Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

DIAMOND ON IRAN....Leonard Weiss and Larry Diamond are members in good standing of the mainstream liberal foreign policy community. They're about the farthest thing imaginable from a pair of left-wing loonies, but here's what they have to say today about Iran and the Bush administration:

When Bush signed the Iraq war resolution, he issued a statement challenging the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, indicating that he could take the nation to war without obeying its restrictions. Unfortunately, even if the president were to agree to the act's restrictions, he could still attack Iran and have up to 90 days before being required to get congressional authorization for the attack.

What to do? Congress should not wait. It should hold hearings on Iran before the president orders a bombing attack on its nuclear facilities, or orders or supports a provocative act by the U.S. or an ally designed to get Iran to retaliate, and thus further raise war fever.

....The law should be attached to an appropriations bill, making it difficult for the president to veto. If he simply claims that he is not bound by the restriction even if he signs it into law, and then orders an attack on Iran without congressional authorization for it, Congress should file a lawsuit and begin impeachment proceedings.

Italics mine. Diamond, obviously, has more than the usual insight into how the Bush administration thinks and acts, since Condi Rice chose him to advise the CPA on Iraqi development in early 2004. His conclusion: the administration plans to bomb Iran and plans to do it whether Congress likes it or not. Listen up, Democrats.

Kevin Drum 11:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (112)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Invading Iran without authority is an impeachable offense. Senator Warner needs to deliver that news to George W Bush.

Posted by: freelunch on February 5, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

They've already got two carrier groups stationed close to Iran, with a third group steaming its way there.

What do you think they intend to do with THREE carrier groups? Exercises? They sure don't need them to bomb Iraq; we have plenty of firepower available in Iraq and Afghanistan already.

You don't need to read tea leaves to figure out what they have in mind...

Posted by: Ranger Jay on February 5, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone is talking about bombing Iran as virtual eventuality. The presidential candidates are coy and risk-averse, but that hardly means Democrats in Congress need to tiptoe through a nonexistent minefield.

At some point, we have to stop this slide to authoriarianism. Most Americans are getting sick of coercive patriotism and hysteia. This is good news. True, most Republicans appear uncomfortably close to fascist ideation. But Americans are much too lazy to goose-step their way to a militarized utopia. This one's a safe bet.

Posted by: walt on February 5, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I agree. If congress doesn't want to use force against Iran they need to spell that out and sign it into law. Part of the problem is that congress hasn't been doing it's job so it falls to the executive branch by default.

Posted by: Joe on February 5, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Invading Iran without authority is an impeachable offense.

Well, this is the whole problem with the War Powers Resolution. Congress signed away its warmaking authority (at least during the crucial first couple of months of a conflict).

This is why what Diamond is saying is so important. If Congress legislates against war with Iran, it puts the president's war powers at their "lowest ebb," since he would then be defying Congress directly. But if they remain silent, there is a strong presumption that he retains the authority to act without Congress's approval--at least for sixty days, by which time we could have reduced significant portions of Iran to cinders.

Posted by: dj moonbat on February 5, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

the administration plans to bomb Iran and plans to do it whether Congress likes it or not. Listen up, Democrats.

Wrong Kevin. Even under the War Powers Resolution, Democrats still have 90 days to reject the war in Iran. But are the Democrats willing to refuse to support our troops while they're in a middle of a war? That is the challenge President Bush, our Commander in Chief, is going to pose to the Democrats.

I predict if Democrats do refuse to support our troops while they're in a middle of a war, the American people will react angrily against the Democrats just as they did in the 2002 elections. This is will lead to a landslide victory for the Republicans in 2008 as liberals and Democrats will show once again they can not be depended upon to support our troops.

Posted by: Al on February 5, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Happened to read a Capote novella over the weekend, "Handcarved Coffins." The character who carves the coffins, meant for nine people whom he feels wronged him, honestly believes that he is the Hand of God, that any acts of violence he commits are done by the guy upstairs. Recognized Bush instantly.

Posted by: paperpusher on February 5, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I agree. Congressional Democrats need to fire a shot across the Bush Administration's bow. Enough moderate Republicans will join them, because their own political survival will demand their rebellion against Fearless Leader.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Al says: Even under the War Powers Resolution, Democrats still have 90 days to reject the war in Iran.

This is a misstatement of how the War Powers Resolution works. Under the War Powers Resolution, the war has to stop after sixty days (90 if the president asks Congress for an extension) unless Congress acts to authorize it after the fact. You have reversed things in your head, in favor of more war and more executive power. Unsurprising, Al, but wrong.

Posted by: dj moonbat on February 5, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Every president since Nixon has said the War Powers Act is unconstitutional. Why do these guys point to the Bush administration's position about this so breathlessly as evidence of military policy wickedness? Maybe they're not as level-headed as Kevin suggests.

Posted by: Richard Riley on February 5, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Al's right. how can we have tens of thousands of martyrs if we don't expand the war?

Posted by: al's imam on February 5, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Face it, people: We ARE going to war with Iran. Bush and Cheney have made this absolutely clear.

Likewise, they have made it absolutely clear that Congress cannot stop them. They simply to do not recognize Congress's authority. Period. From John Yoo's exegesis on President Power to the administration's admitted lawbreaking in surveiling Americans without warrants to the entire White House/VP office's absolute refusals to provide Congress with any information about things as mundane as staffing levels, the Bush administration has made it plain that Congress has no role in government beyond rubber-stamping Bush's agenda.

So let Democrats and Republicans alike try to prevent this war. They can't. Bush will simply order the attack, then defy Congress. The ensuing two years worth of legal and political wrangles will go on against a backdrop of the Middle East in flames.

Posted by: Derelict on February 5, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bush ignores Congress because Congress has consistently abdicated their authority and failed to stand up to a President encroaching on their power. Only Congress has the power to declare war, but Congress gave Bush a blank check with the Iraq War Resolution.

Instead of opposing the war, many Democratic leaders, such as John Kerry, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton voted for it. When the war became unpopular, Kerry and Edwards whined about how they were lied to and Hillary merely blamed Bush for executing the war poorly and said she wished there were do-overs in life. I'm sure those killed and maimed in Iraq wish Hillary could have "done that over" too.

