Sunday, January 29, 2006

Countdown

Notice the escalation over the last 3 months, and the last 30 days in particular.

Can anyone doubt war with Iran is inevitable?

The only question is, will it be on our terms in the short run, on Israel's (possibly nuclear) terms in the medium run, or on Iran's terms in the slightly longer run?

Oct 26: Iran's "president" calls for genocide:
The State of Israel should be wiped off the map, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, underscoring Teheran’s extreme attitude towards the Jewish State.

The Iranian leader's remarks were made during a convention entitled "A World Without Zionists."

“The establishment of the State of Israel was an offensive move. The Islamic nation will not let its historic enemy live in its midst,” he said.
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Jane’s Defense Weekly magazine reported yesterday that Iran is assisting Syria, Israel’s neighbor and arch enemy, with acquiring the know-how to produce advanced chemical weapons.
Nov 29: Iran's "president" reveals himself to be a messianic delusional schizophrenic:
Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it.

"He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech]," Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. "I felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink."

Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.

"I am not exaggerating when I say they did not blink; it's not an exaggeration, because I was looking," he says. "They were astonished as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."
...
Since the presidential elections in Iran, many bizarre stories and rumors have circulated about Ahmadinejad. Many of them are related to his devotion to the 12th Imam, also known as Imam Mahdi, who according to Muslims has disappeared and will return at the end of time to lead an era of Islamic justice.

During his September speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad called for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In mid-November, during a speech to Friday prayers leaders from across Iran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of the revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In recent weeks, the president's aides have denied a rumor that he ordered his cabinet to write a pact of loyalty with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, where some believe the Imam is hiding.
Dec 3: Iran vows to block inspections:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line constitutional watchdog approved a bill Saturday blocking international inspections of atomic facilities if the nation is referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, state-run television reported.
Dec 4: Iran demands the EU give it what it wants:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran’s patience regarding Western opposition to its nuclear program is wearing thin and Tehran will give the EU only a few months to settle the issue through talks, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator said on Sunday.

Ali Larijani added Iran would only accept proposals to resolve the dispute which allowed it to produce nuclear fuel on its own soil.
Dec 8: Iran's "president" says Israel should be moved to Europe:
Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if Germany and Austria feel responsible for massacring Jews, Israel should be moved there instead.

Mr Ahmadinejad, who sparked an international outcry in October when he said Israel "must be wiped off the map", also repeated his view that the Jewish state was a "tumour".
Dec. 9: Moral pipsqueaks and useless fools say the solution, or should I say, Final Solution, is for Israel to unilaterally disarm:
What is this breakthrough idea? That U.S. policies begin not with a country that currently lacks nuclear weapons — Iran — but rather with the one that by virtually all accounts already has them — Israel.

To avert Iran's apparent drive for nuclear weapons, concludes Henry Sokolski, a co-editor of "Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran," Israel should freeze and begin to dismantle its nuclear capability.
Dec 11: The clock is ticking:
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
Dec 14: Iran's "president" formally attacks the legal and moral justification for Israel's existence:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a “myth” used by Europeans to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world.
...
“I assure you that we won’t step back one inch from our nuclear rights,” the president told the crowd, drawing chants of “Death to America!”
Dec 18: Iran calls the West intolerant for not respecting their insane views -- such are the wages of multiculturalism:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust is a matter for academic discussion and the West should be more tolerant of his views, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad last week called the Holocaust a myth and suggested Israel be moved to Germany or Alaska, remarks that sparked international uproar and threaten diplomatic talks with Europe over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi defended the president’s remarks, which also drew a rebuke from the U.N. Security Council.

“What the president said is an academic issue. The West’s reaction shows their continued support for Zionists,” Asefi told a weekly news conference. “Westerners are used to leading a monologue but they should learn to listen to different views,” he added.
Dec 25: New revelations about Iran's leaders' mysticism:
Khomeini also outlawed a semi-clandestine group called the Hojjatieh, which emerged during the revolution, and whose members believe that total chaos must be created in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi and the establishment of Islamic rule throughout the world.

Since Khomeini's death, however, the Hojjatieh has reportedly re-emerged in various sectors of the regime, including the Revolutionary Guard, the elite parallel army that was established to protect the Islamic revolution and that bore the brunt of the fighting in the Iran-Iraq war. There are indications that Ahmadinejad and several of his close associates, mostly veterans of that war, are sympathisers or active members of the group. The new president's key supporter among senior Shia clergy, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah-Yazdi, is also thought to be associated with Hojjatieh.
Jan 1: Iran's "president" says some more weird stuff:
Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the Nazi attempt to eradicate Jews in the Holocaust was a “Myth,” has now charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing Israel, a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries.
Jan 3: Secret Services in Europe realize Iran is trying to build a nuclear-capable missile:
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country’s weapons programmes.

Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with “import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily”, the report seen by the Guardian concludes.
Jan 10: Iran removes UN seals from its atomic research facilities:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran removed U.N. seals on uranium enrichment equipment and resumed nuclear research Tuesday, defying demands it maintain a two-year freeze on its nuclear program and sparking an outcry from the United States and Europe.
...
U.S. officials denounced Iran’s move, calling it a step toward creating material for nuclear bombs.
Jan 14: The Telegraph notices the religious connection:
The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad’s piety is his devotion to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president’s belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.

One of the first acts of Mr Ahmadinejad’s government was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the pious come to drop messages to the Hidden Imam into a holy well.

All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumour - denied by the government but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a “contract” pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran.

Iran’s dominant “Twelver” sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.

He is said to have gone into “occlusion” in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.
...
Mr Ahmadinejad appears to believe that these events are close at hand and that ordinary mortals can influence the divine timetable.
Jan 15: Iran plans to hold a "scientific conference" to de-legitimize Israel's existence:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran, whose president has denied the Holocaust, said Sunday it would hold a conference to examine the scientific evidence concerning Nazi Germany's extermination of 6 million Jews.
Iran's "president" also threatens the West:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline President of Iran, launched an angry tirade against the West yesterday, accusing it of a ‘dark ages’ mentality and threatening retaliation unless it recognised his country’s nuclear ambitions.
...
Addressing a rare press conference in Tehran, he appeared to issue thinly veiled threats against Western countries, implying that they could face serious consequences unless they backed down. ‘You need us more than we need you. All of you today need the Iranian nation,’ Ahmadinejad said. ‘Why are you putting on airs? You don’t have that might.’
Jan 16: (Sunni Arab) Egypt realizes it's in missile range:
Egypt on Monday said it supported using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but rejected the emergence of a nuclear military power in the region, in its first official reaction to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
Jan 19: France realizes it's in missile range:
Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against 'terrorist' states
ILE LONGUE MILITARY BASE, France (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike on any state that launches "terrorist" attacks against France.

He also said France's doctrine of nuclear deterrence has been extended to protect the country's "strategic supplies", taken to mean oil.

"Leaders of any state that uses terrorist means against us, as well as any that may be envisaging -- in one way or another -- using weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would be exposing themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our behalf," he said.

"That response could be conventional, it could also be of another nature," Chirac said in a clear reference to nuclear weapons during a visit to a French nuclear base in the northwestern region of Brittany.
Jan 22: Satellite imagery shows Iran expanding its nuclear facilities:
Western intelligence agencies are focusing on alarming similarities in satellite imagery of Iran’s nuclear sites, which the regime claims are for civilian purposes, and atomic facilities in Pakistan used to make the raw materials for nuclear weapons, as they try to identify the purpose of the Natanz construction spree.

The building work took place unannounced during a 16-month pause in research and development at the site, while Iran engaged the West in protracted talks over its professed desire to develop nuclear power.
Both Democrat and Republican Senators make clear the military option is on the table for dealing with Iran, which his all the more remarkable given the partisan divisions over the current war in Iraq:
"It is good that we are working with Britain, France and Germany, but the pace [of those efforts] is too slow," he said. "We have to try to take it [the Iranian nuclear situation] to the United Nations. I am pessimistic that Russia and China will let us do what we want to do. And then I think we form a 'coalition of the willing' - first to impose economic sanctions on Iran. Secondly, we can never take the military option off the table."

Senator Lieberman described U.S. armed forces as the most potent military force in the history of the world, and said that, despite heavy military commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, the United States is fully capable of launching a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Those words were echoed by his Republican colleague, Senator John McCain.

"We cannot take the military option off the table," he said. "But we have to make it very clear [that] it is the last option. There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, and that is Iran having nuclear weapons. They already have the missiles to put them on."
Swiss banks get nervous:
ZURICH, Switzerland - Swiss banking giant UBS AG said Sunday it has stopped doing business with Iran because of the company's economic and risk analysis of the situation in the country.

UBS will no longer deal with individuals, companies or state institutions such as Iran's central bank, company spokesman Serge Steiner said. A similar policy is also being implemented in the case of Syria, he said.
Rumours swirl about Iran moving its foreign assets to avoid a freeze:
Iran is under increasing international pressure over its nuclear program and mindful of the freezing of its U.S. assets after the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. The nation has an estimated $50 billion in European banks and Iran's Central Bank governor said over the weekend that it will move its reserves quickly if it deems it necessary to do so.
Jan 24: More big money senses danger:
It has also emerged that Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second largest bank, is looking into ending its business relationships in Iran.

"We are closely looking at the developments and we're increasingly worried," a spokesman told Reuters.
Jan 24: Read Our Lips:
US President George W. Bush will not accept a nuclear Iran, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday.

Bolton, speaking from New York via video hook-up to the Interdisciplinary Center’s Herzliya Conference, said that Bush was determined to pursue the issue through peaceful and diplomatic means, “but has made clear that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable.” According to Bolton, Bush worries that a nuclear-equipped Iran under its current leadership could well engage in a nuclear holocaust, “and that is just not something he is going to accept.”
Jan 25: Iran threatens Israel, again:
Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.

"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.
Jan 27: The Senate is united, at least on the easy calls:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate voted unanimously to condemn Iran's nuclear program and to support referring Iran to the UN Security Council for allegedly violating nuclear nonproliferation obligations.
Jan 28: The Oil Weapon is in play:
US crude oil futures ended higher for the second straight day on Friday as supply worries over Iran and Nigeria overshadowed hefty increases in US petroleum inventories reported at midweek.
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OPEC is unlikely to intervene to help contain rising oil prices if Iranian supplies grind to a halt in the country's nuclear dispute with the West, the president of the oil exporting group said on Friday.
Iran threatens to attack:
TEHRAN, Iran - A top Iranian commander accused U.S. and British intelligence agents of fomenting unrest in southwestern Iran and threatened to respond with missiles if attacked.

Iran's improved version of the Shahab-3 missile can strike more than 1,300 miles from their launch site, putting Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East in easy range.

Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the chief of the Revolutionary Guards, said the United States and Britain were behind bombings Jan 21 that killed at least nine people in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, near the southern border with Iraq where 8,500 British soldiers are based.
Jan 29: World leaders in Davos realize we're the only hope:
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The United States should reserve the option of bombing Iran's nuclear program into oblivion, but it would be a massive military venture that would invite heavy retribution from Tehran.

That seemed to be the prevailing view from four days of debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Iran was absent from the line-up of leaders and ministers but figured high on the agenda.

Its nuclear program, which Tehran says is for generating electricity but the United States sees as a front for building an atomic bomb, ranked with the shock outcome of the Palestinian election as the main topic of international concern.

"We have to keep the military option as the last option but not take it off the table," said U.S. Senator John McCain, a leading Republican presidential contender for the 2008 election.
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A panel on Iran at the Davos forum identified three other options: diplomacy, Iraq-style "regime change," and doing nothing and hoping for the best.

Straw dismissed the latter as irresponsible and stressed the diplomatic option, "to secure a bargain which would not involve humiliation of either side."
Good luck with that.

I recommend a punitive expedition to back up that bombing, because:
Even if successful, U.S. 'preventive strikes' might set back Iran's nuclear program only by two to four years, Pollack said, given the know-how it had already acquired.
Regime change is the only viable option. Handwringers complain
"If you think it's bad now (in Iraq), imagine 6,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence agents joining in the insurgency."
Imagine the 4th ID cutting through Iran.

Jan 29: It's the time of decision:
LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union and United States will on Monday seek to persuade Russia and China to back tough diplomatic action against Iran over its disputed nuclear program before a crunch meeting on Thursday.
Well would you look at that.

It's NATO against the Commies again.

Even if they don't agree, this is just setting the stage for them to be able to diplomatically "agree to disagree" when we invade.

The military option would be much, much harder without having 1/3 of the Army right next door in Iraq, and already battle-hardened.

And not to mention, if Hussein were still in power, controlling his oil and Scud weapons, to make trouble.

One might almost think Iraq and Iran were some sort of "axis", to coin a phrase, that had to be tackled in order.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Jack Straw is worried about avoiding Iran's "humiliation"? Bollocks. Iran has chosen its own path quite deliberately. And one Chamberlain per 100 years is enough.

In my non-military opinion, I agree with you about the 4ID; I'm assuming that if we go into Iran, it will be with even less of an eye to the sensitivities of our "allies" than we displayed (re: Turkey) in Iraq.

Great job on a comprehensive post.

12:29 AM, January 31, 2006  

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