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Experts Call for a Change in Military Posture Toward Iran

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Iran has made some bold statements to the effect that if sanctions against that nation continue, action may be taken; they particularly emphasize the possibility of closing the shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz by force. Iranian naval commander Habibollah Hayyari brags that closing the Persian Gulf to oil tankers, thereby disrupting the flow of Middle East oil to world markets, would be as difficult as drinking a glass of water.
Iran is seen by the world as a nuclear threat, combining missile technology with nuclear payload on their Shahab 3 missiles. The United States and world body law enforcers have already imposed strict sanctions, and are in the process of going further, even to the extent of targeting the Iranian central bank. Congress has approved such sanctions, and implementation awaits President Obama’s signature. Concurrently, European officials are considering a ban on import of Iranian oil. That ban would reduce the Iranian supply of oil to the world by about one third.

Iran’s vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, repeated the threat that the Strait of Hormuz would be closed if sanctions persist. New reports hasten to add that no further military threats have been made.

Businessweek, through Ali Nader of RAND Corp, points out that closing the strategic waterway might hurt Iran more than any other nation. Iran is more reliant than any other country on the Strait of Hormuz.

In March of 2011, Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Army Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess said to Congress that Iran was expanding naval bases in the Persian Gulf, and expressed a belief that they would be able to close the shipping lanes at least temporarily. A Center for Strategic and International Studies expert, Anthony Cordsman, predicted that closing the strait would be the beginning of a five to ten year period of rising tension in the gulf. Cordsman said that such moves by Iran would call for a United States change in military posture, and for increased attention in the Pacific.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • sharon a

    I agree that closing the Strait of Hormuz will hurt Iran the most since Saudi Arabia has the East West pipeline to Yanbu..

    Further, I don’t see how Iran could sustain a long period with the Straits closed. since they are currently importing gasoline for lack of refinery capacity and the Iranians are on gas rationing.

    My concern is that if Iran is attacked, they will in turn bomb Abqaiq which is the home of the Gahwar fields and a terminal for oil coming out of Shabah.

    Seems to me that the whole world is being held hostage by the fear that Iran might get a nuclear weapon and might arbitrarily attack Israel.

  • John Lake

    The world has great concern over the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power, with nuclear tipped missiles.

  • GetReal

    So many words written about Iranian nuclear weapons, well where are these clandestine enrichment and weapon fabrication plants? Neither US nor any other country has been able to back up their allegations after all the surveillance or espionage work? Well if it you can’t find it, it is because it is not there. So who is all this war war talk benefitting; answer: $30bn arms contract for Boeing. Stop blowing smoke up our backsides and end this belligerent facade.

  • John Lake

    Governments tell their people what they want them to believe. When I wrote about the Japanese Tsunami, a man in Japan argued that most of what all Americans were reading and seeing wasn’t true. That surprised me.
    I imagine I could be wrong. Maybe the American government is fabricating the Iranian Nuclear threat. Maybe Ahmadinejad didn’t threaten to blow Israel off the face of the globe. But I have written that America is lucky to have a media in which we can believe. So, I believe that Iran is combining missiles with nuclear warheads, in violation of morality, and international law.

  • Igor

    John, I’m curious about what your Japanese correspondent had to say, since it became obvious quickly that the japanese government was lying to their citizens. In what particular way was the US government lying? By minimizing, as in Japan?

  • John Lake

    The article I referred to was a controversial piece I wrote in March of 2011 about the damage to the nuclear plants, and the potential for some low level explosions that would release radioactive clouds that could spread and do vast damage. The paragraph in question was:

    The world is well aware that on March 11, 2011, Japan was shaken to its foundations by an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude. Following the earthquake, a tsunami battered the island. The loss of life has been beyond comprehension. Japan is home to several nuclear power generating plants; these plants were so damaged by the quake as to be irreparable. Even today workers are laboring to prevent further damage to the island and beyond, that may be caused by deadly radiation pouring from the ruins of the nuclear plants. The efforts to contain the hazardous clouds of smoke and gasses are hampered by radiation already omnipresent. The workers may be forced to give up the effort, because of the threat to their lives. Now, another concern has arisen. …

    A reader who used the name “staying alive” wrote a skeptical reply. I surmised that he might be a resident of the Island, or have friends or relatives there. He wrote:
    5 – staying alive
    Mar 19, 2011 at 3:16 am
    “these plants were so damaged by the quake as to be irreparable”
    once i got to this line, i stopped reading any further.
    I suppose the author isn’t a nuclear expert / physicist / seismologist.
    Sorry, FUD is not needed at times like this. thank you.

