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04 May 2008

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harper

Col. Lang, I totally agree with your remarks. And I would add a reminder that Tony Blair's intelligence mandarins were fully complicit in the pre-Iraq war intelligence fraud. Remember it was the British White Paper that spoke of the Iraqi quest for uranium yellow cake from Niger, which US intelligence checked out and knew to be phony. Israel is playing "curve ball" with the U.S. and what is left of the Cheney neocon apparatus in and around the White House is soaking it up, and trying to do a replay against Iran of what they did with Iraq. But I am reminded of the old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I was reminded of that ditty watching the Petraeus and Crocker testimony last month, and now we see the same follow-on garbage again. Thank you for puncturing a hole in the vat of kool aid.

jon

"One source claimed the new information was on a par with intelligence that led Israel to discover and then destroy a partly constructed nuclear reactor in Syria last September."

That's all I need to hear on this. That Syrian strike stinks, and the more they crow about what a coup it was, the worse it seems.

The 'facts' are being fit to the policy just as quickly as they can manufacture and sledgehammer them into rough shape. Is this fooling anyone still?

Next, we'll have one of these stooges standing next to a black panel and explaining how this is a super-sensitive photo of the sun at noon. Is it lying when they don't even try any longer?

Harper, I think the correct formulation is " Fool me twice....Don't get fooled again."

Montag

The Israelis seem to think they're in a "Godfather" movie and are in a position to "make them an offer they cannot refuse." Their intelligence services have scored some disastrous blunders over the years. And these are our go-to guys?

What about "The Oversight," of 1973, when they ignored the salient fact that BOTH Egypt and Syria were simultaneously mobilizing their armies? They had to work like Trojans to come up with comforting explanations for that threat.

The same myopic groupthink may be operating here. Since it would be inconvenient for Israel to have the Iranians abandon their nuclear weapons program (which would lessen their value as an existential threat) then they CAN'T have abandoned it. They think it so because they think it so--and all of the Intelligence proof in the world won't convince them otherwise. Talk to the hand.

But I wonder if their thinking is more complicated than that. They seem to have created another "Axis of Evil" by inextricably linking in their own minds Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. It's rather like a chain, where by hammering one link they think they are harming the others as well. Perhaps they even believe that they are encircled by this chain, which makes it all the more imperative to break it. The problem is that they're putting a lot of different nuts in the same bag and trying to sell them to us as the same kind of nuts, instead of as an honest assortment. If we can't trust their logic in this matter, how can we reasonably trust their information? Garbage in/garbage out.

Curious

timesonline.co.uk is owned by Murdoch. The same person who brings us FoxNews and friends + happy Iraq war talk.

Grimgrin

The intelligence breakthrough might have been when Iran decided to let the press tour it's Natanz facility.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/04/28/science/042908-Nuke_index.html
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/29/mideast/nukes.php

The Iranians may be trying to make their program seem less threatening by being more open about it. It's certainly harder to make these photos seem threatening than it is to point to satellite photos and say "our covert sources say this secret heavily guarded facility will soon turn out enough enriched uranium to kill us all". Which may have been the point of the tour. I don't know enough about it to do anything more than speculate.

Walrus

Rupert Murdoch is beholden to Israel from the days when News Limited almost went bankrupt.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab states are not an existential threat to Israel they are in existential threat to INVESTMENT in Israel.

To put it another way, "follow the money" stupid.

The existence of a group of moderately democratic free market Islamic economies on Israel's doorstep is a nightmare for Israel because the West's business community will then start engaging and investing in said economies - and engaging with Islam and ignoring Israel.

To put it another way, why do you think Israel bombed Lebanon when it did? Why do you think they targeted Lebanese infrastructure, especially the airport? Lebanon that Spring was on the verge of a major push for Western Tourism - Beirut didn't get its nickname as "The Paris of the East" for nothing, but the last thing Israel wants is for the western community to engage with Islamic countries, and they will do anything in their power, covert or overt, to prevent that engagement.

Do they really want a free, secular and democratic Iraq or Iran? Nope. They want Arab states and Arabs to be seen by the West as backward, despotic, dirty, ugly, primitive, corrupt, brutal and rotten.

That is why Arabs are portrayed the way they are in movies like "True Lies". That is why their are any number of disinformation websites and operations aimed at demonizing Islam - for example going on about female circumcision and suchlike.

That is why Iraq is such a mess - the Israelis wanted it that way, and the ultimate source of orders that created that mess, for example the disbanding of the Iraqi army, is Israeli operatives.

Yes, they will bomb Iran, because doing that will strengthen the hand of the hard liners in Iran and weaken the moderates.

