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03 September 2007

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Cloned Poster

What a juicy target in Al Assad!

jonst

CWZ,

Why in the world do you think Bush needs the American people on board? That he should HAVE them on board...that he should be thinking of getting them on board is one thing. That he feels he NEEDS them on board before he strikes is another.

The Dems i.e. Hillary, Obama, Reid(not sure about the rest) will support the attack. Initially. Sorta of. For a while. The train has not only left the station...it has gone off the tracks. But as you note...most Americans (and most of the media) are unaware of this. They are gearing up for Sept's done- deal 'fight' regarding the so called surge. More than glad to be wrong on this one. If I had to guess...I would say keep an eye on Malki...his removal I take to be a prerequisite of the attack. Further guessing, I think these guys think they can (have?)flipped al-Sadr on to 'their' side. Another prerequisite perhaps?

Cold War Zoomie

Uh oh.

I wasn't expecting to be headlined.

Let the feeding frenzy begin.

The surprise trip kind of blows my number 4, doesn't it?

Yohan

The points about Bush having no support for this war are true, but I think they are completely irrelevant to whether or not Bush will actually attack. Bush has shown throughout his administration that he doesn't care what others think, he's going to get what he wants. He doesn't care about the GOP's electoral future, he feels that stopping Iran's nuclear program is the right thing to do and thus an attack MUST be carried out if necessary. Bush has shown that the letter of the law will not stop him from getting what he want(warrantless wiretaps, signing statements, etc.) so how on earth would congressional soft power ever hope to constrain him? The most congress could do would be to impeach him after the fact and even in the event of a war with Iran I doubt the Republicans would go along with that.

Bush doesn't care if Laura and Barney are the only one's behind him, he doesn't have to run for re-election anymore and he takes the view that, "10-15 years from now you'll all understand why I had to do all these things and in the end you'll thank me," so he doesn't worry about the short-term polls. I also think Bush counts on a rally to the flag mentality when war actually breaks out. We should not be deceived by the lack of support for the Iraq War because as Scott Ritter has said, Americans are NOT anti-war, they're anti-losing, and Bush knows this. If he thinks we can win against Iran then he also believes that the American public will instantly come around.

My opinion is that the only people who could possibly talk Bush out of this would be top level generals who have refused to drink the kool-aid(are there any this time around?). If they could convince Bush that air strikes just aren't going to stop the Iranian nuclear program, I think that's the only line of argument that could get through to Bush. The Summer 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah should have given pause to neocons and generals alike and thrown further doubt on the idea that airpower alone can achieve anything, much less disrupting a well fortified and prepared enemy.

This train will only return to the station if the conductor informs the passengers that he can't get them to where they want to go so they'd better make other arrangements.

Clifford Kiracofe

"Independent pollster John Zogby reported last week that Republicans, indeed, had made gains with voters on the Iraq issue during the past month, with 54 percent now believing the war can be won.
But the numbers are not that clear-cut.
"The poll had two overriding messages: One is that there is no clear direction coming from the American people on Iraq. You have a majority saying the war is not lost, a majority saying the war can be won, but also a majority saying that we are not doing anything good there, and a majority saying they want us out, but they don't say when," Mr. Zogby told The Times.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070902/NATION/109020049/1002

The White House does not care what public opinion is (or what the Constitution says) on the matter of war and peace. If the agenda calls for war, then that is that. Congress (representing the states and the people) won't stop them. Congress rubber stamped the Iraq War and already, in effect, has rubber stamped an Iran War, IMO.

ked

Bush cannot be swayed by reality-community argument. He can be influenced by a small number of individuals (NOT including his Dad) who know how to triangulate him towards a sane course. His affinity for square-jawed guys in uniforms w/ stars is a useful line of approach - but (as noted) is there anyone who places country above career (can they even tell the difference)? It is worth pointing out that even 'lil Kim has been brought around through old-school methods. It is amazingly ironic that N Korea may be the examplar that could save us from another bad adventure. History is like that. So, it is a good time for Ms America to save the Nation (& win a Prize?!).

sbj

I'd like to believe your thoughtful perspectives on this are correct CWZ. My difficulty in agreeing with you is based solely on the sense I have that neither Cheney and his 'Jacobins' nor the hapless Mr. Bush really care enough about either the Republican Party or 'American Democracy' enough for them to take into consideration the impact of their crackpot schemes on those august institutions.

