Discussion:
IRAN: Sens. Bayh, McCain, Schumer, Feinstein Support President Bush
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lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 10:53:29 UTC
Permalink
The senators also agreed that Iran poses one of the most serious
threats to the world since the Cold War.
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that if the Iranians had a
nuclear missile that this president might well use it against Israel,"
said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
These politicians are still cruising, aren't they?

Last time, Condoleezza Rice neglected her duty as national security
chief to protect the American people and Amercian properties but
relentlessly exaggerated before TV cameras about Saddam's threat and
graphically speculated that his WMD stockpile would bring mushroom
clouds over American cities.

And last time, Feinstein and many of her Democratic colleagues in the
Senate, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Joe
Liebermann (and probably Evan Bayh) all bowed and bowed before the
warrior princess and said amen to the war against Iraq.

Now they are doing the same thing about Iran. It is very hard to
understand why they are unless they have really sold themselves out to
the neocons and the oil companies, instead of serving the people who
elected them.

They are dissembling again, knowing full well that Iran hasn't even
gotten to the stage of acquiring the uranium enrichment technology to
make bombs.

They know full well that it is not today or tomorrow when Iran would
have a nuclear warhead available.

They know full well that by the time just one warhead is a possibility
that Ahmadinejad may no longer be in power.

They know full well that Iran has a government which has perhaps a
stronger and more functional system of checks and balances than the one
we have in the US of America.

They know full well that, Mr. Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president
and a politician who is as rich as they themselves are and who has
been considered an acceptable moderate as he was running in opposition
to Ahmadinejad, has been appointed to the Supreme Islamic Council as
the head of the Council for Expediency to act as a suitable balance to
Ahmadinejad's presidency.

They know full well that the Iranians have not been an aggressive
party in any war in the past hundred years. They know full well that
the Iranians as a whole are not suicidal and are intelligent pragmatic
people.

They know full well that a single lob of a bomb against Israel isn't
going to destroy Israel but is certainly going to destroy Iran
entirely because of Israel's large nuclear arsenal and superior
military capabilities and the enormous support the US has for Israel.

In short, Feinstein and others mentioned are dissembling. They
supported the Iraq war and caused hundreds of thousands of innocent
Iraqis killed, thousands of our soldiers---our sons, brothers, and
fathers---killed, and tens of thousands more wounded. They pretend
nothing of consequence has happened. They pretend their hands aren't
dripping the blood of the innocents.

All they do now is to blame Bush and his aides, as if they are not
equally culpable. If we would impeach these senators, then maybe they
would think twice before they would play up the fear of the American
people again. Going to war against Iran, immediately after the ghastly
experience of the war against Iraq is too much!

I think in fact that McCain is himself crazy by encouraging another
war against Iran. I can't imagine that the Iranian people would not
react just as angrily as the Iraqi people toward us and that the world
would not be further inflamed by our hegemonic and heartless attitude
toward people other than Americans and Israelis.
The senators also agreed that Iran poses one of the most serious
threats to the world since the Cold War.
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that if the Iranians had a
nuclear missile that this president might well use it against Israel,"
said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
God, I can't believe this. It is frightening that the politicians in
Washington love war so much!

A bunch of boy and girl politicians with no morals who keep crying
wolf, wolf, wolf, one wolf after another!

But it should be clear by now that they are just speaking on behalf of
the neocons and for their agenda. That agenda wants to ensure Iran
remains a third-world country. In fact it wants to ensure every
country in the world remains a third-world country except the US and
perhaps Israel. For that, the neocons' servants are willing to lie
over and over again to make sure their war can keeping going and
going.

But we Americans who are tired of their war and their killing should
realize this:

"Keeping the Third World and the Islamic world several steps behind
has been the West's traditional colonial policy," he said in remarks
broadcast live on state television.

"Even if (the Westerners) destroy our scientists, their successors
would continue the job," he said. "It would not be easy for them to
solve the (nuclear) case by imposing sanctions or anything like that."

Warning the West against trying to curb Iran, he said: "If they cause
any disturbance, they will ultimately regret it." [Rafsanjani]

War against Iran would not accomplish what these politicians are
telling us, just as the war against Iraq and Afghanistan did not
accomplish the goal of making America safe. War only breeds more
violence for us and everyone else.

lo yeeOn
========

# Iran's Rafsanjani Scoffs at Nuke Sanction Threat - Yahoo! News
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Western sanctions won't impede Iran from resuming
research at a uranium enrichment plant, former President Hashemi
Rafsanjani said Wednesday in a harsh denunciation of the
international outcry over Tehran's nuclear activities.

Iran on Tuesday broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and
said it was resuming research. Foreign ministers from Britain, France
and Germany, who have spent two years trying to persuade Iran to halt
its uranium conversion and enrichment activities, are scheduled to
meet in Berlin on Thursday to consider what steps to take.

Delivering Iran's first reply to an international criticism over the
move, Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, said he
was "astonished" by the West's attempt to "bully" Iran.

In a speech for the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, Rafsanjani accused
the West of trying to limit the progress of the developing world.

"Keeping the Third World and the Islamic world several steps behind
has been the West's traditional colonial policy," he said in remarks
broadcast live on state television.

"Even if (the Westerners) destroy our scientists, their successors
would continue the job," he said. "It would not be easy for them to
solve the (nuclear) case by imposing sanctions or anything like that."

Warning the West against trying to curb Iran, he said: "If they cause
any disturbance, they will ultimately regret it."
http://www.ktvu.com/news/6128443/detail.html
McCain: Oil Prices Can't Stop U.S. From Pressing Iran
AP
January 15, 2006
The prospect of higher energy prices should not stop the world from
imposing sanctions against oil-rich Iran, U.S. senators said Sunday.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said sanctions will be tough but that Iran
poses a greater danger to the United States than Iraq at this point
and must be contained.
"If the price of oil has to go up, then that's a consequence we would
have to suffer," McCain said on "Face the Nation" on CBS.
Iran restarted its research at a nuclear facility last week after a
two-year freeze. The Bush administration says Iran wants to make
nuclear arms and is pursuing harsh penalties through the United
Nations Security Council.
But it's unclear if the U.S. has support from other Security Council
members, particularly Russia and China. Iran is OPEC's second-largest
producer, and trade restrictions could increase already high prices
across the globe, even for nations that don't import oil from Iran.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the president should do whatever he
can to get support from Russia and China.
"They need stuff from us," Schumer said on "Fox News Sunday. "They
need trade. They need all kinds of assistance. We ought to play
hardball with them."
McCain said it would be "abominable" for Russia and China to vote
against sanctions. In that case, he said the U.S. should pursue them
anyway with other nations that are willing to support them.
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said penalties should be imposed as a
response to Iran's "irresponsible" behavior. He pointed to Iran's
announcement Sunday that it will hold a conference to examine evidence
of the Holocaust. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the
Holocaust a "myth" and called for Israel to be wiped from the face of
the earth.
"We cannot be intimidated by economic threats from their side," Lott
said. "At the minimum, we should go to the U.N. Security Council and
we should impose economic sanctions unless there is some dramatic
change in the Iranian position."
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said President George W. Bush should have
dealt with threats from Iran years ago. He said Iran is the foremost
sponsor of terrorism in the world and a "force for instability and
death."
"I'm glad the president is finally speaking out about this, but for
four long years they have ignored this problem," Bayh told CNN's "Late
Edition." "It has brought us to the position that we're in today. And
it has undermined the national security interests of the United
States."
The senators agreed that the United States should pursue penalties and
diplomatic options before taking military action against Iran.
"There's only one thing worse than the United States exercising the
military option, that is, a nuclear-armed Iran," McCain said. "Now,
the military option is the last option but cannot be taken off of the
table."
The senators also agreed that Iran poses one of the most serious
threats to the world since the Cold War.
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that if the Iranians had a
nuclear missile that this president might well use it against Israel,"
said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
Loading Image...
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:47:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
And last time, Feinstein and many of her Democratic colleagues in the
Senate, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Joe
Liebermann (and probably Evan Bayh) all bowed and bowed before the
warrior princess and said amen to the war against Iraq.
Now they are doing the same thing about Iran. It is very hard to
understand why
Surely you can't be this uninformed.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 19:54:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
And last time, Feinstein and many of her Democratic colleagues in the
Senate, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Joe
Liebermann (and probably Evan Bayh) all bowed and bowed before the
warrior princess and said amen to the war against Iraq.
Now they are doing the same thing about Iran. It is very hard to
understand why
Surely you can't be this uninformed.
In March 2003, Bush ordered military invasion against Iraq on false
pretenses. The months leading up to that Condoleezza Rice talked up
the yellow cakes and the mushroom clouds.

It has been widely reported, including sources from Der Spiegel, that
Bush has authorized (and the Pentagon has mobilized) striking forces
to attack Iran in March, using tactical nuclear weapons. And now Rice
is rushing the UNSC to vote on Iran before March and talking about a
``window''. It all sounds like deja vu to me.

There is a whole lot more information which all points to Iran having
no smoking gun and Bush and neocons puppets in the Senate wanting to
attack Iran and to keep it third-world, all a part of the PNAC agenda
(see below)!

lo yeeOn
========

No Smoking Gun against Iran

Britain, France, and Germany, who have been heading the diplomacy, say
things are at an impasse.

Iran talks of wanting to maintain dialogue, but it also complains of
big-power bullying. And the tone of the remarks emerging from Tehran
bear little hint of compromise.

There is, of course, no "smoking gun" of evidence against Tehran. It
protests that it is innocent on the nuclear weapons development
charge, but its recent actions have clearly only heightened the
suspicions and unease of many.

In Washington, the word remains that the US will not... take the
military option off the table

But there is also international unease about the potential impact of
economic sanctions on Iran, particularly on the world's fragile oil
market.

# Rice Wants Iran Vote As Soon As Possible - Yahoo! News

In phone calls over the weekend, Rice discussed Iran's recent
nuclear program movements with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
and several foreign ministers whose countries are members of the
International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, the U.N.
nuclear watchdog.

The agency has found Iran in violation of an international treaty
intended to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. But
it has not yet voted on whether to refer Iran to the Security Council,
where it could face possible sanctions.

British, French and German foreign ministers last week called for the
agency to hold a special session to vote on the referral.

"I think it ought to be as soon as possible," Rice said. Waiting for
the agency's planned meeting in March, she said, would allow Iran a
window that it could exploit.

"The Iranians will try to take advantage of it to start to throw chaff
and to obfuscate," Rice said.

Rice won't say whether the United States has enough votes for the
matter to reach the Security Council or whether she is confident that
tough sanctions against Iran can be secured thereafter.

Two of Rice's lieutenants were meeting in Vienna and London on Monday
with ambassadors for the agency's board of governors and with European
allies in hopes building support for the U.S. position.

The backing of two major countries who hold veto powers, Russia and
China, is uncertain. China's foreign minister was to attend the
Liberian inauguration but Rice was not expected to formally discuss
Iran with him.

"Whatever the numbers of the vote, I don't think there's any doubt
that people are quite clear that Iran has crossed a threshold," Rice
said.

The standoff with Iran over its nuclear efforts has intensified in
recent weeks with the country's new hardline president growing
increasingly defiant despite mounting international pressure.

Iran has removed U.N. seals at its main uranium enrichment plant,
resumed research on nuclear fuel after a two-year hiatus and, most
recently, threatened to block short-notice U.N. inspections of its
facilities if the country is hauled before the Security Council.

Rice said she doesn't believe that Iran -- a country used to a lot of
trade -- can withstand the kind of isolation that other countries have
faced when referred to the Security Council.

"They're putting a lot at risk here," she said.

The international community, Rice said, has tried to negotiate with
Iran to reach an agreement that would have lessened the nuclear
proliferation risk while allowing Iran to develop nuclear energy.

"The Iranians have done nothing but throw all of this aside," Rice
said. "They're isolated. They are completely isolated."

The United States contends Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. But
Iran claims its nuclear program is intended solely for energy
production and that its ambitions are purely peaceful. However, Iran
also has argued that it has a right to enrich uranium, which can
produce fuel for nuclear bombs.

Rice also reiterated her desire to address the Iran situation
diplomatically, rather than militarily.

"We've said all along the president keeps all of his options, always
keeps all of his options open," she said. "The course that we're on is
a diplomatic course."

===

# BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran nuclear bid 'fault of West'
Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Saudi Arabia has said the West is partly to blame for the current
nuclear stand-off with Iran because it allowed Israel to develop
nuclear weapons.

The Saudi foreign minister told the BBC statements made by Iran's
president were "extreme" but that diplomacy was the way to resolve the
crisis.

Prince Saud al-Faisal was giving a rare interview while in London for
a two-day terrorism conference.

He has chosen this visit to call for a nuclear-free zone in the Gulf.

Prince Saud told the BBC that the West was partly responsible for the
current stand-off with Iran over its nuclear policy because, he said,
it had helped Israel develop its own nuclear arsenal.


