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09 June 2012

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oofda

Note that the IAEA team came back to the table with revisions in their proposed plan that responded to Iranian concerns. The Iranians said that wasn't enough and came up with new issues and rehashed issues that had been discussed. That behavior brings into question just how serious they are about negotiating. Add to that the destruction of buildings at Parchin- negating proof of their testing of explosives, and you really have a negative picture. They aren't serious.

Pirouz

The Iranians expected war in 2007, while Cheney was lobbying hard for a strike. They did what you said, Colonel, working in earnest at Fordo.

It is unrealistic to expect that they will surrender their rights to nuclear the fuel cycle, effectively stripping away the NPT as it pertains to their country. They'll endure a war for it, no doubt about it.

What would it mean to us? $7 to $8 a gallon gas. Much worse for Europe. Could trigger a depression.

I've noticed Colonel you like reducing things to their simplest, which I admire. Here I've spelled it out to it's simplest.

Me? I'd be very disappointed by another American foreign war of choice, with $7 to $8 a gallon gas and more people out of work.

JohnH

Of course, inspectors are supposed to inspect. And they're supposed to keep the names of key scientists secret, not give them to Israel, so they can be picked off...

Amir

Colonel, I don't think too many people are impressed with the firepower. Every Achilles has a heel, you just have to find it.

I tend to remember that everyone looked the other way around when WMD's were being used in Halabja and Majnoon and Faw, during the Saddam's war on Iran.

I trained in the same ICU that took care of those guys. Being signatory to all the conventions in the world did not help the one bit. I agree with the colonel, one should prepare for the worst, hope for the best and make sure that as soon as possible you can speak the same universal language that they always understand.

turcopolier

Amir

Tactical chemical weapons are not WMD. If you are Iranian and you think that US firepwer is a joke, you may live long enough to know how wrong you are. pl

Bill H

I'm not sure what incentive Iran has to agree any kind of deal, since they know that any agreement they arrive at will be rejected by Israel, and therefor by the US. The NPT allows them to have a peaceful nuclear power program, but Israel intends to remove that permission and the US is on board with Israel's intention, so what incentive does that provide for Iran to try to negotiate anything that preserves their nuclear power program?

N M salamon

Colonel:
I admire your patrotism.I, however. have great concern for the 99% in the USA [and most of the world] which indicates that your desire -may not be quite the right word; to assure USA supremavcy versus IRan is misplaced. While there is no doubt that the USA Air Force and Naval power could crush Iran, you completely negelct any analysis [in which field you, Sir, are usually very astute] of the possible blow back.

This blowback is not only Iran, but Europe - which depednds on ME oil, China [your greatest foreign creditor] whic also depends on imported oil,India, with very poor economy depending on imported oil; Canada which also depends on imported oil - in the east], so they can export to the USA from the West, and Russia which is completely opposed to any military action close to their border.

I honestly believe that Pirouz under estimates the price of gasoline in case of Iran war by more than the number he cited - for there is a distinct possibility that the US $ would collapse against other international currencies.

Recalling the horrors of the maternity ward of Faju?? after the use of various "tactical" chemical and depleted uranium ammunition, I do worry what will be the judgement of the world. The USA can not take on the whole world mkilitarily, except if she desires WWIII with nuclear war.

turcopolier

NMS

You don't understand my position. I understand the economic difficulties that would ensue. I do not buy the WW3 stuff. The Russians and the Chinese do not want to die for Iran and would drop them like a hot rock if that seemed likely. The danger here is that BHO is sincere about not being willing to accept an Iranian nuclear force. If the Iraians do not back down on this the US may well turn Iran into a parking lot. There would be no ground war and it would be "fought" "off the shelf" with existing stocks of equipment and ordnance. The US is not Canada. We actually have these capabilities, anytime, anywhere. The Navy and Air force were hardly committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't talk down to me. pl

r whitman

Do not discount the possibility that the Iranians could do some sort of counterstrike during the US strike that would send 500-1000 body bags back to the US. The media would go crazy.

Would the US "cut and run" as we have done before in Vietnam, Lebanon, Somolia, Iraq and soon to be, Afganistan.

turcopolier

r whitman

IMO the Iranians presently lack the ability to do anything that serious. Maybe a few hundred... What would be likely to happen is a general Islamic assymetric effort against the US in many places but that would not keep Iran from becoming a parking lot. pl

Babak Makkinejad

All:

The specific instance of IAEA-Iran negogiating session does not have any strategic significance.

As for danger of war, it was always there during the past 30 years.

And as for Mr. Obama; he had his chance this last February-March and he did not take it.

There will be no war, and you heard that from me here.

Morocco Bama

Iran had been playing this quite well up to now, but they stepped in shit on this one....exactly what the West had intended. One step closer. How many more steps are there until we get to the center of this tootsie roll tootsie pop?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ0epRjfGLw

Oil must not be allowed to fall to $50/barrel. Excuses must be found to underscore the predetermined price point.

N M salamon

Sir: I agree with you on:
1., USA is capable of turning Iran into parking lot- though there will be USA losses
2., It is debatable that Russia and or China would defend Iran as long as no Russian or Chinese casualties!

