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Economist Foresaw '08 Crash, Now Predicts Calamity Over Iran


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: obama, obama-administration, politics, government, democrats, republicans, u.s., congress, president-obama, economy, jobs, unemployment, interesting, news, polls, 2012, business, iran, americans, crisis, america, americans, conflict, war )

PinkMindy
- 813 days ago - msnbc.msn.com
Now he has become known as "Dr. Doom" because of his negative predictions, however they have come true before - Now he predicts a global recession and for high unemployment throughout 2012 if there is no 'change' along the current path in Washington D.C.



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Comments

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 6:45 am

I will be searching for other petitions like the following example, so please post any other petitions that you may already be aware of here on this comment line ... Thank you!

In the meantime: =====>

"MAKE PEACE, NOT WAR" - Petition to Sign & Share @ The Petition Site
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 6:48 am

In my opinion:

President Obama and the lame U.S. Congress has us all on a collision course with more severe economic hard-times, that distinctly lie dead ahead!!!
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 7:21 am

This Care2 article has just been posted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn, MyYearbook, FriendsFeed, and many more likewise!

Here is our Facebook display ad:

"A VIEW TO OUR POSSIBLE FUTURE" @ Facebook
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 8:17 am

Another Petition to Sign & Share (Also See My Comment #1):

TELL OBAMA AND CONGRESS: STOP THE WAR ON IRAN BEFORE IT STARTS! - Petition to Sign & Share @ Stop War On Iran
 

Joe V. (9)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 12:57 pm
Obama or as I like to call him "gloom and doom" has done nothing to spur this nation toward economic recovery. Our Congress displays the Mt. Rushmore look; solid rock that does not speak or move. The only thing they ever do is get a face lift. A great similarity to our Congress in that our members of Congress get health care along with many other perks for doing nothing but warm a seat! Actually I think some of them may be close to not having a heart beat! God help us all.
 

roseann s. (220)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 1:06 pm
a train wreck disaster is pending.
 

tasunka m. (334)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 1:06 pm
war will be the end of us....everybody knows it.
 

. (0)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 1:22 pm
Signed both petitions, thank you, Mindy.
 

James W. (251)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 2:04 pm
Agree 100% With Tasunka M Very well put
 

Agnes N. (738)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 2:29 pm
Thanks Pink..signed and shared petition
 

Charles O. (209)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 2:55 pm
"Iranian Nukes" are no more real than "Iraqi WMDs".

Our war-makers know this. The Downing Street Memos tell us that the entire "IraqI WMD" charade was based on deliberate lies, and a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the leading proponents of aggression against Iran, tell us that the vast "Iranian Nukes" charade is also based on a deliberate lie.

The U.S. wants to take over Iran for the same reason it wanted to take over Iraq: Israel has commanded it, and control of Iran will enable the U.S. to shut off China's oil supply and target mineral-rich Siberia, the Asian "Heartland" that will enable the U.S. to control the world, according to the "Great Game" geopolitical theories of MacKinder.

> Addressing the Ambassador directly, Prince Andrew then turned to regional politics. He stated baldly that “the United Kingdom, Western Europe (and by extension you Americans too)” were now back in the thick of playing the Great Game. More animated than ever, he stated cockily: “And this time we aim to win!”

-- "Wikileaks files: US ambassador criticised Prince Andrew", BBC, 30 Nov 2010

> When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before.

-- Rudyard Kipling

Russia is now insisting more loudly that the U.S. cannot have Iran: Iran is off-limits. See Russia: Attack on Iran a 'Direct Threat to Our Security'. Russia has a point. It will receive the fallout from the radiation from the tactical nukes and depleted uranium the U.S. and Israel will use in their attack on Iran. The U.S. will then use Iran as a staging ground for the attack on Russia. Russia regards Iran as its front line.

U.S. strategists do not seem to be getting the message, however.

If the U.S. could not hold on to Iraq, after wasting trillions of dollars and 4,500 American lives, how does it expect to conquer Iran? The attack on Iran will push the U.S. economy over the cliff -- all the more so since Iran is a major supplier of oil to China and China props up the U.S. currency.

Are our rulers here in the U.S. suicidal? That is the question. To be or not to be.

The Israel-first neo-cons told us that the trillion-dollar holocaust in Iraq would be a "cakewalk" (Kenneth Adelman); it would "pay for itself" (Paul Wolfowitz). Our brain-dead leaders believed it. The neo-cons were dead wrong, but that means nothing inside the Beltway. We are ready to gamble again, this time on a far bigger holocaust. Just TRUST the neo-cons.

It's time to ask "Who gains?" from these trillion-dollar wars!

* FAQ: Who wants war?

* FAQ: Does Iran seek nukes?

* FAQ: What is Iran's response?

* FAQ: How will the U.S. and Israel start WW III?

 

TERRY R. (281)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 4:49 pm
WAR IS NEVER A PICNIC, THIS JUST HAS BAD VIBES FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL PLANET. WITH IRANIAN ELECTIONS COMING UP IN MARCH, THEY ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR NATIONAL UNITY IN THE FACE OF AN OVERSEAS 'ENEMY' - WE SHOULD NOT IN THE WEST PROVIDE THEM WITH IT.
 

Cam V. (417)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 4:59 pm
You are a Patriot Mindy .... keep up the good work~
 

Phyllis P. (424)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 7:18 pm
Noted
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 7:24 pm
Thanks Mindy! :)

This is an interesting analysis. Unfortunately, I am not convinced that military action against Iran can be avoided. There are two hopeful aspects, though:
First, very few people seem to consider the possibility of a limited strike. Rather than force regime-change like in Iraq, the U.S. could simply destroy the infrastructure of the nuclear program and then leave, rather than stick around to completely overpower the Iranian military. and overthrow its government In fact, I think this may achieve the desired objectives more effectively: Demonstrating that the nuclear program wasted money, brought sanctions, and turned Iran into a pariah without the expected big payoffs at the end may do extensive political damage to the factions that supported it, the Ayatollah (and Council of Guardians) and Iran's current government. It may be enough to spur a far less bloody Iranian-led regime-change. As far as the oil goes, without foreign invasion, Iran may not be able to put together the domestic political will to stop all oil-sales.

The other thing often not noted is the current rapid development of other oil-sources. The tar-sands in Alberta, Israeli oil, American, and Chinese shale reserves come to mind. With modern (vastly cleaner and more efficient than traditional) fracturing-technology, so much more oil has become recoverable that new developments may offset Iranian oil. Canada is already trying to replace Iran as China's oil-source. (I don't have much hope for this, but with the Albertan tar-sands providing China with oil instead of Iran, the sanctions may actually work and prevent any military confrontation.) However, one big impediment is the current opposition to shale-fracking in the U.S. (which has the world's largest reserves, in shale) due to, I believe, severe overestimation of its environmental impact.
 

Alexandra Rodda (175)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 8:08 pm
The world has a chance to recover. Supporting Israel in an attack on Iran would be madness. Real madness. The world may take many decades to recover from that.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 8:11 pm
Do you ever stfu with all your hate of the left and LOVE of the right? You're like an anti Obama machine!

No notes ever!

 

Eternal Gardener (700)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 8:13 pm
Typical to call realism doom & gloom... thanks for posting Mindy.
 

Charles O. (209)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 8:40 pm
Several points, Stephen:

(1) Iran's peaceful nuclear power program is decidedly not the issue. Iran, along with others, have made dozens of conciliatory proposals for dealing with nuclear concerns. All are instantly rejected by the Ziosphere. That tells Iran and us that the real aim of the Ziosphere is regime-change and the destruction of Iran as a country capable of offering Israel competition.

(2) The nuclear program is supported by all elements of Iranian society. It is seen as part of the Iranian effort to achieve technological development. Few Iranians, if any, want Iran to remain a backwards third world country, yet that is what the Ziosphere demands.

(3) Since Iran's nuclear program is irrelevant, it will not be targeted. Instead, the Ziosphere will target Iran's infrastructure, the aim being to make Iran uninhabitable or barely habitable.

(4) This may be the real reason why Israel has not yet attacked: It does not have sufficient military power to level the entire country, and its adoring slave, Uncle Sam, has been busy leveling Iraq. But now that Obama is winding down the holocaust in Iraq, he will have lots of manpower to squander on the destruction of Iran.

