Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Defenders of the Honduran military action point out that this action was not extralegal and was, in fact, authorized by the legislature and the courts in response to Zelaya's own illegal attempt to extend his power in an imitation of his international mentor, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Critics, however, believe that this is just a rhetorical shill to cover up some kind of bias against Zelaya's leftist politics.
What both sides miss is that a "coup" isn't always extralegal. In short, what is happening in Honduras may be an example of a coup that is not only legal, but mandatory. The oddness of this concept to American minds requires an explanation.
Civil-military relations in the United States are founded on assumptions both inside and outside the military that derive from the work of the late Samuel Huntington in The Soldier and the State. Under Huntington's ideal of "objective civilian control," the military is granted substantial autonomy over a professional sphere of managing the application of violence, but is given no political role.
Various forms of "subjective civilian control" where the military becomes embroiled in civilian political struggles are argued by Huntington to be militarily deficient and presumed by most westerners to be morally deficient as well. Americans frequently assume that this ideal is universally shared as an intrinsic component of a democracy.
But this American presumption is more a pretension than an objective description of how societies organize themselves politically. While it is true that American and European consultants make a priority of encouraging developing democracies to adopt Huntingtonian ideals (NATO's "Partnership for Peace" is a notable example, as is the reformed curriculum of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly-known and still-protested as the "School of Americas"), some countries explicitly endow their military with a role in maintaining democratic governance.
For example, in Turkey, the military is constitutionally empowered to act as a check on the potential for Islamic parties to undermine the secular foundations. In 1962 and 1980, the Turkish military undertook coups that were not only seen as legal, but mandatory and necessary. This military influence has continued to function in less aggressive forms during more recent political crises involving the banning of Islamic parties and the selection of the head-of-state.
Like the Turkish military, Latin American armies have a long tradition of political involvement. While in some cases, most notably Argentina, this tradition has been intentionally deconstructed (the disaster of the "dirty war" and defeat in the Falklands War provided a strong impetus for change), officers have continued to hold a widely-accepted political role in other countries. It is worth remembering, for example, that in spite of his pretensions of outrage over this coup in Honduras, Venezualan dictator Hugo Chavez was himself the leader of a coup attempt in 1992.
As more news continues to filter out of Honduras, it appears as if the Honduran military was specifically authorized by a court order to arrest a President that was judged to be out of control.
The fact that the American military would never be so authorized should not distract us from the possibility that legal authorizations for military interventions into politics might exist in other countries' constitutional arrangements.
The takeover in Honduras might be, in fact, a legal coup.
The author is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His dissertation forces on variations in the political and policy-making roles of the U.S. military.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Recent events in Iran -- exposing the illegitimacy of Mullahopolis (and by design all unfree regimes) rather realistically proves any attempts to negotiate, find common ground and indulge in friendly give and take would never work to convince theocrats in Tehran to join the fun, free, functional free world.
Au contraire! Persia's regime would use any happy happy joy joy dialogue to maintain power at home and project it abroad.
Clearly, it's clear -- for all who care to see it -- what the Ayatollah/Revo Guard regime will offer if it survives: A severe suck fest of harsh repression at home and unrelenting hostility toward the West.
If the regime chooses to "engage" at all with Great Satan, it will be to bolster its shaky legitimacy, not to surrender its nuclear program or its support for terrorists like HAMAS and the most proficient killers and serial tormentors of Americans in history -- Hiz'B'Allah.
The only real deal for annihilating such threats is that demanded by the demonstrators: regime change.
Great Satan's avuncular PNAC signatory, the ever cool Great Satan Fan Ambassador Dr John Bolton gives "3 Major Reasons:"
"First, the regime's economic mismanagement has brought the economy of a country rich in oil and natural gas to near-gridlock. Periodic but piecemeal strikes have been put down, but the prospect of a simultaneous, sustained, nationwide strike remains a potent threat
"Second, Iran's young people -- two-thirds of the population is under 30 -- know they could have a much freer life if they could only overturn the mullahs' strict rule. The young are educated and sophisticated, and they know there are alternatives to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's velayat-e faqih, the system of "guardianship of Islamic jurists" that imposes harsh Sharia law on Iran today.
"Third, Iran is only about 50% Persian. Arabs, Baluchis, Azeris, Kurds and others resent the ethnic, political and religious discrimination they face constantly and have little or no love for the Islamic revolution. "
That is not just the moral course; it's the most realistic.
Art "Realism=Regime Change" by Seok Chan Yoo
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Oh Snap! Tell us something we don't know.
While much attention is focused on unarmed rowdy rejectionists rejecting a militarized, computerized police state ran by time traveling, intolerant control freaks just to the east of Iraq - fact is the site of the blitzing defeat of the largest Arab army in history in 20 days has a red letter day fast approaching on 30 June.
HRC's commentary seems kinda deja vu -- ish. After all, defeatists, retreatists and Great Satan haters often mocked the avuncular (and nigh indestructible cardiac wise) Vulcans like VP Cheney -- who pointed out rejectionists in Iraq were signalling desperation or when brother Vulcan Def Sec Rumsfeld termed them "Dead Enders"
So when "Al Ameriki" tribe splits the hoods, bazaars and warrens of Iraqi cities, villages and towns to hang out in off site, climate controlled bases -- an Anti Surge of violence is expected -- As Dr Stephen Biddle (Oh! He got game!!) @ CFR recently pointed out tons of maybes baby about how Iraq could return to the edge of the Abyss pre Surge and maybe even hop on off the precipice.
Thankfully - he offers a reminder that, as suck as Iraq has been, there are many ways that it could become much worse if Great Satan gets in too big a rush, over reacts to "rejectionists" - or worse -- doesn't react at all.
"The most effective option for prevention is to go slow in drawing down the U.S. military presence in Iraq. On balance, paying the cost of a slower withdrawal, while expensive, may ultimately be the cheaper approach."
June 30th is the deadline for Grat Satan's combat troops to leave urban areas. The deadline was contained in the Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) that 43's admin negotiated and that the incoming 44's admin embraced back in March.
Violent Anti -- Surges in Iraq do seem date driven - every previous major Iraqi milestone such as an election, referendum, or anniversary -- and the new Iraqi army guys are way better now than they were back in the day. Still, violent violaters gained the initiative -- albeit for a very short time -- and their game plan could be tried again.
