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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: IAEA, Iran, and Israel

5:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Gareth Porter tweeted recently…

To be sure…

Kerry: U.S. must pursue Iran talks before considering going to war

The United States has an obligation to pursue nuclear negotiations with Iran before it considers going to war with Tehran to force it to give up its nuclear activities, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

“We took the initiative and led the effort to try to figure out if before we go to war there actually might be a peaceful solution,” Kerry told a group of reporters.

Iran reached a landmark preliminary agreement with six world powers, including the United States, in November to halt its most sensitive nuclear operations, winning some relief from economic sanctions in return.

U.S. President Barack Obama, like his predecessors, has said that all options are on the table with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, using diplomatic code for the possibility of military action. While U.S. officials have long held out that threat, Kerry’s comments appeared to indicate that the Obama administration would seriously consider a strike on Iran if the diplomatic talks fail.

Apparently Israel is still up to no good with the IAEA…

IAEA ‘opted against’ sensitive Iran report

The UN nuclear watchdog planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its suspected atomic bomb research, but held off as Tehran’s relations with the outside world thawed, sources familiar with the matter said.

Such a report — to have been prepared last year — would almost certainly have angered Iran and complicated efforts to settle a decade-old dispute over its atomic aspirations, moves which accelerated after pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

According to the sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency has apparently dropped the idea of a new report, at least for the time being. There was no immediate comment from the IAEA. The sources said there was no way of knowing what information collected by the agency since it issued a landmark report on Iran in 2011 might have been incorporated in the new document, although one said it could have added to worries about Tehran’s activities. As relations rapidly improved, Iran struck an interim nuclear deal with six world powers in November which Israel denounced as a ‘historic mistake’ as it did not require Tehran to dismantle its uranium enrichment sites.

One source said probably only Israel, which is believed to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear-armed state, would criticise the IAEA for not issuing a new report in the present circumstances. Iran and the world powers hope to reach a final settlement by July, when the interim accord expires, although they acknowledge this will be an uphill task. A decision not to go ahead with the new document may raise questions about information that the United Nations agency has gathered in the last two years on what it calls the ‘possible military dimensions’ to Iran’s nuclear programme. Tehran says the programme is peaceful and denies Western allegations that it is seeking to develop the capability to make bombs.

The sources, refusing to be identified, suggested the more recent material concerned extra detail about alleged research and experiments that were covered in the November 2011 report.

Jim White promptly swatted that bunk down… Dahl, Reuters Grant Anonymity to “Sources” Peddling Iran Info Rejected by IAEA

Indeed… IAEA denies Israeli accusations of concealing report on Iran’s nuclear program

Moving along… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Israeli Intransigence, the IAEA, and Iran

4:50 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Seriously, pups, the Peace Farce is officially over…

Official: No new peace talks planned

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have no immediate plans to hold new talks, after the Palestinian negotiating team offered its resignation in protest of Israeli settlement plans.

A PLO official told Ma’an on Wednesday that the US-brokered talks were suspended in practice, with no date set for a new round of negotiations.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that President Mahmoud Abbas would attempt to coax his two senior negotiators into returning but it was unclear if they would.

The negotiators, Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh, tendered their resignations last week after Israel announced plans to step up settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Abbas told Egyptian CBC television that he would keep negotiating with Israel even if the officials declined to rejoin the talks.

“Either we can convince it to return, and we’re trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he said, according to Reuters.

Reuters TV quoted Erekat as confirming the talks were frozen.

“In reality, the negotiations stopped last week in light of the settlement announcements last week,” he said.

From the UN…

Settlement plans threaten renewed hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace, UN envoy warns

A senior United Nations official today voiced his growing concern at the series of settlement announcements made by Israel over the past weeks and stressed the need to avoid actions that negatively impact ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

“At this sensitive moment, it is imperative to avoid negative actions and support ongoing talks to preserve the remaining chances of achieving a two-State solution in the interest of Israelis and Palestinians alike,” said a statement issued by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, who also voiced his deep concern at recent violent incidents.

On Tuesday, Israel reportedly announced plans to build 20,000 new settler homes in the West Bank, prompting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to threaten an end to peace talks that resumed a few months ago after a three-year hiatus.

The statement by Mr. Serry noted that settlement activity cannot be reconciled with the goal of a negotiated two-State solution, and reiterated the UN position that settlements are against international law and an obstacle to peace.

Against this backdrop, the Special Coordinator met today separately with the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

“He understands from his discussion with chief negotiator [Tzipi] Livni and other Israeli officials that yesterday’s decision to plan a large number of settlement units has been stopped,” said the statement.

Direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides resumed this past August, after stalling in 2010 owing to Israel’s refusal to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.

I very much doubt that ‘sudden’ reversal in Bibi’s settlement schemes…

Netanyahu vows to build ‘thousands more homes’ in settlements

A day after forcing the Construction and Housing Ministry to “reconsider” preliminary work toward building 24,000 housing units beyond the Green Line, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that building in settlements would continue, but had to be done wisely.

“In recent months, we built thousands of homes in Judea and Samaria, and in the coming months we plan to build thousands more,” Netanyahu said in a Knesset debate on housing prices. “It was never easy, but we did it responsibly despite international pressure.”

Continuing along with Bibi’s perfidy…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Kerry’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

So, SoS Kerry is having a horrible, no good, very bad week…

Abbas: Negotiations made zero progress so far

Peace negotiations with Israel haven’t made any progress so far despite all the meetings between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday…

“Israel is saying that after prisoners have been released, settlement expansion should continue,” Abbas said.

This connection, he added, and this parity might blow up the situation while negotiations have achieved nothing yet.