What many Democrats did in Iraq was put political safety ahead of their Constitutional duties. Because of this, it is likely that the Democrats will do the same with Iran. They will likely keep quiet on the issue and fail to even try to prevent Bush from going to war with Iran. And in 2008, when our national security is further threatened by Bush's blunders, the Democrats will merely pick up the electoral pieces and promise to do a better job than he did.

I really hope the Democrats will prove me wrong. Maybe Jim Webb will take a stand, or maybe Obama. But the Democrats must remember that if they fail to prevent an undeclared war with Iran the same way they failed to prevent an undeclared war with Iraq, then history will judge them more harshly than the voters in 2008 will.

Posted by: brian on February 5, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

What's really remarkable about this proposal is that the 90-day War Powers Resolution period is presumably based on the notion that the President must be free to respond to threats as he sees fit, i.e., that the President, by virtue of his office, is entrusted to make those calls. (He has to come looking for approval later, of course.) The Weiss-Diamond proposal, however, essentially says, George W. Bush, we don't trust you any longer to make those decisions. That's a conclusion, mind you, that I fully agree with -- but the extraordinary nature of that statement is really quite breathtaking. (And, for that reason, I don't think it will go anywhere, even as much as I'd like to see it.)

Posted by: Glenn on February 5, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

As one observer said about the Tommies in WWI, our troops in the Middle East are truly lions led by donkeys. While I never supported Bush or Cheney, and have been horrified by virtually all of their policies, I only recently started to believe that they are truly out of touch with reality in a way that qualifies as clinical mental illness.

Posted by: Pat on February 5, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, it seems like only yesterday that I was reading all kinds of comments about how if the Green voters had voted for Gore, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Well, I guess now we get a chance to see if the Dems can really stop an insane war. The warning about what is going to happen doesn't get much plainer than the source Kevin quotes.

Posted by: serial catowner on February 5, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment as a deterrent? Think about it people. Bush does not believe he could ever be impeached. Not by the world view presented to us from the various memos, testimonials in front of congress, and in speeches by any number of the administration and their mouth pieces in the MonoMedia.

I would risk a bet that Bush has contemplated dissolving the congress in the name of fighting the GWOT. He is just stupid enough - with Cheney's prodding, to make the attempt.

Posted by: Rook on February 5, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

dj moonbat: "But if they remain silent, there is a strong presumption that he retains the authority to act without Congress's approval--at least for sixty days, by which time we could have reduced significant portions of Iran to cinders."

Or -- and don't discount this possibility -- Iran absorbs the first series of air strikes and responds with an invasion of Afghanistan, making common cause with Taliban guerillas to beseige that country's 15,000 U.S. troops in Kabul and Khandahar.

Our NATO allies in Afghanistan should let the U.S. know in no unequivocable terms that an American attack upon Iran would render their own presence in that country untenable, and compel the withdrawal of their own substantial combat forces.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

The Ancient Chinese were right. These are interesting times and its really starting to suck.

Posted by: Keith G on February 5, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I have quit thinking "they can't be that stupid/crazy", but I have to believe that more is going on then we have been told if Dumbya actually starts a war with Iran. My guess is that deals have been cut with our "allies" in the region and that is what is keeping the Democrats and moderate Republicans (all half a dozen of them) at bay.

Posted by: terry on February 5, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Why wait? Impeach Bush and Cheney right now. Take your pick on what to charge him with. The mere fact that we are justifiably concerned the POTUS will again mislead us into another unnecessary war is grounds enough for impeachment. When will we learn this President can not be trusted? We can't trust his judgement and we especially can't trust his intentions. He has no business driving the bus. IMPEACH NOW!

Posted by: plane on February 5, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin that Congress needs to hold hearings on Iran. But, IMHO the purpose of the hearings should be to find out what Iran is up to and to shine publicoity on Iran's actions. Currentloy Iran is:

-- developing nukes
-- supporting terrorism
-- sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government.

Unfortuinately, the response of many is to resort to Bsh-bashing. No doubt there's some slight risk that Bush would attack Iran on his own (although he hasn't ever done that sort of thing.) But, the focus on the far-fetcted Bush solo attack serves as a way for you liberals to ignore the problems that we face from Iran.

Please, get in the game, liberals. I want you to contribute ideas of what do do about Iran. It's a sersious problem. Please do more than sit on the sidelines and carp.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 5, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Please, get in the game, liberals. I want you to contribute ideas of what do do about Iran. It's a sersious problem. Please do more than sit on the sidelines and carp."

What about leaving them alone? Hey here's a thought.....they get the bomb and suddenly there in the nuclear club. Do you think they have any thoughts about preserving themselves or is Iran controlled by a bunch of suicide bombers who don't love their children? When they get the bomb it may dawn on the Iranians that if they use it they will be trading their existence for ours.....holy shit! We may find they can be deterred! What to do about Iran? ......not a problem.

Posted by: plane on February 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Currentloy Iran is sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government.

first of all, Iran is not sending troops nor weapons to Iraq. our commanders on the ground keep reiterating this fact in contradiction of Bush's baseless claims.

secondly, Iran SUPPORTS the mainly shi'ite government of Iraq -- you witless fucking dipshit. they've signed security agreements, trade agreements, their ambassadors and elected officials travel back and forth -- Iran and Iraq have GREAT relations, which pisses off Bush by the way.

you are such a dumb fucking moron it's not funny. quit posting here, your IQ is not high enough.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "Please do more than sit on the sidelines and carp."

Please do more than regurgitate the scripted right-wing lies that Rush Limbaugh spoon-feeds you.

Unfortunately you aren't capable of doing anything more than that.

ex-liberal wrote:

Currentloy Iran is:

-- developing nukes

There is absolutely zero evidence that Iran is "developing" nuclear weapons.

-- supporting terrorism

Iran supports terrorist groups that are fighting against Israel, which is in no way a reason for the USA to go to war against Iran. Iran does not support terrorist groups like Al Qaeda that are a threat to the USA.

-- sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government

There is zero evidence of that. Iran is supporting many of the same people in "Iran's elected government" that the US is supporting.