IRAN'S NUCLEAR STANDOFF

Sept 2002: Work begins on Iran's first reactor at Bushehr
Dec 2002: Satellites reveal Arak and Natanz sites, triggering IAEA
inspections
Nov 2003: Iran suspends uranium enrichment and allows tougher
inspections
June 2004: IAEA rebukes Iran for not fully co-operating
Nov 2004: Iran suspends enrichment under deal with EU
Aug 2005: Iran rejects EU plan and re-opens Isfahan plant
Jan 2006: Iran re-opens Natanz facility

In depth: Nuclear fuel cycle

But when asked how Saudi Arabia would respond if Iran acquired nuclear
weapons, he ruled out joining the nuclear arms race.

He said nuclear weapons benefited no-one and that if Iran were ever to
use them against Israel, it would end up killing Palestinians.

The Saudi foreign minister also called on the UK and other countries
to back a Saudi initiative to set up an international
counter-terrorism centre.

He said progress had been made in tackling al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia
but that his government was concerned about the return of Saudi
militants who had been fighting in Iraq.

Gaining the support of the public was crucial, he said, in winning the
fight against terrorism.

On the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prince Saud
said he planned to thank Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday for
Britain's role, which he called both constructive and important.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his country does
not need nuclear weapons.

At a rare news conference in Tehran, Mr Ahmadinejad said they were
needed only by people who "want to solve everything through the use of
force".

The president defended Tehran's recent move to restart nuclear
research, which has sparked international condemnation.

Iran says it has a right to peaceful nuclear technology and denies
that it is covertly seeking to develop weapons.

The US, UK, France and Germany are threatening to refer Iran to the
United Nations Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Leaders who believe they can create peace for themselves by creating
war for others are mistaken.

Excerpts: Ahmadinejad remarks

But the president said a referral would not end its nuclear plans.

"If they want to destroy the Iranian nation's rights by that course,
they will not succeed," he said.

Tehran has said it will stop snap UN inspections of nuclear sites if
its case is sent to the Council.

The crisis intensified this week when Iran removed seals at three
nuclear facilities, ending a two-year freeze.

'Arrogant rulers'

Mr Ahmadinejad told reporters Tehran pursued an active foreign policy
which sought peace, based on justice.

IRAN'S NUCLEAR STANDOFF (see elsewhere)

Iranian press scorns criticism

He criticised the "double standards" of Western countries which
already had nuclear weapons, and attacked "arrogant rulers" for
causing suffering.

"Leaders who believe they can create peace for themselves by creating
war for others are mistaken," he said.

A few had a "medieval mindset" and sought to deprive Iran of valuable
technology, without evidence of wrongdoing, he added.

Mr Ahmadinejad sparked international outrage with his hardline stance
towards Israel, following his election last June.

He repeated both his attacks and calls for a referendum for
Palestinians to choose their future political fate.

"(Israelis) have no roots in Palestine and almost all are immigrants,"
he said.


"Let the nation of Palestine decide among themselves."

Diplomatic divisions

Western countries are now seeking to persuade other members of UN
nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to
agree to refer Iran to the Council.

The Iranians crossed a line by reactivating nuclear facilities the UN
had shut

Albert Arnim, Dresden, Germany

Send us your views
Head-to-head: nuclear crisis

European, Russian, Chinese and US officials are due to meet in London
on Monday, when they are expected to set a date for the crucial IAEA
meeting.


On Friday, US President George W Bush and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel agreed that the crisis should be resolved through peaceful
means.

Washington, Israel and many European powers distrust Iran, partly
because it had kept its nuclear research secret for 18 years before it
was revealed in 2002.

Since last August, Iran has resumed all nuclear activity apart from
enrichment, which can produce fuel for power stations or, under
certain conditions, for bombs.

Tehran has always said it has the right under the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty - which it has signed - to research nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes.

===

By Sarah Buckley and Paul Rincon
BBC News website

Iran has alarmed the international community by removing the seals at
its nuclear fuel research sites - but experts say it is several years
away from being capable of producing a nuclear bomb.

There are two routes to producing an atomic weapon: using either
highly enriched uranium, or separated plutonium, and Iran could pursue
either or both routes.

Isfahan plant
Iran has taken only small steps on the road towards weapons capability

Regarding uranium, Iran has already embarked on the first step of the
purification process necessary to ultimately produce weapons-grade
material.

It has produced reconstituted uranium - what is known as "yellow cake"
- at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan.


However, the influential London-based think tank The International
Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in a report in September
that this was contaminated and was not currently useable.

Supposing Iran solves this problem, it then needs to embark on the
process of enriching the uranium.

For uranium to work in a nuclear reactor, it needs only a small amount
of enrichment. Weapons-grade uranium must be highly enriched.

Centrifuges

Gas centrifuges are one way of enriching uranium.

Iran already has 164 centrifuge machines installed at its pilot
centrifuge plant at Natanz, but that is only a fifth of the total it
needs before it is fully operational.

The commercial-scale facility could ultimately house as many as 50,000
centrifuges, according to some estimates.

NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE

Mined uranium ore is purified and reconstituted into solid form known
as yellowcake
Yellowcake is converted into a gas by heating it to about 64C (147F)
Gas is fed through centrifuges, where its isotopes separate and
process is repeated until uranium is enriched
Low-level enriched uranium is used for nuclear fuel
Highly enriched uranium can be used in nuclear weapons

No clear end to crisis
In depth: Nuclear fuel cycle

Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the IISS,
says Iran has another 1,000 centrifuges dating to before it
temporarily suspended enrichment in 2003. But these have not been
tested to ensure they still work.

Tehran might possibly have parts for a further 1,000 centrifuges, Mr
Fitzpatrick told the BBC News website.

Frank Barnaby, consultant for the UK security think tank the Oxford
Research Group, agrees that Iran does not yet have a critical number
of centrifuges in place.

"They don't currently have enough centrifuges working - so far as we
know - to produce significant amounts of highly-enriched uranium or
even enriched uranium. They would need a lot more," he told the BBC
News website.

Even if the plant is made fully operational, it is currently
configured to produce low enriched uranium (LEU) rather than the
weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU).

So given these limitations, the IISS believes it would take Iran at
least a decade to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon.

Dr Barnaby agrees.

"The CIA says 10 years to a bomb using highly enriched uranium and
that is a reasonable and realistic figure in my opinion," he said.

Plutonium route

Iran could alternatively use plutonium to produce nuclear weapons, but
this route is also problematic for Tehran, analysts say.

Plutonium can be produced as a by-product of fission carried out by
Iran's Russian-built nuclear power reactor at Bushehr.

The IISS says Iran would need to build a reprocessing plant suited to
the fuel used in Bushehr and this would be very technically
challenging.

But according to Dr Barnaby, useful reprocessing could be carried out
over a short period using a suitably equipped chemical laboratory.

Iran is also constructing a heavy-water research reactor at Arak,
which Dr Barnaby says would "very efficiently produce plutonium of the
sort that is good for nuclear weapons."

But this will not be ready until at least 2014, and probably later,
the IISS has said.

===

By Jonathan Marcus
BBC Diplomatic correspondent

Iranian technicians
Western powers suspect Iran's nuclear ambitions are not peaceful

The developing diplomatic row over Iran's nuclear ambitions has
highlighted the question of consistency in US and Western efforts to
halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

Close US ally Israel is widely believed to have an advanced nuclear
arsenal which rarely, if ever, draws any criticism from Washington.

India is quite open about its nuclear weapons programme, but this has
not stopped the Americans from proposing an ambitious programme of
civil nuclear co-operation with the Indians.

So has strategic interest trumped consistency in the non-proliferation
field?

North Korea

Iran has frequently charged that it is being treated unfairly. It
insists that its nuclear ambitions are solely for peaceful purposes.

Iranian experts say other countries have fully-fledged nuclear weapons
programmes, but they do not incur Washington's wrath.

Iran has been far from forthcoming about much of its past nuclear
history - and that is one reason why there is so much concern

One of the great concerns is that Iran could follow North Korea's
route, accepting the constraints of the Non-Proliferation Treaty for
now - and then breaking out once its nuclear programme is sufficiently
mature.

However, North Korea shows some of the limitations of diplomacy in
tackling such thorny non-proliferation issues.

But military options to halt its nuclear programme are almost
unthinkable - just as with Iran.

The onus remains on the diplomats to find a way through this complex
crisis which involves energy policy, security issues and basic
nationalism.

No treaties

So what of Iran's claim of there being double-standards, especially in
Washington?

There is little doubt that both India and Israel have a nuclear
weapons capability.

Both though maintain close ties with the Americans. Israel has a very
close military relationship with Washington and the Bush
administration seems to have thrown initial reservations about India's
nuclear programme to one side and is now eager to step-up nuclear
co-operation, at least in the civil field.

So what price consistency?

In stark diplomatic terms Israel and India are in a different category
to Iran.

Neither India nor Israel, nor Pakistan for that matter - which is also
thought to have a small nuclear arsenal - have signed the
Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Thus they are not breaking their treaty obligations in pursuing a
nuclear weapons programme. However, Iran has signed the Treaty and is
bound by it.

Democracies

Iran has been far from forthcoming about much of its past nuclear
history - and that is one reason why there is so much concern.

[Iran is astutely exploiting its legal rights in this - under the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) it can indeed develop a nuclear
fuel cycle under inspection. That is all it says it wants to do.

The counter-argument is that Iran forfeited that right by hiding an
enrichment programme before and cannot now act as if nothing had
happened. It could, this argument runs, buy fuel from well-regulated
suppliers, as others do.
Paul Reynolds]

But diplomacy is not just about observing treaties; it is about
sending the right signals.

And many US arms control experts see the Bush administration's plans
for civil nuclear co-operation with India as driving a coach and
horses through the broader non-proliferation regime.

Viewed from Washington, consistency is not so much the issue as
interests. Israel and India are key strategic allies of the United
States.

They are democracies.

Their arsenals are not seen as destabilising - in fact, it is quite
the opposite.

And Iran, at least for the Americans, falls into a very different
category.

[The West, and Israel, say that Iran cannot be trusted and that it
matters because the technology used to enrich uranium for fuel can
also be used to enrich it further for a nuclear explosion.

If you master one, you master the other. And that would give Iran what
is known as the 'break-out' capability. It could leave the NPT and go
ahead and make a nuclear device.

If that moment came, it would be another decision point for the West -
and for Israel. President Bush has said time and again that he will
not permit Iran to build a bomb. And Israel might not want to wait
that long.
Paul Reynolds]

===

# Iran Bars CNN Over Translation of Remarks - Yahoo! News
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran said Monday it is barring CNN from working in
Iran "until further notice" due to its mistranslation of comments
made by the president in a recent news conference about the country's
nuclear research.

In a speech Saturday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Iran's
right to continue nuclear research. State media have complained since
the speech that CNN used the translation "nuclear weapons" instead of
"nuclear technology."

The ban by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry was read in a
statement on state-run television.

"Due to mistranslation of the words of Ahmadinejad during his press
conference, activities of the American CNN in Tehran are banned until
further notice," the statement said.

CNN acknowledged the mistake.

"CNN quoted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Iran has the right to
build nuclear weapons," the network said in its report of the ban. "In
fact he said that Iran has the right to nuclear energy. He added that,
quote, a nation that has civilization does not need nuclear weapons
and our nation does not need them. CNN has clarified what the Iranian
president said and apologized here on the air to the Iranians
directly, as well as on the air."

CNN told viewers it had not been officially notified about the ban.

===

U.S., EU Press China and Russia on Iran

By BETH GARDINER, Associated Press Writer 53 minutes ago

LONDON - The United States and its European allies pressed Russia and
China on Monday to support bringing Iran before the U.N. Security
Council, which has the power to impose sanctions over Tehran's
nuclear program.

Representatives of all five veto-wielding permanent members of the
Security Council -- the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China -- and
Germany met in London.

They were seeking to resolve differences over what action to take
after Iran removed U.N. seals from its main uranium enrichment
facility last week and resumed research on nuclear fuel, including
small-scale enrichment, after a 2 1/2-year freeze.

The move alarmed the West, which fears Iran intends to build an atomic
bomb. Iran claims its program is peaceful, intended only to produce
electricity and it has threatened to end cooperation the U.N. nuclear
watchdog if it is brought before the Security Council.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and have been pushing for
a referral and the Europeans declared last week that negotiations with
Tehran had reached a dead end.

Russia and China have close commercial ties with Iran and have
resisted referral in the past and differences remained.

In Moscow, President
Vladimir Putin
held out the possibility of a compromise, saying Iran has not ruled
out conducting its uranium enrichment in Russia, an idea that was
floated last year. The plan would ensure oversight so that uranium
would be enriched only as much as is needed for use in nuclear power
plants and not to the higher level required for weapons.

"We have heard various opinions from our Iranian partners on that
issue. One of them has come from the Foreign Ministry -- our partners
told us they did not exclude the implementation of our proposal,"
Putin said after a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel. "In
any case, it's necessary to work carefully and avoid any erroneous
moves."

