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09 August 2007

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Binh

If the neocons are the Jacobins, who among them is The Incorruptible? Wolfowitz? Bush? Cheney?

J

Colonel,

what are we a nation to do, when a foreign govt. through their agent (aipac) has our congress by their gonads and threatens any congress person who gets out of line (veers off their aipac line) or decides to act on behalf of america instead of israel, the foreign govt. through their agent proceeds to casterate /neuter any member of congress who dares stand up to their aipac/foreign govt. lunacy?

we are a nation being held hostage by foreign govt. store fronts called 'think tanks' - aei (aipac), literally.

while the public may not be log rolled, what to do with a congress who willingly allows a foreign govt. to roll them literally?

Montag

Here are some illuminating quotations from our Presidents along those lines:

"It is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them."
--William Henry Harrison

"We can never be too tardy to begin the work of blood...But it is a bad mode of settling disputes to make soldiers your ambassadors, and to point to the halter and the gallows as your ultimatum."
--John Tyler, 1841

"I am one of those who believe that a man may sin and do wrong, and after that may do right. If all of us who have sinned were put to death...there would not be many of us left."
--Andrew Johnson, 1866

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."
--Benjamin Harrison

"People want peace so much that governments had better get out of their way and let them have it."--Dwight David Eisenhower, 1960

kim

too late. only way the people are going to hear you now is if/when you get on the presidential campaign trail.

Sidney O. Smith III

Haaretz reports the following exchange b/t a reporter and David Welch -- Ass’t Sec. of State:

Q: Roula Ayoubi, BBC Arabic. The Iranian President said in Syria, like a month ago, that it will be a very hot summer?

A/S Welch: Well, he is the source of the heat so ? absolutely. You know, there is the cook turning up the gas.

Q: Will you send them some air conditioning?

A/S Welch: We intend to blow out the flame.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=865078

VietnamVet

Besides Iraq and Afghanistan where actual hot wars are underway; other battles are currently underway that will determine the length of the Middle East occupation and rapprochement with Iran.

First, is the battle of Reality against Corporate Media and Washington Insiders. Corporate Leaders and the Pundits joined the True Believers in their crusade against Islam after being scared witless by 9/11. But now, they are loath to admit that the Executive Branch is delusional. More importantly, they can't acknowledge that with privatization, deregulation and tax cuts American infrastructure is collapsing into the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Minneapolis, or that the financial markets are in extreme boom burst cycles from the excesses of Paul Allen's Submarine Yacht to collapsing security markets.

A pull back is inevitable but this time the blame cannot be placed on hippies or the media. Like Vietnam, the US is fighting a war of occupation that it cannot win with inadequate number of troops and political goals that are counter the aspirations of the occupied country. The only question is the length of the occupation and outcome of the battles occurring in the USA.

Jack Kemp

Attempts at diplomacy with Iran always seem to be timed with aerial assaults and accusations of armor penetrating IEDs supplied directly from Iran. An opposing conjecture is that such enhanced IEDs can be assembled in Iraq, using oil industry machinery already present in Iraq. What's the real story?

Jim Schmidt

Fantasy is right. I just don't understand the threat.

The Norman Podhoretz comment equating Hitler to Ahmadinejad is just plain silly. Iran's president is more a ceremonial frontman for the religious political forces and far less a solitary figure of absolute, dictatorial power. Munich has lessons, but none apply here.

Iran is rationing gasoline and -- according to some recent reports -- facing a decline in their oil reserves and the ability to extract and export oil, due to aging infrastructure. As a result, Iran, economically, is in decline. Wars cost money. Do they plan to borrow from the Chinese to make mischief? Who gets the "profit"?

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/08/opinion/edstern.php

As for Iran's military capability, I remember seeing a news report of an Iranian military exercise conducted several months ago where some hapless character was bouncing around on the back of a moving motorcycle attempting to aim and fire an RPG. A guy hanging on the back of a "Honda 50" makes for a good circus act but hardly constitutes regional threat.

Nukes? Iran says they aren't planning to build one. No need to trust them, but what proof do we have that they are? Another "slam dunk?

Besides, enriching uranium is one thing, but building, testing, weaponizing, transporting and reliably detonating a bomb over a target is a much larger problem. Hard to hide.

