Michael Ledeen’s Dangerous Iran Obsession

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Michael Ledeen — who once told me that he only supported the Iraq War because it provided momentum and pre-positioning of American military forces to then go after Iran — is not going to feel self-actualized until America unleashes a considerable portion of its arsenal against the nation and people of Iran.
I’m not a pacifist. I have to admit that there might be circumstances in which war with Iran is our last and only option — but we are far, far away from that situation.
I’m particularly worried that there are bad guys in Iran who so desperately want to consolidate their political positions inside Iran that they see a hot conflict with the U.S. and/or Israel as “helpful”. It’s also clear that Vice President Cheney as well as his followers inside the administration and his ideological following in Washington’s think tank sector want war to pump up their eroding political position.
But Ledeen, James Woolsey, Norman Podhoretz, and others want war now with Iran. They want the bombs to fly. They are obsessed with delegitimating the important diplomatic efforts of Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns, US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad, and others. They despise Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — and they are increasingly offering defamatory comments about George W. Bush himself at their small dinner parties and neocon gatherings.
Ledeen has a piece, “Talking with Iran,” that has just appeared in the Wall Street Journal that tries to savage those calling for negotiations with Iran. It’s embedded throughout with distortions, but it is an important case statement profiling neocon obsession with waging war against Iran as soon as possible.
The opening of Ledeen’s piece runs thus:

For some time now, the chattering classes have debated whether the United States should negotiate with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both sides have endowed the very act of negotiating with near-mythic power.
The advocates suggest that “good relations” may emerge, while opponents warn it is somehow playing into the mullahs’ hands. Both seem to believe that the three recent talks in Baghdad are historically significant, since they are said to be a departure from past practice.
That claim is false. Every administration since Ayatollah Khomeini’s seizure of power in 1979 has negotiated with the Iranians. Nothing positive has ever come of it, but most every president has come to believe that a “grand bargain” with Tehran can somehow be reached, if only we negotiate well enough.
Washington diplomats have steadfastly refused to see the Iranian regime for what it is: a relentless enemy that seeks to dominate or destroy us. This blindness afflicted the first American negotiators shortly after the 1979 revolution, and has been chronic ever since, even though Iran declared war on us in that year and has waged it ever since.

Ledeen is entitled to his views, but smart respondents should remember a few things when considering how to deal with Iran.
First, remember that on the night of 9/11/2001, Tehran was the only place in the Middle East where thousands of people walked out into the streets holding candles and expressing grief and empathy for Americans who died that day. There are many in Iran who identify with America and are inspired by our country (though less so under current US political leadership).
Also, remember that former Ambassador and now RAND strategist James Dobbins successfully recruited Iran to play an important and constructive role in the Bonn Conference that was necessary to stabilize Afghanistan in 2002. Iran worked with us and did not need to. Yes, Afghanistan is coming apart at the seams now, and Iran may be playing both sides, but this is a function of America’s failing, not Iran’s designs and machinations.
Iran is a fake democracy — but there are elements of democracy and popular will being expressed through elections there. If we bomb Iran, we need to realize and accept that there is a strong chance that the public will rally toward rather than away from its current populist political leadership under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The worst situation would be to have a perception of citizen-given legitimacy behind an extremist Iranian government now committed more than ever to the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Bombing Iran may also lead to the creation of a terrorist superhighway to the edge of Israel — a nation whose security I believe America should be worried about and committed to ‘help’ defend.
Bombing Iran may also trigger a seismic shift in global energy politics, as Flynt Leverett has written, in which China, Russia, and Iran tie up their resources, technology and development needs into a condominium of alled interests. This prospect would break the backs of Europe and Japan which are directly, tangibly dependent on Iranian oil — and could lead to the end of American primacy in the geoeconomy of oil.
I don’t believe in appeasing Iran’s worst behaviors either. But there are many, many, many other options than the “nuke them now and get it over with” calls by the likes of James Woolsey and Michael Ledeen.
Ledeen has an Iran obsession, as does Vice President Cheney. If they get what they want — not only will nightmares be unleashed in Iran, but America, Europe, the Middle East and world at large will suffer tremendously.
And lastly Israel would suffer and be plunged into a dramatically blurred security mess. Israel does matter and is an ally of ours in the region, and its best long-term hopes are to become allied, at least “in spirit”, with moderate Sunni Arab regimes in its neighborhood.
Ledeen, Woolsey, Podhoretz, Bolton and others are showing themselves to be reckless regarding Israel and its future. They are pushing a false choice between Israeli security and bombing Iran — and Israeli voices need to reach out to common sense strategists who are far better friends to Israel and to Middle East stability and security than Curtis LeMay-inspired neocons.
Much of Ledeen’s article is directed at blasting the “grand bargain” crowd advocating a re-ordering of numerous interlocking policy problems in the Middle East — and since one of the leading advocates of a “grand bargain” strategy is my New America Foundation colleague Flynt Leverett, I re-link here his important paper published by The Century Foundation, “Dealing with Tehran: Assessing US Diplomatic Options Toward Iran.”
— Steve Clemons

