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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    More stirring the pot, from Russia with Love.

    Russian media reports imminent US strike on Iran
    daily star ^ | 3/30/07 | Daily Star staff

    Russia told the United States on Thursday it must take care not to aggravate tensions over Iran with its naval presence in the Gulf, amid Russian press reports of an imminent US strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The US Navy has this week been conducting its biggest exercises in Gulf waters for four years. The Pentagon said the war games were brought forward because of mounting tensions between Iran and Western states.

    "The Persian Gulf is today in such an agitated state that any action in this region, especially one that involves the navy or other military forces, must take into account the need not to aggravate the situation even further," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

    Al-Arabiyya reported on its Web site on Thursday that the Bush administration is preparing to launch a military operation, dubbed "The Sting," to strike 20 Iranian nuclear plants, disabling Iran's atomic program for at least five to seven years. http://www.dailystar.com.lb

    "The Unites States will launch a military operation ... on Iran starting 4 a.m. of April 6 till 4 p.m.," Al-Arabiyya said, quoting Russia's RIA-Novosti news agency.

    The report said the operation will target "the hidden part of the nuclear program," launching missile strikes from warplanes and gunships, RIA-Novosti said, adding that the operation will not attack the Bushehr nuclear plant being built by Russia.

    RIA-Novosti quoted an unidentified "high-ranking security official" as saying the military games could be more than flexing muscles.

    "The latest military intelligence data points to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said. - Reuters, The Daily Star
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    Middle East Pondering Possible US Attack on Iran
    CNSNews.com ^ | March 30, 2007 | Julie Stahl

    Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - As U.S.-British tensions with Iran escalate, many in the Middle East are discussing the possibility -- some say probability -- of a U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic.

    Iran, which has long provoked Israel and the West with its nuclear development program, has now earned itself another slap on the wrist from the international community.

    On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council issued a statement expressing "grave concern" over Iran's capture of 15 British sailors. The U.K. wanted a stronger statement -- one "deploring" the hostage-taking, but Russia reportedly opposed that suggestion.

    Iran's UN mission issued a statement saying the standoff "should be settled through bilateral channels" -- in discussions between the U.K. and Iran, in other words. "The British government's attempt to engage third parties, including the Security Council, with this case is not helpful," Iran said.

    Iran insists the British sailors were trespassing in its territorial waters, a contention the U.K. firmly rejects.

    This is not the first time that Iran has defied the United Nations. It is currently flouting a U.N. demand to halt its uranium enrichment program -- a process that can be used for building an atomic bomb. Iran has pledged to continue its nuclear pursuits.

    President Bush has indicated that the United States would rather not attack Iran. "All options are on the table," he said in 2005, adding that "the use of force is the last option for any president."

    Nevertheless, the Arab press is focused on the possibility of a U.S. strike against Iran.

    Some of the speculation stems from U.S. war games taking place this week in the Persian Gulf -- the biggest show of strength in the area since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.

    The U.S. Navy exercises, which included two aircraft carriers, ended on Thursday. The U.S. reportedly decided to hold the exercises within the past month, amid rising tensions with Iran.

    U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday that the presence of the U.S. warships was not intended "to provoke any military conflict."

    Meanwhile, both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have said the will not allow the U.S. military to launch an attack on Iran from bases in their country.

    Nevertheless, Middle East media outlets point to signs that the U.S. may be planning some type of military action directed at Iran.

    In a March 1 article, Bahrain's daily Al-Watan reported that hotel occupancy in the Gulf State had reached 90 percent and was expected to increase, with stepped-up U.S. military activity in the country bringing an influx of American and other military correspondents.

    The paper also reported that "American military circles" had advised investors with U.S. citizenship to wrap up their business and take their money out of the region due to the "security tension."

    "Anyone who has been monitoring U.S. policy since the beginning of the year has noticed a state of alert and military mobilization of the American forces, particularly after Washington announced that Tehran is involved in the violent activities in Baghdad," the paper said. (Translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.)

