Are We Heading for WWIII?


President Bush has talked about the danger of World War III if Iran doesn't stop its nuclear program. What do people think is the risk of war where you are?

Posted by David Ignatius on October 25, 2007 11:36 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (183)

Rick :

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for the post. That Simon Wickens Overview of the Eruption of Mount Tambora is the best I’ve seen yet. I like the graphic of the “Ring of Fire” of volcanic activity around the joints of the tectonic plates. And the one showing the relative volume of ejecta for some historic eruptions is fascinating. The Yellowstone eruption of 600,000 B.C. produced 1200 times the ejecta from Mt. St. Helens in 1980, and 16 times the amount from Tambora in 1815 that caused the year with no summer in 1816.

Another super volcano eruption at Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia only 75,000 was twice as great as Yellowstone and caused a volcanic winter that eradicated 60% of human life. Another eruption at La Garita Caldera, Colorado, 28 million years ago was 4 times as great as Yellowstone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervolcano

Here is a link to a 2005 BBC/Discovery Channel docudrama of a Yellowstone eruption.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervolcano_%28docudrama%29

It’s awe inspiring and reminds us of how insignificant and fragile our existence is in view of the cataclysmic events that await us from within the Earth’s core and collisions from asteroids and comets from without. It helps us to put our little political problems into perspective.

If WWIII doesn't get us, something else will.

VICTORIA :

hi rick- the other night i was watching the history channel and a show called 'a global warNing?'

it talked about an eruption in 1816 in tambora indonesia whose effects caused a winterlke atmosphere =here just read-
the year without summer-
http://geology.wcedu.pima.edu/~swickens/Tambora.html


But it was the enormous cloud of gas — some 400 million tons of it — released by the eruption that produced the "year without summer."

When the gas reacted with water vapor in the atmosphere, it formed tiny little droplets of sulfuric acid that became suspended in the stratosphere, creating a veil over the Earth, Sigurdsson says.

This veil of gas acted like a mirror, bouncing radiation back into space and decreasing the amount of heat that reached the Earth's surface, causing global cooling, he says.

what made me think of your post was the part of the show that dealt with yellowstone- a supervolcano-

the show stated that it erupts every 600,000 years, and is 40,000 years overdue.

it also said that a supereruption would cover an area of 3,000 square miles- this article says 7,772- http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/supervolcano/email/email_02.html

interesting sideline


Rick :

The previous article notes that Jews living in Arab countries were treated badly as well. But what should they expect after their highway robbery of Palestinian land?

Rick :

From today’s NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/05/world/middleeast/05nations.html?pagewanted=print

“November 5, 2007

Group Spotlights Jews Who Left Arab Lands
By WARREN HOGE

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 2 — With assertions of the rights of Palestinians to reclaim land in Israel expected to arise at an planned Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Md., a Jewish advocacy group has scheduled a meeting in New York on Monday to call attention to people it terms “forgotten refugees.”

The organizing group, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, says it is referring to the more than 850,000 Jews who left their homes in Arab lands after the declaration of the state of Israel in 1948…”

“The next opportunity would be Nov. 29, the 60th anniversary of the partition vote, which is officially recognized by the United Nations as the International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People.

The United Nations says that 711,000 Palestinians left Israel-controlled territory in 1948 and 1949 and that today, along with their descendants, the number of Palestinian refugees is at least four million.

“There is mention, as there should be, of Palestinian refugees, but no mention of Jewish refugees,” Mr. Cotler said of the annual commemoration…”

Rick :

From today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/09/AR2007110902573_pf.html

Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth
Iran, Russia and Venezuela Feel the Benefits

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2007; A01

“High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone…”

“"There's never been anything like this on a sustained basis the way we've seen the last couple of years," said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Oil prices "are not spiking; they're just rising," he added.

The benefits, to the tune of $700 billion a year, are flowing to the world's oil-exporting countries.

Two of those nations -- Iran and Venezuela -- may be better able to defy the Bush administration because of swelling oil revenue. Venezuela has used its oil wealth to dispense patronage around South America, vying for influence even with longtime U.S. allies. And Iran could be less vulnerable to sanctions designed to pressure it into giving up its nuclear program or opening it to inspection.”

Rick :

The topic is:

“Are We Heading for WWIII?

President Bush has talked about the danger of World War III if Iran doesn't stop its nuclear program. What do people think is the risk of war where you are?”

My answer is:

Yes, primarily because of our dependence on Mid East oil and our war on Islam.

If we had spent the $1 Trillion that we have squandered on the illegal and immoral preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq on developing alternative energy sources instead, we would be well on out way to energy dependence, and would have dramatically reduced the likely of WWIII.

If we did not unconditionally support the illegal and immoral Israeli usurpation of Palestine from its rightful owners, the Palestinian people, we would not have not have enraged the Islamic world, and would not have served as the catalyst for a probable WWIII.
Tom Wonacott argues that the “State of Israel” is legal because of the Balfour Declaration and its inclusion by the League of Nations in the British Mandate following WWI. However, the Balfour Declaration was the British response to the lobbying influence of the powerful Jews Baron Rothschild and Barron Hirsch.

So as a spoil of war after WWI, and as a result of the lobbying influence of wealthy Jews on the British government, Palestine was taken away from its rightful owners, the Palestinian people who had tended their flocks and orchards and farmed this land for millennia, and given instead to the Jews.

In a like manner it was the lobbying influence of the powerful American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) that mislead us into the moronic and disastrous preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq. The dual motives for this disaster were our greed to control the world’s second largest oil field combined with the Israelis fear and loathing of Saddam Hussein. These same motives are at work in pushing us to bomb Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities.

Until we develop a fair and balanced policy with respect to Palestine, develop energy independence, and free ourselves from the influence of the Jewish lobby, the likelihood starting WWIII will only increase.

Rick :

Off topic but interesting...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/08/AR2007110801336.html

As Yellowstone Bubbles, Experts Are Calm

By Joel Achenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 9, 2007; Page A03

Something is stirring deep below the legendary hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone, the first and most famous national park in America -- and home to a huge volcanic caldron.

Parts of the park have been rising the past three years at a rate never before observed by scientists. They believe that magma -- molten rock -- is filling pores in the Earth's crust and causing a large swath of Yellowstone to rise like a pie in the oven...

Yellowstone bears close monitoring, scientists say, because it is prone to hydrothermal explosions, volcanic eruptions (the most recent occurred 70,000 years ago) and, once in a very long while, a super-eruption, a continent-scorching explosion that makes your average volcanic event seem like a hiccup. The most recent super-eruption at Yellowstone, 640,000 years ago, launched 240 cubic miles of material into the atmosphere, burying much of the American West in a layer of hot ash. By comparison, Mount St. Helens in 1980 spewed forth less than a quarter of a cubic mile of material.

A caldera is essentially a collapsed volcano...

Rick :

In today’s WP - I normally don’t agree with Krauthammer, but this time he makes sense:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/08/AR2007110801812_pf.html

Marcos . . . Pinochet . . . Musharraf?

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 9, 2007; A21

Islamist barbarians are at the gates. The president declares de facto martial law. The country's democratic forces of the center and left, led by well-dressed lawyers and a former prime minister, take to the streets.

What is America to do about Pakistan? Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto knows just how to appeal to America. In a New York Times op-ed, she quoted President Bush back to himself: "All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Bhutto (Harvard '73) is a good student of American politics. She caught Bush's democratic messianism at its apogee, the same inaugural address in which he set "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."...

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attempted to engineer a marriage of these two factions by trying to orchestrate Bhutto's return to Pakistan under a power-sharing agreement that Musharraf has just blown to pieces.

Our influence should not be overestimated. But we need to make clear our choices. The best among the awful ones Musharraf has presented to us is to try to broker a truce between the two forces before the blood starts to flow, keep Musharraf to his promise of holding early parliamentary elections -- which Bhutto will win -- and then guarantee him a dignified and gradual exit that ensures his protection while Bhutto and her allies claim legitimate authority and try to reach an accommodation with Musharraf's successor as military chief.

It's a long downfield pass. But Musharraf never consulted us on the choice of plays.

VICTORIA :

i have to mention that zionists claims of having religious ties to israel are no true.
the founding zionists were all atheists to a man.

Rick :

Hello Tom,

Yup, it ain't pretty. I agree it's hard to imagine the Israelis giving up and moving out; but equally as hard to imagine the Palestinians forgiving and forgetting. I guess it will just be the survival of the fittest. I just wish my tax dollars weren’t being used to stack the deck in favor of the Israelis.

Yes the Israelis think they are God’s chosen people, and this land was promised to them; all the more reason they should be summarily booted out of the region.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

"However, the UN document at the following link makes clear that the British had no right to promise Palestine to the Jews, had promised the same land to both the Jews and to the Palestinians, and that this duplicity is responsible for the current conflict in Palestine that has been raging since prior to the 1947 U.N. Partition and since the Balfour Declaration:"

What is legal and what is fair or right are different concepts. Who could doubt that OJ Simpson is guilty of murder, but legally he was found innocent.

Zionist believe that the land of Israel is historically their land, and they have strong religious and historic ties to the land and to cities such as Jerusalem. Jews (before 1949) were found throughout the Middle East including Palestine. As you have pointed out, Palestinian people have been farming and raising livestock for hundreds of years in the land of Palestine.

Many Israelis would like to incorporate the entire West Bank while many Palestinians (as well as other Arabs and Persians) believe this is ALL Muslim land. Neither the one state solution as is favored by radical Islam or additional building of new settlements by the Israelis will bring peace. It seems tenuous under the best of circumstances that peace will come to this region anyway (and probably not at Annapolis), but what chance there is lies in the two state solution, at least in my opinion.

Rick :

Who is kidding whom? There will be no peace in the Middle East (or the world) until the Zionist invaders are pulled out of Palestine and transported to their new homeland in Texas.

From today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/07/AR2007110702073.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

If This Peace Process Fails
By Jackson Diehl
Thursday, November 8, 2007; A27

JERUSALEM -- In a bold speech broadcast on national television Sunday night, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert explicitly overturned the judgments that have guided Israeli governments for the past seven years. Israel, he said, does have a worthy negotiating partner in the Palestinian Authority. It cannot afford to postpone negotiations or drag its feet in endless talks. "Real accomplishments" are possible before President Bush leaves office. "We will not avoid fulfilling our own obligations" -- such as dismantling West Bank settlements -- "to the letter," Olmert said, " . . . no matter how difficult it is."...

For the next several days, Israel's talk radio and op-ed pages converged on a single subject -- but it was not Olmert's groundbreaking speech. Instead, the buzz was all about something that took place at a soccer game in Haifa while Olmert was speaking. Before the game began, an announcer asked for a moment of silence in honor of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who led Israel toward peace in the early 1990s before being assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995. Hundreds in the crowd, most of them supporters of the visiting Jerusalem team, responded with boos; some began lustily singing songs in honor of Yigal Amir, the man who murdered him.

The message drawn from this episode by Israeli security officials, as well as pundits, was grim: The return Olmert signaled to an aggressive pursuit of a final peace with Palestinians also will mean the comeback of the ugly and potentially violent resistance from Israel's far right. The soccer game wasn't the only sign. Posters showing Israeli President Shimon Peres, another peace advocate, wearing an Arab headdress have appeared on walls around Jerusalem this week, an explicit echo of the propaganda that preceded the attack on Rabin 12 years ago...

Anonymous :

Hi Victoria,

Is President Bush getting ready to extend his term of office indefinitely? With a 31% approval rating (lower than Nixon) you’d think he’d been anxious to get out of town and back to Crawford.

VICTORIA :

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55824

i should have specified-
this is about directive 51 from may this year which gives bush emergency powers to suspend the constitution among other things-

VICTORIA :

again off topic-
ill give the link to the post on the pakistan question- i dont want to interrupt the flow here too much-
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/2007/11/worlds_most_dangerous_country/comments.html#comments

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

I understand your position that: “The Balfour Declaration was made a part of the mandate set by the League of Nations, and that’s what makes it legally binding”...

However, the UN document at the following link makes clear that the British had no right to promise Palestine to the Jews, had promised the same land to both the Jews and to the Palestinians, and that this duplicity is responsible for the current conflict in Palestine that has been raging since prior to the 1947 U.N. Partition and since the Balfour Declaration:

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

“These assurances appear in correspondence 2/ during 1915-1916 between Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, and Sherif Husain, Emir of Mecca, who held the special status of the Keeper of Islam's most holy cities. He thus acted as a representative of the Arab peoples, although not exercising formal political suzerainty over them all...”

“In 1939, shortly after the Husain-McMahon papers were made public, a committee consisting of both British and Arab representatives was set up to consider this specific issue...”

“These acknowledgements that the British Government had not possessed the right "to dispose of Palestine" appeared decades after the commitments to the Arabs not only had been infringed by the Sykes-Picot agreement but, in disregard of the inherent rights and the wishes of the Palestinian people, the British Government had given Zionist leaders separate assurances regarding the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people in Palestine", an undertaking that sowed the seeds of prolonged conflict in Palestine.”

Rick :

Thanks for the links Victoria. No, I was not aware of Mr. Levy. He seems to be reasonable. I will follow his reports in the future.

VICTORIA :

going off topic as ususal rick- but are you familiar with the journalist gideon levy?

i discovered him on a documentary on machsomwath (checkpoint watch) a watchdog group of israeli women who camp out at palestinian checkpoints and monitor abuses

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/917818.html

http://www.machsomwatch.org/eng/homePageEng.asp?link=homePage&lang=eng

VICTORIA :

also in that op-ed by bhutto she said-

I recall the words of President Bush in his second inaugural address when he said: “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not IGNORE your oppression, or EXCUSEyour oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, WE WILL STAND WITH YOU.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/opinion/07bhutto.html

the day before yesterday i saw bush proclaim to musharraf to take his uniform off-

later musharaff gave a short press conference wearing a nehru style jacket-

if mushy takes bushys fashion advice, why doesnt bushy push it and give some advice on democracy?

Rick :

Here’s a David Ignatius editorial comparing Pakistan today to Iran 30 years ago in today’s WP:

In Pakistan, Echoes of Iran

By David Ignatius
Wednesday, November 7, 2007; A21

JERUSALEM -- As we struggle to make sense of the current political crisis in Pakistan, it's useful to think back nearly 30 years to the wave of protests that toppled the shah of Iran and culminated in the Islamic Republic -- a revolutionary earthquake whose tremors are still shaking the Middle East.

The shah was America's friend, just like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. He was our staunch ally against the bogeyman of that time, the Soviet Union, just as Musharraf has been America's partner in fighting al-Qaeda. The shah ignored America's admonitions to clean up his undemocratic regime, just as Musharraf has. And as the shah's troubles deepened, the United States hoped that moderate opposition leaders would keep the country safe from Muslim zealots, just as we are now hoping in Pakistan.

And yet the Iranian explosion came -- a firestorm of rage that immolated any attempt at moderation or compromise. A similar process of upheaval has begun in Pakistan -- with one terrifying difference: Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

The Iran analogy was made forcefully two weeks ago by Gary Sick, a Columbia professor who helped oversee Iran policy for the Carter administration during the time of the revolution. "There was no Plan B," Sick wrote in an online posting. He sees the same dynamic at work in Pakistan. "We have bet the farm on one man -- in this case Pervez Musharraf -- and we have no fall-back position, no alternative strategy in the event that does not work."

So ask yourself: What Iran policy would have made sense, in hindsight, given the ruinous consequences of the Iranian revolution? Should the United States have encouraged the shah to crack down harder against protesters and ride out the storm, as some hard-liners urged at the time? Or should it have moved more quickly to encourage a change of regime, after it became obvious the shah couldn't or wouldn't reform?

Even now, almost 30 years later, it's hard to know what we should have done. And perhaps that's the point...

Rick :

Here’s a NY Times editorial by Benazir Bhutto.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/opinion/07bhutto.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

November 7, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor

Musharraf’s Martial Plan
By BENAZIR BHUTTO

Islamabad, Pakistan

NOV. 3, 2007, will be remembered as the blackest day in the history of Pakistan. Let us be perfectly clear: Pakistan is a military dictatorship. Last Saturday, Gen. Pervez Musharraf removed all pretense of a transition to democracy by conducting what was in effect yet another extraconstitutional coup.

In doing so he endangered the viability of Pakistan as an independent state. He presented the country’s democratic forces with a tough decision — acquiesce to the brutality of the dictatorship or take over the streets and show the world where the people of Pakistan really stand.

General Musharraf also presented the democratic world — and especially the countries of the West — with a question. Will they back up their democratic rhetoric with concrete action, or will they once again back down in the face of his bluff?...

Rick :

Hi Victoria,

Here’s a column from your NY Times this morning:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/opinion/07dowd.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

November 7, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist
Mushy: Handsome in Uniform
By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON
President Bush came to the steps of the Capitol yesterday for a Second Inaugural do-over. Here is the text of his revised speech:

ON this day, when we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, we must remember: Constitutions don’t work for everyone. It’s not a one-size-fits-all type deal.
We are led, by recent events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the repression of liberty in other lands.
Once I thought my daddy was a wimp for cuddlin’ up real close with dictators, tradin’ stability for freedom. But now I gotta admit, that’s a darn fair trade. As I told Mushy last night on that cool, high-tech videophone I got in the Sit Room, the best hope for expanding peace is expanding dictators.

In America’s ideal of freedom, we are ennobled by a heart for the weak. But we must also have a heart for the strongmen.
Sometimes when the soul of a nation speaks, we must listen. But if that soul is housed in a bunch of trial lawyers wearing identical dark suits and calling my man Mushy a “dog,” I say, bring on the batons. Police tear-gassing lawyers is really just a foreign version of tort reform, which I support.

Those lawyers should be in jail. Mushy told me they were reckonin’ to represent Osama when General-General catches him. Which will be any day now. He’s a man of his word.
I don’t blame Mushy for dissolving that disloyal Supreme Court. When I needed to subvert the democratic process during the 2000 recount, my Supreme Court was totally supportive...

Rick :

The $64,000 question is: “Why are we digging ourselves such a deep hole in the Middle East? With the $1 Trillion that we have blown in Iraq; we could have achieved energy independence by now.

Remember that show, The $64,000 Question? Nah, ya’ll are way too young for that.

Rick :

Cristina,

This is for you. And don’t worry about water either. With all the cheap, reliable, electric power that will be available in the future; we can make plenty of fresh water with sea water desalinization plants.

Here’s the link to the NBC wind power video:

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=msnbc&vid=6266fa18-666b-4d02-9a38-952858230437

By 2030, wind power could supply 20% of the power needs of the U.S. Denmark is the world’s leader in wind power; more than 5500 wind turbines off shore and on land provide 20% of Denmark’s power needs, with plans to expand to 50%. Denmark’s wind power industry is the world’s largest employing 20,000 people; 90% of the wind turbines produced are exported.

The tiny island of Samso with 4300 citizens became the focus of a government experiment in 1997. Could the island convert all energy to renewable sources in 10 years? The answer is yes. Using wind, solar and bio fuels, it’s not only carbon neutral, it is carbon negative.

On a West Texas ranch, you can see more Wind Turbines than in all Denmark, generating enough power to supply 1 million homes. The first turbines went up in 2001. Texas leads the western hemisphere in this technology.

Here's the link to the NBC wave power video:

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=msnbc&vid=1c9f32ef-9a20-43a5-a23f-b4c798189bdf

Wave power has the advantage of being more predictable than wind power. By 2025, wave power could provide 10 GW of power, enough to power the entire state of Massachusetts.

VICTORIA :

the motion to kill the resolution has been voted down it seems- so i guess the resolution will proceed into vote (after alot of arguments of course) motion to reconsider is final

VICTORIA :

the motion to kill the resolution has been voted down it seems- so i guess the resolution will proceed into vote (after alot of arguments of course)

VICTORIA :

http://kucinich.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=3750

also misleading congress into going into another war with iran

VICTORIA :

c-span dennis kucinich has just proposed a resolution to impeach dick cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors

fabricating a threat of wmds to go to war with iraq

actively sought to deceive citizens of us

2-22-2002 press conference
2-19-2002
2-24-2002 cnn late edition interview
5-19-2002 meet the press
(?)26-2003 vfw 103rd conventional
9-8-2002 meet the press
nbc meet the press
3-16-2003 meet the press

trips to CIA with libby questioning results
sought out unverfied evidence to influence intellegence
corrupted national intelligence estimate
10-1-2002

to authorize use of force congressional vote

dissenting view by NIE

they are currently voting to table (kill) the resolution which was immediately raised

claims of uranium in africa- highly dubious

wow-

VICTORIA :

ill keep an eye out for mr brooks-

this is off topic a little, but i find it extraordinary that the bushies seem to be ignoring the jaield lawyers in pakistan, the mild rebuke for musharaff's most undemocratic actions in dismantling the constitution when it serves him.
his clear plans (continue) to be a dictator in pakistan-

to me, its like sadaam hussein all over again- supporting a dictator while claiming to be the beacon of freedom in the world

so is it a lead up to letting things get so bad in pakistan that the US (future neocon servants)
can at some point declare musharaff and paksitan itself a rogue danger to be bombed?

it seems like only a matter of time-
certainly pakistan is in a prime strategic location for future us troops to settle in-

i have to agree with you about egypt and saudi-

egypt has been humiliated enough, that would be the final straw in their camels back- and the saudis are trying for some credibility in the western world- but ot enough i think to alienate the entire muslim community.

but that doesnt mean there arent closed door agreements that we'll never know about.

look at the public face of bush compared with his actions.

im reading all your links BTW
peace

Rick :

Thanks for the great article Victoria. I like the saying at the beginning:

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one striking at the root (Henry David Thoreau)”.

The root of evil is of course the Balfour Declaration that enabled the questionably legal, but definitely despicable and immoral, Israeli invasion and occupation of Palestine.

This horrendous mistake will be very difficult to reverse, but it is inevitable if there ever is to be peace in the region.

VICTORIA :

past failed "talks"

sharm al sheikh-
Incidentally, the demonization of Arafat has by no means stopped after his death. On the contrary, it goes on with great fervor. The Left and the Right in Israel , in heart-warming unity, declare in almost every article and TV talk-show that Arafat was the great obstacle to peace. Not the occupation. Not the settlements. Not the policy of Netanyahu-Barak-Sharon. Only Arafat. Fact: Arafat died and hopla – there is a conference.

The game played by Condoleezza Rice was especially amusing. She visited the Mukata’ah, where every stone shouts the name of Arafat. She did not lay a wreath on his grave – a minimal gesture of courtesy that would have won the hearts of the Palestinians. However, as a diplomatic compromise, she agreed to have her handshake with Abu Mazen photographed under the picture of Arafat.

http://www.strike-the-root.com/51/avnery/avnery5.html

Rick :

You are right on, Victoria.

So what does this all mean? I think that the David Brooks editorial serves us well in answering that question. The upcoming “Annapolis Peace Conference” is not about resolving the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. It is about bringing together the so called “moderates” (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Gulf States) to help the U.S. contain Iran.

In my humble opinion, it will fail. Iran, Syria and Shiite Iraq are on the side of justice and fighting the good fight against the imperialist U.S. and Israeli invaders/occupiers. The cause of the true and the just will win out.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Gulf States will never side with US/Israel. If they did, the Arab Street would explode (which it will eventually anyway), and the corrupt rulers of these countries will be toast.

VICTORIA :

i think, rick, you will appreciate this journalist, he is an israeli peace activist named uri avnery

http://www.strike-the-root.com/archive/avnery.html

VICTORIA :

as long as the hamas is depicted as an 'islamist militant group", instead of the elected party and choice of the people of palestine in a transparent and freely run election-

does anyone hold any real hope here?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4651056.stm


Rick :

From today’s NY Times:

[David Brooks is my favorite “conservative” columnist. He says that when he’s invited to the White House for a briefing with the other Real Conservative columnists, he is considered to be the flaming liberal of the group.]

Present at the Creation

DAVID BROOKS
Amman, Jordan

“What is Condi doing?

This is the question that’s been floating around foreign policy circles over the past few months. It is then followed by more specific questions: Why is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spending her remaining time in office banging her head against the Israeli-Palestinian problem? Why has she bothered to make eight trips to the region this year? What can possibly be accomplished when the Israeli government is weak and the Palestinian society is divided?

It took a trip to the region for me to finally understand that this peace process is unlike any other. It’s not really about Israel and the Palestinians; it’s about Iran. Rice is constructing a coalition of the losing. There is a feeling among Arab and Israeli leaders that an Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance is on the march. The nations that resist that alliance are in retreat. The peace process is an occasion to gather the “moderate” states and to construct what Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center calls an anti-Iran counter-alliance...”

“Iran has done what decades of peace proposals have not done — brought Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and the U.S. together. You can go to Jerusalem or to some Arab capitals and the diagnosis of the situation is the same:

Iran is gaining hegemonic strength over the region and is spreading tentacles of instability all around.

The Syrians, who have broken with the Sunni nations and attached themselves to Iran, are feeling stronger by the day. At least one-third of Iraq is under Iranian influence.

Hezbollah is better armed and more confident now than it was before its war against Israel. Hamas is being drawn closer inside the Iranian orbit and is more likely to take over the West Bank than lose its own base in Gaza.

In short, Iran is taking advantage of the region’s three civil wars and could have its proxy armies on Israel’s northern, western and southern borders.

Arab opinion, even in Sunni nations, is sympathetic to Iran. Egypt, which should serve as a counterbalance to Iran, is sclerotic and largely absent from the scene...”

“There are a few problems to overcome. The Saudis, as is their nature, are trying to play both sides, making supportive noises about the anti-Iran project without doing much to actually help.

Some “moderate” Arab autocrats have become soul brothers with Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharaff, and are lobbying America to betray its principles and not condemn him.

Finally, there is the peace process itself. There is remarkably little substance to it so far. Even people inside the Israeli and Palestinian governments are not sure what’s actually going to be negotiated and what can realistically be achieved. Moreover, it’s not clear that either of those governments can actually deliver anything. The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, can sign deals, but it’s not clear that he controls events a block from his headquarters. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert can do the same, but his cabinet is hostile and his people are cynically disengaged.

The whole thing could backfire and leave the anti-Iranian cause in worse shape than ever. If that happens, then life will get really ugly for Rice. America’s friends in the region will try to flip Syria out of the Iranian orbit by offering it the re-conquest of Lebanon. Rice would then face a Faustian bargain — continue the struggle against Iran, but at the cost of her own principles.

Still, despite these perils, Rice is surely right to be trying something. She’s an admirer of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and is now present at the creation of a containment policy across the Middle East. The Bush administration is not about to bomb Iran (trust me). It’s using diplomacy to build a coalition to balance it, and reverse an ugly tide.”

Rick :

In today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/05/AR2007110500908_pf.html

“Palestinian Police Seal Refugee Camp

By ALI DARAGHMEH
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; 2:42 AM

BALATA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank -- Palestinian police who battled militants in the West Bank's biggest refugee camp for more than 12 hours withdrew early Tuesday with two suspects in custody and a vow that security forces would no longer shy away from entering militant strongholds.

The operation, in which a policeman and eight passers-by were wounded by gunfire, was the first major offensive in President Mahmoud Abbas' campaign to assert control over gunmen and persuade Israel he can implement a future peace deal.

For several years police had not dared patrol the four refugee camps in and around the city of Nablus or the old downtown market district, where armed militants held sway, but Nablus governor Jamal Mohsein said Tuesday that those days were now over.

"We shall post police in all the camps and in the Old City," he said. "In the future, nobody will be able to say that the police cannot go here or there."

The operation was launched around midday Monday as Abbas assured visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he had begun meeting his short-term peace obligations, including disarming militants and rounding up illegal weapons...”

