Did the President Declare “Secret War” Against Syria and Iran?

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Washington intelligence, military and foreign policy circles are abuzz today with speculation that the President, yesterday or in recent days, sent a secret Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of the CIA to launch military operations against Syria and Iran.
The President may have started a new secret, informal war against Syria and Iran without the consent of Congress or any broad discussion with the country.
The bare outlines of that order may have appeared in President Bush’s Address to the Nation last night outlining his new course on Iraq:

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
We’re also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

Adding fuel to the speculation is that U.S. forces today raided an Iranian Consulate in Arbil, Iraq and detained five Iranian staff members. Given that Iran showed little deference to the political sanctity of the US Embassy in Tehran 29 years ago, it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid.
But what is disconcerting is that some are speculating that Bush has decided to heat up military engagement with Iran and Syria — taking possible action within their borders, not just within Iraq.
Some are suggesting that the Consulate raid may have been designed to try and prompt a military response from Iran — to generate a casus belli for further American action.
If this is the case, the debate about adding four brigades to Iraq is pathetic. The situation will get even hotter than it now is, worsening the American position and exposing the fact that to fight Iran both within the borders of Iraq and into Iranian territory, there are not enough troops in the theatre.
Bush may really have pushed the escalation pedal more than any of us realize.
— Steve Clemons
UPDATE: This exchange today in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee between Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden and Senator Chuck Hagel with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is full of non-denial denials and evasive answers to Biden’s query about the President’s ability to authorize military operations against forces within Iran and Syria:

SEN. BIDEN: Last night, the president said, and I quote, “Succeeding in Iraq requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges, and that begins with addressing Iran and Syria.” He went on to say, “We will interrupt the flow of support for Iran and Syria, and we will seek out and destroy networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”
Does that mean the president has plans to cross the Syrian and/or Iranian border to pursue those persons or individuals or governments providing that help?
SEC. RICE: Mr. Chairman, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs was just asked this question, and I think he perhaps said it best. He talked about what we’re really trying to do here which is to protect our forces and that we are doing that by seeking out these networks that we know are operating in Iraq. We are doing it through intelligence. We are then able, as we did on the 21st of December, to go after these groups where we find them. In that case, we then asked the Iraqi government to declare them persona non grata and expel them from the country because they were holding diplomatic passports.
But the — what is really being contemplated here in terms of these networks is that we believe we can do what we need to do inside Iraq. Obviously, the president isn’t going to rule anything out to protect our troops, but the plan is to take down these networks in Iraq.
The broader point is that we do have and we have always had as a country very strong interests and allies in the Gulf Region, and we do need to work with our allies to make certain that they have the defense capacity that they need against growing Iranian military build-up, that they fell that we are going to be a presence in the Persian Gulf Region as we have been, and that we establish confidence with the states with which we have long alliances, that we will help defend their interests. And that’s what the president had in mind.
SEN. BIDEN: Secretary Rice, do you believe the president has the constitutional authority to pursue across the border into Iraq (sic/Iran) or Syria, the networks in those countries?
SEC. RICE: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think I would not like to speculate on the president’s constitutional authority or to try and say anything that certainly would abridge his constitutional authority, which is broad as commander in chief.
I do think that everyone will understand that — the American people and I assume the Congress expect the president to do what is necessary to protect our forces.
SEN. BIDEN: Madame Secretary, I just want to make it clear, speaking for myself, that if the president concluded he had to invade Iran or Iraq in pursuit of these — or Syria — in pursuit of these networks, I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover that, and he does need congressional authority to do that. I just want to set that marker.
SEN. HAGEL: I want to comment briefly on the president’s speech last night, as he presented to America and the world his new strategy for Iraq, and then I want to ask you a couple of questions.
I’m going to note one of the points that the president made last night at the conclusion of his speech. When he said, quote, “We mourn the loss of every fallen American, and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice” — and I don’t think there is a question that we all in this country agree with that — but I would even begin with this evaluation; that we owe the military and their families a policy, a policy worthy of their sacrifices, and I don’t believe, Dr. Rice, we have that policy today.
I think what the president said last night — and I listened carefully and read through it again this morning — is all about a broadened American involvement, escalation in Iraq and the Middle East. I do not agree with that escalation, and I would further note that when you say, as you have here this morning, that we need to address and help the Iraqis and pay attention to the fact that Iraqis are being killed, Madame Secretary, Iraqis are killing Iraqis. We are in a civil war. This is sectarian violence out of control — Iraqi on Iraqi. Worse, it is inter-sectarian violence — Shi’a killing Shi’a.
To ask our young men and women to sacrifice their lives, to be put in the middle of a civil war is wrong.
It’s, first of all, in my opinion, morally wrong. It’s tactically, strategically, militarily wrong. We will not win a war of attrition in the Middle East.
And I further note that you talk about skepticism and pessimism of the American people and some in Congress. That is not some kind of a subjective analysis, that is because, Madame Secretary, we’ve been there almost four years, and there’s a reason for that skepticism and pessimism, and that is based on the facts on the ground, the reality of the dynamics.
And so I have been one, as you know, who have believed that the appropriate focus is not to escalate, but to try to find a broader incorporation of a framework. And it will have to be, certainly, regional, as many of us have been saying for a long time. That should not be new to anyone. But it has to be more than regional, it is going to have to be internally sponsored, and that’s going to include Iran and Syria.
When you were engaging Chairman Biden on this issue, on the specific question — will our troops go into Iran or Syria in pursuit, based on what the president said last night — you cannot sit here today — not because you’re dishonest or you don’t understand, but no one in our government can sit here today and tell Americans that we won’t engage the Iranians and the Syrians cross-border.
Some of us remember 1970, Madame Secretary, and that was Cambodia, and when our government lied to the American people and said we didn’t cross the border going into Cambodia. In fact we did. I happen to know something about that, as do some on this committee.
So, Madame Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it’s very, very dangerous. Matter of fact, I have to say, Madame Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out. I will resist it — (interrupted by applause.)

Worrisome.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

143 comments on “Did the President Declare “Secret War” Against Syria and Iran?

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  15. tower defense says:

    The only way you’all are a gonna git mah brother Jesus ta come back ta earth on his white steed with firey red eyes is ta start world war II. THEN he’ll come a ridin’ inta town a whoompin’ and a whoopin’ every livin’ thing in sight, cept the wi’men of course. We rape them at the big barn dance later thet night.

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  17. Ryan Broers says:

    The main theme of all wars and these posts is hatered. When will we all wake up and see that the enemy lies within each of us. It is a heart that is continually wicked, filled with all manner of sin.
    Personally, I am glad that I am not the commander and chief. I do believe that Bush is trying to do what is right in the middle east. I also believe that he is a sinner that has made many mistakes during his presidency. But, it has been a long time since we have had a president who has not wavered (like American opinion).
    Those of you who complain of soldiers dying on the battle field and support the murder of children (choice) are worse than any Hitler or Stalin. May God bless and keep all our soldiers safe.
    If America continues to turn its back on Jesus we will one day experience judgement that will make 911 look minor. Those who claim to want peace look to the Prince of Peace. For all who call upon the name of Jesus will be saved.
    In His Grace

    Reply

  18. whatski says:

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  19. Daniel in the lions den says:

    The only reason the U.S would be defeated is because of the mass amount of citizens that beleive thier president is wrong, the amount of people that really beleive the U.S torchures inmates at Guantanamo, so many Americans phscye has been triumphed by Al queada’s pshycological war.
    The purpose of a suicide attack is not to kill people, but to cause a reaction from the opposing side. To deplete the trust between government and citizens is AL queada’s tactic, and they do this by using diffrent fronts to wage thier war. They cause destruction, diminsh trust causing public opinion to turn against the enemy thus making him incapable of fighting back.
    The american media only benfits the terrorists by announcing death tolls, footage of suicide attacks. There are no positive stories. NO stories about Americans helping iraqis or vice versa. It is all negative, and it has taken over the country. Bush is powerless now becuase of the division in America. He is the president and by god if someone declares war on you and attacks you aorund the globe and at home, you defend your country.
    This is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. There are forces out there that are trying to make us vanish off the face of this planet. Iran is our enemy. Syria is our enemy. Iraq was our enemy. Al queada. Hezbolah. They all call for the destruction of the jews. (and western culture)
    If you were saddam huissen and you had WMD’s, would you keep them so that the U.N and the United States can find and prove that you were a threat? No, you would funnel them into the country’s that have declared an alliance with you. (Iran, Syria) Nice bait, seems like America bit the bait of WMD’s, now look we are stuck in a 21st century war that we can’t win and our president is wrong because there were no WMD”S. See the big illusion, find the tapes from Al queada and see how they play the American public so well.
    There is hope, and we will win this war. We have weapons coming to the battlefield that will garuntee our victory. Robots will take our place and the suicide bombers will lose the will to attack. We have our technology, what we need is our citizens to wake up from the “illusion” that we are the wrong ones.
    “If you are not with us, you are against us”
    It is a fact, not a statment or declaration.
    P.S Just in case your still in denial, there were WMD’s found in Iraq.

    Reply

  20. impat says:

