“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Failure to reach a nuclear deal will drive Iran into Russia’s arms

As relations between the US and Russia deteriorate, Tehran has the scope to become an evermore decisive and divisive factor
  • By Ariane Tabatabai
  • Published: 20:00 November 22, 2014 Gulf News
Tehran and Moscow, facing similar political and economic pressures from the West, have developed strong ties since the Islamic Revolution. More recently, as relations between the US and Moscow have soured, the links have only intensified. But for Tehran, closer ties to Moscow are not so much a choice as the only viable option — and in the run-up to the deadline for a comprehensive international deal on the Iranian nuclear programme, Moscow’s influence looms dangerously large. Decisions made in the next few days by the US, China, France, the UK and Russia, plus Germany (the “P5+1”) and Iran, will determine whether that remains the case.
In fact, Iran’s interests today, as in the past, overlap more with those of the US than either side is willing to admit. It is true that since the 1979 revolution turned Iran from Washington’s ally to one of its most vocal opponents, Moscow has stepped into the void. The two countries co-operate on strategic matters including energy, technology, aerospace, defence and trade.
Moscow provides military equipment Iran cannot procure from the West, and also assists in civilian arenas. It is Iran’s sole nuclear partner, supplying technology and fuel. It stepped in when the West left the Bushehr nuclear power plant unfinished after the revolution. The two countries have recently concluded a deal to construct two further plants. US and Iranian interests are aligned in much of the Middle East. Yet in a number of areas they are unwilling to co-operate. As Tehran engages with the world powers on its nuclear dossier, domestic politics allow little scope also to co-operate openly with the West on regional security issues. For Washington, domestic constituencies such as a Republican-controlled Congress — and regional allies including Israel and Saudi Arabia — are expressing concern at the idea of the US striking a “bad deal” in order to tackle the issue of Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in co-operation with Iran.
Meanwhile, Tehran and Moscow are creating an axis of their own, and co-operating to push Daesh back. They have begun co-operating in Iraq. They are also on the same team — that of President Bashar Al Assad — on the Syrian civil war. They pledged at the 2014 Caspian Sea Summit not to let foreign powers intervene in the region, limiting Nato’s ability to deploy forces. Subsequently they conducted joint military drills in the area. To overcome sanctions, they are developing a plan to replace the US dollar with their national currencies in bilateral trade.
Iran is not forging closer ties with Russia because it believes Moscow is a viable, trustworthy partner, however. During the pro-reform protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election, the revolutionary slogan “death to America” gave way to “death to Russia”, reflecting frustration at substandard technology believed to be endangering lives. Tehran’s insistence on developing indigenous nuclear technology and becoming self-sufficient stems from this. Iranians believe their country can neither meet its needs on the global market nor rely on Russia. This isolation has left Tehran no option but to turn to Moscow. And, as relations between the US and Russia have deteriorated, the state has the scope to become an evermore decisive and divisive factor. Failure to reach a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, and to lay the path for more normal economic and political relations with the world, would propel Tehran into Moscow’s arms. It would foster an even more powerful Russian-Iranian axis. This would be worrying for opponents of a deal on Capitol Hill, most of whom also do not want Russian influence to grow. By blocking the way to a deal, they could facilitate and accelerate what they want to prevent.
— Financial Times 
Ariane Tabatabai is an associate with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.


  1. Only the lethal cocktail of the Israeli Lobby and the dumber and blitzen of the Republican Congress could strengthen the influence of the Russians in the ME at the worst possible time with ISIS slicing and dicing its way through whatever civil society is left after the Neocon destabilized zone project.

  2. The Mission Accomplished Mutha Fuckas just keep on keeping on.

  3. Russians in the ME ?

    Apparently you are not a learned student of history.

    the Russians are at the lowest level of support in the middle east ever.

    that's until obama cut of Egypt at the knees for not allowing the moslem brotherhood to be legal anymore.