  • John Lake

    NB:
    FUD fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

  • Igor

    Thanks, John. I was hoping there was something more illuminating.

    In fact, of course, your original article was correct, the reactors were damaged beyond repair.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    John, you write: “…America is lucky to have a media in which we can believe. So, I believe that Iran is combining missiles with nuclear warheads, in violation of morality, and international law.”

    No disrespect meant, John, but you may need to consider replacing the word “lucky” with the phrase “sufficiently gullible.”

    This from “Chain Reaction: How the media has misread the IEAE’s report on Iran”,
    published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

    “When, earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report on Iran’s nuclear program, several media agencies and politicians walked away with two messages: that the Vienna-based agency now refutes past estimates of the US intelligence community, and that Iran is now making a break for the bomb. Both representations are false. Yet these assertions have been repeated often enough to give them traction with the public and Congress…

    …Washington talks a lot, but does not read very much. That is the simplest way to explain why commentators overlook the consistency between the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran and the latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program…

    …Pundits and politicians who use the latest IAEA report to attack the 2007 NIE are distorting the information, at best — and, at worst, are playing politics with national security.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Another profitable exercise would be to replace the “n” in Iran with a “q”, and find some interesting parallels in recent history. An embargo whose murderous effect on half a million children went almost completely unreported in the US press. Check. Reports of reports of reports of weapons of mass destruction. Check. Which were considered by many to be sufficient grounds for a preemptive strike. Check.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No disrespect intended either, but since Irene made that comment, I may as well piggyback.

    It’s just a thought that according to some, it serves US interests to maintain a hostile stance vis-a-vis Iran, especially that we’ve been expelled from Iraq and our Afghanistan engagement is nearly over.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Hi Roger. Well I hope John’s not feeling “piled-on upon” in this comments section. I harbor no ill feelings toward John, and your friendly exchanges with him recently show you don’t either.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Never have, Irene. John is a veteran media person and a big boy besides, He’s never been ornery with me, and I’m not about to change the pattern.

    Hope you enjoyed your Christmas.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Since you’re here, I may as well post the following — short and snappy and a good read. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

    Phillipa Foot on Goodness.

  • John Lake

    We all remember the claims about Iraq, the inspectors on the ground, the Valerie Plame incident. Only GWB found sufficient cause to attack, and he was the worst of the worst in America’s history.
    If there was confusion there, I must have missed it.

  • John Lake

    Phillipa Foot (my gad!!) is going nowhere.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The Democrats have gone along with it though, ain’t it the case? All share the blame.

    As to #16, would you care to explain (although it was a comment on the margin, for Irene’s benefit),.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    No sir, John, YOU weren’t one to be confused about Iraq. Why are you buying the hype about Iran?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Natural goodness! I thought at first it was all about granola, Roger.

    Well, I’m all for finding common ground. I’m impressed that an atheist is willing to initiate a search for it in Summa Theologica.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Have I ever said I was an atheist? I hope you’re referring to the article’s author.

    But seriously now, you should give it at least a cursory read. I was somewhat disturbed by your conception of morality as amounting to not much more than decency. This provides the necessary corrective.

    Lest you didn’t know, but you do of course, even pagans like Socrates were thick and thin into it, and they knew nothing of Christianity. How that’s possible is a question for another time and place, the fact of it is significant.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Yes, I was referring to the author, and yes I intend to say more about Philippa’s article, but on the OWS thread, not here, where hopefully somebody else will have something to say about Iran.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m glad we’re having this conversation, and I certainly hope it’ll make an impact on some of our liberal-minded friend.

    For your info, this is the full comment I made on Ms Foot’s article on my own thread. I may give you some idea as to where I’m coming from.

    comment #125.