    I originally posted the following comment in response an excellent article at Daily Kos by London Yank on 10/24/06. After reading the excellent and thoughtful commentary above, it still rings true to me. (Timing notwithstanding…):
    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/10/24/73123/443/540#c540
    “[The following may be] their logical reason to attack Iran
    …IMHO, there may in fact be a powerful additional impetus for Bush to attack Iran: [b]he may see it as the only way to get us out of Iraq.[/b]
    The Iranians have played this brilliantly all along. Using dubious doubles such as Curve Ball, they convinced the pre-disposed neo-cons that Iraq was a much bigger threat than any reasonable person familiar with the topic would believe. (Langley, Foggy Bottom and the E-Ring were filled with experienced hands who told anyone at the White House who would listen that a US invasion of Iraq was uneccessary and the Mother of all Bad Ideas. But they were ignored and are largely gone now, unfortunately.)
    So now the Iranians have the US, in military parlance: “fixed”. We cannot maneuver at all. We can’t stay there and we can’t leave. Not unless we want to make Iran the dominant force in that oil rich region for a long time. Which could be described as, I suppose, the Mother-In-Law of all Bad Ideas.
    So I wonder if the current view in Bush World is that the only way he can extract our troops intact from Iraq with any hope of leaving some sort of stability behind, is to change the regime in Tehran; or at least to weaken the Iranian government and/or military for several years to allow time for something approaching stability to (perhaps) blossom in Iraq. And for us to gracefully haul our asses and heavy equipment out of there. (In Halliburton trucks, no doubt.)
    A popular view among the troops in WW2 (epitomized in Saving Private Ryan, I think), was that “the road home goes through Berlin.” I now believe that sometime after the election but before the swearing in of the next Congress, (who might ask tiresome questions), the President will in fact mount a major sea and air attack on Iranian forces and infrastructure, (and perhaps Syria as well), in the belief that the only way home for US troops is through Tehran, as it were. The stated reasons will have to do with their nuclear program, but any reason will do.
    The Israelis would certainly become involved either as a consequence or intentionally, in the hopes that if the action ultimately results in choking off Hezbollah’s resources, it may be worth the significant risk of uncontrolled escalation.
    Leaders go to war because it appears to them that a course of action seems correct, or even required. They may at times be delusional, or ill-informed, but it is still a choice about how to solve a problem with available resources. I suspect that Team Bush may see an attack on Iran as the least horrible option they have for getting the US out of a trap that we should have never gotten into, and for putting Iran into a “box”. At least until after 2008.
    The truly bizarre part to me about such an attack, is that the idea might even have merit, although not out of any actual competence on their part. I think it can be argued that this may in fact be the least horrible option. What a tragedy. Whether or not they have the resources to carry it off, however, is highly debatable, which is where the real danger of miscalculation is. If they do try an attack on Iran, and it begins to fail, the US will be left to choose between an ignominious retreat from Iraq sans most of our equipment (along with economic chaos in the West), or the first-use of theatre nuclear weapons by America on a country that did not attack us. Welcome to WW4.
    I suppose there is some comfort to be had from the awareness that things can always get worse, however if that situation ever comes to pass, that will be cold comfort indeed.
    Timing? Depends on a few things: I doubt very much it will happen pre-election, but it could. If the election results get mired in confusion in a few key states becuase the margin of victory is again smaller than the margin of error, this attack would be a useful diversion. Someone else mentioned Thanksgiving. I would guess between 11/15 and 12/15, depending on how the Israelis make out in Gaza.
    And assuming the Iranians don’t seize the initiative…”
    A possible reason behind another development have surprised me by it’s absence from public discussions, afaik. Remember how an RPG was recently fired into a US Embassy in Greece, hitting close to the Ambassador’s 3rd floor office? A left-wing group of some sort claimed responsiblity, but that seemed a bit far-fetched to me.
    My gut advises me that this was more likely Iran warning the US against further intrusions on their diplomatic facilities. The implicit threat being “You mess with ours, and Hezbollah will mess with yours. Anywhere.”
    I agree with several other posters above: the trigger has been pulled, probably several months ago. And while the bullet (probably from Israel), has not truly left the barrel yet, I doubt there is long to wait. Indicators do seem to point to March. An apt month for war…
    In my worst dreams I see US forces in central Iraq crippled by limited fuel, food and ammo as the two slender 400 mile highways from Kuwait are struck by Iranian-directed ambushes and IEDs, preventing the largely civilian drivers and companies from delivering the required materiel just as the sectarian war turns white hot.
    Escape from Baghdad could be a nightmare for the US military, with troops being only able to extract light arms via the airbridge, and leaving behind their armor, equipment and fallen comrades in a hideous Saigon replay. It could again take a decade for the miliary to recover.
    impat shakes his flabby chin and thinks back to hanging chads in Florida, swift-boat absurdities, and the War on the Constitution. We would not now be facing disaster had 1 percent of US voters tried a little harder at being an educated citizenry.
    People do get the government they deserve, but that unfortunately condemns those who do not deserve it to share the bitter harvest.

    Reply

  21. Billy Christ says:

    The only way you’all are a gonna git mah brother Jesus ta come back ta earth on his white steed with firey red eyes is ta start world war II. THEN he’ll come a ridin’ inta town a whoompin’ and a whoopin’ every livin’ thing in sight, cept the wi’men of course. We rape them at the big barn dance later thet night.
    In Jesus name of course…
    ————————
    Honestly I think we’re god damned doomed. The crazy people in the White House the Congress and the church leaders of all theminions of the crazy people really think that their Jesus is going to save their hides and tan the rest of ours.
    Seriously, I just hope that when this escalates into world war III with the Chins and the russkies firing nukes at US they kill my ass and my families ass in the first shot. I don’t feel like wandering around blind for six weeks till radiation poinsening gets me.
    I have no hope for us, I’ve stopped paying my bills and I’m just squanderring my money and credit. Even took the kids out of school. They won’t need it where they’re going.
    All I can say as a last message to the world is fuck you all!

    Reply

  22. Billy Christ says:

    The only way you’all are a gonna git mah brother Jesus ta come back ta earth on his white steed with firey red eyes is ta start world war II. THEN he’ll come a ridin’ inta town a whoompin’ and a whoopin’ every livin’ thing in sight, cept the wi’men of course. We rape them at the big barn dance later thet night.
    In Jesus name of course…
    ————————
    Honestly I think we’re god damned doomed. The crazy people in the White House the Congress and the church leaders of all theminions of the crazy people really think that their Jesus is going to save their hides and tan the rest of ours.
    Seriously, I just hope that when this escalates into world war III with the Chins and the russkies firing nukes at US they kill my ass and my families ass in the first shot. I don’t feel like wandering around blind for six weeks till radiation poinsening gets me.
    I have no hope for us, I’ve stopped paying my bills and I’m just squanderring my money and credit. Even took the kids out of school. They won’t need it where they’re going.
    All I can say as a last message to the world is fuck you all!

    Reply

  23. Billy Christ says:

    The only way you’all are a gonna git mah brother Jesus ta come back ta earth on his white steed with firey red eyes is ta start world war II. THEN he’ll come a ridin’ inta town a whoompin’ and a whoopin’ every livin’ thing in sight, cept the wi’men of course. We rape them at the big barn dance later thet night.
    In Jesus name of course…
    ————————
    Honestly I think we’re god damned doomed. The crazy people in the White House the Congress and the church leaders of all theminions of the crazy people really think that their Jesus is going to save their hides and tan the rest of ours.
    Seriously, I just hope that when this escalates into world war III with the Chins and the russkies firing nukes at US they kill my ass and my families ass in the first shot. I don’t feel like wandering around blind for six weeks till radiation poinsening gets me.
    I have no hope for us, I’ve stopped paying my bills and I’m just squanderring my money and credit. Even took the kids out of school. They won’t need it where they’re going.
    All I can say as a last message to the world is fuck you all!

    Reply

  24. Billy Christ says:

    The only way you’all are a gonna git mah brother Jesus ta come back ta earth on his white steed with firey red eyes is ta start world war II. THEN he’ll come a ridin’ inta town a whoompin’ and a whoopin’ every livin’ thing in sight, cept the wi’men of course. We rape them at the big barn dance later thet night.
    In Jesus name of course…
    ————————
    Honestly I think we’re god damned doomed. The crazy people in the White House the Congress and the church leaders of all theminions of the crazy people really think that their Jesus is going to save their hides and tan the rest of ours.
    Seriously, I just hope that when this escalates into world war III with the Chins and the russkies firing nukes at US they kill my ass and my families ass in the first shot. I don’t feel like wandering around blind for six weeks till radiation poinsening gets me.
    I have no hope for us, I’ve stopped paying my bills and I’m just squanderring my money and credit. Even took the kids out of school. They won’t need it where they’re going.
    All I can say as a last message to the world is fuck you all!

    Reply

  25. jh says:

    I AM NIETHER A POLITICIAN NOR A SOCIAL ANALYST,DUE TO MY EXPERIENCE WHILE I ATYED IN USA I LIKE TO CITE THAT AS IN VIETNAM WAR THIS WAR IN IRAQ,AFGANISTAN,…. WILL NOT BRING ANY SWEETS FOR ORDINARY CITIZENS,BUT THESE ORDINARY CITIZENS WILL EXPERIENCE THE THE DISASTERIOUS CONSQUENCES OF WAR,LIKE THE ONES THAT ARE LEFT FROM PREVIOUS WARS.FOR THOSE WHO BLOW UP TO THE FURNACE OF THIS WAR I SHOULD SAY THEY ARE THE LONETIC OF GATHERING WEALTH AND THIER THIRST FOR POWER WILL GIVE UP NEVER!!!

    Reply

  26. Silas Marner says:

    Ivan, right on. Can you spell, “Reverse Mortgage”?
    (e.g. new cuts in Fed logging receipts to local counties in the face of astronomical Fed deficits will close schools, libraries, food kitchens, hospices, just about everything except the local *cop shops*, funded by DHS. Western counties will lose *45% of health & human services revenues*.)
    All because of a crashing US economy, our NotGeld inflation, Fundie Mammonites in control of the Beltway, Reagan’s legacy of junk-MLM government.

    Reply

  27. Miss Liberty says:

    I heard about this site on the Sam Seder show (Air America)
    http://radiotime.com/ProgramDetails.aspx?ProgramId=43036
    Thanks for this blog. 🙂

    Reply

  28. Ivan says:

    They want Iraq to “fail”. They want a quagmire. A quagmire will make continued war inevitable and that means they get rich beyond most of our wildest dreams. And we’re not going to let go of all that oil, because someone else would get it. I think that’s a given.
    Our defense and financial corporations, who exert powerful influence over our electoral process and media, and our government and it’s executives, and who are the beneficiaries of the billions being spent, will get unimaginably rich on our tax dollars and we will get nothing but negatives – crushing debt and a world that deeply dislikes us and knows we are either sheep or murderous unethical hypocrites. Bad for business.
    For us: bad schools, no public health care, closing hospitals…worst of all: diminished ability to resist the war pigs here at home. All so they can go kill half a million innocent civilians, blow off million dollar firecrackers in the desert, unstabilize and destroy whole vibrant civilizations, and, aside from stealing billions of your tax dollars in the comission of their crime (it is all based on pre-planned lies which makes it premeditated fraud and racketeering), achieve nothing except to deeply piss off the entire populations of entire subcontinents that have vital resources we need and should be having as friends.
    We’re driving the people who have resources we need into the hands of our rivals. This is deep incompetence on a historic scale, if we all agree that civilization is a positive thing.
    They are operating under something very similar to the cynical Nazi-style martial mysticism, that is, real madness on the part of the administration, and its ‘handler’ the defense sector. And it is PROFIT MADNESS much more than it is killing or conquest madness. I wish more Americans could see the overwhelming obviousness of it.
    I predict it will continue and they will provoke and attack Iran immediately to lock in indefinite defense industry profits, or “takings” as I like to call them, by creating a qlobal quagmire before anyone here musters the nerve to stop them. It is in their best interest to do so: quagmire is the defense sector’s best business environment, it’s when they’re at their peak – in a quagmire you pay them a lot of your tax dollars and their boys in congress borrow trillions more in your name to hand over to them, and they like that real fine…who wants to “win” and see such a good thing die?
    So the crazies will deepen the quagmire as long as the money is there, and it’s there because Americans are too dumb to understand a simple con. They are making you borrow money against your children’s and grandchildren’s future and then simply stealing it. They have no real intention of ending the war and they’ve really come right out and told us so back at the beginning when they said this could go on for years and years.
    The development of diplomacy and non-violent solutions is a fundamental threat to the defense sector because it trends toward diminishing their obscene profits. When they control policy, a better world becomes more unattainable.
    It is astonishing and frightening to see the radical extent to which Americans have no memory or understanding of Viet Nam and the Pentagon Papers, and even less of fascist Europe or the current middle east. I’m sorry to say that Americans in general have been so stupefied and removed from reality by worthless infotainment that they have become easy marks for any run-of-the-mill con.
    Believing our own propaganda and deferring public scrutiny of the war mongers’ claims until it was far too late makes us hapless dupes of large scale criminal enterprises acting under the color of authority.
    But what are you going to do now? The time for mitigating action passed quite a while ago, while everyone was busy believing the administration’s obviously ridiculous story. I think the minute we pull out, a regime much more brutal than Hussein’s will quickly take control and there will be red-hour chaos – a re-entrenchment of tribalism and uncontrollable violence and hatred.
    And gee whiz, would we let, say, the Russians intervene to help control the civil war? Mmm…NAH!; we’ll be there don’t fool yourself. They can’t abandon it, like they did Viet Nam, because there’s all that oil.
    When we give the benefit of the doubt to these criminals’ obvious deceptions we’re signing up for the long haul. Get out your wallets, fellow Disneylanders, we are condemned to repeat AGAIN! D’oh!

