March 12, 2005

Gendered War

Posted by Sima

We have written about different issues pertaining to war on this blog. But, one issue that has not been tackled here is the way gender is implicated in the rhetoric of war. There are many questions that one can ask in relation to militarism and its relationship with notions of masculinity and femininity. How do different discourses and practices, including nationalism, militarism, and neo-liberalism, which are present in these times marked by the "war on terror" create subject positions for men and women? What kinds of gendered and sexed subjectivities are produced through performances of nationalism in different locations? How does war effect gender relations in both national and transnational contexts? These are some issues that I hope to bring to this blog through paying attention to politics of representation in different media, from paper print to television, and of course, by looking at my favorite medium, weblogistan.

But for the purposes of this post and in order to lay out a theoretical positioning, I would like to post a piece that was written by a group of feminist scholars, shortly after Sepetember 11, 2001. This piece, in my opinion, is one of the most thought-provoking responses that came out after 9/11. Obviously, it is important to see whether or not the points raised in this article apply to the current situation. Hopefully, that will be a part of the on-going discussion about gender and sexuality on this weblog.

This piece was circulated on-line in October 2001 and was later published in Meridian 2.2 (2002).

Transnational Feminist Practices Against War

A Statement by Paola Bacchetta, Tina Campt, Inderpal Grewal, Caren Kaplan, Minoo Moallem, and Jennifer Terry (October 2001)

As feminist theorists of transnational and postmodern cultural formations, we believe that it is crucial to seek non-violent solutions to conflicts at every level of society, from the global, regional, and national arenas to the ordinary locales of everyday life. We offer the following response to the events of September 11 and its aftermath:

First and foremost, we need to analyze the thoroughly gendered and racialized effects of nationalism, and to identify what kinds of inclusions and exclusions are being enacted in the name of patriotism. Recalling the histories of various nationalisms helps us to identify tacit assumptions about gender, race, nation, and class that once again play a central role in mobilization for war. We see that instead of a necessary historical, material, and geopolitical analysis of 9-11, the emerging nationalist discourses consist of misleading and highly sentimentalized narratives that, among other things, reinscribe compulsory heterosexuality and the rigidly dichotomized gender roles upon which it is based. A number of icons constitute the ideal types in the drama of nationalist domesticity that we see displayed in the mainstream media. These include the masculine citizen-soldier, the patriotic wife and mother, the breadwinning father who is head of household, and the properly reproductive family. We also observe how this drama is racialized. Most media representations in the US have focused exclusively on losses suffered by white, middle-class heterosexual families even though those who died or were injured include many people of different races, classes, sexualities, and religions and of at least 90 different nationalities. Thus, an analysis that elucidates the repressive effects of nationalist discourses is necessary for building a world that fosters peace as well as social and economic justice.

Second, a transnational feminist response views the impact of war and internal repression in a larger context of global histories of displacement, forced migrations, and expulsions. We oppose the US and European sponsorship of regimes responsible for coerced displacements and we note how patterns of immigration, exile, and forced flight are closely linked to gender oppression and to the legacies of colonialism and structured economic dependency. Indeed, history shows us that women, as primary caretakers of families, suffer enormously under circumstances of colonization, civil unrest, and coerced migration. Taking this history into account, we critique solutions to the contemporary crisis that rely on a colonial, Manichean model whereby "advanced capitalist freedom and liberty" is venerated over "backward extremist Islamic barbarism." Furthermore, we draw upon insights from post-colonial studies and critical political economy to trace the dynamics of European and US neocolonialism during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. Thus questions about the gendered distribution of wealth and resources are key to our analytical approach. Neo-liberal economic development schemes create problems that impact women in profound and devastating ways in both the "developing regions" as well as the "developed world." So while middle-class Euro-American women in the United States are held up as the most liberated on earth even while they are being encouraged to stand dutifully by their husbands, fathers, and children, women in developing regions of the world are depicted as abject, backward, and oppressed by their men. One of the important elements missing from this picture is the fact that many women in Afghanistan are starving and faced with violence and harm on a daily basis not only due to the Taliban regime but also due in large part to a long history of European colonialism and conflict in the region. The Bush administration�s decision to drop bombs at one moment and, in the next, care packages of food that are in every way inadequate to the needs of the population offers a grim image of how pathetic this discourse of "civilization" and "rescue" is within the violence of war. We see here a token and uncaring response to a situation to which the US has contributed for at least 20 years, a situation that is about gaining strategic influence in the region and about the extraction of natural resources, not the least of which is oil.

