Friday, June 20, 2008

US Says Exercise by Israel Seemed Directed at Iran

WASHINGTON - Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.0620 01 1

0620 01 1

Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military’s capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.

More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said.

Israeli officials declined to discuss the details of the exercise. A spokesman for the Israeli military would say only that the country’s air force “regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel.”

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

H. CON. RES. 362 -Calling For The Naval Blockade of Iran

H.Con.Res. 362, new resolution introduced on May 22, 2008 by Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Mike Pence (R-IN), is raising controversy in Washington and across the country. There is a particular clause that some many fear is tantamount to declaring that the President should pursue a naval blockade against Iran, which would be an act of war.

The bill was introduced just prior to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Annual Policy Meeting and urging co-sponsorship is one of AIPAC's central legislative asks. They are currently circulating a letter in support of H.Con.Res. 362 and the Senate companion, S.Res. 580.

According to the House leadership, this resolution is going to "pass like a hot knife through butter" before the end of June on what is called suspension -- meaning no amendments can be introduced during the 20-minute maximum debate. It also means it is assumed the bill will pass by a 2/3 majority and is noncontroversial. As of June 18, the bill already has 169 co-sponsors. If and when the bill is voted on suspension, there will be a roll call vote and AIPAC will use how members voted on the resolution in the lead up to the elections.

When Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Vice-President Cheney, and then against President Bush, one of his key accusations was that the Bush Administration has tried to lead the United States into war with Iran. So you might have thought that Members of Congress who signed on to the impeachment crusade shared Rep. Kucinich’s critique of U.S. saber-rattling towards Iran.

If you thought that, you might want to think again. The evidence is, shall we say, mixed. Representative Robert Wexler, who has made support of impeachment a signature issue, has signed on to a House resolution promoted by AIPAC that appears to endorse a naval blockade of Iran. A naval blockade would, of course, be an act of war. If not sanctioned by the UN Security Council - and there is no reason to believe that it would be - it would be a war crime. The resolution makes no mention of seeking Security Council approval.
As well as AIPAC the American Jewish Committee is working to get this resolution passed but they do not mention the part that would enable a Naval Blockade, they call it an urgent effort—economic, political, and diplomatic—to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

If it were just that it would not have this key part buried in the penultimate paragraph of the resolution -
(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program; and
Just Foreign Policy have a form to write to your representative (if a citizen of the American Empire) and wake them up to this and ask them not to support the resolution. Click Here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sen. Obama, please re-think your position on Iran

Face the absence of evidence of nuclear weapons, and call out Sen. McCain for following the WMD scare George Bush followed with Iraq.
Iran stopped researching nuclear weapons in 2003.
The U.S. intelligence community knows this.
The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency knows this.
The international community knows this.
If Iran researched nuclear weapons in secret until March 2004 as documents allege, the IAEA will investigate the matter with due diligence.
And if Iran is caught red-handed, she will comply with the IAEA processes accordingly.

In the meantime, as the Democratic nominee for U.S. president, Obama must change his tune from that of his Republican adversary Sen. John McCain on this issue.

Obama must say that McCain is lying about Iran just like the Bush administration lied about Iraq.
Neither Republican has any proof either Middle Eastern country has nuclear weapons.
Iran is smarter than to launch a nuclear strike on Israel anyway because the Jewish state would retaliate with her own secret nuclear arsenal.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Biggest Mistake of the 21st Century

From Der Spiegel........

Israeli Ministers Mull Plans for Military Strike against Iran

The Israeli government no longer believes that sanctions can prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. A broad consensus in favor of a military strike against Tehran's nuclear facilities -- without the Americans, if necessary -- is beginning to take shape.


The one question over which Israel's various political groups disagree is the timing of an attack. The doves argue that diplomatic efforts by the United Nations should be allowed to continue until Iran is on the verge of completing the bomb. That way, Israel could at least argue convincingly that all non-military options had been exhausted.

