Meditation Focus #145
Making Sure Peace Prevail In Iran
What follows is the 145th Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 weeks beginning Sunday, January 15, 2006.
MAKING SURE PEACE PREVAIL IN IRAN
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
A call is being issued to all Light Servers and Peace Makers to rally their combined forces in support of a global effort to thwart any attempt being made right now by corrupted politicians, particularly in the United States, to stage a vicious war against Iran, a war that according to many reliable sources, would have the potential to trigger a global conflagration with deadly and far-reaching consequences for hundreds of millions of souls. Needless to say that this is the very last thing this long suffering planet and billions of impoverished human beings need right now. Yet, those with a vested interest to further expand their imperial dominion over vital resources for the continuation of their economic dominance and the simple survival of their deeply flawed and terribly shortsighted "way of life" have arraigned a long planned strategy to do just that, most possibly within the next 6 weeks.
It cannot be emphasized enough that preventing such a delirious madness, that has literally no basis in term of alleged rationale to pursue such a course of action just as was the case with the unprovoked, deliberate attack against Iraq in 2003 is to be a litmus test of the resolve of all men and women of goodwill on Earth to see to it that those already responsible for numerous war crimes are not allowed to drag this world in the direction they are currently taking it. Not only these depraved and evil men and women represent only a tiny minority of the population of this planet, but it has been repeatedly said from various spiritual sources of higher knowledge that infinitely more powerful Forces of Good stand at the ready to prevent any such idiotic plan from succeeding. Yet their hands are constrained by the need to receive from a significantly determined segment of this planet's population a clear signal, both at the spiritual level and in this physical dimension, that such warmongering behaviors can no longer be tolerated and will be met with the unflinching resolve of millions of concerned citizens to affirm their will for Peace and their unconditional determination to transform this planet into a new Eden of Love, harmonious relationships and benevolence towards all forms of Life.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming four (4) weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following three Sundays, to contribute in fostering a groundswell of Light within the hearts of all humans beings connected in any way with the current volatile situation in the Middle East, and more specifically in Iran and Iraq, so as to catalyze an indomitable will for peace that will submerge and push back any plots and plans to use violence, or the threat of violence, to achieve goals that can be reached through dialogue, compromises and a willingness to work for the best interests of all children, women and men living in this area of the world. May we all realize and express in the clearest possible manner that Peace is the only way forward, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at
"We shall call upon you as individuals to focus your attention on the Middle East. See that whole area bathed in a beautiful violet/indigo flame and send it with all of the love you can muster. In this region are negative energies that have existed there for thousands of years and they need to be transmuted. Also send love and peace to those leaders who are directly involved in the talks that are taking place. You do have the potential power of thought to make a substantial difference, and clearly this is a time when your help is much needed. You can always exert your influence in this way, and as you know in your world there is already a great expression of peaceful intent that we have noted."
Message from SaLuSa of the Galactic Federation (see the whole message below)
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation BOTH to the healing of the Earth as a whole and to reiterate our willingness and desire - if we so choose - to receive assistance from our space family in order to help set things on a path towards a new era of global peace, love and harmony for all. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below correspond to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=15&month=12&year=2006&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time for tomorrow if a nearby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
1. Message from SaLuSa of the Galactic Federation
2. Countdown to War with Iran?
3. Attack on Iran: A Looming Folly
4. Axis of Fanatics: Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad
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The Dawn of a New Era Series #3: Looking Into The Precipice... And Shifting Direction
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Meditation Focus #99: Re-Igniting The Will for Peace in the Middle East (Nov 16, 2003)
As well as numerous other Middle East related Meditation Focuses available through
Message from SaLuSa of the Galactic Federation
Transmitted through Mike Quinsey -- January 13, 2006
As your world faces an escalation of the troubles in the Middle East, you might reflect on how easily they could start another World War. I make this point not to engender fear amongst you, but that you should see how once again a big power is prepared to go that far to enforce its views. Some nations will never accept the imposition of another's point of view, and are likely to react by force. Thereby you have a potentially dangerous problem which begs the intervention of neutral peacemakers.
