Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 7, 2006

THE U-TURN POLICY ON IRAN....The Bush administration's policy on Iran was, for the most part, unambiguous. The president believed the United States should not take part in negotiations with the Iranians and Europeans, should not offer Iran nuclear fuel to be used in a peaceful nuclear energy program, and should not offer Iran any incentives that might "reward bad behavior."

Indeed, any suggestions from Democrats that the administration try a more engaged, carrot-like approach was immediately dismissed as "appeasement." Shortly before the 2004 presidential election, Condoleezza Rice told Fox News, "This regime has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not quote-unquote 'engaged.'"

I'm glad to see the administration has come around to more progressive approach, but let's not forget this is a world-class, Grade-A flip-flop.

The confidential diplomatic package backed by Washington and formally presented to Iran on Tuesday leaves open the possibility that Tehran will be able to enrich uranium on its own soil, U.S. and European officials said.

That concession, along with a promise of U.S. assistance for an Iranian civilian nuclear energy program, is conditioned on Tehran suspending its current nuclear work until the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency determines with confidence that the program is peaceful. U.S. officials said Iran would also need to satisfy the U.N. Security Council that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon, a benchmark that White House officials believe could take years, if not decades, to achieve.

But the Bush administration and its European allies have withdrawn their demand that Iran abandon any hope of enriching uranium for nuclear power, according to several European and U.S. officials with knowledge of the offer. The new position, which has not been acknowledged publicly by the White House, differs significantly from the Bush administration's stated determination to prevent Iran from mastering technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

The Moose explained, "If a Kerry Administration had offered this deal, there would be the equivalent of conservative rioting in the streets. An impeachment resolution would be offered. The theme of the day on talk radio would be the betrayal of America." I think this is absolutely right.

The same Bush administration that said it would isolate Iran -- and which said we shouldn't vote for Kerry because he might be inconsistent on national security matters -- has offered Iran a very handsome package, including international aid on a nuclear reactor, airplane parts, and an enrichment program of its very own.

In other words, Bush's new Iranian policy is to the left of where Kerry was during the '04 campaign, when the GOP blasted Kerry's approach as dangerously soft. What's more, the administration has embraced the very policies it once denounced.

Insert joke about Bush being "against this policy before he was for it" here.

Steve Benen 1:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (116)

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Comments

Anything a Democrat is done out of hatred of America. Anything Bush does is Strong and Resolute!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 7, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I cannot WAIT to see the rightie comments to this development. Odds on favorite is "This is a liberal media lie! There is no deal!!" Even odds offered for a variant of the old "Only Nixon could go to China" line of non-reasoning. Also even chances of "W isn't REALLY a conservative," previously seen on the border/immigration issue. Outside chance for "Let's not rush to judgement" stall tactic until they get their meme of the day.

Zero chance of hearing "We were wrong, and W has sensibly chosen talk over war."

Posted by: nightshift66 on June 7, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: Honey, I think you're doin' a great job in terms of the substance of your entries here, but IMHO you're throwing out too many posts for us to digest.

We like to run stuff into the ground before we move on.

:-)

Posted by: CFShep on June 7, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is exactly what Kerry offered in one of his debates and Dumbya scoffed at it. It's only taken the boob 2 years to come around.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 7, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: Honey, I think you're doin' a great job in terms of the substance of your entries here, but IMHO you're throwing out too many posts for us to digest.

Hell, he's been taking it easy on us. Over at the Carpetbagger, he outdoes this rate every day.

Posted by: dj moonbat on June 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure this site is going to get around to discussing the Francine Busby defeat any time now. Perhaps they're waiting for Kevin to return.

Posted by: TLB on June 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's so nice that it's now summer and we can again hear the gentle flip-flop, flip-flop of the Bush regime's sandals on the road....

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Only Nixon could go to China

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Only Nixon could go to China

What with being a traitor to American values and all.

Posted by: dj moonbat on June 7, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, I thought we were all supposed to forgive George all his many failures because "at least he's consistent." But he's not consistent.

So, exactly what admirable traits does he have left? Flosses well?

Posted by: theorajones on June 7, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps it's a flip-flop without a full dismount - the White House is not speaking with one voice on this topic. While Rice extends the olive branch, Bolton rattles the preventive war saber at the UN. Further, as Harvard's Jeffrey Lewis points out, the administration still lacks a consensus NSPD spelling out a coherent Iran strategy. With policy and events still very much in flux, now is a crucial time to press for precision and accountability on the faulty assumptions buried within the loaded phrase "all options are on the table."

Posted by: Ridgway Center on June 7, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hey I am confused, when do we suck the Moose's cock and when do we beat the shit out of the moose for being a rightwinger in democratic clothes?

I just want to know when I can expect more moose cock up my ass?

Is the answer when he seems to agree with us?

Posted by: jerry on June 7, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, Bush's new Iranian policy is to the left of where Kerry was during the '04 campaign, when the GOP blasted Kerry's approach as dangerously soft. What's more, the administration has embraced the very policies it once denounced.

Good point, but after the present administration's objections to "nation building," my personal favorite being Condi's remark about the 82nd Airborne having better things to do than escort children to kindergarten, it's hard to keep track of the hypocrises that occur on such grand scales.

Posted by: cyntax on June 7, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hypocrisy: It's OK if you're a republican.

Posted by: Tangurena on June 7, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

i hope giving iran a light water reactor among other aid works better than it did with north korea. at least jimmy carter wasn't involved this time.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with nightshift66 on this.

I can't wait to see how the Republican "fair & balanced" crowd has to twist to call this bold leadership and amazing vision.

Posted by: Mark-NC on June 7, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Washington DC gossip has it that Laura Bush has moved into the Mayflower hotel. Could it be because she so disapproves Bush's flip-flop on Iran? Or perhaps it was the gay marriage thing. Or maybe when she looks at George she thinks, my approval rating is 60%. I've got to dump this guy before he takes me down, too.

