Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 28, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WAR BY SEPTEMBER?....Rosa Brooks is not exactly a neocon alarmist, a fact that makes her prediction of an Israel-Iran war sometime in the next five months more provocative than it might be coming from, say, Charles Krauthammer or Bill Kristol. From her LA Times column today:

Russian leaders continue to mouth the usual diplomatic platitudes about democracy and global cooperation, but Russia is actually playing a complex double game. On Tuesday, Russia launched a spy satellite for Israel, which the Israelis can use to monitor Iran's nuclear facilities. On the same day, Russian leaders confirmed their opposition to any U.N. Security Council effort to impose sanctions against Iran, and their intention to go through with the lucrative sale of 29 Tor M1 air defense missile systems to Iran.

....The upcoming deployment of Tor missiles around Iranian nuclear sites dramatically changes the calculus in the Middle East, and it significantly increases the risk of a regional war. Once the missile systems are deployed, Iran's air defenses will become far more sophisticated, and Israel will likely lose whatever ability it now has to unilaterally destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

The clock is ticking for Israel. To have a hope of succeeding, any unilateral Israeli strike against Iran must take place before September, when the Tor missile deployment is set to be completed.

....Unfortunately, the Bush administration appears to be asleep at the wheel, too distracted by Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices and plummeting approval ratings to devote any attention to Russia's potentially catastrophic mischief.

The Tor deal was announced a few months ago, and the United States has objected to it several times since, most recently last week. Beyond that, I have no clue if this sale is as provocative as Brooks claims. Does anyone else?

Kevin Drum 12:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (160)

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Comments

Will Israel say "Armageddon my groove on?"

Stay tuned.

Posted by: Tripp on April 28, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

The clock is ticking for Israel. To have a hope of succeeding, any unilateral Israeli strike against Iran must take place before September, when the Tor missile deployment is set to be completed.

A unilateral strike by Israel to take out Iran's nuclear capabilities is fantasy of the worst kind.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Russian missiles once installed makes it much more dangerous for Israel to strike at Iran. Their anti-radiation (destroys and jams enemy radar) systems do not have the range to make it to these parts of Iran, and their planes will not have much fuel for complex anti-missile manuevers during this strike.

Posted by: jack on April 28, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Russian leaders continue to mouth the usual diplomatic platitudes about democracy and global cooperation, but Russia is actually playing a complex double game. On Tuesday, Russia launched a spy satellite for Israel...

That's not the real "double game" Russia is playing.

The real game Russia is playing is with the US.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

....Unfortunately, the Bush administration appears to be asleep at the wheel, too distracted by Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices and plummeting approval ratings to devote any attention to Russia's potentially catastrophic mischief.

Yes, what need they to pay attention to a catastrophic regional war?

Posted by: Stefan on April 28, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Luckily, Our Leader looked deep into Putin's soul, and knows what a good man he is!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on April 28, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think if you check those missile defense systems are basically ineffective against a co-ordinated cruise missile strike. They might increase the cost of an attack, but not its outcome.

Posted by: Alan on April 28, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

WAR BY SEPTEMBER?

Good plan. It will force the Democrats to look weak in the November elections as they oppose the liberation of Iran by Israel and America, and Republicans will once again rout the Democrats in the November elections as they did in 2002.

Posted by: Al on April 28, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say there is a vanishing small chance of unilateral Israeli action--with or without the new missiles in Iran. Israel knows that it really can't afford to deeply piss off the neighbors right now. Uncle Sam may be next door in Iraq, but he's pretty well hog-tied in the basement over there. Whatever jam Israel gets into it will have to extricate itself.

U.S. capabilities can pretty much discount the new missiles. Our current electronic warfare/electronic countermeasure systems can easily overcome any existing threat, as well as any likely technologies in the next 12 years.

So I'd put more money on the U.S. bombing Iran in October than Israel doing so. We have the capability, Bush and Cheney are just itching to use that capability, and it's one of the few things that might salvage Republican fortunes in November.

Posted by: Derelict on April 28, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah! Just got a widescreen TV and it's time for another war! Hot damn! Who says theres nuthin good on television?

Posted by: Wingnut on April 28, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's time to move Israel to unused US territory, like Montana or Wyoming, and save everybody a lot of grief.

Posted by: craigie on April 28, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Geography already places enough obstacles in the way of an Israeli airstrike; it's hard to imagine that these new missiles make all that much difference. So maybe you'd better put Rosa Brooks (whoever she is, anyway) into the "generic alarmist" category.

Posted by: sglover on April 28, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

From Freedom Phukher:
"those missile defense systems are basically ineffective against a co-ordinated cruise missile strike."

From Pravda:
"Tor is a solely defensive weapon, which intercepts cruise missiles."

I'm sure any air defense system can be overwhelmed, but cruise missiles aren't a magic bullet against the Tor system.

Posted by: Gene Ha on April 28, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

jack: The Russian missiles once installed makes it much more dangerous for Israel to strike at Iran.

Israel is today, and will remain for the foreseeable future, incapable of putting a significant dent in Iran's nuclear capability, with or without the Tor's.

Moreovero, any operation would require US cooperation (covert or overt); if Israel did mount a strike, no one would believe the US is not involved.

People like Rosa Brooks who suggest that somehow this is, or can be, an Israel-Iran showdown, with Israel doing the dirty work and the rest on the sidelines, are promoting the worst kind of fantasy.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I don't agree that Bush is distracted and unengaged with Iran. Iran's been years away from a nuke for the run of Bush's Presidency. So the question is, why are we having this face off with Iran now? Because Rove thinks it plays to the midterms. So whatever is going to happen with Iran will be timed for maximum effetiveness in November.

The mystery is whether these guys actually believe military action against Iran will play well for them. They'll do anything to prevent subpoena power from falling in Dem hands, so if they think it will give them a few points in competetive districts, they'll do it. If they don't believe so, they won't.

Posted by: memekiller on April 28, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

This anti-aircraft missile defense system potentially neutralizes the Israeli threat, and also presents challenges to the USAF. B-2 bombers can launch precision guided weapons far away from the target, but they might not get past these missiles.

The shock-and-awe-rally-round-the-preznit-attack-Iran strategy needs to happen in late October, so the 'murkan people don't have time to figure out just how badly BushCo has fucked up -- this seems to be a spanner in the works, no?

http://www.defense-update.com/products/t/tor.htm

http://www.defense-update.com/2005/12/irans-point-defense-upgraded.html

The 9K331 Tor [SA-15 GAUNTLET land-based, SA-N-9 naval version] low-to-medium altitude SAM system is capable of engaging not only aircraft and helicopters but also RPVs, precision-guided weapons and low flying cruise missiles. The sophisticated Tor system could ensure reliable protection for government, industrial and military sites.

Posted by: ck on April 28, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

This anti-aircraft missile defense system potentially neutralizes the Israeli threat, and also presents challenges to the USAF. B-2 bombers can launch precision guided weapons far away from the target...

Standoff weapons won't likely do much against the critical hardened targets (e.g., the Natanz subterranean centrifuge hall); that's what the "bunker buster" is for (it's not a standoff weapon). And it's questionable whether the current inventory of those are capable of taking out some of the hardened targets thus the debate about the nuclear version (e.g., RNEP).

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"It's time to move Israel to unused US territory, like Montana or Wyoming, and save everybody a lot of grief."

My sister-in-law, a die-hard winger, proposed Baja. That way, let them build a wall and police SoCal, heh.

Posted by: Sky-Ho on April 28, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Does anybody really expect Europe or the UN to actually do anything beyond hand-wringing and passing pointless resolutions??

Posted by: MountainDan on April 28, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

are promoting the worst kind of fantasy

"Piers Anthony" worst or "'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini" worst?

Posted by: Windhorse on April 28, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah! Just got a widescreen TV and it's time for another war! Hot damn! Who says theres nuthin good on television?

Posted by: Wingnut on April 28, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

But if it's not in HD, why bother watching? lol

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 28, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I imagine the Israelis ave been preparing submarine lanched cruise missiles for this effort, probably with Uncle Sam's dollar.

Iran has all but declared nuclear war against the Israelis.

If I were Israel, I would just make it the general government principe to launch cruise missiles ar Iranian leadersip and the Iranian nuclear beaucracy.

Basically, keep the one or two subs around the Indian sea, away from Iranian air strikes. Reload them from support ships, send them into the gulf, launch, return to reload, repeat, repeat, repeat.

At $10 million for each launch, they could do ten a month for about a billion dollars a year. One perce3nt of their economy. Do this indefinitately until the Mullahs get the message.

Who is going to stop them? Egypt can restrict the shipment of missiles through the Suez, but that just means shipping them around the horn. Besides, I am sure that the Israelis have already stockpiles bunches of these around the Indian ocean already.

Russia won't stop them, the US won't care, India? why bother? Pakistan? With what navy? The Iranian Navy doesn't have much anti-sub capability, and Isreal will just launch a bunch at ports.

Can Iran retaliate? Not really, if the Iranians navy got near Israel, the Israeli airforce would sink it. Long range missiles? I doubt that Iran can sustain a barrage for long, and half would hit the Hamas goverment.

I thik four of five years, five or six hundred launches, economies of scale. The Israeli public would just love it, fun, fun, fun. I mean, what better joy is there than launching missiles at a bunch of old bearded Islamic nutcases.

What harm can come from it?


Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Tor (assuming that the Iranians are actually capable of using it properly) does present substantial challenges for Israel....

less so for the U.S....although it does force us to use the B-2 and F-117 in the air defense suppression role in the initial stages of a strike...

Posted by: Nathan on April 28, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Does anybody really expect Europe or the UN to actually do anything beyond hand-wringing and passing pointless resolutions??"

Why would you expect wise and considerate people to participate? They know posturing and they know Iran's bottom line. Besides, they don't have elections to cater to.

Talk about Bush's Wag the Dog............

Posted by: Sky-Ho on April 28, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Al's take:

"WAR BY SEPTEMBER?

Good plan. It will force the Democrats to look weak in the November elections... "

That's great, Al. Let's start another war in the most volatile area of the world, with its most vulnerable energy resources, setting into motion forces beyond our control and understanding. And let's do it NOW, so one party can get a let up in
an off-year domestic election.

That's leadership. Statemanship. The party of Lincoln, indeed.

Posted by: shystr on April 28, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Asleep at the wheel?" I thought it was "Getting ready to nuke Iran." Can they try to get their talking points at least into the same time zone?

Asleep at the wheel? The U.S. has been kicking the United Nations in the butt for months, trying to get some kind of action on Iran, and Kevin already pointed out that this Tor deal has not gone unprotested, and that the writer of this article has no idea what she's talking about.

So far, Iran has been dealt with by the U.N., Europe, and even the U.S. using the diplomatic procedures right out of the liberal playbook.

There is absolutely nothing that has been done so far with Iran that President Gore would not have approved of.

How's that working?