It is regrettable that the Middle East is seen as an opportunity for the covert agenda of the Illuminati to be further advanced. Quite open threats have been made against Iran, and ponder what would happen if they were attacked. The rest of the world is ready to polarize itself, and already you have two other major powers of Russia and China, ready to back Iran. Can you see where it is all leading, and how it has the potential to get out of hand?
As we see it, you face the last stern test as to whether you sincerely seek world peace. How do you stop the headlong rush into yet another extension of the Middle East war, because the citizens of the world are not asked their views. From our perspective we gauge that by far the majority of people are praying that matters are not deliberately made worse. Where are your John F. Kennedy's who had the ability to broker peace deals, and where are the people in high places who can question what is happening and carry the authority to stop the war? There are some of course, but against the intent of the last cabal, their voices make little impression.
We shall call upon you as individuals to focus your attention on the Middle East. See that whole area bathed in a beautiful violet/indigo flame and send it with all of the love you can muster. In this region are negative energies that have existed there for thousands of years and they need to be transmuted. Also send love and peace to those leaders who are directly involved in the talks that are taking place. You do have the potential power of thought to make a substantial difference, and clearly this is a time when your help is much needed. You can always exert your influence in this way, and as you know in your world there is already a great expression of peaceful intent that we have noted.
You might wonder why we do not just intervene on your behalf. However as we have informed you quite often, we cannot do that unless we are authorized to do so by those who oversee our actions. We can help indirectly and hold the balance, and allow for time that will enable changes to occur. We have an optimum date by which we shall review the position, when we could exercise permission already granted to us to bring a total halt to the proceedings. The hope is that you yourselves can help achieve such an outcome without our direct intervention.
You have a saying about everything being in the melting pot, and at present that is a perfect description of what is happening. There are so many players who can affect the course of events, and it changes almost by the minute. We can see the potential outcome, and we are hastening the work of our allies upon Earth so that your last cabal can be removed. This way the actions in the Middle East can be halted, and we will arrive to help you work towards world peace. So many of you are projecting positive energies to bring peace, and at this time it needs a really concerted effort so that it will have an appreciable effect.
There is something of a race against time to bring a halt to the intentions of the dark. We will not allow it to get out of hand, and we certainly will prevent the introduction of nuclear weapons. You only have to look at the repercussions of using such weapons to realize how such decisions are inhumane and destructive to all forms of life. You are seeing yet again the warped thinking of those who should lead you to peace, but see only conflict and destruction as a path to achieving their aims.
What your dark forces ignore is our intent to keep them in their place, and allow the Light to continue growing upon Earth. We work to keep you on course for ascension and we will ensure that it remains in your sight. The last thrust of the dark is threatening, but it shall have only a short life before their collapse. We are going to ensure that the last obstacles are removed that are preventing our open contact, and our success is assured. On the one hand we can ask you not to fear or worry about the future, but we still need your input to continue bringing light to Earth. These are strange times for you, as you know that vast changes are soon to come yet you cannot see how they will take place.
I am SaLuSa of the Galactic Federation, and we wish you to see beyond the events that capture your attention. No matter what happens do not doubt the outcome, and know that we are here by divine decree. The forces of Heaven are not to be denied the final subduing of the dark and the ceasing of their activities. This cycle was planned to end in your successful lifting up to enable ascension. Thus it shall be, and no mortal can stop that which is the plan of God. I say go about your work with full confidence that you shall yet see the great changes commence. That time has arrived and the signs are there for all to see.
January 13, 2006
The Bombs of March
Countdown to War with Iran?
By MIKE WHITNEY
Iran will defend itself if it is attacked by the United States or Israel.
Defending one's country against unprovoked aggression is sanctioned under international law and is a requirement of true leadership. We would expect no different if either the United States or Israel was attacked.
The Sharon and Bush administrations' have done an admirable job of poisoning public opinion against Iran; interpreting President Ahmadinejad's comments as a potential danger to Israel's welfare. But such statements, however offensive, are commonplace in the Middle East and cannot be construed as a credible threat.
