« A bad day for the lobby? What a shame! | Main | 737 Max & Boeing Update, by BabelFish »

23 June 2019


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


Excellent summary.


One point. It is not the knowledge that is important. That has been around for 75 years. It is the material, the fissile material, that is the crux of the efforts to demonize Iran.

Ishmael Zechariah

Eugene Owens,
This is off-topic, and I do not have a crystal ball. tayyip is in a hard place. The previous difference was about 15k votes, now it is 800k. If he cannot fix the economy and the mess in Syria that he created, he will lose next election. If he plays games, anything is possible. He might be sultan-for-life, or he might end up like Ceaușescu.

Ishmael Zechariah


Several years ago Richard Butler was among the speakers at a conference chaired by Dr. Flynt Leverett at Penn State Univ., where he heads a department on international relations.

Butler was the negotiator when the NPT was up for renewal (in 1995, iirc). The negotiations took place around his dining room table. The Arab states and Iran were finally persuaded to assent to renewal of the NPT when they were promised a conference to discuss making their part of the world a Nuclear Free Zone. They were promised that Israel's nukes would be on the table and part of the conference. Iran was among those at the table and one of the signatories to the renewal of NPT.

That conference has never taken place.

If the International Community is so concerned about Iran's nuclear capability, why not re-visit that negotiation and make good on that promise?

One of the expectations of the JCPOA was that, with relief from sanctions, Iran would more robustly enter into commercial relationships with other nations, and would be loathe to jeopardize those trade relationships by developing nuclear weapons -- which Iran's leaders have declared several times that they do not want and do not see as a strategic asset.
That is, one of the goals of JCPOA was for Iran to become the "normal, prosperous" nation Trump said he hoped it would become -- just before new rounds of sanctions were set in motion to further cripple Iran. (I am reminded of "International Jewry's" March, 1933 Declaration of Economic War on Germany
Then as now, the underlying issues had to do with who wielded economic control and political power.)

In other words, Iran as a nuclear threat is just as bogus as the whole-cloth narrative that "Trump pulled back from bombing Iran at the last minute out of concern for 150 dead Iranians."
The mistake media always makes is pushing those scripted narratives so uniformly and so relentlessly that anyone with half a brain -- or half the cynicism of this writer -- has to know they are entirely concocted.

Roy G

MAD has long been accepted as the status quo in nuke game theory. That it is not acceptable to the Israelis and the neocons betrays their desire for hegemony and unwillingness to deal with reality.


Of course Iran has a weapons program. It has been given every reason to have a weapons program. John Bolton could hand pick a new governing regime for Iran from the Knesset or, what amounts to the same thing, the Heritage Foundation, and within 5 years they would all be out and Iran would be back to developing a weapons program. Is that not the story that has played out in Russia? Iran is going to open its country to being reorganized by the likes of John Bolton or 'Bibi' Netanyahoo? Whoever is in charge there would have to be out of their cotton pickin' minds to go for that ploy; and ditto for any fool in Beltwayville who is stupid enough to think they would. They will have their weapons and they will not be bullshit out of them. Where we choose to go in the face of that reality is the only debate.



They probably do not.


We don't really know, do we?
US "intelligence" is incompetent and busy trying to overthrow the 2016 election (incompetently, BTW).
So why would anyone have any confidence in "analysis" by the same bozos who missed 9/11, Iraq WMD and who knows what else?

Barbara Ann

"Make Iran Great Again". I've been thinking about what that astonishing phrase says about Trump's thinking and what he may do next. At the very least it has no doubt alarmed those who thought they had bought or otherwise manipulated him into doing their bidding. Maybe they have, maybe not. What if it is a hint of a warning, or even a threat?

