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May 24, 2007

Iran

I don't know if ABC News is moderating or what, but they've got a surprisingly substantive, reasoned comment section for a major news organization. Establishment organizations usually host free-for-alls. And to say a word on the stories above the comment section, on the one hand, we've got "the leak" of a non-lethal, covert operations strategy aimed at regime change in Iran. I'd have been shocked if we didn't have this sort of a program underway, but alright -- now we're publicizing the thing. Add in that we're seeing, today, new estimates that Iran is 3-8 years from a nuclear weapon. Now, you tell me: Why would Iran agree to give up their nuclear weapons program given that the Bush administration has made it very clear America will attempt to destroy their regime? They won't, of course. The White House is backing them into the corner likeliest to lead to a publicly sellable casus belli.

That sound you hear? Those are the drums of war.

May 24, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

A quote leaped immediately to mind:

Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.

--the late, great Frank Zappa

Posted by: litbrit | May 24, 2007 1:52:08 PM

Why would Iran give up their nuclear weapons program absent Bush administration policy?

Posted by: slickdpdx | May 24, 2007 1:59:37 PM

Got news for ya'. We're already in a war with Iran by proxy.

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 24, 2007 2:12:15 PM

Yep, but the (war) drum team needs lots more practice since they can't find and hold the beat.

Danger and destruction lurks when the US thinks it understands ethic or religious collisions well enough to play one side versus another. Disaster is the result. But this time the result is very predictable.

All one need do is close their eyes and meditate for a while on what is likely to happen in Iraq when the majority Shia perceive or see that Shia Iran is (or about to be) attacked. Suddenly our whole presence in Iraq is subject to attack - supply lines, green zones, bases, strong points and road blocks, etc. The attacks on us will all be asymetrical, but with widespread knowledge in the populace of our weak points and how to manufacture very effective weapons, our 200,000 troops will all be very exposed to the 60% of Iraqis that are Shia (13 million versus 200,000)

My mental picture is the road north from Kuwait in Iraq I at the end of the battle, with Saddam's best forces trapped and destroyed trying to flee toward Baghdad, but this time US forces trying to fight back toward Kuwait and Saudi Arabia along roads filled with destroyed and damaged US vehicles. And thousands of US killed or wounded.

This won't be nearly as antiseptic looking (since we never really were shown all the final days) as helicopter evacuations from the roof of the US Embassy in Vietnam.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | May 24, 2007 2:35:22 PM

"Explain why it takes 1/3 to 1/2 of America's military to drop 1, 2, or maybe 3 bombs to eliminate Iran's a bomb? I do not understand why is costs trillions to drop a few bombs."

This was an actual question posted at TPM Cafe today. The mind reels at the lack of understanding of the actual state of the world. I resist the temptation to call the American people stupid, by and large they are not. But in certain areas like geography and comparative military advantage they are throroughly ignorant.

There was an Iranian student in my Navy Surface to Missile class in 1978, the Shah built his Navy, Air Force, and Air Defense Force with US technology. Since then they have had essentially unlimited resources to import and smuggle in new technology. There are reports that Iran is buying new Air Defence systems from Russian via Syria. True? The sources for that one seem to be pretty wingnutty, but certainly something like could be happening.

Axis of Evil was throroughly stupid. It put N Korea and Iran on alert, now N Korea has the bomb and Iran is probably not sleeping. An air attack on Iran is going to cost us large numbers of planes and pilots and maybe a carrier or two. Either that or we go nuclear early. Nothing good is going to come out of this. Nothing can.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | May 24, 2007 4:33:36 PM

isnt there any good news anymore?
we are in the throes of global colony collapse disorder
on all fronts, it seems.

Posted by: jacqueline | May 24, 2007 5:28:02 PM

The White House is backing them into the corner likeliest to lead to a publicly sellable casus belli.

That sound you hear? Those are the drums of war.

Amazing. This liberal paranoia has been wrong all along and will continue to be wrong for the very same reasons as before. But I guess that won't stop it.

Posted by: Sanpete | May 24, 2007 5:39:35 PM


Those are the drums of war.
Amazing. This liberal paranoia...
....
We're already in a war with Iran by proxy.

Posted by: Fred Jones

I missed Fred's conversion to liberality? Oh well. Welcome, comrade!

Posted by: sidereal | May 24, 2007 6:02:22 PM

Oh, and yes, the ABC threads are moderated. Pre-moderated, in fact. Sort of a regression to the letters-to-the-editor days.

Posted by: sidereal | May 24, 2007 6:03:31 PM

Sanpete, if you had two brain cells to rub together, you might have actually cited some reasons for your assertions. Since you didn't, I can only conclude that you don't mind looking stupid in public.

Onward.

Ezra, the ABC News comment area is indeed moderated. I could have told you that without looking: it's on a hot topic, it's attracting some substantive and reasoned comments, and it hasn't collapsed into a septic mess of trollage and neocon drive-bys.

If you scroll to the bottom of the comment thread, you'll find this notice:

Comments that include profanity, personal attacks, or antisocial behavior such as "spamming," "trolling," or any other inappropriate material will be removed from the site. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our terms of use. You are fully responsible for the content you post.
Usually I'd be in favor of strong moderation policies, but the terms of use they link to are those of the Walt Disney Internet Group, which are odious.

Posted by: Teresa Nielsen Hayden | May 24, 2007 6:06:51 PM

"This liberal paranoia has been wrong all along"

Assymmetrical brinksmanship can go wrong. Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, the tensions and incidents were so constant we took them for granted. But remember NK captured the Pueblo, and several airliners went down, and it didn't mean total war. I would be surprised it there weren't at least some limited exchanges between Iran & the US this year. Next year, I suspect Cheney & the neo-cons will use that 3-8 year nuke worry to inspire Bush.