In fact, Iran has not demonstrated any territorial ambitions nor is it involved in the occupation of any foreign country as is true of both the United States and Israel.
Media-Hype; beating the war drums, again
The media has assumed its traditional role of fanning the flames for war by providing ample space for the spurious allegations of administration officials, right-wing pundits, and disgruntled Iranian exiles, while carefully omitting the relevant facts in Iran's defense.
As always, the New York Times has spearheaded the propaganda war with an article by Richard Bernstein and Steven Weisman which lays out the sketchy case against Iran. In the first paragraph the Bernstein-Weisman combo suggest that Iran has restarted "research that could give it technology to create nuclear weapons."
Perhaps, the NY Times knows something that the IAEA inspectors don't? If so, they should step forward and reveal the facts. More likely, however, they are simply following in the tradition of mentor Judith Miller whose scurrilous front-pages articles misled the nation to war with Iraq.
There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.
Not even George Bush would make that claim.
There's also no evidence that Iran has the centrifuges necessary to enrich uranium to weapons-grade material. These are the two issues which should be given greatest consideration in determining whether or not Iran poses a real danger to its neighbors, and yet, these are precisely the facts that are absent from the nearly 2,500 articles written on the topic in the last few days.
IAEA chief Mohammed Elbaradei has repeatedly stated that his team of inspectors, who've had the opportunity to "go anywhere and see anything", has found nothing to corroborate the assertions of the US or Israel.
On the other hand, we know that the U.S. has developed a new regime of low-yield "usable" nuclear weapons to destroy underground bunkers. We also know that the militarists in the Pentagon have threatened to use nuclear weapons in a "first strike" preemptive attack, and that the main players in the Defense Dept. unanimously believe that nuclear weapons should be used as part of America's strategy for global security.
Iran claims that developing nuclear weapons runs counter to their religious beliefs, while the Bush administration (as per the Nuclear Posture Review) believes that nuclear weapons are an integral part of the war on terror. Rumsfeld has even shaken up the Pentagon to further surround himself with like-minded people who support this basic thesis.
Perhaps, our fear of Iran is misplaced?
Presently, the administration is trying to bring Iran before the UN Security Council for violations that date back more than 2 years. Since then, there have been no violations and Iran has willingly complied with strict enforcement of its treaty obligations under the NPT (Nuclear Proliferation Treaty) as well as other "confidence-building" measures which it freely accepted as a sign of good-will.
In truth, Iran is entitled to enrich uranium under the terms of the NPT and has agreed to do so in a manner that is consistent with the strict rules of the IAEA. Iran will not, however, give up its "inalienable right" to convert uranium for peaceful purposes, such as making fuel for use in nuclear power plants.
No other nation except Iran has been asked to forgo its rights under the NPT. The Bush administration expects the UN to annul parts of the treaty simply to accommodate its unfounded suspicions. But, why should Iran agree to be treated like an underling just to satisfy Bush? After all, Iran initially signed the NPT as a way of reducing nuclear weapons while Israel, the U.S., and other nations were busy building a new generation of nukes.
Besides, the conversion process takes place in front of IAEA inspectors and cameras that are set up to film the entire procedure. The IAEA is required to report any violations to the UN Security Council for punitive action. The watchdog agency was very successful in analyzing the true state of Iraq's "alleged" nuclear program. There's no need to suspect that they won't succeed here as well. (Israel, Pakistan and India all avoided this regimen and developed nuclear weapons secretly)
The Last Straw
Britain's Foreign Minister Jack Straw, who played such a critical role in disseminating the lies that preceded the Iraq war, has been equally disingenuous regarding Iran.
"For two and a half years, we've been working with Iran and the rest of the international community to bring Iran into compliance with its very clear obligations not to do anything that leads to suspicions they are developing a nuclear weapons capability."
Straw knows, of course, that Iran has not violated its treaty obligations for over two years and has been in full compliance since then. His statement only confirms what reasonable people already know; Washington wants another war.
