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The Future of Iran And Iraq

American troops headed out fast from Iraq. Iranians next door, sacking the British embassy. Will this region hold when will the troops come?

Iranian police officers prevent further protesters from entering the British Embassy, as others stand on the gates holding a satirized British flag and Islamic flags, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP)

Iranian police officers prevent further protesters from entering the British Embassy, as others stand on the gates holding a satirized British flag and Islamic flags, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP)

It’s December 1st. By the end of this month, U.S. troops will – after years and years of war – be out of Iraq. They’re rolling out every day now. Planes, trucks, Humvees. Headed up. Headed out. Goodbye, American soldiers.

Meanwhile, just over the border, neighboring Iran is running a fever. This week, a government-backed mob in Tehran ransacked the British embassy. Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program are really biting. Iran’s hitting back. There’s no bigger, easier target than making trouble in Iraq.

This hour, On Point: will this region hold when the U.S. troops come home?

-Tom Ashbrook


Farnaz Fassihi, reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Phebe Marr, sits on the board of directors at the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington, D.C. based organization that educates policy-makers about the Middle East issues. She’s the author of The Modern History of Iraq.

Mohsen Milani, professor of politics and chair of the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “Several hundred Iranian students on Tuesday stormed and ransacked the British Embassy compound in Tehran in response to new economic sanctions over the country’s nuclear program, an attack stemming in part from the increasingly toxic fight for political control being played out between conservatives in the Islamic republic.”

Al Jazeera “It’s been a wild couple of weeks worth of speculation regarding Iran’s nuclear programme – how advanced it might be, how certain the International Atomic Agency should be of its weaponised nature, and what, if anything, can or ought to be done about halting it.”

Foreign Policy “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave a full-throated defense Tuesday of the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq by year’s end, claiming Iraq is ready to defend itself.”

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  • Terry Tree Tree

    With !97,000 U.S. weapons that were ‘unaccounted for’, in ‘W’ admin. time in Iraq, over $24 BILLION dollars that were ‘unaccounted for’, in ‘W’ admin. time in Iraq, all the money, equipment, and supplies we will leave there, they should be able to make it.   If only, the U.S. hadn’t killed so many, made so many refugees, and done so many DUMB ‘W’ things!

    • Hidan

      Here how our Defense Sec is running around screaming how Defense Cuts will make the U.S. weaker? Yet it turns out those claimed Defense Cuts are nothing more than reduced spending increases for the Defense Department.

    • meagain

      Despite repeated claims of those in perpetual denial, it has been proven that Bush was the voters’ choice…twice.  You really need to move on.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Wrong the second election Bush cheated.
        Remember Florida? I guess not because you moved on but the American people and the American economy stayed behind for worst.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, when the GOP stops pretending it’s 1968 and those hippies are out to corrupt your children.

        Or when the right stops ret-conning the hyperinflation and oil shocks of 1973 as having happened under President Carter.

        Or when the conservatives fess up about the treason of Iran-Contra, let alone stop trying to rewrite Watergate.

        • notafeminista

          So true!  It’s more preferable to allow the Left to GO ON pretending its 1968 and free love will save us all.  While at the same time, eliminating any possible political will for the war in Vietnam, thus prompting an ultimate US evacuation of the country and paving the way for Pol Pot.   Cheers!

      • Anonymous

        Bush legally winning is a seperate matter. His stated reasons for the Iraqi invasion are now known as pure Bullshit. That’s fact.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Where did I refer to the mass blocking of voters from Democratic voting districts, the questionable voting machines manufactured by a company with ties to the party that ‘won’, the disenfranchisement (denial of legal vote) with a bogus Felons list, and  the other voting irregularities that put ‘W’ in power?
            Thanks for bringing up the crimes!

  • Roy Mac

    These people have been trying to annihilate each other for centuries.  Our job should be to keep this smack-down in a contained space–”our” means western civilized nations, not the US.

  • Hidan

    Seems our Neo-cons and the Israeli Lobby is trying once again to force the Nation into war with Iran. First such Neo-Cons and the likes attempt to get the news and media talking as if attacking Iran is the only way and sooner or later most happen. The obedient media than these more than willing guest to lie,distort and spread fear to the general public. Usually this is done by over dramatic language and the sky is falling type rhetoric. Than throw in the fake cry about human and civil rights  and how X country normally the U.S. should intervene to save the civilians, This spin tends to happen right before and after the invasion or attack of the country that is being demonized. Often what you’ll find is the interest and reason for such attack are more economic or political than anything humanitarian and usually requires our leaders to again lie about such reason to accomplish such task.