As for interferance in Iraq, where's the beef? A recent report in the WaPO and other studies show that many of the suicide bombers are Saudi, not Iranian. No serious person is promoting attacking our dear friends the Saudis, so why Iran?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/14/AR2005051401270.html

Somebody(s) have an itch they just can't scratch, but to attack another state, again without cause, with all the unintended consequence, is truly fantastical. I don't have idea what Iran's "game" is in the region, but we are the 800 pound gorilla. Cue Major T. J. "King" Kong.

Question is, will the drugs kick in in time and return our delusional elite back to the world of reality, before they launch another foolish adventure?

Mad Dogs

These are the very same folks who have been consistently wrong about Iraq policy and again take center stage courtesy of the ever supplicant MSM as ususal, to be consistenly wrong about Iran policy.

I guess this must come to pass as our glorious new National Security Policy on Iran as evidenced by the shared mutterings and incantations of Kristol and Podhertz then showing up coming out of the mouths of Deadeye and Junya.

Silly me! Who but a fool would listen to another fool.

johnf

>the financial markets are in extreme boom burst cycles from the excesses of Paul Allen's Submarine Yacht to collapsing security markets.

As a matter of interest, how long will the US/UK manage to sustain their lunatic delusions in the Middle East if there is a financial collapse?

geos

for some reason this line in the article stands out for me:

...ousting the government by missile strikes and special forces operations...

I'm trying to imagine the conversation where someone said this, was there laughter because it was such a foolish idea that you couldn't imagine hearing such a serious person say it, or did you, hearing this, just nod sagely.

JohnH

The underlying script--

US: Give us your oil and natural gas.

Carrot: an all-expense-paid retirement package.

Stick: We'll bomb you into the stone age (except for your energy assets).

Now who wouldn't respond to such persuasive carrots and sticks?

Answer: leaders who don't want to be remembered for eternity for having surrendered their nation's wealth.

Babak Makkinejad

Jim Schmidt:

I think that the "delusional elite" has bigger fish to fry than just Iran. To wit: notice the post Cold War attempt at reducing Russian influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the strengthening of Taiwan, increasing the Japanese military spending, the attempt at strategic engagement with India etc.

I think also that these "delusional elites" are unwilling or unable to pay the price of their policy perscriptions - in blood or in treasure. So they fall back on promises that cannot be kept - Libya did not get what she expected, ditto for Russia under Yelstin, and likewise now for India.

wasabi

Yesterday's NYTimes had an article again blaming the Iranians for importing armor penetrating IEDs. However, the AP reported in early April that the American forces had found a factory in Diwaniya that made the EFP's. http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2007/04/06/iraqi_us_forces_sweep_through_iraqi_city/

Before the war the Iraqis were so technologically advanced that they could send drones over our airspace to poison us all, and now they are just too incompetent to be able to make a bomb that has been in existance for several years.
Listening to Lou Dobbs last night was a treat. He basically called President Bush a wuss if he doesn't take action directly to stop this nonsense.
Is this all bluster or are they just crazy enough to do something?

Montag

There's a marvelous take on this Know-Nothing intransigent mentality by John Baxter in his book, "Science Fiction In The Cinema," where he dissects the 1951 fright movie, "The Thing From Another World". Most of you no doubt remember it--a flying saucer crashes near an Arctic base and the alien goes on a rampage until killed by pluck and luck. Because it was produced (and probably directed) by Howard Hawks, it's a real man's picture. Baxter tears it to shreds with great relish:

"Typically for Hawks the characters quickly separate themselves into professionals and dreamers. The airman, the reporter he takes with him and some of his crew are professionals; the scientists, and especially their leader, are dreamers. Hawks's contempt for the former comes out clearly in the various exchanges at the base, science and scientists generally shown as being incapable of adjusting to the real world. The fact that [the airman, actor Kenneth] Tobey is almost always wrong in his decisions does not prevent him from emerging as the most favourable character. Even a wrong tough guy is better than no tough guy at all..."

That last sentence would make a pretty good epitaph for Dick Cheney's tombstone--if he doesn't shoot Death in a "hunting accident."

walrus

I think only now, Americans are starting to realise what is in store for them until they "straighten up and fly right", but it is still only a very dim perception.

