Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reuters reports on a new Iranian test firing of a missile.

In the article the reporter is referring to the previous "9" missile test firings.

Where the 9 missiles were clearly invalidated by bloggers, to show that the nine were actually 3 missiles photoshopped several times. (may have been just two missiles).

This kind of muscle flexing is only to mark their territory for Obama's benefit.

It will be interesting what other moves Iran will do as Obama gets closer to actually stepping into the seat of power.

Here is a map from Answers.com of "Eastern Prussia" in 14th century, notice the region names and if you scroll down you will see the Soviet/Russian renamed all the cities, so as to take a historical precedence away from the older Germanic region.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Guess where the next crisis is?

Did you guess Kaliningrad?

It is the old East Prussia, where Koenigsberg was, the Soviet Union changed its name, and kept it even after the soviet bloc countries tried to assert themselves.

Then after Soviet Union became Russia it decided to keep the "enclave", which is basically a large military base a few hundred miles from Berlin, a thousand or so from London and Paris.

This short range allows short range missiles to hit any targets in a very short time, minutes
Headlines from Arab Press: Tishreen
Tishreen (SYRIA): Assad: American Aggression on Syria Confirms Danger of U.S. Presence in Region – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a conference of Arab parliaments in Damascus Sunday that the latest U.S. aggression on Syria constitutes a constant source of threat to Iraq's neighbors and a source of instability to the region. He added that the Iraq-U.S. security accord is aimed at turning Iraq into a base to strike at neighboring countries and called for ending the occupation of Iraq as soon as possible to ensure Iraq's independence and the region's stability.


I doubt Assad has the regions stability in mind, he wants to be able to influence Iraq, with Al-Quida if necessary.

The US presence constitutes a threat to Syrian military potential.
Iraq orders planes, helos from US and France.

The order of 36 F-16 Fighting Falcons, 24 AT-6B Light Attack Aircraft Trainers and a variety of attack and reconnaissance helicopters will go toward plans to develop 10 air force bases with 6,000 crewmen by 2011.

Here is another interesting snippet by Iraq's emerging military:

Samer Abid al-Wahaab, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said at the time that air power was integral to Iraq's security objectives.

"Iraq faces multiple challenges: We need to control our open borders and defend against external aggression, while our counterparts must maintain internal security and overall law and order," he said.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Barack Obama keeps referring to the "real" leader of Iran without actually naming him:

Foreign Affairs article by Akbar Ganji.

Who happens to be an Iranian journalist which has had his runins with the current regime.

Here is a good snippet:

The Iranian constitution endows the supreme leader with tremendous authority over all major state institutions, and Khamenei, who has held the post since 1989, has found many other ways to further increase his influence. Formally or not, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government all operate under the absolute sovereignty of the supreme leader; Khamenei is the head of state, the commander in chief, and the top ideologue. He also reaches into economic, religious, and cultural affairs through various government councils and organs of repression, such as the Revolutionary Guards, whose commander he himself appoints.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Presidential debate about Afghanistan and drug trafficking...

Here is an AL-Jazeera story about drug trafficking in Afghanistan:

Al Jazeera: This year poppy cultivation has decreased for the first time. Yet, the success is limited to some areas of the country and other areas, such as the south, show no progress. What are the reasons for the success in some areas and the lack of it in others?

Khodaidad: There are lots of difficulties in counter-narcotics issues in Afghanistan, particularly in eradication and law enforcement issues. It is not possible for Afghanistan to solve this drug problem by itself.

General Khodaidad, the minister of counter-narcotics is praised in this article.

But Afghanistan has an uphill battle to climb.

And it is in the US interest to solve this problem, as a lot of money goes to anti-Afghanistan/anti-US forces.

Why not help the Afghanis help themselves?

How does that go??feed a man a fish feed him once, teach him how to fish, feed him for life :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

US Hits inside Pakistan (Long War Journal)

The US has increased its attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan against AQ.

But this is due to AQ becoming more successful in hitting targets inside Afghanistan.

AQ is also increasing its tempo of actions around the world: Philippines, Somalia, and anywhere they can get a foothold.

While this is going on, Iran, Venezuela, China and Russia are trying to influence their own areas to gain advantages where possible.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Palestinian Authority is liable for $114 million dollars?

