Iran, the United States, and the Middle East in 2014

First of all, our very best wishes for the New Year!

2013 was, for many reasons, an important year for the Islamic Republic of Iran, for U.S.-Iranian relations, and for the Middle East more generally.  Looking back, one thing which strikes us as especially important is that, during 2013, the failures of U.S. grand strategy in the Middle East (and the gradual implosion of America’s position in the region) became evident even to some who were too analytically obtuse or ideologically reluctant to notice it earlier.

President Obama’s largely self-inflicted debacle over his declared intention to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August was particularly crucial in this regard.  It is no accident that the Obama administration became at least superficially more interested in diplomacy after this episode.  For Obama’s flailing over Syria underscored that, after strategically failed military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, the United States cannot now credibly threaten the effective use of force for hegemonic purposes in the Middle East.

If 2013 was a year in which the profound deficiencies of America’s Middle East strategy were on extended display, we expect that 2014 will be a year in which the effectiveness of Iranian strategy comes to the fore.  We are not optimistic that Obama and his team will get diplomacy with Iran “right.”  Fundamentally, official Washington remains unwilling to accept the Islamic Republic as an enduring political entity representing legitimate national interests, and to incorporate such acceptance into U.S. policy on the nuclear issue, the Syrian conflict, and other Middle Eastern challenges.

But Iran’s strategy does not depend on Washington getting things right.  Indeed, Iranian strategy takes seriously the very real (even likely) prospect that Washington is not capable of negotiating a nuclear settlement grounded in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and respectful of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear rights.  Likewise, Iranian strategy takes seriously the very real (even likely) prospect that Washington cannot disenthrall itself from Obama’s extremely foolish declaration in August 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must go—and therefore that the United States will not contribute constructively to the quest for a political settlement to the Syrian conflict.

If the United States can truly reform its approach to the Middle East, certainly Iran can work with that.  But if Washington continues down its counter-productive path in the region, Tehran can play off America’s accumulating policy failures and the deepening illegitimacy of its regional posture to advance the Islamic Republic’s strategic position.  We look forward to charting and analyzing the course of events in the Middle East, along with all of you, during 2014.

To round off our retrospective look at last year, we recall that, back in February 2013, our newly published book, Going to Tehran, served as the launch point for a Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs symposium on “The U.S.-Iranian Relationship and the Future of International Order.”  As a final gift from 2013, we want to share (see here) the issue of the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, published in November 2013, presenting the penetrating papers that grew out of this symposium—by Dan Joyner, Richard Butler, Mary Ellen O’Connell, and Jim Houck, along with the two of us.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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425 Responses to “Iran, the United States, and the Middle East in 2014”

  1. James Canning says:

    Obama’s “self-inflicted debacle” over Syria was a stroke of good luck, in my view. Getting rid of Syrian CW without US military intervention in vicious civil war.

  2. Castellio says:

    Thank you for the access to the journal. Much appreciated.

    And the best to you both in the New Year!! Onwards with courage!!

  3. Don Bacon says:

    Exactly right– (quotes)
    –President Obama’s largely self-inflicted debacle
    –2014 will be a year in which the effectiveness of Iranian strategy comes to the fore.
    – Iran’s strategy does not depend on Washington getting things right.
    –Tehran can play off America’s accumulating policy failures

    PLUS the center of political gravity has changed, from the US/NATO to Europe-Turkey-Russia–Asia working WITH Iran (and Syria) against US/Saudi/Israel. This is NOT only a US-Iran affair. There are OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS now.

    AND now we have Russia against Saudi Arabia and its allies US/Israel.

    It’ll be interesting. Most interesting.

    It’s a good thing the US pivoted to Asia/Pacific. /s
    And let’s be thankful, for Iran’s sake, that Obama is extremely foolish.

  4. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    “AND now we have Russia against Saudi Arabia and its allies US/Israel.”

    Please. Based on what?

  5. Khomeini says:

    United States and Iran in 2014

    In six months time “no-sanction interim period” will be over and it will be back to new sanctions strategy – and off-course threat of war (all options are on the table) will be back. Iran will be accused of violating the agreement and US senate will impose sanctions will lots of loud noise.

    By June 2014 Syrian army will gain more grounds and Assad will take part in the scheduled Syrian election and win comfortably with the support of pro-government Muslims and other minority religious groups. Rebels, Arab puppet regimes and West especially United States will cry foul – election is rigged !! Violence will increase in ferocity in the remaining rebel controlled area. Iran as usual will be blamed of engineering the election fraud – New York times, Washington Post and Al-Jazeera will publish endless stories about how IRGC designed, planned and executed the plot. More reasons to hate and spread anti-Iran hatred !!!

    I almost forget, Hezbollah will be accused of filling empty ballot boxes with pro-assad votes. Stories of how Hezbollah men prevented anti-Assad Syrian voters from voting will be written in length.

  6. BiBiJon says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Just to be clear, I don’t think the US’ new strategic alignments (if any) involves distancing herself from KSA or Israel. Only vis-a-vis Iran, if there were to be US-Iran detenete, would US have any issues with KSA and Israel, or more aptly put, KSA/Israel would have a bone to pick with the US.

    Again, (BIG) if there is to be a US-Iran detente it will not involve anything that Israel/KSA could reasonably regard as trespassing their traditional spheres of influence.

    In other words, US has an open hand if it wished to improve relations with Iran.

    In an ideal world, and independent of US-Iran relationship, US would distance herself from Wahabistan and the apartheid state, but for the very reasons you mentioned tis not the time.

    Rueters is upping the ante against Associated Press by reporting that a higher up, Burns, has been dilly dallying with Iranians even sooner than AP managed to scoop.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/01/us-iran-nuclear-burns-idUSBREA000AD20140101

    I would not characterize these meetings at whatever level, and for however many years as proof of anything, other than proof of the meetings themselves. I.e. whereas participants might have tip-toed into the initial pow wows out of curiosity, their attendance at subsequent meetings indicates increasing levels of enticement. My hunch is that the interim agreement over the nuclear pretext is both an opportunity for both sides to test intentions/capabilities of one another, and it is a small enough of an increment of thaw in relations for public/allies’ consumption.

    The two sides’ rhetoric, public musings, etc. I think mean very little. The tone has certainly lost its sharper edges, but I agree that softer tones alone is not enough straw to hang on to, for the optimist, nor to make a straw man out of, for the pessimist.

    That oxymoron, “dual track” turns out to have been actually pursued. They were poking one another in the eye at the same time as they were talking about the price for stopping the belligerence. That alone, must have shown the two sides to have multiple dimensions, and the maturity to conduct the dual track. That both were able to keep it a secret, must have engendered some level of mutual trust, methinks.

  7. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bibijon,

    Yes to everything you wrote. “Dual track” has always existed and will always exist.

    That’s what intelligence services are for.

  8. Fiorangela says:

    “disenthrall.” To free from bondage; liberate. Free from a controlling force.

    exquisite word choice.

    To echo Castellio’s comment, Thanks for links to the Penn State Journal. Several copies of the that volume of the Penn State Journal together with a few copies of the paperback version of “Going to Tehran” would make a fine gift to your alma mater, a nearby college law school or international studies program.

    Happy New Year to Going to Tehran’s hosts and participants and those they hold dear.

  9. hans says:

    Me thinks Iran will be safe, the next big ZioNazi project is east, Thailand, Indonesia where yet again the Muslims will be manipulated, both Christians and non Sunni will be attacked. India is aslo a hot spot if the Hindu fascists win.

    This year Syria will be relatively free. The New Khazar empire will fail.

  10. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    “Obama’s “self-inflicted debacle” over Syria was a stroke of good luck, in my view. Getting rid of Syrian CW without US military intervention in vicious civil war.”

    How does supplying weapons and political support to rebels against a sovereign state = “without military intervention” ?

    And who received the “stroke” of that “good luck”? Certainly not the Syrian people, a majority of whom still support the sovereign government which “good luck Obama” is intent on deposing.

  11. Karl.. says:

    Fiorangela

    With James logic the raped girl should be more than happy, after all she wasnt killed.

  12. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 2, 2014 at 9:58 am

    After the magnitude of the strategic disaster in Iraq became evident, the destruction of the Islamic Republic became the paramount policy goal of Axis Powers as well as their local minions; chief among them Saudi Arabia and Israel followed by the Oil-Wells-With-Flags of the Southern Persian Gulf.

    To wit: Syria’s Ba’ath state was to be destroyed and replaced by an Iran-unfriendly state and – I suppose – later to be followed by an assault on Iran herself.

    Jordan and Turkey were recruited to be the front-line states in destroying Syrian Ba’ath state in order to wound Iran.

    Iranians, on the other hand, had already moved into Iraq and they played their sectarian card quite well; eviscerating the war that had been cooked in Washington DC.

    US and EU policy has not changed, in my opinion.

    They want to destroy Iran – they cannot accept any independent actor in the Middle East save Israel; they destroyed the government of the late Dr. Mossadegh – a liberal – and would have done the same against the Islamic Republic.

    They are against independent strategic Iranian power and by implication, against dignity of the individual Iranian persons.

    Well, 7 years after 2007, when the Axis Powers as well as China and Russia could have taken a different tack with Iran the results of the strategic wars against Iran and her allies are quite clear: further consolidation of the Shia Crescent as well as expansion of Iranian latent nuclear power.

    I see the finger of the Hidden Imam in all of this.

  13. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Yes, I pointed this out to him a few months ago in connection with European Jewry: that per his argument, Shoah was Jews’ fault since they refused to convert to Christianity and abandon their ancient religion and customs.

    The English are very empirical – I think in this case the man has been too empirical!

  14. fyi says:

    hans says:

    January 2, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Local currencies are weakening in all the countries you mentioned: India, Indonesia, Thailand – I think the reduction of value is close to 15% across all 3 states.

    Let us see how far low they go.

  15. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Mark Hibbs on the Iran Nuclear Deal:

    http://carnegieendowment.org/2013/12/30/year-of-too-great-expectations-for-iran/gxbv

    We read:

    “The United States will not pivot away from Israel and the Arab states in the Persian Gulf, and Iran will not abandon the Alawites in Syria and push Hezbollah to renounce force. The November deal will not lead to a transformation of the West’s relations with Iran, and the act of signing a deal will not mean Washington and Tehran have somehow overcome their multiple fundamental differences and become partners, as some observers either hope or fear.”

  16. Fiorangela says:

    fyi @ 10:17:

    “The English are very empirical – I think in this case the man has been too empirical!”

    “Empirical” as in imperial, i.e. believing that they and they alone have the right to rule, a right handed down to them by some divine force?

  17. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely Hibbs comprehends that if a deal of some sort is reached, investments in Iran by western companies will alter the current balance. Hundreds of western companies have indicated an interest in entering the Iranian marketplace.

  18. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I can assure you that Lady Ashton has no desire whatever to “destroy” Iran. Russia and China would not have her speak for them (in P5+1 negotiations) if they thought the EU was trying to “destroy” Iran.

  19. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Most Syrians continue to support Syrian government. Ergo, the fact the US did not hit Syria with a few hundred cruise missiles surely is a good thing.

  20. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You might bear in mind that I often condemn the vicious civil war in Syria.

  21. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Obama’s ability to act, regarding Iran, is circumscribed significantly by the ISRAEL LOBBY. Many powerful Democrats try to block an improvement in America’s relations with Iran.

  22. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    There will be zero investment by Western companies in Iran.

    The war against Shia Crescent must end first; it has not.

    Axis Powers can, even at this late date, instruct their man-servant – Turkey – to close her border with Syria.

    They will not.

    They have not yet strategically altered their posture towards Iran.

    Nothing has happened to alter my view regarding since the strategic clarity of the still-born war of US against Syria this past August 2013.

    Chinese might invest in Iran; that is the extent of it for next decade at the very least.

  23. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    The Russian and Chinese governments wish to keep Iran weak.

    The Axis Powers wish to destroy Iran.

    In between the 2 camps and the two diverging aims, there is sufficient scope for cooperation among these self-appointed managers of the world affairs.

    Well, they do not have that kind of power any longer.

  24. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    I’ve found Mr. Hibbs being wrong on many of his pronostications. He has still managed to keep his bureaucratic connections in Vienna for most of his occasional “technical” scoops serving him well in his job (who knows for how long). But, politically speaking, his analysis lack objectivity and independence of view. In this particular article you linked, the main fallacy is in my opinion his vain attempt to portray the IAEA as an independant legal entity. Concluding that the Agency can have serious political confrontation over its “credibility” with the powers, i.e. US and Russia, in case they try to politically fudge the Possible Military Dimension of Iran’s nuclear activities. This is clearly either an over-idealized (and wrong) conception of the international relations and the role of the international organizations or an attempt to keep the favor of some interested actors in the area. I believe he follows the mainstream Western view of a zero sum game being currently played in the “middle-east”, with the Atlantists and their surrogates being the ultimate winners… kind of like Prince Bandar.

  25. James Canning says:

    “Chance of a century: International investors flock to Tehran”, by Susanne Koehl, in today’s Spiegel online (Germany). Worth reading, by those following that angle.

  26. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan approached Russia, regarding making a very large deal. This approach was obviously not part of a “zero-sum” game. Unless one regarded an arms deal made with a Russian company as meaning an arms deal not made with another company in a different country, and this is the “zero sum”.

  27. James Canning says:

    Regarding Mark Hibbs, I think he is a bit naive to believe Iran could tell Hezbollah how to order its affairs in Lebanon. Offer advice, yes. Control H’s actions, no.

  28. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia and China both see Iran as gaining strength, if the nuclear dispute is resolved. They welcome a gain in strength by Iran.

  29. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Let’s remember the Soviet Union tried to prevent Iraq’s destruction of its own army, through bad decisions after Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

  30. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    January 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I largely agree with you however I do agree with the portion of his statements that I quoted directly in my post.

    No doubt IAEA is not a disarmament agency and P5+1 trying to make it so in case of Iran has been resisted by Iran and will be resisted by her.

    I also think that there is a zero-sum game for power in the Near East that the Axis Powers have lost – I do not see them winning at all at the strategic level. It is a tribute to the delusions of the Western analysts that they cannot or will not admit the grand strategic failures of their policies from Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.

  31. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Not going to happen….

  32. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    That is not a true statement.

  33. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:

    “Just to be clear, I don’t think the US’ new strategic alignments (if any) involves distancing herself from KSA or Israel. Only vis-a-vis Iran, if there were to be US-Iran detenete, would US have any issues with KSA and Israel, or more aptly put, KSA/Israel would have a bone to pick with the US.”

    Totally agree with that.
    As it is quite unlikely that the so called “rapprochement” would lead to anyone “pacification” (that is surrender).
    I would rather call it “normalization” of ties to some degree.

    The US are losing ground in the ME and have no other choice.
    The US economy is disastrous and only hold with the QE.
    Obviously it is only the addict’s fix.
    Well you know how it ends when there is no more fix… Or how the addiction ends up whithout drug withdrawal.

    Surely EU countries are in bad shape.
    Because they do not use QE as much as the US due to “northern Europe” being do much in love with their hard currency.

  34. fyi says:

    All:

    King’s madness recognized by Professor Mearsheimer:

    http://nationalinterest.org/article/america-unhinged-9639

  35. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    The enemies of Iran will never invest or help Iran. That will go against their blood enmity with Iran. Take the example of the British.

    Iran for long has been fond of having a modern car industry for very right reasons since the time of Shah. Years ago, the British car maker Land Rover was financially in trouble and it was being sold. Three countries were interested to buy it in order to modernize their car industries: India, China and Iran.

    At the time there were not so such sanctions and demonization of Iran and no sanctions against Iran’s car industry. Iran offered the highest bid to mofu British for the company. But the mofu british sold it to India so that Iran does not get access to modern car design and manufacturing technology. As I have outlined before, the solution is no more such kind of cooperation but local development of science and technology.

    Or take the example of the house negro nation of South Korea. An Iranian appliance manufacturing company Entekhab Electronics in order to modernize itself went to South Korea and offered to buy a bankrupt, out of business South Korean electronic company. South Koreans welcomed Iran. They took 400 million dollars from Iranian side and the next day, the South Korean government announced sanctions on Iran and took the Iranian money and bought lots of pork and wine for its population to party. They showed the finger to Iran. For a while Iranians protested but then they got the message of the South Korean finger. The money disappeared. It was better instead of going to South Korea and pay them and then beg them to just spend that 400 million dollars on Iran’s local research and development.

    The story of Iran’s numerous investments in Eurodif, Rossing uranium mine, Mercedez Benz etc etc are all testimony to the fact that the moment Iran pay money to these rascals, they will kick Iran in the face and show Iran the finger. The only solution for Iran is development of a vibrant science and technology sector inside Iran battling mofu’s like british. Such an R&D should be prioritized to reverse engineer and if not possible/available, then develop products as per needs of Iranian economy. Reverse engineer a medicine from GlaxoSmithKline, mass produce it not only for Iranian market but also for massive export to hurt the GlaxoSmithKline markets. For example start with mass manufacturing Tyverb.

  36. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Hibbs and people like him are dinosaurs. The international law and institutions like IAEA are dead. Now every one can see that these are just a bunch of hypocrisy. All the international and law and institutes are made to keep the supremacy of the white men. IAEA died when it refused technical help to Iran with setting up a specialized fire brigade unit for Bushehr nuclear power plant (against the very mandate the IAEA was set up for/ IAEA is not an inspection agency, it is an agency that was set up supposedly to help states with safety issues around nuclear technology).

    All these laws are there so that the white men can keep his thousands of nukes threaten other nations like Iran with those nukes and to prohibit nations like Iran to ever have nukes for their protection against the sick white men.

  37. Ataune says:

    @caning
    Bandar always saw Saudi/Iran relationship through a black and white prism. And this view hasn’t wanished, au contraire … it has produced the “Syrian affair” initiated and perpetuated mostly by his organization. His trip to Russia was just to check Putin’s political resolve as he was led to believe that Russia is the weakest link among Syria backers. Iran and Russia have their own interests which is obviousely separate, since the 2 states are distinct, but right now their alignement regarding Syria sounds unbreachable. It has started to brake the will of the Atlantists and their surrogates in the region. When the pride of a powerful and arrogant adversary is touched you have to be careful not give him the occasion to do foolish and out of control things. That’s what is happening right now in the “middle-east” political arena.

  38. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    I think a fair number of “Atlanticists” would not mind if Bashar al-Assad stays in the saddle, in Syria.

    I do of course agree that Saudi backing of effort to overthow Assad has much to do with fears of war with Iran, if nuclear dispute is not resolved.

  39. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    I also think a fair number of “Atlanticists” see a good deal of merit in Russia’s approach to a number of problems in the Middle East.

  40. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Dozens of major American and British comnpanies are interested in doing business with Iran.

    The Indian buyer of Jaguar and Land Rover has done very good things with that company, enhancing employment in Britain.

  41. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Soviet FM told Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait or suffer the destruction of his army. Saddam refused. Soviet FM went to Baghdad, to plead with Saddam to show some common sense. (Late 1990.)

  42. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Primakov was special envoy for Gorbachev, when he went to Baghdad to try to talk some sense into Saddam Hussein (prior to Gulf War).

  43. Smith says:

    Will we ever have justice? :http://www.britishreparations.org/

  44. Smith says:

    What a british really means when he says, he wants to have “dealing” with you: http://beforeitsnews.com/mediadrop/uploads/2013/50/fb2cbda2b0bb809c422c1a3f981585d76c3488d9.jpg

  45. Smith says:

    British intentionally designed Bengal famine of 1943: http://exiledonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/inda-famine1.jpg

    Accounts say 10 million were killed by the British.

  46. Smith says:

    And when the natives try to take back their land, their dignity and their wealth from these bastard mofu’s, then these fascists used to kill them all and write a hygenic history of bravery for themselves. Just look here how they depict themselves against people who wanted their freedom from this lash-khor nation: http://0.tqn.com/d/history1800s/1/0/t/A/-/-/Indian-mutiny-Wheeler-3000-gty.jpg

    As an innocent Bible reading lady being attacked by vicious rapist criminals.

    They are the same people.

    The favorite petite whore has not changed.

    Iran needs nuclear weapons to keep this monster at bay.

  47. Smith says:

    Someone should calculate what britain owes Iran as well: http://www.britishreparations.org/facts.php

    I am sure, it must be equivalent to hundreds of trillions of dollars.

  48. kooshy says:

    Karl and Gav wouldn’t like it b’s analysis are usually accurate and he understand the region’s political dynamics vis-a-vis the related ethnical/ cultural/ religious associations.

    “Saudi officials fumed at the U.S. for failing to launch strikes against Mr. Assad over the chemical weapons attack, and Prince Bandar threatened to scale back cooperation with the CIA.
    The frustration was mutual. In private meetings with U.S. officials, Mr. Kerry singled out Prince Bandar as “the problem,” complaining about his conduct, according to meeting participants.

    A former senior Obama administration official said Saudi leaders misread U.S. sentiment. The White House, the former official said, had no obligation to come to the rescue “when they picked a fight they couldn’t win.”
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  49. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    More nonsense James! China pointed to “all parties” not to Iran. Bother to read much?!

  50. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    you’d like the US to simply attack Iran, don’t you? Is that why you reflect your pleasure dreams on others?

  51. Jay says:

    James,

    your frustration that your nonsense does not sell here is understandable. Like all good salesman, you either have to change your product or your customer.

    Given that your product seems to be well-ingrained , the most profitable tactic for you seems to be to “change your customer” – perhaps a different site with more gullible visitors?!

  52. Jay says:

    James,

    I do mean this with all sincerity, no customers for your sincerely-couched insincerities here!

    You are a bit slippery at first, but after a few slips …

    Your friend George Bush said once: “fool me once – shame on you, fool me – you can’t get fooled again!

  53. ToivoS says:

    “Iran’s strategy does not depend on Washington getting things right.”

    That is profoundly correct. I think we can count on Washington NOT getting things right. However, there are some constraints on how wrong we will be. At a fundamental level Obama has decided against war with Iran. I suspect that he genuinely wants to lessen the danger of war that is inherent in the current situation with sanctions. Therefore, I believe he will blunder forward trying to come to some agreement with Iran. What is going to trip him up is the US Congress and the Israel lobby. Iran has to be fully aware of this obstacle. Their diplomacy will have to take this into consideration and navigate through difficult waters. Somehow, I remain fairly optimistic that between Obama’s desire for something positive to happen and Iranian flexibility that 2014 will see an improvement in US-Iran relations.

