The Use of Force, the Reflexive Resort to Economic Sanctions, and the Trials of America’s Hegemonic Mindset

As negotiations toward a “final” nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran continue, it is important to consider to what extent the world might be witnessing a fundamental change in American foreign policy.  We are inclined to think that the Obama administration would not have gone as far down the diplomatic road with Iran as it has in the absence of President Obama’s self-inflicted debacle over his declared intention to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August 2013.  This episode drove home—to the Obama administration as well as to most of the rest of the world—that the United States can no longer credibly threaten to use military force in the Middle East for hegemonic purposes.

After the American public so resoundingly rebuffed Obama’s call for U.S. military action, his administration was compelled to conclude that starting down the diplomatic road with Iran was politically less costly than pushing for more sanctions and continuing to insist that the “military option” was still “on the table.”  But can the Obama administration really go all the way to a comprehensive realignment of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran—and, in the process, show that the United States can shift proactively from a counterproductive drive to dominate the Middle East to serious engagement with all important regional powers, and not just slink out of region in defeat?

Making such a shift will require Washington to relinquish the self-damaging delusion that the United States can actually maintain hegemony in the Middle East on an open-ended basisAmerica’s reaction to the ongoing Ukraine crisis suggests that American elites are having a very difficult time giving up this delusion.

Yesterday, the United States and its European partners pushed to have the United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution condemning today’s referendum on the future status of Crimea; for video of the Security Council’s deliberations, see here.  As everyone knew going into the Council’s deliberations, Russia vetoed the resolution (China abstained).  But it was still a great occasion for the United States and its partners to offer more pompous bloviation on the issue.

In terms of pompous bloviation—bloviation that is so deeply rooted in its author’s unreflective addiction to the idea of America as benign hegemon that he can’t even recognize the obvious hypocrisy of what he is saying—it is hard to beat this segment from NBC’s Meet the Press, see here, with Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this month, just after the Ukraine crisis had broken out.  Blind to the self-damning irony of what he is saying, Kerry proclaims (see 1:46 into the video), “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.”

Predictably, NBC’s ever-deferential David Gregory steered clear of the obvious come-back question.  Fortunately, Jon Stewart didn’t.  Playing the clip of Kerry intoning, “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests,” Stewart—see here, 5:25 into the video—immediately adds, “Any more.”  Shifting into his best John Kerry impersonation, Stewart goes on:  “Trust me, that is so 2003.  I mean I voted for it even though I was against it at the time.  What happened was I ran for president…I should go.”  (Of course, even Jon Stewart can’t quite see that, notwithstanding his criticism of the Iraq War, he has himself advocated U.S. intervention—on phony pretexts—in Libya and Syria.)

Similarly hegemonic delusion is reflected in the transatlantic spouting of “ideas” on how to hurt Russia’s economy with sanctions—ideas that, as the Financial Times’ James McKintosh notes, range “from the impractical to the pointless.”  Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott blithely claimed that Russia’s banking sector “has made quite a lot of progress in plugging into the global system.  That means it is vulnerable, and a good lever for applying pressure.”

Western sanctions may well afflict some transitory discomfort on some parts of Russia’s economy.  But the reality is that a lot of Western financial institutions, especially in Europe, have themselves become dependent on Russian capital; as this capital is pulled out of these institutions in anticipation of sanctions, Western banks will suffer, too.  For the United States, Russia has become over the last decade a significant purchaser and holder of U.S. Treasury securities.  How does it serve American interests for Washington to incentivize the dumping of Russia’s Treasury holdings and to cut Russia off as a future buyer of U.S. government debt?

And, of course, there is the surfeit of triumphalism about how America can leverage its “shale revolution” to weaken Russia’s strategic position by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.  For those who seem to think that the United States could be exporting gas to Eastern Europe and parts of the former Soviet Union within months (if not weeks), if only Washington would issue more export licenses, we would note that it takes literally years and costs at least $10 billion to develop an LNG train.  More broadly, the idea that the United States will ever produce enough LNG for export at sufficiently low price points to undercut the enormous built-in advantages that an established major gas producer like Russia enjoys in building and retaining its gas export markets in Eurasia seems, to say the least, highly fanciful.

American foreign policy remains far removed from some of the most basic elements of rational (and reality-based) strategy and diplomacy.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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425 Responses to “The Use of Force, the Reflexive Resort to Economic Sanctions, and the Trials of America’s Hegemonic Mindset”

  1. Neo says:

    Beautifully simple and clear. Thanks for another superb contribution.

    Happy Norooz to all :)

  2. BiBiJon says:

    personalities -> Naratives -> mayhem
    ==================================

    On the surface it would be hypocritical to cringe at taking entire nations, their history, and modern societal/economic/geographic realities and reducing them into the personality of Putin, or Ahmadinejad on the one hand, and on other hand point out that certain narratives are sustained by neocons who from time to time are personified by particular individuals.

    But, I wanted to remind folks here what was said by Robert Kagan about the other Olymics-timed war of 2008. see a brief history here: en.wikipedia (.) org/wiki/Russo-Georgian_war

    Kagan called “Putin’s Russia” to be “revanchist” seeking to use “pan-Slavic” sentimentalism as a pretext for “resurgence.”

    See www (.) washingtonpost (.) com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/10/AR2008081001871.html

    6 years later, Mr. Kagan’s wife, Victoria Nuland was handing out cookies to demonstrators seeking to bring down an elected government in Ukraine which had less than a year to go before general elections. I cannot imagine a more childish act of brazen interference in Ukrainian political turmoil with the exception of perhaps Robert Stephen Ford, the United States Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, who according to Michael Scheuer, “Until they removed the US ambassador he was running around the country [Syria] trying to encourage groups to overthrow the Syrian government. That is not the role of any diplomat.” See www (.) youtube (.) com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cLjZoA3GaVE#t=203

    Leverets point out “the self-damning irony” in pompous bloviation of current cast of characters, however just notice the ironies in Robert Kagan labeling Russia as “revanchist” in the face of the reality of US, her allies, and the “new Europe” whose every move is to exact a price on Russia.

    All this is to say that I would bet $100 that such narratives demonizing Russia (and Iran) will predictably, and reliably cause conflicts which the US is ill-equipped to handle advantageously, particularly because of US’ fractured political class.

    Failures do not mark a point of departure, but a point of repeating the cycle. Unfortunately for the US, friends, foes, and neutrals are watching, scratching their heads, and increasingly looking elsewhere for an international glue — US has lost its adhesive qualities.

  3. Don Bacon says:

    An enduring false myth is that John Kerry ran against the Iraq War. In the summer of 2004, after Bush taunted the flip-flopper about his war stand, Kerry made his real position clear.

    GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said on Monday he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq even if he had known then no weapons of mass destruction would be found. — Aug 9, 2004

  4. James Canning says:

    Obama thought he needed to hit Syria with several hundred cruise missiles, after the Aug. 21 CW event in that country, in order to avoid having Iran conclude it did not need to make a deal with the P5+1. When the alternative way to resolve the CW problem emerged, Obama went with it.

  5. Don Bacon says:

    Ukraine is the newest US national emergency, of twenty-six (26) US national emergencies. Iran is responsible for two of them — the only country or situation to be so honored.
    http://warisaracket.org/natemerg.html

  6. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    John Kerry was being smeared viciously at this point in the 2004 presidential campaign. (“Swiftboating”) By fanatical right-wingers.

  7. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Anyone doubting the power of the Israel lobby should read your post about Victoria Nuland and her neocon husband.

  8. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Missing Steps:

    Obama thought that he could bend Iranians to US will by uttering pleasant platter to them without reaching any strategic understanding with them.

    When that did not work, he went for near war with Iran, economic war, and at the same time, trying to wound Iran in Syria (2011); at which point Iranians stated that they are prepared for war (Spring of 2012).

    We are in the 4-th year of a brain-damaged policy which has created 8 million refuges in Syria and has pushed 25 million into poverty in Iran.

    War by any other name.

    And Mr. Obama clearly does not have the decency to return the Noble Peace Prize either.

  9. James Canning says:

    Bravo, Leveretts, for mocking the utterly nonsensical argument put out in the US media that US natural gas can lower gas prices in Europe and lessen sales of Russian gas to the EU.

    And Iran’s gas fields should be connected to gas pipelines in Turkey. To serve EU.

  10. Rehmat says:

    Crimea has declared its independence and merger with Mother Russia. Like the Native Muslims of Crimea and there is nothing the Ziocons controlling the US and the EU can do about it. Putin is not Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein.

    Crimea was detached from the Russian Republic in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev after a drunken dinner and given as a grand (but then empty) gesture to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Khrushchev was a Ukrainian Communist party boss who had participated in Stalin’s murder of 6-7 million Ukrainian farmers.

    Crimea and the Caucasus was the site of the holocaust of up to 3 million Muslims of the Soviet Union who were ordered destroyed by Stalin, among them most of Crimea’s Muslim Tatars.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/14/ukraine-the-jewish-blame-game/

  11. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Will not happen; that historical moment when Iranians were eager to work with EU is past now.

    A 200-year old relationship now lies in ruins and cannot be rebuilt.

    As for the Iranian gas, it will not be exported anytime soon ( > 20 years) in large quantities outside of the core Shia Crescent states as well as Turkey and Oman.

  12. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You should read Ed Luce’s interview with Prince Turki al-Saud in the FT this past weekend (“Lunch with the FT”).

    The Saudis and the Qataris decided they wanted to take down Bashar al-Assad. With help from Turkey.

    You think the idea came from Washington?

    You consistently overlook the role Iran played, by announcing its decision to treble production of 20% U. AFTER claiming the ONLY reason for enriching to 20 was to refuel the TRR.

  13. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Don Bacon, John Kerry was being smeared viciously at this point in the 2004 presidential campaign. (“Swiftboating”) By fanatical right-wingers.

    That’s irrelevant to Kerry’s position on Iraq, of course.

    You can compare political attacks to favoring a disastrous illegal war that has displaced millions and caused hundreds of thousands of casualties? You need to examine your values, Mister Canning.

  14. Karl.. says:

    The situation will probably maybe lead to civil war and break up of Ukraine. Is this what EU, U.S really wants? When Eu and U.S are involved any mess can happen.

  15. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Mr. Danilon was the point man that announced the US policy of regime destruction in Syria in July of 2011 (if memory serves me right).

    The Semites – Arabs and Jews – one in Southern Persian Gulf and the other in Palestine – played their role in manipulating the Axis Powers as well.

    But, the fact remains that Axis Powers were the instigators – for religious as well as strategic reasons.

    The Shia Muslims are the only active force opposing Israel, for example.

    And after the Shia took over Iraq and conjoined themselves to Iran, the strategic autonomy of Iran was tremendously enhanced – there no longer was a deranged Sunni state threatening it from the East.

    As long as the preservation of the Jewish fantasy project is an article of religious faith among Axis Powers and opposition thereto one for the Shia Crescent, no productive interaction can take place between US, EU on the one side and Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon on the other.

    Nor can strategic accommodation be achieved if the gains of the Shia Crescent are accepted.

    And not without Axis Powers accepting Iran as a nuclear-armed state.

  16. Rehmat says:

    @Nasser – your source on Pakistan is a propaganda crap from a Ziocon. think tank.

    On March 6, The American Interest claimed that Obama’s humiliation in Ukraine will embold Iran and Bashar al-Assad which would be a blow to Washington’s pro-Israel policy in the Middle East.

    Pakistani Sunni sectarians have always depended on Saudi Abrabia due to two Islamic sites in Makkah and Madinnah. However, politically and economically, Pakistan much closer links with China and Iran.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/03/pakistan-to-build-4-new-nuclear-plants/

  17. Nasser says:

    Even this feckless fool is getting some courage and resolve from watching Western powers’ descent into madness in Eastern Europe. Perhaps he finally realizes that Western powers will never let up until either Tehran lies in smoldering ruins or arms itself with nukes

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/russia-iran-relation-ukraine-china-ties-strategic.html

  18. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    “You consistently overlook the role Iran played, by announcing its decision to treble production of 20% U. AFTER claiming the ONLY reason for enriching to 20 was to refuel the TRR.”

    James, explain the timelines of the following:

    Date 2008-04-20 08:47:00

    Source Embassy Riyadh

    Classification SECRET

    SUMMARY:

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is described as adamant that the kingdom and the United States need to work together to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq, talking openly about what he called the “Iranian connections” of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq. Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador to the United States “recalled the king’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. ‘He told you to cut off the head of the snake.’”

    From http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/iran-08RIYADH649

    ——————

    June 8, 2011 8:03 pm
    Iran to boost uranium enrichment

    By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran and James Blitz in London

    Iran plans to treble its capacity to produce highly enriched uranium and shift its manufacture to an underground bunker, Tehran said on Wednesday.

    From www (.) ft (.) com/cms/s/0/b86411f4-91ff-11e0-b8c1-00144feab49a.html#axzz2wEttZwic

    ————-

    James, on what grounds, chronological or otherwise, do you keep blabbering about nonexistent cause and effects?

  19. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    He is too optimistic in his assessment of how much Iran could benefit from the current situation in Ukraine.

    No much, I am afraid – the de-nuclearization of Iran remains an objective of the Russian Federation.

    Only in the event that Iran has surrendered in this regard would the Russians deign to build additional reactors in Iran.

    And since Iranians are not going to surrender, Iranians will not see any nuclear reactors built by foreigners in Iran for decades more to come.

    Iran’s best and only path forward is to finish the Arak reactor and operate for a few years and then move onto building Darkhovin.

    By the way, Russia has not transferred any reactor-related technologies to Iran. Like everything else, Iranians have to learn everything by themselves and develop the technical/industrial basis for this as well as internal combustion engine, turbines, etc.

    Ambassador Moussavian is unwilling to accept or at least publicly acknowledge that the problems between Axis Powers and the Shia Crescent are not amenable to incremental resolution nor to playing one power against the other.

  20. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia supports a limited Iranian nuclear programme (electricity generation, TRR opeartion).

  21. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I’ll check again in 20 minutes to see if you answered as to why Saudi’s wanted US to cut off Iran’s head 3 years before any trebling of 20% U enrichment.

    After 20 minutes, I expect you not to repeat that gibberish again.

  22. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    They can support whatever they want…..

  23. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    March 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you for your post.

    Mr. Canning seems to have 4 agenda items:

    1- Deny actual and major responsibility of Mr. Obama
    2- Blame Iran
    3- Denial of religious component of Axis Powers confrontation with Iran (Shoah, Anne Franck, the Enlightenment Tradition and Newtonian Mechanics applied to human societies)
    4- Denial of strategic confrontation of Axis Powers with Shia/Iran due to hegemonic fantasies among Axis Powers leaders.

    All the while contribution every and all nuance of Axis Powers policies to a hidden cabal of “Neo-conservatives” – as though the Fly-Over-America with its hatred for Islam and Iran does not exist.

  24. yk says:

    To all on this forum

    Please stop indulging James Canning in his fantasies. If you will let it be minimal.

    Thanks.

  25. Karl.. says:

    If Russia, BRIC, Iran etc were better allies they could have threat with gas/oil sanctions (although Russia could still do this) and if they were allies to begin with, west would never had insulted Russia like this.

  26. Richard Steven Hack says:

    A Compromise With Iran Is Possible, if It Is Not Asked To Surrender
    http://original.antiwar.com/muhammad-sahimi/2014/03/16/a-compromise-with-iran-is-possible-if-it-is-not-asked-to-surrender/

    But of course it will be so asked…

  27. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Syrian Rebels Offer to ‘Trade’ Golan to Israel for Military Aid
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/16/syrian-rebels-offer-to-trade-golan-to-israel-for-military-aid/

    Still trying to get Israel that “free pass” through Syrian territory to attack Lebanon…

  28. Richard Steven Hack says:

    John Mearsheimer on Getting Ukraine Wrong
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/opinion/getting-ukraine-wrong.html

  29. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Michael Scheuer on Russia Annexing Crimea is the Cost of US/EU intervention in Ukraine
    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/march/13/russia-annexing-crimea-is-the-cost-of-useu-intervention-in-ukraine.aspx

  30. Richard Steven Hack says:

    82 senators outline ‘acceptable’ terms for Iran deal in letter to Obama
    http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/82-senators-outline-acceptable-terms-for-Iran-deal-in-letter-to-Obama-345537

    This is a red herring. It is intended to allow Obama to sabotage the Iran deal without being blamed himself, by putting the blame on the Senate, which will kill the deal.

  31. fyi says:

    All:

    As the Persian expression goes: “Do not open an account” on Muslim Brotherhood:

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/erdogan-gulen-jaafaris.html

  32. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    Isnt the Gulen anti-shia, how does that add up with Erdogan’s statement?

  33. Richard Steven Hack says:

    How to understand the Ukraine Crisis:

    What if Russia helped Ontario secede from Canada in order to put a military base there? Would the US like it?

    ‘Nuff said…

  34. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    They are prejudiced among one another; it matters not which sect you pick – the 4 Sunni schools, Twelver Shia, Ismaili Shia, Alevi/Alawite, Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian, Sabean, Babo, Ba’hai, Ahmadi, etc.

    It usually shows up when you want to marry a woman from among them.

  35. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    Why did Erdogan imply they/Gulan were shia’s then? Or am I missing something, didnt read the whole article?

  36. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Mr. Erdogan is stating that Mr. Gulen is “worse” than Shia in dishonesty etc.

  37. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Did John Kerry support the illegal and idiotic US invasion of Iraq? That is the point I thought I was making.

    I know no one more condemning of the US invasion of Iraq, than I.

  38. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Turkey wants to benefit from transit of Iranian gas to EU via Turkey. Russian gas already goes to the Balkans via Turkey, and another line is planned.

  39. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Of course foolish Christian Zionists are important, in US politics (re: Israel/Palestine). But the Israel lobby is much more than Christian Zionists, as you well know.

    I do not “blame” Iran for civil war in Syria. I do say that Saudi fears of war in the Gulf, owe a great deal to Iran’s nuclear programme. Doubting this fact is silly.

  40. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    That game is over.

  41. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    There is plenty of evidence the Saudis wanted the Iranian government overthrown, and that hey wanted the US to do the job. And plenty of evidence the Saudis fear war in the Gulf.

    Your apparent belief Iran’s actilons have nothing to do with the situation is just plain wrong.

    And, for Iran to give signals it just might be trying to build nukes, is seriously misguided. In my view.

  42. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Some Saudi leaders see Iran as a serious threat to their control of Saudi Arabia. True? So, if this may be the case, some Saudi leaders see merit in getting Iranian government overthrown.

    Some Saudi leaders are very unhappy about how the Shia-controlled government of Iraq goes about its business. Fair statement?

  43. nico says:

    Thank you Leveretts for the article.
    One question that would worth to answer is whether the US reckless move in Ukraine will deeply change Russia foreign policy for years to come.
    If yes, then what will be the consequences ?

    Actually the US move in Ukraine proves that there is no commom ground to be found.
    The US are not after stability but endless dominance and invasion.
    That shows the Russian foreign policy failure in rapprochement with west on the basis of mutual respect.

    Ironic to see Russia cornered and demonized as Iran is.
    Russia leaders tought to be better. Clearly they are not accoreing to western views.
    Only another kind of untermench.

  44. Jay says:

    BiBIJon,

    Here is a content free statement – with special thanks to James for providing the scaffold!

    Some Saudi leaders see UK as a serious threat to their control of Saudi Arabia. True? So, if this may be the case, some Saudi leaders see merit in getting the British government overthrown.

    Some Catholic leaders are very unhappy about how the Anglican-controlled government of Britain goes about its business. Fair statement?

  45. nico says:

    Would be also interesting to know wether and how the sacking of Jonathan Banks (head of CIA Iran section) is related to Iran disclosure of Iran intelligence ministry having twarted sabotage attempt at nuclear failities in past months.
    _http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921226000740

    Last Pepe article about Ukraine
    _http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-170314.html

    Nice quote.
    Ahah !
    “Here’s the record. Dubya launched two wars. He (miserably) lost both. Obama attempted to launch two wars (Syria and Ukraine). He – lucky for him – lost both even at the “attempt” stage.”

  46. BiBiJon says:

    Jay,

    Truly, it was possible to add less than nothing to a conversation, then James is the master.

    James Canning says:
    March 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Stick to 20%, or don’t pretend you are answering the question.

    The rest of what you say is also meaningless. That a monarchical Saudi Arabia sees an an Islamic republic as a threat to its style of despotic governance is bleeding obvious as evidenced by even a vacuous person like you grasping that. Modern Saudi enmity towards Iran dates back to 1980, and which included the multibillion $ funding of Saddam’s war machine. It has nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program, other than that being a relatively recent convenient excuse. To that I add parenthetically, let the Muslim ummah be aware that Saudis have spent, and continue to spend untold amounts of Muslim’s wealth to enrich western arms manufactures with which to kill (mainly innocent women and children) Muslims. It is this chain of cause and effect that you, James, try to detract from by blaming things on countries outside the western mass-murder industries’ captured market.

    Anyone with a modicum of self-respect and integrity would stop blabbering about trebling 20% caused this or that. All it has caused is your incessant spewing nonsense here.

  47. kooshy says:

    “Turkey wants to benefit from transit of Iranian gas to EU via Turkey. Russian gas already goes to the Balkans via Turkey, and another line is planned.”

    As far as I can tell beside the political pleasantries
    Iran correctly has no plan to export her gas to Europe. As is been said numerously by Iranian politician Iran’s foreign policy, trade and her long term goal correctly is to empower firstly and mostly bring up Iran friendly Neighbors and allies, Oman, Iraq , Afghanistan, Syria , Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, EU in short term has money but long term she has no capital benefit for Iran policies.

    One suggestion, that is, It is time that EU and US planers when thinking to understand Iran’s policy making process think what would Iran’s planers would do since they will plan to protect and increase Iran’s self interest and not US or EU. They way I some time learn from Iran’s policy planers they really don’t give a shit on what happens to EU if she unable to provide for her energy needs but that’s not true with regard to needy Neighbors.

  48. yk says:

    RSH

    Trading golan for Israel military aid is not news, clearly a destabilised Syria is in the interest of Israel one in which they are already engaged. And takfiris have no such control in Syria that could come close to anything legitimate based on which they could trade off golan with Israel.

    If you are following the news of the war in Syria which am sure you are you would discover that the military strategy Syria adopts now is to choke off all the supply routes of the terrorists and it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens, that is an engagement on the golan front which is also one of this supply route.

    The resistance as already stated this policy of creating a multi national resistance forces to engage Israel on the golan front. Israelis expect the next war to be at their own initiative but they are wrong the war is already here and is being taking to them. First rid off the takfiri terrorists then with battle hardened troops and militias prepared for the mother of all confrontation in the middle east.

  49. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    March 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    While we wait for Leveretts to answer, I think the era of hope and pretense is over. The 2004 color revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia might have been taken as an over-exuberant Bush syndrome; Saakashvilii attacking South Osetia in 2008 might have been interpretted by Russia as a the act of a moron being manipulated into starting a US-Russia showdown. But the latest episode in Kiev, following a deliberate besmirching of Russia’s efforts at putting its best ‘international’ foot forward at the Sochi Olympics, must have shattered all illusions.

    In the US, progressives get busy analyzing the various components of the foreign policy dysfunction. Sometimes we blame the ‘acting president’, Reagan for example, sometimes the neocons, the cold warriors, etc. But, as interesting as all that analysis might be, to the Russians, and Iranians of this world, the US is taken as a black box that keeps doing the same thing. The internal machinations of that black box means little to people on the outside.

    I would say, US-Russian mutual suspicion will now be a permanent ubiquitous feature of their interactions. This does not bode well. Assurances such as radar or ABM system installations in eastern Europe are minimal requirements to guard against Iran will fall on deaf ears in the future, and may well elicit a Russian threat of an Iskander strike if installed.