Abbas also asserted that he turned down a request by the US administration to freeze any legal procedures through international organizations during the nine months of negotiations.

“It is the Palestinians who can decide on this step and nobody can force them to take it,” he said.

Alex Kane, at Mondoweiss, further elaborates… Netanyahu’s sweet deal: 104 prisoners for thousands of settlements.

Ironically, in an Ike like moment of clarity, as he’s headed out the door…


Chief security adviser: If talks fail, Israel risks isolation

Yaakov Amidror warns pressure and boycotts may increase if no progress with Palestinians, says ‘everything must be done’ to stop Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outgoing national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, said Sunday that should the current US-brokered peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel’s position in the world could worsen, and international pressure would mount.

At a ceremony marking the end of his tenure at the Prime Minister’s Office, Amidror said “it [is] clear to everyone that handling international pressure depends on the progress of the negotiations, and if the talks fail, it will give everyone interested in boycotting us every reason to do so.”

The outgoing adviser called the EU’s decision in July to issue directives imposing bans on funding to Israeli entities with links to the settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, a “conscious decision.” He warned that Israel must take what he described as a “type of an economic boycott” very seriously…

As RT put it…

US peace effort wavers as Israel issues tenders for new settlement homes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the ministers of his Likud party on Sunday that he never promised to freeze settlement construction during talks, according to a source cited by AFP.

“The Palestinians knew very well that Israel would be building during the negotiations,” Netanyahu told them. “Israel did not take upon itself any limitations in this regard.”

But, that’s only one of Kerry’s severe migraines this week…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Prism of Pain, GWOT, and, the US-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act

10:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

C’mon, pups, we’re clearly losing the R2P ‘Hearts and Mind’ campaign in the MENA…!

The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East

… His findings sometimes reflect significant differences in the opinions in these countries but more often demonstrate basic commonalities. At a time when some pundits see crises in Syria and elsewhere leading to the marginalization of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the region’s politics, Telhami forcefully pulls readers back to it, labeling it a “prism of pain” through which Arab publics view the region — even if their leaders do not. Arabs overwhelmingly view Israel and the United States as the greatest threats they face. This produces inconsistent preferences: manifested, for example, in their pushing for the establishment of democratic institutions in their own countries while admiring antidemocratic leaders who defy the United States, such as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Telhami argues that that no U.S. president will make a dent in Arab anti-Americanism so long as Washington maintains its uncritical support for Israel and continues to deploy significant U.S. military forces in the region.

On the other side of the global ledger…

Why Vladimir rules and Obama bombs

On both the NSA saga and the Syrian crisis, Putin played chess while Obama played checkers with himself – and lost.

Every year, Forbes magazine publishes its list of the heads of state, financial titans and business moguls who “truly rule the world.” Predictably, a sitting US president – the commander-in-chief of the most lethal armada in the history of the world – usually gets the top spot.

Not in 2010 though, when Barack Obama was overtaken by then Chinese President Hu Jintao in the aftermath of the Wall Street-provoked financial crisis. And not in 2013, when the winner is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Not by accident, China and Russia are the most influential among the BRICS group of emerging powers. The US corporate media’s rankings such as Time’s Person of The Year may be irrelevant, and usually extremely provincial. But as a PR coup, American recognition of Putin’s soft power is priceless, even coming after de facto recognition by the overwhelming majority of the real ‘international community’: the developing world.

To its credit, Forbes stresses how “anyone watching this year’s chess match over Syria and the National Security Agency leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics.” {…}

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, National Intelligence Director James Clapper was adamant that the NSA and the CIA cannot spy on any political leader via his/her private mobile phones without permission from the White House. So no matter the spin, Obama knew, among others, about the spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff and German Chancellor Angel Merkel.

You don’t need to have read Orwell to note this is yet another instance of the imperial Masters of the Universe worldview. It’s ‘legitimate’ to spy on Americans. It’s ‘legitimate’ to spy all over the global South – including the more influential BRICS. {…}

The proverbial US Think Tankland Cassandras will be left endlessly carping about the ‘stagnating’ Russian economy, ethnic and religious ‘tension’, ‘political atrophy’ because of Putin’s ‘authoritarianism’, and assorted ills. Nonsense.

This essay by top blogger The Saker meticulously outlines the key plot twists and undercurrents of the past 20 years of US-Russia relations – including the now-proverbial Putin demonization.

Back to the facts on the geopolitical ground. Putin has seized the moment and now is arguably the key actor trying to build an emerging, alternative multilateral order. As for imperial lame duck Obama, he seems destined to keep bombing in more ways than one.

Now, in my last Mashup, I’d pointed out the serious BS emanating from our AIPAC, bought-and-paid-for, Critters on Iran, well they doubled down on the buffoonery…

Forget Sanctions: House Hawks Pushing for Iran War

Bill Would Green-Light Attack on Iran

While most of the effort of the Obama Administration has been trying to convince an unwilling Congress to “delay” any new sanctions as Iran negotiations move forward, a collection of hawks in the House of Representatives are looking to move beyond that dispute and just flat out start a war.

The ironically named “United States-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act,” would condemn Iran for “deception” dating back to the 1980s, and would authorize President Obama to attack Iran whenever he decides talks have “failed.”

Let’s get real here, pups…

Propaganda & Ignorance in Reporting on Iran

Whenever tensions over Iran’s nuclear energy program appear to dissipate and rational, fact-based reporting begins to replace agenda-driven rhetoric in the press, the folks over at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington D.C. think tank that specializes in producing highly speculative assessments of the nuclear capabilities of countries loathed by the U.S. government, release a new study full of hypotheticals, allegations, and innuendo intended to restore alarmism to front pages and TelePrompTers.

