iran nuclear deal 2
Foreign Affairs

Iran nuclear deal: Obama is fulfilling Shia 'End Times' prophecy

 

The Iran nuclear deal thrashed out between Tehran and Washington has heartened 99% of the world. It was a triumph for diplomacy; the vindication of politics; a welcome and refreshing injection of optimism and hope in a region where bad news and bloodshed are the order of every single day of every distressing month. Who in their right mind could possibly object to an nuclear agreement which makes the Middle East more stable and the world a safer place?

It isn’t only the United States that deserves credit: Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have all applied their political wisdom and diplomatic effort to reach this point. It is a cause of hope that jaw-jaw has nullified the possibility of nuclear war-war. Diplomacy gets a lot of bad press these days: much easier to send in the drones and drop a few bombs.

It is easy to view Iran through the post-Shah prism of the West and decry its primitive apprehension of women’s rights and its unenlightened theo-political fusion of revolution and sharia. But Iran is an ancient country with five millennia of civilisation behind it. It is myopic to read a statement put out by President Hassan Rouhani or a fatwa issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and assume that Iran’s young, educated population share the values of their elders and putative leaders. They yearn to join the the family of respected world nations, but daren’t voice opposition to the Ayatollah cult for fear of being ‘disappeared’ or suspended from the nearest crane. We easily forget that 10,000 of these youngsters held candlelit vigils and 60,000 spectators observed a minute’s silence at Tehran’s soccer stadium in the wake of the attacks on September 11th 2001. They were profoundly moved by the atrocity and felt compassion for the ‘Great Satan’. You tend not to shed a tear for those you hate, or weep with the prince of evil.

The Iran nuclear deal makes the country a partner in bringing stability to the Middle East. As their Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, it is a “win-win” solution to end “an unnecessary crisis and open new horizons for dealing with serious problems that affect our international community”. President Rouhani tweeted: “#Irandeal shows constructive engagement works. With this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges.”

So why does Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounce the deal as a “one of the darkest days in world history” and a “stunning historic mistake”? You can’t put it down to the cause of Zionism: Saudi Arabia also has concerns.

Might it possibly be that, once again, the ‘developed’ nations of the world have naively forged a solution of secular vacuity in a space that is gravely religious?

Cleric Hassan Rouhani is a pious man, devoted like all Shias to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam. This President, like the previous one, believes that his government must prepare the country for the Imam’s return. All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days in the company of Isa (Jesus). But President/Cleric Rouhani pledged himself with Ayatollah Khamenei decades ago to work for the return of the Mahdi. Indeed, Iran’s military involvement in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq was (and is) purposely designed to agitate against Israel to hasten the Last Day. Iran’s dominant ‘Twelver’ sect believes the Mahdi will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam and descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.

Iran’s entire theo-political agenda is driven by Shia theology which is guarded by clerics who ensure that all legislation complies with their interpretation of Islamic law. And when it comes to foreign policy, this can only mean one thing for Israel, for they hold to the divine promise made in the Al-Israa Sura (Sura 17) that they will liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the first ‘Kaba’ to the Muslims – and will enter it as they have entered it the first time (Sura 17, ayat 7). And the prophetic foundation is the message of Mohammed that Islam will enter every house and will spread over the entire world.

They are dedicated and pledged with their lives to the ‘liberation of Palestine’ – all of Palestine. They describe the Jewish state as “a kidney transplanted in a body that rejected it”, asserting that the United States may want to “save the Zionist entity, but it will not be able to do so”. Nuclear power is the great equaliser: what begins with the production of electricity will end with a Shahab-3 missile. The Iran nuclear deal is not only a triumph for secular political diplomacy; it is the culmination of Shia Islamic eschatology. It is elemental to Iran’s final solution.

  • The Explorer

    Is Obama also fulfilling CHRISTIAN end-times prophecy?

    • sarky

      You could be on to something. Take his daughters names Malia and Natasha, spell them backwards AILAM…AHSATAN, now take his gods name out of it, alah. This leaves (A) I (L) AM (A) (H) SATAN. Spooky, think I should make the most of this before you are all raptured.

      • dannybhoy

        Why would we be ruptured Sarky?

        • sarky

          You tell me? Are you not worthy?

      • The Explorer

        I don’t personally believe in the Rapture as a separate event, because I do not believe that Christians will be spared the Final Tribulation.

        Islam got its idea of a Second Coming from Christianity (why medieval Christianity saw Islam as a Christian heresy). That’s what I’m getting at.

        • sarky

          What’s Obama got to do with it?

      • avi barzel

        That’s impressive word play there, Sarky! Is this your work? Can’t think of a way for you to spin a buck out of it…unless you go on YouTube, dressed all in black, with a bank of computers behind you and stretch the drama for at least 3 minutes.

        • sarky

          Ha ha, can’t take the credit I’m afraid. Just trying to point out the absurdity and danger of trying to match so called prophecy to current events.

      • DanJ0

        :O It’s a sign, a sign I tell ya!

    • Maxine Schell

      If Obama is fulfilling Christian anything, I believe it is quite unintentional.

  • Orwell Ian

    No one should object to an Middle East agreement that made the World a safer place. This one will be an epic failure. Western signatories are deluded by their insane creed of globalised multiculturalism where all regimes and systems are equal, and we must treat them as equals in moral and political terms even though they are not. Once again red lines undoubtedly drawn in disappearing ink are supposed to deter those whose theo-political convictions are unshakable, whose worldview is supremacist and whose Messiah is invincible. Appeasing “The Religion of Peace” will never produce “The Religion of Peace In Our Time”.

  • The Explorer

    With the Islamic Second Coming of Jesus, Jeus will destroy the Cross, abolish Christianity, and establish global Islam, Not quite the same as the Christian understanding.

    • dannybhoy

      I have a book entitled “The Islamic AntiChrist” by Joel Richardson.
      Can’t make head nor tail of it…

      • The Explorer

        Don’t know that one, but I have read ‘Mid East Beast’ by the same guy. He contends that speculation about the EU as in any way predicted in ‘Revelation’ is wide of the mark. End-time events will all be focused in the Middle East. The role of Islam will be key. Makes a lot of sense to me.

        • dannybhoy

          The problem for me is that the Koran is to put it mildly, very difficult to follow. There are portions that I kind of understand (sort of) but the parts referring to the Mahdi I just couldn’t get.
          You can have the book if you want it…

  • Strange they have a theology which says their messiah will liberate that mosque, given that it is actually run by Muslim clerics with Jordanian approval & the only group not allowed there and the temple mount are Jews….. so presumably they want to liberate the mosques from fellow Muslims?

  • Oh and as for this deal, it sucks. Iran with nuclear capacity makes the region less, not more safe. Not for just Israel, but for the Arab allies of the US. Wait till Saudis start getting nukes or developing nuclear power.

    • dannybhoy

      They’ll be offering a free nuke with every mosque..

  • Athanasius

    I’m not sure what this is all about (Mr Cranmer’s post, I mean). Protestants in general tend to be more worried about prophecies than they properly should be, but even a Protestant should know better than to concern himself with the prophecies of a false creed. As to Israel and Saudi being in the same bed, well, I’m just shocked to the very core of my existence.

    • Are you, or have you ever been, or have you ever posted upon this blog on a previous platform as ‘Corrigan’?

      • avi barzel

        Chirp…chirp…chirp…..

    • avi barzel

      You know, Corrigan, ole buddy, if you had just resisted the temptation to roll Protestants and Jews into one post, His Grace might not have noticed you.

  • Albert

    I recently did quite a bit of reading about the Middle East, especially Iran. To my surprise, I came away from it much happier with countries like Iran than I expected (and slightly bothered by missed opportunities towards them. Other countries, like Saudi Arabia were more worrying in fact (despite being our allies). I hope all this is therefore a good thing. We shall see.

