Top Things you Think You Know about Iran that are not True

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  1. MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2009 STRATFOR.COM Diary Archives
    A Tumultuous Week Ahead for the Iran Issue
    R

    EPRESENTATIVES FROM IRAN, THE UNITED STATES, Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency will gather in Geneva on Monday for another round of nuclear negotiations. The meeting is a follow-up to the Oct. 1 talks between Iran and the P-5+1 group; the aim is to finalize an agreement for Iran to process all of its low-enriched uranium abroad in order to dispel fears that its uranium enrichment program is designed for making weapons.

    The United States has a lot riding on these talks. If Washington cannot compel Iran to make tangible concessions on its nuclear program, Israel will snap this diplomatic chapter shut and move on to more aggressive action against Iran – actions that could range from gasoline sanctions to military strikes. But considering events from just the past week, the forecast for these negotiations is looking particularly stormy.

    “With tensions building between Iran and the United States, a number of other powers would not mind seeing the nuclear crisis between Washington and Tehran boil over.”

    For one thing, Iran is indicating that it intends to stick to its tried-and-true stalling tactics to prolong the talks. The Western powers were planning on sealing a deal for Iran’s overseas enrichment on Monday, but Iranian nuclear officials have said the talks likely will extend beyond Monday’s meeting and that more time is needed to discuss Iran’s “conditions and suggestions.” Moreover, chief nuclear negotiator Ali Salehi, who represented Iran in Geneva on Oct. 1, said he would not participate in Monday’s talks and would instead send low-level aides — a sign that Iran is not taking these negotiations as seriously as the United States would like.

    The Iranians also have some fresh justification to dance around these negotiations. On Sunday, two coordinated bombings in Iran’s restive Sistan-Balochistan province killed dozens of people, including high-level officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Baloch insurgent group Jundallah, which Tehran accuses of being a proxy for U.S. and British intelligence used to stir up trouble in Iran, claimed the bombings. It is not a stretch to assume that the United States has supported Jundallah, as Iran continues to claim. In such covert operations, the left hand may not always know what the right hand is doing. In other words, the United States can provide the training, funding, equipment and even intelligence for attacks, but much discretion can be left to the proxy to decide when to act. So, even though the Sistan-Balochistan attacks could derail the nuclear negotiations and thus seem oddly politically timed, that alone does not erase the suspicion of U.S. involvement, even if both the United States and Britain were quick to deny having a hand in the attacks.

    With tensions building between Iran and the United States, a number of other powers would not mind seeing the nuclear crisis between Washington and Tehran boil over.

    One such power is Russia, which has not been amused in the least by the United States’ provocative moves in the Russian near-abroad over the past few days. Western media continue to portray U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration as having succeeded in getting the Russians to cooperate in applying pressure on Iran. But anyone with a good read on the Kremlin will understand that Russia is more suspicious than ever of U.S. moves and is holding on tightly to its Iran card to keep pressure on Washington. The Russians were not fooled for a second by the United States’ recent shift on ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans for Poland and the Czech Republic. For Moscow, this was an empty gesture. It was immediately followed up by U.S. decisions to deploy a battery of armed Patriot missiles in Poland and to launch negotiations to place BMD installations in Ukraine — another critical state in the Russian periphery that the United States would like to use to reinforce fears of Western encroachment. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Poland, Czech Republic and Romania this week to drive home that threat, and Russia will be ready to fire back a salvo of threats on Iran.

    As if this week could get more tense, Israel and the United States are expected to kick off their largest-ever joint air defense exercise, dubbed Juniper Cobra, on Oct. 20. The exercise originally was slated for last week but was postponed, without an official reason given by either the Israelis or the Americans. Though a number of first-time technical elements in the exercise might have caused the delay, an exercise of this scale would not be delayed for minor political or technical reasons. The equipment would have to be in place weeks in advance, and any delay would throw the logistics completely off. It remains unclear why the delay occurred, but the fact that it did — and the fact that the weapons systems were already deployed for the exercise at the time of the postponement — leads us to believe that something more could be going on between Israel and the United States and their military preparations for Iran.

    Adding to these suspicions is the tone the Israelis have taken toward the United States in recent days. Before, Israel was signaling that it did not trust Washington to pressure Tehran adequately on the nuclear issue. As a result, Israel refused to budge on U.S. efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. However, on Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on his government to “work with the American administration and consolidate an agreement to open negotiations as soon as possible, even if the conditions aren’t perfect and even if we have to make difficult concessions.” He even said Israel was a “partner” in Obama’s peace initiative and that Israel must work toward a two-state solution as soon as possible.

    If this change of attitude is Israel’s way of giving Washington a reward publicly, it could be a signal that Israel and the United States are moving toward a realignment of their positions on Iran.
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  2. Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Your whole post smells of selective attention,I never said the Iranians where innocent,I said "The point is not that they (Iranian fighters) are any more "innocent" than you are. The point is,as stated in the article, "What Iran really wants is an end to 30-years of U.S. efforts to overthrow its Islamic regime. The U.S. is still waging economic warfare against Iran and trying to overthrow the Tehran government."

    Also,given the history of the US government and it's subversion of the sovereignty of countless regimes,setting up of puppet governments,support of brutal dictators,etc. you have no room to talk.

    Yes I am in Japan but I am from the US,where I am currently located is a straw man that does not relate to the topic at hand.
    Straw men aside, your suggestion is what...? Let a fundamentalist regime run riot in the most volatile and economically important region in the world..? Are you high..?

    I find it ironic that you pontificate about selective attention given you've actually not stated a position beyond, "Check out all this anti-American pro-Iranian **** I googled!"

    If you think there is a better way to address the issues with Iran... I'm all ears champ. Make it your own opinion though and stop hiding behind everyone else's words.
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  3. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by poison View Post
    So your previous posts postulates that Iran does not have a nuke, does not want a nuke, and does not want to develop a nuke. Then in this post you say 'Iran really wants the US to butt out'. So how, in your opinion, is Iran going to accomplish this without a nuclear weapon? In other words, how does flouting international regulations, saber rattling, and the development of ONLY non-weaponized nuclear power help Iran achieve that goal?

    THe US may wage economic 'warfare' (the wording of which is a nice attempt at morally equivocating economic sanctions with actual bloodshed), but Iran wages REAL warfare: in Iraq (30 years ago and today), in Gaza, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Afganistan. The US is not obligated to do business with anyone; 'not doing business' is not 'warfare'.
    You mean to tell me that you believe the only way Iran could get the US out of their business is via a nuke?

