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Uncle Sam may soon come knocking

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Uncle Sam may soon come knocking

Postby insan » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:13 pm

Feb. 5, 2005. 01:00 AM




Uncle Sam may soon come knocking

THOMAS WALKOM

Iraq's election is rekindling a bitter debate in this country over George W. Bush.

"Bush was right," Toronto Star columnist Richard Gwyn wrote following the Sunday vote in which millions of Iraqis came out to cast ballots.

In the Globe and Mail, commentator Marcus Gee called the vote a triumph for the U.S. president, while National Post columnist and former White House speechwriter David Frum wrote the election turnout proves that most Iraqis have endorsed Bush's rationale for invading their country in the first place.

From the other side, Bush's critics are shooting back. This newspaper's Antonia Zerbisias noted that during the Vietnam War, the U.S.-backed Saigon government also enjoyed large election turnouts.

Toronto Star columnist Haroon Siddiqui asked if the vote was worth the lives of the thousands killed since Bush's invasion.

These are all interesting arguments. But for Canada, the more fundamental question is not whether Bush was right to depose a dictator but where the Iraq conflict will lead.

Bush's Iraq adventure is unusually open-ended. In some ways, it resembles Napoleon Bonaparte's 19th-century wars. Those, too, while based on geo-political self-interest, were laced with the rhetoric of liberty.

What's intriguing about the Napoleonic Wars is that this rhetoric did have effects, albeit ones the French conquerors could not foresee.

Napoleon did shake up Europe. Despots did fall. Long after France was beaten back to her original frontiers, Europe seethed and bubbled as borders shifted and competing ideologies — from communism to the most odious forms of ethnic nationalism — vied with one another.

Who can tell where Bush's war will lead? But for Canada, three things are worth watching.

First, the Kurds. Bush says a democratic Iraq will act as a beacon to other nations in the region. That's possible. More likely is that Iraq, itself an artificial construct created after World War I by the British, will fracture — with Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis going their own ways.

The establishment of a full-fledged Kurdish state in northern Iraq would throw the world's most important oil producing region into turmoil as Turkey, Syria and Iran try to keep their Kurdish minorities in line.

Second, the U.S. economy. The Iraq war now costs Washington $1 billion (U.S.) a week. The government deficit is $413 billion (U.S.) and climbing. The country suffers from a massive trade imbalance.

Its books are kept in balance only by the willingness of foreigners to hold U.S. dollars. But, as the currency gyrations of recent weeks indicate, foreigners are reaching the limit of their patience.

Nations are rarely able to finance wars and keep domestic consumers happy. Bush is attempting to do both and cut taxes. Something will have to give. When it does, Canada will not escape unscathed.

Third, military manpower. Bush's generals talk of a 10-year war. Yet, recruitment for their all-volunteer army is down. Who will do the fighting?

Bush could reinstitute the draft. But it was the draft that turned Americans against the Vietnam War 35 years ago. Neither he nor his generals want a replay.

That leaves only one option. The Americans will have to find others to fight their wars. The so-called coalition of the willing against Iraq (which included unlikely countries such as Kazakhstan and the Marshall Islands) was a crude attempt to do this. But it failed. As soon as the fighting got rough, coalition allies started bringing their troops home.

If this war does drag on for 10 years, the U.S. may no longer just ask its friends to provide troops. It may demand they do so.

If so, let's hope the Kazakhs and Marshall Islanders are hankering to fight. Otherwise, the Americans may come knocking — more determinedly — on our door. When aroused, they are difficult to deny.
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Postby brother » Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:52 pm

This post made more sense than i wished it would.
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Postby insan » Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:15 am

Iran 'to retaliate if US attacks'

The US believes Iran is years away from developing nuclear arms
Iran's top nuclear negotiator says Iran will retaliate and accelerate its efforts to develop nuclear technology if attacked by the US or Israel.
Hassan Rohani told Reuters news agency there was nothing the West could do that would persuade Tehran to scrap its nuclear programme.

