Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 3, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

REPORTS OF RUMORS....Is the Bush administration planning to launch a PR campaign after Labor Day to soften up the American public for an attack on Iran? I'll be honest: Iran rumors make the rounds of the liberal blogosphere every couple of months, and they never pan out. So I'm skeptical about the latest round of stories, despite the fact that I have little doubt about the underlying desire of George Bush and Dick Cheney to bomb Iran into the stone age if they think they can get away with it.

However, as Todd Gitlin aptly says about this, "[While I] might only be adding a link to a child's game of Telephone, I'd rather do that than shut up. If there's anything we understand about the occupants of the White House, it is that worst-case scenarios are, if not dead certain, to use the phrase of the day, worth taking seriously."

Luckily for me, Todd also rounds up all the recent evidence suggesting that an attack is in the serious planning stages, so go read his post to get the whole story. There may be nothing to this, but I'd rather get paranoid now and feel a little embarrassed later than shut up now and feel like an idiot later. Forewarned is forearmed.

Kevin Drum 1:03 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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Comments

Bush is going to bomb Iran purple monkey dishwasher?!

Posted by: Rip Tatermen on September 3, 2007 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Attacking Iran would be the most suicidally stupid thing that Bushco could possibly do. That alone suggests that it's nearly inevitable.

Posted by: Dennis P on September 3, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Attacking Iran would be totally crazy. But nearly everything America and Americans do these days is crazy.

Posted by: F. Frederson on September 3, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

You all must have missed the Great Maccabee Flap on Kos. The link is to a commentary on it. The original has disappeared down the famous Kos Memory Hole.

Posted by: bart on September 3, 2007 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Think!

Why all the stories hitting about the plans, the "3-day blitz", the 1,200 targets?

Why have we heard, over and over, "rumors"?

If you planned to rob a bank on Friday at 3pm, and suddenly, it was all over the news you planned to the rob the back on Friday at 3pm... would YOU show up? Didn't think so.

Of COURSE we get "rumors" that don't "pan out"... as you said, forewarned IS forearmed... you think the rumors were leaked just to SCARE Iran who KNOWS our military is in shambles and the UN wouldn't approve any military action against them?

THINK!

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 3, 2007 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the blogwhoring, but I wrote about Iran and possible military action against that nation on August 10, and Juan Cole linked it - For what that is worth. Here is the link.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone really wants to get rid of the Iranian theocracy, they could do so without a single drop of bloodshed.

Put the same amount of money into developing world-wide free wireless internet, and make sure everyone can get their hands on a hundred dollar, ruggedized, crank-powered laptop. You want people to embrace democracy? Arm them with information.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Why all the stories hitting about the plans, the "3-day blitz", the 1,200 targets?

Only one story has "hit" on this, a quote from Alexis Debat in a London Times article. That it's been repeated hundreds of times on the net doesn't really count.

Let's not get weird about this.

Posted by: harry on September 3, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Blue Girl, check this out!

Posted by: harry on September 3, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I have an op-ed coming out in a small local paper about that next week.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

I have emails archived between Pale Rider and myself that go back 15 months at least. We have both been beating that drum since we first heard about Negroponte's idea days after it's public inception.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

To Harry,

Actually, Harry, there are plenty of articles:

Dec 2005 - Is Washington Planning a Military Strike? (Spiegel Online)

Feb 2006 - Thousands would die in Iran Strike (AllBusiness.com)

April 2006 - US planning for Iran strike (smh.com.ua)

May 2006 - US military, intelligence officials raise concern about possible preparations for Iran strike (Raw Story)

June 2006 - Former CIA Analyst says Iran strike set for June or July (prisonplanet.com)

Feb 2007 - Target Iran: US able to strike in spring (Globalresearch.ca)

Mar 2007 - Air strikes against Iran would accelerate nuclear weapon development (Think Progress)

April 2007 - US ready to strike Iran on Good Friday (Jerusalem Post)

May 2007 - Iran's air defense can repel US air strikes (en.rian.ru)

June 2007 - Lieberman urges Iran Air Strike (commondreams.org)

Sept 2007 - The Iran Plans (The New Yorker)

That was a 10 minute google... you can see we've gotten these rumors for well over a year now. Have we scared anyone???? NO.

The IAEA, even WITH the Additional Protocol, found NOTHING, no evidence that materials were diverted to making a bomb. But, we've seen the exact same rhetoric coming from the White House on Iran as they tried on Iraq... nobody is buying.

