Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 1, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CHENEY AND IRAN....Remember that report from Steve Clemons last week about how Dick Cheney is hoping to get Israel to attack Iran in order to provoke a shooting war that will suck in the United States? Today in the New York Times, Helene Cooper confirms it:

In interviews, people who have spoken with Mr. Cheney's staff have confirmed the broad outlines of the report, and said that some of the hawkish statements to outsiders were made by David Wurmser, a former Pentagon official who is now the principal deputy assistant to Mr. Cheney for national security affairs.

Good 'ol David Wurmser. A neocon's neocon. Co-author in 1996 of "A Clean Break," the infamous document that proposed giving up on peace in the Middle East in favor of armed attacks on Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and, while we're at it, Iraq too. A man who proposed attacking South America in retaliation for 9/11. The guy who keeps Cheney bucked up when things look bad.

Unsurprisingly, this news didn't go over well with non-crazy people:

During an interview with BBC Radio that was broadcast today, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he did not want to see another war like the one still raging in Iraq five years after the American-led invasion there.

"You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say, 'let's go and bomb Iran,'" Mr. ElBaradei said, in his strongest warning yet against the use of force in Iran.

....Several Western European officials also echoed his concern, and said privately that they are worried that Mr. Cheney's "red lines" — the point at which he believes that Iran is on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon and a military strike is necessary — may be coming up soon. "We fully believe that Foggy Bottom is committed to the diplomatic track," one European official said Wednesday. "But there's some concern about the vice president's office."

And the White House's response? An unnamed senior official didn't actually deny that Wurmser's account of Cheney's views was accurate, saying only that "the vice president is not necessarily responsible for every single thing that comes out of the mouth of every single member of his staff." Roger that. I'm sure Wurmser will be fired any day now. And Condi Rice says the whole thing is ridiculous. Of course Cheney is on board with the diplomatic track. Why on earth would anyone think differently?

Kevin Drum 5:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (97)

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Comments

Cue "ex-liberal" spewing already-discredited neocon bullshit about Iran in 3...2...

Posted by: Gregory on June 1, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

He makes Strangelove look like a peacenik. The man is nuttier than a pile of elephant shit.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on June 1, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

The thing about attacking South America is beyond bizarre. It makes sense, though, if you look at it as a kind of bargaining chip. You propose something so crazy, so outlandish, that it makes the merely screwball look rational by comparison. "OK, so you won't bomb Peru. How about invading Iraq instead?"

Posted by: Martin Gale on June 1, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

21 minutes and counting ... still no brain fart from Al ... 22 minutes and counting ...

Posted by: UncleJeffy on June 1, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't read the context. But to me ElBaradei's statement is another example of a problem caused by this administration's irresponsibility, namely, that he's likely to soft-peddle hang-ups in negotiations with Iran or even skew his reasoning in a way that minimizes their progress out of fear of giving the US a pretext to attack.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on June 1, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Good G-d, Cheney is on the freaking loose, again?
wtf?
For the love of G-d and country Pelosi, get some ovaries and impeach the sobs before there is nothing left of an America to be president of!

Posted by: sheerahkahn on June 1, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Syria, Don't we owe them a debt of gratitude.I mean Sean Hannity has been telling us for years that Saddams WMD went to Syria.They have done a exellent job of keeping the Terrorists from getting there hands on any of those WMD.I as a proud American say thank you Syria for keeping us safe from harm.

Posted by: john john on June 1, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

The notion that were going to attack Iran while were still occupying Iraq is ridiculous. That said, if Iran continues on its present course, we should keep all options on the table. Acmadinajad is a dangerous foe, who is hell bent on creating a petro-nuclear superstate with us in the cross-hairs. To take nuclear retailiation off the table would be irresponsible. Do you want to tell the children of America that we took nuclear retaliation off the table? I'd like to be a fly on the wall when you do.

Posted by: egbert on June 1, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Doug McIntyre from 790 KABC-FM had an apology last year as he had been a Bush/Cheney voter. Here is part of it: "Katrina, Harriet Myers, The Dubai Port Deal,skyrocketing gas prices, shrinking wages for working people, staggering debt, astronomical foreign debt, outsourcing, open borders, contempt for the the American people,the war on science, media manipulation, faith-based initiatives, a cavalier attitude toward fundamental freedom--this president has run the most arrogant and out-of-touch administration in my lifetime, in any American's lifetime...when your gut led you to one business failure to another, when your gut told you to trade Sammy Sosa to the Cubs, and you use the same gut to send our sons and daughters to fight and die in a distraction from the real war on terror, then history will and should be unapologetic in its condemnation....
"We're being governed by paper-mache patriots; brightly painted red, white and blue, but hollow to the core...Greatness is always rare, but is basic competence and simple honesty too much to ask?"

He questions if the president is either grossly incompetent or a hand puppet for a gaggle of detached theorists with their own private view of how the world works.

When I read Kevin's post the content put me in mind of detached theorists with a private view of how the world works....

Worth sharing, I thought. He also mentioned that it may be decades before we have the full picture of how paranoid and contemptuous this administration has been...

Posted by: consider wisely on June 1, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

In conjunction with Cheney's delusional state, and this:

Report: In Meeting, ‘Wild-Eyed’ Bush Thumped Chest While Repeating ‘I Am The President!’

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/05/31/bush-wild-eyed/

We should be scared

Posted by: thersites on June 1, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I conider Wurmser's comments to be helpful to the negotiation process. The more Iran believes that we might attack them, the more likely they are to agree to something reasonsble.

The talk about attacking Iran is just that: talk. Meanwhile Iran is committing actions. They have kidnaped several Americans who they refuse to release. They continue to develop their nukes. They continue to support various terrorist groups in Iraq, according to many.

I'm more concerned about Iran's actions than about the words of some staffer.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 1, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nice work, mhr. You snuck in Godwin's Law in under an hour.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on June 1, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for demonstrating once again, ex-liberal, what a shameless hack you are. "According to many," indeed.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on June 1, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Perspectives.
There was a political cartoon in Newsweek with a drawing of Lyndon B Johnson on the teevee, looking haggard and drawn, telling the public "I'm sending in more troops."
The listeners look at one another and the one says "Bush has aged in office"
---2007 Peters, Dayton Daily News

This post reminded me of that cartoon.
And the trolls are already on board giving thumbs up to yet more war and violence.

Posted by: consider wisely on June 1, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

HMMM Maybe there building up there nuclur weapons because there being threatened by another Country.Seem we did the same thing in the 80's,Does that make us as bad as Iran.Quck, one question what was the only country to use a nuclur bomb on civilians?