    One of the factors that will push things in this direction is that the rest of the world is becoming impatient with the sanctions and there is a danger, to the US, that sanctions will start to crumble if the US does not display some willingness to deal. If that were to happen (big if) then Obama would face another FP debacle. Israel, KSA and Republicans in Congress would like to see that happen but I do not think Senate Democrats would let that happen. We will have a clearer picture this summer. Going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  54. Dara says:

    Iranian society has lived cultural and educational revolution during the last 2 decades. In their great majority, they have the same aspiration and same views than western societies. They can not be manipulated easily and they have given a mandate to the Islamic Republic Government to change their politics in order to reflect the point of view of the majority of Iranian Society. Therefore normalize the relation with Western countries.
    They are aware of the difficulties inside and outside Iran and they have all experienced injustice of certain western countries and International institutions, They witnessed the terrible miscalculations and disasters in the whole region, Afghanistan – Iraq- Lybia – Syria – Egypt and probably others to be added to the list.
    They reject such experience and will fight to avoid it.
    Contrary to what is said in certain comments, Iranian are not fond of Chinese presence and Investment in Iran and they favor amelioration of relation with western sphere, as they feel them closer to their general Idea of Society. ( That is not new, Iran through his history looked to the west and not the east)
    I believe that the amelioration of the relation with US and western countries has very deep roots and is not only some political game. It is essential for the survival of the Islamic Republic Government and very helpful to bring sanity in the area using the know how and cultural maturity of a population in the center of the storm.
    Prince Bandar and his legions of Takfiris will not erase the reality on the ground, the Shiite-Sunnite war will not happen and the Saudis, like others, must accept diversity, modernity and power sharing with their population.
    As for Israel, an agreement will be reached at the end of the day. Bibi Natanyahu is not Israel.
    As for Regime change or weakening of Iran designed by the American Congress, it has led to the sanctions regime with double effects : To strengthen and enrich the institutions that they were supposed to destroy and a positive effect, the creation of a modern politically aware nation out of disparate groups and populations.
    It would be another miscalculation and a shame to not understand the chance and possibilities that this modern and young nation can offer the US for the stabilization of the area and hence economical growth for the benefit of world economy.

    Finally, The political games disappear in front of social realities. It is only a matter of time.
    To understand the social realities and design new policies is the Job of all head of governments, lets hope that President Obama and Western leaders understand the social realities in the Area and not focus only on short term interest.
    Sorry for this long comment and my English ( I studied in France). I really appreciate your site and Peoples comments on different subjects. I wanted to be one of them this time.

  55. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    Only because the choice is now a stark and simple one between a functioning secular state under assad vs a jihadi failed state being used as a staging point to attack and destabilize the neighboring countries,even the most brain damaged of western politicians can see this,but these were also the same western politicians who just a few months ago were calling for assads removal and who are still turning a blind eye to saudis shipping jihadis and weapons to syria.When it comes to the west and the middle east there are literally no limits to blood thirsty western hypocrisy,something you seem to support completely james.

  56. BiBiJon says:

    John J. Mearsheimer doesn’t get it
    ==================================

    In his arguments for a non-interventionist approach to the world, he says that US interests are served by only making sure no regional hegemon emerges, e.g. Iran dominating the oil producing countries of the region.

    What may be at play, is that the US has been actively trying to create a hegemon dominating not just in the middle east, but across the Muslim world. That is the Wahabi Caliphate. A Wahabi caliphate will extinguish any and all social, scientific, technological embers still alive in the Muslim world, and reduce that civilization to simply produce raw material and cheap labor for export, with zero chance of evolution beyond medieval existence.

    Yes, individually, the interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, etc. make no sense. But, by looking at these individual cases he may be blinded to the wood for the trees. Perhaps Prof. Mearsheimer would like to explain why a Wahabi Caliphate is not in US’ national interests. And, if it is in the US’ interests, how far will the US go to crush the resistance to it?

  57. Karl.. says:

    When will begin to hear this kind of propaganda against Iran I wonder..
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f4a_1388717843

  58. Rehmat says:

    Well, the Syrian chemical attack was cooked-up by Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to British MP George Galloway. Assad is recovering his local and internal power, thanks to Iran, Russia and Hizbullah support.

    On Iranian front, Sheikh Rouhani has lost more to the US-Israel-Saudi ‘Axis of Evil’ than any Iranian gains except the praise from anti-Ahmadinejad Zionist propaganda machine. For example, Iran has not received a single dollar from its $100 billion frozen assets in the West – and pro-Israel Congress has slammed new sanctions against the Iranian nation.

    Many observers of AIPAC huge power over the US political system, believe that 2014 will be more critical in US-Iran relation than 2013.

    Listen to Professor Michael Scheuer, former head of CIA Osama Bin Laden team, what he told to the anti-Iran lawmakers at the House Homeland Security Committee on October 22, 2013.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/02/ex-cia-official-id-dump-israelis-tomorrow/

  59. fyi says:

    Dara says:

    January 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

    You wrote:

    “Iran through his history looked to the west and not the east)
    I believe that the amelioration of the relation with US and western countries has very deep roots and is not only some political game. ”

    I think that only pertains to the last 2 centuries.

    Prior to that, it is clear that much of Iranian Fine Arts was profoundly influenced by artistic forms developed in China.

    Furthermore, even the words for rifle and cartridge in Persian are Chinese; as well as some of the ancient names of villains and heroes in the Shahnameh; “Peshang” – most like “Pei-Sheng” and Houshang, most likely “Hwa (Fire) – Sheng”.

    But I agree with you that very many in Iran resent Chinese low-cost goods – what Iranians can actually afford based on the level of their productivity.

  60. Dan Cooper says:

    Interesting article

    Zionist terrorism by the Zionist terrorist; the Irgun and the Stern Gang

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/01/01/how_zionist_extremists_helped_create_britain_s_surveillance_state?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Flashpoints%20Complete%2010%2F7&utm_campaign=Flashpoints%2001-02-14#sthash.pzDsxQCB.dpbs

    MI5 received a stream of intelligence reports warning that the Irgun and the Stern Gang were not just planning violence in the Mandate of Palestine, but were also plotting to launch attacks inside Britain.

  61. Irshad says:

    @James Canning – The Chinese are coming to the English Channel!:

    http://china-defense.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/photo-op-of-year-plans-1st-carrier.html

  62. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Did US support for the Soviet Union during the Second World War, mean that the US wanted communism imposed on the nations of Eastern and Central Europe occupied by the Red Army? Of course not.

    The US is not TRYING to help set up a “Wahabi Caliphate”. The notion is frankly silly.

  63. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    In what way do I “promote bloodthirsty hypocrisy”? The notion is abusrd.

    Obama blundered when he said in 2011 that “Assad has to go”. The Saudis who decided to back insurgency in Syria were expecting fairly quick direct US military intervention.

  64. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    As to Syria, perhaps Washington is slowly “getting things right”. Effort all along should have been to promote Russian attempts to achieve diplomatic solution to the civil war.

  65. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I have thought all along that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was making horrendous mistakes in Syria.

  66. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You are off your head if you think I want the US to attack Iran. Off your head. Full stop.

  67. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Correct. China warned both the US and Iran not to close the shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz. You had implied China had not warned Iran not to try to close the S of H.

  68. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Is America’s provision of Hellfire missiles and drones to Iraq, to counter al-Qaeda attacks in that country, part of the US effort “to destroy the Shia Crescent”?

  69. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Then stop saying it and stop saying that other people say it!

  70. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You simply do not understand how Chinese leaders communicate on such matters. China’s president and China’s premier both visited the Persian Gulf in recent years and said Iran should not try to close the shipping lanes.

    If you think China would not back a blockade of Iranian oil exports by sea, even if Iran refuses to make a deal etc etc, you are simply mistaken. The support might well be tacit.

  71. Khomeini says:

    Irshad says:
    January 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    @James Canning – The Chinese are coming to the English Channel!:

    When the Chinese come to English Channel I HOPE they team up with France and rename channel’s name to “French Channel”. Then we will see how the English feel. Whenever British regime gangsters visit GCC puppets they say “Arabian Gulf” instead of “Persian Gulf”.

  72. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Your position is simply that Iran can threaten to damage vital national interests of China, and expect no response from China.

  73. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    “Did US support for the Soviet Union during the Second World War, mean that the US wanted communism imposed on the nations of Eastern and Central Europe occupied by the Red Army? Of course not.”

    No, they were hoping to destroy both USSR and Germany. They only got half their wish,

    “The US is not TRYING to help set up a “Wahabi Caliphate”. The notion is frankly silly.”

    The Persian Gulf countries in 2012 have spent $132 billion on arms, with Saudis leading at 8.9 percent of GDP. Keep in mind Russian embassy bombing in Syria, and Iranian embassy bombing in Lebanon, and numerous acts of terror in the Caucuses, Iraq, etc. all supported by the same Saudis. You tell me why a medieval Wahabi caliphate would not be in your interests, James. Are you saying you don’t want subjugation of peoples, so e.g. you can prat about threatening blockades and having the gall to blame the blockaded?

  74. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Merely a tactical concession on a strategic goal.

    Until and unless US planners adopt the late Lt. General William Odom’s strategic parameters in dealing with Iran we will not see any material changes in US policy.

    Madness still rules the roost.

  75. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Stay on topic James. After some cajoling, you admitted that what you said was not what the Chinese said.

    Now you say that you can mind read – it is not what the Chinese said but what you “mind read” they meant. Allow me the luxury of not subscribing to this voodoo!

  76. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Is that a question? Or, is that another one of your fantasies being projected onto someone else?

  77. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I was not “mindreading”. I was merely saying what some of those who were close to the Chinese during those visits to the Gulf, said about it.

    If you think China would not mind Iran’s closing the S of H, or attempting to do so, that of course is your own opinion.

    Of course China also told the US not to risk closing the S of H, when there is still hope a deal between Iran and P5+1 can be achieved.

  78. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Many major US companies are interested in doing business in Iran. Some of the major US oil companies already have contacts in Tehran working on possible deals etc. Yet you argue western companies do not want to do business in Iran, unless “Shia pwoer” is seriously undercut first.

    Iran needs the leverage that flows from having major corporations pushing US leaders to take actions that beneift those corporations (and Iran, of course).

  79. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The US and Britain were not trying to destroy the USSR while pursuing the final defeat of Nazi Germany (and Japan).

    Stalin’s brutal suppression of civil liberties etc in countries occupied by the Red Army, did much to create the Cold War.

  80. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I have said it would be better to try to avoid attacking Iran, in the event Iran fails to make a deal with P5+1 and continues to stockpile enriched uranium etc etc. Surely this is sensible.

  81. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have not been among those who thought Iran would “abandon” Assad. Many commentators in the west seem to have found this notion appealing (that Iran would abandon Assad).

  82. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    No james its the sanctions,the threats of “all options on the table” military action,the attempt to overthrow assad,the weapons and political support for the jihadis/rebels in syria,the supplying of weapons to the saudis and gulf states far beyond what they need,it is these things that are attempts to weaken and “contain” iran,a paltry handful of simple weapons to the iraqis does nothing to change this,the end goal of the west is still the weakening of iran and iranian influence in the region

  83. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    “I have said it would be better to try to avoid attacking Iran, in the event Iran fails to make a deal with P5+1 and continues to stockpile enriched uranium etc etc. Surely this is sensible.”

    What is wrong with Iran, or anybody else stockpiling enriched uranium, that your blood thirsty kind would consider attacking them for it?

    But, yes it would be sensible for the UK not be part of any physical aggression on Iran. You surely do not want your arse handed to you. Do you?

  84. Smith says:

    Why Iran Needs a Shi’ite Bomb?
    Five reasons why Iran needs to acquire nuclear prowess

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/why-iran-needs-a-shiite-bomb/

  85. Smith says:

    Why NPT will eventually have to die: http://www.armscontrol.org/files/TAB_Submarine_Nuclear_Reactors.pdf

    The hypocrisy that US uses 90% enriched uranium to run its naval reactors while denying low level enrichment to Iran with obsolete IR-1 centrifuges, can not go any longer.

  86. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Not going to happen; Iranians tried that and were shut down when Mr. Clinton began the long economic war with Iran back in 1994.

    As things stand, it will take 2 generations for US sanctions against Iran to be removed – almost certainly the architects and the enablers of those sanctions have to be dead before US could be moved in that direction.

    China will own the Iranian markets; no doubt.

  87. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    No doubt about it.

  88. Neil M says:

    When there were 91 comments on this thread, James Canning was the author of 30 of them and they ‘inspired’ 22 direct responses from other commenters. Had those exchanges not occurred the thread would have contained 39 comments instead of 91.

  89. Empty says:

    Dara says,

    “That is not new, Iran through his history looked to the west and not the east”

    Is that why, for more than a thousand years, Iran has been a Muslim nation and, for more than 500 years a Shi’a state? Because it has looked to the west? Shouldn’t it have been a Christian and Protestant nation perhaps? Is that why in the 20th Century right when the western God was dead and the religion of secularism ruled the west, Iran chose an Islamic Republic? Because it was looking to west? Is that why the greatest motto of the revolution was “نه شرقی، نه غربی. جمهوری اسلامی” [Neither East, Nor West. Islamic Republic]?

    If one uses facts instead of fiction, truth instead of fantasy, then one shall see that sun is sufficient proof for existence of sun.

  90. fyi says:

    Neil M says:

    January 4, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Good point; I will ignore him.

  91. Empty says:

    Neil M,

    RE: “When there were 91 comments on this thread, James Canning was the author of 30 of them and they ‘inspired’ 22 direct responses from other commenters.”

    This is nothing. I know of cases where 15 to 20 grown up and mature people run after a plastic sphere filled with air, I mean just air mind you, for nearly two hours week after week and they put this air around themselves as if they have accomplished something like have found a cure for cancer or AIDS or returned an extinct species or something. Really, as strange as it seems, I have seen this with my own eyes!

  92. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    January 4, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Some Iranians live in a Euro-American fantasy some in an Early-Islam fantasy.

    It is as though the Bhuids, Ibn Sina, Khwajah Naseer Toosi, the Seljuks, the Mongols, the Safavids, Mir Damad etc. never existed.

    Illiteracy.

  93. kooshy says:

    “Some Iranians live in a Euro-American fantasy some in an Early-Islam fantasy.”

    This all started by Nasereldinshah’s trip to Europe and what came back with it, consequent trips and sending students to Europe did intensify this, Iranian inspirations by materialistic west will take some time to reverse when Iran can do more martial achievements of her own. Not many Iranians do look to the west for western liberalism, their inspirations is more due to western materialistic achievements.

  94. PB says:

    Empty:
    Well stated!! (in response to “Iran… looked to the west…”)

    Iran’s strategy is NOT to lift US sanctions. They know better. They are hoping to break international cooperation on the sanctions. Since the sanctions are illegal under international law, Iran hopes to make enough nations deviate from their support.

    Iran’s economy was doing just fine in 2011 (according to IMF’s report), showing it does not need US support to have growing economy. Iran wants to go back to those days.

    But we may be underestimating the effectiveness of Iran’s strategy, it may create enough pressure to force the Obama administration accept a deal with the Islamic Republic and bring a win-win resolution to all this.

    Interesting enough, Fareed Zakaria of CNN said about a deal with Iran: “Obama might finally earn his Nobel Peace Prize.”

  95. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Dara-jan,

    In fact historically Iran has usually looked to India and China…culturally, economically and in terms of sciences and technology.

    And good that it did and good that it will continue to do so.

    Anyway the west is relatively speaking a blip on the radar screen (historically speaking).

    Human history on the whole is and has always been about Asia and Asian “civilizations”.

    Also winning 51% in elections doesn’t make a “mandate”.

    We can’t let a bunch of emotional young people decide the fate of our civilization (like we did during the revolution), now can we?

    Anyway, much of what you claimed as fact and inevitable is debatable.

    What is a “fact” however is that the overwhelming majority of Iranian are bad-joor religious and love Imam Hussein (as). That’s really the gist of the matter.

    Like we say: “Na gharbi, na sharqi, Jumhuriye Eslami!”.

  96. Karl.. says:

    Israeli ‘citizen’ canto try to destroy Iran/US talks with sanctions.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/04/343664/us-rep-seeks-bill-to-kill-iran-talks/

  97. Karl.. says:

    *Should be Eric Cantor.

  98. Don Bacon says:

    news you may have missed.

    Majid al-Majid, Azzam Brigades Commander, Dies in Custody
    Majid bin Muhammad al-Majid, the emir of Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that claimed responsibility for bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut last November, died in custody on Saturday, Lebanese security sources said. (BBC, 4 January)

    Majid al-Majid, a Saudi national, suffered from kidney failure and went into a coma on Friday, the sources said. He died in a military hospital in Beirut. Lebanon had announced his arrest on January 1st.

    Azzam Brigades staged the double suicide bombing on Iran’s Beirut embassy, which killed at least 25 people. In tweets at the time of the bombing, the Brigades threatened more attacks in Lebanon unless Iran pulled its forces out of Syria.

  99. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Kinda like when Mubarak spy chief Omar Suleiman went to the US for medical treatment and “died” in hospital.

  100. Don Bacon says:

    news report, Jan 3, 2014
    Pentagon removes Persian Gulf from imminent danger pay list

    The Pentagon said Friday that it was removing the Persian Gulf and other areas from the list of locations where service members would receive imminent danger pay.

    Troops will also no longer receive danger pay in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and several other countries and bodies of water across the globe, mostly in the Middle East and Africa.

  101. Don Bacon says:

    Eric Cantor:
    “Iran remains perhaps the most significant national security threat facing the United States and its closest allies. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and support for terrorism and instability must be stopped.

    Actually that’s incorrect.

    Statement for the Record
    Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence
    March 12, 2013

    GLOBAL THREATS

    -CYBER

    -TERRORISM and TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME
    –Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
    –Al-Qa’ida-Inspired Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVE).
    –Core Al-Qa’ida
    –Al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s (AQI)
    – Somalia-based al-Shabaab
    –Al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM)
    –Nigeria-based Boko Haram
    –Iran and Lebanese Hizballah (Saudi ambassador, Israel)

    WMD PROLIFERATION

    “We assess Iran is developing nuclear capabilities to enhance its security, prestige, and regional
    influence and give it the ability to develop nuclear weapons, should a decision be made to do so. We do
    not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. . .Of particular note, Iran has made progress during the past year that better positions it to produce weapons-grade uranium (WGU) using its declared facilities and uranium stockpiles, should it choose to do so. Despite this progress, we assess Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU before this activity is discovered.”
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Bsxzcg0e9u8J:www.intelligence.senate.gov/130312/clapper.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox

  102. Don Bacon says:

    Global Research, Jan 3, 2014
    A House of Saud Spin on the Neo-Con “Redirection”

    …Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007 that after the 2006 defeat of Israel in Lebanon that the US government had a new strategy called the “redirection.” According to Hersh, the “redirection” had “brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.” With the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and all the same players that helped launch Osama bin Ladin’s career in Afghanistan, the US government took “part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria.” The most important thing to note is what Hersh says next: “A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

    A new House of Saud spin on the “redirection” has begun. If there is anything the House of Saud knows well, it is rounding up fanatics as tools at the service of Saudi Arabia’s patrons in Washington. They did it in Afghanistan, they did it Bosnia, they have done it in Russia’s North Caucasus, they did it in Libya, and they are doing it in both Lebanon and Syria. It does not take the British newspaper The Independent to publish an article titled “Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis” for the well-informed to realize this.

    …While speculation has been entertained with warning in this text, most of what has been explained has not been speculative. The House of Saud has had a role in destabilizing the Russian Federation and organizing terrorist attacks inside Russia. Support or oppose the separatist movements in the North Caucasus, the point is that they have been opportunistically aided and used by the House of Saud and Washington. Despite the authenticity of the narrative about Bandar’s threats against Russia, Volgograd is about Syria and Syria is about Volgograd. Both are events taking place as part of the same struggle. The US has been trying to encroach into Syria as a means of targeting Russia and encroaching deeper in the heart of Eurasia.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/volgograd-and-the-conquest-of-eurasia-will-the-house-of-saud-see-its-stalingrad/5363440

  103. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    What nonsense, the notion the US is trying to “target Russia”. Preposterous.

  104. James Canning says:

    PB,

    Rouhani’s spokesman in the Iranian parliament said many months ago that the sanctions had led to the flight of $600 billion from Iran’s economy over the previous two years.

    And you think Rouhani is not trying to get rid of the sanctions?

  105. James Canning says:

    Neil M.,

    Are you in effect claiming that, after Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, China did not warn Iran not to do so?

  106. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You in effect argue that Rouhani and Zarif do not know what they are doing. And that getting rid of sanctions against Iran would not be good for the EU and the US.

  107. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Surely you are aware Russian and Chinese companies want to sell weapons to Persian Gulf countries.

    I have said many times that the Saudi effort to overthrow the Syrian government flowed directly from fears of war in the Gulf, arising from Iran’s failure to make a deal with P5+1. Apparently you agree.

  108. James Canning says:

    In The National Review today, Nikolas K Gvosdev writes that the US “must clearly signal to its allies and partners in the Middle East that they too have a vested interest in the security of the Sochi Olympics.”

    Good advice.

  109. Karl.. says:

    The threats against Iran never ends..

    Questioning Obama’s nerve, Oren imagines ‘massive’ bombing campaign to ‘flatten all of Iran’
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/questioning-imagines-campaign.html

  110. James Canning says:

    Karl.,

    I think Michael Oren does not doubt Obama’s determination to ensure Iran not build nukes. But I think he pretends otherwise, to injure the chances for a deal between Iran and the P5+1.

  111. James Canning says:

    Karl.,

    The core of the matter, for Michael Oren and others trying to block a deal with Iran, is simply that they want to ensure Israel can scr*w the Palestinians as hard as Israel wants to scr*w them. Nuclear dispute with Iran defelcts attention from ongoing Israeli oppression of non-Jews.

  112. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Again, since 2009 on this site, I call BS.