Bad, Bad Basra comes to mind and they are probably hot for fun and free choice enough to seek out, pre empt and annihilate foreign creeps, local creeps and terroristic bombers who seem to have regressed to the old school AQ in Iraq plan to target shi ite people, sites and stuff to kick start a sectarian civil war.
Even though anti surge was expected -- the current spasm of the rejectionists --is a rude dude metaphorically speaking -- mainly because the starting point for measuring murder in Iraq is way lower than it was in the past on other anniversaries -- and thus dramatic.
Also helps to note Coalition and Iraqi forces conducted mini-surges of their own to preempt the violence, but now the catalyzing event is arepositioning of combat power, thus making those preemptive tactics more difficult.
Yet not impossible.
Pic "Great Satan can come back to town anytime She wants"
Friday, June 26, 2009
As a North Korean cargo ship suspected of carrying weapons approaches Burma, trailed by the U.S. Navy Destroyer John McCain, the U.N. Security Council's June 12 resolution against North Korea's weapons trade faces its first test.
The resolution bans most arms transfers to and from North Korea, calls on states to conduct inspections of North Korean ships in their ports or on the high seas when there are "reasonable grounds" that banned cargo is on a ship, and allows states to seize and dispose of illicit weapons. These steps have been touted by U.S. diplomats as "innovative," "robust," and "unprecedented." But the resolution is in fact nothing more than a feeble attempt to force North Korea to comply with pre-existing nonproliferation agreements, reminiscent of the council's failed decade-long efforts to force Saddam Hussein to comply with Iraq's disarmament obligations. In Iraq, it was military force, not economic sanctions, that finally worked. It is naive to think that the situation in North Korea, a country that has lived under sanctions for the past 60 years and allowed large segments of its population to starve, will be any different.
What has gone largely unnoted about the resolution is that its provisions on boarding and inspecting ships and aircraft simply allow what states already have a right to do under international law. It is already well-established that a state has complete jurisdiction over foreign vessels that enter its ports, including the right to inspect cargo and the right to deny entry altogether.
Similarly, a provision that "calls upon Member States to inspect vessels, with the consent of the flag State on the high seas" adds nothing to the recognized legal regime applicable to boarding vessels at sea. In fact, the resolution may have the unintended consequence of hindering the boarding of vessels, because it requires that permission be obtained from the "flag State" - i.e. North Korea - rather than the ship captain.
More worrying is the lack of an adequate enforcement mechanism if North Korea fails to grant consent for the boarding. The resolution, which was adopted under Article 41 of the U.N. Charter and is therefore limited to "measures not involving the use of armed force," does not provide any solution.
North Korea, moreover, has likely learned a few lessons from its past mistakes. In December 2002, for example, a Spanish frigate stopped and boarded the North Korean merchant vessel So San approximately 600 miles off the Horn of Africa at the request of the United States. After the So San ignored the Navarra's hails and several warning shots, Spanish Special Forces seized the vessel, which had been tracked by U.S. intelligence agencies and was suspected of carrying weapons. Aboard the ship were 15 complete Scud missiles, 15 high-explosive warheads and 23 nitric acid rocket fuel containers bound for Yemen.
Along with the lack of response to hails, there was another factor that helped permit the Spanish to seize the ship: The So San wasn't flying a North Korean flag, which under international law counts as reasonable grounds to suspect that the vessel is stateless, and therefore that it can be lawfully boarded. In the future, however, we can expect North Korean merchant ships to prominently display their flags and respond to hails, making it more difficult to search them legally.
Even if we put the problem of enforcement aside, however, what diplomatic goals can the inspections resolution possibly accomplish? Pyongyang has no intention of returning to the negotiating table. On June 13, North Korea's Foreign Ministry condemned the passage of the resolution and stated that North Korea would not only "turn the remaining volume of newly enriched plutonium into weapons" but would also "launch efforts to enrich uranium." This is the first acknowledgement by the regime that it has been developing a uranium enrichment program. U.S. officials estimate that North Korea already possesses six to 12 nuclear devices and has accelerated its ballistic missile and nuclear testing.
Additionally, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that "North Korea may be able to overcome technical difficulties and assemble a missile capable of hitting" the West Coast of the United States within three to five years. And, although analysts believe that North Korean scientists have not yet mastered the technology to place a nuclear weapon on a long-range ballistic missile, it is only a matter of time before they will.
If the international community is serious about maintaining the integrity of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - which is of course already in doubt since Israel, Pakistan, and India have been allowed to possess nuclear weapons -- the United Nations must act now to adopt a more relevant resolution affording North Korea one last opportunity to comply with its obligations. The resolution should establish a strict deadline for compliance and authorize the establishment of a complete blockade of North Korea if the deadline passes and North Korea is still thumbing its nose at the world. Getting tough on Kim Jong Il's regime will also send a strong message to Iran that it will face similar action if it fails to abandon its uranium enrichment activities.
We can take measures to force these regimes into compliance now, or we can wait until they are already nuclear capable -- when the stakes will be significantly higher.
Submitted by Raul Pedrozo, professor of international law at the Naval War College and the former staff judge advocate for the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet.
Pic - Great Satan's Guided Missile Destroyers
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Ancient history. Not long after Lebanon's fav son Rafik Hariri's death in a bombing was traced back to Syria's bloody hands (right to the bro in law of the Dr General President for Life Bashar al Assad -- Great Satan withdrew her ambassador to Basharopolis.
Since 44's new era of happy happy joy joy began and blurring the line between buds and arch enemies into 'frenemies' is all the rage -- Great Satan may be hooking up with Syria ala a new ambassador.
1st thought -- natch -- is why should dozens of political assassinations in the service of a geopolitical power grab be allowed to get in the way of hope and change?
"This is in line with the president's desire to engage Syria diplomatically to resolve a number of issues of concern to the United States." The State Department official said the process was in its "very early stages" and the administration had not yet selected who it may nominate to fill the post...
Washington withdrew its ambassador from Syria in 2005 to protest the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Syria denies any involvement in the killing. A U.N. investigation into the assassination initially implicated several Syrian and Lebanese officials, but later reports have been more circumspect. A special U.N. tribunal set up to try suspects in Hariri's killing began work in The Hague in March.
Actually TIME reported last March that 44 might shield Syrian officials from the Hariri tribunal. Because bringing them to justice for the murder would presumably get in the way of "resolving a number of issues of concern."
Impressions that Syria's continued interference in Lebanon was one of Great Satan's central issues of concern, but apparently it's not as important as it once was.
