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Gnomemoot 0: Iran - problem summary and more questions.

by Colman Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:41:47 AM EST

I've attached a summary of the arguments raised in the first part of this series..

My sense of the debate is that there are real reasons to believe that Iran is at least pursuing its civilian nuclear power programme in a way that allows for the possibility of diverting part of the technology and production to weapons in the future. However, there is not an imminent danger of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The discussion has clarified the situation very well and I thank everyone involved.

There also seems to be a feeling that is undesirable for Iran to obtain such weapons - something that Iran agrees on, at least officially.

Some questions were clearly left open:

  • Why is the US apparently so insistent that this be dealt with now? If we assume for the sake of argument that the administration neither intends to exploit military action for political gain nor is following an ideological crusade, what is the motivation?
  • What are the EU's interests in this matter? What outcome do we want to see?

Bumped by Colman


I'll point out that this is a quick summary of the facts that seemed compelling from the previous thread. I've inevitably missed subtleties.

Gnomemoot 0: Iran, what is the problem?

  • Is Iran looking to build a nuke?
    • Why?
      • Deterrence
        • See North Korea
      • Offensive action
    • Dangerous?
      • Terrorists
      • Unreasonable action
        • Fear that theocracy acts irrationally
    • Is a civilian programme believable?
      • Peak oil
        • Iran needs power in the future
        • Strategic interest
          • control of fuel cycle
        • Would make Russian proposals or external control unpalatable
    • Evidence of military intent
      • IAEA
        • Casting of uranium
        • Blueprints
          • allegedly sold by CIA
        • Secret facilities
      • Gas centrifuges
  • Scale of problem
    • Adds one more nuclear power to the region
      • Not very friendly to the west.
      • Widely seen as irrational players
    • Would take at least five years, probably rather more
  • Players
    • Iran
      • Clergy
        • Has authority over military
        • Has issued fatwa against use or ownership of nuclear weapons
          • How much of a challenge to the theocratic rule would developing weapons be in the light of that?
          • Hard to say how much weight to attach to it.
      • President
        • Acts crazy
        • May be able to hold act against clerical power if he can hold popular opinion
        • Wasn't first choice of the clergy
        • Has had trouble getting appointees through parliament
      • Popular Opinion
        • Nukes seen a sign of strength in some quarters
    • US
      • Administration
        • Want to invade Iran
          • Same pattern as in Iraq
            • Part of PNAC programme
            • Control over oil bearing area
            • Good for associated companies
          • Hide disaster there
          • Help in October elections
        • Honestly consider Iran an imminent threat
          • No evidence why they would
      • Cui bono
        • Many interests
    • EU
      • What are our interests?

Display:
If we assume that the US is is following both and ideological and political agenda then a key EU interest could very well be preventing the US from getting the pretext(s) required to give them any cover for an attack.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:01:26 AM EST
I'm not 100% happy that our analysis of the US motivations isn't too influenced by partisan considerations. Although I note that none of our more Bush friendly US contingent argued very hard against very negative readings of US motivations.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:06:52 AM EST
The extent of the argument was
discussions such as we are having can't be believed


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was trying to be diplomatic. There is a little more to it than that but not much more.

You're clearly of the view - well expressed and supported - that the US administration is acting from nefarious motives. I tend to agree with you and it's that tendency that worries me. However, I can't think of any honest arguments that support military action soon against Iran in order to prevent them building nukes: as far as I can see none have been presented.

There is the possibility that the US government considers its stance in this to be a legitimate and sensible way of putting pressure on Iran. Their record in diplomacy and foreign affairs suggests that they are pretty crap at it after all. This could just be another case of gross incompetence. Maybe they have no intention of taking military action: it could just be a very stupid bluff.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:22:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was trying to be diplomatic.
I was trying to imitate Bolton, you know, to put myself on a par with US diplomacy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bolton appears to be yet more evidence of either evil or incompetence. Or both.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:43:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My only complaint is that you attribute this to the current administration, while it's clearly the general belief system across both parties.
by asdf on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explain that a little more please: do you mean that both parties believe that immediate action against Iran is necessary or that the Democrats, regardless of what they believe, are so spineless that they feel they must be strong on "national security" and support any action to that "end"? I honestly haven't been paying close attention to the Democratic pronouncements on this except to notice that they've bought into the regime's framing of the issue.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:48:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is that the Democratic establishment is part of "the regime", broadly understood.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:53:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, but the current administration is peculiar in its brazenness.

I actually bought the argument that Kerry would be more dangerous than Bush because he would actually stop the unravelling of the web of international alliances that help the US maintain its position at the centre of the international system(s).

But not to worry, I don't believe the Democrats will be able to win an election this year or in 2008, so they are more irrelevant than the UN.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually bought the argument that Kerry would be more dangerous than Bush because he would actually stop the unravelling of the web of international alliances that help the US maintain its position at the centre of the international system(s).

You mean you actually dream of the Cheney/Bolton desired vision of the world coming true? (You really should be careful of what you wish for)

by MarekNYC on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean I was afraid Kerry would be more likely to drag Europe into the next imperialist adventure. Had he won, everyone would have breathed a sigh of relief, gone to sleep, and woken up 4 years later mired in Iraq, or somewhere else.

