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U.S. is studying military strike options on Iran
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Bush cites Iran's role in Lebanon conflict Reply with quote

Bush cites Iran's role in Lebanon conflict
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush declined Thursday to criticize Israel's tactics in its continuing offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon, and gave a sharp condemnation of Iran's role in the bloody fighting.

"Hezbollah attacked Israel. I know Hezbollah is connected to Iran," Bush said tersely at the end of Oval Office meetings with Romanian President Traian Basescu. "Now is the time for the world to confront this danger," Bush said.

The president was responding to statements from top Israeli officials that fighting could continue for several weeks more. Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said world leaders, in failing to call for an immediate cease-fire during a Rome summit, gave Israel a green light to push harder to wipe out Hezbollah.

Bush said he hoped to see the violence end "as quickly as possible" and repeated his call for Israel to try to limit the impact on civilians. But he suggested that the Israeli campaign has his support for as long as it takes to eliminate Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon and its ability to attack neighbor Israel.

"Now is the time to address the root cause of the problem and the root cause of the problem is terrorist groups trying to stop the advance of democracy," he said. "Our objective is to make sure that those who use terrorist tactics are not rewarded."

The Israeli offensive, which began after Hezbollah crossed the border and captured two Israeli soldiers, continued Thursday as Bush spoke. Israeli jets pounded suspected Hezbollah positions across Lebanon on Thursday, and guerrilla rockets continued to hit northern Israel.

In response, the al-Qaida terrorist network threatened new attacks, its first comment on fighting now in its third week. The videotape by
Osama bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahri also was the first sign that al-Qaida aimed to exploit Israel's two-pronged offensive — against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas-linked militants in Gaza — to rally Islamic militants.

"I'm not surprised people who use terrorist tactics would start speaking out," the president said. "Here's a fellow who is in a remote region of the world putting out statements basically encouraging people to use terrorist tactics to kill innocent people to achieve their political objectives. And the United States of America stands strong against Mr. Zawahri and his types."

The United States is isolated on the crisis from most of its allies, who want an immediate cease-fire to end the fighting. Washington is willing to give Israel more time to weaken Hezbollah, whose principal backers are Syria and Iran.

Talks are continuing about the makeup of an international peacekeeping force with State Department counselor Philip Zelikow working in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and his staff, White House press secretary Tony Snow said. The United States believes the Lebanese army also should be strengthened so it can disarm Hezbollah.

Amid plans for consultations at the United Nations, two U.S. Middle East envoys also were continuing diplomatic talks in the region. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may return to the Middle East this weekend.

"Whatgever is done diplomatically must address the root cause and the root cause is terrorist activites," Bush said. "I view this as a clash of forms of government."
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the a feel good speech with no basis in truth and historical facts.
Islam expansion is based on Terror and creating Fear Society. Iraq will not be stable as long as secular democracy and Free society is not established ...

Dear Cyrus,

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I fail to see how you arrived at the conclusion that Malaki's speech was "pabum" for the congress, and without basis in historical fact.

Certainly the style of the Mullah's vision of Islamic expantionism is rooted in terror and the maintanance of the "fear society" it has created, and is trying to create in the region. No argument with that, but I do not see the newly elected Iraqi government having any expantionist designs.

Rumsfeld once said a democratic Iraq and Afghanistan would help create a democratic Iran, and is true enough, but conversly I believe given the facts on the ground that only a democratic Iran will create a truly democratic iraq and Afghanistan, whole, free, and at peace.

Pretty hard to create that free society when folks next door are trying their utmost to unravel it as it forms.

So, there's no doubt that these folks have a tough fight to win, and in my opinion, rather than to belittle the efforts and words of those who are fighting the Taazi terrorist thuggies sent from the terrorists in Tehran, I believe it behooves and speaks well of freedom lovin Iranians to stand in solidarity with their Iraqi brothers in arms, struggling in the face of this common enemy of civilization.


The other impediment to Iraq's stability are the armed militias. I have on many occasions stated my determination to disband all militias without exception...


... and re-establish a state monopoly on arms and to guarantee citizens security so that they do not need others to provide it.


Taazi Mullahs In Iran Gaining Influence, Power in Iraq Through Militia

July 26, 2006
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Tom Lasseter


The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organization has taken over many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence activities and infiltrated its elite commando units, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oppenheimer wrote:
This is the a feel good speech with no basis in truth and historical facts.
Islam expansion is based on Terror and creating Fear Society. Iraq will not be stable as long as secular democracy and Free society is not established ...

Dear Cyrus,

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I fail to see how you arrived at the conclusion that Malaki's speech was "pabum" for the congress, and without basis in historical fact.

Certainly the style of the Mullah's vision of Islamic expantionism is rooted in terror and the maintanance of the "fear society" it has created, and is trying to create in the region. No argument with that, but I do not see the newly elected Iraqi government having any expantionist designs.

Rumsfeld once said a democratic Iraq and Afghanistan would help create a democratic Iran, and is true enough, but conversly I believe given the facts on the ground that only a democratic Iran will create a truly democratic iraq and Afghanistan, whole, free, and at peace.

Pretty hard to create that free society when folks next door are trying their utmost to unravel it as it forms.

So, there's no doubt that these folks have a tough fight to win, and in my opinion, rather than to belittle the efforts and words of those who are fighting the Taazi terrorist thuggies sent from the terrorists in Tehran, I believe it behooves and speaks well of freedom lovin Iranians to stand in solidarity with their Iraqi brothers in arms, struggling in the face of this common enemy of civilization.


The other impediment to Iraq's stability are the armed militias. I have on many occasions stated my determination to disband all militias without exception...


... and re-establish a state monopoly on arms and to guarantee citizens security so that they do not need others to provide it.


Taazi Mullahs In Iran Gaining Influence, Power in Iraq Through Militia

July 26, 2006
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Tom Lasseter


The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organization has taken over many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence activities and infiltrated its elite commando units, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

Dear Oppie,
Democracy without Free Society is not democracy. What US has created in Afghanistan and Iraq with direction from Neo Colonialist UK is not called democracy. Islam and other religions are the enemy of Free Society, democracy and considered as dirty cloths of modern societies ....
All Islamist parties are considered as illegal because in some form are part of Terror Network and they must not be allowed to be part of any government political system.

The US, Sweden .... system of governments are measurement criteria for democracy and anything less than that is not called democracy in my book.
I agree with Amir's view and is the best response to your comments.

In order to resolve Iraq's problem we should first understand past US policy mistakes regarding War On Terror:
1- US should not have removed Sadam Before regime change in Iran and replacing it with Secular Democracy and Free Society.
2- US should not have allowed Mullah Islamist Militia formation in Iraq
3- US should not have allowed non secular anti Free Society Islamist political party
4- ...
As long as US doesn't review and accept their past mistakes we are not going to see a big progress in Iraq or Iran.

AmirN wrote:
The Iraqi PM made a speech directed at congress. His speech is posted in bold:


Isn’t it unfortunate that a democratically elected head of state still falls short of a standard which the modern world has realized is a requirement for a just and fair society? That standard of course being secularism – the division of church and state.

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

What kind of a head of state starts a speech with such words? I’ve heard speeches at Friday prayer that are more secular than this one.

Thank you for your continued resolve in helping us fight the terrorists plaguing Iraq, which is a struggle to defend our nascent democracy and our people who aspire to liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
All of those are not Western values; they are universal values for humanity. (Applause.) They are as much for me the pinnacle embodiment of my faith and religion, and they are for all free spirits.

Those are certainly not uniquely Western values. However, they are certainly not Islamic values. Since the PM is clearly identifying himself as a Moslem, one can only conclude that his aspiration for such values arise from something other than his faith.

Let me be very clear -- this is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, wages a war on Islam and Muslims and values -- (applause) -- and spreads hatred between humanity.

Seems we have another Islamic apologist on our hands, which tries desperately and unsuccessfully to divorce the barbarism that is Islam from the violence of terrorism. The terrorists are not waging a war on Islamic values. They are waging a war on everything and anything, according to Islam. It just so happens that Islam is so dogmatic and irrational that it at times also wages war upon itself. Sunnis killing Shiites and vise versa is the current story in Iraq.

Contrary to what's come in our Koran, which says we have created of you -- of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other, surely noblist of you in the sight of God is the best conduct.

It is a sad day when a head of state resorts to a “Holy Book” in order to clarify his stance on a position and give explanation for humanity’s motives. By making such a statement, he is either using religion as a guiding principle in his political agenda or trying to act as Islam’s ambassador to the West, portraying the tender and gentle side of Islam. Either way, this portrayal is pitiful.

The truth is that terrorism has no religion.

Actually, Mr. PM, terrorism can exist without religion, but religion cannot exist without terrorism. The pinnacle of almost every religion is to frighten and terrorize all to believe in that hocus pocus or suffer an unimaginable consequence. That’s the broad sense of “cold terrorism” that is inherent to religion. In the case of Islam, this “cold terrorism” translates further into “hot terrorism” ie suicide bombings, hijacking, etc.

Our faith say that who kills an innocent as it has killed all mankind.

Does your faith really say that? How about when it says: “So fight them until there is no more disbelief (non-Muslims) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).” - Quran 8:39

I see no mention in there regarding sparing the innocents. The only concern I see is with spreading a religion at the cost of killing everyone who might stand in its way.

Thousands of lives were tragically lost in September 11th, where -- when these imposters of Islam reared their ugly head.

Impostors? Or true followers of Islam?

Of course, there are many points in the speech which are irrelevant to Islam and religion and portray Mr. Al-Maliki’s desire for a free, prosperous, democratic, and peaceful Iraq. In those points, I salute the PM and wish him well. I could not, however, help but pick out the above rubbish from that speech and address it.

It is good news for the people of Iraq to live under the benefits of democracy. They have certainly paid a heavy price in order to finally achieve it. I can’t help but make the observation that democracy without a free mind is hollow. If a bunch of people believe in falsehoods and misconceptions yet have the privilege of democracy at their hands, the society that those people lead will be held back. This is portrayed by this current PM of Iraq, which has not gained the mental capacity to realize that a fundamental requirement to a just and free society is complete separation of religion and state.

Nevertheless, it is perhaps not the PM directly which I criticize. This PM is one more victim of centuries upon centuries of brain washing and impingement of religion - in this case specifically Islam - upon the subservient masses that are taught very little else but faith.

So the views of this PM may indeed reflect the views of the vast majority of Iraqi Moslems. In that sense, democracy is prevailing. But as I said, such a democracy is unfortunately empty if the members can’t see past a dogma that can only hold them back and prevent true moral and intellectual evolution. An evolution which can take them beyond Islam, and ultimately…beyond God.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Iran Is Bush's Target in Lebanon Reply with quote

LA. Times
Iran Is Bush's Target in Lebanon
America and Tehran are battling for influence in the Mideast, with Israel and Hezbollah doing the fighting. It's a 'proxy war,' a U.S. official says.

By Doyle McManus, Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2006

WASHINGTON — To President Bush, the conflict in Lebanon is more than a campaign by Israel to protect its citizens from Hezbollah missiles. Instead, it is "a moment of opportunity" for the United States — with the most important target not Hezbollah or even neighboring Syria, but distant Iran.

When Bush talks publicly about the 18-day-old campaign, he often makes the point of blaming Iran, one of Hezbollah's main sponsors. Aides say that's a reflection of what he has said in private: that Israel's battle with Hezbollah is merely part of a larger struggle between the U.S. and Iran for influence across the Middle East. (It means between U.S. & the Brits concerning the regional OIL – H.H.)

"The stakes are larger than just Lebanon," the president told reporters Friday after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "The root cause of the problem is you've got Hezbollah that is armed and willing to fire rockets into Israel; a Hezbollah … that I firmly believe is backed by Iran and encouraged by Iran."

He added: "I also believe that Iran would like to exert additional influence in the region. A theocracy would like to spread its influence, using surrogates…. And so, for the sake of long-term stability, we've got to deal with this issue now."

Another U.S. official, who spoke about the Middle East turmoil on condition of anonymity, was more blunt. In Lebanon, the United States and Iran "are conducting a proxy war," he said, with Israel fighting for one side and Hezbollah for the other.

"It is in our interest to see Hezbollah defeated," he said.

The administration's view of the conflict's larger stakes are a major reason why U.S. diplomacy in the crisis has not been devoted to achieving an early cease-fire, as was often the case in earlier clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Instead, the White House has decided that the United States' strategic objective is the same as Israel's — a decisive defeat for Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran.

Just as the White House hoped its 2003 invasion of Iraq would transform the entire Middle East, Bush and his aides openly voice hopes that an Israeli victory in Lebanon can change the political balance in a much wider area, striking a major blow against Iran and the terrorist groups it has sponsored.

"This is a moment of intense conflict … yet our aim is to turn it into a moment of opportunity and a chance for broader change in the region," Bush said Friday.

"Instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability," he added.

