Syria Update: Assad and His Government are Winning

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gives a

We are pleased to feature an exceptionally insightful update on the Syrian conflict, prepared last month by our colleagues Aisling Byrne and Alastair Crooke at the Conflicts Forum.  As Syrian oppositionists, backed by the United States, continue to insist that President Bashar al-Assad must leave office before any political solution to the conflict can unfold, this report highlights the Assad government’s increasingly strong position, vis-à-vis opposition elements and regionally.  We repost it here with the Conflict Forum’s permission.  

From the Conflicts Forum

“Anyone who has visited Syria over the years can see the remarkable qualitative transformation that has now overtaken the Syrian army and security apparatus.  The Syrian army is no longer the lackadaisical, de-motivated entity it formerly was; it is now sharp, discretely efficient and self-confident.  Deference to the rich or influential who ride in expensive cars, or even in official cars, has gone:  there is no casual ‘waving through’ of check-points for anyone.  The army presence is not overly visible, but is evidently ‘there’ in the background, efficiently courteous and insistent.  The various rings of security around the capital do cause heavy traffic jams, but any visitor to Damascus will observe a city that is clean, with modern facilities, and which is functioning effectively and efficiently—if not exactly normally.

This is not to suggest that there is no stress.  Clearly there is:  prices are high and though most people have managed somehow to ‘normalize’ living with conflict, there remains nagging fears for friends and family across the country.  The point here is that much western media reporting takes to itself the projection of the intrepid ‘war correspondent’ coping—coping against a hostile environment—in an unstable conflict zone, and of a network of underground activists furtively working to bring the most basic services, such as medical aid, to people.  It is true that there is both conflict and there are activists, but this is not the situation of most of Syria.  More importantly, what this journalistically self-serving narrative does is effectively obscure and render invisible the qualitative and politically significant shifts that are affecting both the government and Syrian society in the larger sense.  In the past year, Syria is much transformed.  Sometimes crisis causes either individuals or a society to fragment and their will to weaken, severe crises also can cause the person, a community or society to acquire a new resilience and inner self-confidence.  It may be ephemeral, but this is Syria today—and it carries important implications.

This new ethos is as well being reinforced by new dynamics.  The government feels tangibly the slide of international politics in its direction (including by the US):  European intelligence services (German, French and British) have resumed their relations with Damascus.  Other European states are quietly discussing the re-opening of their embassies; some Gulf states are informally expressing to their Syrian opposite numbers their disenchantment with GCC (notably Saudi) policy towards Syria, and the majority of regional states now seem to favor a political solution.  Egyptians too privately indicate that they sense a greater common interest with Syria, than with their patron, Saudi Arabia, but the politics of the Egyptian situation does not allow for a free expression of such sentiments.  In Damascus, however, there can be little doubt but that the tide of their diplomatic isolation has turned.

All this has given a new direction and ‘feel’ to the government.  It is no longer so overwhelmingly preoccupied by the war—thought is turning increasingly to the requirements of political process, and also toward the changes that will need to be effected in Syrian society in the aftermath of the conflict.  It is not just within the government that this debate is now seriously underway—the Baath party has opened itself to a serious debate about Syria’s future with other political currents and interests (a very frank session happened last week), and the same is occurring in society at large.

Outside of Syria, this ‘transition’ prescriptively describes what the external world ‘expects’ from Syria.  Transition clearly is necessary—it will happen and, as described above, is already under way—and will, of course, not be simple.  However, externally, the embrace of ‘transition’ demanded of the Syrian government largely ignores the wider upheaval gripping the region—with power-sharing advocated as if it represents some sort of panacea whereas the reality is that there is no ‘big idea’ to underpin future visions for all states of the region:  the Turkish model, the Gulf model, the Egyptian model, the Muslim Brotherhood model, the western liberal market model—all are partly or completely discredited.  So it is unlikely that Syria alone can find easy ideas about how to steer society afresh in these turbulent times.  Power-sharing may well be a part of the answer, but whether for Syria, Egypt or Tunisia the crisis (and challenges) are graver than the simplistic (Western) call for governments of national unity. 

Behind the turning of this diplomatic tide—no doubt—stands a greater appreciation (and acknowledgement) by western governments of the actual reality of chemical weapons.  This appreciation has undergone a quiet transformation too.  It is now clear from the inspections that Syria had no nerve gas.  Syria held stocks of the chemicals (which in themselves are quite ordinary and stable), but which are the constituent precursors to the production of nerve gas.  Whilst these precursors remain unmixed, they are not particularly dangerous—which is why the destruction of Syria’s stocks is progressing so rapidly.  Only when these precursors are mixed do they become highly volatile and subject to rapid deterioration—if not deployed very quickly.  Usually the precursors are kept strictly separate, even in the warhead, and are ‘mixed’ only by the breaking of the separate chemical vessels as the warhead impacts on landing.

We know from as far back as the 2001 war that President Assad had no time for such weapons, which his father had first introduced in reaction Israel’s nuclear weaponization:  hence the Syrian chemical stocks have remained completely unweaponized.  Nonetheless, the Syrian army continued to have dedicated chemical weapons units, and like any and every army, they continued to train and to simulate combat—though without mixing the precursors—i.e. without actually making a ‘weapon.’ 

Precisely because of the volatility of the chemicals once mixed, governments who have chemical weapons add chemical stabilizers to the precursors in order to protect their own troops from this volatility hazard.  It also is becoming plainer now that the sarin gas that was deployed in Syria both in March and August of this year was of a similar chemical ‘fingerprint,’ but contained none of the inhibitors that might be expected in official chemical stocks.  In short, it does not have an official type ‘DNA,’ and is therefore very unlikely to have come from government chemical holdings.  Indeed, the Russians have provided the UN with empirical evidence in respect to both incidents (so far unpublished by the UN), which officials say argues that both events were mounted by the opposition as a deliberate provocation.  Beyond these facts, we also know that the opposition and some regional states were expecting a “major development” immediately before the 21 August incident:  regional and international sources point to Prince Bandar’s involvement in the sarin gas use and to PM Erdoğan’s prior knowledge that a ‘major development’ was about to occur in Syria (as expressed by Turkish officials to opposition figures in Istanbul earlier in August).

Were some European governments complicit in this, or did they genuinely believe that President Assad intended to use chemical weapons against his own people?  It is not clear what was known by whom—and at what level—but tentatively, it seems that US and Israeli detailed surveillance of Syrian chemical weapons unit exercises were somehow ‘interpreted’ to suggest that Syrian security forces had the intent to use such weapons against the opposition, and that they must be fully deterred and repeatedly warned against such a use.  So when the August 21 event occurred, the ground had been laid for some political leaders to jump to the conclusion that Syrian forces had in fact carried out an attack—as the intelligence ‘interpretation’ had seemed to imply was likely to occur.  Tensions within the US intelligence community over the managing of Syrian chemical weapons intelligence (much of it deriving from Israel) has already been publicly reported—as have some CIA resignations that consequently resulted from this friction.   

As the sense gains ground that the West may have been at the very brink of war on possibly false premises (again), we are seeing many governments begin to change their assessment both of Syrian government as well their view towards the opposition:  a more deeply skeptical view of the opposition’s veracity and troubling questions about the policies of their sponsors are being heard.  Equally we are witnessing a review of how President Assad is viewed.  Tellingly, Europeans are resuming intelligence co-operation with Damascus while US policy interests seem to be drifting away from Syria—although it appears that the rise of al-Qa’ida jihadist groups is surfacing as a primary US security concern (trumping what was the key objective of ‘regime change’ in Syria), US policy appears to be one of having no policy for Syria.

Some in the region see the corollary to this US ‘no-policy’ policy as one of the US being ready to yield place to Russia to take a lead in resolving the Syria conflict—if that be a burden which Russia wishes to assume (but which the US does not).  Associated with this may be the sense that Russia too can play a similar role—useful to the US—in bringing about a solution with Iran on the nuclear issue.  In a sense, bi-polarism with Russia in defined parts of the Middle East may suit America well.

This US attenuated policy-posture makes good sense:  by limiting its focus to two main issues—the Iran negotiations and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—President Obama can take the Democrats into the mid-term Congressional elections saying that in three primary areas, he has contributed to making Israel ‘safe’ (this being the main domestic US foreign policy concern, now that Middle Eastern ‘nation-building’ is viewed as a ‘bad movie’ by the American public).  Firstly, Syria’s chemical weapons—the main ‘threat’ to Israel—have been destroyed; Iran is being ‘forced’ to disavow any nuclear weaponisation; and the Palestinians have been bullied into negotiating a peace with Israel (with any failure more clearly the fault of Israel, rather than that of the US President).  Perhaps, in this contextualization of American interests, we may see such a platform even coming to see President Assad as a possible ally in the common cause of defeating jihadism in the region.  This, after all, is the logic to resumed western intelligence links with the Syrian government.

Set against this picture of political metamorphosis in Syria is the aspect which to date has not changed:  Saudi Arabia—until now—has been escalating its actions in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria where thousands of foreign jihadists continue to enter the conflict.  It is not surprising therefore that President Assad laid such emphasis in his meeting this week with Lakhtar Brahimi on the need for these groups and their continued arming to be curbed if the political process is to be taken forward.

With Saudi escalation continuing, the prospects for the holding of any Geneva II seem dim.  Equally, there is still no obvious domestic opposition with whom negotiations can be pursued.  There are domestic figures with whom the government can—and is—talking, but most of these are individualswho lack any real organization, constituency or influence in Syria.  They can and do express their views, but none of this amounts to a basis for a new political dispensation for Syria.

The reality is that some prior Saudi-Iranian regional understandings will be required for a ‘top-table’ US-Russian settlement to have any possibility of being effective.  The increasingly fragmented opposition are relatively immaterial to this: they will have to follow the regional compact should, and if one emerges.  All those engaged in the Syria process therefore are waiting to see if Saudi Arabia will continue on its current course, or if it will change direction.  Some do see prospects of such a change (simply because Saudi current policies are so clearly damaging for Saudi Arabia itself), but equally, all are keenly aware of the leadership void in the kingdom, and of the deep fear amongst the al-Saud that their claimed leadership of the Islamic world is slipping from their grasp, leaving them with only a diminished and somewhat tarnished legitimacy of happening to be the rulers of the holy cities of Medina and Mecca.  And it is not very probable that any new prospective Saudi direction will have occurred in time for a November Geneva II.”

 

319 Responses to “Syria Update: Assad and His Government are Winning”

  1. Fiorangela says:

    It may be the case that one of the services Iran rendered to Assad was to occupy the front burner–or hot seat — allowing Syria to take a less visible and less active position on US radar.

  2. Don Bacon says:

    The knuckle-draggers in the US Congress are not in favor of this US ‘no-policy’ policy with respect to Syria. They see Syria as all about Iran, so when they see themselves losing in Syria, and powerless there, they are more apt to take it out on Iran, with the encouragement of AIPAC which is now acting not only for Israel but even more for Saudi Arabia, in effect.

    “Some do see prospects of such a change” in Saudi Arabia. I would love to see that happen, and I think that efforts should be made to help that happen. That would make much more sense tan just giving up on the KSA as a bunch of religious radicals beyond hope.

  3. Empty says:

    Thank you for the article. In general, it is not surprising that Syria is winning and progressing toward a deep social, political, and physical (built environment) reconstruction. Good for Syrian people, Syrian government, Hezbollah, Iran, and all free thinkers of the world. May we see a middles free of U WMD (uncle weasels –as BiB would say– of mass destruction)

    I’d like to bring a relevant quote from Ayatollah Khamenei from 15 Bahman, 1390 [February 4, 2012] that says it all:

    حکام بحرین ادعا کردند که ایران در قضایاى بحرین دخالت میکند. این دروغ است. نه، ما دخالت نمی‌کنیم. ما آنجائى که دخالت کنیم، صریح میگوئیم. ما در قضایاى ضدیت با اسرائیل دخالت کردیم؛ نتیجه‌اش هم پیروزى جنگ سى و سه روزه و پیروزى جنگ بیست و دو روزه بود. بعد از این هم هر جا هر ملتى، هر گروهى با رژیم صهیونیستى مبارزه کند، مقابله کند، ما پشت سرش هستیم و کمکش میکنیم و هیچ ابائى هم از گفتن این حرف نداریم. این حقیقت و واقعیت است. اما اینکه حالا حاکم جزیره‌ى بحرین بیاید بگوید ایران در قضایاى بحرین دخالت میکند، نه، این حرف درستى نیست؛ حرف خلاف واقعى است. ما اگر در بحرین دخالت میکردیم، اوضاع در بحرین جور دیگرى میشد!

    [Translation/interpretation: “The rulers of Bahrain have claimed that Iran is intervening in Bahrain’s events. This is a lie. No, we are not intervening. Where we intervene, we explicitly say that we are. We, in the cases of opposition with Israel, have interfered; the results [of intervening] were a victory in the 33-day war and a victory in the 22-day war. From this point forward, too, any place, any nation, any group that fights with and stands up to the Zionist regime, we support them, we back them up, and we help them. And we have no reservation in saying so. This is the truth and this is the fact. Now this business that the ruler of the island of Bahrain has come and claimed that Iran is intervening in Bahrain’s case, no, this is not the truth and it is against the facts/reality [of the matter]. Had we intervened in Bahrain, the outcome in Bahrain would have been quite different!”

    Source: access online at http COLON SLASH SLASH jahannews.com/vdcg7u9xxak9zz4.rpra.html

  4. Karl.. says:

    EU provoke with new sanctions. Imagine if Iran made a similar step during the talks..

    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/11/16/334958/eu-plans-to-reimpose-bans-on-iran/

  5. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    This is all nice and good what is mentioned in this article.

    It has the appearance of pointing to Saudi Arabia as the major problem, but in fact it doesn’t/doesn’t want to address the main problem.

    Even if the US decided to “strategically” divorce ale Saud it could not because ale Saud are firmly holding and gently pressing America’s nuts.

    Even if US elites decided to drop ale Saud, they couldn’t do it because of the effect on the US dollar and economy.

    Would be nice to have an article on that instead stating the obvious.

    Also, Crooke who usually writes good stuff but fails to mention th main point in this saga: how when everybody in the world had abandoned Bashar Assad it was Iran who supported him.

    In other words the Russians got the balls to stand up to the US in Syria after Iran had done all the heavy lifting.

    US-Russian “bi-polarity” in the region maybe.

    Iranian “hegemony” closer to reality.

    It is and has always been about containing Iran and Iranian regional hegemony.

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1837&Itemid=4

    Quote:

    “The Americans are opposed to the identity of the Islamic Republic. They are opposed to the influence and power of the Islamic Republic. Recently, one of the American politicians and intellectuals said – his speech was broadcast and this is not a confidential issue – that Iran is dangerous, no matter if it is atomic or non-atomic. This person openly said that the influence and power of Iran – as they say, the hegemony of Iran – is dangerous in the region. This is the kind of Iran which enjoys dignity, respect and power today. They are opposed to this kind of Iran. They will be satisfied when Iran becomes a weak, abandoned, isolated, untrustworthy and humiliated nation. Their enmity is not based on the nuclear issue. This is one point.”

  6. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Also the authors mention that “all” models are “discredited”.

    Really? What about the Islamic Republic of Iran model?

    Would it be too much to ask from a “former” British spy (you know what they say, spies “never” retire…) to have pointed out that in fact there is regional model that is working beautifully- contrary to the propaganda.

    You might say, “but they are Sunnis and you are Shia! IRI model doesn’t apply!”

    Well, it would be nice if we all had the courage to think through the logical consequences of our statements. Maybe that is precisely the point- per statements by terrified Sunni rulers about the “Shia threat”. Threat of what? Threat of majority of Muslims understanding wilayat of Ahlul Bayt.

    Syria has starting making these issue very clear. And West, Russia etc. are starting to understand the strategic mistake of relying on Zionists and ale Saud.

    And of course they will not do the “rational” thing and realign with Iran to protect their national interests.

    Whoever has hopes of that happening doesn’t understand the nature of western elites and hasn’t studied and understood the lessons of history.

    Let’s hope Leveretts aren’t like the rest of them. So far so good.

  7. Karl.. says:

    Saudi have no power over US, one would be a useful-idiot thinking that since the one that have power, Israel and aipac, is then forgotten.

  8. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Karl-jan,

    The fact that US dollar value is dependent on Saudi oil sales in US dollars doesn’t make anyone “forget” the Zionists control of US politics.

  9. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    November 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

    The SL is impressive as usual. And as usual he speaks truth and wisdom.
    What is striking is the historically grounded and logically built rational.
    It calls for respect and the opposite is true as well: it shows genuine respect and consideration for his populace from the top leader of Iran.
    The difference is striking when compared to what obtains in western countries. Where there is no truth but mass manipulation, populism. Where there is only short termism and nonsensical blathering.
    It reminds of the late General De Gaulle in tye strenght of the speech and vision.
    When do we get back such a leader in France ?

    WTF see what we got right now !

    http://citoyen360.fr/collection-grimaces-francois-hollande/

    Poor France…

  10. James Canning says:

    I continue to condemn as foolish the insistence Bashar al-Assad agree to abandon power, as a “precondition” for negotiations to resolve civil war in Syria.

  11. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    What decline in value of USD would you anticipate, if Saudi Arabia (and Opec) priced oil in euros instead of in US dollars? (Decline of USD against euro)

    The percentage of global reserves, in USD, actually has increased this year by a bit under 1%.

  12. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    First off saudi have no power changing that.
    Second what do you think would happen if Saudi cut dollars in saudiarabia itself?
    Thrid do you really believe these lame threats by Saudi?

    Saudi are dependent on US, NOT the other way around.

  13. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    What do some of these fools in the US Congress think would be “winning” in Syria? Having a government that works with al-Qaeda?

  14. James Canning says:

    Good point, Fiorangela.

  15. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    “Bussed-In Basiji,What decline in value of USD would you anticipate, if Saudi Arabia (and Opec) priced oil in euros instead of in US dollars? (Decline of USD against euro)The percentage of global reserves, in USD, actually has increased this year by a bit under 1%.”

    Your iditic question shows your arrogance and total lack of knowledge and wisdom.
    Let me enlighten you.
    The USD as all currency is first and foremost based on confidence.
    It is binary. White or black. You are confident or not
    The economic and monetary unbalance is that huge and the virtuality of US finance economy is that much diconnected from the real economy that the day confidence falter the USD will worth next to nothing compared to what obtains today.

    Remember the pre WWII when americans gold was confiscated or the weimar hyperinflation ?
    Expect something similar.

    The US financial system and the USD are already dead, but still walking for a (short) time.
    The reserve status of the USD is already finished and all decision makers arround the world know that.
    One sparkle like stocks market crash will be the start of the process that will translate that in real life.

    I expect that to happen on the short term. 1 month to 3 years.
    But that could also depend on the next endless financial invention of the central banks.

