Friday, April 27, 2012

Has America Been Crippled By Intellectual Idiots?

Brandon Smith,

As far back as I can remember, the overarching message of the American social atmosphere has been one of idolization. Oh to one day join the ranks of the “professional class”; that 5% to 10% of our culture which enjoys unparalleled respect and an assumed position of knowledge, so much so that they are rarely even required to qualify themselves to anyone besides their own compatriots. The goal of every person I knew during my formative years with a desire to succeed was to one day hold in their hands an official looking embossed document announcing their ascension to the ranks of the intellectually anointed. I was never so keen on the idea…

The dangers of academic deification are numerous. Those who dominate the educational language of the times determine the moral compass (or lack of compass) of the curriculum. They control who is accepted and who is rejected, not by measure of intelligence or skill, but by their willingness to conform to the establishment ideal. They construct a kind of automaton class, which has been taught not to learn independently, but to parrot propaganda without question. Simultaneously, those of us who do not “make the grade” are relegated to the role of obliged worshippers; accepting the claims of the professional class as gospel regardless of how incorrect they happen to be. To put it simply; the whole thing is disgustingly inbred.

Elitism has always lent itself to morbid forms of educational molestation. This is nothing new, especially within their own limited circles. However, to have such perversions of logic and reason gutting the minds of entire generations across endless stretches of our country without any counterbalance is a far more heinous state of affairs in the long run. Ultimately, this highway can only lead to a deterioration of our future, and the death of reason itself.

Recently, I attended a discussion panel on Constitutionalism at a university in Helena, the capital of Montana, and admittedly, was not expecting much insight. (At the moment of arrival I noticed the buildings had been plastered with Kony 2012 posters. The campus seemed to be completely unaware that the YouTube film is a George Soros funded ‘Wag the Dog’ farce.) Even in a fiercely independent region such as the Northern Rockies, the collectivist hardline reigns supreme on most college campuses. Sadly, very few actual students attended the discussion, and the audience was predominantly made up of local political players, retired legislators, and faculty. Surprisingly, Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers was invited to participate in the discussion, obviously to add at least some semblance of balance or “debate” to an otherwise one-sided affair. The mix was like oil and water.

The overall tone was weighted with legal drudgery. Many of the speakers were focused intently on secondary details and banal explorations into individual Constitutional cases without any regard for the bigger picture. When confronted with questions on the indefinite detainment provisions of the NDAA, government surveillance, or executive ordered assassinations of U.S. citizens, the panelists responded with lukewarm apathy. The solutions we discuss regularly within the Liberty Movement, such as state nullification based on the 10th Amendment, assertions of local political control through Constitutional Sheriffs, and even civil disobedience, were treated with indignant responses and general confusion.

A consistent theme arose from the academics present, trying to run damage control on Rhodes’ points on federal encroachment and ultimate tyranny. Their position? Defiance is unacceptable (or at least, not politically correct…). Americans have NO recourse against a centralized government. Not through their state and local representatives, and not through concerted confrontation. In fact, to even suggest that states act on their own accord without permission is an outlandish idea. In the end, the only outlet for the public is….to vote.

No one seemed to be able to address the fact that both major parties supported the exact same unconstitutional policies, thus making national level elections an act of pure futility. The point was brushed aside…

Sickly shades of socialism hung heavy in the room. One speaker even suggested that the states could not possibly survive financially without centralized aid. He was apparently too ignorant to understand that the federal government itself is bankrupt, incapable of producing true savings, and printing fiat Ad Nauseum just to stay afloat. Every 30 seconds I heard a statement that made me cringe.

Universities are today’s centers of connection. They are one of the last vestiges of American tribalism and community in an age of self isolation and artificial technological cultism. Adults do not meet face to face much anymore to share knowledge, or discuss the troubles of the day. The academic world provides such opportunity, but at a terrible price. To connect with the world, students must comply. To be taken seriously, they must adopt, consciously or unconsciously, the robes of the state. They must abandon the passions of rebellion and become indifferent to the truth. All actions and ideas must be embraced by the group, or cast aside. They must live a life of dependency, breeding a culture of fear, for that which others keep for us, they can easily take away.

How could anyone possibly sustain themselves on a diet of congealing fantasy, and personal inadequacy? The intellectual life bears other fruits as well. Where it lacks in substance, it makes up for in ego, proving that being educated is not necessarily the same as being intelligent. The following is a list of common character traits visible in the average intellectual idiot, a breed that poisons the American well, and is quickly eroding away any chance of Constitutional revival…

1) An Obsession With The Appearance Of Objectivity

I say “appearance” of objectivity because the intellectual idiot does indeed take sides on a regular basis, and the side he takes invariably benefits the establishment. He would never admit to this, though, because he believes it gives him more credibility to at least be thought of as standing outside an issue looking in. It is not uncommon to find Intellectual Idiots being contrary regardless of your view, even if they would normally agree. They often try to approach debate with the façade of detachment, as if they do not care one way or the other. The costume soon wears away, however, when they are faced with an opponent that is not impressed with their educational status. I have seen lawyers, doctors, engineers, and even politicians devolve into sniveling toddlers when they are derailed by an argument beyond their ability to tap-dance around. Their middle of the road persona evaporates, and the real person erupts like an ugly pustule…

2) Clings To Labels And Status

Like anyone else, Intellectual Idiots cradle a philosophy they believe in, or are told to believe in. But unlike most of us, they see themselves above the scrutiny of those who do not pursue a similar academic path (i.e. only a lawyer should be allowed to debate another lawyer). The reality is, anyone is privy to the information a proponent of the professional class knows. With the advent of the internet, it is easier than ever to educate one’s self on multiple subjects without aid if that person has the determination to do so. Reputation is not earned by shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for university approval. A Masters Degree or Ph.D is not a get out of logic free card. In fact, because the Intellectual Idiot often uses his position to avoid true opposition, he tends to become lazy and even more incapable of defending his methodologies when the time comes.

3) Predominantly Collectivist

The curriculum of the average college is partly to blame for this, and because the Intellectual Idiot is so desperate for acceptance and accolades, they can’t help but fall into the trap. Collectivism is marked by a distinct attachment to the state as the source of life. All social and all individual crises thus become a matter of government purview. Individual self reliance is a terrifying notion to them. In fact, many Intellectual Idiots have lived on the dole since they were born, moving from their family’s money, to state money through grants and loans. It is not unheard of for these people to become career students, avoiding work for years, and then moving on to a bureaucratic job when the free money runs out. They cannot fathom why anyone would rebel against the system, because they are a part of a select group which has always benefited from it. How could the federal government be bad when it has paid their way for half of their existence?

4) Disconnection From Reality

The Intellectual Idiot is not necessarily afraid to acknowledge that the system is troubled. For them, the federal government is not infallible, even if their favorite party is in office, but, it IS unapproachable. Academics revel in the disastrous nature of government. They see political and social catastrophe as a sort of mental gameplay. An exercise in theoretical structures. For them, America is not a country built on an enduring set of principles, but a petri dish; an ongoing anthropological experiment that they can watch through a microscope at their leisure. The idea that the disasters they view from the safety of their sub-cultural bubble might one day come to haunt them is a distant one.

