IAEA: Iran on cusp of nukes; Ron Paul: Iran isn’t even close to nukes, and we should be friends with them!
Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
Although the IAEA has chided Iran for years to come clean about a number of apparently weapons-related scientific projects, the new disclosures fill out the contours of an apparent secret research program that was more ambitious, more organized and more successful than commonly suspected. Beginning early in the last decade and apparently resuming — though at a more measured pace — after a pause in 2003, Iranian scientists worked concurrently across multiple disciplines to obtain key skills needed to make and test a nuclear weapon that could fit inside the country’s long-range missiles, said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who has reviewed the intelligence files.
GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul says “offering friendship” to Iran, not sanctions, would be a more fruitful to achieving peace with Tehran.
The Texas congressman says fears about Iran’s nuclear program have been “blown out of proportion.” He says tough penalties are a mistake because, as he says was the case in Iraq, they only hurt the local population and still paved a path to war.
When asked on “Fox News Sunday” what he would do to deter Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, Paul said “maybe offering friendship to them.”
Yeah, the weirdbeards and mullahs will love us and stop funding terrorism if we just play nice with them. It’d be like the last three decades never happened.
UN renders itself even more useless, appoints country that stones women to its women’s rights commission
As if you needed any additional reasons to dismiss the usefulness of the United Nations, the UN has decided to give you one:
Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.”
The human gaffe-o-meter we’ve got for VP admits something we all knew: the “stimulus” isn’t working. Gee, thanks, Joe. Nothing quite like peeing away our kids’ futures over something that doesn’t work, huh? How’s that Hopenchange workin’ for you now?
Ahmanutjob says he won the Iranian “election”. We know it was rigged. Pro-reform students say they’re screwed if Obama accepts the tainted election results that confirm Ahmanutjob’s victory. Obama says “Hey, sucks for you, reformers!” by legitimizing vote fraud, like his mentor Jimmy “the Dhimmi” Carter would do. Of course, considering his deep ties to ACORN, this should come as no surprise.
Oprompter fires an Inspector General who was investigating an Uhhh-bama ally, a move that should have generated tons of outrage due to its reeking of Chicago-style corruption and cronyism. Firing an I.G. is rare, even more so than, oh, firing U.S. Attorneys who serve at the pleasure of the president. Yet for some really weird reason, the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) made a lot of noise over the latter scenario when a Republican administration did it. But nope…no liberal media bias!
Here is an outstanding column on the left’s and the MSM’s (it’s a redundant Monday, what can I say?) efforts to link abortionist George Tiller’s murderer to us pro-lifers. I just want to know: Why is it “out of bounds” or “beyond the pale” to play “guilt by association” with Obama and guys he actually DID personally know and associate with (Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, Farrakahn), but it’s totally acceptable to play “guilt by association” with von Brunn and millions of people he didn’t know or who didn’t know him? Nope…no liberal media bias!
Oy, vey. Excerpt:
President Barack Obama suggested that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy _ provided it proves by the end of the year that its aspirations are peaceful.
In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, he also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor.
Iran has insisted its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. But the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons.
“What I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations,” Obama said, adding that the international community also “has a very real interest” in preventing a nuclear arms race.
Ed nails it:
The inconvenient fact? Iran has all the resources it needs for energy production now. In fact, with the money they’ve spent on nuclear technology, they could have built oil refineries that would have reduced or eliminated their depending on imports for gasoline, producing it themselves from their own abundant supply. Absent sanctions, Iran could make a mint each year off of oil revenues and produce all the energy they need for domestic consumption, too.
So why do they pursue nuclear power? They want it for something other than energy production, although they’ll take that, too. Since they also spend a lot of money testing and launching rockets these days, the conclusion is a lot less difficult than Obama makes it. Iran has mainly illegitimate motives for pursuing nuclear technology.
The last time we took a hostile nation’s word for it that they would only use nuke energy for energy and not for weapons, the NorKoms convinced us (or, more accurately, the naive Democrat president and his Not Bright Secretary of State) of their peaceful intents. Say, how’d that work out?
What a nice segue with the prior post! Just as I finished castigating the left for its mindless groupthink, I read this article about how we’re talking to Iran about nukes and whatnot. What better opportunity to show that righties (at the very least, this rightie) don’t simply parrot our leaders’ (and I use that word loosely) talking points?
