Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 02, 2012

Iran Sanctions And A Saudi Pipeline Fire

Moon of Alabama on January 9: Sanctions On Iran - Economic Pain For The "West"

More sanction means more pain for "western" economies. As it has already shown with its recent maneuver Iran can easily inflict such pain. One does not even have to consider a full closure of the Strait of Hormuz and the economic panic and military consequences that would cause. An explosion on a pipeline in Iraq, a mishap in a Saudi refinery or one lone old mine in the Straits of Hormuz damaging an empty (even Iranian?) old tanker would be enough to push oil prices to even higher levels. Just as the U.S. uses clandestine methods, the killing of scientists and cyber attacks, to inflict damage on Iran, Iran can, if it wants to, use such methods to increase the price of oil without leaving its fingerprints.

The Arab Digest on March 1: Saudi Arabia's Eastern Revolution hits the oil sector: pipeline under fire

For the first time in decades, the Eastern Saudi Arabian volatile situation has reached the vital oil sector. A pipeline between Awamiya and Safwa has been reportedly targeted, and is under fire; ...

As the Arab Digest piece explains, the Shia Saudi people living in the area of the pipeline fire have plenty of reasons to hate the Wahhabi regime. So Iran may or may not be involved in this. But there is no way to be sure about this and Washington will have to include the possibility of Iranian involvement into its calculations.

Does it really want sky high oil prices and another global recession? For what? To satisfy Tel Aviv's craving for more blood?

Posted by b on March 2, 2012 at 6:39 UTC | Permalink


$5 price increase just because of this news!

Posted by: Paul | Mar 2 2012 7:03 utc | 1

You know what's even worse for israel and the jews in general? The growth of the right wing in Europe because of the self inflicted sanctions pain.

Austerity coupled with oil price shock WILL revive the 'jew behind the curtain' meme and is good material for the nascent right wing forming in different parts of Europe. The 'intelligence' agencies are so focussed on the muslim 'threat' that they are going to get pantsed big time. And this time, the right wing will win politically first, riding on muslim hatred before settling into the familiar rut of jew hating/baiting. You see, the oil is still in the 'sand niggers' hand, so they'll play nice diplomatically when it suits them; token jew baiting is also needed when it suits events.

So, lets see how the Hungarian right wing reacts to EU pressure to reform,rebels, and watch the funding get cut off. Then we'll know how the masses are going to react to incitement.

Posted by: shanks | Mar 2 2012 8:01 utc | 2

I would not mix things up, shanks, Hungary has very old issues ...

I am also not sure what rising oil prices will do economically, as everybody starts to print
money. It would shift capital to Gulf and other countries, most of them, except Iran and presumably Iraq already find difficult to invest.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2012 9:40 utc | 3

If USA & Israel escalates the situation further, Iran might cut oilsupply to Grece, that would have an impact. If Grece goes bust, the Euro-currency might go tits up.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 2 2012 9:47 utc | 4

On the whole I would agree with your sentiments shanks. However, do not underestimate the ability of the MSM to mislead the public. Here are two of several articles in a leading Australian newspaper on increasing fuel prices.

Neither of them mention the word "sanctions". The presentation suggests that Iran is the only active player in this game.

Posted by: chambers | Mar 2 2012 9:48 utc | 5

I know this is a given, and migh sound naive, but still, it fits so many evil interests to have the warmongeriing campaign.
Could it be that the media warmongering-campaign is part due to a strategy to ensure a republican president elect? The Israeli that campaigned for USA to strike Iran, knew Obama would never go for a war, that makes him look soft to some voters, thus helping republicans. Obama is not a puppet for Israel, even if he has been coersed to support Israel, like the US veto when the UN processed the Israeli warcrime on Gaza. Any republican president would give Israel a free pass every time.
The media-campaing, (thats what is is, a deliberate campaign), serves both the oil-industry and the AIPAQ.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 2 2012 11:03 utc | 6

Yes, it wants recession and sky high oil prices, but not because of and for Israel. In fact, it wants more than a recession, it wants a depression and a permanent contraction whilst claiming the opposite as cover.

