Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jared Cohen's BookTV appearance on Cspan

It is an interesting view into the minds of the youth of the middle east - how they are trying to assimilate new technology while trying to extricate themselves from their existence. To something better of course.

It remains to be seen if this something better is based in Jihad or just economic and political freedom.
Just watched the Jared Cohen Booktv appearance
about his book "Children of Jihad",,9781592403240,00.html
Excerpt of review:
Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face to face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth—and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype.

Classrooms were never sufficient for Jared Cohen; he wanted to learn about global affairs by witnessing them firsthand. During his undergraduate years Cohen traveled extensively to Africa—often to wartorn countries, putting himself at risk to see the world firsthand. While studying on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, he took a crash course in Arabic, read voraciously on the history and culture of the Middle East, and in 2004 he embarked on the first of a series of incredible journeys to the Middle East. In an effort to try to understand the spread of radical Islamist violence, he focused his research on Muslim youth. The result is Children of Jihad, a portrait of paradox that probes much deeper than any journalist or pundit ever could.

The podcast of the booktv appearance:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Iran has license to old German MG42 equivalent Machine Gun - the MG3


From website:

The simplicity, low manufacturing cost and high effectiveness of the MG 3 attracted several other countries, which either bought the guns from Rheinmetall (such as Denmark), or obtained manufacturing licenses and build (or at least have built in the past) the same guns domestically (such as Italy, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Yugoslavia). In total, at least twenty armies have used or still are using the MG 3 and its versions. It must be noted that in some countries these guns were used under their "commercial" Rheinmetall designation MG 42/59.


So interesting to note, if US units engage Iranian armed forces of rtheir proxies supplied by Iran they could very well engage the descendant of the German Wehrmacht MG42.

It was known as the saw in WW2, since it fired do many rounds per second (25) that it sounded like a buzz saw.

Since it was a good useful weapon the Bundeswehr (today's German armed force) kept the weapon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bush still pushing for Iran sanctions and pressure

FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia (AFP) — US President George W. Bush said Monday that Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel to Iran only fed the need for the world to clamp down more firmly on Tehran's home-grown atomic work.

And the US State Department announced consultations Tuesday with five other powers on a draft UN Security Council resolution imposing tougher sanctions on the Islamic republic for refusing to freeze uranium enrichment.

"Iran was a threat to peace, Iran is a threat to peace, and Iran will be a threat to peace if we don't stop their enrichment," which can be a critical step towards getting nuclear arms, Bush told a town-hall style audience here.


Unfortunately there seem to be no good quick responses - only ways to get involved in war (with military action).

Or if one does do economic sanctions that would mean long time delays before something happens.

One could do clandestine actions, but those do not look like they would make quick headway either.

In my opinion one has to increase the Human Intelligence(HUMINT), since one does not really know what is going on.

Only then could one strike effectively (like the Israelis did in Syria).

The wildcard is Israel - what will it do if it feels trhreatened by its HUMINT?

Notice the four ethnic groups in Pakistan.

The Federal Tribal lands are in the Pushtun area, and this is where Al Qeada has found refuge.
Japan successfully tests anti-missile defence from Destroyers (ship based)

It is interesting that the US and Japan now have ship-based interceptor technology.

It remains to be seen how well they would do in the live real world.

But there is a limited availability.

Which is better than nothing.

Is it better to have a questionable ability?

Or no ability?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Turkey is worried about Iraq (Kurdistan)
"Turkey remains deeply concerned by ongoing developments in neighboring Iraq and opposes any division of the country, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul told a security symposium gathered in the capital of the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain last weekend."

But this is the clincher: "The PKK has been struggling for autonomy for the Kurdish-populated regions inside Turkey, though many observers believe their ultimate aim is to achieve independence for Kurdistan, a region that straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria."

Both Turkey and iran are afraid of what could be - Kurdistan in tyheir eyes would be a disaster.

It is not surprising that the Turkish Defense Minister makes statements like that.

They mean to root out the PKK in Turkey and Iraq.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Strategic objectives

What would be the strategic objectives of Iran?

To gain more regional power?

Increase economy?

Gain land?

Gain prestige?

Allow an unpopular government to stick to an issue that quiets opposition?

If you ask me developing the nuclear bomb for Iran is a win-win-win.

If they successfully develop the bomb they will gsin prestige and economic bonuses through negotiations.

If they do not but make a good front of doing so, they will still gain prestige and the enemy never truly knows what is happening.

If they do not develop and don't say anything, no one knows the status and countries and internal people still have to assume there is something there.

The thing is - that no one can take a chance - What if it is true?

That is the billion dollar question.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Rasmussen Iran poll

Here is the synopsis:
Just 18% of American voters believe that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% disagree and say Iran has not stopped its nuclear weapons program. Twenty-one percent (21%) of men believe Iran has stopped the weapons development along with 16% of women (see crosstabs).

The survey was conducted following release of a government report saying that Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in 2003.

The Rasmussen Reports survey also found that 67% of American voters believe that Iran remains a threat to the national security of the United States. Only 19% disagree while 14% are not sure.

So much for the NIE report that Iran has stopped nuclear weapons development.

This being an apolitical blog, we will not discuss the reasons of the NIE report or any other internal US politicking.

Although it may have made sense to stop Nuclear development as the US army was rolling towards Baghdad for Iran (in 2003).

As time passed and especially as the insurgency movement gained momentum Iran likely restarted its program.

Which is what the nuclear agency has put togeher:

In fact November 2003: The Natural Resource Defense Council has this report:

Iran Develops Nuclear Technologies in Secret for 18 Years
A report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency describes technological advances and a policy of concealment.

On November 10, 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a 30-page confidential report on Iran's nuclear activities. The report, which the agency sent to its board of governors and to 20 governments, reveals that for the past 18 years Iran has secretly developed technologies for producing weapon-usable highly enriched uranium and plutonium. During that time, the report says, Iran violated its Nonproliferation Treaty obligations and falsified declarations to the agency regarding safeguards required under the treaty.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Office of Director of National Intelligence

Came out with the latest NIE report leak from a report of 2003 Iranian capability which said that Iran no longer was pursuing Nuclear weapons.

