1. Since those border guards were taken into Pakistan, let’s see what this does to the Land of the Pure’s relationship with Iran…

     


  2. Leaders who abandon the pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them will find an open path to better relations with the US and other nations.
    — 

    President George W. Bush on Muammar Gaddafi’s decision to abort Libya’s weapons of mass destruction program in 2003. [Source:BBC]

    Here’s a reminder of what that path looked like…

    I’m sure Syria and Iran took notes…

     

  3. One. I dig smartphones, but I’m sometimes tempted to buy an additional small phone whose only function is to make calls – except that would mean carrying two devices and feeling like Gadget Man…

    Two. Do you think France’s concern about Islamic terrorism in Mali outweighs France’s interest in having unobstructed access to uranium in Mali and neighboring Niger?

    Three. This is almost funny – how can the NRA interpret New York State’s new assault weapons ban as an assault on Second Amendment rights when the Second Amendment was written more than 100 years before assault weapons became a wet dream come true?

    Four. Hearing about the NYC dude who was crushed to death after he took a dump between moving subway cars sparks my recurring doubts about humans…

    Five. Iran’s Supreme Leader once again says his decree still stands, which forbids his country from developing nuclear weapons. So, when is Iran getting invaded?

    song currently stuck in my head: “baby i want it” – the reddings

     


  4. Syria's Bashar Al-Assad helped French Intelligence locate Libya's  Col. Muammar Gaddafi Baye Kambui Blog Tumblr Mental Unrest

    It’s either safe for me to say that Bashar Al-Assad was trying extra hard to live up to his last name’s first syllable after he gave French Intelligence information to help capture Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi, or that Assad’s desperation to keep his regime alive prevented him from realizing what Gaddafi figured out late in the game and Iran’s Supreme Leader Khameni knew for a long while – changing times require the West to rearrange the geopolitical landscape, and leaders like Libya’s Gaddafi [Dead], Iraq’s Hussein [Dead], Iran’s Khameni [Pending] and Assad do not fit in the West’s new strategic vision.

    Assad’s chances of staying around at this point might be better if he became a civilian and tried sodomizing a hungry grizzly while wearing a pair of cement shoes…

    song currently stuck in my head: “nothing matters” - deborah bond

     

  5. Percent of Arabs who feel that Iran acquiring nuclear weapons would have a more negative outcome for the Middle East region, as reported in the 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll conducted by Brookings [PDF]. 50 percent responded “More positive” or “Would not matter.”

    As if that splash of cold water needs a drop in temperature, the Arabs who were  surveyed reside in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates — in other words, Arab countries that are considered US allies…

    song currently stuck in my head: “ain’t no running away” - willy washington presents paula ralph

     


  6. You should know, Congresswoman Bachmann…

    song currently stuck in my head: “laughter in the rain” - neil sedaka

     

  7. One look at this infographic from RIA Novosti and the Moscow Times makes it hard for me to believe that Israel is confident about making a solo run at bombing all of those nuclear sites in Iran, even if all involved countries provide the flyover rights. Israel doesn’t even have the right kind of bunker-buster bombs!

    But…let’s remember that Israel has found a way to surprise the world over and over again, not to mention that Israel has a big red, white and blue friend with a bunch of parked warships in the region right now with the correct hardware for the job.

    I think it’s a good idea to review this report as the regional temperature rises…

    song currently stuck in my head: “don’t explain” - nina simone

     

  8. When was the last time you heard of FOUR US aircraft carriers positioned in the Persian Gulf at the same time? The Throw-Down Moment approaches—perhaps after the US Presidential election? A tiny voice in my brain says this boat show is for something bigger than Iran.

    Stratfor’s map shows three America carriers in the Gulf plus a big amphibious warfare ship called the LHD-7 Iwo Jima, but we already know the USS John C. Stennis is leaving California and on its way to the Persian Gulf, not to mention the wide assortment of destroyers and other warships already in position or enroute.

    I guess all the Red, White and Blue maritime hardware parked in the Middle East at the moment doesn’t make me when to read news of the military firing on fishing boats and colliding with oil tankers while rescuing sailors from burning boats.

    This naval display is too expensive to call it show-and-tell…

    Image source: Stratfor [Registration may be required]

    song currently stuck in my head: “ysabel’s table dance” – charles mingus

     


  9. MORE TO SAY ABOUT THIS US - PAKISTAN AGREEMENT

    United States and Pakistan strike agreement to open roads to NATO supply trucks which helps Pakistan's economy and attempts to stop Afghanistan from striking a transportation agreement with Iran Baye Kambui Blog Mental Unrest

    I felt the problem with Tumblr is that the posts – well, at least mine — are typically so short where there is a risk that people will miss subtle meanings in your posts. (Laughing) My mind was changed about that after I saw someone clip my already short post in half and repost it in a way that totally misses my unspoken point.

