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04 May 2008

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mlaw230

An attack on the Quds force has already been legally legitimized by the inclusion of that "entity" as a terrorist organization.

As I recall, McCain and HRC voted in favor while BHO voted against. Public reaction could go either way, perhaps this is the "game changer" that Hillary is counting on?

John

A war with Iran before this autumn will preempt perfectly the Wall Street/international economic crash that is most likely coming.
Then the evil Iranians can be blamed for shutting down Persian Gulf oil. And the resulting oil crash will conceal the banking and asset deflation crash caused by complete mismanagement of the economy.
Get ready to rock and roll bitches. Looks like the perfect storm could be heading our way.

Binh

Forget the nuclear program, it looks like the U.S. is planning a "limited" strike on a Revolutionary Guards facility:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3868063.ece

Also, the Israelis will never shut up.

LeaNder


Now that the PNAC democratization workforces have closed shop in the US (no?)and moved on to Albion's shores, shouldn't we expect some motions over here in Old Europe?

"They" are out to get us, them evil Arabs. How do we call the pan-Islamist threat scenario: The Orientalist Matter?

NattyB

Dear Col. Lang,

Perhaps you have written this earlier.

But I am wondering what is your opinion on the Israeli strike on the alleged "nuclear site" in Syria?

Montag

Cold War Zoomie, I'd say it would be more like the Arnhem Airdrop (Operation Market Garden), "A Bridge Too Far"--in which the cult of Air Power and the irresistible lure of that harlot Rosey Scenario produced one of the most hare brained schemes in military history. There's a scene in the 1977 movie where the Polish General (Gene Hackman) is being briefed by a planning officer and is increasingly alarmed at how haphazard an operation his men are going to be fed into. He stands very close to the briefer and eyeballs his uniform. When asked what he's doing, he replies:

"Just wanted to see whose side you're on."

William R. Cumming

Post-script! I was assigned by the GC FEMA to read the entirety of the Iran-Contra hearings to see if FEMA was mentioned. It was not. Oliver North did enter FEMA HQ's 44 times primarily as the NSC liaison on NSDD-47 (issued July 1982) developing a mobilization strategy for both war and peace and staffed by detailees from all the major departments and agencies. In futuro, should the US attack Iran this time a number of Iranian sponsored groups will launch attacks against Israeli, US and SUNNI interests throughout the middle-east. And the Russians will back the Iranians, and probably the Chinese. Now you have heard from "Nostradamus."

londanium

Once again, the Times moles at the heart of the Israeli and US mil-intel establishment have blown another secret military operation that was going to teach those cussed Iranians a lesson.

What's really surprising is that after nearly 4 years of such revelations in the Times ( and elsewhere in the UK press, which should clue you in to the "sources" for the reports ) they still don't appear to have been caught!

It's truly surprising that Murdoch and John Bolton are actually so desperate to stop an attack on Iran that they are willing to disclose secret military plans...thereby tipping off the Iranians as to US intentions and enabling them to make provisions...it's shameful really.

Oh, wait, the above is all nonsense, as indeed is the latest Times attack on Iran plan installment report.

It's called propaganda, it crops up whenever US aircraft carrier groups cross over during their rotation into and out of the fifth fleet area, and at sundry other points in the diplomatic schedule ( ie IAEA board meetings, EU-Iran sessions, UNSC P5 meetings to discuss the Iran dossier/further sanctions ).

The Friedman unit is truly the default measure of US historical and current affairs amnesia.

Walrus

This is going to end in treason trials. However I don't know who is going to be running them.

As far as I can tell, the Neocons are going for one last roll of the dice by attacking Iran. They are hoping that a conflict in Iran will:

1. Take peoples minds off an economic meltdown and allow their backers to make off with yet more billions.

2. Get John McCain elected as a "War President".

3. Cow Congress permanently into abrogating the Constitution during an endless "war on terror".

4. Cement the power of America's ruling Republican elites.

5. Get American hands on Iranian oil fields

As for health care, campaign funding reform, global warming.....don't you know there's a war on?

The plan is to achieve as much possible of items 1 to 5 and then at some later point pull back and consolidate the wonderful gains that have been made.

Should the general public have the temerity to dispute this wonderful course of action, then examples will be made of the more prominent miscreants.