    Those who think an Israeli attack on Iran w/o an American Acquiescence is a real option cannot see the whole picture.

    With American AWACS flying in the PG region, not a flee can fly w/o Americans knowing or finding out.

    Next?

  113. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    What nonsense, the notion the US is trying to “target Russia”. Preposterous.

    Why is it nonsense, since the US and Russia have strong differences in the Middle East and in Central Asia.
    Of course it IS possible, and more than a notion it is reality, and so your claim is nonsense. And preposterous.
    Unless you think that Janet Napolitano’s presence in Sochi representing the U.S. will be an endorsement, for one example.

    The fact is that the U.S. is tight with Saudi Arabia and Israel at this time, which means that Russia, Iraq and Syria are targets of opportunity. That’s why the CIA exists, although some neophyte observers think that this intelligence agency merely collects intelligence and doesn’t target anybody with violence. But they are merely dreamers, detached from reality.

  114. Don Bacon says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    January 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Again, since 2009 on this site, I call BS. Those who think an Israeli attack on Iran w/o an American Acquiescence is a real option cannot see the whole picture.

    You are correct. The Israel threat is used as a diplomatic crutch, and US-educated Oren is a useful, albeit powerless, idiot in this regard and quoting him is a waste of time.

  115. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    For the Axis Powers, they started on the wrong foot with Iran since 1979-1980 period and it has been down-hill since then.

    That is, they alienated a core historic Muslim state and aimed to destroy its independence and reduce it to the level of the likes of Pakistan or Turkey or Indonesia.

    They have now lost the Iranian people and with it the possibility of re-orienting that state.

    The only alternative left for them is state destruction in Iran.

  116. Don Bacon says:

    Well, just having Iran as an enemy helps the US in military procurement and in military sales. Gotta have a strong defense. Also it helps keeping the citizens in line, because of the external “threat.”

  117. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Michael Oren is an American. Or was, actually. Born Michael Scott Bornstein, in the US. And very influential.

    I think he is trying to give cover to the foolish senators etc tryihg to block a deal between Iran and the P5+1.

  118. Smith says:

    The nature of being british: One wounds and the other puts salt on it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2014/01/140104_u07_guardian_quiz_iran.shtml

  119. Smith says:

    US created/trained/armed/paid Qaeda fighters take over the cities of Falluja and Ramadi in Iraq. US is trying its best trough its puppets like Saudi Arabia to carve out a state for these takfiris out of western Iraq and eastern Syria.

    Follow the money to catch the criminal. The money is coming from Saudi Arabia and to Saudi Arabia, fresh from the printing press of Fed. All these expendites are to redraw the maps of middle east in order for US and UK to put wahabis in charge (the religion the british created): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#SIPRI_military_expenditure_database

  120. Smith says:

    There is no detente. There is no peace: http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26126:many-more-snakes-than-ladders-for-us-policy-in-2014&catid=268:inter-press-service&Itemid=377

    Obama expects Iran to capitulates and kiss the fat American ass and then start sucking on America’s erect phallus in order to show to the world that how a successful president he is. That is his only objective. And the reason he has chosen Iran, is because he thinks, that Iran is the softest target out of all the others in the world for such a purpose (to show his American manhood). There is no detente. There is no peace.

  121. Smith says:

    Poor Sri Lanka suffering under the might of American arrogance (Sri Lanka is also Asia’s first democracy): http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/01/05/no-iranian-oil-for-sri-lanka/

  122. Smith says:

    The poorest and most dependent Iranian oil customer (All Sri Lanka’s oil refineries are built to refine Iranian oil) is begging US to allow it to breath. US says No: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/140105/news/us-gets-tough-with-lanka-over-iran-oil-78959.html

  123. Smith says:

    More on drought: http://goo.gl/NoQpyt

    Iran really needs to start designing compact breeder reactors for the purpose of desalination.

  124. Smith says:

    My goodness. This guy had become rich with so much corruption, that I thought was not possible anywhere in the world except in Russia (and now obviously in Iran): http://goo.gl/7VfzBl

    Does any one knows what he was manufacturing in Iran that was so much worth (except corruption, rent and rape)?

    After all he is even richer than Mr Serge Dassault, the owner of Dassault group of industries at estimated worth of 13.4 billion (manufactures advanced weapons, aircrafts, electronics etc) and Lee Kun-hee the owner of Samsung (one of the world’s largest and most innovative electronic manufacturer) with estimate worth of 13 billion dollars.

  125. Empty says:

    Sakineh Bagoom,

    RE: “…not a flee can fly w/o Americans knowing or finding out.”

    Technically, a flee cannot fly. It can only jump. Also, Americans are not as omniscient as they’ve portrayed themselves to be. In fact, quite a few flees can jump without them knowing and they will find out only when it is too late for them to do something about it.

    Having said that, I do agree with the jest of what you meant to convey: that Israelis cannot and will not do anything without the US’s knowledge and assistance. Thus in any Israeli operation, the US, too, is a partner in crime.

  126. Empty says:

    “gist” that is….

  127. PB says:

    James

    You misunderstood. Rohani wants to break the cooperation on the sanctions. The sanctions are legal documents passed by the US congress and have no legal ground to be imposed internationally. Many nations are supportive of the sanctions because of two basic facts: 1st-Obama has promised he is interested ONLY in a diplomatic resolution, thus gaining the support of nations such as China. 2nd-Many nations believe Iran could be more flexible. Rohani’s team wants to end international cooperation on the sanctions. Iran could care less about trade with the US, because Iran’s economy was doing very well until 2011 according to IMF’s report (growing at 6%). They want trade back with the rest of the world, whether they trade with America or Western Europe is of secondary importance.

    Your statement about Iran losing trade is accurate and not inconsistent with what I wrote. Iran was doing fine until 2011, that’s 2 years ago. The sanctions are illegal. If the US fails to reach a deal but the rest of the world finds Iran’s offers as reasonable, it is very likely a nation will take the US to task in the WTO or they may simply begin to ignore US demands and expand trade. It’s already happening. That’s Rohani’s immediate goal.

  128. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    The saudis actions in syria are rooted in the fear and paranoia that developed in the aftermath of the arab spring and the continuing growth of iranian soft and hard power,the lack of any deal at the time would only have been in saudis favor,indeed one only has to look at their reaction to the iran p5+1 deal to see how unhappy they are over this,the idea of a potential iran/us reproachment frightens them,your idea that that the failure of any deal between the iranians/p5+1 or that a fear of a us attack on iran somehow led the saudis to destabilise syria makes absolutely no sense the saudis were the ones encouraging the us to attack iran,regardless it is the saudis who are wholly responsible for what they have done in syria

  129. Don Bacon says:

    PB says:
    January 5, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Excellent.

    As I commented up at the top, the center of political gravity has changed, and some justice will now prevail aided by Iran diplomacy and US failure. Western investors are flocking to Tehran and the stock market is up as the US becomes sidelined, as is the case elsewhere in the world as well.

  130. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Empty,

    Thank you for a fine distinction, although we are both wrong that a flee is actually spelled F L E A.
    Yes, a flea can fly only when it is sucking on a bird that can fly.

  131. BiBiJon says:

    news not to miss
    ============

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/05/343844/iaea-to-inspect-gachin-mine-in-january/

    And

    ttp://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/05/uk-iran-us-syria-idUKBREA0403020140105

  132. BiBiJon says:

    Not just everyone else, even Americans
    ==================

    Don Bacon says:
    January 5, 2014 at 9:55 am

    PB says:
    January 5, 2014 at 2:05 am

    “And the Americans are already here [in Iran] with ExxonMobil, Chevron Corporation and other US companies,” he says, adding: “They are responsible for renovating the old oil production facilities and refinery industry, as well as exploring new oil fields. That’s a huge multibillion-euro business.”

    From http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/geneva-deal-sparks-new-international-investor-interest-in-iran-a-940629.html

  133. Empty says:

    Sakineh Bagoom,

    Indeed, dear lady. You see, a flea can flee from the sea and Americans can see the sea but not the flea that can flee.

  134. fyi says:

    PB says:

    January 5, 2014 at 2:05 am

    This is not about International Law – which the Axis Powers have shredded (look no further than Syria).

    This is about power; the Shia Crescent is in state of war without any end in sight.

    The wall of sanctions and war must be breached, one way or another, as you have stated.

    Normal inter-state interaction with US and EU are decades away, barring a fundamental policy revision by the Mad King.

    That is not going to happen under Mr. Obama – his government is not capable of that.

    As Mr. Smith has indicated, others are also suffering – such as Sri Lanka and the war is continuing.

    In my judgment, the rank-and-file Iranians’ hope for relief and status quo ante of 2010 will not will realized.

  135. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    He is the son of the TBT Bus lines; business is in his blood.

    I cannot trust the veracity of the accusations against him – I am reminded of this brilliant entrepreneur during the time of Reza Shah who was destroyed largely because of malic and envy of others.

  136. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iraq’s government is obtaining Hellfire missiles and drones from the US, to combat al-Qaeda in Iraq. Surely this suggests the US is not rrying to overthrow the Iraqi government.

  137. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    And FYI claims American oil companies do not want to do business in Iran.

  138. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    A primary factor driving Saudi effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assadis Saudi fears that Iran’s nuclear programme would bring war to the Persian Gulf.

  139. James Canning says:

    PB,

    Rouhani and Zarif in fact have made clear they want Iran to have access to current technology, especially oil and gas tech held by US and European energy companies.

    Vladimir Putin said that Russia is injured significantly by flight of $5 billion per month from the country’s economy. Flight capital problem in Iran is much greater.

  140. Karl.. says:

    Anyone else find this suspicious too?

    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/05/343876/saudi-terrorists-death-suspicious/

    Was he really killed or was he released?

  141. Don Bacon says:

    The US is fully in favor of the Iraq government, an ally of Iran which tossed out the US military and is an enemy of Saudi Arabia. Why wouldn’t it be? /s

    Dream on.

  142. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Nori al-Maliki has made many mistakes, regardding his dealings with Sunni leaders. But the US is not trying to overthrow him.

  143. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    FYI claims the US is trying to overthrow the Iraqi government, as part of general attack on “Shia Crescent”.

    Iraq did the US a favour, by in effect forcing withdrawal of all US trioops.

  144. Don Bacon says:

    Why isn’t the US supporting attacks on Iraq, since it is a close ally of Iran?
    Conversely, why would it be in the US interest to support an ally of Iran?
    After all, that is the main reason that the US has supported attacks on Syria, and consistency is a virtue.
    And don’t bother giving me those ineffectual claims about missiles and drones again.

  145. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Are you sure that he is the son of TBT transport company owner?

    Because that company was confiscated by the extremely corrupt people after the revolution (just like many others).

    At any rate, I myself am very much against confiscations specially the ones that happened after the revolution which basically killed Iran’s developing industrial entrepreneurship.

    But even worse than those confiscation and the damage to entrepreneurship and innovation is the rent via corruption. Specially if that rent comes from people’s unequal access to national economic information/decision making and from service sectors (running buses, airlines, tours, handling money transfers, smuggling etc etc). I would even accept a corrupt corporate entrepreneur that actually produces/manufactures something. Anything. In Iran, all the so called successful entrepreneurs are in service sector. Not much production. It is all rent from natural resources and the unproductive service sector.

    All they do is buy and sell. Tell them to invest in a technology intensive manufacturing, and they become your enemy. If the guy has 13.5 billion dollars as they say and his business conglomerate is made of Russian style take over of government (baitul-mal) built industries, bus lines and an airline, then he can forget about my sympathies. Lately, I have come to have sympathy for those rich Iranians who are ready to invest in high tech industries in Iran. Not even for those who manufacture sos e gojeh feragi and kalbas e morgh.

    As per Iran’s ministry of health, 99% of all medicines are imported to Iran (whether as a finished product or as API for local “montage” into final form. There are nearly 900 medicines approved by FDA and including those useful meds used in places like Japan/EU etc and not approved by FDA, the total number would be about a thousand. Out of these 500 are the essential modern medicines. If Iran started to reverse engineer all of them, do clinical/bio-availability trials and mass produce these medicines at the rate of one per week (as in a miracle), it would get Iran ten years from now to become self sufficiently only in medicines.

    Where are these entrepreneurs? Why all the money is going into investment in non productive service sector? Iran seems to be among the third world countries where the national need for a product does not allow for start up of production but for corruption in smuggling, rent and exclusive import licenses for mafias.

    Another example:

    Iran has a very big pollution problem, mostly because of cars. All of Iranian cars run without catalytic converters. The addition of catalytic converters to Iran’s car fleet would drastically and almost miraculously decrease the amount of pollution at a very small price (in western world catalytic converters cost around a hundred dollars). This is supposed to be a business opportunity for both the government and Iranian part manufacturers. Accumulating 13.5 billion dollars and producing nothing of any worth is in my opinion criminal. In western world they criticize their corporations and entrepreneurs. They have not seen the Iranian version of these corporations and entrepreneurs. Not only they are more corrupt but they also produce nothing.

    The definition of business and the way it lobbies the government has to change in Iran if Iran is ever to have a modern economy. The current Iranian business structure that a middle man goes and buys some western designed products, parts, etc from the middle men in Dubai and import them into Iran for selling to another middle men who sells it to yet another middle men/hoarder,… has to change.

    I have only respect for business people/government planners who are ready to move towards a knowledge based economy in Iran.

  146. Smith says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    No one knows. Most probably killed. These kind of animals have a short life span and are supposed to be completely disposable. Though at 3 billion dollar price tag (if Saudis ever pay that is), it is probably the most expensive recycling. Rumor is that Bandar’s son was also arrested with him: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13921015001257

  147. Smith says:

    It is only shameful if Iran does not turn this wonder scientific growth into business and entrepreneurship opportunity solving chronic economic problems for ever: http://www.asriran.com/fa/news/313287/%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%DA%86%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

    The enemies are going to be the corrupt smugglers, import mafias, American/British phallus suckers, the “in-people”, cargo cult priests and their cronies.

  148. Karl.. says:

    Smith

    Yes saudis and also US wanted him. The 3 billion is interestign indeed, maybe they – Lebanon, were given that in part if they released him? I dont know. It just seems strange that this “important” man just “dies” all of a sudden. At the same time if he really died in prison it doest seems too impossible really.

  149. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Yes, pretty sure he is the son of TBT founder.

    If I were an industrialist I would not invest in process of manufacturing industries in Iran, Pakistan, or India due to insecurity for any potential investments in those countries.

    You cannot blame a man for not wishing to make risk his money when the state is hostile and the legal system is irrelevant to the protection of his money.

    Look no further than India:

    Indians sabotaged Union Carbide plant in Bhopal in some sort of dispute and then turned around and blamed the American owners

    Indian politicians essentially took the Power Plant built by ENRON hostage and when ENRON refused to bow to their extortion attempt they shut it down

    Indians confiscated Air India from the Tatas and now, in order to prevent its bankruptcy, are bringing back the Tatas after 50 years.

    The culture is at fault but the state is not doing its part to combat that culture.

  150. Smith says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    They did not want him. That is just a ruse. He worked for them.

    When the despicable act of 9/11 happened, these guys were present only in a few crappy holes in Afghanistan.

    Now they are all over the world, from Pakistan to Mali. That is not a coincidence. Take the example of Iraq. There was no alqaida there. US/UK implanted them there. There was no alqaida in Libya. US/UK implanted them there.

    There is no doubt now. Syria has exposed their old alliance for everyone to see.

  151. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Then, noosheh joonesh. He has taken revenge for what already belonged to him.

    I agree with what you say. And the situation is really bleak. The laws are extremely anti-industrialization and anti-entrepreneurship. The implementation of laws is in the hand of the extremely corrupt. And the culture values moft-khori and slumber and not innovation and invention.

  152. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    This Anglo-Indian, who is an Ismaili and who comes from East Africa (Kenya) was saying that she knew many well-to-do Ismailis who left Uganda under Idi Amin and now live in UK or in Canada.

    For a while, in the 1990s, the Ugandan government would send round ministers to talk to them (in the UK and Canada) and say: “Come back! We need you. We need you to invest.” Etc.

    She stated no one she knew ever went back: they had done well outside Africa and had no desire to risk it again… They were doing well in Uganda not because it was Uganda (which is what the Blacks thought) but because they were Ismailis and they were/are smart!…

  153. Karl.. says:

    Smith

    I agree, thats what I meant by “wanted”, so with the 3 billions maybe saudi/US got him. Time will tell.

  154. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The idiotic and illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003, cleared the way for al-Qaeda to get established in Iraq. The prupose of that illegal invasion, however, obviously was not to enable al-Qaeda to get established in Iraq.

  155. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    US policy has been to maintain territorial integrity of Iraq, and of course to attack al-Qaeda in Iraq (during the years of chaos after the illegal US invasion in 2003). The US does not want al-Qaeda to get re-established in Iraq and of course the US does not want al-Qaeda to get gain control of Syria.

  156. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    A quandary for the US, regarding what to do re: Syrian civil war, is that there is no way to know what group, if any, would emerge in control of the country if the Syrian government were overthrown.

  157. kooshy says:

    fyi says: January 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm
    “Yes, pretty sure he is the son of TBT founder.”

    That is not correct the TBT bus service was started and owned by BAGHERZADEH family the sons live here in LA. You are correct they are a very descent family and very good business minded people.

  158. Smith says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Yeah, that is. Though I do not think Lebanon will get that 3 billion dollars, at least not whole of it. Saudis are the biggest liars and are very mean. Besides, Israel the master of saudi arabia will never allow Lebanon army to buy any arms, beyond anything more useful than for policing purposes (army in these countries is to control the local population, not for national defense).

    This is all as per plans. They are trying to put wahabi alqaida in charge of all these countries even in Jordan and Turkey. These are the best allies UK/US have. They literally take these countries back 13 centuries. See how they put alqaida in charge of Libya (and by extension north of Africa) and now they are trying their best to do so in Syria and Iraq (note that after Maliki begged US for help, US gave him a few dozen expired short range low power light rockets by the name of hellfire and a few small useless and toy like drones by the name of scan eagle). US/UK are trying to create a new country out of the western Iraq and eastern Syria for its allied alqaida.

  159. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Yes, it is exactly as you say. Actually UK was magnanimous enough to save all these people who were almost at the risk of being slaughtered by bringing them to UK and giving them citizenship (after all it was their fault for taking them there at first). Also from Tanzania and other African countries.

    But there are couple of things that I have observed. First is that when in minority, a community becomes much more open to thinking and learning. It is not only Ismailis. Say the Indians and Chinese communities in Malaysia. Both are highly successful communities, so much so that the Malaysian economy and its prosperity is due to these two communities (more Chinese though), despite the majority of the country being the local Malay (who are mostly a moft-khor useless people). Or take the example of Parsi community in Indian subcontinent. Or even Jews in Europe (their contribution to science and technology is staggering).

    And secondly without thinking and learning, the human being degrades quickly to the level of animals. Same desires, same barbarity, same outlooks on life.

  160. kooshy says:

    Typo- I meant to say they are a very “decent” family

  161. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Don Bacon, A quandary for the US, regarding what to do …

    The only quandary is in your mind.

    The US supports Islamic radicals everywhere they can be useful, like in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Iraq. It bit the US when it lost an ambassador to trusted radicals. Have I left some out? Like Mali?

    That’s why the US hearts Saudi Arabia, whose princes are the main supporters of Islamic radicals. That includes in Iraq, James, because Iraq is an Iran ally.

    “A quandary for the US” — that’s a good one.
    This country is an ally of Iran — what to do? It’s a quandary…hahahaha

    Come on — Iran, except when it was under US control, has been a US enemy for fifty years. It’s in their DNA.

  162. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    Rubbish,if that was the case the saudis would have welcomed the nuclear deal,to say they did not is putting it mildly,the saudis were urging the us to attack iran

  163. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    January 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you for correcting me.

    His father had some connection to TBT, I must have misunderstood what I read.

  164. Smith says:

    After the white man broke up the country of Sudan by the use of force, terror and threats, now they are forcing Sudan to protect the oil fields in South Sudan for the benefit of the white man: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25628582

  165. Photi says:

    letter to Senator Menendez discouraging senate bill 1881 (re:new iran sanctions):

    Chairman Robert Menendez
    United States Senate
    522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
    Washington, DC 20510
    January 6, 2014

    Dear Chairman Menendez,

    We ask you and the other cosponsors of the Menendez/Kirk bill, S. 1881, to review carefully whether that legislation serves U.S. national interests and those of our friends and allies. We believe it does not for a number of important reasons.
    The bill will threaten the prospects for success in the current negotiations and thus present us and our friends with a stark choice – military action or living with a nuclear Iran. A military strike would not eliminate Iran’s nuclear capacity and may result in the very thing the U.S. hopes to prevent: Iran deciding to seek nuclear weapons. Living with an Iranian nuclear weapon is exactly the outcome the U.S. seeks to avoid with international negotiations.

    President Obama’s decision to test the intentions of the new government of Iran offers the best opportunity in decades to see whether there is a peaceful way to achieve all of our most important objectives. More importantly if Iran were to agree to substantial and verifiable limits on its nuclear program — which they say they are prepared to do – the world would be a safer place than if the international community were to try to achieve such objectives through war.

    You and your co-sponsors contend that since sanctions brought Iran to the table to negotiate seriously, then more sanctions or legislated threats of more sanctions would make Iran’s leaders even more determined to give us what we seek. To the contrary, Iranian leaders are more likely to see such Congressional action as a violation of the spirit and perhaps the letter of the Joint Plan of Action of November 24, 2013, and to harden rather than soften their negotiating position. Already, Iranian legislators have threatened to pass a bill requiring enrichment at higher levels — beyond 20% — in response to S. 1881.

    This kind of tit-for-tat spiral threatens to undermine any possibility of curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.

    Once the new Iranian president declared his government’s readiness to negotiate immediately and seriously a comprehensive agreement to give the international community virtually everything it seeks in return for gradual sanctions relief, the Iranians had every right to assume that the US and the other nations involved in the negotiations would proceed in good faith. Based on our experience born of years of dealings with Iran, we do not believe the Iranians will continue to negotiate under new or increased threats.