And just for the record, because every time 44 makes one of these gambits the pretexts churned out by academics and diplomats are the same:
Congressional envoys have been reaching out to Assad for months with no tangible tangibles. The talks haven't peeled him away from Iran. They haven't moved him from his absurd conditions on a Little Satan peace deal. And they haven't even gotten him to lighten up a little on human rights.
So those "issues of concern" are presumably off the table.
Or are they? In light of the horrific violence Syria's patron Persians have visited upon the heads of their own dear people -- human rights -- has gotten a boost in the Free World's internat'l pysche.
Perhaps a rapproachment with Syria may have a chance of further isolating and pressuring Iran.
Dont laugh -- savvy cats in the ME are scratching their heads over Bashar's recent
"Hello!" about Iran's murderous electile dysfunction -- proclaiming Iran's regime is stronger than ever after the fake believe election and a homie shout out to Saudiland's King Abdullah.
"Another Arab source who is familiar with the details of what is happening in many Arab countries that have links to Iran as well as Lebanon, said that "paying tribute to Iran in this manner is strange as nobody is saying that the regime has collapsed" even if Tehran is suffering from serious problems that will have consequences on the regime.
"The source added that the Syrian praise of Iran is "by way of not speaking ill of the dead" as he believes that the Syrians have made a choice to move away from Tehran, opening the door to the Americans, which is something that can be verified by the recent diplomatic action taken by Syria. "
Hopeful maybe yet totally doubtful.
But hey, now that the IAEA has found even more proof of a Syrian nuclear program - maybe we can talk about that.
44's Diplomacy's been working so well with NoKo and Iran.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Somehow, that statement doesn't blow your mind like "hope and change," but that's exactly how Obama feels about Iran.
"We don't know how this thing is going to play out."
Which, as you know, is a stance that has never stopped our President from immediately re-imagining health care, trying to end enhanced interrogations, or reducing carbon dioxide emissions via something ridiculous called cap and trade legislation.
"We don't know how this thing is going to play out."
I imagine you can use that excuse on pretty much anything. Except when it comes to press conferences. Which is why Obama does them. And now that our President has recognized that he's potentially on the wrong side of history – he gave us a press conference designed to blunt criticism, as opposed to blunting the persecution of innocent people.
"Bearing witness," as Obama calls it, is all it takes, apparently. But I'm not so sure. If you were being mugged, you'd really like a cop to shoot the bastard, instead of bearing witness. If you're lugging five bags of groceries up four flights of stairs, "bearing witness" does no good. Lend a hand, champ.
So I disagree with Obama – we're not seeing a "debate" in Iran. We're seeing a brutal, ruthless crackdown. Something tells me that stopping that is more important than reducing carbon emissions to fight a questionable threat.
Look, I like the fact that he's finally - although reluctantly - stepping up, but I wish Obama felt as immediately outraged about Iran as he did over the murder of an abortion doctor.
"We don't know how this thing is going to play out."
It would have been closer to Obama's real concerns, if that quote ended with "for me."
submitted by Greg Gutfeld
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
While the subject of the most awesome of all regime changes -- from the inside out -- is in mind, consider what does it take to make a successful revolution?
That quiz is clearly weighing heavily on Supreme Leaders mind. In his long rant at last Friday’s prayers at Tehran university, Iran’s supreme leader accused foreign governments of trying to foment a revolt in his country. He claims that foreigners are using the uprisings in the former Soviet Union as a model. “They are comparing the Islamic Republic with Georgia,” he complained.
Supreme Leader is absolutely correct.
The comparison between events in Iran and the “colour revolutions” in the former USSR is certainly suggestive. Andrew Miller, a journalist at The Economist who witnessed the colour revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan has come up with a useful “checklist” of some of the factors that can help a revolution to succeed .
● “Critical mass”: small demonstrations of 5,000 people can be ignored or suppressed. But half a million people in the streets is another matter.
● Weak or divided security services.
● Some independent media.
● Serious corruption, which Mr Miller argues is “generally the main mass motivator”.
● Opposition leaders who have served a stint in government.
● A history of rebellion from which lessons can be learnt.
● Strong support in the capital city.
● A rigged election that provides a spark for the revolt.
Gideon Rachman at Financial Times adds a few more items to consider:
● A divided ruling elite.
● A sense of revolutionary momentum from events overseas; Europe in 1989 and 1848 show that revolution can be catching.
● External help.
● The use of violence by the authorities, which can either make or break a revolution.
"Every element on these two lists is now present to some degree in Iran – with the possible exceptions of division within the security forces and significant external assistance.
"The demonstrations in Tehran have been huge. Even after Mr Khamenei’s warnings of impending bloodshed, very big crowds turned out on Saturday – some were killed and almost 500 were arrested. The task for the opposition now is to find a way of motivating people to keep demonstrating, despite the dangers. Many Iranians will recall that it took more than a year of sustained unrest to topple the Shah in 1979.
"For the moment, the Iranian security services seem grimly united and willing to shed blood. The Basij militias and Revolutionary Guard show little sign of wavering. The real signs of division are within Iran’s ruling elite. Mr Khamenei did his utmost to paper over these at Friday prayers. He praised both President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad and Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s bitter enemy, former president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. But since then Mr Rafsanjani’s daughter has briefly been arrested. A power struggle is clearly under way.
"As for money and the media: the media is controlled, but independent reports on the internet and foreign journalists are helping to fill some of the gap. The Tehran middle class is not on the breadline. And the street demonstrations that are keeping the opposition going do not, anyway, require huge resources.
"Corruption is clearly an acutely sensitive issue. Mr Khamenei addressed it directly on Friday. “Everybody must fight corruption,” he urged. “If it is not brought under control it will spread, like it has in some western countries.”
"The Ukrainian and Georgian revolutions were led by former ministers who had turned against the government. If this does matter, then as a former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, certainly ticks the box. Some cast doubt on his credibility as an opponent of the regime, given that he was one of only four candidates regarded as sufficiently ideologically-sound to run in the first place. But Mr Moussavi has now come to symbolise far more than his own rather cautious views.
"As for a history of revolt: these are by far the biggest demonstrations since the foundation of the Islamic Republic in 1979. But there has been repression before, of student and reformist movements. When it comes to “support in the capital city” and allegations of a rigged election – both elements have clearly been critical to sustaining the revolt.