The key to this report: Wash Post story:

Iranian leaders boasted that the new report vindicated them, but European allies agreed with Bush that Tehran's continued uranium enrichment program for what it says are civilian purposes remains a threat that merits international action. A senior U.S. envoy won agreement from other permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany to push forward for additional sanctions, according to U.S. and foreign officials, although some worried that the consensus would tatter.

This is really kind of a red Herring. We still do not know the Iranian capabilities, nor do we have a good strategy to come up with a way to prevent Iran from possessing Nuclear weapons. Or if they did possess weapons of Mass Destruction what should we do?


The trillion dollar question is what we should do and what Iran will do in response.

If the US and EU would attack suspected bomb sites and were unsuccessful then Iran has a Casus Belli to respond in kind.

They may respond before asny action to pre-empts an attack.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

What if US attacks? Iran

In game theory one reviews the options to see what the potential issues are.

Asia Times article

With the IRGC as the first national military organization sanctioned by the United States, Washington and Tehran have now moved another step closer to a possible military showdown. In light of the unfolding crisis, it remains unclear what could happen in a military conflict between Iran and the United States. A basic scenario involves a comprehensive US attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, naval forces, information and technology support system (especially those linked to nuclear sites in Bushehr, Isfahan and Tehran) and finally the bombing of IRGC ground force units stationed near the strategic cities of Abadan, Ahvaz, Chah Bahar, Dezful, Hamadan, Khoramshahr and Mashahd.

The United States, possibly with the help of Israel, could help stave off Iranian retaliation by destroying Iran's command air base where Iranian fighter jets are kept on daily readiness against potential attacks by American forces.


This reporter at Asia Times speculates on a variety of potential targets for the US.

When one thinks about this, one should also realize the potential response from Iran.

What can one hit, how successful would that be and what is the potential response from Iran?

The reporter does get into this retaliation:

Tactics of retaliation
It goes without saying that in the case of a US attack on Iran the Shi'ite population in Iraq would be largely supportive of Tehran's retaliatory military actions. It remains unclear, however, as to the extent to which the Shi'ite clerical establishment would be willing to give allegiance to the Iranian leadership, who historically have rejected the Quietist ideology of the Iraqi Shi'ite seminary at Najaf and its conservative stance against revolutionary uprising.


The IRGC's most effective means of combating US forces in Iraq will revolve primarily around unconventional war tactics and intelligence gathering, namely suicide terrorism and espionage intelligence through an effective system of native informants. The deadliest weapon that the IRGC can employ against US forces in Iraq will be the "live bomb". It is well known that the IRGC originally carried suicide strategies to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon in the early 1980s; the IRGC and Hezbollah even deployed joint suicide operations against Israeli and US forces.

Here is the conclusion:

The irony of the US policy of disengagement is that the more it aims to weaken the IRGC through sanctions, the more it strengthens its military influence, and hence increases the chance of conflict in a region the United States has sought to stabilize for many years.


over the coming days we will delve into this some more.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Iranian missile and nuclear proliferation is a vexing problem for the world.

Every country that wants to emerge from the second and third tier power base has to develop missile and nuclear technologies to flex their muscles.

This causes strain from the top tier powers as they do not wish to compete with the newcomer.

If one looks at this issue objectively it is only a matter of time that more and more countries develop the capabilities of missile and nuclear technologies.

With enough money, time and effort one will get there.

A nuclear weapon has been done before, it is not an insurmountable technology.

It is only a matter of time and money.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Iran's new missile capability can almost reach Kosovo.

In case you were wondering what 2000km means.

The intent of the press releases are to infer that Iran has the capability of reaching Israel and a little further.

Of course range and accuracy are not yet truly known. It is one thing to tout range it is another to produce.

Korea's tests come to mind - especially the ones where their missiles blew up over their launch pad.

Of Course korea did send a few over Japan as well.

Iran's missile capabilities and what they would mean:

FAS info

The Shahab-3: The Iranian Shahab-3 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled, road-mobile, medium-range ballistic missile with a range of approximately 800 miles (1,280 km). A MRBM variant, sometimes called Shahab-4, has a range of more than 1,200 miles (1,930 km).

It is the Ashura which has been recently touted as being capable of 2000km: Space War

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This is likely to be the one item that will plunge the Turkey-Iraq-Iran area into war:

If you notice, Kurdistan covers all three current sovereign countries.

This is bound to cause problems.
Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK)

Has been attacked by Iranian Artillery units.

"Iran is creating a lot of problems for the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG]," said the chief of security police in the nearby town of Soran, who only revealed his first name, Gafar. "Border areas are being shelled every day." The KRG is the governing authority of the predominantly Kurdish region of northern Iraq, or Iraqi Kurdistan.

From AsiaTimes

interesting tidbits:

With or without US support, the PJAK poses a direct challenge to Iran's security. Claiming to have over 4,000 members, it is one of the largest - if not the largest - opposition group in the country. Expert in hit-and-run tactics, PJAK has proven to be a formidable force, launching daring raids and even shooting down an Iranian helicopter in September, according to the New York Times.

PJAK leaders claim to be receiving a steady flow of recruits from Iran's 3.7 million Kurds, who complain of cultural discrimination and of being economically depressed, despite inhabiting oil-rich lands.

Unlike its PKK cousins, the PJAK is not fighting for an independent Kurdish homeland. Rather, it is fighting for regime change - to replace Iran's theocracy with a democratic and highly federalized system that would grant autonomous rights not only to Kurds, but also to Azeri, Baloch and Arab regions of the country.

A major component of its struggle is to empower the Iranian population - and in particular women. According to the group's charter, 12 of the 21 members of the PJAK's elected legislature must be women, as well as three of the seven members of the leadership council. In addition, leaders say 45% of the group are women.