    It is worse than the cold war in that every piece on the chessboard is in play. Methinks.

  50. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You tell us why some Saudis want the “head of the snake cut off”. (Reference is to Iran)

  51. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What “game” is “over”? Russia’s plans for a second gas pipeline through Turkey?

    If you believe Rouhani does not want to export Iranain gas to Europe, you are simply mistaken.

  52. James Canning says:

    Some informed comments by Leila Piran on Rouhani’s plans for Iranian oil and gas:

    http://www.lobelog.com/petrochemical-industry-key-to-irans-economic-growth/#more-23328

  53. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Nothing new and no new expectation should anyone have on in this from Mr. Erdogan, he has no credibility, on this he is using his last hope to discredit the Gulan clan a made up counter balance Sunni movement who now has the power and foreign backing to throwing Mr. Erdogan out without needing to use the usual outdated military coup. Think of Ukraine.

    By compering Gulan’s to Shieh, Mr. Erdogan is using the now over inflamed Sunni shieh dispute, to inspire the traditional Sunni’s support and make his front against Golan stronger. I am afraid he no longer has any credibility with any group including his western backers, he should run for his life before it becomes too late like what happened to Saddam and Mubarak, which is a best advice anyone can give Mr. Erdogan.

  54. BiBiJon says:

    Predictions proving correct in less than a day
    ===========================================

    h/t RSH, John Mearsheimer predicted that:

    “Mr. Obama would be advised to stop talking to lawyers and start thinking like a strategist. If he did, he would realize that punishing the Russians while trying to pull Ukraine into the West’s camp will only make matters worse.”

    well, guess what.

    “Defying Sanctions, Putin Declares Crimea Independent”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/world/europe/us-imposes-new-sanctions-on-russian-officials.html?hp

  55. Fiorangela says:

    Pat Lang posted on his website, Sic Semper Tyrannis, ethno-historical background on Russia-Ukraine that was composed by Vineyard of the Saker –

    http turcopolier dottypepad dot com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/02/httpvineyardsakerblogspotcomau dot html#

    excerpts:

    “”Nations, like individuals, are born, live and die. In fact, as Shlomo Sands so brilliantly demonstrated in his book The Invention of the Jewish People, nations are really invented, created. . . .

    A “nation” does not need to have deep historical and cultural roots, it does not need to have a legitimate historiography, in fact, all it takes to “create a nation” is a certain amount of people identifying themselves as a community – all the rest can be created/invented later.

    Thus the argument of some Russians that there is no such thing as a Ukrainian nation is fundamentally mistaken: if there are enough people identifying themselves as “Ukrainian” then a distinct “Ukrainian nation” exists. It does not matter at all that there is no trace of that nation in history or that its founding myths are ridiculous as long as a distinct common is shared by its members. And from that point of view, the existence of a Ukrainian nation fundamentally different from the Russian one is an undeniable reality.

    And that is the immense achievement of the Latin Church – it undeniably succeeded in its desire to cut-off the western Russians from their historical roots and to create a new nation: the Ukrainians.

    . . . I would note that the Mongols played a similarly crucial role in the creation of the modern Russian nation. After all, what are the “founding blocks” of the Russian culture. . . .. . . the Russian *state* which grew out of the rather small Grand Duchy of Moscow was definitely shaped by the Mongol culture and statecraft, not Byzantium or ancient Rus. It would not be incorrect to say that ancient Kievan Rus eventually gave birth to two distinct nations: a Ukrainian one fathered by the Papist occupation and a Russian one, fathered by the Mongol occupation.

    In that sense the russophobic statement of the Marquis de Custine . . .scratch the Russian and you will find a Mongol beneath . . . is correct. Equally, however, I would argue that one could say that “scratch the Ukrainian, and you will find the Papist beneath”.” The Saker”

    The Saker followed up with an analysis of the Crimea vote and How the US dream of world hegemony was buried in Crimea

    excerpts:

    “The main thing to understand about the US foreign policy is that it is basically run by people who have no experience or even understanding of diplomacy and its purposes. It’s not only Mrs Nuland and her famous “fuck the EU!” – it’s also Kerry and his constant lies and zig-zags, it is Mrs Rice with her arrogant and always bellicose threats towards Russia and many other countries, finally, it is also Obama himself who combines imperial hubris with a truly phenomenal level of hypocrisy. The very notion of negotiating anything is profoundly foreign to these Imperial leaders who strongly believe that to truly negotiate is basically a sign of weakness. For them, the only thing which can be negotiated is the other guy’s acceptance of all US terms and conditions. And if that does not happen, the the US will basically threaten to bomb the other side into submission. Long gone are they days of George H.W. Bush and his brilliant Secretary of State James Baker who understood how much careful diplomacy and negotiations can achieve. The Kerry/Rice generation basically believes that they can tell everybody else want they want, and if that does not work, then brute force (whether threatened or actual) will solve the problem anyway. This is why the US never agreed to negotiate with Gaddafi or Assad and this is why all the offers made by the Russians to find a negotiated solution were systematically rejected. . . .

    “The overall goal of the US foreign policy worldwide is really very simple: to remain the sole superpower on the planet. The fact that there are more and more signs which clearly point to the fact that the US is no more a real global superpower only make the achievement of this goal a higher priority.

    In this context, the USA has a equally simple strategy towards Russia: do whatever it takes to prevent Russia from becoming a “new Soviet Union” or any other type of challenger to the US worldwide domination.”

  56. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    “It is worse than the cold war in that every piece on the chessboard is in play. Methinks.”

    Yes that is worse as the US still have the arrogance of the cold war victor while time for the unilateral moment is passed.
    One wonder what is needed for the US regime to come back to earth.

    However China now is the US biggest competitor.
    And is more and more assertive in the China sea.
    Silent wars/competitions are the most important and furious.

    And China while being a Russian ally is also a threat to Russia by its cheer size and weight with much land with low density population is available just at the border.
    In.addition Russia is more attracted by western “white” or European civilization than Chinese or Muslim..

    Why in hell the US are alienating Russia ?

    My interpretation of the events is that it translates the US arrogance and ideological slant of past centuries.
    The US regime is truly outdated and rotten to the core.
    Tye US after the cold war made strategic and moral mistakes and are now out in the cold… and everybody with them. Disgusting failure at all levels
    Maybe at current stage the US are trying to freeze the devide as wide as possible between west and east while it is still time in order to keep the client states to escape the dominion and it translates the US weakness and panic ?

    Nasser question about how it is that China is having the best of the both eastern and western world (for now…) is truly a good one.
    One can wonder.
    If anyone has a definite answer…

  57. Don Bacon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    March 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I put “The Saker” at kindergarten level, and why repeat his simplistic stuff. We know all that. Let’s raise the level of discourse.

  58. Dan Cooper says:

    Its the oil, stupid

    The Secret of the Seven Sisters:

    1st episode is about Iran & ME but Watch all 4 episodes, its interesting.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2013/04/201344105231487582.html

  59. Karl.. says:

    Fiorangela

    Nice summary and comments. If west keep threaten Russia I think its a great chance they will get closer to Iran.
    Question is how long west will keep on against Russia, obviously west are stupid, question is though – how stupid? Talks about NATO training in Ukraine later this year was one of the latest idiotic moves I heard lately.

  60. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    EU leaders destroyed the possibility of Iranian gas flowing to EU for at least a few more decades.

    No gas from Iran is going West – excepting Turkey – anytime soon.

    This is understood by everyone.

    Axis Powers have been successful in limiting energy export from Iran to starve that country.

    If they could, they would have starved Iranians – denying them food as well.

  61. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    March 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I think that speakers of Ukrainian language exist but not a Ukrainian nation; similar to the Czech & Slovak regions of Czechoslovakia. A linguistic group does not a nation make (an “ethnos” in the sense of the late Lev Gumilev).

    You need many ingredients; external warfare seems to be an essential ingredient.

    One could argue that Iranian nation/ethnos was born-constructed during the reign of the Safavids.

  62. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Chicken Kiev – Obama Backs Down on Crimea
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/18/obama-backs-down-on-crimea/

    Judoka Putin body-slams Obama to the mat…again…

    I suspect this continually being out-maneuvered by Putin is going to get under “stunning narcissist” Obama’s skin sooner than later…

  63. Rd. says:

    Fiorangela says:

    ““The main thing to understand about the US foreign policy is that it is basically run by people who have no experience or even understanding of diplomacy and its purposes. “

    simply, one of the main result of a corporate driven political class running ONLY for the interest and desires of (short term) corporate interest.

    $1B to elect the president? You get what you pay for..

  64. Karl.. says:

    RSH

    This isnt offer anytime soon. News is that ukrainain military is mobilizing.

  65. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    March 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Your link offers one viewpoint based on the conclusions from the IEA report – which, incidentally, I offered a link to several months ago.

    I do not agree with the certainty with which some of the aspects are presented. For example:

    Convincing evidence that alternatives source of gas can compete at the cost level with reserves in Iran, Russia, Qatar is yet to be provided.

    Using growth projections provided in the IEA report, the feasibility for the pace of infrastructure development required to bring alternative gas sources online in order to meet demands is dubious.

    There are indications that the next IEA report will revise downward the supply/demand ratio of oil as a source of energy, thereby creating more demand for gas as a source. This will in turn further reduce market elasticity.

  66. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    March 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    No doubt these reports are not reliable in their totality and entirety.

    But I think we still can safely conclude that Iranian gas will not be available to the world markets in any meaningful amount any time soon ( < 20 years).

    In the absence of profuse amounts of oil/gas income, Iranians will be forced to reform and improve their economy and their productivity.

    What is the benefit of selling tens of billions of dollars worth of energy when it would mostly go into supporting a voracious consumerism of a lazy population?

  67. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Western Ukraine was part of Lithuania six centuries ago. That country merged with Poland. RCs were in control. This was before Muscovy grew into a great power. But religious distinction (RC vs Orthodox) helped define who was a “Pole” compared to who was a “Russian”. And language figured into this too.

  68. Nasser says:

    A very important and illuminating article:

    “This does not mean that Russia wants to restore the country lost in December 1991. In fact, Russia does not need many of the former Soviet territories. What Russia may be seeking is to replay the Cold War final. In Russia, the viewpoint has always existed (and has grown increasingly widespread lately) that the Soviet Union did not lose the Cold War; rather it surrendered and left the battlefield. Partly this was due to naivety, as Moscow was enthralled by the illusion of “universal human values,” and partly, as many people believe, because of betrayal. Russia’s status as a defeated power (never officially recorded, but universally acknowledged) forced it to make increasingly more concessions. Eventually, Russia was unable to restore its rights in the new system. In other words, no one was willing to view Russia as an equal. And Russia would not agree to a position of a country that is constantly getting up off its knees.”

    http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/redcol/Reverting-to-a-Crossroads-16487

  69. Karl.. says:

    Ron Paul on Ukraine
    http://rt.com/usa/ron-paul-crimea-secedes-610/
    Good as usual.

  70. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Undisciplined sale of vast sums of energy to fuel additional consumerism is clearly not helpful towards building a strong economy (in all senses).

    I also believe that substantial increase in export of gas in the near-term timescale (<10 years) from Iran is highly unlikely. However, the potential for industrial development using gas as raw material is attractive.

  71. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    USSR central planners were subsidizing Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the Central Asian Republics, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan by pumping money from the rich and productive Slavic heartland of the Soviet Union into those republics.

    The Slavic people of the Russian Federation, Byelorussia and Ukraine would have been better off without this net drain on their resources.

    I think that is understood in the Kremlin; I doubt that Russian leaders wish to reconstitute the Soviet Union but I think over time the Russia & Ukrainian region of Northern Kazakhstan will revert back to Russian control.

    By the way, Americans also followed along a very similar path to what the central planners of Soviet Union did; they pumped money from the European-dominated & industrialized heartland of the United States into Western and Eastern parts of the United States as well as subsidizing the old Southern states of the defunct Confederate States of America – thus depriving the American Middle-West of investment capital.

    When the capital drain from the American Middle-West could no longer pay for the costs of the “Empire”, Americans started selling those jobs abroad…..

  72. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    March 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    It is like how an American colleague was complaining to me: “Everyone (in America) is stretching their hand out begging for a government hand-out.”

  73. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Thank you for your response and the earlier link you provided.

    Could you please go into some more detail as to what caused the hollowing out of many US industry and starting when and how exactly they decided to ship their jobs abroad?

  74. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Production of many things is much cheaper in countries with disciplined workforces and much-lower pay scales, than it is in the US. Free trade agreements (eliminating tariffs) encourage the “off-shoring” of production.

  75. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A good example of “draining” of money from the US, is Puerto Rico. The US would benefit from its becoming independent.

    Putin has said that the USSR devoted too much of its economy to the military, and that this helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Which of course is true.

  76. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Russia gained from the end of the Soviet Union’s system of controlling Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and other central European countries. The people of those countries were simply very tired of “communism”.

  77. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Americans, through their Federal Taxes, pumped money out of the industrialized states around the Great Lakes region.

    [In 1975, if Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania as well as the Canadian province of Ontario has become an independent country, they would have had the highest per capita income in the world.

    Now, they are largely characterized as "Rust Belt".]

    The Federal Government in US then distributed those monies to other states – specially California and the Northeastern States – either through actual grants or through military orders for airplanes, avionics, military gear of all kinds, ships, submarines, etc.

    At the same time that the American Middle-West was being drained white, the Financial Sector of the United States – once a servant of the Industry – became the Master of the entire US economy.

    Americans, like the English before them, decided to become bankers and financiers to the world.

    As the return on capital in Industrial sector declined and the government taxes increased, entire sectors of manufacturing became “uncompetitive” since investment capital for them became scarce.

    I mean, why invest in making something mundane such as axles with a 4% return on capital when you could park your money in a hedge fund and see it double every 5 years?

    Specially considering how dirty and messy manufacturing is.

    Again, the idea was that manufacturing and process industries did not matter when an army of ants – called Japanese – to be later replaced by Koreans and Chinese – were available to build the designs produced in the United State.

    This is what happened and you can see it in the carcass of the City of Detroit – once the 4-th largest city in the United States.

    In the meantime, the Americans created a large number of fake jobs – analogous to those in the state sector in Iran – to absorb this surplus labor army – jobs in marketing, in healthcare, etc.

    All of that came to an end in 2007.

    I do not think any of that was inevitable – when you look at Germany or how Ship Building in Japan survived in spite of fierce competition from Koreans and later Chinese.

  78. BiBiJon says:

    The people of those countries were simply very tired of “communism”.
    —————————————————–

    They were even more tired of having to say yes sir, three bags full sir, to a foreign power, namely Russia.

    That feeling is just as likely to rear its ugly head again in time towards, Brussels, or Washington. It is all a question of pocket books first, nationalism second, and only third is ideology. There are plenty socialists, and die hard Marxists left in Europe.

  79. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The people were fed up with “Animal Farm”, especially in Rumania.

  80. Rd. says:

    “The latest developments in the Gulf have led many to rethink their strategies but not their tactics, he said. “The Saudis are doing what Iran couldn’t do.”

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/palestinian-iran-resistance-qatar-alliance-influence.html#ixzz2wLCasKLm

    “Saudi FM calls on Qatar to “modify” its policies”

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/saudi-fm-calls-qatar-modify-its-policies

  81. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Karl: While the Ukraine army is “mobilizing”, there is is little they can do.

    However, when one has a bunch of Neo-Nazies in the Ukraine government, clearly there is opportunity for more chaos. Should they decide to go after ethnic Russians in East Ukraine, the situation could heat up again. This – plus Obama’s total fecklessness in foreign policy – could quite possibly heat up the Cold War again.

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me what lies behind Obama’s complete (alleged) bungling of this crisis. Obama never does anything without orders from his “masters”, and it’s not clear to me what they get from the Ukraine crisis. Obviously there is the expansion of NATO and the resultant military expenditures, etc., but that seems a minimal return for risking a war with Russia.

    There are those who have suggested that Obama simply has no control over the neocons in the State Department. Since Obama is just a plantation foreman, this is quite possible.

    Of course, the return of the Cold War will be profitable for the military-industrial complex elites in the US and the EU, so perhaps that does explain it all. Clearly the policy of the US is to restart the Cold War with both Russia and China.

    In any event, now that “stunning narcissist” Obama has been laughed at by Putin, it’s likely he will return to trying to kill the Iran deal and resume trying to start a war with Syria so he can look aggressive again.

  82. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    The contrast between Russian and Western behavior on the world stage couldn’t be more clear.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/03/ukraine-just-some-news-items-.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01a51188ee15970c

  83. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser says:
    March 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PQrz8F0dBI

    Sir James Goldsmith on GATT

  84. Karl.. says:

    Just saw this video from Ukraine, awful. Of course this wont be on any american or western mainstream channels.

    Ukrainian nationalists humiliate, violently force state TV channel head to resign (VIDEO)
    http://rt.com/news/ukraine-forced-resignation-nationalism-674/

  85. Richard Steven Hack says:

    YK: Four Israeli Soldiers Wounded Near Syria Border
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/18/four-israeli-soldiers-wounded-near-syria-border/

    It appears no one knows WHO planted the bombs, but the return fire from Israel was directed at a Syrian military base, even as Israel declared Hizballah as the likely culprits.

    By doing so, clearly Israel gets two benefits: 1) it continues to try to get an Israel-Syria war going, and 2) it continues to try to get an Israel-Lebanon war going – both of which would enable it to degrade either or both Syria and Hizballah – which is the goal of the Syrian crisis, in preparation for an Iran war.

  86. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

    RSH,

    Assuming Iranian (and Russian) planners are not completely stupid, how do you see Israel “preparing” the ground for war without provoking a reaction from the ultimate intended targets.

  87. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    March 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    This was a long-term operation in Ukraine carried out by the Axis Powers overt and covert intelligence services.

    It almost certainly had been initiated before Mr. Obama came to office.

    And I do not think the considerations of Mr. Obama’s narcissism – a must have characteristic for Western politicians whose electoral campaigns essentially is “Vote for me because I am such a great, capable….etc. person” – are relevant.

    The latest phase of the operations in Ukraine had been conducted by the EU states – chiefly Germany and Poland – and evidently they partially lost the control on the ground.

    When ultra-nationalists stage a coup, Mr. Putin saw his chance and pounced; swallowing Crimea.

    Now Mr. Putin waits patiently for his next opportunity to roll back Axis Powers’ gains in East-Central Europe.

    If he leaves the presidency, the next Russia leader will continue down that path.

    I emphasize again that we are in a situation analogous to the period of warring states in pre-dynastic China or the one prevailing in Europe prior to the French Revolution & the Congress of Vienna.

    This will go back and forth many times until all sides are exhausted specially the Axis Powers as their logistical lines are stretched across Eastern Europe and the Near East.

  88. Nasser says:

    Fiorangela says: March 19, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Thank you for that link, it was very good.

    I also just found out that he was the inspiration for the British corporate raider shown in the movie Wall Street. I will look for more of his material.

  89. Rehmat says:

    On Tuesday, during a speech at Tel Aviv University, Israeli defense minister Gen. Moshe Ya’alon called United States a “weak power” for not taking military action against Iran or Ukraine.

    “We had thought the ones who should lead the campaign against Iran is the United States. But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better. Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves. The United States has also show its weakness in Ukraine and around the world,” he said. In January 2014, Ya’alon made fun of John Kerry over his peace proposal to bring peace between the Zionist entity and PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/19/obamas-desperate-measures-against-assad/

  90. Rehmat says:

    Since the Jewish Lobby and the Ukrainian Jewish oligarchs were caught with their pants down for engineering the recent regime change in Kiev – the Jewish propagandists including Victoria Nuland, Max Blumenthal, Robert English, Abraham Foxman and Steve Weissman are crying foul. They have labeled the nationalist parties like Svoboda, Right Sector and other Ukrainian far-right organizations, as Nazis.

    However, the fact is that Jewish elites, who collaborated with Nazis and Russian communists are the winners of the US-EU funded regime change in Ukraine. Israel Shamir, a Russian-Israeli Jewish writer said recently: ”The oligarchs who financed the Maidan operation divided the spoils: the most generous supporter, multi-billionaire Igor “Benya” Kolomoysky, received the great Russian-speaking city of Dnepropetrovsk in fief. He was not required to give up his Israeli passport. His brethren oligarchs took other Russian-speaking industrial cities, including Kharkov and Donetsk, the Ukrainian Chicago or Liverpool. Kolomoysky is not just an ‘oligarch of Jewish origin’: he is an active member of the Jewish community, a supporter of Israel and a donor of many synagogues, one of them the biggest in Europe. He had no problem supporting the neo-Nazis, even those whose entry to the US had been banned because of their declared antisemitism. That is why the appeals to Jewish consciousness against the Brown putsch demonstrably failed.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/14/ukraine-the-jewish-blame-game/

  91. khomeini says:

    Dear Russia

    We agree with Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov’s statement that Russia will switch to alternative trade partners if global arrogance US and partners impose irrational sanctions on Russia.
    http://rt.com/business/russia-eu-us-sanctions-742/

    We are fully ready to assist Russia to circumvent inhumane sanctions. We have gained extensive experience on how to alleviate the effects of murderous imposed sanctions – Iran is under sanctions for over 30 years now.

    We think this is right time for Russia to engage and increase economic cooperation with Iran. It is also the best time for both parties to boost mutual benefiting business and have only the sky as the limit to the level of such business activities.

    Based on Iran’s experience, we have always stated that US and EU can never be trusted as partners in peace and business. Its in EU and US blood to sponsor global terrorists and terrorism – Syrian terrorists and Kiev’s Nazis are a proof of that.

    We are delighted to see that Russia has also finally realized that EU and US are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    We invite Russia to engage Iran in trade. We have no doubt that it will be a mutually benefiting and mutually respecting partnership.

    Hope to see Russian President soon in Tehran.

    Kind Regards
    Iran

  92. yk says:

    RSH

    It appears you’re still under the illusion of the myth of Israel invincible army, a myth shattered by the 33 and 8 day wars in Lebanon and Gaza. I recognised the fact that Israel can still wreck a lot of destruction on its opponents, but how much destruction can Israel withstand in response to its aggression? How many missiles (this time with precision guide) would it required to turn Israelis public opinion against the war?

    What you referred to as benefit for Israel is actually a cost. Read the MSM recently how most are pointing to the dread in the IDF top hierarchy about the experience hezbollah is gaining from the Syria war, these are long term benefits and one of the decisive factors in war. The resistance project is now more entrenched and as gone from regional to international, a fact well known to Israel. If Israel’s cost and benefit analysis of war indicate a favourable outcome, it would have lunched the war, just like their master in Washington who only attack weak opponents.

    Israel fighting on two fronts against formidable foes – hezbollah in Lebanon and multi national resistance forces in the Golan – is just not feasible for now. The tide is turning against the takfiris (Israel allies) in Syria and so the initiative has been taken from the US/ZIO/TAKFIRIS for now. If the SAA/HEZB/NPF countinues to maintain their battle winning streak, as I have said before the war will be taken to Israel and not the other way round.

  93. fyi says:

    khomeini says:

    March 19, 2014 at 11:59 am

    You are being too kind to the Russian Federation; the fact remains that they fully cooperated with Axis Powers’ financial & economic war against Iran – as did Georgia, Turkey, UAE, India, Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa and very many others.

  94. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Russian Federation is working with China and four other countries, in effort to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran. A round of negotiations currently is underway in Vienna. As you surely are well aware.

  95. James Canning says:

    yk,

    Hezbollah has made clear it will not attack Israel unless Israel attacks first.

  96. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    “the fact remains that they fully cooperated with Axis Powers’ financial & economic war against Iran – as did Georgia, Turkey, UAE, India, Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa and very many others.”

    fyi,

    The fact remains that everybody on this planet is out for themselves. Typically, they will not help anyone, if rendering that help is going to put themselves in some jeopardy greater than projected benefits. And, because this salient fact of world order is understood by all, nobody holds any long-term grudges. So, for example, India can be quite sure that in the fullness of time, it can get back to doing serious business with Iran, and that Iran will not forgo her own advantages in pursuing a strategic/transactional/economic relationship with India just to teach her a lesson about India’s past unfriendliness.