Forget Jeb. Laura Bush in 2008?

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 7, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

There's only one thing behind this reversal... gasoline prices.

Bush knows what will happen to the GOP if gasoline goes to $5.00 a gallon before November.

I think the Iranians know too.

Posted by: Buford on June 7, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

nightshift,

apparently even your outstanding odds-setting, didn't forsee this one:

at least jimmy carter wasn't involved this time.

pathetic. All they got is "at least some Dem from the past wasn't involved". Nothing about Bush and his flip flop. Nothing about whether its even a good idea. They couldn't blame Clenis so they went to the other (dry) well, Carter. Sad and pathetic.

Posted by: Edo on June 7, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

1) diplomacy in this case is not "left" or "right." I cant see how this points either more toward socialism or more toward facism. Socialism need not be less militaristic than a right dictatorship. To use the term "left" here is to either purposefully or foolishly play into the GOP line that worrying about policies for malnourished American kids at home means one is going to let psychotic foreign dictators insult and slap you around abroad. Pet Peeve here.

2) Thank God for Bush's hypocracy and flip-flop here if its genuine, and I'm an athiest. We really don't need a war with Iran.

Posted by: ChetBob on June 7, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ridgeway Center
With policy and events still very much in flux, now is a crucial time to press for precision and accountability on the faulty assumptions buried within the loaded phrase "all options are on the table."

I'm not sure why the rudder change, but I'll argue since you guys are dying for a conservative to pick on.

1. In negotiations, you don't make your opening bid what you expect to get in the end (Kerry's approach).

2. Only Nixon could go to China. Only Reagan could negotiate with Gorby

3. Many's the person here who has remarked on the wiliness of the Iranian's with their mixed messages veiled threats of apocalypse. what's good for goose is good for gander.

4. Iran is undergoing significant internal unrest at the moment (case in point...wish the US media would follow it closer), could be the right time to take away one of the mullah's rallying cries

5. Some sort of secret intel that motivates change in approach

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Washington DC gossip has it that Laura Bush has moved into the Mayflower hotel.

I'm confident The New York Times will soon run a page 1, 2000 word article on the first couple's marriage. Not.

Posted by: Edo on June 7, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. The Moose is more and more of a irrelevant element and not worth quoting here, just as Kerry is irrelevant except to the degree that his political stylists like the Moose can be labelled for the failures they have been.

Posted by: ChetBob on June 7, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Only Clinton could get a blow job and stay in office.

(Look! Clinton!!!)

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

2. Only Nixon could go to China. Only Reagan could negotiate with Gorby

Actually, what this illustrates is the unwillingness of the Republicans to put country before party. Only Nixon could go to China because if a Democratic president had done so, the right wing would have vilified him as a traitor -- meaning, they are hypocrites who will denounce the same behavior they themselves will gladly indulge in. Republican presidents benefit from the fact that their Democratic opponents are relative adults who don't reach for the stabbed in the back analogy the first chance they get.

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK


This is exactly as i predicted. The Bush Doctrine, PNAC, and the whole set of neo-con principles was a cover for the invasion of Iraq. Iraq was about taking out Saddam, and nothing more. This was a personal vendetta by a group of men who resented the fact that the first war against iraq was never 'finished,'
It was never about the axis of evil.. the Bush admin has continuously yielded to iran, agreeing from concession to concession, from negotiations, to transfering technology (what on earth???!). This must be the 4th or 5th concession given to Iran, while Iran has stood firm and mocked Bush. This is Chamberlain-like appeasement. Like i said, if Bush invaded Iran, i would've respected him more, because it meant he actually believed in his principles. clearly, he does not. It was never ever ever ever about WMDs. Ever. The worst part is, Iran represents a more real threat, from providing far more support to terrorism, being far closer to the extreme Islamist ideology, and actually possessing WMDs.

Posted by: Andy on June 7, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike:

You forgot #6: Only Bush II could go to Bahgdad!

Probably the whole Iraq debacle was just a secret game of chicken in negotiations with Iran to show them just how crazy and irrational we could be before we agreed to their original position of wanting to enrich their own fuel for "peaceful" purposes. What a minute... Did I get that right?

Posted by: ChetBob on June 7, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

OT: "Bush says immigrants must learn English."

You first, buddy.

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

when I heard Bush state that on the radio this morning I thought the same thing. Is it too late to send him back? I suppose so...

Posted by: Edo on June 7, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Andy:
The problem is not actiing like Chamberlin. The problem is people like you who support using US might to act like Hitler, fascinated by your own militaristic fantasies. We never had enough troops to "invade Iran" instead of Iraq, even if you consider the troop to land/population ratios used in Iraq sufficient, which they clearly weren't. What a ignorant thing to say and a pathetic disconnect from reality.

Posted by: ChetBob on June 7, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

This overture to Iran seems to be either a) Realpolitik finally eclipsing invasion threats or b) a hope that the Iranians will sneer, so that we can invade. Whether or not it's a flipflop, I certainly hope it's (a).

Posted by: Tim Morris on June 7, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

7. We're splitting the difference between Europe (sell them the bomb) and us (drop them the bomb).

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

a) Realpolitik finally eclipsing invasion threats...

What's with the "invasion" meme? we would never invade. No reason to. We'd bomb. And do you think Iran doubted Bush would? And may still? None of you guys did.

Carrots and sticks.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

off-topic, here is another interesting item about solar power:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5056012.stm

The cost is about $4 per watt. Somewhere between $1 and $2 per watt is where solar becomes competitive with energy off the grid at contemporary oil and gas prices in most parts of the US (cost of battery backup or grid connection is added to that.) When they use something like this to power a PV cell factory, then we'll know that solar power has arrived.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

When they use something like this to power a PV cell factory, then we'll know that solar power has arrived.