Third, we want to comment on the extent to which domestic civil repression is intrinsically linked to the violence of war. Thus the effects of the current conflict will be played out in the US and its borderzones through the augmentation of border patrolling and policing, as well as in the use of military and defense technologies and other practices that will further subordinate communities (especially non-white groups) in the US. Such state violence has many gendered implications. These include the emergence of patriarchal/masculinst cultural nationalisms whereby women�s perspectives are degraded or wholly excluded to create new version of cultural "traditions." And, for many immigrant women, other devastating effects of state repression include increased incidents of unreported domestic violence, public hostility, and social isolation. In practical terms, policing authorities charged with guaranteeing national security are likely to have little sympathy for the undocumented immigrant woman who is fleeing a violent intimate relationship, unless her assailant fits the profile of an "Islamic fundamentalist." Thus we need an analysis and strategy against the "domestication" of the violence of war that has emerged in these last few weeks and whose effects will be felt in disparate and dispersed ways.

Fourth, we call for an analysis of the stereotypes and tropes that are being mobilized in the current crisis. These tropes support, sustain, and are enabled by a modernist logic of warfare that seeks to consolidate the sovereign (and often unilateral) power of the First World nation-state. When President Bush proclaims that "terrorist" networks must be destroyed, we ask what this term means to people and how it is being used to legitimate a large-scale military offensive. The term is being used to demonize practices that go against US national interests and it permits a kind of "drag-net" effect at home and abroad which legitimates the suppression of dissent. We also want to inquire into constructions of "terrorism" that continue to target non-native or "foreign" opposition movements while cloaking its own practices of terror in euphemisms such as "foreign aid." Deconstructing the trope of "terrorism" must include a sustained critique of the immense resources spent by the US in training "counter-terrorists" and "anti-Communist" forces who then, under other historical circumstances, become enemies rather than allies, as in the now famous case of Osama bin Laden. We are concerned about the ways in which the "war against terrorism" can be used to silence and repress insurgent movements across the globe. We also emphasize how racism operates in the naming of "terrorism." When the "terrorists" are people of color, all other people of color are vulnerable to a scapegoating backlash. Yet when white supremacist Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 men, women, and children, no one declared open season to hunt down white men, or even white militia members. The production of a new racial category, "anyone who looks like a Muslim" in which targets of racism include Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs, and any other people with olive or brown skin, exposes the arbitrary and politically constructed character of new and old racial categories in the US. It also reveals the inadequacy of US multiculturalism to resist the hegemonic relationship between being "white" and "American." Finally, the short memory of the media suppresses any mention of the Euro-American anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist "terrorist" groups of the 1970s and 1980s. A critical attention to the idioms of the present war mobilization compels us to deconstruct other politically loaded tropes, including security, liberty, freedom, truth, civil rights, Islamic fundamentalism, women under the Taliban, the flag, and "America."

Fifth, we recognize the gendered and ethnocentric history of sentimentality, grief, and melancholy that have been mobilized in the new war effort. We do not intend to disparage or dismiss the sadness and deep emotions raised by the events of 9-11 and its aftermath. But we do think it is important to point out that there has been a massive deployment of therapeutic discourses that ask people to understand the impact of the events of September 11 and their aftermath solely as "trauma." Such discourses leave other analytical, historical, and critical frameworks unexplored. Focusing only on the personal or narrowly defined psychological dimension of the attacks and the ensuing war obscures the complex nexus of history and geopolitics that has brought about these events. We are not suggesting that specific forms of therapy are not useful. But the culture industry of "trauma" leads to a mystification of history, politics and cultural critique. Furthermore, therapeutic discourse tends to reinforce individualist interpretations of globally significant events and it does so in an ethnocentric manner. Seeking relief through a psychotherapeutic apparatus may be a common practice among Euro-American upper- and middle-class people in the United States, but it should not be assumed to be universally appealing or an effective way to counter experiences of civil repression and war among people of other classes, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. Signs of the current trauma discourse�s ethnocentricity come through in media depictions staged within the therapeutic framework that tend to afford great meaning, significance, and sympathy to those who lost friends and family members in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. By contrast, people who have lost loved ones as a consequence of US foreign policy elsewhere are not depicted as sufferers of trauma or injustice. In fact, they are seldom seen on camera at all. Similarly, makeshift centers in universities around the US were set up in the immediate wake of 9-11 to help college students cope with the psychological effects of the attacks. They tended to assume that 9-11 marked the first time Americans experienced vulnerability, overlooking not only the recent events of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, but moreover erasing the personal experiences of many immigrants and US people of color for whom "America" has been a site of potential or realized violence for all of their lives.