As one slaughter ends, another begins. The war-addicted "superpower" cannot go for long without a fix.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 10:56 pm
Hi Charles :)

The problem is that the conciliatory proposals could be genuine, or they could be delaying tactics. After North Korea played exactly that game to buy time for its nuclear weapons program until it tested a bomb, you can imagine how little trust there is for such diplomacy. Another part of the problem is the nature of the conciliatory proposals themselves: For example, the foremost among them was the offer to let Turkey enrich the uranium, giving a NATO country control over the enrichment. That seems perfectly reasonable and attractive to anyone who is unfamiliar with current Turkish domestic politics or technical details of enrichment. First, the current government of Turkey depends upon the support of an anti-Western political alliance. That means it would likely not look too closely at further enrichment in Iran. Second, enrichment from research-reactor-grade (used for medical isotope-production) up to weapons-grade is relatively easy, compared with getting it up to research-reactor-grade. That means the conciliatory proposal, which may have been genuine, would leave Iran with a relatively short step to nuclear weapons and nobody looking to see if it takes that step.

Outside of nuclear weapons, Israel has a totally separate strategy to stop Iran from competing: It is fast-tracking shale oil-extraction and investing in technology to make it more efficient. It is believed that Israel has nearly as much oil as the Saudis, allowing it to undercut Arabs and Iranians. Used aggressively, it could stockpile all the oil and then flood the market, totally destroying all of its primary opponents' economies. Less aggressively (and far more likely), it could reduce the price of oil or give Western countries an alternative, allowing them to place sanctions upon Arab states and Iran for their rampant human-rights violations. That would also destroy its competition. The U.S., with substantially more shale oil, could do the same but to a much greater degree. No costly invasion is necessary to stop Iranian competition.

Israel has a far more effective method of handling Iran. The two countries used to be allies, and I suspect there is a substantial element in Iran that would like them to be so again. Discrediting the current regime and supporting another Iranian revolution would work much better.

Iranians do, apparently, support having a nuclear program.
www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/sep09/IranNuc_Sep09_quaire.pdf
However, 55% of them want it only for nuclear power. While they do support Iranian enrichment, how many do you think would continue to do so if they knew, contrary to popular belief, that enrichment has not been necessary for nuclear power for decades?
For example, check out CANDU reactors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANDU_reactor
It looks like, from the results of Q1 on the survey, if told the truth about modern nuclear technology, the answers to Q15 would change drastically. Even better, there are now light water unenriched reactors, eliminating the cost of the heavy water. This lack of a need for enrichment for regular nuclear power is also a major reason why I am convinced the Iranian program is intended for weapons. While I would not normally oppose the development of an industry, given the current tensions, the benefit of domestically produced medical isotopes in Iran does not even come close to justifying its cost.
 

Carol Dreeszen (368)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 11:19 pm
Thanks Pink!!
 

Marthe B. (9)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 1:40 am
War only leads to more misery on earth,if we could put all the energy in peacefull talks it would be much better for the whole world,war is still krippeling Irak,Afghanistan,Gantanamo prison still there
PEACE
 

Janet R. (34)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 4:07 am
Bug off, Pink Mindy.
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:10 am

If President Obama was supposed to be so much better than the Republican Party alternative, then how come he has used the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld wartime playbooks right down the line???

Iran seems to be next on 'his' regime-change list and what about Syria, because this also was planned by the Bush administration approximately 10 years ago!?!?

Don't forget about Guantanamo Bay prison colony still being open and fully operational today!!! Huh???

Plus: President Obama just recently admitted that the new National Defense Act (NDAA) was 'Un-American' and yet he signed it anyway.

The NDAA is just a continuation of the Patriot Act ... except now it's on STEROIDS!!!!!

Obama = Bush to make it 'legal' to enter our personal homes inside the United States and arrest/detain us indefinitely without probable cause or without being criminally charged with committing any particular crime ...

This sounds just like the Bush administration too.

This should at least be striking you as a little bit odd, to say the very least!!

Although President Obama 'pledges' not to take advantage of this newly signed National Defense legislation (NDAA 2012) for himself, which clearly threatens many rights and freedoms of its citizens, then why would he empower his successors to take future action??

Obama Admits NDAA 2012 Is 'Un-American', But Signs It Anyway @ The Atlantic

A war with Iran and it's economic ramifications would most likely turn out to be national suicide or even perhaps lead us all toward an absolute worldwide pan-genocide, so therefore it is extremely important that we ask ourselves these important questions now ... And hopefully take what actions are available to us, so that we can put a stop to it BEFORE IT STARTS!!!
 

John Gregoire (248)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:16 am
"For those who fought for it,
Freedom has a flavor the
protected will never know"
 

John Gregoire (248)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:24 am
Sorry -somehow missed the comment. I am very much afraid that Obama will attack Iran if and when he thnks he needs to ditch the wimp persona in order to win re-election. Everything this man does is either campaign or fund raising oriented.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:25 am
Noted. Thanks.
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:33 am

I absolutely agree John G., because President Obama has entered Campaign 2012 overdrive at this time ...

So please leave your critical information message @ BarackObama.com ... And he will get right back to you around 2013 or so ... Perhaps!?!?

Ohhh LOL w/ Sad Tears!!!!
 

Stella AWAY W. (258)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:37 am
If the US of A withdraws from all wars all over the planet and refrains from creating new wars, there will be more than enough funds to care for the American people, provide them with decent jobs and ensure that SS and Medicare is 'safe and sound'!
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 6:34 am

Here's the situation:

"Urging Obama to Stop Rush to Iran War" @ Campaign Iran
 

Arielle S. (314)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 6:58 am
The sky is falling, the sky is falling! (I'm with you, Jason - no notes ever for negative nonsense)
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 7:09 am

As most of us already recognize from the many previous encounters with the dwindling-by-the-day Pro-Obama camp, they would much prefer to suffer a terrible holocaust rather than relinquish their over-obsessive pipe-dream of 'Hope & Change' ...

Which from my own personal experience translates into a hardcore desire for extreme CENSORSHIP and self-political-protectionist attitudes!!!

However we all retain the right to harbor our own personal opinions, no matter how misguided they may perhaps be ... And that's exactly what they are, just personal opinions.
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 7:15 am

RE: 'Negative Nonsense':

... Which is really strange when you come to think about it, because this Care2 submitted article has only been on the front-page for 5 hours and has received:

41 Notes.

32 Hot!!! Comments.

68 Current Recommends.

'Negative Nonsense'???

I most certainly think that label surely does NOT seem to fit here!
 

Anne S. (25)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 8:32 am
Who sang, " Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran " ??? All to the tune of Barbara Ann. It's on UTube.
Now who was it that wanted war with Iran and wanted us, the USA, to do the BOMBING ??

It was REPUBLICAN...Failed Presidential CANDIDATE....JOHN McCAIN
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 8:35 am
> If the US of A withdraws from all wars all over the planet and refrains from creating new wars, there will be more than enough funds to care for the American people, provide them with decent jobs and ensure that SS and Medicare is 'safe and sound'!

-- Stella Offline W.

But that would require them to value life more than death and people more than profits.

They would have to stop DEhumanizing the targeted country and start REhumanizing themselves.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Why should they change course? They're riding high on an unsinkable ship (the Titanic).

 

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 8:52 am
"then how come he has used the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld wartime playbooks right down the line?"
Because this country is and has been run by the MIC and right wing, shadow government.
Every one should know this. A REAL Republican tried to warn us of this coup. Eisenhower!

Democrats are our ONLY chance at breaking this coup.
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 8:59 am
PinkMindy Ellinwood writes:

> This sounds just like the Bush administration too.

> This should at least be striking you as a little bit odd, to say the very least!!

> Although President Obama 'pledges' not to take advantage of this newly signed National Defense legislation (NDAA 2012) for himself, which clearly threatens many rights and freedoms of its citizens, then why would he empower his successors to take future action??

> Obama Admits NDAA 2012 Is 'Un-American', But Signs It Anyway @ The Atlantic

Obama is an enigma to me. Imagine Oprah Winfrey doing commercials for Monsanto, or Sean Penn taking up a collection for BP: That's Obama! On the surface, it seems like he has values, but his actions say just the opposite. Are his values just an act? Is he just a soulless frontman for the War Industry and the NWO? If so, what happened to the "community organizer"?

Today, Obama seems less like a community organizer and more like the frontman the slumlord sends out to notify people that their homes will be demolished. We've had other corrupt black politicians -- remember Marion Barry? remember Colin Powell lying like a rug at the U.N.? -- but Obama takes the cake.

What explains it? Is Obama being threatened? Is he incredibly naive? Are we seeing an Obama impersonator or a Manchurian candidate created by MK-Ultra? Is he a closet Republican?
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 11:08 am
Hello Stephen B. --

You ask why Iran doesn't use the CANDU reactor. I don't know. Perhaps because the reactor they already have at Bushehr, started by Germany in 1975 and completed with help from Russia in Sep 2011, is of the VVER/PWR type. The CANDU reactor seems to have a lot of advantages, yet the vast majority of reactors in the world are not of this type Most do require enriched uranium. Most of the new reactors being built in China are of the PWR type (enrichment required). Why should Iran be held to a different standard?

Ten years of intrusive inspections have failed to turn up any evidence that Iran is producing nuclear bombs. Meanwhile, Israel and the U.S. have no inspections and openly threaten to use their nuclear bombs against Iran. Does that seem fair to you?

You condemn the deal brokered by successfully brokered by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, because you don't like Turkey. What you forget to tell us is that this deal was originally suggested by the U.S.! When Iran accepted, the U.S. was forced to reject its own proposal. See:

* Gary Sick, US Shows a Middle Finger to Tehran...and Turkey and Brazil and..., *Enduring America*, 19 May 2010

* Trita Parsi, Why Can't the US Take Yes for an Answer?, *Enduring America*, 19 May 2010

* Chris Emery, Washington “Can’t Afford to Look Ridiculous”, Makes Ridiculous Move, *Enduring America*, 19 May 2010

* Iran offered to recognize Israel in 2003, was ignored., *Iran Affairs*, 07 Nov 2011

Iran's agreement with Turkey and Brazil demonstrates Iran's willingness to make concessions. Ahmadinejad even offered to buy the 20% enriched uranium from the U.S.! That offer too was instantly dismissed.

The utter intransigence of the Ziosphere is proof positive that "Iranian Nukes" are no more than a pretext for the real agenda: Wiping Iran off the map. The Zionists, as I said, cannot tolerate competition.

We're not talking about oil competition here: We're talking about Israel's stranglehold on the U.S.. Israel does not want other countries in the Middle East to have influence in the U.S., and the only way to do that is to reduce other countries to rubble, which is exactly what Israel's 1982 Oded Yinon Plan calls for. The Zionists have a master-slave worldview: Obey or die. They do not understand the concept of co-existence as equals.
 

Dandelion G. (399)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 3:05 pm
Thanks for the petitions, signed.

So much for the Peace Prize President.

There have been other Economist that saw this disaster coming, they were not listened to either.

Those with the Power choose not to listen for to listen may mean they have to have less gold to line their pockets or their buddies pockets. They have tunnel vision, they do not see and if they see they do not care.

Will the species of the human race save itself or allow a few members of its kind to destroy it for all, includes all our relations who share this place called Earth.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 5:57 pm
Hi Charles,

I don't know why Iran doesn't use CANDU reactors either. They cost about $1 billion to achieve Iran's intended output for the next decade.
http://www.ccnr.org/exports_2.html#2.4.1.1
That's under 2% of Iran's government's annual spending. They could just shut down the Bushehr reactor and use a design forty years more recent, get all the power within a few years, face no sanctions or political ill-will, and reduce future costs. Frankly, I suspect the increased revenues from eliminating sanctions would more than offset the cost of the power-station. Iran would actually make money off the switch in the short-term too.

The deal with Turkey and Brazil:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/may/17/iran-brazil-turkey-nuclear
The problem is in Paragraph 1: It stated explicitly that Iran would be permitted to continue enrichment. The U.S. proposed a deal whereby Iran would not continue to do so. Turkish domestic politics imply that Paragraph 1 was not just the expected lip-service to states' technological development. The deal really would not have stopped Iran from continuing enrichment.

On top of that, the plan was to do it in phases rather than all at once, as the U.S. originally proposed. This is a major issue as Iran is under suspicion of using the diplomacy as a delaying-tactic just as North Korea did. Having it all happen in phases (for which there is no technical need, and produces additional storage-cost for Iran) would slow things down and work perfectly to delay any further measures to prevent it from developing a weapon. The intransigence was over the deal's failure to address at all the U.S.'s primary concern, continued Iranian enrichment, and the part of the plan which could only serve as a delaying-tactic.
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday January 29, 2012, 10:09 pm
Stephen B. writes:

> the increased revenues from eliminating sanctions

But the sanctions would NOT be eliminated! It doesn't MATTER what Iran does. Take the agreement with Turkey and Brazil. Iran agreed to a proposal made initially by the U.S.. The U.S. response was more sanctions.

Israel issued the order to kill Iran, way back in 2002. This, as I said, was before Ahmadinejad and before Iran's nuclear power program was an issue. The sanctions are just part of the build-up to war. Israel and the U.S. lust for still more slaughter. They want to see more mountains of corpses, more rivers of blood. The sanctions have not "worked", and they are not intended to work. The thing that works is diplomacy, and that is what the U.S. and Israel reject.

Trita Parsi addresses your secondary points in "Why Can't the US Take Yes for an Answer?".

I've excerpted key passages in my Citizen News Base article. Look for the post titled "Why can't the U.S. take Yes for an answer?".

In the Parsi article, I read, for example, that Iran initially asked to ship in phases, to test the agreement, but later agreed to the U.S. condition that all uranium be shipped at once. A cessation of all enrichment was an unrealistic U.S. expectation, not part of the original U.S. proposal.

Once again, all of this is irrelevant, because the fictitious "Iranian Nukes" are not the real issue. The U.S. wants to wipe Iran off the map, regardless of the cost, because the Zionists who dominate our government can't tolerate competition. They want the U.S. government all to themselves. Their ultimate aim is to reduce EVERY country in the Middle East to barbarism: See Israel's 1982 Oded Yinon plan.

Yes, you are right: Iran is trying to slow down this maniacal rush to war. It's human nature to want to survive, and Iran is trying to survive a little while longer. In that sense, yes, Iran is "stalling" and resisting. We should ALL be resisting this satanic insanity and stupidity.

SOME people in leadership positions in Israel HAVE begun to sober up. Meir Dagan, former Mossad head, calls the planned aggression against Iran "the stupidest idea I've ever heard". Why do you think Dagan says that?
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Monday January 30, 2012, 1:10 am
Hi Charles :)

Maybe the sanctions wouldn't be eliminated at this point, but they could have been prevented. Whatever influences there are on the U.S. government, it still has to convince its voters that its policies are justified or they go away in the next election. Without Iranian enrichment, the primary arguments used for the sanctions, which are now the ones for military action, disappear. I suppose the U.S. could have used the argument that Iran sponsors terrorist groups and that it supported insurgency in Iraq, but if those were sufficient on their own, or even significant compared to the enrichment, we would hear a whole lot more about them.

Part of the reason the sanctions have not worked is the fact that China has ignored them and until recently, the E.U. still bought Iranian oil. (It recently put out a ban.) With Canada seeking to supplant Iran as China's source of oil, they may actually begin to work (though I have my doubts).

Actually, Parsi does not address all of my secondary points. I noted specifically the difference between the 2009 U.S. proposal and the 2010 one by Iran, Brazil, and Turkey. The issue was how effectively the plan could be turned into a delaying tactic to buy time for weapons-development. I noticed your last excerpt from Parsi's article seems to address this. However, Parsi's claims regarding what Iran accepted directly contradict the text of the proposal as given in The Guardian. First, the proposal said nothing about Iran stopping enrichment, and in fact endorsed its intent to continue (Paragraph 1). That, unless I am mistaken, was the primary American demand. Parsi simply ignored that detail in her comment that Iran accepted all the demands it had previously rejected. Second, the whole rationale given by Iran is silly: While we tend to think of medical isotopes as a normal industry, but in fact the required quantity is so tiny that it makes no sense to go to such trouble over domestic production. In 2007, the shutdown of a single reactor in Chalk River created a global shortage. As of 2010, the same facility still produces a third of the world's supply. There is actually no need for Iran to have 20%-enriched uranium. I just noticed that the shipment was all to be concluded within a year, though I also recall predictions at the time that Iran could achieve nuclear weapons-production within months at that point (until Stuxnet hit). The time-frame was still too long at that point, so the plan still looked suspiciously like a delaying tactic.

The "Oded Yinon" plan??? A journalist does not decide the foreign policy of a country. Besides, if countries are so badly fractured that they would actually split along ethnic lines, perhaps they would be better off for it. Imagine how much less civil war there would be in Africa if post-colonial borders were drawn along tribal lines and they were each allowed to govern themselves rather than be forced into a position where they share a leader.

