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The Third Try: Can the UN Work? A book review

The Third TryThe Third Try: Can the UN work? by Alison Broinowski and James Wilkinson. Alison introduced the book to Webdiarists in October 2005.

Reviewed by Chris Saliba

It may surprise the reader to know that a majority of Americans support a stronger United Nations, believe in international co-operation, favour spending money to help out poorer nations and even support the International Criminal Court (ICC). All this despite the current Bush administration’s pronounced displeasure with the UN.

In an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the UN, US Congress has withheld UN dues, rejected multi-lateral treaties and under funded foreign-aid programs. To state the Bush administration’s case most clearly, there was the nomination of John (‘There is no such thing as the United Nations’) Bolton as US permanent representative to the UN, whose antipathy to the organisation is well known.

At home, the UN is in bad odour with the Australian Government. After receiving a bad report card on our treatment of migrants, Muslims, asylum-seekers, refugees and Aborigines, John Howard reminded all that ‘Australian laws are made by Australian parliaments elected by the Australian people, not by UN committees.’ Alexander Downer went one step further: ‘If a United Nations committee wants to play domestic politics here in Australia, then it will end up with a bloody nose.’

Alison Broinowski and James Wilkinson are both experienced diplomats, bringing their respective Australian and American perspectives to a broad and complex subject. The authors claim the UN has been through two ‘tries’, or stages, already.

The first try at a world order was the League of Nations, established after World War I in Geneva, Switzerland in 1920. The second was the United Nations, which was given birth on 24 October 1945, when the UN Charter was ratified by a majority of signatory nations. The third try, where we are now, the authors argue is the post-Cold War era. After September 11, can the UN work?

The Third Try doesn’t flinch when discussing the UN’s many failures, some of them horrific. On Rwanda, the authors write ‘There was no excuse for the council’s failure to intervene over a period of about three months while the killings continued apace.’

Then there were the scandals involving peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including sexual abuse of people the UN was supposed to be protecting:

The secretary-general in November 2004 publicly acknowledged gross sexual misconduct by MONUC staff and vowed a ‘zero tolerance’ policy with punishment for all found guilty. Over 150 cases of alleged rape and exploitation, involving both military and civilian staff and including abuse of girls as young as 12, were under investigation at the end of 2004.


Darfur is the latest example of the UN’s inability to respond adequately to an urgent crisis. By the end of 2005 some 1.7 million people were homeless and 70,000 people were estimated to have died from the conflict. The authors write:

The Security-Council’s inquiry on Darfur took three months and then delivered an ambivalent report, calling what was happening crimes against humanity and the equal of genocide, but not describing it as genocide in the narrow, post-World War II definition that required proof of intent to destroy a population or group.

Despite the above, and other examples cited, the authors maintain the UN will continue on. Simply put, it does too much. There are the peacekeeping operations, work to reduce poverty, counter terrorism initiatives, bolstering of international law through the ICC, human rights advocacy, help for refugees and so on and so forth.

It is also worth remembering that, despite the Bush administration’s contempt for the UN, it did not stop them asking the organisation for help to rebuild post-war Iraq.

As the authors state:

No serious argument can be made for doing away with the UN entirely. As our review has shown, it serves too many purposes, practical as well as noble. The neo-cons’ black prince, Richard Perle, even while thanking God for the death of the UN, conceded that its ‘good works’ part will continue to endure.

The problem then is how to improve it and make it work. Broinowski and Wilkinson devote some 40 pages to analysing problems in the UN machinery and bureaucracy, recommending repairs and reforms. At the top of the list is a need for the US to play a more supportive role, rather than that of a wrecking ball.

The perpetual disdain of American conservatives for the UN casts a dark shadow over all parts of the UN, and Washington’s aggressive disputation with the UN over policy, resources, and decision-making has become progressively more imperious since the 1980s.

The Third Try is written for the lay reader and is set out in a clear, straightforward style. The book doesn’t cover everything that the UN does, but rather works as a digest of its key roles. Its accessible manner makes welcome reading when facing such a daunting subject.

For citizens interested in working towards an international system to solve world problems, The Third Try is an excellent primer on the UN. Bonus features include a forward by Morton Abramowitz, a former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and an afterword by Gareth Evans, who now works as the president and chief executive officer of the Brussels-based global conflict prevention organisation International Crisis Group.>/p>

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It's a Faction Short of Fiction

Easy really. Read the SMH, The Guardian, The NYT or a hundred other papers of similar hue or watch the ABC, BBC et el.

If you are a Palestinian faction demanding the forced expulsion of Jews ( I emphasis Jews, not Israelis, Jews) from "illegally"occupied lands, including apparently Jerusalem, where they have lived for centuries prior to yet another brutal expulsion, then you are "moderate".

If you are a faction demanding the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state as the first stage to a broader vision, while carrying on a sadistic campaign of murder which seems to have a predilection towards targetting women and kids, then you are "miltant" or "resistance fighters". If you say you are prepared to negotiate a two state solution as a tactical step towards the ultimate goal, then you are still "moderate".

If you are an Israeli political faction that demands the same as the Palestinian "moderates", that is the "transfer" of Arabs, you are (rightly) condemned in Israel as "racist" and banned under Israeli law. If you are an Israeli faction that maintains that territorial concessions only lead to further demands and indeed only incite further violence because it is perceived by the killers as victory, then you are "hardline Zionist",  "extreme right- wing" , "expansionist", or "Jewish supremacist".

If you are the faction prepared to negotiate a two state solution then it depends whether or not you are in Government what they call you. If you are then you are "the root cause of the problem".

If you call for the "replacement " of Israel, which is a "racist" state, with a "one state solution" while darkly hinting at global "zionist" power controlling the international media and the US and various conspiracies involving "neocons", Israeli "expansionism" and so on and on, then you are an "anti - Zionist". And anybody with the audacity to suggest that there may in fact be a touch of the "antisemite" about you is of course  an "extreme right wing Zionist (neocon optional)" seeking to exploit the Holocaust (denial of Holocaust here optional) to distract from legitimate criticism of Israeli Government policy.

All seems straightforward enough. I can't understand why so many people have so much trouble with it.     

Spot on Geoff.

Says it all really.

Gosh no. We're just anti-Zionist.

Mike lyvers: "Netanyahu may be "extreme right wing" relative to other Israelis, but compared to anyone on the Palestinian side he is not even remotely in their ultra-ultra-right-wing ballpark."

Hamish: "what do you mean Mike? Or is this just nonsense?"

Perhaps Mike means to compare Netanyahu with Hamas, who are pledged to anhilate Israel altogether and who have insisted they will not negotiate with Israel because "nothing has been gained by speaking with them"?

Or does that make them Left Wing these days?

Perhaps they're just "anti-Zionist", as the euphemism goes?

Hard to tell them apart anymore.

These days, if you go ultra-far Right enough....

... you get the New Left.

Palestinian Elections... Trouble Ahead?

There are a couple of items in the NYT today that may be worth a look at by interested Webdiarists. The first reminds us of the upcoming election (early tomorrow our time) in Palestine where Hamas are vying for seats against the incumbent President’s Fatah faction.

Hamas are far more radical in their stance against Israel than Fatah yet stand a reasonable chance of getting up in the elections. Polls at the moment indicate a close run election with Fatah just ahead but with a turn out that is likely to be high, perhaps as high as 80%, it’s too close to call at this stage. However, if Hamas win there will be big problems ahead. The reason for this can be seen, if one looks carefully enough, in the other NYT story.

At first glance at the headline, ‘Acting Israeli Leader Backs a Palestinian State’, one might ask; what’s the problem? The problem is that the Israeli leader, who is only acting leader, backs a Palestinian state for pragmatic reasons only – to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel, not out of any genuine desire to actually see a viable Palestinian state. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may or may not be Prime Minister after the next elections in March. If he is, then he can expect trouble from a Hamas-led Palestine because of the issue of East Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their capital. (Olmert wants a united Jerusalem under Israeli control). If, on the other hand, the extreme right-winger Netanyahu gets up at the next election then there will be even more chance of even bigger problems. In Netanyahu’s ideal world a Palestinian state would never even be allowed to exist let alone have a capital in East Jerusalem.

Interesting times ahead for the Middle East over the next few months – especially as the US and Israel continue their propaganda onslaught in the lead up to an attack against Iran.


Damian Lataan, I am afraid you were spot on with your predictions regarding the Palestinian elections. However I do not think there is going to be interesting times in the Middle East, there is just no way Hamas and Israel are going to talk. It is going to be a bloodbath one way or another, and the cause of peace is going to be set back 10 years.

I just hope commonsense prevails, but I doubt that will happen as we who do not live in this part of the world have no conception of what it is all about. I think the only thing we can be sure of is that if the Palestinians decide to flex their muscles by letting loose their suicide bombers, there will be swift and deadly retaliation.

Let's just hope that there are enough cool heads around to sort this mess out, however I am very fearful for my daughter and her family who live there.

Hamas electoral victory

Syd Drate writes, "It is going to be a bloodbath one way or another, and the cause of peace is going to be set back 10 years."

