Peace in Our Time Awaits?

It all depends on the meaning of sex and is “peace.”
My earlier attempts at analysis are here and here.

Power Line provides an overview here. One part of it is reprinted below:  

5. The Iranian regime never disclosed its uranium enrichment facilities or heavy water reactor. Each was revealed by outsiders. The agreement addresses Iran’s known nuclear facilities with at least one exception. It makes no mention of Parchin, the military facility where Iran is believed by the IAEA to have conducted weaponization research and sought to conceal the evidence. As David Albright and Robert Avagyan wrote earlier this year: “The Parchin site remains of interest to the IAEA due to evidence of pre-2004 activities related to the development of nuclear weapons. Iran is alleged by the IAEA, the United States, and at least three European governments to have had a well-structured nuclear weapons program aimed at building a warhead small enough to fit on the Shahab 3 ballistic missile.” The agreement does not even warrant that Iran has no other dual-use or enrichment or nuclear facilities. Why? [Emphasis added.]

The rest is also well worth reading. Here is my “overview” of many of the aspects of the P5+1 deal.

Inspections

They appear to be inadequate in many respects including that there will be no inspections of Iranian missile and warhead development. Moreover, according to an article at the N.Y. Times,

Supporters of the agreement emphasize that future inspections in Iran will be frequent and strict. But people familiar with the history of past inspections are skeptical, to say the least. If the Iranians decide to deceive the inspectors, they will succeed; they have in the past.

Proponents of the deal also say that it is only a preliminary agreement and that the real fight will take place down the road. The experience of the past several weeks does not inspire optimism

Is Mr. Magoo among the inspectors?

Mr. Magoo

The P5+1 deal provides for “enhanced monitoring” and final arrangements may have whatever the deal ambiguously mentions; or not. Until the specific parameters of inspection are agreed upon, there will be no monitoring pursuant to the deal.

• Enhanced monitoring: 

o Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran’s plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures. [Emphasis added — they have not yet been adopted.]

o Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.

o Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.

o Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of

Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.

o IAEA inspector managed access to: centrifuge assembly workshops

 centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and, 

uranium mines and mills.

Please see below as to when the “deal” starts to take effect and when the inspections may (or may not) begin — some fine day in 2014, maybe.

Pursuant to a different deal with UN inspection group, Iran has invited IAEA to visit the Arak heavy water production facility on December 8th.

Enrichment

As I noted here, the deal recognizes Iran’s “right to enrichment.” Consistently, Iran will produce more, not less, Uranium enriched to 5%.

IRNA quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying machines which were earlier producing 20 percent enriched uranium will be engaged in producing low-level enriched uranium.

Missiles and warheads

President Obama, in His televised remarks on the deal, said

While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments. [Emphasis added.]

See also below on when the deal starts to have such effects, or any other — probably next year.

The P5+1 deal fails to address, or even to mention, Iranian missile and missile related matters. A summary of Iranian missle development to date is provided at the link.

Sophisticated Iranian missile development continues apace.

A top Iranian military leader announced late Tuesday that Iran has developed “indigenous” ballistic missile technology, which could eventually allow it to fire a nuclear payload over great distances.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), made the critical weapons announcement just days after Iran and the West signed a deal aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear activities.

Salami claimed that “Iran is among the only three world countries enjoying an indigenous ballistic missile technology,” according to the state-run Fars News Agency.

North Korea appears to have had substantial success in her own missile development and to have been assisting Iran with hers.

Intelligence reports indicated that as recently as late October Iranian technicians from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), a defense organization that builds liquid-fueled missiles, were in Pyongyang collaborating on the booster development.

SHIG has been sanctioned in the past by both the U.S. government and the United Nations for illicit missile transfers.

U.S. officials said the new booster could be used on both a space launcher and a long-range missile. Iran and North Korea are believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be using their space programs to mask long-range missile development. [Emphasis added.]

Officials said the covert missile cooperation indicates the Iranians are continuing to build long-range strategic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear warheads at the same time they are negotiating limits on illicit uranium enrichment. [Emphasis added.]

Intelligence assessments have said that both countries could test a missile capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear warhead within the next two years.

