Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ACT OF WAR....The big buzz today is that war with Syria and Iran is all but imminent. Over at The Corner, Andy McCarthy seems to be pretty happy about this:

With that in mind, the raid on the Iranian consulate in Iraq's Kurdish region has to be welcome news. We would certainly regard that as an act of war if the tables were turned.

Points for honesty, I guess. But what if it doesn't work? What provocation will we dream up next to ensure that we get the war conservatives so desperately want?

UPDATE: Nope, it turns out it wasn't a consulate. I guess we'll have to try something else after all.

Kevin Drum 1:13 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (158)

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Comments

i'm waiting for operation northwoods, gulf of tonkin "incident", remember the maine, etc.

Posted by: ruttiger on January 12, 2007 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Time will tell on their power minds

Posted by: nobody_you_know on January 12, 2007 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Are consular missions considered foreign soil like embassies are (that, the U.S. Embassy is legally U.S. territory even though it's in London, or Paris, or Baghdad...)?

Posted by: Everblue Stater on January 12, 2007 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

i'm waiting for operation northwoods, gulf of tonkin "incident", remember the maine, etc.

...a bombing of our embassy in Athens....

Posted by: Windhorse on January 12, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

What if it doesn't work? What if something Bush does fails to work? Gosh, that's a new one, I'll really have to think about that ....

Posted by: M on January 12, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

What provocation will we dream up next to ensure . . .

Three strong explosions jolted southern Iran on Thursday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, but it was not clear if there were any casualties.

Posted by: toast on January 12, 2007 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Iran is already making war on our soldiers in Iraq. They've been providing insurgents with weapons that are used to kill our soldiers. What we're seeing now is the US beginning to fight back. It's about time.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 12, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

You fucking jackass. We have been engaging Iran since day one! You were on the board earlier tonight when i posted the link to the Century Foundation paper, you know that you are full of shit, but keep splooging all over the threads anyway, you deliberately dishonest, lying sack of offal.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Everblue Stater - Yep, consulates enjoy the same protections as the embassy does.

Posted by: DJ on January 12, 2007 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Ah so that's the exit strategy. Head northeast from Baghdad across the border...

Posted by: ds on January 12, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Iran is already making war on our soldiers in Iraq. They've been providing insurgents with weapons that are used to kill our soldiers. What we're seeing now is the US beginning to fight back. It's about time.

When the Iranians really decide to turn up the heat in Iraq, they will. Then you'll see how little control in the region we actually have.

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 12, 2007 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

i'm waiting for operation northwoods, gulf of tonkin "incident", remember the maine, etc.

Don't forget that incident on the Polish border. How dare those poles massacre our soldiers! Fire up the tanks, we're rolling to Warsaw!

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 12, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Now Pennypacker, you have been here long enough to know you can't believe a word of what crawls off ex-thinkers keyboard - including if, and & the.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

What provocation will we dream up next to ensure that we get the war conservatives so desperately want?

Bomb Cambodia and Laos.

Posted by: has407 on January 12, 2007 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Now Pennypacker, you have been here long enough to know you can't believe a word of what crawls off ex-thinkers keyboard

"ex-thinker"...nice, blue girl.

Ex-Lax comes to mind, too.

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 12, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

All these keyboard tough guys should enlist so that they can get on the front lines in Iraq (or maybe Iran) and show some balls.

Posted by: Rick on January 12, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

All these keyboard tough guys should enlist so that they can get on the front lines in Iraq (or maybe Iran) and show some balls.

You're asking Al Crapone, American Chickenhawk, and Ex-Lax to show some sack? Why not ask for unlimited ponies for everybody, everywhere, forever?

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 12, 2007 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Iran is already making war on our soldiers in Iraq. They've been providing insurgents with weapons that are used to kill our soldiers."

Listen carefully, ex-liberal. Iraqi 'insurgents' are Sunni. Iran is aiding the Shiites in Iraq, i.e., the same people we have been backing but will soon start killing. Got it?

Posted by: nepeta on January 12, 2007 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Nepeta, I honestly don't think ex-human could catch on to a dose of the clap.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I guess he actually believed his leaders words last night about Iran 'aiding the terrorists that are killing our soldiers.' What in the hell did Bush mean by that? Terrorists? Al Qaeda? Shia? Sadr? Who????

Posted by: nepeta on January 12, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Iran is already making war on our soldiers in Iraq. They've been providing insurgents with weapons that are used to kill our soldiers. What we're seeing now is the US beginning to fight back. It's about time.

Yeah, and while we're at it, we should take out the Algerian, Syrian, Yemenese, Sudanese, Egyptian, and Saudi embassies. They, after all, comprise an estimated 95% of the foreign militants in Iraq. And if they don't have embassies, then their consulates. And if they don't have consulates, then falafel stands run by anyone from those countries. When we're done with that, we can take out all those Iraqi troublemakers of Sunni or Shia persuasion.

Posted by: has407 on January 12, 2007 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Nepeta, I honestly don't think ex-human could catch on to a dose of the clap.

Ex-crete has always been a "catcher". Given the right orifice, I think he'd do just fine.

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 12, 2007 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

A must read.

Surging Towards The Holy Oil Grail, Escobar

Posted by: nepeta on January 12, 2007 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

we have got to atack tha iraniens and seria be cause they are the ones that are makin us fail in iraq... an if they think they are smarter then me... well... they are not an i am gona show em... they thing that i am too stuck in iraq to mess with thim but... they are gona be real suprised wen i atack them... an then they are gona stop makin us not win in iraq and then we are gona win.

that is my victery plan an it is a real good plan.

Posted by: dear_leader on January 12, 2007 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Spread the war throughout the Middle East; Blame Iran for the Bush Iraq disaster...business as usual for the idiots running our country. We are seen by the world as invaders and terrorists.

What do you think will happen to the price of oil? Who benefits?

Need we say more?
Richard Nixon looks good compared to idiot Bush.

Posted by: Marilyn on January 12, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Iran is next on the hit list-- Iraq's oil resources weren't enough, so Iran's had to be exploited next: http://www.drudge.com/news/88961/blood-oil
http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IA12Ak05.html

So, the US, Britain, Australia and Poland have launched a brutal offensive war against poor Iraq, and now the US and United Kingdom are using Iraq's rubber-stamp parliament to ram through a ridiculous oil law designed to steal Iraq's petroleum resources for the next 30 years, and line Anglo-American oil companies with the profits.

IOW, American soldiers are being massacred and horribly wounded-- not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in the conflict-- to increase the profit margins for British Petroleum, Shell and Exxon.

A shocking number, up to 20%, of my old college friends and acquaintances have been emigrating from the USA recently, going mostly to Europe but a few to East Asia or South America. I've done some part-time work at bookstores recently, and the foreign-language section is the most sizzling by far-- we can't even keep language books and tapes, let alone software, in stock, especially for German, French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, with Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean also popular.

Why? Americans and Britons are learning the languages of the countries to which they want to immigrate. Australia is a no-go as it, too, is joining in this sick brutality against Iraq and its neighbors (as well as the build-up to war against Iran), and Canada is out of the question-- unlike during Vietnam, Canada has a pro-Bush rubber-stamper as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and is so intimidated by US power in general that they're forbidding mass immigration by Americans.

I wonder sometimes if there's much reason to stay in the US or Britain anymore, how can I look at my country with pride? The Anglosphere is out of the question-- investing in a good book on French, German or Italian might be a nice plan.

Posted by: Teddy on January 12, 2007 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to imagine the reasoning of a conservative who thinks a war with Syria and Iran is something to be happy about.
--First, they must be ignoring the stresses on the American military that Iraq has made clear. Or they think that dedicating more of our economy, culture and population to military aggression is a good idea.
--Second, they must be ignoring the demographics--the fact that the Muslim population is around a billion humans versus the US population of 300 million, only 100 million of whom think more war is a good idea.
--Third, they must be ignoring the dependence that the US has on ME oil.
--And, fourth, they must be ignoring the strategic interests of the Chinese and the Russians, who are sitting on the sidelines chuckling to themselves as the US overreaches.

They must think, in other words, that despite all evidence to the contrary, the US could win in this kind of confrontation because we are so tremendously...heh, powerful. This same reasoning also made the war in Iraq seem like a really good idea as well.

So then, I start wondering why conservatives are incapable of learning from experience, and what can be done to stop this madness.

Posted by: PTate in FR on January 12, 2007 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, a bit of sinking feeling in the stomach: would they really, really be so crazy... And I suppose there is a real chance that they well might be. Lovely. A second - and disastrous - war of choice... Mind boggles.

Posted by: llewellyn on January 12, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, let's take a closer look at who or what has been "providing insurgents with weapons that are used to kill our soldiers", an issue that ex-liberal/current-idiot kindly brings up.

Could any of it be from the more than 340 tons of high explosives that went missing from Al Qa'qa after the invasion? That's a shitload of IED's.

Tehran didn't have to send nothin'. It was already there.