jonst

Yohan,

Completely agree with you re the response to an American attack. People (some), and politicians (some), will rally at the start. This initial support will expand, exponentially, if Iran, as I expect they will do, hits us back in a high profile sort of the way. And if they hit us back in the States (as we would do to them)the support will go off the radar screen. Initially. Until a draft is called for. Then watch the support melt like a snow cone in Aug. Because I think the American people, in the main, are anti war if they don't have to personally fight it. Now, if many others fight it, and it is sucessful, they are all for it. If that is the case there will be no end to the bumper stickers and ribbons. The parades will go on for years. (no so sure the VA hospitals will get funded...but that's another story)

walrus

Woops, I posted about CWZ's excellent logic on the other thread, so here goes some more hot (fishy) air from me.

CWZ, your right, attacking Iran isn't logical or in the Republicans best interests, but never forget the unbelievable power of human stupidity! Who care if an attack is illogical? Certainly not Bush.

I am idly speculating what sound bite his AEI handlers are going to feed him to justify the attack and cement his place in history.

Bush is here for the best part of this week at APEC along with Putin, the Chinese, Japanese and others.

Two things I expect to happen at this conference are:

1. Signing of a U.S./ Australian agreement that gives us access to everything else, secret or not, in the American arsenal we don't already have access to, short of nuclear weapons. In return I think we will provide increased access to our Northern bases and tighter integration than we already provide. We might also share diesel electric submarine technology with America - the stuff that gets us through to the carriers every time. This will be announced.

2. Discussion with Putin and the Chinese about Iran - the results of which will not be announced. Putin is going to want a very large carrot or the threat of a very big stick, to stand back and watch Iran go under. Same with the Chinese.

web

Since the war will consist of (at most) three bombing sorties (the third if it is needed probably nuclear) it will be over in less then 2 weeks.

Pretty much a single throw of the dice. Win or disaster.

For that you don't need very deep support except from the Air Force.

ww

wcw

'Win'? Win what?

The fallout (bad pun, sorry) from this one would range from disaster to utter disaster. I mean, unless you think something like, 'Republicans will be the minority party for another two generations if we can't get the permanent war started before we exit office.'

I guess that's a win.

Seriously: where's the victory here, on any level?

China hand

China will not roll over on Iran.

China needs oil, and this war is more about denying China access to oil than it is anything else.

Looking over the latest ILO reports released this week, China's per capita labor productivity is incredibly low compared to the rest of South East Asia. The reason for that is simple: instead of technology, Chinese are being forced to resort to brute human power to achieve most of what is driving its economy.

This is nothing more than a simple lack of oil; China's mouth is much larger than its plate (and this is something all Chinese are well accustomed to). Currently, China is the second largest consumer of oil in the world -- right behind the U.S. and gaining rapidly.

The last two or three mild recessions in the Chinese economy are clearly attributable to a global inability to supply China's increasing demand for oil. China needs it, and if it doesn't get it then it won't be able to continue its economic and political rise. China knows this, the U.S. knows it, and both are thinking about it:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/IB28Cb02.html

My suspicion is that Iran is currently taking as many missiles and as much technology from China as it can negotiate. Remember that the Hezbollah missile that took out the Israeli ship last year was a distant descendant of Chinese tech. Remember, also, that the Chinese are very, very good at leaving no evidence.

As are the Iranians.

Don't expect China to "roll over" on Iran. The current Iraq/Afghan war is a godsend for Chinese global ambitions. They want to see this thing drag on for as long as possible, and when it ends they want to be known as the people who helped defend the innocent. They have been cultivating close contacts with the anti-US political blocs in Africa and South/Central America, and the last thing they want to be seen as is a political enabler of the U.S.

ISL

Sadly, I and others here, seem to see congress as irrelevant (sad since that implies the republic with its quaint (and key) concept of balance of powers) ended.

Only way I see the train returning to station is if some of the largest corporations (such as Exxon, whose assets are highly exposed in a shooting war, particularly compared to some of their competitors, among others) communicate that this is a very very bad idea. Of course the wise men could encourage such a communication.

Or China reads Bernacke the riot act (China thinks of Iran as a major oil supplier. On the other hand, I worry that China may feel this an excellent time to leave the US to the financial wolves (it would be very very different if we ran a surplus).

jonst

Web,

I wish I had a hundred dollars for every time I read 'the war ....will be over in 2 weeks'. I would be a very wealthy man.