Critical to the success of ISIS’s efforts and the endless self-promotion of its president, David Albright, are the dutiful stenographers in the media who eagerly promote to large audiences their claims as unchallenged fact, without even a shred of skepticism or hint of journalistic integrity…

The Institute for Speculation and Iran Scaremongering

Under a hysterical headline – “Iran may be a month from a bomb” – Dorell posted what is effectively a press release for a new ISIS report. In his article, Dorell not only presents ISIS head David Albright, a former IAEA inspector, as an unimpeachable expert source and uncritically regurgitates his claims about the potential timeline for Iran achieving nuclear breakout capacity, but also deliberately omits vitally important information which might undermine the ultimate goal of fear-mongering about Iran…

U.S. Director of National Intelligence has repeatedly noted that, even were this decision to be made sometime in the future, “Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU [weapons-grade uranium] before this activity is discovered.”

Honestly pups, this is what we’re reduced to…

I want American foreign policy to fail

Drones, wiretapping foreign leaders, NSA out of control: Change will only come when our foreign policy truly fails

It is difficult, and it will never be any other, to be an American and write in an American publication that the best thing to befall our great country would be a series of resounding defeats. It is upside down. It is bitter. And it is time.

Failure will make Americans a better people, their country a more humane country, and the world a more habitable world. This the only honest conclusion to draw as the outlines of official American thinking in the 21st century emerge from the mists of endemic misinformation.

Let us ask ourselves: What do the following developments, all now in the news, commonly reflect? Why is it better to view them all at once, parts of a single phenomenon, rather than separately (as our media incessantly encourage us to do)? {…}

Untamed spookery, diabolic weapons and prosecutorial trade arrangements to be forced down others’ gullets as if they were geese tell us all about ourselves and our plans. In any choice between primacy or world order — the prescient coinage of Stanley Hoffmann, a Harvard historian of the Cold War — Washington insists on the former. It continues to choose the unilateralism of the last century over the multilateralism that is the unmistakable sine qua non of our time. Military hardware and territorial dominion — 20th century technologies — trump coexistence and the mahogany tables of diplomacy, which are the technologies of our time.

And if you didn’t get the original terra, terra, terra, memo, the ADL’s Abe Foxman spelled it all out for ya…

The Jewish Condition: Then, Now, and in the Future

…It seems that people such as this hack — people who think wars of mission, armed interventions galore, and all associated strategies and tactics are yesteryear’s thinking and played poorly even yesteryear — these people are isolationists.

They are weak. The president was weak on Syria. A strong America is an America that remains engaged. Remaining engaged means intervening when American values and interests are at stake. Intervening means the deployment of might. {…}

And then on top of that comes this drive to find agreements with Iran on the nuclear issue. Now let me be clear: if we can reach a satisfactory deal with Iran that ensures that if Iran is deceptive or abnegates that agreement, it couldn’t in a short time break out and speedily move to a bomb, I’d be all for it. The concern is the context: America seems desperate to avoid a confrontation with Iran; the Iranians, aware of that, are playing it to a fare-thee-well.

Not only are they talking the language of moderation, but they are already offering substantive proposals that may appear more giving than they really are. Again, it’s not impossible that things can work out well, but when it appears to come from a perception of American weakness, it doesn’t bode well. {…}

I hope that we get our act together. I hope Congress starts to think of the bigger picture. I hope we are truly able to keep all options on the table, whether vis-à-vis Iran or Syria, without rushing to military action.

Make no mistake about it. If what we are seeing now is the beginning of a deep change in American foreign policy it will be bad for the Jews.

Don’t believe for a second that there is an alternative to American leadership when it comes to Israel’s security, peace in the Middle East, safety and security for Jews in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Still, all in all, as I look to the Jewish future and the role of ADL on the occasion of our centennial, I am an optimist. Again, I am an optimist on Israel. I am an optimist on American Jews. And, despite the concerns I have expressed here, I remain an optimist about America, about the good sense of the American people, the track record over the last 70 years about its ability to overcome the obstacles to governance and to recognize that American leadership in the world is good for America, good for the world and good for the Jewish people.

God Help Us All…! *gah*

by CTuttle

Déjà vu vingt-deux: Are Iranian Magnets The New Aluminum Tubes?

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

“You are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot. But you should know that pressure and negotiations are not compatible and our nation will not be intimidated by these threats. Talk is meaningful if it is based on goodwill, equal standing and when both sides do not want to apply tricks. Talk as a tactic, a gesture of superpower, is only a deceptive move.” -Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Insistence That the U.S. Not “Point a Gun” at it is a Diplomatic Opening Not a Rejection…

Clearly such goodwill is in short supply between the United States and Iran…! I mean really, folks…? West to Tell Iran: Close Fordow, We’ll Ease the Sanctions…

Now, as FAIR’s Peter Hart asked today…

Are Iranian Magnets the New Aluminum Tubes?

…In the run up to the Iraq War, the New York Times (9/8/02) famously reported on an Iraqi scheme to procure special aluminum tubes that could only have one purpose: Iraq’s secret nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein was attempting to “buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes,” and the “diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq’s nuclear program.” The claims were false–Iraq, as it turned out, had no nuclear program–but still hugely influential.

Yesterday, on the front page of the Washington Post (2/14/13), reporter Joby Warrick has the scoop on what Iran is evidently up to:

Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.

Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets–which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions–from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said.

Warrick explains that this “has fueled Western concerns that Iran is planning a major expansion in its nuclear capacity that would allow it to make atomic weapons quickly if it chooses to do so.” That point was underscored by an anonymous source–identified as “a European diplomat with access to sensitive intelligence on Iran’s nuclear facilities, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

Now to be fair, Nima Shirazi, has been leading the charge for years…Iraq, Iran, Redlines and Headlines…

But, I digress… Peter Hart goes on to cite one of my all-time fave bloggers, b at MOA, where he’s screaming… Iran Buys Magnets That DO NOT FIT Its Centrifuges… Fancy that, eh…?