I have to wonder: is Bush doing McLame any favors here? We on the right (plus McCain) have been blasting and ridiculing Barry O for wanting to meet with Iran, which (among other things) grants them an air of legitimacy that they’re not due. Juan McAmnesty has been running ads against the Obamessiah regarding this type of naivete. So could someone please tell me how what the administration is doing differs from what that pathological liar from IL wants to do?
Wow. ABC actually reported the politically expedient shift away from his nutroots base in order to appear more “moderate”! How’d that make it through the newsroom’s filter?
In other related news, Hell freezes over.
Less than a year ago, he said they weren’t. A couple of days ago, he said our military’s presence has strengthened Iran. Today while pandering for Jewish votes, he flip-flopped.
Over 3/4 of his Senate colleagues voted to designate the IRG as a terrorist organization. Considering they’ve been aiding the Iraqi insurgency and killing our soldiers, such a designation is well deserved. But a scant few months ago, the Obamessiah, trying to shore up his moonbat base, tied a “Yes” vote with a neo-con war plan that is non-existent. If the intent was to authorize military force against Iran, how did it earn the support of that many Democrats (including Reid, Schumer, and Durbin)? Did Osamabama even bother to read the d@mned bill?
If the guy doesn’t have a hair on his nad sack to stand on his principles in the face of Jewish voters, how in the blue hell can he be expected to confront the evil that threatens this country today? What a puss!
To quote Ace: “Oh. My. God.” What a friggin’ lunatic.
Having blurted out, probably accidentally, that the surge was in fact successful, Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants now scrambles to credit the enemy nation murdering our troops with the victory our troops accomplished through blood, sweat, tears, and more blood.
It’s not our troops. It’s not Petraeus’ leadership. It’s not the Iraqis turning on the Al Qaeda murderers. No — it’s Iran’s goodwill.
Well, the purpose of the surge was to provide a secure space, a time for the political change to occur to accomplish the reconciliation. That didn’t happen. Whatever the military success, and progress that may have been made, the surge didn’t accomplish its goal.And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians.
Pardon my blasphemy but Jesus Christ All Mighty.
Will she also thank Al Qaeda for scaling back its beheadings and bombings?
And to think this moonbat extraordinaire is two steps away from the presidency!
From Barry O’s web site:
“We have not exhausted our non-military options in confronting the Iranian threat; in many ways, we have yet to try them. Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization.“
Hey, what a great idea! Let’s offer Ahmanutjob membership into the WTO, an organization that is held in such esteem in Iran:
“Perhaps Mr. Obama is unaware that one of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s first acts was to freeze Tehran’s efforts for securing WTO membership because he regards the outfit as ‘a nest of conspiracies by Zionists and Americans.’”
D’oh! Obama is such a friggin’ lightweight.
Dude’s trying to out-Kerry Kerry. Barry O last year:
Obama said global leaders must do whatever it takes to stop Iran from enriching uranium and acquiring nuclear weapons. He called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “reckless, irresponsible and inattentive” to the day-to-day needs of the Iranian people.
The Iranian “regime is a threat to all of us,” Obama said.
Osamabama a few days ago:
Barack Obama gave an interesting description of Iran and the threat it poses to the United States and our national interests at an appearance in Oregon last night. “They don’t pose a serious threat to us in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us,” Obama told a cheering audience, explaining why he doesn’t think we need to worry about “tiny” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Obama also displays a weird sense of history when he suggests that the Berlin Wall fell because we engaged Mikhail Gorbachev…
Part of the Obamessiah’s reasoning as to why Iran isn’t much of a threat to us is that they spend “1/100th” of what we spend on defense. As Ace points out:
By stating that Iran isn’t a threat because they spend much less on defense than the US, Obama displays a complete ignorance of how asymmetric warfare operates. The AQ “defense budget” for pulling off 9/11, was by comparison to the US, essentially zero.
Anywho, Obambi yesterday:
“The Soviet Union had the ability to destroy the world several times over, had satellites spanning the globe, had huge masses of conventional military power, all directed at destroying us,” he said. “So, I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave. …
“Iran is a grave threat. It has an illicit nuclear program. It supports terrorism across the region and militias in Iraq. It threatens Israel’s existence. It denies the Holocaust,” he said.
Dude, pick a story and stick with it, will ya? You’re freaking out your supporters right now.
