Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 06, 2021

Nuclear Talks - Israel Makes Funny Demands

This, from Israel, is somewhat weird:

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea will push during their meetings this week in Washington with senior Biden administration officials for the United States to carry out a military strike on Iranian targets, Israel’s three main TV news broadcasts reported Sunday night.
...
Along with calling for tougher sanctions, the Israelis will reportedly ask the US to take military action against Iran.

Channel 12 news said the target of a US potential attack would be not a nuclear facility in Iran, but rather a site like an Iranian base in Yemen. The aim of such a strike would be to convince the Iranians to soften their positions at the negotiating table.

For starters: Iran does not have a base in Yemen.

Any U.S. strike on an Iranian target would of course not convince Iran to soften its position. It would in fact harden it. A strike would also necessitate a violent response from Iran. The foremost targets would likely be U.S. troops in Iraq.

Last weeks talks in Vienna about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal with Iran were disappointing for the 'western' participants. The new Iranian negotiation team is not as weak as the previous one. It will not compromise Iranian sovereignty and has made serious demands. But that does not mean that the talks have failed:

Russia’s chief negotiator in the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that “disappointment” in the talks “seems to be premature.”

“In multilateral diplomacy there is the rule: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So changes are possible as a matter of principle.”

The “technical break” in the talks until next week, Ulyanov said, was “an opportunity for each participant, including Iran and the U.S., to consult with the capitals and to think how to proceed further, taking into account the positions of other counterparts.”

It is also quite incomprehensive that the Israeli government 'leaks' that it will demand U.S. strikes. It usually would do such lobbying silently.

Any strike would most likely end further negotiations about the nuclear deal. But during the last months dozens of high ranking former Israeli officials have spoken out in favor of the nuclear deal:

Bucking the official line, some Israeli security officials, many of whom were heading into retirement, admitted that the policy was a failure.

“Iran is far from falling to its knees; it has not folded,” the outgoing head of the Israeli military intelligence’s research division told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily in October 2020. “It has not yet been proven that the exit from the nuclear agreement served Israel.”

This past March the outgoing deputy head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service told the same newspaper in no uncertain terms that the situation in 2021 was worse than in 2015 and that former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s sprawling “12 demands” of Iran — including a halt to its nuclear program, missile development and support for regional proxies — was pie in the sky, “like seeking to transform the Iranians into Meretz,” an allusion to a left-wing Israeli political party.
...
Another former Israeli military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi Farkash, recently admitted to the Jerusalem Post that a new nuclear deal with Iran “will likely be worse” than the 2015 original, and yet “even such an inferior deal is better than no deal.”

During one week alone in late November, at two separate conferences, multiple former Israeli security officials who served under Netanyahu slammed the former prime minister’s policy on Iran.

All those former official were calling the old Israeli tactic of pressing the U.S. into a war on Iran instead of following the nuclear deal a major failure. I find it therefore implausible that the current Israeli government wants to follow the same failed path.

Today's widely spread call by the Israeli government for an attack on Iran is thus most likely for domestic consumption. Gantz and Barnea know quite well that such al illogical appeal will find no echo within the Biden administration.

To focus on China Biden wants to leave the Middle East as much as possible. He is not interested in starting another war there. Certainly not one that would seriously hurt all U.S. assets in the region, including Israel.

Posted by b on December 6, 2021 at 17:47 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Today's widely spread call by the Israeli government for an attack on Iran

Is it not correct that publicly seeking to attack a foreign state, or encouraging other states to undertake such an attack, constitutes a violation of International Law?

Given the fact that international negotiations are underway to achieve a peaceful resolution and a return to a prior agreement unilaterally abandonned by one of the parties is not such war-mongering an even greater insult to International Law?

Or does B's reporting underline the fact that International Law has been discarded and we are at present in an "international rules based order" in which the "rules" are those of a hegemonic power?

Why does not Russia and China convene a meeting of the Security Council to address these issues?


Posted by: Sushi | Dec 6 2021 18:04 utc | 1

the previous Iranian govt wanted a guarantee that us wouldn't do snap back to force Iran for a wider encompassing deal,they wanted a step by step process they even agreed not all sanctions of Trump need not be lifted but Biden miscalculated and thought they can get more for nothing.
Well now they might get the previous deal but they need to do some give and take
with China and Russia to make Iran to accept that exact deal.

Posted by: A.z | Dec 6 2021 18:28 utc | 2

Speaking of insane... Exhibit #1 - the Zionist State of Israel. No one can un-see Netanyahu's cartoon bomb at the UN. The crazies have been trying for decades to get the US to nuke Iran. Nothing has changed. Zionists are crazy mother-fuckers.

Israel's only patron is the USA, which is the ultimate piece-of-shit nation on the planet.

Don't talk about common sense. These are the 'end-times.'

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 6 2021 18:30 utc | 3

Gantz, like Bennett, is a hardline warmongering anti-Palestinian pro-settlement building madman, could it be that the nuclear state (Thanks to Mordechai Vanunu) Israel, has gotten wind that Iran is close to producing its own nukes, and Israel is looking towards the US, to either strike it or give Israel permission to strike itself. Striking Iran as you say isn't likely to bring back around the table, a table that the US left first.

I'm under the impression that US troops are already in Yemen at an airbase, as are UK troops, aiding the Saudi's with logistics among other things.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 6 2021 18:38 utc | 4

As all of us incl B know already, that Israel is and always has been pressuring the US to attack its (Israel's, that is) perceived or designated rivals in the Middle East. This is how Israel conducts war against its neighbours in order to keep them weak, by using the US military as its de facto mercenaries.

The only difference is that the Israeli government no longer has to pretend to its public that its stance is defensive. It is more than likely now that after more than 70 years, Israeli society has become so thoroughly brainwashed that it now demands and pressures its government and security forces into taking brazenly aggressive actions. This is probably not purely the work of Israeli elites and their servants in the military, society and fundamentalist Judaism over the decades: any nation that admires and associates with the US, and copies American mainstream culture as conducted by Hollywood, US media and corporations, ends up becoming corrupted and diseased.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 6 2021 18:38 utc | 5

It's all for internal consumption ... after all, "war is a racket" and primary people being bamboozled are always the internal populations whose taxes pay the exorbitant military/security budgets ... the internal enemy, as it were.

The problem, of course is that all the talk sometimes puts you in a position where you HAVE to put up or shut up ... the US is talking itself into that position in Ukraine and Taiwan now and it has long talked itself into that position in the middle east. They are completely "agreement incapable" here and I will be amazed if they can find their way out of this self-inflicted wound.

Posted by: Caliman | Dec 6 2021 18:42 utc | 6

The position of the Israeli security establishment isn`t news at all, they had been in favour of the JCPOA all along. It was Netanyahu and his Likud thugs that wanted the Iran deal to fail at any cost. The proponents of the Israeli deep state were at any given opportunity undermining Netanyahus position.

The overall situation is comparable to the USA. In Washington, too, it is the generals who are the moderates that advocate for diplomacy.

In every half-way normal society it`s the generals who tend to view the use of force as a viable option while it`s the politicions who also see the political, diplomatic, economic and social consequences and accordingly keep the generals at a short leash. In the USA and Israel it`s the opposite. The politicians are crazy, power-drunken ideologues and it`s the generals who push the breakes because they have a realistic understanding of the limits of military power.

Posted by: m | Dec 6 2021 18:52 utc | 7


"This past March the outgoing deputy head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service told the same newspaper...... “like seeking to transform the Iranians into Meretz,” an allusion to a left-wing Israeli political party".