All they are waiting for is SOME excuse they THINK will justify it... and everytime they get close to thinking they have one, we are told about it... and they back off again looking for ANOTHER excuse.

You don't get "rumor" after "rumor" for this long, from "planning" to "have plans with targets" without there being fire from this smoke - they WANT to hit Iran.

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 3, 2007 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

Not to be cynical or anything, but the window of opportunity, based on Heritage's analysis which Kevin previously posted about here, is within the next few months, as noted here.

Posted by: has407 on September 3, 2007 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Blue Girl, check this out!

But if everyone has access to information then how can their governments lie to them?

Posted by: Dennis P on September 3, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Dennis P: But if everyone has access to information then how can their governments lie to them?

See, e.g., The Great Firewall of China

Posted by: has407 on September 3, 2007 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

To blue girl,

Interesting article you authored (the provided link above). I would contest one part of it - that the Ayatollah stepped in as a "charismatic leader".

Actually, when you view the way that their society operates, it was inevitable that the Ayatollah step in after the revolution.

You have the "government" which runs the day to day operations, the "President" which is elected to oversee operations, and the Clerics who are the actual power behind the society. Once the Shah was deposed, the ONLY leaders left who were able to step in were the Clerics (who did).

Also, Iran's military isn't "as modern" as many believe, however, it is truly immaterial. They couldn't counter the Stealth bombers anyway, nor the newer strike fighters we have. They don't have to, though. Sure, we can bomb them back to the stone age, just as Israel did to Lebanon. But, there is one problem with that; our troops stuck in a dominate Shi`ite Iraq.

Al Sadr can put 100,000 Shia on the streets of any city in Iraq with a word. If we strike Iran without GOOD, VERIFIABLE, ABSOLUTE cause.. and even THEN it is possible.. that our forces in Iraq would be overrun by Sadr militia. That would leave the 20,000 something forces in Afghanistan (nothing compared to Iran's ground forces).

Our military is at its wits end NOW from Iraq. We strike Iran and we can bet our forces in Iraq will be hit, and hit HARD. Sure... we bomb them back to the stone-age... and lose tens of thousands of troops for it without ever being able to breach the borders effectively.

You are absolutely correct that it is insanity...

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 3, 2007 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

It is insane. Congress needs to view the videos offered by psychologist Roy J. Eidelson, depicting how exploitative, war-mongering appeals were successfully used by the administration via the persuasive progaganda machine to take us into Iraq--and how to counter them, so Iran isn't next.


" For those intrigued by this five-concern psychological framework, (there are) two online videos that may be of further interest. “Resisting the Drums of War” is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81UKnb5zJbM. “Dangerous Ideas: How Conservatives Exploit Our Five Core Concerns" is available on Google Video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=844699642769511518."

Posted by Roy Eidelson, PhD, on June 27, 2007


Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

You want people to embrace democracy? Arm them with information.

The oil boys didn't like that democracy thing so much last time it was tried in Iran. Reckon it wouldn't work out so well for them this time either.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 3, 2007 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'm driving along in Kuala Lumpur this morning to drop my daughter at the School bus and stop to buy a newspaper.

There in a bright yellow banner headline is:
"U.S. Plans Iranian "Wipeout" in 3 Days"
Under this was the sub header:
"Israel waits in the wings to blow up nuclear site."

This Whitehouse Administration is to Foreign Relations Excellence what the Nazi Party was to Religious Tolerance.

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on September 3, 2007 at 5:57 AM | PERMALINK

An upcoming strike against Iran is probably the reason behind the recent push among neo-cons to topple Maliki and install someone like Allawi who would give the green-light for the US to hit Iran from Iraqi territory.

Posted by: Botecelli on September 3, 2007 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

One of the things I plan to do this Labor Day holiday is to type letters to my representative and two senators urging, no demanding, that they get in Bush's face and make this moron understand there will be no attack on Iran!!! The consequences would be catastrophic to not only our military but to our economy and to our relationship with another generation of Persians.

I urge everyone to write their Congresspersons today, as well. Sorry to say this, but responding to this impending crisis by typing comments in the Comments section of this blog is the equivalent of masturbation - self-satisfying, perhaps, but not worth a fuck to anyone else...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 3, 2007 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

To Botecelli,

That is definitely a possibility, though, I would say a slim one (not the toppling, but the reason). I wrote months ago when the Hadley Memo was "leaked" that the only purpose it served (the leaking of it, that is) was to undermine Maliki and foment distrust in the Iraqi Parliament (mission accomplished, btw).