The dumb#ss may think that Iran isn’t a grave threat to the U.S., but it’s clear that Obama is.
Jean-Francois Heinz-Kerry (who is rumored to have served in Vietnam) took to the airwaves yesterday to defend Obama from charges that Bush never made about Obama, specifically that Obama wants to meet with terrorist regimes like Iran. From the Weekly Standard:
On MSNBC a few minutes ago, Senator John Kerry was on, furiously trying to explain Barack Obama’s increasingly tortuous position on Iran. (Kerry as Obama’s foreign policy proxy? You know where this is going…)
Senator Kerry attempted to claim that Obama doesn’t necessarily want direct, presidential-level diplomacy with Iran. Rather, he explained, “That’s why you have a Secretary of State, that’s why you have ambassadors.”
Well, that settles it! If a man who has an imaginary event like Christmas in Cambodia “seared, seared” into his memory says that the Obamessiah never said he’d meet with Iran without preconditions, then I should certainly believe that man over my own lying eyes and ears.
It depends on the meaning of the words “direct” and “without preconditions”!
Susan E. Rice, a former State Department and National Security Council official who is a foreign policy adviser to the Democratic candidate, said that “for political purposes, Senator Obama’s opponents on the right have distorted and reframed” his views. Mr. McCain and his surrogates have repeatedly stated that Mr. Obama would be willing to meet “unconditionally” with Mr. Ahmadinejad. But Dr. Rice said that this was not the case for Iran or any other so-called “rogue” state. Mr. Obama believes “that engagement at the presidential level, at the appropriate time and with the appropriate preparation, can be used to leverage the change we need,” Dr. Rice said. “But nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.”
Speak up a little louder, in my good ear! This is from your own campaign web site, so I’m having a little trouble understanding you here:
It must be that “nuance” thingy the left keeps yammering about.
By the way, the first time he said he’d personally meet with Iran without preconditions, the NYT covered those remarks. Oddly enough, now that they’re in the tank for him, they conveniently omit any reference in today’s story (Dr. Rice’s comments above) to the prior remarks. Nope…no liberal media bias!
Man, “peace” protestors sure do ignore that whole “peace” thing, don’t they? From Capt. Ed:
A group of anti-war protesters interrupted an Easter Mass in Chicago yesterday, stunning parishioners with their shouts during Cardinal Francis George’s homily. They then squirted stage blood on the congregation, leading to their arrest and an angry confrontation in the gathering space outside the hall. As it turns out, the protesters not only were mostly incoherent, but also very, very late (via Memeorandum):
Six people were arrested at Holy Name parish’s auditorium Sunday after disrupting an Easter mass to protest the Iraq war.
The group—whose female and male members identified themselves as Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War—stood up at the beginning of Cardinal Francis George’s homily and shouted their opposition to the conflict, which marked its fifth anniversary last week. As security guards and ushers tried to remove them from the service, the demonstrators squirted fake blood on themselves and parishioners dressed in their Easter finery.
The red substance, which one protester later described as “stage blood,” initially drew gasps and a few terrified yelps from the 600 worshipers at the mass. The shock, however, quickly transformed into anger as people booed the six while they were escorted from the parish auditorium.
Why did they target the Chicago cathedral? Almost three months ago, Cardinal George met with President Bush. The protesters explained (much later) that the Cardinal should have challenged Bush to end the war during that private meeting. They failed to explain (a) how they know that Cardinal George didn’t do that, and (b) why it took them ten weeks to protest the meeting.
I warned people three weeks ago that the anti-war movement was going to start getting violent. Alan Colmes scoffed at the notion, but assaulting people sitting in church demonstrates that the fringe of the movement has no sense of boundaries, and their frustration at losing in the political process keeps growing. Instead of peacefully protesting outside the cathedral, which is their right to do, they insisted on breaking the law and conspiring to commit multiple acts of battery. This time, they used fake blood. How long before that won’t be enough, and they start trying to draw real blood instead?
Jim Hoft has a roundup of links relating to the story. It turns out that one of the apparent sponsors of this attack is the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian organization. Why is a sponsor of the Palestinian cause sponsoring or at least offering apologetics for an attack on a Catholic Mass? One might expect the news media to ask that question, and to ask whether this is just an anti-war attack or whether it is an anti-Catholic, anti-Christian hate crime.
