Press**Watch: Iran's oil


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Anti-War march Friday—action on Hawthorne st.?


Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group     (503) 236-3065

      Peace Groups Gear Up to Call for End of War in Afghanistan
          Expanded Friday Rally and March for Peace and Justice
                 Friday, October 2, 2009, 5:00 PM
            Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway

  As President Obama considers his top General's request for more
  U.S. soldiers to risk their lives, Portlanders will call for an end to
  the occupation of Afghanistan this Friday. At an expanded Friday Rally
  and March for Peace and Justice on October 2, 2009 at 5 PM at
  Pioneer Courthouse Square (SW Yamhill and Broadway), protestors
  will consider "The Invasion of Afghanistan, 8 Years Later."

  Banners promoting the event have been parading about Portland on
  Burnside and near the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges. Early
  morning "human billboard" bannering is also expected at 6:30 AM
  this Thursday, October 1, at Pioneer Courthouse Square to greet
  early morning commuters (weather permitting).

  Speakers, including several who are in town for a conference on
  the economic and enviromental crises, will tie the occupations of
  Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombardment of Pakistan, the threats
  against Iran and other foreign policy issues together. Just some
  of these concerns are US dependency on oil, use of depleted uranium
  and other toxic weapons, and the skyrocketing costs of the
  occupations. The US has now spent over $1 trillion on these
  occupations, which would have been much better spent on human needs.

  The US invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, ostensibly to capture
  Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda members suspected of planning the attacks
  of 9/11. The current government of Afghanistan has welcomed US and
  NATO's military presence while complaining bitterly of the hundreds of
  civilian casualties caused by airstrikes and ground troops. Since the
  US is now allied with the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan after
  having driven out those who were in power in each country in 2001 and
  2003, these conflicts should not be labelled "wars."

  "Traumatized by 9/11, the people of the United States were
  hounded and defrauded into war and occupation in Afghanistan eight
  years ago," said Will Seaman, a volunteer with Portland Peaceful
  Response Coalition.  "We said no then, we say no today, and we will
  not rest until the United States rejects this nightmare of empire,
  until all the troops are home, and until we have paid reparations for
  the terrible crimes our country has committed against the people of

  The October 2 event is an expanded Portland Peaceful Response
  Coalition (PPRC) Friday rally in cooperation with Peace and Justice
  Works Iraq Affinity Group, and the First Unitarian Church.
  Supporters include Freedom Socialist Party, War Resisters League-
  Portland and others. Endorsers include Dorothy Day Catholic
  Worker House, Rural Organizing Project, PDX Peace, Center for
  Intercultural Organizing, and Women's International League for Peace
  and Freedom-Portland Chapter. Portland's Friday rallies for
  peace and justice have been an institution since late 2001.

  A march will commence at about 5:30 PM, winding through downtown
  to engage rush hour commuters, ending at the First Unitarian Church.
  That evening at 7 PM, political analyst Noam Chomsky is speaking
  at the conference, known as EcoNvergence.

  The rally is being coordinated in conjunction with the
  EcoNvergence, which runs from October 2-4: more information on
  the gathering is at . The rally and
  march are also in solidarity with other actions happening nationwide
  to end the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

  For more information, contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065
  or PPRC at (503) 344-5078.



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Prospects of illegal attack on Iran—“pre-emptive strike” per Hitler

The corporate media has been banging the war drum versus Iran.  Each story broadcast contains the sacred formula: first, they have to repeat the US and Israeli accusation that Iran is building a nuke, refuse to mention the IAEA’s expert assessment that they are not, then they have to repeat the distortion that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, then they have to show or mention the defensive missile exercises the other day.  The end result is to give you, the listener, the firm impression that Iran is dangerous and that a crisis has been growing, a crisis which only the tough stance of the US and Israeli militaries can effectively deal with.  This is war propaganda at its worst—it has no basis in fact. 


Scott Ritter, former UN arms inspector and US military officer, was on Austin KAOS radio this week.  He pointed out that  Iran has not violated IAEA requirements to disclose their new 5% enrichment facility—per requirements, it is now empty, no uranium in it, and in 18 months will be able to make reactor fuel….there is no Iran Nuke Plant Story.  There is no violation….


Scott Ritter on Middle East Online:

Former UN Weapons Inspector says United States, Israel creating Iran crisis 'out of nothing'.

NEW YORK - Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter warned Tuesday against the “politically motivated hype” over Iran’s nuclear program.

"The Obama administration has come to a preordained conclusion that there’s nothing that can be done about Iran’s nuclear program, that Iran either has to get rid of it all, or there’s nothing to discuss about. That’s not much of a discussion," Ritter told Democracy Now!.

"Here we are condemning Iran for doing its job, declaring a facility, inviting inspectors in. And the conclusion it’s reached from this? That they’re producing nuclear weapons," said Ritter.