Comments

113 comments on “Michael Ledeen’s Dangerous Iran Obsession

  1. Bob Dobbs says:

    What impresses me most about Ledeen is his hatred of mankind, his manipulative lying and endless web of deceit. He is a pitiful, ugly soul.
    I fear that Ledeen and his cronies are not just planning to take over America, but they already have. Remember always that Ledeen left the Reagan White house to avoid being prosecuted for IRAN CONTRA. His rage from that has grown like a cancer. Now all his fellow criminals are in power – and he is the fascist mouthpiece of their souls. He is a fear merchant – as all civilizations which cannot run on consent must by default be ruled by fear. What once was Bolsheviks, then Communists, then drugs, now is “terrorists” – Ledeen is constantly on the search for another “terrorist demon” for us to fear. They attacked Afghanistan, then Iraq, next is Iran… and as soon as Iran, there will be another target… it will never end. And all so that we can’t see that his power really rests on nothing, and so he and his masters can continue to steal our property and labor, while we sit in the dark with our knees quaking like scared children…
    What Ledeen and the rogue-CIA / Iran-Contra conspirators offer to America is the chance to become a Banana Republic – the chickens have come home to roost. The model is Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, Chile, San Salvador. Everything they have learned in South America in subverting democracies and backing elite tyrannies is being put to use within our borders. Soon all dissidents and activists will get a chance to be interrogated in a Fusion Center. Haven’t heard of fusion centers? Its the same thing they used in Chile – they collect a dossier (it will be computerized and not paper this time), bring you in, make you confess, and if you do, or if you don’t, they’ll smash out a few of your teeth, attach you to the electrodes, and if they kill you… dump your body in a ditch…
    It’s Saigon, Abu Grhaib, Guantanamo, and now… Indianapolis? Los Angeles?
    The Neocons are the handmaidens of the powerful corporate interests, who long ago surpassed the silly notion of Nations (save Israel, which shall forever be supreme, and who, strangely, have become more like Nazis than Nazis in their quest for security). The corporations and the Neocons and have bribed all the congressmen to be their servants. The neocons have wiretapped all the phones, including those of congressmen, created files on all who dissent, compromised or blackmailed all but a handful of congress and the federal judiciary, and stolen the public commons right out from under us.
    For those of us who believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the Posse Commitatus Act and the genuine notion of free trade between nations (None of which Ledeen believes in), we are in the same position as the citizens of the original 13 colonies, when faced with the East India Bay Company and fascist England. We who believe in Liberty and equality are up against the greedy power elite, who seek to return to the world of royalty and serfs whose voiceless lives are laid down in service to the king. Tar and Feathering would be too kind for Ledeen and his cronies. If he is an American Citizen (I know he’s Isreali), he is a traitor, and should face the fate of all traitors, together with his co-conspirators. He cannot be reformed, and he will happily kill anyone who doesn’t bow down and agree to be either “With us or you are against us” Sad days. Sad sad days for liberty, for democracy, for freedom.

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  2. TonyForesta says:

    The fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government are a malignancy that has rooted in the heart and brain of America, and like any lethal disease, it must be forcefully targeted, and excoriated.
    Americans have failed our children. We have allowed a fascist regime to penetrate, pervert, betray, and re-engineer the very structure of our once more perfect union and our unique experiment in democracy. We fail to force opposing leadership to step up and demand accountability from the fascists in the Bush government. Our collective torpor and somnabulance allows for the sad and tragic fact that 30% of the idiots in redneck America actually support these criminals and their fascist policies.
    The American people and the democratic leadership lack the courage to challenge the fascist Bush government false flag claims of imminent threats by evildoers, and foolishly succumb to the Bush government fascist policies abroad and here in the land of OZ.
    Until and unless the American people DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY from this fascist government, our future, and the future we will bequeath our children will be one of neverendingwar, wanton profiteering by the fascists, and a radical and permanent erosion of the peoples rights freedoms and protections, and the swift dismantling of once proud democracy.
    America, under the fascist leadership of the warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government IS the great satan.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  3. Mstessyrue says:

    Despite all evidents, President Bush and his administration are still arrogant and blinded by the Iraq War. The people of this country are fed up with Bush’s senseless war and the lack of domestic policies. There are much more important issues in this world that the US should be taking part in, such as global poverty. According to the Borgen Project, whose goal is to fight global poverty, US are one of the nations pledged in the Millennium Development Project. MDP is aimed at eliminating world poverty in half by the year 2015. However, this country has done anything but reducing poverty. The war on “terror” has created more poverty, more hunger and more violence within Iraq and the United States. It is time for this country’s president to rethink the direction where this great nation is going. Put aside the political gain and stop the Iraq war and stop global poverty now.

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  4. Kathleen says:

    Pehaps we should really clearly define what is in our national interest and what is the ehtical thing to do to protect our interests. Just because something is perceived to be “in our national interest” doesn’t mean anything and everything is the right thing to do if it secures our interests. There has to be respect for other nations’ interests as well.

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  5. erichwwk says:

    section9 wrote:
    “However, and this is key, what we don’t know is whether Ahmadhi-Nejad, the Guards, and their patrons in the Council of Guardians are simply stringing out the process to get Atomic Bomb Insurance. That is Ledeen’s legitimate fear. Democrats ignore it at their peril.”
    It is not that we ignore that issue, but that we see the issue can only be resolved by the US taking the first step to back away from its own nuclear hegemony, and dropping the missile shield and militarization of space. In that context, what Iran does is irrelevant, and only what the US does to adhere to UN Resolution #1 is of any real significance.
    To legitimize Ledeen’s fear, is to make WWIII inevitable, and give the American fascists an iron clad excuse for WWIII. The fact that suicide bombers tend to be educated, married and “motivated by the desire to drive an occupying army from their soil” (and Kalid Sheik Mohammed preferred alcohol and strippers to a mosque and the Koran)should make clear that death and self-respect is preferred to life under USA hegemony.

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  6. MarkL says:

    FYI,
    I only mentioned the Ph.D to try to drive Bob Moe away. He said he likes to hang out with a better crowd than he finds here at TWN—places where lots of commenters have Ph.Ds, but he seems barely educated to me.
    I judge people by what they say, foremost; I also appreciate style; and I insist on the ability to back up your points with evidence or logic. I don’t care about someone’s educational background unless they are claiming some specialized expertise.
    Currently, it seems that B.M. is afraid to sign posts with that moniker anymore. Progress of sorts.

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  7. TonyForesta says:

    No one is claiming Iran is blameless section9. What most of us are saying is that Iran poses no real threat to America, and is not stupid enough to initiate a nuclear war with America. Iran’s nuke development program is defensive and focused primarily on deterance.
    I am saying that America is now ‘the great satan” under the fascists in the Bush government. America’s core principles have been shamed, perverted, mangled, and betrayed, – the Constitution, the rule of law, and the laws of the land have been superceded and redefined, – and our credibility as the leader of the free world beacon of hope for peace, liberty, and justice for all has been brutally tarnished.
    America, and American can no longer stand on higher ground since we as a government and a nation have stooped to the craven and dispicable conduct of sanctioning torture, radically eroding our own rights, freedoms, and protections, dismissinge centuries old demcratic legal precedents, perverting, ignoring, and/or breaking our laws, and betraying every principle that once defined America.
    The fundametalist christian freaks, the dimsheeple in redneck Amerika, the partisan truebelievers and the fascist warmongers, profteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government may pimp these myths, fictions, and deceptive parables, – but the entire world, and many America renounce, repudiated, and reject the Bush government, and fascist policies, machinations, and imperialist pipedreams of the Bush govenment.
    The fascists in the Bush government are profiting wantonly from the deceptive failing horrorshows in Iraq and Afghanistan, and America’s real enemies are gaining strength, resources, and experience. The costly, bloody noendisight nightmare in Iraq benefits the fascists in the Bush governmnt wantonly, – but the rest of America must hazard and endure a future of far less prosperity, security, freedoms, rights, protections, and much more uncertainty, division between rich and poor, black and white, liberal and conservative here in the homeland, and confront a world that holds America and Americans in great disdain, if not vehement hatred, – and with just cause.
    If you were Iranian and knew that 160 US forces, and the worlds hypersuperior military were right next door, and the commander and chief of that military, and his fascist minions are constantly spewing inflamatory rhetoric and threatening war or the use of nukes – what would you do?
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There (thier) nuke development program is for defensive purposes.”
    There is no evidence that an Iranian nuclear weapons program exists.

