All at sea in dire straits

What are the wily Iranians up to? Are they intentionally trying to provoke an international incident or is their version of events correct? Or is this payback for their Iraqi consulate staff being kidnapped by the United Stupids?

Claiming they were in Iranian waters, Iran has captured 15 British seamen, who have supposedly confessed their transgression. The United Kooks government says their ships were in Iraqi waters.

The Iranian military says it can prove that British naval personnel captured in the Gulf yesterday entered Iran illegally.

A senior officer in the armed forces says the 15 British sailors have confessed that they crossed into Iranian waters.

The British Government says the sailors were in Iraqi waters, a claim supported by Commander Kevin Andal, US Navy fifth fleet spokesman, which helps maintain security in Iraqi waters.

“We’ve been operating in those waters for some years now and all our ship commanders who are participating in the coalition are under clear understanding,” he said.

“Our charts are very accurate and up-to-date, as well as our GPS information.

“We know where the lines are and we respect those lines and we don’t cross them.”

The 15 sailors have been taken to Tehran.

Concurrently new UN sanctions have been whacked on Iran for its non-compliance with suspension of U enrichment.

The council’s 15 members adopted Resolution 1747, co-sponsored by Britain, France and Germany, that broadens UN sanctions already imposed on Iran in December for spurning repeated demands to suspend the nuclear fuel work.

The resolution bans all Iranian arms exports, freezes the overseas assets of 28 additional officials and institutions linked to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and restricts financial aid or loans to Tehran.

It gives Iran 60 days to comply with the repeated UN demands or face “further appropriate measures” – economic sanctions but no military action – under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

There’s little probability that Iran will comply.

Coalition of the Gobbling vs Iran V11

Hate in mediaThe United Stupids are now pushing for more pressure against Iran in the UN Insecurity Council, while

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator again signaled that Tehran would be willing to engage in “constructive and logical” negotiations with the United States.

Additionally

Iran’s proposal to cap its enrichment at very low levels may be winning some support in Europe.

This is not enough apparently for the Coalition of the Gobbling, who want complete suspension of enrichment. There is a distinct possibility that the United Stupids and United Kooks are choosing precisely the same deliberate path of deception which led to their illegal invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated this weekend that she would negotiate with Mottaki as soon as Iran had suspended enrichment.

Iran is not in breach of the NPT – and even the US does not claim it is. The US claims rather that Iran is untrustworthy, and therefore should be denied the rights it has under the treaty.

Like all non-nuclear weapons signatories, Iran maintains the right to have access to nuclear technology, to build nuclear power plants, and to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

Hans Blix, the last weapons inspector in Iraq before the illegal invasion, warns that

“humiliating” Iran over its uranium enrichment could spawn intransigence. “It’s an observation I’ve made before regarding Iraq,” he told reporters in New York today.

“Why did the Iraqis behave as they did in the 1990s (and) send away the UNSCOM inspectors and close the door to them?” he asked, referring to the UN Special Commission mandated to inspect Iraqi weapons of mass destruction after the 1991 Gulf War.

“One element was ‘humiliation’,” he said. “It was not rational of them to stop the inspections, it really worked against their own interest and yet I can see that the humiliation, the fury, was such that they said, ‘To hell with it’,” said Blix.

Iran does not have the capacity at this time to produce nuclear weapons and such capacity by all authoritative sources is years away. The UN’s nuclear watchdog (IAEA) continues to call for de-escalation of the rhetoric and reliance on negotiations, and has reported that there is no evidence of nuclear weapons production.

Israel on the other hand has an arsenal of 200-400 nukes, a threat to the rest of the region for decades. There are no guarantees that at some point in the future, religious and/or political fundamentalists won’t be in power in Israhell. At present, in its continued violation of international law in regard to its occupation of Palestine and Syrian territory, Israel remains an extreme provocation to its neighbours to develop nuclear parity, and if not nuclear parity, chemical or biological weaponry for deterrence.

