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Jul-21-2008 09:26printcomments

Iran Stresses Diplomatic Solution to Nuclear Standoff

Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs.

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(TEHRAN (FNA)) - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Monday that Iran wanted no confrontation in the dispute over its nuclear program and was optimistic about the future course of the nuclear talks with world powers.

"We have a forward-looking and constructive approach and believe that we can move forward towards an agreement with understanding," Saeed Jalili said after returning to Tehran from talks in Europe.

He was referring to remarks by US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who said Tehran should either chose cooperation or confrontation.

"These are indeed the two options but for all relevant sides: either an approach based on cooperation and constructive willingness or the opposite," Jalili said.

Jalili met Saturday in Geneva with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and representatives of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in a bid to find a way to settle the dispute.

The talks aimed to define a time-table for main negotiations between the relevant parties. During the meeting, the two sides agreed to meet again in two weeks.

"The issue of enrichment suspension was not raised in the talks in Geneva but rather the timetable for future talks," Jalili said.

He, however, reiterated that Iran was serious about pursuing constant negotiations to settle the dispute and using the points that both sides agree upon as a road map for future negotiations.

The Western powers claim that Iran might be using its nuclear program to work on a secret military project, but they don't have any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic. Tehran vehemently denies such charges, and says its nuclear programs are merely aimed at civilian purposes and in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules and regulations.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismisses West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.

Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency's questions about the history of its nuclear program.

Yet, the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

In a major shift of policy, Washington for the first time sent its third highest-ranking diplomat - Undersecretary of State William J. Burns - to the Saturday talks between Iran and the West.

The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States' espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

Observers believe that the shift of policy by the White House happened after Bush's attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance.

US President George W. Bush finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of his Arab allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush's allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, stressing that Tehran's case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic's increased cooperation with the agency.

Courtesy: FARS News Agency

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Telford July 30, 2008 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Yes Henry I remember Packwood quite well, and when one compares him to someone like Ted Kennedy, it just seems so irrelevant. Why is Kennedy there? Why have his state voter's continued to return him? Is there something in the water there that aversely impacts judgement? You know Henry we can look at any politican thats been in office long enough to develop a record and be able to find something controversial about them. Here in lies the problem with Obama, he has no national record of any length, so we see his detractors going back to his state record and the people he associated with. Fair game, we need to know more about him. McCain has had all his negative stuff out there and no real traction, so if he rallies the conservatives he will be impossible to beat. I see he has decided to go against affirmative action and as per the voters who have had a chance to vote on that issue it will no doubt be of considerable benefit to him. I expect that in time he will ask for more enforcement remedies in the area of border security, more sanctions against those who do not use the no-match system, etc. . Henry if we are attacked, even in a very minor way, then Obama will be a footnote. Have you seen the polls as per who Americans trust more as a Commander in Chief? His blow-off of our wounded men/women just reinforced his lack of judgement, not to mention his assessment of the success of the "surge." No doubt Henry things are going to get real choppy ahead, and the gloves will come off. Too bad, but the country is so divided. You must see how his appeal to europeans on his recent trek grated a large segment of the electorate. Frankly I have never been concerned about Germany or France, and England is starting to get their house in order, though I may be overly optimistic.

Henry Ruark July 29, 2008 8:24 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Tel et al: Your key phrase here, for me, is:"for decades now the voter's in Arizona keep returning Sen. McCain back to office." No intent to malign Sen. McCain, but do you recall Oregon Sen. Packwood ? Then, too, we've had another recent wide-choice, high influential you may remember. Point: Local-vote does not always mean reality-realized but pivots on many other considerations. McCain now shifting from "issues" to "values", coded way of moving towards race card and false-images from '60s which have been deluding some segments of middle class failing even as GOP Noise Machine cranks up, as you indicate, for rest of resolutely "dirty" campaign. We'll find out if populace has grown and learned since the '60s, at much higher cost for lesson-again this time...we've been paying for that season ever since.

