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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 9-Nov-2011
9-Nov-11 World View -- Iran nuclear report raises questions of sanctions and military action

Web Log - November, 2011

9-Nov-11 World View -- Iran nuclear report raises questions of sanctions and military action

Obama and Sarkozy say that they can't stand Israel's Netanyahu

This morning's key headlines from

* Italy's Berlusconi loses parliamentary majority, appears close to resigning
* IAEA says Iran's nuclear program shows 'military dimensions'
* Israel wants the west to impose 'deadly sanctions' on Iran
* Are we about to repeat the 2003 invasion of Iraq?
* Obama and Sarkozy say that they can't stand Israel's Netanyahu
* Security Council report finds no consensus on Palestinian statehood
* Star Trek 'Nazi' episode airs for first time in Germany

Italy's Berlusconi loses parliamentary majority, appears close to resigning

Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi

As Italy's financial situation becomes increasingly precarious, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi failed to muster an absolute majority in a routine parliamentary ballot, fueling further calls for him to resign as Italy struggles to convince investors it can fund itself. "The government doesn’t have a majority," Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, said as he called on the premier to resign after the vote. "We all know that Italy runs the real risk of not being able to access the financial markets in the next few days." Berlusconi has been facing more defections, and President Giorgio Napolitano may call a new confidence vote tomorrow. Adnkronos International (Italy)

IAEA says Iran's nuclear program shows 'military dimensions'

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) reported on Tuesday that it has credible evidence that Iran is moving towards development of nuclear weapons, though most of the evidence dates back to 2003. According to the report, Iran has been developing nuclear-grade material, has procured equipment and materials that "would be useful" in the development of a nuclear weapon, has reported developing detonators without explaining their intended use, and has done computer modeling on payloads for missiles and ballistic trajectory. Much of the evidence refers to activities prior to 2003. There's apparently no evidence that Iran is on a crash program to develop a nuclear weapon, although work continued at least until 2009. Guardian

Israel wants the west to impose 'deadly sanctions' on Iran

Israel's defense minister Defense Minister Ehud Barak hopes that the west will impose "deadly sanctions" on Iran, targeting its financial institutions as well as physical sanctions, but said that he is not optimistic that the international community has the will to come together in order to put a stop to Iran's nuclear program. Israel is expecting the United States to take the lead in pushing the United Nations and other Western countries to impose tougher, new sanctions on Iran following the publication of the incriminating IAEA report. No decision has been made regarding a military operation, but, "There's no chance in such a situation for 500,000 killed, not 5,000 or even 500 killed." Jerusalem Post

Are we about to repeat the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

Comparisons are being made to the situation in 2003, when the United States launched a ground war into Iraq, based on intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that later turned out to be wrong. The IAEA report presents evidence that is being widely questioned, with fears expressed that military action will be taken against Iran, by either Israel or the United States, based on potentially faulty intelligence.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the situation is very different today than in 2003. The 2003 invasion was triggered by widespread panic, in the U.S. and other countries, over weapons of mass destruction. (See "The Iraq war may be related to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." from 2008.)

But the generational attitudes are very different today. In particular, there is no widespread panic today over possible nuclear weapons in Iran. In fact, the opposite is true: The U.S. and other countries are war-weary, and most attitudes are opposed to launching another war.

Having said that, I'm not able to judge whether there's widespread panic in Israel, comparable to the panic in the U.S. in 2003. However, I strongly suspect not, especially since Israel has already had a recent humiliating experience with widespread panic -- when Israel launched the 2006 war against Hizbollah in Lebanon, with no plan, no objectives, no idea what they were doing, just four hours after two Israeli soldiers had been abducted.

I get the same feeling that I got last week when Greece's prime minister announced a referendum over the euro deal -- a referendum wasn't in the script, and now military action against Iran isn't in the script. Just as it seems like the world screamed in fury against Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou when he announced the referendum plans, there are similar screams of fury over possible military action in Iran.

Furthermore, as I've described before, Iran takes pride in not having invaded other countries, even though other countries have invaded Iran. Furthermore, the younger generations of Iran are generally pro-Western and do not particularly hate Israel, as do the survivors of the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution. And so a preemptive nuclear attack on Israel would be as horrifying to the Iranian people as it would be to the rest of the world.

Finally, I would remind long-time readers what I've been saying for years: That I expect Iran to be our ally, along with India, Russia and the West, in the Clash of Civilizations world war, opposing China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries.

Obama and Sarkozy say that they can't stand Israel's Netanyahu

Obama and Sarkozy at G-20 meeting (AP)
Obama and Sarkozy at G-20 meeting (AP)

Without realizing that they could be overheard, last week at the G-20 meeting, France's president Nicolas Sarkozy said, "Netanyanu - I can't stand him. He's a liar." President Barack Obama replied, "You're sick of him? I have to deal with him every day." They were speaking of Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netayahu. Both Sarkozy and Obama have been critical of Israel in the past for building settlements in the West Bank. Daily Mail

Security Council report finds no consensus on Palestinian statehood

There is no consensus among the 15 Security Council nations on the Palestinian application for full United Nations membership for a Palestinian state, according to a draft report. For the resolution to be adopted by the council, it needs at least nine "yes" votes and must avoid a veto by any of the permanent members. However, the United States has already announced it will veto the resolution, and only eight of the remaining votes are likely to be "yes." China, Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon have indicated their support for the resolution. France, Britain and Colombia plan to abstain. Nigeria and Gabon will likely vote "yes" and Germany and Portugal will abstain or vote "no." Bosnia said it was unable to make a statement because its three-member presidency is split on the issue which means it will most likely abstain, diplomats said. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki blamed the United States for the result. "We expected to get nine votes in the Security Council, but its clear now, with the U.S. counter effort and huge intervention, that we are not going to have these nine votes." Associated Press

Star Trek 'Nazi' episode airs for first time in Germany

Captain Kirk and Mister Spock dressed as Nazis
Captain Kirk and Mister Spock dressed as Nazis

Trekkies in Germany have eagerly savored watching over and over the voyages of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek episodes from the 1960s, but unlike the rest of the world, they have been unable to see one particular Star Trek episode in their native land, until now. The episode "Patterns of Force," was shown in the U.S. in 1968. Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, and Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, find themselves on a planet whose culture is now modeled on the German Nazi Party of old Earth in the 1930's. At one point Kirk and Spock are captured but make their escape by wearing stolen Nazi uniforms, with Spock wearing a helmet to hide his pointed ears. The episode was considered too provocative for 1970s Germany, especially as at one point it describes Nazi Germany as "the most efficient society ever created." It was aired on German television for the first time on Friday night, though subject to the restriction that no one under 16 could be allowed to see it. Telegraph

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 9-Nov-11 World View -- Iran nuclear report raises questions of sanctions and military action thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (9-Nov-2011) Permanent Link
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