    BTW, during the Iran-Iraq war, when most Western countries sunned Iran (despite the fact that Iran was attacked by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq). There was one Western country that offered Iran support: Israel.

    • carl jacobs

      The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Iraq was much more threatening to Israel in 1980 than the shattered revolutionary hulk that was Iran. One of the reasons the Iranians took such fearful casualties is that they had nothing but infantry to exploit breakthroughs. They had little besides infantry at all. They couldn’t carry an attack 20 miles let alone all the way to Israel.

      • Albert

        Clearly. All I’m saying though, is that there is a complexity here, and Israel was ready to break ranks and support a far less sensible regime than there is now.

    • IanCad

      The cynic in me can’t help but wonder if Israel’s help wasn’t prompted by the same sentiments famously voiced by Henry Kissinger: “Too bad they both can’t lose.” Providing weapons prolongs the war – more casualties on both sides.

      • Albert

        Quite possibly! I really can’t remember.

      • avi barzel

        Iraq was a much greater threat than Iran. Few projected that a backward regime of religious fanatics could pose a global threat.

  • saintmark

    Perhaps it will give us a few more years if the Sunni’s and Shia fight it out amongst themselves for supremacy before the victor turns their attention to us

  • pawnraider

    With all due respect Your Grace, but I just cannot understand how naïve the supporters of this “deal” can be. Just a few days ago there were crowds in Iran shouting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. How can we expect to trust a state that is a state sponsor and exporter of terrorism. They have cheated on previous deals before so why should we think they will not do so this time? Now that billions have been unfrozen from their accounts they will have billions more to fund terrorist groups and weapons and the like. President Clinton negotiated a similar deal with North Korea and assured the US and the world that such a deal would prevent them from developing the bomb. North Korea tested their first nuclear bomb in 2006. I cannot help but think that this is a bit of legacy shopping by the President with potentially disastrous consequences. Why should we expect Iran to behave responsibly now and in the future when they most certainly have not done so in the past?

    • john in cheshire

      Don’t the muslims call this kind of deal Hudna; an agreement with the infidels to stop fighting? I believe that the koran permits this when muslims in a position of weakness, it is a breathing space to allow them to regroup and re-arm and is only allowed to last for a maximum of 10 years or until the muslims are strong enough to resume battle and win. Agreements, as we in the West understand them, are just not possible with muslims.

  • carl jacobs

    To stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons would require war. Who is willing to go to war? The Israelis are willing, but they are too far away. They could never sustain a conventional fight across that distance. And Osirak was a was a one-time opportunity. Airstrikes wouldn’t work again – because nations learned from the strike at Osirak. So who else? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? … No, I didn’t think so.

    So now people are running around saying “Iran will get nukes! Iran will get nukes.” If I wanted to be cynical I would suggest everyone wait until there is actual “credible intelligence” of WMD before anyone started shouting “Iran will get nukes! Iran will get nukes.” You don’t know that Iran will get nukes, after all. We wouldn’t want to rush in to act on some flimsy pretext. We might end up fighting another war for stable oil prices – or whatever.

    Yes, Iran will get nukes. And the world will have to deal with that fact. But perhaps now you understand my reaction to the torrent of criticism heaped upon President Bush and the US for Iraq. All of the criticism was enabled by the reality that Iraq would not get those weapons. It is easy to criticize when the contrary outcome has already been preempted. It’s easy to say “That was a terrible war! It should never have been fought!” when the consequences of not fighting the war would never be realized.

    If you wanted Iran to stay non-nuclear, then you shouldn’t have undermined the Second Iraq War. That was the actual club that could have kept Iran at bay. But you blathered on about intelligence, and blood for oil, and unjust wars. You never understood the implications of not preempting a nuclear-armed Iraq, and yet here you are shivering over the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran. Shocked I am, Shocked to the core of my existence.

    • CliveM

      Ok ignoring the fact that you feel the current situation is a result of the undermining of GW2, are you saying that if the US hadn’t been undermined in this way, war with Iran would be the right answer to this problem?

      • carl jacobs

        Do you want Iran to get nukes or not? If the answer is “No” then your option is war. The deterrent affect of threatened war was destroyed when Gulf War II was delegitimized. So the Iranians basically have a free hand, and they know it. Hence your limited set of options.

        We fought a war in 2003 and you called us “Bastards!” We sign an agreement in 2015 and you call us “Idiots!” Well, you can’t have it both ways. You got what you asked for with all those “Blood for Oil” signs. Remember that when Iran pops off a nuke.

        • CliveM

          Ehhm, I’m calling you nothing of the sort!

          War with Iran with the current state of things in the ME would be a brave (foolhardy?) step. But I don’t feel you have answered my question. Is the threat such that the west should go to war with Iran? What, if asked by the President, would you advise?

          • I suspect Carl is referring to the European view and actions of the Iraq war, in general…. even in Britain Tony Blair was and still is vilified for his decision to support the US.

          • CliveM

            Tony Blair is rightly vilified because he lied.

          • carl jacobs

            If the war was based on a lie, and the deal is buried in naivete, then what do you want? A writ from the International Criminal Court ordering the Iranians to cease and desist? A stern finger-wagging from the UNSC? The every failing illusion of sanctions?

            What do you want to do?

          • CliveM

            On balance I supported GW2, whilst I had concerns about what we were being told, I didn’t support the war because of immediate concerns Over WMD, but because I saw the status quo at the time as unsustainable. The Left were agitating for sanctions to be lifted and Sadam was a problem that needed to be solved. If sanctions had lifted, with him in charge some form of WMD was inevitable.

            Tony Blair lied to get support for a war. When you ask people to die for you, you need to tell the truth. His dodgy dossier was a disgrace. This is an internal UK political issue and doesn’t for me impact on the ultimate rightness or wrongness of GW2.

            What do I think should be done about Iran? I really don’t know. It would be impossible to get support for a war and if there was to be one, I would prefer it to be against IS. I think the deal may have been the least bad option. I agree, if Iran wants the nuclear bomb, even with the sanctions it would have got it. This may give it a reason not to. I don’t believe it, but as war against Iran isn’t an option, what alternatives are there?

          • DanJ0

            He lied because there wasn’t a ‘legal’ basis for war otherwise. At least in the Machiavellian sense, the UK cares about not being seen as an aggressor and violator of sovereign space these days.

          • CliveM

            Yes good point. But I also think he needed to lie because he knew he wouldn’t otherwise get Commons backing, even if the real reason had been legal (which I admit it probably wasn’t ).

          • carl jacobs

            Ehhm, I’m calling you nothing of the sort!

            Apologies. “You” should be read in the same way a German reads “ihr.” Sam is quite correct. I was referring to the response of Europe in general.

            I wrote that post quickly. I wasn’t careful to avoid personalization. My fault.

          • CliveM

            Nae problem big man.

          • avi barzel

            Instead of ihr or sei perhaps you can use a classic of American Ebonics, you’s?

          • carl jacobs

            Canadians are supposed to be nice, harmless, inoffensive creatures. Like baby seals. Was that a properly Canadian statement? Are you proudly upholding the honor and reputation of Canada?

          • avi barzel

            Yeah, I know, but we’ve been getting a bit cocky lately; steady economy, bloodied on the battlefields and getting tossed out of the UN security council for pissing off your messiah and the Palestinians got our balls back. You guys should try dumping your liberals this time atound; eight years is too long and look at the mess you can make in that time.

          • carl jacobs

            There is no political basis for war at the moment. The country would not support it. So, no, I would not recommend war. Unfortunately, war is the only available method to prevent Iran from achieving its objective. So Iran has a free path to the nuclear club. You could view this deal as a concession to that reality. If the Iranians are serious, then the deal prevents a nuclear Iran. If Iran was going to develop nukes anyways, then no one is worse off than if there had been no deal at all.

