IRAN-Deja vu all over again?
All I am saying is that if you spread the nukes around, well that's good for everybody.~Hussein the Plumber
US Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Officials Over Abuses
US President Barack Obama has ordered unprecedented sanctions against senior Iranian officials for "sustained and severe violations of human rights".
The eight men include the head of the Revolutionary Guards, a former interior minister and the prosecutor general.
The treasury department said they would face a travel ban and asset freeze.
The alleged abuses include the killings and beatings of anti-government protesters after the disputed presidential election in June 2009.
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Iran, the Paper Tiger
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Ahmadinejad is odious but I don’t think he’s dangerous. Some people do of course find him dangerous, especially in the Israel he gratuitously insults and threatens, and yet others — many more I’d say — find it convenient to find him dangerous.
The Iranian president is into his sixth year in office, the Islamic Republic is more divided than ever, Iranian youth have been brutalized, and there’s a nuclear program that, a bit like the Middle East “peace process,” goes on and on and on, defying definition even as it defies termination.
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I’m with Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, who this year told the Washington Post: “Iran will muddle along building its stockpile but never making a nuclear bomb because it knows that crossing that line would provoke an immediate military attack.” The Islamic Republic is a study in muddle but lucid over a single goal: self-preservation.
So there’s time. Yet the foreboding industry is in overdrive, with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic declaring that the Obama administration “knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program” and setting “a better than 50 percent chance” Israel will strike by next July.
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Yes, Ahmadinejad is the bogeyman from Central Casting. One of the things there’s time for, if you’re not playing games with the Iran specter, is a serious push for an Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough that would further undermine the Iranian president.
I don’t expect that, however. And here are two more predictions: Obama won’t attack Iran and nor will Israel, not by next July or ever. Iran is a paper tiger, a postmodern threat: It has many uses but a third Western war against a Muslim country is a bridge too far.
Palin Warns of ‘Armageddon,' 'Third World War' in Exclusive Newsmax Broadcast
By: David A. Patten
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in an exclusive interview airing at 1 p.m. Tuesday on Newsmax.com, discusses her staunch opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare plans and socialistic policies, and reveals new details about a possible presidential run in 2012.
She also warns that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons may "lead to Armageddon" — a scenario that could lead to the deaths of millions in a Third World War........................VIDEO
What a lunatic
From the new Wikileaks document dump. . .
Leaked Reports Detail Iran’s Aid for Iraqi Militias
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But the field reports disclosed by WikiLeaks, which were never intended to be made public, underscore the seriousness with which Iran’s role has been seen by the American military. The political struggle between the United States and Iran to influence events in Iraq still continues as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has sought to assemble a coalition — that would include the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr — that will allow him to remain in power. But much of the American’s military concern has revolved around Iran’s role in arming and assisting Shiite militias.
Citing the testimony of detainees, a captured militant’s diary and numerous uncovered weapons caches, among other intelligence, the field reports recount Iran’s role in providing Iraqi militia fighters with rockets, magnetic bombs that can be attached to the underside of cars, “explosively formed penetrators,” or E.F.P.’s, which are the most lethal type of roadside bomb in Iraq, and other weapons. Those include powerful .50-caliber rifles and the Misagh-1, an Iranian replica of a portable Chinese surface-to-air missile, which, according to the reports, was fired at American helicopters and downed one in east Baghdad in July 2007.
Iraqi militants went to Iran to be trained as snipers and in the use of explosives, the field reports assert, and Iran’s Quds Force collaborated with Iraqi extremists to encourage the assassination of Iraqi officials.
The reports make it clear that the lethal contest between Iranian-backed militias and American forces continued after President Obama sought to open a diplomatic dialogue with Iran’s leaders and reaffirmed the agreement between the United States and Iraq to withdraw American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
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According to the reports, Iran’s role has been political as well as military. A Nov. 27, 2005, report, issued before Iraq’s December 2005 parliamentary elections, cautioned that Iranian-backed militia members in the Iraqi government were gaining power and giving Iran influence over Iraqi politics.
“Iran is gaining control of Iraq at many levels of the Iraqi government,” the report warned.
The reports also recount an array of border incidents, including a Sept. 7, 2006, episode in which an Iranian soldier who aimed a rocket-propelled grenade launcher at an American platoon trying to leave the border area was shot and killed by an American soldier with a .50-caliber machine gun. The members of the American platoon, who had gone to the border area with Iraqi troops to look for “infiltration routes” used to smuggle bombs and other weapons into Iraq, were concerned that Iranian border forces were trying to surround and detain them. After this incident, the platoon returned to its base in Iraq under fire from the Iranians even when the American soldiers were “well inside Iraqi territory,” a report noted. Read the Document »
But the reports assert that Iran’s Quds Force and intelligence service has turned to many violent and shadowy tactics as well.
The reports contain numerous references to Iranian agents, but the documents generally describe a pattern in which the Quds Force has sought to maintain a low profile in Iraq by arranging for fighters from Hezbollah in Lebanon to train Iraqi militants in Iran or by giving guidance to Iraqi militias who do the fighting with Iranian financing and weapons.
The reports suggest that Iranian-sponsored assassinations of Iraqi officials became a serious worry.
A case in point is a report that was issued on March 27, 2007. Iranian intelligence agents within the Badr Corps and Jaish al-Mahdi, two Shiite militias, “have recently been influencing attacks on ministry officials in Iraq,” the report said.
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Iranian Military Elite Voices Criticism of Ahmadinejad
Nuke talks in which nukes are not discussed.
Iran Won't Talk about Limiting Nuclear Program
Iran's president said Wednesday that his country wants to discuss cooperation to resolve global issues and to promote peace and security at nuclear talks with world powers, but won't talk about what it insists is its right to continue nuclear activities.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke a day after Iran offered to resume nuclear talks this month with six nations — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The talks collapsed last year and Ahmadinejad's comments raise further questions about whether Iran is willing to reopen the dialogue on its nuclear program.
The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons, though Iran denies this and says it only wants to generate power.
The president's remarks were among the many conflicting and ambiguous messages from Iran over the years about its willingness to enter into nuclear negotiations. It has also sent counterproposals and used delaying tactics that have brought talks to an impasse.
Addressing a group of people in Qazvin, in northern Iran, Ahmadinejad said Tehran is ready to discuss "global challenges" and help global peace based on mutual respect but won't discuss its right to continue nuclear activities.
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Defense Secretary Gates: Attack on Iran Would Backfire
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ratcheted up rhetoric last week by calling on the West to convince Iran that it would be willing to take military action to prevent Tehran from producing nuclear weapons. He said economic sanctions had so far failed to do the job.
Gates has publicly disagreed with Netanyahu about the need to put forward a military threat.
Although he acknowledged on Tuesday that Iranian leaders "are still intent on acquiring nuclear weapons," he said military action was not a long-term answer.
"A military solution, as far as I'm concerned ... it will bring together a divided nation. It will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons. And they will just go deeper and more covert," Gates said.
"The only long-term solution in avoiding an Iranian nuclear weapons capability is for the Iranians to decide it's not in their interest. Everything else is a short-term solution."