"It suits the Iranian government to blame the revolt on foreigners. (Flatteringly, Mr Khamenei insisted on Friday that “the most evil of them all is the British government”.) But whether the regime likes it or not, the demonstrators on the streets of Tehran are angry Iranians, who need little encouragement from outsiders. However, events in the outside world might have influenced the politics of Iran in more subtle ways – the election of Barack Obama and political change in Iraq and Lebanon may have helped to fan a wind of change in Iran as well.
"The great unknown is the effect of violent suppression of the demonstrations. Once a regime starts killing its own people it crosses a line. Sometimes, as in Iran in 1979, bloodshed on the streets leads to such a loss of confidence and popularity that it spells the end for a government. On other occasions, if a government is brutal and ruthless enough, violent repression can work – China in 1989 is the obvious recent example.
"Killing demonstrators, however, has stripped the Iranian government of its claims to legitimacy.
"It may secure the regime’s survival in the short term.
"In the long term, it surely dooms it.
Art - Checklist
Monday, June 22, 2009
While Supreme Leader is busy considering if he may actually be like the last Supreme Leader and serially cranking up the violence against his own people, Great Satan is begining to actually consider out loud all the hot!, cool and desirable desire that would unfold -- if say -- the regime in Mullahopolis were to collapse under it's own illogic and illicit weight.
A regime of control freaks who watched as their control spiraled out of control.
Let's say it shall we? -- "Regime Change!!"
"Everything is on the line in Iran, at present -- not only the future of the Iranian regime, but also of the Middle East, and by extension, the most tangible western interests.
"Consider: if the Iranian regime were to fall, by far the largest organized threat to peace in the region would be removed. This includes not only a fairly proximate nuclear threat to Israel (for all we know North Korea's second nuclear test was actually Iran's first), but sponsorship of the most efficient part of the world's Islamist terror apparatus.
"Hezbollah and Hamas are both, today, for all practical purposes, Iranian proxies. Through them, and through other channels, the regime of the ayatollahs makes money, materiel, and expertise available to terror cells as far away as Argentina, Sweden, the Philippines.
"But more significantly, Hezbollah and Hamas together represent an Iranian veto on any Palestinian settlement, or any attempt to ameliorate that conflict, with all that that implies.
"The Syrian regime, most dangerous of Israel's neighbours, would, in the absence of Iranian support, have to make accommodations, indeed find new allies.
"North Korea's chief conduit into the illicit Middle Eastern arms trade would be lost.
"The principal external threat to Iraq would be removed, along with sponsorship of Iraq's own domestic insurgencies. Afghanistan would also be more secure.
"In economic terms, the threat of a world crisis provoked by the interdiction of oil shipments from the Persian Gulf would disappear.
"Both Russia and China would lose a very important lever of influence on world affairs.
"If the ayatollahs come down, the whole world situation is changed, and in every conceivable way for the better. It is impossible to overestimate the stakes of the insurrection in Iran.
Fear of a 'Velvet Revolution' is nothing new to the mullahs or the Revo Guard --
During his Friday prayers address at Tehran University, the Supreme Leader mentioned the dangers of a "velvet" revolution and it is clear that the regime has been deeply concerned by the democratic overthrow of Eastern European and west Asian governments since the fall of the Soviet Union. People power – through which the 1979 revolution was ultimately successful – is a devastating weapon (albeit the only one) in the armoury of a serious but unarmed political opposition.
"In the aftermath of the Ahmadinejad "success" at the polls, his supporters were handing out leaflets condemning the secular revolutions of Eastern Europe, and their content says much about the anxieties of Iran's clerical leadership.
One of them was entitled: "The system of trying to topple an Islamic Republic in a 'velvet revolution'." It then described how it believes Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine and other nations won their freedom.
"'Velvet' or 'colourful' revolutions... are methods of exchanging power for social unrest. Colourful and 'velvet' revolutions occurred in post-communist societies of central and Eastern Europe and central Asia. Colourful revolutions have always been initiated during an election and its methods are as follows:
"1. Complete despair in the attitude of people when they are certain to lose an election...
"2. Choosing one particular colour which is selected solely for the Western media to identify (for their readers or viewers)." Mousavi used green as his campaign colour and his supporters still wear this colour on wristbands, scarves and bandannas.
"3) Announcing that there has been advance cheating before an election and repeating it non-stop afterwards... allowing exaggeration by the Western media, especially in the US.
"4) Writing letters to officials in the government, claiming vote-rigging in the election. It's interesting to note that in all such 'colourful' projects – for example, in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan – the Western-backed movements have warned of fraud before elections by writing to the incumbent governments. In Islamic Iran, these letters had already been written to the Supreme Leader."
Indeed -- even Great Satan has an operational plan to use to help tip the regime over the edge and let it crash called "Operation Checkmate"
Yet perhaps the ultimate weaponry against Preacher Command is Iran's own dear sweet girls.
The senseless thug style killing of "Neda" has sparked a ton of sympathy and people are openly wondering about the worthiness of even trying to dialogue with control freaks that torment their own people for stuff like demonstrations
"Babe Theory" (And that's a ho nother piece - no pun there) in mind, the hotties of Iranistan have a bit part that they are playing, players.
To the iconography of revolution -- the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, young people ripping shards off the Berlin Wall -- we can now add this: the red nail polish, black eyeliner and side-swept bangs of young Iranian women.
So conservative by American standards, yet revolutionary by Iranian ones: these women, who by law can do and say and expose and adorn almost nothing, are agitating for the most basic human rights in the smallest of ways. And it is these tiny acts of rebellion that the Iranian government, which has further constricted the rights of women since the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, cannot abide.
"I do not know a single woman who is pro these laws," says a 29-year-old Iranian woman, who has lived in the US for the past 11 years. "They are not as bad as the Taliban, but it's all relative."
The women of Iran are on the verge. They are more literate and highly educated than men (63% attend university), and, as in the US, women comprise 50% of the vote. Ahmedinejad's challengers -- even Karroubi, the cleric! -- made a point of soliciting the female vote, appearing in public with their wives, or speaking to the need for more women in parliament or positions of power. Mousavi, the so-called reform candidate, shrewdly deployed his wife, political science professor Zahra Rahnavard, as a vocal campaigner. Her electrifying effect on the electorate led to comparisons to Michelle Obama.
"I really like her," says the Iranian ex-pat. "She could be very influential and help change the suppression of women. She's educated and very open-minded. A lot of people follow her."