Telford July 29, 2008 6:13 pm (Pacific time)

Henry no doubt all of us who are normal human beings have times when we are not at our best. What I stated below earlier was that for decades now the voter's in Arizona keep returning Sen. McCain back to office. They are the final judges and since to them, generally all politics are local, they must have a better take on him than others not so ideologically impartial. Also there are many false stories about McCain, e.g. , the beef he had with Sen. Grassley as pointed out by former democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey who was a witness, told the media it was false that they had a physical altercation, but still this falsehood found it's way into the media and even some books. The below link is by a reporter concerning some temper background on Obama you might find interesting and in the interest of some objective balance. Henry I would imagine many stories about these candidates will be popping up as the election date approaches, but the McCain temper thing is not getting any big traction, not even really much of a distraction, except for an insignificant few. Possibly as a former POW we will start hearing something like the "Hanoi Candidate?" Enjoy the link below about some bad behavior of another senator as per a published article:

Henry Ruark July 29, 2008 8:28 am (Pacific time)

To all: Finally, did you-all see new cartoon re McCain double-dare to Obama ? Seems his dare to Obama to visit Iraq, Afg. and European leaders worked out so well he is now daring O. to solitary confinement for four years ! You can find it easily on Internet...

Henry Ruark July 29, 2008 8:05 am (Pacific time)


Telford July 28, 2008 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Yes I am familar with McCains temper, but have you seen him lose control yourself Henry? Or do you think it's more something that's been blown out of proportion by the media or his detractor's? We all lose our cool every now and then, it's human nature. It appears that the Arizona voter's have had the final say in regards to their opinion of his temper and other behaviors that have not been perfect, what say you? Absolutely on the money Henry that we use ( many of us) different audio/visual cues, e.g. tenor of voice and body language, to determine possible threats on one end of the spectrum to something quite positive on the other end. To suggest that we are hardwired with this capability would be a reasonable assumption. I call it one of our many survival mechanisms. Each candidate has made many gaffes, and they will continue to make more as time (and fatigue) take their toll. To get a balance just do a research engine check with the candidates name followed by "gaffes." I found many of them quite humorous (many are on video), but must admit that Obama's very thin record and little experience can be quite pronounced, as would be expected for someone of his brief public record. For me, neither candidate will get my vote at this time, and that really disturbs me to no end. With a country of 300 million, it just grates me that we cannot do better. Unless someone else surfaces before November's election our country will continue to be quite divided, even if we have another terrorist attack. Henry I would mention my take on some of Obama's body language that really struck me, but there are so many variables and the subjectivity involved would just be too unfair. Though I do know something about audio/visual cues and survival, and you also at 90 years of age. That's neat, and you are no doubt quite engaged, even though Obama may have you fooled for now. A moment of mirth.

Henry Ruark July 28, 2008 5:12 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Ol' fumblfingers got URL for FactChecker wrong...should be com. You can use this one with confidence, intro'd to me by national press contact and has been very satisfactory on the record.

Henry Ruark July 28, 2008 4:53 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Tel et al: Unclear on yours here: "who uses that gift to strive towards his personal goals, which I believe are primary over what is good for America." Do not believe you wish to suggest ulterior or malign motives for him, so await yours further on that. Re rest, unfortunately find I must again agree in large part, albeit particulars need reinforcement (read: "confrontation" !) here and there. Re McCain, my real fear is for his temper, now coming to fore in worrisome fashion for all concerned in his campaign, with accusations of Obama now creating a new depression, supporting genocide, and repetition of that old one re wanting to lose the Iraq war. Low-road attacks serve only to highlight his lack of the temperament we must have for the man with hs finger on that "Red Button" -- I understand the literal button may not be so colored, but millions see its consequences surely as very red...and not only from glare when the Big One goes off, in ANYbody's drop, set off by ANYbody's stupidity. That gut-feeling re temperament further deepened by recent series of gaffes and misstatements: Confusing Sunnis with Shiites; locating Pakistan as bordering Iraq; and timing of key convesations months before the surge, as if closely related to any success for that ineffective last-shot from Bush cabal. But most of all because Rove-touch suely now obvious in most of these maneuvers and manipulations, guaranteeing continuance of precisely what we must escape. Re "body language", know some in law enforcement who count on skill in what they know is very subjective application, but trust long-tutored experience with many (literally hundreds) of situations, some with hand on weapon and instantly-ready. SO they use if for what it may be worth, along with other very sharply professional insights --as per mine re the int'vs with McCain mentioned originally. Agree strongly with your-last re troops making his actions not only possible but also of world significance as he did so very well with other leaders in trip McCain demanded --and now denigrates at any opportunity. Your tone, approach and civil dialog adds to any mutual values our dialog may have here for others, and is bright spot in my day ! Thanks, and may you long continue --even if sometimes in error !! (to which I also admit mutuality...)