Notice that the PJAK is trying to subvert the Iranian Kurdish area from within and outside of Iran.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

According to Economist

GDP of Iran 2006: $216.1B

So if $60B is oil revenue then ~25% is oil revenue. (2007 says $256.5B

Both 2006 and 2007 have a (b) which means an estimate ... 2005 actuals say $189.8B
From Bank Markazi data. according to this GDP report the oil revenues were 10% of GDP in 2004.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Iran's oil earnings forecast at 60 billion dollars

Payvand News

Now I need to find the rest of the earnings for Iran...

Need to find some economic numbers on Iran.
We will soon force others to accept a nuclear Iran: Larijani

From Iran Focus

The Islamic Republic will soon force other nations to accept it as a nuclear power, Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Monday.

“In the near future, we will force others to accept a nuclear Iran” Larijani was quoted as saying by the state-owned news agency Fars.


Interesting to note that Larijani has been dismissed.

2 dead as Iranian fighter jet crashes in Sea of Oman

An F-4 crashed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Province map of Iran
New age of warfare:

Yes there are guns and bullets- soldiers and leaders.

But the real arena is in the mind - the age of the media.

The Internet, print and video arenas.

Here is where the new wars will be won or lost.

Yes, there will be regular bullet battles ... but the new arena is the mind - the media that pervades and seeps into the mind.

This is why this blog is here: "To counteract the media fallacies -- the group think methods are false. What we need are facts, strategy, and effective action in in a new age."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Prepare yourselves for the next phase in warfare:

I do not believe Iran will fight the US straight on...

Hidden attacks in Persian Gulf...

Attacks around the world.


timed for the media to digest and take in the new order.

It would not even take a full sized nuke.

conventional weapons using asymmetric warfare can cause enough damage to create problems for the US in media circles.

Iranian conventional forces roundup

CIA roundup

Qom (as you see right next to tehran practically... is a holy city for Shiite Muslims - 8th century.

As in Qom City in w central Iran. The burial place of Fatima, her shrine is a place of pilgrimage for Shi'ite Muslims. Industries: textiles, rugs, pottery, glass, shoes. Pop. (2002) 893,500.
Ok eh, took a little hiatus - too busy at work and all.

But I will get back to researching the middle eastern hotspot "Iran".

Everybody has their bogeyman - and today it is $100 oil (per barrel that is).

I.e. let us drill in the US so we do not have to be as dependent on the oil strong men of the world (Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Putin)

I'm not sure I would classify Putin in the same cateory, as he is likely only trying to make some money, and preserve some of his political capital at home (Russia).

Wheras one can make an argument that Chavez and Ahmadinejad are not in it for the money - they are in it for the power.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Comment is Free Blog has an interesting comment.

"There is universal consensus that Muslim dictatorships, supported by the west, are the root of evil. They destroy political culture, kill extra-judicially and their repression foments violence.

The primary opponents of these dictators are the populist Islamists. They want to vote; except after voting they want to appoint an extra-constitutional body of clerics to strike down legislation they do not approve of."

Most interesting is the comment about the extra-constitutional body of clerics.

Could this be Iran?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Iran Sanctions Editorial in Washington Post

Interesting conclusion:
If this diplomatic offensive fails, President Bush or his successor is likely to face a choice between accepting Iran's acquisition of the means to build nuclear weapons and ordering military strikes to destroy its facilities. That's why it is senseless and irresponsible for those who say they oppose military action -- including a couple of the second-tier Democratic presidential candidates -- to portray the sanctions initiative as a buildup to war by Mr. Bush. We've seen no evidence that the president has decided on war, and it's clear that many senior administration officials understand the package as the best way to avoid military action. It is not they but those who oppose tougher sanctions who make war with Iran more likely.

This is true tough sanctions will just potentially stave off a conflict.

But I doubt it. The ruling religious regime, as chronicled in other posts have a different agenda. And a little bit of sanctions will not effect them too much.

In fact a little depravity for religious extremists is expected and relished.

This is a train wreck waiting to happen.

More grumbling about Iran's nuclear ability around the standard blogs (on my link list)

Let's look at conventional forces:

Air Force

The Shah (according to link) had purchased a formidable air arm which decimated the Iraq Air force during the eight year Iraq-Iran war.

With Boeing 707 tankers the F14's have a range of 2500 km. Thus also have a formidable offensive capability.

If you marry this with a buying power of oil in the last few years:

(i.e. scrolling to the current state of air power purchases)

At least 115 combat aircraft flew to Iran, out of the total of 137-149 aircraft flown to Iran or crashed enroute [including 15 Il-76s and some number of civilian airliners]. According to an official Iraqi statement, the aircraft included 115 combat aircraft, among them 24 Mirage F1s, 4 Su-20 Fitters, 40 Su-22 Fitters, 24 Su-24 Fencers, seven Su-25 Frogfoots, nine MiG-23 Floggers, and four MiG-29 Fulcrums. Reports that Saddam Hussein ordered 20 Tu-22 bombers to Iran appear unfounded. In 1993 it was reported that Russia was to provide Iran with spare parts, armaments, and operating manuals for the Iraqi jets that flew to Iran during the Gulf War. In 1993 it was reported that China had bought an unknown number of these MiG-29s from Iran, in exchange for Chinese missile technology and a nuclear power station. The two countries had reportedly reached agreement on the exchange in late 1992, with Iran having delivered some of the MiG-29s by the end of 1992. In 1998 Iraq and Iran had high-level meetings to discuss ending their state of war and other matters, including Iraq's request to have its airplanes back. Iran denied it had used any of the Iraqi fighter planes. If Iran had kept the Iraqi planes grounded for the entire time, they are probably nonfunctional -- the Iranians may not be able to start the engines or operate the hydraulics. Other reports suggest that some Su-24s have been added to Iran's existing inventory, some Su-20/22s were in Revolutionary Guard service. The Iraqi Su-25s, MiG-23s and Mirage F1s were thought by some to be not in service, due to age, low capability (MiG-23s) or too few numbers (Su-25). Other reports suggest that Iran had overhauled Iraq's fleet of 24 Mirage F-1B fighters and placed them into service.

