Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I've been away from the blog for a little while due to a couple factors. The wife and I are moving across town this Friday, so we've been packing up and what not. Also, I was getting my political rocks off on the forum of the Hattiesburg American.
But the action there has really died down, and I'd been meaning to get back to blogging here at Left-Handed Leftist.

So the rest of this post is culled from a thread I started on the Hattiesburg American forum here. I really want to try to keep up with this...

Pre-Iran War Period?

08/24/06 at 21:27:53 If, as many seem to think, we are currently experiencing what we will later call "the runup to the Iran War," let's take it upon ourselves now to note what is being said by the intelligence community, by the
administration, by the pundits, by the rest of the world, by the Hattiesburg
American, by the left, by the right, etc.

In other words, let's document the sales pitch for the Iran War as it's being
given. Then we won't have to argue later about who said what, what reasons
were given by whom--we will have been actively talking about it all along.

Then, once we (hopefully don't) go to war with Iran--in one way or another--
we'll compare what they say during and after "major combat operations" in Iran with
what they tried to get us to believe beforehand. Then maybe it'll be easier for us to tell who's full of it and who's actually got some sense.

My First Contribution

So let me make my first contribution...

In August 2005, Iran was judged by the consensus of the intelligence
community to be a decade away from having a nuclear weapon.

A year later--this week--the House intelligence committee releases a report
saying that they don't know enough about Iran--there are "significant gaps
in our knowledge and understanding of the various areas of concern about
Iran," in the language of the report.

Even so, the U.S. is right now threatening sanctions against Iran if Iran won't stop
enriching uranium, which they say they are doing for peaceful purposes.

Iran has already pretty much rejected an offer of mostly unknown "incentives" to stop enriching uranium.

Despite the fact that our own government admits we don't know much about Iran, but that we are pretty sure that they're at least a decade away from a nuclear weapon, we are still threatening them with sanctions. Given these facts, it is safe to assume that Iran is not the slightest threat to the United States and that our aggressive stance is not making us any friends.

Unless the real "area of concern," not discussed much by our representatives or the media, is that Iran is opening up their own oil bourse (they're taking their time) which will trade in euros rather than dollars, a scenario that may eventually weaken or supplant the dollar's position as the world reserve currency that makes our current record deficit spending possible.

Here's the part I wanted to keep with and add to day by day:

Wanted to add a couple things to the discussion about what we know about
Iran and our dealings with them and vice versa here in the pre-Iran War

1. "In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran's Offer of Dialogue"

Quote: "Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces three years ago, an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.
But top Bush administration officials, convinced the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse, belittled the initiative. Instead, they formally complained to the Swiss ambassador who had sent the fax with a cover letter certifying it as a genuine proposal supported by key power centers in Iran, former administration officials said.

2. "Iran opens nuclear reactor, defying U.N. "
The reactor won't be finished until 2009.

So what do we know so far?

-Iran is a signatory of the nonproliferation treaty; Israel, India, and Pakistan are not.
-CIA gives Iran flawed nuke plans in 2000 (Operation Merlin, "State Of War" by James Risen)
-Iran offered to talk in 2003, we turned them down.
-In 2005, our intel deemed Iran to be 10 years away from a nuke.
-Iran supports Hezbollah; we support Israel.
-Iran says enrichment is for peace, we say it's for war.
-Pentagon says Iran is helping Iraqi insurgents.
-House Intel Committee says we don't know very much about Iran.
-Iran turns down US/EU offer of "incentives" for halting enrichment but says
it still wants negotiations.

Anybody have anything to add/dispute/correct? If not, does any of this sound like a good casus belli for a war/military confrontation with Iran? I would argue in the negative.

And that was the last post on that thread...nobody was interested after that. At least they haven't been in several days.

And now comes the news that Iran is being given until tomorrow to stop uranium enrichment...which they say they will not do because they aver correctly that it is within their rights to develop nuclear energy for civilian use...

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