Obama’s Choice: Real Diplomacy with Iran—or War

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Our latest article, “Obama’s Choice:  Real Diplomacy with Iran—or War,” published by Al Jazeera and Huffington Post argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the risk of a U.S.-initiated military confrontation with the Islamic Republic during President Obama’s second term is rising, not falling.  For the Obama administration “has made an ill-considered wager that it can ‘diplomatically’ coerce Iran’s abandonment of indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capabilities”—a bet that, over the next year or so, will be increasingly seen as having failed.

If, before this happens, Obama “does not change course and accept Iran’s strategic independence and rising regional influence—including accepting the principle and reality of internationally-safeguarded uranium enrichment in Iran,” he “will face a choice as fateful as it is unpalatable.

–He could, in effect, admit that the United States no longer has the wherewithal to dictate strategic outcomes in the Middle East.”

–Or, to avoid acknowledging this reality, he could succumb to “pressure from Israel and its friends in Washington” and “launch another war to disarm yet another Middle Eastern state of weapons of mass destruction it does not have.”  Obama would launch such a war “not to remove a chimerical ‘existential threat’ to Israel, but to protect Israel’s military dominance over its own neighborhood.  This would prove disastrous for America’s strategic position, in the Middle East and globally.”

The only way out of this self-generated dilemma, we argue, “is serious diplomacy, that treats Iranian interests in a serious way.”

We encourage you to go online at either or both Al Jazeera and Huffington Post to leave comments, Facebook likes, etc.  We also append our piece below:

“Contrary to conventional wishful thinking in American policy circles, developments in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 and the Iran-related messages coming out of President Obama’s trip to Israel strongly suggest that the risk of a U.S.-initiated military confrontation with Tehran during Obama’s second term are rising, not falling.  This is because Obama’s administration has made an ill-considered wager that it can “diplomatically” coerce Iran’s abandonment of indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.  This is dangerous.  For it will become clear over the next year or so—the timeframe Obama himself has set before he would consider Iran able to build nuclear weapons—that the bet has failed.  If the administration does not change course and accept Iran’s strategic independence and rising regional influence—including accepting the principle and reality of internationally-safeguarded uranium enrichment in Iran, it will eventually be left with no fallback from which to resist pressure from Israel and its friends in Washington for military strikes at least against Iranian nuclear facilities.

The just concluded technical discussions in Istanbul between Iran and the P5+1 should dispel triumphalist optimism about the prospects for progress in nuclear diplomacy with Tehran.  After higher-level political talks in Kazakhstan last month, some prominent Iran experts declared that U.S.-instigated sanctions had gotten the Iranians back to the table, perhaps ready to make a deal along lines dictated by the Obama administration.

But a sober reading of the Istanbul meeting says otherwise:  Iran has not been “softened up” by sanctions.  (Based on our observations in Iran, only those who haven’t been there recently could possibly think that sanctions are “working” to bring Iran’s population to its knees and change official decision-making.)  Tehran’s conditions for a long-term deal remain fundamentally what they have been for years—above all, U.S. acceptance of Iran’s revolution and its independence, including its right to enrich under international safeguards.  Just as importantly, the Obama administration is no more prepared than prior administrations to accept the Islamic Republic and put forward a proposal that might actually interest Tehran.  And Obama’s ability to modify sanctions in the course of negotiations—or lift them as part of a deal—is tightly circumscribed by laws that he himself signed, belying the argument that sanctions are somehow a constructive diplomatic tool.

In Istanbul, U.S. officials provided more details about the proposal advanced by the P5+1 in Almaty (itself a slightly modified version of a proposal initially tabled last May).  And their Iranian counterparts had essentially the same negative reaction as before.  The proposal calls on Iran to stop enriching uranium at the 20-percent level needed to fuel an internationally safeguarded research reactor in Tehran that makes medical isotopes, to ship abroad most of the 20-percent enriched uranium it has already produced, and, in effect, to shut down the new enrichment site at Fordo it has built inside a mountain to protect it from being bombed.  In return, Iran would receive only marginal sanctions relief:  Washington would waive, for six months, the imposition of recently legislated measures threatening to sanction third countries that supply gold or other precious metals to the Islamic Republic.

In Istanbul, Iranian representatives rejected the American terms as lacking in “balance between what they are asking and what they are offering.”  U.S. negotiators told the Iranians that, after six months, Washington might be willing to temporarily waive more consequential banking and financial sanctions—but that it would then also demand “more significant steps” from Tehran.  In Istanbul, the U.S. side declined to say what those might be.  Privately, though, Obama administration officials say that their goal remains a complete halt to Iranian enrichment.

This is a recipe for diplomatic failure and, before the end of Obama’s presidency, strategic catastrophe.  The United States is reaching the end of its ability to threaten ever more severe sanctions against third countries doing business with Iran—but rarely implement such “secondary” sanctions—without eroding the deterrent effect of the threat.  At the same time, America cannot actually impose secondary sanctions on major international players like China without risking serious diplomatic, economic, and legal blowback.

Moreover, Tehran will continue developing its indigenous nuclear capabilities.  Iran is now enriching at the 3-4 percent level needed to fuel power reactors and at the 20-percent level needed to fuel its research reactor.  It will continue to expand and update its centrifuge infrastructure, and could easily begin enriching at higher levels—for maritime reactors, in connection with its space program, or for other legitimate purposes.  All will be done under International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring, and the Agency will continue to report that Iran is not diverting nuclear material from its declared nuclear facilities.  But this will do nothing to alleviate Israeli concern that a nuclear-capable Iran is an unacceptable challenge to Israel’s freedom of unilateral military initiative—or Israeli pressure on the Obama administration to degrade Iran’s nuclear capabilities through war.

Under these circumstances, Obama will face a choice as fateful as it is unpalatable.  He could, in effect, admit that the United States no longer has the wherewithal to dictate strategic outcomes in the Middle East.  This is reality, but a reality that any American president would be loath to affirm so openly.  Or, to avoid acknowledging this reality, he could launch another war to disarm yet another Middle Eastern state of weapons of mass destruction it does not have—not to remove a chimerical “existential threat” to Israel, but to protect Israel’s military dominance over its own neighborhood.  This would prove disastrous for America’s strategic position, in the Middle East and globally.

The only way out of this self-generated dilemma is serious diplomacy, that treats Iranian interests in a serious way.  But this would require the Obama administration to do something that not even a re-elected President Obama has shown a willingness to do—to accept the Islamic Republic of Iran as an enduring political entity representing legitimate national interests, and to come to terms with it as an unavoidably important player in the Middle East.”

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

72 Responses to “Obama’s Choice: Real Diplomacy with Iran—or War”

  1. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times yesterday, Philp Stephens noted how peculiar it was, that Obama has sufficient determination to launch a war with Iran, but not to confront Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank.

  2. James Canning says:

    Shouldn’t Obama simply come out openly and say the US is willing to accept Iranian enrichment of uranium to low levels, to operate nuclear power plants?

    The US would not be attacking Iran to destroy WMD, and that would not be the claim made by the Obama administration. In my view.

  3. fy says:

    James Canning says:

    March 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    It is not peculiar at all.

    There is nothing between Iran and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.

    And to that must be added the religious dimension of this confrontation over Palestine.

  4. Fiorangela says:

    Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J-Street, the “alternative” to AIPAC, sent out this email blast praising Obama’s speech to Jewish young people in Israel earlier this week:

    “President Obama has just delivered a historic speech to the young people of Israel and to the entire world. If you did not catch it live, I urge you to watch it or read the transcript.1.

    The president spoke movingly and honestly from the depths of his heart. He paid the people of Israel the ultimate compliment of telling them the truth. He did justice to the scope of Jewish history and recognized the rights and needs of the Palestinians. His speech was a clarion call for peace – and a rallying cry to ordinary people on both sides to overcome the shortsighted needs of risk-averse politicians to build the future they need.

    Please thank President Obama for so eloquently and movingly expressing our values and making the two-state solution a top priority for his administration.