Posted by: Bernie's Sausage Factory | Mar 2 2012 11:55 utc | 7

Alexander @ 6 -- I've been figuring there are those in the Big Money game in the US who just might see speculation raising the price of oil as being 1) good for their bottom line and 2) possible helping to bring down Obama, who some view as not having been sufficiently friendly to Wall Street banksters. Like nearly free trillions just doesn't do it for these money grubbers. Hedge fundie types may be really ticked off that Obama want's to increase their 15% tax rate.

I hadn't thought of Israel getting in on working to increase oil and gas prices and thus affect the US election, but it makes perfect sense from Netanyahu's point of view. And it goes hand-in-glove with going after Iran so irrationally.

Probably spot on with your assessment.

The only possible bright spot for US voters is that the Dems in Congress just might stand up to a Republican president doing the things Obama wants to do, especially about SocSec, Medicare, Medicaid, other social safety net budget items. Then, again, they've been so abjectly supine about Obama's actions against those items they just might be unable to persuade votes they're all that much better than the Repubs in Congress.... Repub overreaching and full-scale wandering into wackjob crazy conservative ideology might scare the electorate.

Obama, for whatever reason, has been incredibly derelict in filling Federal judiciary vacancies, leaving important openings without nominations, even at the appellate level. He's weird about things like that. Yes, Repubs will try to resist letting him have any nominations, but he won't even make that obvious to the public. Strange guy, very strange president. Stealth Repub?

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 2 2012 15:01 utc | 8

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 15:05 utc | 9

"The only possible bright spot for US voters is that the Dems in Congress just might stand up to a Republican president.....yadayada...."

Jawbone, its humorous seeing you express such optimism, considering the actual actions of both sides of the aisle these last two decades. Do you really entertain the delusion that the two party charade is anything other than a strategy to divide the people, rendering them impotent to arrive at a common concensus???? Wise up, brother, this whole thing, acted out by these sluts in DC, is a massive con job. You are no longer "represented" by either so-called "party". Why the fuck do you think they are so terrified of Ron Paul, or any other person of note trying to actually tell us THE TRUTH????

You must surely realize by now that the legislation of the last two decades, masquerading as "homeland security" measures, directly target the ability of the masses to wage effective dissent, peaceful or otherwise? Both "sides" are engaged in this dismantling of the basic tenets of freedom upon which this nation was originally founded. They are preparing for the day that unrealistic and naive optimism such as yours is no longer sustainable by their actual policies and actions. Theirs is a global greed, and you are nothing to them. They will murder and oppress American citizens with no more guilt than they have felt for murdering well over a million Iraqis.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 2 2012 15:24 utc | 10

From Orwell's 1984:

The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

In short everyone benifits from Oil Shocks and high prices. Saudi Arabia get money to buy off its people, higher prices also help Iran survive the sanctions, high prices help commodity traders make some extra bucks and as always its the poor who suffer. Hell Saudi Arabia could have even blown up its own pipeline (possibly to deflect attention from the fact it can't meet the excess capacity its being promising).

Off Topic:

After watching the following video I've come to the conclusion that Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel have now been joined by a new Apatheid Libya. But I suppose Morocco Bama, Slothrop and the rest of the liberal intervention cheerleaders have already forgotten about Libya.

Source: Libyan Rebels cage black Africans in Zoo make them eat flags:

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 2 2012 15:40 utc | 11

@ Alexander 6: I came to that conclusion several weeks ago. Given the state of the Obama-Netanyahu relationship, any conflict involving Israel-Iran is going to play into the hands of the Republican nominee, regardless of whom that might be. (Not that I think this will be enough to deny Obama the general election.) This may be Netanyahu's payback to Obama for the sour relationship these last few years, especially if the allegation made by Stratfor, that Israel destroyed Iranian nuclear infrastructure in late 2011, is correct.