Binh

I agree with Yohan except for the part about the generals. Whenever generals said anything Cheney didn't want to hear, they were fired/retired early (Shinseki). Anyone who tells Bush that airstrikes won't cut it will be told to use nuclear bunker-busters. If they refuse, they will be removed.

One thing that bothers me though about all the rumors/tidbits of info swirling around the internet pointing to the impending attack is about timing i.e. it's going to happen this Sept., or in six months.

Bush has until mid-Jan 2009 when Hillary/Obama are sworn in to start the bombing. He's in no rush. Attacking now or anytime in '08 would put even more GOP seats in Congress at risk, and although I don't think he gives a shit about them, I do think he would like to hand the Democrat who succeeds him two-three awful messes in the region to deal with. That way the Dems get the blame for the aftermath and he retires to Crawford in peace.

Cold War Zoomie

Interesting.

After seeing my comment headlined, I skedaddled out of the house, washed the motorcycle, and hit the back roads expecting to return to a slew of comments tearing it apart. There were gaps in my "argument" big enough to drive trucks through.

Alas, no feeding frenzy. Another wrong prediction.

All in all, I am an optimist by nature and still think Congress is relevant. That doesn't mean Bush won't sign the orders and send the bombers flying. But there have been plenty of plans throughout history that come to naught, never to be executed. At this point, it's all speculation. Who knows.

For anyone who cares, here's my puppy:

Yamaha FZ1

Bike go fast. CWZ happy.

web

wcw

"Win" in this case means the Iranian gov't falls. Since we don't have the troops to follow this up and Russia and China do they probably get to pick up the pieces but the Nukes won't be Iranian ones.

If the Iranian gov't doesn't fall from the bombing in two weeks or so we have nothing to follow the air attack. So it is over, except of course for the eventual payback.

web

wcw

Yeah, I think we founder on the shoals of my expectation that the only thing bombing does is strengthen the political hand of those running Iran. Recall what a pissant pair of planes did to public support for a president who had just taken office after losing the popular vote.

I am open to being convinced, though. Give me some examples of situations not totally unlike Iran's in which two weeks of bombing toppled a government.

charly

You assume that the new Iranian goverment would be more inclinded to follow American orders. What if you get a goverment with a female president who doesn't wear a headscarf but who is also anti-American. It would make the economic boycot much harder to maintain

ATinNM

There is a NATO naval task force current siting in Cape Town. The fleet consists of:

"Ships from Canada, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal and the United States " [Source: NATO News]

This fleet conducted an ASW exercise and:

"A lone South African submarine has left some North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) commanders with red faces as it "sank" all the ships of the Nato Maritime Group engaged in exercises with the SA Navy off the Cape Coast.

The S101 - or the SAS Manthatisi - not only evaded detection by a joint Nato and SA Navy search party, consisting of several ships combing the search area with radar and sonar; it also sank all the ships taking part in the fleet." [Source The Times, SA]

The S101 is a 209/1400 MOD diesel-electric submarines manufactured by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG. The weapons consist of 14 torpedos and Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Iranian Navy is known to deploy 3 Russian Kilo class submarines:
"This Kilo is considered the quietest diesel submarine there is." [Wikipedia]

and

"The boats are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters. Kilo class submarines are capable of operating very quietly. Project 636, sometimes called by the US Navy "The Black Hole" for its uncanny ability to "disappear", is thought to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarine classes in the world."

The armament is 18 torpedoes and (my guess) an unknown number of anti-ship missiles. As:

"In the late 1980s, 3rd Space Academy finally grasped the underwater missile launch technology, and introduced the YJ-82 submarine-launched anti-ship missile. The missile is carried inside a watertight cylinder-shape container, which is launched from the submarine’s 533mm torpedo tube at periscope depth. The container floats to the sea surface with its own buoyancy. When the container reaches the sea surface, the lid on the container is blasted off and the missile fired. The YJ-82 missile system was deployed on most Chinese-built submarines such as Type 093 Shang class, Type 091 Han class, Type 039 Song class, and Yuan class." [Source: http://www.sinodefence.com/navy/navalmissile/yj82.asp]