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  9. TonyForesta says:

    No one is claiming Iran is blameless section9. What most of us are saying is that Iran poses no real threat to America, and not stupid enough to initiate a nuclear war with America. There nuke development program is for defensive purposes.
    I am saying that America is now ‘the great satan” under the fascists in the Bush government. America’s core principles have been shamed, perverted, mangled, and betrayed, – the Constitution, the rule of law, and the laws of the land have been superceded and redefined, – and our credibility as the leader of the free world beacon of hope for peace, liberty, and justice for all has been brutally tarnished.
    The fascists in the Bush government are profiting wantonly from this deceptive horrorshow, and costly, bloody noendisight nightmare, – but the rest of America must hazard and endure a future of far less prosperity, security, freedoms, rights, protections, and much more uncertainty, division between rich and poor here in the homeland, and confront a world that holds America and Americans in great disdain, if not vehement hate, – and with just cause.
    If you were Iranian and knew that 160 US forces, and the worlds hypersuperior military were right next door, and the commander and chief of that military, and his fascist minions are constantly spewing inflamatory rhetoric and threatening war or the use of nukes – what would you do?
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  10. arthurdecco says:

    “Oh, wait…you’re not actually Michael Ledeen, are you?”
    Is this what passes for wit in your circle?
    Try harder like Tilden.

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  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “However, and this is key, what we don’t know is whether Ahmadhi-Nejad, the Guards, and their patrons in the Council of Guardians are simply stringing out the process to get Atomic Bomb Insurance.”
    Isn’t it “atomic bomb insurance” that stopped Russia and the United States from incinerating each other?
    I know one thing, if I was an Iranian, I’d rest one hell of a site better knowing that my government had developed a nuclear deterent to counter Israel’s threat. Particularly in light of the war crimes Israel just committed against Lebanon, and the very real threats that both Israel and the USA have levied against Iran.
    Despite the fact that there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, I must state that, ironically, Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb just might be the one factor that saves the Middle East from incineration.
    Or do you think its time to ignore the wisdom of MAD, and start nuking the “evil doers” willy nilly.
    What the hell, they’re only sand niggers and towel heads, right, Ace?

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  12. section9 says:

    Keep yours.
    Ad Hominem is not only bad argument, it’s the sign of the man whose lost the game.
    Unless, of course, you’re one of those charming people who believes that the Iranians are blameless in all this and that we should do everything possible to strengthen the hand of the “moderates in the Kremlin”.
    You should have just gone out and mentioned Hitler right off the bat. Then I could have imposed Godwin’s Law. As it is, all you could come up with was a cheap insult. What is this, Daily Kos?
    Oh, wait…you’re not actually Michael Ledeen, are you?

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  13. arthurdecco says:

    section9, @ 05:28 PM
    Nonsense, utter nonsense.
    We already have a Tom Clancy – we don’t need another. Nor do we need another third rate Middle Eastern Terrorist movie, courtesy Hollywood.
    Keep your day job.

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  14. arthurdecco says:

    section9, 05:28 PM
    Nonsense, utter nonsense.
    We already have a Tom Clancy – we don’t need another. Nor do we need another third rate Middle Eastern Terrorist movie, courtesy Hollywood.
    Keep your day job.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “News flash: getting a Ph.D. is about tenacity and not much else. Please get over yourself.”
    I dated a double Ph.D. over-achiever for about a year. One of the most helpless women I have been with. She was blown away that I carried cash, and didn’t live my life on plastic. Neurotic and medicated, the poor thing didn’t have a clue how to function outside the academic world.
    Gads, was she ever good lookin’, though.

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  16. HyperIon says:

    MarkL wrote:
    By the way, I have a Ph.D. Do you?
    I get the feeling that you might not.
    WTF? Bob Moe seems like a jerk.
    But now I’m thinking he’s not the only one.
    News flash: getting a Ph.D. is about tenacity and not much else. Please get over yourself.