I don't think Cheney and Bolton can dismantle the existing international institutions. What would unravel is the web that keep the US at the center of the world system. The neocons see the rest of the world as a burden, while we are in effect propping up the US economy and financing the Iraq war.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did know what you meant but made my point in a rather snarky fashion.  That is, I disagree with you on what the consequences of the US centered international system going from badly weakened (courtesy of Cheney et. al.) to dead would be.  

China has an absolutist old style sovereignty is king, what people do in their own spheres is nobody's business vision of the world. Same goes for Russia. Japan is leaning toward America. India is torn between a Chinese approach and an alliance with the US. The difference between a Clintonian, muscular liberal internationalism (my personal preference), and EU view of the world is means, not ends - and the liberal internationalists do take Europe's views on means into account.  Your dream would leave everything Europeans hate about American foreign policy intact, and their own desires for the world outside Europe itself in tatters. It would be a world where only national interests matter, human rights and economic justice would mean absolutely nothing. Think of how the US, France, and the USSR played in Africa during the Cold War - that's what you'd get all around the world.

by MarekNYC on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 12:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think having the US vacate the center is the same thing as killing the international system? In that you agree with Cheney/Bolton, and I beg to disagree... But that may well be wishful thinking.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 12:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides, Kerry wanted to follow Bush's policies "better" (as in, send 40,000 more troops to Iraq!) instead of following "better policies". Or at least that's what he campaigned on.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, to be fair to Kerry, once invasion and occupation is already fait accompli then one semi-plausible strategy for making life better for Iraqis (at that early point in time, I would say it is too late now) involved massive investment of both money and troops to really try "nation building."
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 01:25:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The window for that was the few months between the end of the invasion and the start of the insurgency in earnest. Already in 2004 Iraq was in a state of guerrilla insurgent war with mounting losses for US troops. In 2005 the conflict morphed into an undeclared sectarian civil war (undeclared as it was under cover of anti-occupation insurgency). Last week, when the sectarian violence flared up over the bombing of the Samarra shrine, US troops in Samarra were told to stay in their barracks in order not to inflame the crowds even more, or make themselves targets. As Juan Cole put it, this shows just ho useless western troop presence is right now (useless when not counter-productive).  

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 01:33:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, the blood bath could have been avoided.

But... the Bush MO relies on a combination of evil and incompetence, so as soon as the attack plan was in place the chances of a good outcome began to shrivel towards non-existence.

And someone more competent and less evil, like Clinton, would never have invaded in the first place. Even if Kerry had won in 04, it was too late to rescue the situation by then.

The non-evil and (arguably) competent thing to do at this point is to get the US out and install a UN peacekeeping force.

Meanwhile back in the US it's a kind of reverse Sovietization, politically and culturally, and also economically. The NeoCons apparently had such a good time persuading themselves that defence spending bankrupted the USSR that they've decided to try the same tactic on their home audience.

I think we may need to get used to the idea that if the Bush Plan continues and oil prices start spiking regularly, the US won't be able to afford anything like its current levels of military presence. An economy implodes when the costs of production and transportation are far higher then possible profit margins. At that point food stops being grown and transported and everything gets very unpleasant very quickly. Keeping aircraft carriers afloat may prove difficult when no one is being paid.

I'm hoping that an inward-looking and retrospective Christian Fascistocracy isn't the most likely outcome, but without a change of direction it probably is.

And ironically Europe is best placed to fill the gap. Not militarily, but certainly economically and perhaps also politically. I think there's more political and social resilience here, and probably more willingness to deal with discomfort when aiming for a soft landing. (Although I could easily be very wrong about that last part.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 04:33:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fatwa issued against the use of nuclear weapons seems to be in doubt according to the Telegraph and some other newspapers.  The hard liners in Iran lead by the religious leader Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi seems to have issued a fatwa countering the fatwa prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons.  Yazdi and his group are considered to be the closest allies of the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.
by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 09:00:05 AM EST
Now that is interesting.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 09:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 09:07:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems to be the best coverage of the issue.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 09:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And there are elections coming up in Iran.

This is interesting:

Meanwhile Ayatollah Khamenei has his work cut out for him. Mesbah Yazdi's popularity has been rising steadily since he issued a fatwa in support of Ahmadinejad's presidential bid. Putting difficulties created by Mesbah Yazdi's popularity aside, the very fact that Mesbah Yazdi can issue a fatwa, whilst religiously speaking Khamenei can not, puts Mesbah Yazdi in the eyes of many clerics above Khamenei.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 09:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not going to try to shoot the whole thing down, but two remarks:

  1. it was clearly said in Part One that the fatwa against use of nuclear weapons wasn't such a big deal anyway, since a fatwa is a judgement or ruling, not a binding decree, and, if Iranian hardliners chose to use nuclear weapons, they would simply put out another fatwa contradicting the first (presumably when they actually had weapons, not years in advance, which kinda gives the game away...)

  2. I haven't exhausted all the Google links, but all I've found are right-wing sites, all of whom finally refer either to the Telegraph or to MEMRI. The Telegraph seems to use the MEMRI wording, see page here. MEMRI gives as source an Iranian dissident site, roozonline, and an article in Persian here. This may be a fair translation of a legitimate Iranian dissident dispatch, but it should be noted that MEMRI is not neutral (Israeli press/communications agency with an agenda), and that (according to MEMRI) roozonline "is posted from outside Iran".

