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road kill
02-20-2012, 12:13 PM
Obama Nears His Nuclear Moment
By Edward Luce
At the start of Barack Obama’s term, few moments better crystallised America’s change of face than his “New Day” video address to the Iranian people. Ending with a salutation in Farsi, Mr Obama offered Iran a new era of “co-operation”. It followed from the promise in his inaugural address to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”.

Unhappily, Tehran has ignored Mr Obama’s overtures. Not only is Iran thought to be within striking distance of how Israel defines its “zone of immunity” – the point at which Iranian nuclear weapons capability is irreversible – it has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz. Nothing spells global recession faster than $200-a-barrel oil prices. And nothing will bring a colder sweat to Mr Obama’s electoral strategists than the thought of conflict with Iran.

Yet that is what many in Washington are now calling a “probability”. Some White House officials have referred to 2012 as the “year of Iran”. It was supposed to be dominated by the US economy. Might it instead be the moment Mr Obama takes that 3am phone call?

Many fear so. Some, including the New America Foundation’s Steve Clemons, talk about Mr Obama’s impending “Cuban missile crisis”. Much as Nikita Khrushchev misread John F. Kennedy as a pushover, and then tested his brinkmanship over Cuba, so Mr Obama is perceived by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, to be susceptible to intimidation.

Mr Netanyahu – Mr Obama’s least favourite foreign leader – visits Washington in two weeks. The build-up to his March 6 speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee has brought a flurry of leaks that Israel’s fuse is shortening by the day. The zone of impunity is looming, people say. “Everything, from Iran’s nuclear timetable to Israel’s red lines, points to some kind of Iran reckoning before November,” says Mr Clemons. “It does not mean war necessarily, but the status quo cannot hold for long.”

Even if, as signalled last week, Iran is sincere in wanting to hold talks with the west, which would supplant war speculation for a while, Mr Obama’s Republican opponents will keep it on the front burner. On Wednesday they hold the first presidential debate in three weeks. As in previous ones, commercial breaks are likely to air a spot calling on Mr Obama to remove the MEK – the Mujahideen e-Khalq, the armed Iranian opposition group – from the US list of foreign terrorist organisations.

The MEK is believed to have carried out the recent assassinations of Iranian scientists on Israel’s behalf. Its US front organisations have paid hefty speaking fees to dozens of prominent figures, from Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, to Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Many of the Republican candidates also support lifting the ban.

Then there is Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gaming mogul, whose $10m donation to a “super-political action committee” has kept Newt Gingrich in the Republican race. Mr Adelson, who is worth an estimated $22bn, has said he would fully support whoever was the Republican nominee. There are no limits on what Mr Adelson can spend to influence the general election. The Obama campaign is still informally hoping to raise $1bn – less than five per cent of Mr Adelson’s wealth.

In contrast to most Americans, who know of Mr Adelson through his super-Pac largesse, Israelis see him as one of Mr Netanyahu’s closest allies. Mr Adelson owns Israel Hayom (Israel Today), the influential daily newspaper, which is a strident Netanyahu supporter. “Netanyahu is a Republican,” says Daniel Levy, a former adviser to Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister. “Sheldon Adelson is his friend.”

Mr Adelson’s impact on the Republican debate has been direct. On most issues candidates have been driven by grassroots sentiment. On Iran, Mr Adelson leads a smaller electorate. It does not come in pastel shades. “If Obama is re-elected, Iran will get a nuclear weapon,” says Mr Romney, who last week had what was described as a friendly meeting with Mr Adelson. “If you elect me Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”

Beyond the often surreal quality of the domestic US debate on Iran, Mr Obama has in reality assembled the toughest sanctions the country has ever faced, which will only tighten as the year progresses. In July the US and Europe will impose a full embargo on Iranian oil. More isolated than ever, Iran is showing growing signs of stress. Would now be the right time to consider war?

As is often the case with Israel, the true narrative may be very different to the one on the surface. “If Israel were planning a strike on Iran they wouldn’t be talking about it all the time,” says Moises Naim, a respected foreign policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Strikes are meant to be a surprise.”

When push comes to shove few can imagine Mr Obama ordering a strike on Iran, or giving the green light to Israel. The results could be disastrous and Mr Obama is not a reckless man. Yet it may suit his purposes for Iran to believe in that possibility. Politics also dictates that Mr Obama must avoid a fallout with Israel during an election. People point to an Iran conflict as a “black swan” that could derail Mr Obama’s re-election chances. But the real surprise may be how famously Mr Obama and Mr Netanyahu appear to get along.


How will this play out??


RK

road kill
02-20-2012, 12:18 PM
MORE----



Iranian warships dock at Syrian port after crossing Suez Canal


The vessels - a destroyer and a supply ship - are to provide maritime training to Syria's navy under an agreement between the two countries, according to the report.



