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By John Feffer, http://www.fpif.org
It seems to be an open-and-shut case. Nuclear weapons are bad. It's best for the world if no more countries acquire nuclear weapons. Iran is currently engaged in uranium enrichment that could eventually produce a nuclear weapon. It built a secret facility to advance this program and might now be building another one. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government makes all sorts of threatening statements about Israel, the United States, the West. We should therefore do everything possible to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Aug 26, 2010 (IPS) - President Barack Obama's refusal in a White House briefing earlier this month to announce a "red line" in regard to the Iran nuclear programme represented another in a series of rebuffs of pressure from Defence Secretary Robert Gates for statement that the United States will not accept its existing stocks of low enriched uranium.
The Obama rebuff climaxed a months-long internal debate between Obama and Gates over the "breakout capability" issue which surfaced in the news media last April.
Gates has been arguing that Iran could turn its existing stock of low enriched uranium (LEU) into a capability to build a nuclear weapon secretly by using covert enrichment sites and undeclared sources of uranium.
By John Grant
“Taft is a fathead.” (Theodore Roosevelt, 1912)
The anti-gay blog QueerHunt has just launched an expose that General David Petraeus is gay and has a secret Arab boyfriend he periodically meets in a Dubai hotel. The young man goes by the code name ‘awrence, an apparent reference to how T. E. Lawrence was known by his beloved Arab boys.
Just imagine the legs this will get in the blogosphere.
But wait. There is no blog called QueerHunt (that I know of) and I just batted out the lead paragraph above on my keyboard. I totally made it up. But in this freaky world we live in, it’s now a meme out there for any nutcase with a blog to run with.
My apologies to General Petraeus for abusing him to make a point, but there's really no difference between this hypothetical scenario and the absurdity that 18% of Americans and 31% of Republicans think President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
By Michael Schwartz, Socialist Worker
Michael Schwartz, the author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context and a commentator on U.S. wars and occupations for Web sites such as Huffington Post and TomDispatch, talked with Ashley Smith about the Obama administration's announcement that the withdrawal of "combat troops" is on schedule--and what its plans for Iraq really are.
PRESIDENT OBAMA recently announced that he was fulfilling his promise to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq. Is the U.S. really bringing the occupation to an end?
ON THE surface, that appears to be case, but it's not in fact true. Obama plans to retain 50,000 soldiers in Iraq after the supposed withdrawal of combat troops. He is merely re-branding these remaining combat troops as advisers and trainers.
NY Area Fans Come on out on Mon., 8/16 and Show Your solidarity with Accused Whistle Blower Pfc. Bradley Manning.
5:30 - 7pm, Times Square Recruiting Center, Manhattan.
By John Grant
“Stubbornness and stupidity are twins.”
What is it about Americans that they have so much going for them, yet they can be so very stupid?
Two stories in the Sunday New York Times jumped out as a sad backdrop to our misguided War On Terror.
The first is about the bigoted anti-Muslim xenophobia in New York over a proposed mosque some blocks from the site of the former World Trade Towers. The emotional volatility is being fueled by the usual Fox News agitators, and Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich stirred up the pot for their demagogic needs.
Even the Jewish Anti-Defamation League took off after the mosque and condemned it. Here’s the Anti Defamation League’s mission statement at the top of their web page:
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: War With Iran
We write to alert you to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month. This would likely lead to a wider war.
Israel’s leaders would calculate that once the battle is joined, it will be politically untenable for you to give anything less than unstinting support to Israel, no matter how the war started, and that U.S. troops and weaponry would flow freely. Wider war could eventually result in destruction of the state of Israel.
This can be stopped, but only if you move quickly to pre-empt an Israeli attack by publicly condemning such a move before it happens.
We believe that comments by senior American officials, you included, reflect misplaced trust in Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu.
Or will both sides generalize about the worst of the other and allow militarists to win?
Senator Lindsay Graham, a war supporting senator from South Carolina, said what he fears most is a left-right alliance against the Afghanistan War. He recognizes that such an alliance could stop war funding and force American troops to return home. But, the masters of war may not have to use divide and rule tactics because many war opponents on both sides of the political spectrum seem too willing to divide themselves.