You are a deliberate liar, and every reader of these pages knows that you are a deliberate liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment is the only adversarial way I can see to stop them.

But we should try diplomacy. Bush has been making deals all his life. He has his own ego and insecurities and things we could do to set him up, in return for not bombing Iran.

I think Congress should consider these.

Posted by: catherineD on February 5, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and Cheney are just asserting princely prerogatives. The British Monarch’s Dieu et mon droit or God and my right could be hung without irony over the door of the Oval Office (or Cheney’s office depending on your view). They are making an antique claim to executive war-making. A right that Parliaments and the separation of powers in the United States were intended to limit. Wars in the past required the raising of an army and therefore funds before the fighting even began. Parliaments under these circumstances had time to deliberate. Importantly they could decide if a national stuggle was indeed at hand that called for national action. Modern standing armies and the speed with which an operation can be underway arrest the ability of Congress to assert its ancient power and responsibility. In this context the 90-day rule can be seen as nothing more than an abdication of power. It gives the executive 90 days to have a private war. It also means that the defensive needs of the United States are such that they cannot be trusted to the democratic process but to a political vanguard. Something Dick Cheney and fascists everywhere would no doubt agree with.

The posture of the Cheney Regency is the very stuff of kings rejected by the founding fathers. The kid gloves and a near collective yawn on the part of Congress make me think they are plain witless.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 5, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Iran is not assisting our enemies in Iraq with weapons, training, and money. Iran is completely harmless, and always will be.

I have rarely seen a more amazing example of separation from reality in my life.

Posted by: rnc on February 5, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

catherineD wrote: "Impeachment is the only adversarial way I can see to stop them."

I don't think that impeachment will stop Cheney (Bush is irrrelevant, he's just a spokesmodel for Cheney).

He would just ignore it and go ahead and bomb Iran anyway.

And then declare martial law and suspend the Congress.

About the only thing that would stop him would be a military coup.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 5, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I have 1 vote for impeachment.let's start the ball rolling we need to show these asshats they are not Kings. TAKE BACK AMERICA !!!!!!

Posted by: john john on February 5, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Congress should not wait.

They should pass their resolution before holding hearings. The hearings can then address the issue of when the U.S. might attack Iran in the future. The resolution can contain language permitting American naval vessels to defend against attacks by Iranian air and naval forces, while also prohimting American naval vessesl from sailing within Iranian territorial waters (special language for the Straits of Hormuz). Sen. Webb was secretary of the navy, and he isn't the only senator with sufficient knowledge to write a good resolution. Some of the recent speeches by senior Democratic leaders leave too much maneuvering room for Bush. Five or ten senators could draft the resolution this afternoon and have it introduced in both houses tonight.

That is, if the Democrats want to prevent Bush from initiating a war against Iran, they do not have to wait for anything to do so. The only reason for waiting is the worry that Bush might do the right thing.

dj moonbat: Under the War Powers Resolution, the war has to stop after sixty days (90 if the president asks Congress for an extension) unless Congress acts to authorize it after the fact.

The American navy and air force can drop a considerable tonnage of bombs on Iranian facilities in 60 days; they could probably disable the entire electricity and oil networks. The Democrats need to force Congress to act today.

Posted by: spider on February 5, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

rnc: As soon as Iran does it's first test of a nuclear device. Many armed war heads start to point there direction.Are you saying they are so stupid that they do not know this.

Posted by: john john on February 5, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could make a deal with Iran, Will you stop the pursuit of a bomb If we send Bush and Cheney to the Hague for war crimes against humanity.I bet they bite,

Posted by: john john on February 5, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

rnc, the evidence you present of iranian involvement with the insurgency (or against the iraqi government) is every bit as substantive as the bush administrations's.

Posted by: rnc on February 5, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Currentloy Iran is:
-- developing nukes
-- supporting terrorism
-- sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government."

Polly want a cracker?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I have quit thinking "they can't be that stupid/crazy"

Now THERE'S a bumpersticker!

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on February 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, it seems like only yesterday that I was reading all kinds of comments about how if the Green voters had voted for Gore, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Posted by: serial catowner on February 5, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. for fucks sake. You are a dingbat. Are you actually trying to spin this as vindication for those dumb enough to have voted for Nader and put Chimpy in the White House? Really? REALLY?

Posted by: Pat on February 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

sorry that was me, not rnc

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK
I have rarely seen a more amazing example of separation from reality in my life.

At least since Cheney claimed that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program and the gathering threat might result in a mushroom cloud.

Oh, and Brutus was an honorable man.

Posted by: SavageView on February 5, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:
-- developing nukes
-- supporting terrorism
-- sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government.

True, but the hearings should precede any attack on Iran for sure, not depend on when Bush decides to attack.

I do not believe that Bush will attack without Congressional approval, but he might, so the Democrats need to do the responsible thing and make sure that he does not.

Posted by: spider on February 5, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

There was a court martial during WW1 that Robert Graves reported on. One enlisted man bristling over something an officer did said to the officer, "Two men may meet before two mountains."

Puzzled, the officer asked what that meant.

The enlisted men replied, that the time might be after the war, and that the two men might be the enlisted man and the officer.

The enlisted man was convicted.

So, when I hear a bozo repeat that horrifying lie about not supporting the troops, I think "Two men etc." But what if the "officer" in our present day is a coward who posts anonymously? Ah, wormwood and gall.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 5, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

[Diamond's] conclusion: the administration plans to bomb Iran and plans to do it whether Congress likes it or not.

I don't see how Diamond says that. He certainly thinks it's a real possibility that the Bush WH will attack Iran, and without Congressional approval, but I see nothing in what he's written that would suggest Diamond has concluded that they already fully intend to attack Iran.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 5, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

As soon as Iran does it's first test of a nuclear device. Many armed war heads start to point there direction.Are you saying they are so stupid that they do not know this.

Yeah, none of these people would dare to do something to destroy an enemy if they thought it might result in their own suicide.

Posted by: rnc on February 5, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

The main problem with a nuclear Iran is that they are less susceptible to outside pressure. They can't be robbed or bullied with impunity anymore. And that, of course, is totally unacceptable to an imperial power, no matter who is president.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 5, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

plane: Do you think they have any thoughts about preserving themselves or is Iran controlled by a bunch of suicide bombers who don't love their children?