    I’m saying, you are right. But, lets not exaggerate.

  97. yk says:

    Khomeini

    Putin made a terrible error when he thought he could persuade the US to accept Russia as a partner. America sick with terminal disease (capitalism) is hell bent on achieving hegemony and sees none as partner but as tools to be used and dump at will, even the EU and NATO, clearly Washington action in Ukraine would directly hurt EU’S interest but they are forging ahead with their deranged policy nevertheless.

    However I have not seen anything in Russia’s reactions to the Ukraine crisis that indicates a change in approach as Russia response is reactive and not proactive.

    I have nothing against Iran exploiting these conflict to maximise her interests but believing Russia would abandon her delusion and re-allied her interest any time soon remains a tall order as Russia would go back to her old position of using in Iran to bargain with west and trying to work out a partnership with the US as soon as the Ukraine crisis calm down. Am sure policy makers in Tehran are aware of this and are positioned to take the right steps.

  98. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    March 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    The Russian Federation and Iran/Shia Crescent cannot be friends but they cannot afford to be enemies either.

    In fact, Mr. Putin’s strategic assessment – in his speech yesterday – is consistent with my own understanding.

    The Russian Federation, under Presidents Yelstin, Putin, Medvedev, and Putin sought to “share in the management of the world’s problems”, as Mr. Ahmadinejad kept on saying.

    The Axis Powers were not interested.

    Nor were the Axis Powers willing to accept any limitations or reach any understanding with the Russian Federation – analogously to what Mr. Khamenei has been saying very many times in connection with Iran.

    The recent events clearly indicated a readjustment of the 20-year policy of the Russian Federation with respect to that politico-military alliance of more than a billion souls called NATO.

    The Russian Federation’s foreign policy of close cooperation with Axis Powers is now defunct.

    I imagine that Axis Powers and the Russian Federation will go through the motions of cooperation against Iran but the heart is now taken out of it.

    I do feel sorry for the Russians nevertheless.

    Like their counterparts in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and Northern Tehran, they have been seeking an intellectual cultural and spiritual home in Europe for 300 years. Yet they also had to suffer at the hands of Europeans for that period of time, all the while lacking an alternative basis with sufficient depth for a distinct polity – unlike Iran.

    The interregnum has ended.

    You can read the relevant paragraphs here:

    “Colleagues, like a mirror, the situation in Ukraine reflects what is going on and what has been happening in the world over the past several decades. After the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organizations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

    This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th century, one of Europe’s capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.

    There was a whole series of controlled “color” revolutions. Clearly, the people in those nations, where these events took place, were sick of tyranny and poverty, of their lack of prospects; but these feelings were taken advantage of cynically. Standards were imposed on these nations that did not in any way correspond to their way of life, traditions, or these peoples’ cultures. As a result, instead of democracy and freedom, there was chaos, outbreaks in violence and a series of upheavals. The Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.

    A similar situation unfolded in Ukraine. In 2004, to push the necessary candidate through at the presidential elections, they thought up some sort of third round that was not stipulated by the law. It was absurd and a mockery of the constitution. And now, they have thrown in an organized and well-equipped army of militants.

    We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration. And all this while Russia strived to engage in dialogue with our colleagues in the West. We are constantly proposing cooperation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.

    On the contrary, they have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact. This happened with NATO’s expansion to the East, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They kept telling us the same thing: “Well, this does not concern you.” That’s easy to say.

    It happened with the deployment of a missile defense system. In spite of all our apprehensions, the project is working and moving forward. It happened with the endless foot-dragging in the talks on visa issues, promises of fair competition and free access to global markets.

    Today, we are being threatened with sanctions, but we already experience many limitations, ones that are quite significant for us, our economy and our nation. For example, still during the times of the Cold War, the US and subsequently other nations restricted a large list of technologies and equipment from being sold to the USSR, creating the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls list. Today, they have formally been eliminated, but only formally; and in reality, many limitations are still in effect.

    In short, we have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today. They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. And with Ukraine, our western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.”

  99. James Canning says:

    yk,

    China is to considerable extent “hyper-capitalist” with a very large number of billionaires. I take it you disapprove?

  100. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    St. Petersburg and Moscow are very much part of Europe.

    Did Russia “suffer” when it partitioned Poland (with Prussia and Austria)?

  101. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia would have annexed Persia, if Britain had not prevented this. More “suffering” by Russia, at the hands of “Europeans”?

  102. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    You are forgetting 1812, 1914, and 1942 and then the Cold War.

  103. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    That is not a factual statement.

  104. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Yes, indeed Russia tried to have “equal, open and fair” relations with the West. However, while they were trying to have that amicable relationship, Russia was also busing reforming post Soviet Russia, and developing capabilities to be able to counter the west. In other words, folks put up with power imbalances because they have to, not because they hopelessly optimistic about peace, love and friendship; all the while toiling to correct the imbalance.

    I can only assume if those reforms/capabilities had not been readied, Russia would have taken it on the chin regarding Ukraine as well. I assume Ms Nuland had no idea what she was dealing with.

  105. Karl.. says:

    Hard to take obama seriously on anything, I think this picture sums it up.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-757p4I_4BL0/T5qSIjhdGBI/AAAAAAAAASE/4Xfh51PAcRA/s1600/Obama+Bike+Riding.jpg

    So much weird things with that picture.

  106. Karl.. says:

    News: Russia may change stance on Iran.

    Might bluff but if west keep on in Ukraine I think there will be a change.

  107. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Just like US and EU and China and India, Russia has invested too much in its Iran policy to change tack now, specially since her leaders might be under the delusion that Iranians are just about to concede to various constraints on their nuclear program.

    In fact, the events in Ukraine have almost certainly reinforced the Iranians’ sense of the correctness of their overall policy with respect to Axis Powers, Russia, India, nuclear negotiations etc.

  108. Nasser says:

    fyi says: March 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    The Western commentary I have been reading makes them sound supremely confident. It is as if they can smell the victory it is so near. What would you attribute this to? Do they really think that the election of Mr. Rouhani is the same as Iranians crying uncle?

  109. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Hubris.

  110. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 19, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    “Hard to take obama seriously on anything”

    Like Mr. Zbig explained almost a year before Obama got the office, he was uplifted because he was a useful idiot so was GW or slick Willy. Voting in any US election for anyone is waste of time and hope, till genuine grass root revolution takes place, maybe I another 5 to 10 years and will be badly bloody like the civil war.

  111. yk says:

    From Moscow with love.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-powers-adjourn-nuke-talks-april-22967242

    Iran policy makers had better look hard before they leap.

  112. kooshy says:

    “We are fully ready to assist Russia to circumvent inhumane sanctions. We have gained extensive experience on how to alleviate the effects of murderous imposed sanctions – Iran is under sanctions for over 30 years now.”

    Realistically in today’s interconnected world trade for needed resources it’s not only Iran that has been sanctioned, in reality the whole world economy including the idiotic US is been sanctioned from benefits of trade and Iran’s resources, this has become to be, an expensive realized fact to the world, everyone specially the most severely effected (EU) will correctly for ever blame the US for this mistake during their most difficult economic period.

  113. yk says:

    I very well accept that Russia is protecting her interest, that’s the cold fact in the world of real politicking, so is the fact that any illusion of partnership with such a nation would only end in disaster for the party involved.

    Iran should strictly maintain her policy of neither East nor West.

  114. kooshy says:

    yk says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    No one can deny the fact that today the Iranian, Syrian and Hizbollah armed personals (all from the same resistance camp) are the most war experiences ( all type of wars ) alliance in the ME and maybe even in the world. Israel IDF can’t stand any chance fighting them on the ground.

  115. yk says:

    Kooshy

    I do agree with you. But the present crop of EU leaders does only one thing best, that is shooting themselves in the leg. They make suicidal policies to satisfy their master in Washington. Take the case of Ukraine, who will suffer brunt if things spiral out of control? And EU masses are more concerned about gay marriage, animal rights, atheism and what have you while their basic rights are being chippped away on a daily bases.

    I believe things would remain like these on the EU front for the foreseeable future, unless Washington self destruct.

  116. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain was the only country capable of preventing Russia from taking over the Middle East, in the High Victorian era. Russia easily would have absorbed Persia, Syria, Anatolia.

  117. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Europe” did not attack Russia in 1914. And Russia’s war with Germany owed a great deal to incompetence on the part of the Tsar.

    The Cold War was largely Stalin’s creation.

  118. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Bibi – fyi

    To me Mr. Putin’s speech yesterday, was declaration on ending whatever was left of post WWII international system after the fall of USSR.
    He was right to say that American and their fool allies in EU think that they fair better with less restriction if the hand tightening international laws was somehow swept away, but the usual American mistake is without a world authority invested in their UN veto status, their political and military maneuverability will be increased. In my opinion what Russia did is to the overall benefit of peace since the US and EU cannot/ will not nor can afford any new war.

  119. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Bibi

    On the Russian /EU relation I mostly agree with FYI, I think he is right to say that unfortunately the Russian’s view of and for their relations with EU/West is like that of north Tehranies or the Shah before them, they see and connect to their world only through a Eurocentric vision, although this same fools they know they will be treated like the kings in World’s South they prefer to be accepted as a second class PADO in European socities . Fortunitly and hopefully that vision will be hard to implement in Iran again. And another hope is that Russia is pulled out of that vision although is hard for me to see that can be changed. Since the beginning they saw themselves as Europeans even though they were never been accepted as an equal such. This much was even admitted in Mr. Putin’s speech.

  120. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 19, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    “The Cold War was Stalin’s creation.”

    That is not a true statement.

    Perhaps the first act of the war was the late Harry S. Truman’s attempt at Potsdam, alluding to nuclear weapons in the possession of the United States, to intimidate the late Mr. Stalin.

    The second act took place in Occupied Germany where Americans printed their own Deutsch Mark to wreck the economy of the Russian sector of the Occupied Germany.

    Someday all of this would be subject to dispassionate analysis and such facts as US machinations that directly led to the erection of Berlin Wall would become known.

  121. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Do not kid yourself, Britain had no soldiers in that arena that could oppose Russian Armies – if that were indeed Russia’s intentions.

  122. khomeini says:

    To All

    Happy Nowrooz

  123. Karl.. says:

    UK up the warmongering against Russia.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/03/20/355425/uk-germany-to-expand-russia-sanctions/
    _http://presstv.com/detail/2014/03/20/355432/cameron-threatens-putin-with-g8-purge/

    I guess Hague regime is mad because Russia stopped Hague, Cameron’s war on Syria.

  124. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I agree also. And, let’s not mince words. If one had to cite a single reason for Russian/Iranian underachievement, it would have to be that debilitating sense of inferiority towards all things European.

    That cultural malaise is being cured from two fronts, one hopes: a) Success despite sanctions, and b) Western projects looking increasingly poorly planned, poorly executed, and entirely bereft of believable justification/explanations/narratives.

    Those who emitted barely a peep when Bahrain’s rulers and Saudi forces brutally put down peaceful demonstrations by an oppressed majority, despite having huge naval presence there, now condemn the support Russia lent to the frightened majority in Crimea because Russians have a huge naval presence there! Emmit a peep?, No, UK sold tyrants even more weapons of oppression. http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/export-licences/licence?date_to=2011-12-31&date_from=2011-01-01&region=Bahrain

    Those who made such a lengthy, and very bloody mess of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, etc. are apoplectic about a bloodless, swift, and decisive intervention in Crimea.

    I could go on, but you get the gist. It must be getting more difficult to be starry-eyed when the star is dimming, even for north Tehranis.

  125. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “James Canning says:
    Do not kid yourself, Britain had no soldiers in that arena that could oppose Russian Armies – if that were indeed Russia’s intentions.”

    You ought to know by now james has a wild imagination!

  126. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    The level of Russophobia among American elites is breathtaking.

    Couldn’t have anything to do with generations of eastern European exiles- Jewish and non-Jewish- theorizing America’s strategic role in the world, right?

    Thank God for the American Conservative.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-coup-in-crimea-or-in-russia/

    Guess who took it for granted that Crimea was Russian…yep, old Winston.

    Quote:

    “One would search Sir Winston’s account in vain for a hint that one day this territory would be incorporated into an American-led anti-Moscow alliance. Churchill rightly worried about Soviet ambitions in Europe, but the idea that Crimea was not a part of Russia would have struck him as simply absurd.”

    Quote:

    “The Beltway hawks want to defeat Putin, depicted as a new Hitler by Hillary Clinton, to punish the Russian leader who put a stop to the oligarch looting spree of the 1990s that had sent Russia into a death spiral. Their dream: humiliating Putin, setting off “freedom” demonstrations in Moscow, perhaps a civil war to bring Putin down.

    Why, one must ask, is this an American interest? Why would we want chaos in a state which possesses 8,000 nuclear weapons? If the neocons and neoliberals got their way and Putin is defeated and falls, who then assumes power? Or does Russia break into warring fiefdoms with various warlords vying for control? And in this scenario, who, if anyone, commands Moscow’s nuclear arsenal? Is this really the future—with all its attendant uncertainty, desperation, and humiliation—Americans want to see? Truly it is hard to imagine anything more stupid or shortsighted.”

  127. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “California-based international relations scholar Andrei Tsygankov has remarked that anti-Russian political rhetoric coming from Washington circles has received wide echo in American mainstream media, asserting that “Russophobia’s revival is indicative of the fear shared by some U.S. and European politicians that their grand plans to control the world’s most precious resources and geostrategic sites may not succeed if Russia’s economic and political recovery continues.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russophobia

    I think that pretty much covers it…

  128. BiBiJon says:

    Not one word about who supplies the money and the ideology
    =====================================================

    Carlotta Gall who was covering Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2001 to 2013 for The New York Times has lengthy expose of Pkaistan/Taliban/Bin Laden connection in the NY Times today.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/magazine/what-pakistan-knew-about-bin-laden.html?hp

    What is missing is so much as a single reference to Saudi Arabia who is behind all the shenanigans, financially, and ideologically. Nevertheless, I hope the appearance of this article in the Times is the harbinger of a radical shift in US thinking. The monsters KSA is funding, and the mayhem those monsters are causing has trashed US’ $multi-trillion efforts in the region, and has achieved nothing but copious eggs on US’ face. Time to call a spade a spade. Time to change course.

  129. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bibijon,

    What to do about the US balls that are in Saudi hands because of US dollar denominated oil?

    In other words, let’s together imagine the US the day after Saudi announces it will no longer sell its oil in US dollars.

    Add to that, Saudi institutional investors withdrawing investment from US markets.

    Add to that, Saudi shifting their multi-billion dollar defense and weapons contracts to non-US parties.

    Add to that, Saudi no longer financing US global adventures- from Nicaragua to Syria.

    Seriously, let’s think through that scenario together cuz that’s what the whole thing will hinge on.

  130. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Dmitri Trenin commentary:

    http://carnegie.ru/2014/03/19/meaning-of-crimea-crisis/h4s6

    We read:

    “… for the Russian Federation. A three-dimensional (economic, political and information/cultural) competition with a much stronger adversary will require Russia to mobilize all its available resources. It will also expose the flaws of Russia’s present system. As a result, Russia could either re-emerge as a nation with a strong sense of patriotism, or it could break up again.”

    The above prognostications could equally well be applied to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Shia Crescent – there is no way back and the only path available is to proceed forward.

  131. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Good, now are willing to return to your vatan and help in the process of nation-building, or do you prefer pontificating from afar?

    You missed out on the first 35 years for “personal” reasons.

    I think this whole State of Fall and History has no direction bullshit just rationalizes/covers up the fact that you are scared shitless of physically putting yourself in danger for anything.

    Doesn’t matter, a lot of people are like that.

  132. BiBiJon says:

    BiB,

    In the scenario you paint, if I were China, and I happen to have more treasury notes than I knew what to do with, I’d attack KSA, unless Americans themselves beat me to it.

  133. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    March 20, 2014 at 11:45 am

    The West-Saudi relationship is a mutually parasitic relationship – they occasionally harm each other, but both are careful not to bring fatal harm to the other. As is the case in most relationships of this nature, each side gradually co-opts the other in various spheres of apparent overlapping interest.

    The main (dys)functioning political elites of both states are so intertwined that a separation is no longer a viable option. A new political order must emerge. One that economically sidelines the key host allies of this alliance – US/UK/CAN/AUS.

    The cruel reality (in my view) is that the best way to help the emergence of this new political order is to continue to encourage the host allies to engage in increasingly perilous adventures.

  134. BiBiJon says:

    Jay says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    “The cruel reality (in my view) is that the best way to help the emergence of this new political order is to continue to encourage the host allies to engage in increasingly perilous adventures.”

    Except that they seem to make such hash out of their perilous adventures.

    http://rt.com/usa/neocons-stage-attack-alternative-media-965/

    Or maybe BECAUSE they’re so inept that your suggestion is is fastest route to sanity.

  135. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jay,

    I agree in principle.

    My basic point/hypothesis: Saudi has the US by the balls.

    If you like, we could develop the SHTUSBTB “Saudi has the US by the balls” simulation.

    Let’s start with using the 4 factors I mentioned and run a simulation to see what would happen to the US the day after these 4 events happen or a combinations of them.

    Hey, maybe it turns that nothing major would happen, I would be proven wrong and US elites could tell Bandar and the Bedouins to go screw a camel, right?

    Believe me, I would love to be proven wrong on this one.

    You’re way better at math, you crunch the numbers…

  136. James Canning says:

    Javad Zarif, the Iranian FM, had excellent piece in the Financial Times yesterday (“Iran keeps its word – - the west should do the same”).

    Quote: “9/11 proved that even the strongest nuclear power cannot obtain security for itself by inflicting insecurity on others.”

  137. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    You appear to forget the Indian Empire. Britain had an easier time putting troops into the Persian Gulf, than Russia.

  138. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Russia would have catured Constantinople in 1877-78, but for Britain’s opposition. This would have meant the end of the Ottoman Empire.

  139. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    The British Parliament in effect vetoed military intervention by the UK in Syria.

  140. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain could put forces into the Gulf more easily than could Russia.

  141. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    An interesting proposition! Maybe I can make this a project!!

  142. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Stalin brought on the Cold War. He made clear he had no intentions of respecting the rights of the people in countries occupied by the Red Army, and he had no desire to cooperate with Britain or the US.

    And let’s not forget the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

    You know well enough the Berlin Wall was erected to keep the population of East Germany from fleeing to the west.

  143. Karl.. says:

    Bussed in Basiji


    The level of Russophobia among American elites is breathtaking.

    +1. And it doesnt seems to end.
    I am worried what kind of hate/lies/propaganda we will see in case of a war against Iran.
    Also this isnt a problem only in America but in the western world in whole.

  144. kooshy says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

    “The level of Russophobia among American elites is breathtaking.”

    Bib Khan, Eyde Mobarak

    I would say the level of Russo phobia (Putin Phobia) in US, has not reached to that of Iran phobia and Islam phobia, and I don’t think will be permitted to get that high. The reason is, since the American are brought up to think of themselves as individually exceptional, with that mentality comes their self believe to have the right of being a bully, they bully for respect and acceptance of being better and above the rest.

    With regard to Russia they have been told and understand and respect the fact that Russia can harm them here on their mainland, therefore will not try to bully the Russians to a point of no return. As the result the level of phobia and demonization is highly calculated and controlled. But unfortunately that is not the case with regard to Iran and Muslim they are made to believe that since Iran and Muslims don’t have the means to harm the US mainland therefore they can bully and spread the demonization as much as they want without any real damage to their way of life. But is also fair to say never less deep down in and outside of the American regime they have far more respect for Iran than the other Muslim countries, because Iran has been successfully standing up to them for 35 years, and has been able to successfully pushing them back. This mentality is easily evidenced in bloggers like RSH, he openly says and thinks that Americans can bomb Iran as much and as long as they want, but Iranians can’t bomb US at home, so he recommends for stopping the US, Iran will need to conduct some mass terrorism in US mainland. That is the mentality they are grown up with, the only way that they do understand is bullying, bullets, guns, and bombs, to them diplomacy and negotiation is when you can bully the other side to submit. The right to bully is because they are brought up to believe they are exceptional and once they found out they can’t bully you they wouldn’t want you as friend or even talking to you. Truly, they are a nation of self-made, self-centered under one god idiots.

  145. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jay,

    Cool, I get co-authorship as “B.I. Basiji, Ph.D”.

    For “scientific” reasons, I must insist on the “…by the balls” terminology.

  146. humanist says:

    Obama’s 2014 Norouz message:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfBIWh9soj8

    He knows all about the NIE’s and similar USG documents on Iranian nuclear program…. he most probably is aware of the major points of the books like Going to Tehran and Manufactured Crisis, yet one wonders why he blames the Iranian Government for the pain he has inflicted on the Iranian people?

  147. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    kooshy-jan,

    Eyde shoma-ham mobarak, wishing you and your family the best of years.

    I think those in the US who are “doers”, not armchair chickenhawks, know that Iran is very capable and powerful.

    The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower

    http://www.amazon.com/Devil-We-Know-Dealing-Superpower/dp/0307408671/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395341420&sr=1-2&keywords=baer+robert

    Yes, the problem is rooted in arrogance and delusions of “exceptionalism”.

    Well, when they commit a ghalat, they will see for themselves, no use talking about it now.

    In the meantime, we’ve handed the US its own ass in every proxy conflict in the last 15-20 years.

    Syria takes the fuckin cake. Triple bitch-slapping US-Saudi-Israel at once. And all of it while winning diplomatically and making US-Saudi-Israel look like the animals they are.

    Does it get better?

    Don’t underestimate the US-Saudi-Israeli defeat in Syria.

    Don’t underestimate the west’s strategic blunder in Ukraine vis-a-vis Russia. It’s major.

  148. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Ask those with on the ground experience…

    Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude

    http://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Devil-Washington-Saudi-Crude/dp/1400052688/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=03F7RMGJCK2KBAFV7B9M

    “The money and arms that we send to Saudi Arabia are, in effect, being used to cut our own throat, Baer writes, but America might have only itself to blame. So long as we continue to encourage the highly volatile Saudi state to bank our oil under its sand—and so long as we continue to grab at the Al Sa’ud’s money—we are laying the groundwork for a potential global economic catastrophe.”

  149. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    March 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Co-authorship; of course! We will have to negotiate regarding your exacting terminology!

  150. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Mere accusations based on Axis Powers propaganda…

    Counter example: Austria, occupied by the Red Army, once that state was agreed to be neutral, the Soviets left.

    Why did they leave?

    “Respect the rights of the people”…

    Like Axis Powers respected the rights of Iranians, or Chileans, or Dominicans, or Cubans, or Yugoslavs?

    And now Ukrainians?

    As for the Korean War, you are blaming the wrong person; the late Chairman Mao but not the late Marshall Stalin.

  151. Richard Steven Hack says:

    yk: You clearly have missed my many posts here in the past where I explain precisely how and why Israel will start a new war with Lebanon – with the help of the US and NATO by attacking Syria and degrading Syria’s ability to be involved.

    Also, I have never said that Israel necessarily will WIN that attack on Hizballah. I have said that Israel has to TRY – if the crazed Zionist rulers ever intend to get a war with Iran started that will not cost Israel a lot of economic and political chaos due to the problem of Syrian and Hizballah missiles added to Iranian missiles.

    Your points precisely support that argument.

    “the dread in the IDF top hierarchy about the experience hezbollah is gaining from the Syria war, these are long term benefits and one of the decisive factors in war.”