These ugly zionist crackpots are having themselves on, as Gideon Levy pointed out in a recent Haaretz article,

There Is No Right or Left in Israel,
Just Zionism and non-Zionism:

"Last week, Angela Merkel expressed her admiration for the sustainability of Israel’s new coalition. Haaretz columnist Carolina Landsmann wonders, on this site, whether we have a duplicitous government or one which has uncovered the greatest deception of all times. Journalist Ron Cahlili avers that the ideological right and Zionist left are one and the same. All of them touched upon the big story, the one of the cat that’s come out of the bag: There is no left or right in Israel. The only ideological division is between Zionists, including nearly everyone, and non-Zionists, numbering much fewer.
The chancellor can therefore put her mind at rest. No miracle occurred when the current government was formed and Germany has nothing to learn from it. There was no “political accident” here, as coined by the prime minister. It’s easy to sustain the present coalition since it’s a coalition of consensus, without great gaps among its components. Likud (minus Netanyahu) and the ultra-Orthodox could join a wall-to-wall coalition, representing a wall-to-wall society.
This government will be remembered as one that exposed the great deception, even if inadvertently. It arose on the waves of the hatred felt towards Netanyahu, and it exists (and will continue to do so) on the basis of the underlying unity of its partners. If Merav Michaeli replaced Naftali Bennett tomorrow morning, no earthquake would occur. Other than a few changes in style, Israel would remain as it was.
The supposedly momentous tenure of the first national-religious prime minister is no harbinger of change. Not because Bennett has betrayed his ideology but because this situation concords amazingly well with the positions of the left-wing components of this government.
It’s not that the Zionist left is right-wing, or that the ideological right wing has leftist tendencies. And not all of them are opportunists, signifying the death of ideology. On the contrary, Israel has an ideology, and how! It is stronger than and overshadows all else. It’s called Zionism and it’s the reigning religion that unifies the nation. (Almost) everyone is a Zionist and everyone believes in Jewish supremacy in this country, including the territories it occupies.
Left and right are equal in their worship of the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet, whose role is the maintenance of the regime of Jewish supremacy by suppressing any opposition to it. When the incoming new chief of the Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, said that the security service is the bastion of democracy, he was right. Just like the Stasi, Bar’s role is to uphold the regime which, in the language of the Shin Bet and the people, is called a democracy, rather than a Jewish tyranny...."

The deception of the world continues...

"....And the truth is that there are not many countries in which ideology is still so critical; there are no democracies with a single tyrannical, dominant ideology. Israel is a Zionist state just as the Soviet Union was a Communist state. There too, there was no difficulty in cobbling together a government of moderate and extremist communists."

People around the world have come to the conclusion, this bloodthirsty tyranny not worth one more life or one more dollar defending.


Posted by: Paul | Dec 6 2021 19:39 utc | 8

Chutzpah
Threats hovering over
Iran
Russian
China
Why not give them appointment dates!
Just so that they know when to expect consequences!

Posted by: JPC | Dec 6 2021 19:41 utc | 9

"In the USA and Israel it`s the opposite. The politicians are crazy, power-drunken ideologues and it`s the generals who push the breakes because they have a realistic understanding of the limits of military power."

Precisely. Sadly, there is a whole generation of military (particularly in the upper, general officer ranks, but sadly it seems to be rotting downward), in the US at least, that seem to be barely glorified politicians, already plotting their post-retirement lobbying jobs. There are fairly famous examples of US military standing up to politicians and shutting them down, but I'm worried those days may be drawing to a close as the distinction between corrupt politician and corrupt military/industrial flotsam merge.

Posted by: J Swift | Dec 6 2021 19:42 utc | 10

What should, but does not, trouble the denizens of DC is, as B points out, that the US is waaaay over-committed militarly. "Helping" Israel start another war in the Middle-East could well end the US empire. And to those here chearing such an outcome, the event could well cause those, now in power, to bring forth a cataclysmic nuclear salvo to salve their wounded egos.

Nuland/Kagan inc. really kicked over the lantern with their Ukraine idiocy. Because of Nuland/Kagan inc's foolish megalomania the city is burning. China now has Russia's backing to attempt to reclaim the high-water mark of it's sovereignty over Asia...in particular, it's specious claim on Taiwan.

In the recent past, Russia was wary of China because of Mao's attempts to seize Russian territory back in the late 1960's. A move that Nixon supported with nuclear threats direct at the USSR. So, only through the great efforts of those clueless denizens of DC have we arrived back in a situation in which the US faces a two front war; but this time the shoe is on the other foot, this time the USA does not have the "arsenal of democracy" at it's back, no, that industrial strength now lies within China.

Those egging this on may care to think of the consequences of nuclear war. The idiocy of Clinton-inc, Bush-inc, Obama-inc, antiTrump-inc towards the Russians has finally come home to roost and Blinken was given a taste of what is to come by Lavrov if the idiocy won't stop. Blinken was caught short by Lavrov, threatening further, now almost entirely ineffective, sanctions is hardly a "manly" counter to a very real threat of war with Russia on it's home turf. The logistical situation for the US in Ukraine would be militarily laughable on it's own terms were it not coupled with the real probability of China using such a distraction to conquer Taiwan.

If only the denizens of DC would stop digging everybody's grave. There's a who class of people in DC that confuse being a big time brown-nose'er in school with...being the smartest person in the room, as Blinken's behavior surely proves.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 6 2021 20:00 utc | 11

What's the point of any 'deal' if it can be terminated as easily as it happened in 2018?

Unless there is some sort of penalty mechanism (which is, for penalizing the US, unrealistic), any 'deal' is bullshit.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Dec 6 2021 20:06 utc | 12

Sushi @1--

The fact that an entity known as Occupied Palestine even exists is an example of the gross failure of International Law which enabled a Colonial Entity to be established by secret treaty between UK and France that never consulted the local peoples. What exists is an abomination to all sensibilities of what's Right and Correct, and as a consequence a situation far worse than what existed in South Africa arose and continues to torment the world. Eventually, the Abomination will expire and some degree of normalcy will become possible in the region that hasn't existed for 100+ years.

Meanwhile, the continuing purge of Outlaw US Empire occupation forces from the region must continue, eventually including the abandonment of bases in Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar. Festering far too long is the Idlib and Kurdish situations that must be solved by the end of 2022 along with al-Tanf and the restoration of Syrian control over all its lands. And then there's the seemingly intractable Lebanon issue that's based in its Colonial Constitution that must be discarded and replaced with a reasonable method of governance.

None of the above has any bearing on the JCPOA. As I noted in my last comment on this topic, Iran was well served by JCPOA, but JCPOA wasn't allowed to fulfill the peaceful endgame it promised thanks to Obama and Trump. Biden of course continues in their wake and will get nowhere unless he completely destroys the illegal sanctions regime or it gets broken so often as to become an international joke--the latter seems far more likely to occur. And since the Outlaw US Empire's Congress is controlled by Warmongers and fools, I doubt anything civilized will emerge from that body.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 6 2021 20:11 utc | 13

Mao Cheng Ji @12--

You illustrate why Russia, China, and other nations deem the Outlaw US Empire to be "agreement incapable" since there's never any guarantee that any agreement won't be reneged upon, a behavior trait noted very early by Native Americans and is thus rather longstanding. It's an Outlaw after all. And a fugitive from justice that doesn't deserve any of its international standing. And as such, it has zero legitimacy to call for a summit on democracy when it's genuinely an Authoritarian State as proven by its own behavior. Ultimately, the only reason why its worth engaging in dialog is the old adage--Jaw Jaw is better than War War.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 6 2021 20:23 utc | 14

Recent story in jpost designed to kill JCPOA


https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/iran-news/iranian-brig-gen-urges-destruction-of-israel-prior-to-nuke-talks-687248
"Brig Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, on Saturday [ Nov 27, 2021] "We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world,” Shekarchi told the Iranian Students News Agency.""

I'm calling this BS. They have no source for this quote and Israeli journalists were not invited to an Iranian Students seminar and I cannot find this in Iranian media.

Since I would not believe a similarly unsourced claim by Iran about Israel, why should I believe this one?

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 6 2021 20:35 utc | 15

What would be the political outcome of an Israeli attack on Iran?