    I realize I’m barging in here with what some may regard as extraneous matters, but to my thinking, this is most germane.

    As to Iran, it’s just an example of human hubris. Examples are useful for didactic purposes, but their usefulness quickly approaches the law of diminishing marginal returns once one is aware of the underlying principle.

  • John Lake

    I was simply saying the particular foot link was non-functioning.
    Atheists declare certainty that there is no overriding order. But odd as it seems, there seems to be.
    As to specific religions, organized religions, developed religions with all their trappings, I find them hard to accept.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Gotcha, John. The link has apparently been fixed.

    Yes, I definitely agree with you as to institutionalized religions; suffer from the same trappings as any other institution.

    As to certainty, let me suggest an example of Wittgensteinian logic: to be certain of, or to know, something must allow for the possibility of doubt. Which is why W regarded our first-person sensation statements — e.g., “I know I am in pain” — as a kind of linguist nonsense, i.e., as not saying anything,

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    “Atheists declare certainty that there is no overriding order”

    They do?

    News to me!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Chris is right, John.

    It is possible to believe in “intelligent design” without there being a designer. I haven’t thought that one through, though, but I did hear it once cleverly argued.

  • Zingzing

    Physics? Natural law?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As a matter of fact, it was a physicist, on George Noory show.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    A conscious creator or designer isn’t required in order for there to be an overall order to the universe.

    Think of it this way: the universe exists, and exists in such a way that it is possible for things like space and galaxies and stars and Blogcritics commenters to exist. It has structure, therefore, by default, it has “rules”.

  • Legare

    Rog – Has anyone ever told you that you of come across as a “know-it-all”?

  • John Lake

    George Noory? Very late on the radio? Good show!
    Intelligent design would seem be definition to included “intelligent” (and for that matter “design”) which in my simplistic thinking precludes “no designer.”
    And I was of the impression that atheists are able to visualize things exactly as they are (which I find difficult) so, no overriding (transcendent) order. But then if Mr. Rose suggests order without the usual anthropomorphism (as the children say), maybe he’s right.
    Someone on the tube the other day said God says to the individual, “I created all this just for you and you alone.” Later on he suggested that God experiences life and existence just through the individual.
    Does the fact that man has an instinctive belief since time immemorial to believe in a fatherly creator lead credence to that possibility?
    I say, be good, do the right thing, have a high regard for life, and don’t bother the man upstairs with requests or thankfulness. Just go about your business….
    Life is good. Happy 2012 (any Adrian Monk fans out there? That 2011 must have been driving him nuts!)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Whatever you say, “Legare”? But to tell the truth, I don’t care how you see me.

    I don’t know you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    John Lake, I’m still disagreeing with you about Iran. I’ll relink to the article discussing how the threat is being overblown, either by carelessness or deliberately.

    On the Intelligent Design question though, I agree with you. What we’ve got here all around us and above us is either the result of Things Following the Path of Least Resistance (as all things naturally do in a world governed solely by physical laws)

    OR

    We are living in a reality that was put together with a certain amount of love and care, WORKED ON, that is, by Something…

    …and if it is that, then the universe is also likely to be, as so many works of art are, created to convey some sort of message. I’m going to step out on a limb and say that the Message is not “Leave Me the Hell Alone.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Legare, maybe one day you and Roger will be able to teach one another a thing or two.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    John, it’s not actually the case that “man has an instinctive belief since time immemorial to believe in a fatherly creator”, is it?

    I was under the impression that this monotheist fad was only about 5 or 6 thousand years old, a short portion of our as yet still brief human history. Earlier religions had a very diverse set of ideas.

  • John Lake

    Christopher: Monotheism or some more elaborate system is still a belief in a supreme being or beings.
    There are some groups in remote areas of South America who don’t consider a supreme being. They just live in wonder at the generations going back to the beginning of time. Beyond that, I am under the impression that even cave dwellers in the East and all areas believed in the Sun and the Moon, or some such thing.