    Which is precisely why Israel wants a war with Hizballah sooner rather than later. The only threat Hizballah presents to Israel is its missile arsenal. If Israel can capture the bulk of that arsenal via an encirclement attack via southern Lebanon AND the Bekaa Valley, and force Hizballah to move further north, thus limiting the range of the remaining missiles, Israel can afford to attack Iran – the real goal of all this.

    Iranian missiles are irrelevant. The second an Iranian missile hits Israel, the US will attack Iran. The rest of Iran’s missiles will be consumed firing at US military targets in the region. The Iron Dome will take care of the few Iranian missiles remaining – and whatever few manage to bypass that, Israel couldn’t care less because they are not an existential or even economic threat, just as Iraq’s missiles were not.

    But Israel cannot afford to get hit with 50,000 Hizballah rockets. That will cause economic and political problems for the ruling elite. So Hizballah (and Syria) must be degraded.

    Israel intend the US and NATO to degrade Syria, thus providing cover for an Israeli assault on Hizballah through Syrian territory into the Bekaa Valley. This is the only way Israel can even TRY to degrade Hizballah. Thus it is a strategic necessity and MUST be attempted.

    “If Israel’s cost and benefit analysis of war indicate a favourable outcome, it would have lunched the war, just like their master in Washington who only attack weak opponents.”

    Again, the Iran war will have a favorable outcome for Israel only if Hizballah can be degraded enough to make it a “cheap” war for Israel. And the only way that can occur is if the US and NATO degrade Syria first so Israel can cross Syrian territory without engaging the Syrian army to attack Lebanon.

    This is why Obama was ready to attack Syria last year based on bogus chemical weapons claims. Only because Putin out-maneuvered Obama are we not at war with Syria today.

    “Israel fighting on two fronts against formidable foes – hezbollah in Lebanon and multi national resistance forces in the Golan”

    It won’t be fighting on two fronts. That’s precisely why the US wants to start a war with Syria. If the US and NATO are bombing Syrian forces – and/or Al Qaeda factions (Obama doesn’t care which or both) – Israel does not need to worry about a two-front war. I’ve said that all along.

    “the war will be taken to Israel and not the other way round.”

    No one is going to attack Israel, certainly not effectively. That’s fantasy.

  152. Richard Steven Hack says:

    New Israeli Budget Includes Billions for Attacking Iran
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/19/new-israeli-budget-includes-billions-for-attacking-iran/

    And will continue to do so until they get a war started, then let the US take the brunt of the war.

  153. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israeli Air Strike Against Syria Base Kills One, Raises Border Tensions
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/19/israeli-air-strike-against-syria-base-kills-one-raises-border-tensions/

    Still trying to get that war started…

  154. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Hezbollah Leader Offered Secret Assurances to Israel
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/19/hezbollah-leader-offered-secret-assurances-to-israel/

    “Nasrallah told the Israelis the Israel-Lebanon border was the “safest in the world” and that Hezbollah had no intention of attacking Israel, being far too busy with its involvement in the Syrian Civil War.”

    Of course Hizballah won’t attack Israel – Nasrallah knows the Israelis are just waiting for that excuse. And Israel can’t attack Hizballah effectively without going through Syrian territory into the Bekaa Valley. The last war in 2006 proved that.

    Again, this is why the Syrian crisis exists: to get the US and NATO involved in attacking Syria under any excuse, so that Israel doesn’t have to worry about Syrian forces when they do attack Lebanon.

  155. Karl.. says:

    RSH

    Lebanon keep getting attacked..

    Dozens of arab states could have finished israeli occupation in a week or two, but no they are too weak and too busy killing each other and getting cred and money by the U.S. Pathetic when you think about it.

  156. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jay,

    OK fine, I can live with “…by the nuts/testicles/testes/gonads/family jewels/cojones/sandra bullocks”.

    I trust your “scientific” judgement on this “sensitive” matter.

  157. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I agree, Arabs are stupid.

  158. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    East Germany put up the Berlin wall to avoid having millions of East Germans leave the East for the West. This is beyond question.

  159. Karl.. says:

    hillary clinton in front of jewish lobby warmonger against Iran
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/03/20/355498/clinton-every-option-on-table-for-iran/

  160. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Stalin gave North Korea his approval for NK’s attack on South Korea, in April 1950. NK’s invasion was two months later.

  161. James Canning says:

    Those having difficulty understanding the role of American neocons in the Ukraine problem should read Robert Parry’s comments:

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/22671-focus-neocons-ukraine-syria-iran-gambit

  162. Rehmat says:

    On March 19, 2014, American Jewish Congress (AJC), an Israel lobby group, honored Hillary Clinton, former US First Lady of Monica Lewinsky Affair with AJCongress’ Stephen S. Wise Award for her services to Israel and Jewish community.

    During her 30-minute speech, Hillary talked mostly about the Islamic Republic and John Kerry’s Palestinian peace charade.

    Talking to the ‘Iranphobic’ audience, Hillary Clinton warned Congress against imposing new ‘crippling sanctions’ against Iran. However she added: “I’m personally skeptical that the Iranians would (nuclear agreement with P5+1) follow through and deliver. I have seen their behavior over years. But this is a development that is worth testing.

    “Now, the odds of reaching that comprehensive agreement are not good. President Obama has said that. Let’s be clear every other option does remain on the table,” Hillary added.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/21/hillary-clinton-i-dont-trust-iranian-but/

  163. kooshy says:

    Good to read, I am glad he writes from inside Iran

    Iran weighs ‘active neutrality’ in Ukraine

    “Kayhan Barzegar”

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/iran-ukraine-active-neutrality-syria.html

    Happy New year to you all

  164. Fiorangela says:

    East Mediterranean Eyes EU And Global LNG Markets For Gas Sales
    by Reuters
    |
    Henning Gloystein and Ari Rabinovitch
    http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/132068/East_Mediterranean_Eyes_EU_And_Global_LNG_Markets_For_Gas_Sales/?all=HG2#sthash.yBalyMpJ.dpuf

    Recently Mark Jacobson, a former NATO bureaucrat appeared on C Span to discuss the great service NATO offers to Europe in facing down Russia. In the course of conversation he mentioned E Mediterranean gas at least 4 times.

    My impression is that NATO is to be the security guard patrolling Israeli pipelines & gas/oil transit to Europe, to undercut Russia. Jacobson suggested that cutting gas prices would have a huge negative impact on Russia’s economy. The dude also insisted that “Ukraine needs stability,” both politically & economically, and that US & IMF will help in those departments.

    Apparently, US elites believe and teach their students that stability is a win-lose proposition: for Nation A to enjoy prosperity, Nation B must be destabilized and impoverished. Novel theory, surely Nobel prize material.

  165. Smith says:

    “The choice here could not be more stark. Keep your nukes and keep your land. Give up your nukes and get raped.”

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/03/03/putin-invades-crimea-obama-hardest-hit/

    “This will be the second time that Obama administration policy has taught the rest of the world that nuclear weapons are important things to have. The Great Loon of Libya gave up his nuclear program and the west, as other leaders see it, came in and wasted him.

    It is almost unimaginable after these two powerful demonstrations of the importance of nuclear weapons that a country like Iran will give up its nuclear ambitions. Its heavily armed, Shiite-persecuting neighbor Pakistan has a hefty nuclear arsenal and Pakistan’s links with Iran’s nemesis and arch-rival Saudi Arabia grow closer with every passing day.

    What piece of paper could Obama possibly sign—especially given that his successor is almost certainly going to be more hawkish—that would replace the security that Iran can derive from nuclear weapons? North Korea would be foolish not to make the same calculation, and a number of other countries will study Ukraine’s fate and draw the obvious conclusions.”

  166. Smith says:

    It is a relief that many of the ideas, I have been promoting on this site for over a year, are now part of the resistance economy announced by SL. Though the chances of its success remain slim mainly due to the fact that there are alot of hypocrite super corrupt in-people in Iran who will make sure of its failure, some of whom even post on this site.

  167. yk says:

    RSH

    I have been following your post for a while and I have not missed ‘many’ of your posts.

    “Israel will start a new war with Lebanon – with the help of the US and NATO by attacking Syria and degrading Syria’s ability to be involved.”

    Due to cost and benefit analysis the US/NATO are not in a position to engage in a new war for now. RSH this is exactly what I am trying to emphasise, you give too much credit to the zionist attack dog. Israel would never start a war without green light from Washington. So I repeat the only reason holding them is that their master across the Atlantic can’t afford a confrontation now. We should not kid ourselves if the US was in a position to attack Syria do you think they would have hesitate claiming public opinion? Iraq genocidal war is a good example. There were worldwide opposition but did the US gives a damn?

    “Also, I have never said that Israel necessarily will WIN that attack on
    Hizballah.”

    I never said you believe Israel would win NO. My premise was on the psychology of war that a nation like Israel – which is built on occupation and with many of the occupiers having dual citizenship – cannot absorb much destruction and death before the public opinion would turn against the war, a thing known to hezbollah and the which organisation as learn to manipulate to their advantage. You might say public opinion count less in war but not in Israel because the citizens might start leaving en mass claiming an existential threat thereby eroding the foundation of the state.

    “The only threat Hizballah presents to Israel is its
    missile arsenal. If Israel can capture the bulk of that arsenal via an
    encirclement attack via southern Lebanon AND the Bekaa Valley,
    and force Hizballah to move further north, thus limiting the range of
    the remaining missiles, Israel can afford to attack Iran – the real
    goal of all this.”

    Did I hear you say the only threat? RSH were you in outerspace in 2006 when Hizballah destroyed Israel’s invisibility to use a mild word? And the Hizballah of then can’t in any way compared to the Hizballah of today, an assessment confirmed by the zionist intelligence. If the zionist IDF failed to capture the tiny Gaza rocket arsenal of Hamas and PIJ in the 8 day’s war and had to sue for peace, what gave you the audacity to believe they could do this to Hizballah knowing the strength of Hizballah compared to these organisations? Did you not heared about the Dahiyeh – Telaviv equation? Are you not aware of the promise by Hassan Nasrallah to occupy Jenin in the next war with the zionist and how serious the zionists leaders are highly apprehensive of these threats? Are you not aware of the poll that reveals that Israeli public trust Hassan Nasrallah’s word than that of their leaders? RSH are you analysing or fantasizing?

    “Iranian missiles are irrelevant. The second an Iranian missile hits
    Israel, the US will attack Iran. The rest of Iran’s missiles will be
    consumed firing at US military targets in the region. The Iron Dome
    will take care of the few Iranian missiles remaining – and whatever
    few manage to bypass that, Israel couldn’t care less because they
    are not an existential or even economic threat, just as Iraq’s missiles
    were not.”

    Iran does not need to fire from her shores to hit israel, iranian missiles are already on the zionist border waiting for Israel to make missteps before they start homing in on there target. Remember that these are the missiles that had successfully kept the US interest hostage in the middle east and Persian gulf, creating a strategic balance without targeting the US homeland and something the Iranian military planners openly boasted about. The US would not green light a zionists attack on Iran because it would be suicidal for their interest. Please take some time to read about the history of America’s aggressive wars, you would discover that this bully only go after weak nations. Do you believe Iran belong to that category? Well there’s only one way to find out. Let the zionists bring it on.

    “But Israel cannot afford to get hit with 50,000 Hizballah rockets.”

    That’s exactly what will happen, the new equation is now an eye for an eye.

    There is a popular notion that zionist israel control the US foreign policy in the middle east. While Israel my have a strong influence on the US policy in the Middle east through the powerful jewish lobby, the US capitalist class are the ultimate power being these lobbies through their grip on the US economy and governmental institutions thereby subjecting Washington to all these catastrophic policies for their own imperialistic ambitions. On a final note, Iran does not base its strategic deterrence on the idea that US cannot afford a war based on nagetive public opinion or financial constraints NO, it is based on the calculation of making the war a death knell for the US economy and by effect the world at large. Clearly the cost of war against Iran far outweighed the benefit and for a capitalist that is not an option.

  168. A-B says:

    Since ‘history’ (i.e. the supremely arrogant West) keeps repeating itself, I rerun my September 29 prayer, now for the New Year:

    [O God] … let us not be fooled by the words of Murderers [the US] who desperately try to hide their claws dripping with fresh [Syrian] blood while licking it off their lips; lips grinning the grin of the Exceptionalist. But let us invite them! Apparently, they were FORCED to change their ways after being exposed.

    And save us from the Opportunist [assorted eurotrash and ruskies] that played the game/role of the Exceptionalist as long as they could benefit from it, and now pretend to be ‘moral’, ‘law abiding’, ‘democratic’, while they are as false as those Greek fantasies they nurture. [golden ‘dawn’, eh? Stinks like ancient urine to me!!] Let us [do business but] never ever trust their kind!

  169. A-B says:

    Ironic isn’t it? Russians who joined the Western thugs in putting Iran under ILLEGAL sanctions are now talking of ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘double standard’ when the Western supremacists do the EXACT same thing to them. What did you expect – you ‘Arab’ (in European eyes) with ‘European’ complexion – that you too were ‘exceptional’? Well, these are the dues the Slaves (as I said before, be they Arabs, Indians, Russians, etc., or Eye-rainians) have to pay for accepting the European benchmark. There should indeed be an ‘end of history’; that is end of the West defining the ‘history’ and fate of others.

    Already in 2011 Obama’s “all options are on the table” had become so tiresome that I had to goof around with it by saying “Yeah, there is also the viable option that UK/US/Israel [and EU] will crash and burn. Oh well.” Well …. Oh well.

    K1-N

  170. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    And the late Harry S Truman was implicitly threatening USSR with nuclear weapons at Potsdam.

    Both sides were at fault – Americans who wished to roll back the Russian Sphere and Russians who wanted to maintain a number of states as friendly buffers between themselves and Western Europe.

  171. Rehmat says:

    In December 2013, Barack Obama’s top foreign policy adviser, Dr. Susan Rice, said: “Let’s be honest, at times we do business with governments that do not respect the rights we hold most dear.” I bet my Canadian $, she didn’t have Israel in mind – an entity which has no respect for democracy or human rights or loyalty to its western defenders.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/21/is-israel-americas-ally-or-friend/

  172. Rehmat says:

    @ fyi

    Can you enlighten us why the New Republic’s senior editor John B. Judis is being hunted by the organized Jewry for telling the truth about Hqry Truman in his latest book, ‘Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the origin of the Arab/Israeli Conflict‘?

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/02/22/jewish-museum-bans-truman-israel-discussion/

  173. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Syrian endgame triggers realignments
    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2014/03/20/syrian-endgame-triggers-realignments/

    I am not clear on what’s going on in this regard, but I suspect it’s not good for Iran if Saudi Arabia and Pakistan start making deals.

  174. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More on that subject…

    Saudi grant kills Iran-Pakistan pipeline
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-02-210314.html

  175. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on Russian sanctions as war and farce
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-210314.html

    Notable Quote:

    If the sanction comedy goes on, Moscow has already announced it will play hardball with the P5+1, will cease to sanction Iran, and may even, finally, weaponize Tehran with jewels of the S-400 variety.

    End Quote

    All that is good for Iran. I would like to see that happen.

  176. Richard Steven Hack says:

    yk: “Due to cost and benefit analysis the US/NATO are not in a position to engage in a new war for now.”

    Then why was Obama ready to start one just a few months ago in Syria? That completely refutes your statement.

    “Israel would never start a war without green light from Washington.”

    First, I don’t believe that’s true because there is no real evidence. Second, it was quite clear during the Bush administration that they had the green light. The problem was that Hizballah was a threat. That is WHY the 2006 war occurred and WHY Israel has not yet attacked Iran.

    “So I repeat the only reason holding them is that their master across the Atlantic can’t afford a confrontation now.”

    And I repeat that Obama was willing to start a war with Syria just a few months ago. The ONLY reason it didn’t occur was that Putin out-maneuvered Obama diplomatically.

    “We should not kid ourselves if the US was in a position to attack Syria do you think they would have hesitate claiming public opinion?”

    So you believe the nonsense Obama speaks? It was Putin who derailed that war, not public opinion. Obama is a narcissist who doesn’t want to be BLAMED for starting wars. That doesn’t he mean he WON’T start them, only that he needs a “casus belli” to do so – and prefers that others – meaning Israel or Iran itself – provides the “justification”. This is why the bogus chemical weapons attack was used by Obama, despite the ridiculously shaky intelligence.

    “My premise was on the psychology of war that a nation like Israel – which is built on occupation and with many of the occupiers having dual citizenship – cannot absorb much destruction and death before the public opinion would turn against the war”

    I agree completely. This is precisely WHY Israel must attack Lebanon and get the US to attack Syria. As I’ve said repeatedly here, Israel cannot afford to absorb missile attacks from Iran, Syria AND Hizballah. Therefore, in order to get an Iran war started – Israel’s ultimate goal – it MUST attack Hizballah again. Otherwise Israel will have no choice but to either give up its goal of destroying Iran or go ahead and attack Iran anyway. Israel’s forbearance so far in that regard is a measure of the political and economic threat from Hizballah. Again, this is WHY the Syria crisis exists – to enable Israel to conduct an attack on Lebanon with a better chance of degrading Hizballah enough to enable the Iran war.

    “when Hizballah destroyed Israel’s invisibility to use a mild word? ”

    Hizballah is no military threat to Israel EXCEPT for the missile arsenal. Hizballah has at best a few thousand trained troops and CANNOT occupy any part of Israel. You’re hallucinating if you think Hizballah can ever cross into Israel. Hizballah’s entire battle plan relies on its preparations in southern Lebanon and its fall-back positions in the Bekaa Valley. Which is precisely why Israel must attack the Bekaa Valley in the next war – which is what Colonel Pat Lang said after the 2006 war. And the only way to do that without a “two-front” war is to get the US and NATO to attack Syria, pinning down Syrian forces while Israel crosses Syrian territory to get to the Valley.

    “what gave you the audacity to believe they could do this to Hizballah”

    And again, you accuse me of believing that Israel CAN capture the Hizballah missile arsenal. And again, I did not say that. I said Israel MUST TRY to do so. And I do not believe it is impossible that Israel at least could capture some of that arsenal and force Hizballah further north into Lebanon. But again I do not say Israel will be entirely successful in that regard.

    “Are you not aware of the promise by Hassan Nasrallah to occupy Jenin in the next war”

    Again, Hizballah does NOT have the manpower to occupy anything in Israel and Nasrallah would never be so foolish as to try. He knows well that Hizballah’s strength lies in its preparations for guerrilla war in Lebanon, not in conventional movement tactics against the vastly superior Israeli army. Hizballah will not set one foot in Israel – they will be too busy trying to get Israel out of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. In that, they probably will succeed but given in the next war Israel will fully commit its forces, Hizballah will suffer significant losses doing so. Again, that is Israel’s goal – to DEGRADE Hizballah and get the US and NATO to DEGRADE Syrian forces.

    “are you analysing or fantasizing?”

    You’re the one fantasizing if you think Netanyahu is worried about Hizballah capturing Tel Aviv…

    “Do you believe Iran belong to that category?”

    In conventional military terms, in comparison to the US military, yes, Iran is a weak nation. What Iran has going for it is that it cannot be occupied by the US, and has a motivated population and sufficient military resources that can conduct an even more effective guerrilla and unconventional war against US forces in the region than Iraq could. But if you think the US is afraid of Iran, you’re the one fantasizing.

    “the US capitalist class are the ultimate power”

    I agree with that. However, those members of the military-industrial complex stand to profit from an Iran war and that is why it will happen. The only way it will not happen is if an even worse war should be started.

    “Clearly the cost of war against Iran far outweighed the benefit and for a capitalist that is not an option.”

    That remains to be seen. At this time, there is zero evidence for that position. Again, Obama was prepared to attack Syria just a few months ago. Israel continues to budget billions for an Iran war and continues to conduct provocations against Syria and Lebanon virtually every week, while the US continues to build up its mililtary forces outside Syria and around Iran. This does not indicate an unwillingness to start a war.

    I don’t expect to convince anyone here of this – the Pollyanna syndrome, cognitive dissonance, and the fantasizing about Iran’s “military power” is too deep.

  177. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Harry Truman wanted to withdraw the US forces in Europe as soon as possible. He was not trying to force the Red Army out of the countries it occupied during the war.

    Stalin waited until US troops had been withdrawn from South Korea, to give North Korea his approval for its invasion of the South.

  178. James Canning says:

    “Mr Obama certainly wants a deal with Iran. . . [but] less certain is how much capital he will invest in pressing Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to accept an equitable peace with the Palestinians.”

    – - Philip Stephens, writing in the Financial Times today

  179. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    USSR left Austria.

    Why?

  180. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Kruschev was seeking an improvement in USSR’s relations with the West, and neutrality for Austria.

  181. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Are you daft?

    In Austria, US and USSR could achieve a settlement that left Austria sovereign and neutral.

    The same could have been achieved with Germany and Hungary – declaring them neutral – while leaving US with the English, Italian, and French Barons and USSR with Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish, and Czechoslovakian Barons.

    But US was not happy with that arrangement and the rest is history.

  182. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nothing was “daft” about my comments (reasons USSR withdrew from Austria). You are of course quite right the Soviets wanted West Germany neutralised. And they wanted Austria kept separate from Germany.

  183. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Again; blaming the late Joseph Stalin to be singularly responsible for the Cold War begs the question as to why the Cold War continued even after his death.

    I suppose the implied threat made at Potsdam did not take place.

    [The late Kurchatov was already leading the work on atomic bombs East of the Ural Mountains at that time.]

    And that NAZI’s were not sheltered in US, such as the late Dr. Werner von Braun – probably a war criminal and others such as him?

    And I suppose the recruitment, training, and dispatching of Albanians fascists, Croatian fascists and others such East Europeans to affect regime change in Eastern Europe never took place?

    I believe that one may impartially claim that both sides were at fault, and I suppose future historians will apportion the fault to each side.

    However, no matter what that proportion would be, I can state with metaphysical certainty that the late Joseph Stalin and USSR did not bear full and complete responsibility for the Cold War.

  184. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Trennin on Russia, Sanctions etc. [Axis Powers will eventually sanction Russia in the same manner as Iran]

    http://carnegie.ru/2014/03/19/war-of-escalation/h4x2

  185. Nasser says:

    An interesting new perspective: “In Western academic literature, we tend to think the period when new nuclear forces are under development is the moment of maximum danger for a nuclear aspirant — a small number of provisional assets might be said to invite attack, not deter it. The Chinese, on the other hand, seem to think that even the most limited capability helps out. You just add it to the millet plus rifles and go.”

    http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/7026/trial-operational-deterrence

  186. Rehmat says:

    On March 20, 2014, Abraham Foxman, the head of Jewish lobby Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a statement claimed that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei in his Nowruz (Persian New Year) message denounced Western nations that view “freedom” of speech as their “red line” yet impose restrictions on discussing the Holocaust.

    I know it’s a waste of time to argue with a professional Hasbara liar like Foxman. The English translation of Khamenei’s Nowruz message posted on Supreme Leader’s website doesn’t mention Holocaust, Israel, Zionism or even the so-called “Western freedom of speech“.

    However, on the next day (March 21), Ayatullah Khamenei, addressing thousands of pilgrims in the shrine of the 8th Imam of Shiites, Hazrat Ali Ibn Moussa al-Reza did say that the world community realities do not go with the US wishes.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/22/did-khamenei-deny-holocaust-in-nowruz-message/

  187. Fiorangela says:

    Stressing out in KSA/GCC
    http://www.conflictsforum.org/2014/conflicts-forums-weekly-comment-7-%E2%80%93-14-march-2014/

    “The political grouping, the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia, is being racked, and literally disjointed by the tensions exerted on it by the sudden Saudi re-configuration of policy – namely, a royal decree which criminalises Saudis fighting externally, and various jihadist groups as ‘terrorists’ (but importantly not all groups), and separately designates the Muslim Brotherhood too. Saudi Arabia (sensing Muslim Brotherhood weakening after the Egyptian use of repressive force and live fire) is placing pressure on all Gulf States, and other states who may have Muslim Brotherhood adherents, to ‘decree’ the group as a terrorist organisation. . . .

