Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 09, 2012

As Usual Facts Oppose NYT's Iran Reporting

Reading this New York Times piece on the IAEA and Iran one is supposed to get the impression that: a. the IAEA board of governors and the 5+1 group is united against Iran and that b. its "demand" for access to the ammunition factory in Parchim is a somewhat extraordinary development:

The six world powers that have agreed to resume negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear program issued a blunt request on Thursday that the Iranians allow international inspectors unfettered access, most notably to Parchin, a large restricted military complex that the inspectors suspect may house a testing chamber for explosives used in atomic weapons triggers.
The tone of the statement also suggested that the historic sympathies Iran has received from Russia and China over its nuclear activities have diminished, as Iran has flaunted its increased ability to enrich uranium despite repeated calls for a suspension.

Both impression suggested by the NYT piece are false.

As the Associated Press reported:

Three days of protracted negotiations held under the specter of war highlighted the diplomatic difficulties ahead for nations trying to ensure that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.

In a statement Thursday that was less than dramatic, six world powers avoided any bitter criticism of Iran and said diplomacy, not war, was the best way forward.
Indeed, the language was substantially milder than the tough approach sought by Washington and allies Britain, France, and Germany at the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board meeting. Agreement came only after tough negotiations with Russia and China.

That is exactly the opposite of what the NYT suggest. Instead of a "blunt request" the AP speaks of a "less than dramatic" statement and of "substantial milder" language. Instead of "diminished sympathies" by Russia and China towards Iran there are "tough negotiations" with China and Russia which suggests the opposite.

On Parchim the "blunt request" the NYT reports also seems a bit less blunt when one recognizes that Iran  agreed to this "blunt request" three days before it was made:

Iran says it will allow UN inspectors access to a secret military complex where the UN nuclear agency suspects secret atomic work has been carried out.

A statement issued by the country's permanent envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran says it will allow UN officials to visit the Parchin complex, southeast of Tehran in a gesture of good will.

Parchin is not a site of nuclear activities but Iran's biggest ammunition factory. As a non-nuclear site it is not covered by Iran's Safeguard Agreement with the IAEA and the IAEA has no right at all to demand access to it. Despite that fact Iran had allowed the IAEA to inspect Parchin back in January 2005 and in November 2005. Both times the IAEA took environment samples and inspected some buildings but did not find anything relevant to a nuclear program. Like this time the requests to visit Parchin back in 2005 were based on secret intelligence the U.S. had provided and which turned out to be worthless.

There is no reason to expect that the outcome of this IAEA visit will be any different. But we can expect that the NYT will, like today, again be reporting the opposite of the facts as soon as the new visit happens.

PS: For another sorry NYT-like attempt by U.S. journalists to spew nonfactual propaganda on Iran see this recent CNN interview with Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA.

Posted by b on March 9, 2012 at 9:55 UTC | Permalink


The US government now suspects that Iran has deployed a new secret weapon to protect its nuclear facilities. Yes, it is (roll of drums) concrete! HT to

Posted by: blowback | Mar 9 2012 12:49 utc | 1

If they believe @1 to be true, then the following cannot be true. It's one or the other. If the sale per the following link goes through, we know @1 is bullshit on the surface. Of course, these matters are seldom "on the surface" so there could be something more at play. Perhaps the "leaked" potential sale is to throw those watching closely off the trail.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested the United States to approve to sell GBU-28 bunker-buster bombs and advanced refueling aircraft to Israel, reports say.

A top US official said on Tuesday that Netanyahu made the request during a Monday meeting with the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington.

The American official said that US President Barack Obama ordered Panetta to work directly with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the issue, indicating that the US government was inclined to approve the request soon.

The US refused to sell bunker-buster bombs and refueling aircraft to Israel during the presidency of George W. Bush, as it estimated that Israel would use them to strike Iran's nuclear energy facilities.

Washington provides Tel Aviv with nearly 3 billion dollars in military aid each year.

Keep in mind that the GBU-28 is not the latest and greatest in bunker buster technology, so most likely it would be useless against this new "smart concrete."

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 9 2012 13:22 utc | 2

As IAEA inspectors seem influenced by Israeli reports, fake or real, how can Iran be sure IAEA won't give information from inspections to Israel, that is - strategic information about vulnerable targets for an eventual airstrike campaign. The idea of IEAE being a neutral observer looks less likely when they take old discarted eveidence out of the trash, with no explanation of why it suddenly isn't fake anymore. Clearly they are more than biased towards the Israelis, even if they are not a signatory of the Non Proliferation Treaty.