Telford July 28, 2008 4:51 pm (Pacific time)

Henry et al: I just came across the below poll which just shocks me! Of course we have around 100 days to go, but I guess Obama's trip did not resonate well with likely voter's which is much different than registered voters, don't you think? "Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%."

Teford July 28, 2008 1:45 pm (Pacific time)

Henry thanks for your comments. We simply see things different when it comes to Obama. I am certainly no fan of McCain, and for the good of the country I hope he drops out so someone more aligned with mainstream America can win the presidency, and this may happen during the Republican convention. I see Obama as one who is a gifted wordsmith, who uses that gift to strive towards his personal goals, which I believe are primary over what is good for America. I'm not a gambling man, but seeing that the mainstream media (television as well as print) is losing market share, then to me this signals that the voter is not going to fall into lockstep with this media's propaganda. This recent trip to Europe will fade from memory, but I hope it does not. The voter needs to be reminded about Germany and their policies, same for France, where in Paris it is a good summer when only 50,000 (fifty thousand) cars are torched. England also has some vexing problems, not the least which is their deteriorating healthcare program. There will always be breaking news that will change the national topic, but the blow-off to the wounded veterans will be an issue that will be very important as the election nears. I was glad to hear you say that you were not a "professional witness" in the area of body language, which if you were an attorney, either a prosecutor or defense, would realize how incredibly foolish it is to use that as part of an assessment methodology. I realize that you may not consider the blow-off of the wounded as significant, but recall that his visits to Afghanistan and Iraq embraced the same military protocol as what was required to visit the wounded Americans, the ones who give him the freedom to say what he wants.

Henry Ruark July 27, 2008 12:52 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Tel: Here we simply must continue to disagree; the overwhelming impact of Obama contact with world leadership, rightly or not, will be very little diminished via his "failure" or "error" or whatever re visiting troops and wounded. To equate that circumstance with Presidential character is simple neocon technique all too clear and highly self-defeating for that very reason. Has already obviously failed re several similar "odd situations" chosen for usage. Re "off teleprompter" must differ from simple observation of several int'vws with major tv personalities, which I know from both contacts and experience HAD to be off-tprompter since NOT AVAILABLE for those shots. He did remarkably well, more than equalling similar instances wellknown re McCain foot in mouth and anger-reflecting situations. Re "body language", never been witness on that matter, but have written several times re its usage and some of the myths surrounding it. After very difficult 4-mo. G/Jury foreman experience, I avoided allsuch at anycost, if at all possible, even though that one was most satisfying in terms of group process and very difficult communication re extremely complex situations. Proof of that for others in two or three such meet-by-chance situations as the one I cited here, with "the other eight" remembering same impacts and enjoyments. Annapolis-lad prefers BHawk heli, says carries short path to easy suicide; may seek special training in helis. The Afg-hunt is on we are told, making up for now-revealed Bush lack of vigor in pursuit after 9/11, for whatever reasons, now suspected to be due to family ties.