Sixth, our transnational feminist response involves a detailed critical analysis of the role of the media especially in depictions that include colonial tropes and binary oppositions in which the Islam/Muslim/non-West is represented as "uncivilized" or "barbaric." We note the absence or co-optation of Muslim women as "victims" of violence or of "Islamic barbarism." We note as well the use of those groups of women seen as "white" or "western" both as "rescuers" of non-western women but also as evidence of the so-called "civilizing" efforts of Europe and North America. We see these discursive formations as a result not only of colonialism�s discursive and knowledge-producing legacies, but also of the technologies and industrial practices that produce contemporary global media, and transnational financing of culture industries. We seek especially to analyze the participation of women in these industries as well as the co-optation of feminist approaches and interests in the attack on a broad range of Islamic cultural and religious institutions, not just "Islamicist/extremist" groups. Thus we point out as a caution that any counter or resistance media would need to have a firm grasp of these histories and repertoires of practice or risk reproducing them anew.

Seventh, we call for a deeper understanding of the nature of capitalism and globalization as it generates transnational movements of all kinds. Thus, we seek to counter oppressive transnational movements, both from the "West" as well as the "Non-West," with alternative movements that counter war and the continued production of global inequalities. We note in particular that religious and ethnic fundamentalisms have emerged across the world within which the repression of women and establishment of rigidly dichotomized gender roles are used both as a form of power and to establish a collectivity. Such fundamentalisms have been a cause of concern for feminist groups not only in the Islamic world but also in the U.S.. Feminist and other scholars have noted that these movements have become transnational, through the work of nation-state and non-governmental organizations, with dire consequences for all those who question rigid gender dichotomies. Since these movements are transnational, we question the notion of isolated and autonomous nation-states in the face of numerous examples of transnational and global practices and formations. The recent displays of national coherence and international solidarity (based on 19th and 20th century constructions of international relations), cannot mask the strains and contradictions that give rise to the current crisis. Thus, we need an analysis of the numerous ways in which transnational networks and entities both limit and at the same time enable resistance and oppression. That is, the complex political terrain traversed by transnational networks as diverse as al-Qaida and the Red Cross must be understood as productive of new identities and practices as well as of new kinds of political repression. Transnational media has roots in pernicious corporate practices yet it also enables diverse and contradictory modes of information, entertainment, and communication. Feminist analysis of these complex and often contradictory transnational phenomena is called for.

In closing, we want to make it very clear that we oppose the US and British military mobilization and bombing that is underway in Afghanistan and that may very well expand further into the West, Central, and South Asian regions. We are responding to a crisis in which war, as described by the George W. Bush administration, will be a covert, diversified, and protracted process. At this moment we call for a resistance to nationalist terms and we argue against the further intensification of US military intervention abroad. We refuse to utilize the binaries of civilization vs. barbarism, modernity vs. tradition, and West vs. East. We also call for an end to the racist scapegoating and "profiling" that accompanies the stepped up violations of civil liberties within the territorial boundaries of the US. We urge feminists to refuse the call to war in the name of vanquishing a so-called "traditional patriarchal fundamentalism," since we understand that such fundamentalisms are supported by many nation-states. We are also aware of the failures of nation-states and the global economic powers such as the IMF and the World Bank to address the poverty and misery across the world and the role of such failures in the emergence of fundamentalisms everywhere. Nationalist and international mobilization for war cannot go forward in our name or under the sign of "concern for women." In fact, terror roams the world in many guises and is perpetrated under the sign of many different nations and agents. It is our contention that violence and terror are ubiquitous and need to be addressed through multiple strategies as much within the "domestic" politics of the US as elsewhere. It is only through developing new strategies and approaches based on some of these suggestions that we can bring an end to the violence of the current moment.