100% agreed. That will be the tipping point.

Posted by: Edo on June 7, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike:

5. Some sort of secret intel that motivates change in approach

Anything's possible I guess, and it would certainly be nice to think that the administration can demonstrate some level of competency in foreign policy, but given their previous misses on Iran, I'm kind of skeptical.

Still it's way better than bombing.

Posted by: cyntax on June 7, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

If Kerry offered the deal, that would have meant that God hated it, but since GW offers the deal, it's obvious that God approves of it.

Posted by: dilbert on June 7, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, whatever happened to North Korea? Are they still in the axis of evil?

Posted by: def mf on June 7, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I don't support an invasion of Iran. I didn't support the invasion of Iraq either. I don't have any military fantasies. Where in my post did I say, "let's invade Iran?" What I say isn't ignorant; it's completely logical and rational. As bad as Iran is, they have yet to do anything that warrants an invasion. But if warranted, we would raise the troops necessary to fight that war, just as we did in WW2. So are you saying one reason we invaded iraq was because we had sufficient troops to do so? Clearly, you didn't read my post close enough to understand what i was saying.

Posted by: Andy on June 7, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Dunno, this seems like a promising development to me.

Also, I agree with Red State Mike that you don't lay all your cards on the table with your opening bid in negotiations. To be honest, this administration was in a unique position of actually being able to convince a lot of people that maybe just maybe they were just crazy enough to start another war. Not that brinksmanship is a safe or sustainable negotiating strategy, but there's no denying it can strengthen your negotiating hand.

Like it or not, the administration deserves credit for brokering what appears to be a sane compromise... especially given how much of an apparent turn-around it is from their earlier rhetoric. I'm not going to criticize them for making a sane choice over war.

Now, if you want to complain, then yes I think it would be fair to say that if the shoe were on the other foot the GOP would be bleeding crocodile tears of blood out their eyes, saying that this compromise deal was bad for America, etc. etc. (fill in the usual Democrats are traitors boilerplate language). Sadly, that's a given.

Posted by: Augustus on June 7, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike:
5. Some sort of secret intel that motivates change in approach

...either that, or they finally got the pony they've been wishing for. Seriously, magic plot twists dropping out of the sky only happen in crappy Hollywood movies. Let's discuss the real world here.

Posted by: Snoopy on June 7, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think this move can be supported except as a sop to the Europeans who want overtures even though they have been failures before. It is Munich all over again except we will not go all the way as Chamberlain did. The mullahs will reject this. I do worry about the effect on Iranians who are trying to overthrow the regime. Intgeresting to see Democrats falling all over themselves to congratulate Bush on "growth." It's a bad idea but would be worse under Kerry because he would mean it.

Posted by: Mike K on June 7, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Like it or not, the administration deserves credit for brokering what appears to be a sane compromise... especially given how much of an apparent turn-around it is from their earlier rhetoric. I'm not going to criticize them for making a sane choice over war.

Yeah, you know Augustus is right: I really do feel a palpable sense of relief. But at the same time it doesn't seem quite right that we're so relieved when the administration doesn't go for the "bat-shit crazy" option. Ahh, the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Posted by: cyntax on June 7, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:Intgeresting to see Democrats falling all over themselves to congratulate Bush on "growth."

It's called not being blinded by dogma Mike; not a standard issue approach for a lot of GOPers these days, but give it a try sometime, you might find it helpful.

Posted by: cyntax on June 7, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

What's with the "invasion" meme? we would never invade. No reason to. We'd bomb. And do you think Iran doubted Bush would? And may still? None of you guys did.

Of course, given the fact that the Iranians, no fools, have spread their nuclear facilities in multiple disguised locations around the country, often in urban areas, bombing would be completely ineffective -- beyond, that is, its ability to incite the Iranian people against the US and strengthen the mullahs as the defenders of the nation.

And, of course, our bombing would cause the Iranians to incite their Shiite co-religionists in Iraq against us, and then we'd really be in trouble -- we'd go from battling 30% of the Iraqis to battling 80%.

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Now that BushCo has U-turned, does this mean we won't be driving off the cliff?

Posted by: ckelly on June 7, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's a bad idea but would be worse under Kerry because he would mean it.

So Bush is saying something he doesn't mean? And here I thought he was such a straight shooter....

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a bad idea but would be worse under Kerry because he would mean it."

Yes, praise Jesus that the President's so good at lying.

Posted by: Eckersley on June 7, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

pathetic. All they got is "at least some Dem from the past wasn't involved". Nothing about Bush and his flip flop. Nothing about whether its even a good idea. They couldn't blame Clenis so they went to the other (dry) well, Carter. Sad and pathetic.
Posted by: Edo

of course it's a flop. as to whehter i think this deal is a good idea, if you can't figure out that, at least initially, i don't like it, you may need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Of course, given the fact that the Iranians, no fools, have spread their nuclear facilities in multiple disguised locations around the country, often in urban areas, bombing would be completely ineffective

Bah. More sites = more targets, and we don't have to hit everything, just a few critical sites. And they're not portable.

-- beyond, that is, its ability to incite the Iranian people against the US and strengthen the mullahs as the defenders of the nation.

Already cited as reason to offer peace branch at the moment, since their peasants are revolting.

And, of course, our bombing would cause the Iranians to incite their Shiite co-religionists in Iraq against us, and then we'd really be in trouble -- we'd go from battling 30% of the Iraqis to battling 80%.

Doesn't change the fact that they believe in their evil black mullah hearts that Bush would do it, wants to do it, can't wait to do it. And in spite of their bluster and "bring it on"-edness, I don't think they really want him to. Else they wouldn't be dumping as much funds as they are into new SAM systems.