Posted by: JDsg | Mar 2 2012 15:40 utc | 12

POA @ 9: Better said than I ever could, it will take some massive turns in pursued policies for me to reverse my thoughts.

"The real question is why would they want that?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2, 2012 10:05:01 AM | 8

Naomi Kleins book on "Disaster Capitalism" answers your question quite well. Quick synopsis....TPTB make more money on disasters of every kind. They don't care if the peons of the world have a decent life, they're doing just fine.

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2012 15:48 utc | 13

Klein's book is titled "The Shock Doctrine".

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2012 15:53 utc | 14

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 16:02 utc | 15

PissedOffAmerican @9

Do you really entertain the delusion that the two party charade is anything other than a strategy to divide the people, rendering them impotent to arrive at a common concensus????

Amen, brother. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: Base | Mar 2 2012 16:04 utc | 16

Shanks @2: "Jews behind the curtain?" No, this time Netanyahu is taking center stage. And he loves it.

There is to be no doubt. This is to be a war on behalf of the Jewish State. Netanyahu seems intent on rubbing it in as to who's in charge.

It's beginning to remind me of the way the Brits ruled India for so long--almost no boots on the ground but with lot's of skillful manipulation and complicity by wealthy local Brahmans.

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 2 2012 16:16 utc | 17

Could it be that the media warmongering-campaign is part due to a strategy to ensure a republican president elect?

andrew sullivan wrote 2 postshere on this topic.

i think they are forcing a war by the recent legislation, no diplomacy and 'shifting' the red line to nuclear 'capabilities'. also here's a good real news interview w/max blumenthal.

Posted by: annie | Mar 2 2012 16:27 utc | 18

doubt it, John H., it is very hard to see that it is in Israel's interest.

there is no US national interest in it either.

it is just a very powerful lobby generating lots of useful contacts and lots of income doing a hard fundrising drive.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2012 16:31 utc | 19

sorry on those 2 links here and here. the only thing really surprising about sullivan's articles is that sullivan is writing them, i think of him as a mainstream writer.

Posted by: annie | Mar 2 2012 16:33 utc | 20

18, what do you mean it's hard to see that it is in israel's interest ? have you been asleep. they have been pushing it for twenty years. or did you miss that nyt article from '92 b posted recently?

besides, remember what they did when we invaded iraq? settlements escalation on steroids. netanyahu is salivating for war.

Posted by: annie | Mar 2 2012 16:38 utc | 21

ultimately the Russians, the Iranians and even the Saudis would benefit from spiked oil prices. This could really cripple Europe, though the US wouldn't be hit as hard, our economy would surely stagnate.

Posted by: scottindallas | Mar 2 2012 17:46 utc | 22

20, annie, they can build settlements as they like, all they are doing is cementing the one state solution.
and if the Middle East colonial borders explode into an ethnic and/or religious battle ground like ex-yougoslavia, it is very unlikely Israel can remain unaffected. They are - how many million? The famous Israeli military? Remember, they did not manage to unseat Hamas in Gaza, which is a tiny stretch of land. Rembember, there are Palestinians from Jordan to Egypt to Lebanon. It would make things considerably worse for Israel.
Israel has an offensive military capacity - shock and awe - but not defensive. If shock and awe does not work, they are lost.
Maybe that is another reason. To make forget, how weak they are.
Netanyahu is a marketing guy.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2012 18:49 utc | 23

scottindallas, it is called Europe, national economies are vastly different though. Norway and Britain would profit via North Sea Oil, it would not affect Germany's export driven economy I suppose, as production costs would rise for everybody, and produce is sold globally, it would make local goods competitive again, so it actually might be good for Greece, Spain and Italy, and maybe that would hurt Germany's exports, people would have to cut back on mobility, transport calculus would become different for companies, so a lot of outsourcing would get insourced again or maybe not ... ramifications are endless, they might even be good.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2012 19:01 utc | 24

The only reason that a large number of Americans would support an attack on Iran is because they believe it will be turkey shoot. A decade of cowardly drone strikes hollows out your courage.