    This is our moment – our time to lead! Never has anyone expressed with greater clarity and with greater conviction everything that our movement fights for and holds dear. We must back up the president and support him against his critics. The president has spoken up for us. We must now speak up for him.

    Here are some of the central points President Obama made:

    Israel has no greater friend than the United States and he personally will never forsake Israel.
    ***Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state in peace and security, accepted by its neighbors and the world. “Israel is not going anywhere,” he said. “So long as there is a United States of America, you are not alone.”***
    The president will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, but “we have to do everything we can to resolve this diplomatically.”
    Peace is necessary: “The only path to security – the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish democratic state is through the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state.”
    Peace is just: The right of Palestinians to self-determination “must also be recognized… It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished or when Palestinian farmers cannot farm their land. Settlements are counterproductive to peace. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.”
    Peace is possible: “Negotiations will be necessary, but there is little secret about where they must lead – two states for two peoples.”
    Israel does have a partner in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.”


    This statement was of particular interest:

    “Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state in peace and security, ***accepted by its neighbors and the world.***

    “Israel is not going anywhere,” he said.

    “So long as there is a United States of America, you are not alone.”

    What is meant by the “right to be accepted”?
    If Israel has the “right to be accepted,” does every state have the same right?

    Does Iran have the “right to be accepted,” IN ITS OWN SOVEREIGN LAND, which, as Obama said of Israel, “is not going anywhere” ?


    nb. If I were Israel, perhaps I would worry about the last part of Obama’s bold declaration; it implied that Israel cannot exist without a power as formidable as the USA to run interference for it. It would seem that the Jewish people have gone to a great deal of trouble to put themselves in a situation they have been in before: dependent on the might of an alien superpower to provide for their security.

    Iran, on the other hand, has proved that it can fend for itself in a “tough neighborhood.”

  5. nico says:

    Obviously the risk is not null.
    And it is difficult to foresee how it could not escalate up to a nuclear strike once such conflict is started.

    With Iran tactically weakened in Syria, there is a high probability that Iran will need to fight back in some way if the second almaty talk end up in failure (as it is likely).

    It could be in Syria.
    It could be in KSA. A major uprising or disturbance here could deflect attention of the Unholy Alliance with other worries and problem to take care of.
    It could other thing. Any ideas ?

  6. fy says:

    Fiorangela says:

    March 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I think it best to ignore Mr. Obama’s speeches; they have very little policy content.

  7. nico says:

    fy says:
    March 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    ” But now Iranians stand for the only positive program in the Middle East and Central Asia while Americans, Europeans, (Sunni ) Arabs, and Turks stand for instability, religious war etc.This is the greatest positive victory of Iranians – that is, they stand for Peace, Development, Comity etc.”

    It is at Iran credit to not have been trapped into the Unholy Alliance delirium of enmity and sectarian hatred.
    That being said it is up to the IRI regime to not be too naive and defend itself (and its allies) when required.

    If the Almaty talks fail as it is probable, some a actions could be expected.

  8. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As predicted, Obama firms up the excuse for a US military intervention in Syria…

    Obama warns of ‘enclave for extremism’ in Syria, seeks to shore up Jordan’s embattled king
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/obama-ending-israel-visit-with-stops-at-holocaust-memorial–wreaths-for-state-heroes/2013/03/22/0eeb1086-92c1-11e2-9173-7f87cda73b49_print.html

  9. Richard Steven Hack says:

    This is good, but the US, France and the UK will find a way around it…

    France, Britain fail to win easing of Syria arms ban
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/us-syria-crisis-eu-idUSBRE92L19C20130322

  10. Richard Steven Hack says:

    “contrary to conventional wisdom, the risk of a U.S.-initiated military confrontation with the Islamic Republic during President Obama’s second term is rising, not falling.”

    Absolutely correct.

    “For it will become clear over the next year or so—the timeframe Obama himself has set before he would consider Iran able to build nuclear weapons—that the bet has failed.”

    Absolutely correct.

    “The just concluded technical discussions in Istanbul between Iran and the P5+1 should dispel triumphalist optimism about the prospects for progress in nuclear diplomacy with Tehran.”

    Absolutely correct.

    “Privately, though, Obama administration officials say that their goal remains a complete halt to Iranian enrichment.”

    Absolutely correct.

    There is NO chance Obama will resolve the Iran situation diplomatically. None. Nada. Zip. Fergeddaboudit.

    And I am convinced that Obama will not be allowed to “kick the can down the road” for another four years like Bush was able to do, if he wishes to do so, which is questionable.

    Either the US blinks in the next four years or there will be an Iran war.

    And the slow escalation of the Syria crisis makes it clear the US and NATO and Israel are working toward eliminating Syria and Hizballah as factors in that war. That is the current constraint on starting the Iran war. That constraint will be removed – or at least attempted to be removed – this year.

  11. Richard Steven Hack says:

    West stalls Syria chemical attack probe in U.N.: Russia
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-crisis-chemical-unbre92j0re-20130320,0,6271830.story

    So if the insurgents uses chemical weapons, Obama couldn’t care less – except maybe to argue that the US must intervene to prevent them from getting a “safe haven”. But if Syria uses them, then the US must attack Syria.

    Notice how both options end up with the US attacking Syria.

  12. Smith says:

    I admire and remain thankful to Leveretts for being among the few remaining sane Americans, and I fully understand that from their point of view, they are trying to stop a looming war. But there are other issues at play here which are bigger than any remaining “rational” policies of United States (or the hope for them at least). Watching Obama’s press conference with the American half slave, the king of Jordan, I got a feeling that Obama does not want to go to war and he is just trying to stall this war until the end of his presidency. I might be wrong though. But I believe he knows more than what he is showing publicly. This does not mean that Iran will not be attacked in some future date, but right now the possibility is very low.

    As I said, the Leveretts efforts are commendable but I do not think Iranians should put their security in “benevolence” of American nation not to go to war with them. Iran should be prepared. And since Iran has a large discrepancy in regard to conventional arms with its neighbors and with USA+NATO, the only remaining way to be prepared and to be capable of preventing such a war is to be nuclear armed and have a nuclear deterrence in place. As has been amply shown specially in recent times, “benevolence” and “rationality” can not be counted as credible deterrence against the madmen running US policy whose decisions are based on their deep rooted cult ideologies. To be on the safe side, and for all practical purposes, Iran should consider the Axis powers as a form of a dangerous and blood thirsty cabal with enormous military power bent on raping and killing Iranians. Mr Khamenei might already know this as he has been referring to Axis power being devoid of logic.

    There are two possibilities here. Either Iran already has some number of nukes (north korean, Pakistani, old soviets, secretly self made etc) or that Iran does not have any. The first scenario, which is not far from real as almost all current nuclear powers except US had got their nukes from someone else before officially declare themselves nuclear armed. British and French got theirs from US, Israel from France, China from Russia, and Russia itself from imported German technologists and stolen US designs. India from Russia and Pakistan actually got its first two nukes in fully operational format from China before they decided to build their own nuke factory using stolen blueprints. North Korea got help from Pakistan and China.

    In this scenario, Iran is waiting for an opportune time to pull out of NPT as per its rights under article 10 and announce itself as a nuclear armed state. Of course Iran has lost several opportune times before for such a task but now it appears either Iran did not have nukes or that the planners did not consider those historical moments opportune enough eg. during 2005-2009 period and immediately after India-Pakistan nuclear tests (as pointed out by dear fyi). In this scenario, Iran is safe. Now and after its formal declaration of its nuclear status. Before this declaration, US might regularly threaten Iran (“all options are on the table”) or Israel as usual putting out stories about nuking Iran’s nuclear sites or exploding a nuclear weapon 100K feet above Tehran, killing tens of thousands and scaring Iranians to submission but the reality is going to be that they will never attack Iran. And these threats will stop too, when Iran formally joins them in the ultimate nuclear club.

    The second scenario in which Iran does not have nukes currently, is so dark and riddled with ineptitude and poor strategic vision that is hard even to comment on. As it would mean that IRI has made a strategic folly bigger than the numerous ones committed by the entire Qajar dynasty + Pahlavi dynasy combined. Iran will be at the benevolence and mercy of US and its cronies. Let’s just hope Iran is not in such a situation because then it means, Iran is a lost cause.