"...supply lines, green zones, bases, strong points and road blocks, etc."

Where was that link? Story read this week said many troops are eating 1 MRE per day because the food can't get thru from Kuwait. And I think the current problem is just banditry.

If it reassures you at all, I have been told the the Pentagon will get the troops & sensitive material safely out of Iraq in a hurry, at whatever necessary level of collateral damage. If you understand what I mean. This is what has been restraining Sistani et al for years, knowing what a forced exit would look like and cost. With air power, won't be no Khartoum or Lil Big Horn. They would waste Iraq, 1 tank = 10k Iraqi civilians. We aren't leaving, or getting thrown out, until the Democrats can be blamed.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 24, 2007 6:13:24 PM

Hey, speculate is what I do. Why hasn't the Iraqi gov't asked us to leave, even tho Sadr has pulled his ministers out for a lack of timetable? Because if we are offically asked to leave, the Mahdi may get frisky. And the minute the natives look restless, the Pentagon executes Plan Scorched Earth. Or Clear Path. Or whatever name they have for it.

Believe me, you want a phased withdrawal over years.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 24, 2007 6:21:10 PM

It's fairly clear that many in the administration would like to engage militarily with Iran. Whether they will actually be able to do so is not clear.

But hey, who am I to question A.J. Soprano?

Posted by: Jason | May 24, 2007 6:34:54 PM

Not all paranoia is liberal, sidereal.

Sanpete, if you had two brain cells to rub together, you might have actually cited some reasons for your assertions. Since you didn't, I can only conclude that you don't mind looking stupid in public.

Teresa, since you don't have any clue who I am or what discussions we've already had about this here, it isn't all that smart to say such a thing, especially given the irony of it. There have been many discussions already.

Assymmetrical brinksmanship can go wrong.

Sure, bob, but calling for more sanctions on Iran over their nuclear program isn't military brinkmanship.

It's fairly clear that many in the administration would like to engage militarily with Iran. Whether they will actually be able to do so is not clear.

Actually, it's pretty clear they can't. What would they do? Bomb Iran while we have troops like sitting ducks next door, already stretched to the max? That would be the end of any hope of getting anything done in Iraq, as well an invitation to have our soldiers killed (and captured) with much better weapons than those presently in Iraq.

Posted by: Sanpete | May 24, 2007 7:37:49 PM

Cheney plans end run around Rice diplomacy:

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002145.php

Posted by: Sachem | May 24, 2007 7:45:17 PM

Thanks, Sachem, for the link to Steve Clemmons. His sources and info sound credible to me. There is little doubt that Cheney and staff have been a shadow government for some time, often making Bush the puppet but also often undercutting administration policy.

It appears Cheney was also behind the visit to Ashcroft by Gonzales and Card. David Addington, now Cheney's Chief of Staff, is a more activist replacement for Scotter, and he clearly believes there is no limit on executive authority and power.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | May 24, 2007 8:12:20 PM

Cheney plans end run around Rice diplomacy

That should read, "Unnamed vice presidential aide rumored by unnamed people to be talking about secret Cheney plan to do end run around Rice--oops!"

There is little doubt that Cheney and staff have been a shadow government for some time, often making Bush the puppet but also often undercutting administration policy.

You mean little doubt among those who are inclined to believe such things. Some of us are more skeptical.

Posted by: Sanpete | May 24, 2007 8:24:04 PM

"Some of us are more skeptical."

Like me. I don't trust Clemons or his sources. I actually consider Bush more evil & diabolical than Cheney. The way I see them:

Cheney wants occupation and ME oil. He would attack today.

Bush wants neo-feudalism and banana-Republicanism in the US. He will attack Iran on Obama's Inauguration Day.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 24, 2007 8:31:07 PM

Actually, it's pretty clear they can't. What would they do? Bomb Iran while we have troops like sitting ducks next door, already stretched to the max?

They could easily bomb Iran with troops next door, stretched to the max. Do you really think they can't sacrifice a few more?

Can they invade Iran, overthrow the regime, and occupy the country, all the while continuing to occupy Iraq? Of course. With enough firepower. Will Congress, the media, and the public put up with that? This is what is unclear. I doubt it. But you never know - all three of them have been sold some pretty weak B.S. in the past.
Still, I don't think the administration will attack Iran.

Posted by: Jason | May 24, 2007 9:09:52 PM

Do you really think they can't sacrifice a few more?

Can they invade Iran, overthrow the regime, and occupy the country, all the while continuing to occupy Iraq? Of course. With enough firepower.

No way. Besides the military facts that make that impossible, and the Congress and public that would absolutely oppose it, the entire command of the military and the leaders of the Defense Department would resign first. And it wouldn't be just sacrificing a few more; it would be sacrificing a lot more, along with any prospect of avoiding full meltdown in Iraq.

Posted by: Sanpete | May 24, 2007 9:29:01 PM

Sanpete is the black energy/matter of the earth's political universe - a sort of reverse pandora. LOL. Bad people can't do bad things because good people who haven't found a way to halt previous bad things will magically find a way to prevent the bad people/things from happening.

yeah, right.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | May 24, 2007 11:21:00 PM

Whoops! Wrong greek mythology lady: I think I recall that I might have remembered that it should be 'reverse Cassandra', not Pandora. Sorry for probably crossing the line.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | May 24, 2007 11:33:39 PM

What on earth are you talking about?

Posted by: Sanpete | May 25, 2007 12:54:41 AM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 8:08:47 AM

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