Jerusalem District Court Judge Aharon Farkash ruled on Monday that it was possible to implement a 2004 US court ruling, according to which the Palestinian Authority must pay compensations of more than $116 million to terror victims' families.

From Jerusalem Post

This means that Israel is striking back at the PA in another heretofore uncreated avenue.

Interesting potential ... but this is why most terrorist organizations would rather be anonymous, until they want to get credit for the hit.
Iranian group hezbollah also has "collateral" damage:

The Hezbollah Brigades operatives were captured in New Baghdad after Coalition forces received "sensitive intelligence" from other members of the group currently in custody. The information identified the location of a cell leader who "conspires with several known Khata'ib Hezbollah criminals" and was behind the deadly June 4 improvised rocket-assisted mortar, or IRAM, attack in the Sha'ab neighborhood in the Baghdad district of Adhamiyah. The attack, which was thought to be directed at a US forward operating base, killed 18 Iraqis and wounded 29 after the rockets detonated prematurely and fell short. The cell leader was among those captured.

From Long War Journal

It looks like all nations and their proxies have collateral damage.
Likely this will not be trumpeted in the MSM.

Many undercurrents in this story (besides the collateral damage issue), like Iran attempting to influence Iraq.

Or getting ready to influence once the US leaves.

Iran will not go away - with nuclear, conventional and para-military forces.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

While Democrats have their convention, Al-Qaeda keeps trying to influence their groups.

No one has talked about Somalia lately?

Late last week, Shabab fighters overran the strategic southern port city of Kismayo, Somalia's second largest city. The capture of Kismayo capped a yearlong campaign by Shabab to retake territory lost to the Ethiopians in late 2006 and early 2007.

(From Long War journal)

Shahab is a Pro Al-Qaeda fighter group, that is trying to take South Somalia.

This is a global struggle, and there is no letup.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I wanted to make a quick comment on the current Georgia-Russia crisis.

The initial thought is that it is not always a good idea to counter the other parties moves, as it may backfire.

I am certain that Russia did not anticipate Poland going through with the anti-missile system, while Ukraine also helping with tracking missiles presumably from Russia and/or Iran.

As of today The Russian forces in Georgia have not left yet.

This bluster that Russia is showing has many purposes, including showing strength. But moving Poland and Ukraine to the American ABM camp was likely not one of it's reason for being.

For the US this potential diplomatic crisis can effect Iran as well.

It will show Iran what the US will do when push comes to shove.

The US has very little wiggle room in this conflict, so the response is important.

One cannot very easily move troops into Georgia even if that was possible.

The best one can do is drop some airborne troops within a couple of days.

No heavy units will make it easily.

Turkey would have to let a naval fleet through into the Black sea.

Turkey may come into even more diplomatic power (even though it is also invested in the Iraq conflict through the militant Kurds in their country).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So the true story with the bogus missile flap, is that Iran likes to send out press releases and generate news to potentially counter the Israeli Wargaming that happened a few days before the missile test.

Sort of a PR tit-for-tat.

Although they hurt themselves with a little zealousness with their photoshop department.

The underlying nuclear ambition of Iran and the West's need to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions have not changed. In fact these PR battles only draw emotion into the conflict where it does not belong.

I figured I would finally comment on the latest Iran-Missile flap -

Where Iran "tested" a few missiles, which they claim was their new 1300 mile range missile.

It turns out I was right not to comment for a while (as this is a historical viewpoint blog), it is good to see current events with a few more days under the belt).

Here is a picture which aptly demonstrates what actually happened(above this post)

And here is the AP story on the updated information

Basically, the missile test was actually using old missiles, and the photo sent out by Iran was photoshopped (which is why someone ingeniously photoshopped the image above).

I got the image from Armscontrolwonk.com.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another US - Taliban border clash in Pakistan-Afghanistan

Long War Journal post

The US military and Afghan National Army fought yet another major engagement in eastern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. An estimated 33 Taliban were killed in a battle in the Spera district in Khost province.

The battle began after the Taliban launched a complex attack on a US outpost in the Spera district, right along the Pakistani border. The Taliban followed up a rocket attack with small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. US forces beat back the attack with "mortar, artillery fire and close air support," the International Security Assistance Force reported in a press release.