Telford July 27, 2008 10:33 am (Pacific time)

Henry as I mentioned earlier I wondered how many different versions (read "excuses") would be coming down the pike on why Obama did not keep a "pre-planned" meeting with our wounded men/women in Germany? I have two excellent sources, one is from the Department of Defense who went on public record saying that they welcomed Obama's speech as long as it met long established guidelines. Security was not an issue at this location Henry (there is really tight overt/covert security in place to protect our wounded in these locations, as per my info). Another private source backed up that public acknowledgement by DOD, who also was at the hospital location. I see no reason to disbelieve either source. I am sure that this issue will continue to grow and McCain has already jumped on the event, as any politican would. The grapevine in the military will resonate about this issue up to election day (and beyond) as it will to all veterans. Obama made a mistake, and he should realize that attempting to make excuses about this ( or his subordinates), will be seen by many as less than statesman-like. Especially coming from a U.S Senator and presidential candidate for Commander in Chief. Saying he could not visit our wounded, no matter the current list of reasons, is simply not going to pass the smell test Henry. Your background in body language interpretation is quite impressive. Have you ever testified as a "professional witness?"

Henry Ruark July 26, 2008 4:42 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Tel: A D.C. contact sent me link to Pentagon advising Obama to skip for security reasons; will dig for it if open to share. Re body language, mine on that from "special agency" coursework at Indiana on Content Analysis; then six yrs in close contact with Altheimer patient (wife BCR); and other discussion with leaders in Chicago psychiatric institute -but your point still valid and demanding of care. Re McCain age, slight difference-plus more than lost in attitudes-minus, for me ! Re FISA-vote, have excellent explanation from Cass Sunstein most-cited law-leader, with solid thinking leading to acceptance of bill simply better than status quo with which we stuck otherwise. Many feel strongly re move to center by O., but that's solid political move for each and every candidate at this stage--and potent reasons from O. make better sense (for me) than garbled spin-stuff from Mc., which I have inbuilt allergy, possibly from close contact as consultant sometimes under similar pressures. Dialog demands always-civil language, if all are to share and learn; and we seem to have done well for two old geeks !! (Your age undisclosed, but wisdom speaks for itself --sometimes...)

Telford July 26, 2008 1:20 pm (Pacific time)

Note: As per your Information Clearing House, etc.--Henry thanks for providing me with your sources, but they appear they may need to enlarge their database and/or re-evaluate their data collection methodology. Each week, the Project for Excellence in Journalism evaluates more than 300 political stories in newspapers, magazines and television. For the past six weeks -- from June 9 and July 13 (this last weeks data should be real interesting, and conclusive when available!)-- Obama was a significant part of 77 percent of these stories. Sen. John McCain, on the the hand, was significant in less than half: only 48 percent. The ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows are dramatically tilting their presidential campaign coverage in favor of the Democrats, a new MRC study has found. The TV morning shows have offered nearly twice as much coverage to the Democrats (55% of all campaign segments) as Republicans (29%), and doled out nearly three times more interview airtime to Democrats than Republicans. Network reporters used a mostly liberal agenda when questioning candidates from both parties. Henry are you familiar with the number of journalists that consider themselves far left of center and what their stated voting patterns have been in presidential elections since 1964? Hint: In only 3 of these elections were their votes for the winning candidate as per an L A Times poll, all other times they voted just the opposite of the majority of the American voter. Let me provide you with an excellent source that is updated daily, and by the way both congressional parties use this source. This link goes to some recent data but you can access the website easily from there: Thanks again for your info Henry, it's just great to share this information, don't you think?

Telford July 25, 2008 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

Henry I am not surprised that we view Obama and his words differently. For example looking at his speech in Philidelphia (you mentioned below) that dealt with race issues, it appears the country is also split down the middle. What I remember was when he stated that he could no more disown his pastor than he could his grandmother. Well that changed pretty quickly when his poll numbers went down, because nothing new had developed as per previous comments by said pastor. As far as reading body language, that's pretty tricky territory Henry. I recall some courses in nonverbal communication and realize after talking to many experts, that it has some serious pitfalls. As you know, people beat the lie detector all the time and as per some professionals I know, sociopathic/narciccistic personalities can often fool the experts in body language when not even coached to do so. So hearing what one says, then following their future actions is the best way to assess character and judgement, would you not agree? So how about Obama claiming that he would do everything he could to stop FISA, then he voted for it! What happened here? Of course his recent blow off of our wounded was an all time low for me. According to the DOD (and verified by one of my sons) he was informed that things had been set up for him to visit the hospitalized wounded in Germany and a press room had been made available for the media but that only a military photographer would be allowed to accompany him to meet with our brave wounded men and women. It was reported that they were looking forward to meeting him, not a good way to build trust with our military, would you agree? Maybe he should come clean and apologize, that would be great, and be really good pr for his candidacy don't you think Henry? Thank you for your friendly and civil responses, greatly appreciated. By the way McCain is 72 not 77.