Mark K Logan

CWZ:

Cornered animals are dangerous critters. My impression is they are selling this as "Don't worry. They are harming our troops. You love our troops, now don't you? There now, we are only going to bomb an itty-bitty piece of Iran. What could happen?"

I don't think it's a snow job aimed at Congress, more
the public. I think they hold Congress as being out of the loop now for whatever they do militarily
now.

I'm not even sure it's a snow job. They might really believe that. Tunnel vision
on "winning" against Sadr.

matt

Fascinating comments from everyone as usual, but as a former political science major...well, what's so bad about poli sci? I thought it was a pretty good subject area - and Ted Lowi's a pretty smart guy! (maybe its a reference to "Neocons" and since I'm not a trained Straussian... :-)

Feeney

TOM B
My prediction is the bomb in the Fall. If Mcain is elected they get the easy green light. After all the new boos would be the same as the old boss Clinton she will ask for and get some tempid denialbilty Obama - they try and steam roll him or just say it is not your call yet.

Fromthebleacher

TOM B
My prediction is they bomb in the Fall, after the election. If Mcain is elected they get the easy green light. After all the new boss would be the same as the old boss. Clinton she will ask for and get some tempid deniability. Obama - they try and steam roll him or just say it is not your call yet. Either way they will not this opportunity pass.

Patrick Lang

matt

The science part. pl

Montag

I guess Political has the same oxymoronic relationship with Science as War has with Game.

TomB

Fromthebleacher wrote:

"My prediction is they bomb in the Fall, after the election. If Mcain (sic) is elected...."

Your thinking makes me nervous to have disagreed.

Cheers,

Andy

What could such a "breakthrough" in intelligence be? I can think of few choices besides Iran restarting its weaponization work that the IC says was halted in 2003. That would be a breakthrough, but it would seem rash for the Iranians to continue along this line while the world still has it under the microscope. A nuclear weapons program with Saddam next door was, in my judgment, a completely rational course of action. Now that he's gone and Iraq is no longer a threat, Iran's need for a defensive deterrent has lessened considerably. Taken together, it seems unlikely that Iran would restart weaponization at this time.

As for an attack on Iran, my assessment continues to be that Israel does not have the capability to conduct an effective attack or it would have already done so. Additionally, barring some solid evidence of weaponization work, or proof that Iran is still lying to the IAEA with regard to its CSA, the US is unlikely to attack as well for a variety of reasons.

Montag

Here's an article on Israel's nuclear arsenal, "'Obliterate? Israel Can Defend Itself:"

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/05/981106.aspx

Walrus

Andy, you appear to be applying logic to the Iran situation on the premise that a nuclear armed Iran is somehow a bad thing that must not be allowed to occur at any price.

1. The above is merely an assertion by the Neocons.

2. There is no reliable, testable evidence to support the existence of a military nuclear program.

3. There are other reasons that the Neocons favour an attack on Iran that have nothing whatsoever to do with it's nuclear program nor its activities in Iraq.

Andy

Walrus,

I'm not quite sure how you divine from my logic a belief that Iran must not have a nuke at any cost. I think preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons is a worthy goal, but attacking Iran is unlikely to achieve it, especially when one considers the costs and risks (both known and unknown) of such an attack.

You're right there is no "reliable, testable evidence" for a military nuclear program in Iran, but one might argue the evidence available is not inconsistent with such a program, nor is it wholly consistent with a peaceful program. Furthermore, prior to 2003, such a program was strategically rational as long as Iraq - Iran's greatest threat - intended to build nukes.

FWIW, in my estimation, Iran's strategic environment has changed considerably since 2003 and the demise of Saddam's Iraq. Although I am convinced Iran had a weapons program prior to 2003, I think Iran's intentions going forward could be quite different because of this change in strategic environment.

With that in mind, I think getting Iran under the provisions of the additional protocol to the NPT should be a top priority, which will likely require some substantial accommodations to bring about.

kim

did anyone mention that it only takes one "wheel and fire" sort of, um, "loose cannon" in a position of power and opportunity and close enuf to arrange 45 seconds (or, who knows, maybe more)of "presidential authority" to screw us all with his paint brush.

still, i got the optimism thing workin'. provisional.

Curious

k. Obama seems to be in solid ground. Time to reassess.

