Evans Liberal Politics
April 20, 2010
Commentary on U.S. - Chinese Relations and Iran
First, some background. (I realize the timetable of "about five months" for Iranian warhead capability will be controversial and I have no source to cite other that to leave a comment I made in reference to criticism in this regard, at the bottom of the article, in defense of my position.)
Watch, Google turns to NSA after China Cyber Attack, for Russia Today's hostile view of the coming cyber war between the United States and China. More hostile Russia Today video at Tarpley: US gov uses Google proxy to attack China, Is China about to give in to the US?, which is more about the new proposed fourth round of sanctions against Iran, and for a general idea of what's going on in cyberspace, see The Great Cyber Wall of China, about Google's move from mainland China to Hong Kong.
Recently there has been a distinct thaw in U.S. - Chinese relations. In the context of the censorship battle and Chinese web filtering, and ongoing simmering cyberwarfare between the United States and China, as well as disputes about currency rates (the "dirty float" by China in currency exchange rates), and also disputes over tariffs, what we are seeing is an ongoing internal dispute within China between two factions. There is a group of "globalists" who want to more realistically fix the out-of-balance currency rates and to at least to some extent reduce Chinese filtering of the internet, and are more realistic about foreign exchange and the problem of the U.S. trade deficit, versus the new guard or "youth league", who want to continue to keep China's currency low, yet fight tariffs and also have a strong "sovereignty", and strong filtering of the internet. The globalists are at least somewhat supportive of the proposed fourth round of sanctions against Iran coming up at the U.N. security council, while the more nationalistic "youth league" is pro-Iranian and is pushing for China to veto these sanctions.
In UPI's article Israel calls for sanctions against Iran, (UPI.com, April 19, 2010), it is claimed that "China has agreed in principle to join the four other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to support the sanctions." This, if true, represents a strong diplomatic victory for the United States, and is hopeful in terms of lessening the growing sense that military action against Iran might be necessary. The theory is that strong enough sanctions would force Iran to de-militarize their nuclear program, which many experts believe is the case.
The best U.S. intelligence places a pressing time limit on how long diplomacy and sanctions have to work out some agreement with Iran. Our intelligence believes Iran will possess a nuclear warhead capable of being fitted on one of their intermediate range missiles, which could for example strike Tel Aviv, in about five months. The United States would very likely, and Israel almost certainly, would never allow this to happen before taking offensive military action. Thus, sanctions remain the best hope of maintaining peace in the region, and there is a very definite time limit involved.
The next leader of China will in all likelihood determine which faction wins in China. Meanwhile, despite a recent thaw between the U.S. and China, the extent to which China will support strong sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council remains a mystery until the Security Council meets. China could, for example, insist on watering down the sanctions until they don't have the necessary force to challenge Iran sufficiently to de-militarize their nuclear program. Enrichment hit 20 percent over a month ago, while only some three percent enrichment is necessary for nuclear energy purposes. The U.S. "reasonableness" towards China on trade and tariff issues and our not pushing the internet filtering issue strongly at this point has everything to do with our need for China to be supportive of strong sanctions (which will include bans on foreign banking in Iran and Iranian banking outside of Iran) when they arise at an upcoming U.N. Security Council meeting. The underlying issues between our governments have not been solved, nor are they likely to be solved before the next leader of China emerges and either the globalists or the youth league emerges as the dominant faction there.
The U.S. government and western news sources have largely put out tentative reassurances that all will be well with regard to China being supportive of strong sanctions against Iran, but we have nothing official yet from the Chinese. There is a strong possibility that if China will not go along with these sanctions and vetoes the measure at the Security Council, we will be a lot further down the road to more probable military action against Iran. This is geopolitical gamesmanship of the highest order, with consequences of the strongest nature for world peace and stability.
Watch, Nuclear Next Step, on Evans Liberal Politics "News About Iran" page, wherein it is claimed that Iran had as of April 10th publicly announced that it had developed new nuclear fuel centrifuges which are five times as fast as previous centrifuges Iran possessed.
See, Iranian missile may be able to hit U.S. by 2015, Reuters, April 19, 2010, by Phil Stewart and Adam Entous.
See, Cyberattack on Google Said to Hit Passworld System, The New York Times on Evans Liberal Politics, April 20, 2010, by John Markoff.
See, Agencies Suspect Iran Is Planning New Atomic Sites, The New York Times, March 27, 2010, by David E. Sanger and William J. Broad.
See, G8 ministers call for strong measures against Iran, Evans Liberal Politics, March 30, 2010, by Reuters.
Comment made by Paul Evans on the Daily Kos version of this article:
I can't remember where I got my intel on the warhead completion timetable. It may have been BBC or the Guardian, but nonetheless, two or three months ago I read in a credible source like one of those that there was good western intelligence to the effect that we felt there was about seven months until Iran had warhead capability. Saudi Arabia, about then, cleared the use of Saudi air space by the Israeli air force. Would they have need to do such an embarrassing thing if something were not pressing, time-wise? Wouldn't they have avoided doing that until rather late in the game? This is not mere speculation but information I picked up from credible sources. The Israeli air force has "dry run"ned the bombing mission twice now, the second time with fighters fitted with tanks designed to go the distance to Iran and back. This is a very serious situation and I stand by my facts.A second comment I made supporting my position was titled "The point is the prevailing neocon responses to this," meaning the nuclear situation with Iran:
Israel in under the control of a neocon government and will not allow Iran to have a nuclear warhead without attacking. They have dry-runned the bombing mission twice, the second time accompanied by fighters with capacity to go the distance to Iran and back. Saudi Arabia has cleared the use of Saudi air space by the Israeli air force. These are facts. Would the U.S. allow Israel to "go it alone"? In Final Destination Iran from The Herald, I place the matter in perspective. We have moved all our "Blu" bunker buster bombs (195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs) to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. That (isn't) just for show but is a negotiating tool to use with Iran, and, in the final analysis is evidence we may well join in in any Israeli response to Iranian warhead capability.
From that last mentioned article: "'They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,' said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. 'US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.'"
See, Final Destination Iran, The Herald, March 15, 2010, by Rob Edwards, with commentary by Evans liberal politics owner Paul Evans, excerpt quoted verbatim:
This timetable of five months for nuclear warhead capability should not be taken as "written in stone" and is controversial. Weasel over at Daily Kos has provided us with a less deadly time frame in his source Officials Say Iran Could Make Bomb Fuel in a Year, The New York Times, April 14, 2010, by David E. Sanger. This does not lessen the danger, it only makes it less immediate:
WASHINGTON -- Two of the nation's top military officials said Wednesday that Iran could produce bomb-grade fuel for at least one nuclear weapon within a year, but would most likely need two to five years to manufacture a workable atomic bomb.