European diplomats have said in recent days there are signs that
Russia, which is deeply involved in building Iranian reactors for
power generation, is leaning toward referral. Putin's comments,
though, seemed to suggest he was still looking for other alternatives.

China, which is highly dependent on Iranian oil, has warned that
hauling Iran before the Security Council would escalate the situation.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing took a cautious tone.

"China believes that under the current situation, all relevant sides
should remain restrained and stick to solving the Iranian nuclear
issue through negotiations," the ministry said in a statement.

Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice
said the vote on referral "ought to be as soon as possible."

"We've got to finally demonstrate to Iran that it can't with impunity
just cast aside the just demands of the international community," Rice
said Sunday during a trip to Africa.

Speaking before Monday's talks in London, British Foreign Secretary
Jack Straw said the "onus is on Iran" to prove its program is
peaceful. He said the international community's confidence had been
"sorely undermined by a history of concealment and deception" by Iran.

Straw said the dialogue with Russia and China was of "crucial
importance."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said the
London talks signaled "growing international concern at the behavior
of the Iranian government and at ... the words of the Iranian
president," who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map"
and said the Nazi Holocaust a "myth."

Iranian state radio, meanwhile, reported that the government had
allocated the equivalent of $215 million for the construction of what
would be its second and third nuclear power plants. Iran plans to
build 20 more nuclear plants, and Russia has offered to build some of
them.

Monday's talks aimed to build consensus on what action to take ahead
of an emergency board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
the U.N. nuclear watchdog, expected in February.

The Vienna, Austria-based agency has found Iran in violation of an
international treaty intended to stop the proliferation of nuclear
weapons technology. But it has not yet voted on whether to refer Iran
to the Security Council.

Straw reiterated that military action against Iran is not an option.

He also said sanctions were not inevitable even if the nuclear dispute
is referred to the Security Council, saying other countries had
complied with council demands without the need for sanctions.

In Russia, lawmaker Andrei Kokoshin, a former National Security
Council head, told http://www.strana.ru, a Web site close to the
Kremlin, that "the extreme positions that are present in both
Washington and Tehran are making it considerably harder for Russia to
facilitate a way out of the crisis."

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Sergei Kislyak attended the talks, joined by senior diplomats
from Britain, France and Germany.

Zhang Yan, director of China's Arms Control Department, represented
Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry said. Straw did not attend.

Economic sanctions targeting oil and gas exports are thought unlikely.
Iran is OPEC's second-largest producer and preventing it from doing
business could disrupt the world's energy markets.

Nevertheless, Blair's spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in
keeping with government policy, said the international community would
not be bowed by Iranian threats that economic sanctions could cause
oil prices to jump.

=====

And all this support to attack Iran is part of the PNAC agenda that
the neocons want to get done and their puppets in the US Congress are
secretly supporting.

A PNAC Primer

Bernard Weiner

. . .

"I'm not making up this stuff," I said. "It's all talked about openly
by the neo-conservatives of the Project for the New American Century
-- who now are in charge of America's military and foreign policy --
and published as official U.S. doctrine in the National Security
Strategy of the United States of America."

. . .

In the early-1990s, there was a group of ideologues and
power-politicians on the fringe of the Republican Party's far-right.
The members of this group in 1997 would found The Project for the New
American Century. (PNAC) Their aim was to prepare for the day when the
Republicans regained control of the White House -- and, it was hoped,
the other two branches of government as well -- so that their vision
of how the U.S. should move in the world would be in place and ready
to go, straight off-the-shelf into official policy.

This PNAC group was led by such heavy hitters as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick
Cheney, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol,
James Bolton, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Bennett, Dan Quayle, Jeb
Bush,

. . .

The "outsiders" from PNAC are now powerful "insiders," placed in
important positions from which they can exert maximum pressure on U.S.
policy: Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary,
Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney's
Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at
the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the
Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard
Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon,
former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. etc.
(PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of Rupert Murdoch's The
Weekly Standard.) In short, PNAC has a lock on military
policy-creation in the Bush Administration.

. . .

Here is a shorthand summary of PNAC strategies that have become U.S.
policy.

1. In 1992, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney had a strategy
report drafted for the Department of Defense, written by Paul
Wolfowitz, then Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. In it, the U.S.
government was urged, as the world's sole remaining Superpower, to
move aggressively and militarily around the globe. The report called
for pre-emptive attacks and ad hoc coalitions, but said that the U.S.
should be ready to act alone when "collective action cannot be
orchestrated." The central strategy was to "establish and protect a
new order" that accounts "sufficiently for the interests of the
advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our
leadership," while at the same time maintaining a military dominance
capable of "deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a
larger regional or global role." Wolfowitz outlined plans for military
intervention in Iraq as an action necessary to assure "access to vital
raw material, primarily Persian Gulf oil" and to prevent the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from
terrorism. (For the essence of the draft text, see Barton Gellman's
"Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower"
in the Washington Post.

2. Various Hard Right intellectuals outside the government were
spelling out the new PNAC policy in books and influential journals.
Zalmay M. Khalilzad (formerly associated with big oil companies,
currently U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan & Iraq ) wrote an
important volume in 1995, "From Containment to Global Leadership:
America & the World After the Cold War," the import of which was
identifying a way for the U.S. to move aggressively in the world and
thus to exercise effective control over the planet's natural
resources. A year later, in 1996, neo-conservative leaders Bill
Kristol and Robert Kagan, in their Foreign Affairs article "Towards a
Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy," came right out and said the goal for
the U.S. had to be nothing less than "benevolent global hegemony," a
euphemism for total U.S. domination, but "benevolently" exercised, of
course.

3. In 1998, PNAC unsuccessfully lobbied President Clinton to attack
Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. The January letter from
PNAC urged America to initiate that war even if the U.S. could not
muster full support from the Security Council at the United Nations.
Sound familiar? (President Clinton replied that he was focusing on
dealing with al-Qaida terrorist cells.)

4. In September of 2000, PNAC, sensing a GOP victory in the upcoming
presidential election, issued its white paper on "Rebuilding America's
Defenses: Strategy,Forces and Resources for the New Century." The PNAC
report was quite frank about why the U.S. would want to move toward
imperialist militarism, a Pax Americana, because with the Soviet Union
out of the picture, now is the time most "conducive to American
interests and ideals...The challenge of this coming century is to
preserve and enhance this `American peace'." And how to preserve and
enhance the Pax Americana? The answer is to "fight and decisively win
multiple, simultaneous major-theater wars."

In serving as world "constable," the PNAC report went on, no other
countervailing forces will be permitted to get in the way. Such
actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the
United Nations," for example. No country will be permitted to get
close to parity with the U.S. when it comes to weaponry or influence;
therefore, more U.S. military bases will be established in the various
regions of the globe. (A post-Saddam Iraq may well serve as one of
those advance military bases.)

5. George W. Bush moved into the White House in January of 2001.
Shortly thereafter, a report by the Administration-friendly Council on
Foreign Relations was prepared, "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges
for the 21st Century," that advocated a more aggressive U.S. posture
in the world and called for a "reassessment of the role of energy in
American foreign policy," with access to oil repeatedly cited as a
"security imperative." (It's possible that inside Cheney's
energy-policy papers -- which he refuses to release to Congress or the
American people -- are references to foreign-policy plans for how to
gain military control of oilfields abroad.)

6. Mere hours after the 9/11 terrorist mass-murders, PNACer Secretary
of Defense Rumsfeld ordered his aides to begin planning for an attack
on Iraq, even though his intelligence officials told him it was an
al-Qaida operation and there was no connection between Iraq and the
attacks. "Go massive," the aides' notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it
all up. Things related and not." Rumsfeld leaned heavily on the FBI
and CIA to find any shred of evidence linking the Iraq government to
9/11, but they weren't able to. So he set up his own fact-finding
group in the Pentagon that would provide him with whatever shaky
connections it could find or surmise.

7. Feeling confident that all plans were on track for moving
aggressively in the world, the Bush Administration in September of
2002 published its "National Security Strategy of the United States of
America." The official policy of the U.S. government, as proudly
proclaimed in this major document, is virtually identical to the
policy proposals in the various white papers of the Project for the
New American Century and others like it over the past decade.
Chief among them are:


1. the policy of "pre-emptive" war -- i.e., whenever the U.S. thinks a
country may be amassing too much power and/or could provide some sort
of competition in the "benevolent hegemony" region, it can be
attacked, without provocation. (A later corollary would rethink the
country's atomic policy: nuclear weapons would no longer be considered
defensive, but could be used offensively in support of
political/economic ends; so-called "mini-nukes" could be employed in
these regional wars.)

2. international treaties and opinion will be ignored whenever they
are not seen to serve U.S. imperial goals.

3. The new policies "will require bases and stations within and beyond
Western Europe and Northeast Asia."

In short, the Bush Administration seems to see the U.S., admiringly,
as a New Rome, an empire with its foreign legions (and threat of
"shock and awe" attacks, including with nuclear weapons) keeping the
outlying colonies, and potential competitors, in line. Those who
aren't fully in accord with these goals better get out of the way;
"you're either with us or against us."

. . .

For complete article, please visit

Linkname: A PNAC Primer
URL: http://themeridiannews.com/pnac.html
Post by NAH <NAH@>
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
Lazarus Cain
2006-01-16 21:03:53 UTC
Permalink
The March date is well know, and has been circulating for many weeks
now. The US team is counting on the fact that the majority will not pay
attention to not so well publicized facts but will be swayed by the
well publicized party line.


In the meanwhile those of us who saw it coming will only be more
solidly entrenched in opposition to the official party line.

What scares me is once the crap against Iran is started it wil not be
long before we see martial law imposed in the US and the likelhood of
the suspension of US elections. When US resorts to military action
against Iran and does find itself in a war, then we shall see this
martial law and suspension of elections, because the US will lose
control of the situation and find it necessary to resort to extreme
measures, before the anticipate collapse anticipated possibly December
2012.

This is a possible scenario which is anticipated at the current rate.

The prophet is charged not to adulterate his word in accordance with
the desire of secular politics.

Yet it is the lack of resistance from democratic leadership to this
latest initiative of aggressive intent which is most noteworthy here,
because we see there is noone in the US who iis standig up against this
latest war initiative, and this will be mentioned again when we recall
who was responsible for the tragic war between Iran and the US, and who
spoke up against it so as to avoid the consequences.

No let us mark this day, that no US offical stands in opposition to
Bush's intentions against Iran, so that the US can bear full
responsibility for any and all of the evil consequences which should
have easily been anticipated, but no one wanted to bring up for fear of
criticism.

I remember feeling the same way when Congress was duped about Iraq.

However, from the point of being right, Iran is correct, and the US is
wrong.
The US has not made its case against Iran, otherwise I would know.

The American public has the right to know, and I repeat the case has
not been made beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt to convict Iran, so
in the eyes of the public jury, Iran is still not guilty, and to act
against Iran is to act outside of the law.

For the sake of a few cheap drops of oil the US will sell its soul to
the devil apparently.
Lazarus Cain
2006-01-17 22:30:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lazarus Cain
The March date is well know, and has been circulating for many weeks
now. The US team is counting on the fact that the majority will not pay
attention to not so well publicized facts but will be swayed by the
well publicized party line.
In the meanwhile those of us who saw it coming will only be more
solidly entrenched in opposition to the official party line.
What scares me is once the crap against Iran is started it wil not be
long before we see martial law imposed in the US and the likelhood of
the suspension of US elections. When US resorts to military action
against Iran and does find itself in a war, then we shall see this
martial law and suspension of elections, because the US will lose
control of the situation and find it necessary to resort to extreme
measures, before the anticipate collapse anticipated possibly December
2012.
This is a possible scenario which is anticipated at the current rate.
The prophet is charged not to adulterate his word in accordance with
the desire of secular politics.
Yet it is the lack of resistance from democratic leadership to this
latest initiative of aggressive intent which is most noteworthy here,
because we see there is noone in the US who iis standig up against this
latest war initiative, and this will be mentioned again when we recall
who was responsible for the tragic war between Iran and the US, and who
spoke up against it so as to avoid the consequences.
No let us mark this day, that no US offical stands in opposition to
Bush's intentions against Iran, so that the US can bear full
responsibility for any and all of the evil consequences which should
have easily been anticipated, but no one wanted to bring up for fear of
criticism.
I remember feeling the same way when Congress was duped about Iraq.
However, from the point of being right, Iran is correct, and the US is
wrong.
The US has not made its case against Iran, otherwise I would know.
The American public has the right to know, and I repeat the case has
not been made beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt to convict Iran, so
in the eyes of the public jury, Iran is still not guilty, and to act
against Iran is to act outside of the law.
For the sake of a few cheap drops of oil the US will sell its soul to
the devil apparently.
I must make note of two senators who did speak against Mr Bush on
Monday. We see comments by Gore and Hillary which I do not object to,
so am inclined to support.