Honestly folks, wtf…?

Hyping Iran Nukes, Again

The neocon-flagship Washington Post and its investigative reporter Joby Warrick are at it again, hyping an account about Iran’s nuclear program pushed by discredited nuclear expert David Albright, who famously gave cover for George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq a decade ago.

The latest Albright/Warrick alarm, which leads Thursday’s Washington Post, cites Iran’s alleged effort to place an Internet order for 100,000 ring-shaped magnets that would work in some of the country’s older centrifuges.

You have to read to the end of the long story to hear a less strident voice, saying that Iran had previously informed inspectors for the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency that it planned to build more of its old and clunkier centrifuges, which use this sort of magnet, and that the enrichment was for civilian energy, not a nuclear bomb…

And the WaPo even doubled down today, with their warmongering, in an ‘interview’ with the UN’s Ban Ki Moon… Iran could use U.N. talks as cover to build bomb, Ban Ki-moon says… Which is being echoed across the Pond…

Iran is taking same path to nuclear weapons as North Korea, says Ban Ki-Moon

Iran is using the same methods as North Korea to develop its nuclear capabilities, requiring “firm, decisive and effective” action by the Security Council, the United Nations secretary general has warned…

Huh…?

Now, as Rachel Maddow is set to unveil her new blockbuster expose on the Iraqi fiasco, ask yourself if we’ve learned anything…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Benghazi, The Britam ‘Hack’, The Fordo Hoax, And, Syria

5:41 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Don’t you just love Pepe’s response to the little Hillary/Obama love-fest on 60 Minutes…?

Now, since I hadn’t addressed Madame Shrillary’s recent Senate testimony on Benghazi, I’d like to point out that Sen. Rand Paul’s ‘wild accusations’ of a Libyan-Syrian weapons pipeline, is in fact, Not just a Rightwing Conspiracy TheoryThe Benghazi Affair: Uncovering the Mystery of the Benghazi CIA Annex…

Anyways, in news that you’d most likely missed…

Leaked Files of Britam Defense Implicate the Plot Against Russia and Syria

The news about the security breach of the military contractor Britam Defense was not reported by any Western media outlet. Instead it was shared through blogs, communities of hackers and social platforms

…One particular email was of special interest. In it Dave Goulding reminded his fellow co-founder Phil Dougherty about an offer made by Washington via a group of Qataris: to transport what seemed to be a Soviet era chemical weapon into Syria, using sub contracted Russian speaking Ukrainian mercenaries.

Phil

We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards
David

The fans of conspiracies and hackers started discussing whether the documents were genuine or fake.

Eventually, the community of hackers came to conclusion that the whole case was either genuine or VERY elaborate hoax with thorough attention to little details…

The ‘Syrian Commando’ had asked…

What is the purpose of this leak?

Why the leak, with a single email? Why now? Why only one email? It’s clear. A single email is very easy to dismiss as fake. In fact, during the Stratfor hack, anonymouSabu’s henchmen planted an email by CEO George Friedman claiming he had resigned, when in fact he had done no such thing. When you control a server you are able to fabricate any kind of email you want to “leak”. Only a long conversation with realistic time stamps follow ups and reference emails to check for the writer’s style, can possibly be used to confirm the authenticity of an email.

And BritAm has been silent!

Which means that this leak can be quickly dismissed as nothing more than a fabrication. The hack will of course be acknowledged as in the case of Stratfor. Who will you believe, BritAm or the hacker?

That’s the problem. Soon, by undermining the validity of the leak in the minds of the media consumers, it will by extension, undermine the validity of the SEA leaks even though the latter is comprehensive and includes signed, scanned documents and a huge amount of cross references. That won’t matter, a single “fake” can spoil all the real leaks.

But not this time! By anticipating this strategy and demanding a complete archive from “JAsIrX” before discussing the leak any further, we can burn this possible Trojan horse before it enters our gates

Reddit had labeled it Bullshit and removed it…! b at MOA had quipped: “I looked at the Britam case and while the general hack may have been genuine that email smells of fake.”

So, as always, Caveat Emptor…!

Anyways, moving along to the Fordo Fiasco…

U.N watchdog confirms Iran’s denial of explosion at it’s Fordo nuclear plant

The U.N. atomic watchdog made clear on Tuesday it had seen no sign of any explosion at one of Iran’s most sensitive nuclear plants, backing up Tehran’s denial that such an incident hadn’t taken place last week.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in an unusual move, made a brief statement following media reports at the weekend of significant damage at the underground Fordo uranium enrichment site.

IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites, including the one at Fordo, and the U.N. agency suggested in its comment that they had been at the site -after- the reports were published in some Israeli and Western media.

“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordo. This is consistent with our observations,” IAEA spomkeswoman Gill Tudor said in an emailed comment in response to a question…

Funny how quickly, the IAEA, was able to inspect the Fordo Nuclear plant, eh…?

Even, Jay Carney, had to categorically deny it…

“We have no information to confirm the allegations in that report, and we do not believe the report is credible,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The reports cited the conservative American news website WND, which reported that an explosion at the Fordo facility on January 21 had caused major damage and trapped workers.”

Ironically, even the best of us get ensnared amongst the web of deceit… Was Fordo a Hoax? If So, Why?

Moving along to Syria, Why Doubts Are Growing About An Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack…

…If recent media reports have left an impression that Syrian President Bashar Assad might already have used chemical weapons against his own people, think again, says arms expert Jeffrey Lewis.

