You are hereIran

Iran


Trolling for Kids: The Empire is Using Hard Times to Help it Recruit More Imperial Troops and Cannon Fodder

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

In the militarist society in which we live in these latter days of American Empire, all soldiers are “noble heroes” who have signed up at “great personal sacrifice” to “defend our freedoms,” and we are all expected to pay homage and a great deal of our hard-earned money to support them, both in their brutal efforts to subjugate people in desperately poor parts of the world, and (when they leave the service, either to take jobs in the private sector or to live out broken lives if they were wounded) as veterans.

 

But let’s be honest about all this.

 

Iran War Weekly - April 15, 2012

IranWar Weekly

April 15, 2012

Hello All – This weekend’s meeting in Istanbul significantly – but temporarily? – lowered tensions in the diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.  While few details are so far available, the conference was deemed successful enough to schedule a second and more substantive meeting in Baghdad on May 23rd.

Nuclear Chess

  Nuclear Chess

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On April 14, two days of nuclear chess began in Istanbul. At issue is Iran's civilian program. So-called P5+1 countries - America, Russia, China, Britain, and France - plus Germany - know it's peaceful. They pretend otherwise.

 

Uranium Double-Standard: The U.S., Kazakhstan and Iran

 
 

By Allen Ruff and Steve Horn

Iran’s alleged “nuclear threat” has taken center stage among diplomats, military men, and politicians in Washington, Tel Aviv, and the West at-large.

Despite the fact that investigative journalists Seymour Hersh, Gareth Porter and others have meticulously documented the fact that Iran, in fact, poses no nuclear threat at all, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress have laid down multiple rounds of harsh sanctions as a means to “deter” Iran from reaching its “nuclear capacity.” 

The most recent round featured a call to boycott Iran’s oil industry by President Obama.

Iran Nuclear Talks

  Iran Nuclear Talks

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On April 14 and 15, Istanbul will host so-called P5+1 countries. They include the five permanent Security Council members - America, Russia, China, Britain, and France - plus Germany. 

 

According to Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, Baghdad will host more talks at a mutually agreed on date.

Take Peace With Iran Message to the U.S. State Department on Friday

As Iran talks begin, CODEPINK Delivers Petitions to State Dept and Project Compelling WE LOVE IRANIANS images on State Dept Building

WHAT: Large Projections of “Iranians We Love You” images on the State Department Building and delivery of 20,000 signature calling for Diplomacy Not War
WHEN: 10am, Friday, April 13
WHERE:  State Department entrance at 22nd and C Streets, NW, Washington DC

On Friday, April 13, while G-8 global powers meet with Iranian representatives in Istanbul, activists with CODEPINK will deliver to the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a petition against war on Iran that was signed by prominent women, including Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, and Eve Ensler, and over 20,000 American women and allies.    

The petition implores three powerful American female politicians—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama—to use their influence to push for diplomacy, not war. The petitions were hand-delivered to the First Lady Michelle Obama at an event in San Francisco on March 30. 

CODEPINK will also project images of Israeli and American activists sending a message of love to Iranians – images that have become an icon of sentiments against war on Iran, making recent headlines around the globe. “The pictures of American and Israeli families holding up signs aren’t just a cute cliché, they are emblematic of the disconnect between the people and governments that are moving dangerously towards war,” says CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. This photo meme, which has gone viral on the Internet, shows the great desire of ordinary people in Israel, Iran and the United States to live together in peace.” Working with the Israeli group that originated this campaign, CODEPINK launchedwww.weloveiran.org - an online tool for people to create their own photos and messages and share the message widely on facebook, twitter, and flickr. 

Russia Is Massing Troops On Iran's Northern Border And Waiting For A Western Attack

By , Business Insider

WASHINGTON – The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

"Iran is our neighbor," Rogozin said. "If Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security." Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia's defense sector.

Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn't believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

The implication of preparing to move Russian troops not only is to protect its own vital regional interests but possibly to assist Iran in the event of such an attack. Sources add that a Russian military buildup in the region could result in the Russian military potentially engaging Israeli forces, U.S. forces, or both.

Informed sources say that the Russians have warned of "unpredictable consequences" in the event Iran is attacked, with some Russians saying that the Russian military will take part in the possible war because it would threaten its vital interests in the region.

The influential Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a Russian military source as saying that the situation forming around Syria and Iran "causes Russia to expedite the course of improvement of its military groups in the South Caucasus, the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions."

This latest information comes from a series of reports and leaks from official Russian spokesmen and government news agencies who say that an Israeli attack is all but certain by the summer.

Because of the impact on Russian vital interests in the region, sources say that Russian preparations for such an attack began two years ago when Russian Military Base 102 in Gyumri, Armenia, was modernized. It is said to occupy a major geopolitical position in the region.

Families of Russian servicemen from the Russian base at Gyumri in Armenia close to the borders of Georgia and Turkey already have been evacuated, Russian sources say.


Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-09/news/31311454_1_russian-defense-ministry-military-action-dmitry-rogozin#ixzz1rqngvv9d

Iran War Weekly - April 8, 2012

IranWar Weekly

April 8, 2012

Hello All – The purpose of the “Iran War Weekly” is to provide antiwar activists with information and analysis about the diplomatic and military crisis that has followed from US and Israeli opposition to Iran’s nuclear program.  The many dimensions of this crisis – which now includes the domestic and international conflicts arising from Syria’s internal uprising and civil war – are a challenge to the antiwar movement. The mainstream media has responded to the complexity of this crisis by framing events in black and white terms, and presenting them from the perspective of the US government.  My goal is to help with the development of an alternative analysis by drawing on dissenting and antiwar sources of information.  This is a learning process for me also, and I very much welcome suggestions and (friendly) criticism, as well as recommendations for content and better presentation.

Frank Brodhead

Concerned Families of Westchester (NY)

This morning’s New York Times included a front-page article by White House insider David Sanger, “U.S. Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran.”  The talks, set to begin soon between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, are the first since January 2011, and have been described by the Obama administration as Iran’s “last chance” to resolve outstanding differences peacefully.  What is striking is that the “demands” now include the closure and eventual dismantlement of Iran’s new uranium enrichment plant at Fordo, seen as a threat to Israel because it is built into a mountain and would be hard to destroy militarily.  Another new issue raised by the “demands” is that Iran ship out of the country its supply of uranium enriched for use in medical treatment and research, and that it cease production of such enriched uranium.  The significance of these “demands,” in my view, is that they indicate that the negotiations with Iran are intended to fail, and in their failure to justify further sanctions and/or make it appear that military action against Iran is the only practical, remaining option for the United States and Israel.

