Monday, January 04, 2010

Meanwhile, Iran

Oh gawd, not more BS from the Times of London, the trashiest of the Murdoch media empire’s flotilla of garbage barges!


Now the hapless editors of the Times have done their friends another favor and planted yet another obvious fake story, this time supposedly proving that the War Party’s next target – Iran – is building nukes in defiance of the world.


In a story posted on and written by Gareth Porter, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA and DIA official, citing his sources in the intelligence community, exposed the Times documents as forgeries – and, as it turns out, maybe even just as crude as the notorious Niger uranium forgeries , which purported to show Saddam’s agents purchasing uranium from that African nation.


This would be funny if it weren’t being taken seriously, including by the Obama administration, which is treating this fabrication as if it were real, as Times columnist Oliver Kamm gloated the other day.


That the Obama administration is now citing "intelligence" gleaned by this sleazy operator Kamm, and Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Times, as "evidence" that sanctions on Iran must be imposed is nauseating in the extreme. It ought to produce vertigo in those liberals and deluded "progressives" who still hope Obama – their Obama, the Obama of their dreams – will come through on the foreign policy front. Perhaps this will wake them up to what they’re dealing with in this White House.

  Justin Raimondo

And perhaps monkeys will….well, you know.

The New York Times has an article on the administration’s Iran approach.

In interviews, Mr. Obama’s strategists said that while Iran’s top political and military leaders remained determined to develop nuclear weapons, they were distracted by turmoil in the streets and political infighting, and that the drive to produce nuclear fuel appeared to have faltered in recent months.


Yes, because tiny Iran has so few resources that it has to take its scientists and developers off the job, put them into military and police uniforms, and send them into the streets to battle protesters. As soon as they have that under control, they’ll go back to nukes production. No, seriously. I thought I was making a joke when I wrote that, but then I read on. That’s truly what we’re expected to believe.

The White House wants to focus the new sanctions on theIslamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the military force believed to run the nuclear weapons effort. That force has also played a crucial role in the repression of antigovernment demonstrators since the disputed presidential election in June.

Although repeated rounds of sanctions over many years have not dissuaded Iran from pursuing nuclear technology, an administration official involved in the Iran policy said the hope was that the current troubles “give us a window to impose the first sanctions that may make the Iranians think the nuclear program isn’t worth the price tag.”

These factors have led the administration’s policy makers to lengthen their estimate of how long it would take Iran to accomplish what nuclear experts call “covert breakout” — the ability to secretly produce a workable weapon.

So, we’re not 45 minutes away from a mushroom cloud this time.

“For now, the Iranians don’t have a credible breakout option, and we don’t think they will have one for at least 18 months, maybe two or three years,” said one senior administration official at the center of the White House Iran strategy.

It’s nice to leave yourself some range in these things, since you can’t be positive of how things are going to work out back here at home.

Sanctions will be a difficult balancing act for the administration, since it acknowledges that three previous rounds of sanctions have failed to deter Iran, and it also wants to avoid angering Iranians protesting in the streets by depriving them of Western goods. That is why the administration is focusing on the Revolutionary Guards, who are increasingly detested by the protesters, and who have built up billions of dollars of business interests in telecommunications, oil and construction.

And there’s your real reason for targeting the Revolutionary Guards.

Washington’s assessments of how much progress Iran has made toward a weapon have varied greatly over the past two years, partly a reflection of how little is known about the inner workings of the country’s nuclear programs.

Mr. Obama’s top advisers say they no longer believe the key finding of a much disputedNational Intelligence Estimate about Iran, published a year before President George W. Bush left office, which said that Iranian scientists ended all work on designing a nuclear warhead in late 2003.

And why is that?

After reviewing new documents that have leaked out of Iran and debriefing defectors lured to the West, Mr. Obama’s advisers say they believe the work on weapons design is continuing on a smaller scale — the same assessment reached by Britain, France, Germany and Israel.

How nice that we have gotten France and Germany to support us this time. You see, it’s not at all like the Iraqi pre-war BS.

The biggest disruption came in late September when Mr. Obama, along with PresidentNicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, publicly exposed Iran’s covert effort to build an enrichment plant near Qum.


American officials say that the Qum plant is now useless to the Iranians.


The official added, “It would take Iran three to four years to build a duplicate of Qum,” although he acknowledged that Iran could have another secret facility that Western intelligence had missed.


Both administration officials and experts say that another factor slowing Iran’s nuclear development is that it is working with older centrifuge technology that keeps breaking down.

So, I’m getting the sense here that what I am to take away from all this is that Iran is no threat to us, but we should be afraid that Iran might be a threat to us, and therefore, we need to place sanctions on them. But that’s not at all like our ‘softening up’ of Iraq.

It’s a lot easier to claim intent to make nukes than it is to produce hidden weapons of mass destruction. So you can’t say our ‘leaders’ didn’t learn anything.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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