Sunday, December 16, 2007

Iran - what will Bush do next, for dear Israel?

Paul Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He has been writing a weekly column on global security on openDemocracy since 26 September 2001

Some extracts from Professor Paul Rogers’ latest column
Iraq’s danger signals:


The most striking breach in this evolving story-line was the release on 3 December 2007 of the national-intelligence estimate (NIE), a collation of the most up-to-date assessments on current security situations and threats from the US's sixteen intelligence agencies.

The latest NIE report - Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities - concluded "with high confidence" that Iran had abandoned its plans to build a nuclear weapon in 2003 as a result of international pressure, and was unlikely to have enough enriched uranium to resume its plans until 2010-15.

Its publication was a severe blow to leading US neo-conservatives who had invested so much effort in depicting Iran as an immediate danger.

The unexpected revision of judgment about Iran's nuclear ambitions produced a heated response from hawkish commentators.
There is little doubt, however, that the assessment makes it far more difficult for the more intransigent elements in Washington to persuasively advocate a military assault on Iran in the near future - and perhaps before the end of Bush's presidential term at the end of 2008.

Moreover, the report effectively undercuts the case for increased sanctions on Iran, with Russia and China able to exert influence in the UN Security Council influence to counter any fresh US move in this direction.


(1) Bush's lies about Iran - déjà vu denied?
George Bush's farewell gift to Israel?
(3) Will Bush parcel out Iran toward the four winds of heaven?
(4) Lies & power behind US invasion of Iraq
(5) Anything for dear old Israel
(6) Why President Bush is so against Iran


  1. No need for Bush to do anything. The Israelis know they are on their own.
    The Israelis bigger problem is the omelette.

  2. Haha. Jangan tunggu lama lama:

    “The IDF’s withdrawal from Gaza will be nothing like its invasion, the Strip will become a graveyard for its troops,” Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri warned Saturday in a opening address at a huge Gaza City rally marking the 20th anniversary of Hamas’s establishment.

    “Jews ... we have already dug your graves,” exclaimed Masri.

  3. Bush already going out. If Mick Huckabee gets in this is what he will do:

    Sun-tzu’s ancient wisdom is relevant today: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Yet we have not had diplomatic relations with Iran in almost 30 years; the U.S. government usually communicates with the Iranian government through the Swiss embassy in Tehran. When one stops talking to a parent or a friend, differences cannot be resolved and relationships cannot move forward. The same is true for countries. The reestablishment of diplomatic ties will not occur automatically or without the Iranians’ making concessions that serve to create a less hostile relationship…
    Whereas there can be no rational dealings with al Qaeda, Iran is a nation-state seeking regional clout and playing the game of power politics we understand and can skillfully pursue. We cannot live with al Qaeda, but we might be able to live with a contained Iran.”

    So looks like the ayatollahs will be his parents or friends. Either way together they will sort out the Israelis.

  4. TEHRAN, Dec. 10 — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of net surfers and instant messages. Yet, it turns out, the man is a blogger.

    Equally surprising for a leader known for a kind of thundering public presence, his blog is not especially tough. He condemns Washington’s policies, but writes infrequently and more ponderously than in his confrontational speeches. Yet the reader comments posted alongside his own seem far less censored and harsher than one might expect.

    “I think you are an evil leader,” one comment posted by an American reader said. “Freedom and tolerance are necessities in this day and age, and the fact that your country kills intellectuals, journalists, minorities is horrible and deeply disturbing.”

    Another reader said his claim at Columbia University in September that there were no gays in Iran was absurd and called his domestic policies “brutish.” Still another wrote: “Shut up please, would you? I get headaches reading your nonsense stuff.”

    Those comments run along with supportive ones, including postings that seem to refer to the new American intelligence estimate that Iran is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon, something Mr. Ahmadinejad had repeatedly asserted.

    “I knew you were telling the truth,” wrote a Canadian.

    The exchanges are available at in Persian, Arabic, English and French. The president has been keeping the blog for more than a year and promises to spend 15 minutes a week updating it.

  5. Although comments posted on the Web log are screened, the ones on the English version are more hostile than the ones in Persian.

    The ones in Persian express more sympathy and admiration for the president, but a little sarcasm has been allowed. Ibrahim Sadegh-al “thanked” the president for creating more jobs with economic policies that have led to a black market for goods. He said there were only two gas stations in his town before gasoline was rationed in late June.

    “One of the two was always closed back then, but now we have 3,000 people selling petrol,” he wrote, referring to people selling their rations in the black market.

  6. Equally chilling was the prediction that the Christian countries of the world would unite to defeat the followers of Mohammed. The year she said this great battle would begin was the year 2000. This horrible and bloody battle, that would claim the lives of millions, would be ended by a nuclear attack on present day Iran. She predicted a "bomb of great power would fall on a city in Persia." In Bernadette's day, there was no Iran.

  7. It is unlikely this poor and uneducated girl, who could barely read, knew anything about the "followers of Mohammed." Why would she mention them specifically? Is it just coincidence that the world is now trying to prevent Iran, considered by many to be the heart of radical Islam, from getting its own nuclear weapons? Was it just chance that the first shot fired in this war was the taking of American hostages in Iran in the 1970's?

    Some would say the attack on America didn't take place until 2001, so Bernadette was wrong. But was she? It was in the year 2000 that George W. Bush, the man who has openly declared war on the radical element of Islam and labeled them evil, was elected president. Up until that time, the leaders of the free world had tried to ignore terrorists, hoping they would go away.

  8. If Bush lied, why wasn't there another NIE contradicting his administration's account on Iraqi WMD capabilities before the war? After all, the DNI is appointed by the president himself.

    Surely as an autocratic president, Bush is rather ineffectual.

    But insofar as Bush launching wars of sorts at whim, you seem to have a perverse idea of presidential power: Bush needs Congress authorization before starting a new war. But oopps, Congress is controlled by the Democrats.

    But in terms of the NIE itself, notice other findings:
    - "We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons"
    - "We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because of intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.)"
    - "We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.

    In fact, a key finding:
    "Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously."

    Hmm, what changed in 2003? I heard omething about a neighbour being invaded.

  9. There's a vast difference between a president declaring war against another nation (OK, Congress is needed) and launching an attack, as Clinton did in Afghanistan when he hoped to get Osama and gang with a few cruise missiles (Executive's operational prerogative).

    It's amazing that, despite Bush not challenging the NIE (though he did spin his disappointed best), others, some not even Americans, would trawl for straws to cling on ;-)

  10. And then there are those who believe a report that has the following clearly highlighted:

    “These assessments and judgments generally are based on collected information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. Some assessments are built on previous judgments. In all cases, assessments and judgments are not intended to imply that we have “proof” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues.”
    - the NIE

    Wasn’t these are the same people who prepared an earlier NIE that claimed Iraq’s Saddam had WMD ?

  11. During the height of Bush Administration (1st term) the US intelligence community was bullied by Dick Cheney into complying with Administration wishes - the neocons headed by Cheney had politicised US Intelligence.

    After he left the Administration Colin Powell admitted the intelligence brief he provided to the UNSC on the purported Iraqi WMD mobile lab was fabricated. He was ashamed of his role in representing the US in that lie - it's all on public record.

    When the initial optimism on Iraq went sour, and the neocons started to leave or were sacked one by one - Wolfowitz, Pearle, Feith, Elliot, Rumsfeld, Bolton, the State Department (originally ostracised by Cheney and Rumsfeld) started to claw back their original/traditional authority from the Rumsfeld Defence Department. Some honest intelligence began to emerge, minus Israeli influence.