The resonance Rahnavrad has had on the electorate rattled Ahmedinejad enough to drag his own wife -- a woman many Iranians are unsure even exists -- out of the shadows. Sort of. She doesn't speak, and dresses so conservatively that all one can see are her eyes. "And she wears glasses!" says Iranian scholar Dr. Nayereh Tohidi. "That makes it even harder!"
Under Ahmedinejad, Iranian women must cover their heads and their bodies at all times. They cannot file for divorce, travel without their husband's permission, attend sporting events, smoke a hookah. Beauty salons are outlawed, and the ones that exist are run like speakeasies. (Men have never been able, or really willing, to outlaw vanity.) Once she turns 13, a girl can be conscripted into marriage. Even public transportation is segregated
10 out of 11 Iranian girls have had nose jobs. Boys and girls drink alcohol (which is forbidden) and date and log onto Facebook and hang out at the mall. They know how kids in the West live and they like it and want to live like that too. The hottest commodity in Tehran is an iPhone. Boys are not shy about asking girls out. Young people on the whole are not religious, because they see a theocratic government twisting and manipulating religious dogma to its own ends.
"The more fundamentalist families -- that's where you see problems," says the ex-pat. "Because this new generation, my age and younger, they know that a lot of the laws that control them are unfair. They have the Internet. They can see the basic human rights that most everyone else has. I was in Tehran eight months ago. These girls are not afraid. They do what they want. And sometimes they are beaten."
In the wake of this most recent election, Ahmedinejad was asked about the status of women in Iran. He said that they have more rights than men. "Can you believe that?" says Tohidi. "It made women outraged."
Yet no matter the outcome of this revolt, says Tohidi, Ahmedinejad does not know what he's up against.
"He cannot take women back again," she says. "Even if he stays in power, it won't last."
The police in Tehran have formed a special task force specializing in dress codes. Known as "the green police," they often park their vans outside malls and by the promenades where kids hang out, snatching up girls whose dress is deemed too provocative. Usually it's a female officer -- swathed head-to-toe in black -- who does the rounding up and arresting, the photographing and fingerprinting, the calling of the parents.
Last year, Sara says that her cousin, who lives in Tehran, was arrested: "Her clothing was not short or tight, but the cops cut it up," she says. Women who can afford to bribe the police are let go; those who can't are beaten with metal chains. Curiously, it is the women who truly defy the dress code, who wear bright colors or a tighter silhouette (one can only imagine what that could constitute), who are left alone.
"The cops won't bother with those girls," says Sara. "I asked my family why, and they said, 'Those girls are already a lost cause. They're already ho's.' "
Pic "If an innocent girl gets killed 1/2 way around the world -- does her death make a sound?"
Friday, June 19, 2009
Since Iran went off the hook and 44's rather underwhelming "wait and see" approach (which seemed awful anti hope and change btw) Supreme Leader and his minions double teamed the response in the streets and in DC.
Hot on the heels of chanting their fav encantation -- that Great Satan was once again 'meddling' in the internal affairs of sovereign Persia -- followed closely by Supreme Leader's 90 minute yawn a thon that threatened a serious crack down on the Green Wave.
This is significant -- 1st off the regime has yet to unleash the full power of all their control mechanisms like the Revolutionary Guard and the full wrath of the Beseejis.
2nd -- Supreme Leader actually conferred legitimacy on the people. Consider -- the regime has a serious contender in this regard. Iran's own people are raising cain about clerical rule in a computerized Police State - a closed society that fears face book, fun and free choice.
Governing the state with out the consent of the people -- despite 30 years of it -- does not confer confidence or legitimacy on the ayatollahs or their minions.
So now, the ball is back in 44's court.
Great Satan's premier Regime Changer (with Philippines, SoKo, Re unified Germany, Collectivist Russia and of course Iraq under his belt) lays out a very cool game plan
"The reform the Iranian demonstrators seek is something that we should be supporting. In such a situation, the United States does not have a "no comment" option. Coming from America, silence is itself a comment -- a comment in support of those holding power and against those protesting the status quo.
"It would be a cruel irony if, in an effort to avoid imposing democracy, the United States were to tip the scale toward dictators who impose their will on people struggling for freedom. And if we appear so desperate for negotiations that we will abandon those who support our principles, we weaken our own negotiating hand.
"That does not mean that we need to pick sides in an Iranian election or claim to know its result. Obama could send a powerful message simply by placing his enormous personal prestige behind the peaceful conduct of the demonstrators and their demand for reform -- exactly the kind of peaceful, democratic change that he praised in his speech in Cairo.
"Like the rest of the world, President Obama must have been surprised by the magnitude of the protests in Iran. Iranians are protesting not just election fraud but also the growing abuses of the Iranian people by a dictatorial regime. Now is not the time for the president to dig in to a neutral posture. It is time to change course."
Specifically -- taking a tough as nails stance -- against Iran's regime -- is an almost once in a life time opportunity to wipe clean and draw again then entire ME -- in Great Satan's interests:
"Like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.
"This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.
"The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible. Imagine the repercussions. It would mark a decisive blow to Islamist radicalism, of which Iran today is not just standard-bearer and model, but financier and arms supplier. It would do to Islamism what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to communism -- leave it forever spent and discredited.
"In the region, it would launch a second Arab spring. The first in 2005 -- the expulsion of Syria from Lebanon, first elections in Iraq and early liberalization in the Gulf states and Egypt -- was aborted by a fierce counterattack from the forces of repression and reaction, led and funded by Iran.
"Now, with Hezbollah having lost elections in Lebanon and with Iraq establishing the institutions of a young democracy, the fall of the Islamist dictatorship in Iran would have an electric and contagious effect. The exception -- Iraq and Lebanon -- becomes the rule. Democracy becomes the wave. Syria becomes isolated; Hezbollah and Hamas, patronless.
"The entire trajectory of the region is reversed.
"All hangs in the balance. The Khamenei regime is deciding whether to do a Tiananmen. And what side is the Obama administration taking? None. Except for the desire that this "vigorous debate" (press secretary Robert Gibbs' disgraceful euphemism) over election "irregularities" not stand in the way of U.S.-Iranian engagement on nuclear weapons.
"That's our fundamental interest. And our fundamental values demand that America stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.
"And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world."
And this is the moment we've been waiting for.
Art - "Regime Change"
Thursday, June 18, 2009
NoKo has a track record of conducting provocative events on Great Satan's High Holy Days such as the last nuclear test occurring over the Memorial Day weekend. So it is likely that this next missile test will be on the 4th of July weekend, which is something they did before 2006.