On several occasions since 1974, countries in the region lobbied in the UN for the Middle East to become a nuclear weapon free zone. The only dissenting voice was Israel. If we are to have peace in the world, and especially if we are to avoid a nuclear holocaust, there must be a universal, not a selective, commitment to the rule of law and international security.

It is important to stress that it was the United States which first introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East starting in 1958 and has continued to bring tactical nuclear weapons on its planes and ships ever since.

Other countries in the Middle East which are predominantly Sunni, including the fundamentalist Saudi tyranny, are not keen on Iran becoming a dominant power in the region either. The United Stupids and Israhell have both met recently with Saudia, (and so has Iran). With the demonisation of Iran by United Stupids, United Kooks and Israel in full swing, Israhell and the neoziotards are palpably keen for the Coalition of the Gobbling to do the dirty work, with the main impetus coming from AIPAC.

Israeli Defense Force chief artillery officer Gen. Oded Tira has griped that “President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran,” adding that since “an American strike in Iran is essential for [Israel’s] existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iran issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.” Tira urges the Lobby to turn to “potential presidential candidates … so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran,” while Uri Lubrani, senior advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors that the US “does not understand the threat and has not done enough,â” and therefore “must be shaken awake.”

Fundo rabbis in Israel are leading children into prayers against Ahmadinejad – the media propaganda machine is running at full bore to demonise Iran

claiming its leader is a new Hitler and that Jews are threatened with another Holocaust.

A more accurate reading of the situation might be to say that Israel is determined to protect the monopoly of nuclear weapons, which it has enjoyed in the Middle East for more than 40 years.

Concurrently, the Israeli government warns of a regional arms race. Guess who started it, mate? here comes the old blowback denial again.

Condisleazer

Update:

The United Stupids are to have talks with Iran, Iraq and Syria in Baghdad about Iraqi security. The old carrot and stick approach – while the Iranians are threatened with fleets and sanctions, the Stupids will expect them to be cooperative especially since they are deigning to parley with them. What will the Stupids offer? There is doubt about whether Iran is actually destabilising Iraq anyway – the propaganda the Stupids tried to sell that the Iranians were back the insurgency was laughable. The insurgency is predominantly Sunni, and Iranians are Shite. The Iraqi government is majorly Shite as are the Sadr nationalists. Do the Stupids want the Iranians to start backing the Sunnis?

Whilst any talks are a positive sign, the United States may well be sussing out the enemy at close hand under a false pretext. It’s probably too much to hope for that the Stupids might have woken up that the only real, workable long term solution for the whole region, before things go too far, is to start lobbying for a nuke weapon free zone. Whether Israhell would cooperate is another matter, yet if the Stupids insisted, Israhell must follow or risk its benefactor’s largesse and support.

Shilling for a War

War - both sides of the storyCon Coughlin does it again in this waffly piece of shillery, overflowing with unnamed senior sources, claiming Israel is seeking authorisation from the Pentagon to whack Iran. Interestingly and simultaneously, the uber conservative Daily Telegraph broadcasts this story wherein Cheney warns that military action against Iran remains a possibility.

AP debunks the Coughlin shillery swiftly.

The subject has a revealing history of similar deceptive preemptive pro-war journalism. Is MI6 involved as well?

A report, put together by Campaign Iran and published at the end of 2006, revealed that Daily Telegraph’s political editor Con Coughlin, the man who ‘broke the story’ of Iraq’s 45 minute WMD capacity, was behind 16 articles containing unsubstantiated allegations against Iran over the past 12 months. The Press Complaints Commission has launched its third investigation into Coughlin in as many months after a number of high level complaints about his latest article on Iran. The investigation is looking at an article by Coughlin on 24 January relying on an unnamed “European defence official” alleging that North Korea is helping Iran prepare a nuclear weapons test.

Back in 2000, the British Journalism Review remarked that “officers of MI6… had been supplying Coughlin with material for years.” It is known that the MI6 has a shadowy programme called “I/Ops” (Information Operations), whose activities within Fleet Street have never before been so clearly exposed.

Supposing the Tele story is an MI6 plant, what should we make of this Times Online story that several US generals are prepared to resign if Doodoo gives the order to attack Iran?