Henry Sokolski, head of the private Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said he agrees with U.S. special envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies that more pressure should be applied on North Korea to give up its nuclear arms.

“As Glyn Davies put it, if the North Koreans don’t demonstrate that they understand they must fulfill their obligations, then more sanctions pressure will be brought to bear on them,” he said.

“He was speaking of the North Koreans but what’s good for the goose should also be good for the gander—in this case, Iran,” Sokolski said.

John Bolton, undersecretary of state for international security during the George W. Bush administration, said the main purpose of Iranian and North Korean ballistic missile program and their longstanding cooperation “has always been to serve as the delivery vehicle for nuclear weapons.” [Emphasis added.]

According to an article at Arutz Sheva titled Iran, N. Korea Working on ICBM “for Nukes,”

Iran's new medium range missileIranian collaboration with North Korea on a new rocket booster for long-range missiles undermines the recent deal with Tehran on its nuclear program, key Senate and House Republicans said on Tuesday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“While the president was undertaking his secret negotiations—which Congresswasn’t informed of—he had to know Iran and North Korea were testing new engines for ballistic missiles to target the United States,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. [Emphasis added.]

It has become increasingly evident that President Obama’s awareness — except as to congenial domestic political matters which He appears to relish at least until they bite Him on the posterior — does not extend to matters of foreign affairs. It has also become painfully clear that His awareness, domestic and foreign, is unicorn-like rather than realistic.

“Every day the president’s deal looks worse and worse,” Rogers said in response to a report Tuesday revealing that Iran is covertly working with North Korea on a new 80-ton rocket booster that can be used in both nations’ long-range missile programs.

Ted Cruz et al say that the ObamaAdministration ignored NK-Iran cooperation on missile development

“While the president was undertaking his secret negotiations — which Congress wasn’t informed of — he had to know Iran and North Korea were testing new engines for ballistic missiles to target the United States,” said Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, according to The Washington Free Beacon. 

President Obama appears to have ignored all domestic missile development in as well as for Iran; so does the P5+1 deal.

Iran has also made substantial advances in nuke warhead design, but the P5+1 deal also fails to mention Iran’s warheads.

While the world’s leaders are still coming to grips with the enrichment aspect of the Obama administration’s new deal in Geneva to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program, no one has noticed that Iran’s warhead and delivery program remains untouched. [Emphasis added.]

Despite Tehran’s protestations that it has no intention of ever creating a nuclear weapon, Iran, in fact, has been developing a warhead for some 15 years. That design is now near perfect. [Emphasis added.]

Compare Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the use of gunpowder. One stuffs gunpowder into a bullet, loads it into a rifle, and then finds a marksman who can hit the target. Iran has nearly mastered all those steps – but in nuclear terms. Four technological achievements are key to completing Tehran’s nuclear weapon: 1) accretion of enough nuclear materials, highly enriched to weapons grade – that is, about 90 percent; 2) machining that material into metal to create a spheroid warhead small enough to fit into a missile nosecone, where it will be detonated; 3) developing a trigger mechanism to initiate the atomic explosion at the precise moment of missile reentry; and, of course, 4) obtaining a reliable rocket delivery system to carry such a weapon. [Emphasis added.]

Start with the nuclear material. Experts estimate that a single bomb would require approximately 25 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, or HEU, that has been boosted to concentrations of at least 90 percent. Much of Iran’s nuclear enrichment remains at 3.5% and 20% levels. But the numbers are deceiving. Enriching uranium to 3.5% is 75% of the distance needed to reach weapons grade. Once Iran has reached 20%, it has gone 90% of the distance. [Emphasis added.]

Since the “deal” makes no mention of either missiles or warheads, and since it is likely that Uranium already enriched to 90% will be stored where warhead development continues to occur, there will apparently be no way for the IAEA to learn about it.

Today, Iran possesses enough nuclear material for a fast breakout that would finish the job in about six weeks, creating enough material for five or 10 bombs. The current international deal leaves large stockpiles of 3.5% material and the centrifugal ability to quickly enhance to the next level of 20%, which again, is 90% of the distance needed. [Emphasis added.]