    Here I shall put 4 brief case studies showing that only a nuclear deterrence can save Iran, not the international law, not the benevolence of Americans, not rationality of NATO and not certainly Bible and Torah.

    The Four tales:

    1) On 11 september 2001, a terrorist attack happened in US. We still do not know fully what happened on that day. But there are certain things which are strange to say the least. Alqaida had been founded in Pakistan (Peshawar precisely speaking). Taliban was founded in Pakistan and completely under the control of Pakistan. As now we know, even Osama might have been/was comfortably in Pakistan before even US declared a war on Afghanistan. But regardless of these facts, it was Afghanistan that was attacked. Not Pakistan. But the tale does not end here. A night after 11 september 2001, there were other tell tale signs. Pakistani media reported that two large buildings had burnt down completely. One was a high security building in Islamabad which housed the Pakistani government offices of importance, a high rise building. And the other was record keeping buildings in Pakistan’s central military command and control buildings. Both fires were unprecedented and both happened on the same night. Pakistan went on to receive billions of dollars in foreign and American aid. Afghanistan got invaded. Pakistan had nuclear weapons, Afghanistan did not.

    2) North Korea has been threatening direct military nuclear strikes against US, Japan and South Korea. It does not hide its hostile intentions which most of times look so irrational that one wonders if the planners of that country have psychiatric issues. But that is not important. The important thing here is the response of US to that country. No, No, No. There is NO option on the table. And North Korea is secured. At least from external threats. US does not intend to go in and snatch their nukes from their hands. US even did not retaliate with making a threat of nuclear counter strike if North Korea nukes Tokyo. Since that would have been counter productive and would escalated the situation so, US has told South Korea and Japan to shut up, while US is keeping “all options” on the table for Iran.

    3) Saddam gave up all his WMD program including his long range ballistic missile program. The rest of his conventional military was no better than Iran’s at the time. In fact he still had more tanks, APC’s and multi-barrel anti air craft guns and artillery than Iran. The west knew that Saddam did not have any potential war making capability. Yet they went to war, since he had no nukes and therefore no credible deterrence. Iraq had been softened by 12 years of economic sanctions as well as absence of a nuclear deterrence. When Saddam had some long range ballistic missile and some left over WMD which his western masters had given to him for use on Iranians, the west did not go to Baghdad. They went to Baghdad when Saddam could not defend himself anymore. I wonder if they could do it, if Saddam had only a dozen nuke tipped 4000 km range ballistic missile targeting London with a “45 minute response time”. You bet, Saddam would today be hosting Obama in Baghdad during his middle eastern tour.

    4- Libya. The same Libya that gave up its WMD weapons program. The same Libya that let western NGO’s and companies to move in. The same Libya that basically accepted complete slavery of west in return for security and benevolence of Americans not to attack Libya and handing it over to Salafi warlords. Yes, the same Libya. Col Ghaddafi was so confident of his right decision that after he made “peace” with west, he advised Iran to drop its nuclear program and follow Libya and become WMD free. He warned Iranians that if they do not follow Libya then West will “attack them”. I guess his warning came in 2008. I am sure when he was being lynched by western controlled salafi terrorists, this must have been the last thing that went through his mind: if only he had nuclear tipped MRBM’s targeting Paris, Rome and Venice.

    ================

    While this article has been written from the perspective of two good hearted rational diplomats calling for realistic and rational policy, this must be borne in mind that the world does not work in that order. Iran can not, should not, must now, shall not depend on other people’s mercy and the “international law” for its national security. Iran should only depend on its own nuclear deterrence when zombies are at the gate.

  13. fy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    March 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Yes, the Axis Powers’ expectation of extracting concession from Iran will not be realized.

    And yes, Mr. Obama will kick the can down the road.

    US Congress can still declare war on Iran.

    Let us see if it does.

  14. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    Great post as usual. Please forgive me for one small contention.

    You write: “I wonder if they could do it, if Saddam had only a dozen nuke tipped 4000 km range ballistic missile targeting London with a “45 minute response time”. You bet, Saddam would today be hosting Obama in Baghdad during his middle eastern tour.”

    – He wouldn’t have needed all that. Nuclear missiles pointed at Riyadh, Kuwait City, Haifa and Tel Aviv would have been enough. Since the Americans care more for Tel Aviv and Haifa than they do for New York or LA. No need for fancy ICBMs. This is good news for Iran too (as long as they act on their opportunity). I applaud Mr. Khamenei for his recent comments.

  15. James Canning says:

    fy,

    It is peculiar, to be polite. Obama wants Israel out of the West Bank, but apparently is not willing to pay the political price necessary to get the job done.

  16. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    March 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    You are right. But two points to keep in mind. 4000 KM range is IRBM. The ICBM designation is for missiles with a range greater than 6000 KM. The other point is that I wanted to paraphrase Tony Blair who among his reasons for going to war with Saddam had warned Londoners of Iraqi missiles capable of hitting London in 45 minutes. Of course he never found those missiles since he was lying. If those missile were there, Tony Blair would soil his pants upon even the mention of a war between UK and Iraq. Let alone planning for it.

    As for Mr. Khamenei, he is revered by millions for reasons. Whenever he talks, there is a deep meaning. One has to keep high level of attention to understand most of what he is saying (I do not think I have the intellect to understand all of what he says). Compare it to the shallowness of US politicians. The difference could not be starker. Though personally I feel Imam Khomeini had much greater depth. It was as if he was living on another dimension. A philosopher turned politician. A rare event in history.

  17. fy says:

    Smith says:

    March 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The late Kurchatov and his team were working on atomic bombs in 1940s – Russia might have benefited from the information that Klaus Fuchs passed onto her,

  18. fy says:

    Nasser says:

    March 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The Americans care more about Los Angeles and New York than Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    But they hate anyone that would force them to acknowledge that reality.

    A Chinese general observed 20 years ago: “They care more about Los Angeles than Tapipei.”

    But if you bring this to the attention of Americans very quickly any discussion with them ends – for you have shattered their fantasy life.

  19. fy says:

    James Canning says:

    March 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    As I said, he is not a statesman; a statesman would know that all choices carry costs and would not indulge in wishful thinking.

  20. Smith says:

    fy says:
    March 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    That is right. I was just emphasizing the fact that Russia was helped by those detonator and theoretical designs provided by Fuchs/ Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the help Russians got from Nazi/German scientists that they had “imprisoned” after WWII such as the centrifuge enrichment developed by Gernot Zippe which came out of the Nazi nuclear program and is now the basis for all enrichment in the world. But generally you are right. Russians had quite sophisticated precision engineering of their own in addition to very talented mathematicians and physicists. These instances though helped them to get there faster than would have been possible.

  21. Smith says:

    fy says:
    March 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I guess that is the act of biological self preservation. Encoded in our genes.

  22. Dan Cooper says:

    The Zionist power configuration, embedded in Congress, Treasury and inside the OC regime, has succeeded in imposing new and harsher economic sanctions on 75 million Iranians in support of Israel’s goal of ‘regime change’ in Teheran. However, the effect has been to strengthen the unity of the ethnically diverse Iranian population, especially when overt military threats, emanating from nuclear-armed Israel, are amplified by the White house and the Zionist-occupied US Congress.

    Iran’s peaceful nuclear program continues; oil and gas sales to China, Japan, India and Korea and Pakistan continue. A new billion-dollar gas pipeline agreement with Pakistan has been signed. Iran has replaced the US as the major foreign influence in Iraq.

    In other words the Obama-Clinton diplomatic success (‘sanctions against Iran’) have not enhanced US power nor achieved any strategic goals. Moreover Zionist-designed sanctions have had a negative effect on US energy prices and oil company profits. The OC regime’s policy toward Iran has ‘succeeded’ in maintaining Israel as the only nuclear power in the Middle East, a goal of Tel Aviv.