"This is politically motivated hype designed to create a situation this coming Thursday that will find the United States unable to reach any sort of agreement with Iran about its nuclear program," he added.

Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998, is author of Target Iran.

"Even if Iran produces this new facility, which, by the way, is not in operation and won’t be in operation for over a year, no nuclear material has been diverted, there still is a full material balance, and the IAEA is in complete control of the situation. Iran is not in violation," explained Ritter.

"This is much ado about nothing. But again, we come back to the original premise: this is about political hype, the United States hyping up a capability in Iran which doesn’t exist, and that is the capability to produce nuclear weapons," Ritter added.

Ritter explained the vital Iranian need for nuclear energy.

The Iranians "strategically require an additional source of energy, such as nuclear energy" to supplement their domestic energy usage so that they free up their oil production and gas production for exportation, so they can earn money. "This is a big deal. This isn’t insignificant," explained Ritter.

However, Israel and the United States say they want to bomb Iranian nuclear facility, prompting Tehran to react.

"The first thing you do is you build redundancy, and that’s what this new Qom facility represents. It’s redundancy. It’s a backup to the Natanz primary facility. Again, it’s been declared, no nuclear material has been diverted. But it’s there as a backup. The second thing you do is you fire off missiles in a warning that you have an inherent right and capability of self-defense," said Ritter.

Israel has launched a massive air exercise last year, in which it demonstrated the ability to fly hundreds of aircraft the distance necessary to strike targets in Iran.

The United States is also carrying out exercises with Israel.

"The bottom line is it’s the United States and Israel which are the more aggressive of the players here. Iran is not an aggressor. Iran has not attacked anybody. Iran is simply trying to do that which it is legally allowed to do: produce enriched uranium for the purposes of nuclear power," said Ritter.

"It’s Israel, which, by the way, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, claims it will never be a signatory and has a massive nuclear weapons capability—it’s Israel and the United States which are creating a crisis out of nothing," he added.


Here’s another sampling of typical US corporate-style war propaganda, from NPR radio:

“Iran is already under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to freeze enrichment at the Natanz plant.”  Absolutely true—within the context of the facts that these are political sanctions, without factual basis, insisted on at the Security Coucil by the US and Israel.  Te Natanz plant, remember, as certified by ongoing IAEA sanctions, is making reactor fuel—5% uranium.  Bomb fuel is 95% enriched and requires a vastly different plant.

“An August IAEA report said Iran had set up more than 8,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium at Natanz. It said about 4,600 centrifuges were fully active.”  Here again NPR wants you to forget that the centrifuges are making low-enriched 5% fuel for reactors.  The stuff cannot be used for a bomb, period, unless and until it is enriched to 95% with the mysterious and imaginary Iranian nuclear bomb enrichment plant.

“Tehran has steadfastly maintained that it has the right to enrich uranium for a nationwide chain of nuclear reactors. But because enrichment can also produce weapons-grade uranium, the international community fears Tehran will make fissile material for nuclear warheads.”  Here again, muccling the issue.  Enrichment CAN produce weapons-grade uranium, but the centrifuges at Natanz cannot—they make reactor fuel…but you can see how hard it is to maintain that fact in your miind whn listning to NPR war propaganda.  Here’s more:

“The IAEA believes Iran has amassed more than a ton of uranium from its older Natanz centrifuges that is less than 5 percent enriched. That would give Tehran more than enough material to produce enough weapons-grade uranium through further enrichment for one nuclear weapon.”  Again, the intentional conflation of “what if” with “what is.”  That ton of uranium, I say again, cannot be used for a nuke, unless it is run through a 95% bomb-grade enrichment plant, which Iran does not have.

“The revelation of a secret plant further hinders the chances of progress in scheduled Oct. 1 talks between Iran and six world powers. At that meeting, the first in more than a year, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany plan to press Iran to scale back its enrichment activities. But Tehran has declared that it will not bargain on enrichment. Iran's nuclear negotiator dismissed the threat of new sanctions in an interview released Friday.”


Note that NPR refers to a “secret plant revelation” even though its editors surely know that the plant has no fuel and has been announced per IAEA requirements 18 months prior to the introduction to fuel, and that it cannot, cannot, cannot make a bomb.  NPR would have you believe that Iran is being unreasonable and hindering talks, as one might expect from a rogue nuclear power.  This is why I listen carefully to NPR: it gives me a sense of US war intentions.  NPR should never be used as a source for untainted reporting on international affairs.




What, then, is the real motivation for the US corporate war industry in its fulminations against Iran?  Here’s some information from Wikipedia:

il reserves in Iran, according to its government, rank third largest in the world at approximately 136 billion barrels (21.6×10^9 m3) as of 2007, although it ranks second if Canadian reserves of unconventional oil are excluded. This is roughly 10% of the world's total proven petroleum reserves. Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer and is OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia. As of 2006 it was producing an estimated 3.8 million barrels per day (600×10^3 m3/d) of crude oil, equal to 5% of global production.[1] At 2006 rates of production, Iran's oil reserves would last 98 years if no new oil was found.