March 12, 2005 07:25 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Converging U.S. Navy aircraft carrier groups in Middle East send strong message to Iran and Syria

http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/1877.asp

Posted by: claudedorsel at March 13, 2005 10:54 AM

If you need one more reason not to invade Iran ...
http://rummysdiaries.blogspot.com/

Posted by: elendil at March 13, 2005 12:37 PM

The points arising from the article are too many to be debated, however the most important aspects relating to the masculinity of nationalism made, are in fact the reflections rooted in the pervading sexual objectification of women within the western cultural context. Although the subtlety of modalities of the implementation of this objectification have made possible the apparent notions of equality of genders.

Further, the issued remit of the rules of engagement in the current theaters of US military aggressions, abundantly point to equality of genders when it comes to the populations under the occupation of the US forces. That is further reinforced by the inherent racist imperatives of US society. This is nowhere more so prevalent than in Iraq. In particular the leaked and patchy reports of torture, and mistreatment of the Iraqi population that have centered around the male Iraqis, yet often the case of women and children subject to the same inhuman regimes of management have been suppressed despite indicators to the contrary!

In recent days Gen. J. Karpinski's reports of incarcerated children as young as eleven years old, as well as countless women detained have somehow found an echo in some of the media. Yet the same media during the K. Bigley affair maintained that the request of the hostage takers with respect to freeing the women incarcerated in fact was an attempt to gain freedom of the only female Iraqi prisoner, mainly a scientist these had labeled "Dr. Germ", since there were no other women under detention!

Fact that US forces engaged in indiscriminate shooting and detention of the population under their occupation, have all but failed to crush the resistance, find detention of the women who are the mothers, wives, daughters, and relatives of those suspected as insurgents as a collateral that could be used to flush out and or capture these insurgents, hence the indiscriminate detention, and torture of these women, and children.

Nevertheless the revelations of the Karpinski report, point to the equality of genders in the battle theater, applied to the Iraqi population, do not sit well with the cultural imperatives of the west, and its soft gender chauvinism, that forms the basis of the prevalent cultural chauvinism that are expressed as nationalism!

The exploitation of female gender in the US army going so far as rendering the female soldiers as sex objects, that can be validated in the proliferation of the sexually explicit photographs of these serving soldiers finding their way out of Iraq, as well as the rising numbers of the sexual misconduct cases involving the US army personnel. In addition to the rise in the various pornography purporting to be of the serving military females. As well as Ms. England and her motherhood resulting from her service in Abughraib, along with her notoriety!

The undeniable exploitation of the females in the west, considered as the "norm" then is used in a leap of fancy to give rise to the contention of the oppressed females within other cultures, in specific Islamic societies, based on the attired appearance of the females in these cultures. This contention finding subscription among the primitive hamburger munchers, then is used as yet another leverage in the war on the developing countries for their resources, and minerals. Often the sexual torture of the Iraqis, Afghanis, Arabs that are the standard interrogating methods deployed, however going amiss on these primitives despite the clear, and present copious data available.

However, the available data are a warning to the countries at the cross-hair of the current hegemonic adventurers resident in Pennsylvania Av. That in fact point to the defence of these countries, solely reliant on the participation of all of the population, regardless of Gender, since any and all of the nationals of these are in fact the enemy regardless of the poppycock emanating from Calamity George, and co. Therefore defence of Iran ought to be to last drop of the last Iranian's blood regardless of their gender, and age!!!!!!!!