    In a special supplement section called "Firing Line," the Egyptian opposition daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm published a series of reports entitled, "The Next Gulf War - A Crushing American Blow and a Thundering Iranian Response."

    One of the articles reviewed what it called U.S. military preparations in the Gulf, including the deployment of a new generation of Patriot missile batteries; the appearance of the two aircraft carriers; an increase in troop deployment in Iraq; and changes in the U.S. senior military command.

    The paper also accused the U.S. of activating a "propaganda machine" to turn public opinion against Iran.

    Issam Al-Dari, the editor of the Syrian government daily Teshreen, wrote on February 28 that Iran would likely be the next U.S. target in the region.

    Al-Dari charged that the U.S. was leading the world from "one destructive war to even more destructive aggression."

    The U.S. has accused Syria of backing the insurgency in Iraq; of attempting to overthrow the pro-Western government in Lebanon; and of hosting the headquarters of numerous Palestinian terrorist organizations in Damascus.

    Kuwaiti columnist Muhammad Al-Rumihi wrote in the London daily Al-Hayat that the West appears "determined to enter into the 'mother of all wars' - that is, the war against Iran."

    But Abd Al-Mun'im Sa'id, director of the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, rejected the possibility of a U.S. strike against Iran, saying the U.S. does not have "sufficient capability to carry out the mission."

    In an article in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on January 31, Sa'id said he did not believe that there was popular support in the U.S. for such a strike, which would not serve the U.S. goal of creating stability in the region.

    Analysts here have differing opinions. Many believe that while a military strike against Iran, whether led by the U.S. or another country, would be costly, striking Iran would cut off support for terrorism at its roots and decrease the violence in Iraq.

    Sunni Arab nations, including U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, are said to be more and more concerned about the growing power and influence of Shiite Iran in the region and its quest for nuclear power.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Heading for war with Iran? (Brit press gets mad)
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 30th March, 2007 | Simon Heffer
    A great article!

    And he's right that any SF Op would be risky but, I think those SAS guys would do a pretty good job handling business.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    US carrier deploys amid Iran tensions (Nimitz)
    afp ^



    Nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will sail Monday to support US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Navy said, amid a spike in tensions over Iran's seizure of 15 British marines and sailors.


    The Nimitz, and its battle group of destroyers and guided missile cruisers, will relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which this week took part in war games exercises in the Gulf with another carrier, USS John S Stennis.


    The new battle group will be in position by late-to-mid April, but there will be no overlap with the Eisenhower, and the number of US carriers in the area would stay at two, a navy official said on condition of anonymity.


    (Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    That's John C. Stennis

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    EU Ministers Put Pressure On Iran
    BBC ^ | 03/30/07 | Unknown




    EU foreign ministers have demanded the immediate release of 15 British navy personnel seized by Iran a week ago.


    The 27 ministers voiced "unconditional support" for Britain in the dispute, in a statement agreed at a meeting in the north German port city of Bremen.
    They urged "the immediate and unconditional release" of the crew.


    The EU said it reserved the right to take "appropriate measures" if Iran did not comply - though the measures were not spelled out.


    The BBC's Oana Lungescu in Bremen says the strongly-worded EU statement goes much further than the UN's expression of "grave concern" about the Iran-UK dispute on Thursday.


    Germany hosted the EU meeting as it currently holds the EU presidency.
    'Unacceptable act'


    Earlier, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy described Iran's detention of the Royal Navy crew as "a very serious and unacceptable act which we immediately condemned".


    "We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the British," he added.


    The UK Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, did not explicitly ask for a suspension of EU business ties with Tehran.


    France and other big European countries, including Germany and Italy, have important economic interests in Iran and would be reluctant to heed such calls, our reporter says.


    The European external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, warned that the EU had to be careful at a very delicate moment in relations with Iran.


    Europe should make clear where it stood, she said, but also hold the door open to negotiations on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.