Henry Ruark July 25, 2008 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

Tel et al: Since I mentioned press coverage in Germany, here is "See with own eyes" report, from one who was there and able to assess all essential characteristics for now world-accepted reliable source: Obama Dazzles Old Europe while McCain cries "No Mas"! By Mike Whitney (Information Clearing House) "Barak Obama proved yesterday why November's presidential election will end in a 50-state sweep. John McCain has no chance. "It's like George Bush climbing into the ring with Mike Tyson; one thundering left hook and the Crawford Caligula would be sprawled across the canvas in a pool of his own blood. "No mas"! The same fate awaits the crabby senator from Arizona. "The polls are skewed to look like there's a political horse-race going on. There isn't. It's a complete rout. "There's one well-toned thoroughbred striding from venue to venue electrifying the ever-increasing throngs, and one doddering, old mare limping towards the glue-factory. Someone should put a stop to it before McCain gets hurt. "Yesterday, at the Victory Column in Berlin's Tiergarten, Obama extracted Old Glory from the burn-pile and gave Brand America a desperately needed shot of adrenaline. 200,000 ecstatic Germans jammed the streets in what turned out to be the political shindig of the year. Many of them were waving American flags and chanting, "Obama, Obama, Obama". "It was like Jack Kennedy had risen from his moldy sepulcher and made his way across the pond for one last rousing ovation. Obama has the very same affect on crowds. Its a gift and he knows how to use it to great advantage. "People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment, this is our time," Obama boomed. "I know my country has not perfected itself, we've made our share of mistakes and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions. But the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another." ------------- Surely one cannot object to those words-of-truth, just above, about our country. If we are at the extreme point of refusing to face historic fact that may just help to explain why truth hurts when expressed here.

Henry Ruark July 25, 2008 2:22 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Tel et al: We do see from different perspective re Obama; that is not only politics but the very strong "American Way", surely enhanced by open, honest, and friendly dialog here. Re visits you mention and crowd nationality and presence, my reports surveilled give me an entirely different picture, no need to detail here. Re world-view, surely one cannot imagine McCain, at 77, doing the same great rebuild for U.S. that Obama has now clearly accomplished, via all press reports. For the record, I did not find "berate" among the many words used in any of them. Re "offensive", since you did not choose to specify, cannot respond; yet, on exam of printed text of whole speech, cannot myself locate any to which you could take so damaging a stand or response. Re MSM in Obama pocket, that flies directly in face of wide interior press reports to which I return constantly, and to much already published in many major dailies nationally, making precisely the opposite point: Most MSM giving McCain undeserved break, fearful of any adverse statement due to his vet-image, and also fearing any report of his age failings so obvious to anyone watching for body language, and reading critically for report of many misstatements and lack of information. You will pardon allathis since to report is what any ethical journalist does, and that's my responsibility here. Thanks for good wishes for Annapolis-goer; he was tickled re flying BHawk whirlybird since his Dad, my 4th son, chief camera at KVAL-TV, is in process of two-year training as lifeflight hobby. Thanks for your continuing strong participation; that's what dialog is for, and I do believe we demonstrating its value for others to read.

Telford July 25, 2008 1:54 pm (Pacific time)