5) Abhors Those Who Step Out Of Bounds

Have you ever entertained a view that went against the grain of the mainstream only to be met with accusations of extremism and sneers befitting a leper? You were probably talking to an intellectual idiot. The rules, no matter how distasteful or meaningless, hold special power for these people. They make the system what it is, and when the system is your great provider, you might lean towards defending it, even in the wake of oligarchy and abuse. This penchant for overt structure for the sake of centralization is especially damaging to our Constitutional rights, because alternative solutions are never treated as viable. During the panel discussion in Helena, pro-collectivists consistently tried to redirect the conversation away from the 10th Amendment as a method to counter federal overreach. They did this by bringing up abuses of the states, including slavery and segregation, as if that somehow negated the nightmare of the NDAA.

Ironically, they saw the use of violence by the federal government to push states to recognize civil liberties as perfectly practical. But, the use of force by states to protect the same civil liberties from Washington D.C.? That would be lunacy…

6) Believes Academia To Be Free From Bias

The Intellectual Idiot assimilates every bit of information he is given at the university level without a second look. He simply assumes it is all true, and if something appears mismatched, it is only because he does not yet fully grasp it. Very rarely will he go beyond designated source materials to get a different opinion. This habit is the root of his idiocy. Being that most universities draw from the same exact materials, and peer reviewed papers are usually tested by those with the exact same underlying educational backgrounds, I can’t see how it is possible for much variety of thought to form. Whether intentional or not, severe bias cannot be avoided in this kind of environment without considerable strength of heart.

The shock that these people express when faced with Liberty Movement philosophies is quite real. They have spent the very focus of their future life within the confines of a miniscule spectrum of truth; like seeing technicolor for the first time after a long limited existence in black and white.

It’s hard to say when it all really began, but for decades, Americans have been progressively tuned like pliable radio antenna to the song of the elitist intellectual. Many of us want to be him. Others want to follow him, straight to oblivion if need be, as long as they don’t have to blaze their own trail. This is not to say all professionals are a danger to the Republic. Some are fantastic proponents of freedom. But, without a drastic reversal in current educational trends, I see little hope of Constitutional guardians becoming a mainstay of U.S. campuses in the near term.

With mashed potato minds fresh from the psychological Cuisinart of public schools, the next generation in line to inherit the most fantastically schizophrenic nation in history will be like candy for social engineers; utterly unequipped for the mission. Strangely, the drastic financial slide the elites have also triggered might hold the key to our salvation. The next batch of would be statist citizens may find themselves so poor that higher educational brainwashing will be impossible to afford, giving them precious time to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions. As they say, in all things, there is a silver lining…

Monday, April 23, 2012

Zioconned US and Canadian skies to be full of drones soon....

Zioconned US and Canadian skies to be full of drones soon....

The American skies may soon be full of drones after it was disclosed that domestic law enforcement agencies – from the FBI to local police – have been granted permission to deploy the unmanned aircraft....

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show that show that more than 50 non-military organisations have asked to fly drone aircraft, many of which can carry cameras and surveillance equipment for spying within the US.

The figures from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group pledged to defending Americans from digital snooping by government, showed that major agencies like the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice had been cleared to launch drones.

But more alarmingly, the documents reveal that individual city police forces are also drawing up plans to use the reconnaissance aircraft more regularly associated with top secret missions against terror suspects in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Police chiefs in Miami, Seattle and even North Little Rock – a city in Arkansas of less than 70,000 people – were all cleared by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to launch drones within their jurisdictions.

A spokesman for the North Little Rock Police Department told the Wall Street Journal that it was only using its unmanned helicopter for training over unpopulated areas but hoped to eventually fly it above crime-ridden neighbourhoods and use it to gather intelligence for major drug cases.

In one of the few examples of an application being rejected, the FAA refused to sign off on a request by campus police at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a force tasked with protecting and keeping order among the university's 20,000 students.

In response to the revelation both Democrats and Republicans in Congress last week wrote to the FAA demanding that it take into account privacy concerns before approving deployments.

"We must ensure that as drones take flight in domestic airspace, they don't take off without privacy protections for those along their flight path," said Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts who co-chairs the Congressional Privacy Caucus with a Republican from Texas.

American pilots have previously raised concern that large numbers of drone could pose a danger for manned aircraft....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Le quinquennat de Hollande sera celui de la dèferlante Zionisée....

Bienvenue à la Grèce de l'Ouest! Préparez-vous aux vaches maigres en France....

Le quinquennat de Hollande sera celui de la dèferlante Zionisée....

Le plan de bataille des financiers par fakirpresse

Caviar Socialists and Trotskyites...have always been and always will be the most reliable employees of the Zioconned moneypowers....
Now, they cheer Francois CIA Hollande into power with Camelot-like beatification....
Looks like the French Frogs have decided the only thing wrong with France is that is isn't enough like Spain or Greece....