Posted by: john john on June 1, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

a shooting war that will suck in the United States?

I misread your first sentence and thought "why? doesn't the shooting war in Iraq suck enough?"

Posted by: derek on June 1, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Do read the thinkprogress.org post that thersites suggests.
The Dallas paper reported the president "also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country’s destiny."

Further, the post notes "This is the second time in recent weeks that accounts have surfaced of Bush lashing out or “ranting” in private meetings when responding to criticism of his Iraq policy. Chris Nelson of the Nelson Report offered a similar account earlier this month:

[S]ome big money players up from Texas recently paid a visit to their friend in the White House. The story goes that they got out exactly one question, and the rest of the meeting consisted of The President in an extended whine, a rant, actually, about no one understands him, the critics are all messed up, if only people would see what he’s doing things would be OK…etc., etc. This is called a “bunker mentality” and it’s not attractive when a friend does it. When the friend is the President of the United States, it can be downright dangerous. Apparently the Texas friends were suitably appalled, hence the story now in circulation."


Posted by: consider wisely on June 1, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal, Egbert,

When powerful states like the U.S. rattle the saber, it only increases the need for other states to develop nuclear deterrants. Yes, that would be a need. Nuclear states do not get invaded. The best, most efficient way to ensure the preservation of one's national sovereignty is to develop nuclear weapons. The more the United States flexes its muscles and brags about the size of its penis, the more likely threatened states are to develop weapons to prevent the liklihood of an invasion. Had Saddam Hussein nuclear weapons there is no way the U.S. would have invaded, if not in fear of their use against Israel or Kuwait, then in fear of their loss to non-state actors during the chaos that would (did) ensue. Countries which feel secure in their positions, and which do not fear invasion, do not develop nuclear weapons. This doesn't mean, of course, that Iran is a great place, or that we need to send them bouquets and chocolates, but it does mean that we are better off ratcheting down the rhetoric.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on June 1, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Is eggy still here? Yes, that buzzing sound is he, surely, trembling.

Ahem, Children of America:

Nuclear option is off the table.

That will be all.

Posted by: Trollhattan on June 1, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

What right does ElBaradei have to "not give additional arguments" to people?

His role is to clearly, honestly and accurately give an accounting of Iran's nuclear activities.

The clear implication from his statement is that he will bias and distort the IAEA's output to achieve a particular political objective.

Of course, this corruption whizzed straight over Kevin's head. Too inconvenient.

Posted by: x on June 1, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Good 'ol David Wurmser. A neocon's neocon. Co-author in 1996 of "A Clean Break," . . .

And, lest we forget, a citizen of the U.S. and Israel. Not to suggest he might have "dual loyalties," or anything like that. That would be, ah, anti-Semitic. Yeah, that's the ticket . . .

Posted by: T. Flanagan on June 1, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why are liberals so fearful? What do liberals see in islamic fanaticism that they like?
Posted by: mhr on June 1, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

It must be their dislike of authority, or their open acceptance of homosexuality, or the patriarchy, and accepted and common violence against women, or maybe it's the violent xenophobia, or the anti-scientific propaganda, and the religious intolerance.

Gee, come to think of it, if those are qualities that Liberals (as you say) Love, then why don't we love our own Conservatives?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 1, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

everblue stater wrote: Countries which feel secure in their positions, and which do not fear invasion, do not develop nuclear weapons.

erevblue -- I appreciate your acknowledgment that it's important to deter Iran from building nukes. Your proposition (quoted above) is probably correct much of the time. But, there are two problems with it:

1. It doesn't always hold. Saddam Hussein and the Mullah's in Iran both started developing nukes at a time when invasion was not threatened. Saddam was close to having nukes in 1991.

2. Regardless of the general principle, Iran is now strongly committed to developing a nuclear arsenal. It's too late to stop them by simply being non-threatening.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 1, 2007 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's too late to stop them by simply being non-threatening.

No it's not.

Hey, unsupported assertions are fun! You don't have to do any actual thinking, much less engage in the hard work of being objective.

No wonder you have so much energy to post nonsense here.

Posted by: trex on June 1, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Saddam was close to having nukes in 1991.

That's 'ten years' close, right?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 1, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

people who have spoken with Mr. Cheney's staff have confirmed the broad outlines of the report

A guy on the staff said, "You know, it might not be so bad if the Israelis bombed one of the Iranian nuclear facilities, as they did the Osirak reactor."

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 1, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody has to depend on Israel or anyone else to attack Iran because, unfortunately, Iran will probably attack some other nation as soon as they have a dozen nukes or so. They will use up to three in an attack and save nine or so to stave off any retaliation.

Who will Iran attack? They could try to sink an American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, just for the glory of it. More likely they will direct a nuclear-tipped rocket at one of the big American bases in Iraq, which will simply be a continuation of their efforts to kill Americans with IED's.

Why will they employ such an aggressive and bold policy, when surely they know that the present American president will not hesitate to rain down the whole missile load of at least two Trident submarines to avenge such an attack?

Well, Ahmadinejad truly thinks differently than most of us do about history. He may even lash out at Europe with his best three offensive nuclear weapons. He is a Big Picture and a Long Term Impact guy with his tiny little brain. Plus, he truly doesn't care that much about what retaliation will do to Iran because he thinks there are already too many secular, Western-leaning people in Iran. Were it not for Turkey, Iran would probably host the most modern, even leaning towards tolerantly multicultural, population in the Near East. Of course tolerance and multiculturalism are under severe attack from Algeria all the way across the Muslim world to Pakistan, so the much hoped-for "moderate" Islamic thinkers are pretty darn endangered, even the embattled splinter groups of them that George W. Bush is trying hardest to protect.

In a quiet kind of way, American military help may be accomplishing something in Lebanon, where moderate Moslems and Christians are standing up to Iranian-backed forces.

But it ain't over until it's over. Ahmadinejad is in a rare position to make history take a pretty radical shift. He does understand that, I'm afraid.

Posted by: mike cook on June 1, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

If Cheney wants to nudge Israel into attacking Iran, he's not alone. Some Christian radio programs are noisily banging the drums for the start of Armageddon because that will clue in their savior that he's late for his second coming. It's all in the Bible, you see. Southwest Radio Church interviewed Avi Lipkin this week and he was predicting a joint U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran within weeks or months. Quotes are here, after the intro paragraphs on the late Sen. Harold Hughes.

