What follows is another of my long reads and delineates more of the trend of whining Muslims as they continue to attempt even more erosion of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. At present, the information in this posting may not be directly affecting you. In my view, however, the curbing of speech and press WILL directly touch you.
GERTZ - Iran identifies Serbian nuclear site as 'opportunity'
Iran is seeking to obtain fissile material for its nuclear weapons program from a Serbian nuclear facility, according to an intelligence report disclosed in Italy.
Two Iranian nuclear scientists are part of a clandestine program to gain the material outside United Nations controls, according to the Milan Panorama newsmagazine on Nov. 22.
Stainless steel channel holders used to store and transport spent fuel immersed in the water of the fuel pool at the Institute of Nuclear Science at Vinca, Serbia.
The program disclosed a “secret plan” ordered by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, in August 2006 targeting the Institute of Nuclear Science at Vinca, Serbia, as an "opportunity" for proliferation. The facility is said to contain 40 kilograms of uranium that is enriched to various levels and is lightly guarded by Serbian guards.
A second classified report cited by the program was written by a group of Iranian scientists and it outlines the route Iran can use to smuggle uranium from Vinca back to Iran.
"It is necessary to set in place a fleet of heavy trucks that have oilskin tarpaulins aboard for absorbing radiation," the report stated. The truck route includes transit through Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, or Armenia.
The report also stated that some border posts on the route are difficult but that guards can be bribed.
In Iran, "a system of controls will be established so as to facilitate the secret transit of the trucks," the report stated, noting that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would be in charge of the operations.
Funding for the operation would be set up by a special budget from government of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad, the news weekly stated.
We hear it over and over again to ad nauseam that Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance and it’s the evil western media that demonizes such a pure and innocent religion. That the media misunderstands what is said because we don’t understand the language or the words are taken out of context and they are really preaching love and peace.
Then MEMRI comes along and the Arab media is faced with the actual truth of their rhetoric perfectly translated. Their response? We better watch what we say.
Many have charged that American Policy has been warped by jews in favor of Israel, but in reality the institutions of the 'permanent government' have worked against the jewish people since well before the inception of Israel. I have come to the judgment that the NIE of 2007 represents in fact, the victory this year of the Arabists who have worked in the CIA and State dept since WW2 (one locus of the charges that Israel is running American policy via the puppet masters - American jews), and represents part of an attempt to completely isolate Israel, and align the Sunni (oil laden) Arab states with the USA against Iran, OR a solution of Iraq by granting Iran a respite, both not just in jeopardy to the security of the Israel, an ally of the USA at the level of Great Britain, but an existential threat to half of the jewish people on the planet.
This 'permanent government' arrogates to itself day to day policy as their personal ideology fits, whether or not this admits to the will of the people who elect the only national officer we have every four years.
"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Teheran halted its nuclear weapons program."
Sept. 15, 2004- The U.S. government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have questions about a military site in Iran with suspected ties to the country's nuclear program, ABC News has learned.
Iran's Parchin complex — covering approximately 15 square miles and located about 19 miles southeast of Tehran — is known as a center for the production of conventional ammunition and explosives. A State Department official has confirmed the United States suspects nuclear activity at some of its facilities. The suspicions focus on possible testing of high explosives.
"Parchin is the center of Iran's munitions industry and home to Iran's oldest ammunitions factory, founded before World War II," said John Pike, directory of GlobalSecurity.org, an organization that seeks to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons. Images of Parchin, obtained exclusively by ABC News, show a building within the facility's high-explosive test area that could permit the testing of especially large explosions, including those relevant to the development of a nuclear weapon.
Davis added that environmental sampling done by IAEA inspectors could detect the presence of byproducts used in the testing of high explosives for a nuclear weapon.
"A surrogate material, such as depleted uranium, for example, could be used in such testing and would be detectable via sampling," he said.
The IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear arm, has been meeting this week at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to discuss Iran's nuclear program. The United States has proposed a strongly worded resolution that would call on Iran to provide full disclosure of its nuclear activities to the IAEA, or face action by the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.
At today's meeting of IAEA's governing board, both the United States and the European Union sought a commitment from Iran to stop enrichment. But Hossein Mousavian, Iran's chief envoy to the meeting, suggested his country would not yield to threats of Security Council action.
The Iranian government did not respond to ABC News' questions about Parchin.
IAEA and Parchin VIENNA (AFP) Sep 17, 2004 UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Friday there was no sign of nuclear activity at the Parchin military site in Iran which US officials say should be investigated.
"We do not have any indication that this site has any nuclear-related activities," ElBaradei said.
"We are aware of this new site," he added however at a press conference at an IAEA board of governors meeting.
Iran denied Thursday that it had carried out any nuclear-related work at Parchin, a huge military complex 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of Tehran.
A senior US official has told AFP the United States was concerned about high-explosives testing in Parchin that may "amount to (nuclear) weapons intent".
Iranian official Hossein Mousavian said in Vienna that the IAEA had not asked to visit Parchin as part of its investigation of Iran's nuclear program.
He said that "if this is requested by the IAEA, we are fully ready to cooperate."
Mousavian said the IAEA had asked Iran "four weeks ago about reports from open sources of explosive testing but they did not mention Parchin."
Diplomats have told AFP, however, that the IAEA had asked to visit Parchin and that the Iranians have not agreed to the visit.
Iranian Official Hints No Inspections At Suspect Nuclear Site Anytime Soon
Digital Globe file photo of Iran's Parchin military site.
Vienna (AFP) Jun 15, 2005 A senior Iranian negotiator hinted Wednesday that UN nuclear inspectors would not be visiting the Parchin military site in Iran, where the United States says weapons work is going on, anytime soon.
Cyrus Nasseri told AFP that any such inspections of the Parchin and Lavizan military sites would be "transparency" visits, beyond the inspections that are required by the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran is ready "with an open mind to come to an agreement on modalities" for these visits but "first things come first" and "other issues have to be made clear," Nasseri said, referring to safeguards matters such as questions about centrifuges and uranium contamination on imported equipment.