Or, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put it a week earlier, describing the administration's goals in ambitious terms: "What we're seeing here, in a sense, is … the birth pangs of a new Middle East. And whatever we do, we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one." (Means, not giving the Brits all the trump cards in the region! We want our full share of OIL as well?! – H.H.)

For that to occur, Israel still has to win on the battlefield — and that hasn't happened yet. But administration officials said they were confident that Israel, supported openly or tacitly by the U.S. and other Western nations, would achieve most of its military objectives.

"I don't think that Israel will falter," said the State Department's counter-terrorism chief, Henry A. Crumpton.

But some U.S. officials acknowledge privately that even if Israel succeeds militarily, turning its campaign into a major advance for democracy in Lebanon and other Arab countries will be easier said than done.

At the outset of the Israeli campaign, many non-Shiite Lebanese blamed Hezbollah for starting a needless war; but as Israeli attacks have killed Lebanese civilians and damaged Lebanon's economy, Lebanese politicians of almost all stripes have rallied, at least rhetorically, to Hezbollah's defense.

And just as in Iraq, long-term success in Lebanon will require a long postwar process of building democratic institutions and preventing militias such as Hezbollah from rising again. "This is just the start of a long, complex chapter," Crumpton told reporters. (That will go on irrespective of who will be the next care taker of the White House! – H.H.)

A list of difficult goals faces Rice and other diplomats who have been charged with bringing the conflict to an end: disarming Hezbollah, whose popularity has been founded on its guerrillas' willingness to stand and fight against Israel; bolstering Lebanon's shaky government and its small, untested army; and assembling a multinational peacekeeping force to provide security for southern Lebanon's ravaged villages and prevent terrorists from crossing Israel's northern border.

Even as they want to see Hezbollah defeated, Bush and his aides also want Lebanon to emerge from the crisis with its democratically elected government stronger. So the U.S. has urged Israel to avoid attacking targets that aren't directly related to the campaign against Hezbollah, advice Israel appears to be following.

But behind the diplomatic detail, in the minds of Bush and his closest aides, will be a larger issue: making sure Hezbollah and its sponsors, Syria and Iran, come out of the crisis with their power diminished, not enhanced.

"Clearly, Iran has a goal of strengthening Hezbollah and gaining further influence" in the Middle East, Crumpton said. "And I think they see this [conflict] as a means of doing so."



This is the harsh reality that whether we like it on not, we are power less to change the course!
If you do not want to see it, suit yourself!?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Cyrus, Hashem, AmirN ......

In difficult times it is easy to take a negative stance, judge others harshly, and maintain a mindset that is not conducive to moving forward towards a free society.

My friends, I am tired of the fixated mindsets that serve no useful purpose, as expressed in your recent posts, and they sorely need your re-evaluation.

1. A free society is an all-inclusive civil society, values and faith form the bedrock of American Society, philosophy, social institutions, ethical government policy, and democracy itself. We've had this conversation many times.

2. Without the power of persuasion as voiced by the opposition, the global mindset towards the IRI would not be what it is today...of course it helps when the IRI simply adds emphasis by its actions to the understanding of all.

I make no claim to be the most politicly correct person, as I call things exactly as I see them. So I hope no offense is taken in the way I present the facts.

Nor am I as articulate as I wish to be, but effective I am in presenting the case.

This may seem odd to you, but I am the sum total and the sole reason for existance of all my ancestors that came before me. I call upon them to lend me their strength of wisdom, to guide me in a correct path, and light the way before me.

Not hard to understand this when you think about it, as the opposition invokes Cyrus the Great , Mr. Bush invokes the founding fathers for the very same reason as Malaki invoked Allah to deny terrorists any relationship to god and a free society.

One must draw their personal strength of conviction from the well of one's soul, being, or essence, and one chooses to perceive that internal source of their own free will.

If one chooses a well outside one's self , drawing one's conviction from a spirit that dwells within it, then only illusion guides one's perception of a true path.

I choose my words carefully my friends, as there are many audiences.

I suggest you do the same.



To: USUN, Public Affairs

Thank you for your response, and I'm glad folks found it to be a worthy question.(*)

I do not know how to get this note of appreciation to the Under Secretary directly via email, and I hope you'll see fit to forward it on to him.



Dear Under Secretary Joseph,

Great changes can be wrought by essential questions asked at the right moment of the right people.

The answers ultimately will become manifest by the actions of the global community, or through its inability to take action. With this in mind it was posed as well to the honorable US Perm. Rep to the UN (may his confirmation be unanimous).

Your concise public response to my question is very much appreciated, and I hope both the question and your response serve to galvanize international consensus.

My observation regarding "behavior change" was not intended as criticism of the ethical foreign policy undertaken by my government, but simply an accurate assesment of the infant's response to it, up to this point (may there be no misunderstanding).

We the people must ask the hard questions and provide perspective to those with the burden of responsibility for the future of mankind, having a vested interest in the matter. Mine is but one small voice in the global constituancy trying to help others find their's.

I have been known on occasion to thoughtfully mangle the English language in the process.....

- 04/24/2006 05:57 PM
To: Dr. C. Rice, Secretary of State; Counter disinformation Team , DOS, and those it may concern:

I believe there is but one truly effective answer to the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran's comments regarding the history of the Jewish diaspora, as well as his blatent disinformation campaign.

Prove him a hypocrite in the eyes of the world.

In fact it was Cyrus the Great, who some 2500 years ago led a "regime change" in what is now Iraq. In fact he is mentioned some 7 times in the old testament as having freed Jews enslaved in those part, and ordered the reconstruction of Jewish holy places in present day Jerusulem.

Noting the fact that Cyrus created the first Postal service, created the first "federal" political system in recorded history, allowed freedom of worship, instituted the first "democratic" system of government on Earth, and created the first human rights document in history, which a copy of is on display at the UN building in New York; It is safe to say logicly that Persia has a long history of recognising Israel's right to exist, in the teritory that is now in "dispute".

I think this simple, straitforward matter of history must be brought to the public attention, globally, as a proper response, in order that the global mindset is concurrent with the truth.

There is I think a certain "victim" mindset both manifest individually and sociologicly within repressed societies that creates the pietri-dish for disinformation construction..and runs across the board both with the tyrants, and the repressed.

Those repressed seeing themselves sometimes as victims of outside influence, rather than accepting that the population itself was not pro-active in having a say in their affars, for whatever reason.

Thus is the case with some in certain Iranian mindsets that the US and Great Britan are chiefly responsible for de-throning the Shah of Iran, and creating the nightmare reality of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

They blame the Carter administration, the BBC, the British Government, and often regard Khomeni as a British agent, or at the very least, ascribe to the old saw that ""Underneath every mullah's beard is written, "Made in UK"".

Fair enough to say that there is a very good legitimate gripe in the fact that EU nations, Russia and China have been (in many Iranian Eyes)self-serving their economic interests at the expense of the people of Iran by supporting a criminal regime via trade and other relations for decades.

However, this painful part of Iranian history is emotionally subject to exaggeration, and outright disinformation, urban legend, breeding mistrust over almost 30 years in the process. Despite the general support for the US position taken to isolate the regime over these years.

The regime as well uses this old mistrust for it's own political ends, dividing democratic opposition groups, dividing those we might support in their trust that the US will do right by the people of Iran.

Many times I've posted full transcipts of Madam Secretary's and other official's statements as well as Library of Congress info on democratic opposition sights such as activischat.com; So that folks will have direct and accurate source information in context to illuminate the issues reported via the press and other sources.

In any movement, religion, or social reaction to change, there will be extremes between those that are "hot heads" and "cool heads" and I have found that opinion runs the gamut, ideas abound, and that generally things political can be viewed "self-evident only after it has survived ridicule and violent opposition". To paraphrase someone with a fair insight.

Folks in the Public Diplomacy department will probably understand my opinion that democratic change is not a finite destination. It evolves.

The victim mindset among those we seek to support as a nation in their aspirations for liberty can only be changed if that hope we lend to them becomes manifest as "empowerment".

In implementation, it is essential to include everyone in dialogue so that civil society may have voice in the matter. At the same time as isolating the repressors of free speech.

Noting the efforts of transformational diplomacy as a positive construct for change, in a holistic approach to nation building , "by for and of the people", it is my hope that those who may take interest in these matters I've brought up will consider the possibilities, and offer constructive imput and information so that I may be better able to "myth-bust" a few stereotypical illusions, including my own...(chuckle)..if that be deemed the case.

Time is what must be had in order to gain trust, and by example addressing outrage with common sense, as the outrage of having the president of Iran speak at the UN, and my simply telling folks, "Wait for it, what you think is appeasment or a mistake you must protest will become self-evident as a proper policy once he hangs himself with his own words."

He did not dissapoint, and so if this American has gained trust with the Iranian ex-pat community, it is due to efforts like this to engage, immerse in full understanding, and provide perspective over a number of years now, as a matter of dialogue as an American.

Time is the proof pudding whether it makes a difference or not, as people can only change their own mindsets, nor should they carry old baggage into the future, weighed down by doubt or fear. This is not the path to the four freedoms, nor conducive to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

History is a great teacher, and historical perspective is part of political landscape, as are those who take historical fact and twist them for political end.

The regime recently stated, "The Iranian people have been weaving carpets for thosands of years." That speaks volumes about the regime's public diplomacy efforts, and disinformation campaign.

If folks in Congress declare confusion due to lack of transparency of this regime, I venture to guess this may be also seen as proof positive the regime is violating its commitments to the NPT, as well as many UN resolutions on variable issues.

Speaking as one who has done much "red-team" thinking regarding regime intent, researched the history and the issues, I am compelled by logic to ask the following:

If the regime cannot move forward against the will of the international community and survive, and has dug itself such a deep political hole that it cannot retract its statements and actions, and survive;

What better way do they have but to start a war and make it look like the US started it to bolster political support, internally and externally?

Can anyone in reasonable confidence make assurance the regime has not already aquired a nuclear weapon or two, by hook or by crook, over the last 18 years or so?

And given the regime's statements and policies, can anyone avoid considering whether the regime would be willing to use one (making it look like we launched a suprise attack) on its own people to discredit the US and or its allies in the war on terrorism?

Reasonable questions I think, given the circumstances involved today.

Noting Secretary Rumsfeld's level of confidence in US intel assesment of the regime's nuclear timeline as nill, due to variable parameters, engaging in probability and common sense is about all anyone can do with such a lack of information, avoiding pure speculation in the process of logic.

So it is as well with this letter.

Best Regards, and keep up the good work,





Eric from Sante Fe, New Mexico writes:
Dear Under Secretary Joseph,

General Omar Bradley once said, "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, we know more about war than we do about peace, more about killing than about living."

Mine is a philosophical question:

At what point does the international community determine that the ethical infant's diapers need changing, as the smell of ill intent has become all too overwhelming and noxious to Humanity? Or will ethical infants like the leaders of Iran and North Korea be allowed to remain in power to "dump" on civilization at a time of their choosing?

I've noted that the diplomatic attempts at "behavior change" have only resulted in temper-tantrums, at the expense of global peace and security. But as my granddad worked with Oppenhiemer on the Manhattan project, and these issues are thus quite personal to me, I'd like to personally thank everyone involved globally seeking solutions to these problems, as well as the building of consensus among nations to address these issues in concrete terms.

Under Secretary Joseph:

As in Omar Bradley’s time, the United States continues to offer the world ethical leadership, dedicated to partnerships that lead to lasting international peace and security, as well as to the development of democratic governments and the rule of law. The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism will build on Secretary Rice’s vision of transformational diplomacy by building consensus among partner nations regarding our most serious international security threat, and galvanize them to take concrete and sustained steps to defeat it.


Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 31, 2006


MR. MCCORMACK: Good afternoon. I have one brief opening statement and then we
can get into questions. We'll release the whole text of the statement after the
briefing. This is concerning the UN Security Council Resolution on Iran that
passed 14 to 1 just this morning.

"We are extremely pleased by the UN Security Council's clear and strong action
today by adopting Resolution 1696. This tough resolution sends an unequivocal
and mandatory message to Tehran: Take the steps required by the IAEA Board of
Governors, including full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related
and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and suspend
construction of the heavy water reactor. In setting a deadline for August 31st
for Iran's full, unconditional, and immediate compliance, this significant
resolution expresses the international community's determination to deal firmly
with the direct threat to international peace and security posed by Iran's
pursuit of nuclear weapons."

With that, I'm happy to take your questions.

QUESTION: All right. Well, the way ahead now on --

QUESTION: Can I ask for a moment to speak on this one, on the resolution?

MR. MCCORMACK: Do you yield the forum, Mr. Schweid?


MR. MCCORMACK: All right.

QUESTION: Thank you. Very, very kind indeed.

MR. MCCORMACK: All right.

QUESTION: He's been traveling.

QUESTION: The only vote against the resolution was the one of Qatar. Since
Qatar is a very good U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, I wonder whether you had
discussions with them and do you know why they voted the way they did?

