built.

    Don Bacon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    “Thankfully Obama no longer controls the process (if he ever did). He’s a purposeless bag of hot air.’

    He never did and the person before him didn’t either, never less, he now is the mouth piece and the face of the ugly regime that controls this country.

  179. Don Bacon says:

    Obama is not doing détente.

    dé•tente or de•tente (deɪˈtɑnt, -ˈtɑ̃t)
    n. a relaxing of tension, esp. between nations.

  180. Don Bacon says:

    Bacevich, at the link above:
    “In Tehran lies the possibility of finding a way out of perpetual war. Although by no means guaranteed, the basis for a deal exists: We accept the Islamic republic, they accept the regional status quo. They get survival, we get a chance to repair self-inflicted wounds. It’s the same bargain that Nixon offered Mao: Keep your revolution at home, and we’ll make our peace with it. Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program provide the medium for achieving this larger end.”

    None of this is true.
    –The US is increasing military/naval power in the gulf, and up-arming the Gulf dictators.
    –The US has shown no indication of accepting the Islamic Republic. It wants obedience, and is offering only to turn the spigot slightly while keeping all opinions on the table (i.e. military attack).
    –The US is NOT saying keep your revolution and we’ll make peace with it.

    If this is détente I’ll eat my hat. Détente is being friendly to another nation, as equals, not blabbering all this BS about testing a diplomatic path while warships are off their coast and crippling sanctions are continued.

  181. Don Bacon says:

    Make that options not opinions, on the table.

  182. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Don what do you think is wrong with the Americans, I am not talking about the party system government that makes up the regime, I am talking about the everyday American street, why they don’t get it?

    In last 60 years they spend 25 years confronting china getting nowhere, 20 (10+10) years confronting Vietnam getting nothing, 35 years threatening and confronting Iran and now he tell his party’s financiers if I had the option there is no one in this country to ask this SOBs if you didn’t have the option, WTF you are dragging this country to shit hole?

    Don, after the US/ China rapprochement for years US was selling advance fighters to Taiwan, maintain all her military ports etc. Détente does not mean US folds and goes away that is called defeat, Détente means we will not be hostile as long as you are not hostile, but in no way we are an ally or strategically aligned that’s all it is happening one shouldn’t except more to take place, even that is iffy, but what are the other choices they have? How are they maintain the coalition if they don’t accommodate?

  183. Don Bacon says:

    The US obviously has never had détente with PRC. I generally like your comments to pieces kooshy but you’re over-using the word, which is why I offered the definition.

    Actually PR China is a good parallel. It has never been considered as a equal, and Chinese are often referred to as ChiComs, or Red Chinese.

    Now the despicable Japanese and Vietnamese, who have killed many Americans, are now favored allies. It’s all politics.

    Which brings us back to Iran, the designated USA enemy in the Middle East, which suits the Jewish lobby and allows huge arms sales to the Gulf States. It’s a twofer — so why not keep Iran as an enemy. It pays well.

    So the well-funded “strategic communications” of the Pentagon and the also well-funded “public diplomacy” of the State Department get behind it, and line up guys like Bacevich (who’s paid) to sing the approved songs, and we’re off. Most of Americans think Iran is the US’s biggest threat.

    Why is Iran a US threat? Because Obama and Biden and Bush and every damn politician who relies on AIPAC for his/her seat says so — or they become an ex-politician, like Cynthia McKinney.

    So some bloggers call Americans sheeple. But I don’t. It’s not their fault. In our daily lives when somebody tells us something, we customarily believe them. We couldn’t live otherwise, could we. So people naturally generally believe what they’re told. It’s the president, the media — Iran = threat. Of course it’s BS, but there it is. And Obama will keep it, he and his friend Netanyahu. Barry and Bibi, together forever.

    Détente means a relaxing of tension, esp. between nations, becoming friendly. It isn’t happening.

    BUT IT’S OKAY! The real changes are being made regionally. Iran is giving back some islands to UAE, is cozying up to India, China, Turkey, Russia and Afghanistan. The real settlement will be in the region, not with Washington, which is becoming irrelevant.

    So it’s all good, thanks to Iran expert diplomacy, and NOT to Obama (sorry, Bacevich).

  184. kooshy says:

    “Iran is giving back some islands to UAE”

    Really ? let me know when that happens, may be about the same time as RSH war or about the same time US returns Porto Rico

  185. Sineva says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 10, 2013 at 11:48 pm
    Agreed,we are a very very long way from detente.

  186. Castellio says:

    Usually, after a fresh posting by the Leveretts, most of the commentators posting here agree with the substance of their position.

    Interestingly, that has not happened with this post “Bacevich and Chomsky on the Iran nuclear deal”.

    Why is that?

    Are we clear in our understanding of what the Leveretts are saying with this post? Have they made it clear?

    Just wondering.

  187. Irshad says:

    kooshy says:
    December 11, 2013 at 1:02 am

    In case you missed it, something seems to be going on:

    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/12/iran-uae-close-to-deal-on-three-islands.html?m=1

    @fyi – what is your view on this? Is this a tactical move to isolate Saudi Arabia?

  188. Irshad says:

    @Fyi – There is a constant line that I hear from people that Iran’s regional rise is a threat to US/GCC in the MENA region – and some now claiming that this has been dented by her support of Syria. This regional rise of Iran must have been done by Iran’s soft power – what is that? What do people find appealing if what Iran is offering as opposed to the petro-monarchies? What do people mean by rise of Irans stature in the region when she is facing sn economic war and a hot war in Syria? Please share your view on this?

  189. nico says:

    Again I am not sure to understand what the emotions are all about.

    Iran has 3 options at the current juncture.