  16. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Karl, James,

    I explained it earlier, but here it goes again:

    The US don’t have to “work” to “earn dollars” with which to pay for oil. They print money and then “buy” oil with. Of course I’m simplifying, but that’s basically whats happening. This gives them a major advantage over everybody else in the world who has to “work-earn-pay” for oil.

    US wants to keep this advantage at all costs.

    Furthermore global “demand” for US dollars is always high because others have to purchase dollars before they can buy oil/nearly all commodities and resources- all of which are denominated in dollars as a standard. Yes of course specific contracts can be made in other currencies- but even those the price is still calculated based on dollar price. This is what “denominated in” means. This is what “hegemonic currency” means.

    This keeps US dollar value “artificially” high or higher if demand was simply based on “normal” economic factors related to any comparative national economy.

    This is OK as long as your economy is “really stronger” than other economies- which America was until late 20th early 21st century.

    It’s not OK when your economy is “really weaker”- which is the “real” case with US economy after W raised expenditures and not taxes- and other reasons- which is a whole book itself. This would normally lead to a major-structural loss of currency value as reflection of economic “reality” and many other structural and significant economic consequences that come with that.

    In the US case currently this would be a major and irrevocable structural shock to an already structurally shitty economy.

    US wants to avoid this at all costs.

    Well, it hasn’t happened because demand for US dollars is still high THE MAIN ELEMENT OF THIS BEING SAUDI DENOMINATION OF ITS OIL SALES IN US DOLLARS. In other words demand for oil is inelastic and seller demands US dollars for the oil which buyer has to provide at all costs.

    We even have secret deals between US and Saudi in 1970s- declassified in the late 90s- where Saudis have given written guarantees to US officials to denominate their oil sales in US dollars.

    Not mention the literally hundreds of billions of US dollars- yes hundreds of billions of dollars- Saudis “reinvest” into the US (and UK) economy in various forms and shapes- real estate, capital markets, imports, fdi, bribes, etc. etc. etc.

    This all has political-economic-social-strategic-cultural consequences which can be summarized as:

    Ale Saud have America by the nuts.

  17. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    Very funny.

    Yes having honest and wise leaders is great blessing.

    I would say de Gaulle is probably the greatest Frenchmen who ever lived (including Charlemagne).

    Why? Personal ethics, courage, honesty, honor.

    Things none of these c*n politicians in France/west have these days.

    Like I said, I think all this will strengthen FN and Marine Le Pen.

    Given the other crappy choices, not such a crazy idea to vote for them next elections if I was an average Frenchman.

    This is what France has come to today.

  18. Fiorangela says:

    Robert Menendez is making a tragic long-term mistake by taking the AIPAC line toward Iran.
    He is the highest-ranking elected office-holder of the Latino people (he’s of Cuban origin); he works hard for and enjoys support from the Latino/Hispanic community.

    The Hispanic community is becoming an increasingly more important percentage and part of the US voting public.

    Unless I’m reading the tea leaves incorrectly, zionism/AIPAC/Israel lobby are at about 13.5 of their 15 minutes of fame; they are on the way out: the future lies with the Hispanic community.

    Adelson’s vicious statement that “Obama should bomb Iran” did not go unnoticed; if Adelson attempts to buy another presidential candidate next election cycle, that video will be drawn out and used relentlessly.

    As well, Netanyahu’s hissy fits are alienating an increasing number of Jewish as well as non-Jewish voters in the US.

    It’s interesting that two politicians of Irish background are making moves that signal a run for president — Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are appearing in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively, at events that traditionally indicate they are testing the waters of a presidential bid. According to Michael Barone, author of “Shaping Our Nation,” the Irish are noted for their facility with words, and for their ability to organize politically (not sure how they do on the governing scale). As well, Irish Americans are typically Catholic, and Pope Francis shows signs of making Catholicism sexy again. Irish political organizing linked with Catholic-ness may overwhelm (we hope) the Alinsky style of organizing by subterfuge.

    In other words, powerful and numerically significant political constituencies are on the move in the US.

    I became aware of the impact of zionism on US politics in 2001 when I read a book by (the late) H. Bradford Westerfield, who was Dick Cheney’s favorite professor at Yale. In “Foreign Policy and Party Politics,” copyright 1955, Westerfield wrote:

    “Palestine is the classic case in recent years of the determination of American foreign policy by domestic political considerations. American Zionists show themselves to be zealots, relentlessly determined to secure the intervention of the United States government on behalf of the Jewish state in Palestine. They had wealth to devote to the cause, and beyond that they had two peculiar advantages among the various pressure groups seeking to influence major American foreign policy. …

    {snip}

    Second and equally important, they were virtually unopposed by any other pressure group and faced an indifferent or mildly sympathetic public. … American security interests in the Arab world were not understood enough or felt strongly enough to create substantial political resistance to Zionism.

    … In these circumstances leaders of both parties had nothing to lose and everything to gain politically by competing for Zionist votes and Zionist money.” [pp. 227-228]

    I believe that calculus has shifted, or is shifting: there ARE groups organized to counterbalance Zionist “votes,” if not money. And if the US Catholic church once again joins the game, its institutional heft will present a significant counterweight.

    In short, if Robert Menendez is betting on AIPAC, he’s putting his marker on a horse that is headed for the stud farm. There are new fillies in the field; they come from winning lineages, and they are going to be around for awhile. Bet on the future, Bob, not the old grey nag of the past.

  19. nico says:

    Fiorangela says:
    November 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I do not share your opinion

    Yes the zionist a have a major influence but their vision is shared by the protestant as well.
    And for catholicism it remains to be seen if it will experience a revival. But I do not bet on it.

    Besides the US are an exeptionalist country and an imperialist one.
    It runs deep from the inception of the US as well as the civil war.
    Do not forget that the US claimed independence first and foremost to evade British tax and enjoy free trade.
    The US are a capitalist country from the very start as the individualist colonial/settler or immigrant mindset of the self made man is intrinsic to the US psyche.
    If we take the POV of the marxist analysis, imperialism is the logical consequence of capitalism.

    I agree with you that catholicism or universalist monotheism as per Iran leaders is a known alternative.
    But the US society is too fragmented, the materialistic system too powerfull, and catholicism/religion far too weak to change anything to the current situation in the US.

    The modern types of political paths known and already tested in the western countries are variants of liberal democracy/capitalism, communism and fascism.
    Liberal democracy/capitalism won the political strugle against fascism and communism.
    First liberal democracy/capitalism and communism won the war (physical as well as ideological with the ensuing usual demonization. That never again…) against fascism.
    Then communism collapsed. With the usual demonization against communism (that never again…).
    What is the new path and modern social construct in the west once the liberal democracy/capitalism will collapse ?
    Will we go back to fascism ? With some form of fascism we are already experiencing in the US.
    Or is there a alternate way ? Thinker and philosopher speak about a mythical third way.

    Reality is that after decades of spiritual void Russia is choosing the way of orthodoxy as proven by Putin close alliance with the Russian patriarch.
    You noticed maybe the ideological struggle regarding same sex marriage in Russia against western propaganda.
    It seems that Putin contrary to Gorbatchev somehow listened to the late Khomeini advices.

    But the same does not obtain in the west.
    I believe that what is awaiting us is closer to fascism or a postmodern situation like a fully owerlian order (which we are also already somehow experiencing) or some kind of technopunk desintegrated society.
    I feel the west is lost to catholicism for good.
    Catholicism wich is by the way demonized as well as communism and fascism even before the pope could begin think to lake a comment on secular affairs. Just like communism and fascism.

    Maybe I am wrong.
    For things to change the pope Francis would need to adopt Khamenei strong stance in real life/temporal/secular affairs by reverting Vatican II.
    Not sure pope Francis is enough of a Great man to achieve that.
    In addition should the pope Francis try to adopt such stance he would be immediatly under attack by the jews, the protestants and the atheists… That makes a huge obstacle to overcome.

    What is awaiting the west is not clear but surely the west is not prepared and only solid BS like Fukuyama’s End or History and the kind or PNAC fed the political landscape of the US after the fall of the USSR.
    What has changed since then in translation term of the US ideology mindset and macropolicies ?
    Truth be said, not much.

    Truly a civilizational disaster and the ideological end of the road with the cliff in sight.

  20. Kathleen says:

    Wonder if the U.S. is starting to get that it might be better not to turn the country over to Al Qeada?

  21. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The US dollar would remain a primary “reserve” currency, globally, even if oil were priced in euros. US could still “print” money, to buy oil.

  22. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You are quite right, that one reason for the American Revolution is that the Colonies that revolted did not want to pay their fair share of taxes, for protection (or, defence). Elimination of French (and Jesuit/Indian) threat from French Canada cleared the way, in this regard.

    Another factor was that pioneers on the frontier did not like British measures intended to protect the Indians (and lessen defence costs). These pioneers wanted freedom to move west and claim land.

  23. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Tell me: when do you think the British pound was supplanted by the US dollar, as primary reserve currency globally?

  24. James Canning says:

    With all the talk about Aipac and its support for Saudi Arabia, one might do well to remember that during his years in Washington, as Saudi ambassdor, Aipac was the primary enemy Prince Bandar bin Sultan had to contend with.

  25. Richard Steven Hack says:

    “although it appears that the rise of al-Qa’ida jihadist groups is surfacing as a primary US security concern (trumping what was the key objective of ‘regime change’ in Syria), US policy appears to be one of having no policy for Syria.”

    US policy has NEVER been about Syria per se – it has always been about IRAN. As I’ve said repeatedly, the ENTIRE goal of the Syrian crisis has been to drum up enough reasons to “justify” attacking Syria militarily, in order to 1) degrade its military so that it is no longer an effective actor against Israel in an Iran war, and 2) to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon via Syrian territory so as to degrade Hizballah so it is no longer an effective actor against Israel in an Iran war.

    The alleged rise in US “concern” about Al Qaeda in Syria is merely another one of the innumerable “excuses” the US has dredged up to justify attacking Syria. If they can’t find a “legitimate” reason to attack Assad, they’ll find a “legitimate” reason to attack the OPPOSITION – and take out Assad’s military in the process (because it’s highly unlikely Assad will welcome the US and NATO bombing his country.) In other words, just as the neocons used the rise of the Iraqi insurgency to justify remaining in Iraq – “we have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” – they can use the same excuse to justify starting a war in Syria allegedly against “Al Qaeda” under the excuse that the US has to prevent Al Qaeda from taking over Syria. Or even just the excuse that the same groups the US has been supporting from Day One are now a “threat to the peace and security of the region.”

    Nothing has changed. The goal is still a war with Syria and Hizballah followed by a war with Iran.

  26. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More proof that it was the *US* – NOT France (who merely acted as the “bad cop” to Obama’s “good cop”) – that sabotaged the Iran talks.

    Lavrov Reveals Amended Draft Circulated at ‘Last Moment’
    http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2013/11/15/lavrov-reveals-amended-draft-circulated-at-last-moment/

    Quotes:

    He made it clear, however, that he now considers the US maneuver in getting the six powers on board a draft that had been amended with tougher language – even if softened by US drafters — without any prior consultation with Iran to have been a diplomatic blunder.

    In tweets on Tuesday, Zarif, responding to Kerry’s remarks in Abu Dhabi, wrote, “Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night?” Zarif’s comments indicated that changes of wording had nullified the previous understanding that had been reached between the United States and Iran on multiple issues.

    Now the Obama administration will face a decision whether to press Iran to go along with those changes or to go back to the original compromise when political directors of the six powers and Iran reconvene Nov. 20. That choice will provide the key indicator of how strongly committed Obama is to reaching an agreement with Iran.

    End Quote

  27. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel, Saudi Arabia Cooperating on Possible Iran Attack – Report
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/11/israel-saudi-arabia-cooperating-on.html

    Wouldn’t surprise me if true, since Saudi Arabia and Israel have been noted as working together on Syria by a number of analysts lately. Things are different than the last time – a couple years ago – that Saudi Arabia was reported to be allowing Israel to use its airspace for an Iran attack.

  28. A concerned world citizen says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 17, 2013 at 4:36 am
    Israel, Saudi Arabia Cooperating on Possible Iran Attack – Report
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/11/israel-saudi-arabia-cooperating-on.html

    That will be a “God-send” gift to Iran..The Saudis are just pissed at their lack vicotry in Syria and Lebanon and the US cutting them out of the picture in the nuclear negotiations with Iran..

    I think it’s fair to say a deal between the US and Iran will free the US of many headache they’re currently suffering..From Wahhabi/Salafi terrorism to Afghanistan, to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen etc etc. The Suadi-Israeli combo will soon loose their relevance in the region IF a deal is reached. They’ve milked the nuclear cow for way too long..

  29. Irshad says:

    The story of Cuba’s dashed hopes of building nuclear power plants to meet its energy needs. According to Cuban officials, the plants could have been completed but due to the US pressurising 3rd countries it was not not completed. Also Russia was playing its usual game of using this as a tool to extract concessions from the US, similar to what happened with Iran.

    Juragua Nuclear Power Plant:

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

  30. Fiorangela says:

    nico says:
    November 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you for a very thoughtful response.

  31. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,

    Who said anything about oil being priced in euros?

    You didn’t answer my question: Are you familiar with “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”?

  32. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 16, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    “Nico,Tell me: when do you think the British pound was supplanted by the US dollar, as primary reserve currency globally?”

    I did not say that the USD world reserve status is to be ended in the next three years.
    I said I assume the stocks market crash in western countries is coming in a very short term period. 1 month to 3 years.
    And I said that it will be the sparkle for the final meltdown of western finance and the START of the last sequence in the USD demise.

    My assumption as I repeated here time and a again is that the USD is a house of card with evrybody sitting at the top of it.
    Nobody has an interest in the house to crumble.
    The house will be destroyed by the fundamental undermining of its foundations.
    Meaning the general lack of confidence and credibility as well as the broken status of the US bonds.
    That is likely to come with the next stocks crash.

    However how it will unfold remain to be seen.
    It will depend on central banks ane government policies.
    One thing is sure. It will happen and soon.

  33. Fiorangela says:

    nico — again —

    Your response has my head buzzing.

    I had just watched videos of the NIAC conference. Trita Parsi was delighted with NIAC’s tactic of inviting the Saudi prince, a Jewish American, an Israeli, and Shireen Hunter. And that’s probably a good thing.

    But if NIAC — and Iranian Americans — want to change policy in the US, they ought to reach out to the voting groups in the US that are going to be making their voices heard to their representatives. The genius of Jewish agents of influence, in every state where they have dwelt, is that while their larger polity remained insular, they always, always had influencers in other, majority groups in that state, to gain the support of that majority group for their minority interests. AIPAC should be looked upon in terms of “best practices” — that’s what the Zogbys figured out a few years ago when they set up groups to advance the interests of Arab Americans, they consciously imitated AIPAC. Iranians in the US are very young and tremendously insecure. They keep their heads down.

    Yes, you’re right, their is an imperialist strain in the US that, I argue, flows through the Anglo- and Protestant Christian mythos that persuades those groups that they are “chosen,” and entitled to tell other people how to live. This mythos shares roots with the Hebrew (zionist) mythos.

    But Hispanics are not entwined with that mythos in the same way. And they are a growing constituency in the US. In other words, the times they are a-changing. If Parsi were smart, he would lead the Iranian-Americans that he has organized to leap on that changing constituency; reach out to Hispanics –we know what the Arabs are about.

  34. Fiorangela says:

    Nico — one more time …
    my earlier comment was interrupted as I listened to Patrick Clawson and Steve Scully slobber all over Benjamin Netanyahu. I don’t remember voting for Bibi. Maybe I missed it.

    anyway — I’ve also been reading a biography of Thomas Jefferson (by Jon Meacham). One of the themes is the conflict between the visions of Jefferson and Hamilton. Hamilton was an Anglophile; Jefferson remained suspicious if not outright antagonistic toward the British, especially the monarchy. Jefferson thought the British continued to attempt to control the new United States, and also believed, rightly, I believe, that Hamilton was in favor of establishing the US on a model like the British monarchy.

    US foreign policy does not seem to have threads running from its vision to that of Jefferson and/or Hamilton. For example, the way the masses define US foreign policy is in the simplistic “isolationist” vs “interventionist” binary. I submit that that is the wrong “binary.” The theme of “isolationist” vs “interventionist emerged as US was considering entering WWI, and in overwhelming fashion in the run-up to World War II. Lynne Olson describes that period in “Those Angry Days.” In my view, Olson’s writing is intellectually dishonest: she slants the argument to “more” or “less” supportive of the British, but if the period is read critically, one realizes that the tensions were between “pro-British” and “pro-German” forces. The US State Department, the military, and broad swathes of the public were highly antagonist to the British; they felt they had been “suckered” into World War I. — The point I’m trying to make is that the propagandists who wanted US to enter the war in Europe in the 1930s changed the language from the specific identifications that Jefferson and Hamilton used — “British monarchy vs American independence and the inherent rights of man, to something abstract and vaguely judgmental — “isolationist” vs “interventionist.” Charles Lindbergh was the figurehead of the Isolationists, and the British propagandists who were functioning in the US, as well as people very close to FDR, namely, Harold Ickes, unleashed the most vicious campaign of lies, demonization, and hounding of Charles Lindbergh, his wife, and even his children. Olson opened her book with statements to the effect that this period in US history “set the standard” for US “entry on the world stage.” And she is right: the way the US enters foreign affairs from then until now is by lying, tearing down rational and loyal opposition and counter-arguments; censoring voices that oppose the decreed narrative, propagandizing, and cutting off the American “tree of values” from its foundational roots.

  35. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 17, 2013 at 4:32 am

    It was a combined diplomatic maneuver by P5+1.

    France was to be the instigator, US the implementer, and the rest of P5+1 to be the rubber-stampers.

    The aim was to extract the maximum concessions out of Iran – the P5+1 estimation was that Iranians were too weak and too eager no to sign the revised text.

    There was a risk that Iranians would not sign and in that case P5+1 would blame everything on France (and in case of Russia on France and US as well as the lack of time to read and comprehend the text – what rubbish.)

    So, P5+1 learnt how far Iranians could be pushed.

    Today, Mr. Zarif has offered another concession – no need to mention right to enrichment in the text.

    So, P5+1 got something for nothing after all.

  36. Rehmat says:

    Bashar al-Assad is recapturing Syrian territory occupied by the US-Israel-Saudi-armed foreign blood suckers. Assad is winning because even after over 2 year of bloodshed, he is still popular among Syrian people and country’s armed forces – the two pillars of Resistance.

    The defeat of the anti-Assad rebels can be measured by the statement made by Israel’s top-paid propagandist, Abraham Foxman, head of ADL.

