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04 June 2011

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Walrus

Regarding President Obama, we have yet to see the depths of stupidity that I predict he will plumb. An order to attack Iran is possible.

Fiorangela

my tongue needed ordonture when I moved from Charlottesville to western Pennsylvania -- y'all to y'ns.

just listened to a panel discussing Iran - Iraq war (panel was in 1987). Iran paid bills as they went along, drilled the people to suck up the hardship, tighten belt, etc. Iraq was quite a different story -- Saddam had to borrow from his neighbors to pay for weapons buys (which is, of course, what precipitated the invasion of Kuwait), and Saddam encouraged the Iraqi people to "go shopping" -- war was NOT popular among Iraqis so Saddam did not impose constraints on Iraqis. The notion of enduring short-term pain for long-term gain is deeply embedded in Iranian psyche; not so w/ Iraq, to their great, great sorrow, suffering, destruction.

dan, apparently Israelis are similarly unwilling to endure any short term pain, or even to unstiffen their necks for the sake of oil or peace with Palestinians which would perhaps induce Egyptians to deal more kindly with Israel. Attitude is everything.

Shibley Telhami on C Span this morning said Egypt's military is cooperating with Israel, now even more than under Mubarek. However, said Telhami, Egyptians like all Arabs in the region protested in demand of their dignity and to redress a century of humiliation. Palestine is living symbol of that humiliation. If Israel remains intransigent on Palestine, Egypt, even its military, will not continue to play nicely with Israel. Sounds to me like Egypt is pursuing the Davutoglu model.

Israel, listen to your god: didn't he say something about being a stiff-necked people and how stiff necks ultimately get broken?

Medicine Man

Even measuring by your own yardstick, Walrus, that doesn't make sense. Ordering an attack on Iran involves sticking your neck out. Oh yes, it would be a crowd-pleaser amongst certain crowds, but not amongst the bulk of the electorate, I wager.

Thomas

" As a result,two cowardly, slimy Obama officials ran to {Politico} to bash
Hersh while hiding behind the protective womb of anonymity..."

We could play an internet game of pin the leak on the jack-azzes by guessing who the slimeballs are.

Definitely Denny-boy was one.

arbogast

I particularly like the arguments that Israel will not attack Iran for practical reasons: in-flight refueling needs, etc.

I assume that the premise of these arguments is that morally Israel has the right to attack Iran today. It's just that the logistics are a bit tricky.

Look, Obama led the way. A multi-hundred million dollar operation to kill one man. Everybody was thrilled that he succeeded.

The only even remote reason Israel will not attack Iran is public failure. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Israel does bomb suspected nuclear sites in other countries without hesitation, does it not?

Obama risked his Presidency on the bin Laden hit. Bibi won't risk his Presidency on the Iran hit? Each of them has a golden parachute. Why not?

Spafford

Walrus--well if you have a rabbit/mouse plague-DON't shoot the foxes!

Basilisk

Walrus,
I promise the .17 HMR is your universal solution to all of those problems.

J

The last thing that Tel Aviv will admit to, that they are a really big Screw-Up. And 'if' that particular Screw-Up does decide to get stupid (which they already are) and attack Iran, the most they could do would be 'minimal damage', which would throw the ball to the Pentagon's court -- 'finish the job' or 'sit it out'.

I would prefer that our DoD told both Tel Aviv and our 'occupied' White House/Congress that they were no Foreign Power's whipping boy, and Foreign Powers like Tel Aviv can go and find a rolling doughnut to jump through.

LeaNder

Interesting, Basilik that was indeed brilliantly written, Pat slightly enigmatic, and beyond that dan sounds much more informed and rational than others here.

Would they ever dare to drag the US into a war they started? I somehow doubt. They are not crazy. But that's the same old narrative, indeed.

Charles I

I'm not so sure the public would snap into position and rapturously clamour for follow on attacks. There's trillion dollar two war fatigue, Osama Mission Accomplished, the Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla, Bibi's complete and utter contempt - publicly remarked on, the "border" defense shootings today, a lot has diminished the potential for unchallenged, un-scrutinized default support for the aggressor.

I hope.

Fiorangela

I wish I shared ya'all's optimism. This afternoon I reviewed a few call-in programs concerning the shoot-down of the Iranian airbus by the US ship Vincennes in Persian Gulf, killing 290 civilian Iranians..

My fellow Americans said, "Served 'em right; they had it comin' for messin' with the US." More than a few said, "It was a suicide plane; Khomeini planned it to make the USofA look bad;" and "Hell no, USofA shouldn't apologize; the plane was obviously up to no good; 30 minutes after takeoff and they're still only 50 miles away? Something's fishy."
Ya, what was fishy is that the plane was only 7 minutes after takeoff; and it was ascending, not diving, as one would do in attack mode.

The point is, Americans do not think critically, do not stop to get the facts before making emotion-charged decisions, and they demand that their leaders do the same.

Evangelicals have laid down their marker: "If you mess with Israel, you mess with the USofA." Do you suppose Romney will pull one of his perfectly coifed hairs out over the death of a coupla million Iranians that Israel decides are expendable, if it means Mitt might lose Florida? And if Mitt is willing to tear off that part of the seamless garment of life (preserving sacrosanct the Pro-Life coverup), do you suppose Obama will say, "I am the president; I insist that Israel cease and desist all threats of attack on the Iranian people; even threats are contrary to the Convention against Genocide, and we are a nation of values that abides by the rule of law."

Yeah, right. Rule of law, the law being, whatever my campaign donors rule, that is my law.