    Reply

  29. Alan says:

    Opening Salvos of a greater Middle East War –
    A war involving the US, Israel, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda…..
    http://www.crusade-media.com/news46.html

    Reply

  30. Lefter than thou says:

    Stop defending Clinton’s attack on Yugoslavia. Noam Chomsky points out that the true ethnic cleansing started after the NATO(read US) bombing started and was predicted to have such an affect by none other than Gen. Wesley Clark. The reason the US got NATO to attack was that the UN refused. The purpose was to get control of Serbia’s wealth and turn it over to global capitalists, America First. Same as Iraq. Remember that there was no civil war in Iraq until 2006, after Death Squad Negroponte was posted there. Look up the Phoenix Program in Vietnam and the “Salvadoran Solution” openly discussed when Negroponte was deployed to Iraq. Remember that Clinton presided over the sanctions when 500,000 Iraqis died and Albright said “We think it’s worth it”. And I agree with Marky that Ahmedinejad could very well be on the US payroll.

    Reply

  31. Harriett says:

    Bush and Cheney secretly declared war on Iran and Syria months ago. They’ve had carriers out there since summer. I’m certain many black ops have been there for a long time. Congress, please STOP THESE INSANE MEN. If we civilians march in huge numbers, Bush will simply declare martial law, and makes us build our own detention centers. For America’s sake…HELP!!!

    Reply

  32. marky says:

    It’s more likely that Ahmedinejad is an American agent than that Bushcho will succeed in Iraq or Iran. During the Reagan years, the GOP strengthened the hardline faction in Iran thru the arms deals—people like A. I’m not saying he actually is a CIA plant, but at least it makes sense. Nothing Bushco puts out makes any sense at all, on any level.

    Reply

  33. William Jorgensen says:

    Clearly the purpose of the Middle East buildup is preparation for a provoked war. The amount of foreign naval firepower from Europe, Australia and America is proof beyond doubt that something is in the pipeline besides oil. Israel’s recent “slip-of-the-tongue” admission of nuclear weaponry, along with stated plans of Iranian “neutralisation” accounts for the Patriot Missile defense location, and its reasoning.
    Under the circumstances it appears that a “rogue president” in league with other “rogue” elements may indeed be about to bet-the-farm on one last big roll of the dice. When making such a bet it is always best to do it with someone else’s money. It must be also apparent that all that Bush could lose is a few more popularity points as he faces no more elections and only has a “legacy” to show he was actually there to worry about. Personally, I can’t think of a US president who’s left with anything but controversy in the last century or so. So what can Bush really lose with a last dangerous attempt to gain a win?… at anything.

    Reply

  34. weldon berger says:

    dw, whatever you may think about the merits of NATO/US action in the Balkans, those involved committed sufficient force to actually succeed at doing what they set out to do. You may recall the heat Clinton took for pledging not to commit ground troops to combat in that action: the NATO campaign consisted of bombing the crap out of the Serbs for a couple of months. The fighting was largely over when the troops arrived, so they arrived as peacekeepers rather than as invaders. So far as I know there have been no ground troops lost to hostile action there.
    That was never the case with Iraq: when then-Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be necssary to successfully occupy Iraq, he was publicly ridiculed by Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. Army doctrine was then and is now that successful counter-insurgency and peacekeeping exercises require 20 troops for every 1,000 civilians. In Iraq, that’s 520,000 troops for a population of 26 million. I don’t know whether or not going in with a half-million troops would have resulted in something resembling success, but going in 300,000 troops short was certainly a guarantee of the opposite. Even if you subtract Kurdistan from the equation on the assumption that they could fend for themselves, the requisite force would have been 400,000, still double what we went in with. And even that force would have required a civil reconstruction plan, which didn’t exist, and enough specialists to implement one, which also didn’t exist. If one pretends that the Iraqis have 300,000 well-trained and institutionally loyal troops and you add in the roughly 160,000 US troops that will be there in a few months, you’d be in the ballpark. But the Iraqi troops are 90% make-believe.
    lugh lampfhota claims above that “adults will save Western Civilization;” that will have to wait until some adults actually arrive. Adults would not ignore advice from their top generals; adults would not invade a country with no plan for occupying it; adults would not threaten or carry out an attack on Iran with 90% or so of our deployed ground combat forces trapped in Iraq amid a heavily armed population with pronounced sympathies for Iran — never mind the other idiocies involved in such an action.
    I read the 3rd Infantry Division’s after-action report on the invasion. That was the division that took Baghdad. Here’s what they had to say about the Security and Stabilization phase of their operation.
    “3ID (M) transitioned into Phase IV SASO with no plan from higher headquarters. There was no guidance for restoring order in Baghdad, creating an interim government, hiring government and essential services employees, and ensuring the judicial system was operational.”
    The reason there was no plan is that the administration decided no plan was necessary and, scandalously, Tommy Franks went along with it and then rode off into the sunset leaving his successors to deal with the mess. That’s not adult behavior. Letting Osama go was not adult behavior. Diverting troops to Iraq from Afghanistan for this latest stupidity at the same time the Taleban are making significant gains throughout Afghanistan is not adult behavior. What few adults exist in this administration have exerted minimal and ineffective influence over its actions.
    lugh is for practical purposes a moron. So is Bush. They deserve each other, but the rest of us don’t deserve either of them.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    “Okay, now lets move on to the next hypothetical. Someone comes along. But they’re not making any argument you can grab onto. There are no facts alleged, real or fabricated. There’s no arguments made, logical or dishonest. There’s nothing but “Hoo hoo, yer all a fookin bunch a traitors, haw haw!” Well, there’s no point in even trying to engage, there’s nothing to engage with. So, you short circuit the debate by calling them Pedophiles or Child Molesters or inviting them to have intercourse with their mothers. The thing is, don’t waste too much time at it. They’re assholes, they’re trying to hit below the belt – so, knee to the testicles and move on.”
    Posted by Den Valdron
    Well, every street or bar fight I have ever been in certainly went better when the only object of my anatomy that was called into service was my foot. I almost said my brain, but thats the part that usually WASN’T in use. My brain seemed to kinda dissappear every time I found myself past the point of usin’ it.
    Your advice is well taken Den. Thanks.

    Reply

  36. Den Valdron says:

    Oh, and taking a bath once in a while might help that whole ‘people pointing at you and laughing’ thing.

    Reply

  37. Den Valdron says:

    ROTFL! Mugh Mothafhoka of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders strikes a heroic pose!
    I can just see it now, the pot belly, the combover, the cheesies stained fingers. The pasty, greasy, zit riddled skin! It will put the slavering hordes of Islam too flight! ROTFL!
    Seriously though, if you got a real job, you could afford to do your Mom more often. A shame she doesn’t offer family discounts. But hey, a pro is a pro.

    Reply

  38. lugh lampfhota says:

    Great news. Tis well past the time to cut off the head of the snake of global terrorism. Ahmadinejad and the mad mullahs want chaos to conjure the 12th imam. Let’s oblige them on Iranian soil.
    While you moonbats gnash your teeth and rend your clothing, adults will save Western Civilization from a Persian Argmeggadon.

    Reply

  39. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. Well let’s see, the Iranian hostage crisis, that was 26 years ago?
    It’s amazing how, when it comes to grudges, a people whose attention span is otherwise measured in minutes, can hang on.
    Personaly, I’d invoke a statute of limitations. Besides which, Iran has been under American sanctions the whole time, and America backed Saddam big time in the Iran/Iraq War. I’d say we got our payback already.

    Reply

  40. smallrat says:

    “Given that Iran showed little deference to the political sanctity of the US Embassy in Tehran 29 years ago, it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid.”
    The above is frankly a stupid comment considering the US actions in Iran prior to the American embassy invasion. But maybe it’ll take an Iranian engineered overthrow of a democratically elected US govt for Steve to understand. Otherwise keep up the good work.

    Reply

  41. Den Valdron says:

    Sorry P.O.A., its me.
    Look, its very simple. If a person is willing to engage rationally in an honest debate, weighing and exchanging real facts and information and logically working things through… fuck! I’m right there, man! I’m there with bells on! I’m happy as a pig in shit.
    Now, if someone comes along, and they’re into a discussion, but they’re dishonest. They use confabulated facts, they’re fast and loose with the details, they employ sarcasm, verbal sniping, slipshod and illogical arguments… Well, its still a discussion, sort of. I’ll vivisect them, but its mostly a public service. Sometimes its fun, often its not, and its never as rewarding as a real conversation.
    Okay, now lets move on to the next hypothetical. Someone comes along. But they’re not making any argument you can grab onto. There are no facts alleged, real or fabricated. There’s no arguments made, logical or dishonest. There’s nothing but “Hoo hoo, yer all a fookin bunch a traitors, haw haw!” Well, there’s no point in even trying to engage, there’s nothing to engage with. So, you short circuit the debate by calling them Pedophiles or Child Molesters or inviting them to have intercourse with their mothers. The thing is, don’t waste too much time at it. They’re assholes, they’re trying to hit below the belt – so, knee to the testicles and move on.
    Assume one of these types decides to get into a flame war. Reduce your comments to a simple “fuck off” and let them spout on and on at increasingly hysterical length. It’s kind of funny. The brevity appears to enrage them. They get quite creative in a limited sort of way.