Posted by: Dwight on January 12, 2007 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

As Biden made quite clear in the hearings today, if the Bushites think they can gin up a war, they've got another thing coming from the 110th Congress. Hagel didn't sound to supportive either so I'd expect that there might be enough support to impeach and possibly to remove.

Posted by: parrot on January 12, 2007 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

These guys are idiots and it's time for Congress to put the president and his men on trial.

We're at a crucial strategic juncture, and our current leadership must be replaced or declawed.

It should be done right and with the proper protocols. The purse should come first.

Posted by: Jimm on January 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM | PERMALINK

Also, the war ginning might explain the resignation of the Saudi Ambassador the other day.

Posted by: parrot on January 12, 2007 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

The U.S. action is worst than what happened in 1979.

Iran can react any way it wants, just as the U.S. acted any way it wanted too in 1979.

I'd go and get try to get the U.S. sanctioned at the U.N.

Bush is an idiot.

Posted by: James on January 12, 2007 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatives Kevin? They are not conservative.

Posted by: Mark on January 12, 2007 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Could any of it be from the more than 340 tons of high explosives that went missing from Al Qa'qa after the invasion? That's a shitload of IED's. Tehran didn't have to send nothin'. It was already there.

Another priceless nugget of neo-con bullshit by the most intellectually dishonest hack to ever try to have a gunfight of wits while armed with a yoyo.

What about all those guns that went missing? Iran hell - American mendacity gives them everything they need - and by invading we gave them homefield advantage.

Feckless fool. Stick with I DON'T KNOW. That's the only honest post you have ever written.

(Although you should have refrained in that case. You really belied your idiocy and lack of depth and understanding with that one - and when Pale Rider gets back he'll be beating you over your empty head about that, too. you don't ever get to live that one down. You think I bring it up...I can't wait...you will be sooooo spanked you won't be able to sit down for a week.)

***sigh***

Come back, Pale Rider...

And with that rant, good night.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting times indeed. Below quite an enlightening story concerning the issue - modern conservatism seems not to be much more than our irrational animal reflexes used for short term political gain:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3660

Posted by: llewellyn on January 12, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

Fucking Bush is determined to start WW3. He is a sociopath. Millions dead, the middle class wiped out, civil unrest in the US warranting an abnegation of civil rights...none of that matters, if he can feed the military industrial machine and avoid blame by magnifying and extending this exercise in futilty.

I thought if we could make a serious effort to re-stabilze Iraq and avoid horrific bloodshed, then a 'surge' of 50K? was obligatory. If he intends to use the current mess as an excuse to expand the area of conflict, then he must be stopped.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 12, 2007 at 5:41 AM | PERMALINK

The Iranians have been shipping shaped-charge weapons to kill our guys for months. We dastardly neocons feel that the US should not keep turning the other cheek. In Kevin Drum's universe that makes us the warmongers. Ever wonder why the phrase Blame America First has such resonance with the swing voters?

Posted by: ex-minion on January 12, 2007 at 6:27 AM | PERMALINK

Will we live to see Bush and his cronies tried for treason, or will they destroy our country so thoroughly that there'll nothing left to save? Either way, that's quite a legacy.

Posted by: Kenji on January 12, 2007 at 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know that you are full of shit, but keep splooging all over the threads anyway, you deliberately dishonest, lying sack of offal

That's been "ex-liberal"'s M.O. since Day One.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

These are the guys that were sure that the cold war had to end in a hot war. Somehow, having lived through the end of the cold war hasn't changed their thinking.

Posted by: Boronx on January 12, 2007 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

Those neocon Einsteins should have anticipated that by taking down Saddam Hussein, we would be strengthening Iran, since Hussein was the primary counterbalance to Iran's power in the region. Of course, they didn't. Iran is a primarily Shiite country, so why is it surprising that they are providing support to the Shia in Iraq? We should have known that Iraq would become a province of Iran after Saddam. Thinking a few moves ahead works in foreign policy, just like in chess. Unfortunately, conservatives seem to all be checkers players.

Attacking Iran is going to be a huge geopolitical mistake for the U.S., because we are essentially acting as Israel’s puppet. Click here for more details. Ahmadinejad is marginalized in his own country and if we played our cards (or chess pieces) correctly, no military action would be necessary. He has little public support - much like George W. Bush.

We really should be worried about Pakistan. One bullet through Musharraf's head and we are facing an angry Muslim nation armed to the teeth with nukes.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 12, 2007 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'll address not-at-all-ex-minion's points out of order.

We dastardly neocons feel that the US should not keep turning the other cheek.

Congratulations on your enlistment!

Oh, you haven't? When the US is so strapped for troops? Then one can only conclude that no, you don't really believe that.

In Kevin Drum's universe that makes us the warmongers.

Well, yes, your fervor to attack Iran makes you warmongers, QED -- not to mention fools and scoundrels. Again, the fact that you and your neocon chickenhawk buddies aren't enlisting in droves proves that you don't really believe it's a vital defense issue.

Ever wonder why the phrase Blame America First has such resonance with the swing voters?

Since it has no such resonance with anyone but dishonest conservative hacks like you -- who are the only ones fool and scoundrel enough to believe such nonsense, no I don't wonder that. (I'll also add that the phrase "blame America first" is a handy tool for Republicans to dodge responsibility for their malfeasance and corruption -- they use it today, cowardly hiding behind the honor of the troops to cast criticism of the GOP leadership as attacks on the troops. And you suck it right down. Nice. But then, like "ex-liberal," you seem to relish being a tool.)

The Iranians have been shipping shaped-charge weapons to kill our guys for months.

Evidence? The word of you and "ex-liberal" isn't worth a bucket of piss.

But just out of curiosity, do you also feel that since the US shipped Israel the weapons it used to kill Lebanese, that attacks against the US are justified? talk about "Blame America First"!

Thanks for continuing to demonstrate the dishonor and fecklessness of the neocons, not-at-all-ex-minion.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

Those neocon Einsteins should have anticipated that by taking down Saddam Hussein, we would be strengthening Iran, since Hussein was the primary counterbalance to Iran's power in the region.

Especially since that's why the US originally supported Saddam...

We should have known that Iraq would become a province of Iran after Saddam.

Especially given the machinations of the Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi to manipulate the US into deposing Saddam and installing him as satrap.

Thinking a few moves ahead works in foreign policy, just like in chess.

Unfortunately, "thinking" seems to be replaced by hysteria, rage and bedwetting fear among the neocons.

Attacking Iran is going to be a huge geopolitical mistake for the U.S., because we are essentially acting as Israel’s puppet.

Oh, I'm sure that's never occurred to the neocon hack "ex-liberal". Never, not once. Truly. Not.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 7:08 AM | PERMALINK

Just watched a documentary about the effects of Iraq on our soldiers & what they did, called 'The Ground Truth'.
We should all see it. Damn Bush to hell.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 12, 2007 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yesterday Biden threatened a constitutional crisis if Bush tries to pull off an attack on Iran.

If that happens, who will stand with the President?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 12, 2007 at 7:37 AM | PERMALINK

We dastardly neocons feel that the US should not keep turning the other cheek.

It's really amazing: you guys actually do not realize that you are, quite simply, Nazis. Right down to describing your invasion of other countries and large-scale slaughter of their soldiers and civilians as "turning the other cheek". You could be Goebbels. There just isn't any difference anymore.

In Kevin Drum's universe that makes us the warmongers.

Correct. In Kevin Drum's universe, that makes you the warmongers. How unpleasant for you to live in the same universe as Kevin Drum; how unpleasant for the rest of us that you live here, too.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 12, 2007 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

OT

Nifty One-stop-shopping for contacting any or all members of the Senate

http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Senators of the 110th Congress

Complete with leadership by committee and office phone number list (a pdf file)

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 12, 2007 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

The House's site isn't nearly as informative but it's here:

http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 12, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Well, it's been nice to see the committees grow a set, anyway. It's nice to hear people like Hagel and Coleman blasting away at the administration. Also nice to hear that weasel Bill Nelson coming back into the Democratic fold (although, truthfully, it's a bit nauseating to hear "Bush lied to me!" as a goddamn way-late excuse). Nice to see Condi almost lose her cool, and quite amusing to hear Bob Gates claim, with the false humility only a government lifer can muster in front of a congressional committee, that he's "no expert" on military affairs ...

Globe made the point a few weeks ago that it's morally wrong to wish a surge to go forward for political purposes and I agree with her. But the outcome was still inevitable; no matter how much noise the Dems make, Bush is going to get his surge; that's the way our system is set up.

So, looking ahead, the small comfort we're left with is watching this train speed ahead to what we know is a blown-out bridge that will send John McCain's political ambitions careening into a canyon ...

He's the only guy I've read who is still saying the surge might work. McCain Doctrine, hehehe. Just keep repeating that phrase, boys 'n' girls ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 12, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK
In Kevin Drum's universe that makes us the warmongers.

Queer isn't it?

