Here’s some context behind the claims that Iran will imminently possess a nuclear weapon.
It started a long time ago (but not, unfortunately, in a galaxy far, far away):
1984: Soon after West German engineers visit the unfinished Bushehr nuclear reactor, Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes West German intelligence sources saying that Iran’s production of a bomb “is entering its final stages.”US Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is seven years away from making a weapon.
Seven years away? And did they have a bomb in 1991?
1992: Israeli parliamentarian Binyamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”
1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran was set to have nuclear warheads by 1999. “Iran is the greatest threat and greatest problem in the Middle East,” Peres warned, “because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militancy.”
1992: Joseph Alpher, a former official of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, says “Iran has to be identified as Enemy No. 1.” Iran’s nascent nuclear program, he told The New York Times, “really gives Israel the jitters.”
So was there a bomb by the late 1990s?
1995: The New York Times conveys the fears of senior US and Israeli officials that “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – about five years away – and that Iran’s nuclear bomb is “at the top of the list” of dangers in the coming decade. The report speaks of an “acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program,” claims that Iran “began an intensive campaign to develop and acquire nuclear weapons” in 1987, and says Iran was “believed” to have recruited scientists from the former Soviet Union and Pakistan to advise them.
1997: The Christian Science Monitor reports that US pressure on Iran’s nuclear suppliers had “forced Iran to adjust its suspected timetable for a bomb. Experts now say Iran is unlikely to acquire nuclear weapons for eight or 10 years.“
So now we’re looking at a nuclear-armed Iran by 2007. Scary stuff, right?
2007: President Bush warns that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III.” Vice President Dick Cheney had previously warned of “serious consequences” if Iran did not give up its nuclear program.
2007: A month later, an unclassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran is released, which controversially judges with “high confidence” that Iran had given up its nuclear weapons effort in fall 2003.
June 2008: Then-US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton predicts that Israel will attack Iran before January 2009, taking advantage of a window before the next US president came to office.
May 2009: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee reports states: “There is no sign that Iran’s leaders have ordered up a bomb.”
And Iran still doesn’t have a bomb today — all of those reports, all of that scaremongering and warmongering was wrong. Both the CIA and Mossad agree that there is no specific evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons today. And many experts believe that even if Iran were working on a bomb it could take up to ten to fifteen years.
Yet, it seems that nothing except a war will satisfy Binyamin Netanyahu, who felt the same way about Iraq:
There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is working towards nuclear weapons.
And how did that work out? A hugely expensive war and occupation, American imperial overstretch, thousands of dead soldiers, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and no weapons of mass destruction. We should judge people on their predictive record.
On one level, I understand Netanyahu’s paranoia especially in the context of the 20th Century and the holocaust. Iranian Generals have talked about annihilating Israel.
In August 2012, Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, who heads Iran’s Passive Defence Organisation, said “No other way exists apart from resolve and strength to completely eliminate the aggressive nature and to destroy Israel.” And just six days ago in September 2012 Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh threatened to attack Israel and trigger World War III, saying that “it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack” which would “turn into World War III.” In the same statement, Hajizadeh threatened to attack American bases in the Middle East as well. Hajizadeh said that as a result of this attack, Israel would “sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration.”
All disturbing rhetoric, yet almost certainly baseless threats given the context of Iran’s technological and military disadvantage. Iranian missiles fired at Israel would likely be shot down long before they reached Israeli airspace by Israel’s advanced missile defence systems that can intercept even short-range fire from Gaza and Lebanon. And Israel’s nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf would almost certainly retaliate in kind. As Shimon Peres noted in 2006: “The President of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map.” Most importantly, if Iran attacked Israel, it seems far less likely that other powers would come to Iran’s aid.
Yet an attack on Iran by Israel could well trigger a larger conflict, sucking in Iran’s trade partners who do not want to see the flow of oil and resources out of Iran disrupted. Just this week China announced new contracts to provide super-tankers to deliver oil from Iran to China. Would Russia and China sit idly by and see their Iranian investments liquidated while America and Israel invade Iran and destroy its infrastructure? Would they sit idly by and see their ally deposed? China and Pakistan have both hinted that they could defend Iran if Iran were attacked. An attack on or invasion of Iran is an incredibly risky adventure — and in my view the real danger to Israel. And for what? To discover that like Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad is not working on a nuclear weapon, and all the hot air about weapons of mass destruction is once again just bullshit?