    On September 18, 2013, Foxman claimed that people who blame Israel or the Zionist Jews for the bloodshed in Syria or America’s military threats against Syria – are conspiracy theorists and Jew-haters, and therefore, antisemites.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/09/27/adl-thou-shalt-not-blame-israel-for-syrian-mess/

  37. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You advocate the pricing of oil in a currency other than US dollar. So, let us know what currency you have in mind.

    I did answer your question, as to whether I am familiar with Monty Python’s Flying Cirucs. I said, in response, that John Cleese would have a good time with your argument that white people should not comment on actions of black people, even if those actions include slaughtering civilians.

  38. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I askeds you if you knew when the British pound was supplanted by the US dollar, as primary reserve currency globally. Do I assume you do not know the decade in which this event took place? Make a guess. Or consult the Financial Times.

  39. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If Iran in fact has no wish to build nukes, the concessions Iran has offered do not injure Iran significantly. In the short run, “something for nothing” (as you put it) is probably the only way forward.

  40. Bibijon says:

    fyi says:
    November 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Yes, but alternatively ….

    It is way too much wishful thinking to imagine a united front among a set of countries whose inter/intra contradictions are bubbling just beneath the surface, with frequent eruptions that are visible to all.

    Two utterly bizarre nations, the medieval Saudi Arabia and the apartheid state of Israel, rightly see the western negotiations with Iran as a zero-sum game. Neither has any raison d’être other than their contrived hostility towards Iran. The very real potential for a ceasefire agreement to turn into detente, and then later blossom into West-Iran rapprochement is making the two apoplectic.

    The combination of Saudi money and Israeli influence is plenty enough to expose divisions/contradictions within P5+1 countries. Ignoring all of this is just silly.

    The question of “right” to enrich is a fundamental sticking point. But, think about it this way: What is the worth of a “right” that has been ‘bestowed’ by others? not worth a dime, I say.

    Iran must feel in the marrow of her bone that she has that right, and act accordingly. That sense of self entitlement is priceless. Next, in the table of worthiness is international law. There is no question that “right” existed before NPT, and that NPT in no way abridges that right. See ArmsControlLaw, and Dan Joyner’s writings.

    What you try and portray as an Iranian capitulation, is in fact a case of Iran standing tall. Iran does not need anybody to grandstand and affirm her rights. I wish Iran had never asked for that in the first place. The question ought to be confidence-building limits to capacity allowing the normalization of Iran’s nuclear file, not who thinks Iran does or does not have this or that “right.”

  41. James Canning says:

    Sergei Lavrov is optimistic a deal can be made between P5+1 and Iran:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/16/russia-iran-nuclear-deal

  42. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    One reason Israel does not want a deal between Iran and the EU3+3 is that this likely will lead to pressure on Israel to get rid of its nukes. Another reason is that Netnayhu thinks a deal will lead to greater pressure on Israel to get out of the West Bank. Which happens to be important to the Saudis.

  43. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    It would be interesting to see a response by Abe Foxman to Philip Giraldi’s recent piece in the American Conservative, regarding false intel supplied by Israel in effort to set up US attack on Syria (after Aug. 21 CW event).

  44. Bibijon says:

    Pollack: [JFK would not] think that Iran’s leaders are benign or well-intentioned toward us. But it would be a bigger mistake to assume that they are hellbent on destroying us, the Israelis or other U.S. allies in the region, and that they are willing to invite their own obliteration to do so.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-17/kennedy-showed-how-to-contain-iran.html

  45. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    JFK would have known Iran could not “destroy” Israel. Inflict considerable damage, yes. Destroy? Not a chance.

  46. James Canning says:

    In his New York Times column today, Tom Friedman has some interesting comments about Israel and its need to get out of the West Bank.

  47. James Canning says:

    The Economist says Israel lobby is trying to wreck the talks with Iran:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/economist-trying-france.html

  48. nico says:

    Fiorangela says:
    November 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

    “Jefferson thought the British continued to attempt to control the new United States, and also believed, rightly, I believe, that Hamilton was in favor of establishing the US on a model like the British monarchy.”

    Well yes that was the same type of struggle that occured at that time in Europe between pre-modern “former regime” (that is royal alliance with the church) and modern type liberal democracy or early form of it (that is atheistic merchant/traders alliance with representatives political structures/indirect democracy).
    The deviance and oligarchic type of goverance is thus obvious by definition from the very start.

    That actually gave birth in XIXth century to all socialists/commmunits great thinkers and philosophers.
    Like Marx, Bakounine and many others.
    That was the natural answer and criticism to liberal democracy.

    Critics also gave birth to fascism as well in the XXth century

    What I mean with such trivial historical recall is that the liberal democracy shortcomings are not something new.

    My First point is that it should not be or should not have been forgetten.
    Specially by western elites.
    And it is specially disapointing to see that as soon as the communist contenders collapsed the US went hell bent to the catastrophe and all the disgusting slant of unbridled and deviant capitalism.
    Truly pathetic and disgusting failure of the US leadership and thinkers
    And again proof of the structural shortcomings and deficiances of liberal democracy.
    And the correct analysis of those shortcomings by fascists and communists (even if the solutions brought by those ones prove to be worse…).

    Thus it is empirical proof of the End of History solid BS.

    My second point is that the Iranian system of governance is truly a new type of ideology and governance.
    With the “former regime” religiosity in alliance with modern reprentatives structure/indirect democracy.
    No need to say that the western modernism consider suspciously that type of structure. And consider it as an inacceptable form of governance just like communism and fascism or the “former regime”.
    Such animosity after 30 years is sign of true success for Iran.
    Actually an insignificant regime would not have earned such enmity.
    Could it no be said that by their enmity the west is already Iran as a equal ideologically speaking ?
    And that the Iranian regime fate is to earn respect by imposing force and deterrance ?

    Such ideological struggle has always been a fight to death.
    Where all stunts and plots are allowed.

    Wait and see.

  49. Fiorangela says:

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the process of reviving a tradition of Russian Church-State diplomacy in the Middle East that may hold the key to successfully solving the Syrian and Iranian crises. In the course of these efforts, Russia is also in the process of greatly enhancing its power projection in the region and reopening large-scale arms sales to countries that been outside Russian reach since the fall of Nasser. The Russian footprint in the Near East has greatly expanded.”

    from another source — In a left-handed fashion, Ilan Berman referred to the re-emergence of the Orthodox Church in encouraging family formation to solve Russia’s demographic problem.

  50. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    “Nico,I askeds you if you knew when the British pound was supplanted by the US dollar, as primary reserve currency globally. Do I assume you do not know the decade in which this event took place? Make a guess. Or consult the Financial Times.”

    You are not a professor and I am not your student for you to ask some exam test question.
    Neither I am an underdog for you to cast nonsensical quiz and me to answer outright.
    If you have something intelligent to discuss then make your point and ask interesting questions.

    You are truly a nut case

  51. Karl.. says:

    Fiorangela

    I sense west cant accept a deal and this issue will go on and eventually lead to war, especially now since saudi/gulf is making noise along with Israel.

  52. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Obama obviously does want a deal. The issue is whether the Israel lobby can block it.

  53. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Not until the 1950s did the American dollar displace the British pound, as primary reserve currency globally. The US had passed Britain as the leading economic power in the world many decades earlier.

  54. Fiorangela says:

    James,

    in my jaundiced opinion, the present Health Care debacle is one of two things:

    a. a preconceived disaster in which the Israel lobby was involved (Eric Cantor anybody?) calculated to weaken Obama to force him to take some rash act — i.e. wage war on Iran — to bolster his “sagging poll numbers,” and his “legacy,” which are, as we all know, far more important than the lives of millions of innocent people;

    or

    b. one more piece of evidence that the US Congress, overly-influenced as it is by Netanyahuists who did, by the way, play a major role in the design of the health care law, is utterly incompetent to govern. Let me crystallize the point: the Netanyahuists are quite capable of disrupting, exerting malign influence, and destroying, but they do not have a clue how to actually govern. Never have.

    Has anybody given a thought to (Candy Crowley excluded; her interview of Netanyahu is Exhibit #1 that she lacks the capacity to think) the reality that Israel/Netanyahu have absolutely NOTHING to lose in forcing the US to destroy its economy in the process of destroying Iran’s economy? Did that concept cross Crowley’s mind as she listened to Netanyahu say, “If sanctions are lifted, companies will stand in line to do business with Iran. This must not happen!!!”

    Why the f#$k NOT? The world is approaching a depression! People NEED fair trade and commerce you jackass! Americans need jobs! Iranians need jobs.

  55. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I am no admirer of the American health care system. Absurdly expensive.

  56. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Russia is doing its best to achieve a diplomatic resolution of civil war in Syria. I regard this as a very good thing indeed, and notions of “projecting Russian power” to me are beside the point. Russia also, of course, is trying to achieve negotiated end to the Iranian nuclear dispute.

    One line of thinking, of Putin, is to focus on the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russia’s Slavic heritage.

  57. Fiorangela says:

    You are quite right, James Canning. The American so-called health care system is absurdly expensive because it monetizes health care. The “health care” law had nothing to do with attending to the health needs of Americans and everything to do with ensuring revenue streams to health insurers, pharmaceutical firms, medical devise vendors, and for-profit hospital systems.

    To the extent that one can find good health care in many places, it is provided by religious groups such as Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholic religious orders, and other not-for-profit institutions that still think of “heal the sick” as one of the corporal works of mercy, not corporate works of profit.

  58. Bibijon says:

    Leslie Gelb: In the new bargaining round with Tehran this week, there’s a chance of something monumental. Don’t let hawks, without a decent argument, stop it.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/17/stay-the-dogs-of-war-on-iran.html

  59. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    There will never be any pressure on Israel in regards to her nuclear weapons or on her to vacate the West Bank and Jerusalem as long as the Madness reigns in the Court of the (Mad) King.

    Mr. Bush II declared enemies of Israel to be enemies of US and went about destroying one – Iraq.

    Mr. Obama continued that by destroying Libya and then was about to go on to destroying Syria – after the Mad King’s hired henchmen failed – which was derailed due to the revolt of the peasants in UK. Which, by the way, the UK Baron used to demure joining another mad project.

    [It is likely that Mr. Obama’s intentions were to attack Iran next – after Syria.

    Even though the likely outcome of the war in Syria was another quagmire lasting many years; the Mad King would have attacked Iran after the wreckage in Syria – had he attacked.]

    Iran and Syria remain in the cross-hairs of the Mad King – Iran more than Syria – and the Barons have no choice than to follow the Mad King into a war against Iran when such time comes.

    The barons are already engaged a massive economic war against Iran, in support of the regime destruction there.

    That is not about to change.

    The greatest strategic prize was always changing the orientation of Iran towards Axis Powers.

    The Mad King and the Baron have eliminated that possibility for 2 or 3 generations (40 to 60 years).

    They have no other choice now that to continue the war to its bitter end for as long as madness reigns in the Court of the King.

    James Canning says:
    November 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    The only resolution is Mr. Assad’s total victory; which, evidently, coming about.

  60. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    November 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I concur with the general sentiment of this post. As much as a detente, or better, is beneficial to the West from a rational viewpoint, such will not be obtained.

    Rest assured that any deal at this time is being view as a tactical pause – by both sides.

    The unwelcome wins of Assad against the West’s Syrian campaign, orchestrated by the West and financed by the Gulf dictatorships, has created the need for a tactical pause. The tactical pause is needed for the West in order to reorganize and reorient the campaign against Iran through other means. Iran will use this time wisely since she known that her agreements with the West does not hold water!

  61. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,

    John Cleese would know the difference between whites “commenting” on blacks and whites “setting up concentration camps” for blacks- as Ian Henderson did.

    You apparently don’t grasp the difference.

    In terms oil sales denomination there are many better alternatives to the current system.

    Notice I said “system” not simply “currency”.

  62. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Meanwhile Barzani and Erdogan partying in Diyarbakir…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/16/us-turkey-kurdistan-idUSBRE9AF05L20131116?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

    Excerpt:

    Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan share concern about the growing clout of Kurdish militias in Syria, particularly after their announcement this week of an interim administration that aims to carve out an autonomous Syrian Kurdish region.

    Both Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish officials in Arbil have criticized the declaration, which lays out plans for a regional government similar to that of Iraqi Kurdistan, seeing it as part of a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Syrian Kurds are divided over the political group whose militias are behind the advances, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has links to the PKK and is seen by Iraqi Kurdistan as a rival for transnational leadership of the Kurds.

    Critics of the PYD also accuse it of getting help from outside powers, namely Shi’ite Iran and Iraq’s Shi’ite-controlled central government, which are both allies of Assad.

    “Erdogan needs to strengthen his hand with Barzani in Turkey’s own Kurdish problem and in developments with Syrian Kurds,” wrote columnist Cengiz Candar in Turkey’s Radikal daily. “But Barzani also needs to get Turkey’s backing in Iran, Syria and Baghdad,” he said.

    Turkey’s courtship of Iraqi Kurdistan, in particular its efforts to help the region develop an independent oil industry, has long infuriated Baghdad, which fears the break-up of Iraq, and has also raised concerns in Washington.

    The semi-autonomous region has finalized a package of deals with Turkey to build multi-billion-dollar pipelines to ship its oil and gas to world markets, sources involved in the negotiations told Reuters last week.

  63. Bibijon says:

    From http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2344985&language=en

    The Arab diplomat further remarked that Amano thus joins Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US officials in saying a deal is possible between Iran and both the IAEA and the 5+1 group. Though working on different tracks, the two blocs demand Iran provide guarantees its nuclear program solely serves peaceful purposes.

  64. M. Ali says:

    Another embarrasment from Zarif & Co:

    Iran: No Need for West to Declare Uranium ‘Right’
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-west-declare-uranium-20915914

    “We do see right of enrichment not only nonnegotiable but see no necessary for its recognition as a right,” Zarif was quoted as saying. “This is an inseparable right and all countries should respect it.”

    All of Iran’s current government efforts should have been in internal affairs. We’re already living with the sanctions. I talk to local production companies, and all of them talk about how their sales have gone up since the sanctions, because foreign goods are becoming less accessible, making local goods much better to consumers.

  65. Bibijon says:

    M. Ali says:
    November 18, 2013 at 5:38 am

    “All of Iran’s current government efforts should have been in internal affairs.”

    It has been the policy of IRI to be engaged with the rest of the world from day one of her inception. Isolationism can create a breeding ground for adverse trends in the region and beyond for IRI.

    It seems to me that Iran is in no particular hurry to have sanctions lifted. I keep hearing that a comprehensive settlement is at least a one year out. In that sense domestic industries would have had plenty time to penetrate the market, and with due attention to R&D they would not need the artificial life-support of international trade restrictions.

    As for “rights,” I agree with Zarif. See my note to fyi.

  66. A concerned world citizen says:

    What we’re witnessing is a slow-motion capitulation of Iran, headed by Zarif and the “moderate”, Ruhani.

    I really fail to see what’s in this deal for Iran, it what I’ve been reading on that subject is correct.

    I won’t hold my breathe.

  67. Bibijon says:

    170 vs 19,000
    ============

    One could look at $170 billion in estimated losses to Iran’s economy as what brought Iran to the negotiating table, and get really depressed. That for every dollar lost to Iran, there’s also money lost to the used-to-be trading partner doesn’t make the unhappiness go away.

    However, for a dose of anti-depressant, consider what has made negotiation’s possible is the the 170 figure, but the 19,000 figure, the number of centrifuges. The centrifuges are the visible tip of an iceberg of industrial/technological/management capacity. Once that capacity has been established, then as they say, “even the perception that Iran might be weaponizing” is not to Iran’s favor.

    There will be hard bargaining, yes. But, not capitulation, not by a long chalk.

  68. Karl.. says:

    Here we go again..
    Reading the news that MEK have “evidence” of a new site where Iran build nukes.

  69. M. Ali says:

    Bibijon, I think engagement is good, but I’m not very comfortable with engagement being about “please lift sanctions”. We should build stronger relationships with our neighbours. There is a lot of business opportunities in transforming Iran into a logistic hub, and allow it to be used to transfer goods into our many developing neighbours. We need a better customs development between the bordering countries to faciliate business.

    In regards to certain poster’s 170 billion losses, its not an actual loss. How are they calculated ? An actual loss would be if we sold oil at total of 330 billion, and realized that our cost for drilling and exporting this oil was 500 billion, then that would be 170 billion loss.

    Usually, this “loss” is related to due to oil that was sold less. However, we have not made any actual loss, because we own the asset that could have been sold.

    Imagine I have a property that is valued at 100,000 dollars. I want to sell it in February, and it is not bought. Have I made a loss of 100,000 dollars? I still own it.

    If Apple makes a revenue of 50 billion in 2011, and then 40 billion in 2012, no one reports that Apple made a 10 billion loss in 2012, but thats EXACTLY how it is reported when it comes to Iran.

  70. fyi says:

    Bibijon says:

    November 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

    This is Dr. Pollack’s ideal deal – which is why the discussions this week will fail if Axis Powers, Russia and China are demanding that type of deal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-iran-nuclear-deal-doesnt-have-to-be-perfect–just-better-than-the-alternatives/2013/11/15/2b8d1292-4c85-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

  71. fyi says:

    All:

    For the past 2 generations, 40 years, there has been low level campaign of death against the Shia in Pakistan.

    It jumps from place to place, from Pachenar to Karachi to Quetta. Yesterday some poor villagers are murdered, the day before that the Shia Doctors, and now the refugees.

    This campaign is almost certainly supported by the Pakistani state.

    The 19,000 centrifuges quite comfortably makes Iran nuclear-weapon threshold state.

    Axis Powers, and Russia and China want to remove this capacity.

    Axis Powers would then follow any such deal – like Libya – with a campaign of regime destruction; perhaps through Pakistan; repeating the Syrian scenario.

    The Shia Fortress cannot afford any deals with P5+1 that threaten state security and religious security of Shia everywhere.

    As my Lebanese neighbor told me in 1983 – “Khomeini saved us.”

    This is what awaits the weak and the powerless:

    www loveme com/tour/philippine-girls/philippine-girls.html

  72. Rehmat says:

    fy1 – For your Bigot Eyes….

    The very Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia.

    Shias population in Pakistan is between 18-22% of total population of 145 million. They’re are NOT declared a non-Muslim minority like the Israel-loving Ahmedia sect.

    Shias are represented in every civilian, political, military, business and judicial field. Shias, in Pakista, has the same legal rights (honor or punishment) as the Sunni majority – and Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Parsi or Jewish minorities.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/08/13/christian-minority-persecuted-in-pakistan/

  73. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    November 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Who has been murdering Shia for the past 40 years?

    Who was murdering the Shia in Pachenar, the Shia physicians in Karachi?

    Who is responsible?

    “Even the paranoid have enemies…”

  74. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What complete nonsense, to believe possession of nearly 20,000 centrifuges makes Iran safer. Preposterous on its face.