This is a perfect control experiment. In Iraq, we tried military action. Now, in Iran, which even the dimmest bulb has to agree is pursuing WMD, we are going the other route. The enlightened, international route. The route of negotiations, diplomatic pressure, and firm letters of disapproval written on the GOOD stationery. We even have some of the same players: A United Nations that is largely impotent, a couple of nations determined to see that the U.N. fails (some of the same ones as in the Iraq case), and a crazed leader who seems to think he can get away with it.

Oh yeah. Israel claims that Iran has purchased long-range (1,550 mile) missiles.

But the leader of Iran isn't all that bad a guy. He's been misinterpreted, badly translated, and compared to Bush, he's no threat at all.

Results on the experiment should be in in less than ten years.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 28, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Tor is, it is a point defense. Isreal does not have to hit the centrifuges right way, they shoot at government buildings, shoot at Mullahs, airports, shoot at rail lines, shoot the president.

Cruise missiles from subs need only travel a thousand miles to hit Tehran or Qom, simple by todays standards.

Isreal will make then cheap, a few million dollars each. They use GPS, home in, and boom, launch and forget. Put in a few Israeli agents with laser beams on the ground in Iran and they can adjust that last few miles to get a Mullah on the head, easily done.

Isreal can even ship the parts to off shore construction vessels, air drop the parts if they have to, assemble test, put them on the subs, send them to the gulf. Make it a national industry, like shooting jihadis.

The Iranian economy would collapse almost immediately as foreigners run for cover and all trade stops.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps someone will know the implications of the recent Iranian high speed torpedo. Will those keep our nuclear subs away from Iran?

Posted by: slanted tom on April 28, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

... crazed leader who seems to think he can get away with it.

LOL!

Posted by: lib on April 28, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"WAR BY SEPTEMBER?

Good plan. It will force the Democrats to look weak in the November elections as they oppose the liberation of Iran by Israel and America, and Republicans will once again rout the Democrats in the November elections as they did in 2002."

==============================================

For the first time ever, Al is right. This is exactly how the media will play it and therefore how the American people will think of it.

Posted by: Monkey on April 28, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

The world needs a foil to US hegemony. The former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics used to provide it. I hope this Tor missile system works, that it is deployed around the world, and that it prevents preemptive strikes against US corporate targets.

The LA Times is almost as pro-Israel as The New Republic, often giving bloodthristy war pigs like Martin Peretz license to write rabid anti-Islamic diatribes. The LA Times has no credibility reporting on the Middle East, but almost any prediction of Irsaeli or US aggression against a large oil producing nation is bound to have some truth to it.

Posted by: Hostile on April 28, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is a perfect control experiment. In Iraq, we tried military action. Now, in Iran, which even the dimmest bulb has to agree is pursuing WMD, we are going the other route.

Hmmm.... not quite. We may agree that Iran is pursuing nukes (I'm sorry, but WMD is a mealy-mouthed non-expression, and I ain't a usin' it) but Iraq, we all knew actually had the bastards, and was right then loading them onto little model airplanes, to fly them across the Atlantic right into New Yawk City! Blimey! Quick, run around in circles, screaming and holding your head!

So we shot our wad, killed our guys, broke the bank, destroyed our credibility and our good-guy status, and... nada. And now, where there might actually be a real threat (in few years, not right now today), we won't be able to do anything militarily, when that might well be the appropriate response. Or it might not.

But blow shit up and ask questions later, that's much more appealing to people who aren't going to be getting blown up.

Posted by: craigie on April 28, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

slanted tom:

Perhaps someone will know the implications of the recent Iranian high speed torpedo. Will those keep our nuclear subs away from Iran?

Some of those "super weapons" are crap. The "stealth plane" they showed would make someone who knew something about such things laugh until they got the hiccups. For that matter, I would like to see more sources on that long-range missile deal other than Israeli intelligence, which is why I used the word "claim."

***

tbrosz: But the leader of Iran isn't all that bad a guy. He's been misinterpreted, badly translated, and compared to Bush, he's no threat at all.

lib:

"... crazed leader who seems to think he can get away with it."

LOL!

Q.E.D.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 28, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK
Anyone remember the late 1980s? Why we flagged Kuwaiti oil tankers and moved carriers into the Persian Gulf? Anyone remember that we attacked Iranian oil platforms and blew Iran Air Flight 655 out of the sky? Anyone?

You mean the war we fought with Iran to preserve the funding for Iraq's war of aggression against Iran?

Yeah, I remember that.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 28, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Iran is in short missile range to dozens of oil refineries, docks and offshore loading pipelines in the Gulf.

It has a majority of the Iraqi population in its back pocket now, between Sistani, SCIRI, and the Badr Brigade. It has strong ties with the Kurds. They can stop Iraq's oil flow in its entirity, and would.

Iran strongly supports Hamas in Palestine, Western Syria, and Lebanon, all bordering Isreal, and all with a capability of damaging Isreali interests.

Iran leads the Shia faction of Islam, and can call upon untold numbers of radicalized muslims to strike isreali interests world wide, not to mention US interests.

Iran has missiles capable of striking Isreal.

Attacking Iran is the surest way of empowering the fundies in the government. Killing the "mullahs" won't matter a bit, even if they could be found.Iran is strongly nationalistic, even among the more liberal elements.

Attacking Iran just before the Novemeber elections will knock oil prices above $100 a barrel. $5/gallong gassoline is the LAST thing republicans should want just before the election.

Bush would have to unleash the SPR to counter it, something he's always been unwilling to do int hepast, and that is the only way they could strike Iran and hold onto any bit of power.

It will happen after the election, unless Bush completely goes unhinged.

Posted by: Mysticdog on April 28, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

What price oil? No gulf oil = $150, $200, what?

Let's get real.

Matt talks like Israel has US type capabilities. Crap.

It's 450 miles from Israel to the Iran border, and over 1100 to Tehran. Of course the US would be implicated anyway and Israel couldn't do it on their own.

Ahmedinejad may be the president but he is not in charge. The US has not at any point sat down and talked with Iran, yet they wanted to do that only over Iraq security. I don't supopose there are any old-guard state department people left in position of power who don't fall in line with the "bang the war drum", war posture as first reaction administration.

Good grief. There has been no adult gradation of reaction or negotiation. This admin is like a drunk juvenile in a bar looking for a fight.

Why would we let Israel wag the US dog. We let them have their nuclear weapons to guarantee their survival. Now the inevitable chickens are coming home to roost and noone seems to be behaving like an adult.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

And when this all first started, they may really have not wanted to build nukes. We've made sure to convince them they would be crazy no to.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Q.E.D my eye, Tom.

lib was pointing out the irony of describing a leader as crazed and thinking he can get away with something, and not referring to Bush.

That's not the same as your canard, that he's less of a threat than Bush. Though, come to think of it, both are clearly bonkers, neither thinks much of democracy, both appear to love violence, but only one controls 50% of the planet's military spending...

I might have to concede that one after all!

Posted by: craigie on April 28, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse: "Piers Anthony" worst or "'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini" worst?

Hmmmm... that'd probably be Eragon, but maybe more like "Eragon Saves Iraq" or "Eragon Slayer of Islamofascists". (Although to be fair, I haven't, nor do I intend to, read Eragon.)

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh boy. The alarmists on both sides of the aisle are in full swing. Here's a few things to chew on before you run for cover:

1. The Iranian president has absolutely NO control over the Iranian government, or at least the part of the government that matters. The Grand Ayatollah controls the oil industry, armed forces, police, intelligence, and yes, nuclear weapons program. The president can crow all he wants about destroying Israel, but it only matters what the Grand Ayatollah thinks. And so far, he hasn't threatened Israel.

2. Iranian nuclear capabilities are nascent, at best. They can enrich uranium to 3-5% right now. They need 90% purity before they can use it in a weapon. Once they get the uranium, they then need to craft it into a bomb, or fit it on one of their SCUD knock-offs. When it's all said and done, Iran's nuclear program won't be a threat for another 10 years or so.

3. America and Israel are probably being very cautious about attacking Iran. Iran can cause major problems in Iraq. Iran can also unleash Hizbollah, who would make Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda look like rank amateurs on the terrorism scene. Finally, it wouldn't take much for Iran to bottleneck the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

That said, I'm thinking the US and Israel would be smart enough to ignore the Iranian President and focus on talking to the Grand Ayatollah.

PS - I'd use the Iranian Pres. and Ayatollah's names, but I can't for the life of me spell them and am too lazy to search.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a crap as long as Israel does their own damn dirty work, and as long as Iran (and various terrorist groups) don't take it out on the US?

Israel's a grown up. They can take care of their own damn problems. They don't need the US to be their bully for them.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: The Tor (assuming that the Iranians are actually capable of using it properly) does present substantial challenges for Israel...less so for the U.S....although it does force us to use the B-2 and F-117 in the air defense suppression role in the initial stages of a strike...

There is the Tor (SA-15), and there is the Tor M1 variant. Although they have a lot in common, they are different. Both are designed for use against stealth targets; how effective they are against US stealth aircraft is anyone's guess. However, neither has the reach required to effectively counter high flyers, stealthed or not.

The M1 was designed for terminal defense, especially against munitions, whether cruise missles or precision gravity weapons; it is the latter (e.g., bunker busters) that the M1 appears to provide a defense against--a defense that few (no?) other systems provide.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

But this is an Israeli issue, and the proper Israeli response to a declared nuclear war would be cruise missiles targeting the leadership of Iran.

Now, maybe Israel can launch them from their own territory, and maybe I am wrong to speculate on sub launched. Probably Israel will do both.

Does it do any good for Israel to talk to these guys? No, the Iranian leadership wants war with Israel, and it is Israels responsibility to give it to them before Israel gets it.

Israel needs to set a precedent, if Islamic nutcases declare nuclear war with Israel, then Islamic nutcases will be targeted with cruise missiles. It has to be this way, it has to be done and it has to be done by Israel, not by the USA. Israel will never be accepted in the middle east until they show and demonstrate their ability to shoot Islamic nutcases wherever they may be.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

But the leader of Iran isn't all that bad a guy. He's been misinterpreted, badly translated, and compared to Bush, he's no threat at all.

IIRC pre-Bush and Iraq'd!: The TV Show, Iran had a percolating young democracy movement. There were talks of restoring relations and moving forward. Then the cowboy talk, axis of evil, invasion of its neighbor, and then candidate that promised to protect Mother Persia by all means necessary ran for president, pleased the mullahs, and did everything else, including telling your mama jokes about Israel and the US, in order to provoke something.

So, according to Tbrosz, now it's a grand liberal experiment. I'm going to go push all the right buttons on a drunk guy at the bar and then when he wants to punch me, I'll be all "I'm trying to turn the other cheek here," and wonder why it didn't work.

Posted by: ChrisS on April 28, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "WAR BY SEPTEMBER?"

You know perfectly well what former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told us almost four years ago that you don't market a new product in mid-August, that you wait until September when families are back home from summer vacation and the kids back in school.

cmdicely: "You mean the war we fought with Iran [in 1988] to preserve the funding for Iraq's war of aggression against Iran? Yeah, I remember that."

(Sigh!) Yeah, those were the days, weren't they?

And then, thanks to the meticulous planning of Col. Oliver North, USMC and Adm. John Poindexter, USN associated with the Iran-Contra operation, the Republicans were able to actually arm both sides in that conflict, and then use those profits to bankroll a third conflict in Central America!