Netanyahu should learn a lesson:
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
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Was it in an earlier post that Aziz constructed a game-theoretic payoff table? Or am i remembering that from somewhere else?
The US choices are “attack or not attack”. Israel makes the threat of attack credible (although it is obvious that the US prefers not to attack).
Iran’s choices are “develop a weapon” and “do not develop a weapon”.
Left like that, an equilibrium doesn’t exist. And whether Iran really could develop a weapon is open to debate.
So, the ideal strategy for Iran is to always be “working” on a weapon — i.e, to signal that a weapon is always 3-5 years away. But never, ever, ever actually be on the cusp of weaponization. Because that might incite attack (so long as the threat of attack is credible).
The ideal strategy for the US is to threaten attack (using Israel as a proxy), hoping that Iran will never actually develop the weapon, so the US doesn’t have to attack.
And this post by Aziz shows that this has been an extremely stable situation for both parties ever since at least the early 1990’s.
It’s not working well enough for the military-industrial complex.They need more money.
Aziz & Seager: In my considered opinion — as one not privy to pertinent intel, the ONLY reliable (or least unreliable) basis for strategy and decision: the concerned public needs more thoughtful game theory and less name-calling (e.g., “the military-industrial complex”). At least bring the ideological/political rhetoric up to date: the invasion of Saddam’s Iraq (which, by the way, HAD worked on nukes and DID develop chemical and biological WMD) was supposed to be because Cheney’s former(?) associates at oil & construction (not military/defense) company Halliburton “needed more money”.
And hey, hawks 5999, did Bohr author that priceless quote about prediction, or was it Yogi Berra? Who was first? Or was it like Newton’s and Leibniz’s calculus invention — independent and near-simultaneous?
Independent and near-simultaneous, just like Newton and Leibniz — the difference being that with Bohr and Berra they were in totally different fields!
John, remember, the purpose of an election is to find the most highly skilled professional liar, that is, that person who had internalized [and can regurgitate] the bs to the population, as truth.
They do this because people can not handle the [more real] truth. After all, having somebody tell you to your face that you are a dupe doesn’t go over so very well.
That’s one reason why charisma is so “important.”
Ha I couldn’t agree more.
So, what do you do about the above situation?; after all, that’s the million [trillion] dollar question.
Since the very nature of the political process is self-corrupting [the individual using the group to further his/her personal (and perfectly natural) interests], it would seem that you might want to minimize the power that can be obtained [corrupted] via the political process.
This means keeping things small, and power diffuse. The larger the political entity, the greater the tendency to corrupt. This is why all empires collapse. It’s not necessarily that people are bad [after all, people are people], it just when you make available this potential for abuse, you know that a spark is going to find the powder.
This is no way, shape or form that you can stop this natural breakdown. These people are taking-down the system because it needs to be destroyed. It’s Nature’s way.
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Right on, Imp! “Keep things (political power) small and diffuse.” Big and concentrated government: monarchies, dictatorships, Marx, Lenin-Stalin, Hitler, Mao, FDR, LBJ, California and other profligate states and cities, Bill & Hill, Pelosi-Reid, Obama. Small and diffuse government: Jefferson, Madison, Harding & Coolidge, recent reform (Republican/tea party) Governors — Christie, Jindal, Walker, Daniels, Kasich, et al. Honest history confirms your dictum, e.g., unemployment dropped to 1% in 1926 (when Coolidge was President) and is 20 +/- % (per comparable formulation) after Obama-Pelosi-Reid.
Great post Imp. It’s not that the system needs to be destroyed, it is that the system, when is gets so large, destroys itself. Nature’s Way for sure. Too bad 98% of the people don’t have a clue as to what is really happening around them. And in keeping with human nature wanting something for nothing, Mr. Obama will be re-elected.