However, ask these same knuckle draggers if they want to pay $7-8 dollars of gallon as a result of attacking Iran and you will find all these PlayStation warriors suddenly cautious.

Every day, we disgrace the memory of George Washington.

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 2 2012 19:04 utc | 25

Take two:

The only reason that a large number of Americans would support an attack on Iran is because they believe it will be a turkey shoot. A decade of cowardly drone strikes hollows out your courage.

However, ask these same knuckle draggers if they want to pay $7-8/gallon for gas as a result of attacking Iran, you will find all these PlayStation warriors suddenly cautious.

Every day, we disgrace the memory of George Washington.

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 2 2012 19:12 utc | 26

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 19:13 utc | 27

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 19:39 utc | 28

B, if you ever need to, you can always delegate the deleting task to others. Many of us would be happy to help.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 2 2012 20:05 utc | 29

Wow, that's a persistent troll. heheheh
I can see that a ban would be called for.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 2 2012 20:08 utc | 30

why on earth would one want to hang around a blog he doesn't like?

disturbed personalities, frustrated by their failure to proselytize, or who for some reason feel turned down by b, and whose admiration for him turned to hatred?

or remote-controlled trolls?

who knows? I just hope they stop stalking b and MoA

Posted by: claudio | Mar 2 2012 20:28 utc | 31

unhappy OT:
I bet MB does this to women too: harassment, not taking a no for an answer, stupid and irrational violence at the end of the line
get a life, dude

Posted by: citizen x | Mar 2 2012 21:05 utc | 32

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 21:14 utc | 33

[deleted - b.]

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2 2012 21:34 utc | 34

sorry MB, this isn't a "public space" in the sense you mean it; the whole of internet is a gigantic public space, then groups of people gather this or that place (=URL, if the metaphor isn't clear) on the basis of affinity of some kind; groups form and disband, and individuals go from a group to another as they please; but if someone starts shouting at a group interested in the Koran that only Jesus is the real Saviour, then that guy has problems, and the others have the right to kick him away

maybe you don't realize it, but you have become increasingly shrill and provoking; Iraq Iran, Libya, Syria, it's been a crescendo; can't you just bear with the fact that most of us here think differently than you? we'd like to concentrate on world affairs from a certain point of view, and I think people don't mind if from time to time you offer a different take; I, for one, engaged gladly in discussions with you until some time ago;

if that isn't enough for you, go look for a same-minded group elsewhere in the vast continent of Internet

Posted by: claudio | Mar 2 2012 21:50 utc | 35

re 16, 18, 20, 22

Let's be quite clear. The point of an Israeli attack on Iran is not to stop their supposed nuclear weapons (which are not a threat), nor to change the regime, but to create a hullabaloo, under the cover of which Netanyahu will ethnicly cleanse the West Bank, moving the Palestinians over the Jordan, perhaps the Israeli Arabs too. On some invented pretext.

It's been the big aim since before 1948. Netanyahu would not have abandoned it. He is known as an excellent tactician, but a poor strategist. That's true here. What is needed for Israel, is a new vision of the future. And Netanyahu doesn't have it.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 2 2012 21:54 utc | 36

Alexo: How does this play out? Zionland ethnically cleases 50% of the people East of the Jordan River, doubling the population of Jordan in one day. Jordan collapses. And President Obama sends out the ever-insipid Ms. Rice to the UN to justify the worst crime since WWII?

What does he do, call on the Arab League to pay for 6 million new Arab refugees? And you think the Europeans woudl go along with this? They would send Ms. Ashton to Jordan to coordinate "security issues"?