Posted by: Zeno on June 1, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

egbert writes:

Acmadinajad is a dangerous foe, who is hell bent on creating a petro-nuclear superstate with us in the cross-hairs

LOL at "petro-nuclear superstate." Yes, and I'll bet that "petro" is just a little coinky-dink, right? A happy accident? It's not like anyone in the administration would profit from that, right? You disgust me.

Posted by: mmy on June 1, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

...another war like the one still raging in Iraq five years after the American-led invasion there.

Five years? The United States and Friends invaded Iraq in March of 2003, less than 4 years and 3 months ago. Geez, if we can't even keep our last invasion straight, how are we ever gonna pull of another one?

Posted by: josef on June 1, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

"I got extended, I ain't ever coming home."
-- SGT Richard Correa, 14th Inf. Rgt., 10th Mtn. Div., USA, in a recent e-mail to his mother

"The Department of Defense announced today that Army SGT Richard Correa, 25, of Honolulu, HI died Tuesday from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position during a dismounted patrol in Ilbu Falris, Iraq."
-- DOD Press Release (June 1, 2007)

I would like to note, for the record, that SGT Correa's parents are also my neighbors and friends.

I only received word of Rich's death about one half-hour ago, having just arrived on Maui earlier this afternoon for the weekend. I'm now waiting at Kahului Airport for a 6:00pm return to Honolulu, so that I can stay with his mother until her husband and her parents arrive from L.A. after midnight tonight.

egbert and mhr, there really isn't anything I can or want to say to you two trash-talkin' keyboard-pounders at this point -- and frankly, you clowns should just STFU for the rest of the evening.

Aloha, everyone. And may God have mercy on us.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, in Memoriam on June 1, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

I only received word of Rich's death about one half-hour ago, having just arrived on Maui earlier this afternoon for the weekend. I'm now waiting at Kahului Airport for a 6:00pm return to Honolulu, so that I can stay with his mother until her husband and her parents arrive from L.A. after midnight tonight.

My condolences.

I live about a mile away from Walter Reed, near the redeveloped heart of Silver Spring, Maryland -- lots of shops, restaurants, and so forth. Every week I get to see fresh harvests from Iraq, as the amputees take their shiny new prostheses for a stroll. I'm a vet, but I never know what to say to these guys.

Know-Nothing, "patriotic" bombast has never been in worse taste. Humility and self-examination are what America needs. That's genuine patriotism.

Posted by: sglover on June 1, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

With all this talk of Ahmadinejad and nuclear weapons, maybe we should clear some things up. Ahmadinejad will never posses nuclear weapons, so it doesn't matter what he thinks. The reason is simple: it will be at least five years before Iran can possess nuclear weapons. By that time, Ahmadinejad will no longer be president of Iran. I believe the next election is two years from now, and Ahmadinejad will lose that election. He only won the last one because the moderates boycotted the election. That will not happen next time. Look for one of Rafsanjani's men to win the next one. Rafsanjani himself will remain on the Expediency Council where he will have great influence over the selection of the next Ayatollah. So, even if there will be Iranian nuclear weapons, it will be Rafsanjani who controls them, not Ahmadinejad. But he will control them indirectly. The Ayatollah will control the weapons and Rafsanjani will control the Ayatollah (I'm assuming Khamenei will die or step down within five years- his health is already in question).

But there is also a real question as to whether Iran even intends to develop weapons capability. They certainly want control of the nuclear fuel cycle, and for good reason. Iran possesses enough uranium to supply 30% of it's electricity for the next 150 years. That's not bad, so it makes sense for them to develop nuclear energy. They have been offered the chance to purchase the enriched uranium from Russia rather than enrich their own. They wisely turned this plan down. After all, would YOU want to be at the mercy of Vladimir Putin? Eastern Europe currently is at his mercy for natural gas, and they don't like it one bit. So their desire for uranium enrichment makes perfect sense for electricity, but does it really make sense for weapons? Not really. Nuclear weapons are only good for a deterrent. And that deterrent dosn't actually require the weapons themselves. It only requires that your opponent BELIEVES you have nuclear weapons, you don't actually have to have them. So Iran's wisest course of action is to develop the enrichment cycle for electricity and encourage the rest of the world to think they are making weapons. This is precisely what the current situation is. So it would be imprudent for them to waste their already insufficient money on creating the weapons when they will have created the deterrent in five years simply by having had the enrichment program for that long. Ahmadinejad may not be smart enough to figure this out, but Rafsanjani is. And he will be the puppet master soon enough.

Posted by: fostert on June 1, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Donald. I am so, so sorry. Please accept my deepest most heartfelt sympathies, and convey them to Sgt. Correa's mother. Words can not express what I feel for her right now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 1, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

fostert:

A note on Rafsanjani being in charge in Iran.

As for Iraq, the fact remains that if Israel had not taken out the Osiraq complex in 1981, Saddam would almost certainly have had nuclear weapons by the time he invaded Kuwait. Make of that whatever you want.

Posted by: harry on June 1, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

"I got extended, I ain't ever coming home" So sad that now Sgt. Correa is coming home. He was one of 122 killed in Iraq during May.............My Condolences to Family and Friends...........R.L.

Posted by: R.L. on June 2, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

egbreath: "The notion that were going to attack Iran while were still occupying Iraq is ridiculous."

Yeah, and what's your point? Being absurd, not to mention insane, hasn't stopped your heroes yet. Stalin still has his stalwarts, even today.

Posted by: Kenji on June 2, 2007 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Sgt. Correa today. Whose son or daughter, father, mother, husband, or wife tomorrow? And who was it yesterday?

All I can say to the likes of egbert, mhr, etc. is that our path to war with Iraq was laid around by so may lies, so much misrepresentation, and, through self-inflicted blindness, such misjudgement of the country in the cross-hairs, I already see all these same in play with Iran.

This "man", the boy-idiot, has shown himself incapable of responsible decision making, or even basic diplomacy on the world stage, and totally lacking in military judgement or competetence from the invasion of Iraq to the present day.

Trusting him with any similar decisions is out of the question. He's a criminal with blood on his hands.

Posted by: notthere on June 2, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

At the risk of seeming impertinent, I posted a small memorial to our friend Donald's neighbor and friend.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 2, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

So sorry, Donald from Hawaii. That's absolutely horrible.