So, what was happening months ago that would have made the Bush administration want Maliki out and ANOTHER Prime Minister "installed" in Iraq? How about that little thing called the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law that hasn't gotten through the Parliament yet. Oh, and let's not forget that the longer we keep Iraq in chaos, the longer OUR forces are needed to "keep the security" in Iraq.

Ponder this; what happens if the Sunni's and Shia DID reach a political reconciliation? If they aren't fighting each other, who would they then turn on? The answer is obvious; the U.S. forces occupying their country. So, in the administration's eyes, the last thing they want is a "unified" Iraq. A unified Iraq would kick America out.

Now, remember who was installed as Ambassador to Iraq; John Negroponte. Remember where Negroponte became infamous? South America. Do you remember what for? Supporting a strong-arm leader that used Death Squads.

The Ministry in Iraq is full of Death Squads that have been keeping the violence in Iraq going. When did we start getting reports of bodies being found, zip-tied and executed? Late 2004. When did Negroponte become Ambassador to Iraq? June 2004 (and he left in May 2005, right around the same time we were receiving the most reports of bodies being found). My, what a coincidence THAT is!

Sunni and Shia were marrying each other prior to our invasion and occupation of Iraq. The first mosque bombing in Iraq that I've found was in August 2003 (the event that sparked the `sectarian violence` to begin with). Now, violation of a mosque is THE most grave insult to a muslim person. If the Shia and Sunni were getting married to each other... why would a muslim person attack a mosque?

Then ponder this; in that first attack on a mosque, the MOST holy of Shia mosque's in Iraq, a leading Shia cleric was killed. Who was he? Ayatollah Hakim, a longtime critic of Saddam Hussein. In an interview prior to the bombing, 3 weeks prior to the invasion by the U.S., he was quoted as saying:

AYATOLLAH HAKIM (Translated): The U.S. is thinking of dominating and occupying Iraq, which will create nationalist and religious sensitivities inside Iraq, which will lead to violence and bad consequences for the Iraqis and the Americans. The Iraqi people will surely resist this idea. I believe that the Iraqi people and the popular and national forces inside Iraq will not accept a military governor.

So, Ayatollah Hakim speaks out 3 weeks prior to the U.S. invasion, and 5 months later is killed in a mosque bombing which set off the very religious violence he feared. Quite the coincidence! An ardent, powerful, anti-U.S. cleric is removed AND the violence erupts, all in one blast.

Stop asking "what" and start asking "why" and "who".

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 3, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is almost inevitable that Bushco will try to drum up a way to attack Iran. In my most cynical moments I have wondered if the whole "surge" idea was really a cover to mass troops in Iraq.

Here is my logic: Bushco has created a serious strategic problem for the US because its invasion of Iraq has strengthened Iran's influence in the region. The US will have to deal with this stronger Iran sooner or later regardless of whether the US stays or withdraws from Iraq. This much is certain.

Here is their logic: Bushco, along with most militant conservatives, believe that WW2 could have been prevented had the allies attacked Germany in 1936, when Hitler's war machine was still gearing up. They believe the Cold War could have been prevented if the US & allies had attacked the Communists in 1945! They believe the US would have prevented the rise of Islamofascism in the 1980s if we had only stayed in Vietnam in 1975. It is counterfactual thinking, yes, but they look at the lessons of history and conclude that "appeasement" always fails. Pre-emptive aggression--attacking your enemies before they get to be as strong as you--is the only successful strategy. In their minds, they comprehend--as the rest of us cowards do not--that the way to prevent a future showdown with a powerful Iran is to bomb it into weakness, now, before it is reaches its full strength. They are confident that History will justify their far-sighted vision and courage.

It isn't clear what world they imagine they are preserving or creating though we can guess. Nor is it clear what they imagine the world would have been like without WW2, etc. But they keep lunging forward, creating wars and more serious problems than we had before, insisting all the while that they know what they are doing: There is no threat that US military might can't squash with enough time.

Iran has become a problem. Bushco and its wacko 30% know how to eliminate that threat.

Posted by: PTate in FR on September 3, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

PTate in FR is correct - In addition, if only General Longstreet had not slept in?

And, now the push against the coming visit to Iraq by the Iranian President. How dare a "democracy" act on it's own. Cheney is probably demanding extra training from Marine sniper units. Bounties being upped?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 3, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

This is WHY impeachment SHOULD NEVER BE OFF THE TABLE. Because Bush and Cheney are radio active, a glowing constant miscalculation, completely detached from reality other then their closed door Mideast bidding project from the only voters that ever mattered to Bush and Cheney, their coporate constituency.