    Iran is said to be building Nuclear weapons and should be attacked according to Israel. Mind you such statement is a violation of International Law  While the WMD claimed was used for the illegal invasion of Iraq it is now once again has rose up to be claimed that Iran has or will have WMD’s. Of course the information provided to prove this claim in the recent IAEA report is dated up to 2003. Meaning that all the smoking gun information is actually only up to 2003 after Iran stopped it’s programs. Thanks to Wikileaks the New head of the IAEA has told the U.S. inadvance that he was on there side and more than willing to play ball. The Wiki Cable also revealed that U.S. pushed for his appointment for just those reasons.  The information that came after 2003 is in grave doubt as to being truthful and even the former CIA Philip Giraldi, has grave doubts about the value of the IAEA report.Lastly lets not forget that Israel has been claiming Iran was close to getting the bomb for over 20+ years.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Like the claims that cheap Fussion Energy is 25 years in the future, for the past 60 years!

  • Hidan

    Experts on the IAEA report,

    Nonproliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis of the New America Foundation says
    the biggest loophole in the claim is the crude manner in which the
    laptop documents were constructed: “What led many of us to have serious
    doubts about it was how utterly unconnected from reality some of the
    information seemed. Some of the reports indicated that some of the view
    graphs were done in PowerPoint, which suggested to me that the program
    was not terribly sophisticated.” [Inter Press Service, 12/9/2006; New
    York Times, 12/4/2007]

    Not providing proof,

    In 2005, the US officials briefed the IAEA of the contents of the
    documents which they said described Iranian computer simulations and
    their efforts to design a nuclear weapon. However, they declined to
    provide the IAEA officials with any actual documents. In 2008, a battle
    ensued between the then IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and George W. Bush.

    Some consequences of-attacking Iran

    Iran would blockade
    the Straits of Hormuz. Meaning a worldwide panic for oil. Now remember the price of gas before we invaded Iraq and now think about what it would be if we invaded Iran? Our economic vitality would be at risk especially coming out of a recession. Besides the U.S. being broke as hell military spending would of course increase while social programs would be cut to even more Americans.

    • Hidan

      To add.

      It’s been widely reported that any attack on Iran would bring the fighting factions together and still the majority of Iranians believe they have the right to Nuclear power counter to what Farnaz Fassihi claims in your video interview from the WSJ on 11/15

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Wind, Tidal, Hydro, Solar, and other Renewables depend on the Middle East?

      • notafeminista

        Sorry no hydro allowed – might upset the ecosystem of whatever is living down there. 

        Wind farms kill birds – it’s out.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Like the oil-spills, refinery smog, coal smog, mountain-top removal, strip mining, wars for oil, vulnerable supply-lines, and other GROSS aspects of GREEDY oil, and GREEDY coal, don’t harm the enviroment FAR more?

          • notafeminista

            Isn’t the intent to find something that doesn’t harm the environment at all? Or is the actual intent to eliminate sections of the energy industry that aren’t particularly fashionable.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            LESS harmful, versus MORE harmful, until something that doesn’t harm at all!  Big Oil, Big Coal, and the other GREEDY rich, use many ways to stop or slow LESS harmful methods, because their GREED for POWER, controls them!

          • notafeminista

            So yes.  The intent is to find some thing that does no harm at all, which is intrinsically impossible as we do “harm” simply by existing.  What ecosystems do we alter every day by walking?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Good Points!  That’s why I said less harmful.

          • notafeminista

            Right before you said “until something that doesn’t harm at all.  At least own your distaste for human existence.

      • Hidan


        But as you can see with our current batch of teabaggers it’s doubtful that renewable will make any headwind especially since many of the ditto heads don’t believe in Global Warming.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          They think it’s cheaper to do exploration, drill wells (many of which are dry), pump crude, transport crude to collection point, transport to refinery, refine, transport to distrbutor, transport to retailer, and a LOT more, instead of erecting a wind-turbine and solar collector, and using the energy! 
              They have no real idea of the comlplexity and expense of oil, in comparision to wind and solar!

    • Plushkin

      For those who have legitimate doubts about expert-on-expert and/or Hidan’s-on-everything opinion. Here’s the reportitself – see it with your own eyes. 