According to the latest reports the Taepodong-2 missile is going to be likely launched from their new Tongchang-ri missile base on the country’s West Coast.
Pentagon has repeatedly said that they can shoot down this missile, and ya gotta admit - Def Sec Gates may not telegraph specific intentions - but he does telegraph high confidence that it can be done.
The real quiz is - is the political will available to do it?
News about tracking suspect NoKo transport ship toting suspect booty seems to indicate if any missiles come any where close to Hawaii a fireworks show may in fact happen over the 4th of July holiday.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
And if the elections were stolen, it was likely in an effort to maintain Khamenei's hold on power rather than Ahmadinejad's.
Iran is not a theocracy. It is a military dictatorship headed by Khamenei and advised by a coterie of generals from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Army, as well as hard-liners in the secret police. Ahmadinejad is little more than the spokesman for this group.
He may have a say in the day-to-day management of the economy and other parts of Iranian administration--but all important decisions, particularly those related to Iran's national security, including rigging presidential elections, are made by Khamenei.
What makes this such a tenuous situation is that Khamenei's legitimacy has been in question from the day he succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. It was widely understood among intelligence analysts that Khamenei did not have the religious credentials to succeed Khomeini as supreme leader, Iran's head of state who is supposed to be the most learned religious cleric.
In fact, Khamenei is not even really an ayatollah--his license was in effect bought--and he has no popular religious following as other legitimate ayatollahs do. It doesn't help that Iranian leaders of Khomeini's generation have never particularly liked Khamenei and see him as a man who muscled his way into power, perhaps even by killing Khomeini's son, the person most likely to challenge his rule.
A sure signal of Khamenei's political weakness occurred when Ahmadinejad attacked former president Rafsanjani for corruption during the election campaign.
Rafsanjani is and always has been a threat to Khamenei's legitimacy. Not only is he more of a real ayatollah, but he is also Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council, two powerful government bodies. The Assembly of Experts has the power to remove Khamenei and appoint a new Supreme Leader.
And though facts are impossible to come by, it is almost certain that Ahmadinejad's attack on Rafsanjani could not have been made without a green light from Khamenei, who knew that charges of Rafsanjani's corruption would strike a chord with Iranians.
Khamenei saw and probably still sees Rafsanjani as a threat to his power, even to his position as supreme leader, and this was an effective way to pounce.
Still, if the protests and demonstrations in Tehran cannot be controlled, we should seriously start to wonder about Khamenei's future.
Rafsanjani is rumored to be in the holy city of Qum plotting against Khamenei, seeing if he has enough votes in the 86-member Assembly of Experts to remove Khamenei.
A vote recount is unlikely to change the results of the election, but it could lead to more demonstrations, which backed by Rafsanjani and the other mullahs, might just end Khamenei's 20 year run.
Robert Baer served in the CIA as a field operative from 1976 to 1997. His latest book is The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower (Crown Publishers, 2008).
Pic - "Office of the Supreme Leader"
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
One characteristic that has always distinguished Iran from the crude dictators in much of the rest of the Middle East was its respect for the voice of the people, even when that voice was saying things that much of the leadership did not want to hear.
In 1997, Iran’s hard line leadership was stunned by the landslide election of Mohammed Khatami, a reformer who promised to bring rule of law and a more human face to the harsh visage of the Iranian revolution.
It took the authorities almost a year to recover their composure and to reassert their control through naked force and cynical manipulation of the constitution and legal system. The authorities did not, however, falsify the election results and even permitted a resounding reelection four years later. Instead, they preferred to prevent the president from implementing his reform program.
In 2005, when it appeared that no hard line conservative might survive the first round of the presidential election, there were credible reports of ballot manipulation to insure that Mr Ahmadinejad could run (and win) against former president Rafsanjani in the second round. The lesson seemed to be that the authorities might shift the results in a close election but they would not reverse a landslide vote.
The current election appears to repudiate both of those rules. The authorities were faced with a credible challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who had the potential to challenge the existing power structure on certain key issues. He ran a surprisingly effective campaign, and his “green wave” began to be seen as more than a wave.
In fact, many began calling it a Green Revolution. For a regime that has been terrified about the possibility of a “velvet revolution,” this may have been too much.
On the basis of what we know so far, here is the sequence of events starting on the afternoon of election day, Friday, June 12.
•Near closing time of the polls, mobile text messaging was turned off nationwide
•Security forces poured out into the streets in large numbers
•The Ministry of Interior (election headquarters) was surrounded by concrete barriers and armed men
•National television began broadcasting pre-recorded messages calling for everyone to unite behind the winner
•The Mousavi campaign was informed officially that they had won the election, which perhaps served to temporarily lull them into complacency
•But then the Ministry of Interior announced a landslide victory for Ahmadinejad
•Unlike previous elections, there was no breakdown of the vote by province, which would have provided a way of judging its credibility
•The voting patterns announced by the government were identical in all parts of the country, an impossibility
•Less than 24 hours later, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene`i publicly announced his congratulations to the winner, apparently confirming that the process was complete and irrevocable, contrary to constitutional requirements
•Shortly thereafter, all mobile phones, Facebook, and other social networks were blocked, as well as major foreign news sources.
All of this had the appearance of a well orchestrated strike intended to take its opponents by surprise – the classic definition of a coup. Curiously, this was not a coup of an outside group against the ruling elite; it was a coup of the ruling elite against its own people.
It is still too early for anything like a comprehensive analysis of implications, but here are some initial thoughts:
1.The willingness of the regime simply to ignore reality and fabricate election results without the slightest effort to conceal the fraud represents a historic shift in Iran’s Islamic revolution. All previous leaders at least paid lip service to the voice of the Iranian people.
This suggests that Iran’s leaders are aware of the fact that they have lost credibility in the eyes of many (most?) of their countrymen, so they are dispensing with even the pretense of popular legitimacy in favor of raw power.
2.The Iranian opposition, which includes some very powerful individuals and institutions, has an agonizing decision to make. If they are intimidated and silenced by the show of force (as they have been in the past), they will lose all credibility in the future with even their most devoted followers.
But if they choose to confront their ruthless colleagues forcefully, not only is it likely to be messy but it could risk running out of control and potentially bring down the entire existing power structure, of which they are participants and beneficiaries.