While the uprising/civil war in Syria has its roots in longstanding civilian grievances and the inspiration of the Arab Spring, the “internationalization” of the conflict forces opponents of war with Iran to understand the role of Syrian events in the chances of peace or war with Iran.  Pasted in below are several articles that illustrate the internal dimensions of the Syrian conflict, as well as excellent overviews by Gil Achcar, Alain Gresh, and Vijay Prashad.  Next week we will learn whether the “cease fire” perhaps brokered by the UN’s Kofi Annan and the Arab League will make a difference, and/or whether the military steps initiated by the recent “Friends of Syria” meeting in Turkey will escalate the conflict.


FEATURED ESSAYS

Thinking the Unthinkable on Iran

By Jonathan Schell, The Nation [April 3, 2012]

---- Bush accompanied his policy on Iraq with a great deal of neo-imperialist rhetoric that is absent from Obama’s statements, but the fundamentals have been the same—a militarization of disarmament leading to a policy of what could be called disarmament wars. Disarmament wars threaten or occur when force becomes the chosen instrument for preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet to conclude that Obama merely inherited this policy from Bush would be too simple, for Bush, in spite of all his preoccupation with 9/11, was not its originator, either. That distinction goes to Bill Clinton, who in a widely forgotten episode went to the brink of war in 1993 to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium for nuclear weapons. In other words, disarmament wars are not the invention of Obama or even Bush; they have been “on the table” of US policy for almost two decades. The fact is that after the cold war ended the United States, by an almost unnoticed cumulative process, turned for the first time in the nuclear age to a policy of using force to stop proliferation. http://www.thenation.com/print/article/167196/thinking-unthinkable-iran


The Real Nuclear Outlaws: How the US and Israel are Shredding the NPT

By Carl Boggs, Counterpunch [April 4, 2012]

---- While United States and Israeli leaders, duly assisted by a warmongering media, ramp up war talk against Iran, two troublesome pieces of information are ritually ignored.  First, even American intelligence reports conclude that Iran is not close to building a nuclear-weapons program. Second, it is the U.S. and Israel – not Iran – that stand in flagrant violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/04/the-real-nuclear-outlaws/


Our Men in Iran?

By Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker [April 6, 2012]

---- The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations. Funds were covertly passed to a number of dissident organizations, for intelligence collection and, ultimately, for anti-regime terrorist activities. Directly, or indirectly, the M.E.K. ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/mek.html


Also useful: Juan Cole, “USPentagon Trained Iranian terrorists in Nevada,” Informed Comment [April 7, 2012] http://www.juancole.com/2012/04/us-pentagon-trained-iranian-terrorists-in-nevada-hersh.html; and Sheila Musaji, ”The MEK and terrorism double standards,” The American Muslim [April 7, 2012] http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/some-terrorist-groups/0019034


(Video)Iranian diplomat says IAEA undermined recent talks to satisfy Israel and West

An interview with Gareth Porter, from the Real News Network [April 3, 2012] – 17 minutes

http://warincontext.org/2012/04/03/video-iranian-diplomat-says-iaea-undermined-recent-talks-to-satisfy-israel-and-west/


(Video)Iran, China’s Rise, and American Strategy

From Aljazeera [April 6, 2012] – 25 minutes

---- The Obama Administration has committed itself to a policy under which it will be under enormous pressure to sanction important Chinese companies and financial institutions of the People’s Republic does not cut off—or at least radically reduce—its trade relations with the Islamic Republic.  Does the administration really believe that, by threatening such sanctions, it can compel Beijing to do serious damage to Chinese interests—and surrender its strategic independence, to boot—by cooperating with unilaterally asserted U.S. and European sanctions, which are already driving up the price of oil?  The Iranian nuclear issue is likely to turn out to be, on many levels, a major turning point for America’s relative standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally. http://www.raceforiran.com/iran-chinas-rise-and-american-strategy


IRANUPDATES


OVERVIEWS

Self-Defeating

By Trita Parsi, The Daily Beast [April 3, 2012]

---- The Obama administration and the US military strongly oppose an Israeli preventive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Their opposition, of course, is not rooted in any sympathy with the repressive regime in Tehran. Nor is it necessarily rooted in America’s already compromised military position in the region. It is because a strike would not destroy Iran’s nuclear program. It would instead increase the likelihood of a nuclear armed Iran down the road.  It would unravel the international consensus against Iran.  It would undermine the Iranian pro-democracy movement and fortify the regime’s grip on power. And, perhaps most importantly, it would eliminate the current insight we have into the Iranian nuclear program and provide the Iranians with a dash-out capability. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/03/self-defeating.html


The Increasingly Transparent U.S.-Israeli Conflict of Interest

By Paul Pillar, The National Interest [March 29, 2012]

---- Given—as several Israelis who have been senior figures in the country's security establishment have noted—that an Iranian nuclear weapon would not pose an existential threat to Israel, one has to look to other reasons for the Israeli agitation about the Iranian nuclear program. Besides Netanyahu's personal obsession, there are the broader Israeli fears and emotions, the desire to maintain a regional nuclear-weapons monopoly and the distraction that the Iran issue provides from outside attention to the Palestinians' lack of popular sovereignty. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/the-increasingly-transparent-us-israeli-conflict-interest-6712


Don’t Fear a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East

BY Steven A. Cook, Foreign Policy [April 2, 2012]

---- Despite its flimsiness, it is hard to ignore the utility of the Middle East's nuclear dominoes theory. For those who advocate a preventive military strike on Iran, it provides a sweeping geopolitical rationale for a dangerous operation. But the evidence doesn't bear this argument out: If Washington decides it has no other option than an attack, it should do so because Iran is a threat in its own right, and not because it believes it will thwart inevitable proliferation in places like Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It won't, for the simple reason that there is no reason to believe these countries represent a proliferation risk in the first place. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/02/don_t_fear_a_nuclear_arms_race?page=full


USPOLICY

U.S.Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran

By David E. Sanger and Steven Erlanger, New York Times [April 8, 2012]

---- The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain. They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country. That negotiating position will be the opening move in what President Obama has called Iran’s “last chance” to resolve its nuclear confrontation with the United Nations and the West diplomatically. The hard-line approach would require the country’s military leadership to give up the Fordo enrichment plant outside the holy city of Qum, and with it a huge investment in the one facility that is most hardened against airstrikes. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/middleeast/us-defines-its-demands-for-new-round-of-talks-with-iran.html?ref=world