    Reply

  42. Pissed Off American says:

    I may be wrong, and my apologies to Den if I am. But I have my doubts that the post above is his.

    Reply

  43. Den Valdron says:

    Philip, WB, a bit of friendly advice.
    Stop having sex with your mothers. It’s icky.

    Reply

  44. syvanen says:

    Philip
    Of course those are important differences. But it does not change that the US had no business going to war in Yugoslavia. The EU had its own interests there and one could give a good case for their involvement. However, it was the US that built the coalition.
    There is one very positive thing to come out of Bush’s regime: US prestige has been so blackened that we will be unable to organize another coalition like the one that invaded Yugoslavia for another couple of generations.

    Reply

  45. WB says:

    Phillip I think you are right, we hit the mother lode of moonbat, BDSers! Carry on, crazies.
    WB

    Reply

  46. Rick says:

    DW and Syvanen,
    Big difference between Bosnia and Iraq: We took no action on the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia for a long time before joining a coalition with NATO (Bosnia was a NATO action, not a US one) to go in. We went in with clear diplomatic support from throughout Europe and the Balkans. In Iraq, it was go-it-alone on the grounds of a pack of lies.

    Reply

  47. dasher says:

    DW, please recall that involvement in the conflict in Bosnia was undertaken by NATO, with broad support, not unilaterally (in all but name – I refer to the ‘COW’) by the US.
    The sucesses of that intervention are DIRECTLY attributable to the wide participation by the European community; conversely, the dismal failure in Iraq is likewise DIRECTLY attributable to the failure to widely involve other nations in our “regime change”.

    Reply

  48. Philip Cassini says:

    Wow, the crazy fools that form the majority of the posters here are just mind-blowing. Please, continue with your insane conspiracy theories, folks. It obviously makes you feel better.

    Reply

  49. syvanen says:

    DW has a point. Why did we get involved in the Bosnian civil war? Hell that was one that we were not even responsible for. In fact, I would argue that precedent helped set up the national mood that war in Iraq was not such a bad idea.
    What I hope we are seeing here, is an increasing awareness that the US has no business intervening in civil wars in foreign countries, unless they directly effect US territory.

    Reply

  50. Den Valdron says:

    Gordon, there’s nothing extraordinary about the hardening of Iranian opinion against the United States. Think about it for five minutes.

    Reply

  51. dw says:

    So, let me get this straight. Hagel says:
    “To ask our young men and women to sacrifice their lives, to be put in the middle of a civil war is wrong. It’s, first of all, in my opinion, morally wrong. It’s tactically, strategically, militarily wrong.”
    As I recall, the stated reason that the U.S. invaded Bosnia-Herzegovina was because they were in a civil war. It was the moral thing to do then, to intervene in a civil war and try to end it, but it is immoral now. Can someone explain the logic in that?

    Reply

  52. Gordon Housworth says:

    As part of a forthcoming series on Islamic issues and their implications, I will be asked for an Iraq sitrep, which I share here for comment:
    Iraq Sitrep:
    Key points:
    *”Victory” post-2004 was, and remains, political sloganeering
    *Dispense with idea that we are in control, can command the outcome
    *Problem long ceased to be a military matter; we’ve never engaged the necessary political issues
    *Professional military, notably Army and Marines, voice unusually high degree of opposition to a military surge option
    *There are now no good alternatives or “right” choices for the US, just varying degrees of less-bad options
    *Even good practice, in the hands of able commanders and skilled diplomats, has small chance of modest ‘success’
    *Window for even modestly larger troop commitment has closed; “necessary” troop levels are not available
    *Full-fledged Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy war in Iraq may be unavoidable, and has likely already started
    *Afghanistan scuttled (again) by shifting troops to Iraq; NATO cannot defeat the Taliban
    *American prestige and the perception of military power suffering a second “Vietnam,” but now there are real dominos
    *Administration pursuing a ‘pre-November plan’ with ‘post-November’ collapse of trust and limited resources, coupled with heightened Congressional scrutiny
    The Nelson Report summed it:
    In stepping back to survey the situation in Iraq. . .and not just US politics. . .you can see that for whatever set of reasons you chose to credit, the Administration now appears trapped in a classic “Catch 22” situation: in order to reach the political resolution needed to restore military stability, military stability is needed; but it can’t get military stability until it has a real political solution in action.
    Dates of interest to me:
    *2002 was pivotal: US had national unity, extraordinary global support and financial surplus
    *2003: As an occupying power, US assumed the responsibilities of occupation, including the economy, domestic peace and order, and state integrity; US failed in all areas
    *2004: administration in denial, elements of willful civil war underway (Sunni on Shia), global criteria for civil war met
    *2006: Sunnis succeed, driving Shias into full scale civil war, state fractures
    *2007: US along for the ride without knowing when and where it gets off
    Concerns:
    *Endure casualties and deteriorating geopolitical position to put Iraq on next President’s watch
    *Shift blame to “Iraqis” (in reality, Shiites) who are being tasked with an “impossible mission”
    *Attack Iran to “change the subject,” widen the conflict and mute political dissention
    Recommendations:
    *Democrats should – and this is hard to sell to those who don’t understand 4GW – devise an “adaptive” policy, since no one can predict how events will unfold
    *Democrats should not be trapped into offering specific proposals; the administration is already partially doing this without strategy and benchmarks, new (renewed) focus on counterinsurgency not withstanding
    *Administration uses ‘political surge’ rather than military surge; US can bring more assets to bear and sustain them far longer than military option
    *Political surge must include Iraqi and regional issues and players, with conversations specifically tailored to each participant
    *Listen to KSA, heeding their counsel, so as to minimize regional geopolitical damage
    *Political surge and regional negotiations can occur with current troop levels in place, i.e., there is no specific need to surge troop levels or, conversely, withdraw troops from in-country
    As I write this, my concern of administration baiting of the Iranians in order to make a wider counterstrike rises with the US raid on a flagged and clearly marked Iranian consulate in Erbil. Note that I do not quibble with the assertion that the consulate was involved in illicit activities given the activities of certain Iranian assets into Iraq. My concern is the precedent on entering sovereign soil in so obvious a manner…
    I believe that VPOTUS continues to press for a strike against Iran, and that his appointees within government will facilitate information flowing to support such a mission (and we know that the Israelis are cheering for it, lest they perceive that they must undertake a unilateral strike). The extraordinary hardening of the wider Iranian opinion against the US is bleak to contemplate, but for the purposes of this note, I believe that the best Iranian response to a US limited strike (the baiting strike) is not to make a peer state response, even though it could, but to make an asymmetric response against both the US and GCC states. Iran should not admit to its asymmetric response lest that admission lead to a US counter-response, but should immediately go to the UN as the aggrieved rational party, denying the US its entry to a wider strike (the weapons strike). The upshot will be a further deterioration of the US diplomatic position, a heightening of Iran’s position and further praise to Iran from the Arab street (the same praise that flowed to Hezbollah after its victory over Israel in Lebanon).
    Gordon Housworth

    Reply

  53. Grand Moff Texan says:

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth…
    Meanwhile, back in November …
    I’m sorry, did you think you were saying something?
    .

    Reply

  54. Grand Moff Texan says:

    Paul A’Barge, what should be “worrisome” to you is that your tired old tactics of intimidation don’t work any more. Most of America isn’t stupid enough to believe that the neocon’s adventure in the Middle East represents American interests, so for the Iranians or Syrians to oppose it isn’t an attack on America. Patriots oppose Bush’s failed tactics. Traitors like you support them.
    Considering how many Americans have been killed and maimed by what you support, you need to watch your mouth. Some guy missing a leg might just put a bullet in you, and if he does, I’m going to laugh.
    .

    Reply

  55. Pissed Off American says:

    Wow, this is my first visit here. You folks are really looney tunes. Meanwhile, back on planet Earth…
    Posted by Billy Bob Shranzburg
    Most “Billy Bobs” I’ve known, I’ve had to keep them away from the sheep. Alas, the pattern seems to hold true.

    Reply

  56. Billy Bob Shranzburg says:

    Wow, this is my first visit here. You folks are really looney tunes. Meanwhile, back on planet Earth…

    Reply

  57. p.lukasiak says:

    The only thing that keeps me going completely bonkers about Bush trying to start a war with Iraq is that fact that oil futures FELL TWO DOLLARS yesterday. If the people who control the energy markets thought there was any significant chance of a disruption in the oil supply, that would have never happened. (i.e., if Exxon was worried about an attack on Iran, they would have been bidding up the price of oil.)
    So either there was some extremely serious manipulation of the futures market yesterday, or the oil companies know something that we don’t…… I’m hoping its the latter, and that the oil markets have been assured that the 25th Amendment will be invoked (or a military coup occur) if Bush actually does try and go too far with Iran….

    Reply

  58. Den Valdron says:

    Hey ‘HitnRun’, good name by the way. Go take a look at the Brookings Institute’s ‘Iraq Index.’ Then come back and tell us how optimistic you are.
    I admire your conviction and confidence. Must be nice. I prefer to do the math. The math says that you’re not holding down Iraq, you’re hiding in that country. Attacks have gone from 20 a day to 185, patrols have gone down to 20% of what they were, and fatalities are tripled. You’ve kept casualties low by hiding as the country goes to hell. A majority of Iraqi’s hate you so much that they support attacks on America. You can barely scrape together 9,000 troops for the surge.
    You figure Iran’s going to be a cakewalk?

    Reply

  59. pauline says:

    from Paul Craig Roberts —
    “What do two US aircraft carrier attack groups in the Persian Gulf have to do with a guerrilla ground war in Iraq?
    The “surge” is merely a tactic to buy time while war with Iran and Syria can be orchestrated. The neoconservative/Israeli cabal feared that the pressure that Congress, the public, and the American foreign policy establishment were putting on Bush to de-escalate in Iraq would terminate their plan to achieve hegemony in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would mean the end of the neoconservatives’ influence. It would be impossible to start a new war with Iran after losing the war in Iraq.
    The neoconservatives and the right-wing Israeli government have clearly stated their plans to overthrow Muslim governments throughout the region and to deracinate Islam. These plans existed long before 9/11.
    Near the end of his “surge” speech, Bush adopts the neoconservative program as US policy. The struggle, Bush says, echoing the neoconservatives and the Israeli right-wing, goes far beyond Iraq. “The challenge,” Bush says, is “playing out across the broader Middle East. . . . It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time.” America is pitted against “extremists” who “have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.” “The most realistic way to protect the American people,” Bush says, is “by advancing liberty across a troubled region.”
    This, of course, is a massive duplicitous lie. We have brought no liberty to Iraq, but we have destroyed their way of life. Bush suggests that Muslims in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine are waiting and hoping for more invasions to free them of violence. Did Bush’s invasion free Iraq from violence or did it bring violence to Iraq?
    It is extraordinary that anyone can listen to this blatant declaration of US aggression in the Middle East without demanding Bush’s immediate impeachment.”
    http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=10311

    Reply

  60. bob h says:

    Zig Brezinski seemed to suggest on the Newshour last night (where he regularly outclasses Walter Russell Mead) that the fixation with Iran and Syria and “not losing” Iraq borders on clinical derangement.