3.With regard to the United States and the West, nothing would prevent them in principle from dealing with an illegitimate authoritarian government. We do it every day, and have done so for years (the Soviet Union comes to mind).
But this election is an extraordinary gift to those who have been most skeptical about 44's plan to conduct negotiations with Iran. Former 43 official Elliott Abrams was quick off the mark, commenting that it is “likely that the engagement strategy has been dealt a very heavy blow.” Two senior Israeli officials quickly urged the world not to engage in negotiations with Iran.
Neoconservatives who had already expressed their support for an Ahmadinejad victory now have every reason to be satisfied. Opposition forces, previously on the defensive, now have a perfect opportunity to mount a political attack that will make it even more difficult for President Obama to proceed with his plan.
In their own paranoia and hunger for power, the leaders of Iran have insulted their own fellow revolutionaries who have come to have second thoughts about absolute rule and the costs of repression, and they may have alienated an entire generation of future Iranian leaders. At the same time, they have provided an invaluable gift to their worst enemies abroad.
However this turns out, it is a historic turning point in the 30-year history of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Iranians have never forgotten the external political intervention that thwarted their democratic aspirations in 1953.
How will they remember this day?
submitted by Gary Sick
art - Besijis - heart of the Ayatollah
Monday, June 15, 2009
Yo yo yo! It's true! the avuncular elected PM of rowdy Little Satan finally said out loud what no one else ever really has:
What would future Palestine look and be like?
"Recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is: demilitarization. The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel."
And don't forget those fat and sassy rich rich Arab League members!
"The economic success of the Gulf States has impressed us all and it has impressed me. I call on the talented entrepreneurs of the Arab world to come and invest here and to assist the Palestinians - and us - in spurring the economy.
"Together, we can develop industrial areas that will generate thousands of jobs and create tourist sites that will attract millions of visitors eager to walk in the footsteps of history - in Nazareth and in Bethlehem, around the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and the baptismal site of the Jordan."
"There is an enormous potential for archeological tourism, if we can only learn to cooperate and to develop it."
Alas, the Palestinian plea for a 'Right of Return' is sweetly laughed off:
"To vest this declaration with practical meaning, there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel's borders. For it is clear that any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel's continued existence as the state of the Jewish people.
"The Palestinian refugee problem must be solved, and it can be solved, as we ourselves proved in a similar situation. Tiny Israel successfully absorbed tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who left their homes and belongings in Arab countries.
"Therefore, justice and logic demand that the Palestinian refugee problem be solved outside Israel's borders. On this point, there is a broad national consensus. I believe that with goodwill and international investment, this humanitarian problem can be permanently resolved. "
Whoa! This is an idea that Little Satan haters - - well -- they really hate that idea.
Just ask Drs' Walt and Mearsheimer: Their lack of vision for future Palestine is one of apartheid, intolerance and ethnic cleansing - millions of innocent Palestinians (who are guilty of being innocent Palestinians) - herded and driven into the sea by wicked Little Satan's Merkava main battle panzers.
That faux school idea is sooo played. Look -- since Nazi time Deutschland and Imperial Nippon screamed "God! Please! Stop!" over a 100 borders have been moved, dreamed up and established - and they didnt satisfy everybody -- yet -- an agreed upon border is way more better than generations of blood shed over turf.
A future Palestine that is able to create an air force, anti aircraft artillery sites, panzer brigades, conscript infantry would be a disaster for everyone involved.
Relocating the most literate Arabs on the face of the earth -- ever -- to 22 members of Arab League, along with their historic penchant for voting in transparent, periodic elections would be a strategic re alignment of immense proportions.
Mainly because it would mock whatever legitimacy they claim to have.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
14 June is Old Glory Day. Proclaimed by Great Satan's only nuclear regime changer, August 3rd, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
"This famous name was coined by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard the brig CHARLES DOGGETT - and this one would climax with the rescue of the mutineers of the BOUNTY - some friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze for the first time, he exclaimed "Old Glory!"
He retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured flag from his sea days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and around Nashville recognized Captain Driver's "Old Glory." When Tennesee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.
Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if "Old Glory" still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver went home and began ripping at the seams of his bedcover. As the stitches holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered inside and saw the 24-starred original "Old Glory"!
Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted - and later adopted the nickname "Old Glory" as their own, telling and re-telling the story of Captain Driver's devotion to the flag we honor yet today.
Captain Driver's grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery, and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day"
Shout out to Kevin at Amboy Times who has 2 killer cool vids about Old Glory.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
"Prophet one niner this is Bandar Abbas Control"
"Go ahead control this is Prophet one niner"
"Be advised radar shows alternate aircraft approaching - about 60 kilometres direction (inaudible) No transponder signals (inaudible ) Intercept and Verify"
"Bandar Abbas Control this is Prophet one niner will intercept and verify"
30 seconds later
"Bandar Abbas Control! Bandar Abbas Control! This Prophet three seventy! Emergency! Multiple aircraft are (inaudible) Engaging (end Transmission)
"Prophet Three Seventy this is Bandar Abbas Control say again?"
5 seconds later
"Prophet Three Seventy this is Bandar Abbas Control. Respond"
"Prophet One Niner this is Bandar Abbas Control. Do you have radar confirmation? Respond" (Off mic - "are we being jammed?")
Yeah yeah, everybody knows. Gossip is that Great Satan pleaded with Little Satan not to queer the mix with a naughty hottie panty raid on Iran's sensitive, tender portions like the 3 hot spots in Persia quest for nuclear power, weaponry and status.
Yet -- could such brazen moves sweetly be applied to other opportunities totally unrelated to nuked up stuff?
Consider: Little Satan recently freaked out Iranian Air Force cats by rumouring to crash the Gay Free Republic's Air Force flyover.
So, if Iran's unfree Revo Guard fansite's media are correct about Iranian Air Ops and exercises to be conducted soon (Milad-e Nour-e Velayat in Persian AF talk) a nasty surprise may not be such a surprise.
Persia's Junior Sky Marshal Mohsen Darrebaqi explains about low-altitude flight operations and bombing tactics in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman:
"Our domestically-produced Saegheh fighters and Russian-made Sukhoi-24 jets will stage tactical operations to test new ammunitions and hone their defensive capabilities"
A surprise appearance by Little Satan's AF could expand the Milad-e Nour-e Velayat sexercise to include high speed pilot ejection and Air/Sea Rescue Ops.