It does seem the Clinton camp will be able to destroy the Bush camp by
properly employing tactics this year.

so....... it is not as if there is no chance for the US.
Hillary will need to be ambiguous concerning Iran, so as to not be
contaminated by this next effort to bring the US into war over false
pretenses.
After all, there are other issues of greater prioity that deserve
attention.

The problem encountered will be when the old boys club has to answer to
a "liberal woman", especially the one they appaerntly fear so much.

But why do they fear her.....? because they know that she can dethrone
them.

Also Hillary will be able to make progress in negotiating mideast peace
whereas dubyah has failed completely. The Clintons will be able to gain
back the respect from the Muslim world that Mr Bush has lost.

Hillary is still a little too conservative for me, but I guess beggars
can't be choosers. I don't see any alternative.

One thing is for certain..I don't see Hillary starting any wars when
her testasterone is challenged.

The other thing: Hillary doesn't strike me as a short little man with
an over inflated ego with fantasies of being one of the world's
greatest leaders, becasue of the small .....
as the saying goes.

NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:47:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
They know full well that Iran has a government which has perhaps a
stronger and more functional system of checks and balances than the one
we have in the US of America.
HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 20:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
They know full well that Iran has a government which has perhaps a
stronger and more functional system of checks and balances than the one
we have in the US of America.
HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
In Iran, they have just chosen a president by a one-person one-vote
system. And just in case, they also have an entity called the Council
for Expediency, with the former president Rafsanjani as the head of
the entity.

Rafsanjani has been well known to the West and considered moderate.

And Rafsanjani was an opponent to Ahmadinejad, the president-elect.

When Rafsanjani was named by the Supreme Islamist Council to head the
Council for Expediency, we see at least two or perhaps three things:

One, it is like what we the US used to have: the second top-vote
getter gets to be vice president, but better. It gets to act as a
counter-weight to the president, in case the latter acts irresponsibly.

Two, Iran's system of democracy has checks and balances, with a true
moderate and a millionaire capitalist in charge to prove it, unlike
the neocons' puppets in Congress who all bow and bow to the hysterical
screeches of the Bush administration. In our country today, our
president is totally out of control and above the law. It would be
funny to see your HAHA if it were so sad to see how we the American
people have little say about killing innocent people around the world
in the name of our safety when in fact it is going up like the smoke.

Three, perhaps the Islamic Council of Iran wants to reassure the West
that Iran is full of smart people who are not interested in suicidal
activities and they act rationally, with the best interest of their
people at heart. Of course they can't just kowtow to the West; they
have to do what is in the best interest of their own people, but not
suicidal deeds.

Of course they also know that no amount of kowtowing to the West will
satisfy it. Instead of Saddam's appeasement, Iran might be following
the route of North Korea, China, Pakistan, India, and even Israel.
They all stick their own plans and they might just come out ahead.

War begets more violence. It is better not start another one after
the lesson of Iraq.

lo yeeOn
========

# Iran Scoffs at Nuke Sanction Threat - Yahoo! News
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Western sanctions won't impede
Iran from resuming research at a uranium enrichment plant, former
President Hashemi Rafsanjani said Wednesday in a harsh denunciation of
the international outcry over Tehran's nuclear activities.

Iran on Tuesday broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and
said it was resuming research. Foreign ministers from Britain, France
and Germany, who have spent two years trying to persuade Iran to halt
its uranium conversion and enrichment activities, are scheduled to
meet in Berlin on Thursday to consider what steps to take.

Delivering Iran's first reply to an international criticism over the
move, Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, said he
was "astonished" by the West's attempt to "bully" Iran.

In a speech for the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, Rafsanjani accused
the West of trying to limit the progress of the developing world.

"Keeping the Third World and the Islamic world several steps behind
has been the West's traditional colonial policy," he said in remarks
broadcast live on state television.

"Even if (the Westerners) destroy our scientists, their successors
would continue the job," he said. "It would not be easy for them to
solve the (nuclear) case by imposing sanctions or anything like that."

Warning the West against trying to curb Iran, he said: "If they cause
any disturbance, they will ultimately regret it."
Post by NAH <NAH@>
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 21:32:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
One, it is like what we the US used to have: the second top-vote
getter gets to be vice president, but better.
When was that?

CITE?
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
Lamont Cranston
2006-01-17 16:00:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
One, it is like what we the US used to have: the second top-vote
getter gets to be vice president, but better.
When was that?
CITE?
U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1.

U.S. Constitution, Amendment XII (passed December 9, 1803; ratified June
15, 1804)
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 21:33:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
War begets more violence. It is better not start another one after
the lesson of Iraq.
We will make Iran vanish, if it is needed to save other countires.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:48:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
They know full well that the Iranians have not been an aggressive
party in any war in the past hundred years.
They did some nasty things to our diplomats, but
since you're in HK, I guess you don't care.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 20:24:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
They know full well that the Iranians have not been an aggressive
party in any war in the past hundred years.
They did some nasty things to our diplomats, but
since you're in HK, I guess you don't care.
That is a lot of red herrings there you have. Unlike the US shooting
down an Iranian civilian jet which killed hundreds of civilians in a
matter of seconds, and unlike the CIA-supported Shah repression which
killed thousands of Iranians and which was the source of the Embassy
seizure which you call ``nasty things'', the Embassy seizure killed no
one. It proves that the Iranians and their Islamists are rational
people who are careful about the consequences of their deeds. By
taking care not to have people killed, there becomes no ground for
a war for revenge unless for people who want to grasp at straws.

In any case, Bush and the neocons design for Iran isn't based on the
``nasty things'' you're talking about, but rather the PNAC agenda they
want to pursue, at the expense a lot of innocent blood.

War begets greater violence and greater trouble for us. We better
learn from the lesson of the Iraq war.

lo yeeOn
========

A PNAC Primer

Bernard Weiner

. . .

"I'm not making up this stuff," I said. "It's all talked about openly
by the neo-conservatives of the Project for the New American Century
-- who now are in charge of America's military and foreign policy --
and published as official U.S. doctrine in the National Security
Strategy of the United States of America."

. . .

In the early-1990s, there was a group of ideologues and
power-politicians on the fringe of the Republican Party's far-right.
The members of this group in 1997 would found The Project for the New
American Century. (PNAC) Their aim was to prepare for the day when the
Republicans regained control of the White House -- and, it was hoped,
the other two branches of government as well -- so that their vision
of how the U.S. should move in the world would be in place and ready
to go, straight off-the-shelf into official policy.

This PNAC group was led by such heavy hitters as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick
Cheney, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol,
James Bolton, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Bennett, Dan Quayle, Jeb
Bush,

. . .

The "outsiders" from PNAC are now powerful "insiders," placed in
important positions from which they can exert maximum pressure on U.S.
policy: Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary,
Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney's
Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at
the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the
Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard
Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon,
former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. etc.
(PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of Rupert Murdoch's The
Weekly Standard.) In short, PNAC has a lock on military
policy-creation in the Bush Administration.

. . .

Here is a shorthand summary of PNAC strategies that have become U.S.
policy.

1. In 1992, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney had a strategy
report drafted for the Department of Defense, written by Paul
Wolfowitz, then Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. In it, the U.S.
government was urged, as the world's sole remaining Superpower, to
move aggressively and militarily around the globe. The report called
for pre-emptive attacks and ad hoc coalitions, but said that the U.S.
should be ready to act alone when "collective action cannot be
orchestrated." The central strategy was to "establish and protect a
new order" that accounts "sufficiently for the interests of the
advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our
leadership," while at the same time maintaining a military dominance
capable of "deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a
larger regional or global role." Wolfowitz outlined plans for military
intervention in Iraq as an action necessary to assure "access to vital
raw material, primarily Persian Gulf oil" and to prevent the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from
terrorism. (For the essence of the draft text, see Barton Gellman's
"Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower"
in the Washington Post.

2. Various Hard Right intellectuals outside the government were
spelling out the new PNAC policy in books and influential journals.
Zalmay M. Khalilzad (formerly associated with big oil companies,
currently U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan & Iraq ) wrote an
important volume in 1995, "From Containment to Global Leadership:
America & the World After the Cold War," the import of which was
identifying a way for the U.S. to move aggressively in the world and
thus to exercise effective control over the planet's natural
resources. A year later, in 1996, neo-conservative leaders Bill
Kristol and Robert Kagan, in their Foreign Affairs article "Towards a
Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy," came right out and said the goal for
the U.S. had to be nothing less than "benevolent global hegemony," a
euphemism for total U.S. domination, but "benevolently" exercised, of
course.

3. In 1998, PNAC unsuccessfully lobbied President Clinton to attack
Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. The January letter from
PNAC urged America to initiate that war even if the U.S. could not
muster full support from the Security Council at the United Nations.
Sound familiar? (President Clinton replied that he was focusing on
dealing with al-Qaida terrorist cells.)

4. In September of 2000, PNAC, sensing a GOP victory in the upcoming
presidential election, issued its white paper on "Rebuilding America's
Defenses: Strategy,Forces and Resources for the New Century." The PNAC
report was quite frank about why the U.S. would want to move toward
imperialist militarism, a Pax Americana, because with the Soviet Union
out of the picture, now is the time most "conducive to American
interests and ideals...The challenge of this coming century is to
preserve and enhance this `American peace'." And how to preserve and
enhance the Pax Americana? The answer is to "fight and decisively win
multiple, simultaneous major-theater wars."

In serving as world "constable," the PNAC report went on, no other
countervailing forces will be permitted to get in the way. Such
actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the
United Nations," for example. No country will be permitted to get
close to parity with the U.S. when it comes to weaponry or influence;
therefore, more U.S. military bases will be established in the various
regions of the globe. (A post-Saddam Iraq may well serve as one of
those advance military bases.)

5. George W. Bush moved into the White House in January of 2001.
Shortly thereafter, a report by the Administration-friendly Council on
Foreign Relations was prepared, "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges
for the 21st Century," that advocated a more aggressive U.S. posture
in the world and called for a "reassessment of the role of energy in
American foreign policy," with access to oil repeatedly cited as a
"security imperative." (It's possible that inside Cheney's
energy-policy papers -- which he refuses to release to Congress or the
American people -- are references to foreign-policy plans for how to
gain military control of oilfields abroad.)

6. Mere hours after the 9/11 terrorist mass-murders, PNACer Secretary
of Defense Rumsfeld ordered his aides to begin planning for an attack
on Iraq, even though his intelligence officials told him it was an
al-Qaida operation and there was no connection between Iraq and the
attacks. "Go massive," the aides' notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it
all up. Things related and not." Rumsfeld leaned heavily on the FBI
and CIA to find any shred of evidence linking the Iraq government to
9/11, but they weren't able to. So he set up his own fact-finding
group in the Pentagon that would provide him with whatever shaky
connections it could find or surmise.

7. Feeling confident that all plans were on track for moving
aggressively in the world, the Bush Administration in September of
2002 published its "National Security Strategy of the United States of
America." The official policy of the U.S. government, as proudly
proclaimed in this major document, is virtually identical to the
policy proposals in the various white papers of the Project for the
New American Century and others like it over the past decade.
Chief among them are:


1. the policy of "pre-emptive" war -- i.e., whenever the U.S. thinks a
country may be amassing too much power and/or could provide some sort
of competition in the "benevolent hegemony" region, it can be
attacked, without provocation. (A later corollary would rethink the
country's atomic policy: nuclear weapons would no longer be considered
defensive, but could be used offensively in support of
political/economic ends; so-called "mini-nukes" could be employed in
these regional wars.)

2. international treaties and opinion will be ignored whenever they
are not seen to serve U.S. imperial goals.

3. The new policies "will require bases and stations within and beyond
Western Europe and Northeast Asia."

In short, the Bush Administration seems to see the U.S., admiringly,
as a New Rome, an empire with its foreign legions (and threat of
"shock and awe" attacks, including with nuclear weapons) keeping the
outlying colonies, and potential competitors, in line. Those who
aren't fully in accord with these goals better get out of the way;
"you're either with us or against us."

. . .

For complete article, please visit

Linkname: A PNAC Primer
URL: http://themeridiannews.com/pnac.html
Post by NAH <NAH@>
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 21:33:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
It proves that the Iranians and their Islamists are rational
people
ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:50:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
Going to war against Iran, immediately after the ghastly
experience of the war against Iraq is too much!
Tell that to the mad mullahs and their puppet President.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
Lamont Cranston
2006-01-16 14:46:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
Going to war against Iran, immediately after the ghastly
experience of the war against Iraq is too much!
Tell that to the mad mullahs and their puppet President.
I sent email to both of my Senators this morning.
e***@rcn.com
2006-01-16 20:07:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Tell that to the mad mullahs and their puppet President.
Ous or theirs?
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:52:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
I think in fact that McCain is himself crazy by encouraging another
war against Iran. I can't imagine that the Iranian people would not
react just as angrily as the Iraqi people toward us and that the world
would not be further inflamed by our hegemonic and heartless attitude
toward people other than Americans and Israelis.
What if the UN security Council approved sanctions against
Iran. Would you think them all to be insane?