The warships reached the Syrian city of Tartous, northwest of the capital Damascus, after crossing the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

The crossing was the second in a year by Iranian warships, Iran's navy chief said.

Last February, the Iranian frigate Alvand and the supply ship Kharg entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, for the first time since 1979.


Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari told the official news agency IRNA that the latest initiative was to show Iran's naval power and "deliver the message of peace to the nations of the region and the world."

The move was being closely watched by Israel, who last year criticized Egypt for allowing the Iranian vessels to cross the waterway.

Iran is locked in fresh tensions with world powers over its controversial nuclear program.


The plot thickens.

Maybe if we are nice to them they will be nice back!!!:D


RK

Franco
02-20-2012, 12:45 PM
boom boom boom boom boom..that's the sound of wars drums coming from the far right-winged media.

Nothing would make the Military Industrial Complex, Wall St, Israelis, and Saudis (15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis) happpier than to see the USA take military action against thier common enemy, Iran.

Between the Israelis and the Saudis, they have more than enough arms and munitions to handle the Iranians if they wanted to.

Though China doesn't want us to get involved, I'm sure they would be more than delighted to lend us the money for yet another war at a interest rate of their choosing;-)

Here is Jim Powell of the CATO Inst take on the subject.
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=14071

road kill
02-21-2012, 08:33 AM
Iran Threatens Pre-emptive Action Amid Nuclear Tensions
'If we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions'
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying Tuesday.

Iran announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate.

The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear program.

The official news agency IRNA said the four-day air defense war games, dubbed "Sarallah," or "God's Revenge," were taking place in the south of the country and involve anti-aircraft batteries, radar, and warplanes.

CSM: What would happen if Iran did get the bomb?

The drill will be held over 73,000 square miles near the port of Bushehr, the site of Iran's lone nuclear power plant.

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Iran has held multiple air, land, and sea maneuvers in recent months as the tensions increase.

Hejazi's remarks came as an Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that a United Nations' team visiting Iran had no plans to inspect the country's nuclear facilities and would only hold talks with officials in Tehran.

US, UK urge Israel not to attack Iran

The remarks by Ramin Mehmanparast cast doubt on how much the U.N. inspectors would be able to gauge whether Iran is moving ahead with its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The two-day visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency team, which started Monday, is the second in less than a month amid growing concerns over alleged Iranian weapons experiments.


Burrow deeper into the sand, maybe it will go away!!

RK

paul young
02-21-2012, 08:58 AM
MORE----



The plot thickens.

Maybe if we are nice to them they will be nice back!!!:D


RK

if the Rear Admiral wants to kiss his azz (and his Navy) goodbye, he will provoke a naval war with us. it would be over in about an hour.......-Paul

menmon
02-21-2012, 04:15 PM
Burrow deeper into the sand, maybe it will go away!!

RK

Franco and I don't agree on much but I agree with him on this. If we enter another war they my as well have nucked us because the financial burden will destroy us.

Funny how we have no problem spending trillions on wars and can't afford to give our neighber an asprin when he has a cold.

Gerry Clinchy
02-21-2012, 04:38 PM
Agree with Franco ... the Saudis have a lot to lose in this game. They should pony up. Ironic that the interests of Israel and the Saudis should coincide?

road kill
02-21-2012, 05:49 PM
Agree with Franco ... the Saudis have a lot to lose in this game. They should pony up. Ironic that the interests of Israel and the Saudis should coincide?

Idealistically, great thought.
But there is that ugly little thing called reality.

And the Saudi's ponying up is not likely to happen.

The bigger question is what will the leader of the free world do??


RK

Franco
02-22-2012, 06:28 AM
Nothing more than Sabre rattling, the N Koreans do it all the time.

Hopefully, the leader of the free world will ignore it and not fall into the righted-winged paranoia trap.

cotts135
02-22-2012, 03:51 PM
Burrow deeper into the sand, maybe it will go away!!

RK

Hey so what, along with Israel we are constantly threatening them with a pre emptive strike.

Just sayin

road kill
02-22-2012, 03:54 PM
Hey so what, along with Israel we are constantly threatening them with a pre emptive strike.

Just sayin

Are you seriously equating what Israel and the USA do with their nuclear weapons with what Iran claims they will do???


Just askin'.........


RK

mudminnow
02-23-2012, 08:21 AM
I still have not heard a good case for why the Iranians should not be able to have nukes. Many countries have them, only one has used them. The only foreign policy that has worked the past sixty years is the idea of "mutually assured destruction". We should stay out of it because we a re just making it worse...since the 1950's

cotts135
02-23-2012, 02:23 PM
Are you seriously equating what Israel and the USA do with their nuclear weapons with what Iran claims they will do???


Just askin'.........