    Not only is Saudi Arabia intent on ‘wiping out’ the Muslim Brotherhood, but also, it is intent to wipe out the indirect criticism of its policies, particularly in respect to the criticism of Field Marshall Sisi that has been wafting out from the Qatari airways. Qaradawi should declared persona non grata and al-Jazeera (long said to have MB sympathies) hobbled, or preferably shut down, the Saudis insist. The pressure on Qatar is intense. Huffington Post report that the Saudis additionally have asked for two American think-tanks based in Doha to be closed too. The Saudi, Kuwaiti and UAE ambassadors all have been withdrawn from Doha – and the Egyptian government, which is now being mooted as a future GCC member, has lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the ‘war’ against Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. . . .”

    * * * *

    Are these activities proxy manifestations of the battle for succession in KSA?

  188. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    March 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    “Mr Obama certainly wants a deal with Iran. . . [but] less certain is how much capital he will invest in pressing Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to accept an equitable peace with the Palestinians.”

    * * *

    America is still timid in the face of Israel

    ” America’s response to insulting rants by the Israeli occupation’s Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, was described by the Israeli media as “unprecedented” and “the harshest ever”. Yaalon had said in a public forum that the US was “weak” in the face of Russia and therefore prone to terrorism. An anonymous US official responded by saying that Yaalon was “jeopardising Israel’s relationship with the US”.

    What was most astounding about America’s response was that it was made anonymously. An Israeli government minister from the prime minister’s party took to a university podium and insulted the US in broad daylight and all America could conjure up was an anonymous, timid criticism. US Secretary of State Kerry later complained that the statements were “not constructive”.”

  189. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, it goes without saying that the US will be “timid”, when dealing with Israel. Timidity in fact is mandatory.

  190. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Perhaps it is fair not to give TOTAL responsibility or blame for the Cold War, on Stalin. But the historical record is very clear that he simply did not want good relations with the West, after the end of the Second World War.

  191. Karl.. says:

    fyi
    “Again; blaming the late Joseph Stalin to be singularly responsible for the Cold War begs the question as to why the Cold War continued even after his death.”

    Touche!
    But this is the logic of imperialists, always blame the other side.

  192. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Surely you remember Krushchev at the UN, pounding his shoe on the podium and shouting “We will bury you”?

    You argue the Soviet Union was not an empire? Very strange contention.

  193. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You obviously forget that Franklin Roosevelt was an “anti-imperialist”, trying to pressure Britain into liquidating the British Empire.

  194. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    The late President Roosevelt was not an anti-imperialist; he was, in fact, the quintessential Liberal Imperialist.

    The liquidation of the British Empire was the price that UK paid for victory in World War II – in fact, for such things as Lend-Lease etc.

  195. fyi says:

    All:

    On EU Energy imports

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/us-europe-energy-russia-insight-idUSBREA2K14D20140321

    [Their only real alternative was Iranian gas, an alternative that is now beyond their reach - in the middle of their war against the Iran, the Shia Crescent, and all enemies of Israel...

    Fools...]

  196. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If, as you claim, thee US is “at war” with Iraq, why is Iraq being supplied with weapons by the US?

  197. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Roosevel wanted Britain to liquidate its empire. In 1942, Churhcill declared he had not become PM to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. But, exhausted by the war, and simply due to changed conditions, liquidation was inevitable. BUT, Rossevelt was an anti-imperialist.

    Was Stalin an imperialist, in your judgment?

  198. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Yes, he was.

  199. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    US is at war with the world of Islam, the Shia Crescent, and Iran.

    And the Barons, like the Mad King, have also identified the enemies of Israel as their own.

    That is all there is.

    Now, of course, they or the same escalation ladder with Russia as they have been on Iran.

    That is untenable.

  200. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You clearly cannot explain why the US is the supplier of weapons to iraq, if as you claim the US is “at war” with Iraq.

  201. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    You have to ask Americans.

    For myself, I am satisfied to see the finger of the Hidden Imam in this: US arming one member of the Shia Crescent, itself brought into this world by the US-initiated policy of Wound-Iran-in-Syria.

    Or as the Christians say: “God works in mysterious ways.”

  202. fyi says:

    All:

    Dr. Cordesman on Iraq:

    http://csis.org/files/publication/140319_Iraq_Book.pdf

    US opened Iraq to Iran, helped harm Iraq via the war in Syria, and is selling weapons to Iraq in order to maintain some leverage within Iraq.

    Untenable policy but such is the incoherence of the Mad King – and his European minions – as we saw in Ukraine, flirting with World War III.

  203. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Would you prefer the Iraqi government buy weapons from countries other than the US?

  204. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You continue to say the US initiated the effort to overthrow the government of Syria, to injure Iran. It appears Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey were in the lead on this programme.

  205. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I really do not care where Iraq buy her weapon; you asked me why US sells weapons to Iraq and I believe I have answered you.

    I have also outlined why the policy of the Mad King is untenable; making enemies of any one who does not wish to bend to the will of the Mad King and His Barons.

    You saw an example of flirting with another quagmire in Syria last August and you see another example in Ukraine and against Russia.

    Mr. Putin, on his Speech last Tuesday, echoed the same exact sentiment as Mr. Khameneie – just read the speech.

    What is the point of all this constant enmity?

  206. Dan Cooper says:

    Western intelligence used techniques developed in Georgia, Ukraine, Iran, Libya, Turkey (unsuccessfully) and Egypt to convert public anger into demonstrations. The Assad government’s typically heavy-handed response turned a local problem into spreading civil war.

    let’s remember that this brutal war was begun by the Western Powers and Saudis, is financed by them, and could be stopped at anytime if Washington and Riyadh give the order.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38037.htm

  207. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Aim of the Neo-Cons’ Ukrainian Diversion: Sabotage Talks With Iran and Syria
    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/2014/03/23/aim-of-the-neo-cons-ukrainian-diversion-sabotage-talks-with-iran-and-syria/

    Seems reasonable to me – except for the part where Obama was “working with” Putin – he was outmaneuvered and had no choice to do so. Which is precisely WHY he is on board with destabilizing the Ukraine.

    So many people STILL think Obama has a “good side”. He doesn’t.

  208. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey Shoots Down Syrian Warplane Along Border
    Incident Meant to Cover Up Corruption Scandal Ahead of Vote: Analysts
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/23/turkey-shoots-down-syrian-warplane-along-border/

    OR…still trying to get that Syrian war started…

  209. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    March 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    “What is the point of all this constant enmity?”

    For the long answer, see Morris Berman’s “Why America Failed”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GzgY20d2MtU

  210. Karl.. says:

    Is the ongoing nuclear-conference in Hague right now going to to be about Iran as usual?
    obama landed there some hrs ago so I guess we will here about Iran soon when he open his mouth.

  211. khomeini says:

    To All

    Ali Larijani (Iran’s parliament speaker and ex-nuclear negotiator) interview. He talks about P5+1 and Iran nuclear negotiation and Syria. The Interview is dubbed in English

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/21/355595/terrorists-in-syria-nonsyrians/

  212. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You assume, despite extensive evidence proving otherwise, that the US has a “policy” that it follows in the Middle East. The US supports the territorial integrity of Iraq, and supplies weapons to the Iraqi central government. Yet you claim the US is “at war” with Shia Islam. Which is simply nonsense.

  213. James Canning says:

    Afghanistan has recognised the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation.

  214. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    You appear to be overlooking the very large Qatari element in the equation (civil war in Syria). Huge factor.

  215. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    I think it is fairly clear Obama was glad not to have been obliged to hit Syria with a few hundred cruise missiles (due to Russian proposal for getting rid of Syrian CW).

  216. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Earth to James Canning, Earth to James Canning, please come in James, please come in!

  217. Karl.. says:

    Well if her brain looks like her haristyle I understand why she speaks like this…
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/03/24/355906/raise-world-to-reduce-russia-to-ashes/

  218. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you claiming Obama was unhappy, at being relieved of the need to hit Syria with a few hundred cruise missiles? Available evidence indicates he was relieved, not unhappy.

  219. James Canning says:

    In his recent book, Robert Gates indicated he did not support membership in Nato for Ukraine and Georgia. I assume he also thinks Israel’s membership would be a bad thing.

  220. nico says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-24/ukraine-leader-new-leaked-recording-8-million-russians-ukraine-must-be-killed-nuclea

    “After a month ago a leaked phone call between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt confirmed that it was the US that was pulling the strings in what was about to be a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s president Yanukovich, “someone” has just leaked another phone conversation, this time between parliamentarian Nestor Shufrych and former PM and ideological leader of the Ukraine “revolution” Yulia Tymoshenko and most probable future president of West Ukraine, in which Tymoshenko is makes the following threats, “It’s going too far! Bugger! We must grab arms and go whack those damn katsaps [a Ukrainian word used to refer to the Russians in a negative tone] together with their leader”, “I’ll use all my connections, I’ll raise the whole world – as soon as I’m able to – in order to make sure.. Bugger!.. not even scorched earth won’t remain where Russia stands” although all her empty threats collapse in the last sentence of the phone conversation in which she says, regarding the Crimea annexation, that “we are going to take it to the Hague International Criminal Court.” Good luck with that.
    But the smoking gun, and where Putin once again shows just how masterful of a chess player he is, is the following statement by Tymoshenko, after asked, rhetorically, by her counterparty, “what should we do now with the 8 million Russians that stayed in Ukraine. They are outcasts”… to which she replies: “They must be killed with nuclear weapons.”"

  221. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Whether Mr. Obama has been happy or not is irrelevant to what he has accomplished:

    1 – Near War with Iran in Spring of 2012
    2 – Full economic war to destroy Iran since 2011
    3 – Intention to initiate the war against Syria to be followed by the war against Iran
    4 – Provocation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the creation of a prolonged confrontation in that part of the world.
    5 – Initiation and maintenance of the War against Syria to Wound Iran

    If I were him, I would be rather unhappy with these accomplishments; All War, All the Time.

    But I am not him; may be he is ecstatic…

  222. fyi says:

    All:

    Interview with Mr. Sergey Glazyev:

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/interview-sergey-glazyev-10106

    I think what this means that until and unless the political situation inside Ukraine is settled to the satisfaction of the Russian Federation, there will be no more cooperation with Axis Powers – on Iran or anything else.

    I also think that Axis Powers will not accommodate the interests of the Russian Federation and in not too distant future – pursuant to real or imagined attacks against Russians in Ukraine – the Russian Federation will militarily intervene in Eastern Ukraine and will not stop until they reach Lvov.

    This is Axis Power’s moment of decision as to how far they want to go in opposing Russia’s interests in her Near-Abroad.

  223. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    I agree with alot.

    I dont think Russia will do anything more from now.
    Ukraine is a mess and will have even more problems domestically, russia know the region better than americans and europeans – they have no idea what they are doing. Ukraine is in a mess and when it really hit the fan, Ukraine will be no prize for the west only alot of problems and an immature, useless facists in power or maybe the ukrainians understand that russia has more to give than the west.

    Question is what west are doing next, they seem to want a war and keep threatening with sanctions again, what kind of sanctions is possible here really?

    At the same time Russia could use gas sanctions in return, west really want to go that far? ARe they that stupid?

  224. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    In my opinion without full settlement of differences and issues on future of Ukraine, between the West and Russia, the economic political and military security of the entire Europe will not be as assured and stable it becomes questionable for the entire continent.
    I think if their differences on Ukraine become as escalatory (Tit for Tat) as it now seems it is being played by both sides, the security need in Europe becomes more important and more urgent than Africa or Middle East, the main reason is Russia is not dependent on ME or African resources but Europe is and will become even more dependent on ME/N. African, therefore Europe and her allies will have to become more lenient on their ME affairs. Harvest time is late summer early fall.

  225. kooshy says:

    Looks like China is the first one harvesting, interesting to read and what China told Obama, esentialy he asking Obama, stop being an international pariah and rogue state.

    “Xi calls on U.S. to respect China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity”

    “THE HAGUE, March 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed here Monday that the United States should honor its commitment to respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan and Tibet issues.

    At a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit slated for Monday and Tuesday, Xi said Washington should never support any activities aimed at separating China.

    Speaking of the East China Sea and South China Sea issues, Xi said the United States should hold a fair and objective attitude and make more efforts to promote a proper solution.

    For his part, Obama said his country has never changed its stand that it respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan and Tibet issues.”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-03/25/c_126310151.htm

  226. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    US accepts Taiwan is part of China. Ditto Tibet.

  227. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do you have any evidence Obama “initiated” the civil war in Syria?

    You seem to have difficulty comprehending Obama wants to avoid war with Iran.

  228. kooshy says:

    Gav

    I think all Americans are from Missouri the show me state they wouldn’t believe it until they see it.
    Like for years they couldn’t see the big China with over a billion inhabitants, all the time they thought a tiny island was the real China up until they got beaten (Nam) to see the real China, or in the case of Iran’s enrichment and then the 20% enrichment, Syria Assad must go, and now to Ukraine, these people don’t take no shit until they can see it up close and personal, so I think the China man was tilling
    Obama ” if you want to see more shit coming your way start signing ”
    Don’t you think ?

  229. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    “Do you have any evidence Obama “initiated” the civil war in Syria?”

    For goodness sakes they weren’t even hiding it, James.

    “Monday’s ceremony at the JFK Library and Museum will also honor U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford for ignoring repeated threats to his life and traveling around Syria to encourage and support peaceful protesters targeted by Assad’s brutal crackdown.”

    From http://www.twincities.com/ci_20563815/jfk-awards-ousted-iowa-justices-us-diplomat

    And, here is Hilary Clinton saying Assad must go in early March, weeks before clashes (false flags) broke out between Syrian Army and protestors.

    _http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/VideoNetwork/2019189802001/Hillary-Clinton-A-unified-Syria-cannot-include-Assad-

    Now, it is possible that just as in Ukraine, folks were utterly surprised that Assad’s government would resist the putsch, but that the putsch was openly egged on by the US, there can be no question.

    Whether or not Obama himself was directly behind any of this, is immaterial, and unimportant.

  230. Rehmat says:

    @fyi

    It was not the United States but Israel which gave birth to the three-year-old bloody war in Syria.

    On July 4, 2011, a conference of Syrian anti-regime groups was held in Saint-Germain in France. The meeting was attended by 200 people representing none of the Syrian groups calling for reforms in Syria – the ‘Democratic change in Syria’. The meeting was organized by La Regle du Jeu (The Rule of the Game) magazine and website which is headed by Zionist Jew Bernard-Henri Levy. The other Zionist Jews who attended the meeting included Bernard Kouchner, former French foreign minister, Frederik Ansel, a member of Israel’s ruling Likud Party, Alex Goldfarb, former Knesset member and adviser to Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and Andre Glucksmann, an Islamophobe French writer.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/07/08/israeli-conference-on-syria/

  231. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interview with Gareth Porter on his new book…

    Israel Provided IAEA with Fake Documents on Iran’s Nuclear Program
    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Israel-Provided-IAEA-with-Fake-Documents-on-Iran-s-Nuclear-Program.htm

  232. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rehmat: I said all along that Israel (as well as the US elites) were behind the Syria crisis because Israel needs to attack Hizballah and the only way to do that is into the Bekaa Valley via Syrian territory. But Israel wants to avoid a two-front war, so they want the US and NATO to attack Syria first. Otherwise Israel can’t attack Iran without being faced with Iranian, Syrian AND Hizballah missiles, which will be costly in economic and political terms, if not militarily.

    All the so-called “pundits” kept saying Israel didn’t want Syria to implode. Lately, however, Israel has admitted they do and always did. They’d prefer Al Qaeda to run Syria because they know Al Qaeda can’t do squat to Israel without missiles. Once Hizballah’s and Syria’s missiles are taken out, Israel couldn’t care less who runs Lebanon or Syria.

  233. Richard Steven Hack says:

    James Canning: “You seem to have difficulty comprehending Obama wants to avoid war with Iran.”

    You seem to have difficulty comprehending…

  234. Richard Steven Hack says:

    How Syria’s Secular Uprising Was Hijacked by Jihadists
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/21/how-syrias-secular-uprising-was-hijacked-by-jihadists/

    Quotes

    Aleppo, once the largest city in the country, is mostly depopulated. Government forces are advancing but are overstretched and cannot reconquer northern and eastern Syria unless Turkey shuts its 500-mile-long border. Government success strengthens the jihadists because they have a hard core of fighters who will never surrender.

    Jamal says meetings of the FSA military council were invariably attended by representatives of the Saudi, UAE, Jordanian and Qatari intelligence services, as well as intelligence officers from the US, Britain and France. At one such meeting, apparently in Ankara, Jamal says the Saudi Deputy Defence Minister, Prince Salman bin Sultan, the brother of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan, addressed them all and asked Syrian leaders of the armed opposition “who have plans to attack Assad positions to present their needs for arms, ammo and money”. The impression given is of a movement wholly controlled by Arab and Western intelligence agencies.

    End Quotes

  235. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Positions of Iran, World Powers on Enrichment ‘Far Apart’
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2014/03/positions-of-iran-world-powers-on.html

    It is unclear here whether the Iranians are being positive while the Russians want to sabotage the Iran talks, or whether the Russians are being realistic while the Iranians are not. I suspect the latter.

  236. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another interview with Gareth Porter…

    Current Iran “Crisis” Began With Overthrow of Democratically Elected Government in 1953
    http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/22571-current-iran-crisis-began-with-overthrow-of-democratically-elected-government-in-1953

  237. Nasser says:

    Dmitri Trenin on Russia’s relationship with the East Asian countries if the current geopolitical climate continues

    http://carnegie.ru/eurasiaoutlook/?fa=55062

  238. Nasser says:

    Stratfor has a slightly different take. It suggests Russia has a stronger hand in its dealing with Japan, Korea and particularly China than Mr. Trenin suggests in the other article I posted. I tend to agree with this view because there is no alternative source of energy for Europe and certainly none in the short term even if hypothetically Iran steps in to fill the void or USA comes up with an abundance of natural gas to export.

    “Asia Adjusts to Russia’s Standoff with the West

    STRATFOR.-Monday, March 24, 2014
    Northeast Asian diplomacy is changing as the conflict between Russia and the Western powers over Ukraine radiates outward. U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye each met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit in The Hague on Monday; Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled his plans to attend. On Tuesday, Obama will meet with Park and with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Though the leaders have much to discuss regarding nuclear security and broader relations in the Pacific, most important to watch is their maneuvering related to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

    Asia and the West view Russia’s resurgence differently. The United States and the European powers share suspicions that Putin’s efforts to rebuild Russia’s influence in its periphery constitute a threat to their interests, despite their varying degrees of appetite for confrontation. In Japan, China and South Korea, the Russian revival has generated more abundant energy supplies and business opportunities, without too worrisome an increase in security threats. However inapt the Cold War analogy may be to today’s situation in Europe, it is especially inapt in Asia.

    But Russia’s moves affect regional policies in different ways. Japan and South Korea increasingly view Russia’s revival of purpose in East Asia not only as a means of lowering energy import bills and expanding investment opportunities but also of helping to balance China. In addition to possible bilateral deals with Russia, South Korea sees opportunity in Russia’s recent progress in long-delayed infrastructure initiatives with North Korea. Meanwhile, though Japan will never approve of Russian territorial seizures, it currently has unusually high hopes of reaching some kind of settlement with Moscow over the disputed Kuril Islands. Tokyo also seeks a level of defense cooperation with Russia and hopes eventually to sign a peace treaty. The Japanese need to be able to focus more intently on the Chinese threat. The need to maintain solidarity with the United States — the chief protector of both Japan and South Korea – while Washington attempts to isolate Russia has made the situation awkward, but neither American ally can afford to take an overly critical stance toward Russia at this time.

    For its part, Beijing has acted exceedingly cautious throughout this crisis, maintaining its standard diplomatic strategy of laying low, calling for peaceful resolution through dialogue and avoiding taking sides. Clearly, China often cooperates with Russia, rejects American alliance expansionism and opposes meddling in the internal affairs of other countries — especially attempts by America or its allies to fuel popular protests and topple governments. Though China seeks market access in Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine by itself is a relatively minor interest in the region.

    More important, as the confrontation between Russia and the West continues, Beijing sees a chance to gain strategic space that would be invaluable as it wrestles with increasingly disruptive internal matters — political purges, economic slowdown, social fragmentation and domestic terrorism. If the United States believes it must build stronger economic and defense relations with countries on Russia’s periphery, it will lose resources that could otherwise go toward strengthening its “pivot” to Asia. Insofar as a more aggressive Russia prompts the Europeans to accelerate energy diversification, the conflict also gives China more leverage in its energy negotiations with Russia. If China can continue to foment distrust between Japan and South Korea — the natural rivalry between which constantly troubles American alliance management — and retain its influence in North Korea, then it may be able to buy itself the relative external stability it needs.

    These days, however, it is harder for China to lay as low as it has in the past. Beijing is happy to be courted by both the Americans and the Russians, but playing the middleman incurs risks. Moscow and Washington are not as trapped in an antagonistic relationship as they once were, and both have options for punishing Beijing if it presses its advantage too far. China must be uneasy with Russia’s method of taking Crimea — it does not like the idea of justifying separatism by popular referendum. Beijing also fears Moscow’s threat of expanding citizenship abroad and extending military protections to Russians everywhere. This “Medvedev Doctrine” has important implications for Beijing’s economic outreach to Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and theoretically even Mongolia. Moreover, Beijing knows better than to underestimate the U.S. ability to operate in Pacific and European theaters simultaneously.”

  239. khomeini says:

    To All

    Reformists finally admit. Its s must read for West based Iran experts
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/ahmadinejad-blame-everything.html

  240. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    “Do you have any evidence Obama “initiated” the civil war in Syria?”

    There seems to be evidence that it was the BBC, not Obama.

    http://rt.com/shows/the-truthseeker/media-staged-chem-attack-645/

  241. Karl.. says:

    If this is the israel threatening iran, maybe iran shouldnt fear them so much.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.659138804132439.1073741896.195181403861517&type=1

  242. Rehmat says:

    In September 2013, Matea Gold confirmed at the Jewish Washington Post that pro-Israel and Jewish groups strongly back military strike against Syria. Jewish leaders such as ADL chief Abraham Foxman are drawing parallels to the holocaust as an excuse to attack Syria.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/25/syrias-strife-israels-proxy-war-against-iran/

  243. Jay says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 25, 2014 at 6:49 am

    BBC and the likes are one stop shops – trained agents for everything from comic relief to coup du jour under one roof!

  244. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    The policy was announced by Mr. Danilon….

  245. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    March 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I am not sure I can agree with you.

    The EU Barons are now exposed to be totally dependent on US for security.

    So they will follow whatever US tells them.

    And US, being in Love with Israel, will continue to cause havoc in the Near East in her misguided attempt to keep that state safe from the consequences of her won actions.

    And so would EU.

    I think EU had an opportunity, immediately after the dissolution of USSR, to try to work with Russia to forge a new relationship.

    Instead, the Barons followed US in her Imperial Path.

  246. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    March 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I am not surprised.

    The name of the game has been to “Wound or Destroy” Iran.

    Before the destruction of the Ba’ath state in Iraq by US and her European allies, Iran – in spite of her strategic autonomy – could be ignored by Axis Powers.

    Afterward, it could not be so ignored and as Iranian power expanded so did the external pressure on her by Axis Powers, Russia, China, and India as well as local states.

    The War-in-Syria-to-Wound-Iran was supposed to be the starting campaign to unroll the Iranian power; instead it led to the birth of the Shia Crescent and as Iranian government, Syrian government, Iraqi government, and Lebanese Shia worked together over 3 years to keep the Ba’ath state in Syria intact and to eviscerate the conspiracy against Syria.

    All of this was supposed to have helped Israel as well.