When I mentioned delaying tactics, I did not refer to any that would actually prevent conflict. I was referring to the game North Korea played. The conflict is still there, but now it has nuclear weapons. The stakes of that conflict just went up. The case with Iran would be similar, but with a couple major exceptions: First, Iran has a history of striking with impunity through proxies. If Israel has not struck it yet for its support of Hezbollah, what would make them think that it would after Iran gives Hezbollah nuclear weapons, rather than just hit Lebanon again? Iran actually has a means to get around normal nuclear deterrents, and therefore would have the capability to use the bomb effectively. Second, North Korea has no intent to actually destroy its primary opponent, South Korea. It sees itself as trying to save South Korea from foreign influences. From Ahmadinejad's comment which translated directly as "erase Israel from the page of history" (and idiomatically as "wipe Israel off the map") to Khamenei's comments here: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/20/world/fg-iran20 , Iran's attitude towards its primary opponent is rather less friendly. It has the motive to use the bomb which North Korea, I believe, lacks.

Why would Dagan consider the planned attack stupid? Two sets of reasons. First, operational: For a few reasons, Israeli military logistics just aren't up to long-range power-projection for any significant amount of time, so if the initial strike doesn't do the trick, Israeli forces might just not be up to the task. Second, political: They would have to fly military forces through Jordanian and Iraqi airspace without seeking permission because the strike would have to be a surprise to work. That wouldn't go over too well. Almost worse, doing it without Western support could alienate Israel's primary allies and drive it away from any future assistance.
 

Charles O. (209)
Monday January 30, 2012, 9:53 am
Hello Stephen B. --

Paranoia is self-destructive. The victim of paranoia, for example, may run over a cliff or run into a bus, as he tries to get away from a fictitious "Threat". Worse, he may attack and kill other people, because he infers or hallucinates that these others are threatening him. He will then be imprisoned, or, if he is a country, he will be condemned. Hearing the condemnations, he will infer that he is even more threatened, and he will do even more damage. A downwards spiral develops. Paranoia is not to be trifled with -- just ask women who have been stalked by delusional paranoids.

I've written that the bellicosity of the fascist is suicidal. Now I see that the hyper-vigilance of the paranoia victim is likewise suicidal. The victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to his own demise. If he is not hated initially, his relentless suspicion will turn away friends and attract enemies.

The paranoia victim confuses what COULD be with what IS. He sees that another human being COULD pick up a hammer and hit him on the head, and so he feels justified in taking a hammer himself and hitting the other human being, "pre-emptively".

Ten years of inspection in Iran has turned up no evidence that Iran is building nuclear bombs. But the Zionist is unfazed by this. Because he does not understand the motives behind certain Iranian decisions, he INFERS a nuclear bomb that isn't there.

And then, losing the ability to distinguish between suspicion and reality, he ACTS on his unsubstantiated suspicions: He assassinates Iranian scientists, he strangles Iran's economy, he supports anti-Iranian terrorists, he violates Iranian air space, he infects Iranian computers with a deadly virus.

The paranoia victim is blinded by his self-inflicted fear. He cannot see the ways in which his own actions contribute to the hostility he faces. Fear makes him self-righteous and arrogant. He makes demands on others, but he is not willing to make any demands on himself.

For example, the Zionist is unable or unwilling to see the harm he does to himself when he keeps millions of people under military occupation forever. He fears Hezbollah, but is unable or unwilling to see that Hezbollah arose as a response to his own savage 1982 attack on Lebanon. So the "Threats" he sees and manufactures appear to be "out of the blue": Everybody everywhere hates him, "for no reason at all". He assumes that others are motivated by "Pure Spite" or by a suicidal lust for "72 Virgins", and so he believes that he has no choice but to kill others. He doesn't see that others are merely responding to his own actions: that he can reduce the hostility by improving his own behavior. He treats his own behavior as a given, not to be questioned or examined -- as if his own actions are acts of god.

The Zionist wants inspections for others, but not for himself. He goes even further: He demands that others give up enrichment, a privilege that the NNPT allows them. And what if Iran were to stop enriching? Then the Zionist would make still more demands. In his world, others have no rights, not even the right of self-defense. Other countries exist to serve him. If they refuse to serve, he seeks their obliteration.

You mentioned Ahmadinejad's speech, in which he said that evil regimes eventually become history. Zionists translate this speech as a call for a New Holocaust -- while ignoring the holocaust that Israel-firsters have already created in Iraq. Iran has officially repudiated this "wipe Israel off the map" translation. The Farsi words for "wipe", "map" and "Israel" were nowhere in the speech. But Zionists are not interested in Iran's official position. They need to see Iran as a "Threat", because they need a pretext for their war-making, so they cling to the defective translation: i.e., they cling to something that is no more real than "Iraqi WMDs".

> But, to divide Iraq has, in fact, been an old Israeli dream. In 1982, Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office, wrote: "To dissolve Iraq is even more important for us than dissolving Syria. In the short term, it's Iraqi power that constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. The Iran-Iraq war tore Iraq apart and provoked its downfall. All manner of inter-Arab conflict help us and accelerate our goal of breaking up Iraq into small, diverse pieces."

-- Michael Collon, "Washington Has Found The Solution: 'Let's Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!'"

It looks like Yinon was actually an official in the Israeli Foreign Affairs office. His plan seems to have become Israeli policy: Divide everybody into tiny feuding ethnic and religious pockets. Ironically, it is Israel itself that is now becoming divided.

Collon explains my objection to ethnic "purification":

> [Gelb's] theory about ethnically pure states is really identical to Hitler's: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer" (one people, one empire, one fuhrer). It is also a theory adopted by Zionists who dream of Israel "purified of Arabs." In Yugoslavia, it was the theory held by Western proteges, the Croat Tudjman and the Bosnian Muslim Izetbegovic. It was also a theory held by the right-wing Serbian leader, Karadzic. It is strange to find the U.S. extolling theories that it once pretended to fight against!

-- Michael Collon, "Washington Has Found The Solution: 'Let's Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!'"

How fine do you want to grind it? I suppose the limit is reached when each human being becomes a separate statelet. I prefer an heterogeneous state, voluntarily integrated, where people have opportunities to overcome the artificial divides created by ethnicity and religion. We leave behind the craddle of the ethnic ghetto state and mature into citizens of the world. We discover that the entire world is our "Homeland". That's the discovery that I hope Israelis will make, someday soon.

 

Stephen Brian (24)
Monday January 30, 2012, 8:34 pm
Hi Charles :)

Yup, overestimation of an opponent's willingness to fight over something can lead to escalation just as easily as underestimation. Paranoia is as dangerous as traditional recklessness. Just look at WWI, when Russia went to full deployment because it would need the train for the harvest and Germany interpreted it as a precursor to invasion.

There are, however, two major factors which make the suspicion far more rational:

First, its behaviour exactly mimics that of North Korea as it bought time for its nuclear program. This is not some inexplicable behaviour. It is a recognized pattern used previously by another country in exactly the same position relative to the hegemon trying to stop it, with the same hegemon (the U.S.). The German error before WWI was to assume that Russia was equivalent to Germany, ignoring all differences, and attribute motives to its behaviour which would make sense had it been so. I believe you make the same error regarding Iran: You seem to assume that its behaviour has the same meaning as it would had it been the U.S., ignoring the fact that the U.S. would never use diplomacy as a delaying tactic to buy time for military development because it already has extreme military superiority over any entity that it would fight.

Second, Iran gave specific explanations which make no sense. Tzar Nicolas' telegraph to Wilhelm said his orders for full mobilization were just "defending the honour" of his country in response to minimal German mobilization. While that did not add up in the German analysis, at least there was room for clarification (though Germany did not seek any). The Iranian explanations of nuclear electrical generation and medical isotope-production really don't add up. As I pointed out, a modern reactor more than capable of meeting Iran's needs according to its own predictions is available for a small fraction of the cost of the nuclear program, and the medical isotope-production is actually such a small industry that it is not worth the trouble of domestic production. Originally this was chalked up to Iranian national pride and an aspect of Persian culture which demanded domestic programs and domestic production rather than admit it would be better to seek outside assistance. However, Iranians are far too pragmatic for that to have dominated in the face of sanctions, especially given that the country's economy currently depends upon foreign trade (oil-exports).