Allowing access to sites not covered by the NPT is more than a token of good will, its a concession from extortion. Clearly the embargo has worked, it's time to lift the whole thing, no more sanctions.

And of course the New York Times adhere to the old rethoric of Iran being insubordinate and spiteful. Russia and China have kept a consistent stand for Irans right to mine and refine their own uranium. Now it's time to expose the underlying motives behind the smear-campaign.
Readers of MoA probably know by now why countries around Israel are being thrown over, one by one.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 9 2012 14:00 utc | 3

As the GBU-28 can penetrate about 30 meters of dirt, 6 meters of standard concrete, then I guess armoured "smart"-concrete would hold up fine at 6 feet. The underground sites, and sites in mountains are probably quite safe from the Israelis.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 9 2012 14:14 utc | 4

Those "Gbu-28" are appearing about every 6 month in the news. Israel already has many of them and their main envisioned target are Hizbullah's bunkers in south Lebanon, not Iranian sites.

Posted by: b | Mar 9 2012 14:20 utc | 5

Doesn't Israel use these bombs on the zone of tunnels at the Egyptian border?

Posted by: Jake | Mar 9 2012 15:02 utc | 6

Iran away from the Syrial liars long ago.Iraq my brain daily why others haven't.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 9 2012 15:10 utc | 7

The chyron for the CNN video b links to is intended to mislead the casual viewer:

Sanctions "not affecting" Iran nukes

Pray tell, CNN, what "Iran nukes"?? And you know there are "nukes" how exactly? (The interviewer keeps asking "what exactly is going on"; as we might ask of CNN.)

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 9 2012 15:15 utc | 8

Thomas Paine, wrote of Edmund Burke that:

"It is painful to behold a man employing his talents to corrupt himself."

How much more painful it is to see an entire culture- the western civilisation that Ghandi thought would be a good idea-corrupting itself by lying and lying until the line between truth and fiction, reason and cretinism, right and wrong has been erased. And public opinion becomes an empty head nodding in affirmation as the evil thugs, who rule us, steal and rape with impunity.

This cannot go on. And it will not.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 9 2012 15:54 utc | 9

You want a real eye-opener on the extent of the horseshit the RW/neocon/zionist/bloodsucking sacks of shit warmongerers are feeding us about Iran???? Tune in to Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingram, Savage, etc. All the usual slimey mouthpieces are spitting their scripted drool in the faces of the ignorant amongst us.

When, pray tell, did definition of the word "conservative" best be defined as "lacking brain cells"??? Damn,its terrifying to realize we have such a huge population of blithering idiots.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 9 2012 16:04 utc | 10

Considering the IAEA's role in Iraq pre-2003, the long list of un-inspected countries, and the short list of inspected countries, the Iranians must know that IAEA inspections are a prelude to serious spying, lying, sanctions and bombing by the West.

It seems to me that the most likely explanation for Iran agreeing to IAEA inspections is a response to a request by Russia and China to do so. It can't be mere coincidence that North Korea has recently made a similar offer - albeit for different reasons.

The IAEA ruined its credibility with its most recent conjecture filled, fact-free Iran report. Now, it would seem, Russia and China are conspiring to blow it out of the water. It won't be difficult. All they have to do is supply enough shadow inspectors to follow the IAEA inspectors around, 24/7, in Iran and N Korea and publish a "correction" of the IAEA's official report.
The IAEA is about to be unceremoniously killed off and buried in its own bullshit, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 9 2012 16:11 utc | 11

PissedOffAmerican @ 10 Damn,its terrifying to realize we have such a huge population of blithering idiots.

Even more terrifying that our leaders are not all conspiring, that's only done by a few, most of them actually are that stupid.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 9 2012 16:34 utc | 12

So why exactly is the latest GBU-28 story being floated in the context of Iran? Clearly it is from what I've seen and read, yet anyone in the know, knows full well the GBU-28 has nothing to do with Iran as b mentioned, so what's the point in floating the story in this context? Those who know will see the misdirect for what it is, and those who are not in the know most likely don't give a shit one way or the other.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 9 2012 17:28 utc | 13

9 & 10: No doubt! And all we can do is work within our own sphere of influence to shed light on the problems. Contribute and otherwise support the folks who are trying to get the word out. Is that not why a good portion of us come to MOA? Try to stay informed, and do what you can, when you can.