The IAF has to overfly several countries to be able to do that. From the south this includes Saudi Arabia and some key Emirates. Who would then find themselves suddenly classed as "enemies" of Iran. An uncomfortable position, as they are so close and Iran has a demonstrated ability to hit what it aims at. The Al-Thanis and various UAE monarchies/sheikdoms are not used to being physically in danger. (and not least from their own populations who would tend to support Iran - even IF they were not Shiite). They might have to overfly Jordan or Iraq as well. They would need refueling so Iraq the latter is quite likely.
*

Saudi itself is coming under fire from ballistic missiles (as today) from the Houthi. Which is one reason that Israel suggests targetting Yemen. They have a "working arrangement" and potential arms deals between them. The Saudis are losing in Yemen and would have already lost if they were not supported by the US and Israel arms sales.
The Israelis have been seen setting up a base on Socatra with the UAE for their attacks on tankers and other hostile moves south of Yemen (along the coastline towards Iran) shows that their priorities have changed. They may be represented in Djibouti or on nearby islands. (not sure)
***

From the northern side; Azerbaijan has definitely interested the Israelis. -mmmh, also the Turks, which complicates any air attack as Erdogan is just a lost soul, and as far as I can see, wants to be Calife in place of the Calife (for those who know about the BD's of Iznogood).
*****

One thing that would happen is a world wide regained interest in the Ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians and the extensive destruction of houses, and cemeteries. (one example; 50% of the houses in Silwan have just received destruction orders), and the outright theft of Palestinian property, land and agricultural assets (Tractors etc. They even stole donkeys and then set up a "charity" for caring for them!)
****

B>The actual attack
Iran is ready and waiting so the results might not be as extensive as Israel might want. Then there are those long range missiles to take into account.... and possible reactions involving Herzbollah, Hamas, then Syria, Lebanon and "uncle tom cobbly and all" etc. ie No end in sight.
****

The Israeli LEFT. (In this specific case I could possibly refer to them as Jewish, usually reserved for religion, as they identify as such...) I was quite surprised to find that there is one ....in London, in the UK Parliament. They are being harrased and "excluded" by Starmer wherever possible. (Another wannbe dictator). They seem quite reasonable people and some are pro-union. So there is still hope remaining that a similar counter to rabid Zionism might exist in Israel itself.
****

Posted by: Stonebird | Dec 6 2021 20:54 utc | 16

another stupid news announcement from the antagonists... who whudda thunk it? lol.... they can go fuck themselves... people need to tune that shit out..

Posted by: james | Dec 6 2021 21:10 utc | 17

Israel apparently thinks US leaders are stupid. They might be right.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Dec 6 2021 21:15 utc | 18

@15 CJC The Iranian Student News Agency has a website at https://en.isna.ir/

No mention of any interview with Abolfazi Shekarchi, which you would think they would trumpet as a media scoop.

But... no, only one article from 2018 regarding a boiler-plate statement by him after a terrorist attack.

I agree with you, this smells of cow excrement.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 6 2021 21:46 utc | 19

Israel apparently thinks US leaders are stupid. They might be right.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Dec 6 2021 21:15 utc | 18

"Israel" rides the tiger of the population brainwashed with a witches brew mix of paranoia, complacence and bellicosity. Leaders have to strive to be ueber-macho. The most routine victories are over Palestinian villagers, destructions, evictions etc., but there is no zazz there. Iran is the largest mark around, featured in the Bible (heavily garbled by the Modern Orthodox). The goal is clear to all, the strategy is clear to all: today, Washington, tomorrow Tehran.

That said, Iran is a hard nut to crack, and Pentagon is weary -- while many American generals may prattle like last morons, they know about disasters. Glory? Great idea, just not today. But who will tell the truth to Americans and Israelis? Great idea, just not today.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 6 2021 22:09 utc | 20

Imo, the "Israelis" are just reminding everyone who'll listen that they're VERY IMPORTANT and shouldn't be forgotten during negotiations re Iran sanctions. i.e attention seeking.

The most amusing aspect of this coverage is the following cite...

Russia’s chief negotiator in the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that “disappointment” in the talks “seems to be premature.”

“In multilateral diplomacy there is the rule: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So changes are possible as a matter of principle.”

Even though that principle is true of ANY negotiation, I love the fact that Ulyanov felt it necessary to remind the dumbass Yankees that that is the way Adults conduct themselves when negotiating.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 6 2021 22:13 utc | 21

@Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 6 2021 20:00 utc
China's "specious" claim on Taiwan? More like rock solid.
If you want a "specious" claim, why not look at the U.S.'s claim of Hawaii?

Posted by: Hal Duell | Dec 6 2021 22:33 utc | 22

This can eventually end up 2 ways. First one will be if America undergoes a Soviet style collapse and ends up unable to project force or subsidize the Israeli experiment and loses it's mojo for sanctions since it will lose its clout in international business and finance. Then Iran can relax, knowing the pressure is off.
The second will be that Iran's leadership comes to terms with the eternal blockade, realizes that idealism about nukes has no role in "Realpolitik" and goes ahead to build nukes, something it has ample engineering talent and industrial base to do quickly. After all the NoKos did it with a bereft economy. Iran could be up and running with compact nukes mounted on ballistic missiles in a year, two at most, and then there'd be no deal just like there ain't no deal with NoKo.

Posted by: erik | Dec 6 2021 22:58 utc | 23

erik@23 -

I wonder if you have read Dmitry Orlov? He has made a convincing case that that is exactly what is going to happen. He also makes a convincing case that we are currently 40-50% of the way there and rapidly gaining speed.

If you have not read him I highly recommend it.

Posted by: David F | Dec 6 2021 23:25 utc | 24

22, I agree with you, China's claim to Taiwan is as illegitimate as the US's legitimacy in Hawaii...or, for that matter, Israel's "historical" claim to Palestinian lands.

Having said that, the difference between China's claim to Taiwan and the US's claim in Hawaii is one of scale and potential for nuclear world war. Taiwan is the 17th richest nation in world and 57th in world by population. In spite of what some armchair generals believe here, WWIII is a genuine concern...should China decide to invade and conquer Taiwan.

Now 22, I get that your mind will negate the scale difference with ad hominem, endless other false equivalents...I can't stop that form of disagreeable form of disagreement, all I can do is honestly state my POV. However, I note for the record, anybody who troubles themselves enough to read my original post will clearly see that my POV does not, by any means, exculpate the USA's role in the tragic state of world affairs.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 6 2021 23:38 utc | 25

Trump was determined to show his deplorables that a great white hope could undo everything that the uppity black president (Obama) did. Unfortunately for exceptionals, Chump and his administration of cretins have done irremediable damage to America's geopolitical position in the world. The Donald was advocating for JCPOA withdrawal in 2015 at tea party rallies even before ardent neo-cons and zionists.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIDNonMDSo8

Companies like Boeing wouldn't mind going back to doing business in Iran. After all, 20 billions dollars and thousands of jobs in the United States is nothing to scoff at:
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/iran-deal-fallout-boeing-may-lose-20-billion-in-aircraft-deals.html

But, the final nail in the coffin was his dogged insistence on killing Qassem Soleiman. It was a god sent to Iran's revolutionary guard corp, an opportunity to showcase their inertial guidance and targeting systems to the world... This crucial mistake gave Iran an enormous prestige in the region, that no other country ever achieved. The Persians looked Uncle Sam right in the eye, and slapped em' right in the face. The only response was: "That didn't hurt at all, so no need to hit back." Stable genius was forced to back down to save face. Unprecedented coming from bellicose, racist, spiteful and fanatical elites, who relish every occasion to plunder (take their oil) and destroy defenceless countries. When Trump and the GOP come back to power in 2024 they will complete the demolition job. We're already hearing from super-patriots like Madison Cawthorn vowing to introduce bills to seize all chinese assets, once the GOP retakes control of congress and the senate.
https://news.yahoo.com/madison-cawthorn-vows-seize-every-170003873.html

The art of the deal or how to spite your face to make america great. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Posted by: Boss Tweet | Dec 6 2021 23:41 utc | 26

@ 8 Paul
Couldn't agree more!!

@ 11 Brennan
"In the recent past, Russia was wary of China because of Mao's attempts to seize Russian territory back in the late 1960's. A move that Nixon supported with nuclear threats direct at the USSR."

The CIA has long taken credit for that provocation that put the two then communist powers at each other's throats. No need to blame Mao.

It was the CIAs way of redeeming itself after the "Who lost China?" fiasco.

Posted by: Les7 | Dec 6 2021 23:45 utc | 27

#23 and #24:

Up to now, I had thought that Iran had decided back in the early 00's that being a "threshold" state was actually less trouble and almost as protective as being a full nuclear weapons state, with zero chance of catastrophic accidents.