Avec Nicolas MOSSAD Sarkozy, la dernière possibilitè de redresser le dèclin communautariste a ètè gaspillèe, par lui et son arrogance pointue..... L’UMP a une fois de plus entonnè la rengaine depassèe des » valeurs rippoublicaines » sans rien faire de concret soit dans l’ èducation de cette masse d’origine maghrebine, noire ou autres ZIOs... ( au chomage à 45% selon certains...) soit dans l’ eradication des discours anti-occidentaux des imams Wahhabites, Salafistes ou MBs....des Saoudiens et Qataris....LOL, Les mesurettes ( contre la burqa etc..) sont symboliques et à peine appliquèes ( promenez vous le vendredi apres-midi autour de la mosquèe de Paris ).
La gauche qui se fout de la Rippoublique, et dont une bonne partie hait l’occident parce qu’ils l’ associent aux exces du capitalisme, est très contente de prendre le pouvoir grace au marche-pied maghrebin, MOSSAD et les ZIOs.... Le FN lui aussi a ratè le coche, il y a 5 ans, il pouvait amorcer sa mutation beaucoup plus tot, JMLP se mettre à l’ exterieur, MLP transformer ce parti de » FRONT » en » ALLIANCE NATIONALE » et attirer à lui les dèçus de l’UMP. Rien n’ a ètè fait car ni l’UMP ni le FN n’ont mesurè la menace du communautarisme maghrebin.... De toutes façons les partis ne sont que des boutiques èlectorales. Quand ils font èlire des boutiquiers il n’ y a pas de renouveau . Le quinquennat de Hollande sera celui de la dèferlante islamo-communautariste et autres ZIOs....durant une crise economique sans precedent avec sans doute une sortie des pays du sud (Espagne Italie Portugal France ) de l’ Euro. L’ explosion ethnique et sociale est devant nous: Il faut remercier Giscard-Chirac-Mitterand qui ont rèussi leur plan . Le dèclin sera tres violent....
J’ai publié souvent des infos sévères sur Nicolas Sarkozy aux fins d’expliquer les raisons de sa très certaine défaite....
J’y notais qu’avec François Hollande, ce serait beaucoup plus pire encore. Et je le pense : ce sera pire. Je ne peux que conseiller à ceux qui feront la fête le 6 mai au soir d’en profiter autant qu’ils le peuvent. La fête ne durera pas....
La situation économique et financière de la France est cataclysmique et le cataclysme va se révéler très bientôt....
Ou bien (ce qui me semble le plus probable), François Hollande reviendra sur ses promesses et n’en tiendra quasiment aucune, ce qui engendrera des frustrations propices aux manifestations et aux émeutes. Ou bien, il tiendra ses promesses, et le dépôt de bilan s’approchera à très grande vitesse.....
Dans les deux cas, les lendemains s’annoncent sinistres....
Tout en notant qu’avec François Hollande ce serait pire encore, j’ajoutais que la France, intellectuellement et politiquement, agonisait.
La conséquence est qu’il n’existe aucune perspective d’alternance susceptible de permettre d’envisager un redressement.
La nullité générale des discours politique est, en fait, le résultat d’une stérilisation de la réflexion....
Une quarantaine de personnes : toujours les mêmes. Ces personnes sont des gens d’une immense qualité, mais qui n’ont cessé d’être marginalisés, étouffés, mis sur le côté. J’ai fréquenté un seul homme politique, à qui je garde toute mon estime, et c’est un homme politique d’une grande intelligence et d’une grande culture : il s’est mis en retrait de la vie politique....LOL
Nous sommes dans un pays d’économie mixte où les entrepreneurs sont soumis au dirigisme politique, s’en accommodent, et n’accordent presque aucune importance au travail des idées, ce qui fait qu’ils laissent passivement monter les idées ZIOs, socialistes et étatistes les plus ineptes : les rares entrepreneurs qui financent le travail des idées donnent même, plutôt, de l’argent à des fondations ZIOs, trotskystes et MOSSADniks....
Nous sommes dans un pays où l’expression « intellectuel de gauche » relève quasiment du pléonasme et où les intellectuels qui ne sont pas de gauche sont, quasiment tous, dirigistes et inspirés par des intellectuels ZIOs de gauche....
Nous sommes dans un pays où la classe politique ressemble au débat intellectuel, et dès lors que le débat intellectuel est en état de mort clinique et se mène entre étatistes incapables de comprendre les mouvements du monde, le débat politique est lui-même Zionisé et en état de mort clinique....
Les conséquences de cette double mort sont l’échec de Nicolas MOSSAD Sarkozy qui, quoi que j’en dise sur divers plans, ne mérite pas mieux que le score qui risque fort d’être le sien. Elles sont la victoire annoncée de François Hollande, la force du vote en faveur de Mélenchon, le discours économique inepte de Marine Le les agitations Zionisées d'une presse aux ordres....
Les conséquences de ces conséquences seront les années à venir. Non seulement la France aura pendant des années une croissance proche de zéro, un chômage plus élevé encore (sauf si on crée à l’infini de faux emplois avec des fonds de tiroir), une pauvreté proliférante, des zones de non droit qui feront tache d’huile, mais il n’y aura aucun recours.
Non seulement il n’y aura aucun recours, mais il y aura moins de débat intellectuel encore....
Antonio Gramsci, communiste italien, a, entre les deux guerres mondiales, théorisé l’hégémonie, une situation où l’atmosphère est tellement gorgée des idées de la gauche, qu’il n’y a plus rien, sinon les idées Zionisées de la gauche.
La France s’approche de l’hégémonie. Les idées de la gauche sont en situation d’hégémonie Zionisées dans toutes les grandes maisons d’édition, tous les secteurs de la culture, quasiment tous les médias, quasiment tous les échelons de la politique et quasiment tous les partis.
Faire honnêtement son travail intellectuel en France Zionisée aujourd’hui est aussi difficile que cela pouvait l’être en Union Soviétique autrefois. On ne risque pas l’envoi en Sibérie : on se fait enfoncer la tête sous l’eau, c’est tout....
Voir qu’un va-de-la-gueule Franc-Macon léniniste Zionisé, peut avoir quinze pour cent des voix, vingt ans après la chute de l’empire soviétique, fait bien davantage que m’attrister : mais quand on sait que la candidate de Lutte Ouvrière enseigne l’économie et la gestion, on se dit que tout est possible en France Zionisée....
Voir que François Hollande, avec le programme Zionisé qui est le sien, peut l’emporter largement, me consterne absolument.
Et puis, je dois le dire : la campagne a pris, ces derniers jours, des tournures cacophoniques..... LOL
L’ensemble des médias, dans leur façon de traiter l’information, ont contribué à cette danse du scalp....LOL
Sont venus s’ajouter les ralliements MOSSADNIKs-CIA.....à François Hollande qui ressemblaient à une façon de voler au secours de la victoire et à une parade imprégnée d’une ignominieuse lâcheté. Les rats quittent toujours le navire lorsqu’il s’approche du naufrage, dit-on....LOL
La diffèrence est très mince entre les MOSSADNIKS Hollande et Sarkozy, ils sont tous les deux des reprèsentants de l’ europe actuelle Zioniseè desincarnèe, desenchantèe, sans projet autre que de faire du chiffre, du tiroir-caisse , fustigèe par les » agences de notation « . Le » règne de la quantitè et les signes des temps » ètude prèmonitoire de Renè Guènon, annonçait cette ècroulement moral sous le regne de la masse. La qualitè de la vie en Europe se dègrade à grande vitesse à mesure qu’on s’intègre dans ce magma informel, sans frontières , sans èthique, sans valeurs . On a connu le règne des masses et de leur dictateurs, maintenant on en est au règne des experts-comptables et de leurs faux bilans. Donc on peut sans etre ridicule dire NON à ce duo de tristes clowns : Sarkozy l’ agitè et sa » com » à trois francs six sous, et hollande le seul fromage mou des pays-bas. On peut aussi les ignorer , les snober, aller à la peche et basta. Quant à MLP elle n’a pas eu le courage de virer son père une fois pour toutes, et de crèer une » Alliance Nationale » qui aurait siphonè pas mal de voix à l’UMP; Elle a prefere garder son » Front » National qui est une ligne de front très loin du pouvoir, car elle – comme son père- ne veut pas du pouvoir....
Je pense qu'il faut aussi souligner le caractere » post-moderne » de Sarkozy et d’ailleurs Hollande est taillè dans le meme materiel amorphe. Lisez si vous en avez la patience cet article de 33 pages » le postmoderne ou l’ hèmoragie du discours... « Dèvoiler la supercherie de la » post-modernité » est un travail nècessaire comme celui de dèvoiler la dangerositè de Tariq Ramadan et les MB....

Mr. Hollande va gèrer (? ) l’Etat, or qu’ est ce que l’Etat ? Et bien l’Etat c’ est la fiction par laquelle tout le monde pense pouvoir vivre aux dèpens de tout le monde. En France cette fiction a pris un surcroit de veritè puisque l’Etat est titrè d’une dette – bien rèelle – de 1900 Mds d’euros. Et celà pour une simple raison , c’est qu’en France » tout le monde » politique est d’accord avec » tout le monde » civil , pour continuer à s’endetter. Donc il n’ y aucune raison pour que cela change avec Hollande, pas plus que cela n’a changè avec Sarkozy ( + 550 Mds de dettes supplementaire en 5 ans ). Donc viendra très bientot, le moment fatidique ou il faudra soit sortir de l’ euro ( et faire dèfault sur le remboursement ) soit mourir d’ austèritè. Je souhaite bien du plaisir à Mr Hollande, et à tout ce beau monde Zionisé, messieurs » tout le monde « ....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Neo-Colonialism in full swing; UK cozies up in Myanmar....