We don't know the answers. There are for sure Muslims who are proud for their children to die as suicide bombers if they can kill infidels, and Ahmedinejad sent children into combat against the Iraqis.

Iran is not an imminent threat, and Congress should ensure that the US does not attack Iran imminently.

Posted by: spider on February 5, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of people seem to be concluding that Democratic Presidential contenders are ALSO advocating an attack on Iran.

Nothing, though, could be further from the truth, even given everything they have said even in their most bellicose sounding moments.

Look, when Democrats say they want to try diplomacy and other leverage first to deal with any potential nuclear weapon capability in Iran, I think that that is EXACTLY what they mean. When they say that they consider war a means of last resort, that's exactly what they mean. When they say that they want to keep all options on the table, that is exactly what they mean.

We have become accustomed, unfortunately, to what those phrases mean when it comes out of the lying deceitful mouths of Bush and Cheney and Rice and the rest of that vicious crew. And, of course, when THEY say such things it means only war.

I remind people that even with regard to Iraq, essentially everything we needed to accomplish was accomplished well before the war itself, namely, the granting of unfettered inspections and other major concessions by Saddam. Not a single shot was fired to achieve that end, only the threat of an attack if the demands were not met. THAT is how this is all supposed to proceed. It was entirely the recklessness of the Bush WH that went from that clear win diplomatically to the current disaster in Iraq.

I trust a DEMOCRATIC President to play this game with Iran as it should be played, deliberately and with great attention to the perils of an actual war.

People really should bear this context in mind when they consider what Democratic candidates are saying.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 5, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

If this imaginary law is actually feasible, I would write it so that it would be clear to military leaders that a strike against Iran is an unconstitutional act, and that military officers, as well as the Bush administration would face legal consequences if the law was broken. I have little hope that the Bush administration would pay any attention, but I have some hope that military officers, who, like the president, take an oath to uphold the constitution, and unlike the president, take oaths seriously, might not execute a clearly illegal order. An order which, if some reports I have read are correct, would not only be illegal, unconstitutional, but in much of the military's mind, against the best interest of the armed services and the country.

Posted by: patrick on February 5, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

You are correct rnc.
Over the last 30 years the Islamic regime has shown an amazing degree of caution and circumspection. Something you cannot say about Saddam Hussein. They are in the business of survival and preservation of their national sovereignty and that is what a nuclear weapon is intended to preserve.

Problem is that a nuclear Iran will make Saudi Arabia unhappy and they would likely start their own program followed by a nuclear Egypt and Turkey and Greece. Worst of all it would discredit the United States since the US has promised to protect the Saudi Regime. It is prestige and the oil deal that comes with it that Dick Cheney is trying to preserve. In the end Cheney may be powerless to stop Iran even if he bombs it.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 5, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Given the Bush's aadministration's departure from reality and sanity, these suggestions indeed make sense. I am still not convinced that Bush will end this disastrous Presidency walking unescorted from his office, and not being led out and away by law officers. I would imagine that such discussions must be going on now, because reason demands it.

Posted by: della Rovere on February 5, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

As soon as Iran does it's first test of a nuclear device. Many armed war heads start to point there direction.Are you saying they are so stupid that they do not know this.

Yeah, none of these people would dare to do something to destroy an enemy if they thought it might result in their own suicide.

"these people" -- you mean brown ones? cause i don't recall a lot of iranian terrorists, but i'm sure you'll invent some.

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Spider:

Ahmedinejad sent children into combat against the Iraqis.

Hmmm. AFAIK, this is not true, but if you can tell me the source of this news I would appreciate it.

Posted by: Keith G on February 5, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Congress should hold hearings on Iran?

Oh, hell no. While Congress is setting a hearing schedule, Dubya/Cheney will push Iran into making some provocative act that justifies US military action against Iran. A new reality will be created, and any Congressional hearings will be moot.

Congress should be going to Iran directly and opening up formal diplomatic relations...Bypass Dubya - Cheney, really - and do the diplomatic work that the Enron Presidency won't. Iran has demonstrated some willingness to open its nuclear development to the outside world...

Not that I'm trying to promote the idea that Iran is Snow White, but they seem to be less of a bad actor than what Dubya makes them out to be.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 5, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

it just occurred to me that the bush administration, as per the saudis, would like to take the sunni face off the insurgency (you know, the one that kills most americans in iraq). the only way they can realistically do this is to greatly expand the number of iraqi shi'ites attacking us. hence, plan iran.

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, I disagree. An American president is still an AMERICAN president. Amercia is an imperial power and imerial powers are nor interested in deals and compromise. They want submission, because only on that basis do they feel safe. It is impossible that an American president would talk to an Iranian president (prime minister ...) at eye level. Carrots and sticks, mild co-ercion and if they they still haven't got the message that their behaviour is unacceptable, well then comes the inevitable.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 5, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

rnc wrote: "Iran has no nuclear weapons program [...] I have rarely seen a more amazing example of separation from reality in my life."

You wouldn't know "reality" if it bit you in the ass, you brain-dead dittohead mental slave.

There is absolutely zero evidence that Iran has a "nuclear weapons program".

If you think you have evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, let's see it.

FYI, "Rush Limbaugh said so" doesn't count as evidence.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 5, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, none of these people would dare to do something to destroy an enemy if they thought it might result in their own suicide.

A while ago when I was in Germany, I was listening to the Armed Forces radio. Instead of ads they run public service announcements and read the various citations of servicemembers who were awarded medals posthumously...

Since I was a combat engineer, the one that stuck in my head was the story of a lieutenant who, after most of his platoon was killed trying to breach a hole through a barbed wire entanglement, pushed the bangalore torpedo (a specialized explosive device) into the wire; discovered that he was hopelessly entangled in the detonation cord; and fired the charge with himself inside it to open a hole.

Suicide - we can only hope to be brave enough to do it under the right circumstances.

