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A sample of Romney’s misunderstanding of foreign policy…

… like where the middle east countries are located. This statement on Iran and Syria seems to be typical of Romney’s lack of understanding:

I guess Romney doesn’t realize that Iran has it’s own coastlines and doesn’t need Syria to get to the sea. Fortunately, Obama pointed this out to him, making the debate a part of Romney’s education.

 

What is it about Republicans and their need to create wars?

Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.

Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.

Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.

If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.

 

I’m watching the VP Debate…

If you listen to Ryan, if we are going to deal with Iran‘s coming nuclear capacity (the capacity of which both the candidates disagree on) we are going to have to insert troops. This means a new war – probably in partnership with Israel.

Biden brings up the fact that Iran has been weakened during the Obama administration – primarily in cutting back their oil sales by 20% or so. They don’t yet have a completed delivery mode, either.

Ryan is also going after Russia as an enemy… especially if we go to war in the middle east. In his opinion, Russia is the leasing supporter of the Arab countries. Biden, of course, gets back to the fact that Russia is currently our ally.

I’m curious as to how many of the current questions of the Romney / Ryan campaign get answered. I hand it to Biden that he has already put up the 47% as an issue related to taxes. Ryan seems to ignore it.

This is going to be an entertaining night.

 

How about a foreign policy statement from Mitt…

That video from the secret fundraiser is sure providing tons of revelations of the presidential talents of Mitt Romney – or the fact that there are no such talents present.

Here is a statement that gives us a real view of how he sees tyhe middle east:

“If I were Iran – a crazed fanatic, I’d say let’s get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we’ll just say, “Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we’re going to let off a dirty bomb. I mean this is where we have – where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.”

- Mitt Romney

Hey… I’ll bet he’ll start another war if he gets the chance. Let’s not give it to him.

An article you must read: Romney and Ryan – The Haters in Chief

 

This article by Hrafnkell Haraldsson is in PoliticusUSA today. I’m giving you the first couple of paragraphs, but this is a long, well-thought out piece which continues the thinking I started earlier about religion and politics. In fact I was startled to discover a quote from Jefferson from the same document!

As you read it you discover that in a Romney America, “my god is bigger than your god. And your god doesn’t get any First Amendment protections because, well, it really isn’t a religion in the first place, is it? It’s a cult. Cults aren’t protected.” That certainly puts Islam in the gut bucket.

Anyway – here’s the start:

Can you imagine a United States where the president and vice president hate the world’s second largest religion and invite into White House councils those who advocate military action against whoever we feel might be a threat, including, particularly, Iran.

That’s the scenario being faced, incredibly enough, by the people of the United States. President Obama’s pragmatic, sober approach to diplomacy has restored the reputation of the United States and we are on the verge of escaping both long wars embarked upon by the Bush administration.

But Mitt Romney wants to abrogate control of America’s foreign policy – to Israel – which wants to attack Iran. He may have noticed we just got done with a nearly-ten-year-long-war in Iran’s neighbor, Iraq. He may have noticed that we are still engaged in Afghanistan, a place even Alexander the Great could not entirely subdue, a place that was a graveyard and charnel house for the mighty Soviet Union.

And now he wants to involve us in an attack on Iran.

OK… read the rest of it HERE. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – You Can’t Always Get What You Want… Thank Goodness!

Drew Sheneman in the Newark Star-Ledger:

So, if you get elected we’ll drop the big boy on Iran?

-and

Tony Auth in The Philadelphia Inquirer

So, if you get elected we’ll eliminate education?

-and

Tom Toles in The Washington Post:

So, if you get elected we’ll reduce population by increasing the death rate?

-and

a

So, if you get elected you’ll be able to mandate gas prices?

-and

David Horsey in the L. A. Times:

So, if you get elected you won’t get eaten up by your own deficit policy?

 

I listened to Repub candidates propose that we could be invaded from Iran…

…but, although the USA professes itself menaced by Iran, it rather has Iran encircled by military bases:

Stars = US Bases

(thanks to Juan Cole‘s Informed Comment.)