    So allow me a moment to be very direct — anyone who believes that we live in a geopolitical world where the polarities are neatly divided into good and bad acts is dreaming. America, in its effort to fight terrorists in Pakistan has bombed more civilian weddings, funerals and other family get-togethers than what any typical American will see in the mass media. On the other hand, portraying Pakistan as a pure friend of the US without at least wondering if there are any branches of the Pakistani government that support the Taliban or other terrorist groups is also dreaming.

    With that said, let’s offer additional speculation why America, with all the money it has spent so far in this war, gave a confusing apology and over $1 billion to Pakistan to reopen the Pakistani roads to NATO supply trucks as opposed to using the Northern Distribution Network: fiscal worries and Iran.

    First, Pakistan has a jacked-up budget where not only more than half of it will be spent on military, debt and pensions, but inflation will not be particularly nice to the country down the road. Pakistan needs more money for economic development or its fiscal problems will soon turn into political problems, which is something you don’t want for a nuclear-armed nation that is arguably the world leader in number of jihadists per capita. One billion bucks from Uncle Sam – which I admit is funny in a strange kind of way given America’s own financial challenges – will be a Godsend.

    Second, It’s no longer a secret that Afghanistan has a sizable amount of metals, minerals, and oil in the ground that can help the country establish a strong economic foundation, and there are three principal ways to get those resources to the market with Iran’s roads representing an option with an intriguing mix of cost efficiency and reliability.

    Yeah, Iran.

    Therefore, the US would rather make peace with Pakistan and by extension help support a smooth transition to a larger commerce arrangement involving Afghanistan down the road.

    Geopolitics is always gray…

    Song currently stuck in my head: “jazz death?” – lester bowie

     

  10. Iran taking steps to close the Strait of Hormuz is no minor deal. Plus, the US has amassed a huge military presence in the region for months…

     


  11. Iranian Major General Mostafa Izadi said an Israeli attack against Iran would lead to an end to the Zionist regime Baye Kambui Tumblr blog Mental Unrest

    After what I just wrote about Iran and Israel, It would have been wrong not to post this article

    song currently stuck in my head “buddha blues” - ornette coleman

     


  12. Despite the abhorrent and inexcusable rhetoric of Iranian leaders, the actual behavior of the Islamic Republic over the past three decades suggests that the regime is rational. Consequently, there is a high probability that nuclear deterrence between Israel and Iran would operate much as it did for the superpowers during the Cold War.
    — 

    Risk and Rivalry Iran, Israel and the Bomb by Center for a New American Security Kambui Blog Tumblr Mental Unrest

    From the report, Risk and Rivalry: Iran, Israel and the Bomb, by the Center for a New American Security. [PDF]

    This quote likely offers an eyedropper’s measure of comfort to anyone who has lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the CNAS report knocks a hole in a cornerstone of the “Bomb Iran” argument — that Iran is a nation ruled by fanatics who believe nuking Israel inclusive of the third holiest city in Islam, even at the risk of the Islamic Republic’s imminent demise from a retaliatory strike by the Jewish state or America, is nonetheless a desirable act for the Iranian fanatics to pursue in order to reap their God’s rewards in the afterlife.

    The report is worth a detailed discussion, but this is Tumblr…

     


  13. No one at this point is surprised that Bush The Second had his mind set about going to war with Iraq long before Colin Powell tried to make America’s case for fighting  to the United Nations in 2003. Therefore, the Huffington Post reporting Powell’s no-debate admission in his new book is not really earth-shattering.

    What much of the press appears to be avoiding is an exploration of the real reason for why the US invaded Iraq.

    The real reason runs runs much deeper than the “It’s all about oil!” accusation.

    The reason has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.

    It’s the same reason that forced China and Russia to not only oppose the Iraq War, but also have the same two countries worried — if not downright pissed — about the likelihood of a US invasion of Iran.

    The reason has everything to do with protecting the global standing of the US Dollar, and by extension, US interests all over the world. The word “empire” would be a fitting substitute for the last part of that sentence, but using the term distracts some from seeing this reason I keep mentioning.

    On the bright side, Junior Bush didn’t lie to us. He vowed to protect the American way of life through his global War on Terror, and he did just that. For a few more years, at least…

    song currently stuck in my head: “no room for squares” - hank mobley

     

  14. Apologies, I promised to discuss Syria when I posted my Iran thoughts last Saturday, but I didn’t mean to wait until Wednesday afternoon!