            The Iranians are going to do what they want because no other country will exert force to stop them. And they know it.

    • dannybhoy

      As the headline says..
      “Iran nuclear deal: Obama is fulfilling Shia ‘End Times’ prophecy”
      Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in an ‘End Time’ which God Himself will bring about in His own good time.

      It seems to me to becoming more evident than ever that our world has a limited shelf life.
      A ‘sell by’ date.
      Whether through pollution of the environment, plague, overpopulation, wars and nuclear bombs, our world will come to an end.
      As St Peter says,
      2nd Peter 3:1-13 for context
      10 But the day
      of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will
      pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent
      heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.[c] 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.. ”

      Whatever man does to achieve peace, he will not find a permanent solution because unregenerate man must first make peace with his God.

    • Dude

      Presumably nuclear reactors require lots of sophisticated computers and electronic gizmos. So could Israel try and sabotage then via cyber warfare, rather than via bombs?

      • IanCad

        Didn’t they do exactly that a couple of years ago?

        • DanJ0

          Stuxnet in their S7s.

    • Albert

      If you wanted Iran to stay non-nuclear, then you shouldn’t have undermined the Second Iraq War.

      The balance of power in the Middle East was badly upset by that war. If one wants to see the cause of the rise of Iran in the region, is it is the demise of Iraq.

      • carl jacobs

        The balance of power in Europe was badly upset by the defeat of Nazi Germany as well. It led directly to the rise of the Soviet Union. But the alternative was not some balance of power between Germany and Russia. The alternative was German victory and domination.

        The alternative to the destruction of Iraq was not balance of power. It was Iraqi hegemony. That would be the major problem in the ME, and not the prospect of an Iranian nuke. At least the Iranians are a little more sensible than Iraq. Just as the SU was more sensible than Hitler’s Germany. The problems preempted by that war would have been immeasurably greater.

        • Albert

          There was I thinking that we don’t see what would have happened if we had acted differently.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not prophesy, Albert. It’s propagation.

          • Albert

            Interesting use of the word “propagation”.

          • carl jacobs

            Propagate: To cause (a wave, for example) to move in some direction or through a medium; transmit.

          • Albert

            One of the reasons why consequentialist ethics don’t work, is that you cannot know all the causes and all their effects. Thus it is prophecy, not propagation.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t know with certainty what would have happened if (say) the RAF had lost the Battle of Britain. But I know the answer with sufficiency. And that is enough. We make decisions all the time in sufficient expectation of consequences because certainty is beyond our grasp. That’s why I taught my children to not play in the street. I could sufficiently foresee the consequences. And who would fault me for it?

            It’s not hard to see with sufficiency the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iraq under Saddam Hussein. You justify inaction by appealing to the lack of certainty. But when the predictable consequences of your inaction come to fruition, you won’t be able to hide behind your philosophy books. “We didn’t know with certainty!” isn’t much of an excuse.

          • Albert

            Yes, but as usual, you seem to know more about this situation than you actually do. We don’t know that Saddam was going to end up nuclear armed.

          • carl jacobs

            You have to mitigate a risk before the risk is realized. Once that particular risk became realized, it could no longer be mitigated. The risk of a nuclear-armed Saddam was so great, it could not be chanced. That’s the point. It was not possible to wait to act until Saddam acquired nuclear weapons, because once he had acquired them, he would have been invulnerable behind them.

            It’s not about what we know. It’s about the consequences we can reasonably foresee.

          • avi barzel

            Vewy, vewy wise. You’re on a roll again, Carl.

          • Albert

            No that won’t work. You are ignoring other questions:

            1. How strong is the risk of him acquiring such weapons?
            2. How does this compare with risks in similar places (i.e. is this a consistent policy, and if so, does it provide a precedent?).
            3. How does the danger of the risk compare with the dangers inherent of going to war?

            As to what was known:

            1. The evidence was lacking.
            2. It does not appear consistent
            3. I don’t think 3. was even addressed.

            Therefore, the war was irrational.

          • avi barzel

            Forgive the interjection, Albert, but 1) Iraq was attempting to develop or purchase a nuclear capacity, 2) a useful comparison is impossible due to insufficient number of examples 3) the danger of an aggressive, unhinged nuclear state is incalculable, whereas modern conventional wars are.

          • Albert

            My understanding is that 1 is wrong and everything hinges on that.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Whilst it’s more difficult to say what would have happened if there had been no Second Iraq War, I’m fairly confident that ISIS would never have risen up if we hadn’t left the region when we did. I was never a supporter of the original invasion, but once we were in, it was our responsibility not only to rebuild, as we did West Germany, but to provide consistent, and, yes, costly security through our presence.

            The only thing worse than creating a vacuum is vacating one for others to fill.

          • carl jacobs

            Grutch

            The post-war plan in Iraq was (shall we say) afflicted by excessively optimistic assumptions. But could it ever have succeeded anyways? The only American experience with nation-building is from the Second World War. In that case, we were dealing with two cultures that had been thoroughly beaten. That wasn’t true in Iraq. We defeated the army and the Gov’t but not the people or its culture. That culture survived the war intact – unlike Germany and Japan, Many people in Iraq wanted Saddam gone. Then they wanted us to give their particular faction power and get out. They started shooting in order to get us out. The reality is that a mission to build a country is going to lose public support fast if soldiers keep dying, responsibility or not. It was not a politically sustainable mission.

            I’m not sure there was a viable alternative to trying the Pollyanna-ish route, however. The effective solution to Iraqi security would have been to give the country to a reliable Iraqi officer, tell him to run the country as required, and discretely look the other way when he employed less than Western-approved methods. Could we have done that? It would have produced a far better outcome than today. We might be able to do that today – but only because of the experience in Iraq. I don’t think we need a costly and consistent presence in Iraq. We needed a more realistic assessment about the limitations of Muslim culture.

          • Albert

            I completely agree.

          • avi barzel

            We can’t ride the imaginary trajectory and assume that Saddam and the Ba’athist (or any of the old strongmen throughout the region) would still be in power, that Islamists, as bad, the same or worse than ISIS, would not be raging in the region. Or that once going nuclear, that he would have turned out to be a responsible member of the exclusive club.

            The assumed responsibility to rebuild everything and the unrealistic attempts to bring-in democracy is what screwed the whole project. Providing basic security and assistance to Iraq to rebuild its oil infrastructure and fund its own rebuilding would have been better. Soldiers are not social workers and the further away from civilians they are, the better for both sides. We are going on the post WWII axiom that diplomacy, now “smart diplomacy” can achieve everything. It can’t. Raw power projected by the foremost civilization or civilizations is inevitable. That is the situation that secures the highways, the trade routes, the sea lanes, agriculture, mining, fisheries and the urban centres. A civilization that abdicates this responsibility, navel-gazes, wrings its hands and questions its mandate too much and allows for the vacuum you mention, begins the slow destruction of itself, of civilization in general. So, here we are.

    • avi barzel

      Good arguments have been made that Iran is at the end of its financial ropes and had the sanctions continued, it would have capitulated rather than face the a popular revolt it has been afraid of. So, no, before this idiotic, suicidal “win-win deal” a war might not have been necessary. Now, it’s a near certainty, because after Obama gets his peace awards, the Russians and Chinese get to sell their arms and the Euros their… I don’t know, cheese?… all will gasp at the laughing Shi’ite lunatics as they pump billions into proxy wars and with their nice new nuclear-tipped inter-continentals will start bullying all those near and far…including the EU and the US.