As for conflating reality with possibilities, there is another error in that. This seems like hair-splitting, and may seem ludicrous at first, but here it is: Rational people and entities always react to probabilities, not realities. They base their judgments upon calculated expectations of the future, not real events of the past. Those calculations are, of course, based upon the past so indirectly people do respond to past events, but not directly. The classic example of this is the difference between justice, meant to deter future crimes, and vengeance, meant to "get even". It is the difference between identifying an enemy and learning caution, and just harboring grudges. That's right: Iranian nuclear weapons do not exist. Even if they did, it would still be a matter of probabilities and not reality whether they plan on using them. Does it make sense to just wait for mushroom clouds rather than prevent them?

To some degree, those who strike at Israel are responding to Israeli actions. However, there are three problems with the view that it is all just a response. First, there is the timeline, which has been so badly muddied by libel that I won't even go into it. Second, there is the anti-Israeli indoctrination and recruitment-call. Even if its opponents were originally just responding, the second generation is not. Look at the textbooks, the children's TV programs, and the Palestinian classrooms. They talk about how Jews and Israel are fundamentally evil, not about specific policies. They raised a generation that will not stop fighting no matter what Israel does. The recruitment-calls abuse Islam rather than cite history. The current generation of rank-and-file terrorists there believes it is their God-given duty to strike at the infidels and their non-Islamic country, not just to seek reasonable redress for some past act. Personnel = policy. The current corps will not stop fighting until God tells them to do so. Third and most importantly, while many Westerners forget this, Arabs and Iranians are people, not just a force of nature. They have consciences and free will, and can choose non-violence. Most do so. To say that they just respond to the acts of others characterizes them as something non-sentient and dehumanizes Arabs and Iranians in a way that my friends, Omar and Mahdis, would not appreciate.

The Israeli desire to avoid inspections is simple: The demand has been used to claim some equality between Israeli access to nukes and Iranian. I'm not saying the two countries are fundamentally different in their rights: Iran just forfeited its right when Ahmadinejad used the Farsi words for "erase page from history" in his speech.

The greater need to divide Iraq was probably due to Saddam's hatred of some of his own people. This culminated in the use of chemical weapons against Shiites in northern Iraq. I guess they didn't split the country and get out from under his power fast enough.

Yinon was an Israeli Foreign Affairs official, but not at the time when he wrote the "Yinon Plan". At that time he was a journalist. (He had two careers.)

I have something to do right now, but later I will go into the enormous number of reasons why as beautiful as it sounds, the idea of the entire world as a "Homeland" of "citizens of the world" backfires in just about all of the most horrible ways imaginable. That will be a long post.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 12:54 am
The problem is this:

Okay, we all get to live together in peace as one world. Now what are the laws and who decides what they are? Who runs the law-enforcement?

Do you want to live under Saudi or Iranian laws? Maybe you would be fine with it, but then ask the next Western woman you see. The vast majority, if informed of their lack of rights, would say "No, and forget any 'majority vote'. I'm not living like that." Would you demand that the Saudis and Iranians just get along under American laws? Why should you expect their answer to be any different? Are you a fan of the Chinese human rights record? Should they get to handle enforcement?
Here's a good video on the matter. The first few minutes are about this issue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83P11kZuMtQ
The first problem is that cultural differences are greater than the desire for peace. If peace demanded that you allow the laws to be decided by the Lord's Resistance Army, the only entity in history (as far as I know) to specifically use child-soldiers against their own communities to discourage any local militia from returning fire (as it would be upon their own children), the only one to formally and openly maintain a policy of mass-rape upon entering a population-center, would you go for it? Sometimes "peace" is just a pretty word for "surrender".

Don't tell me "most people re good and not like that" (the usual response) because it doesn't matter what most people want. It matters what the ones with the guns do. Democracy is an agreement whereby the dominant force, whether it be the army, some ruling militia, or armed populace, agrees to abide by the will of the masses as expressed through the vote, rather than simply serve its own agenda. It is not the natural order. The military junta is.

The second problem is arguably worse, and a failure to consider this, I believe, is where a lot of opposition to Israel originates. In division of independent polities there lies the danger of war. In unity of them lies the danger of tyranny. Imagine it, the whole world living under one government, no armies, no infighting, none of that. Now imagine that government decides that Americans have victimized everyone else for so long (or are just so unpopular with the people upon whose support that government depends, but who's keeping track) that it's time for a genocide or "retributive" oppression like confiscation of all property and denial of any property-rights, forced marriage of all children to "dilute" (eliminate) the culture, outright old-school slavery, or some other sort.

What was this idea of fleeing the massacres? Nowhere to run.
Maybe someone won't stand for it and save those hundreds of millions of people? No armies.
What about fighting back? Haha. What, about 3% of the population with no organized armed force trying to fight the entire rest of the world with its "law-enforcement"? Good luck. Besides, wasn't the whole point that this wouldn't happen?

You see the problem, if we're all just "citizens of the world" then we have nowhere to turn to when the world decides it doesn't like us. When most of the world faced WWII, Jews faced the Holocaust. Ceding power to unifying forces like the UNSC and the EU made sense for those seeking to avoid further conflict. Division of power and establishment of a new state made sense for those seeking to avoid further tyranny. That's why so many people get angry about how it snubs the U.N. while Israelis wonder why anybody demands that they obey foreign powers.

For an idea of what the end-result of these "citizen of the world" initiatives looks like, check your post: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer" for the whole world. I'm not talking about clearing out all but one ethnic group from a country. I'm talking about "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer" for the whole world. It's straight-up dictatorship on a global scale. Worse than that, it's supposed to be voluntary. What do we call support for a dictatorship that maintains its authority by general agreement because it forces a "consensus" down everybody's throat? One word: "Fascism". Would the consensus happen without it getting forced upon most people? Remember those cultural differences and tell me how many people you think would be willing to live under the same laws, with each other getting a say in those laws. (The French may be okay living under American law, but they don't want Americans to decide what their laws are. In a democracy, guess which group would dominate the ballot-boxes.) If somebody doesn't like it, they can pack their bags and go ... nowhere.

How fine do I want to grind it? How about finely enough that within each group, you don't find multiple armed forces regularly fighting each other. Egypt: Maybe the Coptics should have their own homeland after hte latest round of violence against them. A lot of African states: Split up the tribes. Then a tribe fighting for self-determination, seeking its own freedom, does not translate into denying it from another tribe. How about, when practical, giving every well-defined group with its own communal narrative and unique identity which behaves primarily as a political and cultural bloc its own country if it wants one? I like the modern nation-state system. It would be good to let every group have a refuge, a platform from which to speak to the world, and something with power on the global stage to protect it globally. If the country of which a group is a part does not already do so, then perhaps it should have its own. Of course, that recourse would be totally impossible in the "global citizen" model.

That said, I actually support multicultural communities. The interplay is vital for social development. The interaction is good for people to have and helps to develop a more accepting and peaceful culture where people can learn to differentiate between harmless differences and dangerous attitudes. However, not everybody sees things that way. I would not demand that anybody else put up with such people.

Just another note:
I have seen multiple definitions for the term "Zionist":
1st, as you have used it, there is the Israeli national supremacist.
2md, also as you have used it, there is the Jewish fundamentalist within Israel. (For example, see Kach, a group declared terrorists and outlawed by Israel.)
3rd, there are Israeli patriots. Much like patriots of any other country, there are Israelis who are proud of theirs for all the usual reasons.
4th, there are those who support the state of Israel as the will of some higher power.
5th, there are those who support the state of Israel as a regular nation-state with a right to exist and function freely as any other.
6th, there are those who support Israel's existence.

Many self-proclaimed Zionists outside Israel fall into the 4th category, and inside fall into #3, #1 or #2. The bulk of pro-Israel activism outside of the country itself comes from people in #5 and #6, but not #1-4. Their opponents often paint them as being from groups #1 and #2, but this is in fact a small minority who use the same name for their movement. Imagine if I went around claiming that Osama bin Laden's madness were the definitive form of Islam. You see the problem with terminology.
 

Charles O. (209)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 6:10 am
Hello Stephen B. --

I will address the points you make in your first message here, but be forewarned: We remain vehemently at odds!

>
> the U.S. would never use diplomacy as a delaying tactic to buy time for military development because it already has extreme military superiority over any entity that it would fight.


But the U.S. did just that, in 2002, when it used diplomacy (in the form of the Iraqi WMD charade) to buy time to amass an invasion force on Iraq's border. And it did it in 1999, when it used the phony "Peace Conference" at Rambouillet as a springboard for aggression against Yugoslavia. And it's using false diplomacy again today, both to forestall an Israeli attack on Iran and to delay the attack on Iran till it withdraws more troops from Iraq.