Abu Ghraib Prisoners 'Included Boy Aged 11'
Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib from July to November 2003, said she often visited the prison's youngest inmates. One boy "looked like he was eight-years-old," Karpinski said.
The new documents offer rare details about the children whom the US military has held in Iraq. Karpinski said the Army began holding women and children in a high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003 because the facility was better than lockups in Baghdad where the youths had been held.
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4241440

Revealed: Israel plans strike on Iranian nuclear plant
ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans for a combined air and ground attack on targets in Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Iranian nuclear programme.
The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave "initial authorisation" for an attack at a private meeting last month on his ranch in the Negev desert.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1522978,00.html


Israel warns on Iranian "nightmare"
"In our view, they are very close, they are too close, to having the knowledge to develop this kind of bomb and that's why we should be in a hurry," Shalom said in an interview on a visit to Mexico on Saturday.
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143
http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=476b621571be3259

IRAN REPORTS U.S. AIRCRAFT OVER NUKE SITES
Iran has reported flights by U.S. military aircraft over nuclear facilities near the borders with Afghanistan and Iraq.
http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2005/march/03_10_4.html

US deploys B-2 bombers in Guam
The B-2 bombers were from the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron,the 509th Bomb Wing, which was based at the Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, currently the only B-2 unit in the Air Force.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-03/06/content_2656271.htm

Israel, U.S. begin joint air defense exercise
Israel and the United States have begun a joint air defense exercise on Israeli soil, the U.S. Embassy said Thursday, underscoring the close defense ties between the countries.
Embassy spokesman Paul Patin said the exercise, set to last for several weeks, involves the deployment of Patriot and Arrow missiles, developed to shoot down medium and high altitude missiles fired from neighboring states.
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/11410.html#
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Arab American Publisher Says Bush Told Him in May 2000 He Planned to "Take Out" Iraq
OSAMA SIBLANI: Yes, when he was running for election in May of 2000 when he was a governor. He told me just straight to my face, among 12 or maybe 13 republicans at that time here in Michigan at the hotel. I think it was on May 17, 2000, even before he became the nominee for the Republicans. He told me that he was going to take him out, when we talked about Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
And I said, 'Well, you know, I totally disagree with you. You just can't go around taking leaders out of their countries, you know. Let the Iraqi people do it. They can't do it on empty stomachs. Lift sanctions. Keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein, but lift the sanctions on the Iraqi people. People can't make moves on an empty stomach. Once they start establishing, you know, a connection with the United States and helping democracy inside, they will overthrow him.'
And then he said, 'We have to talk about it later.' But at that time he was not privy to any intelligence, and the democrats had occupied the White House for the previous eight years. So, he was not privy to any intelligence whatsoever. He was not the official nominee of the Republican Party, so he didn't know what kind of situation the weapons of mass destruction was at that time.
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/11/1449253

Posted by: NUM at March 13, 2005 06:03 PM

Here's an interesting statistic on gender and war from Britain. An opinion poll in the Times in January showed support for the war on Iraq at just 29% of the population. But there is a 10-point gender gap. Support for the war is 34% among men and only 24% among women...

I suspect both figures would be lower now, as more of the truth about the war, Blair's lies, the behaviour of British troops etc becomes widely known. I haven't seen a poll about war on Iran yet - if I see one, I'll post it.

Peace,
RedOne

Posted by: RedOne at March 13, 2005 06:49 PM

Here is an interesting take and a critique of the way mainstream media depicts the "enemy." The image has nothing to do with the text in the Reuters article, but through inter-textuality, it produces the "enemy" as dangerous and militant. This is the kind of representation that we also witnessed during the war on Iraq. In the case of Afghanistan, however, women were depicted as powerless victims and in need of "protection."
Here is the link to the article I mentioned:
http://peaceiran.blogspot.com/2005/03/establishing-truth.html

Posted by: sima at March 13, 2005 08:06 PM


Focus: Taking aim at Iran
srael's finest soldiers had been flying for several hours before the assault helicopters reached their target - the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, in southern Iran. Most of the men from the Shaldag battalion were dressed in the uniform of the Iranian Pasdaran militia, while others wore Israeli army kit and carried the standard issue M4A1 carbine rifle fitted with Trijicon Reflex sights.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1522800,00.html

Posted by: NUM at March 13, 2005 11:51 PM

A clear case of little bit pregnant is an indication of Iran's lack of any WMD!!!

