American “sailors” and “mechanical failures”

The wording sailors is quite amusing. If two Iranian ships full of highly armed soldiers would have had the same kind of mechanical failure both at the same time and would accidentally enter US waters, they would rather have been called: militants, elite soldiers, Qods-Force or what ever seems more threatening.

But in this case all the international press is repeating “sailors”, and even though in this case like in other cases it is clear that these sailors were most probably on a spy mission like in this case (the source is referenced: The Guardian) or like US drones that regularly accidentally enter Iranian Air space.

Guardian story about CIA Agent: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/12/robert-levinson-iran-missing-cia-secret

Anyhow Iran’s reaction has been very mild. Looking back at what Turkey did as a Russian Airplane entered its Airspace for a few seconds, it shows how much Iran has actually softened its stance. While this is good for the “Sailors” it seems that some GOP candidates are quite frustrated that the Americans were set free as easily:

http://lobelog.com/republicans-self-defeating-attack-on-obamas-iran-policy/

US “boats”: speed boats in full camouflage and highly equipped with weapons:

 

US boat camouflage coloring sailors Iran Persian Gulf

More info about the boats: http://www.popsci.com/what-were-boats-that-iran-captured?src=SOC&dom=fb

“On their way from Kuwait to Bahrain”:

US Sailors on the way from Kuwait to Bahrain

These highly trained professionals should be trained better in navigation.

And here their weapons:

US sailors weapons Iran Persian Gulf

Great article by Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept:

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/13/us-media-condemns-irans-aggression-in-intercepting-us-naval-ships-in-iranian-waters/

Glenn Greenwald is the holder of multiple awards including the George Polk Award

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The origin of the “modern” Sunni Shia conflict

This conflict is not going on forever as stated by many people who lack the knowledge and hence oversimplify and trivialize. Less than two decades ago there was not such a violent conflict. Hence this is not an endless conflict and we can go back to the situation that we had not too long ago.

We have to take a look at the beginnings, analyze the ones who profited most and stop to listen to their rhetoric

http://qz.com/476191/remembering-the-bomb-that-started-the-middle-easts-sectarian-war/

Another interesting article on this topic is the following one written by Seymour Hersh the Pulitzer Prize winner for the New Yorker in 2007. What he wrote then can explain a lot of things that are happening today in the middle east:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

If you ask me the Sunni Shia conflict as it has gotten momentum after the Iraq war had three main reasons:

  1. It was a “good” way of divide and conquer used by the US who had big problems fighting Sunni and Shia insurgency. Violence between these two groups took the load off the US army in Iraq.
  2. After the invasion of Iraq, Iran had emerged as the winner of the happenings, neither the self called “leader of the Arab world” Saudi Arabia nor their partners, the US, could be happy about this outcome. Saudi Arabia as country that is suppressing its own Shia minority was not happy to have a Shia dominated Iraq, and a democracy as a neighbor. Democracy in Iraq would indeed be poised to put a Shia leadership on Shia majority Iraq.
  3. Arab public polls in 2006 (as effect of the war between Israel and Hezbollah) had shown that the Arab public was in fact favorizing non Sunni leaders. The most favorite politicians were Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad and Ahmadinejad. (Two Shia and one Alawite).
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7347613.stm
    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Poll-Nasrallah-most-admired-leader-in-Arab-world
    This was a major blow back for the wannabe “leaders of the Arab world”. Strengthening sectarianism seemed to improve Saudi Arabia’s position in a Arab world that was favorizing non Sunni leaders that were in contrast to the leadership of Saudi Arabia not appeasing to the West and to Israel.

Iran was in its best position right after Saddam was removed. A huge military threat next to Iran was removed making Iran the undisputed power after Israel in the region. With the start of the sectarian conflict Iran has only lost, as this conflict has inflicted huge costs on Iran. It is also interesting to point out that Iran was in its policies mainly opposed to Israel was never going against Sunnis. Infact Iran’s opposition to Israel was on behalf of Sunni Palestinans, who were supported by Iran and Syria more than by any country in the Persian Gulf region (mostly crazily rich countries that never took any Sunni refugees while advocating them selves as truly Sunni nations).

