Friday, December 07, 2007

In the face of the threat of an attack on Iran, support the people of Iran!

Renegade Eye Note: This was written by Alan Woods : However, it would appear that the prospects of an air strike against Iran have receded - at least for the present. This does not suit Ahmadinejad at all. His support is rapidly eroding inside Iran, and his only hope was to keep beating the drum about the danger of US aggression in order to divert the masses' attention away from their most pressing problems and thus save his regime. He has made a public statement to the effect that the new revelations expose Bush as a liar (which they do) and completely justify the policies of his regime (which they do not).

This will make it easier for the development of a widespread movement of opposition by the Iranian workers and students, which has already begun and is destined to transform the whole political life of the region in the coming period. The Iranian Revolution will cut across the stagnant and unbreathable atmosphere of reaction that hangs over the region. It will cast off the yoke of religious fundamentalism and resolutely take the road of socialism and workers' power.
I think Allen's words compliment Maryam's.

In the face of the threat of an attack on Iran, support the people of Iran!
Maryam Namazie

The threat of a US attack and the devastating consequences of economic sanctions are looming over the people of Iran. US’s war with the Islamic Republic is not the war of the people. People of Iran and their interests are not represented in this conflict. They want neither the Islamic Republic, nor a military attack, nor economic sanctions. For years, they have been fighting the Islamic Republic and the unbearable conditions that this ultra-reactionary regime has imposed on society.

Iran is a society where people sing the Internationale anthem in their protest gatherings and chant “One earth, one humanity” and “One race, the human race”. It is a society where the slogan “Freedom, equality, human identity” has adorned the banner of its struggles. A society where the International Day of the Child is celebrated in large gatherings in scores of cities, and where its manifesto in defence of the rights of homeless children and child workers declares: “for children to be free, this inverted world must be changed”. It is a society where prisoners on death row, from deep inside the jails, call on the people of the world to fight for the universal abolition of the death penalty. Iranian people in their numerous demonstrations have repeatedly stated that they want neither war, nor a nuclear programme, nor the Islamic Republic.

People of the world!

To end the threat of a military attack on Iran, support the struggle of the people of Iran! The overthrow of the Islamic Republic by the will and power of the people is the only human and civilised way to end the threat of war and the deadly race that Islamic terrorism and US militarism and state terrorism are waging in Iran, the Middle East and globally. The Islamic Republic does not represent the people of Iran. This regime is their enemy, not their representative! This is a regime that has been able to survive only by executing tens of thousands of people and carrying out the most ghastly medieval tortures and punishments such as stoning to death, flogging and amputating. The Islamic Republic must be rejected and isolated internationally. The world must treat this regime of sexual Apartheid like it treated the racist Apartheid regime in South Africa. Demand that the world’s states and international bodies not to recognise the Islamic Republic as the government of Iran. Demand that they cut off their diplomatic ties with this medieval regime.

In the fight against the US government’s warlike, inhuman and brutal policies, the Iranian people are on your side; they are asking you to be on their side in the fight against the Islamic Republic! To defeat the American government’s and its allies’ bullying and militarism, to defeat the reactionary and terrorist political Islamic movement and to overthrow the Islamic Republic, support the struggle of the people of Iran.

Hamid Taqvaee
Secretary of WPI Central Committee
30 November 2007
Maryam Namazie


Larry Gambone said...

I wait the Iranian Revolution. When it occurs it will hold a lot of surprises for both liberals and neocons. The Workers Councils were very strong in the revolution of 1979, not strong enough to defeat Fundi reaction, but this time....

Jobove - Reus said...

Any manifestation in favour of the opressed peoples, always sera of our pleasure and mas if it sees in opposition to the capitalism of america
Regards friends

Servant said...

Also posted at Stop the Second Holocaust...

Thanks mucho! Mi Espanol is bueno, Si? Yo tengo mucho palabras!

Anonymous said...

Why you think that the commies have ANY prayer of gaining control once the fundies get tossed? You should be praying for another "shah" like "secular" figure. Else you can be sure that within twenty years, a more syncretic Iran-Iraq (Persia) regime will emerge under al-Sadr to topple the socialists/ communists. Didn't any of you read Machiavelli's "The Prince"?