Henry I really have not been that interested regarding Obama's trip until his speech in Germany. As you know he called himself a "citizen of the world" and that he was not in campaign mode (remember that assertion) during this talk. He went on to berate America on some issues that I found to be offensive, but so what, he was speaking to a crowd of Germans who came there because a free music festival with big name bands was going to start playing right after he left. Who knows how many came to hear him or the bands? Who really cares, e.g. , the American voter? I doubt it, but will wait to see the polls. What really bothered me Henry was that Obama blew off a long planned visit to a military hospital to see our wounded men/women. His stated reason (will there be many more [alternative] reasons to come?) is that it would be inappropriate to do so while in "campaign mode." Henry when is it ever inappropriate to visit our wounded military personnel? I would rather have our candidates campaign here in the States, and the 72 year old McCain doing what Obama did during this trip would also be ignored by me unless he also berated America and undercut our military leaders, that both said they would respect. Needless to say the MSM is in the tank for Obama, so after the election year dust settles, their market share will no doubt continue their downward slide, maybe at a faster rate. Obviously we have a different take on Obama, and so does the rest of the country. I imagine in late September our 50-50 electorate will start breaking. This election may for the first time have the VP selection as a tipping point on how the fence-sitters break. Should be interesting. Can Obama find a worthy VP that has less experience than him? This will be a big issue in my opinion Henry. Hopefully there will be joint town hall-type Q and A's for McCain and Obama, so maybe we can see how they respond when they have not rehearsed their responses. I'm sure those bitter people who cling to their guns and religion will be interested viewers. Congrats to relative going to Annapolis Henry, that's just great. Some wonderful people, many close friends of mine, have graduated from there, and may he have a bright future.

Henry Ruark July 24, 2008 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

Tel et al: Yours re Obama ironic on day he spoke in Berlin. Did you listen ? Crowd acclam directly answers yours via his ability to impart truthful reflection of policy and coming action. Re t-prompter, know workings intimately since two sons now producing tv-news using same. Don't be put off by bobbles or hesitancies in midst of such set-ups; happens to best of 'em; as with Wolf Blitzer recently on CNN, after years of experience. Listen closely to straight stuff like Obama at Brandenburg today, his on racism some time ago (now seen as classic and so published); easy-intimacy via Couric; in other int'vws, and see body language in all...if you do so, you will be strongly reassured and also learn much about true views --and also character-- involved. Ever see Bush so well composed and reflecting true leadership ? Can you imagine McCain at Brandenburg ? Can you see him sitting vs any one of other world leaders in any crucial conversation ? Without someone to keep the groups straight for him, right at his shoulder ? Watching the dates of key situations as with "surge", which started six months after the natural events which aided its partial development ? At 77, only normal to show wear/tear/ perhaps other symptoms, too --remember when Reagan began to deteriorate, right out there in the public eye ? May be super/sensitive to this since wife BCR had Altheimer's, was caregiver for her last six years, seeing steady deterioration mentally and physically. Did you check Congressional agency audit of truth on the surge ? Consortium has new report showing only ten percent of Iraq troops even near to levels demanded now. Re sons, cross my fingers for you, tightly; one grandson now in Afg with Rangers, "on the hunt" for you-know-who; second g/son on tour of bases in California, flew BHawk ystrdy, on way to Annapolis scholarship, foreign intel as specialist/writer. Hope this illuminates a bit for all, and appreciate good participation on this thread.

Telford July 24, 2008 7:52 am (Pacific time)

Henry I follow most of what you say below, but Obama has amply shown that when he is off the teleprompter he really has no idea what he is talking about. It's one thing about being honest and admitting your wrong, but he tries to "glib" his way out of his past mistakes using nothing more than gibberish which demonstrates his obvious inexperience. As far as the "surge" and it's success being a matter of interpretation, no, it has been successful, and that is the final assessment at "the present time." I must admit the more I look at Obama and listen to what he says, the more I realize that this individual has no idea what's going on. War is an unfortunate reality for us humans, but it is far better to be the victor if you are in one. I have two of my son's currently in the military and as a father I am obviously concerned with their welfare. They each have been decorated for their combat service and both understand what's going on in Afghanistan and Iraq from actual experience. They both hold graduate degrees and are no-nonsense leaders who take care of their men/women. I trust and value their opinions.