That is the Israeli nightmare folks - people like you going unescorted to see Petra, or lounging on the beaches in Beirut, or eating Iranian Caviar on the shores of the Black Sea.

Clifford Kiracofe

The AIPAC extravaganza hits DC June 2 so this latest in Zionist propaganda is well timed. Reminds me of the run-up to the Iraq War; they old yellow cake and aluminum tubes thing. I suppose anti-Iran hysteria will build over the next three weeks to usher in the AIPAC conference.

"The AIPAC Policy Conference is the pro-Israel community's preeminent annual gathering. The event, to be held June 2-4, 2008, attracts more than 6000 community leaders and student activists from all 50 states, and more than half of the U.S. Senate, a third of the House of Representatives and countless Israeli and American policymakers and thought leaders. Over three jam-packed days, Policy Conference participants choose from hundreds of informative sessions and participate in the pro-Israel community's largest and most important advocacy day." http://www.aipac.org/about_AIPAC/Learn_About_AIPAC/2841.asp

As I recall the sequence of 2002-2003:

1. We have rising hysteria about "terrorism" and the Iraq threat in Spring 2002 which builds toward the annual Spring AIPAC conference in DC.

2. Then we have members of the House and Senate in a frenzy holding forth on the Iraq threat and parading their "support" of Israel against "terrorism" (it's an election year after all).

3. Meanwhile, during the Spring, Israel is upping the pressure in the West Bank. The "terrorism" frenzy in Congress triggers pledges of undying support for the Zionist state. It is also skillfully used by Rove and company to build towards Congressional support for a war against Iraq. Israel's spring offensive plays into the AIPAC meeting nicely.

4. Congress goes out of session for summer recess.

5. Congress comes back in and rolls on to the Iraq War resolution in October.

Same old, same old? Part of an overall Israeli-US propaganda campaign leading to an Iran war in the fall? Would such a war coming before the election "help" McCain and the Republicans?

arbogast

Let me tell you something. The American economy is imploding. All the, "The bottom is near," stuff you are hearing is just the greater lie.

The plutocracy desperately needs a distraction from their criminal conspiracy to defraud millions of Americans of their livelihood and thousands of their lives.

This was predictable. The twilight of the Gods. I wonder if there is anyone who will stand in their way?

And, of course, it must happen before the election. Absolutely must. So you know the timetable.

Mark K Logan

FOX had Bolton on this morning. Stated that plans to hit camps within Iran, that are purportedly staging areas for suppling weapons to "terrorists" in Iraq, are being finalized now. The commentators were quick to chime in to wonder with a tinge of outrage why we haven't bombed these "camps" in Iran already...

Looks like the full court MSM media press is gaining considerable steam.

Unless there is some sort of massive public outcry and soon, I fear this train
is going to leave the station, if it hasn't already.

William R. Cumming

Curiosity! What do we know about Israel aid to Iran during the 1980's Iranian-Iraqi War? Is Iran completely embargoed across the board for Israelis? Is Israel embargoed for Iranians?

Patrick Lang

WRC

Israel obtained spare parts and munitions for Iran throughout the Iran-Iraq War. They bought them on the black and grey arms market after a monthly conference with the Iranians in Europe.

That is what set off the Iran-Contra Affair. The Israelis finally decided that it would be easier to get the Americans to supply the Iranians directly and to have them pay for the materiel at inflated prices. This money could then be used against the Sandinistas. The US op could then be made even better by selling more stuff to the contras to be paid for with appropriated US covert action money thus by-passing the Boland Amendment and creating a "slush" fund illegally.

I was the chief DoD witness before the Tower Commission. This all came out in sworn testimony after all the documents were released to me for analysis. I had a hard time keeping a lot of this out of the published report but I thought at the time that it would be a bad thing to damage US foreign relations by revealing the stupidity of North/Poindexter et al. I was mistaken. pl

Robert C

Wondeful comments, but the sad reality is that all this will proabaly work. What forces do any of you see stopping this? No one in the administration will stop it. The Congress? No way, it is an election year. The Pentagon? Another war is job security. The electorate? no way. too dumb. Are only true hope is elements in the intelligence community step up and shoots this down. Sadly, most of thopse types have been weeded out.

J

Colonel,

it seems that the israelis nor the brits have had their fill of slain american blood, and are doing everything possible to incur the spilling of more american blood. it's sad to think that both israel and britain think that we the u.s. are their colony/state to use and abuse at their whims. and to think, our politicians call the both of them 'allies'. with such 'allies', who needs enemies?

robt willmann

It appears as if the final step of a propaganda operation is at hand: creating the impression that the thing you are promoting is now "inevitable".