    Let me bring your attention to a YouTube video I posted to my Facebook page last week. Turkish is far from my native language, but my painfully crude translation of the captions and narration confirms the video’s positioning as the Free Syrian Army’s attack against Syrian troops – from the Turkey side of the border! The Turkish refugee camps apparently served as the base of operations.

    Turkey’s strong condemnation of Syria’s insurgent crackdown – while taking into account the assumed legitimacy of the video and hearing no complaints from Turkey about the cross-border attacks – tells me that Syria remains in the crosshairs of a proposed NATO Bomb Everything to Save Humanity and to Enable Regime Change mission. All we need now is for Syria to be provoked into a war, and Turkey permitting these attacks could be the trick.

    I said a while ago that the Turkish rebellion has become a surrogate war against Iran while innocent civilians suffer. Of course the bigger goal is to leave Saudi Arabia as the unquestioned leader of the region since the Kingdom is friendlier to Western interests. My guess is that war planners are hedging bets at this point. If Iran cannot be directly attacked, then a war against Iran’s surrogates and otherwise friends is open game since doing so weakens Iran’s regional influence. The next few weeks will tell us if Turkey and its NATO buddies’ collaborative recollection of the facts will accuse Syria of war-like provocations…

    song currently stuck in my head: “wandering stranger” – lionel richie

     


  15.  As we approach a critical meeting between the Iran 6 and Iran about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and an effort to reach a compromise of sorts, I want to call your attention back to 1999 when Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was then the CEO of oil services giant Halliburton, made this remark about Middle East oil to the Institute of Petroleum (full speech here if you’re interested):

    Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.

    The statement by itself is not surprising to anyone and is in fact an intelligent observation for an Executive of an industrialized capitalist nation that needs unobstructed access to copious amounts of cheap oil for survival. I’m sure Middle Eastern leaders have richer stories to tell about the West’s lust for oil. It’s just the events subsequent to 1999 that make me think of Cheney’s words and have me almost cussing under my breath.

    Ten years ago, the Middle East and North Africa were the home of four relatively significant geopolitical actors who were positioned at the bottom of America’s list of afternoon tea partners – Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. I won’t get into excessive detail since I’m writing on the Tumblr channel, so I’ll cut to the Iraq invasion based on the US’ false WMD accusations and the subsequent jockeying by Western oil companies that shocked the Middle East. Fresh from its invasion of Afghanistan, the US-Iraq bumrush left the strong impression that the Conquer the East Tour was in full effect and that Iran, Libya, and Syria were the next stops.

    Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi got the message and gave up his WMDs – but later found that maneuver only added seven or eight more years to his life, a topic I talked about on another site. Tehran, where intelligence analysts claim to have found direct evidence that the country was working on nuclear weapons, suddenly left a cold uranium trail after 2003 – a clear indication that the Islamic Republic declined to be the host nation of Uncle Sam’s next fireworks and jet planes performance. My focus is Iran right now, so I’ll focus on Syria some other time.

    Iran did more than see the handwriting on the wall; they provided an explicit capitulation proposal to the US in 2003 that offered everything for negotiation, including nuclear inspections and the recognition of Israel’s existence(!) Unfortunately, such overtures were dismissed by the Jr. Bush Administration as the talk of war and speculation about Iran’s imminent collapse escalated. The show must go on, y’all.

    China and Russia, who watched the events unfold like a Pac Man game with China in particular looking at the US potentially rustling oil away from the People’s Republic, lobbed strong objections to Junior Bush invading Iran. While the protest likely prolonged Tehran’s fate for a few more years, I still think Iran could exchange all the guns and other weapons in its possession for tulips at this point and the desired outcome will not change – The Tour has another stop to make and US warships are already in place to start the show.

    With that said, I’m not sure what to expect out of the meetings this weekend. Several Iran ill-wishers want Iran to have a zero-enrichment nuclear program, assuming that concept makes sense. Meanwhile, Iran wants to be recognized for its right to enrich uranium as defined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If Obama views his reelection as more important than invading Iran, he will use these meetings to get an agreement that will remove stress from the situation and provide fewer reasons for speculators to drive up the price of oil in the months prior to November. Meanwhile, the other five participants in the talks have vastly different agendas, other than the cheap oil part and perhaps a collective desire to avoid doing something socially dangerous like allowing Mitt Romney a chance to take the White House. A recommended starting point for these discussions would be Hossein Mousavian’s framework for talks since it’s one of the most practical proposals I’ve read. It also happens to mirror what Iran proposed in 2003.

    But I still can’t shake that Cheney quote from my mind.

    A possible outcome could be a temporary agreement put in place while the US negotiates a deal with Europe, China and Russia over how to share Iran after the invasion…

    song currently stuck in my head: “friends” – carlos nino & friends