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14 August 2005

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Some Guy

Interesting if disturbing. I wondered myself if something of this sort was not happening. The grugding agreement from Iran seemed suspect, out of character.

So now Bush is left to rattle his empty saber guard?

ismoot

Guy

His scabbard is anything but empty. pl

J

Colonel,

what i find troubling is the fact that the video is 'not' the whole interview. easy manipulation can occur when one is not able to view the entire interview. things can be taken out of context, misread, and misinterpreted. also one needs to look at the origination source of the video being propagated. and with such a critical item -- Iranian nuclear development, one cannot afford to have anything taken out of context. we (spelled U.S.) cannot afford to be 'manipulated' into another war, whether it be our own white house, or a foreign power or powers that may or may not be behind a production company.

Some Guy

Colonel, what are his options? I know we can launch devastating air and missle strikes, but with the ever-extension of ground forces, is such a thing wise?

ismoot

J,

The excerpts seem pretty clear to me and difficult to take out of context. MEMRI is an Israeli associated translation service. I suppose that is what you are talking about. Information should not be dismissed just because you distrust the source. The information's probability of reality also has to be judged. In the end one must judge both things for oneself. pl

ismoot

Guy,

Oh! Are we talking "wise" now? I thought we were talking options available to the CinC.

There is no ground option. There is no SOF option other than in the minds of the SOF fantasists who have seen "Where Eagles Dare" too many times. (Good Movie)

There IS an air option whether it is wise or not. The US (Israel would of limited use in this)could, if it really exerted itself, set the Iranian nuclear program back a number of years.

Would this be wise? Debatable. It depends on how much weight one gives to the long range political effect in the ME of the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran. Balanced against that there is the certainty that the Iranians will intensify their support of our adversaries. pl

J

Colonel,

just trying to interject a word of 'caution' is all. there are far too many players who will make big $$$ if the u.s. is 'engaged' with iran. like politics, war and such is all about $$$ in the end. a prime example is the current situation in iraq. big $$$ that have 'disappeared'.

RJJ

And the long-range political effect at home? By this I mean the retaliatory attacks that will take place here, and the security measures taken in response to these attacks?

Some Guy

Colonel, ha! Yeah, I know, presuming wisdom with this crowd is asking a bit much.

What seems quite frightening to me is that if we were to launch air stikes when we have no credible ground force available, and that our troops are committed and exhausted in Iraq, the Iranians might escalate. Why would they not treat such a strike as a declaration of war, and then what? Don't they have a rather large army?

RJJ

Going into Iraq II the rarely asked and never answered question was, "never mind the merits of the policy, can these people execute it?"

I think we have the answer.

Occam's hammer: "will these people screw it up?"

What's the emergency. Will a two year delay in taking action be worse?

avedis

Sir,
I would recommend that anyone relying in whole or in part on MEMRI articles for position/opinion formation should first thoroughly research the history and background of that the MEMRI organization.

I, for one, am highly suspicious of of the veracity of the material they publish. Again, thorough background research would help explain why I feel as I do.

Though you are correct that the material should not be summarily dismissed because of the source. Rather the source should modify the weight given to the material.

J

Colonel,

if i may, i'd like to interject a question -- if iran has nuclear power, and iran has also nuclear launch capability (mrbm,icbm), what threat does iran's possession of nuclear weapons poses to the u.s.? what 'immediate threat' to the u.s. does such entail? we can all understand such a threat to israel, and to the surrounding arab oil states, but outside of control of mideast oil, what immediate threat to the u.s. does iran's nuclear possession pose? is it a 'real threat' to the u.s., or is it a 'manufactured' one on the part of our political process?

RJJ

make that a three plus year delay.

These people don't mess around. The least blowback from an Iran strike and Sic Semper Tyrannus becomes Sic Tyrannus Semper.

ismoot

J,

No military threat at all except to whatever expeditionary forces we might have within "reach."

The difficulty would lie in the greatly enhanced politico-military status which would accrue to Iran in the region and in the eyes of the Jihadi movement across the world. pl

ismoot

Avedis,

I do believe that MEMRI is effectively an instrument of the Israeli government, and you have done a great job of "impeaching their witness."

Nevertheless, let us rise above the level of undermining generalities.

Do you have any reason to think that THIS PARTICULAR TRANSLATION is incorrect or false? pl

ismoot

RJJ

I am familiar with Occam's Razor. You will have to explain his "hammer." pl

ismoot

Guy,

The effects of further war in the regon are essentially incalculable. Does that mean we won't go to war against Iran? I wouldn't bet any of MY money on the outcome of the decision making process on this. pl

ismoot

J

You are far more of an "economic determinist" than I, so I can't address your comment in those terms.