    The first one being to surrender totally, that is totally scrap enrichment capability and the Arak reactor.
    The second option is to keep up the policy of defiance and building up the uranium stockpile which is of no civilian use for the moment and reprocess Arak wastes.
    The third option is the middle ground. That is keeping the enrichment capability but size it according to real civilian or research purpose

    Iran elected the third option.
    Some would argue that Iran should have kept the third option.
    But clearly that is leading to further confrontation.
    Ane that is not justifiable for civilian purpose.

    Somme would argue that powers are keeping and modernizing nuclear weapons. Thus it is not a balanced deal.
    Well, Iran always said it is not after nuclear weapons.
    According to Iran official policy and the SL fatwa.
    In addition, from tge very start of the revolution Iran has been against WMD. Has proven by Iran not retaliating in kind against Iraq CW attacks.

    Why would Oran change position now ? Why keeping up building uranium stockpile ?

    The main assumption for Iran policy is that it is struggling to break the western monopoly and embargoing over nuclear tech.
    Actually, 10 years ago, the westerners did not even want Iran to get few centrifuges for reaserch puropse.
    The westerners denied Iran fuel for civilian purpose.
    The westerners vetoed the IAEA civilian support to Iran regarding civilian nuclear knowledge.
    The westerners renegez past deals related to civilian nuclear infrastructures.
    The westerners pressured other country like Argentina, China and Russia not tl provide nuclear support.

    The western embargoing of civilian nuclear tech was not justifiable and was politically motivated.

    So, one realistic assumption is that, by escalating the issue, Iran strategy has been to break up the siege regarding access to nuclear tech.

    On the other hand the westerners goal has been from the very start to victimize Iran and deny Iran its logical and rightfull ability to develop its knowledge based economy.

    Canning idiotic (as usual) stance that China, Russia and others support western effort willlingly is sophistry and pure falsehood.
    As proven by China reneging the construction of an enrichment facility in Iran under Western pressure.
    As proven by Russia building Busherh against Western pressure and embargo.
    As proven by Argentina being pressured to abandon its nuclear relation with Iran (ie the AMIA false flag conspiracy).

    With the current interim deal, the US did not achieved Western unsaid goals.

    To the contrary, Iran is forcing the westerners to give away their 30 years old policies of civilian nuclear tech embargoing.

    By closing this chapter, Iran will have access to civilian nuclear tech as a full and rightfull member of the IAEA.

    So. Who is the winner ?
    Who, in effect, achieved his decades old goals and who did not ?
    Whose policy has been consistent from the very start ?

    Some would argue that Iran, as a matter lf realpolitik, needs nuclear weapons or a Japan option.
    Well, nuclear weapons are not in Iran doctrine and as someone asked few posts ago: why Iran would have exeperienced a revolution to begin with if that were to give up the revolution principles ?

    The Japan option is obvioulsy related to civilian capability and does nit trespass the revolution redline
    Thus it shall be obtained.

    As a sweetener, Iran moral position is clearly against Canning disgusting, sophistic and immoral position regarding powers being obliged to keep nuclear weapon because of some invented justification of balance of power.
    That is a nice rebutal to Canning idiocy and truly a punch on his dirty mouth.
    And proof that morality and realpolitik could be related.
    Contrary to Canning falsehood and racist and supremacist (some would say satanic) logic.

    Besides, Iran is keeping the revolution ideal the regarding Israel or the ME free of transregional military forces.
    As proven again by Iran recent stances and official position.

    Thus, again the Petras article regarding Iran surrender is total BS.
    Petras would like Iran to keep animosity with the US as a matter of principle. Iran being the bearer of the world fight against western world order and world inequality.
    That is an idealistic view of an impotent, communist, “has been” university capital P “professor”.
    Iran first ane foremost reponisibility is to protect its own interest and those lf its allies. Period.
    Iran could have views and position of principle regarding the world order but is not obliged to lead the fight for others. Contrary to the unhappy and disappointed views of the capital “P” doctrinaire.

    As a conclusion history is not written yet regarding the final nuclear deal.
    The real sticking point regarding the deal would be Arak as such and its wastes reprocessing.
    But is it that much of a big deal while Iran achieved its main goal ?

  190. Don Bacon says:

    kooshy says:
    December 11, 2013 at 1:02 am

    “Iran is giving back some islands to UAE” — Really ? let me know when that happens, may be about the same time as RSH war or about the same time US returns Porto Rico

    news report:
    Iran and the UAE are reportedly close to reaching a deal on returning three Iranian-occupied islands in the Arabian Gulf to the UAE.

    Sources cited by Defense News said a deal for the return of the strategic islands to the UAE was laid out during the recent visit of UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan to Tehran.

    They added that a response was presented during last week’s return visit by his Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif.

    The report quoted Theodore Karasik, director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, as confirming that the two countries are on the verge of a breakthrough.

    It is understood that a workable agreement for the transfer of the islands to the UAE would see Iran retain the seabed rights.
    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/iran-uae-said-be-close-islands-agreement-530346.html

  191. Don Bacon says:

    The situations in Iran and Afghanistan are similar. Both countries, following different paths, are in situations where they need to shake off US domination.

    Leaders in both countries, Ruhani in Iran and Karzai in Afghanistan, the first just starting his term in office and the second ending his, have apparently decided to generate regional alliances in order to compensate for losses in US influence in their countries governance.

    Iran, excelling in diplomacy especially now with Ruhani and Zarif, is courting other Gulf nations especially UAE and Qatar, neighbors including Iraq, Turkey, of course Syria, and Afghanistan, also regional powers India, China and Russia, also corporations including autos (France), transportation and oil (Europe).

    The US, poor at diplomacy, is becoming irrelevant.

  192. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 11, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Don this is a BS , Iran’s position on this regard has not changed before and after revolution , it can’t change even by Ayatollah Khamenie and approval of parliament who ever promise returning it will be hanged on first street light post entering Teheran , people writing these have no idea on internal dynamics of Iran. To balance your news become un-American and try to read the other sides as well.