    The foreign minister of Turkey, whose country is trying to intervene on the UK sailors' behalf, was also invited to the meeting in Bremen.


    The ministers also discussed the Middle East and Kosovo.


    A paper prepared for the meeting says an EU police mission - the largest of its kind set up by the bloc - could be in place in Kosovo for at least two years and the international community will need to raise $2bn (£1bn) to prop up the province's fragile economy.
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    Wimping out on Iran
    NY Daily News ^ | March 30 2007

    Britain's response to Iran's outrageous seizure of 15 sailors and marines has been depressingly tepid - 10 Downing St. yesterday asked the Security Council to "deplore" the incident - but, as a practical matter, sputtering is probably about all Britain can do for the short-term moment, there being not much in the way of bristling royal gunboats on hand these days to back up sterner stuff.

    And beyond that, of course, there is not much in the way of European Union and/or NATO resolve to stir for supportive action anyway.

    As Iran well knows.

    And so Iran continues to get away with anything it pleases to get away with. Because it can. Because nobody is going to do jack about it.

    Indeed, by several accounts, the hostages' mothership, the Cornwall, had softball orders to stand down and not interfere as the Iranians snatched the captives. Which would go a ways toward explaining why the Iranians chose to snatch Brits and not Americans, the immediate American response to which snatch would presumably have been a great deal more muscular.

    The world's appeasocrats will make a big point of noting that Iran briefly appeared to be on the verge of offering an agreeable diplomatic resolution to this disagreeable business - until Britain had the nerve to put in a mild complaint with the United Nations Security Council. Well, that's what the Security Council is there for, ostensibly. And here's what Iran is about: We'll commit an egregious act of war against you, and don't you dare lodge a protest.

    Never mind. The Security Council isn't likely to do much about this anyway. Last night the Security Council declined even to "deplore" Iran per Britain's request - instead issuing a statement of its "grave concern."

    Uh huh. And meanwhile Iran is plainly enjoying itself quite enormously. As ever.
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    New barbs hit home in US Iraq showdown
    AFPvia Breitbart.com ^ | 30 Mar 2007

    The White House lashed Congress Friday for going on "vacation" before signing off on legislation funding troops in Iraq, driving up tensions in a showdown with Democrats for control of the war.

    A day after the Senate passed a bill linking financing for the conflict to a timetable for a 2008 troop withdrawal, the Bush administration said Democratic tactics were already impacting troops and readiness of US forces.

    But the top Senate Democrat Harry Reid accused Bush, who has vowed to veto the bill, of using "scare tactics" and distributed a non-partisan study which found the US Army could continue Iraq operations through most of July.

    "The president was surprised to learn that Congress went on vacation today," said White House deputy spokeswoman Dana Perino.

    Perino said the House of Representatives had failed to appoint members of Congress to liaise with the Senate to refine bills passed in each chamber, which both contain a withdrawal timetable, into a single piece of legislation.

    "I don't know how much work is going to be able to get done while they are away," she said.

    The White House also issued a press release saying the "Democrats' delay of funding is already impacting troops and readiness."

    Members of Congress were leaving Washington Friday for the Easter recess. The Senate is due to return on April 10, while the House will be back the following week.

    On Thursday, General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff told a congressional committee that if new funding was not ready by April 15, some training and support for US army troops destined for Iraq could be hit.

    (Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
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    Iran cites attack fears for decision to keep nuclear information from U.N.
    AP ^ | March 30 2007 | George Jahn



    Iran, in a confidential letter posted Friday on an internal Web site of the U.N. nuclear monitor, said its fear of attack from the U.S. and Israel prompted its decision to withhold information from the agency.


    The IAEA, in response, urged Iran to reconsider, saying the decision would be in defiance of the monitor's 35-nation board. Both the Iranian document and the confidential IAEA response were made available to The Associated Press.


