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06 January 2007

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David E. Solomon

Colonlel Lang,

My wife and I were very pleased to see you back on PBS last night after what seemed a very long hiatus.

We hope that this marks a regular return for you and your sane commentary which has been sorely missed on the News Hour.

Regards,

David E. Solomon
Marilyn A. Russell

Frank Durkee

I thought you did an excellent job on the program. thanks for the Iran suggestion.

arbogast

Listen to Friedberg:

I suspect that they realized that this may be their last best chance to achieve something resembling an acceptable outcome there, and they want to have people in all of the top positions in whom they have enormous confidence, whose judgment they trust, who are presumably onboard with the changes that are about to be made.

How do the people of the United States tolerate this? The people being replaced did not enjoy the confidence of the President, nor was their judgement trusted? Three years of war, three thousand casualties.

Where is the outrage?

Will

very good!
scrivener's error
date should read
Originally Aired: January 5, 2007

Michael Singer

Dear Col. Having been with CBS News for many years I understand the contraints of the medium;however, that said, it was very depressing to see you throw out two very troublesome notions:1) The politics of Iraq is tribal warfare dressed as politics. Our (US) misunderstanding of this central point makes failure in Iraq a certainty. 2) The appointment of the Admiral to manage two ground wars is really another step towards a confrontation with Iran.
Woodruff failed to pick up on either point. You left Ignatius smiling but the viewers didn't get to hear an airing of these critical points and their implications. You tried, the media failed, once again. Michael Singer

David E. Solomon

Arbogast,

There is no rage, becuase (unlike Vietnam) only a relatively small percentage of the population has been asked to make any sacrifice at all.

It appears that Charlie Rangel has a real point in advocating for a return of the draft.

My generation knew that the dead end of Vietnam might well have marked our demise, and so they resisted.

If more U.S. citizens had a stake in this exercise in adventurism now being conducted by the "decider", there would be more protest.

Regards,

David

lina

Some people are outraged:

"How can you talk about bombing a country when you won't even talk to them?It's outrageous. We're the United States of America; we don't do that."

Gen. Wesley Clark

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/dc-notes-wes-clark-is-_b_37837.html

SusanUnPC

It's gratifying to watch television that teaches and illuminates. I "DVR" Newshour every night in the hope that such conversations will take place.

That four-letter word Iran hung over the conversation like a black cloud. (Judy Woodruff will have to have you back to talk more about Iran ... does she know about your article last spring in the National Interest?)

Arbogast, I know so many people who are outraged but we all seem to share, what is it, a sense of futility? The polls (only 11% of Americans favor troop increases - CNN), the November election, etc. are strong indicators. But The Decider -- and all who are outraged know this -- ignores all that. He doesn't, he can't, listen. And the outraged are left with the crazy-making feeling that nobody hears them, and that nobody is home.

Will

the realaudio available for download on the site is the best. our resident pundit just clearly outpundits the other pundits.

tons15

Colonel Lang,
Sir, I am puzzled that in all this commentary about the imminent 'conflict' with Iran (this would be the third simultaneous military front in Asia) not one voice is raised in consideration of what China and Russia would do if the US plunges into this undertaking. Are they just sitting on the sidelines and watch US dig themselves ever deeper into a hole? China has a lot to lose if US falters economically under the burden of 3 wars and the whole world would suffer an economic depression, not to talk about the unforseen casualities in human lives.
I also was glad to see you yesterday on the PBS Newshour.

Babak Makkinejad

I am not sure I agree with this hunch shared by most posters in this forum that US is planning for a war against Iran now.

First of all, I think US has been planning for a war with Iran for years if not decades (since 1979). There is nothing new in this.

I also think that the Iranian government has also been planning for a defensive war against US - sort of like Yugoslavia's planning against the Red Army.

I am not presently very concerned about the immediacy of a US attack for the following rational considerations.

I do not believe that there is a political consensus in US for a war against Iran – not among the population and not in US Congress.

I further do not find any sense in starting another war when one is fighting 2 wars that are not going so well.

Furthermore, I have not yet seen the President of the United States making a compelling case for war against Iran. He has not made that case yet – not to US citizens, not to US Congress, not to US allies. I personally doubt that he could (or would); it would be difficult enough - under the circumstances - to make a case for Iraq to the people of the United States let alone for a new war with Iran.

The diplomatic process in UN is not exhausted yet. I suspect that the Iranian Government will reach a certain level of technical expertise in uranium enrichment, declare victory, and resumes negotiations.