    Again:

    "According to ElBaradei’s June, 2009, report [ http://isis-online.org/publications/..._5June2009.pdf ], the IAEA Secretariat, for the umpteenth time "continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran."

    Hence, Iran is in total compliance with its NPT responsibilities.

    Also

    "way back in December, 2003, Iran signed an Additional Protocol [ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Doc...nfcirc540c.pdf ] to Iran’s IAEA Safeguards Agreement [ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Doc...infcirc214.pdf ]. And, although not required to do so until the Iranian Parliament ratified it, Iran volunteered to act "in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol, as a confidence-building measure."


    "Then, in late 2004, Iran also entered into formal related negotiations with the Brits, French and Germans, hoping that by providing "objective guarantees" to the European Union – going far beyond even those provided by the Additional Protocol – that "Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes," they could secure "firm guarantees" that the EU would resist pressure from Bush-Cheney-Bolton and provide Iran "firm commitments on security issues."

    The Iranians-Brits-French-Germans invited the IAEA to verify Iranian compliance with the voluntary suspension of certain Iranian Safeguarded activities for the duration of the negotiations.

    So, in March 23, 2005 Iran offered a package of "objective guarantees" to the EU that included a voluntary "confinement" of Iran’s nuclear programs, to include:

    1. forgoing the reprocessing of spent reactor fuel;
    2. forgoing the production of plutonium;
    3. producing only the low-enriched uranium required for Iran’s power reactors;
    4. the immediate conversion of all enriched uranium to fuel rods.

    By any measure, the Iranian "confinement" offer is substantial. The Iranians had intended to "close the fuel cycle" – making new fuel from unburned uranium and plutonium recovered from "spent fuel." Furthermore, they already had the aforementioned IR-40 reactor under construction, which could produce plutonium.

    But now we know that – as a result of extreme pressure by Bush-Cheney-Bolton – the EU never even acknowledged this substantial Iranian offer, much less responded to it.

    So as a result of these failures of the EU to negotiate in good faith the Iranians announced in the summer of 2005 they would resume the uranium conversion – subject to IAEA Safeguards – that they had voluntarily suspended.

    Well, Bush-Cheney-Bolton would not let them get away with that.

    So, on February 4, 2006, as a result of strenuous arm-twisting by Bush-Cheney-Bolton, the thoroughly corrupted IAEA Board of Governors outrageously exceeded its authorization, "deeming it necessary" for Iran to;

    o re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
    o reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
    o ratify promptly and implement in full the Additional Protocol;
    o pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol which Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
    o implement transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, including in GOV/2005/67, which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations;

    Bush-Cheney-Bolton hoped that this outrageous "decision" by the IAEA Board, in violation of the IAEA Statute and the UN Charter, would result in Iran withdrawing from the NPT, itself, making its NPT-related Safeguards Agreement null and void.

    But, Iran merely announced it would – henceforth – revert to complying only with its basic Safeguards Agreement.

    Now, when it had offered to voluntarily comply with the Additional Protocol, Iran had apparently modified some of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its basic Safeguards Agreement.

    There have been many loud allegations by Bush-Cheney-Bolton and Obama-Biden-Susan Rice that Iran’s actions since ceasing voluntary compliance with some (but not all) provisions of a never-to-be-ratified Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement constitute "non-compliance" not only with the Agreement, itself, but even with the NPT.

    Wrong!

    Here are excerpts from the opinion offered by the IAEA Secretariat Legal Adviser to the question posed earlier this year by the IAEA Board of Governors with respect to Iran’s reported non-implementation of the November 2003 modification to the Subsidiary Arrangements to Iran’s NPT-related Safeguards Agreement.

    "While Iran’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement, this should be seen in proper context.

    "Given the fact that Article 42 [of Iran's Safeguards Agreement] is broadly phrased and that the old version of Code 3.1 had been accepted as complying with the requirements of this Article for some 22 years prior to the Board’s decision in 1992 to modify it as indicated above, it is difficult to conclude that providing information in accordance with the earlier formulation in itself constitutes non-compliance with, or a breach of, the [NPT-related] Safeguards Agreement as such.

    "Article 19 of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement provides that "if the Board upon examination of the relevant information reported to it by the Director General finds that the Agency is not able to verify that there has been no diversion of nuclear material required to be safeguarded under this Agreement to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, it may make the reports provided for in paragraph C of Article XII of the Statute..:’

    "It is thus for the Board to consider and determine if any action by a State that is inconsistent with its Safeguards Agreement rises to a level where the Agency cannot verify that there is no diversion, in which case the Board has the option to take the actions set out in Article XII.C of the Statute, e.g. report the matter to the Security Council and General Assembly."

    Since ElBaradei will no doubt report next month to the IAEA Board for the umpteenth-plus time that he "continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran," Board members ought to take his word for it.

    Of course, some of them may have previously made an irrevocable pact with the Devil; or Bonkers Bolton."
  4. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance View Post
    Straw men aside, your suggestion is what...? Let a fundamentalist regime run riot in the most volatile and economically important region in the world..? Are you high..?

    I find it ironic that you pontificate about selective attention given you've actually not stated a position beyond, "Check out all this anti-American pro-Iranian **** I googled!"

    If you think there is a better way to address the issues with Iran... I'm all ears champ. Make it your own opinion though and stop hiding behind everyone else's words.
    The point is,as stated in the article, "What Iran really wants is an end to 30-years of U.S. efforts to overthrow its Islamic regime. The U.S. is still waging economic warfare against Iran and trying to overthrow the Tehran government."

    The first thing is to learn from the Iraq mess that is ongoing:

    YouTube - WINTER SOLDIER: JASON WASHBURN

    YouTube - IVAW Winter Soldier CS Q5 Women
  5. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    thanks bro
    YouTube - Racism: Dehumanization - Mike Totten part 01
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    You mean to tell me that you believe the only way Iran could get the US out of their business is via a nuke?

    Whitewash, distort, blah blah
    Read this. Sorry I can't cut and paste it like you do, luther, it's a pdf:

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/li...=&****4aa1fda61

    And:

    Analysis / Will Iran nuke deal bury chances of Israeli attack?
    By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
    Tags: iran nuclear program

    It's no surprise the agreement emerging between Iran and the international community is being greeted in Jerusalem with a grain of salt. It is not easy to be weaned off 15 years of suspicions. Not only does Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not inspire much confidence, the entire Iranian regime has earned a reputation of deceptiveness. It will take a long time for Israel's intelligence community and decision makers to accept an assessment that in Vienna, the Jewish state was saved.