    Russia's desperate actions with syria and iran show serious weakness that the Soviet Union has...

    Oh did I say Soviet Union, LOL

    My bad...

    But really... Iran is already firmly in the Russian's hip pocket, as well as the syrians.

    Making a useless agreement with Iran will not sway iran to be pro-western.

    Only the REPLACEMENT of the mullahs of Iran and the bringing to power the regular folks of Iran (who are pro-western) will solve the problem of BOTh iran's export of terrorism and it's dangerous path towards nuclear weapons.

    1. We don’t need two religious fanatic nuclear states in the ME.

    2. Just how religiously fanatical? I would give it a resounding ✡✡✡✡

      Latest update : 2014-11-23
      Israel’s cabinet has approved a contentious bill that officially defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

      The bill still needs to be passed in parliament to become a law, but Sunday’s vote looks to further inflame tensions with Arab Israelis and Palestinians. It could also shake up Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government due to the fierce opposition of two of his more centrist partners.

      The bill calls for recognizing Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalizing Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation, and delisting Arabic as an official language. Opponents say the bill undermines Israel’s democratic character, and rights groups have called it racist.

      “If you enshrine the Jewish character of Israel into law, that automatically excludes a significant part of the population, both Arabs and Druze, many of whom serve in the Israeli military,” said FRANCE 24’s Israel correspondent Gallagher Fenwick.


      “The devil is in the details. Will the final bill talk about equality for all of Israel’s citizens? Where will the democratic nature of the state fall into this bill?”

      Israeli Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population, strongly oppose the bill.

    3. 21 moslem nations, that have laws that make it a death penalty for selling land to a Jew and you find what Israel is doing is extremist?


      In any other ME nation? there is no vote, no discussion, no supreme court that argues for the minority..

      Heck in the arab middle east? Most of the "minorities" and long dead and gone...

    4. ...all that is well but US support for Israel brings it all back to the US. No US support for Israel and the US has minimal problems in the ME. Israel knows that and plays it to the hilt including the sucking up to the idiot fringe of the Christian Right despite the familiar “for friendly ears only” of utter contempt by American Jews for the dolts on the Christian Right. Come on, we are frenemies, fess up.

    5. Bullshit. The USA had issues since 1783 with the middle east.

      Israel and America are not "frenemies" however the State Dept and the current president are islamist and arabists.

      The majority of Israelis and Americans share common values, ethics and societies.

      The lunatic fringe of the USA that embrace the concept of a jew free world? That is the Issue, but you are correct, if only the Jew knew their place and gave up their only nation, Israel, begged forgiveness and let the arabs slit their throats again, rapoe their women and enslave their kids, then we would have peace...

      Praise allah...

      But sorry deuce, Islam and the arab world are so 7th century. And Jews today? don't want to die for us to be liked...

  4. If obama had not been a motherfucker to the egyptians? Egypt would still be in the fold with the USA.

    It wasn't the Israel lobby or the GOP that screwed the pooch, it was Obama.

    Obama said it would be easier AFTER the election....

    1. It is easier now, after the election of General al-Sisi.
      He is going to send troops to the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, as soon as Bibi approves of those Egyptian troops being stationed in Israel/Palestine.

      Egypt, such an improvement over NATO.


    2. Egypt faces a new, harsher kind of repression

      CAIRO — Nearly four years after ousting one dictator, Egyptians may be facing an even more oppressive regime.

      President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, is bringing military-like precision to target dissent by tightening control of the media and issuing a decree that could further obstruct justice in the nation.

      "A lot of people have been silenced, killed by Sisi," said Nagy Gabbala, 42, who lives in a crowded neighborhood in western Cairo. "He ties our wrists. There is no freedom."

      Since ousting an Islamist leader 17 months ago, more than 41,000 people have been arrested in a sweeping crackdown against Islamists, secular activists, protesters, students and journalists, according to the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights. Hundreds have died in the ensuing political turmoil.