Syd, I share your concerns, but I actually wonder if it will as bad as that. Hamas is now "the government" of Palestine (Fatah has so far ruled out joining a national unity gov't) and their electoral success is in large part a reaction to the corruption of Fatah and Fatah's inability to deliver basic services. The Palestinian electorate will hold them responsible for running the nascent state, and will not be satisfied with Hamas just murdering Israeli teenagers in Tel Aviv discos, while the garbage is piling up on Gaza streets. I think Hamas will become the Sinn Fein of the Middle East.

It is also not clear to me how much Palestinians will tolerate the imposition of Islamic law on their civic lives (as you know, but other Webdiarists may not, not all Palestinians are Muslims).

The political victory of Hamas will also bring them into conflict, I predict, with the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as Hamas tries to control its own "turf."

How will other states in the region react? Will Egypt welcome Hamas ambassadors, given Hamas' history as part of the Moslem Brotherhood? Will Jordan tolerate Hamas stirring up Islamic fundamentalist militarism among the Palestinians there, or is another Black September on the horizon?

The other interesting point is that while Hamas retains its "destroy Israel" plank in its
charter it has chosen, in effect, to make its first act in government a declaration of war against Israel. At some they will have to take responsibility for this implicit act, or renounce this part of their covenant.

My opinion is that the sooner Palestine is truly a state, the sooner the Palestinians will have to take responsibility for being a state (not just having the trappings of one as they do now). That will mean Hamas-style self-detonation attacks against Israel will essentially be acts of war under the UN Charter. Recall that the ICJ rejected Israel's claim that the Security Barrier is a self-defense mechanism, ruling that such self-defense could only apply to another state, which Palestine is not. Yet.

Interesting times indeed.

"Extreme right wing" is relative

Netanyahu may be "extreme right wing" relative to other Israelis, but compared to anyone on the Palestinian side he is not even remotely in their ultra-ultra-right-wing ballpark.

Hamish: what do you mean Mike? Or is this just nonsense?

"ultra-ultra right wing"

Hamish, I mean that in the coming Arab Palestinian state (or should I say second Arab Palestinian state, Jordan already existing), you can bet that the rights of women, gays, infidels etc. will be far less respected than they currently are in Israel.

ISIS And Their Nuclear Bomb Reports

With regard to the matter of ISIS and their Iraq and Iran nuclear ‘reports’; Webdiarists, as I mentioned in my last post, should make judgements for themselves.

Hamza, ISIS, And The Myth Of The Iraqi and Iranian Bomb...

The bottom line with regard to ISIS and Hamza is this: Hamza is introduced to ISIS by Chalabi; Albright of ISIS takes him on. Hamza later lies to Senate committee and later continues to feed on the lies to the OSP at the Pentagon. Albright gets cold feet and by 1999/2000 starts back-pedalling to put as much distance between himself, Hamza and the Iraqi nuclear story as he can. Prior to 1999 ISIS and Albright were quite happy to perpetuate the myth of an Iraqi nuclear bomb – they knew it wasn’t going anywhere under the Clinton administration – just as they are trying to perpetuate the myth of an Iranian nuclear bomb today without any evidence whatsoever.

Albright and his ISIS organisation were wrong about the Iraqi bomb in the late 1990s and have no credibility. After the Gulf War Saddam was completely boxed up and could barely get a SCUD missile to fly in a straight line let alone have a nuclear program. Albright knew that. He knew that both as a weapons inspector and via his research work heading up ISIS later on yet still, up until 1998 at least, was perpetuating the myth of the Iraqi nuclear bomb. Just taking on Hamza in the first place tells the story in itself.

Iran has no plans for nuclear weapons and neither Russia nor China would be allowing Iran to become nuclear armed. This entire Iranian nuclear weapons beat-up is simply a US/Israeli propaganda story designed to prepare the world for an attack on yet another sovereign nation that they perceive are its enemy. Webdiarists might like to make judgements for themselves on this matter.

ISIS assessment of Iranian nuclear capabilities

See Iran’s Next Steps: Final Tests and the Construction of a Uranium Enrichment Plant published by ISIS on 12 January 2006. In it David Albright and Corey Hinderstein note: "It is difficult to estimate how long it would take Iran to be able to build its first nuclear weapon, assuming Iran makes such a decision."

In other words ISIS is not asserting that Iran is or is not intending to produce a weapon. They conclude:

"Given another year to make enough HEU for a nuclear weapon and a few more months to convert the uranium into weapon components, Iran could have its first nuclear weapon in 2009. By this time, Iran is assessed to have had sufficient time to prepare the other components of a nuclear weapon, although the weapon may not be deliverable by a ballistic missile. This result reflects a worst case assessment, and thus is highly uncertain. Though some analysts at the IAEA believe that Iran could assemble centrifuges quicker, other analysts, including those in the US intelligence community, appear to believe that a date of 2009 would be overly optimistic. They believe that Iran is likely to encounter technical difficulties that would significantly delay bringing a centrifuge plant into operation."

Hamza and ISIS Iraq & Iran, again

Damian Lataan writes: "Prior to 1999 ISIS and Albright were quite happy to perpetuate the myth of an Iraqi nuclear bomb."

In March 1991 ISIS's Albright had written "a months-long investigation of the requirements any country would need to build nuclear weapons, and an assessment of Iraq's ability to meet those requirements, we conclude that Saddam Hussein was many years away from developing usable nuclear weapons."

"In 1998, Albright told [the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh], he and Hamza sent publishers a proposal for a book tentatively entitled 'Fizzle: Iraq and the Atomic Bomb,' which described how Iraq had failed in its quest for a nuclear device."

Damian, perhaps you could narrow down the dates during which "ISIS and Albright were quite happy to perpetuate the myth of an Iraqi nuclear bomb." Sometime between 1991 and 1998, I presume, Albright changed his mind about the Iraqis nuclear program, decided to "perpetuate a myth" and then suddenly in 1998 decided to "un-perpetuate" it. Enlighten the "dumb and gullible" among us, won't you please?

Once again you say "Prior to 1999 ISIS and Albright were quite happy to perpetuate the myth of an Iraqi nuclear bomb." NO, Damian, they were NOT, and I have now provided quite extensive documentation that this is an incorrect statement. You have provided nothing but repeated assertions, with either no documentation, or documentation that upon even cursory inspection turns out to belie your allegations. I remind you, you have only corrected yourself once.

You go on to say "Iran has no plans for nuclear weapons and neither Russia nor China would be allowing Iran to become nuclear armed." Maybe. Maybe not. The jury's still out on that one. There's enough uncertainty to be sceptical, and enough evidence to be concerned. How about you provide some backup for your case?

I have provided ISIS' assessments on Iran. Albright was critical of the New York Times just a few months ago for suggesting "the US had proof Iran was designing a nuclear weapon, which it does not."

In late 2004 ISIS said ""Iran does not appear to have nuclear weapons and seems unlikely to be able to make them for at least several years.  Nonetheless, the IAEA board of governors is correct to view the Iranian situation as urgent and to issue a firm demand that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and heavy-water reactor programs. Two years have passed since secret Iranian nuclear sites were first brought to public attention, and Iran appears unwilling to abandon its fissile material production programs. Iran has too often dictated the pace of diplomatic progress, giving the impression that it is playing for time. In the next one or two years, Iran could build up unstoppable institutional and public momentum to finish and operate its enrichment plant or a heavy-water reactor and outlast the current international diplomatic effort."

This does not sound, to me, like an organisation trying to "perpetuate a myth." Your turn, Damian. Let's see some documentation of your assessment that "Iran has no plans for nuclear weapons." What do we have to support that assertion? The Iranian President's assurances? But, Damian, you've already told us he is not to be taken seriously.

Damian, you say "Webdiarists might like to make judgements for themselves on this matter." We certainly will. I, for one, prefer to do so on the basis of solid, reliable information. I have provided, in previous posts, some links which may help. Damian: Albright and ISIS are, if anything, on your side of the arguments about both Iraqi and Iranian nukes. You don't recognise this?

Hey. Remember Haiti?

Talking about United Nations attempts at intervening in troublespots, here's an interesting New York Times update on the shambles in Haiti [Extract]:

But last Tuesday, two Jordanian soldiers were shot to death in skirmishes with local gangs, and another was seriously wounded. It was the third fatal strike against United Nations personnel since December, a month when relations between the international peacekeeping mission and local people worsened."

The violence has raised demands in capitals from Brasília to Washington to Ottawa for an explanation of what has gone wrong with Haiti's transition to democracy. What is clear is that the $584 million a year mission has failed to bring peace to Haiti, and the caretaker government has failed to bring elections."

The interim government, appointed with the support of the United States after the downfall of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in March 2004, postponed the first round of new elections to Feb. 7 from Jan. 8, the fourth delay in four months. A second round is scheduled for March."

Uncertainty remains among the highest level organizers of the elections about whether a fair vote is possible in the corrupt and deeply polarized political atmosphere here.

The postponement has led to finger-pointing all around. The interim government blames the international community for the delays, saying it failed to deliver voter cards and train enough poll workers. The United Nations blames the interim government, accusing its leaders of stalling in fear of losing power.