    Reply

  61. Coup Coup says:

    Two issues not addressed;
    Is the Murtha faction of the DoD going to let the
    Corporate-Zionist-Fundi faction destroy this country?
    My bet is No! Watch for a real live putsch on the Potomac in the days to come.
    If the above does not come to pass and a real live shooting war commences btw USA and Iran I predict Iran will redefine asymetrical warfare to a degree that will leave the right wing warmongers bewildered.

    Reply

  62. ahem says:

    rich beat me to it, but I’m just going to augment a previous comment:
    “Given that Iran showed little deference to the political sanctity of the US Embassy in Tehran 29 years ago, it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid.”
    1. Given that the US interfered with Iraq’s internal affairs somewhat by invading the place, deposing its leader and occupying it;
    2. Given that the US interfered with Iran’s internal affairs by assisting in the overthrow of its democratically-elected leadership, then propped up a dictatorship in all but name;
    the ironies do not simply apply in one direction.
    It’s one of those irregular verbs, isn’t it? ‘We provide stability to the region; you are a force for disruption; he’s been nuked.’

    Reply

  63. marky says:

    Here is a purely hypothetical question (really), just because I want to understand the possibilities.
    Suppose that because of the invasion of the Iranian consulate, or some other soon to occur provocation, Iran asserts that the US has declared war on it.
    Iran does have allies, at least informally. Are there any treaty obligations to uphold re Iran?

    Reply

  64. Nathan says:

    Here’s what WILL happen if the Congress and the American people allow it:
    Sometime in the next 18 months, as war engulfs the Middle East, (with or without the use of nuclear weapons), there will be an “incident”. Like 9/11, it will be an atrocity, and the Bush administration will use it to declare martial law, cancel the general election of 2008, and start rounding up all the “threatening” individuals.
    Shortly after that, as your neighbors disappear, you’ll find your life to be very different than it is today. No more Internet, no more free press, no more unrestricted travel. The US will have ceased to exist as a democracy, and if this occurs, it will be WE THE PEOPLE who permitted it to happen.
    Think I’m crazy? Legislation laying the framework for these things is already in place. Look it up. I’m not a “traitor”, just someone who is quite upset with the gutting of our living Constitution.

    Reply

  65. rich says:

    Steve: Isn’t the comment that “it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid” patently disingenuous?
    In 1979 the US showed little deference to the political sanctity of electoral democracy in Iran, Iran’s sovereignty, OR for ANY basic sanctity for human life & humanity in directing the CIA to train SAVAK to torture Iranian students (1953-1979).
    So, according to Steve & punditry:
    Overthrowing Democracy: OK
    Violating Sovereignty: OK
    Violating Constitution w/Acts of War (1953-1979, at minimum: OK
    Teaching & Facilitating Torture: OK.
    Violating the sanctity of the US Embassy in reaction to the above: Not OK.
    Never let it be said that Americans don’t have the capacity for irony. Or hypocrisy. Or treason. Or violating EVERYTHING enshrined as law in the Constitution.
    Or–merely pretending we don’t have any knowledge of history pre-1979.

    Reply

  66. Pissed Off American says:

    Do these sons of bitches REALLY believe that China and Russia will stand idly by as we steal Iraq’s oil assets and cripple the flow of oil out of Iran?? Or at the worst, make good on Israel’s and the United States’ threat to irradiate parts of Iran???
    Hey, at least SOMEONE would get the oil, a few hundred thousand years from now.

    Reply

  67. Alex says:

    I am praying for two things:
    1) lots of nice, big, strong earthquakes in the ME that will force people to do something besides blow each other up every day, and
    2) that Bushie Boy will continue on his same course until his true self is revealed and evident to even the small percentage of dodo birds who are still out there leaving their droppings around sites like this complaining that anyone who doesn’t drink his koolaid simply MUST be a traitor.
    Continuing to defend him in the face of evidence to the contrary is way beyond partisanship and borders on pathology.
    OK, I was kidding about number one, but quite serious about numero dos.

    Reply

  68. Shawn says:

    Negroponte did his part today: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16582063/
    Now, if we could only find out what Kagan was telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.
    WHY oh why do the Democrats even acknowledge his presence by inviting him to speak at these things??

    Reply

  69. Safi says:

    Here’s an article worth considering.
    http://www.voanews.com:80/english/2007-01-11-voa19.cfm
    China Tells US Not to Interfere in Relations with Iran
    By Daniel Schearf
    Beijing
    11 January 2007
    A Chinese official says the United States should not interfere in China’s relations with Iran. The comment came after the U.S. expressed concern about a Chinese oil company’s plans to invest in an Iranian oil field, at a time when Tehran is defying the United Nations over Iran’s nuclear program. Daniel Schearf reports for VOA from Beijing.
    […]
    Beijing’s comments came the same day Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
    Mr. Olmert is in Beijing to promote trade and relations with China, but is also lobbying Beijing to take a harder line against Iran, which is a sworn enemy of Israel.
    […]
    There’s more at the link.
    -Safi

    Reply

  70. weldon berger says:

    Scary, ain’t it, Steve?

    Reply

  71. Pissed Off American says:

    “It could be over in an afternoon if the will was there. All they need is for the Chief Justice to walk across the street and a little Congressional backbone.”
    Posted by j royale
    Well, then he would run into Gonzales….

    Reply

  72. j royale says:

    Impeachment doesn’t have to be slow. It could be over in an afternoon if the will was there. All they need is for the Chief Justice to walk across the street and a little Congressional backbone.

    Reply

  73. ... says:

    Why did we do such a stupid thing? I can only assume that some forged, incriminating documents will be “found” among the papers seized from the consulate and brandished by Bush to reinforce his tissue thin assertions that Iran backs Iraq’s insurgents (as if they needed more encouragement than our troops provide daily). Ahmad Chalabi’s CIA-build forgery operation is probably still up and running somewhere not far from Erbil, churning out the propaganda needed for the next war of choice. Or maybe one of those poor, unfortunate diplomats will be tortured into providing some information which the US can point to as “evidence” of Iran’s complicity in Iraqi resistence to military occupation by a foreign power. Whatever.
    from the link carroll left
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/11/161021/706

    Reply

  74. Governor says:

    The plan:
    To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

    Reply

  75. ... says:

    good post rich >>Steve: Isn’t the comment that “it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid” patently disingenuous?
    In 1979 the US showed little deference to the political sanctity of electoral democracy in Iran, Iran’s sovereignty, OR for ANY basic sanctity for human life & humanity in directing the CIA to train SAVAK to torture Iranian students (1953-1979).
    So, according to Steve & punditry:
    Overthrowing Democracy: OK
    Violating Sovereignty: OK
    Violating Constitution w/Acts of War (1953-1979, at minimum: OK
    Teaching & Facilitating Torture: OK.
    Violating the sanctity of the US Embassy in reaction to the above: Not OK.
    Never let it be said that Americans don’t have the capacity for irony. Or hypocrisy. Or treason. Or violating EVERYTHING enshrined as law in the Constitution.
    Or–merely pretending we don’t have any knowledge of history pre-1979.
    Posted by rich at January 11, 2007 05:37 PM <<

    Reply

  76. JC says:

    About the Highway of Death…
    The turkey shoot that ensued at the end of the Gulf War was triggered foremost by armor, not airpower. VII Corps strong left hook into southern Iraq and western Kuwait created the conditions wherein air power could isolate and destroy vast numbers of Iraqi forces fleeing Kuwait City.
    Anyone who didn’t learn the air power lesson from its failures (ask Goerring and Westmoreland), did learn their lesson from its success during the Gulf War.
    Like all striking forces, air power works best in combination with a strong fixing force.

    Reply

  77. Pissed Off American says:

    “Um, show me the receipts. Remember the munitions dump that the US failed to secure while they were busily surrounding the Oil Ministry?”
    This is not mentioned enough. Nor is the Tuwaitha debacle, were tons of yellow cake was looted. I wonder if the generational deaths that will occur as a result of unknowing Iraqis drinking, bathing in, and laundering with the water they stored in those drums is counted in that 600,000 figure? How many future Iraqis will die as the result of their parent’s radiation induced genetic damage? We’ll never know.
    But hey, just so the rest of the Iraqi populace doesn’t feel excluded, we have gifted them with tons and tons of fine DU dust. There’s probably not very many Iraqis that aren’t breathing it every time a cooling breeze comes through. Its putting our soldiers in the hospital, with exposures of a year or two. Golly, the Iraqis get to breath it for a millinia. Makes ya proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

    Reply

  78. Pissed Off American says:

    “Remember, this bogged-down-third-rate-superpower military conquered Iraq in two weeks with less than 300 lives lost.”
    Hey!!! Its a redux of “Mission Accomplished”!
    You gotta love that “last throe” insurgency too, eh?
    Its only the American losses that matter, right? 600,000 dead Iraqis thus far, (not counting the Iraqi non-combatants that were vaporized during the initial air assault. 50,000??? 100,000??? 200,000??? We’ll never know, will we?)
    And over 3000 dead American patriots.
    And, we are talking Iraqi civilian casualties post sanction. Figure in the commonly accepted 500,000 dead Iraqi children, and ya got over a million, pal. Just makes your mind tingle with delight doesn’t it!
    “Whatever other faults you might find with the President’s plan, don’t delude yourselves that the U.S. military is incapable of handling Iran and Syria.”
    Oh goody, we can do the same thing to Iran, based on the exact same kind of lies, twisted intelligence, and arm twisting by Israel. But this time, we REALLY get to score numbers!
    Death to the ragheads, right pardner? Why kill over a million when we can easily double down?
    Gads.

    Reply

  79. ahem says:

    It’s clear that nothing will be admitted re: Iran and Syria until it’s a fait accompli, which is the administration’s goal, as it is with the ‘surge’.
    “Bombs don’t grow on trees.”
    Um, show me the receipts. Remember the munitions dump that the US failed to secure while they were busily surrounding the Oil Ministry?
    “There’s only so many terrorists to go around, so to speak.”
    Ah, the ‘lump of terrorists’ fallacy. Let’s see if that argument applies if your house is shot or blown up.
    “Some of the comments here are marvelous theoretical castles built on sand.”
    They weren’t until you stopped by.