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2012 18:00 utc | 14

@ Sultanist "yet anyone in the know, knows full well the GBU-28 has nothing to do with Iran as b mentioned, so what's the point in floating the story in this context?"

As B suggested, Hezbollah in Lebanon probably the primary objective of picking up the GBU's. If you can't take out Iran, the thinking probably goes, settle for taking out Irans proxies. Saudi Arabia has just bought Hamas away from Irans orbit, Syria everyone knows whats happening there, the last shoe to drop is Lebanon. Personally think if Israel tries GBU's or not they will be in for a surprise.

In order to destroy Irans sites the US would need to use the new GBU-57 which weighs 14 Tonnes. Only 20 have been developed so far and the only craft that could carry it over Iran would be a B-2 bomber. Would weigh 6 times that of a GBU-28 so doubt Israel could perform the long range flight needed.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 9 2012 18:01 utc | 15

@15 - I know all that and agree but it doesn't answer my question @13. Keep in mind that I don't have the answer to my question and that's why I ask it. Maybe Noirette has an idea.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 9 2012 18:19 utc | 16

Everybody knows that the first country to use nukes was the USA.

Everybody expects that the second country to use nukes will also be the USA.

(Not to mention Depleted Uranium Arms in the Gulf Wars.)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9 2012 18:25 utc | 17

@17 - I don't expect the United States to be the second country to use nukes, so it can't be "everybody." I think Israel will be the second country. I don't think Israel is the U.S. or vice versa.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 9 2012 18:34 utc | 18

Ok, Sultanist, point taken, not you personally, I meant ‘everybody’ in the sense of a majority in Europe / ME, as should have been clear. (Everybody loves Twinkies - everybody grieves in their own way - everybody ..etc.) Of course I don’t even really know about that...

Israel will not move forward without full support from the US. So in a technical sense, it might be the second to use nukes, but US-Isr are twins joined at the hip, so how to judge that? Anyway I don’t think Isr nuking will happen, the US will use nukes to defend itself when it is at the end of the rope, with a huge blast, and not specially to defend Israel. Moreover, that won’t happen soon, if ever.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9 2012 18:59 utc | 19

Sultanist you must be joking. Israel is a vampyre mythologically still alive after confirmed dead.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 9 2012 19:34 utc | 20

So why exactly is the latest GBU-28 story being floated in the context of Iran?

Because that is the program. Blame everything on Iran, relate everything to Iran, just keep it in the news so the various pundits can discuss "war on Iran". That is needed to prepare the public for "war on Iran".

The folks who run the campaign know that "war on Iran" will not be easy. They do need sustained public support. That demands a very long campaign to prepare for it.

Posted by: b | Mar 9 2012 19:35 utc | 21

b, that is actually a very plausible answer to the question and one with which I concur, however, one of the publications carrying this particular news item in this context is Haaretz, and I would have thought heretofore that they wouldn't be an organization to pound the war with Iran war drums, although I am willing to concede I could be wrong about that if adequate proof is given. This may be part of that proof.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 9 2012 19:49 utc | 22


Iran away from the Syrial liars long ago.Iraq my brain daily why others haven't.

Took me a few seconds to get it dahoit, but had a great chuckle once I did.

I love the wit and humor at this bar when I get it. I’m sure a lot goes over my head.

Posted by: juannie | Mar 9 2012 20:13 utc | 23

#21 Yep that's it my friend.

Posted by: Laura J | Mar 9 2012 20:14 utc | 24

re 3

As IAEA inspectors seem influenced by Israeli reports, fake or real, how can Iran be sure IAEA won't give information from inspections to Israel,

The Iranians are right to be suspicious. It was well recognised in Iraq, that the inspectors passed information to the US. Indeed, the inspectorate was well penetrated by the US, almost an arm of US policy.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 9 2012 20:22 utc | 25

May I go back to basics. The solution is often the opposite to what is pushed.
If someone stood on your oxygen supply you would not discuss who is right. You would shoot to survive.
For the USA OIL is OXYGEN. Many millions in the USA would die if Oil stopped.
To secure the Oil (Oxygen) the USA need a secure foreward base. THIS IS ISRAEL
The USA has built up this little place and equipped it with modern devices as a US base . This place is VITAL to the future of the US. The Israelis are built up by the media as a Super power with super troops and intelligence services. This is rubbish but it is part of the story. They are good at getting and using wealth.
The future is not wealth but energy. Oil, Gas, Nuclear, Coal.
The Israelis use this need to suit their purposes. . They know they are VITAL to the USA who cannot survive without Israel.holding the base for them and being their projected power. The USA MUST do anything Israel wants.
The behaviour of the Israelis will build resentment and will lead to its termination in its present form (as Amadinajed said !!) .
Pity they could not voluntarily do the right thing as neither could any large power

Posted by: boindub | Mar 9 2012 20:48 utc | 26

To secure the Oil (Oxygen) the USA need a secure foreward base.