US says North Korea need not completely disarm before reaping benefits
"I don't think anyone is asking DPRK to completely disarm ... and only then will the United States and other members of the six-party process give them benefits," senior State Department official Evens Revere said Friday.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050312/pl_afp/usnkoreanuclear_050312171813

Posted by: NUM at March 13, 2005 11:58 PM

This particular article may prove of interest, in validation of the danger of the probable global conflagration that is afoot. It should be noted the strategic annexation of Afghanistan that effectively cuts off Chinese path in their move towards the oil basins of the area, as well as the proceeds of the narco crops, funneled towards various off the book operations. Yet the fanciful notions of such move have overlooked the inevitable polarisation of the global pacts, that we witness. This fact in conjunction with Insurance Brokers Sima (2005) does not bode well for Iran, therefore any and all Iranians and human beings should consider these factors with great care!

THE FIRE IS NO LONGER ON ITS WAY IT HAS BEGUN
"Every country in the world is betting everything it has on this one hand knowing that after 2007 or 2008 the game ends. The map of the future after that is unknowable and, to large extent, irrelevant. That's why Rumsfeld has won the battle to control American intelligence operations and why the new National Intelligence Director John Negroponte is getting the job.


"Is that right?"


Without the slightest hesitation the former CIA employee answered, "Yes."

The end of abundant, affordable oil is in sight, and the implications are colossal. About now in our hydrocarbon phase of human history, we have pulled out of the Earth approximately half of the available petroleum (crude oil and natural gas). The other half still in the ground is harder to extract and may not - as assumed - fuel the global economy or even provide a transition to another phase?


This means that the next tough oil shortage, even if it is not acknowledged as a post-peak oil extraction phenomenon of diminishing supply, will cripple the globalized economy. Understanding of both the economics and social dynamics of collapse is rare, and even when it is present there is an absence of taking into account the "market factor" in ushering in collapse?

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/031005_globalcorp.shtml#0

Posted by: NUM at March 15, 2005 01:31 AM

Oil's not well

Geologist Colin Campbell (Texaco, BP, Amoco ... retired) cautioned, "Throughout history, people have had difficulty in distinguishing reality from illusion. Reality is what happens, whereas illusion is what we would like to happen. Wishful thinking is a well-worn expression. Momentum is still another element: we tend to assume that things keep moving in the same direction. The world now faces a discontinuity of historic proportions, as nature shows her hand by imposing a new energy reality. There are vested interests on all sides hoping somehow to evade the iron grip of oil depletion, or at least to put it off until after the next election or until they can develop some strategy for their personal or corporate survival. As the moment of truth approaches, so does the heat, the deceptions, the half-truth and the flat lies."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GC15Dj01.html

Posted by: NUM at March 15, 2005 01:43 AM

War is a racket, and the racketeers not far away from the stench of the decaying corpses, sweet smell of blood and urine, and howls of pain, and shriek of crying widows, and children hunched over the lifeless body of their loved ones. These all matter naught to these racketeers, their eyes blind to pain, and their souls deaf to the screams of their victims. The racketeers relentless in pursuit of their profits, if only there could be a hell!!!


Shipping was extra - a lot extra
WASHINGTON - Iraq needed fuel. Halliburton Co. was ordered to get it there - quick. So the Houston-based contractor charged the Pentagon $27.5 million to ship $82,100 worth of cooking and heating fuel.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/business/3085603


As the grand master of the paedophiles is tapped to head the world bank, third world war closing and there is no one to acknowledge the reality, the ugly reality!!!!

Rice Says U.S. Concerned Over Iran-India Gas Deal
Secretary of State of Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that Washington had conveyed its concerns to India over plans for a gas pipeline from Iran to India.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38895-2005Mar16.html

Posted by: NUM at March 16, 2005 11:15 PM

NUM

Are you some kind of prophet or something? You repeatedly state that wwiii is just around the bend and that the instant buckets of sunshine will be opening up all over.

Now with all the firepower which is building up in the region, I kind of assume that some kind of strike on Iran is possible this summer. Seems like this might take the form of an Israeli strike with a nasty contingent of US carrier battle groups present just to remind the mullahs not to react in an untoward manner. Anyhow NUM, this is just supposition on my part. I have no crystal ball and am wrong more often than not when predicting the future.

