Diplomacy, Not More Weapons, for Syria


Hillary went on Al Jazeera’s Inside Syria (click here or on the embedded video above) to argue, yet again, for diplomacy—which necessarily must include the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the Assad government—to address the ongoing crisis in Syria. Regarding recent statements by the Syrian National Coalition’s Moaz al-Khatib indicating the possible openness of at least some elements in the Syrian opposition to dialogue with the Syrian government, Hillary commented,

I’ve been saying now for nearly two years that the only way forward in Syria and for what’s happening in Syria is diplomacy, is a political way forward for reconciliation and power sharing.  The key thing, though, that has changed—of course, we’ve seen now these changes among the Syrian oppositionists—but the key thing that has changed is here in Washington, is in the White House, in the U.S. government.  Two major developments happened.

One is what I call the Benghazi effect, where the Obama administration became a little less enamored with arming, funding, and training oppositionists to overthrow a sitting government.  And the second is that inside the Obama administration they became a little bit less attached to what I would call the delusion that trying to overthrow the Assad government would somehow lead to the overthrow of the Iranian government.

These two things have changed, I think, in some important ways in the U.S. government.  It’s not unanimous, but they have changed.  So you would no longer have this idea out there that the United States will come to the rescue to arm, fund, and train people to overthrow the Syrian government.  That has set in train a series of important political possibilities, where now members of the opposition and others have to see a negotiated political settlement as maybe their only viable way forward.

My hope is that with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy, who’s very experienced in these matters, there would be a way forward similar to the Ta’if Accord that he negotiated to end the civil war in Lebanon.  My concern is, though, that took fifteen years and tens of thousands of Lebanese killed.  Here we’ve had two years and tens of thousands of Syrians.  I hope that, at this point, we could look at a Ta’if-type accord, that was used in Lebanon, to end the bloodshed in Syria, and everyone can get serious.  But the real changes, I think, are happening here in Washington—that we are no longer goading, fanning the flames, or potentially no longer goading and fanning the flames of war and bloodshed in Syria as a way of overthrowing the government in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Amplifying her critique of the Obama administration’s posture toward Syria, Hillary said,

This idea of arming and supplying people to overthrow their government is not only a strategic mistake, it is a moral failure of catastrophic proportions.  The United States and our so-called allies have pushed that in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, and now in Syria.  We have done that to the cost of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives, especially Arab and Muslim lives.  We do that, particularly today, with no sense, no hope whatsoever that arming, funding, and training people like this will lead to the strategic outcomes that we want.

It would be bad enough if we armed, trained, and funded people to kill civilians—because that’s what we’re talking about, we’re talking about transforming a traditional battlefield into a civilian one.  It would be bad enough if we could actually coerce our preferred outcome at the end of the day, but now the United States can no longer do that.  So we’re literally just doing it with civilian tragedy on the ground, with no hope for an actual outcome that we want.”

Responding to suggestions that the forces fighting the Assad government in Syria constitute an indigenous and truly popular revolution that will inevitably result in the Assad government’s defeat, Hillary recalled,

“We were told the same story in Iraq, in Libya, in Afghanistan.  It was wrong every time; all it leads to is more dead bodies…We’ve been told this same fantasy, that it’s just people on the ground trying to have a better life, trying to bring about an end to oppressive rule.  We’re told the same story in Iraq, in Libya, in Afghanistan, and now in Syria.  The fact of the matter is that the United States and our so-called allies use potentially the seeds of popular discontent, popular unrest and dissatisfaction, we use that to produce regime change, to get a regional political and security order that is pro-American, over the wishes of people on the ground.  That has led to disastrous outcomes in each of these countries…

We’ve been told for two years that this is a peaceful uprising—a ‘peaceful uprising’ by people who are willing to sit outside of Syria and fight to the last Syrian.  This is not a peaceful uprising.  For two years we’ve been told that and for two years we’ve been told the answer is, that all we have to see is for Bashar al-Assad to go.  This is not in fact a continuation of the Arab uprising or the Arab spring or the Arab Awakening.  This was a concerted attempt by the United States and our allies to abort the Arab Awakening—to abort it, and change it from something that would lead to actual, real political participation by people throughout the Middle East.  [It’s] an attempt to then turn the regional balance of power against the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The focus here has been—from the beginning, for two years—to use the Syrian people, the civilian battlefield there, to overthrow the government in Syria in order to bring about the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  That’s what it’s been about from here for two years.”