An unknown number of "new" Su-25s were delivered to the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps Air Force (IRGCAF) in 2003. Where these Frogfoots originate from is unclear.

In July 2003 Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Corporation (CAIC) unveiled the new ‘Super-7’ or Chao Qi fighter plane to the public. The new Super-7 is “an all-purpose light fighter, required to have all-weather operation capabilities, be capable of performing the dual tasks of dogfight and air-to-ground attack, and have the ability to launch medium-range missiles. Mass production of the fighter will not begin until two and a half years of research are completed. The plane is being produced to be sold abroad to developing nations. China already has received orders from Iran and some African countries.

There have been reports of some 10 F-8Ms "Finback", 7 Tu-22Ms, 19 MIG-27s, and several MIG-31s (Russia's most modern fighter aircraft, US$40 million) being present in Iran, but these are not confirmed.

On 30 July 2007 the Jerusalem Post reported that Iran was negotiating with Russia to buy 250 Sukhoi Su-30 “Flanker” fighter-bombers. Israeli defense officials were investigating the potential Iran-Russia deal, in which Iran would pay $1 billion a dozen squadrons’ worth of the jets. Iran would also buy 20 Ilyushin Il-78 Midas tankers that could extend the fighters’ range as part of the deal. The move was seen as a response to the new American plans to sell billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to potential Iranian adversaries in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. This report came soon after other deals to sell advanced Su-27 and Su-30 combat fighters to Indonesia, Malaysia and Venezuela.


So the move by Putin to come down to Iran was likely some kind of clincher for arms purchases - $1Bil for a dozen Su-30 Fighter Bombers, and if 250 were discussed that is now a ~$20Bil transaction.

Certainly enough for a closing transaction sales call by Putin. Has a lot of historical and current data on the SU-30 and its variants...

Doing a Google search has uncovered India and Venezuela purchase of this Fighter-Bomber.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Iran: Secretive Assembly Of Experts Begins Fourth Term

February 20, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Assembly of Experts, an 86-member body of clerics that ostensibly elects Iran's supreme leader and supervises his work, today opened its fourth term since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Members of the assembly were elected to their eight-year terms on December 15. The assembly's authority in overseeing the supreme leader would appear to give it a decisive role in Iranian politics, but as with other institutions in the Islamic Republic, its power is more theoretical than actual.


It is interesting how they elect their leaders... It has to do with a quasi tribal system, where they elect these religious elders, and out of these elders an ayotollah is elected - or supreme religious leader.

8year terms means that longevity is achieved and long-term stability.

Within the article it states that just now it is legitimate to discuss who the next ayatollah will be.
Assembly of experts:

Robin Wright, a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and the author of The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran (2000) compares the Assembly of Experts to the Vatican's College of Cardinals, and writes that it is the "most obscure of Iran's many [governing] bodies."

I am not sure if that is a good analogy, since the cardinals are not elected to 8year terms. I believe a roman cardinal is a cardinal for life, barring something unforeseen (gross negligence).

One must remember the tribal history of Iran.

It is not surprising that reporters do not get the historical underpinnings of other societies.
Who is really running Iran now???

Following Ayatollah Khomeini's death on 3 June 1989 of a heart attack, Khamenei assumed the role of supreme spiritual leader. The Assembly of Experts (Ulama) met in emergency session on June 4 and elected President Khamenei the new Valy-e-Faqih (supreme spiritual leader), simultaneously promoting him to the status of ayatollah. And Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaker of the Majles (parliament) was elected as a president.

I will need to find out who this assembly of experts is.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

When "Persia" became Iran: 1935 It looks like Farsi is spoken in a portion of Afghanistan also.

From Farsinet:
Farsi - Persian Language Persian Language, also known as Farsi, is the most widely spoken member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European languages. It is the language of Iran (formerly Persia) and is also widely spoken in Afghanistan and, in an archaic form, in Tajikistan and the Pamir Mountain region.

Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran and Afghanistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India. Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities in the USA.

Total numbers of speakers is high: over 40 million Farsi speakers (about 50% of Iran's population); over 7 million Dari Persian speakers in Afghanistan (25% of the population); and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.

In Afghanistan Farsi is spoken almost everywhere and close to 60 % of Afghanistan's total population speak Farsi or Dari.
Languages of Iran

Islamic Republic of Iran, Jomhouri-e-Eslami-e-Irân. 67,503,205. National or official language: Western Farsi. Literacy rate: 70% to 75% among those 6 years old and over (1995–1996 Iran Statistical Center). Also includes Eastern Farsi (1,000,000), Hulaulá (300), Tajiki, Turkish (2,570), people from Afghanistan (3,000,000), Kurds from Iraq (120,000), Shi'a Arabs from Iraq. Information mainly from E. Drower 1939; R. Macuch 1965; I. Garbell 1965; T. Sebeok 1969, 1970; G. Doerfer et al. 1971; R. Oberling 1974; D. L. Stilo 1981; R. D. Hoberman 1988a, b. Blind population: 200,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 3,978,055. Deaf institutions: 50. The number of languages listed for Iran is 77. Of those, 75 are living languages and 2 are extinct.

Western Farsi is the official language of Iran
Pakistan plans all-out war with militants - from article in Asian Times

"An all-out battle for control of Pakistan's restive North and South Waziristan is about to commence between the Pakistani military and the Taliban and al-Qaeda adherents who have made these tribal areas their own.

