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Oberon Houston

Interesting that the Hawks in Washington and resently unemployed Bolton are critisising the Europe for this mess. If one looks at ‘form’, the Iranians have proved to be more than a match for Washington or London. The key Iraqi advisor to Washington prior to the invasion, Mr Chalabi, provided all the assurance the Bush camp needed about the prospects of success in Iraq for the wishful-thinking decision to to invade. Unfortunately Mr Chalabi (and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib) were passing US secrets to Tehran, and Habib had been a paid Iranian agent for many years. The potential benefits delivered - by Washington directly into the Iranians laps - are huge in all of this, removal of a hostile neighbour, a window of opportunity to go nuclear in the turmoil, neutralising the US - and further real prospects of becoming a super-power in the region, breaking US policy in the middle-east and then threatening Israel.

No, Bolton, Wolfotitz, Cheney, Bush and Blair are the creators of this Iranian nightmare, what a dammed cheek he has admonishing anyone with airs of authority on this subject.

Michael McGowan

So what's your proposal Oberon....other than than carping from the sidelines?


I do worry about the US Intelligence fraternity. They seem devoid of any knowledge of the state of British miliary forces; the inadequacy of equipment and the corners that have been cut on training....over many years.

Britain is a country living on bluff and the Iranians have exposed the bluff. I think it was fortuitous on their part, but the Royal Navy particularly has sought to justify itself to The Treasury on grounds of trade and promoting British goods abroad with floating drinks parties.

This is the Navy back to its social functions of the 1920s. It has been caught by its own relaxed approach just as the Americans were caught at Pearl Harbour......there is no declared war...so we are living in peace......until something happens and sailors look a bit stupid or dead.

The British did not provoke the Iranians, but the Iranians provoke the British....and the British walk on the other side of the street hoping the Iranians will not cross over


Oberon all you've given is resentment blaming an American willing to be critical of Britain's lack of response to an immediate British problem. You give no answers, just the great blame-scapegoat, the Bush administration.

Bolton's status of employment is irrelevant. He'd still be there if it wasn't for Leftist dove Democrats.

He has every reason to blame all those in Europe who have chosen diplomacy with this defiant Fascist thug. Three-and-a-half years... yeah right. And it is amazing that some in your country (and he specifies it as some) were critical of Blair as too tough. You should be critical of them and enough to state it here. Mind you, I'm sure plenty of our lib/lefties felt Blair was too tough also.

You conveniently left out his accusation of the US State Department being part of the problem. Falling victim to bureaucratic inertia can imply plenty btw.

Concerning the Bush administration's decision to remove Saddam there were a number of factors, some of which were much more important than your chosen take with Mr. Chalabi and his influence. And the agent's big secrets? Well its a rather remarkable stretch again by you with one end goal in mind: everything bad that's gone down is George Bush's fault.

Unfortunately you've played it all too typical. Don't be so offended if a former US ambassador to the UN criticizes. Many have, in your own back yard. Listen to them, own up, and speak to what really needs to change.

Oberon Houston

Wait a second, are you guys saying that the invasion of Iraq has undermined the Iranian position? Why then would Tehran encourage the US to attack via agents foolishly trusted by the Bush administration? Are you saying the Bush administration have acted properly in the invasion of Iraq, or that Bolton is in a position to hand out advice? I am not offering a way out of this mess, and certainly not gloating at our position, all I am saying is that its a bit rich for Bolton to be lecturing anyone.


Well said Oberon!

The Americans are responsible for this mess and they should clear it up. It is time for Britain to enough is enough and bring our bring our boys home. The Americans have plenty of soldiers and marines who could replace them.

BTW, I have no time for the UN or the EU. Britain should withdraw from these corrupt organisations. We need a truly indepedendent foreign and defence policy that is based on our own national interest rather than that of America or Israel.



I couldn't agree more. It is definitely time to call your military home.

How quick you are to assign blame to all things American when I thought the enemy was radical islam. I guess expecting more from you was too much to expect. Truly pathetic.


We need a truly indepedendent foreign and defence policy that is based on our own national interest

Define it



Agreed. Britain should withdraw.