Neo-Colonialism in full swing; UK cozies up in Myanmar....
By Francis Wade

YANGON - British Prime Minister David Cameron came bearing gifts to Myanmar on Friday with the announcement his government would push for the suspension of European Union sanctions. It was viewed by many observers as something of a volte-face from a country that has long been among the staunchest supporters of the block on Western trade and investment with the historically military-run country.

He made the brief Myanmar stopover, the first official visit for a Western head of government in decades, at the tail end of a tour of Japan and Southeast Asia. Prior to landing in Yangon, Cameron had told reporters in Indonesia that Britain now must reinvigorate relations with regional states, where "so much of the power in the world is going to be".

Myanmar's position among the league of nations now considered key to Britain's strategic and economic objectives shows just how dramatically perceptions of the country, until recently considered an international pariah, have evolved in recent months. The United States and EU member states have with varying degrees of caution hailed President Thein Sein's reform program, which allowed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to win a seat in parliament at by-elections earlier this month.

At a press conference at Suu Kyi's house on Friday, Cameron said that the two had agreed it was "right to suspend" all sanctions on Myanmar bar the arms embargo - a decision Suu Kyi said she was "very happy" about. Suu Kyi had been a strong proponent of the sanctions as punishment for the past military regime's abysmal rights record and her support for their suspension will give new impetus to their legal removal.

While the Nobel Peace Prize laureate claimed it was "absolutely the right time" for the prime minister to visit the country, the timing is also pertinent for Cameron, who visits the region amid economic trouble at home. What now matters for Britain is a foothold in emerging markets largely insulated against what appears an increasingly likely recession in the euro zone.

Before word had spread about the Myanmar stopover, Cameron had said of his tour: "This trip is really about British business, British exports and investment from Britain into these countries, and investment from these countries into Britain."

Officially, he leaves that sentiment at Myanmar's door; behind the scenes, however, a strategy is likely being formulated for Britain and other EU states to push ahead in the race for Myanmar's untapped riches and markets. The financial crisis back home makes Myanmar - replete with cheap labor, abundant energy and five-year tax breaks for overseas companies - all the more alluring.

That said, opinion is still split on whether to overhaul EU policy towards Myanmar in the wake of this month's by-elections that saw Suu Kyi's party win 43 seats in Myanmar's 664-seat parliament. Britain had earlier steadfastly refused to join the likes of Germany in pushing for an end to sanctions. But with recent developments inside Myanmar, coupled with Cameron's surprise visit, it seems more a question of when, and not if, the EU will drop its blockade and restore trade and investment ties.

The EU is scheduled to take up the issue of sanctions on April 23, the same day that Suu Kyi is scheduled to take up her seat in parliament. While the EU's foreign ministers are widely expected to ease sanctions, there are differences between member states over how these should be eased, with the initial focus expected to be lifting measures targeted at individuals.

Speaking to Asia Times Online, a British foreign ministry official said that it "remains UK policy to discourage trade with Burma [Myanmar]. This has not changed." Quite how that marries with a push to end the ban on investment is unclear. Cameron, an outwardly pro-market conservative, will want to plant an early stake in Myanmar's future in the wake of a series of economic reforms that have sought to attract greater foreign investment, particularly as signs point toward rising competition for an early foothold in the country.

Like the US, Britain is acutely aware that its influence in Myanmar currently pales in comparison to China, which pumped an estimated US$20 billion into the country's underdeveloped economy last year. Although strong on the surface, however, Myanmar's relations with its northern neighbor are strained. One senior United Nations official in Yangon said that behind the cordial exchanges of solidarity between the two countries lies a vitriolic disdain.

Cameron, like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before him, may seek to capitalize on Naypyidaw's increasing nervousness about its economic and financial dependence on China.

Myanmar still has a woeful regulatory system governing investment, despite busily luring companies with its recently revised investment laws and efforts at streamlining the dual exchange rate - two factors apart from sanctions that have long repelled Western entry to the market.

Until accountability mechanisms are introduced to ensure that business can drive human development and not further empower the military, there will be a vocal contingent in the pro-sanctions lobby that considers these cordial overtures to the government as primarily self-seeking.

Rights advocates have already questioned the motives behind Britain's decision to re-engage with Myanmar. At the same time that Foreign Secretary William Hague was talking up democratic reform and an end to military abuses during his January visit, Cameron was in Saudi Arabia pushing for stronger ties with a regime that only two months before had handed nine people sentences of up to 30 years for trying to set up a non-governmental organization - exactly the sort of rights abusing behavior that has over the years brought Myanmar notoriety.

Whether British investment can contribute more economic democracy in Myanmar remains to be seen, but it appears eager to test the marketplace. Consumer lobby groups in the EU have more sway over business ventures abroad than they do in China, for example, whose investments in Myanmar have generally carried few development multipliers.

Cameron would thus do well to exercise the caution his government has repeatedly spoken of as it begins to court the leaders in Naypyidaw. The first visit by a Western leader to Myanmar has attracted the pomp expected of such an occasion, but like all hasty dalliances with Myanmar's military-backed leaders the risks are still varied and many.

Francis Wade is a freelance journalist & analyst covering Myanmar and Southeast Asia.

Those who believe Israel can on its own launch an attack on Iran belong to the funny farm.....

Those who believe Israel can on its own launch an attack on Iran belong to the funny farm.....

India carries BRICS flag on Syria, P5+1, on smooth road to Baghdad....There is an Axis of Evil in the world today and it has nothing to do with Iran....

It gives me great pleasure to study the document which just reached me — ‘Explanation of Vote’ on the United Nations supervision mission for Syria by Ambassador Hardeep Puri at the UN Security Council in New York a little while ago. Before Puri spoke, External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna telephoned UN’s joint special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan to underscore India’s support for his mission.

Puri’s speech marks new thinking in Delhi on Syria. The first question that occured to me was: Who was it who ridiculed that BRICS “lacks mortar”? What nonsense! Puri’s speech reflects the BRICS stance on Syria, as enunciated in the Delhi Declaration adopted at the grouping’s summit on March 28.
Puri made the following points:
A) India fully supports Annan’s mission. India appreciates that Annan’s mission has made progress and “resulted in cessation of violence.”
B) India welcomes Syrian government’s acceptance of the Annan plan. India hopes that the opposition too would “adhere” to the relevant action points in the Annan plan and “renounce violence and cooperate fully.” (Comment: The onus is on the opposition to show sincerity.)
C) India supports the UN supervision mission’s deployment and hopes that “all parties, including the opposition” will cooperate with the mission. Having said that, the UN supervision mission too should work “impartially, fairly and independently” and should give due respect to Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
D) India calls for an “inclusive Syrian-led political process”. The process should start as soon as possible. “We have noted the commitment of the Government of Syria to such a process. We expect that the opposition will also engage seriously in this process so that the crisis is resolved without any further bloodshed.” (Comment: Delhi’s endorsement of the Syrian government stance stands out.)
E) India feels that a special responsibility lies with “all countries in Syria’s neighborhood and beyond” to facilitate the success of the Annan mission. (Comment: A mild stricture of countries like Turkey or some Persian Gulf monarchies?)
The Indian stance on Syria has undergone a ‘makeover’, which is all for the good. To my mind, India never really belonged to the ‘Friends of Syria’. The ‘new thinking’ follows the BRICS summit in Delhi and the foreign-minister level Russia-India-China meet on Friday in Moscow during which the crisis in Syria figured in the discussions. In sum, India harmonized its position with the BRICS’s.
By the way, during the coming one-year period, India is holding the presidency of the BRICS as well as the RIC. I have no doubt EAM invited Annan to visit Delhi at an early opportunity. Of course, the road to peace in Syria is fraught with obstacles, but Syria needs Annan’s plan and India is right in unequivocally backing it rather than indulge in the corrosive scepticism about its prospects, as the Gulf monarchies and Turkey have been doing.
Curiously, one problem is the manner in which the secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon seems to be butting into Annan’s mission. A vanity fair? Good-cop-bad-cop? Washington’s voice? We don’t know. Each of that is a possibility.