Visits to sites like Parchin are beyond nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards requirements, which are limited to inspecting sites where there is sure to be nuclear material.
U.N. Says Iran Blocked Investigation of Nuclear Program
IENNA, March 1 - The United Nations nuclear watchdog listed today several instances where Iran has blocked investigation of its nuclear development program or failed to provide information sought by the agency.
In yet another area, Iran has also refused to allow I.A.E.A. inspectors to return to Parchin, a military base where the United States believes nuclear research may be taking place. The Iranians allowed a limited visit to Parchin by the I.A.E.A. early this year, and inspectors took environmental samples that are still being analyzed, but the inspectors were limited to one of four areas that the agency had identified as of potential interest.
Officials said that Iran did not have any legal obligation to submit to inspections at Parchin, but the I.A.E.A., with American encouragement, urged the Iranians to allow such visits as a confidence-building measure.
But in a note to the I.A.E.A. dated Feb. 27, the agency statement disclosed, Iran said, "The expectation of the Safeguards Department in visiting specified zones and points in Parchin Complex are fulfilled and thus there is no justification for any additional visit."
Tests from the one area visited showed nothing positive.
I can find no record that Parchin was ever revisited, nor that the sites the UN wanted to visit were EVER analyzed for results consistent with implosion lenses for plutonium weapons, or applicable techniques related to U235 technology
Why not? I could buy that like Qaddafi in 2003, some mullahs had second thoughts, and ONE PROGRAM was halted, but the idea that they were going to give up development of that which they have said many times could both safeguard the Islamic revolution, and achieve the dream of every leader since the inception of the revolution 1979 (obliterating a major ally and 'battalion' of the USA --- Israel) is a delusional, but attractive fantasy for those RISK AVERSE men who cannot face the long war, and it's compulsory obligations
NBC Refuses to Air Ads Thanking Troops Over Holidays
WASHINGTON (FOX News) — NBC has nixed holiday advertisements meant to thank troops for serving overseas in opposition to the inclusion of a non-profit's Web address.
The ads, paid for by the non-profit Freedom's Watch, are a simple thank you, the group says, with people shown paying gratitude to members of the military and the final frame showing the group's Web address, www.freedomswatch.org.
Just 18% Believe Iran has Stopped Nuclear Weapons Development Program
(Rasmussen Reports) Just 18% of American voters believe that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% disagree and say Iran has not stopped its nuclear weapons program. Twenty-one percent (21%) of men believe Iran has stopped the weapons development along with 16% of women (see crosstabs).
The survey was conducted following release of a government report saying that Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in 2003.
JERUSALEM — Israel has questioned the latest U.S. intelligence assessment on Iran, with some senior officials raising the prospect of a major policy change in the Bush administration.
Officials said the NIE, which asserted that Teheran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003, appeared to reflect an administration decision to abandon a U.S. military option against Iran.
Duh, ya think?
The officials said NIE reflected a paucity of U.S. intelligence on Iran's nuclear program.
"If on the issue of Iraq there was overassessment [of intelligence], here there was underassessment," Yuval Steinitz, chairman of a Knesset subcommittee that oversees the Israeli strategic dialogue with the United States, said.
In September 2007, Steinitz headed a Knesset delegation to the United States to discuss such issues as Iran, Egypt and Al Qaida with the administration and Congress. The delegation met Vice President Richard Cheney and exchanged assessments of Iran's nuclear weapons program.
"They never said Iran had stopped the nuclear weapons program," Steinitz recalled on Tuesday. "There were differences on when Iran would reach nuclear weapons capability, but not that it sought such capability."
Until NIE was released on Dec. 3, officials said, the U.S. intelligence community maintained that Iran could assemble nuclear weapons by 2011. Israel has concluded that Iran could build its first nuclear weapons by late 2009.
Hundreds of millions of muslims are susceptible to the fanatical message of mad mullahs, imams, and clerics. There is no shortage of youthful cannon fodder in most primitive third world muslim countries. If western civilisation is to survive largely intact for the huge challenges of the next level, it will have to be smart.
If you fail to understand what radical Islamists have in mind for you, your families, your countries, your civilisation--you will be in no position to stop it.
In fact, if you fail to understand . . . . you will probably delay any effective preventive action until it is too late. At that point, westerners will understand that what they though was war, was not really war. What they thought was curtailment of their civil rights, was not curtailment. What they thought was American Theocracy, was not theocracy at all. They will learn, but by then, sadly it will not help.
Leftists and Islamists--Allies in an Epic Battle Against Western Civilisation
An unlikely champion of western civilisation, Hirsi Ali is nevertheless "walking point". Leftists and Islamists both hate Hirsi Ali--both have her in their sights--and at least the Islamists would like to see her dead. We understand why Islamists wish to destroy the west--they are shamed by the west's success and Islam's failure. Understanding the left's antagonism toward western freedoms of thought and economy may be harder for some to understand, but it is critical to understand this alliance of hatred and intolerance toward Hirsi Ali and the enlightenment traditions she has embraced.
In television debates she criticized Islamist family patriarchs, genital mutilation of young women and forced marriages...By criticizing Islam for promoting these injustices in the name of Allah, Hirsi Ali launched a war on two fronts.
Her attacks drew criticism from Islamic fundamentalists as well as leftist Western intellectuals, who accused Hirsi Ali of discriminating against, offending and stirring up resentment among Muslims across the board.
...She's discovered, she now says, that even those who claim to be fighting outdated dogmas are quick to impose their restrictions on thought....there was no doubt the Dutch had turned a blind eye to the horrors some of their Muslim neighbors were inflicting on their wives and daughters. "Teachers, the authorities, politicians and even the media looked the other way when girls didn't return to school after the summer vacation, because they had been married off in Morocco in the meantime." All the talk about respect for the identity of immigrants and their culture, Hirsi Ali says, is "nothing but thoughtlessness, laziness and fear of openly addressing human rights violations."