President 43 will be 49 on August 4 and Mrs. 43 has e-mailed with a request. I’m sure many of you received the appeal.
Michelle says: “Every year, our family tries to come up with a fun way to wish Barack a happy birthday.”
The hostess of the White House continues with: “This has been a big—and hectic—year for him.” Duh.
Here’s some of the penciling on Barack Obama’s dance card.
A surge of militarism.
A surge in Afghanistan.
A surge in troop deaths.
A surge in suicide among veterans.
A surge in WikiLeak-ing of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A surge of droning in Pakistan.
A surge in civilian slaughter.
A surge of hatred.
A surge of mercenaries.
A surge in the insurgency.
A surge in war spending.
A surge of warmongering greed.
A surge of rhetoric to attack Iran.
A surge of wink wink to Big Insurance and Big Pharma.
A surge of uninsured.
A surge of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Prospects and Consequences of Attacking Iran - by Stephen Lendman
Hopefully its folly will prevent it. Otherwise, expect severe repercussions, including a considerable counterattack and disruption of regional oil supplies, further impacting a troubled global economy. So why consider it, given the December 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) saying:
"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; (perhaps it never had one); we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons..." True or not, dozens of nations may consider one, for defense, not offense in a hostile world, America and Israel the main aggressors, threatening humanity with their weapons of mass destruction.
The NIE also said:
From MR Zine
FYI, on 22 July 2010, the worst lunatics in the mad House introduced H.RES. 1553:
Expressing support for the State of Israel's right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel. (emphasis added)
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, 19 Jul (IPS) - Contrary to a news media narrative that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has provided intelligence on covert Iranian nuclear weapons work, CIA sources familiar with the Amiri case say he told his CIA handlers that there is no such Iranian nuclear weapons programme, according to a former CIA officer.
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told IPS that his sources are CIA officials with direct knowledge of the entire Amiri operation.
The CIA contacts say that Amiri had been reporting to the CIA for some time before being brought to the U.S. during Hajj last year, Giraldi told IPS, initially using satellite-based communication. But the contacts also say Amiri was a radiation safety specialist who was "absolutely peripheral" to Iran's nuclear programme, according to Giraldi.
By Ray McGovern
Useful insights often must be seen through a glass darkly. But some can be pulled through the smoke and mirrors shrouding the wanderings of Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who is now back home in Iran after 14 months in the U.S. as guest of the CIA.
The confusing/amusing spin applied by both countries to L’ Affaire Amiri can detract from the real issues. The facts beneath the competing narratives permit a key conclusion; namely, that U.S. intelligence has learned nothing to change its assessment that Iran halted work on the nuclear-weapons related part of its nuclear development program in the fall of 2003 and has not restarted that work.
That twin judgment leaped out of a formal National Intelligence Estimate, “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,” approved unanimously by all 16 U.S intelligence agencies in November 2007.
The Iranian government is stepping up accusations against "outside" forces in Thursday's twin-suicide bombings in the southeastern part of the country which killed at least 27 people and wounded about 270 others. Several officials are accusing the U.S. and Israel of masterminding the bloody explosions at a Shi'ite mosque.
Iranian government TV showed what appeared to be large crowds of Shi'ite Muslims marching in the streets of the city of Zahedan behind a funeral cortege. Women wailed to mourn loved ones killed in Thursday's twin suicide bombings at a Shi'ite mosque in Zahedan.
From Al Jazeera
The man some describe as an Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, has left the US.
The man had vanished over a year ago. Then he had suddenly reappeared with two completely contradictory stories about the events of his past year, triggering a propaganda war between the US and Iran.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Jul 15, 2010 (IPS) - U.S. officials are explaining Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri's return to Iran as the result of a defector having a change of heart because of his concern about Iranian government threats to his family. Iran and Amiri himself have insisted that it is a simple case of a victim of abduction escaping his captors.