      "It's probably the worst attack on basic freedoms Egypt has ever witnessed in the last three decades or so," said Mohamed Lotfy, executive director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

      Could not be any easier, for US, now.

    3. Turkey is NATO, Turkey has mas genocided the Armenians and the people of Cyprus...

      Egypt has a better human rights record than NATO member turkey.

  5. Syria's Bashar al-Assad Urges Pressure on Backers of 'Terror'

    Damascus: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad told a Russian delegation on Sunday that "serious efforts" were needed to defeat "terrorists" and exert "real pressure" on their alleged backers, state media said.

    Assad's statement comes days ahead of scheduled Moscow talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Syrian delegation on the possible relaunch of peace talks with the opposition.

    "The defeat of terrorism... requires... applying real pressure on those implicated in financing, arming and facilitating the actions of the terrorists," Assad told the Russian parliamentary delegation, state news agency SANA reported.

  6. President Barack Obama said gaps in the Iran nuclear negotiations remain significant and left open the possibility of extending the talks if no deal is reached before Monday night’s deadline.

    Obama, in an interview with ABC that aired on Sunday, said it remained unclear whether a deal would be reached, but he deemed the process successful, saying that an interim agreement had stopped Iran’s nuclear program from advancing.

    “Now the question is: Can we get to a more permanent deal?” Obama said in the interview, which was taped on Friday. “And the gaps are still significant.”

    Iran, the U.S. and its negotiating partners are working to forge an agreement that would constrain Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of Western sanctions.

    “Our goal is to solve a particular problem here, which is making sure Iran doesn’t trigger a nuclear arms race, can’t threaten the United States, can’t threaten allies like Israel,” Obama said.

    U.S., European and Iranian officials have raised the possibility of extending the diplomatic process. Obama said he would wait to see what emerges from this weekend’s negotiations.

  7. OPEC's Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico

    Global demand will increase this year by the least in five years, to 92.4 million barrels a day, before picking up in 2015 as economic recovery gathers pace, the International Energy Agency said on Nov. 14. Further complicating OPEC’s task is the boom in U.S. shale production, which has put the world’s biggest economy on course toward energy self-reliance. U.S. output is expected to grow 12 percent next year to the highest since 1970, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    1. President Obama has led the US to the highest levels of oil production since 1970!

      No one is crediting GW Bush with this accomplishment, six years after he left the White House.

      Stay the Course!

  8. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have held several rounds of talks in recent days in an attempt to break the deadlock.

    On Sunday, Mr Kerry also met Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

    Saudi Arabia is not a party of the P5+1 talks, but is concerned about Iran's influence in the region.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected in Vienna early on Monday.

    1. Israel is not a party to the talk, in fact Iran will not recognize the legitimate right for israel to be.

      So maybe Israel should take that position in opposite?

      Iran has no right to be a nation, it should be split up into many smaller pieces.

      Israel should start arming the arabs of Iran with IED's, armor piercing ammo and of course rockets and missiles. The same for everyone in the world that has a beef with the islamic persians of the lands called "iran"

  9. Nachman Shai reacted with derision to a new threat from Israeli officials over the weekend to attack Iran if a deal reached by the international community with the Islamic Republic is not good enough.

    The Jerusalem Post reported exclusively Sunday that Israel has issued a stark, public warning to its allies with a clear argument: Current proposals guarantee the perpetuation of a crisis, backing Israel into a corner from which military force against Iran provides the only logical exit.

    The Israeli officials warned that "Iran's been giving the IAEA the run around for years about its past activities" and expressed concern that if a deal were reached and violated the international community would "sweep it under the rug."

    Shai, who is a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said government officials should go back to speaking generally about all options being on the table instead of issuing empty threats.

    "Anyone trying to attribute aspirations of an Israeli attack on Iran is not being realistic," Shai said. "I don't think Israel intends to attack Iran, even if the deal will not be good. We will make well thought-out decisions in the future but an attack is beyond our arsenal by now."

    Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman said he believed there was a consensus in the Knesset on Iran. But he appeared to disagree with Shai regarding a potential military strike.

    "If Israeli intelligence assesses that there is a tangible risk to Israel, then action beyond diplomatic efforts would be required," he said. "All politics are put aside when it comes to our security. We will watch the developments carefully regarding the deal with Iran and then the security apparatus will make its assessments and decisions."

    Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said Israel needed to be lobbying in capitals around the world, especially Washington, to ensure that there would be the best deal possible. Regarding the statements about a possible military strike, he quoted Tuco in the 1966 film: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: "When you have to shoot, shoot; don't talk."

    1. I suggest Israel should attack Iran with multiple EMP's.

      Follow that with nuke attacks on every major population center and commercial area...

      Surround Iran with hostile populations that are armed to the teeth that cause war and terror on a daily basis, blow up their schools, restaurants, bus stations and religious places, give rewards to those that murder civilians...

      Oh, my bad, just change the nation Iran to Israel and that is WHAT IRAN's OFFICIAL POLICY IS...

    2. We know that you are a final solution kind of guy. We get that.

    3. No try reading my words again, this time note the point that the official policy of Iran is the genocide of every Israeli.

      You are slipping..

      Oh, my bad, just change the nation Iran to Israel and that is WHAT IRAN's OFFICIAL POLICY IS...

      My final solution is the arrest and incarceration of every islamist leader in the world. The arrest and incarceration of every parent that praises a suicide bomber, my final solution is that the arab world be happy with 899/900th of the middle east and go, live well, and leave Israel and the JEW ALONE...

      No deuce, in my wildest dreams I am even 1/10,000 of the final solution the AVERAGE Palestinian is....

      After all, they praise chopping of arms of Rabbis and hand out sweets, repeatedly....

      Iran is not a friend. But you are so far up the Palestinian's and Iran's ass you cannot see thru the shit...

      So sad...

  10. Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said Israel needed to be lobbying in capitals around the world, especially Washington, to ensure that there would be the best deal possible.

    Always a good bet by the Lobby to head to the Potomac.

    1. Always a good bet to be honest about the consequences in selling out Israel like czechoslovakia was. Israel will not accept a treaty that it is not able to have a say it.

      If those p5+1 make a deal? Good luck. IF it allows Iran to continue down the path to a deliverable nuke? Don't be surprise if things go boom in the night.

  11. Please tell us more about being un-shackled.

    1. America needs better relations with Tehran to begin improving ties with the growing number of Islamist political orders across the Middle East, which is essential to saving what’s left of the US position in the region.
      It also needs Tehran’s help to contain the rising tide of terrorism ( or national liberation according to who interprets) in the region — a phenomenon fueled by Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other ostensible Arab allies in the Persian Gulf.
      Iran is a critical player for shaping the future not only of Iraq and Afghanistan, but Syria as well. More than ever before, American interests require rapprochement with the Islamic Republic. Continued US hostility only may lead to strategic disaster.

    2. ... posted over at Juan Cole.

    3. If america wants to align it's self with the world most radical islamist nation on the planet?

      It will slit it's own throat.

      The mullahs of Iran are evil.

      To think otherwise reminds me of Chamberland.. Peace in our time.

      Appeasement with evil gets you dead.

      But Deuce, you are such a fan now of the Palestinians and Iranian forms of government now it's hard to tell you ever were an American.

  12. Hunger in the Heartland: In the heart of GMO Farmland, where Iowa has 30 million acres of primarily GM crops, over 400,000 Iowans don't know where their next meal is coming from.

    30% of children in Iowa public schools qualify for free meals.