  193. kooshy says:

    If you can read Persian here is the other sides headline in Fars News

    In final declaration of the GCC meeting “ UAE’s baseless claim was repeated”

    http://media.farsnews.com/Media-NR/Uploaded/Files/Documents/Fars24/lastedition.pdf

    If you understand what is going on there is a campaign to discredit the new Iranian government and part of campaign is to weaken their internal support that is why this news is created.

    Discrediting Iranian government and Zarif will help weakening and perhaps bring a desperation for Iran’s government at the negotiations, which is beneficial to west, Israel, GCC, but that would not happen Iranians by now are used to this kind of news.

    Here is a new one for you “Syasat Khahar Mother Nadarad”. Meaning Politics don’t care for mother and sisters

  194. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    December 11, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I do not believe it.

    Iranians might revert back to prior arrangements with UAE for Abu Musa – may be that is hat is being discussed.

    But given the conditions of extreme zero-sum game in the region and the relation of Arabs to Iran, this is highly unlikely.

    And then inside Iran, I just do not see how any government could survive ceding territory to enemies of Iran.

  195. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    December 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Nothing that happens in the Near East could even remotely be a threat to the United States – in absolute strategic sense.

    The Americans are used to playing in the Near East, first against USSR and now against Iran.

    It is just a game for them without strategic substance behind it.

    The English were playing in the Near East for multiple reasons; for the security of India, for balancing against the Ottoman & Russian Empires, for the security of the Suez Canal.

    None of that obtains for US – it is just an indulgence for them.

    Now they repeat the canard of oil as an strategic concern, but that is not a threat to US.

    [One could argue that the gas supply to EU by Russia is a strategic threat, which of course it is not.]

    The so-called Rise of Iran has to do, in my opinion, with two broad category of phenomena:

    1- The establishment of the restricted representative system of the Islamic Republic which has been the longest uninterrupted constitutional order among Muslim polities.

    This order has enabled Iranians to participate en-mass politically in the political life of their country and to formulate goals and set policies.

    The Iranian government has been thus able to pursues goals and policies that are outcomes of a popular & democratic process; however imperfect it has been.

    And it has been able to do so without foreign interference; i.e. Iranians have paid a very heavy price for maintaining their independence from super-powers and other pretenders.

    Iran is the only Muslim polity to do so since the demise of the Ottoman Empire – Iran is an independent strategic actor.

    2-The multiple and disastrous failures of other state or non-state actors to formulate and execute a positive vision of the future.

    One can start with the Ba’ath State of Iraq’s attack against Iran – as though we still lived in the 17-th century. Iraq was more advanced than Iran, she had more money from oil and her climate permitted her to harvest 2 crops every year. If any Arab state was destined for full-development like a European state, it was Iraq. She could have been the bread-basket of the Near East, the cultural hub of the Arab world, etc.

    But what did they do instead? Start a war of Muslims killing Muslims.

    Egypt sold herself to US and the Palestinians to Israel, got some money and weapons from US, and acted like a nowkar for 30 years under Mr. Mubarak. While cultural and musical developments continued in Egypt, it was all without support from the state. That state’s brutal repression of dissidents basically gave rise to enraged Muslims that we see today who oppose any state with any vestige of Western influence.

    And now we come to Axis Powers and Israel; repeated wars against Lebanon, against Iraq, against Palestinians with no end in sight for the end of hostilities and no credibly positive view of the future.

    US, Israel, EU have had a free hand (from USSR or any other state save Iran) to do as they pleased in the Near East since 1991. The results is what you see, 22 years of failure to settle anything, peacefully or otherwise. 22 years of causing Muslims to die and leaving a path of destruction behind them all over the Near East.

    Look no further than Syria – a country that wanted to be friends with US and EU but was wounded to wound Iran – and Israel and Saudi Arabia wanted that as well. And they got their other nowkar – Turkey – to help facilitate the killing of Muslims by Muslims in Syria.

    Which brings me to this: across the Near East (including Afghanistan and Pakistan) , at this moment, minorities only have the Islamic Republic of Iran to safe-guard their physical existence. To those minorities must be added the various sane Sunni Muslims who do not wish to be ruled by people who are pursuing a fantasy project of “Pure Islam”.

    US, EU, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey cannot articulate a positive view of the future for Muslims – Shia or Sunni in the Near East. All they promise is more death and more destruction.

    In these types of situations, those who can consistently and credibly point to a better future for everyone will prevail.

    That is why I am led to believe that the Shia Crescent is now here to stay – within it, there is a positive view of future is possible. Outside of it, there are meaningless jockeying for power by the likes of Turkey and Israel and Saudi Arabia – all sustained by the enormous power of US and EU.

    Take away Axis Powers and the Near East will quiet down.

  196. Don Bacon says:

    fyi says:
    December 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

    There’s a lot of truth in what you say, and there is some gamesmanship for the US, but it’s not totally a game.
    1. Domestically US politicians get unlimited support from powerful AIPAC and US corporations, and the government retains concentrated power by having a nationally-recognized enemy.
    2. Foreign policy is enhanced by stoking the Iran threat while allying with the real terrorists, KSA Qatar and Israel.
    3. Financially there is a huge benefit, again stoked by the Iran threat, for US corporations selling arms to the countries most able to afford them and for the lobbyists involved in all this, which brings us full circle to #1.

  197. Fiorangela says:

    Kooshy, Dec 11 @9:28 am

    “Here is a new one for you “Syasat Khahar Mother Nadarad”. Meaning Politics don’t care for mother and sisters”

    = = =

    One of the many amazing things about this particular blog is the insight it gives to the metaphors that populate Iranian thinking.

    If I had a million dollars, I’d study one year of C Span phone calls to examine the metaphors used. One rarely if ever hears folklore, parables, myths, literary references. Mostly, people use sports metaphors — football, baseball, hockey, basketball and sports meta concepts — Win! Victory!; lots of allusions to the bible, most of them hackneyed; lots of references to Hollywood movies & TV series as if THEY were gospel.