Hillary concludes by pointing out that a negotiated political settlement based on power sharing

“is not going to be an ideal solution.  Lebanon today is not an ideal solution, but it certainly is light-years better than it was during the civil war.  That’s what we need going forward [in Syria].  But part of the fantastical narrative that we’re fed is that somehow this opposition, this disparate opposition, divided by ethnicity, by sect, by ideology, by agenda, by foreign backer, that this group of oppositionists is somehow going to come together—with just a little bit more weaponry to kill just a few more Syrians—then somehow it’s all going to work.  That is not only fantastical, it is just wrong.  It’s not going to work; it hasn’t worked for two years.  What they need is not more weapons; what they need is diplomacy, is a political way forward through power sharing.  And that can be done, even in incredibly difficult situations like in Lebanon.

The alternative is not more fantasy that the opposition is going to come together.  The alternative is, even if they are able to, by some miracle, kill Bashar al-Assad, the alternative is not that the Assad government and the supporters of it, which is probably about fifty percent of the population, they’re not going to go away.  What’s going to end up happening is a deeping of divides in Syrian society, maybe deeply divided territory, the carving up of Syria.  And places like Aleppo are not going to be run by some sort of fantastical opposition government; parts of it will be run by competing militias and warlords.

That’s what we’re in for.  That’s what we have in Benghazi, and that’s what we’re going to get in Syria if we continue militarizing people on the ground, instead of pursuing real power sharing, political reconciliation, and diplomacy.”

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

17 Responses to “Diplomacy, Not More Weapons, for Syria”

  1. Smith says:

    I didn’t get the names but the guy with Scoliosis in Lebanon, should know that when these wahabis take over Syria, the first thing they are going to do is slaughtering Christians and all others who do not subscribe to wahabism. And the other guy with retrocollis is just another Chalabi making money off the human blood. No use listening to them.

    They did not have any arguments. But I do not agree with Ms. Hillary either. Though her aspiration for the situation is noble but is not practical. She does not know what kind of people these wahabis are. They are not the types that get content with power sharing or political solution ie even if they have the sophistication to understand these human concepts. The civil war will go on. The situation there has become like Afghanistan. If Alawites/Christians/Shias/Kurds/Sane Sunnis put down their weapons, then all their males will be slaughtered, all their boys will be castrated and their women and girls raped till they get pregnant with wahabi babies. This is exactly what happened to Shias in Bamyan and to Hizaras in Afghanistan when they were over run with Taliban in late 90’s.

    The wahabis do not have a centralized command and once put on the ground they breed physically and ideologically to fight a genocidal war. All Sunni populations are vulnerable to their ideological preaching and as demonstrated after 9/11 even Christians converted to their discipline. They are like zombies. The only people who are naturally vaccinated against them are Shias. As for Syria, the war will go on. There is no other choice. I predict an on and off civil war increasingly becoming barbaric and bloody for the coming years. Syria will never be unified again.

    The only thing that can return normalcy to the country is a fifty year period of Stalin/Mao/Kim grade dictatorship behind closed borders in order to make the population forget wahabism as well as any grudge they might have developed for revenge. I am not sure Iran/Russia/China will be able to pull this off. It is really a sad thing from the perspective of Iran since, by 2015, Iran will not only have to keep the Alawites/Christians/Kurds/Shias supplied for the civil war in Syria but also start supplying Shias, Hizaras and Persian speakers in Afghanistan too.

    The civil war in Afghanistan will start on 1/1/2015 and Iran will have no choice but to take part in it. Pakistan as before will side with deobandi pashtun Taliban. The battle is going to be even bloodier than Syria. The story has it that when Taliban took Kabul in 1996, they started moving up north to take over the whole of Afghanistan. The Iranian army engineering corps officers were there advising the Shia forces of wahdat party mining the plains in order to stop the Taliban.

    But the vast mine fields laid by Iranians only slowed Taliban a little bit. The favorite Taliban tactic was to wear kafan and board a Toyota pick up truck and drive right through the mine field until the pick up hit a mine (and cleared it). Another pick up would drive in the track of the previous one and boom. This would continue some time with dozens of pick up trucks, until a passage has been cut through the mine field. At the other end of the mine field when they reached into Shia villages they did that to their women which shocked Iranian leaders so much that it forced them to make another stand in mazar sharif and ultimately in Panjshir. This is the neighborhood Iran has to live in. Only nuclear weapons will secure Iran and its future. There are zombies all around on the border.

