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08 September 2007

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Steve

It is absolutely stunning to me that the US political powers can pull the same trickery twice in a relatively short period of time and, unfortunately, be successful.

Who would have thought, say, two years ago when the evidence of fudged Iraq intelligence and outright lies was common knowledge, that the administration would pull the same stunts again?

It's simply amazing.

One lesson that I gather from all of this is the absolute and total power of the executive branch in the absence of a legislative branch unwilling or fearful to exercise its constitutional duties. No checks or balances.

J

Colonel,

just as the 'GWOT', those who are the movers and shakers behind the push for a strike on Iran, stand to gain BIG $$$ if their war plans succeed. if it isn't putting shorts on the markets, its their greasing of palms under the tables. the American citizenry/taxpayers are being used and abused as cash cows for their fake 'GWOT' campaigns and their killing fields.

the poor blokes don't realize that they can't take their ill gotten gains to their graves. and its is up to we the living to make sure that those blokes pay for their crimes here among the world of the walking, and are forced to give back their ill gotten gains.
-------------------------------------
"Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold, and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children....This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953

frank durkee

Thank you col. This supports my intuition when the reports on the IEAE's comments on the Iranians first came out. "Facts" are difficult enought to uncover at any time in a time of an administration which eschews nuance and contingency for deciveness, and marketing for defence of policy it is virtually impossible. they are beyond "spin" and into pure BS.

Happy Jack

As ElBaradei has observed the present gathering campaign against the credibility of the IAEA by the flatheads and Bushies is remarkably reminiscent of the way the same people treated Baradei and the IAEA before the '03 intervention in Iraq.

He should consider himself lucky. At least he hasn't been accused of being a child molester... yet.

dan

I think that it's worth noting that there are some substantive differences too.

Firstly, the "fuss of flatheads" have been developing a second track as a pressure point - namely Iranian political influence in Iraq, aka support for Shia militias/EFP's - for a good 12 months now. Whilst it's arguable that the threats of military responses that are implicit in this approach are a means of applying pressure on the nuclear dossier, it's also arguable that this track is required - for the flatheads - in its own right should nuclear diplomacy succeed.

This change in emphasis seems to have come to life in the wake of Rice's in principle acceptance, repeated at least thrice last year, that Iran can have a nuclear programme/nuclear power generating capacity, and that the argument is merely over the contours of Iran's nuclear activities. This is unacceptable to the flatheads, as the nuclear dispute is largely instrumental, with the goal being regime change.

What the Forbes article doesn't mention is that in parallel to the work at the IAEA earlier this summer, there was an ongoing set of negotiations between Ali Larijani and Javier Solana; that there appear to have been few/no leaks of the substance of what they may have agreed to is interesting.

My speculation is that Solana and Larijani have concluded a substantive agreement that comes into play once the IAEA has cleared up any outstanding questions; this would represent progress from the situation in August 2005, when the EU-3 failed to come up with a non-derisory package during the suspension/additional protocol implementation period of the previous 8 months.

What I expect to see if the IAEA and Iran look as if they're approaching "closure" later this year is for the flatheads to reach back to the pre-1991 war Blix/IAEA inspection failures with regards to Iraq's nuclear programme ( suitably overstated ) as a background attempt to keep Iran's nuclear "ambiguity" alive along with the current foreground drumbeat of "Iran is at war with the US, no, really", and that cross-border military retaliation is necessary to put a stop to this.

Personally, I've always been of the mind that la guerre d'Iran n'aura pas lieu....too costly, liable to have rapid and inconvenient impacts on economically-stressed voters, vastly unpopular with the global community, horribly unpredictable, painful for everyone, and, overall, it would be far, far better for the US and Iran to seek some relationship counselling...

Babak Makkinejad

dan:

I tend to agree with you. My understanding was that the Iranians had wanted to reach a figure of 3000 centrifuges, pause, and re-engage in negogiations with EU.

Teaeopy

The intentional bombing of a nuclear facility with nuclear fuel on hand might not seem, especially on the receiving end, to be very different from attacking with a nuclear weapon.

kim

so, while we're all worried and upset about cheneybush shredding the constitution, destroying our democracy and nation, they've moved on to intensify their destruction of those institutions that help keep internation relations working.

them dang furriners better start payin' attention and stop payin' tribute to the unclothed emperor

David Solomon

Colonel Lang,

It has long been my opinion that one can ever underestimate the stupidity of the American public.

I formed this opinion during my grammar school days, when we regularly practiced "duck and tuck" as a means of saving ourselves from the nuclear bombs of the Soviet Empire.

Of course no one ever mentioned that we were then (and to this day) the only country to use nuclear weapons on our fellow humans.

Well it appears that once again my opinion of the American public and the overwhelming majority of our leaders will again be validated.

Walrus

Again, I have to refer back to Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly".

She points out that the major trait of "wooden headedness" that is characteristic of folly is the reliance on "negative evidence" as confirmation of their wrong hypotheses.