I repeat, this may be perfectly legit. Caution all the same.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:34:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, we don't know how much weight to put on that fatwa, especially if it can be overridden by a new leader. It's still an interesting formal statement of a position.

The second point was why I called the Google search interesting. It appears that this is being seized on, at the very least, by the usual suspects. If I was paranoid I'd think it was being pushed by the disinformation machine. The Telegraph is not neutral either.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, just this instant I looked at World War 4 Report that you linked to above and I missed. I'd have saved meself some time if I'd seen it...

(If there were a change I'd like to see on ET, it would be a more distinctive colour for links, as I think BT has...)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 11:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do agree that many of the news sites linking to the new fatwa story are biased against Iran and the Iranian regime.  But then again if such a story was to be reported surly those opposing the regime in Iran would be the first to do so.  

There are really no neutral information sites online or even offline, only some more nuanced than others.  Still, The Telegraph, even if it is conservative, is one fairly large and respectable newspaper and if they are printing a story that is corroborated by a multitude of other sources then, in my opinion there has to be something to the article.  Of course it could be a propaganda campaign, but then again it might not.....


Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 12:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My reading of it would suggest that something was said along those lines. I doubt that the story would be fabricated whole.

Every link in the communication chain seems to have reason to spin it against the Iran as much as possible though. I would suggest this is part of a power struggle within the Iranian government, especially with elections for the electors for the Supreme Guide coming up this year. The hard-liners are possibly manoeuvring for position using this issue, which adds a whole other layer of complexity to the situation.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 12:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fatwa or not is irrelevant. The Iranians have said that nuclear weapons would not provide security for them, and have insisted on a nuclear weapons-free mideast. The Neocons, ironically, agree that nuclear weapons would not provide security to Iran. Those who claim that Iran "must" want nuclear weapons since it lives in a dangerous neighborhood are engaging in a fallacy called Subverted Support -- trying to explain a phenomenon when there's no evidence that the phenomenon exists in the first place.
by CyrusI on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 04:41:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point, and welcome to ET, Great King :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 04:56:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose we have Jerome's DKos diary of today to thank for it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 05:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The characterization of a "fatwa" is probably the media's. There are all sorts of legal pronouncements which have a variety of effects/implications in Islam -- ie: the personal opinion of an Islamic Jurist for example is not the same thing as a "fatwa" but are called that by the media.

The Iranian clerics have repeatedly and openly stated that they consider ANY weapons which kill indiscriminately to be illegal and immoral. That's one reason why Iran did NOT use chemical weapons against Saddam, when even under the relevant international treaties, Iran would have had the legal right to respond in kind.

by CyrusI on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 05:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First of all, if that is the case I would be obliged if you could provide me with conclusive evidence beyond reasonable doubt of that.

And second, concerning the use of chemical weapons I would also be thankful if you could point me in the direction of evidence that the Iranians were in possession of such weapons.  

Third, if they were in possession of such weapons why does a cleric with a high educational standing issue a "statement" that says it is not prohibited to use nuclear weapons if there is a total prohibition to do so.  Obviously it is a dispute between the clerics over the prohibition and thus not an absolute policy as you says it is.    


Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Mar 11th, 2006 at 03:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, the basic problem with this discussion is that those seeking war prefer to draw their justification from "intelligence sources" which claim to know more than we do.

Thus, somewhere along the line we have to make some assumptions about what we believe.

For this post I would like to assume that we don't know for sure what Iran is seeking, but there is some reason to worry about weapons ambitions. I'd also like to assume that we think it will take them some time to reach weapons.

Thus, at this point in time, I would like to suggest the following about the EU:

Interests:

a) The EU would prefer Iran not to reach nuclear weapons, as it is hard to see it improving anything. This may be very hypocritical, but I think the interests of states often are hypocritical. I would prefer that the EU was different, more ethical in foreign policy (and being here on ET is part of working towards that better future) but for now I think we have to take this as read.

b) In the short term at least, the EU is not interested in messing the world up further. Actions in Iran should ideally not endanger oil prices or set the stage for a region size conflict.

The ideal outcome is an agreement with Iran that allows peaceful development of nuclear power, enables reasonable monitoring to alert if they are seeking weapons and all this occurs without warfare that could push Iraq even further into the mire, or really mess up oil prices.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 01:50:56 PM EST
Given the record of "intelligence sources" lately, I think I'm going to ignore them.

I agree with your assessment of the EU interest here but I think the aspect of containing US aggression needs more emphasis. I think the EU fucked up on Iraq because they didn't really believe the US was mad enough to do it. Their whole approach assumed the US was a rational actor in their terms. They were dead bloody wrong.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 01:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On this point there's an interesting interview on TomDispatch with journalist Mark Danner.

in my view, the era of neocon leadership is clearly coming to an end. The impression that they were ever entirely in control is wrong in any event and the vanguard of the neocons has obviously been blunted by the great failure of Iraq -- because their assumption of preponderant American power turned out not to be true. Napoleon had this wonderful line that you can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it. Military power is good for blowing things up; it's good for destroying things. It's not good for building a new order. It takes a great deal more power, skill, and patience to construct an enduring order in Iraq. The United States doesn't have sufficient power; it doesn't have the skill; and we know it doesn't have the patience. One part of the Axis of Evil has been occupied -- you can think of it as the part of the Axis that has sacrificed itself to make way for the greater freedom (freedom from attack, freedom perhaps to build nuclear weapons) of North Korea and Iran. Although I think the U.S. has dealt with Iran rather cleverly in the last few months, they're playing a very weak hand. After all, the use of military force against Iran is now out of the question in large part because of the disaster next door in Iraq and the way Iran's hand has been strengthened by that disaster.