Khomeini was a reactionary who successfully re-fuzed state with Church. You'll never get the church OF State (atheism) argument to fly. Workers councils are NOT central to Iranian life. FAMILY and religion is. And church forms a major a part of the Moslem "family." Workers councils only have sufficient power in the "absence" of strong families... for the Moslem family is "culturally" WAAAAYYYYY TOOOOOOOOO strong for any "worker council" to over-rule.

Sean Pelette said...

The actual military threat to Iran is far less than the supposed one. It is clearly exaggerated.

The NIE does not expose Bush as a liar. You are oversimplifying a complex set of findings, which because it is intelligence, has not been reliably verified. That can only be done through clear and thorough IAEA inspections. At this point, that has not happened. And the IAEA is showing some scepticism and a reluctance to accept the NIE report which states that although Iran appears to have stopped its development of a nuclear warhead, it has not stopped its pursuit of the fissile material which is a neccessary component of a nuclear weapon, nor has it halted its development of a delivery system (ballistic missle).

You make the mistake that so many outside Iran continually do. You make refernce to the Ahmadinejad regime, even though that is an illusion. Real power in Iran resides in the Supreme Leader (Khamenei) and the Council of Guardians. All else is a mesmerizing puppet play for domestic and international consumption. The Iranian people are beginning awaken from the trance induced by this charade, but the outside world continues to fall for it.

beatroot said...

I wait the Iranian Revolution. When it occurs it will hold a lot of surprises for both liberals and neocons. The Workers Councils were very strong in the revolution of 1979, not strong enough to defeat Fundi reaction, but this time....

Snigger...are there really still people who go around saying that kind of thing?

Iran is not going to be having any 'revolution'. There will be reforms driven by pissed off 'middle class'...what you have with the Iranian president is a little Chavez. Both have support in the poor and came to power promising to make things better. But Iran's economy is in a mess, and not just from sanctions. Most Iranians now think that their president is a bit of a handicap for the economy and want rid of him. It will happen. They also want social refroms. IT will happen too. But the best thing we can do is drop sanctions. The more developed Iran is, the more secular.

steven rix said...

Iran economy is not a mess, it's the only country after China that keeps booming but the economic boom has been compensated by a soaring inflation due to failed economic policies. The surplus of oil revenues has been invested into local projects and has hit the poor class.

The President of Iran has to obey also to the islamic council. Lots of people in Iran do not like their President, they call him a "fanatic" but he's been elected.
He's doing too much on foreign policies and not enough for iranian people.

steven rix said...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also a popular figure in the Middle-East even among Sunnis because he does not want to bend over to the will of the US (Bush)

Iran has the largest population in the region, is four times the size of Iraq, shares land and water borders with nine countries, and has a coastline that runs along the whole Persian Gulf as well as part of the Arabian Sea, not to mention the land-locked Caspian Sea. It also has the second largest reserves of oil, as well as natural gas, in the world.

In its regional policies, it does not differentiate between Sunnis and Shi'ites. It has taken the lead in offering aid, material and moral, to Hamas, even though it is a Sunni Palestinian movement.

Iran's stance is in line with popular sentiment among Arabs. Hassan Nasrallah, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – respectively, the heads of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, the Palestinian Hamas movement, and Iran – now top opinion polls as favorite leaders in Arab countries. That is, ordinary Arabs generally ignore sectarian differences, except when it comes to occupied Iraq

Anonymous said...

"But Iran's economy is in a mess, and not just from sanctions"

Sure. Keep watching Fox News.

Neither Iran's nor Venezuela's economies are in a mess. You could guess who does have an economic crisis at this time though ... the US and UK. How's that falling dollar value doing sport?

If the US doesn't do something about its dollar value, loss of jobs to overseas, loss of rights, high taxes, and immigration, (instead of worrying about Iran's Pres not liking Bush), then I suspect there will be more likelihood of an uprising in the US than there ever will be in Iran.

steven rix said...

I read the main post and I think it is irrelevant for one main reason: there were already problems between the US and Iran before Ahmadinejad was elected but everything went through the memory hole again. I always wondered whenever a country threatened publicly another country whether people tend to radicalize themselves and maybe iranian people gave their inked finger to Bush when they went voting a few years ago. Who knows... For sure there is an obvious lack of diplomacy coming from the Bush administration and it is regrettable. If the neocons want to atomize Iran, then there won't be any worldwide support and Iran will keep sliding into hatred.