>
> The Iranian explanations of nuclear electrical generation and medical isotope-production really don't add up.


Then that is something the Ziosphere should discuss with Iran. Why not offer them a CANDU reactor? The reactor would be a thousand times cheaper than the holocaust the Ziosphere will create if it proceeds with these insane war plans. But I see no discussion. I see suspicion and presumption. The Ziosphere presumes to know what Iranians are thinking. It presumes to read minds. It has a god-complex -- i.e., it suffers from megalomania.

There are many factors you have not considered: defense of principle, assertiveness, retrenchment.

Iranians signed the NNPT. Under the NNPT, countries have a right to enrich. Zionists insist that Iran should give up this right. If a country gives up one right, then the aggressor will instantly demand that the country should give up another. So, one needs to stand firm, on the principle that rights are inviolate.

Cowards collapse under pressure, but not all countries are cowards. Some countries, like Iran, respond to Zionist pressure by retrenching. A contest of will results. Nobody wants to die, but sometimes one has no choice but to die for one's country. The will of the defender will certainly outlast the will of the aggressor. The more Israel attacks, the more it is despised and reviled. The Israelis themselves will revile the mad regime, and will quickly tire of the pleasures of aggression. Iranians, however, will never tire of defending their country.

Iranians seek respect. They want to be treated as equals. Their nuclear power program is one way to force the issue. The Zionists want Iran to remain subservient -- but what price are the Zionists willing to pay to keep the slaves in line? Iran refuses to be anybody's slave.

>
> Does it make sense to just wait for mushroom clouds rather than prevent them?


By this standard, Israel should obliterate every country on the planet, because every country might someday develop a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel. This is the kind of thinking that led to the creation of the trillion-dollar holocaust in Iraq. To prevent a fictitious "Threat", Israel starts a war and creates millions of determined enemies. The deadly cure is far worse than the imaginary disease.

You used justice as an example. The police do not bomb towns because they think that the towns may harbor people who will commit crimes someday. The police wait for the crime to be committed, before arresting people. They deal with reality, not fantasized possibilities.

>
> They raised a generation that will not stop fighting no matter what Israel does.


That is the kind of enemy Israel creates with its relentless war-making. Zionism is a form of fascism, and fascism IS fundamentally evil. Israel cannot dig itself out of this hole by digging deeper. With each new war, Israel convinces more millions that it is indeed fundamentally evil. It has certainly convinced me.

>
> Arabs and Iranians ... have consciences and free will, and can choose non-violence. Most do so.


Israelis can do the same, but most do not. Fascist ideology turns people into killing machines. People lose their humanity.

>
> Iran just forfeited its right when Ahmadinejad used the Farsi words for "erase page from history" in his speech.


If rights can be forfeited so easily, then Israel surely forfeited its right to equal treatment in 2002, when it ordered the U.S. to attack Iran. 2002 was three years before Ahmadinejad and three years before Iran's nuclear power program became an issue.

Your claim that a country's rights can be forfeited because Israel does not approve of something some politician says illustrates the Zionist attitude towards freedom of speech: Criticism of Israel is punishable by death.
 

Charles O. (209)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 7:10 am
I have to compliment you, Stephen B.. I've been in various forums dueling with Zionists for the last ten years, and this is the first time that someone has earnestly tried to offer me a rational defense of Zionism. I applaud your sincerity, your patience, and your evident goodwill in addressing a topic that could hardly be more acrimonious.

Well, let's proceed:


>
> Now what are the laws and who decides what they are?

The laws are determined locally. The world citizen follows local laws and customs.


>
> Are you a fan of the Chinese human rights record? Should they get to handle enforcement?

In China, yes. Elsewhere, no. All countries should work together to improve respect for human rights.


>
> Sometimes "peace" is just a pretty word for "surrender".

I advocate a peace based on mutual respect and interaction as equals.


>
> It matters what the ones with the guns do. ... Democracy ... is not the natural order. The military junta is.

In tribal Old Testament times, perhaps. Not today. The U.S. has military supremacy, yet it has failed to conquer Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam. In Latin America, the fascist regimes installed with CIA help have fallen. One needs more than guns to govern.


>
> You see the problem, if we're all just "citizens of the world" then we have nowhere to turn to when the world decides it doesn't like us.

But creating separate ethnic-based states does not solve that problem! E.g., Poles had their own state, but that did not save them in WW II. The state merely provides a false sense of security. And you cannot have a state for every human attribute.

E.g.: You create a blue-eyed state to protect blue-eyed people and then you find out that the real threat is to tall people! So you create a separate state for tall people -- but in that state, you find that blue-eyed people are scapegoated.

The best solution is integration and assimilation. It's not perfect, but assimilation is better than forced segregation. The latter creates enmity and thus makes it more likely that the minority will be targeted.


>
> In a democracy, guess which group would dominate the ballot-boxes.

I support proportional representation, with the rights of the individual listed and protected. Individual freedom takes precedence over democracy.


>
> It would be good to let every group have a refuge, a platform from which to speak to the world

But again, one cannot define the groups in advance. We see a similar problem in forum organization techniques. Some people try to organize their forums by topic -- but then they find that there are many posts (comments, articles) that pertain to multiple topics. The best solution is to dump all of the posts together and attach multiple topic tags to each post. Similarly, I would dump people together and let groups form and dissolve naturally.


>
> Imagine if I went around claiming that Osama bin Laden's madness were the definitive send green star | flag as inappropriate
form of Islam.

Ah, but that is just what half of America believes!

Seriously, however, I agree that Zionists are diverse. The same can be said of any political group, communists, for example. Some are monks sharing bread, and others are Stalinists sharing bullets. The colloquial meaning of the term is taken from the dominant faction. E.g., "communism" means Stalinism, unless we specify otherwise. So "Zionism" means Ben Gurion, Begin, Shamir, Meir, Sharon, and Netanyahu. Peres is irrelevant because he accedes to the Likudniks, and Rabin is an anomaly.


Hope that helps!
 

OutofTown M. (444)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 11:29 am
Thank you Pink!!
 

Maria P. (151)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 12:11 pm
as I said it before he needs to go!!!!!!! we need someone that can at least try to make change that can help us
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 10:54 pm
Hi Charles :)

The U.S. didn't use diplomacy to delay escalation of conflict. It used diplomacy to legitimize that escalation and accelerate it.

CANDU and other companies that produce natural uranium-reactors are private companies. Until the sanctions hit, any Iranian official could, at any time, have picked up a phone and ordered one. The Iranian government would have gotten all the cooperation of a corporation looking to secure a billion-dollar contract. They ca get greedy, and in this case that's a good thing.

Here's the problem: Rights are not always inviolate. They can be forfeited. For example, if I commit a crime that would get me sent to jail, I would forfeit my right to freedom of travel. If I commit a capital crime, I would forfeit my right to personal security. The same is true of contracts, and that is what the NNPT is. It is signed under the presumption of good faith among signatories. Once there is reason why such a right would be forfeited is behaviour leading to suspicion of poor faith in the contract which assures it. I know this looks like a Catch-22, and to some degree it is one. However, with the statements by the Ayatollah that Iran intends to maintain conflict with Israel, active support of another party (Hezbollah) specifically for the sake of violence against Israel, and statements by the head of government that he wants to see Israel's page erased from the book of history (more literal translation of his speech).

No, the police do not deal strictly with past events. Their job is to prevent future crimes. For example, if a man committed murder and the past was all that mattered, then the police would definitely arrest him no matter what ... even if he is dead and no longer poses any threat. If they have reason to suspect a future crime, then they move into position to prevent it. This is normally done by separating people known to have engaged in criminal behaviour from the general population.

I have checked every time I saw news of an Israeli strike. Nearly every single time it was explicitly in response to an attack or pattern of attacks upon it. There have been serious exceptions (which I seriously oppose), but not as many as it may seem. However, as long as Israel and Lebanon are in a formal state of war despite overtures for peace, I wouldn't say that attacks across the border forfeit rights. I could go into the nature of quite a few of the other attacks and what sadly inevitable situation drives them if you want. Also, Israel does not give orders to the U.S. Americans who side with Israel give orders to their government. Whether or not you like them, that is how democracy works.

I don't actually defend the guys whom you described. They are a real problem, just not nearly as big as they, with their claim to be the definitive Zionists, would have you believe.

I'll go into the details regarding the "world citizen" problem later.
 