TD: Here's my hesitation: If these people are pushed to the wall, I could construct a scenario for you, I believe, in which Iran, crazy as it might seem, could be hit.

Danner: The difference we have on this just has to do with how willing we are to imagine the utter irrationality of the administration. When I look at Iran now, the upside of a military strike of a kind that they could do, with aerial bombardment, and the downside of such a step seems obviously to be so wildly out of proportion, I can't believe even they would take that step.


(emphasis mine).

I suggested on Gnomemoot 0 that Ahmadinejad's provocative craziness was backed by his analysis that the US couldn't do much now to harm Iran, beyond air strikes that would not affect the long-term outcome, but might allow him to pose as popular leader of a martyrized country. In other words, that he was almost looking to bring this about.

Danner thinks the US would not be foolish enough to do it. I don't know.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 02:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fundamentally, I would suspect that the US will do it and the EU leaders (e.g. Chirac) have made plenty of noises that they will follow along like poodles this time.

In effect, the revolutionary thesis has worked. Having seen it happen once, we are now inured to seeing it happen again. Now the taboo is broken, it is no longer really a taboo.

I still feel that the bombing will start in about September/October? to place it before the upcoming elections.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 02:51:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually the EU were bloody wrong. The Iraqis were dead.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 02:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we have site members from "mainstream America" who have argued in numerous discussions that the US acted perfectly rationally.

With that in mind, I was trying to set out something that could be agreed as a first step.

To my mind the bunfight implicit in my statement comes when the US pushes for quick war, the EU has to stand up and try and stop it.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 02:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen any convincing argument that the US acted rationally. It acted against the advice of its own expert system.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 03:35:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of my tinfoil comments in the previous thread, the one which had the least impact was the one I consider most important, as it addresses the way "the US expert system" has effectively been subverted beyond recognition and no longer functions properly. (link)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 03:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my defence, I did reply to that comment!

I agree with you that this is one of the most disturbing events of the whole scenario. This is really one of the big problems with the whole debate. We are through the looking glass already. At a conservative estimate 50% of information we receive comes from subverted channels and the non-subverted ones have never been known to be consistently reliable...

This connects to one of my other comments in this diary ( a reply to afew, I think) where I pointed out this all fits into the "revolutionary government" hypothesis highlighted by Krugman amongst others. They broke the taboo in Iraq with essentially no political consequences for themselves, they will surely be encouraged to do it again the case of Iraq.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 03:59:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, ha, the tinfoil index for your reply exceeded that of my comment by a factor of 4 to 1, to judge by the number of ratings!

Now seriously, just like the establishment blamed the defeat in Vietnam on public opinion instead of the fundamentally misguided imperialism behind it, the neocons turned on the parts of the CIA and the State department which opposed them and purged them. The US foreign policy is now effectively a blind, mute and lobotomized brute. Blind because its problems with human intelligence gathering have not been solved, and have possibly been made worse by the animosity that americans agents are likely to encounter in the muslim world. Mute, because having Condi Rice and Bolton where Albright or Powell used to be amounts to having no diplomacy. Lobotomized because "disloyal" intelligence analysts have been purged from the CIA by Porter Goss. And a brute because despite all the pentagon talk about fourth-generation warfare, the US military seems completely out of place fighting an urban guerrilla insurgency, and its favourite tools are overkill.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 04:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A week or so ago, I read an interview with an ex NSA agent who has been busy writing a series of books on the procedures within the agency - including the current eavesdropping scandal. He observed astutely that there is a big contrast with how the USA and the European government regard secert services intel.

He noted that in the USA, policy is based on intel - it's the heart of it and it's publicly discussed. In Europe, despite the Iraq war and the copy-paste behaviour of the European governments to swallow the American intel - not so. How much did we regularly read on the European assessments of our secret services? Perhaps European governments rely on European intel to a degree, but that impression is never there for the public. In the US, the intel is sold to the public to make the case. The politicians need it.

Hence the neocon strategy to mould the intel to their liking. And it's heavily backfiring now, but I see a tendecy to shove that blame on top of the secert services - who can't properly defend themselves, without spilling the beans...