Hamza Correction

In my post of January 22, 2006 – 3.51pm I wrote: “Khidhir Hamza worked for ISIS when he lied to the Senate committee about Iraq’s nuclear weapons.”

This is incorrect. When Hamza lied to the Senate committee he was no longer working for ISIS. However, this does not detract at all from the substance of my assertion that ISIS was involved in the lies that were presented to the Office of Special Plans (OSP) at the Pentagon particularly with regard to Iraq’s nuclear capability. In later ISIS reports attempts were made to distance themselves from the exaggerations and lies that were beginning to be revealed.

ISIS also had strong connections with the totally discredited Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress (INC) organisation. (Chalabi had introduced Hamza to Albright, chief of ISIS.)

My assertion that ISIS is a discredited organisation because of its links to the lies that led to the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people still stands as does my assertion that those who insist that the reports of ISIS and the Jaffee Center relating to Iraqi and Iranian nuclear weapons programs are ‘non-partisan’ are equally discredited.

Damian's Correction

Thank you Damian, for that correction. Now perhaps you could detail for us the "strong connections" between Chalabi and his INC and ISIS. I've not been able to find any, but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places. I'm willing to stand corrected.

The information I have documented so far on ISIS, and Jaffee Center, look to me like evidence that both organisations have been sceptical about Iraqi nuclear capabilities. Reports from both organisations are also cautious in tone on Iran: in ISIS's case about its nuclear capabilities; in JCSS's case about the costs versus benefits of military action against Iran.

ISIS was sceptical about Iraqi nukes throughout the period of sanctions following the 1991 Gulf War, right up to the eve of the 2003 invasion (March 10, 2003).

Of course it's possible I missed examples of ISIS's involvement in "exaggerations and lies" so perhaps you could provide us some material that backs up your contention. I've provided quite a bit of documentation on ISIS and JCSS, much of it in direct and primary refutation of a number of your misrepresentations of relationships and ideological leanings of these organisations.

This mistake is the only one you've taken responsibility for so far.

You say "those who insist that the reports of ISIS and the Jaffee Center relating to Iraqi and Iranian nuclear weapons programs are ‘non-partisan’ are equally discredited."

I'm one of "those;" - why don't you just come out and say it? So far you have not "discredited" anything I've written. Quite the opposite, you've only managed to be caught in some rather blatant falsehoods (which I hope are inadvertent blunders - but you have neither retracted nor defended them, even in the face of direct evidence.)

More on Albright and Iraqi nukes

Mother Jones Magazine, writing about the New York Times' admissions of mistakes in its pre-invasion coverage of Iraq, quotes ISIS's David Albright in a story entitled Tough Times published in May 2004.

(There is actually a quote in here from the New York Review of Books but I can't seem to view the original text, so I'm going to trust Mother Jones on this one.)

The MJ story says:

"The Times and [NYT reporter Judith] Miller aren't being challenged by media critics alone. Physicist David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security was interviewed by Miller, and expressed doubt about the administration's assertion that Iraqi aluminum tubes were used as nuclear centrifuges. He now says Miller did not deem those objections fit to print. As Albright tells the New York Review of Books:

'But hearing there's a debate in the government was knowable by a journalist. That's what I asked Judy to do -- to alert people that there's a debate, that there are competent people who disagreed with what the CIA was saying. I thought for sure she'd quote me or some people in the government who didn't agree. It just wasn't there.'

Albright also says that the Times

'...Made a decision to ice out the critics and insult them on top of it. People were bitter about that article -- it says that the best scientists are with [the administration].'"

More on Hamza, Chalabi, and ISIS

Here's an excerpt from an article about Chalabi in The New Yorker entitled The Manipulator, by Jane Mayer, published in May 2004:

"The case of Khidhir Hamza, however, illuminates how information can become propaganda. Hamza is a nuclear scientist who served as a senior administrator in Saddam’s nuclear-weapons program during the nineteen-eighties. He defected from Iraq in 1994. He was at first spurned by the C.I.A., which thought he knew little of interest. In 1997, he was asked to join the Institute for Science and International Security, an organization in Washington run by David Albright, a former nuclear-weapons inspector. When Hamza first started working with him, Albright told me, his information seemed reliable. In 1998, Hamza even helped debunk an inflated story offered by another defector, just as Chalabi was trying to drum up support for the Iraq Liberation Act. 'We saw the claws of Chalabi then,' Albright said. Someone from the I.N.C., he said, called to upbraid Hamza, telling him that he had undercut the cause of liberating Iraq. 'Hamza was shaken, and said he’d never do that again,' Albright told me.

In 1999, Hamza left Albright’s institute to write a memoir, 'Saddam’s Bombmaker,' with Jeff Stein, a Washington-based author. According to Albright, many of the claims in the book, including those about the importance of Hamza’s role, 'were just ridiculous.' Hamza, who had not been involved in Iraq’s nuclear program for nearly a decade, asserted that Saddam was within years, and possibly months, of developing a nuclear bomb.

Hamza’s claim was startling. After the first Gulf War, the U.S. learned that Saddam had attempted to build a nuclear weapon. But his nuclear program was later dismantled, and by the mid-nineties most experts believed that this threat had subsided. According to Albright, Francis Brooke “was involved” in promoting Hamza’s book. 'It was clear he had a part in it,' he said.

Chalabi’s people helped Hamza to promote his story to the media, and the tale became widely known. Cheney began giving alarmist speeches about the imminent Iraqi nuclear threat. On August 26, 2002, he declared that Saddam had 'resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons,' and might soon be able to engage in 'nuclear blackmail' with his enemies. Hamza, who had been managing a gas station in Virginia prior to his association with Albright, began taking high-paying speaking engagements. A former Chalabi aide said that many of the defectors who had given hyperbolic accounts were 'desperate' people; the I.N.C. offered them a financial lifeline, and, to grab it, 'many bent their ethical standards.'

Since the war, no evidence of an active Iraqi nuclear program has been found. Albright said that Hamza has 'been told not to talk about this W.M.D. stuff.' Last spring, Hamza returned to Iraq. The Coalition Provisional Authority, the American occupation government, had offered him a top post in the Ministry of Science and Technology, which gave him partial control of Iraq’s nuclear industry. According to the London Independent, Hamza failed at the job; he fought with his colleagues and was frequently absent. This spring, the C.P.A. did not renew his contract."


Hamza and ISIS's Albright also come up in Seymour Hersh's New Yorker story Selective Intelligencepublished in May 2003. Hersh writes:

"After his defection, Hamza became a senior fellow at the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington disarmament group, whose president, David Albright, was a former U.N. weapons inspector. In 1998, Albright told me, he and Hamza sent publishers a proposal for a book tentatively entitled 'Fizzle: Iraq and the Atomic Bomb,' which described how Iraq had failed in its quest for a nuclear device. There were no takers, Albright said, and Hamza eventually 'started exaggerating his experiences in Iraq.' The two men broke off contact."

A story entitled U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed, from May 2003, notes,

" 'The normal processing of establishing accurate intelligence was sidestepped' in the runup to invading Iraq, said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security and who deals with U.S. intelligence officers."
More from ISIS head David Albright (I'm really starting to like this guy!). In an interview with the Foreign Policy Association on 9 January 2003 Albright noted:
"It's not good that the U.S. government has been attacking the IAEA in its work in Iraq and Unmovic too. It's not been good that for months we've had people like the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense trashing inspections in Iraq. That was very damaging and it was very wrong. They were very ignorant comments, actually, if you just assess them based on what was said. And so it is important that the government support the agency and work to improve it." Albright goes on to say " I think people really have to understand that non-military options to solve crises are critical to develop, and they have to be multilateral. If they're nuclear, they're going to involve the IAEA or what we would call the IAEA -plus. It might be bilateral inspection arrangements, but multilateralism and verification is critical for improved security worldwide."

Are these the "lies" Damian is referring to?

These sources further refute Damian Lataan's allegations that, "ISIS is a discredited organisation because of its links to the lies that led to the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq." Again, these sources (Seymour Hersh! Can't get more anti-Bush than that!) further present a picture of Albright and ISIS being sceptical of claims that Iraq was near nuclear-weapons capability in early 2003, and in favor of non-military, multilateral approaches to Iraq.

Good Question

C Parsons asks a damn good question in wondering why Europe would be trying to get Iran before the Security Council.

I think we need to remember that we're dealing with "Old Europe" here and she's wily and well versed in the use of political institutions.

Europe isn't trying to start a war with Iran. Europe is trying to avoid the U.S. acting unilaterally, at least for the next two months until the Bourse is up and running.

The best way to do that would be to get the whole issue bogged down in the U.N.

If Iran were to be referred, then the U.N. would have to convene a Security Council debate on the issue. This debate would presumably resolve to send the IAEA back to Iran with a stronger mandate than that provided for in the NPT, as well as a U.N. Security Council threat of sanctions.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, as it was they who pushed for this referral, Washington would have no choice but to sit back and let the process run its' course. By then the Bourse should be up and running and Europe is seen to be siding with the Americans.