Posted by: Wapiti on February 5, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Of course there is no evidence that Iran is developing nukes. For now (and quite a while) they are busy mastering the basic technology. But on the long run with all the pressure on them and the bully talk from Washington, their only sensible option is to get nukes. I expect a strong Iran to be a sensible and reliable member of the region, but any strong regional power that is not controlled by the US is a threat to the US - not to their national security, but to their corporate profits.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 5, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, Kevin's cited article, the one that began this debate, admits:

Iran is not innocent of dangerous and provocative behavior. Tehran has supported insurgent groups in Iraq, including helping to provide sophisticated explosives that have killed U.S. soldiers. And Iran's continued development of a nuclear enrichment facility is in defiance of the international community's demand to halt those actions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repulsive statements about the Holocaust and Israel add to the nervousness about Iran's future actions.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 5, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jörgen in Germany puts is quite correctly. The Saudi Arabians, for their part, have new customers in the East who don't seem to want to lecture or browbeat them or their neighbors about religion and democracy. There are many conservatives in the kingdom, even in the royal family, who do not like the relationship with the US and would be happy to have other strategic partners. It is after all the land of bin Laden and the 9/11 attackers. The Iraq mess has only shown them that the US cannot be trusted to manage the Middle East. They do dread the rise of Iran (choose your fundamentalism)but a nuclear balance of power in the region could do them very well in the long run.

There is a new strategic notion that a nuclear Iran is both inevitable and not a bad thing.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 5, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Iran is assisting our enemies in Iraq with weapons, training, and money.

Actually, Iran is assisting our allies -- the elected Shiite government -- in Iraq.

Posted by: Stefan on February 5, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

.Incidentally, Kevin's cited article, the one that began this debate, admits:

1)the paragraph you cited does not contain the claims you made. it makes very different claims. not smart enough to see the difference? I didn't think so.

2)the claims being made by the authors of Kevin's article are unsubtantiated claims. see here:

A few hundred British troops living out of nothing more than their cut-down Land Rovers and light armored vehicles have taken to the desert in the start of what British officers said would be months of patrols aimed at finding the illicit weapons trafficking from Iran, or any sign of it.

There's just one thing.

"I suspect there's nothing out there," the commander, Lt. Col. David Labouchere, said last month, speaking at an overnight camp near the border. "And I intend to prove it."

Other senior British military leaders spoke as explicitly in interviews over the previous two months. Britain, whose forces have had responsibility for security in southeastern Iraq since the war began, has found nothing to support the Americans' contention that Iran is providing weapons and training in Iraq, several senior military officials said.

"I have not myself seen any evidence -- and I don't think any evidence exists -- of government-supported or instigated" armed support on Iran's part in Iraq, British Defense Secretary Des Browne said in an interview in Baghdad in late August.

Other senior British military leaders spoke as explicitly in interviews over the previous two months. Britain, whose forces have had responsibility for security in southeastern Iraq since the war began, has found nothing to support the Americans' contention that Iran is providing weapons and training in Iraq "We have found no credible evidence to suggest there is weapons smuggling across the border."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/03/AR2006100301577_pf.html

you can go back to eating paste now.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos to Kevin Drum for staying on this message. Democrats in Congress and 2008 prsidential candidates should be pressed to act NOW -- not after an attack has begun, or when war fever stirred up by neocon tricks and a passive MSM has become irreversible.

Posted by: JS on February 5, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Someone has already said it - but this war is inevitable, unless impeachment proceedings begin first. And Democrats are too gutless, so buy a hybrid, buy some gold and stock up on canned foods cuz the next dozen years or so are gonna be rough.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 5, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, after trying to turn his piss-stained panic up to 11 with the massive power and capabilities of mighty Iran in his opening sweat-soaked gambit, tries to 'prove' the sanity of his fear-based approach to the world with this passage: Iran is not innocent of dangerous and provocative behavior. Tehran has supported insurgent groups in Iraq, including helping to provide sophisticated explosives that have killed U.S. soldiers. And Iran's continued development of a nuclear enrichment facility is in defiance of the international community's demand to halt those actions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repulsive statements about the Holocaust and Israel add to the nervousness about Iran's future actions.

Here's what he first wrote about Iran, they are:

"-- developing nukes"

Here's what he approvingly cited in his defense:

And Iran's continued development of a nuclear enrichment facility is in defiance of the international community's demand to halt those actions.

Not the same. Not really even close. At least in terms of the difference between bombing people in a panic about mushroom cloud and doing something with foresight and thought to a potential threat years down the road. ex-liberal, a terrifed member of the clucking set, approves of the former, naturally.

-- supporting terrorism

In a different war, in a different country with different goals. Inexcusable, of course, on par, I'd say, with our longtime support of death squads in Central America. But not a particularly good reason to bomb their country.

-- sending troops and weapons to Iraq to help overthrow the elected government.

Tehran has supported insurgent groups in Iraq, including helping to provide sophisticated explosives that have killed U.S. soldiers

They have also supported the same government we are supporting, providing sophisticated explosives for and arming to kill other ethnic sorts in Iraq. In the same vein, we supported Iraqi groups during the Iran-Iraq war, and we provided them with sophisticated explosives that killed Iranian soliders (and vice-versa).

This is the best you can do? China armed the Vietnamese and Nixon went to Bejing anyway. We all but created the mujadeen and Gorbachev still talked nukes with St. Ronnie.

The world works in sick ways. Escalating a senseless war with more senseless destruction is possibly the sickest. Especially when the only options you present are 'bombing' or 'not bombing'.

The warmongers panic is palpable. And wolf has already been cried too much. Pathetic losers.

Posted by: noltf on February 5, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Congress is listening to Diamond and Weiss...both sides of the aisle.

It still seems clear to me that Congress can unequivocally signal rejection of any attack on Iran with enough teeth to prevent it from occurring, it it's done the right way and with the proper show of will.

Let's put a stop to this foreign "adventurism" (and "triumphalism").

Posted by: Jimm on February 5, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Frenquency Kenneth: "... no surprise Kevin didn't address the serious threats posed by Ahmadinejad."

President Ahmadinejad is not the center of Iran's political universe, which still revolves around the clerics and mullahs. And if the mullahs ever decide that he no longer serves a useful purpose (either domestically or internationally), he'd be gone in a heartbeat.

