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08 September 2006


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Babak Makkinejad

But does any one care?



It seems that a majority of Americans care.

"Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said they think it would be good for the country "if the Democrats in Congress were able to conduct official investigations into what the Bush administration has done in the past six years." Forty-one percent said such probes would be bad for the country."

In this climate of spin and apathy this is a pretty large number who would like to get to the bottom of how this Administration has acted. The question is will the "chain of command" have an accountability moment? Probably highly unlikely but in 60 days we'll know if there are likely to be testimony under oath and if those subpoenaed will comply. I can see the probability of a constitutional crisis as this Administration will not walk away into the sunset.


A couple of days ago BBC World (East Asia footprint) ran combat video footage from southern Afghanistan. By way of significant background: NATO policy does not allow TV reporting from combat areas. The video was from a mobile phone belonging to a member of the 3rd Bn Parachute Regiment (a British unit) - amazing TV quality.

The video covered, inter alia, what appeared to be a fighting withdrawal by a multi-vehicle patrol, platoon weapon defensive fire from an established base and various forms of air support (courtesy of the USAF). At one point the camera was on the inside of a perimeter wall of a British base and USAF bombs were falling twenty metres on the other side of the wall.

It is several decades since I had to worry about where and how close I brought in defensive air or arty support fires. I did seem to me, however, that things were getting quite close. In turn it suggests to me that things are worse with the Taliban than we still tend to think. Certainly, British commanders appear to be concerned at what they have walked into in southern Afghanistan - a need for more troops, more equipment and more contributors generally.

Meanwhile, Iraqi guerrilla tactics and methods are being used on the streets of Kabul.

Is it my imagination but is this is yet another American inspired war thats not going right?

Babak Makkinejad


Thank you for your reply.

Will the testimony make any difference to the fact that US policy makers, in both Foreign and Domestic arenas, both Republican and Democratic, seem to have ben exhibiting symptoms of group-think for quite some time now?

Jonathan House MD

Today in his blog, Informed Comment, Juan Cole makes the following observation about the report in which he raises the possibility the DIA warned the Pentago that Iran might be manipulating Chalabi's INC - and thus the NeoCons etc. - and to push the US toward war with Iraq.

Col. Lang, it would seem you are best qualified to comment on this notion - if you have already, I appologize.

Cole writes:

"Intriguingly, the report says that the Defense Intelligence Agency warned the Pentagon off the INC on the grounds that it had been penetrated by a foreign intelligence agency, which might be using it to play the US."

"The foreign country that had penetrated Chalabi's group? Iran."

"What is really delicious is that it suggests that the influential Neoconservatives at the American Enterprise Institute who ceaselessly promoted Chalabi, like Richard Perle, David Rhode, and Michael Rubin, were duped by Tehran into doing its bidding."


W. Patrick Lang


Like Juan, I have long thought that the Iranians have been the masters of this game. And why should they not have duped us when we were so eager to be "had?"

I have imagined the scene back in the '90s maybe when Chalabi or one of his people was asked by astonished Persians, "and the Americans said what to you? The Americans offered you how much money? Hmmm.." pl


I have thought about the exact issue Zanzibar brings up. If the unconstitutional actions of this administration have been mind boogling with the control of Congress, wait until you see what they come up with to prevent investigations. I am actually torn between my desire for the Dems to take a house and the need for the Reps to stay in power in order allow them to completely drown the party as it exists today and the neocon ideology.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

I do not find Juan Cole's speculations persuasive; there are not that many smart people in the world and certainly not in governments.

Got A Watch

Posted the same comments as
Jonathan House MD in the new follow to this post, sorry. Should have scrolled to the older post first.

It still seems to be the most important piece of the puzzle here - America duped into war by an enemy state, and who will have to take the blame. The quickest way to get rid of the neocons would be to tie them to this one. If they are stupid enough to be fooled by such (obvious in retrospect) Iranian covert ops, clearly they should be removed from any and all positions of reponsibilty, including media ownership.

Stock tip: buy stock in paper shredder companies, they will be in great demand.



You are right at the extent of group-think across both political parties. Witness the positions relative to Israel, Iran, globalization, corporate consolidation, tax credits and subsidies to big business. However, if the Democrats win a majority in the House and pursue investigations with public testimony it will get extremely acrimonious. And I believe it will create gridlock effectively stalling any new ventures. IMO, a good thing since divided government means extreme measures will be difficult to implement.

Babak Makkinejad

Got A Watch:

Iran is not an enemy of the United States. It opposes US strategies in the Levant and the Persian Gulf.


So when do the impeachment proceedings begin?

Got A Watch

Its all a matter of perception, Babak. When an opposing state (you are not going to claim Iran is an ally or friendly are you?) causes or contributes to your going to war based on lies, in order to destroy that opposing states greatest enemy, which war serves their interests and not your own, it seems that makes them an enemy to me.
From the Iranian perspective, this may be a great foreign policy coup and a victory, for America not so much. Define it as you will.

My point had little to do with Iran per se, I was attempting to point out the neocons are criminally responsible for their own gullibility in buying into the Iranian disinformation campaign. It WAS in Iran's interests to get rid of the Hussein regime, not America's (in retrospect, America would be better off today if Saddam was still in power in Iraq, and most ordrinary Iraqi's would be too). By eagerly repeating every lie from the "Iraqi exiles" talking-points straight out of the Iranian intelligience handbook, the neocons have proven they are simply too incompetent and stupid to be allowed to be in charge of anything significant, never mind a nation. Nations always have diverging interests, that should not stop the truth being denied simply because it is inconvenient to strongly held irrational belief systems like the ones the neocons cling to.

Babak Makkinejad

Got A Watch:

The scenario that you are describing while possible, in my opinion, is highly unlikely. It reminds me of Col. North stating that the idea of funding Nicaraugan contras came from Mr. Ghorbanifar! I suppose we have to wait for de-classified documents from US, UK, Turkey, Iran, Russia and others to learn the historical truth.

I am not usre that the neo-cons' beliefs were any more irrational than those that gave us Vietnam. The salient feature in both cases (Vietnam and later Iraq) was the pursuit of a fantasy project; in the first instance by liberals and in the second instance by the (neo)conservatives.

Got A Watch

Babak "Highly Unlikely" or "Likely" is all in the eye of the beholder. I am sure any neocon who was manipulated by, shall we say, opposing interests, would not want to go near any public admission or any discussion at all of this. It calls into question the core of everything they claimn to stand for. I bet FOX News doesn't give much time to this issue.

You are quite correct about the "fantasy project", which explains the eagerness with which the neocons raced to embrace the "Iraqi exiles" and their stories. That still doesn't prove it was not an Iranian propaganda operation.

Try this recent analysis from Stratfor, available at:

Stratfor sees America trapped in Iraq with no easy exit, while Iran manipulates the entire Middle East to their own advantage. Sums up what I have felt for a while but could not put into words so succintly.

Babak Makkinejad

If it only were true: "while Iran manipulates the entire Middle East to their own advantage".

Also all this talk about Iran as a regional hegemon is non-sense: the Iranian military budget is quite low - Iran does not have that power.

Also this: basically Iranians and their state are insular; they want to be left alone to concentrate on their internal affairs.

But I cannot prove a negative.

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