Second, that HEU must then be metalized and shaped into a dense spheroid compact enough to fit into a missile nosecone. Iran has mastered the nuclear metallurgy, testing the process by using other high-density metals, such as tungsten. Tungsten objects have been detonated in a special underground chamber to measure its analogous explosive character.[Emphasis added.]

Third, the spheroid must be detonated. Iran’s warhead design employs a R265 shock generator hemisphere drilled with 5mm boreholes filled with the volatile explosive PETN. When triggered with precision, the PETN array can cause a massive synchronized implosion. This will fire an internal exploding bridgewire that will, in turn, actuate an embedded neutron initiator to finally detonate the atomic reaction – and the mushroom cloud. This sequence of devices has already been assembled and tested by Iran. It possesses more than 500 exploding bridgewires on hand, adding more each day. [Emphasis added.]

Fourth, the warhead must be delivered. The Shahab-3 missile nosecone is large enough to accommodate the warhead. The outer radius of the R265 shock generator- wrapped warhead is 550mm, less than the estimated payload chamber diameter of about 600mm. Most of all, the Iranian military has selected the Shahab-3 not only because it possesses a range of 1,200 kilometers but because on re-entry, it can be detonated in an airburst some 600 meters off the ground. The height of 600 meters was used in the Nagasaki explosion. Such a bomb cannot be crashed into the ground. If the nuclear reaction is to ignite, it must be detonated while still airborne. Iran has a small fleet of Shahab-3 missiles.

Hence, Iran’s metronomic accretion of enriched nuclear material is not just an ambiguous physics undertaking.

It is part and parcel of a nuclear attack plan that the international community must be determined to address. Any real deal to halt Iran’s nuclear weapon program must confront not only the easily replenishable gunpowder but also the bullets and rifles that have already been painstakingly assembled to stage the crime of the century. [Emphasis added.]

Perhaps there is no mention of missiles or warheads in November 27th “deal” because they will all be “for peaceful purposes.” Israeli President Perez is said to have found that humorous.

One of the themes of Netanyahu’s speech blasting Iran at the UN in September was to show that a country does not enrich uranium in underground facilities, acquire advanced centrifuges, construct heavy water reactors and build intercontinental ballistic missiles, if it wants nuclear energy for civilian use only.

Or, as President Shimon Peres once quipped, “I understand that the Iranians want medical isotopes, but do they need ballistic missiles to deliver them?”

How many cancer patients does Iran currently have who can be reached with missiles? How many warheads does Iran need to deliver medical isotopes to them?

Effective date for any substance in the November 27 deal

Limitations may be imposed on Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear development, but when do they start? Nobody seems to know, at least at the State Department.

[I]t remains unclear when the clock starts ticking on the deal. The arrangement is supposed to last for six months, giving the U.S., Iran and five other world powers time to try and reach a longer-term accord.

But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, when asked Tuesday when that time period begins, could not say.

“That’s a good question,” Psaki said. She said the “next step” is a series of “technical discussions at a working level so that we can essentially tee up the implementation of the agreement.”

After that is done, the six-month window would start, but she said: “I don’t have a specific timeline for you.”

There is a bit more here.

(Washington, D.C.) — “Iran is currently enjoying a ‘window’ of time before the six-month deal signed in Geneva early Sunday goes into effect, during which it is not bound to take any credible steps toward disabling its ability to produce a nuclear weapon, the State Department acknowledged Tuesday,” reported the Times of Israel. [Emphasis added.]

Apparently, the deal won’t kick in until “early” in 2014.

The UN will probably not begin expanded inspections under last weekend’s Iranian nuclear deal until early next year, officials said Wednesday. Even then, they will be limited to sites the Iranians have confirmed and not those critics suspect may exist secretly. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told The Associated Press on Monday that implementation of the Geneva deal will begin in “a matter of days,” adding: “You’ll begin to see much more intrusive inspections of the Iranian program.”

But officials involved in negotiating the deal say there is still no start date. They say the IAEA must verify that Iran is keeping its end of the deal before the clock starts ticking down on the agreement’s six-month time frame and the start of sanctions relief. [Emphasis added.]