      • Plushkin


  • Friendsofindia

    How wonderful that the US is now going to invade Iran, after invading Hawaii and Iraq, our Tata’s Parthian homeland now falling into the dirty hands of Muslim mulahs. As the world’s greatest democracy and its only super duper power, India should join the US in this invasion, for this is the only chance that the invasion can ever succeed.

    On the one hand, the US has plenty of experience of invading other countries, with the skills honed in the invasion of Hawaii, Panama, Greennada, Kosovo, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, that India lacks. On the other, India has resources and ways and means to manage large dalit populations. We can send 100 million of our dalit armies, that completely overwhelm all the population in Iran. We can make all the Iranian girls to be married to our dalit soldiers, that will instantly solve our problem of too few girls, and at the same time all the next generation of them will be our content India dalits instead of being Muslims who are constantly a pain on India’s butt. As for the rest of the Iranian men, they will either all be vaporized in their unholy and futile so called resistance, or that they can all migrate to Saudi Arabia to co-habit with their fellow Muslims.

    This will completely change the geostrategic situation in south Asia, it will make India the strongest nation in the world, and enhancing our world’s greatest and largest and duperest super power status. And in fact, that should turn it around immediately to make the USA our vassal state because of our immediate control of Iranian oil and gas and our chokehold on the straits of Hormus.

    Submit to your fate under our Hindu Colossus, beg our 5 rupee meal middle classes, bow to our super powers.

    Pray for India, we will have pity on you. Jai Hind!

    • at

      I happen to know that the US is now in possession of a  hypercascading sensorfused weapon that is of thermonuclear magnitude in it’s immediate effects, yet pinpoints specific target types during deployment. I assume that it could also be scaled down to have any fraction of such power, though I am not sure.  You remember sensorfused weapons, we used one on the highway of death, and one in the Balkans, and that was all she wrote in both cases.  Don’t fokk wit Texas (or wherever)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Cute, and I wonder how accurate!!

  • Anonymous

    Wow some very “interesting” points of view here.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      We try!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Though Iraq will be vulnerable for the next decade or so as it consolidates and rebuilds, I believe that memories of the Iran-Iraq War are still strong and will prevent any major political or military unification between the two. The US and Western powers should continue to support the fledgling Iraqi government both economically and militarily to build a bulwark against potential Iranian aggression in the region. In addition, this containment strategy should be bolstered by continued  economic and political sanctions against the Iranian government, perhaps even expanding them with the overarching goal of destabilizing that regime. I am fully aware how hawkish this sounds but I truly do not see another option that has a chance of avoiding another US-led military conflict in region.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

      For the record, I have disagreed vehemently with American military intervention in Iraq since I watched the opening barrage of the invasion on CNN in 2003 as a sophomore in high school. In an ideal world it never would have happened. But it did. Now that we are there, I believe that cutting and running from our mistakes in the region will only make things worse for the US and the world at large.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        You should started researching before the war started not when the war was already started.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade


          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

             I meant you should have research the history of Iraq before the war started. Like Saddam supporting Carlos the Jackal, butchured the Iraqi olympic team,kidnapped young women by Saddams sons, Gulf War 1.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

            Ok, I think I see where you are coming from and I do agree that Saddam was a despot but was removing him from power in America’s best interest? No I do not think so. If you are referring too the lack of historical perspective on the part of the Bush Administration in planning for what boiled down to a glorified assassination mission then I have to agree. If they had looked at history they would have known that removing a despot without planning for what comes next and without planning for the long haul (i.e. a massive occupation and reconstruction mission) we would be facing a drastically different situation in the Middle East. Am I missing something?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            You have your rights to be against the war and I have the right for the war. We have our own reasons nothing is missing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

            Perhaps the most balanced comment yet in the entire thread.

          • notafeminista

            So keeping Saddam in power was in the best interests of the US.  What if keeping Saddam in power wasn’t in the best interests of the Iraqis?

    • nj

      Danny is young, so maybe he can be forgiven for thinking the U.S. needs to continually act as Owner of the World for supposedly altruistic reasons. Even the most cursory examination of U.S. foreign policy dispels the notion that the ruling industrial/miltary/war making class gives a crap about containing “aggression.”