  75. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The primary threat emanating from Pakistan, for Iran, probably is simply that the country has tens of millions too many people.

    Iran needs economic development in Pakistan, fostered in part by Iran itself. This in teurn means Iran needs a deal with P5+1.

  76. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    What element of “loss” to the Iranian economy and nation, do you attribute to the lack of investment funds, due to sharply diminished oil exports? The very considerable influence of a number of Gulf countries, stems from enormous financial power. Which Iran lacks.

    Regarding your house analogy, if someone had a house in 2005 and could have sold it for $300,000, but now the house is only worth $100,000, there is indeed a loss. (Ignoring the inconvenience and cost of moving to a different house, etc etc)

  77. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Not at all – this way Iran is 2 months away from enriching enough uranium for building nuclear bombs.

  78. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    My guess is that John Cleese sees the emergency faced by Britain in Kenya, during the Mau-Mau uprising. You have not suggested what measures you think should have been taken to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of black civilians.

  79. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Rouhani’s spokesman in the Iranian parliament said that $600 billion had been taken out of the Iranian economy over the past two years, due to sanctions. Do I assume you think Rouhani’s figure is accurate?

  80. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think more and more Americans see the nonsense, from George W. Bush. That the enemies of Israel are enemies of the US. The moron was played by neocon warmongers.

  81. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Mr. Obama has continued that policy.

    Iran remains in the cross-hairs.

  82. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Do you have an adequate understanding of the permanent damage oilfields can sustain, when oil wells are not maintained?

  83. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I assume you are aware Obama has prevented the Saudis (and other Gulf Arabs) from supplying many of the heavy weapons sought by the insurgents in Syria.

  84. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I assume you are aware of the heavy weapons that you are alluding too were too heavy to transport to Syria and the anti-government forces were incapable of operating them or sustaining them.

    Mr. Obama did not prevent anything …

  85. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama very easily could have allowed or enabled the heavy weapons to get to Syria.
    CIA did not want those weapons to fall into the hands of al-Qaeda.

  86. Rehmat says:

    fyi says: “Jews murdering Jews in Israel”.

    http://www.inminds.co.uk/jews-of-iraq.html

  87. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    So you admit:

    “The primary threat emanating from Pakistan, for Iran, probably …”

    There is a threat from a nuclear-armed state to Iran.

    What the cause is, I do not think matters.

    Again, Iran should have left NPT in 1998.

  88. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Heavy weapons:

    Tanks, self-propelled artillery, etc.

    The rebels could never sustain them – they lack a Quartermaster Corps.

    Obama did nothing because he could do nothing…

  89. Smith says:

    Rehmat says:
    November 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Qaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an Ismalili Shia. I doubt, Iranians would consider him a Shia. Though in media, specially anti-shia, he is portrayed as such. Similar to how Assad is now being portrayed as a Shia, despite the fact that technically Allawites are actually an offshoot of sofi sunni Islam and not a branch of Shias.

    By the way “Qaid Azam” is called “Kafer Azam” in Pakistan for the same reason that he was not a sunni.

    Pakistan’s population is 190 million.

    Pakistan is nuclear armed and is being increasingly infiltrated by salafis.

    It is only a matter of time before Shias will be declared as an official non-muslim “minority” there.

    In other news, Iran is getting entangled with another nuclear armed nation: http://tribune.com.pk/story/633260/protesters-in-balochistan-demonstrate-against-border-violation-by-iran/

    Not only that Iran has no influence over Pakistan to protect its shia population but also Iran is itself in danger of nuclear annihilation. And if ever a salafi leader of Pakistan nukes Iran, rest assured that no body in the world would even take notice since Iran has been demonized and caricatured to the pint of no return. In Pakistan might get alot of economic aid in return for nuking Iran. And no, Iran does not have any tool at its disposal to deter such a scenario.

  90. James Canning says:

    A French perspective on nuclear talks, urging more attention to French business opportunities in Iran:

    http://www.lobelog.com/lessons-from-geneva/#more-21930

  91. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Pakistan’s military focus on India. India. India. Zero chance of intentional nulcear attack on Iran. (“Loose nukes”, originating in Pakistan, are the real potential danger to entire ME)

  92. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,

    You’re a liar, dishonest and an old racist imperialist.

    Let me explain.

    As you know very well Kenya was a colonial settler project by the British because of its fertile agricultural lands.

    Settlers who would still effen be there today had it not been for the uprising even though it was initially unsuccessful.

    British colonial settlers stole the land and when after decades the locals rose up to justly, rightfully and yes violently take back what was violently taken from them, the British fought an “insurgency” which included “black” troops loyal to the British.

    This is your “black on black” violence. Completely directed by and for the benefit of the British colonial project.

    Within this, Ian Henderson and others set up concentration camps to fight the people who are fighting for the liberation of their own country.

    Now that fools like you would believe the propaganda that it was to “protect”the Kikuyu who were allied with Britain is not surprising.

    What is surprising is that you would repeat these lies 50 years later in an international forum and be surprised to be called a racist, imperialist, liar and old fool.

    My dear James you deserve every insult thrown at you.

    Like I advised you before, just shut up about anything to do with torture, Ian Henderson, imperialism, Bahrain, Saudi, northern Ireland because we have all heard the British govt lies on these matters for decades and we don’t believe a god-damn word of it. Do you understand?

    Nor is it your duty to repeat these lies here for any reason- unless of course you are getting paid to do so, which is probable.

    Watch an old James Bond movie and feel good in the nostalgia cause the present looks grim for UK- domestically and internationally.

    And don’t forget the best Bond is a Scottish nationalist. “Hello Moneypenny…”

    Domestically- poverty and bankruptcy like never before even John Major is grumbling about it.

    Internationally- US poodle on the one hand, paid pleasure boy for the Bedouins on the other hand.

    I really don’t know what you are doing wasting your time on this forum.

  93. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The British made clear after the Second World War, that they would pull out of Kenya. Mau-Mau uprising delayed Kenyan independence.

    Marauding gangs of armed blacks slaughtered tens of thousands of black civilians. You do your best to keep this fact out of sight.

  94. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Closet-case,

    It would be so nice if you didn’t talk out of your ass so much, really.

    The truth is that you have no real clue about what Iran can and can’t do vis-a-vis Pakistan, right?

    I mean maybe you are the former Iranian ambassador in Pakistan (Abu Sharif is that you?) or maybe you were an army or sepah commander in Sis and Bal or maybe you are a case officer in charge of South Asia including Pakistan in intel min, maybe, maybe, maybe.

    Probably you are none of these, probably sitting alone in your room frustrated that nobody has discovered your genius.

    Like I told you, get some real world experience, get laid- preferably with your permanent wife- otherwise a little temporary marriage will do to relieve the pressure, don’t talk out of your ass in complete opposition of what your vali is saying (you know nuclear bombs and all) and choose your idols wisely (i.e. not gooz-pich).

    I recommend you take a “sabbatical” from stating your opinions in public fora and work on yourself for a few months.

    Remember: get married, get a job, have some “genius” kids, in that order, then comment on whatever you want in public.

    That is of course if you’re not an agent provocateur, right genius?

  95. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    During Mau-Mau uprising, blacks killed about one thousand other blacks, for every white. This was Britain’s fault, in your view?

  96. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You have a tendency to post rubbish on this site, from time to time. Clearly, you dislike being called on it.

  97. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Mau Mau rebellion started in 1952 SEVEN years after WWII.

    British imperialism “delayed” Kenyan independence.

    “British Promise” = “Bullshit”. Never forget that.

    Stop lying and spinning you imperialist Alistair Campbell.

  98. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Yes it was Britain’s fault.

  99. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    The only one posting rubbish is you and nearly everyone has at least once called you on it.

  100. fyi says:

    All:

    This is from a US analyst – articulating the consolidated P5+1 position:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/11/14/iran-nuclear-deal-uranium-us-column/3543441/

    This basically means the reduction of nuclear industry in Iran to the status of toys.

    This deal is being presented as the P5+1 offer, per Mr. Putin’s telephone call to Mr. Rouhani, pitching it.

    Mr. Rouhani has demurred.

    There will be no deal in Geneva – that possibility was killed 2 weeks ago.

  101. Karl.. says:

    While a deal is possible, Rouhani warns west about new demands.
    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/11/18/335326/excessive-demands-hamper-talks-iran/

    Meanwhile Netanyahu today said Iran threat Germany. Hopefully germans dont buy that lie.

  102. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    November 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    The P5+1 are not budging from their position presented to Iran late in the game 2 weeks ago.

    Mr. Putin was trying to persuade Iran to accept that deal.

    Mr. Rouhani declined.

    Unless P5+1 alter their position, this round of talks evidently have died.

    Better luck 2 years from now.

  103. Bibijon says:

    Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit
    ======================

    Check this out.

    From http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/LIVE-French-President-Hollande-addresses-the-Knesset-332133

    Hollande received applause from nearly all MKs in the plenum when he said “France will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

    —–

    Yes, the deeply unpopular president of that western country who is directly responsible for introducing Dimona, the nuclear weapons factory, to the Middle East said that.

  104. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Classic imperialist nonsense by hollande, “we can have nukes, our allies can have nukes but god forbid those dirty moosleems having this weapons!”

  105. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Your are simply wrong. By 1950, which is “after the Second World War”, the British settlers in Kenya knew Britain would pull out and they could not prevent this from happening. Mau-Mau rebellion delayed the British departure from Kenya.

  106. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    When the Second World War erupted, Britain made clear it would grant independence to India after the war. And Britain did so. This is “bullsh*t”, in your view?

  107. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    France might back the effort to pressure Israel to get rid of its nukes, if a deal between Iran and P5+1 is achieved, etc etc.

  108. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As M. Ali pointed out above:

    Iran: No Need for West to Declare Uranium ‘Right’
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-west-declare-uranium-20915914

    This is not a smart move on Iran’s part. If they think it is worth dumping the enrichment demand just to get a short-term deal, they’re mistaken. Essentially they’re doing what Eric Brill used to suggest: commit to the Additional Protocol (and more) without getting anything in return. And getting the right to enrich in writing is what I always said was their last bargaining chip. If they give that up, they’ve played into the hands of the US elites.

    The IAEA is totally compromised. Once Iran is under the AP, the IAEA will find all kinds of things they can complain about and essentially accuse Iran of having a nuclear weapons program by just spinning this things to make them sound worse than they are – just as they have been doing all along. This will enable Israel and the US to continue to bluster about a “nuclear weapons program” even as the IAEA reports really demonstrate nothing of the kind – just as it has been doing all along.

    So nothing will change but to enable the US to put spies in Iran’s military and energy program – just as UNSCOM did to Iraq.

    This is a huge blunder on Iran’s part. And for what – to stave off an Israeli attack that could still occur at any time? To get relief from a tiny part of the US sanctions?

  109. Richard Steven Hack says:

    However, according to this report…

    Iran says next round of nuclear talks ‘difficult’
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4454554,00.html

    “Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also reiterated Tehran’s insistence on its right to enrich uranium. “All parties should respect Iran’s right to enrichment and refrain from ignoring its right,” ISNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying. “Uranium enrichment is an integral part of Iran’s rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he said.”

    So which is it, Zarif? Make up your mind!

  110. Jay says:

    Forgive the inappropriate language…. These two words, “shit happens!” carry a lot of cultural context!

    For one, the statement carries with it the notion that one can do things without accepting responsibility – there is no subject that makes it “happen”.

    For another, there is an air of “get used to it!” in the construct! Which is fine, as long as “it” is happening to “others”.

    The West’s mantra of “shit happens”, somewhat casually represented by James, is the reason why no respite from deep antagonism is in sight.

  111. Don Bacon says:

    Iran has a fundamental inalienable right to a nuclear program, all aspects. The NPT only removes Iran’s right to divert uranium to a weapons program. The NPT with this one obligation doesn’t affect any other of Iran’s fundamental inalienable rights. A fundamental sovereign right doesn’t have to be declared by anyone.

    I believe that those are Zarif’s positions, and they are compatible.

  112. Avg American says:

    Some of the best contributions to this particular article thread were the commentaries posted between nico and fiorangela. The insightful reading of your posts were well appreciate sand interesting. I just want to add that the doings and dealings of the US government are hegemonic. How this has come about has been answered by the very intellectual comments of the two of you together. Essentially, the US economy as Nico continually points out is a “zombie” economy that may die now or several years from now but is currently operational. The American people which include a government full of its people did this- people that are influenced and brainwashed to a large degree by various lobbyist groups including AIPAC that do not have an interest for the American people but their own ulterior motives rather at heart. One gains an appreciation of this fact (it becomes obvious) when reading about particular people (dick Cheney was used previously) and how they became who they are which transmits into why people do what they do. It is important to understand the individual figures in the US government because that affords an appreciation as to what and who they really are. It’s easier to understand where someone is coming from when one understand the person. The idea that the US economy is in meltdown – slow or fast – is logically true. For whatever reason… But the signs point to it. The products of the hippie generation have produced some one of a kind winners… That will inherent the American future they deserve – hideous.
    With regards to health care , Obama had no choice in this economy – it remains to be seen if healthcare spending will be reduced as a result in the long term. One thing is for sure, the system is run like a business like everything g else in this country – a poorly run business that is controlled by ignorant and arrogant elite administrators that really do not have the knowledge but sure have the mouth and attitude to run things… Hmm sounds like American style governing to me. I’m not hopeful for this place at all…..

  113. A concerned world citizen says:

    Before the talks begin, the Saudis and their Israeli allies have sent a message to Iran in Lebanon..

    A car bomb near the Iranian embassy’s killed the cultural attache..Ruhani still thinks this issue can be resolve through negotiations.Dream on!!!

  114. Fiorangela says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgyZ2mzmGPA

    Naftali Bennet — “Israel will protect itself, it always has; it has never asked for help from anyone. …”

    –except for that little dust-up in 1973 when the US bailed out Israel and OPEC retaliated, plunging the West into oil shock crisis.

    Investors Business Daily: “…Islamofascist fanatics in Tehran … not being asked to give up anything …”

  115. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,

    Believe what you want to avoid taking responsibility for the crimes committed by your nation.

    Nobody else is buying it.

  116. nico says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    November 19, 2013 at 5:15 am
    “Before the talks begin, the Saudis and their Israeli allies have sent a message to Iran in Lebanon..A car bomb near the Iranian embassy’s killed the cultural attache..Ruhani still thinks this issue can be resolve through negotiations.Dream on!!!”

    Makez no mistake cultural attache is the typical cold war coded language for local spy chief.

    It seems to be the follow up of the syrian crisis with tye bombing of Banadar last year and assassination attempt against Solemaini as well.

    Is it related to the nuclear talks ?
    Sure, but indirectly.
    It should be seen in the wider context of the Syrian crisis for control of the region and tye struggle between the reactionary countries and the shia crescent

  117. Karl.. says:

    nico

    So its ok to kill him if he were a spy?

    Iran denies he was killed but we have to wait and see.

  118. Bibijon says:

    When broke, does it help to go for broke?
    =======================================

    A couple of years or so ago one of the Saudi princes opined in the NY Times that the Kingdom was going to go her own way if US would not adjust her Arab Spring policies to Saudi’s liking. Recently, KSA refused to take a long-hankered-for UNSC seat. I.e. the Kingdom refused to sit next to US and help legitimize US ME policies.

    Back in 2007, Sarkozy ribbited in front of Congress that France was going to go her own way. A couple of weeks ago, France scuttled a P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran. And went cozying up to Israel.

    And, last but not least, Israel’s Netanyahu has been pissing all over Obama ever since the first black president was initially elected principally because of what he foresaw as Obama’s peaceful inclinations towards Iran.

    This openly brazen defiance of their benefactor by the three amigos, considering the disparity of power, influence, and prestige, is the definition of going for broke. And, more likely than not, it is a strong indication of all three being ideologically, socially, economically, and politically bankrupt. The consequences of their actions do not matter to them. They feel so cornered, so short of time, so lacking resources, and so bereft of alternatives that they do and will continue doing what they got to do. They want a cataclysmic war with Iran. Unless they get their war, they seem to have calculated they’ll be finished.

    The 3 amigos behavior might prove their calculations correct. Whether or not there’s a war with Iran, I see a long-lasting chill between the amigos and the Anglos.

    The interesting part is that the 3 amigos’ friends in the US are also going for broke. The Congress of the US is siding with foreign countries and is going directly against the US’ national security establishment’s considered opinion vis-a-vis Iran.

    I cannot wait till sometime next year to see how all this will be settled.

  119. James Canning says:

    A leader in today’s Financial Times once again calls for the P5+1 to accept Iranian enrichment to low levels. To enable a deal to be made.

  120. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times reports today that Saudi oil exports are nearly 8 million barrels per day. Eight times those of Iran.

  121. fyi says:

    Bibijon says:

    November 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Some of this is just posturing; the Barons and the Satraps have no place else to go but the Court of the (Mad) King.

    As for “US’ national security establishment’s considered opinion vis-a-vis Iran” there is no such establishment and no such “considered opinion” that favors rapprochement with Iran.

    On the contrary, the destruction of the Islamic Republic – by force if necessary – remains the paramount aim of the “US’ national security establishment”.

    Axis Powers have been waging a 7-year economic war against Iran – with various levels of compliance and comport from Russia, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, Japan and others.

    Each year, all these states expected Iranians to collapse and give up ghost – so to speak.

    The antagonists against Iran lost much more than they had expected (something that Mr. Larijani had warned about) due to the collapse of finance-based economy in 2011.

    But they are still not ready to revise their approach to Iran – their estimation is that Iranians will roll over and die in Geneva.

    That will not happen and the hot war in Syria and the economic war against Iran will continue.

    Since the opportunity for a deal was eviscerated by P5+1, I do not expect any movement until after Mr. Obama leaves office.

    “Don’t build Arak and fuel it because then we cannot bomb it with impunity” and “Close Fordow since it is too much trouble for us to destroy it” are the negotiating positions of mad men – of which there are evidently plenty in the Halls of the Mad King.

    You cannot negotiate with cunningly mad men.

  122. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You need to be more specific. Apparently you are arguing that Britain committed “crimes”, in suppressing the murderous Mau-Mau insurrection in Kenya. But you decline to state what measures should have been employed to stop marauding blakcs from slaughtering large numbers of other blacks. Instead, you argue Britain should never have been in Kenya in the first place.

  123. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely Obama is a member of the “national security establishment” of the US. And surely Obama is not seeking the destruction of the Iranian government.

  124. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Explain the economic benefit of Arak, if it were to become operational. Is it worth losing all oil exports?

  125. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Naftali Bennet wants to continue growing the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank. Iranian nuclear dispute is useful in this regard.

  126. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Explain the economic benefits of UK’s trident submarine fleet and I will explain those of Arak’s.

  127. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    You live in a dream world if you hold such an opinion – Mr. Obama’s hand was revealed post the events of 08/21/2013.