      Regarding the limitations Israel faces, agreed, but with collaboration with the Saudis, such as temporary landing and base rights and air support assistance, the IAF can at least set back the program by a few years and do a nasty number on oil installations and ports on the flight back. But you are right about the Iraq. Does everyone actually think that all would have been hunky-dory with Iraq? Anyhow, everyone moaned about the horrors of wars and occupations, cheered on a withdrawal and eventually Obama shot that victory to smithereens as part of his “peace portfolio.”

      Just realized; you never directly criticise the current admin. Don’t tell me you’re still in your greens. At your age too!

      • carl jacobs

        I agree that this deal is a stupid idea. I would rather things had continued along the lines you say. As a general rule, I’m not to fond of unenforceable treaties by which a nation agrees to forego something in its national interest. But I think doing so would only have delayed the inevitable.

        My point was about the inconsistency between the ex post facto judgment on the Second Iraq War and this reaction to Iran. If people are concerned about Iran getting nukes now, then why weren’t they concern about Iraq getting nukes then? And if they are concerned, then what do they think should be done about it? It makes no sense to yap about ineffective solutions. Short of invasion, I don’t know an effective solution.

        • avi barzel

          You must take into account the degree of awareness and depth of knowledge of ME events then and now. 9/11 changed everything and the Internet as well. Iraq was led by a thug, but mostly secular, comprehensible thug, whereas Iran is a loonie bin. Besides, the uttter stupidity of this deal is so blatant, people are wondering what is going on.

          War? Hardly. First, as I mentioned, if there is no deal and sanxtions hold, Iran will have to surrender a lot more. That is is still possible if Hillary gets cold feet and lets 20 Democrats cross the floor. The Saudis are not without resources, neither is Israel and if Uncke Sam would have to pull every one’s chestnuts out of the fire again, an Iran strike would not be an Iraq or Afghanistan. You know better than any of us that the US could nullified not only Iran’s program, but its infrastructure

          • avi barzel

            (Fat finger event)….infrastructure, oil installations and savage its military to boot. All this probably from the 5th Fleet the Inspector helpfully reminded us of. No need for the proverbial boots on the ground; Iranians are not Arab or Afghani peasants. They’ll shave, whip off their burkas,hang a few mullahs from the lamp posts and rebuild their country.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            Coming from you an amazingly breezy and optimistic assessment of the impact of a US strike on Iran. I can’t help but feel that things would turn out a bit more complicated then described.

          • avi barzel

            Not entirely coming from me; an assessment by a military intel chap I read a while back. It hinges on two things; the fragility of Iran’s government and the impact of the mission. The latter is the more certain one; Iran is an oil economy and its ingrastructure is a soft target.

            People forget that the self-imposed restraint by the US presents a false under-estimate of US capabilities. Should the situation pose the “clear and present danger” to the US, self-restraint goes out the window.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            During WWII many people who believed they understood these things, thought the bombing campaign, would lead the German people to revolt against their government. It didn’t work, indeed it may even have helped secure their position.

            Far be it for me to poo, poo the guys assessment, but their is little in history that would support it. Such actions can bring a people together, give them common cause. To be certain if removing Iran’s leadership, you would need boots on the ground.

            Ps don’t you sleep?

          • avi barzel

            You need to ask yourself whether the revolt idea was an actual stated claim, or whether it was a corollary to other objectives. It is indisputable that the bombing campaigns targeted and severely degraded Germany’s industrial capacity and more importantly, reduced its pool of irreplaceable technical workforce. The destruction of historic and cultural property was never a goal; twentieth century industrial installations, especially crucial light industry were situated in urban centres. A revolt would have been nice, but proved to be impossible.

            There is little in history to offer any useful guidance to begin with. This is a unique situation; a medieval, messianic theocracy with all the tools modernity can offer. Good assessments are based on capabilities and facts on the ground. The US ability to destroy Iran’s infrastructure with air strikes is indisputable…it has yet to even show what going all the way out (short of battlefield nuclear) means. Iran’s social, economic and political situation and its fragility is also well known. At the very least, a strike will de-fang the state and disable it sufficiently to at least delay its nuclear program by decades, rather than a few years, as is the case now. It’s a pretty long stretch to imagine that the regime, which now has been impoverished and savaged will be carried on the shoulders of the populace which suffers under it. In comparing the situation to Germany’s, you are forgetting that Hitler lifted Germany out of the doldrums, modernized it and vastly improved the citizen’s living standards; even in the middle of a multi-front war!

            It goes without saying, btw, that your assessment is at least as uncertain as any other, the difference being, though, is that it proscribes waiting, doing little and hoping for the best. Otherwise, it’s fine.

            I do sleep, sometimes; a longish project involving a lot of waiting and allergies keep me up and being on Cranmer’s alleviates boredom.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            In fairness my assessment is based on what is currently politically possible. What I would like is not necessarily the same thing. Personally I have no problems with taking out Irans nuclear facilities. I just don’t believe it will cause Iran to implode.

            ” It is indisputable that the bombing campaigns targeted and severely degraded Germany’s industrial capacity and more importantly, reduced its pool of irreplaceable technical workforce. ”

            A lot of people do dispute it. The level of wartime production seemed little impacted in tonnage terms by the campaign. However the benefit was seen in the type of production. Germany had to expend a lot off effort into aerial defence, diverting significant levels of effort from production in support of offensive weaponry ie tanks etc.

          • avi barzel

            In fairness, the option for Britain and the US would have been to do nothing, not to touch German armament industries, let its people live in peace and hope that they would come to their senses, while Germany devasted entire natiions and peoples. Given the massive damage and well-documented massive damage to Germany’s industrial base, doesn’t it strike you that the claim of unaffected war production may be somewhat faulty?

            The assumption that a blow to the Iranian regime’s organs and projects would bring a revolt is highly credible and cannot be compared to WWII Germany. The fragility of the regime is well documented and there few paralkels between Germany and Iran in this case. Regardless of wheather such a strike would precipitate a change in government, leaving its government with damaged nuclear development centres, a mauled military and destroyed oil installations would at the very least severly weaken Iran’s ability to threaten the region.

          • carl jacobs

            Iraq was led by a thug, but mostly secular, comprehensible thug, whereas Iran is a loonie bin.

            From my perspective, Iraq was led by an unstable megalomaniac who saw himself as Nebuchadnezzer reborn. Hussein had already started two regional wars, and was far more dangerous to regional peace. Iran seems a fairly conservative country (relatively speaking) by comparison. Not benign, but not reckless, either. The Israelis are better off with Iran as a nuclear power than Iraq. Hussein might have launched one of those weapons.

            the US could nullified not only Iran’s program, but its infrastructure

            I don’t think that could have been done short of occupation. That’s why I think invasion is the only sure way to destroy the quest. You have to tear up the program root and branch. In the meantime, I will laugh at the prospect of UN inspectors significantly impeding the Iranian nuclear program.

            Inspector: “What’s behind that wall?’

            Iranian Escort: “What wall? That wall? Oh, nothing.”

            Inspector: “Well, OK, then. As long as it’s nothing.”

          • avi barzel

            I don’t know what makes you think Iran is the safer option. They’ve been wreaking havoc all over the region and having nukes to brandish while they do their crazy talk…well, accidents will happen. I think you are not taking into account the fact that a US strike on Iran which cripples its infrastructures will be the bitter end of the ayatollah regime. Any new government will eagerly agree to at most a safe, imported reactors…like our Canadian Candus; harmless as a kitten and you could run one yourself in your basement. Not that buggers need teactors with all that black gold gushing from the ground, but I imagine they’d like save face.

          • avi barzel

            From my perspective, Iraq was led by an unstable megalomaniac who saw himself as Nebuchadnezzer reborn.