I'm curious to watch Ahmadinijad's popularity over there. He could prove to be a bit much for the Mullahs to handle, their own frankenstein.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Anything Bush does is Strong and Resolute!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher

George Bush: Like a rock.

Only dumber.

Posted by: anandine on June 7, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

What's with the "invasion" meme? we would never invade

I'm sorry, I thought we had invaded countries directly to the east and west of Iran in recent years. I must be remembering wrong :)

Posted by: Tim Morris on June 7, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush: Like a rock.

Only dumber.
Posted by: anandine

now that's what i call clever. i guess you were first in your class at harvard's biz school.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Already cited as reason to offer peace branch at the moment, since their peasants are revolting.

Really? I've always found their peasants to be cleaner and far more attractive than ours. But to each his own, I suppose....

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Really? I've always found their peasants to be cleaner and far more attractive than ours. But to each his own, I suppose...

High and down the middle. Shuh-WING batter, batter, batter...

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: ...And in spite of their bluster and "bring it on"-edness, I don't think they really want him to. Else they wouldn't be dumping as much funds as they are into new SAM systems.

Or that could mean that they're trying to minimize the effectiveness of bombings, so that Bush won't have as much leverage.

Posted by: cyntax on June 7, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Bah. More sites = more targets, and we don't have to hit everything, just a few critical sites. And they're not portable.

Yes, that bombing strategy worked out so well in Vietnam. We hit North Vietnam with far more raw tonnage of high explosives than we ever dropped on Germany and Japan and they surrendered right away...oh, wait.

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

"The Moose explained..."

Come on Steve. I love you, man, but don't give that fool press time. Teddy Roosevelt and "The Moose" have as much in common as Salma Hayek and her shadow on an overcast day.

Posted by: Mysticdog on June 7, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK
Doesn't change the fact that they believe in their evil black mullah hearts that Bush would do it, wants to do it, can't wait to do it. And in spite of their bluster and "bring it on"-edness, I don't think they really want him to.

Really, that doesn't matter unless they also believe that Bush is willing to not do it if they comply with US demands.

For "credible threat" to be effective, it must be a credible marginal threat that imposes a perceived cost on non-cooperation. If they believe that substantial cooperation with demands would not forestall an invasion (perhaps from the example of Iraq in 2003), they have little reason to cooperate since non-cooperation has no perceived marginal cost compared to cooperation.

Which is why I suspect this offer will go nowhere even assuming that its not something the administration is offering for show with the intent of undermining behind the scenes to makes ure the Iranians reject it.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Iran *IS* refining nuclear fuel for a secret bomb program, and I hope they try to nuke Israel (which won't work, of course, because Israel has an effective missile-defense system for short and intermmediate-range ballistic missiles, which is what Iran would be shooting).

Then we can start blaming and pointing fingers at:
The Bush Administration, for destroying our counterproliferation efforts by sucking up to Pakistan and AQ Khan.
The Bush Administration, for destroying our counterproliferation efforts by secretly declassifying Valerie Plame, and outing her and Brewster Jennings.
The Bush Administration, for putting us in a militarily weak position by tying up our troops in Iraq, so we can't credibly rattle our sabres at Iran.
The Bush Administration, for falling for Iran's bullshit and ratifying this agreement.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 7, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

The reason why BushCo. flipped and flopped in Iran is simple:

IRAQ IS LOST.

Because it is lost, Bush has to make nice with Iran.

He is no longer negotiating from a position of strength.

Note: While the Oval Office realizes IRAQ IS LOST they have not sent out the talking points yet. That's why trolls continue to argue "things are getting better in Iraq."

That's both funny and sad.

It will be interesting to see how long the fact that IRAQ IS LOST can be hidden from the base.

Posted by: koreyel on June 7, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that bombing strategy worked out so well in Vietnam. We hit North Vietnam with far more raw tonnage of high explosives than we ever dropped on Germany and Japan and they surrendered right away...oh, wait.
Posted by: Stefan

too bad that washington wouldn't let the b52's drop bombs where they should have. many more lobsters would have been rocked w/o the foolish micromanagement.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Yes, that bombing strategy worked out so well in Vietnam. We hit North Vietnam with far more raw tonnage of high explosives than we ever dropped on Germany and Japan and they surrendered right away...oh, wait.

Stefan, really this one's beneath you. We would not be bombing Iran in support of a war, just deleting enough of its nuke capability so it can't have nukes. And Iran does not have cold war sugar daddies that it is proxy for.

Yea, bombing sure didn't work against Serbia in Kosovo...oh wait, it did!

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
For "credible threat" to be effective, it must be a credible marginal threat that imposes a perceived cost on non-cooperation. If they believe that substantial cooperation with demands would not forestall an invasion (perhaps from the example of Iraq in 2003), they have little reason to cooperate since non-cooperation has no perceived marginal cost compared to cooperation.

So there's the rub. Is bombing fait accompli? They might want to closely study Saddam's coy little end game where he played "maybe I do - maybe I don't, F--- you UN and therefore US of A" all the way into a dirt cellar rat hole.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I actually agree with Red State Mike that you have to use both the carrot and the stick in negotiations. What I am angry about is:

a) the stick threatened was nuclear bombing; and
b) Bush supporters tend to suggest that anyone who is more in favor of the carrot (ie, most Democrats) is siding with the terrorists

Bush does foreign policy the same way he does domestic policy: take the hard line until the opposition is completely humiliated. You can only make more enemies that way.

Posted by: mmy on June 7, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK
Stefan, really this one's beneath you. We would not be bombing Iran in support of a war, just deleting enough of its nuke capability so it can't have nukes.

Bombing Iran would be a war. And there is no reason at all to suspect that they would decide to play nice and let it be a war limited to their nuclear capacity and nothing else. They have no interest whatsoever in doing so, and every interest in making us pay as high a price as possible if we attack them.

Yea, bombing sure didn't work against Serbia in Kosovo...oh wait, it did!

Against Serbia in Kosovo, the bombing worked because (as a necessary but not in itself sufficient condition0 it was readily credible to the people against whom the policy was directed at the compliance would lead to cessation of the attacks.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
cmdicely
For "credible threat" to be effective, it must be a credible marginal threat that imposes a perceived cost on non-cooperation.

I might also add that your thesis presumes rationality, and I have real questions about that. You think our fundies are fundie? Theirs make ours look like Greenwhich Village mimes. Hidden Imam coming back in the chaos and all that. Many think they're jsut playing smart. I think we should take them at face value.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike >"...4. Iran is undergoing significant internal unrest at the moment (case in point...wish the US media would follow it closer)..."

Oh yea, more propaganda from Mr. Chalabi`s looney relatives (or maybe it is from hisself)

Remind us what happend last time the folks in power gave any credibility to his propaganda...

You are such an ignorant tool (which rhymes with the other thing you ReThuglican loonies consistantly are )

"A country which proposes to make use of modern war as an instrument of policy must possess a highly centralized, all-powerful executive, hence the absurdity of talking about the defense of democracy by force of arms. A democracy which makes or effectively prepares for modern scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic." - Aldous Huxley

Posted by: daCascadian on June 7, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

We would not be bombing Iran in support of a war, just deleting enough of its nuke capability so it can't have nukes. And Iran does not have cold war sugar daddies that it is proxy for.

Once we started bombing Iran to the extent we'd need to do to damage its nuclear capacity, we'd be in a war, since we'd be bombing its cities. They'd have every incentive to strike back at us across the board (shutting down the Gulf of Hormuz, inciting the Shiites in Iraq against us, unleashing Hezbollah, etc.).

Yea, bombing sure didn't work against Serbia in Kosovo...oh wait, it did!

Different and much more limited objective. Milosevic knew that we would stop bombing if he withdrew from Kosovo, something he felt he could afford to do.

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK
So there's the rub. Is bombing fait accompli? They might want to closely study Saddam's coy little end game where he played "maybe I do - maybe I don't, F--- you UN and therefore US of A" all the way into a dirt cellar rat hole.

The thing is, if they study it, what they'll realize is this:

1) Its not clear at all that total compliance will result in no attack if Bush is willing to attack at all.
2) Its virtually certain that substantial compliance coupled with public measures to save face with the local population and avoid internal regime collapse will result in attack if Bush is willing to attack at all.
3) Its virtually certain that total noncompliance will result in attack if Bush is willing to attack at all.

And, looking at North Korea, they can also note further:

4) Belligerent language and bluster from the Bush administration is by no means a certain sign that they are willing to attack at all, even with certain non-compliance.

Because of Bush's history in office and conduct of foreign affairs, there is virtually no credibility to the US threat of force. When its waved around, the target has no strong reason to believe it will be used if there is no compliance, and even less reason to believe that, if the will to use it exists at all, it can avoid the attack by compliance.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

They might want to closely study Saddam's coy little end game where he played "maybe I do - maybe I don't, F--- you UN and therefore US of A" all the way into a dirt cellar rat hole.

As I recall Saddam let the UN inspectors in, and it was Bush who said fuck you to the UN and forced the inspectors out....

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

7. We're splitting the difference between Europe (sell them the bomb) and us (drop them the bomb).

Just so long as we don't also split the difference with AYBABTU (somebody set up us the bomb).

Posted by: RT on June 7, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

And Iran does not have cold war sugar daddies that it is proxy for.

It hardly needs any since it, unlike Vietnam, has oil and therefore money, control of a world-wide terrorist network, and substantial influence with the majority of the population in Iraq, where we have most of our combat forces tied down and useless.

Posted by: Stefan on June 7, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK
I might also add that your thesis presumes rationality, and I have real questions about that.

No, it doesn't. It presumes that all volitional action is aimed at achieving perceived value, not "rationality", which assumes a whole lot more (perfect information, etc.)

Indeed, it explicitly presumes an absence of rationality, since it holds key perceived intent of the other actor, not actual intent.


You think our fundies are fundie? Theirs make ours look like Greenwhich Village mimes.

Doesn't really matter. The threat of violence (or continuation of violence already begun) only is productive and producing compliance if the person against whom the threat is directed perceives that what they value will be more negatively impacted if they do not comply than if they do. This is true as long as the target is a free-willed actor (otherwise, threats do nothing), whether or not they are rational, or (a completely separate and orthogonal issue) have interests or desires that seem bizarre.

Hidden Imam coming back in the chaos and all that. Many think they're jsut playing smart. I think we should take them at face value.

I think that, either way, all that is irrelevant to the comments I've made about the threat of force.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK
As I recall Saddam let the UN inspectors in, and it was Bush who said fuck you to the UN and forced the inspectors out....

Facts are stupid things.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall Saddam let the UN inspectors in, and it was Bush who said fuck you to the UN and forced the inspectors out....
Posted by: Stefan

Saddam was playing his rope-a-dope games. Can't hardly blame him, they'd worked so well for the previous 12 years. Taking the easy route and quoting wikipedia on Resolution 1441...

On January 30, 2003 Blix said that Iraq had not fully accepted its obligation to disarm, and by mid-February the issues of anthrax, the nerve agent VX and long-range missiles remained unresolved. Blix's March 7 report stated "Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections."
Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall Saddam let the UN inspectors in, and it was Bush who said fuck you to the UN and forced the inspectors out....
Posted by: Stefan

yeah, and hussein cooperated with the inspectors just as was obligated to do, right?

bush was, if anything, overly deferential to the u.n. as the administration sauntered to war.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm generally all for complaining about Bush--he is absolutely horrible in so many ways.