I actually wonder if Iran's nuclear strategy and Ahmadinejads' recent lunacy is nothing more than a calculation to get everybody's attention. It reminds me of the time many years back when, being followed by a gang of youths late at night, I deliberately smashed a shop window in order to set off the alarm. The gang high tailed it and I kept my skin.

Treaty Text

From article IV of the NPT:
Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty.

There is no legal basis in the treaty for the E3/EU/US/Israeli position that Iran must refrain from developing the full range of peaceful nuclear technologies.

Amongst other things, the NPT preamble says:

Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,

Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and economic resources,
And article VI states:
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

The Clinton administration, in Presidential Decision Directive 60 asserted a US right to target non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons in 1997. PDD60 clearly breaches the spirit and letter of the treaty.

The Bush administration, having renounced the SALT II Treaty and by further developing the doctrine of first-strike, tactical nuclear war has continued to undermine global non-proliferation efforts in clear violation of the NPT.

The USA and its nuclear proliferation appeasers are in no position to cast the first stone here.

The Warmongers Are Losing In Iraq And Afghanistan!

Contrary to the delusional rantings from the warmongers in Washington and their lunatic supporters here, things do not seem to be going too well in either Iraq or Afghanistan for the US if these two reports in the Washington Post are anything to go by.

In Afghanistan the war between Islamic fighters and the US invaders along the Pakistan border is hotting up to the point where it is threatening the almost threadbare alliance between a Pakistan led by Pervez Musharraf and the Bush administration – threadbare because of Musharraf’s tenuous hold on power in the face of an increasingly angry populace rather than Musharraf’s loyalty to Bush.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, this report demonstrates just how badly things are going for the US there. Apparently the educated classes in Iraq, exactly those that will be needed to rebuild Iraq properly once the invaders have left, are leaving themselves because of the increasing violence caused by the US and coalition and its continued presence in Iraq.

The sham of ‘democracy’ is being exposed for what it is – pure propaganda aimed straight at the dumb and gullible in the West who the Lying Tyrants Bush, Blair and Howard need to perpetuate the illusion of a ‘war against terrorism’.

The only ‘terrorists’ in Afghanistan and Iraq are the invaders, occupiers and plunderers from the US and the COTK.

So Europe wants war?

Deb Wands, re your statement, "Just as in the illegal invasion of Iraq, the war drums beating now for Iran are all about Iran's conversion to the Euro, thereby bringing down the value of the US Dollar. There is no nuclear threat from Iran."

So does this mean Europe is advocating war against Iran to prevent the Euro rising against the US Dollar? Is that what you mean?

America wants war

Hi Gareth Eastwood, I think I have answered your question with the link provided to CP.

More like manufactured claims coming from the US with the usual spin and fearmongering to pressure the EU countries.

Small problem

Deb Wands: "Just as in the illegal invasion of Iraq, the war drums beating now for Iran are all about Iran's conversion to the Euro, thereby bringing down the value of the US Dollar. There is no nuclear threat from Iran."

Thanks for the link, Deb. Coupla things.

Firstly, and I won't dwell on this, it predicts the Pentagon is planning military action against Iran in early 2005.

Secondly, it is premised on US opposition to Iran because of Iran's plan to convert to a euro-denominated international oil-trading mechanism.

So, here's my question.

Is this also why the EU is trying to get Iran before the Security Council?

Just wondering.

...and furthermore CP

Re: the EU question, an excerpt from, Why Iran will lead to World War 3, by Mike Whitney, Aug. 9th. 2005.

"Even so, Iran is not "violating" the treaty by moving ahead with a program for "enriching uranium". They don't even have the centrifuges for conducting such a process. The re-opening of their facility at Isfahan signals that they will continue the "conversion" process to produce the nuclear fuel that is required in nuclear power plants. This is all permitted under the terms of the NPT. They temporarily suspended that right, and accepted other confidence-building measures, to show the EU their willingness to find a reasonable solution to mutual concerns. But, now, under pressure from the Bush administration, the EU is trying to renege on its part of the deal and change the terms of the treaty itself. 

No way. 

So far, Iran has played entirely by the rules and deserves the same considerations as the other signatories of the treaty. The EU members (England, Germany, and France) are simply back-pedaling in a futile effort to mollify Washington and Tel Aviv. Besides, when Iran re-opens its plant and begins work, the UN "watchdog" agency (IAEA) will be present to set up the necessary surveillance cameras and will resume monitoring everything that goes on during the sensitive fuel-cycle process. 

Iran has shown an unwillingness to be bullied by Washington. The Bush administration has co-opted the EU to enforce its double-standards by threatening military action, but that doesn't' conceal the duplicity of their demands. Why should Iran forgo the processing of nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes if it is written right into the treaty? Would Israel or Pakistan accept a similar proposal? 

Of course, not. Both countries ignored the treaty altogether and built their own nuclear weapons behind the back of the international community. Only Iran has been singled out and punished for COMPLYING with the treaty. This demonstrates the power of Washington to dictate the international agenda. 

Iran's refusal puts the EU in a position to refer the case to the IAEA, where the board members will make their determination and decide whether the case should be sent to the UN Security Council. Whether the IAEA passes the case along or not makes little difference. Bush, Sharon and the western media will exploit the details in a way that condemns Iran and paves the way for a preemptive attack. The drive to war will not be derailed by mere facts."


CP, the statement from the link is, "Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran as early as 2005."

That doesn't read to me as an intent to invade Iran in early 2005, but that planning has been underway since then.

Your question - "Is this also why the EU is trying to get Iran before the Security Council?"

I think the answer lies in the hysteria and the pressure that the US is trying to whip up, as yet,  there is no evidence to support the Bush Administration conviction that Iran is making a nuclear bomb (how quickly we forget the WMD lies!). Don't Russia and China still have to come onside before Iran goes before the Security Council? Iran could be doing just what it says it is - implementing a program for the purpose of electricity generation. I don't know, but I'd rather be a bit sceptical in light of what we have learned from the US invasion of Iraq. How many more innocent  people need to die for the Bush agenda to be complete?

Why would you expect that Iran just sit there like a lame duck awaiting a joint US/Israel invasion,  just because they choose to deal in Euros and not US Dollars?

Try the Iran Oil Bourse

Just as in the illegal invasion of Iraq, the war drums beating now for Iran are all about Iran's conversion to the Euro, thereby bringing down the value of the US Dollar. There is no nuclear threat from Iran.


Hey Deb. I don't know if I would say that there is no nuclear threat from Iran. However, whatever threat there is has been grossly overstated so as to whip up a frenzy. Add to that the lunatic rantings of Ahmadinejad and the frenzy is positively frothing.

Any Iranian Bourse would probably get a nice chunk of business from China, India and Russia and that would put a dent in the US dollar. Furthermore, the introduction of an alternative petro-currency would force the Americans into a situation where their dollar needed to compete for the status of 'currency of choice' in the international market.

By using fiscal restraint and generally tightening up government spending, the US dollar will have to get itself a lot leaner and it's this, in my opinion, which is scaring the Bush administration. It's all very unpopular with voters who want to update their SUVs every three years.

BTW, in a very unscientific poll of a very narrow target sample of about 12 friends and family members in Canada and the US, only my older brother had ever heard of the Iranian Bourse. Mushrooms, darling, mushrooms!!

Hi Mark

Hi Mark, you picked up on my lazy wording, I was actually thinking that I should have clarified that sentence better.  I agree that there is much hysteria as to the Iran's immediate nuclear capabilities, all aimed at getting the public alarmed about iminent threat (and guess who would have to invade or use Israel to do the damage for them!).

 I note your family in Canada's ignorance on the issue and can remember reading an article by William Clark,  which refers to the deliberate way that the oil bourse is being kept secret from the public. The demand for the euro by Saddam Hussein is of course the reason that Iraq was invaded.

Also, an extract from

The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse by Dr. Krassimir Petrov

At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter-those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs-will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation's exchange:

Sabotaging the Exchange-this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.

Coup d'état-this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.

Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations-this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d'etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.

Joint U.N. War Resolution-this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.

Unilateral Nuclear Strike-this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.

Unilateral Total War-this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.

Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis-between deflation and hyperinflation-it will be forced fast either to take its "classical medicine" by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy.

Continued Hoodwinkiing Over ISIS Lies About A Nuclear Iraq

It’s real simple. Khidhir Hamza worked for
ISIS when he lied to the Senate committee about Iraq’s nuclear weapons. Hamza was introduced to ISIS via the INC, ran by arch-liar and fraudster Ahmed Chalabi who was also feeding on the lies to the neoconservatives at the OSP in the Pentagon who, in turn, fed them on to Bush.

ISIS, therefore, has no credibility – nor in my opinion does anyone who insists that it does knowing that ISIS was in part responsible, whether it liked it or not, for some of the lies used to start an illegal and immoral war!!

Who's "hoodwinking" who[m]?

Damian Lataan writes: "Khidhir Hamza worked for ISIS when he lied to the Senate committee about Iraq’s nuclear weapons."

According to information on Hamza from ISIS, "Khidhir Hamza worked as a consultant for ISIS during 1997-1999." and "Dr. Hamza is no longer associated with ISIS, and we do not have any forwarding information about how to reach him." (I don't know when this statement was posted on the ISIS web site).