I did not see any of the Sunday television programs, but Mark Logan says in a comment above that Fox News had John Bolton on today to inject the idea that plans are being "finalized" to attack certain camps in Iran. Mr. Kiracofe also lists methods used before the Iraq War which are reappearing now.

On the non-public front, Israel is peddling its so-called "intelligence" behind closed doors here and in Britain to try to push the policy makers forward, that is, those policy makers who are not already essentially agents of influence for Israel.

We should keep in mind that this administration makes decisions on the basis of what it thinks it can get away with, regardless of what the Constitution, laws, or social traditions say. Thus, its calculation goes roughly like this--

1. Will the U.S. military obey orders to attack Iran without a Congressional declaration of war? With Adm. Fallon gone and Gen. Petraeus being promoted to be head of the U.S. Central Command (CentCom), the answer is almost certainly "yes".

2. Will the mass media, including newspapers and magazines, support an attack on Iran? Yes, since the media is consciously helping to promote it.

3. Will Congress pass articles of impeachment and have a trial of those impeached in the Senate if Iran is attacked without a declaration of war? No, because all money to continue the war and occupation in Iraq is being approved by the Democrats, and Congress is just as compromised and cowardly as it has been over the last 8 years.

4. Will there be huge public demonstrations and masses of people going to Washington D.C. to demand the ouster of the administration if it attacks Iran? Probably not, because the mass media will continue consciously to work to dampen any dissent and prevent publicity of contrary views, and because the terrible economic situation and high gas prices make travel to Washington to protest difficult.

5. Will other large countries, such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, or Canada cause trouble, or will oil producing countries withhold oil if there is an attack on Iran? This is potentially a wild card, but since there has been no public effort by any of those countries to head an attack off at the pass, their interference is unlikely.

All this hype about Iran could just be political smoke to keep the public stirred up and diverted from the destructive banking and other domestic problems here at home, and to help the candidacy of John McCain, with no attack on Iran contemplated.

But given the aggressive war on Iraq and the continuing cruel occupation and societal destruction of it, a new aggressive war on Iran, even in the form of "air strikes", cannot be ruled out.

CeeHussein

It doesn't matter what fraud they manufacture next Annie Oakley Clinton will go along with Bush and the neocons like she did the last time.

condfusedponderer

Interesting statement by Mullen: Jerusalem Post reports that Admiral Mullen said "has been at Israel's side for all of 60 years, it will be for the next 60 years, 100 years and 1,000 years"

Hard to tell, but it could read as 'Don't be rash, we're on your side', no?

condfusedponderer
I think this is the bluntest post I've read on this blog. "Ha ha"?
It does sound a little scornful.

But I guess he's right: US satellite capability is superior to Israel's. What Israel sees, the US see better. As for HUMINT, sure, Israel can dig out another 'dissident source' it decides to keep secret. It's he-said-she-said then. An independent source, like the IAEA, or the like, has a much greater credibility, at the very least because they don't tend to have national interests involved in this (as indicated by, in contrast to Israel, a clear lack of previous bellicose rhetoric on their part).

Without verification the Israeli's are just making either paranoid or reckless assertions. 'Trust us' doesn't exactly work with the Israelis, who are, like nations tend to be, quite selfish an actor. I wouldn't put it beyond them to engage in information operations.

Grimgrin

robt: I doubt Canada will do anything but keep selling Tar Sands oil south, while the resulting spike in oil prices sends Calgary's economy goes further into overdrive. We have a long history of quietly profitable hypocrisy in these matters. I knew a man who worked in the Cominco Sullivan Mine in Kimberly BC during the Vietnam war. They used to joke about selling lead to the Americans to be made into bullets. Canada was a non-belligerent in that war, and more than a few draft dodgers wound up in BC during the same time. But it was still our lead in your bullets.

more here: http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/vietnam_war/clips/1413-9128/

Russia seems well placed to stir shit up in the area. Maybe they'd like to field test some of their new missiles? Aside from that, why would they do anything? The US has opened both it's wrists and is still looking for veins to cut, they're probably quite content to watch.


hjmler

all seems pointed at another disastrous action but what advantage can GWB's admin hope to have out of this? what's the payoff? to pitch the country into such an economic and military crisis that they can impose a dictatorship? the country would go nuts if we lost a carrier, if our actions cut off mideast oil for a prolonged period and gas went to $10 a gallon or worse. what the hell can they possibly be thinking?