"The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 (Chinese: 鹰击-82, literally "Eagle Strike"; NATO reporting name: CSS-N-8 Saccade) is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy (CHETA), also known as the Third Academy. Due to the Yingji-82 missile's small radar reflectivity, low attack flight path (only five to seven meters above the sea surface) and strong anti-jamming capability of its guidance equipment, target ships have a very small chance of intercepting the missile. The hit probability of the Yingji-82 is estimated to be as high as 98 percent. The Yingji-82 can be launched from airplanes, surface ships, submarines and land-based vehicles, and has been considered – along with the US Harpoon missile – as among the best anti-ship missiles of its generation." [Source: Wikipedia]

"In early 2000 it was reported that North Korea and Iran were jointly developing an advanced version of the C-802 missile. The missiles initially acquired by Iran from China were rather outdated, and Iran turned to North Korea for missile system technology. The two countries are jointly developing an upgraded version with improved accuracy." [Source: Wikipedia]

Given the above anyone with a brain would think US naval forces conducting combat operations against Iran would suffer extreme attrition or even annihilation. After all, if I can find this stuff on the internet in about 30 minutes it should be known by the US Navy.

The problem, I submit, is not the knowledge but the use of that knowledge when designing war games and, certainly, operational plans. Again I submit the US military does not:

"It all comes out of the "Millenium Challenge '02" war games we staged in the Persian Gulf this summer. The big scandal was that the Opposing Force Commander, Gen. Paul van Ripen, quit mid-game because the games were rigged for the US forces to win. The scenario was a US invasion of an unnamed Persian Gulf country (either Iraq or Iran). The US was testing a new hi-tech joint force doctrine, so naturally van Riper used every lo-tech trick he could think of to mess things up. When the Americans jammed his CCC network , he sent messages by motorbike."

"The truth is that van Ripen did something so important that I still can't believe the mainstream press hasn't made anything of it. With nothing more than a few "small boats and aircraft," van Ripen managed to sink most of the US fleet in the Persian Gulf."

"every US Navy battle group, every one of those big fancy aircraft carriers we love, won't last one single day in combat against a serious enemy.

The Navy brass tried to bluff it out, but they were pretty lame about it. They just declared the sunken ships "refloated" so the game could go on as planned." [source: (among others) http://www.exile.ru]

Historically, it can be said the neo-cons have difficulty cognizing reality.

"They think they can just blow up what they want to blow up and let the ant-heap sort itself out afterwards." [Source: John Pike, Global Security] This group accepts, as an axiom, Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

Further it is well-known Lackwit (aka President Bush) is incapable of cognizing reality.

Vice-President Cheney, when he was the Defense Secretary under Bush I "forced" General Powell to prepare nuclear strike plans against Iran. [Source: Considering a War with Iran, preliminary draft.] The Vice-President has been touring the US for years urging for an attack on Iran.

There are entities in the Middle East who would love to see the Iranian nuclear installations bombed to prevent any possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Israel immediately springs to mind but the Saudis, among the other Arab nations, could be pushing an attack as well.

Non-government organizations, AIPAC for instance, have also been urging an attack.

Last, it is the stated policy of the US government Iran will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

Thus we see the existence of a faction, or factions, within the current administration who believe:

1. The US can conduct a successful bombing campaign against Iran and clean up the mess afterwards.

2. They assume the campaign can be conducted with minimal US losses.

3. A bombing campaign would be a good and proper action.

and

1. Additional naval forces will soon be in position - off Somali - to make a high speed run to increase the force operating in the Persian Gulf. And the fleet operating in the Indian Ocean is pre-positioned for support as well.

2. While not discussed, the US Air Force has inflated notions of its ability and is always eager to prove their planes cannot achieve what their mouths promise.

The only military organization that seems to be opposing an Iran bombing campaign is the US Army. Or at least certain members of the US Army. But since they will not be involved in the campaign I find it hard to accept their objection(s) will carry much weight.

From a _capability_ POV the US will soon have a massive naval presence in the Persian Gulf, the US will be able to conduct a bombing campaign with those forces, the US Air Force is capable of conducting a bombing campaign with its forces in the Middle East and positioned in the US [STRATCOM,] the US is willing to conduct a bombing campaign. Thus we must assume the US will conduct a bombing campaign against Iranian nuclear installations.

From the above, it can be stated, with a high likelihood, US naval forces operating in the Persian Gulf will be severely damaged by Iranian naval attacks as well as by shore launched anti-ship missiles [not discussed.]

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