    (Excerpt) Read more at signonsandiego.com ...
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    Oil spikes above $69 on week-old Iran standoff
    AFP via Yahoo News ^ | Fri Mar 30, 8:42 AM ET | Ben Perry

    LONDON (AFP) - The week-old standoff between London and Tehran over the Iranian detention of 15 British naval personnel sent oil prices surging past 69 dollars here -- a near seven-month high -- and analysts warned they could rise further.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that Britain wanted Iran to be "increasingly isolated" but vowed to be patient in managing the crisis.

    In London trade, the price of Brent North Sea crude for May delivery reached 69.14 dollars a barrel -- the highest level since September 4 last year.

    It later Friday stood at 68.91 dollars in electronic trading, up 1.03 dollars.

    New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, climbed 63 cents to 66.66 dollars in electronic deals before the official opening of the US market.

    New York crude had Tuesday soared to 68.09 dollars -- a level last seen in early September -- on rumours of military conflict with Iran.

    "It wouldn't surprise me if we saw 70 (dollars a barrel) quite easily or beyond," said Simon Hayley, senior international economist at Capital Economics.

    Iran is the world's fourth biggest producer of crude oil and some analysts believe there is a risk that the Islamic Republic could move to disrupt its exports should the crisis with Britain escalate.

    "This has the potential to escalate into a full-blown crisis," Bank of Ireland analyst Paul Harris said.

    "The fact that the (strategic Iran-dominated) Straits of Hormuz could come into play is a risk, given that the majority of oil traffic goes down this channel."

    Prices have surged this week as Britain froze ties with Iran after it refused to release 15 British sailors and marines it had captured on March 23. Iran insists that the personnel were detained for being in Iranian waters but Britain maintains they were inside Iraqi waters.

    Further fuel has been added to oil prices since Thursday when Iran decided against releasing the only female British sailor held among the 15.

    A defiant Iran said it would not release as promised Faye Turney because of Britain's "incorrect" attitude in the growing crisis between the two countries.

    Oil prices are also being supported by Iran's refusal to bow to international pressure over its disputed nuclear programme.

    Traders said some people were guilty of widening the geopolitical premium by pushing the price up prematurely.

    Hayley of Capital Economics said prices were trading at about 5.0 dollars above the level they would be if traders reacted solely to the fundamental factors of crude's current supply and demand.

    Despite the week's spike to crude -- prices have shot by about 6.0 dollars or more than 9.0 percent since last Friday -- they remain a long way off record highs of above 78 dollars a barrel struck last year.

    "I'd be surprised (if we got a new record high)," because of the present Iran situation, Hayley told AFP.

    "It would have to get pretty hot... You would have to have a fairly strong probability that there would be a very substantial interruption to supplies either from Iran or the whole Gulf.

    "If you get that then you could certainly see new highs but I'd be surprised if the Iranians let it blow up to quite that level" of unrest, he added.

    In mid-2006, amid an already tight supply situation, concerns about geopolitical instability in producer regions pumped prices higher and led to the all-time highs above 78 dollars per barrel.

    The threat of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear stand-off with the West led the Islamic Republic to hint at threatening disruption to its oil exports, which in turn sent prices surging.

    But symbolising the volatility of oil trading during the past year, they went on to fall below 50 dollars in New York in mid-January, the lowest point for 19 months, owing to strengthening energy stockpiles in the United States.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Britain, Iran dig in their heels In dispute over 15 captured sailors
    Los Angeles Times ^ | March 30, 2007 | BY KIM MURPHY AND RAMIN MOSTAGHIM


    Britain and Iran hardened their positions in their ...

    Britain, which Wednesday froze all contact with Tehran on all but the sailors' case, had hoped to add the weight of the Security Council to its demand for the sailors' release. But after an all-day debate, the statement that emerged wasn't as tough as Britain had hoped...

    Russia and others objected to the word "deplore" and the claim that the British ship was in Iraqi waters, insisting on an "early resolution" instead of the sailors' "immediate release."