No, it simply needs to pay. Wars are a power game, they have nothing to do with "national interest". They cost, to the nation, much more than oil.

Posted by: claudio | Mar 9 2012 21:18 utc | 27

... moreover, no one ever stepped on that oxygen tube; it's the Us that are constantly playing this game - with Cuba (forgot?), North Korea, Iraq, Iran, etc.

Posted by: claudio | Mar 9 2012 21:20 utc | 28

... Israel is vital for the "permanent war" lobby, not for any Us "national interest"

Posted by: claudio | Mar 9 2012 21:26 utc | 29

alexno@25 Indeed, the inspectorate was well penetrated by the US, almost an arm of US policy.

It is an arm of US policy...! Amano's 'appointment' alone is proof positive...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 10 2012 0:12 utc | 30

Escobar on Putin.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Mar 10 2012 0:52 utc | 31

Excerpt from the link above:

Putin even advertised his road map The essentials; no war on Syria; no war on Iran; no "humanitarian bombing" or fomenting "color revolutions" - all bundled into a new concept, "illegal instruments of soft power". For Putin, a Washington-engineered New World Order is a no-go. What rules is "the time-honored principle of state sovereignty".

No wonder. When Putin looks at Libya, he sees the graphic, regressive consequences of NATO's "liberation" through "humanitarian bombing"; a fragmented country controlled by al-Qaeda-linked militias

Yeay! Go, Putin Go!
Russia and the changing world, by Vladimir Putin

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 1:12 utc | 32

It (The UN Syrian Resolution) only lacked the demand that the armed opposition do the same as the government; in particular, withdraw military units and detachments from cities. The refusal to do so is cynical.
There are some real pearls in that piece.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 1:18 utc | 33

I'm sorry, but you really have to read this, and probably only MoA-readers will understand this:

The notion of "soft power" is being used increasingly often. This implies a matrix of tools and methods to reach foreign policy goals without the use of arms but by exerting information and other levers of influence. Regrettably, these methods are being used all too frequently to develop and provoke extremist, separatist and nationalistic attitudes, to manipulate the public and to conduct direct interference in the domestic policy of sovereign countries.

There must be a clear division between freedom of speech and normal political activity, on the one hand, and illegal instruments of "soft power," on the other. The civilized work of non-governmental humanitarian and charity organizations deserves every support. This also applies to those who actively criticize the current authorities. However, the activities of "pseudo-NGOs" and other agencies that try to destabilize other countries with outside support are unacceptable.

I'm referring to those cases where the activities of NGOs are not based on the interests (and resources) of local social groups but are funded and supported by outside forces. There are many agents of influence from big countries, international blocks or corporations. When they act in the open - this is simply a form of civilized lobbyism. Russia also uses such institutions - the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, International Humanitarian Cooperation, the Russkiy Mir Foundation and our leading universities who recruit talented students from abroad.

However, Russia does not use or fund national NGOs based in other countries or any foreign political organizations in the pursuit of its own interests. China, India and Brazil do not do this either. We believe that any influence on domestic policy and public attitude in other countries must be exerted in the open; in this way, those who wish to be of influence will do so responsibly.

Pure genius.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 1:32 utc | 34

And now something relating to the topic:

Today, Iran is the focus of international attention. Needless to say, Russia is worried about the growing threat of a military strike against Iran. If this happens, the consequences will be disastrous. It is impossible to imagine the true scope of this turn of events.

I am convinced that this issue must be settled exclusively by peaceful means. We propose recognizing Iran's right to develop a civilian nuclear program, including the right to enrich uranium. But this must be done in exchange for putting all Iranian nuclear activity under reliable and comprehensive IAEA safeguards. If this is done, the sanctions against Iran, including the unilateral ones, must be rescinded. The West has shown too much willingness to "punish" certain countries. At any minor development it reaches for sanctions if not armed force. Let me remind you that we are not in the 19th century or even the 20th century now.