That is likely to push things into next year.

A spokesman for EU chief negotiator Catherine Ashton told AFP that implementation of the deal had not yet taken place. “The actual date for the beginning of the six-month period of the first step has yet to be decided,” Michael Mann, said. “It will also depend on the outcome of technical discussions with Iran about the implementation arrangements that will take place soon.” ‘[Emphasis added.]

The IAEA’s board meets Thursday and Friday, but will not focus on the deal. Diplomats who follow the agency say its head, Yukiya Amano, may not submit a plan on verification to the board for approval until January because of the upcoming holiday period. [Emphasis added.]

Will the board simply accept the plan without further study? I don’t know. However, until “all technical details are worked out,” Iran remains free to do substantially as she pleases.

After all the hype about an interim agreement between Iran and world powers on Sunday, it became clear on Wednesday that the deal is not actually finalized. Not only has the six-month interim agreement not come into effect yet, but also Iran is free to proceed with its military program at full speed until the deal’s final “technical” details have been worked out, as US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki put it. [Emphasis added.}

Most likely, Iran will be able to “proceed with its military program at full speed” even after the “technical details” have been worked out; the military program is not so much as mentioned in the text of the “interim deal.” Is Iran’s “military program” sufficiently unimportant that there is no rush? Remember the “good old days?”

obama We can't wait

Perhaps He was channeling Iran, which seems to have no intention of waiting.

According to Israeli experts, Iran could have viable nukes within as little as thirty-six days.

The report states that Iran is likely to fire up their 18,000 centrifuges and produce a nuclear bomb in the event that the Islamic Republic sees the golden opportunity to do so – deal or no deal. A nuclear warhead would then be ready in as little as 36 days.

That the “deal” will not become effective until “all technical deals are worked out” provides a “golden opportunity.”

According to the agreement, Iran will be forced to dilute about half of its uranium below the 20% enrichment rate, leaving the second half intact. The agreement also allows Iran to continue enriching the unenriched uranium left in their possession – about 8 tons – to the low rate of 3.5% enrichment.

While these figures sound low to the uninitiated, experts claim that those enrichment rates are still enough to produce 5 nuclear warheads. Another problem: the Iranians do not have the resources to reduce their already-enriched uranium. [Emphasis added.]

Meanwhile, the US has declared their support for the Iranian to “continue building” their nuclear reactor in Arak. The support is based on terms which prevent Tehran from producing nuclear fuel, or using the heavy water reactor; however, these cannot be constantly monitored, experts claim.

If the Israeli analysis is correct, or close to correct, and the analyses of Iran’s missile and warhead development are as well, Iran will soon be able — very soon — to convert whatever nuclear materials she needs into warheads to mate with her existing or developing missiles.

Arab states are likely to go nuclear as well.

The explicit and implicit intentions behind the nuclear deal the P5+1 goup reached with Iran and its ultimate goal should not be a big  concern for Arab countries, particularly those allied under the so-called “axis of moderation” comprising Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and most Gulf states.

For these countries,  the agreement with Iran – nowadays-promoted as “historic” – and its undeniable political implications should mean one thing – the Arab world is now geopolitically rivaled by the two internationally-recognized nuclear powers – Israel from the west and now Iran from the east. [Emphasis added.]

For the oil-rich Arab states and their allies, Jordan and Egypt, the simplest way to alleviate such an “internationally-accredited” challenge and consequently keep balanced within the Middle East’s political and military rivalry is to invest in large-scale, covert nuclear programs for peaceful or even military purposes. [Emphasis added.]

This might be interpreted by many as pure deviation or tendency to “madness” – the term always attached to nuclear weapons – but with regard to the unprecedented geopolitical pressure resulting from the deal with Iran, “going nuclear” might be the best mechanism for the massively-rivaled Arabs.