We have seen this before with the IAEA's negative assessment on Iraq's possession of WMD being spun 180 degrees to instead assert that if WMD cannot be found, then Saadam Hussien must be actively working to hide them.

Anyone who still believes the rubbish about WMD's being smuggled to Syria etc. is a fool and should be shunned for that reason.

For the record, the IAEA's sober assessment of Iran's nuclear program is that they are only 99% sure that all work is for peaceful purposes.

This has been wildly spun into a full blown nuclear weapons program which the wilder jewish fringe tells us will produce weaponised nuclear missile warheads in three or four years.

Watch the Neocons use this "fact" as a casus belli later this month, and by the time they have finished bombing Iran it will be impossible to find any evidence whatsoever to confound their claim.

kim

i'm not a conspiracy type, and i'm not really convinced that cheneybush have the weight to pull off something this (potentially) nasty.

but, is this a good spot to ask about credibility re wmd "accidentally" being loaded on a b-52 and flown from north dakota to louisiana?

just curious. (not a cat). (i hope).

Stormcrow
I see no reason to think that this iteration of the same effort will not be equally successful.
Nor I.

This is what you get as a result of three generations of systematic destruction of the educational system. For the most part, by the parents themselves, BTW.

The epitaph future historians will write about the demise of the United States will correctly attribute the cause of death to "suicide".

Montag

This all goes back to the derision that the Flatheads feel for "experts" and "internationalists." They'd rather depend upon Bush's gut for guidance. The only reason they accepted a diplomatic solution with North Korea was that they considered it a mere distraction filled with starving people.

Lesly

Mr. Walrus:

We have seen this before with the IAEA's negative assessment on Iraq's possession of WMD being spun 180 degrees to instead assert that if WMD cannot be found, then Saadam Hussien must be actively working to hide them.
Iran has agreed to a workplan that clarifies existing disputes on the history of their programs in order to solicit the IAEA's help with its heavy water reactor in Arak.

Not that this makes a whit of difference to the administration, but if Iran stays committed to the workplan BushCo may have to tweak their talking points.

GSD

Cue the Charlie Brown theme song. America is running for Lucy's ball yet again.

-GSD

As far as the Syrians taking Saddam's WMD's. I find it funny that the nation that allied with Iran during the Iran/Iraq war and allied with the allies in the '91 Gulf War decided to open up their hearts and borders and allow the Iraqis to 'store' their WMD's in Syria just in the nick of time.

Funny stuff.

-GSD

kim

lesly,

they don't tweak, they just add more nonsense and talk louder and faster. seems to work frightfully well so far.

Leila

Any comment on the Israeli overflight/possible strike last Thursday? Do you follow Josh Landis at Syria Comment?

DH

"Any comment on the Israeli overflight/possible strike last Thursday? Do you follow Josh Landis at Syria Comment?"

Here are some thoughts by Daniel Levy:

http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/2007/09/piecing_together_whats_just_ha.html

Binh

One of Cheney's underlings said that 2007 would be "the year of Iran" which I took to mean they would see at the end of '07 if the diplomatic Rice route worked or if they would go with the Cheney war route if it didn't.

Clifford Kiracofe

Here's the new Murdoch Line via Fox. Suppose it will be in the Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard transmission belts as well:

"A recent decision by German officials to withhold support for any new sanctions against Iran has pushed a broad spectrum of officials in Washington to develop potential scenarios for a military attack on the Islamic regime, FOX News confirmed Tuesday....

Consequently, according to a well-placed Bush administration source, "everyone in town" is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections.
Consequently, according to a well-placed Bush administration source, "everyone in town" is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections."


http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,296450,00.html

Sidney O. Smith III

In my opinion, analysis should proceed upon the assumption that Bush and Cheney intend to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Only clear and convincing evidence to the contrary should overcome this assumption.

Working upon this assumption, the following question arises: are there any variables that can stop a pre-emptive attack? The answer, in my view, is that only acts of moral courage -- specifically by members of the Congress or the USM, particularly the JCS -- can stop a pre-emptive attack on Iran.

History suggests that chances are slim that either Congress or the JCS will act in such a way. But since the spinning of lies for an attack on Iran mirrors, in some ways, what occurred in the Iraqi build-up, perhaps more people who work within the USG are aware of the dynamics at play and will take a stand, not unlike that by Karen Kwiatkowski a few years ago.

It’s a fascinating historical situation because it looks like the only way to prevent disaster is for a voice of opposition to arise from within the USG. Most people who work within the USG presumably have a great sense of loyalty, which can be a virtue. So the spinning of lies by the USG probably triggers a moral dilemma for those who take pride in loyalty.

From discussions on other threads, apparently certain MB types are more inclined than others to take a stand based on moral courage. Moral courage requires sacrificing, or at least putting at risk, one’s career for the greater good. Ideally, one’s loyalty should be to the greater good.

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