Here Putin is implying that a strike on Iran could escalate to draw Russia into a nuclear showdown. That's a threat Israel and the west can't ignore.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 1:39 utc | 35

Shouldn't there have to be some shred of evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons before the world allows a rogue nuclear armed regime who refuses to sign the NPT to threaten and/or attack another NPT/UN member? Should there not be some protection afforded those who sign the NPT against threats to their sovereignty by rogue nuclear armed regimes like Israel?

Thus far the neither the Israeli regime nor the IAEA inspectors have produced any evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, so all we have is the same opinions of the same so-called "experts" who were proven to have lied about Iraq's WMDs.

Before the world lets Israel lead the world into another major war, Israel should be forced to sign the NPT and allow inspections of its own secret underground nuclear bunkers just as Iran has...

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 10 2012 4:00 utc | 36

Cynthia @ 36:"Before the world lets Israel lead the world into another major war, Israel should be forced to sign the NPT and allow inspections of its own secret underground nuclear bunkers just as Iran has..."

Great point, but, it makes way too much sense. Critical thinking is not part of the rush to indite Iran without evidence.

Posted by: ben | Mar 10 2012 4:16 utc | 37

Cynthia @ 36

Good point well made!

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 5:40 utc | 38


The Iranians temporarily implemented the new SP -- and got sanctions. Nobody was interested in promises given in Teheran and Paris. This nuke hype has nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear programme but with regime change through the back door.

Posted by: m_s | Mar 10 2012 6:55 utc | 39

I still can't grasp how Israel and USA can threaten to bomb Iran, and make it sound as if Iran is the threat.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 10:22 utc | 41

@ Alexander 34

That was a damn good article by Putin that gets right to the heart of things. Clearly he sees how radical this new system of regime change without invading armies is and he said it better than I ever could.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 10 2012 12:27 utc | 42

'Before the world lets Israel lead the world into another major war, Israel should be forced to sign the NPT and allow inspections of its own secret underground nuclear bunkers just as Iran has...'

How would you accomplish this? It's one thing to state it, but an entirely other matter to bring it to fruition. I presume one way would be to impose sanctions on Israel, but if you do that, it's hypocrisy. There has been much legitimate complaint about sanctions and who really ends up suffering when they're imposed. If you sanction Israel, the Palestinians will be made to suffer even worse than they already are. Are you willing to sacrifice them in such a manner, or is there another way to bring Israel to its senses? Is invasion the only way to control Israel and toppling of the zealous forces that control its foreign and domestic policy? We can't just say the world needs to do this or that without thinking it through and offering some potential action plans to get there. Israel will not do this of its own accord. It will have to be brought to heel. How is nut of all of this.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 10 2012 13:06 utc | 43

Seems that what Putin is writing may be behind the increasingly strong attacks on his "legitimacy" coming out of the US punditry and MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media).

Proclaiming a leader as not "legitimate" is now code for the US working on "regime change."

Thus all the breathless coverage of opposition to Putin within Russia, including giving respectful coverage to its demands that Putin not even take office.

Amazing, after the Supreme Five's judicial coup giving the presidency to Bush the Younger...after which the vaunted free US press did not even cover the sizeable protests against that decision and BushBoy at his first inauguration. The only thing which cemented Bush's power was 9/11. Hhhmmm....

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 10 2012 15:24 utc | 44

@sultanist, 43

the longer the situation drags on, the more israelis and neocon americans discredit themselves.

meanwhile, palestinians have enough faith in the future to outbreed israelis... palestinians apparently believe that, in the long run, might, as demonstrated by israel and israeli america, doesnt make right.

and peak oil, which was most likely the reason for starting this whole doofus project on 9/11, hasnt even started to bite, yet...

one saving grace, from the neocon point of view, is that the israeli american military is only using 400,000 or 500,000 barrels a day of oil, so as oil supplies dwindle and the american police state emerges, there ought to be lots of oil for the military for a while yet.

so israel and the neocons should be able to hang on long enough to completely discredit themselves... i mean, it's not gonna take many years of 6 or 8 dollar gas, radically declining economic conditions, and the police state to get people thinking about what happened to their country.

too bad israel and the neocons left hoofprints a foot deep all over the origins of this caper.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 10 2012 15:28 utc | 45

And Putin also recently stated;For the west to be invulnerable means that we(Russia)are vulnerable,this is an impossible situation.(sic)

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 10 2012 15:47 utc | 46

Colm O'Toole @ 42

Yeah, Putin would get my vote, that's for sure. He really understands foreign politics, and he is a stabilizing force in the world, he makes it a safer place for everyone.

An unmoderated US and Israel would spell disaster for sure. Especially with a Republican president, God forbid.