I do believe that centrifuges are relevant to the discussion, while gender issues are peripheral at best. I think you may have been mistaken when you asserted that Iran has only little centrifuges which can only produce 2% U235. We are only fighting entropy here, and so reintroducing the 2% gas to the system will result in further enrichment and so on. Perhaps bigger and faster centrifuges would make the process more efficient, but who is to say that Iran could not make bigger faster centrifuges.

If the issue is all economic, as you say, then I am sure a package of incentives could be crafted which would have equivalent value to the fuel cycle to be abandoned. As the calamitous one has stated, all options are on the table. This begins with the many diplomatic initiatives which could difuse the situation.

If Iran persists no matter what is offered, then it will be clear that the reason would not be economic.

Posted by: nur at March 17, 2005 12:56 AM

The freedom of the press in the US practised as the freedom to own one, has resulted in the skewed and surreal accounts of the developments around the globe to be classified as reflection of the actualities, in particular with all matters concerning mid east. The utter naivety of the stated views, based upon the undue reliance on apparent deployment of the military force multipliers that are deemed sufficient to coerce the would be victims into inaction, effectively rendering these incapable, and compelled to turn the other cheek in the face of the imminent US aggression. This line of thinking somehow does not take account of the wider global shifts of power, and global perception of the threats from the US imperialists.

China, and India with half of the world population, and huge working populations are much bigger markets catering for many more consumers, with greater propensity for innovation, and economic growth, therefore the conflicts of interest lay the foundation for the coming total conflagration, alas the last hurrah of US imperialists is of no consequence in the overall scheme of the developments, but it will result in many deaths, and untold destruction!

On the day that cost of the crude has arisen above $57.60 despite the decision of the OPEC to increase production with one half of one million barrels per day, and in the face of the decreasing stocks of the sweet oil, that itself is one quarter of the oil reserves of the world, to forward the lame arguments of the centrifuges is an evident disconnect from the realities!

The disjunction of the hamburger munchers of the Planet US, from the rest of the globe forming the ever widening chasm, extends to theses primitives munching on their hamburgers blissfully ignorant of their masters readiness to bolt in to their respective safe holes to sit out the unfolding carnage, and destruction. But hey, since when facts have ever come in the way of a good story?

Warren Buffet holding on to his money and wandering what to do with $40 billions fluidity, in the eyes of the primitives is seen as prudence, and good saving practices!

Bill Gates going light on the dollar, of course is understood as the geek turned quixotic, and wastrel philanderer.

While even the whispers of foreign banks hedging their losses by diversification from dollar results in dollar loosing value.

The fact that the Iraqi battlefields have laid to rest the notions of the military superiority of the super power somehow goes amiss on the flag waving primitives, although as the curmudgeon put it, a flag waving monkey is no patriot, it is just a monkey waving a flag!

As for the bigger centrifuges they already have built these, and use them in the fairgrounds, although some would call it merry-go-round!

The ludicrous notions of a piece of purification equipment called centrifuge that could be used for any number of elements, ranging from copper, zinc, to molybdenum, is drummed up as the de facto evidence of nuclear weapons, that is regardless of the international treaties, laws, and safeguards. Evidence of the lack of any respect for any and all conventions on the part of the US!

The path for future lies in the nuclear energy, if humanity is to survive the coming crunch of the empty oil wells, yet the vested interests and their myopic world view discount any moves in that direction, the validation of this line of thinking can be found in J. Lovelock. So far as economic incentives are concerned, beads, mirrors, and fire water perhaps do not constitute for much these days!

Posted by: NUM at March 18, 2005 12:53 AM

Russian Army Chief Arrives in China Ahead of Joint War Games

Russia's army chief Yury Baluyevsky has arrived in China for a four-day visit, Chinese state media report, as plans are laid for the first joint military exercises between the two countries.

The chief of general staff was expected to hold talks with state and military leaders, including his counterpart Liang Guanglie, during his stay in Beijing, the Xinhua news agency said, citing Chinese Defence Ministry sources.

http://mosnews.com/news/2005/03/17/chinatrip.shtml

Posted by: NUM at March 18, 2005 01:41 AM
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