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20 April 2010


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"Mowing your lawn and mowing the grass at Arlington National Cemetery are both grass cutting. but..."



Col: I attended a dinner about two years ago with Bruce Reidel. I found him a nice change from the Neo-Con-men who take their Barnum & Bailey show on the road. His concern then (and probaby now): Pakistan.


Maliki's announcement of those "Al Qaida" killed was only to divert attention from the secret torture prisons that were exposed a few days ago.

Someone should ask Oderno how much he knew about these: Secret prison revealed in Baghdad
Forces under the office of Prime Minister Maliki held hundreds of Sunni men at the facility. The U.S. fears that the news will stoke instability.

He knew nothing? Then he isn't up to his job.

The killed "Al Qaeda" were killed before or did never exist: Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Re-Captured, Now Killed Again

Allen Thomson

"All that nonsense about Osirak and Syria is just that."

I've been trying to follow the story of the Israeli raid on what is said to have been a reactor in Syria since it happened in September 2007. As far as I can tell, senior officials of the Bush and Obama administrations really do believe that it was a plutonium production reactor.

But the whole story is really weird and I'd much like to hear your take on it.

BTW, for the latest see today's Foreign Policy article;


Jim Montgomery

Every time I hear someone preen about the surge, I am reminded of the surgeon who was so pleased that he stopped a gangrene infection on the stump of a leg he amputated---except the patient had come in for an appendectomy.

Jim Montgomery


I can only guess, But my guess is that, if Iran is thought to possess a nuclear bomb by 2012, then this moment will be Obama's hostage crisis moment and he will be a one term President like Carter. In 2012, a candidate who would pledge to end Iran’s nuclear capability by military means would be elected President… and he or maybe she in the person of Palin will be stuck with that campaign promise and all that probably would flow from a military strike.

What would be the short and long term effect on our relationship with Iraq, Eastern Afghanistan, China, Russia and most of the European nations? After such a strike, could an American President even travel overseas, except, of course, to Israel?

Or is Bibi just going to force the issue before 2012?

And, finally, one question that has always intrigued me. Would Iran think that being the “victims” of a US strike would be internationally advantageous to themselves in the long run, because, in fact having a nuclear weapon is practically useless except for prestige, but playing the “victim of US imperial aggression” would win them allies in a world that had once lived through colonial occupation?

Who would be the real winner if the US struck Iran?



after such a strike oil would be above $100/barrel, which would effectively cripple the WORLD economy. The EU, Russia and China would have bigger recessions than '09 to now, if not a depression. So would the US. What strategic gain is that offset by?


More on Scuds:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Doubts are growing within the U.S. defense and intelligence community about allegations that long-range Scud missiles from Syria have been shipped to the Hezbollah guerrilla group in neighboring Lebanon, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Washington believes Syrian was moving toward transferring more sophisticated Scuds to Hezbollah, but U.S. intelligence agencies have not been able to confirm Israeli allegations that the missiles have changed hands, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity.

While the United States suspects some kind of transfer may have occurred in Syria, two U.S. officials said there were "no indications" any Scud rockets were transported into Lebanon, which would sharply escalate the risk of a conflict.

"We don't think Scuds of any shape or size have been moved to Lebanon," one of the officials said.

The same day I read this:
Al-Hayat newspaper says US secretary of state conveys message to Lebanese parliament speaker saying Washington cannot stop Israel from striking in Lebanon as long as arms smuggling to Hezbollah continues.
Is this some carrots and stocks game in which Israel plays the madman (quite convincingly, with Lieberman on the loose) or is Israel seriously crazy enough to consider striking Lebanon and/or Syria?

Or are they merely trying to press on with their efforts to paint Syria as a proxy of Iran (Hezbollah = Syria = Iran)? I understand that the Netanyahu crowd is not in favour of the US moving towards improved relations with Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused arch-foe Iran on Thursday of misleading Syrian leaders with the "lie" that Syria could soon come under attack by Israel.

The remarks appeared aimed at dousing war talk stoked by an April 10 Kuwaiti newspaper report, endorsed by some Israeli officials but denied by Damascus, that Syria had supplied Scud missiles to Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

"In my estimate, there is Iranian agitation, both direct and indirect, via Hezbollah. With this agitation Iran is trying to persuade Syria, mainly, that Israel is about to attack Syria," Netanyahu told Israel's Channel Two television in an interview.
After Israeli President Shimon Peres, who does not wield executive powers, endorsed the Scud report on April 13, Syria and Lebanon accused Israel of seeking a pretext to attack them.
"One thing I can say is that arms flow continuously from Syria, via the Lebanon-Syria border -- both Iranian arms and Syrian arms," Netanyahu told Channel Two.
"I think that Syria understands there is fierce criticism -- both by the United States, and by us, and from any peace-seeking country -- over any such weapons transfer, though I won't discuss any specific details," Netanyahu said.


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