      To serve the economic interests of ruling class, it only matters if the aggression serves U.S. “strategic interests” (read power and control over resources) and if the dictator in question is in their pocket. Hence, the U.S. sells chemical warfare materials to Saddam, their policy in Russian-occupied Afghanistan creates the Taliban, they overthrow or destabilize democratically elected governments.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FWC22RY3FTZF5BGSBAFUMGV74 InActionMan
    • JustSayin

      That’s the most important story oft the year. A very frightening Congress waging their war of terrorism (AKA war on terror) against US citizens using their military power.

      I wondered when Congress would move to national terrorism.

      • Anonymous

        This story is getting very little press coverage. I’m not liking this at all. If this bill is signed into law we can become Argentina of the 70′s and 80′s.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Mayor Bloomberg was in MIT yesterday and he said I have the 6 largest army in the world. I think he was trying to show force against a peaceful OWS prostestors in NY.

          • notafeminista

            He also happens to be stating a fact. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Stating a Fact against a peaceful demonstrator is Unconstitutional. Bloomberg cannot treaten a peaceful movement because they are sleeping on parks or on the streets of NY. That’s a big issue.
            Please be there and see how police treats OWS and 99%.

          • notafeminista

            They were sleeping on private property. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Power-GREEDY rich, don’t want us to know, so there can be NO real consideration, before subjugation!

      • notafeminista

        Headline says “Senate” if I’m reading it correctly.  Thanks Harry.

        • JustSayin

          Thanks for revealing your deep IQ.  LOL
          I give your retort all the merit it deserves. notabrainincranium

          Congress = the Senate and the House. DUH!

          • notafeminista

            Yes.  It does – and if you’ve read the article it clearly states the Senate version is not the same. The Senate hasn’t passed the House version.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I am sorry but I was for the War in Iraq. I was only 16 years old when I saw Iraqi soldiers butchered men.women and children in Northern Iraq and cried when I saw a Kurd woman holding an infant shouting for help.
    Where is America!!! We need your help!!!

    I was for the war. Yes there are people who got killed but majority of them were done by the terrorists blowing up hundreds of cars and suicide bombers.

    Democracy cannot be achieve without bloodsheds. We know that from the American revolution and the Civil war.

    Now the Iraqi people are free from oppression from the Butcher of Baghdad and the thousands of US Soldiers who got killed and injured during the war are heroes that cannot be repay for what they have done to make Iraq a better place to live.

    • Tavern

      You are aware that they butchered women and children because the U.S. government promised support of the Kurds if they rose up against Saddam, which they did and then the U.S. reneged on that promise.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Ha!!! I know my facts since 1984 my friend. The American government only started to support the Kurds when the Iraq invasion was imminent. But way back then the Kurds were alone fighting for their freedom. Reneged on that promise? I don’t think so. Why do you think we are in Iraq now. The promise was not broken the US still helped the Kurds.

        • Tavern

          So by that logic we should also invade Turkey? And I would say that the U.S. reneged when the U.S. left in the 90s

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Turkey has nothing to do with Iraq but with the Kurds yes Turkey didn’t butchered men.women and infants purposely like Saddam. They Turks was just protecting their territory from the Kurds or Kurds protecting their land from the Turks.

  • Brandstad


    The sacking of the British embassy wasn’t amazing, it was scary!

    Calling it amazing makes it sound like you approve of the chaos.

    • TFRX

      I’m no professor of English, but you need to look up “amazing”.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I am.  Calling something amazing doesn’t mean that the speaker approves of it happening.  In fact, amazing comes from the word “maze.”  The idea here is that the event is confounding or disturbing.  Amazing is often misused these days, but the current example is correct.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Amazing is not being happy it is about perplex.

      • Brandstad

        I have

        verb (used with object)1.to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonishgreatly.
        verb (used without object)3.to cause amazement: a new art show that delights andamazes.

  • Metalfumefever

    I was against invading Iraq from the start, and I let both my senators know it. The only thing we got out of it, was eliminating Saddam. Yes, the Arab Sunni governments are always crying wolf when it comes to the “Shia Crescent” and Iran taking over the Middle East. But I see the whole thing as a convenient way for them to influence, as well as support US aggression in the region. Iran has not shown aggression to other nations, militarily…that’s not their style.

    • notafeminista

      Very true.  The bulk of their aggression is towards their own populations.  Much better.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Iran did went to war with Iraq that’s aggression do you think?

    • meg

      Shows you what they thought of you….