    According to assessments - or perhaps rumors - from Washington this week, an official agreement will be signed this year by U.S. President Barack Obama, or at least Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ahmadinejad, scaling back Tehran's nuclear plans. The International Atomic Energy Agency's announcement Wednesday that the parties had drafted an agreement sparked a wave of enthusiastic reactions. The Iranians' final response to the draft is expected Friday. Judging by the past, the Iranians might try to dilute the red lines into pink: A few more minor requests here and there, right before signing, in order to squeeze a slightly more convenient agreement for Tehran.

    Precisely because an agreement seems to be at hand, Israel is having trouble joining the "positive thinking." From the very beginning of the dialogue with Iran, Jerusalem declared it was optimistic. It expressed full confidence that Obama would make Iran accept a reasonable agreement, and if that fell through, that he would initiate harsh sanctions to force Tehran to surrender.
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    However, Jerusalem remained deliberately cautious and vague in its initial reactions Wednesday. It is still concerned. The agreement still leaves Iran with a loophole to continue deceiving the world; it could still make measured progress, albeit much more slowly, toward nuclear capability. On the other hand, the agreement would tie Israel's hands and prevent it, at least in the near future, from winning international legitimacy for a strike on Iran's nuclear sites.

    The second round of dialogue with Iran was held this week. In the first round, in Geneva on October 1, the negotiators drew up an outline - Iran would send 75 percent of its enriched uranium to Russia, and from there it would be taken to France. After being treated, it would be returned to Iran as fuel rods, which could be used for medical research as well - but not nuclear weaponry. This would keep Iran from enriching uranium to the level necessary for producing a bomb.

    There is a rush to conclude an agreement. Most Western intelligence services believe that by the end of the year, Iran will have enough enriched uranium to produce one or two bombs. At that point, it will be only a few months away from its first nuclear facility (as opposed to a nuclear warhead that can be fitted to a missile, a process that requires more time). American researcher David Albright, a leading expert on nuclear proliferation, says the compromise would buy the West only limited time, as Iran would need a year to reproduce the 1.2 tons of uranium it is being forced to hand over.

    As former National Security Council head Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland predicted in September, the compromise the United States will probably accept is much less convenient for Israel. The Obama administration, which is facing so many burning issues, will be happy to push the matter off the top of its list and focus on dilemmas such as the U.S. deployment in Afghanistan.

    The yet-to-be-signed agreement still has major unknowns. One of the mysteries is the relationship between Ahmadinejad and his patron, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Iranian opposition sources make two points: One is that the West does not realize the full force of the Green Revolution sparked by June's presidential elections, noting that a year and a half of intensive activity was needed to topple the Shah, in 1979. The second argument is that the president has taken a more ideologically belligerent line than his superior and that a major element of this policy involves obtaining a nuclear bomb.

    Obama will surely have to ask himself whether it is desirable to have an agreement that lifts all sanctions on Iran, provides for complete normalization with the West and enhances Ahmadinejad's domestic standing - while leaving loopholes Iran could use to gradually develop nuclear capability, even if it would have to do so at a slower pace. This is what Israel will try to explain to the United States, but it is hard to say whether the Americans will accept the arguments. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's temporary success in "not being a sucker," as he put it, postponing the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and stalling a freeze on settlement construction, probably did not help generate much sympathy for him in Washington.

    Will the agreement bury the chances of an Israeli attack? Theoretically, Netanyahu is bound by his dramatic statements of recent years about not allowing Iran to achieve nuclear capability, especially since he knows the price of a mistake if it turns out the Iranians have managed to fool Obama and produce a bomb. On the other hand, an Israeli strike after an agreement has been reached will not gain even an iota of international support. One must listen to what the American experts say: Israel needs some sort of American consent in order to launch an attack. This would be for various operational reasons related to the bombing itself, as well as the need for backup should Iran retaliate by launching a war. Micronesia's automatic support in the UN General Assembly will probably not help here.

    One could also have hoped for a third development: that the Iranian regime would collapse under a popular uprising. However, the chances of such a development might lessen if, as it seems, the Vienna agreement is perceived as constituting an achievement for Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs, especially since it would be accompanied by the dropping of sanctions.

    That is why Israel and other Western intelligence services will continue to monitor Iranian activities with suspicion, assuming that more lies and deceptions will be uncovered in time. The immediate threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb is being pushed back by at least a year, and 2010 looks somewhat less frightening than it did a few weeks ago. This might lead to a change in the defense establishment's short-term priorities. The focus might shift from the Israel Defense Forces, which would be responsible for an air strike, to the Mossad, which is responsible for diplomatic efforts to thwart Iran's ambitions.

    The Iranian affair is far from over. The intelligence community, the media commentators, perhaps even the pilots, can rest assured: Iran will probably continue to provide enough work for all.

  7. lets just face it, your anti-American and irans president has denied the holocaust, so you are telling me i am suppose to believe him when he says he doesnt want nukes

    HE SAID IRAN WAS GOING TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP
  8. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by beast4 View Post
    lets just face it, your anti-American and irans president has denied the holocaust, so you are telling me i am suppose to believe him when he says he doesnt want nukes

    HE SAID IRAN WAS GOING TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP
    He never said that,you have fallen victim to Fox news again!

    'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century

    by Arash Norouzi

    Media Irresponsibility:

    On December 13, 2006, more than a year after The World Without Zionism conference, two leading Israeli newspapers, the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, published reports of a renewed threat from Ahmadinejad. The Jerusalem Post's headline was Ahmadinejad: Israel will be 'wiped out', while Haaretz posted the title Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'.

    Where did they get their information? It turns out that both papers, like most American and western media, rely heavily on write ups by news wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuters as a source for their articles. Sure enough, their sources are in fact December 12th articles by Reuter's Paul Hughes [Iran president says Israel's days are numbered], and the AP's Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel will be wiped out].

    The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to "Haaretz Service and Agencies." are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed "the Jewish state" to "Israel" in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical.

    The Jerusalem Post article by Herb Keinon pilfers from both the Reuters and AP stories. Like Haaretz, it uses the following Ahmadinejad quote without attribution: ["Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added]. Another passage apparently relies on an IRNA report:

    "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom," Ahmadinejad said at Tuesday's meeting with the conference participants in his offices, according to Iran's official news agency, IRNA.

    He said elections should be held among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner."

    Once again, the first sentence above was wholly plagiarized from the AP article. The second sentence was also the same, except "He called for elections" became "He said elections should be held..."

    It gets more interesting.

    The quote used in the original AP article and copied in the Jerusalem Post article supposedly derives from the IRNA. If true, this can easily be checked.

    There you will discover the actual IRNA quote was:

    "As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated."

    Compare this to the alleged IRNA quote reported by the Associated Press:

    "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom."