If that’s not clear enough, let me ask readers what kind of coverage this would have provoked had it been conducted against the worshipers at a mosque. If a group of anti-terrorist protesters had broken into Friday prayers at a Chicago mosque to spray stage blood all over Muslims in protest of al-Qaeda and the Taliban — a little stronger connection than that between the Catholic Church and the war in Iraq — the newspapers would have trumpeted it as a hate crime against American Muslims, followed by weeks of human-interest, anecdotal accounts of how terrible America is to its Muslim citizens.
“Peace” and “Palestinians” should never be used in the same sentence! At any rate, funny to see the “peace” nuts reacting three months later to something that pissed them off. Then again, we all knew they were a little “slow”, didn’t we?
Barack Obama’s most senior military adviser says President Bush is to blame for Iran’s bad behavior.
This assessment provided to Insight from retired Gen. Merrill McPeak provides a glimpse into how an Obama administration would deal with Iran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has referred to the ultimate destruction of Israel; is pursuing nuclear weapons in the opinion of some national security experts; and his Revolutionary Guard is training Iraqis to kill American military personnel in Iraq.
Of course it’s Bush fault! Back when he was in his 20′s, he caused Iran to hold American hostages for 444 days and be on our sh#t list ever since. For those of you on the left, the prior sentence was sarcasm.
Drinking too much over a lifetime can fry your liver, to say nothing of other health problems. However, in Iran, it can also lead to the unsavory side effect of public execution. From Ahmanutjob’s land:
A young Iranian man has been sentenced to hang for repeatedly drinking alcohol which is strictly banned in the Islamic republic, the Etemad newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old, identified only as Mohsen, was handed down the death penalty by a criminal court after being found guilty of drinking alcohol for a fourth time, the daily said.
“The defendant in this case has been sentenced to death and the official notification will be given soon,” it quoted Judge Jalil Jalili as saying.
“According to article 179 of the Islamic penal code, if someone drinks twice and is punished for it on each occasion he should be executed on the third offence,” Jalili said.
Mohsen was punished for drinking alcohol three times in May, June and October 2006. In the latest case, he was arrested for drunken and disorderly behavior on the street, the daily said.
The young man had expressed his repentance in a letter, but the judges of Branch 72 of Tehran penal court sentenced him to death.
Spring Break must be a real bummer for Iranian college students!
That’s the title of this awesome op-ed from NRO that addresses, among other things, an odd conspiracy theory that Chimpy McHitlerburton is wheeling and dealing with the Iranian weirdbeards on the down-low. From NRO:
I must confess that I am beginning to feel sorry for the people–the men, that is–who issued the now-infamous NIE proclaiming their near-certitude that Iran “halted” its secret nuclear weapons program in 2003, and their heartwarming belief, at a lower level of certitude, that the mullahs haven’t resumed it. This embarrassingly crafted bit of fluff has failed to pass muster in London, Paris, Berlin and Jerusalem, and in much of Washington and New York. Most of us thought this would put an end to any aggressive policy toward Tehran, but life is full of surprises and if anything the call for tougher sanctions is stronger today than it seemed last week.
And apologists for the NIE–a group that more or less coincides with those who still believe in the likelihood of a “grand bargain” with the mullahs–are resorting to some pathetic attempts to advance their policy. Two of them, Hillary Mann Leverett and her husband, Flynt Leverett–both former Bush administration dissidents–have an odd oped in today’s New York Times, in which they argue a) that anyone who proposed “engagement” with Iran in the early Bush years was risking her career, and b) that Iran has really tried to cooperate with us in the past, but got nowhere.
As for a), I’m not aware that anyone was ever fired or demoted from the Bush Administration for advancing the “engagement” policy. Indeed, Richard Haas, an intimate of then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and head of State’s Bureau of Policy Planning, vigorously advanced it, and I think he got various high-ranking officials (perhaps Mr. Leverett himself) to go meet quietly with Iranian counterparts to explore the possibility of detente. And, as I have written several times, a bit more than a year ago, Secretary Rice asked former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales to go to Tehran, which he did. He met with Mr. Larijani, who told him to forget it.
So a) seems factually wrong.
As for b), you really have to read the small print. For Leverett and Leverett actually say this:
“Iran has tried tactical cooperation with the United States several times over the past two decades — including helping to secure the release of hostages from Lebanon in the late 1980s and sending shipments of arms to Bosnian Muslims when the United States was forbidden to do so.”