            I was talking about the West’s perception of him. Quite a few were enamoured by him.

            I don’t think that could have been done short of occupation.

            My bad, owing to the hour and my device, I intended to speak in the present. I meant to say, that the US has the capacity (perhaps not the political will) to severely damage Iran either through cranked-up sanctions and a blockade, or through devastating airborne strikes which no other nation can imitate.

  • dannybhoy

    “The Iran nuclear deal thrashed out between Tehran and Washington has heartened 99% of the world.”
    ???
    And that assertion was based on what?
    I’m not ‘heartened’ in any way shape or form.
    It’s like Woody Allen once said misquoting Isaiah 11:6
    “And the lion and the lamb shall lay down together.”
    But the lamb won’t get much sleep….

  • Well,only time will tell if Iran reneges on the agreement or not. If they
    do then they will have to answer to the other countries that signed
    the contract to defrost the assets. No good fretting about it.

    Netanyahu stirs up panic which only goes toward self fulfilling prophesies.
    There are wider areas of influence at play other than Israel.

    Whist the Shiites with renewed vigour and their newly acquired arms from
    Russia will be in a good position to belt hell out of ISIS. I don’t
    think they’ll be bothering about little Israel and the Palestinians
    too much. Turkey who supports the Sunni jihadis have more to worry
    about.

    • avi barzel

      That’s a fairly good summary of the position Pravda has been pumping on behalf of the Kremlin, Miss Marie. Several problems with it.

      Bibi’s warning to Congress did not stir up panic; it confirmed a position most representatives already harboured. The U.S., which has lost over 1000 servicemen due to Iraq’s proxy wars, will have to play chess games with Iran as it wreak havoc on his neighbours and will, like everyone on the planet, have to face the threat of an Iranian nuke, appears to be even more concerned than Israel.

      The Russkies, as is their simple nature, are going vintage-classic on us and trying to paint this as a Jewish plot issue…nyet, nyet they say, not, of course because they are salivating at the thought of trade with Iraq while being in the doghouse for Ukraine. And of course, it will be a generous gift from Ivan to the glorious struggle by the valiant Shi’ite muzhahideen comrades against the running-dog ISIS!

      • I don’t bother with Pravda, it’s the conclusion I’ve come to of my own accord.
        Anyway, aren’t the US going to bolster the Israeli arms now that this deal is going through. Looking at Iran they have not actually invaded any country for a very long time so I doubt they will be invading Israel anytime soon.

        • avi barzel

          Didn’t actually think you read their dismal stuff, Miss Marie, nevertheless that is the Russian position to the tee as projected by their various organs and friends. We often don’t notice the sources of our conclusions.

          Yes, there was a promise of arms by Obama, but that can quickly go south with one of his strategic tantrums. He could get petulant if the deal does not get accepted in the US and blames it on Bibi, or if Israel rejects too quickly his hare-brained push for a Palestian state. One never can tell with that character.

          No, an Iranian invasion is not a primary concern. Too far, no supply lines. It’s more of the usual; war by proxies, namely Hamas in Gaza and Hizbulah in south Lebanon. Iran will be flush with cash to help Assad, and get a corridor for missiles to Hizbulah. Iranian military has been rooting around the Golan, so they may have in mind a third front. And there is of course the third option of a nuclear strike against Israel, which is what part of this hullaballoo is all about.

          • Avi, the Iranians do really have bigger fish to fry than annihilating Israel at the moment. No doubt they will help Assad fight IS and Al-Nusra as the progress of ISIL and its barbarism is of genuine concern. to them. They want to play a bigger part in the Middle East, here’s their chance. Bibi needs to calm down and keep a cool head. If they got nuclear and struck Israel with one then they would be signing their own death warrant! The way forward is dialogue. Instead of threatening preemptive strikes, why doesn’t Bibi get himself round the table with Iran to thrash out the Palestinian state idea, After all those people have to have somewhere to live too.

          • avi barzel

            Miss Marie, Iran may not want to annihilate Israel, just yet, although dismissing their threats is a bad idea. I’m puzzled as to why you would support the idea of a tyrannical Islamist regime which is openly and lethally hostile towards the West, as you are soon to discover. What you are now saying is that Israel should capitulate to Iran and negotiate its own dismantlement with the creation of yet another terrorist Muslim state, under Iranian dominance, right in its historic and strategically vital heartland All this while the Middle East burns and both ISIS and Iran’s military sniff around Israel’s borders.

            Bibi will not “calm down” and shut up, because he can’t; the majority of Israelis, who are better informed than most, are seriously concerned to the point where they are insisting on striking Iran now. While Bibi disappoints with his backtracking, regardless of what he says, a “Palestinian state” is a no-go. The era of illusions and Oslo is over.

            There is no longer even the old pretence of a united or even a marginally cohesive “Palestinian” entity to be seen, much less to negotiate with. The only “unity” is in the eyes of Western socialists and antisemites and in the welfare assistance cards which keep the name “Palestinian” official. It’s all violently competing terror groups, family clans and foreign interests. Dialogues with terror groups, even ones who parade as governments, are impossible; they are, in all cases, subjects to their sponsors. “All those people” do have a place to live in, in the assigned areas in Judea and Samaria, as rightful citizens of Jordan which settled them there, in Jordan itself which was illegally carved out precisely for a Muslim Palestinian homeland. They are not entitled to a state, not historically, legally or ethically, and especially not given their behaviour and stated goals. I puzzle over your views about the Muslim presence in your backyard, while showing such great sensitivity to the Muslims in Israel’s…to the exclusion of any other Muslims and “Palestinians” who are currently being abused and massacred in Syria.

          • The Muslims in Israel’s back yard were there first. You are taking their land that’s the whole top and bottom of the conflict.
            As for striking Iran now, well isn’t that perpetuating the cycle of violence and hatred?

          • avi barzel

            The majority of Muslims of Israel were not indigenous, arriving at the same time as the returning Jews, to benefit from economic activity. A large proportion which came before settked there in Ottoman times as landless labourers. This is evidenced by Turkish and later Britush records and the languages and clan associations of the majority of Arabs.

            “Their land” is not being taken away. The towns villages, fields, comons and private property are acknowledged in Israeli law. But the whole of Judea and Samaria does not belong to the Arabs and the area once brutally occupied and cleansed of Jewish communities by Jordan for 19 years, as its “West Bank,” was never granted to “Palestians.” It is legally, by un-abrogated treaty and right of liberation, Israeli state land.

            Iran has made and continues to make official declarations of hostile, even genocidal intent against Israel, its entire population and Jews abroad. Its government is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capacity. It’s the responsibility of Israel’s government to address this danger. In these circumstances neither a “Palestinian” (i.e. exclusively Muslim Arab) state on all of the temporarily and illegally captured Jordanian territories can be entertained, and given the current”deal,” which will merely sliw down Iranian nuclear weapons development, a military strike may become necessary. It bears to remember that a nuclear Iran will threaten not only Israel, but many of its Arab neighbours, the whole of Europe and the US. The old and now meaningless jornalistic term, “cycle of violence” explains nothing. It assumes that Islam’s unwillingess to accept Israel’s existence is an endless and inexplicable tit-for-tat.

  • IanCad

    Nuclear weapons have been proved not much use to any who have had them. Maybe Iran will produce atomic weapons, maybe not.
    What is for sure – and far more dangerous – Sunni Pakistan has them. Think Saudi Arabia, Turkey – the old Caliphate.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the Muslim world is a worry. It is not an existential threat to the West.
    That is – if we make it most abundantly clear – much more nonsense will bring grave consequences.

    • dannybhoy

      Add to that this..