    Reply

  17. section9 says:

    Michael Ledeen is wired in with the Iranian exile community. I strongly suspect that he’s connected with the Young Shah, Reza. “Faster Please” and the crowd over at the American Spectator and the National Review have been agitatating for an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations for years. Ledeen and this crowd are hideously shortsighted; I haven’t seen such stupidity come out of reasonably intelligent people since the Kennedys conducted their rampage of assassination plots agaisnt Fidel and Diem.
    For two years now, they have heaped abuse and scorn on Condi Rice for attempting backchannel negotiations. Michael Rubin, Anthonly Codevilla, and the other Usual Suspects have, with the patronage of Rumsfeld and now Cheney, have done everything they could to undermine this President’s strategy to negotiate a settlement with the Iranians.
    Now it is not without cause. Iran is a sham democracy run by a theocratic fascist clique. For Democrats to go on denying this just makes it more difficult for us Eisenhower Republicans to try and do bipartisan business with you. From the Barracks Bombing through the brutal death of Ames and Buckley, up to and including last years missile campaign against Israel and now the EFP campaign in Iraq, the Iranians have proven themselves to be worthy and deadly adversaries against us.
    And always, always we have stayed our hand in the hopes that a constructive confluence of interests could be found between the two powers.
    Ledeen’s central argument is based on a childlike fear of Iranian power. Were Iran to, say, sink an American carrier, the consequences against the regime from an aroused America would be catastrophic. Iran may wish to destroy us, but that lies in the realm of dreams and propaganda.
    Rice’s strategy is to negotiate what is possible with the Iranians and contain them in a post-Saddam Middle East. Failing that, Rice wants to force the Iranians into making the first, overt hostile act against us. She is serious about opening up a new era with the Iranians. However, and this is key, what we don’t know is whether Ahmadhi-Nejad, the Guards, and their patrons in the Council of Guardians are simply stringing out the process to get Atomic Bomb Insurance.
    That is Ledeen’s legitimate fear. Democrats ignore it at their peril.
    Trust me, next year our guy Rudy is going to beat this like a drum and so will Hillary. Nobody likes the Iranians; their genocide-lased, Eliminationist rhetoric against the Jews of Israel make them the perfect Bad Guys, and their state actions do nothing to help their case.

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  18. Carroll says:

    You absolutely must read this Vietnam vet’s explaination on Iraq policy to see where we are headed in Iraq and what all the US ploys and moves add up to and are aimed at.
    Best I have read.
    http://www.juancole.com/2007/08/eagan-guest-op-ed-vietnam-vet.html#comments

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  19. Carroll says:

    Today’s Featured Number One Liar:
    Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) writes today in the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. “road to victory” in Iraq goes through Damascus, and urges Congress to “send a clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian regime“.
    When Congress reconvenes next month, we should set aside whatever differences divide us on Iraq and send a clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian regime, as we did last month to the Iranian regime, that the transit of al Qaeda suicide bombers through Syria on their way to Iraq is completely unacceptable, and it must stop.”
    Except….
    ** A McClatchy analysis demonstrates that Syria is not a major exporter of violence to Iraq. Looking at the origins of the suicide bombers in Iraq since 2003, only 8 came from Syria, compared to 53 from Saudi Arabia.

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  20. Carroll says:

    More good gossip.
    Good Glen Greenwald
    First a compliment for Steve:
    “Many foreign policy academics strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq before it began, and some foreign policy experts, such as Steve Clemons at The New America Foundation, are attempting to challenge some of these long-standing and unchallengable orthodoxies. ”
    And Greenwald following the ideological money and their whores:
    Anthony Cordesman, in a recent NYT Op-Ed arguing in favor of both the $20 billion arms sales package to Saudi Arabia and the unconditional $30 billion aid package to Israel, disclosed that “the nonprofit organization he works for receives financing from many sources, including the United States government, Saudi Arabia and Israel” .
    And, as previously noted, Ken Pollack’s Saban Institute — home to and employer of the most prominent “liberal foreign policy expert” — is funded primarily by Haim Saban, who described his ideology this way: “On the issues of security and terrorism I am a total hawk.”