MR. MCCORMACK: I think John Bolton talked to them. They had an explanation of
the vote and John, in public, just a while ago, said that he understood that it
was a matter of timing, not a matter of substance. We'll take them at their
word in that regard. I don't know if we are going to have any other follow-up
conversations with them, Nicholas.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the United States thought that this could have been a
stronger resolution, specifically with regard to immediate sanction?

MR. MCCORMACK: This is exactly what we said we were going to get when we
started this process and it's what we have. It has -- it contains in it, if you
look at the resolution, a statement that if Iran does not comply with what the
international community has asked it to do, then it is subject to sanctions.
And that's something that we will -- if they don't comply, then we'll take up
after the August 31st deadline.



QUESTION: Iran had talked to the UN body, if there is a resolution against
Iran, then they will not negotiate or talk to anyone else at all about their
nuclear program.

MR. MCCORMACK: Uh-huh; are they're going to stomp their feet and hold their
breath until they turn blue, too?

( Comment: MMMmmm, now I wonder where that came from?......chuckle...-Oppie)

Look; this is -- the international community
has been very clear in what is required of Iran. I can't explain to you what's
going into their calculation, why they have not complied. Either they are --
have some idea that they gain by willfully going against the will of the
international community or they have something to hide. You know, I don't know
what the explanation is, but it is in their interests, it's in the interest of
the international community and the Iranian people for them to comply.

What has been offered to them is a pathway to realize the kind of peaceful uses
of nuclear energy that they say they want. That's what they've said, so the
international community has offered them a pathway. All we're doing is asking
-- we, the IAEA, and the P-5+1 and now the UN Security Council is asking them
to suspend all their enrichment-related activities so that we can have
negotiations. It's not asking them to decide what the endpoint of those
negotiations is. That's what the deal is here. We and the P-5+1 will suspend
activity within the Security Council in return for their suspending activity in
their uranium enrichment-related programs. It's very simple.

They've chosen, to this point, to defy the call of the international community
and we'll see what happens in the intervening time. They have an opportunity
now, during the month of August, to meet with the call of the international
community. We'll see if they do so.

QUESTION: Sean, you think -- just to follow quick, you think they have in mind
this -- that if Pakistan can keep it, then why they can't keep it?

MR. MCCORMACK: You know, Goyal, I can't -- you know, I can't go into the
decision-making processes of the Iranian leadership.

Yeah, Barry, did you have any other questions?

QUESTION: Yeah, I wondered about the way ahead. The Secretary is on the way
home. She's seeing the President this evening?

MR. MCCORMACK: Anything else on Iran?


QUESTION: And -- more on Iran?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah, I think we have one more Iran.


MR. MCCORMACK: Okay, yes.

QUESTION: Apparently, the next step will be very clear, because at the end of
August, you're not going to see anything or hear anything from Iran. Then that
will be the sanction; is it?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we'll see. I'm not going to try to predict what reaction
they're going to have to this. I saw one news report saying that the resolution
has no legal basis, so I'm not sure what that means. This is a Security Council
resolution that has the basis -- it was based in international law that
requires them to do this. A member of the United Nations, this resolution
requires them to take certain actions. We'll see if they comply with that.
We'll see. I'm not going to try to predict one way or the other. We hope that
they do in fact take up the opportunity that has been offered them and -- but
we'll see. We'll see. The decision is up to them.


QUESTION: Given that Iran had six or eight weeks to consider the package and
made no discernible movements in the direction the allies wanted to see, why
was Iran given in this resolution a full -- another full month to ponder things

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, this is the approach that we have been pursuing for some
time, James, and Secretary Rice laid this out several -- laid it out several
months ago, back to May, that we would pursue an approach of gradually trying
to step up the pressure on Iran to maybe heighten some of the choices for them
and that they might see their way clear to engage in serious, constructive
negotiations with the international community. Thus far they have chosen not to
pursue that pathway of negotiations so the pressure is going to gradually
increase on them. The hope is that they will take up this opportunity.

This is a resolution that passed 14 to 1. That's a pretty strong signal to the
Iranian regime. They don't have anywhere to hide right now. They can't hide
behind anybody. They at this point don't have any protectors. So the spotlight
is on them to see whether or not they are going to make the tough decision. Are
they going to pursue the pathway of negotiation? Are they going to pursue the
pathway of further isolation? This resolution shows that they are now pursuing
-- they are going down that road of further isolation.

QUESTION: Just as a matter of fact, have discussions begun with other countries
about what the future steps will be if in fact there is no movement from Iran?

MR. MCCORMACK: In general, yes. In general, there is the package that was
agreed upon in Vienna in which there was the positive pathway and the negative
pathway. On the negative side there was a menu, if you will, of possible
sanctions that all agreed among the P-5+1 would be on the table. Now, when to
use any particular sanction or group of sanctions is going to be a point of
discussion. So there is already agreement on the use of sanctions. And as for
specific discussions, James, I'll have to see if there's anything more that I
can add to it. I think certainly there have been general discussions but I
don't think it's really gone beyond that, certainly at the senior political

-----------end excerpt---------
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Oppie wrote

Speaking as one who has done much "red-team" thinking regarding regime intent, researched the history and the issues, I am compelled by logic to ask the following:

If the regime cannot move forward against the will of the international community and survive, and has dug itself such a deep political hole that it cannot retract its statements and actions, and survive;

What better way do they have but to start a war and make it look like the US started it to bolster political support, internally and externally?

Iran’s Supreme Leader warns U.S. of impending jihad
Wed. 02 Aug 2006
Iran Focus


Tehran, Iran, Aug. 02 – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted United States policy in the Middle East and warned of an impending Muslim “jihad”, or holy war, against the West.

“Today, it is clear for everyone that the aggression against Lebanon was a premeditated U.S.-Zionist action as a key step in the path of dominating the Middle East and the Islamic world”, Khamenei said. His comments were reported in the official news agency IRNA and aired in part on state television on Wednesday.

“Today, Muslim nations more than ever despise the U.S.”, he said.

“With its support of the Zionists crimes and criminals and its blatant aggression against the rights of Muslim nations, the U.S. regime must be prepared for a hard slap and a destructive punch by Muslims”, Khamenei said.

“The U.S. is following a policy of creating insecurity, crisis, and war in the region”, he said, adding, “It must know that the more it expands insecurity, the more it will arouse the anger of nations against it and make the world insecure for itself”.

Khamenei praised the Lebanese militia Hezbollah for taking part in a “jihad” against the “enemies of Islam”, stating that the group was on the “frontline” of the defence of Muslims.

“The aggressive actions and nature of the U.S. and Israel will revive the spirit of resistance in the Islamic world and will make the value of jihad more prevalent for it”, Khamenei added.

“Islamic Iran believes resistance against American bullying and aggression and mischief by Israel to be its duty and will stand alongside all oppressed nations, especially the dear people of Lebanon and the combatant Palestinian nation”, he added.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oppie wrote:

- 04/24/2006 05:57 PM
To: Dr. C. Rice, Secretary of State; Counter disinformation Team , DOS, and those it may concern:

I believe there is but one truly effective answer to the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran's comments regarding the history of the Jewish diaspora, as well as his blatent disinformation campaign.

Prove him a hypocrite in the eyes of the world.

In fact it was Cyrus the Great, who some 2500 years ago led a "regime change" in what is now Iraq. In fact he is mentioned some 7 times in the old testament as having freed Jews enslaved in those part, and ordered the reconstruction of Jewish holy places in present day Jerusulem.

Noting the fact that Cyrus created the first Postal service, created the first "federal" political system in recorded history, allowed freedom of worship, instituted the first "democratic" system of government on Earth, and created the first human rights document in history, which a copy of is on display at the UN building in New York; It is safe to say logicly that Persia has a long history of recognising Israel's right to exist, in the teritory that is now in "dispute".

I think this simple, straitforward matter of history must be brought to the public attention, globally, as a proper response, in order that the global mindset is concurrent with the truth.

June 19, 2006

President Delivers Commencement Address at the United States Merchant Marine Academy
Captain Tomb Field at Brooks Stadium
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Kings Point, New York

(excerpt) of full text posted here:


America and Europe are also united on one of the most difficult challenges facing the world today, the behavior of the regime in Iran. The leaders of Iran sponsor terror, deny liberty and human rights to their people, and threaten the existence of our ally, Israel. And by pursuing nuclear activities that mask its effort to acquire nuclear weapons, the regime is acting in defiance of its treaty obligations, of the United Nations Security Council, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear weapons in the hands of this regime would be a grave threat to people everywhere.

I've discussed the problem of the Iranian regime extensively with leaders in Europe, particularly in Great Britain and Germany and France. I've also consulted closely with the Presidents of Russia and China. We've all agreed on a unified approach to solve this problem diplomatically. The United States has offered to come to the table with our partners and meet with Iran's representatives -- as soon as the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. (Applause.) Iran's leaders have a clear choice. We hope they will accept our offer and voluntarily suspend these activities, so we can work out an agreement that will bring Iran real benefits. If Iran's leaders reject our offer, it will result in action before the Security Council, further isolation from the world, and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions.

I've a message for the Iranian regime: America and our partners are united. We have presented a reasonable offer. Iran's leaders should see our proposal for what it is -- an historic opportunity to set their country on a better course. If Iran's leaders want peace and prosperity and a more hopeful future for their people, they should accept our offer, abandon any ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons, and come into compliance with their international obligations.

I've a message for the Iranian people: The United States respects you and your country. We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture, and your many contributions to civilization. When Cyrus the Great led the Iranian people more than 2,500 years ago, he delivered one of the world's first declarations of individual rights, including the right to worship God in freedom. Through the centuries, Iranians have achieved distinction in medicine and science and poetry and philosophy, and countless other fields.

In the 21st century, the people of Iran, especially the talented and educated youth, are among the world's leaders in science and technology. Iranians have a large presence on the Internet, and a desire to make even greater progress, including the development of civilian nuclear energy. This is a legitimate desire. We believe the Iranian people should enjoy the benefits of a truly peaceful program to use nuclear reactors to generate electric power. So America supports the Iranian people's rights to develop nuclear energy peacefully, with proper international safeguards.

The people of Iran, like people everywhere, also want and deserve an opportunity to determine their own future, an economy that rewards their intelligence and talents, and a society that allows them to pursue their dreams. I believe Iranians would thrive if they were given more opportunities to travel and study abroad, and do business with the rest of the world. Here in the United States, Iranian Americans have used their freedom to advance in society and make tremendous contributions in areas from business to medicine, to academics.

To help provide more opportunities for the people of Iran, we will look for new ways to increase contact between Americans and Iranians, especially in education and culture, sports and tourism. We'll provide more than $75 million this year to promote openness and freedom for the Iranian people. These funds will allow us to expand and improve radio and television broadcasts to the people of Iran. These funds will support Iranian human rights advocates and civil society organizations. And these funds will promote student and faculty exchanges, so we can build bridges of understanding between our people.

Americans believe the future of Iran will be decided by the people of Iran -- and we believe that future can be one of progress and prosperity and achievement. We look forward to the day when our nations are friends, and when the people of Iran enjoy the full fruits of liberty, and play a leading role to establish peace in our world.

-----end excerpt-----

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stating that the group was on the “frontline” of the defence of Muslims.

ok. now that's offensive.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full text: Blair calls for "complete renaissance" on foreign policy
Wed. 02 Aug 2006
Iran Focus


London, Aug. 02 - The following is the text of a major foreign policy speech on Tuesday by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. In the speech on the Middle East he called for a "complete renaissance" on foreign policy to combat "Reactionary Islam". (Text is as appears on 10 Downing Street website: number10.gov.uk)

Overnight, the news came through that as well as continuing conflict in the Lebanon, Britain's Armed Forces suffered losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. It brings home yet again the extraordinary courage and commitment of our armed forces who risk their lives and in some cases tragically lose them, defending our country's security and that of the wider world. These are people of whom we should be very proud.

I know the US has suffered heavy losses too in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We should never forget how much we owe these people, how great their bravery, and their sacrifice.

I planned the basis of this speech several weeks ago. The crisis in the Lebanon has not changed its thesis. It has brought it into sharp relief.

The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict was clear. It was to create chaos, division and bloodshed, to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it.

It is still possible even now to come out of this crisis with a better long-term prospect for the cause of moderation in the Middle East succeeding. But it would be absurd not to face up to the immediate damage to that cause which has been done.

We will continue to do all we can to halt the hostilities. But once that has happened, we must commit ourselves to a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those that threaten us. There is an arc of extremism now stretching across the Middle East and touching, with increasing definition, countries far outside that region. To defeat it will need an alliance of moderation, that paints a different future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian; Arab and Western; wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other. My argument to you today is this: we will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force, unless we show we are even-handed, fair and just in our application of those values to the world.

The point is this. This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind.

9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid, the countless terrorist attacks in countries as disparate as Indonesia or Algeria, what is now happening in Afghanistan and in Indonesia, the continuing conflict in Lebanon and Palestine, it is all part of the same thing. What are the values that govern the future of the world? Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division and hatred? My point is that this war can't be won in a conventional way. It can only be won by showing that our values are stronger, better and more just, more fair than the alternative. Doing this, however, requires us to change dramatically the focus of our policy.

Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win. And this is a battle we must win.

What is happening today out in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and beyond is an elemental struggle about the values that will shape our future.

It is in part a struggle between what I will call Reactionary Islam and Moderate, Mainstream Islam. But its implications go far wider. We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values.

The root causes of the current crisis are supremely indicative of this. Ever since September 11th, the US has embarked on a policy of intervention in order to protect its and our future security. Hence Afghanistan. Hence Iraq. Hence the broader Middle East initiative in support of moves towards democracy in the Arab world.

The point about these interventions, however, military and otherwise, is that they were not just about changing regimes but changing the values systems governing the nations concerned. The banner was not actually "regime change" it was "values change".

What we have done therefore in intervening in this way, is far more momentous than possibly we appreciated at the time.

Of course the fanatics, attached to a completely wrong and reactionary view of Islam, had been engaging in terrorism for years before September 11th. In Chechnya, in India and Pakistan, in Algeria, in many other Muslim countries, atrocities were occurring. But we did not feel the impact directly. So we were not bending our eye or our will to it as we should have. We had barely heard of the Taleban. We rather inclined to the view that where there was terrorism, perhaps it was partly the fault of the governments of the countries concerned.

We were in error. In fact, these acts of terrorism were not isolated incidents. They were part of a growing movement. A movement that believed Muslims had departed from their proper faith, were being taken over by Western culture, were being governed treacherously by Muslims complicit in this take-over, whereas the true way to recover not just the true faith, but Muslim confidence and self esteem, was to take on the West and all its works.

Sometimes political strategy comes deliberatively, sometimes by instinct. For this movement, it was probably by instinct. It has an ideology, a world-view, it has deep convictions and the determination of the fanatic. It resembles in many ways early revolutionary Communism. It doesn't always need structures and command centres or even explicit communication. It knows what it thinks.

Its strategy in the late 1990s became clear. If they were merely fighting with Islam, they ran the risk that fellow Muslims - being as decent and fair-minded as anyone else - would choose to reject their fanaticism. A battle about Islam was just Muslim versus Muslim. They realised they had to create a completely different battle in Muslim minds: Muslim versus Western.

This is what September 11th did. Still now, I am amazed at how many people will say, in effect, there is increased terrorism today because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They seem to forget entirely that September 11th predated either. The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it.

The reason I say our response was even more momentous than it seemed at the time, is this. We could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn't. We chose values. We said we didn't want another Taleban or a different Saddam. Rightly, in my view, we realised that you can't defeat a fanatical ideology just by imprisoning or killing its leaders; you have to defeat its ideas.

There is a host of analysis written about mistakes made in Iraq or Afghanistan, much of it with hindsight but some of it with justification. But it all misses one vital point. The moment we decided not to change regime but to change the value system, we made both Iraq and Afghanistan into existential battles for Reactionary Islam. We posed a threat not to their activities simply: but to their values, to the roots of their existence.

We committed ourselves to supporting Moderate, Mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology.

What is more, in doing this, we widened the definition of Reactionary Islam. It is not just Al-Qaeda who felt threatened by the prospect of two brutal dictatorships - one secular, one religious - becoming tolerant democracies. Any other country who could see that change in those countries might result in change in theirs, immediately also felt under threat. Syria and Iran, for example. No matter that previously, in what was effectively another political age, many of those under threat hated each other. Suddenly new alliances became formed under the impulsion of the common threat.

So in Iraq, Syria allowed Al-Qaeda operatives to cross the border. Iran has supported extremist Shia there. The purpose of the terrorism in Iraq is absolutely simple: carnage, causing sectarian hatred, leading to civil war.

However, there was one cause which, the world over, unites Islam, one issue that even the most westernised Muslims find unjust and, perhaps worse, humiliating: Palestine. Here a moderate leadership was squeezed between its own inability to control the radical elements and the political stagnation of the peace process. When Prime Minister Sharon took the brave step of disengagement from Gaza, it could have been and should have been the opportunity to re-start the process. But the squeeze was too great and as ever because these processes never stay still, instead of moving forward, it fell back. Hamas won the election. Even then, had moderate elements in Hamas been able to show progress, the situation might have been saved. But they couldn't.

So the opportunity passed to Reactionary Islam and they seized it: first in Gaza, then in Lebanon. They knew what would happen. Their terrorism would provoke massive retaliation by Israel. Within days, the world would forget the original provocation and be shocked by the retaliation. They want to trap the Moderates between support for America and an Arab street furious at what they see nightly on their television. This is what has happened.

For them, what is vital is that the struggle is defined in their terms: Islam versus the West; that instead of Muslims seeing this as about democracy versus dictatorship, they see only the bombs and the brutality of war, and sent from Israel.

In this way, they hope that the arc of extremism that now stretches across the region, will sweep away the fledgling but faltering steps Modern Islam wants to take into the future.

To turn all of this around requires us first to perceive the nature of the struggle we are fighting and secondly to have a realistic strategy to win it. At present we are challenged on both fronts.

As to the first, it is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault. For a start, it is indeed global. No-one who ever half bothers to look at the spread and range of activity related to this terrorism can fail to see its presence in virtually every major nation in the world. It is directed at the United States and its allies, of course. But it is also directed at nations who could not conceivably be said to be allies of the West. It is also rubbish to suggest that it is the product of poverty. It is true it will use the cause of poverty. But its fanatics are hardly the champions of economic development. It is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism; but a specifically Muslim version.

What it is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is not about those countries' liberation from US occupation. It is actually the only reason for the continuing presence of our troops. And it is they not us who are doing the slaughter of the innocent and doing it deliberately.

Its purpose is explicitly to prevent those countries becoming democracies and not "Western style" democracies, any sort of democracy. It is to prevent Palestine living side by side with Israel; not to fight for the coming into being of a Palestinian State, but for the going out of being, of an Israeli State. It is not wanting Muslim countries to modernise but to retreat into governance by a semi-feudal religious oligarchy.

Yet despite all of this, which I consider virtually obvious, we look at the bloodshed in Iraq and say that's a reason for leaving; we listen to the propaganda that tells us its all because of our suppression of Muslims and have parts of our opinion seriously believing that if we only got out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it would all stop.

And most contemporaneously, and in some ways most perniciously, a very large and, I fear, growing part of our opinion looks at Israel, and thinks we pay too great a price for supporting it and sympathises with Muslim opinion that condemns it. Absent from so much of the coverage, is any understanding of the Israeli predicament.

I, and any halfway sentient human being, regards the loss of civilian life in Lebanon as unacceptable, grieves for that nation, is sickened by its plight and wants the war to stop now. But just for a moment, put yourself in Israel's place. It has a crisis in Gaza, sparked by the kidnap of a solider by Hamas. Suddenly, without warning, Hizbollah who have been continuing to operate in Southern Lebanon for two years in defiance of UN Resolution 1559, cross the UN blue line, kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two more. They then fire rockets indiscriminately at the civilian population in Northern Israel.

Hizbollah gets their weapons from Iran. Iran are now also financing militant elements in Hamas. Iran's President has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". And he's trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. Just to complete the picture, Israel's main neighbour along its eastern flank is Syria who support Hizbollah and house the hardline leaders of Hamas.

It's not exactly a situation conducive to a feeling of security is it?

But the central point is this. In the end, even the issue of Israel is just part of the same, wider struggle for the soul of the region. If we recognised this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But a vast part of the Western opinion is not remotely near this yet.

Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time - in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations including now some in Africa - it is a global fight about global values; it is about modernisation, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs. Islamist extremism's whole strategy is based on a presumed sense of grievance that can motivate people to divide against each other. Our answer has to be a set of values strong enough to unite people with each other.

This is not just about security or military tactics. It is about hearts and minds about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for.

Just to state it in these terms, is to underline how much we have to do. Convincing our own opinion of the nature of the battle is hard enough. But we then have to empower Moderate, Mainstream Islam to defeat Reactionary Islam. And because so much focus is now, world-wide on this issue, it is becoming itself a kind of surrogate for all the other issues the rest of the world has with the West. In other words, fail on this and across the range, everything gets harder.

Why are we not yet succeeding? Because we are not being bold enough, consistent enough, thorough enough, in fighting for the values we believe in.

We start this battle with some self-evident challenges. Iraq's political process has worked in an extraordinary way. But the continued sectarian bloodshed is appalling: and threatens its progress deeply. In Afghanistan, the Taleban are making a determined effort to return and using the drugs trade a front. Years of anti-Israeli and therefore anti-American teaching and propaganda has left the Arab street often wildly divorced from the practical politics of their governments. Iran and, to a lesser extent, Syria are a constant source of de-stabilisation and reaction. The purpose of terrorism - whether in Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Palestine is never just the terrorist act itself. It is to use the act to trigger a chain reaction, to expunge any willingness to negotiate or compromise. Unfortunately it frequently works, as we know from our own experience in Northern Ireland, though thankfully the huge progress made in the last decade there, shows that it can also be overcome.

So, short-term, we can't say we are winning. But, there are many reasons for long-term optimism. Across the Middle East, there is a process of modernisation as well as reaction. It is unnoticed but it is there: in the UAE; in Bahrain; in Kuwait; in Qatar. In Egypt, there is debate about the speed of change but not about its direction. In Libya and Algeria, there is both greater stability and a gradual but significant opening up.

Most of all, there is one incontrovertible truth that should give us hope. In Iraq, in Afghanistan, and of course in the Lebanon, any time that people are permitted a chance to embrace democracy, they do so. The lie - that democracy, the rule of law, human rights are Western concepts, alien to Islam - has been exposed. In countries as disparate as Turkey and Indonesia, there is an emerging strength in Moderate Islam that should greatly encourage us.

So the struggle is finely poised. The question is: how do we empower the moderates to defeat the extremists?

First, naturally, we should support, nurture, build strong alliances with all those in the Middle East who are on the modernising path.

Secondly, we need, as President Bush said on Friday, to re-energise the MEPP between Israel and Palestine; and we need to do it in a dramatic and profound manner.

I want to explain why I think this issue is so utterly fundamental to all we are trying to do. I know it can be very irritating for Israel to be told that this issue is of cardinal importance, as if it is on their shoulders that the weight of the troubles of the region should always fall. I know also their fear that in our anxiety for wider reasons to secure a settlement, we sacrifice the vital interests of Israel.

Let me make it clear. I would never put Israel's security at risk.

Instead I want, what we all now acknowledge we need: a two state solution. The Palestinian State must be independent, viable but also democratic and not threaten Israel's safety.

This is what the majority of Israelis and Palestinians want.

Its significance for the broader issue of the Middle East and for the battle within Islam, is this. The real impact of a settlement is more than correcting the plight of the Palestinians. It is that such a settlement would be the living, tangible, visible proof that the region and therefore the world can accommodate different faiths and cultures, even those who have been in vehement opposition to each other. It is, in other words, the total and complete rejection of the case of Reactionary Islam. It destroys not just their most effective rallying call, it fatally undermines their basic ideology.

And, for sure, it empowers Moderate, Mainstream Islam enormously. They are able to point to progress as demonstration that their allies, ie us, are even-handed not selective, do care about justice for Muslims as much as Christians or Jews.

But, and it is a big 'but', this progress will not happen unless we change radically our degree of focus, effort and engagement, especially with the Palestinian side. In this the active leadership of the US is essential but so also is the participation of Europe, of Russia and of the UN. We need relentlessly, vigorously, to put a viable Palestinian Government on its feet, to offer a vision of how the Roadmap to final status negotiation can happen and then pursue it, week in, week out, 'til its done. Nothing else will do. Nothing else is more important to the success of our foreign policy.

Third, we need to see Iraq through its crisis and out to the place its people want: a non-sectarian, democratic state. The Iraqi and Afghan fight for democracy is our fight. Same values. Same enemy. Victory for them is victory for us all.

Fourth, we need to make clear to Syria and Iran that there is a choice: come in to the international community and play by the same rules as the rest of us; or be confronted. Their support of terrorism, their deliberate export of instability, their desire to see wrecked the democratic prospect in Iraq, is utterly unjustifiable, dangerous and wrong. If they keep raising the stakes, they will find they have miscalculated.

From the above it is clear that from now on, we need a whole strategy for the Middle East. If we are faced with an arc of extremism, we need a corresponding arc of moderation and reconciliation. Each part is linked. Progress between Israel and Palestine affects Iraq. Progress in Iraq affects democracy in the region. Progress for Moderate, Mainstream Islam anywhere puts Reactionary Islam on the defensive everywhere. But none of it happens unless in each individual part the necessary energy and commitment is displayed not fitfully, but continuously.

I said at the outset that the result of this struggle had effects wider than the region itself. Plainly that applies to our own security. This Global Islamist terrorism began in the Middle East. Sort the Middle East and it will inexorably decline. The read-across, for example, from the region to the Muslim communities in Europe is almost instant.