      “Four Major Problems with the Iran Deal. It is breathtaking in its
      concessions to a regime that is the foremost sponsor of terror and vows
      to annihilate the Jewish state.”
      http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Four-Major-Problems-with-the-Iran-Deal.html?s=show

      • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
        I think it is a capital error to draw one’s eschatology from the newspapers, Fox News or Israeli propaganda. If Zechariah 14 has a literal fulfilment (which I don’t believe it does) then it’s going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it, so stop worrying about it.

        • dannybhoy

          Well yes, they would say that because in terms of national survival they can’t really afford to get it wrong, can they?
          One could say that they are over exaggerating the danger, or one could take a slow look at what is happening across the Middle East and come to the conclusion that Iran having a nuclear bomb making facility might not be a good idea.

          • The whole object of the agreement is that Iran will not have a bomb. Whether it will work I don’t know, but with respect, neither do you.
            Netanyahu’s idea of peace in the Middle East is for America to invade all the countries there so that all the Moslems fight the US and forget about Israel.
            If he’s worried about Iran, perhaps it might be a good idea for him to talk rather than sabre-rattle.

          • dannybhoy

            “The whole object of the agreement is that Iran will not have a bomb. Whether it will work I don’t know, but with respect, neither do you.”
            Quite tight Martin. One can only go on what is happening across the Middle East and North Africa, and how it is being coordinated and bankrolled.
            “Netanyahu’s idea of peace in the Middle East is for America to invade
            all the countries there so that all the Moslems fight the US and forget
            about Israel.”
            I think you do Nethanyahu a disservice there. The main concern of Israel is to survive. Surrounded by actively hostile or unfriendly nations,Israel can only defend herself for a limited time before she would be overrun.

            Now if you were in that kind of position how much and what kind of sabre rattling would you do?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Israel’s position sounds a lot like the position of Bible believing Christians in the West. Surrounded on all sides by enemies who desire our complete annihilation, liable to be over-run at any moment should they join forces and go for it, and ultimately utterly dependent on God’s intervention. Which last doesn’t mean we (or they) do nohing to prepare and to defend ourselves.

          • dannybhoy

            Israel’s concerns are security concerns, not expansionist ones.
            If the Jews were truly as warlike as some like to make out, it begs the question of why during their two thousand year ‘sojourn’ in Europe, culminating in the Holocaust, they never fought back.

          • avi barzel

            The whole object of the agreement is to get Iran out of the doghouse, so that Russia, China and the EU can trade with it, and Obama can pass the reins of control and the fight against ISIS to a new strongman. The agreement, with its financial benefits, ludicrously loose requirements and inspection protocols, including promises to protect Iran’s nuclear project from sabotage, guarantees Iran’s bomb in less than ten years. Then, everyone will say, “oh well,” as they did with North Korea.

            The nasty and factually iognored trope that Israel wants the US to spill its blood to fight its wars is unbecoming of you. What Israel has consistently asked for is arms assistance and a free hand to conduct decisive campaigns which lead to conclusive victories, rather than the conditional trickle of arms and the slew of negotiated settlements designed to save their opponents’ hides.

            It is in US’ security and financial interests …which coincide with those of all democracies… to pacify the Middle East. Israel is the one competent ally which can secure the eastern Med and disrupt the growth of Islamic terror groups. Yet, you don’t hear Israel accusing its friends that Jewish blood is being spilled to distract and control the PLO, Hamas and Hizbollah so that the US and the Europeans can enjoy their cheap energy and security. Iran is a direct threat to the US, and openly and repeatedly reminds us of this. In all of this, the EU has become irrelevant; it’s job is to continue on its decline, to absorb masses of Muslim refugees as per the Venice and Eurabia agreements, to feed and promote the Palestinians, to disable Israel and now, to assist Iran in its reconstruction and military dominance. These things the EU is rather proficient at.

          • Well Avi,
            I did not speak of Israel, I spoke of Netanyahu. They are not necessarily the same thing.
            However,
            Until the events come to pass one way or the other we shall have to agree to disagree. God will dispose of the matter according to His wisdom which is greater than yours or mine.

            God holds the key of all unknown,
            And I am glad;
            If other hands should hold the key,
            Or if He trusted it to me,
            I might be sad.

          • avi barzel

            Fair enough, Martin, but Israelis are, in the majority, with or well ahead of Bibi on this one.

            The Almighty has already disposed of these matters; He has given us the sense, the freedom of action, the tools and the explicit mandate to fulfil his directions as agents of his Creation.

          • Like Munich all over again then.

          • Unlike Poland or Czechoslovakia, Israel is tremendously strong militarily. For that very reason, now is a good time for her to seek peace with her neighbours, especially Iran, which, like Israel, is surrounded by hostile (Sunni) neighbours.

        • The ex Iranian president once said he wanted to wipe Israel off the map

          That’s not propaganda

        • avi barzel

          Would you, someone, anyone, show me an example of Israeli propaganda? Or examples of Fox News propaganda? Do you know the actual meaning of the term or do you just throw it around for fast and cheap effect?

          • If it helps, insert a comma after ‘Fox News.’ I am specifically thinking of Israeli propaganda, which is pretty vast and blatant in its wooing of Dispensational Christianity. It is readily found on line. I will bring it to your attention next time I see some.

          • avi barzel

            Odd, as someone involved in Jewish activism from the early 1980s, I can say with absolute certainty that the one department Israel has been deficient in and still is, is to even adequately explain its position, much less to systematically propagate it in any way. The closest to the classical, neutral definition I’ve seen is the IDF YouTube video and the most prominent medium with pro-Israel editorializing and coverage and of genuine Zionist ideology is Arutz Sheva / Israel National News…which is in open opposition to most Israeli governments. It is one of the few sources I trust.

            As for Dispensational or as we say in North America, Evangelical Christianity, it took the Jewish community and Israel a long time to accept that at least some of the outreach to us is genuine and principled, rathen than another missionary ploy. I was involved in the first contacts on formal, organizational levels locally and can confirm that it was a difficult touch-and-go process. As things are, it is independent Ortdodox religious Zionist groups which have been friendly with Christian Zionist groups; how they sort out their substantial theological differences is still a mystery to me. Israeli governments, in contrast, have been centrist and centre-left and tend to avoid

            You don’t have search the Net far and wide for examples of blatant “wooing” of Christians; here I am. Since my appearance on this blog I have openly promoted or propagated, as a private individual, Israel and Judaism to Christians of all denominations, tackling misunderstandung and misinformation, arguing that in many crucial areas, our political…if not existential… interests coincide.

  • I am not inclined to take too much notice of the protestations of Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the man who told the Americans back in 2002, “If you take out Saddam’s Regime, I guarantee you, that it
    will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.”
    I think the results of this deal may be very positive, and an encouragement to the many thousands of Iranians who have become Christians in recent years.

    • avi barzel

      This isn’t a position thought up by Netanyahu, or supported only by him. Carl has dealt quite well with the issue of why Iraq needed to be taken down. No one, not Bibi not even a Nostredamus, could predict how badly the West, finally with Obama, would feck-up by snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

      And it really doesn’t take much to figure out why a nuclear Iran is bad idea, people. Like, take their history, take their current government, notice what they have been doing and keep on doing in the region, hear their promises and threats…just look at them on the newsreels! Does everyone think they are just jive-talkin’?

      • grutchyngfysch

        I quite like Netanyahu in the round, but he does have a propensity for hyperbole (which got him his job, really). A nuclear Iran is a very bad idea – whilst Iran is governed by the Ayatollahs. A nuclear Iran with genuine political freedom might actually be a potent counter to some of the Sunni nuttery that the West has been very happy to support for decades via the Saudis. Being nuclear doesn’t particularly make a democratic Iran more likely in and of itself, but I suspect the gamble being taken is that a richer Iranian populace will prove to be more demanding of political liberty as with the faint signs visible in China. It is a gamble of historic proportions though – and Bibi’s predictions are not impossible.

