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02 February 2007


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And the inspiration for Bush and Cheney's intransigence and willingness to thumb their nose at Congress and the American people?

Three guesses and the first two don't count.

The Great Communicator. Ronald Reagan.

This is all about Cheney, in particular, wanting to wear the mantle of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan is their hero. He stood tall. Ignored the critics. A leader. Knocked off the Soviet Union.

"International Terrorism" is the new Soviet Union. The new Red Menace. The new Empire of Evil. Check that, Axis of Evil.

Ronald Reagan, 1982:

We're approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention -- totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy's enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not at all fragile flower. From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than thirty years to establish their legitimacy. But none -- not one regime -- has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

Sound familiar? It should. It's the inspiration of Cheney and Bush. Their guiding light.

Will they bomb Iran? What a question! Of course they'll bomb Iran. Almost undoubtedly with nuclear weapons.

Makes the Southern Hemisphere look better and better, doesn't it?


The domestic information operations are in full swing preparing the public for such an attack on Iran with the Decider, his "rasputin" and now Gates and other "political appointees" manning battle stations in the propaganda effort against Iran. Maybe the "surge" was a diversionary tactic to keep Congress occupied debating "binding" and "non-binding" resolutions while the Decider has tasked the military to come up with air attack plans.

It seems even if the Congress passes legislation explicitly prohibiting an attack on Iran the Decider would order an attack and the military would carry it out.

So all we can do is fasten seat belts for the bumpy ride into a state of anarchy not only in the Middle East but in the US.


Worst mistake that can possibly be made.


God I hate that Bumper Sticker Salesman


Thanks for the links. I do wonder, though, whether you don't confuse 2006/7 with 2002/3. It took a little doing to get all the ducks lined up for the Decider when he determined we were taking Saddam out, and that was with absolutely everything politically going his way. I grant, perhaps I am too hopeful, but I was a determined fatalist then about the inevitability of our little Iraqi adventure. This one simply feels different, though I am both admittedly inexpert and hardly 'wired'. What am I missing?

As for, "[o]f course they'll bomb Iran. Almost undoubtedly with nuclear weapons." You don't actually believe that, do you? Aside from being almost unimaginably bad for everyone in the world, that would also spell the ignominious demise of the GOP. Even the Decider might not want that.


bon retour, monsieur deveraux.


arbogast, your thoughts on the inspirational source are on target. Those in the Cheney/Bush camp confuse what Reagan said with what he did. Reagan did not win the Cold War. He ended it. As did Eisenhower regarding Korea. The ideologues in power and commercial interests they represent cannot get past that, so here we go . . .


Just for everyone's information, Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, if not the most beautiful. Half the population of France and five times the land area.

The effect of radioactive fallout in the Northern Hemisphere will be considerably lessened by the time it reaches Argentina.

And I am under the impression that Argentine real estate is fairly reasonable.

One must learn Spanish. Not insurmontable.

W. Patrick Lang


"[o]f course they'll bomb Iran. Almost undoubtedly with nuclear weapons."

I don't see that in the article and you would have to point out the location for me. pl


Ron Paul was speculating that a Gulf of Tonkin type incident might be in the offing.
Apparently nothing in history suggests Iranians might invade another country which suggests he's as unburdened by a fact based mind set as most of Congress.

Still if Bush puts three carrier groups in the Persian Gulf that will look like strategic commitment. We've also got six minesweepers in the Gulf suggesting some nervousness about the Strait of Hormuz; the narrow exit of an already crowded pond.

This may make even the Machiavellian Mullahs jittery. The martyrdom opportunities for swarming Basiji speed boats may just be too tempting.

The Nimitz ain't headed to join the 5th fleet... just yet.

I doubt that's the plan. Bush does not do plans. The Decider casts the dice boldly. Then gets Rove to cover up the resulting bloody mess.

I'm still not sure if the "Surge" isn't one huge blame shifting operation. An effort to convince folk in the Red States that it's wrong headed rag heads that have screwed the pooch rather than the GOP.

Meanwhile back in the real world the Pakistanis are blatantly shoving their Taliban pawns towards Kabul. Secure basing, more shiny new matériel than you can shake a stick at and heaps of Saudi cash; what more could an Islamo-Fascist insurgent want? A deranged nuke happy sugar daddy would be nice. Makes the Qods Force efforts in Iraq look like the Peace Corps.



Is this being fueled by Cheney or Bush? If Cheney were to resign or be impeached, would the course of this change at all or is this Bush's intention? no matter what?

Dave of Maryland

I still don't understand what's to stop the Iranians from sinking the US Navy outright. Aircraft carriers are as fragile as they are powerful. If their planes are within rage of Iranian targets, the carriers themselves are within rage of Iranian missiles. Ships in the Persian Gulf are virtually line-of-sight targets.

Or is the sinking of the American Navy to be the excuse for an ICBM attack? That makes even less sense.

Serving Patriot

John and arbogast,

Of course, Reagan (and his underlings) were more than happy to "deal" with Iran despite Beruit '83. And in a covert, illegal way! All the luminaries (and felons) from that mis-begotten adventure find themselves directing actions today or whipping up the masses through their punditry. Goes to show that pardons do not prevent recidivism.

All cowboys, no hats.


As for carrying out a nuclear attack on Iran, I'm not as confident as the Colonel that the military will simply follow that order. Even if there are plenty of "true believers" and politicos in uniform (and high rank), the order still has to be carried out by those mid-grade officers who are dismayed, disgusted, and distrustful of their seniors.
It would be an order that I could not follow.