Charles O. (209)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 1:42 am
Hello Stephen --

This is an interesting dialogue. I'm wondering whether you would like to showcase it, by copying it to a thread in my group, "Citizen News Base".

The format of this dialogue, however, is far from ideal. Each message replies to five or ten points. If I were to repost it in CNB, I might split these messages up and use a tree format to show the points and their replies together.


>
> CANDU

One reason for not choosing CANDU is the sanctions. Because Canada, like the U.S., serves Israel, there is a good chance that Canada would block delivery or maintenance of the reactor. It was hard even to get the Russians to honor their contract at Bushehr; it might be impossible to get Canada to deliver. The CANDU reactor would be under Israeli control.


>
> Rights ... forfeited ... bad faith

Whether Iran is guilty of bad faith is debatable. Iran is supporting people who have been under occupation and bombardment for 44 years. To me, that seems like good faith! If these people were Jews, you might agree.

What is the relevance to the NNPT of Iran's statements about the Israeli regime. Does the NNPT forbid signatories to criticize other regimes or criticize the Israeli regime? Does it forbid signatories to support resistance groups? What about major arms suppliers like the U.S.? If Iran has demonstrated bad faith, then what of the U.S., the country that sponsors the fascist war-making regime in Israel?


>
> Police ... prevent future crimes

The most they would do in a free society is offer protection to the party being threatened. Arresting or gunning down innocent people because the police suspect these people may commit a crime someday is not something that can happen in a free society.

In the current political situation, Iran is the country being threatened. A proactive police force would arrest Israel and the U.S. -- the two countries that are preparing to bomb and invade Iran.


>
> Israeli strike ... explicitly in response

Most aggressors seek to cloak their aggression behind a fig-leaf. For example, the aggressor will stage a terrorist attack, blame it on the targeted country, and use that attack as a pretext for aggression. That is what happened in 1982, prior to Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The aggressor can be easily identified, because his "retaliation"

* will be vastly disproportionate to the supposed offense
* will have been planned out long before the supposed offense
* will be the first resort, rather than a last resort


>
> Israel doesn't give orders to America

You're right that the responsibility lies ultimately with U.S. politicians who put Israeli interests above all else. You're right to say that it is their choice: They choose to carry out Israel's orders. But their choosing does not make the orders any less real.

The situation is analogous to that in a corporation. It is true that the CEO give orders to his executives, and it is also true that the executives are responsible and can choose to disobey orders.
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 10:39 am

Campaign 2012 Update:

"Gallup Shock Poll Sends Obama Supporters Scrambling For Antidepressants" - Obama Is Toast!!! @ DailyMail UK
 

Charles O. (209)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 1:11 pm
PinkMindy E. writes:

> Campaign 2012 Update:

> a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2095543/Shock-poll-sends-Obama-supporters-scrambling-antidepressants.html">"Gallup Shock Poll Sends Obama Supporters Scrambling For Antidepressants" - Obama Is Toast!!! @ DailyMail UK

The "elections" in the U.S. are meaningless. No matter who we vote for, we get the same thing: More war, more tyranny, more corruption, more subservience to Israel.

I voted for change in 2008. Obama symbolized Change, so he got my vote. And I got Bush III.

Is Bush III better than Romney? I don't know. I don't see much difference between the two.

If Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel or Bernie Sanders were running, I'd definitely vote for Obama's opponent.

Today, Obama symbolizes nothing. I want to vote for Change, once again, but Change won't be on the ballot.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Friday February 3, 2012, 1:04 am
Hi Charles :)

I would be happy to have it showcased.

As it stands now, it would be very difficult for Iran to get a CANDU reactor, or another natural-uranium reactor from any source. However, there was a window of several years before the first sanctions came in during which it could have gotten them very easily.

No matter whom the people it was supporting were, I would not agree that it was behaving in good faith. The use of proxies to circumvent traditional deterrence is a serious issue to consider for the NNPT. Adding in explicit statements by its primary leader that the country expects escalation does not bode well for any expectation that it would not seek to use the technology for weapons. Israel, first, is not fascist. It is about as far from fascist as is theoretically possible. It does not even pretend to reach a consensus, even in its selection of government (as it is always run by coalition). Second, while Israel has acted aggressively against Lebanon, it never attempted to use means which could circumvent deterrence. On top of that, its wars have always been right on its borders, close enough to its own major cities that a shift in wind would put them in the fallout-zone of those wars. Besides, we know outright that Israel does not use its nukes coercively or aggressively. It is believed to have had them for decades, since France provided them, and has not used the things.

Police do engage in preventative surveillance in free societies. Look at the handling of the Toronto 18 (though that was the Intelligence-services, but the same point holds). They also arrest people both to maintain deterrence against similar criminal acts and to remove people with criminal histories from the general population.

Here's a problem with your criteria for identification of false-flag excuses for war: They exactly match the prescribed response for maintaining deterrence. The retaliation must be immediate (to be linked to the initial attack), effective (which demands pre-planning in case of attack), and disproportionate (to act as an effective deterrent).

A better analogy to a corporation is somewhat different. Rather than it being a CEO whose subordinates can refuse to obey, it is more like a CEO who can refuse to obey a petition from some small group of consumers. Unlike a corporation's policies and the structure by which it exists, where lower management carries out the orders of superiors, the U.S. has no formal policy of obeying Israel. It may have an interest in serving Israel's desires, but unlike a CEO and subordinates, Israeli politicians cannot fire American ones for disobedience.

I know what you mean by having the dominant faction define the use of the group's name. Here's the problem: The first two groups I listed are nowhere even close to dominant. They are certainly vocal and get their statements echoed in media, but in sheer numbers, organisation, and resources, they are actually tiny as far as self-identified Zionists as a whole go. The last time the second group got organised, under Kahane, Israel forbade the party from running in elections and outlawed the armed branch. It collapsed very quickly. The time before that was with Irgun and Lehi in 1948. Haganah outright destroyed Lehi and relieved Irgun policy-level commanders of their command, integrating them inside its own strategic command. With Israel as a country coming down on them whenever they pop up, they don't get anywhere. Also, half of American does not believe bin Laden to be the definitive Muslim. Again, what you're seeing is effective demonization of a political faction by its opponents. Those guys are vocal, like any political fringe must be, but they are also vastly over-reported. I tend to discuss global affairs with a guy seen by many as an American arch-conservative. While he actually does believe that the crazies are definitive of Islam, he also believes that the vast majority of Muslims in the Western world are bad at being Muslims, and good at being ethical and moral people. For a description of the guy, Google "slightly to the right of Genghis Khan. Mercy is an interesting concept -- a concept foreign to him". When even this guy will tell you that most Western Muslims (at least in the U.S.) are fine, American conservatives clearly aren't nearly as bad as advertised.

Regarding the "global citizen" issue:

The only means ever established by which a governing body can reliably maintain long-term control is by earning the loyalty of its subjects (or citizens). In general, this is a good thing. It means that tyrannies eventually fall to rebellion once people's fear turns to desperation. However, for the "global citizen" idea, it is a major impediment. If people place their loyalty to the world and humanity as a whole above their own country, while that would certainly reduce the likelihood of war, the ultimate legitimacy of law-giving would lie in humanity as a whole, not the local government. Any law locally passed, if disapproved on a global scale, would be disobeyed because global opinion would count more to those ruled by it, and those enforcing it, than the intent of the local government. Any law could be appealed to a global court, whether a formal legal system, or that of public opinion. Trying to keep power in local hands at that point just means leaving it to chance what kind of structure develops for that. Just as municipal governments ultimately claim their legitimacy from the national government (in well-functioning well-unified countries), national governments would then be forced to derive their legitimacy from a global body. They could try to maintain their independent authority by maintaining local control of armed forces, but without the ultimate loyalty of the governed, the days of states would be numbered.

This does look like power flowing from the voices of the people rather than the barrels of guns, but it is not quite that. The issue is that if forcibly governed by any entity which does not hold people's loyalty, or which contradicts another entity which holds greater loyalty, the governed will eventually seek arms. At some point, they will succeed. On top of that, the current armed forces are included among those governed. Some governments have tried to get around the problem by separating out the armed forces from the general population and earning only their loyalty. This works in the short-term. However, there is always a rebellion eventually. Usually the rebellion just replaces one such "military" ruler with another, and this governance by a series of tyrannical regimes is actually a stable system. It's just, I suspect, very much not the intent of the "global citizen" proposal. It's true that no world-government would necessarily occur, but this is the other possibility. I discounted it earlier because I assumed that this was not the idyllic world you imagined.