And if they subsequently approve military action?
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 20:47:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
I think in fact that McCain is himself crazy by encouraging another
war against Iran. I can't imagine that the Iranian people would not
react just as angrily as the Iraqi people toward us and that the world
would not be further inflamed by our hegemonic and heartless attitude
toward people other than Americans and Israelis.
What if the UN security Council approved sanctions against
Iran. Would you think them all to be insane?
And if they subsequently approve military action?
What those governments at the UNSC will do have a lot to do with US
pressure. For instance, it has been said that if US does go ahead and
attack Iran, neither Russia nor China will stand in the way. That has
nothing to do with whether they like it or not. It has to do with the
more pragmatic view of not getting themselves attacked by the US also.

I don't know if their strategy is good or not. But i do know that if
they all vote for the US-pushed sanction regime against Iran, it shows
not that they are insane. To the contrary, it shows they are just
being rational. Who want to get their own people killed? Only people
like our Senators who continue to support the Iraq war and are goading
Bush to attack Iran are the politicians who could not care less about
getting their own people killed. In this case, it is our brothers,
fathers, and sons who fight for the neocons' interests in Iraq whom
our Senators couldn't care less about if they get killed and continue
to get killed.

If Bush were to go to war against Iran and these Senators were to
support him, they are insane because it is not in the interests of
the American people!

lo yeeOn
========

Subject: Chossudovsky on USA-Israeli Plans to Attack Iran

Center for Research on Globalization - May 1, 2005
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO505A.html

Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran

by Michel Chossudovsky

At the outset of Bush's second term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a
bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was "right at the
top of the list" of the rogue enemies of America, and that Israel would, so
to speak, "be doing the bombing for us", without US military involvement and
without us putting pressure on them "to do it":

"One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being
asked... Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective
is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first,
and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess
afterwards," (quoted from an MSNBC Interview Jan 2005)

Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants to "set Israel loose" to
attack Iran. Commenting the Vice President's assertion, former National
Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with
some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Ariel Sharon to act on America's
behalf and "do it" for us:

"Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not
tyranny; it's nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a
strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the
Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a
justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it."

The foregoing statements are misleading. The US is not "encouraging Israel".
What we are dealing with is a joint US-Israeli military operation to bomb
Iran, which has been in the active planning stage for more than a year. The
Neocons in the Defense Department, under Douglas Feith, have been working
assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts,
carefully identifying targets inside Iran ( Seymour Hersh,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/HER501A.html )

Under this working arrangement, Israel will not act unilaterally, without a
green light from Washington. In other words, Israel will not implement an
attack without the participation of the US.

Covert Intelligence Operations: Stirring Ethnic Tensions in Iran

Meanwhile, for the last two years, Washington has been involved in covert
intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and
special forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in
this operation.

"A British intelligence official said that any campaign against Iran would
not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans will use different
tactics, said the intelligence officer. 'It is getting quite scary.'"
(Evening Standard, 17 June 2003,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FOX306A.html )

The expectation is that a US-Israeli bombing raid of Iran's nuclear
facilities will stir up ethnic tensions and trigger "regime change" in favor
of the US. (See Arab Monitor,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ARA502A.html ).

Bush advisers believe that the "Iranian opposition movement" will unseat the
Mullahs. This assessment constitutes a gross misjudgment of social forces
inside Iran. What is more likely to occur is that Iranians will consistently
rally behind a wartime government against foreign aggression. In fact, the
entire Middle East and beyond would rise up against US interventionism.

Retaliation in the Case of a US-Israeli Aerial Attack

Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form of
ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005). These
attacks, could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which
would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out
war.

In other words, the air strikes against Iran could contribute to unleashing
a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region.

Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be understood in relation
to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which has opened up
a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation of
Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following an
agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

In other words, US and Israeli military planners must carefully weigh the
far-reaching implications of their actions.

Israel Builds up its Stockpile of Deadly Military Hardware

A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a
possible attack on Iran.

Israel has recently taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 "smart air
launched weapons" including some 500 BLU 109 'bunker-buster bombs. The
(uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than "adequate to address the
full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried
facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker
buster ":

~ "Given Israel's already substantial holdings of such weapons, this increase
in its inventory would allow a sustained assault with or without further US
involvement." (See Richard Bennett,
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BEN501A.html )

The Israeli Air Force would attack Iran's nuclear facility at Bushehr using
US as well Israeli produced bunker buster bombs. The attack would be carried
out in three separate waves "with the radar and communications jamming
protection being provided by U.S. Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in
the area". (See W Madsen, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD410A.html

Bear in mind that the bunker buster bombs can also be used to deliver
tactical nuclear bombs. The B61-11 is the "nuclear version" of the
"conventional" BLU 113. It can be delivered in much same way as the
conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO112C.html, see also
http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris ) .

According to the Pentagon, tactical nuclear weapons are "safe for
civilians". Their use has been authorized by the US Senate. (See Miochel
Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405A.html )

Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli Dolphin-class submarines equipped
with US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads are now aimed at Iran.
(See Gordon Thomas, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/THO311A.html

Even if tactical nuclear weapons are not used by Israel, an attack on Iran's
nuclear facilities not only raises the specter of a broader war, but also of
nuclear radiation over a wide area:

"To attack Iran's nuclear facilities will not only provoke war, but it could
also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of
Iran." (Statement of Prof Elias Tuma, Arab Internet Network, Federal News
Service, 1 March 2005)

Moreover, while most reports have centered on the issue of punitive air
strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, the strikes would most probably extend
to other targets.

While a ground war is contemplated as a possible "scenario" at the level of
military planning, the US military would not be able to wage a an effective
ground war, given the situation in Iraq. In the words of former National
Security Adviser Lawrence Eagelberger:

"We are not going to get in a ground war in Iran, I hope. If we get into
that, we are in serious trouble. I don't think anyone in Washington is
seriously considering that." ( quoted in the National Journal, 4 December
2004).

Iran's Military Capabilities

Despite its overall weaknesses in relation to Israel and the US, Iran has an
advanced air defense system, deployed to protect its nuclear sites; "they
are dispersed and underground making potential air strikes difficult and
without any guarantees of success." (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 2005). It has
upgraded its Shahab-3 missile, which can reach targets in Israel. Iran's
armed forces have recently conducted high-profile military exercises in
anticipation of a US led attack. Iran also possesses some 12 X-55 strategic
cruise missiles, produced by the Ukraine. Iran's air defense systems is
said to feature Russian SA-2, SA-5, SA-6 as well as shoulder-launched SA-7
missiles (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies).

The US "Military Road Map"

The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next
stage of ?the road map to war?.

Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests
of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial
establishment and the military-industrial complex.

The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of
the World's reserves of oil and natural gas. Iran possesses 10% of the
world's oil and ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the
size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of
global oil reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/WAD412A.html )

The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of
the battle for oil. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central
Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated "in war theater plans" to invade both
Iraq and Iran:

"The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the
President's National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman's National
Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central
Command's theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of
dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those
states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and
to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance
of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM's
theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S.
engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States' vital
interest in the region - uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf
oil. (USCENTCOM,
http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy,
emphasis added)

Main Military Actors

While the US, Israel, as well as Turkey (with borders with both Iran and
Syria) are the main actors in this process, a number of other countries, in
the region, allies of the US, including several Central Asian former Soviet
republics have been enlisted. Britain is closely involved despite its
official denials at the diplomatic level. Turkey occupies a central role in
the Iran operation. It has an extensive military cooperation agreement with
Israel. There are indications that NATO is also formally involved in the
context of an Israel-NATO agreement reached in November 2004.

Planning The Aerial Attack on Iran

According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, George W. Bush has
already signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran, scheduled for
June.(See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/JEN502A.html )

The June cut-off date should be understood. It does not signify that the
attack will occur in June. What it suggests is that the US and Israel are
"in a state of readiness" and are prepared to launch an attack by June or at
a later date. In other words, the decision to launch the attack has not been
made.

Ritter's observation concerning an impending military operation should
nonetheless be taken seriously. In recent months, there is ample evidence
that a major military operation is in preparation:

1) several high profile military exercises have been conducted in recent
months, involving military deployment and the testing of weapons systems.

2) military planning meetings have been held between the various parties
involved. There has been a shuttle of military and government officials
between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara.

3) A significant change in the military command structure in Israel has
occurred, with the appointment of a new Chief of Staff.

4) Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out at the international
level with a view to securing areas of military cooperation and/or support
for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against Iran.

5) Ongoing intelligence operations inside Iran have been stepped up.

6) Consensus Building: Media propaganda on the need to intervene in Iran has
been stepped up, with daily reports on how Iran constitutes a threat to
peace and global security.

Timeline of Key Initiatives

In the last few months, various key initiatives have been taken, which are
broadly indicative that an aerial bombing of Iran is in the military
pipeline:

November 2004 in Brussels: NATO-Israel protocol: Israel's IDF delegation to
the NATO conference to met with military brass of six members of the
Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia,
Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. "NATO seeks to revive the framework, known
as the Mediterranean Dialogue program, which would include Israel. The
Israeli delegation accepted to participate in military exercises and
"anti-terror maneuvers" together with several Arab countries.

January 2005: the US, Israel and Turkey held military exercises in the
Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria. These exercises, which have
been held in previous years were described as routine.

February 2005. Following the decision reached in Brussels in November 2004,
Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO,
which also included several Arab countries.

February 2005: Assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The assassination, which was blamed on Syria, serves Israeli and US
interests and was used as a pretext to demand the withdrawal of Syrian
troops from Lebanon.

February 2005: Sharon fires his Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya?alon and appoints
Air Force General Dan Halutz. This is the first time in Israeli history that
an Air Force General is appointed Chief of Staff (See Uri Avnery,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/AVN502A.html )

The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz as IDF Chief of Staff is
considered in Israeli political circles as "the appointment of the right man
at the right time." The central issue is that a major aerial operation
against Iran is in the planning stage, and Maj General Halutz is slated to
coordinate the aerial bombing raids on Iran. Halutz's appointment was
specifically linked to Israel's Iran agenda: "As chief of staff, he will in
the best position to prepare the military for such a scenario."

March 2005: NATO's Secretary General was in Jerusalem for follow-up talks
with Ariel Sharon and Israel's military brass, following the joint
NATO-Israel military exercise in February. These military cooperation ties
are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to "enhance Israel's
deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly
Iran and Syria." The premise underlying NATO-Israel military cooperation is
that Israel is under attack:

"The more Israel's image is strengthened as a country facing enemies who
attempt to attack it for no justified reason, the greater will be the
possibility that aid will be extended to Israel by NATO. Furthermore, Iran
and Syria will have to take into account the possibility that the increasing
cooperation between Israel and NATO will strengthen Israel's links with
Turkey, also a member of NATO. Given Turkey's impressive military potential
and its geographic proximity to both Iran and Syria, Israel's operational
options against them, if and when it sees the need, could gain considerable
strength. " (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies,
http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v7n4p4Shalom.html )

The Israel-NATO protocol is all the more important because it obligates NATO
to align itself with the US-Israeli plan to bomb Iran, as an act of self
defense on the part of Israel. It also means that NATO is also involved in
the process of military consultations relating to the planned aerial bombing
of Iran. It is of course related to the bilateral military cooperation
agreement between Israel and Turkey and the likelihood that part of the
military operation will be launched from Turkey, which is a member of NATO.

Late March 2005: News leaks in Israel indicated an "initial authorization"
by Prime Minster Ariel Sharon of an Israeli attack on Iran's Natanz uranium
enrichment plant "if diplomacy failed to stop Iran's nuclear program". (The
Hindu, 28 March 2005)

March-April 2005: The Holding in Israel of Joint US-Israeli military
exercises specifically pertaining to the launching of Patriot missiles.

US Patriot missile crews stationed in Germany were sent to Israel to
participate in the joint Juniper Cobra exercise with the Israeli military.
The exercise was described as routine and "unconnected to events in the
Middle East": "As always, we are interested in implementing lessons learned
Post by NAH <NAH@>
from training exercises." (UPI, 9 March 2005).
April 2005: Donald Rumsfeld was on an official visits to Iraq, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. His diplomatic endeavors were described
by the Russian media as "literally circling Iran in an attempt to find the
best bridgehead for a possible military operation against that country."

In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing the date for deployment of
US troops in Azerbaijan on Iran's North-Western border. US military bases
described as "mobile groups" in Azerbaijan are slated to play a role in a
military operation directed against Iran.

Azerbaijan is a member of GUUAM, a military cooperation agreement with the
US and NATO, which allows for the stationing of US troops in several of the
member countries, including Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The stated
short term objective is to "neutralize Iran". The longer term objective
under the Pentagon's "Caspian Plan" is to exert military and economic
control over the entire Caspian sea basin, with a view to ensuring US
authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors.