    If I had 10 million, I’d study Congressional use of metaphors. The extra $9 million would be for showers and drycleaning.

  198. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

    “There’s a lot of truth in what you say, and there is some gamesmanship for the US, but it’s not totally a game.”

    Don

    The question I asked earlier regarding what American street thinks and why is not drawing a lesson after all these losses, you ignored. I really don’t think you or any other American knows and feels the depth of their exceptionalism eagle maniac mentality, sure you don’t like what you see and feel something is wrong but you blame that on the elites. Is simple to say American street is uninformed, ignorant, likes to fart and watch football, all that but there is a believe which makes that easy and possible. This believe exist in all Americans from all walks of life including their statesman, even in you, look at all writings by RSH he can’t believe and accept there is a limit to American can do power, both of you guys went to Nam and lost the war badly, on last days escaping your ass off of the roof of the embassy but still believe there is no limit to American power, that is the problem that exist in this country.

  199. Castellio says:

    Kooshy – well, yes and no.

    The American street is aware of the foreign power limits. That is why they were completely against the Sryian intervention.

    They know they lost in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They haven’t a good idea of why they are still fighting, and are confused (and many angry) by the actions of their own government.

    However, American industry thrives off the military-industrial complex: it is the major motor of the American economy, almost the only financial stimulus tool the US government allows itself, and represents the “assets” of many of the permanently wealthy.

    RSH knows that the elite/wealthy class aren’t about to abandon the military-industrial complex and its government funding. In fact, they expect a “reasonable” annual increase. He is well aware that there is a limit to American power, but he makes clear that there is no limit to the need for financial return, which is the active priority in almost all of the thinking in the US, at all levels. This is the American system and the American way. It’s the ideological join between the street and the owners – self interest rules. To suggest acting otherwise actually seems irrational, impossible to conceive, silly even.

    There is a certain naiveté about the US which analyses government actions as a “rational” actor, or a “moral” actor, with ‘humane’ concerns.

    In fact, there is a very thin, very thin, political class which gives a veneer of “greater good’ and ‘collective thinking’ to what is unfettered and rampant self-interest. Policy is determined by specific self-interests of the dominant players (a good example is Obama healthcare).

    Put that all together, and what you get, in effect, is that when the US “loses”, it will not recognize the loss as “final”, but will reinvest to ‘strengthen’ itself for the next round, based on “self-interests”. It’s a colossal waste of resources and opportunity, but that is the dynamic.

  200. Irshad says:

    Fyi – thank you for your response. I have gained a few new insights to this topic.

    In your estimation, has the resistance axis decided to go on the offensive against Saudi Arabia after Pres. Assad openly declared the Saudis and Wahabism as major cause of death and instability and Mr Nasrallah ppenly blaming Saudi for the bombing of the Iranian embassybin Beirut? We also had an previously unknown Iraqi group firing mortars into Saudi Arabia on the border with Iraq.

  201. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    One does well to keep in mind that al-Qaeda wants to overthrow the Saudi monarchy.

  202. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you that the US does not have anything close to the strategic interests Britain had in the Middle East decades ago.

    We always should remember that the Israel lobby wants a huge American military presence in the ME. To “protect” Israel.

  203. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Rouhani and Zarif do not see a “zero sum” situation in the Middle East. And one most definitely does not obtain there.

  204. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.

    But pressure needs to be put on Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  205. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    December 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    No.

  206. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    “In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.But pressure needs to be put on Israel to get rid of its nukes.”

    Dirty ? (Mouth ?)
    Exeptionalist ?
    Thus racist and supremacist ?

    Everyone to make its own opinion.
    My bad bad bad language is pretty clear on my views.
    But at least it is always supported and justifies by clear moral and solid logical connection.
    Compare that to someone sophistry and immoral nature.

    What a joke.

  207. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    December 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

    All:

    An Israeli View projection:

  208. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    “In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.
    But pressure needs to be put on Israel to get rid of its nukes.”

    James, could you please elaborate?
    What makes these states different?
    Is it NPT? Is it their size? Race? Cread? Wealth? Culture? Power? What?
    One has signed NPT and not getting rid of nukes, the other, well…

  209. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    “In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.”

    Gav James I (we all) knew what your view is, but I was hoping to get your vista, any chance you vista is any different?

    Castellio says:
    December 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    “Kooshy – well, yes and no.”

    Castellio- Yes and know, I have lived here long enough to understand the street American mentality, there is twofold to that, one is that both lower middle and upper class knows what their country is doing (very much like the Europeans) meaning they directly and correctly relate their way of life and their standard of living with their aggressive foreign policy of domination of other people land and labor, very much like what colonist do. They know their elites are going out to get cheap resources (labor or material) in every election that is said to them, they call it American interest, but the second part is they also are brought up believing in their exceptionalism meaning there is nothing they can’t do they equate wars on earth with peasants (who will fight them to end since they have nothing to lose if they don’t fight for very little position they have) to that of going to moon and Mars, they can win any challenge otherwise is un-American, no matter how much and how many times they lose on earth they still can’t believe that was due to their incompetence, or more importantly because they were doing something that was not good to do. They are the nation who are brought up with the mentality that there is nothing we can’t do and when we do it we are the best doing it, and everything we do is pure good. They irony is the American street takes the first fold ( interest) and second fold (exceptionalism) and hides itself in between by being ignorant watching football like they don’t know what is going on or they don’t really allow people to know what is going on.

    This mentality is what we are dealing with all of us on this planet.

  210. Fiorangela says:

    Imagine what the world would be like if Atlantis had survived and Britain sank beneath the waves.

  211. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm
    “In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.
    But pressure needs to be put on Israel to get rid of its nukes.”

    James, could you please elaborate?

