« Taif 2? - I think not. | Main | Straws in the Middle East wind (FB Ali) »

10 August 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Croesus

Madeleine Albright's business partner, Wendy Sherman, with yellow-jacketed MEK members behind her, telling Corker's committee that she "and her experts" saw "provisional" documents related to IAEA's confidential agreement with Iran, and she will "tell senators everything I know" the docs she saw, in a "closed meeting."

http://www.c-span.org/video/?327473-1/hearing-iran-nuclear-agreement

@ 28 min

Also know that in the past IAEA has breached confidentiality with respect to Iran. Such breaches are correlated with the deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists.

In March 2015 Dr. Dan Joyner posted on his blog, http://armscontrollaw.com , an article from LA Times about USA making use of "voluminous documents" from IAEA to construct a mock-up of an Iranian nuclear facility.
http://tinyurl.com/ozr9bae

When Brian Williams interviewed Ronen Bergman shortly after the assassination of a 34-year old Iranian nuclear scientist in 2012, Bergman called Israel's use of assassination "moral and legal."
Asked if Israel uses MEK to carry out assassinations in Iran, Bergman smiled demurely and declined to answer. http://www.nbcnews.com/video/rock-center/46318982


Does everybody get to play by Bergman's rules?


MRW

@Babak,

"Furthermore, the position of the United States - for the longest time, was that there should be never be any nuclear technology in Iran - civilian and otherwise."

What about this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shah_of_Iran_building_two_nuclear_plants.jpg

Does less than 40 years constitute "the longest time?" Cheney and Rumsfeld helped Iran to get nuclear reactors during the Ford admin. That was because the Shah was told at the time their oil would run out in 2016. However, the depleted oil fields filled up in the early 00s. ["Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally" http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/26/science/geochemist-says-oil-fieldsmay-be-refilled-naturally.html?pagewanted=all]

Croesus

Confused Ponderer, Patrick Lawson wrote pieces for National Defense University considering the "morality" of sanctions on Iraq -- those sanctions that killed a million civilians "half of them children," as Hillary Leverett reminded listeners every time she got the chance.

Lawson argued that it was legitimate to impose sanctions that amounted to collective punishment on civilians because, even though Iraq was not a democracy, its citizens SHOULD HAVE removed its evil government.

How much more should the American people be held responsible for the acts of its government?

You say that the American people are being propagandized.
Yes, some of us know that.

What should we do, roll over and play dead?

See no evil Hear no evil Speak no evil?

Voting changes nothing.
Calling our senator changes little.

In an earlier comment I referred to Ronen Bergman telling Brian Williams that when Israelis feel they are threatened they assassinate people. "We have changed history in that way."

Babak Makkinejad

Are you trying to be "smart Alec" with me?

All right, after the Iranian Revolution when Iran went to the Other Side - Emperor Palpatin, Dar Vader, and all of that - then that became the US position.

MRW

Nope. Not at all. I was sincerely asking the question. I don't remember any complaints or fears but they were building nuclear weapons during the Iraq Iran war.

confusedponderer

They iirc did research in that direction, as well as on chemical weapons, which was in the context of them being showered with chemical weapons on a daily basis by Iraq at the time, taking great losses.

If Iran had produced and used CW on Iraq, their use probably would have been legal unter international law as a reprisal against Iraq's first and continued use.

The point is that apparently this research ended when the older, meaner ayatollah had it stopped because it was unislamic.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/16/when-the-ayatollah-said-no-to-nukes/

MRW

CP,

Somewhere on another computer I have a video of a (ret) military guy who teaches in upstate NY saying that he was personally involved with supplying the Iraqis with chemical weapons. The video is of a class he taught. In the video he says that it was the Iraqis not the Iranians who used chemical weapons.

I kept a copy because this man was unbelievably blunt about it.

MRW

I think Corker came across as an asshole.

confusedponderer

Croesus,
that in democratic societies there is indirect legitmation of government is a truism. So, yes that is so. And now? Where do we go from here?