The earliest references I can find to Hamza's US Senate testimony are testimony before Senate committees in 2001 and again in 2002. These are the occasions I know about, and they occurred well after Hamza had worked for ISIS. Perhaps Hamza did testify (and lie) to a US Senate while he worked for ISIS, but I can't find any references to it.

On July 31, 2002 Hamza told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "With more than ten tons of uranium and one ton of slightly enriched uranium - according to German intelligence - in its possession, Iraq has enough to generate the needed bomb-grade uranium for three nuclear weapons by 2005." Hamza also gave testimony before the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on 19 Sept. 2002, regarding Iraqi nuclear weapons ambitions. He said in that testimony "My estimate is that Iraq, in two years of complete and putting together enough facilities for full-scale production and within three years, to have enough for two to three nuclear weapons."

Asked about Hamza's assessment of the Iraqi nuclear threat on 25 Sept 2002, ISIS head David Albright told ABC Lateline: "I must apologise that we no longer can in any way recommend Dr Hamza. I unfortunately now believe he is deliberately distorting both his past credentials and his statements about Iraqi nuclear capabilities then and now."

Damian, could you be more specific on the date(s) of Dr Hamza's lies to a US Senate Committee?

Everyone Seeks Divine Guidance For Bombs

Leanne Piggott in her piece in today’s The Australian reckons: “A nuclear armed Iran under an Ahmadinejad regime is a terrifying prospect. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes he is being divinely guided...”

There seems to be a lot of this divine intervention stuff going on these days in the name of nuclear weapons. I suppose by Piggott’s logic the Bush regime can also be considered a “terrifying prospect” since Bush claims he also is seeking divine guidance and already is nuclear armed!

ISIS Role In 'Saddam Bomb Plot' Discredits ISIS

Further to my post of January 19, 2006 – 2:10pm in which I assert that the Institute for Science and International Security was complicit in the concoction of the ‘Saddam Bomb Plot’ in the lead up to the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, this piece in “Middle East Policy Council Journal (Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer 2004, ‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’) adequately demonstrates ISIS complicity. In part it states:

“Part of the "Saddam bomb plot" tale came from Khadir Hamza, an Iraqi nuclear scientist who defected in 1994 and settled in the United States through the assistance of the INC. Hamza initially went to work for the Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank headed by former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright. According to a May 12, 2003, New Yorker interview with Albright by Seymour Hersh, Hamza and his boss drafted a 1998 proposal for a book that would have exposed how Saddam's quest for a nuclear bomb had "fizzled." There were no takers. But two years later, Hamza co-authored a very different book, with Jeff Stein, vastly exaggerating Saddam's nuclear weapons program. This, despite the fact that, in 1995, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, General Hussein Kamel, who was the head of Iraq's weapons agency, escaped to Jordan with a large collection of Iraqi government documents showing how little was left of Iraqi WMD programs. Kamel was interviewed by a team of U.N. weapons inspectors headed by Rolf Ekeus, chairman of the U.N. teams, and he confirmed that the inspections had, in effect, uprooted most of what was left of the Iraqi WMD program after the 1991 Gulf War.”

ISIS role?

Here are excerpts from ISIS studies regarding Iraqi nuclear capabilities. If someone can show me how these demonstrate ISIS was "concocting" anything, please do.

1) In The CIA's Aluminum Tubes' Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?, published on March 10, 2003, ISIS Director David Albright writes:

"After months of investigation, the administration has failed to prove its claim that the tubes are intended for use in an Iraqi gas centrifuge program. Despite being presented with evidence countering this claim, the administration persists in making misleading comments about the significance of the tubes."

And, under the heading "So Far, No Evidence of a Nuclear Weapons Program", Albright adds:

The administration's case has been further weakened because the UN Security Council inspectors have so far found no evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. This result comes after extensive IAEA assessments of information from UN member states and many investigations in Iraq.

In addition, former members of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program who have escaped Iraq disagree among themselves about the existence of a nuclear weapons program. Some posit that Iraq's nuclear weapons program continues; some say the program ended after 1991. None of these Iraqis have any direct knowledge of any current banned nuclear programs. They appear to all carry political baggage and biases about going to war or overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and these biases seem to drive their judgments about nuclear issues, rendering their statements about current Iraqi nuclear activities suspect.

Albright concludes:

Perhaps we will eventually learn that Iraq actually planned to hide a centrifuge purchase in a rocket procurement program. Such cleverness is well within Iraqi capabilities, although Iraq rarely chooses to build a poor product when it can build the same item significantly better in less time. Such a revelation, however, will not vindicate the CIA analysis, which is viewed as atrocious and deceptive by many experts on centrifuges and Iraqi rockets.

The CIA analysis has wasted the time of inspectors in Iraq while not leading to any progress on exposing Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program. Inspectors have had to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for evidence to prove or disprove the CIA analysis. Faced with overwhelming negative evidence from the inspectors, the proponents of this analysis have simply ignored the negative reports or act as if the CIA possesses secret information it cannot share. If the CIA has such secret evidence, it should share it rather than producing faulty technical analysis.

By ignoring technical evidence and pushing flawed analysis, the proponents of the CIA analysis undermine the credibility of the President, Secretary Powell, and the CIA. The attacks against those who disagree serve to show their defensiveness and a mean spirit.
This case serves to remind us that decision-makers are not above misusing technical and scientific analysis to bolster their political goals. The problem is that such a strategy denigrates the process of conducting impartial technical analysis and misleads the public.

2) In a 1999 report entitled Iraq's Efforts to Acquire Information about Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear-Related Technologies from the United States, Albright and Kevin O'Neill review Khidhir Hamza's summaries and have this to say about Hamza's reporting:

The scope of work for the above-referenced project asks the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) to provide a detailed, unclassified report of the efforts by the government of Iraq to obtain information about nuclear weapons and fissile materials production technologies, describing what information Iraq currently has of the U.S. nuclear weapons technology, what information the Iraqis are trying to discover, and how the U.S. might better protect U.S. nuclear weapons information. This report was to be solely authored by Khidhir Hamza, a senior Iraqi nuclear scientist who held several high-level positions in Iraq's pre-Gulf War nuclear weapons program, and to reflect his knowledge and views of the issues; the report was never intended to be a comprehensive assessment of these issues.

To fulfill this project, Hamza drafted a report and was interviewed by ISIS staff on three separate occasions. Transcripts of these interview sessions were produced.

We reviewed a draft report submitted by Hamza, and found much relevant information and insights. However, we regret that we found his report to be deficient in several ways. We also found several inconsistencies in the interview transcripts. However, Hamza failed to respond to comments by us on his draft report or to address the transcript inconsistencies. Despite these shortcomings, Hamza's report and the interview transcripts do address many of the questions asked in the project's scope of work.

3) Also in 1999, in "Crying Wolf" About the Iraqi Nuclear Weapons Threat, then-Deputy Director Kevin O'Neill writes:

[A report] entitled 'Is the Bomb Within Saddam's Grasp?' by Kenneth Timmerman, claims that Iraq has acquired a pressurized water reactor (PWR) for its nuclear weapons program and is secretly constructing a facility to enrich uranium.
Khidhir Hamza, a former senior Iraqi nuclear official who defected from Iraq in the early 1990s, now works as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). Timmerman interviewed Hamza for the report, quoting him about Saddam Hussein's single-mindedness to acquire nuclear weapons. However, Hamza says that he told Timmerman that the information about an Iraqi PWR was not credible. Hamza also says that he told the same thing to a Reader's Digest editor when the magazine contacted him to verify his quote. The report was published anyway.

Despite Hamza's conclusions, Reader's Digest reported the story of an Iraqi defector, now connected to the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a principal Iraqi opposition group. The INC defector, identified as a nuclear 'technician' who worked on Iraq's uranium enrichment programs, told Timmerman that Iraq had acquired a PWR through contracts with China and North Korea.

According to Hamza, the technician is 'a dubious source who should not have been taken seriously.' Moreover, Hamza says that the INC lacks the technical background to judge defector information about nuclear activities. Nevertheless, the INC is highly motivated to advance its own agenda against the Iraqi government, even if it means cutting corners around the truth. Hamza says that the INC 'shopped the defector around' until it found someone who would accept his story.

4) A 1998 report authored by Albright and Hamza, entitled Iraq's Reconstitution of Its Nuclear Weapons Program, concludes as follows:

Ensuring that Iraq does not build nuclear weapons will require vigilance. The chance of Iraq building nuclear weapons in secret depends critically on the effectiveness of the OMV system. If inspections become ineffective, even if sanctions remain, Iraq's chance of success will be unacceptably high. Iraq has developed a deep understanding of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the entire inspection system. It appears to have a strategy to weaken inspections at will. Although a robust and constantly improving inspection system is necessary to detect and thwart Iraq's proscribed nuclear activities, Security Council enforcement of the inspections, backed up by U.S. and British willingness to use military force, will remain vital to the future effectiveness of inspections.