On this I would also like to state my personal opinion that these negotiations, if their aim is to roll-back the Iranian nuclear capability, will fail again - and we will be back at UN some time late in 2007 or early in 2008.

Now unless Iran attacks US assets, or exits NPT, I do not see a cause belli that US could use as a pre-text for war.

There is a more benign (only in as much as it is not war) interpretation of this: US is basically trying to put into place the pieces needed for the containment of the Iranian power, the reassurance of various (despotic) governments of the Persian Gulf, and warning to all that in spite of Iraq, US is here (Persian Gulf) to stay.

This will give US the option of going to war against Iran in some future time - if she believe that to be in her national interest. ( I personally do not believe so but I am not elected by the People of the United States to advance their interests either.)

Again, these are rational considerations. But if some one has got his heart set on war regardless of the consequences – the consequences of which others in this forum have already elaborated - then all bets are off.

I would like to end this past by two personal observations:

Reading history, I am often struck by leaders who went to war with little planning or understanding for the ensuing peace that inevitably follows that war.

I find it ironic that US and the American people are aiming to protect despotic governments whose citizenry celebrated 9/11 attacks on US and are currently paying money to support Sunni insurgents in Iraq to kill more Americans there.
.

Mike

Pat, you think at a very high intellectual level which makes your conclusions too subtle for the general public that does not listen closely.

You made important points on the Newshour, but they were too subtle. When you get on these programs, you must keep your answers simple, you must not leave the conclusion up to the listener (you must state the obvious conclusion), and then you must find a way of saying the same thing over again.

Yes, you are too subtle which is another way of saying that we do not think.

Different Clue

I second Susan UnPC's comment. Experimental animal psychologists call it
"learned helplessness". Fatalistic Resignation has been carefully instilled into most of us. As to Mr. Solomon's suggestion of restoring the Draft, I suspect the Buscists are holding off on that till they have their Private Mercenary Contractor armies ready stateside to impose Martial Law, open up and activate their network of Concentration Bible Camps, etc. If Rangel really thinks that restoring the Draft will restore the era of 60's Protest, Rangel is sadly mistaken. The Buscists will have any number of Buffalo Jumps prepared for neo-60's protesters, once the Buscists decide to provoke the neo-60's protesters into
motion.

If we are not to give in to resigned despair, we need
to think of effective methods to actually and genuinely undermine and deflect the current drive to
attack Iran. I would hope all the commenters here would start offering genuine
ideas genuinely intended to have a real effect. And maybe they could offer their
reasons as to why their suggested courses of action might work. Nothing can be tried if it isn't even thought of or known about.

So here are a couple of ideas that have occured to me. And they are just suggestions, to be discarded
out of hand if they seem obviously silly to everyone else. Remember how in the last thread someone scenario-ized about how an American attack on Iran would lead to a Great Depression for America, among other things? Well, if attacking Iran is going to plunge us into a Great Depression anyway, why not plunge ourselves into a Great Depression FIRST, beFORE the Buscist regime can launch its attack? If a
Black Friday Crash type of event would 'seize-up' America's ability to actually logistically support an attack, then the attack might be pre-aborted.
How many anti-Buscists would
have to Just Stop Shopping in order to Just Stop The Economy? Look..if attacking
Iran is going to precipitate
a Great Depression anyway, why not self-precipitate our
own Great Depression now in order to NOT attack Iran, and NOT have all those other
bad things happen too? Considering the death and hardship past generations of
patriots endured for a Free America, should the patriots
of today be ready to endure the short-of-death discomfort and hardships of a Great Depression in order to keep America free?

On a less desperate note,isn't there an item in our Constitution empowering our Congress to relieve the President and Vice President
of their Office if the Congress determines them to be unfit for that Office? If it were done Constitutionally, wouldn't the Armed Forces obey their Oath To Defend the Constitution from All Enemies Foreign AND DOMESTIC
seriously? And remove the President and Vice President? And who in Congress could make it unanimous enough to prevent the Rovians from calling it Democratic partisanship? Certain senior credible Republicans, that's who. Like Lugar, Hagel, etc. We
should write them letters asking them to organize this
removal before it is too late for America.

arbogast

I come to the same endpoint every time I think about American politics:

Jim Webb for President

He's outraged, and he's a United States Senator. God bless him.