    Irene: The latest information goes back to roughly 2007, and the reports of new activity are much more current. There is off course the likelihood that some groups (military/industrial complex, battleship builders, political hawks) who would benefit from exaggerating the threat. In this day of less constraint on corporate interference, it would be surprising if there were no such exaggeration. But at the same time I am beginning to see the justification for Romney and others wanting to increase significantly our defense budget.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    John, but that isn’t true, that “the reports of new activity are much more current.” The claim being made by the authors in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is that this year’s IAEA report has been MISREPRESENTED by Washington, in that there HASN’T been new nuclear activity in Iran since 2007, in that there is NO smoking gun indicating Iran is making a break for the bomb.

    The more immediate threat is the prospect of Israel using nuclear bombs on Iran. Now that would REALLY piss Iran off, and if Israel couldn’t finish the job (which, it probably couldn’t, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the US all the time with a cap in their hand, begging for war money that apparently is not forthcoming from God), the United States Empire and its NATO pals would be called in to “finish” it for them. And thus would start another long, bloody and pointless Middle Eastern war.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I do want to see the modern nation of Israel “make it” because I believe that against ALL odds throughout the millenia, the Jews have preserved their cultural identity. HECK yeah, if modern-day Iran were wholly populated by Molech-worshipping baby-sacrificing fiends the way it was in certain points of ancient history, God MIGHT be authorizing a whole-sale slaughter, a death star aimed right at Tehran, if He chose to direct the Jews to do the deed rather than unleashing a 8.0 earthquake or major flood Himself.

    But the people of modern-day Iran are NOT that. It’s full of people who are decent and hopeful–and all that while living under cruel oppression.

    Why secular Americans would even CONSIDER doing to Iran what they have so often criticized the Old Testament Jehovah for authorizing the ancient Hebrews to do to their enemies, I am indeed uncertain.

  • Cannonshop

    #38 they do it because of fear, Irene. Fear, and a lingering irritation over a hostage situation that lasted over a year, and tribalist unconscious desires for revenge, payback, etc. etc.

    Not to say that the fear, at least, is completely unjustified. Iran’s Regime is a totalitarian theocracy that exports its religious/political brand of radical islam to such far-flung outposts as Lebanon, while retaining the ability to wage conventional war at a minimum of 1980’s or better “modern” standards, and the Iranian regime has not suppressed their engineering or scientific communities nearly to the level that, say, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or Syria have-indeed, they have a working manufacturing and industrial base and a relatively modern and current standard of living-which makes them a LOT scarier than people who have to import their televisions, stoves, even plumbing fixtures. “educated AND Radicalized” is a lot scarier than “Radicalized”, and their military is much more likely to function as a professional force, rather than the gang of conscripts our guys faced in Iraq and Kuwait in Gulf Wars 1 and 2.

    Saddam had modern weapons, but he did not have a Modern Army. Iran has that, along with a functional aviation industry and heavy manufacturing-all of which means that, combined with the outside help they got with starting their nuclear power industry, the potential that they could take some high-school/junior-college level textbooks, and develop radiological, or even nuclear weapons on their own, a lot greater than a personality-cult like Iraq under Saddam.

    see, the Iranians aren’t governed universally by stupid people, or even corrupt people. That OUGHT to be scary to anyone watching the region, because what they ARE governed by, are very RELIGIOUS people-whose particular heretical form of Islam makes dying in a holy war an instant ticket to heaven-and killing people in said holy war is doing them a favour, since they get to go TOO.

    Religious fanatics who’re both smart enough to be rational in using, maintaining, and tactically deploying weapons, and committed enough to their cause to do so aggressively, are frelling SCARY. this ain’t some idiot with a suicide vest we’re talking about, we’re talking about smart guys that might just want to WIN at any cost…and may have the means to do so…and further, they’ve called America’s bluff before, and won, so there’s that itching little danger of confidence borne of previous victories-an itching problem because after the Hostage crisis, they’ve tested the resolve of several other nations, and found them to be, in simple middle-eastern terms, weak, capable of being intimidated, and therefore, no obstacle.

    The WORST case for Peacemakers, is when both sides believe they can win-because when both sides believe they can win, neither one is going to seriously consider NOT fighting-eventually. The pain of war is too early and easily forgotten in the flush of prior victory.