So what I want to know is which of these Repub candidates has any kind of grasp on mid-east policy? Certainly Iran knows that they can be completely wiped out by us with little or no provocation.

 

Thoughts on Pearl Harbor Day

Seventy years ago the United States was attacked by the Japanese and we were plunged into what became World War II…and we stayed in some form of military activity for decades thereafter. Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan… even times of peace have been warlike.

However, Pearl Harbor Day makes us realize that we were vulnerable to someone else’s plans (as did 9/11) and we became a defensive nation as a result.

I’d like to think that here in the 21st Century it was going to get better, but I don’t really think it will. Just think of the fun we’ll get into if Gingrich becomes President.

Nothing works in a primary campaign like a good scare…

“And the question was asked, should we normalize trading with Cuba? Why would you normalize trading with a country that sponsors terror? Cuba — there’s reports that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is potentially looking at wanting to be part of missile sites in Iran.

“And, of course, when you’re 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don’t want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba. This would be foolish.”

- Michelle Bachmann

Yeah, she really said it. Listen here:

Apparently, according to Think Progress, she got this notion from an article in an Italian Paper saying that Hezbollah was setting up an office in Havana.The next thing you know she’ll be telling us that Cuba is now operating under Sharia Law.

Can you imagine an America where this woman was in charge of Foreign Policy?

Just keyed in the light booth and I’m ready for opening night of “Claudie Hukill”…

This is a good play and I understand we’ve got a good sized house tonite (for Full Circle Theater .. around 40 people…that makes our audience seem full.) Dimmers all seem to be working OK and I’ve got my cues laid out. Maddie‘s here on sound and our curtain is in about 55 minutes.

The Doctor said I didn’t have a stroke on Sunday night… apparently I had a seizure. Now they have to find out if I’m developing epilepsy. Joe Jurand thinks it’s because my blood sugar had a drop, and he’s probably right. I’m going into the Robinwood Center to have an eight hour EEG test sometime next week… That sounds outrageously boring. Oh, and I’m not supposed to drive for a few months, but if I don’t I have no way of getting to shows to run lights or getting to WSHC to do radio with John Case on Friday mornings.

Anyway, here we are on the Friday of the Martyrs… Mubarak is out and Egypt could set an interesting example for the rest of the Middle East (especially Saudi Arabia and Iran). Lots of stuff to watch this week!

Taking the Rap: Iranians Arrest Teenagers Across Country For Playing Rap Music and Using “Western Musical Instruments”

Jeez… don’t tell Lindsey Graham… he’ll have us using nukes on ‘em. 

This from Jonathan Turley:

clipped from jonathanturley.org

Taking the Rap: Iranians Arrest Teenagers Across Country For Playing Rap Music and Using “Western Musical Instruments

The Iranian police has found another threat to the Islamic faith: rap music. The morals police has raided parties across Iran to nab kids who just want to play rap music. These teenagers have been meeting in abandoned buildings to listen to the music and dance.

The courageous Iranian police arrested the teens and seized “Western musical instruments” as well as alcohol. They were declared participants in a “morally deviant” practice, including music that “portray[ed] a bleak picture of society and presenting unhealthy relationships between boys and girls as normal.” I am not sure that you need rap music to portray a bleak picture of the Iranian society under control of the mullahs.

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Son of a Bitch! Why do Republicans need to attack first and ask questions later?

Lindsey Graham Makes The Case For Strike On Iran

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
A leading U.S. senator on defense issues says any military strike on Iran to stop its nuclear program must also strive to take out Iran’s military capability. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, said Saturday the U.S. should consider sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.

He says they should neuter the regime, destroy its ability to fight back and hope Iranians will take a chance to take back their government.

His remarks stunned many in the audience at the Halifax International Security forum.
Graham told the audience that newly elected conservatives would back “bold” action against Iran, reports Agence France Presse:
If President Barack Obama “decides to be tough with Iran beyond sanctions, I think he is going to feel a lot of Republican support for the idea that we cannot let Iran develop a nuclear weapon,”
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Let’s get out there and attack, is that it? And now that we have more Republicans in power, here’s a great way to get a new Iraq. And maybe we can borrow more money to pay for it.