    Reply

  80. Dennis says:

    If Congress is really serious about stopping the fighting in the middle east, it needs to put its foot down right now and so “NO” to the invasion of another nation.
    I’ll believe Congress is serious when this happens. Until then it’s just more tippy-toes politics as usual and more American soldiers to die.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  81. Pissed Off American says:

    And….
    The following is the headline article on the AIPAC website tonight. Now, most of you watched the President’s speech. Note the rhetoric of the headline. Then too, note that in the text, there is not one single reference to the increase in troops and funding, nor any other portion of the speech except as it pertains to their drumroll about Iran and Syria.
    To the AIPAC crowd, and the current Israeli leadership, our soldiers are just the ends to a means, and by God, Israel intends to coerce our nation into soaking the sands of Syria and Iran with the blood of our children. God forgive us if we allow it.
    http://www.aipac.org/hill/
    Bush Warns Iran and Syria Against Interfering in Iraq
    In a televised speech to the American people on Wednesday, President Bush warned Iran and Syria to stop interfering in Iraq, where both are backing terrorist groups killing civilians and U.S. servicemen, The New York Times reported. Iran and Syria “are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq,” Bush said. “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.” Bush also pledged to work to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and dominating the Middle East. The State Department has consistently listed Iran and Syria as the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism.

    Reply

  82. HitNRun says:

    Some of the comments here are marvelous theoretical castles built on sand.
    Whatever other faults you might find with the President’s plan, don’t delude yourselves that the U.S. military is incapable of handling Iran and Syria.
    The only limit on what the American military can accomplish is the limit of public patience- how long we’re willing to put up with it, and how we want the military to conduct itself, and how much we want to subject our troops to harm for the good of the local civilians.
    Unless the two countries in question are China and Russia, no two countries can “win” against the US. Remember, this bogged-down-third-rate-superpower military conquered Iraq in two weeks with less than 300 lives lost.
    Also keep in mind that many of the attacks in Iraq are sponsored by Iran and Syria. Bombs don’t grow on trees. There’s only so many terrorists to go around, so to speak. Thus, we can only decrease casualties in Iraq (in and of themselves) by giving the Iranians and Syrians pause.

    Reply

  83. ET says:

    American troops backed by attack helicopters and armored vehicles raided an Iranian diplomatic office in the dead of night early Thursday and detained as many as six of the Iranians working inside.
    The raid was the second surprise seizure of Iranians by the American military in Iraq in recent weeks and came a day after President Bush bluntly warned Iran to quit meddling in Iraqi affairs.
    http://tinyurl.com/yzgz2t

    Reply

  84. Pissed Off American says:

    And……..
    I guess Horned George figures if he’s gonna commit our troops to reinforcing his own insanity, then it will be far more gratifying if he does so eternally….
    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/16436371.htm
    Pentagon abandons active-duty time limit
    For the first time since President Bush mobilized the National Guard and Reserve after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Pentagon is abandoning its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty.

    Reply

  85. NH Dem says:

    You can bet that Cheney isn’t the only one to remember the “success” of the Highway of Death. If it makes a return engagement, the burnt out trucks won’t be Iraqi.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0721/p09s01-coop.html
    (Credit for link to pinson above.)
    Good thing we’re not pissing off Iran or their Shi’a friends in Iraq or anything.

    Reply

  86. Pissed Off American says:

    BREAKING…….
    “Explosion at United state Embassy in Athens.
    Just broke on CNN.
    This thing is getting out of control. We could EASILY be involved in a world wide conflict SOON. Not months, but ANY MOMENT NOW. One mistep from Bush and this thing is going to EXPLODE globally. And Bush NEVER misses an opportunity for a mistep.

    Reply

  87. ET says:

    State-resolution: Avenue to Impeachment?
    Congress’s Jefferson Manual for Parliamentary Procedure cites the state-resolution avenue as one of the official means by which the impeachment process can be invoked. Details:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/jan/11/state_resolution_avenue_to_impeachment

    Reply

  88. Stan says:

    when hitler wanted to invade a country he would kill some of his own soldiers and blame the enemy.

    Reply

  89. Pissed Off American says:

    One thing about Bush, he’s a equal opportunity madman. Why plant our troops in the middle of a Shiite/Sunni civil war and a Shiite/Shiite sectarian conflict when he can plant them in the middle of a Shiite/Sunni civil war, a Shiite/Shiite sectarian conflict AND a conflict with the Kurds? Add Iran and Syria, and he just gifted Cheney with the longest orgasm he’s had in his life.
    http://tinyurl.com/so35o
    US-Kurdish Standoff in Irbil — and US Evac?
    Thursday, January 11th, 2007 in News, Iran, Iraq by Jeremy Sapienza|
    According to NPR correspondent Ivan Watson, Kurdish forces prevented three American humvees from crossing into another part of town. A Kurdish guard told him that after an hour and a half standoff, weapons cocked, four blackhawks came to evacuate some of the US soldiers. The NPR transcript is pending, but you’ll be able to see it later today on the same page you can find the audio.
    I got the tip from my “neighbor” William Hartung of the World Policy Institute in New York.

    Reply

  90. Patience says:

    Was the Iranian presence in Kurdistan designed to disrupt possible activities by the Kurdish “Party for Free Life” within Iran (reported by Seymour Hersh a couple of months ago)? And was the U.S. action designed not to prevent terrorism within Iraq, but rather to maintain a free hand to conduct covert operations in Iran?
    This web is getting really tangled.

    Reply

  91. noone says:

    “Worrisome is the fact that both Syria and Iran have long ago declared informal war against us, and somehow you missed it.”
    We’ve been a quasi cold war holding pattern with Iran since the late 1970s. Sort of like Cuba without Miami.
    “Worrisome is the level to which you traitors will stoop.”
    Is that the only petard you can hoist us upon? C’mon, you gotta have something better than that, no? Don’t make me get on my Pee-Herman huffy puffy now…

    Reply

  92. Peter Principle says:

    Worrisome is how incredibly boneheaded, ignorant and generally brain dead the warmongering right is in this country.
    With patriots like these, who needs traitors?

    Reply

  93. Pissed Off American says:

    Worrisome?
    Worrisome is the fact that both Syria and Iran have long ago declared informal war against us, and somehow you missed it.
    Worrisome is finding out that your child was killed in an Iraqi battle theater by an Iranian or Syrian.
    Worrisome is the level to which you traitors will stoop.
    Posted by Paul A’Barge
    You’re a fucking idiot. If your IQ isn’t telling you how dangerous Bush is, than it sure as hell ain’t high enough to understand what a “traitor” is.

    Reply

  94. Dennis says:

    It’s either time for a Constitutional crises, initatied by Congress, or else this country is done for as a democracy.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  95. Den Valdron says:

    “Traitors” Paul D’Barge? Amazing how certain snivelling little worms suddenly get up on their hind legs and mouthing words like ‘traitors’, don’t you think?
    I’m Canadian. Here’s what I know about Syria: Your country hands citizens of my country over to Syria, to be tortured, in exchange for the results of that torture. As far as I’m concerned, you got nothing to say.

    Reply

  96. Pissed Off American says:

    “Adding fuel to the speculation is that U.S. forces today raided an Iranian Consulate in Arbil, Iraq and detained five Iranian staff members. Given that Iran showed little deference to the political sanctity of the US Embassy in Tehran 29 years ago, it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid.”
    “Ironic”???? I’ll tell ya wha is ironic is that you would imply that turn-about is, if not acceptable, at least understandable. This nation is supposed to be above these kinds of criminal and dangerous violations of sovereignity. Whats “ironic” too is this God damned pyschopathic maniac might well reduce this planet to a glowing orb of radioactive dust, and this Congress is doing NOTHING, and has done nothing, to rein these fucking maniacs in. If the above rumors are true, George Bush should be chicken walked out of the White House in leg irons under the guard of FBI agents.

    Reply

  97. Kim says:

    YES – gw has already begun war in iran !!
    BELOW EDITED BY ME, LINK HAS FULL REPORT …
    “Later Thursday, Jan. 11, Tehran reported three large explosions shaking the southern town of Khorramshahr north of the oil port of Abadan on the Shatt al-Arb waterway.
    “DEBKAfile: Khorramshahr, which faces the Iraqi town of Basra, is one of the key towns from which Iran delivers smuggled fighters, weapons and explosives to its Shiite supporters in Iraq. Our sources also report that some hours before President George W. Bush’s policy speech, a series of explosions were heard in Iranian Balochistan. Tehran imposed a blackout on the incident.
    “These statements and events tie in closely with the new Iraq strategy announced by the US president of confronting Iran and Syria for “allowing networks to use their territory to attack US forces.”

    Reply

  98. Den Valdron says:

    I think the thing that bothers me the most is that Steve Clemons is so clearly and obviously scared. Worse, the buzz is his entire social/political class are scared. They’re crapping right now.
    I don’t see that it was the speech that did it, though it did lack some of those diplomatic niceties that they love so much. It might be the consulate incident, or a combination of the two. Certainly it raises eyebrows. But Clinton bombed the Chinese Embassy in Serbia and no one blinked twice.
    And yet, there’s a definite smell of real fear here. And Clemons and freres have always been confident that there were moderates in the Bush administration, civilized men that they could talk to over coffee or wine at upscale policy conferences, men of reason who could control the animals. Men like John Negroponte, or whoever the flavour of the day is. Delusional or not, Steve always believed in reason, and it made him moderate in his estimations, sanguine about events and fearless in contemplating the world around him.
    And now he’s scared.
    Well, well, well.
    I don’t see this as good at all. This is very not good. This may well be highest levels of not good.
    It strikes me as possible that Steve and freres are correct. That Bush has signed a secret executive order, that the dogs are being let loose, and that Congress is truly irrelevant in the face of a manufactured incident like Gulf of Tonkin. Events are out of control and there is no one to reason with.
    I don’t know. Steve and his colleagues are well connected enough, and this is a dangerous enough thing that the word may well be out. He may well have the straight dope.
    In which case, god help us all.
    Alternately, it may just be an epiphany. Steve and his fellows may simply have finally woken up and realized what they are dealing with, that the ‘Rational Men’ of Bush’s are just a cover for the monsters really in charge.
    Ah well, we’ll see what happens.
    Either the world will blow up, or it won’t.
    If it doesn’t, it’ll be interesting to see whether they stay awake, or get complacent again.
    Wait and see. Make some popcorn. Pull up a lawn chair and watch the show.

    Reply

  99. Paul A'Barge says:

    Worrisome?
    Worrisome is the fact that both Syria and Iran have long ago declared informal war against us, and somehow you missed it.
    Worrisome is finding out that your child was killed in an Iraqi battle theater by an Iranian or Syrian.
    Worrisome is the level to which you traitors will stoop.