Babak's argument, if applied to Iraq, would suggest that the US should have cut the ordinary Iraqis, and today the Russians and Iranians some slack - are they not, as the US reiterates ad nauseam, undemocratically governed, and thus LESS responsible for the actions of their government?

In turn, in democratic societies the governments are MORE responsible for the actions of their governments.

What is the consequence of that?

Lawson's argument is far less lenient. He doesn't care to differentiate as Babak does between democratic or undemocratic governance. He is content with the apparent consent of the governend as indicated with their lack of overthrow of the detested regime monentarily in question, and as long as that state continues they are fair game.

I have a problem with that sort of argument, Babak's and Lawson's, that in effect holds people(s) hostage, or to be more precise, in collective responsibility for the actions of their governments, in Lawson's case more spefically lest they change or overthrow their government to one more palatable.

What end is this type of argument good for anyway?

Take the US context: The policies are bad, the electorate indirectly, the miscreants in office or permanent employ directly responsible. What follows? Overthrow of the permanent government that makes these horrible policies? Punish the electorate for their silly choices, or their toleration?

Or take Israel, given what they subject the Palestinians to, and given that they hold elections (the only functioning Democracy in the Middle East!) and that most Israelis serve in the armed forces or are reservists - are folks then right when they say that thus all Israelis are fair game? Are they?

Are the Israelis in turn justified when they pommel Gaza proper for rockets launched by Jihadist cranks in defiance of Hamas adherence to the ceasefire with the Israelis? Have the Gazans not elected Hamas (rather fairly even)? Are they not responsible? Is their government not pursuing the sort of policies they want to see pursued? In that case, is the IDF not justified to stick it to them, all of them?

The only purpose that this type of argument serves is in practice to justify excess - be it a perpetuation or intensification of conflict, justification of violence, siege and sanctions or other acts of collective punishment.

That the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions as a guideline tend to prohibit the actions that this type of argument is used to justify is a strong indication for me that the type of argument itself is a dead end not to be pursued.

The Leveretts, bless them, are right to point out just how murderous the sanctions against Iraq were. It is blood on the hands of the US, if not on their conscience, after all 'it was worth it', is ancient history now and all that. Likewise, the Iran sanctions have increased excess deaths in Iran due to denied medicines and so forth.

That said, I don't have solution for how to prevent or have accountability such brutal policies. Changing these policies will require political change and effort. The point is that accountability will be long in coming, so don't count on it. Perhaps down the road there will be some. It sure took Argentina more than two decades. It'll take longer in the US.

All I am sure here is that, in this effort, the sort of argument lined out above isn't going to help at all.

turcopolier

MRW

To my certain knowledge the US DID NOT provide the Iraqis with chemical weapons. tell ne his name. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Can you put a percentage on "personal responsibility of the electorate"?

Babak Makkinejad

Iran was not building a nuclear weapon during Iran Iraq War.

The Iraqis were.

After the Iranian government re-started the pre-revolutionary nuclear program the NATO states made a blanket decision not to support any Iranian activity in the nuclear arena.

That was an alliance-wide decision.

Russia and later China and Pakistan supplied Iran with nuclear related technologies.

EU and US wanted - evidently - to keep Iran in a situation similar to the Morgenthau Plan - or the Arabs that pump oil - except Iranians would be also selling pistachios and rugs.

confusedponderer

No, and that is precisely my point.

So the US electorate is responsible for Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq. What about the folks who voted against him? Or those who voted for him but didn't want the war, and weren't asked anyway?

It involves basically an arbitrary assignment of some number.

Assuming we fairly come to the conclusion that the electorate is 48% responsible. And then?

Responsibility is pointless unless it involves consequences.

What consequences for the electorate are we talking about?

Babak Makkinejad

The Electorate is poorer, that is certainly one consequence.

The Electorate is also in a religious war with Islam.

MRW

More than happy to. Will do when I return home. Traveling now.

turcopolier

MRW

In the position I occupied long ago I knew exactly what the Iraqis had in both conventional and special munitions and from whom they had gotten it. The chemical weapons they had they made themselves with the help of several European companies. The US had nothing to do with it and anyonewho says otherwise is simply wrong. pl

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

October 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad