Archive for the ‘Iran’ Tag

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Jon Stewart “So, we’re fighting with Iran against ISIS, and then with Saudi Arabia against Iran,  Holy bleep!  We did it.  It took decades of destabilizing conflict but we finally figured out how to fight a proxy war against ourselves.”

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/1xg427/wait–whose-side-are-we-on-again-

 

 

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Jon Stewart “It was the State Of The Union address the Republicans wanted, delivered by leader they wish they had.  And, Netanyahu wasted no time explaining why there was no time to waste.”

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before Congress March 3, 2015 “That’s why this deal is so bad.  It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb….Iran’s breakout time would be very short, about a year by US assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.”

Stewart “Well of course, the Jewish assessment will be a little shorter, we like to cut a little off at the tip.  But, holy bleep, one year.  Bibi, if Iran’s that close, why didn’t you bring your urgent warning about Iran going nuclear sooner?  Oh wait, you did.  Apparently time was also running out 19 years ago.”

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before CongressJuly 10, 1996 “The most dangerous of these regimes is Iran…If this regime, or it’s despotic neighbor Iraq, were to acquire nuclear weapons, this could presage catastrophic consequences…Only the United States can lead this vital international effort to stop the nuclearization of terrorists states….Time is running out.  We have to act.”

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Stewart “But, this brings up the difficult issue.  What many in our government love about Netanyahu is his conviction and his certainty.”

Netanyahu to Congress March 3, 2015 “In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut,and Sana.”

Stewart “We have to act.  Look how Iran has expanded it’s power since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the destabilization of the region.  I mean, what kind of an idiot wouldn’t have seen that coming in 2002?  Oh Shalom.”

Netanyahu September 12, 2002 “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region….The reverberations of what happens with the collapse of Saddam’s regime could very well create an implosion in a neighboring regime like Iran.”

Stewart “Or, the opposite.”

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13ry42/bibi-s-big-adventures

 

 

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Militants who seized large swaths of Iraq’s Sunni heartland with lightning advances this week have pushed into an ethnically mixed province and captured two towns northeast of Baghdad, officials said Friday as neighboring Shiite powerhouse Iran signaled its willingness to confront the growing threat.

The fresh gains by insurgents, spearheaded by fighters from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, come as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government struggles to form a coherent response after the militants blitzed and captured the country’s second-largest city of Mosul, Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, smaller communities, as well as military and police bases — often after meeting little resistance from state security forces.

The fast-moving rebellion, which also draws support from former Saddam-era figures and other disaffected Sunnis, has emerged as the biggest threat to Iraq’s stability since the U.S. withdrawal at the end of 2011. It has pushed the nation closer to a precipice that could partition the country into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish zones.

The assault also threatens to embroil Iraq more deeply in a wider regional conflict, already feeding off the chaos caused by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency on Friday reported that former members of Tehran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard have announced their readiness to fight in Iraq against the Islamic State, while Iranian state TV quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying his country will do all it can to fight terrorism next door.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will apply all its efforts on the international and regional levels to confront terrorism,” the Iranian report said Rouhani told al-Maliki by phone.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/sunni-militants-capture-2-towns-near-baghdad

Posted June 13, 2014 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But first here’s my take. Vladimir Putin might be a 19th century statesman using old fashioned muscle to get his way but this week it has become that China’s president, Xi Jinping, goes one step further, comfortably embracing both the 19th and the 21st century. This also means that the challenge from China is going to be more complex than one the United States has ever faced before.

Let’s start with the 19th century aspect, the huge Sino-Russian natural gas deal signed this week is perfectly understandable in terms of old-fashioned real politics. Beijing has long sought secure energy supplies and it places that vital interest above any desire to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea or strengthen global norms against aggression. In fact, the Chinese recognize that the Russians facing sanctions were anxious to diversify away from their dependence on European customers and so Beijing probably got a good deal.

While the gas agreement has received all the attention, it’s also worth studying Xi’s future Shanghai, given the same day that the deal was struck. The venue was the gathering of an obscure Asian regional group, the one that includes Turkey, Iran and Russia, and not the United States. His message was that Asians should take care of their own security. Xi presented the Chinese view of the region, which he calls Asia and never the preferred U.S. term Asia Pacific. That term excludes the United States and implies that Washington as an outside power should not play a major role in Asian affairs. But this week, we also saw a new world of great power intrigue. The Justice Department filed former charges against five officials in the Chinese military and detailed the economic espionage that they allegedly have conducted against American companies over the last eight years.

The action is unprecedented, especially since these officials are never going to be arrested and will probably never leave China, and no one believes it will make a difference because the Chinese officials aren’t likely to face any kind of sanction at home. In fact if anything, they might regard being on this list as a badge of honor.