Yes, the Iranians were in a great position to be “helpful” to our hostages in Lebanon in the mid and late eighties. After all, they had instructed Hezbollah to take the hostages in the first place. They were running the old mafia insurance scam, first demonstrating their ability to kill us (as they did to at least two of the hostages, Higgins and Buckley), then showing their control by releasing a handful. If that’s the “grand bargain” that the Leveretts have in mind, I’d rather pay protection money. It saves on travel expenses and time wasted.
As for the provision of weapons to “Bosnian Muslims,” this was one of the Clinton Administration’s most scandalous undertakings. We enabled the Iranians to smuggle weapons into the Balkans in violation of formal international agreements (CIA at the time was within a hair of accusing the White House of carrying out a covert action without legal approval), and it enabled the mullahs to set up a substantial terrorist-training network through which many of the most infamous killers, including some involved in the 9/11 attacks, passed in the eighties and nineties. I wouldn’t hold that up as a great example of “tactical cooperation.” More like “American stupidity combined with Iranian murderous cunning.”
The Leveretts give us one more pathetic example of Tehran’s presumed virtue, and America’s meanness in response.
“Tehran’s expectations of reciprocal good will have been dashed by American condemnation of perceived provocations in other arenas, as when Iranian support for objectives in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks was rewarded by President Bush’s inclusion of Iran in the “axis of evil.”
Do they not know that the mullahs were playing both sides of the table? At the very moment Tehran was sitting at the negotiating table with us to discuss the future of Afghanistan, Iranian-guided terrorists were trying to kill Americans on the ground. Just as they are today, in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
It’s kind of a template for the nuclear program: on the one hand they make a friendly gesture, on the other hand they continue to produce the ingredients of their atomic bomb.
How sad (yet unsurprising) that we have high-ranking public service personnel who will take the word over some bloodthirsty jihadist camelhumpers over their own commander-in-chief.
I haven’t covered the National Intelligence Estimate report much, mainly because there’s been quite a bit of info out there about it. In short, our intel community (which has been at war with the administration as much as, if not more so than, with Al Qaeda) released a report that says Iran doesn’t have nukes or the ability to make them.
British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran…
British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war – as their reports on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes did in Iraq – that they got it wrong this time.
A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.
The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. “We are sceptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.
John Bolton describes the NIE as both “politics disguised as intelligence” and “quasi-putsch”, which is more diplomatic than I would be.
When Ahmanutjob remarked recently there were no gays in Iran, he didn’t know there was one left. So Iran went ahead and killed the remaining homo.
Finally, Iran has their queer-free panacea, and if they had to be a little barbaric and savage to achieve it, then (a) it’s no different than the many other acts of Islamic barbarity we’ve seen; and (b) the bloodthirsty camelhumpers felt it was well worth it.
Obviously, when Ahmanutjob said there were no gays in Iran, he was right: they kill gays in Iran. Don’t be hatin’…they’re just listening to Allah. From the UK’s Times:
Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt…
Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted”, the record states. “He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”
Before any of you try and retort with the lame yet predictable “Christianity says the same thing”, let me retort in advance: No, it does not!
The Bible is clear on homosexuality: it’s an abomination in the eyes of God. But guess what? So is heterosexual fornication, theft, lying, murder, coveting, and a whole slew of other things. No one of those is any worse in the eyes of God than the other. God does not incite us to commit an act of violence against those who engage in any of those sinful activities.
“Oh yeah?”, you ask, “what about Leviticus 20:13? It says ‘If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. ‘? That’s an incitement to murder if I’ve ever heard one!” Regardless of what that Democrat cretin Fred Phelps might say, any references in the Bible to “must be put to death” are speaking of spiritual death imposed by God (i.e. Hell), since obviously killing another human being would clearly contradict the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment. Being an unrepentant limpwrist won’t get you to Hell any faster than being an unrepentant liar or thief. Judgment is His, not ours.
Don’t believe in God? Not my problem. Believe in God, but not the “thou shalt not be a pillowbiter” part? Not my problem. You want to be a polesmoker? Be my guest. But one thing you can’t ignore is that nowhere in the Bible does God command anyone to torture, kill, or harm gay people. Period. According to Iran, Islam cannot make that claim.
