Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 13, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CASUS BELLI?....Over at Newshoggers, Cernig has the full video of last week's incident in the Strait of Hormuz. Bottom line: he's not impressed.

Kevin Drum 6:59 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Interesting analysis but what a shitty website. That guy must really get off on shiny, blinky, javascripty thingies, especially ones that want to mine all the data about my little visit. Bleh.

On the positive side I have at least four more sites untrusted by NoScript.

One day all you guys that depend on advertising will learn to like your readers enough to no longer shit on us.

Posted by: jerry on January 13, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dunno why Jerry is talking about buku JS ads, I didn't see them.

As for Iran most people I talk with dont realize that the US supports SCIRI in Iraq which is pro-Iran.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 13, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said, good analysis, but I don't need rotating blogroll thingies and when I get to turning those off, I am also turning off the statcount and all the other garbage. In this case, if he had respected my desire to read and allowed me to concentrate he could have kept all of his junky shit, but in this case it all gets tossed out, not just for him but for all users of statcount. (I shitcanned sitemeter a long time ago.)

I don't trust javascript that you want me to load from some third party, and it just makes the whole thing take forever to load. So when NoScript tells me the guy wants me to load from eight different systems, I figure he is way too into optimally synergizing his paradigmatic advertising cycles for my taste.

I'll load *your* site, I don't want to cyber with all the sites you ever loaded or want me to load.

And on a slow cellphone, Kevin's blog loads much quicker without all the craptacular images that load in /images or /advertising/images. And since some are so artsy farty cutesy as to have little animated radios in them, well to hell with them.

I still get images from /blogposts/images or whatever it is, so I can see inkblot just fine. It's hard to see domino, his pics are getting way too large.

Posted by: jerry on January 13, 2008 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said, good analysis, but I don't need rotating blogroll thingies and when I get to turning those off.

Maybe you should use another browser such as Firfox?

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 13, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Correction Firfox = Firefox

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 13, 2008 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well look, I don't want to distract from this thread, but I am using firefox, which is why I can use noscript and adblock to tune sites to the way I want them, making them download faster, allow me to focus on the content, and make them safer and respect my privacy on top of that. The point is, I shouldn't have to do that. A few ads are completely reasonable, blinky marquee tags with javascript tell me a site is clueless.

Anyway, back to the thread, it does seem to have been timed very well with Bush's trip abroad and his call today for more war, a forever war, and just in time for November.

I think it's Operation Surge the Whitehouse.

Posted by: jerry on January 13, 2008 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don`t believe EITHER side in this one

"The wind blows over the surface of the lake. In this way, the effects of the invisible are made visible." - I Ching

Posted by: daCascadian on January 13, 2008 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: jerry on January 13, 2008 at 8:32 PM
Thanksm I checked it out and noscript is for Firefox. It can be found here. Images come from many sites, usually via javascript. I'm not really concerned with them. Ennyhoo...
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722

As for the Iran incident its difficult to say what the true objective is on Iran. Back in 1976 some of the key neo-cons under Bush today advised Ford to sell Iran nuclear reactors from westinghouse. Personally I think the neo-cons see the current admin as the best chance to attack Iran. Economically and militarily its a bad idea, i think.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 13, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing that would have made this funnier is if the Iranians had been pulling waterskiers.

Posted by: nepeta on January 13, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link, Kevin. Jerry, I'm sorry you don't like the widgets. I just install what seems to help readers find stuff. Stat counters just help bloggers find out their traffic.

But to the point:

The Voice - "Monkey" or not - isn't on the soundtrack to the video. At All.

Which begs some questions.

If the Voice happened at all, then when? How long before or after and in what circumstances? Who decided to connect the two in initial statements?

There's no white boxes either, not anywhere in the 35 minutes of footage. If they happened at all, then when? How long before or after and in what context? Who decided to connect the two in initial statements?

The mainstream media got this tape 2 days ago - why didn't they mention the lack of voice or boxes and ask the obvious questions?

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on January 13, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu claims here that Bush promised Israel the U.S. would nuke Iran, so I guess we’ll find out soon, won’t we? I’m thinking Bush needs a little more mass murder to keep his spirits up….

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 13, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

I googled news'd that report TCD, and I cannot see anyone else repeating it. It's source to "Wire Services" fwiw.

I would be amazed and shocked to hear that quote confirmed, but I don't think it's going to be. If they had said that on the 10th, it would be getting a lot more coverage than that by now.

We'll see though.

Posted by: jerry on January 13, 2008 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative Delator & Jerry,

The best info I could google was this, from an Israeli commenting in a news comment thread:

"I am from Tel Aviv, and I listen to Israel Radio. Benjamin Netanyahu and Bush did not agree on "nuking" Iran. President Bush only agreed with Netanyahu's stance that a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities was necessary."

So, no need to worry. Simple conventional airstrikes with bunker busters and heck, maybe throw in a tactical nuke for good measure.

Posted by: nepeta on January 13, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Deflator, sorry...