The Bush administration knows that there's no hope of passing a Security Council resolution for sanctions against Iran. Neither Russia nor China would agree to penalties nor is there any proof of wrongdoing. The case will simply be used to increase public suspicion and fear while Israel-Washington put the final touches on their battle plans.
It is worth noting, however, that Iran will be attacked without a shred of evidence that they have nuclear weapons, a nuclear weapons program, or even a long-range plan for hostilities against the US or Israel. In other words, they are completely innocent.
Now that the administration has abandoned the internationally recognized benchmark of an "imminent threat", it has also disposed of any other reasonable claim to justify unprovoked aggression. Iran will be attacked without pretext and without congressional or UN authorization invoking the executive authority to prosecute the war on terror by "all necessary and appropriate means".
The determination to attack Iran goes back more than a decade to now famous policy documents (PNAC) which support the idea of integrating Iranian resources into the global system while eliminating potential adversaries of Israel in the region. This first phase is intended to defang the regime and leave it vulnerable to future invasion or regime change.
The forthcoming attack will probably unfold as surgical strikes by Israel on perhaps as many as 12 facilities and weapons sites. Both Israel and the US have signaled to Iran that retaliation will escalate quickly into nuclear war. In fact, the Pentagon hawks may desire such a conflict to deter future adversaries in Latin America and Asia.
If Iran does respond with force, there's no telling how things will play out. The markets could nosedive, the dollar could fall precipitously, and vital oil shipments could be indefinitely disrupted. (Read the business page and see how jittery many analysts are) If the conflagration goes nuclear, then we can expect that China, Russia and Venezuela will take firm steps to demonstrate their disapproval. Oil shipments from Venezuela may be cut off while China stages a destructive sell-off of its $769 billion in foreign-exchange.
Then, of course, there's the likelihood that the attacks will draw the Iraqi Shiites into an alliance with the Sunni-backed resistance making occupation of Iraq even more tenuous. Or, perhaps the Mullahs will deploy state-sponsored jihadiis across the globe targeting American energy facilities and commercial interests. In any event, there could be hefty price to pay for Washington's recklessness.
Whatever the cost, the attack seems likely to be carried out sometime on or before March 2006 when Iran plans to open its new oil bourse. The new exchange which directly challenges the continued dominance of the greenback in the oil trade (the largest commodity traded in the world) poses an "existential threat" to the well-being of western financial institutions and elites.
Beyond the media subterfuge of "nuclear weapons" and "non-compliance", the empire is marching resolutely to war; voluntarily risking nuclear holocaust to preserve the system of privilege and concentrated wealth.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com
Attack on Iran: A Looming Folly
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
09 January 2006
The wires have been humming since before the New Year with reports that the Bush administration is planning an attack on Iran. "The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media," reported UPI on December 30th.
"The Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel this week," continued UPI, "quoted 'NATO intelligence sources' who claimed that the NATO allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. This 'all options are open' line has been President George W Bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months."
An examination of the ramifications of such an attack is desperately in order.
1. Blowback in Iraq
The recent elections in Iraq were dominated by an amalgam of religiously fundamentalist Shi'ite organizations, principally the Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Both Dawa and SCIRI have umbilical connections to the fundamentalist Shi'ite leadership in Iran that go back decades. In essence, Iran now owns a significant portion of the Iraqi government.
Should the United States undertake military action against Iran, the ramifications in Iraq would be immediate and extreme.
In the first eight days of January, eighteen US troops have been killed in Iraq, compounded by another twelve deaths from a Black Hawk helicopter crash on Saturday. Much of the violence aimed at American forces is coming from disgruntled Sunni factions that have their own militias, believe the last elections were a sham, and hold little political power in the government.
If the US attacks Iran, it is probable that American forces - already taxed by attacks from Sunni factions - will also face reprisal attacks in Iraq from Shi'ite factions loyal to Iran. The result will be a dramatic escalation in US and civilian casualties, US forces will be required to bunker themselves further into their bases, and US forces will find themselves required to fight the very government they just finished helping into power. Iraq, already a seething cauldron, will sink further into chaos.