    How can Iowa, in a very rich agricultural state, have rising rates of food insecurity?
    We'll tell you how. GMOs aren't feeding IOWA.
    GMOs are not feeding the U.S. either, where food insecurity has increased by 57% since they were introduced.
    The only thing GMOs are feeding are the agrichemical corporations' bank accounts.


  13. The self is moral
    We tend to think that our memories determine our identity, but it’s moral character that really makes us who we are

  14. Seattle 19 - Arizona 3
    Seattle still in the hunt for a playoff position.

    Deuce desperately needs a new set of talking points.

    The current ones :

    Israel the incarnation of evil
    Hamas/PA glorious freedom fighters
    Iran, misunderstood and in need of defensive nuclear weapons
    The GOP
    The Republicans
    The 'Lobby'
    Islam, Judaism, Christianity equated

    are not serving well. Too filled with contradictions and outright falsehoods.

    1. ... paranoia comes readily to mind as well ...

    2. The Israeli are the Kings of Paranoia, just look at how they react when Iran is mentioned.

    3. The israeli are kings at survival and when your enemy, that spends billions to murder your kids says "i am going to wipe your nation out" YOU LISTEN

      Only a fucktard retarded moron would ignore that...

      Oh wait, Jack Rat? You are a fucktard retarded moron are you not?

  15. Iran refuses to allow inspection of its previous nuclear work (a benchmark for future inspections) and it is Israel's fault that the negotiations have collapsed? Why not blame Israel for the weather?

    If Israel is only capable of saber rattling, why the worry?

    1. Just look what Israel has done to Buffalo, New York.....

    2. HAARP - how are the Israeli connected to that?

    3. Israel refuses to allow inspections of the Negev Nuclear Research Center.
      Why would the Iranians do more?

    4. Because, unlike the Israelis, the Iranians signed a treaty that gave them benefits.

      Its called a contract Herr Hitler...

      Iran signed then reneged on the contract, it received knowledge and intel on the nuclear cycle that they did not have.

      Israel on the other hand is not a signer of the NPT so it is NOT BOUND by it's conventions/requirements.

      Even a contract killed like you should know that.

      After all, when you were paid to kill someone, you killed them. If you were paid not to kill someone you did not.

      You agree, get money and then follow the contract.

      Iran signed then lied, just like North korea...


      Now maybe you took cash for your contract hits in central america and didn't shoot?

      Tell us...

      Did you kill when paid or did you chicken out?

  16. The paranoia that Israel exhibits with regards its nuclear weapons program, is just extraordinary.
    To the point of denying they even have one.

    A rogue state, that is what Israel is, with regards nuclear proliferation, just like North Korea.

    1. Jack, as a true killer of men, self confessed, you are in a good position to know death 1st hand.

      Jews / Israel as a people know what it's like to be shoved into ovens by people such as yourself.

      Please do not use the term "paranoia" when we have a reasonable expectation that folks such as yourself have no problem with slitting the throats of our young. Now of course, being nuked is on a grander scale but it's a symptom of the same illness none the less....

  17. Bob OreilleSun Nov 23, 07:20:00 PM EST
    Just look what Israel has done to Buffalo, New York.....

    Although it is unreported by the MSM (Zionist Media), I have it on good report that Jewish neighborhoods are snow free.

    1. It is easy to list the Zionists that own the major media, harder still to deny it, rationally.

    2. CBS, NBC-Comcast, ABC-Disney, just the crown of the tin-foil hat.

    3. Allen, the Israelis installed geothermic heat exchange closed water systems to the Jew settlements of Buffalo, keeps the roads cooler in summer and warmer in winter, keeps the expansion and contraction down to a minimum, should triple the life of the roads...

    4. The owners of the controlling interests of the major media, they all have names and biographies.

      They are real people with real prejudices. To deny it, plainly delusional.

    5. The Jews own RT News? Al Jeezera? Fox?

      wow who knew.