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 2 2012 22:03 utc | 37

European countries have been politely telling Israel/Likud not to expand settlements in occupied palestine for years. And every UN-resolution have been blocked by USA, so a escalation in the ethnical cleansing of the west bank would go largely unnoticed, at least by USA - who can veto any UN-reaction against Israel.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 2 2012 22:25 utc | 38

Yeah, Matthew, all of that, and more. Netanyahu doesn't look at this sort of problem. It's not his affair. The important point is that Israel should have iron borders, defensible against all attack.

Personally, I think the extremists in Israel, of whom Netanyahu is one, are going back to the spirit of the Zealots in the revolt against Rome in 69 AD. We'll see what happens, but it is certain that the result will not be the same, as the Israelis have much more influence with the world power (the US) than did the Jews in the time of Rome.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 2 2012 22:28 utc | 39

Israel is a black hole whose only coherent course of action (as a Jewish Ghetto on occupied land) is to try to turn the whole Middle East in a black hole.

The Us can bear with a stronger Iran, in fact many in the "sane" part of the Empire suggest it does so, Israel can't; if any normalization should take place in the ME, its status of pariah state would become evident.

The way I see it, rather than by strategy, Israel is driven by the same dark instincts that presided over its birth, to the point of self-destruction. Only a conversion to a one-state solution can "save" it.

I agree with somebody @22 and Matthew @40: on one hand, colonization of the West Bank only brings the situation closer to the one-state solution; on the other hand, ethnic cleansing is increasingly impossible (even more after those political changes that increased islamists' influence in the whole region); so the "facts on the ground" sound like a death knell for Israel's establishment; unless, of course, they can keep destroying any rising political reality in the region

Posted by: claudio | Mar 2 2012 22:50 utc | 40

On the pipeline fire:

As the Arab Digest piece explains, the Shia Saudi people living in the area of the pipeline fire have plenty of reasons to hate the Wahhabi regime. So Iran may or may not be involved in this.

It's a local affair, I am sure. The Shi'a population of Eastern Saudi are much in revolt. This is the weak point of Saudi Arabia: all their oil wealth is located in an area of Shi'a population, treated like shit by the Wahhabis in Riyadh. Frankly it was only a matter of time before the Shi'a decided to start interrupting the flow of oil. More in the future.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 2 2012 22:55 utc | 41

Alexno: Like the the Palestinians, the Shia in Saudi Arabia have no right to resist their current overlords. Ask the Shia in Bahrain.

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 2 2012 23:17 utc | 42

Speaking of Saudi Arabia.... "> Saudi Arabia May Be Tied to 9/11, 2 Ex-Senators Say

Published: February 29, 2012

WASHINGTON — For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.

Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002. An appellate court, reversing an earlier decision, said in November that foreign nations were not immune to lawsuits under certain terrorism claims, clearing the way for parts of the Saudi case to be reheard in United States District Court in Manhattan.

Lawyers for the Saudis, who have already moved to have the affidavits thrown out of court, declined to comment on the assertions by Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey. “The case is in active litigation, and I can’t say anything,” said Michael K. Kellogg, a Washington lawyer for the Saudis.

Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, who have emphatically denied any connection to the attacks in the past, did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

The Saudis are seeking to have the case dismissed in part because they say American inquiries — including those in which Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey took part — have essentially exonerated them. A recent court filing by the Saudis prominently cited the 9/11 Commission’s “exhaustive” final report, which “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi individuals funded” Al Qaeda.

But Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham said that the findings should not be seen as an exoneration and that many important questions about the Saudis’ role had never been fully examined, partly because their panels simply did not have the time or resources given their wider scope. Fuck


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 3 2012 1:26 utc | 43

Hahaha. This website is hilarious. Drinking a little too much Alibammi moonshine, you inbred bigoted bastard?