“Some Al Aqsa gunmen have balked at handing over their weapons as part of the deal with Israel. During the second Palestinian uprising, which erupted in 2000, Nablus and Balata became increasingly lawless, and some gunmen involved in fighting Israeli soldiers also blackmailed and robbed local residents.

Last week, Abbas sent 300 extra policemen to Nablus, turning the city into a testing ground for his new security campaign. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that if the security forces can impose control in chaotic Nablus, they would gradually try to do the same in other West Bank cities.

Israel has raised doubts about Abbas' ability to control the West Bank and implement any peace deal, after his security forces were defeated in a few days of fighting with the Islamic militant group Hamas in Gaza in June...”

Rick :

In today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110600464.html

Olmert hopes Syria will attend Annapolis conference

By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; 7:17 AM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday he expected the United States would invite Syria to a U.S.-led conference on Palestinian statehood, calling the participation of Israel's long-time nemesis appropriate.

Olmert made no mention of any preconditions for Syrian attendance but appeared to issue a cautionary note to Damascus not to try to push the future of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in a 1967 war, onto the meeting's agenda.

"I hope Syria and other Arab countries will participate," Olmert told reporters.

"Naturally, the issue at the centre of the agenda for this meeting is our relations with the Palestinians, which are part of the general relations in the Middle East," he said.

Syria, which hosts leaders of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist movement that violently took control of the Gaza Strip in June and opposes President Mahmoud Abbas's peace efforts with Israel, has not decided whether to attend the conference...

Rick :

In today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/05/AR2007110500200.html

Abbas Sees Palestinian State Soon Achievable
Leader Says Success Possible in Bush Term

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; A14

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov. 5 -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he believes the path to peace with Israel is now clear and that a Palestinian state can be achieved before the end of the Bush administration in January 2009.

Echoing a statement made Sunday night by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Abbas said that an upcoming peace conference in Annapolis would mark the start of serious negotiations over core issues that have posed insurmountable obstacles for decades -- the status of Jerusalem, the borders of Israel and Palestine, the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the rights claimed by Palestinian refugees who left or were forced from their homes when the state of Israel was established.

Abbas praised Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's efforts and her "insistence on . . . concluding peace within the presidential term of Mr. Bush." Her persistence, he said, had turned the Annapolis conference into "a serious occasion to launch a genuine peace process."

The statements by the Israeli and Palestinian leaders exceeded Rice's most optimistic expectations for a diplomatic effort that appeared to be faltering as recently as last week. The leaders' agreement to attend the conference and their professed optimism are likely to open the door for Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, to take part.

"It is a historic time, a time of real opportunity," said Rice, standing alongside Abbas at a news conference here. The negotiations, she said, "could achieve their goal within the time remaining within the Bush administration."

Others, while claiming genuine progress, were less certain of where it would lead. One senior State Department official, recalling decades of dashed hopes, cautioned that "you never say never in the Middle East. You've always got to be ready for bad news."

VICTORIA :

thanks for the articles rick-

ive been on the turkish blog with amar bakshi
tomorrow he goes to lebanon, so some of these issues are sure to arise

Rick :

Yup, here’s the report in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-drought4nov04,0,5428439.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

From the Los Angeles Times

Atlanta water use is called shortsighted

The rapidly growing metropolis' 'cavalier' attitude toward conservation is the real problem, critics say.

By Jenny Jarvie
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

November 4, 2007

ATLANTA — …now that Lake Lanier, the reservoir that supplies drinking water to most of metropolitan Atlanta's 5 million residents, is draining to historic lows. With government officials issuing stark projections that Atlanta could run out of water within three months, Georgia politicians have pleaded with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to decrease the amount of water being released…

A break came Thursday in Georgia's 17-year water war with Florida and Alabama: The GOP governors of the three states agreed to reduce by 16% the amount of water released downriver from Lake Lanier, which would slow the drain on Atlanta's main water source…

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, in opposing a request by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to President Bush to permit a reduced downstream flow, wrote in his own letter to Bush that Florida's $134-million commercial seafood industry depended on the water. Crist added that his state had acted responsibly in enacting water legislation. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley argues that downstream communities and a nuclear power plant in his state require water too…

Atlanta is not the only city grappling with water shortages. In 2003, a Government Accountability Office report on the nation's freshwater supply found that 36 states anticipated water shortages in the next decade…

VICTORIA :

interestingly rick, i just saw a report on droughy conditions in the southeast which has the city of atlanta(one of several) rationing water to 3 hours a day, with figures projecting that in 120 days there will be a major water shortage of crisis proportions.

the measures taken today will not impact this shortage, as its too little too late-

Rick :

Here is another more recent article:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5037.html

Israel lays claim to Palestine's water

10:15 27 May 2004
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
Fred Pearce, Jerusalem

Israel has drawn up a secret plan for a giant desalination plant to supply drinking water to the Palestinian territory on the West Bank. It hopes the project will diminish pressure for it to grant any future Palestinian state greater access to the region's scarce supplies of fresh water.

Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank's water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory...

For Israelis, agreement on the future joint management of this aquifer is a prerequisite for granting Palestine statehood...

Water supply is one of the few areas where cooperation between Israel and Palestine has survived the current intifada. Every day on the West Bank, Palestinian engineers help repair and maintain Israeli water pipes, and vice versa.

But Palestinian water negotiators are deeply uneasy about the plans being drawn up on their behalf, especially if they involve abandoning claims to the water beneath their feet. "We cannot do that. We don't have the money or the expertise for desalination," Ihab Barghothi, head of water projects for the Palestinian Water Authority, told New Scientist.

Palestinians badly need more water. Under the Oslo agreement they have access to 57 cubic metres of water per person per year from all sources. Israel gets 246 cubic metres per head per year. And in the nearly 40 years that Israel has controlled the West Bank, Palestinians have been largely forbidden from drilling new wells or rehabilitating old ones...

Rick :

Hi Victoria,

Here’s a link to an old 1999 article on the water issue:

http://www.palestinecenter.org/cpap/pubs/19990819pb.html

“Water and Palestinian-Israeli Peace Negotiations,”
by Jad Isaac

Overview:

19 August 1999—The maldistribution of water in Israel and the Palestinian territories reflects an unequal balance of power rather than internationally formulated agreements or international law. Although water has been a major issue in the Oslo peace negotiations—starting with the Declaration of Principles signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1993—little progress has been made on the bilateral or multilateral negotiating tracks. While Israel recognized Palestinian water rights in the September 1995 Taba Agreement (Oslo II), that agreement reserves water as one of the issues to be addressed in the so-called “final status” negotiations. Thus far, however, those negotiations, which were to begin in May 1996 and conclude by 4 May 1999, have yet to start. Meanwhile, in this year of record drought, Israelis consume more than four times as much water as Palestinians do, including 80 percent of Palestinian ground water...

...Resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli water dispute should be governed by international law, which recognizes the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip as occupied territories. Israel is violating the Hague Regulations (1907) and the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) by controlling and exploiting Palestinian natural resources.

Soon after the occupation began in June 1967, Israel imposed a number of military orders to control Palestinian water resources. Among them was Order No. 92, issued on 15 August 1967 by the Israeli military commander, stating that water was to be considered a strategic resource. Numerous other orders followed, extending complete Israeli control over Palestinian water resources. According to international law, Palestinian water rights include:

1. Absolute sovereignty over all the Eastern Aquifer resources, as this aquifer is completely located beneath the West Bank and is not a shared resource;...

Cristina is also really concerned about water issues. I wonder if they are having a shortage in her region of South America. Where is Cristina? Maybe we should send out a search party.

VICTORIA :

hi rick- from your ny times article

"Israelis are quick to draw a parallel to President Clinton’s peace push during the closing months of his administration in 2000, which collapsed and, many Israelis believe, led to the Palestinian intifada..."

id say its fair to compare the belated push by bush to clinton-

however- for ms. cooper to suggest that it was clinton's meeting with barak and arafat that led to the palestinian intifada is wildly revisionist-

sharon marching into the al quds mosque with 1000 armed guards while the people were at prayer on friday jumma was what led to the intifada-

also, i notice in these discussions about peace talks with paestinians/israelis, somehow people always neglect to mention one of the most contentious issues about which talks always break down at-

access to water.

Rick :

Finally something that I can partially agree with Novak on:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/05/AR2007110500204_pf.html

Carter's Clarity, Bush's Befuddlement

By Robert D. Novak
Monday, November 5, 2007; 8:16 AM

The timing of the release of the new documentary "Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains" was not intentional. The movie is arriving at theaters just before the Bush administration's proposed Middle East conference in Annapolis, scheduled for the end of this month. But the former president's clarity on the Palestinian question contrasts sharply with George W. Bush's refusal to face reality, casting a pall over hopes to conclude his presidency with a diplomatic triumph.

In the film, Carter repeatedly and unequivocally states what Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates view as undeniable: to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, with all its benefits for the world, Israel must end its illegal and oppressive occupation of the West Bank. That is a prerequisite that neither President Bush nor congressional leaders of both parties can approach for fear of being labeled anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic (as Carter has been).

With the end to the occupation not on any participant's agenda, hopes for substantive accomplishment at Annapolis are dim. Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 24, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned of "further radicalization of Palestinian politics, of politics in the region" if "we lose the window for a two-state solution." But she did not mention the forbidden words of Israeli removal from the West Bank.

These words are not forbidden in "Man From Plains." I was surprised when a publicist for the movie invited me to a private screening in advance of its Washington debut Saturday. For the past 32 years, I had been a critic of Carter -- but not of his most recent and most attacked book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid."

The unusual documentary is mainly an account of Carter's travels promoting his 21st book. Normally, nothing would seem more boring than presentation of a book tour. But Jonathan Demme, the Academy Award-winning director of "The Silence of the Lambs," has produced a beautiful, fascinating film, whose two hours sped by.

Demme told me he intended the documentary to be a "portrait in motion" of the 83-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, whom he greatly admires, "to find out what makes Jimmy Carter tick." But it became a condemnation of what Demme now calls "land-grabbing" from the "oppressed" Palestinian people.

The film is more assertive than the book, which tends to be prolix in recounting Carter's experiences with Israel. It was the word "apartheid" in the title that spawned instant accusations of anti-Semitism against the former president and led 14 members of the Carter Center's board of counselors to resign. Not until Page 215, near the end of the slim book, did Carter make it clear that the "policy now being followed" on the West Bank is "a system of apartheid with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic rights."

In the movie, Carter repeatedly declares that Israel must end its occupation of Palestine
for peace to have a chance. The hecklers at his appearances and confused interviewers only provoke a stubborn Carter, who says chopping up the West Bank is actually worse than apartheid, just as Palestinian peace-seekers told me this year in Jerusalem.

A broader, more detailed analysis can be found in the newly updated American version of "Lords of the Land" by Professor Idith Zertal and leading Israeli columnist Akiva Eldar. This scathing account of the occupation, first published in Israel in 2005, declares that former prime minister Ariel Sharon's plan for a security wall was intended to "take hold of as much West Bank territory as possible and block the establishment of a viable Palestinian state."

As Israelis, Eldar and Zertal employ language that not even Carter dares use: "Israel's lofty demands that Palestinians strengthen their democracy and impose control on extremist organizations is ... nothing but deceptive talk covering its own deeds, which are aimed at achieving exactly the opposite -- of eroding Palestinian society."

In "Man From Plains," Carter goes further in this direction than any other prominent American has to date, and people who wander into a movie theater to see the film may be shocked. It raises questions that must at least be asked for the contemplated conference at Annapolis to have any chance.

Rick :

From today’s WP:

Musharraf Declaration Seen as Latest Misstep
Risky Choice Fits Pattern in Efforts To Retain Power

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, November 5, 2007; A15

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 4 -- Gen. Pervez Musharraf prides himself, above all, on being a survivor.

But after a series of critical missteps this year that turned the courts and nearly the entire country against him, he decided last week that he had only one means of keeping his presidency alive: the extreme step of imposing de facto martial law, a risky choice that even his close advisers say could ultimately prove ruinous.

Musharraf only reluctantly took that step, loyalists say, after other options had been exhausted. But the move also fits a pattern of behavior for Musharraf, one in which the former commando has chosen to shoot his way out of tight situations, using force rather than finesse...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/04/AR2007110401575_pf.html

Rick :

Of course it would be a hard sell to convince the Palestinians who actually owned (or lived on if Government owned) that 5% of Palestine. They would rightly say: "Why us?". Give them a piece of Great Britain!

Rick :

Tom,

I think that the Woodhead Commission that followed the Peel Commission had the responsible, honest approach, which was to allocate 5% of Palestine for the Jewish State.

“The British response was to set up the Woodhead Commission to "examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan" [2] This Commission declared the Peel Commission partition unworkable (though suggesting a different scheme under which 5% of the land area of Palestine become Israel). The British Government accompanied the publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy rejecting partition as impracticable [4]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

Rick :

Ah yes, it's another fine morning and great to be alive! Good morning folks!

From today’s NY Times:

November 6, 2007

Deadline Set for Mideast Peace Process

By HELENE COOPER

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov. 5 — Israeli and Palestinian officials have given themselves to the end of President Bush’s administration to reach a comprehensive peace agreement, Israeli, Palestinian and American officials said today.

The deadline of just over a year from now — first laid out by the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, on Sunday night and then confirmed today by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, gives a huge boost to the efforts of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to push the two sides toward a peace plan during her tenure. Mr. Abbas and Mr. Olmert indicated that the coming Middle East peace conference in Annapolis would begin substantive talks on the four contentious final status issues which have bedeviled peace negotiators since 1979...

... To be sure, Israeli and Arab officials say that Ms. Rice still has an uphill battle ahead of her; Israeli and Palestinian negotiators haven’t decided just how they will tackle the four final status issues: the status of Jerusalem, the contours of a Palestinian state, the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and the fate of refugees who left, or were forced to leave, their homes as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Israeli officials said that there remains deep concern in Israel that Ms. Rice is pushing Israelis too hard and too fast, risking a collapse of the talks before they are under way. Israelis are quick to draw a parallel to President Clinton’s peace push during the closing months of his administration in 2000, which collapsed and, many Israelis believe, led to the Palestinian intifada...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/06/world/middleeast/06diplo.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

Good luck folks!

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

I'm going to have to back off on the "acceptance" of the Peel Partition Plan by the Jewish population. Dershowitz ("Making A Case For Israel“, FrontPageMagazine.com) says:

“…Sure, I favored a two state solution. I've always favored a two state solution. Israel has always favored a two state solution, since 1937, when they accepted the Peel Commission report which would have given the Palestinians a long, contiguous state and the Jews a totally non-contiguous state. The Jews said yes and the Palestinians and Arabs said no…”

However, I cannot find any references to support his claim (which he makes elsewhere as well). I found a map from a pictorial guide to the Israeli-Palestinian history that said the Israelis reluctantly accepted the plan (again without references) but everything else seems to suggest (like Wikepedia) that the plan was rejected. I know that the partition of Palestine into two states was accepted in principle by the leaders of the Zionist movement.

“Ben-Gurion and Weizmann found themselves united in tentatively accepting the partition (Peel Commission) in principle but demanding larger, if unspecified, borders.”

I’ll post if I find out why Dershowitz believes the Palestinian Jewish population accepted the plan.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott

Yup, I guess it’s legal alright, but it’s certainly not just. I say that the Palestinians are fully within their rights to never give the occupiers a minute of peace.

Of course they are overpowered at present by the US/Israel alliance. But the Israelis and the U.S. will never know peace. We have over reached in Iraq as well as Palestine and are vulnerable to our dependence on Middle East oil. The hatred that we have engendered by our war on Islam is bound to come back to bite us.

We have driven Iraq into an alliance with Iran and strengthened the hand of Hamas and Hezbollah. The corrupt leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other oil producers of the Gulf States who collaborate with the U.S. against the will of their people are in for a fall.

Musharraf has declared emergency rule, and his days are numbered. Pakistan with its nuclear weapons is about to explode.

We can’t afford the foreign wars that we are embroiled in so we borrow the money from China. China could easily defeat us by simply flooding the market with our worthless IOUs.

The topic of this thread “Are we heading for WW III?” seems to be very apropos.

Cheers! I apologize for my gloomy outlook tonight. I’m sure it will be all better in the morning.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

I appreciate your complement but most of what I know is through discussions with people such as yourself or just reading. I have learned quite a bit from your post already and appreciate your position.

The British must have really regretted their decision to open up a major can of worms in settling the issues of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In my opinion, when they left Palestine in 1948, that opened the door for the war that followed in which the Palestinians lost a lot of land.

The Balfour Declaration was made a part of the mandate set by the League of Nations, and that’s what makes it legally binding.

The Palestine Mandate
(July 24, 1922)

The Council of the League of Nations:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non­Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and…

…ARTICLE 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self­governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion…

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

On the Origins, Evolution and Resolution of the Palestine Problem (Continued)

7. “The UN voted (33-13 with 10 abstentions) to partition Palestine into two states after the end of WWII because this was the best solution considering the animosity between the two populations (UN: “…the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable…”). Jews outnumbered Arabs in the land partitioned into Israel (approx. 550,000 to 350,000). Most of the land obtained by Israel under the UN mandate in 1947 was NOT privately owned Arab land, but was “crown land” owned by the Palestinian government which reverted to Israel under the UN mandate. Israel is a legal state recognized by most of the world.”

I disagree. Please see my response to Item 3.

“The state of Israel has a LEGAL right to exist in it’s present location (not Texas, however, which really belongs to Mexico. Greatest crime of the nineteenth century?). The State of Israel has been attacked on three separate occasions by Arab armies. After being defeated three times, the Arabs resorted to proxy wars by terrorism and targeted primarily civilians which also failed.”

Ha! Good one. Actually, our theft of Texas from Mexico was a crime, but definitely plays second fiddle to our land theft and commission of genocide on the Native Americans. Is this the greatest crime of the 19th century? I don’t know, but it is certainly in the running.

However, apparently the Mexicans and Native Americans are resigned to the present day state of affairs. The Mexicans may be planning to get even by taking over America via illegal immigration, as the Jews did to Palestine.

I disagree with your assertion that “The state of Israel has a LEGAL right to exist in its present location…”

“The State of Israel has been attacked on three separate occasions by Arab armies. After being defeated three times, the Arabs resorted to proxy wars by terrorism and targeted primarily civilians which also failed.”

Agreed, but the Palestinians are fighting back using gorilla warfare tactics, which is about all they can do against the world’s only super power and it’s ally Israel.

That’s enough for now, but I plan to look deeper into the sequence of events that led up to the 1947 U.N. Partition, including acts of terror committed by the Israelis (Menachem Begin’s Irgun and others) against Palestinian civilians.

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

Thanks for the great discussion.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

On the Origins, Evolution and Resolution of the Palestine Problem (Continued)

4. “Continued Jewish immigration and development of the Jewish community attracted many Arabs to the area. Most of the Arab immigrants to Palestine between 1931 and 1948 were drawn to centers (for the most part) with large Jewish populations. The Jews did not, in general, displace Arab land owners from Palestine.”

Perhaps, but I have seen a paper that disputes this somewhere. I will try to find it and come back to it.

5. “Many Jews immigrated in the period before WWII to escape persecution in Europe - especially Germany. The decision by the British to curtail immigration probably cost the lives of many Jews in Europe. This was done to satisfy the Palestinians who were against Jewish immigration (understandably to a certain extent), however, this was contrary to the Balfour Declaration.”

Yes, but so what? In my opinion the Balfour Declaration was illegal as well as unjust. There were plenty of other places the Jews could have gone. Why should the small region of Palestine be forced to take them? The Palestinians were not the source of their persecution.

6. “The Jews accepted the Peel Partition Plan which was rejected by the Palestinians in 1937.”

I disagree. Do you have a reference for this? From the following article: “The Twentieth Zionist Congress in Zurich (3-16 August 1937) announced "that the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission is not to be accepted, [but wished] to carry on negotiations in order to clarify the exact substance of the British government's proposal for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine".”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

“The Peel Commission of 1936, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, was a British Royal Commission of Inquiry set out to propose changes to the Mandate for Palestine following the outbreak of the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. It was headed by Earl Peel.

On 11 November, 1936, the commission arrived in Palestine to investigate the reasons behind the uprising. It returned to Britain on 18 January 1937. On 7 July, 1937, it published its report.

The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a "corridor" surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean Coast just south of Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be'er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable, though economically undeveloped and infertile, Negev desert.

The population exchange, if carried out, would have involved the transfer of approximately 225,000 Arabs and 1,250 Jews.

The Arab leadership rejected the plan[citation needed], while the Jewish opinion remained heatedly divided. The Twentieth Zionist Congress in Zurich (3-16 August 1937) announced "that the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission is not to be accepted, [but wished] to carry on negotiations in order to clarify the exact substance of the British government's proposal for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine". [2]

Ben-Gurion wrote: "The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we have never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the First and Second Temples: [a Galilee almost free of non-Jews]. ... We are being given an opportunity which we never dared to dream of in our wildest imagination. This is more than a state, government and sovereignty---this is a national consolidation in a free homeland. ... if because of our weakness, neglect or negligence, the thing is not done, then we will have lost a chance which we never had before, and may never have again."[3]

The British response was to set up the Woodhead Commission to "examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan" [2] This Commission declared the Peel Commission partition unworkable (though suggesting a different scheme under which 5% of the land area of Palestine become Israel). The British Government accompanied the publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy rejecting partition as impracticable [4]

Thanks for the great discussion.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

Thanks for the excellent post. You are really good at this. Are you a State Department diplomat? If not, you could be, although there are a lot of unhappy State Department employees these days over being ordered to serve in Iraq.

I am enjoying this exchange very much and find it very educational, though I realize that it is consuming much of your time. I hope that others are finding this as interesting as I am.

“Let me sum up the way that I view the history of the conflict (admittedly, it's biased). I don’t expect to change your mind and visa versa (although the single state solution is the most unrealistic and promises only war for the future).”

Well said, we won’t try to change each other’s view, but will just present our arguments for our fellow posters to judge. Perhaps the single state solution is unrealistic and promises only war for the future. I say that the two state solution is more unrealistic, as well as unjust.

1. “Jewish immigration began in the late 1800’s (mostly) from Europe and Russia, and the immigrants were primarily motivated by their escape from persecution…”

Agreed

2. “After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the British were granted control over the administration of Palestine which included the West Bank, Gaza, the boundaries of Israel (today) and Transjordan (Jordan today).”

Agreed

3. “The Balfour Declaration (1917) carried the force of international law and mandated the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British recognized the Jewish community’s right to self determination built by hard work and the development of a thriving community that had the characteristics of a nation state (albeit small) with “historic roots” in Palestine.”

Disagree- From The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL):

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

“The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988

PART I

1917-1947

INTRODUCTION

The question of Palestine was brought before the United Nations shortly after the end of the Second World War.

The origins of the Palestine problem as an international issue, however, lie in events occurring towards the end of the First World War. These events led to a League of Nations decision to place Palestine under the administration of Great Britain as the Mandatory Power under the Mandates System adopted by the League. In principle, the Mandate was meant to be in the nature of a transitory phase until Palestine attained the status of a fully independent nation, a status provisionally recognized in the League's Covenant, but in fact the Mandate's historical evolution did not result in the emergence of Palestine as an independent nation.”

[Key point: The Mandate granted by the League of Nations was intended to be transitory and result in Palestine being a fully independent nation.]

“The decision on the Mandate did not take into account the wishes of the people of Palestine, despite the Covenant's requirements that "the wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory". This assumed special significance because, almost five years before receiving the mandate from the League of Nations, the British Government had given commitments to the Zionist Organization regarding the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, for which Zionist leaders had pressed a claim of "historical connection" since their ancestors had lived in Palestine two thousand years earlier before dispersing in the "Diaspora".”

[Key points: (1) Despite the Covenant’s requirements that the wishes of the Palestinian people be a principal consideration, they were not, and (2) almost five years before receiving the mandate from the League of Nations, the British Government had given commitments to the Zionist Organization regarding the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

I interpret this to mean that the Balfour Declaration of 1917 is unjust and does not carry the force of international law]

“During the period of the Mandate, the Zionist Organization worked to secure the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. The indigenous people of Palestine, whose forefathers had inhabited the land for virtually the two preceding millennia felt this design to be a violation of their natural and inalienable rights. They also viewed it as an infringement of assurances of independence given by the Allied Powers to Arab leaders in return for their support during the war. The result was mounting resistance to the Mandate by Palestinian Arabs, followed by resort to violence by the Jewish community as the Second World War drew to a close.”

[Key points: (1) The Zionist immigration was a violation of their natural and inalienable rights of the indigenous people of Palestine, whose forefathers had inhabited the land for virtually the two preceding millennia, (2) it was also an infringement of assurances of independence given by the Allied Powers to Arab leaders in return for their support during the war, (3) the resulting resistance to the Mandate by Palestinian Arabs was fully justified, and (4) the resort to terrorist activity (e.g. Menachem Begin’s Irgun) against Palestinian civilians by the Jewish community as the Second World War drew to a close was not justified and does justify any present day attacks on Israelis by Palestinian freedom fighters such as Hamas and Hezbollah.]

“After a quarter of a century of the Mandate, Great Britain submitted what had become "the Palestine problem" to the United Nations on the ground that the Mandatory Power was faced with conflicting obligations that had proved irreconcilable. At this point, when the United Nations itself was hardly two years old, violence ravaged Palestine. After investigating various alternatives the United Nations proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized. The partition plan did not bring peace to Palestine, and the prevailing violence spread into a Middle East war halted only by United Nations action. One of the two States envisaged in the partition plan proclaimed its independence as Israel and, in a series of successive wars, its territorial control expanded to occupy all of Palestine. The Palestinian Arab State envisaged in the partition plan never appeared on the world's map and, over the following 30 years, the Palestinian people have struggled for their lost rights.”

[Key points (in my humble opinion; I expect that you will disagree): (1) After a quarter century of the Mandate, Great Britain had to admit that their illegal and immoral Balfour Declaration had created a disastrous situation and asked the U.N. to bail them out, (2) the U.N. committed an equally disastrous mistake by partitioning Palestine into two independent regions.

Was this partition legal? Probably, but it was most certainly not just. It just said that 33 nations (the 59% majority) of the 56 nations of the General Assembly kowtowed to the most powerful nations of the world, including The U.S., France, and Russia. Great Britain and 9 other nations abstained. A parallel situation could be that the majority of the United States votes to enact a law making slavery legal. It may be legal, but it is most certainly not just.]

The Palestine problem quickly widened into the Middle East dispute between the Arab States and Israel. From 1948 there have been wars and destruction, forcing millions of Palestinians into exile, and engaging the United Nations in a continuing search for a solution to a problem which came to possess the potential of a major source of danger for world peace.

In the course of this search, a large majority of States Members of the United Nations have recognized that the Palestine issue continues to lie at the heart of the Middle East problem, the most serious threat to peace with which the United Nations must contend. Recognition is spreading in world opinion that the Palestinian people must be assured its inherent inalienable right of national self-determination for peace to be restored.

In 1947 the United Nations accepted the responsibility of finding a just solution for the Palestine issue, and still grapples with this task today. Decades of strife and politico-legal arguments have clouded the basic issues and have obscured the origins and evolution of the Palestine problem, which this study attempts to clarify.

[Key points (in my humble opinion): (1) The disastrous and unjust Balfour Declaration (1917) authored by Great Britain, and the equally disastrous and unjust U.N. Partition of Palestine (1947), are likely to be the root cause of WW III if these horrible mistakes are not corrected, and soon, and (2) this is a great example of the evils of the influence of lobbyists (like AIPAC) on greedy and mindless politicians. The Balfour Declaration was the direct result of years of lobbying of the British government by the wealthy Jews, Barron Hirsch and Barron Rothschild.]