Iranian people are proud of their History (it was the 1st biggest empire even known) and they have western influences: when Greece was chasing their scientists and philosophs, they flee to Persia and because of their knowledge Iran never imposed their secular rules on these people. Also Iran never went to war the past 200 years, they've always been attacked by the West, and it explains why Iranians although they like western culture, they'll never trust us. Anyway all the Bush administration wants is a country that stops doing business with China and sells its oil in dollars. When the crisis will hit the US and countries that have dollars, Iran will be saved by the inflation since they don't pay the oil barrel in dollar but in Euros and other currencies such as the Rial (iranian currency).

MC Fanon said...

This is a bit off topic but I was reading about how the IRGC trains the national army and various Islamic extremist groups in Sudan as a part of this cooperative agreement signed at the start of the year. Given Iran is a Shi'a state and Sudan is a Sunni state, it is unlikely such a deal would occur if they did not have an enemy in common and without training, arguably the Sudanese army, who is nearly indistinguishable from the Janjaweed militia in Darfur, would be in less of a position to continue their atrocities.

I found it interesting.

Frank Partisan said...

I don't see any possibility of an attack on Iran, except if Bush develops a need to bring The Apocalypse. There are threats, but as Politiques pointed out no support. Whole sections of the US ruling class, don't want it to happen, as Chavez says, por ahora.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not the real power in Iran, still he is a good target. Politics is made up of perception. Big differences between him and Chavez. Chavez has opened up politics to the masses of Venezuela.

I did criticize Chavez, not for having state to state relations with Iran, but for not mentioning Islamist repression. Chavez is not a Marxist, despite his own belief.

I wonder if the US when it invaded Iraq, had given thought to how it would strengthen Iran? To follow it up by disbanding Saddam's army and the civil service?

Another residual effect of US in Iraq, is anti-Americanism that might not have been there before. The protest movements for worker's rights, women's rights, against executions are led by revolutionary socialists, who are more mature than during the days of The Shah. They wouldn't allow religious leadership.

Dave M: Interesting.

beatroot said...

First of all, I don’t watch Fox News and I don’t have access to Fox as I do not live in America (it may seem strange to you, but most people don’t live in America).

Iran’s inflation (17 percent) is rising At a time when its GDP growth is falling (four years ago it was 8 percent, now four percent)…

Oil refineries, distribution, which are crucial to the economy, are old and inefficient…this severely limits how much oil they can produce…and over years production is declining.

That’s an economy heading for trouble. Again, if it wasn’t for the increasing price of oil, that government would now be in complete crisis.

Ahmadinejad – typical populist – Has been show boating with foreign affairs – say something nasty abort Izrael and people back home will forget that he isn't delivering economically for the people who voted him in.

But to think there would be a ‘workers revolution’ is just silly and I can’t believe people go around saying it. There is absolutely no evidence to support any mass support for traditional left wing politics in Iran. Stop thinking if you say something often enough it might happen. The Left really is not understanding the massive changes that have occurred in the real world over the past two decades. That Left politics cannot adapt to that change is the reason for its failure in the past.

Again – drop the sanctions.

troutsky said...

Beatroot,which "massive changes" are we talking about? The dominance of neo-liberalism? You had better look again.Thatcher-Reagan is dead and buried. Perhaps "worker revolution" carries to much baggage for you but the democratic revolution can take forms other than bourgeois.And these are educated, sophisticated citizens who understand the language of rights and ditributive justice,Their religious attitudes and finally ties are not mutually exclusive with this "revolution".Be patient.

Frank Partisan said...

This from Maryam:

Letter No.2

To Amnesty International and all human rights defending organizations all over the world

In our previous letter on 2nd of December we made you aware that Islamic Republic of Iran has arrested some students on the eve of Student’s Day in Iran and has done so in the most brutal way. Despite the arrest and threatening of activists and organizers of Student’s Day, on 4th of December, students organized the event in Tehran University. 30 people were arrested and now being held in Evin prison and unknown places. All the students have leftist tendencies and Islamic government treats its critics, specially those with leftist tendencies, very brutally and inhumanely and that has worried the families of those arrested, student activists and human rights defenders.