Of course the tragedy is lost on egbert, mhr, & ex-liberal. Things like flypaper theory, endless oil, Other People's Democracy are high falutin' principles as long as it's someone else's skin in the game. I don't think their cheerleading has ever seemed more disgusting than it does right now.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on June 2, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I want to see a reporter ask Bush - on a live feed - to give the name and branch of service of ten GI's who have fallen since his glorious surge. I would bet money he could not name three.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 2, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Harry:
The Iran Press Service is not exactly a credible source. It is essentialy an anti-Revolution propaganda source set up by the Shah's supporters. The quotes of Rafsanjani are correct, but the analysis is definitely skewed. The quote about the use of nuclear weapons is taken out of context, leading the reader to believe that he was advocating a first strike, when he was really discussing a hypothetical balance of power situation. The IPS then quotes Rafsanjani's political enemies making a deliberate misinterpretation of Rafsanjani's words to support their own misinterpretation. It's good scare- mongering, and it may have scared you, but it's not really an accurate reflection of Rafsanjani's views.

Posted by: fostert on June 2, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

The surge is "wonderful" to Al. He hasn't, of course, enjoyed any of the deaths on a personal level. But he really, really likes the idea of the whole thing.

Posted by: Kenji on June 2, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

So Rafsanjani was taken out of context, or the analysis was skewed. Along similar lines, I have also read a lot of posts here and elsewhere talking about how Ahmadinejad's wild and inflammatory rhetoric means nothing, how it's just talk, and how harmless Iran is. Nuclear program? Who cares?

I find it kind of disturbing that so many people are willing to cut the leadership of Iran a near-endless amount of slack, and give it the benefit of the doubt in every circumstance.

What does it take?

Sometimes I wonder if it would have made any difference at all in domestic politics if there had been stockpiles of WMD found in Iraq.

Posted by: harry on June 2, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Harry - might I offer my perspective? It can be found here.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 2, 2007 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

God, I hate these people.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on June 2, 2007 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

My only concern is that people like ElBaradei are desireous of preventing a repeat of Iraq so much so that they ignore clear signs Iran is building nukes. We can't let our fear of another Bush led war prevent us from seeing the reality that Iran has essentially stuck its middle finger up at the west in regards to its nuclear program, or in its taking of british sailors as hostages. We need to figure out a sane way to deal with what is becoming a very hostile nation.

Posted by: bjs on June 2, 2007 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

bjs:

Why wouldn't Iran build a nuke? They saw how it helped North Korea. When you have a belligerent superpower calling you out as part of the "Axis of Evil" and invading Muslim countries that had nothing to do with 9-11, what would you do? Bush drove them to doing this.

Hatred breeds hatred and fear breeds fear. We should reach out a hand of peace and reconciliation to Iran. The Iranians are more secular than most countries in that area and would likely respond in a positive way. Ahmadinejad is as irrelevant to the people of Iran as George W. Bush is to the people of America.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 2, 2007 at 6:28 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly, all this will probably come to pass. Israel will feel compelled to attack as the US bungles the diplomacy over the nuclear program, and we would be inevitably drawn in.

Posted by: bob h on June 2, 2007 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

Ok, just for the sake of argument, why SHOULDN'T Iran have nukes? When Isreal, Pakistan, India, and a whole host of other nations in the neighborhood have them, when the US has already demostrated that if you DON'T have nukes, we'll invade you (Iraq -vs- South Korea policies, we invaded Iraq but negotiate with SK).

Does anyone seriously think that Iran doesn't realise if they use them they won't end up a crater?

So what if they say they are using them for peaceful reasons, does anyone seriously think they are going to admit they intend on having nukes for self-preservation, by whatever definition of self-preservation they arrive at?

Does anyone seriously think they are going to ask Isreal, the US or anyone else their opinion of what self-preservation entails?

Does anyone seriously think Iran's talk of the next life is any less deranged than Isreal's talk of being the chosen ones? Do we really have to get into the worn out, discredited argument about who's God is stronger or better or right to stop blowing each other up?

Posted by: Bugboy on June 2, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Do you want to tell the children of America that we took nuclear retaliation off the table? I'd like to be a fly on the[|||||SWAT||||]


There. That's better.

Posted by: Brautigan on June 2, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii,

May I add my condolences to the family of Sgt Correa and to you, as well.

May the spirit of Pvt Robert E Lee Prewitt play the final "Taps" for the fine young man. If only this could be the final Taps played anywhere, except for the end of the day at garrisons.

This War of Bush has cost so many lives unneedlingly. Such a tragic waste of our highly trained, dedicated service personnel.

May the Gold Stars cease because of this deluded petty tyrant.

Rest thee well, Sergeant Correa, rest thee well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 2, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

I see that Financial Times has the best apt interpretation of what the Bush administration really is: A West "Texas Mafia".

Of the so-called 'Texas mafia" that accompanied Mr Bush to the White House in 2001, only Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, and Alberto Gonzales, attorney-general, will remain after Mr Bartlett's exit next month.

Bush wouldn't fire Bartlett anymore than he would fire Gonzales so Bartlett is pure and simply bailing out of a lost cause, Iraq is lost, and at least by Bartlett knows the score.

AND Michael Kinsley has a good column out today too.

The Republican Party should be called the Oxymoron Party - A party of contradictory ideas and terms. I mean, WTF does the Republican Party stand for anymore except to follow the Godfather Cheney and his Prez face Bushie no matter the cost to the Party. Prez first, Party last - the GOP big tent BS - kiss Bush *ss are your not in the Party.

Josh Marshall points out where John Dean tells his readers that ex-senator Fred Thompson tries to get back in the good graces of the West Texas Mafia via trying to get Libby off the hook.

I think I'm starting to understand part of Fred Thompson's presidential strategy -- to connect himself to as many Bush administration scandals as possible, which is a very canny strategy.

I think if I were Thompson - I'd try to see the same writing on the wall that Bartlett sees - the kiss my leaving ass strategy.

I wonder who else is bailing on Bush?

As we see Halliburton is leaving the US for Dubai and Tony Blair is finding a new home for BP as his last offical act after losing Iraq to civil war - British Petroleum is moving to Libya, because WHY - because Iraq is so unstable it's a lost cause, that's why.

I'm expecting these companies will change their respective names to something arabic sounding too. It's because Western oil companys are consider to be the infidel in the Mideast - if you can't beat them, join them.


Posted by: Me_again on June 2, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Harry: My willingness to cut Iran some slack comes from their historical behavior. We should consider the fact that the last country Iran invaded was the Ottoman Empire, an entity which no longer exists. And that invasion was a small border dispute. The last war they fought was to defend themselves against Saddam's invasion, which was supported by the likes of the US and Saudi Arabia. They do have a long history of being a relatively benign neighbor and, despite their rhetoric, there is no clear sign their behaviour is likely to change.