Also useful: David Ignatius, “Obama’s signal to Iran,” Washington Post [April 5, 2012] http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-signal-to-iran/2012/04/05/gIQApVLDyS_story.html; and Jason Ditz, “Clinton Issues New Demands For ‘Commitments’ From Iran,” Antiwar.com [April 3, 2012] http://news.antiwar.com/2012/04/03/clinton-issues-new-demands-for-commitments-from-iran/


U.S.intelligence gains in Iran seen as boost to confidence

By Joby Warrick and Greg Miller, WashingtonPost [April 7, 2012]

---- The surveillance has been part of what current and former U.S. officials describe as an intelligence surge that is aimed at Iran’s nuclear program and that has been gaining momentum since the final years of George W. Bush’s administration. At a time of renewed debate over whether stopping Iran might require military strikes, the expanded intelligence collection has reinforced the view within the White House that it will have early warning of any move by Iran to assemble a nuclear bomb, officials said. The expanded espionage effort has confirmed the consensus view expressed by the U.S. intelligence community in a controversial estimate released publicly in 2007. That estimate concluded that while Iran remains resolutely committed to assembling key building blocks for a nuclear weapons program, particularly enriched uranium, the nation’s leaders have opted for now against taking the crucial final step: designing a nuclear warhead. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-sees-intelligence-surge-as-boost-to-confidence/2012/04/07/gIQAlCha2S_print.html


A 'closing window' on Iran blocks out realistic diplomacy

By Tony Karon, The National [United Arab Emirates] [April 4, 2012]

---- 'I believe there is a window of time to solve this diplomatically but that window is closing," President Barack Obama said last week about the nuclear standoff with Iran. …  There may be three related elements at work. First, there is Israel threatening unilateral military action based on its own red lines and on its own timetable unless Iran yields. Then there's the fact that Mr Obama's Iran strategy was designed by Dennis Ross, who has since returned to his old job at a think tank created by the pro-Israel lobby Aipac. And then there's Mr Obama's concern with securing his re-election in November, which requires tough-guy posturing on Iran to counter charges from his Republican opponents, egged on by Israel's alarmism, about being "weak" in the face of an Iranian "danger". http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/a-closing-window-on-iran-blocks-out-realistic-diplomacy#full


Media Tutorial

State-dominated media and Iran

By Glen Greenwald, Salon.com [April 5, 2012]

---- The New York Times this morning is prominently featuring a long article documenting the Terroristic aggression of Iran, as evidenced by that country’s attempts to exert influence and foment unrest in Afghanistan: because, as all decent people know, only tyrannical fanatics would attempt to interfere in Afghanistan. http://www.salon.com/2012/04/05/state_dominated_media_and_iran/singleton/


ISRAELI POLICY

Israeli Experts Mum on Iran Attack to Support Bibi’s Bluff

By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service [April 03, 2012]

----- A striking feature of the Israeli political landscape in recent months has been the absence of a serious debate among national security figures on the issue of the threat of war with Iran. It is well-known that many prominent former military and intelligence officials believe an attack on Iran would be disastrous for Israel. After an initial blast at the idea of striking Iran by two former high-ranking officials last year, however, very little has been heard from such national security figures. The reason for this silence on the part of the national security sector, just as the Israeli threat of war was escalating sharply, appears to be a widespread view among Israeli national security analysts that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threat to attack is a highly successful bluff. http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/04/02/israeli-experts-mum-on-iran-attack-to-support-bibis-bluff/


Also useful: Gareth Porter, (Video) “Is Netanyahu Bluffing?”  Gareth Porter interviewed on the Real News Network [April 6, 2012] – 13 minutes - http://warincontext.org/2012/04/06/video-is-netanyahu-bluffing/; and


Inside Bibi’s mind is a war waiting to start

By Larry Derfner, 972 Magazine [March 24, 2012]

---- Netanyahu (and not just he) seems to have talked himself into believing a war with Iran will be relatively painless The question of whether Israel will attack Iran or not has come down to a guessing game of what’s inside Bibi Netanyahu’s head. He’s certainly given every indication that he wants to do the deed. The idea that he’s bluffing is, I think, pretty stupid; he’s been talking about bombing Iran for 10 years, and he’s hardly alone among Israeli leaders. http://972mag.com/bibis-mind-is-made-up-for-war/39128/


Israelis to protest Iran attack amid growing web campaign

Haggai Matar, 972 Magazine [March 20, 2012]

---- Following a growing number of online grassroots peace initiatives, activists are calling for the first significant demonstration against the sounding war drums. First came the Iranian women, with a series of video clips made especially for International Women’s Day, speaking out against war from a feminist perspective. Then came the Israeli reply, with the Coalition of Women for Peace publishing a declaration stating they “oppose the inflammatory rhetoric of war mongers and the recently advertised plan of the Israeli government to attack Iran. Such an assault is not likely to stop the Iranian nuclear plan, but is likely to lead to regional war, loss of human life and a long term environmental damage.” To this the Iranian group responded with enthusiasm, and called for an end to militarization and sanctions. In an interview with Ha’aretz (Hebrew), one of the Iranian women said that while her group began the struggle, resistance to the war is spreading throughout many groups in Iran. http://972mag.com/israelis-set-to-protest-iran-war-amid-growing-web-campaign/38878/


IRANIAN POLICY

As Nuclear Talks Near, Iran Softens Criticism of Turkey

By Rick Gladstone, New York Times [April 6, 2012]

---- Without specifically referring to Mr. Erdogan or the nuclear talks, Mr. Mehmanparast said that the “remarks made by different people should not have any negative effects on bilateral relations.” He added that Mr. Erdogan’s meeting with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had been “very positive and constructive.” The substance of Mr. Erdogan’s discussions with Ayatollah Khamenei have not been disclosed. But Mr. Erdogan visit came just after he met with President Obama at a summit meeting in South Korea. There has been speculation since that Mr. Erdogan carried a message from Mr. Obama to Iran’s leaders on the nuclear issue. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/world/middleeast/iran-softens-criticism-of-turkey-as-nuclear-talks-approach.html?ref=world


SANCTIONS

Impact of Iran Sanctions Widens

By Rick Gladstone, New York Times [April 4, 2012]

---- The Iran sanctions effort led by the United States appeared to be causing new fractures in the Iranian economy on Tuesday, with leading oil companies in South Africa and Greece suspending imports of Iran’s crude oil, further signs of emergency self-reliance emerging in Iran, and an influential former Iranian president publicly challenging his country’s anti-American stoicism.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/world/middleeast/impact-of-iran-sanctions-widens.html?ref=world