    Obama-Clinton regime claims ‘military victory’ in Iraq when, in fact, what we see is ‘defeat via retreat’ on the ground. The US has spent $2 trillion dollars in order to overthrow and execute the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    The Bush and Obama-Clinton regimes have made absolute fools out of the entire executive branch of the US government by justifying the war on the basis of crudely manufactured intelligence (falsely claiming the existence of weapons of mass destruction) through a series of lies cooked up by Israeli-collaborators in the Pentagon, White House and New York Times (especially the infamous propagandist Judith Miller).

    The end result is a failed state: savage ethnic-religious divisions, millions of dead, displaced and injured, daily terror bombings against a brutalized population, and a great leap backward in terms of Iraq’s economic, scientific and social development.

    In political terms, Iraq is now ruled by a thuggish Shia elite closely tied to Iran – which is the biggest beneficiary of the US invasion of Iraq and principal adversary of US empire building.

    The OC regime’s post-war Iraq is composed of an overwhelmingly hostile population, a divided and fragmented country pitting Arabs against Kurds, where the most qualified and educated have been driven out or assassinated and entire ancient Christian communities have been obliterated.

    The OC regime claims to ‘success in Iraq’, in fact, show a weakening of the overall US presence in the Gulf region. Economically, Turkey has become Iraq’s main trading partner with trade growing by double and triple digits each year.

    In other words, the US invasion of Iraq destroyed an adversary of Israel, broke the US economy ($2 trillion and counting), increased the influence of Iran and handed Iraq’s petro-dollar consumer market and lucrative reconstruction contracts over to Turkey.

    The Obama-Clinton regime’s claims of military victory ring hollow in the empty coffers of the US Treasury – where are the ‘spoils of this imperial war’? Most of the intellectual authors of the invasion of Iraq have departed from the US government and are now comfortably ensconced within Zionist think tanks (propaganda mills) in Washington or flaunt lucrative ‘consultant’ contracts in Wall Street and Tel Aviv.

    Meanwhile, the American taxpayers are left to struggle with an enormous war debt and to grieve the several hundred thousand American casualties – soldiers who lost their lives, limbs and minds – all for a blatant lie perpetrated at the behest of a foreign power, Israel.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34388.htm?utm_source=ICH%3A+Capitol+Hill%2C+Calls+for+Attack+On+Syria&utm_campaign=FIRST&utm_medium=email

  23. Richard Steven Hack says:

    We don’t make this stuff up, folks! :-)

    A Draft-Dodging, Zionist Friendly, Rghtwing Texan Islamist to lead Syria?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/22/a-draft-dodging-zionist-friendly-rghtwing-texan-islamist-to-lead-syria/

  24. fy says:

    Smith says:

    March 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    The time for the execution of that grand strategy is passed.

    The economic/foundations of the American Block’s that undergirded that grand strategy died in 2011.

    That was the second strategic shock after the collapse of Peace of Yalta in 1991.

    I would not be surprised if the monetary union of EU also disintegrates.

    [At any event, the American Block does not have much to show for its effort over a 20-year period: wreckage in former Yugoslavia (the cesspool called Kosovo), wreckage in Iraq, wreckage in the Levant, and in Afghanistan.]

    Already there is currency wars obtaining among major industrial producers and I expect that to intensify.

    And the more the US and EU states try to assert power, the further behind they will fall.

    At the present time, South Korea has a higher standard of living and quality of life than any south European state – Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal. This much the world has changed.

  25. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Smith: As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, North Korea is not attacked because 1) it could destroy the capital of one of the US’ biggest trading partners within 72 hours, and 2) within those same 72 hours, they could kill 20,000+ US troops stationed in South Korea, and 3) within a further ninety days 50,000 US troops would die according to Pentagon war games.

    NK is not attacked because it has one of the larger military forces in the world, including over 120,000 Special Forces troops, and while it’s arsenal is old they have a LOT of it – enough to drop five hundred thousand shells on US forces in the DMZ PER HOUR. It has nothing to do with its nuclear weapons program.

    North Korea has no deliverable nukes and could not have any deliverable nukes were the US to attack them on any given day. They also would not have any deliverable nukes before they were subsequently defeated. If they HAD a deliverable nuke and actually used it, they would then be granted 50 or more nukes courtesy of the US which would reduce the country to the Stone Age. Even North Korea is not that stupid.

    The same applies to Iran – except Iran has no ability to kill fifty thousand US troops in ninety days.

    I further repeat that Iran has NO use case for nuclear weapons, that Iran’s leaders have acknowledged that repeatedly and that Iran has no intention of even developing “breakout capability” per se except by accident a la the other fifty countries that have it (and don’t need it either.)

    You can keep advocating Iran get nukes – and Iran is going to ignore you.

  26. yemi says:

    “Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    As predicted, Obama firms up the excuse for a US military intervention in Syria…”

    Yes you are right!

    All your predictions last for hour if not minutes.
    You can go on with your dreams.

  27. ToivoS says:

    Here what I posted in response to the Leveretts article at HP.

    The Leveretts are probably the clearest minded Iranian policy analysts we have in the US. However, I think they are being overly pessimistic here. With respect to Obama’s visit to Israel, this statement by them is misleading:

    This is because Obama’s administration has made an ill-considered wager that it can “diplomatically” coerce Iran’s abandonment of indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.

    Obama very clearly stated that the US would not tolerate Iran obtaining nuclear “weapons” not fuel cycle “capabilities”. These are the same words Obama used when Netanyahu visited the US in February of 2012. Given Iran has clearly stated that they are not working on nuclear weapons, that every US intelligence estimate in the last four years supports that claim and that Iran has agreed to intrusive investigations by the IAEC which can detect enrichment to weapons grade U235 then it would seem to me that a diplomatic solution is sitting right in front of both Iran and the US. They just have to sit down and agree to what both claim is their bottom lines.

    Of course, the US will have to drop its demands that Iran stop enriching fuel grade uranium and allow them to produce limited quantities of 20% U235 for isotope production. What is important is that these are demands that are currently on the table in the ongoing negotiations but these are not demands that Obama has been insisting on in his public speeches. This it seems is evidence that at the right point in the negotiations the US has already decided to drop these demands.

    I have no idea how we are going to finesse the sanctions problem and the US recognizing the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic but somehow this is something that the diplomats should be able to solve. So, let us all be a bit more optimistic since there are some signs that Obama is moving, perhaps too slowly, towards a negotiated settlement.

  28. nico says:

    Smith,

    Good post. Specifically, the 4 tales are pretty convincing.
    However, speaking of zombie, I am not sure about the drama queen effect “All is lost if Iran do not already have a bomb”, or the Gollum effect “my bomb, my dear bomb…”.

    Most likely, Iran has no nuke right now.
    Why keep it secret otherwise ? Just fot the pleasure to keep the moral high ground ?

    As stated by others, the capability to shut down the DoH is by itself a WMD.
    The capability to bomb to the groung in few hours the oil and gas installation in KSA, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, is scary enough by itself.

    My guess is the US fleet in the PG is as much directed to Iran that it is to Arab states.
    Actually, what about a Barhain like situation spreading in KSA ?
    What about a regime change in KSA ?
    That would actually deflect the attention from Iran and provide the washingtonian experts other issues to care/worry about.

    As stated in previous posts, the risk of a conventional attack on Iran is pretty weak.
    The real risk for Iran is to show weakness of will or intention as in Syria and other peripherical battle grounds.
    That would only embolden the US to carry out their shipping blockade which could quickly escalate to nuking Iran.

    Thus the goal for Iran should be to keep the battle in periphery and to strongly contain the push there.
    At some point showing muscle will be necessary for Iran if they want to dissuade the bully and stop the situation sliding in a dangerous direction.
    Even the bully needs it for his own good.

  29. nico says:

    Dan Cooper,

    That is rubbish.

    First, how can you contend that the weakening of US position in th ME is beneficial to Israel ?
    Do you truly believe that Israel is in a better position now than 10 years ago ?
    Do you truly think that Irak was a threat to Israel 10 years ago ? Maybe Afghanistan ?

    Such claim as the zionist are responsible for evrything is just another mainstream solid BS.
    West do not want to look at itself in a mirror.