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  21. sdemetri says:

    From a Harper’s article, “Republic or empire: A National Intelligence on the United States” by Chalmers A. Johnson.
    Military Keynesianism
    The ongoing U.S. militarization of its foreign affairs has spiked precipitously in recent years, with increasingly expensive commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. These commitments grew from many specific political factors, including the ideological predilections of the current regime, the growing need for material access to the oil-rich regions of the Middle East, and a long-term bipartisan emphasis on hegemony as a basis for national security. The domestic economic basis for these commitments, however, is consistently overlooked. Indeed, America’s hegemonic policy is in many ways most accurately understood as the inevitable result of its decades-long policy of military Keynesianism.
    During the Depression that preceded World War II, the English economist John Maynard Keynes, a liberal capitalist, proposed a form of governance that would mitigate the boom-and-bust cycles inherent in capitalist economies. To prevent the economy from contracting, a development typically accompanied by social unrest, Keynes thought the government should take on debt in order to put people back to work. Some of these deficit-financed government jobs might be socially useful, but Keynes was not averse to creating make-work tasks if necessary. During periods of prosperity, the government would cut spending and rebuild the treasury. Such countercyclical planning was called �pump-priming.�
    Upon taking office in 1933, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, with the assistance of Congress, put several Keynesian measures into effect, including socialized retirement plans, minimum wages for all workers, and government-financed jobs on massive projects, including the Triborough Bridge in New York City, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, a flood-control and electric-power-generation complex covering seven states. Conservative capitalists feared that this degree of government intervention would delegitimate capitalism�which they understood as an economic system of quasi-natural laws�and shift the balance of power from the capitalist class to the working class and its unions. For these reasons, establishment figures tried to hold back countercyclical spending.
    The onset of World War II, however, made possible a significantly modified form of state socialism. The exiled Polish economist Michal Kalecki attributed Germany’s success in overcoming the global Depression to a phenomenon that has come to be known as �military Keynesianism.� Government spending on arms increased manufacturing and also had a multiplier effect on general consumer spending by raising worker incomes. Both of these points are in accordance with general Keynesian doctrine. In addition, the enlargement of standing armies absorbed many workers, often young males with few skills and less education. The military thus becomes an employer of last resort, like Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, but on a much larger scale.
    Rather than make bridges and dams, however, workers would make bullets, tanks, and fighter planes. This made all the difference. Although Adolf Hitler did not undertake rearmament for purely economic reasons, the fact that he advocated governmental support for arms production made him acceptable not only to the German industrialists, who might otherwise have opposed his destabilizing expansionist policies, but also to many around the world who celebrated his achievement of a �German economic miracle.�
    And further on:
    Bankruptcy and Collapse
    The more likely check on presidential power, and on U.S. military ambition, will be the economic failure that is the inevitable consequence of military Keynesianism. Traditional Keynesianism is a stable two-part system composed of deficit spending in bad times and debt payment in good times. Military Keynesianism is an unstable one-part system. With no political check, debt accrues until it reaches a crisis point.
    In the fiscal 2006 budget, the Congressional Research Service estimates that Pentagon spending on Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom will be about $10 billion per month, or an extra $120.3 billion for the year. As of mid-2006, the overall cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since their inception stood at more than $400 billion. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize‒winning economist, and his colleague, Linda Bilmes, have tried to put together an estimate of the real costs of the Iraq war. They calculate that it will cost about $2 trillion by 2015. The conservative American Enterprise Institute suggests a figure at the opposite end of the spectrum�$1 trillion. Both figures are an order of magnitude larger than what the Bush Administration publicly acknowledges.
    At the same time, the U.S. trade deficit, the largest component of the current account deficit, soared to an all-time high in 2005 of $782.7 billion, the fourth consecutive year that America’s trade debts set records. The trade deficit with China alone rose to $201.5 billion, the highest imbalance ever recorded with any country. Meanwhile, since mid-2000, the country has lost nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs. To try to cope with these imbalances, on March 16, 2006, Congress raised the national debt limit from $8.2 trillion to $9 trillion. This was the fourth time since George W. Bush took office that the limit had to be raised. Had Congress not raised it, the U.S. government would not have been able to borrow more money and would have had to default on its massive debts.
    Among the creditors that finance this unprecedented sum, two of the largest are the central banks of China ($854 billion in reserves of dollars and other foreign currencies) and Japan ($850 billion), both of which are the managers of the huge trade surpluses these countries enjoy with the United States. This helps explain why the United States’ debt burden has not yet triggered what standard economic theory would predict, which is a steep decline in the value of the U.S. dollar followed by a severe contraction of the American economy�the Chinese and Japanese governments continue to be willing to be paid in dollars in order to sustain American demand for their exports. For the sake of domestic employment, both countries lend huge amounts to the American treasury, but there is no guarantee how long they will want or be able to do so.