  • tim sweeney

    Irene,
    I too, am uncertain. And even though it’s true that Iran is full of good and decent people, remember, in Iran they held a candlelight memorial service for the victims of 9-11 the night it happened. Whether they are bluffing or not, we cannot afford to ignore this threat as they have the means and the ability to make good on their many threats. I am way past trying to find the logic in the Iranian mind, and the world is way past losing sleep and holding our collective breath while we wait for Iran to drop the Nuclear shoe on us or on the Israelis. And even though I share your scepticism about organized religion in general,(I’m a recovering Catholic), I still read and believe that the Bible is the Word of God.And this is what it says, that will come upon us soon:A day of Yahweh is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then Yahweh my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime–a day known to Yahweh. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. Yahweh will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure. This is the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by Yahweh with great panic. How is it that an accurate description of what happens to a man’s face during a thermo-nuclear explosion could have been written thousands of years ago unless it was true?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Cannonshop and Tim Sweeney: Thankyou for your perspectives.

    Cannonshop, you said:
    Religious fanatics who’re both smart enough to be rational in using, maintaining, and tactically deploying weapons, and committed enough to their cause to do so aggressively, are frelling SCARY

    That was an honest admission, Cannonshop. I appreciate it.

    *deep sigh*

    Tim. My belief in the Bible gets deeper every year, but it’s because every time I go looking for Jesus in there, I find Him. I mean, REALLY. (Try it! It’s fun! Jn 5:39)My belief in the Bible has nothing to do with being WOWED! by passages that look just like descriptions of nuclear warfare but could be…almost anything else.

    For instance, there are some mighty fast-acting plagues though, that can kill within a day or matter of days (most recently — did you hear about the people in Louisiana who used unboiled tap water in their Neti pots, and got fatal amoeba sinus infections? Killed them within a few days.

    Ya, word to the wise, some water that is safe to drink (and be worked upon by powerful digestive juices) is NOT safe to blow into your nasal passages.

    Tim. You have brothers and sisters in Iran. Don’t forget about them. :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Irene,

    I don’t know whether you’re familiar with Iris Murdoch either as a novelist or as a philosopher. I’m not qualified to speak to the former, as I’ve never read any of her novels, but she’s as clear an atheist thinker as can be. You’d thoroughly enjoy her short, three-essay collection, “The Sovereignty of Good.” Try to obtain it, even second-hand, any good used-book store is bound to have it.

    I’ve just started re-reading it; and as you know, re-reading an old text after a period of time is never the same as former readings.

    The reason I’m recommending this is not only for your enjoyment but so that we be on pretty much the same page as we resume our theological/philosophical discussion.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just so you know I’m dead serious, here’s a teaser:

    “To so philosophy is to explore one’s own
    temperament, and yet at the same time to attempt to discover the truth. It seems to me that there is a void in present-day moral philosophy. Areas peripheral to philosophy expand (psychology, political and social theory) or collapse (religion)
    without philosophy being able in the one case to encounter, or in the other case to rescue, the values involved. A working philosophical psychology is needed which can at least attempt to connect modern psychological terminology with a terminology connected with virtue. We need a moral philosophy which can speak significantly of Freud and Marx, and out of which aesthetic and political views can be generated. We need a moral philosophy
    in which the concept of love, so rarely mentioned now by philosophers, can once again be made central.”

    Opening paragraph from “On ‘God’ and ‘Good'”

    On the anecdotal side, I introduced Iris Murdoch to my classical Greek teach way back in 78, when I was doing my gig at Andrews Theological Seminary, and she was thoroughly impressed. Too bad we hadn’t a chance to discuss things further; but then again, perhaps I wasn’t quite as ready as I am today.

    So here you are, after all those years you are her incarnation and between the two of us, perhaps we can close the circle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To do philosophy … (first line)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    No, Roger, I am categorically not the incarnation of your classical Greek teacher way back in 78 when you were doing your gig at Andrews Theological Seminary.