    The basis of western liberal culture is imperialism as proven by history.
    Are the sykes picot agreements zionist controlled ?
    Is the 1953 coup in Iran for Zionist interest ?
    Is the Suez Canal crisis ploted by Israel or originating from France and UK ?

    Are all western imperial expeditions Zionist controlled ?
    The US with Latin America (Monroe doctrine does not sound jewish)
    The US with ME (Carter doctrine does not sound jewish)
    The UK in India, China, America…
    The french in Africa…

    The communist called the western countries the Imperialists. That is not for nothing.
    It is carved within western DNA.

    The white western people are not innocents but they are delusional.
    I do not specially care about zionists. At the end of the day they share the same interests as the western imperialism. They both believe in the shock of civilization.
    They are like husband and wife.

    The current policies are first and foremost the continuation of the former policies.
    And they are grounded in western inherent agressiveness and the power unbalance with the rest of the world.
    It could be comfortable for western audience to think otherwise but be assured that the rest of the world knows better and is not fooled by western good words about human rights and international laws.

    The worst thing is to deflect all the anger angainst the jewish people when what is need is the the westerners to make their own critic.

  30. Neo says:

    The problem with anything and everything Obama says is that there is absolutely no reason to believe him. Few politicians I’ve spent any time listening to are as disingenuous as this character. Same way that he was ‘committed’ to closing Guantanamo within 100 days, four years ago, he is ‘committed’ to Israel. Obama is as two-faced as they come.

    At least in this case, he’s given himself a full year to do yet another u-turn. He obviously does not care about integrity or standing by his own word, so he’ll be quite calm and fine with lying again a year from now.

    Fact of the matter is, USA is economically fragile, war-weary and unable – it seems ever at all – in any case to confront strong military foes with any reasonable degree of success, be it in Iraq and Afghanistan or Vietnam, Korea etc.

    It is not in the national interest of the US to launch a war against Iran. In fact, in the current climate, it is hardly in the national interest of Israel to launch a war against Iran, and its senior military and intelligence chiefs have been saying so consistently.

  31. nico says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Yep, and I guess the US anti-missile shieldin Europe is all about zionism, because of the immediat threats from Russia, NK or Iran.
    Well I remember in the past it was justified by Lybia or Irak WMD.
    RIDICULOUS.

    The sad thing is there is no ideology in the west truly challanging US real motives.

    The Zionists are the easy target.

    Criticizing western self moral failure and world view is more difficult.
    Maybe you could create a league with Mister 20%.
    Actually he thinks UK is after better ties with Iran and that all is explained by the jewish lobbies and Iran leader idiocy.

  32. Loftali says:

    I agree with your assessment of the inefficacy of sanctions in terms of changing the IRI’s position.

    I haven’t been to Iran in a few years but I’m in touch with Iranian friends, and I wonder about your suggestion that the sanctions aren’t having a significant impact on the Iranian people, particularly those who are not middle-class.

    I’m curious to know who you talk with and where you go when you’re in Iran. Are you only in Tehran, and then largely in the northern part of the city? What sort of people do you meet with? Are you free to move about, visit people in their homes and talk with Iranians who don’t speak English?

  33. kooshy says:

    Strategic Assessment of the Leader of Iran’s Latest Remarks

    Which One Is More Credible: Israel’s Threat or Iran’s Response?

    Mahdi Mohammadi
    Expert on Strategic Issues

    “The question, now, is who took the option of a military attack off the West’s table and how, and to whom Iran owes this strategic achievement? It seems that the answer is quite straightforward. It was only Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei who changed the reckoning as well as the literature of the Western side about the possibility of a military option against Iran by producing a totally calculated and strategic literature and using it logically and on time.

    To better understand this issue, four strategic steps taken by the Leader in this regard should be first differentiated and then carefully studied.”

    “Another very important meaning of the Leader’s announcement was that Iran considers any attack against its nuclear program as tantamount to annihilation of Israel. Therefore, in response to such attack, Iran will not simply target Israeli’s nuclear facilities, but will also take a direct hit at the very existence of Israel.”

    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Strategic-Assessment-of-the-Leader-of-Iran-s-Latest-Remarks.htm

  34. nico says:

    Kooshy,

    Thanks for the interisting link.

    In addition here, further proof about KSA instability and risk of revolution
    http://news.yahoo.com/mind-perceives-125127920.html
    The starian devide is used by the regime to deny legitimate demands.
    However the tension is palpable and the regime is in a defensive position.
    Maybe with a little external help or push like in every and each revolution it could tip over…

  35. Fiorangela says:

    nico,

    the relationship between ‘Americanism” and zionism is not that simple. I started to trace the chronology of the bifurcation and hyphenization of “exceptionalism vs Enlightenment; Judeo-Christianity; and Christian zionism but got lost in the weeds — perhaps because the topic is deeper than my scholarship.

    One fundamental difference between ‘Americanism’ and zionism can be sensed by comparing their ideological roots: However much the USA has deviated from its Declaration of Independence and its Constitution, it at least built itself on a foundation of idealism, and if the USA can renovate itself, it has that foundation to rebuild upon.

    Zionism, on the other hand, had notions of destruction in its very foundation. I argue, or plead, perhaps, that the USA was led astray by zionism.

    My veiw, pollyannish as it might be, is supported by a talk that Ambassador Chas Freeman delivered at the Palestine Center in 2011:

    http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/ContentDetails/i/29130

    As always in such mayhem, truth and the law have been the first to go missing. Israel regularly attributes to others the very things it itself is doing. It has become notorious for its refusal to accept objective scrutiny or criticism. It routinely rebuffs international investigators’ examination of allegations against it, even when mandated by the U.N. [United Nations] Security Council. Instead, it stages self-indulgent acts of self-investigation calculated to produce exculpatory propaganda. As a result, Israeli government spokesmen – who once were presumed to represent the intellectual integrity for which Jewish scholars have always been renowned – now have no credibility at all except among those committed to the Zionist cause. Meanwhile, regional and international respect for the rule of law, especially humanitarian law, has been greatly degraded. This is a special irony.

    Humanitarian law and the law of war are arguably the supreme moral artifacts of Atlantic civilization. Jewish lawyers made a disproportionate contribution to the crafting of both. The resulting legal principles were intended to deter the kinds of injuries and injustices that European Jews and other minorities had long suffered and to protect occupied populations from persecution by their occupiers. Both objectives are very relevant to contemporary Palestine. It is, however, hard to find any principle of due process, the several Geneva Conventions, or the Nuremberg trials that has not been systematically violated in the Holy Land. Examples of criminal conduct include mass murder, extra-judicial killing, torture, detention without charge, the denial of medical care, the annexation and colonization of occupied territory, the illegal expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing and the collective punishment of civilians, including the demolition of their homes, the systematic reduction of their infrastructure and the de-development and impoverishment of entire regions. These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

    As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

    “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

    A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

    “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

    These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche. Neither it nor other deliberate assaults on the rule of law have been met with concerted resistance from Palestinians, Arabs, or anyone else, including the American Bar Association. The steady displacement of traditional American values – indeed, the core doctrines of western civilization – with ideas designed to free the state of inconvenient moral constraints has debased the honor and prestige of our country as well as Israel.

    American determination to protect Israel from the political and legal consequences of any and all of its actions has also taken its toll, not just on the willingness of others to credit and follow the United States, but also on the authority of international organizations and the integrity of international law.”

  36. Smith says:

    fy says:
    March 24, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I am agreed.

  37. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    ZERO chance of a nuclear attack on Iran, by the US or Israel. On a first-strike basis.

  38. fy says:

    kooshy says:

    March 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This means that Israel attack on Iran will lead to US war on Iran and Iranians have accepted that outcome.

  39. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I very much doubt Khamenei actually believes Iran could destroy Israel by military means.

  40. Smith says:

    The possibility of an American nuclear strike against a non-nuclear and defenseless Iran: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/03/24/taking-an-iran-option-off-the-table/

  41. Kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    March 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    “I very much doubt Khamenei actually believes Iran could destroy Israel by military means.”