    Reply

  100. Joe says:

    You know, you hear all the time people saying that folks on the left are unpatriotic, hate our country, make excuses for terrorists, dont support our fight against the terrorists, etc…
    But you really dont see it until you wade into this nutjob swamp we have here. Wow, folks here apologizing for Iran, getting mad that the US might try to stop them, claiming that they are all peace loving while the US is just a bunch of warmongering SOBs.
    And you wonder why lefties and liberals get mad when you call them unpatriotic. It looks from folks around here the designation is something they would be proud of!

    Reply

  101. kenj says:

    John Keegan writes for a far Right wing think tank that is providing public support for Bush’s aim which is to stay in Iraq. Colin Powell has gone on the record to state that the 20,000 extra troops are not available (50,000 is just fantasy) – troops already there will be kept there, troops previously set to arrive will be sent in earlier. So this is largely a PR exercise by Bush to gain time. The question is: “Time to do what?” The answer, unfortunately, is to attack Iran.
    Most people will have noticed the increased media demonisation of Iran. It all but appears that Iran actually possesses nuclear weapons. But this is total nonsense. Journalist Seymour Hersh has obtained leaked excerpts from the upcoming US National Intelligence Estimate for Iran that represents the considered opinion of US intelligence agencies. That opinion (which is almost certainly going to be removed from the final, published edition) is that Iran is TEN YEARS AWAY from producing any nuclear weapons.
    Mind you, we are speaking only hypothetically here. There is no intelligence evidence whatsoever for a nuclear weapons program. The IAEA monitors Iran’s three nuclear processing sites continuously and has seen no evidence at all of such a program. Moreover -continuous US propaganda aside that alleges such a program and that is notably promoted on a weekly basis in editorials and feature articles of The Australian – Iran has NEVER been in breach of any of its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The recent limited sanctions against Iran by the UN are an illegal attempt by the US and Israel to deny Iran even a civil nuclear program.
    And what about all these claims that Iran wants to murder Jews? Well that would come as some surprise to the many Jews happily and safely living in Iran.
    But isn’t Iran ideologically commmitted to destroying Israel? No. In June 2003 Iran made extraordinary offers to the US. They asked for wide-ranging discussion and offered to recognise the state of Israel, cease funding Palestinian militants, assist the US stabilise Iraq, provide unfettered access to their nuclear program for monitoring purposes and, basically give the US and Israel peace in the Middle East. All they asked in return was good faith negotiations and a public undertaking from the US that it would not attack Iran or seek to undermine its democratically elected government. Guess what? The US refused them completely. So people should not be confused. We are seeing a political disinformation process by the US and Israel to condition the West to accept attacks upon Iran this year (2007).
    We should also note that the new US military commander in Iraq is Admiral William J. Fallon, a Navy man. That would seem strange unless you notice that he is ideally placed to supervise an attack against Iran using aircraft based on carriers. Fallon is there to ensure the success of an attack upon Iran. Get ready. It’s coming. Lies and all. (link)
    Posted by: kenj at January 9, 2007 12:21 PM

    Reply

  102. memekiller says:

    Sure, Bush might be trying to expand the war into Iran and Syria, but Al Gore and John Kerry were so wooden.

    Reply

  103. Joe says:

    To the commenter above, who called Bush a dangerous and reckless leader, you have really understated the case. This is man who hates himself so much that he wants to bring the world down with him, and his sick presidency.

    Reply

  104. Spud1 says:

    Could it be that Cheney (and Rummy on the sidelines) remember the “success” of the Highway of Death:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_Death
    and think that any real conflict with Syria and/or Iran can be dealt with from the air? I can’t imagine any sane person would provoke this sort of thing, in which martyrs will over-run our troops, and Israel’s should she join in.

    Reply

  105. 5th of November says:

    The 10% solution. Currently, approximately 200,000 soldiers fight for ‘democracy’ in Iraq [roughly US troops + foriegn troops + paid mercenaries (i.e. Blackwater)]. So, the President’s solution is to add 10% more (20,000 troops). Even assuming these extra troops perform 100% efficient, things will merely get 10% better in Iraq. Will 10% be worth the continuing carnage of American soldiers? Don’t look to the Democrats for help. They will sit idly by as they did when the gov’t suspended habeas corpus, opened mail, banned the novel “America Deceived” from Amazon, stole private lands, conducted illegal wire-taps and continues wars in the Middle East based on a false-flag event known as 9/11. If the Democrats cannot stop the current 10% increase in this war, then they will never stop 100% of this war.
    Only remaining link (until the gov’t pulls the novel off Google Books):
    America Deceived (book)

    Reply

  106. Carroll says:

    We see a lot of political whores in DC, but Rice always sounds like a common streetwalker who has latched onto a thesaurus and tires to find words to describe herself, her tricks, her pimp and her techiniques as something other than what they are.
    But a big THANK YOU to Hagel. I think he is the only one shooting straight.

    Reply

  107. dasher says:

    As I’ve said before, when I read about the raid in Irbil, the first thing I thought was “Polish uniforms” (reference to the Nazi invasion of Poland in ‘retaliation’ for the Polish ‘invasion’ of Nazi Germany).
    About equal credibility, the chimp and the “little tramp”.

    Reply

  108. Arun says:

    I hope you are wrong; I fear you are not.
    This would be one egg we’d all be happy to help with wiping off your face.

    Reply

  109. Carroll says:

    Regarding the raid on the Iranian embassy…
    I don’t care for DKos that much because they are a partisan site with a lot of prima donna kindergardners.
    But there are some contributors there that I do find outstanding.
    One is LondonYank, and she has an excellent article up on the Kurdish reaction to the Iranian embassy raid. She is a particulary good person to comment on it because she has some actual experience with the Kurds. She also refers to Steve’s lastest post.
    In a nutshell, the Kurds are not happy with this.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/11/161021/706

    Reply

  110. syvanen says:

    The most one could hope for from the last night?s speech is that it would just be more of the same. But maybe it was worse. Those sentences referring to Iran and Syria are ominous:
    Without doubt these are direct threats against Syria and Iran. In itself not necessarily troubling because these threats have been made before and they were just so much hot air. (Remember the bombastic threats against N. Korea) Even backing this tough talk by moving in a second Aircraft carrier strike group could turn out to be empty saber rattling. However, the Patriot missile battery is a new twist. The only possible target would be to defend against Iranian subsonic missiles. The situation where Iran would use this weapon would be in response to a US or Israeli air attack against Iran, as they have repeatedly warned. Even though the Patriot antimissile system is based on junk science and would likely not work, the moron likely doesn?t know this and sees the system as a credible defense against an Iranian response to an attack from us.
    Not going to even try to predict where this will lead, but we could be facing a very interesting 2007.

    Reply

  111. BarryWilliams says:

    Bush is a dangerous and reckless leader. he has to be held accountable for his actions… everyone knows the additional troops is to invade Iran and Syria.. the military is at its breaking point.

    Reply

  112. selise says:

    abc news is reporting TWO secret raids in iraq today.
    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=2788262&page=1
    some bits from the link:
    In the first raid, the U.S. troops stormed a building that houses the Iranian liaison office in the northern city of Irbil at 3 a.m. local time, where they detained at least five Iranians and also confiscated computers and documents.
    ….
    In the second raid, staged later in the day, U.S. troops attempted to abduct more people from inside the perimeter of Irbil airport, but were surrounded by Kurdish peshmerga troops.
    “This group has come from nowhere,” Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told ABC News. “They were unwilling to reveal their identity and entered the airport, which is a very sensitive area, and there was a response by the local forces.”
    Both sides were heavily armed, and shooting very nearly broke out. “There weren’t any casualties, but it was a split second really for a disaster to happen. This has created a great deal of anxiety,” said Zebari.
    ‘Delicate Situation’
    It is unclear where the U.S. troops came from — even local U.S. officials contacted by the Kurdish authorities had no knowledge of the armed men.
    The American military later issued a statement saying it had detained six people in a raid in Irbil, but did not specify their nationality or give any other information about the raids.
    The raids came within hours of President Bush’s speech about future U.S. policy in Iraq, which included a pledge to “interrupt the flow of support from Iran” for anti-U.S. forces in Iraq.
    Bush went on to say, “We will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.” Last month, U.S. forces in Baghdad detained four Iranians, two of whom were diplomats.

    Reply

  113. Carroll says:

    I am only going to say what I said last night.
    “Bush said we are sending Patriot Missiles to the ME…..I do beleive he is declaring war on Iran…it’s just a matter of time, probably months. There will be a incident or false flag operation and then……..”
    Posted by Carroll at January 11, 2007 12:39 AM
    >>>>>>>>>
    Just watch….

    Reply

  114. Charles says:

    Steve, Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter reported *years ago* that the US had engaged in acts of war against both Syria and Iran. Infiltration, espionage, sabotage, aid to enemies of those governments.
    The only thing new about this news is that the level of conflict is about to get large enough that it can’t be denied.
    We are at war with Somalia, by the way. That act of stupidity may cause the Kenyan government to collapse. Kenya is an important American ally in that region.

    Reply

  115. selise says:

    i listened to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today too. biden had another bit later on where he threatened a constitutional confrontation (or crisis – i don’t recall the exact language used) if the president authorized attacking iran w/o congressional support.
    steve, do you have a link to the transcript? i would really like to get the correct wording on biden’s threat (and it really was a threat) to rice. thanks.

    Reply

  116. Dan Kervick says:

    It’s so reassuring that we live in a DEMOCRACY, where the people get to decide on whether or not to go to war.
    As Woodrow Wilson once argued:
    “Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor states with spies or set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of affairs which will give them an opportunity to strike and make conquest. Such designs can be successfully worked out only under cover and where no one has the right to ask questions. Cunningly contrived plans of deception or aggression, carried, it may be, from generation to generation, can be worked out and kept from the light only within the privacy of courts or behind the carefully guarded confidences of a narrow and privileged class. They are happily impossible where public opinion commands and insists upon full information concerning all the nation’s affairs.”
    And since we live in a self-governed nation, it is clear that we don’t have to worry about any “cunningly contrived plans of deception” or “narrow and privileged classes”. Phew!

    Reply

  117. Marky says:

    I still think the best suggestion I’ve seen for a response to Bush’s plan to escalate in Iraq is to insist that more troops go to Afghanistan instead. Politically, it provides cover against accusations of weakness; strategically, it’s the correct choice. I hope the Dem leadership is paying attention.

    Reply

  118. Marcia says:

    There was Mossadeq that became a “Remember the Alamo” for Iran.
    We now have all the false news reports put out to distract from the principale issues that become the “accomplished facts.”
    Our government has proved that the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is
    not true. It is paved with lies, duplicity, and rogue governments.
    It is really time to wake up!

