August 2008 – US a Dictatorship warring with Iran

I don’t believe it… but a former Reagan official does…

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney…. a year from now, the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran

Listen to the Interview with Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary to the Treasury during the Reagan administration. (And so called “father” of Reaganomics).

And he doesn’t think his words are very inflammatory…

Turkey and Iran talk about Iraq

It seems everyone is talking with everyone else about Iraq… except the two major countries with boots in the sand.

Al Jazeera reports today that the Turkish Prime Minister met with both the President and Supreme Leader of Iran to discuss trade and the security situation in Iraq.

“The main aim of this trip is to study the rapid international development, especially the sensitive situation in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and the responsibility that both nations feel in finding a solution,” state television quoted Erdogan as saying.

With massive protests by Hezbollah and anti-Siniora government forces in Beirut continuing, no doubt the two leaders had much to talk about in Tehran.

I think it is incredibly telling that the United States, Britain, and Israel have been so absent from discussions of what is going in the Middle East right now. Except when talking amongst themselves. And even when Bush showed up in Jordan, he failed to get the tri-lateral summit he had wanted between himself and the Jordanian and Iraqi leaders… and only briefly spoke with both when he got the chance.

To an outsider like me, it looks like the US and Britain have lost the attention and respect of Iraqs immediate neighbours and plans are being made to deal with the situation with or without the help or advice of the Multinational Force in Iraq.

(Update: In other news There has been an attempted assassination of Muqtada Al-Sadr. He was not hurt in the attack… but is just another clear indication that Iraq is deep into a civil-war, that Kofi Annan believes is happening as well

Are Tasers a form of torture?

Under the Geneva Conventions electrocution of a prisoner would be considered torture.

So what about Tasers?

Last week, an Iranian student at UCLA got tasered:

The Youtube video is below… the officers keep saying, after tasering him the first time.. “Stand Up!” “Stand Up!”… but really.. if you’ve been tasered, would you be able to stand up? Are your muscles not immobilised when shocked with 40,000V??

Why don’t the officers just drag him out of there, handcuffed… like they would have in the “old days”. There were 3 of them… and one resister… who wasn’t, at any point, even lashing out physically.

The man had no weapon, had done nothing to anyone else. He had been asked for his Student ID and refused.

At least our civil liberties have cellphone cameras to protect us from people like these officers.

US/Iraqi troops flood Baghdad

Is this the last gasp before all out civil war?

Iraq seems to have continued its spiral downwards as the Israel/Hezbollah conflict distracts the MSMs attention.

35 more people were killed today at a Shiite shrine in Najaf.

Shiite religious leaders said:

“We hold Takfiris [Sunni extremists] and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime … at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible,” they said in a statement.

A Sunni insurgent group, Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba, or Soldiers of the Prophet’s Companions, claimed responsibility for the bombing in an Internet posting

This was not an action by Al Quaeda in Iraq… this was a Sunni attach against a Shia shrine.

The Iraqi Civil War is on.

The US has placed 12,000 extra troops in Baghdad, unfortunately, they did it at the expense of security in places like Mosul, which have now seen increased violence.

The lack of fuel, in an oil rich country, is also causing demonstrations and protests.

And to think… some Americans (and others) think Bush should launch a war against Syria and Iran… before they even get a handle on their current war.

Luckily, the tide has finally turned for Americans on the Iraq war… CNN reports that 60 percent of Americans do not support the Iraq War… and 48 percent think the war is not winnable or the US simply won’t win it.

Meanwhile in Iran….

In case you forgot or have been smothered by MSM coverage of the Israel/Lebanon conflict…

Iran took another step towards becoming another footnote in the transformation from the old to the “new Middle East”.

Today, the UN Security Council issued a resolution setting a deadline of one month for Iran to stop all nuclear enrichment work or face the possibility of economic sanctions.

Resolution 1696 is not yet on the UNSC website but it should be here soon.

According to the BBC it mentions Chapter 7, which is the key to beginning the process of sanctions and… eventually, military action.

So here’s the interesting part.

The reason the Resolution has been passed is because Iran never responded to the offer the UN made to it regarding incentives and whatnot to have it stop enrichment of Uranium. The Iranians were supposed to respond by the end of July.

Iran was then refferred to the UNSC on July 12.

What else happened on July 12?

Hezbollah fighters based in southern Lebanon launch Katyusha rockets across the border with Israel, targeting the town of Shlomi and outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.
In a cross-border raid, guerrillas seize two Israeli soldiers before retreating back into Lebanon, insisting on a prisoner exchange and warning against confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes the capture of the soldiers as “an act of war”.

We all know that Hezbollah = Syria/Iran foreign policy

We all know that Israel = US foreign policy

So is what we are seeing right now between Israel and Hezbollah really the first shots of the war between the US and Syria/Iran?

I’d say, at this point… the answer is much closer to being “yes” than no.

The United States is playing along with the UN route as Israel “softens up” the target in Lebanon and uses the opportunity to perhaps gain some more concrete Military Intelligence on the Syrian and Iranian sides.

Along the same lines, if Hezbollah really is an Iranian mouthpeice, then we have seen the Iranian regimes reaction to it’s referral to the UNSC. No doubt Israels response was a little more than they bargained for, but they seem to be holding their own anyway.

(Statements like “the best Arab troops we’ve ever faced” does not bode well for the US for an ground attack on Iran or Syria considering Hezbollah are all trained in those two countries.)

Iran has said they will respond to the package of incentives originally offered in June by August 22nd. The new resolution by the UN gives a deadline of August 31 for the Iranians to stop all enrichment work and comply with inspections.

I don’t expect all this talk of “lasting solutions” by Rice and Bush and Blair and company to lead anywhere before those two dates. In the meantime, more Lebanese civilians will die… as will Israeli civilians (though on a scale an order of magnitude smaller… and in much smaller proportion to Israeli military deaths)