I'm so glad that George Bush and Dick Cheney were able to tap into that old GOP ingenuity and initiative, which makes just about anything seem possible, no matter how far-fetched and looney-tunes it initially sounds ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 28, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Israel will never be accepted in the middle east until they show and demonstrate their ability to shoot Islamic nutcases wherever they may be.

I hardly think Israel's problem is that they're not considered to be tough enough. They've been showing their ability and inclination to kill their enemies wherever they may be for the last sixty years.

Posted by: Stefan on April 28, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK
Israel will never be accepted in the middle east until they show and demonstrate their ability to shoot Islamic nutcases wherever they may be.

Neither restraint in the use of force nor respect for international borders are things Israel is known for, so I think your analysis falls short.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 28, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Osama: "Who gives a crap as long as Israel does their own damn dirty work, and as long as Iran (and various terrorist groups) don't take it out on the US?

Israel's a grown up. They can take care of their own damn problems. They don't need the US to be their bully for them."

Why wouldn't they? and, When did this happen?

Matt: why are you so set on war as a solution?Been spending too much time playing with the war toys with the kid who lives in the white house?

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I hope we do attack Iran before the midterm elections, because I am convinced that George Bush is hellbent on doing it and we need to let the American people decide if they want this madman in office for another two years. If they want to go down this road for another two years, then they will reelect a Republican Congress and continue on our course of self destruction. Hopefully, they will finally wake up and realize the disasterous path he has led us down and by the end of January he will be out of office and awaiting trial on war crimes. There is no other way to stop him now

Posted by: Freder Frederson on April 28, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: "Israel needs to set a precedent, if Islamic nutcases declare nuclear war with Israel, then Islamic nutcases will be targeted with cruise missiles. It has to be this way, it has to be done and it has to be done by Israel, not by the USA. Israel will never be accepted in the middle east until they show and demonstrate their ability to shoot Islamic nutcases wherever they may be."

Oh, there you are! I've been trying to serve you this subpoena to appear before the grand jury, and your co-workers over at Dick Cheney's office were kind enough to tell me that you'd be down here ...

Posted by: Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq., LLP on April 28, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: The world needs a foil to US hegemony. The former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics used to provide it.

That is what Russia is doing, and China to a lesser extent. The money Russia and China earn from arms sales to Iran is icing on the cake.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

The Chinese-built Silkworm anti-ship missles guarding the Straits of Hormuz are of even greater concern. I have no doubt that the US can penetrate the new Tor system to strike at the nuclear facilities.

It will not be the cakewalk (does anyone still use that term) that we had in 1991. We may lose one or two of the billion dollars each B1s. (And that will hurt. For the purpose of cost comparison, three of those babies = cost of one nuclear Nimitz class aircraft carrier. The Air Force has expensive toys).

But the fun starts after the air raids, when Iran turns off the tap for the oil leaving the Gulf States by sea. Navy and Marine fight-bombers coming off carriers will have to dig the Silkworms out of their emplacements.

This will not be like 1991 against Iraq. We will lose a lot of pilots. Many will become POWs held by the Iranians. More bombing = more prisoners of war.

Does this begin to sound familiar?

And unlike any prior war, we may expect successful attacks by Iranian-funded sabatours on US facilites, including those in the US. As a resident of NJ's "chemical coast," we already know how vulnerable we are.

Yet the Rethugs just voted against scanning each container that comes into our ports. Maybe the represntatives from Kansas figure that they "don't need no stinking seaports." Only problem with that idea is how will they ship out their wheat and corn and import Sony Game Boys and Mercedes?

Are we there yet? Is this Armegeddon, Mom?

Posted by: NJ Osprey on April 28, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Instead of moving all the Israeli Jews to somewhere else, why not move all the Palestinian Arabs to, say, some other Arab country? They have plenty of room in Saudi Arabia. That would eliminate the intifada and all the kvetching about occupation, and the Palestinian Arabs could go out and get jobs instead of figuring out new ways to convince their children to become suicide bombers.

Posted by: DBL on April 28, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

People!

Pull your collective sh*t together and your heads out as well.

Apply a little logic to this situation.

The missiles systems are short ranged. There is 41 of them, and how many nuclear sites does Iran have?
Over 50?
Iran's economy is fragile.
Iran's economy is non-militaristic which means that it has to rely on OUTSIDE sources for her military.
Military materials cost money.
High Tech military materials cost a lot of money.
Iran has money.
Russia has military goods to sell.
Iran wants military goods to protect her sites from nasty Satanic Americans, and Filthy Zionists.
But what good does it do Russia if everyone wants to talk diplomacy.
Diplomacy for a military salesmen is another word for bankruptcy.
So, ratchet up the fear factor!
ZIONIST SPY SATELLITES WITH EYE MELTING LASERS TO PINPOINT THE FAITHFUL'S SECRET SITES!

Voila!
A market is born.

Now that we've put that behind us, can we, once again, be adults who are not governed by our fears!

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 28, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK
But the fun starts after the air raids, when Iran turns off the tap for the oil leaving the Gulf States by sea.

After? I'd suspect this happens about the time the first US combat aircraft enters Iranian airspace. Iran has nothing to gain by waiting, and much to lose in potential impact.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 28, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

The reason war, or more precisely, shooting Mullahs, is the solution is that planned nuclear destruction is an existetial threat, a red line.

This is not a case of Mutual Destruction doctrine, this is a case of the publicly anounced plan by Iranian mullahs for the destruction of Israel, and the publicly announced docrine that the nuclear program is for that purpose.

If Iran was building up to some superpower standoff with Israel, a two superpower solution, then negotiations might be in order. But it is not. This is Mullahs declaring muclear war in all but deed. There is no possible negotiation, that has been ruled out by the Mullahs, there is no detente, that has been ruled out by the Mullahs.

If nuclear containment means anything, then a planned offensive nuclear strike has to be declared off limits.

Even the USA, with its so called first use option has to learn that that is not an option, and Israel will set the precedent.

Israel is in the hot seat, they are about to set a worldwide precedent which no nation is allowed to cross. The actual plan and implimentation of nuclear first strike will forever be forbidden, and Israel must insure that becomes a reality.

Once Israel does its job, then a real round of nuclear arms control can proceed, with the USA, Russia, China, and the Europeans; then including India Pakistan and Israel.

This next round will never proceed unless Israel puts a stop to any first use policy.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, meant B2 bombers. By the way, although the stealth planes have proven effective, it is theoretically posssible to detect them with enough radars set up in the right postions.

As I understand it, stealth fools radar by reflecting and deflecting radar energy directed towards the aircraft away from the receiving antenna. However, with enough antennas set in a "phased array," the energy from one radar set may be reflected to the receivers of other radar sets.

Now, you would need a pretty sophisitcated data network to read and interpret that reflected energy. However, the Russians are now in the picture with Iran and it would be very foolish to underestimate them.

Remeber Yuri Gagarin, the first human into space? Or the fact that the MiG 15 suprised the hell out of the US in Korea?

We see the Russians as technologically disadvantaged. They lack the level of data processing that we have.

But they laugh at that.They have developed some very sophisticated math to make up for the raw computational power that we enjoy. And they brag about this.

Is it getting chilly in here? Maybe like Cold War 2 chilly? Just asking?

Posted by: NJ Osprey on April 28, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

sheerahkhan?

In response to this:
Now that we've put that behind us, can we, once again, be adults who are not governed by our fears!

I'd like to point out that as a US citizen and resident, I am in fact governed (all 3 branches in fact) by Republicans, with one George W. Bush occupying the post of President and Commander in Chief.

Not to be snide, but you were saying?

Posted by: kenga on April 28, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Instead of moving all the Israeli Jews to somewhere else, why not move all the Palestinian Arabs to, say, some other Arab country?

if they had only given me the keys, i wouldn`t have had to break into all these banks.

Posted by: Willie Sutton on April 28, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: "This is not a case of Mutual Destruction doctrine, this is a case of the publicly anounced plan by Iranian mullahs for the destruction of Israel, and the publicly announced docrine that the nuclear program is for that purpose."

There is no publicly announced nuclear program. And if they had them, would they use them?

You jump the same ditch as the admin. Illogic. All prisoners held in US military prisons are terrorists so have no rights. Blatantly shown to be untrue and a presumption of guilt. All evidence to the opposite, we know it to be a fact that Iraq has WMD. Not a threat to us but gives us the right to invade despite international laws. These people say they don't want nukes, if they did they wouldn't have nukes for years, but we run around hysterically "We need to go to war! We need to go to war!"

I can't blame it on youth because the admin is the same way. But they all avoided the realities of war as youths, too.

'Bout time US television showed the real realities of Iraq.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Matt, what the fuck are you babbling about?

Posted by: kenga on April 28, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

notthere - the ditch was not in fact jumped so much as driven into.

Posted by: kenga on April 28, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: "Once Israel does its job, then a real round of nuclear arms control can proceed, with the USA, Russia, China, and the Europeans; then including India Pakistan and Israel."

Which part of non-proliferation, arms limitation, anti-ballistic missile, non-weapon use of space treaties that the repubs have undermined did you miss? What have we done to complete our agreement to help Russia secure and dismantle ex-Soviet nuclear weapons and materials? I'd be laughing if I wasn't throwing up at the hypocrisy of this regime.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK
What price oil? No gulf oil = $150, $200, what?
The last time Iranian oil went off the market, in 1979, the world price of oil doubled. Back then, Saudi Arabia was able to pick up almost all of the 4,000,000 barrels/day that were lost. Today, Saudi would only be able to pick up about 1/4 of the oil shortfall.

Scenario 1: Only Iranian oil gets shut down, and no one else in the world, then $200/barrel oil is highly likely.

Scenario 2: Iranians fight back. Sinking/disabling oil tankers as they enter/leave Straits of Hormuz. Insurance companies refuse to insure such tankers in a warzone and tanker owners, and they stay away. To pass the Straits of Hormuz, tankers would have to pass within artillery range of several hundred miles of mountainous Iranian coastline. $1000/barrel oil is likely.

Scenario 3: Shiite militias in Iraq and shiites in Saudi engage in attacks on pipelines in KSA and Iraq to shut down pipelines and pumping operations in those countries. If combined with scenario 2, then not only $1k/barrel oil, but the permanent loss of Saudi oil. Don't forget, the shiites in KSA are an oppressed minority (considered heretics by the government).

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html
Gives a heads-up view of where our petroleum comes from.

For comparison there are a dozen or so pirate attack near Singapore makes insurance companies consider the place a warzone. Scenario 2 would result in oil tankers being sunk/damaged far faster than replacements could possibly be rebuilt.

Globalization is possible because transportation costs are low. Driving fuel up by an order of magnitude will cripple international trade, as well as the ability for our own nation to grow food, and deliver that food to market. Likely effects of $1k/barrel will be retailers going out of business (how long can walmart et al stay open with no products to sell), suburban real estate crashing (if gas is $20 or $100/gallon, can you afford to commute to work), business sectors dependant upon car traffic going belly up, food becoming scarce in markets (while rotting in the fields because folks can't afford the fuel to ship to market), crop failures because the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides become prohibitive.