Thanks for the discussion.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

Yup, check our posts of November 1, 2007 2:40 PM and November 1, 2007 10:04 AM. We are all nuts! It just goes to show that you can fool a majority of the people most of the time.

Or how does President Bush put it: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...?

Best Regards,

Rick

Tom Wonacott :

Rick and Victoria

It appears that the Bush campaign to drum up support for bombing Iran is effective.

"The Zogby International survey shows 52 percent of Americans would support a strike on Iran, while 53 percent expect President Bush to launch such an attack before the end of his second term."

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

I agree with your figures on the land allotted to the Israel (53% excluding Transjordan), but I just said it in a different way, that is, amount allotted as a percentage of the entire land package administered by British (including Transjordan). No, I don’t believe Israel should be given a part of Jordan, only that not allowing any Jewish immigration to Transjordan was a racist decision (obviously), but in the defense of the British, the decision was probably meant to ease Arab fears about Jewish immigration.

“…I disagree. Even though 50% of the land was owned by the Palestinian government, and was “crown land”. It was Arab land prior to the British mandate, though it wasn’t partitioned into a formal Palestinian state. Its rightful owners are the Arabs who tended their flocks and orchards and farmed this land for the last two millennia…”

Actually, the land belonged to the Ottoman empire (Turkey) from about 1450 until liberated by the allies in WWI, but I agree with your point. I brought that up to clarify that Arabs, in general, were not moved off of land that was privately owned to make way for Jewish immigration.

Here is what I say in defense of your position. If I am a Palestinian, I wouldn’t want a Jewish State created in Palestine, that’s for sure - especially if that is where I grazed my sheep. Let me sum up the way that I view the history of the conflict (admittedly, it's biased). I don’t expect to change your mind and visa versa (although the single state solution is the most unrealistic and promises only war for the future).

1. Jewish immigration began in the late 1800’s (mostly) from Europe and Russia, and the immigrants were primarily motivated by their escape from persecution. Initially, the population of Palestine (excluding Transjordan) was about 400,000 which was mostly Arab, but the land was still relatively desolate and undeveloped.

2. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the British were granted control over the administration of Palestine which included the West Bank, Gaza, the boundaries of Israel (today) and Transjordan (Jordan today).

3. The Balfour Declaration (1917) carried the force of international law and mandated the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British recognized the Jewish community’s right to self determination built by hard work and the development of a thriving community that had the characteristics of a nation state (albeit small) with “historic roots” in Palestine.

4. Continued Jewish immigration and development of the Jewish community attracted many Arabs to the area. Most of the Arab immigrants to Palestine between 1931 and 1948 were drawn to centers (for the most part) with large Jewish populations. The Jews did not, in general, displace Arab land owners from Palestine.

5. Many Jews immigrated in the period before WWII to escape persecution in Europe - especially Germany. The decision by the British to curtail immigration probably cost the lives of many Jews in Europe. This was done to satisfy the Palestinians who were against Jewish immigration (understandably to a certain extent), however, this was contrary to the Balfour Declaration.

6. The Jews accepted the Peel Partition Plan which was rejected by the Palestinians in 1937.

7.. The UN voted (33-13 with 10 abstentions) to partition Palestine into two states after the end of WWII because this was the best solution considering the animosity between the two populations (UN: “…the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable…”). Jews outnumbered Arabs in the land partitioned into Israel (approx. 550,000 to 350,000). Most of the land obtained by Israel under the UN mandate in 1947 was NOT privately owned Arab land, but was “crown land” owned by the Palestinian government which reverted to Israel under the UN mandate. Israel is a legal state recognized by most of the world.

The Jewish population accepted the partition, but the Arabs rejected it. The British withdrew their troops and the Arabs attacked the new state of Israel immediately which led directly to the Arab refugee problem and the expansion of Israel. In general, up to the present, the Israelis have tried to make peace with their neighbors, however, they have made some serous mistakes such as the development of settlements on Palestinian land.

The state of Israel has a LEGAL right to exist in it’s present location (not Texas, however, which really belongs to Mexico. Greatest crime of the nineteenth century?). The State of Israel has been attacked on three separate occasions by Arab armies. After being defeated three times, the Arabs resorted to proxy wars by terrorism and targeted primarily civilians which also failed.

In 2000, Israel offered a fair proposal to the Palestinians to create a state. Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia who served as an intermediary between Arafat and the Clinton administration had this to say about Arafat's rejection of the Israeli offer:

"I still have not recovered, to be honest with you, inside, from the magnitude of the missed opportunity...sixteen hundred Palestinians dead so far. And seven hundred Israelis dead. In my judgment, not one life of those Israelis and Palestinians dead is justified."

In 2002, the Arab League offered full recognition to Israel if Israel returned to the 1967 international borders which is a fair proposal to Israel (although that will not bring peace to Israel). The proposal by the twenty two countries that comprise the Arab League indicates that war and terrorism (to eliminate Israel) have failed. In addition, resettling the refugees in Israel is not an option since that would result in two separate Palestinian States.

A single state solution will never be agreed on by Israel and is therefore NOT a solution to the problem. In addition, it has no legal basis. A single state solution can only be implemented by force and Israel can only be defeated by the use of nuclear weapons. That’s the reason that Iran cannot be allowed to develop that capacity.

Thanks for the discussion.

Rick :

Thanks for the post Victoria:

“Seymour Hersh on Iran”

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh

It seems that President Bush is reluctantly forced to consider a change of plans for Iran:

“The shift in targeting reflects three developments.

First, the President and his senior advisers have concluded that their campaign to convince the American public that Iran poses an imminent nuclear threat has failed (unlike a similar campaign before the Iraq war), and that as a result there is not enough popular support for a major bombing campaign.

The second development is that the White House has come to terms, in private, with the general consensus of the American intelligence community that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a bomb.

And, finally, there has been a growing recognition in Washington and throughout the Middle East that Iran is emerging as the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq.”

[So after needlessly sacrificing 4,000 (and growing) of our best and brightest young people’s lives, squandering $1 Trillion (and growing) of our national wealth, slaughtering countless thousands of innocents (women and children), displacing millions of families, many into refugee status in neighboring countries, and destroying our national prestige throughout the world; the end result is to greatly enhance the power of Iran in the Middle East.

I guess our only remaining option is to “Bomb Bomb Iran” (in the immortal words of John McCain) back to the stone ages.]

“In a speech at the United Nations last week, Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was defiant. He referred to America as an “aggressor” state, and said, “How can the incompetents who cannot even manage and control themselves rule humanity and arrange its affairs? Unfortunately, they have put themselves in the position of God.””

[Good point!]

“The crux of the Bush Administration’s strategic dilemma is that its decision to back a Shiite-led government after the fall of Saddam has empowered Iran, and made it impossible to exclude Iran from the Iraqi political scene.”

“Vali Nasr, a professor of international politics at Tufts University, who is an expert on Iran and Shiism told me…Last year, over one million Iranians traveled to Iraq on pilgrimages, and there is more than a billion dollars a year in trading between the two countries. But the Americans act as if every Iranian inside Iraq were there to import weapons.”

“In a recent essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz depicted President Ahmadinejad as a revolutionary, “like Hitler . . . whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it . . . with a new order dominated by Iran. . . . [T]he plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force.” Podhoretz concluded, “I pray with all my heart” that President Bush “will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel.” Podhoretz recently told politico.com that he had met with the President for about forty-five minutes to urge him to take military action against Iran, and believed that “Bush is going to hit” Iran before leaving office. (Podhoretz, one of the founders of neoconservatism, is a strong backer of Rudolph Giuliani’s Presidential campaign, and his son-in-law, Elliott Abrams, is a senior adviser to President Bush on national security.)”

“David Kay, a former C.I.A. adviser and the chief weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations, told me… Iran is not giving the Iraqis the good stuff—the anti-aircraft missiles that can shoot down American planes and its advanced anti-tank weapons.”

“The American policy of supporting the Sunnis in western Iraq is making the Shia leadership very nervous,” Nasr said. “The White House makes it seem as if the Shia were afraid only of Al Qaeda—but they are afraid of the Sunni tribesmen we are arming. The Shia attitude is ‘So what if you’re getting rid of Al Qaeda?’ The problem of Sunni resistance is still there. The Americans believe they can distinguish between good and bad insurgents, but the Shia don’t share that distinction. For the Shia, they are all one adversary.”

“Cheney’s option is now for a fast in and out—for surgical strikes,” the former senior American intelligence official told me. The Joint Chiefs have turned to the Navy, he said, which had been chafing over its role in the Air Force-dominated air war in Iraq. “The Navy’s planes, ships, and cruise missiles are in place in the Gulf and operating daily. They’ve got everything they need—even AWACS are in place and the targets in Iran have been programmed. The Navy is flying FA-18 missions every day in the Gulf.” There are also plans to hit Iran’s anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile sites. “We’ve got to get a path in and a path out,” the former official said.”

“A retired American four-star general with close ties to the British military told me that there was another reason for Britain’s interest—shame over the failure of the Royal Navy to protect the sailors and Royal Marines who were seized by Iran on March 23rd, in the Persian Gulf. “The professional guys are saying that British honor is at stake, and if there’s another event like that in the water off Iran the British will hit back,” he said.”

“The French government shares the Administration’s sense of urgency about Iran’s nuclear program, and believes that Iran will be able to produce a warhead within two years. France’s newly elected President, Nicolas Sarkozy, created a stir in late August when he warned that Iran could be attacked if it did not halt its nuclear program.”

“Ahmadinejad, in his speech at the United Nations, said that Iran considered the dispute over its nuclear program “closed.” Iran would deal with it only through the International Atomic Energy Agency, he said, and had decided to “disregard unlawful and political impositions of the arrogant powers.” He added, in a press conference after the speech, “the decisions of the United States and France are not important.”

“The director general of the I.A.E.A., Mohamed ElBaradei, has for years been in an often bitter public dispute with the Bush Administration; the agency’s most recent report found that Iran was far less proficient in enriching uranium than expected. A diplomat in Vienna, where the I.A.E.A. is based, said, “The Iranians are years away from making a bomb, as ElBaradei has said all along. Running three thousand centrifuges does not make a bomb.”

“The adviser said that he had heard from a source in Iran that the Revolutionary Guards have been telling religious leaders that they can stand up to an American attack. “The Guards are claiming that they can infiltrate American security,” the adviser said. “They are bragging that they have spray-painted an American warship—to signal the Americans that they can get close to them.” (I was told by the former senior intelligence official that there was an unexplained incident, this spring, in which an American warship was spray-painted with a bull’s-eye while docked in Qatar, which may have been the source of the boasts.)”

“Another recent incident, in Afghanistan, reflects the tension over intelligence. In July, the London Telegraph reported that what appeared to be an SA-7 shoulder-launched missile was fired at an American C-130 Hercules aircraft. The missile missed its mark. Months earlier, British commandos had intercepted a few truckloads of weapons, including one containing a working SA-7 missile, coming across the Iranian border. But there was no way of determining whether the missile fired at the C-130 had come from Iran—especially since SA-7s are available through black-market arms dealers.

Vincent Cannistraro, a retired C.I.A. officer who has worked closely with his counterparts in Britain, added to the story: “The Brits told me that they were afraid at first to tell us about the incident—in fear that Cheney would use it as a reason to attack Iran.” The intelligence subsequently was forwarded, he said.

The retired four-star general confirmed that British intelligence “was worried” about passing the information along. “The Brits don’t trust the Iranians,” the retired general said, “but they also don’t trust Bush and Cheney.”

Rick :

From today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/03/AR2007110300214_pf.html

Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule in Pakistan

Leader Says 'Judicial Activism' Left Him No Choice

By Griff Witte and Imtiaz Ali
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, November 3, 2007; 4:53 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 3 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule Saturday, suspending the constitution and replacing the Supreme Court's chief justice.

Musharraf appeared on Pakistani television just before midnight Saturday and delivered a 50-minute defense of his decision. He said that "judicial activism" and rising extremism had left him with no other choice…

Rick :

From today’s NY Times editorial page:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/03/opinion/03sat1.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

November 3, 2007
Editorial

That Promised Peace Conference

One month before President Bush’s Mideast peace conference — the administration’s first serious effort in six years — it’s still not clear what will be on the agenda or who, beyond the Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, will show up. Even the date is still up in the air.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the region through early next week for what we hope will be more than just another one of her listening tours. If the conference has any chance of success, she needs to be carrying with her creative proposals, a willingness to twist everyone’s arms and the stamina to keep at it for as long as it takes.

The issue is less how peace would look than whether leaders — including Mr. Bush — have the political courage to make decisions and finally move forward.

The broad outlines of a deal for Israel and the new state of Palestine have been apparent since President Clinton’s 2000 push. The two states would be separated by a line approximating Israel’s pre-1967 war border, with small land swaps to permit most Jewish settlers in the West Bank to be part of Israel. There would be some kind of agreed resolution of the Palestinian refugees issue, while the two sides would find a way to split control of Jerusalem. A guarantee to use the full resources of the Palestinian Authority to help protect Israel from future terrorist attacks is also essential.

[I think not. The single state solution is the only option with full right of return for all Palestinian refugees.]

Nobody expects Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, both weak leaders, to come to an agreement at this meeting. At a minimum, however, they must launch a serious negotiating process that would point clearly — preferably with a target date — to the end of the conflict and to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

If that happens, then the really hard work starts. The United States would have to be at the bargaining table every step of the way to provide Mr. Olmert with support and political cover to make the tough compromises that could well bring down his government. Leading Arab states would also have to be intensely engaged to bolster and give cover to Mr. Abbas, who faces serious opposition both from Hamas militants and from within his own Fatah party.
The Israelis need the Saudis finally at the table, as proof that compromise would also bring regional acceptance. The Saudis aren’t known for their political courage, but even the Egyptians are insisting that they won’t invest political capital unless they are sure there’s something to invest in.

After years of broken promises and bloodshed, Israelis and Palestinians must also agree on concrete steps that would show their people that life is changing for the better — now. These should include a Palestinian commitment to hunt down violent anti-Israel militants and a halt to Israeli settlements. Laudably, Mr. Bush recently proposed a sixfold increase in aid to the Palestinians, whose government desperately needs the funds to prove that it is a viable alternative to Hamas. The Bush administration is as notoriously weak on follow-through as it is on planning. But it cannot just stage an event and hope that something will materialize.
Another failed photo op would just sow more despair and anger in a region already drowning in both.

Rick :

Here’s an interesting story from today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201554_pf.html

Rice, Others Told to Testify in AIPAC Case

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 3, 2007; A06

A federal judge yesterday issued a rare ruling that ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and more than 10 other prominent current and former government officials to testify on behalf of two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of violating the Espionage Act at their upcoming criminal trial.

The opinion by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria directed that subpoenas be issued to officials who include Rice, national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, former high-level Department of Defense officials Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith, and Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state.

Their testimony has been sought by attorneys for Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, who are accused of conspiring to obtain classified information and pass it to members of the media and the Israeli government.

Attorneys for Rosen and Weissman say Rice and the other officials could help clear them because they provided the former lobbyists with sensitive information similar to what they were charged for, according to Ellis's ruling and lawyers familiar with the case. Prosecutors have been trying to quash the subpoenas during secret hearings and in classified legal briefs, but Ellis wrote that the testimony could help "exculpate the defendants by negating the criminal states of mind the government must prove.''…

[In other words, the AIPAC people claim that the Bushies give them this type of information as a matter of routine. What’s all the fuss about?]

…The lobbyists are the first non-government civilians charged under the 1917 espionage statute with verbally receiving and transmitting national defense information.

Rosen and Weissman were indicted in 2005 on charges of conspiring to violate the Espionage Act by receiving national defense information and transmitting it to journalists and employees of the Israeli Embassy who were not entitled to receive it. The topics ranged from the activities of al-Qaeda to information about possible attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, according to court documents.

Rosen, of Silver Spring, was AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues and was instrumental in making the committee a formidable political force. Weissman, of Bethesda, was a senior analyst. AIPAC fired them in 2005.

Among those ordered to testify are William Burns, the U.S. ambassador to Russia; Elliot Abrams, deputy national security adviser; and Kenneth Pollack, former director of Persian Gulf affairs for the National Security Council.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

You said:

“The result of WWI was the capture of 45,000 square miles of land formerly under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The Jews fought with the British (and allies) and the Arabs fought on the losing side with Germany and the Turks among others. There was NO Palestinian State.”

Here is a link to The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL):

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988

PART I

1917-1947

Annex VI of this document shows a map titled: "Palestine" claimed by World Zionist Organization, 1919

This is what I refer to as “Palestine”. This looks like the current State of Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, all land west of the Jordan River. The land east of the Jordan River is referred to as Transjordan, and corresponds to the present nation of Jordan. Palestine and Transjordan were incorporated (under different legal and administrative arrangements) into the Mandate for Palestine, issued by the League of Nations to Great Britain on 29 September, 1923.

This is the Palestine referred to in my previous post, and which I believe had a Jewish population of 47,000 at the turn of the century of a total population of 500,000. This is the Palestine that was partitioned by the UN in 1947, which unfairly allocated 53% of the land to the Jews who accounted for only 30% of the population and owned only 8% of the land. Only 47% of the land went to the Arab Palestinians who accounted for 70% of the population and actually owned 92% of the land.

You said:

“A full 80% of the land was allocated to Transjordan in which NO Jewish settlements were ALLOWED, which is blatant racism. Of the 20% that remained, a slim majority was granted to the Jews. In all the Jews were granted about 11-12% of the total land. The land allotted to the state of Israel also included the Negev Desert (55% of Israel) which even today contains only about 400000 residents.”

Let’s leave Transjordan out of it for the moment and focus on Palestine. If you want to argue that the Jews should be given a piece of Jordan, we will put that next in the queue.

You said:

“Your map showing ownership of land in 1946 is, at best, MISLEADING since approximately 50% of the land of Palestine was under the ownership of the Palestinian government and was “crown land”.”

I disagree. Even though 50% of the land was owned by the Palestinian government, and was “crown land”. It was Arab land prior to the British mandate, though it wasn’t partitioned into a formal Palestinian state. Its rightful owners are the Arabs who tended their flocks and orchards and farmed this land for the last two millennia.

Thanks for a most interesting discussion.

VICTORIA :
Tom Wonacott :

Rick

The result of WWI was the capture of 45,000 square miles of land formerly under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The Jews fought with the British (and allies) and the Arabs fought on the losing side with Germany and the Turks among others. There was NO Palestinian State.

The Balfour Declaration (whether the British regretted the decision or not: Jewish immigration was curtailed to appease the Arabs who had been attacking Jewish residents) mandated a legally binding home to the Jewish people who immigrated to Palestine beginning in the late 19th century. The Jewish population built a robust society that attracted many Arabs to the area (along with the Arabs that were already residents).

The UN divided the land as fairly as possible based on the demographics.

You said:

“…In 1947, after 30 years of Zionist immigration, the illegal UN partition of Palestine allocated 53% of the land to the Jews who accounted for only 30% of the population and owned only 8% of the land. Only 47% of the land went to the Arab Palestinians who accounted for 70% of the population and actually owned 92% of the land…”


A full 80% of the land was allocated to Transjordan in which NO Jewish settlements were ALLOWED, which is blatant racism. Of the 20% that remained, a slim majority was granted to the Jews. In all the Jews were granted about 11-12% of the total land. The land allotted to the state of Israel also included the Negev Desert (55% of Israel) which even today contains only about 400000 residents.

Within the borders of the partition, the Jewish population constituted a majority (Approx. 550000 to 350000 Arabs). Your map showing ownership of land in 1946 is, at best, MISLEADING since approximately 50% of the land of Palestine was under the ownership of the Palestinian government and was “crown land”. Your map SUGGEST massive expelling of Arabs from their land which is completely untrue. According to Mideast Web:

"...Mandate Palestine. Jews had purchased 6 to 8 percent of the total land area of Palestine. This was about 20% of the land that could be settled and cultivated. About 46% of the land was registered in the tax registers to Arab villages, to Arabs living on the land, or absentee owners, and about the same amount was government land. However, most of this land was not privately owned. The Arabs of Palestine had received much of their land in leases conditional upon cultivation or used land that was part of village commons. The partition borders were drawn to give the Jews a majority within the allotted area of the Jewish state, but the land conquered during the fighting included the populous Arab areas of the Galilee, as well as Arab towns such as Lod and Ramla..."

Also according to “Mideast Web“, Jewish immigration did not displace Arabs and that Immigration of Arabs into Palestine was driven by the Jewish opportunity.


“…Analysis of population by sub-districts shows that Arab population tended to increase the most between 1931 and 1948 in the same areas where there were large proportions of Jews. Therefore, Zionist immigration did not displace Arabs…”

According to “Jewish Virtual Library:

“…According to British statistics, more than 70% of the land in what would become Israel was not owned by Arab farmers, it belonged to the mandatory government. Those lands reverted to Israeli control after the departure of the British. Nearly 9% of the land was owned by Jews and about 3% by Arabs who became citizens of Israel. That means only about 18% belonged to Arabs who left the country before and after the Arab invasion of Israel…”

You said:

…“The whole world will never see peace as long as the crime of the 20th century is not corrected…”


In summary, the crime of the twentieth century does not measure up. Yes, there was a crime to create the refugee problem, although this was primarily the result of the attack on Israel by the Arabs. However, there was no crime in establishing a Jewish state by partitioning Palestine (similar to Pakistan). Jewish immigration into a relatively desolate area (in which they had historical roots) resulted in the development of the land into a thriving community which also attracted Arabs to the area. The British recognized this community (already) with the characteristics of a nation state and recognized their “right of self determination” and mandated a legally binding Jewish homeland under the Balfour Declaration.

The UN addressed the problem and determined that “the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable”. Their solution was fair and was immediately accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs who then attacked Israel. The current world-wide consensus supports the two state solution.

None of your maps showing current Jewish checkpoints and occupation of the West Bank matter since you don't believe in a two state solution anyway. Its all illegal occupation. From my point of view, your maps show what needs to change when peace becomes the priority of all Arabs and Persians.

Finally, I agree with you that the Jews were involved in acts of terrorism against Arabs (and British). In fact, new settlements (today) in the West Bank constitute, in my opinion, a form of terrorism, however, trying to match or compare Jewish terrorist acts with the Arabs is a losing proposition since the Arabs have written the book on modern terrorism by targeting civilians on a regular basis. Terrorism against Jewish immigrants and residents has been an Arab reality since the early 1900s.

Targeting a civilian population is illegal under the Geneva Convention whether Israel or Islamic Jihad (today lobbing Qassam rockets into Israel) is the perpetrator.

Thanks for the post.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

Thank you for your thorough reply. Let’s focus on each item one at a time to avoid confusion. First, just let me reply to your claim that I hate Israel:

This is not true. I am convinced that their occupation of Palestine is unjust, as is our preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq. I only hate that my tax dollars are being used to enable such disastrous and immoral behavior by my government.

1. I say: “I disagree, we can’t afford to continue to prop up the illegitimate state of Israel; much more to be said about that I am sure.”

You say “Israel is a legitimate, legal state recognized by the UN and most countries on earth. It is also legal under the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations. After years of trying to destroy Israel (and failing) the Arab League offered Israel (2002) full recognition in return for Israel returning to their 1967 borders (or close) as per UN resolution 242.

In 2000, Israel offered 95% of the West Bank settlements, Gaza, the Temple Mount and half of Jerusalem for a Palestinian State - basically everything that Arafat asked for only he turned the offer down based on the question of the refugees (he didn’t even counter the offer). Israel had offered compensation ($30 billion), a statement of wrong doing and a symbolic amount of Palestinians refugees to settle in Israel.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is the relevant map of Palestine:

http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/palestine.html

The four maps titled Palestinian Loss of Land 1946 – 1999 give the picture. From the one on the left (Palestinian and Jewish Land in 1946) Palestinians owned practically all (92%) of the land in 1946, prior to the illegitimate UN partition. Since, Palestine was not the UN’s to give away; this is the map that any peace agreement must go back to.

Here is a summary of the Brief History of Palestine:

http://www.cyberus.ca/~baker/pal_hist.htm

Note that just prior to the turn of the 20th century (1895), the total population of Palestine was 500,000 of whom 47,000 (9%) were Jews who owned 0.5% of the land.

In 1917, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, the total population was 700,000 of which 56,000 (8%) were Jews.

In 1947, after 30 years of Zionist immigration, the illegal UN partition of Palestine allocated 53% of the land to the Jews who accounted for only 30% of the population and owned only 8% of the land. Only 47% of the land went to the Arab Palestinians who accounted for 70% of the population and actually owned 92% of the land.

In 2005, the Jewish population stood at about 5,200,000 (50.7%) compared to the 5,056,000 (49.3%) Arab Palestinian population.

So clearly, the only fair and equitable thing to do is to evacuate the 4,470,000 illegitimate Zionist Jews and descendents to the U.S., leaving the Jewish population at the original 47,000 that were there at the turn of the 20th century (adjusted for normal 2% population growth demographics, or about 430,000 Jews today.

The single state solution is the only one with a prayer of success, with right of return granted to the exiled Palestinians in refugee camps. Life will be very uncomfortable for the remaining Jews, sort of like that of the minority Sunnis in Iraq today, only worse. But if they don’t like it, they are welcome to join their brethren in the U.S.

As for the Balfour Declaration:

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 (dated November 2, 1917) was a classified formal statement of policy by the British government on the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the World War I.

The letter stated the position, agreed at a British Cabinet meeting on October 31, 1917, that the British government supported Zionist plans for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine, with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there.

So the result was the forceful injection by the British, of the Zionist Jews, who had been expelled from the region 2000 years ago.

Who would have thought that such an illegal Zionist immigration could ever satisfy: “the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities” of Palestine?

The British soon recognized the folly of this policy and attempted to halt the Zionist immigration. They were attacked by a terrorist group named Irgun (some call it Etzel), established by the violent Right-Wing of the Zionist Movement in Palestine. The most well-known of these attacks was the King David Hotel bombing which occurred on July 22, 1946. This was a well-planned act engineered by the Irgun's Leader and future Prime Minster, Menachem Begin.

So the Balfour Declaration, and resulting Zionist immigration, was a terrible mistake. The British tried and failed to reverse this terrible decision.

Repercussions of this heinous crime are behind all turmoil and bloodshed in the Middle East including Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian occupied territories, Syria, Iran etc.

The whole world will never see peace as long as the crime of the 20th century is not corrected.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

I only occasionally run into individuals that are as opposed to the state of Israel as you are. Most are just against the occupation of the West Bank (which I also oppose conditionally), but accept Israel as a legitimate state.

1. “I disagree, we can’t afford to continue to prop up the illegitimate state of Israel; much more to be said about that I am sure.”

Israel is a legitimate, legal state recognized by the UN and most countries on earth. It is also legal under the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations. After years of trying to destroy Israel (and failing) the Arab League offered Israel (2002) full recognition in return for Israel returning to their 1967 borders (or close) as per UN resolution 242.

In 2000, Israel offered 95% of the West Bank settlements, Gaza, the Temple Mount and half of Jerusalem for a Palestinian State - basically everything that Arafat asked for only he turned the offer down based on the question of the refugees (he didn’t even counter the offer). Israel had offered compensation ($30 billion), a statement of wrong doing and a symbolic amount of Palestinians refugees to settle in Israel.

2. “Israel is a pariah. It is the foremost reason by far that we are universally hated in most of the world, and rightly considered to be a terrorist state. We talk so much about fighting the war on terror, but we are the terrorists in the eyes of most of the world.”