Pic - "F 16 Dogfight"
Friday, June 12, 2009
Iran's Presidential Wannabes: Meet the four men vying to lead the Islamic Republic and learn where they stand on foreign policy and domestic politics.
Iran's Potato Revolution: Former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi has spent the past two decades out of the public eye, pursuing his interests in architecture and painting. Now he's the man most likely to dethrone Ahmadinejad.
Who's Winning Iran's Google War? To understand Iranian politics, ask a search engine. Over the past 90 days, Farsi-language Google searches for "Mousavi" have increased 1,300 percent.
Iran's New Revolution: Candidate Mousavi may have less charisma than Michael Dukakis, but the rock star has Iranian youth screaming.
A photo review of the best moments from Iran's wild campaign.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
In the hermetically sealed, scary, rocket rich fiefdom of nuke naughty NoKo, legend looms large that Great Leader, the founder of the nation summoned all the plucky, revolutionary commanders, zealous warlords, Spirit of the Gun (and of course - the national philosphy, the ubiqitious Juche') into ultimate level of the Central Command.
In late 1993, when NoKo was gearing up to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, fears of an imminent war broke out across the Korean Peninsula. The eyes of the world were firmly fixed on the region. Not a day passed without some international coverage of the NoKo's crisis.
"The American scoundrels are about to start a war against us. Will we be able to defeat them?”
The generals replied without hesitation: “Yes, we can win!” “When have we ever lost a war?” “We shall win every battle!” “How can we ever lose when we have you, Commander of Steel, our Great Leader, to lead us?” “Oh, Great Leader! Just give us the order!” “In a single breath we will rush to the South, drive out the American imperialists, and unify the fatherland!”Despite such vigorous displays of bravado, Great Leader did not appear especially convinced.
“That’s all very well. But what if we lose? What shall we do if we lose?”
The moment Great Leader uttered the word “lose,” the generals’ lips closed and remained tightly shut. As they sat still in extreme anxiety, the 51-year-old Kim Jong Il suddenly stood up.
Raising his clenched fists, Kim yelled out,
“Great Leader! I will be sure to destroy the Earth! What good is this Earth without North Korea?”
Great Leader looked with fatherly love and pride at his eldest son
“That is surely the answer. I am pleased to see that a new North Korean general has been born at this very gathering. Henceforth, I transfer to you the operational command of the North Korean military."
And thus Dear Leader was born.
UN's Security Council's action Monday was utterly anemic, since the outcome was not even a binding resolution. It was merely a statement from the council president condemning the missile launch and admonishing member states to more effectively enforce the hardly robust sanctions imposed in 2006 following the North's nuclear test.
NoKo's response was an excuse to quit the talks.
After advocating unbinding Great Satan from unproductive Allies - Great Satan unipolarist/semi isolationist fan and Grand Strategerist Classically liberal CATO' Institute's Dr Ted Galen Carpenter is ready to unbind again.
Creator of "Smart Power" in Foreign Policy Land gets Specifically Pacifically
"It is time to ask what the US and North Korea's neighbors in East Asia plan to do if Pyongyang is not willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
In other words, what is "Plan B" if the six-party talks fail?
Since military action against North Korea is far too dangerous, there appear to be only three other options, and none is entirely appealing or without risk."
First off, binding all those free little hotties and gigantic autocrazies together in bed with NoKo was le menage a troi redux dieu.
The Multi partners in Six Party Talks was created by le stache' grande - the avuncular Dr John Bolton.
Dr Bolton was totally psychic about NoKo's plot to bail on everything thus ensuring Six Party became more like No Party.
"Veto-wielding China and Russia balked and urged restraint to avoid harming prospects for resuming the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament."
Sanctions are out. So the options are
Lay back and enjoy it.
"Accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state and rely on deterrence to prevent aggressive behavior. There is a credible argument for that approach.
"After all, the US has deterred other nuclear bad actors in the past, most notably the Soviet Union and Maoist China, and the vast US strategic arsenal probably could deter the likes of Kim Jong Il."
"Being able to deter an outright attack still leaves room for dangerous North Korean mischief. Pyongyang's proliferation activities are especially worrisome.
"North Korea's apparent nuclear assistance to Syria makes one wonder what other countries – or even more troubling, nonstate actors – might also be beneficiaries of such aid. Living with a nuclear-capable North Korea would be, at the least, a nerve-wracking experience."
"Inducing and/or bribing China to remove Kim Jong Il's regime and install a more pragmatic government in Pyongyang, along with the explicit condition of keeping the country nonnuclear."
"Part of the bargain also ought to be a commitment from Beijing to promote the reunification of the two Koreas within the next generation. During my visit to China last year, policymakers there professed loyalty to Beijing's longtime ally, but there was also a distinct undertone of exasperation with Pyongyang."
Certainly sounds better than the first.
Hold up though.
To get China hot to do the palace coup, diss the 60 yo alliance betwixt Taiwan and Great Satan.
Unbinding democrazies like tiny tiny Taiwan from Great Satan for a nuclear free Korea seems suspect. Unfaithful even.
Think Machiavellian - it could actually speed up the collapse of collectivist rule
A 2 for one deal would be hard to turn down and it could be like slipping a stiletto straight through Collectivist China's heart in a realignment of strategic proportions.
Besides, if China is truly frightened of millions of starving refugees pouring over the border this is a way out.
Millions of super smart people with a history of voting in open, transparent elections breaking into a highly computerized police state.
Art - "What good is this Earth without North Korea?” by Juche'Girl
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno|
44 - the Commander in Chief, 4 Star General Odiermo (big as they get - in fact there hasn't been a 5 Star General since General of the Army Omar Bradley) and curious audio meatus wise Stefan Colbert have a great time and bring Iraq back to the mind's eye.
"I thought the war was over, because I haven't seen any stories about it in a month"
Seems a left handed answer to Fareed Zakaria's recent essay about staying the course (regardless of past hangups about how it all came to be) Great Satan has responsibilities.
"It is still occupying a proud and important land in the heart of the Middle East. It has 135,000 soldiers serving there. That country's fate still hangs in the balance, between failure and success.
" And American actions will make a crucial difference. "
Thanks sir. Already knew that. It was still sweet to hear Dr Z admit he was totally wrong about Surge.
And it's still sweet to see Iraq making strides towards a (crunk and disorderly - true) democrazy.
Interesting too to see events like Battle of Fallujah become icons in the new millennium.