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25 April 2012

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rjj

With apologies for the OT, PL

Actually no. Something about wording in one article suggested Stein's activism started AFTER loss of security clearance which set off my bullshit detector (was all his righteous rant an expression of personal disgruntlement and maybe counterstink to cover some earlier screw-up?). In fact:

Stein, a Marine for nine years, had to be reassigned from his previous job in the military as a weather forecaster after losing his security clearance, the result of bad debts, according to Captain Torresala.

Some of the postings were made on a Facebook page also used by military meteorologists, prosecutors noted. “Our own people are questioning why this Marine is not being held accountable,” Torresala noted.

The time sequence is still not clear, but this CorpsMedia manufactured First Amendment Martyr needs a closer look.

Talk about politicization of military...

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

Of course not. But that does not detract from the force -- and timeliness -- of Alba Ettie's question. Despite the patent unlikelihood of any kind of 'grand bargain' in the near term, it is still sensible to attempt to sketch out what such a bargain might look like.

If one can imagine compromises that might be better for most of those involved than the likely alternatives, setting out what agreements might be conceivably be feasible some way down the line could give those of us who do not want to head down suicidal routes a clear goal for which to aim.

Babak Makkinejad

Negogiations with Iran have always been possible but the deal that was possible in 2003 is no longer available in 2012.

US & EU have done their best in waging a very significant economic war against Iran. That they have been willing to shove the world into another recession in the pursuance of that policy clearly indicates the seriousness with which the US-EU leaders and planners have viewed the rise of Iran after the US-Iraq War.

The start of any negogiations with Iran must be an acceptance that US, UK and others who invaded Iraq and destroyed the Ba'athist state have - perhaps accidentally - significantly increased the power of Iran.

Until this fact is accepted by US (and EU) planners as irreversible, no negogiations are feasible.

Given the recent near-war with Iran during this past February and March - instigated US-EU leaders - there is scant evidence that the facts I mentioned have been accepted.

Alba Etie

Does this mean we can register AIPAC has a lobbying arm of the Likud now ?

Alba Etie

What could this grand bargain mean for Somalia ?
Turkey has become a pretty big player in Somalia - could this deal include settling down failed states into some kind of economic recovery ? Is Turkey involved in this grand bargain ?

Tunde

The israeli securocracy has spoken. Dagan, Meirdor, Gantz et al. LTG Benny Gantz seems to be from the Dempsey school of forthrightness. Perhaps he'll go on to be the next Labour party leader like Amram Mitzna was. Hang on, that didn't turn out too well actually.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

"The start of any negogiations with Iran must be an acceptance that US, UK and others who invaded Iraq and destroyed the Ba'athist state have - perhaps accidentally - significantly increased the power of Iran."

I do not see any 'perhaps' about it. Messrs Bush and Blair played into Iran's hands. As you know, some of us suspect that they were rather skilfully suckered into the role of 'useful idiots' by Iranian intelligence.

However that is water under the bridge. And I certainly do not think that an obsessive desire to undo the consequences of our blunder is a sensible basis for policy now.

Among other things, given the acute vulnerability of the dollar-based global reserve system, to attempt to grind Iran into the dust by imposing sanctions on Indian and Chinese financial institutions is almost as stupid as toppling Saddam.

At the BRICS summit last month the participants made clear they wanted to move towards using local currencies as a means of exchange. To push the Chinese to pay for oil with gold -- which appears to be their not unnatural response -- is cuckoo.

(See http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/2012/04/22/the-best-reason-in-the-world-to-buy-gold/print/ )

So I would certainly agree that we are a long way from a reasonably rational American, or European, policy towards the Islamic Republic.

However it is not clear to me whether you are simply denying that conditions for a 'grand bargain' exist, or going further and suggesting that a compromise over nuclear issues which the respective leaderships could sell to their domestic constituencies is unavailable.

Babak Makkinejad

A tactical agreement on certain aspects of the Iranian nuclear file is possible - even probable.

US and Iran differ on Palestine, on Lebanon, on Syria, on Afghanistan, on Iraq, and on security in the Persian Gulf.

These differences cannot be overcome in a timely manner.

Furthermore, I am not sure that Iranians will be interested in a "Grand Bargain" with US. What is in it for them?

[The start of any Grand Bargain negogiations with Iran will be for US to give Iran iron-clad guarantees that she will be not attacked with nuclear weapons by Israel. Can US even do that?]

The beaver

Huh!

What is Panetta saying?
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/panetta-i-hope-that-idf-chief-is-right-on-iran-nuclear-program-1.426872

“I would hope he’s correct and he knows something more that I do,” Panetta said of Gantz during a visit to Chile, according to the AFP report.

“I do not have any specific information that indicates (the Iranians) have made any decision one way or another,” Panetta was quoted as saying.

In the meantime, the money grabbers are speculating:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/27/abydos-iran-idUSL6E8FQES420120427

tunde

Yuval Diskin has just come out and called Bibi and Ehud 'our two messiahs'.
http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=267783

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