During his visit in April, Rumsfeld was pushing the US initiative of
establishing "American special task forces and military bases to secure US
influence in the Caspian region:

"Called Caspian Watch, the project stipulates a network of special task
forces and police units in the countries of the regions to be used in
emergencies including threats to objects of the oil complex and pipelines.
Project Caspian Watch will be financed by the United States ($100 million).
It will become an advance guard of the US European Command whose zone of
responsibility includes the Caspian region. Command center of the project
with a powerful radar is to be located in Baku." ( Defense and Security
Russia, April 27, 2005)

Rumsfeld's visit followed shortly after that of Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami's to Baku.

April 2005: Iran signs a military cooperation with Tajikistan, which
occupies a strategic position bordering Afghanistan's Northern frontier.
Tajikistan is a member of "The Shanghai Five" military cooperation group,
which also includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Iran also has
economic cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan.

Mid April 2005: Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets George W Bush at
his Texas Ranch. Iran is on the agenda of bilateral talks. More
significantly, the visit of Ariel Sharon was used to carry out high level
talks between US and Israeli military planners pertaining to Iran.

Late April 2005. President Vladmir Putin is in Israel on an official visit.
He announces Russia's decision to sell short-range anti-aircraft missiles to
Syria and to continue supporting Iran's nuclear industry. Beneath the gilded
surface of international diplomacy, Putin's timely visit to Israel must be
interpreted as "a signal to Israel" regarding its planned aerial attack on
Iran.

Late April 2005: US pressure in the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) has been exerted with a view to blocking the re-appointment of
Mohammed Al Baradei, who according to US officials "is not being tough
enough on Iran..." Following US pressures, the vote on the appointment of a
new IAEA chief was put off until June. These developments suggest that
Washington wants to put forth their own hand-picked nominee prior to
launching US-Israeli aerial attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities. (See VOA,
http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-27-voa51.cfm ). (In February 2003, Al
Baradei along with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix challenged the
(phony) intelligence on WMD presented by the US to the UN Security Council,
with a view to justifying the war on Iraq.)

Late April 2005. Sale of deadly military hardware to Israel. GBU-28 Buster
Bunker Bombs: Coinciding with Putin's visit to Israel, the US Defence
Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) announced the sale of an
additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed Martin to Israel.
This decision was viewed by the US media as "a warning to Iran about its
nuclear ambitions."

The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated "Guided Bomb Unit-28
(GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator" (including the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit
and support equipment). The GBU-28 is described as "a special weapon for
penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground. The fact of
the matter is that the GBU-28 is among the World's most deadly
"conventional" weapons used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing
thousands of civilian deaths through massive explosions.

The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s on their F-15 aircraft.
(See text of DSCA news release at
http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2005/Israel_05-10_corrected.pdf

Late April 2005- early May: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in
Israel for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon. He was accompanied by his
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who met with senior Israeli military
officials. On the official agenda of these talks: joint defense projects,
including the joint production of Arrow II Theater Missile Defense and
Popeye II missiles. The latter also known as the Have Lite, are advanced
small missiles, designed for deployment on fighter planes. Tel Aviv and
Ankara decide to establish a hotline to share intelligence.

May 2005: Syrian troops scheduled to withdraw from Lebanon, leading to a
major shift in the Middle East security situation, in favor of Israel and
the US.

Iran Surrounded

The US has troops and military bases in Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan,
Afghanistan, and of course Iraq.

In other words, Iran is virtually surrounded by US military bases. (see Map
below). These countries as well as Turkmenistan, are members of NATO`s
partnership for Peace Program. and have military cooperation agreements
with NATO. In other words, we are dealing with a potentially explosive
scenario in which a number of countries, including several former Soviet
republics, could be brought into a US led war with Iran. IranAtom.ru, a
Russian based news and military analysis group has suggested, in this
regard:

"since Iranian nuclear objects are scattered all over the country, Israel
will need a mass strike with different fly-in and fly-out approaches -
Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other countries... Azerbaijan
seriously fears Tehran's reaction should Baku issue a permit to Israeli
aircraft to overfly its territory." (Defense and Security Russia, 12 April
2005).

Concluding remarks:

The World is at an important crossroads.

The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which
threatens the future of humanity.

Iran is the next military target. The planned military operation, which is
by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities,
is part of a project of World domination, a military roadmap, launched at
the end of the Cold War.

Military action against Iran would directly involve Israel's participation,
which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East,
not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey
is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks.

Israel is a nuclear power with a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. (See text
box below). The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or the US cannot be
excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical nuclear weapons
have now been reclassified as a variant of the conventional bunker buster
bombs and are authorized by the US Senate for use in conventional war
theaters. ("they are harmless to civilians because the explosion is
underground")

In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran constitute a nuclear
threat.

The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing
active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and
Palestine.

The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East to the Caspian sea
basin. It could also involve the participation of Azerbaijan and Georgia,
where US troops are stationed.

An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the resistance movement
inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America's overstretched military
capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war theaters. (The
150,000 US troops in Iraq are already fully engaged and could not be
redeployed in the case of a war with Iran.)

In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central Asia- Middle East
region, the three existing war theaters in which America is currently,
involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey, the structure of US
sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter of a broader
conflict.

Moreover, US military action on Iran not only threatens Russian and Chinese
interests, which have geopolitical interests in the Caspian sea basin and
which have bilateral agreements with Iran. It also backlashes on European
oil interests in Iran and is likely to produce major divisions between
Western allies, between the US and its European partners as well as within
the European Union.

Through its participation in NATO, Europe, despite its reluctance, would be
brought into the Iran operation. The participation of NATO largely hinges on
a military cooperation agreement reached between NATO and Israel. This
agreement would bind NATO to defend Israel against Syria and Iran. NATO
would therefore support a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities,
and could take on a more active role if Iran were to retaliate following
US-Israeli air strikes.

Needless to say, the war against Iran is part of a longer term US military
agenda which seeks to militarize the entire Caspian sea basin, eventually
leading to the destabilization and conquest of the Russian Federation.

The Antiwar Movement

The antiwar movement must act, consistently, to prevent the next phase of
this war from happening.

This is no easy matter. The holding of large antiwar rallies will not in
itself reverse the tide of war.

High ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military
and the US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war
agenda.

What is required is a grass roots network, a mass movement at national and
international levels, which challenges the legitimacy of the military and
political actors, and which is ultimately instrumental in unseating those
who rule in our name.

War criminals occupy positions of authority. The citizenry is galvanized
into supporting the rulers, who are "committed to their safety and
well-being". Through media disinformation, war is given a humanitarian
mandate.

To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war
machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems) must be stopped
and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled.

The corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be
targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the financial
institutions and the corporate media, which has become an integral part of
the war propaganda machine.

Antiwar sentiment does not dismantle a war agenda. The war criminals in the
US, Israel and Britain must be removed from high office.

What is needed is to reveal the true face of the American Empire and the
underlying criminalization of US foreign policy, which uses the "war on
terrorism" and the threat of Al Qaeda to galvanize public opinion in support
of a global war agenda.


SideBar/TEXT BOX: Israel's Nuclear Capabilities

With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery
system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest
nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and
sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear
arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear
weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly
recognized as such.

Today, estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal range from a minimum of 200
to a maximum of about 500. Whatever the number, there is little doubt that
Israeli nukes are among the world's most sophisticated, largely designed for
"war fighting" in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal
are "neutron bombs," miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize
deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term
radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property
intact.(16) Weapons include ballistic missiles and bombers capable of
reaching Moscow...

The bombs themselves range in size from "city busters" larger than the
Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of
mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all
other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any
conceivable need for "deterrence."

Many Middle East Peace activists have been reluctant to discuss, let alone
challenge, the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region, often
leading to incomplete and uninformed analyses and flawed action strategies.
Placing the issue of Israeli weapons of mass destruction directly and
honestly on the table and action agenda would have several salutary effects.
First, it would expose a primary destabilizing dynamic driving the Middle
East arms race and compelling the region's states to each seek their own
"deterrent."

Second, it would expose the grotesque double standard which sees the U.S.
and Europe on the one hand condemning Iraq, Iran and Syria for developing
weapons of mass destruction, while simultaneously protecting and enabling
the principal culprit. Third, exposing Israel's nuclear strategy would focus
international public attention, resulting in increased pressure to dismantle
its weapons of mass destruction and negotiate a just peace in good faith.
Finally, a nuclear free Israel would make a Nuclear Free Middle East and a
comprehensive regional peace agreement much more likely. Unless and until
the world community confronts Israel over its covert nuclear program it is
unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab
conflict, a fact that Israel may be counting on as the Sharon era dawns.

Source: John Steinbach, Israel's Nuclear Arsenal,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/STE203A.html

© Copyright MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY 2005.
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:53:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
That agenda wants to ensure Iran
remains a third-world country. In fact it wants to ensure every
country in the world remains a third-world country except the US and
perhaps Israel.
Horseshit.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 20:27:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
Post by lo yeeOn
That agenda wants to ensure Iran
remains a third-world country. In fact it wants to ensure every
country in the world remains a third-world country except the US and
perhaps Israel.
Horseshit.
You can Say that but people disagree!

lo yeeOn
========

# Iran Scoffs at Nuke Sanction Threat - Yahoo! News (p3 of 15)
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Western sanctions won't impede
Iran from resuming research at a uranium enrichment plant, former
President Hashemi Rafsanjani said Wednesday in a harsh denunciation of
the international outcry over Tehran's nuclear activities.

Iran on Tuesday broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and
said it was resuming research. Foreign ministers from Britain, France
and Germany, who have spent two years trying to persuade Iran to halt
its uranium conversion and enrichment activities, are scheduled to
meet in Berlin on Thursday to consider what steps to take.

Delivering Iran's first reply to an international criticism over the
move, Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, said he
was "astonished" by the West's attempt to "bully" Iran.

In a speech for the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, Rafsanjani accused
the West of trying to limit the progress of the developing world.

"Keeping the Third World and the Islamic world several steps behind
has been the West's traditional colonial policy," he said in remarks
broadcast live on state television.

"Even if (the Westerners) destroy our scientists, their successors
would continue the job," he said. "It would not be easy for them to
solve the (nuclear) case by imposing sanctions or anything like that."

Warning the West against trying to curb Iran, he said: "If they cause
any disturbance, they will ultimately regret it."

A PNAC Primer

Bernard Weiner

. . .

"I'm not making up this stuff," I said. "It's all talked about openly
by the neo-conservatives of the Project for the New American Century
-- who now are in charge of America's military and foreign policy --
and published as official U.S. doctrine in the National Security
Strategy of the United States of America."

. . .

In the early-1990s, there was a group of ideologues and
power-politicians on the fringe of the Republican Party's far-right.
The members of this group in 1997 would found The Project for the New
American Century. (PNAC) Their aim was to prepare for the day when the
Republicans regained control of the White House -- and, it was hoped,
the other two branches of government as well -- so that their vision
of how the U.S. should move in the world would be in place and ready
to go, straight off-the-shelf into official policy.

This PNAC group was led by such heavy hitters as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick
Cheney, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol,
James Bolton, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Bennett, Dan Quayle, Jeb
Bush,

. . .

The "outsiders" from PNAC are now powerful "insiders," placed in
important positions from which they can exert maximum pressure on U.S.
policy: Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary,
Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney's
Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at
the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the
Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard
Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon,
former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. etc.
(PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of Rupert Murdoch's The
Weekly Standard.) In short, PNAC has a lock on military
policy-creation in the Bush Administration.

. . .

Here is a shorthand summary of PNAC strategies that have become U.S.
policy.

1. In 1992, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney had a strategy
report drafted for the Department of Defense, written by Paul
Wolfowitz, then Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. In it, the U.S.
government was urged, as the world's sole remaining Superpower, to
move aggressively and militarily around the globe. The report called
for pre-emptive attacks and ad hoc coalitions, but said that the U.S.
should be ready to act alone when "collective action cannot be
orchestrated." The central strategy was to "establish and protect a
new order" that accounts "sufficiently for the interests of the
advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our
leadership," while at the same time maintaining a military dominance
capable of "deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a
larger regional or global role." Wolfowitz outlined plans for military
intervention in Iraq as an action necessary to assure "access to vital
raw material, primarily Persian Gulf oil" and to prevent the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from
terrorism. (For the essence of the draft text, see Barton Gellman's
"Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower"
in the Washington Post.

2. Various Hard Right intellectuals outside the government were
spelling out the new PNAC policy in books and influential journals.
Zalmay M. Khalilzad (formerly associated with big oil companies,
currently U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan & Iraq ) wrote an
important volume in 1995, "From Containment to Global Leadership:
America & the World After the Cold War," the import of which was
identifying a way for the U.S. to move aggressively in the world and
thus to exercise effective control over the planet's natural
resources. A year later, in 1996, neo-conservative leaders Bill
Kristol and Robert Kagan, in their Foreign Affairs article "Towards a
Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy," came right out and said the goal for
the U.S. had to be nothing less than "benevolent global hegemony," a
euphemism for total U.S. domination, but "benevolently" exercised, of
course.