The state of Israel has the right to exist exactly where it is located today. The US has provided aid and military hardware always to keep the regional military advantage to Israel over her enemies. Israel would have been destroyed without that advantage and the second genocide of Jews in the twentieth century would have occurred this time at the hands of the Palestinian Arabs who just happened to fight on the side of Germany in WWII. We have RIGHTLY supported Israel and if the rest of the world considers us terrorist then so be it.

3. “I disagree; most of the world views Israel as illegitimate, and it is. The only just solution is the single state solution with pre-1947 Palestine borders and Palestinian right of return. The Israeli’s could stay if they wish, but the may prefer to leave; since they will be the hated minority, about as popular as the Sunnis are in present day Shiite Iraq, and for much the same reasons.”

Again, most of the world views Israel as legitimate or they wouldn‘t be in the UN e.g, Taiwan. Period. A single state solution will NEVER happen and most Middle Eastern countries as well as most of the rest of the world recognize that. Maybe you can cite an Arab government in the Middle East that would serve as an example of a government you (and the Israelis) would be happy to live under? The countries comprising the Arab League are basically admitting that terrorism has failed and they cannot win a military conflict with Israel - especially with the US behind Israel. That’s the reason the Arab League proposed a TWO STATE solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict.

Comparing Saddam’s oppressive treatment of the Shia (and Kurds) with Israel’s response to terrorism committed by Palestinians is absurd. I will compare Israel’s democratic system of government and their treatment of Israeli Arab minorities against any Arab (or Iran) government that you care to discuss. Saddam was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Shia and Kurds. Minorities are treated as second class citizens or non citizens in most Arab countries.

4. “I agree; and they (Syria and Iran) are holding all the cards. Israel’s position is unjust and will never be permanent. The truth will out as they say.”

Israel will call the Middle East their home for the foreseeable future because the only way they can be defeated is by the nuclear option and, from your hatred of Israel, I can now see why you support Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. Explain to me why Israel’s position is unjust, and what you believe the truth to be?

5. “Since when do we have the right to say who can or cannot defend themselves?” (from your post to me)

Quotes from Ahmadinejihad:

"God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime,"
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
"Remove Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
"The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."
"If the West does not support Israel, this regime will be toppled. As it has lost its raison d' tre, Israel will be annihilated."
"Israel is a tyrannical regime that will one day will be destroyed."
"Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm."

That doesn’t sound like “defend” to me, maybe you have a different interpretation. When is the last time that Israel threatened Iran’s (or any Arab country for that matter) annihilation (with the exception that Israel claimed the right of a defensive nuclear first strike against Iran if they obtain nuclear weapons)?

6. “I agree; I don’t think that Bush will invade and occupy, but he is absolutely moronic enough to bomb the hell out of them.”

We agree on that one, but moronic(?) or just preventing (for the time being) Iran’s nuclear threat, a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East and a new level of terrorism supported by Iran with a dangerous nuclear confrontation the likely result of increased tensions between Israel and Iran. In addition, as you pointed out, the more nuclear weapons that are manufactured the more likely that nuclear weapons could fall into terrorist hands.

Either the world will get behind stopping Iran’s weapons program or I believe either Israel or the US will bomb Iran to prevent the above possibilities.

7. “I disagree; most nations would like to see the Israelis vacate the Middle East and find a legitimate home in the U.S. (like Texas).”

What a ridiculous statement, like Jews have no ties to the Middle East. Sorry, but the State of Israel was formed where the Jews have historical roots.

Their immigration began in the late 1800's (principally driven by persecution in Russia and Europe) and they settled in a sparsely populated area (approx. 400000 people) and built a thriving community which also attracted many Arabs to the area as well. They have been harassed and attacked by Arabs beginning in the 1920’s after the Balfour Declaration. The Arabs have always rejected peace.

a). The Jews accepted the Peel Partition Plan which was rejected by the Palestinians in 1937.

b). The Jewish people accepted the UN partition and the formation of the state of Israel which was rejected by the Arabs (and Israel was immediately attacked). The refugees were created at this time by Israeli ethnic cleansing, Palestinians leaving the war zone and Palestinians leaving at the request of the INVADING Arab armies.

c). They offered the Palestinians a state which was rejected by the Arabs in 2000.

The Arabs fought on the side of Germany in WWII and the head of Arab Palestine (from 1922 until the second world war) was a convicted Nazi war criminal. He was responsible for many attacks on Jewish civilians during his reign of terror including the Hebron massacre. He was idolized by his cousin Arafat and many other Arabs as well.

The Arabs attacked Israel in 1948, 1967 (yes, that was a defensive war fought by Israel) and 1973. The Arabs targeted civilians population centers in all three cases and then fought a terrorist campaign against the Israelis (once again focused on civilians) that killed thousands and that has continued to the present. All the wars were a one shot deal for Israel. If they lost, genocide would have occurred against their population.

Israel has every right to exist free of terrorism. Even today Iran threatens their annihilation and constantly provokes Israel by mostly targeting civilians through her proxies, Hezbollah (who started the war in Lebanon recently), Hamas and Islamic Jihad, so in conclusion, If sanctions fail, I support US bombing Iran's nuclear facilities.

"Who died and made you God?..."

I'll give you that point, I guess I was under the mistaken impression this was a political discussion site...

Thanks for the post to Vic Van Meter and myself

Cristina :

Thanks!

I hope that other questions may be posed here some day and the issues will not only go around US-Middle-east!

I wonder that these are vital issues, but I do question if they are truly global (of global interest -- terrorism was not initiated at 9/11, ask the British, the Spanish, etc...)

All these debates here just make think of natural disasters in poor nations(floods in Central America, the Tsunami), I think of the displaced, the refugees, the orphans, the mothers who lost their men to insane wars...I think of the disgrace brought about by those leaders and politicians whose sons stay safely at home while the poor kids go and die for them so they can go to the Ivy league later on...or sometimes these leaders and politicians themselves have evaded war service helped by their influential connections (Bush is a case in point)...I am sick of it. War is OK as long as somebody else dies in their place? I find that disgusting.

Rick :

Cristina,

Here is a better link to the e-Book.

http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf

Have a good day. I look forward to many more conversations with you in the future.

Best regards,

Rick

Cristina :

Thanks for the links, Rick. I will check them up as I keep an eye on environmenal issues, particularly water.

I guess I am right for being hopeful about people after all! People matter..regardless their country, race, religion, or social and economic status. I just do not tolerate hatred and prejudice. No matter against who.

Rick :

Thank you Cristina,

I’m encouraged to find a good friend like you. Don’t be too concerned about food, water and energy resources. I was pretty down too, until I spent the last few days talking with my friend Jed Rothwell. Check out this site and do a search on all posts by Jed:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/susan_jacoby/2007/10/cooperate_or_die/all_comments.html

You will be most pleasantly surprised and encouraged as I was. Jed is a real eye opener.

Also visit this site and down load his free e-Book:

http://www.lenr-canr.org./BookBlurb.htm

We have some real work ahead of us to get our world wide population, greed and hatred under control, but we can do it. If we fail at first, it probably will not be the end of history, just a temporary setback.

Cristina :

Oh, well...After I read this news (link below) it was clear to me that we are going to live uncertain times for the foreseeable future. The General John Abazaid may have unconsciously or unknowingly stated the only truth that matters to know.


"US troops will be in the Middle East for next 50 years, says Abazaid
Associated Press
Thursday November 1, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2203337,00.html

I come back to my worn up issue; now is the oil, next the water. We can do without oil, but we cannot do without water! We are trying to stop the hell's door from being opened, but taht will not happen, I am afraid. Here I am just being cruelly realistic, though I try to cultivate hope in the humankind.

Rick: I admire your courage displayed in your posts. We need more brave corageous, open-minded people such as yourself.

Anonymous :

RUMMY is a special little snowflake-

"He also lamented that oil wealth has at times detached Muslims "from the reality of the work, effort and investment that leads to wealth for the rest of the world. Too often Muslims are against physical labor, so they bring in Koreans and Pakistanis while their young people remain unemployed," he wrote. "An unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism."


interesting for an american to comment that wealth has detached one from the reality of work.

the world is lucky america is here to create wealth for them.

and of course the obvious parallel of imported people doing labor- we dont know what that is in america, do we?

or even our own people being used as slave labor.

a couple of years ago- i lived in pittsburgh pa-

at one point, the city was trying to gentrify the area known as 'the hill district', an all black areas primely located blocks from the city proper.

the goal was presented to the community like this-
move the african americans out to the suburbs, where they could have their own homes(which they already had) and have barbecues in the backyard.

many many from the hill were going to go for it-

however, a quick ride out to the area they were to be exported to (affluent north hills)revealed
miles of wendys and kmarts with signs "help wanted" in their windows.

i was one of those people who go to city council meetings
i fought and fought over this issue, informing the african americans, that depsite the pretty picture painted, happy families having bbqs in manicured yards, borrowing sugar from their friendly white neighbors- the reality was they would be shipped out to live in segregated areas, without the means to compete with their more affluent neighbors- stuck in the suburbs without cars they couldnt afford- and eventually everyone would be taking those wendys mc-jobs that the rich teenagers already living out there wouldnt touch.
while the property values of the homes they just vacated would go condo- and triple, quadruple in value.

the hill district people decided to decline the generous offer to sell.

remember when katrina referred to our own citizens as refugees?
aghhhh


off topic as ususal

i watched zogby in an interview commenting on those figures of the 52% supporting the airstrikes

he mentioned that it was only airstrikes, nice clean anonymous strikes from on high that were supported.

ground troops were not supported.

and despite tech innovation, wars are still fought on ground.

and thanks rick for that great interview by alan hart in iran.
ive posted it once on etteraghs blog here.

peace rick

Rick :

Vic Van Meter,

Excellent post!

I agree with much of what you say. Here are a few points where we could have a genial debate:

1. “Their economy is pretty lackluster and they rely heavily on American aid to stand. And aid will come their way, because politically America can't afford to get rid of Israel.”

I disagree, we can’t afford to continue to prop up the illegitimate state of Israel; much more to be said about that I am sure.

2. “Israel needs America for protection, and America needs Israel as a sort of buffer in the Middle East.”

I disagree, Israel needs us OK, but we need them like a hole in the head. We don’t need a buffer in the Middle East; we need to get out of the Middle East.

3. “Israel is a bastion of Western power that isn't joined to the rest of the region by Muslim ties on some level. Anyone who says Israel isn't our proxy nation isn't paying much attention.”

Israel is a pariah. It is the foremost reason by far that we are universally hated in most of the world, and rightly considered to be a terrorist state. We talk so much about fighting the war on terror, but we are the terrorists in the eyes of most of the world.

4. “The problem is that international opinion actually backs a position America can benefit from. The safest, least painful solution right now is the two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution championed in the UN.”

I disagree; most of the world views Israel as illegitimate, and it is. The only just solution is the single state solution with pre-1947 Palestine borders and Palestinian right of return. The Israeli’s could stay if they wish, but the may prefer to leave; since they will be the hated minority, about as popular as the Sunnis are in present day Shiite Iraq, and for much the same reasons.

5. “And that's why nations like Iran (and Syria more so than Iran, actually) have governments which are backing movements like Hezbollah to try and make sure Israel's position is never made permanent.”

I agree; and they are holding all the cards. Israel’s position is unjust and will never be permanent. The truth will out as they say.

6. “Will Iran resort to a nuclear strike on Israel even if they HAD nuclear weapons? Probably not”

I agree; Iran will never commit to an overt nuclear strike. But someday, a terrorist may clandestinely deliver a nuclear bomb to downtown Tel Aviv and/or Haifa from Russia, China, Pakistan, North Korea ..., and we will never know where it came from. Or, if they are smart, they will just cut off the oil supply to the west and demand that the U.S. and Israelis vacate the Middle East. They would have done that long ago if their puppet leaders were not so corrupt and kowtowing to U.S. control. That will not last forever.

7. “The problem would be occupation. Iran would be more of a nightmare than Iraq is.”

I agree; I don’t think that Bush will invade and occupy, but he is absolutely moronic enough to bomb the hell out of them.

8. “It's hard to argue against the crusader notion after Iraq and especially with the increased rhetoric against Iran. If Bush was halfway intelligent, he'd be applying pressure much less directly knowing that, yes, America still has global backing on most issues.”

Yes, the U.S. and Israel are crusaders and Zionists. No, Bush is not halfway intelligent. No, America does not have global backing on most issues. We are regarded as the true axis of evil, along with our partner in infamy, Israel.

9. “Most nations do NOT want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Most nations do NOT want Israel to disappear (mostly for the same reasons).”

I agree; most nations do not want Iran to get nuclear weapons. They would also like to see the U.S., Russia and others comply with the NPT and absolutely ban all nukes from the planet.

I disagree; most nations would like to see the Israelis vacate the Middle East and find a legitimate home in the U.S. (like Texas).


Rick :

What World War III May Look Like:

http://antiwar.com/orig/giraldi.php?articleid=11666


Rick :

Yup, we are all nuts!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/10/31/104328/05

Americans support bombing Iran

by Hiraga

Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 07:48:55 AM PDT

According to "Raw Story" Zogby International reports that 52% of Americans polled support air strikes against Iran.

In spite of all the talk on this site about Bush's approval ratings tanking, Bush "best Democratic strategist ever", and so on, this poll is absolutely devastating. The American public is ignorant, fearful, and violent as ever. I've never felt this way before, but what this 52% number means is that we - the progressive, reality-based community have lost. Media consolidation, the concentration of power in the hands of a corporate elite, the military industrial complex, the hubris of empire - all of this institutional power that the reactionary right has - is too much for us.

This country is on a glide path to a bloody, reactionary, anti-democratic late imperial demise. I'm sick to my frickin' stomach.


Rick :

Here’s another interesting story in today’s WP. We are such hypocrites. The Bushies will say and do anything:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/31/AR2007103102801_pf.html

U.S. Official Is Faulted for Nuclear Weapons Claim
Experts Call 'Hair Trigger' Denial Misleading, Say Much of Arsenal Is Capable of Launch in Minutes

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007; A17

UNITED NATIONS -- The Bush administration has come under fire for stating before a United Nations conference that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is not on "hair-trigger alert" -- an assertion that arms-control experts criticized as "inaccurate" and "misleading."
The allegations follow efforts by Washington to assure the United Nations that it is meeting its obligation -- under the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty -- to shrink its nuclear arsenal. They also come on the eve of a U.N. General Assembly vote on a resolution calling on the world's nuclear powers to take their nuclear weapons off "high alert."
The nonbinding resolution calls on states to "decrease the operational readiness" of their nuclear weapons. "The maintenance of nuclear weapons systems at a high level of readiness increases the risk of the use of such weapons, including the unintentional or accidental use," the resolution warns.

Speaking at an Oct. 9 U.N. conference, Christina Rocca, the U.S. representative to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, dismissed concerns that American nuclear missiles are ready to launch on a moment's notice. "U.S. nuclear forces are not and have never been on hair-trigger alert," she told U.N. delegates.

Her comments sparked rapid criticism. "It's plain wrong," said Hans Kristensen, director of nuclear information at the Federation of American Scientists. "There are forces on alert, and whether they are on 'hair-trigger alert' or 'launch on warning,' they are capable of launching in minutes."

The NPT requires the world's original nuclear powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain -- to engage in "good-faith" negotiations aimed at dismantling their nuclear weapons program.

In exchange, other states pledge to limit their development of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes.

Developing countries have accused Washington and other nuclear powers of reneging on their obligations. The United States maintains that it has been meeting its side of the bargain, but that other states have not done enough to prohibit countries -- such as North Korea and Iran -- from developing clandestine nuclear weapons.

Rocca cited U.S.-Russian arms-control agreements over the past two decades that shed more than 3,000 tactical warheads and 1,000 strategic missiles and bombers from the U.S. stockpile. "The NPT never envisaged complete nuclear disarmament without regard to the international security environment," she said. "Nuclear weapons continue to have relevance."

A senior U.S. official said the claim that thousands of U.S. nuclear weapons can be launched within minutes is incorrect, but added that the information on launch time is classified. "The idea we are on Cuban-missile-crisis posture, sitting on the silo ready to push the button, is false," said the official, who was unauthorized to speak publicly. "The essence of deterrence strategy is having some element of ambiguity."

Bruce Blair, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the World Security Institute, said the United States and Russia keep about one-third of their strategic arsenals on launch-ready alert and that "hundreds of missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads can be launched within a very few minutes."

"There has been long history of denying U.S. forces are on 'hair-trigger alert' . . ." Blair said. "Some of that is based on lack of knowledge, and some of it is an evasion, and some of it is just an outright lie."

Rick :

Tom Wonacott,

Who died and made you God? Since when do we have the right to say who can or cannot defend themselves?

We will have the right to demand that the rest of the world disarm when we lead the way.

...“The fact that the US was setting up a nuclear plant in Iraq at that time (although, obviously stupid) doesn’t mean jack s**t.”...

Codswallop!

...“What should have you really concerned is that a CONSENSUS is building that Iran’s words and actions are well outside the norm of international behavior which makes them an especially poor prospect to harbor nuclear weapons.”...

And the actions of the US and Israel are considered inside the norm?

...“That’s what being a liberal is today - being so vehemently anti American and anti Israel that you turn a blind eye to the truth.”...

I’m surprised at you. No I’m not. The creed of an idiot, agree with me or be labeled anti American.

...“but when, on numerous occasions, the President of Iran threatens Israel‘s annihilation, undermines the peace process with the Palestinians, refers to Israel as an illegal state (which it is not)”...

...“The world needs to confront the serious threat posed by Iran and isolate Iran with strong, unified economic sanctions designed to end Iran’s weapons program (as well as Ahmadinejad‘s tenure as President of Iran).”...

Actually, the Gulf States should cut off the oil tap until the U.S. and Israel vacate the occupied territories of Palestine and Iraq and promise to stop acting as if we own the world.

Rick :

Omop,

Excellent post @ October 26, 2007 12:10 PM

Thank you!

OMOP :

“Reflections;

USA ..........number of nuclear war heads 10,000 [est]
Russia.......number of nuclear war heads 10,000 [est]
Britain ......number of nuclear war heads 1,000 [est]
France.......number of nuclear war heads 800 [est]
China........number of nuclear war heads 3,000 [est]
Israel.........number of nuclear war heads 200 [est]
No. Korea..number of nuclear war heads ?????
India...................................................... ?????
Pakistan................................................. ?????
Iran........................................................none yet.

The CinC of the US is suggesting that WW III long advocated by the neocons in the US and Israel is necessary to stop one nation on this planet from even attempting to acquire ONE nuclear war head borders on either moronic logic or fanatical hatred.

Rick :

Victoria,

Good morning my dear friend. Why are you so lazy? Did you see this front page (above the fold) lead story in WP this morning?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/31/AR2007103103095_pf.html

I like the part in the first sentence of the first paragraph that talks about how all you lazy Muslims like to avoid “physical labor”.

The part about the need to keep “elevating the threat,” link Iraq to Iran” and develop “bumper sticker statements” to rally public support for a disastrous misadventure, is also excellent.

“From the Desk of Donald Rumsfeld . . .

In Sometimes-Brusque 'Snowflakes,' He Shared Worldview, Shaped Policy
By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007; A01

In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor" and wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.

The memos, often referred to as "snowflakes," shed light on Rumsfeld's brusque management style and on his efforts to address key challenges during his tenure as Pentagon chief. Spanning from 2002 to shortly after his resignation following the 2006 congressional elections, a sampling of his trademark missives obtained yesterday reveals a defense secretary disdainful of media criticism and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war.”

Rick :

Then did you see PBS’s News Hour day before yesterday? Here’s the link to the transcript:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec07/iran_10-29.html

“JUDY WOODRUFF: And the debate goes on outside Congress with perhaps even more intensity. Commentary magazine editor Norman Podhoretz wrote in June that military force was "required" to stop Iran from getting a bomb and offered this description of Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Quote, "Like Hitler, he is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism," end quote.”...

...“Gentlemen, thank you very much for being with us.

Norman Podhoretz, let me begin with you. You wrote over the summer that, if Iran is to be prevented from going ahead with a nuclear program, then the United States has "no alternative" but to strike against Iran. Do you still believe that? And if so, why?”

“NORMAN PODHORETZ, Foreign Policy Adviser, Rudy Giuliani: Very much so. It seems to me that most people in the world, at least until recently, agreed that it would be catastrophic to allow the Iranians to develop a nuclear capability. The only debate was over what the best means to prevent this from happening might be.

Well, for over four years, diplomacy has been tried, first by the Europeans and then with some American participation, and all they've accomplished, these negotiations, is to buy the Iranians more time with which to move forward inexorably toward a nuclear capability...

...So that leaves us with only one terrible choice, which is either to bomb those facilities and retard their program or even cut it off altogether or allow them to go nuclear. And I agree with what Senator McCain has said in the past: The only thing worse than bombing Iran is to allow Iran to get the bomb.”

“JUDY WOODRUFF: Fareed Zakaria, the choice, either strike Iran or allow them to go nuclear, are those the only two choices?”

FAREED ZAKARIA, Editor, Newsweek International: Well, there is a third choice, Judy, which is the choice we have used for pretty much every other country that has developed nuclear weapons, and that is deterrence.”...

... “This would be the third invasion of a Muslim country that the United States would have undertaken in the last five years; that seems to me a pretty serious business. And we've seen deterrence work against all these other countries...

...Let us even assume that Iran gets the bomb, and it's not clear that it will. Why are they more crazy than Kim Jong Il, a man who let two million of his own people starve in the last decade?”

“JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you pose several points that I want to bring to Norman Podhoretz, but, number one, this question of deterrence. If these other countries Mr. Zakaria is listing have listened to the argument to use nuclear weapons they be destroying themselves, why do you think that argument doesn't work with Iran?”

“NORMAN PODHORETZ: Well, I'll tell you why. First, I want to say that I think the attitude expressed by Fareed Zakaria represents an irresponsible complacency that I think is comparable to the denial in the early '30s of the intentions of Hitler that led to what Churchill called an unnecessary war involving millions and millions of deaths that might have been averted if the West had acted early enough...

...The reason deterrence can't work with Iran is that there's a different element involved here than was involved with either Mao or even Kim Jong Il or Stalin, and that is the element of religious fanaticism.

The fact of the matter is that, with a religious fanatic like Ahmadinejad and the "mullahcracy" ruling Iran generally, there's no assurance that self-preservation or the protection, preservation of the nation, will deter them.

And let me tell you why. Here is what the Ayatollah Khomeini, of whom Ahmadinejad is a devoted disciple, once said. He said: We do not worship Iran. We worship Allah, for patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land of Iran burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.

Well, you can't deter a nation that is led by people with that kind of attitude...”

FAREED ZAKARIA: “You know, I had a feeling Norman would bring up that one quotation that he's used before, so I have one from now. "If the worst came to worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain, while imperialism would be razed from the ground." This is what Mao said.

And it wasn't just his words. It was his actions. He was actively aiding revolutionary movements and killing Americans all over the world.

So the question about Iran's rationality rests on this: They've been in power for 30 years. What have they done? Iran has followed a pretty rational, national interest-oriented foreign policy.

If you look at the way in which they opposed al-Qaida and the Taliban, this was another Islamic revolutionary movement. You'd think that they would find them sympathetic, but, no, they were the sworn enemies of al-Qaida and they helped the United States depose the Taliban.

By and large, over the last 30 years they've been fairly calculating, they have followed their national interest. When it has bumped up against the United States, they have worked against us. When they have thought that our interests were in common, as in Afghanistan, they've worked with us.”...

JUDY WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, we would love to have this go on for an hour. Unfortunately, we have only a minute or less left, so I have one final question...

I do want to ask you both, because I think it's important. Mr. Podhoretz, do you think that, as you wrote a few months ago, this administration, this president intends before he leaves office to strike Iran?”

NORMAN PODHORETZ: “Yes, I do believe he will, because he has said many times -- or at least two times that I know of in public -- that, if we allow Iran to get the bomb, people 50 years from now will look back at us the way we look back at the men who made the Munich pact with Hitler in 1938 and say, "How could they have let this happen?"

Well, unlike Fareed Zakaria and the foreign policy establishment that is complacent and irresponsible, in my opinion, I think the president recognizes the danger. I think he knows that time is short, that time is not on our side. And I think he will take military action, not an invasion, but air strikes before he leaves office.”

JUDY WOODRUFF: “And, Fareed Zakaria, if you would, a brief response.”

FAREED ZAKARIA: “Oh, I would doubt it. Look, in the early 1980s, Norman Podhoretz and the neoconservatives believed the Soviet Union was going to take over the world and Finlandize Europe. When Reagan started talking to the Soviets, started talking to Gorbachev, Mr. Podhoretz excoriated him, called it the "Reagan road to detente" and such.

It turned out he was wrong. It turned out that the Soviets were not that powerful, and that history was on our side, and that things were going to work out as long as we kept our cool.

I believe in just the way that we have deterred the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Kim Jong Il, history will prove that we can use deterrence and containment to contain the problem of Iran and that we do not need to launch a third unilateral invasion just to do that.”

NORMAN PODHORETZ: “God help us if we follow that counsel.”

JUDY WOODRUFF: “Norman Podhoretz, we thank you. Fareed Zakaria, gentlemen, we thank you both very much.”

Rick :

Get real! You don't really think that President Bush would attack Iran do you?

Didn't you see this Tim Russert interview of Vice this weekend?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/opinion/28dowd.html?ei=5087&em=&en=3b06bd6ceca4de30&ex=1193803200&pagewanted=print

W.M.D. in Iran? Q.E.D.

TIM RUSSERT: Mr. Vice President, welcome to “Meet the Press.”

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Good morning, Tim.

RUSSERT: How close are we to war with Iran?

CHENEY: Well, I think we are in the final stages of diplomacy, obviously. We have done virtually everything we can with respect to carrots, if you will. It’s time for squash. Not to mention mushrooms, clouds of them.

RUSSERT: But you squashed Iraq and that didn’t work out so well.

CHENEY: Iraq will be fine, Tim. It just needs a firmer hand. We learned that lesson. We’re not going to get hung up on democracy this time. (Expletive) purple thumbs.

RUSSERT: Isn’t Secretary Rice still pushing carrots for Iran?

CHENEY: The more carrots Condi feeds ’em, the better they’ll be able to see the bombs coming....

The rest is at the link.

BobL-VA :

Tom,

"That’s what being a liberal is today - being so vehemently anti American and anti Israel that you turn a blind eye to the truth."

I may find the current president repulsive, but I certainly don't find you anti-American for your support of his positions. I thought you above the cheap trick of either agree with me or be un-American. Guess I was wrong. FOR THE RECORD I'M PRO AMERICAN, ISRAEL NEUTRAL AND VEHEMENTLY DISGUSTED BY BUSH. AT LEAST LIBERALS CAN UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES.

Anju Chandel, India :

Well, George Bush's "prediction" about WWIII cannot be dismissed completely as yet another figment of his overworked brain. The history is witness to two such terrible wars in the recent past and the belief that they would not be repeated in the near future would be like living in a fools' paradise.

The current geoplitical maneuverings are indicative of our world getting increasingly dangerous for living. However, passing around the blame-basket would not serve the purpose.

The world needs to act fast - and together - towards a Safe and Secure earth for all. Otherwise, the day would not be far when the humanity would get relegated into the pages of history and we would have to depend on a "marsian" Spielberg to resurrect humans in his "Earth Park"!

Anju Chandel, India :

Well, George Bush's "prediction" about WWIII cannot be dismissed completely as yet another figment of his overworked brain. The history is witness to two such terrible wars in the recent past and the belief that they would not be repeated in the near future would be like living in a fools' paradise.

The current geoplitical maneuverings are indicative of our world getting increasingly dangerous for living. However, passing around the blame-basket would not serve the purpose.