    Iran's mission issued a statement criticizing Britain for involving the Security Council... Although British officials insist there is no uncertainty over either the British boat's position or that of the border, maritime experts say the waters are subject to widely agreed international understandings, but have never been subject to a treaty between Iran and Iraq.

    "I'm afraid to say there is no line at all. What these people are talking about is an imaginary thing," said Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, an Iranian professor of geopolitics now living in London, who has studied the disputed area for the past 40 years. "Neither side is at fault. The situation is such that anybody can make a mistake," he said

    (Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
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    EU Expected To Back Britain As Crisis With Iran Deepens
    playfuls.com ^ | March 30th 2007 | Playfuls Team

    The crisis between Britain and Iran over the capture of 15 British navy personnel a week ago remained firmly deadlocked Friday as both sides stepped up the rethoric in the accompanying "propaganda war."

    While British Prime Minister Tony Blair hinted that there was unlikely to be an early end to the standoff, the government in London was taking heart from an expected collective call by European Union (EU) foreign ministers for an immediate release of the Britons.

    The EU declaration, to be issued by the German EU presidency at a foreign ministers' meeting in Bremen, would also back Britain's stance that the capture of the sailors and Royal Marines during a a patrol in the northern Gulf on March 23 was "illegal," diplomats said.

    The Iranian foreign ministry had earlier called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana to stay out of the dispute or at least study the facts more carefully before commenting.


    "It goes without saying that this meeting will send a signal of solidarity with Britain," German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Bremen.

    Blair, speaking in Manchester Friday, indicated that there would not be an early solution to the crisis. It was important, however, that Iran knew it was facing "increasing isolation" over the crisis.

    "We've just got to pursue this with the necessary firmness and determination, but also patiently because there is only one possible conclusion to this, and that is that our personnel are released safe and sound," he said.

    Blair was speaking after Iranian TV

    (Excerpt) Read more at playfuls.com ...
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    Rudy Giuliani to Tony Blair: Stand Up to Iran
    Newsmax ^ | 3/29/07

    Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani says British Prime Minister Tony Blair shouldn't back down on his refusal to negotiate the release of 15 British sailors and marines detained in Iran.

    "I urge Tony Blair to stand up to them," Giuliani said after shaking hands and dining at a barbecue restaurant Thursday evening in downtown Oklahoma City.

    Blair has said he will not negotiate with Iran for the release of the sailors and marines, and Giuliani said the British leader should remain strong.

    Appealing to conservative voters in Oklahoma, Giuliani stressed his work as a Justice Department official and federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration and his leadership after the 9/11 attack in New York when he was mayor.

    Although he differs with social conservatives on such issues as abortion, gun control and gay rights, Giuliani said those voters should look at his overall record and his pledge to appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court, who believe in deciding cases on the basis of a close reading of the Constitution.

    Giuliani arrived in Oklahoma City during a driving rainstorm about an hour after a tornado warning was sounded. A tornado touched down in western part of the city shortly before his visit, injuring four people.

    Giuliani, who was apparently unaware of the extent of the storm, said Oklahoma City was "very, very dear to my heart because of what we shared in common."

    He was referring to the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, an act of domestic terrorism that left 168 dead, and the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, which killed about 3,000.
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    EU foreign policy chief says Iran made 'big mistake' in capture of British troops
    Ynet ^ | 3-30-07

    EU foreign policy chief says Iran made 'big mistake' in capture of British troops

    The European Union's foreign policy chief said Friday that Iran made a "big mistake" in its handling of the standoff over its seizure of 15 British sailors and marines. Upon his arrival at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Germany, Javier Solana told reporters that Iran "should release the soldiers immediately."

    The ministers from the EU's 27 national governments planned to send a "signal of solidarity" with Britain, said Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was hosting the meeting. Britain was looking for support from its European partners for finding a peaceful solution. (AP)
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    Iran Rules the Waves--Gunboat diplomacy with a terror twist.
    March 30, 2007 ^ | March 30, 2007 | Barry Rubin

    Why is Iran being so aggressive? Why is Britain being so weak? And what is the wider meaning of Iran's seizure of 15 British navy personnel from Iraqi waters in this new hostage crisis?