According to a top Pakistani security official who spoke to Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, the goal this time is to pacify the Waziristans once and for all. All previous military operations - usually spurred by intelligence provided by the Western coalition - have had limited objectives, aimed at specific"

This could be a bad sign for Iran - as a defeat for Al-Queda in Waziristan Pakistan will allow the American forces to focus on other things.
The following link in defensindustrydaily
Hezbollah/Iran's rockets
In the aftermath of the recent fighting between Iran/Syria proxies Hezbollah and Israel, a few after action reviews and assessments have begun to trickle in. While war is inseparable in practice from political strategy, and the Olmert government's interference in military planning & operations was significant and negative, DID has searched for analyses that offer more of a techno-tactical assessment. Details have been far sketchier than one is used to for American conflicts, but a hazy picture is beginning to emerge and evaluations are being made of the two forces' effectiveness. Hezbollah can safely be characterized as a state within a state and was aided by Iranian forces. Accordingly, this conflict featured most of the accoutrements of full state conflicts: Armed UAVs (apparently used by both sides), air and missile strikes with corresponding air defense activity, anti-ship cruise missiles, tanks vs. advanced anti-armor missiles (incl. AT-13s and Milans), et. al. As such the performance of the two forces and their equipment is of serious interest to defense observers around the world.


Interesting to note the known involvement of Iran's influence in a recent conflict with Israel.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ahmadinejad speech

From a speech on Al-Quds day:

"Referring to the supporters of Zionism, the Chief Executive said, "Why don't you allow the black box of Zionist crimes to be opened?!"

"The oppressed Palestinians have been deprived of all their human rights for over 60 years now. Today, the problem Quds is facing is not a Palestinian or even a Middle Eastern issue; it is global!"

"Zionism is a global threat, and is not only harming Palestine. The establishment of the Zionist regime and the all-out support (some countries extend to it) is an insult to human dignity," he added.

"Some powers believe their destiny is to protect the interests of the disgraced Zionist regime. Western countries which are pioneers in secularism and impiety support the Zionist regime as if it were the holiest task in the world."

Supporting Zionism is so important for them that they don't even allow anyone to question the establishment of the Regime, Ahmadinejad stated.


Ahmadinejad is speaking to his base - (Al-Qud), and thus this is red meat. It is not out of the realm of possibility to say that most of Islam would be happy if Israel the country would disappear. Islam remembers history - the historical timeframe of ~660 - ~1948 where there was no Israel.

Sen. Byrd is saying we are again on the path to war in a similar vein as to the Iraq war run-up.

with little to show for eventually (no WMD found eventually).

The Iran -US - World conflict to come is a bit more complex than slinging verbal spitballs (he also comments on the US declaring Al-Qud a terrorist organization - and the Iranians declaring the CIA and the US military a terrorist org).
Video by Sen. Byrd about Iranian stance:

The problem with the honorable senator's recollection of history is that the US has always looked at it's short term results with other countries. This has not always looked favorably upon the historical analysis and introspection of these decisions.
Anti-Iran website (Regime Change in Iran)

"Ayatollah al-Hassani is an outspoken critic of Iranian meddling in Iraq and has called for Iran’s embassy in Baghdad to be closed. READ MORE

In June, his supporters held a protest outside the Iranian consulate in Karbala and torched Iran's consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

They were protesting against a program aired on Iran’s state-run satellite channel al-Kowthar against the Shiite cleric.

Iran has at least seven Arabic-language television stations and more than two dozens journals spreading its propaganda in Iraq.


The problem with a peace movement (in the US and other western countries) is that the peace movements do not take into account the actual actions of the various parties involved in the (potential) war.

In Iran vis a vis US you have the Ahmadinijad presidency, the mullahs, the tribes against Iraq, Afghanistan. And of course the absolute animus versus Israel.

If one adds nuclear ambitions to this volatile mix... peace is the last item on a very long list.

The above post is a website that is anti-Iran in the sense of the current political powers. But on their website they proudly display the Iranian flag, and if you asked them about soccer results they would not have a question on their mind as to what would happen. (everyone is pro-Iran).

Except for the most stringent Islamic adherent which considers any sport sacrilege.

Tribal society thoughts...

It is hard for us westerners to relate to tribal societies.

We live in a media driven relatively peaceful republic. Where Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and actually most of the middle eastern countries have long roots in tribal sociology.

Maybe we can relate with an analogy (analogies are imperfect but do make you think from a different angle).

How about this:

Imagine you are watching a classic US Western movie... actually the whole world is familiar with this because of the Hollywood dissemination of the last 100 years.

In the last of the Mohicans there were several tribes (also called nations)

Some were violent and some eventually got annihilated.

So when you read tribal society - think about the American Indian movies that you have seen.

How did they make decisions? They always conferred into a pow wow - discussing among themselves and then finally asking the elder --- which had a huge weight with his voice.

But this was not the final voice --- it was a sort of village decision with the elders and wise people making a significant contribution.

then after the decision is made... no looking back.


Time after time we hear of Iraqi Anbar Province sheiks (equivalent to American Indian elder?)

making decisions... I am sure they did not unilaterally come up with the decision.

Within Scottish Clans of pre-1600 time frame this was also similar... (Braveheart the movie).

I am trying to relate movies because we are so media driven... although the middle east has its own peculiarities since religion also plays a part (whereas all American Indians were of a
similar religion).

For example a Shiite tribe is not going to be too excited about making a long-term commitment with a Sunni tribe ( or would always be watching it's back or something).

Anyway it is a simplification, but could help people in understanding the tribal system from a different angle.
Alternet post about why the anti-war movement should do everything possible not to go to war with Iran.


Three story lines unfolded earlier this month which underscore just how easily manipulated the American people, via the media, are when it comes to the issues of Iran and weapons of mass destruction. In the first, Rear Adm. Mark Fox, a spokesperson for the U.S. military in Iraq, let it be known that U.S. forces had captured a “known operative” of the “Ramazan Corps,” the ostensible branch of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard command responsible for all Iranian operations inside Iraq. This “operative,” one Mahmudi Farhadi, was, according to Fox, the “linchpin” behind the smuggling of “sophisticated weapons” into Iraq by the Quds Force.