But there is a less obvious sense in which the outcome determines the success of our wider world-view. For me, a victory for the moderates means an Islam that is open: open to globalisation, open to working with others of different faiths, open to alliances with other nations.

In this way, this struggle is in fact part of a far wider debate.

Though Left and Right still matter in politics, the increasing divide today is between open and closed. Is the answer to globalisation, protectionism or free trade?

Is the answer to the pressure of mass migration, managed immigration or closed borders?

Is the answer to global security threats, isolationism or engagement?

Those are very big questions for US and for Europe.

Without hesitation, I am on the open side of the argument. The way for us to handle the challenge of globalisation, is to compete better, more intelligently, more flexibly. We have to give our people confidence we can compete. See competition as a threat and we are already on the way to losing.

Immigration is the toughest issue in Europe right now and you know something of it here in California. People get scared of it for understandable reasons. It needs to be controlled. There have to be rules. Many of the Conventions dealing with it post WWII are out of date. All that is true. But, properly managed, immigrants give a country dynamism, drive, new ideas as well as new blood.

And as for isolationism, that is a perennial risk in the US and EU policy. My point here is very simple: global terrorism means we can't opt-out even if we wanted to. The world is inter-dependent. To be engaged is only modern realpolitik.

But we only win people to these positions if our policy is not just about interests but about values, not just about what is necessary but about what is right.

Which brings me to my final reflection about US policy. My advice is: always be in the lead, always at the forefront, always engaged in building alliances, in reaching out, in showing that whereas unilateral action can never be ruled out, it is not the preference.

How we get a sensible, balanced but effective framework to tackle climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 should be an American priority.

America wants a low-carbon economy; it is investing heavily in clean technology; it needs China and India to grow substantially. The world is ready for a new start here. Lead it.

The same is true for the WTO talks, now precariously in the balance; or for Africa, whose poverty is shameful.

If we are championing the cause of development in Africa, it is right in itself but it is also sending the message of moral purpose, that reinforces our value system as credible in all other aspects of policy.

It serves one other objective. There is a risk that the world, after the Cold War, goes back to a global policy based on spheres of influence. Think ahead. Think China, within 20 or 30 years, surely the world's other super-power. Think Russia and its precious energy reserves. Think India. I believe all of these great emerging powers want a benign relationship with the West. But I also believe that the stronger and more appealing our world-view is, the more it is seen as based not just on power but on justice, the easier it will be for us to shape the future in which Europe and the US will no longer, economically or politically, be transcendent. Long before then, we want Moderate, Mainstream Islam to triumph over Reactionary Islam.

That is why I say this struggle is one about values. Our values are worth struggling for. They represent humanity's progress throughout the ages and at each point we have had to fight for them and defend them. As a new age beckons, it is time to fight for them again.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anusia wrote:

stating that the group was on the “frontline” of the defence of Muslims.

ok. now that's offensive.

Hey Anusia, do us all a favor please, since this thread has over a hundred posts and tens of thousands of words in it.

Can you better reference any quote cited, who posted it, page number , link , etc ? Otherwise backtracking to see the context is near impossible, thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:24 am    Post subject: Text of UN Sec. Council resolution 1696 Reply with quote

United Nations S/RES/1696 (2006)
Security Council
Distr.: General
31 July 2006
06-45022 (E)
Resolution 1696 (2006)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 5500th meeting, on
31 July 2006
The Security Council,
Recalling the Statement of its President, S/PRST/2006/15, of 29 March 2006,
Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons, and recalling the right of States Party, in conformity with Articles I and II
of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes without discrimination,
Noting with serious concern the many reports of the IAEA Director General
and resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors related to Iran’s nuclear
programme, reported to it by the IAEA Director General, including IAEA Board
resolution GOV/2006/14,
Noting with serious concern that the IAEA Director General’s report of
27 February 2006 (GOV/2006/15) lists a number of outstanding issues and concerns
on Iran’s nuclear programme, including topics which could have a military nuclear
dimension, and that the IAEA is unable to conclude that there are no undeclared
nuclear materials or activities in Iran,
Noting with serious concern the IAEA Director General’s report of 28 April
2006 (GOV/2006/27) and its findings, including that, after more than three years of
Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, the
existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern, and that the IAEA is
unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurances about the absence of
undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,
Noting with serious concern that, as confirmed by the IAEA Director General’s
report of 8 June 2006 (GOV/2006/3Cool Iran has not taken the steps required of it by
the IAEA Board of Governors, reiterated by the Council in its statement of
29 March and which are essential to build confidence, and in particular Iran’s
decision to resume enrichment-related activities, including research and
development, its recent expansion of and announcements about such activities, and
its continued suspension of cooperation with the IAEA under the Additional
S/RES/1696 (2006)
06-45022 2
Emphasizing the importance of political and diplomatic efforts to find a
negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for
peaceful purposes, and noting that such a solution would benefit nuclear
non-proliferation elsewhere,
Welcoming the statement by the Foreign Minister of France, Philippe Douste-
Blazy, on behalf of the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, the Russian
Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of
the European Union, in Paris on 12 July 2006 (S/2006/573),
Concerned by the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear
programme, mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United
Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, and being
determined to prevent an aggravation of the situation,
Acting under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations in
order to make mandatory the suspension required by the IAEA,
1. Calls upon Iran without further delay to take the steps required by the
IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14, which are essential to
build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and
to resolve outstanding questions;
2. Demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related
and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by
the IAEA;
3. Expresses the conviction that such suspension as well as full, verified
Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors,
would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear
programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, underlines the willingness of the
international community to work positively for such a solution, encourages Iran, in
conforming to the above provisions, to re-engage with the international community
and with the IAEA, and stresses that such engagement will be beneficial to Iran;
4. Endorses, in this regard, the proposals of China, France, Germany, the
Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of
the European Union’s High Representative, for a long-term comprehensive
arrangement which would allow for the development of relations and cooperation
with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence
in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme (S/2006/521);
5. Calls upon all States, in accordance with their national legal authorities
and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and
prevent the transfer of any items, materials, goods and technology that could
contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic
missile programmes;
6. Expresses its determination to reinforce the authority of the IAEA
process, strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors, commends and
encourages the Director General of the IAEA and its secretariat for their ongoing
professional and impartial efforts to resolve all remaining outstanding issues in Iran
within the framework of the Agency, underlines the necessity of the IAEA
continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear
programme, and calls upon Iran to act in accordance with the provisions of the
S/RES/1696 (2006)
3 06-45022
Additional Protocol and to implement without delay all transparency measures as
the IAEA may request in support of its ongoing investigations;
7. Requests by 31 August a report from the Director General of the IAEA
primarily on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all
activities mentioned in this resolution, as well as on the process of Iranian
compliance with all the steps required by the IAEA Board and with the above
provisions of this resolution, to the IAEA Board of Governors and in parallel to the
Security Council for its consideration;
8. Expresses its intention, in the event that Iran has not by that date
complied with this resolution, then to adopt appropriate measures under Article 41
of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with
this resolution and the requirements of the IAEA, and underlines that further
decisions will be required should such additional measures be necessary;
9. Confirms that such additional measures will not be necessary in the event
that Iran complies with this resolution;
10. Decides to remain seized of the matter.[/b]
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remarks by President Bush and Secretary Rice in Press Availability

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Prairie Chapel Ranch
Crawford, Texas
August 7, 2006

Released by the White House, Office of the Press Secretary


8:59 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Since the crisis in Lebanon began more than three weeks ago, the United States and other key nations have been working for a comprehensive solution that would return control of Lebanon to its government, and to provide a sustainable peace that protects the lives of both the Lebanese and the Israeli people.

Secretary Rice and diplomats from other countries are developing United Nations resolutions to bring about a cessation of hostilities and establish a foundation for lasting peace.

The first resolution, which the Security Council is now considering, calls for a stop of all hostilities. Under its terms, Hezbollah will be required to immediately stop all attacks. Israel will be required to immediately stop all offensive military operations. In addition, the resolution calls for an embargo on the shipment of any arms into Lebanon, except as authorized by the Lebanese government.

A second resolution, which the Security Council will begin working on as soon as possible, will help establish a sustainable and enduring cease-fire and provide a mandate for a robust international force that will help the legitimate government of Lebanon extend it's authority over all of Lebanon's territory.

Under this second resolution, the Lebanese armed forces, supported by the international force, will deploy to southern Lebanon. This international force will help Lebanon patrol its border with Syria and prevent illegal arm shipments to Hezbollah. As these Lebanese and international forces deploy, the Israeli defense forces will withdraw. And both Israel and Lebanon will respect the blue line that divides them.

These two resolutions are designed to bring an immediate end to the fighting, to help restore sovereignty over Lebanese soil to Lebanese democratic government -- to Lebanon's democratic government, excuse me -- to strike a blow against the terrorists and their supporters, and to help bring lasting peace to the region. By taking these steps, it will prevent armed militias like Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors from sparking another crisis. And it will protect innocent Lebanese and Israelis. And it will help the international community deliver humanitarian relief and support Lebanon's revival and reconstruction.

The loss of life on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border has been a great tragedy. Millions of Lebanese civilians have been caught in the crossfire of military operations because of the unprovoked attack and kidnappings by Hezbollah. The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon is of deep concern to all Americans, and alleviating it will remain a priority of my government.

I also believe that innocent civilians in Israel should not have to live in bunkers in fear of missile attacks. To establish a lasting peace that protects innocent civilians on both sides of the border, we must address the underlying conditions that are the root cause of this crisis.

I believe that the two resolutions I have discussed and that Secretary Rice is working on will put us on that path.

And now I'll be glad to answer some questions. Nedra.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Lebanon has rejected the draft proposal, and Israel is not speaking out in support of it. How do you get a resolution that both sides will support?

THE PRESIDENT: Everyone wants the violence to stop. People understand that there needs to be a cessation of hostilities in order for us to address the root causes of the problem. That was the spirit that came out of the G8 conference. It came out of the Rome conference that Secretary Rice attended. We all recognize that the violence must stop. And so that's what Secretary Rice is working toward with our friends and allies.

Look, everybody is -- I understand both parties aren't going to agree with all aspects of the resolution. But the intent of the resolutions is to strengthen the Lebanese government so Israel has got a partner in peace. The intent of the resolution is to make sure that we address the root cause -- the resolution is to address the root cause, which was a state operating within the state. Hezbollah was -- or is an armed movement that provoked the crisis.

And so whatever comes out of the resolutions must address that root cause. And so the task today for the Secretary and her counterparts is to develop a resolution that can get passed. It is essential that we create the conditions for the Lebanese government to move their own forces, with international help, into the south of Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah and its sponsors from creating this -- creating another crisis. And so that's where we're headed.


Q The Lebanese Prime Minister is demanding a quick and decisive cease-fire. An Israeli air raid today killed 40 people. When will we see this resolution? And if it's approved, when will we see a cessation of violence?

THE PRESIDENT: I'll let Condi talk about the details of what she's going to do today, if you care to hear from her. But we will work with our partners to get the resolution laid down as quickly as possible. And the resolution will call for a cessation of violence. And the concern, by the way, from the parties in the region is whether or not the resolution will create a vacuum into which Hezbollah and its sponsors will be able to promote more instability.

We all agree that we ought to strengthen this government, the Lebanese government -- that's the purpose of the resolutions, as well as to stop the violence.

I don't know if you want to comment upon --

SECRETARY RICE: First of all, we are working from what we believe to be a strong basis for a cessation of hostilities, that is the U.S.-French draft, a strong basis for the cessation of hostilities, and then as the President said, to have a process then that can address the root causes. And we also believe that it's going to be very important that this first resolution lay a very quick foundation for passage of a second resolution. So these have to be worked, in a sense, together.

I spoke last night and yesterday with Prime Minister Olmert, with Prime Minister Siniora, with Secretary General Kofi Annan, with a number of others, and I think we believe that there is a way forward.

Now, we understand that this has been a very emotional and, indeed, devastating and tragic set of circumstances for Lebanon and for Israel. And obviously, the parties have views on how to stop this. Their views are not going to necessarily be consonant about how to stop it. The international community has a view. But, of course, we're going to take a little time and listen to the concerns of the parties and see how they can be addressed.

But I want to just note, we believe that the extant draft resolution is a firm foundation, is the right basis, but, of course, we're going to listen to the concerns of the parties and see how they might be addressed. And that's really what's going to be going on today, particularly after the Arab League meets and Prime Minister Siniora emerges from that.


Q Thanks. Mr. President, officials have been quoted saying that the international force would not include U.S. troops. And I wonder if you can explain why that is? Is it because the military is already over-tasked? Is it because you're afraid that the U.S. doesn't have credibility in the region?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think -- first of all, there has been a history in Lebanon with U.S. troops. Secondly, I have said that if the international force would like some help with logistics and command and control, we'd be willing to offer logistics and command and control. There are some places where -- it's like Darfur, people say to me, why don't you commit U.S. troops to Darfur as part of an international peacekeeping. And the answer there is that those troops would be -- would create a sensation around the world that may not enable us to achieve our objective. And so when we commit troops, we commit troops for a specific reason, with the intent of achieving an objective. And I think command and control and logistical support is probably the best -- is the best use of U.S. forces.