Gonzales was NOT the problem with the Attonery General's Office - it was was always Bush and Cheney - so why can't we talk about impeachment of those two and QUIT pretending Gonzales, Rumsfeld and Rove were the problems? The underlying harm has ALWAYS been directly from Bush and Cheney.

Why talks about how damaging it is to impeach a sitting president but NOT how damaging it is to leave THIS two in office until the damage is irreconcilable - we need to talk about impeachment and to strive for the enactment of impeacment.

The surge has been completely irrational - and it is unsustainable - short of a military draft. The surge did nothing for the people of Iraq - Iraqis are not more secure now, they are less secure as Kevin has pointed out. The surge was merely buying time for Bush and Cheney's Hydrocarbon Framework Law but it didn't work because Maliki's government is listening to Iran, making contracts with Iran. The Framework law should never be okay by Iraq as it is the benchmark Bush cares about - the signing of this unfair Western oil contract law.

Thus talking of bombing Iran should be seen for what it really is - a pro-Western oil lobbying group forcing unfair business deals designed to steal oil by whatever violent means necessary from Mideast countries. Certainly it should have the effect of a massive uniting of the Mideast to tell Western oil contractors to GET THE HELL OUT of the MIDEAST Permanently. AND not merely by the Mideast, but by the entire world - the US is making the Mideast a completely unstable realm, thus it will affect Europe, and surround countires with unstablity as well.

Western Oil Contractors have gone to far with US military presents and private security forces to the bloody bludgeoning of Iraqi residents with measures design more to destablize Iraq - and not to stablize the country. Bush NEVER cared about the stability of Iraq – Bush and Cheney only cared if they helped their closed-door constituency to steal the Mideast blind. In this Bush has fostered tribal wars, in an attempt to keep Iraq from uniting, to keep the Mideast from uniting and to do the one thing the Mideast most needs to do in order to define what true freedom is for Mideast – tell the Western Contractors to get the HELL OUT.

Bush and Cheney are using lies to form unfair business deals and as such both men belong in prison - NOT in the office of the President of the US.

The truth is and the facts are that both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have lied by whatever means necessary - have conspire to lie to American citizens for the sole benefit of Western oil contractors, not to secure the US and it citizens, but tto secure unfair, inhuman business deals for Western oil contractors, and to do this, Bush and Cheney have lied, cook intelligence reports, tortured, wiretapped and destoryed evidence of what they are doing.

How long will Americans put up with this lie that is killing so many people?

Posted by: Me_again on September 3, 2007 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

This tendency to prefer to "get paranoid now and feel a little embarrassed later than shut up now and feel like an idiot later" is precisely the reason our foreign policy doves chose not to speak out during runup to the Iraq invasion. That is #3 of Kevin's WAR FEVER dynamics:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_08/011899.php

SD

Posted by: sd on September 3, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Can they really be that insane? Sad that the answer is probably yes. Right up to the last minute, I thought all the posturing prior to invading Iraq was just bluff -- they couldn't be that fucking crazy! -- and I was wrong then.

Posted by: thersites on September 3, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Me_again. Again, let me suggest that if the U.S. is sincere in arguing that a military footprint and access to oil were not the driving reasons behind its invasion of Iraq then let it pass a law that makes it illegal for any U.S. oil company to do business there until six months after the last U.S. military force has departed. And that the treason law with all its maximum penalties should be used to deal with the CEO of any company that ignores this proviso.

Re. Iran, is the U.S. government really stupid enough to think it could brazen through the fury of its allies should it bomb Iran on the same flimsy excuses it gave for invading Iraq? This would not be like putting missiles into Germany. This would break the Atlantic alliance.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 3, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Michael: I think the threat of the sadrist miltias towards the US troops is overblown. The one thing the US military is supurb at is fighting organized in-the open opposition. Far more likely is an increase in the level of attacks (IED, mortar etc), which would only cause of ratcheting up of the level of casualties, not a massive spike.

I think the same applies to the Naval forces in the Gulf, baring a 'lucky' hit, the Iranians are unlikely to be able to inflict any real harm. Of course the propaganda value of a lucky hit on a key assest would be huge, so they are likely to try. The real (military) threat from Iran, are missile attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf. Protecting this shipping is likely to be far tougher than protecting naval assests, which are designed to operate in a threat environment. Even a relatively low (say 2%) risk of being sunk, is probably enough to prevent tanker captains from making the voyage.