Both the US and Israel have said it would be unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear programme will be used to generate electricity.

The US has refused to rule out a military strike on Iran, but has said it will try to resolve the dispute by diplomatic means.

Enrichment activities

Mr Rohani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Iran's ability to produce its own nuclear parts had made it "invulnerable" to attack since it could simply rebuild whatever was destroyed.

"If such an attack takes place then of course we will retaliate and we will definitely accelerate our activities to complete our fuel cycle and make nuclear fuel," he said.


Uranium enrichment is Iran's right

Hassan Rohani
Iranian nuclear negotiator

"But I do not think the United States itself will take such a risk," he added. "They know our capabilities for retaliating against such attacks."

Mr Rohani said that not even the offer of lifting US sanctions or security guarantees from Washington would be enough to make Iran abandon its enrichment programme.

"Uranium enrichment is Iran's right," he said.

Iran has agreed to suspend all its enrichment activities during negotiations with Britain, France and Germany.

The US is not taking part in negotiations, and wants Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

The European countries would like to use a package of incentives to induce Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions, but Tehran has said it is disappointed with what is on offer so far.

It says it can only continue talks for a matter of months, not years.

Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear power, but the technology behind it can also be used to develop weapons-grade nuclear material.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4241527.stm
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Postby insan » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:25 pm

Iran nuclear talks enter crucial phase

Tehran, Iran



07 February 2005 12:03

Negotiations with the European Union on Iran's nuclear programme are entering a crucial phase but Tehran will continue to reject calls for it to abandon sensitive fuel-cycle work, Iranian officials said on Monday.

"This week's negotiations with the Europeans are the most important part of the nuclear negotiations," Iran's Vice-President and atomic energy head Gholamreza Aghazadeh told state television.

"The conclusion of three months of nuclear negotiations is close, and the Europeans this week should more clearly tell us their plans," he added. "We are expecting the negotiations to be serious and meaningful."

Iran agreed in November with Britain, France and Germany to suspend all uranium-enrichment-related activities in return for talks on trade, security and technological bonuses for the Islamic Republic.

The Iran-EU talks began in Brussels in December, moved to Geneva in January and are to resume on Tuesday in Geneva, diplomats said.

But there is a risk of deadlock, with EU negotiators demanding Iran totally dismantle its nuclear fuel programme, including enrichment, as "objective guarantees" that it does not seek atomic weapons.

Sirus Naseri, a member of Iran's nuclear negotiations strategy committee, said Iran will not bow to such a demand.

Enrichment is a key process that can make fuel for nuclear reactors as well as the explosive cores of atomic bombs.

http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?ar ... eid=196988
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Postby insan » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:31 pm

FRIDAY 11/02/2005 17:11:57
EU chiefs urged to take tougher stance on Iran

European Union chiefs were today urged to adopt a tougher stance with Iran over any move to acquire nuclear weapons.

Democratic Unionist Jim Allister issued the call after MEPs were briefed by a critic of the Tehran regime, the President elect of the National Council of Resistance in Iran, Maryam Rajavi.

In a hard hitting statement Mr Allister said: "Iran is a dictatorial theocracy, in which freedom of speech and human rights are trampled over on a daily basis.


Jim Allister

"With its advanced nuclear programme, it poses a danger to the peace and well-being of the world, and yet, only last year, the British, French and German governments negotiated a treaty with the Mullahs that allows the continuance of "non-threatening" nuclear research. This is utmost folly.


http://www.utvinternet.ie/newsroom/inde ... n&id=56596
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Postby insan » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:35 pm

Iran sees atomic deal with EU
Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:38 AM GMT

By Christian Oliver
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is optimistic it can reach a deal on its disputed atomic programme with three European states, avoiding the U.N. Security Council where it cannot count on strong support.

Washington insists Iran's nuclear fuel is intended for warheads whereas Tehran contends it is for power stations.