Mike Fletcher.

Q Many strategists say that we'll never get to the bottom of this crisis unless the U.S. engages directly with Syria and Iran. Why not talk to them directly about this, and have a back-and-forth conversation?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's an interesting question. I've been reading about that, that people have been posing that question. We have been in touch with Syria. Colin Powell sent a message to Syria in person. Dick Armitage traveled to Syria. Bill Burns traveled to Syria. We've got a consulate office in Syria. Syria knows what we think. The problem isn't us telling Syria what's on our mind, which is to stop harboring terror and to help the Iraqi democracy evolve. They know exactly what our position is. The problem is, is that their response hasn't been very positive. As a matter of fact, it hasn't been positive at all.

And in terms of Iran, we made it clear to the Iranians that if they would honor previous obligations and verifiably stop enrichment of nuclear materials, we would sit at a table. And so there's a way forward for both countries. The choice is theirs. Now, I appreciate people focusing on Syria and Iran, and we should, because Syria and Iran sponsor and promote Hezbollah activities -- all aimed at creating chaos, all aimed at using terror to stop the advance of democracies.

Our objective, our policy is to give voice to people through democratic reform. And that's why we strongly support the Siniora government. That's why I've articulated a two state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, two democracies living side-by-side in peace. That's why Condi went to see President Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Territories, to assure him that we're committed to a democracy. That's why we're making sacrifices in Iraq -- to build democracy.

In other words, we believe democracy yields peace. And the actions of Hezbollah through its sponsors of Iran and Syria are trying to stop that advance of democracy. Hezbollah launched this attack. Hezbollah is trying to create the chaos necessary to stop the advance of peace. And the world community must come together to address this problem.

Let's see here. Jim.

Q Mr. President, in the last couple of weeks, every time the question was asked why not get an immediate cessation and then build a sustainable -- terms for a sustainable cease-fire after you get the hostilities stopped, it was categorically rejected. Yet, a few weeks later, here we are. Can you explain why this wasn't done a couple weeks ago?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. Because, first of all, the international community hadn't come together on a concept of how to address the root cause of the problem, Jim.

Part of the problem in the past in the Middle East is people would paper over the root cause of the problem, and therefore the situation would seemingly be quiet, and then lo and behold, there'd be another crisis. And innocent people would suffer. And so our strategy all along has been, of course we want to have a cessation of hostilities, but what we want to do in the same time is to make sure that there is a way forward for the Lebanese government to secure its own country so that there's peace in the region.

And that deals with an international peacekeeping force to complement a Lebanese army moving into the south to make sure that Resolution 1559, passed two years ago by the U.N., was fully upheld. Had the parties involved fully implemented 1559, which called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, we would not be in the situation we're in today.

Let's see here. Yes, Richard.

Q Mr. President, what are the specific stumbling blocks that are preventing this first resolution from being passed quickly? What are the people -- what are the parties objecting to in the language that needs to be altered?

SECRETARY RICE: I think that first of all, I don't -- I'm not going to get into specifics about the views of the parties. I think that we have to do that privately and talk with the parties privately. But obviously, this particular resolution is important because it sets an agenda for the basis for a sustainable peace. And so it will not surprise you that the Lebanese have views of what should be on that agenda. The Israelis have views of what should be on that agenda. They aren't always the same views, and so working together to get to what that agenda should be is part of what's going on here.

But I will say something that's very interesting. There is more agreement than you might think about how to prevent, again, a situation in which you have a state within a state able to launch an attack across the blue line.

For instance, there is agreement that the Lebanese government needs to extend its authority throughout the country, that it needs to have the Lebanese armed forces move to take care of this vacuum that has been existing in the south, that there should not be any armed groups able just to operate in the south in the way that Hezbollah has been able to operate in the south, that there ought to be respect for the blue line. These are all agreements between the two parties.

And so there is going to be some pressure from both sides to get things onto the agenda because they want to get them onto the agenda. But I think we have a reasonable basis here that both sides can accept. I think there are some issues of timing and sequence that need to be worked out. There are some concerns about when an international force would actually be available. And so we're going to continue to work to address those concerns of the two parties.

But as the President said, this last three weeks has been extremely important. Had we done this three weeks ago, we were talking about what people -- an unconditional cease-fire that I can guarantee you would not have addressed any of these items that both sides know are going to have to be addressed if we're going to have a sustainable cease-fire in the future. So this has been time that's been well spent over the last couple of weeks, that everybody agrees it's time to have a cessation. We're going to work a little bit more with the parties, and I think this resolution will be the right basis -- both to cease the hostilities and to move forward.


Q Mr. President, you've spoken with Prime Minister Blair and Chancellor Merkel about this. Have you spoken directly with Prime Ministers Olmert and Siniora? And if not, why not?

THE PRESIDENT: Because Condi is handling those conversations, and she's doing a fine job of doing so.


Q Mr. President, you've been quite specific in Hezbollah's role as the creator of this conflict. But what is the magnet, what is the pressure point, what is the hook to get this group to accept a cease-fire, to stop shooting and to stop kidnapping soldiers from across the border of another country?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I would hope it would be international pressure on not only Hezbollah, the group of Hezbollah within Lebanon, but also its sponsors. And that's the whole purpose of the United States working with allies and friends, is to send a clear message that sponsoring terror is unacceptable. It's the great challenge of the 21st century, really.

Q Do you --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish for a minute.

Q I'm sorry..

THE PRESIDENT: It is the great challenge of this century and it's this: As young democracies flourish, terrorists try to stop their progress. And it's the great challenge of the United States and others who are blessed with living in free countries. Not only do terrorists try to stop the advance of democracy through killing innocent people within those countries, they also try to shape the will of the western world by killing innocent westerners. They try to spread their jihadist message -- a message I call, it's totalitarian in nature -- Islamic radicalism, Islamic fascism, they try to spread it as well by taking the attack to those of us who love freedom.

And as far as this administration is concerned, we clearly see the problem and we're going to continue to work to advance stable, free countries. We don't expect every country to look like the United States, but we do want countries to accept some basic conditions for a vibrant society -- human rights, human decency, the power of the people to determine the fate of their governments. And, admittedly, this is hard work because it flies in the face of previous policy, which basically says stability is more important than form of government. And as a result of that policy, anger and resentment bubbled forth with an attack, with a series of attacks, the most dramatic of which was on September the 11th.

You know, your question is can we get people to -- a terrorist group to change their attitude. What we can do is we can get state sponsors of terror to understand this behavior is unacceptable, and that we can convince some people in terrorist groups that there is a better way forward for them and their families.

Remember, Hezbollah is a political party within Lebanon. They actually ran people for office. The problem is, is that they're a political party with a militia that is armed by foreign nations and, obviously, this political party with militia was willing to try to influence the Middle East through unprovoked attacks.

And what Condi is working on and I work on is to remind people about the stakes in the Middle East. And those stakes include not only helping the Lebanese government firm up its democracy -- remember, we worked with the French two years ago to boot out Syria. Syria was inside Lebanon and we felt that in order for a democracy to flourish, Syria needed to remove not only her troops, but her agents, her intelligence agents, for example.

And, obviously, there are some in the region that don't want the Lebanese government to succeed. I also happen to believe that as Prime Minister Olmert was making progress in reaching out to President Abbas and others in the region to develop a Palestinian state, that that caused a terrorist reaction. Remember, this all started with the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by militant Hamas, followed shortly thereafter by the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.

And, finally, the third most notable battleground in the advance of liberty is Iraq. It's interesting, if you go back to the work of Mr. Zarqawi, he talked about fomenting sectarian violence in order to stop the advance of democracy. The challenge of the 21st century is for free nations to help those who aspire to liberty. And, you know, the first question is, do people aspire to liberty? And the answer is, absolutely -- look at the 12 million people who voted in Iraq. Or look at the people who went to the polls in Lebanon. It's just clear to me that there will be terrorist activities that will try to stop people from living a decent, hopeful life.

And what you're watching now is the diplomatic efforts to address the problem. I know there's -- I sense a certain impatience in your voice about diplomacy coming to a conclusion. What Secretary Rice is doing, as well as me, is we are dealing with a lot of different interests. Remember, each nation at the Security Council has got its own domestic issues to deal with, as well, and so it is -- I wish things happened quicker in the diplomatic realm -- sometimes it takes a while to get things done. But what the American people need to know is we've got a strategy -- a strategy for freedom in the Middle East which protects the American people in the long run. And we've got a strategy to deal with the situations that arise in the Middle East -- first Lebanon; of course, the Iranian nuclear weapon issue.

And as you remember, right before the G8, the question on your mind was would we ever get a resolution out of the U.N. on the Iranians' desire to have a nuclear weapon, as well as whether or not we'd ever get a resolution out of the U.N. to deal with North Korea. As a matter of fact, there was great skepticism, I felt, in some circles, as to whether or not we'd be able to put a diplomacy in place that would deal with these two very difficult problems.

And, in fact, during the G8, two resolutions were passed -- by the way, those resolutions overshadowed by the situation in Lebanon. And I'm confident that working with our friends, if we stay on principle and remind people of the stakes, that we'll be able to accomplish the diplomatic objectives that we have set out -- which is dealing with this problem and addressing the long-term issues.

A couple more questions, and we'll get out -- Suzanne.

Q If I could follow Nedra's question. She had asked, Lebanon --

THE PRESIDENT: I can't remember that far back. (Laughter.)

Q Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, who has been negotiating for Hezbollah, has rejected the first resolution, saying it's unacceptable, they want the Israeli troops to pull out immediately. Is that a negotiable point? And, also, Secretary Rice, will you be reaching out to Berri, as you had spoken with him before?

THE PRESIDENT: Whatever happens in the U.N., we must not create a vacuum into which Hezbollah and its sponsors are able to move more weapons. Sometimes the world likes to take the easy route in order to solve a problem. Our view is, it's time to address root causes of problems. And to create a vacuum, Suzanne, is unacceptable. It would mean that we haven't addressed the root cause.

The idea is to have the Lebanese government move into the south so that the government of Lebanon can protect its own territory, and that there be an international force to provide the help necessary for the Lebanese government to secure its country. Remember, in Germany, the first thing I said was -- or one of the first things I said, I think I said this -- help me out here, if I didn't --

SECRETARY RICE: I think you did.

THE PRESIDENT: -- was we want the Siniora government to survive and to be strengthened. The linchpin of the policy is to support democracies. And so the strategy at the U.N., the diplomatic strategy is to support that notion, because a democracy in Lebanon will not only help that nation address its long-term issues -- such as rebuilding, providing a hopeful life -- but a democracy on Israeli's northern border will stabilize -- help stabilize the region. We are committed to a democracy in the Palestinian territory.

President Abbas, in his conversations with Condi, talked about moving forward with democracy. There are people who can't stand the thought of a society based upon universal liberty from emerging. And that, in itself, ought to be a warning signal to those of us who care deeply for peace, that people would be willing to kill innocent citizens in order to stop the advance of liberty.

Now, I've talked a lot about the universal appeal of liberty, and I readily concede some people aren't willing to -- some say, well, you know, liberty may not be universal in this sense -- America imposes its will. We don't impose liberty; liberty is universal.

It's one of the interesting debates of the 21st century, I think, that some would be willing to say it's okay for people not to live in a free society. It's not okay for us. If you love peace, in order to achieve peace you much help people realize that which is universal -- and that is freedom.

She asked you a question.

SECRETARY RICE: Our point of contact for the Lebanese government is obviously Prime Minister Siniora. As you know, I've also spoken to Speaker Berri on a couple of occasions.

I understand how emotional this is for the Lebanese. They've been through a very difficult war. It's emotional for Israel, as well. They're in the midst of a difficult war.

Let me just say that in terms of what the end state will look like here, I don't think there is any disagreement that the right solution is the one that the President referred to. It's the Lebanese, and the Lebanese armed forces able to secure their territory. And the international help is so that Lebanon can secure its territory. And I don't believe anybody anticipates that there should be foreign forces on Lebanese soil as a result of what has happened here.

And so I think there is room on this issue to work on this issue, because everybody has the same vision -- that it's the Lebanese army, with support from an international force, that can actually prevent that vacuum from obtaining again in the south, so that we're not right back here three or four or five months from now, in the same situation.

Q Mr. President, I don't think we've heard from you since Fidel Castro has fallen ill. Can you give us what you know of his current condition, what your administration's contingency plans are for his death, and how they address the desire of Cuban exiles in this country to eventually go home and reclaim their property?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, Cuba is not a very transparent society, so the only thing I know is what has been speculated. And that is that, on the one hand, he's very ill, and on the other hand, he's going to be coming out of a hospital. I don't know. I really don't know.