We’ve heard this story before. In January of this year a similar raid by U.S. forces in Irbil netted six Iranians, five of whom are still in U.S. custody. Senior American officials let it be known that these Iranians were likewise members of the Quds Force, and included that organization’s operations director. All were tied to the (unspecified) transfer of arms and munitions into Iraq from Iran. The Iranian government claimed, and the Iraqi government confirmed, that the detained Iranians were all attached to a trade mission in Irbil, where they oversaw legitimate commerce between Iran and Iraq along the Kurdish frontier."


Also the matter of DaqDuq (sorry I do not want to copy the 3 preceding paragraphs as background - you have to read the whole article for background (DaqDuq is a leader of a militia in Iraq supposedly financed by a faction within Iran) :

"And what of Daqduq himself? It seems that his Iraqi sponsor, Qais Khazali, had fallen out of favor with Muqtada al-Sadr over the strategic direction being taken, and sometime in 2006 split away from Sadr’s Mehdi Army, taking some 3,000 fighters with him. In the lawless wild-West environment which dominates Iraq in the post-Saddam era, the formation of splinter militias of this sort is an everyday occurrence. Radical adventurers have historically been drawn to places of conflict, which would explain the presence of Daqduq. And it would not surprise me to find that Qais Khazali had secured funding from extremist elements inside Iran which operate outside the mandate of government, including some from within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard itself. But the notion of Iran and Hizbollah aligning themselves directly with a splinter element like the “Khazali network” is highly unlikely, to say the least."


But the very next paragraph is the nugget inside this post:

"But fiction often mirrors reality, and in the case of Iran’s Quds Force, the model drawn upon by the U.S. military seems to be none other than America’s own support of anti-Iranian forces, namely the Mujahedin el-Khalk (MEK) operating out of U.S.-controlled bases inside Iraq, and Jundallah, a Baluchi separatist group operating out of Pakistan that the CIA openly acknowledges supporting. Unlike the lack of evidence brought to bear by the U.S. to sustain its claims of Iranian involvement inside Iraq, the Iranian government has captured scores of MEK and Jundallah operatives, along with supporting documents, which substantiate that which the U.S. openly admits: The United States is waging a proxy war against Iran, inside Iran."


The article does not give a background to MEK. MEK has been in Iraq even during the days of Saddam Hussein.

Doing a Google search on "MEK anti-iran"

Gives many hits on news reports of the State department declaring MEK a terrorist group.

including this:
From link:

Since the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. has struck up an alliance with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, an Iranian dissident force which has a long record of committing terrorist atrocities and even collaborating with Saddam Hussein in suppressing the 1991 Shia uprising in southern Iraq.


The MEK has a long history of anti-Iran and pro-Saddam actions. Which is why the Iraqi government wants MEK to leave.

My personal worry about a group like that is that it can be bought to do another faction's dirty work.

This is likely standard fare in a tribal society... where one tribe is doing things with and against other tribes.


Friday, September 28, 2007

An interesting conversation - recorded via transcript by Hugh Hewitt and Tim Weiner.
The writer of "on the Legacy of Ashes", a book about the history of the CIA.

Here is the relevant snippet:

"HH: Their great claim to success if, of course, the coup that removes Mosaddeq, the Iranian prime minister, and restores the Shah to his full authority. Do you, in retrospect, view that as a good action on their part, and a wisely calculated move?

TW: Well look, President Eisenhower authorized it. The operation was not quite as smooth as the CIA represented. It was quite a chaotic business. But in the end, a willing partner of American foreign policy, the Shah of Iran, was installed in power. And you can argue that 25 years of stability resulted. But 29 years of bitterness and instability has followed that. And the Iranian people, the people that we as Americans don’t know a lot about, are not unaware that the United States overthrew their prime minister. And that breeds resentment and fear and hostility.


Which means that Iran has a level of distrust in regards to the USA because of the overthrow of Mosaddeq ~1953.

The point everyone needs to remember is that the middle east has a very long memory of historical events.

This has to rank as another one of the US short term thinking maneuvers...

I.e. get some more stability out of the Shah's regime for a little while. While in the long term Iran will not trust USA

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here is blog - -- Yes, the President of Iran has a blog in Farsi and is also translated into English. (click on English).

"In the aforementioned meeting, it was again proven to me that the actual reason for the failure of the U.S. policy in its political field and international relation is their lack of information regarding the world%q%s realities and also enclosure of the decision making people of that country in their own fabricated and false political propaganda."


Very interesting - as if there is no propaganda in his country???

The whole site has not useful information except for another seeming attempt to humanize the President of Iran.

If he is human after all why would he want to do evil?

Has anyone ever heard of the wolf in sheeps clothing?
Iranian Blogs -

One about regime change

"The mullahs saw all this as a confirmation of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s notorious dictum: “America cannot do a damn thing!” Emboldened, they next tried to disrupt the flow of Arab oil through the Persian Gulf by firing at Kuwaiti oil tankers in 1987. With that, the Reagan administration finally moved onto the offensive. Kuwaiti tankers were put under American flag, and a naval task force was dispatched to deal with the Iranian threat. At the next round of probing attacks, the American task force sank nearly half of the Islamic Republic’s navy and dismantled over $1 billion worth of Iranian offshore oil installations. Promptly ordering a halt to his offensive, Khomeini also announced his acceptance of a United Nations Security Council resolution ending Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq. "

Iran has a history of attacking American interests.

This blog goes over several past conflicts.

Including during the Clinton administration:
"Next came the Clinton administration, which, at first adopting a policy of benign neglect vis-à-vis the mullahs, was shocked out of its torpor by the attack on the U.S. base at Khobar, Saudi Arabia, in which nineteen American servicemen were killed in an operation designed by Iran and carried out by Lebanese and Saudi Shiite militants."


Hard to substantiate this attack to the Iranian Shiite, but plausible.