How this must agitate the leftards who support this wench! From the AP:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton advocated talks to settle differences with Iran but said Saturday that Tehran would invite U.S. action if it were to disrupt oil supplies.
In other words, Her Highness would launch a “war for oil”, presumably just to show Dubya how a real “war for oil” should be conducted!
It’s about time we started calling these weirdbeards what they are. From the Washington comPost:
The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a “specially designated global terrorist,” according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group’s business operations and finances.
The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials have described as its growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, the sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure on the administration to toughen its stance against Tehran, as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of U.N. resolutions against Iran’s nuclear program, officials said.
U.N. resolutions…ineffective? Get outta here! Continuing:
The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said — a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.
“Anyone doing business with these people will have to reevaluate their actions immediately,” said a U.S. official familiar with the plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced. “It increases the risks of people who have until now ignored the growing list of sanctions against the Iranians. It makes clear to everyone who the IRGC and their related businesses really are. It removes the excuses for doing business with these people.”
Of course, this story wouldn’t be complete without the “bash Bush” angle, now would it?
The administration’s move could hurt diplomatic efforts, some analysts said. “It would greatly complicate our efforts to solve the nuclear issue,” said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Center for American Progress. “It would tie an end to Iran’s nuclear program to an end to its support of allies in Hezbollah and Hamas. The only way you could get a nuclear deal is as part of a grand bargain, which at this point is completely out of reach.”
So let me get this straight: if we want Iran to stop developing nukes AND to stop supporting terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, WE are being unreasonable? I would argue that those two positions are non-negotiable, and until Iran agrees on those two points, there’s nothing else to discuss with them. Good grief! Only a pointy-headed diplomat-type would be crazy enough to think that identifying terrorism (especially a group that has killed some of our soldiers in Iraq) is counterproductive to the disarming process.
From ABC News:
NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran’s proxy war against the United States and Great Britain.
“It is inconceivable that it is anyone other than the Iranian government that’s doing it,” said former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stopped short earlier this week of blaming Iran, saying the U.S. did not have evidence “of the involvement of the Iranian government in support of the Taliban.”
But an analysis by a senior coalition official, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, concludes there is clear evidence of Iran’s involvement.
“This is part of a considered policy,” says the analysis, “rather than the result of low-level corruption and weapons smuggling.”
Iran and the Taliban had been fierce enemies when the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan, and their apparent collaboration came as a surprise to some in the intelligence community.
“I think their goal is to make it very clear that Iran has the capability to make life worse for the United States on a variety of fronts,” said Seth Jones of the Rand Institute, “even if they have to do some business with a group that has historically been their enemy.”
The coalition analysis says munitions recovered in two Iranian convoys, on April 11 and May 3, had “clear indications that they originated in Iran. Some were identical to Iranian supplied goods previously discovered in Iraq.”
The April convoy was tracked from Iran into Helmand province and led a fierce firefight that destroyed one vehicle, according to the official analysis. A second vehicle was reportedly found to contain small arms ammunition, mortar rounds and more than 650 pounds of C4 demolition charges.
A second convoy of two vehicles was spotted on May 3 and led to the capture of five occupants and the seizure of RPG-7mm rockets and more than 1,000 pounds of C4, the analysis says.
Also among the munitions are components for the lethal EFPs, or explosive formed projectiles, the roadside bombs that U.S. officials say Iran has provided to Iraqi insurgents with deadly results.
“These clearly have the hallmarks of the Iranian Revolution Guards’ Quds force,” said Jones.
The coalition diplomatic message says the demolition charges “contained the same fake U.S. markings found on explosives recovered from insurgents operating in the Baghdad area.”
“We believe these intercepted munitions are part of a much bigger flow of support from Iran to the Taliban,” the message says.
The Taliban receives larger supplies of weapons through profits from opium dealing, officials say, but the Iranian presence could be significant.
“It means the insurgency in Afghanistan is likely to be prolonged,” said Jones. “It would be a much more potent force.”
If Iran’s not careful, they’re going to find themselves in a world of hurt by…dare I say it?…being on the business end of a…gasp!…a sternly worded UN Resolution! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
God Allah that My Damn Speaker Pe-loco is gonna go have a chat with Ahmanutjob! Maybe she’ll give him a stern talking-to, San Franistan style! From Forbes:
Iraqi militia fighters are being trained in Iran to build and use deadly armor-piercing roadside bombs and complex attack strategies against American forces, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell would not say how many militiamen had gone to Iran but said that questioning of fighters captured as recently as this month confirmed many had been in Iranian training camps.