No matter, Putin will stay in power for many years, and Obama will be in the office for 5 years. But I'm anxious to see if he grows some balls when he serves his last term. When AIPAC no longer has that hard a grip on him, in one years time, we will see another Obama then he has been 'til now. Time will tell.

Sultanist @ 43

The palestinians have a hard time, and it looks like the two-state solution is out the window. No help in sight, and jewis settlements creep nearer the cost every day. I can't see a two-state solution anymore. The Israelis will have Palestinians as second-rate citicens in a raw apartheid state. Unless someone intervene, I don't see Obama doing anything, maybe in a year.

Jawbone @ 44
The demonstrations today, that BBC had planned to cover, had a very low attendence - much lower than expected. So, I don't think we need to worry. :-)

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 15:53 utc | 47

Off topic, but, interesting piece from penny on Syria.

Posted by: ben | Mar 10 2012 16:30 utc | 48

Penny is off with this one. I looked into it.

The guy is a deputy oil minister. He is just not important. I guess he hopes to become oil minister in a new regime. That hope will not come to fruit. There will be no new regime.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2012 19:13 utc | 49

Though I did not promote this thought as an absolute...
Why do you believe this is a mistaken line of thought?
How or what did you look into that would lead you to think this fellow is a member of the Syrian government?

Posted by: Penny | Mar 10 2012 20:52 utc | 50

'There will be no new regime.'

There will be if the U.S./NATO invade as you have indicated/intimated they will. So which is it?

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 10 2012 22:39 utc | 51

b sez, 'There will be no new regime.'

sultanist answers, @51... "There will be if the U.S./NATO invade as you have indicated/intimated they will. So which is it?"

how do you know an israeli american invasion will be "successful"?

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 2:18 utc | 52

@1 The official is responding to an article in The Economist.

The original article is here:

I would suggest that Panetta's statement early last month that the USA can't be certain that its bunker-busters can do the job was caused by that article e.g. the reporter might well have contacted the DoD while doing research for the article, causing any number of oh-shit-why-didn't-anyone-know-this from the military brains-trust.

Posted by: Johnboy | Mar 11 2012 6:07 utc | 53


- the defected person was introduced as "Abdo Husameddine"
- the assistant oil ministers name is "Abdo Hossam El Din"

Those are just different transcription of the same Arabic name

He is the third from the right in this picture of the Syrian oil magazine. If you carefully examine that persons face you will find that he is indeed the defected person. Same nose, same wrinkles beside it etc.

The picture text says

The minister was accompanied with Eng Abdo Hossam El Din, Deputy Minister of Oil and Ali Abbas, Director of GPC and Khalid Madiha Deputy Director-General of SPC and the heads of boards of directors and general managers of companies, Awda,Kawkab and Dijla

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2012 11:43 utc | 54

@b #54

First let me thank you for taking the time to respond
I looked at the picture quite carefully

"He is the third from the right in this picture of the Syrian oil magazine."

IMO - The man walking 3rd from the right is Sufian Allaw (member of the Syrian Government) and The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources

Check two pics below

Posted by: Penny | Mar 11 2012 12:26 utc | 55

you may also be interested in this left by a commenter

Posted by: Penny | Mar 11 2012 12:58 utc | 56

@52 - It's not terribly difficult to fail a state. It's quite another to control it after the failing, but the failing part is easy enough as has been shown countless times in the past half century, or more. If NATO/U.S. invades and or occupies, which I don't believe they will do, the failing will come rather quickly, as it did for Iraq and Libya. Afghanistan was already failed. The U.S./NATO presence was/is to ensure no other interests take control of the ensuing chaos and direct it to their means and end.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 11 2012 13:37 utc | 57

@Penny - okay - looks like you are right with those pictures and I was wrong. Me bad ...

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2012 16:10 utc | 58

Sultanist @ 57 says

It's not terribly difficult to fail a state

we were talking about invading,, not "failing", according to your post at 51.

doesnt really make much difference whether we "fail" or "invade" iran, though, does it? long as we have a pretext to close hormuz, blame the closure on iran, and herd persian gulf oil towards israel and israeli american-occupied syria and lebanon.

"we're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality"... but it's just too damn bad the imperial israeli americans are not quite powerful enough to replace the trillion barrels of easy oil we've already burned.

Posted by: lead.and.lag | Mar 11 2012 17:05 utc | 59

It happens.

Posted by: Penny | Mar 12 2012 11:26 utc | 60

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