Unfortunately, the "west" cannot, as always, take yes for an answer and has demanded total obeisance as the only option. I still think that, as long as they are not actually attacked and as long as they can figure their way out of the sanctions, they will stay true to the above decision and not go fully nuke ... stay a few screwdriver turns short, as it were. But USrael is really pushing it ...

Posted by: Caliman | Dec 6 2021 23:46 utc | 28

There are a couple of other factors not covered regarding Israel and its intentions.

i) For many years, it has had close relations with the Azerbaijan regime, to the extent that Azerbaijan has been described as an Israeli aircraft carrier. The Israelis have also established an intelligence gathering station in part of Nagarno-Karabakh nearly annexed by Azerbaijan. This base id close to Iran's northern border. This may mean that any IAF attack would fly through Iran rather than in and out.

ii) The Israeli regime has given a green light to the rabid messianic settlers to take over the al Aqsa mosque. This action will probably take place whilst the world is distracted by another major event - Ukrops attacking Russia for example. The destruction would then be a fait d'acompli.

It looks like the Israeli regime has some plans to exploit any sufficiently large distraction. As far as the JCPOA goes, it would prefer anything to a peaceful outcome with sanctions lifted against Iran. What the current US president won't do, the next possibly will is their m/o. They must know that the US is on economic life support, hence the urgency to get the US to do maximum damage in the time available.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Dec 6 2021 23:51 utc | 29

I remind barflies yet again that JCPOA cannot be "killed" or otherwise done away with as it will remain in existence as a UNSCR that lifted all previous UNSC sanctions on Iran and as such was a success for Iran. What was "killed" by the West was their own reputations as partners capable of being trusted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 6 2021 23:51 utc | 30

B.

If that kind of announcement is just pr for local consumption, it speaks volumes regarding the irredeemable mindset of the locals.

It reminds me of one image from the July war, 2006.

Pre July, in Lebanon there was a massive youth movement seeking reconciliation and peace in the area.

When the image of a rabbi leading groups of 6-12 yr old children in prayers to 'bless' the one and two ton bombs being dropped - on civilian apartments- the youth population in that Lebanese movement were outraged and emotionally crushed and despairing. How, they reasoned, could you reconcile with such ingrained hatred?

That is the generation/population that the leadership now addresses with such outrageous claims.

Posted by: Les7 | Dec 6 2021 23:59 utc | 31

I know that most of you know this, but just a reminder: The US national security state requires enemies. Currently there are a half dozen or so, led by Russia and China, the "B team being North Korea and Iran, and a few others including Venezuela and Cuba. The necessary enemies are nicely spread around so that all the regional US combatant commanders have reason to ask for and receive Pentagon attention served by the presence of military and naval units playing their games. That's the system, and it works quite well for the military-industrial complex.
On January 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower in his brief farewell address said:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be might, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. . . . American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . . This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7 2021 0:02 utc | 32

@karlof 30
re: I remind barflies yet again that JCPOA cannot be "killed" or otherwise done away with as it will remain in existence as a UNSCR that lifted all previous UNSC sanctions on Iran and as such was a success for Iran. What was "killed" by the West was their own reputations as partners capable of being trusted.

The JCPOA can't be killed but it can avoid any meaning, just like the UN Donbas resolution and others. Khamanei was against the JCPOA from the beginning because he didn't trust the US, but he went along with it to please the politics of the time. Those days are over. Iran has regained its sovereignty and hopefully will keep it. There is no reason for Iran, carrying the legacy of ancient Persia, to be treated like a child, required to do this and that and then to be spanked anyhow. It's a proud country which has survived while bearing worse treatment, outside of full-on war, that any other country has borne. Its behavior is a model for others also treated badly by the US, like China. There is no logical basis for the JCPOA and thankfully it is being cast aside.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7 2021 0:14 utc | 33

Excuse me, it's Khamenei. I get him mixed up with the other guy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7 2021 0:17 utc | 34

@ Don Bacon | Dec 7 2021 0:14 utc | 33 responding to karlof1 about JCPOA and other international "agreements"

I see this all as reflective of the Rules Based Order going on behind the curtain being forced into the public eye by those in favor of International Law/Multi-Polar Order.

Saying folks are not agreement capable is a polite way of saying they are bullies that demand their Rules Based Order

And of course, on one side you have sovereign nations and on the other you have these private actors with their jackboot of private finance on the neck of most of the nations of the world forcing the bought puppets of these nations to spew bulling prose and fight to maintain control of this sick form of social organization by every moral or immoral mean possible....as we are seeing

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 7 2021 0:28 utc | 35

@24 David F | Dec 6 2021 23:25 utc

Indeed, and of course Pakistan has the knowhow and the goods.
The Iranians have hobbled themselves with an 'honorable' face-saving edict (fatwa) stipulating dropping nuclear bombs an evil act etc.

Well, of course dropping such things on populated areas is -- and twice in Japan c. 1945 it was done. No one has dared since, and it is likely, never will. Other less dramatic means are more convenient and available.

The Iranians confuse building such technology for the global kabuki theater games and actualy using it on the field of battle. If they never drop one then there is no evil done. Every state entity since the end of WW2 has 'done no evil' in this regard.

Too difficult to judge the wisdom of the strategies being followed by Iran in this regard. However, it is clear they are avoiding the resonsibility of putting a gun on the table while at the same time wanting a seat and to be taken seriously. Has echos of Gandhi and his spinning wheels pretending to run a nation.

In the real world, nothing attracts the pathological bully more than the helpless victim act. Iran has excelled in presenting victim-hood while desiring to be the boss of the local 'hood'. While this paradox exists little will change, imo.

The system and forces against them since Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his British gang of thieves were given the boot in the late 1970s are the same (in nature) as those that have persecuted Haiti since the slave rebellions and overthrow of French colonial tyranny.

Btw, it came to my attention way back in the late 1990's that various efforts were being made to research Iranian headspace/culture for schizmogenesis potential. Up to 5 layers of universities were used to disguise the probes. One of the findings/conclusions (of strategic value) was the strong self opinions held in Iran of being highly civilized and morally superior. To be seen as barbarians was a cultural taboo to avoid. Well, here we are -- and it seems this cultural angle is being exploited to the max. They appear, infact, whether they like it or not, to be part of, and hobbled by, a triangle of mutual self-appointed exceptionalism (values) that involves the USA and the occupying entity in Palestine.

While this 'precious' cultural illusion, which they all share, is the lure then Iran will never find peace at the international table of atomic gun owners. Or be taken seriously in the international rooms of strategic direction -- including the SCO past their value for Russia and China in annoying the USA.

Posted by: imo | Dec 7 2021 0:45 utc | 36

Don Bacon @33--

I agree with you about Iran not being a child and that JCPOA has served its purpose from Iran's POV. The big Deal is what Martyanov and The Saker have been writing about since 2018--the Outlaw US Empire's military ability is no longer #1, nor is it #2, and in some areas it's not even #4 or #5. It very much resembles the UK after WW2 having lost the ability to fund its overseas empire despite still retaining most of it and its military, and while still supporting a Filthy Rich Royalty unwilling to spend one pence on the nation that supports it--the equivalent within the Outlaw US Empire being Wall Street's Neoliberal Parasites. The nuclear triad is the only military area in which the Outlaw US Empire can continue to be termed a superpower. Otherwise, it's just as tapped-out as the UK was in October 1945, although it retains enough natural resources to keep its domestic economy from completely collapsing.

IMO, the most important question to be asked is what comes next? There'll be no deal with Iran nor will there be any military strike. Imperial forces are to be removed from Iraq by 31 December, so where does that leave its illegals in Syria? Russia won't attack Ukraine nor will Biden force Kiev to obey Minsk, so will we see a repeat of 2008? And as I've already opined, I see nothing of substance coming from tomorrow's Biden-Putin video chat. I see China-Taiwan as outside the current Russia-USA context. And what of the outcome from today's Putin-Modi agreements for the Empire's ambitions? Certainly they're deterred to some degree. Then there's Russia-EU/NATO which I see as dormant but not yet dead. Perhaps events will remain frozen until the Olympics begin, which seems to be a favorite moment for the Outlaw US Empire to initiate hostilities. And that moment will arrive soon enough.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 7 2021 0:58 utc | 37

imo @36--

Every state entity since the end of WW2 has 'done no evil' in this regard.