    But one must keep in mind that none of the great powers or other aspirants to the great power status – such as India – wanted to have a powerful strategically autonomous power in West Asia.

    Now, of course, they have gotten what they had so studiously worked to wreck over the last 10 years.

  247. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    March 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I think that statement is accurate.

    Axis Powers, Russia, China, and India want to unroll the Iranian nuclear assets and leave Iran with a few nuclear toys.

    That will not happen.

  248. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 25, 2014 at 10:44 am

    There is much suggestion including by authors of this blog comparing strategic decision by Nixon in going to China with current America’s strategic need with regard to Iran.
    It is important to understand Nixon’s decision then was possible and a strategic move during the cold war with the USSR.

    As of yesterday with the declaration of NATO in Hague of changing back to the old format of G7 countries, which factually really means US and her 6 major client satrapies in Europe and Asia, we have now officially entered a new cold war with Russia.
    In my opinion the new century cold war unlike the one ended in last century is multi-dimensional We have an undoing cold war with Iran and her allies in ME, we have an unofficial cold war controlling China’s accessibility of resources in Asia, Africa and South America, and now we have started a new cold war with Russia in Europe. Considering this new multi-dimensional cold war between all 5 UNSC permanent veto members, UN is now total and officially done and gone, for the west Israel might still have a sentimental value for some groups in US and EU, but strategically she has zero value or weight in playing in this cold war. So if the EU and US will want to bear the cost and hold on to it no one will lose sleep. But for the rest of the word including countries like Iran and her allies, now is the time for harvesting and not committing, incidentally here is another person who thinks it’s time for harvest.

    “Gains for China, India in new cold war”
    “China and India stand to gain significantly from the crisis in Ukraine if they can cherry-pick advantages presented by competing courtships of the United States and Russia. Both must, however, avoid the temptation to gather low-hanging fruit, when with careful climbing, quality produce can be harvested from higher up the tree.”

    – M K Bhadrakumar

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-250314.html

  249. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 25, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I gather that there has been a de facto embargo on technology transfers to Russia even after Jackson-Vanik Law was repealed by US Congress.

    So, I think the Russian leaders and planners understand that they cannot hope to get any state-of-the-art technologies through Korea or Japan; that those two satrapies will have to absorb losses in their relationship with Russia as they have been doing so with respect to Iranian sanctions.

    [In case of Iran, these states, as well as EU and India, expected quick Iranian surrender - which did not happen. Here they definitely know that they will be entering a long period of confrontation.]

    Russia will employ the methods of USSR to gain technology; espionage, theft, reverse-engineering, and indirect purchases.

    And since Russia is not a threat materially to most states in the world, she should not be facing as many difficulties as USSR in obtaining what high-technology that she needs.

  250. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Are you claiming Obama wants to attack Iran, even if Iran makes a deal with the P5+1?

    Obama wants to avoid war with Iran. But, Iran must make a deal with the P5+1.

  251. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You might be correct, that Tom Donilon wanted to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. This would not be a surprise. But I have not seen proof the civil war in Syria was originated by the US.

  252. Nasser says:

    fyi says: March 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for your response.

  253. kooshy says:

    Harvesting fruits of the new multi polar cold war is best and foremost possible for major, influential truly non-aliened countries that have effective, influential policy in major resource rich regions. Countries like Iran, Venezuela, Brazil, S Africa, India, China, etc. Western aliened countries like Turkey, Spain, Germany, that might think of benefiting by sliding to middle or change sides will be financially crushed, or in extreme cases they might even get friendly regime change.

    I don’t think we can expect a hot war between the major players, and if one side is fool enough to get in to an small regional war, for sure the other cold war parties will do everything that he gets it’s Vietnam or Afghanistan, so those with experience of regional war during cold war (US / Russia) will hopefully not start a new regional war. In my opinion an East vs West economic war for world resources will become even more intense the winner I think will be countries who poses cheap resources and or low cost of living.

  254. Rd. says:

    fyi

    Sheikh Imran N. Hosein suggests an alliance with ‘rome’ to counter the alliance of the zionist jews and zionist christians.. peculiar interpenetration.

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/sheikh-imran-n-hosein-islam-russia-and.html

  255. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    March 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Much has been made of the late Mr. Nixon’s venture into China in regards to Iran.

    I think what many people do not appreciate sufficiently was the extent and depth to which the late Mr. Nixon was a strategic thinker.

    It is very doubtful that he could or would have set into practice policies that would have caused Russia again to become an enemy of US and vice versa.

    It is for this reason alone that one could dismiss the possibility of the unwinding of the Cold War between the Axis Powers and the Shia Crescent – that level of strategic understanding does not exist – in my view – among Axis Powers leaders and planners.

    Furthermore, the birth of the Shia Crescent – over the last 3 years – makes a rapproachment between Iran and US (Axis Powers) less attractive for Iran; what is in it for Iran?

    Will Axis Powers accept Iran building nuclear weapons?

    Will they accept HAMAS offer of 99-year truce?

    Will they dismantle their war against Syria?

    Or the economic one against Iran?

    I do not believe that Axis Powers can put an attractive offer to Iran – even on the strategic level – they are not capable of that level of constructive boldness; admitting the failure of a 20-year long policy.

    [Individual Barons, say from UK or Sweden, can admit that privately but will not go against the King publicly or otherwise.]

    Specifically in regards to the United State: there are a lot of legal statutes against Iran that are premised on eventual Iranian surrender which will remain in place.

    US has painted herself in a corner and normal relations with Iran are decades into the future.

  256. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    SL’s speech in Mashhad

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1891&Itemid=4

    Quotes:

    ~”…The meaning of this great participation of the people in the elections is that religious democracy has been firmly established in the country. It means that the Islamic Republic has managed to establish democracy in the country. This is not a minor achievement.

    A country that witnessed different oppressive and dictatorial rulers over the course of many centuries has gained such a familiarity and has formed such a strong bond with democracy and participation in electing the owners of power that 72 percent of the people participate in the elections even after the passage of 35 years from the excitements of the early revolutionary era. This should be appreciated.

    I would tell you youth and all the intellectuals throughout the country that we should not show ingratitude towards this great blessing the way some people showed ingratitude towards this divine blessing in the year 1388. Also, if some people say that the elections in the country are unhealthy – this means echoing what the enemy says – this is another case of ingratitude.

    Democracy in the country has turned into a standard process. This is why the people throughout the country – in villages and cities – consider themselves to be responsible towards ballot boxes. This is why they go to ballot boxes and this is why 72 percent of the people vote. This is a very important issue. This is a high figure in the elections that are held throughout the world. ”

    ~”The core point of the speech that I want to deliver today is that the people of Iran should strengthen themselves. This is what I want to say. The issue is about national power. I would tell our dear people that if a people are not strong and if they are weak, they will be bullied. If a people are not strong, global blackmailers will blackmail and extort them. If these blackmailers can, they will trample upon them. This is the nature of a world which is managed by materialistic thoughts. Whoever feels powerful, bullies those people – whether individuals or nations – whom he considers to be weak.”

    ~”There are a number of nations who are a long way away from becoming strong. They have no hope of gaining the power to confront bullies and global thugs. But this is not the case with our people. First, we have a great talent to strengthen ourselves and we have many resources and capacities. Our people have moved towards national power and they have traveled a long distance on this path.”

    ~”Military weapons are not the only factor which plays a role in helping a people strengthen themselves. Of course, weapons are necessary, but no people can become strong only with weapons. When I think about this issue, I find three elements, two of which are what I pointed out in the Norouz message. If these three elements receive attention, any people can become strong. One is economy, another is culture and the third is knowledge.”

    ~”We – who have made so many achievements on these scenes and in different arenas – can make the economy blossom if we show determination and join hands. We should not pin our hopes on the enemy to see when he lifts sanctions and when he agrees to something. Damn the enemy! We should see what we ourselves can do.”

    ~”The next point is that the people at all levels should promote national production. What does this mean? It means what I emphatically discussed two, three years ago in this meeting. Fortunately, a group of people acted on my advice. But everyone should act on it. The piece of advice that I offered was that we should consume domestic products. My dear ones, when you buy domestic goods instead of foreign ones, you are – in fact – creating employment and making Iranian laborers bring their innovative capabilities to the arena.”

    ~”The second part of my speech is about culture. My dear ones, I would tell you in one sentence that culture is even more important than economy. Why? It is because culture is like the air we breathe. You have to breathe air, whether you like it or not. If this air is clean, it will have certain effects on your body. If it is dirty, it will have certain other effects. The culture of a country is like the air that we breathe. If it is good, it will have certain effects.”

    ~”The enemies focus on culture more than anything else. Why? It is because of the great influence of culture. The target of the cultural moves of the enemies is the people’s faith and beliefs. The officials in charge of cultural affairs should take care of cultural rifts. Cultural rifts are very dangerous. They should be sensitive about these rifts and they should be vigilant.

    I do not want to say that foreigners are responsible for all cultural detriments. This is not what I am saying. We ourselves are to blame as well. The behavior of different officials – both officials in charge of cultural affairs and officials in charge of other affairs – laziness and wrong measures in different areas have played a role in this regard as well.

    So, we do not want to pin all the blame on the enemy. But we cannot forget about the presence of the enemy in cultural areas either. From the early days of the Revolution until today, propaganda networks have been doing their best to make the people lose belief in the bases of the Revolution. Is this a cultural activity? They attacked the people’s faith and their heartfelt beliefs. This cannot be ignored.”

    ~”Freedom is different from decadence. Freedom is different from forgetting about all rules and regulations. Freedom, which is a great divine blessing, has certain rules and regulations. Without rules, freedom is meaningless. If there are some people in the country who are trying to take away youth’s faith, we cannot stand aside and watch this just because this is freedom. Similarly, if someone wants to distribute heroin and other such poisonous substances – which destroy families – we cannot be indifferent. If we witness that some people want to make the people deviate from their path, target their faith and create a rift in the Islamic and revolutionary culture of the people by using art, money and different discourses and means, we cannot watch this and say that this is freedom.”

    ~”The enemies stick to what is considered to be a red line for them with all their power. So, how do they expect us to ignore the ideological and revolutionary red lines of our country and our youth? If there is someone who targets the spirit of national independence, who wants to theoretically justify dependence, who ridicules independence and who discourages youth from living an independent life, we cannot be indifferent towards them. We should react to what they do.

    In the present time, there are some people who ridicule independence when it is brought up. They say, “It is backwardness. What is independence?” Such people insult the moral and religious necessities of society, they ridicule the Persian language and they humiliate Iranian customs.

    Such things exist. These things exist in the present time. There are some people who try to humiliate the spirit of the national dignity of Iranian youth. They constantly promote negative outlooks. They say, “Learn from the Europeans, learn from westerners. They tolerate one another while we do not.” Is this really the truth of the matter? On the streets of European countries and European capitals, a woman who observes hijab to some degree is attacked by youth. In front of the eyes of the people, they beat or kill this woman who has observed her hijab and no one dares to ask why.

    This is happening in the present time. It did not happen 20, 50 years ago. In front of the eyes of the people, they burn someone with the excuse that they are not a native. Is this tolerating opposing views? This is what happened recently. A few months ago, one of the thuggish youth in a European city began to beat an Iranian individual. Then, he poured petrol over him and burned him. This was while neighbors stood aside and watched it with indifference. They did not show any reaction. Is this tolerating opposing views?

    We cannot adopt an indifferent outlook towards those people who humiliate the people of Iran, Iranian nationality and Iranian customs, who weaken Islamic principles in the minds of the people, who seriously target the main slogans of the Revolution, who portray the foundation of the family as worthless and who pretend that marriage is meaningless – these things exist in our society today and some people are doing such things – who consider hedonism to be an ideal and a value and who promote such ideas.

    Intemperance – hedonism [speaking in Arabic] – is a western souvenir. They promote whatever brings pleasure. Well, one person derives pleasure from addiction, another person derives pleasure from sexual desires and another derives it from beating people. They allow whatever is a source of pleasure.

    Some people promote self-indulgence and boundless freedom. Our organizations should feel responsible in the face of such people. What cultural vandals do is that they raise doubt among the people instead of promoting firm national determination. As long as a people do not have firm determination, they get nowhere. They are trying to take away the people’s firm determination in those important areas which are related to the fate of the country. They are trying to make the people doubt their firm determination. They are trying to inject into them the feeling of national humiliation instead of the feeling of national dignity and self-confidence. They want to inject into them doubt and atheism instead of firm faith. They want to inject into them hedonism, decadence and the like instead of hard work, diligence and great determination.”

    ~”They should know that the development of cultural tasks among religious and revolutionary youth has played a great role in the progress of this country and in our resistance against the enemies of the people of Iran. Cultural experts have a responsibility in this regard as well. Who are cultural experts? Cultural experts include ulama, professors, revolutionary intellectuals and committed artists. They should preserve their critical outlook towards the cultural conditions of the country and they should provide guidance.

    Of course, I believe that such guidance should be provided by giving compelling reasons and offering tangible explanations and good opinions. I do not agree with slandering and creating uproar. I do not agree with saying takfiri things and accusing different people. I believe that the revolutionary community of the country – thankfully, many revolutionary individuals are from among our youth, our experts, our professors and our great and educated personalities – can enter the arena and make criticisms with compelling logic.

    They can show weak and negative points to us officials of the country. Sometimes, an official does not know what is happening in society, but such young critics are in the center of society. They know what is happening. This is the national determination and the jihadi management that we discussed in the area of culture.”

    ~”At the end of my speech, I would like to discuss one point with you people of Iran: you should know that global events do not move forward according to the wishes and intentions of America. What global arrogance and the hostile enemies of the people of Iran wanted to achieve in the international arena – which is very wide in scope – has not been achieved and by Allah’s favor, it will not be achieved in the future. America has failed in Palestine. The plot that they hatched for Palestine and that they tried very hard to implement has failed and by Allah’s favor, it will fail in the future as well…

    …We should know that they could not achieve any results in our dear country either, even after 30 years of effort against the Revolution and our revolutionary people. A sign of this is the presence of the people. Influential figures in the government of America said openly, “We have imposed and reinforced sanctions so that we can draw the people to the streets”. They openly said that the purpose of sanctions is to uproot the Revolution and to pit the people against the Islamic Republic.

    What was the result? The result was what I pointed out in this meeting. In the year 1392, an election was held whose turnout was very high and in which the people participated in a very active way. And on the 22nd of Bahman, a rally was held which was larger, greater and more enthusiastic than any annual rally in the past.

    This is the point that I have repeated many times: You dear youth should know that the future belongs to you. By Allah’s favor, your enemies are condemned to failure.”

  257. Nasser says:

    From Stratfor: “From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine”

    stratfor.com/weekly/estonia-azerbaijan-american-strategy-after-ukraine

    I must say that even though I am usually an admirer of Dr. Friedman I am very disappointed with this analysis.

    I think it is strategically unwise (for the West) to put so much faith in Azerbaijan. Even if we set aside its internal problems and overlook the fact that it is massively susceptible to pressure from Iran, Armenia and especially Russia; even then, it simply just doesn’t have enough gas to supply Europe’s energy need. As far as the Nabucco pipeline that plans to also taps into Turkenistan’s gas goes, let us also not forget that territorial disputes over the Caspian sea bed still hasn’t been resolved and with Russian and Iranian objections there is no way in hell any submarine cable will be drawn. Besides Turkmenistan has commitments to others like China and even if it didn’t, and even if it could draw a pipeline to Europe it still doesn’t have what it takes to make up for massive Russian supplies. I just don’t understand how so many in the West assumed that these landlocked former Soviet countries can so flagrantly hurt Russian interest and undercut its market in Europe and get away with it! I expected Mr. Friedman to acknowledge that Nabucco simply was never viable without Iran.

    And any Georgian leader after Sakhasvilli’s little adventure in 2008 that gets that poor country into a conflict with Russia is likely to end up like this guy: http://www.picstopin.com/480/italy-mussolini-clara-hanging-by-anklesjpg/http:%7C%7Chome*comcast*net%7C~fschock%7CKnaster%7CItaly%7Cimages%7CMussolini%20Clara%20Hanging%20by%20Ankles_jpg*jpg/

    It seems that too many in the West go too far in underestimating Russia and shockingly enough seem *eager* for a confrontation. They seem to genuinely believe that victory will be quick and easy because “well, be beat them last time and they are a lot weaker now.” It seems they haven’t noticed that the Russians shed a lot of the fat and retained a lot of the muscle of the former Soviet Union. It isn’t the 90s anymore and the West cannot just expand NATO wherever it chooses especially in landlocked countries inaccessible by US naval powers and so close to Russian borders. And the West doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it has gotten weaker too; the threat from an expansionist communist regime isn’t so obvious, their propaganda after Iraq and Libya especially is a lot less effective and global economic power is much more dissolved. But none of these seem to be accounted for by Western leaders who in their self importance tend to think that a few stern words will make any geopolitical actor bend to their will.

    But there was one excerpt of the article, that I agreed with. It read: “However, if energy does not come from Azerbaijan, it will come from Russia, and then the Ukrainian events will dissolve into tragic farce. The State Department must grapple with the harsh forces its own policies have unleashed.” Tragic farce indeed!

  258. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 25, 2014 at 6:49 am

    “James Canning says:March 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm
    “Do you have any evidence Obama “initiated” the civil war in Syria?”
    There seems to be evidence that it was the BBC, not Obama.”

    Well sure that was a UK plot likely in alliance with the US (just like the Iraq war initiated by the US with the UK lapdog help). That is not coming as a surprise. That is the typical anglo conspiracy like France is doing in Niger.
    You know those untermench countries… that is colonial and supremacist policy. No more no less.
    Cameron is no better than Blair.
    Roland Dumas, former FM and old enough to feel free to speak, unvailed that last year, live on french tv.
    Here the original version with english subtitle.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz-s2AAh06I

  259. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The impetus for effort to overethrow Bashar al-Assad appears to have come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. These countries naturally would seek help from Britain and the US. And France. (France seemed more eager than Britain or the US)

  260. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Will US sanctions scuttle a nuclear deal with Iran?
    http://iranmatters.belfercenter.org/blog/will-us-sanctions-scuttle-nuclear-deal-iran

    If you believe the nonsensical notion that Obama really does want to avoid a war with Iran…

    Maybe he does personally, given that he’s a “stunning narcissist” and would prefer to avoid tarnishing his undeserved Nobel Peace Prize – but that’s irrelevant since he will do what is demanded of him regardless.

  261. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Things will not settle for a while more but the statement that weak states take chances is historically not true – look no further than the Axis Powers wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and their attempts at Color Revolutions.

    In fact, Mr. Putin and very many Russians are profoundly conservative and like their Chinese counterparts, wish to rebuild their society and state – just like Iran for that matter.

    But the Axis Powers provoked him; needlessly I might add.

    And I agree with you, outside of Baku, people want Imam Hussein and the women in bars in Baku are whores.

  262. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm
    “The impetus for effort to overethrow Bashar al-Assad appears to have come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. These countries naturally would seek help from Britain and the US. And France. (France seemed more eager than Britain or the US)”

    France was not more eager. Just more frank.
    UK and briton culture is the peak of hypocrisy and perfidy.
    One only need to read your posts to be convinced.

    If one could provide an advice to Iran it would be not to reopen the UK ambassy in Iran for decades to come.

  263. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Friedman claims Russia has concluded the US is trying to “undermine” Russia. I do not agree that the US was trying to “undermine” Russia.

  264. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    France’s Hollande was more keen on an attack on Syria, than Cameron. Obama was the least keen (of the three).

  265. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Those who know Obama or talk to people close to Obama, say Obama in fact does want to avoid war with Iran. If possible. Meaning, a deal with P5+1 by Iran likely must be made.

  266. kooshy says:

    Here we go, some known American academic pundit likes of green queen Shireen already are having second thoughts on continued containment policy, but it’s too late to even think that Iran can be an ally or a partner of the west alone.
    In my opinion in this current new circumstances Iran should not and will not cooperate with west in weakening the Russian state, but like China her policy aim will be to facilitating a continued ongoing dispute in Europe to as much as possible wear out both sides.

    “Containing Iran Helps Putin’s Russia
    by Shireen T. Hunter

    The experience described above provides important lessons for Western policy towards Iran and regional issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and South Asia. The first lesson is that a policy of containment on several fronts is not practicable, at least not in the long run. For twenty years, the US has tried to contain both Russia and Iran in these regions and to bar Iran’s interaction with these regions, while also looking askance at China’s progress.

    A second lesson is that excluding Iranian oil and gas from global markets inevitably limited Europe’s and Central Asia’s energy choices, making both more vulnerable to Russian pressures since, with the exception of Qatar, the Persian Gulf oil giants are not major players in the gas market.”

    http://www.lobelog.com/containing-iran-helps-putins-russia/

  267. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    March 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Yes Kooshy jan. I read Shireen jan’s post, and I thought how apt the description I once heard of Obama as a pigeon, playing chess. He knocks over all the pieces, poops on the board, and struts around as if he’d won.

    Continuing with the avian metaphor, when the chickens come home to roost, Obama has no place to nest, but that same chess board he had copiously pooped on.

    Looking at the fundamentals, the wisest course is to consolidate the “gas opec,” and not allow gas, or any other resource to be used by bird-brained Westerners’ sudden urge/impulse to smite this country today, and that country tomorrow, methinks.

    History is wrongly narrated as a series of wars, and conquests, ignoring the intervening periods of peace and trade. Surely ‘trade’, that oldest of professions, has been instrumental in the progress/spread of knowledge/civilization. Wars, and conflicts only temporarily have suspended this instinctive human behavior: ‘trade.’

    The world should get together and repudiate the sanctions-drunk western elites for messing with ‘trade.’ The West/NATO is already a cartel who have repeatedly abused their collective commercial power. A common front, a cartel if you will, on the supplier side is sorely needed to balance things out.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/oct/22/gas-russia-gazprom-iran-qatar

  268. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    The US has been “trying to contain Russia” for the past 20 years? This is silly.

  269. Nasser says:

    Suzanne Maloney “Three Reasons Why Russia Won’t Wreck the Iran Nuclear Negotiations”
    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/iran-at-saban/posts/2014/03/22-russia-us-tension-sabotage-iran-nuclear-deal

    - She is probably right.

  270. James Canning says:

    I agree, Nasser.

  271. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    What does neocon malloney know about anything?
    If west keep harming Russia, Russia will of course start hurting west, for example through Iran.
    And going to Iran doesnt mean Russia would support a nuclear armed Iran that ballooney seems to think, rather that Russia for example could sell the defense S 300 arms system for example.

  272. Karl.. says:

    that message should be to NAsser to Kooshy^

  273. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    She is whistling in the dark, hoping that she is right.

    It all depends on what Axis Powers do in Ukraine.

    Russia wants a new government, a new constitution, and a gentlemen’s agreement with Axis Powers on the strategic orientation of a New Ukraine.

    If he does not get that in a few weeks or months he will do other things – including occupying Kiev and installing his own government.

    Iran is one of his chips.

    Axis Powers want to isolate these issues and work on them separately with Russia.

    Russia has signaled that she will not do so.

  274. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    March 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I would say that I never had any sympathy for the Ottoman Empire and her pretensions or institutions; like Rome before her, she expanded in search of land and slaves and plunder – when she could no longer do that, she began to decay and die.

    The only positive political arrangement that it had that I found sympathetic was the “Milliyet system” of governance that was, in my opinion, superior to the nationalism-based European or Arab systems that replaced it.

    I cannot comment about the predictions; I personally do not expect the “End of Times” any time soon.

    By the way, there is a Cathedral in Cordoba that started its life as a church, then Arab Muslims converted it into a mosque, and then, later, when Muslims were expelled from Spain, it was re-consecrated as a church.