The ME is not, in my view, explicable on the basis of "economic determinism."

Neither do I accept the argument that the US went to war in either Afghanistan or Iraq for economic reasons. These are wars waged on the basis of ideas. that's why we are not doing very well. Our ideas do not appeal to enough people in these places. pl

pl

avedis

"Do you have any reason to think that THIS PARTICULAR TRANSLATION is incorrect or false? pl"

No, I do not. I lack sufficient information to form an opinion regarding this particular piece.

avedis

"These are wars waged on the basis of ideas. that's why we are not doing very well. Our ideas do not appeal to enough people in these places.pl"

That is a very succinct - perhaps the most succinct- accurate summation of the entire situation that I have heard yet.

I have voiced similar words to party line conservatives. Their reply is that I am a racist for suggesting that Arabs and Persians are not able to perceive and act on the self evident and objective virtues of democracy.

I am glad that this blog offers a more considerate and thoughtful discussion and pursuit of truth.

I am adding it to my favorites.

BTW: I saw your bio. My son will be humping a rock up the Dog River in less than a week.

Curious

MEMRI?

Memri is wingnut news site created by ex Israeli intel guys.

That's like quoting Drudge report/Newsmax of sort.

angela

I think at a petrsonal level Bush does not like risk. I think he did Iraq because he really believed that troops could srart withdrawing in months and that it would give him another huge boost in the polls.

Iran is dangerous. Just withdrawing their oil, removes the existing surplus. The most productive fields in Iraq will probably go with them. This does not include the price hikes caused by a few mines i the gulf and possibly a few rockets launched at gulf facilities. Then the turmoil in Iraq that could make that country unoccupiable, further mischief elsewhere.

So left to himself Bush would probably find a way to ignore these things. The problem is that lots of times the administration fails to tell him this kind of stuff, for example he didn't know we were downgrading the war on terror to a struggle or that we were planning to start withdrawing as long as things kept going as wonderfully as they have been.

Which leads to the question: should the administration be required to tell the president what they are doing? I would say yes since it would seem unreasonable to ask him to read newspapers or talk to the people who actually do things. But there are some who argue that we shouldn't task his pretty little brain which is why an attack on Iran has some plausibility.

Curious

More note on MEMRI. THey are an absolute wingnut wack job, only slightly better than Debka. They are among the loudest trumpetting al qaeda-Iraq connection. They are also working very hard on 'attack Syria/Iran' scheme by pumping all sort of dubious information.

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/memri.php

Origins, History, and Influence

To understand the political mission, it is helpful to examine the politics and origins of its cofounders Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser. Carmon is a reserve colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces, having served in the IDF/Intelligence Branch from 1968 to 1988. In that capacity, Carmon, who was born in Romania, was Acting Hear of the Civil Administration in the West Bank from 1977 to 1982. He served as counterterrorism adviser to premiers Shamir and Menachem Begin from 1988 to 1993. In 1991 and 1992 Carmon was a senior member of the Israeli Delegation to peace negotiations with Syria in Madrid and Washington. (4)

Wurmser, an Israeli-born analyst of Middle East affairs, received her Ph.D. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where she wrote on Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement. (4) According to Arab Media Watch, Jabotinsky “brokered the marriage between Zionism and fascism.” (3) Wurmser, who has taught at Johns Hopkins University and the United States Naval Academy, and her husband David Wurmser are central figures in the right-wing’s web of Middle East policy institutes. According to the Hudson Institute, “Through her work at MEMRI [she] helped to educate policymakers about the Palestinian Authority two-track approach to 'negotiating peace' with Israel: calling for peace in the English press and with western policymakers while inciting hatred and violence through official Arab language media." (7) Before joining the Bush II administration as a State Department policy adviser under John Bolton, her husband David Wurmser was an AEI scholar and associate of the Middle East Forum (MEF).

ismoot

Curious

If you think I like these people, then you have not been paying attention.

The question remains, is this an accurate translation? pl

ismoot

Angela,

I would agree on Bush and go farther to say that he is basically a chicken hawk whose personal record substantiates that charge as does that of the Vulcan Jacobins who programmed him.

Their problem with him now, I think, is that he has moved beyond them into a region of the mind in which the ideas that the Vulcans gave him have become "dogma" and essentially a "floor" for his thinking. pl

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