So, who profited:

  1. Saudi Arabia: With the US worried about Iran as emerging power in the region, arms sales to Sunni monarchies took off, making Saudi Arabia the biggest importer of US and European weapons. the result is a more and more aggressive foreign policy by Saudi Arabia. The positive or at least neutral views on Shia and the anger on Sunni monarchies are replaced with fear and hate mongering towards Shia, making Saudi Arabia the protector of Sunnis in the region, though Saudi Arabia has refused to take any Syrian refugees, leaving the load on the shoulders of much poorer nations in the region and on the shoulder of Christian European countries.
  2. USA: Through divide and conquer, the insurgency against the US turned towards violence between the insurgents.
  3. Israel: The opposition and hate towards Israel was replaced with hate between the two main factions of Islam, fighting off each other at heavy costs, while Sunni Arab countries and Israel moving closer together than ever before.
    Israeli official: Israel quite content if Syria war goes on

    Jerusalem Post: Israel treating al-Qaida fighters wounded in Syria civil war
    The biggest opposing Arab power and most dangerous neighbor set back for decades and thrown into a devastating civil war.

But how would these profiteers fuel the conflict and keep it rolling:

  1. Use proxies in Iraq to start attacks on Shia, trying to provoke counter attacks. Thanks god for the most part counter attacks remained quite rare, also because Grand Ayatollah Sistani the most important Shia leader called for Iraqi unity and discouraged counter attacks for almost a decade until finally calling for resistance, not against Sunni Iraqis but against IS.
  2. Declare a for the Arab world NOT uncommon way, of putting down demonstrations in Syria, as a sectarian war towards Sunnis, even though Assad had been the most secular leader in the Arab world and the only one standing up against Israel. Hosting the biggest share of Sunni Palestinians for years,  having a Sunni wife he was hardly some one fighting Sunnis. Using opinion building tools like Al Jazeera and Al Arabia (controlled by the Qatari and Saudi monarchs) the Syrian conflict was miss portrayed of an Army of Alawites fighting the Sunni people of Syria. 5 Years into the conflict it is clear that the Syrian Army is consists of a big share of Sunnis who rather fight against the opposition who is more and more non Syrian with the biggest and most mighty groups (IS and Al Nusra) being mainly foreign mercenaries from Chechnya, Tunisia, … , where as Sunni Syrians often flee from rebel owned areas to Government controlled areas.
    Read more about this: here

 

USA – Iran: What you need to know – a short but rich summary and comment

If you want to see some must read non political posts on USA-Iran, head over to:

http://theotheriran.com/category/usa/

You will find multiple interesting posts including:

Iran’s extraordinary reaction to 9/11, a reaction that was unique in the region:

http://theotheriran.com/2014/03/29/irans-exceptional-reaction-to-911-attacks-candlelit-vigils-for-the-victims-and-60k-soccer-fans-respected-a-minutes-silence/

How US athletes are celebrated by Iranians shouting “USA,USA”:

http://theotheriran.com/2014/08/02/american-athletes-get-star-treatment-in-iran-usa-usa-chants-for-us-athletes/

Iranian players handed out white roses (a symbol of peace in Iran) to the US players during a football/soccer match in 1998:

http://theotheriran.com/2014/03/21/iranian-players-handed-white-roses-a-symbol-of-peace-in-iran-to-the-us-players-prior-to-soccer-match/

An address by Italy’s former Ambassador to Iran telling US students in John Hopkins University about how the common Iranians really view the US:

http://theotheriran.com/2014/08/24/italys-former-ambassador-to-iran-no-iranians-dont-hate-you/

And some incredible travel reports by US Americans who really have been in Iran (in contrast to the most opinionated politicians):

http://theotheriran.com/category/usa/

Let’s move to the comment part:

Since the hostage crisis in 1979 mainstream US TV, which is still the main source of information for most of the people in the US, has not really shown multiple sides of Iran. The media coverage has focused on the happenings in 1979 and showing recordings of Iranians shouting anti-American slogans. The hostage crisis took 444 days and Iran was seen as the main adversary of the US. Unfortunately this view has manifested itself since then.

If you compare the hostage taking with what is happening these days in other parts of the world, it does not seem as insuperable hurdle for peace making. The hostages were not put in orange jumpsuits, were not beaten or tortured, they were basically put under house arrest. Shortly after the embassy takeover, the students released women and African American personnel, citing solidarity with “oppressed minorities.” Another hostage, Richard Queen, was released in 1980 due to health problems.
70% of the Iranians are under 40 years. So most of the people living in Iran were not even five years old when the embassy takeover happened. I don’t care about the governments but the people deserve peace and shouldn’t be barred from reestablishing friendship.
After all why should this be impossible when the US could see Germany as partner and friend a few years after millions were killed in WWII and the Holocaust. Germany got a second chance and a lot of help (Marshal Plan) after committing unbelievable crimes.