    There is no going back on that.

  128. Karl.. says:

    Another proof Obama have no idea what peace means.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/another-state-negotiating.html

  129. Fiorangela says:

    Iranian Neurologist Professor Majid Samii Wins Leibniz Ring Prize

    By Beatriz Barragan, Press TV, Hanover

    http://www.payvand.com/news/13/nov/1131.html#.UorSb42YNjA.facebook

    “PressTV talked to Iranian Vice Minister of Health about this year’s prize winner. Prof. Samii is renowned worldwide for his life trajectory and specially for his work in the Project Africa 100. Investing in educating African neuroscientists in order to give these physicians incentives to stay in their home countries. This long lasting bridge building is based on knowledge transfer between professionals on different continents. Prof. Samii has also made partnerships with neurologists in Iran. …”

  130. Bibijon says:

    This is Java Zarif, and this is Iran’s message:
    =========================================

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqiXWLH0msM

  131. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are just a bit delusional about Aug. 21 CW event in Syria. In fact, it led to deal to get rid of Syrian CW and avoid a US attack. Obviously, this was a good thing.

    Obama did not want to get dragged into Syrian civil war. He easily could have been dragged into that war.

  132. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where we may agree, is that if Iran fails to make a deal of any sort with P5+1, and Iran then reacts to a blockade by attacking ships or whatever in the PG, “all bets could be off”, as one Financial Times commentator put it. Iran in effect could force Obama to seek regime change.

  133. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You linked interesting piece re: Aipac lobbyist joining the American team overseeing Israel/Palestine talks.

    Could this be related to effort by Obama to dampen the objections of Israel, to any deal with Iran?

  134. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    “…Obama to seek regime change…”

    This is a certainty.

    Yawn….

  135. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Wrong. I said Iran could in effect force Obama to seek regime change in Iran.

    Don’t misquote me.

  136. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Not at all – regime destruction in Iran remains the goal of the mad King; there is no longer any doubt in my mind about that.

    I fully agree with Mr. Richard Steven Hack.

    I think that Axis Powers have not yet found the convenient time to affect it – certainly early in 2012 Mr. Obama’s posture was leading to an war in the Persian Gulf.

    At that time, I surmise, some saner faction in the Court of the Mad King prevailed and stopped the imminent war in the Spring of 2012.

    In late August of 2013, that sane faction was not able to exert influence top prevent another senseless and endless war – this time in Syria.

    It was left to the peasants who revolted – across the political spectrum – in the English baronetcy – followed by the deft diplomacy of the Tsar – to stop the war.

    In case of Iran, and for as long as madness obtains in the Court of the King, one should/must/have to assume that war against her will waged by US – not “could” – in not too distant future.

    There is no longer any doubt on that – except perhaps in the mind of an Englishman too beholden too the views of the Arabs of the Persian Gulf.

  137. Smith says:

    The foreign minister of Iran, falls to the ground, kneels and begs the white men to accept Iranians as human beings or at least cattle with dignity having the right to live on planet earth.

    He almost weeps.

    Then he begs again.

    Watch it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqiXWLH0msM

    As I and other have said, times and again, the white man and his house slaves will never accept Iranians as humans. Until and unless Iran does not become nuclear armed.

    .

  138. Smith says:

    Roohani telephones Chinese president and asks him to help Iran against the “greed” of white man: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920828001648

    Roohani is so desperate.

    China will do nothing for Iran.

    Only Iran is able to help Iran. Roll up your long sleeves and start building nuclear weapons like there was no tomorrow.

    The white man has decided to attack Iran. Not much time is left to waste.

  139. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I think Mr. Putin, Mr. Cameron, and Mr. Xi have all called Mr. Rouhani in order to persuade him to accept the P5+1 deal that Iran rejected the week before the last.

    In every case, Mr. Rouhani stated that Iran will not accept that deal.

    It is now up to P5+1.

    For Axis Powers, the question is if they want a nuclear-armed Iran after the US-Iran War which would be their sworn enemy for generations to come or just a hostile nuclear-capable Iran.

    Their call.

  140. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Financial Times today noted that both sides have to reach an agreement that passes muster from hardliners trying to block a deal, or deeply sceptical about a deal.

    What is economic value of Arak, if completed?

  141. Karl.. says:

    Yes, What we will see tommorow is how Iran rejected such a “good” deal, that would lead to more UN sanctions. A win only for Israel.

  142. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    There was a considerable degree of opposition, within the American intelligence community, to a US attack on Syria based on the intel available at that time. Philip Giraldi posted a piece on this, at the American Conservative (amconmag.com).

  143. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Some Gulf Arabs are trying to block any deal between P5+1 and Iran. And some of them are angry with Obama for not helping them overthrow the government of Syria. But you of course know this.

  144. Bibijon says:

    Smith says:
    November 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Zarif, an Iranian, is standing tall, speaking human truths, and making sense. He did not beg for anything. He invited the world to respect all peoples’ sense of dignity, and he warned that nothing can be “imposed” on others.

    That video will be seen all over the planet. His demeanor will be compared to your idol, Netanyahu, and it will serve to elevate Iran’s prestige at the same time as the contrast will put Netanyahu in sharp relief. No wonder you’re trying to twist the message.

    It is a pleasure to see you fail.

  145. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    As I asked before: “What is the economic value of the trident submarines to UK?”

  146. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I do not care if they are angry.

  147. Don Bacon says:

    Ebrahim Ansari, Iran’s cultural attaché who was hospitalized in Beirut al-Rasoul al-Azam hospital, died of wounds inflicted by the terrorist attack.

    Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group took the responsibility for the blasts. Azzam Brigades has been active in terrorism in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and is a US-designated terrorist group.

  148. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you arguing that Arak is a part of Iran’s nuclear deterrent? You compared it to Trident submarines.

  149. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, the fact some Gulf Arabs are angry Obama refuses to attack Syria, is something that is not cause for a change of stance by Obama. (If that is the meaning of your post, that you “do not care” if some Gulf Arabs are angry.)

  150. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    The strategic situation is this:

    Shia Crescent consolidating under a situation of war against it.

    The Axis Powers have designated enemies of Israel – states and religions – as their enemies.

    Thus not only Iran is their designated enemy, but Shia religion itself – their preference is for Sunni extremists to wound the Shia and destroy the Shia Crescent.

    There is no functioning state from Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea except Islamic Iran.

    There is no counterweight to Iran to neutralize her after the economic war and the war in Syria failed to do so.

    Pakistan is emerging as a security threat to Iran.

    US will not get SOFA in Afghanistan.

    Iranians have publicly stated that they have thousands of precision rockets with various ranges, ready to be fired [not a boast in my judgment.]

    The Syrian refugees have become a threat to social stability in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

    Turkey has gone as far as she could be pushed in wounding Iran.

    So:

    Here is the tactical question for P5+1:

    Do they want a deal with Iran or no deal with a nuclear-armed Iran?

  151. James Canning says:

    Hezbollah supports a negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear dispute, and hopes it gets through this week.

  152. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    It appears the P5+1 do want a deal with Iran, so long as that deal prevents a rapid “breakout”. Such a deal to me is obviously in Iran’s best interests.

  153. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I am arguing that the nuclear file in Iran is tied to state survival – economic costs – such as you bring up – are irrelevant.

    Specifically about Arak – no promises to Iran have been ever honored; Iran needs to develop skills in desiging and building reactors fueled with natural uranium.

    That is because no nuclear technology will ever be transferred to Iran from anyone – she is on her own.

    Arak costs must be understood as essential and inevitable initial R&D costs of any new undertaking.

    And converting it to a light-water reactor is a non-starter.

    Who would supply it, Russia?

    I think not.

    South Korea, or EU?

    Never.

    And then who would supply it with fuel?

    That Arak has been made into an issue is clear vindication of Mr. Khamenei’s observation that the more conciliatory Iran is, the more belligerent P5+1 have become (or Axis Powers).

    Let us be very clear here:

    Iran and her allies – the Shia Crescent – are in a state of war with the Axis Powers.

    Blood has been shed.

    20 million people have been pushed into poverty and another 6 million turned into refugees (inside and outside of Syria).

    US attack on Iran, though not imminent, remains in the cards.

    Iran has to be prepared to defend herself with all mean necessary – I should think.

    Axis Powers and Iran can never go back to the status quo ante of 2002, or 2007.

    That world is dead.

    As for the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, I care not one whit about them.

  154. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    In the light of what I have written in my previous post, I think the key word “rapid” will break any deal.

    Iran is within two months of enriching enough uranium to build a weapon.

    Axis Powers and Russia want to increase that 2 years.

    That is, they want Iran to destroy her enrichment capacity to a laboratory toy scale.

    If that is their position, then they should start sending their warship to Persian Gulf now and be ready for Iran pulling out of NPT.

    I want again to be very clear with you:

    Axis Powers war against Iran – in reality Americans bombing Iran – will last more than 4 years and kill in excess of 200,000 Iranians during that time – I expect.

    It will not destroy Iranian state but it will deeply wound it.

    A 10 kiloton nuclear attack against Tehran will kill twice as many.

    Israel and Pakistan and India and Russia all have such weapons.

    This is the terrible calculus of death that any Iranian leader has to face.

    P5+1 demands Iran to act in an imprudent manner for her survival – as well survival of allied countries and states.

    Well, that is not going to happen.

    P5+1 have a single choice:

    Nuclear-Armed Iran or Threshold-nuclear weapons Iran.

    Their call.

  155. Karl.. says:

    Read somehwere that flights could start between Iran US “soon” I think this is too “soon”, first Iran must get assurances etc that US wont try regime change in Iran. Otherwhise open the door for american flights spell trouble at this stage.

  156. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    There is next to no risk for Iran, of nuclear attack from any country. Biggest potential problem in that regard is “loose nukes” from Pakistan, getting into hands of terrorists.

    Your demand that Iran be allowed to get very close to possession of nukes is a sure formula for failure (of deal with P5+1).

    I would hope hostitlies could avoided or kept to a minimum, in event of failure to make a deal (and ensuing cutoff of Iranian oil exports).

  157. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think your lack of concern for fears on the part of at least some important Gulf Arabs, that Iran will bring war to the Gulf due to its nuclear programme, is a mistake on your part.

  158. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A strong argument can be made that construction work on Arak is in fact undermining the national security of Iran.

  159. Rehmat says:

    The Zionist regime started the hoax of Syrian chemical weapons being an ‘existential’ threat to the only nuclear power in the region. It forced Obama administration to declare war on Syria to destroy country’s only deterrent against Israel. Now, that the mission has been accomplished, thanks to Putin-Kerry handshake, all three countries which have chemical stockpiles of their own plus destruction facilities, are looking for a fourth country as “sucker” for the storage of Syrian chemicals.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/11/20/usrael-dont-want-syrian-chemical-weapons/

  160. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Again, let us be very clear.

    Almost 8 years ago, if memory serves, Arabs of Southern Persian Gulf were warned that the next time Iran is attacked, they will be attacked as well – as long as they host enemies of Iran.

    This was before the 20% etc.

    [Now, a war that wrecks their infrastructure, causes massive refugee flows etc., I should think; will provide ample business opportunities for US & EU for rebuilding them.]

    Furthermore, the threat of blockade no longer has any value. That is because since 08/21/2013 we all learnt that US aims to militarily attack Iran at the most opportune time.

    Under such circumstances, naval blockade is reduced now to the level of a tactic in a much larger war; which will leave parts of Southern Iran occupied for decades by US forces.

    Iran already is a nuclear-threshold state – accept it or go to war and create a nuclear-armed state.

    Your (P5+1) choice.

  161. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Rubbish.

    A strong case can be made that we owe all of our problems to Mr. Rafsanjani’s strategic errors – among them remaining in NPT after 1998.

    Iran should immediately start building zero-output graphite moderated reactors all over Iran.

  162. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Well, very many people in Iran do not share your confidence.

    Confidence must be based on something concrete.

    In case of Iran we have this:

    Invaded & attacked 3 times – without provocation or cause

    Her government overthrown twice – once by UK the other time by US & UK

    Attacked by WMD – including her cities and soldiers

    P5+1 helped her mortal enemy to the hilt.

    Surrounded by enemies – excepting Christian Armenia

    I believe I have established the baselessness of your claims.

  163. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Well, very many people in Iran do not share your confidence.

    Confidence must be based on something concrete.

    In case of Iran we have this:

    Invaded & attacked 3 times – without provocation or cause

    Her government overthrown twice – once by UK the other time by US & UK

    Attacked by WMD – including her cities and soldiers

    P5+1 helped her mortal enemy to the hilt.

    Surrounded by enemies – excepting Christian Armenia

    All in less than 100 years.

    And she remains in the cross-hair of the United States and her allies.

    I believe I have established the baselessness of your claim.

  164. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Nah, that is just weak-minded Iranians’ eagerness.

    There will be no such thing.

    It is now clear that there will be no deal in Geneva; Mr. Obama stated that there is no certainty, Mr. Zarif said that he “hopes” for an agreement and Mr. Rouhani declined to agree to the P5+1 offer of 2 weeks ago when Mr. Cameron, Mr. Putin, and Mr. Xi called him.

    Paradoxically, the failure tomorrow will leave US and Iran to pursue an informal deal without the encumbrances of the EU3, Russia, and China.

    Although, there are many in the Court of the Mad King that will oppose such a deal too.

    Most likely, there would be an informal deal that US Congress with scuttle next year.

  165. Bibijon says:

    Mad King? Sane subjects
    =======================

    The latest ABC/WaPo poll shows 64% support easing sanctions if Iran ristricts its program, even though only 36% think a deal is a panacea.

    http://www.langerresearch.com/uploads/1155a4Iran.pdf

  166. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    November 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Regrettably there is no useful rational counterargument to ad hoc claims of James Canning.

    Gulf Arab states’ fear of a non-existent weapons and a non-existent weapon program, while at the same time Pakistan, India and Israel in the neighborhood have “actual” nuclear weapons, is one of James’ points of argument.

    Scaling James’ argument to Iran, a country that has been attacked, is being economically attacked at the present, has been threatened with destruction, with means that includes the use of nukes, living in the same neighborhood as the Arab states, …, It seems to me that if any country should be concerned about irrational war mongering aggressive behavior, that country should be Iran and not the Gulf Arab dictatorships.

    And, given the hostility of the US+UK, it should be Iran that is racing to become technologically most capable in order to defend herself in a war certain to come.

    Concern for the fears of the Arab dictatorships is akin to acting on the basis of voices in psychotic’s mind.

  167. Bibijon says:

    p.s. November 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Mad King? Sane subjects
    =======================

    The latest ABC/WaPo poll shows 68% of those who bothered answer the question support easing sanctions if Iran restricts its program, even though only 36% think a deal is a panacea.

    http://www.langerresearch.com/uploads/1155a4Iran.pdf

  168. Don Bacon says:

    @Rehmat

    The CW destruction was a clever play by Assad to get rid of obsolete useless CW stuff, while neutralizing anti-Syria forces from using CW again. PLUS it was a huge diplomatic victory for Assad — no more talk that he must go, and he becomes a player in any resolution. That’s what Syria accepted the deal immediately after Kerry’s faux pas.

  169. M. Ali says:

    The bombing in Beirut should remind people in the middle east that the proxies that the shiekhdoms and the west use to get at Iran, always turn out to be worse for non-Iranians. Out of the dozens dead and hundreds wounded, how many were Iranian, and how many Lebanese?

  170. Karl.. says:

    M ali

    Its mostly directed to shias not Iran but unfortunately I think more attacks against Iran/iranians will be more common, regardless the almost daily attacks against shias is definately a genocide.

  171. Sineva says:

    Jay says:
    November 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm
    Agreed

  172. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    November 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    Agreed
    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm
    You`re asking the wrong question james,The value of arak is not economic it is industrial and technological,in the same way that part of the value of trident and the vanguard submarines is to keep alive the industrial and technological manufacturing abilities on which they are based.Arak is irans first indigenously designed and built reactor and as such has enormous value to irans emerging nuclear industry,it will provide the practical experience that up until now they have lacked or been forced to rely upon others for,for these reasons alone I dont see them giving up arak

  173. Bibijon says:

    August 21st
    ===========

    The Syrian unrest that began on March 15th 2011 was soon hijacked by proxy forces aided and abetted directly (or indirectly through Turkey/Jordan) by FRANCE, BRITAIN, Israel, KSA, and Qatar.

    KSA, and France in particular were doing a Libya, meaning they were at the forefront. US, faced with a complete rupture of her alliances was forced once again to lead from behind. “Assad must go,” or “CW movement and use being a red line” were/are the rhetoric of leading from behind.

    After the August 21st false flag by KSA, the Obama admin had the prerogative to start a war in the dead of night without consulting the congress, or the UN. In other words, lead from the front. The fact is they did not. Kerry’s over the top crocodile tears to justify an “unbelievably small military action” was again nothing but a lackluster attempt at stopping France, KSA, Israel, etc from going completely rogue, and outside the parameters of the alliance.

    All this goes to predict what is happening vis-a-vis Iran. It was the back channel US-Iran communications gaining traction that created the urgency for the anti-Iran coalition to up the ante in Syria. False flags are a very risky option. One has to think why the anti-Iran coalition would take such risks. So now, the anti-Iran coalition’s throwing a fit about a nuclear deal is very much part of the deepening desperation.

    On Iran, the US is leading from the front. It makes all the geostrategic sense in the world to develop a cooperative relationship with Iran. This is even before the anti-Iran coalition showed their dangerous unruliness.

    All of above is to say, while he is welcome to his opinions and/or metaphysical certainties, fyi is in fact reading the situation incorrectly. If a fraction of what fyi says were true, then Syria would have been bombed before the UK “peasants revolted” giving Cameron the excuse of an emergency not to consult Parliament.

    It seems to me that the US has calculated that less animosity with her traditional foes have far greater potential for geostrategic dividends than more effusive affection towards the members and tactics of the anti_Iran coalition. The monies, and efforts, military/diplomatic/economic, etc. lavished on the mid East for the past 50 years are no longer justifiable in terms of realpolitik. Folks should notice that the crucial argument fyi and his coterie make is based on religious/civilizational clash. But, hard data does not support the importance of that as a factor.

    For years, opinion polls consistently show majority of Americans, and even more so, Europeans do not support conflict on any ground.

    The US would like to make the paradigm shift as smoothly as possible with as many old allies on board as possible. UK has wisely decided to side with the US. France will soon follow.

  174. Bibijon says:

    James, Don’t miss “It was not sanctions that brought Iran to the table By Hossein Mousavian in the FT today.

  175. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    November 20, 2013 at 6:35 am

    EU has decided that he Shia are their enemies and the Sunni extremists their friends.