...As an adolescent she had already suffered every humiliation imaginable. Her mother beat her, and her grandmother condemned her to the painful ritual of female circumcision. The more she was oppressed, though, the stronger her will became to escape her environment. When her father planned to send her to Canada for an arranged marriage, she fled. She worked as a cleaning woman in the Netherlands, learned Dutch quickly and was soon attending political lectures.
...She wants to fight for Muslims to free themselves from the psychological stranglehold of a religion that treats all of its doctrines as absolute, says Hirsi Ali -- and its followers as slaves.
Muslims as slaves? Well, of course. Any religion or ideology that wraps its followers too tightly within itself becomes indistinguishable from mental shackles. That is where too many islamists and leftists find themselves in the modern world. Shackled by dysfunctional ideology.
That is why leftist feminists overlook the honour killings, the genital mutilations, the arranged marriages, the third-rate existence of women within Islam. That is why leftist activists ignore the ubiquitous muslim abuse and murder of homosexuals, the lack of human rights and intellectual freedoms that westerners take for granted. Leftists find Islamists useful in their own fight against a western civilisation that has largely rejected the failed economics of state socialism and communism. While leftists are currently ascendant in the academy, media, and popular culture of most western countries--and hold onto their ascendancy with an iron intolerance that would make Pol Pot proud--the real power somehow continues to slip through their fingers.
While the left holds dictators such as Kim and Chavez in a pathetic embrace, at least embracing socialists and communists makes a type of sense, comfort in the company of losers. Why should leftists also embrace dictators such as the Iranian leadership? Particularly when the monkey-mullahs and apish Ahmedinejad execute homosexuals (while denying their existence), feminists, even leftist activists. Such a betrayal by the left of those it pretends (in the west) to protect and champion, is disgusting.
Nevertheless, that is where the left finds itself--without any principles or mores. It is what it says and does--at the moment. Tomorrow may be different.
Although Hirsi Ali has left the Netherlands, Geert Wilders continues to confront the abomination that is European Islam. Leftists and Islamists might like to see Wilders dead as well--like Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh.
The Freedom Party leader describes Islam as a dangerous, intolerant and fascistic religion. He says the Qu’ran should be forbidden and Muslim immigration banned....Geert Wilders...says he should be able to speak his mind in parliament, especially since his ideas have the support of half a million voters.
Wilders, and other free thinking European politicians, would like to see European culture and civilisation survive the current onslaught of a human wave of religious violence, intolerance, and backwardness. If Islam can be reformed, all well and good. But most evidence points to the contrary.
Did you know Muslims "invented Astronomy"? Not the Greeks. Muslims.
What an idiot this guy is.
And, this is a featured video on YouTube today.
And, just in case any of you who watch this video are inclined to believe this lunatics b.s., Muslims did not get along with the Spanish back in the golden olden days. If they did, then why did the Spanish feel the need to kick them out?
The truth is, Christians were forced to live as dhimmis (government-sanctioned second-class status). Here's a little history.
Now, ask yourself why Muslims lie about such things. To lie about such known facts is incredibly stupid given the fact that all one has to do is look them up in an encyclopedia.
But, that just shows you how childish and insane Islamic culture is.
This video is put out by the Muslim American Society. They are one of the most oldest and most respected Muslim organizations in America. But, they put out videos filled with outrageous lies about commonly known facts.
Interesting, huh? Keep that in mind when you hear Muslims telling you their version of the truth on any subject.
Do you believe in magic? And not in a young girl's heart. Annapolis, the Arabs, Iran the NIE and CIA and State
Events do not occur in a vacuum. Sometimes when a series of inexplicable events occur we can give rise to our weakness for the conspiracy theory. Even for flights of fantasy. So let's fantasize about the impossible.
Olmert keeps on praising the holocaust minimizer Abbas
Olmert mumbles things about Jerusalem going to the Arabs amid avalanches of rumors
Condi becomes a palestinian
Annapolis is designed, with Foreign Ministers of Arab states showing up to treat them 'kikes' with the najas those freaking dhimmis deserve
The only intuitively obvious reason for this set of cataclysmic stupidities would be that Olmert et al really believe giving the drueling murderers land will satiate their desire for dead, or dhimmi jews. Maybe Farfour will be happy. Is that credible? Is there no one in the Israeli govt hardheaded enough to dissent LOUDLY and kill any such plan? I just don't believe the state of Israel would commit suicide in this way. Too much resistance among the citizens. This is not equivalent to appeasement, this would be Stanley Baldwin ceding Kent to Hitler for a respite from Churchill's pounding. So one has to wonder if there is something else.
Annapolis occurs as expected with Livni treated as a leprous Heidi Fleiss at a Methodist ministers' wives meeting to end Viagra commercials and get smiling, confident Bob off TV.
Olmert mumbles away platitudinous spew filled with sugar free gelatin.
Arabs walk away from Annapolis. Jews walk away from Annapolis.
How does all this fit together? Has this administration been suborned by the dream palace of Arabists and James Baker-ism, and made some promises to Israel to manufacture that which cannot be, and that the NIE has shown the Israelis the Americans cannot keep?
Were promises made to Israel to deal with Iran if they gave up what the Arabs required? Did the release of the NIE to the executive (remember Bush telling David Gregory he learned of the NIE two weeks ago, during Bush's press conference?), but not yet made public ...which HAD to be released to the Israelis since it would become public --- Did the Israelis taking ONE look and realizing that this destroyed any chance of Bush moving against Iran then pull everything off the table?
Would you like to have cogent explanation for all this?