Since the Revolution, Iran's governements have jumped back in forth between extremism and moderation, usually in response to our behaviour. We are currently seeing a conservative backlash against a period of moderation. If the history continues, we should see a return to a more moderate government in the next election. So the situation should improve as long as we do nothing. However, if we take a more confrontational approach, we are likely to lock Iran into the extremist phase for long enough for them to become a real threat.

It is important to remember that the Iranian people themselves are about as pro-US as they come in the region. But they have been frustrated by the fact that everytime they move towards western style moderation, they are not rewarded by the US government. Their last moderate phase ended with Bush declaring them part of the "Axs of Evil" after they had made considerable efforts to aid the US in combatting terrorism. The problem here is that we are using carrots when they behave badly and sticks when they behave right. We have had opportunities to move Iran towards the West, but we have blown every one of them.

Posted by: fostert on June 2, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

And if you don't beleive me, maybe you'll believe Reza Aslan:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-aslan2jun02,0,2833011.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

Posted by: fostert on June 2, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

ARE Bushie's cronies fit for the private sector?

On Friday, Bartlett announced that he was heading out the door.

There has been a steady turnover within the White House in recent months, and Bartlett predicted that others would make similar moves "over the course of the summer."

The pattern is typical for two-term administrations in modern times. Many who have invested years working for a president look to move into more lucrative, and less time-consuming, private-sector jobs before their cachet as Washington insiders evaporates.

Evaporates????

If you ask me, per Wolfowitz and his problems the "insider" BS has already evaporated. Work a couple years - then you're out.

Posted by: Me_again on June 2, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Fostert - experience tells me that the bombast is just that.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Are the Democrats still afraid of the Republicans, or is it that Washington is just one corrupt club looking out for itself?

Posted by: Luther on June 2, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Are the Democrats still afraid of the Republicans, or is it that Washington is just one corrupt club looking out for itself?

AIPAC owns each party equally.

Posted by: Disputo on June 2, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse my French, but what the F*ck: US just illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 over illusory evidence -- rather than be accountable, the US is planning to the do same in Iran.

US is getting it's ass kicked by "simple" insurgents in caves in AFghanistan and Iraq; what does the US plan to do in Iran against a well-rested military.

US has insufficient combat troops to credibly threaten Iran; and even if the US does atack Iran, how going to sustain it? TIme to caputre the lessons from Iraq, and throw them back at the US President: How do you expect the US public to support the GOP in 2008 with this same recklessness we've seen in Iraq? This makes no sense.

US/world are acting like nothing can be done. Wrong, as with WWII, the world, as it did with Japan and Germany, can unite to go against a bully. Russia plans to stand up to the US because Congress refuses to stand up to the President.

Posted by: Anon on June 2, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Why shouldn't Cheney/Bush be all out for an attack on Iran? The Dems just gave them funding for it, fer Jaysus!' sake! Gave Bushbaby a blank check. MOST of the money spent isn't accounted for and no one is asking. Of COURSE a war on Iran is coming. That is what Dems and GOPers do, they feed their Halliburten and Pentagon contractor masters.

And then there is Bush's need to gin up a reason to declare a national emergency, declare martial law, arrest any and all protestors, and stick them in those nice, new Halliburten-built prison camps right here in good ole Amerikka.

Posted by: Terminus Est on June 2, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Fascism requires continual warfare for it's existence. Fascism cannot compete against free enterprise or socialism or any combination of the two. Fascism is really just corporations and government combining and using brute power to muscle people around and take their money and resources.

As long as there are fascists like Bush and Cheney in positions of power, there will be war and when fascists have as much power as they have now you can bet on continuous war. Fear and intimidation is the only way that fascists know how to govern.

Wish the world wasn't like that but that is reality.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 2, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

The last time I said something vaguely laudatory of Putin I was accused of somehow being (as a right-wing American) not only envious of his ability to be as mean as he wants to be in Chechnya, but somehow supportive of it.

No such thing. I am only pointing out that in the U.S.A. the police can't ever be "mean" anymore and the military is expected to be as scrupulously not-mean as the police.

Will that work? Only if we truly live in a world where we have no real national interest in providing affordable petroleum imports to our nation, nor is any national power about to attack us. If we, in fact, are the only problem when it comes to the threat of war, all we need to do is be "not mean" for awhile! Magic answer!

Well, it will be interesting to see how far the Democrat candidates decide to go with that style of rhetoric. I was shocked to read someone here writing that it will be at least three years before Iran can really have a nuke. Last I heard their high speed centrifuges are working well. Heck, if I had 5 kilograms of weapons grade uranium I bet I could build something the equivalent of "Little Boy" for less than $250,000 and take less than six months to do it. Any government could do this, surely.

Posted by: mike cook on June 2, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, you need to brush off the false Cheney rhetoric of how dangerous the current stage of Iran centrifuges are and brush up on your nuclear bomb building. Five years at least, and probably ten. The level they're at now is the percentage for power plants, which they are legally entitled to (no matter what Chency spews). And if they had a bomb they'd need a delivery vehicle. And then they need to want to be obliterated, because of that pesky deterrent thing. That's what MAD is anyway. I would want a nuke if Bush had his eyes on me cuz its the only thing that holds him back. If you happen to have a rifle in your home and think you have some kind of right to it, then you should understand exactly what Iran thinks. And if you had enough uranium on your land to last you and your kids their lifetime, you'd want to dig that out and use it too. And don't come back with the dirty bomb figment. There are fifty countries and probably a thousand transnationals that could do that right now. But its bad for business.

Posted by: JamesL on June 2, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, if you had 5 kilo of weapons grade uranium, you'd be dead before you figured out how to form it into the proper shape for a bomb. It's very lethal stuff and you can't just pound it into shape with a hammer and your bare hands. People died on the Manhattan Project and they actually knew what they were doing. You need more than $250,000 worth of equipent just to handle it safely. And it's not like 5 kilo of weapons grade uranium is easy to come by, which is why it would take Iran five years just to get that far. The five year estimate for a bomb assumes that Iran has a parallel bomb design and delivery program and has all the equipment and expertise in place for the prepared uranium. And it assumes that their current centifuges will work perfectly when the uranium reaches concentrations of 90% rather than just 5%. This is not likely. The Iranians would need to get very lucky to do it in five years with their current equipment and knowledge. Unless, of course, Allah really is on their side. Anyone believe that? Didn't think so.

Posted by: fostert on June 2, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook is one of those fucking idiots setting his locks alight over the prospect of Iranian nukes. He thinks they are as easy to produce as chocolate chip cookies, and they are not.

He really does not merit a response.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 2, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

It is also ironic for mike cook to speak of making a Little Boy type weapon from 5kg of uranium given that the original weapon used 64kg.