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  22. Carroll says:

    I wonder exactly what % of our population are bob moe’s? 2%, 5%, 10%?
    I am guessing it’s small, but then it doesn’t have to be large to be in the circle of influence.
    Somebody call Orkin before they multipy.
    From antiwar:
    “The publication of an article by the Family Security Foundation – a neocon propaganda outfit associated with the well-known Center for Security Policy – written by one Philip Atkinson, entitled “Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy,” bemoans the fact that Bush didn’t take “the wisest course” in Iraq, which “would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead.”
    According to Atkinson, Bush can follow in the supposed footsteps of Julius Caesar “by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans.” Atkinson seems to be laboring under the delusion that the Roman caesar committed genocide in Gaul, although where he gets this is beyond me, but that is neither here nor there. The punch line of what one might have suspected is an extended joke is this:
    “He could then follow Caesar’s example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.”
    “Now, a lot of crazy sh*t gets posted on the Internet every single day, and to take even half of it seriously would be a major time-waster, but Atkinson’s brand of kookiness deserves to be noted on account of the organization that sponsored it, published it, and then quickly pulled the piece off its Web site when an uproar ensued.
    The group is the Family Security Foundation, which runs the Family Security Matters Web site, and whose head honcho, Carol Taber, is touted as a “security expert” by Fox News.
    Taber was trotted out during the last presidential election as the living embodiment of a new voter demographic, the “security moms,” whose only thought is the safety and security of their children and whose fear of terrorism leads them to support every jot and tittle of Bush’s war-crazed foreign policy – especially the war in Iraq.
    The group’s Web site, which gave blogger/policy wonk Steve Clemons “the over-the-top creeps,” also features such neocon standbys as Michelle “Intern All Muslims” Malkin, terrorism “expert” Steve Emerson, and Ben Shapiro, among many others. The Family Security Foundation’s board of directors is a veritable who’s who of third-and-fourth level neocon shills, with a few first-tier types, such as Frank Gaffney, standing out. Indeed, the whole Family Security Matters operation is described by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters as a “front group” for Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), the hardest of the hard-line neocon propaganda outfits. Media Matters notes that the two groups shared a phone line: calls to FSM were answered by CSP. (The number has since been changed.)
    Aside from longtime head honcho Gaffney, CSP members and supporters include Richard Perle, former CIA chief R. James “World War IV” Woolsey, current Deputy National Security Adviser Jack Dyer Crouch II, former undersecretary for defense policy Douglas J. Feith, and former secretary of the U.S. Air Force James G. Roche. CSP is funded to the tune of millions of dollars per year by the big neocon foundations and the “defense” industry. Gaffney’s group is the veritable voice of the military-industrial complex.
    More than that, however, the link between the two groups is ideological, as well as a matter of cross-pollinated boards of directors and “advisers” (Gaffney and James T. DeGraffenreid serve as CSP officials and advisers to FSM). CSP pushes the same propaganda of fear that underlies Carol Taber’s “security moms” pitch.
    In Philip Atkinson’s ravings, we have the pure distillation of the politics of fear that have been given ample expression by this president and his media Praetorian Guard. The only difference is that Atkinson comes out of the closet, so to speak, and plainly says what the others strongly imply: that the only good Arab is a dead Arab, that President Bush ought to silence his opponents at gunpoint, and that any and all opposition to this administration’s “wise” policies is not only “treason” – it’s “suicide.”
    We must ditch our old republic and adopt an authoritarian mode of government; we must invade, conquer, and relentlessly destroy the Arab world; Israel’s interests in the Middle East and ours are identical. Where have we heard all this before?