Iranian production peaked at 6 Mbbl/d (950×10^3 m3/d) in 1974,[1] but it has been unable to produce at that rate since the 1979 Iranian Revolution due to a combination of political unrest, war with Iraq, limited investment, US sanctions, and a high rate of natural decline.[1] Iran's mature oil fields are in need of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques such as gas injection to maintain production,[1] which is declining at an annual rate of approximately 8% onshore and 10% offshore.[1] With current technology it is only possible to extract 20% to 25% of the oil in place[1] from Iran’s fractured carbonate reservoirs, 10% less than the world average.[1] It is estimated that 400,000-700,000 bbl/d of crude production is lost annually due to declines in the mature oil fields.[1]

Iran consumed 1.6 Mbbl/d (250×10^3 m3/d) of its own oil as of 2006. Domestic consumption is increasing due to a growing population and large government subsidies on gasoline, which reduces the amount of oil available for export and contributes to a large government budget deficit. Due to a lack of refinery capacity, Iran is the second biggest gasoline importer in the world after the United States.[1] High oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass nearly $60 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not helped solve economic problems such as high unemployment and inflation.[2]

According to NIOC, Iran recoverable liquid hydrocarbon reserves at the end of 2006 was 138,4 billion barrels.[3]

Apart from these considerable reserves, from the outset of oil industry in Iran in 1908 to the end of 2007, Iran produced some 61 billion barrels of oil.[4]

Iran oil reserves at the beginning of 2001 was reported to be about 99 billion barrels, however in 2002 the result of NIOC’s study showed huge reserves upgrade adding about 31,7 billion barrels of recoverable reserves to the Iranian oil reserves.



So—to answer that question, the real reason for going to war with Iran is: 130 billion barrels of oil.







Iran has oil….how much?

Gulf mobilizations?

Bacteria Have Role in Swine Flu Deaths

Bacterial Infections Can Be Deadly for Some Patients With H1N1 Swine Flu

By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News

Sept. 30, 2009 - Bacterial infections play a major role in H1N1 swine flu deaths, the CDC warns.

The swine flu bug can cause fatal pneumonia all by itself. But in a large number of cases it gets help from other deadly germs that take advantage of a weakened immune system and cause pneumonia.

A CDC investigation into 77 U.S. swine flu deaths found that 22 of the victims -- 29% -- suffered from at least one bacterial co-infection.

Ten of the 22 infections were caused by pneumococcus, an infection that can be prevented with either of two approved pneumococcal vaccines. The vaccine is recommended for any adult who has asthma or smokes, has a long-term health problem or immunity-lowering condition, or is over 65. It's routine for kids to get a four-dose series beginning at age 2 months.

Only 16% of the 18- to 49-year-olds who should get pneumococcal vaccine actually do so. The CDC is asking doctors to specifically target this population for vaccination this flu season.

Drug-resistant staph infection -- MRSA -- was involved in five of the deaths.

Earlier CDC reports found that H1N1 swine flu deaths tended to be caused by direct infection of the lungs with the new flu bug. That may have caused doctors to let down their guard against bacterial infections in flu patients.

That's a big mistake. Because very few bacterial infections can be detected with routine blood tests, the CDC now advises doctors who suspect bacterial infections in swine flu patients to treat them with anti-flu drugs and antibiotics.

When flu takes a turn for the worse, it's important to seek medical care right away. The CDC report carries dramatic examples of H1N1 swine flu deaths with bacterial infections:

  • A 2-month-old girl, with no known underlying condition, died with pneumococcal infection after an illness of only one day.
  • A 9-year-old girl with no reported underlying condition died with a strep infection after an illness of six days.
  • A 34-year-old man with high blood pressure and obesity died with pneumococcal infection after an illness of about three days.

For the 17 patients whose length of illness was known, illness ranged from one to 25 days with a median duration of six days.

Among the 22 patients who died of H1N1 swine flu with bacterial co-infection, ages ranged from 2 months to 56 years, with a median age of 31 years.

The CDC reports the findings in an early-release issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.



Economic collapse:  still completely unremediated


U.S. economic recovery 'can't work': Peter Schiff



By Paul Vieira in Ottawa, Financial PostSeptember 18, 2009



Peter Schiff, the president and chief global strategist for Euro Capital Management, is a star of sorts on YouTube, especially among the contrarians and gold bugs.