  176. A-B says:

    The ‘Israeli’ PM Nuttiyahu has flown to Russia today (November 20, at the same day the ‘negotiation’ with the gang of P5+1 is resumed in Geneva) unabashedly to “appeal for tougher terms in a nuclear accord with Iran”. One wonders: is there no diplomatic protocol? I mean Western colonialists ‘invite’ themselves to countries they savagely invade, like Afghanistan or Iraq, without getting invitation from the officials. Now this warmongering dog just fly to Russia with clear intention to derail ongoing negotiations! Or maybe he WAS invited by Russia, to send a nice ‘confidence building’ signal to Iran?! Of course, Iran should not be insulted that her counterpart would say “let me confer with the rabid dog before I come back to you.”

    And here we have these ‘leftist’ ‘anti-imperialist’ fanatical ‘anti-non-secularist’ who hail Russia as something with a backbone!! Yes, hooray for ruskies ‘saving’ Syria because they ‘learned’ from their ‘mistake’ with Libya (*sarcasm*)!! Of course, according to Westerners Iran has no say or influence; not now, not ever throughout the history and certainly will not be allowed to have any in future, if the Fascists will have their way, that is.

    There could be some sort of a ‘deal’ (postponement of hot war) since the Western ‘death cultists’ have ‘ritually’ quenched their lust for Iranian blood by the attack on Islamic Republic of Iran’s embassy in Beirut. This is how ‘they’ send ‘messages’. ‘They’ did the same before previous ‘negotiations’.

  177. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says:

    November 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I agree with you.

    Those weapons could not have been used against Israel which is nuclear-armed state.

    They were marginally useful against The Ba’ath state in Iraq when she possessed such weapons but not after 1998 when Iraq was effectively disarmed.

  178. fyi says:

    All:

    On the Alevi in Turkey

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/turkey-erdogan-alevi-strengthen-relations-sectarian-policies.html

    – Tragic events are massacres of Alevi by the Sunni Muslims as recently as 1993.

    Nary a peep out of US, EU and others….

    The German official came to Tehran a few months ago and threatened Iranians with something like the Thirty-Year War in Central Europe.

    That warning should have been issued to Turkey instead.

  179. Bibijon says:

    P.s. August 21st
    ==============

    Without a doubt that date was a watershed moment. The cost of ambiguity, and foot dragging became untenable, forcing disambiguation of US’ Mid East policies.

    Precisely because Obama was being forcefully dragged into a war with Iran, at precisely the wrong time, that Obama had to clarify the policies, and quit hedging.

    On the one hand, there was the anti-Iran coalition whose narrow visions were incompatible with US global interests even if there was a snowball’s chance in hell of them succeeding in their ambitions. On the other hand there was back-channel communications with Iran that seemed way too promising to screw up at behest of the colonialists and Takfiris.

    So, I do agree with fyi. August 21st was an important date.

  180. Rehmat says:

    Two International Marshalls at the so-called “P5+1″ – John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov have joined together against the warmongering Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu and the American Jewish groups have blamed Kerry for being “soft” on Iran and Israel-Palestinian conflict. In reality, Kerry and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius sabotaged the talks for Netanyahu earlier this month.

    The criticism has infuriated Kerry so much that he cancelled his scheduled meeting with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv before attending the meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/11/20/kerry-lavrov-front-against-netanyahu/

  181. James Canning says:

    On another note, Brian Groom in the Financial Times has an interesting report today (“Flurry of activity puts UK back on the map”).

    Quote: “Inflows of investment to the UK in the first half of this year, at $75 billion, were greater than in any country except China, according to data from [OECD].”

  182. James Canning says:

    Hossein Mousavian’s comments in the Financial Times today, regarding P5+1 negotiations with Iran, are well worth reading.

  183. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Aug. 21 is an important date, as noted by FYI mmany times. But the reaqson that date is importaqnt is that it led to deal to get rid of Syrian CW and opened a channel of communication with Iran.

  184. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Yes, great piece by Mousavian in FT today. You are ahead of me on that!

  185. Bibijon says:

    More on that ABC/WaPo poll
    =========================

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2013/11/19/National-Politics/Polling/question_12522.xml?uuid=8koXklFlEeOe5iWACG2CVA

    Q: Thinking now about the situation with Iran, would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?
    Published: November 19

    On a more than 2 to 1 majority both Democrats and Independents support a deal. Republicans support is at 57%, compared to 38% oppose.

    Q: How confident are you that such an agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – very confident, somewhat confident, not so confident or not confident at all?

    the numbers, very confident(4%), somewhat confident(32%), not so confident(27%) or not confident at all(34%) has been netted as “Net Confident=36%”

    But if you interpret “not so confident” as having reasonable amount of confidence, then adding: very confident(4%), somewhat confident(32%), not so confident(27%), you get net confident = 63%

    My reading is that if this poll proves to be reliable, Obama has the public behind him. Clearly going for broke was not a good idea for the anti-Iran coalition.

  186. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The EU does not regard Iraq as an “enemy”. Nor does the US. Even if central government is Shia-controlled.

  187. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Assuming Iran can achieve normal relations with the West, perhaps there would be room for completion and operation of Arak.

    Obviously, there is more economic damage to Iran, from Arak, than any potential benefits, at least at this time.

    I do not think it wise to compare Arak to the Trident nuclear submarines.

  188. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Your certitude that war is to come to Iran is unsound, in my view. If you are suggesting Iran should try to get closer to ability to build nukes quickly, I think this is bad advice for Iranian leaders.

    Iran has not been “threatended ” with nuclear attack on a first-strike basis.

  189. Karl.. says:

    Jay
    November 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Exactly my thought, I cant think of any more threatened state than Iran today.

  190. Don Bacon says:

    This impending nuclear deal apparently won’t have much in it. Basically Iran will retain its nuclear program for six months without Western attacks, with perhaps some minor modifications, and in return will receive some minor concessions. That’s about it. Basically kicking the can down the road.

    But as with some medicines, the side effects will outweigh the direct effects. Iran shouldn’t have to listen to western complaints about how it is a threat to the world, nor that it is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, nor that it is a major violator of human rights. The Fifth Fleet in the Gulf might be down-sized, and the “pivot” to Asia-Pacific in fact implemented.

    Also it looks like there might be new regional political alignments. It could be Israel-France-KSA aligned against US-UK-Turkey-Russia with Iran as a neutral regional party but with other Asian (and possibly European) trade alliances which should increase.

    One wild card is the US Congress and the possibility of a new sanctions bill. Obama has veto power, but the Congress might over-ride because they are so pro-Israel. Would that affect anything? Maybe not. Obama has disregarded enforcing laws before — for example in Obamacare the corporate portion. And as the House bill is written it requires Obama to actually come up with new ways to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero. He could refuse to do it, and the Congress can’t administer.

    All in all, a masterful foreign policy program by Iran and Russia, with the US having no choice but to comply. Beneficial side effects to the medicine! That’s a switch, courtesy of those wily Persian cats.

  191. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Libya may be coming apart at the seams. In very poor shape, sadly. Excellent report on this in today’s Financial Times. And consider poor Syria.

  192. Karl.. says:

    Interesting,
    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/11/20/335761/iran-us-start-bilateral-nuclear-talks/

    But with a racist like sherman I wouldnt expect too much.

  193. humanist says:

    A timely fascinating audio by great Ray McGovern:

    http://scotthorton.org/2013/11/18/111813-ray-mcgovern/

    His assertion of “not trusting Kerry” is somewhat alarming.

  194. Bibijon says:

    Don Bacon says:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I believe you’re right. A new normal will take hold not because of any explicit deals or agreements, but because we will all feel it is the new normal.

    Lots of prominent Americans took money from MEK, and advocated for the cult even though it was designated as an international terrorist organization. Their defense for such a brazen act of felony was “there’s a lot of us.” I can imagine a bunch of movers and shakers similarly cavorting with Iranian officialdom, start commercial dealings, etc and in no time we will have a new normal totally irrespective of whatever laws are on the books.

    And, by magic of time (12 months max), Iran will be deemed as meeting her international obligations under NPT, which makes her current threshold nuclear weapon state a new normal.

    Who says Attention Deficit is a Disorder. If we all have it, it is THE order of things.

  195. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I am not certain which is worse: a) that you do not know that Iran has been threatened with nuclear strike by both the US and Israel, or b) that you perhaps know this and trying to finesse it somehow.

    It goes without saying that threatening a state not in possession of nuclear weapons with a nuclear strike is by definition will be considered “first strike”!

  196. fyi says:

    Bibijon says:

    November 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    You have been consistently wrong in your prognostications and I suspect this time as well.

    Have you heard the latest news: P5+1 are asking Iran to start discussing the text that Iran rejected 2 weeks ago.

    I think Mr. Zarif should fly back to Tehran and let Mr. Araqchi spend as many days as it takes to say “No”.

  197. Bibijon says:

    fyi says:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    To be fair to myself, I think I have been consistently right, but politicians have been too wedded to their old policies.

    Wrong? Right? Here’s advice for an old man. Try ‘different’ and engage on substance.

  198. Rehmat says:

    Jewish “Persian language” expert at Israel’s national daily, YNet, reported on November 20, 2013 that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, on the day of P5+1 meeting in Geneva, called for the ”extinction” of Israel.

    “The Zionist regime is a regime whose pillars are extremely shaky and is doomed to extinction,” reported the Jewish daily.

    Iran’s semi-official news agency, Fars News Agency, however, claimed Khamenei actually said: “Supporting the miserable Zionist regime will be a source of defamation for the Europeans and of course the French nation should find a remedy for it. Anything that is gained with force will not last long and this regime will not last either“.

    Interestingly, both versions don’t mention the word “Israel”. But the BBC’s Jews have claimed Khamenei described “Israel as rabid dog of region“. According to BBC, the French foreign ministry called the comment “unacceptable”. If Khamenei did say that (and many would have agreed with him), where was the Israeli foreign ministry?

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/11/21/khamenei-israel-is-doomed-to-extinction/

  199. James Canning says:

    James Russell has some interesting comments on Aipac’s efforts to block any deal between P5+1 and Iran:

    http:www.lobelog.com/whose-foreign-policy/#more-21924

  200. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Wasn’t the issue (re: text), that Iranian negotiators at Geneva two weeks ago were not authorized to accept such wording?

  201. Fiorangela says:

    We grieve with the people of Iran and of Lebanon over the loss of their people to terror acts in Lebanon. With sympathy and prayers for them and their loved ones .

  202. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Notions of a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran, by the US or by Israel, are simply unsound. Various noises get made, for domestic political reasons. You need to discern what the real programme is or could be.

  203. James Canning says:

    In Istanbul Wednesday, Reuters reports that William Hague told a conference that a nuclear deal with Iran is within reach.

  204. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kaveh Afrasiabi declares, along with Zarif, that Iran doesn’t need to have its enrichment rights formally recognized by the US.

    Fools rush in…

    The end result of this “deal” – IF it happens, which is unlikely – is that Iran gets a hoard of US spies in its country under the guise of “inspectors”, like UNSCOM in Iraq – and gets MAYBE a couple billion dollars repatriated to it. In return for what? Nothing. Their nuclear program gets frozen for six months, they get spies inserted in their country, they get a few bucks – and according to the US official statements, Iran STILL has no right to enrich – which effectively means they have no right to a nuclear energy program at all (which is precisely Israel’s position.)

    The sole reason for this deal is to “kick the can” until Israel and the US can figure out how to get a war started in Syria and Lebanon. Because it remains true that Netanyahu can’t afford to attack Iran while Hizballah has a reported 50,000 rockets in Lebanon and Syria retains its missile arsenal. Putin’s diplomatic coup to have Assad destroy his “chemical weapons” – which, it turns out, never existed except as precursors – derailed the Syria war at the last minute, thus throwing the US/Israel plan for war off course – temporarily.

    But nothing has changed. The goal of Israel is to destroy Iran and the goal of the US elites is to profit by that destruction.

    Any deal reached this week will be meaningless to the overall situation.

  205. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    James,

    what is bemusing about your post is your appeal to what you call discerning “the real programme”.

    Would you suggest the same process of discernment to the US and UK regarding Iran’s programme? How about suggesting real discernment to the Gulf Arab states?

    Why is it that absence of a serious attempt in discerning “the real programme” by these folks and wild accusations carries weight with you? Yet, when open and hostile statements by Presidents and Defense ministers regarding nuking Iran is made your response calls for “discerning the real programme”?

  206. Don Bacon says:

    Apparently my opinion that Iran is doing a terrific job sticking it to its enemies isn’t universally shared, probably because of a poor understanding of national power and the fact that national power consists of many aspects besides military ones.

  207. Fiorangela says:

    Our own dear James Canning exhibits symptoms of Hitler Derangement Syndrome ©

    James Canning says:
    marc b. Surely the Second World War grew out of insane ambition of Hitler to dominate Europe and perhaps the entire planet.”

    The “entire planet,” James?

    Danzig, maybe.

    What was Churchill’s interest in Danzig, by the way, and why did he sign a treaty to defend Poland, thereby instigating the war, but England never came to the defense of Poland? Rather, Churchill cheered on Stalin as he raped Poland in 1939, and raped Poland again in 1945 —>

    And really, James, Hitler’s ambitions were not limited to one stinking planet. You neglected to acknowledge his scheme to round up all of Britain’s stray cats and send them in rockets to the planet (now un-planet) Pluto, there to mate with the indigenous dogs and create a new breed of uberfelicanines.

  208. Don Bacon says:

    Khamenei full speech to Basij, on ‘nucear rights’ (video, translated)

    “We do insist that we will not step back one iota from our rights”

    “We do not intervene in the details of these talks. There are certain red lines and limits. These have to be observed. They [Iran’s nuclear negotiators] are instructed to abide by those limits.”

    “They should not be afraid of what the enemy says.”

    “They [the West] intend to ratchet up the pressure on Iran. Iranians will succumb to no one under pressure.

    “They should know that the Iranian nation respects all nations of the world, but we will slap aggressors in the face in such a way they will never forget it.”

    [French officials at the last round of talks in Geneva were] “not only succumbing to the United States, but they are kneeling before the Israeli regime”.
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/11/khamenei-full-peech-to-basij-on-nucear.html

  209. Fiorangela says:

    Sharmine Narwani:

    “Yes, an agreement over the Iranian nuclear file will help smooth the way, but the new priorities and tentative alliances have already been cast far away from Swiss conference rooms. The verdict? Iran is a necessary partner in the Middle East today. At the next round of talks in Geneva this week – deal or no deal – that reality will define the way forward.”

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2013/11/44739-deal-or-no-deal-irans-stock-keeps-rising/

  210. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: November 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm
    “Iran has not been “threatended ” [sic] with nuclear attack on a first-strike basis.”

    Well James, I am calling BS on this. How soon you forget the Nuclear Posture Review.
    Read’em an weep. Straight from the horse’s mouth (and site):

    “Because North Korea and Iran are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” Gates said on CBS’ Face the Nation, “for them, all bets are off. All options are on the table.”
    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58700

    What part of all bets are off, and all options don’t you get James?

    Oh, and again, please save all the leading questions that this comment generates.

  211. Fiorangela says:

    Prof. Dan Joyner —

    Does Iran Have a Legal Right to Enrich Uranium? YES.

    “[A]ll NPT parties have a right to engage in peaceful uses of nuclear materials. They are simply obligated in Article II not to manufacture a nuclear weapon with those materials, and in Article III to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA to verify that nuclear materials are not diverted from peaceful to military use. . . .

    ” However, the question of the scope of this right is one that continues to be debated. Recently, US officials including Secretary of State John Kerry, have denied that uranium enrichment is included in the Article IV(1) right. However, these statements seem inconsistent with longstanding US practice of recognizing the legitimacy of uranium enrichment programs in many NNWS.

    “The question of just what exactly is the nature and scope of the right recognized in Article IV(1) of the NPT, and what are its juridical implications, raise some very deep issues of international law, and require careful interpretation of the provision. . . .

    “In my view, the recognition by over 190 states parties to the NPT that all states parties have the inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy production, which I interpret to include all elements of the full nuclear fuel cycle including uranium enrichment, strongly suggests that the right to peaceful nuclear energy production is one of the fundamental rights of states in international law. In my view, such a fundamental right of states should be understood to create in third parties, both states and international organizations, a legal obligation to respect those rights.” [emphasis added]

  212. Karl.. says:

    Iran urge respect for their right to enrich in deal.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/11/21/335877/iran-enrichment-right-vital-to-any-deal/

    A non issue. NPT grant these rights! Shameful that west ignore obvious facts.

  213. Jay says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    November 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

    James made this claim initially – that is before I pressed him [Jay says: November 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm].

    He subsequently suggested that the idea was “unsound” [James Canning says: November 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm], and we have to “discern” what “the real programme is” – to which I responded by bewilderment at how we can be so discerning one moment but abandon discernment the next!

  214. Don Bacon says:

    U.S. should be wary of Iran’s goal to dominate the Middle East
    By Joseph Lieberman and Vance Serchuk

    …But the uneasiness of our Middle Eastern allies is also rooted in the recognition that the danger posed by the Iranian regime is about more than its illicit nuclear activities. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is the most alarming manifestation of a much more profound strategic problem: a perceived long-standing hegemonic ambition by Iran’s rulers to dominate the Middle East.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-should-be-wary-of-irans-goal-to-dominate-the-middle-east/2013/11/20/f9f97882-5081-11e3-9fe0-fd2ca728e67c_story.html

    First, they said the Monroe Doctrine was dead.
    Then, they said the Carter Doctrine might be dead.
    The US is running out of doctrines.

  215. Don Bacon says:

    @Karl

    A non issue. NPT grant these rights!

    Iran has a sovereign right to process minerals.
    Treaties don’t grant rights; they are agreements between and among nations.
    In the case of the NPT, by mutual agreement it removed Iran’s right to divert nuclear fuel to a weapons program.

  216. Don Bacon says:

    @fyi

    Interesting how the recent coup in Egypt apparently promoted detente between Turkey and Iran, and Iraq, and possibly Syria.

  217. Fiorangela says:

    US, Israel advocates in cat-fights over US policy toward Iran.

    http www dot politico.com/story/2013/11/united-state-israel-foreign-relations-iran-nuclear-program-100107 dot html#ixzz2lIDMREDM Insults fly in U.S.-Israel showdown

    “A well-regarded Obama foreign policy surrogate with close White House ties, Colin Kahl, and the best-known media voice for pro-Israel forces in Washington, Josh Block, got into a nasty Twitter tangle over the weekend that laid bare how caustic the Iran debate has become between the two staunch allies.

    “As usual, U don’t know what UR talking about & R advocating max alt[ernative] that’ll lead 2 war,” wrote Kahl, a top Pentagon official during Obama’s first term and the co-chairman of the president’s foreign policy board during his 2012 reelection campaign.