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.

The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.

Perhaps there are secret wars within the intel agencies themselves. Who is feeding the pro-war line in the Brit press and the Pentagon? Could it be none other than the recently departed torturer and his evul cohorts? Seymour Hersh spills the beans on the United Stupids tilt toward Iran:

The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser. While Rice has been deeply involved in shaping the public policy, former and current officials said that the clandestine side has been guided by Cheney. (Cheney’s office and the White House declined to comment for this story; the Pentagon did not respond to specific queries but said, “The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran.”)

OBL wants war in Iran
Ironically, the tilt against the Shite Iranians will benefit the most radical, fundamentalist Sunnis, from whom the likes of Bin Laden came. Whose side are the torturer’s mob really on?

“The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.” The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

What is the payoff for the torturer? More war, re-election of the neocons, more oil, more profits for Helliburton etc. – his mates.

Torquemada in Oz

Cheney warmongerWhorestralia is cursed until Sunday this week by the presence of arch-neocontard Cheney. We are wondering what shennanigans the torturer has up his sleeve prior to the next US election.

It is understood he said Democrats in the US were riding public opposition to the war that could end up prejudicing their leadership credentials. He said the mood could easily shift if there was another terrorist attack.

Bin Laden would benefit immensely from the gungho Repubes winning the next US elections, as unlike the more sophisticated diplomatic Dems, the militaristic Repubes fall into his traps so easily. Thus, whether there’s to be a false flag op (and at this point because of Doodoo’s inveterate deceit, there would be a lot of people suspecting another attack would be just that) or the genuine article, the United Stupid of Vice well knows the lovely game of fear which he has played with his swooning public so successfully in the past.

Torquemada also alludes to his dark desires for future Iranian misadventures, endorsing

… U.S. Republican Senator John McCain’s view that the only thing worse than a military confrontation with Iran would be a nuclear-armed Iran.

“They appear to be pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.”

In his interview with the Australian, the ghoul hinted at possible timing for aggression by the United Stupids.

“You get various estimates of where the point of no return is,” Mr Cheney said, identifying nuclear terrorism as the greatest threat to the world. “Is it when they possess weapons or does it come sooner, when they have mastered the technology but perhaps not yet produced fissile material for weapons?”

Using Whorestralia as a sounding board, Cheney ‘appears’ to be geeing the world up to expect a military response to Iran’s supposed but in fact non-evident plans, ostensibly to further long held evil ambitions for US world hegemony.

Howard conflates Iraq with Iran, jumping on the torturer’s coat tails to paint by numbers the picture of the next imperial ‘enemy’.

“I don’t think there would be a country whose influence and potential clout would be more enhanced in that part of the world than Iran’s would be if the coalition was defeated in Iraq,” Mr Howard said.

“I don’t think you can separate the two.”

“Iran would be emboldened if the coalition was defeated in Iraq.”

“And that would be seen to have occurred if there was a significant coalition withdrawal.”

Yet Doodoo has burned his political capital and credibility in Iraq – its highly unlikely at this juncture that the Dems will permit him to whack Iran without some very convincing (non-manufactured) evidence of real intent by Iran to produce nukes, especially when they are currently attempting to remove Doodoo’s authorisation for the war against Iraq. Neither Russia nor China are keen on military ‘solutions’ so the US would need to ignore the UN Security Council unilaterally.

However, if the torturer and his fellow deluded neoziocontards do get their way for more perks and profits for good mates Helliburton etc., the already stretched US would be fighting on three fronts which conceivably would swiftly become several more. US prestige, its economy and hegemony would decline more rapidly, and other economies, including ours, would follow. Al Qaeda would rejoice again as another trap yielded fruit – it would be bolstered with a flood of newly inspired fresh recruits. If Whorestralia supported the US militarily in its brand new adventures, naturally our own security would be further endangered. As our dollar dropped, foreign companies would have a field day buying up our mineral and other resources. Our wages and purchasing power would plummet as inflation and interest rates took off whilst our economy and wealth distribution statistics would lurch toward parity with our third world neighbours.