One popular video clip, entitled Peter Schiff Was Right (2nd edition), includes an August 2006 appearance on CNBC, in which Mr. Schiff’s dire economic outlook was ridiculed by Art Laffer, a key economic advisor to former U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

“The U.S. economy has never been in better shape,” said an incredulous Mr. Laffer, in response to Mr. Schiff’s prediction that Americans’ home equity was destined to evaporate, the U.S. consumer was set to embark on a long hibernation and a deep, long recession was near.

“I think Peter is totally off base. I don’t know where he’s getting his stuff,” Mr. Laffer told the CNBC host.

It is now clear Mr. Schiff saw what others ignored.

Still, many contend the worst is behind the United States, largely due to the unprecedented action from the White House, Congress and the Federal Reserve to avoid another 1930s-style depression.

However, Mr. Schiff is among those who believe the worst is yet to come for the U.S. economy. This bleak group argues that all the U.S. policymakers have done with the trillions in stimulus -- through the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet to spending on construction projects and schemes like cash-for-clunkers -- is delay the day of reckoning by a year or two.

“The people who are touting this recovery still don’t understand the real problem we have to recover from,” Mr. Schiff says in an interview with the Financial Post. “We have an economy that is a big leveraged pyramid -- it is almost like a Ponzi [scheme] economy. It can’t work. The problem is the politicians find a way to bring it back up.”

Mr. Schiff, who is likely to campaign next year to become a U.S. senator for the state of Connecticut, says policymakers are attempting to maintain the status quo, whereas what’s needed is a recession that separates the weak from the strong, and forces households to scale back their debt-induced lifestyles.

“What’s the new lease on life? Flood the world with cash,” Mr. Schiff says. “And the result once all this money is spent? We are in a deeper hole than we were before.”

He has a point. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget warned last month the cumulative 10-year deficit is expected to reach a stunning US$9.05-trillion. Other analysts, meanwhile, contend the shortfall looks far worse when you incorporate the unfunded liabilities within the social security and medicare schemes, which the government is reluctant to do. When these factors are taken into account, they say, the U.S. deficit in the previous fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, 2008, was US$5.1-trillion, not the US$454.8-billion as reported by the U.S. Treasury.

This massive amount of debt is destined to become the albatross around America’s neck, naysayers warn. What appears to be a recovery in the making is nothing more than a temporary replenishment of inventories after they were drawn down drastically following the events of a year ago.

Instead of steady growth, the United States could head back into recession, or a depression, the pessimists say. Along the way the world’s largest economy could see a massive devaluation of its currency, hyperinflation and, perhaps worst of all, social unrest.

Most lay blame with Washington, either with the Fed, which has allowed its balance sheet to balloon to over US$2-trillion to avert a 1930s-style depression, and Washington, for running up deficits for years before the recent stimulus is added on.

The Fed has played down the risk of inflation. Others say this is nonsense, given the amount of liquidity policymakers have made available that is bound to chase goods.

“The Fed succeeded in the process of stopping price deflation. But the side effect is to unleash inflation that will be very difficult for it to stop,” says Eric Janszen, founder and president of iTulip Inc., an economic forecaster and consultancy.

As the bears see it, the amount of debt the U.S. Treasury needs to issue to finance day-to-day operations will drive up bond yields, and hence borrowing costs across the spectrum. Further, the amount of debt will eventually pull down the value of the U.S. dollar -- and the drop could be acute if foreigners who have gobbled up the bonds over the years take a pass. That would ultimately force the Fed to step in, print money and act as a buyer of last resort.

John Williams, an economist and publisher of the

Shadow Government Statistics newsletter, says countries like China and the Gulf states have expressed their concern about U.S. debt by wondering aloud about a new global reserve currency. He acknowledges that there may be some arm-twisting and covert deal-making to get foreigners to continue buying treasuries. But he reckons the Fed will be left with no choice but to take on treasuries, as it has recently as part of its quantitative easing program, or risk further disruption to the U.S. economy and equity markets.

“The foreigners will not be there because the U.S. dollar is a sure loser,” he says. “These people aren’t stupid. We are going to end up like most countries that spend more than they can [afford] which is rev up the printing presses and pay it off in cheap currency.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Janszen and others warn that once Americans realize their plight -- mired in debt, facing higher prices and having less take-home pay from the inevitable tax increases to pay for burgeoning government deficits -- they might turn to political alternatives that could send shock waves across foreign markets.

“It will lead to the election of populists that will probably make things worse for everybody,” warns Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer of Merk Mutual Funds, which manages US$416-million on behalf of clients in funds.

One of the big risks populists might bring in terms of policy is stripping the Fed of its independence, especially if consumers and legislators revolt in response to aggressive rates hikes to combat inflation.

“Everyone is trying to recreate the past, but it won’t work,” Mr. Janszen warns. “All these efforts to maintain the status quo will lead to worse crises. We are going to have to take a hit to our standard of living for a period of time. That epiphany will occur.”

Financial Post





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