  2. Smith says:

    The story of “intercepted” Iranian weapons to Yemen: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/02/14/Iran-Suspicious-minds.aspx

  3. Smith says:

    Ambassador Bhadrakumar on why “Iran is on the right side of the history”: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/OB09Ak03.html

    Excerpt:

    “If the propaganda has us believe that the regime in Tehran is living in fear of a Tahrir-like revolution erupting in Iran, Khamenei’s words show no such traces of fear or timidity. On the other hand, Khamenei would have carefully weighed Obama’s capacity (or the limits to it) to bulldoze the Israeli lobby and to initiate a genuine normalization process with Iran.

    When Richard Nixon worked on China in the early 1970s, he had the benefit of a broad consensus of opinion within the US political establishment. On the contrary, when it comes to Iran, pride and prejudice influence still rule the roost for most consequential Americans.

    Khamenei’s message to Obama is to get serious and think through what he really wants instead of lobbing a vague offer through Biden with no strings attached and no commitments underlying it. The Iranian leader who has continuously dealt with successive US administrations through the past 22 years simply threw the ball into Obama’s court and will now wait and see how the latter kicks it around when he is in Israel next month.”

  4. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Here’s an article by Kevin Barrett which was written here in Tehran, where he was attending the Hollywoodism Conference. As the last sentence indicates, we are working on editing the footage and hope to be able to upload it in its entirety in the next two or three weeks. I’ll post the link once that happens.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/02/09/iran-drops-bomb-on-hollywood/

  5. James Canning says:

    I think civil war was brought to Syria, in order to weaken Iran.

    Yes, a diplomatic resolution is needed.

  6. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Did the civil war in Afghanistan stop, these past few years?

  7. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Would Khamenei expect Obama to “bulldoze” the Israel lobby in the US, when one of the leaders of that Lobby, Dennis Ross, is a primary adviser to Obama?

  8. James Canning says:

    Sith,

    Let’s remember Hillary Clinton helped to bring catastrophe to the Christian communities of Iraq. She seems to have been willing to so the same, in Syria.

  9. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Hillary: “One is what I call the Benghazi effect, where the Obama administration became a little less enamored with arming, funding, and training oppositionists to overthrow a sitting government. And the second is that inside the Obama administration they became a little bit less attached to what I would call the delusion that trying to overthrow the Assad government would somehow lead to the overthrow of the Iranian government.”

    You’re wrong on both counts. While there may be people in the Beltway who have these attitudes, they are not in charge. Obama himself IS prepared to overthrow Syria in an attempt to aid Israel and harm Iran. While he may not be prepared to OVERTLY arm the insurgents AT THIS POINT, this is more because of his “lead from behind” doctrine – that is, his duplicity and secrecy – than any other consideration.

    I stand by my prediction that the US and NATO and Israel will attack Syria this year, as well as Israel attacking Lebanon. Nothing has changed strategically. Israel absolutely requires an Iran war and Israel absolutely can not have one until both Syria and Hizballah’s military capabilities have been degraded.

  10. James Canning says:

    William Hague, in Luxembourg Oct. 15th last year, said: “Our agenda is not about regime change [in Iran}.” “If we could settle the nuclear issues, there weouldn’t be sanctions.”

  11. Neil M says:

    “And the second is that inside the Obama administration they became a little bit less attached to what I would call the delusion that trying to overthrow the Assad government would somehow lead to the overthrow of the Iranian government.”

    Amen.

    One suspects, judging by the upbeat prattle about the (will o’ wisp) Afghan Army, that the Administration’s diminished appetite for regime-change in Syria can be attributed, in part, to the Pentagon’s inability to decide how best to safely dismantle their network of bases and bunkers without attracting the unwelcome attention of disgruntled Afghans with a score to settle.

    Factor in the fear/possibility of a little outside help/interference and the ensuing miasma will make the average nightmare seem pleasant by comparison.

    The Coalition of the Willing has been under 24/7 surveillance, by locals everywhere, for several years and the military situation has been in stand-off mode ever since the successful assault on the ‘assault-proof’ base in Kabul many moons ago.