    But if you walk inside it, you will see that the Mehrab is still intact; and some of the tiles outside are still are extant and carry the verses of the Quran

  275. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Karl

    Is been a while since I bother myself to read many of the western academic, think tank or media pundits punditry with regard to Iran or US policy in general, frankly majority are uninformed and sometimes even laughable.

    Suzanne Maloney gets paid to write what she has to write, she knows those who pay her they don’t bother to read what she writes, they only will be interested to read only when she doesn’t write what she should, but we all know that will not happen since she will want to keep her job. She and her payers know what she writes has some limited use for internal proposes to get the funds coming. Beside the reason mentioned, they all hope that in case some Iranian decision maker or even a planer happens to pay attention and read MS Maloney’s repeated uninform garbage analysis of Iran and world affairs and take that serious. For this, like what our own Jay said a while back, Ms. Maloney’s and other western pundit writings are not worth to donate a click on.

    But now with regard to Iran and Russian relationship, like you said Iran becoming a NWS, or even a NCS is not what Russians want (Russian policy would not want to allow near abroad countries to have capabilities to severely limit Russian strategic decision making) they did what they could to prevent that all along, as for S300 or S400 again I don’t think or see that could happen, in my opinion Russians never intended to deliver the S300 I believe the reason they signed the agreement was to make sure the US will take this tool of getting concession from US more serious. I think the Iranian knows this but for them it had its own propaganda purpose by showing some disunity in P5. Be assured as long as Iran peruses an unaligned independent self-interest policy no one will help Iran to raise Iran’s rise is not an interest of any major north country. They will help Iran’s rise for as long and as much Iran can be used to limit their opponents power. Iran history shows that she has played this game for centuries; in this game when one is the prize to win her rule is much more delicate and harder to play.

  276. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: I don’t see Putin occupying the Ukraine at all. He’s got what he wanted: he’s secured the Crimea, the naval base, and dominates Ukraine economically while preventing it from becoming a NATO outpost. Unless the Nazis in Kiev start attacking Russians in eastern Ukraine – a possibility – he won’t try to occupy Kiev. If the Nazis do attack eastern Ukraine, he might send in forces temporarily to remove them, but he probably won’t try to overthrow the existing government. He has no need to and no desire to have a bankrupt Ukraine state dragging down Russia’s economy.

  277. Karl.. says:

    RSH
    March 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I agree, Russia wont occupy Ukraine at all. Although this conflict isnt over.
    Just take this stupid comment:
    Obama wants NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/03/27/356189/us-wants-more-nato-troops-in-e-europe/

    Seems like west do it all to provoke Russia to start a war with them.

  278. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Well, when I said Turkey was up for a false flag attack on Syria…Here it is…

    Here Is The YouTube “Start A False Flag War With Syria” Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-27/here-youtube-false-flag-attack-syria-clip-erdogan-wanted-banned

    Tell me again how Turkey isn’t directly involved with Obama’s plans to start a war with Syria…

    You think Turkey would start a war with Syria WITHOUT OBAMA’S PERMISSION?

    This is proof that OBAMA is STILL trying to start a war with Syria.

  279. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on Why the EU can’t ‘isolate’ Russia
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-02-270314.html

  280. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Iranian Threat That Never Was
    by Sheldon Richman
    http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-iranian-threat-that-never-was/

    Review of Gareth Porter’s new book.

  281. Richard Steven Hack says:

    President Assad and Ayatollah Khamenei are Keeping Their Word
    Will President Obama Keep His?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/25/president-assad-and-ayatollah-khomeini-are-keeping-their-word/

    Not Obama’s style…

  282. Jay says:

    Conspiring to use a false flag operation involving violence against non-combatants and for political purposes is the very definition of terrorism. Yet, one does not see NYT, BBC, NPR, …. calling it for what it is!! Terrorism!

  283. Jay says:

    Pervious message was in response to:
    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm

  284. masoud says:

    It’s really sad to see some of the reversions in Iranian foreign policy. Iran has abstained, not only from saying anything, but also from voting on Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Which is also the same way that Israel has voted.

    Iran’s Russia policy has really been a mess. Iran did turn down Russia’s push for stronger ties early in the year, but then announced it was going trying to negotiate a 1.5 billion dollar oil for goods arrangement with Russia, which doesn’t have any need for Iran’s oil. While at the same Iran has been winding down oil for Rupee arrangements with India under the pretext this constitutes barter trade!

    Now that this did this ridiculous six month sanctions reprieve has gone into effect Zarif has lost no time jet setting across the globe begging everyone that has been proven as unreliable as energy partners to pretty please invest money in Iran. May he thinks Rouhani smile as well as his own are just that much more enthralling than Khatami’s and Kharrazi’s. All this while it lost no time in canceling all of khatam-al-anbia’s petro contracts this summer upon assuming office.

    Today I read that the Rouhani, in his infinite genius, who has refused to increase oil prices to even just meet inflation, on the basis that this would create hardship for people, and is planning to phase out direct subsidies on the theory that they are the main cause of inflation, has additionally decided that it needs to phase out domestic production of gasoline out of concern for the enviornment, and meet Iran’s resurgent demand for the stuff by importing from abroad again.

    The situation with Pakistan has again reverted to a complete shambles. There is just too much to comment on.

    How much Taadbir can one country take?

  285. Karl.. says:

    masoud

    Yes that they didnt vote was very weird. They think they will get a cookie from the west now?

  286. fyi says:

    All:

    Text of the conversation of Turkish leaders plotting military intervention in Syria

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/turkey-youtube-ban-full-transcript-leaked-syria-war-conversation-between-erdogan-officials-1442161

  287. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

    It’s not about west, Iran has many ethnicities in different provinces , if she approves a cessation based on a majority vote by ethnicities in Ukraine what message that sends to Iran’s separatist in Khuzestan , or Kurdistan , etc.
    If somehow someone starts a cessation vote in Kurdistan, Iran’s refusal to accept would not be taken as serious, like what is now happening to US/VS vs Kosovo and Ukraine.

    Beside it’s not bad for Russia to have a taste of her medicine on a symbolic non-binding UNGA vote, Iran can confirm her independence by voting in her own national interests, I was shore Iran will not vote against the resolution.

  288. masoud says:

    kooshy says:
    March 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    It should have voted for it. There really is no excuse for abstaining.

  289. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    Probably right, but we all know that if a group want to break free from Iran, the last thing that would matter is what Iran voted on this resolution.

    I dont see why we should be happy about the resolution against Russia. All this hurt the non western, resistance group of nations.

  290. kooshy says:

    masoud says:
    March 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Masoud ass far as I understood Iran voted for the resolution against Russia to pass ,China, India, Brazil, Iraq abstained, Iran did not abstained.

    Karl, I think is harvesting time if someone wants Iran cooperation she has to give something valuable in return , you Russia needs to understand she can’t get a free ride from Iran anymore, this is a small non effective wakeup call slap on hand for Russians.

    I don’t see anything wrong with that, besides Iran still c gets technology from Ukraine but she no longer can get any from Russia, since they always use that as a leverage dealing with west.

  291. kooshy says:

    Sorry as and not ass

  292. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey comes up with excuses for downing Syrian jet…

    Turkey says Syrian air defences put Turkish jets under radar lock
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-syria-crisis-turkey-airforce-idUSBREA2Q12D20140327

    Still trying to get that war started…

  293. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Syrian conflict spilling over into Turkey
    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-1.582327

    Still trying to get that war started… Now they drag in Al Qaeda as a reason to attack Syria…as I predicted would be one “rationale”…

  294. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    Russia is important for Iran in the security council.

    You really believe the new pro-nato, pro-U.S. Ukraine would support Iran? Really?

  295. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Karl no one is asking for Ukraine’s support, but at the same time Iran don’t need to directly support Russia when she knows Russia has not been and is not a reliable partner with Iran’s direct interests, as I said specially on a non-binding resolution that has no effect, Iran like her motto can show she is not aligned except with her close like-minded allies, with regard to Russia, Iran’s policy needs and is multi-dimensional based on Iran’s interests and goals, Russia is not a Shieh country that Iran’s policy becomes limited. When Russia could have blocked UNSC she didn’t she limited it based on her interest not Iran’s. Just like Chines, Iran has no private interest in Crimea, but, Iran has interest to not at least willing agree with stronger countries no matter how democratically cease territories away. Do you think the next one would be UAE claiming that Abu Musa’s Arab residents are voting and deciding to join UAE is a good idea, in foreign affairs you don’t have friends you have interests.

  296. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    March 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The revelations of the conversation has destroyed that conspiracy.

    I hope the behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood vis a vis Iran had disabused the Iranian government of their quaint notions of Islamic solidarity and “working with Ikwan”.

    Ultimately, the Ikhwan have proven now that they are worse than the secularists in despising and opposing the Shia and Iran.

  297. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    Support, deals etc, it wont happen with Ukraine.

    If Iran dont support Russia Iran shouldnt be surprised if Russia accept more sanctions on Iran in the UN in the future.

    Again you really believe Iran’s vote would change anything if some part want to be free from Iran? So what does it matter? In the end all states act hypocrtically, even Iran.

  298. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    No, Russians have reached the limits of their sanctions against Iran.

    They cannot afford to weaken Iran further; not with what happened in Ukraine just now.

    And now after it became clear last August that the military destruction of the Iranian government was the strategic goal of Axis Powers.

    Iranian government does not need to support Russia or help Russia in Ukraine.

    Russia does not need Iran’s help.

    Iran, Lebanon and Israel did not vote and chose to remain silent.

    Anyway, UN is irrelevant, only military force can safeguard states and countries.

  299. masoud says:

    Kooshy,
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-ukraine-crisis-un-idUSBREA2Q1GA20140327

    “Israel, Iran, Serbia and several former Soviet republics in Central Asia like Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were among those that did not take part in the vote.”

  300. masoud says:

    Karl,

    Incidentally, had good trade relations with Ukraine whether it was Yushenko and Timoshenko or Yanukovitch in power.

    But this isn’t trade. No country should be allowed to waltz over and annex another nation’s territory within the time span of a long weekend. No matter what political/historical justifications are offered.

    Iran is not Russian a client state. Russia’s foreign policy serves Russian interests and Russian interests alone. They cannot even be described as a dependable ally.

    It’s not in Iran’s interests to concede that big powers have the right to redraw the map of the world as they see fit simply by virtue of a permanent seat on the UNSC.

  301. Karl.. says:

    masoud

    No Russia is no ally, I didnt say that what I said was that Iran is in need of a state like Russia to block sanctions.

    Besides there was a referendum, Russia didnt “take” the island.

  302. kooshy says:

    masoud says:
    March 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Masoud

    Thanks for clarifying Iran’s absence, I had missed Iran’s vote on this small video screen.

    http://news.az/articles/politics/87317

    Interesting that UAE a client of US was also absent

  303. masoud says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Maybe Crimean leaders did organize a completely legitimate election with the course of three days, and the actual result was 97%. But their incredible haste in the matter, and complete lack of observers from anywhere but Crimea means that countries are going to be hard pressed to recognize it as legitimate. They will also interpret Moscow’s a immediate annexation of Crimea as dangerously inflammatory.

    The Facists who have taken over Kiev are an ugly lot. But this is massive over reach by Russia.

  304. masoud says:

    kooshy says:
    March 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    If UAE votes against it, it contradicts it’s ambitions on the Tunb’s and Abu Musa. If it votes for it, that opens the door to Saudi Arabia giving it the Bahrain treatment.

    Ugly position to be in.

    Besides UAE doesn’t want to unnecessarily offend the Russians and their Roubles.

  305. Karl.. says:

    masoud

    Actually there were observers, but the US/EU refused to send observers.
    I dont see how Russia have “overreached”? Sure if you read western msm, but who does these days? I mean who want to get fooled by propaganda?

  306. yk says:

    Karl

    Iran has nothing to lose from voting the way it did. Just as you know in foreign policy it’s always interest and not friendship that determine how you act. And please tell me what Russia as done to iran to deserve the kind of policy you are stubbornly advocating for?

    Sorry Karl but you have a habit of sticking to your view even after you’ve been soundly proven to be wrong. Sorry to say this Karl you are not engaging in analysis but you only see what you want to see and not what you should see. You know what that is called am sure.

    Iran is a nation that based her foreign policy on strong independence and if you want to analyse such a nation, logically you have to start from such basis. Why should iran stick her neck out for Russia, a nation that as never hesitate to use iran as a bargaining chip for her interest? At least it iran has not voted against Russia (the way Russia normally do to iran) but only abstained to assert its neutrality. Let Russia taste a dose of her own medicine no matter whose horse is grind.

  307. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Karl

    Russia should be happy that Iran didn’t vote for the resolution (contrary to my believe)
    If there was no other choice Iran had to vote for the resolution. Now if the Russians are not happy so be it.

    Iran wasn’t very happy when 5 times they voted to sanction Iran, I am sure if Iran continue to advance on, Nuclear and or her military technology Russians will agree to new limiting resolutions.

    There was no need to agree on a resolution limiting Iran import or export conventional military technology, they did. With regard to Iran I suggest one shouldn’t open a big account on the Russians or any other major state.

  308. Karl.. says:

    yk

    If has nothing to lose why didnt Iran vote against Russia?
    Of course Iran benefit from Russia. As I said Russia could start supporting sanctions again.
    There seems to be alot of hate against Russia here but if it wasnt for Russia Iran would probably be bombed some 5-10 years ago but Russia through security council stopped that. Yes Iran got sanctions instead but would war be better?

  309. yk says:

    In fact this could be a wake up call for Russia(which I seriously doubt) and bring her down to earth so that it would realise Russia is not exempted from the mad King’s lunacy and can never be accepted as a partner by Washington but only as a subordinate the likes of Germany, Japan, UK etc.

  310. kooshy says:

    “There seems to be alot of hate against Russia here’

    Karl I don’t hate Russia or anyone else, this isn’t about hating, it’s about what policy is in Iran’s long term benefit, frankly to me that’s the only thing matters.

    Why did the German’s vote for the resolution? we know Germany’s economic life is dependent and in the Russia’s hand they should have voted against the resolution, don’t you think?

    At least for the benefit of German economy, like UAE they could have shown minimum self-interest by not showing up.

  311. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    Germany have spoken against economic sanctions at this stage.

  312. yk says:

    Karl

    Do you realise the economic sanctions is war by other means? See what it did to Iraq before the invasion finally took place and see the state Iraq is in today. Is this what you are advocating as Russia’s help to iran?

    Do you realise the humanitarian damage the sanctions has done to iran? Even at the highest level of authority in iran, the sanctions is recognised as war by other means as said by the Supreme Leader. Iran as not been attacked because Iran is well prepared defensively (in cost and benefit sense) and not because Russia doesn’t allow for it. This is clear fact and Karl, no one is being rewarded or punished for his/her views on this forum. When your perception seems to falter please do accept and move on. Thanks

  313. yk says:

    And just like Kooshy said I do not hate Russia, I only want what is best for Iran and believe staying out of the quarrel between America and Russia would best serves Iran interest. No more, no less.

  314. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    “Germany have spoken against economic sanctions at this stage.”

    Karl

    Jaw, jaw is never like walk the walk , Karl if Germany had as much freedom in her FR as Iran has she could have voted like Iran to make the Russians happy and protect her economic interests, you know this.

    Unlike Germany Iran can’t and wouldn’t keep Russians happy when adopting a stand or policy don’t benefit Iran.

  315. Karl.. says:

    kooshy

    Since Germany have been one of the greatest supporter of the coup they couldnt have voted in any other way imo.

    yk

    I didnt say sanctions are good, I just said Russia probably stopped a war.

  316. nico says:

    Germany consider ukraine and yougoslavia as its backyard today as it did decades ago.
    As defined by western alliance each “baron” as its own zone of historical influence.
    France in Africa.
    Germany in central europe.
    Uk in east asia as per the sykes picot agreement.
    This is manged overall by the US with a kind of proxy surveillance and devolving the task to pacify each region to its baron.
    Sure the US are keeping an hand where it is needed and there is bickering between the alliances’ baron as well as with the US chief capo just like in the mob.
    Sure also the PG is considered US dominion nowadays.

    But one needs to understand that Germany is after imperialism and zone of influence in Ukraine while keeping in mind its own dependence to Russian economic ties and hydrocarbon supplies.

    That is called international relation.

    Ugly, isn’t it… ?

  317. kooshy says:

    Karl

    Don’t be like James don’t do childish twists, moving against Russian interests, before after during the cope is and was against economic and security interest of Germany but she has to do it since she is an occupied country with 70k US soldiers occupying and protecting it, that is how an honest German needs to say it, having honor is good but only when you have the facts right. Why do we need to BS each other and shy from facts.

  318. Fiorangela says:

    The Obama Doctrine

    Gary Sick, at Iran Review:

    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/The-Obama-Doctrine.htm

    “. . .The policy statement is unusually parsimonious and candid. Here are the defining elements:

    *The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the region.
    *We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War.
    *We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world.
    *We will dismantle terrorist networks that threaten our people.
    *And finally, we will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction.

    The drivers of this policy are U.S. core interests, which are immediately defined in a seemingly bland list that is most notable for what it does not say. It does not define the kind of Middle East it would like to see – no mention of liberty, democracy, free markets, human rights, or freedom of the seas. It does not commit the United States to the security of Israel or any other country in the region, only to help defend them against direct external aggression. Ensuring the free flow of oil is inevitable but the statement says nothing about price (“reasonable”) or destination (“free world”), which have often been part of such U.S. declarations. By narrowing U.S. interests to terrorist networks that directly threaten the United States, it vastly reduces the scope of the Bush global war on terrorists. And the focus on development or use of WMD leaves unmentioned any concern about potential nuclear weapons capacity, as opposed to actual possession. . . .”

  319. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Sykes-Picot agreement touched on spheres of influence Britain and France would have, in former Ottoman territories occupied during the First World War. It was not adhered to strictly, and Turkey did not accept it.

  320. James Canning says:

    yk,

    One might note that sheer stupidity, and worse, on the part of Saddam Hussein kept the sanctions in place. Prior to illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  321. kooshy says:

    Sadly today (via Iranian news sites) I learned famous Harvard Professor of Iranian studies Dr. Richard N. Frye, passed away yesterday March 27th, I knew professor Frye well, he was a friend of our family since 1963, my condolences to his family and all of Iranian studies community.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_N._Frye

    “In his will, Professor Frye has expressed his wish to be buried next to the Zayandeh River in Isfahan. This request was approved by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2007.[10] Two other American scholars of Iranian Studies, Arthur Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, are already buried there. In 2010, a house in Isfahan was gifted by Iranian government to Professor Frye in recognition of his services to Iranian studies.”

  322. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy,

    That is sad news to hear that Dr. Frye has died.

    How fortunate for you to have known Dr Frye. It was my good fortune to have travelled to Iran with his brother, who made the trip in order to see Richard’s mausoleum on the banks of the Zayandeh River. It is a beautiful site, with lush landscaping not far from the fabled bridge.

    Rest in Peace Dr. Richard Frye.

  323. Richard Steven Hack says:

    masoud: “complete lack of observers from anywhere but Crimea”

    There were international observers. There is little doubt that the referendum was completely fair.

    “But this is massive over reach by Russia.”

    Nonsense. Putin did what was necessary to protect its military asset in Crimea and (no doubt secondarily) protect ethnic Russians in the region from neo-Nazis, and most importantly stop further encroachment by NATO toward Russia’s borders. The latter is the number one reason Putin acted as he did. It’s ridiculous not to see that he had little choice in the matter.

    It was the rightwing fascists (and US neocons) who tried a massive over reach and got slapped down by Russia.

    As for whether Iran should have supported Russia in the UN, it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other. Iran is engaged in negotiations with the US and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize those negotiations at this time. So abstaining was reasonable. On the other hand, Russia has done much to support Iran against the US, so Iran should try to maintain good business-like relations with Russia. That doesn’t mean Iran needs to bend over backwards for those relations any more than it does with the US. Iran’s policy is independence and it needs to be fierce in that if it wants to avoid what George Washington called “entanglements”.

  324. Richard Steven Hack says:

    A must-read by Glenn Greenwald…

    US Takes a Break From Condemning Tyranny to Celebrate Obama’s Visit to Saudi Arabia
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/28/us-takes-break-condemning-tyranny-celebrate-obamas-visit-saudi-arabia/

    Really, Obama has totally jumped the shark…he isn’t even bothering to hide the fact that he loves tyrants and thinks he is one. He has gone beyond narcissism to actual delusion. I suspect this is why he is picking a fight with Russia.

  325. Empty says:

    Karl,

    Based on principles and long-term strategy, Iran could not support either the illegal acts of the US, Inc. in Ukraine or the referendum Crimea and the Russian actions. Here are some points to consider:

    1. Iran herself suffered similar acts exacted by the same group in 1953 and beyond.

    2. If what happened in Crimea could meet Iranians’ approval, wouldn’t it also mean that similar approach is okay with respect to Kurds in Western Iran, Arabs in Khouzestan, Baluch in Baluchestan, Turkmens in Khorasan, and Azeris in Azerbaijan? Could Iran agree to such approach in principle when it could come back and bite her in the ass?

    3. Russia did not just abstain or was absent from all the security council votes and sanctions against Iran. Russia was one of the co-authors.

    4. Against international norms and legal obligations that Russia had, it used delay tactics and “institutionalized sabotage” that harmed Iran with respect to Boushehr facility. Even worse, the Russian leadership proudly and openly boasted about it and thought it was clever of them to do so.

    5. Against its international legal obligations and contract terms that Russia signed with Iran with respect to S-300s, Russia weaseled out and violated the terms of the contract it had signed.

    6. As the Persian saying goes, a yellow dog is a jackal’s brother. Neither US, Inc. nor Russia has done anything worthy of support (moral or otherwise). When a bunch of wild animals are fighting over a carcass, you don’t go supporting those wild animals. If you are able and the situation warrants it, you try to help the babies of the dead animal and protect them against those wild beasts, if you can, till the wild beasts have worn each other out.

  326. Empty says:

    Richard Steven Hack,

    RE: “On the other hand, Russia has done much to support Iran against the US, ….”

    Based on what tangible and reasonable evidence are you suggesting this? As I mentioned in my post to Karl, there is ample evidence that directly and unequivocally contradicts your statement. Specific cases in which Russia not only has not supported Iran but also has done the best to harm Iran:

    1. Russia’s co-authorship of all security council and sanctions against Iran.
    2. Russia’s actions against Iran with respect to the legal status of the Caspian Sea and Iran’s legitimate rights in that lake among the 5 littoral states
    3. Russia’s actions with respect to East-West and North-South oil and gas pipeline projects
    4. Russia’s actions and U-turn on S-300s contracts
    5. Russia’s actions against Iran with respect to Bushehr power plant (the damage Russia has done to Iran far exceeds the other hostile entities as it did so under the guise of “helping” Iran)

    I could list a lot more but I’m eager to see the evidence (or list of evidence) you have in support of that statement.

  327. yk says:

    Empty

    Well said, thanks for the comments. Hope these would bury this lopsided and unsustainable argument of why Iran should support Russia for the sake of supporting Russia against what iran feels is her best interest.

  328. yk says:

    We can only thank God these guys are not at the helms of affair in Iran.

    Iran is not Russia’s satrap that would jump when Russia says so.

  329. Karl.. says:

    Empty

    I havent said Russia treated Iran well, what I said was that it have also done other better things, like stopping a war against Iran for the past 5-10 years.

    Besides all these actions by west just make them feel more stronger to take on Iran, Syria et.c. even harsher in the future.

  330. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    March 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Russia lost money on Busher reactor.

  331. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    March 29, 2014 at 12:20 am

    No worse than Mr. George Bush.

    He was in UAE and was haranguing Iran for not being democratic; evidently being completely oblivious to the fact that there were days of celebrations in UAE cities after the 9/1//2001 attacks on the United States.

    It is inconceivable for me that a Japanese leader would stoop as low….