Picked this up at The Political Carnival – Wikileaks is at it again…

Another trove of secret documents about the Iraq war are about to appear… including figures on the actual numbers of civilians who were killed and evidence of torture sanctioned by the Iraqi government we established… 

Here’s part of it… video available at original site:

clipped from www.thepoliticalcarnival.net

Wikileaks: Secret Iraq War Death Toll Set at 285,000

Wikileaks has now leaked:

In what is being described as the largest release of secret U.S. military documents ever, whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks has released a trove of classified reports about the war in Iraq, including a secret U.S. government tally that put the Iraqi death toll at 285,000, according to news sources that received advanced copies of the documents.

The documents include evidence of state sanctioned torture by the Iraqi government, new evidence of Iraqi government death squads, and Iran’s involvement in funneling arms to Shiite militias, according to Arab news channel Al Jazeera, which has been able to review the documents before their release.

Al Jazeera has reviewed the 400,000 documents that are being released. WikiLeaks says it will hold a press conference Saturday morning in Europe.

63% of the Iraqi deaths were civilians, according to the report.

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Glen Greenwald has a well-informed article on Yemen and the US in this morning’s Salon…

Here is his summation – it should encourage you to go in and read the rest:
clipped from www.salon.com
The campaign against the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan is being condemned, rightfully so, because it is driven by a desire to stigmatize all Muslims and even institute a generalized war against Islam as American policy.  But far from Ground Zero, having nothing whatsoever to do with the warped right-wing fanatics driving that campaign, we’re increasingly engaging in actions perceived — understandably so — to be exactly the War against Muslims which, with our pretty presidential words, we renounce.  Escalation in Afghanistan, a sustained bombing campaign in Pakistan, all sorts of increased covert actions in multiple Muslim countries, the ongoing imprisonment with no charges of Muslims around the world, bellicose threats to Iran, and now a proposed expansion of our drone campaign into Yemen:  we can insist all we want that we are not waging a War Against Muslims, but it’s going to look to a huge number of people as though we’re doing exactly that.
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So here we are with another Muslim country to accidentally kill women and children in and make them love us. Thanks, Glenn.

Here’s a clip from Juan Cole…

Go on in and read the whole thing before you have to deal with a Republican-instigated War on Iran.

And if you are against the idea, sign the petition.

clipped from www.juancole.com

Repubs Plot Israel-Iran Apocalypse and the Collapse of the US Economy

The National Iranian American Council has a petition you can sign calling on minority leader John Boehner to repudiate this measure.
The move is reminiscent of the 1998 letter the Project for a New American Century signatories sent to President Clinton, putting pressure on him to initiate war on Iraq. They did maneuver him into pulling out UN weapons inspectors and bombing Iraq.
Iraq’s opaqueness as a result of the Clinton actions allowed the Bill Kristol crowd and the rest of the Israel, war industry and oil lobbies to propagandize America into the fruitless and ruinous Iraq War.
Think about how weird it is. Nearly half of Republicans in the House are from the South, which has relatively few Jewish Americans. So this resolution is likely emanating from the Christian Zionists like John Hagee (who once said that God sent Hitler to punish the Jews for being outside Israel).
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A life´s value (via Finn Hjalmar´s blog)

Finn left a note on my previous story this morning, so I went to his blog and found this post that relates to the Islamic Law issues of capital punishment, women and the law. I’m also adding Finn’s blog to my Blogroll.
- Bill

What is a life worth? Not particular much in some places. A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The history of mankind is easily listed in this quote from the bible. (Exodus 21:22-25). Human beings have killed, still kills and will kill each other as long as there is human beings on the planet. Animal also kills. But they are much more simpler than us. They kill either in self-defense or to get food. We humans are intelligent … Read More

via Finn Hjalmar´s blog

Want to start your morning with a wave of disgust?