This is another in a long series of clashes before the US Presidential election.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pakistan unmanned airplane attack by US

The airstrike is thought to have been carried out inside the Mohmand tribal agency. "There was an attack by a spy plane close to the Afghan border but we don't have information about casualties or damage," the unnamed Pakistani government said.

also more snippets:

Abu Sulayman Jazairi, a senior Algerian operative for al Qaeda’s central organization, along with 13 associates, was killed in an airstrike against a Taliban and al Qaeda safe house in the town of Damadola in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency on May 14. Jazairi is described as a senior trainer, an explosives expert, and an operational commander tasked with planning attacks on the West.


These are interesting new developments, where the US is now using every means available to hit Al Queda in Pakistan - where Al Queda was safe from US attacks in the past.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Iran and the evil question.

I think it would not be wise to assume that Iran is evil, although one can potentially think about the ramifications of some portion of the leadership being evil.

Is it wise to think of a country as evil.

What would the ramifications be if we knew that leader xyz in Iran has the potential of becoming Hitler II?

When would we know that is the case?

Would the US compromise it's integrity and this if assuming evil and what can the US truly do about it?

It is my assertion that unless a true smoking gun can be found, evil can only be combated in a reactionary method.

I.e. after some event happens, then we can go into action. That is how democracies work.

So, the problem and the million dollar question is: What if Hitler II (wherever he is) obtains nukes and uses them?

unless we see a smoking gun with definite proof, we can only react.

So, the unfortunate fact is that we are destined to get hit by a nuke - some time from now.

It would be ironic? and I can hear the rhetoric now:

We used the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima - thus it is only fitting that the great satan (USA) receives it's own medicine.

Innocent people? are there any innocent people in the mind of the megalomaniac?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

What should the headline be:

Iran and the problem of Evil

Or is Iran evil? And if so what can we do about it?

I think that the article by Michael Ledeen is a good article, I like this part especially:

How could Western leaders, let alone the victims, be blamed for failing to see something that was almost totally new – systematic mass murder on a vast scale, and a threat to civilization itself? Never before had there been such an organized campaign to destroy an entire "race," and it was therefore almost impossible to see it coming, or even to recognize it as it got under way

(He was talking about Nazi Germany and Hitler)

But the historical introspection should be given more insight.

Is Iran evil? How can we tell?

If it is evil then what can we do about it without going against our peaceful principles?

Sort of like precognition with crime, if you could tell there would be a crime before it happened what could you do about it? And how sure are you?

Unfortunately if an entity is truly evil they will use all positions to further their cause.

The main reason for calling Iran evil is Ahmadinejad's call to erase Israel.

Is it evil to erase another country if the two countries are based on religious beliefs? The Iranian population is primarily of Islamic religious beliefs - If the leadership of Iran supports their reasoning with religious beliefs and the belief is to erase Israel.

Is that evil or just another religion?

Friday, June 06, 2008

This is the worry of the US:

The point when they get that bomb will be the point of no return. Iran's nuclear bomb will be the terrorists' nuclear bomb-- and they can make 9/11 look like child's play.

All the options that are on the table right now will be swept off the table forever. Our choices will be to give in to whatever the terrorists demand-- however outrageous those demands might be-- or to risk seeing American cities start disappearing in radioactive mushroom clouds.

From Thomas Sowell

The US worry is real, and the Iranian need to develop the Nuclear bomb has many legitimate regional and power reasons (just like Hitler had legitimate reasons to rebuild Germany after the debilitating WW1 impositions by the Allies.

The big question is - Is there a third way?
Cyberfaith has an Iranian pre-Olympic post - Iran won in a warm-up game.

Scroll down some more, and you will see Iranian women in various places (outside of the main stream media looks).

Also interesting a blog entry about the disputed Persian islands:

Iranian government repeatedly announced there is not any compromise about the territorial integrity

With the powerful leadership of Iranian authorities in the Persian Gulf region, Lesser Tunb, greater Tunb and Abu Mousa will remain inseparable parts of Iran; never to be removed off the country.
By grudgingly misuse of the friendly and peaceful approach of Iranian government toward the issue of triple Islands, state of UAE showed it needs more harsh and cutting reaction despite of being warned so many times from Iran.

Apparently UAE is making a bid for them, and Iran is not having any of it.

I wonder what the Presidential campaigns position is on this topic?

And most interesting: a caption of a picture (Protesting Iranian holding up the slogan: "Great Persia including UAE under the flag of Islamic Republic of Iran")


Border disputes are how wars are typically are launched.