The world needs to act fast - and together - towards a Safe and Secure earth for all. Otherwise, the day would not be far when the humanity would get relegated into the pages of history and we would have to depend on a "marsian" Spielberg to resurrect humans in his "Earth Park"!

Vic van Meter :

Amviennava, you're being sidelined by still thinking Israel acts as an independent agent. The true and honest US military presence in Israel is small because Israel's military is already there. Politically, this was a smart decision made well before Bush Jr.'s time. Having a standing army in the Middle East is a hotbed issue, but ARMING them is a completely different story. Look at the differences between the arms of, say, Israel and Syria. Israel is using just a hair shy of our latest equipment and can launch a military air strike at the drop of a hat. It's not exactly gone unnoticed in the Muslim world, but most nations don't have trouble with the US supplying Israel with some of the biggest toys known to man.

So why do we NEED an American military presence in Israel if all we have to do is pick up the phone? That's one of the big difference between Turkey and Israel, and one of the reasons Iran's government would love to see Israel hang.

Turkey is an ally, just not like our Israeli allies. To say Turkey doesn't act like an ally is to completely turn a blind eye to their position. Even the Saudi's, who allow us to keep airbases in their country (for a huge price tag, I might add), haven't given the U.S. the kind of clout that Turkey has. Regionally, Turkey is vital to our government's interests in the area. The fact is that it's a lot easier having Turkey on the border of a country we're occupying than, say, Iran. Very little is said about terrorist incursions into Iran from northern Iraq. In reality, it would be unfair to not allow a Turkish police action if northern Iraq fails to step up against the PKK. The PKK isn't keeping north Iraq stable. And Turkey has every internationally legal right to defend itself.

In the subject of religion, no, religion is a way to drive up the masses to build support. It always has been. Religion is how Bush got himself elected and has contributed to almost nothing as far as actual policy is concerned (unless you count blocking stem-cell research, hoo boy). If you think religion is WHY America backs Israel, you've certainly missed a lot in the last 40 years. America has backed everyone from dictators to drug kingpins as long as they serve American interests. Israel could be a nation of Hindus and the government would still back them as long as Israel holds the policy line. We back them for a huge chunk of political reasons, but that they're Jewish is only the initial reason to have created the state. In the decades since, Israel is less of just a country of Jews to the government and more of a proxy nation. After all, a mortar launched into Israel is a mortar not aimed at America.

There are several largely political reasons why America has backed Israel and will continue to back Israel. To think we're backing a Hebrew state for the good of the religious right wing is completely naive. Any of our Democratic candidates, as secular as they may be, will support Israel. Not because they're conservative, but because Israel is good for America to have around.

In fact, the only reason America suffers ill of Israel is because most people in the Middle East don't want it to be there. So the government here has a choice of backing Israel and thus establishing a Western presence right in there between Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and the like, or they let Israel go and the Middle East returns to their contention point of soldiers in the Middle East. Remember those protests? Al'Qaida hates having soldiers stationed ANYWHERE in the Middle East and use it as an arguement for violence.

Israel's acted violently in the past often and its neighbors have acted against it with violence. Religion is an effective way to build support amongst the huddled masses, but it's a poor way to conduct policy. Iran can't expect international support if Ahmedinejad says he wants to bomb Israel because of all the Jews. His best shot is using political motions to talk to world leaders while funding religious fanatics to erode the base. But don't mistake that the entire conflict isn't about regional power. If Israel was a peaceful, placid country, there would still be huge problems in the Middle East. If it violently backed America and was Muslim, they'd still be huge problems in the Middle East.

I'm not saying Israel's always right or even that they react well, but the issue's a lot more complicated than all that you're saying. If it was that easy, the arguement would be resolved. But America needs Israel as much as it needs anyone in the Middle East to agree with it on policy decisions. Israel's just our most steadfast ally down there.

But the source of all this conflict is regional politics. That's why groups will not cease to attack Israel from neighboring countries and Israel will not cease to go overboard defending itself. That's why Muslim nations will continue to be angry at Israel and America and will always conflict with our policy. Israel is too well-funded by western Democracies (and not just the States, but almost every western nation, for the exact same reasons) to rationally think that they will collapse from external pressure. Still, it's also just as stupid to think that organizations operating on Israel's border will ever cease as long as they are being funded and driven from the back. You saw what happened when peace was peeking around the corner between Israel and Palestine. The Palestinians elected a nastier government that was still pledging war against Israel. The two nations in that region are spoiling for a fight anyway, so it's hard to imagine them backing down from each other anytime soon.

In decades from now, the only thing you can really hope for is that the Middle East has recognized Israel as a regional power and sovereign nation and that Israel has stopped bombing the crap out of everyone else. As long as America has a presence in Israel, there's no force on Earth short of war or peace to dislodge Israel. I imagine treaties eventually coming around, maybe in the next presidency or two, that will act as a cessation of hostilities. There will be centuries of ice between Israel and its neighbors. But I can't imagine Israel going anywhere anytime soon. Though it looks like a political landmine when they talk about it in the news, it's a political goldmine when it comes to our Middle East position.

After all, America doesn't technically have to be LIKED in the region, it just has to be tolerated by the right people in the right places.

stmarike @ gmail.com :

President Bush has talked about the danger of World War III if Iran doesn't stop its nuclear program. What do people think is the risk of war where you are?

as one of those who are where i am :), i want to ask where there is nudity and who does clear nudity?

so the subject is happiness and unhappiness, basicly the clothes. Iran insists on clothes, USA insists of clothes.

USA wants Cheer and Happiness to be in Iran, besides clothes. and Iran wants clothes to be happy and peaceful. and USA warns with War. and Iran warns with war against war, as a reply.

i have an idea, it is taking Iranians to the pole. they have not been out of Iran, maybe since infancy. and who shall come to Iran? Vatican? Vatican has clothes on too. and CATH is WAR.

who shall come to Iran? after a year, Iranians may come. and we may clean their houses and buildings, with a new civilization, as a surprise.

who shall come to Iran? maybe "to walk with someone else!s shoes to get him", USA citizens may be in Iran for a year. may be those in Far North of USA, near Canada. are there deers in Iran?

who shall come to Iran? USA soldiers : ) for what? for a new house. to a country with a President named praising the Family of Muhammed, Life of Muhammed and His Wife and Daughters and Grandsons and Son of Uncle and Jesus and mary and Saints and Apostels would be Great a Meeting and Union, to begin with.

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott : Good morning.

"Iran the Stabilizer"? Not quite. Only in comparison to our current administration, sadly.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

Good morning.

I haven't heard a question regarding Ahmadinejad's threat to annihilate Israel on numerous occasions. Maybe it's coming next week. All we get is "Iran the Stabilizer?" which is a joke.

However, the current question posed by PG leads to some interesting discussions so it's a good one in my opinion.

Christopher Jon Batis :

The claim by Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, that the sanctions imposed upon Iran stem from their refusal to sit at the table of diplomacy to discuss their nuclear power interests, flies in the face of the facts.

According to a documentary aired on PBS by Frontline on October 23rd titled "Showdown with Iran", it was revealed that after the overthrow of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration was offered a peace treaty by Iran which satisfied all U.S. demands. Not only was the treaty rejected, it was ignored, which subsequently weakened the position of Iran's reformers and caused the hard liners to "select" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's new president.

Hans Blix, former top U.N. weapons inspector, in an interview with Charlie Rose, also on PBS, stated that the sanctions are sticks being used in the place of carrots by the
U.S. administration and that said sanctions are ill advised.

The President and certain members of his cabinet need to stand up to the neo-cons who sit opposite them in the oval office and briefing rooms who are responsible for our own hard line. They need to opt for diplomacy as the preferred preemptive move, rather than aggression, before this country is led down a path which, eventually, will be difficult or impossible to reverse.

The lack of transparency by this administration has made it almost impossible for the average voter to know the facts about what takes place behind closed executive doors, rendering us impotent to take action and demand from our representatives that the administration be held accountable for its dangerous blunders. Without the demand for accountability by the people, it looks like we will be plunged once again in to another unwanted, illegal war and, this time, we can expect much worse consequences than what we have experienced in Iraq.

The President has succeeded, in no small measure, in shifting international opinion of the U.S. from one of effective world leader, to one of uncontrolled hegemony and imperialism making us the black sheep of the world, inducing isolationism in those we used to consider allies and friends and in those with whom we may have had the potential for positive alliances. Perhaps it is more than just an opinion.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

Only two problems with my position? Come on Bob, there has to be more.

"...The first problem is no one believes Iran is enriching uranium to weapons grade material..."

Probably not at this point as they just recently perfected the enrichment process. According to ElBaradei (IAEA), Iran is still three to eight years from having a nuclear arsenal. Some believe it might be sooner. That’s why a third set of sanctions is being discussed at the UN and why the EU is considering a separate set of sanctions - to PREVENT Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and that begins with the enrichment process, and that is the point of contention by the US.

Israel took matters into their own hands to prevent Iraq from obtaining nukes in the early 80’s and recently bombed Syria’s nuclear facilities. I suppose Syria just wanted to build some power plants as well, right? I'm sure reducing carbon in the atmosphere was the goal.

Don’t believe Bush?

“…France is among nations pushing for tougher sanctions, and said Thursday that it does not believe Iran's claims that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
"We have a bunch of very strong clues to lead us to this conclusion," said President Nicolas Sarkozy's spokesman, David Martinon. "Everyone knows that this program has military aims."…”

Well, most everyone anyway.

“…If my memory also serves me correctly wasn't it the Americans who started the Iranian nuclear program? Wasn't it also France, Germany and Sweden who set up a corporation for Iran to be able to enrich uranium?…”

OK, so what? The French are discussing (which I oppose) providing nuclear energy to power a desaltation plant in LIBYA and other Middle Eastern countries. International law gives each country the right to develop nuclear energy and enrich uranium. The fact that the US was setting up a nuclear plant in Iraq at that time (although, obviously stupid) doesn’t mean jack s**t.

1. Did the Shah threaten to annihilate another country? Should I post the quotes for the twentieth time?

2. Did the Shah sponsor a Holocaust Denial symposium?

3. Was the Shah a state sponsor of terror and support, direct and fund civilian targeting terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah (which also is an international terrorist organization) to harass Israel and prevent the peace process from moving forward?

4. Did the Shah oversee an Islamic fundamentalist state with an agenda of reestablishing the former Islamic empire to its original fully Muslim status much like al-Qaeda i.e., eliminate Israel (the motivation is political and religious)?

5. Did the Shah try to undermine the government in Lebanon through her proxy Hezbollah? (Iran cannot meddle in US internal affairs, but has been anything but innocent in the Middle East as it tries to spread her influence including in Iraq and Afghanistan)

6. Did the Shah incite international incidents (acts of war) by capturing and holding British sailors in international waters?

Iran “the stabilizer” is the most destabilizing force in the Middle East and the biggest obstacle to peace. What should have you really concerned is that a CONSENSUS is building that Iran’s words and actions are well outside the norm of international behavior which makes them an especially poor prospect to harbor nuclear weapons. Iran has EARNED the challenge to their weapons program and, in my opinion, Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. PERIOD.

“…For Bush to use phrases like, "Axis of Evil" and "Islamofacism," can only strengthen the resolve and nationalistic feelings of the Iranian people. Simply put, they view us as dangerous and they have good reason to…”

Oppression has INCREASED in the Islamic State since the Shah was disposed and especially during Ahmadinejihad‘s Presidency. Under his leadership Iran is experiencing a well documented crackdown on human rights (which I have posted in the past) and the second most executions in the world this year (behind China) that includes stoning women to death for adultery. In addition, hate indoctrination against the US and Israel is taught in Iranian schools. From the Washington Times, January 30, 2007:

“…BRUSSELS -- The Iranian education system is preparing its students for a global war against the West in the name of Islam, according to an independent study of 115 textbooks and teachers guides released today…The study, which claims to be the first of its kind, catalogs how pupils as young as 9 are conditioned to take part in a global jihad against such "infidel oppressors" as Israel and the United States.
"Hate indoctrination is a professed goal of Iranian textbooks," said the report's author, Arnon Groiss, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated journalist who also has written critical studies of the Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Saudi and Egyptian education systems…In one cartoon for third-graders, the inhabitants of a clean and tidy town discover a trail of garbage left by a ghoulish creature with the Star of David on his right arm. The contaminator is chased out of town and the mess cleaned up after him…”

The crackdown against students, the purging of professors, anti Semitic and other hate literature taught in schools sounds all too much like Germany in 1938. The fact is that Iran government can be accurately described as Islamofascist. I haven’t heard Bush use the term for quite awhile so I’m guessing that Bush fears he will offend Muslims WITH THE TRUTH.

That’s what being a liberal is today - being so vehemently anti American and anti Israel that you turn a blind eye to the truth.

AMviennaVA :

Mike: What is one-sided about "President Bush has talked about the danger of World War III if Iran doesn't stop its nuclear program. What do people think is the risk of war where you are?"

Afterall, Bush HAS said that; and Cheney HAS repeated it.

AMviennaVA :

Vic van Meter @October 29, 2007 5:31 PM: An interesting presentation, but I disagree. First, when we asked Turkey to allow the 4th division in 2003 to cross Turkey and attack Iraq from the north, they refused. We even offered $8 billions and they countered with a request for $24 billions! And now the Turks are frankly endangering the ionly stable part of Iraq, because they are afraid of their own population. In short, not the stuff of reliable allies.

Second, Israel is useless as a base, which is why we have no facilities there (but we DO have them in Saudi Arabia). The reason for our blind support of Israel is that on the one hand many US Jews are steadfast in supporting any policy of the Israeli government; and many of the religious right-wing, in the US, expect the end of the world and think it is a sin to do anything that will disappoint an Israeli government. So, you see, religion is at the heart of the matter.

Actually, our situation in the Middle East would greatly improve if we exercised a semblance of balance towards the countries there. Let us face it, we allow Israel to practice policies that are correctly denounced when any other country, the US included, practices them. Some balance will actually eliminate most of the objections that Muslims have towards the US. It will not eliminate those that arise out of our steadfast support for dictatorships, but that is another matter.

Cristina :

To MIKE:

Please, this is becoming nonsense. If you really can argue, please, do make your case instead or preemptively judge us all or some inparticular (including myself perhaps).


Please, I am qute happy to understand the seriousness of it, but I would be pleased if you, whgo has been so critical of this post, wre the one who would counterargue, say, in favour of war, or for instance helping me understand what ww means..I mes , would it require all countries US need to be at war aginst Iran to get involved?

SInce when Iran represents such a dangerous threat? As far as I know Iran started in the news since January this year. (Please, I am not talking about the axil of evil speech long ago). I am talking about claims that Iran is a safe haven for terrorists, train them, finance them...

I have heard of nothing directly involving Iran before January 2007. I mean in relation to this Iraq war, in relation to training readicals. Why this looks for me (and perhaps for the others) as a purposefully build up case? Where or hot the rest of us are getting it so wrong? Are we that biased? I cannot admit myself being biased. I might and probably have my opinion on things, but when it involves issues related to my brothers around the world, then it is my concern too. So I better not be biased when decisions are to be made...thought THEY MUST STAND CLEAR lies and based on prove facts, not shadows resembling mobile cars supposedly carrying WMD (that was prettey ridiculous, poor Powell)!

I might be in favour of this war, I might support this war but this time I wont pit US anymore unless I am confronted with HARD UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCE AND REAL CONVINCING ARGUEMENTS TAHT IRAN DOES POSE A THREAT TO US. Note that I in my view US is the only one who feels really threatened tohough it is US who is making claims worldwide that Iran is a threat to Europe s well. (The Europena country have been cowardly quiet so far!) Except fo Sakozy....but I question his real intentions.

You are righ on on point at least: only a bunch of people have taken the trouble to come here and rase their voice that in my opinion is not so one-sided. On the contrary, but that is the funny part of the history. I really believe taht this site is not one-sided, just that in this case the other arguments are weak and have not being convincingly rebutted.

SOme argumens I think I rally worth reading (and I dont care about my own). Shiveh, Salamon for instance. I am not there yet, perhaps I need wak longer my own road, but I am here also to learn as I never lose a chance.

So, please, if you do have arguments, you and not somebody else, I think it is fair to ask that you make your case instead of simply remain safely judging us who dare to say anything, even though sometimes it is imbalnaced, is just venting, sometimes we are just nervous...but that is about human beings with a heart and mind!

I am sure you would contribute to the debate if you argue on this case yourself and prove your point. Otherwise,anything you tell about me or the others posts and comments will be read dismissively by me. No matter my stand or grayed hair)

VICTORIA :
VICTORIA :

i posted this elsewhere-


well- i was a bit numb with disbelief when i saw bush speaking- there was a journalist immediately following the speech who actually questioned bush's mental stability- whereupon chris matthews pounced and said, "did you just say bush is mentally unstable?" whereupon she backtracked and said she had 'questioned ' it.
but i didnt hear anyone disagreeing.

also i watched something where a psychiatrist made an 'at a distance' assessment of bush- heres a snip-
Monday, July 30, 2007
'Bush On The Couch' - A Psychiatric Personality Assessment of President George Bush

"Consortium news has published an amazing article by psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch. Dr. Frank conducts an 'at-a-distance leader personality assessment' to assess the potential dangers of President George W. Bush as he comes to the final stage of his presidency.

The results are chilling. The conclusion is that the President of the United States of America suffers from an aggressive personality disorder. Dr. Frank suggests some possible countermeasures to constrain Bush."

-Consortium News

-National Security Presidential Directive #51

VICTORIA :

mike- well ok, lets get past your intitial dislike of the question itself-

maybe you would propose an alternative question to demonstrate what you mean?

"My point (which you have ignored in your rush to hear yourself talk) is that the Post should have found one writer out of the five who took a view of the crisis other than "Bush bad". That's it."

iran, as shiveh pointed out- DID help the US in afghanistan- only to be immediately publicly slapped by being put in the 'axis of evil'.

well, what good do you find in bush making references to world war III?

if I, Victoria, go on tv and bandy the term WWIII about- it would have no oomph- no impact- i have no power

but when the leader of a superpower- who has already waged war to irans neighbors in the east and west- and has the largest arsenal of ibms and nuclear warheads on the planet at his fingertips-
uses the term-
people tend to take that seriously

if you have an intelligent and compelling point to make- just make it mike-

if we only ever talk to those who agree with us- our little minds will putrefy.


o BTW mike- several of the points you included were simply my own thoughts and not applicable to you-

Shiveh :

Putin whose KGB assignments included Iran, speaks Farsi fluently. In his recent trip to Iran he had a one on one meeting with Khamenie, Iran's spiritual leader, which did not even include translators. The talk and possible agreements were not publicized. But replacing the Iranian negotiator in EU talks with a hardliner, signals some newly found confidence by the Mullahs of Iran. Russia also signed some long-term commercial agreements with the regime in Iran totaling about 200 billion dollars. This makes stability of Iran a concern for Russia. In addition, Last week Putin likened the current missile crises in Eastern Europe to the Cuban missile crises of Kennedy era. In my view, when Bush talks about Iran and WWIII, he is responding to Putin’s activities and is warning Russia not Iran. Iran is a regional player that by herself, at worst can only cause some regional headaches. A global war is fought between global superpowers, and bush knows that!

Iranian atomic ambitions are not dangerous per se. It is the reaction they permit that is dangerous. Iranians have no death wish. They know that the West is ready and willing to send tens if not hundreds of atomic warheads toward Iran if one explodes in any part of its territory including Israel. Chances are that hundreds of Atomic bombs fired from Israel will hit their targets in Iran and cause millions of casualties even before any investigation is done to find out who attacked Israel with the explosives. Mullahs are brutal. They are not dumb.

I have to admit that Mullahs have shown a high level of pragmatism in their foreign policy. Their activities in the Middle East are defensive and have been effective in keeping them in power. After 9-11 they offered an olive branch to the Americans, helped in Afghanistan and Iraq, but soon noticed that Americans are planing to attack them as soon as events in Iraq and Afghanistan permit it. Since then they are doing their best not to let the events in Iraq and Afghanistan permit Americans to do so. Given enough assurances, they’ll sell the very Shia they are helping now!

I’m hoping for a day that Israel no longer represents the jews. I know many jews. I Like most of them, some of them very much. I admire their pursue of education; their active role in advancement of science; their philanthropic activities and their love for fellow human beings. I also see the governments of Israel hands in some of the worst tragic events in the Middle East. I see their REALPOLITICS plotted played without any concern for human life or dignity. I see the Jewish lobby hand in hand with the energy lobby is running the current American war machine so shamelessly that the weight of its degenerative amorality alone will eventually destroy American prosperity and Israeli reason for existence. I can only hope the Jews and the Americans clean house in-time.

Mike :

Anonymous –

That was me below; I just neglected to fill in my name.

I’m not really interested in making any case to folks like yourself who clearly have made up your mind. I don’t expect to have much of a meaningful debate with someone who starts off by asking me if I have a clue. If you want to hear a more nuanced discussion about Iran, watch the latest Bill Maher. Wes Clark gives a cogent explanation of why, despite his disgust with Bush, he considers Iran a real threat.

I made my initial post directly address Mr. Ignatius and asking a specific question about the lack of diversity in views.

It seems that the lesson that most of the folks on this board took from the run-up to the Iraq War is “don’t worry about getting a variety of views on a serious subject and mock anyone whose views differ from the latest public opinion polls.” I mean the majority of Americans would ever be wrong about WMD, right?

Anonymous :

"Is it such a crazy request to have one response to the question acknowledge that the Iran-US situation is far more complex than just "Bush bad"? "

anymous to anonymous: do you hava clue? Tell us, or tell me...Im ALL ears...since nobody showed up for the taks you might well do. After al somebody has to get it started or understood uunder a new light!

Mike :

Ah, what a thrill it is to hear liberals denounce the value of multiple points of view.

Anonymous :

BobL-VA :

Not only do you think you are right about everything, you don't listen to anybody.

"If you have a point that supports your position please put it out there."

My point (which you have ignored in your rush to hear yourself talk) is that the Post should have found one writer out of the five who took a view of the crisis other than "Bush bad". That's it.

It doesn't really matter though. You don't really seem like having any dialogue. You just want to call people names, rehash hackneyed bumper sticker slogans and talk about yourself. Boring.

Is it such a crazy request to have one response to the question acknowledge that the Iran-US situation is far more complex than just "Bush bad"? Why are supposedly tolerant liberals insulted by the very idea of views contrary to their own?

BobL-VA :

Mike,

You are absolutely right. Approximately one out of four people in the US think I'm full of crap. Of course this is the same one out of four who think Bush is acceptable as president and Elvis is singing at a local 7-11 tonight.

If you have a point that supports your position please put it out there. I may be old, liberal and not so smart, but I'm always willing to change my mind if someone has something worthwhile to say.

The heart of this matter is this question wasn't anti-Bush to start with. Reread the question. There is nothing inherent about it thrashing your beloved leader.

I on the other hand will use any venue I can to thrash him, his policies and his administration because I can't for the life of me think of a worse president in my 56 years in this country. I make no bones about how dissatified I am with him and why I am dissatisfied. If you like his policies step forward and tell me why. Give me some facts, historical perspective and likely ramifications of his actions. Then we have a debate. However, if you are only interested in whining about how unfair the questions are and how misunderstood your man is we'll have very short debates.

Mike :

Victoria -

You didn't read my post. I just asked if just one of the responses could not be anti-American. Regardless of all your straw men, I did not:

* Claim that the "question is anti-american"

* "Question the freedom to express dissent and question our leaders"

* "suggest that it is anti-american to be against war"

* Make any claims about whether or not Iran is making a bomb.

Why are liberals so afraid of hearing "dissenting" voices? More importantly, why are liberals incapable of debating a point without putting words in peoples mouths?

Mike :

Victoria -

You either didn't read my post. I just asked if just one of the responses could not be anti-America. Regardless of all your straw men I did claim:

* Claimthat the "question is anti-american"

* Question the freedom to express dissent and question our leaders that was the american value.

* "suggest that it is anti-american to be against war"

* Make any claims about whether or not Iran is making a bomb.

Why are liberals so afraid of hearing "dissenting" voices? More importantly, why are liberals incapable of debating a point without putting words in peoples mouths?

Mike :

BobL-VA -

Actually, There are plenty of folks who would disagree twith every word you said. Unfortunately, these people are never givene the megaphone that anti-American pundits do.

If you and the rest of the folks obsessed with Bush are so confident in your position, you should not be threatened by having one response to the question coming from someone who feels differently. Instead, we get five versions of the same "Bush is bad" screed.

I find it amusing that so many liberals can blear on about dialogue with Iran, but won't even bother to hear out their own countrymen. Your argument that "we are right, so screw any other opinions" is pretty lame.

Cristina :

JRLR:

Good one!! Finely clever!

"It is not the insurrections of ignorance that are dangerous, but the revolts of the intelligence. (James Russell Lowell)

"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot." (Mark Twain)

JRLR :

Thought you might like this one, Cristina:

"Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and the simple, however cruel, our worst enemies are the intelligent and the corrupt."

That is from... Graham Greene, "Human Factor".

Vic van Meter :

Looks like we're all questioning US/Israeli relations. Why will the U.S. back Israel. This question actually has an extremely easy answer once you throw out the rhetoric.

The Israeli situation is pretty understandable once you remove religion from the equation. If you take out the Jewish vs. Muslim mentality, all Israel becomes is an airbase. Their economy is pretty lackluster and they rely heavily on American aid to stand. And aid will come their way, because politically America can't afford to get rid of Israel.

There are two, possibly three nations America can count on enough sympathy from to launch a military strike from should the need ever arise. Turkey, Israel, and usually Kuwait. And if you look at a map of the Middle East, you'll see that they're spread out all over the region. There is a reason Iran doesn't like Israel, and that's because Turkey and Kuwait aren't always 100% behind American movement in the region. Israel, however, is. There are very few times Israel has confronted the US over Middle East policy. In the end, the two needs feed off each other. Israel needs America for protection, and America needs Israel as a sort of buffer in the Middle East. I hate to paint Israel out to be a bulletproof vest, but they absorb a lot of the flack because the Middle East governments hate Israel more than they usually hate America, and that's saying something.

For the same reason America wants to defend Israel, Iran wants to get rid of it. Israel is a bastion of Western power that isn't joined to the rest of the region by Muslim ties on some level. Anyone who says Israel isn't our proxy nation isn't paying much attention. Iran's government probably would like nothing better than to get rid of Israel for nothing outside geopolitical power. With Israel gone, America would be forced to rely on Turkey and Kuwait. Kuwait is a little country right on Iran's border. I imagine that if Iran couldn't stop Kuwait's support at the drop of a hat, they could demolish it pretty quickly. Which then would leave Turkey...

The problem is that international opinion actually backs a position America can benefit from. The safest, least painful solution right now is the two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution championed in the UN. If this plan is put in place, Israel is cemented in place. And if peace comes to the region, America will finally have a permanent base in the area. And that's why nations like Iran (and Syria moreso than Iran, actually) have governments which are backing movements like Hezbollah to try and make sure Israel's position is never made permanent.

If you take religion out of it (and in this case, religion is basically a tool used to move the masses to stalwart, conservative positions on the issue) all this is between Iran and America is a proxy conflict where Iran is attempting to destabalize Israel and America is trying to keep it upright. Will Iran resort to a nuclear strike on Israel even if they HAD nuclear weapons? Probably not. America alone has enough weapons to destroy the world something like four times over. The last thing Iran's government would possibly think about is how to get their country turned into a plate of glass.