Heh, even Pat Buchannon is saying it is a bad idea.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49959

If Iran is a situation that "has to be taken care of," and I am not convinced it is, then we would need far more competence in the administration than they have shown themselves capable of. The bush administration has taken every possible opportunity to turn every little action into partisan bickering and corporate welfare for cronies. The smarts needed to "handle" Iran would require intelligent people at the top: they aren't there. The most likely endgame resulting from an attack on Iran by this administration would be the end of the USA as a nation.

Posted by: Peter on April 28, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

"but Russia is actually playing a complex double game"

How does looking at two morons and asking yourself "how can I exploit this vast pool of stupidity" count as a "complex double game"? The Russians are simply doing what every normal person on Earth wishes they could do about the Middle East --- saying "A plague on both your houses; screw you I'm looking out for me".

The only complex part to this is that Russia benefits mightily from increased oil prices therefore Russia will do what it takes to keep them that way. The fact that doing what it takes also helps Russia aerospace wing is simply a nice bonus.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on April 28, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

>Iran has money.
>Russia has military goods to sell.

Russia also has net oil exports one step down from Saudi Arabia, at around 6.7 million barrels a day. So they get, let's seen, 24 billion in foreign currency for every $10 increase in the price of oil, each year. I suspect that's the greater profit from selling those missiles; upping the tension ups the price of oil.

Also good to remember a few posts back, that Exxon made $8 billion in just one quarter.

So long as the oil supply isn't actually choked off enough to create gas lineups, increases in price due to sabre rattling on all sides benefit Russia, Iran, and the US oil industry, making that industry's executives happy, or their ex-executives who have since retired to politics.

This is not the primary motive. But it sure doesn't hurt; none of the leadership involved is financially uncomfortable with the increased tensions. And in the USA, the foreign policy fears (another bad guy!) can possibly mask the gas price issue.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 28, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

>How does looking at two morons and asking yourself "how can I exploit this vast pool of stupidity" count as a "complex double game"?

LOL! Well put.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 28, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: Once Israel does its job, then a real round of nuclear arms control can proceed, with the USA, Russia, China, and the Europeans; then including India Pakistan and Israel.

You assume that Israel can inflict significant damange on Iran from a standoff position. And that Israel can maintain that offensive over an extended period of time--sufficient to cause Iran to change its mind. And that Iran would change its mind and not harden its position.

And that the conflict would remain contained to Iran and Israel--that Iran sits there and takes and doesn't strike back at every opportunity and at every perceived foe, while Israel mounts an offensive across the airspace of Iraq, Jordan, Turkey or Saudi Arabia, necessarily with their and US complicity.

And the world would then come to recognize the tough action that needs to be taken, the true danger and horror of nuclear weapons, and thus would engage in more substantive nuclear arms control and disarmament.

Fat fucking chance.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Maynard Handley, there`s a job waiting for you here.

Posted by: Wall Street on April 28, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

like Montana or Wyoming, and save everybody a lot of grief. Posted by: craigie

Dude! You can't possibly be a skier or fisherman or even like nice scenery. I would say the Dakotas, much of Texas, Oklahoma or Nebraska would be better suited for storing Israel.

Posted by: JeffII on April 28, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: You can't possibly ... like nice scenery

WTF? Wyoming has (most) of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons. Montana has Glacier NP.

Posted by: alex on April 28, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadstatements:

At a conference in Tehran, where he said that "Israel must be wiped off of the map,"

Those who occupy and rule Jerusalem where did their parents come from ? Most of them don't have roots in Palestine , but they rule the fate of Palestine and allow themselves to kill the Palestinian people. It should be noted that in his December 7 speech before the Islamic Conference he stated that the existence of the State of Israel was the main obstacle facing the Islamic nation .


TEHRAN 14 Dec. (IPS) One of Irans most influential ruling cleric called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them "damages only".

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

An Arab diplomat:

"These days, Iran says the same thing about its nuclear weapon program. It is developing a nuclear arsenal and naturally the countries in the region are worried. But Iran keeps on assuring all that its nuclear program is directed toward Israel, as are its developed missiles."

Ahmadinejad stated that, Our dear Imam [The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder the Iranian Revolution] said that the occupying regime [Israel] must be wiped off the map, and this was a very wise statement.


He then threatened Israel itself: "We ask the West to remove what they created 60 years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them," Ahmadinejad said. "Remove Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
----------------------------------

I could go on, but if anything closer to a declaration of war could be find, clue me in.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

We are not going to attack Iran nor is Israel. Quit looping Dr. Strangelove. There is absolutely no upside to attacking Iran for either country.

That being said, I don't foresee, given the utter fucking cluelessness of the current administration and 75% of the members of Congress, the U.S. somehow being able to make nice with everyone involved to the degree necessary to reduce tensions completely.

If Israel was smart, it would be broadcasting love letters to Iran round the clock, and our belligerent idiots would engage their stupid fuckers face-to-face.

The Iranian people don't hate us per se. They hate our meddling foreign policy going back to the 1950s.

Our continued dependence on massive amounts of oil, however, has completely hamstrung our abilities (limited though they be) in the region, and that was before we invaded Iraq.

The Iranians want the bomb for the same reason Pakistan and India wanted it, insecurity. Over the last five years the Bush administration has only made this situation worse. The same is true for N. Korea. It is within our power to change all this within a matter of months simply by agreeing to sit across the table from the Iranians, logically in Switzerland, and ask what they want and why, while explaining it temperate terms how we understand the frustration of Israel's immediate neighbors, Iran's beef with them over the last two decades makes no sense. It makes almost as much sense (none) as the Bush administration's hatred of Venezuela.

Again, as I've written here many times regarding this region, we can't fix what's wrong with the cultures. However, we can distance ourselves from their seemingly unending domestic and regional problems by weening ourselves from oil (granted, a 10-20 year project) and by kicking Israel's ass about the Palestinians, while at the same time insisting that Hamas play nice if they ever hope to see a single penny of Western aid.

Only then can we walk away and legitimately turn our back on the region, leaving them to themselves, if that's what it takes or what they would be content with this.

Oh, and one other thing. Iraq needs to be divided into three separate states for each of the dominant ethnic/relgious groups. If they won't go for this then tell them we're leaving, and you can all kill yourselves if you want to, as it's apparent you aren't interested in even a federate state.

Posted by: JeffII on April 28, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

The missile is also effective against precision guided weapons and cruise missiles. In tests the missile demonstrated kill probability of such targets ranging from 0.6 to 0.9.

That's just what I need to keep the neighbor kids from shooting bottle rockets into my yard. Where do I sign up?

Posted by: Disputo on April 28, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"One of the concerns that people have is that Israel might do it without being asked," Cheney said. "If, in fact the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel the Israelis might well decide to act first."

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Matt, the US (president and congress) have conveniently forgotten how to fulfill their proper functions, but here's a couple:

"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by 11.00 a.m. that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.

"I have to tell you that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."

OR,
"With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.

"I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."


Haven't learned anything have we. All Saddam's bluster basically for home and near-home consumption. You're just another guy living in a black&white world. Get out there. Get some reality. It's a whole world of color with every shade of grey. Can you say "nuance"?

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII--nicley summed up.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Matt -- Yes, there's no doubt that Israel might strike to try and delay Iran's acquisition of nukes.

However, Israel is not going to destroy Iran's capability any more than we are without invasion and regime change.

Israel may start it, but they can't finish it. They know it. We know it. Iran knows it. And Cheney whining about "we didn't ask" won't change it.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Once the missile systems are deployed, Iran's air defenses will become far more sophisticated, and Israel will likely lose whatever ability it now has to unilaterally destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

Consider a couple hypotheses: (1) the Israelis understand the Tor missile systems better than the Iranians and (2) the Israelis will know exactly where all the Tor missiles and their radars, are emplaced.

Israel makes some of its own fighter aircraft. Does anybody know if they have any stealthy aircraft?

Posted by: republicrat on April 28, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Iranians want the bomb for the same reason Pakistan and India wanted it, insecurity. Over the last five years the Bush administration has only made this situation worse. The same is true for N. Korea. It is within our power to change all this within a matter of months simply by agreeing to sit across the table from the Iranians, logically in Switzerland, and ask what they want and why

Where to begin?

In the 1st sentence you explain why Iran wants the bomb and then expain in the 3rd we need to ask Iran why they want the Bomb. Makes sense.

Then the usual braindead blame Bush rot, for NK as well. This might be even dumber. Both Iran and NK were working on the bomb before GWB became Governor let alone President.


It makes almost as much sense (none) as the Bush administration's hatred of Venezuela.

Except they have no problem with Venezuela. Chavez is a socialist. Shouldn't all humanitarians with even just a minimal knowledge of how horrid socialism is for the people want Chavez out?

I especially like the fact our liberals friends in New England were able to get Hugo to send free Oil to help 'the poor' out because the US govt woundn't. Typical of caring libs to get Hugo with his 45% poverty rate to bail out the richest state in the country. Screwing over a few thousand latin peasants is worth it.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Israel knows that it really can't afford to deeply piss off the neighbors right now.

Israel's neighbors are always trying to destroy it. Israel's neighbors are always "pissed". Such peace as it enjoys comes from the treaties that depend primarily on Israeli military superiority. If Israeli damaged Iran's nuclear program, no more harm would accrue to Israel than after it damaged Iraq's nuclear program.

I do not know for sure, but I do not think that Israel worries that much about its neighbors being "pissed".

Posted by: republicrat on April 28, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Let me see here.

Closing the Israeli embassy, declaring the state of Israel should be erased (1979)
Funding a proxy army to commence hostilities (Hezbollah)

Declaring nuclear weapons are to be used against Israel.

All this constitute a state of war.

What would the USA do if Venezuela enriched uranium, defended their right to use the bomb, closed the US embassy, funded a guerrila war on our southern border, informed the US that Venezuela would wipe us off the map?


Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

The only Israelis seriously entertaining the idea of a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran are the ones that live here in the US. The ones that live in Israel mostly know better.

Posted by: MNPundit on April 28, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

memekiller: So the question is, why are we having this face off with Iran now? Because Rove thinks it plays to the midterms.

Let us not overlook entirely the aggressive language of the recently elected president of Iran.

Posted by: republicrat on April 28, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I'd like to point out that as a US citizen and resident, I am in fact governed (all 3 branches in fact) by Republicans, with one George W. Bush occupying the post of President and Commander in Chief.

Not to be snide, but you were saying?"

Kenga, point taken.

I know Bush and his Republican cohorts are fear mongers, but we cannot let them fool us twice.

Iran is not a threat, and neither are those silly mobile SAM missile systems everyone is drumming their fingers over.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 28, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Declaring nuclear weapons are to be used against Israel."

Cite your source, now, or stfu!

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 28, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

During the Reagan administration, a favorit tactic for Republicans was using partisans in other countries as our proxy army. That's why we supported the Contras and the Mohajadeen (sp). Now the Israelis are our proxy army. Has anyone asked them if they're willing to make the substantial investment in lives and treasure in a war against Iran?