The hawks, on the other hand, believe time is running out. They stress that there is now a "favorable window of opportunity" that will close with the US presidential election in November, and that Israel can only depend on American support for as long as current US President George W. Bush is still in charge in Washington. They are convinced that the country cannot truly depend on any of the candidates to succeed Bush in office. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic candidate, has already said that he favors direct negotiations with Tehran. And even if Republican John McCain wins the race, politicians in Jerusalem do not expect him to be ordering an attack as his first official act -- despite his performance, at a campaign appearance last year, of the Beach Boys' song "Barbara Ann" with the lyrics: "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."


And no one knows better than Israeli leadership itself just how much power lies in the mere belief that a country has nuclear weapons. After all, Israel itself has used this as a deterrent for the past 40 years. It is believed that an estimated 100 to 200 nuclear warheads have been produced at the Dimona reactor in the Negev Desert. Israeli historian Benny Morris, who is not normally considered a hardliner, recently suggested using the weapons: "If the issue is whether Israel or Iran should perish, then Iran should perish."

I find this to be an extremely unstable situation, and would urge everyone to click on the link, and read the entire story.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

War back on table?

The threat of war with Iran has been on and off so many times that one does not know what to believe anymore. Lately, it has seemed that the no-war camp has won. Not any more!
[...] here's the latest story from McClatchy's Washington Bureau, the people who got the Iraq story right before Shock and Awe hit the fan in 2003. And what they have to report is not encouraging [...] - More

Related material:
Cheney winning the inside battles again
An Israeli minister's dual loyalty ... to Iran?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jimmy Carter: Make peace with Iran

A startling idea! Imagine, trying to make peace with a nation before going to war against it!

Jimmy Carter calls for US to make friends with Iran after 27 years

"What happens if, in three years time, Iran has a nuclear weapon," Mr Carter asked. "I'm not sure that is going to happen, but if it does, what do we do? They are rational people like all of us in this room. Do they want to commit suicide? I would guess not. So what we have to do is talk with them now and say to them we want to be their friends.
Twenty-five years ago we cut off trading with Iran. We've got to resume trading to show Iran we are friends."
Mr Carter also criticised President George Bush, saying it was a "serious mistake and terrible departure" from the actions of previous US presidents not to engage with countries with which they differed. "The president of the administration in Washington is the first one to have ever done this and I think we close off ourselves from any sort of rational accommodation of the views of other parties in order to reach out on major goals,"
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McCain Gaffe Alert: Iran again

Sen. McCain invents 20 years of negotiations between the United States and Tehran, apparently unaware of the snubs dealt by the Bush Administration when Iran has tried to talk.

It is looking increasingly like John McCain really knows nothing about Iran, despite wanting to bomb them.

Yesterday, in his big non-proliferation speech, McCain took his gaffes to a new level. He actually invented 20 years of negotiations between the United States and Tehran. In his speech, McCain said:

"Today, some people seem to think they've discovered a brand new cause, something no one before them ever thought of. Many believe all we need to do to end the nuclear programs of hostile governments is have our president talk with leaders in Pyongyang and Tehran, as if we haven't tried talking to these governments repeatedly over the past two decades."
Max Bergmann points out: The stated policy of the United States since April 7, 1980 has been that we don't talk to the Iranians.

Taken with his other many gaffes on Iran (repeated Sunni/Shia screw up, the use of Khamenei and Ahmajinedad interchangeably)
such confusion should sound alarm bells
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Ahmadinejad's hold on power "slipping badly"

More pragmatic speaker elected; likely to look for agreement with the West:
clipped from

Are Ahmadinejad's Days Numbered?

Ali Larijani projected a presidential bearing as he accepted his election as speaker of Iran's parliament on Wednesday — a vote that boded ill for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Larijani, a high-profile arch-rival of the President, addressed global themes in his address to the opening session of the Majlis
While Iran's insistence on its right to enrich uranium unites all major factions in the country, Larijani represents a more pragmatic approach to handling the issue, aimed at finding agreement with the West and avoiding confrontation.
makes two things clear: President Ahmadinejad's hold on power is slipping badly, and next year's Iranian presidential election race is now wide open
Prominent politicians and clerical figures have begun distancing themselves from Ahmadinejad and rallying around Larijani
Ahmadinejad has alienated many in his own conservative camp with an arrogant personal style and erratic economic and foreign policies
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