Remember the Saddam Kuwait invasion? Started because of an Oil border dispute. (Iraq was drilling across the border)
I have added some more links (Iranian) cleaned some items up and added the donate link.

Unfortunately I have recently been laid off so I will work a little on the Blogging in between checking out ads.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

I just read "The Franco-Prussian War"

By Geoffrey Wawro

It was an interesting book.

I learned a lot of things - and will summarize in bullet points:

** Bismarck was a statesman and a master diplomat - but did not see into the future enough.
Otto Von Bismarck kept a cool head throughout an extremely chaotic situation while in France.

The Prussian army was besieging Paris for months, won several battles, but the French still would not give in to Bismarck's demands of territorial needs (he needed a clear win to pull all of the Germanic kingdoms together).

He did unfortunately go too far in asking for reparations, since the French foolishly were goaded into attacking Germany first.

Because Germany won in such a lopsided manner, even thogh:

** Although the German technology was superior to the Austrian in 1866, the German rifle was a breech loader, whereas the Austrians were still using muzzle loaders.

** The French had a better rifle, it could shoot effectively out to 1500 yards, whereas the German gun was only effective to 800 yards.

It was in the artillery the Prussians had a clear superiority, that and the tactics that the Prussians used made the contest a non-issue (kind of like 1940).

** Louis-Napoleon was a diplomatic lightweight and thought he was a genius.

Things I already knew:

The Prussian war machine was much more efficient than the French war machine.

So, Bismarck set up reparations which unfortunately caused the French and British to reciprocate after WW1. He did not realize the future repercussions of present actions.

But he did try to make things somewhat better - although in his eyes he was not a radical, nor a maximum punishment person, the end effect was a difficult going for France for many years.

The thing is, that Bismarck knew he needed a massive victory, and since the previous invasions of Napoleon during the early 1800's still were in many German's memories.

He would have had a good reason not to punish them somewhat.

It is interesting that the USA figured out by the Marshall Plan how to create a peaceful region out of the most warlike region of the world in the last 2000 years ( or at least it seems that way).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oops: Long War Journal points to an article about the new Pakistani government actually wanting to negotiating their way out of their mess with AlQueda.


Here is snippet:
"We're ready to talk to all those who give up arms and adopt the path of peace," Yousuf Raza Gilani, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan who represents the Pakistan People's Party, said after taking office. Gilani indicated he would negotiate with the Taliban and plans on focusing his efforts on infrastructure, humanitarian aid, and legal reforms to defeat terrorism.

Unfortunately this may not bode well if Al-Queda is using their standard tactic of arming up while 'talking'.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dick Cheney:

Speaking in Oman, a U.S.-allied Arab monarchy and neighbor of Iran's, Cheney told ABC News, "The important thing to keep in mind is the objective that we share with many of our friends in the region, and that is that a nuclear-armed Iran would be very destabilizing for the entire area."

Ok, but what does that mean?

Iran could be destabilizing if it continues to foment Iraqi strife. (giving money and support to Shiite versus the Sunni).

The problem may be that a nuclear tipped Iran can cause even more problems.

The problem can be merely one of what if Iran sells or gives nukes to terrorist organizations. How can the US trace back to Iran?

And hit Iran if they have more nukes?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What is the right nuclear strategy?

Should we profess to reduce capabilities for the countries that are just gaining the ability?

Or should we let them have it only if they are allies?

Surely all countries know that once one achieves nuclear status then it is prudent for other countries to treat that country differently.

Because no one wants to push the button. But also some countries are too eager and too easy on the saber rattling. I.e. it does not help Iran when Ahmadinejad says he wants to wipe Israel off the earth.

Then i the next breath say that they have criteria to participate in world affairs without violence.

what exactly does wipe off the earth mean? If not nuclear?
More posturing by new and old nuclear powers:

From spacedaily.com headlines
New India capability
March 23, 2008 - India on Sunday test fired a medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile capable of hitting most targets in neighbouring Pakistan, a defence official said. The Agni-1 missile, which has a range of more than 700 kilometres (430 miles), was fired at 10:15 am (0445 GMT) from an island off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa, the official said. "The user trial of the missile passed

Sarkozy(France) suggesting to Iran
Tehran (AFP) March 22, 2008
Iran on Saturday lashed out at President Nicolas Sarkozy for suggesting France needed a nuclear deterrent to counter the growing missile threat posed by states like the Islamic republic.

