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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 01:10 AM
Original message
(Colin) Powell: Iran is a long way from having nuclear weapon
Source: AP

KUWAIT CITY: Iran is a long way from acquiring a nuclear weapon and is "foolish" for not investing its resources in its people instead of a nuclear program, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday.

"I think Iran is a long way from having anything that could be anything like a nuclear weapon," Powell told a gathering of bankers, businessmen and diplomats


"I think the Iranians are being very foolish," Powell said. "When I look at Iran, I see the needs they have. They have not globalized, they have not come up in the international economic community. They are faced with 40 percent unemployment."


Asked if he sees a U.S. war on Iran coming, the retired U.S. general said although no American official will say that the option was "off the table," he did not see prospects of a military conflict with the Islamic republic.

There was no base of support among the American people for such action which would be widely condemned, Powell said, adding the U.S. military has enough on its hands in Iraq and Afghanistan to get involved in another conflict.

Read more:
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. B-bu-but Unka Dick wants to bomb them NOW! n/t
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. There was a time when people believed Powell
Now, we all wonder what his angle might be. He should have given a clue as to where he was getting his info.
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Joe Bacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. that liar has any credibility left...
Powell craved power and he got it. Then it turned around and repeatedly bit him in the ass.

That liar got what he deserved, nothing but contempt from every person who has a conscience! Everyone knows that every word that comes out of Powell's mouth is a lie. Even when he farts and belches, he lies!

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dantyrant Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. Finally making himself useful, I see...
If there's all this dissent playing out in public, it must be chaos behind the scenes.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Is Powell starting a stand-up comedy act?

To consider Powell an authoritative voice on who does or does not have what is utterly ludicrous.

Sorry Colin. You lost your credibility a long time ago. This is just too funny.

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balantz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hey
I don't hear much about ol' Colon Bowel these days. Kinda weird to hear him pop out like this.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
Really!? He believes Blix and IAC now!
What gives? It is good that he finally sees the light.
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. Powell: No nukes in Iran, but they have a shit-load of TOW missiles.
And Powell should know. He was part of the Reagan/Bu$h Iran-Contra Team that sold more than a thousand BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles to Iran. Now, if Bu$h/Cheney attack Iran and set-piece land battles ensue, as they most probably will along the Iraq-Iran frontier, US tankers will be in more danger from any of those TOW missiles Iran might still have than they will of non-existent Iranian nukes.

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dantyrant Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Indeed!
We often remember that Powell was a gulf war 'hero' but he was also caught up in the whole Iran-Contra scandal.

They also have the Sunburn anti-ship missile - a Russian-made missile that flies at mach 3, can maneuver to avoid countermeasures(they can defeat the Aegis defense system), and is designed to sink a carrier or supertanker. These things can do serious damage.

But Gen. Ivashov of Russia believes that there cannot possibly be a land assault on Iran, because the US forces couldn't handle going it alone in a country four times the size of Iraq, and that any attack on Iran would be from the air and sea only:

Consider the military-technical aspect of the situation. Practically, the operation's objective declared by the US - destroying some 1,500 targets on the territory of Iran - cannot be accomplished by the forces already amassed for the mission. This objective can only be met if tactical nuclear munitions are used.

An examination of the military-political aspect of the matter reveals even more significant facts. The attack on Iran is not planned to include a ground offensive. Strikes on selected military and industrial installations can cause a severe damage to the Iranian defense potential and economy. Casualties are likely to be substantial, but not catastrophic from the military point of view. At the same time, it is impossible to gain control of the territory of a country as large as Iran without a ground operation. The planned offensive will entail a consolidation of forces not only in Iran, but also in other Muslim countries and among the public throughout the world. The support for the country suffering from the US-Israeli aggression will soar. Certainly, Washington is aware that the result will be not the strengthening but the loss of US positions in the world. Consequently, the goal of the US attack against Iran has to be seen in a different light. The nuclear offensive must boost the use of nuclear blackmail in global politics by the US and fundamentally transform the world order.