2. Iran's Armaments
Unlike Iraq, Iran has not spent the last fifteen years having its conventional forces worn down by grueling sanctions, repeated attacks, and two American-led wars. While Iran's conventional army is not what it was during the heyday of the Iran-Iraq war - their armaments have deteriorated and the veterans of that last war have retired - the nation enjoys substantial military strength nonetheless.
According to a report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in December of 2004, Iran "has some 540,000 men under arms and over 350,000 reserves. They include 120,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards trained for land and naval asymmetrical warfare. Iran's military also includes holdings of 1,613 main battle tanks, 21,600 other armored fighting vehicles, 3,200 artillery weapons, 306 combat aircraft, 60 attack helicopters, 3 submarines, 59 surface combatants, and 10 amphibious ships."
"Iran is now the only regional military power that poses a significant conventional military threat to Gulf stability," continued the CSIS report. "Iran has significant capabilities for asymmetric warfare, and poses the additional threat of proliferation. There is considerable evidence that it is developing both a long-range missile force and a range of weapons of mass destruction. It has never properly declared its holdings of chemical weapons, and the status of its biological weapons programs is unknown."
A MILNET brief issued in February 2005 reports, "Due to its position astride the Persian Gulf, Iran has constantly been a threat to the Gulf. The so called 'Tanker' wars in the late 1980s put Iran squarely in the bullseye of all nations seeking to transport oil out of the region. Even the small navy that Iran puts to sea is capable enough to harass shipping, and several cases of small boat operations against oil well heads in the Gulf during that period made it clear small asymmetrical tactics of the Iranian Navy could be quite effective."
"More concerning," continued the MILNET brief, "is the priority placed on expanding and modernizing its Navy. The CSIS report cites numerous areas where Iran has funded modernization including the most troublesome aspect, anti-shipping cruise missiles: 'Iran has obtained new anti-ship missiles and missile patrol craft from China, midget submarines from North Korea, submarines from Russia, and modern mines.'"
It is Iran's missile armaments that pose the greatest concern for American forces in the Gulf, especially for the US Navy. Iran's coast facing the Persian Gulf is a looming wall of mountains that look down upon any naval forces arrayed in those waters. The Gulf itself only has one exit, the Strait of Hormuz, which is also dominated by the mountainous Iranian coastline. In essence, Iran holds the high ground in the Gulf. Missile batteries arrayed in those mountains could raise bloody havoc with any fleet deployed below.
Of all the missiles in Iran's armament, the most dangerous is the Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn. These missiles are, simply, the fastest anti-ship weapons on the planet. The Sunburn can reach Mach 3 at high altitude. Its maximum low-altitude speed is Mach 2.2, some three times faster than the American-made Harpoon. The Sunburn takes two short minutes to cover its full range. The missile's manufacturers state that one or two missiles could cripple a destroyer, and five missiles could sink a 20,000 ton ship. The Sunburn is also superior to the Exocet missile. Recall that it was two Exocets that ripped the USS Stark to shreds in 1987, killing 37 sailors. The Stark could not see them to stop them.
The US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf, with some 7,000 souls aboard. Sailing with the Roosevelt is the Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Force, which includes the USS Tarawa, the USS Austin, and the USS Pearl Harbor. The USS Austin is likewise deployed in the Gulf. The Sunburn missile, with its incredible speed and ability to avoid radar detection, would do terrible damage these ships if Iran chooses to retaliate in the Gulf after an American attack within its borders.
Beyond the naval threat is the possibility of Iran throwing its military muscle into the ongoing struggle in Iraq. Currently, the US is facing an asymmetrical attack from groups wielding small arms, shoulder-fired grenades and roadside bombs. The vaunted American military has suffered 2,210 deaths and tens of thousands of wounded from this form of warfare. The occupation of Iraq has become a guerrilla war, a siege that has lasted more than a thousand days. If Iran decides to throw any or all of its 23,000 armored fighting vehicles, along with any or all of its nearly million-strong army, into the Iraq fray, the situation in the Middle East could become unspeakably dire.