My perceptions are from about six thousand miles away, so I see things as a totality - the wider view, untroubled by stories of bridge collapses and coal mine cave ins.

On the economic front, you cannot preach "globalisation" and "free trade" while at the same time enforcing conservative prudential controls on your own financial markets, pursuing conservative and responsible Government budgetting and domestic economic policies and putting your money where your mouth is on "Free Trade". Bush's scorecard on all these matters is precisely zero, as the American economy is, sadly, about to demonstrate.

On the domestic front, the regressive policies on education, Health care, Law enforcement and Justice are going to exacerbate the damage caused by the fallout from the coming economic meltdown. For example - America's new bankruptcy laws are going to create a new class of indentured serfs unless they are altered.

On the political front, Congress is neutered because they serve the needs of their sponsors, not the electorate, and the sponsors have very different needs from the average American, to wit, the sponsors require perpetual war, access to energy supplies and the suppression of Islamic states.

On the military front, Iraq is effectively "unwinnable" in the conventional understanding of the Iraqis throwing rose petals as we leave and thanking us for coming.

The endgame is just starting. The economy is going to go into recession, perhaps followed by depression. No plans have been made to deal with the millions of homeless and jobless, except for the creation of a savage justice system to repress them further.

If we attack Iran, my guess is that oil prices will give the coup de grace to the American economy, and I also believe we risk losing all our troops and materiel in Iraq. We have about 300,000 there. Iraq is 26 million people, Iran is bigger. If they arc up and our (fragile) force protection defences crack, we could lose the lot.

The most telling news item I've seen today is a report (as yet unconfirmed) that the Head of Bear Sterns is planning to go cap in hand to CHINA to ask for investment in his firm.

Question: What do you think the Chinese will say?

What do you think think they will ask for as a condition of investment?

taters

Chest thumping is the carrot - we know what the stick is.
We should be seeing pictures of those that are beating the drums of war in Iran at our local post office identifying them with the other undesirables.
Nothing like playing checkers when the game is chess.
With apologies to JohnM - I didn't see your analogy
upstream.

GSD

I am sure that Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan and Bonzo Bolton are whipsering sweet nothings into Cheney's ear.

"The Iranians are weak, ready to collapse, one major strike and the Shah's old guard will rise up and take Iran back to the glory days of the 60's. We have inside information, a well placed dissident named Highball."

-GSD

Steve

President seems upset at the possible words of Mr. Maliki to Iran. President Bush speaking at a press conference today before his long deserved vaction said...

“Now, if the signal is that Iran is constructive, I will have to have a heart to heart with my friend, the prime minister,” Mr. Bush said of Mr. Maliki. “Because I don’t believe they are constructive. I don’t think he, in his heart of heart, think they’re constructive either.”

Colonel, will the President school Mr. Maliki on how he should feel in his heart of hearts regarding a member of the "Axis of Evil," and perhaps have films of Diem sent to Iraq? I'm interested in everything you have to say about the Iran/Iraq angle.

IMHO opinion, President Bush's foreign policy is bankrupt. He is running out of time, and Iran is just getting up to speed.

DanaJ

Jack Kemp said: "An opposing conjecture is that such enhanced IEDs can be assembled in Iraq, using oil industry machinery already present in Iraq. What's the real story?"
Give me an old lathe, 5 lbs of copper, an old oxygen tank and I could make you an IED in about an hour that would take a hummer. Hell , I bet they don't even need the lathe, a hacksaw & ball peen hammer would do. The Iraqis have thousands of artillery shells that we LET them pillage from the old army bases just after the "liberation". So, yeah, the IED's are all home made, they don't have to import them from Iran. That whole story is BS from the get go. What would be the point from the Iranian side anyway? As for buying the raw materials, didn't you read about the theft from a bank in Baghdad a few weeks ago of over $200 MILLION? That will go a long way to funding the resistance, or insurgency if that is what you want to call it.

Homer

Back in May 2007, Wright was obviously assigned to re-kindle the anti-Iranian sentiment felt by some Americans in the 1980s when men from Hizbollah took hostages and then made demands in order to secure the release of the Kuwait 17 who had suicide bombed the US and the French Embassies. (NB: 12 were Iraqis in the al-Dawa party of Al-Maliki)

In at least two articles (below), Wright exploited the horrible and unfortunate capturing and imprisoning of Dr Esfandiari by labelling her as a “hostage”.