Not a good post at all. Why should threats from the world’s leading supporter of international terrorism be taken lightly? You arbitrarily dismiss this as not creible, despite overwheming evidence to the contrary.
Satellite imagery, Russian, Chinese and North Korean collaboration, thousands of centrifuges, covert and overt intelligence, IAEA, etc. Everyone can see the nuke program is real, why can’t you?
Oh, b/c Saddam’s program wasn’t found – so it must be the same here ?
Idiotic. Not credible.
Everyone can see the nuke program is real? Why not the IAEA, Mossad and the CIA? Why not Meir Dagan? Why not Clinton Bastin?
They have a real nuclear program — as permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaties. There is no evidence — none whatsoever — that they have a nuclear weapons program.
The only people making a hullaballoo are the same gang who have been blowing on this theme for 25 years saying Iran’s nukes are imminent, and saying Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. It’s just been a boondoggle to the military-industrial complex.
We can all have our point of view. Iran’s Imminent Nuclear Weapon is a good post. Why should we care if Iran develops a nuclear bomb. Many other countries have one and they never get used. Iran is a rational country and will toe the line like all the rest of the nuclear powers.
Are you referencing Israel when you speak of the worlds leading supporter of international terrorism??? There are many countries vying for that title.
Who knows what the truth is? Can we believe what any government tells us? Even if the government is telling us their truth, is it the actual truth? And if it is the actual truth, how long is it the actual truth? Doesn’t truth changes moment to moment?
In as far as understanding the truth is concerned, since the truth at any moment in time is composed of the infinite number of events preceding, is it possible that we can understand any of these events [as each one of these events was caused by another set of infinite number of infinite events, etc.]?
The bottom-line is that depending on the “truth” is being on pretty shaky ground, at best. Fortunately, one need not depend on the truth, because their is always the Truth, always available, no decoding necessary.
Politics is what it is so as to disguise the Grand Theft called, The Social Order, from the masses. It has always been this way and will continue for the foreseeable future. Rationalizing the religion of “something for nothing” is the pretty much what they do, and just about EVERYBODY has bought into it, whether they realize it or not.
Our efforts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have been miserable failures. We’ve accomplished little good and a great deal of harm. An attack on Iran would place the world on the bink of a third word war.
Tell your congressmen we’d like to try something less stupid this time.
The entire text of this article was diluted to conjecture by the statement:
“And how did that work out? A hugely expensive war and occupation, American imperial overstretch, thousands of dead soldiers, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and no weapons of mass destruction. ”
Iraq had used WMDs on its own internal adversary’s in the past. I guess that the logic the writer feels is that he used them all up in that one shot. Is that rational?
Clearly there are no other ex-military reading this blog, at least none that are being intellectually honest about it.
Iraq’s WMD’s were purchased from the West, and used against Iran and internally with the West’s sanction.
To be fair to Israel, other countries that possess nuclear weaponry, are not as close as Iran. Israel would have time to defend itself if it was fired on.
I am not condoning Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians but they do have a legitimate fear of Hezzbolah and other threats. What would be an effective deal to guarantee their safety and peace to exist and live as a Jewish State?
The Jews need their own homeland. Muslims must recognise this. I am a fierce Nationalist and each race/religion has to have a homeland.
Like i have said in earlier posts, Palestinians must recognise that Israel is a Jewish state, and if they can not accept this then they must seek refugee status in neighbouring Muslim States. If they stay Israel must guarantee their right o practice as Muslims. But they must respect Jewish sovereignty.
Zealots on both sides must be curtailed by moderates.
I am not a nationalist.
That said, I do respect Zionism — not as a form of nationalism, but as an individual choice — so more the peaceful and pragmatic Zionism of Theodor Herzl than the nationalistic Zionism of Ze’ev Jabotinsky or the racism of Benzion Netanyahu.
That said, I think the best compromise on the table is what Ariel Sharon talked about:
The sooner that something like that is worked out, the better.
In Australia we saw how extreme Muslim views in Sydney were curtailed by moderate views in Melbourne. As a result Muslims were seen as peaceful, and the zealots outed for further surveillance by ASIO (CIA equivalent).