Others here have speculated on whether the frozen pre-conflict, as it were, with NK may be a guide as to how it pans out with Iran. I think it will and I think Trump will seek a similar deal where again he, personally, plays the role of guarantor. It may look something like this:

Trump gets Iran to agree to no more enrichment and 'promise' not to develop nukes. In turn he gives some measure of sanctions relief (not enough for Iran to prosper) and promises them he'll keep Bolton & crew at bay if they stick to the deal. On the other side, he declares to Israel, Gulfies etc that he has successfully stopped Iran's nuke program and kept them in check. The twist is that while there may be a photo op of Khamenei holding a nice letter, or even a meeting, there will be no formal JCPOA-type agreement. Thus Trump can argue that it is solely he, as President, standing in the way of Iran becoming "great again".

Before Bibi, MbS & others figure out how they've been had, Trump will make it clear he expects their support for his 2020 bid, lest his deal be put in jeopardy. Call it a protection racket or just Trump being the center of the show, the effect is the same. But what happens after 2024 you ask? What does he care, après moi le déluge.


I am not incompetent and you are far too disdainful of the IC. What the hell do you know about it?



Note the role of Jared and Ivanka. Reportedly ardent zionists like Jared's parents.


The question I have is what does the first 30 days look like if missile strikes are initiated by Trump? What are Iran, Iraqi militias, Syria and Hezbollah gonna do before and as the 1000s of US sorties strike 24x7 in retaliation for the retaliation?

I'm in complete agreement with Tucker Carlson that military hostilities with Iran will sink Trump's presidency. In his segment he had a clip of Bolton saying to a cheering audience they would celebrate regime change in Teheran. With Bernie already full-throated in opposition to any strike, it wouldn't take long before anti-war sentiment coalesce around his campaign giving him the spot of primary opponent to the war. The societal division and political environment will be unlike Bush's Saddam WMD propaganda. There will be substantial domestic opposition to the war.

Jim Ticehurst

I Have not Read about any Testing of Nukes by Iran...Doubt of North Korea Has Been doing it for Iran Or sending them Warheads ..That seems to be a Push Button Issue around the Middle East,,Im Reading a lot about Things Hypersonic ..Robots...AI and things that really do make unconventional Humming noises when they fly over..Glad all my electronics still work...

blue peacock

"We're talking religion here, not factual analysis as the NIEs..."

It seems like this is very similar to the Iraq WMD propaganda. The issue is not if Iran has a nuclear weapons program or not. The issue is all about regime change.

At 6:24 in the below Tucker Carlson segment you have Bolton clearly articulating what the agenda is. And this speech was in 2017. It has been a longstanding aim of the ziocons to get the US military to destroy Iran. Nukes are always the propaganda du jour to hoodwink the American people who will be doing the dying & paying for the trillions in cost to mask the real agenda of regime change.


It looks like neocons Pompeo & Bolton are heading out to the Middle East to possibly discuss how they get Trump to capitulate.


jon stanley

Col, you have often cited Trump's accountant mentality. My words. I hope they capture what you were getting at regarding him. Its what allows him to abruptly change his course. With people and with policies. My question if you desire to speculate on it: Does he have the capacity, given his financial backers, Abelson, et al, and his previous positions on Israel, to abruptly change course and make the Iranians 'his new best friends'? Or, is that a bridge too far, at least in a first term, anyway?



I have not looked into the Iran case in particular; I know that Japan, which has no nuclear weapons is considered to have a 2-3 day breakout time.

What I do know is that if Iran had a 2-3 year breakout time a decade ago, its much less now - technology moves forward. As to whether the earlier estimate was accurate or propaganda to suit the policy of the moment, I do not know.

Ideally (from a negotiating point), Iran would position itself a month or so from breakout.


Jon Stanley

He hasn't changed yet. This AM he was bitching about not being compensated for keeping the sea lanes open.


The Iraq war is a good example of where you are wrong. Good intelligence was available to decision makers who chose to cherry pick what suited them. Its not the IC's fault if the idiots we elect are well, idiots.


Thank you, that's helpful to know.