1. Neocon plan to put Hillary seems unlikely now. (still possible but very small)

2. outright war with Iran has to happen inside the remaining Bush administration, or else it will not happen. I don't think it is possible to create a comprehensive military plan that can finish inside the remaining time.

3. Regime change in Israel is now very likely. Olmert will fall one way or another soon. If he still survives, probably a soft economic sanction that will crash Israel currency is likely.

4. Relationship with Israel will now take another tone. Most likely it will be more academic, balance and not heavily tainted with aipac related money. (But congress is still owned by aipac. I suspect they will strong arm Obama Israel related bill, but the public baclash will be so large, every rightwing pro-israel senators will be kicked out one way or another in mid-term.)

5. No progress in Palestine until regime change happens in Israel. (probably after 2010)

6. I seriously doubt there will be fundamental change with US-Iran relationship. But at least it will not be as dangerous as during Bush/neocon administration.
Europe will warm up to Iran, as with China and Russia (Basically, the entire planet except us)


Basically,

the neocon is running out of time. They have to pull all or nothing during the remaining time of Bush administration.

I seriously doubt Israel strategist will want to bet their farm inside 8 months. The effect of Iraq without US alone is highly uncertain. On top of global economic meltdown.

Walrus

Andy, I don't even think that stopping Iran from having a nuclear weapons program is a worthy goal. But that's beside the point.

You are correct in stating that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but you cannot make strategic decisions, in fact any decision, on such a basis.

My view is that even if Iran had no nuclear program at all, or suddenly , today, announced the abandonment of its enrichment program and surrender to the IAEA, another Causus Belli would be trumped up, probably biological or chemical weapons.

The reason is the Israelis fear of the emergence of moderate Islamic states with technically advanced economies that would command Western investment, and with that would come engagement and a lessening of Israeli influence in the world.

The Neocon fear is slightly different - the emergence of more economies that will compete with the West for natural resources and political influence. Do we really want to have to engage with Iran as well as China and India?

To put it another way, this is all about money.

J

Colonel,

here we go 'again', 'more' israeli lies and 'propaganda' about 'what if' nonsense regarding iran.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1209627027461&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Israel: Iran could have nukes by '09

i hope at some future point in time that the nuremburg war crimes tribunal is brought back so that israeli govt. officios along with bush admin. officios and propagandists like ledeen and kristol can be brought up on war crimes charges to have to face responsibility for their war propaganda actions which mirror many nazis whom the nuremburg tribunal found guilty.


Andy

Walrus,

Thanks for your reply. You said,

You are correct in stating that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but you cannot make strategic decisions, in fact any decision, on such a basis.

It's not a question of absent evidence, it's a question of ambiguous evidence. Nations make decisions on the basis of ambiguous evidence all the time. Rarely is there a true "absence of evidence" and, by the same token, it is rare to have unambiguous clarity that makes decision-making easy. Typically there is a greater or lesser degree of ambiguity and often significant ambiguity still exists even when the totality of evidence appears very strong.

Instead, interpretation of evidence is affected by perception and bias - cognitive effects that are well-documented in psychology and intelligence literature. People, by nature, often perceive and interpret ambiguous evidence as unambiguous. This effect is more powerful and ingrained than most people realize.

My view is that even if Iran had no nuclear program at all, or suddenly , today, announced the abandonment of its enrichment program and surrender to the IAEA, another Causus Belli would be trumped up, probably biological or chemical weapons.

Maybe so - what is the evidence? Pretty ambiguous in my judgment, though I do believe the current administration is completely capable of trumping up something else to remain hostile to Iran. The flip side of your argument, however - that any negotiation/agreement with Iran is pointless because Iran will not honor it - is a common one in neocon circles and, in my view, flawed.

The reason is the Israelis fear of the emergence of moderate Islamic states with technically advanced economies that would command Western investment, and with that would come engagement and a lessening of Israeli influence in the world.

Why would Israel fear such a thing? Western governments already invest more in the Arab/Islamic world than Israel. Even the US sells more military hardware to Arab nations than it does to Israel. Then there is the example of the UAE - a nation Israel is actively courting - which directly contradicts your conclusion. If it is truly "all about money" I would think Israel would want the benefits it would reap from trade with its neighbors - trade that would be of immense benefit to Israel.

PS. I may have hit the post button before finishing this comment - if so please delete/ignore it in lieu of this one.

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