3. The Syrian Connection
In February of 2005, Iran and Syria agreed upon a mutual protection pact to combat "challenges and threats" in the region. This was a specific reaction to the American invasion of Iraq, and a reaction to America's condemnation of Syria after the death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which was widely seen as an assassination ordered from Damascus. An attack on Iran would trigger this mutual defense pact, and could conceivably bring Syria into direct conflict with American forces.
Like Iran, Syria's military is nothing to scoff at. Virtually every credible analysis has Syria standing as the strongest military force in the Middle East after Israel. Damascus has been intent for years upon establishing significant military strength to serve as a counterweight to Israel's overwhelming capabilities. As of 2002, Syria had some 215,000 soldiers under arms, 4,700 tanks, and a massive artillery capability. The Syrian Air Force is comprised of ten to eleven fighter/attack squadrons and sixteen fighter squadrons, totaling somewhere near 650 aircraft.
Syria also possesses one of the largest arsenals of ballistic missiles in the region, comprised primarily of SCUD-derived systems. Iran, North Korea and China have been willing providers of state-of-the-art technologies. Compounding this is the well-based suspicion that Syria has perhaps the most advanced chemical weapons capability in the Persian Gulf.
4. China and the US Economy
While the ominous possibilities of heightened Iraqi chaos, missiles in the Gulf, and Syrian involvement loom large if the US attacks Iran, all pale in comparison to the involvement of China in any US/Iran engagement.
China's economy is exploding, hampered only by their great thirst for petroleum and natural gas to fuel their industry. In the last several months, China has inked deals with Iran for $70 billion dollars worth of Iranian oil and natural gas. China will purchase 250 million tons of liquefied natural gas from Iran over the next 30 years, will develop the massive Yadavaran oil field in Iran, and will receive 150,000 barrels of oil per day from that field. China is seeking the construction of a pipeline from Iran to the Caspian Sea, where it would link with another planned pipeline running from Kazakhstan to China.
Any US attack on Iran could be perceived by China as a direct threat to its economic health. Further, any fighting in the Persian Gulf would imperil the tankers running China's liquefied natural gas through the Strait of Hormuz. Should China decide to retaliate against the US to defend its oil and natural gas deal with Iran, the US would be faced with a significant threat. This threat exists not merely on a military level, though China could force a confrontation in the Pacific by way of Taiwan. More significantly, China holds a large portion of the American economy in the palm of its hand.
Paul Craig Roberts, writing for The American Conservative, said in July of 2005 that "As a result of many years of persistent trade surpluses with the United States, the Japanese government holds dollar reserves of approximately $1 trillion. China's accumulation of dollars is approximately $600 billion. South Korea holds about $200 billion. These sums give these countries enormous leverage over the United States. By dumping some portion of their reserves, these countries could put the dollar under intense pressure and send U.S. interest rates skyrocketing. Washington would really have to anger Japan and Korea to provoke such action, but in a showdown with China - over Taiwan, for example - China holds the cards. China and Japan, and the world at large, have more dollar reserves than they require. They would have no problem teaching a hegemonic superpower a lesson if the need arose."
"The hardest blow on Americans," concluded Roberts, "will fall when China does revalue its currency. When China's currency ceases to be undervalued, American shoppers in Wal-Mart, where 70 percent of the goods on the shelves are made in China, will think they are in Neiman Marcus. Price increases will cause a dramatic reduction in American real incomes. If this coincides with rising interest rates and a setback in the housing market, American consumers will experience the hardest times since the Great Depression."
In short, China has the American economy by the throat. Should they decide to squeeze, we will all feel it. China's strong hand in this even extends to the diplomatic realm; China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and could veto any actions against Iran proposed by the United States.
5. American Preparedness
American citizens have for decades taken it as a given that our military can overwhelm and overcome any foe on the battlefield. The rapid victory during the first Gulf War cemented this perception. The last three years of the Iraq occupation, however, have sapped this confidence. Worse, the occupation has done great damage to the strength of the American military, justifying the decrease in confidence. Thanks to repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, recruiting is at an all-time low. Soldiers with vital training and know-how are refusing to re-enlist. Across the board, the American military is stretched to the breaking point.