Well, it seems to me Khamenei has already says he cannot trust anything the Americans say. That seems true. Pompeo says talks with no preconditions, and then lists a couple deal-breaking preconditions -- basically unconditional surrender before talks can start. Bolton doesn't want any talk, he wants the landing ships hitting the beaches right now !!!. I don't know, are there any beaches along the Gulf coast?


I'm sorry to be so ignorant, but why do the media always get away with referring to "Iran's threat to exceed the limits of enriched uranium"? First of all why are they allowed to pretend the JCPOA is still in existence after Trump dissolved it? Oh, get it, it's because Iran was still trying to adhere to the agreement while begging the other five signatories to fulfill their obligations. This is not Iran "threatening," this is Iran commenting matter-of-factly that they are allowed to enrich uranium to the point where it can be used as fuel in reactors.They were selling it and shipping it to their customers, so it was not being added to their stockpile. Then the US essentially imposed a blockade on them, they are no longer able to ship their product, and soon the stockpile in their warehouses will be larger than the amount specified in the JCPOA. This is a "threat?"


There are so many cases. I remember back about 1970, after they were caught using Air America to fly heroin from the Golden Triangle to Saigon, the joke was "CIA stands for 'caught in the act.'" Their biggest failure -- they did not see the collapse of the Soviet Union coming.

Eric Newhill

I have read articles that say that Iran's breakout time is in the range of three months, but would become shorter than that as more material is stockpiled.

Also, if Iran worked on the nuclear material more or less in the open, their activities would be detected in a one to two weeks. However, if they hid their activities and took more of a "creep out" approach they could conceivably complete the project before it would be detected.

I imagine Iran would take the covert approach. So it does appear as though there is some risk of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Col Lang says that there is a fatwa against it. Would anyone in the Iranian govt violate the fatwa? Could the fatwa by lifted quickly when convenient? Should anyone rely on a fatwa as protection against a nuclear armed Iran? Real questions. I sure don't know.

Of course nuclear tech is also well outside my realm of expertise. So I don't even know if the breakout/sneak out scenarios are reasonable.

ted richard

israel is their own worst enemy. if you want to understand why antisemitism has burgeoned worldwide the past 20 years look no farther than israel's treatment of defenseless palestinians.

no one likes a bully least of all an entire nation predicated on a misplaced sense of their own genetic superiority. (does this ring a bell ---ahem!)

their army is imo no longer capable of defending their nation against a determined well armed enemy like hezbollah or the syrians should a real war erupt.

their air force no longer has free rein to piss on any one at any time outside their own borders. having 100 nukes is like the high school wall flower getting breast implants. apart form a bigger pair nothing about her has changed and so it is for israel.

imo again they will be lucky to make it through the 21rst century intact as a jewish theocracy because THAT is what they are, they are not a democracy in the true sense. they survive only because of largesse from foolish american support which is bought by pressure groups on our feckless politicians. take away american power which is ebbing now and israel becomes the classic.... short man who scares no one.

imo again israels WORST crime for ordinary jews everywhere is cleverly conflating zionism with judiasm. even the iranians understand this fact. they have no quarrel with jews per se and have 10000 or so living in iran peacefully for millennia. their quarrel and every thinking persons quarrel ought to be with zionism which is a scourge on the world.

Philippe Truze

During the 70's, in a time when Iran was ruled by the Shah and great friend of the West (and a regional gendarme), there was no discussion about Iran getting involved in a nuclear program : Iran was even holding shares in the French nuclear complex (EURODIF, COGEMA). Then Khomeiny came, and the troubles started, including many terrorist attacks in France and the assassination of Georges Besse. See wiki : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurodif
The real issue is the nature of the regime, not the nature of weapons.


First you're retired and I would guess had nothing to do with 9/11 or Iraq WMD.
Second, I look at results and if the "IC" wasn't able to hide behind their (selective) "secrecy", I suspect that the results would be a lot worse than the ones we know about.
The 9/11 failure was enough to fire the lot.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

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
Blog powered by Typepad