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Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE MARCH TO WAR....A CONTINUING SERIES....The "faster please" zealots continue to lob their bureaucratic bombs:

In another indication that some in the Bush administration are pushing for a more confrontational policy toward Iran, a Pentagon unit has drafted a report charging that U.S. international broadcasts into Iran aren't tough enough on the Islamic regime....It accuses the Voice of America's Persian TV service and Radio Farda, a U.S. government Farsi-language broadcast, of taking a soft line toward Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime and not giving adequate time to government critics.

....Three U.S. government officials identified the author of the report as Ladan Archin, a civilian Iran specialist who works for Rumsfeld....She works in a recently established Pentagon unit known as the Iran directorate.

Ah yes, the Iran Directorate. Staffed by castoffs from our old friend, the Office of Special Plans, which did such a bangup job of misrepresenting Iraqi intelligence at the behest of the Cheney/Rumsfeld axis back in 2002. As Laura Rozen reported several months ago, "Among those staffing or advising the Iranian directorate are three veterans of the Office of Special Plans: Abram N. Shulsky, its former director; John Trigilio, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst; and Ladan Archin, an Iran specialist."

I guess they're starting to earn their pay. Stay tuned for spine-tingling House hearings on alleged State Department softness toward the madmen in Tehran.

Kevin Drum 9:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (239)

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Comments

"Iran Directorate"? - sounds like something right out of the old Soviet Union?

Posted by: Maxwell on September 26, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

The GWB admin motto should be:

Nothing succeeds like failure.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

a pox on the bloodthirsty traitors and all their supporters.

Posted by: cleek on September 26, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Is there some question that the Mad Mullahs aren't in fact mad?

I sure would like to hear the progressive community tell us what they'd do about a regime that is intent on getting nuclear weapons with the stated purpose of wiping out another country. GWB may not have the best idea on handling them, but I haven't heard anything from the Left community that makes sense, either.

Feel free to explain just how you'd handle the situation with Iran.

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, the Iran Directorate. Staffed by castoffs from our old friend, the Office of Special Plans, which did such a bangup job of misrepresenting Iraqi intelligence at the behest of the Cheney/Rumsfeld team back in 2002. As Laura Rozen reported several months ago, "Among those staffing or advising the Iranian directorate are three veterans of the Office of Special Plans: Abram N. Shulsky, its former director; John Trigilio, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst; and Ladan Archin, an Iran specialist."

Hah? What nonsense. As the senate intelligence committee (chaired by Pat Roberts) report on Iraq pointed out, there is no evidence that the Office of Special Plans was misrepresenting Iraqi intelligence at all. Page 282-283.

Link

"Committee staff contacted a former desk officer in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Special Plans and NES A who had come to the Committee's attention through press accounts of the desk officer's experiences."

"The desk officer told Committee staff that she never worked the Iraq issue and had no direct knowledge of any attempts to pressure or coerce intelligence analysts."

"When asked whether she had any evidence of the Office of Special Plans attempting to pressure CIA analysts she said that she had heard the Deputy Under Secretary make negative comments about the CIA's analysis but said she could not say that the office pressured CIA."

"She had no direct knowledge to support any claims that intelligence analysts were pressured and much of what she said is contradicted by information from other interviews and intelligence reporting."

Posted by: Al on September 26, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

I sure would like to hear the progressive community tell us what they'd do about a regime that is intent on getting nuclear weapons with the stated purpose of wiping out another country.

The entire Left laughs at you and your ridiculous assumptions.

Is that response enough for you?

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I've been wondering... who d'you think the neocons might put forward for the new Viceroy of Persia job? Maybe our old buddy Chalabi might want it... I mean, he's not really doing anything else right now, and he's been working for Iran this whole time, anyway. Remember?

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is there some question that the Mad Mullahs aren't in fact mad?

is there any proof that they are ?

Posted by: cleek on September 26, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Is there even any EVIDENCE that they are?

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, I guess you're just not serious about the issue. That's okay, we can let the adults handle this. I was hoping you were one of them.

Mahmoud Ahmadniejad has stated publicly, repeatedly, that his nation wants to wipe out Israel. Other past and current public officials in Iran have said same. Their current protestations that they're not building nuclear weapons rings hollow -- why else act the way they have? If it's nuclear power for electricity they want, they already had that right under the NNPT. All they have to do is obey the rules and work with the IAEA, but they won't do that.

Set the snark aside for a moment and try to answer the question: what does the progressive Left think the proper response to the Iran situation should be?

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

What I'm curious about here is partly the accusations leveled against VOA etc. This seems like largely an excuse to knock a few responsible journalists out of their jobs and replace them with one's old College Republican buddies. After all, the actual impact of VOA broadcasting on Iran (compared to all the broadcasting done by other Iranian emigre sources) is negligible. It's impossible to imagine that any serious person at the Pentagon would think that achieving a more anti-government balance in VOA's radio programming is an important part of our response to Iran's quest for nukes.

It does, however, make sense that GOP nomenklatura inside the Pentagon would think that anti-Iran jingoism is a good way to consolidate their hegemony over various other agencies which are not sufficiently "reliable" in their allegiance to the hard Republican right. I wonder to what extent our entire Iraqi misadventure is really a sideshow, a shibboleth constructed to aid in an authoritarian right-wing purge at every federal agency.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

The proper response from the Left?

Why do you ask White steve? Does it matter? I mean your brethren love to repeatedly remind the left that they have no power and constantly lose elections, so why should we have an answer?

Your team is running the show currently and fucking up everything they touch. Eveb if someone did have a solution, you wouldn't listen.

Posted by: Press Corpse on September 26, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

I was hoping you were one of them.

Please check the false concern at the door, you lying piece of shit.

Mahmoud Ahmadniejad has stated publicly, repeatedly, that his nation wants to wipe out Israel.

Only wingnut mouthpieces such as yourself believe this lie.

Their current protestations that they're not building nuclear weapons rings hollow -- why else act the way they have?

It is quite simple, really -- because grotesque neocon idiots such as yourself have a hardon to kill Iranians.

Now go and peddle your infantile fantasies of ME nuclear war somewhere else and let the adults discuss the issues here seriously. Really.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

I sure would like to hear the progressive community tell us what they'd do about a regime that is intent on getting nuclear weapons with the stated purpose of wiping out another country.

Uh. Mutually Assured Destruction? Remember that one? Do you seriously think Israel is going to go down without turning the rest of the mideast into a glass parking lot? And you couple MAD with nuclear nonproliferation. Remember that one? You use diplomacy together with economic and military pressure to engaging the international community. Or are you too young to remember that there was foreign policy before the era of preemptive invasion?

You know, you right-wingers need to stop peeing on yourselves and learn to live with a little courage in the face of uncertainty -- like we did during the Cold War. Then you'd be able to avoid advocating so many rash and self-destructive policies. But no, at the first sign of an enemy with some teeth it's all "AAAIIIIEEEE! Scrap the Geneva Conventions! Fuck the rule of law! The Constitution is not a suicide pact!" What a bunch of pussies.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'd be more than happy to let y'all destroy yourselves (or rapture yourselves -- whatever turns you on). The problem is, the rest of us reality-based folks have to suffer for your stupidity, too.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

Sanity begins by recognizing that crap about a nuclear first strike on Israel is all bullshit. We should be moving towards establishing diplomatic relations with Iran and signing a mutual non-aggression pact.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder to what extent our entire Iraqi misadventure is really a sideshow, a shibboleth constructed to aid in an authoritarian right-wing purge at every federal agency.

It goes hand-in-hand. However, it should be noted that Reagan achieved the same thing without killing as many USAmericans as GWB has.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Eisenhower lost Iran.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK


""Iran Directorate"? - sounds like something right out of the old Soviet Union?"

I have the same reaction every time I hear the name "Department of HOMELAND Security."

Creepy. It's so...so Soviet.

Posted by: i on September 26, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

If these crazy bastards actually try to do Iran next, all bets are off on this ballot box bullshit. It will be time to invoke the Declaration of Independence clause.

Posted by: Jim J on September 26, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Their current protestations that they're not building nuclear weapons rings hollow -- why else act the way they have?

i'm pretty sure the world has had enough of your long-distance mind reading. go peddle crazy somewhere else.

Posted by: cleek on September 26, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White --

Why do a majority of Arab Muslims believe the US is waging a war against Islam, the US' only real interest in the Middle East is oil and hegemony, and we don't give a rat's arse for a single Arab life.

Couldn't be the observed actions of this administration over five years, could it?

Drop the suppositions and starting asking yourself questions based on facts.

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, they've got nothing for Iran. They've always had nothing. Every now and then Drum puts up a post wondering when they'll have something. Nobody's come up with anything yet.

Note how the responses escalated into hysteria.

Easier to wrap themselves in the cotton-candy delusion that Iran is just a harmless bunch of noisy coots that wouldn't hurt a fly, and that the only real danger in the world is George Bush.

If you pretend the problem doesn't exist, you don't really NEED a solution, do you?

mondo dentro:

Diplomacy isn't working on Iran. Maybe you've missed that.

You know, you right-wingers need to stop peeing on yourselves and learn to live with a little courage in the face of uncertainty -- like we did during the Cold War.

Hey, cobber. It wasn't the right-wingers crapping their nappies through the whole Cold War about nuclear winter and atomic missiles.

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Mahmoud Ahmadniejad has stated publicly, repeatedly, that his nation wants to wipe out Israel. Other past and current public officials in Iran have said same."

Dude, has it ever occurred to you that they're just saying that for public consumption or as posturing with a convenient wedge like Israel? Seriously, it's far likelier for a given person or group of people to practice high stakes gamesmanship than be "insane". Do you seriously think they'd be willing to get wiped off the map if they ever did "nuke Israel"?

Sorry, but that's either delusional or a contrived rationalization by itchy-trigger-finger NeoCon dickheads. I suspect it's the latter.


Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on September 26, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't the right-wingers crapping their nappies through the whole Cold War about nuclear winter and atomic missiles

the fuck it wasn't

Posted by: cleek on September 26, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

Seriously? What would I do?

Establish full diplomatic relations with Iran -- the country which is already the most socially progressive in the Muslim Middle East. Instruct our ambassador to engage with Ahmadinejad over some nice meals on the Holocasut, and debate with him until he realizes that yes, Mahmood, it *did* really happen. Tell them we welcome their help to rebuild Iraq, provided they restrain the militias they have influence over and insist that they stop massacring Sunnis. Engage the Sunnis and the Shia in the entire region (Arab states will become immediately jealous of our new Persian buddy) in a competition over our favors, contingent on improvements in human rights and progress on elections.

Trade *vigorously*. Flood the country with consumer goods and American popular culture. Welcome that "dialogue of civilizations" that Khatamei offered -- and give no quarter on the issue of pluralism as a universal human value. In exchange for a security pact (and pledge of no nuclear first strike), insist that they treat their non-Persian minorities with equity. Leverage that as well to get them to stop their enrichment program. If the Iranians feel safe from American aggression, they'll lose their desire to acquire nukes as the only logical deterrent from it.

And freakin' *apologize* for the axis of evil comment.

Subvert the mullahs from within, by serving up giant helpings of American consumer culture. Recognize that the huge baby boom cohort just about to take their places in Iranian society is already on our side and hates the mullahs. Win these young adults over and you will have won over the entire country.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Diplomacy isn't working on Iran. Maybe you've missed that.

What? Bush has used diplomacy? You're right. I did miss that.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

"...a regime that is intent on getting nuclear weapons with the stated purpose of wiping out another country." Steve White

Steve, obviously language is not your forte, and I hesitate to use the word "nuance" with any wingnut for fear of really confusing them, but you're going to have to trust those of us who see a few colours other than black and white.

1) Iran's stated intent, repeated over and over again, by even the maddest of its clerics (the real powers) is that they do not want nuclear weapons, and that nuclear weapons are un-islamic. Now you can choose to call them liars and we can have a whole other discussion, but don't pretend that we "know" what they are really planning to do with their plutonium.
2) Even Ahmadinejad has never said he wants to wipe out Israel militarily. On the contrary, he has said he will NOT attack Israel. His position, and that of sooo many others, is that Israel does not have a moral right to exist on land that does not belong to it, and that was illegally seized. See the difference?

Posted by: george 3rd on September 26, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe, just maybe it wan't a good idea for the CIA to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and install the Chuckie-doll puppet regime of the Shah of Iran?

Americans forgot that bit of history by 1954, but the Iranians did not. It simmered for years and blew up on November 9, 1979 and Americans rubbed their eyes and said "What brought that on?"

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a repost, because it's getting tiresome answering the same dusty old allegations over and over from wingers who can't achieve escape velocity from RedState and Rush:

In context -- you know, context that tool used to clarify information and keep it accurate and in perspective that you never employ here -- in context, Ahmadinejad was talking about a whole host of other oppressive regimes that seemed invincible but had fallen, including that of Saddam Hussein. He went on to say that the Israeli regime that occupies Palestine -- Zionists in his view -- should be "wiped from the pages of time" as these others were.

No map, no bomb, no promise to destroy. What he in fact said is that "regime change" is necessary. A terrible thing when a country wants regime change in another country, isn't it?

And how does he want that accomplished? Here's Ahmadinejad's suggestion:

TIME: You have been quoted as saying Israel should be wiped off the map. Was that merely rhetoric, or do you mean it?


Ahmadinejad: [...] Our suggestion is that the 5 million Palestinian refugees come back to their homes, and then the entire people on those lands hold a referendum and choose their own system of government. This is a democratic and popular way.

Yes, he actually thinks people should be able to vote on the issue of Palestine and of who governs Israel, just as Khameini before him suggested. As outlandish as that may sound to us, it's not so outlandish when you believed your land has been unfairly taken from you.

Just ask the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement. They haven't attacked anybody either; should we bomb their infrastructure next?

Posted by: Windhorse on September 20, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone:

I have a reply for you on the other thread.

Go fetch :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't the right-wingers crapping their nappies through the whole Cold War about nuclear winter and atomic missiles.

What a fucking idiot. Do I really need to repeat myself...again...and educate on the missile issue? I don't think it does any good. The progressives paid attention the first time I told the score, and the nutters are uneducable.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White: "Mahmoud Ahmadniejad has stated publicly, repeatedly, that his nation wants to wipe out Israel. Other past and current public officials in Iran have said same. Their current protestations that they're not building nuclear weapons rings hollow -- why else act the way they have? If it's nuclear power for electricity they want, they already had that right under the NNPT. All they have to do is obey the rules and work with the IAEA, but they won't do that."

Uh, what do you think would happen to Iran if it tried to 'nuke' Israel? Is Iran a 'suicide' nation? I think not. Israel's nuclear arsenal is quite large enough to put any notions of Iranian assault to rest.

Iran's compliance with the the Non-Proliferation Treaty to which it is a signatory gives it every right to enrich uranium for reactor fuel. So far the IAEA has found no evidence of any illegal enrichment (i.e., a very high level of purity, about 300 times that needed for nuclear energy purposes). Only a couple weeks ago the IAEA pointed to the US as being guilty of making false charges against Iran and its enrichment activity. I trust El Baradei, not George Bush
and his neocon liars.

Posted by: nepeta on September 26, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse:

Funny ... I was just thinking about that post :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

If these worthless conservative war-mongers dupe us into another unnecessary and imperialistic conflict against Iran, the end of the American experiment is clearly at hand.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 26, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta:

That's a very important point to remember. The IAEA went ballistic over the false charges against the Iranian nuclar program -- specifically about enriching weapons-grade uranium.

Never keep your eye off this ball. Mistrust *everything* coming out of the Admin on Iran.

Fooled me once and all of that.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

PAKISTAN refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist and has un unstable dictatorship, crazy colonels, loose nukes, and a loose bin Laden. PAKISTAN has a history of supporting terrorism. PAKISTAN has a history of invading its neighbors. By any rational reckoning, PAKISTAN is a bigger danger to the world than is IRAN. So shouldn't we bomb and invade PAKISTAN before we bomb and invade IRAN?

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Establish full diplomatic relations with Iran

Bob, that approached worked too well with China and Vietnam. There's no chance of it being repeated with Iran. Once you get a few American businesses with major stakes in the relationship, you lose the option to bomb them, or even call them an "axis of evil". And then how do you win the next election?

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous:

I'm not by any means advocating bombing Pakistan -- but compared to Iran, I think it's no question the objectively greater threat on all counts, from terrorism to nuke proliferation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Our good friend Pakistan? Oh my no. You go to war against terror with the allies you have, not the allies you wish you had.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe: Hopefully the neo-con asshats don't have to worry about winning any elections for a good long while...

(A gal can dream, can't she?)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Mahmood fully understands that the millions of Jews (as well as many, many others) were killed by the Nazis; his issue -- which the Western press never seems to manage to print while at the same time always printing anytime some hack mistranslator turns "is used as a myth" into "is a myth" -- is that that event has been used by Zionists to further their agenda and that the innocent Palestinians have paid the price, not the guilty Europeans.

Of course that *never* gets discussed in the US, beyond the pages of CounterPunch or the research of Norman Finkelstein.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the Iranians didn't get the memo from DOD about getting bombed back into the Stone Age.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on September 26, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I sure would like to hear the progressive community tell us what they'd do about a regime that is intent on getting nuclear weapons with the stated purpose of wiping out another country."

What for? No such country exists, except in your imagination.

However, if you would like to discuss how to defuse tensions with Iran, and convince them nukes are unnecessary, that's another matter.

The reason Iran has become very interested in obtaining nukes is because of the Bush Doctrine and Iran's inclusion in Bush's Axis of Evil. They observed that North Korea was not invaded because they had nukes, whereas Iraq was. They observed that Bush does not care about good-faith negotations if he could invade instead. Ergo, it pays to have nukes.

One way to defuse tensions with Iran is for Bush and the rest of the Republicans like you (but mainly Bush) to feel genuine remorse and realize what a terrible thing they did when they violated international law and invaded Iraq. They should repudiate the Bush Doctrine publicly, apologize for the Axis of Evil thing, Bush should resign, and offer to face trial in the Hague as a war criminal, along with his administration. Alternatively, if Bush and his administration didn't do this voluntarily, they could be impeached and shipped off to the Hague, with Congress issuing the apologies, for the same effect.

That would assure the Iranians that the rule of law was strong enough to protect them, and that they don't need to rely on nukes. It would be tough to dissuade them, but it would probably be possible with these steps taken.

It may be that if Bush simply resigned and faced war criminal charges domestically along with his staff that it could reassure the Iranians that we are not a loose cannon nation and be sufficient to convince them that nukes aren't necessary... but probably a trial in the Hague would be best, it would reassure them that a form of checks and balances existed that could prevent another Iraq.

Of course none of this will happen, but you asked.

Posted by: DanM on September 26, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Our good friend Pakistan? Oh my no....

Besides, now that Musharraf's been in the Daily Show, we're all feeling warm and fuzzy. It's starting to look like John Stewart will get to OBL before the Bush administration does.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

OMG! What sacrilege! That's JON Stewart.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White: Were I charged with the care and feeding of Iran I would be lashing my physicists and engineers to produce a nuclear weapons capability. Why? Not to wipe out Israel (which would after all render Palestine a rather less-desirable destination for the right of return), but to deter the United States, which has been sweet reason itself toward North Korea ever since those worthies proclaimed their possession of Da Bomb. Any other course would be the equivalent of geopolitical malpractice.

And you know what? I hope the Iranians have a deployable A-bomb rather sooner than later, 'cause if anyone ever needed deterrence it was this crew.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on September 26, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

...Diplomacy isn't working on Iran. Maybe you've missed that....

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

If it was left to Bush there would be no diplomacy. Remember how GW ramped immediately to "stop it or its war" and it was Jack Straw, UK defence minister, who said "war? no fucking way!"

No? I thought not. Diplomacy isn't in the vocabulary of these nutters.

Nor, unsuprisingly, in yours, you mindless puppet.

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

You want me to read something, put up a link. Don't have time to fish around.

It's hilarious on a thread whose main subject is paranoia about war-mongering by Republicans, picking at every phrase and statement, to see liberals cutting slack to Iran's leadership by the kilometer.

"Of course he doesn't mean it. You aren't READING it right. You didn't translate it properly. And hey, he SAYS he's not a warmonger to Time magazine! Right out loud! What more do you need for absolute proof? He's a big old cuddlebunny, the mullahs are nice, friendly old men, and if we just kissed his arse HARD enough, and sat down with a nice cup of tea, for sure he'd come around, and agree that there was a Holocaust after all. Then we can all have a nice, friendly chuckle together. Hey, maybe after that he'll shave."

If nothing else this proves that it wasn't really about the weapons in Iraq for leftists. If Saddam had been sitting there refining uranium openly, the Left would still have been defending him against attack. You'd probably have had human shields around the reactors.

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: amr铃声 on September 26, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's hilarious...to see liberals cutting slack to Iran's leadership by the kilometer.

What's hilarious is your lack of reading comprehension.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote:

Establish full diplomatic relations with Iran -- the country which is already the most socially progressive in the Muslim Middle East.

Trade *vigorously*. Flood the country with consumer goods and American popular culture.

And freakin' *apologize* for the axis of evil comment.

Subvert the mullahs from within, by serving up giant helpings of American consumer culture.

*snicker* oh, yeah. T H A T' L L work!

Fucking ignorant libs, you don't get down and suck on the Mullahs member, you artfully use the power of persuasion and make it impossible for them to not give in. You line up military power with economic power and convince them that we mean business by putting a few short range missiles up their ass.

Why did you list "American Popular Culture" twice? Are you going to give fundamentalist Shiite clerics porn and Family Guy DVDs and buy them off that way?

*snicker*

You ought to be in charge of the Dumbocrats message this year. It should lose you another chance at taking back Congress.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

are you sure that's true? My understanding is that Ahmadinejad has in fact voiced some doubts about the historical veracity, too. But none of this is anywhere near as important as it is portrayed by right wingers. There's a natural tendency, when you're denying your opponents' claims based on their grievances, to deny the existence of the grievances as well; that's how official Israeli history got from "it was a war to the death, we had no choice but to expel them" (a legitimate argument) to "we never expelled them, they left of their own accord" (which was a myth with a curious and horrible symmetry to that of holocaust denial). Ahmadinejad's views on the Holocaust, whatever they are, should definitely not play a role in the decision of whether the United States should launch a war of aggression against his country.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Subvert the mullahs from within, by serving up giant helpings of American consumer culture.

*snicker* oh, yeah. T H A T' L L work!

Uh...yes. It will. Snicker.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Just when we thought his cholesterol had cought up with him...

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

*snicker* oh, yeah. T H A T' L L work!

Let me see if I've got this straight... This lame attempt at snark is coming from someone who thinks Bush's strategies for handling (a) the economy, (b) the environment, and (c) geopolitics, are all going just perfectly.

Yeah. You've got a LOT of credibility.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

if we just kissed his arse HARD enough

See, this is interesting. Why do you read "having an embassy in someone's country" as "kissing their ass"? Are we kissing France's ass? China's? Russia's?

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting thread so far. I confess I have no idea of what to do about Iran. Attacking them is obviously wrong. Letting them get nukes is obviously wrong. Negotiating so as to convince them to give up their nuclear program looks impossible.

As Woody Allen said, in a quote that seems to apply to Iran,

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Subvert the mullahs from within, by serving up giant helpings of American consumer culture.

Never underestimate the power of a six-dollar toaster. MAD and nonproliferation were huge factors in the downfall of the Soviet Union. But SAC had an able assist from Coca-Cola, pizza hut and McDonalds.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you read "having an embassy in someone's country" as "kissing their ass"?

Well, you see, brooksfoe, these douchebags are all DEEPLY closeted. That's why the homophobia is such a central part of the entire pathology.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

One possible target would be to ensure that if and when they do achieve nukes, they have no interest in, and verifiably do not, give them to uncontrollable terrorist organizations. I'm really not worried about Iran having nukes. I'm worried about Hezbollah having nukes - or, worse, some crazy-assed Iraqi shiite group we haven't even heard of yet.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

I confess I have no idea of what to do about Iran. Attacking them is obviously wrong.

I salute you for your intellectual honesty on this issue, and I enjoyed the Woody Allen bit too.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Negotiating so as to convince them to give up their nuclear program looks impossible."

Why not? Has there been a meaningful attempt at negotiations yet?

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on September 26, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Never underestimate the power of a six-dollar toaster.

I agree. My two-year-old is totally obsessed with the toaster. And he, let me tell you, is no islamofascist.

On the other hand, should he ever go over to the other side, the destruction he could wreak is almost beyond imagining.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm worried about Hezbollah having nukes - or, worse, some crazy-assed Iraqi shiite group...

Or, for that matter, some drunk-on-the-apocalypse home-grown Christianist nutjob, you know, just in case they want to help Jesus come back sooner.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

I remember when my son was two, but I try to block that year out...When he was a toddler, there was a Manfred Mann album out - Somewhere in Africa I believe was the title (it was never released on CD). there was a song on there - Demolition Man...That was my son's theme song at two years of age. Jesus, I'm exhausted just thinking about that year!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Or, for that matter, some drunk-on-the-apocalypse home-grown Christianist nutjob,

Yeah, but, for all the insanity of the past 5 years, I still don't really think the rapture freaks are going to manage to staff the military so thoroughly with their cronies that they'll be able to undermine the US's controls on nuclear weapons.

Still, now that you mention it...that might be a very good reason to get back on the track of reducing those nuclear stockpiles.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry, the U.S. tradition is that we don't start a war until somebody attacks a ship. The Maine / The Lusitania / Pearl Harbor / Gulf of Tonkin.

Of course, two of those were fake, so I reckon for Iran there's a 50/50 chance of Iran really firing a missile at our ships, and a 50/50 chance of one of our own agents firing a missile towards one of our ships.

After that, when the firestorm starts, God help our sailors and marines, because the Iranian missiles are much better than Exocet missiles. We're not talking SCUDS here folks, we're talking SunBurn missiles that go right past AEGIS and PHALANX defenses.

Oh and God help the U.S. Coast Guard, too, cause their men and women are in the Iranian blockade force, too, and they don't have AEGIS.

It will be a rougher war than Iraq, but some folks believe that if we hit the mullahs hard enough it will make the Islamic world respect us.

Posted by: WRH on September 26, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK
You line up military power with economic power and convince them that we mean business ...Fat Angry Guy at 10:44 PM
How's that war in Iraq going for ya, chum? Kicking butt? Showing who's boss? Getting the enemy to surrender en masse? Posted by: Mike on September 26, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

the U.S. tradition is that we don't start a war until somebody attacks a ship.

Uh...Iraq here going back to the USS Cole...? Or that ship that got maybe-not-so-accidentally Exoceted in the 80s...? I don't get it. I mean, if you go back far enough, there's always a ship that was attacked somewhere by someone vaguely related to the country you want to invade. Didn't supposed Iranian harassment against a US missile cruiser lead to the shootdown of that airliner back in '87? By current standards that probably qualifies as a casu bellum, for both sides.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

As per usual, I find your comments quite perspecatious. I think we should cut Ahmadinejad some slack on the "he wants to nuke Israel" business -- which is clearly a canard -- but *in exchange*, we do need to educate him on the Holocaust and explain that while his larger point may well be true, the existence of Israel is a fact of life, and the less threatened they feel, the more justice can be wrested for the Palestinians.

And then we show him that principle at work with the nonaggression pact.

Fat White Turd & monkeyboner:

Your comments are way too rhetorical and stuffed with idiotic straw men for me to offer either of you a serious reply. Obviously, both of you are beyond the point of being educated.

But I *will* say that neither of you know Shi'ite from Shinola as far as the country of Iran is concerned. You get one free hint, though: It's not about the mullahs.

It's about the people.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

convince them that we mean business

If you don't stop doing that thing we think you might be doing, even though you say you're not doing it, then we will SHOOT OURSELVES IN THE KIDNEY! We mean business, goddamnit! Why aren't you taking us seriously???!!!

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 26, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

...Negotiating so as to convince them to give up their nuclear program looks impossible....

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

The US to this date has not even thought of negotiating in good faith with Iran because little Bush is a jumped up bully who thinks everyone should do his spoiled child bidding.

Funny that other countries (most of them) don't see it his way, and embarrassing to see a grown man like T. Blair succomb.

Unfortunately the US has already signed off on Israeli, Indian and Pakistani nukes, and undermined the NNPT and all nuke arms limitation agreements. Seems like they've given up on N.Korea. No vision down the road with China. This administration has been the height of irresponsibility in all international diplomacy. Wait until Argentina and Brazil re-open their pursuit of nukes. Then who else in S.America?

Then the shit hits the fan!

Oh, yeah! I forgot. It'll all be Clinton's fault.

NOT!

The most useless and dangerous administration ever!

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

It was those damned Iranians who sunk the Thresher! Man the torpedos and full steam ahead!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

...some folks believe that if we hit the mullahs hard enough it will make the Islamic world respect us.

Hmmm... I wonder what kind of person would believe something like that...

"I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me "reason" with Mr. Freud."

As with dogs, so with children, wives, laborers, coloreds, and uppity nation-states.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 26, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone;

I'll repost it for you.

monkeybone:

>> Did the mainstream, responsible left (not counting pacifist
>> and fringe groups) oppose the war in Afghanistan? Nope.

>> They opposed the war in Iraq? Why? Because they knew damn well
>> it would do precisely what those lunatic Commie leftists at the
>> CIA just said that it did -- make life much easier for terrorists.

> I must have missed that opposition in the vote in Congress to
> authorize the war. Or maybe we're talking about the "fringe"
> people you rejected in the first paragraph. And please don't
> try the "authorization didn't really mean 'go to war'"
> bullshit. I read the law.

I said the left. I didn't say the Democratic Party. But it just so
happened that both my US senators, my former and current congressmen,
former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Bob Graham, Russ Feingold,
Lincoln Chafee and a host of other congresscritters in both houses
opposed the IRW. It was the solid position of the mainstream left.

Oh, and don't forget Howard Dean, from the
Democratic wing of the Democratic Party :)

>> Al Qaeda used to be a hierarchical organization. Now it's
>> mestastacized into myriad tiny stand-alone cells spread the
>> world over (and linked by the internet) who need only to be
>> inspired by Osama but otherwise are totally independent. It
>> makes terrorism much harder to eradicate at the roots.

> So, you would rather we had left al Qaeda's organized heirarchy
> in place? What version of a successful war on al Qaeda can you
> imagine that would not have resulted in exactly the same thing?
> What does that have to do with Iraq?

According to the NIE, everything. Without Iraq and its attendant
abuses, terrorist recruitment over the internet wouldn't have
been so vigorous. So we could've smashed the international
Qaeda organization as we have substantially done without having it
replaced as much by people inspired by US designs on the Mideast.

>> Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, "Extraordinary rendition" of innocent guys to
>> countries that *really* torture, Fallujah, the rape and immolation
>> of a 14-year-old girl and the cold-blooded murder of her family
>> -- all these things have amounted to a recruitment bonanza.

> Start thinking with your brains instead of your bloody spleens.

It is the height of American patriotism to become infuriated at the
injustices which have besmirched our good name around the world.

> If Saddam still ruled Iraq (apparently the tyranny everyone is
> rending their garments over here is just fine for Iraqis):

Saddam was writing romance novels; his mass-murdering days
over for a decade or more. He would have died, and one of his
idiot incompetent nepotistic sons wouldn't have lasted three
weeks before a military coup. Iraq was bound to change, and
we lost a golden opportunity to influence that change from
the inside, with the full support of the world community.

> Gitmo would still have been there.

That's true; and it would be a factor. But Abu Ghraib wouldn't.

> So would the renditions, the CIA interrogations, the bombed
> villages, and eventually, unfortunately, some versions of
> Abu Ghraib and the abuse of civilians during a war.

Check the size differences in population. Had we occupied
Afghanistan with enough troops and money to do it right,
we migh've had a chance to rebuild that country and make
it into the showpiece of democratic rule that Bush claims
is our larger purpose there. Nation building is *hard work*.

> And somehow I'd wager that people who can work themselves
> up to kill because of bloody cartoons would have had no
> problem getting worked up by the U.S. occupying Afghanistan.

And it takes a pretty cartoonish view of Muslims to hold such a
stereotyped opinion of Muslims. First of all, we would've had
the support of the Muslim Mideast -- only three countries held
diplomatic relations with the Taliban (and one of them is our
ally Pakistan). Secondly, we would've had enough troops to smoke
out Osama and kill him or bring him to justice (the prefferd
outcome). Had he been brought to trial, all could see how many
Muslims he killed in the name of his hateful, nihilist ideology.

Salafi takfiri ideology is extraordinarily toxic to the Islamic
world because it advocates killing any Muslim who doesn't believe it.
By invading Iraq, Osama has been allowed to fool the Muslim world
into thinking that the US is waging a war on all Muslims, so all
Muslims should unite against us. Had we given Osama less reason
to make that argument, there would be more room for potentially
moderate Muslims to see the al Qaeda snake for exactly what it is.

> The premise is ridiculous on the face of it. Nobody here has
> read this NIE, other than what policitally-motivated leakers
> have run past politically-motivated journalists. I'd wager
> it doesn't say what you think it does.

You know, that's a pretty complicated melody you're whistling.
And we're strolling past a a really dark graveyard :)

> Just one more bit: It's amazing to see how the CIA, in the
> eyes of some people, can swing instantly from being a load
> of wankers to a group of geniuses, depending on what they
> say meeting your agenda. What makes you think they're any more
> right about this than anything else over the past ten years?

Because the institution was humiliated after the WMD fiasco
and has determined that it will not allow itself to be used
to make the same mistake again. Why do you think there
have been so many anti-Bush CIA leakers since that time?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Uh...yes. It will. Snicker.

But I *will* say that neither of you know Shi'ite from Shinola as far as the country of Iran is concerned. You get one free hint, though: It's not about the mullahs.

*snicker* Stupid libs. The mullahs run the country.

How effective is it to bend over in front of the Persians/Iranians and say, here, do me up the ass and I'll give you toasters and free Britney Speers cds?

Get serious, libs. These people respect power and the people who use it. Soft power works on soft people. The Persians/Iranians are the toughest sonsofbitches in the world and they alread have consumer goods and shit from the Chinese, who've been buying their oil. They already have at least a million bloggers, cellphones and TVs.

The Shiites and Sunnis are at war with each other and Iran is the one ready to kick that ass. If you stupid libs can't figure that out, I seriously doubt whether you'll win anything in Novemnber.

*snicker*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Craig Roberts about Bush's nuclear bomb intentions towards Iran:

It is astounding that such dangerous fanatics have control of the U.S. government and have no organized opposition in American politics.

Posted by: Hostile on September 26, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to remind everybody that the Ayatollah Khameini, the crazy mullah who actually runs Iran, has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons.

No matter what Ahmadinejad has in his head, he's just the president, not the Supreme Jurisprudent.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 26, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Mondo writes about the Iranian desire to nuke Israel: Mutually Assured Destruction? Remember that one? Do you seriously think Israel is going to go down without turning the rest of the mideast into a glass parking lot?

Various Iranian leaders (e.g., Rafshanjani) have previously noted that Iran would survive a nuclear exchange but Israel, due to its compact size, would not. They've also said that even if it cost ten million dead Muslims it would be worth it.

You and I certainly disagree with them about the relative value of a nuclear exchange, but what's clear is that at least some of the Mad Mullahs are contemplating this, and saying so publicly.

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to remind everybody that the Ayatollah Khameini, the crazy mullah who actually runs Iran, has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons.

Now all the stupid libs on this site are going to argue that Iran will never have the bomb and give them free shit.

*I love it!*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

I'm sure you're a really nice guy. You're exactly the kind of person I'd want negotiating a trade agreement with Spain. But you're naivete about our enemies is almost cosmic. Bin Laden attacked America because we had a few troops in Saudi Arabia. You honestly think other potential jihadists would overlook our overthrow and occupation of Afghanistan? Remember, we're not talking about the opinion of the government of Egypt, we're talking about jihadists. And contrary to the mass hallucination apparently infecting this board, the Islamist war against America did not start in March of 2003.

I can see how it's a lot less scary to think that the problems of the world are all because of someone you can vote away in a couple of years. The alternative is probably not something you want to face.

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

The alternative is probably not something you want to face.

The problem is he wants to use his face to blow the Mullahs and get them to *like* him so that they won't build the bomb and nuke Israel.

Naive libs should not be allowed to negotiate anything other than a staircase with only two steps.

*snicker*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 writes on what to do with Iran: Seriously? What would I do? Establish full diplomatic relations with Iran -- the country which is already the most socially progressive in the Muslim Middle East.

Well I'd disagree on that point -- Morrocco is clearly one of the most progressive Arab countries, and Turkey is more progressive than Iran.

But as to diplomatic relations: I don't have a problem with that per se, but what's the point? We really don't have any issue to discuss where there is a chance of dialogue. Iran has demonstrated to the EU3 that talking is a sham and a dodge, a way to buy time to enrich uranium.

If the point is to have a hotline vis a vis the old USSR, sure, fine, whatever, but let's not kid ourselves: diplomatic relations isn't a solution to the problem at hand, which is Iran's behavior, particularly with regard to obtaining nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

...It will be a rougher war than Iraq, but some folks believe that if we hit the mullahs hard enough it will make the Islamic world respect us.

Posted by: WRH on September 26, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, no! Here we go again!

Didn't finish the first war right before we moved the emphasis to another front. We've bogged ourselves down in 2 wars along with the better part of any effective NATO and still not won a war.

Our military is bleeding and improperly equipped, not completing retraining, and having to lower standards of enlistment, calling back ready reserves, and exhausting the NG.

And this weak-brained idiot wants to start a third (second unnecessary) war further away against a larger and more powerful nation in the center of all the world's major oil production, and without any reflection on consequences, short- or long-term.

It's the barfight mentality again. If we teach 'em a lesson they'll learn not to bother us.

I used to think all the simpletons were busy "running" the country, but they pop up all over!

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

Power is incredibly diffuse in Iran, with what amounts to consensus decision making between the Guardian Council the President and the Council of Experts all serving to check each other and the Iranian parliament. But religious control has been steadily weakening. Ahmadinejad hasn't rescinded the reforms instituted by Khatamei in dress codes and behavior conduct -- the religious police is notably in less presence on the Iranian street than it was a decade ago.

All of this comes down to not wishing to alienate the youth, which Ahmadinejad is attempting to inspire by his talk of economic reform, which so far has been empty. Thus, like Bush, he's using hardline religious rhetoric to distract the people from promises undelivered. It's a carefully choreographed dance he's allowed to do -- but rest assured that the genuine regime of Iraq is deeply conservative. Nothing will happen in that country without the support of the economic elite.

So to call it run by a bunch of "mad mullahs" is a quite inaccurate picture.

Now yes, there is a conflict brewing in the entire region between Sunni and Shi'ite regimes. If we were smart, we would play each of them off each other. We need Iran to be strong to serve as a counterweight to Saudi Arabia (whose citizens fund the incubation of terrorism with more money than any country in the world) and the Gulf States -- especially because Shi'ite ideology, being filtered through established religious schools instead of freelancing Sunni imams, is much less amenable to producing exportable jihadi ideology. Very very few suicide bombers are Shi'ite, you'll notice. Since the Shia in iraq are empowered, we need to balance this Shi'ite Crescent off with the Arab states. We do this by keeping each bloc competing for our favor. Again -- *IF* we were smart.

And remember that economic development hasn't gone nearly far enough in Iran. It's still a developing country; there are vast amounts of the rural countryside and mountanous border regions that have barely been touched by modernity. That gives us leverage, despite all the Chinese consumer goods already flooding Terhan.

Soft power is indeed the largest part of this picture.

And I don't see why you have such a problem with *softness*, anyway. You're a Pillsbury soft, squishy ol' Fat White Guy, after all :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

I actually know something about Iran, and I gotta say - those to the left of me might err a little on the side of optimism...But those on the right don't have two neurons firing together on the issue. Clueless to the man.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be back in a bit to take my lashings - Tom seems to think I should feed him since I had one class today and went in my pj's and a baseball cap, and he has been at school since 8:00 am.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 writes on Ahmadniejad: we do need to educate him on the Holocaust ...

I'm not sure he needs to be educated. He's a smart man, he reads history, and he knows the historical record. No intelligent person would miss the historical record today.

He's denying the Holocaust not out of ignorance, but because of political calculation: it's useful for him to do so. I don't see how 'educating' him changes that calculation.

... and explain that while his larger point may well be true, the existence of Israel is a fact of life, and the less threatened they feel, the more justice can be wrested for the Palestinians.

I credit you for recognizing the issue from the Israeli perspective; that's uncommon for the Left these days. Israel is indeed a fact of life -- it was created by a UN resolution.

And then we show him that principle at work with the nonaggression pact.

That's where your plan fails. We don't need a 'non-agression pact'. If Iran behaves and doesn't threaten its neighbors, doesn't support terrorism, and renounces nuclear weapons, there's no need for a pact. We won't threaten them as the rationale for a threat will have disappeared.

The Mad Mullahs can get away with a lot in their own country if they just refrain from terrorism, nukes and threats to others, but then that would seriously undercut their ability to terrorize their own population.

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

I actually know something about Iran, and I gotta say - those to the left of me might err a little on the side of optimism...But those on the right don't have two neurons firing together on the issue. Clueless to the man.

So which is it? Do they *respect* power or do they take advantage of the weak?

rmck1 can post a Wikipedia article. If I had twenty minutes to read your shit rmck1 I'd probably have to send you a bill for my time.

Every time libs talk about national security, another American gets ready to vote Republican. The only one with crediblity was Lieberman and you chucked him under the bus.

*I love it!*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Soviet Canuckastani, in response to "Negotiating so as to convince them to give up their nuclear program looks impossible.", writes, Why not? Has there been a meaningful attempt at negotiations yet?

I guess you've missed the on-going discussions between Iran and the EU3. It's been in all the papers, including the NYT and the Independent.

Posted by: Steve White on September 26, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

...we're talking about jihadists. And contrary to the mass hallucination apparently infecting this board, the Islamist war against America did not start in March of 2003....

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Repugnut willingness to distort and conflate continues.

You want to talk about jihadists, let's do that.

Want to talk about Islam, that's separate. There is no Islamist war against the US; there are no islamo-fascists that I know or have heard of.

It's all in the tiny little running scared minds of the Repugnuts. Little hysteria shriekers.

Back to Iran, just for once, like any good diplomacist or general, put yourself in the opposition's shoes and think what you would do in their place. Then you you can start figuring out what to do in your own best interest.

All you guys quit running around with your heads cut off and say something that makes sense.

The idea that everything can be put right by a good bombing raid or something limited . . . well, ask Israel.

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

There has been a lot of news reports over the years about how plastics and many pesticides mimic female hormones, and I think it is starting to produce hysterical men.

Posted by: Hostile on September 26, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, the EU3 isn't threatening to bomb Iran, So why would the Iranians give two shits what they think? For there to be meaningful negotiation, the US has to be involved.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on September 26, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

Two factual errors: Morocco's in the western Mahgreb; Turkey's in Asia Minor -- neither country properly speaking part of the Mideast, so my point about Iran still stands.

I'm a bit concerned about this "obtaining nuclear weapons" business, especially since the IAEA excoriated the US for blatantly distorting their progress on enriching uranium. Why is Iran enriching uranium when it doesn't need to for nuke power? It wants to develop indigenous technology. Iran has its own auto industry -- why don't they just import cars? I appreciate that they're doing this in the name of bootstrapping their science and technology.

Plus, I've never understood why getting a nuke on the black market or the AQ Khan network wasn't spoken about regarding Iran. You think if they wanted a nuke so badly, they could get one the way North Korea did instead of spending potentially a decade developing the technology. Plus, once you make a nuke, you've got to test it. It's really a much more arduous technical process than it's made to sound in the general press.

Again, if we're so afraid about this -- what about a nonaggression pact? What about taking them off the "axis of evil" list and removing their incentive to develop a nuke, which is entirely rational considering how we're leaving North Korea alone and badgering iran.

I'm sure there are some diplomatic avenues open to us that we haven't even conceived of exploring which would leverage the enrichment issue in our favor. In any case, they're still years away from developing the bomb. We certainly have time on this issue without the needless destabilization of brinksmanship.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Nice one, Steve White, 11:39 PM:

"The Mad Mullahs can get away with a lot in their own country if they just refrain from terrorism, nukes and threats to others, but then that would seriously undercut their ability to terrorize their own population."

Now, just substitute "Repugnuts" for "Mad Mullahs". Reads pretty well doesn't it?

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

Thanks for the compliment :) It's not a Wikipedia article though; I wrote it with my own widdew fingies.

And it's funny -- because in my previous post I basically dismissed you as a smirking buffoon. Then you posted like you knew a *little* about Iran and you know what they say about a little knowledge and dangerous things ...

So I did you the dignity of writing you a detailed post which didn't insult your intelligence.

And then it turns out that you may not have any intelligence to insult :(

Oh well ... I'm sure others will read that post. Can't blame me for trying, anyway.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

and you know what they say about a little knowledge and dangerous things ...

They say rmck1 wants to blow the The Mad Mullahs and keep America safe.

*Won* any elections lately?

*snicker*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

Hey, I was right the first time.

You really *are* a smirking buffoon :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

The world ended when the Communists got the bomb.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 27, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

George Bush's cock in my ass!

*I love it*!

Posted by: (fake) Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Hey everyone! I found Fat White Guy's homepage!

Posted by: FWG is a Douchebag of Liberty! on September 27, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

So hear's a question for the hard core warhawks:

You consistently portray Islam as the enemy, pushing a vision of a clash of civilizations, and insisting that only overwhelming military action is a solution, as the enemy cannot be reasoned with. You do this even when military solutions are impossible, as for instance in Iran where we don't even know where all the nuclear sites are, so cannot destroy them.

So, given your logic, what exactly is it that you want? To kill all Muslims? I mean, what exactly is the hoped for end of insisting that Islam cannot be negotiated with and insisting that we must go to war with, well, all of them?

Posted by: A leading question on September 27, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bin Laden attacked America because we had a few troops in Saudi Arabia. You honestly think other potential jihadists would overlook our overthrow and occupation of Afghanistan?

Afghanistan ≠ Saudi Arabia.

Afghans are not Arabs.

Afghanistan, while Muslim, does not have an Arab population, does not have an Arabic speaking population, and does not contain sites holy to Islam -- things crucial to jihadist motivations.

The Taliban were presumptive enemies of Iran, so "the crazy Mullahs" in Iran weren't about to complain when we unseated them (if you recall they actually offered us assistance during the invasion).

Also, the Taliban were largely Sunni, which means that the Shia worldwide were not particularly upset by their removal either. Further, the "winners" of that particular contest were another group of Muslims, the Northern Alliance.

In point of fact, the Taliban were one of many two-bit competing political groups attempting to gain control of that country who didn't have a lot of friends in the Arab world. Not a big jihadist motivator.

the Islamist war against America did not start in March of 2003.

There is no Islamist war against America, there are only different radical groups with many different complaints and aims. And Iran with all its faults is not in an Islamist war against America. In 2003 it reached out to the United States to strengthen diplomatic ties. The Bush "administration" promptly rejected the overtures, apparently too invested in looking manly and keeping Iran up its sleeve for future election prospects to take up that invitation.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: (fake) Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1 is spoof posting again. This is what libs do when they can't win a debate and can't deal with the question:

Do the Persians/Iranians *respect* power or do they take advantage of the weak?

Can't get answers from libs. Too busy jacking off to pictures of men in diapers.

*I love it!*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

New PC: $250.00

Software: $125.00

Broadband Connection: $14.95 per month

That homepage link for Fat White Fool: Priceless!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

It is me, or does the pinche gordo guero, aka fatwhiteboy, use too many sexual metaphorsindicating his own lack of successful coupling?

Posted by: Press Corpse on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Several posters seem excited about the idea that Iran has plans to develop nuclear weapons so that it can obliterate Israel. This ignores the fact that Israel already has nuclear weapons--more than one or two and if Iran chose to attack Israel with nukes once such weapons are developed it would be the equivalent of national suicide. Israel would no doubt leave Iran in a pre stone age condition and set Syria back to somewhere around the second century B.C. while they were taking care of business. As for Iran being a Nuclear threat to the US, this is also unlikely since to be a threat a nation needs both a weapon and a delivery system to go along with a national suicide mind set. It's all designed to make people scared. Scared people aren't rational and irrational people cast irrational votes.

Posted by: grynch on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Love this. Idiot.

Posted by: gregor on September 27, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Too busy jacking off to pictures of men in diapers. *I love it!*

Woah.

Posted by: mondo dentro on September 27, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1 is spoof posting again. This is what libs do when they can't win a debate and can't deal with the question

It wasn't rmck1 boob, read the email address.

And let me just say, you've been spoofed by one of the best.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

What a maroon ... did you check the email, Oh Hairless Endomorphic One?

(I *have* to imagine you hairless. The thought of a *hairy* fat white guy is ... too nightmare-producingly hideous to contemplate.)

That was Osama Been Forgotten. The (fake) before the name is his trademark when he wants to write parody posts.

The Iranians look at our chest-puffery and snicker. The more we sabre-rattle and "act tough" with them -- the more it strengthens the very hardline mullahs you think I want to blow.

The more you reach out to the Iranian people -- the more we strengthen them and undermine that toppling religious regime that nobody in Iran likes much, anyway.

Maybe you'd have a better understanding of geopolitics if you stopped watching all that internet S&M porn ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

Ask a thousand libs one question, none of them can answer. But they can make a half dozen sexually retarded jokes.

Do the Persians/Iranians *respect* power or do they take advantage of the weak?

Answer: they have taken advantage of the weak for over two thousand years.

Won any elections lately?

*snicker*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

If we rush to war with Iran, they have another 50 years of religious control of the country. If we don't, the mullahs may last a decade, at best.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

If we rush to war with Iran, they have another 50 years of religious control of the country. If we don't, the mullahs may last a decade, at best.

*We* have a winner.

One lib that can think out of a thousand.

*Who* would have thought?

Won any elections lately?

*snicker*

Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 27, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Global:

That's essentially my point. Especially with that huge baby boom cohort born during and after the Iran/Iraq war who has only known the Islamic Revolution. There are more people under 25 in Iran than over 25.

What makes you more pessimistic than the average leftie here on Iran, btw? -- from your perspective of having lived in the country.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Lets see - when they were conquered and Isklamized by the Arabs, they were taking advantage of the weak.

And that Omar Khayam - why he wrote some of the most violent imagery ever known to humanity.

It was Persian Imams who kept the texts of Christianity from sliding into oblivion when Europe was in the clutches of the dark ages.

Persian culture is unique in the world. Persian culture values abiding by the letter while scorning the spitit. Ever seen what a Persian woman can do with a tailored jacket that keeps the letter but still looks damn fine?

But why do I bother? You have your mind made up and have settled on a black-or-white answer, and in reality there is no black-or-white answers when dealing with a nation of such ancient culture and seeming contradictions.

Keep up the bravado. On November 8th a lot of Publicans are going to wake up and wonder why their asses hurt, and who took their clothes?

Then we'll ask you if you have won any elections lately. *snicker*

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Get serious, libs. These people respect power and the people who use it. Soft power works on soft people. The Persians/Iranians are the toughest sonsofbitches in the world and they alread have consumer goods and shit from the Chinese, who've been buying their oil.
Posted by: Fat White Guy on September 26, 2006 at 11:15 PM

and then 1 hour later ...

Do the Persians/Iranians *respect* power or do they take advantage of the weak?
Answer: they have taken advantage of the weak for over two thousand years.
Posted by: Fat White Guy

... and this is why we don't answer bullshit setups like this. even YOU don't believe your own paranoia. this reads like nothing more than any of several random, dime-a-dozen chickenhawk racists looking for any excuse to kill some brown people. you're not even trying for any consistency beyond "kill 'em all"!

... and as for winning elections, exactly how long do you think the body count in iraq will allow you to continue counting on the ignorance and racism of your fellow countrymen?

Posted by: Nads on September 27, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Global:

I find Persian culture fascinating -- filled with contradictions but very deep. I think it would be the hugest shame to keep them under their regime longer than absolutely nesessary through all this asinine and transparently political sabre-rattling.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

I think I will go open a fine Shiraz and enjoy m=the rest of the evening...By the way - Shiraz? That is a Persian creation, and one I am damn glad to be acquainted with.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Bob or rmck1:

I'm generally with you on your points regarding how to deal with Iran. I will quibble with you about your comment where you stated that Iran possessed the most progressive society in the region. Remember this same Iranian government publicly hangs homosexuals as a matter of law. Medieval, maybe. Progressive? Not so much.

Posted by: Johnny Tremaine on September 27, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, the Iran Directorate. Staffed by castoffs from our old friend, the Office of Special Plans,

Cops will tell you criminals rarely change their MO, which is one reason why a great proportion of them are relatively easy to catch.....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 27, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy --

If your questions made any sense they would be easier to answer.

I'm not sure your reading of Persian history is based in reality. Sort of sounds like Rome is still a militaristic city-state, and the UK still has an empire.

What is diplomacy except a trial of power, will and interests. And war an extension of diplomacy or a sign of failure, depending on your view.

The fact that this administration has no openness in government, constantly thinks it can dictate to the rest of the world (and its people), drive its own course no matter what the cost to others or, even, the US itself, and has little time or patience for diplomacy unless forced by weight of opinion -- and then grudgingly -- this all tells us a lot about the administration generally, the president inparticular, and the mindless parrots of their "policy" lines.

For the man with too many self-satisfied, puerile "*snicker*"s and no sensible content, I wouldn't be throwing too many stones if I were you.

Posted by: notthere on September 27, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Johnny Tremaine:

Iranian culture is full of contradictions. But yes, in the context of the Muslim Middle East (excluding Turkey and the western Maghreb), they are without question the most socially progressive country. Men and women can mingle publicly, women don't have to wear the hajib in the cities ... and there is also the biggest drug problem in that region -- and a growing AIDS problem, as well.

Iran may have laws calling for hanging homosexuals on the books (so do many Shariah countries), but it also probably has the most thriving underground gay subculture in the Mideast as well. Persians are very florid, affectionate, passionate people -- the Italians of the Mideast. And like the Italians, they have a very strict official religion but live their lives flaunting and skirting around its rules.

There's also a law on the books outlawing satellite TV dishes (don't want that decadent Western influence) -- but virtually every residence in Terhan has a black-market satellite dish on its roof.

Sociologists call this the real culture / ideal culture dichotomy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Well Bob, it sounds like an interesting culture. Although I'd like to see the Iranian people run the ruling mullahs out of the country on a rail, I'd hate to see the U.S. launch another war to depose that government.
Like I said, I'm generally in agreement with what you've posted here but this still doesn't make me a fan of the Iranian government.

Posted by: Johnny Tremaine on September 27, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bob: "serving up giant helpings of American consumer culture. "

What an exceptionally cruel idea.

Posted by: nepeta on September 27, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone, oh monkeybone...

Are you still here?

I guess I'm one of those naive liberals and I'll admit I'm just naturally inclined to agree with the many posters in this thread who would rather engage with Iran and cut them some slack in their pursuit of nuclear power. Some weakness I was born with, probably.

You sense this, not only in me, but in all progressives, and your considerable condescension is completely understandable. I don't think it's rude. After all, we're here for debate, aren't we? I'm impressed, actually. You're made of sterner stuff than us and you're breadth of knowledge is astonishing. Would you believe you've won me over? I want to cleave to your point of view.

This is a new way of thinking for me, though. I'm a little uncertain. What is the plan, exactly? How do we deal with these Islamists? I mean, we've got the Iraqis well in hand. The Israelis have taken care of Hezbollah. Afghanistan's been pacified. Iran's all lined up, deservedly so. You've convinced me of that; but what's next? Is there a timetable?

Do we go into Yemen next? That shouldn't be too hard. Maybe knock down Bahrain and the UAE. Well, I don't know. You see it so much better than I do. Should we do Egypt before or after Turkey? We probably shouldn't wait too long on the Saudis. And Pakistan, it needs to be completely out of the blue, right? I mean they have nukes.

There's all those other countries in north Africa, probably just roll over them in a few weeks. And we've got the navy for Indonesia and Malaysia. There's a bunch of Islamists in southern Thailand, did you know that? Of course you did. We'll need to take care of them.

I'm probably getting ahead of myself. OK. Your plan obviously would make more sense. You don't have to tell me every detail. Just brief me a little.

Thanks. I'm with you all the way.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 27, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Johnny Tremaine:

Oh I hold no brief for the Iranian government. It completely sucks on any number of levels. I'm only speaking about the best ways to try to delegitimate it.

nepeta:

Isn't it, though? :)

It's still -- all things considered -- better than being bombed. I was trying to make an argument to the sabre-rattler Steve White to propose an alternative to "confronting" Iran.

All things considered, I'd prefer to let them choose their own cultural path. But considering that much of the iranian elite already *has* its nose deeply into Western consumer culture (even if they have to hide much of it behind closed doors), I figured that expanding the process more democratically would be the least bad alternative.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

There is definitely a population bulge moving through Iranian society, but I am not sure about those population numbers. I do know that there is a huge youth demographic - 26% are under 14 - that's huge - the United States, with a higher birthrate than europe, is about 20.5% for the same demographic. But half under 25 might be a wee stretch. I am sure that the 14-69 demographic is 69% because of so many young people.

None the less, there are a hell of a lot of young people, and young people are the only ones who have ever changed the world. Revolution is a yopung man's game.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

exasperanto:

What a masterpiece of slow-burning sardonic snark :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

(The wrist brace should be off in a week. Thanks for your patience on the typos front.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

I want to cleave to your point of view.

Nice burn! (get hhim some ice someone! stat!)

The rest of us just want to cleave the meat from the monkeybone.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Global:

Whence comes your somewhat greater degree of pessimism?

I was (mis)remembering the pop numbers -- easy enough to look up, of course.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

I have a great degree of confidence in the Iranian people. They are educated and savvy and have a pretty decent standard of living. This always frightens the rulers of any country that finds itself facing a huge population of literate youth. Which way will it break? I mean, it's going to - waves always hit a shore, eventually. This makes me nervous.

But any pessimism I feel generally comes from the outside worlds history of meddling in the region. As long as there is oil, there will be meddling. We have to accept that as a given. So how do we palliate it? Personally, I got nothin. Well, except anxiety.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

exasperanto;
The real kicker is when we nuke France to take care of the Islamists there. No wait - the REAL kicker is when we nuke the UK.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 27, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

It's also worth noting, on this dead, dead thread, Global and rmck1, that the worlds FIRST female space tourist is currently whizzing over our heads at 17,000 miles per hour. Her name is Anzsari, she is an Iranian-American enterpreneur. If her name sounds familliar, it's because it is her organization that fronted the money for the X-Prize, that led to the first private manned spaceflight by Scaled Composites.

If you have any doubt that Iran has the people and the potential to be a modern, liberal, economic superpower, look to Anzsari for an example of what Iran could be - had we not fucked that country over by replacing its democratically elected government with a dictator in the 1950's. (and all the blowback that has come back to the US in the meantime - and the cycle of ill-will that is perpetuated by the knuckle-dragging saber-rattlers on both sides).

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 27, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

The median age in Iran is 24.8 years, while in the US it is 36.8 years. Big difference, with far reaching social consequences. The mullahs have to be nervous.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Amen, OBF.

If anyone wants a real scales off the eyes look at Iran, read some Aziza al Hibri. If she sounds familiar, she is the feminist credited with the concept of "womb envy" that was Swiftian in it's skewing of Freud and the theory of "penis envy." (Penis envy? Please. How do you guys even walk around with those things?)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

We dust off out intellectss and the trolls fade into the woodwork. Game, set and match on aces I guess, since nobody is returning serves.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bob -- thanks for noting that point about the progressiveness of Iranian society. Saudi Arabia is vastly more repressive in its Islamic rule than Iran is, and SA is doing more to spread fanatical hatred of the West by sponsoring salafist schools around the world. We back and arm Saudi Arabia. We are contemplating nuking Iran.

I'm not sure why I shouldn't believe that the fact that American oil companies are deeply involved in SA and are shut out of Iran is not the most elegant explanation for this situation.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 27, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

...Cops will tell you criminals rarely change their MO, which is one reason why a great proportion of them are relatively easy to catch.....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 27, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately these guys are protected from the law by their compliant majorities in Congress.

But if you are unable to recognize or admit reality, and unable to modify behavior in the light of experience, isn't that some form of psychosis?

Global Citizen: I see you found it. I haven't checked lately so I was surprised to see that they have made it into a bulge (so far) and may have population growth under control. I'd still be pretty sanguine how those sorts of pressures may play out. Definitely I think the mullahs will get the chop, take the blame if the economy doesn't wrok out, but what takes their place? If the US looked like a decent example I could see it move more secular. And if we hadn't helped ramp the oil price!

Anyway 2005: 25+% 0-14, 50-% 15-24 years old.

http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbsum.pl?cty=IR

Posted by: notthere on September 27, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

OBF:

Great post. Indeed. Every iranian I've ever had the pleasure of knowing has been a wonderful individual.

You get such a sense of wasted potential here ... which yes, started in '53 and is a consequence of that cursed black stuff that manages to fuck up everything it touches.

Oil put our civilization on Easy Street. Some things in the world are just too easy to fuck with.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Bob. GC, as always.

It's fun being warlike, isn't it, OBF? No need for pesky conclusions.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 27, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Let me leave you with this:

"I think of war with Iran as the ending of America's present role in the world. Iraq may have been a preview of that, but it's still redeemable if we get out fast. In a war with Iran, we'll get dragged down for 20 or 30 years. The world will condemn us. We will lose our position in the world." Zbigniew Brzezinski, Vanity Fair, 2006.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and this little nugget. It isn't classified so repeat this often: One US carrier task force is currently in position in the Persian Gulf. Two more task forces are moving to take up their positions in the Iranian theatre.

Call it Perle Harbor.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Global:

I'd grin at the pun, but that's just too damn depressing to think about ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

There is a cage match a-brewin' between Condi and Hillary, and it is about to get ugly. Someone call the paramedics, because I have a feeling Condi is going to need medical attention before it's all over.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Alarming if true: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article7147.htm
If Iran's missiles are really this good, then we should be glad they don't have nukes yet. Krauthammer says that Iran's missiles are awesome, and we should be prepared for very heavy casualties. "Never put a period where God has put a comma!"

Posted by: Michael on September 27, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Secular=Secular governments, which follow civil laws as opposed to religious instructions like the Islamicism Shariah, Catholic Canon law, or Jewish Halakha, and which do not favor any particular religion.

Why does O'Rielly hate Americas Civil Laws?

Why does O'Rielly hate progress, that what made America great and put man on the moon?

Why does O'Rielly want to regress Democracy?

Why does O'Rielly want to be like the theocratic 'Islamofascists'?

Why does Orielly and Fox News hate America?

Why does George Bush call the Constitution a goddamn piece of paper?

Why does George Hate America?

As a lifelong Republican, I would have to say.
I never thought I would miss Tricky Dick.
God save us from this mad man Bush.

Posted by: Filth Falafel O'LieLy on September 27, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

[In Iran] there is also the biggest drug problem in that region -- and a growing AIDS problem, as well.

I might also add that Iran has more enlightened HIV and drug prevention programs than the US, with needle exchanges and numerous methadone clinics.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

Penis envy? Please. How do you guys even walk around with those things?

One ball hangs lower than the other.

;)

Posted by: floopmeister on September 27, 2006 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

We typically don't wear our pants quite so tight.

Do your balls hang low,
Do they wobble to and fro,
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder
Like a continental soldier
Do your balls hang low?

Posted by: bad Jim on September 27, 2006 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK


My grandmother came from Russia
A satchel on her knee,
My grandfather had his father's cap
He brought from Italy.
They'd heard about a country
Where life might let them win,
They paid the fare to America
And there they melted in.

Lovely Lady Liberty
With her book of recipes
And the finest one she's got
Is the great American melting pot.
The great American melting pot.

America was founded by the English,
But also by the Germans, Dutch, and French.
The principle still sticks;
Our heritage is mixed.
So any kid could be the president.

I guess O'Reilly and George never watched School House Rock. =)

Posted by: SkoolHouseRock on September 27, 2006 at 5:08 AM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget Kevin's April 10, 2006 post about the Iran Syria Operations Group (ISOG) headed up by none other than the Vice President's daughter, Liz Cheney?

These people are like a feverish self-replicating virus.

Sigh.


Posted by: voxpopgirl on September 27, 2006 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

You get such a sense of wasted potential here ... which yes, started in '53 and is a consequence of that cursed black stuff that manages to fuck up everything it touches.

Bob...when the British arrived in Iran there were about 20 high school graduates in the country. Sure, it had 7000 years of civilization, but so does Uzbekistan. "started in '53"...A lot of the things that are wonderful in Iran happened because of Western secular input, during the years of British and American influence. A lot of the things that went wrong with Iran were wrong with it in 1900 and long before.

I just think it's a bad idea for the left to get trapped in this discourse of American original sin, where we find some stupid fucked up thing we once did to a country and deduce that everything else that ever happened in the country was the US's fault. I think the anti-Moshaddegh coup can definitely be seen as the beginning of Iranian popular resentment of the US, and should be condemned on those terms; and it was certainly a bad move on policy grounds too. But it's a bit much to pin everything that's gone wrong in Iran since to the '53 coup.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 27, 2006 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

Iran directorate, or ID for short, or interpreted as..."Iranian dysfunction", not to be confused with the other ID... "Iraqi dysfunction"

Posted by: Ben Merc on September 27, 2006 at 7:36 AM | PERMALINK

Bad Jim posted on on September 27, 2006 at 3:48 AM:

"Do your balls hang low,
Do they wobble to and fro,
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder
Like a continental soldier
Do your balls hang low?"

So, you've been reading through some old C.S.Forester novels eh? At least, that's where I first saw it when he was describing the retreat of the Old Contemptibles. As I recall, that song went on for several more verses, each more outrageous than the last. British humor has always had more bite to it than American humor.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on September 27, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just wondering if the Bush Administration is planning to significantly increase cancer research and treatment funding, since there will be a lot more cancers and melanomas world-wide, after Bush and his gang of pirates bomb Iran's nuclear facilities and send massive amounts of cesium, thorium, uranium and other radioactive material into the atmosphere?

Posted by: A Cynics Cynic on September 27, 2006 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Point is, no matter how many "western" high school graduates lived in Iran post however many once great civilizations existed, if in fact there were no oil in Iran, or for that matter anywhere else in the region, we would not have spent a nickels worth of time or effort other then the garnish of our random third world hand out. American original sin or Lofty intentions aside, we have made a mess of this region and virtually everyone that lives there would like us to leave.

Posted by: Ben Merc on September 27, 2006 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

'Point is, no matter how many "western" high school graduates lived in Iran post however many once great civilizations existed, if in fact there were no oil in Iran, or for that matter anywhere else in the region, we would not have spent a nickels worth of time or effort other then the garnish of our random third world hand out. American original sin or Lofty intentions aside, we have made a mess of this region and virtually everyone that lives there would like us to leave.'
--Ben Merc

Amen, Ben.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 27, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Steve and monkeyshit, we would not launch another unprovoked attack, and rhetoric-particularly Middle Eastern rhetoric, which is nearly always bullshit-is not provocation, at least not to adults. Of course, we are dealing with non-adults in the present administration.

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 27, 2006 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

The US is the classic low-context culture. People differ greatly in their backgrounds and assumptions and everything needs to be said fairly simply and fairly explicitly for it to be understood.

Persia in contrast is a high-context culture. People come into a conversation with a lot of shared assumptions and by and large a similar frame for understanding the world. Much can be communicated implicitly. Communicating things explicitly can be like screaming at the top of your lungs in such a culture

It sounds like the US goverment wants to scream.

Posted by: aw shucks on September 27, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wingnuts, it's real f**king simple. If we attack yet another Muslim country, the results will be catastrophic.

We will lose our army in Iraq; millions of Shiites will rise up, cut off our supply lines, and chew up our forces in a guerrilla war unlike anything you've ever seen.

Furious Muslims in every country from Morocco to Indonesia will be out in the streets toppling governments and putting radicals and extremists in power.

And then Bush and Cheney will get to find out what single-digit approval ratings look like.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

We aren't even able to adequately keep a lid on Afghanistan (not that the US is the first modern nation to make war on Afghanistan only to discover that the country was a riddle wrapped in an enigma, and what was "common knowledge" is suddenly alien and anathema.

Afghanistan has half again the amount of territory Iraq covers, but we are pursuing goals there with too few troops - about 44,000 coaliton troops are deployed to Afghanistan, compared to 150,000 in Iraq.

No matter what side of the political divide one sits on, can we all agree that W has just totally fucked up two countries, just so he could be a tough-guy "war time president?"

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, look, most Iraqis want us to get the hell out of their country:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092601721_pf.html

But most don't think we'll leave if asked.

Posted by: Al's sob sister on September 27, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what Bush could do if anything about Iran - a drive by bombing, but right before mid-term elections? Wouldn't such an act be quickly pointed out as a political wag-the -dog? A typical bait and switch that Bush likes to use the change the news when things get bad?

Bush has severe image problems in the Mideast too as well as with the UN. And now that Bill Clinton has entered the fray, and if only Judith Miller hadn't been fired, where the old access queen could have done another front page for Bushies about terra, terra.

It's as if the world finally got around to calling Bush a liar that he is, so where does Bush go from there. The is no political capital left.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 27, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Judith Queen of Iraq Miller. Off with her head. Just because one has the title "journalist" does not mean that treason charges can't be brought. That fucking bitch deserves to die - 2700 times.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Well, fortunately one Iranian-American was not able to smear her way into Congress - Goli Ameri tried her best to help her Lord and Master, Little Shrub, but was defeated in the last election against David Wu, our Democratic Congressman from the western burbs of Portland, OR.

Although Wu was Shrub's best friend regarding the Medicare Bill, at least he is not the rubber stamp that Goli would have been.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 27, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Paul-3; I don't know Wu or Goli. But I am a huge Fazio fan. Email me some info about them, if you have it?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stirling Newberry : http://tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2006/sep/26/we_do_not_torture_mr_reid

We do not grant the rights in the Geneva Conventions to protect those whom we combat or capture, but to protect ourselves, and uphold our principles. This is a war of Civilization, and this torture "compromise" and any who vote for it, are a blow against civilization.
I agree with Mr. Newberry.

Posted by: anonymous on September 27, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

"Do your balls hang low,
Do they wobble to and fro,
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder
Like a continental soldier
Do your balls hang low?"


Dr. Seuss, right?

Posted by: BongCrosby on September 27, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

aw shucks at 8:28--good points.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

When I was but a bitty girl, my mother used to sing that "balls hang low" song to me. However, she replaced "balls" with "ears."

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

My dad was in the navy. iirc, that verse is by far the tamest.

Oh that British humor. What's all this then?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Persians are the toughest SOBs in the world"

Not in my day.

Posted by: Alexander the Great on September 27, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

As for me, John Prine said it best:

But your flag decal won't get you
into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
into Heaven any more.

Posted by: Speed on September 27, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK
"There's a leak out of our government, coming right down the stretch in this campaign, to create confusion in the minds of the American people, in my judgment, is why they leaked it,'' Bush said.

Petulant, whiny little bitch. Maybe someone leaked it because they are capable of looking more than three minutes into the future and they realize that two more years of this fuckhead with a rubberstamp neocon bootlicking congress is a prospect too frightening to contemplate?

That is a more likely scenario than liberal activists in the ranks of the intel agencies.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

And we should have a law prohibiting aWol from ever uttering the words "in my judgment." He obviously has none.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Speed: Great lyrics. I am a big Prine fan myself.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Whoa, you know it's the end times when Globe starts sounding like Secular Animist.

Since Charlie's masturbating all over the NIE thread, I thought I'd post another "key judgment" about the Iraq war here:

(CNN) -- The war in Iraq has not made the world safer from terror, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has told CNN, saying he stands by statements on the subject he makes in his new book, "In the Line of Fire."

In the book, Musharraf -- a key ally who is often portrayed as being in complete agreement with U.S. President George W. Bush on the war on terror and other issues -- writes he never supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

"I stand by it, absolutely," Musharraf told CNN's "The Situation Room." Asked whether he disagreed with Bush, he said, "I've stated whatever I had to ... it [the war] has made the world a more dangerous place."

So if war with Iraq has made the world more dangerous, war with Iran will do...[X]?

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Since Charlie's masturbating all over the NIE thread...

Excellent diet aid, that image. I'll never eat again.

So if war with Iraq has made the world more dangerous, war with Iran will do...[X]?

Hey, the GOP says that if you do something for the 1,001st time, you might get different results than the first 1,000! Don't be such a Gloomy Gus! Whose side are you on?

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I saw Prine in Minneapolis in May. He was awesome. Another Prine classic:

"Had an apartment in the city.
Me and Loretta, livin' there.
Davey got killed in the Korean War,
Never knew what for,
Doesnt matter any more."

Unlike the Bush Administration's ever-shifting definition of "truth",
Some truths never change.
John Prine knows this.

Posted by: A Cynics Cynic on September 27, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,

Must get the Champagne out of my eyes - Yes, you are a better person than I.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 27, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, the GOP says that if you do something for the 1,001st time, you might get different results than the first 1,000!

And results don't matter anyway as long as we're "bringing honor and dignity back to the office" and "showing our enemies we mean business." It's "Morning in America" and "in my heart I know we didn't sell arms to Iran." Besides, we're "fighting them there so we don't have to front them over here."

You know, it's all part of or "Freedom Agenda."

Republicans = rule by platitudes.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Big Prine fan here, also.

I'm sort of partial to these lyrics, myself:

"Have you ever noticed
When you're feeling really good
There's always a pigeon
That'll come shit on your hood

"Or you're feeling your freedom
And the world's off your back
Some cowboy from Texas
Starts his own war in Iraq"

That's from his new one, "Fair and Square." The song is called "Some Humans Ain't Human."

Pimp my Prine. :-)

Posted by: BongCrosby on September 27, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans = rule by platitudes.

Don't they just? I spanked a platitudinous George Allen supporter (visiting Virginian) damn hard at Wrigley Field last night. Teach him to butt in on other people's quiet political conversations. Between that and the Cubs' total takedown of the Brewers, it was a good night. I would like to see more of them, perhaps the first week in November.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, thethirdpaul, I'm not following you.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

You liberals just don't get it.

Bombing Iran will cause the Iranian people to rise up and throw off their oppressive government. So what if we have no evidence of this. If a neocon says it it's true. Hearsay is a damn good reason to go to war.

We control the DoD and it is up to us to determine who is elected in a middle eastern democracy and if they don't like bombs away. Besides, bombing an unarmed country is reward unto itself, especially if they have made a naughty insult to our dear and glorious Israel.

Posted by: Chrales Kraphammer on September 27, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

And furthermore, If you silly liberals don't think hearsay evidence is good enough for war, just listen to Dick Cheney. If it was good enough for Iraq it's good enough for Iran. Just because Iraq had no WMD, hearsay evidence is good enough for us. Just remember the republican talking point - everyone else thought Hussein had WMD. Damn fine reason to kill. You liberals better not forget it or a mushroom cloud is going to get you soon.

Posted by: Chrales Kraphammer on September 27, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Driving cross-country to new billets with a Bronco full of kids and dogs, we would drive through areas with no radio reception. So my kids would sing "Dear Abby" and "Please Don't Bury Me" at top volume for mile after mile.

My favorite Prine-ism is from Jesus: The Missing Years

I said Jesus, you look tired.
He said Jesus, so do you...

When we first hit Kansas City I had a "fun job" for a couple of years, promoting shows at the Grand Emporium (twice voted Best Blues Bar in the country by the Handy folks) and the madrid Theatre just down the block.

Prine isn't just a great poet - he's an all around nice guy.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Persians are the toughest SOBs in the world

Not in my day.
Posted by: Alexander the Great on September 27, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Nor mine, actually.

Posted by: Genghis Khan on September 27, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans aren't fear-mongers, they're hysteria-mongers.

The desire to stay in Iraq, and further spread the goodness, is an expression of hysteria, the motivating force of the social conservative.

Posted by: cld on September 27, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

(Iran's) current protestations that they're not building nuclear weapons rings hollow -- why else act the way they have?

Why does that statement ring a bell? Where have I heard that before?? Oh, yeah! I know! Substitute Saddam for Iran and it's 2002 all over again! Thanks, Steve White, for the flashback!

First of all, your protestations about Ahmadinejad proposing to "wipe Israel off the map" are likely misplaced. I'll defer to ME expert, Juan Cole, who cites historical precedent for Ahmadinejad's statement, and that it was more rhetorical than a call for action.

It's ironic, when Iran had a moderate president, Khatami, rightards claimed he was a figure-head with little power or influence. Now that a more conservative (funny, that) leader takes the post, he suddenly has the power to destroy the world. You guys need to get your story straight.

So, Stevie, what is your plan to handle Iran's nuclear ambitions?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Persians are the toughest SOBs in the world

Not in my day.
Posted by: Alexander the Great on September 27, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Nor mine, actually.
Posted by: Genghis Khan

Nor mine.

Posted by: Leonidas on September 27, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

If it's nuclear power for electricity they want, they already had that right under the NNPT. All they have to do is obey the rules and work with the IAEA, but they won't do that.

There's no doubt that Iran is engaged in some gamesmanship here, but who can blame them (well, Steve can)? The Bushies have demonstrated that they will attack you if you are defiant and weak, but leave you alone if you are defiant and strong (N Korea, anyone?). The clear message they send is "If you are armed, we will let you be".

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy -
"Fucking ignorant libs, you don't get down and suck on the Mullahs member, you artfully use the power of persuasion and make it impossible for them to not give in. You line up military power with economic power and convince them that we mean business by putting a few short range missiles up their ass."

Shorter Fat White Guy -
"Damn! It feels good to be a gangsta!"

Posted by: kenga on September 27, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I saw Prine in Minneapolis in May. He was awesome. Another Prine classic:

"Had an apartment in the city.
Me and Loretta, livin' there.
Davey got killed in the Korean War,
Never knew what for,
Doesnt matter any more."

Unlike the Bush Administration's ever-shifting definition of "truth",
Some truths never change.
John Prine knows this.

Posted by: A Cynics Cynic on September 27, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

The key issue for Bush in Iran isn't battlefield success. The key issue is ballot box success. Bush believes that the American military is a asset of the GOP, and that it has infinite resources. An invasion or attack on Iran, like the invasion of Iraq, is simply an election year stunt to boost Republican election chances. He and his group are the most cynical empties to ever occupy the White House.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 27, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

If Iranians are such horrible people, why did not they kill the CIA and military spies they were holding captive from the US embassy? There were no show trials and executions of these foreigners who were interferring in the internal affairs of Iran. In the history of revolutions, the Iranian revolution has to be considered one of the most peaceful.

Two types of Americans want to attack Iran, the slim majority of bigots and genocidal maniacs who delight in killing for bloodlust and the petroleum oligopolists who just want to steal their oil for huge profits. Bush represents both types of Americans.

Posted by: Hostile on September 27, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

If nothing else this proves that it wasn't really about the weapons in Iraq for leftists.

Why is that, dipshit? BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T ANY WEAPONS! I can't figure out if you guys are just dumb as shit, or have absolutely no filter against lying. My guess is that it's both.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why did you list "American Popular Culture" twice? Are you going to give fundamentalist Shiite clerics porn and Family Guy DVDs and buy them off that way?

It's funny you should mention Family Guy, Fatass, my guess has always been that you are a dead ringer for Peter. Both physically, intellectually, and most certainly, morally.

Don't bother reading any facts, fatass, just suck up Dumbya's cum job and repeat all the lies he tells. It must be much easier for you that way.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Persians are the toughest SOBs in the world

My spirit has consumed the American Way and together we will kill all of these Persians. We will build the greatest structure in the world from the skulls of the Iranian people in honor of the great Burning Bush.

Posted by: Tamerlane on September 27, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Global, I think you're dismembering the song: Those particular great lyrics are from "Everybody," from Prine's second album, "Diamonds in the Rough."

Or perhaps they're also on "Jesus: The Missing Years." After all, there are at least *three* Prine songs I know of where he talks about blowing up his TV set.

Just in case there's a few readers out there who might say, "Hey, there are some pretty cool people listening to this guy I never heard of. Maybe I should check him out." ;-D

Posted by: BongCrosby on September 27, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White wrote: "Is there some question that the Mad Mullahs aren't in fact mad?"

Objection -- assertion of facts not in evidence. It isn't a matter of questioning "that the Mad Mullahs aren't in fact mad," it's a matter of noting that Steve White's assertion that they are -- coupled with the proclivity of fearmongerers to portray those who don't conform to US interests as crazy -- isn't exactly persuasive.

So back to you, Steve: What evidence do you have that the so-called "Mad Mullahs" are in fact mad?

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tax-hysteria is another example, related to loss-hysteria. The question isn't 'should we pay a tax?', the question is 'should we collect a tax?', since, as a Democracy, we are the government.

'Should we collect this tax?', is the accurate way to discuss taxes. If you are carping on about paying it you're having both a hysterical episode and admitting that you are not part of society, that democracy leaves you alienated.

A really beautiful example of hysteria-mongering is the anthrax attacks. When that happened we were carefully and soberly treated to deep speculation that only a highly sophisticated person, the product of a state program, could have created such superior weaponized anthrax, --because they wanted to foment hysteria to invade Iraq. But then Republicans lost control of the story as the FBI actually investigated it and the obvious target of Afghanistan distracted them.

Now the other day we find an article in the Washington Post which carefully details how the anthrax wasn't that all that sophisticated,that, really, any inspired chemistry major might have cooked it up.

You know, just when we need to keep up the side in the War on Terror. And invade somebody.

Posted by: cld on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

These people respect power and the people who use it.

Not only are you the dumbest fucker on the planet, fatass, you are the most arrogant. How the fuck do you know what "these people" respect? Yeah, power's worked pretty well in Iraq, right, you lardass piece of shit.

When war with Iran is engaged, I don't expect to see you posting here, because you will have enlisted, right? Unless you're disqualified for being a fat, brainless twit.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "... the Cheney/Rumsfeld axis ..."

In other words, a gang of career corporate criminal war profiteers who have been deliberately deceiving the American people about nonexistent foreign threats for a generation -- since the Nixon administration -- for corrupt purposes of private financial gain.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 27, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Lyrics.

Everything some day will be gone except silence
Seas from clouds will wash off the ashes of violence
Left is the memory of men
There will be no survivor my friend
From here to heaven is a scar
Dead center, deep as death
All the idiots have left

-- "The House At Pooh Corners", Jefferson Airplane

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 27, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

BongCrosby (great screen-name, by the way:) Thanks for setting me straight. The passage is indeed from Everybody. Here is the passage I was thinking of:

While out sailing on the ocean
While out sailing on the sea
I bumped into the Savior
And He said pardon me
I said "Jesus you look tired"
He said "Jesus so do you,
Sit down son
'Cause I got some fat to chew"

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

He does a pretty damned good job of summing up how we treat our war veterans after they get back too:

Sam Stone was alone
When he popped his last balloon
Climbing walls while sitting in a chair
Well, he played his last request
While the room smelled just like death
With an overdose hovering in the air
But life had lost its fun
And there was nothing to be done
But trade his house that he bought on the G. I. Bill
For a flag draped casket on a local heroes' hill.

And in that vein - pardon the pun since I just posted lyrics about a junkie...

I saw a commercial for Claire McCaskill last night. She is working hard to unemploy Missouri's junior senator. The ad featured an Iraq war vet who came home with a severe lower extremity injury and had to wait six months to receive medical attention. He was a bit put off: "Politicians like Jim Talent don't have to wait six months to see a doctor? Why do I?"

I would also like to point out that Talent sits on SASC, and has missed 65 of 95 meetings. Wonder how the troops feel about that?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

George, I knew Alexander and you, sir, are no Alexander. Well, perhaps the alcoholic and bully parts.

Is it not ironic that Alexander's reign ended in Baghdad?

Posted by: Darius on September 27, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

That's The House at Pooneil Corners, Mr. Animist.

Some things are very important to keep straight.

Posted by: Speed on September 27, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't The House on Pooh Corner either The Band or the Nitty-Gritty Dirt band? I always get those two confused. To many fogged up concerts in my youth?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

> Bob...when the British arrived in Iran there were about 20
> high school graduates in the country. Sure, it had 7000
> years of civilization, but so does Uzbekistan. "started
> in '53"...A lot of the things that are wonderful in Iran
> happened because of Western secular input, during the years
> of British and American influence. A lot of the things that
> went wrong with Iran were wrong with it in 1900 and long before.

'53 is significant obviously because of the CIA coup that overthrew
a legitimately elected government. I wouldn't disagree with you about
a general notion of "prgress" -- universal human rights (and I'm not
going to once again argue Kant here) are not like socially constructed
ethical systems, and it's right to believe they're objectively better.

But responsible Westerners also have to balance the notion of
universal human rights (which implies a universal cultural telos)
with the notion of national sovereignty (like human rights, also an
artifact of international law) and cultural self-determination. It's
a tough question. How much can we reasonably pressure countries
to give up barbaric flavors of Shariah (like Saudi Arabia) and
clitoridectomy? If a country votes for a strict Islamist government
that will limit women's rights, as long as it continues to allow
elections, how much can we reasonably object to this expression
of popular sovereignty? I don't know the answer; I think it's
a dialectic that submits to nothing like a consistent formula.

> I just think it's a bad idea for the left to get trapped in this
> discourse of American original sin, where we find some stupid fucked
> up thing we once did to a country and deduce that everything else
> that ever happened in the country was the US's fault. I think the
> anti-Moshaddegh coup can definitely be seen as the beginning of
> Iranian popular resentment of the US, and should be condemned on
> those terms; and it was certainly a bad move on policy grounds
> too. But it's a bit much to pin everything that's gone wrong
> in Iran since to the '53 coup.

The discourse of American original sin is only a dialectical
response to the discourse of American exceptionalism. The truth,
it's fair to say, lies somewhere between these two rhetorical poles.

One thing I'll say more for certain is that the British wound up
doing imperialism a lot better than America. With the notable (and
contextually unique) exception of the postwar Axis occupations, it's
pretty clear that India turned out democratic more quickly than the
Phillipines or South Korea. British influence in Iran was in many
ways salutory as you say -- and nothing near as culturally toxic
as American American influence under the installed Shah. It's ironic
because our type of imperialism was supposed to be non-imperialistic;
we didn't do it for the standard vainglorious reasons for empire, we
did it in the name of a long-term geopolitical strategy to fight an
enemy we thought more menacing than monarchy. I don't think the oil
is necessarily the key variable; South Korea isn't exactly the most
pro-American country on the planet after years of resentment at
pro-US military dictators, and the Phillipines is the only country
in the Pac Rim that's an economic basket case (heh, contrast it to
formerly British Singapore). The Brits have learned -- through a
doubtless bloody and racist (and painful) experience how to do
occupation in a way that doesn't shit all over the natives. I
don't mean to get all Niall Ferguson on yer ass, brooksfoe -- just
noting the irony of the British legacy of imperialism besting ours.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

If I had twenty minutes to read your shit rmck1 I'd probably have to send you a bill for my time.

Bob, you owe fatass 2 cents. Now pay up!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 27, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:

My change jar is empty atm -- but I think I have a package of stale Twinkies lying around here somewhere ...

I'm sure that'll do in a pinch :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Global.

And if I may respond to a later post, the "too many fogged up concerts in my youth" certainly applies to me, as well.

In fact, I plan to make an application this weekend at Farm Aid. :-)

Posted by: BongCrosby on September 27, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:

I love the veritably Skinnerian image of tossing little pieces of stale Twinkies as Fat White Guy in exchange for educating himself on Iranian culture and history.

Hehehe. Just call me The Turd Whisperer.

ROTFL !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Operations Directorate, Pentagon Directorate, Iran desk at the State Department - same time the Iran Directorate was created?

Is that a DIA analysts or a CIA analyst? They're the same thing now.

Posted by: Cloe on September 27, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Several others have taken Fat White Guy's idiocy to the woodshed already, but indluge me please...

you artfully use the power of persuasion and make it impossible for them to not give in.

Oh, well, so much for the Bush Administration having a chance in hell of solving this problem, then.

You line up military power with economic power and convince them that we mean business by putting a few short range missiles up their ass.

Three words, dolt: Strait of Hormuz. Iran isn't the only nation that can project power with short-range missiles.

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen--

I've been watching the McCaskill/Talent ads and it suprises me that they've gone this negative in September. How ugly will October be? Talent seems to be hitting harder on the personal front but if all this Iran stuff actually amounts to anything before the election...it might render advertising moot if everything comes down to pro vs. anti-militancy....

Posted by: kchiker on September 27, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

The House on Pooh Corner

I think that was Loggins and Messina.

Posted by: Hostile on September 27, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Gahh, all you guys are doing is reminding me why I hate "classic rock" so much ...

Give me, like, Yes lyrics any day.

They may not make a lick of sense. But at least they aren't insipid.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Why did you list "American Popular Culture" twice? Are you going to give fundamentalist Shiite clerics porn and Family Guy DVDs and buy them off that way?


Thought that was the preferred fare of the "American Conservative Culture."