  • Anonymous

    This new version of DISQUST is horrible. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Just like Windows–each new version introduces yet another layer of stupidity.

  • Acornkc

    Would you consider the topic of Medication Illness?  Here is a link to better explain:  

    Robert Whitaker has written a ground breaking book:  ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’.  Please consider this report.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp


      • Terry Tree Tree

        Possibly because people on too many, wrong, or too high doses of medications are getting sicker?  Creating a need for MORE, or different medications?  MORE money for Big Pharma, and the physicians that it buys, or bullies!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          ABC news reported last night that Young kids are getting prescribed with psycho drugs as early age of 5 yrs old.

  • TFRX

    Waitamint, Newt wants to go to Iran and commit an act of domestic terrorism?

    “Big talk” (as our host put it) indeed. Good thing the Foxholers are on Newtie’s side or some people in our “liberal media” might be taken aback at this.

    What, exactly, does a Republican have to say to stop being called “intelligent”?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What’s your plan to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        It will take another decade for Iran to have a fully develop Nuclear weapons. if I am correct they will perfect a nuclear test within 5 years from now but if Israel intervene and destroy those nuclear reactors too bad for Iran.
        Iran attack Israel? How can they attack Israel.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          You’ve heard of Hezbollah?  I can’t see them as having any serious objection to delivering a nuclear weapon into Israeli territory and setting it off.  Iran also has submarines that could drop off a bomb along Israel’s coastline.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            They have to figure out how to make a nuclear weapon first before they can shrink a nuclear weapon to fit in a attache case so a Hezbollah member can blow the entire nation of Israel. Yes they have submarine but will they escape the Naval blockade of the US navy in the Persian Gulf and how to go around the Suez canal, the Arabian sea and the Red sea. Pakistan has more capability of destroying Israel than Iran.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Oh I forgot Israel Coastline is much worst than the Berlin wall.

          • HarshBeautyendlessGrace

            I would guess that if a nuclear weapon is again used on earth, Israel or Pakistan/India is probably where it will be done. If only Lord Rothchild would have used a little of his money he could have bought up half of Brazil and allowed Jewish refugees a chance to live in peace, but no it always has to be their insane religion that dictates the actions of the less smart Jews.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Interesting concept about Lord Rothchild!
              Many things could have avoided this mess about Israel!!
              Forcing Israel on the Palestinians wasn’t the smartest or best move!

      • TFRX

        This Iran thing smells the same as Iraq: Saddam Hussein was locked down to “mayor of Baghdad”, and folks like me got called “traitors” because we weren’t all hepped up to invade Iraq.

        The Villagers and the reflexively chickenhawking right-wingers are beating their mighty chests and trumpeting their “serious” ideas. That’s a signal not to ignore this time around.

        Remember the pariahs like Hans (“I Got Iraq Right”) Blix and Scott (“I Got Iraq Right”) Ritter? I’d go with whatever they’re saying now.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          So you’re saying that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear program or that you have your doubts about it?  There’s skepticism, but then there’s obstinancy.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Is that TFRX’s job?   Don’t we pay thousands of people, $BIllions to come up with WORKABLE plans?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Newt, ‘W’, Dick Cheney, and ALL the proponents, will lead the way, of course!  Actually be the first wave of the invasion, with their superior talents!

    • meagain

      Obama was right after all…(?)

  • Br

    Why do they call it the Arab Spring when it seems like it has been more of a Winter than a spring.  Most of the revolutions have resulted in radicals taking over like the muslum brotherhood in Egypt.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The muslim brotherhood did not took over Egypt. Just to let you know. Egypt had their first democratic election and that will propel their country to a new Democratic muslim nation like Turkey.

      • Brandstad

        Muslim Brotherhood says leads Egypt’s vote count‎  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4155544,00.html
        It just happens that the muslim brotherhood will win most of the elections in Egypt!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          How can you eradicate an organization that is older than us? Since 1928.
          It is not a Violent Organization even Osama Bin Laden hated them MB betrayed Jihad. The Egyptian people power was influenced by MB that’s why it was peaceful. MB is a political party but just an organization. Freedom and Justice Party doesn’t sound violent to me.

      • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Democracy can lead to the election of misguided fools, or worse, depending on how they market themselves to the often mis-informed if not stupid electorate.  How in God’s name do you think tea-party/born-again Republicans get elected here?