Remeber when Clinton was accused of "wagging the dog" when he sent cruise missiles at Bin Laden? It was seen as a cynical attempt to deflect attention from the Lewinsky scandal. If Republicans are seriously considering starting a war just to increase their domestic support, they are engaging in something more sinister and cynical than a mere distraction.

Posted by: CT on April 28, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Israel makes some of its own fighter aircraft. Does anybody know if they have any stealthy aircraft?

They have steathy aircraft, missles and drones. Russian technology doesn't especially instill fear although an upgrade of any kind is bad news. Most of the israeli wars were proxy technology wars between Russian and American technology and ours kicked ass every time. Since then Israeli technology has become far more sophisticated and specialized while the gab between American technology vs the rest of the world only gets wider.

Read some of the Israeli press sites. They are not as worried about Iran as most of the rest of the world. Iran's bluster is not directed towards them. The increased range of the North Korean missles were hardly necessary to reach Israel. They mean to gain leverage over Europe.

15% of Israel citizens are arab. It's rather silly to expect they can hit the jews in one part of Jerusalem and not kill the arabs in the next block. I can't imagine the arab neighbors would be too thrilled with the nuclear fallout as well as the occupation to come if it were to happen.

This is pure threatrics for the rest of the Islamic world (in the middle east) and Europe.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone asked them if they're willing to make the substantial investment in lives and treasure in a war against Iran?

They are an independent democracy. They're going to do what they're going to do and not ask approval from anyone. This isn't hard. They've already done it before.

The Iranians could not defeat iraq in a ten year war despite a huge population advantage and their own oil wealth. Even with a bomb they could never hope to take on Israel.

Iran plus Egypt plus Syria could not take on Israel.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: I could go on, but if anything closer to a declaration of war could be find, clue me in.

Either you're young or you have a short memory. More incendiary rhetoric has bounced around the Middle East (and the rest of the world) without coming to blows; the damn place is rich it--it seems to be the normal mode of expression. Would the fact that Iran has nukes change things? Yes; the price of a mistake goes up. Does it mean Iran would preemptively strike Israel with nukes? No, your "declaration of war" (*cough*) nothwithstanding.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Israel makes some of its own fighter aircraft. Does anybody know if they have any stealthy aircraft?

Can't say for sure, but the ones known that they manufacture are not stealthy in the sense of, e.g., the F-117 or B-2.

The known aircraft they have that could hit targets in Iran are the F-15I Thunder (25, which would require refueling) and the F-16I Storm (102 on order, just starting deliveries, which reportedly have the range for most of Iran without refueling).

In any case, they'd have to go through Iraq, Turkey or Saudi Arabia. Which means the probability that the conflict would stay contained is nil.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

However, Israel is not going to destroy Iran's capability any more than we are without invasion and regime change.

Actually they could. And at the same time they could take out the current leadership which has very little popular support. They won't but they could. We could also do it quite easily. We won't either. The Europeans could not and they're the significant party here. Iran wants missles that can reach Paris and Berlin for a reason. They know GWB can and would turn Tehran into a parking lot. They know the EU has neither the will nor the means.

This makes them the biggest player in Middle Eastern/Islamic politics and the natural guardians for Muslims in Europe. In another decade Europe will have sizeable voting minorities of muslims. Iran wishes to be very influencial. In another two decades they'll be large minorities. Islam was turned back in Vienna and at Tours a few centuries ago and has been on the decline ever since. Iran can reverse all that.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why should the Israeli tail wag the American dog? This is yet another argument for isolationism. Iran cannot do anything to hurt us. They may be able to hurt Israel, but why should we care? Daniel Bernard was right: Why should we be in danger of WWIII because of that shitty little country?

Posted by: Firebug on April 28, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why should we be in danger of WWIII because of that shitty little country?

Because along with the Brits, Aussies, Italians and Danes they're our strongest allies. These are people we know we can count on. Not Canada. Not France. Not Germany.

BTW: What's this nonsesne of WWIII? There aren't 5 countries who could combine and defeat the USA.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

"BTW: What's this nonsesne of WWIII? There aren't 5 countries who could combine and defeat the USA."

There is only one country under the sun who has the capability of defeating the US, and that is the US.
They also happen to be winning, too.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 28, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw--
Where to start?

What's contradictory with sentence 1 and 3. I don't necessarily think it is a given they want the bomb. But if they did, why not negotiate and show a benefit why not to build it.

Independent democracy? Are you talking about Israel, Venezuela, Iraq? Who?

Bush admin doesn't have a problem with Venezuela, just the deomcratically elected socialist president? Humanitarians against horrid socialism? So we'll nominally throw in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germnany, etc., etc. Whoa! And not like 95% of the world doesn't have a problem with Bush for being what? A capitalist? Not quite.

The state of New England. Hmm. Not on my map. But I think New Hampshire has the highest average income, and California would be the richest state.

Which stealth aircraft does the IAF have? And striking targets a thousand miles away? What in-air refueling capability does Israel have? But it's not going to happen so why worry?

I'll stick with JeffII. His argument is more cohesive.

AND who exactly has anything to gain by the present progress/direction in dialogue? Or, rather, the deaf preaching to the deaf.

Looks like politicos at both ends are just trying to score domestic points.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Actually they could.

There are hundreds of aim points and dozens of target areas, and all of the discussions for a US strike involve a multi-day campaign.

Israel has a fraction of our delivery capability, and they have to fly farther. That means a longer campaign. That would require overt support from the US, Turkey or Saudi Arabia for a period of days if not weeks.

In short, another Osirak-like strike--even multiplied 10-fold, which Isreal does not have the capability to mount--would not come close to destroying Iran's nuclear capability. Delay maybe, but not destroy.

Dream on.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's nice to ride tall, rdw, but let's remember something: Israel is a sovereign nation. They don't jump when we snap our fingers. THEY decide when they want to start a war. You're being extremely presumptuous to assume that they will preemptively strike Iran. Allied to us or not, they are their own nation.

So here's the question: What do the Israelis say about this?

Posted by: CT on April 28, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK


Matt is right.. if Israel perceives a threat from Iran, it will strike, strike unilaterally, and strike hard. Israel is the canary in the mine of the Middle East.. If anything, the US would have to lean heavily on Israel to stop them from striking.

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

Posted by: Andy on April 28, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

has407
Fly through: Turkey would be only for the top NW corner of Iraq, but Jordan and/or Syria also before reaching Iraq.

rdw
For what Israel has cost us, when have they helped us. Not just in direct money but all the associated costs of diplomacy and military in the Middle East, political distraction at home. They spy on us. And didn't they shoot up a US communications ship in the Mediterranean to cover an airstrike against Egypt (was that '67?). Some allies. They use us better than we use them. That's diplomacy, foreign policy. Something we've forgotten for 5 years.

Wow! Not Canada, France or Germany allies. Nice to know where you're coming from.

Posted by: notthere on April 28, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Rabid Deranged Wanker> They know GWB can and would turn Tehran into a parking lot. They know the EU has neither the will nor the means.

Well that's either ignorant or a lie.

France currently has two nuclear weapons systems:" submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) carried by nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and medium-range air-to-surface missiles...
- 2005 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The British also have a fleet of subs with SLBMs, also armed with thermonukes. Of course these are deterrence (revenge) weapons, not tactical weapons but still - the EU is hardly unarmed.


Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 28, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

notthere -- Right; the Jordan - Saudi route was used for the Osirak raid (see previous post); they'd definitely avoid Syria unless it was a one-shot deal and there was no other way. (And I assume you meant "NW corner of Iran", not "NW corner of Iraq"?)

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Andy -- What is it that causes people to keep pulling up Osirak? Osirak is no indication of what Israel might do in this situation, and no proof of what Israel could accomplish. There are no similarities; Iran now is not Iraq then; their nuclear programs are vastly different; the geopolitical situation is vastly different; and the logistics are differet. "Osirak II" is dangerous fantasy.

As for Israel striking if they perceive a threat... Maybe. It depends. The Begin Doctrine was never really much of a doctrine; every situation has been different, whether it was Egypt's missle program, Iraq's nuclear program, Syria's CBW program, etc.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK
Actually they could. And at the same time they could take out the current leadership which has very little popular support. They won't but they could. We could also do it quite easily. We won't either. The Europeans could not and they're the significant party here.

Anyone with a handful of nukes, and that includes France and the UK which, I think, qualify as "Europeans", could just as much as the US or Isreal could take out the leadership and render the program, if not absolutely non-existent, considerably impaired.

They would be insane to do it, though, as would Israel or the US.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 28, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

You know, when I was a kid, the former USSR had, apparently, thousands of ICBM's pointed at my little 9-year-old butt 24/7. Yet, as a country we still managed to get along despite the fact that in the time it took to launch, the whole world cold have gone up in a ball of flame.

The christians and muslims have been fighting over Jerusalem almost since there were christians and muslims.

Yet, today, although recent history informs us that if WE JUST DON'T SHIT A BRICK, we can thrive even with the constant threat of instant, total worldwide death, we can't even get through one year, apparently, of the risk that 20 guys in a cave might try to kill a couple of thousand of us, or that one, count it one, country might develop an atomic bomb.

When did this country turn into such a bunch of total, complete pussies?

You know what a real tough guy would have done in reasponse to 9/11? Almost nothing!

Instead, we are running around the rest of the world acting like the biggest fraidy cats on the block.

Normally, I would assume that the risk of a pre-emptive military strike in the middle east with at best completely speculative gains would be so obvious to the friggen president of the United States that you could safely watch SportsCenter at night with no worries.

Instead, with this crew you the ridiculous is not only possible, its embraced!

How did we get here?

Posted by: hank on April 28, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Almost everything written on this is crap.

1) Nothing in the ME "Nuke" fright is actually about nukes..it is about establishing economic control for US/Isr. Without economic strongarming by the US for Israel it can't continue to exist.

2) Israel has been threatening Iran and calling for installing democracy by "overthrow" for 14 years..long before the Iran nut started threaening Israel.

3) If Israel attacked Iran they would be commiting national sucide.

4) If the US attacks Iran it will be commiting domestic economic sucide.

5) Every country is positioning themselves economically and energy wise to minimize their own damage from whatever the US may do, except Europe who can't do much to protect itself from any ramifications.

6)The US will go from hero to zero, from super power to has been the nansecond they launch an attack on Iran. And China and Russia will laughing their heads off for decades.

There are two things you can do to end the arguement about what to do about the non existant "Nuke" threat to the US and Europe..let Iran have their nukes and thus ensure a nuke stalemate in the ME....or disarm everyone including Israel.

So which is more practical? The Arab country's representation has suggested total nuclear disarmment in the ME as the way to go. The US and Israel have suggested only preventing nukes in Iran while they bless nuclear program in India.

Common sense says I am not going to put down my knife as long as you are waving yours in my face.


Posted by: Carroll on April 28, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

6)The US will go from hero to zero, from super power to has been the nansecond they launch an attack on Iran. And China and Russia wil laughing their heads off for decades.

Huh?