The problem with Wright’s use of “hostage” is that the Iranian government has never made any demands to secure Dr Esfandiari's release.

Without making any demands, Dr Esfandiari is NOT a hostage.

Can it be that Wright does not know what a hostage is?

Did she not know that her article would make things far worse for Dr Esfandiari ?

Did she even ask Dr Esfandiari's family if they would mind if she could be the pitiful goat to slaughtered for the sake of the Neocons?

NB: In the second article below "Hostage" is emblazoned in the headline BUT then never again taken up.

"A New Iranian Hostage Crisis" is just enough to plant the seed of anti-Iranian sentiment in a busy American's mind.

Shame on Wright!!

Tehran Jails Iranian American Scholar After Long House Arrest, May 9, 2007, WaPo

Esfandiari is one of three “soft hostages,” all dual U.S.-Iranian nationals, whose passports have been confiscated by the Iranian government, rendering them unable to leave the country.

A New Iranian Hostage Crisis Tehran Calls Scholar Esfandiari a ‘Velvet’ Revolutionary, May 23, 2007, WaPo

Esfandiari is a most unlikely hostage.

[Keywords: Robin Wright, Fanny Esfandiari, Iranian hostage Crisis, Khomeini, Kuwait 17, 1983 bombings of the American and French embassies, Dawa prisoners, Poindexter, Charles Dunbar, Ed Meese, Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, arms-for-hostages dealings, Hezbollah in Lebanon]

jonst

Anybody concerned (I mean even more than normal)by Bush's manner and syntax yesterday? Depressed and bizarre to me. Anyway, i'm thinking the fix is in...Iran is going to be hit. Its inevitable. I believe, sadly, that zbig Brzezinski will be proven correct. He is going to use failure to achieve 'success' in Iraq as a reason to attack Iran. On that note PL I heard an interview on Ian Master's show. It was a reporter that has been in Iraq for two years or so. Named David Enders. Anyway, in the course of the interview he stated that 'all most all' of the supplies for the our forces in Iraq we're being flown in. Do you buy that? I don't.

jonst

He is completely wrong. pl

Homer

pl: Don't be rolled.

Speaking of rolling, Al-Maliki Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were just rolling up and enjoying a fatty in Iran.

Bush says he might have to have a "heart-to-heart" talk with al-Maliki whose organization, viz. al-Dawa (founded in 1957/58), has had a brotherly relationship with Iran for well over two decades.

One word comes to mind: Expulsion!!!

Bush thinks al-Maliki is going stab Iranians in the back so that they can kiss each other on the cheek and walk hand in hand around Bush's (fake, made for TV) ranch in Crawford?

ROTFLAMOL!!

ked

Yes, jonst, I too noted Bush's demeanor in the press conference and was taken aback. It cannot be explained by Lyme's Disease alone. He was semi-coherent at best, only focusing when he could work up a major harangue or engage in insipid jockularity with the sycophants among the WH press corps. His statement on the economy at Treasury the previous day was similar, but without the laughs.

My read is that this man is under unrelenting & overpowering pressure, is very unhappy, doesn't enjoy any part of his job and is mad at the world. I hope & pray he isn't so mad that he desires more war.

Completely seperate from politics & policy, I wouldn't want to work for him, or even be around him. I wouldn't want him directing the fate of my loved ones. I wouldn't trust him with the fate of a great nation. We are experiencing extraordinary risk.

Montag

Bush has been psychoanalyzed as being the typical "dry drunk." Although he's stopped drinking he's never addressed the root cause of the drinking--insecurity, etc. by actually going through a professional program. One indicator of this is his habit of giving subordinates nicknames, to demonstrate that he's the Alpha male. Another was that ridiculous Commander-in-Chief uniform that he was stupid enough to wear for a time.

There's a periodic web report called, "Inside The White House," by an anonymous informant pretending at least to be on the inside. I read it purely for entertainment, certainly not for its informational value. But the "informant" has come up with his own nickname for the Bush White House--"the Monkey Palace." This brings to mind the Sultans or whatnot who would build small palaces as menageries for their colony of monkeys, in which the monkeys could caper to their heart's content--without in any way affecting government policy.

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