Conclusion

President Obama needed a “breakthrough” as His road map to finding rehabilitation from the unpleasantness produced by His signature initiave, ObamaCare, and His other scandals as well; most any breakthrough would have sufficed for His purposes, and peace in the Middle East clearly would be useful to that end. However, Iran views the deal as a great breakthrough for Iran.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security, which aired on Al-Alam TV on November 25, 2013:

Alaeddin Boroujerdi: [The nuclear deal] is very important, because by now, the Islamic Republic controls all aspects of nuclear science, from A-Z, from the very beginning all the way to uranium enrichment. This is why the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution talked about heroic flexibility. After ten years, we have emerged victorious over the West. [Emphasis added.]

They wanted to prevent us from acquiring nuclear technology, but we have reached that point, having sacrificed martyrs, and having persevered on that path, enduring an economic siege. Now we have emerged victorious heroes. It was in our best interest to sign this agreement.

The Americans reached the conclusion that it would be futile to continue with their policy of confronting the Islamic Republic – a policy that was leading them nowhere. They wanted to prevent Iran from enriching uranium, but we have attained this technology and we are currently using it. Therefore, the Americans changed their policy from confronting Islamic Iran to dealing with it.

We have now entered a new stage. We expect good results. The nuclear dossier will be removed from the agenda of the UN Security Council, and they will officially acknowledge… In fact, they have acknowledged Iran’s uranium enrichment.

In addition, the economic siege on the Islamic Republic will be lifted.

It is not a “win – win” deal; it is a win for Iran and her nuclear program — military as well as peaceful — and a loss for the United States and her former(?) allies. I seem to recall a quote, maybe (but maybe not) from Winston Churchill, when shown an ugly new baby by his proud parents: “Now that’s a baby.” In the same spirit, it might be said of the P5+1 deal, “Now that’s a deal!” Except that it does not even appear to be a “deal” at all.

President Obama, who set out to “transform” the United States, has also managed to “transform” the Middle East.

In June 2009 Obama made a much heralded speech in Cairo in which he called for a new beginning with Muslims . He insisted that the top representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned party in Egypt, be invited to attend. Mubarak, in protest, did not attend.“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Little did we know what tangible form this would take. But we did know that he intended to defend Islam both at home and abroad.

“And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Since then he has done his best to live up to this assumed responsibility by imposing a speech code which totally masks the reality and the truth.

While there may be peace in some valley some fine day, the valley is not in in the Middle East and the fine day appears to be far off. President Obama, regardless of whatever good intentions (if any) he may have had, has brought peace no closer and has proably made it far more remote than when He ascended to His post throne.

Obama Post Turtle

As we wait for peace to break out, here are some fatwas that are probably more amusing for us than for the women and girls to whom they apply. I thought this was among the most amusing.

When a woman goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when “the water touches the woman’s private parts, she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”

UPDATE — November 30th. H/t 1389 blog

You decide.

UPDATE  November 30th

Senator Bob Corker (R, TN) has proposed legislation to fill some of the holes in the P5+1 “deal.” These are among the most important:

The bill would require that a final agreement include the full suspension of all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities; full suspension of all heavy-water (plutonium-related) activities; a cessation of all construction of uranium enrichment and heavy-water facilities; full compliance with the IAEA’s monitoring and inspection activities; full access to certain military nuclear-related facilities; full suspension of ballistic missile and nuclear delivery activities; a full accounting of all nuclear weaponization activities; and full suspension of all nuclear weaponization activities. [Emphasis added.]

Although when he floated it initially, Corker’s bill seemed to be a non-starter in the Democrat-controlled Senate, it now reflects growing critiques of the P5+1 interim deal.

The day after the deal was announced, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) voiced his displeasure with the agreement, complaining that through it, “Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions.”

Should it pass the Congress, President Obama is likely to veto it. Even then, it will call attention to problems.

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About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
This entry was posted in 2014, Ambassador Bolton, Appeasement, Atomic bomb, Bill Whittle, Iran, Iranian Election, Islamic rage, Israel, John Kerry, Khamenei, Kiking the can down the road, Libruls, Middle East, Military, Netanyahu, New Deal, North Korea, North Korean missiles, Nuclear weapons, Obama, Obama's America Now, P5+1, Peace and Love, Political class, Politics, Power Line, Rouhani, Saudi Arabia, Under the Radar, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Peace in Our Time Awaits?