The ‘P5+1′ - Iran talks in Istanbul on Saturday ended on a manifestly positive note. Why it is so is a long story, but suffice to say, Washington sifted through the complicated signals from Tehran and concluded a window of opportunity could be open for negotiations. That these signals have come from the top level of the Iranian regime enhanced their credibility.

Only a cerebral president in the White house like Barack Obama could have taken such a bold step to engage Iran in a presidential election year in the US. The Israelis are hopping mad that Obama disdainfully rejected their path on Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reappeared with some vicious criticism of Obama. BN’s insinuation is that Obama gave away too much by not insisting on a pre-condition that Iran should first stop all reprocessing activities.
But Obama has hit back at ‘Bibi’. What happens between now and May 23 when the talks resume in Baghdad will be anybody’s guess. Will the US backtrack and ‘harden’ its stance? Tehran is expected to take certain steps on the ground. But Tehran also expects ‘reciprocal’ steps. Bibi’s attack could be a pre-emptive move to tie down Obama from taking any ‘reciprocal’ steps.
Israel has a great deal to lose if the ‘P5+1′ - Iran talks gain traction. A US-Iran rapproachment unnerves Israel. (The Gulf monarchies are also nervous, but that’s another story.) The good thing is that Europeans want the peace track with Iran to continue. China is also supportive. Obama is adamant not to get drawn into any more wars.
On the other hand, there are imponderables in the prevailing acutely polarised political climate in the US. Fareed Zakaria takes an interesting perspective that Obama’s challenge is not so much to negotiate a deal with Iran as to get acceptability for it from the Republicans, who are on war path. The Tehran power structure seems far more cohesive, in comparison.
Meanwhile, Tehran has everything to gain by giving a positive spin to the talks. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has claimed that a common understanding was reached at the Istanbul talks.
Xinhua has carried a well-informed article with Beijing dateline, reproduced from the government-owned China Daily, on the range of compulsions — political, economic, strategic — working on Obama’s mind, which have prompted him to hold out the ‘olive branch’ to Tehran. The article’s empathy with Obama’s approach is striking. The article is here.
Blockades and the danger of disaster....
By Juan Cole

Introduction by Tom Engelhardt: Negotiators for Iran, the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - the P5+1 or "Iran Six" - meet in Istanbul, Turkey this weekend, face to face, for the first time in more than a year. There are small signs of possible future compromise on both sides when it comes to Iran's nuclear program (and a semi-public demand from Washington that could be an instant deal-breaker). Looking at the big picture, though, there's a remarkable amount we simply don't know about Washington's highly militarized policy toward Iran. Juan Cole does a remarkable job of offering us a full-scale picture of the complex economic underpinnings of the present Iran-US-Israeli crisis and the unnerving dangers involved.

It's a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians - and possibly in the long run among Americans, too. It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own. Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences.

The United States is already effectively embroiled in an economic war against Iran. The Barack Obama administration has subjected the Islamic Republic to the most crippling economic sanctions applied to any country since Iraq was reduced to fourth-world status in the 1990s. And worse is on the horizon. A financial blockade is being imposed that seeks to prevent Tehran from selling petroleum, its most valuable commodity, as a way of dissuading the regime from pursuing its nuclear enrichment program.

Historical memory has never been an American strong point and few today remember that a global embargo on Iranian petroleum is hardly a new tactic in Western geopolitics; nor do many recall that the last time it was applied with such stringency, in the 1950s, it led to the overthrow of the government with disastrous long-term blowback on the United States. The tactic is just as dangerous today.

Iran's supreme theocrat, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly condemned the atom bomb and nuclear weapons of all sorts as tools of the devil, weaponry that cannot be used without killing massive numbers of civilian noncombatants. In the most emphatic terms, he has, in fact, pronounced them forbidden according to Islamic law.

Based on the latest US intelligence, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has affirmed that Iran has not made a decision to pursue a nuclear warhead. In contrast, hawks in Israel and the United States insist that Tehran's civilian nuclear enrichment program is aimed ultimately at making a bomb, that the Iranians are pursuing such a path in a determined fashion, and that they must be stopped now - by military means if necessary.

Putting the squeeze on Iran
At the moment, the Obama administration and the US Congress seem intent on making it impossible for Iran to sell its petroleum at all on the world market. As 2011 ended, congress passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that mandates sanctions on firms and countries that deal with Iran's Central Bank or buy Iranian petroleum (though hardship cases can apply to the Treasury Department for exemptions).

This escalation from sanctions to something like a full-scale financial blockade holds extreme dangers of spiraling into military confrontation. The Islamic Republic tried to make this point, indicating that it would not allow itself to be strangled without response, by conducting naval exercises at the mouth of the Persian Gulf this winter. The threat involved was clear enough: about one-fifth of the world's petroleum flows through the Gulf, and even a temporary and partial cut-off might prove catastrophic for the world economy.

In part, Obama is clearly attempting by his sanctions-cum-blockade policy to dissuade the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. He argues that severe economic measures will be enough to bring Iran to the negotiating table ready to bargain, or even simply give in.

In part, Obama is attempting to please America's other Middle East ally, Saudi Arabia, which also wants Iran's nuclear program mothballed. In the process, the US Department of the Treasury has even had Iran's banks kicked off international exchange networks, making it difficult for that country's major energy customers like South Korea and India to pay for the Iranian petroleum they import. And don't forget the administration's most powerful weapon: most governments and corporations do not want to be cut off from the US economy with a gross domestic product of more than US$15 trillion - still the largest and most dynamic in the world.

Typically, the European Union, fearing congressional sanctions, has agreed to cease taking new contracts on Iranian oil by July 1, a decision that has placed special burdens on struggling countries in its southern tier like Greece and Italy. With European buyers boycotting, Iran will depend for customers on Asian countries, which jointly purchase some 64% of its petroleum, and those of the global South.

Of these, China and India have declined to join the boycott. South Korea, which buys $14 billion worth of Iranian petroleum a year, accounting for some 10% of its oil imports, has pleaded with Washington for an exemption, as has Japan, which got 8.8% of its petroleum imports from Iran last year, more than 300,000 barrels a day - and more in absolute terms than South Korea. Japan, which is planning to cut its Iranian imports by 12% this year, has already won an exemption.