After mucking up the realatively peaceful southern Iraq and handing over southern Afghanistan to the Taliban, the US is having a more difficult time than ever winning this war. The 15 "sailors and marines" who were captured are just the icing on the cake. Perhaps we could prosecute this war more successfully without you.

You can use the time to build a new armed forces, and then we can discuss foreign and defense policy.


Oberon your entire response is a bit rich. Your understanding of this ongoing war in Iraq and its significance here is not mine. Indeed its the BBC's tho. I don't wanna take this on a tangent on what has taken place up to this point and a realistic projection of outcome if we don't set a timetable of withdrawal, but the odds of a workable form of democracy with manageable stability are not out of reach by any stretch, assuming the necessary commitment. I don't think Iran want's that. I don't think they prefer that to Saddam, either. And its obvious they're doing everything they can get away with to stop it.

As far as your big point here about this agent and Tehran wanting US forces en masse to invade, frankly I just haven't read anything soon after the initial stages of the war about this guy and his role being significant. If its as meaningful a string here as you want to believe I think most of the major media who have been against Bush even before Afghanistan would have discussed it since the Iraq war began, enough to at least keep it in mind and help tie things together. Besides if you think the Mullahs in Iran could have read the ongoing dynamics up to present status of the war, you're kidding yourself. But so be it, keep it as some ace in the hole for your blame-America argument. Its a non-factor to me and for most as has been evidenced in just about all discussion.

You assume we should not have invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam, his infrastructure and controlling forces. Believe it or not there is another side to the argument.

Bolton is in position. He worked with the UN during the initial stages of the Iranian threat. He is highly qualified. You wanna impugn arrogance on his part but it is yours, making judgments here.

Like I said you're all too typical. The mideast should not be just an American or Israeli concern. The UK does have a stake in events and outcomes just like the rest of Europe and most in the free world. The enemy is a nuclear Iran and Islamo-Facism. War has been waged with the West before 9/11 and they will use any means possible to destroy us. If we don't take the fight to them there then they will do it here, guaranteed. The possibilities are nightmarish.

You have no answer, so you have nothing. Nothing but blame. Sordid anti-Americanism is rampant and I suspect you've more than bitten.


Puck, re: "BTW, I have no time for the UN or the EU. Britain should withdraw from these corrupt organisations. We need a truly indepedendent foreign and defence policy that is based on our own national interest rather than that of America or Israel."

This is one of the most fascinating non sequiturs I've ever read.

You need to dump EU and the UN in order to establish a foreign policy independent of the US and Israel?

How are the EU and UN doing ANYthing that is worked out by the US or Israel? They've been raining on the parade from Day 1!

Oberon Houston

"Steevo" (of Jackass fame?, well probably not), rather than assert 'my claims' of the Iraian agents are bogus, and the media haven't taken this story to task, why don't you look into the facts before posting your nonsense. A quick google will (possibly) educate you, most others knew already.


"Lured," BIG DEAL. Go back into the mid 90s with the Clinton administration's assessments and ongoing intelligence up untill the decision to remove Saddam.

Your above claims of significance don't hold water, especially in an attempt to tie it in as a means of blame on Iran's taking your 15. Its no wonder barely anyone brings it up. Like I said you are all too typical with the blame-America crowd. You stand for nothing and produce, absolutely nothing. Reduced to derogatory insult.

From Wikiped:

Aras Habib was a colonel in the Free Iraqi Fighters and the long-term director of intelligence for Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress (INC). He may have been the man in charge of the INC’s quest to hunt down former high-level Ba’athists in Iraq, using Ba'athist Party archives they had seized; in this area information relayed to US-led forces proved far more reliable than the inferences of weapons of mass destruction that had lured the US into Iraq. Chalabi's Pentagon connection, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, decided to close off funding following emerging disclosures that some of Chalabi's INC aides supplied sensitive information about U.S. security operations in Baghdad to the Iranian government.

In the raid of Chalabi's house and office, May 20, 2004, because of which the US Pentagon's public break with Chalabi surfaced, a warrant for Aras Habib's arrest was not executed. He remained at large.

Oberon Houston


Revalations are woderfull.. congratulations on taking my advice to Google the subject at last.