If Israel wants to attack Iran, Israel will, and Obama cannot stop them. Getting their arses whipped in Lebanon was not a lesson, it was a humiliation that demands redress.

Marcus

Obama is craven not stupid. The "...big contingency planning drills over the
past several weeks..." are if Bibi does something stupid. Plans to minimize the damage and keep the straight open.

Gas shortages are not good for re-election hopes.

jr786

Israel is like Paris Hilton - it just has to get its name in the paper every single day, usually by screwing someone.

If it happens, seems to me that smart play for Iran is to do nothing, at least not in the run-up to the election. After all, the attacked or wounded party has a few non-military actions it can take - imagine the built up pressure of nothing happening.

How would we be compelled to 'finish' the job then?

Peter

17 cal Remington, because I love to re-load. The first time I shot the .17 cal was instant addiction. That was in 1977. There is some magic in taking the cap off a bottle of beer, when the bottle of beer is just a dot to the naked eye way out there.

magurakurin

yes Colonel Lang we deep Northerners say that. But I'm guessing it was "youse guys." The lack of a second person plural pronoun in English is a problem. "Y'all" is a good one, but "youse" does the job in a pinch.

And I have no idea what Israel might do, but I hope that cooler heads can prevail and they don't pull a stunt like bomb Iran. After the performance of the "commandos" on that Palestinian aid ship from Turkey, I think the Israelis need to get their mind around the idea that they simply just aren't all that.

Walrus

Medicine Man commenting on my suggestion re Obama bombing Iran:

"Even measuring by your own yardstick, Walrus, that doesn't make sense."

I agree 100% with you that it doesn't make sense! My point is that Obama is capable of doing something that doesn't make sense because he lacks the empathetic ability to understand what the electorate will put up with, and unfortunately the electorate doesn't hold much sway in Washington.

Re .17 HMR - Rabbits mice and Foxes: The mice will be destroyed by winter. The rabbits are prey for Foxes. We then end up with a lot of very hungry Foxes - which are an introduced species in Australia that are treated as vermin because they prey on cute native animals as well as chickens and sheep.

The .17 sounds just about right. It should just fit in the gun safe along with the .308, .222, .22 and shotgun.

dan

Arbogast

Your assumption is incorrect - the whole thing is morally bankrupt and strategically insane.

The point is that Israel simply does not have the political, diplomatic and military/logistical capacity to do it.

Lysander

Dan, isn't possible that Israel could arrange to use the territory of a collaborationist local government or rebel group with territory? IIRC, there was a report in the Iranian press that the IAF was preparing for an attack from Iraqi Kurdistan.

I don't think this is likely, but I can't rule out the possibility that Israel together with the Saudi government might collaborate in drawing the us into an attack. Certainly, if Israel were to attack, it would need the assistance of a regional power.

Charles I

Fiorangela, does this mean automatically Obama will join in.? Marcus' take on gas price contingency planning is appealing, tho an Israeli attack in and of itself would be very inflationary all around, huge profit taking opportunities, more crisis , er, planning. . .

Patrick Lang

Walrus

Basilisk is right. the .17HMR is a great round, very fast, very flat. Lots of guns in this caliber. I like this Henry in SS, black stock with a scope. pl

optimax

The following is an article from YNET news about a Rand researcher who says Iran is 2 months away from a nuclear bomb and the US and Israel need to attack and occupy Iran immediately. There are no facts to back up this warning.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4078778,00.html

Fred

Fiorangela,

Mitt Romney (and every other Republican candidate for President) has a bigger problem winning an election in Florida, he's call Governor Rick Scott:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/24/2235317/poll-rick-scott-among-the-least.html

"Scott’s job-performance numbers mirror public sentiment about the billion state budget, which cuts spending on schools, healthcare and programs for the environment."

Bombing Iran for Israel's perceived security needs isn't likely to overcome this.

dan

Lydander

All such scenarios entail the assumption of a whole load of imaginary tin-openers, a thoroughgoing refusal to do any real-world analysis, and a pretence that there are no "politics" involved.

"Secret" military airfields with the facilities and capacities to deal with high-end combat aircraft and their munitions don't just appear out of thin air - they have to be financed, constructed, stocked, supplied and protected. And remember that the definition of "secret" here applies to the general public, who might be upset, not the putative targets, who make it their business to know what the opposition is doing ( and secret military airfields in odd places are tough to hide ).

No such facilities actually exist in Kurdistan, and we have to pretend that we don't know that Iranian intelligence has a long-standing presence there, and that most Kurdish leaders have all spent vastly more time in Teheran than in Washington or Tel Aviv.

Likewise, the idea that Israel can militarily collaborate with Saudi Arabia is a fantasy.

But the big question in all of this is that after more than 15 years of Israeli threats to bomb Iran's nuclear sites, and a good 6-7 years of breathless rumours, leaked plans, threats, regular talk of points of no return and expressions of macho Israeli fortitude in this, why on earth do the bombs stubbonly refuse to rain out of the sky?

Perhaps all these chimeras are really about something else entirely?

The Twisted Genius

"I like this Henry in SS, black stock with a scope."

My God , sir, I now see what a pragmatic progressive you must be. It makes me realize what a weaponry luddite I am. I wasn't even aware of the .17HMR. It seems to be a miracle round; providing accuracy, long range and affordability. I looked at an ad for ammunition yesterday and figured I could fund my retirement with what I have in my basement... or contribute mightily to the coming revolution.

William R. Cumming

Okay PL and commentators--what are chances USA will have any creds in MENA by 2012 elections in USA and does it make any difference outside of Jewish vote?

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