Posted by: Canucki | Mar 3 2012 2:01 utc | 44

JohnH @16

Probably latter half of the 19th century, the earlier years, India was the Balkans with hundreds of individual states. See this story at the height of the Empire

And of course, the educated were 'useful idiots' serving the Empire, composed of upper caste folks at that time(err...could be/ is even now).

You might note a tinge of defensiveness, being a Brahmin myself; though how well I hew to the definition of one is open to ridicule.


But you are generally right though, Brahmins are anywhere from 5-8% of India's population who used to have a disproportionate representation in Gov. services. Worked for Empire, didn't get stomped on that much by both sides(Empire or their own countrymen) when things fell apart for Empire.

Guilt, it's a troubling thing....

Posted by: shanks | Mar 3 2012 2:04 utc | 45

Libyan rebels cage black Africans in zoo, force feed them flags

Posted by: nikon | Mar 3 2012 2:05 utc | 46

Why Did George W Bush RUSH Those Saudi Arabian People Out Of The Country After 9/11?

Note: Bob Baer is confirmed CIA... ...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 3 2012 4:04 utc | 47

@47 - it's not just the Saudis that were rushed out after 9/11, but some Israelis were also rushed out. so now, you've got the saudis, israelis, and bushies implicated. and for whatever reason, the suggestion of Kerrey and Graham's announcement is that, now that we've beat the tar out of most of Gen Wesley Clark's 7-in-5 list, we're going to turn on the Sauds.

my only question is, who'll be next to find out they're no longer a member of the team?

Posted by: Proton Soup | Mar 3 2012 6:40 utc | 48

Has the decent interval elapsed already? This is probably part of the pushback against action against Iran.

Posted by: Biklett | Mar 3 2012 7:23 utc | 49

Let me guess: Obama is going to score a huge success like with North Korea: Getting Iran to agree they do not want nuclear weapons they did not wish to have in the first place ...

All this had been on the table a long time ago, like North Korea, and it was really humanitarian to starve North Korea for it ...

Any "activist" getting caught up in this shit must get their head examined.

By the way the "Arab spring" is nothing new:

"Obama to Iran and Israel: 'As President of the United States, I Don't Bluff'

Dismissing a strategy of "containment," the president tells me it's "unacceptable" for the Islamic Republic to have a nuclear weapon."


"GOLDBERG: Can you just talk about Syria as a strategic issue? Talk about it as a humanitarian issue, as well. But it would seem to me that one way to weaken and further isolate Iran is to remove or help remove Iran's only Arab ally.


GOLDBERG: And so the question is: What else can this administration be doing?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look, there's no doubt that Iran is much weaker now than it was a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. The Arab Spring, as bumpy as it has been, represents a strategic defeat for Iran, because what people in the region have seen is that all the impulses towards freedom and self-determination and free speech and freedom of assembly have been constantly violated by Iran. [The Iranian leadership is] no friend of that movement toward human rights and political freedom. But more directly, it is now engulfing Syria, and Syria is basically their only true ally in the region.

And it is our estimation that [President Bashar al-Assad's] days are numbered. It's a matter not of if, but when. Now, can we accelerate that? We're working with the world community to try to do that. It is complicated by the fact that Syria is a much bigger, more sophisticated, and more complicated country than Libya, for example -- the opposition is hugely splintered -- that although there's unanimity within the Arab world at this point, internationally, countries like Russia are still blocking potential UN mandates or action. And so what we're trying to do -- and the secretary of state just came back from helping to lead the Friends of Syria group in Tunisia -- is to try to come up with a series of strategies that can provide humanitarian relief. But they can also accelerate a transition to a peaceful and stable and representative Syrian government. If that happens, that will be a profound loss for Iran.

GOLDBERG: Is there anything you could do to move it faster?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, nothing that I can tell you, because your classified clearance isn't good enough. (Laughter.)"