    In the IRNA's actual report, the Zionist regime will vanish just as the Soviet Union disappeared. Vanish. Disappear. In the dishonest AP version, the Zionist regime will be "wiped out." And how will it be wiped out? "The same way the Soviet Union was." Rather than imply a military threat or escalation in rhetoric, this reference to Russia actually validates the intended meaning of Ahmadinejad's previous misinterpreted anti-Zionist statements.

    What has just been demonstrated is irrefutable proof of media manipulation and propaganda in action. The AP deliberately alters an IRNA quote to sound more threatening. The Israeli media not only repeats the fake quote but also steals the original authors' words. The unsuspecting public reads this, forms an opinion and supports unnecessary wars of aggression, presented as self defense, based on the misinformation.

    This scenario mirrors the kind of false claims that led to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war now widely viewed as a catastrophic mistake. And yet the Bush administration and the compliant corporate media continue to marinate in propaganda and speculation about attacking Iraq's much larger and more formidable neighbor, Iran. Most of this rests on the unproven assumption that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and the lie that Iran has vowed to physically destroy Israel. Given its scope and potentially disastrous outcome, all this amounts to what is arguably the rumor of the century.

    Iran's president has written two rather philosophical letters to America. In his first letter, he pointed out that "History shows us that oppressive and cruel governments do not survive." With this statement, Ahmadinejad has also projected the outcome of his own backwards regime, which will likewise "vanish from the page of time."

  9. Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    As everyone at the Conference except Chu knew well, it is the United States that has repeatedly violated its obligations, under the NPT, the IAEA Statute and the UN Charter: not Iran."
    Who gives a sh!t? We make the rules. If they don't like it, they can STFU. Frankly, I'm more worried about a rogue nation like Iran violating the rules than the USA. Call it hypocritical all you want, but a different set of standards must apply to countries like this than western civilized nations. Hell with being fair to anyone.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    He never said that,you have fallen victim to Fox news again!

    'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century

    by Arash Norouzi

    Media Irresponsibility:

    On December 13, 2006, more than a year after The World Without Zionism conference, two leading Israeli newspapers, the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, published reports of a renewed threat from Ahmadinejad. The Jerusalem Post's headline was Ahmadinejad: Israel will be 'wiped out', while Haaretz posted the title Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'.

    Where did they get their information? It turns out that both papers, like most American and western media, rely heavily on write ups by news wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuters as a source for their articles. Sure enough, their sources are in fact December 12th articles by Reuter's Paul Hughes [Iran president says Israel's days are numbered], and the AP's Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel will be wiped out].

    The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to "Haaretz Service and Agencies." are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed "the Jewish state" to "Israel" in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical.

    The Jerusalem Post article by Herb Keinon pilfers from both the Reuters and AP stories. Like Haaretz, it uses the following Ahmadinejad quote without attribution: ["Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added]. Another passage apparently relies on an IRNA report:

    "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom," Ahmadinejad said at Tuesday's meeting with the conference participants in his offices, according to Iran's official news agency, IRNA.

    He said elections should be held among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner."

    Once again, the first sentence above was wholly plagiarized from the AP article. The second sentence was also the same, except "He called for elections" became "He said elections should be held..."

    It gets more interesting.

    The quote used in the original AP article and copied in the Jerusalem Post article supposedly derives from the IRNA. If true, this can easily be checked.

    There you will discover the actual IRNA quote was:

    "As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated."

    Compare this to the alleged IRNA quote reported by the Associated Press:

    "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom."

    In the IRNA's actual report, the Zionist regime will vanish just as the Soviet Union disappeared. Vanish. Disappear. In the dishonest AP version, the Zionist regime will be "wiped out." And how will it be wiped out? "The same way the Soviet Union was." Rather than imply a military threat or escalation in rhetoric, this reference to Russia actually validates the intended meaning of Ahmadinejad's previous misinterpreted anti-Zionist statements.

    What has just been demonstrated is irrefutable proof of media manipulation and propaganda in action. The AP deliberately alters an IRNA quote to sound more threatening. The Israeli media not only repeats the fake quote but also steals the original authors' words. The unsuspecting public reads this, forms an opinion and supports unnecessary wars of aggression, presented as self defense, based on the misinformation.

    This scenario mirrors the kind of false claims that led to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war now widely viewed as a catastrophic mistake. And yet the Bush administration and the compliant corporate media continue to marinate in propaganda and speculation about attacking Iraq's much larger and more formidable neighbor, Iran. Most of this rests on the unproven assumption that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and the lie that Iran has vowed to physically destroy Israel. Given its scope and potentially disastrous outcome, all this amounts to what is arguably the rumor of the century.

    Iran's president has written two rather philosophical letters to America. In his first letter, he pointed out that "History shows us that oppressive and cruel governments do not survive." With this statement, Ahmadinejad has also projected the outcome of his own backwards regime, which will likewise "vanish from the page of time."
    More propoganda, nice. I like how the 'article' concentrates on Haaretz and the Jerusalem post, and ignores the fact that 95% of the news in all papers is attributed to the AP and Reuters, and will say as such at the top of the article.

    also, trying to prove that 'two news agencies doctoring their **** is the same as the pre--raq war propoganda, so therefore if the pre-war propoganda was incorrect and iraq was a mistake, so an attack on iran would be a mistake' is childish and naive.

    And iraq wasn't necessarily a mistake. May iraqis would disagree with that idea. What was a mistake was the adoption of rumsfelds doctrine on how the war should be conducted, and ignoring tommy franks plan, that was a collasal mistake.

    The mistake was in implementation, not in the overall goal.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by roids1 View Post
    Who gives a sh!t? We make the rules. If they don't like it, they can STFU. Frankly, I'm more worried about a rogue nation like Iran violating the rules than the USA. Call it hypocritical all you want, but a different set of standards must apply to countries like this than western civilized nations. Hell with being fair to anyone.
    Pretty much. No other country in the world is afraid of being nuked by the us, not even iraq when they knew they were being invaded. Why? We're pretty responsible with out nukes.

    People (ahem luther) whine about the 'threat' of a nuclear israel, and how unfair it is that they have nukes and other ME countries don't. Fact is israel is no threat to anyone that isn't threatening israel, and israel, like the us, france, or britain, would only use nukes as a last resort. You can't say the same about any other ME country, besides perhaps Jordan or Saudi Arabia, the rest are simply too unstable with questionable motives and ideology. Fair doesn't come into the equation. Using terror isn't fair, wahhabist islam isn't fair, etc.