Oberon, it's interesting how you jump from Chalabi (who was a disaster) to claiming that the US is responsible for the nuclearization of Iran. In fact, the one country that seems willing to rectify that situation is the US, while your friends in France and China block resolutions and your friends in Russia actively equip them with nuclear technology. Meanwhile, the UK shows it is a paper tiger and unable to threaten Iran with action. What, exactly, is your point? Bolton wants to end the Iranian nuclear project, and apparently you do not.

Oberon Houston

Sorry Steevo, I have been unkind, you have now taken the opportunity... to check Wikipedia. We could do with 'intellectuals' like you keeping us honest. Yawn, time for bed I think. Goodnight. Don't forget to give us your diamond advice tomorrow. God Bless. xx.

Oberon Houston

JF ( whoever you are).. I am definetly in favour of arresting Iran's abbitions in the Middle East, however you appear to think I have the solution to others problems, alas I do not. Criticisim of Bush seems to be a disgraceful comment amongst the "unknown" bloggers of CH. Who are you?


Oberon, that depends: who are you? By your misspelling, it's clear you're not a native English speaker (so your name is a pseudonym). That puts your motives in doubt.

I am not a member of CH, just an American reader. Sorry if my question hurt your feelings. And I have the solution, even if you won't suggest it: we must destroy Iran's nuclear program and vigorously dismantle its command structure in Iraq.

Thanks for not addressing any of my other points, by the way. It speaks volumes about your position.


Oberon is Scottish JF.nor did he claim that the US was responsible 'for the nuclearization of Iran'. What he did claim was that Bolton and the other neo Cons through their ineptitude in Iraq have significantly strengthened the Iranian position. That seems to me unarguable.
That the UK is currently a paper tiger in defence matters 'though is sadly true.


JF he's already having a hard time expressing himself being reduced to the sarcasm card.

Indeed revelations are wonderful Oberon. Taking your own words and disproving your own premise. Thin-skinned and hyped up... prejudiced passing of the, pound :-)

Only 2 paragraphs? Do you think the contributors lacked something you know? Or could it be, knew something you don't. A number of factors also lured, contributing to the final decision. Our 9/11 comission did not focus only on Habib. Also, much was laid out before the UN before going in. Some believed, some were unsure, some didn't believe, or disagreed because of their own ill motivations.

Do the right thing. Quit pointing your finger. Be a good citizen (assuming you're Brit) and pull up your straps. They are evil and determined and will take it to you unless you have the conviction (which means ending bankrupt sarcasm and hyped extrapolations) and take it to them.


Malcolm, I have to respectfully disagree. To quote Oberon:

"The potential benefits delivered - by Washington directly into the Iranians laps - are huge in all of this, removal of a hostile neighbour, a window of opportunity to go nuclear in the turmoil, neutralising the US - and further real prospects of becoming a super-power in the region, breaking US policy in the middle-east and then threatening Israel.

No, Bolton, Wolfotitz, Cheney, Bush and Blair are the creators of this Iranian nightmare, what a dammed cheek he has admonishing anyone with airs of authority on this subject."

Ok. Removal of a hostile neighbor? True, but that neighbor was already substantially weakened by a decade of UN sanctions, so Iraq was no threat to Iran anyway. We can discard this point.

A window of opportunity to go nuclear in the turmoil? We've known about this all along. It's the feckless international community and our enemies in China and Russia that have allowed the opportunity, not US involvement in Iraq. Make the case. I don't see how US involvement in Iraq allowed Iran to go nuclear. We can discard this point.

Bolton, etc. are the creators of the Iranian nightmare? First, no. Bolton fought very hard in the UN to counter Iran, but our "allies" in Europe couldn't be bothered to expend political capital opposing their overlords in Russia and China. Second, now that you've informed me he's Scottish, that explains all I need to know about why he's making such clearly ignorant and inflammatory claims.

Finally, as for the UK's military situation: it's not too late. The UK rearmed quickly in the past when it needed to, and it can do so again, if its leaders and citizens have the will. Unfortunately, I suspect the citizens will choose the NHS over national security.


Mampajamas cracks me up. An independent foreign policy is independent of the EU, UN, US and Israel. They put their interests before those of the UK. Got that, asshole?


Puck, it was a reasonable question. Please provide an example of a foreign policy decision that is independent of the EU, UN, US and Israel. I'm betting that the only thing you can come up with will put you in the company of tyrants and dictators (China, Russia, Africa, and the Muslim world). But don't worry, with the Muslim takeover of Britain, you'll soon get what you ask for.