    What is the difference between these states?
    Why should one get rid of its nukes and the other not?
    Is it race? Religion? Creed? Country size? Power? Geography? Wealth? What?
    Why should one, which is an NPT signatory keep hers, while the other…

  212. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    If you think it makes better sense to try to force Britain to get rid of its nukes, rather than to pressure Israel, that of course is your right. I, however, see it as pointless.

  213. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    The primary object at this time is to try to avoid another war in the Middle East, by resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute. If you think the way to do this is to attack Britain for possessing nukes, go ahead.

  214. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    The US war against Iran will not be prevented by the resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis – a manufactured crisis by P5.

    That war will only be prevented when the US planners and leaders re-evaluate US strategic position.

    They are not yet ready to do so, in my opinion and will not be so for at least another decade as the Japan Malaise eats away at their margin of error and hastens the decay inside the United States.

    In the Court of the Mad King, there are no funds for replacing & upgrading city lighting in Detroit, a city of 700,000 souls ($ 400 million is needed) but there is $ 500 million available for rocket development in Israel.

    You cannot do business with such people.

  215. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    December 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Good post

  216. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Kooshy, Dec 11 @9:28 am

    “Here is a new one for you “Syasat Khahar Mother Nadarad”. Meaning Politics don’t care for mother and sisters”

    Sorry Fiorangela, I just realized I didn’t write that proverb very accurately more accurate way is “Syasat Kahar Madar Nadarad” meaning “Poltics don’t have sister and mother” meaning when it comes to politics anything goes there is no respect for one’s honor.

  217. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    December 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    The Detroit vs. rocket you cite is instructive (sadly).

    As one symptom of a perverse and rampant sociopolitical disease, it highlights the fact that not a single soul is immune to this madness – not the people in Detroit, not the people in Iran, … nor anywhere else. And, as you correctly point out, one cannot make a lasting deal with madness. Let us hope that the tactical pause in insanity lasts as long as it can!

  218. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    December 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm
    “If you think it makes better sense to try to force Britain to get rid of its nukes, rather than to pressure Israel, that of course is your right. I, however, see it as pointless.”

    Deeply sophistic statement.
    You previously stated that UK should not get rid of its nukes.
    That was a matter of your own personnal views based on internal politics.
    A POV as a citizen about the position of UK in the world and what is best for UK.
    Meaning UK should squander tens of billions pounds in useless weapons.
    Useless because UK is nlt threatened and does not experience strategic threat.
    That is UK need to keep its nukes just in case and to protect its status to pressure other countries as a “has been” power.

    Now you are stating that it is pointless to evn discuss the subject.and the potebtiality of such situation.
    Like if you were a neutral, countryless and reasonable international actor.
    Like if ty issue is only framee that way.
    Like if there is not and there should not be leading voices inside and outside UK against nukes.

    That truly is deeply dishonest dialectic in order to hide more hideous agenda, mindset and world views.

    But thank you to show your true face.
    A little tired maybe or a slip of fingers on the keyboard ?
    Or maybe you are just a perfidious exeptionalist nut case ?

  219. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    December 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm
    Agreed

  220. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    “In my view, the UK SHOULD NOT get rid of its nukes at this time. Full stop.
    But pressure needs to be put on Israel to get rid of its nukes.”

    – – –

    In a conference at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) last week, Rep. Chris Van Hollen countered the complaint that requiring Iran to submit to inspections, etc. while Israel is not, was evidence of a double standard, by saying that Iran signed the NPT agreement; it bound itself to certain obligations, while Israel did not.

    The same applies to England: the tiny island with the outsized ego did agree to comply with the treaty obligations that it signed.

    Perhaps you do not believe it is important for Britain to honor the agreements it signs?

  221. Bibijon says:

    Who’s going to save your bacon when the Jihadis go home?
    ====================================================

    You know, it’ll be the night of Yalda in just over a week. Ahriman’s darkness will succumb to Ahur Mazada’s wisdom. And/Or the night of Mithra’s birth, the angel of light.

    Seeing as the word Yalda is Syriac, I just wonder what is in store for Syria?

    Can you imagine Iran, Syria, and Hezbullah becoming the guarantors of the emirs of the Persian Gulf? As the Jihadis return home , now that their supply of ‘non-lethal’ AK47s, heavy machine guns, RPGs, etc has been officially halted by US/UK, who’s going to protect the Sheik Yabootis? I know US has set up shop in Qatar, but how well did COIN play out in Afghanistan? I see no alternative to save the Persian Gulf monarchies from the their own takfiri Frankenstein than relying on the Shi’a minorities who’ll now share with the monarchies a common enemy. The ‘survival’ instinct that fortifies a Shi’a militia will place them at the front lines of the fight for survival of the PG Sheikdoms.

  222. Bibijon says:

    Add Patrick Smith to bacevich and chomsky
    =================================

    http://www.salon.com/2013/12/12/american_empire_is_over_somebody_tell_john_kerry/

  223. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James,

    Per your request at November 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm, I am keeping the focus on this.

    I give you one more chance to extricate yourself from the corner you’ve painted yourself in. please provide a link for your assertions.

    So far, you’ve been egregiously wrong on the following issues which I called you on.
    1) You find it pointless to put pressure on an NPT signatory to get rid of her nukes, and can’t bring yourself to state what the differences are between the two countries.
    2) 20% U – it’s not about percentages.
    3) Immigrants in US – Mexicans can’t go back to their country at night, just to return in the morning to do the back breaking, Grapes of Wrath, American jobs.
    4) Your ancestor – Lord Canning was a murdering genocidal maniac, and you were trying to pass him a forward thinking honorable man, all the while he was murdering Iranians in droves during Anglo-Persian war.
    5) Nuclear Posture Review – you cannot find one person (link) that agrees with you.

    I will keep my vigilance in calling your BS and expose you to the un-initiated.

    Don’t bother answering this unless you can find a link that states SecDef lied.

  224. Jay says:

    James,

    It is curious that you seem to think that pressuring Israel to give up Nukes, and pressuring UK to abandon Nukes are mutually exclusive propositions. Is it your position that some states are more deserving of nuclear weapons than others?