Millions of "Down Winders" and Tens of Thousands of Pacific Islanders will vehemently disagree with you as will those who suffer from "Persian Gulf Syndrome" or are Iraqi parents of severely deformed children all courtesy of nuclear weapons related activities. Soon, the entire Colombia River basin will be contaminated thanks to the Manhattan Project and its continuation that continues today at Hanford.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 7 2021 1:08 utc | 38

# 25 S. Brennan

Your argument that China should accept Japanese and US claims that Taiwan is not part of China seems to totally ignore the reasons why the Chinese find such claims to be totally immoral. The only reason why Taiwan is not currently governed by the Chinese central government is because foreigners, starting with the British and later including other countries, most notably Japan and the US, committed a long, long series of massive war crimes against China and its people. That's why Taiwan's current government serves the US and Japanese, rather than the Chinese. China will never forget the Century of Humiliation. China will never forget the Japanese invasions which led to the Japanese conquest and colonization of Taiwan, or the way the US meddled in the Chinese Civil War by supporting the so called "Nationalists" after they fled to Taiwan. They can never forget these things because so many millions of Chinese died as a direct consequence of these acts of foreign aggression. So they are utterly contemptuous of foreigners like you who pretend to have the moral authority to tell them that Taiwan is not part of China. As the Chinese told the US government, "You do not speak from a position of strength." And if you want to claim that all these western and Japanese crimes against China should be ignored because they happened a long time ago and Taiwan is now a "democracy", that's just another example of why China is not very impressed by either the West's idea of morality or by its doctrine of "democracy". As far as the Chinese are concerned, their government listens to the people in a way that the governments of the US and Taiwan do not.

Posted by: Fnord13 | Dec 7 2021 1:24 utc | 39

@ S. Brennan 25.

If China’s claim to Taiwan is specious, what does that make the U.K.’s claim to the Isle of White, let alone the Falkland Islands? Taiwan has been part of China for many centuries, the only reason it’s in contest is because the losers to Mao fled there in 1949 and the U.S. not wanting to recognize the C.C.P. decided to recognize the govt. in Taiwan as the official govt .of ALL of China from 1949 until 1972. Which meant that Taiwan was recognized as a part of China before Nixon decided to restart diplomatic relations with China and subsequently recognized Beijing as the govt. of all of China including Taiwan under the One China Principal.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Dec 7 2021 1:24 utc | 40

The gibbering globetrotting genocidal Gujarati gangster Modi regime's pet media in India were claiming Iran "was waving the white flag in Vienna".

Of course these same media claimed Ghani's Volkssturm of housewives and professional criminals would hold off the Taliban and that "world anger" at China would cause everyone to move their industries to Modistan.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 7 2021 1:27 utc | 41

I believe for last 19 years the value of nuclear negotiations with west for Iran was tp buy time, for advancing her enrichment technology, centrifuges and also to advance her military defensive means to protect her sovereignty and Instalation. This plan and performance IMO completely fits in Iranian mentality and behavior. Now that Iran has in fact mastered advance enrichment technology as well as robust modern missile, drone and air defense military technology to defend her and her allies installations and sovereignty through an understandable MAD scenario, Iran has shifted her focus in the negotiations to economic benefits and opening, the new focus of the negations for Iran is to make sure she can now fully enjoy the economic benefits of JCPOA.
“Iranian MFA spokesman repeated today we will not accept anything less than full implementation of JCPOA and we will not agree to anything more than 2015 JCPOA period.”

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 7 2021 2:33 utc | 42

Claiming that Taiwan is not part of China because it was never 'ruled' by the CCP is sophistry. Using that logic, any U.S. state could declare independence in the next election claiming they were never 'ruled' by the incoming President.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 3:35 utc | 43

* Did India ever laid claims on Sri Lanka, which is 4 times closer to its mainland than Taiwan is to Chinese main land and was on their ancient maps?

* Little Israel has plenty of reasons to be scared in that neighborhood, particularly toward an Ayatollah regime that religiously doesn't mind sacrificing a good part of its own population in a nuclear conflict, a la Mao.

Better apply some comparative logic now and than to stay believable outside your small wagon circles.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 7 2021 4:27 utc | 44

Sushi @ 1: IMHO, international "law" never existed. Sure nations have to ratify anything agreed to at the UN but there's no obligation for nations to ratify it especially if they oppose it. As for raising Israeli bad behavior at the UNSC, it's a complete waste of time since the US and friends will exercise their veto power again.


Mark Thomason | Dec 6 2021 21:15 utc | 18: They are as Netanyahu mentioned years ago; otherwise, they wouldn't be so belligerent.


Hal Duell | Dec 6 2021 22:33 utc | 22: Couldn't agree more.


S Brennan | Dec 6 2021 23:38 utc | 25: Have you forgotten that the Chinese civil war is still on going? They don't even have an armistice like the Koreans do. Which faction you support is rather irrelevant. Let them settle this on their own.

Posted by: Ian2 | Dec 7 2021 6:15 utc | 45

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 7 2021 4:27 utc | 44

1. Actually yes they do just like they do to Nepal, Pakistan, and even Afghanistan.

2. So make peace to their neighbors and let the JCPOA succeed? Unless you believe that Israel that is literally a colonial constructs securities is more important than their neighbors that is actually locals that they can justify every unprovoked aggression against them be it assassination lf their civilians or outright bombings.

Let me ask you. Did you, India got to bomb your neighbors Pakistan and assassinated their civilians at will and get away with it? No of course you don't Pakistan has made you pay the same prices for damages similarly to Hezbollah made Israeli paid the same damage if they transgress their lines. What's the results? Peace.
What was the results of Mutually assured destruction? Peace.

Posted by: Lucci | Dec 7 2021 7:23 utc | 46

Lucci | Dec 7 2021 7:23 utc | 46

"Actually yes they do just like they do to Nepal, Pakistan, and even Afghanistan"

Link to any such statement by an Indian PM please?


"What was the results of Mutually assured destruction? Peace. "

Only between rational leaders. Ideological zealots are mad so don't care about MAD on Earth as they believe they will be rewarded in Jannah, Heaven etc.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 7 2021 7:33 utc | 47

Antonym, the answer to your first question is "Yes, India did". The Indian government offered financial and military support to the Tamil Tigers rebels in Sri Lanka, almost certainly with the goal of setting up a puppet state in Tiger-controlled territory. That didn't end well. Incidentally, the official line from the U.S. between 1945 and 1972 was that Taiwan was a part of China -- to be precise, Taiwan was the island inhabited by the temporarily-exiled Chinese government. Only after Nixon's visit did they do a flip-flop and declare that Taiwan was the island temporarily separated from the mainland ruled by the Chinese government. Now they're flipflopping again and saying that Taiwan ought to be permanently separated. We should not allow our minds to be ruled by such opportunists.

Your claim that the ragheads of Tehran have no regard for human life puts you roughly in the same category as General LeMay.

Apart from this, I have my doubts about b's final observation. I do not think that Biden is in control of U.S. foreign policy even as much as Trump was. "Reckless" is an understatement when considering the madness of the neoconservatives. They're quite capable of starting a war with Iran -- which they believe they can win -- in addition to ratcheting up pressure on Beijing under the impression that eventually the yellow peril will buckle and submit.

Posted by: MFB | Dec 7 2021 7:38 utc | 48

India has nuclear weapons since 1974 and felt safe from aggression.
In 1999, one year after Pakistan detonated its first 5 nuclear devices simultaneously in Baluchistan is started the Kargil war with India in mid winter using conventional troops disguised as "militants" plus Islamists.

Jannah was more attractive than peace on Earth. MAD hat(t)ers for you.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 7 2021 7:42 utc | 49

@ MFB | Dec 7 2021 7:38 utc | 48

You conveniently forget to mention what happened next: PM Rajiv Gandhi send an IPKF to Sri Lanka to help the Sri Lankan army quell these fanatic Tamil rebels. Later on he was assassinated for that in India by a suicide bomber team. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Peace_Keeping_Force

Today India and Sri Lanka have good neighborly relations. Same for those with the Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 7 2021 7:49 utc | 50

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 6 2021 18:30 utc | 3

Insane? Yes. But not in their own minds.