In reality, I think a direct strike against Iran (at least in the near term) is not very likely. More likely we will ratchet up operations against alleged Iranian operatives within Iraq. Expect more incidents like the recent arrest/release of Iranian power engineers.

Posted by: Thomas on September 3, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

There may be nothing to this, but I'd rather get paranoid now and feel a little embarrassed later than shut up now and feel like an idiot later. Forewarned is forearmed.

Well, did you write your congresscritters and recommend/request/demand that Congress pass a resolution prohibiting the president from launching a pre-emptive war? I have recommended this course of action myself in these threads, and I wrote this to my favorite CA senator, Diane Feinstein, a Democrat who opposes the Iraq war. Alas, she came out with a rather saber-rattling speech warning Iran to stay out of Iraq, and essentially authorizing (informally) the president to use military action to ensure that Iran does so.

Reportedly, the U.S. conducts covert ops in Iran, and there has been (so far as I am aware) no Congressional calls for hearings or expressions of disapproval.

Like it or not, and I don't, overt hostility to Iran is pretty bi-partisan right now, has been all year, and is likely to increase as Iran continues to enhance its potential nuclear power.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on September 3, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

To Thomas,

Unfortunately, I think you are wrong. Sure, our forces fight the best in open combat. But, when the militia's tried to hold Fallujah, how many tried? Hundreds, a few thousand? This is the difference I am speaking of between then and what could come.

Sure, our forces fight best in the open. But not on two or four fronts with an exhausted force and almost no strategic reserves. Even 20,000 militia men in one city could do serious damage to one of our mega-bases. The air power would be split between defense of the fleet, the bases, and performing sorties.

I wouldn't dismiss the militias going for a frontal assault, especially after Iranian missile strikes.

If I were doing the strategy, I would let the missile strikes hit... then coordinate a front assault that evening before the U.S. forces could recover.

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 3, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I can hardly get Iran into my brain now but knowing Bush, nothing would surprise me! I do have some down home information though. Several of my friends have Air Force pilot sons who have flown multiple tours in Iraq. They are at home trying to piece their marriages and families together one more time. None are on alert at the moment. Of course, that could have changed since last night and I certainly would be the last to know.

It seems if we could talk a very eccentric North Korean dictator down from his nuclear stance, we ought to do much more nuclear negotiation with Iran before doing something stupid. After we bomb, then what????????? No, No and No.

Posted by: rain39 on September 3, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

I thought he was bluffing about Iraq.

Bush appears so normal (a man to have a beer with) it is hard to picture him as a religious fanatic who sees Israel in biblical terms and Iran from the perspective of Israel and the Jewish neocons, but this may well be the case. His support for open borders with Mexico shows he is not patriotic, but owes primary allegiance to 1. Israel and Evangelicalism, and 2. to business, corporate profits, and the elite, with loyalty to the people and interests of the United States a distant third.

Posted by: Luther on September 3, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

The IAEA has just published its quarterly report on Iran. El Baradei says that Iran has increased its transparency about its enrichment process, answering many questions that have remained unanswered until now. He is cautiously optimistic about continued progress. Although I'm sure the IAEA report is based on fact, the timing of a good report makes the sales job more difficult for BushCo. Coincidence? I can't find my original European source for this story, so here's the NYT version, with a much less positive headline - in fact, one could say misleading - but it contains the same basic info.

IAEA Report, NYT


Posted by: nepeta on September 3, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Harry, there are plenty of articles

And almost all of them are coming from hysterical leftists, not the White House or the Pentagon. "Bad Rabbit" impugns White House diplomacy on this issue, when it's White House opponents who are fanning all the flames.

Am I the only one who thinks this entire issue is somewhat circular in nature, with the Left screaming about a plot they invented themselves?

Posted by: harry on September 3, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Am I the only one who thinks this entire issue is somewhat circular in nature, with the Left screaming about a plot they invented themselves?"

Yes, Harry, you are.

Posted by: nepeta on September 3, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

The facts behind the rumors (or the lies Bush tells)

At the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, leaders of Central Asian countries, China and Russia last week agreed to create a “unified energy market” in the region that is home to some of the biggest producers of oil and gas.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made clear at the conference that Tehran was prepared to join the club, which would see the world’s first, second and fourth largest gas producers form a powerful bloc, potentially ranged against Western interests.

Christopher Langton, an analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: “Russia is seeking to have an organisation tilt the competition in its favour.”

The move coincides with the apparent decline of US influence in the region, where both the Trans-Caspian pipeline project and the diversion of Turkmen gas via Russia to Europe have stalled.