The scholar on weapons of mass destruction is assailing the credibility of Syrian opposition allegations that the chemical “Agent 15” was dispensed in the restive northern city of Homs on Dec. 23.

“No one has bothered to mention that Agent 15 doesn’t exist,” Lewis said in a Foreign Policy blog post last Friday.

Beyond a passing reference to the substance in a document discovered in pre-war Iraq, neither Baghdad nor Damascus appears to have ever produced or weaponized this type of chemical agent, he said. Yet the name “Agent 15” has developed a life of its own on the Web, which might help explain the genesis of claims relating to Syria, according to the WMD expert…

…“These appear to be U.S.- and U.K.-funded groups that produce anti-regime propaganda,” Lewis said in his Friday post. “Are we really surprised that they are alleging chemical weapons use?”

Same Oh, Same Oh…!

Aren’t ya just touched by the Oily Bomber’s personal plea to the Syrians…?

Obama tapes message to Syrians

President Barack Obama has approved another $155 million in humanitarian aid for Syria and took the unusual step of taping a message with Arabic subtitles explaining the U.S. position.

“Here, I want to speak directly to the people of Syria,” he says in the message. “This new aid will mean more warm clothing for children and medicine for the elderly; flour and wheat for your families and blankets, boots and stoves for those huddled in damaged buildings. It will mean health care for victims of sexual violence and field hospitals for the wounded. Even as we work to end the violence against you, this aid will help address some of the immediate needs you face each day.

“…We’re under no illusions. The days ahead will continue to be very difficult. But what’s clear is that the regime continues to weaken and lose control of territory. The opposition continues to grow stronger. More Syrians are standing up for their dignity. The Assad regime will come to an end. The Syrian people will have their chance to forge their own future. And they will continue to find a partner in the United States of America.”

Bless his Heart…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Meet The MeK…

6:40 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I was disheartened to hear today that Madame Shrillary had decided to take the MeK off the State Terrorist List, but, I’m not surprised one iota…! As MoJo noted…

State Department Officially Removing MEK From US Terror List

After a few months of will-they-won’t-they tension, the US State Department decided on Friday to officially remove the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, which the Iranian exile group has been on for the past 15 years… {…}

…The Paris-based MEK—which enjoys a solidly low level of popular support among Iranians—is also called the The People’s Mujahideen of Iran, and was founded in Tehran in the mid-1960s as a synthesis of Islamic principle, left-wing populism, and violent resistance to the Shah. It has since been blasted by critics as a totalitarian, hero-worshipping cult with a history of engaging in indiscriminate mass murder (a particular sore spot is the allegation that MEK fighters acted as a death squad for Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Shiite and Kurdish uprisings in Iraq). Today, the group is reportedly on the frontlines of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, and has a long, bipartisan list of powerful friends in the US who pitch the group as the Western-friendly and pluralistic antidote to the Islamic republic.

The bizarro patchwork of high-profile advocates includes John Bolton, Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.), at least two Romney campaign advisors, Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, and ex-FBI director Louis Freeh. Some of these top supporters received subpoenas from the Treasury department last March during an investigation of speaking fees for pro-MEK events—something that could potentially amount to providing material support to a designated terror organization…

As the CSM reported last year…

Iranian group’s big-money push to get off US terrorist list

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: A roster of influential former US officials is speaking at rallies in support of removing the MEK, an Iranian opposition group with a violent anti-American history, from the US terrorist list. A decision is expected within weeks…

…Many of these former high-ranking US officials – who represent the full political spectrum – have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.

They rarely mention the MEK’s violent and anti-American past, and portray the group not as terrorists but as freedom fighters with “values just like us,” as democrats-in-waiting ready to serve as a vanguard of regime change in Iran. Some acknowledge that they knew little about the group before they were invited to speak and were coached by MEK supporters…

As Philip Giraldi had written earlier this year…

The MEK’s Useful Idiots

…One scholar who has studied them describes their beliefs as a “weird combination of Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism.” Like many other terrorist groups, the MEK has a political wing that operates openly, the National Council of Resistance, which is based in Paris, and another front organization called Executive Action, which operates in Washington.

The U.S. military and the CIA have in the past recruited MEK agents to enter Iran and report on nuclear facilities. Other MEK agents, recruited and trained by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, have recently killed a number of Iranian nuclear scientists and officials. The group appears to have ample financial resources, and it is generally believed that at least some of the money comes from Mossad. The MEK is able to place full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers and is also known to pay hefty speaker’s fees to major political figures who are willing to speak publicly on its behalf. The group claims to want regime-change in Iran to restore democracy to the country, an odd assertion as it itself has no internal democracy.

Because the MEK is a resource being used by Israel in its clandestine war against Iran, it is perhaps inevitable that many friends of Israel in the United States are campaigning vigorously to have the group removed from the terrorism list. Indeed, neocons at their various think-tanks and publications as well as AIPAC all support delisting the group. At this moment, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not surprisingly, appears to be inclined to give in to the pressure and delist the MEK once it completes its departure from Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where it has been based for the past 20 years. There might be some problem in arranging the move, as few countries want to take the MEK supporters, fearing that they would have to be deprogrammed from their brainwashing…

As NBC had reported shortly after the latest Iranian assassinations…

Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible – Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI…

Now, one thing that I hadn’t seen mentioned in any of the reports today, was the MeK’s role in the infamous ‘Nuke Laptop’, something that I’d cited last year… IAEA Claims ‘New Info’ On Iranian Nukes

…German officials have identified the source of the laptop documents in November 2004 as the Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), which along with its political arm, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), is listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organisation.

There are some indications, moreover, that the MEK obtained the documents not from an Iranian source but from Israel’s Mossad.