Posted by: MLuther on September 27, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I totally concur with Bob. The problem with classic rock is that it is more rock than classic. And Yes is one of my top 150 favorite musical groups from the 1970s.

Well said, Bob!

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Red:

If you really genuinely liked my posts, you wouldn't be either such a shameless syncophant, or throw a snark in there like Yes is one of your "top 150 musical groups from the 70s."

You'd maybe say something intelligent about Yes.

Nobody believes you're anything other than a fake sock puppet established to accuse me of sock puppetry.

We all know your game. Now please go away.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I've been watching the McCaskill/Talent ads and it suprises me that they've gone this negative in September.

I'm not surprised at all. It just shows how deeply, deeply unpopular -- anmd desperate -- the Republicans are, and how bereft they are at any message that appeals to the American voter.

As our Bush apologists here reveal with every post, of course.

Karl Rove is a genius, my foot. It doesn't take a genius to run a smear campaign. And the fact that the GOP is going so negative, so early, and with so little deniability, just shows how pessimistic they are.

How ugly will October be?

Very.

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

You'd maybe say something intelligent about Yes.

Bob and I have a shared affinity for Yes.

I don't know why people don't appreciate Bob or Yes as much as they should. The world is a strange place full of people who don't write as well or as skillfully as Bob. Except Yes.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White,

You can disagree all you like. You are a partisan hack and a troll and don't have half a clue. You don't even speak Farsi, so fark off and take the fat white guy with you. Conservatives wouldn't have anything to do with either of you.

http://hammernews.com/odomspeech.htm

http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_archive.htm

Posted by: Conservative with Conscience on September 27, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

The House on Pooh Corner

I think that was Loggins and Messina.

First album: "Sittin' In"

Loggins and Messina

Posted by: CWC on September 27, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK
"She had no direct knowledge to support any claims that intelligence analysts were pressured and much of what she said is contradicted by information from other interviews and intelligence reporting."

Posted by: Al on September 26, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Al, what do you suppose "no direct link" means?

Hint, it means this is speculation, nothing more, nothing less. It is certainly not a conclusion. Speculation seems to sum up the totality of everything that came out of the Office of Special Plans. It is all that these clowns know.

Posted by: DallasNE on September 27, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

When I was in HS we would go out into the desert and get high and listen to tunes on the eight track. We named our little hill Yes Mountain. It keeps that name to this day. Yet I cannot think of any Yes songs. Every song turns into Rush's Tom Sawyer!

Posted by: on September 27, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

blank:

I was always more into Lerks Tongues-era King Crimson and Gabriel-era Genesis than I was into Yes. They lost Wakeman and Bruford right when I was turning on to progrock. I do think Close To The Edge is close to a masterpiece as an album and doubtless their best work. Fragile was a fave back then, too.

Surely you'd remember Roundabout, as it has one of the most distinctive bass lines in all of rock.

Rush borrowed a lot from Yes -- and were a *lot* more plodding. It's like every riff they ever did in an odd meter virtually *screamed* at you THIS IS A RIFF IN ODD METER, DAMMIT! Very contrived. And led, ultimately, to Dream Theater. Blehhh.

Geddy Lee's chipmunk-on-steroids voice is also one of the great self-parodies in all of rock music. Almost as funny as when the shot-voiced Robert Plant rasps "Does anybody remember laughter?!!" in between the verses of Stairway to Heaven on The Song Remains The Same.

I was never a punk fan. But punk *definitely* had to happen ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

I was never a punk fan. But punk *definitely* had to happen ...

Perhaps you could write about your opinions and share them with the group. That would be wonderful to read. Your command of the written word makes me think of a programme I once saw about Voltaire. I forget what it was about, but it reminded me of you.

FYI: I am a real person.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

And your spelling of "programme" makes me think that whoever you are, you're decidedly not me. Just pointing that out for the peanut gallery's sake. No fake sock puppet attacks from the likes of you.

Nor are you a progrock fan, so we have absolutely nothing to discuss.

If there *was* something to discuss -- you'd discuss it, obviously.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised at all. It just shows how deeply, deeply unpopular -- anmd desperate -- the Republicans are, and how bereft they are at any message that appeals to the American voter.

Yeah, like the "issue based" Wells campaign.

Posted by: rnc on September 27, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nor are you a progrock fan, so we have absolutely nothing to discuss.

Correct. The topic of the thread is the National Intelligence Estimate. I have read your posts. You have a command of the materiel that rivals that of the people who also post on this blog. Your eloquence has caused me to wander briefly off topic. However, I am back on topic.

FYI: Prog rock is for tight panted wankers.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

> FYI: Prog rock is for tight panted wankers.

That's pretty funny. It's like something John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon would shout on stage in 1977 -- right before puking into the audience. Makes me think of Keith Emerson's absurd leather getups.

Although it's probably more accurate overall to say "prog rock is for wankers in wizard costumes."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 28, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone:

> Step one in Iran, and any other problem nation, is to
> realize that the U.N. is utterly useless, and probably
> counterproductive. Most liberals will jump ship right
> there. Obviously, with some Security Council members
> having decided that Iran will never suffer any consequences
> for defiance, the U.N. is pretty much out of the loop now.

Tell that to the (French-led, sacre bleu!) UN troops in
Lebanon, without which the Israelis would have never agreed
to a cesefire, let alone a withdrawal of their troops.

And ask the Lebanese people about that, while you're at it.

> Step Two is more effective support of opposition groups in
> Iran. Encourage communications with funding and technical
> support. Figure out ways past the wrecked satellite dishes.
> Nothing involving military action.

How do you have "effective support" of groups in a nation with
wbom you choose to remain implacably hostile? One of the reasons
some (not all) of those satellite dishes were wrecked is because
Ahmadinejad's hardline anti-Western stance comes as a response
to Bush's beligerent rhetoric. He was elected after the "axis of
evil" speech. Just as America responded with fear after 9/11 and
rejected progressivism, so too the Iranians sought a strong father-
figure over a reformist. And just like Bush, they got a demagogue.

> Step Three is pushing harder on outside methods of providing
> nuclear energy to Iran, keeping up the ludicrous pretense
> of course that this is what they're interested in. Their
> interest in these ideas will let you know their real motives.

What you don't understand, in your rush to demonize Iran and assume
the worst, is that Iran is extremely proud about its indigenously
developed industry and doesn't want to be at the mercy of any other
nation. Iran has no need whatsoever to manufacture automobiles --
South Korea is virtually giving them away -- and yet they do. Iran
also wants a homegrown sci-tech infrastructure not dependent on
foreign expertise. They see developing nuke technology as a matter
of national pride and independence. The pride issue gets a little
wacky (these are, after all, Persians), but it's also understandable.

> Refining fissionables outside the country for use in supervised
> reactors would be one way, until they throw out the supervisors.
> This can be done in combination with Two. Note that a lot of
> this stuff has already been tried.

They don't want to do this. They want to train their own nuclear
scientists to be able to do it themselves. It's an issue of autonomy
for them. What we need to do first of all is to stop lying about
their relatively primitive centrifuge cascade program, which is
nowhere near producing the highly concentrated U235 necessary
to make a bomb (the IAEC went ballistic over this two weeks ago),
and second of all, use better inferential reasoning about their
intentions. If Iran was so hot to get a nuke -- don't you think
they would have simply bought one from North Korea or Pakistan?
Why are they putting it all into a development program that reasonable
assessments conclude will take them at least a half-decade to produce
enough U235 for one Hiroshima-sized weapon -- when the threat from the
US is right now? Their Islamic principles might very well be sincere.

And if they aren't -- there's no need to go into panic mode about it.

> Step Three is improving U.S. human intelligence in Iran,
> a place where the U.S. is very weak. One quick fix is
> organizing information with the Israelis, who, I guarantee,
> have much better resources there than the U.S. does.

Another quick fix would be to stop discharging gay Arabic and Farsi
linguists from the military. Don't ask / don't tell needs to go.

> This is also something that should be combined with previous steps.

More human intelligence is definitely needed. There's a huge Irani
expat community in America that could be tapped in a more intelligent
way than Chalabi's stooges were in Iraq. We can hire and train them
-- but we can't use them to drive policy because it's like letting the
Cuban exiles plan an invasion. We already had Bay of Pigs II with the
Chalabi INC fiasco. We must avoid Bay of Pigs III with Irani expats.

> If none of this gets the job done, then we take it up up
> a notch to Step Four, which is to organize a group of
> nations outside the U.N. and arrange sanctions on Iran
> if Iran continues to defy the U.N. Whether this would work
> or not is questionable, with someone like China cheerfully
> willing to buy oil from anyone at all, and not giving a rat's
> arse if Iran nukes Israel or not. But it's worth a shot.

I'll tell you right now this is entirely pointless. First, on the
general principle that sanctions (embargoes) are pointless without
broad support (that's why you have a world body to sign off on
sanctions like the UN). Secondly, while there's general agreement in
the world that nuke poliferation is bad and that it's decidedly better
than Iran not get nuclear weapons -- nobody's willing to fuck up
their trade with a major oil producer and paying customer to keep
Iran from getting nukes. This is a world where *Pakistan* has nukes.

And this has nothing to do with the ineffectuality of the
UN. This is the opinion of the vast majority of countries not
entirely beholden to the US like, umm, Romania or Uzbekistan.

Thirdly, nobody but the US (and Israel) believes that MEMRI-driven
out-of-context shit about Iran wanting to annihilate Israel. If
you read the speech in context (as Windhorse has pointed out several
times), Iran's talking about eventual regime change in Israel.
You might not agree (and I don't, personally), but it's a sensible
position if you believe Israel was formed with stolen land. So no,
China (nor any other nation) is not quaking in their boots over that.

> Notice that if the U.S. negotiates one-on-one with
> Iran, it's still in the same position of not being
> able to offer any sticks or carrots that someone like
> China can't trump anyway with hard cash, so this approach
> doesn't really change anything at all. A red herring.

If America offered diplomatic relations with Iran, rescinded the
"axis of evil" status, asked for their help in Iraq and signed a
nonaggression pact, the effects would be profound and widespread
and would have the greatest chance of ending their enrichment
program if that's what we really wanted. The Iranian people are
not our enemies; the mullahs are ancient and are not destined to
last, given the enormous youth cohort and its dislike of Islamism.

Of course, this is totally outside-the-box thinking which you'd
simply reject on a molecular level -- but there you have it. You'd
never be able to refute this position without baseless fearmongering.

> Military action should be Step Five, a long ways past Step
> Four. There are two major approaches here. Neither of
> them involve ground force invasion and occupation.

Any military action against Iran would play directly into the hands
of the government and set the reform movement back by decades. Iran
is a tough country that won't submit to defeat easily. It threw
waves of 15-year-olds against Iraqi tanks. American bombs will be
be nothing in comparison to Saddam's ground invasion with gas attacks.

> The first would be a targeted attack on nuclear facilities.
> This is tricky, but an attack would, at the very least,
> seriously delay development. Attacks at other critical
> points might work. It's damn hard to develop and test
> missiles underground. There will be civilian casualties.

A mere scratch. Ahmadinejad's and the mullahs' stock would soar.
Shi'ite patriotism -- based on the cult of the oppressed underdog
resisting against implacable odds -- will be inflamed. Islamism
will make a resurgence, as religion always does during wartime.

> Second, there may be possibilities in a naval blockade.
> This would raise almost as much political trouble as an
> attack, but has a lesser chance of collateral damage in
> Iran or elsewhere. Much would depend on cooperation from
> allies in the area, or at least from other oil nations
> that wouldn't mind getting a bigger piece of the action.

The oil spot market would hit the roof. Iran would blockade
the Straits of Hormuz. Our trading partners and genuine
allies would walk away from us, and our Sunni Arab allies of
convenience would prove to be worse than militarily useless.

> Both of these approaches involve few ground troops, but a
> lot of use of mostly-idle U.S. air and naval forces. There
> would still be a lot of danger for them, particularly the
> blockade force, which by definition is almost a sitting
> duck. Make sure the naval defenses are in top form.

Iran will unleash its state-of-the-art Sunburns, which our Phalanx
and AEGIS systems are defensless against. We'll definitely stand
the chance of losing a bunch of ships and lots of sailors before
our Air Force manages to find their radar systems ...

> That should give you something to start with. If you
> ask for a solution on this, and some gormless idiot
> mentions "engagment" or "effective diplomacy" with
> no further details, pull his shorts up over his head.

You have no plan, only Tom Clancy
scenarios borne of beligerence and paranoia.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 28, 2006 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

Figured this is worth writing down somewhere. Curiously,
oil price futures show no hint (to my untrained eyes) of an expectation of war with Iran that might disrupt oil supplies. Either the smart money doesn't believe that a war with Iran will happen, or doesn't believe that it has a significant chance of disrupting oil supplies. How the later might be arranged I have no clue. The military might have a plan, but it's hard to believe the smart money believes in it. Perhaps there was a leaked rumour about tapping of the strategic petroleum reserves, but this is just speculation.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on September 28, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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