    Gav

    You feeling necessary to use the word ” doubt” means you are not sure if Iran can or can’t destroy Israel , that’s all what this article was trying to analyze never mind the outcome of such an undertaking. I referred to this in a more vague way few weeks back.

  42. fy says:

    Fiorangela says:

    March 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The conceptualization of international law is owed to Doctors of Christian Religion starting in late Middle Ages. It was tied to the physical geography of Christendom and that is how these legal philosophies and body of doctrine gestated until resulting in the Peace of Westphalia and later in the Jus Gentium.

    With the destruction of the Peace of Vienna in 1914 and its replacement with Peace of Yalta in 1945, the idea of a jus gentium became a façade for the jus imperium of the United States as well as that of USSR.

    The ideals of UN, to create and maintain a jus gentium univerum never had a chance in the face of imperial rivalry of two opposing blocks.

    Bear in mind that both US and USSR were children of the Enlightenment Tradition – which had rejected God – just that one was more brutal than the other.

    With the collapse of Peace of Yalta, the Axis Powers started on a project to cement their block as a permanent – as much as anything is permanent in human affairs – imperium in the intrnational arena.

    In that effort, they shredded, abused their way through international institutions and instruments – in the process destroying any near possibility of a jus gentium universum.

    I suppose in their arrogance and certain belief in victory of their imperial project their planners and leaders thought that “Might Makes Right” would be all that is needed.

    Which evidently is what Israeli leaders think.

    I think now that UN is kaput and the imperial project has experienced major setbacks in its finances as well as in its land grab, it is possible to contemplate localized political orders that can keep the Axis Powers, as well as want-to-be aspirant empires out.

    At this moment, it seems to me, South American sates are moving in the direction of a jus gentium – note the presence of Presidents of Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil in the funeral of the late President Chavez. They have moved beyond political ideologies.

    Elsewhere, this type of order has to be built over decades.

  43. nico says:

    Fiorangela,

    I did not wrote that the zionist have no influence.
    What I defend is that instead of attacking the zionist, what have the westerners to offer to the world ?
    What is their project ?
    What was their track record and what is their propaganda.
    You better start here before attacking another costituency.
    The problem is that the western civilization is corrupt and it well past the start of ideological decay.

    The western atheist humanism was not born alone.
    It was born out of christian charity, then diverted by the atheists.
    The victory of atheist over christiandom is dated back to the 18th century.

    I saw a remark of khamenei few weeks ago stating that the westerners made a historical error then.
    I was impressed by the remark.
    Actually humanism does not mean anything without the spiritual world view sustaining it.
    The westerners adopted materialism instead.
    The westerners betrayed the community for selfish individualism.
    Well that led to material developments.
    However they left moral aside.

    So the question is what is the westerners deep world view ?
    The answer is it is materialistic and the humanism they preach is only a facade.
    And they prove it every day.
    They abandonned all traditional morality (in the meaning of traditions).
    However you have westerners still believing the kids stories about human rights.
    That is laughable.
    The westerners instead are returning to age before civilization with animal instinct making their every day decision and barbarian like ways to manage other human beings.

    That being said I do not target any westerners individually, but the western cilization.

    The westerners should first look at themselves in the mirror before throwing stones to others.

    The jewish are another matter and they only enjoy the spiritual nothingness/emptyness of the West.

    I could say in another way :
    – The west is in a post mordern and decaying spiritual age.
    – Iran is in a modern and flourishing spiritual age
    – and Judaism is what it is

  44. nico says:

    Fiorangela,

    I did not write that the zionist have no influence.
    What I say is that instead of attacking the zionist, what have the westerners to offer to the world ?
    What is their project ?
    What was their track record and what is their propaganda.
    You better start here before attacking another constituency.
    The problem is that the western civilization is corrupt and it has well passed the start of ideological decay.

    The western atheist humanism was not born out of nothing because one day a smart one said so.
    It was born out of christian charity, then diverted by the atheists.
    The victory of atheism over christiandom is dated back to the 18th century.

    I saw a remark from khamenei few weeks ago stating that the westerners made a historical error then.
    I was impressed by the remark.
    Actually humanism does not mean anything without the spiritual world view sustaining it.
    The westerners adopted materialism instead.
    The westerners betrayed the community for selfish individualism.
    Well that led to material developments.
    However they left moral aside.

    So the question is what is the westerners deep world view ?
    The answer is it is materialistic and the humanism they preach is only a facade.
    And they prove it every day.
    The humanism they speak about is the residue of their former dominant spirituality.

    Westerners could tell that they are still christian.
    Well maybe, but it is a dead religion which has no say in serious political debates.
    What is today western cosmology other than consumerism and satisfaction of immediat desires, be it material or in the way of life ?
    By doing so the westerners abandonned all traditional morality (in the meaning of traditions).

    However you have westerners still believing kids stories about human rights.
    That is laughable.
    The westerners instead are returning to age before civilization with animal instinct (desires) making their every day decision and barbarian like ways to manage other human beings.

    That being said I do not target anybody individually, but the sad decay of western cilization.

    The westerners should first look at themselves in the mirror before throwing stones to others.

    Judaism is another matter and and its proponents only enjoy the spiritual nothingness/emptyness of the West.

    I could say in another way :
    – The west is in a post mordern and decaying spiritual age.
    – Iran is in a modern and flourishing spiritual age
    – and Judaism is what it is

  45. Karl.. says:

    Former advisor to Hillary Clinton, Ann Lewis, spreading lies and propaganda against Iran. None of the people spoke against her until she mentioned the saudi-ambassador plot.

    (video down at the bottom of this article).
    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/gandhis-diplomats-erakat.html

  46. nico says:

    Smith,

    Nobody told that Iran shall be nuked at whim.
    However, it is quite easy to see a scenario wity the situation getting out of control and escalating to a point where usage of nukes is deemed the best solution.
    As an example, a naval blockade of Iran, triggering the mining of the SoH.
    Then the US conventional attack against Iran triggering Iran attack gainst the US fleet and Arabian oil wells.
    At this point a decisive move could be deemed needed by the US…

  47. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Interesting comments by Thad daley that you linked, but I will say again there is ZERO chance the US or Israel would attack Iran with nukes, on a first-strike basis.
    ZERO.

    On another note, Najmeh Bozorgmehr had an interesting report in the Financial times March 22nd (“Iran raises prospect of nuclear talks”), in which an Iranian political science professor in Tehran as is quoted as saying Khamenei wanted to restrain some of the more extreme rhetoric emanating from politicians opposed to making a deal with the US.

  48. Avg American says:

    fy says:
    March 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    Nasser says:

    March 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The Americans care more about Los Angeles and New York than Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    But they hate anyone that would force them to acknowledge that reality.

    A Chinese general observed 20 years ago: “They care more about Los Angeles than Tapipei.”

    But if you bring this to the attention of Americans very quickly any discussion with them ends – for you have shattered their fantasy life.

    Politely, I want to say – I am and I know it one of few ‘Americans’ who is not in love with Israel and I am not afraid to say it when brought to my attention. There are some others who feel this way. I am also grateful the leverett’s brought this book to the American reader – I only wish more would read it. I don’t think enough Americans have enough foreign exposure to appreciate or understand the book’s content sadly. The war that Bush started was not only due to Zionist lobbying here in the US but one cannot say they had nothing to do with it either – I actually think that it had a large part in it. However, one (an american) has to dig around to figure this out – mainstream media and news wont give you the answer. Foreign news gives you a little more information – with a little work and research and and understanding of the neoconservative culture ironed into american culture presents some insight into the mad behavior in Washington.
    One day while walking the streets of a third world country I saw a local with a cartoon like picture drawing of the USA and it said “send help” – that said it all. Yes this is my home but lately I’m not proud of that.

  49. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Anyone who thinks Iran can annihilate Israel is delusional. That include Khamenei, but I assume he was merely making the usual Third World threats.

    Iran can not do any significant damage to Israel and neither can Israel significantly damage Iran (without using nukes, of course.)