Also useful: Howard LaFranchi, “What do Iran sanctions cost you? About 25 cents a gallon, experts say,” The Christian Science Monitor [April 5, 2012] http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0405/What-do-Iran-sanctions-cost-you-About-25-cents-a-gallon-experts-say; and Juan Cole, “Why Romney is Lying about the Causes of high Prices at the Pump,Informed Comment [April 4, 2012] http://www.juancole.com/2012/04/why-romney-is-lying-about-the-causes-of-high-prices-at-the-pump.html


India and the Iran sanctions

By Ramesh Thakur, JapanTimes [April 2, 2012]

---- India must balance relations with Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. India's defense minister recently paid an official visit to Riyadh, the first such ever, and the two sides have agreed to draft a road map for defense cooperation. But India also does have good relations with Iran based on shared trade and security interests. Iran supplies about 12 percent of India's oil imports. Delhi has also had a long-standing interest in building a gas pipeline from Iran to India, but that would have to run through Pakistan and therefore leave India exposed to its enemy's good will in a future emergency. There has been an equally long-standing convergence of strategic interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan that will outlast the Western military involvement in Afghanistan. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120402rt.html


SYRIA UPDATES


Introduction

Two months ago, Syria expert Patrick Seale outlined the multi-dimensional crisis in and with Syria as follows:

"It’s at least a two- or possibly a three-stage crisis. Internally in Syria, the situation is getting worse by the day. At a higher level, there is a struggle between the United States, on the one hand, and its allies, and its opponents like Russia and China... Then there’s a third level, possibly, of Arab Gulf states like Qatar, for example, even Saudi Arabia behind it, who are obsessed and worried by Iran, and they think that Iran might stir up Shia communities in the region." http://www.democracynow.org/2012/2/7/a_struggle_for_regional_supremacy_syria

If anything, the layers of complexity have deepened.  The Arab League, as reflected in its recent meeting in Baghdad, is deeply divided.  The Kofi Annan/UN peace plan, endorsed by the Arab League meeting, was immediately followed by steps to escalate the war taken at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Turkey. Whether the Assad regime will act on its commitment to withdraw heavy weapons and troops from urban areas by April 10th, and whether there will be a ceasefire on April 12, remains to be seen.


OVERVIEWS

'There’s a fear that the fall of Assad would lead to worse for Western interests and Israel.”

An interview with Gilbert Achcar, ZNet [April 5, 2012]

---- The Syrian National Council is a heterogeneous combination of people, from the Muslim Brotherhood to people on the left, especially the People’s Democratic Party, with a number of figures linked to Western governments, the US or France in particular. The SNC is held together by the pressure of various states intervening in the Syrian situation. These states are actually pushing for a broader coalition to include other groups, in addition to those who are already in the SNC. They are aiming at some form of unification of the opposition, which would make it even more heterogeneous than what the SNC already is. This said, the important point is that the SNC is not a homogeneous rightwing force as depicted in some circles. Within the council, there are some people who cannot be classified as rightwing, but are rather progressives. http://www.zcommunications.org/there-s-a-fear-that-the-fall-of-assad-would-lead-to-worse-for-western-interests-and-israel--by-gilbert-achcar


Civil War or Foreign Intervention? Deadlock over Syria

By Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatique [April 3, 2012]

---- The Ba’athist regime believed Syria’s position within the axis of resistance meant it was safe from the revolutionary movement that engulfed the region in 2011. But that was to reduce the conflict over Syria to its geopolitical dimension, as a confrontation between the imperialist and anti-imperialist camps, and to underestimate the changes brought about by the Arab revolutions and the aspirations of the Syrians. The regime miscalculated, because Syria has the same flaws as others in the region: an authoritarian and arbitrary government, a greedy elite, neoliberal policies that impoverish its people, and an inability to respond to the aspirations of the young, who are more numerous and better educated than their elders. Should we do nothing? There are other options than military intervention. http://mondediplo.com/2012/04/03syria


Straining NATO on Short Syrian Leash

By Vijay Prashad, AsiaTimes [April 05, 2012]

---- On February 18, I asked the Indian ambassador to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, why there was no appetite for a strong UN resolution on Syria. After all, the violence in Syria seemed to have already exceeded that in Libya. If the UN could pass Resolution 1973 (on Libya), why was it reticent to pass a similar resolution on Syria? Puri pointed his finger directly at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) states. They had exceeded the mandate of Resolution 1973, moving for regime change using immense violence. All attempts to find a peaceful solution were blocked. The African Union's high-level panel was prevented from entering Libya as the NATO barrage began. Any UN resolution that was sharply worded and that was not explicitly against a humanitarian intervention would open the door to a NATO-style attack. That seems to be the fear. http://www.zcommunications.org/straining-nato-on-short-syrian-leash-by-vijay-prashad


A Secret Plot in Syria

By Andy Warner, Slate [April 4, 2012]

---- An illustrated guide to the 1949 coup—possibly CIA-assisted—that plunged the country into decades of political turmoil. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2012/04/syrian_violence_was_the_cia_involved_in_the_1949_coup_that_plunged_the_country_into_decades_of_turmoil_.html


INSIDE SYRIA

Loyalty to Syrian President Could Isolate Hezbollah

By Anne Barnard, New York Times [April 5, 2012]

---- Syria’s conflict is testing Hezbollah’s longstanding contradictions. It relies on public support, yet sometimes behaves autocratically; it is a national group founded to fight Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon, but owes its military might — and the funds that rebuilt the south after the 2006 war — to Iran’s desire to project power; and it styles itself pan-Islamic, but it depends on rock-solid support from Lebanese Shiites for whom it won long-denied power as it became the Middle East’s most formidable militant group and Lebanon’s strongest political force.Most of all, Hezbollah won respect by sticking to its principles, even among rival sects and the leftist cafe regulars in Beirut who are skeptical of its religious conservatism. Now it is paying a price for its politics of pragmatism in Syria. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/middleeast/hezbollahs-syria-policy-puts-it-at-risk.html?ref=world


Kurdish Bloc Withdraws From Syrian Rebel Council

By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [April 5, 2012]

---- Kurdish factions have been struggled to find a side in the Syrian Civil War, with the militant PKK openly backing the Assad government, and threatening to escalate attacks on Turkey if the nation invades. Indeed, Turkey’s decision to abandon their long-time allies in the regime and endorsing the SNC instead was seen by many analysts as chiefly a function of the SNC’s more nationalist ambitions, with the hopes that they would tamp down secessionist fervor in Syrian Kurdistan. The loss of the Kurdish bloc from the SNC could weaken the rebels significantly in the nation’s northwest, and could put the Kurds in a better bargaining position if the rebel faction eventually collapses. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/04/05/kurdish-bloc-withdraws-from-syrian-rebel-council/