But this is where America's government is now starting to get out of hand. Bush is pushing Iran around towards war. Why? To be honest, Bush has the upper hand in this situation. Very few people can look at the raw military figures and say that, even stretched thin in two countries, America would probably have Iran taken over in a hurry. The problem would be occupation. Iran would be more of a nightmare than Iraq is. Iran's bigger than Afgahnistan and Iraq combined, has a more unified population, and they aren't in the throes of a minority-over-majority oppression we can use. America might win the war but we'll lose the country eventually. War with Iran means another failed effort at Westernizing a nation.

It's hard to argue against the crusader notion after Iraq and especially with the increased rhetoric against Iran. If Bush was halfway intelligent, he'd be applying pressure much less directly knowing that, yes, America still has global backing on most issues. Most nations do NOT want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Most nations do NOT want Israel to disappear (mostly for the same reasons). Most nations do want Iraq to stabalize (if you believe Bush and his claims of Iranian intervention). America HAS the advantage if it knew how to press it.

Unfortunately, Americans (and by that I mean American's who certainly aren't me) elected a man who doesn't know HOW to play in international politics. We can't just push Iran around all on our own. Moves like this piece of garbage is why America can't so much as sandbag a flood in Mexico without a flood of mistrust. Bush has failed as a diplomatic leader in a most spectacular fashion.

I hope everyone's taken notice.

Cristina :

Hi Victoria- Agree with you, again and also Salamon.

"If any question why we died, tell them, because our fathers lied." ( Rudyard Kipling )

"We owe respect to the living. To the dead we owe only truth." (Voltaire)

------------------------
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. " (Voltaire)

This forum is very interesting... Someone has kept on posting that the site is on-sided, or biased. It made me recall my classes on research methodology and the long explanations my prof did to teach us on how to devise ontological issues and how they differ from epistemological ones. Clearly, when I see such posts protesting on one-sided view....those classes on ontology come to my mind in a flash!

BobL-VA :

Mike,

This isn't a one sided question at all. If someone shows me that Iran is building or attempting to build nuclear weapons for the purpose of blowing someone else up then we have a real debate. Right now we only have Bush's word on it and most of us don't believe the man is capable of telling the truth based on his past history.

Give us something to show Iran is part of this axis of evil and are untrustworthy besides Bush foaming at the mouth. We all know he hates Arabs and we don't trust him. If we're going to fight another war let's make sure it's worth fighting and not solely based on Bush's lies and deceptions. As they would say in Missouri, "show me," Iran is worth wasting lives and treasure for. Argue that point and we have a real debate. Right now it's only the word of a proven liar and that doesn't cut it with most of us.

VICTORIA :

divad that was me-

mike- this question isn't anti-american- its addressed to the world at large-

you're welcome to make any rebuttal you like.

people are writing here against war-
is a bloodlust for war an intinrisically american value?

i thought it was the freedom to express dissent and question our leaders that was the american value.

i hope youre not going to suggest that it is anti-american to be against war

we dont even know if iran has a bomb- and if they do- its their right as a sovreign nation-

and if they do it certainly cant reach you in your american home-

the atomic energy chief from the pentagon has just announced that there is no evidence that iran has the capability to build a bomb.

does that increase your sense of security?

Divad :

ANONYMOUS

I shall quote one of your quotations which really answers a lot of questions :

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

—Hermann Goering. Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII

In general war never solves humanity's problems but the various interests, economical, financial, social and political guide leaders who sit comfortably on their chairs, whilst they decide to send a lot of their young people to get killed.
Anyhow, today conventional wars have been replaced by guerrilla wars. Consequently a regular army prepared to fight another regular army - which was the case until WWII - will face local guerrillas in countries of which they do not know the language, mentality or religious differences and have very little chances to win such a war.

Mike :

Mr. Ignatius:

Why do you only choose to post articles that take a one-sided and anti-American view?

Would it have been impossible to find just one writer with a view sympathetic to America? Instead we get five stridently anti-American diatribes.

Why is the left so afraid of a two-sided debate?

Salamon :

Tom:

Thanks for the encouraging word.

A Bone to pick with your citation re Israel and President of IRan> He clearly stated, as ascertained by numerous USa citizens familiar with Farsi Language, that his objection is against the ZIONIST Government, not Israel.

Having grown up in an apartment house with an orthodox rabbi family in the apt below us, I reacall the numerous trips [over years] my sister and I took to buy them groceries on Saturdays, when the ration ticket was dated for that day. I also recall the TEMPLE imitation they constructed in the Apartment house's 100 sq ft interior airshaft during their special religious dates. I recall the kindness the whole family had towards all the rest in the apartments numerous families, especially towards us the children. I have never had any prejudice against any race, religion or belief system excluding persistent irrationalyty. Our children tested us on numerous occasion by inviting all available races and religious affiliation by bringing "quests" for overnight or over weekend stays. We welcomed them all.

Not withstanding all the above positive attribues, I do feel that the Zionist movement of Israel's Government [and AIPAC etc] is contrary to rational actions, and is despisable. The reason for such conviction is that the Zionist movement of the late 20 early 21st centuries is contrary to the present and future well being, and psychological health of the citizens/non citizens of Israel and the Occupied Territories.

I am opposed to Mr Bush for esssentially the same reason, his actions both internal and external to the USA is contrary to the well being of the USA [Katerina, Health insurance, education quality based on wealth etc] and the well bing of far too numerous people from most parts of the world.

If Mr. Levi from the ISraeli Government can state that an A bomb in Iran does not pose an existential danger to Israel, then Mr.. Bush can not make the claim on behalf of Israel that such a weapon is dangerous to Israel. I would wish that the USA would be consistent towards international agrement regarding WMD-s, which she is clearly not following in the Bush regime.

BOB is right when he asserts that if USA/Israel starts a war with Iran, then the world can be certain that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons. The USA/N Korea/Six Party Conferences clearly indicate that the USA is far more cautious when there is ownership of A bomb by an alleged enemy, then its proposed action re IRan.

I have stated before that the Bush administration with the lack of leadership in Federal Reserve, the Treasury etc, is consciously or unconsciously destroying the economic, moral and legal edifice on which the greatness of the USA was built from the end of WWII [at this time will not dwell into the imperialistic genocidical history from Independence to WWII].

I am convinced that an Isral or USa attack on IRan will cause irreparable damage to the USA economy, even if the waqr does not spread to WWIII [in that case the outcome is unforseeable].

I hope that either Congress and or the Officer Core of USA armed Forces will see the light, and stop the psychopats in the Whitehouise, AEI, etc from such dangerous and self-destructive steps.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

There are only two problems with your position.

The first problem is no one believes Iran is enriching uranium to weapons grade material. Their latest attempt enriched uranium to around 3%. You need somewhere in the 95% range to have weapons grade unranium. The IAEA is in sharp contrast with the Bush Administration. Since I don't believe Bush after the Iraq debacle I'm not about to believe him now. Lie to me once and shame on you. Lie to me twice and shame on me. He simply has lost all credibility and without independent comfirmation his word isn't worth a pile of dog do-do to me.

The second problem is the continued good vs. evil problem Bush is trying to cram down the world's throat. America and Europe good. Iran bad. America and it's friends deserve nuclear technology whether to produce energy or bombs, but nobody else does. It's perfectly acceptable for Bush to have 8 to 10 thousand active nuclear war heads and the same number of inactive ones and it's perfectly OK for Israel to have 80-200 acitve warheads because we're good and will only use these devices for "good?" However, it's not OK for anyone we don't like to have the technology because they are inheritantly evil even when we have no basis for such a conclusion. It reeks of hypocracy.

We neither own the world nor can we control it. We certainly can influence various aspects of it, but it is not ours to rule. The Bush doctrine has been one of cowboys and indians. You're either a good cowboy or a bad indian. In that vain anything we choose to do to eradicate those nasty indians is acceptable.

Here's a good question for you. Why should the Iranians trust the west? After all the west supported Saddam in the Iran/Iraq conflict and sat by while Saddam used chemical weapons against the Iranians and did nothing. If my memory also serves me correctly wasn't it the Americans who started the Iranian nuclear program? Wasn't it also France, Germany and Sweden who set up a corporation for Iran to be able to enrich uranium? So why should Iran trust any of us now? Do you think their shift of trading partners to the East should surprise any of us? Was it not the CIA that engineered the coup that put the Shah in power to begin with? Exactly who has interferred in the other country's internal affairs more? The US interferring with Iranian sovreignity or the other way around?

For Bush to use phrases like, "Axis of Evil" and "Islamofacism," can only strengthen the resolve and nationalistic feelings of the Iranian people. Simply put, they view us as dangerous and they have good reason to. One thing is for sure here. If the US attacks Iran with cruise missiles and airstrikes the one thing you can go to the bank on is Iran doesn't have any enriched uranium. If they do we'd never risk blowing up that material and allowing it into the atmosphere. Hence, if we do attack via the air you know they don't have any and then you have to wonder how badly you've been lied to again.

AMviennaVA :

conscience-to-the-world : You posted the same thing here a few times, as well as on other pages. Frankly it is not that important:

Your 'Fact-1' about China and Russia is very Bushie-centric. It is not crime for a country to defend its rights; as a matter of fact neither of them has invaded another country on false pretenses. As for encouraging 'other' countries to commit violence, the US and Israel have committed more violence than any other or group of countries.

Your 'Fact-2' about Iran is just as accurate. Whatever you may think of Iran, they have not invaded anyone for more than 100 years. Somehow, they are not as much of a threat as the Bushies make them out to be.

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

“…tom- is it ALL territories captured and what about gaza and west bank?
the devil is in the details, and that claim could be made by the most ardent zionist in israel…”

The Israeli offer in 2000 included about 95% of the West bank, and I think their overall proposal was fair to the Palestinians - at least if they‘re interested in a two state solution. Arafat rejected that offer without even a counter proposal. The Arab Peace Initiative (2002) is a fair offer to Israel and gives Israel the recognition from the Arab League members that it has been seeking since 1948.

In the case of Iran, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah (and others), occupation means the “state of Israel” so a lot of the fighting concerns Israel’s right to exist in the Middle East free of terrorism associated with these organizations and/or states that seek to destroy her. Needless to say, Iran is developing the only means to "rid" the Middle East of Israel for good and that is Iran's stated goal.

“…are you saying that american and israeli interests are- synonymous?
if so, (it seems to be that way)
what are the reasons that the average americna should be so concerned with israeli security?…”

Certainly US and Israeli security concerns overlap especially concerning nuclear proliferation. This is in the world‘s interest also. Iran developing nuclear weapons threatens an arms race in the Middle East which increases the chances for a nuclear war or a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Saudis and other governments have expressed concerns over Iran’s program. There is no love lost between Iran and Saudi Arabia which are competing for regional influence. At least for the foreseeable future, the Middle East will remain a volatile region, but also a vital region for the world economy. The last thing the Middle East needs is a nuclear arms race.

Israeli and US security concerns also merge regarding the spread of radical Islamic terrorism and counter terrorism.

Besides the above, the American people (with the exception of the far right and not so far left) are very strong supporters of Israel. The explicit images of the victims of terrorism (Israeli civilians) have been shown on American TV over the years which has worked (I suspect strongly) to reinforce this relationship.

Answer on Bosnia when you have time. There is no hurry and I will check back occasionally. Thanks.

mohammad allam :

Let it first be clear that American is going to fight for own interest in middle east or for interest of israel?other hand can American people ready to bear the war tax for other nation and be fooled like iraq case again?

VICTORIA :

tom- is it ALL territories captured and what about gaza and west bank?

the devil is in the details, and that claim could be made by the most ardent zionist in israel.

im not implying you tom- its just the most questioned bit of semantics going in the world-

thats a pretty ambiguous inclusion

its alot of what the fighting is all about, care to clarify?

i know its a long answer- so if you continue with your previous question ill understand-

peace tom
never did get back to you on bosnia, did i?
sorry about that- i grab a few minutes when i have time-

VICTORIA :

hi tom, not picking (too much)

are you saying that american and israeli interests are- synonymous?

if so, (it seems to be that way)
what are the reasons that the average americna should be so concerned with israeli security?

is it worth sending american kids to iran?

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

It’s actually good to hear from you as you have not been posting as much lately. The PostGlobal forum is much better when you post.

“…It appears that your prejudice versus Iran is most explicit, for you cite UNSC regarding Iran, but you never cite UNSC as regards Israel…”

I am extremely prejudice against Iran for reasons that I’ve posted on numerous occasions. Regarding Israel, I guess it depends on which UN resolution that you reference. For example, I support Israel returning all territories (or close) to the Palestinians according to UN resolution 242 which I have posted on numerous occasions.

I agree that Iran has the legal right to develop nuclear energy and enrich uranium, but when, on numerous occasions, the President of Iran threatens Israel‘s annihilation, undermines the peace process with the Palestinians, refers to Israel as an illegal state (which it is not), host the holocaust denial convention, supports (and funds) Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist activities against Israel and operates a clandestine nuclear program (as it did), it throws up a red flag for me as it does for Israel and the US.

Finally, I agree that an attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities (weapons program) would have severe consequences, and that is the reason that Sarkozy has taken such an active interest in the standoff.

Thanks for the post

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

I was gone this weekend or I would have answered your post sooner. I think we both have the ability to get each other’s blood pressure up.

“…Hmmm...it doesn't seem the world is all that interested in confronting Iran…”

Exactly my point, so they better get interested if avoiding war is the goal. The French can see it and the rest of the EU seems to be waking up, why can’t you?

I don’t believe that invading Iran is the goal, only knocking out Iran’s nuclear capabilities and, of course, their ability to counter the US (or Israeli) strike. Iran’s uranium enrichment program needs to be put on hold…indefinitely.

Vic van Meter :

Oh, I appreciate writing with guts as much as the next guy. Just expect to get called on it.

And I really meant Americans aren’t your problem. You have a skewed perception of what we really care about in America. If we really cared about being the leader in the world and I was truly concerned about human rights abuses, I wouldn’t be wasting my time typing on some news pages’ forum. The problem you’re failing to see isn’t that we are so afraid of the new world order. It’s that we, as citizens, couldn’t care less.

America isn’t going to fail because of economic policy. Our trade restrictions are actually what’s derailing us and it actually helps our economy when, say, Thailand will make T-shirts for 2 bucks a pop and we can sell them for 30. Sure, those jobs are no longer in America. But they’re not exactly GDP-exploding jobs.

For sure, our place in the world is cemented. Our new export right now is education, and our colleges are some of the best in the business (which is humorous given our standing in education otherwise). So no, I’m not worried about the expansion of other powers taking our crap work. Maybe it’s just me, I mean, I’m almost done with my degree and I’m not going to work in a coal mine.

Personally, I’m also happy America isn’t going to technically be a world leader anymore. If you hadn’t noticed, there are two parties in America, and one is very vehement nowadays about international support. And I’m always annoyed when WE’RE supposed to do something. Such as the Burma conflict we’ve got going on right now; if China is such a monolithic superpower, then Burma is their humanitarian crisis now. Let’s expect THEM to do something about it. Not US. We’ve got a whole half of the world right here in the Americas that needs a lot more attention than we’re giving it because our government insists on shouldering this load. Is Iran really more important than Brazil to us? Shouldn’t be. So let other countries come up and take over. Then it’ll be someone else’s fault all the time, not mine.

So let’s not make Bush’s tirade my own. I think he’s an idiot. We lose a lot more than we gain by standing out front and taking all the political bullets for the fact that Earth is a very terrible place to live sometimes. Africa is in shambles. South America is having a political discourse we aren’t paying due attention to. Venezuela shouldn’t be the gnat in our side and Cuba’s transition of power should be given more than a back-page story. In fact, there are a lot of things I think the government ought to be paying attention to that it isn’t because it’s obsessed with places like Iran.

Truth be told, we have more to gain from Iran diplomatically than we have to gain forcefully. I’m definitely not a fan of Ahmedinejad… mostly because he reminds me of Bush. But we’ve dealt with unsavory characters for political gain before (even some in Iran!) so why are we touting our war-horse now? Israel’s situation isn’t going to be placated without Iran’s green-light. Iraq would be a much easier piece of crock to manage if Iran was one of our friends. Their nuclear situation would be more open if Bush wasn’t making it a point to go out and put him on an axis of evil (I mean, threats of world war III is WHY Ahmedinejad can argue that he needs them).

So please, Americans aren’t your problem any more than Iranians are my problem. They probably don’t want war with the West on average any more than the average American. And American’s are a pretty warlike people to begin with. When we’re saying there’s way too much war, I think you as a President have reached your limit in causing global strife. So Bush isn’t getting any support from me on this and I haven’t personally spoken to anyone out there saying invading Iran, or even threatening Iran, is a good idea.

But global politics aside, most Americans I talk to don’t really care about global affairs. I’m the exception rather than the rule, and I’m only on here casually. If I took global affairs seriously, I’d be doing something about it, not jawing about it here. All I’m doing to be active in global politics is voting and praying some idiot doesn’t get elected anyway. So if you think that we, as Americans, care that much about global position, you’re wrong. All most people really care about here as it pertains to politics are their paychecks, their freedoms, and the occasional war.

So someone else PLEASE take this heat. We’re a very vehement people, but in all honesty if we don’t lose money on it, we probably aren’t going to care much on a civilian level.

Now if your problem is in our GOVERNMENT, then I’m all ears. They’re my problem, too.

Anonymous :

DIVAD:
Q= What do people think is the risk of war where you are?

A= People in Latin America have other concerns of different nature and a world war III certainly does not figure as one of them. See all LA countries, one by one...There is Venezuela, but I cant comment on that country based on what Chavez says or thinks and recently only Chavez has the word..so it really doesnt count if I am to base my comments on that leader.

Most people dont take seriously whatever Bush says....HOWEVER, as they use to see him as nut-in-power , obviously they fear taht someone as crazy might end up very capable to carry out another insanity...This is what is typically expected from mentally impaired people such as Bush and whoever supports him at this high.

In conclusion: The war is out of our radar! :)
And I hope it DOES stay that way! ;)

BobL-VA :

Some of my conservative friends might argue with this point, but I don't go on a rant too often. This question deserves a good rant if there ever was one.

Bush's only relavance should be a footnote in history as America's worst president. He has to mismanaged and bungled everything he has touched as president. That's right, everything.

Domestically, not one piece of meaningful legislation has passed Congress even when he had a majority. Katrina was a case study in how inept his administration has been. Illegal immigration just as shoddily handled. Social Security went down in flames like everything else he has touched. As for the Supreme Court who can forget the Meyers nomination that even his own party scoffed at. How about being on the wrong side of the Schiavo case? No matter what this guy has touched domestically it's been a complete failure.

On the international stage it even gets worse. Iraq is a debacle. Based on lies, deception or incompetence. We went there to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction. We were told it would cost about 42 billion dollars and most of that we would recoup through their oil sales. There were no weapons of mass destruction and according to the GAO it's going to cost us around 1.6 trillion dollars that we'll never get back. We've thrown the Geneva Accords out the window and shown the rest of the world we are nothing more then barbarians. He took what started as a noble cause in defending the US from a country that committed an act of war against us and now mired us down in a sittuation that we can't win. Why should I be suprised given his inability to do anything well or even acceptable.

Now, this same incompetent yahoo wants to start in on Iran? How can any rational person believe a single word that emits from his mouth. He has yet to right on anything and we're supposed to believe him after he has proved to nothing but wrong?

Make no mistake about it, George Bush hates Muslims and has proven it over and over again. He simply doesn't know how to deal with them and his only myopic option is to attack and kill them. Any Congress that would give Bush 2 cents to attack Iran needs to be run out of Washington. If anyone is really interested in the cause of peace Bush has proven over and over that he is not someone you want to align yourself with. All he wants to do is kill all the Arabs he can find that don't agree with his concept of God, Democracy and loving America.

The American people and especially Congress should just sit back and wait for this sorry excuse for a president to serve out his term and not fund anything that has to do with killing more innocent people. Hopefully, the next president we elect is smart enough to actually understand violence only begets violence and there are different ways of influencing people without the threat of annilhation and human rights violations.

divad :

The various comments are wo wildly prejudiced by the different commentators that it would be difficult for anyone to find a real answer to the question posted.
Anyway, it is really healthy to see so many people who take the time to participate to such a forum and exchange ideas. However, it would be preferable to be more concise and to the point of the question rather than express all kind of personal critics, but I still admit that it is instructive as to the numerous readers' interventions.

Cristina :

Cristina to Victoria just posted

Anonymous :

To Victoria:

First, on my own comment:

"BELIEVERS... are everywhere... Populists regimes, so common in LA these days, are one of these examples..."

When I mentioned "Populists regimes", I had Venezuela in mind, and it seems that Bolivia and Ecuador are following the same trends (LA= Latin America). It is clear that there has been and an intense propaganda. Poverty is rife in some regions of LA still to these days. People live in want for bread, the very basics taht many in industrialised nations are so used to and almost take for granted. What is the main political implications in this case. Many politicians when noticing that social justice is highly unequal, they appear as people's saviours, who see these leaders as their rescuers, so pretty much whatever these leaders do or say is hailed as their voice's in power facing the big empires...bumper things like that. the tragedy (so taht they become believers very easily) is the widespread ignorance, illiteracy, years and years living as third, fourth class people (second is almost too much for them).

when I mentioned the the "spread of believers and these are lured" I meant saying that once these leaders raise to power, they tend to use the very reason that took them there to manipulate, to use the poor to coerce, to stay far from any accusation of misconduct and corruption, to enlarge and solidify their influence, command areas, etc. I call it dishonesty and cynical manipulation of real needs, it is an abuse of he naive credulity of most poor people in desperate need. That makes me very angry. As in many places around the world, people have their legitimate needs, fears, anxieties, expectations carefully and devilish manipulated. In my opinion, this is valid for the poor in LA or for the legitimate needs and fears of US citizens or somewhere else in the world. (let me clarify one thing at least: politically I consider myself moderate).

Your comment:

"the anti-Americanism is a response to the actions and foreign policy of the government which do not reflect the attitudes of the American people- ..."

Agree. I have friends in US and talk to them. Obviously, I have been to US myself in more than one occasion. have lived abroad and with people from diverse background (race, religion, etc). I understand that people re not synonymous with their governments...but in the political arena things change. In all my comments I have the political arena in mind, not the parity citizen-official representant or what their respective domestic polls indicates.

I know about Bush's rates. I know about the others you cite. But when Bush travels abroad, his domestic polls count little when at the end of the day, he makes decisions taht in nothing are troubled by these rates. He speaks for America. The other peoples and leaders listen to America speaking, not Bush-lowest-ranked-president-of-US-ever. The same goes for the other leaders. See Sarkozy in France is the same country, The French are still the French...but just realised the impact(arguable I concede) but yet...he already caused. France now has a name to speak for it: Sarkozy. I hope I have made myself clear on this point.

I am for the peace, yes, but I am not an activist. I think of pace in other terms other than just political activism as traditionally understood.

My suggestion? Dialogue...but the word dialogue must be defined back according to its semantics, that is, two or more sides go silent as the other speak, and vice-versa. tow or more sides with ability and willingness to speak and listen with no one of them trying to "guide" or to "lead" through. dialogue for me means that both sides must make concessions , a give-and-take thing.

But what I have seen is denial in accepting part of the blame (normally only one side is to be blamed--the other one is "saint", unwillingness to make concessions, mutual distrust, mutual intolerance, greed...

I am getting tired to write virtually the same thing here, the same call: this is the 21st century...the way things are handled must change! and must change now. Another way of making politics must come up, somebody courageous must take the lead. We stand no chance if we enter this new era doing old politics!

That is the opportunity I was saying US is missing out. I think soon nobody would be reading me anymore because my message is this one..therefore, my suggestion too. RETHINK!

Salamon :

ToM

It appears that your prejudice versus Iran is most explicit, for you cite UNSC regarding Iran, but you never cite UNSC as regards Israel.

Even officials of Israel admit that IRan's posible [future] ownership of N weapons does not pose an existential treat to Israel. So this point of your argment is passe.


Iran has an Internationally recognized right to develop nuclear power for electricity generation. There is no evidence at all [yet] that Iran has tried to develop Nuclear weapons. The raving of the warmonger Preident and his cohort does not change reality. So there is No reason to attack IRan in this instance.

That IRan supports their co-religionists in Iraq is natural, as is AIPAC with respect to Jewish issues. The USa Governemnt has not shown any indication of evidence tying Iran to anything what the IRaqi Government opposes or to any major weapon importation to Iraqi LEGAL resistence forces [For international law permits natives to fight by all means available invading forces.

Fianlly the USA does not have any rights with respect to other sovereign states to dictate policy, to change regimes, to attack without internatioanlly recognized causus belli - So the USA should keep its nose out of IRan's affairs.

Now even the mention of starting a World War is insane by anybody, but especially so by a leader from a Nuclear Armed Nation [there are only two these days who have this attribute, USA and Israel].

If after wrecking th USA evconomy, pushing off all the new debts on the next generation the Decider and his cohort want to completely destroy the USA, then one can not stop them except by MUTINY of her own officer corps; for there is no honest politician in Washington who even thinks of the welfare of the USA, nevermind the welfare of the World.

An extended war with IRan without doubt would endanger China, Japan, Korea, EU and most other nations who depend on Mid East's hydrocarbons. Such endangerement might [certainly will] have terrific consequences for the USA, from which some MAD MAN might consider attacking these nations with N weapons [completely fatal to the USA, even if there is no similar retaliation for anough N bommbs might endanger all life on Spaceship Earth]. So this is another reason to leave IRan alone. In fact, this is a lesson for the USA indicative that the PResident of Iran was right when he stated that N-weapons are totally useless.

Finally, my notion is that Congress shoudl for a closure to the Iraq invasion in the next 6 months, before the SOVVERIGN IRAQI GOVERNMENT and PARLEAMENT forces the USA out by cancelling the UN resolution fopr occupation [as promised by the Prime Minister of Iraq effective date Jan 1 2009.

Dram_man :

Risk of war where I am? Well a few months ago I was still working for the South Korean government at a huge four building government office compound. One day the complex loudspeakers played a siren and barked in the local language.

A coworker turned to me and said "Do you know what their saying". I said no, but I said I have been in air raid drills before so I knew what was going on. So we both rose from our desks to get to the steps to begin the 16 flight journey down.

Very nonchalantly on the way out my coworker asks "You know where the gas-masks are right?". I looked a little dumbfounded, so we passed what I thought was a supply closet and my coworker opened it to reveal stacks of gas-masks. "If its for real, take one as you go down." my coworker grunted as he walked away and let the door close.