Then read this opening of an article at the CNN web site:

Human rights activist tries to stop death by stoning for Iranian woman

A veteran Iranian human rights activist has warned that Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, could be stoned to death at any moment under the terms of a death sentence handed down by Iranian authorities.

Only an international campaign designed to pressure the regime in Tehran can save her life, according to Mina Ahadi, head of the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty.

“Legally it’s all over,” Ahadi said Sunday. “It’s a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any minute.”

“That is why we have decided to start a very broad, international public movement. Only that can help.”

Ashtiani, 42, will be buried up to her chest, according to an Amnesty International report citing the Iranian penal code. The stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately.

Ashtiani, who is from the northern city of Tabriz, was convicted of adultery in 2006.

She was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes, human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei said Thursday in a telephone interview from Tehran.

She later retracted that confession and has denied wrongdoing. Her conviction was based not on evidence but on the determination of three out of five judges, Mostafaei said. She has asked forgiveness from the court but the judges refused to grant clemency.

Iran’s supreme court upheld the conviction in 2007.

Rest of the article is HERE.

Doesn’t this give you a fine view of Islamic Law and all the good things that go with it?

Maybe we should get US/Iran Politics out of this…

clipped from www.presstv.ir

Iran renews offer to help on US oil spill

The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has renewed its offer to assist the US in reining in an ecologically disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mehran Alinejad, the head of special drilling operations at NIDC, pointed to the experience gained by Iranian experts in containing huge oil leaks during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war in the 1980s, and said, “Iranian technical teams have had major achievements in oil well capping and the Gulf of Mexico oil rig is not a great feat in comparison.”

Washington, which has been pressing on with a campaign to impose a fourth round of tough UN sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program, has yet to respond to the Iranian offer.

BP officials say that the ruptured undersea well is spewing some 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day. However, analysts believe that at least 70,000 barrels of oil is spewed every day.
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If Iran has experience and offers help, I’d take it. It might get us over our current communication problem with them at the same time.

Why I think religion turns people into loonies…

The Chicago tribune says: Iranian cleric blames women’s immodest dress, promiscuity for earthquakes, urges repentance.

Here’s a clip (go into the whole article and find out what the Minister of Welfare and Social Security says is the best system to prevent earthquakes):

clipped from www.chicagotribune.com
Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.
Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair.
“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”
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US Intelligence Found Iran Nuke Document Was Forged

This was an interesting, long article at Truthout.com… Certainly worth reading before we send troops to Iran in the future (and who knows?, we’ll probably add Yemen, too if Joe Lieberman gets his way).

Read the clips then go over to Truthout and read the whole thing. Then wonder why we get involved in this crap!

clipped from www.truthout.org

U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.
Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.
The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document.
Giraldi’s intelligence sources did not reveal all the reasons that led analysts to conclude that the purported Iran document had been fabricated by a foreign intelligence agency. But their suspicions of fraud were prompted in part by the source of the story, according to Giraldi.
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The article ends:
This is not the first time that Giraldi has been tipped off by his intelligence sources on forged documents. Giraldi identified the individual or office responsible for creating the two most notorious forged documents in recent U.S. intelligence history.In 2005, Giraldi identified Michael Ledeen, the extreme right-wing former consultant to the National Security Council and the Pentagon, as an author of the fabricated letter purporting to show Iraqi interest in purchasing uranium from Niger. That letter was used by the George W. Bush administration to bolster its false case that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons programme.

Giraldi also identified officials in the “Office of Special Plans” who worked under Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith as having forged a letter purportedly written by Hussein’s intelligence director, Tahir Jalail Habbush al-Tikriti, to Hussein himself referring to an Iraqi intelligence operation to arrange for an unidentified shipment from Niger.

Quote of the Day (Maybe of the Decade!)

Obama WH already got more from one buffet lunch with Iran than Bush WH did in 8 years of saber-rattling.”

- Steve Hind quoted by Glenn Greenwald in Salon.

So, are we ready to get behind Obama’s Foreign Policy? Maybe it will prevent one more war.