Syria: The virtue of civil disobedience

By Donatella Della Ratta, Aljazeera [April 6, 2012]

---- Civil disobedience is the only way to mobilise people in big cities that are deemed to be regime strongholds in Syria. Syrians' non-violent struggle is indeed inspired by a Syrian scholar, Jawdat Said, who has been incarcerated many times for his writings on resisting oppression through non-violence. In 2001, he wrote: "We live in a world in which four fifths of its population live in frustration while the other fifth lives in fear." Jawadat Said, born in 1931, lives in the Syrian Golan Heights and works as a farmer. I wonder what he thinks of these youth, engaged in their civilised struggle against Goliath, far away from media spotlight, maybe closer to their people. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/20124283638298672.html


A PLETHORA OF MEETINGS

Syria’s Assad Endorses April 10 Peace Deadline

By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [April 2, 2012]

---- Faced with calls from the international community to see some sort of progress on a negotiated settlement, Syrian President Bashar Assad has agreed to an April 10 deadline to start implementing Kofi Annan’s UN-backed plan. The deadline would have Syrian government forces withdrawing from cities and granting humanitarian access, as well as moving toward a full ceasefire within 48 hours of the deadline. The first part should be easy enough. The second part would require the rebel factions to stop fighting — and there’s no indication so far they would consider doing so. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/04/02/syrias-assad-endorses-april-10-peace-deadline/print/


(Video) Arab League meeting in Iraq shows deep divisions over Syria

Vijay Prashad interviewed on the Real News Network [April 6, 2012]

http://warincontext.org/2012/04/06/video-arab-league-meeting-in-iraq-shows-deep-divisions-over-syria/


Russia Accuses Group of Undermining Peace Plan in Syria

By Anne Barnard and Rick Gladstone, New York Times [April 5, 2012]

---- On Wednesday, differences seemed to deepen between the United States and Russia over a solution to the crisis, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov renewing his denunciation of Western and Arab leaders grouped in the so-called “Friends of Syria” coalition. The grouping of dozens of countries met Sunday in Istanbul along with exiled opponents of President Assad, and moved closer to direct intervention in the fighting, with Arab nations pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters and the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military. Russia did not participate in the meeting and Mr. Lavrov on Wednesday accused the body of undermining the peace proposal put forward by Kofi Annan, the special envoy representing the Arab League and the United Nations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/world/middleeast/russia-accuses-group-of-undermining-peace-plan-in-syria.html?ref=world


(Video) “Friends of Syria” push civil war

---- An interview with Vijay Prashad, from the Real News Network [April 4, 2012] – 9 minutes

http://warincontext.org/2012/04/04/video-friends-of-syria-push-civil-war/

The U.S. Government Has Been Training Iranian Terrorists in Nevada - And It Didn't Stay in Nevada

Our Men in Iran?

hersh-iran.jpg

From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/mek.html#ixzz1rHLcBhaH

 

Iran War Weekly - April 1, 2012

IranWar Weekly

April 1, 2012

The just-concluded meeting of “Friends of Syria” appears to have ended without agreeing to any interventionist measures, whether arming the resistance fighters, creating a “buffer zone” or “humanitarian corridor,” or recognizing the Syria National Council as the sole representative of the nonviolent Opposition. Instead, the Conference reaffirmed Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which is given lip service by the Syrian government and rejected by the SNC as failing to call for regime change.  We can assume that unpublicized negotiations on the sidelines of the conference addressed military and economic (sanctions) issues re: Iran (not at the Conference), in preparation for a new round of negotiations with Iran scheduled for two weeks from now.  The Conference will undoubtedly be analyzed in depth on Aljazeera News [www.aljazeera.com].

Prior to the Conference, US Secretary of State Clinton met with leaders of Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, the Saudis’ willingness to increase their production of oil, seen as necessary to stabilize oil/gasoline prices as President Obama announced a tightening of sanctions against Iranian-produced oil.  As noted below, the increased price of gasoline makes this an election-year risk for Obama.

Also below are links to interesting articles by the New York Times’ James Risen about the effects of the CIA etc. intelligence disasters re: Iraq’s WMDs on the intelligence agencies’ evaluations of Iran; by Gareth Porter on the unacknowledged vulnerability of Israel to weapons that Iran might use in retaliation to an Israeli attack; and the (disputed) news that Israel has gained access to military facilities in Azerbaijan that would be useful/necessary if it were to attack Iran.  The short video talk by Flynt Leverett (Race for Iran) about the uselessness of economic sanctions is also very good; though NB the myth that sanctions might force Iran to comply with US and UN orders re: its nuclear program is a major deterrent (along with direct US orders) to an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Best wishes,

Frank Brodhead

Concerned Families of Westchester (NY)

 

ANTIWAR NEWS/VIEWS

(Video)Left Forum Panel on Peace and War

From David Swanson [March 22, 2012] – 90 minutes

---- Panelists include David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, and Glen Ford

http://warisacrime.org/content/video-left-forum-panel-peace-and-war

 

US POLICY & POLITICS

Hard Line on Iran Places White House in a Bind

By Mark Landler, et al., New YorkTimes [March 30, 2012]

---- As American and European diplomats prepare for crucial negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, the White House finds itself caught in a bind: for the diplomatic effort to work, American officials say, the Iranian government must believe that President Obama is ready and willing to take military action. Yet tough talk, necessary as it might be for successful diplomacy, contributes to a sense that war may be unavoidable. And it masks the fact that Mr. Obama, and his military commanders, remain deeply worried about the consequence of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, either by Israel alone or a strike that could draw in the United States. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/world/middleeast/hard-line-on-iran-places-white-house-in-a-bind.html?_r=1&ref=world

 

Obama Finds Oil in Markets Is Sufficient to Sideline Iran

By Annie Lowrey, New YorkTimes [March 30, 2012]

---- After careful analysis of oil prices and months of negotiations, President Obama on Friday determined that there was sufficient oil in world markets to allow countries to significantly reduce their Iranian imports, clearing the way for Washington to impose severe new sanctions intended to slash Iran’s oil revenue and press Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The sanctions pose a serious challenge for the United States. Already, concerns over a confrontation with Iran and the loss of its oil — Iran was the third-biggest exporter of crude in 2010 — have driven oil prices up about 20 percent this year… By certifying that there is enough supply available, the administration is also trying to gain some leverage over Iran before a resumption of negotiations, expected on April 14.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/business/global/obama-to-clear-way-to-expand-iranian-oil-sanctions.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