        • avi barzel

          Contrary to occasional attempts on other sites by some to insult me with the label “Likudnik,” I’ve deserted the watered-down party long ago, moving a few notches to the right, to Naftali Bennett of the Home Party. I appreciate Bibi’s heroic attempts at Congress, but I’m disturbed by his duplicity with halting construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring massive, EU-sponsored Arab settlements and squatters, in his weak stance against Hamas and the PA, in his violation of Jewish rights against Muslim ones in the fruitless hope of placating them, the increasingly irrelevant Left and a world opinion that piles on hyperbolic accusations no matter what Israel does.

          This deal, pushed by Obama and that serial traitor and long-time Leftist, Kerry, is a blow to any chance of an end to the reign of mullahs in Iran. As billions flood-in, the agencies of autocracy will be reinforced and a rough time will be had by all. I disagree with Carl that the sanctions were useless and that nothing short of a war can stop Iran. There is plenty of evidence that the regime was on its last legs financially, which explains the seemingly inexplicable rush by Obama to throw them a rope. In his Chicago community activist mind, “peace” is enforced by the biggest gansta on the block, so first he bowed to the Gulf states, then it was the Muslim Brotherhood he favoured, until Sisi blew that plan away, and then he fixed on Iran, which Bibi nearly derailed…something Israel is about to pay for big time soon. There is a small hope that Republicans will form the next government, but they will have a steep hill to climb in trying to restore America’s former place. And that’s without even getting into the retreats in Europe and the Pacific.

  • It does seem a mutually beneficial agreement because each side can
    hold the other in check. The 5+1 can re-instate the sanctions if
    their inspectors see Iran has breached the contract. On the other
    side Iran can revert to the nuclear technology to convert nuclear
    material again if the 5+1 side fall down on their obligations.

    • avi barzel

      The “snap-back” or reinstating the sanctions is a laugh. There is no viable mechanism to support this fantasy.

  • Inspector General

    I say Cranmer, one of your best, Sir! There really is no stopping you in your stride…

    Another piece in the jigsaw, what! One does like that analogy. As Rolf Harris might say “can you see what it is yet?”. For the many atheists that follow Cranmer, and for each atheist here, we have a fellow who wishes one piece of proof, just one, that they can accept as confirmation that the Almighty is real, for want of a better word, then how about the well published Christian concept of Armageddon coming to reality.

    However, for all the hatred that Iran’s leadership, political and spiritual, have for Israel and the Jews therein, and thereout come to that, it will not be Iran’s immediate target. Nay, there is a far more pressing target that their up and coming peaceful civil nuclear program will work towards.

    Followers of this site may not be aware that there is a little piece of America on Iran’s doorstep, and they are none too happy about it. In fact, one cannot recall it ever being mentioned here, let alone by Cranmer himself. The Inspector refers to the American Fifth Fleet. A military formation one would expect having the ability to irradiate Tehran, several times probably.

    It’s been around the Persian Gulf for twenty years, and it’s going to be there for a whole lot longer than that. It will be there at the end, when the wicked part of humanity is exterminated. Think that must refer to Islam…

    • sarky

      As one of the atheists here, how is something that hasn’t happened (and is unlikely to) proof of god?

      • Inspector General

        Rather thought it was obvious. The foretelling of the future.

        Many years ago, last century, one was watching a TV program on just such a subject. It was about Nostradamus and his thoughts. From that program, it seems that the man spent much of his time anticipating royal births, and everything else was just a side line. Two items stood out. The ‘last pope’ and the falling of the ‘twin sisters’. Both were down for the 21st century. Make of what happened as you will.

        The point is this, if there is anything in it, then we are far from the advanced apes on their own as you atheists would have it.

        • sarky

          I too saw the Nostradamus programme. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!!

          • Inspector General

            Surely ‘foresight’

          • sarky

            No. Nostradamus reminds me of revelation. Alot of vague ramblings that can be attributed to all manner of events. You see its all about interpretation, a bit like those three line horoscopes in the red tops. Some people will read them and dismiss them and others, because of the law of averages, will find meaning.
            Think I will keep my feet planted firmly in the facts.

          • Inspector General

            Interesting. Anyone one with an open mind (such as the Inspector) would appreciate Nostradamus’ legacy. Except card carrying atheists, that is. Best dismiss him if it goes against the grain…

          • sarky

            What is it the church says about false prophets?

          • Inspector General

            Who’s to say he was false. You?

          • sarky

            Think you will find I’m just one of many.

          • Inspector General

            Dear boy. Charlatans do not have TV programs made about them that are still memorable years after…

          • sarky

            Edgar Cayce???

          • Inspector General

            Who he?

          • sarky

            There is a magic thing called Google, you should try it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I’m with you one this one.

      • I’m a Christian, but I don’t read this as proof of God. I see it merely as an explainer for the behaviour of Iran, and why its leaders might have an ulterior motive for the deal they’ve signed.

    • avi barzel

      Jolly good point, there Inspector. And remarkably, the 5th Fleet has the smallest assigned area of operations of all the fleets…by far. So small, as a matter of fact, that one wonders whether it can even maneuver about, or if it just sits there ominously, sulking and waiting. Very comforting, but still a year and a half to go with old Obama at the wheel….

    • IanCad

      I note you say: “It’s been around the Persian Gulf for twenty years –“
      That’s fine; just as long as it doesn’t go “In” it; for if it were to venture inside during a hot war it would be unlikely to get out again.

      • Inspector General

        Not so. It would posses tactical nuclear weapons and would be more than the equal of Iran’s air capability…

        • IanCad

          Tactical nuclear weapons are ideally suited to battlefield situation. Certainly, they will be of little use against Sunburn missiles and other mobile ship killers.

          • Inspector General

            The only place Iran is going to view those ships to get a bearing on them is on radar screens.

          • IanCad

            On radar or visible to the eye; If they’re in the Persian Gulf they’re sunk.

          • Inspector General

            Ian, the smart money is on the US Navy…

          • IanCad

            Inspector,
            I would like to think so too, but, the American military is sclerotic. Sure, there are probably some remarkable weapons in the pipeline. The truth is though that the procurement process is dominated by political influence. Thus technology will always take a back seat. Witness the likely go-ahead for a new bomber to replace the B-52 and complement the disastrous B-2. Not to forget the continuance of the F-35 – this when manned fighters have long been outmoded. The touching affection for obsolete aircraft carriers and a simple faith in tanks.
            With its mighty military budget the Americans should be able to project force wherever and whenever it so chooses.
            This is not the case.

          • Inspector General

            We must also take into consideration racial differences. Should America need to act, they could do so during one of these muslim blighters fasting occasions. One would think that going through G forces in a fighter jet on an empty stomach would surely lead to doom…

  • len

    Everyone seems to ecstatic abut this deal with Iran except Israel.If the West has been conned by by Iran promising it only has peaceful intentions Israel certainly has not been conned.
    The danger now is if Israel is isolated and feeling abandoned by the West the possibility of a pre emptive strike by Israel on those who threaten their very existence is a possibility.

    • avi barzel

      Everyone is not ecstatic, the majority of Americans, across party lines, are shocked, as are Canada, Australia and other nations that still have a few brain cells to rub together. This “deal” is an abject surrender, which is why Iranians are laughing and celebrating.

      • carl jacobs

        Carl <—- Not ecstatic.

        As a general rule, Democrats should be kept far away from National Security and Foreign Policy. And Domestic Policy, for that matter.

        • avi barzel

          Yes, but they won’t go away. Hillary, the one of thousand scandals any single one which would be the end of an ordinary mortal, is ahead of Dems and Republican contenders by a good margin.

