some sort of nutty prank...,
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whipping a big fat PR salami onto the table...,
the impending doom of coherent discourse:
The IAEA has released it's "modality plan", a rough schedule for going forward with Iran in determining that they are in compliance with the Safeguards Agreement. The ACW discusses and links to it, read the comments. The long and short of it, to quote the report, is that: "These modalities cover all remaining issues and the Agency confirmed that there are no outstanding issues and ambiguities regarding Iran's past nuclear program and activities."
If the IAEA is allowed to do it's job - and Iran isn't pressured into non-compliance, say, by the eager beavers in Washington - then the whole thing blows over by Xmas. What it won't resolve is continued efforts by Washington to strip Iran of its rights to a peaceful nuclear power program, which is why Iran went underground with it's program in the first place. If you still haven't read Asli Bali's
history of the post-revolutionary Iranian nuclear program from last winter's issue of MERIP you ought to.
Juan Cole relays gossip that when we all get back from holiday the administration will be whipping out a big fat PR salami on the table in an effort to churn up some support for a military attack on Iran. The IAEA plan is bad news if you're hoping and praying that we bomb Iran: if it goes forward without obstruction the Administration's primary justification for a war suffers a critical blow. If they don't find some nitpick to keep the issue on the table they'll have no figleaf to cover their asses under international law, so an all out assault of nonsense is, I think, guaranteed.
They've already claimed domestic legal cover, and nobody has made it a point to argue the point otherwise, so with no restraints imposed on them under American "law" it'll be bombs away unless the international community can squash it. The Iranians, you might say, are at the mercy of the sheep stopping the wolf.
At the top of the blogroll you'll find a variety of links to organizations that have sprung up to oppose the next war. The two of you who read this thing can go check those out. I'm getting the hell out of here for the weekend to dissappear into the bush, trying not to think about what it might portend for an occupying army in Iraq if their airforce bombs the crap out of Iran.