Now some experts believe that the scale of China’s cyber espionage is staggering. Quote, “It is the largest theft in human history,” unquote, says Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution. And he points to one specific example. The United States will spend about a trillion dollars developing, operating and maintaining the F-35 fighter which will be its most advanced weapon system.

Singer says, “We can now see clearly that elements of the F-35 have made their way into a similar Chinese plane. American investments that were meant to give it a 15-year battlefield advantage have been totally undermined.”

And Singer points out, China targets everyone from defense contractors down to small furniture makers whose chair designs get stolen and copied within a year.

Cyber attacks are part of a new messy chaotic world fueled by globalization and the information revolution in a wired networked world, it is much harder to shut down this kind of activity and it certainly will not be possible to do it using traditional mechanisms of national security. Notice that Washington is using a legal mechanism, which will be ineffective and largely symbolic for what is really a national security issue.

The Sino-Russian gas deal reminds us that traditional geopolitics is alive and well and Washington knows how to work its way in that world, but cyber espionage represents a new frontier and no one really has ideas, tools or strategies to properly address this challenge.

CNN.com – Transcripts

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: What would happen if Israel were to launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities?

HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (via translator): Israel will not do that. Israel knows very well what the response would be. Israel knows well our regional capability, Iran’s capability and we know what capabilities the Israelis have for that matter.

So, with all of these mind, these are empty slogans. When it comes to practice, the Israelis can’t do that.

If they do such a crazy thing, our response will make them rue the day.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1401/26/fzgps.01.html

Posted February 3, 2014 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Saudi Arabia cautiously welcomed Monday a deal reached between world powers and Iran, describing it as a possible initial step toward reaching a comprehensive solution for Tehran’s nuclear program.

The statement by the Saudi Cabinet was the first official reaction from the kingdom to Sunday’s deal. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s main political power, has previously expressed unease about U.S. outreach to Iran, and Gulf countries generally view any normalizing of ties between Tehran and the West as a direct threat to their own stability.

The Cabinet statement, released by the official Saudi Press Agency, said that if there is “goodwill” then a comprehensive solution would also entail a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, a reference to Israel’s presumed arsenal.

“If there is goodwill, then this agreement could be an initial step toward reaching a comprehensive solution for Iran’s nuclear program if that leads to the removal of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, from the Middle East and Arab Gulf,” the Saudi government said.

The government added that it hopes the agreement is succeeded by “important steps” that ensure the rights of all countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have already issued statements welcoming the nuclear deal.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/saudi-iran-nuclear-deal-step-21002574

Posted November 26, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But first, here is my take. If you’re trying to decide what to think about the deal struck between the major powers and Iran, here’s a suggestion. Imagine what would have happened if there had been no deal.

In fact, one doesn’t have to use much imagination. In 2003, Iran approached the United States with an offer to talk about its nuclear program. The Bush administration rejected the offer because it believed that the Iranian regime was weak, had been battered by sanctions, and would either capitulate or collapse if Washington just stayed tough.

So there was no deal. What was the result? Iran had 164 centrifuges operating in 2003. Today, it has 19,000. Had the Geneva talks with Iran broken down, Iran would have continued expanding its nuclear program.

Yes they are now under tough sanctions but they were under sanctions then as well. And yet, the number of centrifuges grew exponentially. Despite all the sanctions, keep in mind, the costs of a nuclear program are small for an oil rich country like Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been opposed to a deal. But is it in Israel’s interest that Iran’s program keep growing in size and scope?

That’s a strategy that assumes that either Iran is heading for collapse, or that a military strike will take place that would permanently destroy Iran’s entire nuclear program and it wouldn’t get rebuilt. This seems more like wishful thinking than strategy. The agreement that the major powers have gotten in Geneva essentially freezes Iran’s program for six months and rolls back some key aspects of it while a permanent deal is negotiated.

In return, Iran gets about $7 billion of sanctions relief, a fraction of what is in place against it. The main sanctions against its oil and banking sectors stay fully in place.

This is a sensible deal signed off on by France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, as well as the United States and Iran. But it is just an interim deal and not a historic rapprochement and that’s why so much of the opposition to it is misplaced.

Washington has many points of disagreement with Tehran, from its opposition to Israel and its support for Hezbollah to its funding of Iraq militias. This is not like Nixon’s opening to China. It’s more like an arms control deal with the Soviet Union, with two wary adversaries trying to find some common ground.

Many countries in the Middle East, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, have legitimate concerns about Iran. But many of these countries have also gotten used to having a permanent enemy against whom they could rail, focusing domestic attention, driving ideological and sectarian divides, garnering support.

The Middle East is undergoing so much change. Perhaps this is one more change. Perhaps Iran will come in from the Cold. For now though, it is just one step, not a seismic shift. But it is a step forward.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1311/24/fzgps.01.html

Posted November 25, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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