Faced with the economic damage a sudden interruption of oil imports from Iran would inflict on East Asian economies, the Obama administration has instead attempted to extract pledges of future 10%-20% reductions in return for those Treasury Department exemptions. Since it's easier to make promises than institute a boycott, allies are lining up with pledges. (Even Turkey has gone this route.)

Such vows are almost certain to prove relatively empty. After all, there are few options for such countries other than continuing to buy Iranian oil unless they can find new sources - unlikely at present, despite Saudi promises to ramp up production - or drastically cut back on energy use, ensuring economic contraction and domestic wrath.

What this means in reality is that the US and Israeli quest to cut off Iran's exports will probably be a quixotic one. For the plan to work, oil demand would have to remain steady and other exporters would have to replace Iran's roughly 2.5 million barrels a day on the global market. For instance, Saudi Arabia has increased the amount of petroleum it pumps, and is promising a further rise in output this summer in an attempt to flood the market and allow countries to replace Iranian purchases with Saudi ones.

But experts doubt the Saudi ability to do this long term and - most important of all - global demand is not steady. It's crucially on the rise in both China and India. For Washington's energy blockade to work, Saudi Arabia and other suppliers would have to reliably replace Iran's oil production and cover increased demand, as well as expected smaller shortfalls caused by crises in places like Syria and South Sudan and by declining production in older fields elsewhere.

Otherwise, a successful boycott of Iranian petroleum will only put drastic upward pressure on oil prices, as Japan has politely but firmly pointed out to the Obama administration. The most likely outcome: America's closest allies and those eager to do more business with the US will indeed reduce imports from Iran, leaving countries like China, India, and others in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to dip into the pool of Iranian crude (possibly at lower prices than the Iranians would normally charge).

Iran's transaction costs are certainly increasing, its people are beginning to suffer economically, and it may have to reduce its exports somewhat, but the tensions in the Gulf have also caused the price of petroleum futures to rise in a way that has probably offset the new costs the regime has borne. (Experts also estimate that the Iran crisis has already added 25 cents to every gallon of gas an American consumer buys at the pump.)

Like China, India has declined to bow to pressure from Washington. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which depends on India's substantial Muslim vote, is not eager to be seen as acquiescent to US strong-arm tactics. Moreover, lacking substantial hydrocarbon resources, and given Manmohan's ambitious plans for an annual growth rate of 9% - focused on expanding India's underdeveloped transportation sector (70% of all petroleum used in the world is dedicated to fueling vehicles), Iran is crucial to the country's future.

To sidestep Washington, India has worked out an agreement to pay for half of its allotment of Iranian oil in rupees, a soft currency. Iran would then have to use those rupees on food and goods from India, a windfall for its exporters. Defying the American president yet again, the Indians are even offering a tax break to Indian firms that trade with Iran. That country is, in turn, offering to pay for some Indian goods with gold. Since India runs a trade deficit with the US, Washington would only hurt itself if it aggressively sanctioned India.

A history lesson ignored
As yet, Iran has shown no signs of yielding to the pressure. For its leaders, future nuclear power stations promise independence and signify national glory, just as they do for France, which gets nearly 80% of its electricity from nuclear reactors. The fear in Tehran is that, without nuclear power, a developing Iran could consume all its petroleum domestically, as has happened in Indonesia, leaving the government with no surplus income with which to maintain its freedom from international pressures.

Iran is particularly jealous of its independence because in modern history it has so often been dominated by a great power or powers. In 1941, with World War II underway, Russia and Britain, which already controlled Iranian oil, launched an invasion to ensure that the country remained an asset of the Allies against the Axis.

They put the young and inexperienced Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on the throne, and sent his father, Reza Shah, into exile. The Iranian corridor - what British prime minister Winston Churchill called "the bridge of victory" - then allowed the allies to effectively channel crucial supplies to the Soviet Union in the war against Nazi Germany. The occupation years were, however, devastating for Iranians, who experienced soaring inflation and famine.

Discontent broke out after the war - and the Allied occupation - ended. It was focused on a 1933 agreement Iran had signed with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) regarding the exploitation of its petroleum. By the early 1950s, the AIOC (which later became British Petroleum and is now BP) was paying more in taxes to the British government than in royalties to Iran for its oil. In 1950, when it became known that the American ARAMCO oil consortium had offered the king of Saudi Arabia a 50-50 split of oil profits, the Iranians demanded the same terms.

The AIOC was initially adamant that it would not renegotiate the agreement. By the time it softened its position somewhat and began being less supercilious, Iran's parliamentarians were so angry that they did not want anything more to do with the British firm or the government that supported it.

On March 15, 1951, a democratically elected Iranian parliament summarily nationalized the country's oil fields and kicked the AIOC out of the country. Facing a wave of public anger, Mohammed Reza Shah acquiesced, appointing Mohammed Mosaddegh, an oil-nationalization hawk, as prime minister. A conservative nationalist from an old aristocratic family, Mosaddegh soon visited the United States seeking aid, but because his nationalist coalition included the Tudeh Party (the Communist Party of Iran), he was increasingly smeared in the US press as a Soviet sympathizer.

The British government, outraged by the oil nationalization and fearful that the Iranian example might impel other producers to follow suit, froze that country's assets and attempted to institute a global embargo of its petroleum. London placed harsh restrictions on Tehran's ability to trade, and made it difficult for Iran to convert the pounds sterling it held in British banks. Initially, president Harry Truman's administration in Washington was supportive of Iran. After Republican Dwight Eisenhower was swept into the Oval Office, however, the US enthusiastically joined the oil embargo and campaign against Iran.

Iran became ever more desperate to sell its oil, and countries like Italy and Japan were tempted by "wildcat" sales at lower than market prices. As historian Nikki Keddie has showed, however, Big Oil and the US State Department deployed strong-arm tactics to stop such countries from doing so.

In May 1953, for example, sometime Standard Oil of California executive and "petroleum adviser" to the State Department Max Thornburg wrote to the US ambassador to Italy, Claire Booth Luce, about an Italian request to buy Iranian oil: "For Italy to clear this oil and take additional cargoes would definitely indicate that it had taken the side of the oil 'nationalizers', despite the hazard this represents to American foreign investments and vital oil supply sources. This of course is Italy's right. It is only the prudence of the course that is in question." He then threatened Rome with an end to oil company purchases of Italian supplies worth millions of dollars.

In the end, the Anglo-American blockade devastated Iran's economy and provoked social unrest. Mosaddegh, initially popular, soon found himself facing a rising wave of labor strikes and protest rallies. Shopkeepers and small businessmen, among his most important constituents, pressured the prime minister to restore order. When he finally did crack down on the protests (some of them staged by the Central Intelligence Agency), the far left Tudeh Party began withdrawing its support. Right-wing generals, dismayed by the flight of the shah to Italy, the breakdown of Iran's relations with the West, and the deterioration of the economy, were open to the blandishments of the CIA, which, with the help of British intelligence, decided to organize a coup to install its own man in power.

A danger of blowback
The story of the 1953 Central Intelligence Agency coup in Iran is well known, but that its success depended on the preceding two years of fierce sanctions on Iran's oil is seldom considered. A global economic blockade of a major oil country is difficult to sustain.