However, I am not for criticizing early negotiating tactics. When this mess started, it would have been a terrible mistake for the Bush Administration to state that since our army is unavailable we will from now on give Iran whatever they want. There was no hurry to negotiate, because Iran is not a short-term threat, and it is important to get a lot of concessions from Iran.

If Bush took some time to get to this point, then what is the harm? As far as I am concerned, comparing Bush's mistakes in Iran to his mistakes in Iraq is like comparing horseshoes and hand grenades.

Posted by: reino on June 7, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike >"...You think our fundies are fundie? Theirs make ours look like Greenwhich Village mimes. Hidden Imam coming back in the chaos and all that..."

And the Rapture crowd`s stated beliefs are different how ?

Such a target rich environment you make it

I guess ole Mr. Mencken wasn`t just talkin about America

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken

Posted by: daCascadian on June 7, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

No, it doesn't. It presumes that all volitional action is aimed at achieving perceived value, not "rationality", which assumes a whole lot more (perfect information, etc.)

Uh, no. In the presence of imperfect information 9but a known distribution of possible plays), one would be expected to maximize expected utility, or with no information take a min-max approach. If rational.

But anyway, I believe they are influenced by their religious beliefs and the coming of the hidden imam, which I'd label as an irrational thing since the 12th imam doesn't exist but in their heads.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK
Saddam was playing his rope-a-dope games. Can't hardly blame him, they'd worked so well for the previous 12 years.

If you mean they'd worked so well at helping him save face domestically while having no WMD or active WMD programs, that's true.

Given the results of our invasion so far, I'm hardly convinced that the cost we've paid is worth the benefits. Nor do I think that the calibration of our response to the degree of non-compliance really works to convince other regimes to cooperate.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

And the Rapture crowd`s stated beliefs are different how ?

And they have complete, absolute, unelected control over a government with no midterms coming up and their President regularly makes public speeches citing the coming of the rapture Real Soon Now where?

Shooting fish in a barrel. Next.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush had just kept his mouth shut regarding Iran and N. Korea regarding the Axis of Evil and then attacked Iraq based on lies and bullshit then Iran would have felt less of a need to develop nuclear defenses. N. Korea also. Both countries had to consider that idiots were running the U.S. and that they could be attacked without provocation and to therefore develop defenses as rapidly as possible to deter attack. Now they have realized via Iraq that U.S. ground attack is a paper tiger and the only real threat is bombing. Therefore, all they have to do is intice American moron leadership (that would be George Awol Bush) to bomb then reap the support of the rest of the planet in an all out attack upon the United States. Uncareful bombing brings Pakistan, India, China, and Russia to the support of Iran. Bush's little brain has only recently began to understand the position that he has placed the U.S. regarding energy issues and security. Thus he is willing to bend over how ever far they ask now. The mid-east realizes that Bush and the U.S. cannot even capture one man-Osama bin Ladin. Totally impotent unless the U.S. votes in realistic intelligent leadership.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
If you mean they'd worked so well at helping him save face domestically while having no WMD or active WMD programs, that's true.

He did have programs during those 12 years. Not at the end, it certainly appears now.

Given the results of our invasion so far, I'm hardly convinced that the cost we've paid is worth the benefits.

Besides the point, since the question is, what was Saddam's cost-benefit ratio resulting from his actions, and did the Iranians watch?

Nor do I think that the calibration of our response to the degree of non-compliance really works to convince other regimes to cooperate.

We shall see. We gave Iraq 12 years to get their ducks in a row. That's a pretty calibrated response.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Now they have realized via Iraq that U.S. ground attack is a paper tiger and the only real threat is bombing.

Gaaahhh, DUH. Enough with the "we really want to invade Iran but can't" strawman. We don't. No reason to. And the forces that would bomb Iran (Navy and Air Force) are essentially uninvolved and un-deprecated by Iraq.

Feel free to argue against attacking, but don't make it a stupid one.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

The reason Bush can't bomb Iran is because IRAQ'S OIL IS LOST.

If the oil from Iraq had been won, then BUSH could afford to bomb Iran and lose its flow of oil.

But since IRAQ IS LOST, corporate America can't count on its oil flow. The future market reflects this fact.

Given that Iraq's oil is tenuous at best, Bush dare not bomb Iran.

In other words:

Having LOST IRAQ he is now having to appease Iran.

It is funny really...

A handful of Iraqi insurgents have changed the course of history.

In effect, a handful of Iraqi insurgents have stopped yet another C+ Augustus in his tracks.

I imagine they have lots of war hero stories they tell each other there at night. Of course you and I will never hear them. However, just imagine the excitement they must feel around the campfire when they talk about their success with hang guns and IEDs against the world's most powerful military ever.

It really is a phenomenal story.

Posted by: koreyel on June 7, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike >"Shooting fish in a barrel..."

That "fish in a barrel" looks like your foot to me but that`s just cause I reside in reality & not my parent`s basement with a king size bag of Cheetos & a keyboard

Both fundie communities believe the same fairy tale w/slightly different characters

Red State Mike >"...they have complete, absolute, unelected control over a government..."

But you were just telling us up thread (point #4 in case you are confused) that there was significant internal opposition

You need to step outside that basement and inhale some fresh air very deeply

"...you cannot save your face and your ass at the same time..." - vachon@shadrach.net

Posted by: daCascadian on June 7, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike-please use brain. Imperceptable by you perhaps was my desire to differentiate ground based attacks versus bombing. Obviously an invasion could consist of ground troops or bombing or both however, if you will notice, I didn't use the term invasion and chose to use two different military methods: troops on the ground and air-bombing. Only an idiot would assume that our ability to attack on the ground with our current supply situation, current war, and Iran's population is not in someway inhibited or reduced in effectiveness at this time.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK
But anyway, I believe they are influenced by their religious beliefs and the coming of the hidden imam, which I'd label as an irrational thing since the 12th imam doesn't exist but in their heads.