VICTORIA :

hi cristina-

google israel-india
http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2004/issue4/jv8no4a6.html

http://www.westerndefense.org/bulletins/Dec-01.htm
i think you'll find i dont speak with my guts, but always provide references, resources etc-

most americans vociferously would and do disagree with this-

"Therefore, it is not simple to separate the official representants of a country from a commoner in the street. One of the reasons I guess for the extreme anti-Americanism rise."

the anti-americanism is a response to the actions and foreign policy of the government which do not refelct the attitudes of the americna people- and increasingly less so-
george bush's approval rating (a poll we use to gauge public support) is at 24%

a record low for any president ever.

you mentioned LA populist 'regimes' but didnt elaborate.
i dont know what that means or its relevance

i dont think americans are unfamilar with the peace movement-
we had martin luther king jr, an african-american man- who got the idea of passive ressitance from gandhi, an indian man- who got his idea of pacific civil disobedience from thoreau, a white-american man.

personally, i do not mistake the actins of any leaders with the will of the population at large-

i can think of several examples of leaders whose people disagreee with them-

bush and 76% of americans
musharaff and paksitanis
the chinese government and followers of chi gong falun dafa
ahmedinejad and students in iran
abbas and many many palestinans
myanmar and the buddhist monks and people
putin and many people in russia who are alrmend at his concentrating power into his presidency

i also understand your call for peace
however, having spent many years i america as an activist for peace- i realize that many efforts are trumped by violent reactions form the police

what exactly are you suggesting?

the women in black have been protesting peacefully for some time


code pink


i hope these links go through
peace



VICTORIA :

hi cristina-

google israel-india
http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2004/issue4/jv8no4a6.html

http://www.westerndefense.org/bulletins/Dec-01.htm
i think you'll find i dont speak with my guts, but always provide references, resources etc-

most americans vociferously would and do disagree with this-

"Therefore, it is not simple to separate the official representants of a country from a commoner in the street. One of the reasons I guess for the extreme anti-Americanism rise."

the anti-americanism is a response to the actions and foreign policy of the government which do not refelct the attitudes of the americna people- and increasingly less so-
george bush's approval rating (a poll we use to gauge public support) is at 24%

a record low for any president ever.

you mentioned LA populist 'regimes' but didnt elaborate.
i dont know what that means or its relevance

i dont think americans are unfamilar with the peace movement-
we had martin luther king jr, an african-american man- who got the idea of passive ressitance from gandhi, an indian man- who got his idea of pacific civil disobedience from thoreau, a white-american man.

personally, i do not mistake the actins of any leaders with the will of the population at large-

i can think of several examples of leaders whose people disagreee with them-

bush and 76% of americans
musharaff and paksitanis
the chinese government and followers of chi gong falun dafa
ahmedinejad and students in iran
abbas and many many palestinans
myanmar and the buddhist monks and people
putin and many people in russia who are alrmend at his concentrating power into his presidency

i also understand your call for peace
however, having spent many years i america as an activist for peace- i realize that many efforts are trumped by violent reactions form the police

what exactly are you suggesting?

the women in black have been protesting peacefully for some time


code pink


i hope these links go through
peace



conscience-to-the-world :

Hello World! and especially to the Developing Nations!

The real terrible facts found in this present world to all to view and think as:

Fact-1: China and Russia are two most terrible and most treacherous and harmful nations sitting in UNSC, exploiting this organization inhumanly and dangerously to flare up, initiate and promote devastations to several nations, and to influence, convince, condone and support the world criminals and tyrants, especially those naive and mindless nations (i.e., Syria, Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Burma, N. Korea, etc.,) to practice violence of all sorts, domestically and globally, and all acting like their Russia and China terrorizing communist masters such as: Iran, Syria, N. Korea, Burma, Venezuela, Central Asian nations, etc., to follow their brutal violences, lawless and uncivilized ways to run their terrorizing businesses at home and to other nations!

Fact-2: Iran, the land of fanatic terrors and terrorists that relentlessly loves to apply the murderous deeds and efforts to devastate other nations and including its own unfortunate brainwashed citizens, who suddenly turn themselves naively from harmless innocents previously into the present very blood-thirsty crazy murderers and terrorists! as proven worldwide!

These Fact-1 and Fact-2 are the main ingredients to boil up this world and all unfortunate nations and their citizens have directly and indirectly become infested by these world diseases caused by the both offending, very bloodly communist Russia, China and the mindless and shallow-minded followers as shown to the world that the unfortunate and foolish tyrants have volunteerly become slaves for their China and/or Russia or both masters in order to be able to exploit all resources and lives in their own nations!

The problem partly is due to this world is full with naive and mindless and have-no-value tyrants who are very easily to be corrupted by their masters, that these naive tyrants have forcibly gained controls their own nations and have deadly opportunities be able to enslave and devastate their own innocent citizens like animals and no-more-and-no-less than the millions of suffered animals in this world today!. And sadly, these very little valuable UN and UNSC can do nothing to help them while the both harmful and treacherous China and Russia that only want them to die in suffering, in torturing of all sorts in their own lands as the entire world have seen for years!
In essence, the entire mindless nations ruled by their own bloody, iron-fisted tyrants these devastating folks are nothing more than the volunteered victims for both China and Russia!, and unfortunately, only China and Russia can harvest all benefits greedily for themselves at the cost of millions of innocents suffering mentally and physically and endlessly as seen by all mankind!
And these are the very sad things of human misery that all mankind have to see in the days in and days out in several unfortunate nations where people here should deserve the better lives instead of valueless life of the slaves or born to be automatically become slaves as seen!

For simplicity, this world has existed two big and very dangerous monsters as China and Russia and several little monsters or followers suh as: Burma, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, N.Korea, Central Asian muslim nations, etc., these big and little monsters all have the same game as do harms to their own citizens domestically and unleash more and more devastations internationally and no one on this planet cannot see unless their minds are full with mud or misconceptions or illusions inside! However, believe it or not! the facts are the facts and the truths are the truths and they can always prove by themselves!


Thanks to all!

JRLR :

"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

With covert operations and acts of war a daily occurrence, what a (not so) subtle way to suggest (and condition public opinion into thinking) it would be right to initiate (or pursue) WWIII in order to avoid WWIII! -- As for doing it oneself or by proxy, it has become quite irrelevant, really.

Why initiate WWIII? Simply because (as everybody knows...) Iran is threatening to initiate WWIII, is it not?

That is nothing but Orwellian Ben Tre logic all over again: "It became necessary to destroy Ben Tre in order to save Ben Tre."

Meanwhile, on essentials, the silence of Western media is still deafening. It always was and remains a bad sign, and the best on things to come.

Better dwell on what is not mentioned.

Cristina :

To Anonymous at October 27, 2007 1:36 AM |

Your comments are quite reasonable, though I have not much depth into the "intertwined" American-israeli relationship might play into the American citizen's psyche.

It is dangerous to generalise, and I think we should not, by any account. As I said, when we think and speak out with our guts, then we waken our case and cause!

However, I also agree that the government of a country (any country) in the world scenario represents the WHOLE nation (not only the ones who voted for them), speaks in the name of this nation, decides for it. Therefore, it is not simple to separate the official representants of a country from a commoner in the street. One of the reasons I guess for the extreme anti-Americanism rise.

People are taken for the ideas, attitudes and decisions assumed by their respective leaders. so the result is easy to guess.

I must make some observations:

1- BELEIVES: agree with you. they are everywhere. I dint mean US only, though that was certainly the idea it passed. Believers are not born so, they are preyed/lured into becoming so. Populists regimes, so common in LA these days, are one of these examples. There are other examples, but I stay with this one.

2- Book: I will See how can I get the one you indicated. thanks;

3- India - for long I have known how the relationship between India and US are strong. If they are offered a choice, say, to move to UK or US...I am pretty sure they would choose US right away. From what I have experienced, let make it clear.

My point when I talked about India was not related to outsourcing or other affinities. It is related to the fact that the military and the foreign policy of India still be an independent one. It is on this point that US would vie for having influence...starting up with this "generous deal" you mentioned...Well, well, in politics there isn't free lunch, right?

By the way: you might have read that India is experiencing one phenomenon: they are outsourcing back...The Guardian, I guess Time and if I am not wrong there is a conference in India being organised by now on this specif topic I just mentioned and recently reported.

PEACE MUST NOT BE SACRIFEICED!

"To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted." (Voltaire )

"The more abstract the truth you want to teach, the more thoroughly you must seduce the senses to accept it." (Friedrich Nietzsche)

"Peace if possible, but truth at any rate." (Martin Luther )


BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

I knew I could count on you to write a post that elevated my blood pressure.

How did you put it? "The world needs to confront the serious threat posed by Iran and isolate Iran with strong, unified economic sanctions designed to end Iran’s weapons program (as well as Ahmadinejad‘s tenure as President of Iran"

Hmmm...it doesn't seem the world is all that interested in confronting Iran. However, it seems Bish and Chiney and a few other Arab haters are interested in confronting Iran.

What's really going on here? Saddam bad. Invade and try to find a government that we like. Afghanistan bad. Invade and try to find a government we like. Iran bad. Let's invade them too and try to find a government we like? Who's next, Saudi Arabia? Maybe Syria? How about Egypt? Let's just invade all the Muslim countries and when we finally realize we can never install a government over there that we like just kill them all? Unless Dumb and Dumber are installed as President and Vice-President for life in the US this will never happen.

Now let's get serious. There are two glaring problems in Bush's saber rattling with Iran. First, he doesn't have enough troops to invade Iran even if he wanted to. Second, he doesn't have enough time left in his Presidency to institute a draft, train and equip enough new troops to have another war. I personally am happy about both of these problems faced by Bush since I believe he is crazy enough to invade another mid-east country if he could.

I expect nothing more then more of the same from Bush over Iran. He will run around and refuse to talk to them. He will rant and rave they are the second coming of Satan and most thinking people will roll their eyes in their heads and think can this man be any dumber.

Mike :

Mr. Ignatius:

Why do you only choose to post articles that take a one-sided and anti-American view?

Would it have been impossible to find just one writer with a view sympathetic to America? Instead we get four anti-American diatribes.

Tom Wonacott :

PG

When diplomacy fails, often the result is war. A case in point is the recent Israeli strike against the Syrian nuclear facility. Reportedly, Israel brought the information to the US prior to bombing the facility. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates opposed the bombing as too risky, and suggested that Israel “confront the Syrians“, but the UN diplomatic “confrontation” with Iran over their nuclear program has failed. That might have greatly influenced Israel's decision.

1. The EUR-3 took the lead in negotiations with Iran in 2003 (after Iran‘s secret nuclear program was uncovered), and offered political, economic and nuclear incentives but Iran has continued their enrichment program.

2. At the urging of the US, the UN declared that Iran suspend their uranium enrichment program which has not deterred Iran. Currently, Iran is enriching uranium.

3. The UN has voted for two rounds of watered down sanctions (July, 2006 and March, 2007). Russia and China oppose significant economic sanctions (because of their own interest) thus the sanctions have been largely ineffective.

4. The Europeans are Iran’s largest trading partner, and until recently did absolutely nothing except offer incentives and vote for the watered down sanctions. Recently, however, the EU, led by the French, has threatened to use their economic leverage to confront Iran’s uranium enrichment program. This could have a devastating affect on Iran’s economy. The EU sanctions will probably be separate from the UN sanctions since Russia and China are against imposing stiff penalties. The US has unilaterally imposed additional sanctions against Iran.

Simply put, Israel risked war with Syria because of the failure of diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. The world regularly condemns Israel, but the silence has been deafening since this raid. Israel sent a loud and clear message to Iran (and to the world).

The statement by Bush signaled the importance of the issue. Bush (and Cheney) has sent a message that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is unacceptable. The world needs to confront the serious threat posed by Iran and isolate Iran with strong, unified economic sanctions designed to end Iran’s weapons program (as well as Ahmadinejad‘s tenure as President of Iran). That is the best possible way to avoid a war. Will China and Russia get the message?

PS I am still amazed that PG had a question titled “Iran the Stabilizer?”.

VICTORIA :

oops= last post was victoria

anonymous poastings are sneaky dishonest and cowardly

VICTORIA :

oops- that was me, vctoria

i dont do anonymous posts- i find them cowardly and sneaky and dishonest

Anonymous :

cristina- i appreciate your passion and exuberance. one thing about american politics is one must take a long view-
theres a distinct bipolar swing here- a constant struggle between wide and tight- liberal and conservative- expressive and repressive forces

as for the believers, youll find that anywhere-

were at the end of the conservative cycle now-
hoever from my perspective, it seems the two parties are getting harder and harder to tell apart.

this seems to be a simple but effective strategy- and it certainly sounds very familiar to us in america-
note who the source is-

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

—Hermann Goering. Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII.

* * *

"If Tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

—James Madison, while a United States
Congressman

James Madison is the man who wrote the 'federalist papers' and gave su the expression "separation of church and state'

which many americans believe is contained in the constitution, but it is not.