  • Pudyson

    Unlike yesterday’s program on Newt Gingrich, the topic on Iran and Iraq today requires one hour of interviews.  The issues are complex.  Yesterday’s show on Newt, while interesting, went on too long with too much repetition….especially in Tom’s questions.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    The US needs to take their issues directly to the people of Iran. The  majority of the Iranian people don’t hate us, no matter the soundbites and video clips of the unruly mobs say.  The Iranian people have to be shown that it’s Iran’s leaders that want to manipulate them into directing their anger at the US, instead of where it belongs, with the leaders of Iran.  The US government needs to worry less about expressing its own interests, and show the Iranian people that the US supports the Iranian people’s interests, like citizens of the Arab Spring.

    • notafeminista

      And the interests of the Iranian people are………..?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The U.S. showed the Mid-east how much we care about the people there, with over ten years of wars, where everyone but the GREEDY rich, suffers!
          Do you think that will get the Iranian people much?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Having a miniature reply box is annoying.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      It grows with use!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        No it shrink when you reply more.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Whatever bad happens to Iraq, and the Iraqi people, is the direct fault of the ‘W’ Bush admin., and the GREEDY rich that pushed for the illegal invasion!  NO, Stupid, the votes to authorize ‘W’ to use force, if ALL other options failed (which didn’t happen, therefore this is an INVALID arguement), was NOT a vote for the war!
        197,000 U.S. weapons that disappeared ‘unaccounted for’, in the words of the ‘W’ admin., to the hands of the Taliban, and al-Quieda, made someone a lot of money!  How many civilians and U.S. Millitary have died, been maimed, or traumatized by those weapons?
        Al-Quieda also got over $24 $BILLION that was ‘unaccounted for’, to fund their attacks against the U.S., the Iraqi people,  Afghanistan, and every other endeavor!
         PROVE ME WRONG!!   (to do so, you will have to prove where the ‘unaccounted for’, went!!)

    • Gregg

      16 UN resolutions over 12 years, “The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998″, A unanimous vote in the UN security Council, Congressional approval, sanctions on top of sanctions, one more last chance UN resolution followed by a grace period. What other steps would you suggest?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I suggest the ones agreed on by the U.S. Congress and Senate, prior to the illegal invasion!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Greedy rich? means Halliburton and other companies that profited from the war.

      • Gregg

        Why shouldn’t Haliburton have made money for their work? Is that greedy?

        • notafeminista

          Silly rabbit, don’t you know by the magical “I’m smarter than you are” lefty equation, Halliburton already has all the money it needs.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Have you heard of Crony Capitalism?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Halliburton was only 1 of 6 companies that could have done the job!  The others didn’t get a chance to try, because of a NO-BID contract to Dick Cheney’s company! 
              Honest transaction?  HOW?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            That’s why it’s called Crony Capitalism. Yes there are other companies that can do the job. if Cheney gave those companies a chance. probably those companies will hire more people but Halliburton monopolized everything with Cheney.

          • Gregg

            Not true, the jobs were bid for but as an entire package. And it wasn’t Cheney’s company anymore, they didn’t part amicably. It’s just a talking point.

      • Terry Tree Tree


    • meagain

      We should have fried ‘em in the first war.  Then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  • Dee

    To the Iranian American caller…who expressed a wish to 
    understand the events more in Iran….Sadly, to say you 
    won’t get that necessarily from listening to the program
    today…As the demonization of Iran by the hawks in the 
    US media (including , of course, the Israeli apologists) 
    have spent years refining their propaganda against Iran.

    That’s not to say Tom Ashbrook and his guests demonizes 
    Iran or indeed are apologists but they too have been fed
    the same propaganda and thus are victims too….

    This was so apparent to me today when Tom asked “Do you think Iran will change its strategy?” When, in fact what needs 
    to happens -the US and the West and Israel need to change their strategy and stop bullying and ganging up on Iran…


    P.S. See the URLs below. address this very problem….