    Reply

  119. TonyForesta says:

    If the Bush government intends to initiate the crusader and clash of civilizations against islam, and attack all the nations that hate America and aid, abet, nurture, abundantly fund, and produce jihadist mass murderers and mass murder gangs globally, there can be nor ignoring or sanctuary for Saudi Arabia. This insane conflageration of cultures religions, and nations would radically disrupt oil flows and markets and certainly inevitably and swiftly involve other nations globally taking one side or another. So the rapturist unholy dreams and macabre visions of the armeggedon are not so conspiratorial any more, – are they?
    America either impeaches the fascist warmongers profiteers, rapturists zealots, and criminals in the Bush government, – or we (America) will actually deserve whatever fiery pit and hell the fascists and criminals in the Bush government recklessly hurl us into.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  120. Doctor Biobrain says:

    Uhm, is a 29-year-old attack really justification for anything? If thirty years from now, Iraq attacks an America led by President Clemons, will he be wrong to hyperventilate about it? I think not.

    Reply

  121. gq says:

    Hey Steve,
    I’m not that fluent in matters of Islam or the middle east, but there has been tension between shiite and sunni for some time. What I’ve read of al-Queda and other global Islamist Jihadi movements is that there is a lot of Sunnis who feel they are at war with the Shia, while some Islamists want to unite the two (in Iraq, there was a lot of infighting between factions vis a vis Zarqawi).
    If we go after Iran, could we expect a unification of the two sects? It’s clear there are terrorist threats from Iran, but from what I understand, its a much different beast than the global jihadi movement. As a state, Iran is less likely to be completely irrational, but if this became a real war against Islam, what is the likelihood of a unified jihadi movement that includes the state of Iran?

    Reply

  122. ckrantz says:

    By the way any ideas what the Iranian or the general Shia reaction will be if pushed in to a corner with allies under attack from Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine?

    Reply

  123. myself says:

    Odd events inside Iran
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8510200361
    Deputy Governor General of Kerman province Abulghassem Nasrollahi told FNA that the crash which was followed by an explosion and a thick spiral of smoke has caused no casualties or damage to properties.

    He said that people in the city of Rafsanjan also reported to have witnessed a similar incident several days ago.
    Similar crash incidents have been witnessed frequently during the last year all across Iran, and officials believe that the objects could be spy planes or a hi-tech espionage device.

    Reply

  124. Marky says:

    I wonder if the administration is in contact with the Shah’s son.

    Reply

  125. ckrantz says:

    Don’t forget the US money and weapons pouring in fueling a Palestinian civil war to take out Hamas or the latest finding to prop up the Siniora government in Lebanon. Or the reports of the Israels warplanes running flights to Gibraltar and back to practice bombing runs.
    I wonder who the Saudi official was. Bandar?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=RXVNABID5TRXFQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/10/wleb10.xml
    “The Central Intelligence Agency has been authorised to take covert action against Hizbollah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence. Senators and congressmen have been briefed on the classified “non-lethal presidential finding” that allows the CIA to provide financial and logistical support to the prime minister, Fouad Siniora.
    The finding was signed by Mr Bush before Christmas after discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials. Details of its existence, known only to a small circle of White House officials, intelligence officials and members of Congress, have been passed to The Daily Telegraph.
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    It authorises the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to fund anti-Hizbollah groups in Lebanon and pay for activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy of the finding means that US involvement in the activities is officially deniable.
    The Bush administration hopes Mr Siniora’s government, severely weakened after its war with Israel last year, will become a bulwark against the growing power of the Shia sect of Islam, championed by Iran and Syria, since the fall of Saddam Hussein.”

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  126. Sten Ryason says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who heard Syria, Iran, and thought Cambodia, Laos?
    Didn’t we take the fight (in secret) to countries who “supported” the Viet Cong, and those countries ended up descending into madness and genocide, with an attitude of anything the West likes, we’ll hate? He may have avoided the VietNam conflict, but he’s certainly using the Nixon/Kissenger playbook too fight this one.

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  127. rich says:

    Steve: Isn’t the comment that “it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid” patently disingenuous?
    In 1979 the US showed little deference to the political sanctity of electoral democracy in Iran, Iran’s sovereignty, OR for ANY basic sanctity for human life & humanity in directing the CIA to train SAVAK to torture Iranian students (1953-1979).
    So, according to Steve & punditry:
    Overthrowing Democracy: OK
    Violating Sovereignty: OK
    Violating Constitution w/Acts of War (1953-1979, at minimum: OK
    Teaching & Facilitating Torture: OK.
    Violating the sanctity of the US Embassy in reaction to the above: Not OK.
    Never let it be said that Americans don’t have the capacity for irony. Or hypocrisy. Or treason. Or violating EVERYTHING enshrined as law in the Constitution.
    Or–merely pretending we don’t have any knowledge of history pre-1979.

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  128. Old Hat says:

    What better way to hide a tactical nuke test than with the radioactive dust from such a site?
    It’s not a tactical nuke but it looks like a precursor to one.

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  129. Chris Stahnke says:

    The situation is soooo confusing and as intricate as middle-east politics full of shifting loyalties double and triple crosses. A war with Iran has the virtue of simplifying matters and Bush and his friends like that. The Iraq mess is not solvable let alone winnable because there are so many opposing sides and the politics is too complex for Americans who want everything to be a hero-story involving good guys and bad guys.
    A war with Iran is not winnable but it creates focus and drama and a tangible enemy. I think this President and his handlers, enablers, hangers-on know that the boy-emperor is a drama queen of the highest order. Having said that there are strong forces in Washington who don’t want such a war (such a war would be bad for bidness)–should be an interesting tug-of-war.

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  130. Geoduck says:

    Despite all the horrors that have happened, I think that Bush isn’t personally all that power-hungry. (Intellectually lazy, cowardly, a small-time social bully, a dry alcoholic, sure.) If he’d lost the election/failed to gain the White House/whatever back in 2000, he’d have shugged his shoulders and wandered back to Texas. It’s Cheney and the rest of the cabal that’s keeping him propped up that wants the power.

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  131. Tyrion Lannister says:

    What better way to hide a tactical nuke test than with the radioactive dust from such a site?

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  132. meade says:

    Bush has gone lunatic on US.
    Congress has to stop this before more insanity is unleashed in Iraq and the Middle East.
    Not sure the Dems can grow their spines back in time to make this happen. So i’m appealing to the baser instincts of our ‘friends’ across the aisle.
    I want them to realize that what Bush is doing is far more serious than Watergate, no blood was shed then, if their brother Republicans were astute enough to not let Nixon take down the entire party with him, wassup?

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  133. Old Hat says:

    I’m wondering why Bush named Admiral Fallon, a Naval air power specialist to lead Centcom. There aren’t any hard targets in Iraq.
    Also, I’m interested in the “Divine Strike” bomb test the DOD is cooking up:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/11/us/11nevada.html
    It’s a bunker buster.

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  134. Friendly_Fire says:

    Message to al-Hakim, he of Badr, Iranian interests, “fuck-off”, notwithstanding a tea-party in the WH some weeks back.
    Iran full-on, nukes and all.
    No wonder Blair wants to gets the hell outta Dodge/Basra.

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  135. John says:

    Reminiscent of the invasion of Cambodia and Laos as Nixon was getting increasingly desperate about Vietnam.
    Also, Congress didn’t say boo about bombing and possibly invading Somalia. Bush can now make the case that Congress allowed him to attack Somalia, so he “just assumed” that it would be OK to unleash nukes on Iran without talking it over with anyone first.
    Bush is throwing down the gauntlet, and Congress better get it’s act together. Time to officially end to war on terror and revoke Bush’s authority.
    Part of the urgency for dealing with Iran may be the impending $16 billion natural gas deal with China, which is HUGE: http://www.sinodaily.com/2006/070111112933.ub7r06ge.html
    Once again Houston is being shut out of a lucrative deal, so they have to bring in their thugs to set things right. One side effect of invading Iraq was to kick out the Chinese, Russians, and French, all of whom had oil deals pending. After the first Gulf War, French oil companies got kicked out of Kuwait, which is probably one of the reasons they were reluctant to support the 2003 invasion.

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  136. pinson says:

    Patrick Lang’s piece on the vulnerabilities of our army’s supply lines in southern Iraq from last summer was sobering. One key observation:
    “Until now the Shiite Arabs of Iraq have been told by their leaders to leave American forces alone. But an escalation of tensions between Iran and the US could change that overnight.”
    It’s even more sobering now that hostilities seem to have commenced with Iran. When people say “it can always get worse” this is what they’re talking about:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0721/p09s01-coop.html

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  137. bonkydog says:

    Looks like Henry Kissinger wants a do-over.

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  138. Node of Evil says:

    Of course Seymour Hersh has been all over various angles of this. I think we’ve been working on such a thing for a long time. Heck, that’s how we started our war with Iraq — there were all sorts of cross-border ops and overt bombings designed to “soften up” Iraq’s defenses well before the war officially started.
    While I think Iran and Syria may be assisting elements of the Shiite resistance in Iraq, we really have ourselves to blame for arming the insurgency. Trying to shift the blame to Iran and Syria is a convenient way of dodging the difficult truth that we set ourselves up for failure within the first couple of months of the occupation.

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  139. Kathleen says:

    Yesssss, Das Bush did declare war on Iran and Syria, but what’s so secret about it? He will not withdraw our troops from Iraq because he has to provoke a war with Iraq’s neighbors. W stands for Wall to Wall war, period. Calling himself a War president is the best way for him to rationalize circumventing the Constitution.
    My big question is will he withdraw from the Oval Office when his term is up or will he declare martial law and cancel further elections? He’s the most power hungry son of a bitch in US history.

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  140. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Another datapoint: Why add patriot batteries to Iraq? How many planes do the insurgenc groups have?
    Likewise, another aircraft carrier: how much close air support do F18s provide vs other aircraft in the area?

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  141. anomalous says:

    I would like to thank Congress for allowing the president to get this far out of hand. It is long past time to rein him in. The election of 2004 was not a suicide pact.
    The “surge” in troops will be too little, too late, not only for our little war in Iraq but also for our expansion into Iran and Syria, with more blowback than our troops on the ground and even our ships on the water will be able to withstand.
    Impeachment is too slow. It’s time for Congress to rescind Bush’s authorization to use force and for the military to refuse to follow unlawful orders.

    Reply

  142. Marky says:

    Failure in Baghdad could be part of the plan.
    Iran will be blamed for sabotaging the Iraqi governments’ commitment to the plan, and also for backing Al Sadr. It’s a win-win situation for the crazies.

    Reply

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