  1. Pingback: King Barack, Sir John and a great nuke deal — for Iran | Part I |

  2. Pingback: King Barack, Sir John and a great nuke deal — for Iran | Part I | danmillerinpanama

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  17. bliffle says:

    This is a poor article. Mostly quotes from partisan republican politicians, plus the red herring of Obamacare.

    Also, it tries to tie together the Nokos and the Iranians, which is bogus. They are separated by great distance and have nothing in common. Plus, the Nokos are way ahead of Iran in weaponry and they have a million man army (being in the army is the only way to get a square meal in Noko). The Noko population, for the most part, is ignorant, culturally deprived, and oppressed. Iranians are pretty well educated, cosmopolitan, and has access to some perks of freedom.

    IMO, since the Nokos are bullies, it’s legit to use a certain amount of bullying on them. It’s what the leadership understands best. It pays to take a very tough attitude toward them so they realize the futility of their constant antagonism and they have to pay a high cost, which is pretty cheap for us to apply.

    But Iran is different. Iran is a country with civilized history that has had a taste of freedom (until that raving idiot Allen Dulles had the CIA invade Iran in 1953 and depose and assassinate their elected president, Mossadegh justifying it with McCarthyism, replacing the elected leader with a crooked oppressor, the Shah, which somebody thought would be easier to control because he was so venal, like many of our favorite politicians in the USA).

    My idea is that we should keep constant gentle pressure on Iran (while avoiding the bloodthirsty Israeli notion of constant war, in fact we should be the Good Cop to their Bad Cop). If we keep constant low-level pressure on Iran across a full spectrum of relationships (using an army of diplomats and negotiators armed with pens and briefcases rather than rockets and rifles, which saves a lot of money as well as lifes) then as the people of Iran consider their needs and opportunities they become more willing to sacrifice some war stances for some peace stances.

    Yes, we always have to pose Israel as a vital USA interest that we will not desert, at the same time that we make it plain to everyone (including US citizens) that US policy is NOT set in Tel Aviv but in Washington. We don’t let the tail wag the dog.

    IMO the republicans have behaved disgracefully in this business, purely using this business for advancing republican positions while sacrificing US interests. That borders on disloyalty.

    The USA has a long history, now, of navigating troubled waters around the world, so we have a huge corps of experienced diplomats and international politicians who we trained at great expense and they are fire-hardened through the years of the cold war and the smaller wars we’ve enngaged in the last many years. We are far more experienced than the Iranians, so we should be able to lead to US-favorable solutions. To that end, the republicans must stop this mad plan of blocking all presidential appointments in congress. I hate to say it, but the reps should follow the lead of the dems after 9/11/2011. It’s irresponsible to use a big foreign policy as a stage for bragging and threatening and strutting around. The welfare of the USA is at stake, and that should be the goal of every American politician.

  18. Pingback: Iran does not trust us but we must trust them. | danmillerinpanama

  19. Tom Carter says:

    There is only one two-step solution to all this, belated as it may be: Elect strong Republican majorities in Congress in 2014, and elect a Republican president in 2016. This is not to say that Republican politicians are much better than Democrats; they’ll just head us in the other direction for a while.

    In the meantime, we face a strong possibility of widespread Iraeli-led and Saudi-supported attacks against Iran, followed possibly by a general conflagration in the Middle East. But Obama’s not too worried about that because he has high hopes that he can get one website working at home before all that happens.

    Oj vey!

    • bliffle says:

      We had strong republican government in 2000 and look at the mess they got us into! A totally unnecessary war in Iraq, and a mostly unnecessary war in Afgthanistan ( we would have done better by sending in 10,000 special forces troops and grabbing OBL when we had a chance. There was NO Need for total war with the Afghans, a demonstrably poor move!) Plus, they wrecked the economy!

      The only party I’ve ever belonged to is the republicans, and I voted for W in 2000! But now all I see in the rep party is a sea of opportunists who’d sell the country for 20 pieces of silver (marked down from 30 pieces because cutting price is the only thing they know about business!)

  20. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:
    Syria: Islamists Attacking Christian Children, Schools In An Effort To Rid Country Of Christianity

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