Rather, he's a buffoonish strawman who in fact holds no more constitutional power than, say, that enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth II in those countries of the British Commonwealth, i.e., Canada and Australia, that continue to recognize her as their own titular head of state.

(My apologies to Her Majesty and her subjects for my crass but still valid equivalization).

I'd think that you'd already know all about strawmen, F.K., since you've obviously bought so many in the past, and must have amassed quite a collection by now.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

noltf and st, of course it's true that developing nuclear capability in defiance of the UN doesn't prove that Iran is planning to develop nuclear weapons. However, given Iran's huge supply of oil ISTM that their purpose isn't simply to develop another energy supply.

noltf and st, do you actually believe that Iran is seeking nuclear capability solely for domestic power production?

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 5, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "noltf and st, do you actually believe that Iran is seeking nuclear capability solely for domestic power production?"

I believe that you wrote that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

You have absolutely zero evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Zero, none, nothing. No evidence.

You are a deliberate liar and everyone who reads these pages knows that you are a deliberate liar.

Not only that, but your lies are stupid.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 5, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

noltf and st, do you actually believe that Iran is seeking nuclear capability solely for domestic power production?

Iran is clearly seeking nuclear capability for domestic power production. their nuclear power program began in the 1950's under the Shah, who believed that oil was too precious to burn just to makef electricity. if you ever bothered to educate yourself on an issue before commenting on it -- you miserable fuckwit -- you'd know that Iran's current oil reserves won't last another century. therefore they need alternate power sources.

to the extent that Iran may be seeking nuclear weaponry there's no reason to believe that they would be seeking it for any different reasons than India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Israel, or France pursued nuclear weaponry, the possession of which is both a deterrent to foreign aggression and a means to be treated seriously as a nation.

please go change your diapers now.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Good for you, Kevin, giving this important issue prominence today.

Harvard Law School professor David J Barron expressed to a Senate Judiciary panel on Jan. 30th that results of last year's election, and the changing nature of the debate over the Iraq war, compelled lawmakers to revisit the authorization for military action that they gave the president in 2002.
He said "How could it be that our constitutional planners would not give Congress that power?"

Americans Against Escalation in Iraq has begun a national tv advertising campaign targeting lawmakers, including Arlen Specter.

Certainly it is clear to us skeptics that the escalation could include Iran, and the president certainly made overtures in his state of the union address, and again on Jan. 29th.
Now he is requesting $750 billion for defense spending--three quarters of a trillion dollars--to cover the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and "other elements of the global war on terror."
Windfalls for Halliburton? Beginnings of moves toward Iran? We must demand accountabiliy.

But I lack heart. I'm watching Cspan, the senators are assembled to debate the escalation/surge, and the republicans appeared to be blocking debate or discussion--through delaying and possibly filibustering. Shumer reminded them that the lack of debate is what led America into the war.
So I am wondering--Arlen Specter met last week, I believe, with a group of fellow republican senators and the president. He, of course, has said Mr. Bush is not the sole decider on Iraq.
Yet I think the republicans might have a plan to delay debate on the president's escalation of the Iraq war, and this little game will buy him time to escalate with Iran. Then it will be a done deal. I have seen Specter fold time and time again.
And Congress will be discussing it after the fact. In today's senate meeting, televised live, Harry Reid today expressed alarm that yet another air carrier is near Iran.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 5, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

FREQ KEN: If that is true Clinton would have been impeached for his attacks on Serbia, and Johnson would have been impeached for his attacks on North Vietnam. Neither Clinton nor Johnson had Congressional approval for those attacks.

so in your "mind"...

two wrongs..

make a right?

color me unconvinced by your logic...

Posted by: mr. irony on February 5, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

There is absolutely zero evidence that Iran has a "nuclear weapons program".

The United Nations is spending a great deal of effort to get Iran to stop its nuclear development. If there is absolutely nothing to indicate Iran's intent to construct nuclear weapons, what are they worried about? Maybe they heard something on Rush Limbaugh?

Anyway, why not just join the "Iran with nukes is a good thing" crowd?

The slavish adoration of anyone who sets themselves up as an enemy of the United States has been characteristic of the Left for decades. Big surprise that this is now morphing into "we think mullahs with atomic bombs are a GREAT idea."

Posted by: rnc on February 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

To make a preemptive attack against Iran unambiguously impeachable, Congress should pass a resolution on this now. The resolution soes not have to say that we will never wage war (so it could keep "all options on the table"). It should simply state that any military action will require explicit prior congressional authorization.

Posted by: JS on February 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

rnc: The United Nations is spending a great deal of effort to get Iran to stop its nuclear development.


rnc....

against the u-n...

before they were for it...

Posted by: mr. irony on February 5, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Never in my life have I seen an Administration that does so much that IS NOT in the best interests of the country. If they attack Iran, it will be another illegal and immoral war. It will also tell the world that America is no longer the good guy. America attacks sovereign nations whenever it feels like it. There is so much blood on the White Hat, it's impossible to tell it's a White Hat. Who will be next? Perhaps, America will find its former allies believing that America needs to be attacked pre-emptively. This may be the only thing left for other countries in the world to feel safe.

There used to be diplomacy in American foreign policy. Bush can't spell diplomacy let alone know and understand its concept.

Posted by: Mazurka on February 5, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Irony:

The point, which apparently escaped you, is that someone with a little more credibility on the left than Rush Limbaugh also thinks Iran is a threat with nuclear technology.

Posted by: rnc on February 5, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"we think mullahs with atomic bombs are a GREAT idea."

so you're a bigot who hates Muslim clerics. big surprise. but you apparently have no problem with Christian fundamentalists possessing atomic bombs??? how about the "rabbis" in Israel; what's your position on their nukes? or the "brahmins" in India? do you despise them too?

Iran was liberalizing, modernizing, and reaching out to the U.S. diplomatically until Bush decided to call them "evil," refuese relations with them, and destroy their next door neighbor. Iranians are people just like us - no more, no less. you apparently are just a cowardly bigot who needs to go halfsies on his Depends with ex-liberal.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

rnc: The slavish adoration of anyone who sets themselves up as an enemy of the United States has been characteristic of the Left for decades.


gotta love that picture of rummy shaking hands and a smiling with saddam...

or reagan selling shoulder-fired missles to the mujahadeen...which became al queda..

gop: DOH!