What could Iran or anyone else do? We've got the most dominant military in the history of civilization.


Hero to Zero? The liberals are the countries teenagers. It matters much to them what the French think. I can assure you, conservatives don't give a crap.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

3) If Israel attacked Iran they would be commiting national sucide.

There isn't anything the Arab world or the Iranians could do. Israel has defeated 4 or more at the same time, several times. They now have a much better security fence, far superior technology, a stronger relative economy, etc.


4) If the US attacks Iran it will be commiting domestic economic sucide.

The USA is booming and will continue to boom and there is nothing Iran can do about it. Our markets are the most important in the world. The Asian economies would collapse if something happened to the USA.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Israel's position on a nuclear free middle east from Foreign Policy Mag:

'Israel, moreover, is on record as supporting a WMD-free Middle East. But conditions by Israel would be stringent, experts say. First, there must be "comprehensive peace" with its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians.'

Neither Israel, India nor Pakistan are members of the IAEA, India and Pakistan cannot join after publicly testing the things.

Israel is within its bounds to expect comprehensive peace because a nuclear free zone would require extensive exchange of diplomats and inspectors. What advantage does Israel have to trust equitable inspections by an international body without its own people on the ground?

The burden is on the Arabs, but they have preferred to live with a vaguely nuclear Israel rather than have peaceful relations. Why are Arabs more concerned about nuclear Iran than nuclear Israel? Israel has stated that it will not publicly introduce nuclear weapons into the middle east, and Israel therefore has a no first strike policy.

We are back to the dilemma, who will enforce a nuclear free zone? Only Israel has the unilateral right of doing that, vis a vis Iran, for, in spite of the allowance we make for Iran to have war with Israel, Iran is not at war with the US.

Any nuclear free zone would be the basis for comprehensive peace, oddly, for that is the only cover the Arabs have to accomplish two goals, stop the Iranian bomb and get inspectors into Israel. It is a cover the Arabs could possibly sell to their own people, only after Israel has taken action against Iran. A nuclear armed Iran puts the whole middle east peace deal between Israel and the Arabs on hold indefinitely, puts the Arabs in a position of being blackmailed by Iran, and encourages Arab development of WMD in response to Iran.

All of the Arabs are at a disadvantage in a Iran/Israel superpower dominated middle east, and the Arabs have no way out except a deal with Israel, and that offers them nothing until Israel does its duty. I see a partial compromise, a partial peace and an exchange of inspectors. But this can only come about after Israel does the deed against the Mullahs.

Iran knows this. With the bomb, they hold the cards, the Arabs are trapped. Israel has the key, sorry, sorry for the Arabs, sorry for Iran, and sorry for Israel, but Israel has a duty here.


Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone with a handful of nukes, and that includes France and the UK which, I think, qualify as "Europeans", could just as much as the US or Isreal could take out the leadership and render the program, if not absolutely non-existent, considerably impaired


Quite true but I was describing taking our their nuclear capabilities and the leadership. Not 15M people Tehran and the larger cites. We had an example of European capabilities during the Balkan efforts to remove Milosovich. The Europeans were unable to stop or deter him in any way. Serbia is a poor nation of 10M in Europe. Iran has 80M and they're another 1,000 miles away.

The last thing Iran is concerned about is Europe.

The only people with more contempt for the Europeans than American conservatves are the Arabs. Saddam proved they can be bought cheaply. The French are far more likely to build them their reactor than destroy it.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever I read posts by rdw now, the tune "springtime for hitler" from the Mel Brooks film starts up in my head.

rdw> Blood and soil! We're #1! The EU sucks! Canadians and Frenchies are a bunch of commie girly men! Nuke the towelheads! Who needs allies, we're #1, we're f*cking invincible, I just took a whole handful of viagra this morning, and my economy feels great! Bush is a genius!

It's springtime, for hitler, in germany,
Winter, for Poland and France...

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 28, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

You know what a real tough guy would have done in reasponse to 9/11? Almost nothing!

Instead, we are running around the rest of the world acting like the biggest fraidy cats on the block.

Only a frady cat does nothing when someone comes into your home and kills family.

There are a lot of things you can call the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fraidy cat isn't one of them.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: Neither Israel, India nor Pakistan are members of the IAEA, India and Pakistan cannot join after publicly testing the things.

People might take you a little more seriously if you could get the basic facts straight...

Israel, India and Pakistan are all members of the IAEA; they were also all among the first states to ratify the IAEA.

Israel, India and Pakistan are not parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

NB: The IAEA is an agency, the NPT is a treaty; the IAEA predates the NPT by about 10 years.

They can all "join", or become parties, to the NPT, even after "publicly testing the things". Any state can become a party to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS) if they renounce and destroy their weapons programs. South Africa did it some time ago.

The only states that can be a party to the NPT as nuclear weapons states (NWS) are the P-5, specifically, as stated in Article IX, Section 3:

For the purposes of this Treaty, a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to January 1, 1967.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce,

You are about 80% correct. The exception is nuke the towelheads and needing the allies.

We're not putting brave men in harms way and spending billions establishing democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq to nuke the towellheads.

As far as allies I'll give you a partial. GWB is not a genius but Rummy is. He defined coalitions of the willing perfectly. The mission will define the coalition. The coalition will not define the mission.

That's why NATO is a shell and ALL 70,000 combat troops stationed in Germany have been permanently removed. Starting with a coalition and then defining a mission is agony and too often pointless. It was destructive in Iraq. There's no profit in herding cats. NATO has a structure and organization useful for adhoc missions such as Afghanistan whereby some members many or many not participate. Afghanistan is a NATI operation AND a coalition of the willing.

Conservatives had no problem with Canada deciding Iraq was not a good idea and to sit it out. Friends can disagree. France and Germany are different stories. They worked against us behind our backs.

The problem with Canada is you are weak militarily. That's blunt but a fact. Moreover you know it because you designed it. You've been grossly underspending on defense for almost two decades. You average 1.1% of GDP. In 2005 that was expected to be $10B. For some perspective, Australia, 2/3s the size of Canada, spends over $17B. Switzerland spends 1%.

How could any Canadian possibly expect to have a 1st rate military? You can't. You have what you've paid for. Canadian assistance would have been welcomed but not so much for military reasons.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

There is a bit of a shortage, you know; a good Republican should probably consider joining the military if war is inevitable. (which it isn't.)


There's no shortage. The MSM isn't reporting on recruitments or reenlistments for the obvious reason they're exceeding all of their targets. They are averaging over 2,000 reductions in active reservists a week and just announced they may reduce to 100,000 troops by November.

Considering ALL 70,000 troops have been removed from Germany and 10,000 from Korea the incremental overseas assignments will be down to 20,000 by year end.

I agree war is very unlikely. This isn't a US problem and it's the perfect opportunity to show-off the excellent capabilities of the UN.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

rdw -- It is necessary, productive and desireable to have have a sufficient military--proper size, properly equipped and properly trained. That is a "first rate militiary" by any measure, and an admirable goal and accomplishment; it indicates a rational and informed government.

It is not necessary, productive or desireable to have "the most dominant military in the history of civilization". That is nothing to be proud of; it indicates irrational baehavior, and a government with a serious penis envy problem, or that simply thinks with its dick.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Because along with the Brits, Aussies, Italians and Danes they're our strongest allies. These are people we know we can count on.

And yet you have denigrated these nations in the past day or so; you have denigrated NATO and said that we couldn't trust NATO and we didn't need NATO.

No I did not denigrate those nations. I denigrated the EU and NATO bureaucracies which supercede the nations they pretend to represent. The USA is part of NATO. You thinking I said the USA can't trust the USA?

NATO as you think of it is DEAD. It's a flexible shell organization used to manage coalitions of the willing on a case by case basis. Those nations formally part of NATO wishing to support Afghan operations are supporting Afghan operations. Otherwise they stand aside. Each operation is a coalition. The mission defines the coalition. These coalition members define the mission and contribute all assets. NATO doesn't have armies and material. NATO has member nations who have armies and material.

In the future it's unlikely kosovo operations will happen. Conservatives will have no appetite for operations in Europe. That will be up to the EU. They can of course use NATO however there will not be any US assets used.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

'The USA is booming and will continue to boom and there is nothing Iran can do about it. Our markets are the most important in the world. The Asian economies would collapse if something happened to the USA."
--rdw

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you don't know what you are talking about. One thing Iran can and is going to do, is to set up a Euro-denominated bourse for oil. When that happens, look out. As gold traders know, there is an
economic typhoon ahead and it is bearing down on the United States. Delusional people like yourself are going to get blown away.


Of course, I wouldn't expect a particularly cogent macroeconomic analysis from someone who argues foreign policy in terms of who is a "fraidy cat" or not.

Two words - GROW UP.


Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 28, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Andy -- What is it that causes people to keep pulling up Osirak? Osirak is no indication of what Israel might do in this situation, and no proof of what Israel could accomplish. There are no similarities;

The similarity is the fact an islamic neighbor threatening Isreal is activitly working on developing nuclear capabilities. Your points about the tactical differences are spot on however it is rational to consider Osirak in considering the potential for Israeli activity.

It was extraordinary bold as well as unpopular and this tells us a lot. 1st is that the world can bitch all day and all night. It matters not a bit. 2nd, they are very skilled pilots. 3rd, if they have the intelligence and decide the least risky path, for israel, is an attack they WILL attack. We know this because we've seen them do it.


That said you are correct that everything is different this time.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Euro-denominated "

Yuan denominated, dollar denominated; it has no relevance when all the currencies are more or less managed properly. I linked to your counter-punch article, and the main complaint, correctly, was the our goverment spending is way out of wack,true.

But, it is the fed tat keeps the dollar stable by raising interest rates when the economy heats up, and they have managed to keep inflation under 3%. This may mean that we are fucked, but the dollar more or less should continue to trade within bounds, so its use as a foreign reserve curency, or the euro, or whatever makes no matter, as long as the central banks in the various economic regions do a good job with monetary management.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

'NJ Osprey' posted:

"although the stealth planes have proven effective, it is theoretically posssible to detect them with enough radars set up in the right postions."

Only the military and the gullible believe they are "effective" and that it's only "theoretically possible to detect them".

There was Congressional testimony that the F117 so-called "Stealth" fighters were the first to cross the border into Iraq during the Gulf War, and they lit up Iraqi radar like a christmas tree. They were also clearly observable crossing the border by the naval radar on ships in the Persian Gulf.

B2 so-called "Stealth" bombers show up quite well on low-frequency long-range radars.

"Stealth Technology" is a fraud.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 28, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Steven,

You are a moron. Iran could not set up a Euro dominated bourse even if they wanted to. What's more, even if the did it would not matter. It wouldn't change the marret price of Oil a penny.

Why would you even suggest the EURO? Why would anyone want to hold the currency of the slowest growing continent on the planet especially knowing it will always be the slowest growing continent on the planent?

fraidy cat wasn't my term. I was responding to a prior post.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK


rdw,

My foolish friend, a Euro-denominated bourse is already in the works. That is why I suspect an attack on Iran is already well past the planning phase and Bush and his madmen are probably redeploying the cruise missiles and B-2 bombers as we write. Maybe in Bushs tiny brain, the wrenching economic dislocations of nuking Iran look better than the American economy slowly circling the drain on his watch, waiting for the final flush, such as when China decides it no longer wants to hold dollars. Hard to figure a psychopath.