    6. The Jews own the Internet.


    7. And they control the weather.

    8. And the Chinese and Hindu media.

    9. And they own 3/4ths of Tokyo.

    10. They have totally taken over rat's 'mind'.

      This is, at least, true.

  18. Replies
    1. George Soros is an well know Israel hater..

      Sodastream sales are doing fine, net profit is fine and the P/E Ratio is right in line with Coke & Pepsi

      They moved their operation out of the West bank and no longer have to deal with Palestinians.

      All is good

  19. A quick scroll up thread and it looks like the paranoid Israeli, the Social Media Commando has come unhinged.

    Poor "O"rdure, he has nothing else to say, so he says nothing that matters, making wild accusations which have worn thread bare over the years. Never being able to follow thru, never being able to quantify or verify. Even his complaints to the Federals, those denizens of total Google access, were unable to assist him in quantifying his delusions. Because, in the end, he is totally delusional.

    Comically so

    Just more paranoid delusion spewing from the keyboard of our little piece of "O"rdure.

    1. He once wrote that Jack Hawkins was a Mossad agent, as well as a member of Hamas.
      Verifying, in his own delude way the truth of the matter ...
      ... that Hamas is a major Israeli 'False Flag" operation, used to justify the Apartheid policies that benefit the Zionists.

    2. Verifying, in his own deluded way the truth of the matter ...

    3. You're full of shit, Jack, not WiO.

    4. Just as the Zionists murdered 252 Jews on board the "Patra" purely for the propaganda gains they thought they would garner.
      The agitprop they thought could be generated from the deaths of those innocent Jewish men, women and children, refugees from the horrors of Hitler's terror, was of more value than the lives of 252 Jews.

    5. Verify, use quotes and substantiate what you write, Anonymous.
      Or join the other malcontents.

    6. You and Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, little "O"rdure just make wild accusations, but never provide any verification.
      Never present the pasted cut.
      And why is that ... because they do not exist, they never have.

      The lies are in your mind, I have watched as you have created a series of delusions that have become your own special reality. Comically entertaining, really.


    7. Well it is true that Jack you CLAIM to be a veteran and yet still can't produce the UNIT you served with..

    8. Wrong, again, "O"rdure. YOU claim that Jack is a veteran.
      Jack wrote that if anyone wanted to know about his past, then they would have to read the book.

      You are caught in your own web of lies, and cannot remember what was said.
      You do not kee records, that much is clear, and no one has ever quoted what is written in the book.

      So there you go, "O"rdure, your little pink panties are still twisted, sister.

    9. You do not keep records, that much is clear, and no one has ever quoted what is written in the book.

    10. Revised and Extended ...

      You are caught in your own web of lies, and cannot remember what was written.

      There is no need for memory, it is all there, in the written record.
      Start digging, "O"rdure.

    11. So now Jack claims he never served.

      That put him at odds with Deuce to which he conned into thinking so..

      No digging required.

      jack Rat lies as often as he breathes

    12. Wrong, again, "O"rdure,

      Jack has made no claims about military service, here at the Elephant Bar.

      Neither confirming, nor denying.
      Go read the book, ordure for brains.

  20. Mexico has summoned Uruguay's ambassador for talks after the South American country's president described Mexico as a kind of "failed state" in a magazine interview.

    1. Uruguay's ambassador has it right. Mexico is a kind of failed state.

  21. WP: Before you came into office, you were considered more pro-NATO.

    SN: Surely I'm not against NATO. I see that as a possibility. It has to be an open choice and that is important, because it is also part of our balance.

    WP: The prime minister has been quoted as saying Finland should have joined NATO 20 years ago. Do you agree with that?

    SN: It would have been a very easy step. Russia was very weak at that time.

    WP: Do you think that was a missed opportunity?

    SN: It was an opportunity, undoubtedly.