Posted by: mr. irony on February 5, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

The same people who seem to support bombing Iran are the same ones bleating about supporting the troops. What they seem to forget is if we bomb Iran, we now have 140,000 hostages in Iraq. Remember who we put in charge in Iraq -- a government linked to Iran.


Posted by: lou on February 5, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

The point, which apparently escaped you, is that someone with a little more credibility on the left than Rush Limbaugh also thinks Iran is a threat with nuclear technology.

um no. the issue is that Iran is in non-compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

so are Pakistan, India, and Israel. shouldn't we bomb them first for good measure?

also, no less than esteemed attorney general Alberto Gonzales has basically stated that the the U.S. can simply ignore international treaties when it chooses.

Iran must have gotten a hold of some of his writing and it made a big impression on them.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

so are Pakistan, India, and Israel [in non-compliance of the NNPT]. shouldn't we bomb them first for good measure?

None of them have signed the NNPT.

Posted by: Disputo on February 5, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Two words for Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales:
The Hague.

Posted by: Kenji on February 5, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

st, there is a problem with the UN's recent action. As far as I can tell, the US was successful in twisting its arm to impose sanctions on Iran without any legal basis. This was a huge win for Bolton and a development that has not received much attention.

The NPT is a voluntary treaty, and certainly nothing in it requires or even implies that non-compliance can result in sanctions -- let alone military action.

Someone with more legal knowledge (cmdicely?) should explain this further. For a long time now, the anti-Iran neocon narrative is based not on any substantive binding treaty vilation but on "the will" or "the demands" "of the international community". The MSM have swallowed this and are parroting it with no questions asked. I think it's a problem, because it has weakened whatever semblance of international law has existed.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry -- the previous post addressed to st was by me.

Posted by: JS on February 5, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

iran is not in violation of the NPT. the agreements which they are in violation are were added on top of the NPT, all covered with snow.

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Listen up, Kevin.

If we wait 'till after Bush bombs Iran to impeach him, it will be too late. The Democrats have little time to implement the complex strategy outlined by Diamond. And who is gonna push for this course? Obama? Clinton? Biden? Edwards? Fucking please. When the bombs start raining on Tehran, these presidential hack wannabes will be the first to line up behing our Leader with a resounding cry of "bombs away!"

So what if -- by some great miracle -- the Democrats follow Diamond's advice, and impeach Bush after defying a direct congressional order to not bomb Iran. What then? Will the removal of a lame-duck despot avert the regional war he just started? Will the oil crisis such a war would spark be less acute if Bush has to answer to a reactive Congress for his illicit behavior?

The point is to avert WW3, not to punich the fool who starts it after the fact.

Listen up, Democrats. Impeach. Bush. Now.

(idiots)

Posted by: smedleybutler on February 5, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"we think mullahs with atomic bombs are a GREAT idea."

Hmmm...what's your position on pro-Taliban, pro-Al Qaeda, anti-American (and yet, somehow, a Bush ally) nuclear armed Muslim Pakistan?

Posted by: Stefan on February 5, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

None of them have signed the NNPT.

I understand that. the point I was trying to make is that India and Pakistan and Israel are all in violation of the principles of the treaty, but Iran who actually signed it is being singled out for possible attack.

maybe if Iran had just chosen to develop a nuclear weapons program in secret like the others and not sign the treaty then everything would be ok.

of course it wouldn't be, and that's my point, because the difference is Iran is not an ally of the U.S., not matter how hard it's tried to be in the recent past.

in other words, it's not international law that matters -- it's whether the Bush administration likes you or not.

Posted by: st on February 5, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin we, the USA, are the good guys. We don't hang 16 girls for engaging in prematrial sex, nor 17 boys for engaging in homosexual sex. Iran does.
Iran also supports terrorism.
Iran right is supplying IEDs and advice that kill Americans.
What do you want to do? Give the Iranians a pass, ignore it.
Your a fucking tratior and a coward.
Go hang yourself you shitstain of a human being.

Posted by: Terry on February 5, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji: "Two words for Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales: The Hague."

And one word for Condi: Ferragamo's.

Posted by: Channeling Spicoli from Hawaii on February 5, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Bellumregio:
you chirac, you.

Posted by: Sacem on February 5, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Terry, what about Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? they support terrorists too. Iran is not a threat to the U.S. they don't have nukes, and they're willing to negotiate with us.
Let's start with trying to find common ground instead of looking for a reason to attack them.

Posted by: D. on February 5, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush administration might be motivated to support these uprisings:

http://noiri.blogspot.com/2007/02/exclusive-breaking-news-tribal.html

The uprisisngs might even already have been encouraged by the recent American naval/marine buildup.

That's empty speculation, but if the Democrats want to prohibit American attacks on Iran, they better do so right away. Does anybody actually think that attacking Iran right now would really be a good idea?

Posted by: spider on February 5, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

D., good point. Your diplomacy with neanderthals is laudable.

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for that tid bit. I have been wondering about the legality of how congressional approval would work for a Bush attack on Iran. I had a feeling that congress had already given Bush that approval in some shape or form. Nice to see an explaination of how it could be revoked.

Now I understand what AIPAC will be trying to do. All they have to is maintain a holding action to prevent congress explicitly revoking authority to attack Iran, and then wait for Bush to attack. Hard to see how they will fail to acheive that. Most Congress members don't need much encouragement to do nothing. Congress is now clearly almost irrelevant to war with Iran. The only resistance left is that within the bureaucracies, the DoD, the intelligence agencies etc.

Remember DeLong's maxim.

"The Bush administration is worse than we imagine--even after taking account of the fact that the Bush adminisntration is worse than we imagine."

Posted by: still working it out on February 5, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

and iran backs the same iraqi government we do. they were also enormously helpful in afghanistan.

as far as terrorism, ask your dead uncle fahd. i can't decide if the specter of an al qaeda/iranian alliance is more or less ridiculous than the specter of a saddam/al qaeda alliance -- not that anyone here is brain-dead enough to suggest such a thing, right?