    The outcome of these negotiations is by no means certain. Should the U.S. Congress decide it must unilaterally seek to add even more burdens now on this complicated and critical process, it is unlikely that the goals of our negotiations can be achieved. Moreover our other negotiating partners (UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China) would be displeased and would conclude that the US is no longer proceeding in good faith in accord with the Joint Plan of Action. This bill could lead to an unraveling of the sanctions regime that the U.S. and its partners have so patiently built.
    The United States and its allies in the region would better off if relieved of the concern that Iran might acquire a nuclear weapon. Israel would no longer have to be concerned that Iran could present an existential threat and would be in a stronger position to defend itself. This is particularly true in view of the capacity for self-defense inherent in Israel’s overwhelming military power, both conventional forces and its well-known strategic capabilities.

    We urge you to take a second look at this legislation, accept that you have achieved your objective of putting down a marker for Iran, but not press this bill to a vote. You do not sacrifice any of your options by doing so. Negotiators now need a chance to continue to their work. We ask that you stand up firmly for the interests of the United States, as you always have, and allow the negotiations to proceed.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Crocker, former Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan

    Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

    Daniel Kurtzer, former Ambassador to Israel William H. Luers, former Ambassador to
    Venezuela and Czechoslovakia

    Jessica Tuchman Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former Ambassador to Israel, India Jordan, Russia and the United Nations

    Paul Pillar, former National Intelligence Officer

    Jim Walsh, Research Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Frank G. Wisner, former Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/196538945/Press-Release-and-Letter-Jan-6-2013

  166. Photi says:

    *letter by US foreign policy veterans

  167. fyi says:

    All:

    On Babak Zanjani

    مصاحبه سی‌ام شهریور 1392 بابک زنجانی با نشریه آسمان است.

    «زمانی که در پادگان ولی‌عصر تهران سرباز بودم، آقای هاشمی‌رفسنجانی برای بازدید به آنجا آمدند، گفتند تعدادی سرباز برای ریاست‌جمهوری، بانک مرکزی و جاهای مختلف انتخاب کنند. وقتی به عنوان سرباز به بانک مرکزی رفتم گفتند شما باید به‌عنوان راننده، آقای نوربخش را جابه‌جا کنید. حدود 5 ماه از سربازی‌ام مانده بود. من در دفتر آقای نوربخش کار ثبت نامه‌ها را انجام می‌دادم، بعد هم رانندگی آقای نوربخش را می‌کردم. بعد از خدمت … آقای نوربخش 4-5 جا را انتخاب کرده بود و برای کنترل بازار به آنها دلار می‌داد تا در بازار پخش کنند. دلار 300 تومان بود و همه می‌گفتند دلار می‌خواهد هزار تومان شود. مردم می‌رفتند شب تا صبح در صف بانک‌ها می‌خوابیدند تا دلار بگیرند و در بازار بفروشند.آقای نوربخش به من گفت شما هم بیا در این مجموعه‌هایی که دارند دلار تزریق می‌کنند و 4 یا 5 نفر بودند، کار کن. اولین روز 17 میلیون دلار ارز در بازار توزیع کردم و اولین کارمزد من هم 17 میلیون تومان (2دهه پیش) بود. با آن پول هم یک دفتر در میرداماد (خیابانی که بانک مرکزی نیز همان جاست) خریدم. هر روز دلار می‌گرفتم و در بازار می‌فروختم…( درباره عکس با هاشمی و خاتمی و روحانی)من پیش این آقایان رفتم تا جایزه بگیرم… تا حالا سه چهار بار آقای هاشمی را از نزدیک دیده‌ام. بعد از انتخابات خدمت ایشان رفتم و توضیحی درباره کارهایم به ایشان دادم. بیشتر از 8 سال است که عکس ایشان در اتاقم هست.»

  168. BiBiJon says:

    Unconfusing Robert Fisk
    ======================

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/now-its-middle-eastern-regimes-fighting-alqaida-while-the-us-ties-itself-up-in-knots-9039977.html

    Back in 2007/8 US presidential election season, Obama’s manifesto was to counter the entrenched foreign/domestic forces that had, like Lilliputians, tied US (Gulliver) to a bunch of burdensome standoffs, unprofitable stalemates, and unattainable hegemonic goals. That faction of the ruling class that was/is beholden to America’s various enmities, particularly vis-a-vis Iran, lost to that part of the ruling class who understood a more agile foreign policy, could be a more successful Gulliver.

    Clearly Obama got smacked down soon after he got elected. Netanyahu arrived in the White House and lectured, and threatened, and Obama decided to shelve the idea for a while. But, the Arab/Islamic Spring/Awakening unleashed a string of events that only proved to Obama that being tied down is even more intolerable than before. It also proved to Lilliputians that they must try even harder to achieve something lasting before Gulliver gets up.

    The confusion Robert Fisk is observing, is only the last attempts by Lilliputians to throw anything and everything out of the basket to keep the balloon afloat. Gravity shall be their enemy.

  169. Rehmat says:

    “With American influence in the region in decline, and with Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies finding themselves united in their opposition to Iran, Turkey could find itself playing a central role thanks to its links with Iran. A new Turkish-Iranian partnership could be a welcome development for the West: Turkey’s economic ties could boost Iran’s commercial development, which would help consolidate the political position of the moderates in Tehran. The real gains would come if a closer relationship with Turkey began to erode the alliance of militias and radical religious forces on which Iran has relied to project its influence,” says Vali Nasr in an New York Times Op-Ed.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/06/lobby-iran-turkey-alliance-good-for-israel/

  170. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    January 6, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    No partnership between Turkey and Iran is feasible in the near term.

    Under AKP, the traditional dependence of Turkish economy on EU capital has only increased; a nowkar of EU cannot be a partner for the Iranian Master.

    Had Iranians not taken the populist, pseudo-socialist path for the past 34 years, by now they could have potentially had the funds to underwrite Turkish economy and thus elevate her from the status of nowkar to EU to that nowkar to Iran.

    But Iranians did not have that vision then and do not have that vision now to foster rapid capitalist development in Iran for strategic reasons. They are still meandering in the dead-end byways of populist anti-capitalist anti-industrialist fantasies fostered by the EU thinkers of the 19-th century – now given a Muslim veneer.

  171. BiBiJon says:

    What’s sauce for Turkey, is sauce for the poult
    ==========================================

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-01/06/c_133020242.htm

  172. James Canning says:

    Wall Street Journal reports today that John Kerry is now conceding that Iranian participation in Syrian peace conference would make sense. (He may have thought this privately.)

  173. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Saudis think they have bones to pick with Iran, on more issues than just the nuclear programme. But obviously war would not come to the Gulf simply because some Shia dissidents in Bahrain have supporters in Tehran. Key factor is Iran’s nuclear programme because that is what will bring war to the Gulf (if no deal with P5+1 is achieved, and Iran continues to stockppile enriched uranium etc etc).

  174. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Wall Street Journal reports today that John Kerry is now conceding that Iranian participation in Syrian peace conference would make sense.

    Wrong again.
    “Kerry says Iran could help on sidelines of Syrian peace talks”

  175. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says:

    January 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I do not think that Iranian leaders care one whit about this.

    My sense of it is that Iranians anticipate victory across the Shia Crescent and against their enemies in Lebanon, Syria, and in Iraq.

    Specifically, the recent events in Fallujah are a God-send for the Iraqi (Shia) Government – they have all the anti-government forces concentrated in one location – as opposed to small bands scattered all over Iraq and Syria – and will now proceed to kill them.

    Then you also have the issue of refugees in Lebanon and Turkey and Jordan – I doubt that they would be going back to Syria anytime soon – US, EU, SA, UAE would (I imagine) pay for their support and upkeep.

  176. Smith says:

    Iran rejects U.S. suggestion of Syrian peace talks role: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140106/iran-rejects-us-suggestion-syrian-peace-talks-role

    On the side lines? WTF, that means. Iran is not a nowkar, whore, house negro. Iran will win in Syria. There is no question about that. Having “conferences” in climate controlled five star hotels, is not going to change anything.

  177. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Yeah, it is all the same. Rent, corruption, nepotism, etc etc.

    There will be no improvement in economy unless every one has equal access to resources/information and only the most innovative, inventive and efficient producers make it to the top in a fair and square market place. Right now it is all corruption to the core. Every one is corrupt.

  178. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    I think you fail to comprehend Kerry needed to treat the subject gingerly. Element of “trial balloon”.

  179. BiBiJon says:

    The Saudis think they have bones to pick with Iran
    ==============================================

    Soon as the Shah was deposed, and another one of those festering relationships was thus lanced, Saudi’s proceeded to

    -Finance Saddam’s war machine which ended in invasion of Kuwait and even a small incursion into Saudi Arabia

    -Finance the US to get Saddam out of Kuwait

    -Finance the Taliban

    -Finance the Chechen separatists

    -Finance anti-Hezbollah forces

    -Finance Iraq’s Sunni insurency against the occupation and the likely scenario of a Shiite takeover of Iraq

    -Finance the cannibals of Syria

    -Finance Pakistan’s nuclear weapon program

    -Finance the US economy by buing huge amounts of military equipment.

    -Bribe the Chinese and Indians to stop buying Iranian oil.

    etc.

    Not a single one of these opportunistic harebrained schemes have worked. Some have blown right back. If there are bones to pick, it is with themselves, and the UK who put them up to all this.

  180. Don Bacon says:

    fyi says:
    January 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Don Bacon says: January 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm I do not think that Iranian leaders care one whit about this.

    No argument from me. If I were Iran I’d tell Kerry to shove it, but they are better diplomats then I am. Meanwhile Geneva will be a mere photo-op of failure, while Assad goes about his business with Iran’s help. Hey, and this way Kerry can’t blame Iran (any more than usual).

  181. nico says:

    Once again the Iranian media outlets prove to be less propaganda oriented regarding western affairs than western MSM.
    As I stated in the previous thread, Germany is in a deep crisis as much as France or the US.
    All OECD countries are in a deep economic crisis.
    Germany so called success is coming from social “dumping” with wages and working conditions squeeze.
    That allows unemployment rates to be low and trade balance afloat.
    However that is NO answer to the crisis.

    The crisis is coming from low level of GDP growth rate for more than a decade like every other OECD countries.
    And as long as GDP growth rate is not back to level at minimum over 2% per year for several years the the crisis will not end.

    The US has exactly the same problem and only compensate with other economic recipes.
    That is debt and printing money.
    The US does not feel the heat yet as much as it should thanks to such economic formula.
    But no need to say that printing money and debt have limit.
    When such limits are reached… Go hide in the countryside, it will be bloody.

    Now the article regarding Germany

    “Germany suffers a deep economic and social crisis, despite official propaganda that Germany has remained largely unaffected by the global economic crisis and is a haven of prosperity in Europe, a report said.”

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921016001342

  182. nico says:

    For those interested in the real reasons related the OECD countries crisis.
    Better read that than the offical “MSM” economists solid BS.

    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/02/why-a-finite-world-is-a-problem/

    Actually that is the real issue.
    In a finite world where basically China, India and the western world need to share resources, there are 2 solutions.
    The first one is for all sides the share the resources at the same conditions.
    That is what currently obtain (roughly).
    The immediate consequence is that the Have and the Not Have discrepencies and inequalities tend, on the long run, to be the same in a country like China and say the US.
    Said in another way it means that wages and living conditions will tend to lower (much) in the West and increase (slightly) in the East (due to population relative weight and resources distribution).
    And that super riches will be even richer everywhere.
    A global oligarchy of a kind.

    The second option is for a country to keep and extract world resources for itself.
    That basically means war and imperial resource extraction (much worse than what the experienced with the recent US military adventures).

    Those 2 options are mathematically and logically unvoidable/unescapable on the global scale.
    That is, in the Capitalist model of endless growth of consumption which is unsustainable and will periodically experience stroke when the limit is reached with local or global depression as consequence.

  183. James Canning says:

    More than 50 wine estates in the area of Bordeaux now have Chinese owners, Adam Sage reported in The Times (London) Dec. 27th.

  184. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Decades ago, the Duke of Edinburgh said that “if the Chinese all decide to live like middle-class Americans, the planet is finished.”

  185. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    A number of people would agree with you that the Saudis have a considerable ability to “bribe” other countries, groups, etc. Fantastic level of oil income has much to do with this. Unintentionally, Iran has helped to augment greatly the oil income of the Saudis.

  186. BiBiJon says:

    Yes James,

    Iran has helped augment the rapid depletion of Saudi oil reserves, while keeping her own. This help in augmentation was facilitated by none other than David Milliband. May he live long, and facilitate many other similar things.

  187. Don Bacon says:

    Yes! headline:
    Iran rejects Geneva II involvement incompatible with ‘dignity’

  188. Smith says:

    Innovate or die, it is as simple as that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Y_amFUqCE

    In order to make Iran’s economic crisis to an opportunity the cargo cult followers, corrupt monafiq moft-khor “in-people” have to be thrown out and replaced by able and daring managers and truly private ownership, entrepreneurship and innovation.

    Iran’s economic salvation is not in sucking American/British/French/Japanese phalli. Rouhani will fail to satisfy the American phallus. He should start developing a plan B, comprised of self belief in nation of Iran, otherwise he is doomed.

  189. Smith says:

    Inside Iran, disregarding the septic cesspool of cargo cult priests, monafiq hypcrites, rapists, super-corrupt and charlatans, is there anyone like these people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIfoNb3ZQ1E

    Or it is all a big cesspool of moft-khor animals down to the core?

  190. Empty says:

    Smith,

    RE: “Inside Iran, disregarding the septic cesspool of cargo cult priests, monafiq hypcrites, rapists, super-corrupt and charlatans, is there anyone like these people? ….
    Or it is all a big cesspool of moft-khor animals down to the core?”

    Only your own posts breaks the record on how low they can sink with regard to wholesale slander and mudslinging of a nation, a people, and a culture. You should be ashamed of your conduct.

  191. BiBiJon says:

    Today’s NY Times Front Page above the fold
    =========================================

    U.S. and Iran Face Common Enemies in Mideast Strife
    By THOMAS ERDBRINK

    The United States and Iran are being drawn together by their mutual opposition to a movement of Sunni fighters raising Al Qaeda’s flag in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/world/middleeast/iran-offers-military-aid-but-not-troops-to-iraq.html?hp

  192. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    “Trial balloons” like those are guaranteed to fail,but then that was the whole point wasnt it,its just more typical western arrogance and hypocrisy

  193. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    January 7, 2014 at 1:52 am

    No, it is you who has to be ashamed of being a hypocrite monafiq. A liar. I tell only the truth. Now, since I was talking about monafiq mal-e-yatim khor “inpeople”, why are you upset? Did I threaten to drill another ass hole for you? It is the people like you who brought this language to this forum. I just reciprocated. I talk in your language, so you get the point. Understood?

  194. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    January 7, 2014 at 1:52 am

    But then again, it is useless to even reply to hypocrite liars like you. People like you are only good at pretending.

  195. Empty says:

    Smith,

    Please, do continue. No one else could do a better job of discrediting you. Keep talking.

  196. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    January 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Yes.

    To those observations must be added the disintegration of the financial economy in 2011 and that of central planners in 1991, the disintegration of the Peace of Yalta, the expansion of Axis Powers during the unilateral moment, and the general madness prevailing in Washington DC.

    And yes, war with Iran could trigger World War III.

  197. BiBiJon says:

    In annals of journalism, we’ve had Stephanopoulos, and now al-Rahshed
    ================================================================

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

    ttp://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2014/01/07/Al-Qaeda-or-the-old-services-office.html

    Only of interest in the sense that the Saudis are trying to distance themselves from the Takfiris they have spent billions schooling in hatred, arming and financing. All failures are orphans, and there cannot be any question that the forces the Saudis have unleashed, wherever they’ve gone, not only they have not been effective as a fighting force, but they have caused immense revulsion among the Sunni populations they have ensconced themselves in. See ttp://www.gallup.com/press/104209/who-speaks-islam-what-billion-muslims-really-think.aspx

    Anyways. Back to Abdulrahman al-Rashed’s accusations that al-Qaida is an Iranian proxy. Very unfortunately, for mr. Rashed, Prince Bandar is on the record taking ownership of the metastasizing cancer that is al-Qaida:

    “Bin Laden used to come to us when America — underline, America — through the CIA and Saudi Arabia were helping our brother mujahedeen in Afghanistan to get rid of the communist, secularist Soviet Union forces, to liberate them. … Osama bin Laden came and said, “Thank you. Thank you for bringing the Americans to help us to get rid of the secularist, atheist Soviets.”

    From ttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/terrorism/interviews/bandar.html

  198. BiBiJon says:

    Don’t miss http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.567442

    By Peter Beinart:

    …deal or no deal, Iran will be a threshold nuclear power, able to build a nuke relatively quickly whenever it wants. (Attacking Iran, according to experts like former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, would only speed that process up). One day, I suspect, the people obsessing about the details of an Iranian nuclear deal will look a bit like the people who obsessed about the details of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in 1987. In retrospect, what mattered wasn’t the number of ballistic and cruise missiles each side dismantled. What mattered was ending the cold war.

  199. Don Bacon says:

    John Kerry is currently deep into friendly relations with Saudi Arabia over I/P while giving a wink and a nod to KSA over its efforts to promote rampages and instability in Syria and Iraq.

    news reports: “…He then travelled to Saudi Arabia for almost three hours of talks with King Abdullah in his secluded desert residence….John Kerry thanks Saudi king for ‘enthusiastic support’ for peace effort.”

  200. Don Bacon says:

    Nobody has ever been able to “build a nuke relatively quickly” and it would be impossible to do so in secret with current surveillance techniques.

  201. BiBiJon says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Don, I think the point Beinart is making is that, ultimately, arguments about the length of Iran’s breakout time obscures the real (moral) prize: ending the cold war.

  202. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Margaret MacMillan warns of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, if Iran builds nukes. Perhaps, even if Iran gets too close to ability to build nukes “quickly”. Do you agree?

  203. Karl.. says:

    Irshdad
    January 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Perhaps but its not Iran that drives us there as the crazy lady puts it, as she obviously deny israeli nukes.

  204. James Canning says:

    Smith just linked an interesting report from Pakistan Today Jan 7th. “Saudi [FM]Prince Saud Al Faisal on Tuesday expressed his hopes of Pakistan playing a role in improving Saudi Arabia’s ties with Iran.”

  205. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Purpose of a “trial balloon” usually is to make possible a policy change that otherwise would be more difficult to achieve, by enabling an assessment of the reaction. I think John Kerry sees the merits of Iran’s participation in Syrian peace talks. But he has to be cautious about saying this.

  206. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    We agree that Iran in effect has helped Saudi Arabia to sell huge volumes of oil at virtually the highest price point possible (over extended period).

  207. Fiorangela says:

    Margaret MacMillan has spent her entire life working and reworking a complacent and compliant history of WWI. She is to history what the mawkish theme song to Titanic was to cinema. But to skew the analogy, MacMillan maintains her status as “eminent historian” by not rocking the boat. Her views are pedestrian and predictable.

    For a fresher approach –

    http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/war_and_peace/354/

    “The ancient historians all employed one and the same method to describe and seize the apparently elusive- the life of a people. They described the activity of individuals who ruled the people, and regarded the activity of those men as representing the activity of the whole nation.

    The question: how did individuals make nations act as they wished and by what was the will of these individuals themselves guided? the ancients met by recognizing a divinity which subjected the nations to the will of a chosen man, and guided the will of that chosen man so as to accomplish ends that were predestined.

    For the ancients these questions were solved by a belief in the direct participation of the Deity in human affairs.

    Modern history, in theory, rejects both these principles.

    It would seem that having rejected the belief of the ancients in man’s subjection to the Deity and in a predetermined aim toward which nations are led, modern history should study not the manifestations of power but the causes that produce it. But modern history has not done this. Having in theory rejected the view held by the ancients, it still follows them in practice.

    Instead of men endowed with divine authority and directly guided by the will of God, modern history has given us either heroes endowed with extraordinary, superhuman capacities, or simply men of very various kinds, from monarchs to journalists, who lead the masses. Instead of the former divinely appointed aims of the Jewish, Greek, or Roman nations, which ancient historians regarded as representing the progress of humanity, modern history has postulated its own aims- the welfare of the French, German, or English people, or, in its highest abstraction, the welfare and civilization of humanity in general, by which is usually meant that of the peoples occupying a small northwesterly portion of a large continent.

    Modern history has rejected the beliefs of the ancients without replacing them by a new conception, and the logic of the situation has obliged the historians, after they had apparently rejected the divine authority of the kings and the “fate” of the ancients, to reach the same conclusion by another road, that is, to recognize (1) nations guided by individual men, and (2) the existence of a known aim to which these nations and humanity at large are tending.

    At the basis of the works of all the modern historians from Gibbon to Buckle, despite their seeming disagreements and the apparent novelty of their outlooks, lie those two old, unavoidable assumptions. . . .”

  208. BiBiJon says:

    Got to love Siegfried
    ====================

    Yes, Siegfried Fred Singer (born September 27, 1924) is an Austrian-born American physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia.[1] Singer trained as an atmospheric physicist and is known for his work in space research, atmospheric pollution, rocket and satellite technology, his questioning of the link between UV-B and melanoma rates, and that between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss,[2] his public denial of the health risks of passive smoking, and as an outspoken critic of the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.

    Above from ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Singer

    Love him already? Wait. No carckpot’s resume is complete without opining in the American (sic) Thinker. http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/irans_arak_plutonium_reactor.html

  209. Fiorangela says:

    When my kids were little we read them a storybook about Ben Franklin’s mouse, an omniscient critter who, by virtue of having been invisibly present throughout Franklin’s activities, meetings, writings, etc., was privy to the thinking and intentions of great men and events.

    James Canning reminds me of Franklin’s mouse. His sources are equally mysterious, and sometimes cheesy.

  210. Smith says:

    Another result of rent and super corruption. Iran is suffering economic losses of over 150 billion dollars each year because of brain drain: http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2014/01/140107_l12_iran_brain_drain_university_student_farajidana.shtml

  211. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    One of the salient features of Chinese Civilization and Culture, before its demise around 1905, was belief in the necessity of Tao; i.e. balance & proportion. A culture or civilization without Tao – the Western Civilization for example – would not be a desirable one since it would lack a center. It would be without balance or harmony.