Gold, silver, oil and other fuels, essential goods and services would do comparatively well.

Little Johnny channels his gruesome hero by taking his usual vicious hard line against 85 Sri Lankan refugee boat people, who are accused of sabotaging their boat motor to avoid being turned back home on the high seas to probable death. Sri Lanka is the country where suicide bombing was invented, with a tripartite conflict going back years between the government, which disappears dissidents, thus provoking hatred and retaliation amongst the locals, insurgents in the south and guerillas in the north.

Read Michael Ondaatje’s “Anil’s Ghost” for sensational insight into the plight of the impoverished locals of Sri Lanka.

United Stupids vs Russia 1

With North Korea showing signs of being sorted by the 5 nation tag team, surely Russia isn’t being auditioned as its replacement on the Axis of Evul? Ongoing wars like those vociferously sought by Lon Cheney do require ongoing enemies.

Once again, the United Stupids are aggressing the Russkies despite protestations to the contrary. Do the Stupids really think North Korea would fire ICBMs over Europe when the quick route is in the opposite direction? Why would Iran, which doesn’t even have nuclear arms, fire at the Stupids over northern Europe? The Russkies have read the provocation correctly, and the Stupids must have known they would.

The new line of defence consists of a network of underground rocket silos in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic.

Moscow has also accused Washington of breaking its promise, made after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, not to deploy missiles in Russia’s former satellite states.

Here’s that not-so-subtle pressure from the US we forecast a few posts ago. Russia met this week with China and India.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu, emphasized in a statement that the three-party talks among Russia, India, and China were not directed against any fourth country (Interfax, Xinhua, February 15).

Russian officials sounded even more specific, saying they did not intend to alienate the West. Cooperation among Russia, China, and India is not directed against any other country, and it is definitely not anti-American, said Andrei Kokoshin, head of the CIS affairs committee of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. It also does not amount to an attempt to create a grouping of three major Asian powers, because all three countries advocate the democratization of global politics and the world economy, he said.

However, Moscow made it clear it would not accept the role of energy supplier to the booming economies of China and India. Trilateral economic cooperation should not involve only hydrocarbon supplies from Russia to China and India; it should also involve nuclear power, Kokoshin argued.

The nations also discussed Iran, all three agreeing that:

… the deadlock between the P5+ Germany and Iran can be resolved through dialogue within the ambit of the International Atomic Energy Agency …

“We have a convergence of approach on the Iranian issue.”

Following these talks, and possibly feeling its oats after the affirmation of multi-polarism and reassurance that any attempt by the US to create a war against Iran via the UN Security Council would be resisted by China too, Russia threatened to quit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty unless the US reneged on its Polish/Czech missile shield plans.

Putin has said he does not trust US claims that the deployment of missile defense components in Europe was intended to counter missile threats from Iran, warning that Russia would take retaliatory actions.

Ivanov has rejected US arguments for deploying an anti-missile defence system in eastern Europe and insisted Russia would not be drawn into a Cold War-style arms race.

He also said Russia would upgrade its own defence systems to make sure its strategic arsenal was not rendered ineffective.”

Hmmm … sounds like some sort of arms race to us.

Nato has its own view.

… what Moscow really wanted was to be included in a European-wide anti-missile system.

“We are already talking to the Russians about co-operating on tactical missile defence for armies in the field,” said a senior Nato diplomat.”

Meanwhile, the Italians are attempting to prosecute the 26 CIA kidnappers of “Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who disappeared near his mosque in Milan on Feb. 17, 2003, says he was kidnapped. The cleric, known as Abu Omar, was freed this week from jail in Egypt, where he says he was taken and then tortured.”

Fat chance of extraditing them from Doodoo’s clutches. Yet the Italian proceedings will help highlight the prevalence throughout Europe of governments secretly colluding with the US in extraordinary renditions:

European parliamentary committee issued a detailed report into what it said were “at least” 1,245 secret C.I.A. flights in Europe, some of them involving extraordinary renditions. The report, which awaits approval by the Parliament, is particularly sensitive because it suggested forcibly that a number of governments knew of the flights.”