On thing we do know, the CIA ( a la Michael Scheurer) and the State Dept (from George Marshall, to Howard Baker to today) feel that if we adopted as our own, the barbarous family gas stations the way we did, and instead of Israel, our national security situation would be much better with these stable, freedom loving, value sharing, .....
I mean, we would have been so much better off if we had helped our friendly neighborhood fascist South American dictators in 1982, and thrown those colonial allies of Great Britain to the wolves when they tried to reclaim the Falklands and South Georgia, .................right?
I mean what are shared values among those purporting to be allies, when other considerations intervene?
Manan Ahmed over at Cliopatria is very upset about all the "Islamophobia" that he claims to see in America. In a recent post, he cites as evidence of this endemic hostility to Islam Mitt Romney's alleged statement that he would never have a Moslem in his cabinet and the rumor mongering about Obama being a Moslem. Then Ahmed tips his hand with this statement:
It is perhaps no great shock to anyone that a healthy amount of Islamophobia exists in the current political and cultural climate. The absurdities of teddy bears named Muhammad are constantly played in our media as de facto expressions of an irrational and medieval faith - with nary a word on the political machinations behind the street protests.
According to Ahmed, and his ilk, the Teddy Bear Jihad is an isolated incident that was motivated by backroom political maneuvering. For whatever reason, Ahmed fails to mention the Sudan government doing the maneuvering is an Islamist one that has imposed Sharia Law upon the country, engaged in genocide in Darfar and has made war on its Christian citizens in the southern part of the country. In Ahmed's apologia for an "irrational and medieval faith" there is no mention of the countless Jihad motivated "absurdities" that occur on a daily basis throughout the world.
Whether Ahmed realizes it or not the purpose of the "Islamophobia" canard is to end all criticism of Islam and discussion of Jihad in the West. A ancillary purpose of this propaganda campaign is to blame the victims by positing the absurdity that Jihad inspired terrorism is the result of "Islamophobia." For example the UN Human Rights Council floated this trial balloon just this last September:
"Islamophobia today is the most serious form of religious defamation," Doudou Diene told the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently holding a three-week session in Geneva.
"We see the initiatives and activities of many groups and organisations which are working hard to bring about a war of civilizations," he said, adding that right-wing groups were trying to equate Islam with violence and terrorism.
African and Islamic countries welcomed the report and called for moves to draft an international treaty that would compel states to act against any form of defamation of religion.
It is important to define terms. This is a hard task when dealing with an anti-concept such as "Islamophobia" whose purpose is to end discussion on the topic at hand and intimidate those who harbor thoughtcrime by rejecting multiculturalism and the moral relativism on which it is based. In his essay "Islamophobia" Ed Cline has provided a definition:
In this context, “Islamophobia” can be defined as a fear of being under the rule of a theocracy -- any theocracy -- but especially a tyranny that promises death, dismemberment, or slavery for anyone not submitting to it. Any doubt about its means and ends ought to be dispelled by citing just one of the many verses from the Koran that prescribe the fate of non-believers in Allah to develop a healthy fear of Islam: “They (infidels) will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off.”
Those who use the "Islamophobia" anti-concept to silence critics of the gradual implimentation of Sharia Law where it doesn't yet exist are currently using the term for their full court press on censorship. This weekend at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Constantinople there is a scheduled "International Islamophobia Conference." As Robert Spencer notes, many of the usual apologists for Jihad and Sharia Law will be in attendance along with a few anti-Semites.
In order to assure the rest of us that we have no need to fear for our basic liberties from Moslems, two "mainstream" Moslem groups are trying to shut-up a well known writer and a equally well known radio commentator. Something called the Canadian Islamic Conference has issued a complaint against Mark Steyn for what is in Canada (and Europe) the actionable offense of hurting their feelings:
Up north, the Canadian Islamic Congress announced the other day that at least two of Canada’s “Human Rights Commissions” – one federal, one provincial – had agreed to hear their complaints that their “human rights” had been breached by this “flagrantly Islamophobic” excerpt from my book, as published in the country’s bestselling news magazine, Maclean’s.
With their success in forcing Cambridge University Press in burningAlms for Jihad the "Islamophobia" bunch have moved onto adding commercial works to the pry.
Meanwhile here in America, CAIR continues its slander campaign against Michael Savage in order to get him off the airwaves:
Americans don’t have to look to Sudan to see Islamic fanaticism and extremism in action. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is trying to destroy the Savage Nation radio show featuring Michael Savage. Having forced the firing of radio host Michael Graham from WMAL in Washington, D.C., CAIR is trying to force independent conservative Michael Savage off the air nationally by intimidating his advertisers. Officially, CAIR claims its mission includes encouraging “dialogue.” But this is a big lie.
We had better wake up fast. “They’re applying Sharia law here,” says Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. “In the United States we’re getting Sharia law by the inch. Islam cannot be criticized. It is a sin against Allah. What Savage has done is a grievous sin against Allah, Mohammed and Islam. They are not making this up. CAIR has no choice here. As a real Muslim, they must condemn anyone who criticizes Islam.”
The Dhimmis in academia are also joining in on the act:
Florida’s attorney general, Bill McCollum, has sent a sharply worded letter to the University of Florida, saying that a vice president of the institution may have limited students’ free speech rights by criticizing posters put up last month to publicize a showing of the controversial documentary, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Campus Republican groups sponsored the event, and their posters said: “Radical Islam Wants You Dead.” The university’s vice president for student affairs, Patricia Telles-Irvin, responded by sending a message to all students in which she called on those who put up the posters to apologize and said that the language on the ad “reinforced a negative stereotype ... and contributed to a generalization that only furthers the misunderstanding of the religion of Islam.”
Even the land of Aloha is not immune to Moslem bullying. In February 2006 during the Cartoon Jihad a "moderate" Moslem group here in Hawaii, Muslim Association of Hawaii, came out in favor of censorship. In an editorial published by the Honolulu Advertiser, Hakim Ouansafi stated that:
Muslims are not against the right of electronic and print media to publish as they see fit. However, no democracy or legal or political system should allow preaching of hate and insults for the sacred values and symbols of others.