"To this day, Ahmadinejad has never lost an opportunity to reiterate that the Islamic Republic is as committed to fighting Western democracies as it was when it came to power almost three decades ago. Claiming that he is preparing the ground for the return of the Hidden Imam, a messiah-like figure of Shiite lore, Ahmadinejad considers a “clash of civilizations” to be both inevitable and welcome. Of course, he is ready to talk—so long as the Islamic Republic is not required to make any concessions. In a speech in Zanjan over the summer, Ahmadinejad assured his listeners that the United States would never be permitted to create “an American Middle East.” “The new Middle East,” he told the cheering crowd, “will be Islamic.” Nor is Ahmadinejad a lone wolf. Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Meshkini, president of the Assembly of Experts and thus, after the “Supreme Guide,” the regime’s second most senior clerical figure, further clarified the extent of Tehran’s ambitions in a September speech to the assembly. The only legitimate government on earth, proclaimed the ayatollah, is the Islamic Republic, and the entire world, starting with the Muslim nations, must be put under the rule of the “Supreme Guide." "


There is a definite underecurrent within the mullah leadership to flex its muscles and grow its powerbase.

What better way to do it than to fight the United States?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Charles Krauthammer article

Re: the Israeli Syrian raid...

"Circumstantial evidence points to this being an attack on some nuclear facility provided by North Korea.
Three days earlier, a freighter flying the North Korean flag docked in the Syrian port city of Tartus with a shipment of "cement." Long way to go for cement. Within days, a top State Department official warned that "there may have been contact between Syria and some secret suppliers for nuclear equipment." Three days later, the six-party meeting on dismantling North Korea's nuclear facilities scheduled for Sept. 19 was suddenly postponed, officially by China, almost certainly at the behest of North Korea."

Why would North Korea and Turkey be the only nations to complain in UN about the air raid?

It is interesting to note the complaint, because North Korea is supposed to be doing the non-nuclear proliferation ...

It is almost like water erosion channels - water goes downhill and does its damage...

When one has dictatorships in different parts of the world, they gravitate together to try and survive and accomplish their goals. (eliminate neigbors etc.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Israel's silence on raid in Syria

The important snippet:
"Why Israel apparently chose to route its attack through Turkey is a nice question, given that it means a detour of more than 1,000 miles. Damascus claims the fuel tank was discarded after the planes came under Syrian anti-aircraft fire, which could be true. But if Israel is contemplating an attack on Tehran's nuclear installations--and it is--it makes no sense to advertise the "Turkish corridor" as its likely avenue of attack.
As for the North Korean theory, evidence for it starts with Pyongyang. The raid, said one North Korean foreign ministry official quoted by China's Xinhua news agency, was "little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security." But who asked him, anyway? In August, the North Korean trade minister signed an agreement with Syria on "cooperation in trade and science and technology." Last week, Andrew Semmel, the acting counterproliferation chief at the State Department, confirmed that North Korean technicians of some kind were known to be in Syria, and that Syria was "on the U.S. nuclear watch list." And then there is yesterday's curious news that North Korea has abruptly suspended its participation in the six-party talks, for reasons undeclared."

Turkey allowed Israeli planes to overfly for a live ordnance mission. This is certainly a potential prelude to an Iranian mission.

The region is readying itself for another major flare-up.

The Jerusalem Post has noted that Turkey gave information to Israel which was used to bomb a Syrian installation. Whether it was a WMD installation is impossible to tell from here.

Israel mixing itself into Iran versus other Arabs is never an easy thing, but they also cannot just sit on the sidelines while Iran and Syria receive nukes (from North Korea).

My personal prediction is that Iran will have to be dealt with politically. Either from the inside out or from the outside in.

And as you know - Von Klausewitz has said: War is the ultimate political instrument.

So it will be.

the players:

Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Israel. Jordan will try to stay out of anything/everything.

The kurds will try to stay alive somehow.

It will be a Sunni-Shia alliance versus Israel

While the Persian Shia will try to gain some power over the Iraqi Shia.

The Syrian sunni will try to ally itself with Iraqi Sunni, but this is doubtful to succeed with the American influences.

It will depend on when the Iranians actually receive or create their own nukes.

After this event everything will happen.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Interesting article re: partitioning of Iraq by Charles Krauthammer:
Real clear politics link

Relevant section:

1. The Sunni provinces. The essence of our deal with the Anbar tribes and those in Diyala, Salahuddin and elsewhere is this: You end the insurgency and drive out al-Qaeda, and we assist you in arming and policing yourselves. We'd like you to have an official relationship with the Maliki government, but we're not waiting on Baghdad.

2. The Shiite south. This week the British pulled out of Basra, retired to their air base and essentially left the southern Shiites to their own devices -- meaning domination by the Shiite militias now fighting each other for control.

3. The Kurdish north. Kurdistan has been independent in all but name for a decade and a half.

Baghdad and its immediate surroundings have not yet been defined. Despite some ethnic cleansing, the capital's future is uncertain


Charles is not taking into account the ipso facto meaning of a Kurdistan "in everything but name" Both Iran and Turkey would have a big problem with an independent Kurd-Iraq region.

This volatile mixture means only future strife and conflict by the regional powers.

Interesting to note that Charles mentions the WW1 mesopotamian carve up:

"What's happening today is not geographical line-drawing, colonial-style. We do not have a Mr. Sykes and a Mr. Picot sitting down to a map of Mesopotamia in a World War I carving exercise. The lines today are being drawn organically by self-identified communities and tribes. Which makes the new arrangement more likely to last."

The partition may be from the bottom up but it still has top-down problems.
Republican Presidendial Primary Debate Published June 5, 2007-

There were some Iran points: (transcript)

Rudy Giuliani had Iran interposed in an Iraq question:
MR. BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, same question to you. Was it — knowing what you know right now, was it a good decision?
MR. GIULIANI: Absolutely the right thing to do. It’s unthinkable that you would leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to fight the war on terror. And the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not be seen in a vacuum. Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States.
The problem the Democrats make is they’re in denial. That’s why you hear things like you heard in the debate the other night, that, you know, Iran really isn’t dangerous; it’s 10 years away from nuclear weapons. Iran is not 10 years away from nuclear weapons, and the danger to us is not just missiles, the danger to us is a state like Iran handing nuclear weapons over to terrorists, so it has to be seen in that light, and we have to be successful in Iraq.