We invade a country that did not attack us, killing hundreds of thousands for no good reason (well, for reasons which proved to be lies, but I digress...) with the net result that religious extremists held in check by Saddam are now closer to power than ever before.

Not just warmongers, but astonishingly stupid warmongers. How about that?!

Posted by: obscure on January 12, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

One of my favorite pieces of idiocy is the "they're manufacturing IEDs in Iran and shipping them to Iraqi fighters."
If the Iranians are manufacturing explosives to ship elsewhere, they are by very definition NOT IMPROVISED!!!! PMEDs maybe, but not IEDs.
I've no idea how sophisticated the alleged shaped charges are, but anyone who has every seen the Anarchist Cookbook can explain the principle, and anyone who has ever worked with stable explosives can put it into operation. There's no need for Iran to manufacture them - the Iraqis have the materials, intelligence, skills and knowledge to produce their own.

Posted by: kenga on January 12, 2007 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, if these fools had any understanding of the Shi'ite cult of martyrdom -- of military defeat transmogrified into a heroic myth which serves as the very *foundation* of Shi'ism -- they'd know that a war with the US would bring Iran even more gratification than a war against Saddam ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 12, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

News flash: Bush really IS Hitler.

Posted by: repug on January 12, 2007 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

kenga:

Well, they're apparently powerful enough to blow through the armor of M1 Abrams tanks -- which is pretty goddamned powerful. Somehow the explosion shapes the surrounding material into a hardend projectile. The sense I got from the NYT piece was that the technology's actually pretty sophisticated ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 12, 2007 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Fucking Bush is determined to start WW3. He is a sociopath.

About 18 months ago I told my father that Bush was the Antichrist. My dad is a liberal-leaning Republican, but very devout, so he was irritated by my misusing of religious labeling.

Now I wonder again if I was right.

Posted by: Wapiti on January 12, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Wapiti:

I dunno about "antichrist" -- but Bush is a military strategist on the level of Hitler or Saddam in the strategic ineptitude dept.

A war with Iran will only gratify Iran, increase Shi'ite fundamentalism and support for the mullahs (which the people currently hate) and -- as kind of ultimate bonus booby prize -- wreck our overextended military in the process.

All for the benefit of ... who? The Saudi princes? Hosni Murbarak? The secular Ba'athists in Syria?

Fucking *idiot*.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 12, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

The war is not the terrain.

The war is not the bombs, the struts across
an aircraft carrier

-I've just shown the world that I'm of Tom
Cruise caliber, that I can fly fast planes.

No, the war is about the fires of hate that burn
in the minds of humans.

We can drop more bombs on a country than we dropped during our wwII bombings and still lose it. (Vietnam)

we can not win when the green zone acts as an irritant deep within the collective minds of
Iragis (or rather those who resent America).

With the Internet, the war is global , it is a world war.

A War to last decades as young children learn from their bitter aunts and uncles about the terrrible satan people who let DUI build up all over the sands of Iraq.

In reality, we need a green zone, a place that is isolated from the DUI all around.

Bush wants the Green Zone to be more like a tiny brain gland, whereas it's effects are rather pronounced on the emotions of those who have come to detest US military and others.

The world is ready for the revolution.

I predict that we could one day wake up and

find we have been too busy killing our enemies that we no longer have any friends.

This moment may not happen for awhile, but when it does:

: find a place where you can survive without electricity, etc.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 12, 2007 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

You're asking Al Crapone, American Chickenhawk, and Ex-Lax to show some sack? Why not ask for unlimited ponies for everybody, everywhere, forever?

What was I thinking!?! *slaps head*

Posted by: Rick on January 12, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Why are those who are all for more war the ones lacking the testicular fortitude to actually fight it?

At the rate Bush is going, there will be no other choice but to bring back the draft. And if you think Iraq and Bush are unpopular now ...

Seriously. How the holy hell are they going to fight it? Or do they think that just carpet bombing will solve all the problem?

Posted by: Unholy Moses on January 12, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

The timing of the Iranian consulate attack combined with Gates's announcement about permanently growing the enlisted force by 92,000 is ominous -- makes Bush's request for 21,000 troops look modest by comparison. What are we in for now?

Army recruiters have called my house three times this fall asking for my oldest son.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 12, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

McCarthy's statement is outrageous. "Let's go provoking more wars," he says, "even though we haven't finished the last two, and appear not to have the resources to do so."

The only thing more outrageous is that the purpose of the raid's organizers was explicitly to provoke more wars. This deserves immediate investigation. Did the State Department have any part in this? Did the Pentagon consult with State before the soldiers raided? If not, why not? And so on. There is a plain suggestion that rogue elements in the army may be out of control.

Posted by: David in NY on January 12, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Well, they're apparently powerful enough to blow through the armor of M1 Abrams tanks -- which is pretty goddamned powerful.

...and it's times like this that I'm reminded of the super-potent high explosive Saddam once had for his dismantled ex-nuclear program, which the UN had under lock and key, that was looted and carted off to Ford knows where by Ford knows whom because the Army failed to secure it (a failure for which I blame the leadership, not the troops, who were under orders to press to Baghdad as soon as possible).

The fact that the military didn't bother securing sites like this, by the way, shows that the Administration didn't really believe its own bullshit about WMDs. As someone -- I believe it was Wolfowitz -- admitted, that was just the rationalization everyone agreed they could sell. Yet you still have Bush apologists here defending that point!

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

It might be time to brush up on the rules of Impeachment. When it was "off the table" we hadn't overtly committed an act of war on the Iranians (operative word in that sentience is 'overt' trolls) and threatened Syria.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, I supported the original invasion of Iraq. I support staying the course. As al Maliki has stated, the major reason that the Iraq democratization project has run into difficulty (despite being wildly popular with the vast majority of Iraqis who participated in the election of 2005) is because Syria and Iran made it their business to sabotage the Iraq democracy project in every possible way.

It is wiser to fight any War on Terrorism on their turf than ours, even if that gives them "home field advantage." Iraq is now and has always been absolutely in a strategic central position in the Middle East. That's why all the extremist terrorist groups aren't doing so hot fighting on the peripheries in Afghanistan and Somalia--all their real effort flows to Iraq because they know that's where they have to win. It is increasingly clear that if extremism doesn't win in Iraq, it won't win anywhere.

Iraq did not start out to be crucial to the war on terrorism, but that is what it has become. Bush may suffer the death of a thousand cuts from the defeatocrats and all the angry bloggers--who knows, he may even be indicted someday by a United Nations war crimes tribunal if the terrorists win.

In that case, I would hope to be indicted with him, because right is right and to fight for truly progressive causes and not to surrender to backwardness and oppression is noble despite all the invectives, slurs, and insults that defeatist bloggers express. Demoralization seems to be their common unifying principle, which no doubt leads to all the infantile ranting and pitiful rage.

We are fighting in a quagmire because it is exactly the right fight and for the right principles. A stabilized Iraq exposes the leading cliques of Syria and Iran as the conniving, two-bit schemers that they are.

We can learn to win a quagmire war. The main way this war will be won is that the coming year will give the new Iraqi army a little time to develop its own confidence and more control over local police forces that are often riddled with bad influences.

I have faith that the new Iraqi army will stand tall because U.S. soldiers for the last four years have shown them a splendid example of standing tall in the most difficult, frustrating circumstances.

Does the Iraq war cost too much in terms of sheer dollars? All wars cost too much. We (I maintain) are fighting for world stability in a very basic and practical way. That is worth one billion dollars a day for another year or two.

Posted by: mike cook on January 12, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook, your analysis is stunning.

I do not mean that as a compliment.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Surely the United States is not the one being threatening," she said. "We are not the ones being meddlesome and troublesome in Iraq."

Too hilarious (and sickening) nearly for words.

The US without any legitimate basis invades a country that hasn't attacked it and we are not being meddlesome?

The US causes thousands and maybe tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq, destroys much of its infrastructure, allows through inaction further damage to its infrastructure, and incites violence throughout Iraq through continued illegal occupation, and we are not being troublesome?

That statement by the White House is so devoid of connection to reality that it can only be considered a deliberate lie.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Bob: All for the benefit of ... who? The Saudi princes? Hosni Murbarak? The secular Ba'athists in Syria?

That's the part I don't understand - with every action Bush takes, he alienates more of the world from the US. And this is supposed to protect us? I don't see any goal in sight, except war, war, and more war.

It's as if the only thing he understands is force; he seems to see other people as opponents or peons, never as partners.

Posted by: Wapiti on January 12, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

And tell me, Genius (*snort*) how do you fight a war against a transitive verb militarily?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

"We dastardly neocons feel that the US should not keep turning the other cheek."

And you know, you might have some kind of point there, if you actually had a workable plan to defeat Iran, or anything like the available resources necessary to execute such a plan.

If you are so in love with the idea of fighting Iran, why don't you propose raising taxes, reinstating the draft, and building and equiping an army of, say 2 or 3 million? Then, 5 or 6 years down the road, if the country agrees with you, you can have your war, when you're ready to fight it with some prospect of success?