    It is no accident that Tehran is doing everything possible to humiliate Britain. The two countries’ political cultures are not only out of sync; they are operating with different timelines altogether.

    Remember the war of Jenkins’ ear? In 1731, Spanish sailors boarded a British vessel in Spanish waters, where it was entitled to be, and cut off the ear of Captain Robert Jenkins of the Rebecca, which the sailors were not entitled to do. It was one cause of a war between the two countries. After the murder of a British merchant in Japan went unpunished in 1862, the British navy bombarded the capital of the warlord responsible. Many other similar incidents could be mentioned.

    These were the bad old days of imperialism and gunboat diplomacy. The Western powers were far stronger than those of what we called more recently the Third World. Britain and France -- and occasionally Germany, Italy, and the United States -- were ready to remind the Third World of that fact. Sometimes, this leverage was used for ethical or at least reasonable purposes; other times, it was employed for the sake of greed and territorial acquisition. Innocent people were hurt in such retaliations.

    But if in, say 1807 or 1907, an Iranian ruler had dared trample unbidden on the decks of one of his or her majesty’s ships, he would have been made to feel very sorry for it.

    Or as the poet James Thompson about the time that Jenkins was becoming aurally challenged in his poem, “Rule Brittania”:

    Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:

    All their attempts to bend thee down,

    Will but arouse thy generous flame;

    But work their woe, and thy renown.”

    That flame was literal, coming out of the cannon’s mouth.

    This era is long gone and to a large extent that is a good thing. But today there is a wide-spread failure to appreciate that power and force are often required, especially against “haughty tyrants,” an apt description of Iran’s rulers.

    After all, Britain was so touchy for a good reason. As Thompson said: “The nations not so blest as thee,/ Shall in their turns to tyrants fall.” In other words, if you aren’t tough when you meet aggressive and extremist enemies, they will chew you up.

    The turning point was in 1956. Who better embodied that fight against haughty tyrants than Anthony Eden who, even more than Winston Churchill, had raised the call to battle against the fascists in the 1930s and warned tirelessly against where appeasement was leading? It was Eden who as prime minister in 1956 secretly worked with France and Israel to overthrow the Middle East’s new -- and it turned out archetypal -- tyrant, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

    The Egyptian ruler had nationalized the Suez Canal Company and was beginning the long process of stirring Arab nationalist passions and subverting less extreme Middle Eastern regimes. In fact, that policy continues to be the core of Arab politics to this very day.

    For conspiring against Nasser, Eden was reviled and driven out of office. Yet in retrospect wouldn’t it have been better if Eden’s effort had succeeded? And isn’t there some parallel between Eden and Prime Minister Tony Blair, a man who, whatever his mistakes, has striven to uphold the cause of freedom against forces which make Nasser look mild in comparison? What is this latest incident in retaliation for: the mutilation of a sea captain or murder of a merchant on his way to appreciate the beauties of a Japanese temple? No, the arrest of Iranian government-sponsored

    terrorists caught in Iraq.

    Iran's goal is to humiliate the West and prove its superiority. It wants to show, as the revolution’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini once famously said, that the United States and the West in general “cannot do a damn thing.” It is the radical Islamists and remaining radical Arab nationalists who want to show that they are the ones with the gunboats, or rather the suicidal populace who are willing to hijacking airplanes and cause explosions in Western cities without fear of suffering meaningful retaliation.

    In contrast, the West seeks to prove that it is nice, to apologize, to make reparations, to act as the weaker party. But the West is running the equivalent of a school for Middle Eastern politicians, intellectuals and revolutionaries. In this school, they are being taught: You are strong and we are weak; you have ideas to believe in, we merely seek maximum comfort and expediency; if you hit us we will yield or look the other way; we are ready to confess our wrongdoing, you only

    speak of your being absolutely in the right. Like good students, they are learning their lessons well.