Patrick Lang

Norbert

"Scornful" would be the right word. pl

TomB

Interesting and seemingly ominous news, but as a matter of intellectual integrity (and fun, and an example of how very damn difficult it is to do so too) shouldn't all of us put up or shut up as well and hang our straight up or down predictions out there so we too can be judged upon them later?

(With amendments certainly being allowed as time goes by and new information comes in, but of course with it also being valid to lessen to an appropriate degree the respect we accord to the amending opinion giver.)

So, given that going first would now seem unavoidable, for my part I adjudge that neither the U.S. nor the Israelis will embark on a military strike of Iranian nuclear targets by the time Bush leaves office.

(I would add that I hold this opinion with a moderate and still gulp-inducing degree of confidence only, but I don't think we should allow hedging and thereby agree not to cite same in my defense when it turns out I'm wrong.)

Cheers,

Richard Whitman

Intelligence services almost always get some of the details wrong. It is just the nature of the craft. How much they get wrong depends on the quality of the raw data, the skill of the analyst and the amount of spervisory interference.
I have long believed that Iran already has some nuclear weapons. The US and the USSR manufactured between 80,000 and 100,000 nuclear weapons during the last 50+ years. Do we know the precise history and location of each one?

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Good piece by Nir Rosen entitled "Selling the War with Iran":

...."In April I testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to attempt to explain what was really happening in Iraq, where I have spent most of the last five years, so that they could better challenge General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker during their Senate testimony. But it made little difference....."
http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/05/selling_the_war/

As over half the Senate of the United States dutifully attends the annual AIPAC extravaganza, it follows that Rosen's testimony and similar would make little difference. Politicians, such as they are, on Capitol Hill have abandoned over the past two decades the "deliberative" function with respect to policy. They listen to their campaign finance people. So we have, as a former colleague of mine on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee quipped, "the best foreign policy money can buy."

2. For some of us who worked directly or indirectly on the Iran-Contra case, the presence of the Neo-con network, in the new Bush 43 Administration was an important indicator. Republican policy specialists who had opposed over the years the Neocon/Zionist penetration of the party were generally not welcome in the new Admin with its "pro-Israel" tilt and fundamentalist Christian Zionist ethos.

When the Bush 43 Admin in October 2001 broke with past precedent and placed Hamas and Hizbullah on the official terrorist org list, that was another indicator. Before they had not been on the list as they had been categorized as "resistance organizations" which are legal under international law. The organizations were duly resisting Israeli occupation of Palestine and southern Lebanon.

"The exclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah -- as well as organizations associated with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat -- had dismayed Israel and many Jewish activists.

"Danny Ayalon, the foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said these organizations are driven by the same ideology as terror suspect bin Laden and have a global reach."

"We think it is important that they be on the new lists in order to give fighting them high priority," Ayalon said soon after the executive order was released.

Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said there is "no doubt that Hezbollah has a global presence." Hamas, he said, also has a global infrastructure and Palestinian Islamic Jihad has global ties."
http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/16997/edition_id/335/format/html/displaystory.html

3. The Iran war should be placed into the overall Neocon/Zionist foreign policy vision of the Bush43 Administration which at the outset included: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Eqypt, Sudan and others as subjects of interest. Little Bush following up on the "New World Order" of daddy Bush? A family-dynastic thing? Skull and Bones, 322 and all that, thing?

Cold War Zoomie

Remember our "Train Travel" discussion months and months ago? My guess was that Republican congress-critters wouldn't support any action against Iran due to the coming elections, and may actually exert enough pressure to stop it. As long as the Dems don't completely implode, I think this is even more of a possibility now than then. Bush and Cheney are one big albatross for the GOP. My only concern is that the GOP congress-critters' lizard brains no longer consider self preservation to be more important than authoritarian party cohesion.

My ever prescient gut tells me that this is the neocon's Battle of the Bulge - the one last push for victory before all is lost?

Curious

The chatter about "bombing Iran" increases again. This insane.

The oil was already at $120 or so without a single bomb dropping. Projected budget deficit is $500, while tax receivable is falling all over.

And they still want to push for one more war?

I can't imagine what the Iranian is thinking right now in term of hedging long term strategy.

Just a note:
1. East asia is forming Asia monetary system (ie. they are preparing for massive financial turmoil, jsut like in '97) This group alone hold about $3T of US bonds. (They can buy our reserve ten times over)

2. Brazil, Russia, India, China will have major economic coop conference in mid may. (They think the current global economy set up is not sustainable)

This is insane. Never mind various discussion of military option and counter moves. A war with Iran will be very destructive economically. The crazies inside the Whitehouse need to stay away from the button.

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