Posted by: benjoya on February 5, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

iran is not in violation of the NPT. the agreements which they are in violation are were added on top of the NPT

Right -- the "Additional Protocol". But that's voluntary too, like the main NPT. I still am not aware of any legal basis for the UN's sanctions on Iran.

Posted by: JS on February 5, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is too stupid to listen. I hate all this impeaching; but to prevent a war with Iran, I think we have to impeach Cheney now. Then maybe Bush will start listening.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on February 5, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

The situation with this administration is that it is a one trick pony. Having succeeded in starting two wars, it just doesn't have the capacity to think outside its own box. The fact is though, that this box is washed up and what needs to be done is to kick the legs out from under it. This is the last paragraph from Joe Klein's Time article about a recent conservative convention;
"In the end, the conservatives had little to unite them except, as always, lower taxes. "You have to cut taxes whenever you can," Jeb Bush proposed, "or government will grow faster than people's ability to pay for it." Huh? Bush's assumption was Ronald Reagan's: that "government" is part of the problem, not part of the solution."
What if the Democrats were to pass legislation saying that any more money for the war would have to be paid for with tax increases on the wealthy, oil companies and increased gas taxes? They could call it the Support Our Troops Initiative and use a SUT ribbon to promote it.
It would kick the conservatives squarely in the balls. Can you imagine bush signing it? could you imagine him not signing it? The box would break apart.

Posted by: brodix on February 5, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone above who thinks an attack on Iran to be a Good Idea considered the ramifications?

1. What happens to our people in Iraq?
2. Closure of Straits of Hormuz==> $200/bbl oil price shocks. Result to US economy?
3. China and Iran have been getting pretty chummy recently. China isn't going to like any action that will destroy their oil trading partner. China buys a heck of a lot of our gov't bonds which we put out to sell because we're running at a deficit....get the point? Heck, they don't have to do anything--simply sit back, refuse to buy, and watch as our gov't defaults.
4. If Bush is so stupid as to attack Iran with nukes, what do you think the backlash will be from the rest of the world?

Posted by: grumpy realist on February 5, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I hate all this impeaching"

What we hate is the prospect of the MSM whining about it, but...

Impeaching Bush isn't about punishing him, it's to stop him from punishing us.

Being President is a privilege, not a right.

Posted by: Archie on February 5, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Is Michale Barone influential, or speak for lots of people?

http://jewishworldreview.com/michael/barone020507.php3

This is just one example of why the Democrats need to act fast.

Posted by: spider on February 5, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Barone article is frighteningly delusional. Hezbollah invaded Israel last summer? On whose planet?

Yeah, the neocons are indeed once again desperate to have the US shed more blood and treasure in pursuit of their pet project.

Posted by: Disputo on February 5, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Think mile-long lines of angry motorists waiting for rationed $5.99 a gallon gasoline during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.

Posted by: bill t on February 5, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

His conclusion: the administration plans to bomb Iran and plans to do it whether Congress likes it or not. Listen up, Democrats.

Why Democrats, Kevin?

Joe Lieberman is holding Senate Democrats hostage and it's only a matter of time (and on any matter that he's against) before he leaves the Democratic caucus.

Republicans hold the key to avoiding this catastrophe. Lay it where it belongs, at their feet.

Posted by: Maeven on February 5, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Attach a surtax on high incomes to the Iraq Supplemental.

The right can win against impeachment or outright withdrawal of funding: "you're not supporting the troops, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah ..."

But challenge the folks making hay from record highs on the Dow and supersized Wall Street bonuses to match some of the SACRIFICE that our troops are being asked for. That just might do the trick.

The right loves its money more than it cares about George and Dick's Excellent Middle East Adventure.

Posted by: STS on February 6, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Terry
"Kevin we, the USA, are the good guys. We don't hang 16 girls for engaging in prematrial sex, nor 17 boys for engaging in homosexual sex. Iran does."

The US imprisons children as young as 12 on drug and theft charges with hardened adults where they are raped on a regular basis.

" Iran also supports terrorism."

US trained, funded, and supplied right-wing death squads in central America and now in Iraq are not terrorists how?

" Iran right is supplying IEDs and advice that kill Americans."

An outright lie. Furthermore, the US supplied poison gas to Saddam and cluster bombs to Israel that have been used on civilian targets.

"What do you want to do? Give the Iranians a pass, ignore it."

What do YOU want to do? Give this administration and its members' past crimes a pass, ignore it.

"Your a fucking tratior and a coward.
Go hang yourself you shitstain of a human being."

Take a look in the fucking mirror asshole.

Posted by: joe on February 6, 2007 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Can it not be grasped merely from the profits the industries which serve the military are making?

Can we really not acknowledge the groups and thinktanks involved in shaping this debate?

Are we that indoctrinated to think that all of these countries are a threat to us?

And can we really not see that we are creating our enemies by our continual presence?

Posted by: ck on February 6, 2007 at 5:43 AM | PERMALINK

One last thing - A quote:

"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th." September 17th, 2003
-George W. Bush

Posted by: ck on February 6, 2007 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

That has been my position for the bast few months: Iran Attack = Bush Impeached.

Posted by: MNPundit on February 6, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

That has been my position for the bast few months: Iran Attack = Bush Impeached

Impeach a preznit in the middle of a war with just a little over a year left in his term? It'll never happen.

Posted by: Mombo on February 7, 2007 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Naval resources placed in the area of Iran would have been planned far ahead. There is nothing responsive to ongoing developments happening when you constantly ignore overtures to talk and lie about what the other party is saying ( convenient that Farsi speakers are few around the U.S. ).
The Plame adventure is haunting in another way : that lady ran the desk responsible for assessments of Iran's capabilities re: nukes.( Which are non-existant) The symmetry of threatening the attack they can't initiate in response for their incapacity is typical Bush.
Heads up. The plan is not just to war on Iran. It's to make the Middle East explode. ( But that's crazy ! You say that about the man who 'hears voices' and acts as though he's fulfilling End Days prophecy ? )

Posted by: opit on February 8, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly