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Total number of comments: 91 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:51)


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  • Iran's Khamenei blames Early English Learning for Unrest, Bans Classes
    • English continues to be taught in Iran at secondary level in public schools, as usual, and the decision to "ban" English in primary schools only applied to private schools that were offering English as a marketing ploy to attract more wealthy parents. This had nothing to do with "cultural invasions" and of course people are perfectly free to take private English language tutors too.

      A story that actually is about a rising middle class and their expectations, is spun as "backward Iran repressing its people"

      Don't fall for the spin so easy.

  • Can we survive Trump's Rage-Based Iran Policy?
    • The fact is that the Iranians had repeatedly made better compromise offers on their nuclear program which the US ignored or actively undermined, in favor of using the "Iranian nuclear threat" as yet another pretext to impose regime change there, just like "WMDs in Iraq" was a lie and pretext too. This standoff was never really about nukes at all.

  • Is Israeli military using Barak in struggle w/ Netanyahu over Iran Deal?
    • Actually destruction of the centrifuges would not have released a great deal of radioactivity. 3.5% enriched uranium is not very dangerous, the radiation is blocked by natural fibers such as the paper protective clothing worn when handling the stuff. The gas in the centrifuges is corrosive, but would have quickly dissipated due to the inverse square law. Which is why the idea of a dirty bomb is Hollywood fantasy. In any case what would have been the point of bombing a known, IAEA-monitored site if instead Iran supposedly had "undeclared facilities" where the supposed nuclear weapons work is/was.would be (depending on the particular spin) going on?

  • Netanyahu Imported by GOP to ensure Iran War
    • Dr Cole, the Idea that Iran seeks "nuclear breakout capability" is simply not tenable. First, having the capability to make bombs is an inevitable part of having a civilian nuclear program. That is why it is calculated that up to 40 nations can quickly make a bomb today. Note that only 11 nations enrich uranium. Furthermore, a country that wanted to "keep options open" would not have agreed to suspend enrichment for years, twice now, nor would it have agreed to impose long-term limits on its enrichment facilities. The assumption that the current negotiation are motivated by genuine concern over the proliferation potential of enrichment in Iran, is simply not backed by any evidence. A much more convincing argument can be made that the real motivations are to try to limit enrichment to a "cartel" of a few nations, something that many other developing nations have objected to, and why the Non-Aligned Movement consistently backs Iran on the right to enrich. link to Furthermore, it simply provides a convenient pretext for Israel and the US to continue to pressure Iran, in the hopes of regime change. IAEA Director Elbaradei himself concluded that to be the case.

  • Incivility: On not Bringing up Occupied Palestinians in Polite Company
    • And oh the sad, sad irony of how the pro-Israeli donors actually vindicate genuine anti-Semitic tropes through such actions.

  • Wiping another Country off the Map: Israel does it to Palestine
  • Top Reasons Israel's Likud Really Opposes an Iran Nuclear Deal
    • "The US is trying to convince Iran to scale back its program to the point where it cannot be used to produce a weapon in a short time period, and is solely a fuel-producing program"

      FALSE. It is Iran that has consistently and repeatedly offered this, and the US which has rejected it, demanding that Iran abandon enrichment entirely.

  • How to Become an Expert in Iran's Nuclear Program (in less than four minutes) (Video)
    • Actually, the whole dispute has nothing to do with nukes at all. That's just a pretext, just as "WMDs in Iraq" was a pretext. In debating Iran's nuclear program, we're falling for a misdirection, and ignoring the ACTUAL agenda at work: an attempt to use the nuclear issue as a pretext for imposing regime-change in Iran.

  • How Washington Dropped the Ball on N Korean Nukes while Obsessing about Iran (McShane)
    • Israel's nuke threat against Iran/KSA/Iraq etc. amount to blackmail of the world's oil-dependent countries.

  • Phil Donohue Recalls how he Was Fired From MSNBC for Being anti-war (Goodman Interview)
  • Pakistan, Iran defy US Sanctions to Inaugurate Gas Pipeline
    • It is highly ironic: when the Arabs attempted to impose secondary sanctions on Israel, preventing THIRD PARTY companies from doing business with the Arabs if they also did business with Israel, the US was adamant that such secondary sanctions were illegal and constituted an attempt by the Arabs to "impose sovereignty" on such third parties, and the US even passed laws that explicitly forbad abiding by the Arab Embargo.

      Now, the US is the one imposing secondary sanctions, in violation of the same WTO rules that the US sponsored and championed.

  • "Argo" as Orientalism and why it Upsets Iranians
    • Who remembers the famous interview with Jessie Leaf, the CIA officer in Iran just before the revolution, wherein he confirmed the CIA's connection to Savak? Reported by none other than Seymour Hersh

      link to

  • Surprise! Talking to Iran just Might Work this Time (Jahanpour)
    • Oh and incidentally Iran already allowed "anywhere anytime" inspections for close to 3 years, when it also suspended enrichment entirely. Since even the US doesn't claim that IRan is currently making nukes (only that Iran "intends to obtain the capability" of making nukes at some indefinite point in the future) then no amount of inspections would resolve this issue anyway since the inspectors can't see into the indefinite future. This whole dispute has nothing to do with inspections or even the nuclear program in Iran, which is simply being used as a pretext just as "WMDs in Iraq" was pretextual.

    • I'm sorry, but where's your evidence that "Washington holds that Iran is prolonging the talks in order to continue its uranium enrichment with the aim of producing a nuclear weapon."

      First of all, the official US intelligence conclusion has consistently (since 2007) been that while Iran may have conducted "weaponization studies" up to 2003, Iran has shown no interest in nukes since then.
      link to

      And quite the contrary, it has been Washington that has been prolonging the talks, as we all saw in the Brazi/Turkey uranium swap dear that became a fiasco when Obama killed the deal after Iran had said yes. The US has been using the nuclear dispute as a justification and pretext for a policy of sanctions intended to lead to regime change.

      I understand the need to be fair in any assessment but not at the cost of creating a false narrative.

  • Iran Leader: Having Nukes is 'Crime Against Humanity' - US Sanctions Actually Target Fuel Enrichment
    • Regarding "Iran wants nuclear latency" claim: there is no actual evidence of that either.

      1- There is no way for a country to have a nuclear program -- or even simply be technologically advanced -- and not have this "option to build nukes". Indeed, 40 nations are already "nuclear latent" so Iran simply joins the other 1 out of 4 nations on the planet.

      2- Iran suspended enrichment entirely for close to 3 years and has repeatedly offered to place additional restrictions on its nuclear program well beyond its legal obligations under the NPT, including limiting enrichment and opening their nuclear program to joint participation by foreign (US) companies. These are not things that a country that seeks nuclear latency would so.

  • Top Ten Reasons Chuck Hagel Should be Secretary of Defense
    • Why is the pro-Israeli lobby so upset that Hagel used the term "Jewish lobby" when they insist that supporting Israel is inherent in being Jewish, that Israel is a "Jewish Homeland" and furthermore any Jews who are critical of Israel are "Self-hating Jews". ANd yet we can't say "Jewish lobby"? The only problem with the term is that the Likudniks flatter themselves by claiming to speak for all Jews.

  • The Rise of the Sunnis and the Decline of Iran, Iraq and Hizbullah: The Middle East in 2013
    • As long as the rising "Sunni" states don't make nice with Israel or the US, Iran doesn't really give a fig. Either way, it works out to Iran's benefit.

  • Drone, Sanctions affecting Medicine, Intensify US-Iran Tensions
  • Why Bill O'Reilly is Wrong about Minorities 'Wanting Things" & the Election
    • Frantz Fannon would not consider it surprising that Irish and otherwise poor whites would identify with WASP privilege, as they seek to be "More WASP than WASPS."

  • Mourdock, Rape as a Gift of God, and Islamic Sharia
    • And while Americans continue to be distracted over the abortion hot-button issue, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer & no one addresses THAT problem.

  • It's Psychological Warfare, Stupid: Why Netanyahu Really wants to Destroy Iran
    • In fact not only has Iran converted half of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to fuel plates (thus making it nonusable for nukes) but Iran as forced to enrich to 20% in the first place by US sanctions, and has repeatedly offered to cease 20% enrichment if it can just buy the necessary reactor fuel again. Considering that this reactor is far too small to pose any weapons proliferation threat, then the US sanctions on refueling it served no non-proliferation purpose but actually backfired by encouraging Iran to further enrich uranium -- a point the media seems to want to ignore.

      Former Iran nuclear negotiator Mousavian (now at Princeton) has explained this: "Iran had no other option but to increase the level of enrichment to 20%. Now people say that because we enriched up to 20%, we must want to build a nuclear bomb. This is the story you read everywhere in the media. But they don’t tell you the truth. In September 2011, the Iranian foreign minister and president came to New York for the United Nations assembly, and they made a proposal to the U.S. and the West. They said, ‘Now that we have 20%, we are ready to stop. We are ready to go back to 3.5% if you provide us with the fuel rods, because about a million patients with cancer need it.’ The U.S. declined."
      link to

  • Top Myths about Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Program
    • Iran already invests in other renewable sources including solar and windpower (Iran actually exports wind generators)
      Iran also has built some of the world's largest hydroelectric dams. But nuclear power is in the mix, as it should be. There's a reason why there are hundreds of new reactors being built or planned around the world, and many new countries are going nuclear. Iran is no exception.

    • No, sorry but Iran's Human Development index prior to the revolution was flat. From 1975 through 1980 Iran's Human Development Index remained stagnant at 0.569. By 1990 it was up to 0.693, and in 2002 it was 0.732.

      The myth about the "largest brain drain in the world" was debunked many years ago (The "IMF" or "World bank" survey it relied on does not actually exist.)

      And the survey was in fact multiple surveys, and the people were free enough to express signficant dissapproval in those survey so there's no reason to assume they are false or comparable to North Korea.

      FROM the UNDP's Human Development Report 2011:

      "Islamic Republic of Iran’s HDI value for 2011 is 0.707—in the high human development category—positioning the country at 88 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2011, Islamic Republic of Iran’s HDI value increased from 0.437 to 0.707, an increase of 62.0 per cent ...

      "Between 1980 and 2011, Islamic Republic of Iran’s life expectancy at birth increased by 21.9 years, mean years of schooling increased by 5.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.3 years. Islamic Republic of Iran’s GNI [Gross National Income] per capita increased by about 43.0 per cent between 1980 and 2011."

      Facts are facts -- plenty of Iranians do support the regime, like it or not.

    • make that 60+ years old

    • 40 countries around the world share Iran's nuclear "latency" simply because the technology is 20+_ years old.
      link to
      If Iran wanted to keep a breakout option then why did it suspend enrichment entirely for 3 years, offer to ship out 1200kg its 20% enriched uranium, offer to operate its nuclear program as a joint venture with foreign governments, and offer to place significant other restrictions on its nuclear program well beyond any legal requirements?

    • Iran's nuclear program is massively popular at home, and Iran's government is simply not "holding onto power" by force as is portrayed in the West, but in fact enjoys significant legitimacy - not lease because according to Iran's Human Development INdex, the lives of ordinary Iranians has signficantly improved since the Islamic Revolution
      link to

    • Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities are open to IAEA inspections;they're underground because they've been repeatedly threatened with attack; lots of countries have ballistic missiles and don't have nukes. Oh and that "revolutionary guard website" that speculated on "The Day After" was an aggregator that had simply collected 1 link for someone's personal blog.

    • The IAEA report itself said so -- this was spotted by a blogger nicknamed "b" at MoonofAlabama: link to

      This was subsequently reported by others including Gareth Porter.

    • The site in question is called Parchin. It is a military base used to test explosives. Even though it is not a nuclear site -- and so falls outside of the IAEA's inspection authority -- the Iranians already allowed the IAEA to visit the site in 2005, twice. Nothing was found, and the IAEA thanked Iran for giving access. Now we're presented with claims about this site again. The Iranians say they'll let the inspectors in again, but that it has to be pursuant to some framework which will protect Iran's rights too.

    • Actually Iran didn't lose its source of reactor fuel because Argentina "ceased producing and supplying it" but when the US sanctions prevented Iran from acquiring the fuel as usual on the open market. There are plenty of substitutes for Argentina, but Iran can't buy the fuel from any of them so it resorted to making its own. This, despite the fact that the reactor in question is under IAEA monitoring and far to small to makes nukes anyway -- so the US sanctions on the sale of fuel for that reactor served no non-proliferation goal but instead encouraged Iran to enrich uranium to higher levels. Great job. What a "success".

  • Netanyahu in 1992: Iran close to having nuclear bomb
    • Meanwhile, two people literally set themselves on fire in Israel to protest economic conditions there, and it was barely mentioned in the media...

  • Mitt Romney's coming War on Iran: A Tale of Two Conventions
  • Plot to Provoke war with Iran thwarted by Navy analyst
    • Actually, while Iran does have a lot of oil, it is also a large oil consumer. The US encouraged Iran to go nuclear back in the 1970s, when Iran's population was about 30 million. Since then its population has tripled while its oil production has halved, and it now consumes about 40% of its oil domestically.

  • Syria and the New Great Divide in the Greater Middle East
    • Saying Turkey is Sunni is not really correct. Sure the people of Turkey are mostly Sunni but Turkish foreign policy is not driven by that and Turkey doesn't exactly make common cause with Saudi Arabia on that basis

  • Top Five Reasons Israel is Losing the Public Relations Battle
    • The religious racism which is now apparently endemic to Zionism and things like this certainly don't help either:

      Rabbi: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews
      link to

  • Iran-Azerbaijan Tensions, Human Rights Outcry, over Pop Music 'European Idol'
    • This really isn't about Euro-trash music. Lets not forget the movement for unifying "South Azerbaijan" and the Israeli shenanigans with airports used for bombing runs there.

  • Khamenei's Fatwa against Nukes (Cenk Uygur Rant)
  • Iran's Forbidden Nukes and the Taqiya Lie
    • Accusing Iran of being liars is quite funny. Where are those "mobile biological labs" and "babies ripped from incubators" again?

  • What the Laws of War Allow (Madar)
    • If you want to know whether something was an atrocity or not, simply engage in the following thought experiment: imagine if an Iraqi helicopter had indiscriminately opened fire on some Americans walking in the street, and made sure to kill the wounded as well as the occupants of a emergency crew sent to help the wounded. Would there be the same silence?

  • China hopeful Iran will compromise with the UNSC
    • But we do know that the Iranians repeatedly offered -- publicly and privately -- to compromise with the US. IAEA director Elbaradei explained the Iranian's private offers too. His conclusion about the US/EU position: "They weren’t interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change – by any means necessary."
      link to

    • Imagine if a mugger stuck a knife in your ribs and said give me your money, and you said "Here's $20 but I'm keeping the rest." What would the mugger say, "Thanks?" Nope, he'd stick the knife in harder and demand the rest too. Iran already offered to cap enrichment many years ago. In Sept 2011, Ahmadinejad himself offered to cease 20% enrichment again in exchange for the removal of impediments for the purchase of the fuel for the TRR. That as well as a long list of prior Iranian concession offers were ignored. So, what's changed?

  • Israel's Atom Bomb Factory in 3D
  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • The suggestion that sanctions were not responsible for the deaths is ridiculous. Two UN officials resigned from administring the sanctions because they were disproportionately affecting civilians: Denis Halliday, who said that the sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 4000-5000 children per day, and Hans von Sponeck who referred to the sanctions as a "true human tragedy"
      And later we found out that the US has deliberately intended to make life hard for the Iraqis, in the vain hope that they would rise up and topple Saddam out of sheer desperation.

    • Most Americans are not sufficiently aware of Iranian history to realize that this is hardly the first time that a foreign superpower has threatened embargos and boycotts and attacks on Iran. This is a cause for deep nationalistic resentment in Iran, and the US is falling into the same role as the Imperial British and the Russians, who have not been forgiven to this day, 100 years later.

  • Top 5 Stratfor Revelations
    • You do realize that the story about Russia giving Iranian missile security codes to Israel is part of a plot from the movie "The International," right?

  • Santorum Hypes Iran 'Threat'
    • Yes they are and have always been in compliance with the NPT. Lets remember: the NPT requires Iran to 1- declare its nuclear material and sites where the material is/to be stored, and 2- the allow IAEA inspectors to visit these sites and monitor the material to ensure that 3- there has been no "diversion for non-peaceful uses" of this nuclear material. In fact the very first Paragraph of Iran's Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA says this is its "exclusive purpose."

      Peter Jenkins, the former British Ambassador to IAEA has in response to a question:
      "Q: In general, what are the duties of countries such as Iran with respect to the NPT, and does Iran’s current nuclear program violate these obligations? What if any additional demands are being made on Iran and what has been Iran’s reaction to these demands?

      PJ: Essentially: to place all nuclear material under IAEA safeguards and to refrain from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear explosive devices. As far as is known, Iran is respecting these obligations.

      link to

      And every single IAEA report ever issued on Iran has consistently said that there has been no diversion of declared nuclear material, which means that Iran is in compliance with the NPT. Now, there is some speculation that perhaps there are UNdeclared nuclear material or sites in Iran, whose existence the IAEA cannot verify. However this is simply because of a legal technicality: the IAEA does not similarly verify the absence of UNdeclared nuclear material/activities in ANY country -- not Iran, not Argentina, not Brazil, not Egypt -- unless that country has signed and ratified the Additional Protocol. Unlike those countries, Iran has signed (but not ratified) the AP and did voluntarily implement the AP for about 3 years as a good faith gesture, with no sign of a nuclear weapons program found. It has offered to ratify and permanently implement the AP too, as long as its right to enrich is also respected -- the US and EU have refused to acknowledge this.And while the former IAEA head Elbaradei has been clear in saying that there is no evidence of any UNdeclared nuclear sites in Iran, the US and EU have instead simply moved the goalposts in response to Iran's concession offer, and have demanded that the IAEA be given access to NON-nuclear sites, such as missile manufacturing facilities, even though this falls well outside of the IAEA's legal authority which is limited to inspecting NUCLEAR sites, even under the Additional Protocol.

      And note further that even if Iran totally opens up everything to the IAEA inspectors, that still won't resolve the standoff since the US also accuses Iran of using a civilian, IAEA-monitored program to "obtain the capability" to make nukes. In otherwords, even though Iran's nuclear program is fully compliant with the NPT, it should still be destroyed because it creates a "capability" to make nukes. No amount of inspections allowed by Iran can of course disprove this, and no IAEA inspector can "prove" that Iran won't possibly use its nuclear program to possibly make a bomb at some indefinite point in the future. In fact, 40 countries already have this theoretical capability because it is inherent in possessing nuclear technology -- even perfectly legitimate civilian nuclear technology can potentially maybe one day be used to make nukes. That's the whole reason why the IAEA inspections regime exists: to catch it if it happens.

    • Iran has already offered to ratify and permanently implement the Additional Protocol which allows far more instrusive inspections of its nuclear long as its right to enrichment is also recognized. The US has ignored this and many other Iranian nuclear compromise offers because the entire "iranian nuclear threat" thing is just a pretext for regime change anyway.

    • Just a small correction: the medical reactor in question -- the Tehran Research Reactor -- is located in a university basement in Tehran and is not at Natanz. There's a very good description of what's going on there by Geoff Forden on
      link to

      And, the reactor fuel rods cannot be used to make nukes because they would have to go through an extensive process of extracting the plutonium from the rods -- something that Iran does not have the capability of doing, nor the interest (Iran has already offered to give up any reprocessing development.)

      Crowly is flat lying. He's forgetting to mention that the US insisted that any deal to provide fuel to Iran for the reactor also required Iran to give up its right to enrichment, thus making Iran totally reliant on foreign sources.

      Remember, Iran offered to ship out its LEU in exchange for reactor fuel in the Brazil-Turkish brokered deal, but the US pulled the rug out from under the Brazilians and Turks at the last minute (much to their consternation) and killed off the deal just as soon as the Iranians had unexpectedly said yes. And, Iran would not have had to enrich to 19.75% in the first place had the US not prevented Iran from simply buying the fuel as usual (Ahmadinejad has offered to cease that level of enrichment if Iran can simply buy the fuel again.) So in short the US is demanding that Iran not make the fuel, and not purchase it either, and those 800,000 Iranian cancer victims can drop dead.

  • How an Israeli Strike on Iran could radically weaken Israel
    • By the way, what would Israel be attacking, exactly? Civilian facilities that are under constant IAEA safeguards? What would be the point of that? If they attack some random buildings and claim they took out "secret" facilities, how will we know what these facilities really were, and who would know if there weren't other facilities still functioning, since they're so "secret" and all...

    • A country that allows its base to be used to launch an attack on another country would not only be violating international law by aiding a war of aggression (people have hanged for that crime) but would also be a co-belligerent under international law and a legitimate target of reprisal attacks.

  • The Generals try to stop an Iran War
    • If you read the Ignatius article, you'd see that Panetta specifically said "No Comment" to the question of an alleged Israeli attack. The view that such an attack is imminent comes from an "anonymous official" who attributes it to Panetta. Not Panetta himself

      In short, BS.

    • Sorry but Iran Contra can HARDLY be compared to any Nixon-China negotiations. IRan Contra was from the start a "one off" with a brand new revolutionary government in Iran.

  • To avoid War, Obama Should Offer Iran Renewable Energy Aid: Buonomo
    • Thomas Buonomo is flat wrong. Sorry, but this conflict actually has nothing to do with IRan's nuclear program in the first place.

      The sanctions regime on Iran is not even primarily about the civilian nuclear enrichment program (to which Iran has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), but about causing the regime to collapse.

  • Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
    • The "regime change" charge is also well supported by a long history of relations between the two parties - a long history, for example, of Iranian making significant compromise offers over its nuclear program which were either totally ignored or actively undermined by the US. If the nuclear issue was really at stake, the US would have taken these opportunities but instead the US at every instance simply moved the goalposts.

    • Sorry Saalim but the Tehran Research Reactor DOES use 20% enriched uranium, and furthermore the Iranians were FORCED to make 20% enriched uranium as a result of US sanctions which prevents Iran from simply buying the fuel. Iran has already offered repeatedly to cease 20% enrichment if it can buy the fuel it needs to help treat Iran's 800,000 cancer victims. It is weird to repeatedly threaten to bomb Iran, and then claim that Iran's attempts at avoiding being bombed are themselves proof that iran seeks nukes.

    • Just FYI about declaring Fordo. Under Iran's standard safeguards agreement with the IAEA, Iran is only required to formally declare nuclear sites 180 days prior to the introduction of nuclear material into the site. Under a Modified version of the safeguards that Iran in the past temporarily agreed to implement as a good faith gesture, during the course of then-existing negotiations, Iran agreed to declare sites earlier: at the time that the site was planned.

      This time difference allows the US to "expose" a yet undeclared site, and claim that the site was "discovered" despite the fact that iran had "failed to declare it", the implication being that the site was necessarily intended by Iran to remain secret.

  • Jahanpour: As US and Iran Confront Each other, where is the Diplomacy?
    • Is Obama capable of making these concessions to Iran? Realistically, is this something the president can actually do?

  • Iran Displays Drone, Complains to UN
    • U.S. official: Iran does have our drone
      link to

    • Ummm... there is in fact no evidence of any nuclear weapons program in Iran, EVER. In 2009, in response to allegations that the IAEA was "hiding" the damning evidence on Iran, the IAEA stated quite clearly:

      With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran.

      link to

  • Gingrich Urges War with Iran and Skyrocketing Oil Prices
    • Cutting off gasoline supply to Iran? Iran makes its own and is about to become an exporter - thanks to the sanctions already in place. Cutting off gasoline is a perfect example of how Iran can't trust external supplies and has to be self-sufficient in making reactor fuel too.