Russia studying missile shield
Moscow (AFP) March 20, 2008 - The United States gave Moscow guarantees that its proposed anti-missile shield "will be not directed" against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday in a first sign of progress in very hard negotiations between the two countries.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Khojir nukes? no proof in pudding

Powerlineblog.com had a blurb about a news story re: Khojir - a Nuclear development area near Tehran.

Check this out:
According to Google Map: Khojir coordinates are 35° 40' 58" North, 51° 42' 28" East and its original name (with diacritics) is KhojÄ«r. See Khojir photos and images from satellite below, explore the aerial photographs of Khojir in Iran.


Hard to tell what it is, but if one zooms out one can see that this is great country to hide stuff, close to mountains and easy to create caves etc.

Certainly this is no smoking gun - what exactly does a nuclear facility look like?

But looking at satellite photos one can make incriminating remarks but that is about it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Israel - is another big player in the chess match between Iran and US.

Yahoo news story

BERLIN - Israel's prime minister on Tuesday brushed aside suggestions that the threat from Iran's nuclear program has receded, saying he remains convinced that Tehran is "moving forward" with plans for an atomic weapon.


It is obvious that Israel believes Iran will build nukes and ballistic missiles, then stockpile them and use them at their convenience.

What would your response be if you believed it was only a matter of time before a nation took a declaration of war and attempted to annihilate you?

Can anyone say "first strike".

No one should blame Israel as Ahmadinijad has said many times that he will lay waste to Israel. I believe the quote was to wipe Israel off the map.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Iran helping Afghanistan?

Iran-Focus article

"Iran is providing assistance to Afghanistan: whether that is meant to assist Afghanistan or influence Afghanistan, I leave that to you," he said.

And he criticized Iran's forced repatriation over winter of thousands of Afghan nationals in the neighboring country illegally. The issue is a sore point in relations between Tehran and Kabul.

Wood, perhaps the most influential foreign diplomat in Kabul, said Afghanistan's relationship with Pakistan was also complicated but better cooperation between them was "crucial."


Here is more evidence of the complicated weaving of southwest asian politics.

Tehran has helped at times, and hurt at times.

Somewhat tribal in nature these changes of direction.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Talk about the weirdness that Americans see in the Saudi case of Yara:

Arab News reports on the latest outrage by Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice: the "arrest" of a 36-year-old businesswoman identified only as "Yara" for the crime of drinking coffee in a Riyadh Starbucks with a male business associate described as a "Syrian financial analyst."

What about this:

from Iranian.com

I wish she had not said this. All the women on the train are now staring at me. Those standing are focused on me from above and those sitting from below. I turn my head so that I can see the woman better. All of a sudden it feels as though her appearance has changed. But she is playing with her cell phone and looking at the women who surround her. A streak of stubbornness is apparent in her expression. "You mean that you would be willing to allow your husband to take on a second or even a third wife while married to you, with the law supporting him in doing so?" I ask.

"What’s the problem with that?" She responds abruptly and forcefully. "I am the second wife to my husband." All the women surrounding us are now staring at me. There is something in their gaze. It is as if they are waiting for me to put this woman in her place with a strong and reproachful response. But the woman does not allow me to respond, she continues: "I fell in love with my husband. I am still in love with him. If it weren’t for the law, I would not be allowed to be with him. Even if it is for one day a week, it is legal. This law gives us greater freedom of choice, why should I oppose it?"

I collect my signatures and leave the metro. The women only car, filled with serious discussion, departs the station.

I repeat to myself: Freedom of choice... Freedom in love... Freedom in love is one sided!!

(*) While the Metro is not segregated and allows for women to ride in all cars, one car on all trains is set aside for women only. Most members of the Campaign focus their signature collections on the women only car.


Us Americans just cannot fathom these social customs. And the various implications in regular standard everyday tasks.
Hey Look Iran is privatizing:
Payvand News story

relevant blurb:
The 60-acre port city of Fereydoun-Kenar is located some 238 km north of the capital Tehran.

Fereydoun-Kenar was originally designated by Majlis (Iran's parliament) as a port city in 1990 and vested in private sector in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (to end on March 19) in line with the government's efforts to complete the privatization trend in the country.