W. Patrick Lang


"a nuclear attack on Iran." Where did I say that? Perhaps memory has failed me. pl


Col. Lang

That is a quote from arbogast -- see the second to last sentence of his post.


Using a nuclear bunker buster has been mentioned in other media. The nuclear bunker buster is called B61-11 I believe? For obvious reasons any such first use would also carry a heavy political price. It was included as a reserve option in the old CONPLAN 8022 developed by Stratcom in 04?

John Shreffler


I wouldn't necessarily focus on just the Nimitz for the 3rd carrier. A spokesman for the Reagan was very coyly alluding to how carriers go where they're needed and are very mobile, as the Reagan deployed with its full entourage, ostensibly for Japan to cover the Kitty Hawk as she has yearly maintenance. Something smells fishy to me about this. Reagan did a full JTF drill with Stennis just last November with attendant PR suggesting that they might have something permanent in mind for the 2 carriers. But if PL is right about Stratcom maybe it's going to be about heavy bombers anyhow. Anyhow, the war drums have sped up tempo in the last 2 weeks alarmingly. Something's up.


Colonel: If Congress were to pass a resolution forbidding an attack on Iran without express approval of Congress, would the military still go forward, or would that be enough for such an order to be considered illegal?

Tragic, isn't it, that our only apparent chance to avoid this mother of all fiascos would be for the military to refuse to follow orders.

Serving Patriot


I was not attributing the "nuke attack on Iran" to you - and apologize if it was taken that way.

I agree with your broader premise that the military WILL follow orders handed down by the Decider/VP thru Secdef - even those orders that violate the collective "best advice" given by the uniformed grey-beards during their formulation. Heck, they've acquiesed to a "surge" that none of them belive can possibly work.

Yet, a STRATCOM directed nuclear attack on Iran is a bridge too far for the uniformed military. The existing authorities & processes given to the President & Secdef that go back to our hair-trigger, "launch on warning" era simply do not apply in this case. When it comes to a nation like Iran (who lacks any direct attack capability upon the American homeland much less an annihilation capability like the Russians have), I cannot see how the sole order by the CinC to use of these weapons would be legal. Not even the most expansive reading of either Congressional authorization to use military force (2001 & 2002) could make use of nuclear weapons against Iran legal. I think Sy Hersch's reporting from last spring was the national security profesionals (uniformed & civilian) attempt to pre-emption and restrain the politicians from using nukes. Even replaying the 2002-03 hysteria campaign and ongoing psy-ops against the American people to whip up anti-Iran outrage and war fever will not be enough to get the guys with the keys to turn them.

At least I hope so, because Congress' work to restrain the President is too slow, too little, and probably too late.


Got A Watch

Given the inherent ability of the neo-cons to not recognise the negative outcomes stemming from their own actions, an attack on Iran is clearly within their grasp. When things go wrong, and it is almost certain that they will, it's always someones else's fault - never theirs.

IMHO the Bushies will keep Israel out of the attacks to place the "fig leaf" that this action is not driven by pro-Israel motives. The Iranians will not believe this fiction, and their retaliation will include Israel, both directly and via Hizbullah Lebanon. The resulting retaliations from all sides will almost certainly draw surrounding nations in.

Given the results of the Israel/Hizbullah action of last summer, the Iranians are likely well aware of US capabilities and how the attack would be conducted. Certainly there is plenty of information on the internet to draw from. Iranian retaliation could be much more creative than American/Israeli war planners give them credit for, leading to a vastly increased level of violence in the Middle East lasting for years or decades. Pro-American regimes will be weakened, if not swept away entirely.

For the Bushies, this is simply another opportunity to score an "own goal" on a vastly larger scale. Given their past performance, you can pretty much assume the final outcomes will be much worse than anything the "Master Planners" can conceive of beforehand. Cleaning up the damage will take generations, but of course Bush/Cheney won't care, at that point being long out of office. The only upside is this would mean the end of the neo-cons who will have zero credibility left, down from the 1% they have now.

Zbigniew Brzezinski has it right, "that would be "an act of political folly" so severe that "the era of American preponderance could come to a premature end." If not civilization itself.

Got A Watch

" Iraq in the strategic context
Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
By Zbigniew Brzezinski, United States Senate, February 1, 2007

It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities:

1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability.
2. Only a political strategy that is historically relevant rather than reminiscent of colonial tutelage can provide the needed framework for a tolerable resolution of both the war in Iraq and the intensifying regional tensions.

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."

Read the whole of his testimony at:

He has summed up the situation succintly - but the Bushistas have both hands over their ears.


wpl, my apologies for being unclear. As rc100 notes, my second paragraph responds not to your post, but to arbogast's comment.


Colonel Lang:

I will read the VF article with interest this afternoon.

Could you re-post the name of the Italian and the link to same, who so inspired Bomber Harris and Curtis Lemay. I was reading it several months back; now I can't find it.


Green Zone Cafe


Do you think the US can hold on in Iraq (and Afghanistan) with the current force structure, if the Iranians take off the gloves and wage full-scale unconventional warfare with their proxies, direct action missions with IRGC special operations, and fire their intermediate range missiles into US compounds in Iraq?

This is a matter of personal concern to me.

W. Patrick Lang


Giulio Douhet. THere is a WIKI article on him. pl

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