Not that we have any real reason to fight Iran. However, even if you learn nothing else from Iraq, it would be very much for the good of the country if you would learn that the only thing worse than a battle won is a battle lost.

Posted by: rea on January 12, 2007 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook: Iraq did not start out to be crucial to the war on terrorism . . .

Then why did you support it at the beginning?

Instead, you supported an invasion premised from the beginning as crucial to the war on terrorism.

Now, you shamelessly try to change your tune, but not your melody.

Why did you not publically challenge Bush's claim that it was crucial before the war started?

Instead, you stayed silent while the president lied to the nation.

Now you know why we consider all conservatives to be inveterate liars.

You've told so many lies, you can't even keep them straight anymore.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I've not supported impeachment to date because we have more important things to do. But if Bush begins a war with Iran and Syria without Congressional approval, that would certainly be grounds for impeachment, and my bet would be that the public would support impeachment. I certainly would.

Posted by: kimster on January 12, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook: In that case, I would hope to be indicted with him . . .

As well you should, you lying bastard.

No one is a bigger traitor than you and your ilk.

No one loves America less than you and your ilk.

That is why you stoop to calling those who criticize you as defeatists for telling the truth that you can't unfry an egg.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"I have faith that the new Iraqi army will stand tall because U.S. soldiers for the last four years have shown them a splendid example of standing tall in the most difficult, frustrating circumstances."

You can take your faith and shove it up your ass, you callous, warmongering scum.

Posted by: brewmn on January 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook: I have faith that the new Iraqi army will stand tall . . .

No, you desperately hope that it will because you know that if it doesn't, as it hasn't to date, you and your brand of foreign policy is doomed to extinction.

And that's why you keep bloviating about winning in Iraq, not because it is important to America's security (it never was and never will be), not because you have even a single tear for any soldier lost (you never have and never will), and not because you believe it was the right thing to do, but because it feeds your own hatred, arrogance, self-centeredness, sadism, and self-importance.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

that's why you keep bloviating about winning in Iraq, not because it is important to America's security (it never was and never will be), not because you have even a single tear for any soldier lost (you never have and never will), and not because you believe it was the right thing to do, but because it feeds your own hatred, arrogance, self-centeredness, sadism, and self-importance.

Not only that, but also the "support" cook expresses doesn't cost him a damn thing. It goes without saying that this so-called "war on terror" he claims is so vital isn't vital enough for him to put his own ass on the line (which either makes him a coward and a hypocrite or proves, deep down, that he doesn't really believe it, which makes him a liar, a coward, and a hypocrite).

But more than that, he knows he doesn't have to pony up for that billion dollars a day he confidently asserts the war is worth, because Bush the Feckless insists on paying for his wars with a tax cut.

Your support costs you nothing, mike cook, so big deal.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

A parting shot before I pop off for a bit:

The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy. --Friedrich Nietzsche

Think maybe we filled the role of "another enemy" opposite Iraq? I mean, the Iran/Iraq war merely ended, it wasn't won...Until March of 2003.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I have tried to look at these American project-wars in the light of the ruinous private wars of European princes- something that European parliaments put an end to by gaining control of the power of taxation or by having the legal power to define when the nation-state was at war. Both of these powers were provided to the American Congress precisely in order to control the Executive.

But the antique mechanisms put in place in the 18th century have been eroded by an essentially permanent war footing in the United States to manage “American interests” and the growth of ideological factions, as opposed to princes, who decide policy on occult grounds (private or ideological) and go about taking over the bureaucracy and deceiving the public to give consent to their private designs. The antecedents to this, as Hannah Arendt argues in Origins of Totalitarianism, are in imperial wars for private business interests that were cast as state wars (the state has a monopoly on violence) for the national interest. In this light the privatization of American military operations makes sense. It increases private profit and private control. One could image a time in the future when a company like Halliburton would have its own army and consult with the AEI. It would mirror the early imperial experience of European powers but would be mixed with revolutionary 20th century political ideology. Like the fascists or communists they are convinced, contrary to the principles of democracy, that their political interests are identical to the national interest.


The current expansion of the war theatre that now seems imminent- against the wishes and interests of the American nation- is an example of an occult project-war. It is a form of tyranny.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 12, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

This is a dangerous time for the American people.

The neocon & israelis realize they have a limited time to accomplish the original objectives outlined for the Bush regime... namely the destruction of Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The end game for all this is creating a patchwork 'Balkanized' Middle East that can be easily dominated.

These objectives transcend any concerns for the American people... these wars are being conducted for the benefit of capital and empire.

Confused or skeptical? Read the following:

The PNAC Manifesto

Coping with Crumbling States:
A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant

A Clean Break : A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

How do you think Bush would respond to Impeachment?

Methinks we are looking at a declaration of martial law and dismissial of the congress.

Wonder which side the army would come in on?

Posted by: Buford on January 12, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so tired of reading comments by ex-liberal, american hawk, al etc., especially about war. If you like this Iraq mess so much and think it is so God-dammed important, why don't you join the military and get your ass over there and help fight. Don't worry about military requirements, I don't think they even require a high school deploma these days, so all of you should have no problem! Talk is cheap. Take action and go fight! Go kill them terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here, blah, blah, insert ever changing GOP talking point here, freedom is not free, etc. blah, blah!!!!!!

ARHHHHHHHHHHH

Posted by: spyder on January 12, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Methinks we are looking at a declaration of martial law and dismissial of the congress.

I've been in the bar of an officers club in the past week.

Methinks 75% of the military would refuse to follow the illegal orders and the other 25% might go along because they suffer from similar pathologies, and they would end up swinging.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Fortunately, I should add - the ones who might follow (25% is probably high) are no brighter than he is.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

This is insanity. We're all sailing on the Pequod.

Posted by: The Fool on January 12, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

It wasn't a consulate.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Iraq.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: Nathan on January 12, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook:

Just to sample one small whiff of your fantastic pile of elephant scat ...

If, by some godforsaken chance, "the terrorists" manage to "win," then Bush certainly wouldn't be tried in the UN.

There wouldn't be a UN.

Bush would be tried in a Shariah court.

But you know, Mike -- if "the terrorists" "winning" is what it would take to bring Bush to account for launching an unprovoked war in flagrant contradiction of the letter and spirit of a regime of international law we spent the entire cold war trying to inculcate around the world -- then I say, A Swift and Decisive Victory for The Terrorists !

Bob -- Proud Member of the Defeat-O-Crat(tm) Party

Posted by: rmck1 on January 12, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Come on you fuckers. I want to hear from all the members of the 101 1st fighting keyboard commandos! Why is your excuse for not joing the military and shipping off to Iraq? Come on and let me know. I'm sure there are plenty of you that would meet the requirements.

Posted by: spyder on January 12, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

No the word consulate wasn't used. But the term diplomatic office was, and although I'm no lawyer as Nathan will point out, (What does a biochemist know?) but I think that's a pretty fine distinction. Here is the first part of the article.


ERBIL, Iraq, Jan. 11 — American troops backed by attack helicopters and armored vehicles raided an Iranian diplomatic office in the dead of night early Thursday and detained as many as six of the Iranians working inside.

The raid was the second surprise seizure of Iranians by the American military in Iraq in recent weeks and came a day after President Bush bluntly warned Iran to quit meddling in Iraqi affairs.
There was a tense standoff later in the day between the American soldiers and about 100 Kurdish troops, who surrounded the American armored vehicles for about two hours in this northern Iraqi city.
The attack was denounced by senior Kurdish officials, who are normally America’s closest allies in Iraq but regarded the action as an affront to their sovereignty in this highly tribal swath of the country.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

That is worth one billion dollars a day for another year or two.

You know what? You don't deserve to vote.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 12, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Bush sees the war in Iraq as a success. It is a success because the first level objective has been reached. Iraq has been removed as a conventional military threat. He hopes to push Iran to that position as well. All you need is a decade-long war against Iran just like the one against Iraq. It starts with infrastructure destruction and is followed by sanctions (they used to call this a “siege”) and a final attack to eliminate the recalcitrant regime if nothing else works.

The political forces against these regimes have been pushing for this since the 1970’s and they count their success in stages. After Bush just one more president willing to complete stage two or three will be necessary. They know the public has a lag time before they get discouraged, so they could slip it in before the public and their representatives get tired.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 12, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State:

without knowing more, it's hard to ascertain the exact status. there may be individuals within the office with diplomatic immunity (although they can legally be detained until that status is established)...while others may not -- and ditto for the contents of the office.

But regardless, no one, including the Iranians, are today claiming that it was a consulate.

Yesterday I suggested avoiding a rush to judgment. Events have born me out. I'd suggest more patience for the details to sort themselves out. This is one of my primary issues with the blogosphere (both left and right) -- excitability. First reports have a tendency to be wrong. Journalists tend to know this (at least experienced ones)...bloggers generally do not.