So, the question is when will Iran have nuclear weapons?

How can we tell? Saddam befuddled inspectors, and had a UN payoff scheme.

So, the reality is - Iran will get nukes at some point - what will they do with them?

They claim to want to wipe Israel off the map, is this sabre rattling or a real threats?

When Hitler was taking Austria and then Czechoslovakia - who knew he would not stop there?

Hitler could have been stopped well before WW2 - around 1935 (or when it was) when the rhineland was reoccupied. The German army was not ready for war then and were on orders to retreat if the French made movements towards the border.

I hate to bring up Hitler, but there is a correlation as to stopping something before it gets out of control.

Although in 1935 it was not easy to see that Hitler would be a megalomaniac.

Just like today it is difficult to see the future.

I think the thing to do is to prepare - as the boy scouts say - "Be Prepared".

So that we will not get a Pearl harbor or a 9/11 again.

If you see the region in the limelight of history the Iran/Iraq region has been meddled with as early as 1900 in a small fashion.

After WW1 the region was cut up by the western powers (Great Britain/France).

To us this is long ago, but if you are living in the region, this is still on your mind.

Tony Z

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It is very interesting to note that history is always in some kind of cycle - repeating itself ad nauseum.

Iran is prepared to fill the supposed Iraq vacuum

It is no surprise that Iran would fill in any power vacuum real or imagined.

It is a natural progression of events.

The three parties Iraq, Turkey, and Iran also have a vested interest in reducing the Kurd influence. One of the reasons that Iran has to act (from its point of view).

Kurdistan would be an unmitigated disaster for Iran. And they would likely go to war to prevent that from happening.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

At the same time Iran's neighbors are trying to obtain nukes, or actively looking into the process of obtaining nukes to keep Iran in check, the Russian government is repressing demonstrators.

there were 2000 demonstrators and they were outnumbered, so it was easy to contain for the police.

Interesting to note that Islamic terrorists were supported by the Soviet Union in it's day.

Russia today although an ally seems to be fickle.

This i sanother complexity in todays ever changing landscape.

At the same time Iran's neighbors are pulling strings to get nukes, the Russian government is repressing their deonstrators.
Eye on Iran, Rivals Pursuing Nuclear Power

It looks like all of Iran's neighbors want to get nukes as well.

Why not? how else to keep Iran in check? They have to get nukes, otherwise Iran will be able to dictate their terms to their neighbors.

Or Saudis and Turkey will be beholden to the US for defense...

And this is likely unacceptable in the long-term.

Friday, April 13, 2007

About the recent Iraq bombing (Suicide bomber blew himself up within the green zone during parliament meeting).

From powerline:

The Bombing of Iraq's Parliament
Today's suicide attack on Iraq's parliament, apparently carried out by al Qaeda, killed at least eight people and achieved the terrorists' propaganda objective. The BBC reports here. Al Qaeda no doubt knows that the patience of most Americans has just about run out, so it has every incentive to carry out symbolic attacks like today's. It worked; Secretary of State Rice had to deny that the attack shows that the "surge" is failing, and many other news outlets will no doubt echo the BBC's statement that "[t]he two attacks [a bridge was also bombed today] are major blows to the much-trumpeted Baghdad security surge now in its third month...."
Coincidentally, an Arab television network was filming an interview with a member of parliament at the moment the bomb went off. This striking footage was the result:

(there is a video linked on powerline site)

I agree with Pajamasmedia who had someone onsite (with interesting observations) it had to be someone on the inside that helped make this happen.

What about this:

Al-Sadr has been rattling his sabres lately, has several connections in parliament (I believe he has a couple of members from his faction in parliament).

It would make sense, as he also has made other demonstrations of force with thousands of marchers.

Al-Sadr could also be doing Iran's bidding, which is even more interesting.

Of course everything is speculation, but one can connect the potential players here.

Al-Queda (which claimed responsibility) has it's hands full with just staying alive these days.

And Al-Sadr has been flexing his political muscle.

As far as Iran - remember Clausewitz: military action is just another political tool to get what you want.

Clausewitz lived in 1700's within a classical Europe filled with many wars and political intrigue.
But his sharp mind put into focus many principles of war. As SunTzu did for the Chinese warlords.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is Pelosi the new Neville Champerlain?

Neville Chamberlain wanted dialogue before WW2 as well. He had the best intentions, and that was to avert war.

In San Fran Chronicle:

There are some interesting quotes attributed to Pelosi by the way of her not refuting the statements:

Pelosi said that throughout the congressional delegation's recent Middle East trip, "every place we went we had a constant message: the safety and security of Israel, fighting terrorism.''
"There was, of course, a shadow over all of it, Iran: Iran's support of terrorist groups is something that must be stopped,'' she said. "Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon is something that must not happen and we must stop them with the strongest of diplomatic measures.''
Lantos noted that "with the speaker's support,'' he has co-sponsored legislation in the House that calls for making available to all countries -- including Iran -- nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes under international oversight by establishing a "nuclear fuel bank."
"So if the Iranian president says that he is developing (nuclear material) for peaceful purposes, we are assisting him in that process,'' said Lantos, who anticipated the legislation could pass as early as May.


Interesting to note that Tom Lantos is more than willing to give nuclear fuel to Iran, a country which has theocratic oligarchical regime.

The current President of Iran has made many statements about the destruction of Israel and to other US interests.

The interesting irony is that Pelosi and other democrats which are against blind belief in theocratic edicts by the religous right, are more than willing to put their faith behind a theocratic Muslim country with a bent on producing nuclear weapons.

Iran states every week or two that they are producing nuclear weapons, and every other week what they will do with them.

So back to my original question is Pelosi the 21st century Chamberlain?

Only time will tell of course.

And if a bomb gets developed and dropped somewhere we can point to this time in history and state that the US was not willing to make a corrective measure even when our soldiers are being attacked within Iraq by Iranian weapons and actual skirmishes with their army or paramilitary units.