What a mess.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 06:27:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ideal outcome is an agreement with Iran that allows peaceful development of nuclear power, enables reasonable monitoring to alert if they are seeking weapons and all this occurs without warfare that could push Iraq even further into the mire, or really mess up oil prices.

i loathe the nuclear industry, but i've regretfully come to the same realpolitik conclusion.

there would be a million better ways to skin this cat, but once you have two fundy powers facing off, you gotta take the least worst temporary outcome.

pandora's box inches open a few degrees more

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Banning nuclear power worldwide isn't going to happen, so that's the best you're going to get.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:22:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't be ideological about it, be pragmatic.
by Nomad on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 11:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
be pragmatic.

yup, they have good intentions, after all...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 10:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interests:

a) The EU would prefer Iran not to reach nuclear weapons, as it is hard to see it improving anything. This may be very hypocritical, but I think the interests of states often are hypocritical. I would prefer that the EU was different, more ethical in foreign policy (and being here on ET is part of working towards that better future) but for now I think we have to take this as read.

b) In the short term at least, the EU is not interested in messing the world up further. Actions in Iran should ideally not endanger oil prices or set the stage for a region size conflict.

The ideal outcome is an agreement with Iran that allows peaceful development of nuclear power, enables reasonable monitoring to alert if they are seeking weapons and all this occurs without warfare that could push Iraq even further into the mire, or really mess up oil prices.

I guess I would argue that these interests are American interests as well.  and if they can be achieved, what a celebration we should all have.  Seriously, it would be glorious!

But is it not clear that Iran's leaders are not going to accept these outcomes?  I'm wondering if these comments accept the reality of a head of state that says he wants to wipe another country off the map?  I think the consensus of the comments so far is that Iran is a threat--though at least 5 years away with nuclear weapons.  So the question for the EU position, doesn't it have to address what the next steps are if the ideal outcome, that this describes, does not happen?

I would request that the EU position be further developed.  I accept that a part of that position may be that there is a lack of trust on American motives,,,but lay out how that should play out.  What should the EU do, if the Iranians continue to defy their prior agreements regardinjg non-proliferation; what should the EU do if the Iranian leaders continue to be so incredibly belligerent toward Israel?  

What stance should the EU" take if their ideal outcome is not playing out?

by wchurchill on Fri Mar 3rd, 2006 at 03:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the consensus of the comments so far is that Iran is a threat--though at least 5 years away with nuclear weapons.

Not precisely. The consensus is that Iran may be attempting to build nuclear weapons. It is at least setting things up so it would be possible. I don't believe we concluded that it is a threat any more than any other state in that area getting nukes.

It is not clear that Iran's leaders are not open to a negotiated settlement nor is the President the head of state. He operates under the supervision of several bodies and is clearly sharply circumscribed in his power - remember that he has failed to even get his cabinet nominations through.

If, however, no negotiated outcome is possible then the question becomes what pressure can we apply in order to persuade Iran that they do want to come to a settlement. How do we make the alternative less attractive? What means are available that better our position and do not lead to outcomes worse than if we did nothing?

I am 100% convinced that any military action will strengthen the hand of the hardliners in Iran in the same way that the invasion of Iraq and the axis-of-evil rhetoric did. Economic sanctions are possible but problematic.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 3rd, 2006 at 06:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if fleshing out two alternative pathways might make sense.  And perhaps in the beginning, the pathways are the same, or similar.  Currently the parties are working on a negotiated settlement that would keep Iran in the non-proliferation treaty, and have them forego their plans for developing nuclear weapons.  (and of course these pathways would be based upon the views we have developed regarding the science, how long it would take Iran to develop weapons, is it there intention to develop these weapons, etc.--your outline does this well).  The pathways may diverge at the point of the pressures that should be put upon Iran, if they choose to continue a path of developing weapons--your points above regarding economic sanctions may be a problem.  This pathway could either stop at the point of economic sanctions,,,or it might stop after that, if the economic sanctions failed, and Iran continued their program despite the sanctions.  

The other pathway is one of continued pressuring of Iran through a world community, increasing pressures, economically and perhaps others.  Perhaps other programs such as encouraging dissent within Iran--I'm just trying to brainstorm some examples of things that could be done before any military action scenarios.  This pathway could take quite a bit of time,,,,certainly according to our scientific assumptions it would be a minimum of five years before Iran could develop a nuclear program.  And a lot can happen in five years,,,,leaders of Iran could stay on that path, or they could change.  Decisions about military action would likely be years down the road.

But at the end of the day, the issue may hinge upon which final scenario is worse--an armed Iran, potentially continuing to be run be a clerical community that seems, certainly at times anyway, to condone attacks on Israel.  Or would military action aimed at stopping Iran from achieving their goal be worse than a nuclear Iran.  Neither scenario seems very appealing to me, and it may be a choice of the least of two evils.

But I guess before getting to the decision on military action, the question is the one you posed--is it better to escalate sanctions against Iran, if they choose to continue down a nuclear path.  Or are even the increasing pressures and sanctions going to create a chaos, a chaos that would in itself be worse than Iran with nuclear weapons.

You seem to clearly believe a nuclear Iran is preferable to military action.  So perhaps the question of sanctions is the issue.

And not doing sanctions, or not following through with military action, requires some thinking and comment on what about Israel?  I think their latest statement was they could not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  Is that an idle threat?  Or does that mean that a war happens anyway, with Israel setting on a path to destroy militarily Iran's nuclear program?

by wchurchill on Sat Mar 4th, 2006 at 04:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great outline Colman.  I didn't realize that "our more Bush friendly US contingent" hadn't responded very vigorously in the first round regarding US intentions. Speaking for myself, I was quite impressed and much more focused on the science part of what some of our colleagues did--and really found that to be outstanding.  It does appear that there is some agreement forming around that very important aspect of this problem.  So my focus in round 1 was not really on motives.