  12. Nasser says:

    Smith says: February 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm,

    Thank you for your detailed response and the links you have provided.

    I want to divide my response into roughly two parts. I want to first address the issue more generally and its impact globally. And then I would like to look at how it relates to other developing societies and Iran more specifically.

    -> You already know that I have the highest regard for your intellect and opinion and so I find it a little disconcerting that I disagree with you on some points. Right off the bat I must say I do not find the situation to be as ominous as you do. I think the human instinct for race perpetuation is too strong for there to be any danger of complete population collapse. But my understanding on how current trends impact advanced western societies versus how it impacts other developing and newly industrialized nations (like Iran) has led me to take a more nuanced stance. I will get more into that later.

    Furthermore, I honestly don’t believe this is reversible. This is one time I actually agree with James Canning that when a country becomes rich enough, declining fertility rates are inevitable. First I will try to explain my view on why this happens, and why it is futile to combat this.

    -> I do not agree with you that this is mostly driven by a desire by the power those be to turn females into males, or by western style individualism taken to the extreme. Rather I believe such trends are driven mainly by technological and economic changes which affords women different life choices which translate into social change.

    All reproductive trends are driven by the female and not the male. Every human society and in fact every animal species prizes the female over the male. Males are regarded as the disposable sex. The survival of the species depends on this. That is because eggs are scarce and expensive and sperm is plentiful and cheap, making the females the limiting factor in reproduction. Briffault’s Law states: “The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.” So women pretty much get what they want and men bend over backwards and step all over each other to give it to them. I think you are wrongly faulting media, priests, etc for all this ill. It is the females that determine social norms and the media is but the mouthpiece of the female herd.

    Also, women have no desire to turn into males. What they want is to maintain their traditional privileged position in society. They just want all the rights men have but none of the responsibilities. They are happy to let men get drafted, forced to fight and die in wars and almost exclusively occupy all the hazardous jobs; while they look for “glamorous” and “fulfilling” roles in their lives. For example, in the US, they only elected to get into the military and other traditionally “dangerous” male jobs once it became completely safe to do so. Another example, if you would recall the incident of the sinking of the Italian cruise ship Costa Corcondia where the media and women all over in the West were outraged that all the men on the ship didn’t willingly sacrifice their lives to allow women onto lifeboats first. When it comes to instances like this women want to maintain their traditional privileges and do not want to be men; trust me.

    Feminism and like minded modern social conventions is just the latest and most aggressive manifestation of society’s desire to cater to women and the feminine desire. Current trends have come about because women collectively have decided it is not in their best interest to do with their lives what their mothers or grand mothers did. Economic, technological, and social changes have allowed for this. These have offered them to take a different path in life and women of many different societies, be they American, Scandinavian, Japanese, Korean, Iranian, and Turkish have ALL taken this path.

    So I don’t think it is right to blame all this on American feminism. In fact, if you look at history in the US, feminism originally started as a movement of ugly women driven by jealousy of privileges of their prettier sisters. Feminism has over time morphed into an ideological veneer to justify advancement of feminine interests and to justify the power grab of rich white American women away from other rich white American men.
    The reason women of different nationalities, ethnicities and social backgrounds choose to do what they do and identify with feminism’s verbal pronouncements is because they genuinely believe what feminism and similar ideologies propose will give them a better deal in life. I will try to explain why this is so below.

    – In the not too distant past the mothers or grand mothers of these women would marry young and have many children. In return the women expected their mates to do the brunt of the work. Work back then was grueling for most people. It involved long hours in the coal mines or fields for example. Marriage in effect was an economic contract where women would trade in their sexuality and products of that sexuality – children (man’s genes and legacy), for the labor and disposability of the male.

    Women were never perfectly happy with this system. Especially young women. It was to them a necessary evil. Modern women look at the lives of their mothers and grand mothers as sad affairs. Having to pretty much prostitute themselves to a man they found repulsive and wasting the “best” (peak fertile) years of their lives catering to unwanted children. Now of course there are some women in modern times who do prefer the traditional system, they want to be mothers or home makers. But as we well know this is not the norm in modern society.