The hostage taking was bad, but then what about:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/

or the downing of a civilian Iranian Air liner over the Persian Gulf by the US navy (290 passengers, 66 children):

http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/shootingdown_iranair_flight655.php

Vice President George H. W. Bush (later President of United States of America) declared a month later,
“I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

“Death to America” slogans are bad, but what about:

John McCain singing “Bomb, Bomb, bomb Iran” in front of applauding audience: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9688222

US Senator on Iran Sanctions: “take the food out of the mouths of the Iranian citizens”:
http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/10/12/342194/kirk-food-from-mouths-iran/

or the US classic “All military options are on the table”

Iranians still hold a lot of admiration for the US. Opinion polls show the majority of Iranians hold a favorable opinion of Americans, making Iran second only to Israel as the most supportive country in the Middle East. Iranians are not resentful and they are very well informed about the US ( Satellite TV, Internet ), may be if bigger parts of US media could focus on representing the majority of Iranians instead of a tiny minority, a lot of misunderstandings between our people could be solved.

US intel report scrapped Iran from list of terror threats

The importance of this news can hardly be overestimated:
“An annual report delivered recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats…”
http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-report-scraps-iran-hezbollah-from-list-of-terror-threats/

Maybe the US should start considering Israel a “terror threat”:
http://radioyaran.com/2015/03/15/israel-admits-helping-al-qaeda-nusra-front-against-syria/

http://radioyaran.com/2015/01/16/syrias-nusra-front-is-and-israel/

 

Israeli General Benny Gantz: ‘Rational’ Iranian leaders not pushing nuclear bomb

The Iranian leadership is intelligent enough to not start a war, they are far away from the crazy maniacs, as they are represented by the warmongering fraction:
http://theotheriran.com/2014/10/19/irans-president-has-more-cabinet-members-with-ph-d-degrees-from-u-s-universities-than-barack-obama-does/

Even Israeli General Benny Gantz sees it like that:
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/25/world/meast/israel-iran/

here also some must read articles about Iranians and the US:
http://theotheriran.com/tag/usa/

Meanwhile Benjamin Netanyahu ( Bibi ) continues with the fear strategy:

https://100wordz.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/christian-science-monitor-israeli-sources-on-netanyahus-track-record-of-lies-and-war-mongering/

Sanctions cannot stop the Iranian nuclear program, only a deal can

please take a close look to the graphic here and read the text below it:

No nuclear deal is worse for the west and for the regular Iranian people

No nuclear deal is worse for the west and for the regular Iranian people

No deal is worse for the west (no control at all, Iran can ditch the NPT at all and use its full power to go nuclear), and for the Iranian public (the only ones in Iran who are suffering):
https://100wordz.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/ban-ki-moon-iran-facing-difficulties-to-import-food-and-medicine/

(the 100wordz links just cite popular western or Israeli news sites – sources included)

BTW Iranians will not standup against the regime, because of hurting sanctions.
They are too busy having 3 jobs to support their family because of the sanctions.

Even if US and Israeli politicians would like to see it this way:
https://100wordz.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/netanjahu-aid-irans-citizens-should-be-starved-in-order-to-curb-tehrans-nuclear-program/

The sanctions could not stop Iran to go from approx. 3k centrifuges to 19k centrifuges, only a deal can. In the case of the deal they are willing to go back to 6k centrifuges and export enriched uranium out of the country, under IAEA supervision.

You think you know about Iran and Iranians?? Think twice:

http://theotheriran.com/tag/minorities/

http://theotheriran.com/tag/usa/

37 Organizations to Congress: Quit Playing Politics with Deal to Prevent Iran War

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions.

“The lawmakers pretending to be shocked are the ones who never had any intention of trading in sanctions to get a peaceful nuclear deal,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “They wanted to use sanctions to either make the standoff with Iran permanent, as with Cuba, or start a catastrophic war, as with Iraq.”

Congress has consistently provided the necessary authority for the President to temporarily suspend sanctions on Iran as necessary. Yet some of the Republican authors of the sanctions bills, including Mark Kirk and Ileana Ros Lehtinen, have been the most vocal critics of the President’s plan to use those authorities.

“If Iran upholds its commitments and the deal is working, Congress would need to authorize permanent sanctions relief,” said Abdi. “But some lawmakers simply do not want any peaceful deal and are grasping at straws to try to prevent it.”

You can view the letter below or as a PDF.

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/oct/1139.html