Whether or not it is "irrational" (which you seem to be using here to mean simply "false"), it in no way invalidates any of comments about the situations in which threat of new or continued use of force does and does not work, so I can't help but see your raising it as simply a distraction technique.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK
He did have programs during those 12 years. Not at the end, it certainly appears now.

Granting that, arguendo, (though certainly I've seen no reports indicating any present evidence of programs after the first gulf war) the point remains that the policy conducted during those 12 years, including Saddam "getting away with" face-saving measures, did in fact succeed in disarming Iraq.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

OK. Let's assume for the sake of arguement that we bombed the Iranian nuclear facilities. Given the oil that they have available to sell, what would keep them from re-building them. Again. And again. And again.

This is why strategic bombing of this type is not going to work. We were unable to bomb the industrial capacity of Germany into submission. It took the invasion by the Allies from the west and the Russians from the East to subdue them. Boots on the ground, in other words.

During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranians marched children over the Iraqi minefields so that their infantry could mount WWI style human wave attacks against Iraqi machine guns. Not the kind of folk we are really prepared to take on.

Modern US style warfare counts on technology to so overwhelm the advesary that they give up. The Iraqis tried this same style of warfare and had their asses handed to them by the Iranians who, like the Russians of WW2, were willing to sustain limitless casualties to defeat the Nazis. Think we will do better? Take a look at the "success" we are having in Iraq.

Surprisingly, Japan also maintained its industrial production, depite the US saturation bombing. They had 7,000 aircraft hidden in mountain caves for a last ditch attack on the US invasion fleet they knew was coming. As with Germany, Japan's achilles heel was oil. Not a problem for Iran.

And with China, Pakistan and Russia willing to covertly sell Iran nuclear technology (not to mention the other western Europeans to rein in the US), just what would the bombing of the Iranian nuclear facilities accomplish?

Well, it would drive up the price of oil. The current rise in the price of oil doesn't seem to bother Exxon/Mobil any. Wonder why?

Oh. It will give us a new "enemy" to fight. Have you noticed that the Straits of Hormuz are the choke point for oil shipments? Well, we can just keep bombing to get rid of the Iranian anti-ship missles. Keep that military-industrial complex humming. Have to give them something to do since the Ruskies went broke and left the game.

Yes, bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities might delay the development of a weapon. But if the Iranians want one badly enough, particularly to deter us, they will get one.

Faced with an equally futile situation with the old USSR, Churchill noted that "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." I hope that someone in the administration gets this.

Posted by: NJ Osprey on June 7, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK
Besides the point, since the question is, what was Saddam's cost-benefit ratio resulting from his actions, and did the Iranians watch?

Well, yes, I was making a side comment there, but no, that's not the question. The question is "what does that illustrate about the expectd utility for Iran of moving their present position closer to what the US wants, and did the Iranians watch."

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike-please use brain. Imperceptible by you perhaps was my desire to differentiate ground based attacks versus bombing. Obviously an invasion could consist of ground troops or bombing or both...
Posted by: Where's osama

That is the absolute weakest backpedalling I've ever seen around here. So we "invaded" Kosovo when we bombed it? We "invaded" Berlin when we bombed it during WWII?

Heh.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

NJ Osprey
OK. Let's assume for the sake of arguement that we bombed the Iranian nuclear facilities. Given the oil that they have available to sell, what would keep them from re-building them. Again. And again. And again.

And we'd bomb them. Again. And again. And again. Frankly, it's not that hard.

This is why strategic bombing of this type is not going to work. We were unable to bomb the industrial capacity of Germany into submission. It took the invasion by the Allies from the west and the Russians from the East to subdue them. Boots on the ground, in other words.

Poor analogy. Germany and the wehrmacht were the greatest single military force ever assembled, pretty much. Iran isn't.

Not saying we should bomb, but those aren't good arguments.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

No matter who a leader must consider threats to be serious and act upon them. Bush threatened Iran, as well as N.Korea, so they had to consider any and all possible defenses. Bush could have, but probably hasn't learned a few things: threats must be consistant and actions promised followed through upon and the longer a war goes, the more the enemy learns, adjusts, and facilitates methods to survive and damage his enemy. Iran is no doubt learning much from Iraq presently.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Granting that, arguendo, (though certainly I've seen no reports indicating any present evidence of programs after the first gulf war) the point remains that the policy conducted during those 12 years, including Saddam "getting away with" face-saving measures, did in fact succeed in disarming Iraq.

It'd have been nice if he'd have told us. It's said that he miscalculated and played his little game at the end.

PS, my rational argument was side note too, not diversion.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK
It'd have been nice if he'd have told us.

Er, he did tell us.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK
And with China, Pakistan and Russia willing to covertly sell Iran nuclear technology (not to mention the other western Europeans to rein in the US), just what would the bombing of the Iranian nuclear facilities accomplish?

Drive up the need for the US to spend money on war materiel, further squeeze (either immediate or in tneavailable for social spending, and serve the Republican Party's "starve the beast" strategy that doesn't work to well when they try to sell specific cuts openly and directly, but they figure it might when the US just has no more ability to spend money on anything.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Try and determine the difference between the terms "attack" and "invasion".

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

One more thing. Should the US use its nuclear arsenal against Iran, it is the US that would find itself on the wrong end of a UN resolution.

No problem? Well if OPEC cuts off our oil supply and China dumps our 30 year T-Bills, what is left of this nation's economy will crash in about two weeks.

One of the reasons why Snow is now Sec of Treasury is to re-assure Wall Street.

To re-assure them that some adults are still in charge and that we will not see the liquidation of hundreds of billions of dollars of equity overnite.

Have a nice evening.