This needs to happen in Israel. I don’t blame the Israelis for being paranoid, and as a result having heavy handed tactics. There are some very hot tempered and extreme Muslims in Israel. If the Palestinians can stop a single rocket launch over 1 year. Show the can be the better person, then it will put massive pressure on Israel. Until then, they have a legitimate fear.
That said Israel needs to respect UN directions and ensure Jewish settlers don’t take land illegally.
To be honest, leaders on both sides have lost control of their extreme constituents.
Vietnam was only a failure from the point of view of winning the war, in terms of economics and the Military Industrial Complex it was a success. Afghanistan and Iraq are similarly successful. The money spent on wars would otherwise have been spent on people. People who have too much of a good thing as a whole nation…will erode social hierarchy and competition between people will be minimized….wars and destruction of surplus wealth is necessary for hierarchical societies to function. Orwell shows this in his fictional book 1984.
Full employment, a free or cheap health system, everyone’s needs well taken care of, no wars or enemies IS destructive. Enemies need to be invented, wars need to be made. A worker gets fired because he does not perform in the way the boss likes…the worker does not care…they can get another job the next day……this is not good from the point of view of the elite rulers….comfortable and well fed people are not easy to control and manage.
“…comfortable and well fed people are not easy to control and manage.”
Au contraire, robo, comfortable and well-fed people are the easiest to control. One of the great lessons of the 20th Century was that the most efficacious method to control populations was not through terror [USSR or Nazi style], but instead, through giving people EXACTLY what they desire.
Giv’em tasty fast-food, cheap alcohol and drugs, internet porn, tv, etc., and people will allow you to take everything they have…including their kids and their freedom.
People are not well fed in mixed economy societies, they are fearful and addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, and consumerism. They fear losing their jobs, their health. Utopia would not work, unless machines were created that would do all the menial jobs. Some human beings like to be at the top of the heap in a hierarchy…its not fun for them if they are equal to others. To maintain their system they need wars, fear, dangers…these create economic inequality…and the system needs these.
Just imagine if the present society had everything we would ever want. Abundant, jobs, health care, education, housing and comfort….social hierarchy would diminish the rich would not be able to boss anyone, no one would fear them….such a society would lose its elites. Perhaps humans cannot live in such societies for too long anyway…unless they are drugged with soma or something. There would of course still be other inequalities between people such as ugly/beauty, smart/dumb, able bodied/disabled.
“Just imagine if the present society had everything we would ever want.”
This is the epitome of Western thinking.
robc, desires are never ending, a vortex that will transport you to Hell and back forever and ever and ever…
Life is about doing what you have to do, not doing what you want to do [from moment to moment]. Give up this notion of “wanting” and join our brother and sister species on the planet, just “being.”
But, if you don’t believe me, go outside and ask a neighborhood squirrel about the meaning of the social order of things. There’s a good chance s/he might refer you to the periplaneta americana [cockroach] down by the fountain who is, they say, quite knowledgeable after 350 million years on the planet.
Spot on, robc! Impermanence has wisely prescribed minimal and diffused government power as the antidote to “hierarchical societies”. The US had such protection with a Constitutionally-limited Republic, until rule-of-law was gradually corrupted by ambitious politicians and gullible voters. This year the Absolute Power zealots have abandon any pretense of honoring (1) the truth, (2) the people’s rights under Amendments I through IX (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, bearing arms, public trial, and other rights not enumerated, and freedom from search and seizure), and (3) people’s and States’ powers under Amendment X. So we must vote Republican this year, and continue to work for a THOROUGH recapturing of our country through local* “tea parties” and other libertarian educational movements.
* Please note that “local” is non-hierarchial. And a question: has Nancy Pelosi
come up with any photos or eyewitnesses of swastikas or pitchforks at tea party events
to support her repeated public accusations when Speaker and second successor to
the presidency ??
My above (Sep 30 @19:54:17) post was in response to robc’s post of Sep 30 @ 11:53:55, not necessarily to his later post(s).