    [There are shades of this idea in such English virtues as "judgment" or lacking it.]

    Before the Western Civilization moved into its post-Christian phase, that balance was provided by Catholic Christianity – you can sense that in the architecture and layout of French villages of the Medieval times – a central Church around which all things revolved – sacred and profane as well as the physical layout of the village built around the physical and spiritual sanctuaries of the Keep and the Church.

    With Newton’s Principia and the success of Mechanics, the anti-religious Western Thinkers extended the mechanical/mechanistic paradigm to both Men and Human Society/polities. That is, both men and their societies were conceived of as mechanisms (and even as machines) that could be altered at (Human) Will – just like mechanical forces could alter physical landscapes.

    Theoretically, then, the only Tao obtainable within this mechanical paradigm is the one that could be discovered through the application of the analogues of the Science of Mechanics to human societies – through a program of research and experimentation and speculation.

    That is, once the Mechanistic Scientific Truth of Human Societies is discovered, then it would then be used as the central dogma around which human societies were to be rebuilt and/or reconstituted; Capitalist, Communists, and Fascists all believed this to varying degrees; in Europe, in the Americas, in Asia, and in the Middle East.

    This was the scientific sociology program – the god that failed – which was the Formal Cause of much of the deaths of the 20-th centuries.

    Its failure at empirical level was followed by its failure at the formal level – humans and their societies are not “Computable” in the sense of Turing Machines and the lambda-calculus; that is, formally, a scientific sociology/anthropology as an analogue of Physics or Chemistry cannot exist.

    History, then, is nothing but a retelling of the various failures of the Fallen Men – for the sole purpose of moral instruction.

    [I would wonder what the believers in Scientific Sociology/Anthropology would have done if their sciences had revealed that men must revert back to savagery - Pleistocene era comes to my mind.]

    As to the two points that you have raised: number 2 is not supported by any evidence and number one is only applicable to human societies which have “a state” structure.

  212. James Canning says:

    “Iran’s readiness to support Russia in pressing Syria’s President to adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and surrender his CW also deserves mention.”
    – - Peter Jenkins, writing in LobeLog.com today

  213. Ataune says:

    Hey Smith,
    from brain-drain to endemic corruption; from cultural demise to geo-political dumbness of the elite; from centuries of backwardnness to bankrupt political system, you have described negatively almost everything in the country you are claiming to support. Is there any aspect left that you can be backing in present days Iran?

  214. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Europe as a whole remains strongly Christian, from a cultural standpoint. I do not expect this to change, no matter how many Muslims relocate in European countries. Admittedly, there are some Jews in the US and in Europe, who do try to erode the Christian character of the countries in which they live.

  215. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You apparently have not heard of “reading between the lines”? This is a necessary skill when interpreting statements made regarding international relations, security issues, etc etc.

  216. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    As you are aware, two yeaars ago Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. China reacted by warning the US and Iran not to do so. But anyone following the situation knew Iran was the party being warned. “Reading between the lines”.

  217. Fiorangela says:

    James, your one-liners are enigmatic because you share with your eager audience the results of your “reading between the lines” but frequently fail to disclose the lines.

    Most people I know prefer to do their own “reading between the lines,” and will happily engage in and opine on those auspicious exercises, if only the lines are revealed.

  218. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    What is your view, re: John Kerry’s potential willingness for Iran to participate in Syrian peace conference?

    I think he has given a signal this is acceptable to him. Your assessment?

  219. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 7, 2014 at 11:11 am
    “Nobody has ever been able to “build a nuke relatively quickly” and it would be impossible to do so in secret”

    Once you have the relative scientific capability to respond who wants to watch the clock on when you will respond.
    That no longer can be taken away that’s the whole point . Iran got there at a relatively fair price.

  220. Smith says:

    “Is there any aspect left that you can be backing in present days Iran?”

    The greatest thing you can do to support one, is by pointing out the weaknesses so those can be fixed. False pretensions, hypocritic flattery and lying to oneself are not my things. Things are as they are and I say. Iran’s economic output is not near Germany’s, for instance. You can go on, keep lying to yourself and every one else, but that does not change the truth. A rentier class in Iran, has taken the whole nation hostage. This rentier class has to be exposed on every turn and in every opportunity if Iran is to be saved.

  221. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    “We agree that Iran in effect has helped Saudi Arabia to sell huge volumes of oil at virtually the highest price point possible (over extended period).”

    James, have you heard of the Kariera tribe who believe the conception of a child is due to the agency of a man, “wororu,” who is not the father?

    see http://books.google.com/books?id=WiQacSeFJrYC&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105#v=onepage&q&f=false

    KSA saw an opportunity once the Shah fell, and with blessings of a panic-ridden USA, they went on a costly rampage. To defray the costs, and to cover the additional costs of a string of abject failures they have had to pump a tremendous amount of oil.

    To the long-term strategist KSA is worse than a psychopathic despotic criminal, they are stupid.

    They have had Wahabism/Salafism do a full monty in front of the Muslim world. Their adherents will be hunted down by the locals as soon as oil prices come down.

    They have set up a foreign policy based on a system of bribes (e.g. with Turkey) which ties them to a particular price of oil to support their international relations.

    That price of oil has made various oil/gas extraction technologies economical which has made their principle patron energy independent. So independent that the patron talks in secret with Iran for a number of years jsut as a sign of how tightly their shared values tie them together.

    The Muslim world has seen the wealth of the umma spent extravagantly on British, American and French military junk. The dispossessed umma is unimpressed, to put it mildly and shall require more and more sweeteners to keep the umma’s anger not boil over.

    Now if you want to say Iran was the wororu of the KSA’s pregnancy with disaster, then let the board judge your rationality. Better still, why don’t you post this kind of logic in Lobelog, or wherever else you squirt your thoughts, and get yourself a wider reaction.

  222. Jay says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    If you are talking about the same book I am thinking about, and if my memory is correct about the characters, Ben Franklin is portrayed as a bumbling idiot while the mouse comes up with all the ideas! Perhaps you are talking about a different book?! I can’t see the mouse-James analogy obtain!

  223. nico says:

    Fiorangela says :

    “Instead of men endowed with divine authority and directly guided by the will of God, modern history has given us either heroes endowed with extraordinary, superhuman capacities, or simply men of very various kinds, from monarchs to journalists, who lead the masses. Instead of the former divinely appointed aims of the Jewish, Greek, or Roman nations, which ancient historians regarded as representing the progress of humanity, modern history has postulated its own aims- the welfare of the French, German, or English people, or, in its highest abstraction, the welfare and civilization of humanity in general, by which is usually meant that of the peoples occupying a small northwesterly portion of a large continent.”

    I think the whole argument is lacking consistency and perspective.

    The issue is that civilization was born out of religion and tradition. It is a Pre-Modern philosophy.

    The enlightment project killed Christianity and the call for tradition by the making of Modernity and the Man being the center of the universe.
    That is the so called “mechanical engineering” of the society.
    However such modern thinkers where still attached to cultural Morality born out of christianity.
    Actually, they rejected christianty but their education and environment were still saturated with christian thinking and philosophy. That is why they did not take it to its full course

    But obviously what we are experiencing today with the fading of christianity over 2 centuries of institutional rejection and people growing fat with riches is the natural Post-Modern consequence of those courses taken 2 centuries earlier.
    That is nihilism.
    What Khamenei called the major error of western civilization.
    What Putin called the society turning back to primitivism in its Valdai’s speech.

    To get a better picture of what is happening nowadays in the western world one need to review the 19th century philosophers.
    Actually 18th and 19th centuries Western philosophers said it all. By comparison 20th and 21th centuries are midgets.

    Take a look at Max Stirner thinking and its Egoist Anarchism philisophy in wiki.
    And please tell me whether it is what we are experiencing today by slow and step by step erosion of the society.

    “Max Stirner critized the radical enlightment thinkerd because they had only “murdered God,” thus only disposing of the “other world outside us”;  the “pious atheists,” would nevertheless and would have realized this only in a secular form. The true liberation of the millennia-old chains is, however, accomplished only when this other world, too, no longer exists, opined Stirner.”

  224. nico says:

    As a follow up…

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egoist_anarchism

    “Stirner’s philosophy is usually called “egoism”. He says that the egoist rejects pursuit of devotion to “a great idea, a good cause, a doctrine, a system, a lofty calling,” saying that the egoist has no political calling but rather “lives themselves out” without regard to “how well or ill humanity may fare thereby.”[2] Stirner held that the only limitation on the rights of the individual is his power to obtain what he desires.[3] He proposes that most commonly accepted social institutions—including the notion of State, property as a right, natural rights in general, and the very notion of society—were mere spooks in the mind. Stirner wanted to “abolish not only the state but also society as an institution responsible for its members.”[4]“

  225. Smith says:

    US says Iran should arm and support Alqaida in Syria if it wants to be seen as a positive player by US: http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/world/2014/01/140107_u02_iran_us_syria.shtml

  226. nico says:

    US, NATO links with Al Qaeda further exposed.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article181676.html

  227. Smith says:

    The upcoming United States gift to Iranians for Nowruz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siAWjDIkOYs

  228. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says: January 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    “What is your view, re: John Kerry’s potential willingness for Iran to participate in Syrian peace conference?
    I think he has given a signal this is acceptable to him. Your assessment?”

    = = =

    My assessment is who the f&%# does John Kerry think he is?

    The world is allowing a two-year old to dictate terms to his grandparents.

  229. Smith says:

    Human rights activists who supported and apologized on the behalf of criminals and puppet democrat/terrorists are now being bitten by the same Frankenstein monsters they had taken as ultimate heroes: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/01/syria-duma-activists-opposition-zaitouneh-abduction.html

  230. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm
    Actually James anyone “reading between the lines” could just as easily have drawn the conclusion that the message was being directed at the united states to not carry out any acts of aggression against iran

  231. kooshy says:

    nico says:
    January 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    Nico in my opinion

    The difference between the Iranian civilization (mentality/ way of life) and the western one or any other civilizations including the Indians is what is called “Erfan” which in essence is base of the all Iranian thinkings, I haven’t seen anyone else understand Erfan like Iranians do is part of DNA.

  232. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    It goes without saying that China did not want the US to attack Iran, when Iran warned the US and Iran not to close the Strait of Hormuz. But the warning was issued shortly after Iran threatened to close the S of H. Not difficult to ascertain that it was in fact directed toward Iran, since the US also was warning Iran not to close the S of H.

  233. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    John Kerry is in charge of US foreign policy. This is why his opinion is important, re: participation of Iran in a Syrian peace conference.

  234. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You may have noticed that some of those who post on this site, oppose Iran’s inclusion in the Syrian peace conference.

  235. kooshy says:

    PS

    By the way that’s why Wendy Sherman don’t understand Iranian’s DNA she lacks understanding /feeling even “mentalizing” how Iranians think, that is because they are more complicated that she can ever comprehend. Simply civilizational differences are more difficult to understand and comprehend then the generational ones.

  236. Fiorangela says:

    nico says: January 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm,

    nico, first, re “consistency and perspective,” I don’t quite understand your point, but I would offer this context: (which you are probably aware of) — Tolstoy was trying to de-mythologize the “genius” of Napoleon in his initial conquest, later disasters, in Russia. My understanding is that Tolstoy thought that many, many decisions and human desires and actions, from the impulsiveness of a teenaged girl to the profligacy of a nobleman had to be considered in analysing the reasons for going to war, winning a war, losing a war. I think he’s on to something.

    The West, the American people especially, have not come to grips with a host of realities about their own history because they have been able to pin all responsibility for their actions on a Napoleonic figure, whether Hitler or bin Laden or Ahmadinejad or Khomeini (but never Stephen Wise or Churchill or John Foster Dulles or Netanyahu).

    In short, the problem is much simpler than a philosophical consideration of “consistency and perspective;” the problem is that Americans (and Europeans and Israelis) lie to themselves and they enforce their lies by killing or otherwise destroying anyone who exposes the truth.

    nico wrote:

    “The issue is that civilization was born out of religion and tradition. It is a Pre-Modern philosophy.”

    I think differently. I think religion was born out of civilization: mankind learned how to work together for a common good before myths to explain the mysteries of life and death developed and that served to unify the community; and well before those mythologies and wise reflections (i.e. wisdom literatures) became dogmas which one was required to believe, rather than just contemplate.

  237. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Iran brought on the sanctions, leaving oil prices higher due to cutback in supply. The Saudis have profited from this situation. Very simple.

    One can argue the sanctions are wrong, unfair, etc etc etc, but there is no denying Iran brought on the sanctions.

  238. nico says:

    Fiorangela,

    http://www.lsr-projekt.de/poly/eninnuce.html

    Some words were erased in my first copy/paste.
    The whole sentence should be read as follows:

    “Max Stirner criticized the radical Enlightment thinkers of his time, because they had only “murdered God,” thus only disposing of the “other world outside us”;  because they, the “pious atheists,” would nevertheless have retained the basis of religious ethics, that “other world in us”, and would have realized this only in a secular form. The true liberation of the millennia-old chains is, however, accomplished only when this other world, too, no longer exists, opined Stirner.”

    Other interesting quotes.

    “As a matter of fact, any thought today of a resuscitation of the Enlightenment movement is nipped in the bud, because the main ideas of the last Enlightenment thinkers of mass appeal, Marx and Nietzsche, were thoroughly debased as a result of the historical experiences of the twentieth century.”

    “Prominent philosophers of our time voice a shudder of their own when confronting the principal idea in Der Einzige (Max Stirner’s Book), which they conceive as being unfathomably demonic.  Leszek Kolakowsky said that Stirner, next to whom “even Nietzsche seems weak and inconsequent,” is indeed irrefutable; nevertheless, he must be banished at any cost, because he destroys “the only tool that enables us to make ethical values our own: tradition.” Stirner’s aim of “destruction of alienation, i.e. the return to authenticity would be nothing but the destruction of culture, a return to an animal state … to a pre-human condition.” warned that “Stirner’s egoism, were it to become actualized, would lead to the self-destruction of the human race.”"

  239. James Canning says:

    Interesting report by Thomas Erdbrink in New York Times Jan 7th: “US and Iran face common enemies in Mideast strife”.

  240. Fiorangela says:

    by: Guess Who

    “One can argue the sanctions are wrong, unfair, etc etc etc, but there is no denying Iran brought on the sanctions.”

    Prolly wore skirts that were too short and fishnet stockings.

    She had it coming.

    She was asking for it.

    No one to blame but herself.

    She should be thankful she was just raped sanctioned, not murdered bombed.

  241. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    “Iran brought on the sanctions, leaving oil prices higher due to cutback in supply. The Saudis have profited from this situation. Very simple.”

    A very simple mind would see it that way, I grant you.

    “One can argue the sanctions are wrong, unfair, etc etc etc, but there is no denying Iran brought on the sanctions.”

    And, all along most people with a modicum of literacy reading the news would know Iran did not bring the sanctions, rather a few nuclear armed states brought the sanctions based on a bunch of hype about Iran’s possible future intentions which were nevertheless utterly unsupported by so much as “a shred of evidence,” as per Elbaradei.

    This is going to be my last response to you. Hope you enjoy the resulting spare time.

  242. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says: January 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    “John Kerry is in charge of US foreign policy.

    SPACE SPACE SPACE SPACE SPACE

    This is why his opinion is important, re: participation of Iran in a Syrian peace conference.”

    It’s been awhile since I studied Logic — is that SPACE an Undivided Middle?

    There does not seem to me to be a necessary, logical linkage between “John Kerry is in charge of US foreign policy” and John Kerry’s opinion being important about Iran and Syria.

    Bashir Assad is the president of Syria. Did he ask for John Kerry’s opinion about who should run Syria? Does John Kerry have voting rights in Syria? Does John Kerry have credentials to act on behalf of Syria’s foreign policy?

    Stephen Walt sort of agrees –

    “In fact, what happens in Syria is not going to affect America’s overall position in the world very much. Syria is a small and weak country, and what happens there isn’t going to alter the global balance of power in any significant way. It’s not even clear it will alter the regional balance all that much. (Israel will remain the region’s strongest power no matter what happens in Damascus.) America’s global position will be determined primarily by the state of the U.S. economy and by what happens in places like China, the European Union, India, Turkey, and Brazil in the years ahead.” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/09/09/syria_matters_less_than_everyone_thinks#sthash.2b0xG0f5.dpuf

    Teresa Heinz may be pleased to have John out from under foot, but John Kerry’s imitation of the peripatetic Henry Kissinger seems to be calculated to benefit nothing so much as John Kerry’s image of himself.

    In 1990, King Hussein of Jordan had worked out a resolution to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Hussein and other Arab leaders in the region held their noses but Saddam Hussein agreed to a deal. Mikhail Gorbachev would have endorsed the deal. James Baker and his assistant Dennis Ross, and Brent Scowcroft advised George H. W. Bush to reject any pact worked out among Arabs in their own neighborhood; Bush had a New World Order to birth, and Kuwait’s emptied incubators offered an opportune and strategic location for the his labors. The Bush team was “99% certain” that the Iraqi people would welcome American “participation” and would overthrow Saddam on their own. A million sanctioned-to-death lives later, Saddam was still in power of an Iraq that, even after the punishment of a decade of sanctions, was in better shape than it is today.

    “John Kerry is important because he is in charge of foreign policy,” and John Kerry just told Iraq that, in effect, the USA washes its hands of the disaster that the US has made of that nation. Now, it’s up to Arabs to solve their problems among themselves.

  243. Fiorangela says:

    “One can argue the sanctions are wrong, unfair, etc etc etc, but there is no denying Iran brought on the sanctions.” -James Canning

    With a little help from its, er, friends –

    “As Bank of Israel governor, Stanley Fischer played a central role in coordinating the implementation of AIPAC-generated sanctions against Iran – ostensibly over its nuclear program. Stuart Levey, the head of the U.S. Treasury Department’s division for “Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” an office created after heavy AIPAC lobbying, met often with Fischer in Israel alongside the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and chiefs of both the Mossad and Shin Bet to explore how to “supplement” UN sanctions and end-run Russian and Chinese opposition.4 The Levey-Fischer strategy was “to work outside the context of the Security Council to engage the private sector and let it know about the risks of doing business with Tehran” particularly against European banks that had only partially drawn back their business dealings with Iran. In 2010, Israel dispatched Fischer to meet with Chinese and Russian “counterparts” in order to financially isolate Iran.5

    Fischer’s final official duties for the Israeli government included drilling for “big crisis” scenarios – specifically, Fischer told an Israeli television station – the unavoidable financial fallout of a military attack on Iran.6 “We do plans, we do scenarios, we do exercises about how the central [bank] will work in various situations.”7 After years targeting Iran, Fischer became convinced in his final months in Israel that sanctions alone were not enough to collapse its economy. Fischer reluctantly concluded that even as Iranian economic prospects “continue to go down” the country would likely “find a way to continue to keep economic life going.”7 “ http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2013/12/27/aipacs-fed-candidate-stanley-fischer-on-a-warpath-against-iran/

  244. Don Bacon says:

    Iran brought on sanctions — the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard.
    Did Canning really indicate that?
    Iran not only deserved to be financially punished, but brought on the punishment?
    Where to begin — it’s difficult to know.
    There was no deserving, there was no bringing on.

    Perhaps there are historical reasons why a Brit might hate Iran.
    Something to do with oil perhaps?

    British Petroleum, formerly known as first Anglo-Persian Oil and then Anglo-Iranian Oil, hatched Operation Ajax in 1953, employing CIA, Israeli Mossad and British M16 agents to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mohamed Mossadegh in Iran. This event lies at the root of US/Iranian tension still today.

    google(because it won’t publish) –
    –History of British Petroleum: Part I
    –History of British Petroleum: Part II
    –History of British Petroleum: Part III: Free Lunch for Big Oil

  245. Fiorangela says:

    nico says:
    January 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I never thought of Marx — or Nietzsche — as Enlightenment thinkers. Fact is, I never thought that much of Marx at all. My spouse was in grad school with a man from Aachen who, years later, based on his credentials as an economics professor in Germany, was tapped to consult in the unification of Germany. He said he never read Marx, it never had any relevance in Germany, he said.

    Who is Stirner and why should anyone pay attention to him? It’s an interesting academic exercise, I suppose, but only at the wikipedia level, not the Great Thinkers level. Was Stirner’s cult of the ego the precursor to the (crackpot) theories of Sigmund Freud? The world, and understanding of the human brain, have come a long way since the 19th century. Those discoveries of the way nature works have more to do with the Enlightenment revolution of Francis Bacon than of the spider-web weaving of Marx, Nietzsche, and Stirner. Bacon said, Don’t rely on a self-ordained authority (the Church) for the validity of the first premise; look to nature: observe nature, and formulate laws based upon those observations. THAT is the Enlightenment revolution that I see as foundational to a truly unique moment in history.

    Bacon did not, however, reject Christianity; he perceived of the Christian god as the author of nature — “nature’s god,” as Thomas Jefferson borrowed and interpreted the concepts. For Bacon, and for Isaac Newton, “mathematics was the language with which god wrote the universe.”

    I gained an insight into the Islamic manifestation of that concept while trying to figure out why a shrine in Mashad was lined with thousands of mirrors, and while considering the intricate windows on so many buildings in Iran: mirrors touch the infinite; and windows, when they are done properly, must consider and conform to the laws of mathematics: windows are written with the same language that god used to write the universe.

    Stirner’s philosophy of egoism is a moat of dust compared to the discipline with which a carpenter in Iran — or Bethlehem — constructs a window.

  246. Fiorangela says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Recommend Stephen Kinzer’s discussion of his latest book, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War.

    Winston Churchill was the agitator-in-chief in the overthrow of Mossadeqh, but the Dulles Brothers, whose law firm represented the bank whose profits were at stake in maintaining control over AngloPersian Oil, were the executives of the overthrow action.

  247. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Don this not unusual of Gav James, traditionally the Brits and French believe and behave that their old colonies have never gained independence, for example see the French behavior with reference to Lebanon, Syria, African states, or the Brits with regard to SKA, Jordan, Iraq, they still belive these terotries are part of their delousional empires and that is how they behave, I mean that is not just the behavior of the related government that generaly is menatl behavior of the french or brits in general , therfore one shouldn’t really be surprised of what Gav says he still lives in europe of early 20 century, and that is how we should treat him like the real Gav he is. I have old French friends act and think the same way.