This sensitivity to the feelings of others is touching. This is not how it works in nation's under Sharia Law. In the press of such counties Jews are referred to as "pigs and monkeys." In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to practice any religion except that of Islam. In Egypt the Christian Coptics are under constant attack and when their churches are burned down, they are not allowed to rebuilt. Mecca, the most holy Moslem place, is an entire city where only Moslems are allowed to enter. This is the tolerance of Islam.
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is a surprisingly short and thin document that offers nothing substantively new. It does not reveal any major new evidence about Iran's nuclear program or its intentions, nor does it even refer to the existence of such evidence. It does not deny, for example, that Iran has obtained blueprints and technical guidance on how to build the core of a nuclear weapon and on how to mount nuclear bombs on a missile. These facts have already been admitted by Iran and acknowledged by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. The NIE does not deny that Iran is enriching uranium on an industrial scale, because that is also public knowledge, loudly and boastfully announced by Ahmadinejad.
All that the new NIE does is to add a prominent statement that Iran suspended its covert enrichment program—which Iran then exchanged for an open, ostensibly civilian enrichment program. But this makes little difference; uranium enriched by a civilian program can still be diverted to make a bomb. And then the NIE adds its opinion that this relatively minor change was in response to "international pressure."
This is an exercise in the power of a few top-level bureaucrats to shape the meaning of the work of hundreds of others, simply by re-writing the headlines. We should be used to this from the global warming reports periodically issued by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—reports whose body, which is prepared by scientists, is always far less alarmist than the "summary for policymakers" tacked on to it by politicians and diplomats and then amplified in the press.
The Wall Street Journal and a few other sources have speculated that some of the NIE's authors, who have a reputation as "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials," deliberately set out to sabotage the administration. Whatever the case, the authors certainly knew that their lines about Iran allegedly suspending its weapons program and not "rushing" to produce a weapon would be picked up by the media. And they must have realized that this would eclipse the rest of the substance of the report.
And the rest of that substance undercuts the story now being trumpeted by the mainstream media. The NIE acknowledges, for example, that it has no evidence that Iran has actually halted its entire nuclear weapons program: "Because of intelligence gaps…, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program." It acknowledged that "Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so." And: "We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so."
But here is the real blockbuster concession in the report:
We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership probably see between nuclear weapons development and Iran's key national security and foreign policy objectives, and given Iran's considerable effort from at least the late 1980s to 2003 to develop such weapons.
In other words, Iran devoted two decades and billions of dollars to developing nuclear weapons, which it needs if it's going to thwart the Great Satan—so why should it stop trying?
This is the only time the NIE includes in its assessment the real long-term pattern and meaning of Iran's actions. In this respect, it is especially egregious that the NIE portrays late 2003 as the time at which Iran suddenly became compliant and cooperative in response to international pressure.
In reality, what has Iran actually been up to since late 2003 and today? During those four years, Iran has provided political and military support to both Sunni and Shiite insurgents in Iraq, helping to kill US troops and plunge Iraq into a brutal sectarian civil war. More recently, Iran has provided weapons and training to the Taliban in Afghanistan. During these years, Iran has also forged a closer relationship with its satellite Syria, which has encouraged the flow of insurgents into Iraq while assassinating opposition political leaders in Lebanon. In Southern Lebanon, Iran armed Hezbollah with rockets, which it rained down by the thousands in a terror war against Israel; Iran has subsequently re-armed Hezbollah with more and better rockets. And Iran has supported Hamas as it has launched its own rocket attacks on Israel and staged a brutal Islamist takeover of Gaza.
The full picture of Iran's activity over the past four years is that of a dangerous power seeking to assert regional dominance and to spread its ideology of radical Islam by encouraging the aggression of an "Islamist Axis" of terrorist militias across the greater Middle East. Yet all of this is completely evaded in the NIE's benevolent assessment of Iran's intentions.
And that, ultimately, is what makes this report an exercise in propaganda—propaganda for a brutal Islamist dictatorship, composed and broadcast by the supposed guardians of the leading power of the free world.
And that, ultimately, is what makes this report an exercise in propaganda—propaganda for a brutal Islamist dictatorship, composed and broadcast by the supposed guardians of the leading power of the free world.
Stratfor Geopolitical Diary - The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate released on Monday -- the little bombshell that says Iran has had its nuclear weapons program on hold since 2003 -- raises two fundamental questions. First, if Iran really does not have a military weapons program, why has it resisted international inspections? Second, why is the United States allowing this news to break?
The Iranian motive for resisting inspections should first be considered.
For the past five years, Washington and Tehran have been engaged in on-again, off-again negotiations over Iraq's future. In these talks the Iranians have been at a sizable disadvantage. The United States has more than 100,000 troops in the country, while Iran's leverage is largely limited to its influence with many of the country's Shiite militias. This influence is a useful tool for denying the United States the ability to impose its desires, though it is not a powerful enough one to allow the Iranians to turn their own preferences into reality.
Moreover, given that the majority of Iran's population is either in or behind the Zagros Mountains, Iran might be difficult to invade, but it lacks military expeditionary capability. Its infantry-heavy army is designed for population control, not power projection. Therefore, for Iran to have a lever in manipulating events in its region, it must develop other playing cards.
Its nuclear program is one of those cards. Iran has had a vested interest in convincing the world -- unofficially, of course -- that it possesses a nuclear program. For Iran, the nuclear program is a trump card to be traded away, not a goal in and of itself.
As to the U.S. motive, it also wanted to play up the nuclear threat. Part of Washington's negotiation strategy has been to isolate Iran from the rest of the international community. Charges that Iran desired nukes were an excellent way to marshal international action. Both sides had a vested interest in making Iran look the part of the wolf.