Israel does not style itself a jewish state, it calls itself a democratic and secular state…if that were true it would easily be able to accommodate other ethnicities and races.
Israel styles itself as a secular, democratic and Jewish state.
Right on, Buddy! But I suggest that the Israeli population’s ironclad right to attack-free existence is based on long-term possession, a principle recognized (though not respected by conquerors) for millennia. A more recent example of this hypocrisy is the wretched United Nations, with a Charter written by WW II victors* and ignored by most members.
* The US and UK were determined to have the USSR inside the tent, so the Charter has no teeth.
“a prolonged period of low interest rates, which may encourage imprudent risk-taking and/or erode the long-term soundness of some financial institutions” (preface, page 1)
Click to access fsr_1211.pdf
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The same ‘gang’ pumping fear is the Illuminati. In what reads more like science-fiction than fact, the most powerful banksters in the world, the Rothschilds, were given advanced technology, 200 years ago, by an extra-terrestial race called the Annunaki. Their agenda was, in a word, evil. In exchange for technology, the Annunaki were given mining rights to planet Earth (Gaia). The wealthy Rothshilds bought land from the Ottomans in what is today Israel. Installing Jews, amongst Arabs, is but one facet of their evil plan for a NWO. Oil is not needed for energy. Only needed as an excuse to occupy another nation. Only needed to forment hatred. Hitler was an illegitimate son of a Swiss Rothschild. A mighty pawn to drumming up more hatred and starting WWII. The Bushes in the US, originally from Germany, and with close ties to the Rothschilds, made an obscene fortune selling weapons to the U.S. Who went to war, like every other war, including their Civil War, because their government was, and still is, controlled by the Illuminati. Their spawn also controls the British goverement. The Illuminati, with Deep Undergound Military Bases, had planned a catastrophic Nuclear War. Not going to happen. Promise the Galactic Federation. What you see in the Middle East is naught but a pissing contest, Their mighty dicks have been rendered limp. And the Illuminati are mightily pisseed off. Mightily. Dec21 2012 approaches fast. They cannot stop it. And they know it. But they fight to the last breath. Like your consumate spolled brat that stamps his feet because he can’t get his own way. The Dark has been defeated by our Love and Light, and they’re mad. And I am so happy! Yippee! PS. President Obama is not Illuminati and his held in the highest respect by the Galactic Federation. Being representatives of God, there can be no higher accolade.
If our “space brothers” hold Obama and his extrajudicial killing in the highest esteem I sure ain’t getting on their spaceships.
The Illuminati have tried to assasinate him, many times. The GF are incapable of lies. Washington is riddled with Illuminat and their hired killers. Not to mention London. Not everyone can be protected. Obama has met with the GF, as have most global leaders. All of whom are scared shitless for their wives and families. What you read about Obama is printed by Illuminat newspapers’ . There is much going on in those dark corridors. But time passes quickly. Thank God! And I’ll be one of the first to board, and I’ll say Aziz has a BIG heart, is my friend, and definitely wants to come on board!
Attaboy, Aziz (re your “spaceships” reply! Just curious — why dignify mania with a response?
Chris, thank you for another illuminating post. I have a question for you.
If the Rothchilds’ were given the advanced technology 200 years ago, why are we still using paper money?
Fiat currency is worhless. The Fed, owned by the Illuminati, is printing money constantly. Devalue a currency and hyperinflation sets in. Perfect! For the Illuminati. The US/Europe on the brink of finacial disaster. Not the work of incomptetent politicians, but expertly egineered by those who wish to control the world.
Fiat currency is not worthless. People use it every day. Money works, be it your worthless fiat money, or gold money, because people have been told it works. There is nothing inherently “money” about gold.
Money is an abstraction of labor-value. If you choose to buy into this abstraction, then you can use anything for money. How well it works is another matter.
What is worthless is people’s belief that they “understand.” If somebody out there understood, it seems likely that they would let everybody else in on it. Being that it is impossible to understand, it doesn’t seem likely as if this is going to happen anytime soon.