I do not think it is the US intention to attack Iran, or start a war.  It seems to me the very clear intention is to try to work with a consensus of leading countries that develop a common view, to the extent possible, and agree a course of action toward Iran.  That process has been underway for over a year--and it certainly has been challenging.  But it seems the effort, which is really led by the EU-3 and Russia to work this through diplomatically, possibly moving to a UN sanctions approach as a club, might have a chance of working.  (and certainly Iran talking to Russia now about Russia producing the nuclear material for them could be very positive)

I'm certainly hopeful that a common front toward Iran, backed up by efforts and data from the IAEA, and then just applying step by step more pressure to Iran to hold them accountable to their nonproliferation agreements,,,might be successful.  The kinds of pressures that could be applied have been well outlined by the parties--bring it to the security council, potential of sanctions,,,and those could be raised level by level.

If the US and others have similar views that it will take Iran an absolute minimum of 5 years to have a weapon, it also leaves time for these diplomatic steps to work.

Why is the US apparently so insistent that this be dealt with now? If we assume for the sake of argument that the administration neither intends to exploit military action for political gain nor is following an ideological crusade, what is the motivation?
It seems to me that this process must be started now.  First of all it can take an incredibly long time to get all the parties in agreement on steps to take.  And countries such as China may never agree.  But the timefram for accomplishing this diplomatically is a long one, and could easily take five years.

Then how do you not address it now, with it being more and more clear from our scientific discussion that Iran's intentions are to weaponise.  And the comments of Iran's president that Israel should be wiped off the map would seem to clearly show the intention to be a very evil actor in the Middle East if they have a nuclear weapon.  He certainly can not be trusted, nor would it seem the allatoyah's can be either.

And what do we expect Israel, the threatened party to do if this issue is not addressed immediately, in the sense of starting the process.  Israel clearly knows that these threats to them can be real, and deadly.  Obviously history vereifies that.  And their state is committed to protection.  I'm afraid we would back Israel into a corner where they felt they had to act on their own, if the world community does not address this.  And it's hard to see that being a good thing.

If all of these efforts fail, or end up in UN resolution after resolution that are not lived up to, then it's certainly possible that the US stance will harden toward Iran, and military options will be on the table.  It's not a certainty, because even within the Republican party their is a large minority, IMO, that would like to see the US pull back from international involvement--simplisticly, to protect the borders, put up a starwars system (if such a thing could ever really work), and take a view that if the rest of the world doesn't want to address dictators with evil intentions, then fine,,,let them work it out themselves.  But it's also possible that some version of Bush's more involved world view would win out--the world is too small now to try to ignore dangers, because they will get you in the end, in a 9/11 style attack, and probably worse, particularly if nuclear weapons are in the hands of people like Ahmadinejad.

As to the Democrats it seems very hard to see where they will stand.  The next few elections may argue the point of should the "war on terror" be handled as a war, or should it be treated as criminal actions.  Is Bush' policy that if a country harbors and supports terrorism, they are an enemy of the US correct, or not.

So the politiical stance three or four years from now is not a certainty, and will clearly be influenced by events.  But if I had to bet right now, I would think some version of it is a war, the US is an enemy of countries that support terrorism--that will be the drift of American policy.  I don't see the same economic holocaust happening to America that others above see, and would force America to pull back--just IMHO.

But I think the military options are the last ones for the US, and certainly not the preferred one, for all kinds of reasons.

by wchurchill on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:31:54 AM EST
Thanks for that. It's not very hard to be more pro-Bush than the consensus around here so ye  shouldn't take that the wrong way.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cui bono?

which foreign companies would benefit from iran's moves to nuke power?

is there an energy cartel in iran like chez nous?

does sustainability come into the picture? are there any solar power factories in iran?

with that oil wealth they could be a beacon for the world in the use of alt. energy, and win all kinds of points for their worldview, as last i heard, islam claims to be more environmentally respectful than other religions.

i have no evidence of this, sadly.

israel pioneered drip irrigation; i'd love to see the middle east pump trillions into becoming the world's premier solar industry advocates, instead of investing in silly vegas-on-steroids glitzfests like dubai, which just apes the worst of our excesses and jacks it up some more.

that's what happens when the capital built on the sweat and lives of a people gets shuffled off to the middle east for the last 30 years, just to go 'vroom, vroom'.

when will we have leaders of wisdom?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:11:45 AM EST
uh, the answer to my own question:

when we the people have developed enough of it ourselves not to vote for idiots, and demand politicians and platforms that really are in our best interests.  

so blog on to find out out what they really are!

we can do this once we learn to read between the lines and parse the power.

it involves us bloggers making politics personal, and helping the aplolitical become involved, through helping them realise politics does not exist in another dimension, it affects everything (dammit!) and the bad guys aren't going to quit till they've buried us all - and their own children - unless we wake up and realise what a travesty we are making of this precious gift of life.

 communicate, learn, empower

we have strength in (hitherto unapplied) numbers

collective coma works for them

millions of individual consciences can hold down a giant, like gulliver in lilliput.

millions of tiny flames of awareness, winking in unity across the planet.

we create leaders in our own images.

we need to change those images, and this is the best thing about blogs, because that's exactly what they can do, better than any medium before them.

yay

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:25:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which foreign companies would benefit from iran's moves to nuke power?
I found this to be an interesting question.  Let me put a couple of thoughts out, and see if others want to add to, or correct them.