3. In 1998, PNAC unsuccessfully lobbied President Clinton to attack
Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. The January letter from
PNAC urged America to initiate that war even if the U.S. could not
muster full support from the Security Council at the United Nations.
Sound familiar? (President Clinton replied that he was focusing on
dealing with al-Qaida terrorist cells.)

4. In September of 2000, PNAC, sensing a GOP victory in the upcoming
presidential election, issued its white paper on "Rebuilding America's
Defenses: Strategy,Forces and Resources for the New Century." The PNAC
report was quite frank about why the U.S. would want to move toward
imperialist militarism, a Pax Americana, because with the Soviet Union
out of the picture, now is the time most "conducive to American
interests and ideals...The challenge of this coming century is to
preserve and enhance this `American peace'." And how to preserve and
enhance the Pax Americana? The answer is to "fight and decisively win
multiple, simultaneous major-theater wars."

In serving as world "constable," the PNAC report went on, no other
countervailing forces will be permitted to get in the way. Such
actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the
United Nations," for example. No country will be permitted to get
close to parity with the U.S. when it comes to weaponry or influence;
therefore, more U.S. military bases will be established in the various
regions of the globe. (A post-Saddam Iraq may well serve as one of
those advance military bases.)

5. George W. Bush moved into the White House in January of 2001.
Shortly thereafter, a report by the Administration-friendly Council on
Foreign Relations was prepared, "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges
for the 21st Century," that advocated a more aggressive U.S. posture
in the world and called for a "reassessment of the role of energy in
American foreign policy," with access to oil repeatedly cited as a
"security imperative." (It's possible that inside Cheney's
energy-policy papers -- which he refuses to release to Congress or the
American people -- are references to foreign-policy plans for how to
gain military control of oilfields abroad.)

6. Mere hours after the 9/11 terrorist mass-murders, PNACer Secretary
of Defense Rumsfeld ordered his aides to begin planning for an attack
on Iraq, even though his intelligence officials told him it was an
al-Qaida operation and there was no connection between Iraq and the
attacks. "Go massive," the aides' notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it
all up. Things related and not." Rumsfeld leaned heavily on the FBI
and CIA to find any shred of evidence linking the Iraq government to
9/11, but they weren't able to. So he set up his own fact-finding
group in the Pentagon that would provide him with whatever shaky
connections it could find or surmise.

7. Feeling confident that all plans were on track for moving
aggressively in the world, the Bush Administration in September of
2002 published its "National Security Strategy of the United States of
America." The official policy of the U.S. government, as proudly
proclaimed in this major document, is virtually identical to the
policy proposals in the various white papers of the Project for the
New American Century and others like it over the past decade.
Chief among them are:


1. the policy of "pre-emptive" war -- i.e., whenever the U.S. thinks a
country may be amassing too much power and/or could provide some sort
of competition in the "benevolent hegemony" region, it can be
attacked, without provocation. (A later corollary would rethink the
country's atomic policy: nuclear weapons would no longer be considered
defensive, but could be used offensively in support of
political/economic ends; so-called "mini-nukes" could be employed in
these regional wars.)

2. international treaties and opinion will be ignored whenever they
are not seen to serve U.S. imperial goals.

3. The new policies "will require bases and stations within and beyond
Western Europe and Northeast Asia."

In short, the Bush Administration seems to see the U.S., admiringly,
as a New Rome, an empire with its foreign legions (and threat of
"shock and awe" attacks, including with nuclear weapons) keeping the
outlying colonies, and potential competitors, in line. Those who
aren't fully in accord with these goals better get out of the way;
"you're either with us or against us."

. . .

For complete article, please visit

Linkname: A PNAC Primer
URL: http://themeridiannews.com/pnac.html
Post by NAH <NAH@>
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 11:55:31 UTC
Permalink
.. the war against Iraq and Afghanistan did not
accomplish the goal of making America safe.
I haven't seen any more attacks on America, have you?

BTW, are you an American? Somehow I thought you
were in Hong Kong.
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
Lamont Cranston
2006-01-16 14:47:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
.. the war against Iraq and Afghanistan did not
accomplish the goal of making America safe.
I haven't seen any more attacks on America, have you?
Except, of course, for the ones that occur every day in Iraq.
Post by NAH <NAH@>
BTW, are you an American? Somehow I thought you
were in Hong Kong.
NAH <NAH@>
2006-01-16 16:41:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lamont Cranston
Post by NAH <NAH@>
.. the war against Iraq and Afghanistan did not
accomplish the goal of making America safe.
I haven't seen any more attacks on America, have you?
Except, of course, for the ones that occur every day in Iraq.
Loading Image...
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004

http://zogby.blogspot.com/rummy.jpg
lo yeeOn
2006-01-16 19:37:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by NAH <NAH@>
.. the war against Iraq and Afghanistan did not
accomplish the goal of making America safe.
I haven't seen any more attacks on America, have you?
# 24 dead in Afghanistan suicide bombings - Yahoo! News

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) - Suicide bombers killed 24 people in two
separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, further raising fears that
militants are copying the tactics of Iraqi insurgents.

An attacker riding a motorcycle blew himself up as a crowd left a
wrestling match in Spin Boldak, killing 20 people and wounding at
least 20 others, Kandahar province governor Asadullah Khalid and
witnesses said.

Hours earlier three Afghan soldiers and a civilian had died in a
suspected suicide car bombing in Kandahar city, the former stronghold
of the ousted Islamic regime, the army said.

Another car bomb in Kandahar on Sunday claimed the lives of a senior
Canadian diplomat and two Afghans.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
The toll from Monday's attacks is believed to be the biggest caused by
suicide bombings in a single day since a US-led military offensive
toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

We should fear that this is going to spread to Iran and other
countries in the ME if either Israel or the US were to attack Iran.
Post by NAH <NAH@>
BTW, are you an American? Somehow I thought you were in Hong Kong.
How very cute! It sure shows your racism, posing as NAH and hiding
incognito in order to advocate war and devastation against the world.

lo yeeOn
========

No Smoking Gun against Iran

Britain, France, and Germany, who have been heading the diplomacy, say
things are at an impasse.

Iran talks of wanting to maintain dialogue, but it also complains of
big-power bullying. And the tone of the remarks emerging from Tehran
bear little hint of compromise.

There is, of course, no "smoking gun" of evidence against Tehran. It
protests that it is innocent on the nuclear weapons development
charge, but its recent actions have clearly only heightened the
suspicions and unease of many.

In Washington, the word remains that the US will not... take the
military option off the table

But there is also international unease about the potential impact of
economic sanctions on Iran, particularly on the world's fragile oil
market.

Charting a diplomatic course that is tough enough for the Americans
but keeps the likes of Russia and China on board, and has the desired
effect on Tehran, will not be easy.

From Washington, the word remains that the United States will not and
should not take the military option off the table, and that will be in
the back of many people's minds.

But there is also no sign of any appetite for it among Americans.

The emphasis of Western diplomats at the moment is on achieving as
broad an international consensus as possible.

And that will dictate a careful, step-by-step approach, that might not
even involve sanctions straightaway, or at most very targeted ones.

Diplomatic dance

If the matter does get to the Security Council, a verbal rebuke of
Iran may be the first step. Travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats
could be one of the targeted sanctions options as a second step.

Even limited economic sanctions could be highly problematic, because
they represent such a potential double-edged sword.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
High stakes are at play

The hope will be that raising the diplomatic temperature will
eventually bring the sides back to dialogue.

But there is little disguising the fact that - on both sides of the
divide - the stakes are very high.

This could still be a long-drawn-out diplomatic dance, with the
calculations and concerns of the main parties changing as time passes.

The problem is that no-one is really sure how wide the window for
diplomacy is.

And the risk of miscalculation will continue to rise as time goes by.

===

# BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran nuclear bid 'fault of West'
Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Saudi Arabia has said the West is partly to blame for the current
nuclear stand-off with Iran because it allowed Israel to develop
nuclear weapons.

The Saudi foreign minister told the BBC statements made by Iran's
president were "extreme" but that diplomacy was the way to resolve the
crisis.

Prince Saud al-Faisal was giving a rare interview while in London for
a two-day terrorism conference.

He has chosen this visit to call for a nuclear-free zone in the Gulf.

Prince Saud told the BBC that the West was partly responsible for the
current stand-off with Iran over its nuclear policy because, he said,
it had helped Israel develop its own nuclear arsenal.


IRAN'S NUCLEAR STANDOFF

Sept 2002: Work begins on Iran's first reactor at Bushehr
Dec 2002: Satellites reveal Arak and Natanz sites, triggering IAEA
inspections
Nov 2003: Iran suspends uranium enrichment and allows tougher
inspections
June 2004: IAEA rebukes Iran for not fully co-operating
Nov 2004: Iran suspends enrichment under deal with EU
Aug 2005: Iran rejects EU plan and re-opens Isfahan plant
Jan 2006: Iran re-opens Natanz facility

In depth: Nuclear fuel cycle

But when asked how Saudi Arabia would respond if Iran acquired nuclear
weapons, he ruled out joining the nuclear arms race.

He said nuclear weapons benefited no-one and that if Iran were ever to
use them against Israel, it would end up killing Palestinians.

The Saudi foreign minister also called on the UK and other countries
to back a Saudi initiative to set up an international
counter-terrorism centre.

He said progress had been made in tackling al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia
but that his government was concerned about the return of Saudi
militants who had been fighting in Iraq.

Gaining the support of the public was crucial, he said, in winning the
fight against terrorism.

On the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prince Saud
said he planned to thank Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday for
Britain's role, which he called both constructive and important.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his country does
not need nuclear weapons.

At a rare news conference in Tehran, Mr Ahmadinejad said they were
needed only by people who "want to solve everything through the use of
force".

The president defended Tehran's recent move to restart nuclear
research, which has sparked international condemnation.

Iran says it has a right to peaceful nuclear technology and denies
that it is covertly seeking to develop weapons.

The US, UK, France and Germany are threatening to refer Iran to the
United Nations Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Leaders who believe they can create peace for themselves by creating
war for others are mistaken.

Excerpts: Ahmadinejad remarks

But the president said a referral would not end its nuclear plans.

"If they want to destroy the Iranian nation's rights by that course,
they will not succeed," he said.

Tehran has said it will stop snap UN inspections of nuclear sites if
its case is sent to the Council.

The crisis intensified this week when Iran removed seals at three
nuclear facilities, ending a two-year freeze.

'Arrogant rulers'

Mr Ahmadinejad told reporters Tehran pursued an active foreign policy
which sought peace, based on justice.

IRAN'S NUCLEAR STANDOFF (see elsewhere)

Iranian press scorns criticism

He criticised the "double standards" of Western countries which
already had nuclear weapons, and attacked "arrogant rulers" for
causing suffering.

"Leaders who believe they can create peace for themselves by creating
war for others are mistaken," he said.

A few had a "medieval mindset" and sought to deprive Iran of valuable
technology, without evidence of wrongdoing, he added.

Mr Ahmadinejad sparked international outrage with his hardline stance
towards Israel, following his election last June.

He repeated both his attacks and calls for a referendum for
Palestinians to choose their future political fate.

"(Israelis) have no roots in Palestine and almost all are immigrants,"
he said.

"Let the nation of Palestine decide among themselves."

Diplomatic divisions

Western countries are now seeking to persuade other members of UN
nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to
agree to refer Iran to the Council.

The Iranians crossed a line by reactivating nuclear facilities the UN
had shut

Albert Arnim, Dresden, Germany

Send us your views
Head-to-head: nuclear crisis

European, Russian, Chinese and US officials are due to meet in London
on Monday, when they are expected to set a date for the crucial IAEA
meeting.


On Friday, US President George W Bush and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel agreed that the crisis should be resolved through peaceful
means.

Washington, Israel and many European powers distrust Iran, partly
because it had kept its nuclear research secret for 18 years before it
was revealed in 2002.

Since last August, Iran has resumed all nuclear activity apart from
enrichment, which can produce fuel for power stations or, under
certain conditions, for bombs.

Tehran has always said it has the right under the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty - which it has signed - to research nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes.

===

By Sarah Buckley and Paul Rincon
BBC News website

Iran has alarmed the international community by removing the seals at
its nuclear fuel research sites - but experts say it is several years
away from being capable of producing a nuclear bomb.

There are two routes to producing an atomic weapon: using either
highly enriched uranium, or separated plutonium, and Iran could pursue
either or both routes.

Isfahan plant
Iran has taken only small steps on the road towards weapons capability

Regarding uranium, Iran has already embarked on the first step of the
purification process necessary to ultimately produce weapons-grade
material.