So what’s the next step with Atomic Iran?

Yesterday was a big day in Geneva. Truthout ran a summary post… here’s a clip:
clipped from www.truthout.org

Iran Agrees to Ship Its Enriched Uranium to Russia for Refinement

    Geneva – Iran agreed in principle Thursday to ship most
of its current stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined
for exclusively peaceful uses, in what Western diplomats called a significant,
but interim, measure to ease concerns over its nuclear program.

    The agreement was announced after seven and a half hours of talks in Geneva
that included the highest-level official U.S.-Iranian encounter in three decades.

    Iran also pledged that within weeks it would allow the inspection of a previously
covert uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom, and the head of
the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, announced that he’d
head to Tehran to work out the details.

    Obama pointedly said that Iran must allow unfettered access to the Qom facility
within “two weeks.”

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Iran hasn’t settled down yet… and the world is taking notice.

I haven’t read Nico Pitney’s postings on Iran for a week or so, since I’ve been tied up with one project ending and another getting near the end, so making money came first.

Reading his column today I was impressed by one listing that pointed out a number of Nobel Prize Peace Laureates who have commented on the, apparently, rigged Ahmadinejad election:

“We deplore the violence and crackdown on peaceful protesters, the increasing restrictions on civil liberties, and the imprisonment of a growing number of civil leaders in Iran. ”

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1984

“If one country sincerely wants to support democracy in another country that is under dictatorial rule, the only thing to do is to support the freedom fighters who stand for the democratic institutions of that country. Done this way, the sapling of democracy will bear the flower of freedom.”

- Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2003

“The Iranian leadership is violating the country’s own commitments to international human rights treaties, as well as contravening Iran’s own laws.”

-Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976

“We call for the release of all political prisoners, the secession of violence against protesters, and respect for human rights and civil liberties in Iran.”

– Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1997

And, according to Pitney, more is happening in Europe… for instance, people at events held around the world have been signing their names to long green scrolls that declare: “Ahmadinejad is not Iran’s president!” The plan is for those scrolls to be sent to Paris and, on Saturday July 25, they’ll be attached together and displayed at the Eiffel Tower.

An activist with Whereismyvote.fr says that Paris has already received 87 such scrolls from around the world.

“We’re waiting for the next hundred or so to come during the next days,”

the group says. Pretty impressive.

Then there is the Global Day of Action which is now taking place in 50 cities around the world on July 25th. Just got to united4iran.org for more information.

This from the BBC:

It’s hard getting accurate information out of Iran today. The BBC has squeezed this out… this is a sample, go in and read the whole article.
clipped from newsvote.bbc.co.uk

Iran’s Mousavi defies crackdown


Iran protest leader Mir Hossein Mousavi says he holds those behind alleged “rigged” elections responsible for bloodshed during recent protests.

In a defiant statement on his website, he called for future protests to be in a way which would not “create tension.”

He complained of “complete” restrictions on his access to people and a crackdown on his media group.

A BBC correspondent in Tehran says the statement is a direct challenge to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“I won’t refrain from securing the rights of the Iranian people… because of personal interests and the fear of threats,” Mr Mousavi said on the website of his newspaper, Kalameh.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday that he would “not yield” over the election result.

Severe reporting restrictions imposed on foreign media in Iran mean the BBC cannot verify the reports.

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I heard from all my children today…

Father’s Day was once again a time when my kids checked in… Buddy from DC, Cassandra from Connecticut and Penny, who came over from Martinsburg and took Elly and me out for lunch (after which we had an afternoon of playing “Bannanas” (which I pulled out of after game 5 to do some job applications.)

I spent some time looking at the stuff coming out of Iran today… read comments by most of the bloggers following the brouhaha that I have earmarked… and am not sure where it is heading. I do NOT believe that, even if Mousavi gets a second shot at the voting process, Iran will become buddies with us at all.

It would be nice if we could just stay out of it all, but it looks like Khameni is listing us as a contributor to the revolutionary upset that is occuring… whether bwe are actually involved or not. I hope Obama can stay on top of this.

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