Two vaunted economists - one a Nobel Prize winner and the other a nationally renowned budget expert - have analyzed the data at hand and put a price tag on the Iraq occupation. According to Linda Bilmes of Harvard and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University, the final cost of the Iraq occupation will run between $1 trillion and $2 trillion, surpassing by orders of magnitude the estimates put forth by the Bush administration. If an engagement with Iran envelops our forces in Iraq, and comes to involve Syria, our economy will likely shatter under the strain of fighting so many countries simultaneously. Add to this the economic threat posed by China, and the economic threat implicit in any substantial disruption of the distribution of Mideast petroleum to the globe.
If Iran and Syria - with their significant armaments, missile technologies and suspected chemical weapons capabilities - decide to engage with the relatively undersized US force in Iraq, our troops there will be fish in a barrel. Iran's position over the Gulf would make resupply by ship and air support from carriers a dangerous affair. In the worst-case scenario, the newly-minted American order of battle requiring the use of nuclear weapons to rescue a surrounded and imperiled force could come into play, hurling the entire planet into military and diplomatic bedlam.
Conclusion: Is Any of This Possible?
The question must be put as directly as possible: what manner of maniac would undertake a path so fraught with peril and potential economic catastrophe? It is difficult to imagine a justification for any action that could envelop the United States in a military and economic conflict with Iraq, Iran, Syria and China simultaneously.
Iran is suspected by many nations of working towards the development of nuclear weapons, but even this justification has been tossed into a cocked hat. Recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin bluntly stated that Iran is not developing its nuclear capability for any reasons beyond peaceful energy creation, and pledged to continue assisting Iran in this endeavor. Therefore, any attack upon Iran's nuclear facilities will bring Russia into the mess. Iran also stands accused of aiding terrorism across the globe. The dangers implicit in any attack upon that nation, however, seem to significantly offset whatever gains could be made in the so-called "War on Terror."
Unfortunately, all the dangers in the world are no match for the self-assurance of a bubble-encased zealot. What manner of maniac would undertake such a dangerous course? Look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
George W. Bush and his administration have consistently undertaken incredibly dangerous courses of action in order to garner political power on the home front. Recall the multiple terror threats lobbed out by the administration whenever damaging political news appeared in the media. More significantly, recall Iraq. Karl Rove, Bush's most senior advisor, notoriously told Republicans on the ballot during the 2002 midterms to "run on the war." The invasion of Iraq provided marvelous political cover for the GOP not only during those midterms, but during the 2004 Presidential election.
What kind of political cover would be gained from an attack on Iran, and from the diversion of attention to that attack? The answer lies in one now-familiar name: Jack Abramoff. The Abramoff scandal threatens to subsume all the hard-fought GOP gains in Congress, and the 2006 midterms are less than a year away.
Is any of this a probability? Logic says no, but logic seldom plays any part in modern American politics. All arguments that the Bush administration would be insane to attack Iran and risk a global conflagration for the sake of political cover run into one unavoidable truth.
They did it once already in Iraq.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.
Axis of Fanatics: Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
06 January 2006
With Ariel Sharon out of the picture, Benjamin Netanyahu has a better chance to become prime minister of Israel.
He's media savvy. He knows how to spin on American television. And he's very dangerous.
Netanyahu spent a lot of his early years in the United States. Later, during the 1980s, he worked at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and then became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. By the time he moved up to deputy foreign minister in 1988, he was a star on US networks.
The guy is smooth - fluent in American idioms, telegenic to many eyes - and good at lying on camera. So, when Israeli police killed 17 Palestinians at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque in October 1990, Netanyahu led a disinformation blitz asserting that the Palestinians were killed after they'd rioted and pelted Jewish worshipers from above the Wailing Wall with huge stones. At the time, his fable dominated much of the US media. Later, even the official Israeli inquiry debunked Netanyahu's account and blamed police for starting the clash.
Now, with Netanyahu campaigning to win the Israeli election for prime minister in late March, he's cranking up rhetoric against Iran. His outlook seems to be 180 degrees from the world view of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet in tangible political ways, they're well-positioned to feed off each other's fanaticism.