  248. BiBiJon says:

    All,

    Could i get some prespetives on the following pls.

    Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism
    Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 14
    July 15, 2005 03:54 PM Age: 8 yrs
    By: Trevor Stanley

    http://www.jamestown.org/programs/tm/single/?tx_ttnewstt_news=528&tx_ttnewsbackPid=180&no_cache=1#.Usy1xPZ5FhB

    h/t brian at MoA

  249. Smith says:

    Blame game has started. It always happens when things go bad. Very bad: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25645855

  250. Smith says:

    hans,

    Regarding our earlier discussion about Iranian women: http://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/the-myth-of-patriarchal-oppression-in-iran/

  251. Smith says:

    A glimmer of hope for Iran’s industrial output: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/08/344357/irans-mercantile-exchange-hits-new-high/

    Note that people want to invest if given the chance. If the thieves, the cronies and the super corrupt do not run away with their money.

  252. Smith says:

    Why there can be no peace: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/194691-dont-give-iran-pass-on-human-rights

    Even if in the unlikely scenario that US accepts Iran’s nuclear program, other excuses will stand out and US will use them to pressurize Iran for regime change.

  253. Fiorangela says:

    Smith says:
    January 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Mr. Gates appears not to understand that the army is the servant of the people, and the president is the voice of the people, and not the other way around. Since the US Congress abrogated its responsibility to put the right and power to declare war before the people, the entire system has become topsy-turvy. The voice of the people has been muted, and the military — the workers — are taking upon themselves the powers of their managers and employers/bosses.

    Americans still worship their fighting men as “heroes fighting for our freedom,” as if they were in Washington’s rowboats in the Delaware 200+ years ago. This is as dangerous as it is delusional. In fact, they are employees of the US government. The US does not have a “volunteer” army, it has a warrior force that applied and was hired by an employer to do a job.

    Soldiers were drafted to fight in Viet Nam; they were NOT drafted to fight in the US’s 21st century wars.

    US warriors are employees; therefore, they must accept moral agency for their acts in war. If a war is illegal, it seems to me a fighter in that war is every bit as culpable of war crimes as were German soldiers in Nuremberg trials. (In fact, the US Dept. of Justice STILL has an office that hunts down and prosecutes German soldiers from WWII — even tho those few remaining are in their 90s). “Just following orders” was not an adequate defense at Nuremberg, and it should not define the ethical and moral obligations of an employee-warrior of the United States today.

    More than any other fighting force in US history, US warriors are conditioned to kill. In WWII, men were drafted, and that done hastily. There was very little training, and the processes of conditioning a man (or woman) to kill on behalf of the state were not finely honed as they are today. That is why so many WWII fighters more readily adjusted to civilian life after war, and why so many Iraq veterans and veterans of other US wars are so maladjusted and experience higher rates of suicide, homelessness, divorce and other dysfunction.

  254. M. Ali says:

    “India targets American expatriate club as diplomatic dispute escalates”

    http://nsnbc.me/2013/12/28/india-usa-diplomatic-row-over-consul-devyani-khobragade-continues/

  255. BiBiJon says:

    I wonder…
    =======

    Were all the sanctions calibrated to match Iran’s natural oil production reduction?

    Well, as natural as anything to do with Bill Clinton can ever be.

    http://www.azernews.az/analysis/63196.html

  256. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    January 8, 2014 at 1:23 am

    This is fine as it is; Americans sold their jobs and their technology in order to remain a superpower.

    By the way, Boeing went through the same gyrations to sell jets to the Chinese – technology transfer was the name of the game.

    Japanese were much more clever; they would sell China a plant but would refuse to upgrade it.

    34 years of confrontation with Iran has gotten US exactly nothing.

    The Americans could have sold airplanes, jet engines, turbines, locomotives, power plants, machine goods, agricultural goods & equipment, nuclear reactors to Iran.

    But they were playing an geo-political game because they could – specially after the demise of USSR they had no rational reason to maintain their policy against Iran.

    Specifically about GM, in 1980s they were 44% of US market; the leaders of GM brought this disaster on themselves. Like their counterparts in among US planners and political leaders, they continued to play a game that the course of events had made obsolete.

    And those who worked for GM, just like US voters, were only after their own share of the ever-shrinking-pie.

  257. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 8, 2014 at 9:33 am

    This is consistent with numerous statements of the late Shah of Iran regarding the end of the oil production in Iran; 30 years estimate in 1976.

    It probably can be partially compensated by some of the newer technologies as well as inauguration of new oil fields – in-shore or off-shore.

    I wonder what is going on with Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.

  258. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    January 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Which also jibes with … “Iran urges Japan to help build nuclear power plants”

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/836437.shtml#.Us168fZ5FhA

  259. Rehmat says:

    Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his memoir, ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’, has claimed that president Barack Obama is frustrated with US policy in Afghanistan – and that vice-President Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue. He also accuses members of Congress of inquisition-like treatment of administration officials (only those who dare to criticize the Zionist regime). The memoir is expected to hit the bookstores next week.

    Robert Gates, a Republican conservative politician, has been a loyal friend of Israel. Even when, rarely, he criticized Israeli policy – it was for his concern for the security of the Zionist entity. For example, on May 24, 2011 – Robert M. Gates, in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), told his Jewish audience that America must keep its forces in Iraq to defend the region against Iran. Earlier he told the guys at the West Point that US cannot defeat Iran without using nuclear bomb.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/08/gates-obama-frustrated-over-afghan-war/

  260. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 8, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Will never happen; Iran is on her own and has to develop any and all nuclear technologies by herself.

    We are decades away from normal trade between Iran and the rest of the world.

    As long as Axis Powers oppose Iran and make a case that the collapse of Iran is just around the corner, we will not see normal trade relations.

    My estimation is still that US planners and leaders seek military destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    You would know when that is no longer the case when Iran nuclear file is closed completely.

  261. Castellio says:

    FYI. You think an active capitalist class is going to save Iran. You attempt to link nationalism with the ‘right’, and see all social problems and weaknesses arising from the Iranian ‘left’.

    The Iranian capitalist class is not going to be any different in action than the American capitalist class. You had your chance to live with that under the Shah. Did it work out?

    It is the remnants of that Iranian capitalist class throughout Europe and the Americas calling, in Farsi, English and a number of other languages, for the overthrow of the Iranian ‘regime’ (current government).

    And for an example of capitalist reality, note how it is the American tax payer who has ensured the on-going profits of the Communist Party of China through the joint ventures with GM. The American tax payer owns nothing for their own contribution to the capitalist venture.

    You are going to have to rethink the old categories and come to an understanding of how to gather resources and direct investment in a world where the capitalist class ensures their profits and comforts through government subsidy and protection.

  262. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama personally does not seek the “destruction” of Iran or even of the Iranian government. Obama could be forced to seek the destruction of the Iranian government, by mistakes made by Iran.

  263. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Robert Gates playd a key role in George W. Bush’s foolish rejection of advice of Iraq Study Group (to make deals with Iran and Syria, and get all US troops out of Iraq asap). Gates also played key role in Obama’s rejection of sound advice from Joe Biden, re: Afghanistan. Biden said the US troop presence should not be greatly expanded. Would enlarge the war and be hugely expensive. Biden correct; Gates wrong.

  264. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, the US had no “rational reason” to continue to be hostile toward Iran in the 1990s. Who sought continuing hostility toward Iran? ISRAEL LOBBY.

  265. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    One does well to remember that John Foster Dulles was anti-British.

  266. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Do I take it you think the slaughter of civilians in the Central African Republic should be allowed to continue, and that France has no business whatever in trying to stop it?

  267. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    If you think the sanctions agaisnt Iran have nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear programme, that of course is your opinion and you can keep it even if it obviously is mistaken.

  268. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Ahmadinejad said the overthrow of Mossadegh is “water under the bridge”. You cleaqrly disagree.

    You might bear in mind that the Iranian mullahs wanted Mossadegh overthrown.

  269. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Of course the sanctions against Iran have a VERY GREAT DEAL to do with the desire of many Israeli leaders to continue to oppress the Palestinians, grow the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, etc etc etc.

    You know that, and I know it.

  270. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Are you suggesting John Kerry should push for greater American involvement in Iraq at this time?

    Kerry surely sees that Nouri al-Maliki’s own mistakes have done much to create the problems with the Sunnis currently so much in the news.

  271. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The Kingdom of Sardinia joined Britain and France in declaring war on Russia in the early 1850s. Why? To be eligible to participate in the peace conference that would take place once the war was over.

  272. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    January 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I am saying that without entrenched and consistent support by the Iranian state for entrepreneurship in manufacturing and process industries as well as agri-business Iranians will not be able to be powerful enough to truly alter the world around them.

    In the United States, the protectionist policies of the state during the 19-th century and its support for private corporations and banks led to the creation of an industrial giant.

    Likewise for Japan from the Meiji Restoration to 1939 and from 1946 to the present.

    That Americans became venal and degenerated – dumb, fat, and happy as some would say, was largely due to their political leaders who let Finance grow like a cancer on the real economy of grain, steel, and coal, so to speak.

    Look no further than South Korea in which the state funded successful industrial concerns which has given South Korea – in 50 years – a better standard of living than Western Europe and large swaths of the United States.

    While Iran is still developing after 50 years.

  273. James Canning says:

    At FT.COM today, Gideon Rachman asks a cogent question: “Does Robert Gates need his head examined?”

  274. Ataune says:

    “If you think the sanctions agaisnt Iran have nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear programme, that of course is your opinion and you can keep it even if it obviously is mistaken.”

    This statement can only be categorized as one coming from the mouth of a sophistic politician. If your goal is to debate the facts and tell what you think is the truth, which I doubt, you should have asked yourself the question: why is it that the US couldn’t agree to a more favorable agreement for her side regarding the nuclear dossier 10 years ago?

    If you can answer this question to yourself, maybe you will find out that the nuclear dossier, along with “terrorism” and “human rights” etc… are tools to push and weaken the resolve of Iran and not a goals by themselves. If, as you are claiming in this forum, you seek an equitable solution between Iran and the West, you should aknowledge that the West has lost leverage during at least the last 10 years and should settle for a deal less advantageous to her now, or go for a big war with no positive outcome in sight for her.

  275. James Canning says:

    “Twenty years ago, China exported six cars. Last year it exported a million.”
    – - Spiegel.de today

  276. Karl.. says:

    Please dont feed the UK troll please. Everyone here now seems to have debated with this troll by now and see that there is no point.

    So quit feedin the troll.

  277. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    To answer your question: a moron occupied the White House ten years ago. And he was advised by the most incompetent National Security Advisor in American history (Condoleezza Rice).

  278. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    One should also recall that a crazed warmonger occupied the office of the VP. Dick Cheney wanted to invade Iran.

  279. Ataune says:

    So you are basically saying that American political institutions are so weak and permissive that they can have “morons” selected/elected to its helm alterring one of the most strategic pillars of the country’s foreign policy ?

    I wouldn’t believe that: It is the same policy, having had serious setbacks, being presented with a different face.

  280. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I am doing the best I can to conform to your request.

    It is funny, in a way, to watch him blame things on Israel Lobby, the Moron, etc. and excusing The Peace President.

    While US has not changed her posture against Iran since the days of ILSA, it is clear that the English people – Lords and Peasants – have come to the realization that US is “un-hinged” and trying to create the metaphorical distance between UK and US.

    I should expect the English will be followed by others in this; Germany and Italy come to mind.

    [Russians already know this and see no prospect of partnership with the Mad King.]

    Chinese are just glad that the Mad King is on a tear in Western Asia and Africa and is leaving them largely alone.

  281. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Bill Clinton would have allowed the Iranian deal with Conoco to go forward in the mid-1990s, had there not been such a great stink raised by the ISRAEL LOBBY.

    Obama does not like Netanyahu. Israel lobby forces him to conceal his dislike of Netanyahu from the American public.

    Gross stupidity of George W. Bush was a large part of the problem, ten years ago. Denying that fact is silly.

  282. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obma wanted to improve America’s relations with Iran. Iran wrecked his plan.

  283. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Perhaps you are thinking of the many times you claimed the US would not accept any enrichment of uranium by Iran. And the many times I told you this was incorrect.

  284. fyi says:

    In the news : From the US lunatic asylum…

    Barking mad in North Carolina, where some officials choose to communicate in Klingon, a fictional language out of Star Trek… [Mind you, their Klingon might be better than their English.]

    ________________________________
    Carolina Trekkie Councilman Says ‘I Quit’ in Klingon

    A North Carolina town councilman planning to run for U.S. Congress has quit his post by submitting a resignation letter in Klingon, the language of a fictional extraterrestrial warrior species on the “Star Trek” TV and film series.

    David Waddell said he used Klingon to resign from the Indian Trail Town Council on Thursday because the fierce-looking science fiction characters valued integrity, honor and duty.

    The letter indicated that Waddell, whose four-year term is up in December 2015, plans to resign at the end of this month.

    “Teach (the) city (the) constitution,” said the English translation. “I will return next time to (witness) victory.”

    Waddell, often a minority voice on the council, said he plans to mount a campaign on the Constitution Party’s platform for U.S. Democratic Senator Kay Hagan’s seat.

    “I am going away, (but) I’m not done fighting,” he said.

    The city’s mayor, Michael Alvarez, who also describes himself as a Trekkie, an avid “Star Trek” fan, said he did not immediately understand the letter and only realized Waddell was leaving when he started getting phone calls about it.

    Alvarez said he was disappointed – both by Waddell’s decision to leave the council early and his method of departure.

    But he, too, has a sense of humor, the mayor said. He wished Waddell well, borrowing a saying from the Vulcans, Star Trek’s logic-based species whose most famous member is Spock.

    “Live long and prosper!” Mayor Alvarez said.

  285. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “I am saying that without entrenched and consistent support by the Iranian state for entrepreneurship in manufacturing and process industries as well as agri-business Iranians will not be able to be powerful enough to truly alter the world around them.”

    Would the petro chem industry in Iran be an example of what you suggest?

    If I understand correctly, the petro chem companies are receiving their nat gas needs for ‘pennies on the dollar’ so to speak. The workers are paid next to nothing. And of course, the ‘companies’ are rather profitable. It seems the capitalist class inevitably comes out of the same DNA as Castellio suggests, no?

  286. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    January 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I am unaware of how those companies are structured and run.

    All I am saying is that the individual profit motive cannot be replaced by collectivist altruism for any length of time.

    I have no issue if there are people who are wealthy, have their private planes etc.

    If the workers are being cheated or the Labor Laws are being violated, that is a matter for the Courts to adjudicate.

  287. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    Thank you, as soon as the troll is ignored completely he wont come here.
    Its also a question about brainwashing since the troll do/say what the gov. of UK currently say (about Iran).

  288. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “All I am saying is that the individual profit motive cannot be replaced by collectivist altruism for any length of time.”

    I agree ‘open’ markets’ offer many advantages, however, corporate planned economies are guaranteed disasters for the majority of the public. The (for the pure profit) capitalist class is not fit to help any country to advance. The status of US economy should suffice for an example.

    Here is a post from what appears to be a very knowledgeable person re petro indust.. Review his other post at;
    http://djavadsalehi.com/

    “Baddu said, on December 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    “Why would a government that delivers the equivalent of about 5 million barrels of oil and gas daily to customers inside and outside the country not be able to pay its workers?”

    “President Rouhani has accumulated considerable political capital in his first 100 days, mostly from his successes in foreign policy, but he needs to spend some of it now, domestically, on getting the middle and upper class Iranians to live responsibly by paying for the services they use.”

    Well done! Professor Salehi.
    You have seen behind the smoke-screen where so far other academicians have failed to shed light on. Exactly! The question is why does the champion of ‘Moderation and Wisdom’, who can checkmate the Saudi-Israeli-McCain-AlQaeda alliance in a late-night zarif game, fail to save his own valuable assets from being bagged by local boys for a pittance?

    One would expect that at least the highly profitable petrochemical industry, which the Rouhani cabinet distinguished by naming in the Geneva Accord would, under the tutelage of Minister Nematzadeh, have the courtesy of paying for the natural gas it consumes at one half Iran’s export price.

    One correction! According to the other Dr. Salehi (Iran Atomic Energy chief and former foreign minister), quoted in Etela’at Sunday 10.9.1392, domestic energy consumption is 1.8 million barrels of oil and 500 million cubic meters of NG daily. The latter is equivalent to 3.08 million barrels of oil. This puts Iran’s total domestic energy consumption at equivalent to 4.88 million barrels of oil daily or 1.78 billion barrels annually.”

  289. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    UK leaders decided to be slavish counselors to the King and make UK the most loyal of the King’s Barons.

    That strategy worked for them quite well at very little cost – notice how they got nuclear weapons from US for nothing.

    I think a combination of factors have led to the re-evaluation of that strategy; primarily, I think, the realization that the King is Mad followed by the dissolution of the Finance Economy that undergirded their prosperity as well as the general decay across UK (US is still superior) with no end is sight.

    I do not think there is going to be a break with US – just more distancing, always hoping for sanity to return to the King at some future time.

    But the plain fact is that for the Axis Powers, after Kosovo, all their projects have failed at tremendous costs to themselves and their allies as well as servants. The current situation in Western Asia is largely due to their making; consuming the lives of the young people in that part of the world in Death, Violence, and Poverty.

  290. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    Speaking on UK, here we see how much they care about syrians..
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/08/344519/amnesty-slams-uk-on-syria-refugee-claim/

  291. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    January 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    All of human structures and organization are subjects to the Law of Entropy and accumulation of “Disorder”; economic structures are no exceptions.

    You have to increase production.

    State has shown to be incapable of that after initial investments in capital intensive industries – both in China, in USSR, and in Iran.

    State has been shown to be unable to foster and absorb innovation; that must come from the private sector.

    You will now have to pass the baton to the private sector and capitalize both entrepreneurs and industrialists.

    That capitalists; i.e. private individuals or groups producing for the market, have their limitations is not in dispute.

  292. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 8, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Yes, US, EU, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan helped wreck a country all to “wound Iran” and make the world safe for Israel.

  293. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    January 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    “Do I take it you think the slaughter of civilians in the Central African Republic should be allowed to continue,”

    Gav James
    Do I take it that you think the slaughter of African civilians by European /French colonialist slave traders is preferable to that of done by the native Africans. Gav this is the exact sense of ownership that exist in all colonialist European slave traders, do you get it.
    See you don’t even try to hide it as you believe is your utmost right to orderly govern your property.
    Gav on a frank none humors note:
    You and your country as well as every European and American owes a sincere apology to the rest of the world for your and your country’s current as well as past few centuries conducts

  294. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    That is right. Though the military is just a component (and perhaps even the most fragile as well). Until and unless the peasants do not revolt against the policies adapted by their mad king, one can say it is the peasants that want things as they are (remember that the peasants believe theirs is a democracy). But then evangelicals are almost fully in control. The policies of the mad king have deeply religiously guided. So much so for claims of “secularism”.

  295. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    You have an interesting position: European countries are sinners, from colonial activities of long ago, so they should stand back and watch Africans slaughter each other.

  296. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain independently developed nuclear weapons. First test was in 1952. The US did provide technical information.

  297. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You seem to forget I opposed British participation in illegal invasion of Iraq, and Britain’s backing of French attack on Libya, and proposed British attack on Syria.

  298. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Iran’s petrochemical industries produce low tech intermediate goods. They are mostly on par with unprocessed crude in terms of technological sophistication. It is just more advanced version of a natural resource rentier economy.

    For instance, technically helium comes from petrochemical industry by processing natural gas. Algeria is an exporter. Qatar is an exporter. Even Iran makes some amount of it (despite sitting on top of the world’s largest reserves of helium in South Pars
    ). But helium is extremely cheap (compared to its rarity and non-recyclable nature). Its export is not really profitable business. It is the final helium products that matter and churn out huge profits. For example helium cartridges for MRI machines.

    Unless an economy remains dependent on single source extraction and its sorting (oil and petrochemical industry), it always remains vulnerable to disruptions.

    Only an economy that is built around local human resources can solve Iran’s problems. Extracting a natural resource (crude oil), sorting it into various forms (petrochemical industry) and then exporting it (quite cheaply actually) is height of stupidity. It is the brain products that can lift a nation out of (perpetual) poverty. Invention, innovation and efficient commercialization is the name of the game. Otherwise even Saudi Arabia is building huge petrochemical industries that are dwarfing Iran’s.

    Invest in human brains and allow private entrepreneurship to use those brains for generation of wealth.

  299. James Canning says:

    The Cable (Jan 7th): “Obama admin blasts senators for blocking Iraq arms sales”.

  300. James Canning says:

    Excellent report by Laura Rozen that you just linked, Bibijon.

  301. Smith says:

    Crude oil based economy can never compete with brain product economy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25641030

  302. Castellio says:

    fyi says: January 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I have no (or very little) argument with your thrust.

    A surprisingly interesting article, in terms of the American economic situation, is here:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/08/why-fdr-did-not-end-the-great-depression-and-why-obama-wont-end-this-one/

  303. Don Bacon says:

    Remember what the Liar said?

    NYTimes, Nov 2, 2007
    Obama Envisions New Iran Approach

    CHICAGO, Oct. 31 — Senator Barack Obama says he would “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran if elected president and would offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek “regime change” if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/us/politics/02obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  304. BiBiJon says:

    Robert Gates:
    ===========

    Some of the books most riveting passages cover Iran and Gates’s worries about “the influence of the Israelis and the Saudis” on the White House, particularly the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and “their shared desire to have problems like Iran ‘taken care of’ while Bush was still president.”

    From http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000908257

  305. Sammy says:

    From moonofalabama.org

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/01/gates-on-war-.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef019b04765219970d

    “”Equally interesting was Gates’s revelation that the White House is completely dominated by election strategists.
    Gates says, and, of course he is not a very credible source, that he felt like resigning when he realised that the Pentagon’s views were not really wanted when the plan to “surge” 30,000 soldiers into Afghanistan was being discussed. Theirs but to do and die
    The picture he paints of Obama seeing the disposition of forces not in military or strategic terms but solely for their impact on the media and the electorate, confirms what many have been saying about this administration’s amorality and indifference to any interests but those of its sponsors.

