Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Smoking Gun!?

I Want One!

Electric vehicle maker and importer Zap (stands for zero air pollution) announced in mid January that it had partnered with the consultancy Lotus Engineering to explore the feasibility of new concepts for electric cars. Yesterday, Zap announced that it will pursue a long-range, high-performance electric car based on Lotus’ lightweight APX concept design (pictured above). Zap will display the concept, which it is calling the Zap-X, at the upcoming North American Dealers Association (NADA) annual meeting in Las Vegas. Zap plans to use Lotus Engineering’s APX (Aluminum Performance Crossover) concept design as a platform for a revolutionary breed of electric car. Zap claims this project will lay the basis for a “production-ready electric all-wheel drive crossover high performance vehicle for ZAP in the USA market.” The battery system for the vehicle (details have yet to be disclosed) boasts a 350 mile range between charges and a 10 minute recharge time. Four in-wheel motors will give the Zap-X a total of 644 horsepower and a top speed of 155 mpg.

Zap is better known for focusing on offering considerably meeker vehicles like the electric Obvio, Xebra, and Smart Car. The Zap-X is being positioned to compete with high-performance EVs like Tesla's Roadster (for which Lotus did body design) and its "WhiteStar" (codename) electric sedan. From the press release on January 30th, Zap CEO Steve Schneider said: "Lotus Engineering's APX technology demonstrator vehicle is a perfect fit for our plans to introduce a full product portfolio of electric cars. Due to the initial design by Lotus, our cost and time to production will be significantly reduced. We believe that the ZAP-X will become the most advanced, most practical and most appealing flagship electric vehicle to date and will revolutionize the industry providing the driver with the enjoyment of a sports car and the practicality of an SUV." ::Zap via AutoblogGreen via Hugg (Linton)

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It's Happening All Over Again

Kansas City Star | 02/01/2007 | Strategy shifts in U.S.-Iran face-off
Ray Takeyh, an expert on Iran, said the risks are all the greater because Tehran has an “unhealthy” disregard for American power, which “enhances the prospect of a miscalculation.” Gary Sick, a leading authority on Iran, thinks that the United States is seeking to divert world attention from the crisis in Iraq and organize a coalition of Israel and conservative Sunni Arab states to confront Iran. “I see this as a very dangerous long-term policy because it promotes the idea that Sunnis and Shiites should be distrustful of each other, and I think that could come back and bite us later on,” he said.

Bear in mind that there is little evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear bombs, let alone the fact that they are at least five years away from such a thing if they are. The only thing keeping Ahmadinejad in office is fear of the U.S. invading. He and Bush are playing each other the same way Saddam and Bush did before the invasion of Iraq. It's insane, but BushCo is pushing for it.
The No. 2 U.S. general in Iraq told USA Today in an interview published Tuesday that Iran was supplying Iraqi Shiite militias with a variety of powerful weapons, including Katyusha rockets and armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenades.

“We have weapons that we know through serial numbers ... trace back to Iran,” Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said.

The Air Force is considering more forceful patrols on the Iraqi side of the border to counter smuggling of weapons and bomb supplies, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing Pentagon officials.

The U.S. also is building up its military presence in the Gulf in a show of strength directed at Iran. A second aircraft carrier is heading for the region, and Patriot missile batteries are being deployed.
Notice that line about "serial numbers" from Odierno. Is he talking about weapons we sent to Iran during the Iran-Contra fiasco? Reminds me of the joke about us knowing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction because we kept the receipts.

And people in the know are getting more than worried.
The war of words has raised fears among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress that the United States and Iran are drifting toward armed conflict at a time when America is struggling against determined foes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also has unnerved the Iraqi government, many of whose members have close ties to Iran.

“We have told the Iranians and the Americans, ‘We know that you have a problem with each other, but we’re asking you, please, solve your problems outside of Iraq,’ ” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, told CNN on Wednesday. “We do not want the American forces to take Iraq as a base to attack Iran … we will not accept Iran using Iraq to attack American forces. But does this exist? It exists and I assure you it exists.”
Sounds pretty serious to me. Are Bush and Cheney two desparate men with nothing to lose? Should these be the people calling the shots in the Middle East?

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