    Meanwhile, imperialism has switched directions, running now from east to west. And if that is already so without nuclear weapons controlled by Tehran, what do we have to look forward to? At least up to now, it was just psychology that made West weak. It isn’t just a matter of gun power, either, for the West refuses to use its economic might -- a force as potent as the battleship or aircraft carrier. But economic, as well as military, supremacy is being conceded to the extremists and dictatorships.

    And thus, British navy personnel--like American diplomats a quarter-century ago--are seized and their government is made to apologize. The female prisoner is forced to wear an “Islamist” headscarf to show which culture is to prevail. The West has trouble distinguishing between imperialism and self-defense. This is not the first time that has happened.

    Thompson wrote: “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves; Britons never will be slaves.” But will they be dhimmis?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Israel: 'Arrow now gives full protection against Iran'
    Jerusalem Post ^ | March 30, 2007 | YAAKOV KATZ

    Recent modifications made to the Arrow enable Israel's ballistic missile defense system to successfully intercept and destroy any ballistic missile in the Middle East, including nuclear-capable missiles under development by Iran, Arieh Herzog, the head of the Defense Ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency, has told The Jerusalem Post.

    In a rare interview that will appear in full in Monday's Post, Herzog provides an inside look at the decision-making process behind Israel's missile defense systems, led by the Israeli- and American-developed Arrow missile, one of the only operational ballistic missile defense systems in the world.

    On Monday, the IAF successfully tested a newly modified Arrow interceptor.

    Iran and Syria, Herzog said, were investing unprecedented amounts of money in long-range ballistic missile capabilities - with the help of North Korea - and had all but given up building modern air forces.

    "The Iranians are continually increasing the range of their missiles," he said. "They are buying technology and in some cases even complete systems from North Korea and other countries."

    Herzog also said that while there might be missile systems in Iranian hands that the Arrow could not intercept, all of the ballistic missiles "currently operational" in the Islamic Republic could be destroyed by the Israeli defense system.

    "Our Arrow operational system can without a doubt deal with all of the operational threats in the Middle East, particularly in Iran and Syria," he declared.

    A branch of the Defense Ministry's Research and Development Directorate, Homa - Hebrew for "Fortress Wall" - was established in 1991 and given a mandate to oversee the development, procurement and integration of missile defense systems, once needed against crude Iraqi Scud missiles and now to face advanced long-range Iranian Shihabs.

    Herzog said he favored selling the Arrow to Israel's allies. Countries that have expressed interest include Turkey and South Korea. At the moment, however, the sale of the system is not on the table and this would only change following a joint decision by Israel and the US.

    "If it would be possible to sell the system, I would be in favor," he said. "But this is a government decision that needs to be made by Israel together with the United States."

    Discussing the Second Lebanon War, Herzog said a missile defense system that was effective against the short-range Katyusha - close to 4,000 struck northern Israel - could have changed the outcome in Israel's favor.

    "Active protection can dramatically reduce the number of casualties," he said, adding that this would also provide the government with improved "diplomatic maneuverability."

    Such a system also serves as a deterrent. "If someone thinks that a large percentage of his missiles will be intercepted, he will think twice before attacking," Herzog said.
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    There is now every indication to assess that POTUS has authorized the execution of a CONPLAN 8022 strike upon Iran.

    Could happen within hours or out to 30 some-odd days from now.

    "No boots on the ground."