France, Germany and Britain, leading negotiations on behalf of the European Union, have been encouraging Iran to drop its fuel programme in return for economic incentives.

Senior nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian was quoted on state television on Saturday as saying the European stance was encouraging.

"The three EU countries appeared more serious in this round of negotiations compared with before and progress is being made," he said of talks that took place in Geneva this week.

"If the Europeans continue this seriously in the next two rounds, talks will continue and there is a possibility of an agreement after three months," he was quoted as saying.

Iran has said previously it will only stay committed to the EU talks if it feels progress has been made in the three months from when they began in mid-December.

As a goodwill gesture, Iran has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, a key part of producing nuclear fuel, for as long as the talks go on.

Iran is adamant it will never permanently end fuel production and is seeking to solve the nuclear impasse by promising stronger guarantees that it will never seek arms.

Mousavian said details of the bargaining remained secret.

FEW ALLIES ON SECURITY COUNCIL

Hassan Rohani, Secretary General of the Supreme National Security Council, said that if the talks with the EU trio failed, the issue would be transferred to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

"But if Iran's case is referred to the council, the probability of those countries using their veto right is very low," he was quoted as saying in the Hamshahri daily.

His remarks contrasted with those of other Iranian officials who have said Tehran, which has cultivated ties with permanent members Russia and China, need not fear referral to the council.

Russia is helping build Iran's nuclear power plants and shares technology on the Islamic Republic's satellite programme.

China's booming economy takes 14 percent of its oil imports from Iran, OPEC's second biggest producer.

But Rohani held out little hope that major powers would back Iran against Washington's wishes in the Security Council.

"The Russians, Germans and French acted against the United States over Iraq and did not let the case be discussed at the Security Council. But today, all three are trying to get close to America," he told a gathering of students.

Rohani, Iran's chief negotiator in the EU talks, is tipped as a presidential hopeful in June's election, although he has not announced his candidacy.

Analysts say his chances depend on whether he manages to strike a deal with the Europeans and avoid referral to the Security Council.



http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jh ... /worldNews
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:37 am

Why Iran Will Go Nuclear
The fact that eight or nine countries have nukes creates an irresistible incentive for others to join the club



Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005
North Korea has unexpectedly declared itself a nuclear state — although the fact that they have made the announcement verbally rather than through the more traditional route of actually testing a bomb leaves room for a measure of skepticism over just how nuclear they are. Still, the move signals the failure of the Bush administration's six-party talks strategy; Pyongyang is now restating its longstanding demand for one-on-one dialog with Washington, and the U.S. will likely find that South Korea, China and Russia all endorse this call for the administration to drop its aversion to talking directly to the regime of Kim Jong-Il. Hardliners in Washington are claiming vindication, arguing that the North's announcement shows that talking to the regime does nothing to deter it from the nuclear path. They may be right, although China and South Korea may be inclined to read the latest North Korean announcement as simply a new game of brinkmanship designed to push Pyongyang to the top of Washington's foreign policy concerns.

The hawks in Washington can point to the fact that the North pursued its weapons program in secret even when it was committed to a deal with the Clinton administration as evidence that Kim Jong-Il is engaged in a game of deception designed to buy time, win concessions and go nuclear anyway. The hardliners have a tougher time, however, selling their own remedy, which involves tightening the economic noose around North Korea in the hope of forcing the collapse of its regime. Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld noted Thursday that "I don't think that anyone would characterize the leadership in that country as being restrained," which would suggest that if it does, in fact, have nuclear weapons and has repeatedly used blackmail and brinkmanship as instruments of foreign policy, then trying to slowly starve it to death may not the most rational course of action. And initiating a direct military confrontation remains almost unthinkable, not only because analysts estimate it could cost up to one million lives but also because the government of South Korea would be adamantly opposed.

