The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The West Drives Iran Into China’s Arms

China started exporting petrol to Iran recently.  Petrol is one of the main things Iran needs from the outside world.

Meanwhile, the West, and the US in specific, seems determined to impose sanctions if Iran doesn’t give up its nuclear program, a program that Iran insists is for civilian purposes.

If the West does  impose “draconian sanction” they will shove Iran firmly into China’s orbit unless China is onside with the sanctions.  It is unlikely China will be.  China has very consistently supported the individual sovereignty of various countries the West tries to use sanctions against (both Burma and Sudan, among others), and they are willing to back it up with large amounts of aid, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but for cold hard pragmatic reasons.

One major arm of China’s foreign policy is to lock up as much access to natural resources as possible and helping Iran is part of that policy.

The Chinese think long term and strategically about these issues.  America and the West in general are being driven by irrational hysteria on this issue, and short term thinking in general.

The evidence that Iran is working towards a nuclear bomb is scanty though not nonexistent, and even if they had nuclear weapons the only thing it would change is the ability of other nations to threaten them with armed force.  Tehran’s leaders are not insane, they would be no more likely to use nuclear weapons than any other country which has them, and probably less likely than some.  Nuclear weapons, including weapons provided to terrorists, come with “return addresses” —they have distinctive signatures which can be used to figure out where they came from.  If Iran were to use a nuke in any way against outsiders, other nuclear powers would respond and wipe the country off the map.

Iran probably isn’t working on nukes.  Even if it is, its getting them doesn’t particularly matter.  And the West’s preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear program is only driving them into the arms of the Chinese.


McChrystal continues to undercut Obama


Iranian Nuclear Hysteria


  1. And I’d really like to emphasize the “Iran not crazy” part. There are enough self-serving corrupt people like Rafsanjani in their leadership class to be that irrational.

  2. can you smell that

    “America and the West in general are being driven by irrational hysteria on this issue, and short term thinking in general.”


    the usa is driven by the zionists/neocons to do whatever isreal demands of it doing.

    the usa attacked and occupies Iraq – at the zionists’ urging so that Iraq could not attack isreal. yes, OIL also played a BIG part in that decision to attack and occupy.

    and the usa will either attack Iran for the zionists/neocons or will supply/aid/stand aside the isrealis’ attack on Iran.

  3. What are you, sane?

  4. jbaspen

    Ian, I think our young President entered office with confidence that he could exploit this seeming schism between Neo-con and progressive Jewry. Younger, influential Jews (e.g., Gleen Greenwald, Ken Silverstein, Steven Spielberg) were (and are) expressing both their digust at brutal Israeli policies and the need for something approaching a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But instead of getting a Rabin-like figure on the Israeli side, Obama’s is stuck with the Likud-nut Netanyahu. Netanyahu has no intention of ceding the West Bank (or significant parts of); or in dealing in good faith regarding a Palestinian Homeland. For Bibi, this Persian “Nuclear Controversy” is a God-send. He’s undoubtedly informed Hillary & Barrack that he just can’t deal until this “mortal threat” to Israel’s existence is eliminated. Of course, Ahmadinejad is the perfect foil in all of this. While many of my Armenian relatives (who are fluent Farsi speakers) tell me that he hasn’t threatened Israel’s existence, his questioning of the Holocaust seems both morally repulsive as it is political idiocy.
    Ian, can a Canadian actually appreciate the power of the Israeli Lobby in this Country? When the Congress of the United States votes 495 to NOTHING (!!) to condemn the World Court for censuring Israel for the positioning (NOT the existence) of the Security Wall
    which stole Palestinian Land? Obama has to hope that progressive Jews (i.e., “J Street Lobby”) can provide political cover & somehow instigate the equivelent of a massive “Intervention” with the Israelis.
    As the son of Armenian immigrants, I understand the truama and sorrow of genocide survivors. But, this cannot grant a people license, whether they are Armenians (and their disgusting revenge against innocent Azeri civilians in the early 90s), Gypsies, Tutsis, Cambodians or Jews. And this is what we’ve done in America. Grant license to the worst tendencies of a truamatized People. And it is nothing less than irrational hysteria, with no intervention in sight. Where is the person with Moral Courage, akin to General Rabin?

  5. Ian Welsh

    I do recognize the massive power of the Israeli lobby, second only (arguably) to the gun lobby. Still it’s one thing to cross them actively and another to do so passively. And the last time a President seriously tried to beard them (Bush Sr.) he succeeded.

    I don’t blame Obama for not wanting that fight (well, I sort of do, since he wants no fights, it seems, but I do understand he might have other priorities) but it’s one thing to not pick a fight, it’s another thing to actively do what the Israeli lobby wants.

    Oddly, while Republicans have neocons and the religious right who want greater Israel, most Jewish citizens vote Democratic, so Dems are potentially more vulnerable to the Israeli lobby. OTOH, American Jews no longer monolithically support hard line Israeli positions, they are a liberal group as a whole, and younger Jews in particular don’t have the knee jerk “whatever the Israeli government wants” reflex.

    Ah well, Obama won’t stand up to anyone but the left for anything, so expecting him to stand up to the Israeli lobby is insane. I just hope his pandering doesn’t kill too many people.

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