Here you can see a list of those arrested on 4th of December and we hope you, with your quick and definite reaction, be able to stop the Islamic Republic's crimes in relation to these arrested students and all political prisoners.

1- Milad Moyini (Mazandaran University) 2- Behrang Zandi (Mazandaran University) 3- Hamed Mohammadi (Mazandaran University) 4- Arash Pakzad (Mazandaran University) 5- Hasan Maarefi (Mazandaran University) 6- Anooshe Azadfar (Tehran University) 7- Ilnaz Jamshidi (Communications, Azad University, Central Tehran) 8- Mehdi Gerayloo (Geophysics, Tehran) 9- Nader Ahsani (Mazandaran University) 10-Sayid Habibi (ex-member of the Central Council of Advare Tahkim Vahdat) 11- Behrooz Karimi-zade (Tehran University) 12- Keyvan Amiri Elyasi (Masters, Industry, Sharif Technical University) 13- Nasim SoltanBeygi (Communications faculty, Alame) 14- Ali Salem (Masters of Polymers – Polytechnic) 15- Mohsen Ghamin (Polytechnic University) 16- Roozbe Saf-Shekan (Tehran University) 17-Roozbehan Amiri (Computer sciences, Tehran) 18- Yaser Pir Hayati (Shahed University) 10- Mahsa Mohebbi 20- Okhtay Hosseni (Azad University) 21- Sayid Agham Ali Khalili (Alame University) 22- Behzad Bagheri (Tehran University) 23- Ali Kalayi 24- Amir Mehrzad 25- Hadi Salari 26- Farshid Farhadi Ahangaran 27- Amir Aghayi 28- Milad Omrani 29- Soroosh Hashempoor (from Ahvaz) and 30-Yoones Mirhossein (Student of Shiraz University).

Ahmad Ghasaban, Majid Tavakolli and Ehsan Mansoori are also among those student activists from Polytechnic University of Tehran who are in prison and been tortured since February 2007 and have been condemned to 2 to 3 years of prison in unofficial courts.

Students and youth of Iran are determined to continue their protests until the release of their friend and classmates and they need the widest possible international support to stand against the inhumane Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Republic must be pressured to release them immediately. With your protest letters, protest gatherings and any other initiative demand the release of jailed students and political prisoners.

Communist Youth Organization

beatroot said...

Amnesty International?

Anway, Troutsky. Noticed that the Soviet Union has gone? Kaput? Notice that the debate about economics has gone? All financiers are neo-liberals. Look at the central banks. So the economy - the old left wing thing about redistribution, using the state to get equality has gone (which is why liberals now try and use the state for social engineering. Notice a very confused ruling class...who don;t really know what their role is anymore? Can't even do occupations properly and don;t really know why they are doing it? Notice the complete collapse of the labour movement and left wing politics in general?

There has been a qualitive change and you guys are still in the labour museum/ There is a growing working class globally (because of globalization) but a class in itself is not a class for itself. And that consciousness has gone.

So in those circumstances, to go on about worker's revolutions is rather pitiful.

Sean Pelette said...

One important effect of Bush's rhetoric towards Iran is that it scares off foreign investors, especially those in the oil industry. So the Iranian oil industry continues to deteriorate while the governement continues to sctretch. Iran must import 40% of its gasoline needs and subsidize it because if the Iranian people had to pay market prices for gasoline there definitely would be a revolution.

This budgetary problem is one of the overlooked factors in their decision to suspend their nuclear warhead development. That money is badly needed to appease the religious conservative base.

The US is waging an economic and political war against Iran. The military threat leverages that war.

Aaron A. said...

The US is waging an economic and political war against Iran. The military threat leverages that war.

Yes the "men behind bush's curtain" are certainly smarter than he.

steven rix said...

Oil-rich nations use more energy, cutting exports
Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world's most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth.
Greater political stability and increased drilling in some important oil states, notably Iraq, Iran and Venezuela, could help offset the rising demand from other oil exporters.
Internal oil consumption by the five biggest oil exporters — Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran and the United Arab Emirates — grew 5.9 percent in 2006 over 2005, according to government data. Exports declined more than 3 percent. By contrast, oil demand is essentially flat in the United States.

Within a few decades lots of countries won't be able to export their oil production and they'll need civilian nuclear plants so that they can satisfy the rest of the world with oil needs.