But several features of the story of Amiri's defection suggest that Amiri may have been acting on Iranian government orders to defect temporarily in order to embarrass the U.S. government.
|By Al Jazeera|
A nuclear scientist that the Iranian government claims was abducted by US agents has taken refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC, Iranian state media has reported. "A few hours ago Shahram Amiri took refuge at Iran's interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, wanting to return to Iran immediately," Iranian state radio said on Tuesday. "Amiri has asked for a quick return to Tehran," the website of Iranian state television reported.
A nuclear scientist that the Iranian government claims was abducted by US agents has taken refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC, Iranian state media has reported.
"A few hours ago Shahram Amiri took refuge at Iran's interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, wanting to return to Iran immediately," Iranian state radio said on Tuesday.
"Amiri has asked for a quick return to Tehran," the website of Iranian state television reported.
by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, 9 Jul (IPS) - "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," explained then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card back in September 2002, in answer to queries about why the administration of George W. Bush had not launched its campaign to rally public opinion behind invading Iraq earlier in the summer.
And while it's only July - and less than a month after the U.N., the European Union (EU) and the U.S. Congress approved new economic sanctions against Iran - a familiar clutch of Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against the Islamic Republic.
Gee ya think! that's why we the Brits and others condemn other countries for their Human Rights and much more, then we joined that same gutter thrash and expect to be justified, because well we're the righteous!!
7 July 2010 William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons
The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice.
One of the many parts of the start to the countries present day situations on many fronts!
From United States v. Oliver L. North, Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) Papers, National Archives & Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.Former National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. The scandal was a secret arrangement directed from the Reagan White House that provided funds to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels (despite specific congressional prohibition) from profits gained by selling arms to Iran (at war with Iraq at the time) in hopes of their releasing hostages, despite Pres. Reagan’s claim that he would never negotiate with hostage-takers.
Iran remembers victims of airliner shot down by US
By Ali Akbar Dareini (AP) | Google News | Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com
A statement from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was read out at the ceremony, saying the "disaster was not an understandable accident, but a declaration of war against humanity" and claiming it was carried out "with the covert planning of White House leaders."
Iranian helicopters scattered flowers into the Persian Gulf waters on Saturday as family members and relatives remembered the 290 passengers killed when a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian airliner 22 years ago.
About 250 relatives of victims and officials sailed from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas to the spot where the Iran Air A300 Airbus was downed on July 3, 1988 — just a month before the end of the Iraq-Iran war.
The USS Vincennes shot down the airliner shortly after it took off from Bandar Abbas for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Washington said the Vincennes mistook the airliner for a hostile Iranian fighter jet. Iran maintains it was a deliberate attack. Read more.
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 2 (acn) The Cuban ambassador to France, Orlando Requeijo, said
in Paris on Thursday that forces of Israel and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) continue advancing toward Iran and that an eventual outbreak
of war is more tangible than ever.
The Cuban diplomat was the first speaker during a colloquium organized by the
Mayor's Office of District 11 in Paris under the topic 'Peace Culture in Latin
America and the Caribbean' that was attended by Latin American diplomats and
representatives in the French capital.
Requeijo noted that the preservation of life, the most important of all human
rights, is in danger and he added the Korean Peninsula could be involved in an
armed conflict soon as well.
He warned that, given the current serious international economic crisis, the
industrial military complex and its allies could lead the world to war.
Others who warned about the danger of an imminent war were the First Secretary
Heinonen Pushed Dubious Iran Nuclear Weapons Intel
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS
Olli Heinonen, the Finnish nuclear engineer who resigned Thursday after five years as deputy director for safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was the driving force in turning that agency into a mechanism to support U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran.
Heinonen was instrumental in making a collection of intelligence documents showing a purported Iranian nuclear weapons research programme the central focus of the IAEA's work on Iran. The result was to shift opinion among Western publics to the view that Iran had been pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.
But his embrace of the intelligence documents provoked a fierce political struggle within the Secretariat of the IAEA, because other officials believed the documents were fraudulent.