My worry is the subsequent collapse of the PETRODOLLAR/USD RESERVE CURRENCY status, which might cause the USA political class to go ape s**t, causing WW III, for without endless imports ON CRDIT of strategic and non strategic materials and goods the USA is a third world country; seeing that Wall street exported a major part of USA industry, and that the USA depeds on import of most basic commodities from oil to Vanadium, to Chrome etc.

SAC Brat

It would be interesting to see a graph comparing oil prices and Iranian nuclear boogey man news releases...

JohnH

What would happen after Iran caves to the US on the enrichment issue?

Wouldn't this demonstrate that Iran can be brought to heel on an anything and everything, including its own sovereignty. Let's not forget that the nuclear issue is only the latest in a long series of ever changing US grievances, starting with the fall of the Shah, that have led to never ending sanctions against Iran.

Wouldn't Iranian recalcitrance on any of the other issues bring the same response--a threat of turning Iran into a parking lot--that the non-existent nuclear weapons program may yet bring?

Or can the US be persuaded to be reasonable--and offer some real carrots--on any of the issues ostensibly dividing the countries? If so, why aren't the carrots--any carrots--being talked about?

Amir

USSR firepower was also impressive in Afghanistan and at the end of the day they "only" lost 7.000 souls in a decade. Nevertheless, they got kicked out of Afghanistan. And no, the inhabitants are not happy that the country turned into the "parking lot" but they will do it again if they had too.

The blood is going to be Iranian, the treasure Chinese and sweat Russian. I agree that Russia nor China is going to loose ONE life on behalf of Iran but they are for sure are not willing to lose tout court, it will depend of where and when they see ghost of Munich rising up.

turcopolier

Amir

No. you atill do not understand or do not wish to. The US chose to fight with one hand behind our backs in the most labor intensive way possible that minimized our advantages. We did that for political reasons. we did something similar in VN but on a larger scale. If we wished to use our real capabilities do you think we would be foolig around with these small drone aircarft and anti-tank rockets hung on them. Get real! pl

David Habakkuk

JohnH,

From a long despatch which George Kennan sent back from Moscow in September 1952, under the title 'The Soviet Union and the Atlantic Pact':

The Soviet leaders have maintained relatively strong forces at all possible points of military conflict with the Western powers and have shown themselves extremely sensitive and ruthlessly vigilant about the inviolability of their own frontiers. In this they have doubtless been animated by a desire to demonstrate that they are not intimidated by Western rearmament and not prepared to stand any trifling with their territory or their armed forces. They are extremely conscious of the dynamics of evidences of strength or weakness, and particularly of the possibilities for blackmail that come into existence when anyone yields openly, or appears to yield, to superior strength without causing the adversary to expend that strength in the process. They will yield in many instances when confronted with superior force, but not unless by doing so they can reduce the pressure brought to bear against them and insure themselves against being asked to make further and repeated concessions in response to the same means of pressure. They will not, in other words, yield to pressure if they feel it starts them on a path to which they can see no ending.

The whole despatch, which is very well worth reading, is available at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB14/doc1.htm

Babak Makkinejad

That threat: "turning Iran into a parking lot" does not exist.

Ambassador Burns and others in US State Department can put a reasonable deal with Iran together and get it accepted in a month, if not less.

The principal policy makers in US are not interested in a deal with Iran.

They are comfortable with a Cold War model, a Cuba/North Korean modeal in which they patiently wait for Iranian collapse.

Of course, that Iran is not North Korea or Cuba and that Shia Islam is not Communism is not considered relevant.

A few decades from now, when Islamic Republic is still enduring, US and EU leaders might revisit their policy.

But not right now, in the middle of their economic war of strangulation against Iran.

Babak Makkinejad

This is true as far as it goes for any state. It is called classical statecraft.

turcopolier

Babak

"That threat: "turning Iran into a parking lot" does not exist" If you are talking about military capability, you are sadly mistaken. Iran's air defenses would be destroyed first and then the country would be systematically pounded until the desired degree of damage was achieved. Nobody would actually fight to defend Iran. What I am talking about is total war unrestrained by politics. The Iranians should contemplate that. Would such war complicate the logistics situation in Afghanistan? Yes, but if that served to accelerate our departure from that unhappy place, that would not be such a bad thing. On the other hand I agree that a reasonably satisfactory arrangement with Iran could be reached but neither Iran nor the US seems to want it. pl

Swampy

I think stuxnet probably accounts for their paranoia regarding inspectors.

Babak Makkinejad

And I am talking of war constrained by politics.

Babak Makkinejad

There is no system of inspection that you can foist on Iran that can guarantee that there is no activity in Iran on towards the production of nuclear weapons.

The only way that you could guarantee that is to occupy Iran and US does not have the troops to do so.

The Iranians claim that the assasinated physicists' names were leaked by IAEA to their enemies.

Further, that the IAEA inspections have no end state - they could go on for 200 years.

There is a difference between harassment and inspection.

The Iranian Nuclear case is no longer resolvable - by political or military terms.

Just like the Arab-Israeli War.

You should take the No War - No Peace solution and wait it out; for a few more decades.

May be then...

r whitman

Good information on the subject:
http://csis.org/files/publication/120518_%20Alterman_GulfKaleidoscope_Web.pdf

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