Posted by: Nathan on January 12, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, I don't think it's such a fine distinction -- an embassy or consulate would have been literally Iranian territory, and US military action inside it would have been a clear violation of international law. Not saying the action was a good idea, but it does make a difference whether it was in an area that was extraterritorial.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 12, 2007 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Before the election I despaired of preventing war with Iran. Now that the Democrats control Congress I expect them to move heaven and earth to put a stop to this dangerous lunacy. If they wimp out yet again, I am done for good with voting for Democrats. Where there's no sane 3rd-party alternative I simply won't vote.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 12, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

This is one of my primary issues with the blogosphere (both left and right) -- excitability. First reports have a tendency to be wrong.

As opposed to Nathan, who's nearly always wrong -- often deliberately so.

Nathan, your history here suggests your protests against a so-called "rush to judgement" were motivated solely by a desire to cover Bush's ass -- you know, the one you keep kissing -- rather than any desire to know the truth, which you've displayed none -- indeed, a negative.

Whether the facility was an according-to-Hoyle counsulate or not doesn't diminish the provocative, if not reckless, nature of bush's act, nor does it make you any less a fool, a scoundrel, and a liar.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook: "We (I maintain) are fighting for world stability in a very basic and practical way."

That's because you are a weak-minded, ignorant dupe who thinks what you are told to think and says what you are told to say by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the rest of the right-wing extremist propaganda machine.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 12, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I once said that Mike Cook is the rdw of the Pacific Northwest - His latest posting has borne me out, Nathan.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 12, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq has been removed as a conventional military threat.

Iraq never was -- not even in 1991 -- a "conventional military threat" to the United States -- hence all the bullshit about WMDs, remember?

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

What provocation will we dream up next to ensure that we get the war conservatives so desperately want?

The W. Bush administration will kill US service persons and blame their deaths on Iran. I expect some ambiguous naval mishap will be blamed on Iran and used as an excuse to attack.

Posted by: Brojo on January 12, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Methinks we are looking at a declaration of martial law and dismissial of the congress.

Wonder which side the army would come in on?

Posted by: Buford on January 12, 2007 at 10:32 AM

As I recall military officers swear an oath to uphold the constitution. Their allegence to the President extends only so long as he is following the Constitution.

As a practical matter the President hasn't done much to gain the loyalty of the military brass.

If the President tries something outside the Constitution I have a hunch the military will sit on their hands. The same for the rest of the government. In the end a unconstitutional action by Bush would result in him and all of his loyalists being led off in chains. By that time there would be very few loyalists left. Even Dick Cheney will slink into the background. Don't believe me, ask Richard Nixon.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 12, 2007 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1 commented on shaped charge explosives: 'Well, they're apparently powerful enough to blow through the armor of M1 Abrams tanks -- which is pretty goddamned powerful. Somehow the explosion shapes the surrounding material into a hardend projectile. The sense I got from the NYT piece was that the technology's actually pretty sophisticated ...'

From my understanding of explosives & shaped charge devices (not an expert, but have done some reading on this while in USAF), the explosive material is shaped into a sort of inverted cone (i.e. there is a concave depression in the exploive material which is in the shape of an inverted cone). This 'cone' should be pointed (the base of the 'cone', that is) at the target. When the explosive is detonated, the inverted cone seems to focus the majority of the blast energy in one direction and it makes a super-heated plasma that burns through the armor & then thru whatever is behind the armor (the armor that was burned through becomes part of the plasma stream as well). So, I guess what I'm trying to say is it does not make a solid projectile, but rather a super-hot gaseous/liquid projectile (IMO).

Sure enjoyed reading your's & Blue Girl's comments up above.

Posted by: Paul in KY on January 12, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook is a prime example of the power of the neocon propaganda machine. He has absorbed all of their talking points and regurgitates them at will.

It would take too long to debunk all of the myths he spews, but let me take a one of them on head-on:

We have to fight them in Iraq or we will have to fght them here. - Utter nonsense. I'm not sure who Mr. Cook means by "them", but let's assume he means al-Qaeda. First, most experts say the number of al-Qaeda members world-wide is less than 1,000. Good luck to them if they are going to take on a country the size of the United States with 1,000 men. Armed with what?? Boxcutters? RPGs? How are they going to get here? Swim? Canoes? Kayaks? The U.S. also has what is called a Navy and a Coast Guard that would turn them into shark bait if they came within 50 miles of our shores. Iraq has no navy. None. Even assuming that al-Qaeda takes control of the reins of power in Iraq the second the U.S. leaves, which is absurd, how are they going to then get over here to attack us? It makes no sense.

By having sensible immigration policies, strong security at our ports and airports and an aggressive, world-wide effort to secure and decommission nuclear weapans and fissionable material - we have little to fear from al-Qaeda. The truth is that 95% of the fighters in Iraq are ordinary Iraqis who don't want the U.S. occupuing their country and want us to leave. They aren''t interested in renting pontoon boats to float over to America to attack us here. That is total bullshit, concocted by the Bush propagandists to scare people like Mike Cook.

The progressive's challenge is to educate people like Mike Cook and debunk the lies and myths spread by Bush and his minions. Properly managed, al-Qaeda is a minor threat to the United States, compared to global climate change or rogue states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 12, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone who says Iran has been assisting the Iraqis in their war against us had better go back a bit further in history and recall all the ways we've meddled in Iranian affairs. We overthrew their government, we supported the Shah (a dictator who killed and tortured thousands of Iranians), we sold Saddam weapons to use against Iran and we continue to provoke them to this day.

So, who's guilty of provoking the other to violence?

Teddy Roosevelt said something like, 'Whether we win or lose the war isn't the issue. Whether Righteousness will prevail is the issue.'

In Iraq we can kill a lot of people but never win the 'war' since we are not on the side of Righteousness. Now that we know there were no nukes and that Saddam was more of a puppet or partner of ours than a danger to us we can't wrap ourselves in the flag of Righteousness and our cause is lost no matter now many Iraqis we kill.

Dubya doesn't want his ego hurt and his biography to refer to him as a 'loser', so people must die. At some point the Republicans in Congress must call for his impeachment to save their own political necks (not that they care how many 'ragheads' die in Iraq or Iran). The question then will be whether Democrats oppose impeachment in order to keep Bush in place, thus making the 2008 elections a rout. Can you imagine a Congress and Presidency entirely of Democrats?

Posted by: MarkH on January 12, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Very nice Brave New World reference there Gregory (makes the sign of the T).

Any way we can find out if the yellow-bellied warmongering Republican'ts are part of a Bokanovsky group? They sound a lot like Epslion-Minuses...

Posted by: (: Tom :) on January 12, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

The progressive's challenge is to educate people like Mike Cook and debunk the lies and myths spread by Bush and his minions.

I disagree with the first part. I don't pretend that faith-based Bush apologists like cook, "ex-liberal," not-at-all-ex-minion, Matthew Marler, or the absent-and-unlamented tbrosz are arguing in anything like good faith. They show themselves to be impervious to being educated; indeed, some, like "ex-liberal," seems to positively relish repeating the hoariest neocon talking points, the more often debunked the better.

We do need to debunk the lies and myths spread by Bush and his minions, but not for the benefit of those who troll here. And, I'll note for both the more timid Democrats and timid members of the allegedly "liberal" corporate media, that the American public seems to have taken the lead in rejecting the Bush Administration's medacity, incompetence and corruption on its own. The water's safe; indeed, it's fine. Get in the damn pool already.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK
It wasn't a consulate.

It was a mission that was pending official designation as a consulate that was provisionally permitted, by agreement with the Iraqi government, to perform consular functions. Under Article 13-14 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, provisional admissions of consular officers triggers the protective provisions of the convention, and notification of the local officials of the consular district of this status by the receiving state is mandatory (which would explain why the KRG immediately characterized the facility as protected by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a status it stated resulted from agreement between the governments of Iraq and Iran&mdash.)

there may be individuals within the office with diplomatic immunity (although they can legally be detained until that status is established)...while others may not -- and ditto for the contents of the office.

Its pretty clear that no one at the office had diplomatic immunity. It seems near certain, though, that the provisionally admitted consular officers had the protection accorded consular officers under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which is rather more limited than diplomatic immunity (that is, the protection accorded diplomatic officers under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.)

It also seems near certain that the office and its contents enjoyed the protections of the Vienna Convention, as asserted by the Kurdistan Regional Government, including the positive obligation under international law of the local authorities to protect the facility from any intrusion and the absolute inviolability of the documents and archives.

But, in any case, its clear that US attacks—both on the Iranian "liaison office" and the attempted snatch at the Irbil airport thwarted by Kurdish peshmerga—clearly without consultation with and against the wishes of the authorities, undermine the strategic goal of reinforcing the legitimacy of the Iraqi authorities and encouraging and enabling them to take responsibility for their own security. Legality aside, its a case of tactics being adopted which undermine the objections of the mission, promote defeat rather than leading to victory, and that from the timing seem almost certainly to have been the result of bad decisionmaking at the highest level.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"If this is a counsular ship, then where is the ambassador?!"