Heinonen took over the Safeguards Department in July 2005 - the same month that the George W. Bush administration first briefed top IAEA officials on the intelligence collection.
The documents portrayed a purported nuclear weapons research programme, originally called the "Green Salt" project, that included efforts to redesign the nosecone of the Shahab-3 missile, high explosives apparently for the purpose of triggering a nuclear weapon and designs for a uranium conversion facility. Later the IAEA referred to the purported Iranian activities simply as the "alleged studies". Read more.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 2010
The unanimous Declaration of the fifty united States of America, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Guantanamo Bay, Assorted Offshore Oil Rigs, and the U.S. Servicemen and Women serving the Homeland in 177 nations around the globe, as drafted by the President
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to bomb the bejesus out of another people and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and hegemonic station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's Christian God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to employ the most awesome military force the poor corrupt Muslim bastards have ever seen.
TomDispatch: Stephen Kinzer: BP in the Gulf -- The Persian Gulf, How an Oil Company Helped Destroy Democracy in Iran
From TomDispatch today: From a well-known author, a powerful reminder of just what a reckless company BP has been, the almost forgotten story of how BP's great political "spill" of 1953 helped slime our world -- Stephen Kinzer, "BP in the Gulf -- The Persian Gulf, How an Oil Company Helped Destroy Democracy in Iran."
"To frustrated Americans who have begun boycotting BP," writes Stephen Kinzer, author of Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future, "Welcome to the club. It's great not to be the only member any more!"
In a bracing reminder of the historical recklessness of BP that no one has yet explored, even as the Gulf of Mexico is being destroyed for generations, Kinzer, well known for his work on the CIA in Guatemala (Bitter Fruit) and the U.S. record of "regime change" (Overthrow), points out that he's been driving past BP stations long before this year's oil spill. "My decision not to give this company my business," he writes, "came after I learned about its role in another kind of 'spill' entirely -- the destruction of Iran's democracy more than half a century ago."
Here he tells just how, in 1953, BP, then known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and in possession of all Iran's oil, in conjunction with the CIA overthrew a democratic Iranian government eager to nationalize its own oil supplies. It was the first government the CIA ever toppled and the reckless decision of the company and the Agency would change our world in devastating ways which, like the present spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reverberated for generations.
This is an event that should have, but hasn't, come to mind in the midst of BP's latest disaster. Kinzer brings it back powerfully. He concludes:
"The oil company re-branded itself as British Petroleum, BP Amoco, and then, in 2000, BP. During its decades in Iran, it had operated as it pleased, with little regard for the interests of local people. This corporate tradition has evidently remained strong. Many Americans are outraged by the relentless images of oil gushing into Gulf waters from the Deepwater Horizon well, and by the corporate recklessness that allowed this spill to happen. Those who know Iranian history have been less surprised." Read it now.
As unconfirmed reports of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities pick up steam in the Middle Eastern media, a US-based strategic intelligence company has released a chart showing US naval carriers massing near Iranian waters.
FIVE PARTS VIDEO:
Anchors aweigh. The United States Navy is sending an aircraft carrier and nearly a dozen other warships through the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea, according to the British Arabic Language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which reported that the ships carry infantry troops, armored vehicles, and ammunition.
The report was taken very seriously in Israel, where two major newspapers gave it headline coverage -- perhaps because the U.S. fleet is joined by at least one Israeli ship, according to eyewitnesses who saw it pass through the Canal.
Iran’s Press TV claims that the Defense Department has confirmed the movement of American ships. However, neither the U.S. nor the Israeli governments have made any statement about the fleet’s destination or purpose. So we’re left to speculate.
Can it be just coincidence that this is happening precisely when “two Iranian vessels are due to set sail for Gaza in the coming week,” according to Al Jazeera, sponsored by the Iranian Red Crescent, carrying food, medicine, and clothing? And when Iran is promising more aid flotillas after this first one?
When the Iranian flotilla was first announced, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said: "I don't think that Iran's intentions vis-a-vis Gaza are benign." Since then, the U.S. has remained silent. Read more.