North Korea's nuclear announcement certainly blindsided Washington, which had hoped to restart the six-party talks next month. U.S. attentions were elsewhere, most notably on stopping Iran from doing what North Korea claims to have done. Frankly, the administration's chances of stopping Iran from joining the expanding club of nuclear-armed states may not be much better than its prospects of holding back North Korea.

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/karo ... 46,00.html
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:38 am

Iran says EU 'more serious' in nuclear talks but differences remain

Sat Feb 12, 2:32 PM ET Mideast - AFP



TEHRAN (AFP) - EU negotiators showed themselves to be more serious in the latest round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program but considerable differences remain, Tehran's senior negotiator said.


AFP/File Photo



"This time the European side was more serious. That's why we consider the negotiations process more positive," Hossein Moussavian told state television.


"Both sides have begun practical talks, but there are still considerable differences between what we are demanding and the European position," he added.


"The Iranian delegation made it known to the Europeans that if the talks proceed with the same seriousness, cooperation is likely to continue beyond the initial three months," he said.


Britain, France and Germany are trying to convince Iran to dismantle an enrichment program the United States says is part of a covert atomic weapons development, in return for economic and political rewards.


Moussavian told state radio that the most taxing part of the talks was the guarantees demanded by the EU powers that Iran will not manipulate its fuel cycle in order to develop nuclear weapons.


"The most difficult part of the nuclear negotiations is the objective guarantees to ensure that Iran's fuel cycle does not deviate towards making an atomic bomb," Mousavian told state radio.


"There is a possibility that Iran reach an agreement with the Europeans, though the opposite could also happen," he added.


Tehran insists its talks with the European Union (news - web sites), represented by Britain, France and Germany, and which began in mid-December, must have concrete results within three months if they are to continue.


Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, warned that if no deal was reached and the case referred to the UN Security Council, as demanded by the United States, Tehran could not bank on avoiding sanctions, newspapers said.


"If Iran does not reach an agreement with the Europeans on the nuclear issue, Iran's case will be referred to the Security Council, where it is unlikely one of the permanent members would use their veto in favor of Iran," he was quoted as saying.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... 0212193215
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:39 am

Iran churns torpedoes as atomic threats fly
Web posted at: 2/13/2005 2:33:4
Source ::: REUTERS
TEHRAN: Iran yesterday started churning out a production line of torpedoes as pressure mounts against the Islamic Republic, which Washington accuses of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, state media reported.

Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, in naval uniform, was shown on state television inspecting some 20 torpedoes, mainly painted red with black tips. “Even if a radar spots it, there is no escape from the inevitable fate,” he said, watching the propeller of one of the weapons being tested in a water tank.

Defence officials told the official Irna news agency that the weapons could be installed on helicopters, submarines and surface ships. Iran’s navy is known to have at least two Russian-made submarines but military analysts say the rickety vessels are unlikely to be suitable for much apart from laying mines.

The navy said recently that it also had a domestically produced midget submarine. A war of words between Tehran and Washington has escalated in recent days, with Iran warning the United States against a possible attack on its nuclear facilities, which it says are for peaceful power production.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Displa ... 132334.xml
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:16 pm

Iran rejects demand to stop building reactor
Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran rejected a European demand to stop building a heavy water nuclear reactor in return for a light-water reactor Sunday, hardening Iran's position on a key part of its nuclear facilities that critics claim is part of a weapons program.

Iran has given indications in the past that it will insist on keeping its heavy water nuclear reactor, but Sunday's announcement is its clearest statement yet of its nuclear plans. It underscored the unresolved differences between Iranian and European negotiators, who are continuing their talks over Iran's nuclear program even as the United States escalates its criticism of Iran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also said Iran plans to become a major nuclear fuel supplier in 15 years, part of a program that Iran says is for peaceful domestic energy purposes.

"We intend to turn into an important and a major player in the nuclear fuel supply market in the next 15 years because there will be (an) energy shortage in the future," Asefi said.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... ?hub=World
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