The OMV [Ongoing Monitoring and Vigilance Program] needs improvement, including a more system-wide approach to its design and deployment. More environmental monitoring in Iraq is needed. Improved cooperation on detecting illicit imports into Iraq is also increasingly vital, as the sanctions become less effective. International efforts to improve controls over fissile material in the former Soviet Union must receive a higher priority. With a strengthened, enforced OMV program, Iraq is far less likely to build nuclear weapons in secret. If key Iraqi scientists are brought to the West, Saddam Hussein may find it difficult to succeed in building nuclear weapons for many years.

Ultimately, the goal of the inspections in Iraq is to buy time, in hopes that the regime will either change or give up its ambitions for nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. A highly confrontational inspection system has little chance of lasting for decades in any country. It is a tribute to the Security Council, and in particular the United States, that the inspections have lasted this long. But the system of stringent inspections must remain effective at least as long as the current regime persists on its noncooperative path.


This particular report confirms that Saddam had nuclear ambitions (not exactly a shocking revelation), which were never realised, and discusses ways of preventing his regime's acquisition of nuclear weapons capability. Hardly "concocting" anything.

By the way ISIS has on its website Hamza's CV accompanied by the followoing note (I don't know what year this was posted):

Dr Khidhir Hamza worked as a consultant for ISIS during 1997-1999. He provided a copy of his CV, reproduced below, as of 1997.
ISIS is making available the CV's or brief biographies of those individuals whose experiences are discussed in ISIS's project on understanding the lessons of export control case studies. Additional CV's will posted to the ISIS web site as they become available.
Dr. Hamza is no longer associated with ISIS, and we do not have any forwarding information about how to reach him.

In summary, these reports directly contradict Damian Lataan's allegation that ISIS tried to "concoct" anything about Iraq's nuclear weapons ambitions, or tried to make a case for war against Iraq in 2003. Indeed, many of these reports by ISIS cast doubt on the Bush Administration's assertions about Iraqi nuclear weapons programs in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion.

Even in 1991, ISIS had suggested that Pres GHW Bush's assertions that Iraq had been "months away" from a nuclear bomb were exaggerated. ISIS's Albright (at the time at the NGO Friends of the Earth) with co-author Mark Hibbs, said in a March 1991 article Iraq and the bomb: Were they even close?:

"a months-long investigation of the requirements any country would need to build nuclear weapons, and an assessment of Iraq's ability to meet those requirements, we conclude that Saddam Hussein was many years away from developing usable nuclear weapons.

Indeed, the Iraqi nuclear bomb-making capability was so primitive that the international sanctions put in place after the August 2 invasion may have had more substantive effect than the tons of bombs dropped by U.S. and allied planes five months later. 'There may be good reasons to go to war with Iraq,' one U.S. government official said before January 16, 'but Iraq's nuclear program isn't one of them.'

Note also my previous documentation of Israeli intel assessments of Saddam's WMD capabilities prior to the 2003 war, which said Iraq had no nuclear weapons, in their estimation.

So where does all this leave Damian Lataan's credibility?

I wouldn't mind correcting such misstatements so much if not for the fact that Damian is so quick to impugn other Webdiarists' "credibility" and even to accuse me of dishonesty. That personal attack got my attention, as you can all imagine. (His abusive style is also rather irritating.) But what I really wonder is how someone could be so careless as to post such blatant falsehoods in a forum where people can easily check up on them? It took only minutes for me to thoroughly debunk Damian's assertions. And I'm not an expert on neoconservatism, Iraq, Iran, WMD, etc., just an educated person who can read (contrary to popular belief not all Americans are illiterate).

The larger question is how Damian's pattern of false accusations can be reconciled with Webdiary's Code of Ethics. I use the word "pattern" advisedly: these are just the falsehoods I uncovered in the past week. Who knows how many more there are, and I don't have time to investigate them all. In the academic world I work in, Damian would have to retract the falsehoods or face disciplinary action. He has not retracted them, even when faced with evidence of their untruth, posted by me, from primary sources, including direct quotes. He has also not substantively challenged anything I have posted in refutation. It's possible I got something wrong - so correct me. Nor has he ever substantively refuted any of the earlier posts which triggered his attacks on my integrity.

As he has mentioned he is working on a thesis regarding neoconservatism, I can only hope his conduct here on Webdiary is not representative of his academic conduct. Thesis supervisors and examiners can read too.

So Webdiary Management, what now? What do I have to do to "restore honor?" Blogs at ten paces? Am I supposed to slap Damian in the face with a virtual glove (available at www.e-duel.com) and demand "satisfaction?" Is Webdiary "ethical" and "accountable" or not? Vigorous debate is one thing, but such abusive accusations surely must be inimical to building a virtual community where intelligent comment is welcome?

Hamish: I think that was a virtual slap you just gave Will. Forgive me, but I'm not in a position to check every assertion, or even to follow all the arguments in detail, so I still can not pass some final arbiter's judgement on the matters you raise. On the fuzzy boundaries between honest error and unethical conduct, I feel obliged to give a lot of benefit of the doubt, so it is really up to Webdiarists to make their judgements on contributors' respective credibility.

To everyone, I can say please. Please use restraint in your accusations. Please address people's arguments carefully, without impugning their character. Please ask your probing, critical questions without innuendo and sleight. Please make your own arguments clearly, with links and sources where possible, and with the everyday humility of a creature who is not God. Arrogance and self-certainty are such sure signs of mediocrity. Learn a lesson from Socrates and be aware that wisdom is in the realisation that we can really know nothing. Nothing is self-evident, and nobody is stupid for not knowing something, or thinking something else. We are all flawed, all trying in our own ways, all in but one moment of our journeys at a time, and all beautiful.

Still No Evidence Of Iran Bomb

There is still absolutely no evidence whatsoever that proves Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. All we have so far is a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ from the master appeaser of the Lying Tyrant Bush, El Baradei of the IAEA, and some ludicrous report from a bunch of ex-Israeli generals and intelligence ‘experts’ that some right-wing Israeli apologist expected us to believe was ‘evidence-based’, (no ‘evidence’ whatsoever in the report; just presumption, innuendo and inference) and ‘non-partisan’. (One of the authors, Ephraim Asculai, is an ex-member of the neoconservative Washington based think-tank organisation Institute of Science and International Security whose members were regularly supplying ‘evidence’ of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons to the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq).

On top of the garbage that’s being presented as ‘non-partisan evidence’, is the ‘Vulcans’ of the Bush administration and the neoconservatives push for war regardless. This piece in Yahoo News just about sums up the warmongering attitude of the US as voiced by Rice.

Still No Evidence Of Iran Bomb?

Damian Lataan says: "There is still absolutely no evidence whatsoever that proves Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. All we have so far is a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ from the master appeaser of the Lying Tyrant Bush, El Baradei of the IAEA, and some ludicrous report from a bunch of ex-Israeli generals and intelligence ‘experts’ that some right-wing Israeli apologist expected us to believe was ‘evidence-based’, (no ‘evidence’ whatsoever in the report; just presumption, innuendo and inference) and ‘non-partisan’. (One of the authors, Ephraim Asculai, is an ex-member of the neoconservative Washington based think-tank organisation Institute of Science and International Security whose members were regularly supplying ‘evidence’ of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons to the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq)."


So the Institute of Science and International Security is a neocon think tank, eh? Let's examine this one, shall we? I can find no links between ISIS Director David Albright (or any other ISIS staff) and anything even remotely "neoconservative" (Indeed the biographical sketch that link goes to is from Mother Jones magazine, an neocon rag if ever there was one!) He is on the Steering Committee of the Brookings Institution's (again - neocon? I don't think so) U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project along with Jon Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, another notorious neocon. In fact, Albright, as ISIS Director, went on record recently criticising a New York Times story for "repeatedly characteriz[ing] the contents of computer files as containing information about a nuclear warhead design when the information actually describes a re-entry vehicle for a missile.” The controversy, reported on Arms Control-oriented website armscontrolwonk.com, notes [The New York Times story] "made it sound like the US had proof Iran was designing a nuclear weapon, which it does not."


In other words Damian, ISIS Director Albright is, if anything, on your side of the Iran argument!


An assessment of possible Iranian nuclear capabilities, by Albright and fellow ISIS staffer Corey Hinderstein, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (another warmongering neo-con publication - right Damian?), was sceptical (as of the end of 2004) of US and Israeli intelligence estimates of how soon Iran would be able to build a nuclear bomb soon, but noted:


"Iran does not appear to have nuclear weapons and seems unlikely to be able to make them for at least several years. Nonetheless, the IAEA board of governors is correct to view the Iranian situation as urgent and to issue a firm demand that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and heavy-water reactor programs. Two years have passed since secret Iranian nuclear sites were first brought to public attention, and Iran appears unwilling to abandon its fissile material production programs. Iran has too often dictated the pace of diplomatic progress, giving the impression that it is playing for time. In the next one or two years, Iran could build up unstoppable institutional and public momentum to finish and operate its enrichment plant or a heavy-water reactor and outlast the current international diplomatic effort."


In this report they also review evidence for Iran's nuclear weapons potential. Much of the evidence is admittedly indirect, and not absolutely conclusive, but evidence nonetheless. For everyone who has demanded evidence in the Iran situation, start by reading the Albright and Hinderstein report. Once again I must ask you, Damian, don't you read the material you yourself cite as making your case?

