Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

So long Israel, and hello Vienna! – Saved in Drafts

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

**It certainly wouldbe nice if Fenris revisited this piece and finished it. The Mayor doesn’t like posts that end with the word “and”. It leaves too much up in the air. This post is from 2.14.2010. Woulda coulda shoulda won some sort of award, and…

I have been bothered at my leisure with demands for production about the soon to be non-existance of Israel.  Yeah, sure, it is a tasty subject for satire.  It is grim and there will be quite a few war movies, great war movies of the future, to be written, scripted, story-boarded, filmed, edited, and shown.  So I will write quick, as there are only a few more paragraphs to go before I am done with you.

Today is the first Saturday after the Persians went public with the Bomb. They have the Bomb.  They have stated quite clearly the conditions under which they will use their Bomb.  This is quite Queensberry rules, and every dead Statesman you talk to on the Ouija board will tell you that what they say is true enough to take heed of, and if you heed their boundary conditions, the Bomb will not go boom.  So what?  So what does this have to do with Israel?  Those Persian atomic bombs can only hit Los Angeles, maybe San Francisco, certainly Honolulu.  Utah is safe.  So who cares?

Sure, Israel has the Bomb. They have the Bomb too.  Big Deal.  This problem is not a big problem as far as Military problems go.  Israel does not fear the Bomb.  They are more likely to fire their broadside first, and it just might happen in this wonderful decade of 2010.  But before we get to how earthquakes and atomic bombs are like each other in effect, I want to talk about the ruthless self-interest of nation states.

This is a bad thing for Israel, but not in the way you would expect. History suggests that powers that pay tribute, pay tribute for appeasement, effect, or subterfuge.

Appeasement. The defeated in war end up paying tribute.  A certain amount of the trillions invested in Israel every year has a proportion, a percentage that is simple weregild, blood money for a ’sorry we shot your Grandpa’ that comes with a rather nice greeting card.

Appeasement, but. But the great power that was enforcing this payment is under a leader of Hope and Change. He has been bowing to these other, lesser, tribute paying powers. Today, Saturday, the Final Decision Makers are listening to Opera at their weekend retreats, sipping the best, and deciding. Maybe the Israel money does not have to be paid. Not now. The Americans are choosing retreat as their policy. So weregild for Israel can stop.

Effect. Sure, your tribute money buys you some peace and contentment over close there to where the oil fields are. But lately, last few years, those shipping lines, pipelines, refineries are

“Israel Has Only Days Left To Strike Iran”

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

THE BUSHEHR nuclear plant in southern Iran will so

Or so says John Bolton, former UN ambassador to the UN:

Israel has only eight days to attack an Iranian nuclear power plant before it goes operational and provides the country a “second route” to nuclear weaponization, warned former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, AFP News Agency reported Tuesday.

Russia plans to deliver shipments of fuel to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant next week – the final step needed to put the plant online. Once this transaction takes place, says Bolton, Israel will have lost its window of opportunity or at least for now.

“Once that uranium, once those fuel rods are very close to the reactor, certainly once they’re in the reactor, attacking it means a release of radiation, no question about it,” Bolton told Fox Business Network Monday.

“So if Israel is going to do anything against Bushehr it has to move in the next eight days.”

When asked whether he believed Israel would actually attack the nuclear reactors during this eight-day window, Bolton said he doubted it. “I don’t think so, I’m afraid that they’ve lost this opportunity,” he said. If they were to attack the nuclear reactor once the fuel rods are in place, said Bolton, Israel risks the likelihood of releasing radiation into the atmosphere and, given Beshehr’s coastal locale, into the Persian Gulf.

I know I’m a little late to the party here, but has anyone though of sending Iran a series of strongly worded letters? Or how about open diplomacy? Have we tried that option yet? Call it a hunch, but I believe if the strongly worded letters don’t work, the honest and open diplomacy surely will. After all, the Iranian leadership are just like us, all they want is peace.

WAR! Well, not quite…

Friday, December 18th, 2009

no_one_notices_the_ziggurats

Headline on the news feed, Friday:

Iraq minister denies Iranian oilfield incursion

Roughly an hour later:

Iranian forces take over Iraq oil well

It makes me wonder if a lot of these false starts by the news media are our fault for our insatiable appetite for wanting the breaking news development now now now.

There is not a chance of war between Iran and Iraq over this incident. Apparently Iranian forces have wandered into Iraqi territory and claimed a disputed oilfield as their own. Luckily, many of these experienced soldiers in the thick of things in Iraq have cooler heads, like Colonel Peter Newell:

“What happens is, periodically, about every three or four months, the oil ministry guys from Iraq will go … to fix something or do some maintenance. They’ll paint it in Iraqi colours and throw an Iraqi flag up.

“They’ll hang out there for a while, until they get tired, and as soon as they go away, the Iranians come down the hill and paint it Iranian colours and raise an Iranian flag. It happened about three months ago and it will probably happen again.”

It doesn’t look as if Tehran has any interest in a war with Iraq right now, especially since they now have their best friend in the world, the United States, backing them up and looking for any sort of excuse. There might be a prospect for Iran extending its grasp a bit, but a more democratic and economically advanced Iraq would be in a better position to toss them out, not to mention the legitimacy of a democratic state versus a theocracy would have more sympathy from the international players.

This might also be the reason that many of these fields are not developed yet. Why bother building a giant oil processing plant if the Iranians will just march in and take it? With reserves of 1.55 million barrels, it is rather small potatoes compared to larger oilfields once in dispute. Kuwait, say.

When even the Drudge Report has a red headline screaming about invasions, be careful. If diplomacy and peace settlements are to be meant for the long-term and substantial, we can’t allow ourselves to panic upon the Pop-Tart instant news that will blow things out of proportion. Iraq’s future will be decided on its own long-term strategy, which will not attract the attention of any reporters looking to get to the story first, no matter how inflated or erroneous.

What’s A Fourth Of July Party Without Iranians?

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

iran-clerics

After sending out invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend Fourth of July celebrations, the Obama administration decided late yesterday to take back that offer:

“As you all know many weeks ago the administration extended an invitation to celebrate the freedom that this country enjoys. not surprisingly based on what we see in Tehran, no one has RSVP’d,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

“Understand that July 4th allows us to celebrate the freedom and liberty that we enjoy. I don’t think it’s surprising that no one has signed up to come given the events of the last few days. Those invitations will be no longer extended.

So,  about three weeks ago the Obama administration sent Iranian diplomats invitations to celebrate the Fourth of July. The Iranian election was nearly two weeks ago. Since then, the Iranian government has ordered a crackdown on protesters, and many people have been brutalized as well as killed. As early as this Monday, State Department spokesman Ian Kelley said the invite would stand. Yet, not one Iranian diplomat has accepted the administrations offer. And now the Obama administration is rescinding the offer to attend the Fourth of July ceremonies that the Iranians have absolutely no intention of attending.

That’s some mighty fine Presidenting there, Obama. I guess it’s not only the Iranians that have hardliners in their government. “Hey Achmad, you really aught to stop beating, torturing, shooting and killing your citizens. And you really should try some of this arugula on your hotdog, it’s to die for.”