 

US seeks coordinated Gulf strategy on Iran, Syria

By Bradley Klapper, Associated Press [March 29, 2012]

---- The Obama administration is seeking to advance talks among Saudi Arabia and its neighbors on a missile defense system against Iran, while slowing any plans among ArabGulf states to intervene militarily in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met for almost two hours with Saudi King Abdullah on Friday, conferring on regional military strategy and how to increase oil sanctions against Iran while ensuring ample global petroleum supplies. Governments are under pressure to reduce purchases of Iranian crude, and the U.S. hopes Saudi supplies can ease the transition. http://news.yahoo.com/us-seeks-coordinated-gulf-strategy-iran-syria-235840866.html;_ylt=Al6veh8IJL1vTj9.5BvWXmtvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNmZ2x0cW80BG1pdAMEcGtnAzdiYWFlOWJmLTRkMDItMzM5My04MjZkLTUwNjg1YjQxYzE0YwRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fTWlkRWFzdF9nYWwEdmVyA2MyM2Y0MmQwLTdhYzQtMTFlMS1iZWRiLWViNDVhOWI5ODMyYw--;_ylv=3

 

IraqCasts a Pall Over U.S. Effort to Fathom Iran

By James Risen, New YorkTimes [March 31, 2012]

---- Analysts and others at the C.I.A. who are struggling to understand the nuclear ambitions of Iran are keenly aware that the agency’s credibility is again on the line, amid threats of new military interventions. The intelligence debacle on Iraq has deeply influenced the way they do their work, with new safeguards intended to force analysts to be more skeptical in evaluating evidence and more cautious in drawing conclusions. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/world/middleeast/assessing-iran-but-thinking-about-iraq.html?_r=1&hp

 

ISRAELI POLICY & POLITICS

Israel’s Plan to Attack Iran On Hold for 2012

By John Glaser, Antiwar.com [March 29, 2012]

---- After viewing the results of a Pentagon war simulation and securing more military funding from the U.S., Israel has decided to put off any plans for a unilateral strike on Iran until at least next year, according to reports. The so-called war game was classified but details have been reported about its revealing implications after a preventive Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. It forecasted that a “strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States” and would immediately get at least 200 Americans killed in Iran’s retaliation. Amir Oren, writing for Ha’aretz, reported that “the meaning of this U.S. scenario is that the blood of these 200 would be on Israel’s hands,” and therefore any Israeli attack in 2012 has been called off. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/29/israels-plan-to-attack-iran-on-hold-for-2012/

 

IsraelShields Public from Risks of War with Iran

By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service [March 30, 2012]

---- The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling Israelis that Israel can attack Iran with minimal civilian Israeli casualties as a result of retaliation, and that reassuring message appears to have headed off any widespread Israeli fear of war with Iran and other adversaries. But the message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counterattack is contradicted by one of Israel’s leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets. http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/03/29/israel-shields-public-from-risks-of-war-with-iran/

 

Israel's Secret Staging Ground

By Mark Perry, Foreign Policy [March 28, 2012]

---- Senior diplomats and military intelligence officers say that the United States has concluded that Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran's northern border. To do what, exactly, is not clear. "The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior administration official told me in early February, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan." Senior U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that Israel's military expansion into Azerbaijan complicates U.S. efforts to dampen Israeli-Iranian tensions, according to the sources. … Israel's deepening relationship with the Baku government was cemented in February by a $1.6 billion arms agreement that provides Azerbaijan with sophisticated drones and missile-defense systems. At the same time, Baku's ties with Tehran have frayed.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/28/israel_s_secret_staging_ground

 

Also: From Haaretz [Israel] [March 29, 2012] “Azerbaijan denies granting Israel access to air bases on Iran border,” http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/azerbaijan-denies-granting-israel-access-to-air-bases-on-iran-border-1.421562?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.216%2C2.217%2C; and Philip Giraldi, “Israel Encircles Iran,” American Conservative [March 27, 2012]http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/israel-encircles-iran/

 

INTERNATIONAL

Turkeyvoices support for Iran nuclear programme

From Agence France Presse [March 29, 2012]

---- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday voiced his country's unwavering support for Tehran's nuclear ambitions in a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an official statement. ,,, Turkey relies on Iran for 30 percent of its oil imports, and has refused to go along with sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, saying it will observe only UN-mandated restrictions on Iran. However, Turkey is also a NATO member, and it has agreed to deploy parts of an anti-missile shield that could be used against Iran, a point that has generated friction in the past with its neighbour. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jn2SasjxH4BFhQmtmdcHUw_ijDFA?docId=CNG.5bba548bbefdc22a21bbb7b6c36d505a.a01

 

SANCTIONS

(Video)Flynt Leverett (Race for Iran) on Effects of Sanctions- 5 minutes

http://www.raceforiran.com/sanctions-the-islamic-republic-of-iran%E2%80%99s-legitimacy-and-america%E2%80%99s-middle-east-policy

 

WAR-RELATED

What if Israel bombs Iran?

By GarySick, CNN [March 30, 2012]

---- If sustained over more than a few weeks, the scramble to replace large volumes of Persian Gulf and Caspian oil would drive up the price of oil, and gasoline, to unprecedented heights. That would constitute a huge tax on the world's economies, just at the moment when they were showing signs of recovery from the Great Recession. Extremely vulnerable economies, such as the southern European states, could be tipped into bankruptcy, but all states would face significant challenges as a surge in transportation and manufacturing costs rippled through all aspects of their industries. This is Iran's true weapon of mass destruction. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/30/opinion/sick-israel-iran/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

 

Iran’s Centrifuge ‘Workshops’ Complicate Raid Planning

By Viola Gienger and Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News [March 28, 2012]

---- Iran’s “workshops” for making nuclear centrifuges and components for the devices are widely dispersed and hidden, adding to the difficulties of a potential military strike by Israel, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers. Neither Israel nor the U.S. is certain of the locations of all such facilities, analysts at the Congressional Research Service wrote in the report obtained today. The analysts cited interviews with current and former U.S. government officials familiar with the issue who weren’t identified. Israel’s capability to halt or set back Iran’s nuclear program through a military strike has been central to the debate over whether Israel should undertake such a mission alone. http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/30854?type=bloomberg

 

SYRIAAND THE REGION

Top 5 Dangers that the Syria Conflict could Destabilize its Neighbors

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment [March 2012] http://www.juancole.com/2012/03/top-5-dangers-that-the-syria-conflict-could-destabilize-its-neighbors.html

 