Henry Ruark July 24, 2008 7:23 am (Pacific time)

Humus et al: Further cogitation on own part makes it demanding to remind all, once again, of lifetime experience related by both Gen. Smedley Butler and Gen. Ike Eisenhower, later President, re motivations they finally recognized, for the wars in which they most surely demonstrated unequivocal and unchallenged leadership. BOTH then warned all of us following re disasters coming if corporate control of nation was allowed to continue the then-obvious, to both of them, corrupt perversion of our ostensible national interests, for private-profit/gain and political control. Will post well-recorded verbatim statements later, but point for both of them was seduction of wars for private purposes, on which we surely now need extremely probing and truly democratic investigation of these two and the now constantly threated third-one --via Constitutional means: impeachment as defense for democracy, given us by Founders in true prescience for human nature and its deep consequences for all.

Henry Ruark July 23, 2008 8:56 pm (Pacific time)

Humus et al: Your history without question for most points. Our disagreement is about the policies that took us there in the first instance, and kept us there all this time. What you outline illuminates "wasting wars" and their most devastating consequences, whether or not one can justify sich onerous occupations in any way, beyond the wars themselves --which for many Americans today present a much different picture than they may have in their own time. History doth not change via second-guesses, but sometimes the lessons to be learned are more fully illuminated. Re "surge"-success, that's a matter of interpretation; and yes, might well be different and thus demanded in Afg, while unwise and questionable in Iraq--that's so obvious I hesitated to so state here, but feel is needed for clarity in both intent and statement. DO appreciate your strong participation and gentle tone with me here; hope you realize my purpose is to bring about precisely this kind of dialog, which sometimes, with some few at least, intermittently with many more, may cause an onrush of cogitation --which is never a bad consequence.

Humus July 23, 2008 6:31 pm (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark et al: My below post was a re-statement of a recent Obama interview. Yesterday in Israel he stated that he was against the surge and opined that he had a better plan in early 2007 that would "probably" have been as sucessful than bringing in all those extra troops for the Iraqi "surge", which has been quite successful. He now states that he will send two combat brigades to Afghanistan (7,000 men) to help the situation there. So a surge is okay there but not Iraq? As far as McCain and the 100 years of occupation, people need to hear the entire statement, that would be fair don't you think? Remember we have been in Japan and Germany for 63 years, Korea for 58 years and we occupied the Philpines going back to the Spanish American war in the 1890's! We still have military forces there but they have diminished considerably in the last several years. So I don't believe occupation is really the right word and the above listed democracies we have been in for many many decades, seem to be doing fine, right? Obama has 141 "working" days as a senator, his level of knowledge and experience will be more and more evident come later in the fall when previous gaffes ignored by the MSM are put in 527 commercials. I am disappointed in both of the presumptive candidates and point out the gaffes of each. Maybe Ron Paul will still have a chance?

Henry Ruark July 23, 2008 7:15 am (Pacific time)

Humus et al: Comparison with statement from McCain, who had to have help to distinguish the two major factions in Iraq, cries out here. Then, too, there's McCain's reference to "100 years" of occupation. Are you in favor of 100 years-more of this bloody debacle, sir ? If so, what justification do you have for those parents who have already lost youth and life support, or for those others sure to so suffer ? Happens I have loved one now in Afg. on third tour with 4th upcoming...what do you see as his chances of return here ? OR do you really believe McCain has any intention of closing down wars making huge profits for neocon cabal ? Speak up, we are all listening carefully for your rational, reasonable answers to straight questions. IF you seek to sabotage Osama, as you clearly do, you surely must feel some pangs of paying honest attention to honest dissenting questions --right ?? Or is it simply RIGHT ??

Humus July 22, 2008 10:23 am (Pacific time)

See if you can make any sense at all out of this when Obama was asked about the "surge." Remember, this is the man who wants to be our Commander in Chief responding to a question dealing with military matters. So ... to present Obama's answer to the difficult question "If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?" Obama: "No, because keep in mind that question, you wouldn't ... but keep in mind that kind of hypothetical is very difficult to know hindsight is 20-20 ... later ... but I think that what I'm absolutely convinced of is that at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with." Wow! Now that's just amazing! What off-the-cuff eloquence! This guy is really sharp. Now we all know why Barack Obama would still vote against the surge ... the troop surge that worked. Lordy, folks. We have to get over this mass hysteria and start to get serious about selecting our next president. This is just getting ridiculouser and ridiculouser.

