History – First Draft 04.16.2015
A Shifting Narrative on Iran
Iran will always be the enemy
BY PHILIP GIRALDI • APRIL 14, 2015 • 1,900 WORDS
So now we arrive at 2015 and a former Israeli intelligence chief has openly said what most of the rest of the world has long known: Netanyahu is a liar when he talks about Iran. Concurrently, the P5+1 group of negotiators have concluded a marathon 18 months negotiation by achieving a framework agreement with Iran which will substantially diminish its ability to enrich uranium at all, will greatly reduce its stockpile and will also subject all of its research facilities to intrusive inspections. In return sanctions on Iran will slowly be lifted, but it should be observed that most of the major concessions were made by the Islamic Republic, where there is considerable pressure from the public to make Iran again a normal member of the international community…
…Sensing defeat, Netanyahu and his tame congressmen clearly decided a sharp change in direction would be necessary and, presumably guided by the warm and friendly hand of AIPAC, a new approach was concocted combining two essential elements. First, it was claimed that Iran cannot be trusted to abide by any agreement because, as Chief U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman put it “deception” is in the Iranian leadership DNA. That would mean that Iran might appear to be going along with the agreement but it would secretly be manufacturing a weapon. Just exactly how that would take place under an intrusive inspections regime is not clear, but the idea is to plant the seed that Iranians are intrinsically deceitful and dangerous.
The second argument, which began to evolve before the framework agreement was announced and which not surprisingly has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, is that Iran is threatening and dangerous by virtue of its behavior beyond its nuclear program. Congressmen and pundits have begun to bleat that Iran “now dominates four Arab capitals” and it also “supports terrorism.” One op-ed writer who should know better has described the development of a new Persian Empire.
The first argument is sheer fantasy and racist to boot but the second argument, intended to shift the narrative in a new direction, is actually the more ridiculous. Iran has a struggling economy, a relatively weak military, and much of its outreach to Shi’a communities in neighboring states is in response to the hostility surrounding it engineered by the U.S., Israel and the Sunni ruled regimes in the Persian Gulf. Creating and exploiting a limited sphere of influence as a defensive measure is far from uniquely Iranian.
To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran
By JOHN R. BOLTON
MARCH 26, 2015
Iran Framework Deal Reached, Officials Confirm
Talks Aimed at Finalizing Deal by End of June
by Jason Ditz, April 02, 2015
Saudi Arabia’s oil exports at the beginning of 2015 are 450,000 barrels per day (5%) lower than they were 2 and a half years ago. They are 1 million barrels per day ( 11%) lower than they were a decade ago in 2005.
The “Exceptional” U.S. Suffers Crushing Defeat in Debaltsevo
The Battle Behind the Fog of Propaganda
BY MIKE WHITNEY • FEBRUARY 20, 2015
Additionally, the US-backed proxy-army saw many of its crack troops and top-notch units destroyed in the fighting leaving Kiev unable to continue the war without assistance from allies in the US or Europe. The full impact of the defeat will not be known until angry troops returning from the front amass on the streets of the Capital and demand Petro Poroshenko’s resignation. The Ukrainian President is responsible for the massacre at Debaltsevo. He was fully aware that his army faced encirclement but ordered them to remain in order to satisfy powerful right-wing elements in his government. The disaster is even more terrible due to the fact that it was entirely avoidable and achieved no strategic purpose at all. Extreme hubris frequently impacts outcomes on the battlefield. This was the case at Debaltsevo.
The debacle ensures that the bumbling president’s days are numbered. It’s nearly certain that he will either be replaced or hanged sometime in weeks ahead. He has already flown his family to safety out of the country, and there’s growing speculation that both Washington and the far-right nationalists who occupy the Security Services will insist on his removal. That paves the way for a second Ukrainian coup in less than a year, a grim reminder of the tragic failings of US policy in Ukraine.
Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015
MARATHON IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS TO END WITH MIXED RESULTS
Iran and six world powers will agree to continue negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June, officials say.
DOCUMENTS UNCOVER FURTHER CLINTON EMAIL USE
AP’s Jack Gillum reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton used multiple devices for email and mixed work and personal concerns at least once during her tenure as secretary of state.
LUFTHANSA MOBILIZING CRASH VICTIMS FUNDS
The German carrier says its insurers are setting aside $300 million to deal with possible costs resulting from the Germanwings jet crash.
DESPONDENT GAZANS RETURN TO DESTROYED HOMES
Dismayed over the slow pace of post-war reconstruction, Gaza Strip residents are returning to uninhabitable structures while they wait for promised aid to arrive.
BOOZE BATTLE ERUPTS IN VOLUNTEER STATE
Two distillers say economic development in their small town is being hampered by a law governing what can be marketed as “Tennessee Whiskey.”
On final day of Iran nuclear talks, U.S. puts the odds of a deal at 50-50
The self-imposed deadline for a framework deal on Iran’s nuclear program is midnight Tuesday, and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf puts the odds of a deal at 50-50. And while there is some speculation that the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, could continue into Wednesday, “March 31 is the deadline,” Harf told reporters. “It has to mean something. And the decisions don’t get easier after March 31.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is rejoining the talks on Tuesday, put the odds of success considerably higher: “They are probably not 100 percent but you can never be 100 percent certain of anything.”
Source: VOA, Reuters
Airtsrike kills at least 40 at Yemeni refugee camp
An airstrike targeting Houthi rebels in north Yemen killed at least 40 people and wounded another 200 at a refugee camp on Monday. Yemen’s state news agencySaba, now controlled by Houthis, said Saudi planes had intended the bombs for a rebel camp nearby. Saudi military officials said they were trying to confirm what happened. “It could have been that the fighter jets replied to fire, and we cannot confirm that it was a refugee camp,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said. A humanitarian worker said the strike hit a truck filled with Houthi fighters at the camp gate, killing nearby camp residents as well as fighters.
Source: Reuters, The New York Times
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan falls behind in vote count
An early vote count from Nigeria’s election has opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan by two million votes. While the lead is formidable, many of the country’s large states in the south have not declared their results yet. A former military ruler whose defeat in the last election resulted in rioting that left 800 dead, Buhari has made fighting the Islamist militant group Boko Haram a centerpiece of his campaign. If Buhari wins, Jonathan would be Nigeria’s first incumbent to lose a presidential election.
Source: BBC News, Al Jazeera