Piece-of-shit? Yes. But not in their own eyes.

Lacking common sense? They have a calculus of their own.

Israel uses Americans to die fighting Iran.

US leaders agree for Americans to be so used.

I would say they are both evil.

Unspeakably evil.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Dec 7 2021 8:49 utc | 51

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 6 2021 20:11 utc | 13 -- "The fact that an entity known as Occupied Palestine even exists is an example of the gross failure of International Law which enabled a Colonial Entity to be established by secret treaty between UK and France that never consulted the local peoples."

That was another ugly example of might makes right. The same nonchalant dismissal of local peoples (by extreme prejudice) made it possible for North America to produce "leaders" who organise "democracy summits" to lecture the world on how "normal nations" ought to behave.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Dec 7 2021 9:18 utc | 52


Posted by: Les7 | Dec 6 2021 23:45 utc | 27

"The CIA has long taken credit for that provocation that put the two then communist powers at each other's throats. No need to blame Mao.
It was the CIAs way of redeeming itself after the "Who lost China?" fiasco."

Thanks for your reply, Levy is spot on and nails it. A dominant state ideology is a dictatorship.

Good observation Les , these CIA manipulators think they are the masters of the universe, that is hubris, and remember hubris is always fatal. Back to school for the manipulators, they have created a tar baby for themselves.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 7 2021 10:45 utc | 53

RE: Posted by b at 17:47 UTC | Comments (53)

“Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea will push during their meetings this week in Washington with senior Biden administration officials for the United States to carry out a military strike on Iranian targets “

All the world is a stage and emulation/simulation is the “highest form of respect”.

Would be bullies often seek others to hold them back in order to maintain their reputation by “If we were not held back we would have done it, but we didn't want to cause problems for our friends”.

Like in dancing, you just need timing.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 7 2021 11:15 utc | 54

The way small Israel is able to control and bully the big Western nations is astonishing. The spoiled child of the West is able to do and say outrageous things with no adverse consequence.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 7 2021 11:51 utc | 55

RE: Posted by: Paul | Dec 7 2021 10:45 utc | 53

“"The CIA has long taken credit for that provocation that put the two then communist powers at each other's throats. “

In lateral analysis the decision of causal start point is always a weakness, as are the decision of evaluation end points and trajectories.

A useful start point is 1971, a useful trajectory one consequences of “taking credit for the provocation that put the “then communist powers” at each others throat”, and an evaluation end point of 7th December 2021 – today.

In 1971 when self-described magicians turned gold into paper, Japan was among the most aggreived by such alchemy, the opponents “taking credit at least eventually”.

By 1971 some realised that “The Soviet Union” was not sustainable due to various factors and accelerated preparations “...to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback.”

In 1973 representatives of the zaibatsu in Japan and the Politburo of “The Soviet Union” met to discuss developing The Trans-Siberian railway, the port of Nahodka in Primorsky Krai, with a second phase of connections from Honshu via Hokkaido to Primorsky Krai, all “financed” with paper which had been fashioned from gold.

Despite advice the Politburo decided to develop BAM (Baikal-Amur railroad) for “security reasons” in light of the Amur war, and the sum of some engaged in accelerated preparations for the transcendence of “The Soviet Union” increased.

In 1978 the Politburo of “The Soviet Union” was invited to perform roles of “Socialist solidarity” in Afghanistan which despite advice they decided to accept but blotted their stay from inception by resorting to “de-capitation”, thereby further increasing the sum of some engaged in accelerated preparations for the transcendence of “The Soviet Union”, including but not limited to, appearing to award an umbrella to Mr. Gorbachov and others – although I don't remember Mr. Brzezinsky and others seeking attribution for the increasing sum of some engaged in accelerated preparations

One attribution that the opponents sought and evangelise is “We won the Cold War”.

The opponents are often prone to premature ejaculations and phantom pregnacies.

The resort to “childish bubblings and hopes as functions of facility” are inherent in “the culture”.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 7 2021 12:30 utc | 56

MFB | Dec 7 2021 7:38 utc | 48

Apart from this, I have my doubts about b's final observation. I do not think that Biden is in control of U.S. foreign policy even as much as Trump was.

We know where he gets his inspiration.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 7 2021 13:03 utc | 57

"MagdaTam @56 the Politburo decided to develop BAM (Baikal-Amur railroad)"

Did a quick lookup of BAM. This is the ultimate test for global warming. Wikipedia claims that if this portion of the permafrost melts, that BAM will sink into the underlying bog. I hope not. I find it interesting that permafrost is so far south of the arctic circle. The line looks like it runs through Russia's midpoint.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 13:07 utc | 58

Antonym, claims over areas are not about distance but about identity. Taiwan has been under Chinese rule and settlement since Koxinga defeated the Dutch in 1683. If it's not part of China, then perhaps we should recognize Holland as the ruling authority.

I don't want a mainland invasion to seize governance of Taiwan. It's just that we have no business choosing their identity. If we insist on declaring it a separate country then we will crush any future electoral movement that chooses to join w/mainland China accusing them of being a fifth column. We have no business declaring which province still is or still is not part of China

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 13:16 utc | 59

What is America's main objective? If it is to contain China then it cannot do it with just the West, it needs as many allies as possible. Its current position of being hard on Iran & Russia simply pushes them towards China. Will America change tactics and try to get everyone on their side?

Posted by: Mighty Drunken | Dec 7 2021 13:19 utc | 60

Trump was determined to show his deplorables that a great white hope could undo everything that the uppity black president (Obama) did. Unfortunately for exceptionals, Chump and his administration of cretins have done irremediable

Posted by: Boss Tweet | Dec 6 2021 23:41 utc | 26

I disagree with "irremediable". From my perspective, the western block entered a long period of slow decline, and Trump did not change the trajectory. The antics of Trump showed that even in somewhat reduced state, America can break agreements and murder with no patina of "multilateralism" so favored by liberals. The shows like Democracy Summit are unnecessary.

Nevertheless, in the medium perspective, those multilateralist shows and the apparatus that coordinates "responsible media that propagate correct facts and commentaries" remain useful. Hard to tell for how long.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7 2021 13:35 utc | 61

Did a quick lookup of BAM. This is the ultimate test for global warming. Wikipedia claims that if this portion of the permafrost melts, that BAM will sink into the underlying bog. I hope not. I find it interesting that permafrost is so far south of the arctic circle. The line looks like it runs through Russia's midpoint.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 13:07 utc | 58

Permafrost extends to northern Mongolia. BAM seems close to the edge, I checked two locations, one has yearly mean temperature -0.2 C, barely enough for permafrost, the second -3 C, enough till 2050, I guess. More importantly, BAM goes through mountain areas, and I would guess that it avoids boggy bottomlands because they get flooded, so after thawing, the underlying ground will not turn to bog, with some exceptions. Thus normal track maintenance should suffice, and the exceptions can be handled with more work.

The most important for the survival of BAM is if its use gives sufficient profits to maintain it properly. There are large mining projects along the way, plus it offers a nice shortcut on the way from Pacific to Europe, so one can be optimistic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7 2021 14:21 utc | 62

RE: Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 13:07 utc | 58

“Wikipedia claims ..”

There is a political adage – tell as much of the truth that you can, since few will believe you – which Wikipedia consistently attempts to not observe.

One of the lateral trajectories of nuclear physics was through “climate change” since in various definitions atomic weapons facilitate climate change.

Science is a continual co-operative process of transcendence whose variables include, but are not limited to, trajectories and velocities.

In the period from 1970 to 1973 the lateral trajectories of nuclear physics and their derived products were less fruitful perceived than they are in 2021.

However this did not preclude their inclusion in some “stratregic analyses” made in 1973, but became an illustration of “tell as much of the truth as you can” particularly when the target audience
was primarily limited to the remnants of Mr. Stalin's “Red experts” sometimes known as the Politburo, which increased the sum of some who became engaged in “accelerated preparations “.