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2012 9:12 utc | 50

yep a deal is in the works

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2012 10:02 utc | 51

by the way it is official now
Nato committed war crimes in Libya

What is the humanitarian public in NATO countries going to do about it?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2012 10:43 utc | 52

Found his article: Iran want a nuclear free zone in the middle east, Israel refuse to be part of such zone. Israel of course does also not want to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 3 2012 18:13 utc | 53

Ellen Tauscher, the US under-secretary of state for arms control, said "the United States deeply regrets" that the draft pressures Israel to join the NPT.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 3 2012 19:33 utc | 54

In addition to fake videos there are also fake reporters and photographers. Here's one "bearing witness" in the New York Times.

I love the touch that ammunition was brought in via horseback.

He also claims the fighters are all Syrian. Sure. No Libyans, no mercenaries. No French. No foreign advisors.

He also claims the fighters he accompanied on the reckless attack have only "home made" bombs. I believe the videos from the Syrian government showing the insurgents with very sophisticated explosives. These bombs may have been made in a "home", but they were most likely very sophisticated.

He also fails to note the reporting of Thierry Meyssan that reported the use of anti tank missiles near Homs.

The story of the soldiers defecting in the middle of the fight was ridiculous. Has to be totally fabricated. Would the guy really flash a "v" signal to them just after a huge bomb tried to blow his or his companions tank up? C'mon. Like Michael Dukakis sticking his goofy head out right as they are being attacked? C'mon. Maybe he's going to defect but he's not going to cheer on further attacks on himself.

Also note how the Syrian Army "cleared" roads for Hicks and his reporter bud. This nicely supports the opposition claims to control certain back roads.

Etc. Etc. I'm sure the whole thing is full of useful lies. Propaganda. Aimed at the American people.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Mar 3 2012 23:27 utc | 55

In photo #7 accompanying Tyler Hick's 'testimony' in the New York Times, there's a child that appears to calmly be watching this rebel group attack a column of tanks.

Does this look incredibly fake to anyone else?

And I'm no expert, but that doesn't seem like a very smart way to attack a column of tanks.

Is the child a human shield? Maybe Hicks can fill us in.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Mar 3 2012 23:37 utc | 56

@WWM Yes, Hicks' photos v false. See the NYT slideshow ..Try #2 The hospitals and clinics in the towns scattered across Idlib Province, a center for the insurgents, are barely functioning and have almost no supplies. - yet that's a neat piece of bone setting.(allegedly)
#4 They said they defected because they refused to obey orders to kill their own people. For them, capture would mean certain death.
(the standard Libyan lie - worked then, why not try it again now...)
Propaganda of the worst kind.

Posted by: felix | Mar 4 2012 15:51 utc | 57

Some genius "strike Iran" folks have said Saudi Arabia would keep oil at $100 by replacing Iranian oil with its spare capacity.

As I said that Saudi spare capacity is a myth. Some sour heavy crude from very old exhausted fields can not replace and slip in Iran's production.

South Sudan is offline, Syria is offline, Libya is partly offline as is Nigeria. There is no real spare capacity on the world market.

OPEC to warn of oil price spike on Iran

Top exporter Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers say surging oil markets are beyond their control and prices could spike higher unless tensions between the West and Iran subside.
Gulf OPEC oil ministers said they would prefer to see oil trading at around $100 a barrel, rather than current levels of $124 that they fear could hurt the global economy and lead to a repeat of a spike and subsequent collapse in oil prices in late 2008.

Oil prices climbed to 10-month highs and hit an all-time record in euros last month on concern over potential disruption to supplies of Iranian oil.

"Oil prices are on the high side but they are really reacting to what is happening in the Middle East," UAE's Oil Minister Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli told reporters.

High oil prices have become a major headache for Western politicians heading for reelection this year, including United States President Barack Obama, due to fears they could hamper a fragile global economic recovery.

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2012 18:19 utc | 58

What irony that oil for a change may guarantee peace.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 13 2012 18:56 utc | 59

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