--Darth Vader

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK
No the word consulate wasn't used. But the term diplomatic office was, and although I'm no lawyer as Nathan will point out, (What does a biochemist know?) but I think that's a pretty fine distinction.

From the reports of the office's status, it seems that the distinction Nathan is trying to draw is irrelevant not only to moral and strategic analysis, but to legal analysis as well: nothing so far has been reported which conflicts with the characterization of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the facility was protected under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Legality aside, its a case of tactics being adopted which undermine the objections of the mission, promote defeat rather than leading to victory, and that from the timing seem almost certainly to have been the result of bad decisionmaking at the highest level

With all due respect, cmdicely -- and I agree completely with your second two points -- I'd offer a slight friendly amendment to the first: it's a case of tactics being adopted which undermine the objections of the publicly stated mission.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

it seems that the distinction Nathan is trying to draw is irrelevant not only to moral and strategic analysis, but to legal analysis as well

I'm shocked! Shocked!!!

The distinction Nathan is trying to draw is to cover Bush's ass, period. As a thought exercise, what do you imagine our resident Bush apologists would say if the situations had been reversed?

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, guys, isn't it the "objectives" not the "objections" of the mission?

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

The Iranians have been shipping shaped-charge weapons to kill our guys for months.

Is there one iota of evidence for this or ANY involvement of Iran or Syria in Bush's Iraq tragic grand clusterfuck? Or do we get to take the word of this administration? (insert big fucking Al-type snicker here).

Posted by: ckelly on January 12, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Is there one iota of evidence for this or ANY involvement of Iran or Syria in Bush's Iraq tragic grand clusterfuck?

Good point -- what's the source for this claim? And if -- as is likely -- it's one of the same sources that got everything wrong about Iraq, why the hell should we -- and why the hell do our resident Bush fluffers -- believe them now?

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

kudos to Kevin, he posted the link I sent him and updated. now if you guys actually bothered to read the story you might discover that it wasn't a "diplomatic mission" either. but cmdicely is too busy bloviating to do that.

"Iraqi and Iranian officials initially said the Iranian office raided in Irbil was a diplomatic mission, which raised questions about whether those detained had diplomatic immunity. But Zebari told The Associated Press that the Iranians worked at a ''liaison office'' that was in the process of becoming a consulate.

''This office is not new and has been there for more than 10 years,'' he said. ''We are now in the process of changing these offices to consulates and ... we will open consulates in Iran.''

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman who initially said it was a diplomatic mission, later changed the description to an ''office of relations'' and said it was waiting for permission to operate as a consulate.

The U.S. Embassy also said it was assured the building was not a consulate."

bye bye.

Posted by: Nathan on January 12, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This: Hey, guys, isn't it the "objectives" not the "objections" of the mission?

Yeah, yeah. With all my objections to the mission, my fingers must have gotten confused.

Gregory: With all due respect, cmdicely -- and I agree completely with your second two points -- I'd offer a slight friendly amendment to the first: it's a case of tactics being adopted which undermine the objections of the publicly stated mission.

Yeah, there was an unstated (and purely rhetorical) assumption that the publicly stated strategic objectives that the US people are being told justify the sacrifices being made are, indeed, the strategic objectives being sought. The point was that, granting for the moment the honesty and good intention of the administration, and setting aside questions of international law, its still a stupid and counterproductive course of action.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Let me guess: the Iranians have drones capable of attacking us within forty-five minutes and we can't wait until there's a mushroom cloud over one of our cities.

BWA HA HA HA HA HAHA!

How stupid do you have to be to be fooled by this stuff twice?

Posted by: trex on January 12, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly: Or do we get to take the word of this administration?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about Iraqi WMDs?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about uranium from Niger?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about Iraqi oil paying for the war, the same administration that is now planning to divert even the minimal oil revenues to private interests instead of the war debt?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about Jessica Lynch's experiences?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about Pat Tilley's death?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about the Iraqis welcoming us with parades?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about reasons for the unavailability of body armor?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about the status of Iraq's nuclear program?

You mean the adminsitration that was wrong (lied) about the total costs of the war?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about the length of the war?

You mean the adminstration that was wrong (lied) about the insurgents being on their last legs?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about torture?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about the laws pertaining to the individuals incarcerated at Guantanamo?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about Abu Ghraib?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about secret extraordinary renditions, secret prisons, and torture by foreign allies?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about destroyed Iraqi antiquities?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about finding the WMDs in Iraq?

You mean the administration that was wrong (lied) about "Mission Accomplished?"

----------------------

Sorry, but the administration lost credibility on any issue, not just Iraq, a long, long, long time ago.

In fact, they started lying even before Bush took office: in Florida in 2000 and in the US Supreme Court in that same year.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

in other words, the raid may or may not have been unwise, but it didn't violate any rules.

the office was neither a diplomatic mission nor a provisionally approved consulate, yet.

cmdicely, going to admit that you jumped the gun? thought not.

Posted by: Nathan on January 12, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: bye bye.

He lies, then he runs away.

Typical.

BTW, Nathan, if the Iranians attacked a US office that had been in place 10 years and was in the process of becoming a consulate and took prisoner the US citizens therein, you would be defending their actions as technically legal, right?

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

now if you guys actually bothered to read the story you might discover that it wasn't a "diplomatic mission" either. but cmdicely is too busy bloviating to do that.

Amazing...Nathan dismisses cmdicely's dissection of his claims -- which was obviously based on fact, and establishes that "diplomatic mission" certainly seems to apply -- by claiming that, since cmdicely proved Nathan's assertions wrong, he must not have read the article!

Do you pull that kind of weak-ass crap in court? When -- not "if," I'm sure -- your arguments get ripped to shreds, do you simply puff up your high dudgeon and say "Well, if you'd bothered to read/listen to my argument, you'd realize I'm right?"

Good Ford, I pity your clients.

The U.S. Embassy also said it was assured the building was not a consulate

It's already been pointed out to you that the US government has as much motivation to, ah, dissemble in this case as anyone, and yet you're right there quoting them again. You're a fool and a scoundrel, Nathan.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: . . . but it didn't violate any rules.

Uh, it would appear that it may have violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Why aren't you waiting until all the facts are in?

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Amy Goodman, host of the TV/radio program Democracy Now, elucidates the connection between the war in the Middle East and global warming:

Global Warming, Warring and Warning
by Amy Goodman
January 11, 2007
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Highly recommended reading.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 12, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

in other words, the raid may or may not have been unwise, but it didn't violate any rules.

Again, Nathan, repeating your assertions without addressing cmdicely's rebuttal -- and then claiming he "jumped the gun" for good measure! -- only marks you even more as a fool, a scoundrel, and a liar. But then, we're hardly surprised.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Yeah, there was an unstated (and purely rhetorical) assumption that the publicly stated strategic objectives that the US people are being told justify the sacrifices being made are, indeed, the strategic objectives being sought. The point was that, granting for the moment the honesty and good intention of the administration, and setting aside questions of international law, its still a stupid and counterproductive course of action.

Of course.

The mere fact that Nathan's still defending it is ample evidence of its stupidity.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

um, cmdicely's "rebuttal" was based upon Iran's claim yesterday that it was a "diplomatic mission". a claim that they have now dropped. oops.

btw, what kind of fuckwads would automatically take the word of Iran over that of the U.S.? last time I checked we haven't gotten around to denying the holocaust yet.

Posted by: Nathan on January 12, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

According to this report, the Iranian captured were high value terrorists.


An American intelligence official yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the five Iranians and another individual picked up in the raid in Irbil as "high value terrorists." This official said that the individuals were believed to be behind attacks on American soldiers and random Iraqis. He said details would become clearer as American military intelligence officers finished combing through the office's hard drives and documents and as the suspects underwent interrogation.

My sympathy lies with the American soldiers and random Iraqis that these terrorists were killing, (assuming that the report is correct.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 12, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi foreign minister said Friday that the five Iranians detained by U.S.-led forces in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq were working in a liaison office that had government approval and was in the process of being approved as a consulate.

Sounds like provisional approval to me.

In any event, regardless of the ultimate technicalities, the article never stated that the office was not "a provisionally approved consulate yet" or anything that could be interpreted as confirming that the office was not a provisionally approved consulate.

Therefore, your premature claim that it has been factually determined that it was not a provisionally approved consulate is a lie.

Nathan: btw, what kind of fuckwads would automatically take the word of Iran over that of the U.S.? last time I checked we haven't gotten around to denying the holocaust yet.

See my 12:05 posting for enlightenment.

The real question is what kind of f*ckwad would automatically take the word of an adminstration and military that lies so often and so egregiously.

ex-liberl: According to this report . . .

See my reply to Nathan above, ex-liberal.

It applies to f*ckwads like you too.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: in other words, the raid may or may not have been unwise, but it didn't violate any rules.