That no longer is the case. There are only two reasons the U.S. government would choose to issue a report that publicly undermines the past four years of its foreign policy: a deal has been struck, or one is close enough that an international diplomatic coalition is no longer perceived as critical. This level of coordination across all branches of U.S. intelligence could not happen without the knowledge and approval of the CIA director, the secretaries of defense and state, the national security adviser and the president himself. This is not a power play; this is the real deal.
The full details of any deal are unlikely to be made public any time soon because the U.S. and Iranian publics probably are not yet ready to consider each other as anything short of foes. But the deal is by design integrated into both states' national security posture. It will allow for a permanent deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq to provide minimal national security for Iraq, but not in large enough numbers to be able to launch a sizable attack against Iran. It will allow for the training and equipping of the Iraqi military forces so that Iraq can defend itself, but not so much that it could boast a meaningful offensive force. It will integrate Iranian intelligence and military personnel into the U.S. effort so there are no surprises on either side.
But those are the details. Here is the main thrust: Ultimately, both sides have nursed deep-seated fears. The Iranians do not want the Americans to assist in the rise of another militaristic Sunni power in Baghdad -- the last one inflicted 1 million Iranian casualties during 1980-1988 war. The United States does not want to see Iran dominate Iraq and use it as a springboard to control Arabia; that would put some 20 million barrels per day of oil output under a single power. The real purpose of the deal is to install enough bilateral checks in Iraq to ensure that neither nightmare scenario happens.
Should such an arrangement stick, the two biggest winners obviously are the Americans and Iranians. That is not just because the two no longer would be in direct conflict, and not just because both would have freed up resources for other tasks.
U.S. geopolitical strategy is to prevent the rising of a power on a continental scale that has the potential to threaten North America. It does this by favoring isolated powers that are resisting larger forces. As powerful as Iran is, it is the runt of the neighborhood when one looks past the political lines on maps and takes a more holistic view. Sunnis outnumber Shia many times over, and Arabs outnumber Persians. Indeed, Persians make up only roughly half of Iran's population, making Tehran consistently vulnerable to outside influence. Simply put, the United States and Iran -- because of the former's strategy and the latter's circumstances -- are natural allies.
On the flip side, the biggest losers are those entities that worry about footloose and fancy-free Americans and Iranians. The three groups at the top of that list are the Iraqis, the Russians and the Arabs. Washington and Tehran will each sell out their proxies in Iraq in a heartbeat for the promise of an overarching deal. Now is the time for the Kurds, Sunni and Shia of Iraq to prove their worth to either side; those who resist will be smears on the inside of history's dustbin.
Separately, a core goal of U.S. foreign policy is to ensure that the Russians never again threaten North America, and to a lesser degree, Europe. A United States that is not obsessed with Tehran is one that has the freedom to be obsessed with Moscow. And do not forget that the last state to occupy portions of Iran was not the United States, but Russia. Persia has a long memory and there are scores to settle in the Caucasus.
Back in the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy has often supported the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, favoring the weak against the strong in line with the broad strategy discussed above. A United States that does not need to contain Iran is a United States that can leverage an Iran that very much wishes to be leveraged. That potentially puts the Arabs on the defensive on topics ranging from investment to defense. The Arabs tend to get worried whenever the Americans or the Iranians look directly at them; that is nothing compared to the emotions that will swirl the first time that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and U.S. President George W. Bush shake hands.
We expect the days and weeks ahead to be marked by a blizzard of activity as various players in Washington and Tehran attempt both to engage directly and to prepare the ground (still) for a final deal. Much will be dramatic, much will be contradictory, much will make no sense whatsoever. This is, after all, still the Middle East. But keep this in mind: With the nuclear issue out of the way, the heavy lifting has already been done and some level of understanding on Iraq's future already is in place. All that remains is working out the "details."
Wouldn't it be interesting if, in the near future, we see the sheepish face of George Bush look up and say, "Checkmate."
If you have been scratching your head and wondering exactly what happened to the Bush administration in the last month with regard to its war policy, we think we have an answer. It's the return of Baker-Hamilton. A year ago, this newspaper was the first to alert Americans to the dangers of this panel's recommendations regarding Iraq. We ran the first report that these congressionally-appointed "wise" men were fashioning a call to retreat from the Battle of Iraq and to appease those states sabotaging the nation-building there. Our Eli Lake also broke the story of the commission's scheme to press for Israel's relinquishment of the Golan Heights in hopes of stabilizing Iraq.
A month after the release of the commission's report, President Bush brushed aside the council of defeatists. Instead of offering a "diplomatic surge," whereby Secretary Rice would visit — hat in hand — Tehran and Damascus asking what we might be able to do to get them to stop terrorizing our soldiers and Iraq's civilians, the president led with a military surge. He announced that we were going to disrupt the supply lines of the enemy, and he ordered General Petraeus to protect Baghdad from confessional cleansers block by block.
At Anbar, our Marines linked up with Sunni sheikhs who had quite enough of Al Qaeda. This is how the counterinsurgency began. Today those parties that defeated Al Qaeda will be running in provincial elections to wrest power from the Sunni place sitters who, in 2005, were wooed by our diplomats but who have proven to be neutral at best in the war for their country. So when this phase of the history is written, it will be recorded that Mr. Bush, in respect of the Battle of Iraq, was able to withstand the blandishments of the Congress and his father's secretary of state.
Now the rest of the region is being tested. As the final report of the Iraq Study Group says, "The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel's right to exist), and Syria."
It turns out that this recommendation was added at the last minute by Mr. Baker himself. It also turns out that Mr. Baker was wrong. Iraq has stabilized in the absence of a peace process. Anbar was won without Israel relinquishing land to Syria. And so far, at least, he has been wrong about the necessity of the other big recommendation from his study group, namely to start direct engagement with Iran. Contrary to the desires of the Baker-Hamilton caucus, the president has offered to talk with Iran — but only on the condition that it end its enrichment of uranium. Iran has rebuffed the offer for nearly 18 months.
