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2010 February 11 — Why Now?
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More Iran Agitprop

Joby Warrick and Glenn Kessler have written an article for the Washington Post that I want to like, Rhetoric vs. reality: Iran faces nuclear setbacks. Even the headline is good, which is rare, and it contains two informative paragraphs:

Beneath this rhetoric, U.N. reports over the last year have shown a drop in production at Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant, near the city of Natanz. Now a new assessment, based on three years of internal data from U.N. nuclear inspections, suggests that Iran’s mechanical woes are deeper than previously known. At least through the end of 2009, the Natanz plant appears to have performed so poorly that sabotage cannot be ruled out as an explanation, according to a draft study by David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). A copy of the report was provided to The Washington Post.

A separate, forthcoming analysis by the Federation of American Scientists also describes Iran’s flagging performance and suggests that continued failures may increase Iran’s appetite for a deal with the West. Ivan Oelrich, vice president of the federation’s Strategic Security Program, said Iranian leaders appear to have raced into large-scale uranium production for political reasons.

But the they feel the need to write about the opposition to these views by quoting “some officials” and “a former U.S. official”, who think this is a ruse by the Iranians. If these guys had any real evidence, why are they hiding behind anonymity. These are the same class of “experts” who were certain Saddam had WMDs.

The Iranians are using 50-year-old technology that most people have given up on because it is a PITA to operate efficiently. The high-speed centrifuges breakdown regularly and and require a lot of maintenance. Because of the radiation hazard they aren’t easy to maintain or repair, and the parts require a great deal of precision to make.

February 11, 2010   4 Comments

Yukon Quest – Day 6

Yukon Quest map even years

Sled DogUpdate at 11:30PM CST. The “half-time” has begun with the leaders resting until tomorrow morning. Sleep will be the number one item on the agendas of the mushers and dogs, because it has been in short supply on the trail to Dawson, and will be in shorter supply on the rush to Whitehorse.

At Dawson
1 Hans Gatt (13)
2 Lance Mackey (11)
3 Hugh Neff (23)
4 Zack Steer (2)
5 Ken Anderson (17)
6 Brent Sass (12)
7 Sonny Linder (20)
8 Abbie West (1)R
9 Joshua Cadzow (21)R
10 Gerry Willomitzer (5)
11 Normand Casavant (10)
12 Dries Jacobs (22)R
13 Sam Deltour (4)R
14 David Dalton (3)
15 Kelley Griffin (15)
16 Mike Ellis (18)

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February 11, 2010   Comments Off on Yukon Quest – Day 6