“They do receive training on how to assemble and employ EFPs,” Caldwell said, adding that fighters also were taught how to carry out attacks that use explosives followed by assaults with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.
The accusations are the latest attempt by the United States to show that Iran is meddling in the Iraq war. If true, the training poses a serious threat to both U.S. forces and Iraqi stability. Iraq, which like Iran is majority Shiite, has found itself in a difficult position since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, trying to maintain good relations with its neighbor while not angering the Americans.
Yeah, I’d like to maintain good relations with my neighbors if they were trying to kill me.
Not content to resting on her laurels after a meeting with the chinless terrorist-enabling regime of Syria, My Damn…er, “Madame”…Speaker Pelosi wants to cuddle with the top Iranian weirdbeard himself. From San Fran-istan’s fishwrap:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, just back from a trip to Syria that sparked sharp criticism from Republicans and the Bush administration, suggested Tuesday that they may be interested in taking another diplomatic trip – to open a dialogue with Iran.
The Democratic speaker from San Francisco and Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, were asked at a press conference in San Francisco Tuesday whether on the heels of their recent trip to the Middle East they would be interested in extending their diplomacy in the troubled region with a visit to Iran.
“Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, because however objectionable, unfair and inaccurate many of (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s) statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him,” Lantos said. “Speaking for myself, I’m ready to go — and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be.”
Pelosi did not dispute that statement, and noted that Lantos — a Hungarian-born survivor of the Holocaust — brought “great experience, knowledge and judgment” to the recent bipartisan congressional delegation trip to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in addition to Syria.
Beautiful. I can almost hear Ahmanutjob singing “Kumbaya” as we speak. Continuing:
“I find the president of Iran’s remarks to be so repulsive that they are outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” Pelosi said, referring to Ahmadinejad’s past comments that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map and his questioning of the existence of the Holocaust.
“But a person of Mr. Lantos’ stature and personal experience is saying that — even as a Holocaust survivor and even recognizing the outrageous statements of the president of Iran — it’s important to have dialogue. I think that speaks volumes.”
I can almost see the dialogue now…
Pe-loco: Mr. President, it’s great to see you! I brought you a gift from my home town. It’s a book called ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’.
Ahmanutjob: Thank you. You are too kind. Ummm…My Damn Speaker, who is this man you bring with you?
Pe-loco: This is Congressman Tom Lantos. He’s a a Hungarian-born survivor of the Holocaust and…
Ahmanutjob: Survivor of the WHAT?
Pe-loco: The Holocaust, sir.
Ahmanutjob: There was no such thing. This infidel is a fraud. Remove him from my presence.
Pe-loco: Sorry, Tom, that sucks for you. Wait in the plane.
Ahmanutjob: My Damn Speaker, where is your woman-garb???
Pe-loco: Oh, how embarassing! My apologies, sir, I’ll get Tom to get my Muslim head scarf from the airplane. Now, where were we?
Ahmanutjob: Denouncing your president.
Pe-loco: Oh yes, we were indeed! Anyway, I don’t know if you followed the goings-on in Florida in our 2000 election, but…
Lantos noted that “with the speaker’s support,” he has co-sponsored legislation in the House that calls for making available to all countries — including Iran — nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes under international oversight by establishing a “nuclear fuel bank.”
“So if the Iranian president says that he is developing (nuclear material) for peaceful purposes, we are assisting him in that process,” said Lantos, who anticipated the legislation could pass as early as May.
Maybe we could get the UN to administer the “nuclear fuel bank”? They did such a bang-up job with that Oil-For-Food program, didn’t they?
From the UK:
* We were blindfolded and subjected to interrogation
* We were told we faced seven years in prison if we did not ‘confess’
* Iranians entered Iraqi waters deliberately to detain us. Fighting back was not an option
* We were 1.7 nautical miles away from Iranian waters
* We were under psychological pressure and mind games
* Faye Turney was isolated in a cell away from the rest of the crew
* Iranian state TV says crew’s comments were ‘dictated’ by British Ministry of Defence
The British sailors released by Iran have today told how they were kidnapped and blindfolded and subjected to ‘constant psychological pressure’.