One way to look at the release on Monday of a revised national intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear program is that the majority of the intelligence community reckons it can finesse all this with a judgment call that the enrichment at Natanz is separate from a weapons program that was shuttered in the fall of 2003 after we raided Baghdad.
As we noted in Tuesday's editorial, the result of this assessment is that the diplomacy to pressure Iran to end its enrichment will now likely collapse; indeed, there are already signs of this, including in Europe.
Not only that, but we are starting to hear new calls for a "diplomatic surge" on Iran. Within hours of the release of the new intelligence estimate, the majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, said, "I hope this Administration reads this report carefully and appropriately adjusts its rhetoric and policy vis-à-vis Iran. The Administration should begin this process by finally undertaking a diplomatic surge necessary to effectively address the challenges posed by Iran."
How much all this will succeed in moving the president off his game is the thing on which to keep an eye. Senator Biden, who is seen as the grown up on foreign policy in his party's debates, has threatened to try to impeach the president if he tries to bomb any facilities in Iran. Even Senator Clinton is now ruffling her relatively hawkish feathers to say she favors an entente with the Iranians. The New York Times is recommending Mr. Bush send Ms. Rice to Tehran as soon as possible. But here is something to keep in mind. The bipartisan panel cited so frequently by Democrats today was wrong about the country they were charged to fix. What would lead anyone to think they are correct about the rest of the region?
A British imam's daughter is living in fear of her life under police protection after she received death threats from her family for converting to Christianity.
The young woman, aged 32, whose father is a Muslim imam in the north of England, has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family since she became a Christian 15 years ago.
Hannah, who uses a pseudonym to hide her identity, told The Times how she became a Christian after she ran away from home at 16 to escape an arranged marriage.
The threats against her became more serious a month ago, prompting police to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.
She was speaking on the eve of the launch of a new charity in London today to promote greater religious awareness. Muslims in Britain who wish to convert to Christianity are living in fear of their lives because of Islamic apostasy laws, a senior Church of England bishop will warn at the invitaton-only launch in west London.
The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, will claim "freedom to believe" is under threat in Britain because of Islamic hostility to conversion.
Hannah, now employed in multi-faith youth work and who gives talks to churches on Islam, is the daughter of a Lancashire imam whose seven other children are demanding she return to Islam. She has been in hiding,
since her home was attacked by a group of men armed with knives, axes and hammers, in 1994. She will describe today how she is in fear of her life after the death threats against her were recently renewed.
She said: "I left home and I had nowhere to go. My religious education teacher gave me somewhere to live. Even though she tried to make me stay at home on Sundays, I am quite rebellious by nature and I started to go to church with her out of curiosity."
She said she had been in hiding, on and off, ever since, and has now been given a telephone number she can call for an instant response by police should she need help. The latest threat was a text message from one of her brothers, warning he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam.
Hannah said she was looking forward to getting married so she could change her name and escape detection by her family. Not all Muslims in Britain are this extreme, she believes.
"It is representative of some Muslims. I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word. But I do not think every Muslim would actually act on that."
Earlier this year, a Policy Exchange study found that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death.
Dr Nazir-Ali will speak out on behalf of Hannah and others suffering persecution for their beliefs in the UK at today's launch of Lapido Media, a new charity which is seeking to promote "religious literacy" in world affairs.
The Bishop is expected to describe how sharia law in many countries, including parts of Britain, punishes apostasy with death and is viewed as treason by theocratic governments. Dr Nazir-Ali will call on society to offer greater protection, by increasing understanding of what makes people vulnerable.
Pakistan-born Dr Nazir-Ali, who has a Christian and Muslim background, is patron of Lapido Media, funded by donations and trusts including the Jerusalem Trust. The word ‘lapido’ means ‘to speak up for’ in the Acholi language of Northern Uganda. The charity has been named in honour of the courage of Acholi church leaders who campaigned for an end to a little-reported 20-year war there, involving the abduction of 25,000 children.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who was born a Muslim and also converted to Christianity, is not under threat of death.
Like many of you, I have been wondering about the NIE for the past several days. WTF? What does this mean? The confusion with which it has been received has driven analysts to more and more hallucenogenic explanations.
Norman Podhoretz wrote that the NIE was part of the State Departments war against the war, and then he withdrew that assessment.
He probably shouldn't have, because John Bolton agrees. And, his analyses is filled with cold logic. Here it is (from Atlas Shrugs):
" Part of the President's problem in Washington is fighting against permanent bureaucracies that have a very different point of view from his. And I think that's a real problem for the American people." John Bolton March 22, 2007 The Jon Stewart Show
When John Bolton was Ambassador to the UN, American loyalists knew there was no greater American to represent us. Men of reason drew succor in knowing America had no better representative on the world stage. Many of us grieved when John Bolton resigned his post as US Ambassador to the UN. In hindsight, it was a blessing. It was, in fact, a very good thing for us that Mr. Bolton left Bush administration. If not for him, who could the American people turn to to tell us the truth at this most dangerous time in human history? One British newspaper recently referred to Bolton's "vulcan thinking" and I thought, yes, that's it, isn't it?
Who better to ask on the latest NIE propaganda ploy than Bolton? Bolton called it. Bolton warned us. Bolton said in so many words that this would happen. His book Surrender is not Option is a stunning indictment of the permanent bureaucracy that undermines the policies of those elected by the people, for the people.
Here is his unerring analysis and observation in today's Washington Post;
The Flaws In the Iran Report John R. Bolton
Rarely has a document from the supposedly hidden world of intelligence had such an impact as the National Intelligence Estimate released this week. Rarely has an administration been so unprepared for such an event. And rarely have vehement critics of the "intelligence community" on issues such as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction reversed themselves so quickly.