Why don't you take your own advice: I'd suggest more patience for the details to sort themselves out.

Personally, I'd rather you take this piece of your own advice: Bye bye

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 12, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: My sympathy lies with the American soldiers and random Iraqis . . .

Not so.

If they did, then you would support bringing the troops home, since by your own logic the terrorists will have no more reason to kill random Iraqis once the Americans have been defeated, thus saving both the lives of our American soldiers and those random Iraqis.

Unless of course the random Iraqis are being killed by sectarian violence and not terrorism, in which case you are lying about both things.

Now take your ass which I just placed in your hands and put it back where it belongs.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK
kudos to Kevin, he posted the link I sent him and updated. now if you guys actually bothered to read the story you might discover that it wasn't a "diplomatic mission" either. but cmdicely is too busy bloviating to do that.

If you bothered to read rather than bloviate, you might notice, first, that I had never claimed it was a "diplomatic mission" (which would, anyway, have more protection than a consulate), and you might notice, further, that I pointed out reports of the facilities provisional status, and the legal effect of that status, yesterday, and then again discussed the legal effect of that provisional status in this thread.

The important question (inasmuch as the legality is "important" here) is not whether the facility had been officially designated a consulate. The important question is whether the facility, officers, and/or documents and archives that were entered, detained, and seized, respectively, are protected under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which an official consulate clearly is, of course, but as noted, under Article 13 of that Convention, its protections are triggered by the provisional admission of consular officers to perform consular functions.

in other words, the raid may or may not have been unwise, but it didn't violate any rules.

While I would argue that the raid being strategically counterproductive is in many respects more important than it being illegal, I would, unlike you, characterize the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as "rules".


the office was neither a diplomatic mission nor a provisionally approved consulate, yet.

The protections of the Vienna Convention are triggered when an officer of one state is provisionally admitted by another state to perform consular functions in that state.

Several statements of the various parties, including those nominally aligned with the US, support the conclusion that that was the status of the officers involved, and no statement yet pointed out by anyone on this blog conflicts with that status.

Therefore, your attempts to assert without any support that the protections do not apply must be dismissed as unconvincing.

cmdicely, going to admit that you jumped the gun?

Are you going to provide a shred of evidence that the Iranians were not provisionally admitted by the Iraqi government to perform consular functions, and that they were not, indeed, actually performing said functions with the full knowledge and consent of the Iraqi government?


Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

what kind of fuckwads would automatically take the word of Iran over that of the U.S.?

Nice try loser, but we were taking the word of our allies the Iraqis over the U.S. Iran hadn't even weighed yet when the Kurdish government condemned the raid as illegal.

You have a real problem getting your facts straight.

So when Iran retaliates by kidnapping members of our liaison office in Libya at gunpoint and steals the computers and classified documents, we'll have you to step up to the plate and explain to us how the action was perfectly legal and acceptable because it wasn't a consulate.

Posted by: trex on January 12, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: um, cmdicely's "rebuttal" was based upon Iran's claim yesterday that it was a "diplomatic mission". a claim that they have now dropped.

No, you idiot, cmdicely's rebuttal was based on the fact that the actual status of the diplomatic mission -- which is, of course, merely a convenient shorthand, not a term of art like "consulate" or "embassy"; in fact, it appears to be a -- and I quote -- "liaison office that had government approval and was in the process of being approved as a consulate" -- likely made its seizure a violation of the law he cited.

Of course, even if the US was legally justified in its actions, it doesnt' follow that the action was wise.

Moreover, if you're trying to downplay the significance of this little fracas, talk to your fellow mouth-breathers on the right, who are drooling disgustingly about an expanded regional war with Iran.

Meanwhile, "ex-liberal" cites the New York Sun. Hoo boy. Which quotes an anonymous US official -- who, as has already been noted, has ample motivation to, ah, dissemble in order to put a positive spin on this incident. As usual, the word of "ex-liberal" and the sources he/she/it cites aren't worht a bucket of piss. What do you, try to discredit yourself with lame-ass arguments?

As for your "sympathy," "ex-liberal," you can shove it. Talk is cheap -- you wanna show your sympathy, get your ass in uniform. Put up or shut up.

Oh, that's right -- you never do either, do you?

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This - I guess you find Iranians more credible than American intelligence officers. I wonder whether your sympathy also lies more with the Iranians than with the Americans?

I'm struck by all the discussion of abstruse legal technicalities over what does or does not constitute a diplomat or a consulate. However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 12, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I guess you find Iranians more credible than American intelligence officers. I wonder whether your sympathy also lies more with the Iranians than with the Americans?

"ex-liberal' never saw a dishonest argument he/she/it wouldn't embrace. Dealt with above, you mendacious toad -- noting that the US government has little credibility in matters like these -- a fact that doesn't seem to bother you in the least -- has nothing to do with sympathy.

But why does your sympathy demonstrably lie with proven liars like the Bush Administration? Oh right -- birds of a feather.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK
cmdicely's "rebuttal" was based upon Iran's claim yesterday that it was a "diplomatic mission".

No, it wasn't. It was based on the descriptions in both the NY Times article you cited today an the article I cited yesterday describing the pending status and current operation of the office.

(And, IIRC, the claim Iran made yesterday, on which my argument was in no way based, was that it was a "diplomatic representation"—and informal description with no specific legal interpretation—not a "diplomatic mission", which enjoys greater protection than a consular mission ("consulate"). That characterization is not really at odds with a liaison office performing consular functions but pending designation as an official consular mission by delivery of the exequatur to the head of the consular mission by the authorities of the receiving state.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

The mere fact that Nathan's still defending it is ample evidence of its stupidity.

Word, Gregory.

Nathan's contributions here aren't worth, to coin a phrase you'll recognize, a bucket of piss.

I was magnanimous to him once not realizing what a know-nothing he is. Foolish me. Never again.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

Oh, good Ford -- "ex-liberal" really never saw a dishonest argument he/she/it wouldn't embrace. "ex-liberal" has nothing but lies and the words of liars to offer, and tries to distract from the fact by making an ostentatious expression of the sympathy that goes without saying, you dishonest turd, and then makes a threadbare bid for the moral high ground.

This was one of your more disgusting posts, you dishonorable neocon toad, and that's a bold statement.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

No, it wasn't. It was based on the descriptions in both the NY Times article you cited today an the article I cited yesterday describing the pending status and current operation of the office.

Obviously, cmdicely -- and yet the dishonest fool Nathan had the lack of shame to claim that you hadn't read the article. Astonishing.

By the by, I remember variations on "ex-liberal"'s trite little "I guess you find Iranians more credible than American intelligence officers" from somewhere...let's see...oh, yeah! It was regarding competing US and Iraqi claims regarding WMDs.

Which one of them was proved right? And who has been proven wrong, again and again (other than "ex-liberal" and Nathan, that is)?

You neocons really do have only one playbook, don't you?

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I guess you find Iranians more credible than American intelligence officers. I wonder whether your sympathy also lies more with the Iranians than with the Americans?

No, but I do find the Kurds more credible and are you saying that our Iraqi allies are liars?

Hmmmmmmmmm.

However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

Yes, you do. You simply refuse to acknowledge it and instead choose to lie about it, while denying your own failure to embrace any concern beyond alligator tears for our soldiers.

I will repeat:

If [you] did [have concern for our troops], then you would support bringing the troops home, since by your own logic the terrorists will have no more reason to kill random Iraqis once the Americans have been defeated, thus saving both the lives of our American soldiers and those random Iraqis.

And, btw, you had absolutely no concern about the Kurds being butchered by Saddam when Bush 41 was funding and supporting him or about the Iraqis when Bush 43, despite the circumstances meeting all his criteria and all your criteria for war in Iraq, waited three years to intervene, three years during which you and Bush claim Saddam was committing genocide (he wasn't, but you're stuck with your own set of alleged facts) and therefore three more years of butchering according to your own claimed set of facts.

Still haven't got your ass put back where it belongs, I see.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote: "ex-liberal' never saw a dishonest argument he/she/it wouldn't embrace ... "ex-liberal" has nothing but lies and the words of liars to offer

"ex-liberal" is a parody -- a deliberate charicature of so-called "conservative" talking points.

The comments signed "ex-liberal" are written by someone who is obviously mocking so-called "conservatives" by posting the most inane, blatantly false statements, and most laughably formulaic attacks on "liberals" imaginable.

"ex-liberal" is a clown, just like "Al's Mommy" and the other "parody trolls", and should be treated as such.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 12, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK
I'm struck by all the discussion of abstruse legal technicalities over what does or does not constitute a diplomat or a consulate. However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

I see none from this administration in conducting this raid, as it directly opposes their nominal strategy for ending the murder of Iraqis and Americans. Supposedly, they seek to stop those murders by establishing the authority and legitimacy of the Iraqi government and getting it to take responsibility for the security of Iraq. This act has undermined those objectives, and, therefore, can only be viewed as contributing to the murder of Iraqis and Americans if one accepts the Administration's supposed strategy.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 12, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, it should be noted, ex-liberal, that it isn't very smart politics to be calling 65-70% of Americans stupid.