Matt Davis

Guys you are all right, except perhaps Puck, as is John Bolton who has a realistic view of world events and not a romanticised, totally unrealistic, peacenik lefty one.

Iran did very cleverly, and very deliberately, manipulate a, not exactly unwilling, US and coalition into the Iraq war in order to ensure the neutralisation of the main regional threat to increased Iranian power. The US leadership were unquestionably foolish to fall for it in retrospect, as were we in the UK, but that still doesn't mean that Saddam should have just been left alone to continue massacring his own people and invading his neighbours.A different approach would have been better, but then it's easy to say that with hindsight.The Iranians couldn't have hoped for an outcome more favourable to them really.

More immediately the recent British sailors matter was specifically engineered by the Iranians to see if the UK and US have the stomach for any kind of fight to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and then using them on Israel. They now know that there will be no serious attempt to stop them doing what they wish with their nuclear programme and that the UK in particular has, at present under Labour, no stomach whatosever for doing anything at all about that.

Therefore what we will see next is an Israeli pre-emptive military strike against some part of the Iranian nuclear set up, in the interests, as they see it, of their self preservation. This will then be roundly condemned around the world and succeed in wholly turning Israel into the pariah state that the Islamic world has worked so hard to make it. Since that Israeli strike is unilkely to completely take out the entire Iranian nuclear capability the Iranians will then comprehensively nuke Israel and in so doing gain leadership of the Islamic world, which, along with wiping out the Jewish state, is their ultimate aim.

Oh and the idea that there is some magical independent foreign policy in which the UK's interests don't happen to coincide with anyone else's is just plain stupid in a globalised 21st Century world. That kind of thinking is woolly minded and ignores global reality.Either that or it shields from view a belief that our interests actually coincide with those whom we are currently opposed to and that we should be changing sides.

Prophet of doom, what me......??


Concerning WMD info the Bush administration relied on documents revealed to be untrue by Italian intelligence claiming Saddam attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger.

Clinton's speech to the Pentagon in 1998: "It is obvious that there is an attempt here, based on the whole history of this operation since 1991, to protect whatever remains of [Saddam's] capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, the missiles to deliver them, and the feed stocks necessary to produce them. The UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons."

A meeting with Saddam probably in 2001 was based on the conversation about U.N. inspections. The briefer tells Saddam that three scientists arrested in Germany are a problem. It comes up again here: In 2001 or close to it, Iraq was still keeping secrets about its nuclear program! After ten years of inspections, minus the 4 years the inspectors were kicked out that is, they were hiding WMD information.

"So who are these scientists? Karl Schaab, Dietrich Hinze, and Bruno Stemmler."


Anthrax in Iraq? "UNSCOM strongly suspected that admitted Iraqi figures for production of BW agent are still too low. Over Nor are 17 tons of growth media for BW agents are not accounted for - enough to produce more than three times the amount of anthrax Iraq admits it had." In this tape, a briefer once again tells Saddam that the biological file is the toughest one to complete in order for the U.N. to abandon the sanctions on Iraq.


From the reading I've done on Mr. Chalabi nobody seems to be certain what went on. A lot of suspicion to supposed accounts of activity to be sure. Here's interesting info from CNN, TheAustrailianNews, and other outlets: "Chalabi becomes aware that the United States has cracked the codes by which Iran encrypts its secret transmissions. Chalabi gives this information to the Iranian intelligence chief in Baghdad, who relays it to Tehran - but using one of the codes which he'd just become aware that the Americans had cracked. The Americans, reading this transmission (as they had cracked the Iranian codes - see previous sentence), then become aware that Chalabi had passed this information on to the Iranian intelligence station in Baghdad." Now the article continues but revealing some strange, if not stupid behavior.

Matt, from all I've read, so far, and much more than what I've posted, you are making assumption. But assuming actual deception took place and was digested, to what degree of influence, nobody knows.

You say the Iranians couldn't have hoped for an outcome more favourable to them really. Not if the Coalition and Iraqi forces succeed. But, they are where they are now because of lack of resolve within the West.

I still think you're a pretty good prophet of doom.

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