          • dannybhoy

            I find that truly incredible.
            But then I found it incredible that the Americans would vote in a Muslim as their POTUS after 9/11 and then go ahead and elect him a second time..

          • IanCad

            Like it or not Danny, Obama comes across as one of the most articulate politicians around. The alleged Muslim connection is rejected by the vast majority of voters.

          • dannybhoy

            Ian
            Certainly compared to George Bush Junior he’s articulate, but his utterances have failed to convince the majority of Americans that he is on their side..
            http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100278533/poll-obama-is-the-least-popular-president-since-the-second-world-war-heres-why/

          • IanCad

            Americans love to complain. As we do about the NHS and the BBC so do they castigate those currently in power.
            I don’t think Tim Stanley is a good source for insight regards the USA.

          • dannybhoy
          • IanCad

            Danny,
            That’s about right for a president with little over a year to go. Looking at the historic averages and given the rather doleful economy it could be even lower.

          • dannybhoy
          • IanCad

            No Danny, I think it’s just par for the course.

          • len

            ‘The Muslim connection’

          • DanJ0

            Lol

          • IanCad

            Len, I give that sign all the time. The roads down here are narrow with few passing places. Courtesy requires acknowledgement and a raised forefinger is just the ticket in that case.
            Devon must be a hotbed of Muslim extremism.

          • DanJ0

            He clearly talking to the bloke behind in the glasses with the grey hair/beard at 1:17. He’s cracked a joke or something and the bloke is laughing along as he walks off.

          • avi barzel

            Shush! We can’t call him Muslim because sophisticated people will laugh at us. His kowtowing to Muslims, admiration of the Muslim brotherhood, friendship with Turkey’s Erdogan, generosity to Iran, mockery of Christians and arrogance and hostility towards Israel are merely quaint idiosyncracies. But seriously, I don’t believe he us technically a Muslim, just an admirer and sympathiser…which lets him get away with more than if he were. Honestly, I know there are theories and explanations for why he got elected…twice…but I still don’t comprehend.

  • Dreadnaught

    This deal should have included the specific detail of Iran recognising Israel’s right to exist and endorsed by an Iranian/Israeli non-belligerency pact and backed up in the UN. Iranians are peaceful cultured people, but dominated by a fickle political theocracy. This deal is the West’s vain hope of combating ISIS without committing armed forces on the ground. If Iran’s agent Hezbollah attack The Golan Heights, Israel will respond. It is a recipe for a future genocidal disaster.

    • avi barzel

      What? Hezbollah attack Israel? But the UN and firm international guarantees keep all weapons away from them and the fearless warriors of UNIFIL stand ready to correct any misstep!

      • Dominic Stockford

        Hezbollah have no weapons. Gosh, that’s good to hear………….

    • grutchyngfysch

      I’m not even sure that the present administration in the U.S. is that concerned about doing anything other than “containing” ISIS, given the classified material that was made public in the last few months. Whilst I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories about ISIS being a U.S. inside job, I’m not so naive as to find unbelievable the idea that the unthinkable can be tolerated if it suits a nation’s interests to do so.

      • Maxine Schell

        Do not mistake a nation’s interest with Obama”s interest !

        • avi barzel

          Yes there is that, but the Republicans have a problem; Obama might have succeeded by gaming the system for long time to come. With nearly half the country on foodstamps and disability, the unions and a massive civil service behind Dems, not to mention promises of amnesty to illegals, there is a fair chance that Hillary will be the next prez and that she’ll have to swing left. Obama may have fulfilled only one of his promises; to fundamentally change America.

          • Orwell Ian

            This has a depressingly familiar ring to it. All the nations of the free world are being fundamentally changed and their cohesion undermined by mass immigration.

          • avi barzel

            I can agree with that even as a refugee and an immigrant, But it was different back in the 70s; even with a bona fide UN refugee status, you applied and waited several years to be approved and had to prove yourself, to show that you’re capable of holding down a job or that you can function in school if a kid; that you’re not going to be a burden, too weird, and never mind a danger. We waited in Vienna, not in one of the free lodging-free food refugee camps, but in our own rented place with Dad working first as a factory worker and then, then when he learned enough German (by staying away from other emigres and communicating only with Austrians), as a mechanical designer.I applied myself in the 6th and 7th grades at a tough, all-boys Catholic school, of all places, to learn German and to get good grades. We all took English for two hours a week, but I was sent to after-school classes and was able to surprise the immigration officer by holding a conversation in basic English about current Canadian issues at our first interview. Well, ok, I was (but no longer!) a chronic show-off.

            The questions we were asked and the criteria we had to meet have all been tossed in the dustbin of Canadian immigration history, along with the quarantine island on the St Lawrence River and the farmland allotments in Manitoba of a century ago. Now, you don’t need to know a word of English, or even where Canada is on the map, proper security background checks can not be conceivably conducted at the volume and speed of the proceedings, you cannot be discriminated against physical disability, illnesses including AIDS and a whole host of other things and once you are in, you’d basically have to be a mass murderer to be tossed out even as a temporary resident, and that’s after anywhere between two to ten years of hearings, trials, appeals and applications through the boards, the courts, the human rights councils, all covered by Legal Aid and while living on welfare assistance.

        • grutchyngfysch

          I wouldn’t – in the same way that I do not mistake warmongering nutters in charge of Iran for the broad mass of Iranians. I’m conscious that there’s plenty of unthinking and knee-jerk anti-U.S. sentiment, which is why I opened with “present administration”. I know there are at least a couple of Republican contenders who would take a diametrically opposite view on ISIS (or at least claim to).

      • Yep,
        the fact that the U.S. is bombing seven bells out of ISIS every day of the week and assassinating its leaders with Drone strikes whenever it can find them, and working in close support with the Peshmerga (sp?) might just fool the unsuspecting into thinking that Obama was actually against ISIS in some way.

        • grutchyngfysch

          Martin,

          Appearances can be deceptive – so far around a quarter of flights actually result in a bomb being dropped, and bombing has been overwhelmingly targeted to a small number of sites (carpet bombing it ain’t, which will please Happy Jack) – during which time the territory which ISIS has control over has doubled in Syria, and remained static in Iraq.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Interesting that you mention the UN – this agreement is appraently contrary to some UN resolution or another – but there seems little appetite on behalf of the UN to do anything about it.

      Watch out – Appeasers about!

  • avi barzel

    Once again, a superb piece, You Grace.

  • len

    .Does the president of the USA have Muslim sympathies ?. Obama`s’ hand signal’.

    • Orwell Ian

      Hmm. The frame at 1:18 is fascinating. Not only does this black President have what looks suspiciously like a white index finger but – shock horror – one with four joints. This is proof that he’s either the Antichrist or someone has been having fun with Photoshop. Take your pick. Either way Obama is not a mere sympathiser. Oh no. He’s a Muslim champion.

  • avi barzel

    While I never could stomach Shas, I did long ago, support the idea of Oslo and the notion that surrendering Israel’s historic and strategically vital heartland would bring peace. Then, reality intervened; the “intifadas” shocked, 9/11 crystalized, and the Gaza give-away removed all hope.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “Might it possibly be that, once again, the ‘developed’ nations of the world have naively forged a solution of secular vacuity in a space that is gravely religious?”

    It is exactly that. And when combined with ‘little’ matters such as our PM wishing all muslims well for the end of Eid (once again), but failing to give an Easter greeting message to British Christians, or apology or explanation for a lack of one, things begin to add up in a darkly disturbing manner.

  • Dominic Stockford

    And, another thought – there is now nothing anyone can do to stop Iran producing ‘dirty bombs’. Ordinary bombs with radioactive material in them to scatter about wherever they land – just as nasty in the long term