    “There you go again – typical vile smear,” replied Block, a former spokesman for the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Hateful notion fm WH that supporters of talks 4 better terms R ‘warmongers’ & urge media,allies 2 smear critics as not acting 4 US interests.”

    “Thanks Mr. Pot. Sincerely, Mr. Kettle,” Kahl countered later.”

    = = =

    I wouldn’t get too excited that Kahl is abandoning the Israel “special relationship.”

    At the NIAC Conference last October, Kahl participated by phone. http://c-spanvideo.org/program/IransNuclearProgram9 clip from ~1:04 to 1:16

    In the Q and A session, an Iranian-American gentleman from the audience said, “Israel is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. How will it be dealt with?”

    Giandomenico Picco(1:04 min): “Israel is no longer the 800 lb. gorilla. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan … Israel used to be the 800 lb. gorilla; things always change …

    Mohsen: Iranian leadership must realize they cannot normalize relations with the US without taking account of close relationship between US domestic politics and Israel.

    Kahl: “I’ve been to Israel 14 times in the last 3 1/2 years … Israel has understandable concerns about Iran … (extended Mexico-US analogy, including, “had an advanced nuclear weapons program up until a decade ago), “and if Mexico’s leaders made statement about wiping America off the map and cutting America like a cancerous tumor out of the North American landscape, y’know we’d be worried about Mexico developing nuclear weapons and we’d be pretty hardline about it. So if you sit from the perspective of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem looking towards Tehran and some of the things that are said, um I think it’s understandable why they’re so worried.

    That said, our policy has to be US policy. We have to take Israel’s concerns incredibly seriously , Obama has said we do take the threat to Israel seriously. But even if Israel wasn’t in the equation, we see Iran’s pursuit of potential nuclear weapons capability as a threat to the vital interests of the United States. …

    Netanyahu has laid down four markers — actually, five —
    1 zero enrichment
    2 zero stockpile of LEU
    3 complete dismantling and closure of Fordo
    4 dismantle IR2M centrifuges
    5 dismantle Arak

    This maximalist position would lead to a diplomatic train wreck. Perhaps Israel is playing bad-cop. … Don’t know if they would stomach a lesser agreement …

    If Israel’s markers are picked up as the litmus test of any Geneva talks, then US Congress could play the spoiler role. … Obama must continue to make the point that we will consult with all our allies including Israel and will not make a bad deal, and also define what a good deal looks like, and the admin. must sell the “good deal.”

    Next Question:
    (at 1:12) “We are all concerned about Israel’s security. However they are not signatory to NPT and Iran has not attacked anyone in 200 years, but in the past 60 years Israel has been the bully in that area, attacking their neighbors; they’re the ones who used chemical weapons in Gaza. Yet we still blindly protect their interests. So the other countries should not have the right to protect against a bully, yet you speak as if they have the only rights … How would you justify that? I understand the politics but …You cannot fool individuals any longer, they see what the reality is. So how do you sell that to the citizens of Iran, or the world, for that matter?”

    Kahl: “I think that the focus on Israeli behavior in the current context is not productive. It’s not productive for anything. It’s not going to change the uh um th- uh um th- th- uh the approach to the negotiations with Iran nor its outcome. So I understand that many people share the audience member’s views, I just think it’s not a helpful way to think about it.

    I also think it distracts from the very real obligations that the Iranians have. Why does Iran have an obligation not to build nuclear weapons? Because they signed the NPT. If they want to pull out of the NPT, they should do it, and make it clear [the audience member who asked the Question is shaking his head from side to side] that they want to leave open the option to pursue nuclear weapons. But they didn’t do that … the Shah signed the NPT … and the IRI has said they plan to abide by it… So, they’re signatories. It’s not about hypocrisy … A lot of international regulations and rules and norms –some are complied with, some are not. But if the argument is that absolute consistency has to be applied in diplomacy, then I would argue that the Questioner has never actually engaged in diplomacy. [audience members are incredulous at this insult].

    In this case Iran is legally obligated not to pursue nuclear weapons.

    The other thing is, there are half-a-dozen UN Security Council resolutions calling out Iran for suspicious nuclear activities. They’ve built covert facilities, they’ve engaged in previous nuclear weapons research, they’ve done a lot of things in their nuclear program which lead folks to be very suspicious about their nuclear ambitions. Uh, and whether they have nuclear weapons ambitions.

    So we shouldn’t use the behavior of others to distract from the very clear obligation that Iran has, both under their treaty commitments and on their UN Security council resolutions.

    So it’s just not helpful to make the focus about Israel.”

    = = =

    I think Kahl is wrong on two major points:

  218. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    We should bear in mind that Joe Lieberman was one of the most aggressive stooges of Aipac in the US Senate. And an ardent advocate for US support of Israel, on virtually unconditional basis. No matter how much damage this does to American national interests.

  219. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,Jay,

    You both clearly fail to comprehend domestic American politics adequately. There is ZERO chance of a first-strike American nuclear attack against ANY country. Noises that seem to suggest otherwise are noises. Generated for domestic political reasons.

    And Israel is not insane, and Israel would not hit Iran with nukes on a first-strike basis. Essentially ZERO chance.

  220. Don Bacon says:

    Obama has set himself up for this, with over five years of saying that Iran is a world threat and there’s no difference between Israel and US positions. He doesn’t understand that there is, or should be, an actual connection between what one says and what one does.

    “If you like your policy you can keep your policy.” Sure, Barry.

  221. James Canning says:

    Sakineh, Jay,

    You fail to comprehend that there are quite a few very very rich Jews, and others, in the US, who insist American officials make noises that in the view of these very rich people, offer “protection” for Israel.

  222. James Canning says:

    Scott McConnell has a great piece today, on neocon effort to block a deal with Iran:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-neocons-join-bibis-anti-iran-diplomacy-wig-out/

    Quote: Lee Smith “essentially accuses Obama of biding his time during his first term in order to challenge ‘American Jewish power’ in his second.”

    Astonishing rubbish by Lee Smith.

  223. Karl.. says:

    Don Bacon

    Exactly, it strikes me what an incompetent president obama is. He could have had a deal more easier in 2008 when he was elected. But no, he kept the warmongering up, more than bush ever did.

  224. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    November 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “Sakineh,Jay,

    You both clearly fail to comprehend domestic American politics adequately. There is ZERO chance of a first-strike American nuclear attack against ANY country. Noises that seem to suggest otherwise are noises. Generated for domestic political reasons.

    And Israel is not insane, and Israel would not hit Iran with nukes on a first-strike basis. ”

    Liar.

    Surely comes from the DNA…

  225. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Jay says: November 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Jay, that was more for the un-initiated whom may be reading the comment section here.
    A lot is thrown out there from various sources without any substance to their arguments.
    Sometimes one just have to set the record straight.
    Some commenters here seem to belong to the Goebbels’ school of if you repeat a lie it becomes true.
    Things like, 20%U.
    Things like, I know better than Iranian leaders, and Iran needs a nuke and she needs now.
    Things like, the man has fallen, and can’t get up.
    Things like, — well, you get the point. The patterns are obvious in each thread.

  226. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Do you actually believe Obama would allow Iran to build nukes? Yes or no.

    And Iran obviously blundered badly by enriching so much 20% U. OBVIOUSLY.

  227. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I assume you understand the US could take out the entire Iranian air force, navy, etc etc, in a matter of days. What on earth would be the purpose of hitting Iran with nukes? Be specific.

    Obama would not deliberately cause global recession or worse (leaving out issue of environmental catastrophe etc etc etc etc).

  228. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You clearly have NO understanding of domestic American politcs. FULL STOP.

  229. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    “Nico,

    I assume you understand the US could take out the entire Iranian air force, navy, etc etc, in a matter of days. What on earth would be the purpose of hitting Iran with nukes? Be specific.”

    Mmmmh, let me guess…
    Massively killing people at low cost instead of massively killing at high cost ?
    Surely the killing of people is not that much an issue for the Anglo. Whereas cost…

  230. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    November 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    He was not incompetent; he was unwilling to accept increased Iranian power as well as changing the US policy of “Israel’s enemies are US’s enemies”.

    He discarded his ambitions in Iraq, in Afghanistan, on non-proliferation and on strategic arms reduction by pursuing regime change in Iran – perhaps thinking that by crushing Iran he could then go back and pursue those initiatives which he had discarded.

    When Iran refused to be crushed and his war in Syria failed to destroy the Ba’ath state there, he was left with no policy alternative but escalation.

    Which was what he was pursuing in August and early September of this year until the peasants revolted in UK and with them the Baron there.

    Mr. Obama has had zero positive achievements in foreign policy during the last 5 years and he will end his presidency on that note; most of his potential gains in foreign policy were contingent upon him making a deal with Iran.

  231. Karl.. says:

    Whats going on with the talks in Geneva? Has it ended?

  232. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: November 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    James, I have provided supporting material for my statement from the official web site of the American government.
    You have not. Please provide a link to support your statement, or else I am going to assume that you can read minds.
    Can you read mine? What am I thinking James?

  233. Jay says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    November 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Yes, I understand your intent.

    My post was to highlight and summarize how certain discussants seem to be selective in terms of which set of rules apply to whom and when!

  234. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    “Nico,
    You clearly have NO understanding of domestic American politcs. FULL STOP.”

    Liar.
    I fully understand that US politics is entirely based on unchecked and unaccoutablep lies, deceptions and intellectual bakruptcy.
    Just like every single one of your stance.

    It seems you are the one not grasping reality…

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    “Sakineh,
    Do you actually believe Obama would allow Iran to build nukes? Yes or no.”

    Actually that is related to the previous subject.
    The US ability to attack Iran is near zero at low/reasonable/acceptable/bearable cost.
    Obviously any military option against has high chance if noy inevitably would lead to a nuclear strike against Tehran.

    By the way Iran through the voice of Jalili clearly and unambiguously stated that threat of nuclear strike would not deter Iran.

    At the end of the day the US would not allow a first strike in their nuclear doctrine unless they are ready to carry it out. That is not something to play with.
    But who knows the deceptive DNA ? Maybe that was only a joke or some play of words or the kind of sophistry you seem to like that much.

    YOU are the one living in deception and self-deception.

    Nut case.

  235. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    With regards to the intricacies of US politics, I am fairly well-versed; no need for your concern.

    Yet, with regards to your bewildering arguments, I can only say that I am astonished.

    You have the uncanny ability to switch viewpoints as needed without regard to any principle. On he one hand you rationalize the irrational fear of Gulf dictatorships based on nothing other than the dictator’s own psychotic episodes, while at the same time you advocate nuance when in comes to the threat of use of nuclear weapons by states you consider rational actors. I can go on and on – but you catch my drift…

  236. Jay says:

    “On he one …” should read “On the one….

  237. Don Bacon says:

    news report from Afghanistan:
    KABUL – Afghan President Hamid Karzai told tribal leaders Thursday that he did not trust the United States, hours after Secretary of State John Kerry said a final draft deal on troop levels had been reached.

    “My trust with America is not good,” Karzai said at a meeting of tribal elders and political leaders in Kabul. “I don’t trust them and they don’t trust me. During the past 10 years I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me.”

    There seems to be a lack of trust toward the U.S. It reminds me of something the Supreme Leader once said:

    “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.”

  238. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kerry: whether Iran may enrich uranium won’t be resolved in first stage of talks
    http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2013/11/21/Kerry–no-quick-decision-on-whether-Iran-may-enrich-uranium.aspx

    Notable Quote:

    Biden emphasized that the goal of the talks is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and said that any relief from sanctions would be modest compared with the continuing overall impact of those sanctions.

    End Quote

    If Iran does not get this in writing, any deal is meaningless.

    It is irrelevant whether Iran’s right to enrich is “sovereign”. What matters is getting it ACKNOWLEDGED by the West. Ask any lawyer (except Eric Brill!) GET IT IN WRITING OR IT’S WORTHLESS!

    Of course, the US would still abrogate any agreement – but at least they couldn’t say they never acknowledged Iran’s right to enrich. As Sahimi pointed out, the US already did so back in the ’70’s when they made the nuclear deal with the Shah. But the Shah is not modern Iran. Modern Iran must insist on RECOGNITION of its rights.

  239. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Military option against Iran still active, US envoy says
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/military-option-against-iran-still-active-us-envoy-says/

    Of course it is. But it can’t be used until Syria and Hizballah are dealt with. This is the sole reason for an “interim deal” – to kick the can down the road until Israel and the US can figure out how to defang Syria and Hizballah, so Israel can have a “cheap” war with Iran.

  240. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Why a Soft Sell for Iran Diplomacy Isn’t Enough
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/why-a-soft-sell-for-iran-diplomacy-isnt-enough/

    Notable Quote

    The lesson I would draw is that wonkish, quietly reasonable, arguments searching for common ground won’t necessarily carry the day, even if they are correct.

    End Quote

    The Leveretts should take note…

  241. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Stuxnet’s Secret Twin
    The real program to sabotage Iran’s nuclear facilities was far more sophisticated than anyone realized.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/19/stuxnets_secret_twin_iran_nukes_cyber_attack

    This is from Ralph Langer, the guy who originally analyzed Stuxnet.

  242. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Report: Western intelligence agency tipped Lebanon to likely attack
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/20/209197/report-western-intelligence-agency.html

    The important point is that this was done with SAUDI organizing. As Pepe Escobar noted, this is likely the direct result of Prince Bandar’s maneuvers.

  243. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You think the Saudis have no reason to worry just a bit about unrest in Shia areas of the country? What about Bahrain?

    And, the Saudis are not happy with the situation of the Sunnis in Iraq.

  244. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Give me ONE example of an argument I make that you find “bewildering”.

  245. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I will say it again: ZERO chance of first-strike nuclear attack by the US against ANY country. Would be idiotic on a scale 100 times greater than idiotic and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  246. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Your comment in my view underscores your lack of understanding of American politics. Especially in the area of fund-raising for national political campaigns.

  247. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    If no deal of any sort is made, all Iran’s oil exports would be blocked. You think Iran can get by without any oil exports?

  248. Don Bacon says:

    AFP, Nov 21, 2013
    Iran sanctions relief around $6 bln: US envoy

    A package of sanctions relief being proposed to Iran in return for reining in its suspect nuclear program is worth around $6 billion, a top US official confirmed Thursday. [Samantha Power]//

    Six billion sanctions relief in a trillion-dollar economy? Thanks a lot, big spender.

    from CIA World Factbook–
    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $1.016 trillion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    $1.035 trillion (2011 est.)
    $1.005 trillion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars

    GDP (purchasing power parity)
    This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States in the year noted. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.

  249. Fiorangela says:

    re Colin Kahl:

    1. The first interesting thing Kahl did was state up-front the basis for his argument:
    “I’ve been to Israel fourteen times ….”

    Wow.
    What if someone has been to Israel FIFTEEN times — does that give their argument a firmer foundation?
    What about that ‘rule of law’ thingie — no man is above the law, not even a king* (* except for Bibi).

    Dan Joyner has been to Israel fewer than fourteen times, but he also has studied the law of NPT. And NPT does not give Benjamin Netanyahu, or Israel, or ANY state, not even the USA, the right to interpret the Treaty nor to enforce demands relative to a state’s nuclear activities. In fact, Joyner argues that:

    ” In my view, the recognition by over 190 states parties to the NPT that all states parties have the inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy production, which I interpret to include all elements of the full nuclear fuel cycle including uranium enrichment, strongly suggests that the right to peaceful nuclear energy production is one of the fundamental rights of states in international law. In my view, such a fundamental right of states should be understood to create in third parties, both states and international organizations, a legal obligation to respect those rights.

    This means that other states and international organizations are under an international legal obligation NOT to act in serious prejudice of states’ fundamental rights. When states or international organization do act in serious prejudice of a state’s fundamental rights, that action is an internationally wrongful act, and implicates the international responsibility of the acting state or international organization.” source: see November 21, 2013 at 10:57 am)

    I searched for a black-letter statement that UN Resolutions are, therefore, illegitimate, insofar as they “act in serious prejudice of a state’s fundamental rights.” I could not find such a clear-cut statement by someone with expertise and authority.

    But my common sense understanding persuades me that the UNSC exceeded its authority in adopting resolutions that sanction Iran for doing that which it has an inherent right to do, and that UNSC acts that demand that Iran suspend doing what it has a right to do are of no effect, since the law cannot enforce an illegal act, and “When states or international organization do act in serious prejudice of a state’s fundamental rights, that action is an internationally wrongful act.

    Thus, Kahl’s assertion that “there are half-a-dozen UN Security Council resolutions calling out Iran for suspicious nuclear activities” places him in the posture of a man with one foot in mid-air and the other on a banana peel.

    Kahl has neither credibility based on “visits to Israel,” not international law, to bolster his claims.

    2. Kahl said Israel should not be the “focus” nor even considered in negotiations regarding Iran’s NPT “obligations.”

    I disagree.

    At a Symposium in February 2013, former Ambassador Richard Butler discussed the history of drafting the NPT and also the negotiations surrounding its extension, in 1995. That negotiation was conducted around his dining room table. Egypt, Iran, and other states in the Middle East were persuaded to sign on to extension of NPT on the promise that a conference would be convened at which the proposal that the entire region be a Nuclear-free Zone would be discussed, and Israel would be “on the table.” To date, that conference has not been held. The promise has been betrayed. This fact has not gone unnoticed in the region.

    At the same Symposium, http://mediasite.dsl.psu.edu/Mediasite/Play/4fa17d9b059e47b3bbb751cbda5480cb1d Dr. Flynt Leverett explained the two manners by which states interpret treaties, either from a positivist perspective or a policy point of view.

    Positivist interpretations, favored by less powerful states, are

    “rules-focused, [and] substantive and procedural norms are created by consent of independent sovereign states. Thus international order … based on lex lata, what the law actually is, not lex ferenda, what the law, from one ideological view or another, should be. Once created, international rules and norms are to be interpreted rather narrowly, in terms of how they are interpreted and in terms of who interprets them. . . .

    “[In the] policy or results-oriented approach, what matters are the underlying goals and values that motivate the creation of a particular set of rules and norms, not so much the rules and norms themselves but the policy goals and values underlying them.

    “In further contrast to the positivistic approach, the policy approach ascribes a special role in interpreting rules and norms to the most powerful states in the system, those states with the resources and the willingness to act to enforce the rules.”

    Rising powers tend to the positivist approach as “the only way that international law, rules, and norms might actually constrain established powers.”

    So the fact that Colin Kahl does not make reference to positivist interpretations of NPT should not be surprising; from the USA point of view, the NPT is what a major power says it is.

    However, Kahl does not rely on the USA to define the NPT, he relies on Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of a non-signatory state, that is not really even a legitimate ally of the United States since it has not yet declared international borders but is really a client state of a US patron. Israel, which refuses to come to the table to discuss creation of a nuclear-free zone in the region, which would require that it surrender its nuclear and biological-chemical weapons arsenals, demands to supplant the USA and sit at the head of the table.

