Asia Times [Updated] 30 August 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, France, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Paris, WAR!.
Miss Devore | |
a military strike against Iran would truly be the end of this country. and the people who would make that decision know that they will be shielded from the consequences.
and really, the only way to cover-up the disaster of the Iraq war is to have a world war that makes Iraq a footnote.
Aug 30, 6:34 AM
As the four pieces I want to pop up with this morning are from Asia Times, seems a fair title.
Armed and ready for Iran
By William Hawkins
On July 29, just a few days before the US Congress went on its August recess, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns held a press briefing in Washington outlining how the George W Bush administration plans to arm Sunni states in the Middle East to contain Iranian expansion.
Taken in conjunction with the escalating charges from the White House that Iran is aiding the insurgency in Iraq, and the threat to brand the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization (a step up from listing Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism), this new round of arms sales indicates a regional strategy that is looking beyond the fighting in Iraq to consider the entire region to be an interlinked theater of war.
The arms deal with Israel was signed in Jerusalem on August 16. At the signing, Burns put the aid to Israel in the context of the Iran-Syria axis and its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, all enemies of the Jewish state. But he then went on to say, “We have said to the congressional leadership that we intend to seek their support for increased military assistance to our friends in the Gulf: to Saudi Arabia and to Kuwait and to Bahrain and to Qatar, [to] the United Arab Emirates and to Oman. All of this together represents a signal from the United States that our country is strong in this region, that we intend to be a good friend to our allies and our partners in this region.”
This was an explicit setting of Israel and the Sunni Arabs together in a US-backed security alignment.
Pepe Escobar has a piece up:
The hyperactive “Sarkozy the First” – as he is widely referred to in France – has just pronounced his first major foreign-policy speech, to an annual conference of 200-odd French ambassadors from posts around the world. He took no time to engage himself in the current White House and neo-conservative-promoted Iran-demonization campaign.
Neo-cons and their ilk in France, plus mostly sycophant media, obviously loved it, with instant geopoliticians raving about the “prudent” and “firm” stand behind Sarkozy’s rhetoric.
He said an Iranian nuclear bomb would be “unacceptable” – as if the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was on the verge of discovering one or two hidden under a pile of exquisite Hamadan carpets.
Sarkozy is in favor of even more sanctions against Iran, but is willing to talk in the event the Islamic Republic suspends its nuclear-enrichment program, which Iran has a right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue. So Iran must renounce an inalienable right for the West to be willing to discuss substance.
Sarkozy has already coined the sound bite framing the “catastrophic” alternative: “The Iranian bomb, or the bombing of Iran.”
Sarkozy now officially joins the US thunder and lightning unleashed by the White House, the Pentagon, Republicans, Democrats and corporate media, which all take for granted the “all options are on the table” scenario as far as Iran is concerned.
That last is a nice, coherent, all-hands-are-on-deck-and-ready-to-go assessment.
It was Pepe Escobar who posted summer 2001 that someone must come deal with bin Laden, take the measure of what was coming into line, as something big was coming and soon it would be too late. For several years post 9/11, ATimes kept links to his posts from that summer, on the front page.
For a long time after 9/11, I kept the August issue of NYRoB on the kitchen table. Elizabeth Drew had a very good article on the objective of the Bush tax cuts, to kill what he could, bleed support for needed services (not exactly a new scheme). I would look at the article dated August 9, and think the unavoidable: he was fully in charge now. No escape.
Another report expands on both Sarko and the work the IAEA is doing with Iran.
The irony is that the subtle and not so subtle threats of military action against Iran may have the unintended consequence of reinforcing the very opposite of what Sarkozy and other Western leaders seek when they raise the specter of “bombing Iran”, ie, strengthening the hands of those in Iran who point at the “irrational” Westerners who can be held at bay only through deterrent bombs.
“If they take an irrational move, then Iran’s cooperation with the agency [IAEA] will be sterile,” Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has stated. Both Larijani and Ahmadinejad have said that Iran’s nuclear file should be “normalized”, since the lingering questions about Tehran’s nuclear activities are being “cleared up” and the IAEA has full-scope monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Various IAEA officials, as well as a number of European diplomats, have told this author that the IAEA would be able to detect any military diversion, or for that matter any uranium enrichment above a low grade, as long as the Iran-IAEA safeguard agreement remains intact.
Yet Sarkozy acts according to his own articles of belief about Iran, irrespective of the empirical counter-facts mentioned above, his ears glued to the Iran nuclear-myth makers who have their own agenda, regardless of the facts. (See Debunking Iran’s nuclear myth makers, Asia Times Online, January 25.)
The article links to further reports:
1. Full text of Iran-IAEA understanding note of modalities, Iran Students News Agency, August 28, 2007.
2. See Afrasiabi and Mojtahedzadeh, Iran’s nuclear program: A crisis of choice, not necessity, International Herald Tribune, August 12, 2005.
A couple more pieces to add… but, for now, will leave with this lovely pic:
She is “our girl”… and they are running such lethal scams.
UPDATE, 9:51 am
The email rolled in from spiegel.de, covering an exhibition in NYC of some of the damage.
THE IRAQ WOUNDED
Images from the Dark Side of War
By Marc Pitzke in New York
A moving photo exhibition in New York shows what the media doesn’t — shocking photos of seriously wounded Iraq veterans. The images and the soldiers’ quotes which accompany them say more about the war than you might want to know. [snip]
Nina Berman / Redux / laif / Jen Bekman Gallery
TY ZIEGEL AND RENEE KLINE
Seargant Ty Ziegel, 24, was wounded in December 2004 at al- Qaim, a checkpoint on the Iraq- Syria border. The truck he was riding in burst into flames after a suicide bomber blew himself up right next to it.
The heat melted the skin away from his head. He lost an eye, an arm, and three fingers on the other hand. For months he was in a coma, and after more than 50 operations, he received a plastic cap for his skull and his face was surgically reconstructed with holes for his missing ears and nose.
The photograph shows him on his wedding day with his bride Renée Kline, 21, who helped nurse him back to health. “I don’t remember saying it to Renée, but I’d have understood if she’d said, ‘Yeah, I’m out of here,’” Ty told the London Times.
Nina Berman / Redux / laif / Jen Bekman Gallery
Specialist Luis Calderon, 22, from the 4th Infantry Division, was wounded in May 2003 in Tikrit. He was in the process of tearing down a cement wall bearing a painted image of Saddam Hussein when a second wall above him collapsed. His neck was broken and he has been paralyzed from the neck down since then.
His entire family moved from Puerto Rico to Florida in order to care for him. He has not been awarded a Purple Heart — given to soldiers who are killed or wounded while fighting — because he was not injured in battle.
“From my neckline down, I cannot feel anything,” he says. “I didn’t get a Purple Heart. I feel like I deserve one. It would make me more confident that I really did something.”