In its latest report on Iran, circulated Feb. 22, the IAEA, under strong pressure from the Bush administration, included descriptions of plans for a facility to produce “green salt”, technical specifications for high explosives testing and the schematic layout of a missile reentry vehicle that appears capable of holding a nuclear weapon. Iran has been asked to provide full explanations for these alleged activities.

Tehran has denounced the documents on which the charges are based as fabrications provided by the MEK, and has demanded copies of the documents to analyse, but the United States had refused to do so

And the US still hasn’t handed over the documents…!

In summing up, many in the Beltway can now rest easier knowing that they’re no longer providing material support to terrorists…!

Don’t ya’ll feel better too…? *gah*

by CTuttle

Debunking The Latest IAEA Report on Iran

4:52 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From that RT blurb… The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned threats by Israel and the US to strike Iran. This comes after Tehran rejected as a ‘political move’ the latest report by the IAEA which claimed the country has doubled its nuclear capacity…

First off, you can take a look at the IAEA report here from the Grey Lady…! Now, let’s take a gander at what the Grey Lady’s in-house AIPAC mouthpieces had to say about it…

Report on Iran Nuclear Work Puts Israel in a Box

…For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday offered findings validating his longstanding position that while harsh economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation may have hurt Iran, they have failed to slow Tehran’s nuclear program. If anything, the program is speeding up…

Phil Weiss raised a great point about the Grey Lady’s true intentions… ‘NYT’ serves as echo chamber for Israeli hawks, quoting 7 on Iran, plus 2 Israel lobbyists…!

Now, I happen to agree with b at MOA that Gareth Porter did jilt b by not giving him a hat tip, but, Gareth did write a marvelous post on IPS…

IAEA Report Shows Iran Reduced Its Breakout Capacity

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report made public Thursday reveals that Iran has actually reduced the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium available for any possible “breakout” to weapons grade enrichment over the last three months rather than increasing it.

Contrary to the impression conveyed by most news media coverage, the report provides new evidence that Iran’s enrichment strategy is aimed at enhancing its bargaining position in negotiations with the United States rather than amassing such a breakout capability.

The reduction in the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium in the Iranian stockpile that could be used to enrich to weapons grade is the result of a major acceleration in the fabrication of fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor, which needs 20-percent enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes.

That higher level enriched uranium has been the main focus of U.S. diplomatic demands on Iran ever since 2009, on the ground that it represents the greatest threat of an Iranian move to obtain a nuclear weapon capability.

When 20-percent uranium is used to make fuel plates, however, it is very difficult to convert it back to a form that can enriched to weapons grade levels…

…The reduction in the stockpile available for weapons grade enrichment was the result of the conversion of 53.3 kg of 20-percent enriched uranium into fuel plates – compared with only 43 kg in the previous five months.

Iran was thus creating fuel plates for its medical reactor faster than it was enriching uranium to a 20-percent level.

But although that reduction of the stockpile of enriched uranium of greatest concern to the United States was the real significance of the new report, it was not conveyed by the headlines and leads in news media coverage. Those stories focused instead on the fact that production of 20-percent enriched uranium had increased, and that the number of centrifuges at the underground facility at Fordow had doubled.

“Nobody has put out the story that their stockpile is shrinking,” said Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and a leading independent specialist on nuclear weapons policy, in an interview with IPS.

As b had put it so succinctly, earlier…

IAEA: Iranian “Nuclear Danger” Decreased

Iran has now 10% less “dangerous stuff” in the form of further easily enrichable 20% UF6 than it had in May 2012. Further enriched this stockpile would not be enough by half to create even one nuclear device. The “imminent danger” of a “nuclear Iran” has thereby decreased.

We can reasonably assume that Iran is doing this decrease on purpose and will in future convert any newly produced UF6 into fuel plates. This will keep its stock of UF6 at a level below what is needed to make a quick run towards a nuclear device.

But as the whole “nuclear Iran” scare has little to do with reality but a lot with U.S. and Israeli desire to subjugate Iran and thereby further their global and regional domination we can not expect to read about this reality in any of the western propaganda media.

The main point of contention is the false claim that Iran is now producing HEU, which is defined as 20.00+% enrichment, the IAEA can only confirm that it’s still 19.75% LEU enrichment, with some minor aberrations of 20% obtained, but, let’s not lose sight of the fact, the IAEA is indeed monitoring the whole process…!

Cyrus Safdari also provides a great paragraph-by-paragraph vivisection of the IAEA report…!

Even FDL Alum, Jim White, noted what a farce it’s become…

Fear-Mongering Over New IAEA Iran Report Falls Flat

…IAEA inspectors are onsite at Iran’s nuclear facilities and they confirm that all of Iran’s nuclear material is accounted for, with none being diverted for unknown purposes. Despite all the bluster from the war mongers that Iran is making progress toward a weapon, the fact remains that uranium enrichment still goes only to 20% and not to the 90%+ needed for a weapon, Iran’s functioning enrichment centrifuges are still very old technology and all uranium entering the enrichment process has been accounted for by IAEA inspectors.

With such gaping holes in the claims that Iran is dangerously close to “break out” capability on weapons development, it is no surprise that this latest round of beating the drum for war is being lost in the attention on the upcoming election.

Btw, does anybody realize that 120 nations just unanimously approved of Iran’s nuclear program…?

Non-Aligned Movement Unanimously Backs Iran’s Civilian Nuclear Program

The 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has unanimously endorsed Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program, saying Iran has not only the right to produce energy through nuclear fission, but has a right to enrich their own uranium to do so…

…The NAM endorsement is particularly important as its membership amounts of about 2/3 of the nations on the planet, a strong voting majority in the UN General Assembly. This would make it extremely difficult for the Obama Administration to push to punish Iran for its program through the general assembly.