Servant said...

Anyone know why the OPECers always export crude?

Wouldn't the exporting countries do better if they exported refined? 55 gallons per barrel at $4 per gallon is what? Lot more than $90 raw crude.

The supply and demand cult would really find out who the true believers are then!

Which begs the question, why does any oil exporting country need oil companies? Why don't they just buy the technology and hire the technicians directly? Is it that hard to drill a hole? On Ebay, the buyer always pays for shipping. Why should gas be any different?

Anyone have any figures on what it costs the Chav to produce oil on the state's payroll?

What would happen if American taxpayers made $4 a gallon from the ANWR reserves? Alaska thinks tax revenue should stay in Alaska, but did they ever pay the rest of us for Seward's Folly?

Soon it will be $10 a gallon at the pump and the public vig will still be pennies on the barrel that will go to Alaska.

I mean - if you're going to play the capitalism game, should you play it well?

Meanwhile - Stumbled across this cool Tango graphic which I thought you might enjoy.

Frank Partisan said...

servant: I was thinking of changing avatars as it's.

I have yo hear what Politiques would say about why only export crude?

Anonymous said...

The point of your post is to support the Iranian people if the US and its quisling allies attack.

Of course, Iran woudl be a massive graveyard for US stormtroopers, so they would likely engage massive bombings that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians.

No, the empire and its quisling client in the Middle East are pretty fucked as far as their options go--they have painted themselves in a corner.

It is only downhill from here for the Euro quislings and the US empire.

Good riddence.

LeftyHenry said...

I'm sorry but this whole post is riddled with right wing islamophobia. It repeats the drumbeat of US imperialism trying to build justification for bombing Iraq, while it praises Saudi Arabias far worse treatment of women. Iran does have a reactionary social line but this is no excuse to not defend it in the face of imperialism and its no excuse to claim that

"it would appear that the prospects of an air strike against Iran have receded - at least for the present. This does not suit Ahmadinejad at all. His support is rapidly eroding inside Iran, and his only hope was to keep beating the drum about the danger of US aggression"

because the prospects are the same, the US has not changed its line, it could bomb Iran at any minute Bush refused to make any change in line towards Iran even after finding that they haven't been trying to build Nuclear weapons. US imperialism is a real threat.

Frank Partisan said...

Slave Revolt: I agree.

Servant: I linked to that Stumbled Upon page.

Lefty Henry: Sonia was arguing the same thing you are, with a different emphasis. One can oppose attacks on Iran, and not give political support to mullahs. Maryam has been attacked by "Islamaphobia Watch" about 40 times. No such thing as Islamophobia or Islamofascism.

Sean: In Venezuela the oil industry survived a bosses lockout, sabotage and computer breakdown. The Venezuelan working class was motivated in that situation, as opposed to Iran.

Beatroot: All I ever do is post about class for itself instances. Sometimes decades of history can go by with nothing changed, and in days changes can occur at levels of decades.

beatroot said...

"Bush could bomb at anytime..".

This is just a fantacy. Parts of CIA and in revolt over Iran/Iraq. There is little support anywhere within the military, the decret services and the general public. There is no way he could get a strike - or even more strict sanctions - through the UN. NATIO is not interested. It's over.

There are a few on both left and right who fantacise about Iran and bombs - they are united in their view of all powerful US striding through the middle east...but this ignores a very weak US, and a confused and disorientated political class.

The war on terror has been 'fought' from a position of weaknes not strength and the whole thing is falling apart.

Frank Partisan said...

Beatroot: I don't think attack of Iran is on the table in the short run.

I wonder if the designers of the Iraq war, had a clue that overthrowing the Baath Party in Iraq, would strengthen Iran? Obviously not.

At Beatroot's blog is a wild discussion about gun control.

steven rix said...

