Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: THE REIGN OF GEORGE BUSH MUST END!

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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Like an Alcoholic; This Nation Is On The Way To The Bottom,
And We Know
What The Road Back To The Restoration Of This Nation Will Be Like, Whether Anyone
Is Willing
To Step Out
Of Their
Fog Of
Or Not!




Published: October 22, 2007

LANDSDOWNE, Va., Oct. 21 — Vice President
Dick Cheney issued a pointed warning to Iran on Sunday, calling the government in Tehran “a growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East” and promising “serious consequences” if the government there does not abandon its nuclear program.

The remarks, just days after President Bush suggested that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III,” amounted to Part II of a one-two punch from the administration at a moment when it is trying to persuade its allies in Europe to impose stiffer sanctions on Tehran. Those efforts grew more complicated on Saturday when Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator resigned on the eve of crucial talks with Europe.

“The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences,” Mr. Cheney said, without specifying what those might be. “The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Mr. Cheney delivered his warnings during a wide-ranging foreign policy speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a research organization. During the 35-minute talk, he also took aim at Syria, accusing Damascus of using “bribery and intimidation” to influence the coming elections in Lebanon, and he presented the case for the administration’s muscular approach to investigating suspected terrorists.

But Mr. Cheney reserved his harshest language for Iran. Calling it “the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism,” he said, “our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions.”

That language is not radically different from what Mr. Cheney has used in the past. But people at the conference said that, placed in the context of Mr. Bush’s remarks, it represented a significant step toward increasing pressure on Iran. The speech seemed to lay the groundwork for the threat of military action — either because the administration actually intends to use force or because it wants to use the threat of force to prod Europe into action.

“This week we heard a significant ratcheting up of the rhetoric,” said
Dennis Ross, who served as a Middle East envoy for President Clinton and the first President Bush and is now a scholar at the Washington Institute. Repeating Mr. Cheney’s remark about serious consequences, he said those were “strong words” with “serious implications.”

Mr. Bush has repeatedly said the administration would not “tolerate” a nuclear-armed Iran. But during a news conference on Wednesday, the president went further, saying of Iran: “If you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

That distinction — having the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon, as opposed to actually having a weapon — is one the administration has not made in the past. David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute who moderated a panel discussion before and after Mr. Cheney’s speech, said the vice president also seemed to draw a new red line when, instead of saying it is “not acceptable” for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, he said the world “will not allow” it.
“The first is a condition,” Mr. Makovsky said. “The second is a commitment.”

In an interview on Friday, the new chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, made it clear that he thought immediate attacks inside Iran would be a bad idea, while warning Tehran not to “mistake restraint for lack of commitment or lack of concern or lack of capability.”

United Nations Security Council has already imposed sanctions on Iran and called on the government in Tehran to abandon its program to enrich uranium, and Iran has defied those sanctions. Now the United States is beginning to examine even tougher economic penalties, including a far broader cutoff of bank lending and technology to Iran than in the past.

Since 2005, Iran has taken a two-pronged approach toward the West, allowing its chief negotiator, Ali Larijani, to engage in talks with Europe and the
International Atomic Energy Agency while the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says there is no room to negotiate. Mr. Larijani has been viewed as more moderate than Mr. Ahmadinejad. Mr. Larijani resigned Saturday and is being replaced by more of a hard-liner.

The Bush administration, for its part, seems to be making an appeal directly to the Iranian people in the hope that they will rise up against the Ahmadinejad government. The White House wants to avoid any perception that it would use military force to bring about a change in government but has made clear that it would be only too happy if the Iranians brought it about themselves.

Mr. Bush said Wednesday that he intended to continue to pursue a policy of isolating Iran with the hope that “at some point in time, somebody else shows up and says it’s not worth the isolation.”

Mr. Cheney echoed that theme. “The spirit of freedom is stirring in Iran,” he said, adding, “America looks forward to the day when Iranians reclaim their destiny, the day that our two countries, as free and democratic nations, can be the closest of friends.”

Cheney added that Iran's attempts to secure technology with the aim of building nuclear weapons are obvious, and the U.S. and other countries are prepared to take action -- although he didn't specify whether that meant military action.

"We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon,'' he said.

On Saturday, Gen. Mahmoud Chaharbaghi, a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, said his country could fire 11,000 rockets in a single minute if attacked.

"Enemy bases and positions have been identified. ... The Guards ground force will fire 11,000 rockets into identified enemy positions within the first minute of any aggression against the Iranian territory," he told state-run television.

He did not give details on which enemy positions he was referring to, but it was widely assumed the commander meant nearby U.S. military installations and Israel.

The U.S. has 40,000 troops in various Persian Gulf countries, and another 20,000 stations in Mideast waters, according to The Associated Press.

A further 160,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq and 25,000 in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Ephraim Sneh, a former senior Israeli defence official, said Israel's vulnerability to a rocket attack should not be understated.

"They already have the long-range ballistic missiles to deliver a nuclear bomb, and in a couple of years they might have it," he said.

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran has maintained its program is only for peaceful purposes, like generating energy.

Earlier this month, Israeli jets attacked a target deep within Syrian territory. Israel claimed it had struck a suspected nuclear facility built with the support of Iran and North Korea.

But Syria alleges Israel only bombed an empty building, and officials took reporters to the site.

Iran is sending officials to Rome on Tuesday to attend talks with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, to discuss its nuclear program.

One of those officials is Ali Larijani, who resigned as Iran's top nuclear negotiator. His successor, Saeed Jalili, will also attend.

"Based on the supreme leader's and president's suggestion, Mr. Larijani, alongside Mr. Jalili, will attend the negotiation with Solana on Tuesday," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

AFP The Associated Press all 569 news articles »

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