This Wiki aritcle suggests it is possible to make a bomb with as little as 7kg. This would probably require a more sophisticated design that the Little Boy weapon and would certainly take more than 6 months and $250,000.

Plutonium-based implosion nuclear devices also use less material, Fat Man only used 6.2kg, but the design of the shaped charges needed to produce a perfectly spherical implosion is very complex. Which is probably why the North Korean test of a plutonium device fizzled.

And of course, as fostert pointed out, Iran is years away from even having enough equipment to enrich uranium to weapons grade purity and years more from being able to enrich enough to make a credible nuclear threat.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 2, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

david wurmser, meyrav wurmser, richard perle, paul wolfowitz, douglas feith, william kristol, elliot abrahms, robert and frederick kagan, michael ledeen

who did i leave out?

just your ordinary group of caring, fifth-column, israeli sympathizers working on the foreign policy of united states.

what's the big deal?

Posted by: orionATL on June 2, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Ah, Kevin.

"The notion that were going to attack Iran while were still occupying Iraq is ridiculous. That said, if Iran continues on its present course, we should keep all options on the table."

What you mean "we"? Oh! You're enlisting!

"Acmadinajad is a dangerous foe, who is hell bent on creating a petro-nuclear superstate with us in the cross-hairs."

According to whom? Bushit and the neo-con who brainwashed him into thinking he's no longer a loser?

"To take nuclear retailiation off the table would be irresponsible."

To use nuclear weapons in a war of aggression would violate the Geneva Conventions, the primary author of which was the US trough individuals who'd actually experienced war. And it was added as a prohibition because the Nazis did it.

Alert: The Nazis weren't among the good guys. So why do you want to imitate them? Their spiffy uniforms? Their penchant for mass slaughter of innocents?

A voter for Bushit?

"Do you want to tell the children of America that we took nuclear retaliation off the table? I'd like to be a fly on the wall when you do."

It would be necessary or possible, because, according to you, we'd all be dead.

"Posted by: egbert on June 1, 2007 at 6:06 PM"

What's your evidence that Iran is attempting to get the bomb? The credible Bushit and Cheney?

And Iraq has been transformed back into the Garden of Eden. With dinosaurs.

Posted by: JNagarya on June 3, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and Cheney will say or do anything to try to restore or preserve their utterly disgraced and discredited legacy. If that means using nuclear weapons on innocent people, they don't give a rip. They are utterly shameless and evil and worship the god of money and no other.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 3, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Today's Washigton Post reports:

Iran has increased arms shipments to both Iraq's Shiite extremists and Afghanistan's Taliban in recent weeks in an apparent attempt to pressure American and other Western troops operating in its two strategic neighbors, according to senior U.S. and European officials.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/02/AR2007060201020_pf.html

The problems caused by Iran are getting worse and worse. Their nuclear development continues unabated.

Fulminating over some words by some aide in Washington is a means of denial. Blaming Bush (whether fairly or unfairly) is a means of denial.

Let's get real. Let's look at serious matters. What should we do about Iran's growing support for our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan and its progress toward a nuclear arsenal?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

harry said: "Sometimes I wonder if it would have made any difference at all in domestic politics if there had been stockpiles of WMD found in Iraq."

yeah, sometimes i wonder myself what the world would be like if we hadn't been lied to...

but rather than imagine a fantasy world in which the lies were actually somehow miraculously true, i prefer to imagine what it would be like if instead of being lied to, we were told the truth by the bush/cheney cabal... fewer dead and dismembered american soldiers... fewer innocent iraqi civilians needlessly slaughtered... and a whole lot of american tax-payer dollars that could have been spent to do some real good around the world and at home...

Posted by: ringo on June 3, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

mike cook dreams up paranoid little-boy fantasies and pees himself.

Ho-hum.

Posted by: obscure on June 3, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Let's get real. Let's look at serious matters. What should we do about Iran's growing support for our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan and its progress toward a nuclear arsenal?

serious matters call for serious diplomacy. end of story.

chickenhawk wingnuts will never understand the importance of serious diplomacy which means actually having to give something to get something. that's how the real world works. bullying is short-sighted and ineffective for foreign policy and conflict management. it doesn't work. what does work is understanding the limits of your own strengths, the dangers of your own weaknesses, and the real consequences of every potential action.

but real diplomacy requires replacing fierce ideology with intelligent pragmatism so i think your heroes will keep you safe from such things.

Posted by: ringo on June 3, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

ringo: serious diplomacy which means actually having to give something to get something

ringo, yes, it would be nice to use negotiations to persuade Iran to stop arming insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq and to stop nuclear development. But, I don't see what we could offer that would achieve this goal. In your opinion, what offer by us would persuade Iran to acceded to our wishes regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and nukes?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Iran has increased arms shipments to both Iraq's Shiite extremists and Afghanistan's Taliban in recent weeks in an apparent attempt to pressure American and other Western troops operating in its two strategic neighbors, according to senior U.S. and European officials.

Proof?

I thought not.

This one is farcical on its face. The Taliban and SCIRI are bitter enemies, a high level Shiite Iraqi "defector" to the U.S. just asserted Iran is not supplying weapons, and even if they were the " Shiite extremists" are our putative allies in that country.

God save us from the mouthbreathers.

File this one with "Mobile Bioweapons Labs" "45 Minute Death Drones" "Mushroom clouds" "Tons of Chemical Weapons" "Cakewalk" " Greeted with flowers and Candy" et alia.

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

ringo, yes, it would be nice to use negotiations to persuade Iran to stop arming insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq and to stop nuclear development.

And not a single administration claim about the alleged dangers posed by Iraq was true either.

Have you learned nothing ? Is it because you're incapable of learning?

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Quickly -- to teh Google! See if you can find some obliquely related point that will distract from your poor understanding of the issues! Red herring! Red heeeerrrrrinnnng!

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

In your opinion, what offer by us would persuade Iran to acceded to our wishes regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and nukes?

for starters, something more than nothing.

ultimately, determining 'what it would take' is the purpose of diplomacy and negotiations. but it seems to me that as long as 'regime change' is the official policy (and 'axis of evil' and 'all options are on the table' is the strategic rhetoric*) of the bush white house, anything we might have on offer will be meaningless to iran.


*that strategic rhetoric, to my mind, is also part and parcel of these stories about iran and 'iraq, afghanistan, and nukes' designed by those who have a hawkish agenda regarding iran (many of the same characters who worked to bring us the invasion/occupation of iraq) to over-inflate the actual threat that iran poses to america, americans, and american interests.

