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27 September 2007

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Babak Makkinejad

This is akin to the declaration, by some other power, that US Marines or the US Army Rangers are a terrorist organization.

It is funny.

kim

reid was disappointing. clinton was disappointing but not surprising. this nation needs a presidential candidate. and a legislative backbone too, of course, but chances of that are what?

if my advocated choice won't run, maybe webb could be web drafted. i think i wide spectrum might jump on that. specially after we see how bad this is gonna be.

David Solomon

Colonel Lang,

There is really nothing surprising about this. The Democrats are really no different than the Republicans .

They are all warmongers and tools of the corporations.

Mad Dogs

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, a Democrat and the majority leader, voted for the proposal after initially urging caution. “We certainly don’t want to be led down the path, slowly but surely, until we wind up with the situation like we have in Iraq today,” he said Tuesday. “So I am going to be very, very cautious.”

As Senator Harry Reid gets lead down that very path.

With legislators like this, who needs enemies?

Fred

Okay, that's it.

I have to ask you straight up: what is the probability we're going to launch a war against Iran within the next year?

What signs should we be looking for that hostilities are becoming more or less likely from:

- The President and Congress
- Other Administration officials
- The media
- Foreign governments
- Any other sources

I won't ask you what we can do to stop it, because I'm guessing if or when the decision is made nothing will halt it. But if we have enough warning time, at least maybe some of us can find a good place to hunker down until the smoke clears. :-(

Jose

He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

zanzibar

Now that it seems that Cheney has received his clearance from Congress we might as well start the office pool to determine the date of the attacks!

I am afraid that what goes around comes around and today's hubris will come at a price.

The air attacks and cruise missile strikes may destroy Iran's military and civilian infrastructure but it will also cause innumerable innocent civilian casualties and extraordinary hardships for the Iranian people. For a people with a long history this will be a passing event but never forgotten.

We the American people have failed because our leadership will once again attack another country that poses no existential threat to us. Like an earlier generation in Germany who could not claim that they were just following orders in a senseless brutality, we the current generation of Americans are culpable for the loss of innocent life and the destruction of property done in our name.

PL, its time to dust off your old reports and get ahead of the curve since I am certain your analysis will be exactly the outcome.

How long before we should be afraid of the knock in the dark as Americans get hauled into the Gulag?

Clifford Kiracofe

Jose, enjoyed the Sun Tzu quote. Here is a similar one from Erasmus in his "On Starting War" in the "Education of a Christian Prince" (1516):

"Although the prince will never make any decision hastily, he will never be more hesitant or more circumspect that in starting a war...the tide of war overflows with everything that is worst....the good prince will never start a war at all unless, after everything else has been tried, it cannot by any means be avoided....Finally, putting aside all emotion, let him apply just a little reason to the problem by counting up the true cost of the war and deciding whether the object he seeks to achieve by it is worth that much, even if he were certain of victory, which does not always favour even the best of causes...."

From Isocrates (I know there is some irony mentioning him in this context but he wouldn't support this war):

From “On The Peace”
"[142] But I have yet to touch upon the chief consideration of all--that upon which centers everything that I have said and in the light of which we should appraise the actions of the state. For if we really wish to clear away the prejudice in which we are held at the present time, we must cease from the wars which are waged to no purpose...we must abhor all despotic rule and imperial power, reflecting upon the disasters which have sprung from them; and we must emulate and imitate the position held by the kings of Lacedaemon.

From “Areopagiticus”:
For we neither have nor endeavour to find a policy which will conduct affairs aright. 13. And yet we are all aware that good fortune comes to and abides with those who manage their city in the best and most prudent manner, not with those who have surrounded themselves with the most splendid and most extensive walls, nor even with those who have gathered together in the same place in the greatest numbers. 14. For a city's soul is nothing else but its political principle, which has as great influence as understanding in a man's body. For this it is that counsels concerning everything, and, while preserving prosperity, avoids misfortune. It is this that laws, orators, and individuals must naturally resemble, and fare according to the principles they hold."


JerseyJeffersonian

I'm afraid we're for it, mates. There'll be a division of labor - Iran to our ever-overconfident Air Force, and Syria to the Israelis. Here's some other perspectives on matters.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092707C.shtml


http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/001762.html

The neoconmen and the AIPAC 5th column want to get their war on while they've got their best chance, and by God, I think they'll probably pull it off, at least insofar as getting the damn thing started.

The spineless, and more importantly, brainless congress has handed Bush just about all of the cover he might conceivably need for the attack to commence. While proof of Iran's provision of weaponry to attack our military has been pretty unconvincing, never fear, some pretext can be found. Gulf of Tonkin, Jenkin's Ear, accusations of salacious ogling of Our Womenfolk by the brown people next in line for a beatdown who by some strange coincidence Pose An Existential Threat To Israel, whatever.