  • Iraq, Iran and the Nuclear Phantasm: We've Seen this Picture
  • Islamic Law not a problem in Bush's Afghanistan & Iraq, but a Problem in Libya?
  • Surprises of the Tunisian Election
  • Iran Alleges Saudi Plot Story is MEK Sting
    • Interpol is just an organization for sharing information, it is not itself a police or intelligence organization, so I would be curious how Interpol knows where someone is located at any particular point in time.

  • Rick Perry and the Hucksterism of the Rich
    • "Nowadays, politics is about which fantasy-land the politicians and their admirers reside in."

      Welcome to the triumph of post-Modernism!

  • Paul, Santorum and the Sixth War (on Iran)
    • How typical of the embittered exile crowd, Amir, to accuse people of being 'regime supporters' just because the facts don't correspond to your wishful thinking. FYI no one in Iran is forced to vote unlike in NK.
      Presidential election turnouts in Iran since 1989:

      1989 56%

      1993 51%

      1997 80%

      2001 67%

      2005 63% (Runoff 60%)

      2009 84%

      "Voting is regular and turnout often substantial, with participation rates responsive to rules of the arena, the scale of vetting, and corresponding perceptions of choice."


      Electoral Politics in Iran: Rules of the Arena, Popular Participation, and the Limits of Elastic in the Islamic Republic

      By Nigel Parsons

      The Middle East Institute Policy Brief No. 30 November 2010

    • Ron Paul makes a mistake. The reason why we spoke to the Soviets is precisely because they did pose a threat to us with their nukes and weapons. And the reason we dont talk to Iran that they dont.

    • Nevertheless over 80% of the Iranians participated in the last elections, and on average just less than 70% participate on a regular basis. so the claim that the elections in Iran are fundamentally illegitimate is simply not shared by the people in Iran, and indeed there is no evidence of election fraud in Ahmadinejads election in 2009.

    • "Iran is not in breach of international law. There is no evidence that the country is building nuclear weapons" - Five former EU ambassadors to Iran.

      link to

      Multiple polls by US organizations found that the people of Iran did in fact vote for Ahmadinejad, and there was no election fraud.

      link to

  • The Irrelevance of the Knights in a Global Society
    • The "raping Muslims" meme was used to incite the mobs in Australia a few years ago too.

  • Ret'd. CIA Official Alleges Bush White House Used Agency to "Get" Cole
  • Shadow Internet Story Fishy
    • Doesn't matter if we have the same machines operating in the US because our media is dominated/owned by the government-industrial-military complex anyway, so they wouldn't be disseminating information that seriously challenges the system.

  • Qaddafi Accused of Systematic Rape, War Crimes by ICC, UN
    • ...and yet, Beirut.

    • So what? According to the jurists in France and Belgium and the UK, heads of state have immunity that extends to even after leaving office. At least that was their ruling when complaints were filed against Rumsfeld and friends.
      link to

  • Dagan, Ofer and Israel's Growing Iran Credibility Gap
    • Rather than "talking big" (if by that you mean about obtaining nuclear weapons) the Iranians have never expressed any desire for nuclear weapons. And "nuclear latency" is a nonsense accusation that can be used for several countries around the world since any country with a nuclear program is inherently "capable" of making nukes. The fact that the US uses such tortured language, accusing Iran of "having intentions" to "seek capabilities" is simply due to the fact that they don't have any real evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran. If Iran sought such latency, then why did they repeatedly offer to place additional restrictions, well beyong their NPT obligations, on their nuclear program?

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • Or, if the US can interfere in Libya, then Iran can interfere in Bahrain. Right? And Russia in whatever area they think needs some interfering. If you set a precedent, you can't complain with others live by it too.

  • Kusha: Iran vs. Egypt: Qualitative Differences in Capabilities
    • Funny not so long ago we were assured that the weakness of the regime was in that it was YOUNG country.