Treaty Rights

The NPT confers "without discrimination" the right to enrich uranium for energy production. It will be interesting to see what legal basis exists for the IAEA board of governors to insist that Iran give up an inalienable right under the treaty.

The E3/EU appear to have been the ones playing the delaying game here. They entered negotiations with Iran on the basis of developing voluntary protocols to satisfy all parties that enrichment activities were for peaceful purposes only.

Instead, when finally pushed to present their proposals to Iran, the E3/EU position required Iran to abandon these activities altogether. Naturally, Iran refused this proposal - as is their right under the NPT.

The E3/EU position is untenable within the terms of the NPT. It is not possible to hold back the tide of knowledge. What really matters is verification and that must be the focus of renewed, good-faith negotiation IMO.

Anyway, so long as the Bush administration continues to advocate and actively plan for first-strike tactical nuclear war, and so long as their allies appease this lunacy, we have no moral right to accuse anybody of nuclear proliferation. We are up to our eyeballs in our own.

The Science of History. Ha Ha.

David Curry: "And I think you need to acknowledge the role German communists played in fighting fascism."

So, who's denying it?

My gripe is with those unctuous revisionists whose accounts of the politics of English appeasement selectively indict the Conservative Party for no better purpose than exculpate those many execrable dimwits, from George Lansbury to George Bernard Shaw, whose stupid policies would have virtually assured Nazi success in Europe were it not for the likes of Sir Robert Vansittart, Churchill and others.

Undoubtedly, many on the Left eventually came to see the futility and even stupidity of pacifism, for example Ernest Bevin.

And so did many conservatives see the futility of appeasement, such as Lord Halifax.

I have on a number of occasions here suggested that one of the chief weaknesses of the Left, and ironically also one of its chief strengths, is its relentness need to constantly rewrite its own history.

And chest thump endlessly about its own special virtue.

This serves to buttress its inexhustible self assuredness - but also guarantees that at any time it devotees seem never to learn anything much from their mistakes.

That's why people like Damian can believe the Left are "always correct".


C Parsons, you know your history, no doubt about it, but I wonder if it’s a fair claim that leftists (socialists, in the context of your posts) have never admitted their mistake in supporting Stalin. Phillip Adams, for one, has had his mea culpa moment. And I think you need to acknowledge the role German communists played in fighting fascism.  Thousands of them were either summarily shot or sent to concentration camps after Hitler got into power. The left/right divide is nowhere near as neat as you make it out to be.

On appeasement: the Bush Administration and various right-wing commentators made reference to the 1930s politics of appeasement as a large part of their justification for the invasion of Iraq. It was a spurious parallel.

Between a decade of crippling sanctions, enforced disarmament in the early 90s, the damage it sustained in the first Gulf War and the Iran-Iraq war before that, and with a good portion of its own country a no-fly zone for several years, Iraq was a sitting duck.

For Chrissakes, Iraq didn’t even have a functioning air force – its planes didn’t get off the ground. Like the first Gulf War, the invasion was a turkey shoot for the US and its allies. (To even call the first Gulf conflict a war is dubious, since ‘war’ assumes somebody actually shoots back).

Hitler, on the other hand, had one of the most formidable militaries the world has ever seen.

Yet we were told that to let Iraq be was akin to the appeasement of Hitler. That Saddam posed an imminent threat to the rest of the world.

The argument was a crock, as we now know.

CP, I share your concerns about the new Iranian leader. He’s one scary dude. Like most religious fundamentalists, he’s not going to be easy to reason with, to say the least.

However, after all the lies we were told before the invasion of Iraq you can’t blame people for being just a little bit sceptical about US propaganda.

Behind the latex mask

Michael Coleman: "So here's the challenge boys and girls. Would one of the war activists advocating action against Iran please point out a single scrap of evidence that Iran is currently in breach of any of its NPT or IAEA Safeguard obligations?"

Hello Michael. Could you point out anyone here advocating war against Iran?


There´s nothing in the Non-Proliferation Treaty itself to prevent Iran from enriching uranium - which Iran says is their right.

And Iran is free to pull out of the Treaty anytime it wants. For example, the precise moment they build a bomb.

It is International Atomic Energy Agency itself that is seeking assurances from Iran.

And none are forthcoming.

As Mohamed El Baradei explains:

"And if they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponization program along the way, they are really not very far - a few months - from a weapon. We need to revisit the treaty, because that margin of security is unacceptable. But specifically on Iran, the board is saying, "You have a right under the treaty to enrich uranium, but because of the lack of confidence in your program and because the IAEA has not yet given you a clean bill of health, you should not exercise that right. In a way, you have to go through a probation period, to build confidence again, before you can exercise your full rights."

So, you see Michael?

It's the threat to wipe another nation off the face of the earth, specifically Isarel, and the combined missile development programme, and the refusal to subject their enrichment programme to IAEA scrutiny that's the problem.


As I suspected, you have no evidence of any breach of the NPT by Iran.

You have agreed, the NPT specifically permits research into uranium enrichment. EL Baradei admits that Iran has "a right under the treaty to enrich uranium".

When asked if the IAEA has any indication that there is some other completely separate Iranian nuclear-weapons program, El Baradei says: "No, we don´t. But I won´t exclude that possibility."

No evidence, just speculation.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern refers to leaked National Intelligence Estimates:

The NIE concludes that Iran will not be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon until "early to mid-next decade." Linzer’s sources put the timeline closer to 2015.

I wonder why El Baradei said: "I´m making it very clear right now that I cannot extend the deadline, which is... March 6".

What's so important about March? It wouldn't have anything to do with the Iranian euro-denominated oil bourse due to start up in March, would it?

Of course, we don't see the US or the IAEA pushing to refer India or Pakistan or Israel to the Security Council for their blatant nuclear proliferation activities. Go figure.

Israel? Did you say Israel?

Michael Coleman: "As I suspected, you have no evidence of any breach of the NPT by Iran."

You cannot breach the Non Proliferation Treaty until you've actually made a bomb, Michael. As you are doubtless aware.

Iran is in breach of an undertaking it gave the EU member states in November 2004.

That's why it is being referred to the Security Council as I understand it.

(Gosh, golly?  What could it be about Iran, which recently threatened to wipe Israel off the map, that has suddenly endeared it so much to Michael Coleman, I wonder?)

Pants On Fire

C Parsons, the NPT is breached well before the construction of a bomb. It would be sufficient to find traces of enriched uranium that is concentrated beyond the purity required for power generation. Proof of the existence of a nuclear weapons program would do it too.

The Paris Agreement [pdf] of 15 November 2004 clearly states:

The E3/EU recognize that this suspension is a voluntary confidence building measure and not a legal obligation.

Currently, the Iranians have maintained the voluntary suspension on the production of enriched uranium. They have broken the seals on enrichment research facilities.

The most severe threat of nuclear proliferation comes from the USA. Its military are openly planning the use of first-strike tactical nuclear weapons. Combine that with a President who argues that his 'war powers' cannot be constrained by law and who is degenerate enough to permit torture while deluded enough to claim that God told him to attack Iraq and you have a much more concrete threat to world peace than Iran is today.

As for the snide innuendo that I wish to see Israel wiped off the map, it is a vile, cowardly lie, but no more than I expect from you. After all, you do have extensive form.

Evidence Anyone?

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to US Sen Henry Bellmon, R-Okla - ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

In his article What Noncompliance? Prather demolishes the lie that Iran is in breach of any binding agreement, let alone treaty obligation with respect to its nuclear programme.

So here's the challenge boys and girls. Would one of the war activists advocating action against Iran please point out a single scrap of evidence that Iran is currently in breach of any of its NPT or IAEA Safeguard obligations? Or, like Iraq, is evidence optional?

Revisionism to preserve the illusion of Left infallibility

Roger Fedyk: "I think that you are shabbily rewriting history with your connection of the "peace" movement and Hitler's rise to power. "

Oh, thanks for that Roger.

In October 1933, in response to Hitler's coming to power, George Lansbury, the pacifist UK Labour leader proclaimed that when elected to power that Labour 'would disband the Army and disarm the Air Force' and would 'abolish the whole dreadful equipment of war'.

Hitler was already in power then, Roger. can you believe it?

Lansbury was joined in this spineless, brainless policy by his deputies Clement Attlee and Stafford Cripps.

I highly recommend Ian Kerhsaw's recent book, Making Friends With Hitler, here reviewed by Warwick McFadyen of The Age.

To start your account of the politics of appeasement, as you do, with the actual invasion of France in 1940 suggests a certain willing forgetfulness on your part about the political events leading up to the war from 1933.

As McFadyen says, and as Kershaw so well documents;

"It was this hunger for peace at all costs that played such a large part in Britain's difficulties in dealing with Hitler, who was arming Germany to the teeth."

When it comes to "shabbily rewriting history ", nobody could be more ardent than the political Left of the English speaking world.

To put things mildly, if an upper class twit like Lord Londonderry - who as Secretary of State for Air under Ramsay McDonald's National Government developed the Hawker Hurricane, the Spitfire and Radar - can be regarded as a failure and an 'appeaser', then what of the spineless Left which denounced him over and over and over and over as a war monger?