    This is a government which is doing politically what the financiers have been doing to US industry for decades: piecing its assets off and selling them to the highest bidders. The military is being used not to secure any “national” interests- we understand that by national is meant that “of the ruling class”- but to serve as pawns in a board game played for control over Washington.

    Control, that is, over the tollgates and checkpoints at which the lobbyists and their clients are relieved of a chunk of the ill-gotten gains they have extorted from a nation being devoured by parasites, of the sort beside which vampires pale.

    Rowan @1, describes the system as being Military Keynesianism.

    It is nothing of the sort: Keynes’s policies were designed to revive Capitalism by investing in job creation, infrastructural public works projects and the expansion of consumer demand in order to foster private investment.
    Obama’s government has done just the opposite: public payrolls have been slashed in all the states, there has been minimal investment in infrastructure and consumer demand has been cut in many ways. Most notably, to take very recent examples, by cutting unemployment benefits and food stamps.
    Everything that Keynes warned against, the Obama government, sponsored by rentiers and indifferent to any but the narrowest Wall Street interests, has done.
    Far from being Keynesian it is just the latest in a series of administrations pursuing suicidal Chicago School policies which have reduced the US economy to a shadow of its former strength, while vastly increasing the wealth of the capitalist class.
    As to the military, it is certainly true that the government continues to pour enormous amounts of money into military expenditure but, dollar for dollar, it produces very little in the way of employment. In fact it’s a system of welfare for the rich, a means of syphoning off the wealth of the people and natural resources into the bank accounts of a tiny -1%- caste which increasingly shows signs of being ready to join its money offshore at any sign of impending trouble.

    It is becoming clear that, underlying the hegemony project of neo-con true believers, military men and others eager to rendezvous with manifest destiny, the real purpose of the Defense budget is to protect the 1% from Americans, partly by maintaining a continuous state of emergency- fuelled by provocations globally, daily- but much more by militarizing the police, building the Panopticon and suppressing all dissent and potential opposition.
    As has been often noticed in the past the US government is on auto-pilot.
    Unchallenged militarily, invulnerable strategically, it doesn’t need to develop a coherent foreign policy, so it doesn’t.
    Instead it looks away from the frenetic activities of military adventurers of a dozen conflicting types, including the various factions within the armed services, the secret agencies and police forces, from the JSOC and CIA to the DEA and the Immigration department. And this is not to mention the growing list of attack dog allies such as France in West Africa, Japan in east Asia, Ethiopia in East Africa and of course Israel in the middle east who have realised that, while they retain the impunity that US alliance gives them, nobody in Washington cares what they do in the way of creating chaos and provoking war.
    This is not the background against which an ambitious hegemon is preparing to polish off its last rivals but the smoke left by a gang of criminals setting fires to cover their retreat with the plunder.
    A country whose ruling class is seriously seeking to expand its power abroad is not one whose industries are rotting like the atrophying muscles of a crippled champion.
    It is one that puts great importance on building up its manpower. Rather than allowing millions to rot in unemployment it will win their loyalty by putting them to work in productive jobs. Or in conscripting them into its armed forces. It will put the national interest in an educated, skilled and confident population above that of sordid educational profiteers and third rate intellectual quacks.
    Instead of allowing its people to become marginalized and alienated- a Fifth Column-as they prepare for a final foreign push for power, (after winning which they will have all the time in the world to claw back any concessions they might come to regret) they will pour resources into consolidating their military and political base, not a few hundred billionaires but hundreds of millions of citizens.
    The US does none of these things. As it seeks full spectrum dominance globally it is indifferent to the implosion of its great cities and the rapid immiseration of its “middle class.”
    The paradox is easily explained: there is no single serious government in Washington, just a bunch of chancers, emptying Fort Knox into waiting getaway cars, letting the military do as it wants, approving every contract, ignoring every audit, with no thought for the future beyond stocking their mansions and securing their boltholes. Plus, of course, those with no idea what is really going on.

    Does anyone seriously imagine that a ruling class that has given up on the planet’s climate is ready to put in overtime and dip into its savings to take it over?
    The truth is that while there is a traditionalist commitment to US hegemony, in Washington the smart, cynical money is on ripping off everything that isn’t nailed down and getting the hell out of Kansas while it is still there.

    As Keynes said “ In the long run, we’re all dead.” And that’s what the Obamas and, for that matter Gates’, remember about that particular defunct economist.
    Posted by: bevin | Jan 8, 2014 10:10:22 PM | 24

  306. BiBiJon says:

    With reference to http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/opinion/irans-path-to-nuclear-peace.html?hpw&rref=opinion

    Dear Siegfried S. Hecker (former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory) and William J. Perry (former Secretary of Defense)

    Iran went and knocked on every door in the West imaginable in the late 80s, early 90s to do exactly what you now suggest makes sense for her to do. She was turned down; contracts were abrogated; NPT rules flouted ….

    Today’s Iran indigenous nuclear program is a direct result of Western miscalculation that applying nuclear apartheid to Iran will hold her back.

    I would not, if I were you, put conditions on full nuclear cooperation with Iran. If the past is the harbinger of the future, then everything that you’re denying Iran today, she will have found an indigenous solution for in a few years.

    In short, if you want to bury the hatchet, and normalize your relations with Iran, then get on with it!

  307. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I think P5+1 wish to try to transform the current deal into something resembling what Iran agreed to between 2003 to 2005.

    Mr. Khamenei has fired a shot across their bow; essentially stating that Iran is ready to walk away from this deal.

    It is their (P5+1) choice.

  308. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I think that is an ingenious piece of propaganda written by two heavy-weights of a the US (nuclear)-bomb-making industry in US.

    As I said before, the thrust of P5+1 is going to get back to something analogous to what obtained between 2003-2005.

    That will never again happen – nuclear-arms-ready-Iran is here to stay; too much has happened and too many threats of war has been issued against Iran to go back to status quo ante of 2002.

    The examples of such US Barons as Australia or the satrapy of South Korea is irrelevant to the strategically autonomous Shia Crescent.

    The article is revealing also that it quite clearly states that should Iran insists on keeping her fuel cycle there would be a ban on the importation of yellow cake into Iran and that only one or two more reactors would be built by Russia in Iran.

    For Iranians, the path forward is quite clear, move to natural uranium fuel reactors based on CAN-DU designs.

  309. fyi says:

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/09/iraqi-insurgency-uniting-iran-and-us/

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

    You wrote:

    “In short, if you want to bury the hatchet, and normalize your relations with Iran, then get on with it!”

    They still want to destroy independent Iranian strategic autonomy – P5+1 are united on that. They differ on the means to do so.

    We are decades away – as I have stated numerous times – until the P5+1 accept the emergence of a new strategically autonomous state in Western Asia.

    Specially for the Mad King – War is Expensive but so is Peace.

  310. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Ingenious, I am not certain, but propaganda, it is for sure.

    Historically, NYT, WashPo, and others have acted as unofficial mouthpieces of the US by floating ideas to see if and how “they fly”, or prepare the public by setting the “straw man” up.

    Which brings me to Mr. Khamenei’s statement. These two topics are related in the sense that these same ideas have been floated “privately” to Iran and are being shopped around to various parties.

    Mr. Khamenei has now set the threshold – telling these folks that this balloon won’t fly, float, or even take off!

    It is now entirely up to the West to decide on how soon they wish to go back to their hostile policies. My view is that, for the time being (short term), the West will back off! I maintain the long term outlook of the West toward Iran remains the same – a desire to achieve the master-slave relationship.

  311. Don Bacon says:

    Rehmat says:
    January 9, 2014 at 9:43 am
    Iraqi insurgency uniting Iran and US!

    No.

  312. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    What struck me in Mr. Khamenei’s speech was this sentence:

    “One of the blessings of the current negotiations was the clarification of the enmity of American officials towards Iran, Iranians, Islam and Muslims.”

  313. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Yes!

    I had speculated early on (and others had as well) that Iran’s political apparatus was keen on exposing this “enmity” in order to fully realize the benefits of its domestic and international impact.

  314. BiBiJon says:

    fyi, and Jay,

    Abolghasem Bayyenat agrees with you, and says:

    “Iran’s problems with the United States will not come to an end with the resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue and the relations of the two countries will continue to be strained due to the long-standing crisis in their relationship. As in the past, other contentious issues will emerge in the relations of the two countries thus serving as a pretext for sustaining the deep-seated hostility between the two countries. Given the largely conflicting political identity of the two governments which in most contexts has defined conflicting foreign policy interests for the two countries , the United States views its relations with Iran as a zero-sum game and will thus struggle to contain Iran’s growing power and influence in the region, even if this would mean swimming against the tide and creating unnecessary costs for its foreign policy in the region.” see http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14001:interview-interview-with-abolghasem-bayyenat-on-iran-west-relations-the-politics-of-israels-nuclear-program-and-irans-foreign-policy&catid=1&Itemid=19

    I hope you’re all sitting down for the big shock of the day: I disagree!

    Been there, done that. Attempts at containing Iran have been as relentless, as they have been unsuccessful, and indeed, counterproductive.

    Meanwhile, a host of problems in the Mid East which largely have been a byproduct of US-Iran hostility, can only be solved by US-Iran cooperation, or they can get worse without that cooperation.

    I sense we are at that juncture when, as hard as it is to kick the old habits, simply there is no other way, but to cooperate. The biggest sign in the US is how previously hidden under-hand forces are now all out in the open.

    The stakes were plenty high for both parties already, but it is getting even higher. E.g. Ay Khamenei’s shot across the bow yesterday that if the US slips into her old habits, she’ll be declared the enemy of Islam. In other words, the failure of these negotiations won’t return the two parties to status quo ante, but rather, the relations will get markedly worse.

    Both parties knew the risks of failure. To mitigate the risks, they negotiated in secret. And, only when they both felt sufficiently enticed, they went public. Obama recons the chances of success are even. I don’t think he is overly optimistic.

  315. Irshad says:

    James Canning says:
    January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I disagree with your view and the premise of your view. Please explain to me how Turkey, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Egypt, Somalia, Libya etc. will “try” to get the bomb IF Iran builds nukes? The Gulf Arabs are saying they will get the bomb – but how and from where? Pakistan? Do you really believe Pakistan will sell a nuke to them? I think the Americans/Indians/Iranians/Brits are keeping a close eye on Pakistan to stop a nuke going rogue. Do these countries have the capabilities to build one now? NO. The only regime that has the nuke is the zionist regime, which is in occupation of Arab land and one of the most holiest site in Islamdom in Jerusalem. Why are you and your ilks not rallying agains them – including now, the teacherous Saudis?

    The Saudis have been howling for the USA to attack Iran even before the nuclear saga began. They were even howling for an attack when in 2005, they signed a security agreement with Iran – under Mr Khatami, with the blessing of USA. Now Shias/dRuz/Christians/anti-Salafi Sunnis are being killed everywhere by Saudi funded, Bandar commanded Salafi/Takfiris – all with US-EU collusion!

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

    Mr Moussavian challenegs Princess Turki

  316. kooshy says:

    What I gather from today’s speech by ayatollah Khamenei is that Iranians are now sure that Mr. Obama unlike what he had hoped is incapable of delivering what he thought he can deliver in his negotiations with the Iranians, meaning accepting Iran’s treaty rights in exchange for a possible reduction is hostilities or a sort of détente. As a matter of fact the tone of articles and editorials ( for now in US) are reversing back to where it was last year (the usual Iran this and Iran that). I don’t think this exposure is actually bad for Iran, since Iran had shown sincerity but the Americans side shows that their internal and individual political interests is pulling their foreign policy apart and in complete opposition to whatever US’s interest might be.

    The heroic flexibility showed and proved to the Iranian people (the supporters of current government) as well as the rest of the world that the western dispute with Iran is not and never was about Iran’s nuclear capability. Unlike the previous two decades since early 2000s the westerner’s soft war (pressure) on Iran was based primarily on nuclear issue, prior to that the pressure was always based on terrorism or human rights these issues were not effective enough to get international approval for a broad global ban and sanction on Iran they couldn’t have been claimed as a global threat but the nuclear issue was and was treated as such.

    With that in mind it was and still is important that Iran exposes westerners claim on Iran’s nuclear threat as an excuse for implementing their unjustified self-interest policies at the expense of the rest of the world, I think in one way or another that is what is the other alternative or in replacement of the glob hoped outcome for Iran.

    All in all I think ayatollah Khamenei already knows this will not work, otherwise he had no reason to let people know this early on the same day the two sides are setting down once again. As he had said previously the Iran nuclear issue can be resolved in 1 day one seating if the US accepts Iran’s treaty rights, without that this will not go anywhere, the world is already tired of it and soon they will ignore it.

  317. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    January 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Even before that security agreement during the Presidency of Mr. Khatami, there was the one signed during the Presidency of Mr. Rafsanjani.

  318. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    The sanctions against Iran do a great deal of damage to many Western interests. I think you overlook this fact.

  319. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    I did not say it was my view. (That Iran’s nculear programme, if continued, might result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East)

  320. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    What struck me was see the bold and see how they relate preempting US credibility on human rights and equating US terrorism with her being anti-Islam very clever.

    “,The Zionist regime is doing evil, being backed by the U.S.A.,” he said. “In what situation are Palestine and Gaza? Do people of the world not know about people in Gaza? There are patients left in need of treatment and ,b>medicine is not given to them because the U.S.A. is backing this occupier regime. Is not this oppression? ,Do not they feel shame to speak about human rights?”

    “… we have already expressed our readiness to negotiate with the Satan (the US) on specific issues if necessary.”

    “One of the blessings of the current negotiations was the clarification of the enmity ofAmerican officials towards Iran, Iranians, Islam and Muslims.”

  321. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    The Saudi FM was in Pakistan recently, seeking that country’s help in improving Saudi Arabia’s relations with Iran. I assume you know this.

  322. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You linked comments by Matthew Kroenig, including: “diplomacy remains unlikely to neutralize the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.” Do you agree with Kroenig?

  323. Irshad says:

    So if its not your view, 1. Whose is it? 2. Why ask it?

    Really you need to ask whoever is filling your head with canards, how the Arabs/Turks will have a nuke arm race when 1. They dont have the means to build and deliver one and 2. All are susceptible to Us/Eu pressure in terms if political/economic sanctions – which will harm them more, then the sanctions on Iran, as they are dependent on Western military/financial/technological help. Do you think the Sauds will still ve in power if KSA was under the kind of sanctions Iran is under?

  324. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The economics of Britain’s nuclear power programme of decades ago, were poor. Iran might do well to see how two or three nuclear power plants perform, economically. Before more are built.

  325. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Thanks for underscoring how Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinians damages US diplomacy with Iran. Robert Gates in his new book says most US Congressmen care more for their own private interests, than they care for the common good of the American people.

  326. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    My head is not “filled with canards” that Iran’s nuclear programme wil lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

  327. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    You claimed recently that Obama did not want to supply advanced weapons to Iraq, to combat Sunni insurgency. Have you altered this opinion?

  328. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    January 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    All of that is a canard; they want to destroy or limit the strategic autonomy of Iran.

    On this P5+1 and EU states agree.

  329. James Canning says:

    “Theodor Hertzl, “the political thinker and doer. . . and the impulsive dreamer who one day could imagine a mass conversion of the Jews before St Stephen’s Cathedral [and] the next a new Zion”.
    – - Simon Schama, writing in the Financial Times Dec 21/22

  330. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You actually believe Iran would be “destroyed” if it ends production of 20% uranium? Absurd.

  331. James Canning says:

    Sammy,

    Obama apparently did not think that trebling the US troop presence in Afghanistan would achieve what General Pearaeus claimed would be achieved. In fact, Obama apparently thought Joe Biden was right, and that the effort would be hugely expensive and only widen the insurgency.

  332. Irshad says:

    So why ask a question that 1. Is not your view and 2. If its a canard, then its a lie?

    Get a grip James, you are witnessing the rise and establishment of a new geopolitical order stretching frim the Hindu Kush to the Medittarannean sea. One that does not have the US/UK/France running things! Tell the Sauds and your buddies to get use to it!

  333. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    My understanding is that Obama will not allow Iran to build nukes or to get too close to ability to build nukes “quickly”. So, no nuclear arms race in the ME.

  334. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    You wrote:

    “The stakes were plenty high for both parties already, but it is getting even higher..”

    That is not a true statement.

    US can go on her merry way, squandering men & money as she pleases and she could not even notice it (in WWII the English were horrified by the way US was throwing men and airplanes into day-time air raids over Germany).

    Nor the physical existence of US or her allies are threatened.

    None of that obtains for Iran; there is no strategic comparison between US and Iran; US can snuff out Iran in less than an hour.

    War with Iran will destroy US political/financial dominance on the globe, it will not cripple the United States.

  335. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    And that is why Iran should have nuclear deterrence.

    Hopefully when Iran starts up its 60% enrichment program this year, Iran can be officially regarded as nuclear weapon ready state since enrichment to 60% is the 95% of the work needed to enrich to high quality weapon grade of 99%.

  336. Don Bacon says:

    The enmity of the US toward Iran and Palestine is backed by the enmity of average Americans toward those two entities. I regularly have to debate people who consider Iran to be a threat to the US. Recently: Iran invaded Iraq, Iran wants to destroy Israel, etc etc.

    Of course all these mistaken beliefs were fostered by the U government/media but that doesn’t lessen its impact.

    So that’s why the US will never reconcile with Iran. Americans wouldn’t stand for it.

  337. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    I think its possible if the gov. have the balls to say Iran is not a threat/make peace with them etc, then the average joe will accept that position.

  338. kooshy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    That is correct, this enmity can even be felt in every part of the west, but is deeper than just last 30 years and it’s not just with Iran is with every Muslim middle eastern country, and it’s not now or new it has its bases in religion its over 1200 years old , will not change with government to government nuclear or HR, or terror negotiations, a westerner respect to a middle easterner or Muslim is when they believe he or she is against Islam or at least religion or/and hates his/her country’s traditions and way of life to the point that he or she is willing to be invaded by a secular westerner. This I have experienced, and have disappointed my western interlocutors with many times and in many ways. This will not change anytime.

  339. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    To be clear, I meant the political stakes. I perceive US/Iran’s pre-agreement to try and agree in public has put both Obama’s and Rouhani’s hopey-changey mettle to the test of how far on the limb you can go in full view, and in throwing distance of your respective peanut galleries.

    These are politicians whose full time job is political risk assessment. It was necessary for both sides to increase one another’s domestic risks in case of failure. As it happens, psychologically, for trust to mean anything, the two sides must reveal their vulnerabilities to one another.

    I don’t underestimate how difficult selling a deal to the domestic audiences will be. But, hey, as for the US, if that shit hole of a country up to it’s neck in blood of innocents, KSA, is redeemed so quickly after 9/11, then doing something about the public sentiments regarding Iran won’t be such a huge mountain to climb.

    I’m sure you’re exaggerating for effect when you say Iran will be snuffed out in an hour. But, yes, I am aware of the disparities in military capability.

  340. kooshy says:

    Don here is the essence of it, it’s called ORIENTALISM, and I have seen this orientalist mentality in majority of Iran loving, ME/Iranian studies western scholars which are supposed to have a better understanding of ME/Iran mentality, never mind the regular western street folks.

    “Orientalism is a term used by art historians and literary and cultural studies scholars for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures (Eastern cultures) by writers, designers and artists from the West. In particular, Orientalist painting, depicting more specifically “the Middle East” was one of the many specialisms of 19th-century Academic art, and the literatures of European countries took a similar interest in Oriental themes.
    Since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978, much academic discourse has begun to use the term “Orientalism” to refer to a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies. In Said’s analysis, the West essentializes these societies as static and undeveloped—thereby fabricating a view of Oriental culture that can be studied, depicted, and reproduced. Implicit in this fabrication, writes Said, is the idea that Western society is developed, rational, flexible, and superior”.

  341. Don Bacon says:

    I just had a rather distasteful give-and-take with Col (ret) Pat Lang on his blog, with me claiming that people are generally the same the world ’round, and him calling me “slow” because I wouldn’t accept that Arab/ME people have belligerency in their DNA. They can’t be peaceful. (pot…kettle)

    This sort of racism is also seen against hispanics in the SW US — but it is not as strong as the disgust and hatred toward Arabs and Persians, and Iran.

    As i commented, Americans have picked this up from their political leaders and the media. They weren’t born with it. Iran is matter-of-factly referred to a s a “rogue nation” and “leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

    The Supreme Leader has accurately and perceptively understood all this, and verbalized it so well, referring to the US and its allies if not to Americans themselves.

  342. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Less than 20 minutes for a couple of MIRV ICBMs to reach Iranian targets.

    30 million people will be dead in less than 15 minutes afterwards.

  343. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Why stop at 2 ICBMs?

  344. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Yes technically he is right it will take 20 minutes, but that’s not the issue the issue to ask is: since they were shot more than 20 years ago how come they haven’t reached Iran yet?
    Pundits need to give up the continued outdated notion that, US if wanted could have disseminated Iran, like what ayatollah Khamenei said just again today if she could she had already done so, in past 35 years there has not been a moment that American policy planers did not want Iran to be disseminated this will not change up and until like in case with China, US feels the necessity of a détente with Iran essential to her long term endurance (example: saving her currency status)

    ایشان افزودند: اگر امریکایی ها در موضوعی اقدام نمی کنند، علت آن، ناتوانی آنها است و نه عدم دشمنی. آنها گفتند اگر می توانستیم تار و پود صنعت هسته ای ایران را جدا می کردیم اما نمی توانیم. آری، آنها نمی توانند چون ملت ایران اراده کرد، روی پای خود بایستد و ابتکار و توانایی خود را به میدان بیاورد. –
    See more at: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13921019000241#sthash.CeYtnokd.dpuf

  345. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    A good deal of “Orientalist” western art idealizes the Muslim world.

  346. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    I think most Americans would accept and perhaps welcome better relations between the US and Iran. Not necesarily immediately, however.

    Aipac, of course, is adamantly opposed.

  347. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Each MIRV consists of 6 – if recall correctly – independently targetable nuclear warhead.

    20 million people live in the following 8 cities.