  12. Mohammed ElBaradei, about to retire as director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, pulled a rabbit out of his hat Wednesday, Oct. 21 to save the Vienna talks with Iran on the future of its enriched uranium from breaking down on its third day. He put before the US, France and Russia and Iran a draft proposal and gave them until Friday to come back with their answer.

    The only officials to come smiling out of the aborted meeting were the Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalilee and his aides. But strangely enough, it was greeted with happy applause in the West, from secretary of state Hillary Clinton to Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai, who should have been wise to ElBaradei's machinations by now. Even in Tehran, officials were puzzled by the Western reaction and stressed that the draft had not yet been approved and Iran would not succumb to "Western pressure."

    According to DEBKAfile's sources, the ElBaradei draft allows Iran to ship 1,200 kilos of low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing. It would then go to the IAEA center in Vienna and on to France where the uranium would be converted into fuel rods for the small medical reactor in Tehran to make isotopes.

    By some magic, this proposal "forgot" three UN Security Council resolutions and six-power demands for Iran to give up uranium enrichment. Iran is also suddenly absolved of the obligation to allow UN inspectors to monitor its facilities and not by a single word is Tehran forbidden to process masses of additional enriched uranium after it ships the 1.200 kilos to Russia, or even to make a bomb.

    Tehran is therefore free to infer that all these curbs have been lifted with the concurrence of the six powers with whom it is engaged in nuclear negotiations, as well as the IAEA in the person of its director.

    No wonder Jalilee smiled.

    The IAEA director did not disclose who wrote the document (probably himself). The West appears to have been hoodwinked by yet another ElBaradei ruse. For years, he has maneuvered to get Iran off the hook of international pressure and free to advance on a nuclear weapon undisturbed. This time, paradoxically, an Iranian rejection would save the day.
    debka, for better or worse.

  13. Well said Poison! The issue comes down to responsibility. And for those people that think Iraq was a mistake have never been here and seen or talked with the actual normal Iraqis. These people get quotes from the extremists and think that is everyone's opinion. Ask the normal Iraqi if they miss Saddam. They remember Black Tuesday. These people have hope for the first time in, let me think, CENTURIES.
    Agreed with the complaint on the Rumsfeld doctrine. Thank goodness for guys like GEN Patraeus!
  14. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by poison View Post
    More propoganda, nice. I like how the 'article' concentrates on Haaretz and the Jerusalem post, and ignores the fact that 95% of the news in all papers is attributed to the AP and Reuters, and will say as such at the top of the article.
    You must have missed the part that said

    "Where did they get their information? It turns out that both papers, like most American and western media, rely heavily on write ups by news wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuters as a source for their articles. Sure enough, their sources are in fact December 12th articles by Reuter's Paul Hughes [Iran president says Israel's days are numbered], and the AP's Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel will be wiped out].

    The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to "Haaretz Service and Agencies." are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed "the Jewish state" to "Israel" in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical."
  15. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by poison View Post
    Pretty much. No other country in the world is afraid of being nuked by the us, not even iraq when they knew they were being invaded. Why? We're pretty responsible with out nukes.

    People (ahem luther) whine about the 'threat' of a nuclear israel, and how unfair it is that they have nukes and other ME countries don't. Fact is israel is no threat to anyone that isn't threatening israel, and israel, like the us, france, or britain, would only use nukes as a last resort. You can't say the same about any other ME country, besides perhaps Jordan or Saudi Arabia, the rest are simply too unstable with questionable motives and ideology. Fair doesn't come into the equation. Using terror isn't fair, wahhabist islam isn't fair, etc.
    The Prime Minister of Turkey has a different way of looking at it:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8325373.stm

    "Turkey's prime minister has accused the West of treating Iran unfairly over its nuclear programme.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Britain's Guardian newspaper Western fears Iran wanted to build the bomb were "gossip".

    His comments come as a team from the UN nuclear watchdog continues its inspection of a previously secret uranium plant near the city of Qom.

    Mr Erdogan is due in Tehran for talks with both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country's Supreme Leader.

    The Turkish leader suggested that there was a dual standard in the West's approach towards Iran.

    He said any military strike against Iran would be "crazy".

    Mr Erdogan also said many of the states which objected to any move by Iran to build a nuclear arsenal - including all the permanent members of the UN Security Council - possessed one themselves.

    "There is a style of approach which is not very fair because those [who accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons] have very strong nuclear infrastructures," Mr Erdogan said.

    "So although Iran doesn't have a weapon, those who say Iran shouldn't have them are those countries which do," he added.

    His comments come as world powers await Iran's response to a new proposed deal over its uranium enrichment programme. "
  16. lutherblsstt
    lutherblsstt's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    Well said Poison! The issue comes down to responsibility. And for those people that think Iraq was a mistake have never been here and seen or talked with the actual normal Iraqis. These people get quotes from the extremists and think that is everyone's opinion. Ask the normal Iraqi if they miss Saddam. They remember Black Tuesday. These people have hope for the first time in, let me think, CENTURIES.
    Agreed with the complaint on the Rumsfeld doctrine. Thank goodness for guys like GEN Patraeus!
    Harry Browne said it best:

    http://www.truthaboutwar.org/hb6.shtml


    "Rumsfeld said that Hussein's capture meant that the Iraqis can now be free in spirit, as well as in fact."

    My note: Army Guy says they have "hope" as he defines it.

    "Ah yes, liberated Iraq. It is now a free country. George Bush has liberated it.

    How has Iraq been liberated? Let me count the ways ...

    1.The country is occupied by a foreign power.


    2.Its officials are appointed by that foreign power.


    3.Its citizens must carry ID cards.


    4.They must submit to searches of their persons and cars at checkpoints and roadblocks.


    5.They must be in their homes by curfew time.


    6.Many towns are ringed with barbed wire.


    7.The occupiers have imposed strict gun-control laws, preventing ordinary citizens from defending themselves—making robberies, rapes, and assaults quite common.


    8.Trade with some countries is banned by the occupying authorities.


    9.The occupiers have decreed that certain electoral outcomes won't be permitted.


    10.Families are held hostage until they reveal the whereabouts of wanted resisters—much like the Nazis held innocent French people hostage during World War II.


    11.Protests are outlawed.


    12.Private homes are raided or demolished—with no due process of law.


    13.The occupiers have created a fiat currency and imposed it on the populace.


    14.Newspapers, radio stations, and TV are all supervised by the occupiers.

    This is liberation in the NewSpeak language of politics.

    Words like freedom and hope just don't seem to mean what they used to, do they?