RK

Completely different issue. Just talking about the threats.

road kill
02-23-2012, 02:30 PM
Completely different issue. Just talking about the threats.

Are you comfortable with Iran having nukes?

RK

cotts135
02-23-2012, 06:34 PM
Are you comfortable with Iran having nukes?

RK

Of course not.

Franco
02-25-2012, 05:58 AM
According to this story in this morning's Los Angeles Times, Iran is NOT pursuing a nuclear bomb.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-intel-20120224,0,5827032.story


More from a related article;

To that end, the following are six questions reporters should ask of anyone advocating military action against Iran:
Q. America has not had a diplomatic presence in Iran for three decades. As such, much of our knowledge relies on intelligence. Given the controversy over our intelligence on Iraq, how are we factoring in and addressing the uncertainty of intelligence on Iran's nuclear program?
Q. What are the views of the Iranian people in regards to a potential war and the current sanctions regime? Is this current path helping us win or lose hearts and minds in Iran?
Q. What are the forces behind Iran's nuclear program? Could one factor be a desire for a nuclear deterrence due to a sense of insecurity and threat? If so, how can we affect Iran's sense of need for a nuclear deterrence? Does the increasingly bellicose and confrontational approach of the West actually increase Tehran's desire for nuclear deterrence?
Q. The U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons. Israel has hundreds. Iran currently has a mighty arsenal of zero nuclear weapons. The U.S. has successfully deterred Iran for more than three decades. Why are we assuming that suddenly, deterrence will not work with Iran anymore?
Q. The U.S. military leadership does not believe Israel has an effective military option when it comes to unilaterally destroying Iran's nuclear sites. A tense exchange is currently playing out in public between the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military, with Israeli officials accusing Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey of having "served Iran's interests." What lies behind the starkly diverging views of the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military on Iran?
Q. According to the Congressional Research Service, total war-related funding for Iraq has exceeded $800 billion -- an average of approximately $100 billion per year. With these numbers in mind -- and at a time of over 8 percent unemployment and unprecedented government bailouts -- how will we pay for a war with Iran?
Looking back at America's recent wars, the American people trusted that their elected leaders accurately assessed the pros and cons of their policies. It didn't take long before protracted quagmires collapsed that trust. With the notable exception of neoconservatives, most Americans eventually realized the sad truth: their leaders didn't have a plan beyond bombing; they knew little if anything about the country in question; and they failed to conduct a realistic cost assessment -- in both blood and treasure -- of the endeavor. By the time Americans realized all of this, the damage had already been done.
Avoiding another war of choice will require a media that digs beyond agenda-driven analysis and prevents the debate from being curtailed. It will require a media that doesn't permit a question of life and death to be framed in a simplistic manner that leaves the U.S. with a false choice of either bombing Iran or accepting an Iranian bomb. It is the responsibility of reporters -- not congressmen, senators, neoconservatives or foreign governments -- to not only get answers to their questions, but also to define the questions properly.
On Iraq, the mainstream media did not ask the right questions until disaster was a reality. On Iran, those questions need to be asked now so that disaster can be avoided

Uncle Bill
02-26-2012, 12:47 PM
According to this story in this morning's Los Angeles Times, Iran is NOT pursuing a nuclear bomb.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-intel-20120224,0,5827032.story


More from a related article;

To that end, the following are six questions reporters should ask of anyone advocating military action against Iran:
Q. America has not had a diplomatic presence in Iran for three decades. As such, much of our knowledge relies on intelligence. Given the controversy over our intelligence on Iraq, how are we factoring in and addressing the uncertainty of intelligence on Iran's nuclear program?
Q. What are the views of the Iranian people in regards to a potential war and the current sanctions regime? Is this current path helping us win or lose hearts and minds in Iran?
Q. What are the forces behind Iran's nuclear program? Could one factor be a desire for a nuclear deterrence due to a sense of insecurity and threat? If so, how can we affect Iran's sense of need for a nuclear deterrence? Does the increasingly bellicose and confrontational approach of the West actually increase Tehran's desire for nuclear deterrence?
Q. The U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons. Israel has hundreds. Iran currently has a mighty arsenal of zero nuclear weapons. The U.S. has successfully deterred Iran for more than three decades. Why are we assuming that suddenly, deterrence will not work with Iran anymore?
Q. The U.S. military leadership does not believe Israel has an effective military option when it comes to unilaterally destroying Iran's nuclear sites. A tense exchange is currently playing out in public between the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military, with Israeli officials accusing Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey of having "served Iran's interests." What lies behind the starkly diverging views of the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military on Iran?
Q. According to the Congressional Research Service, total war-related funding for Iraq has exceeded $800 billion -- an average of approximately $100 billion per year. With these numbers in mind -- and at a time of over 8 percent unemployment and unprecedented government bailouts -- how will we pay for a war with Iran?
Looking back at America's recent wars, the American people trusted that their elected leaders accurately assessed the pros and cons of their policies. It didn't take long before protracted quagmires collapsed that trust. With the notable exception of neoconservatives, most Americans eventually realized the sad truth: their leaders didn't have a plan beyond bombing; they knew little if anything about the country in question; and they failed to conduct a realistic cost assessment -- in both blood and treasure -- of the endeavor. By the time Americans realized all of this, the damage had already been done.
Avoiding another war of choice will require a media that digs beyond agenda-driven analysis and prevents the debate from being curtailed. It will require a media that doesn't permit a question of life and death to be framed in a simplistic manner that leaves the U.S. with a false choice of either bombing Iran or accepting an Iranian bomb. It is the responsibility of reporters -- not congressmen, senators, neoconservatives or foreign governments -- to not only get answers to their questions, but also to define the questions properly.
On Iraq, the mainstream media did not ask the right questions until disaster was a reality. On Iran, those questions need to be asked now so that disaster can be avoided