Ariel Cohen, a regional expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said: “The resource control in Russia’s hands will benefit President Putin tremendously.”

SO that Bombing Iran might well start a war with Russia and China as Iran's Allies?

Bush is SO stupid lying to Americans about why he wants to bomb Iran - and NOW Russia and China are making good deals on Bush’s high stakes lies with all his drum-up war rational. MEANWHILE Bush has left the US defenseless (left our backdoor open as it were) with every military member in Iraq - and Americans and our congress members are stupid for having let Bush tie-up all US defenses in Iraq and push our military to the breaking point to get unfair business deal with Iraq.

If Bush attacks Iran he will lose EVERY Western oil contract in the Mideast region.

Posted by: Me_again on September 3, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for this--they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty."

Bush is stupid yes, but Cheney won't bother trying to sell this pig - and frankly it isn't sellable at 35%, particularly NOT in a campaign season with Cheney saying this:"... We didn't get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican Party".

Cheney won't bother with congressional support and certainly not even conservative voter support either. Hanson might as well be writing to a brickwall.

Bush and Cheney will bomb first, than say they have the Executive Privilege to do so. It is just like the wiretapping thing - there is no law Cheney feels constrained by - the FISA courts are irrelevant, congress is irrelevant - the people of the US are irrelevant - just like the UN is irrelevant - Bush will say Iran had nukes - no proof of course, just the hearsay of this administration.

That is why impeaching Bush and Cheney for wiretapping is good idea - because Bush follows no law, feels he is above the law and holds his oath of office irrelevant.

Posted by: Me_again on September 3, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

I know that all the mainstream Republican candidates are good with preemptive war. What do Hillary and Barack think about the neocon vision American empire? Maybe we should listen to Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul. They might be on to something.

At the very least we ought to be asking the Democratic front runners to take strong stands against a preemptive attack on Iran, and if they refuse that should be the end of their respective candidacies.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 3, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Corpus juris,

That's a very important point. We need to know what each Dem candidate has to say on the Iran question and a possible nuclear strike during the remaining year+ of Bush and Cheney AND whether they would ever consider a military strike if they were elected. I have a feeling we could perhaps eliminate several candidates with these questions. And, of course, that's why their answers will be ambiguous.

Posted by: nepeta on September 3, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Harry, the story headline was quoted from the Malaysian Government run New Straits Times. Which in Malaysian terms is about as left wing as the Fox News Channel.

Good International Relations depends on the Government in question managing the way it portrays itself and it's intentions overseas.

The current administration has failed in this and even in countries with a moderate Muslim population(like Malaysia)the US is seen as a ravening street dog. Even in Pakistan and Indonesia where the US has invested much in humanitarian work after major natural disasters the perception is continuously negative.

China which has spent or invested far less in terms of disaster recovery and who is actively challenging many Asian countries over oil reserves in areas like the Spratly Islands has managed it's image far better and is viewed far more positively.

This White House screwed and continues to screw the pooch on International Relations. It sacrificed it's international credibility when it got Colin Powell to lie to the world over Iraq.

This Administration has failed on every challenge when it comes for International Relations. Even the two major successes it has claimed are thanks to other parties. In Libya the EU laid most of the groundwork and in North Korea common sense from old State Department Hands finally won out over the intellectually bankrupt and dogmatic approach from Dick Cheney's Brain.

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on September 3, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

These "rumors" are certainly not the product of the liberal blogosphere, Kevin. They're being leaked directly by members of this Rogue Regime, and subsequently relayed by relatively unimpeachable sources.

As for the prospect of "getting away with it", who's to STOP this mad Bush Reich?? (They've gotten away with Iraq, as well as every other illicit scheme they ever wanted to implement!)

Here's one very bleak, remarkably comprehensive "roadmap" of our incredibly dismal near future:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bombing Iran
by Howard Rodman [Huffington Post]

See also, for the inevitable aftermath of this campaign of organized insanity:

The Next Quagmire
By Chris Hedges [Truthdig.com]

Posted by: Poilu on September 4, 2007 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

blue girl, red state,

'Put the same amount of money into developing world-wide free wireless internet, and make sure everyone can get their hands on a hundred dollar, ruggedized, crank-powered laptop. You want people to embrace democracy? Arm them with information."

You mean like this?

laptop.org

And the project is headed up by John Negroponte's brother.

Posted by: bobo the chimp on September 4, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

That is exactly what I was talking about.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 4, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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