Yeah, we can still remonstrate with our "representatives", although frankly it seems as if it's hollerin' down a well anymore.

Montag

In 1921 the Greek armies were stalled in Anatolia, facing the Turkish Nationalists under Kemal Ataturk. When the Greek government offered the command to General Ioannis Metaxas, they got a refusal. Metaxas told them that the war couldn't be won because the Turks had developed a national feeling: "And they mean to fight for their freedom and independence...They realize that Asia Minor is their country and that we are invaders. For them, for their national feelings, the historical rights on which we base our claims have no influence. Whether they are right or wrong is another question. What matters is how they feel."

But the politicians told Metaxas that it was now politically impossible to abandon the war. They threw caution to the winds with one last offensive--resulting in a complete rout for the Greek forces. Two Colonels and a Navy Captain staged a military coup, placed the ministers on trial and executed six of them. I guess you could call this the chickenhawks coming home to roost.

Carol

Let's not forget that in addition to our special forces, that any US agency that supports a proxy group in attacks against another nation or its interests then also makes the US a supporter of terrorism. That is, should we for once apply to ourselves the standards by which we judge others.
But this administration, like the Clinton/Democrat one before it, has never been concerned with the double standards they present to the world in the name of the American people. Many international political activists have written enough on this subject of US double standards so there's no need to go down that discussion path here. The bottom line is the US was already despised for many of its double standard Middle East policies before 9/11. US policies have been the standing basis for "strategic communications/IO" by those (terrorists) trying to seize power in their countries. This ammendment and the further fiascos it can cause are just more fodder for individuals and groups who already call for violence against us and anxiously want to see the US step all over its private parts in the Middle East yet again. The US attacking yet another Muslim nation is exactly the kind of IO they need to gain more support for self-starter violence against the US. AQ and groups who claim to be AQ affiliates will jump for joy if the US conducts any military action against Iran. AQ will become Iran's biggest supporter in a media campaign aimed at us. So aside from lining the pockets of defense contractors and certain other businesses, why not just cause a US recession and give UBL a really big victory smile? The ammendment can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. We've now just publicly told any terrorist group how to get the US to launch more folly -- all they have to do is disguise the attack as "Iranian." Any terrorist group (or perhaps some motivated country?) can conduct an attack with an Iranian signature, and then just sit back and watch the fireworks. This administration and its poor intel apparatus would be dupes for such a plot --they are overly anxious to find cassus belli when it comes to Iran.

Edward Merkle

That looks like fairly mountainous territory near the Straight of Hormuz. Good area for guerrilla activity?

These are just egotistical pricks that don't give a damn about anything else but their "Legacy", or worse yet think that the "rapture" will happen in their lifetimes and are standing up to "pure evil". Christ, didn't Christ preach humility?

Somebody please get the hook and snag these guys from this bad sideshow.

Cieran

Jim Webb should be President.

I hope that Colonel Lang will reconsider his McClellan-esque run and defer to the junior senator from Virginia. Or perhaps a Webb/Lang ticket would be a suitable compromise.

Webb is the only current political leader fit to lead this country out of the morass that more conventional politicians led it into.

Walrus

One word - AIPAC. They OWN the Democratic party.

My guess (and I've been wrong before) is that an attack on Iran is coming very very soon.

Debka reports Putin will be in Tehran October 16th. I would be extremely surprised if at this meeting he did not conclude some sort of mutual defence pact with Iran in exchange for Russian access to Iranian oil and gas.

That is about the only move I can think of that will stop Bush in his tracks.

Of course if Bush attacks before 16th October?

As for the peace conference, I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell of it doing anything useful, it's just keeping Condi busy while the big boys get ready to rumble.

XER

Col. Lang,

What are the chances of Iran hitting Saudi Arabia with a devistating blow to their oil distribution facilities?

Steve

While it's certainly plausible to speculate that much of the recent war noise might just be part of some diplomatic effort to intimidate Iran into an accommodation with the US, let's assume that the US will in fact launch a strike against Iran.

What then?

I assume that the US will take out Iran's nuclear facilities, as well as the Guard's bases, and assorted other facilities capable of some military response.

What next? Iran will surely retain some military capabilities either unknown or untouched by the air strikes.

What about Hezbollah, strikes around the world, efforts to close the Straits and/or to strike the Gulf States, and attacks in Iraq?

What sort of Iranian response do readers foresee?

Edward Merkle

Walrus,

I don't think "very very soon". Stretch it out till spring or summer to have the most impact on the presidential election, to continue the madness with a true neocon sycophant at the helm.