From at least 1970 onwards the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America” emulated this practice of increasing the sum of some who became engaged in “accelerated preparations” through other trajectories.

In some coercive social relations the seeking of attribution is often encouraged, whilst in some co-operative relations agreements can be reached to not seek attribution, but to be informed by Mr. Schrodinger's observation that phenomena do not need to be perceived to exist.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 7 2021 14:45 utc | 63

The US has been carrying out strikes on Iranians in Syria and Iraq for a long time. Without any retaliation (at least known by the public). I highly doubt that a strike on Iranians in Yemen will be any different.

Posted by: Bima Grump | Dec 7 2021 14:49 utc | 64

Posted by: Bima Grump | Dec 7 2021 14:49 utc | 64

Except they're not actually against Iran but to each respective locals Syrian and Iraqi. There's only one notable strike in Iraq where US directly targeted Iranian general itself where they do retaliated directly against US base there.

Just because US officials saying they're hitting Iranian it doesn't mean they actually do targeted Iran.

Posted by: Lucci | Dec 7 2021 15:52 utc | 65

re: The foremost targets would likely be U.S. troops in Iraq.

Iran has many target options in the Gulf area, closer than western Iraq, over 40,000 troops plus dependents, which is why the US military has never attacked Iran.
from Reuters:
BAHRAIN 5,000
QATAR 10,000
SAUDI ARABIA 2,500
KUWAIT 14,500
IRAQ 6,000
UAE 5,500 . .here

As for Iran, it's (justifiably) moving on beyond the punitive JCPOA.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7 2021 17:00 utc | 66

Exactly 60...the denizens of DC, our "leadership" live in world divorced from reality, they believe own concocted narratives. If there is a future, [and they alone put the matter into question], they, the denizens of DC will be seen as cruel fools with ridiculous delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 7 2021 17:32 utc | 67

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 6 2021 20:00 utc | 11

China now has Russia's backing to attempt to reclaim the high-water mark of it's (sic) sovereignty over Asia...in particular, it's (sic) specious claim on Taiwan.
...
China using such a distraction to conquer Taiwan.

"specious", "conquer" ??

Perhaps this quote will help you :

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Dec 7 2021 18:02 utc | 68

Well 68, if there is one thing the internet has taught me; commentators who pedantically announce that they know my mind are, less interested in the truth than showing their superiority. Now that you've established that you are the superior mind, can we stick to policy?

For clarity's sake, here is what I meant with the words.

spe·cious:
adjective: specious
superficially plausible, but actually wrong.
"a specious argument"
misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive.

con·quer:
verb:
overcome and take control of (a place or people) by use of military force.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 7 2021 18:20 utc | 69

This definitely bears repeating, often Ô beloved

# 25 S. Brennan

Your argument that China should accept Japanese and US claims that Taiwan is not part of China seems to totally ignore the reasons why the Chinese find such claims to be totally immoral. The only reason why Taiwan is not currently governed by the Chinese central government is because foreigners, starting with the British and later including other countries, most notably Japan and the US, committed a long, long series of massive war crimes against China and its people. That's why Taiwan's current government serves the US and Japanese, rather than the Chinese. China will never forget the Century of Humiliation. China will never forget the Japanese invasions which led to the Japanese conquest and colonization of Taiwan, or the way the US meddled in the Chinese Civil War by supporting the so called "Nationalists" after they fled to Taiwan. They can never forget these things because so many millions of Chinese died as a direct consequence of these acts of foreign aggression. So they are utterly contemptuous of foreigners like you who pretend to have the moral authority to tell them that Taiwan is not part of China. As the Chinese told the US government, "You do not speak from a position of strength." And if you want to claim that all these western and Japanese crimes against China should be ignored because they happened a long time ago and Taiwan is now a "democracy", that's just another example of why China is not very impressed by either the West's idea of morality or by its doctrine of "democracy". As far as the Chinese are concerned, their government listens to the people in a way that the governments of the US and Taiwan do not.


Twas Fnord13 | Dec 7 2021 1:24 utc | 39 wot done it ! Respect

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Dec 7 2021 20:01 utc | 70

70,

You are right to rely on repetition, as the saying goes:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it"

China did not have a presence in Taiwan until AFTER the Europeans and then, only in the 17th century. It was first conquered by main-land Chinese that were the losing side of a civil war, not the central government; and that occurs shortly before the turn of the 19th century. The formal mainland Chinese government occupied Taiwan for a shorter period of time than the English occupied Ireland.

Can somebody explain to me why colonialism is fine & dandy so long as it's non-Europeans who are engaged in the oppression of self-government? My family, having been expelled from my homeland by imperial colonialists, I resent ALL colonialist and have supported self-rule across time and across the globe. If Puerto Rico votes to be a free state, God bless 'em; Taiwan belongs to the main-landers in the same way that Cuba belongs to the US or Spain.

Why are so many for the involuntary imposition of colonial rule?

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 7 2021 22:04 utc | 71

19th century should have been 18th

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 7 2021 22:05 utc | 72

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 7 2021 13:16 utc | 59

Having long known Taiwan and visited the country three times, I can tell you that over seventy years of separation from the mainland have fostered an unmistakable Taiwanese identity.

On the one hand, the Taiwanese see themselves as entirely of Chinese extraction with close ties to China, especially historical and often personal, but do not see themselves as Chinese. In this respect, they are similar to the Anglophone Canadians, who are most emphatically not English, in spite of centuries of colonization, or the French Swiss, who are closely tied culturally and geographically to France but most emphatically not French.

They have preserved the use of the traditional characters in writing (which the mainland abandoned in favor of simplified characters, making it impossible for the mainland Chinese to read the inscriptions that are an integral part of Chinese art, although the Taiwanese can mostly decipher the simplified characters). Further, they have the Imperial Palace art collection (which they took with them when they fled Nanking, the capital in 1949), one of the biggest art collections in the world (it rivals the Louvre and the Hermitage) and by far the biggest collection of Chinese art anywhere, going back 7,000 years.

On the other hand, the island is so different from the mainland in so many ways, that it is indisputably a different country with a different society. A major part of its identity, both collectively and politically, is that it is the Republic of China, founded in 1911, thus part of a political entity going back 110 years, and has never known the communist revolution, least of all the convulsions that engulfed the mainland during the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward.

It is one of the richest countries in the world, on par with Switzerland, with one of the highest overall standards of living and highest quality of life (by the Human Development Index), with one of the best educated populations, where English is widely used, connecting the Taiwanese to the rest of the world with ease.

Nixon & C° had no business interfering in their identify. That should have been left to them and the mainland to work out. Ideally, China should have been Taiwan's closest ally and protector. U.S. guarantee of Taiwanese independence was a solution to a problem that the U.S. guarantee of Taiwanese independence created. Now, the U.S. is using Taiwan as a pawn, and the current Taiwanese president is stupidly going along with it.

In the end, if one rejects the Empire's rules-based order based on the Empire's whims and fancies and believes in international law, the foundation of the latter is the United Nations Charter, which guarantees peoples' right to self-determination.

Posted by: RJPJR | Dec 7 2021 22:16 utc | 73

Anther aspect of Taiwan that distinguishes it markedly from the mainland is that it was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945, well over two generations and highly formative years for the people's identity, during which it was built up into what we like to call a modern society. The Japanese, already one of the most intellectually and technologically advanced societies in the world, made a deep imprint. The central city of Taipei (comparable to Manhattan in New York) was rebuilt, built and extended by the Japanese as a major port and administrative node, for they assumed that it would thenceforth be a permanent part of Japan. It still has an unmistakably Japanese character. There is nothing to compare with it in China. The arrival of an overlord class and their hangers-on in 1949 changed little of this for the overwhelming majority of the population.

The use of the traditional letters in writing is of immense importance since language is the primary means of cultural expression, and, in a literate society (Taiwan is one of the most literate in the world), one's means of written expression is a major element of one's identity, both individual and collective. In this regard, the Taiwanese can no more relate to China than the Creole-speaking Haitians can relate to France. (This comparison could be carried one step further, if one wishes...)