Were it to have broken down, the US and Britain would have suffered a huge loss of prestige. Other Third World countries might have taken heart and begun to claim their own natural resources. The blockade, then, arguably made the coup necessary. That coup, in turn, led to the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini a quarter-century later and, in the end, the present US/Israeli/Iranian face-off. It seems the sort of sobering history lesson that every politician in Washington should consider (and none, of course, does).

As then, so now, an oil blockade in its own right is unlikely to achieve Washington's goals. At present, the American desire to force Iran to abolish its nuclear enrichment program seems as far from success as ever. In this context, there's another historical lesson worth considering: the failure of the crippling sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1990s to bring down that dictator and his regime.

What that demonstrated was simple enough: ruling cliques with ownership of a valuable industry like petroleum can cushion themselves from the worst effects of an international boycott, even if they pass the costs on to a helpless public. In fact, crippling the economy tends to send the middle class into a spiral of downward mobility, leaving its members with ever fewer resources to resist an authoritarian government. The decline of Iran's once-vigorous Green protest movement of 2009 is probably connected to this, as is a growing sense that Iran is now under foreign siege, and Iranians should rally around in support of the nation.

Strikingly, there was a strong voter turnout for the recent parliamentary elections where candidates close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei dominated the results. Iran's politics, never very free, have nevertheless sometimes produced surprises and feisty movements, but these days are moving in a decidedly conservative and nationalistic direction. Only a few years ago, a majority of Iranians disapproved of the idea of having an atomic bomb. Now, according to a recent Gallup poll, more support the militarization of the nuclear program than oppose it.

The great oil blockade of 2012 may still be largely financially focused, but it carries with it the same dangers of escalation and intervention - as well as future bitterness and blowback - as did the campaign of the early 1950s. US and European financial sanctions are already beginning to interfere with the import of staples like wheat, since Iran can no longer use the international banking system to pay for them.

If children suffer or even experience increased mortality because of the sanctions, that development could provoke future attacks on the US or American troops in the Greater Middle East. (Don't forget that the Iraqi sanctions, considered responsible for the deaths of some 500,000 children, were cited by al-Qaeda in its "declaration of war" on the US).

The attempt to flood the market and use financial sanctions to enforce an embargo on Iranian petroleum holds many dangers. If it fails, soaring oil prices could set back fragile economies in the West still recovering from the mortgage and banking scandals of 2008. If it overshoots, there could be turmoil in the oil-producing states from a sudden fall in revenues.

Even if the embargo is a relative success in keeping Iranian oil in the ground, the long-term damage to that country's fields and pipelines (which might be ruined if they lie fallow long enough) could harm the world economy in the future. The likelihood that an oil embargo can change Iranian government policy or induce regime change is low, given our experience with economic sanctions in Iraq, Cuba, and elsewhere. Moreover, there is no reason to think that the Islamic Republic will take its downward mobility lying down.

As the sanctions morph into a virtual blockade, they raise the specter that all blockades do - of provoking a violent response. Just as dangerous is the specter that the sanctions will drag on without producing tangible results, impelling covert or overt American action against Tehran to save face. And that, friends, is where we came in.
Those 241 dead Marines in lebanon in 1983. They were participating in the Lebanese civil war, and it's accepted practice for combatants in a war to try to kill the enemy's soldiers. That's not murder; it's just war. If anyone else's Marines invaded the United States and some American managed to drive a truck into their barracks and kill those occupiers, it think it unlikely that you would call that murder. Not only Americans but other human beings have the right to kill invading soldiers in order to expel them....
It is very apparent that most American right wing war mongers don't take any lesson from history nor do they take any history lessons. This is why America keep on repeating these very costly mistakes.
The biggest instigator and promoter of terror is the United States. period
“Obama is clearly attempting by his sanctions-cum-blockade policy to dissuade the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.”.
1. Those who believe Israel can on its own launch an attack on Iran belong to the funny farm.

2. Politicians seem to be ready to do anything to satisfy Israel. I would like to see them when Nutwityahu demands them to pull their jeans down.

3. The nuclear issue is just an excuse. The west wants the Iranian leaders to act like the subservient Persian Gulf Arab kings and sheiks.

4. Sanctions are criminal and illegal. They have been made possible because both the UN and the IAEA are in the pockets of the west.

5. In the event of war the U.S. will suffer the greatest. Ever seen a school bully with a bloody nose?
We need peace not another war. Sanctions against Iranian people are unjustified and cruel. US should be a force for peace instead of being a force for violence and destruction. How many wars will we fight for Israel? How much American blood will be shed for an "ally" that totally depends on US aid for its survival? It is high time US stops thinking in terms of sanctions and military solutions to resolving issues....
The sanctions regime will harden the population against the imperial power that wants to subjugate their nation as has so often happened before, and maybe the economic collapse you speak of will happen to the United States and Europe through higher petroleum prices. On the whole, delight in war is hazardous, and those whose ambition is to dominate the world get into trouble. That I can easily support from history.
After Istanbul, confidence for confidence....???
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

On Saturday, the world stepped back from the brink of a showdown on Iran's nuclear program as both sides in the multilateral nuclear talks emerged from 10-hour negotiations in Istanbul in a positive mood, setting the stage for a follow-up "substantive meeting" in Baghdad in late May.

The talks, after a 13-month hiatus, included representatives of the "Iran Six" - also known as the P5+1 - the United States, Great Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, labeled the talks as "constructive and useful" and added that the Baghdad meeting will be guided by "the principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity ... We were assured that Iran is serious."

Indeed, reciprocity and mutual respect are key ingredients of the confidence-building process that is the sine qua non for a successful nuclear diplomacy, given the preponderance of confidence deficit and mutual distrust that has dominated the negotiation scene until now.

The talks come after months of increased tensions between Iran and the US, along with other Western countries, which suspect that Tehran's nuclear program is not peaceful, as it claims. Sanctions have been placed on Iran by the United Nations as well as individual countries, including the US.

In his press conference after the talks, Saeed Jalili, the resourceful Iranian nuclear negotiator, spoke under a banner showing the faces of Iran's assassinated nuclear scientists, defending Iran's nuclear rights under articles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - to which Iran is a signatory - and elaborating on what the agenda of the Baghdad round would consist of. That is nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and access to peaceful nuclear technology.

On the sidelines, Jalili held bilateral talks with the Russian representative, Sergei Rybakov, and reportedly denied an American request to hold a similar bilateral meeting.

Irrespective, the mere fact that US and Iranian officials met for 10 hours, albeit in a multilateral setting, and then refrained from vilifying each other and, instead, praised the talks' "serious and constructive" atmosphere, is definitely a good omen for the much-troubled US-Iran relations.

Israel, on the other hand, has criticized the lack of concrete progress in the talks and the decision for a follow-up in Baghdad, Iran's backyard. Therefore, the powerful pro-Israel lobby might increase pressure on the Barack Obama administration for a "get tough" approach on Iran during the next 40 days.