And, secondly, that our desire is for the Cuban people to be able to choose their own form of government, and we would hope that -- and we'll make this very clear -- that as Cuba has the possibility of transforming itself from a tyrannical situation to a different type of society, the Cuban people ought to decide. The people on the island of Cuba ought to decide. And once the people of Cuba decide their form of government, then Cuban Americans can take an interest in that country and redress the issues of property confiscation. But first things first, and that is the Cuban people need to decide the future of their country.

Q Mr. President, if I could turn to Iraq for a moment.


Q When you and Prime Minister Blair met at the White House a few months ago, you were asked about mistakes and missteps. And he said the one mistake he made was miscalculating in thinking that a young democracy, as you put it, would be born very quickly after the fall of Saddam. Are you prepared today to agree with him and acknowledge that you've had the same expectations, which were wrong?

THE PRESIDENT: Actually, I think -- I can't remember his answer; I'm sure you've characterized it perfectly. My attitude is that a young democracy has been born quite quickly. And I think the Iraqi government has shown remarkable progress on the political front, and that is, is that they developed a modern constitution that was ratified by the people, and then 12 million people voted for a government -- which gives me confidence about the future in Iraq, by the way.

You know, I hear people say, well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box. And a unity government is working to respond to the will of the people. And frankly, it's quite a remarkable achievement on the political front, and the security front is where there have been troubles. And it's going to be up to the Maliki government, with U.S. help, to use the trained forces, and eventually a trained police force, to take care of those who are trying to foment sectarian violence.

We've made some progress against some of those folks, particularly when Mr. Zarqawi met his demise. Remember, al Qaeda is in the country, all attempting to stop the advance of democracy. And the blowing up of the mosque created an opportunity for those who were trying to foment sectarian violence to achieve their objective. But the Iraqi people rejected that kind of sectarian violence, the army stood strong.

No question it's still difficult. On the other hand, the political process is part of helping to achieve our objective, which is a free country, an ally in the war on terror that can sustain itself and govern itself and defend itself.

Okay, who else? I don't want to hurt any feelings. Yes, sir.

Q Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Identify yourself.

Q Kevin Corke, NBC News, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. I knew that.

Q Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Just wanted to make sure you did.

Q Yes, indeed. In reading the 1559 resolution and the draft, as it's currently constructed, there are a lot of similarities, quite frankly. And I'm wondering if you could speak to maybe the frustration some Americans might be feeling that you've said we want sustainable peace, we don't want to come back here in a few months or a few years -- and, yet, it seems like there will be another resolution, maybe another resolution, maybe another this, that and the other. People get frustrated. Can you understand that and respond to that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the people who should get really frustrated are the Israelis and the Lebanese. They ought to be the ones who are frustrated, because 1559 clearly laid a way forward for there to be a strong democracy in Lebanon, which will more likely yield the peace. And there is a level of frustration around the world with organizations that will take innocent life to achieve political objectives. And our job is to remind people that this isn't a moment, this is a movement, and that we must deal with this movement. We must deal with this movement with strong security measures, we must bring justice to those who would attack us, and at the same time, defeat their ideology by the spread of liberty.

And it takes a lot of work. This is the beginning of a long struggle against an ideology that is real and profound. It's Islamo-fascism. It comes in different forms. They share the same tactics, which is to destroy people and things in order to create chaos in the hopes that their vision of the world become predominant in the Middle East.

And Condi and I will work hard -- by the way, the United States can't win this war alone. We can do damage to the enemy. We can take the philosophical high ground and remind people of the importance of how freedom can change societies. But we will work with allies and friends to achieve this objective. And part of the challenge in the 21st century is to remind people about the stakes, and remind people that in moments of quiet, there's still an Islamic fascist group plotting, planning and trying to spread their ideology. And one of the things that -- one of the things that came out of this unfortunate incident in the Middle East is it is a stark reminder that there are those who want to stop the advance of liberty and destabilize young democracies. And they're willing to kill people to do so.

I repeat, this whole incident started because Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers and launched rocket attacks. And it's been unfortunate that people on both sides of the border have lost life. And we're committed to helping the Lebanese government rebuild.

On the other hand, what we won't do is allow for a false hope. We believe that it's important to challenge the root cause now. We thought we had done so with 1559, but 1559 wasn't implemented. In other words, there was a way forward to deal with the problem. And now there's another chance to deal with the problem, and that's the role of the United States, working with others, to not only remind people about the problem, but to come up with solutions in dealing with the problem. And the solutions that we are working with our friends are, in our judgment, is the best hope for achieving stability and peace.

But it takes a lot of work. And it takes commitment and focus. And that's what this administration will continue to do. We'll stay focused on the problem and stay focused on coming up with solutions that, when implemented, will leave behind a better world.

Thank you all very much for your interest.

END 9:36 A.M. CDT

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Does Iran Have Something in Store? Reply with quote

Does Iran Have Something in Store?
Wall Street Journal -- Commentary
August 22

August 8, 2006; Page A10

During the Cold War, both sides possessed weapons of mass destruction, but neither side used them, deterred by what was known as MAD, mutual assured destruction. Similar constraints have no doubt prevented their use in the confrontation between India and Pakistan. In our own day a new such confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel. Against the U.S. the bombs might be delivered by terrorists, a method having the advantage of bearing no return address. Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment.

It seems increasingly likely that the Iranians either have or very soon will have nuclear weapons at their disposal, thanks to their own researches (which began some 15 years ago), to some of their obliging neighbors, and to the ever-helpful rulers of North Korea. The language used by Iranian President Ahmadinejad would seem to indicate the reality and indeed the imminence of this threat.

Would the same constraints, the same fear of mutual assured destruction, restrain a nuclear-armed Iran from using such weapons against the U.S. or against Israel?

There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples.

Muhammad's night flight on Buraq.
Even in the past it was clear that terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam had no compunction in slaughtering large numbers of fellow Muslims. A notable example was the blowing up of the American embassies in East Africa in 1998, killing a few American diplomats and a much larger number of uninvolved local passersby, many of them Muslims. There were numerous other Muslim victims in the various terrorist attacks of the last 15 years.

The phrase "Allah will know his own" is usually used to explain such apparently callous unconcern; it means that while infidel, i.e., non-Muslim, victims will go to a well-deserved punishment in hell, Muslims will be sent straight to heaven. According to this view, the bombers are in fact doing their Muslim victims a favor by giving them a quick pass to heaven and its delights -- the rewards without the struggles of martyrdom. School textbooks tell young Iranians to be ready for a final global struggle against an evil enemy, named as the U.S., and to prepare themselves for the privileges of martyrdom.

A direct attack on the U.S., though possible, is less likely in the immediate future. Israel is a nearer and easier target, and Mr. Ahmadinejad has given indication of thinking along these lines. The Western observer would immediately think of two possible deterrents. The first is that an attack that wipes out Israel would almost certainly wipe out the Palestinians too. The second is that such an attack would evoke a devastating reprisal from Israel against Iran, since one may surely assume that the Israelis have made the necessary arrangements for a counterstrike even after a nuclear holocaust in Israel.

The first of these possible deterrents might well be of concern to the Palestinians -- but not apparently to their fanatical champions in the Iranian government. The second deterrent -- the threat of direct retaliation on Iran -- is, as noted, already weakened by the suicide or martyrdom complex that plagues parts of the Islamic world today, without parallel in other religions, or for that matter in the Islamic past. This complex has become even more important at the present day, because of this new apocalyptic vision.

In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead -- hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.

How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death? Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries, their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD.

Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford University Press, 2004).

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Bernard almost has it right, his premis is accurate...but "Iranians have been weaving carpets for thousands of years", reflects the operable parameters, as well as the 11th commandment "Thou shall not get caught." Nuclear signatures ARE traceable, thus only nuking themselves would give them "justification" for total war and an unholy jihad , and in the current environment even if it could be proven that it wasn't US/Israel that started it, not one muslim would believe it. Nor would a lot of nations.

But there's a bright side... hopefully enough attention has been brought to this possible scenario that were it to happen, the world will simply give Antar a broom and a mop suit and tell him to clean up the mess he's made.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ViaHakimi wrote:
Clearing the path for US War on Iran
August 09, 2006
Inter Press Service
Gareth Porter
link to original article

Israel has argued that the war against Hezbollah's rocket arsenal was a defensive response to the Shi'ite organization's threat to Israeli security, but the evidence points to a much more ambitious objective - the weakening of Iran's deterrent to an attack on its nuclear sites.

In planning for the destruction of most of Hezbollah's arsenal and prevention of any resupply from Iran, Israel appears to have hoped to eliminate a major reason the US administration had shelved the military option for dealing with Iran's nuclear program - the fear that Israel would suffer massive casualties from Hezbollah's rockets in retaliation for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

One leading expert on Israeli national-defense policy issues believes the aim of the Israeli campaign against Hezbollah was to change the US administration's mind about attacking Iran. Edward Luttwak, senior adviser to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, says administration officials have privately dismissed the option of air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities in the past, citing estimates that a Hezbollah rocket attack in retaliation would kill thousands of people in northern Israel.

But Israeli officials saw a war in Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah's arsenal and prevent further resupply in the future as a way to eliminate that objection to the military option, says Luttwak.

The risk to Israel of launching such an offensive was that it would unleash the very rain of Hezbollah rockets on Israel that it sought to avert. But Luttwak believes the Israelis calculated that they could degrade Hezbollah's rocket forces without too many casualties by striking preemptively.

"They knew that a carefully prepared and coordinated rocket attack by Hezbollah would be much more catastrophic than one carried out under attack by Israel," he said.

Gerald M Steinberg, an Israeli specialist on security affairs at Bar Ilon University who reflects Israeli government thinking, did not allude to the link between destruction of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal and a possible attack on Iran in an interview with Bernard Gwertzman of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last week. But he did say there is "some expectation" in Israel that after the US congressional elections, President George W Bush "will decide that he has to do what he has to do".

Steinberg said Israel wanted to "get an assessment" of whether the United States would "present a military attack against the Iranian nuclear sites as the only option". If not, he suggested that Israel was still considering its own options.

Specialists on Iran and Hezbollah have long believed that the missiles Iran has supplied to Hezbollah were explicitly intended to deter an Israeli attack on Iran. Ephraim Kam, a specialist on Iran at Israel's Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, wrote in December 2004 that Hezbollah's threat against northern Israel was a key element of Iran's deterrent to a US attack.

Ali Ansari, an associate professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and author of a new book on the US confrontation with Iran, was quoted in the Toronto Star on July 30 as saying, "Hezbollah was always Iran's deterrent force against Israel."

Iran has also threatened direct retaliation against Israel with the Shahab-3 missile from Iranian territory. However, Iran may be concerned about the possibility that Israel's Arrow system could intercept most of them, as the Jaffe Center's Kam observed in 2004. That elevates the importance to Iran of Hezbollah's ability to threaten retaliation.

Hezbollah received some Soviet-era Katyusha rockets, with a range of 8 kilometers, and hundreds of longer-range missiles, after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. But the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, citing a report by Israeli military intelligence at the time, has reported that the number of missiles and rockets in Hezbollah hands grew to more 12,000 in 2004.

That was when Iranian officials felt that the Bush administration might seriously consider an attack on their nuclear sites, because it knew Iran was poised to begin enrichment of uranium. It was also when Iranian officials began to imply that Hezbollah could retaliate against any attack on Iran, although they have never stated that explicitly.

The first hint of Iranian concern about the possible strategic implications of the Israeli campaign to degrade the Hezbollah missile force in south Lebanon came in a report by Michael Slackman in the New York Times on July 25. Slackman quoted an Iranian official with "close ties to the highest levels of government" as saying, "They want to cut off one of Iran's arms."

The same story quoted Mohsen Rezai, the former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, as saying, "Israel and the US knew that as long as Hamas and Hezbollah were there, confronting Iran would be costly" - an obvious reference to the deterrent value of the missiles in Lebanon. "So, to deal with Iran, they first want to eliminate forces close to Iran that are in Lebanon and Palestine."

Israel has been planning its campaign against Hezbollah's missile arsenal for many months. Matthew Kalman reported from Tel Aviv in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 21, "More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to US and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's main purpose in meeting with Bush on May 25 was clearly to push the United States to agree to use force, if necessary, to stop Iran's uranium-enrichment program. Four days before the meeting, Olmert told CNN that Iran's "technological threshold" was "very close". In response to a question about US and European diplomacy on the issue, Olmert replied, "I prefer to take the necessary measures to stop it, rather than find out later that my indifference was so dangerous."

At his meeting with Bush, according to Yitzhak Benhorin of Israel's ynetnews, Olmert pressed Bush on Israel's intelligence assessment that Iran would gain the technology necessary to build a bomb within a year and expressed fears that diplomatic efforts were not going to work.

It seems likely that Olmert discussed Israel's plans for degrading Hezbollah's missile capabilities as a way of dramatically reducing the risks involved in an air campaign against Iran's nuclear sites, and that Bush gave his approval. That would account for Olmert's comment to Israeli reporters after the meeting, reported by ynetnews but not by US news media: "I am very, very, very satisfied."