  225. Castellio says:

    “Kerry and his administration have obviously coordinated a political coup by the adoption of the Israeli preconditions for recognizing a Palestinian state almost to the letter, turning the Palestinian priorities upside down and changing the terms of reference for the Palestinian – Israeli negotiations, which Kerry succeeded to resume and sponsor late last July.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/12/kerrys-coup/

    Many on this board believe that Kerry has ‘sidetracked’ the Israelis. That is simply not the case. Both within the Palestinian negotiations (so-called) and the Iran dossier there is an ever tighter co-ordination of Israeli-US strategy.

    What confuses the situation is that there now are, in effect, two governments of Israel, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Washington. Bibi’s party is, to an extent, sidetracked, but “the Israelis” are not.

    Both governments of Israel have the same endgame in mind; they do have different ideas of how to get there.

  226. Jay says:

    Castellio says:
    December 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I suggest that a broader view could prove useful. The current government of the US is less geocentric in the sense that the goals and aspirations are no longer primarily and mainly defined by the US geography. Rather, the government of the US is defined by a convergence and confluence of economic and elitist interest that is without geographic boundaries. This view helps to further identify and refine the notion of “Israelis” to those small group of elites that benefit from the advancement of current US policies – after all, a large segment of Israel’s population has endured economic hardship while a small segment has been enriched.

    Furthermore, the view of the US government as a non-geographic entity clarifies the otherwise strange “relationship” between the US and EU, UK, etc, and objection to semi-independent actors such as Iran. I would hope to expand on this at some point since these short paragraphs do not adequately articulate the views that must be expressed. Nonetheless, as vague as it is, perhaps it is a starting point for a discussion.

  227. Ataune says:

    @castellio

    Politicians know well that in politics one can never be sure of attaining the envisaged “endgame”, so they most of the time build the road as they go. If reckless and agressive, they try acquiring as much territory and resource as they can, even to the detriment of others; if peacefull, reasonable and believing in a minimum of morality, they try to defend whatever legitimate belonging they already have.

    If Israel and the US have different “ideas” in mind on how to get “there”, it is more than likely that they will end up getting to 2 different places. That’s what worry Netanyahu, Podohertz, Adelman and co. This is not to say that Washington and Tel Aviv are out of sync, but there is for sure something here that can be worked on at least temporarily by Iran.

  228. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times today, Geoff Dyer has a pertinent observation: “The White House says there is a lot of politics in Iran; Congress says there is very little.”

  229. James Canning says:

    Najmeh Bozorgmehr’s piece in the FT Dec. 10th is worth reading (“Zarif pressed by hardliners”).

  230. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Some of the “elite” interests that so heavily influence US foreign policy do converge, while other “elite interests” diverge significantly. US news media tend to downplay or conceal the divergence or conflict.

  231. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Like Obama, I would prefer all nukes be destroyed world-wide. You may have noticed press reports this week that US nuclear utilities spent $19 billion importing highly-enriched uranium from Russia, since the collapse of the USSR. Enough HEU for 20,000 nukes.

    Focus to my mind, at this time, needs to be on pressuring Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  232. Photi says:

    BibiJon and Karl,

    Possibly the US step back in Syria is to either add leverage against the rebels to get them to put down their arms and make peace, or the US is stepping back to allow the Saudis more room to implement their now declared role as Regional Hegemon:

    Nawaf Obaid, an adviser to senior Saudi officials and a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, writes for Iran Matters that Saudi Arabia will not simply trust that Iranian leaders are turning about-face on longtime disputes involving the Gulf and the Arab world. He writes that while the Saudis cautiously welcome new rhetoric from Iran, they remain determined to counter Iran’s expansionist approach in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region — and will reciprocate if Iran does opt for a nuclear weapons capability:

    “The Saudi Arabia finds itself in a completely changed political environment in the region and beyond, having essentially been left alone to maintain stability in the Arab world and check Iranian influence. Given the pressures of this predicament, the fundamental basis of the new Saudi foreign policy doctrine is about radically altering course from being protected by others to protecting itself and its allies. The Saudis know they need to restructure their foreign policy and national security establishment to increase their capacity to handle themselves internationally on par with the political, economic and religious significance and influence the kingdom holds.

    Hence, in light of the Iranian nuclear deal reached in Geneva to halt its progress temporarily and the strange manner by which it was accomplished, the Kingdom will very closely monitor the subsequent six months and see how transparent the process is. But what is clear, and here there should be no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding, is that if the Iranians are allowed to keep “an enrichment capability” that will over the medium- to long-term make them a de facto nuclear power, then Saudi Arabia, in keeping with its new emerging strategic doctrine, will have no choice but to go nuclear as well.”

    Nawaf Obaid is a Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center in Riyadh and a visiting fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School.

    http://iranmatters.belfercenter.org/blog/iran-deal-view-saudi-arabia

  233. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Interesting comments by Robert Koehler, that you linked. Re: getting rid of nukes world-wide. My understanding is that Russia has been slowing the pace of reductions of nukes by US and Russia (in bi-lateral deals).

  234. Castellio says:

    Jay: I agree with your insight, although, yes, more definition would be good.

    Ataune: I agree. Emphatically.

  235. Photi says:

    At 17:30 or so in the following video, Mr. Obaid will find that Mohammad-javad Larijani welcomes the Saudis to peaceful nuclear technology, and indeed, the Saudis should seek cooperation with Iran in such matters. Both governments have an interest in advancing the technical capabilities of Muslim world.

    Quotes from the video (Charlie Rose, Nov. 2011):

    Rose: Would you like to see Saudi Arabia have a nuclear weapon? Would you like…

    Larijani: Nuclear weapons or nuclear technology? Two things.

    Rose: OK, Fair. Nuclear weapon. Would you like to see Saudi Arabia, would you like to have a nuclear weapon?