The election that gave the presidency of Iran to Ahmadinejad last summer was a victory for repressive fundamentalism. Results have included a negative trend for human rights in the country and a more bellicose foreign policy.
When Ahmadinejad declared in late October that "Israel must be wiped off the map," he did a big favor to the most militaristic of Israel's major politicians - Benjamin Netanyahu - who demanded that Prime Minster Sharon take forceful action against Iran. Otherwise, Netanyahu said in December, "when I form the new Israeli government, we'll do what we did in the past against Saddam's reactor, which gave us 20 years of tranquillity."
Netanyahu was referring to Israel's air attack on the Osirak reactor in June 1981 to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. But now the idea of bombing Iran is nonsensical even to many analysts who are enthusiastic about Israel's large nuclear arsenal, estimated at 200 warheads.
"Preemptive military attack is not a strategy for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons anymore; the changes in technology have made it obsolete." That's the current assessment from Larry Derfner, who often writes about Israeli politics for the Jerusalem Post. "Concealing a nuclear start-up is so much easier now than it was in 1981 and it's only going to get easier yet. Throwing fighter jets, commandos and whatnot at Iran is more than risky; it's almost certainly futile if not altogether impossible. Better for Israel and Israelis to forget about it and instead meet the Iranian threat by making this country's deterrent power even more intimidating than it already is."
Derfner added: "A nuclear Iran isn't a cause for indifference but neither is it a cause for dread and certainly not for recklessness. A nuclear Iran is actually acceptable. We can live with it. The truth is we've been living here with threats very much like it all along."
But Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that he wants to launch a military strike on Iran. "This is the Israeli government's primary obligation," he said. "If it is not done by the current government, I plan to lead the next government to stop the Iranians."
The specter of Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad fueling each other's madness as heads of state is frightening. In such a circumstance, the primary danger of conflagration would come from nuclear-armed Israel, not nuclear-unarmed Iran.
Candidate Netanyahu is a standard bearer for nuclear insanity. He's also an implacable enemy of basic Palestinian human rights. Many Israelis understand that Netanyahu is an extremist, and polls published on January 6 indicate that the post-Sharon era may not be as hospitable to Netanyahu as initially assumed.
For that matter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not serve out his full four-year term as Iran's president. Evidently the hardline clerics who dominate the Iranian government got more than they bargained for when they threw their weight behind the Ahmadinejad campaign last June. In recent months, Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has shifted more power to the governmental Expediency Council headed by the shady magnate Hashemi Rafsanjani, a relatively moderate political hack who lost in the presidential runoff last year.
Ahmadinejad is good at making statements that cause international uproars, but he's having a difficult time exercising presidential leverage. "Even in Iran's mostly conservative parliament, the hard-line president has found himself unable to get traction," the Los Angeles Times noted on January 2. "In a first for the Islamic Republic, lawmakers turned down four of the ministers Ahmadinejad asked them to approve. It took him three months and four candidates to seat an oil minister. Some reformist legislators even agitated for hearings on the president's 'lack of political competence.'"
Using religious claims to bolster their quests for power, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu each stand to gain by pointing to the menacing fanaticism of the other. Yet many Iranians and Israelis recognize the grave dangers of such posturing.
As tensions mount and pressures intensify, the White House might end up acceding to an Israeli air attack on Iran. Or the Bush administration may prefer to launch its own air strike against Iran.
Iran. Israel. The United States. Each country has the very real potential to move in a better direction - away from lethal righteousness. But in every society, that will require more effective grassroots efforts for peace and justice.
Norman Solomon is the author of the new book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. For information, go to: http://www.WarMadeEasy.com
Outcry as Iran Resumes Its Nuclear Project
Tehran moved a step closer to economic and diplomatic sanctions today as Iranian scientists returned to their labs to resume forbidden research into nuclear power.
US Warning after Iran Breaks Seals at Nuclear Plant
The White House said that unless Iran stepped back quickly, the issue would be referred to the UN Security Council with the possibility of sanctions or other kinds of punishment by the international community.
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