The sailors and marines said they were bound, blindfolded and lined up against a wall while weapons were cocked, making them “fear the worst”.
OK, who wants to join me in holding our breaths waiting for the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo bellyachers to forcefully denounce Iran for using these tactics that brought about their wails of condemnation against America? Any takers?
Man, isn’t there anything that this man isn’t responsible for these days? From the Limeys:
But Britain’s delicate diplomatic efforts were set back by U.S. President George W. Bush, who made a statement Saturday in which he characterized the imprisoned sailors as “hostages” – a phrase that Britain has been carefully avoiding to prevent the crisis from becoming a broader political or military conflict.
Bush calls the hostages “hostages”, and that just ticked off what had heretofore been a passive, non-hostile, and reasonable Iran, right?
So Bush was awful to refer to the hostages as “hostages”. Got it. Then could someone please explain how this appeared in the exact same article?
British negotiators believe the Iranians have already won all the rewards they have been seeking – mainly by using several of the hostages for propaganda purposes by broadcasting videos and letters in which they admit, possibly under duress, to trespassing on Iranian territory and demand that their government withdraw from Iraq.
In other words, Bush is a bad guy for using the exact same terminology that the newspaper used to describe the hostages? Do these guys even have editors at this fishwrap?
The Nose On Your Face does it again! This hilarious bit is at the expense of the mad mullahs of Iran. From TNOYF:
The tense standoff between Iran and Britain over the fifteen sailors who were captured by the Iranians last week almost came to a quick conclusion earlier today thanks to the handiwork of noted Middle Eastern funny-man Farouk bin Hasim.
Hasim, the host of the wildly popular “Persian Punk’d”, made his way into a meeting of the Iranian Grand Council this morning sporting a Ronald Reagan mask. The reaction was immediate.
“Oh, but if you could have smelled the collective seat of the Mullah’s robes when they saw him walk in with that Reagan mask on!” said Hasim’s close friend and cameraman Yephik Bashar. “There was a stench in the air more foul than a syphilitic camel sporting Paris Hilton’s undergarments. And the whimpering! ‘A thousand apologies Mr. President Reagan sir!‘ ‘We are so very sorry for the trouble Mr. President Reagan sir!.’ Priceless.”
The religious leaders became aware of the joke shortly after Hasim left and they discovered that their navy was still intact.
The episode will air early next month.
“Please, Mr. President Reagan, sir! Don’t humiliate us again!”
From spoofmaster Scrappleface:
Iran announced today that it would release immediately the 15 British soldiers and marines it took hostage last week to avoid further “cordial pressure and devastating pleasantries” from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
“In this test of wills,” said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “we acknowledge the superior power of the adversary. We cannot withstand another onslaught of polite diplomatic language nor the withering, if unspoken, consternation we detect in the eyes of Tony Blair.”
A spokesman for Mr. Blair said, “Tyrants like Ahmadinejad, and the radical Mullahs who prop him up, understand only one thing: swift, targeted courtesy. And though we were reluctant to overreact to this little dust up, the Iranian leader now knows we mean business.”
The British Prime Minister’s spokesman added, “Our patience is virtually unlimited, but not infinitely unlimited. That’s why Iran blinked. They could see a day coming when the talking would stop, and we would reach into our arsenal of UN resolutions to consider more sanctions.”
Stop…or we shall be forced to say “Stop” again!
We should be so lucky. From the NY Sun:
Iran’s civil society is experiencing major breakdowns, the country’s reformist press and Web loggers are reporting. Signs of growing economic instability include high inflation, rising prices, food shortages, and long lines at gas stations. (With the exception of the latter, it sounds an awful lot like Hugo Chavez’ “worker’s paradise”, doesn’t it? – Ed.)
The January 20 edition of the Iranian reformist daily Rooz included an interview with an economist, Saeed Leilaz. ” Iran is on the verge of economic collapse,” he said. “A large portion of the economic turn for the worse is due to Ahmadinejad’s policies and management style … [which] have prompted many to publicly criticize [him]. … The administration has increased government expenditures so much that we will face an enormous budget deficit in the coming year.”
Mr. Leilaz also said Iran’s deep economic crisis could “ultimately lead to the disintegration of the government.”
Maybe we’ll get lucky and see Ahmanutjob tossed out on his tuchus before Israel has to bomb their nuke facilities.
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