Funny how our Chair of the JCS, Gen. Dempsey, is publicly questioning the ‘legality’ of an Iran strike…

…The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has always cautioned against a go-it-alone approach, but he appeared to up the ante this week by saying Washington did not want to be blamed for any Israeli initiative.

“I don’t want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it,” Dempsey was quoted as saying by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Friday, suggesting that he would view an Israeli attack as reprehensible or illegal.

He went on to repeat that although Israel could delay Iran’s nuclear project, it would not destroy it. He said that unilateral action might unravel a strong international coalition that has applied progressively stiff sanctions on Iran.

“(This) could be undone if (Iran) was attacked prematurely,” he was quoted as saying…

A whole lot more would be undone too…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Israel, Iran, and, The Melian Dialogue

7:16 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

“…Every president I worked for, at some point in his presidency, would get so pissed off at the Israelis that he couldn’t speak. It didn’t matter whether it was Jimmy Carter or Gerry Ford or Ronald Reagan or George Bush. Something would happen and they would just absolutely go screw themselves right into the ceiling they were so angry and they’d sort of rant and rave around the Oval Office. I think it was their frustration about knowing that there was so little they could do about it because of domestic politics and everything else that was so frustrating to them.” — former SecDef Robert Gates in 2000 (PDF! 105 pgs)

Ironically, Gates had uttered those words prior to his tenure as SecDef under Shrub and Oily Bomber…!

In a recent Asia Times article, written by a former British member of the IAEA, Peter Jenkins, presents a compelling argument…

Will Iran be US’s Melos?

One of the most depressing aspects of all the talk about Israel or the United States destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities (and much else besides, no doubt) is the near absence of any reference to international law. Even so distinguished an expert as Anthony Cordesman seems to take it for granted that there will be no legal impediment to the US attacking Iran if a credible threat of an attack fails to intimidate Iran into making the concessions required to pacify Israel.

In my country, Britain, on February 20, 2012, members of the House of Commons spent five hours debating whether the use of force against Iran would be “productive” without dwelling more than cursorily on the legal aspects of the question.

How is one to account for this blind spot? Are ignorance and oversight to blame, or has respect for international law gone out of fashion?

It’s hard to believe that anyone who has policy-making responsibilities that involve other states, or who takes a professional interest in such policy-making, can be unaware of what the bed-rock of the post-1945 international system has to say about war-making…

…So much of the contemporary foreign policy debate seems to take place in a moral vacuum, with little or no reference to justice and the rule of law in international affairs. I am almost embarrassed to be using such words.

Yet it seems to me rational to suggest that the post-1945 international system is the best yet devised, that it has brought great benefits to the West, that its preservation requires commitment from the leading power of the age, and that the leading power has to marry justice to strength to retain the loyalty of other participants. If I’m right, treating Iran unlawfully is a bad option.

Let’s look at the Melos analogy, which many Historians credit as the first tangible example of Realpolitik in action. Wikipedia provides a great little synopsis of the Melian Dialogue…

The dialogue is between unnamed Athenian envoys sent by generals Cleomedes son of Lycomedes and Tisias son of Tisimachus to negotiate with unnamed Melians

Athenian: “For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses—either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us—and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Spartans, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” (Strassler 352/5.89).

Melians: “You may be sure that we are as well aware as you of the difficulty of contending against your power and fortune, unless the terms be equal. But we trust that the gods may grant us fortune as good as yours, since we are just men fighting against unjust, and that what we want in power will be made up by the alliance of the Lacedaemonians, who are bound, if only for very shame, to come to the aid of their kindred. Our confidence, therefore, after all is not so utterly irrational.”

Athenian: “Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist forever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do” (Strassler 354/5.105.2).

Now, ain’t it funny how fast Athens was knocked off it’s almighty pedestal by Sparta, a mere 12 years after Melos…? Ain’t Karma a B*tch…?

In some interesting diplomatic maneuvers, Iran, has further isolated the US/Israeli machinations…

Iran complains to UN about Israel’s threats

Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN has written to the UN Secretary General to condemn the threats against Iran made by Israeli officials, stressing that such statements are “a threat to humanity.”

And then delivered the coup de grâce to the specious claims of Israel and the AIPAC funded US ‘think tanks’…

NAM participants can visit Iran’s nuclear facilities

Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iran will allow officials from the Non-Aligned Movement to visit nuclear facilities during a summit in Tehran which opens on Sunday and runs until Friday, MNA reported.

The move is intended to show that Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful.

Iran will also schedule trips to industrial and scientific sites, the ministry said.

The visits will be arranged according to the interests of “our guests,” the ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters…

Fancy that eh…?

Btw, as Jason Ditz noted today…

White House: Diplomacy ‘Still Viable’ With Iran

The Obama Administration is always quick to issue a condemnation of Iran after any new IAEA report is made public. Today they broke a record, however, by issuing that condemnation before the report has even been released.

The reaction comments are seen as an attempt to preempt Israeli attempts to spin the upcoming report as an excuse for war, because while they include the usual condemnations they also insist there is “time and space” for diplomacy to continue.

Anonymous administration officials even took a page out of war opponents’ books, noting that Iran’s production of 20 percent uranium, far below weapons-grade, could not be changed to weapons-grade up without the IAEA’s notice since they continue to be a presence at the facility…

From the Grey Lady

…The Obama administration insisted Friday that “there is time and space” for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, despite new evidence, to be released next week by international nuclear inspectors, that Iran is bolstering its ability to produce a type of uranium that can be converted relatively quickly to bomb fuel.

In a statement that was notable chiefly for the fact that it was issued before the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report is scheduled to be made public, a White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said Iran “is continuing to violate its international obligations” despite the imposition of sanctions that severely restrict the country’s oil revenue.