As far as why hold the Euro? In a word Stability. Something the U.S. no longer has, with two drunk drivers at the helm.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 28, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

It is not necessary, productive or desireable to have "the most dominant military in the history of civilization". That is nothing to be proud of; it indicates irrational baehavior, and a government with a serious penis envy problem, or that simply thinks with its dick.

It's not necessary but it sure is nice. And I am proud of it. Very proud in fact. But I am even more proud of what makes it possible. It's the same thing that makes it possible for us to do so much to clean our air and water and forests. We're friggin rich!!!

Consider this. The US economy is about $12.5T. We're been growing at a steady 3.6% rate for 3 years and will do it again. That's an increase of $450B. We spend about 4% on defense. That's $18B more in 2006. Our annual rate of growth in defense spending is almost double Canada's total defense budget.

4% is a war number but even the more usual 3.3% - 3.5% investment makes for a large and extremely well armed and trained military. It's why the Iron curtain eventually collapsed and democracy and liberty are more pervasive in the world today than at any other point in the history of civilization.

For a different perspective reflect back to the Tsusami crises. I'm sure you saw the fleet of ships delivering fresh water, food, medical supplies and personnel to distribute it as well as the sky filled with helicopters pulling people out of harms way. Maybe you didn't see it but it was on TV 24/7 in Indonesia and the region for weeks. They noticed something else you didn't. Not one of those ships were Canadian. None of them were EU or UN either.

This is another reason while I find ankle-biters like you so comical. I have no doubt you really didn't see the amazing work the American military did in Indonesia and Pakistan and in so many other places providing life-saving aid. You watch the MSM. I watch Fox. I know what's really going on. Thus I know of the greatness of the American military.

BTW: That bit about the Indonesians watching TV is spot on. Osama ain't so popular these days. The USA IS. Our polls are now well above 50%. His are below 20%. This is one reason why their PM has been moving ahead on restoring joint military operations, increased cooperation on security and a possible free trade pact. With 245M people, fast GDP growth and very decent purchasing power GDP of $900B (not far behind Canada) Indonesia looks very attractive for long term investment.

BTW2: We're STILL delivering major aid to Pakistan regions hit by quakes and our polls are up sharply there as well.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

That's great, Al. Let's start another war in the most volatile area of the world, with its most vulnerable energy resources, setting into motion forces beyond our control and understanding. And let's do it NOW, so one party can get a let up in
an off-year domestic election.

Al's position might strike you, or I, as insane, but if you accept his essential premise, that the single largest threat to American national security -- more than loose nukes, failed states, or Wahabi fundamentalism -- is a Democratic majority in Congress, then it's a moderate solution to the problem.

The hard-line solution to the threat is calling in an air strike on the headquarters of the DNC.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 28, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

'You watch the MSM. I watch Fox. I know what's really going on.'
--rdw

You are a put-on, aren't you? You can't be a real human being, right? Man, the right-wing propaganda machine has got you hook, line and sinker.

Report to your local deprogramming center immediately!

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on April 28, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

My foolish friend, a Euro-denominated bourse is already in the works


That's great! Who cares? It's utterly meaningless.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, Kosovo being a legitimate, no-casualty military operation

It was a video game.

that stopped the slaughter of the Kosovar Albanians,

The slaughter that occured did so because Clinton make it clear to Milosovich there was no way he was puttig boots on the ground. It was the signal they'd be safe and could strike.

toppled a strongman who had waged war and destroyed one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (Sarajevo) and brought peace to the Balkans--

You are bragging about the desruction of sarajevo?

Milosovich is gone but there is no peace and no problems solved. They are in exactly the same place as they were the say before he massacre's started except poorer and with less hope. Thy have little economic future and little security. How long will we be there?

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

And yet $3.00 a gallon for gas has pushed many Americans to the brink. People are choosing between food for their family or gas.

That's right. The roads are filled with $40K SUVs and BMWs and Americans are choosing between food or gas.

Beats what's been going on in Canada and Europe for decades. They pay so much in taxes they choose between paying taxes or having kids. The fools are breeding themselves out of existance!

Tell me this isn't proof natural selection works!

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, they couldn't really do much for New Orleans, could they?

Is it really that hard to figure out? You are of course aware the reason LA is still partially blue is because the New Orleans minority population skewers the vote left. What happens when N.O. loses 300,000 of it's favorite sons? Think RED!!!

Lousianna will be soldily Red in the next election and possibly the next 50 elections. I'm not suggesting they planned it this way but give the GOP credit. When dealt a lemon they made lemonade.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Report to your local deprogramming center immediately!

It's actually worse Fred. I watch Fox AND read the WSJ as well as Powerline. I knew how pitiful Dan Rathers story was before you got up the next day. I mean I really knew how pitiful it was.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: And I am proud of it. Very proud in fact. But I am even more proud of what makes it possible.

If you build and maintain armies they will, as a rule, get used--and not always in a rational or enlightened manner. And the bigger and stronger, the greater the pressure to use it, and the greater the temptation. Yes, it makes lots of things possible, and in the end, none of them good.

But it's ok, we can afford it, "we're rich!!!". Right. What a truly pathetic excuse for formulating and executing policy. But I guess that's to be expected from thinking with your dick.

Posted by: has407 on April 28, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, your side argues for cruise missiles, airstrikes and precision bombing of Iran. Now, what's the fundamental difference between the forces used to beat Serbia and what we would do to eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons program.

I don't want the US near Iran. I want the UN doing it's job. But those who are arguing for the precision air strikes are expecting a much different operation than Kosovo. This would be more like Afghanistan. There would not be an invasion force but there would be a very large group of special forces to coordinate target selection and protect the pilots.


When you say that Kosovo was a 'video game' you denigrate the efforts of the pilots who put their lives on the line to hit targets and stop the Serbian army. It must take a lot of gall to insult and denigrate men and women who put their lives on the line to protect America.

I'm doing no such thing but in fact it doesn't appear they put their lives on the line. There were no casualties. That's an unusually good safety record. Run that many flights and accidents will generate casualties. The initial stage was guided bombings from extremely high attitudes where the people on the ground never saw the planes and the pilots never acquired their targets visually.

This was the most dangerous phase for the muslims and when most were butchered. The Serbs knew the targets. They were safe. They knew they'd never see troops. They had total range of motion. The targets we selected were actually picked to minimize casualties. It was an attempt to show the serbs the futility of their position. It did exactly the opposite.

It wasn't until a full month later the air force realize they had to get more aggressive and cause real pain that progress was made.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

You have made a blatantly racist generalization of New Orleans (last time I checked, there was quite a bit of diversity there) and you make it sound like people deserved what they got, and now the GOP will structure New Orleans as a predominantly 'white' city that will vote accordingly.

I don't think so. I am merely repeating an AP article I read a few days ago summarising the results on the election for mayor. If the AP report is racist that's APs problem. In any event I doubt they're racists. Common sense is color blind. NO is a large city with a predominantly black population. I'll let you in on a secret, blacks vote blue. By 90% nationally.

I'll try to explain. It's hard for liberals some time. More blacks = more blue votes. Are you with me? When 90% of blacks vote democrat that means 9 of 10 blacks will vote for the democratic candidate in the elections. Still with me? OK! If new orleans losses 300,000 of it's black citizens, and they voted the GOP candidate may have lost 30,000 votes. The Democratic cadidate many have lost 270,000.

Here's the hard part: That's a net loss of 240,000 votes for the Democrats. Put another way, a net gain of 240,000 votes for the GOP.

It's horrible so many people have had to suffer. I feel horrible. But I am also a conservative. That means an optimist. I tend to look at the bright side. When I get lemons I made lemonade. The fact Mary Landreu will probably lose her Senate seat to Bobby Judal if they don't move back is good news for bobby.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Lousianna will be soldily Red in the next election and possibly the next 50 elections. I'm not suggesting they planned it this way but give the GOP credit. When dealt a lemon they made lemonade.
Posted by: rdw

It's the honest, casual racism like this that makes me really, really appreciate the changing face of american and the dilution of the white majority.

when bitches like this feel comfortable with this type of eliminationist rhetoric, I can only assume that their underlying cracker racist is not too far from the surface civility.

This needs to be dealt with, and right quick.

Posted by: Nads on April 28, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's horrible so many people have had to suffer. I feel horrible. But I am also a conservative. That means an optimist. I tend to look at the bright side. When I get lemons I made lemonade.

I'm sure on 9/12 you said sure they died ... it was horrible ... blah blah blah. But on the bright side, it presents us with an opportunity to kill some sand niggers, so it isn't all bad.

The fact Mary Landreu will probably lose her Senate seat to Bobby Judal if they don't move back is good news for bobby.
Posted by: rdw

The cracker vote reliably would not vote for the indian republican the first time; they just stayed home ... I don't see that changing. For fuck's sake, YOU think that your words aren's racist ... I have to assume that you're among the best and brightest of the crackers, and you can barely contain YOUR bigotry. ... I don't see jindal winning.

Posted by: Nads on April 28, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Do you even know what it is you're pretending to comment upon? You want to attack Iran--

Except I don't want to attack Iran, ever. Not after the UN fails. Not ever.

To stop a Euro dominated bourse that cannot happen because, even though the Iranians and Europeans have it within their means to trade currency for oil, you assert they cannot do it because America is so rich

I have no idea of what you are talking about. I don't want to stop a Euro dominated bourse. There are Euro dominated bourses all over Europe. The Iranains can trade Oil in Euros any time they want. THe can trade in yuans or pounds or gold. There's no law here. They call the shots.

It won't effect oil prices even by a penny OR th dollar even by a penny.

Iranian GDP is $178B. US GDP is $12.5T. The US economy is 70x's larger than Iran. They aren't even a bug.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see jindal winning.

Conservatives love Bobby. He's said to be extremely bright and engaging He lost of Blanko 52% to 48% in 2003. He won his current house seat with 78%. Apparently they're warming up to him.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

is nothing that a decent government would try to 'gerrymander' in a crass and heartless manner.

That would explain why there's no government doing any gerrymandering or anything crass or heartless.

Stating the obvious isn't racist. Blacks tend to vote 90 Democratic. That's a very, well known fact. New Orleans lost a big part of their black population. That's a fact. it's not crass or heartless. It's just a fact.

Mary Landreau lost her base. It's a fact. It's not a racist fact. Facts are color blind. The fact I would be happy to see Bobby Jindal replace Mary isn't racist either. Quite the opposite. It displays my love of diversity!!! I an a true conservative.

Posted by: rdw on April 28, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

I an a true conservative.
Posted by: rdw

by dancing on the graves of dead blacks, I agree.

Posted by: Nads on April 28, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

You, sir, know nothing of the American way of life.

I know everything of American life. What are you babbling about? We had a natural disaster. It was a tradegy. 90% of the citizens of New Orlands had to move and a great many moved out of state. It was their choice. It happened. No one planned it.