Further evidence of the radicalization of the goals of the US and its allies is available. The early 2007 leaks, which exposed Israel's plans to use three nukes against Iran, were quite dangerous for a country in a hostile environment, but certainly they were deliberate. They meant that the decision on the character of Israel's activity had already been made, and all that remained to be done was to influence public opinion accordingly.

The pretext for the operation against Iran does not appear serious. Judging from both the technical and the political points of view, there is no possibility of it developing nuclear weapons in the near future.

One must remember that allegations of Iraq's possessing weapons of mass destruction were used by the US as a pretext for the war against the country. As a result, Iraq was devastated, and the civilian death toll rose to hundreds of thousands, but no evidence for the claims had ever been discovered.

The really important question is not whether Iran is capable of making nuclear weapons. The only function of small stockpiles of nuclear weapons not backed by various forms of support is that of containment. The threat of a retaliation strike can stop any aggressor. As for attacking other countries and winning a nuclear war in the situation of a conflict with a coalition of major powers, this would require a potential that Iran neither has nor is going to have in the foreseeable future. The allegations that Iran can become a nuclear aggressor are absurd. Anyone having at least some theoretical knowledge of military affairs must understand this. link
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I've been preaching about the Sunburn missile for a year now!
I figure that with Sunburn missiles deployed in the heights above the Iran-Persian Gulf coastline and above the Straits of Hormuz, a US attack on Iran will result in 3000-4000 lost US Navy sailors in the first four hours of a war. Unfortunately (and quite cynically), I believe that Bu$h/Cheney are willing to accept much larger losses to get their war on.

On a land assault, I agree with the Russian General Ivashov. However, if Iran sends land forces over the Iraq border toward Basra or Baghdad what choice will our forces in Iraq have but to stand and fight? The whole depressing scenario deteriorates very rapidly from there.

BTW: Don't forget Powell's involvement in the My Lai Massacre cover-up during his Viet Nam tour as ops officer for the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal Div). It was C/1 that perpetrated the massacre at the My Lai-4 hamlet on March 16, 1968.
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dantyrant Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I didn't know Powell was involved in My Lai...
interesting. I've heard Sy Hersh talk about My Lai several times, but don't remember him ever revealing that...

And you're right of course. The Iranians would be stupid not to try to engage via ground forces... that is, provided they haven't been nuked :/

But the whole supply line is vulnerable, and the troops in Iraq are all pent up in their bases now. That's one of the reasons why the casualty numbers are down - we're not fighting as much. And in Baghdad, no one goes anywhere outside the Green Zone without Blackwater protection(!) It's obvious that we're in no condition to do what these lunatics want to do.
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rAVES Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Its gonna be one crazy clusterfuck... dead sailors mean nothing to the bush junta... nothing.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Powell had only an indirect role in covering up My Lai
Actually Powell wasn't directly involved in covering up My Lai, but he was assigned to investigate a more or less generic complaint of US troops being habitually involved in war crimes against prisoners and Vietnamese civilians. The accusation was made in a letter by a US GI, Tom Glen, to Gen. Creighton Adams, Commander in Chief of US forces in Vietnam. Glen did not specifically mention the My Lai incident in his letter, although he later said that there were rumors circulating at the time it was written about the atrocity. Powell was assigned to investigate Glen's accusations and did only a half-assed, cursory investigation and did not even interview Glen himself. Powell issued a whitewash report which was no doubt exactly what his superiors wanted and expected. Although Powell was never directly tasked with investigating My Lai, it is felt by some that if he had diligently carried out an investigation into the problems and issues raised in the letter to Adams by Tom Glen, it would have been hard for him not to have found out about the My Lai massacre, and news of it would consequently have broken well before it finally did.

