Iran has threatened Europe with diplomatic and economic
reprisals if any sanctions are imposed on Iran. This appears to have worked, as
there is still no agreement on sanctions, even though Iran blew past a UN
August 31 deadline to stop processing uranium. Iran openly boasts of having won
its battle avoid economic sanctions, and vows to continue its nuclear program
without interference. Israel, however, continues to openly threaten to do something,
which might include military action.
11, 2006:The government is hosting a two day conference to study the
proposition that the World War II Nazi murder of six million Jews is a myth.
Fantasies are popular in the Middle East, and have been for a long
10, 2006:The small group of clerics that hold the real power in Iran
(they can veto anything the government wants to do), are discussing moving up
the presidential elections, to cut short the term of current president
Ahmadinejad (who even many Iranians agree is an unstable blowhard.) Ahmadinejad
does have the common touch, though, and that worries the senior clerics as
2, 2006:The Arab countries in the Middle East are worried more about Iran
than Israel, but have a hard time admitting it publicly. But the reality of the
situation is that Israel has nukes, a powerful army, and is not inclined to
conquer all its neighbors. Iran, on the other hand, wants nukes, has a powerful
army and has a long history of conquering its neighbors. For this reason, the
Arab states consider Iraq a disaster. Saddam may have been a son-of-a-bitch,
but he was a Sunni Arab SOB, and thus determined to resist any offensive moves
by Iran. Now Saddam is out, and his Sunni Arab followers in Iraq are on their
way out (literally, they used to be 20 percent of Iraq's population, but are
now less than 15 percent and sinking fast. ) Iraq is run by Shia Arabs, many of
them openly pro-Iran. Arabs are torn between sucking up to, and surrendering
to, Iran, and resisting Iran.
30, 2006: Ten days of military exercises this month seemed to be aimed
directly at the smaller Gulf states, trying to intimidate places like Bahrain
and the United Arab Emirates into not contesting Iranian aggression.
27, 2006: Most of the Iranian army (390,000 troops) and Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps (120,000 troops, to protect the clerical dictatorship from the
army) are deployed along the Iraqi border. Training exercises lately have
included practice of guerilla warfare tactics. About ten percent of the armed
forces are deployed on the Afghan and Pakistani border, where they are fighting
an active war against drug smugglers. For the last decade, this battle has
produced several hundred casualties a year.