Exactly what violations are the Iranians violating under their NPT obligations, Mr. Vietor…?

Who is threatening whom, besides the illegal sanctions, assassinations, and cyber warfare…?

US sends aircraft carrier back to Gulf to face Iran – Panetta tells sailors they are needed in Mideast. I really do feel sorry for those swabbies that had their expected ‘shore leave’ cut mighty short…!

Now to be sure that the IAEA has been fully co-opted, at least since El Baradei’s resignation…

Nuke agency forms special Iran team

Diplomats tell The Associated Press that the U.N. nuclear agency is forming a special Iran team, drawing together sleuths in weapons technology, intelligence analysis, radiation and other fields of expertise.

They say the goal is to add muscle to a probe of suspicions that Tehran worked secretly on atomic arms.

Creating a unit focused on only one country is an unusual move for the International Atomic Energy Agency, reflecting the priority it attaches to Iran amid fears it is moving closer to the ability to make nuclear weapons.

Iran denies it is interested in possessing nuclear weapons and says it has never worked on developing them.

The four diplomats demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the confidential IAEA plans.

Wtf, over…?

One more worth-while read… Iran and the Brunt of Nuclear Crucifixion…

God help us all…!

by CTuttle

More Persian Fantasies After Baghdad Talks…

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Niles had equivocated in that great RT clip, the ball is squarely in the West’s ballcourt, and, the Oily Bomber, along with all of our AIPAC bought-off Congress Critters, are the sick individuals that are failing us miserably…

the Obama Administration seems no more prepared to deal with the big issues that will determine diplomatic success or failure—namely, accepting the principle and the reality of internationally safeguarded enrichment in Iran and recognizing that a negotiated solution will necessarily entail significant sanctions relief—than it was during its initial experience in multilateral negotiations with the Islamic Republic during 2009-2010. Until that changes, the chance for anything other than failure or, at best, an extremely narrow deal of little strategic significance—is negligible…

…the Iranians assess that the Obama Administration has an interest in keeping the negotiations going at least through the U.S. presidential election in November. As Flynt points out, they have been using the talks as a way of probing Western seriousness about a potential deal…

But the talks are not going to produce anything of strategic significance unless the United States substantially alters its approach

Just to be sure…

No gaps exist between the U.S. and Israel on Iran nuclear program, says official…

Senior official involved in Baghdad talks says U.S. is pressuring Iran because it perceives it as a real threat to world security, not because of Israeli pressure…

…The U.S. official, who is intimately acquainted with the P5 + 1 talks which took place in Baghdad last week, asked to remain anonymous owing to the sensitive nature of the issue.

According to the official, the U.S. government does not feel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to pressure it over negotiations with Iran.

We are the ones who are pressuring ourselves because we see a nuclear Iran as a real danger to global security, and not because of Israel, ” the U.S. official said.

Even if we do not have the patience, we need to give diplomacy a chance before military action…it is still not too late, and I think that Israel thinks that it is already too late,” the official added…

…On Friday, the head of the U.S. negotiation team, undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman, arrived in Israel along with officials from the White House National Security Council working on the Iran nuclear issue – Gary Seymour and Puneet Talwar.

The American team had a three-hour meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, with National Security advisor Yaakov Amidror, and a number of other senior Israeli officials who deal with the Iran issue, in order to update them on the talks in Baghdad.

According to the U.S. official, the Israeli government was the first to be updated by them on what happened in Baghdad after the talks were over. “We updated the Israelis in detail before we updated our own government,” the official said.

This shows how much trust and security we have in our ties with Israel.

Former AIPAC employee, MJ Rosenberg, totally eviscerates that ‘anonymous’ US official’s foreign delusions…

Mainstream Media & Bloggers Are Too Scared To Mention AIPAC In Iran Coverage

Every piece of legislation dealing with Iran, including all the sanctions bills, were written in AIPAC’s offices and then handed over to favored senators and representatives for introduction. For the last decade, every AIPAC annual conference, attended by the President and half the Congress, has had as its centerpiece the need to confront Iran. Just this week, as negotiations began in Baghdad, the Vice President met with the ultra-right Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which is led by this guy. (Watch the youtube, you will fall off your chair laughing). And the next day the Senate Majority Leader met with the same group. The message to the Conference in both cases: trust us, we will not deviate from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy that sanctions not be lifted no matter what Iran offers. And we didn’t!

To put it simply, there would be no Iran hysteria was it not for the lobby. After all, was there hysteria over North Korean nuclear weapons? The North Korean regime is insane which the Iranian regime is not. And we have over 100,000 troops in South Korea, not to mention that Seoul, the South Korean capital, is virtually on the border with the crazy north.

But Iran is different. And that is because of the lobby. (If groups other than the lobby cared much about Iranian reprocessing, would not Biden and Harry Reid have met with them. Of course, they would have. But they know Iran is strictly an Israel lobby issue. And that means it is enmeshed in the question of who will or will not receive campaign contributions from PACs and individuals who take their marching orders from the lobby.

Imagine if there was no lobby. (Such a lovely thought)

…And that is among the many reasons that I wish the timid MSM and bloggers would start telling the truth to the American people. This whole issue is not about us. It’s about Netanyahu and AIPAC. And, largely due to them, we may never be able to resolve it.

George Washington is spinning in his grave, waiting for Rachel Maddow to address this issue. Fat chance.

Neither Maddow or the other “progressives” want to risk offending people who might slow their advance to the heights. That is why this is the ONLY issue that the wise don’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Career comes first. And last…

Now, I may not be paid for my I/P blogging, but, I have always soldiered on…!

God help us all…!