Am I being too cynical? Is it possible with this crowd?

different clue

A fear I have is that Putin and the Chinese leadership would also like to see the Administration order an attack on Iran, because the blowback would weaken America so severely that China and Russia could build themselves a new hegemony on the rubble of the old. So I would not count on Putin to take any action which would dissuade Cheney from ordering the attack, not when Putin wants
to see that attack take place. (In my totally uninformed lay-Kremlinology-buff's opinion).

So the question for us becomes, are there ways that
the "don't attack Iran" community within America can
cause the System so much extreme pain, so swiftly, yet within the letter of the
law; that we might actually be able to "torture" the ruling elites into calling off their attack? Do we simply have to accept their decision to attack as the die which has been cast? Is
post-blowback survivalism the only thing we can plan for?

DH

Walrus:

"Debka reports Putin will be in Tehran October 16th. I would be extremely surprised if at this meeting he did not conclude some sort of mutual defence pact with Iran in exchange for Russian access to Iranian oil and gas.

That is about the only move I can think of that will stop Bush in his tracks.

Of course if Bush attacks before 16th October?"

If Putin wants to form an alliance he could do it tomorrow. I think they'll wait till after the primaries in hope that Ladyhawk will be nominated. Even if the Republican nominee loses, they can gamble on her being a hawk and a one-termer.

Arun

Mad Dogs: As Senator Harry Reid gets lead down that very path.

With legislators like this, who needs enemies?

Reid is the leader of the Whipped Dog Coalition of the Democratic Party.

Clifford Kiracofe

Ray McGovern reminds us:

"Just before the March 2003 attack, Chas Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for President George H.W. Bush, explained that the new policy was to maintain a lock on the world's energy lifeline and be able to deny access to global competitors. Freeman said the new Bush administration "believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them" and that, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is uniquely able to shape global events – and would be remiss if it did not do so.

"This could not be attempted in a world of two superpowers, but has been a longstanding goal of the people closest to George W. Bush. In 1975 in Harpers, then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger authored under a pseudonym an article, "Seizing Arab Oil." Blissfully unaware that the author was his boss, the highly respected career ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, committed the mother of all faux pas when he told a TV audience that whoever wrote that article had to be a "madman." Akins was right; he was also fired."
http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=11679

As I recall, the idea of grabbing the Eastern Province was refloated by Flathead Max Singer of the Hudson Institute in a commentary piece in the New York Sun about May of 2002 in the run up to that war. Which reminds me that perhaps my students should be given a "compare and contrast" exercise with the two documents.

Per Kissinger, a leading Flathead and one godfather (with Leo Strauss and others, say Nietzsche) of the Neocon tribe of the Flathead Nation's foreign policy, we can recall that he (and Zbig) were proteges of Harvard Professor William Yandell Elliott (1896-1979), for whom see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Yandell_Elliott

Context Elliott in the British "Liberal Imperialism" tradition noting his Rhodes-Oxford background and toss in some Fabian-Synarchism and I would say we have the ideological mix.

jonst

The question may be: ""What do we do with terrorist organizations?"

But is will soon be, very soon: ""What do we do with terrorist organizations that actively seek to acquire nuclear weapons?" That's how they are gonna frame it, no doubt. And it will sell. I fear.

João Carlos

Col Lang,

can you try to analyse how the war coming will develop?

I guess that US will bomb nuclear and military targets at Iran and after that Iran will answer. I too guess that there are a lot of targets and that a good deal of targets are hard and are well protected, so I think the bombing will not be tottally effective.

What will be the Iran answer? They can really hit US carriers (I read that at some analyses, some people say they have sunburns and that sunburns are evil missiles)? They will send their troops inside Iraq? The Iraqis shias will fight against US troops? Iran will use their missiles against the US bases, the Saudi refineries or both? The US marines will try invade that islands near the strait for open it? What resistence they will find at that isles? Russia and China, what they will do? If I am not wrong, Putin is a few mad against US because NATO is expanding to east.

Ok, I am scared.

João Carlos


Cold War Zoomie

This latest news plus the willingness of Republicans to side with Bush's refusal to expand health insurance for children tells me that the GOP congresscritters are willing to commit political suicide in the name of loyalty.

More evidence that my theory about the GOP putting their own political hides first and stopping Bush is eroding fast.

Time to put my head in the sand and echo Sergeant Schultz..."I know nothink!"

dasher

Our Air Force has been chomping at the bit to get into the action that they've been largely shut out of (at least comparatively) in Iraq. They'll be urging Darth Vader and the Decider (hmmm. good name for a punk rock duo. do punk rockers 'do' duos?) to start the bombs dropping sooner rather than later, methinks.

My estimate: after May '08 and before October '08. Time enough before the election to whip up the jingoistic "you're with us or with the terrorists" fervor, but without enough time for any inconvenient truths to come out before election day.

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