    Technological, economic, social changes negated the need for this contract. By technology I refer both to medicinal advancement, most notably female contraception but also other modern technology that allowed the less physically demanding knowledge economy to be possible. We must also note that human society has advanced to a point that in many countries the government can substitute the role that the “man of the house,” husband or father provided in the past. In rich industrialized countries it offers protection, education, crucial services, and in some cases income (welfare). Furthermore, work isn’t as demanding as it used to be. Work in modern economy involves many white or pink collar jobs. Women realized they can easily do these jobs themselves and thus flooded the labor pool. (Hazardous or “dirty” jobs are still done by men.) So now that women have easier means of income they no longer have to rely on a male for her livelihood.

    Women are hypergamous sexually. They are thus only attracted to a small portion of the male population. Women only married to men they weren’t attracted to in the past because of economic necessity. Refer back to Briffault’s Law: “Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.” This is what is causing the degradation of the institution of nuclear family. I want to point out that to my knowledge no where the effect of this has been more devastating than in black America, where the two parent family has almost completely disappeared.

    Parents, and the older generation might want and try to perpetuate the old system but I believe this is futile. In the old days they did this by controlling their young daughter’s sexuality. But now young women have access to cheap contraception and their own source of income if necessary. Making such control impossible.

    Two other factors we must also consider for the decline in fertility rates. As mentioned above, women used to spend their most fertile years having children. In modern times, women do not want to waste their “best” (most fertile) years having children. They often get the urge to become mothers well past their most fertile years, usually in their thirties or even later. This means even when they are willing to have children their ability to have them and certainly many of them are limited. This late in life they might need fertility treatment which is expensive further limiting the ability to have a number of children. And of course this often tragically results in childbirth defects.

    Another fact to consider is that children were regarded as economic assets in the past. Children meant extra pairs of hands to help around the farm and even in early days of industrialization they were a means of income as they could start earning at a very early age. This gave people further incentives to have many children. Now, children are very expensive to have. And they remain dependent on their parents and don’t start earning until their mid 20s. So the economic rationale for having many children is no longer there. But unlike many I do not regard this as the main reason for declining birth rates.

    I think these factors are the cause of declining birth rates in industrialized nations. It seems very clear to me that once a society reaches a level of affluence this is inevitable. Even in history, we can see examples of this such as in the case of Rome. Women from various societies from Iran to Korea to Argentina to Sweden have voted with their womb and that is just the way it is. So I think any attempt to combat this is futile. Such efforts would face very stiff resistance because it threatens their individual rights so fundamentally. The only people I have noticed that have been successful in combating this are the Taliban. Of course their tactics are too repugnant and Afghanistan is a poor country and thus not a good example anyway.

    -> But I agreed wholeheartedly with the rest of your post that dealt with Iran and the threats posed by predatory imperialists. Before I address the specifics of those points I should explain the evolution of my view on this topic. My views on gender relations have been influenced mostly by Esther Villar and so in the past I was very glad for degradation of the institution of marriage and resultant declining birth rates.

    My views changed and I took on a more nuanced stance as I realized what kind of impact breakdown of the family structure has on poorer societies. I first observed what dreadful consequences it had on the African American community. I was also alarmed when I looked at the falling birth rates of Iran and Turkey. Earlier I had imagined this only happened in very rich countries. I realized that these countries aren’t economically and technologically advanced enough to bear the consequences of such radical social changes. America is the richest most powerful nation on Earth and even it devastated their middle class. http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/crisis-middle-class-and-american-power

    Then I noticed that Westerners would aggressively try to export feminist ideologies into Muslim countries. I concluded that they were motivated to destabilize these societies and were hysterically fearful of high Muslim birth rates. I had learned earlier how many of the most vocal proponents of abortions for black American and other minority women believed in eugenics and were motivated by racist beliefs. The same is true of their attitude to Muslim societies and Muslim women.
    I posted the two articles in my previous post to show how joyful the two authors seemed at declining birth rates of Muslim countries with Iran and Turkey most notably. It was the same attitude they had during Iran’s currency crisis and the Western media were celebrating how much pain they managed to inflict on the Iranian populace through their sanctions.