I have yo hear what Politiques would say about why only export crude?
Not sure what to tell you guys, and I did not find anything related to this content on my search engine :)
There are international oil refinery cooperation agreements with numerous figures in the Middle-East for example (Egypt, and also Iran-Iraq) but we'll never find that in the US first because it is not a capitalist method and secondly because it is not the mentality of US companies: the big trend of US corps the past few years lies down in the profit capitalization without re-investing in new projects or new technologies. The construction of new refineries in the US could help lower the gasoline price at the pump but it would be only a few cents down. In other words it would not have any incidence on global oil prices generally speaking, and only a minimum impact at a regional level to extend the profit of US refineries. While the oil price goes up, refineries from the West seek to maximize also the refinery process because the system between global oil prices and refineries is completely independent from each other. This is my main conclusion I reached a few months ago and I never changed my mind ever since. Also one main point that some of you guys may not be aware: there has been attempts to temporarly slow down or short-circuit the oil price peak on a regional level with different promises between the oil flow and the price but no agreement had been ever reached. Hugo Chavez for example wanted to sell his oil to the US at $65 a barrel instead of resorting on the global prices but this deal was completely ignored by Bush. Why is that? I am not sure, the economic relations between Chavez and Bush have been always very tensed and our President decided his pride was better than any economic interest for the salvation of the nation. In the end anyone of us pays dearly for the price at the gas pump and we can feel the economic pain when we go to the gas station. A few years go we were able to fill a tank with only $20 now it takes the double amount of money to fill the same tank and it's worse if you own these gas-guzzlers ($60 at least with a SUV).
The economic shock in the US is higher than the one felt in Europe: with a low dollar oil-prices fluctuate alot while in Europe a higher Euro currency allowed them to absorb the shock since the euro gained almost 50% the last 5 years.

More later ...

steven rix said...

Keep in mind that the oil barrel on the market is always sold with a huge profit margin. While methods of extraction improved alot and saved 7% of the production over the last few years, the cost to extract this oil has always been around $20. This is one of the reasons why any capitalist government refuses to subsidize its production abroad.

I know an oil tycoon in Houston and another one in India who works in the UK, I'll try to get their feedbacks.

There is also a blog that stores oil articles and its peak, @

steven rix said...

The economic shock in the US is higher than the one felt in Europe: with a low dollar oil-prices fluctuate alot while in Europe a higher Euro currency allowed them to absorb the shock since the euro gained almost 50% the last 5 years
It's all theory because if oil prices keep going higher and higher, they may lose a few points on the economic growth.

troutsky said...

Beatroot, I thought I read something about the Soviet collapse, have you noticed any resistance to "globalization"? That is one place to start looking for the "debate on economics" you can't seem to find and I can point out many others where serious people are discussing distributive justice.Do you support such a "debate"?

I will explain the occupation in two words: peak oil. And if you go back to my comment ,you see I was referring to the democratic revolution, not "worker". Although it has a class component it is much expanded.

Memet Çagatay said...

Since there has been a practice to accuse critique of Islam or religion in general as a fascist phobia, I decided to add my thoughts.

The idea of mutual tolerance always reminds me some documentaries of Discovery Channel in which our western adventurers are always on the road just for exploring the strangest customs of other cultures. As an indication of pure hypocrisy, they always preserve their respectful stance while the natives are torturing themselves or living in a monastery with thousands of sacred rats, etc. etc. In other words, as long as your bizarre beliefs satisfy our appetite to reaffirm our rationality via your exhibition of absurdity, we have every respect for your right to practice your beliefs. But the genuine tolerance should be something that doesn’t avoid interfering with the other: I have zero respect for your religious practices but I am tolerant enough to settle our accounts on a proper ground. Now, somewhere in the world people are circumcising female infants as a religious ritual just like Muslim and Jewish societies practice to male infants. So, should we respect them or struggle against their inhumanity which results physical damages to other humans?

In the example of Maryam Namazie, it is somewhat humorous to accuse her with islamophobia because she is an insider who surely has no prejudices.

Anonymous said...

distributive justice...

LOL! Even if Van Helsing/Smith had cast a silver stake for that one, it could never stay in Marx's chest. It's far too human a desire for that.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to EpiMarxius to give all the good stuff away...and to apportion the "unlike" in 'equal' quantities

Plato, "Protagoras"