Posted by: NJ Osprey on June 7, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt seriously, even of Awol, that anyone would choose to invade Iran. More likely there would be air attacks on some of the facilities there. I would think that all out invasion is not even considered here. Attacks-possibly, a full invasion-very unlikely.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

NJ Osprey >"...Keep that military-industrial complex humming..."

Oh yea, those Carlyle Group folks...wonder who in this MalAdministration has some connections with them ?

NJ Osprey >"...Have to give them something to do since the Ruskies went broke and left the game..."

Of course Iran is only a placeholder until these folks can really get up & running (Field Marshall Rumsfeld is already starting to bloviate in this direction)

Oh Boy, a real Heartlands vs Rimlands war !!

All chaos all the time for these wacky neo-cons & their friends

"You don't prevent anything by war except peace." - Harry S. Truman

Posted by: daCascadian on June 7, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

One of the reasons why Snow is now Sec of Treasury is to re-assure Wall Street.

Correction: One of the reasons why Henry M. Paulson Jr., formerly the chief executive of Goldman Sachs is now Sec of Treasury is to re-assure Wall Street.

Red State Mike - Nice chatting with you. Please note per your last comment, that a sustained US air campaign such as you are suggesting would have the same effect on US morale and its position in the world.

Some of our aircraft will be lost. That means captured air crew. Now we are back into the POW game that we had in S.E. Asia. Instead of daily reports on American infantry killed, it will be daily reports on US aircraft lost.

cmdicely - Drive up the need for the US to spend money on war materiel, further squeeze (either immediate or in tneavailable for social spending, and serve the Republican Party's "starve the beast" strategy that doesn't work to well when they try to sell specific cuts openly and directly, but they figure it might when the US just has no more ability to spend money on anything.

Exactly. The war machine needs to have enemies to justify its existence. There were some recent studies that suggested that the Chinese, the folks that the Navy is gearing up to fight, may be more of a paper tiger than we think, in terms of its ability to project militarily beyond its own shores.

Any way, noce to have chatted with you all. Look forward to doing it again.


Posted by: NJ Osprey on June 7, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK
I doubt seriously, even of Awol, that anyone would choose to invade Iran. More likely there would be air attacks on some of the facilities there.

Sure, sure, that's how it starts. What do we do when Iran starts sending units of elite troops to stiffen anti-US forces in Iraq? Do we continue to restrict ourselves to airstrikes when Iran is attacking us on the ground?

The idea that, given the situation in Iraq, a war with Iran can be contained to limited bombing of nuclear sites is, well, optimistic fantasy. It could be true -- if Iran decides to let it. Why would they, though?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely >"...It could be true -- if Iran decides to let it. Why would they, though?"

Particularly when they have these folks at their back which should be accomplished this year; look at this group as a sorta Anti-NATO w/over lapping defense treaties etc

"The future will be a struggle between huge competing systems of psychopathology." - J. G. Ballard

Posted by: daCascadian on June 7, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with you, cmdicely. Bombing Iran is not without peril and I wouldn't choose that as a preferred method here. It may be under discussion however.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 7, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK
Hey, whatever happened to North Korea?
This just in.... North Korea still lacks oil deposits.
Some of our aircraft will be lost. That means captured air crew. Now we are back into the POW game that we had in S.E. Asia. Instead of daily reports on American infantry killed, it will be daily reports on US aircraft lost.
With our administration deciding that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply, there is no logical reason why Iran should abide by them either. Posted by: Tangurena on June 7, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush: Like a rock.

Only dumber.
Posted by: anandine

now that's what i call clever. i guess you were first in your class at harvard's biz school.

Posted by: Brian

No, middle of class at the college '77.

Posted by: anandine on June 7, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

WARNING! BEWARE OF HEAD FAKE!

Don't you remember October 21, 2002 when Bush said of regime change in Iraq:

"And that's why the state of policy of our government, the previous administration and this administration, is regime change, because we don't believe he is going to change. However, if he were to meet all the conditions of the United Nations, the conditions that I've described very clearly in terms that everybody can understand, that, in itself, will signal the regime has changed."

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0210/21/se.02.html


BTW, I'm guessing that was the high-water mark of Powell's influence on the Bush adminstration.

Posted by: Joseph Palmer on June 7, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

No, middle of class at the college '77.

Posted by: anandine on June 7, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ouch! Anandine dropped the "H Bomb!"

Posted by: Pat on June 7, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I've always been amused by the "only Nixon could go to China" foolishness. Have you ever heard anyone other that an ideologue say this?

I agree with Stefan's reaction.

Think about it. You define your entire political career by being red-baiter, especially about China. Then, one day, out of what for all the world appears to be political desperation, you turn 180 degrees on the issue. And your good ole political groupies reliably chant "only Nixon could bo to China".

Pretty good analogy, Mike, for Bush on Iran. But not, I suspect, for the reasons you think.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 7, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Cut and run! Cut and run!

Posted by: Pat on June 7, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Think about it. You define your entire political career by being red-baiter, especially about China. Then, one day, out of what for all the world appears to be political desperation...

Bzzzzt! Wrong answer. Back it up if you think Reagan or Nixon looked "politically desperate" when they bridged the gap.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 8, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Correction: One of the reasons why Henry M. Paulson Jr., formerly the chief executive of Goldman Sachs is now Sec of Treasury is to re-assure Wall Street.

One more time: Has there been a confirmation hearing?

The cover of Business Week pretty much sumsit up: 'Mr. Risk goes to Washington' - a guy who's personally benefitted from the dividend tax cut to the tune of $42M and counting.

'But the real irony is that the administration had to bring in someone who can "soothe Wall Street," which is said to be "nervous." This whole administration has been run to favor, and grant tax breaks to, "Wall Street." How dare the ungrateful louses be "nervous"?' Molly Ivins

Posted by: CFShep on June 8, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Ouch! Anandine dropped the "H Bomb!"

He brought it up first.

Posted by: anandine on June 8, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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