    My heroine–I understand that yours is Iris Murdoch–is Mary, but her sister Martha comes in at a close second. This afternoon, my husband and I discussed an article about John Wesley, and will probably discuss another later on. During lunch today, he shared with me the happy news that a young violinist (who shares our faith and whom he often accompanies on piano) has recently come to the conclusion that God doesn’t need the US military to do His work in Israel for Him. Later on, we will be encouraging our son to clean his room before school starts again. I am YEARS (decades…) from being at the spot where I can comfortably retire from what I hope will be a reasonably intellectually satisfying career.

    You have your sphere of influence, I have mine. We also have different goals, though at least one of them is the same: peace on earth.

    To that end, you will inspire people who think and search the way you do (maybe Foucauld has the answer, maybe its Murdoch. Marx, perhaps? Or it could be Chris Hedges?)

    …and I, if I be given grace and favor, will inspire people who search the way I do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just kidding, Irene.

  • John Lake

    A New Year!
    I do appreciate Irene’s mention of Jesus’ family and some close friends standing at the cross. I believe I read that Mary Magdalene, who I view as the girlfriend of Jesus, was also present.The idea of Jesus mother, her sister, and Jesus close girlfriend gathered at his most difficult time, I always find moving. It must have been difficult for all of them.
    BBC today published reports of Iran having fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile, equipped with latest technology and intelligent systems.
    In a second non-related article they mention that Iran has built and tested a uranium fuel rod, now installed in the core of a research reactor in Tehran.
    Late reports of Israeli terrorist groups, and consideration of an Israeli pre-emptive strike are unsettling.
    My definitive example of religion gone awry is the one I often use, which relates to teenaged terrorists in Africa forcing the population to pray five times daily, or to be beheaded.
    Religions over generations sometimes deteriorate from something good, decent, and beneficial, to something deplorable. Zealots with little to base beliefs on, and endless time to dwell on this core of their lives soon develop either deep seated guilt, which they may impose in their neighbors, or divergent feelings of superiority which allows them to impose on their neighbors’ freedoms.
    Incidentally, Freud was a great thinker, but in today’s world, he lacks support.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    John: A party for Jesus, not His execution, was the setting, actually. Read the link in its context. Maybe you’ll appreciate it even more, and have deeper insight into its relevance to the jolly little chat Roger and I were having vis-à-vis heroines!

    Now back to Iran (finally. The first link in your #47 actually includes quotation marks around the words “latest technology” and “intelligent systems.” It also includes the source of those descriptors, who was…oh my!, the Iranian naval commander, who was saying the opposite thing yesterday. He’s making bold claims that Iran can defend its coast. (Well how dare they! ESPECIALLY when the US is going to the trouble of imposing sanctions!)

    From the second link in #47 …a November 8 report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog found “credible” information that Tehran has carried out work toward nuclear weapons — including tests of possible bomb components.

    OF COURSE IT DID, the operative phrase being “HAS carried out”…with no new nuclear weaponry developments since 2007! I’m telling you for the THIRD time (#33, #37) physicists comparing that IAEA report to Washington’s–and the press’s–misinterpretation of it, are wondering HOW the disconnect happened. The IAEA report says nothing’s changed since 2007.” Washington is saying “something’s changed since 2007.
    *****
    The rhetoric from Washington about Iran’s nuclear capabilities and intentions isn’t going to be dying down. It’s going to be heating up. And now, since we’ve put them on the defensive, so will Iran’s. We are escalating towards war again.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    There is similar dissonance between Israeli politicians and Israli security experts regarding a nuclear Iran.

    Mossad’s current head, Tamir Pardo, denies that a nuclear-armed Iran necessarily poses an existential threat to Israel. His views are echoed by his predecessor, and other current and former security officials in Israel. “If you said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an ‘existential’ threat,” Pardo is reported to have said, “that would mean that we would have to close up shop. That’s not the situation. The term is used too freely.”

    In spite of these reassurances, Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to convince other Israel officials of the need to attack Iran.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You may well be mistaken concerning our so-called “different goals.” Don’t judge the book by its cover comes to mind.

    As to presently different spheres of influence, I concur.

    Still wouldn’t hurt you to pick up a copy of Murdoch, you might be pleasantly surprise, But I can’t force your hand, and that’s the last I’m going to mention it.