Posted by: ringo on June 3, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

This administration wants to justify their presence in the area and its goal is
to get the oil through their mass privatization schemes dated Feb. 21, 2003 from Annex D,
US State Dept., obtained by joint investigation by a London news organization and Harper's Magazine. It says "...USAID-approved recommendations to begin supporting involvement in strategic sectors, including privatization, asset sales, concessions, management contracts, especially those in the oil and supporting industries."

Posted by: consider wisely on June 3, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, FAUX-Lib, Incoming, Incoming.

No, not any military type shells, but, your weekly paycheck from Tel Aviv.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 3, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

trex, what you asked for proof of was directly copied from the Washington Post, and a link was included.

ringo, sure we would have to offer something, but I wouldn't know where to start. thethirdPaul seems to be hinting that we should offer Iran the destruction of Israel. Would you support making that offer?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

FAUX-Lib, I ain't a'hintin' one effing thing - You are nothing but a shill for the Isreali Government and Cheney.

Now, go back and hide under your Yellow Streak Cab. Mrs. Li might turn left into you, once again.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 3, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK
…directly copied from the Washington Post… ex-lax at 4:25 PM
Would that be the Washington Post, the neo-Con rag that front-paged all the Administration claims about Iraq on page 1 and a few articles questioning those claims on A13.

Your Bush government has been caught in so many fake claims, distortions, disinformation, fear-mongering, and flat out propaganda, you need to find some independent source if you expect rational people to believe you.

There are a lot of things one can offer Iran: recognition, promise not to launch war, halting support for terrorist MEK, ending those undercover operations and drone flyovers, or freeing Iranians held in Iraq would do for starters.

To spend some bandwidth on a previous topic, I thought no evangelical would be stupid enough to violate their tax status by making direct anti-Mormon biased don't-vote-for-Mitt statements. It turns out that is one, Bill Keller, host of Live Prayer TV:

"If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!" Keller, a fairly prominent televangelist in religious right circles and a graduate of Jerry Falwell's college, distributed the message to 2.4 million email subscribers. Keller, 49, who has a call-in show on a Tampa television station and a Web site called Liveprayer.com, on May 11 sent out a "daily devotional" that called Romney "an unabashed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago."... If the former Massachusetts governor wins the GOP nomination and the presidency, Keller's message added, it will "ultimately lead millions of souls to the eternal flames of hell."…
I was wrong, but you lose again.

Posted by: Mike on June 3, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, points to you for finding the Keller link. It's digusting bigotry, isn't it? But, I agree. That sort of thing will hurt Romney's chances of being elected President.

The Washington Post is considered one of the best half dozen newspapers in the country. Yet, you found an excuse to ignore what it reported. As long as you pay no attention to news that doesn't agree with what you already believe, you will never have to change your view or admit to yourself that you were wrong about something. Must be quite comfortable.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

trex, what you asked for proof of was directly copied from the Washington Post, and a link was included.

That's not proof that's hearsay, you idjet. The White House needs to provide proof -- and they have none, as usual.

The Washington Post, The NYT, and the "best" newspapers in the country have all failed miserably by being stenographers for White House propaganda, and this story is no exception.

That you and people like you fall for it hook, line and sinker -- over and over again -- would be amusing were the consequences not so dire.

Care to answer my earlier question? They lied to you about Iraq (yes, using the Washington Post), why would you believe them now?

Are you just that freaking dense?

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I apologize for not reading your post before responding to our little friend.

You took him apart much better than I, and all he did was turn around and unceremoniously project his own unconscious traits on you. Apparently in his world he's rubber and you're glue...you get the picture.

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

trex: The Washington Post, The NYT, and the "best" newspapers in the country have all failed miserably

trex and Mike -- None of us is in Iraq or Afghanistan. We have to get our ideas of what's going on from some outside source or sources. Since you disbelieve the New York Times and Wapo, what source of information do you have faith in? How do you decide what's really going on in these two countries?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

I tried to explain it to you slowly. I disbelieve it because

a) The administration per usual has provided no proof. No one is "reporting" this happening -- it's just Bush administration officials claiming it is.

b) They are known and proven liars when it comes to matters like this

c) It just doesn't fucking make ANY sense. The Iranian mullas are such bitter enemies of the Taliban (Sunni vs. Shia and all that) that they actually secretly helped us overthrow the Taliban in 2001-2002. And there has never been a single shred of proof that Iran is arming (our allies) the Shi'ite militias. So what if they are? That's less money we have to spend.

I know this is all a bit too much for you to comprehend. Best to go back humming the alphabet song in your head.

Ironically, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN ARMING SHI'ITE MILITIAS. When do you suggest we attack the White House?

Since you disbelieve the New York Times and Wapo, what source of information do you have faith in?

Since I am able to use reason and discernment I don't have to have "faith" in anonymous partisan and untrustworthy sources who have a nefarious agenda and a track record of lying to promote it.

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Since I am able to use reason and discernment I don't have to have "faith" in anonymous partisan and untrustworthy sources who have a nefarious agenda and a track record of lying to promote it.

trex, I understand why you don't believe these news reports. But, how do you decide what you do believe?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 3, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Group: Terrorism not focus of Homeland Security
POSTED: 2339 GMT (0739 HKT), May 27, 2007
Story Highlights• Group analyzed millions of records obtained from immigration courts
• 12 of 814,073 charged in past three years faced terrorism charges
• Report also found DHS filed very few "national security" charges
• DHS spokesman calls report "ill-conceived"
From Scott Bronstein
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01 percent of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report issued Sunday by an independent research group.

This comes despite the fact the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS.

The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse said it analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of the 814,073 people charged by DHS in immigration courts during the past three years, 12 faced charges of terrorism, TRAC said.

Those 12 cases represent 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed.

"The DHS claims it is focused on terrorism. Well that's just not true," said David Burnham, a TRAC spokesman. "Either there's no terrorism, or they're terrible at catching them. Either way it's bad for all of us."

The TRAC analysis also found that DHS filed a minuscule number of what are called "national security" charges against people in the immigration courts. The report stated that 114, or 0.014 percent of the total of roughly 800,000 individuals charged were charged with national security violations.

TRAC reported more than 85 percent of the charges involved more common immigration violations such as not having a valid immigrant visa, overstaying a student visa or entering the United States without an inspection.

According to the report by TRAC, which is affiliated with Syracuse University, the results show that there is an "apparent gap between DHS rhetoric about its role in fighting terrorism and what it actually has been doing."

DHS spokesman Russ Knocke called the TRAC report "ill-conceived" and said the group "lacked a grasp of the DHS mission."