I know because that's what we kept hearing from conservatives in the run-up to the election and all throughout 2006, even though it wasn't true.

But here it is true of you and it seems that you do not have much faith in the collective judgment of the America public, yet surprisingly this is exactly the conservative demand in all other contexts: trust the public's collective judgment over that of the politicians in Washington.

How easily you abandon your own values.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

There are four wars going on in Iraq right now, simultaneously: Shia on Shia conflict in the south; sectarian violence, particularly in Baghdad, but also in Diyala and a couple of other provinces; an insurgency; and Al Qaeda.

So, according to Gates, terrorists are only a small portion of the problem of violence in Iraq and removing the terrorists would have only a small effect on the situation.

Are you calling Gates a liar, ex-liberal?

Why, then, are you trusting the plan of a liar and the man who nominated the liar?

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" is a parody -- a deliberate charicature of so-called "conservative" talking points.

Well, I'll grant that "ex-liberal" couldn't discredit neocons more if he/she/it tried.

Nathan is similarly self-discrediting, but sadly, he's absolutely sincere in his foolishness and dishonesty.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (if you're still around), what the hell are you talking about?

The high explosive material at Al Qa'qa wasn't secured after the invasion because Dickie and Donny were more interested in getting their hands on documents in the oil ministry than they were in actually, you know, securing the country.

Iran had nothing to do with the decision to leave the massive weapons (conventional, not WMD) site unguarded. Unless Chalabi convinced Wolfowitz to get Rumsfeld to . . . .

Naw, that's tin-foil stuff.

I would expect neo- hacks and Bush apologists like ex-liberal to dismiss the seriousness of the Al Qa'qa screw-up and the role it continues to play today in killing both Iraqis and U.S. troops.

I'm more than a little surprised that you are.

Posted by: Dwight on January 12, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

What part of dastardly deceit, lies and malfeasance does not accurately describe this "administration" - quotation marks because there is an inferred competence in the word which is incorrect.
The latest operation involves requistioning assistance from Iran and Syria in stemming unrest in Iraq. Immediately there is a response on the local level the occupying power, acting with its usual imperialistic arrogance, takes captives : ignoring all precedent and custom. This while touting torture and detention without the need of any review.
No wonder nobody takes the claim of "exporting democracy" with any reaction but a sneer of disdain.
Booman Tribune also has a piece up on the need to stop the escalation.

Posted by: opit on January 12, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

You lying dirtbag. Advocating troop redployments and withdrawals is concern for American and Iraqi lives.

You're the callous piece of I DON'T KNOW crap who advocates putting more lives in harm's way.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 12, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: Technically, it wasn't torture.

Nathan: Technically, they aren't entitled to Geneva Convention rights.

Nathan: Technically, they weren't entitled to the protections of the Vienna Convention.

Nathan: Legal technicalities are important when they are necessary to further Bush's agenda, but we should ignore legal technicalities when they might interfere with Bush's agenda.

Posted by: Google_This on January 12, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Poll: Americans oppose Bush Iraq plan 2 to 1

ex-lib and the NeoNuts are in the minority.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 12, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

kenga writes: One of my favorite pieces of idiocy is the "they're manufacturing IEDs in Iran and shipping them to Iraqi fighters."

Yes, this accusation has been repeated many times. As Juan Cole has commented several times, this makes no sense. The Iranians support and have strong ties with various Iraqi Shiite groups. The IEDs are deployed by Sunni insurgents. The Iranians have no interests in supporting the Sunnis.

Let’s pay attention to the specific accusations leveled against Iran. Remember the aluminum tube fiasco regarding Iraq? Remember the uranium from Africa fiasco regarding Iraq?

General accusations regarding “Iranian support” need to be backed up by some solid facts. When the specific facts presented make no sense, watch out.

Posted by: jackohearts on January 12, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let’s pay attention to the specific accusations leveled against Iran. Remember the aluminum tube fiasco regarding Iraq? Remember the uranium from Africa fiasco regarding Iraq? General accusations regarding “Iranian support” need to be backed up by some solid facts. When the specific facts presented make no sense, watch out.

As I noted to "ex-liberal," the neocons haven't even bothered to update their playbook in pushing their warmongering agenda.

Ominous fearmongering about the "threat" posed? Check

Thinly sourced allegations of nuclear weapons development? Check

Conflation of ties to anti-Israel terrorists and anti-American terrorists? Check

Allegations that the leaders are insane (and, therefore, not deterrable? Check

Ultimatums demanding unilateral compliance? Check (Of course, given the more advantageous position Iran enjoys versus Iraq, this chest-thumping is all the more ludicrous.)

I could go on, but you get the picture. The neocons and their bedwetting bloggers, whose lives are ruled by fear, are pushing another ill-conceived war. This time, though, with so many americans soured on the bloodbath in Iraq the neocons don't mind, because they aren't paying any price for their "support"), I doubt their hard sell will be nearly as effective.

The worrisome thing is, Bush being Bush, the neocons don't need -- or care about -- the support of the American people, merely the President and/or Cheney's cabal.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

here is a quick summary of the status of Sunnis in Iraq:

http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iraq/articles/20070110.aspx

This supports something windhorse (I think) wrote yesterday, and supports the determination of Bush and al Maliki to attack Shi'ite militias next. And to interrupt the flow of weapons from Iran to the Shi'ite militias.

Iraq needs a political solution, as everyone knows, and Iraqis need to work out that political solution. In order for that to happen, the central government has to defeat the military threats to its existence, including the Iran-backed militias. Having denied victory to the Sunni insurgents, the next job is to deny victory to the Shi'ite militias.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13 wrote: ex-lib and the NeoNuts are in the minority.

Even "minority" gives these yo-yos too much credit. They're a radical fringe.

Unfortunately, they're a radical fringe that has Cheney's ear, and who seem to be convincing Bush that they're his ticket to save his failing legacy.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Having denied victory to the Sunni insurgents, the next job is to deny victory to the Shi'ite militias.

Great googly moogly -- Marler has gone off the deep end, from dishonest to delusional.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

By the by, for Marler to cite "the determination of Bush and al Maliki to attack Shi'ite militias next," he's taking Bush at his word that al Maliki has said determination.

Like I said, delusional.

Seriously, Marler -- Bush has been wrong so often -- from medacity, incompetence or both -- how is it you put stock in anything he says? You're wrong all the time, from medacity, incompetence or both, and most of us have the sense not to take you seriously.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

However, I see no concern for the flesh and blood Americans and Iraqis who are being murdered.

You owe me a keyboard.

That is rich. i wish I could take it to the bank. When the fuck have you ever shown one shred of concern for troops or Iraqis, you disingenuous dipshit? I'm pretty sure it's never.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Al Maliki is in so far over his head he needs scuba gear.
One important bit of information we won't find easily is how much targeting ( assassination ) is being done of those who might possibly garner broad support. We know doctors and academics are being run out of the country.
2 million fled.
665,000 estimated Iraqi caualties ( more now )
600,000 Assyrians killed by Kurds.
God knows what all else.
The Italians are starting to make noises about their troops being poisoned by Depleted uranium now. Raise your hands, any keyboarders fool enough to think Americans deployed in Iraq and Iraqis aren't being killed by radiation.
Veterans Affairs and claims by wounded, etc. are going to be due serious overview to fix the fucking around they will be getting.

Posted by: opit on January 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

...the central government has to defeat the military threats to its existence, including the Iran-backed militias. Having denied victory to the Sunni insurgents, the next job is to deny victory to the Shi'ite militias.

Hmmm. Marler is saying the government needs to defeat itself. Shiite militias that directly support, or are aligned with, the Prime Minister (Maliki):

SCIRI, Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the assiciated Badr Corps paramilitary. The Badr Corps has been accused of infiltrating the special police commandos of the Interior Ministry and of using that unit to engage in ethnic cleansing of Sunni Arabs they suspected of membership in the guerrilla movement. According to Juan Cole, the Iraqi 8th Army is largely Shiite and likely linked to SCIRI.

Mahdi Army militia, loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, an ally of Maliki crucial to his maintaining a palimentary coalition, i. e., a government.

Posted by: jackohearts on January 12, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

jackohearts on January 12, 2007 at 2:27 PM

That's good but incomplete. At the lower levels, numerous Shi'ite militias are (reportedly) defying their nominal commanders. Also, al Maliki is the PM, not the whole government. Previous reports had it that some of the other ministers were politicking to remove him because he was too supportive of the Shi'ite militias.

My post also was incomplete. Al Maliki has changed his position, having come to perceive the Shi'ite militias as more of a threat than he perceived them before.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 12, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Will McCarthy be happy with $6 gasoline, a world economy plunging into recession? Or does that involve too much forward extrapolation for the wingnut mind to handle?

Posted by: bob h on January 13, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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