nothing coalesces a people like a common object of fear and hatred

it used to be the russians (and chinese) and communism - so demonizing them is really really nothing new here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FrzNsVGzRo

~~~~~~~~~~the video of said speech by bush~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

this is the actual statment that inititiated this question and discussion-

oct-17-2007

"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," Mr Bush told a White House press conference.

"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

what is a subtlety and all the more fitghtening for the lack of attention it seemed to garner- was the way bush talked about the destruction of israel

it seems that the interests of the united states and israel are so synonymous, that one does not even skip a beat when hearing it or reading it-

but i did-
ive been asking for 2 years if people are ready to send their children to iran to die for israel

and where are the israeli troops in iraq?

the fact is- america is NOT israel-

and a threat against israel is not a threat against the united states

but in the american psyche-the two are so intertwined that it seems not to occur to anyone to question-

people hear israel, and translate it into american interests in their mind

heres an interesting research for you-
to gain insight into the US long involvement with iran, read ALL THE SHAHS MEN by STEPHEN KINZER

it describes the first CIA operatives- the CIA being invented specifically to keep the oil profits of iran in the pockets of (now) british petroleum, and out of the hands of the iranina people, the deposing and exile of the shah- the reluctant rise of mossadegh- who nationalized oil revenue- (he was times man of the year in the late 50s i believe)
and guess who the first operatives were?
kermit roosevelt (grandson of ex-pres teddy) and papa george h w bush (who later became the director of the CIA, and- well you know- president)

as for india- well, all of the call centers in america have been shipped off to india for a few years now- america recently gave an extremely generousnuclear weapons package to inidia- and our foot has been firmly entrenched there for some time already


did you actually mean to say this tis way- or did you mean the opposite?

" i am a pacifist and being a pacifist means that if you want to win a cause without being at war, TRUTH MUST NOBE SACRIFICED, TWISTED, SPAN. Break this principle and we are bpound to bring ruin onto yourselves and others."

did you mean truth must NOT be sacrificed?
i am assuming this is so

peace

Cristina :

To Vic van Meter :

I am here only to apologise for my bad tempered comments, I mean, written with my "guts" rather than my reason.

I am sure there are Americans ( a pity that are not so much the face of the US nowadays!)that are reasonable and open-minded folks. By an open-minded person I mean that one who is able to reason. to question what they are told. Not a bunch of believers. Believers, unfortunately are spreading more and more exactly because the information available is questionable, unreliable...

Americans aren't my problem? Yes, they are (not personally obvious!)and not only mine , but for a lot more people around the world who share the same view point as mine. This is not personal, see it.

I am just very sick of reading so much rubbish, comments based on righteousness standpoints, abuse of religion issues (not the case of this question); ...Suddenly China and Russia get in and are demonised...Unfortunately, it all underlines one thing: US and by correspondence the American people are scared to death with the new order that is rising and being formed worldwide, one which US doesn't not play the leading role anymore). What is more, thre is that realisation that without natural resources (fossil fuels or not) enough to move the American engine, it will become harder to get it moving and leading whover.


The sad thing is that instead of grabbing the lemon and turn it into a lemonade, the US gov prefers to stick to old strategies, old ghosts. It wont work, better, a war might be a consequence of this insanity, but the tack is should be another one.

Here I stop to say that yours is one of the two posts I read that are reasonable, sensible. there is another one, but I just forgot what it is.

I understand that after enjoying decades of leadership in the world, it is frightening to see China and Russia emerging as they are. And it is helpless to come around with the human rights's issue. Not that they are negligible, dont exist or whatever. The point is that chances are that they are overlooked because of trade/market interest in China and energy supply in Russia and Caspian sea.

US must be desperate to set its foot in India...it is the only to watch these emerging powers more closely and with a chance of real interference form there (India).

But I think US is losing its lemon to risk all and everyone (here Americans are not only my concern but of many others elsewhere in the world)

I am a pacifist and being a pacifist means that if you want to win a cause without being at war, TRUTH MUST NOBE SACRIFICED, TWISTED, SPAN. Break this principle and we are bpound to bring ruin onto yourselves and others.

PS: I have the opinion that truth is being sacrificed once again. The lesson of Iraq was not learned

Mike :

Mr. Ignatius:

Why do you only choose to post articles that take a one-sided and anti-American view?

Would it have been impossible to find just one writer with a view sympathetic to America? Instead we get four anti-American diatribes.

Tom Miller :

Unfortunately, for Bush and Cheney the mis-adventure into Iraq has blunted the effectiveness of what may just be more verbal saber-rattling or an honest effort to drag the now over-extended U.S. into another conflict. However, I personally believe that the Iranian Government means what it says when it advocates erasing Israel from the map and bringing death to the Americans. By-the-way have you ever heard American mobs or politicians even wishing Death to Iranians, let alone screaming it in the streets? I haven't and I'm glad I don't live in a society where such behavior is commonplace. I also believe that Ahmadinejad and the true despotic and theocratic rulers of Iran see themselves as God's appointed ones who answer to nobody. I suppose if you think you are acting as God you can pretty well do whatever you want? Consequently, I don't recommend that they have nuclear technology. Sorry to all of you who apologize for or refuse to ever comment on the outrageous statements and deeds of these cutthroat "devinely" inspired demons but I believe that they believe what they say. Did Bush's rhetoric help in convincing them that they should give up their drive for weapons of permanent destruction? Of course not, so yes it was inappropriate because it was ineffective but still.......

Carl Senna :

Unless Bush or the next President starts World War III, there will be no WW III.
Iran's leaders are rational enough not to start WW III because Iran would be destroyed by the UN. And since they're not suicidal, the only question about them is whether they have the means to attack the US or Israel with impunity. They don't. However, presently, the US does have the means to attack Iran without suffering a counter-attack on our domestic soil. Is Bush irrational enough to attack Iran? Does he have a death wish for Israel which would certainly be destroyed if the US attacks Iran? The longer the US has a military presence in the Middle East, the longer Israeli-Arab reconciliation will take. Meanwhile the price of oil soars. Our economy falters. And if Hillary Clinton becomes President in 2008, things can only get worse in the Middle East for all concerned, since she will not be an honest broker and will be a worst president than Bush. She's an American Kim Campbell, the first female Premier of Canada, whose stay in office lasted 4 months before her incompetent Conservative government collapsed from corruption and voter outrage.
Nothing on earth can stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, either developing them themselves, or buying them ready for deployment off the black market. The wisest US policy to Iran is to back off, reconcile with the regime there, and offer them as much verifiable information on the limited military use of nuclear weapons. For when both adversaries have nuclear weapons, a violent conflict means only the mutually assured destruction of both of them. This is also true of chemical weapons, which is why wars are still fought between countries without resorting to chemicals as weapons of mass destruction.

conscience-to-the-world :

Hello world! and especially the Developing nations!

The real terrible facts to the present world to all to view and think as:

Fact-1: China and Russia are two most terrible and most treacherous and harmful nations sitting in UNSC, exploiting this organization inhumanly and dangerously to flare up, initiate, influence, convince, condone and support the world criminals and tyrants, especially those naive and mindless nations (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Burma, N. Korea, etc.,) to practice violence of all sorts domestically and globally and acting like their Russia and China terrorizing masters such as: Iran, Syria, N. Korea, Burma, Venezuela, Central Asian nations, etc., to follow their brutal violences, lawless and uncivilized ways to run their terrorizing businesses at home and to other nations!

Fact-2: Iran, the land of fanatic terrors and terrorists that relentlessly love to apply the murderous deeds and efforts to devastate other nations and including its own unfortunate brainwashed citizens, who suddenly turn themselves naively from harmless innocents previously into the present very blood-thirsty crazy murderers and terrorists! as proven worldwide!

These Fact-1 and Fact-2 are the main ingredients to boil up this world and all nations and their citizens have ditectly and indirectly become infested by these world diseases caused by offending Russia, China and the mindless and shallow-minded followers as the unfortunate and foolish tyrants volunteerly to become slaves for their China and/or Russia or both masters!

The problem partly is due to this world is full with naive and mindless and have-no-value tyrants that they have controlled their own nations and have opportunities be able to enslave and devastate their own innocent citizens like animals and no-more-and- no-less than suffered animals in this world today and sadly, these non-valuable UN and UNSC can do nothing to help them while these both harmful China and Russia only want them to die in suffering in their own lands!
In essence, the entire mindless nations ruled by their own tyrants are nothing more than volunteered victims for both China and Russia, and only China and Russia can harvest all benefits for themselves at the cost of millions of innocents suffering endlessly as seen by all mankind!

Thanks and have a good weekend to all!

MikeB :

History will record that World War III began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As the Bush Administration saw their policies failing, their support at home and abroad disappearing, they sought to place the blame for those failures on Iran, Russia (the missile shield), and elsewhere. The regional reaction, predictably anti-American, and with Amercian power and stature failing, due in large measure to his domestic and economic policies and insane "free trade" agenda, largely uncontrollable, events will spiral out of control. Turkey will invade Iraq, Iran will clash with Turkey, drawing in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The U.S., at some point, WILL bomb Iran. Given Russian and Indian advanced anti-aircraft systems, with their stealth defeating technology, expect those stealth fighters and bombers to be siting ducks and be shot out of the sky. The American reaction will be to escalate, using brute force. This will draw in Russia and China, who will use this mess as an excuse to invade Taiwan and pressure countries in ASIA to deny use of bases to Amercian ships and airplanes (the invasion may happen after this, as a consequence of this pressure, but it WILL happen). Things will generally go to hell in a hand basket after this. Before this is over, expect the U.S. government and economy, as we know it, to completely and utterly fail, relegating us to third world status. Expect an unholy alliance of corporations and businesses and politician's to "rescue" American hegemony for a short while, by the formation of a new Nazi like alliance. WWIII will lead to WWIV and the end of life on much of the planet. THAT is our future and that is the future that much of the world fears, knows is coming, but is completely unable to prevent.

VICTORIA :

conscience to the world-

your conscience seems quite questionable to me-
and you can all yourself conscience to the world minus 1

conscience-to-the-world :

Hello world!

The real terrible facts to the pressent world to all to view as:

Fact-1: China and Russia are two most terrible nations sitting in UNSC, exploiting this organization inhumanly and dangerously to initiate, influence, convince, condone and support the world especially those naive and mindless nations (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Burma, N. Korea, etc.,) to practice violence of all sorts domestically and globally like Russia and China terrorizing masters such as: Iran, Syria, N. Korea, Burma, Venezuela, etc., to follow their brutal violences, lawless and uncivilized ways to run their terrorizing businesses at home and to other nations!

Fact-2: Iran, the land of terrors and terrorists that love to apply the murderous deeds and efforts to devastate other nations including its own brainwashed citizens who suddenly turn into the very blood-thirsty terrorists! as proven worldwide!

These Fact-1 and Fact-2 are the main ingredients to boil up this world and all nations and their citizens have ditectly and indirectly become infested by these world diseases caused by offending Russia, China and the mindless followers or unfortunate foolish tyrants volunteerly to become slaves for both China and Russia!

This world is full with naive and mindless tyrants that they have controlled their own nations and being able to enslave their own innocent citizens like animals and no-more-and- no-less than suffered animals in this world today and UN and UNSC can do nothing to help them whiel both China and Russia only want them to die in suffering in their own lands!
In essence, the entire mindless nations ruled by their own tyrants are nothing more than volunteered victims for both China and Russia, and only China and Russia can harvest all benefits for themselves at the cost of millions of innocents suffering endlessly as seen by all mankind!

Thanks

AMviennaVA :

Prof. Yameen Zubairi : An interesting corollary is that our (US) approach to North Korea was modified, and progress was made, after they exploded a nuclear device last year.

Prof. Yameen Zubairi :

Pat Buchanon pointed out that no nuclear nation has yet been attacked. If Iran is developing a nuclear device (if ), then it should be looked at in the perspective of neocolianism or occupation of small countries by big powers. For the less powerful and justifiably paranoid, that is the ultimate deterrent. Yes World War III is likely to start when their is imminent danger of losing natural resources to the mighty nations. This is the senario that is developing in this century. Nations with thousands of nuclear warheads are not the suitable ones in enforcing nuclear-free zones elsewhere. Whenever such expectations do not make sense ( and this one does not ), senseless incidents such as a world war become more probable. I do not believe this picture enveloped in hubris is in American interest (Dr. zubairi)

Prof. Yameen Zubairi :

Pat Buchanon pointed out that no nuclear nation has yet been attacked. If Iran is developing a nuclear device (if ), then it should be looked at in the perspective of neocolianism or occupation of small countries by big powers. For the less powerful and justifiably paranoid, that is the ultimate deterrent. Yes World War III is likely to start when their is imminent danger of losing natural resources to the mighty nations. This is the senario that is developing in this century. Nations with thousands of nuclear warheads are not the suitable ones in enforcing nuclear-free zones elsewhere. Whenever such expectations do not make sense ( and this one does not ), senseless incidents such as a world war become more probable. I do not believe this picture enveloped in hubris is in American interest (Dr. zubairi)

omop. :

Reflections;

USA ..........number of nuclear war heads 10,000 [est]
Russia.......number of nuclear war heads 10,000 [est]
Britain ......number of nuclear war heads 1,000 [est]
France.......number of nuclear war heads 800 [est]
China........number of nuclear war heads 3,000 [est]
Israel.........number of nuclear war heads 200 [est]
No. Korea..number of nuclear war heads ?????
India...................................................... ?????
Pakistan................................................. ?????
Iran........................................................none yet.

The CinC of the US is suggesting that WW III long advocated by the neocons in the US and Israel is necessary to stop one nation on this planet from even attempting to acquire ONE nuclear war head borders on either moronic logic or fanatical hatred.

Given recent events, which were sold to the 300 million people that make the USA, of a cakewalk followed a year or so later with the announcement that the Coalition of the Willing has its "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq and the taxpayer is still footing close to $ 6 billion dollars a month to maintain 150,000 odd mostly American troops [ most of the members of the Coalition of the Willing are back in their home countries] in Iraq more than begs the question that if this were a business enterprise that the CEO would have been fired a long time ago.

If WW III were to be initiated by the US needless to say that in such a War that parts of the US will in all probability experience equal if not worse destruction than some of the European cities suffered in WW II.

A word of caution to all those little people in airconditioned offices whether they be in Washington, London or Tel Aviv. If you are only capable of resolving differences by death and destruction the chances are 50/50 that you too will suffer the same consequences you will be imposing on others.

Vic van Meter :

Jeez, Cristina, thanks for letting me know I'm not well read. I guess I can get rid of all my books I keep piled up around the house and cancel my newpaper subscriptions. Apparantly, literacy isn't important for me.

Anyway, Americans aren't your biggest problem if you're quaking in your boots about Bush's war agenda. Obviously, he isn't listening to us anymore. Not a whole lot of people are lending Bush credit on his rhetoric outside the D.C. beltway. After he sent us into Iraq with charges of hidden WMDs, most of us lost faith in his intelligence network or the manner in which he used it to justify his ends. So he can't just tell me the Iranians are supplying terrorists in Iraq without some pretty hard evidence. He has a better chance convincing Syria to invade Iran than me.

Still, as is often proven, he doesn't HAVE to listen to us. He's no longer running for reelection and, given that our Democrats in Congress are scared stupid that he's going to break out the "soft on security" arguement again, he can parade Congress around wherever he wants. What with the expansion of executive power he's brokered, he doesn't need permission or evidence to launch an attack, just some vague charges and a little political arm-twisting. If he was listening to us here in America, we'd have a drastically smaller troop presence in Iraq.

But take heart! If there's nothing stopping him and he hasn't gone yet, maybe he's come to his senses and realized that we can't simultaneously hold three countries at once. I doubt it. He's obviously pushing up the mercury on this little conflict.

Let me take the opportunity now to point out what poor diplomats our country's leaders have been, especially Bush. And allies surrounding Iraq now have been given a reason, by Bush or others, to suspect we're going for the throat. Pelosi even ruffled Turkey's feathers! So this isn't a great age in American foreign policy.

But it's Bush's baby, this little Iranian crisis he's fomented. It doesn't really matter what I think. In fact, I doubt highly that he cares what I think in particular. I voted Gore and Kerry in the last two elections.

conscience-to-the-world :

To all:

It seems to be very close to the reality as when comparing Iran with its ambition to possess nuclear weapon as following:

"TO ALLOW THE IRAN POSSESSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS IS SIMILAR AS TO LET A MINDLESS CHILD POSSESSING AND PLAYING FOOLISHLY WITH AN AUTOMATIC HANDGUN FULL LOADED WITH AMMUNITION OR HANDGRENADES OR THE ALIKE! AND THE CONSEQUENCE IS REALLY DEADLY TO ALL OTHERS!" (Note: if someone doesn't believe so then please go ahead and wait and see the outcomes!)
or
"TO PREVIOUSLY ALLOW THE CRAZY AND MAD HITLER REGIME TO DO RESEARCHES AND DEVELOPMENT AND BUILD ATOMIC BOMBS WHILE THEIR V2 MISSILES WERE READY TO DELIVER THE A-BOMBS TO OTHER NATIONS INTHE W.W-II!" (Note: fortunately, this time the world was smart enough to make right decision on the fate of Hitler regime)

Now, the simplest question to the world is: Who on earth can naively and cowardly and blindly live with an Iran which has nuclear weapons and always have in minds with murderous plans and deeds as eagerly to devastate other nations when it will be possible as always loudly trumpeting all sorts of threatening and dedicatedly murderous angers recently?

In other words, if the world at this is not too dumb! then it must "take very good care" of Iran as soon as possible! before this murderous and religiously-crazy Iran the terror which can start to launch its missiles with tipped nuclear warheads into all directions of the world! and obviously the price for the world topay at that time will be much greater than to wipe out Iran before it can unleash its dedicatedly murderous anger and belief in its own killing power! So the world has to act as soon as possible before Iran can initiate a so-called WW-III or the alike to the rest of civilized nations no matter who they are! The world is in the very critical moment to make a wise and swift choice or pay the very dear price caused by Iran the terrorizing monster! Also when Iran will start a massive devastation to the world, it will trumpet and drum loudly with the words "Alah akbar" or "god is dead!"

It seems very late!!! that the world have cowardly left Iran alone with the deadly assistances of Russia and China to make nuclear bombs in its murderous land Iran to prepare for its right moment to launch or lift-off!

Thanks!

mohammad allam :

It would be very easy to talk and start the world war iii but would be very difficult to manage and stop the war.This quote of Mr bush shows how much he frustrated on the issue of Iran nuclear plan.We cannot accept this sort of utterance from a world super power and a responsible country like America.
This is another Bully of Mr Bush to the world like saddam Hussain.what he talked and what post Iraq situation shows that show how on plan level he is poor leader of america.He can talk about destruction but not construction.
Can anybody shows me any constructive move by American president to maintain world peace.?
I am really horrified that American establishment gone crazy to get their interest.
The chance of Iran episode led to world war 3 is minimum,vacuse there is another power Israel to nuetralize Iran in middle east.other hand the presence of Nuclear power states in middle east also turn the advantage of nuclear weapon of iran in zero as none will dare to go for nuclear use.In that case the conventional system work and in that Iran has not any match to America and allies.one thing we keep in mind that America never went for a war alone against any nation.
In that case the distance of britian will surely minimise the American adventure.
other hand the question is who will start a war?Iran or America or allies?In present time Iran will never want to start a war .the only option is left to America and allies and all these can go for war to have balance of power in their favour i middle east.And this can be only if there would be only a nuclear power in middle east i.e Israel.
The history of last two world wars show that war started by the allies to save their favourable balance of power and here also the case is.Iran is not going to making balance of power in his favour by going for war but balancing so,it cannot opt for war.other hand American and Allies go for war to save their gain.
The administeration of Bush also making another mistake by presenting a faer of w.w.3 to the world community.The question that comes in our mind that if bush administartion is making so much hue and cry then why it handed over the iraq govrment to iarn led ideological group?was America and Iran had any secret agreement for post iraq war middle east and in case of not fulfilling it now turning towards iran?
After anylysing we can not say that iran episode will led the w.w.3 but it will balance the dominant position of American and allies position in the middle east and will pave for more stable middle east free from Israel war machinery and American oil tycoon adventure through usa pentagon.

Cristina :

I can see from other posts taht spin machine is at full speed!....

as it was with the Weapon of Mass Destruction. I must concede: there are no better spin doctors that the America ones. They are quick to provide stats, cite sites, news articles (from world known authoritative experts).

All very convenient! Oh yes, they address only the who they are sure that they stand a better chance of not being beaten...all other issues raised are past by...


Who bombed millions in Japan (Nagasaki and Hiroshima?) Those were Christians guys...the plane even got the mother's name of one of them!

Was not an act of terror? I am sure, in the present days, US would be quick to name terrorists anyone who launched a bomb like just to "see" how it goes off...!An experiment do you see?

Americans are not well read...not well informed as well...so let me remind them that in the US there was a so-called science named Eugenics. The prefix eu in Greek means perfect, good and the radical gene is the core.
Well, guess these food American Christinas of pure and cast behaviour, had lots of trouble to breed! Some never did, never formed a family.

And the Eugenics WAS BEFORE THE NAZISM.. So I wondered another day, this idea of pure race was not Hitler's original one!

I am certain that on this post here, every twist and turn will be put at the best effort to build the case for a war...of course, involving everyone this time because MR US cannot go it alone this time...it it could, it would!That simple.

It needs political, material and human (troops) support this time...I said that earlier on.

Who can live with a Iran with nucks...we can! We live with US, India, Pakistan, France, etc...and certainly Israel (just deny it) why not Iran? I know why! In fact, everyone knows why.

Why US is so concerned that deal with India may water down? Do I need to say? Oh...some nice eugenic guy around here may pop up to say: because Indians are friends...they seek no war. they this and that...When it comes to India I do believe...but if US has foot there...things change!

Make you case for war...go sowing the seeds of wrath...your good Chrstians. The bible is on hand, isn't it? You are going to get there because the America audience is an average Simpson family.

Who can live with nucks? The whle world so far...because they already exists. Iran is no different. The US concern is of other nature! and you which nature is this.


Carl Senna :

Despite Bush's spectral warning of WW III and the right of Iran to acquire " the knowledge to build nuclear weapons," I strongly suspect that Iran already has such a weapon technology and access to deployable nuclear weapons from black market sources if militarily attacked by the US, France, Israel or NATO. The US will fight an impossible war if it decides to deny anyone's "knowledge" of a technology, because that is essentially a naked form of global oppression, a knowledge imperialism, in which one nation controls, extracts and exploits the native lore, cultural heritage, natural discoveries, technology, innovations in technology, freedom, and markets for the goods and services of weaker developing countries, so that the imbalance in international power, economic strength and political relationship, which are always knowledge based, favors the developed country. The right to know, a fundamental human right, both of the knowledge of good and of evil, should not be denied to a country, as it is, for domestic security, to citizens of the country. No government can decide for another government what it can and what it can't learn about nature or the forces of nature. That's unfair, and it won't work. Why should Iran foreclose the possibility of scientific discovery in any field just because George Bush wants to control Iran's politics, to deny it a deterrence to US aggression? Why can't Iranians research and develop knowledge of nuclear physics without obtaining clearance from George Bush, without the permission of Dick Cheney, without the authorization of NATO and Israel?
Iran has every right to have nuclear weapons if it so wishes, as does the USA, the UK, France, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, and Israel. It's up to the UN to see that those weapons are never used against another country, it's up to the community of nations to see that they are never used period.

Susenjit Guha :

Prsident Bush may not agree, or believe when he talked of the threat of WWIII, that if such a war was to take place, the US and only the US would be blamed.

When we find a belligerent Ahmadinejad ranting against the US and calling for sending international Jewry to eternal perdition, we fail to take stock of the latent causes of such blatant and ferocious anti-US mentality emanating out of Iraq.

Just go through the confessional autobiography of former CIA director Richard Helms, 'A look over my shoulder'---- a penance really for engaging in covert operations on people against their wishes for the better part of his career.

The book would give an idea of how successive post WWII US governents have strayed from the lofty ideals of Roosevelt and spotted Hitler in every corner and crevice of the globe, sometimes with and without strategic interests.

In Iran, the Shah was foisted on the people, whose reign characterised a brutally policed society, glaring income inequalities and pilgrimage deals with Iraq's Saddam, which began a legacy of religious fundamentalism. Long before the Shah was deposed, he was distantly removed from the villages where most Iranians lived and rotted in penury. Incidentally, the Shah was put in charge by the US after removing a democratically elected President Mossadegh by-you guessed right---a cleverly engineered CIA plot. His crime? Trying to nationalise US and British oil companinies operating in Iran for not allowing the Iranians to benefit sufficiently from the operations.

Now, do you have any doubts left why ordinary Iranians are so angry with the US? You cannot afford to win people's hearts and minds by tamping down on their national honour. And national honour is always top drawer in the Middle East. Or else, why do you see a nation with such a rich history behaving the way it is doing now?

Please pause and think a bit. Was there ever a serious initiative without weilding the famous US malacca to really move a few notches down and try and diplomatically engage Iran? Naturally, Iranians view any US warnings with extreme suspicion and verbal reaction. Hyping WWIII threats does not help in addressing an issue for which the US cannot absolve it's responsibility.

The more the US sticks to such rhetoric, the more cornered and radical will the Iranian leadership appear. From India, where I live, the threat is very much upclose and if at all such a terrible situation takes place, a spill-over cannot be ruled out. So President Bush was right about the consequences, but he may be totally oblivious to the real needs of the region, which may require loads of magnanimity and a subtle humility to somehow win over a race, which has been at the short end of the stick for too long.

Susenjit Guha :

Prsident Bush may not agree, or believe when he talked of the threat of WWIII, that if such a war was to take place, the US and only the US would be blamed.

When we find a belligerent Ahmadinejad ranting against the US and calling for sending international Jewry to eternal perdition, we fail to take stock of the latent causes of such blatant and ferocious anti-US mentality emanating out of Iraq.

Just go through the confessional autobiography of former CIA director Richard Helms, 'A look over my shoulder'---- a penance really for engaging in covert operations on people against their wishes for the better part of his career.

The book would give an idea of how successive post WWII US governents have strayed from the lofty ideals of Roosevelt and spotted Hitler in every corner and crevice of the globe, sometimes with and without strategic interests.

In Iran, the Shah was foisted on the people, whose reign characterised a brutally policed society, glaring income inequalities and pilgrimage deals with Iraq's Saddam, which began a legacy of religious fundamentalism. Long before the Shah was deposed, he was distantly removed from the villages where most Iranians lived and rotted in penury. Incidentally, the Shah was put in charge by the US after removing a democratically elected President Mossadegh by-you guessed right---a cleverly engineered CIA plot. His crime? Trying to nationalise US and British oil companinies operating in Iran for not allowing the Iranians to benefit sufficiently from the operations.

Now, do you have any doubts left why ordinary Iranians are so angry with the US? You cannot afford to win people's hearts and minds by tamping down on their national honour. And national honour is always top drawer in the Middle East. Or else, why do you see a nation with such a rich history behaving the way it is doing now?

Please pause and think a bit. Was there ever a serious initiative without weilding the famous US malacca to really move a few notches down and try and diplomatically engage Iran? Naturally, Iranians view any US warnings with extreme suspicion and verbal reaction. Hyping WWIII threats does not help in addressing an issue for which the US cannot absolve it's responsibility.

The more the US sticks to such rhetoric, the more cornered and radical will the Iranian leadership appear. From India, where I live, the threat is very much upclose and if at all such a terrible situation takes place, a spill-over cannot be ruled out. So President Bush was right about the consequences, but he may be totally oblivious to the real needs of the region, which may require loads of magnanimity and a subtle humility to somehow win over a race, which has been at the short end of the stick for too long.

Yousuf Hashmi :

Incidently yesterday only I came a across on internet a book pblished about the prediction of ww III from 2008-2012 http://www.nostradamusonline.com/sample_chapter.php

A fiction or sensation for market strategy is one thing but such warning from sole super power is just un explainable. Even if there is any such probablity then the responsibility lies on those who are on the helm of affairs of planet earth to defuse the situation.

Although the footpath intelligensia from where I belong is always talking about spread of violence untill it will not be controllable and will lead to catostraphic damages if timely ingress of fuel is not cut and safety measures are not adopted .

Iran is not Germany. It has very limited sources for living , it has no colonies from where it can supplement its resources for the war and by no means it can sustain a long term active conflict.

The world war starts between two equal competitors having some common dispute and having a wider support from the united nations, and expecting some reward for the win

Iran at this moment can only expect a shaky and hollow support from A far off country Venezuella. Some demonstrations in neigbouring countries from religious parties may be expected but no physical support from any countable magnitude can be expected. The role of Russia will be doubtful. It will stay neutral as in Iraq and Afghnistan but can play a game which US played in Afghanistan .

The world leaders thinks differently from the masses. they are visionary peoples and can see what a common man can not think about. they have un limited resources and in charge of the forces which can write the history. Their words reflect their intentions and ideas.

Un fortunately for some time the end results which are coming are more based on footh path intellegencia than those which are supposed to write the destiny.

D. Hodara :

Vice President Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld who influenced President Bush were clearly determined to have 'a war', for their various personal interests. Creating a lot of artificial reasons to go to war in Iraq, they refused to listen to the advice of their world partners and particularly some of their generals who told them about the weaknesses of their decisions, but they refused to heed advice and the dangers ahead and went to war.
We know now their fallacious arguments about the weapons of mass destruction - WMD - which did not exist and their unpreparednes to occupy a country which language, local ethnic differences and mentality were totally unknown to them. Consequently, after declaring 'Mission accomplished', they - and the world with them - realized the quagmire in which they had fallen.
After more than four years in which they have regressed rather than advanced, the country is in shambles, the population sustained hundreds of thousands of victims - and the killings continue - the GI's have been the victims of road bombs, suicide bomberss and of the insurgents who mix with the population and cannot be easily detected plus the hatred of a population which has seen its country destroyed and an occupying army pretending to bring in peace and democracy.
In the meantime, besides the killings and the looting, the U.S. have spent hundreds of billions of dollars which have gone down the drain, had thousands of GIs killed uselessly and was unable to control corruption and local conditions. Their best bet is to leave as soon as possible.
Now, having described the above, if they decide to go to war with Iran, without taking their world partners and the army generals advice, and without their decision being blocked by Congress, we shall see a similar scenario than with Iraq, plus the increase in islamic terrorism. Let us hope that Congress and the US people will be able to bring some sense to this nonsense.

conscience-to-the-world :

To all:

It seems to be very close to the reality when comparing Iran with its ambition to possess nuclear weapon as:

"TO ALLOW THE IRAN POSSESSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS IS SIMILAR AS TO LET A CHILD POSSESSES AND PLAYS WITH AN AUTOMATIC HANDGUN FULL LOADED WITH AMMUNITION! AND THE CONSEQUENCE IS REALLY DEADLY TO ALL OTHERS!"
Who on earth can live with an Iran has nuclear weapons and eagerly to devastate other nations as always loudly gives off all sorts of threatening recently?

The world must "take good care" of Iran before it start to launch missiles with nuclear warheads into all directions of the world!
It seems very late that the world have left iran alone to make nuclear bombs in its murderous land Iran!

Thanks!

Wallace :

DANIEL: Is the danger to Israel being magnified as if there were a risk to the entire world? I think not. Magnification is unnecessary. The current danger is clearly global in scope. It is the left's unwillingness to recognize this that puts us all at great risk.

Andrew Bostom, a physician in Boston who wrote "The Legacy of Jihad" used a medical term to describe the wave of terrorism that has been upon us since the early 1970s. Just as in the thousand years from 632 to 1638 when the Muslims took over almost all of the civilized world until 1638 when they were stopped at the gates of Vienna, now, according to Bostom we have a "fulminant recrudescence", a strong recurrence of jihad just as you might have a recurrence of a disease that has laid quiescent for a long time.

The Islamists do not keep it a secret that they want to conquer the whole world so that shar'ia law will be applicable everywhere. Why don't you believe them? Do not bombs in New York, London, Glasgow, Spain and Israel and arson in France convince you? How about the many thousands of dead in Algeria, and hundreds recently killed in Pakistan?

If you had been looking, 9/11 would not have been a surprise.

March 1, 1973 kidnapped and later killed 2 American diplomats
In Israel, many American citizens were killed -- rockets fired at our embassy in Beirut.
1979 Invasion of US embassy in Teheran kidnapping of employees
1983 Truck bomb killing 63 employees in Beirut embassy
October 1983 Truck bomb killing 241 US Marines at Beirut airport.
September 1984 Another truck bomb hits embassy annex in Beirut
Dec ember 1984 Kuwaiti airliner hijacked - 2 Americans killed
June 1985 TWA 847 hijacked and flown to Beirut, 1 sailor killed and dumped on asphalt runway.
October 1985 Achille Lauro hijacked, Klingshoffer in wheelchair murdered
April 1986 Bomb in West Berlin discotheque frequented by US servicemen
1986 Abu Nidal kills 3 US citizens
December people killed on Pan Am #103 over Lockerbie
1993 more American citizens killed in Israel
February 1993 Truck bomb in World Trade Center building
April 1993 Attempt to assassinate President George HW Bush
March 1995 Karachi two American diplomats killed
June 1996 Khobar Towers in Dharan truck bombed 240 Americans killed.
June 1998 car bombs at our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 200 dead, 12 US.
October 2000 USS Cole bombed 17 US dead, 39 wounded
9/11 2001 World Trade Center bombed with two hijacked airliners.
9/11 2001 Pentagon bombed with one hijacked airliner
9/11 2001 Another airliner hijacked and crashed in Pennsylvania.
Almost 3,000 dead from 9/11

Is the war restricted to the US? No. It has been going on in Israel since 1948. Since 9/11 there have been 9846 deadly terror attacks carried on around the world. You can find them listed with the details of each at http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

What is the cause of this fulminant recrudescence? It is a confluence of the appearance of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt in the twentieth century, the elaboration of their philosophy by Sayeed Qutb, Maulana Mawdudi, and Sheik Abdullah Azzam. The latter wrote "Join the Caravan" in which he expressed as his philosophy "Jihad and the rifle alone! NO negotiations, NO conferences, NO dialogue!

The appearance of the Muslim Brothers was a necessary but not suffient cause of the fulminant recrudescence. It took financing by petrodollars given to the Saudis for oil and passed on in great measure to the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia for internal political reasons. See: Dore Gold, "Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia supports the new global terrorism.

These came together in the 1970s.

No, Daniel. No magnification is needed.

Cristina :

It begs belief to realise how many Americans are brain-washed. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE for them to think out of the box!!!

Oh yes! They love to twist things...keep hitting the same key over and over again (there is always the hope that the spin might stick one way or another...the most important is not let launch any meaningful dialogue with open-minded people..open-minded people are seen by warmongers as a pest, a trouble, an inconvenience...a mosquito in the soup...

This issue is not about the Islam whether it is or not a religion of peace. Let's not be hypocritical. I am Christian (well...see my name) and I was raised listening that we should offer the other face, learning above all the 10 commandments...among them:
we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves, that we should do to others what we would like others to do to us;
WE MUST NOT KILL (IT IS A COMANDMENT)
WE MUST NOT ENVY
WE MUST LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS

Yet, all I see is hatred and intolerance nurtured and instigated by Christians who try to portray themselves as benevolent, heart-minded, pure and casts observers of the God's words! Oh yes!

How many wars Christians have been involved in wars throughout the human history!?

What about the 10 commandments? Or the criticisms here are ONLY suitable to Islam? Is it considered fair?

The Bible brings the commandment; do not kill and many Christian leaders do in the name of whatever..for instance, national interests...
Oh yes, Iraq was a security treat with WMD! hahaha

national security interests? Oh yes...try harder to convince me!Much harder!!!

In the battle field, soldiers have no alternative...and then there is the chaplain...Oh, yes, the chaplain placates all guilty feelings and sorts out all breaches, for instance the one the command that says that we must not kill. Oh yes, we are the righteous ones! Of course! We can judge others! Oh yes, we were granted this right!

Who we are to question other's religion? A better breed? Common! Give me a break!

Bush is Christian..Oh!!! What did I dare say here? Oh! it is different in this case, isn't it?

Everyone manages to save his face when it is convenient, isn't it?

This question is not about Islam (let us not comment on US support to Iraq against Iran...hey you do you remember that one? Oh..forgot that one! Not surprise...truth and memory are two of the most selective things I have ever seen!(in the case of US this is exemplary!)

daniel :

Every person has his day. I would say on this one that the day belongs to Fareed Zakaria. I recently read his piece in the Wash. Post (I believe monday of this week--the 22nd) and I thought it was properly outraged and correct concerning the circumstances. I understand Iran is a problem and that we might even have to bomb certain targets, but talking about world war 3...that seems a little much. It seems things are getting out of hand everywhere now concerning the middle east--whether you want to talk about Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan...You would think by now we would have enough people on this problem of Islam in relationship to the West (the general problem). What exactly is going on? Is it true that the danger to Israel is now being magnified as a danger to the entire world? I understand that the danger to Israel is greater--has in fact always been throughout her history--but now this danger to her seems magnified to the entire West. Or is it magnified to the entire West because the West needs oil and it is running short, running out, more and more every year and of course we have yet to make the technological breakthrough beyond oil for energy uses? The problem must be examined in totality. One thing we know for certain is that not only do things seem to be warming up (shades of climate change!) to a big international tragedy, more than at any time in history we are fully conscious of it coming and...can apparently do nothing. Was all human intelligence nothing more than a gradual moving down to the front row of the theater to view...nothing more than our own demise? If I were President Bush I would back off the comments. I heard Mr. Central Intelligence--Mr. Gates--was a bit more rational and to a certain extent contradicted Bush. One would hope we would be treading very carefully on this problem--on all these problems.

jralger :

I say let's give him one ... (a timeout that is)!

Wallace :

Many of the authors of these comments may not have seen the mass rallies of Iranians chanting "Death to Israel", and also Death to America. Do they think these sentiments will change when the Iranians have nuclear weapons?

Ahmadinejad had Khomeini as his mentor. This is what Khomeini had to say about it in 1942, long before the Gulf War I or II, before Mossadegh was deposed, even before Israel declared its independence.

ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION OF PACIFISTS (1942)

Islam's jihad is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression and cruelty. The war waged by [non-Islamic] conquerors, however, aims at promoting lust and animal pleasures. They care not if whole countries are wiped out and many families left homeless. But those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [God's Law] . . . .

Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back untill they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to [the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists that to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."
Reprinted in Bostom, "The Legacy of Jihad: Holy War and its Effect on Non-Muslims".


From 1776 to 1815 we were paying ransoms and tribute to the Muslims to protect our commerce off the Barbary Coast and there were even concerns about raids on our east coast. It was 1815 before the internal American political issue was resolved after "Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute" won out. By 1815 we were paying up to 20% of our revenues in tribute to the Muslims. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, we can look forward to paying up to $560 billion per year at 20% of current revenues.
See: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present" by Michael B. Oren.

Vidyardhi Nanduri :

ROYAL PRESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS : Necessity-Demand
1.Psychology and World Peace
2.Maturity and statesmanship
3.Leadership and Sportive Spirit
5.Spiritual awareness and Enlightenment
6. Save Earth Planet
7. Dharma
8. Neutral Governance
9. Intellectual Guidance

Cristina :

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” (Eisntein)

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." (Einstein)

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Einstein)

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." (Einstein)

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking. The solution to this problem lies in the heart of Humankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." (Einstein)

"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." (Eisntein)

Anonymous :

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” (Eisntein)

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." (Einstein)

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Einstein)

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." (Einstein)

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking. The solution to this problem lies in the heart of Humankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." (Einstein)

"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." (Eisntein)

Cristina :

The very possibility of another world war (this time, it seems the Bush wants to "get EVERYONE involved" is really unreasonable, irresponsible, the result of a perturbed mind, a weak, very weak and sick one.


From where I am (South America) this war resonates as Middle East thing only...something that is far from our immediate realities, needs, and prospects...and dreams! The desire for this war is being stirred up by other interests that are not ours on this side of the globe.

It looks like the result of certain minds perhaps in Washington, perhaps in Israel -- I can only guess -- that look desperately to create chaos, to involve EVERYONE in their own agendas! Why?

Because these nuts have gone it alone already...well, they are nuts but there is still room for to realise that this time they NEED TO GET EVERYONE EMBROILED IN THEIR OWN AGENDAS SO THAT THEY CAN SHARE THE BURDEN AND "THE OTHERS - -THE REST OF THE WORLD" WILL BE PART OF THE MESS AND TEREFORE WILL BE RESTRAINED TO ACUSE , TO COMPLAIN, TO BLOCK, ETC..., at least, while it serves the interests of those who want to call o everyone to get involved in a possible WWIII.

Translating: countries will have to contribute troops, money, weaponry, staff, access
to the sensitive data, air and sea space, prisons, military base from where to launch attacks on specif targets devised by the minds behind this...

Yes, behind this spin that gives the first steeps...testing the water Huh? If anyone out there comes to tell me that there are no specific interests behind this, they are doubting our intelligence..worst: they think they can buy us again with another improved make up..they should improve after that hilarious thing of WMD!

If everyone is involved (so the name WWIII)...if this spin works out, little by little Bush and others from the same rotten branch will secure resources, material, political and human support from everybody...because they already learned to manipulate fear, hatred and distrust.

Peace is harder to achieve than war...especially if they manage to spread fear, propaganda, hatred, mistrust, distrust...we are being cornered into the prisoner's dilemma.

I admit one thing: for evil things, these guys there in Washington are really good at! They are unbeatable!

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” (Eisntein)

lee :

JRLR

You are right on target, we are being lead down a path of war mongering for one nation and one nation only that Israel.......And there will never be an objective discussion about it as long as AIPAC is allowed to fund the elected officials that maintain the foolish policies that have nothing to do with our national security! Bush and Cheney are the perfect puppets.........

lee :

JRLR

You are right on target, we are being lead down a path of war mongering for one nation and one nation only that Israel.......And there will never be an objective discussion about it as long as AIPAC is allowed to fund the elected officials that maintain the foolish policies that have nothing to do with our national security! Bush and Cheney are the perfect puppets.........

Kajal :

Do we really need more blood in East to Please Jorge Bush ?It is enoph killing as longe as we live.You don't know how it fells to see every day Kids safer from losnig thir Parents OR women loses thier Husband Or our loves one.How much more body dose fill up the Amirican Goverment Banks OR them to be happy,Dose people who live on their lands deserve to get more misrable?It isn't just about East, it is for all over the world to have some peace of mind. don't you think humman on earth, need to realx live in peace for what is left.........War is not a sulution for the crises in US it is never take us any where.

Kajal :

Do we really need more blood in East to Please Jorge Bush ?It is enoph killing as longe as we live.You don't know how it fells to see every day Kids safer from losnig thir Parents OR women loses thier Husband Or our loves one.How much more body dose fill up the Amirican Goverment Banks OR them to be happy,Dose people who live on their lands deserve to get more misrable?It isn't just about East, it is for all over the world to have some peace of mind. don't you think humman on earth, need to realx live in peace for what is left.........War is not a sulution for the crises in US it is never take us any where.

AMviennaVA :

JRLR: Surely they don't say that openly!

JRLR :

You really want to know what people do think, where I am, although they will not readily state it publicly.

Here it is.

Were it not for Israel and for "influential" Israelis constantly fanning the flames (publicly as well as behind the scenes), there would be no talk of WWIII.

AMviennaVA :

The risk of war is very high. Bush/Cheney are itching for another 'settling of accounts'.

Tom :

People that talk about World Wars don't have a clue about reality, death and destruction.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.