    Iran’s missile arsenal is NOT an existential threat to Israel even if they manage to hit the Dimona reactor – which is unlikely unless they use a major salvo and have better accuracy than has been reports.

    The Iranians on this site need to get a clue and stop believing their own propaganda.

  50. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Once again trying to up the probability of foreign military intervention…

    IDF fires missile into Syria after more cross-border shooting
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-retaliates-with-missile-into-syria/

  51. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As predicted…

    CIA Expands Role in Syria Fight
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324373204578376591874909434.html

  52. kooshy says:

    Questions fly around any plan to attack Iran

    By Jim Clancy, CNN
    Fri March 22, 2013

    Editor’s note: CNN anchor Jim Clancy has vast experience covering the Middle East and has interviewed many of the key players across the region. His work extends from the siege of Beirut to the most recent Israel-Lebanon conflict and to leading CNN’s coverage of the war in Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein.

    “So the most important question of all is: When does America give up on diplomacy with Iran?

    Iran is different from other Middle East countries in an important way. For decades, the United States propped up Arab leaders and had, on the surface anyway, warm relations with them. But almost universally, the man in the street detested the U.S. government.

    In Iran, it’s the man on the street who is largely supportive of America. It’s the government and the extremists it trains that have all the hatred for what the U.S. represents.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/world/meast/iran-nuclear-israel-us/

    It Sounds like this CNN analyst is easily conceding on Arab Street’s dislike of US ( a proven polled fact) to convince the reader on a myth and an unproven imagination of his on the Iranian street’s love for US,
    Well, I guess western analysts and reporters can’t ever leave the westernized northern Tehran crowd if they want to keep their jobs. If Jim has the experience claimed above he should know that just a about
    month ago there was a new western poll ( Gallop?) which proved majority of Iranians blame the US for the sanctions that has made their life more complicated.

    Jal al Khalegh

  53. Richard Steven Hack says:

    What evidence there is of chemical weapons use in Syria points to the insurgents, not Syria’s military. Which means Obama is lying…which means he’s trying to gin up a reason for foreign military intervention.

    Searching for truth in the debris
    http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/searching-truth-debris/4444

  54. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    All it counts is that so far US and her client states (European and Israel) didn’t have the balls to find out, or did they? Therefore your assertion (prediction) is as good as any, when this country is militarily ready, politically willing and financially capable let me know. I would give it at least another decade, if I and you are still around and only if we can ever collect on social security and Medicare we paid.

    Rich- After Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc. it’s time for the Americans on this site (better yet nationwide) stop being rednecks before pissing off more standard of living in America.

  55. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    March 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    It is just the usual war propaganda; devoid of any analytical content.

    Axis Powers have beaten Israel and Turkey into line (like they did 30 years earlier in case of Greece and Turkey) – in anticipation of attacking Syria?

    Mr. Erdogan is trying to get a cease-fire with Kurds of Turkey – in anticipation of attacking Syira?

    The way I see it, the expectation of quick victory for the American Block in Syria has been dashed.

    And Mr. Kerry is in Iraq asking Iraqi leaders to stop Iranian flights to Syria – preparing the ground for war against Syria?

    But the Axis Powers are not in a mood to call off the dogs of war.

    They have a choice to escalate – directly or indirectly – hoping against hope for a victory, or keep the pot boiling.

    Axis Powers here have sub-contracted their policy of wounding Iran to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar.

    Politically, Qatar and Saudi Arabia support Muslim Brotherhood, Saudis abhor Muslim Brotherhood, and Salafis are a threat to all of them.

    Yet the most effective fighters, evidently, are the Salaifs and assorted other Sunni extremists.

    So: in an effort to wound Iran, Axis Powers, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar each is supporting political and military forces that in one way or another are threats to them.

    This means that a coherent political approach towards Syria cannot even be built in principle by these states.

    The overwhelming aim is to wound Iran – they will worry about the future later.

    Given the incoherent and contradictory political context of Axis Powers as well as that of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – I expect this latest “reorganization” and “re-positioning” of these states to be failures as well.

    I observe here that for the creation of a new (anti-Iran) state in Syria, that country has to be occupied for more than 20 years. Only Turkey could do so – but that would keep the bulk of her armed forces in Syria – leaving her exposed to future contingencies for which she will not have sufficient troops.

    So, I will dismiss this possibility.

    The next possibility, will be that informally or formally, Iranians will intervene is Syria if Axis Powers escalate. This is the second most likely scenario. My hunch is that Axis Powers and the Muslim Troika will be calculating that Iranians will not intervene directly (invocation of the Iran-Syria Mutual Defense Treaty). They cannot be more wrong.

    The most likely scenario is the one in which the Axis Powers and the Sunni Troika will keep the Syrian cauldron boiling since they cannot admit defeat. This is similar to their approach to the Iranian Nuclear file; they cannot escalate to war and they cannot admit defeat and settle with Iran.

    For the Axis of Resistance, there are 3 venues for action –Firstly: change the calculus in Syria by achieving decisive success – and secondarily – by creating diversions against the Axis Powers and the Sunni Troika elsewhere. Lastly, as the war continues in Syria into its 3rd and 4th years, those who can point out to a credible end-game of Peace and Security will prevail.

    Therefore the Syrian and Iranian governments must continue to articulate a credible vision for the ensuing peace. This is something that the Axis Powers and the Sunni Troika cannot and have not been able to do for 2 years.

    The problematic of Axis Powers as well as the Sunni Troika has been that they evidently did not consider the possibility of a long war in Syria. The destruction of the Ba’ath State in Syria was meant to coincide with the crippling sanctions against Iran and lead to a settlement with Iran on favorable terms to Axis Powers, Saudis, Turks and others.

    I observer here that in US Civil War, in World War I, in Iran-Iraq War, in US-Iraq War of 2003, and the US-Afghanistan War of 2001 the instigators all counted on a short and victorious war.

  56. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From speech on Iran-US conflict:

    “The second point is that the Americans send messages to us through different channels, asking us to negotiate with them regarding the nuclear issue. They both send messages to us and discuss the proposal in their global propaganda. High- and middle-ranking officials of America repeatedly say that alongside the P5+1 talks regarding the nuclear issue, America and the Islamic Republic should hold one-on-one negotiations over the issue.

    I am not optimistic about such negotiations. Why? Because our past experiences show that in the logic of the American gentlemen, negotiation does not mean sitting down together to try to reach a rational solution. This is not what they mean by negotiation. What they mean is that we should sit down together and talk so that Iran accepts their views. The goal has been announced in advance: Iran must accept their view. For this reason, we have always announced that this is not negotiation. This is imposition and Iran will not give in to imposition. I am not optimistic about these statements, but I am not opposed either. In this regard, there are a few things that I should clarify.

    The first point is that the Americans constantly send messages – sometimes in writing – that they are not after regime change in Iran. This is what they are telling us. The answer is that we are not concerned about whether or not you have intentions of overthrowing the Islamic Republic although you constantly insist that you do not have such intentions. Even the day when you had intentions of overthrowing the Islamic Republic and you announced this openly, you could not do anything, and you will not be able to do anything in the future either.

    The second point is that the Americans constantly send us messages, telling us that they are sincere in their offers of rational negotiation. They claim that they sincerely want to have rational negotiations with Iran – that is to say, they claim that they do not want imposition. In response, I would say, we have told you many times that we are not after nuclear weapons and you say that you do not believe us. Why would we believe your statements then? When you are not prepared to accept a rational and sincere statement, why would we accept your statements which have been disproved many times? Our interpretation is that offers of negotiation are an American tactic to mislead public opinion in the world and in our country. You should prove that this is not the case. Can you prove this? Go ahead and prove it if you can.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say that one of their propaganda techniques is that they sometimes start rumors that certain people have negotiated with the Americans on behalf of the Leader. This is another propaganda tactic and a downright lie. So far nobody has negotiated with them on behalf of the Leader. Over the years in a few cases, certain people in different administrations have negotiated with them over certain temporary issues and I was not opposed. However, this was done by different administrations, not the Leader. Of course, even those people had a responsibility to observe the Leader’s red lines and today the same responsibility still exists and they should observe the red lines.

