June 16, 2011
Factchecking Takeyh and Maloney
There is another boring anti-Iran OpEd in the New York Times by Ray Takeyh and Suzanne Maloney. As usual it mangles the facts, gives a false diagnosis of the situation and comes up with the wrong policy prescription. "Iran wants nukes, the government there is divided, there is no one to talk to, thus more sanctions (and biw let's bomb Iran)."
I will not bother to discuss it in detail but want to mark two issues if only to set the record straight.
The authors write:
[Ahmedinejad's] fall from grace has been fierce and fast. [...] The most devastating blow came in May from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who publicly repudiated his hand-picked protégé in a clash over presidential powers.
While there was one of the regular tussles in the Iranian power structures during April and early May since the end of that month the situation has decidedly changed and it is not what the op-ed authors say:
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a public endorsement of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday as he looked to resolve a months-long rift among the country's conservative power elites.
"While there are weaknesses and problems ... the composition of the executive branch is good and appropriate, and the government is working. The government and parliament must help each other," Ayatollah Khamenei said in an address to parliament members, later shown on state television.
But a united Iran does not fit the narrative the op-ed authors want to tell, they therefore just ignore the real situation.
Then there is this outright lie:
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s interest in dialogue was not motivated by any appreciation of American civilization or an impulse to reconcile. Rather, the provocative president saw talks as a means of boosting his stature at home and abroad while touting his vision of a strong nuclear-armed Iran.
Sure - like he touted in an interview in October 2005:
"Our religion prohibits us from having nuclear arms and our religious leader has prohibited it from the point of view of religious law. It's a closed road," the Khaleej Times quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
or when he touted at the UN summit on April 29 2009:
Allow me, as the elected President of the Iranian people, to outline the other main elements of my country’s initiative regarding the nuclear issue:
1. The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its previously and repeatedly declared position that in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited. ...
or in May 4 2010 at a UN NPT conference:
... the great Iranian nation, does not need the atomic bomb for its advancement and does not regard it as a means for its grandeur and pride.
or in that Larry King interview on September 22 2010
"We are not seeking the bomb. We have no interest in it. And we do not think that it is useful."
Yes, Ahmedinejad is certainly touting a lot and consistently - AGAINST an Iran with nuclear weapons.
And while we are at it - congrats to Iran for launching its second satellite.
Posted by b on June 16, 2011 at 07:16 AM | Permalink
Pentagon Sets Stage for U.S. to Respond to Computer Sabotage With Military Force
Cyber Combat: Act of War
Former CIA officer and Antiwar.com contributor Philip Giraldi discusses his new article “Target Iran,” the bogus RAND paper claiming Iran could have a nuke in months and somehow under the IAEA’s nose contrasted with Sy Hersh‘s New Yorker piece on the 2011 NIE, the Ha’aretz article showing more Israeli threats to attack Iran, which would draw in the U.S. timed before September to kill the bid for a Palestinian at the UN.
MP3 here. (20:09)
by Philip Giraldi, June 09, 2011
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent and successful excoriation of the Palestinians before a receptive American audience made it easy to miss the subplot, which was the alleged threat posed by Iran. Netanyahu took every opportunity to attack the Iranians, tying them into each hostile group in the Middle East and taking them to task for their presumed efforts to become the regional hegemon rather than his beloved Israel. So it comes as no surprise that an Israeli Deputy Prime Minister has now called for war against Iran. Speaking at the end of May in an ‘interview’, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon urged an attack on Iran, arguing that it is necessary to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Ya’alon also called on the other countries, by which he meant the United States, to join in because Iran is “a threat to the entire civilized world.”
Funny how everything we accuse them of we have either done or are doing or our allies or doing... epitome of a bully.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 16, 2011 12:12:05 PM | 1
Tad OT, but about Iran:
Iran has signed an agreement with Iraq to develop a way to limit dust storms in Iraq which have been blowing increasingly further into Iran. Iraq has allocated $1B for the project.
Interesting. Especially since the US bombing left so much depleted uranium around to be blown all over the region, depending on the direction of the wind. One would think the US should fund such remediation...would have already done so....
Posted by: jawbone | Jun 16, 2011 1:00:32 PM | 2
OT, but here we go again?
Electrical Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling at Nebraska Nuke Plant
by John Sullivan
Special to ProPublica June 9, 2011, 11:20 a.m.
A fire in an electrical switch room on Tuesday briefly knocked out cooling for a pool holding spent nuclear fuel at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant outside Omaha, Neb., plant officials said.
The safety of deep pools used to store used radioactive fuel at nuclear plants has been an issue since the accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant in March. If the cooling water a pool is lost, the used nuclear fuel could catch fire and release radiation.
As ProPublica reported earlier, fire safety is a continuing concern at the country's 104 commercial reactors, as is the volume of spent fuel piling up at plants.
I'm hearing, as I write this, flood waters have the plant encircled, but news of the event hard to find.
Posted by: ben | Jun 16, 2011 1:11:04 PM | 3
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has a piece on Calhoun.
“Rising water, falling journalism”:
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 17, 2011 10:32:41 AM | 4
@Watson - The aerial photo of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is kinda alarming.
Which is why there is a no-fly order.
Posted by: b | Jun 17, 2011 11:27:46 AM | 6
@ 4 & 5: Thanks for the links folks, you're awesome.
Posted by: ben | Jun 17, 2011 1:49:22 PM | 7