Petri dish art by Klari Reis [Please have a look at her site. She has 365 of these things!]
1. Israel and the IAEA Iran inspectors
In this corner we have Israel who has been threatening Iran for about 5 years now and appears to be chomping at the bit to slug it out. And in this corner we have Iran, who has been thumbing its nose at the Israeli threats and beefing up its missile systems and responding with very vague threats about the disaster that will result if it is attacked. We’ve heard that line before. Think Saddam. Think Gadaffi. But sooner or later the bell’s gonna’ ring and the Israel-Iran fight will be all on. I mean, Israel is too far into this threats thing to simply say, “OK, never mind.” And no matter what concessions Iran makes about granting access to Prachin they won’t be enough to appease Obama b/c what the west really wants is a reason to attack Iran. So the first blow is coming sooner or later. When and by whom are anybody’s guess. According to the MSM idiot know-nothings it’s gonna’ be Israel throwing the first blow, and soon. Link
But not so fast. There have been two very interesting views expressed at the Arms Control Wonk recently. Here is a link to Dr. Jeffrey Lewis’ post Ayatolloah’s Pregnant Pause , which links to Lewis’ Foreign Policy article of the same name. Both pieces are worthwhile, but particularly the FP piece. Lewis tries to separate hype from fact with respect to the US’s intelligence on Iran, particularly the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which has become something of a legend in and of itself. Lewis seems to conclude that the recent Israeli hype that the US has new evidence of an Iranian nuke is probably bs, and that the conclusions of the 2007 NIE that Iran does not have the capability to build or deploy a nuke probably still hold up.
The second helpful article at Arms Control Wonk is Mark Hibbs’ Aug20 piece. Although Hibbs’ bio is not provided on the website, he obviously has experience with the IAEA inspection procedures and protocols, and he raises a very interesting point: The IAEA has inspectors in Iran 24/7/365. If Israel lets fly with a preemptive attack, as they have been warning they will do soon, what moral or legal obligations do they have to give the IAEA enough of a warning so that it can get its people out of harm’s way? Even if those inspectors are not hit by Israel’s attack, they would be very unlikely to ever get out of the country while the ensuing war was on and would likely end up hostages, if not worse.
But does Israel care? Those IAEA inspectors are not Israelis. Israel is not part of the NPT and is not a member of IAEA. And once 50 IAEA inspectors suddenly pack up and leave, Ahmadinejad is going to know the attack is on. Is Israel going to alert the Iranians that the jets are on the way in order to save a few UN people?
If history is any judge, the IAEA people are likely toast. Most of the people who participate on the Arms Control Wonk site are high-powered and very knowledgeable. One of the commentors, Robert Kelley, was an IAEA inspector in Iraq in 1993 when Clinton threw a cruise missile at Baghdad. No warning was provided to IAEA. Kelley woke up to the sound of the cruise missiles blowing up near by. At least he woke up; many civilians who were killed never did.
I keep wondering why Iran stays in the NPT and why it doesn’t just bail out and tell the IAEA to go to hell. Maybe Hibbs has the answer. Maybe Iran is counting on the IAEA workers to be the canary in the mine.
2. Feds stockpiling hollow-points
If you need another reason to lay awake at night, here it is. On Aug15 Paul Joseph Watson alerted us to a very scary fact: the Social Security System is stockpiling deadly ammo. So is National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In March Homeland Security bought 450 million rounds. These are not target bullets. These are hollow point rounds that are meant for one thing and one thing only: to kill humans. The Geneva Convention does not even allow hollow point rounds to be used in combat. This is quite alarming if the story is true. Well, the feds have pretty well admitted it.
On Aug21 Anthony Martin observed that the fed’s reason for buying all this ammo is a lot more disturbing than it is reassuring. The feds say all these agencies are getting hundreds of millions of hollow point bullets “to train security agents.” What bullshit. First of all, one doesn’t train with hollow point rounds. That is just insanity. There is no point in using a round that costs 10x what the normal target round costs and that can blow a brick to smithereens just to hit a paper target.
Second is the sheer volume of rounds. In all, since March this year more than 1.5 billion rounds have been ordered for these domestic agencies. That is “billion” as in 1000 times a million. That’s 20x more rounds than the entire US military used per year during the height of the Iraq War. With that number of “training rounds” you can shoot 171,000 rounds per hour every hour of every day for a year, not counting time for changing the clips or cooling the barrels. That’s almost 3000 rounds per minute. By comparison an M16 will fire at a sustained rate of 15 rounds per minute. So the US has bought enough deadly hollow point ammo for almost 200 Social Security security guards to fire at paper targets constantly for a solid year — day and night, non-stop, no lunch breaks, no dinner breaks, no time off to watch the Super Bowl.
But the more chilling comparison is provided by Maj Gen Jerry Curry who was interviewed by Martin. Curry says the US agencies have ordered enough deadly hollow point rounds to put 5 of them into every man, woman, and child in the country.
Does this have anything to do with the way Texas nothing-between-the-ears judge Tom Head is advocating for civil war if Obama is re-elected? Or, perhaps it’s a run up to the global Armageddon that a lot of people think is just around the corner, particularly if Israel ignites a nuclear war. Also of note, and perhaps relevant, is the fact that Israel is building bomb shelters like there is no tomorrow. So maybe the world really is just finally coming unhinged . . . Mayans or whatever.
3. More HuffPo sexism
Let me end on a lighter note. I hate to keep ragging on HuffPo, but they leave me little alternative. It’s a moral duty of LogoPhere to call out this stuff in the blogosphere. If you watch closely enough you can see what a pack of sexist, pedophile, loose sex-mongers they are over at HuffPo. OK, OK, they’re left wing-nuts so you expect a lot of immorality, but you also expect a proper amount of political correctness, too. Nope, that’s just for the other guy. Here is an example. Note that it’s the “anchorMAN” and the “weatherGIRL.” Wonder what the girl thinks about that insult. . .