    In interviews, Finland’s leaders see peril in standoff between Russia and the West
    By Griff Witte November 23 at 8:00 PM

    >>>Membership debates
    Further information: Foreign relations of NATO
    The border between Finland and Russia is about 1,340 km (833 miles) long.[91]

    Finland participates in nearly all sub-areas of the Partnership for Peace programme, and has provided peacekeeping forces to both the Afghanistan and Kosovo missions. The possibility of Finland's membership in NATO was one of the most important issues debated in relation to the Finnish presidential election of 2006, and continues to be a prominent issue in Finland politics.[92] Finland has made various technical preparations for membership,[93] and in April 2014, announced they would sign a "Memorandum of Understanding" with NATO on Finland's readiness to receive military assistance and to aid NATO in equipment maintenance. Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund also emphasized that this memorandum was not a step towards membership.[94]

    1. Currently no political party supports NATO membership as part of their platform, though a number of members of the National Coalition Party have expressed individual support,[95] including the current President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Alexander Stubb,[96] as well as former President Martti Ahtisaari,[92][97] who has argued that Finland should join all the organizations supported by other Western democracies in order "to shrug off once and for all the burden of Finlandization."[98] Two other ex-presidents from the Social Democratic Party, Tarja Halonen and Mauno Koivisto, have publicly opposed the idea, arguing that NATO membership would ruin Finland's relations with Russia.[99]

      Finland has received some very critical feedback from Russia for even considering the possibility of joining NATO,[100] with a 2009 study suggesting this could have repercussions for Russia's relations with the EU and NATO as a whole.[101] Following the 2008 South Ossetia war, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen reiterated that Finland had no plans to join NATO, and stated that the main lesson of the war was the need for closer ties to Russia.[102] In a June 2014 interview in the Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy Sergey Alexandrovich Markov accused Finland of extreme "Russophobia" and suggested that Finland joining NATO could start World War III.[103]

      A survey conducted by pollster Taloustutkimus for YLE in June 2013 found that 52 percent of Finns opposed membership of NATO, while 29 percent supported and 19 percent were undecided.[104] In March 2014, during the 2014 Crimean crisis, one survey showed only 22 percent supporting membership,[105] though a second showed that 53 percent would support membership if Finnish leadership recommended it.[106] Support for a military alliance with neighbor Sweden was also high, at 54 percent,[107] and Finland could possibly seek an enlarged role for NORDEFCO.[108] Finnish Minister of Defence Carl Haglund suggested that a referendum on NATO membership could be held sometime after the next Finnish parliamentary election.[109]

      A new survey published on 10 September 2014 concluded that 26 percent of respondents now support joining NATO, however 57 percent still does not support the idea, with 17 percent undecided.[110]<<<

      Finland should have joined NATO when they had the good opportunity.

  22. Obama is doing something right -

    WSJ: Obama Damaging Hillary's Chances...............drudge

    1. The Republicans, in disarray are making the Hillary's chances all the better.

      Who will the Republicans trot out, after a long and contentious primary battle?

      Romney, Perry, Christie, Bush 3.0?

    2. Fund raising for the GOP, another sad story. Thy will be unable to rally around a candidate, early in the election cycle, there will be lots of empty pockets when the candidate is finally chosen. Lots of 'hard feelings' amongst the small contributors, which make up about 20% of the GOP donors.

      While the Democrats will have a long time to raise money, and not much need to spend it, until the "Big Show" starts.

    3. While Obama, with his remarks about New car smell has made it clear he will be distancing himself from the 2016 election, starting now.

      The Republicans will spend the next two years running against Obama, and he will just 'fade away' come 2016.

    4. And the idea that Rupert Murdock would have his paper report anything else but the negative, about Obama / Hillary, as comical as "O"rdure's rants.

    5. So when Jack was killing civilians he was NOT a member of the US armed forces.

      Just a murderer.

    6. "O"rdure's comical delusion strike the thread, again.

    7. Don't you need to get some rest now, Jack?

      You've been up and at it for hours.

      Why not take a little rest?

      A little nap?

      I worry.