One group of companies that would benefit from countries moving more toward nuclear power for peaceful purposes, is those companies that own the uranium mines, mine the uranium, and upgrade it to usable forms for power generation.  My understanding is that though uranium is all over the world, it is found primarily in Canada, Australia and New Zealand in areas that can be cost effectively mined.
The companies that are involved in this tend to be Canadian, some Australian, and are traded on the Toronto stock exchange.  They are not particularly large companies--tend to be small, with some sort of medium sized.  The largest company in this area is, I believe, Cameco Company, which is Canadian.  There website is pretty interesting, particularly for the scientifically challenged such as me, in that the lay a lot of the mining and other issues out in layman's terms--"Uranium for Idiots", if you will.  I think they are by far the largest company, but there are other smaller ones such as Denison Mines, Laramide Resources, Mega Uranium Ltd., and really a host of others.  As you can see they are not well known names, not really large, but their stock prices have done very well over the last several years as the demand for uranium has grown, and is expected to grow further with many countries committing more to nuclear power.  
There seems to be another issue, and source of uranium, that I don't fully understand.  But the uranium that was initially made for weapons can be "broken down" to be used for nuclear power.  It's my understanding that this was difficult for the mining industry in the past, since it was a somewhat unknown supply source,,,yet when that supply would come on the market from time to time, it would play havoc with market prices.  It's futher my understanding that this souce has somewhat dried up--and a lot of it was in Russia.  But I guess to the extent that there is more left, the Russians might be a very interested player here,,,,but it's unclear to me if that would be Russian companies, or the Russian government, or what?

A second kind of player would be a more nefarious, and hopefully small group of individuals, that know how to enrich uranium to the point of being weaponised, and also know how to build all of the various manufacturing facilities that could do this.  I believe Dr AQ Khan of Pakistan is notorious for having sold these secrets to certain countries, and personally profited.

Then a third group that I know nothing about, would be the engineering companies that build these plants.  I don't know if there are specialty engineering companies that do this, or if it is divisions of larger companies.  It's my understanding that French companies have been involved, note Iraq's former plant blown up by the Israelis.  I think some large American companies are in this such as Westinghouse, maybe GE--I don't think this is a large part of their business.

I don't think it's an area where you don't have the power brokers like you have in oil--where large oil companies and countries such as Saudi Arabia can really dominate the industry.

I hope others with better knowledge will flesh this out, if they are interested in doing so.

by wchurchill on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:39:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Colman's outline: "EU.  What are our interests?"

It would be interesting if someone could take a stab at this one.

by wchurchill on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:58:27 PM EST
I certainly welcome someone taking a better stab at it than I did. All the same, is there something you think I particularly missed?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 03:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My sincerest <redfaced> apology, Metatone.  Your outline and the following discussion were excellent.  No excuses for missing it.  I will say that I'm having to skim ET much more than I like, do to a heavy project workload.  But I'm sorry to have missed your comments.
by wchurchill on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 02:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No need to apologise!

We all miss things, it was mentioned in an open thread that ET feels like it is reaching that size where it is too big to really keep up with...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 10:00:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Militarism takes on its own dynamic. Studies have shown the biggest cause of war is having a standing army.

A sizable part of the US economy is based upon the military/police sector. Federal government spending is about 50% of the budget.
Here is a graphic:
http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm

The military is also one of the few manufacturing areas that hasn't been "outsourced." Procurement policies require key items to be built in the US. The military firms spread the manufacturing sites around the country to insure that local politicians all support the local facility since it brings jobs to the region.

A recent TV show explored the situation. The most telling remark was from a recently retired DoD official who had been a contract auditor. He said that many of the projects were holdovers from the cold war and totally useless. As a matter of fact they were worse than useless since they diverted funds from real needs.
The host asked him what could be done to change things, he was at a loss for ideas. He just sees the situation as beyond control.

Under Bush the military budget has increased 48% without even including the cost of the wars. So the short answer as to why Iran? Because it is there...

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 07:30:37 PM EST
He said that many of the projects were holdovers from the cold war and totally useless.
The sad thing about the American system is that this comment is true to all government spending.  There is no "sunset" provision for almost anything we spend money on.  So government programs take on a life of their own.  Every government program benefits some party, and that benefited party has significant interest in keeping the program going.  As you suggest in this example, the local politicians where the money is spent will have his constituents all over him to keep the program going.  Or in the case of social programs, those who benefit from them and the politicians who need their votes are incented to keep the program going.  The companies that make the products are incented to keep the program going.  All of these benefitted groups have lobbyists.  It's just an incredible system that wastges a ton of money.
by wchurchill on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 03:06:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Darn!  I lost a whole comment because I didn't notice that 50 letter warning on the subject line, and thought my comment was posted.  I've done this a number of timess over the past month.