  17. utherblsstt I am truly going to LOVE ripping this garbage apart. Remember bro, love you like a brother, but are you serious??? You lost many brownie points on this one... so, shall we begin??

    utherblsstt says:"

    "Ah yes, liberated Iraq. It is now a free country. George Bush has liberated it.

    How has Iraq been liberated? Let me count the ways ..."

    1.The country is occupied by a foreign power.
    no getting around this one, we are in fact a foreign power... one that kicked the crap out of these guys twice and in less than 100 hours. However, we are STILL HERE because of the Iraqi security agreement that, guess what, the IRAQI'S wrote, not US. I live, work, and eat with these people, and believe me. "They want us on that wall, they need us on that wall."


    2.Its officials are appointed by that foreign power.
    Dude are you for real???? There have been local elections taking place here since 2004, and National elections since 2005. We have NOTHING to do with this. They have billboards, fliers, commercials on TV and Radio, and newspaper adds just like we do in the states. If WE appointed the politicians, believe me... 90% of these corrupt jerks would be out of a job tomorrow! Huge strike on this one bro!

    3.Its citizens must carry ID cards.
    I fail to see the point here. In the states WE carry ID cards. Under Saddam they carried ID cards as well as traveling papers. So now they carry half the crap... you lose. Strike 2 bro!

    4.They must submit to searches of their persons and cars at checkpoints and roadblocks.
    Are you keeping up with what is happening here at all??? for the last few years US forces do less and less. Since the June 30th Security Agreement, WE HAVE NONE!!! The only people who have these are the Iraqis themselves. So are you faulting them for this or did you just not check what the current situation was? I say this again, Coalition Forces have NO checkpoints OR roadblocks!!! Strike 3 bro!

    5.They must be in their homes by curfew time.
    The only time this was ever in effect was when there was an insurgent uprising, and guess what... it was the IRAQI GOVERNMENT who implemented it and (under the request of that government) enforced by Coalition Forces (CF). That was a few years ago and for the protection of the people. Today???? there are NONE enforced by the US. This is an Iraqi issue enforced BY THE IRAQIS. Strike... 4??? I guess these are T-Ball rules

    6.Many towns are ringed with barbed wire.
    Is this a joke??? First of all when we were driving up north and destroying the enemy, Saddam and the Republican Guard put up 90% of these stupid things. We had nothing to do with them and have spent the better part of 5 years getting rid of them at US TAX PAYER DOLLARS!!! But you will never guess, the Iraqi government asks for more wire and barriers EVERY TIME we meet with them. Strike 5 bro

    7.The occupiers have imposed strict gun-control laws, preventing ordinary citizens from defending themselves—making robberies, rapes, and assaults quite common.
    I would love to know who you talked to to get this golden nugget of information. Fact - all households are allowed at least 1 AK-47 with 2 loaded magazines. Fact - 90% of all Iraqis have AT LEAST 1 AK-47 in their homes or vehicles. That is MILLIONS. Dude more people own and carry weapons in Iraq than in all of the US. It's the wild west out here!! I really do wonder where you get these great facts of yours from... strike 5

    8.Trade with some countries is banned by the occupying authorities.
    Dude they belong to the UN and follow the same rules as the US, Japan, and France. If you have a beef with this, talk to the UN, NOT the US forces. We have nothing to do with their stinking trade... strike 6

    9.The occupiers have decreed that certain electoral outcomes won't be permitted.
    The only thing that us "occupiers" won't allow is tampering with ballot boxes. I have personally seen this first hand. A local Sheik will want Ali Hammas to win a provincial council seat and in order to ensure this happens he will have his minions stuff the ballot boxes. It is us and the Iraqi military that keeps this from happening by guarding the boxes. WE are the ones who make sure the elections ARE NOT rigged... please bro!!!! strike 7

    10.Families are held hostage until they reveal the whereabouts of wanted resisters—much like the Nazis held innocent French people hostage during World War II.
    Have you ever participated in a Cordon and Search operation??? No??? I didn't think so. When the COMBINED force, mostly Iraqi force today, goes into a house looking for bad guys, a few things happen. 1 - they are required to have a warrant now for those the wish to arrest signed by a judge. This is as of the June 30th agreement. They can ONLY detain the warranted individuals. Those inside the homes are brought outside and they are questioned. This is not a CF tactic but an Iraqi one. They check IDs and ensure that the operation is smooth. Hostages??? Nazis???? don't you think that is a SLIGHT exaggeration???? come on bro!!!! strike 8

    11.Protests are outlawed.
    Obviously you have never been in an Iraqi city, town, village, or small hut after an election. Strike 9

    12.Private homes are raided or demolished—with no due process of law.
    see number 10 above. strike 10

    13.The occupiers have created a fiat currency and imposed it on the populace.
    are you serious??? dude the first things these guys did in late 04 was print new money to get rid of Saddam's picture. Oh and since we have been here the currency price has gone through the roof. Wish I would have bought 20 mill dinar in 04... I would be a rich man today indeed... strike 11

    14.Newspapers, radio stations, and TV are all supervised by the occupiers.
    do you honestly think that we supervise Al Jazira??? When the infrastructure for TV and Radio started we were there to help opperate the equipment. This training lasted for a year. now, we have nothing to do with it. The Iraqis govern themselves... which is the point I believe. Strike 12... you lose bro

    This lesson in the obvious was brought to you by
    AG

  18. Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Harry Browne said it best:

    http://www.truthaboutwar.org/hb6.shtml


    "Rumsfeld said that Hussein's capture meant that the Iraqis can now be free in spirit, as well as in fact."

    My note: Army Guy says they have "hope" as he defines it.

    "Ah yes, liberated Iraq. It is now a free country. George Bush has liberated it.

    How has Iraq been liberated? Let me count the ways ...

    1.The country is occupied by a foreign power.


    2.Its officials are appointed by that foreign power.


    3.Its citizens must carry ID cards.


    4.They must submit to searches of their persons and cars at checkpoints and roadblocks.


    5.They must be in their homes by curfew time.


    6.Many towns are ringed with barbed wire.


    7.The occupiers have imposed strict gun-control laws, preventing ordinary citizens from defending themselves—making robberies, rapes, and assaults quite common.


    8.Trade with some countries is banned by the occupying authorities.


    9.The occupiers have decreed that certain electoral outcomes won't be permitted.


    10.Families are held hostage until they reveal the whereabouts of wanted resisters—much like the Nazis held innocent French people hostage during World War II.


    11.Protests are outlawed.


    12.Private homes are raided or demolished—with no due process of law.


    13.The occupiers have created a fiat currency and imposed it on the populace.


    14.Newspapers, radio stations, and TV are all supervised by the occupiers.

    This is liberation in the NewSpeak language of politics.