How lovely, Franco. You wouldn't believe your own Mother if she was against anything stated by RP, but you guppy up to a LA MSP report about Iran???? With friends like you, we need very few enemies.

If all the candy-azzes on this BB were threatened 1/10th as much as the Israelis are, you'd hear a completely different outcry of whining and moaning, because their ox was being gored.

While I've never walked a mile in their shoes, I wouldn't spend one day in Israel...but then, I wouldn't be found in LA, NYC, Chicago, or Detroit either.

UB

Franco
02-26-2012, 01:20 PM
"U.S. intelligence agencies don't believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb."


UB, if you have other more reliable intel than what the various U S intelligence agencies have, please share it with us;-)

Uncle Bill
02-26-2012, 02:02 PM
"U.S. intelligence agencies don't believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb."


UB, if you have other more reliable intel than what the various U S intelligence agencies have, please share it with us;-)


So, once again, you are wanting it both ways! The "U.S. Intelligence agencies didn't know squat when advising GWB"...but look how they have suddenly gotten irreproachable evidence that you have no doubt about when it comes to absolutely knowing what Iran is doing with their nukes.

It doesn't bother you in the least that Iran has not allowed any inspections concerning their program of nuke construction? The little dictator sez he's doing it all for electricity etc., while the religious leadership continues to wail away at how they will wipe every Jew from the face of the earth, and you believe there's no war mongering, and all is just dandy because they said so????

And I should believe you and your candidate will keep my grandkids safe should your crowd hold the White House? Sorry. Just consider me slightly skeptical.

UB

Uncle Bill
02-26-2012, 02:46 PM
Actually, as long as we have this type of technology, it's probably safe to say, My grandkids and their future siblings should be safe from most 'wars'. It's the terrorist attacks from within, along with the possibility of anarchy in the cities that has me more worried.


This is a real piece of work that should give us all confidence in our nations ability to keep the enemy at bay.

BTW, Paul, if this is some of your handiwork, more power to you. You have every right to be damned proud. My congrats to you.

UB





The USS Stenis -- fascinating aircraft carrier. This video shows the pilots taking off -- including the F-18 Hornets whose pilots are not allowed to touch the controls until after launch -- the onboard computer does it all. The Naval Captain says he has a larger Air Force on board the carrier than 70% of all countries.
Clic :
http://www.dump.com/2011/04/16/one-us-aircraft-carrier-has-a-more-powerful-air-force-than-70-of-all-countries-video/

Franco
02-26-2012, 03:16 PM
My comments are in red.


So, once again, you are wanting it both ways! The "U.S. Intelligence agencies didn't know squat when advising GWB"...but look how they have suddenly gotten irreproachable evidence that you have no doubt about when it comes to absolutely knowing what Iran is doing with their nukes.
The GWB Administration was looking for any reason to invade Iraq and forced the issue by only looking at what they wanted to!

It doesn't bother you in the least that Iran has not allowed any inspections concerning their program of nuke construction? I wouldn't either, if I was a leader I'd say that it none of anyone's buisness. We don't go looking for Arab consent when we build anything nuclear. Besides, Iran doesn't have nuclear ships surrounding the USA. It is called "high stakes diplomacy". The little dictator sez he's doing it all for electricity etc., while the religious leadership continues to wail away at how they will wipe every Jew from the face of the earth, and you believe there's no war mongering, and all is just dandy because they said so???? Little guys always rattle sabres. See N Korea. What about Pakistan's nukes? Old nukes from the USSR that are missing? Lots of things to be concerned with and attacking Iran isn't one that would serve us!

And I should believe you and your candidate will keep my grandkids safe should your crowd hold the White House? Sorry. Just consider me slightly skeptical.

He would make if safer. RP would not cut Defense. He would cut the Military war budget.

UB