It leaves us with a different profile in New Orleans and Louisanna. It just so happens it benefits the GOP. This part is win/win for everyone. Bobby Jundal will be an outstanding
Senator.

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

by dancing on the graves of dead blacks, I agree.

I thought more whites died but no matter. The shift in electoral avantage is due to people moving not people dying. I am not dancing on anyone grave. I am celebrating the GOPs luck of the draw due to the effects of the massive migration to Texas. Texas will stay comfortably Red. Louisanna will become comfortably Red.

This is very positive for the GOP

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

This is a perfect control experiment. In Iraq, we tried military action. Now, in Iran, which even the dimmest bulb has to agree is pursuing WMD, we are going the other route.

Contrary to your revisionism, in Iraq we actually tried the "enlightened international" route as you put it -- and it worked.

The goal was to disarm Iraq of WMD's and the U.N. inspectors on the ground were able to confirm that Iraq had been disarmed of WMD's years earlier.

Then Bush chose to ignore both the inspectors and the latest CIA intelligence and invade anyway, because according to the CIA by that time the excuse du jour for invading and setting up a permanent military presence in a sovereign country had become "regime change."

P.S. When tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi or Iranian lives are on the line, it's not "an experiment." Talking about it abstractly and clinically doesn't change the fact that if we attack peope are going to be wounded and killed and undergo suffering the likes of which you will never know.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 29, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

back to the main topic

there is a good long article in salon mag. on how
a war with iran might go

to get to this art.type into google:
"joe conason" "attacking iran"
and click the first hit

Posted by: wschneid25 on April 29, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

has407 and rdw, I don't think anyone here knows what Israel is capable of. I sure don't. But Israel has shown itself much more capable than its neighbors, and I expect it still is. This is a topic for us to read up on.

Posted by: republicrat on April 29, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Stephen Kriz.

And let me say that dumb and dumber, Matt and rdw have got to be 1) teenagers on a acne med high or 2) kookaide drinking israelis cultist.

Israel is a monkey beating it's chest pretending to be a silverback and the US is a middle aged elephants with a blood sucking tick on it's backside...attacking Iran and the ensuing fallout is the deadly cure for both those conditions.

You know nothing of what you speak boys ..but enjoy your verbal masterbation , it's the only satisfaction you will ever get on the ME deal.

Posted by: Carroll on April 29, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Russia is trying to force our hand...any war against Iran makes Russia about 5x richer than they stand today, minimum. I don't buy that Russia has Iran's back at all.

Posted by: Jimm on April 29, 2006 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

Russia is probably playing Iran too, and especially their new president. Perhaps a little revenge for 80s Afghanistan?

Russia makes out like a bandit if they convince Iran to defy us to the point of war. Look at energy prices now, and then imagine it a hell of a lot worse.

Posted by: Jimm on April 29, 2006 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

The goal was to disarm Iraq of WMD's and the U.N. inspectors on the ground were able to confirm that Iraq had been disarmed of WMD's years earlier.

Except they didn't. Saddam toyed with the inspectors.

Then Bush chose to ignore both the inspectors and the latest CIA intelligence

Except he didn't. We've all heard Tenet's famous 'slam dunk' comment

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Israel is a monkey beating it's chest

France is the monkey beating it's chest. Israel hasn't made a single threat. Only Chirac has promised to use nuclear weapons. He's no fool. He understands France has a 10% islamic minority with 40% unemployment and 100% 2nd class citizen status and furious.

He also understands that 10% is headed quickly toward 20% and then 30%. He understands The Islamic Fundamentalist in Iran see Europe as the cause of their reversals in the 14th century and see in the 21st century the opportunity for redemption. The mullahs seek to lead the Islamic world into it's greatest age. Nuclear arms give them military parity. Demographics will give them Europe.

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

Russia is probably playing Iran too, and especially their new president. Perhaps a little revenge for 80s Afghanistan?

Definitely revenge is driving this. The Russians see Afghanistan in far worse terms than we see Vietnam. Afghanistan led to their loss of empire. There's also the fact Russia is in desperate need of diversification. Despite a highly educated population their only technological expertise is military and nuclear power.


Russia makes out like a bandit if they convince Iran to defy us to the point of war. Look at energy prices now, and then imagine it a hell of a lot worse.

Actually Russia stands to lose if prices continue to sky-rocket. Despite the cartel Oil is still eventually subject to the laws of supply and demand. OPEC lost control of Oil markets for most of the 80's and much of the 90's by playing hardball.

The key reason prices are sky-rocketing is demand is rising and that's due to a booming global economy. This economic growth is driving rising living standards and investment wealth everywhere including among the oil producers. The OPEC nations have massive wealth invested in markets all over the world. rising oil prices could easily cause a global recession thereby reducing the demand for OIL AND greatly reducing the value of their investments.

Everyone loses in a recession.

The Saudi's are keenly aware this can happen again. US total petroleum demand is down almost 1% the last two years despite over 7.5% GDP growth. We are becoming more energy efficient before many of the investments in efficiency begin to pay off.

At the same time alternative sources are becoming more common. The Alberta Tar sands will add 2M in daily capacity destined for US markets. US Imports last month were down 417K barrels, nearly 4% and they are still working to restore another 340K from the Gulf. All things being equal imports would be down 7.5%.

If we were in a recession rather than getting 4.8% GDP growth imports would likely be down over 10%.

The absolute last thing the Russians and OPEC wants is a global recession. The Saudi's realize the automakers and other manufactures are retooling and investing for dramatic increases in efficiency that if successful will supress demand for decades AND the industry is investing huge amounts in exploration and alternatives.

Catepillar yesterday announced the sale of one of it's energy plants to a small energy company building a coal-gasification plant. It's still experimental but so were the Tar Sands 5 years ago. Most estimates were for a break-even price of $35 per barrel. This is versus $22 for Tar Sands. However the US has more coal than Alberta Tar. "IF" successful a dozen states are ready to welcome development.

That's a big IF but still a disaster for OPEC. Flat to lower US demand and the displacement of 20% of US oil demand with Alberta's Tar Sands is already a serious issue for them. Successful Coal-gasification would destroy their pricing control as would a break-through in any number fo areas.

BTW: The strangest thing for me regarding Russia in this episode is that Iran is the worst of the Islamic states in terms of religious fundamentalism and Russia has problems with Islam potentially more serious than Israel. Iran has even said they'll share the technology. The Chechens have already slaughered schools filled with innocent kids. They'd nuke Moscow in a heartbeat.

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

YO BRUCE,

Canada is Warming Up to Conservatives

The latest Decima Research poll indicates the Conservatives are now more popular than when they were elected to form a minority government last January. They have moved into the threshold of a majority government status and have broad appeal to all groups in Canada.

After 13 years of Liberal government our friends in Canada have given themselves a new view on how government can be run. Now if we can only get New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland to elect conservatives, they may like what they voted for.

******************

From what I've read Harper has been sure-footed. He's clearly conservative but fully aware he heads a dividend goverment and politicing accordingly. One pundit suggested it's up to Canada to decide if they want to be more like themselves during WWII and the Cold War. Which is to punch well above your weight geopolitically. Or to become Switzerland. For 15 years Canada has moved closer to the Swiss model. Harper clearly wants to reverse course. We'll see how he does.

BTW: Punching above your weight isn't posing for pictures at G-8 summits. It's showing up in places like Indonesia when you are needed.

Posted by: rdw on April 29, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat: I don't think anyone here knows what Israel is capable of. I sure don't. But Israel has shown itself much more capable than its neighbors, and I expect it still is. This is a topic for us to read up on.

The following are freely available and relatively short reads:

  • Israel's Attack On Osiraq: A Model For Future Preventative Strikes?, Peter Scott Ford, Naval Postgraduate School, September 2004. Shows just how exceptional the strike was, and how far it stretched Israel's capabilities.

  • Checking Iran's Nuclear Ambitions, Patrick Clawson and Henry D. Sokolski Editors, Strategic Studies Institute, January 2004. A bit dated, but still much relevant material; see specifically: Chapter 7, The Challenges of U.S. Preventive Military Action, Michael Eisenstad.

  • Getting Ready For A Nucear-Ready Iran, Patrick Clawson and Henry D. Sokolski Editors, Strategic Studies Institute, October 2005. Some overlap with the previous work, but much additional material worth reading; see specifically: Chapter 6, Is the Begin Doctrine Still a Viable Option for Israel?, Shlomo Brom.

  • Irans Developing Military Capabilities, Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 2004. Some analysis, but otherwise a relatively dry enumeration of facts, figures and history.

All of the above have numerous additional references that will keep even the most wonkish busy for months, if not years. Those familiar with some of the SSI contributors will also note that many are, and have been, hawkish. The SSI papers also provide considerable additional military and non-military background, analysis and prescriptions.

Posted by: has407 on April 29, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: dsafsd on April 29, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Rick Francona, former DIA guy and military analyst for MSNBC, has an analysis of an Israeli strike on Iran on his blog. He pretty much agrees with SSI that Israel doesn't really have the capabilities to do it right.

http://francona.blogspot.com/2006/03/iran-israels-air-strike-options.html

Posted by: tequila on April 29, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

tequila -- Thanks for the link; a good synopsis of why an Osirak-like strike won't work. However, I think it's a safe bet that if Israel goes for it, it won't look anything like Osirak.

Speculation about something like this is fruitless, but... (1) ingress through the East of Syria up along the Iraq border (neither side can reliably tell who is doing what); egress the long way around via the Persian Gulf and back up through the Red Sea; air-to-air refueling gets them home (these are all two-seaters and autopilots can take care of most of it once they're out of the fire); or (2) comandeer a relatively isolated island in the gulf for 24-72hr as a base of operations while everyone is tongue tied. Both eliminate US (or other) culpability--although no one is likely to believe it, even if true

That said, I do not believe it would happen unless the US gave the nod, or unless there were strong indicators that the US would weigh in after-the-fact given a fait accompli--and everything from the administration suggests such.

Posted by: has407 on April 29, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Says has407:

That's not the real "double game" Russia is playing.

The real game Russia is playing is with the US.

Wouldn't that be "Double Game Red-Squared" (a formula based on the Cold War model)?

Posted by: Moody on April 30, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Time to call on those Serbians who party every year with a F117 shaped cake. Old long-wave radar. Hard to kill those *mobile* M1s without stealth.
USA citizens amaze me with their global ignorance. The ObL oil price - whereby USA economy vanishes - is $200/bbl. Bye bye USA. On the way out, collect your cracked-up carriers, dont pass Green Zone - flattened by descent-phase-guidance Iranian irbms.

Posted by: gbruno on May 1, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

gbruno,

Pray that 25% of the worlds GDP doesn't vanish or the depression of the 30's will seem like the good old says. Less that 2% of US GDP is derived from Petroleum, abour half the levels of the 70's and there are many more alternatives today. Before we get to $100 goal gasification is profitable and we sit on a 400 years supply of coal. Plus windmill farms, ethanol production and other alternatives can be scaled up rather quickly.

The US IS the global economy.

Posted by: rdw on May 1, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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