It has produced reconstituted uranium - what is known as "yellow cake"
- at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan.


However, the influential London-based think tank The International
Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in a report in September
that this was contaminated and was not currently useable.

Supposing Iran solves this problem, it then needs to embark on the
process of enriching the uranium.

For uranium to work in a nuclear reactor, it needs only a small amount
of enrichment. Weapons-grade uranium must be highly enriched.

Centrifuges

Gas centrifuges are one way of enriching uranium.

Iran already has 164 centrifuge machines installed at its pilot
centrifuge plant at Natanz, but that is only a fifth of the total it
needs before it is fully operational.

The commercial-scale facility could ultimately house as many as 50,000
centrifuges, according to some estimates.

NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE

Mined uranium ore is purified and reconstituted into solid form known
as yellowcake
Yellowcake is converted into a gas by heating it to about 64C (147F)
Gas is fed through centrifuges, where its isotopes separate and
process is repeated until uranium is enriched
Low-level enriched uranium is used for nuclear fuel
Highly enriched uranium can be used in nuclear weapons

No clear end to crisis
In depth: Nuclear fuel cycle

Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the IISS,
says Iran has another 1,000 centrifuges dating to before it
temporarily suspended enrichment in 2003. But these have not been
tested to ensure they still work.

Tehran might possibly have parts for a further 1,000 centrifuges, Mr
Fitzpatrick told the BBC News website.

Frank Barnaby, consultant for the UK security think tank the Oxford
Research Group, agrees that Iran does not yet have a critical number
of centrifuges in place.

"They don't currently have enough centrifuges working - so far as we
know - to produce significant amounts of highly-enriched uranium or
even enriched uranium. They would need a lot more," he told the BBC
News website.

Even if the plant is made fully operational, it is currently
configured to produce low enriched uranium (LEU) rather than the
weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU).

So given these limitations, the IISS believes it would take Iran at
least a decade to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon.

Dr Barnaby agrees.

"The CIA says 10 years to a bomb using highly enriched uranium and
that is a reasonable and realistic figure in my opinion," he said.

Plutonium route

Iran could alternatively use plutonium to produce nuclear weapons, but
this route is also problematic for Tehran, analysts say.

Plutonium can be produced as a by-product of fission carried out by
Iran's Russian-built nuclear power reactor at Bushehr.

The IISS says Iran would need to build a reprocessing plant suited to
the fuel used in Bushehr and this would be very technically
challenging.

But according to Dr Barnaby, useful reprocessing could be carried out
over a short period using a suitably equipped chemical laboratory.

Iran is also constructing a heavy-water research reactor at Arak,
which Dr Barnaby says would "very efficiently produce plutonium of the
sort that is good for nuclear weapons."

But this will not be ready until at least 2014, and probably later,
the IISS has said.

===

By Jonathan Marcus
BBC Diplomatic correspondent

Iranian technicians
Western powers suspect Iran's nuclear ambitions are not peaceful

[Is US's intention to use tactical nukes to attack Iran peaceful?
lo yeeOn]

The developing diplomatic row over Iran's nuclear ambitions has
highlighted the question of consistency in US and Western efforts to
halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

Close US ally Israel is widely believed to have an advanced nuclear
arsenal which rarely, if ever, draws any criticism from Washington.

India is quite open about its nuclear weapons programme, but this has
not stopped the Americans from proposing an ambitious programme of
civil nuclear co-operation with the Indians.

So has strategic interest trumped consistency in the non-proliferation
field?

North Korea

Iran has frequently charged that it is being treated unfairly. It
insists that its nuclear ambitions are solely for peaceful purposes.

Iranian experts say other countries have fully-fledged nuclear weapons
programmes, but they do not incur Washington's wrath.

Iran has been far from forthcoming about much of its past nuclear
history - and that is one reason why there is so much concern

One of the great concerns is that Iran could follow North Korea's
route, accepting the constraints of the Non-Proliferation Treaty for
now - and then breaking out once its nuclear programme is sufficiently
mature.

However, North Korea shows some of the limitations of diplomacy in
tackling such thorny non-proliferation issues.

But military options to halt its nuclear programme are almost
unthinkable - just as with Iran.

The onus remains on the diplomats to find a way through this complex
crisis which involves energy policy, security issues and basic
nationalism.

No treaties

So what of Iran's claim of there being double-standards, especially in
Washington?

There is little doubt that both India and Israel have a nuclear
weapons capability.

Both though maintain close ties with the Americans. Israel has a very
close military relationship with Washington and the Bush
administration seems to have thrown initial reservations about India's
nuclear programme to one side and is now eager to step-up nuclear
co-operation, at least in the civil field.

So what price consistency?

In stark diplomatic terms Israel and India are in a different category
to Iran.

Neither India nor Israel, nor Pakistan for that matter - which is also
thought to have a small nuclear arsenal - have signed the
Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Thus they are not breaking their treaty obligations in pursuing a
nuclear weapons programme. However, Iran has signed the Treaty and is
bound by it.

Democracies

Iran has been far from forthcoming about much of its past nuclear
history - and that is one reason why there is so much concern.

[Iran is astutely exploiting its legal rights in this - under the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) it can indeed develop a nuclear
fuel cycle under inspection. That is all it says it wants to do.

The counter-argument is that Iran forfeited that right by hiding an
enrichment programme before and cannot now act as if nothing had
happened. It could, this argument runs, buy fuel from well-regulated
suppliers, as others do.
Paul Reynolds]

But diplomacy is not just about observing treaties; it is about
sending the right signals.

And many US arms control experts see the Bush administration's plans
for civil nuclear co-operation with India as driving a coach and
horses through the broader non-proliferation regime.

Viewed from Washington, consistency is not so much the issue as
interests. Israel and India are key strategic allies of the United
States.

They are democracies.

Their arsenals are not seen as destabilising - in fact, it is quite
the opposite.

And Iran, at least for the Americans, falls into a very different
category.

[The West, and Israel, say that Iran cannot be trusted and that it
matters because the technology used to enrich uranium for fuel can
also be used to enrich it further for a nuclear explosion.

If you master one, you master the other. And that would give Iran what
is known as the 'break-out' capability. It could leave the NPT and go
ahead and make a nuclear device.

If that moment came, it would be another decision point for the West -
and for Israel. President Bush has said time and again that he will
not permit Iran to build a bomb. And Israel might not want to wait
that long.
Paul Reynolds]

===

# Iran Bars CNN Over Translation of Remarks - Yahoo! News
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran said Monday it is barring CNN from working in
Iran "until further notice" due to its mistranslation of comments
made by the president in a recent news conference about the country's
nuclear research.

In a speech Saturday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Iran's
right to continue nuclear research. State media have complained since
the speech that CNN used the translation "nuclear weapons" instead of
"nuclear technology."

The ban by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry was read in a
statement on state-run television.

"Due to mistranslation of the words of Ahmadinejad during his press
conference, activities of the American CNN in Tehran are banned until
further notice," the statement said.

CNN acknowledged the mistake.

"CNN quoted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Iran has the right to
build nuclear weapons," the network said in its report of the ban. "In
fact he said that Iran has the right to nuclear energy. He added that,
quote, a nation that has civilization does not need nuclear weapons
and our nation does not need them. CNN has clarified what the Iranian
president said and apologized here on the air to the Iranians
directly, as well as on the air."

CNN told viewers it had not been officially notified about the ban.

===

U.S., EU Press China and Russia on Iran

By BETH GARDINER, Associated Press Writer 53 minutes ago

LONDON - The United States and its European allies pressed Russia and
China on Monday to support bringing Iran before the U.N. Security
Council, which has the power to impose sanctions over Tehran's
nuclear program.

Representatives of all five veto-wielding permanent members of the
Security Council -- the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China -- and
Germany met in London.

They were seeking to resolve differences over what action to take
after Iran removed U.N. seals from its main uranium enrichment
facility last week and resumed research on nuclear fuel, including
small-scale enrichment, after a 2 1/2-year freeze.

The move alarmed the West, which fears Iran intends to build an atomic
bomb. Iran claims its program is peaceful, intended only to produce
electricity and it has threatened to end cooperation the U.N. nuclear
watchdog if it is brought before the Security Council.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and have been pushing for
a referral and the Europeans declared last week that negotiations with
Tehran had reached a dead end.

Russia and China have close commercial ties with Iran and have
resisted referral in the past and differences remained.

In Moscow, President
Vladimir Putin
held out the possibility of a compromise, saying Iran has not ruled
out conducting its uranium enrichment in Russia, an idea that was
floated last year. The plan would ensure oversight so that uranium
would be enriched only as much as is needed for use in nuclear power
plants and not to the higher level required for weapons.

"We have heard various opinions from our Iranian partners on that
issue. One of them has come from the Foreign Ministry -- our partners
told us they did not exclude the implementation of our proposal,"
Putin said after a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel. "In
any case, it's necessary to work carefully and avoid any erroneous
moves."

European diplomats have said in recent days there are signs that
Russia, which is deeply involved in building Iranian reactors for
power generation, is leaning toward referral. Putin's comments,
though, seemed to suggest he was still looking for other alternatives.

China, which is highly dependent on Iranian oil, has warned that
hauling Iran before the Security Council would escalate the situation.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing took a cautious tone.

"China believes that under the current situation, all relevant sides
should remain restrained and stick to solving the Iranian nuclear
issue through negotiations," the ministry said in a statement.

Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice
said the vote on referral "ought to be as soon as possible."

"We've got to finally demonstrate to Iran that it can't with impunity
just cast aside the just demands of the international community," Rice
said Sunday during a trip to Africa.

Speaking before Monday's talks in London, British Foreign Secretary
Jack Straw said the "onus is on Iran" to prove its program is
peaceful. He said the international community's confidence had been
"sorely undermined by a history of concealment and deception" by Iran.

Straw said the dialogue with Russia and China was of "crucial
importance."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said the
London talks signaled "growing international concern at the behavior
of the Iranian government and at ... the words of the Iranian
president," who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map"
and said the Nazi Holocaust a "myth."

Iranian state radio, meanwhile, reported that the government had
allocated the equivalent of $215 million for the construction of what
would be its second and third nuclear power plants. Iran plans to
build 20 more nuclear plants, and Russia has offered to build some of
them.

Monday's talks aimed to build consensus on what action to take ahead
of an emergency board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
the U.N. nuclear watchdog, expected in February.

The Vienna, Austria-based agency has found Iran in violation of an
international treaty intended to stop the proliferation of nuclear
weapons technology. But it has not yet voted on whether to refer Iran
to the Security Council.

Straw reiterated that military action against Iran is not an option.

He also said sanctions were not inevitable even if the nuclear dispute
is referred to the Security Council, saying other countries had
complied with council demands without the need for sanctions.

In Russia, lawmaker Andrei Kokoshin, a former National Security
Council head, told http://www.strana.ru, a Web site close to the
Kremlin, that "the extreme positions that are present in both
Washington and Tehran are making it considerably harder for Russia to
facilitate a way out of the crisis."

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Sergei Kislyak attended the talks, joined by senior diplomats
from Britain, France and Germany.

Zhang Yan, director of China's Arms Control Department, represented
Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry said. Straw did not attend.

Economic sanctions targeting oil and gas exports are thought unlikely.
Iran is OPEC's second-largest producer and preventing it from doing
business could disrupt the world's energy markets.

Nevertheless, Blair's spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in
keeping with government policy, said the international community would
not be bowed by Iranian threats that economic sanctions could cause
oil prices to jump.
Post by NAH <NAH@>
--
"Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons."
- President George W. Bush, 2004
It sounds like Rice is talking from both sides of her mouths again:

On one side, she spoke yesterday that military attack is not an option
now; on other, she is rushing the UNSC for a vote before March,
talking nonsense about a window for Iran (when in fact reliable
analyses [see Frank Barnaby, consultant for the UK security think tank
the Oxford Research Group and Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for
non-proliferation at the IISS above] have arrived at the convergent
view that it would take at least a decade before Iran can have any
nukes to attack anyone).

In fact, the timing of March is ominus as we've all heard the Der
Spiegel report of Bush having authorized and the Pentagon having
mobilized a March attack against Iran, using tactical nuclear weapons.

# Rice Wants Iran Vote As Soon As Possible - Yahoo! News

In phone calls over the weekend, Rice discussed Iran's recent
nuclear program movements with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
and several foreign ministers whose countries are members of the
International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, the U.N.
nuclear watchdog.

The agency has found Iran in violation of an international treaty
intended to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. But
it has not yet voted on whether to refer Iran to the Security Council,
where it could face possible sanctions.

British, French and German foreign ministers last week called for the
agency to hold a special session to vote on the referral.

"I think it ought to be as soon as possible," Rice said. Waiting for
the agency's planned meeting in March, she said, would allow Iran a
window that it could exploit.

"The Iranians will try to take advantage of it to start to throw chaff
and to obfuscate," Rice said.
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