Henry Ruark July 21, 2008 5:31 pm (Pacific time)

B.H. et al: SO what's new ? The Big Boys now load and point the big guns, and still flourish that Big One in the air and the background ? Any word on that ongoing "inside dirty-work" costing billions we were just told we paying for "to disestablish Iran government" ? Question is not whether six nations can now send those huge-loaded guns and missiles seaborne, but whether they should be allowed to do so --at huge costs to rest of world if one of 'em goes off. You speak not to that point, sir, so let me ask flat-out: Do you support an attack on Iran ? If so, how do you justify that stance ? Here we deal not with one person's view of probability of attack but of root reasons why it should or should NOT happen. You may be right, but that proves nothing except failure of common sense and world morality. Does world opinion mean nothing whatsoever now, after dsintegration of U.N. agencies and organization once effective --even hailed as "the only hope for the future world we all deserve" ? SO tell us: Would you squeeze off the trigger on any of those guns in the Gulf ? Would you press that Red Button aboard THE Bomber, upstairs over that massive gang of Iran-raiders ? (Understand it really was red, once.) What IS relevant here is NOT news of sanction-enforcers massing for start not only of Iran-attack --that was surely expected-- but word of further world efforts to prevent World War III --surely nothing to be so blithely reported as in "our gang about to win this one", seeming/tone here. That's happening, too, as other links (soon supplied) will clearly show for "see with own eyes". There is still hope, until The Big One doth fall --after that there's nothing to foresee but cinders and radiation, sooner rather than later, worldwide... Will await answers to flat questions, meant to be most revealing, so probably ignored which in itself is answer. We stand in same position as did world just before War II; will we make same mistake by allowing this one to occur, for same oil-profit reasons as that one ?

Bill Hammond July 21, 2008 1:14 pm (Pacific time)

The warm-up begins. I do not believe that anyone will go the UN route for sanctions. "US, UK, France Launch Sea Exercise For Naval Blockade On Iran ^ | July 21, 2008 DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Operational Brimstone, starting Monday, July 21, aimed at giving military teeth to the two-week ultimatum the six world powers gave Iran in Geneva Saturday to accept the suspension of uranium enrichment or face harsh sanctions and isolation. The penalty of withholding refined oil products from Iran would be exercised by means of a partial international naval blockade of its Gulf ports. Taking part in the 10-day exercise in the Atlantic Ocean are more than a dozen ships, including the US carrier strike group Theodore Roosevelt and expeditionary strike group Iwo Jima; the French submarine Amethyste, and the British HMS Illustrious Carrier Strike Group, as well as a Brazilian frigate. Six vessels from the Norfolk Naval State will play the role of “enemy” forces. About 15,000 sailors will be involved in Operation Brimstone. Both the Roosevelt and Iwo Jima will be deployed in the Middle East in the coming months. The exercise is scheduled to end July 31, two days before the US-European ultimatum to Iran expires. Immediately after the Geneva talks ended in failure, the US State Department issued a statement giving Tehran the option of “cooperation or confrontation.” A partial blockade of Iran’s shores, a key element of the new sanctions, would be limited to withholding from Iran supplies of benzene and other refined oil products - not foodstuffs or other commodities. Short of refining capacity, Iran has to import 40 percent of its benzene consumption and will be forced to react to the stoppage. "

Henry Ruark July 21, 2008 9:52 am (Pacific time)

To all: Key pgh here is: "Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seems to be completely irrational." That is surely checkable for all to "see with own eyes", as either true or not. Given previous on-record distortion/perversions (read: "lies") by Bush cabal, it may seem highly reminiscent of the first "erroneous", clearly manipulated" decision which took us into preemptive plundering attack on Iraq. Please note that the next pgh places the designated international agency strongly on record stating the same thing. Wht's the UN and its deeply essential agencies for, if not to be relied-upon in such matters as this ? OR do we continue to insist we "own the world" and can take ANY and ALL actions for our private/national interests, the Devil take anyone else ??? If that be "globalism" --so be it. Surely seeme rational, reasonable to millions, worldwide, in these opening years of our 21st Century.

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