    Words like freedom and hope just don't seem to mean what they used to, do they?
    AG is much more delicate than I. You are a ****ing idiot. You propagandize everything being done in today's environment. I get it, you are completely Anit-Whatever America does. During my time in Iraq, I have seen first hand that EVERY LAST THING you just spoke as "Fact" is blatantly far from the truth. But coming from a website like that, i would expect no less.
    The Historic PES Legend

  19. Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    Well said Poison! The issue comes down to responsibility. And for those people that think Iraq was a mistake have never been here and seen or talked with the actual normal Iraqis. These people get quotes from the extremists and think that is everyone's opinion. Ask the normal Iraqi if they miss Saddam. They remember Black Tuesday. These people have hope for the first time in, let me think, CENTURIES.
    Agreed with the complaint on the Rumsfeld doctrine. Thank goodness for guys like GEN Patraeus!
    Luther thinks Iraqis preferred having daughters raped, fathers 'disappeared', and dissidents wood chipped, to having the US presence. Makes total sense.

    In other news:

    Russia, Iran and the Biden Speech


    Graphic for Geopolitical Intelligence Report

    By George Friedman and Peter Zeihan

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden toured several countries in Central Europe last week, including the Czech Republic and Poland. The trip comes just a few weeks after the United States reversed course and decided not to construct a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in those two countries. While the system would have had little effect on the national security of either Poland or the Czech Republic, it was taken as a symbol of U.S. commitment to these two countries and to former Soviet satellites generally. The BMD cancellation accordingly caused intense concern in both countries and the rest of the region.

    While the Obama administration strongly denied that the decision to halt the BMD deployment and opt for a different BMD system had anything to do with the Russians, the timing raised some questions. Formal talks with Iran on nuclear weapons were a few weeks away, and the only leverage the United States had in those talks aside from war was sanctions. The core of any effective sanctions against Iran would be placing limits on Iran's gasoline imports. By dint of proximity to Iran and massive spare refining capability, the Russians were essential to this effort -- and they were indicating that they wouldn't participate. Coincidence or not, the decision to pull BMD from Poland and the Czech Republic did give the Russians something they had been demanding at a time when they clearly needed to be brought on board.
    The Biden Challenge

    That's what made Biden's trip interesting. First, just a few weeks after the reversal, he revisited these countries. He reasserted American commitment to their security and promised the delivery of other weapons such as Patriot missile batteries, an impressive piece of hardware that really does enhance regional security (unlike BMD, which would grant only an indirect boost). Then, Biden went even further in Romania, not only extending his guarantees to the rest of Central Europe, but also challenging the Russians directly. He said that the United States regarded spheres of influence as 19th century thinking, thereby driving home that Washington is not prepared to accept Russian hegemony in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Most important, he called on the former satellites of the Soviet Union to assist republics in the FSU that are not part of the Russian Federation to overthrow authoritarian systems and preserve their independence.
    Related Link

    * U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on America, Central Europe, and Partnership in 21st Century

    (STRATFOR is not responsible for content from other Web sites.)

    This was a carefully written and vetted speech: It was not Biden going off on a tangent, but rather an expression of Obama administration policy. And it taps into the prime Russian fear, namely, that the West will eat away at Russia's western periphery -- and at Russia itself -- with color revolutions that result in the installation of pro-Western governments, just as happened in Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004-2005. The United States essentially now has pledged itself to do just that, and has asked the rest of Central Europe to join it in creating and strengthening pro-Western governments in the FSU. After doing something Russia wanted the United States to do, Washington now has turned around and announced a policy that directly challenges Russia, and which in some ways represents Russia's worst-case scenario.

    What happened between the decision to pull BMD and Biden's Romania speech remains unclear, but there are three possibilities. The first possibility is that the Obama administration decided to shift policy on Russia in disappointment over Moscow's lack of response to the BMD overture. The second possibility is that the Obama administration didn't consider the effects of the BMD reversal. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the one had nothing to do with the other, and it is possible that the Obama administration simply failed to anticipate the firestorm the course reversal would kick off in Central Europe and to anticipate that it would be seen as a conciliatory gesture to the Russians, and then had to scramble to calm the waters and reassert the basic American position on Russia, perhaps more harshly than before. The third possibility, a variation on the second scenario, is that the administration might not yet have a coordinated policy on Russia. Instead, it responds to whatever the most recent pressure happens to be, giving the appearance of lurching policy shifts.

    The why of Washington decision-making is always interesting, but the fact of what has now happened is more pertinent. And that is that Washington now has challenged Moscow on the latter's core issues. However things got to that point, they are now there -- and the Russian issue now fully intersects with the Iranian issue. On a deeper level, Russia once again is shaping up to be a major challenge to U.S. national interests. Russia fears (accurately) that a leading goal of American foreign policy is to prevent the return of Russia as a major power. At present, however, the Americans lack the free hand needed to halt Russia's return to prominence as a result of commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Kremlin inner circle understands this divergence between goal and capacity all too well, and has been working to keep the Americans as busy as possible elsewhere.
    Distracting Washington While Shoring Up Security

    The core of this effort is Russian support for Iran. Moscow has long collaborated with Tehran on Iran's nuclear power generation efforts. Conventional Russian weapon systems are quite popular with the Iranian military. And Iran often makes use of Russian international diplomatic cover, especially at the U.N. Security Council, where Russia wields the all-important veto.

    Russian support confounds Washington's ability to counter more direct Iranian action, whether that Iranian action be in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq or the Persian Gulf. The Obama administration would prefer to avoid war with Iran, and instead build an international coalition against Iran to force it to back down on any number of issues of which a potential nuclear weapons program is only the most public and obvious. But building that coalition is impossible with a Russia-sized hole right in the center of the system.

    The end result is that the Americans have been occupied with the Islamic world for some time now, something that secretly delights the Russians. The Iranian distraction policy has worked fiendishly well: It has allowed the Russians to reshape their own neighborhood in ways that simply would not be possible if the Americans had more diplomatic and military freedom of action. At the beginning of 2009, the Russians saw three potential challenges to their long-term security that they sought to mitigate. As of this writing, they have not only succeeded, they have managed partially to co-opt all three threats.

    First, there is Ukraine, which is tightly integrated into the Russian industrial and agricultural heartland. A strong Ukrainian-Russian partnership (if not outright control of Ukraine by Russia) is required to maintain even a sliver of Russian security. Five years ago, Western forces managed to short-circuit a Kremlin effort to firm up Russian control of the Ukrainian political system, resulting in the Orange Revolution that saw pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko take office. After five years of serious Russian diplomatic and intelligence work, Moscow has since managed not just to discredit Yushchenko -- he is now less popular in most opinion polls than the margin of error -- but to command the informal loyalty of every other candidate for president in the upcoming January 2010 election. Very soon, Ukraine's Western moment will formally be over.