Military Intervention in Syria is a Bad Idea

By Stephen Zunes, Antiwar.com [March 30, 2012]

---- Although the impulse to try to end the ongoing repression by the Syrian regime against its own people through foreign military intervention is understandable, it would be a very bad idea.  Empirical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral.  Even putting aside the recent historical record, however, virtually anyone familiar with Syrian politics and history can recognize the fallacy of such foreign support for the armed struggle. Many nonviolent protesters have tragically been killed as will many more. However, proportionately a far greater number of armed resisters have been killed and will continue to be killed. The question is not whether thousands will continue to die but what is the best way for the Syrian people to overthrow the hated regime, end the violence, and bring democracy and social justice. http://original.antiwar.com/zunes/2012/03/30/military-intervention-in-syria-is-a-bad-idea/

 

Why Syria’s Peace Process is a Continuation of War By Other Means

By Tony Karon, Time [March 29, 2012]

---- Annan’s plan does not claim to be a program to reconcile the regime and its opponents or to resolve their differences. Instead, it’s a plan to demilitarize Syria’s power struggle and restrict it to political means. The regime’s goals, and those of its opponents, remain fundamentally irreconcilable: Assad is determined to remain in power, while the opposition finds a consensus that eludes it on so many other issues when it comes to demanding his immediate ouster. http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/29/why-syrias-peace-process-is-a-continuation-of-war-by-other-means/

 

Resources on Syria

Aljazeera – “Syria: The War Within” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/syria/

The Guardian [UK] on Syria - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/syria?INTCMP=SRCH

SyriaComment – Joshua Landis - http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/

War in Context – Paul Woodward – www.warincontext.org

War is a Crime – Steve Lendman & David Swanson - http://warisacrime.org/

Be Careful What You Assume Is Bluffing

Israeli Experts Mum on Iran Attack to Support Bibi's Bluff
By Gareth Porter*

TEL AVIV, Apr 2, 2012 (IPS) - A striking feature of the Israeli political landscape in recent months has been the absence of a serious debate on the issue of the threat of war with Iran led by national security figures.

Obama's War on Iran

  Obama's War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington's war on Iran includes cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly explosions, sophisticated satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus accusations, a virtual blockade, hostile saber rattling, multiple rounds of sanctions, and attempts to cripple its central bank and oil industry.

 

Riding Teheran

This War's Gonna Be a Matzo Walk

Israel Shields Public from Risks of War with Iran 
By Gareth Porter, IPS

TEL AVIV, Mar 29, 2012 (IPS) - The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling Israelis that Israel can attack Iran with minimal civilian Israeli casualties as a result of retaliation, and that reassuring message appears to have headed off any widespread Israeli fear of war with Iran and other adversaries.

Senator Rand Paul Blocks Bill That Would Have Moved U.S. Closer to War on Iran

From Reuters:

A U.S. Republican lawmaker on Tuesday blocked Democrats from passing legislation designed to further punish Iran for developing its nuclear program, and each side blamed the other for its failure in a presidential election year that will put extra scrutiny on President Barack Obama to be tough on Tehran.

The legislation, which had the backing of many Democratic and Republican Senators, focused on foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran's national oil and tanker companies, and included a host of measures aimed to close loopholes in existing sanctions.

A handful of Republicans wanted to include additional measures to the bill such as sanctions on companies that insure trade with Iran. But Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to take up the legislation without amendments.

"New changes to the bill at this time will only slow down its passage," Reid, a Democrat, said before he sought unanimous consent from Senators to approve the legislation - a procedure that allows no amendments.

Senator Rand Paul formally objected to taking up the legislation unless the Senate would also consider his amendment to it saying that nothing in the bill could be construed as an authorization of war against Iran or Syria. This effectively blocked the bill from advancing.

The timing of the next step was not immediately clear.

The latest set of penalties signed into law by President Barack Obama in December have made it increasingly difficult for Tehran to sell its oil. They are aimed at slowing Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran has said is purely for civilian purposes. The United States and some other Western countries say the program is for nuclear weapons.

The bill would have built on efforts by the United States and other Western nations to implement oil and banking sanctions.

"These sanctions are a key tool as we work to stop (Iran) from obtaining a nuclear weapon, threatening Israel and ultimately jeopardizing U.S. national security," Reid said earlier on Tuesday.

The Senate Banking Committee easily passed the sanctions bill on February 2 and the full House of Representatives passed its version in December.

ADDITIONAL PROPOSALS

Since then, several lawmakers have floated additional proposals to penalize underwriters that insure oil and gas trade with Iran; to block foreign companies dealing with Iranian energy companies from U.S. financial markets; and to ban foreign companies that buy Iranian oil from buying oil from U.S. emergency reserves.

Before Paul blocked the bill, Reid said Democratic senators had agreed to move forward without offering any amendments, which could speed a vote. "I'm willing to move this bill without amendments at any time," Reid said afterward.

Democrats were quick to blame Republicans for blocking the bill. "I hope that the select few Republicans who reportedly blocked this important bill will reconsider their opposition and allow it to move forward as soon as possible," said Tim Johnson, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Israelis and Iranians Against War

  Israelis and Iranians Against War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israelis aren't all like Netanyahu and Knesset extremists like him. Most want peace, not war. On March 24, Haaretz headlined, "Hundreds of Israelis march in Tel Aviv to protest war with Iran," saying:

Mutually Assured Madness

British Ambassador Peter Jenkins on the alternatives to bombing Iran.

From In These Times

BY George Kenney

War is not a satisfactory answer. There is no guarantee that we would succeed in eliminating all the facilities that might be relevant to Iran producing a nuclear weapon.

In terms of nuclear nonproliferation, the West’s clash with Iran over its nuclear program appears to make sense. But once one peels back the layers of rhetoric surrounding the West’s demands, our real priority seems to be regime change. Those opposed to an unnecessary war with Iran are thus faced with two complicated challenges: First, to debunk

International Association of Democratic Lawyers Opposes Military Force Against Syria and Iran

by Marjorie Cohn | Smirking Chimp


The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization having consultative status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is dedicated to uphold international law, particularly the peaceful resolution of disputes as set forth in the UN Charter and basic human rights instruments.

IADL notes with concern that while the UN Human Rights Council is on the verge of adopting a new, updated declaration on the Human Right to Peace, the major Western powers are poisoning the atmosphere by creating hysteria to wage war against Syria and Iran. The IADL condemns in the strongest possible terms these threats to international peace and security which are prohibited by the UN Charter and the doctrine of jus cogens.