    It’s Thanksgiving time, and many families will be arranging the piano bench around a card table for the children. It is highly unlikely that the host will hand the place at the head of the table, much less the carving knife, to his gangly, pre-pubescent nine-year old nephew. But that is exactly what Colin Kahl did in elevating Benjamin Netanyahu’s “demands” to the level of anything resembling credibility. Israel has got to earn its place at the table, through “confidence building” and a track-record of mature behavior.

  250. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Whether or not a deal is made is dependent only on the sanity of the West. Iran is very open to a deal and has acted with a great deal of good will in the latest negotiations, in my view.

    Iran’s oil sales will not be blocked. FULL STOP.

  251. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    “Jay,

    Give me ONE example of an argument I make that you find “bewildering”.”

    James, I have given you plenty to think about. I will add one more from your post around the same time.

    For you to suggest that the Saudi problems with its Shia population, a problem that has existed for decades prior to the Iranian revolution, has any rational connection to Saudi fears of Iran is beyond bewilderment. You are either identifying with the disingenuous Saudi narrative, or you are being disingenuous yourself!

  252. Jay says:

    James,

    In any debate or discussion, I do not find it necessary for my interlocutors to agree with me in order for me to respect their genuine engagement.

    I do however find principled application of reason of great importance in any genuine debate – otherwise all credibility is lost!

  253. Fiorangela says:

    Smith says:
    November 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    The “greed” card is the wrong one to play against Chinese.

    Many Chinese people have gone from peasant destitution to great wealth in a generation; gaining wealth has become the only thing that matters. It’s a common phenomenon.

  254. Bibijon says:

    Another day, another poll, same result
    ======================================

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/21/cnn-poll-more-than-half-back-iranian-nuclear-deal/

  255. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: November 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Well James, on that one I refer you to the words of Ayatoller.
    “America can’t do jack”
    Do you have your answer now?

    I am still waiting for a link that supports your argument re-first strike.

  256. fyi says:

    All:

    More News on Syria:

    http://news.yahoo.com/battlefield-gains-boost-assad-hand-peace-talks-205033956.html

    Mr. Assad has stated publicly that he expects victory within the next 6 months.

    Wonder what the next escalatory step of Axis Powers will be there….

  257. fyi says:

    Bibijon says:

    November 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Another day, and no deal.

    There will be no deal – even a small one within the P5+1 framework.

    I think other international actors must recognize the ramifications: the knot of Iranian nuclear file cannot be resolved in any time period that would make any difference to anyone.

    Those international actors that counted on quick resolution of this matter now have to go back and perhaps consider readjusting their policies.

    There might be a small informal deal between US and Iran on 20% enrichment and that sort of thing – that is about the size of it.

    P5+1 process with Iran is now dead and kaput as there is zero, absolutely zero way of bring it back from the dead.

    I think just like the so-called Peace Process, the charade will continue but there is no longer any substance behind it (if there ever was).

    P5+1 gave their best in crushing Iran economically to cause her to give up her sovereign rights and they have failed.

    Let us see when the Mad King attacks….

  258. Karl.. says:

    fyi
    November 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Next step?
    More arms to terrorists, more attacks by Israel, maybe assassinations of Baath leaders.

  259. James Canning says:

    Jim Lobe gives some background to explain the behavior of Mark Kirk, one of the most aggressive Aipac stooges in the US Senate.

    http://www.lobelog.com/the-mystery-of-mark-kirks-motivations/#more-22157

  260. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely an effort to block Iran’s oil exports entirely would be the likely result of failure to reach any deal between Iran and P5+1. Rather than an attack, as you predict time and time again. And encourage, in effect.

  261. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    The nuclear protocol for the US essentially prohibits first-strike use of nukes. Are you aware of this?

  262. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    As a matter of common sense, and excluding nuclear protocol, why would the US hit Iran with nukes? Entire navy and air force would easily be taken out. What would be gained by using nukes? Insane notion, actually.

    Truman used atomic bombs on Japan because he believed it would save the lives of 500,000 American soldiers. No such calculation exists regarding Iran, OBVIOUSLY.

  263. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Why do you think the Saudis put down the unrest in Bahrain?

    Are you actually arguing the Saudis have no reason to think war could come to the Persian Gulf? No reason at all?

  264. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    An example of inconsistent statement, by me, in your view is:

  265. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    With FYI and others on this site, arguing that a Sunni-Shia war is under way in the Middle East, I find it peculiar you contend the Saudis have no reason to worry about unrest among Shia of Saudi Arabia.

  266. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: November 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    OK, you have confirmed that you can read minds.
    What am I thinking James?
    Any guesses?
    No?

    Links James. Support your theory. Links. Links. Links.

  267. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “The nuclear protocol for the US essentially prohibits first-strike use of nukes.”
    More for the ears/eyes of the un-initiated.
    Um, Hiroshima and Nagasaki was their name.

  268. Bibijon says:

    test 2

  269. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Slow Pace of Talks in Geneva
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/11/slow-pace-of-talks-in-geneva.html

    France – that is, really Obama – still trying to sabotage any deal…

  270. Don Bacon says:

    Remember, we shouldn’t take this “deal” at face value.
    There’s not much in the “deal,” really.
    The perceptions are more important than the reality.
    “Don’t Sell the Steak, Sell the Sizzle”
    Iran is playing the West like a fish.
    (To mix a metaphor)
    When it’s over, Iran will continue to do what it does.
    And it’ll be in a better position to do it.
    “Don’t Sell the Steak, Sell the Sizzle”

  271. kooshy says:

    The nuclear issues between the nuclear have states (NHS) and Iran has and is now moving to a third and perhaps to its final stage. In the first stage of this conflicts the nuclear have states naturally and collectively tried prevention Iran to have nuclear know how, by denying transfer of any knowhow and nuclear technology to Iran at any cost, this stage of conflicts took place in the 1990’s the policy didn’t work and obviously has failed, Iran has mastered the knowhow and the technology of nuclear cycle. In early 2000’s once it was obvious that Iran has mastered the NFC knowhow the next (2nd) stage was collectively agreed and implemented by NHS, in this stage the policy was changed to deny and to prevent Iran of having material and capacity of being a threshold nuclear capable state, which was supposed to work with denying Iran’s treaty rights of having ingenious internal NFC, the policy was supposed to work and was backed up by unjustified or likely illegal UNSC resolutions, is now clear with Iran not backing out exercising her sovereign treaty rights, creating an industrial size enrichment capability that policy also failed.

    The third stage of this conflict ( currently on ) which in a calculated and limited way can be acceptable to Iran, and under the current regional and international circumstances can also be acceptable to NHS is to limit Iran’s time to respond, by limiting her time to prepare for response, currently this time is estimated at about 50 days. When this posture is adopted and accepted overtly by NHS which in reality and by default has ( otherwise the current negotiations wouldn’t have been taking place) only a mad state or a non-state actor will ever talk of striking Iran.

  272. Jay says:

    James, James, James,

    perhaps you do forget to maintain a consistent handle on your own arguments but I do not.

    You start by arguing for fear Gulf dictators feel – pointing to Iran to justify the murderous pursuits at home and abroad of the Gulf dictators. Then you at attempt to confound the domestic difficulties of Gulf dictators, which is primarily due to the stifling political environment in said countries, with fear of Iran. All the while, you argue for “discernment”. To top it off, you imply that Iran’s oil would be blockaded if Iran does not make a deal.

    You blame Iran for political unrest in the Gulf, Iran for being threatened by US and Israel, Iran for lack of discernment, Iran for being blockaded, …. Is there a pattern?

  273. Fiorangela says:

    “Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues his diplomatic offensive against what he calls a “dangerous” compromise on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s military intelligence seems open to a deal, even one that relaxes the Western sanctions on Iran that Mr. Netanyahu has vocally supported.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/israeli-military-goes-off-message-iran-nuclear-talks-191858213.html

  274. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/11/just-a-few-links.html#

    “The London Sunday Times reports for the fifth or so time that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. In other news the prospective Saudi ruler will be a woman well known for here successes in rally racing.”

  275. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    “Nico,Your comment in my view underscores your lack of understanding of American politics. Especially in the area of fund-raising for national political campaigns.”

    Your comments in my view provide a pretty clear picture of your arrogance, lack of logic, inconsistency, sophistry, lies, idiocy and mental illness.

  276. Bibijon says:

    test 3

  277. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    You got problem posting? Posts doesnt show up or are they “pending”?

  278. Bibijon says:

    Karl,

    Neither. It just vanishes.

  279. Bibijon says:

    Kooshy,

    I think all those phases fall under a super-category of containment. They are now at the starting phase of acceptation.

    Currently, a ‘no deal’ deal will suite everyone. The real deal is already struck:

    a) Affirming that there’s such a thing as elections in Iran, that Dr. Rouhani has a popular mandate from ordinary Iranians. Obama/Cameron phone calls to Rouhani has irrevocably crashed the walls of isolation.

    b) Affirming that Iran has put her best foot forward in the shape of transferring the negotiations portfolio to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, headed by a well-known, and well-liked Dr Zarif. Iran’s readiness to limit stockpiles, and sign AP will be noted by the real international community.

    c) The public rupture of anti-Iran coalition, namely KSA, Israel and France, from the US.

    On balance I think there will be a deal, however. Partly, as a cosmic retort to fyi, but also because there’s no reason why not; the (Persian) cat is out and meowing; might as well acknowledge it on a piece of paper.

  280. nico says:

    http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-211113.html

    Interesting analysis regarding the NK and Iranian ideological convergence.
    In short. NK and IRI are are trying modern form of political experience (opposed to pre modern royal leadership) based upon traditional form of social organization (being confucean, puritan or religious) and modern form of temporal governance (being communism or representative democracy).
    At some point Russia seems to be directed toward such form of governance oikking tradition to modernity.

    That is in direct opposition to the liberal type of social paradigmin the west where modernity erased traditional social construct.

    Truth be said the US so called puritanism or religiosity (apprart from minorities) is dead in real life matters.
    Suffice to see the cult of beauty in Florida, California and elswhere.
    Suffice to see the bodies transformed into goods to be traded and transformed at will. Like the surrogate motherhood.
    Suffice to see the content in movies, tv shows and ads.

    Truly Western desintegrating societies with no social cement and references.
    Thrown forward into the void of Man arrogance considering himself the center of the world and a trancendentless universe.
    Man enjoying the egotistic and easy life of consumerism and considering himself above others and even above god.

    Exactly like zionists who truly are the representatives of the deviant modernity considering that Israel should be sized by Man will through crime and without paying the jewish people homelessness penance to god. In opposition to orthodox jews ideology who consider that to be satanic.

    As I said time and again Zionism is the true child of western ideology and agressive colonialism.

    That is truly a clash of trancendency and ideology.
    One could tell as well a clash of civilization.
    With the deviant applicants of religion.
    Like the religious zionists.
    Or the western catholics accepting their atheistic and old testament led ideology.
    Or the money and power corrupt takfiris.

    Is that the fight of satanism and human corruption against morality ?
    Is godless or relgiously deviant materialism intrinsically satanic ?

    One needs to make his/her own opinion.

  281. nico says:

    “China Fires Shot Across Petrodollar Bow: Shanghai Futures Exchange May Price Crude Oil Futures In Yuan”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-21/china-fires-shot-across-petrodollar-bow-shanghai-futures-exchange-may-price-crude-oi

    Hmmmm.
    China intends to price oil in yuan.
    China is the biggest world oil importer
    China likely own the biggest world gold reserves and continue to stack up.
    China is pushing the use and convertibility of its currency at world stage.
    China enjoy a gigantic trade balance surplus with the US.

    Meanwhile the US are financially broken.
    The wetestern stocks markets crash is near.
    They depleted their gold reserves.
    They intend an Asian pivot.
    Etc…

    Well it seems China is smoothly marginalizing the US.
    How smooth remains to be seen.

  282. Don Bacon says:

    The “real deal” includes what Bibijon listed plus — big plus — another giant positive example set by Iran for the hundred-plus non-aligned nations of the world that it’s not necessary to kowtow to Western domination. Those days are gone.

    This will particularly inspire BRICS, plus other rising nations in Asia, and most particularly the nations in Africa where the economies of the fastest growing nations are experiencing growth significantly above the global average rates. These countries have been preyed upon and dominated by Western colonial powers for too long. The World Bank, the economic exploitation and the military domination — they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more. Iran has shown the way.

    The US, the Brits, the French — see ya, big guys. We don’t follow orders any more. Iran has shown the way.

  283. kooshy says:

    Bibijon says:
    November 22, 2013 at 6:58 am

    BiBi / Don

    What has happened was and is that the technology can no longer be contained and denied to those determined to get it, 2nd thing happened is having the technology and the knowhow is enough to reach a détente with NHS and colonial hegemonic states.
    Don- yes that means you don’t necessary need to kowtow the big powers or NHS have ones, for sure this has set a new chapter in word relations , especially when now the P5 is accepting that Iran will not obey her and IAEA resolutions, Iran has said she will not stop and will exercise her sovereign right to continue enrichment. This means no longer client states like Israel can disobey UNSC resolutions or be protected by their clients; it means med size powers may as well disobey unjustified UNSC resolutions independently.

    By trying to limit sovereign international rights of a big regional state like Iran in different stages with a collective effort by world largest political and economic powers, this NHS exercise was to limit any state’s sovereign rights using their international political and economic force. Iran didn’t budge and that is good news for all small and med size independent states.

  284. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    November 22, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Russia shares with US and EU the removal of indigenous nuclear industry from Iran.

    I suspect he is going there to put more pressure on Iranians.

    It will not make any difference; flogging a dead horse like the proverbial Prussian Officer…..

  285. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    November 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    This is true and that is another indication of how UNSC – as another vestige of the now defunct Peace of Yalta – has become irrelevant.

    “Never give an order that cannot be carried out.” has been an old maxim of leadership.

    The P5 – including China – have shabbily treated Iran.

    China herself – like Iran – was subject to a century of humiliation; yet she turned around and joined the other members of UNSC in trying to remove sovereign rights from Iran.

    This was a truly regrettable slap in the face which, I hope, has at least served to disabuse Iranians of the remainder of their centuries-old slumber.

  286. Don Bacon says:

    @kooshy

    Yes, good point on UNSC over-reach being made obvious. It is another (of many) “real deal.”

  287. Don Bacon says:

    So to sum up Bibijon’s start on a “real deal,” with addenda:

    –recognition of democracy in Iran
    –Iran’s willingness to negotiate in good faith
    –rupture of anti-Iran coalition
    –an example of Western defiance for other countries
    –highlighting of UNSC malfeasance

    more?

  288. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt China sees it as “humiliating” for Iran, if Iran stops work on Arak.

  289. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    I state as fact, that the nuclear protocol of the US does not provide for first-strike attacks using nukes. When i have time I will give you a link. That said, I provide link after link, and generally get no response.

    Do I take it you do agree there would be no conceivable benefit for the US, in attacking Iran with nukes? The idea is beyond preposterous.

  290. Unknown Unknowns says:

    http://livetv.sx/en/eventinfo/201855_iran_usa/

    Iran vs. US Volleyball

    Looks like it will be around 7 (?) PM your (California) time tomorrow (12:10 Japan time; 6:40 Tehran time).

    US is ranked 4th and Iran 12th, but we just beat Italy 3-2 (Italy is ranked #3, but just beat Russia, the #2 team).

    Go Iran!

    *

    Also, this is for Kooshy-san, Sakineh-Khanum, my Basiji brother and BiBi Khanum and everyone else who has banged his or her head against the brick wall of our British friend, Saheb James:

    تا نباشد چوب تر
    gav-e nar فرمان نگیرد

    (Of course, the original reads گاو و خر)

  291. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    And I suppose that the English did not consider the “No Dogs or Chinamen” in the entrance of Shanghai Park humiliating to the Chinese.

    Arak won’t be stopped; you should pay attention to Mr. Khamenei’s speech.

  292. Karl.. says:

    Now Kerry might go to Geneva too apparently, what a circus. Will it keep on 2 days again and end in failure like last time?

  293. James Canning says:

    Jasmin Ramsey has pertinent comments about negotiations in Geneva:

    http://www.lobelog.com/geneva-iran-talks-scant-on-details-a-good-sign/#more-22185

  294. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You should be able to see that China in fact is doing Iran a good service, in taking the position it has (P5+1).

  295. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are mistaken about Arak. I very much doubt it can be completed in the fairly near term.

  296. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    If China that were so, she would not have voted several times, at UNSC, to remove sovereign rights from Iran.

    In effect, she joined other members of P5 in demanding Iran to become defenseless against any potential threat to her existence.

    That approach was an escalation to nowhere….

  297. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China is on its way to being world’s largest economy. In centuries past, economic development was inhibited by Chinese attitudes toward foreigners. This no longer obtains. China is #1 in the world, for inward investment (from foreign countries). So far this year, Britain is #2.

  298. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Let us watch….

    EU3 did not expect Iran to be able to manufacture fuel plates either….

  299. Bibijon says:

    James, don’t miss

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/guest-commentary/190786-british-ambassador-peter-westmacott-now-is-the-time-for

    diplomacy with Iran

    In addition for the board, I want to point out that Netanyahu-and-friends’ constant fear mongering about Iranian nuclear intentions is creating a ripe environment for nuclear proliferation in the region and beyond. The cartoon bomb he showed at the UN, and US media constantly giving him and his supporters air time to demonize Iran, and emasculate the US, is not going to achieve their aims of starting a war with Iran, but does create a fertile ground for irrational fear, instability, and complete break down of fabrics of trusts and alliances that holds this dysfunctional world together.

    Somebody, somewhere, tell these guys to zip it already.

  300. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Iranians are not going to care what China says – they have damaged Iran just not as much as the others in Europe and North America.

    They also had a choice to accept the new rising power in Western Asia; they decided to oppose it.

  301. Rd. says:

    Don Bacon says:
    November 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    So to sum up Bibijon’s start on a “real deal,” with addenda:

    –recognition of democracy in Iran
    –Iran’s willingness to negotiate in good faith
    –rupture of anti-Iran coalition
    –an example of Western defiance for other countries
    –highlighting of UNSC malfeasance

    more?

    per Pepe, influencing the sultans of swing!!!!

  302. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think China sees that Iran would be much more of a “rising power”, if it did not labour under the sanctions due to disputed nuclear programme. Iran would be far stronger today, had it avoided the dispute.

  303. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Good points by Sir Peter Westmacott, that you linked today. Others should read it too.

  304. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    November 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Rubbish.

    The sanctions by UNSC – endorsed by China – also cover arms import/export as well as indigenous rocket development in Iran.

    At any rate, Iranians – after 7 years of economic warfare against their country and 3 years of war against their ally in Syria do not need China or anyone else to acknowledge them as a “rising power”.

    They already are.