Knocke said that, by clamping down on all forms of immigration, DHS has made it difficult for terrorists to come to the United States.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 3, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

trex, I understand why you don't believe these news reports

They are not news reports they are propaganda. And I've just explained to you TWICE exactly how I decide what to believe. I weigh all the evidence from all the sources, consider the motivations of all the players, and determine what makes the most sense. This one is a no-brainer. SCIRI hate Taliban. Period. End of story.

You believe this story because you want to believe it. You're desperate to believe in the big scary, desperate to believe in a cabal of enemies because you're so frightened you're looking for an excuse to kill off all possible enemies with our unmatched military power so you can sleep at night. Oh, and it kind of makes you feel noble to go on about it. You're so transparent it isn't funny. And there's nothing unique about you, which the Bush administration knows and counts on; they need millions of fearful, uninformed voters like you in order to keep their plans afloat.

It isn't that we don't have enemies, but the truth is this administration is actively making enemies just to keep itself in power, no different than Al Qaeda making enemies to keep itself in power. And when our enemies try to build relations the White House refuses. The Iranians reached out to us in the past diplomatically and Bush rebuffed them and began rattling his saber. He invaded their next door neighbor and threatened them. Of COURSE they're going to try and pursue nukes -- we have a crazy man at the helm in our country. I'd develop nukes too if I were them. And he wants them to pursue nukes so he can attack them and pursue his crazy agenda.

That's all I've got. I can't give you sense. That you have to get on your own.

Posted by: trex on June 3, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Cave-in, or smart politics?
They'll be criticized for doing so, but the Democrats were right to accept an Iraq-funding bill without a timeline for withdrawal.
Michael Tomasky
May 22, 2007
"There will naturally be disappointment and anger among liberals because Democrats in congress have broken from their vow (lesson 4,863 on the value of vows in politics) never to agree to an Iraq funding that doesn't include timelines for troop withdrawal.

They agreed to such a bill earlier today, giving President Bush what he wanted - a bill that keeps funding for the war going at full levels through September 30 and includes no talk of withdrawal. Tomorrow's papers will all characterize this as a major Bush victory and, in the short term, it is.

But here are two reasons why this "victory" won't exactly ring down though the ages.

First, this development is completely unsurprising, since everyone has known for some time that there was nothing else the Democrats could do. Back in January, it was clear that, whatever the Democrats decided to do with their new congressional majorities, there was one thing they could not accomplish: stop funding for troops already in the field.

Iraq is Bush's war and Bush's failure. But if his Democratic opponents had stopped funding the war, Republicans would have argued that the fiasco was suddenly the Democrats' responsibility and failure. Pundits would have drawn immediate parallels to the way a previous Democratic-led congress de-funded Vietnam, and the party would have lost its standing in this fight.

They might have been up to taking the chance of de-funding if they'd had a united caucus. But they don't, not remotely. The key number here is 61. That's the number of Democrats in the House of Representatives who represent districts that Bush carried in 2004 (by contrast, only eight Republicans represent districts that John Kerry won). Many of these 61 are scared to death that they could lose their seats in 2008, and with good reason - the Republicans are targeting them and are intent on winning the 15 seats they need to regain control of the House.

De-funding the war would - there's no escaping it - put some of those 61 at risk. If you're thinking long term and you want a congress that might actually do responsible things about healthcare and global warming and even Iraq in the future, then now just isn't the time for the Democrats to force this issue.

The second and more important reason that Bush's victory is chimerical is that public opinion is firmly against him. Americans are against this war, period - firmly and strongly. They want it over as that can be accomplished responsibly. A short-term legislative win for Bush will do absolutely nothing to change this fact. The only thing that would change it is success in Iraq.

That continues to seem unlikely. If the celebrated surge hasn't shown results by September, public opinion will harden even more; people will start demanding timelines and Bush will be in a corner.

As indefensible and tragic as the war is, this is the best Democrats can do right now. De-funding would have handed the Republicans a great argument going into next year's election - which is, of course, one in which Democrats have their best shot at winning the White House in a long time. Iraq is Bush's war, and Democrats need to make certain that it stays that way."


Posted by: consider wisely always on June 3, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK
Mike, I apologize for not reading your post…. trex at 7:54 PM
No problem, t-rex. I regard you as the master. If we deal out the same hits, it's all the better.
The Washington Post is considered one of the best half dozen newspapers in the country. … ex-lax at 7:11 PM
In addition to what t-rex said, the Post and the Times have deteriorated badly from their heyday. In the Times, it's Michael Gordon, Kit Seelye with the ex-Timemen of Judy Miller, Jeff Gerth, and Jason Blair that have destroyed the paper's reputation.

In the case of the Post, it's the hack work of Ceci Connelly, Anne Kornblut, Fred Hiatt, Steno Sue and others who have diminished the paper with highly partisan work. This occurred during the Clinton administration when these two papers would print any of Ken Starr's crap without checking its veracity. During the rush to war, the Post and the Times were notorious for bad reporting.

Always check the source. If it's spinonymous, it's administration slanting to stenographers. It is common sense to be a skeptical reader in this day and age. You conservatives always claim to doubt stories. Why would you deny that to any news consumer?

I strongly doubt that bigoted attacks by evangelicals will hurt Romney. Unfair attacks create a victim, and victimhood plays well with the electorate.

Posted by: Mike on June 3, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's Leer & the Glint on the Cross

Among all of Dick Cheney's distasteful contorted facial expressions the one that was most chilling and evil, which I wish that I had not seen, was the leer he transmitted to a GOP faithful audience when he disclosed that AQ in Iraq now numbers fifteen thousand.
His leer fully transmitted that he used the propaganda lies, that AQ was connected to Iraq, to get our guns and oil companies into Iraq. It also transmitted the, to him, deliciously evil twist that the lie has now morphed into the truth.
That AQ is now several thousand strong in Iraq is a grotesque result of the pathetically naive Neocon misadventure. It's also a plank in their arguments that we need to stay.
"The dolts, (meaning the American public and the MSM), don't have a clue as to what evil we will employ to accomplish our goals," is what the leer beams to the mightiest of the Bush base.
...as the sunlight flickered on the cross in his lapel...

---Cognitorex blogspot---

Posted by: craig johnson on June 4, 2007 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

I know this is all a bit too much for you to comprehend. Best to go back humming the alphabet song in your head.

I like that one.

Posted by: obscure on June 4, 2007 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

"humming the Alphabet song"

And I thought it was "It is the song that never ends", or the modern NeoCon version "It is the War that never ends".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 4, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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