The jist of my comment was suggesting that we need to add Israel as one of the players, to consider their interests and motives.  They are potentially a very agrieved player in these scenarios and their actions could change everything.

by wchurchill on Sat Mar 4th, 2006 at 12:32:52 PM EST
Much of the discussion on Iran's nuclear program goes off on speculation about the technicalities of nukes and secrets of Islam but misses the bigger picture:

Lets not forget that Iran's nuclear program did not start with Ahmadinejad or even the Islamic Republic and in fact it goes back to the 1970s, when the program to diversify Iran's energy resources started with the encouragement and assistance of the US and European govts. Iran isn't doing anything today that it hadn't planned on doing long ago when the Shah was in power,

See: Past Arguments Don't Square With Current Iran Policy. By Dafna Linzer. Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, March 27, 2005
www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-dyn/articles/A3983-2005Mar26.html

Iran has a legitimate economic case for nuclear power:
See: The fuel behind Iran's nuclear drive
By David Isenberg http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GH24Ak02.html

As for the alleged "secrecy" of Iran's nuclear program after the revolution, Iran was in fact cooperating with the IAEA and seeking the necessary technology openly until the US pressured the IAEA and other countries to withdraw assistance. see: Iran needs nuclear energy, not weapons, in Le Monde Diplo Nov 2005
http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:Wv7d_FdiMH0J:mondediplo.com/2005/11/02iran

In fact if you listen to US claims, its not that Iran IS building nukes, but that Iran is acquiring technology which COULD BE used to make nukes...in 5 to 10 years. Any technology COULD BE used to make nukes, and any country could do so in 5 to 10 years.

Thus far the only actual "evidence" of a weapons program consists of a diagram supplied by Agha Khan, which was not sufficiently detailed to be of much use, and such diagrams can probably be found on the internet (the technology of bombs is not really a secret!) Then, there's the "laptop" which conveniently fell from the sky and contains all the evidence necessary to convict Iran, from designs for nuclear test mine-shafts to missiles warhead designs to "Green Salt" projects  -- all on a single laptop, mind you, that was supposedly stolen from an Iranian nuclear engineer by someone who got it from someone who is now dead and unable to verify any of it --- oh, and the US decided to release selected bits of this laptop info to the IAEA at the last moment, right before the file went to UNSC. Yellow-cake from Niger, anyone?

by CyrusI on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 05:06:07 PM EST
The laptop evidence has serious holes in it already, check Armscontrolwonk.com on this. It could be genuine but far less important than originally made seem to.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 06:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have become more convinced since mentioning this a week ago that Israel is a key player in this.  In fact, the two key players in this scenario may be Israel and Iran.  The rest of us can make best efforts to contain this situation, but it's the action of those two players that will determine the outcome.

IMO, and I would appreciate comment, Israel simply will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, or to achieve a technology point where they have passed a hurdle that means they can achieve a nuclear weapon.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from the perspective of someone leading Israel (and of course these are my opinions) has denied the Holocaust, and set a goal of wiping Israel from the map.  Given that, and given the reality of Jewish history, Israel will take any action that would prevent such a clear enemy from gaining weapons that could destroy them.  If you think about their history, and their mission as a country, no leader of Israel could allow that to happen, if there was a chance of preventing it.

There are obviously questions of Israel's ability to effectively strike Iran's nuclear program, but from what I have read, they can reach them through air strikes.  They may assess that while they can not wipe out all nuclear facilities, they can set Iranian programs back years.

I'm afraid the die has been cast on this one, and Israel is planning those attacks now.  Two things could prevent or delay those attacks: 1. they will be assessing just like we at ET have, the time for Iran to develop deployable nuclear weapons, or, if there is such a thing, the time it will take Iran to achieve technological knowledge to do so, yet do it in a clandestine way.  2.  Will there be any progress, and significant progress, on the nuclear talks with Iran.  But Israel's trigger will be much shorter than our earlier discussions.

I don't think this is an issue, the existence of their people and their country, where Isael will depend on the input of the US or any EU countries.   If they see the Iranians moving ahead while they negotiate with EU3, Russia, and the US, they simply won't wait.  From Israel's perspective, if there is going to be a war, now is the time, not years down the road with a nuclear armed Iran.

by wchurchill on Sun Mar 12th, 2006 at 03:20:44 AM EST
Israel is indeed probably the motivating force behind this, but its not necessarily a defensive consideration by Israel (though they would naturally take pains to characterize their actions as "pre-emptory" thus maintaining the appearance of being a victim)

See Trita Parsi's "The Iran-Israel Cold War"
http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article.jsp?id=3&debateId=128&articleId=2974

Israel's unmatched influence-peddling in Washington is a known fact. General Odom recently stated plainly that Israel had a role in pushing for a war on Iraq. So has Robert Scheer. After all, there's a reason why Bolton and his friends announced their Iran policy before a meeting of AIPAC. The American Israel Public Affairs COmmittee is a powerful special interest group that lobbies and effectively controls US foreign policy in the Mideast & has been very influential in foisting its pro-Israeli agenda on US policies going back to the imposition of US sanctions on Iran. Sy Hersh recently reported that the head of AIPAC told him that he could have 50 US senators sign his dinner napkin in an hour! The use of lobbyists and pressure groups is normal politics in Washington -- though usually there's a counter-balancing interesting group (not in this case)

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=8764

by CyrusI on Tue Mar 14th, 2006 at 02:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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