The port city has three harbors with the capacity of loading and unloading 700,000 tons of goods and grains per year.


There is another story that says the oil sector is privatizing as well ...

$90Billion holding company is being built.


And what does this mean?

Iran wants foreign investment and a legitimate and strong investment community, i.e. stock market and more.

We should help them!!
Some analysis from Asia Times

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press)

offers this insight:
"In tandem with Iran's cooperation and nuclear transparency, what is needed is a phasing out of the UN sanctions regime on Iran, instead of strengthening it. Iran's former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the supreme leader on foreign policy matters, has recently stated the importance of Iran's diplomatic dialogue with the "5 +1". This signals a growing Iranian willingness to enter direct dialogue with the US on the nuclear issue.

The US must be prepared to revise its defunct and unrealistic positions on Iran's nuclear dossier, to focus on transparency and confidence-building measures pertaining to the various "objective guarantees" that Iran has been putting on the table for some time. The continuation of the present "coercive" course of action against Iran by Washington will neither solve the Iran nuclear crisis nor improve the semi-crisis that the NPT finds itself in today; rather, it will augment both. "


Dr. Afrasiabi certainly has a point - there has been little to show for the coercive strategy.

On the other hand there has been little in options for the US.

If not coercive - then what?

An engaged diplomatic core requires some reciprocate reaction from Iran.

There has been little cooperation.

Certainly one could try the cooperation angle and see where it leads, as long as no additional technology is given to Iran then the Iranians are going to go along and do what they do anyway.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Russia wants an offensive capability

From SpaceWar

If the recent words of four-star Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian General Staff, are heeded, Russia will have to equip all the services of its armed forces with permanently combat-ready nuclear weapons. Nobody can guess who will use them first.

Speaking at a meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow on Jan. 19, Baluyevsky declared that force should be used not only in the course of hostilities, but also to demonstrate the readiness of leaders to uphold their national interests.

"We are not going to attack anyone," he reassured his audience, "but we want all our partners to realize that Russia will use armed force to defend its own and its allies' sovereignty and territorial integrity. It may resort to a pre-emptive nuclear strike in cases specified by its doctrine."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Times Online

George Bush offers allies $20bn of arms to counter Iran
Tue. 15 Jan 2008
Times Online

Sonia Verma, of The Times, in Dubai

President Bush backed his political rhetoric against Iran yesterday with the promise of a $20 billion arms deal to boost the military clout of Washington’s key allies in the Gulf.

So this is Bush' attempt to create a balance of power among the gulf states.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The NYTimes has published an article

Discussing covert operations in Pakistan to hamper Al-Qaeda operations - likely to counter the anti-Bhutto operations. As well as Al-Qaeda's attempt to take the country from Musharraf government.

The similarities of options are not the same as Iran for the US, since Pakistan already has functioning nuclear weapons, a large body of opposition populace, both violent and non-violent.


Each action will likely have a reaction by the opposition camps.

An interesting photo essay (two weeks in Iran) within the Iranian.com website

Interesting to note Tehran has snow and streets and cars (just like many other cities ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Interesting strategic insights into the Iranian question - as to what to do from here:

Kaveh Afrasiabi: From a place within iranian.com

Suffice to say that President Ahmadinejad was on the mark in his recent trip to NY, when he stated that the nuclear arsenal did not save the Soviet Union, nor proved an asset to Israel in its recent debacle in Lebanon. The argument that Iran's government seeks the bomb as a deterrent against democracy is too problematic to deserve a critical pause, for it shows a fundamental ignorance of the proliferation history and logic, and Milani should stick with his popular biography-writing than sticking his head in such convoluted waters.

Mr. Afrasiabi mentions this after reading Akbar Ganji's Washington Post article.
His comment wsa written on October 3, 2006.

I would definitely be interested in other thoughts that Mr. Afrasiabi has regarding the nuclear proliferation.

It is interesting to note what happened to the Soviet Union, and how their nuclear arsenal did not help them develop as a nation - you could argue it hidered them.

It is also simplistic to note that nuclear proliferation will have a single reason and effect.

The complex reasons for nuclear proliferations are - cultural, nation politics, scientific advancement, and many other reasons.

Another question comes to mind which we have attempted to address:

What if anything should the US response be to Iranian attempts or even overtures at nuclear bomb development?