US Russian diplomacy has not been so inept since Kennedy botched the "Bay of Pigs" adventure. That misstep by Kennedy resulted in a huge miscalculation by Kruschev that almost ended in a nuclear war over Cuba.
There is no talent, no wisdom and no practical and useful results from US diplomacy with Russia. It gets worse in Iraq. Militias launched apparent revenge attacks on Sunni mosques in Baghdad in the wake of the deadliest string of bombings against Shiites since the war began in 2003.
Iraq's warring Shiite and Sunni communities forced President Jalal Talabani to postpone his visit to Tehran where he was to meet his hardline counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday. Why are they meeting? Iraq is collapsing into all out civil war. Syria, the various factions in Iraq, and Iran, have all come to the same conclusion. The US has no solution other than the sporadic restrained use of the US military. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to quit the national unity government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets US President George W. Bush in Jordan on November 29. Now there is fear and respect.
Perhaps Sadr developed his loathing and lack of respect for US power when earlier in the war, The Administration worried about the paint being chipped off some unfriendly mosques. That was happening at the time US Military Police were handling korans with white gloves. We should have taken the gloves off then and with Sadr as well, but the Administration said no. How are the mosques doing these days? Not too well.
Four Sunni mosques were attacked by militias in western Baghdad, a security official said, in an apparent Shiite revenge attack for Thursday's deadly bombings targeting the capital's district of Sadr City. Those bombings resulted in at least 202 people killed. Remember the gyrations the Administration put the military through earlier in the war when it came to mosques being used as refuge points? The Arabs and Sunnis will take a mosque down without a blink. The Arab Street turned out to be a myth as has the prowess of US Diplomacy under The Bush Administration.
Russia has begun deliveries of the Tor-M1 air defence rocket system to Iran, Russian news agencies quoted military industry sources as saying, in the latest sign of a Russian-US rift over Iran.
"Deliveries of the Tor-M1 have begun. The first systems have already been delivered to Tehran," ITAR-TASS quoted an unnamed, high-ranking source as saying Friday.
The United States has pressed Russia to halt military sales to Iran, which Washington accuses of harbouring secret plans to build a nuclear weapon.
Moscow has consistently defended its weapons trade with Iran. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the contract for 29 rocket systems, signed in December last year, was legitimate because the Tor-M1 has a purely defensive role.
ITAR-TASS reported that the rockets were to be deployed around Iran's nuclear sites, including the still incomplete, Russian-built atomic power station at Bushehr.
In August, Washington announced sanctions against several companies, including Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, for supplying technology to Iran that could allegedly be used to develop missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.
Under the sanctions no US company can deal with foreign companies on the sanctions list for two years.
A spokesman for Rosoboronexport contacted by AFP would not confirm or deny the reports about the Tor-M1 delivery, which were also issued by the Interfax news agency.
The Tor-M1 is a low to medium-altitude missile fired from a tracked vehicle against airplanes, helicopters and other airborne targets.
The news came as the UN Security Council continued to consider possible sanctions against Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity in response to the Islamic republic's suspect nuclear programme.
The major powers have been debating a draft resolution drawn up by Britain, France and Germany that would impose limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile sectors for Tehran's failure to comply with an earlier UN resolution on halting enrichment.
China and Russia, both close economic partners with Iran, argue the measures are too extensive, while Washington has pressed for tougher action.