    The third point is that on the basis of our experiences and careful analysis of the existing conditions, our interpretation is that the Americans do not want the nuclear negotiations to end. The Americans do not want the nuclear conflict to be resolved, otherwise if they wanted these negotiations to reach a solution, the solution would be very close by and easy to reach. In the nuclear issue, Iran only wants the world to recognize its right to enrichment, which is Iran’s natural right. Government officials of the countries that are claiming to be after a solution should admit that the Iranian nation has a right to domestic nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes. Is this too much to expect? This is what we have always demanded, and it is exactly what they do not want [us to have].

    They say they are concerned that we might go after producing nuclear weapons. The ones who are saying this are no more than a few countries whose names I mentioned earlier, and they call themselves “the global community”. They say that the global community is concerned. No, the global community is not at all concerned. The majority of the countries in the world are on the Islamic Republic’s side and they support our demand because it is a legitimate demand.

    If the Americans wanted to resolve the issue, this would be a very simple solution: they could recognize the Iranian nation’s right to enrichment and in order to address those concerns, they could enforce the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We were never opposed to the supervision and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Whenever we are close to a solution, the Americans cause a problem in order to prevent reaching a solution. My assumption and interpretation is that their goal is to keep the issue unresolved so that they can have a pretext for exerting pressure on us. And as they themselves said, the purpose of the pressure is to cripple the Iranian nation. Of course, much to the dismay of the enemy, the Iranian nation will not be crippled.

    The fourth point regarding this issue is that if the Americans sincerely want to reach a solution, I will give them the solution. The solution is that the Americans should stop being hostile towards the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation. Offers of negotiation are not a rational and reasonable solution. This is the right solution: they should stop being hostile if they want to put an end to the problems that exist between us – and they announce that they really want to resolve the problems that exist between Iran and America.

    It is thirty-four years that different American administrations have designed various kinds of hostilities towards us based on a wrong understanding of Iran and the Iranians. Since the first year after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, they have been hostile towards us. They have plotted to undermine our security. They have made hostile moves. They have acted against our territorial integrity. They have always supported our small and big enemies over the years. They have worked against our economy. They have used all the tools that were available to them against the Iranian nation. And thankfully, they have failed in all their efforts against us and if they continue these enmities towards the Iranian nation, they will fail in the future as well. Therefore, I would like to give a piece of advice to American officials: if they are after a rational solution, the rational solution is that they should rectify their policies. They should rectify the way they act and they should stop being hostile towards the Iranian nation. This part of my speech is over.”

  57. nico says:

    BiB,

    Thanks for the link.

    Fiorangela,

    Speaking of zionism, I do not remember hearing Iran leaders statement about the zionists being the source of US position regarding Iran.
    At least they do not consider it as the very main factor.
    My take is that the SL or Amadhinejad would no feel sorry to say that it is if they believed it.
    But maybe I am wrong, others know better than me the full record of speeches from Iran leaders.

  58. Ataune says:

    fyi said March 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I find your latest analysis most accurate, instructive and to the point, devoid of any kind of subjective thinking that you sometimes let yourself carried away with. I say stick to this realist approach, forget about the nuclear deterrence and it will be more beneficial both to the audience and probably yourself.

  59. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    U.S. urges EU action to overcome Iran sanctions court appeals
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-eu-iran-usa-idUSBRE92O0LH20130325

    Yeah wouldn’t want the “rule of law” in the EU, would we.

    The Europeans handed their balls to the US after WWII and since then have been singing “castrato”.

    With the fifth-rate people that are running Europe today, General De Gaulle is looking better than ever.

  60. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Surely Khamenei comprehends Obama apparently is willing to accept Iranian enrichment to low levels (5% or less).

  61. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I of course agree with you that Iran cannot “destroy” Israel by missile attack or otherwise.

    I doubt Khamenei thinks Iran has this capability.

  62. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Throughout their history they have proved being good at invading other countries, inhumanly killing the innocents to win small battles, getting greedy to stay long enough for losing the war, and never admit the loss.

    After ten years with such an inhuman destruction in Iraq, this weekend Mr. Kerry got a finger from the Iraqi PM (see b’s MOA prediction), and still unwilling to admit the defeat. Long term I don’t see much different outcome in Syria or Libya, etc.

    Maliki resists Kerry’s call to halt flow of Iranian arms to Syria

    “Appearing briefly before photographers, Kerry joked to Maliki that Clinton had told him that the Iraqi leader is “going to do everything I say.”
    Maliki shot back through the translator: “We won’t do it!”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-kerry-maliki-20130324,0,4190952.story

  63. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama resets Middle East compass
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-04-250313.html

    Notable Quotes

    Why is Turkish-Israeli normalization so terribly important for Obama – and, equally, for Erdogan and Netanyahu? The answer is to be found in the testimony given by the head of US European Command and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top military commander, Admiral James Stavridis, before the US Senate Armed Services Committee last Monday on the eve of Obama’s departure from Washington for Israel.

    Stavridis advised the US lawmakers that a more aggressive posture by the US and its allies could help break the stalemate in Syria. As he put it, ”My personal opinion is that would be helpful in breaking the deadlock and bringing down the [Syrian] regime.”

    The influential US senator John McCain pointedly queried Stavridis about NATO’s role in any intervention in Syria. Stavridis replied that the NATO is preparing for a range of contingencies. ”We [NATO] are looking at a wide range of operations, and we are prepared if called upon to be engaged [as] we were in Libya,” he said.

    Stavridis went on to explain that the NATO Patriot missiles now deployed in Turkey ostensibly for the sake of defending Turkish airspace have the capability also to attack Syrian air force in that country’s air space and that any such a NATO operation would be a ”powerful disincentive” for the Syrian regime.

    Equally significant is that the NATO warships of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 [SNMGI], which arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean in late February, visited the Turkish naval base of Aksaz (where Turkey’s Southern Task Group maintains special units such as ”underwater attack”) last fortnight en route to joining last week the US Strike Group consisting of the Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower and escorts.

    The SNMGI forms part of the NATO Response Force, which is permanently activated and is held at high readiness in order to respond to security challenges.

    Thus, the picture that emerges – added to other recent tell-tale signs – is that a Western military intervention in Syria could well be in the making. Obama is moving carefully, and the commitment of US troops on the ground in Syria is just out of the question. But the US and NATO (and Israel) can give valuable air cover and can launch devastating missile attacks on the Syrian government’s command centers.

    The Western powers would rather focus on eliminating President Bashar al-Assad rather than physically occupy the country. If ground forces need to be deployed inside Syria at some stage, Turkey can undertake that mission, being a Muslim country belonging to NATO.

    This is where the Turkish-Israeli reconciliation comes into play. A close coordination between Turkey and Israel at the operational level can be expected to pulverize the Syrian regime from the north and south simultaneously.

    End Quotes

    So as I’ve been predicting, the US, NATO, Turkey and Israel are all lining up to attack Syria this year.

  64. Dan Cooper says:

    nico

    Although I do not agree with Mr Canning 20% but his knowledge of Zionist stranglehold of US foreign policy is sound.

    Instead of posting links from the Zionist owned Fox news, Perhaps you ought to study the flowing independent links and learn about the Zionist atrocities.

    Israel lobbies have a devastating policies which are in favor of prolonging Israel military occupation which will ultimately be damaging to the USA national interest.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25055.htm

  65. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    March 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    apparently not james,as obama has never said this in fact his most recent statements still talk of a halt to enrichment.There is wishful thinking and there is reality,when you make statements like this it is wishful thinking

  66. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Can Hillary Clinton have believed Maliki “would do everything [Kerry] said”? (LA Times article you linked)

  67. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Thanks. I think the impetus behind the illegal invasion of Iraq was simply that the neocons saw their chance to exploit the emotional situation after “9/11” to set up the war, and their object was to “protect” Israel. Same dynamic at work re: Iran.

  68. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    March 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I imagine having commented so often and at such lenghts, one is bound to hit the nail on the head every once in a while.

    Nevertheless, it was kind of you to comment on that regard.