Posted by: nepeta on January 13, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Not knowing anything about such things, I wonder if Bush could use a tactical nuke or two in Iran and claim he used conventional bunker-busters - and the radioactivity given off was from Iran's destroyed enrichment facilities.

Posted by: luci on January 14, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

jerry,
You changed my web-life. Thanx.

Posted by: Don Bacon on January 14, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, Luci, don't give 'em any ideas!

Posted by: editor on January 14, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

luci,

I don't know the answer to your question. But I am pretty sure that the administration and the media would claim that to be the case if at all possible, or even 'sort of' possible.

Posted by: nepeta on January 14, 2008 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

luci >"...the radioactivity given off was from Iran's destroyed enrichment facilities."

Not very likely because nuclear material has "signatures" & the U.S. would have to use devices that mimic an Iranian "signature" which wouldn`t be "quick & easy" to do. Certainly possible though.

"Liars are usually easily discredited; it's the truth-tellers who need to be destroyed." - Joshua Marshall

Posted by: daCascadian on January 14, 2008 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I am sure the Iranians would never do anything overly provocative...

On 23 March 2007, 15 British Royal Navy personnel, from HMS Cornwall, were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, allegedly had their boat rammed,[1] and were subsequently detained off the Iraq-Iran coast.
Posted by: SJRSM on January 14, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK
I am sure the Iranians would never do anything overly provocative...SJRSM at 9:59 AM
While you're indulging yourself in juicy war fantasies, did you see any thing in the video that justified the Gulf of Tonkin type claims the Bush administration is making? Since the US and Britain weren't engaging in provocative acts trying to initiate a causi belli, there will be occasions when events turn to bite them in the arse. Posted by: Mike on January 14, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Drat! "Weren't"? Meant 'are'

Posted by: Mike on January 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Since the US and Britain are engaging in provocative acts trying to initiate a causi belli...

We had a Casus Belli back when they grabbed the Brit sailors and held them. We didn't go Tonkin Gulf on them then, we won't now. More posturing.

Iran's decision making isn't momolithic. The Revolutionary Guards are a poorly controlled wild card who are as interested in a war as you think Bush is.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 14, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

SJRSM: We had a Casus Belli back when they grabbed the Brit sailors and held them.

No, the British had a casus belli (excusis belli anyway).

We didn't go Tonkin Gulf on them then, we won't now.

This wouldn't be the first time in history that it took more than one incident to start a war.

The Revolutionary Guards are a poorly controlled wild card who are as interested in a war as you think Bush is.

An excellent reason for us not to play their game by playing up their nonsense.

Perhaps other factions of the Iranian regime could return the favor and not play the game of our poorly controlled wild card. He'll be out of office in a year anyway.

Posted by: alex on January 14, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Try this one. It looks as if any "total fabrications" introduced were strictly the MSM's 'handiwork':

Sensationalist Media Did Pentagon's Bidding in Fake Naval "Provocation" With Iran
By Amy Goodman [Democracy Now!]

The United States has lodged a formal diplomatic protest against Iran for its "provocation" in the Strait of Hormuz on January 6. But new information reveals that the alleged Iranian threat to American naval vessels may have been blown out of proportion. Democracy Now! spoke with investigative historian Gareth Porter. ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on January 14, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Additionally you may find the seasoned perspective of this veteran CIA analyst quite an eye-opener:

Gulf Shenanigans: No Laughing Matter
by Ray McGovern

... The situation is so reminiscent of what happened -- and didn't happen -- from Aug 2-4, 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin and in Washington, it is in no way funny. At the time, the US had about 16,000 troops in South Vietnam. The war that was "justified" by the Tonkin Gulf resolution of Aug. 7, 1964 led to a buildup to 535,000 US troops in the late Sixties, 58,000 of whom were killed-not to mention the estimated two million Vietnamese who lost their lives by then and in the ensuing ten years. ...

Given the confusion last Sunday in the Persian Gulf, you need to remember that a "known known" in the form of a non-event has already been used to sell a major war -- Vietnam. It is not only in retrospect that we know that no attack occurred that night.

Those of us in intelligence, not to mention President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy all knew full well that the evidence of any armed attack on the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the so-called "second" Tonkin Gulf incident, was highly dubious. But it fit the president's purposes, so they lent a hand to facilitate escalation of the war. ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on January 14, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

OR you can simply wax "undecided", as the rather credulous headline, "Casus Belli?", seemingly implies.

The hottest places in hell, in a time of great political crisis, are reserved for those of moral neutrality.
-Robert Kennedy
.

Posted by: Poilu on January 14, 2008 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

“I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law.”

The Straits of Hormuz are not international waters, they are the territorial waters of Iran and Oman.

If there was any breach of international law, it was by the US Navy!.

Posted by: blowback on January 14, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

If there was any breach of international law, it was by the US Navy!.
Posted by: blowback

Nope. Go back and follow the Wiki links that you put in your post, clicking on UNCLOS, and you will see that international law permits transit.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 15, 2008 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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