Once upon a time there were gods only, and no mortal creatures. But when the time came that these also should be created, the gods fashioned them out of earth and fire and various mixtures of both elements in the interior of the earth; and when they were about to bring them into the light of day, they ordered Prometheus and Epimetheus to equip them, and to distribute to them severally their proper qualities. Epimetheus said to Prometheus: 'Let me distribute, and do you inspect.' This was agreed, and Epimetheus made the distribution. There were some to whom he gave strength without swiftness, while he equipped the weaker with swiftness; some he armed, and others he left unarmed; and devised for the latter some other means of preservation, making some large, and having their size as a protection, and others small, whose nature was to fly in the air or burrow in the ground; this was to be their way of escape. Thus did he compensate them with the view of preventing any race from becoming extinct. And when he had provided against their destruction by one another, he contrived also a means of protecting them against the seasons of heaven; clothing them with close hair and thick skins sufficient to defend them against the winter cold and able to resist the summer heat, so that they might have a natural bed of their own when they wanted to rest; also he furnished them with hoofs and hair and hard and callous skins under their feet. Then he gave them varieties of food,--herb of the soil to some, to others fruits of trees, and to others roots, and to some again he gave other animals as food. And some he made to have few young ones, while those who were their prey were very prolific; and in this manner the race was preserved. Thus did Epimetheus, who, not being very wise, forgot that he had distributed among the brute animals all the qualities which he had to give,--and when he came to man, who was still unprovided, he was terribly perplexed. Now while he was in this perplexity, Prometheus came to inspect the distribution, and he found that the other animals were suitably furnished, but that man alone was naked and shoeless, and had neither bed nor arms of defence. The appointed hour was approaching when man in his turn was to go forth into the light of day; and Prometheus, not knowing how he could devise his salvation, stole the mechanical arts of Hephaestus and Athene, and fire with them (they could neither have been acquired nor used without fire), and gave them to man. Thus man had the wisdom necessary to the support of life, but political wisdom he had not; for that was in the keeping of Zeus, and the power of Prometheus did not extend to entering into the citadel of heaven, where Zeus dwelt, who moreover had terrible sentinels; but he did enter by stealth into the common workshop of Athene and Hephaestus, in which they used to practise their favourite arts, and carried off Hephaestus' art of working by fire, and also the art of Athene, and gave them to man. And in this way man was supplied with the means of life. But Prometheus is said to have been afterwards prosecuted for theft, owing to the blunder of Epimetheus.

Hmmm, not where did I put that fennel stalk????

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that at least Hephaestus (Vulcan) was pro-Smithian. ;-)

Anonymous said...

EpiMarxius never was very good at listenning to his brother, ProSmitheus. Seems makind ended up with almost ALL of Pandora's evils as a result.

One of these days I'll have to flush that last evil out of Pandora's jar... and drive a stake through its' heart!

Phil said...

On Iran, the Hands Off the People of Iran campaign (HOPI) met this weekend in London. You can read reports about it here:

steven rix said...

Oil price not supported by fundamentals: Bodman
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Current high oil prices near $90 a barrel are not supported by market fundamentals, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman told CNBC television Monday.

"I do believe that we have no shortage of inventories," Bodman said in an interview with CNBC. When asked if prices near $90 a barrel were justified by market fundamentals, he said, "I do not."

Bodman said that geopolitical tensions were a factor behind high oil prices and added that he encouraged OPEC to keep the world oil markets well supplied.

Different qualities of crude oil supplies play a crucial role in market prices. Crude oil is classified by density and sulfur content. Refiners consider light and sweet crude (containing less than 0.5 percent sulfur) the best because it takes little refining to produce high quality products, such as gasoline. Sour crude contains 1 percent sulfur, a problem for refining since sulfur is both corrosive and toxic. The higher viscosity of heavy crude also requires extra efforts to refine. Since the world has limited refining capacity for sour and heavy crude, these varieties sell at prices less than sweet and light varieties, sometimes significantly so. Crudes can be blends of heavy sweet or light sour as well.

A considerable portion of OPEC production falls into the heavy-sour category. Many non-OPEC nations also have started to produce more heavy sour crude due to older oil wells. This in turn has created a tight supply of light sweet crude. Some analysts believe heavy-sour production is going to significantly exceed light-sweet production as time goes on, which could continue to help increase volatility on light-sweet crude prices until refining capacity catches up.