Posted by: RJPJR | Dec 7 2021 22:34 utc | 74

S Brennan | Dec 7 2021 22:04 utc | 71

No arguements, no evidence then ? Just mmmwwehh ?
Good nignt ye wee scunner.

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Dec 7 2021 23:49 utc | 75

@71 & 73 All your justifications are irrelevant. China cannot tolerate a US base on its doorstep.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2021 0:43 utc | 76

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2021 0:43 utc | 76

For real, the revisionists can craft as many narrative justifications as can be fabricated until the end of time, but deep down they know the same basic truth; any separatist state that wants to make a defacto split permanent from a separatee unwilling to part must do so through victory in a war. The recent surge in excuse-making by Sunflower-era Taiwanese revisionists for why "Taiwan was ackshually independent all along" is merely narrative distraction from this inconvenient truth, or just a way to get the Americans to fight that war entirely on their behalf.

Posted by: J D | Dec 8 2021 1:57 utc | 77

Far from being a leader of the phony "Free World," the American Empire is the world's leading war criminal nation. By light years.

Wars of aggression in fact are a foundational value of America as a country and as a people since 1776, as the USA was founded, based, and built as a White colonizer nation--past and present.

However, America is also a cowardly war criminal nation.

Americans love war--provided that war can be conducted with minimal US casualties-—preferably conducted by drone strikes or bombing campaigns with non-Americans mostly serving as imperial cannon fodder/defenders of democracy.

So just as America is unlikely to wage *direct* war against Russia or China, so too will the Americans hesitate to wage direct war against Iran--as the cost would be very painful for the USA and entail dead Americans throughout the broader Middle East.

And if there is one thing that will neuter American war lust, it is dead American stormtroopers coming home in flag-draped “transfer tubes.”

Instead, the Americans (and their allied crime partners) will continue to do what they do best: wage cowardly Hybrid Wars involving the sponsorship of proxy insurgents, political balkanization/destabilization campaigns, economic siege warfare, and massive media propaganda for all the freedom-loving sheeple to swallow.

This is America’s preferred way of war against Iran, against China, and against Russia-—the coward’s way of war.

Then again, with a massive economic meltdown looming and a low-intensity civil war brewing in the Disunited States, America may decide to go for an Israeli-style Sampson Option and take the entire world down with it....

Posted by: ak74 | Dec 8 2021 4:59 utc | 78

RE: Posted by: ak74 | Dec 8 2021 4:59 utc | 78

“ an Israeli-style Sampson Option “

During a meeting in Obninsk in 1993 which included discussions on Mutually Assured Destruction in “changed circumstances”, some from Israel and “The United States of America” alluded to Sampson options and achieved approximate responses including “That would make some people happy.”

From at least 1970 onwards some practitioners in areas of “nuclear physics” including but not limited to “climate change”, nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, had established the notions of nuclear winter and approximate loads required to facilitate that.

This informed analyses of Mr. Reagan's Star Wars Initiative and contingent strategic nuclear policies of “The Soviet Union” - but not in the way that their opponents attempted/attempt to describe it.

The strategic nuclear policies of The Russian Federation have been updated and published in the last year or so.

The updates have mostly been in the conditions that would apply in response to actions by opponents.

These were communicated once more to representatives of “The United States of America” in the last week, whilst in some fora observations that “There are cheaper/less messy ways to commit suicide” – some cultures being less fearful of death and what they will leave behind than some other cultures – and “That is one form of transcendence” were shared.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 8 2021 13:16 utc | 79

Anther aspect of Taiwan that distinguishes it markedly from the mainland is that it was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945, well over two generations and highly formative years for the people's identity, during which it was built up into what we like to call a modern society.
Posted by: RJPJR | Dec 7 2021 22:34 utc | 74

A challenge: what arguments for Taiwanese independence do not apply to Crimeans' right to separate from Ukraine and join Russia?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2021 13:50 utc | 80

Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2021 13:50 utc | 80

All the arguments for Taiwanese independence apply to the Crimeans' right to separate from Ukraine. Ukraine has ratified the United Nations charter which establishes that charter as the basis for international law, and, in addition to providing for the right to self-determination, the charter also, implicitly, provides that international law takes precedence over domestic law.

The Crimeans voted in a free and fair election, recognized as such by international observers (although you'd never believe that by consulting the Western corporate media), and the request to join Russia was debated in the Russian parliament (Duma), before the request was honored. It was NOT Putin who decided on this, it was the Duma.

Then there is the case of Kosovo, where there was no vote on anything, only a gang of thugs (involved in organ trafficking with the Israelis) who were set up by the U.S. as government. In return, those thugs gave the land to the U.S. for Camp Bondsteel, the U.S.'s biggest overseas military base (with some 50,000 people on it -- complete with a shopping mall and fast food joints)...

At the time, Putin pointed out that this was in violation of the U.N. charter that insists on the inviolability of national borders unless due process (e.g. a legitimate vote) is followed. He was ignored in favor of a rules-based international order in keeping with U.S. imperium.

Posted by: RJPJR | Dec 8 2021 23:33 utc | 81

Defeat enemies with kindness, not bombs. Bombs just make more enemies. This is the essence of soft power.

Hard power is why empires fall, which is why the US and Israel are circling the drain.

Posted by: Black Cloud | Dec 9 2021 17:46 utc | 82

Posted by: RJPJR | Dec 8 2021 23:33 utc | 81

Self determination secession clause in UN start from Kosovo itself and along with western right to protect bullcrap. It is both. Yugoslavia still actually in their legal right to put the secessionist to an end.
China has the right to put the renegade provinces they're in civil war with to an end while the West can use the clause to secede the island. It'll become which side would have stronger military presence in the island to oversee the change. You now have the overturning of UNSC functions that has provide legal defense to western empiricism to make China could legally put an end to Taiwan. Any UNSC resolution about them of course can be vetoed by both China or Russia.

Posted by: Lucci | Dec 10 2021 4:05 utc | 83

This is just too rich. Israel got their dumbest American goy donkey, Donald Trump to kill the JCPOA deal for a few pieces of campaign silver from Donald Adelman and some fake high fives from Bibi. After Trump loses the election, Bibi promptly stabs Trump in the back by kissing up Biden. Thoroughly pissed, Trump then tells Bibi in no uncertain terms, “lets go”. But alas, Trump was too naïve to realize his good deeds for Israel were like eaten bread which is always forgotten. Jarrad and Ivanka's political advice is probably no longer welcomed by the master of the art of the deal.

Meanwhile, Bibi tries to get the US to give Iran the Pearl Harbor treatment but Biden cannot get permission from the US Deep State because that would crash Wall St and the US economic recovery. Israel then finds it’s pie in the sky Iran JCPOA demands are dead on arrival in Teheran and it finally dawns on them they are way up the JCPOA creek without a negotiating paddle. Now the smartest guys in Israel want a JCPOA mulligan do-over while the Iranians are ROTFL.PRICELESS!

Posted by: Ding3times | Dec 12 2021 8:53 utc | 84

If there is no deal, Iran will do what it ne never planned to: Become a nuclear power. Then this deter the USA and Israel once for all. If Pakistan , India and Israel are nuclear powers why Iran would'nt be?

China and north Korea are delighted to have the usa been pushed by Israel to get involved in military attack on Iran. Busy with Iran, the usa will be weaker on china. Iran got it and it taking advantages of the USA dilemma.

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 13 2021 4:21 utc | 85

RJPJR,

Your extended stay in Taiwan didn't teach you much. I was never formally taught traditional Chinese characters (simplified was what was offered at my American high school) but I can read traditional Chinese just fine. The characters are rationally simplified and it's really not much worse than mentally swapping s for z and ou for O in English. Writing is harder (the whole reason for simplifying) but nowadays everyone is typing their sentences, simplified or traditional.

My Chinese proficiency is well below what you'd expect from Chinese high school students and I can do it. So I suspect that gulf you speak of is not real.

Posted by: Astrid | Dec 14 2021 22:26 utc | 86

In the end, if one rejects the Empire's rules-based order based on the Empire's whims and fancies and believes in international law, the foundation of the latter is the United Nations Charter, which guarantees peoples' right to self-determination. io games

Posted by: Yuri Justice | Dec 21 2021 9:21 utc | 87

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