    Accusing Iran, Ignoring History, Tom Snider, Znet

    The Neocons, not the Mullahs want to blow up the Middle East 

    IN Afghanistan, A Threat to Plunder, Paul Collier , NYT
    (This is all part of the Neocons strategy of control…)

    America’s Blinders , Howard Zinn

  • Fasikah

    It’s unfortunate that the Bush Administration rejected Iran’s offer to give up everything we could ever ask of them from the nuclear program to support for Hezbollah, etc if we promised not to attack them. This offer was extended through Swiss intermediaries but was summarily rejected as the neocons were intoxicated by their early “successes” and openly talked about Iran being the next target. When the situation in Iraq became a quagmire, Iran did what is natural and adopted a defensive posture with it’s best possible defensive weapon. Until now they were mostly blowing hot air but it looks like they might have the weapon. Now Obama has to deal with this missed opportunity while Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice are selling books. American tragedy indeed!

  • Gregg

    Hit the “reply,” button again and the dialog box cancels.

    • HitMe

      good to know

  • Eric

    Newt Gingrich’s comment represtents the neo-colonialism that Haile Selassie warned of at the end of the British Colonial era.  Given our record, who are we to restrict others from possessing the same weapons as so many other countries, of which we are a prime example.  We should lead by example and dismantle ALL of our nuclear arsenal.  We started this ‘nuclear race’ and now want to limit others participation in this dangerous game of ‘Russian Roulette’  The same goes for our drones and our unilateral invasion of Iraq.  The days of American Pride are over.  These are the days when we are ashamed of our countries behavior.

    • meagain

      You and the mouse in your pocket are entitled to your opinion.  Oh, and uh tell your English teacher you want your money back…

  • leftofcenter

    Keep in mind the environment we’re in right now. Real nationwide unemployment is about 25%. Obama is running unopposed in his party. Indefinite detention is this close to becoming law. A neocon says uninsured people deserve to die and gets a huge ovation.

    What if another country or thr EU put sanctions on our banking sector globally? Considering what we’ve done up to now they have every right to. However, would they have the nerve to stand up to Obama? No.

  • leftofcenter

    You know what would really impress me? If On Point had the guts to put Noam Chomksy on for an hour to talk about Iran. However, no chance in hell of that ever happening…

    • Gregg

      I’d love it as long as they had John Bolton on with him.

      • Hidan

        Bolton and Chomksy? I love that.

        Chomsky would eat Bolton alive like he did Alan D. of course in dignified manner.

  • Hidan

    Speaking of the Institute for Science and International Security(ISIS) for short run by David Albright. If people are unaware who the guy is they should refer back to the run up to the Iraqi war. Albright was among the Neo-Cons claiming Iraq had started and had WMD see “co-authored a Sept. 10, 2002, article entitled ‘Is the Activity at Al Qaim Related to Nuclear Efforts?’ Remember the photos of Iraq’s supposed Nuclear sites? Much like American Crossroad and all those others (sic) independent, objective and “expert” groups the only thing professional about them is the name. 

    See below examples of their ISIS credibility

    “In December 2009, the conservative-leaning[20][21] The Times,
    working with ISIS analysis, claimed that a document from an unnamed
    Asian intelligence agency described the use of a neutron source which
    has no use other than in a nuclear weapon, and claimed the document
    appeared to be from an office in Iran’s Defense Ministry and may have
    been from around 2007.[22][23]
    The Institute for Science and International Security, said that it
    “urges caution and further assessment” of the document and noted that
    “the document does not mention nuclear weapons .. and we have seen no
    evidence of an Iranian decision to build them.”[24] Western intelligence agencies did not give any authentication to the document,[24]
    while Russia noted that though the IAEA is in possession of these
    documents, the IAEA’s findings “do not contain any conclusions about the
    presence of undeclared nuclear activities in Iran.”

    What was ISIS and Albright response you may ask?

    “Albright said ISIS felt “that this document does need to be authenticated”

    “On October 2, 2009 ISIS posted a subject to revision working document
    with an unknown author which it described as an “Internal IAEA Document
    on Alleged Iranian Nuclear Weaponization”.[13] The document led media to report that Iran has tested a two-point implosion design.[14]
    Gordon Oehler, who ran the CIA’s nonproliferation center and served as
    deputy director of the presidential commission on weapons of mass
    destruction, wrote “if someone has a good idea for a missile program,
    and he has really good connections, he’ll get that program through.. But
    that doesn’t mean there is a master plan for a nuclear weapon.”[15] Outside experts noted that the parts of the report made public lack many dates associated with Iran’s alleged activities.[16]
    The Washington Post reported that “nowhere are there construction
    orders, payment invoices, or more than a handful of names and locations
    possibly connected to the projects.”[17]
    Former IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei said the Agency didn’t have any
    information that nuclear material has been used and didn’t have any
    information that any components of nuclear weapons had been manufacture”

    ““The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
    published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational
    claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former
    Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation
    system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

    “But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report (PDF)
    but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a
    nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in
    the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.