I advocate peace where people interact and respect each other as equals too. However, due to different cultural values and the resulting differences in behaviour, I just don't see this working smoothly on a global scale. That is, unless all cultural differences disappear.

I know about the problem you noted with the division of peoples. That's why I suggested splitting specifically by national identity rather than any other attribute. ("Nations" are traditionally defined as groups with a unique communal narrative and identity which act as a political bloc with those outside themselves.) As they act as a bloc with their nations, the tall blue-eyed people would act and identify either as blue-eyed or tall, not both. Identities and such politics are mutually exclusive. As for how they get treated, that is the point of giving their nations both leverage, with the power of a state, and a voice on the global stage. If, for example, Americans mistreated Canadians in the U.S., then Canada could first respond in kind, by mistreating Americans in Canada. As U.S. citizens like to visit and do business in Canada, this deterrent is generally sufficient. After that come trade-restrictions (which would substantially harm the U.S. as, for example, New York depends on electricity from Quebec in the winter) and then Canada could bring the matter to the attention of others who have leverage over the U.S. This is why the lack of a Palestinian state is so troublesome for Palestinians not in the region: There is no reciprocity by which people who identify with them could protect their rights in places where they are mistreated. (I want to see a Palestinian state, but not as it would turn out if created tomorrow.)

Proportional representation creates roughly as many problems as it fixes. Besides, on a global scale that would mean rulership by China, India, and Asian countries which depend upon them (like Indonesia, Bangladesh, and a few others). Right in those four there are about 3 billion people. I'm sure that with the small countries in south-east Asia dependent upon them, they could form a coalition of over 50%. Even on a local level there are problems: Look at Israel, with Shas traditionally playing king-maker and demanding preferential for religious Jews over secular Jews (the majority) and everyone else.
 

Jim Steve (45)
Friday February 3, 2012, 8:21 am
Interesting conversation. Very detailed Stephen and Charles. But the bottom line here is that Iran does not have enough material to make a single nuclear weapon. Even if all their 3.5% reactor grade U-235 was enriched to the 80%-95%. Their centrifuges are breaking down. The only way Iran would have a nuclear weapon is if they have bought one. Or two.

If Iran was preparing for war, why is it that they spend a smaller % of their GDP (2.7%) on their military than the USA or Israel does? Note: the USA is above 5%, Israel is above 7% and North Korea is well into the double digits. Iran hardly seems like a country that has designs on Israel or the USA.

Other facts: US client state of Saudi Arabia spends about three times as much as Iran does on it's military. Iran is surrounded by dozens of US military bases. Israel has an estimated 300 nuclear weapons and is not a signer to any treaty restricting nuclear, biological or chemical warfare materials. 100% of Iran and every Islamic country in the world is within range of Israeli nuclear weapons. Is Israel has been identified as one of the few remaining countries that likely has a offensive biological weapons program. Chemical WMD also. The Israeli Dolphin class submarines carry nuclear weapons.

Conclusions and considerations:
1. Iran's military is not geared to any type of offensive action.
2. Iran's belligerence is based on a potential retaliation against aggressive actions by hostile nations. Including sanctions
3. The Iranian regime stays in power based on a external threat: the USA and Israel
4. The Iranian government retains a terrorist capability as this would be one of the few ways Iran could retaliate from aggressive actions from the USA and Israel.
5. Iran does not have the technological base to produce enough nuclear material for bombs. Their centrifuges for example come from Pakistan, are used and Iran cannot maintain them.
6. The only way Iran could have nuclear weapons would be if they purchased them In this case, an attack on Iran may provoke the use it or lose it scenario.
7. Iran is China's second largest supplier of Oil. Disruptions could destabilize the Chinese economy and lead to civil unrest.
8. Chinese military leaders have stated that a US attack on Iran would provoke a severe response from China.
9. Russia has also stated that a US attack on Iran would be viewed as a hostile act against Russia.
10. The real reasons behind this could be to keep defense stocks from declining in price.



 

Past Member (0)
Friday February 3, 2012, 3:00 pm
BUSH HAD THE BAIL OUT CHECKS READY BEFORE HE LEFT.

Obama didn't spend it all as he should have. We're making money on the bail out loans but the right won't let us tax the rich to rebuild the country and actually "create" jobs with a reward.

The right wing is nothing short of a horror story for the greedy.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday February 3, 2012, 3:30 pm
Thom's blog
How ALEC is turning our Democracy into a Corporatocracy...


Our democracy is screwed. It's been long speculated that Republican state lawmakers are taking their orders from the shadowy right-wing think tank funded by the Koch Brothers and known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - and now there's proof. It was discovered in Florida - when Republican State Representative Rachel Burgin introduced legislation in the state House back in November that - oops - still included ALEC's mission statement at the top of the bill, reading: "Whereas it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council to advance Jeffersonian principles..."

ALEC gathers lawmakers and corporate interests together to draft model legislation, which is then sent back to state legislatures to be passed. But usually, the lawmakers remember to strip out the ALEC branding from it. Everything from stricter drug laws that help the private prison industry - to anti-EPA laws that help the big oil industry - to voter ID laws that help the Republican Party are produced by ALEC. It's become increasingly clear what's going on: we elect representatives - and they represent corporations.

That's how ALEC is turning our Democracy into a Corporatocracy.

-Thom
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Friday February 3, 2012, 8:31 pm
Hi Jim :)

Welcome to the party!

The problem is that Iran's aggression is not run through its formal armed forces. It uses Hezbollah as a proxy-force (and reportedly used to recruit, train, and arm some insuregents in Iraq), getting around traditional deterrence. I don't think all that many people are worried about Iran launching a nuclear missile from its soil so much as they are worried about having its forces launch them from Lebanon (claiming it was Hezbollah) or outright donation to Hezbollah. It could still even have plausible deniability after such a strike because while there are certainly pro-terrorist factions within Iran, it could claim the act was done without consent from the government. While this might not hold water under close inspection, deterrence would demand an immediate response rather than long-after-the-fact retaliation, and due to current global politics the claim might actually hold up for that ~ 1 day window. Also, Iran's belligerence, through Hezbollah and providing arms to Iraq insurgents, pre-dates any mention of sanctions.

Iran's 20%-stockpile demonstrates that it has the capability to go to weapons-grade. It is much harder to go from 3.5% to 20% than from 20% to ~90%. Also, I can guarantee that Iran's technical expertise is more than sufficient to maintain centrifuges. My friend Mahdis, who I understand intends to go back home after completing her doctorate in Physics at the University of Michigan, is every bit as good as any American.

Canada is currently trying to supplant Iran as far as China is concerned, providing it with oil from the Alberta tar sands. Also, China lacks the ability to project power far beyond its borders. On a global scale, Israel is developing its oil-production with popular support cutting all the red tape and opposition faced elsewhere in the West, and it is believed to have reserves almost matching those of Saudi Arabia. The oil-supply is secure.

Regarding military spending:
Have you taken into account the fact that Iran maintains two separate armed forces? (Iranian national military and Revolutionary Guard) Also, there are two other major factors to consider: The cost of military technology and soldiers' standards of living. Israel is a first-world country that maintains a conscript-army. Soldiers demand a standard of living at least comparable to what they have back home. In a first-world country, that means it costs a whole lot more to maintain soldiers. Then there is the purchasing-power: Again, in a first-world country, the cost of living is higher. Both wages and working-conditions raise costs drastically. Then there is the technology: Israel and the U.S. depend heavily on massive force-multipliers, like very high technology (Israel even more so than the U.S.). While it reduces the number of soldiers needed to maintain equivalent force, it costs a lot more to maintain. Iran does not have that kind of technology in its military.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Friday February 3, 2012, 8:34 pm
Just a quick detail for everyone:

I actually do want to see an Iranian nuclear program. However, I would much prefer to see one built around modern technology (non-enriched uranium) or thorium-technology (no known way to make a thorium-bomb). In fact, I think for the purposes given by Iran, and for other good reasons (economic diversification, development of an education-based economy, general economic growth) thorium would actually serve the country better. This is because nobody has a serious thorium industry, as far as I know, which would give Iranians the chance to pioneer the field.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 4, 2012, 9:29 am
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
 

PinkMindy Ellinwood (567)
Wednesday February 8, 2012, 9:24 am

Case in Point Update via News Video:

"Obama Freezes Iran's U.S. Assets Staging WW3" - News Video @ Care2 News Network
 
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