A Message of Peace and Friendship from Iran

One of the speakers on Saturday at the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) conference in Stamford, Ct., was Leila Zand, Program Director, Middle East & Civilian Diplomacy, Fellowship Of Reconciliation.  She said that rather than sharing her own views on the dangers of a war on Iran, she had asked friends in Iran what they would say.  She read the following message that they sent her:

To all the wonderful peacemakers in national peace conference

To all of our brothers and sisters in the beautiful world

We are sending you the message of peace and friendship from Iran, the land of love and poetry, friendship and roses.  Iran, a country that has not initiated any violence on another nation in the past 200 years, but unfortunately has been the subject of such violations many times in her recent history.

Protest Schumer and Gillibrand Today

OWS-ANTI-WAR and other anti-war groups will picket the New York City offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their support of a pre-emptive war on Iran.

Senator Schumer, a self-declared guardian of Israel, and his protegée Senator Gillibrand, have joined Senator Leiberman and other AIPAC supporters, backing S. Res. 380 to pressure our President for a first strike on Iran.

As Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, has noted:

"This resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran....it's effectively a thinly-disguised effort to bless war."

OUR SENATOR SCHUMER

PROUDLY VOTED FOR WAR WITH IRAQ

KILLING AND MAIMING TENS OF THOUSANDS

NO APOLOGY!

OUR SENATOR WALL STREET

TOOK CAMPAIGN MILLIONS FROM BANKERS

PROUDLY HELPED KILL GLASS-STEAGALL

BILLIONS FOR BANKS, MILLIONS PUT IN POVERTY

NO APOLOGY!

AND NOW, ONE MORE FOR AIPAC!

PUSHING US TO ATTACK IRAN

BRINGING ALONG YOUR PROTEGÉE SEN. GILLIBRAND

YOU HAVE NO SHAME!

Demonstration on Thursday, March 22, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at 780 Third Avenue, the New York City offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

Forum 3/22, 2012 7pm U.S. - Israel Assault on Iran: The Growing Danger of War

Forum: U.S.-Israeli Assault on Iran: The Growing Danger of War, the Urgency of Resistance, and the Need to Bring Forward Another Way

March 22, Thursday, 7pm Revolution Books 146 W. 26th Street New York City
Leila Zand is the Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation's Task Force on the Middle East. She is an Iranian-American who lived in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and the reform years of the late 1990s.

Perils of Attacking Iran

  Perils of Attacking Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In mid-April, Istanbul or Geneva will host nuclear talks with Iran. America, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany will attend. Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov calls them a "last chance" to avoid war.

 

Would You Stop a Friend from Destroying the Earth?

What would you do if someone had a button that could destroy the earth and they were walking across the room to push it?  Would you stand in the way?  Would you talk them out of it?  Would you sit by and watch, maybe make a sarcastic remark or two?  What if the button might destroy the earth or might just destroy part of it?  What if it might leave most of the earth intact but kill millions of people, but what if you had no way of being sure how far the destruction would spread? 

Here is an animation made by the Union of Concerned Scientists on the damage a strike on Iran would likely cause, including the death of three million people.

Here is a New York Times article on what would likely happen next, including a war at least regional in scope and involving the United States.

The information used in the animation above and reported by the New York Times as well comes from that peacenik hippie source of antiwar propaganda: the Pentagon, the same institution that says Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

Here's a lot more information on what attacking Iran would involve.

United for Peace and Justice has created a place where we can pledge not to sit by and watch: http://iranpledge.org

Here's the pledge:

"If the United States applies increased sanctions, invades, bombs, sends combat troops or drones, or otherwise significantly escalates its intervention in Iran or the region directly or through support of its allies, I pledge to join with others to engage in acts of legal protest and/or nonviolent civil disobedience to prevent or halt the death and destruction which U.S. military actions would cause to the people of Iran, the Middle East, our communities at home, and the planet itself."

When you take the pledge you can choose to commit to legal protest (is protesting still legal? who knew?) or nonviolent civil resistance (or "disobedience").  I encourage you to do both: http://iranpledge.org

Samantha Miller of Military Families Speak Out, who helped organize the pledge, told me, "Ten years of war have taken a serious toll on service members and their families.  Frequent deployments and lack of access to mental health care have left military communities in a precarious situation, with 18 veterans committing suicide every day.  We need to end the war in Afghanistan and take care of our veterans, not start new wars."

Medea Benjamin, cofounder Code Pink and Global Exchange, said "Right now, our government is hearing from the 1 percent who are gunning for a war with Iran. We, the 99%, must raise our voices and let our government know just how profoundly committed we are to stopping another catastrophic war. That's why I'm taking the pledge."

Imagine if 99 percent of us, or even 10 percent of us, took this pledge and followed through.  We would prevent this war and every other war to come.  War would be a thing of the past.

If we do not act, our species could end up becoming the thing of the past. 

Let's choose survival and peace.

Netanyahu's pretext for war - Islamic Jihad missiles

By Michael Collins

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has his pretext for an attack on Iran. He left Washington disappointed by President Obama's reluctance to saddle up for Armageddon. Now he's got the formula.

Haaretz (daily news), one of Israel's few liberal media voices, linked Gaza based missile attacks on Israel to the presence of Iranian military experts. This fits nicely into the Netanyahu strategy. Here's how Haaretz reported events:

"Iran pressured Islamic Jihad and popular resistance groups in Gaza to continue firing rockets into Israel despite cease-fire, says high-ranking Jerusalem official.

"Iranian military experts are active in the Gaza Strip and in Sinai, according to a high-ranking official in Jerusalem. The official said the Iranians entered the areas via Sudan and Egypt, and added that some of the rocket-launching systems in Gaza were manufactured under Iranian supervision." Haaretz.com, March 19

The paper went on to say how shocked members of the Israeli left were with the overall theme of the article announcing a unified Israel in support of an attack on Iran.

Of course, any attack is so crazy on so many levels, it is exhausting to comprehend. Aside from the potential collapse of the world economy and the pervasive suffering, let's focus on a sure fired reason that the United States won't green light such a move.

Israeli-Iranian solidarity exchange sweeps Facebook

From 972mag

On Saturday night, an Israeli couple – two graphic designers named Ronnie Edri and Michal Tamir –  decided to cut across the growing anxiety and fear over the possibility of an Israel-Iran war, and address Iranian citizens directly. They created a slogan you can impose over your profile picture or any picture of your choice:

Heading for War on Iran

  Heading for War with Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel wants it. So does Obama, but not until after November elections. Policy now focuses on winning. Waging more wars can wait, except for Syria, despite strong public support for Assad's reform agenda promising real change.

 

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Store:



















Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.