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    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...605487,00.html

    A Deadly U.S.-Iran Firefight

    Friday, Mar. 30, 2007 By MARK KUKIS/BAQUBAH

    US soldiers stand near their vehicle at the Iraq-Iran border crossing point of Bashmakh in the province of Kurdistan, March 3, 2007.
    Thibauld Malterre / AFP / Getty




    The soldiers who were there still talk about the September 7 firefight on the Iran-Iraq border in whispers. At Forward Operating Base Warhorse, the main U.S. military outpost in Iraq's eastern Diyala Province bordering Iran, U.S. troops recount events reluctantly, offering details only on condition that they remain nameless. Everyone seems to sense the possible consequences of revealing that a clash between U.S. and Iranian forces had turned deadly. And although the Pentagon has acknowledged that a firefight took place, it says it cannot say anything more. "For that level of detail, you're going to have to ask the [U.S.] military in Baghdad," says Army Lieut. Col. Mark Ballesteros. "We don't know anything about it."

    A short Army press release issued on the day of the skirmish offered the following information: U.S. soldiers from the 5th Squadron 73rd Cavalry 82nd Airborne were accompanying Iraqi forces on a routine joint patrol along the border with Iran, about 75 miles east of Baghdad, when they spotted two Iranian soldiers retreating from Iraqi territory back into Iran. A moment later, U.S. and Iraqi forces came upon a third Iranian soldier on the Iraqi side of the border, who stood his ground. As U.S. and Iraqi soldiers approached the Iranian officer and began speaking with him, a platoon of Iranian soldiers appeared and moved to surround the coalition patrol, taking up positions on high ground. At that point, according to the Army's statement, the Iranian captain told the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that if they tried to leave they would be fired on. Fearing abduction by the Iranians, U.S. troops moved to go anyway, and fighting broke out. Army officials say the Iranian troops fired first with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, and that U.S. troops fell further back into Iraqi territory, while four Iraqi army soldiers, one interpreter and one Iraqi border guard remained in the hands of the Iranians.


    The official release says there were no casualties among the Americans, and makes no mention of any on the Iranian side. U.S. soldiers present at the firefight, however, tell TIME that American forces killed at least one Iranian soldier who had been aiming a rocket-propelled grenade at their convoy of Humvees.

    The revelation comes amid rising tensions over the past week since Iran captured 15 British Navy personnel in waters between Iran and Iraq. Analysts have suggested that some Iranian officials have argued against speedily returning the Brits, preferring to use them as a bargaining chip in Tehran's efforts to free five of its own officials captured by the U.S. in Erbil earlier this year. News that an Iranian soldier had been killed in a clash with American forces would do little to ease those tensions. In the months after the incident, U.S. forces have kept up joint patrols on the Iran-Iraq border, where their movements are closely monitored by Iranian outposts. Increasingly, however, U.S. troops stationed in Diyala Province are moving to help counter-insurgency efforts in the Baqubah area, leaving a thinner American presence at the border. On some days, says Lt. Col. Ronald Ward, the U.S. commander tasked with helping Iraqi units maintain border security in the area, no U.S. troops appear there at all.

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    'U.S. planes violate Iran's airspace'
    Press TV ^ | Sun, 01 Apr 2007 14:14:26



    U.S. planes violate Iran's airspace


    Sun, 01 Apr 2007 14:14:26


    Two U.S. airplanes have violated Iran's airspace, a top Iranian military official has said.
    Colonel Aqili, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in the southwestern city of Abadan, Khuzestan province, said Sunday that the airplanes trespassed Iranian airspace from the northwest of the city and exited from its southwest on Saturday.
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    Protest in Iran targets British Embassy
    AP via Yahoo ^ | 4/1/07 | Nasser Karmi



    TEHRAN, Iran - About 200 students threw rocks and firecrackers at the British Embassy on Sunday, calling for the expulsion of the country's ambassador because of the standoff over Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines.


    Several dozen policemen prevented the protesters from entering the embassy compound, although a few briefly scaled a fence outside the compound's walls before being pushed back, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.
    The protesters chanted "Death to Britain" and "Death to America" as they hurled stones into the courtyard of the embassy. They also demanded that the Iranian government expel the British ambassador and close down the embassy, calling it a "den of spies."


    Britain's Foreign Office said there had been no damage to the compound.


    (Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
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