    • The claim that Iran "has the highest rate of brain drain" is an old one, supposedly based on an IMF study THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

  • Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979
    • Both Pakistan and Afghanistan label themselves as "Islamic Republics" as does Iran, and Iraq's constitution defines it as an Islamic federal republic. Saudi Arabia, I won't even bother mentioning. Note that the US gets along fine will these "Islamic" long as they still do the US's bidding.

    • Umm....Iran has been Iran since 3000 years ago. Unlike the Egyptians, they did not even adopt Arabic as their language after the Islamic conquest.

    • One has to ask what is meant when it is said that Egypt could become "like Iran". If by that we mean an Islamic Republic, who knows. If by that we mean a nationalistic, indigenious government that is no longer a puppet regime and can no longer automatically be assumed to play along with US-Israeli interests and goals in the Mideast, then indeed Egypt is likely to become "like Iran" and I think the latter interpretation is what the Israelis and the US really worry about, not whether Egypt will become an Islamic Republic.

  • Iran's Oily Revenge on US Drivers, US Troops
    • The chair can only temporarily block "extraordinary meetings" of OPEC but Iran's position that no meeting is required deal with rising prices, according to the FT piece, was shared by others on the OPEC board too. Again, AN simply is a bit player in all of this. He's not Goldfinger, single-handedly manipulating world commodity proces whilst stroking an evil cat on his lap.

    • But Ahmadinejad does not control the demand, and doesn’t really exercise a lot of control over supply either, even if it head OPEC.

    • If AN did control world oil prices, it would have remained at $90-$100 all along...

    • Incidentally, the "unofficial ban" of Iranian fuel to Afghanistan is actually simply a case of stopping what was rampant smuggling of highly-subsidized Iranian petroleum going to Afghanistan.

    • I seriously doubt that Ahmadinejad is in any position to control world oil prices. This exaggeration of Ahmadinejad's powers is getting a little ridiculous.

  • Wikileaks on Israel, Iraq and the Iranian Specter
    • Actually the emigration figures from Israel were falling for a while. In 2004, Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania wrote in in a paper about Jewish emigration out of Israel (aka "yeridah") :

      The high levels of immigration in the early 1990s, especially from the former Soviet
      Union, have disappeared, with fewer than 22,000 immigrants registered for 2003.
      Other reports indicate that since 2002 no more than 30% of these immigrants have
      been classified by the government as Jewish. In mid-2003 it was reported a
      “moribund” annual rate of 1,000 immigrants from North America, with 50% of them
      leaving Israel after their arrival. The head of manpower for the Israel Defense
      Forces reported in mid-2003 that 34% of Israelis of conscription age were not
      serving in the army. Five per cent of those, he noted, were Israelis who “left
      the country prior to their recruitment and lived abroad.”

  • Pakistan Opens Khyber Crossing to NATO Supply Trucks but issues Threats over Hot Pursuit
    • The legal doctrine of "hot pursuit" allows a coastal state to chase pirates and criminals who have violate the law inside the coastal state's waters, to chase them into and arrest them in international waters. It does not allow one coastal state's ships to enter the territory of another coastal state in pursuit of criminals. The doctrine is entirely inapplicable on land anyway. It should not be raised as a justification for crossing another country's land borders.

  • Rumsfeld, Bush and the Supreme War Crime
    • Well sorry to say, this is now a moot point. Rumsfeld et al have already been found to be immune from war crimes prosecution in Europe because of the "head of state immunity" doctrine. This used to not apply to war crimes, or was at least limited to when the "heads of state" were in office, but according to the French courts, it now applies even after they leave office -- a perpetual state of immunity for war crimes by virtue of being a top official. Note that the rules were entirely different when applied to people like Pinochet...but he was brown-skinned anyway.

  • Obama dismisses Iran War Prospects, overrules Clinton
    • "show its peaceful intent" = euphemism for giving up enrichment.

      So, Obama is not sending any signals to anyone. Just more of the same old, same old.

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