Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Wall Street Journal (23)


Iran Propaganda 101: US Flaunts "Biggest Bunker Buster Bomb"

Look out, Iran --- it's a Massive Ordnance Penetrator

One of the features of the ongoing power play between Washington and Tehran is the propaganda from both sides --- trying to show prestige as well as initimidating the "enemy" --- about their massive weapons.

Tehran almost incessantly declares its latest missile or naval advance while shouting that it is turning US capabilities --- such as drones --- back on Washington. The Americans parade a supposed "new" technology to warn Iran against any mischief in the region.

Last month the US centrepiece was an experimental laser to be placed aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf, deterring any attack by small Iranian boats.

See EA Video Analysis: Iran and the American Lasers of Doom

This morning the press release --- eagerly put out by The Wall Street Journal --- is of a "penetrator" to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

Click to read more ...


Syria Feature: US Considering Military Steps for No-Fly Zone (Entous/Barnes)

Patriot Anti-Missile SystemThe White House, under pressure from key allies and U.S. lawmakers, is reviewing a new set of potential military options for assisting rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.

Among the ideas were proposals to bomb Syrian aircraft on the ground and to use Patriot antimissile batteries in Turkey to defend swaths of northern Syria from the regime's Scud missiles, they said.

Defense officials said those two options faced potentially insurmountable technological and legal hurdles, however — underscoring the difficulty of finding a plausible way to address increasing international pressure to weigh in more forcefully on the side of the Syrian rebels. Other options were also presented to the White House but officials declined to discuss them.

Click to read more ...


Iraq Feature: Amid Rising Protests, CIA Expands Co-operation with "Anti-Terrorism" Units (Wall Street Journal)

The Central Intelligence Agency is ramping up support to elite Iraqi antiterrorism units to better fight al Qaeda affiliates, amid alarm in Washington about spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria, according to U.S. officials.

The stepped-up mission expands a covert U.S. presence on the edges of the two-year-old Syrian conflict, at a time of American concerns about the growing power of extremists in the Syrian rebellion.

Click to read more ...


US War on Terror Feature: Preparing for Military Operations in Africa (Barnes/Perez)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presses Algeria to join intervention in Mali, 29 October 2012

Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it.

The move, according to administration and congressional officials, would be aimed at allowing U.S. military operations in Mali, Nigeria, Libya and possibly other countries where militants have loose or nonexistent ties to al Qaeda's Pakistan headquarters. Depending on the request, congressional authorization could cover the use of armed drones and special operations teams across a region larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, the officials said.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Feature: Pushing A Deal with the Crown Prince (Delmar Morgan)

Crown Prince Salman with Al Wefaq's Sheikh Ali Salman (Mazen Mahdi/The National)Ever since the start of the mass protests in February 2011, the US Government's hope has been that the opposition could reach a deal with the regime, notably through the "moderate" Crown Prince Salman, over "reform".

That hope was dashed in March 2011 with the regime crackdown, backed by a Saudi-led military force, on the demonstrations and the subsequent polarisation of support and opposition to the monarchy and the Government. However, after the publication of the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry's report in November, with its call for significant change, Washington returned to the strategy.

There have some discussions between the regime "moderates" and representatives of the largest opposition society Al Wefaq this year. These have been halting in any progress, but Alex Delmar Morgan, US officials, and an Al Wefaq member try to give the initiative a boost in The Wall Street Journal....

Click to read more ...


Iran Opinion: Turning the Islamic Republic into North Korea --- Does It Help the Situation?

The problem with harsh sanctions is the speculative nature of the exercise of implementing often inhuman measures on entire populations for the deeds of their undemocratic, unelected, and dictatorial rulers. Suppose these sanctions are implemented. We do not have an example to show that a country like Iran will halt its nuclear programme. However, we do have a North Korea, hobbled by sanctions for years and attempting to become economically self-sufficient, where the regime chooses to make its people suffer to attain nuclear weapons.

Click to read more ...


Turkey Follow-Up: More Questions --- and No Answers --- About the Killing of 34 Civilians

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoganOn Wednesday, I asked about January's Uludere killings, in which 34 civilians died, who gave the order to jets to bomb? And, beyond the death, how does this incident --- and the claim that the "intelligence" behind the attack came from the US --- affect Turkey's relations within the context of its Kurdish problem? 

More questions....

Turkish Armed Forces said that the intelligence --- which apparently to smugglers being wrongly identified as Kurdish insurgents --- was given by "national sources", but when eyes turned to the National Intelligence Service (MIT), it denied that it provided information.

Click to read more ...


Iran 1st-Hand: "People Here Are Boiling, But Don't Make A Sound" (Spindle)

Photo: ReutersReza rented a small storefront on a pedestrian mall along the route to a popular shrine in Tehran's working-class southern fringe. He hawks T-shirts, souvenirs, incense and, with the Iranian New Year approaching, fireworks. He says business conditions are "rubbish." He sells little.

Chicken and beef have almost doubled in price in the past few weeks, he says. His family has all but stopped eating those. His wife buys chicken livers. They're cheaper.

He has tried raising prices in his own store. Playing cards just went to 1,500 rials from 1,000—or to about seven cents, from five cents. Sales fell. "People just don't have the money," he says.

Click to read more ...


Syria Special: Who is Observing What, and What Will Happen When They Finish?

I don't need to sugar coat this: there are a lot of people who have no faith in the Arab League mission in Syria. For starters, we already know what they will find. International observers, though limited in both numbers and opportunities to investigate independently, have given us conclusions. According to US Ambassador Robert Ford, or the UN delegation that visited in August, or the few reporters brave enough to smuggle themselves into Syria, President Assad is killing a lot of people and torturing many. And there is only one way to end this mess, with Assad giving up power.

Few of these facts are in question. Much of the counter-narrative provided by the Syrian regime has either been proven false or is a weak defense --- "some individuals are guilty of crimes" --- for the scale of the regime's carnage. If only half the claims of the activists are true, then the number of people who have died from violence in Syria this year is four times greater than in Egypt.

So why are there observers present, who are they, what will they see, and what will they do about it? Let's work backwards.

Click to read more ...


Iran Snap Analysis: The US Strikes a Military Pose

Will these steps make a real difference in the regional jostling with Tehran, let alone Washington's drive for international isolation of Iran? I doubt it --- the significant game is the context for political influence amidst shifting circumstances, as the events across North Africa and the Middle East should have brought home to Washington this year --- but when in doubt....

Strike a pose.

Click to read more ...