Financial crises happen all the time. We are not special in this regard. When the dys-function approaches critical mass, change will occur, and [most likely], we will move onward. Once all the non-sense of the last four to ten decades is moved out of the way, another period of serious growth should ensue.
Sorry to be the one to break this to you, Chris, but the world is most likely not coming to an end anytime soon. Of course, you never can be sure, but, your scenario seems a bit dramatic.
Imp. Im actually a bona fide billionaire. I deal/collect rare banknotes. And I actually got billions of marks printed by the Weimar Republic! Billions. Worthless. Except the pretty ones, and there are some. to collectors.
I am interested in buying some Weimar Marks to frame on my wall. Do you have any Third Reich Marks? How about Pre Euro Marks? I would love to have a series. I believe the German Mark will return. Germany will turn East towards Galicia. Like it always has.
Do you have a wesite? Or sell privately?
I am using a complex Options strategy to short the US Dollar in December, not because of your predictions, but because it makes logical sense from an economic and strategic viewpoint. See my earlier posts.
If I am wrong, I am tapped out. If I am right, nobody else has predicted it and I will have political capital in Australia (Not to mention money to fund my campaign). I have warning letters to both Political Parties. Take that to the Press!
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Found your post on zerohedge, thought to give here some comment:
You have all the pieces of the puzzle, however seem to have the story backwards.
Oil is power.
Powers fight over oil.
Iran has oil.
US wants that oil, what can they do?
– destroy Irak and put some bases on the borders. Done.
– threaten China. In process, using some third parties.
– go to war over some good excuse. Getting there. (That would also help to temporarily hide some embarrassing looting via printing -QE- for quite a few more years).
Israel is the fighting cock of US. They have not much choice in the matter. Either that or they get bombs in buses. They are just hoping that time will pass fast enough for a miracle to happen and save them from this misery.
Iran as well is the victim. There however it is easier, being a religious dictatorship. One only need to treathen the ruling class, to play balls. The rest will follow accordingly.
I only expect big inflation in the case of a new hot war and trade disruptions. All the “money printing” is sitting happily in excess reserves paying 0.25%, and primary dealers have no reason to bite the hand that feeds them…
Following a massive bubble in every damn thing, nearly anything [subsequent] is going to be deflationary. Trade barriers decrease business and therefore money [credit].
All the central banks are doing everything possible to fight against the inevitable deflationary backlash. Unless they want to completely destroy the economy, they will not succeed and balance will be restored [one way or another].
I agree with 2+ to zero inflation (Not hyperinflation), unless China stops producing (Hot war, disaster etc)
Germany had hyperinflation because the Unions (under direction by the Government to halt production in the Ruhr valley) paid people not to work (Where did this money come from???)) i.e. too much money chasing too few goods. Read Mein Kampf.
That’s exactly what happened.
How many immigrants to USA UK China earned their wealth the proper way?
“Endemic Corruption and Capital Flight by Insiders
The greater the scale and extravagance of municipal infrastructure projects, the greater the
opportunity for local officials to gain financially in the process, thereby incentivizing everincreasing levels of mal-investment. According to a PBoC report which was mistakenly
published and subsequently retracted, between 1993 and 2008 16000 to 18,000 local government
officials fled China with an estimated $124 billion in embezzled funds.
Of particular note, the
period covered by the report was prior to the government’s recent stimulus program and thus
excludes the extent of embezzlement and misallocation of capital resulting from the vastly
increased lending to local governments occurring over the past several years.”
Full article on Chinese economic miracle.
Click to access Chinese%20Shadow%20Banking%20System.pdf
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one of the biggest wild cards of the European debt crisis is a totally random phenomenon nobody can accurately predict, otherwise known as politics
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Clinton hits on a key point in this interview, underscoring in actually a really profound way just why it is so important that the West, and the US in particular, not diverge from its core beliefs vis-a-vis the separation of the State from religious institutions. Whatever negative types of financial deregulation that occurred under Clinton, I would argue his simple yet simultaneously profound approach to favouring a (in relative terms) high degree of individual accountability for the benefits of a secular legal order … simply serves to prove just why US thinking is now needed more than ever
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