Or if Neville Chamberlain, who actually declared war on Hitler, can be regarded as a failure and an appeaser, what then of, say,  George Lansbury who 'would disband the Army and disarm the Air Force'?

And of the Communist Party, which actually welcomed the Nazi-Soviet 'Non Aggression' Pact which laid the basis of the combined German-Russian invasion of Poland.?

The plain documented facts are, and Kershaw amply demonstrates this, nearly everyone in Britain gave the German dictator the benefit of the doubt, hoping that by appeasing whatever his latest demands were, this would placate him and thus ensure peace.

Nobody was keener on this than the Pacifist Left.

A major reason for appeasement was the relentless campaigning of the peace movement in the 1930s.

Even after the war started, a left wing action group comprising Labour peers, pacifists, internationalists and other prominent Left nitwits wanted to 'negotiate' with Hitler.

Everyone knows about the upper-class twits, like Lord Lothian, Lord Redesdale, the Astors and others who 'appeased' or 'sympathised' with the Nazis.

Because Left wing commentators and 'historians' never stop reminding us.

But what they completely (probably intentionally) omit from their account, of course, is the spinelessness and complicity of the Left in the exact same process.

Of those few in England who didn't compromise with Hitler was, of course, Londonderry's cousin, Winston Churchill.

That rabid old right-wing aristocrat war-monger, as he was always being described in those days.

I should point out, too, that the Soviet Union (unlike England) was allied to Czechoslovakia when the Germans invaded in 1938.

So, Chamberlain (who was under no obligation to Czechoslovakia) is routinely denounced as the 'guilty man' of Munich.

But oddly, Stalin is never mentioned at all?

Gee, I wonder why that is?

When Czechoslovakia was invaded, the Soviet Union did nothing - except ready itself to side with Hitler when he also began to move on Poland.

While all the time lying to the world about its intention to form an alliance with England.

Hooray for socialism.

After the invasion of Czechoslovakia, probably the only people in England still not readying for war with Hitler were the political Left.

That's why you hear virtually nothing of them in accounts of the time.

Perhaps the political Left in the English speaking world should have listened to its counterparts in Germany when Hitler was on the rise.

Instead of fawning over the brainless pacifist wing of the Labour party and other left groups.

The pacifist left in 1939 were guilty partners in appeasement as bad as, and in many cases worse than the most truculent Tory pro-German sympathisers.

Had Labour been in power in 1939, and this was their stated policy when Hitler came to power, England would have had no air force or army. None.


The main difference between the Left appeasers and the conservative appeasers is that the conservative appeasers eventually admitted they were wrong - but the left appeasers have been lying through their teeth about their role in it ever since.

You're welcome CP

You're welcome CP.

I think you are getting yourself lost in a blizzard of factoids that are basically irrelevant.

Firstly, Hitler never looked outward for support or "propaganda victories" in his whole sordid political career. He was unaffected by what the world or anyone thought of him. His one and only focus was on himself and his grand German supremacist plan. This plan had only one essential feature, Hitler as supreme dictator.

Second, you're trying to connect some supposed influence of people of the Left on what Hitler did is completely wrong and is an artefact of your unending "Left bad/Right good" chest thumping.

Perhaps you have overlooked that after WWI, the whole world was heartily sick of the mindlessness of war. Add to that, the fact that Britain was on the verge of bankruptcy and a whole generation of young men with the energy and economic potential to make a difference to the recovering nations, Germany included, had disappeared.

That's what prompted my use of "shabby".

Why don't you try again and this time let's see if you can write something without "Left" or "Right" in it.

I know. Let's abolish the RAAF in time for the Battle of Britain

Roger Fedyk:: "Firstly, Hitler never looked outward for support or "propaganda victories" in his whole sordid political career. He was unaffected by what the world or anyone thought of him."

Unfortunately for Ramsay McDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, they didn't have the same luxury.

They had to remain mindful of public opinion which, in England, was being constantly fed the lie, principally by the pacifist movement, that disarmament by the West would prevent war in Europe.

I have now drawn your attention to this twice, citing an authority of impeccable academic credentials and otherwise quoting the leader of the UK Labour Party in 1933 pledging to abolish the RAAF and the British Army.

I'm just not quite sure what else needs to be done!

And importantly in terms of the focus of this thread, the governments of the West in the 1930s also based their hopes for peace with Germany on the principle of collective security.

But then nobody was prepared to back that principle with force.- because that was unaccepatble to public opinion which was being hoodwinked by the peace movement.

Can you see the problem there, Roger? I'm not sure how more simply I can put it, so forgive me?

Pacifism and collective security - for you to go on pretending that these were in the 1930s the inventions of right wing conservatism requires a purblind willfulness that transcends the ridiculous.


Roger Fedyk: "Second, you're trying to connect some supposed influence of people of the Left on what Hitler did is completely wrong."

Just one more time. The Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939 was Hitler's immediate precondition for the invasion of Poland. He initially intended the invasion to take place the next day, but delayed a week hoping that England and France would offer him some additional concessions.

When they didn't, he and Stalin invaded Poland as agreed.

Stalin was the Soviet Premier at the time. I'm just not sure how much further Left it would have been possible to go then, can you?

Roger Fedyk: "Perhaps you have overlooked that after WWI, the whole world was heartily sick of the mindlessness of war."

Which explains the obvious appeal of the brainless pacifist and disarmament line constantly being peddled then by the peace movement.

(Hello? Am I the only one who can see the problem here?)

I'm sorry if my "factoids" get in the way of your beliefs here, Roger.

Perhaps take them up with your local Cadre for Culture & Information next time he's giving one of his PowerPoint presentations at Party headquarters on how Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill "caused" World War Two.

History revisited

C. Parsons: "By regularly denouncing England and its leading Conservative spokespersons, for example, as "war mongering", the Left-dominated "peace" movement of the 1930s handed the dictators of Germany and Italy easy propaganda victories, too."

I think you over-estimate the effect of the "propaganda victories". Hitler achieved far more by events such as his brief military incursion into France to which the French did not even bother to respond being safely ensconced behind the Maginot line fortresses. Hitler quite rightly concluded that the French had no stomach for war.

He achieved far more by making Chamberlain come to him, correctly concluding that that the British had no stomach for war and that Chamberlain was a weak leader.

"He recruited gullible sympathisers in the West to peddle his propaganda. They did, in spades." 

This sounds as if Hitler proactively looked for foreign supporters. On the contrary, a rabidly anti-Semitic collection of Americans, British and others gladly took on board Hitler's anti-semitism. In this they were encouraged not so much by Hitler but by the Hohenzollern supporters and the military/industrial/autocracy establishment. The monarchists and others were only too glad to do the necessary wheeling and dealing in the background because they were working on the mistaken assumption that Hitler could be controlled.

The Socialist Left within Germany, with its own connections to the "peace" movement, was bitterly oppposed to Hitler. 200,000 of them marched in the Lustgarten to protest Hindenberg's elevation of Hitler to Reich Chancellor. Had a senile and enfeebled Hindenburg not been manoeuvered by his son and Max von Papen into making that fateful decision, the Nazis, as so sharply noted by Goebbels in his personal diary, would have been kaputI think that you are shabbily rewriting history with your connection of the "peace" movement and Hitler's rise to power.

The Lies Of The Bush Appeasers...

Stuart Lord and the other extreme right-wing war mongering pundits at Webdiary may spin the causes of the Iraqi war as much as they like, the reality is: there were no WMDs in Iraq and Saddam was no longer a threat, and the Lying Tyrants Bush, Blair and Howard all knew that before they illegally and immorally invaded, occupied and plundered Iraq.


The UN knew it as well, which, of course, is why the US and the UK withdrew from asking the UN for sanction to invade – they knew they’d never get it. Most of the world could see right through their pathetic ploy and most of those that otherwise went along with it did so only to appease the US or were otherwise being bribed/blackmailed by the US 


Exactly the same moves are being undertaken right now against Iran – and the dumb and gullible are falling for it all over again. The UN did not appease the megalomanic lunatic Bush last time and it will not again if it has any sense. Bush, Blair and Howard, like Hitler before them who ignored and withdrew from the League of Nations, ignore the findings and judgements of the United Nations.   


Hundreds of thousands have since died in Bush’s pursuit of world hegemony in Iraq and Afghanistan. How many more have to die before we are rid of these lunatics?

Megalomaniacs for our time

Alga Kavanagh: "The US will attack Iran in the not to distant future, they have to control oil or the US will collapse within three years."

I doubt it. Not on any scale, anyway.

Iran is a major Chinese asset - and is strategically important to Russia, too.

Iran is an important source of oil for China.

It is this strategic fact which has emboldened Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to take a feather from North Korea's cap and play the nuclear card.

What's worrying for everyone is that, unlike North Korea, Ahmadinejad has no need to extract resources from the world community to stay alive.

Iran has plenty of resources of its own.

So, is Ahmadinejad just a maniac with delusions of grandeur? Does he really think he's an instrument of Gad set on earth to punish the Infidel.


If so, it would explain why the Left is so keen to defend him. They love that sort of thing.

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