    Larijani: We are a signatory to the NPT. We are a sincere signatory to the NPT. We think nonproliferation is a benefit of Iran and all of us.

    Rose: Would you like to see Saudi Arabia have the same kind of capability to produce a nuclear weapon that you say,,, the capability, if you decide to go that last distance?

    Larijani: We are an advocate of Middle East free of nuclear weapon. But in terms of developing nuclear technology for all other peaceful purposes, we are even ready to share with them [the Saudis] our capability. No problem.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8mXj9F1jSQ

  236. Photi says:

    it seems to me if the Saudis want to actually be helpful, they should reinvigorate the Saudi peace initiative from 2002. The world is ready for peace, and clearly the Palestinians need help. Why pick on Syria for childish hegemonic wet dreams?

  237. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Some observers of the catastrophe in Syria think it came about largely due to fears in Saudi Arabia that war would come to the Gulf.

    I very much agree that renewed pressure on Israel, by the Sauids, would be most weloome.

  238. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    You appear to have forgotten that the Anglo-Persian war that Lord Canning helped to bring about, arose from fears in Britain that Russia was gaining too much influence in Persia. “Genocide” obviously was not the purpose of the expedition.

    You clearly have an inability to comprehend American politics, including the virtually absolute requriement to make hostile noises about Iran due to sustained pressure from rich and powerful Jews, and others.

    Who do you think caused the wrecking of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University a few years ago? Take a guess.

  239. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Geoff Dyer writes in today’s Financial Times: “The bipartisan scorn for Iran on Capitol Hill reflects the intelligence briefings members have received for the best part of a decade that Iran is determined to expand its nuclear programme and that this goal unites all its factions.”

  240. Karl.. says:

    Photi
    December 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I think what see is just brief detentes for Syria and Iran, meanwhile Obama could pose a peacemaker (according to himself) and meanwhile america keep arming the region and, as we see, Saudis seems to get more agressive in the region against Iran and shiites so nothing hasnt really chaned.

  241. Karl.. says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoCOjGmKwC0#t=72

    Obama lied..of course but CNN still believe him.

  242. kooshy says:

    Ok Gav James, we knew your VIEW is that the UK should keep her nukes. Obviously one would think that you also view that US should keep her nukes unless the queen is getting nutty and wants her colonies back.

    Ok that’s your view, but now according to your earlier comment to Jay, like Obama (baloney) you are hoping for a world free of nukes. Now my next hope is if you and Obama some how can and will View your Vistas all in a single frame.

  243. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Obama in fact does wish for a world free of nukes. At this time, he does not see how this object can be accomplished. Instead, he seeks mutual reductions by Russia and the US, of their stocks of nukes.

    I think it makes little sense to be eager to give Israel an excuse not to get rid of its nukes.

  244. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I think the primary danger is Israeli nukes, not UK nukes. I think it is a mistake to deflect the focus on Israel, that is pushed by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

  245. kooshy says:

    Wasn’t this guy supposed to be on a business trip to Kish island on trading Tobacco business, what this this one of David Ignatius supposedly Firkin CIA action friction stories.

    How much BS, CIA thinks can people handle before it gets cut with his pants down, like with the Snowden story. It may be better fit to change the name to Central Incompetent Agency.

    One should ask the assholes what kind of missions are unapproved missions and if are not unapproved how come they are missions , looks like they ended up paying the family 2.5 million to make sure the mission was unapproved , LOL.

    “Missing American in Iran was on unapproved mission

    By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2:53 PM

    WASHINGTON — An American who vanished nearly seven years ago in Iran was working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that, when it came to light inside the government, produced one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA — but all in secret, an Associated Press investigation found.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/missing-american-in-iran-was-working-for-cia/2013/12/12/4d6bec2c-637c-11e3-af0d-4bb80d704888_story.html

  246. kooshy says:

    More from same WaPo story

    “Once the internal review was complete, the CIA gave the family a $2.5 million annuity, which provides tax-free income, multiple people briefed on the deal said. Neither side wanted a lawsuit that would air the secret details in public.

    U.S. investigators said they believe Iranian authorities, if they have Levinson, must know about his CIA ties. Levinson wasn’t trained to resist interrogation. U.S. officials could not imagine him withholding information from Iranian interrogators, who have been accused of the worst types of mental and physical abuses.”

    Really, do they do waterboarding like US, I don’t know, but I am sure some hope they do.

  247. LOYAL says:

    kooshy says:
    December 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    “Wasn’t this guy supposed to be on a business trip to Kish island on trading Tobacco business, what this this one of David Ignatius supposedly Firkin CIA action friction stories.”

    He was part of CIA plan to kidnapped Hassan Tantai who play a doctor in Makhmalbaf’s movie and wrote for PressTV.

  248. Karl.. says:

    Haha yes more sanctions

    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/12/13/339739/iran-censures-new-us-sanctions/

    But as we know by bibijon, kooshy, don bacon, this is a “good deal”.

    Iran is probably more weaker than ever in dealing with the US, what did they expect? That sanctions would be lifted?!

  249. Don Bacon says:

    The deal is good, the US adherence is not.

  250. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    There is nothing in the deal saying that US cant sanction Iran anymore, which is of course one reason why this is a bad deal, result, what we see now.

  251. Smith says:

    As I had pointed out earlier to another poster here, the problem is this, no matter what Iran does: http://goo.gl/sAQV

    The only way to deal with the white man butcher is to have nuclear weapons.

    Anything short of that means slavery, prostitution, humiliation, degradation, torture and death.

  252. Smith says:

    It should also be noted that these sanctions were put on Iran directly by Obama. Not congress, not senate not pentagon and not any wahabi/zionist lobby.

    Lets see how the people who are fond and proud of taking American phallus in their mouth with every slightest presenting opportunity are going to justify this.

  253. Bibijon says:

    Don Bacon says:
    December 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Don,

    There is theatrical spectacular going on, and I for one find it fascinating to watch.