    You write: “For instance the master race might attempt to push a particular nation off the cliff using unconventional methods of economic sanctions, social sabotage or ideological dislocation.” In fact I would argue they are already doing this. Remember the time the American general said that killing Afghan men is “fun” because they “smack their women around.” Domestically in the US, they spout crude propaganda about black men being irresponsible fathers refusing to support their children. In fact a closer look would reveal that the US government has tried its best to break up the black family and has been successful in doing it. In the Middle East, it seems the West has been most successful in brainwashing their pet dictators like Mubarak and Ben Ali into believing and spreading this garbage: http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1193:legacy-of-an-authoritarian-regime-the-future-of-tunisias-state-feminism&catid=59:gender-issues-discussion-papers&Itemid=267

    Regarding Iran you go on to write:
    “Since the late 1980′s the akhonds in Iran made a very big miscalculation and discouraged people from having children. During Rafsanjani era, all tax credits and social security payments for the babies born after the second child were scrapped. In effect the government was telling the couples that they have to raise kids themselves and the government is not going to subsidize them. He even halved the maternity leave for women to 90 days (shamefully). During the Khatami era even they pushed for the government paid health insurance and government education of babies born after the second child to be scrapped as well. These were our “religious” leaders leading an “Islamic Republic”.”

    – Yes grave mistakes indeed. Thankfully the government realizes the error of this. And as you point out Khamenei himself admitted mistake and apologized for this.

    You also write: “There is even a deeper dimension. Despite declining Iranian fertility, this decline is not uniform. For example the seculars, humanists, atheists and socialists Iranians will go extinct much sooner than the practicing Shia, rich haja agha or the small town basiji since the fertility rate among the latter is actually stabilized and might even go up again in light of the new religious directives they have received. It is a very fascinating epidemiological study case if some one is interested to write a paper on it. So the situation is complex.”

    – This is indeed fascinating because it is not just true in Iran but in other societies as well. In the US, conservatives and religiously motivated people are the ones still having babies while liberals in urban areas are suffering from ever decreasing birth rates and no longer seem to believe in the two parent family. And in Israel it is the ultra orthodox and the settlers that are known for having high birth rates. So it seems that something about religiosity makes people more immune to these social ills. I guess religious women have a more traditional outlook on life, want to be mothers early and unlike many of their liberal secular sisters still want many children and large families.

    This leads me to a question for you. I think it is futile to convince women in Tehran and major urban areas to change tracks and have more babies. Even with government incentives and so forth I believe it will not result in much. So my question is if there is a way for the government to divert funds away from Tehran and focus more on the provinces and rural areas and so forth where people are more conservative, religious and have a more traditional outlook on life? These are the people that will be having the most babies.

    Iran isn’t rich or advanced enough to afford a major population drop off. At least for a couple more generations Iran needs more scientists, more engineers, more workers and more soldiers if it is to catch up in some measure to the West and gain some security. And as you pointed out in another post there is no stopping the Wahabi birth rates and these guys are all around Iran. Shias are already a minority and this just makes things worse. This is even more reason for my previous proposal to have a close Shia Bloc that combines the population of Iraq and Iran, backed by nuclear weapons.

    If you managed to make it to the end of this I thank you for reading my drivel. I have been typing for a long time and I apologize for any errors and disjointed ideas. And I look forward to your response.

  13. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    February 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    Yeah!,and as Arnold Evans was fond of saying If my grandmother had a di*k she`d be my grandfather
    I think James you put far to much stock in the words of a bootlick,in the end like all bootlicks he will simply do as ordered.perhaps when his actions match his words he may gain some credibility until then he has none.

  14. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Are you claiming that William Hague is not speaking accurately, when he says the EU does not seek “regime change” in Iran?

    Or, are you arguing the wishes of the EU are irrelevant given the power of the Israel lobby in the US?

  15. James Canning says:

    Nassser,

    Yes, lower birth rates are normal, with increasing wealth (and education) in a country. I think Iran has a serious problem with Pakistan arising in future from the great increase in the population of Pakistan. And that problem rests in the relative poverty of the people.

  16. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    February 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    I think your 2nd answer is correct,as I said bootlicks do as they`re told,Hagues statements have little value,the west still demands iran give up the fuel cycle.The danger is that this has begun to morph into an excuse for regime change,the attempted destruction of syria is potentially the prelude to this,or would have been but things are not going to plan in syria or iran

  17. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You claim “the west still demands Iran give up the [nuclear] fuel cycle.” It does? Your basis for this claim?

    Your contention the EU does what it is told, by the US, obviously is not true. Remember the upgrade of Palestine at the UN?