    8. Why worry, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      This is, time wise, an insignificant hobby.
      Stress relieve that fills the gap between the important stuff.

    9. Writing, graphic art and design.
      All come before the Elephant Bar.

      But this is just so ... amusing.
      Always has been fun, watching you two imbeciles dance, like puppets on a string.

    10. And since I don't bother to have it copy edited, it's free.
      Cheapest entertainment there is.

      Get to read the news, then comment on it.
      Watching the Zionists try to avoid history, reality while writing about anything but the topics at hand.
      Usually about a fictional character, a construct of their own imaginations.

      As if anyone who reads this blog cares about Jack Hawkins.

      Their defense of Zionism, Israeli Apartheid, is to attack a fiction of their own construction.
      They act as if the Elephant Bar were a microcosm of Gaza and try to replicate the False Flag threat the Israeli have created in Hamas. Really quite something, the subconscious story arc they have created, and how it mirrors the Zionist behavior in Palestine.

    11. Or perhaps it is a conscious effort, on their part, makes it even more funny.
      Those with eyes that see know just how ineffectual their tactics are.

      How, in reality, their over the top rhetoric just provides validation of the points that Jack Hawkins makes, concerning the Zionist enterprise, in Palestine.

      Because if they had a case that could be made, to refute the points that Jack presents, they would make the case.

      Instead, they pound sand.

    12. It's past your bedtime, Jack.

      You need your rest for tomorrow.

  23. ... relative morality: What is good for me is not for thee ...

    I have to press him. Does he agree with the death sentence or not? “I’m not going to celebrate or gloat at all. All that matters is that the guy should never be free on the streets because he is a danger to humanity.” Then he says: “I don’t waste any time thinking about these people, I really don’t. I have moved on.”

    Frank Gardner: I will never forgive the terrorists who did this to me

  24. Eight in 10 Democrats held positive views of Clinton in an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted in late July. Biden had a 71 percent favorable rating in the survey.

    Obama acknowledged that Hillary Clinton won't agree with him on everything, suggesting that such a stance would be a welcome break for voters after eight years of Obama. A benefit of running for president, he said, "is you can stake out your own positions."


    In the AP-GfK survey, Jeb Bush was most popular among potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, with 56 percent of Republicans viewing him favorably. Majorities also held positive views of outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

  25. Replies
    1. That was wonderful.

      Though I didn't understand a word of it.

      Something about the joys of sharing a frothy Budweiser during a SeaHawks game?


      (my wife always sings sitting barefoot on the piano during SeaHawks games)

  26. A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with five young

    mothers and their small children.

    "You all have obsessions," he observed.

    To the first mother, Mary, he said: "You are obsessed with eating.
    You've even named your daughter Candy."

    He turned to the second Mum, Ann: "Your obsession is with money. It

    manifests itself in your children's names, Penny, Goldie and Frank.

    He turned to the third Mum, Joyce: "Your obsession is alcohol. This too

    shows itself in your children's names: Brandy and Sherry. You even called the cat, "Whisky".

    He then turned to the fourth Mum June: "Your obsession is with flowers. Your girls are called Rose, Daphne & Poppy."

    At this point, the fifth mother, Kathy, quietly got up, took her little boy by the hand and whispered: "Come on, Dick, this guy has no idea what he's talking about. Let's pick up Fanny and Willy and go home."

  27. Vienna (CNN) -- The United States might extend a deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, a senior State Department official told CNN.

    International negotiators in Vienna, Austria, are scrambling to reach a deal by Monday's deadline.

    "It is only natural that less than 48 hours from the deadline we are discussing a range of options," the official said. "An extension is one of those options."

    Both sides appeared to be pointing to the possibility of yet another extension to the monthslong series of negotiations, whose final outcome is expected to have a lasting effect on Iran's relations with the West.

    1. We are going to get our clock cleaned.

      We will come out with next to nothing.