  332. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Empty: “Based on what tangible and reasonable evidence are you suggesting this?”

    The repeated statements by Russia supporting Iran’s right to enrich and to have a peaceful nuclear energy program as well as Russia’s repeated statements that they have never seen a weapons component to that program. Russia clearly does not want to see Iran attacked over this bogus issue, regardless of whether it voted for UN sanctions in the UNSC. That was undoubtedly done to delay the buildup for war, not advance it.

    Russia other actions were in line with Russia’s attempts to stay in good with the US for purposes of preventing further US aggression toward Russia – which is obviously Russia’s main concern, not Iran.

    I don’t expect Putin to ever repeat those actions against Iran since it is now clear that the US is acting in bad faith not only towards Iran but Russia itself. This is why Russia is contemplating selling Iran S-400 and higher air defense systems and why Russia has outmaneuvered Obama on Syria.

    I’m not saying Russia does not treat Iran as a bargaining point with the West, but this is to be expected. Iran is not Russia’s “friend”, either. I’m saying Russia does not wish to see the US attack Iran and would go to probably as many lengths as they have gone to avoid a US attack on Syria.

    Russia was double-crossed on Libya as well as on the expansion of NATO and the threat to put missile systems in eastern Europe. So Russia is no longer going to “go along to get along” with the US.

    This entire argument is moot in any event. Neither Iran nor Russia can be expected to drop their direct national interests in favor of the other. If people here think these countries should “do the right thing”, they’re delusional. No country does.

    The fact remains that if Russia had not outmaneuvered Obama on Syria, the US would be at war with Syria right now. And that would unquestionably be a prelude to a US war with Iran, once Israel used the Syrian war to cover an attack on Lebanon. And that may still occur.

    Some deluded individuals thought six months ago that Russian warships in the Med were a deterrent to a US attack on Syria. They weren’t as Obama clearly demonstrated. Russian diplomacy with Assad was the only deterrent that worked.

    One doesn’t have to “like” Russia or Putin to understand the usefulness Russia has had to Iran, however unreliable it may have been in the past. I suspect most of this discussion is a cover for people who don’t like what Russia has done with regard to the Crimea.

  333. Richard Steven Hack says:

    This is who runs the US…especially the top ten who received over $75 billion dollars…in ONE QUARTER!

    Top 100 Recipients of Federal Contract Awards for FY 2012 3Q
    http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/tables.php?tabtype=t2&subtype=t&year=2012

  334. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    David Cameron and Obama want to avoid war with Iran. You have the stangest notion that the Aug. 21 CW event in Syria, and subsequent developments, indicate the UK and the US “want to destroy” Iran militarily. This is nonsense. I do agree that most neocons, and Israel of course, would like to see Iran smashed.

  335. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Russia’s continued use of its naval bases in Crimea was not in jeopardy. Foolish comments and programmes promoted by neocons helped to create some fears on this score.

  336. James Canning says:

    It is of course no secret the the crisis in Ukraine was generated partly by the activities of the Natidonal Endowment for Democracy. The head of that organisation (funded by the US taxpayers) was asked whether “Israel influences US policy towas Iran”, and his response? “I don’t even know what you are talking about.” Amazing. Almost.

  337. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    The fact is that ever since Mr. Bush declared enemies of Israel to be enemies of US, that policy has been embraced by the European Union.

    To the extent that the so-called Ne-cons – really Liberal Imperialist Dolts – are running the strategic show in US and EU, the distinction that you make is one without merit.

    The people who have brought the world two steps away from a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis and 3 steps from nuclear war cannot be trusted to be Rational Actors in the language of Game Theory.

    Nor can they be construed, in any manner, as being “sensible” in the way that word is understood by the English people.

    Iranians, in my opinion, should entertain no delusions about strategic accommodation with Axis Powers – now or ever. They need to look no further than Russian Federation for that lesson.

    By the way, you are still in a state of denial regarding what happened (or did not happen) subsequent to the events of 08/21/2013.

    The botched coup in Ukraine and the certain war in Iran that was prevented by the revulsion of the English people have altered the strategic landscape.

    The Shia Crescent, for example, now must be understood as the strategic necessity for the physical survival of the Shia and allied minority populations in the face of Axis Powers and local Sunni extremists.

    That is, the alliance among Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Shia & Christian Lebanon is here to stay – and I am afraid rather ruthlessly too.

    When you initiate a war and then fail to win it, those who have stood their ground on the battle field are the winners.

    And those winners who know that there is no Peace available to them would be preparing for the next war and the next one and the next one.

    This is what Axis Powers and their Sunni allies have brought forth in the Near East.

    It matters not what Mr. Cameron wishes – that horse has long left the barn.

  338. masoud says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    “I suspect most of this discussion is a cover for people who don’t like what Russia has done with regard to the Crimea.”

    Maybe all those currently bashing Obama are simply using the Crimea as cover for what America has done historically in other parts of the world.

    In my view, that’s a poor excuse for denying Obama’s usefulness to Ukraine. Take, for instance Obama’s repeated expressions of good will towards Kiev.

  339. masoud says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Lavrov recently threatened to retaliate for what Obama’s done in Ukraine in the P5+1 setting.

    He said something to the effect of: What we are doing in Iran does not compare to the historical significance of recent development’s in Ukrrqine.

    How do you interperet this statement?

  340. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are wrong to claim Israel has succeeded in dictating EU policy, to the extent “enemies of Israel are enemies of the EU”. Israel, Israel lobby, neocons, try and try again, along those lines. But most European diplomats think Israel must get out of the West Bank.

  341. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Is there any concern about “survival” of Shia populations in the ME? Shia community in Lebanon continues to grow, in relation to Christians.

    And the US does what it can to support the Iraqi central government, controlled of course by the Shia.

  342. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Neocons largely were communists or socialists, in early days of what became their movement.

  343. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    The fact remains that EU has done her best to wreck Iran.

    The fact remains that the Cult of Shoah is one of the triune gods of EU – the other two being Democracy and Human Rights.

    If they want to get Israel out of West Bank then can sanction Israel the way they did Iran.

    Let us be very clear that we are in a religious war and with no end in sight.

    Those who think that there is a margin in war against Islam will have their asses handed to them in due course.

    Any way, you heard all of that from me here in this forum; be not surprised of the consequences of a religious war as it spreads and deepens.

    “You asked for it.”

  344. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    GW Bush was a complte fool to say “enemies of Israel are enemies of the US”. Condoleezza Rice encouraged much of this idiocy.

  345. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What has the EU done to “wreck” Iran? Are you referring to the sanctions?

  346. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    “If we lose Syria we cannot defend Khuzestan…”

  347. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What “denial” am I in, regarding events of Aug. 21 and immediate aftermath? Syria agreed to get rid of its CW. A very good thing indeed. And Obama saw he did not have to hit Syria with hundreds of cruise missiles. Another very good thing indeed.

  348. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nonsense. There is no programme to detach provinces from Iran.

  349. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    When the Cold War ended, the people in all countries that were part of that war, benefited.

  350. fyi says:

    All:

    Interview with Mr. Lavrov on Ukraine:

    http://rt.com/news/lavrov-interview-ukraine-russia-065/

    Mr. Canning: Pay attention please to his comments on Mr. Hague….

  351. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Very interesting interview with Lavrov, that you just linked. I agree with him that William Hague was not correct in his accusation that Russia pursues a “zero-sum” game plan.

    I think it will be a good thing if Lavrov is correct, that Russia will not send troops into Ukraine.

    I repeat my long-held position that Ukraine should not become a member of Nato. (At least in foreseeable futuire)

  352. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I continue to deplore the vicious civil war in Syria. But I doubt that an overthrow of the Syrian government would mean the government of Iran would be overthrown. (As claimed in the piece you linked)

  353. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    In Syria, Iranians perceived a threat and preemptively neutralized it.

    The events subsequent to 08/21/2013 corroborated and validated their earlier fears.

    They acted prudently and with prescience.

    In Ukraine, Russians perceived a threat and preemptively neutralized it.

    Now they have outlined, through Mr. Lavrov, the parameters of their proposal for the resolution of the situation in Ukraine: a neutral Ukraine with a weak federal state structure.

    Both in Iran and in Russia, Axis Powers revealed their hands – in the parlance of card games – and the rest is now history.

    They remain unrepentant nevertheless; notice the news regarding the conspiracy to set up false flag operations in Syria?

    Almost certainly a scheme cooked by NATO states.

  354. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I would expect Iran to offer support to the government of Syria in the civil war, without concern an overthrow of the government of Syria would mean an overthrow of the Iranian government.

    Some Russian leaders may have thought there was a danger Russian naval bases in Crimea could be in jeopardy. I doubt Putin thought this.

  355. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What was “the hand” revealed by Nato in Ukraine? I continue to think there was little chance Ukraine would have been offered membership in Nato.

    Some neocons may have conspired to overthrow the president of Ukraine. I doubt that was Obama’s plan, however.

  356. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama May Allow Anti-Aircraft Missile Shipments to Syria Rebels
    Rebels Have Vowed to Attack Civilian Aircraft
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/28/obama-may-allow-anti-aircraft-missile-shipments-to-syria-rebels/

    Still trying to get that Syria war started…

  357. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Putin Continues to Assure He Won’t Invade Ukraine
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/28/putin-continues-to-assure-he-wont-invade-ukraine/

    As I’ve said repeatedly, he has no need to – unless the neo-Nazis in power in Ukraine escalate the situation. With Obama egging them on, this could happen.

    Canning’s stupid notion that Ukraine wasn’t headed for NATO bases and the dumping of Russia from Sevastopol is just delusional.

    This entire business is strictly because Obama got out-maneuvered by Putin over Syria and is now petulantly striking back. We have “government by narcissism” with Obama.

  358. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The infantile diplomacy behind demonising Russia
    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-infantile-diplomacy-behind-demonising-russia/14824#.UzdhGjlF-Hw

    Infantile – the right way to describe Obama…

  359. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama: ““We have no interest in encircling Russia…”

    Does anyone – other than Canning – take that seriously? It’s a straight-up bald-faced LIE.

    President Obama: Vladimir Putin ‘misreading’ U.S.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/president-obama-vladimir-putin-105131.html?hp=r9

  360. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama tells Saudi king U.S. will not agree bad deal with Iran
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/us-obama-saudi-differences-idUSBREA2R1QQ20140328

    Translation: ANY deal…

  361. Rehmat says:

    Wendy Sherman, US envoy at the so-called P5+1 told reporters that though Iran has kept its part of the bargain of the “interim deal”, it would take years for Washington to trust Iran because it supports anti-Israel Hizbullah and human rights abuses (killing gays and lesbians!)

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/03/30/obama-ignores-womens-rights-in-saudi-arabia/

  362. Empty says:

    Richard Steven Hack,

    Although there are situations when statements ARE actions, one should not always judge words and deeds (statements vs. actions) as one. Subsequent actions determine the authenticity of the statements.

    When discussing actions, you seem to have direct access to Russians’ head and thought process and use that info to pinpoint their motivations for actions that have directly harmed Iran. It must be nice to be able to do that. I do not have direct access to Russia’s head and thinking in order to verify your response. So, I won’t argue with you on your counterpoints and thank you for your response anyway.

  363. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Russians lost money because they got drunk on alcohol bought by the US government and signed agreements while they were drunk.

    The day Russians go to all these meetings and discuss and make decisions without alcohol being served before, after, and during these meetings is the day I pay attention to the outcomes of their negotiations and will find them noteworthy.

  364. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Empty: It’s generally very easy to determine what a country’s intentions are: just know what their perceived and actual national interests are. Those interests tend to be objective – although one must always keep in mind the “national mind set”, which is why I include “perceived national interests” more than just the objective national interests.

    Russian motivations for its actions vis-a-vis Ukraine are fairly straightforward, as most of the articles I’ve seen have made clear. As for Iran, in the past, it’s been clear that Russia has used Iran as a bargaining chip with the US while still generally denigrating the US position on Iran. Now that’s been ruined by the US action in Ukraine, I don’t expect Russia to continue “going along” with actions against Iran – unless of course the US dangles some important consideration in exchange for Russia doing so.

    It’s really fairly simple.

    It’s also simple to read Obama: Just assume he’s lying about everything and his immediate concern is his own appearance while still doing what he’s told by his masters behind the public’s back.

  365. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    March 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing this link. The interview with Lavrov highlights the how Russian dissatisfaction has been building up for some time. Several times during the interview Lavrov highlights the duplicity of “the Western partners”. I do not believe that Russians are so naive as to buy into the propaganda they were being fed. It is more likely that through some level of cooperation with the West, they were hoping for enough time to “regroup” – time to become strong enough to counter hegemonic expansions into their sphere of influence. They used Iran as a bargaining chip in this same way, and they will use Iran as a bargaining chip again should circumstances benefit them. As a results, I believe, that the observation that Iran’s interests are best served through the strength of its partnerships (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,…), and her improved defensive/counteroffensive military force is spot on.

    Absent strong deterrent to West’s expansionist policies, just as war and destruction was brought to numerous countries before her, war will be brought upon Iran.

    I note as an aside the insistence of some (currently James, but others in the distant past) that the West does not want war with Iran (replace Iran with country du jour). To be sure, no one wants war. Even a bully does not want a fight – if the “bullied” surrenders first. Sure, it will all be all right – at first! Although, it is a curious fact that no one asks the bully to surrender first. If Mr. Obama and his right hand man Mr. Cameron do not want war, then why don’t they stop bullying?! It is the height of glib cluelessness to suggest that the numerous wars (overt and covert) of the past 15 years have been just: a misunderstanding, a goof up, Bush was an idiot, Necons did it, AIPAC did it, …

    These wars are part and parcel of the modern day imperialist’s design book – and Russia and China understand this, and have understood this. Russia is reacting now (in Ukraine) only because her elite class feels the threat of being relegated to the dustbin of history “has-beens”, as the imperials are advancing on the Russian border.

  366. yk says:

    Jay

    Spot on Jay, thanks for an intelligent and concise analysis.

  367. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    March 30, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Evidently, there has been also a NATO conspiracy to create an incident in Syria – small attack on Turkey from Syria – to involve Turkey and activate Article 5 of NATO.

    So NATO would attack Syria.

    There are many ways that this could play out, including direct Iranian military attacks on Turkey as well as cutoff of all gas supplies to Turkey by Iran – and perhaps even Russia.

    Now that this conspiracy has been exposed, I think the danger is past for the moment.

    But it also confirms that the military destruction of Syria and Iran remain on the agenda of NATO/Axis Powers.

    NATO must be considered an enemy of the Shia Crescent – there is no longer any doubt on this.

  368. Sammy says:

    Empty says:
    March 30, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Empty , I do not agree with you on your above post , which rarely happens.
    When Russia only won 3 gold medals in the last winter Olympics 4 years ago , Putin fired the whole Russian winter sport officials on the spot and this year in Sochi they won 13 gold medals and stood in the first place ( with a total of 33 medals ) degrading the US , Germany , Austria and others. In the Paralympics the Russian won almost 70 % of all available medals.
    As I am quite familiar with sport affairs especially winter sports I can judge what a amazing mammoth work this was.
    Our only Paralympic participant , Mr. Sadegh Kalhor had to pay his trip to Sochi almost from his own pocket , now judge yourself.

  369. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Chances of a “Nato” military intervention in the vicious civil war in Syria are near zero.

    You will recall the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Not a Nato operation, obviously.

  370. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You claim that “no one wants war”. Not true, in my judgement. I think it is very clear indeed, that some Israeli leaders want a war between the US and Iran. And it is also clear that a number of rich and powerful supporters of Israel in the US, want an American attack on Iran.

    Russia benefits from the economic strength of the EU, and Lavrov makes clear that economic growth in Ukraine is much needed.

  371. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    March 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    It is not often that one is given the opportunity to observe history unfold in plain view while the vast majority is sleepwalks into another dark age. That is why I thought the link you provided to Lavrov’s interview was timely and enlightening.

    The ever-so-CIA-connected David Ignatius of the Washington Post penned an article on Thursday of last week. As is usual, Mr. Ignatius’ work is considered a trial balloon by the military-intelligence community. In this trial balloon, Mr. Ignatius was testing the beltway reaction to the further arming of the Syrian jihadists. It appears that the verdict is: Arm the jihadis! It is good for business and politics. Once again, Obama and his gang, Cameron et. al, double down on their crusade – with Saudi’s as their tyrannical bankers. A dynamic group of democracy seekers indeed!

  372. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Russian leaders seek to promote economic growth in Russia while keeping control of the country. This is a complex matter to say the least.

  373. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Who are Obama’s masters? Big Oil, which wants to enter the Iranian oil and gas market? Or rich and powerful supporters of Israel, who want to prevent Big Oil from entering the oil and gas market in Iran?

  374. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    March 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    James Canning, you are being farcical once again! No one wants war if they can get what they want by the opponent surrendering!

    It is bewildering that all you got from Lavrov’s interview is that Ukraine needs economic growth!

  375. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    March 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm
    Jay,

    Russian leaders seek to promote economic growth in Russia while keeping control of the country. This is a complex matter to say the least.

    James Canning, you can replace Russian with Britain, China, US, … or any other country in your first sentence. The sentence is free of any content relevant to the conversation.

    Your second sentence is even more bemusing. I hope you did not have to think about this very hard.

  376. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Wendy Sherman is obliged to make foolish statements about Iran, and Hezbollah. Israel lobby demands it. Full stop. (In context of P5+1 negotiations with Iran)

  377. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Obama is quite right to say the US has no interest in “encircling” Russia. Obama is aware of continuing interests in common, on part of Russia and the US. Even if you are not.

  378. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Nato was unlikely to have admitted Ukraine as a member. Robert Gates in his new book has interesting comments on this angle, and his own opposition to Ukraine’s membership in Nato.

  379. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    I think the chances Ukraine would have interfered with Russia’s continuing use of its naval bases in Crimea were ZERO.

  380. James Canning says:

    Yes, very interesting piece you just linked, FYI. Since neocons were deeply involved in the plot to overthrow the president of Ukraine, the suppression of this story owes a bit to their ability to manipulate MSN.

  381. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I think that a nuclear-armed Iran is the best guarantee that NATO would not indulge in any more fantasy projects in waging war against Iran or Syria or the wider Shia Crescent.

  382. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    March 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, we saw the Unilateral Moment of continuous warfare by Axis Powers (24 years so far); the beginnings of the Shia Vatican, the Birth of the Shia Crescent, the discrediting of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and in Turkey and now the end of Unilateral Moment (in Ukraine).

  383. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The problem with your approach for avoiding war, is that you would ensure war happened.

  384. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you sorry the Muslim Brotherhood is taking some serious blows? Or glad this is happening?

  385. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    When a political movement wraps itself in Islam and proclaims itself as being primarily inspired by Islam, one would expect it to adhere some common understandings of what Islam is.

    One of those is that Muslims constitute a religious community; in spite of race, nationality, language, and culture-specific customs.

    Ikwan, in Egypt and in Turkey, demonstrated that they do not stand for Muslim unity, that for them, still Shia were an unpleasant fact of life that is best to avoid or undermine.

    When Mr. Mursi traveled to Iran for the Non-Aligned meeting, he did not even stay for lunch – he delivered his speech and left; having slapped Iranians in the face as well in parts of his speech.

    And we can see what Mr. Erdogan has been doing in Turkey vis a vis Syria. He has done what a practitioner of Realpolitik would have done. A man who claims to be a political Muslim, one would expect, would have avoided such entanglements and strove to promote Peace and Islamic Unity.

    Am I glad that Ikhwan have failed?

    No.

    Am I surprised?

    No.

    Sunni Muslims are not yet mature enough to implement Islamic politics which is superior to the secularism that they wish to replace.

    They have to break with Islamic Tradition – as the late Mr. Khomeini did – to have any chance of success in creating a new dispensation that could amalgamate Islam and Representative Government and the Rule of Law in a seamless garment.

    They are not there; they still approach the Islamic politics with their raw peasant cunning; aspiring to be midget Machiavellis.

    What they have been, in reality, been discard-able man-servants of the Axis Powers – their betters in every parameter you wish to enumerate.

  386. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Event subsequent to 08/21/2013 and now the revelations of the conspiracy by US & Turkey to set up a cause belli in Syria shows that Iran cannot expect to be spared a war through accommodation with NATO/Axis Powers.

    My approach is that war will come to Iran if she is not capable of defending herself in a theatre stretching from Hind Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.

    My approach is that Axis Powers, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Qatar will not rest until Iran – and indeed the Shia Crescent – is reduced in power to something like Somalia or Afghanistan.

    My approach is empirical – evidence of war plans against Iran are abundant, it seems to me, and even the most ardent pacifist must accept that reality.

    Axis Powers are still scheming and planning and would continue to do so until and unless they are faced with existential threats.

    And even that may not be sufficient; notice how they have flirted with World War III and Armageddon (an ancient village in Syria) in case of Ukraine?

    Axis Powers leaders – including Mr. Cameron – are no rational actors in the sense of Game Theory.

    If they were, they would not have brought the world into this juncture in Ukraine.

  387. Nasser says:

    fyi says: March 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    “Axis Powers leaders – including Mr. Cameron – are no rational actors in the sense of Game Theory.”

    - It is not rationality that they are lacking, what they are lacking is honor and decency; and a willingness to “live and let live”.

    They are arrogant, immoral and duplicitous and as such they renege on every deal they agree upon at the first opportune moment. Any settlement they reach with their foes is but tactical, a temporary cease fire that they hope will lower their enemies’ guard while allowing themselves to muster their strength to permanently crush their foes later.

    Nowhere was this more evident than in Libya.

  388. Nasser says:

    fyi says:
    March 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    “My approach is that Axis Powers, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Qatar will not rest until Iran – and indeed the Shia Crescent – is reduced in power to something like Somalia or Afghanistan.”

    - In your view is Turkey as hostile and fearful of Iran and Shiite Crescent as the Arabs or Israel?

    And what about the Azeri Republic, several inside Afghanistan, and much much more seriously certain elements inside Pakistan that hate Iran and Shias like poison?

    It certainly is the height of irresponsibility not to be well armed and prepared in the face of such enmity.

  389. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    I think you simply do not have a good understanding of how events developed, so that Britain backed France in attacking Gaddafi in Libya.

  390. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nato countries would be happy enough to see a rich and strong Iran, provided it does not build nukes or try to get oo close to ability to build nukes. This is a general statement, and vicious civil war in Syria of course complicates matters at this time.

  391. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt one can say that Nato in and of itself has any viewpoint on the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi blew it in Egypt, it seems clear enough. Erdogan may be making some serious mistakes in Turkey.

  392. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I do not think the scheme to overthrow the president of Ukraine can be said to have been a “Nato” programme. Some neocons in the US clearly were behind it. Some neocons in Britain too.

  393. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    We are in a situation in which the need for regional cooperation has not yet been absorbed by all Near Eastern states.

    The Azeri Republic is not an exception.

    And like all the post-soviet Muslim states there is a pervasive fear of Islam in the apparatus of the state.

    And then there is a the Iran-envy that afflicts so many other regional states.

    Iranian leaders have very little scope of advancing regional cooperation except in the Shia Crescent.

    Everywhere else they are being actively thwarted or undermined by locals or by Axis Powers.

    In a way, Axis Powers approach is very similar to the Soviet Union – which basically prevented trade and cultural exchanges between Iran and the Armenia, Georgica, Azerbaijan, and Central Asian Republics.

  394. BiBiJon says:

    U What? No red army!
    ==================

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/tour-ukraine-russia-border-finds-no-signs-military-buildup-n67336

    But according to the Guardian, headlined “Russia sets terms for Ukraine deal as 40,000 troops mass on border”, we get “General Philip Breedlove, Nato supreme allied commander Europe and the head of the US military’s European command, was ordered back to his post in Brussels during a visit to Washington”

    _http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/31/russia-ukraine-deal-troops-lavrov-kerry