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June 10, 2008

A visit to ‘breathtaking’ Iran

Thanks for running Nancy Cramer’s essay on her “tourist” trip to Iran (6/7, Opinion, “A breathtaking journey to Iran”). Forget that Iran is now refining nuclear materials for many bombs and has threatened to make Israel extinct. Forget that Iran is helping to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Let’s go happily to Iran, eat the food and buy tourist trinkets. And, most important, let’s blame the U.S. and the Bush administration for everything.

I’m glad Nancy Cramer is retired from elementary school teaching. Future students will not be exposed to the ignorance she’s peddling.

Frank J. Smist Jr.
Prairie Village

Comments

whispering_to_kc

(Hagee is insane.)

whispering_to_kc

The Iranians have pursued nuclear energy since the 1950s.

They lobbied various American administrations, from Eisenhower on, for access to our nuclear powerplant technology. They didn't have any real success gaining access to it until the Ford administration finally opened the door, only to have the door shut again with the Shah's ouster.

By looking to the day when their oil (mostly sour and difficult to refine) dries up, the Iranians might be clearer thinking than we are.

Paving the way for Jesus's second coming makes as much sense as anything. I'll "go" with that one.

I'm glad to see nothing's changed "here".

Too bad. As you were.

Engineer

Jim
Iran has lots of crude but no refineries. If they were primarily interested in energy it would seem they would be building refineries, not nuclear plants. It is hard to believe they don't have weapons in mind in their nuclear efforts. I frankly do not believe that many actually really believe that Iran's main interest is not in nuclear weapons. And that includes the final authors/compilers of the NIE Report. They left a great deal of room to say "our evaluation was based on our weighing of the then current information....."
Also I think that every one, even you, is perfectly aware that McCain is not going to take any precipitous, unnecessary actions.

Jim

Hagee, is that you?

solomon

Wow.......

whispering_to_kc

Jesus is depending on us to smite the Iranians so that he might return.

We only have until January, 2009 to get it done.

Jim

And the latest NIE says this:


"We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons."

"We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon."

"Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005."

http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf


This was the same NIE that the White House held back from being released for more than a year, all the while making firm statements that Iran was indeed continuing with its nuclear program, and could have nuclear weapons in a matter of months.

Clearly, this is a gray area. They're not being forthcoming, and that's a problem. The conflicting intelligence needs to be cleared up. What might be the best way to start that process? Oh, I don't know. How about talking to them? Oops, I forgot. Talking to them is "appeasement."

A "bomb first, ask questions later" policy, which is the McCain policy, is reckless and unnecessary. But given that McCain thinks that Putin is the President of Germany, I guess we can't expect much better than that.

Kate

“Actually, the latest intel says they have no nuclear weapons program or capability, and that they're many years away from gaining such a thing.”

The IAEA has some serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. From 5/27/08 NYT:

“The International Atomic Energy Agency, in an unusually blunt and detailed report, said Monday that Iran’s suspected research into the development of nuclear weapons remained “a matter of serious concern”
The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be intended more for military use than for energy generation.”

“Part of the agency’s case hinges on 18 documents listed in the report and presented to Iran that, according to Western intelligence agencies, indicate the Iranians have ventured into explosives, uranium processing and a missile warhead design — activities that could be associated with constructing nuclear weapons.” ….

“The report makes no effort to disguise the agency’s frustration with Iran’s lack of openness. It describes, for example, Iran’s installation of new centrifuges, known as the IR-2 and IR-3 (for Iranian second and third generations) and other modifications at its site at Natanz, as “significant, and as such should have been communicated to the agency.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/27/world/middleeast/27iran.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin

The IAEA says that Iran’s military is producing some of the components, which would tend to bolster the theory that the nuclear program is to be used for weapons, not energy.

Kate

“Actually, the latest intel says they have no nuclear weapons program or capability, and that they're many years away from gaining such a thing.”

The IAEA has some serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. From 5/27/08 NYT:

“The International Atomic Energy Agency, in an unusually blunt and detailed report, said Monday that Iran’s suspected research into the development of nuclear weapons remained “a matter of serious concern”
The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be intended more for military use than for energy generation.”

“Part of the agency’s case hinges on 18 documents listed in the report and presented to Iran that, according to Western intelligence agencies, indicate the Iranians have ventured into explosives, uranium processing and a missile warhead design — activities that could be associated with constructing nuclear weapons.” ….

“The report makes no effort to disguise the agency’s frustration with Iran’s lack of openness. It describes, for example, Iran’s installation of new centrifuges, known as the IR-2 and IR-3 (for Iranian second and third generations) and other modifications at its site at Natanz, as “significant, and as such should have been communicated to the agency.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/27/world/middleeast/27iran.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin

The IAEA says that Iran’s military is producing some of the components, which would tend to bolster the theory that the nuclear program is to be used for weapons, not energy.

Jim

And here are McCain's exact words:

"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

Kate

Here are his exact words:

“We talked about Iran, of course. I told the Chancellor my first choice, of course, is to solve this diplomatically. All options are on the table and that -- but the first choice is to solve this problem by working closely together, by sending a dual message, which has been the consistent policy of this administration, that if you verifiably suspend your enrichment programs you'll end your isolation, and there's a way forward for you.”

“The Iranian regime has made a choice so far, and it's a bad choice for the Iranian people. The Iranian people deserve better than being isolated from the world. They deserve better from having, you know, their government held up as, you know, unsafe and not trustworthy. And so the message from the EU Foreign Minister Solana will be: There's a better choice for you. And we'll see what choice they make.” http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-bush-merkel-text,1,5684828.story

Working through the EU, offering to end Iran’s isolation in return for verifiably suspending their enrichment program, leaving the option of force on the table . . . is this something new? It’s not like he’s promising a presidential summit without preconditions.

Jim

Uh oh. First Olmert, then Maliki and now Bush have become appeasers! For shame.

solomon

Wow.....Today in Germany President Bush said he believes that the best option for good relations with Iran is diplomacy. That is the smartest thing an American President said on Iran since Carter told the Shah "I don't care where you go but you have to get out of here".

Jim

What a stupid, reactionary letter.

"Forget that Iran is now refining nuclear materials for many bombs..."

Actually, the latest intel says they have no nuclear weapons program or capability, and that they're many years away from gaining such a thing. So, Frank, how do you know that Iran is "refining nuclear material for many bombs" when our own government says they're not?

 
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