    Russia is also sewing up the Caucasus. The only country that could challenge Russia's southern flank is Turkey, and until now, the best Russian hedge against Turkish power has been an independent (although certainly still a Russian client) Armenia. (Turkish-Armenian relations have been frozen in the post-Cold War era over the contentious issue of the Armenian genocide.) A few months ago, Russia offered the Turks the opportunity to improve relations with Armenia. The Turks are emerging from 90 years of near-comatose international relations, and they jumped at the chance to strengthen their position in the Caucasus. But in the process, Turkey's relationship with its heretofore regional ally, Azerbaijan (Armenia's archfoe), has soured. Terrified that they are about to lose their regional sponsor, the Azerbaijanis have turned to the Russians to counterbalance Armenia, while the Russians still pull all Armenia's strings. The end result is that Turkey's position in the Caucasus is now far weaker than it was a few months ago, and Russia still retains the ability to easily sabotage any Turkish-Armenian rapprochement.

    Even on the North European Plain, Russia has made great strides. The main power on that plain is the recently reunified Germany. Historically, Germany and Russia have been at each other's throats, but only when they have shared a direct border. When an independent Poland separates them, they have a number of opportunities for partnership, and 2009 has seen such opportunities seized. The Russians initially faced a challenge regarding German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel is from the former East Germany, giving her personal reasons to see the Russians as occupiers. Cracking this nut was never going to be easy for Moscow, yet it succeeded. During the 2009 financial crisis, when Russian firms were snapping like twigs, the Russian government still provided bailout money and merger financing to troubled German companies, with a rescue plan for Opel even helping Merkel clinch re-election. With the Kremlin now offering to midwife -- and in many cases directly subsidize -- investment efforts in Russia by German firms such as E.On, Wintershall, Siemens, Volkswagen and ThyssenKrupp, the Kremlin has quite literally purchased German goodwill.
    Washington Seeks a Game Changer

    With Russia making great strides in Eurasia while simultaneously sabotaging U.S. efforts in the Middle East, the Americans desperately need to change the game. Despite its fiery tone, this desperation was on full display in Biden's speech. Flat-out challenging the Central Europeans to help other FSU countries recreate the revolutions they launched when they broke with the Soviet empire in 1989, specifically calling for such efforts in Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia, is as bald-faced a challenge as the Americans are currently capable of delivering. And to ensure there was no confusion on the point, Biden also promised -- publicly -- whatever support the Central Europeans might ask for. The Americans have a serious need for the Russians to be on the defensive. Washington wants to force the Russians to focus on their own neighborhood, ideally forgetting about the Iranians in the process. Better yet, Washington would like to force the Russians into a long slog of defensive actions to protect their clients hard up on their own border. The Russians did not repair the damage of the Orange Revolution overnight, so imagine how much time Washington would have if all of the former Soviet satellites started stirring up trouble across Russia's western and southern periphery.

    The Central Europeans do not require a great deal of motivation. If the Americans are concerned about a resurgent Russia, then the Central Europeans are absolutely terrified -- and that was before the Russians started courting Germany, the only regional state that could stand up to Russia by itself. Things are even worse for the Central Europeans than they seem, as much of their history has consisted of vainly attempting to outmaneuver Germany and Russia's alternating periods of war and partnership.

    The question of why the United States is pushing this hard at the present time remains. Talks with the Iranians are under way; it is difficult to gauge how they are going. The conventional wisdom holds that the Iranians are simply playing for time before allowing the talks to sink. This would mean the Iranians don't feel terribly pressured by the threat of sanctions and don't take threats of attack very seriously. At least with regard to the sanctions, the Russians have everything to do with Iran's blase attitude. The American decision to threaten Russia might simply have been a last-ditch attempt to force Tehran's hand now that conciliation seems to have failed. It isn't likely to work, because for the time being Russia has the upper hand in the former Soviet Union, and the Americans and their allies -- motivated as they may be -- do not have the best cards to play.

    The other explanation might be that the White House wanted to let Iran know that the Americans don't need Russia to deal with Iran. The threats to Russia might infuriate it, but the Kremlin is unlikely to feel much in the form of clear and present dangers. On the other hand, blasting the Russians the way Biden did might force the Iranians to reconsider their hand. After all, if the Americans are no longer thinking of the Russians as part of the solution, this indicates that the Americans are about to give up on diplomacy and sanctions. And that means the United States must choose between accepting an Iranian bomb or employing the military option.

    And this leaves the international system with two outcomes. First, by publicly ending attempts to secure Russian help, Biden might be trying to get the Iranians to take American threats seriously. And second, by directly challenging the Russians on their home turf, the United States will be making the borderlands between Western Europe and Russia a very exciting place.

    Tell STRATFOR What You Think

    For Publication in Letters to STRATFOR
    Not For Publication

    This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com

  20. I stopped posting in this thread because I think Letterman's Top Ten lists - even after he got caught wearing his intern(s) as a hat(s) - have more credibility than the **** that luther cut and pastes from anti-american media.

    Thread should be renamed "10 things that luther read online telling him what he thinks he knows about Iran but doesn't".

  21. Look, Luther is, if I'm not mistaken, an 'educator', he teaches at an institution of higher learning. This may explain a whole lot, as the trend nowdays is absolute moral ambiguity. He probably see's himself as 'educating' us, or exposing us to a side he believes we hadn't seen or thought of before.

    Problem is, he's using utter hogwash and lies to achieve this, and it doesn't take an educAtion from a place of higher learning to see through it.

  22. I'd rather the pretenses were dropped and we could have a real conversation about it. Rather than just a battle of the verbose cut and pastes.

  23. I dont know if anyone mentioned this but in 2002 Iran offered the US a "grand bargain" in which they would scrap the nuke program in exchange to be taken off the "axis of evil" however they rejected this proposal. My guess is that AIPAC had something to do with it because they have a heavy influence in our foreign policy in the middle east.

  24. YouTube - Iran is not the problem 1 Part 9
    This is a rather interesting documentary on Iran and the US.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by nopeace View Post
    I dont know if anyone mentioned this but in 2002 Iran offered the US a "grand bargain" in which they would scrap the nuke program in exchange to be taken off the "axis of evil" however they rejected this proposal. My guess is that AIPAC had something to do with it because they have a heavy influence in our foreign policy in the middle east.
    Damn Jews! Again? First 9/11, now Iran?


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