    Tehran 10978900
    Mashhad 2040700
    Esfahan 2593100
    Tabriz 1210600
    Shiraz 1158500
    Ahvaz 973600
    Qom 893500

    2 MIRVS will be more than sufficient, I should think to annihilate those cities.

    That EU states are sticking with US is not purely sentimental – it is based on a calculus of death.
    Kermanshah 771400

  348. kooshy says:

    I thought few years back you had said the size of their (Israel) economy can only afford them 8-10 nuclear missiles
    In this argument you have already used 12 an extra 2 that they supposedly don’t have. Where the extra 2 comes from.

  349. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    January 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    The thread of discussion was about US capabilities and not Israel’s.

    Israel, to my knowledge, has no ICBMs, no MIRVs, and no thermonuclear weapons.

  350. BiBiJon says:

    fyi,

    The vortex of paranoia that has led the US to live in constant fear, and perpetually seek to induce fear in others, I admit has a strong pull for others to follow her into that abysmal abyss.

    It doesn’t work for me. US using a first strike against Iran, will be the end of the US, potentially even the end of the planet. The 1950s era of such talk is long over, and frankly, god riddance.

    Anyways, a dozen independently tagetable nuclear warheads doesn’t just spell death for Iran, it spells death for any reasoned conversation on this thread.

  351. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm
    Ok sorry my bad, in my mind possibility of a mad dog like a crazed non-calculating Israeli leader who was refused a visa to US, or even more possible a takfiri Pakistani leader nuking anybody is the only possible way anybody nuking anyone.

    Beside that situation any talk or possibility of Iran being nuked by US is childish.

  352. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    January 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Keep telling yourself that, you might start believing it.

  353. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Keep telling yourself that it would be the end of US, it will not.

  354. Karl.. says:

    More and more in the congress support more sanctions against Iran.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/09/344694/more-us-senators-back-antiiran-bill/

  355. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    There is many many more chance of nuked used by a takfiri cannibal Pakistani equally and not necessarily in this order used against Iran , US, KSA, Israel,Russia then by any of the mentioned countries against each other, don’t you think so?

  356. kooshy says:

    Fyi
    The irony is no number of nukes can act as a preventive deterrence to stop a mad dog takfiri cannibal like the ones they have been unleashed, as you can see in my example no matter how many nukes you have you are equally threatened by a mad dog.

    You are free to act like you don’t believe so. A nuclear attack is not same as an economic or overt or covert conventional war. Is more serious.

  357. kooshy says:

    “This sort of racism is also seen against hispanics in the SW US — but it is not as strong as the disgust and hatred toward Arabs and Persians, and Iran.”

    Don

    By reading works of the Greek historians (on Persians) of over two thousand years ago, one would see that this view and feeling is nothing new had existed ever since and will exist in foreseeable future and will not change, that I learned from my father ( also a historian)

  358. James Canning says:

    Does FYI seem to argue on the one hand that the US might just hit Iran with nukes, yet on the other hand FYI seems to argue the US would not, or could not, impose a blockade on Iran’s oil exports by sea?

  359. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    “Keep telling yourself that it would be the end of US, it will not.”

    Very deep fyi. But thanks for conceding the point: your ICBMs killed the conversation long before reaching Iran.

  360. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    From a rational and dichotomous viewpoint your presentation is sensible. However, setting aside the rational, the choice for the US is not dichotomous.

    I do agree that the stakes are high, and I do agree that it is in the interest of the US to seek an alternate partnership in the ME.

    I do not believe that it follows, necessarily, the the US will be prepared to resolve her long-standing opposition to the IRI – except for a period of tactical pause. In this period, the West will attempt to leverage all opportunities to undermine the IRI’s long term survivability. Once a “tilt” in Syria is achieved, a degree of autonomy in northern Iraq is established, and Afghanistan’s problems are turned completely inward and localized, the US will return to full enmity.

    The significant difference between a tactical pause and a strategic realignment lies in the imbalance of power between the US and Iran. A strong adversary, fighting on multiple fronts, can use a tactical pause to consolidate. The weaker adversary could be blindsided by the rapid change of fortune should the strong adversary quickly dispenses with her troubles.

  361. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    January 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I always knew Babolis will inherit the earth.

  362. kooshy says:

    “Once a “tilt” in Syria is achieved, a degree of autonomy in northern Iraq is established, and Afghanistan’s problems are turned completely inward and localized, the US will return to full enmity.’

    That seems to be a lot of problems and achievements on one’s plate to overcome, especially in that region and without having Iran on your side don’t you agree?, in your estimation how soon this ONCE would happen? I don’t seem it happened in this past 10-15 years or rather this last 35 years, oh no in this past 65 years.

  363. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    January 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I think it behooves a country

    with historical experience of the Mongol destruction,
    with the eyewitness accounts of Armenian massacre in the neighboring Turkey available in Persian,
    with the destruction of the Ba’ath in Iraq by the United States,
    and with the experience of WMD against her military and civilian population,
    under constant threat of war by nuclear-armed states

    to arm herself with all means necessary to prevent her destruction.

  364. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    January 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Now you understand the Fall of Man – it is beyond the reach of Human Reason.

  365. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    January 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Yes, that is my sense of it too; the Axis Powers will be looking for other opportunities to undermine the Islamic Republic in this tactical pause. US planners, evidently, think this tactical pause is a viable option for them.

    Please note that Mr. Khamenei has made an explicit threat that Iran could choose other options in case the current negotiations do not produce acceptable results.

    On Arak and on nuclear research and on reduction of centrifuge numbers Iranians have been firm.

  366. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    Thats because britains early nuclear power infrastructure like all the first generation nuclear states was about bomb fuel production with electricity just being a happy bi-product so of course the economics were piss poor,iran by comparison has a far more modern designs in bushehrs vver1000 which was designed for economic power generation not for cooking bomb fuel.Personally I think irans approach to energy generation by using a variety of power sources is the right one

  367. Sineva says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am
    I agree,well said.Sadly this article only illustrates the equal measures of ignorance and arrogance inherent in the western approach to iran

  368. BiBiJon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 9, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks for the link. With reference to the section titled: “3. Realism and ignoring Israel’s pressures”

    One of the dynamics of the current situation is Israel’s (and Saudi’s) coming out of the closet. The brazen influence peddling, the threats of ‘going it alone’, the open maligning of a sitting POTUS, etc. I think is unprecedented. And, interestingly, win or lose with the Iran situation, both Israel and Saudi’s will lose in the immediate aftermath of whatever comes out of Iran-US negotiations. If it is normalization of relations, then the Israelis and Saudis will have been shown to be impotent. If it is the collapse of US-Iran negotiations, then Israel and KSA can hardly deny direct responsibility for it. Chances of detente is put at “50-50,” but once the dice stops rolling, the chances of anybody and everybody distancing themselves from Israel and KSA is one hundred percent.

    Your thoughts?

  369. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    All,

    As usual Mr. fyi confuses capabilities with intention.

    He once vigorously argued that one can only look at capabilities not intentions to which I answered that’s what amateurs do, not real policy makers.

    They look at both intentions and capabilities, with intentions weighing heavier.

    In fact fyi is doing exactly what Netanyahu dishonestly does which is to equate (Iranian) capabilities- break out capability- with Iranian intention to attack Israel.

    The matter is as follows:

    1. The US has the capability to nuke the world 9 times over- that would include the capability to nuke Iran.

    2. SOME in the US have the “desire” to nuke Iran given the chance. Call this “intention” if you like.

    This position is neither the official position of the US nor is it the “secret” position. It’s an option which some think they have.

    That is not the same as “the US” has the “intention”. I hope that’s clear.

    3. Iran has for over 30 years actually and really militarily deterred the US from a direct attack, (and no the US-Iran naval conflict at the end of the war is not considered a direct US attack on “Iran” in military terms).

    In other words, there is something that Iran has conveyed to the Americans about the consequences of a US attack which has deterred the US and its allies (after Saddam) from directly attacking Iran. This is a fact, not an opinion and obviously the details are not public and that’s the way it should be.

    Hence terrorist attacks and economic warfare, not direct US attack.

    In other words Mr. fyi is making predictions about what will and will not happen without having knowledge of Iranian capabilities and intentions. Thus his analysis is not worth much even if well-intentioned.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    None other than the SL has said that if the US attacks Iran, Iran will respond globally.

    You either believe him or you don’t.

    He has said that if Israel attacks, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be razed to the ground. So much for the contention that US allies will not be damaged.

    You either believe him or you don’t.

    The commander of Sepah announced a little more than a year ago that Iran is now capable of responding strategically to a strategic attack by the US and its allies.

    You either believe him or you don’t.

    I asked Mr. fyi on numerous occasions to please specify the probability of a US attack on Iran in the next 5-10 years with some numbers.

    He refused to do this as he knows that doing this would mean he could be proven wrong empirically. He only restates for the nth time that at some point in the future the US will directly attack Iran.

    Well, not much “honar” in saying this, is there?

    The only empirically prediction we have gotten out of him has been that the IRI will collapse in 77 years- again no honar in this either as most of us will not be around to see if he is right or wrong.

    The facts are this:

    Iran is actually and really militarily deterring the US as we speak without the moral and logistical and financial burden that having an active nuclear force entails.

    This strategy has been very successful for Iran since the end of the war and will remain an excellent strategy for the foreseeable future.

  370. BiBiJon says:

    Jay says:
    January 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    “The significant difference between a tactical pause and a strategic realignment lies in the imbalance of power between the US and Iran.”

    I’d like to pursue this line of thought, and dissect it into three general possibilities.

    a) US genuinely wants out of its debacle in the Mid East
    ——————————————————-

    I agree with the trust of your assertion that nevertheless the US cannot tolerate a regional power that can determine regional outcomes independently of, and at times even in opposition to US’ desires.

    Here, the only solution I can see is deep/wide economic engagement, common security arrangements, and alliance-like level of coordination on foreign policy. Harboring suspicions, let alone run away hostility towards Iran, cannot be a sustainable undercurrent. And, it will sooner, rather than later, bring into question how genuine US desire for an honorable exit out of the Mid East debacles really is.

    b) US needs time to find a strategy/strength to deliver a death blow to Iran.
    —————————————————————–

    Here, the question is what is the best tactical strategy for the weaker state. Clearly, one option is to deny the the US any respite. But, also calculations can be made on the potential for a temporary peace dividend, as well as the strategy of trying to convince the stronger power during the temporary peace that the new status quo is net-net to US’ advantage and should be continued until something changes. Crucially, the weaker state must see her defensive capabilities to be in a do-or-die race with the the stronger power’s gathering strength. As soon as it is determined such a race is unwindable, national survival would necessitate surrender.

    c) US is utterly rudderless, doesn’t know what it wants, wouldn’t recognize it even she got it on a silver platter.
    ———————————————————————–

    This in a nutshell is the fyi theory of the mad king. And, as Kooshy says, it is pointless planning anything around madness.

  371. BiBiJon says:

    P.s.

    Putin’s answer to Prince Bandar:

    For antipasto See how you like the effect on oil prices when 500,000 bpd of additional oil hits the market. And, as for il Secondo, see how much you like your rival get richer. For dolce, we have Russia the supporter of Syria, get to sell goods in a big market.

    As noted previously, Russian modus operandi is not to respond directly for Volgograd.

  372. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

    BiBi- I would think this news just coming out is a pressure tool, used for “all” done and coming “Geneva talks”, I mean both Geneva talks the one with Iran and also the one supposedly without Iran.

    One just done today apparently was successfully concluded, do this news Iran dealing with Russia add pressure on sanctions integrity? So one may feel we should grab what we can while we can?

    Is just like trading carpets in bazaar.

  373. Sammy says:

    Bibijon thanks for the Reuters link and the news , I found this ….

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2014/01/huge-news-iran-russia-negotiating-big-oil-for-goods-deal/

    …Stacy Summary: I should imagine that, if true, this story will cause a mighty stir of outrage in DC and on the US airwaves. And notice that, no matter where you look –from bitcoin to Turkey’s gold for oil deals – new means of exchange and trade (sometimes a return to old means) are in danger of supplanting our current dollar reserve based system. And also note that restrictions often lead to the exact opposite of intention for the bully in the equation forces the entity facing restrictions to innovate where before they could have been lazy instead.

    ww.maxkeiser.com/2014/01/huge-news-iran-russia-negotiating-big-oil-for-goods-deal/#ZxoWDY6QdzaWGBho.99….

  374. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 10, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Let us dispense with option c) – it is not a useful road to go down.

    Options a) and b) are not mutually exclusive. It is my view that the West is pursuing an option that combines elements of a) and b).

    I do agree with the Iranian response/diplomacy/strategy so long as it has a clear-eyed understanding of the long-term and the objectives of the West – and, I think it does.

    I do maintain, however, that the US and other western allies/proxies (UK, France,…) are not yet at a point where they would be willing to negotiate with Iran genuinely – the extent to which the tactical pause lasts depends on external events and the bigger game that is afoot!

  375. Don Bacon says:

    Meanwhile the US Senate is rearranging the deck chairs.
    The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 S.1881 sponsored by Senator Menendez now has 58 cosponsors.

  376. BiBiJon says:

    Sammy says:
    January 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Yes, and if you extend the concept to:

    - What does it do the prestige and the must-have allure of western goods when a country as comprehensively sanctioned as Iran nevertheless is managing quite well, thank you very much?

    - What does it do to the allure of western technology if Siemens’ integrity is STUXNETed, and http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/12/review-group-falsly-claims-no-nsa-backdoors-in-us-software.html

    I guess the bet was Iran would have rolled over and cried uncle years ago. But when she didn’t, the objective was all but forgotten, and sheer mindless hostility became institutionalized to such a point that cutting off your nose to spite your face was the least of the self-inflicted harms folks got addicted to.

  377. Rehmat says:

    “Barack Obama is weak on the Middle East while he”feted and fawned” over Iran, says Vivian Bercovici, the newly appointed Canada’s ambassador to Israel.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/10/canada-appoints-racist-jew-ambassador-to-israel/

  378. Sammy says:

    Don Bacon says:
    January 10, 2014 at 11:02 am

    And here is the link…

    http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/senate-bill/1881

  379. Smith says:

    Limiting Iran’s nuclear research to just one physical site, so that it can be bombed by USA more easily: http://guests.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/4254/looking-to-the-past-to-solve-the-iranian-nuclear-issue

    Iran will never be safe without nuclear weapons deterrence.

  380. kooshy says:

    “I do maintain, however, that the US and other western allies/proxies (UK, France,…) are not yet at a point where they would be willing to negotiate with Iran genuinely – the extent to which the tactical pause lasts depends on external events and the bigger game that is afoot!”

    Jay
    There is no genuine negotiations, especially in politics, like it is said, in politics no one has friends everyone have interests so don’t expect a truthful genuine bodies negotiations. With that in mind the external events you mentioned in your previous post are a lot on one’s plate to deal with, these events will last generations to calm down, I suspect we are at the beginnings of it the KSA and co. are yet to come up, Iraq and Afghanistan alone are in their 14th year and every year has become worse than the year before specially for the western war mongers that started it. This to the point that these 2 US intelligent assets ( see link below) are now admitting that we (US) are done tired and going home with our tail in our arses (you may also want to read recent Mr. flat head we want war Tom Friedman, in the American Pravda aka NYT), with all that, do you think they are going to waite 10 more years and start another war with Iran, if so, so be it who knows 10 years from now what shape US Europe will be in did anybody ten years go predicted where US is today. Would I think these westerners attitude toward Iran will genuinely ever change? The answer is no I learned it did not genuinely changed in past 2500 years no reason it will be changed soon.

    Watch these 2, known US security assets after years admitting about the effect of sanctions on day to day Iran, as well as how deep Iranian nationalism is and if you want to F with that? Did they just found that out? I don’t think so

    “Wright, Ignatius Analyze Iran Developments”
    http://www.usip.org/publications/wright-ignatius-analyze-iran-developments

  381. BiBiJon says:

    Kooshy, Jay,

    I can think of one “external factor” that all but guarantees US will seek better relations with Iran. The looming end of the 89 year old King Abdullah, and KSA’s all but certain joining other Arab countries mired in the messy struggle to figure out what/who/how should rule them.

  382. James Canning says:

    “Secretary Kerry has proposed a role for the Iranians in negotiations over Syria – - even as Iranian forces and proxies are battering what is left of that country.”
    – - Fouad Ajami, in the Wall Street Journal today

  383. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The economics of the new nuclear power plants that likely will be built in the UK, are not favorable.

  384. BiBiJon says:

    The epic battle that is about to go into high (FBI) gear between the WH and AIPAC, will undoubtedly use Fouad Ajami as an example. I can see the guy getting investigated, castigated and his citizenship revoked in the next few months.

  385. James Canning says:

    “If we opt for an alliance with Iran and its satraps, we should do so in the full knowledge that our choice places us at odds with the vast majority of the Islamic world.”
    Fouad Ajami, in the WSJ today (“Obama and the Sunni-Shiite war”)

  386. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Primakov tried to persuade Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait to avoid destruction of his army by the US. He failed, as said later that Saddam was a subborn fool. What would have been your advice to Saddam at that time? Some time ago, you said Saddam should have tried to capture the Saudi oilfields and the capital of the country.

  387. Jay says:

    kooshy says:
    January 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Perhaps you are correct in that genuine is not a word to be used alongside political negotiations.

    Historically speaking, predicting the end of an empire contemporaneously has proven illusive. Although I accept the premise that the US and her allies are “tired”, whether or not they are so tired as to be impotent remains to be seen. I do not believe that the US will engage in a “warm or hot war” with Iran. At the same time, the US has been engaged in a war with Iran for decades and has accelerated the pace in the past ten years through OFAC – recall that OFAC is the old office of economic war. There are also wars of “subversion”, and now electronic war, that can be unleashed.

    The pointed answer to your question of “… do you think they are going to wait 10 more years and start another war with Iran… ” is NO! “They” are not waiting. What is changing is the present intensity, dimension, and direction of war, until events become more favorable for a “different” war – not a “hot war”, but a war nonetheless.

    There is an exception, in my view. For this trajectory to change, some degree of strategic accommodation by both sides must be accomplished. Note that this is also the view expressed in the article you pointed to. Every indicator in the US political and elite sphere (not the WH rhetoric) suggest that such accommodation faces very long odds. As I stated earlier, and restated differently, the outlines of a rational strategy toward Iran has been clear for some time. What remains unclear is whether the US is willing to live with this outcome, or will continue to fight it by various means for another 10 years.

  388. James Canning says:

    Robert Gates is busy bashing Joe Biden, for being “wrong” on Afghanistan. This is curious because Biden clearly was “right” on Afghanistan. (Biden in 2009 opposed the huge increase in the American military footprint in that country.)

  389. Smith says:

    The story of British piss being more important than Iran’s nuclear program, science and research and why any kind of permanent nuclear deal is not possible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWeMicREEOI

  390. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    My advice would have been to push forward and overthrow the Saudi Monarchy.

    There was no way that he could have been stopped in time by US Forces – US did not have those forces.

    Again, this is an endemic problem among Third World leaders – both in politics or in business – they do not think big enough.

  391. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    When Primakov was trying to convince Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait, to save his own army from destruction, a huge army was in place ready to smash the Iraqis.

    Would you have advised Saddam to save his army, and get out?

  392. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    My advice to the late Mr. Hussein would have been to withdraw.

    My advice to him, much earlier, would have been not to invade Iran or anyone else.

  393. fyi says:

    But it would not have mattered, US would still have attacked and destroyed Iraqi Army.

  394. kooshy says:

    “As I stated earlier, and restated differently, the outlines of a rational strategy toward Iran has been clear for some time. What remains unclear is whether the US is willing to live with this outcome, or will continue to fight it by various means for another 10 years.’

    Jay

    Glad to read your thoughtful respond, I was not opposing your opinion, I was just trying to channel it to what I think is on hand reality. To answer your above concern in my opinion I don’t think Iran and US will ever again reach a strategic accommodation, like when Iran/US were threaten by possibility of USSR expanding toward PG, in my opinion that threat currently and no longer exist and if it did IRI’s internal base of support is many fold more solid than that of Shah’s Iran therefore she will not require a need to submit to an external power for her regional security needs.

    On the other hand base on BiBi’s notion that when and if in case of KSA going belly up, to a point I think he is correct but in my opinion is US who will and need to, run to Iran for help at any level and any cost to bring stability to energy markets. But again still in that case I don’t see an accommodation of US will be in Iran’s immediate benefit, strategically alignment of Iran and US will not benefit Iran regionally since US/ and other discredited western countries have many credibility issues with the real Arab street. For example In case of Egypt right now look who will be taken serious telling the Egypt’s street, hello, hi I am a partner of US/EU in here and I want to help you out of the 100 year old mess they made for you.

    The reason is as I have always mentioned and worried about, the biggest threat to Iran is the Sunni Arab street. Can anybody imagine or think in case of Arab uprising against the KSA rulers, Iran make a new alignment with US upsetting her Sunni neighbors that just kicked US out.

    So in my opinion for foreseeable future and even after a possible détente Iran’s relations with the west on political level will remain convenient tactical accommodations or corporations, but on economic level if and when west totally gives up the idea that Iran still can be under their control there would be a lot of opportunities for both side to participate, this in one way or another will eventually happen, one can close borders but one can’t shut down commerce forever.

    As for me, after these Arab awakening I am now much less worried about Iran than I ever was in past 30 years.

    Payandeh Iran

  395. Nasser says:

    fyi says: January 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    The only thing that could have protected Mr. Hussein then and Iran now is to have nukes pointed at Tel Aviv and Haifa.

  396. BiBiJon says:

    Call it what is, it is what you call it: “hidden agenda”
    =======================================================

    http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-white-house-iran-nuclear-deal-20140110,0,1510706.story#axzz2q21per9l

  397. BiBiJon says:

    Sen. Schumer is a Takfiri
    =======================

    The Emergency Committee for Israel attacks the Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FoOpDukqlVM

    Nasser, thank you for pointing out one bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium is not enough reason to unleash the dogs of war.

  398. Jay says:

    kooshy says:
    January 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Kooshy, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  399. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Saddam Hussein could have withdrawn his troops from Kuwait, without an American attack. Colin Powell was not eager for a military confrontation with Iraq.