    “In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from
    the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the
    pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published
    scientific papers confirm.

    “It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright, the director of the
    International Institute for Science and Security in Washington, who was
    the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check
    the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed ‘Member State’ on which
    the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons”

    More examples of Albright Creds



  • Hidan

    Albirhgts and ISIS claims on WMD in Iraq,
    Aug. 15, 1998
    “Tracking Baghdad’s Arsenal: Inside the Arsenal:

    “Inside Saddam’s Secret Nuclear Program”
    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October 1998

    October 1998.
    . David Albright and Khidhir Hamza, “Iraq’s Reconstitution of its Nuclear Weapons Program
    January 27, 1999
    “Interview with Hamza on 60 Minutes II”

    2000 book by Khidhir Hamza with Jeff Stein
    Saddam’s Bomb maker: the terrifying inside story of the Iraqi nuclear and biological weapons agenda

    The Institute for Science and International Security released a
    report in late February concluding that Iran has reached “nuclear
    weapons breakout capability.”

    The report was based on an analysis of data from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

    However, an IAEA official who asked not to be named cautioned
    against drawing such dramatic conclusions from the data, saying Iran’s
    stock of low-enriched uranium would have to be turned into highly
    enriched uranium to qualify as weapons-grade material. That hasn’t been
    done, the official said.”

    June 15, 2008
    ISIS claims news discovery of Iran’s nuclear weapons information on a laptop computer, and announces it proudly.

    February 20, 2009
    ISIS states that “Iran is now ready to make nuclear weapons.”

    February 20, 2009

    IAEA releases Iran Report, says: Iran Cooperating.

    “Iran is cooperating well with U.N. nuclear inspectors to help ensure it
    does not again understate the amount of uranium it has enriched,” the
    agency said

    February 20, 2009

    President and founder of The Institute for Science and International Security -(ISIS)- gives interview with the Council on Foreign Relations published.

    This interview by David Albright, the president and founder of ISIS makes clear ISIS has one clear policy objectives:
    Shut down Iran’s nuclear power program.

    False report provided by ISIS

    February 20, 2009
    Iran ready to build nuclear weapon, analysts say

    February 22


    Iran pledges to fully cooperate with IAEA Februrary 7th 2009

    CIA Factbook

  • Rich Miller74

    Professor Milani stated that an apology from the Iranian foreign minister is not enough. Frankly that is hypocritical; the USA and NATO apologize for killing people and they expect that to be enough. Why not the same standard for Iran?

  • Dcadigan01

    To Mohsen Milani….

    How can you make the claim  “Assad has to go” as you note he killed 3-4,000 civilians when Israeli leaders have killed 4-5,000
    Palestinian civilians in the name of the Jewish state and their “God given right “to the Holy Land during the last decade by imposing their unlawful will and presence (in violation of inter-national law and human rights ) in the Palestinian territories? 

    (Indeed, I know of one Israeli Army commander (see the URL below) who claims that number is grossly under estimated.) 

    Still, I wonder. if you have come out at all against Israeli leaders as you have come out against Syria’s leader today?

    As I imagine that would be a gross double standard in your 
    call today? 

    In addition, to take this a step closer to home…I wonder if you
    advocated removing George W Bush from power with his throne for his misled invasion into Iraq that resulted in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of Iraqi civilians? (I should note here Iraq never had a suicide bombing before US forces invaded that sovereign state–and the same Afghanistan ). 

    Or indeed, your position on Obama’s expansion of that illegal war into Afghanistan which has also been responsible for the deaths of hundreds and perhaps thousands of Afghan civilians?

    Not the least– to say place precious young American lives in harms way and send them to their graves…Those are US war
    crimes also,  in my book. Dee

    (Please note Gideon Spiro’s Blood on their hands …)

  • Dee


    At the very least—I hope you will help rein in the US & Israel
    war criminals today as it seems they are a big part of problem
    in the Middle East today…

    (If the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazi Regime has taught 
    the world anything -it should be war crimes cannot be justi-
    fied in states’ names nor can they be disregarded, or indeed dismissed or shamefully excused. That’s a responsibility it seems to me –people have to the victims….

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