Behind Colin Powell's Legend -- My Lai

By Robert Parry & Norman Solomon


But a test soon confronted Maj. Powell. A letter had been written by a young specialist fourth class named Tom Glen, who had served in an Americal mortar platoon and was nearing the end of his Army tour. In a letter to Gen. Creighton Abrams, the commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, Glen accused the Americal division of routine brutality against civilians. Glen's letter was forwarded to the Americal headquarters at Chu Lai where it landed on Maj. Powell's desk.

"The average GI's attitude toward and treatment of the Vietnamese people all too often is a complete denial of all our country is attempting to accomplish in the realm of human relations," Glen wrote. "Far beyond merely dismissing the Vietnamese as 'slopes' or 'gooks,' in both deed and thought, too many American soldiers seem to discount their very humanity; and with this attitude inflict upon the Vietnamese citizenry humiliations, both psychological and physical, that can have only a debilitating effect upon efforts to unify the people in loyalty to the Saigon government, particularly when such acts are carried out at unit levels and thereby acquire the aspect of sanctioned policy."

Glen's letter contended that many Vietnamese were fleeing from Americans who "for mere pleasure, fire indiscriminately into Vietnamese homes and without provocation or justification shoot at the people themselves." Gratuitous cruelty was also being inflicted on Viet Cong suspects, Glen reported.

"Fired with an emotionalism that belies unconscionable hatred, and armed with a vocabulary consisting of 'You VC,' soldiers commonly 'interrogate' by means of torture that has been presented as the particular habit of the enemy. Severe beatings and torture at knife point are usual means of questioning captives or of convincing a suspect that he is, indeed, a Viet Cong...


Glen's letter echoed some of the complaints voiced by early advisers, such as Col. John Paul Vann, who protested the self-defeating strategy of treating Vietnamese civilians as the enemy. In 1995, when we questioned Glen about his letter, he said he had heard second-hand about the My Lai massacre, though he did not mention it specifically. The massacre was just one part of the abusive pattern that had become routine in the division, he said.

Maj. Powell's Response

The letter's troubling allegations were not well received at Americal headquarters. Maj. Powell undertook the assignment to review Glen's letter, but did so without questioning Glen or assigning anyone else to talk with him. Powell simply accepted a claim from Glen's superior officer that Glen was not close enough to the front lines to know what he was writing about, an assertion Glen denies.

After that cursory investigation, Powell drafted a response on Dec. 13, 1968. He admitted to no pattern of wrongdoing. Powell claimed that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam were taught to treat Vietnamese courteously and respectfully. The Americal troops also had gone through an hour-long course on how to treat prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions, Powell noted.

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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. they have a shit load of mach3 anti-ship missiles too.. >Link>>
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 07:39 AM by sam sarrha
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focusfan Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
14. maybe he can stop this war from starting.
maybe this time he will be a desent person and blow the
whistle on his ex-croonies
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
16. The key here is "Who's the Boss?"
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 08:53 AM by JHB
Powell has proven time and again that he won't buck his chain of command: he might advise against a policy, but once the orders come down from on high he carries them out, with no fussy little quibbles like "resigning in protest".

The thing is, he doesn't work for Bush anymore. If you think there's an angle, take a look at his chain of command these days. If it's the group that invited him to speak, that's a shot across Cheney's bow.
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VWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. Please tell us, Colin ...
Do they have any mobile biochemical labs? Could you support your theory with a few "sketches" ???
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Maybe they have some aluminum tubes and Piper Cub drones.
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
18. la la la (fingers in ears) la la la i don't believe a word you say la la la
Sorry, Colin. Your word ain't bond.
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. Powell must not watch CNN if he thinks there's "no base of support"
I've watched over the last year or so as CNN has installed in the public the belief that we have no choice but to attack Iran to stop them from nuking Israel. They kept putting up BREAKING HEADLINE RED-BANNER "news" about it, which they would quietly withdraw when the CIA or someone objected. Now, run a poll to see what percent of the public now believes CNN's version of reality. Nevermind that aybe those "foolish" Iranians would take their foot off the crazy peddle if we would, too. We could cultivate a relationship with Iran that would make the whole world safer if we weren't "foolish" also.
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