All this shows that we not only have a problem interpreting what the mullahs in Tehran are up to, but also a more fundamental problem: Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than "intelligence" analysis, and too many in Congress and the media are happy about it. President Bush may not be able to repair his Iran policy (which was not rigorous enough to begin with) in his last year, but he would leave a lasting legacy by returning the intelligence world to its proper function.
And the NIE details begin to emerge...a crock? When, now or then?
From the evil heart of neocondom...The Weekly Standard
Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to the most recent NIE’s publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added):
Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States’ concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Iran’s neighbors. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution.
DUH...no really? How much are you making for that conclusion?
MONEY LINE ALERT !!!!!!
We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure.
This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
This paragraph appeared under the subheading: "Iran Assessed As Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons." And the entirety of Fingar’s 22-page testimony was labeled "Information as of July 11, 2007." No part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 "primarily in response to international pressure" and they "do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons."
The inconsistencies are more troubling when we realize that, according to theWall Street Journal, Thomas Fingar is one of the three officials who were responsible for crafting the latest NIE. The Journal cites "an intelligence source" as describing Fingar and his two colleagues as "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials." (The New York Sundrew attention to one of Fingar’s colleagues yesterday.)
They ought to have a gun shoved down their collective throat.
If American Buddhists were to demand a "homeland" in our borders would we give it to them?
Why do we fucking appease Muslims like this?
If you want to know why I am so fucking pissed off about this, it's because my wife's family is from Mindanao. My father-in-law fought to make sure Muslims did not take over.
And now the stupid fucking Phillipine government decides to cave in.
Should we all just fucking cave in everytime Muslims want land?
Here's the story:
DATU BLAH SINSUAT, Philippines, Dec 5 (Reuters) - When Christians in the southern Philippines heard that the government and Islamic rebels had agreed to expand a homeland for Muslims on their island, they panicked.
“We started buying some weapons to defend our families and community,” said Berting, a coconut farmer, whose farm sits in the heart of a mainly Muslim province in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Berting, who declined to give his last name, is a Catholic whose grandfather settled in the area nearly 80 years ago when Christian farmers moved to the lush jungles and valleys of mostly Muslim Mindanao.
A conflict between Catholics and Muslims has raged on the island for the past 40 years, resulting in the deaths of 120,000 people. But now the sides say that they are close to a final peace deal and might sign an agreement next year.
After a decade of stop-start negotiations, the government and the country’s largest Islamic rebel group agreed last month on the boundaries of a proposed homeland for Muslims, who make up around 20 percent of Mindanao’s population.
The thought chills Berting.
“If things don’t turn out that well, we might sell what we have here and move to my wife’s place in another part of Mindanao. My neighbours were thinking the same thing, we’ll leave this place and re-settle elsewhere.”
WELL worth stopping to read...Atlas on the administration's 'reality mode' and the Middle East
Last week, a line was crossed. A terrible line was crossed at Annapolis. With the world looking on, the President of the United States sponsored the first Judeophobic conference legitimizing an Islamic terrorist state. Jew hatred was ok, understandable even.
Under the auspices of a global "peace" conference, the White House sanctioned Jew hatred. The Jew is contemptible, inferior, ignorant, politically, socially disenfranchised. Separate entrance ways, service entrances for the Jews, refusal to touch or shake hands with a Jew by the so called moderate members of the Arab world, refusal of members to wear the translation earphones when Olmert spoke.
Last ruminations on the 2007 Iran NIE guess? Probably not
Stream of thoughts on the contradictory, inexplicable NIE on Iran
American intelligence is a shamble of cyclic politically driven conclusions, and is without credibility ANYWHERE, therefore so are American pronouncement of policy based on it. Therefore this entire episode is a CALAMITY for us WORLDWIDE
Iran now has a get of jail free card of galactic proportions.
The CIA launched a preemptive attack to prevent Bush from any justification in preemption of Iran's nuclear program before he left office.
In 2003 we learned years later there was official dissent from the NIE's conclusion about Iraq and WMD. Where is that dissent today, on this NIE?
Why are people not being fired left and right for leading the national effort astray for 4+ years?
Why was the executive BLINDSIDED by this report? Who is in charge of the American government and policy?
None of the above is true and Israel has lost the epic battle within the US govt begun between George Marshall and Harry Truman. We are going 'arab'.
None of the above is true and it's about Iraq.
Bush is completely burnt out and others are running the show in the day to day grind of memo, and policy making minutiae building until he gets blindsided.
OR....none of the above is true and the CIA is as smart as a bag of hammers. They were totally wrong before (as they were in 2003 on Iraq) or they are totally wrong now. Or both.
The entire system is broken and we need something OTHER than the CIA to do the job we need done.
All of us, every single man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth were born with the same unalienable rights; to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, if the governments of the world can't get that through their thick skulls, then, regime change will be necessary.
“I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government’
I think that we’re in a period today comparable to the American founding period in two senses: one, we’re worried about decay — we’re worried about whether we’re squandering our legacy and whether we’re calling into question whether people can really govern themselves — but also because, and this is the heartening part of this, today as never before in my lifetime, Americans have rekindled their interest in the founding era and the founding principles. Look at the wonderful sales of biographies of the founders: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison. Look at the Tea Party, which I think frankly is one of the great events of my lifetime.
The American people go through life with a little crick of their necks from looking back at the past, and that’s healthy. We always relate to the Declaration and to the Constitution and here, along comes the Tea Party movement named after something that happened in 1773: the Boston Tea Party. And it’s called us back to reverence for, and understanding of, and insistence upon, the founding principles of limited government. So, in a good sense and a bad sense, I think we’re in the founding period.”
--- George Will
"An Islamic regime must be serious in every field," explained Ayatollah Khomeini. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."
"I want to be very, very clear, however: I understand and agree with the analysis of the problem. There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9/11. It's real and grave. It is as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let's not pretend it isn't." ~~~~~Bono~~~~~