    During the Congressional hearings (grilling Kerry) one of the AIPAC stooges asked Kerry how come there’s been no sanction busting entity designated since Rouhani took office, whereas new designations were dripping though once a month by applying existing sanctions? Kerry drew a blank for an answer.

    But, David Cohen whose grilling session was to be the next day, preempted that criticism by a quick last-minute new designation before his appearance. US’ position: it was not new sanctions; Treasury was applying existing sanctions.

    Iran of course interrupted the Geneva technical implementation meetings; the delegates went back to Tehran. Iran (and Russia’s) response: The new designation went against the spirit of the deal.

    Well, what of it? Recall Hagel’s confirmation hearing, and now the Kerry Grilling Hearing, and one thing is noticeable: For quite a while now, AIPAC, er excuse me, the Congress is going over and beyond doing anything and everything to derail the US-Iran detente. And that tells me that AIPAC has convinced herself that Obama admin is moving in the detente direction, and that it spells disaster for Israel.

    But, putting it altogether, one cannot help but notice that AIPAC is on a very visible losing streak. For some time now they are behaving like they don’t care about any consequences of their overt lobbying, and have thrown caution to the wind. As I have said before, any Lobbying group foremost depends on the myth surrounding their effectiveness for their actual effectiveness. If you don’t pretend the issue is unimportant to you, if you setup new organizations, websites, and full-page newspaper adverts, publish open letters, etc. declaring the sky is falling; mobilize every bought-and-paid-for (D) or (R) Representative, if you pull out all the stops to get MSM wall-to-wall coverage for your manufactured ‘skepticism’, and then you still fail in broad daylight, surely you have shredded every myth about that ‘power’ of yours.

    See http://www.lobelog.com/iran-deal-out-of-congressional-woods-for-2013/

    While I’m being prolific, let me attempt an answer to Castellio.

    I regard bacevich and chomsky, and Chris Hedges as spiritualists. What they say should inform every individual’s soul, but it will never apply to society without the kind of social engineering and coercion that Chris Hedges would be the first to denounce, and it will apply even less to international relations. Lets put it this way: even with the anti-war mass protests, US got out of Vietnam not because of public awareness/disgust, but because US had lost the war, throwing more blood/treasure at a lost cause had become untenable.

    This is where Obama is vis-a-vis Iran and the mid east. Robin Wright once said “we’ve thrown everything at them (Iran) except the plague to no avail.” Obama even threw the plague (STUXNET, assassinations, and near complete embargo) and still nothing to show for it except continued and accelerated defiance. They are seeking ceasefire/peace out of absence of other choices.

    Reality is in motion, and the rest is just theater.

  254. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    James,

    In my younger days I was asked once asked about my preference regarding the option of letting the guilty go free vs. imprisoning the innocence. I have since learned better.

    Preferences are relative statements. With regards to nuclear weapons, given their awful nature, relative statements of preference are meaningless when one is talking about principles.

    By treaty and by moral principle, all nuclear weapons should be destroyed, and all parties, at all times, should be pressured to abandon them. It matters little what the preferences are, who goes first, and who goes second.

  255. Jay says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Although I agree with you that theatrics is at play, and I agree that the deal is a tactical ceasefire, I do not believe this deal to be a “peace out”.

    I also believe that looking at AIPAC as a lever of US Eco-political power is more useful – as opposed to AIPAC as an external political influence. This view is partly motivated by an earlier (in passing) statement I made regarding US having become a non-geocentric government. In this light, what you consider as the losses of AIPAC are merely course corrections – not permanent losses.

  256. fyi says:

    All:

    There a master countries and servant (nowkar) countries:

    http://news.yahoo.com/india-calls-quick-action-diplomat-arrested-york-174311338.html

    Here we read that US arrested an Indian diplomat and she surrendered her passport to US authorities….

  257. Ataune says:

    Bibijon,

    I do believe that it is now in the best interest of the US to accomodate a powerful independant state sitting on top of the Iranian plateau, but I can’t get myself to accept the idea, as you do, that the US political elite and leadership has acquired the same kind of conviction and is pushing for first steps of a detente with the IRI. I am not sure therefore that all these theatrics are signs that can be ignored. The Lobby might have received a blow here, and this can be exploited by Iran if played adroitely, but the pushing and shoving going on behind the scene are obvious to be seen. In this kind of political maneuvering it is usually the sides that are the most militant that tend to have control of the outcome and we know that the US administration lack the conviction necessary for the sort of strategic shift we are talking about. What will happen I think, is 6 months or so during which we will see commitment from Iran’s side and hesitation and maybe failure from the US. Then, we will be back to square one – or maybe 2… 3 – with the addition of watered-down sanctions, not in the legal sense but practically; more and more credibility loss on the US side; and a pseudo-containement with no purpose and strategic depth continuing ’til the next president.

  258. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Of courswe all nukes should be destroyed. However, the complicated negotiations to resolve Iranian nuclear dispute will not benefit from making UK possession of nukes an issue. In my view.

    We should be glad that Russian nukes were dismantled in order to fuel nuclear power plants in the US.

  259. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times reported today that about 100 international oil companies (and related)are looking toward operating in Iran. If sanctions come off.

  260. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Rogue operation (Kish Island), was it not?

  261. Rd. says:

    Bibijon says:

    “But, putting it altogether, one cannot help but notice that AIPAC is on a very visible losing streak.”

    Regardless of all the noise, you also have to wonder Ay. Khamenie’s ‘heroic flexibility’ has in effect minimized the ‘fractures’ IRI polity and thus exploited the fractures polity of US. This will in-effect further unite the Iranian front and weaken the int. sanctions. One has to appreciate Ay. Khamenie’s ability to view the reality from all sides.

  262. Bibijon says:

    Rd. says:
    December 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I agree. Brilliant timing to throw his considerable weight behind Rouhani/Zarif.