Bush's refusal to do anything to curb Israel's freedom to cause havoc on Lebanon further suggests that he encouraged the Israelis to take advantage of any pretext to launch the offensive. The Israeli plan may have given US Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld new ammunition for advocating a strike on Iran's nuclear sites.

Rumsfeld was the voice of administration policy toward Iran from 2002 to 2004, and he often appeared to be laying the political groundwork for an eventual military attack on Iran. But he has been silenced on the subject of Iran since Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took over Iran policy in January 2005.

Gareth Porter is a historian and national-security policy analyst. His latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in June 2005.

After Lebanon, There's Iran

August 09, 2006
The Christian Science Monitor
Vali Nasr

link to original article

MONTEREY, CALIF. -- When the war in Lebanon ends, the US will have to piece together a whole new strategy for dealing with Iran - especially its nuclear program. The Israeli- Hizbullah war has boldly ratcheted up Iran's regional stature at the same time it has depleted US influence and prestige.

From the outset, the Lebanese conflict was about more than just Hizbullah. Jerusalem and Washington were quick to point the finger of blame for the conflict at Iran, and it was with Iran in mind that Israel unleashed the full force of its air power in Lebanon. The US, too, saw shock and awe in Beirut as an opportunity to convince Tehran of the West's determination to bring it into compliance on the nuclear issue.

Tehran cleary received the message and viewed the US-backed Israeli war on Hizbullah as the first stage of a war on Iran. But Tehran also used the occasion to send a message of its own to Washington. While dutifully denying a direct role in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, Tehran nevertheless heaped praise on Hizbullah, hoping that its engagement with Israel might dampen enthusiasm for a military attack on Iran. To further drive this point home, Hizbullah surprised Israel and the US by successfully testing a number of Iranian-made advanced weapons systems.

Iran's ties to Hizbullah run deep. It was Iranian clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders who first organized Hizbullah in the 1980s. Since then, Tehran has bankrolled and armed Hizbullah's war machine. Many among the current leadership of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have served tours of duty at Hizbullah's headquarters in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Over the past two decades, Hizbullah has evolved into a Lebanese political force, but it continues to rely on Iranian support to sustain its military capabilities.

Average Iranians resent their government's generous support for Hizbullah when unemployment and poverty plague the Iranian economy, and many bristle at the risk that support for Hizbullah carries for Iran. But Iran's leaders see Hizbullah as an ally and an asset. Hizbullah is a fruit of the Iranian revolution - the only time its seed found fertile soil outside Iran. Tehran cannot back away from Hizbullah without acknowledging that the revolution is over. Iran's hard-line leaders, looking to rekindle revolutionary fervor at home, see their own values reflected in Hizbullah.

Nor will Tehran easily give up on a pro- Iranian force in the heart of the Arab world and an important instrument in confronting Israel and the US. Tehran has basked in Hizbullah's new-found glory, taking credit for a popular military adventure that has greatly weakened Iran's traditional regional rivals - Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran had hoped that its cooperation with the US in rebuilding a post-Taliban Afghanistan would lead to an opening in the relations between the two countries. But Washington was not keen to build on that initiative. It refused to engage Iran over the future of Iraq and instead focused its energies on containing Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf and rolling back Iran's nuclear program.

In the Lebanese conflict, Iran has found an opportunity to underscore its regional importance. The Iran-Hizbullah axis has hijacked the Palestinian cause and redefined the Arab-Israeli conflict. Neither criticism by Arab governments nor fatwas (religious edicts) by radical Sunni clerics have slowed down Hizbullah's and Iran's rising stock.

As the US looks for a way out of the crisis, it is increasingly evident that it is Iran's and not Washington's traditional allies in the region that hold the key to solving the crisis, and Tehran hopes that Washington will come to realize that without Iranian cooperation it cannot ensure regional stability.

With a population of close to 70 million, more than 70 percent of which is literate, a vibrant culture, and a geographic spread from Central Asia and the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf, Iran is today a rising power in the Middle East. Its large market, economic output, industrial potential, and vast oil and natural gas reserves make it central to American geostrategic and energy interests. Over the past two decades, Tehran has nurtured cultural, economic, and political ties with various regional forces, most notably the Shiites of Iraq. These ties confirm Iran's regional status, just as they make it more difficult for the US to bring stability to the arc stretching from Afghanistan to Lebanon without Iran.

In the coming months, Washington will have to look for ways to deal with a bullish Iran. A policy of isolation and intimidation will no longer yield results and will serve to further destabilize the Middle East. Hizbullah's tenacious resistance has moreover devalued military power as a deterrent. The war has not only failed to subdue Hizbullah militarily, but has made it politically stronger. US objectives and interests would be better served by giving Iran a vested interest in stability. That means including Iran in a new regional security framework. The US should continue to demand that Iran curb its nuclear activities, abandon support of terrorism, and respect the democratic aspirations of Iranians. The difference would be that with regime change no longer a threat, Iran will be more likely to find reasons to change its course. (what a wishful thinking or even better sublimed propaganda for IRI. This writer is ignorant about the Mullah,s ultimate intentions! But Mr. Vali Nasr is the son of Dr. Nasr who is well know shady fellow! Therefore there goes Father & there goes the son!!??- H.H.)

• Vali Nasr teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and is adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He recently authored "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future."

Any kind of War Strategy which is focusing on nuclear sites and not Islamic regime change will be a disaster for both freedom-loving Iranian people and American people.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any kind of War Strategy which is focusing on nuclear sites and not Islamic regime change will be a disaster for both freedom-loving Iranian people and American people.

When dealing with military options regarding a rougue state currently possesing WMD (biological, chemical, and/or nuclear) and the capability of multiple delivery systems, including covert terrorist ops, any limited pre-emptive military action leaves gaping holes and virtual assurance of successful retaliation by the regime.

So, since any one with common sense would understand this fact, anyone who professes to know what the strategy is, claiming the military option is only limited to Iran's nuclear facilities is simply talking out his ass.

The common sense lacking in these so called "experts" is dangerous indeed.

US objectives and interests would be better served by giving Iran a vested interest in stability. That means including Iran in a new regional security framework.

I happen to agree with this in principal, but it will only happen after the mullahs are put on trial for crimes against the Iranian people, forever removed from Iranian political fora by constitutional law, and a representitive government structure formed that abides by international norms.

The difference would be that with regime change no longer a threat, Iran will be more likely to find reasons to change its course. (what a wishful thinking or even better sublimed propaganda for IRI. This writer is ignorant about the Mullah,s ultimate intentions! But Mr. Vali Nasr is the son of Dr. Nasr who is well know shady fellow! Therefore there goes Father & there goes the son!!??- H.H.)


Even the "shady" can't hide from the bright light of the truth forever....nor obscure it.


Explanation of Vote on UN Security Council Resolution on Israel-Lebanon

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
New York, New York
August 11, 2006

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow members of the Security Council:

I am pleased to join all of you today to support this important resolution. We
have been brought to this day by the good faith and hard work of so many in the
international community. I especially want to thank Secretary General Annan, as
well as Foreign Minister Douste-Blazy and the French government.

Of course, we owe the fullest gratitude to Prime Minister Sinoira of Lebanon
and Prime Minister Olmert of Israel. These democratic leaders have served their
people courageously throughout this extremely trying and tumultuous time.
With the passage of this resolution, the international community has helped to
open a path to lasting peace between Lebanon and Israel that will end the
suffering and violence of the past month.

The status quo that precipitated this conflict was unstable. Since the conflict
began, we have sought an immediate end to the fighting. But we have also
insisted that a durable ceasefire requires a decisive change from the status
quo that produced this war.

Today's resolution lays the foundation to achieve that goal. With this
resolution, a new - stronger - Lebanon can emerge with the world's help. Now
the hard, urgent work of implementation begins.

Today's resolution accomplishes three important objectives. First, it puts in
place a full cessation of hostilities, while insisting on the unconditional
release of the abducted Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah must immediately cease its
attacks on Israel - and Israel must halt its offensive military operations in
Lebanon, while reserving the right of any sovereign state to defend itself.

In addition to respecting this resolution's call for a full cessation of
hostilities, we believe that all parties should also take action to protect
civilians, as was called for in the four principles of the 1996 Understanding.
We urge the governments of Lebanon and Israel to commit to ending large-scale
violence. Hezbollah now faces a clear choice between war and peace, and the
world will help to ensure that their choice is the right one.

Second, this resolution will help the democratic government of Lebanon to
expand its sovereign authority, as called for in Resolution 1559. It will do so
by creating a new international force that builds on the current UN force in
Lebanon - UNIFIL.

Though it will bear the same name, this will not be the same force. It will be
an enhanced UNIFIL.

As the government of Lebanon has requested, this new force will have an
expanded mandate, a greater scope of operations, better equipment, and much
larger numbers - a target of 15,000 soldiers, a seven-fold increase in its
current strength.

The Lebanese Armed Forces, together with this new stabilization force, will
deploy to the south of the country to protect the Lebanese people and to ensure
that no armed groups like Hezbollah can threaten stability. As this deployment
occurs, Israel will withdraw behind the Blue Line. Today's resolution makes
very clear that these are parallel processes. It also calls for the opening of
Lebanese harbors and airports, which we expect will be for verifiably civilian

With the deployment and withdrawal, a full ceasefire will go into effect. And
the Council has said it intends to adopt another resolution with further
measures to help that ceasefire become permanent. We look forward to the
Secretary General's proposals to fully implement Resolutions 1559 and 1680,
including the question of disarmament.

To further strengthen Lebanon's democracy, the international community is
imposing a binding embargo on all weapons heading into the country without the
government's consent. Today, we call upon every state, especially Iran and
Syria, to respect the sovereignty of the Lebanese government and the will of
international community.

Finally, this resolution clearly lays out the political principles to secure a
lasting peace: No foreign forces, no weapons, and no authority in Lebanon other
than that of the independent Lebanese government, which must have complete
sovereign authority over its entire country.

These principles represent a long-standing international consensus that was
first expressed in UN Resolution 425 - then affirmed in the Taif Accords, and
reaffirmed in Resolutions 1559 and 1680. On July 16, the G-8 leaders endorsed
the same political conditions in St. Petersburg, and ten days later, the
Lebanon Core Group supported these principles at the Rome Conference.

This resolution also offers a way forward to implement Resolution 1680, which
addresses the delineation of the Lebanese border, including Sheb'a farms. At
the same time, we must ensure Israel's security and respect the underlying
framework to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the region, in
accordance with UN Resolution 242.

Fellow Council members: Today in no way marks the end of our common efforts. In
many respects, the hard work of diplomacy is only just beginning. Though it is
our hope that this resolution will lead to the cessation of large-scale
hostilities, no one should expect an immediate end to all acts of violence. The
conditions of a lasting peace must be nurtured over time, with the goodwill of
the Lebanese and Israeli governments, and with the sustained commitment of the
international community.

Our most pressing challenge now is to help the thousands of displaced people
within Lebanon to return to their homes and rebuild their lives. The
reconstruction of Lebanon will be led by the government of Lebanon, but it will
demand the generosity of the entire international community.

For our part, the United States will continue working with the governments of
Lebanon and Israel to ease the suffering of the Lebanese people. We have
already committed substantial resources to the humanitarian efforts in Lebanon
and Israel, and in the critical days and weeks following a cessation of
hostilities, we plan to do even more, beginning now by increasing our immediate
assistance to $50 million.

The United States will coordinate closely with other major donors, with the
international financial institutions, and with all who are committed to
Lebanon's future. We will also encourage the active involvement of the private
sector in Lebanon's reconstruction. Through our common efforts, we must help
the people of Lebanon to emerge from this conflict more prosperous than ever.

Fellow Council members: The past month has been marked by overwhelming
suffering, and heartache, and loss - both in Lebanon and in Israel. And this
resolution is refreshingly clear about how this tragedy began: Six years after
Israel withdrew completely from Lebanon, a terrorist group - Hezbollah -
crossed an international boundary, captured and killed Israeli soldiers, and
began firing thousands of rockets into Israeli cities.

Hezbollah and its sponsors have also brought devastation upon the people of
Lebanon, dragging them into a war they did not choose, and exploiting them as
human shields.

The people of the Middle East have lived for too long at the mercy of
extremists. It is time to build a more hopeful future. And this resolution
shows us the way. It is now the solemn responsibility of the international
community to help the people of Lebanon and Israel to transform this tragedy
into opportunity - an opportunity to overcome old patterns of violence, and to
build a new foundation for stable and sustainable peace.

We have embarked upon an ambitious course. Yet it is the right course. It is
the only realistic and effective course. And we must see it through - for it is
the only way to help the people of Lebanon and the people of Israel to secure
the lasting peace they both desire … and both deserve.

Thank you.

Released on August 11, 2006

See http://www.state.gov/secretary/ for all remarks by the Secretary of State.
To change your subscription, go to http://www.state.gov/misc/52620.htm
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