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Published on November 18th, 2010 | by Ali Gharib

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The Daily Talking Points

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News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for November 18, 2010.

  • The Wall Street Journal: Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), writes that Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), due to its identity as the defender of “Islamic Civilization,” may have already signaled a rift with NATO over Iran.  In an op-ed entitled “NATO’s Turkey Problem,” Cagaptay says the AKP is expected to drags its feet in implementing the NATO missile defense shield because “it is directed against potential threats from two fellow Muslim countries—Syria and Iran.” Cagaptay adds, “Given that Turkey is the only NATO member bordering Iran and Syria, viewed by the U.S. as ballistic missile threats to NATO, this is a troubling strategic shift.”
  • Pajamas MediaFoundation for Defense of Democracies fellow Michael Ledeen rails against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s recent comments that an attack on Iran would devastate the nascent opposition movement there. He calls Gates a “blind man” and that there is no evidence for Gates’ assertion, never mentioning that top-level current and former Pentagon brass and diplomats — as well as, notably, Iranian dissident figures — believe otherwise. “I try to imagine one of the tens of millions of Iranian opponents of the regime,” Ledeen fantasizes, rather than asking experts and actual Iranian dissidents. “And then one day somebody blows up a bunch of nuclear labs, some secret military installations, and [Revolutionary Guard] headquarters in the major cities. Does that guy now rally round the supreme leader? I don’t think so.”
  • Think Progress: At the Center for American Progress’s Think Progress blog, analyst Matt Duss reports on a conference at D.C.’s National Press Club dedicated to boosting the case for war on Iran. At the conference, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) cited unspecified “intelligence” to allege that “we know that they [Iran] already have a nuclear capability.” Duss notes that the CIA disagrees with this assessment. Bachmann also called for overt U.S. support for the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Islamist-Marxist organization (commonly accused of having a cultish outlook) that fought against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war, and since 1997 has been designated a “foreign terror organization” by the State Department. “We have shackled this freedom-seeking group which has the ability to help Iranians rise up against that tyrannical regime,” Bachmann said.

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About the Author

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Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



3 Responses to The Daily Talking Points

  1. avatar scott says:

    “I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States .”

    I had an illegal work for me for about a week 10 yrs ago, his name was Israel. Too bad for his sake he didn’t meet Ms. Bachman, she’d be is slave, I suppose. I assert that Israel, both the itinerant worker and the country are not the Israel of prophecy. I think one essential harbinger of the Israel of prophecy requires the messiah returns to confront the anti-Christ. Would the expulsion of the Arabs from Jerusalem be the abomination of desolation? She needs to start identifying some of these other players? I always thought the Israel of prophecy comes after the Messiah returns, that it is a gift for the righteousness of it’s inhabitants.

  2. avatar dickerson3870 says:

    RE:…Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) cited unspecified “intelligence” to allege that “we know that they [Iran] already have a nuclear capability.” – per Matthew Duss
    NOTE – Bachmann: ‘If We Reject Israel, Then There Is A Curse That Comes Into Play’, By Eric Kleefeld, TPM, 02/09/10

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has declared that America has a serious obligation to support Israel — and if not, God will curse the United States, and it will be the end of this country.
    The Minnesota Independent reports that Bachmann told the Republican Jewish Coalition, at an event last week in Los Angeles:
    “I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.”
    SOURCE - http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/02/bachmann-if-we-reject-israel-then-there-is-a-curse-that-comes-into-play.php

  3. avatar dickerson3870 says:

    RE: “Michael Ledeen rails against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s recent comments that an attack on Iran would devastate the nascent opposition movement there.” – Ali Gharib
    BY TED RALL, 07/22/10: …Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism” describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”…
    SOURCE – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/22-1
    BY JOHN LAUGHLAND, 06/30/03: “…But there is at least one neoconservative commentator whose personal political odyssey began with a fascination not with Trotskyism, but instead with another famous political movement that grew up in the early decades of the 20th century: fascism. I refer to Michael Ledeen…”
    SOURCE – http://www.amconmag.com/article/2003/jun/30/00013

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