Platts, an energy news service, says of the two lower-grade types, sour or heavy, “it is the sour crude that is gradually assuming more importance” in pricing. However, a new factor has made sour crude less attractive. The United States and Europe both recently mandated greater use of low-sulfur diesel for air quality reasons. The International Energy Agency says the first option for refiners to meet low-sulfur targets is to use low-sulfur crudes. This has created higher demand for light sweet crude, leading to tighter supplies in the past year. Under such conditions, when major suppliers like Saudi Arabia seek to boost production to ease prices they sometimes have trouble finding buyers because their surplus production is mainly lower-quality crude. Light sweet crude prices jumped by $20 to $25 per barrel from August 2007 to November 2007, Verleger notes, while at the same time Saudi Arabia was cutting the price of its sour crude.

OPEC in November 2007 said the shift toward lighter oils and stricter fuel-quality standards will have “substantial consequences” on supply and demand. The organization stressed the need to upgrade refining (PDF) for desulphurization capacity by eighteen million barrels per day in the next fifteen years. Citigroup analyst Evans says refineries just need to spend the money to upgrade refineries. He says as long as poorer-grade crudes sell at a discount and light crude prices remain high there will be an incentive to invest in upgrades.

Some also wonder if light sweet crude going into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) helps to drive up crude prices. But others believe the amount of crude added to the reserve is too small to have a major impact on price. By the end of 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy was buying about one hundred thousand barrels a day to refill the reserve to its capacity of 730 million barrels.

Oil fundamentals are not only relative to demand and offer but to market conditions such as geopolitical tensions and future investments that drive oil prices. Frankly there are 2 reasons at least for driving oil prices further down. The 1st one is the one I was writing about earlier such as investing in oil refineries and implementing new technics of oil extraction. There are new technics to increase oil extraction and not all oil companies have been using them. Also the fact of investing in oil companies without implementing these new technologies may drive down the oil barrel price and that makes me kind of mad because the market reality under Bush took a new turn without precedent, and the blame goes on his policy.After 911 we created new market conditions with the war on terror where investments and financial speculations are the motor of the economy and oil economics activities took part to this design as well. It means that the simple citizens have been taken into hostage in a whole financial system and the war in terror. We are situated in an economic activity that has nothing to do with the offer and demand in keynesian economics and the scope of its manifestation reached pre-emptive economics. We may not change anything when it comes to oil prices (demand and offer) but we should be able to change the rules of the financial game during the next presidential elections if there is still an inch of Democracy in this country.

Another component to take into account is the condition of oil crudes: the best oilfields (light crude) without sulfur are coming soon to depletion, and technics of refinery (it will take longer to refine the oil) only demand to build more refineries and get more oil-tankers. This has not been done yet, but I am assuming it would have helped alot at a regional level (North America).

Needless to talk about the oilfields in Iraq, they are being destroyed everytime they are repaired, but it would have helped alot the international community. In the past, Europeans used to buy the oil from Saddam and they were selling it to the US, but Bush wanted everything for him :-)

If the oil barrel price keeps going up, the whole geopolitical spectrum from the 20th century is going to take into account their oil dependency.

liberal white boy said...

Some one help me out here, is farmer john trying to say like the Greek god of the Forge his silly ass will soon be burning? Why do I smell cooked vegetables?

steven rix said...

Oil futures fell Monday, reversing course as concerns about falling demand and rising supplies offset earlier anticipation about an interest rate cut.

Many investors who had jumped into oil futures markets as crude prices were rising are now looking for opportunities to sell. Many found such an opportunity earlier Monday morning when oil rose to near to near $90 a barrel , said James Cordier, president of Liberty Trading Group, in Tampa, Fla.
Oil futures have dropped more than $10 from their highs in recent weeks as OPEC increased output and as demand slid in the face of high prices. Analysts who a month ago were predicting new gas price records now see prices falling well below $3 a gallon in coming months.
Some analysts expect oil futures to trade in a range around $90 until more evidence surfaces of either further demand erosion or supply growth. Others believe futures have begun a seasonal move that could take them as low as $70 a barrel.
Supporting prices Monday were a weaker dollar, expectations that the Fed will cut rates on Tuesday, which would likely take the dollar down further and news that fog has closed two Texas waterways used by oil tankers. The dollar's continuing decline against the euro and other currencies again made oil look more attractive to foreign investors.

Here is an example that oil prices do not reflect the demand and financial speculations drive the price higher to make cash faster. In this example, even a little incident of 1 day (the fog closed 2 TX waterway used by oil-tankers) can have huge repercussions on the oil price in the US (pathetic risk management).

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