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02 March 2012

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Morocco Bama

TV, the Mullahs are not crazy. They're authoritarian, but they're extremely rational.....so much so they've played this masterfully thus far. I agree with PL, when they develop nuclear weapons they would not preemptively attack Israel with them unless Israel struck first with nuclear weapons and the entire purpose of Iran's program will be to take that trump card away from Israel, and as PL says, swing the balance of power in the region. Israel knows this, and cannot let it happen, and that is why they will use every option, including the nuclear option, to kill that likelihood in the cradle...or better yet, in the womb.

Jake

One more for the road....

Dear President Obama: On Iran, Listen to the Israelis, not the Likud
http://www.juancole.com/2012/03/dear-president-obama-on-iran-listen-to-the-israelis-not-the-likud.html

Jake

Are you sure, really SURE, that this matters to the obviously crazy mullahs?

Religious extremists? Yes. STUPID? NO and you bet your dupa it matters to them.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Ideology makes one say things like “women who use contraceptives are sluts” or “Iran is on the hinge of history”. The Washington Post tried to float the balloon that conventional weapons can take out Iran’s nuclear program. This is Bull. Nuclear weapons have to be used to be sure.

Like climate change and today’s tornadoes, never mentioned anywhere, but hasn’t the US Air Force left Iraq? I think this Spring is it. There is a clear corridor to Iran and space to refuel the Israeli fighter planes. Next year there will be Iraqi fighter pilots more than willing to screw up the Israeli attack. A nuclear attack also assures that Israel doesn’t have to send every fighter and leaves a reserve to defend against the counter attack. But, as Pakistanis and Indians die from the atomic fallout, the USA will be drawn into WWIII defending Israel.

I cannot image President Obama having enough spine to say no to Israel unlike President Eisenhower.

turcopolier

TV

The Army Blue Uniform is now the Class A uniform. They changed it a little and it has some other name but it is the Blue Uniform. The Green uniform no longer exists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Service_Uniform

pl

fanto

Colonel, I see Obama's positioning as giving Netanyahu et co. "a bridge to escape" - as some wise military strategists advised to do to an adversary (was it chinese or the german v. Clausewitz?) - to let him climb down without losing too much face. I might be wrong, but it is a possibility, I do think he is patriotic.

dcgaffer

No one can get into his mind, but the interview doesn’t bother me and I think he’s playing it right.

I think the Iranians are rational. It’s rational to go for nuclear weapons, because if you presume you can’t – you won’t. You can always pull back if the pressure is too great. They are rational because they are Persians first – Muslims second, and they won’t risk 3500 years of culture going the way of Carthage. And they have a long historical memory of bad things happening – Tamerlane comes to mind.

The President’s (really – our problem) is that Bibi is not rational. But in the US, people think the Iranians are crazy and the Israeli’s are not. He has to deal with that political reality.

So – maybe take a page of Eisenhower playbook (Quemoy -Matsu). You’ve got the same type of red (muslim) scare right flank as then, so publicly you have to play the tough guy, leaving the impression that the support of our ally is unconditional, heck you may even use nukes – but have no intention of doing so and make sure the terms of engagement are so tough, that they never are.

So yes, brinkmanship – and no I’m not comparing Obama to Eisenhower and yes Ike had a lot more gravitas to pull it off, but Obama is still the President of the United State and that by itself carries a lot of throw weight.

We don’t want to bow to politics but we have to bow to politics. If this drags one – and it will – whom do we trust to handle a slow burn crisis better - Obama and his team or the current crop of Republicans who would replace him?

The problem today is – what does he say to Bibi behind closed doors? Heck, I’d tell Bibi, ‘try to attack Iran – and I’ll shoot your planes down.‘ That is probably reckless maybe even stupid – luckily I’m not the President.

William R. Cumming

Did Bibi ever surrender his USA citizenship? I believe Golda Meier did so!

William R. Cumming

So the big "GREEN MACHINE" is no longer but instead the CAMMI CROWD? Are camisoles prescribed by AR?

William R. Cumming

I meant to say PROSCRIBED in my early comment.

Anna-Marina

And do not forget that we are paying the war tax at the gas pump. This is a sure way to hinder the economic recovery
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/02/war-tax-at-the-gas-pump/

Anna-Marina

"...the potential danger to us from a nuclear Iran." This sounds as a strong Zionist argument. Iran is a signatory to the international Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Why does Israel abstain?
The world has has enough of horrors. Advocating this kind of "pre-emptive" war in ME is inhuman (sub-human actually):
http://www.alternet.org/world/154377/what_no_one_is_saying%3A_the_horrors_that_would_be_unleashed_by_a_strike_on_iran/

turcopolier

WRC

Any complaints about Army uniforms should be directed to the Secretary of the Army, whoever that is... pl

Lars

I found this to be one of the better views on the subject:

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2012/03/note_to_obama_p/

What may be missed is that Barack Obama is foremost a politician. What kind of president he is will not be known for quite some time.

Rd.

“""I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."”

As others have suggested, the red line has now shifted, from no enrichment to no weapon. The intelligence community is well aware there are no weapon programs. This new red line is just posturing. As more and more come to realize, the nuke issue is just a red herring.

There is very little chance of war. US is broke and israeli’s don’t’ pass the Texas contest. That was proven beyond doubt in 2006. This has been a flawed policy by US and it is stuck in its cu-de-sac. By 2013 we’d be more concerned with domestic problems.

Charles I

Nice work. It appears that populations' and politicians' attitudes are largely, at odds in each country. We have seen that phenom before, with no effect.

Charles I

Well if I was a Pakistani and started dying from Israeli weapons fallout, I'd certainly be a rational actor. . .

Byron Raum

Mr. Vincent,

Do you realize how nutty you sound? Since you obviously have a blind spot about Iran, may I recommend an intellectual exercise. Just replace "Iran" above with say "Pakistan", "North Korea" or "Columbia." You will see how you look.

B.R.

JTCornpone

Sorry to be late for the party. I've been busy getting ready for my 3 month spring trout trip to the Ozarks.

I am writing this to counter some of the Obama bashing this thread has spawned. I'll not place this as an answer to an individual since I don't mean to attack anyone who thinks and cares enough to respond to the discussion spawned on this site. However please forgive me for responding in kind to some of the comments. IMHO those of you discounting Obama's game should never attempt to play poker with him. I will not lend you a second stake when you are busted out. To the question of who elected him, I am one of the majority group of Americans who did so and still have high hopes for the future. Unemployment is about the same as when he was sworn in except its going down instead of up. The Dow is up 5000 pts from when he took office. My IRA is fully healed and then some. The US auto industry is healthy as opposed to dead. The Taliban is out of power and Bin Laden is dead so we are free to leave Afghanistan and are going to if we won't jeopardize Pakistan. GWB's personal nemesis Saddam ("He tried to kill my father") is dead as are the WMD lies and we are mostly out of there too. To top it all off people like my wife locked out of health insurance due to asthma will soon have a chance to be covered just like normal folks if BO has a second term. Why would I dislike a guy who presided over all this stuff he promised to do despite an implacable group trying their best to prevent it.

The folks purporting to know that he has this or that personality disorder can't possibly know. Watch him closely and you will see IMHO an intelligent man of mixed race who overcame those huge odds to become the leader of the free world and he is only showing you the cards he wants you to see when he wants to show them. Anyway, my second hand psychoanalysis is just as good or bad as any other I see here. I say don't discount the idea that he knows exactly what he is trying to do. I'm not saying he will succeed but I'm saying there's likely a plan and calling him a narcissist is not analysis.

Obama has learned from Jimmy Carter and G. Herbert Walker Bush not to tangle publicly with Israel in a first presidential term. Presidents who waited fared much better and actually achieved second terms. This is why Israel has pulled out all the stops to keep him from having a second term. This is why all the crazy talk about unilateral attack on Iran, with nukes maybe, Bibi publicly dissing our president in our own country, etc is happening now not coincidentally as we enter election season. I also believe that Bibi is rational and that his actions are all calculated in terms of influencing our election in favor of a Republican. I believe BO is sending the appropriate signals to Israel through the appropriate people and they don't like what they are hearing. If the intelligence community as a concensus says Iran is not producing a nuke I believe them just as I believed them (as GW didn't) when they said AQ was planning to attack the US. This concensus does not advance Israel's agenda so they are meddling as fast and hard as they can.

Obama has a tough needle eye to thread and he's doing a fairly good job given the constraints. Can you imaging Santorum the Sanctimonious or Romney the Human Pretzel or Ron Paul the Gold Bug doing any better in advancing the real interests of the US? Maybe you can but I can't from the evidence I've seen so far.

Sorry about the rant. I've never done it here before and I'll likely never again even if I'm not banned.

JT

Buzz Meeks

The Atlantic lost all credibility in my book the day they hired David Brooks. That is when I let my subscription lapse.

Buzz Meeks

Everyone please start checking out your local Occupy.

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL! And the USA designed the uniforms of the Bundewehr when reconstituted in the early 50's to make more "democratic" including the boots.

VietnamVet

Damn. I hadn’t realized that Khakis and Greens have been relegated to that distant war that can only be seen in fading pictures and on museum mannequins somewhere after jodhpurs and puttees.

Morocco Bama

Unemployment is about the same as when he was sworn in except its going down instead of up.

That's simply not true. The statistics are selected to paint a more positive result, and none of them take into account those who have rolled off the unemployment claims roster because they have stopped looking for a job, or can't find a job because there is a stigma in the corporate world about hiring long-term unemployed.

The Dow is up 5000 pts from when he took office.

The Stock Market is a rigged game at this point and has no basis in reality. It is not indicative of the health of the economy and 70% of all trades are by electronic algorithm.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/monsters-in-the-market/8122/

The US auto industry is healthy as opposed to dead.

In my book, it's a going concern and still a failed business model. Who is going to buy all these cars in the next decade? They're getting more expensive....much more expensive. That's the wrong approach. In a deflating/contracting economy, you can't have better, faster and more expensive without seriously declining sales. The way they've gotten around it so far is to continue subprime lending. That can only defer the inevitable several years maximum.

Stanleyhenning

JTCornpone has some very interesting comments. I'm afraid the most serious point is that Bibi wants to see Obama ditched for a Republican. Of course the Republicans under Bush Jr. showed a total lack of savvy in the Iraqi disaster and not much better in Afghanistan, so Bibi may think they will continue down the same path to Israel's advantage if they get in charge. In this respect, I can understand how Obama is attempting to avoid this from happening. These really are interesting times.

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