According to reports, Jalili reiterated the religious edict, fatwa, by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against nuclear weapons and sounded conciliatory on the subject of transparency, enhanced cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the prospects for Iran's adoption of the intrusive Additional Protocol of the NPT. He also indicated support for a uranium swap for the Tehran medical reactor, while rejecting the Western demand to shut down the uranium enrichment facility at Fordow and to suspend 20% enrichment activities, as anticipated by this author. (See
Nuclear chess in Istanbul Asia Times Online, April 14).

The mere agreement by Western governments to adopt NPT standards as the framework for the discussions has been hailed in Iran as a major victory, since there is no legal bar to Iran's possession of a nuclear fuel cycle and, inevitably, this represents a US retreat from the previous "red line" of not tolerating any centrifuges spinning in Iran; that arbitrary line has now been replaced with a more realistic approach that is focused on objective guarantees that Iran is not engaged in proliferation activities.

"This was a victory for the supreme leader's strategy of 'threat and sanctions in response to threats and sanctions on same level' that was spelled out by Khamenei in two key speeches recently," says a Tehran University political science professor who spoke on the condition of anonymity. This was in reference to Iran cutting off oil supplies to some European countries and the threat to close the vital Strait of Hormuz.

According to the Tehran professor, Iran's successful counter-strategy had worked with China and Russia, both of whom have opposed Western unilateral sanctions and threats of military action, as a result of which "there was no united front against Iran in Istanbul, only a united concession on Iran's nuclear rights".

By all indications, at the Baghdad meet, hosted by the pro-Iran Shi'ite-dominated government, the US and other Western powers will be further oriented to Iran's regional clout that requires reckoning with along the lines of political realism. This is not to mention Tehran's clout with Damascus and Iran's nod to the Syrian ceasefire brokered by former United Nations head Kofi Annan, who was in Tehran recently and praised Tehran's constructive role.

On the other hand, coinciding with fresh, and impressive, assaults by Taliban insurgents in Kabul and three other Afghan provinces, thus reminding the world of the unfinished business of Afghan security, the Istanbul round may have served another purpose, that is, to at least indirectly flesh out the "common points" between Iran and the West.

Iran's moderate Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who penned an opinion article in the Washington Post under the title "Iran does not want nuclear weapons", blamed the US for reneging on its contractual obligations toward Iran's US-built medical reactor in Tehran, and he implicitly touched on the subject of future US-Iran nuclear cooperation - that was also touted by the Barack Obama administration in the initial nuclear talks with Iran in 2009 and 2010.

Both in the areas of upgrading the Tehran reactor and managing nuclear waste, the US could provide key assistance to Iran, should Washington's concerns about Iran's "nuclear weapons intentions" be put to rest as a result of Iran's guarantees.

For the Obama administration, which badly needs some concrete evidence of foreign policy success to secure re-election, the renewed fighting in Afghanistan, whose government is backed by both Tehran and Washington, is a complicating factor that, once again, draws attention to the need for a "regional solution" encompassing Iran, which has long and porous borders with Afghanistan and which could play mischief if the nuclear talks failed and the US resorted to more coercive tactics against Iran.

In light of the above-said, it makes sense to add another item on the agenda for the Baghdad talks: regional security. Much as Baghdad may be elated by the instant global attention that will be accorded to it by hosting the next round, by the same token neither Saudi Arabia nor the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appear to be very thrilled about this news, hence their lukewarm if not outright negative reactions to the results of the Istanbul talks.

The trip by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Mussa last week has raised the ire of GCC states that support the United Arab Emirates' claim to that island, thus portending a vigorous Saudi-led campaign in the coming weeks to convince the White House to keep the pressure on Iran.

But, with Iran and the US as essentially de facto allies in their common support for the present regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House may now be caught in the dilemma of conflicting priorities.

In conclusion, we may now be on the verge of a new beginning marking the gradual end of the Iran nuclear crisis. The road ahead must be paved with good intention or it will be derailed by the multiple barriers that challenge both sides.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The odious Inside Job of 9/11 and the continued, persistent Global Cover-up....

The odious Inside Job of 9/11 and the continued, persistent Global Cover-up....

This is really a very well-done piece of investigation. The kind of research which even if it is 20,30 or 60 percent mistaken is still mind-blowing. And as far as I can tell, Dawson is 100% correct in everything he shows.

In this movie Ryan Dawson did not uncover any new facts, but the way he brought the facts together is very elegant and draws a pretty good matrix of dots which you have to connect yourself. True, none of what he shows proves "beyond a reasonable" doubt that Zionist interests are behind 9/11, but it sure comes very close.

Ryan Dawson is clearly stepping into some very dangerous territory here, and I really commend both his courage and his talent. I urge every one of you to take the time to watch this movie. This movie will, along with Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup and Fabled Enemies, become one of my personal favorites on this topic....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ignorance is Strength, 9/11 again and again....

In honor of new U.S. drone base in Cocos Islands, Indian Ocean....

In honor of new U.S. drone base in Cocos Islands, Indian Ocean....

April , 2012 -- To Seychelles, Cocos Land....

The Australian Apr. 2, 2012:

SIGNA Knight - a descendant of the original Malay slaves of the Cocos Islands - was one of the majority on the remote Indian Ocean outpost who voted in a UN referendum in 1984 to integrate with Australia.

That day was a proud moment for the lifelong islander.

But the 63-year-old now fears that the government he looked to for protection and a good future for his children has struck a deal with the US to turn his quiet island home, 2750km northwest of Perth, into a busy military base.

'I am worried about Americans coming,' he told The Australian. 'They go to war a lot. I think if they come here, they will do what they like....'

Mr. Knight, who was born and bred on Cocos's Home Island, believes his people will eventually be told about plans to increase the US military presence on the isolated chain of atolls but never asked."

Cocos Land

(To the Tune of the Beach Boys' Kokomo)

Darwin, Socotra ooo I wanna take you
Seychelles, Jakarta come on pretty mama
Maldives, Colombo baby why don't we go
Agana, Naha, Chagos Archipelago

Off Australia
There's a place called Cocos land
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all
Killer drones in the sand
Napalm melting in your hand
We'll all rendition
To the rhythm of an Al Qaeda band
Down in Cocos land

Darwin, Socotra ooo I wanna take you
To Seychelles, Jakarta come on pretty mama
Maldives, Colombo baby why don't we go

Ooo I wanna take you down to Cocos land
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Cocos land
To Diego Garcia, that Mauritius mystique

P-8s out to sea
They'll perfect their geography
By and by they'll defy a little bit of gravity
Global Hawk delight
Dead kids on moonlit nights
That Prozac look in your eye
Give us a tropical contact high
Way down in Cocos land

Darwin, Socotra ooo I wanna take you
To Seychelles, Jakarta come on pretty mama
Maldives, Colombo baby why don't we go

Ooo I wanna take you down to Cocos land
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where Obama wanna go
Way down to Cocos land
Pattani province I wanna catch a glimpse

Everybody knows
A little place like Cocos land
Now if you wanna go
And get away from it all
Go down to Cocos land

Darwin, Socotra ooo I wanna take you
To Seychelles, Jakarta come on pretty mama
Maldives, Colombo baby why don't we go

Ooo I wanna take you down to Cocos land
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Cocos land

Dili, Port Moresby ooo I wanna take you
To Seychelles, Jakarta come on pretty mama
Sulawesi, Borneo baby why don't we go
Ooo I wanna take you down to Cocos land....

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