W. Patrick Lang

Mike

This as low as I go. I am already explaining this for 12 year olds. If people can't "get it," they don't deserve a republic. pl

pbrownlee

If the Iran adventure happens in any form, I imagine Russia and China will continue to wait in public and make mischief in private. Who wouldn't?

But what will Britain do? And the rest of Europe? And Turkey? Oh - and Australia and Canada?

PS In our global village, we saw the Newshour discussion in Sydney Australia about 17 hours ago. Glad to see you back.

Will

Oh Babak, you certainly cannot be called a Cassandra-the mythical prophetress (nabi) that foretold the ruin of ancient Troy.

The Great Decider & Great Pumphead have Iran in their sights. It may be as simple as retaliation to Iran defending itself against an Israeli nuclear first strike. Yes they would use nukes against someone else's imaginary nukes. And when it comes to Israel, the brainwashed American public needs no convincing- 13 Senators, 30 Congressman Jewish to start with + the Xtian Zionists- existential threat and all that bullcrap.

The Persian Impudence (how dare they defend themselves?) striking in self-defense at brave little Israel, our wonderful nuclear armed ally?

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21023452-1702,00.html
"Israel 'has plans for Iran nuke strike'

January 07, 2007 10:32am
Article from: Reuters


ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said.

Citing what it said were several Israeli military sources, the paper said two Israeli air force squadrons had been training to blow up an enrichment plant in Natanz using low-yield nuclear "bunker busters".

Two other sites, a heavy water plant at Arak and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, would be targeted with conventional bombs, the Sunday Times said.
"

IH

Mike, I think you underestimate the regular NewsHour viewers' intelligence.

Pat, it was good to see you back there!

Babak Makkinejad

Will:

If Isarel uses a nuclear weapon - against any adversary - it would be the last act of that state.

zanzibar

Unfortunately, this NewsHour segment was too short and did not allow a more in-depth conversation.

What has struck me about all the personnel changes to support the new policy is that this Administration and particularly Cheney want to always "fix" the facts to fit the policy. Its like a leopard can't change its spots. The same approach, the same method. Nothing learned from the last time. They wanted to invade Iraq so bad they were willing to go to such an extent to mislead. Now they have tribal warfare and Iran in the catbirds seat in Iraq. So what do they do? Exactly the same thing as before. This is beyond faith and incompetence and really smacks of hubris. The real question are the American people and their elected representatives and the corporate media going to be conned again?

VietnamVet

Commenting on Sic Semper Tyrannis has a strange power, knowing your words are read by a knowledgeable pundit who appears on NewsHour and other commentators of equal insight.

The Surge of troops in itself is not significant. 20,000 troops will not quell the violence in Baghdad. It does echo of General Westmoreland’s demand for 200,000 more troops in February 1968 and the realization that both wars could not be won by military means.

The troops one and only purpose is to avoid President Bush being labeled a Loser.

The problem is that the troops won’t line the road to Baghdad International Airport. They will attack the Mahdi Militia for a third time. As the IDF discovered in Southern Lebanon, a determined militia will turn Sadr City into a rubble Hell. Unless sanity somehow returns to Washington, DC, Hell will keep spreading.

anna missed

PL
As mentioned above, good of you to draw in the bigger picture (RE the appointments) concerning Iran. I guess if no one takes the iniative, the conversation never goes anywhere. So thanks.

And on another note, how many explicit threats does Israel have to make on bombing Iran -- to equal the metaphoric and illusive admonishments made by
Ahmadinejad? Or for someone to notice?

Tuli

Dear Col.:

You said:

Mike
This as low as I go. I am already explaining this for 12 year olds. If people can't "get it," they don't deserve a republic. pl
Posted by: W. Patrick Lang | 06 January 2007 at 05:27 PM

Perhaps, you should do the “Rove” thing and gear your “talking points” to the 10 year old mind?

I am afraid that you may have overestimated the audience.

That said, for all of the 13 year olds out there, thank you for the overestimation.

Tuli

Dear Col.:

You said:

Mike
This as low as I go. I am already explaining this for 12 year olds. If people can't "get it," they don't deserve a republic. pl
Posted by: W. Patrick Lang | 06 January 2007 at 05:27 PM

Perhaps, you should do the “Rove” thing and gear your “talking points” to the 10 year old mind?

I am afraid that you may have overestimated the audience.

That said, for all of the 13 year olds out there, thank you for the overestimation.

taters

Dear Col Lang,
As excellent as your writing is, you manage to even to bump it up another notch in person, whether audio or video. Well done and thank for sharing this.

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