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Is:
    8.7 trillion

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Need cheering up?
    The Outstanding Public Debt as of 20 Aug 2007 at 03:33:43 PM GMT is:
    In Fiscal Year 2006, the U. S. Government spent $406 Billion of your money on interest payments* to the holders of the National Debt
    Which are, as of last June …..the US treasury ( the biggest holder), the U.S. government itself, with about 52 percent of the total $8.5 trillion in paper that’s out there. Most of the government’s holdings are massive savings accounts for programs like Social Security and Medicare.
    That’s leaves a little over $4 trillion in public hands. The biggest chunk (about 25 percent of the $8.5 trillion total) is held by foreign governments. Japan tops the list (with $644 billion), followed by China ($350 billion), United Kingdom ($239 billion) and oil exporting countries ($100 billion).
    Other big holders of Treasury debt include state and local governments ($467 billion); individual investors, including brokers ($423 billion); public and private pension funds (319 billion); mutual funds ($243 billion); holders of US savings bonds ($206 billion); insurance companies ($166 billion) and banks and credit unions ($117 billion.)
    But who cares?…………
    2007 -March 12
    Dems to raise the limit on debt
    Congressional Democrats are poised to take the politically uncomfortable but unavoidable step of raising again the federal debt ceiling, using the budget process to increase the nation’s credit limit even though they had hammered Republicans for making the same move in previous years.
    Although any further raise has the potential to spark partisan and inter-chamber conflict, Congress must pass the hike to prevent the government from defaulting on its debt.
    2006 -March 16
    Congress Sets New Federal Debt Limit: $9 Trillion
    Federal debt has risen from $542 billion to more than $8 trillion since 1975. Debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, once at 34.7%, is now above 60%.
    Faced with a potential government shutdown, the Senate votes to raise the nation’s debt limit for the fourth time in five years. The bill passed by a 52-48 vote, increasing the ceiling to $9 trillion.
    And on and on and on it goes…….
    U.S., Israel ink deal for boost
    in military aid to counter Iran
    By Dan Baron
    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has secured a windfall in U.S. military aid that will last well into the administration of whoever succeeds President Bush — and beyond.
    U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer clinched a deal Thursday whereby the Jewish state would receive $30 billion in defense grants over the coming decade, a 25 percent increase.
    The Iraq Money Pit
    “Predicted cost of a “surge” of 21,500 US troops into Iraq, according to White House calculations in January: $5.6 billion, a figure offered the month Bush’s surge strategy was announced.
    Predicted cost of a one-year “surge” of 30,000-40,000 troops, according to Robert Sunshine, assistant director for budget analysis of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO): $22 billion (two years for a cut-rate $40 billion). These figures were offered in testimony to Congress five months after Bush’s “surge” was officially launched.
    Percentage of dollars annually appropriated by the US government and spent on Iraq-related activities: More than 10%, or one dollar out of every 10, according to the CBO’s Sunshine.
    Estimated monthly cost of the Iraq (and Afghan) wars: $12 billion – $10 billion for Iraq – a third higher than in 2006, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.
    Estimated total cost of the Iraq war, if 30,000 US troops left in Iraq by 2010 – plays out: More than $1 trillion. 75,000 troops left in 2010 – closer to $1.5 trillion.)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yea I know all the Club for Growth junkies believe that this is no problem, that “growing the economy” to produce more not higher taxes will cure this. I hope they have some cash under their mattress when the economy stops growing.

    Reply

  25. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at August 20, 2007 12:06 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well you are on the right track.
    And the discussion should have two parts.
    First, totally pragmatic.
    What the US needs from outside our borders to survive and /or prosper.
    What domestic and foreign policy; world stability, other countries interest, global economy, etc,etc…best serves that need.
    Second, all of the above balanced by universally accepted humanitarian concerns.

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    A pissed off american too
    Posted by dee at August 20, 2007 08:27 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    They hear us just fine. They just don’t give a damn.
    CONGRESS – Job Rating in recent national polls
    See also: Detailed trend Survey
    Approve Disap-
    prove Unsure Approve
    minus
    Dates % % % “Disapprove”
    Quinnipiac RV 8/7-13/07 70%
    CBS 8/8-12/07 63%
    AP-Ipsos 8/6-8/07 72 %
    NBC/Wall Street Journal 7/27-30/07 63 %
    CBS/New York Times 7/20-22/07 61%
    Diageo/Hotline RV 7/19-22/07 68% .
    ABC/Washington Post 7/18-21/07 60%
    CBS/New York Times 7/9-17/07 59%
    Gallup 7/12-15/07 27 66%
    AP-Ipsos 7/9-11/07 70%
    CBS 6/26-28/07 60%
    Newsweek 6/18-19/07 63%
    Gallup 6/11-14/07 71%
    NBC/Wall Street Journal 6/8-11/07 64%
    Quinnipiac RV 6/5-11/07 66%
    L.A. Times/Bloomberg 6/7-10/07 65%
    >>>>>>>>
    Polling Report.com

    Reply

  27. MP says:

    Further to this, I have to change my response to Carroll about Hader from a couple of threads back:
    While I deeply distrust the libertarian ideology and find it very lacking in a number of ways and believe, for example, that a Ron Paul presidency would be a disaster, I think they do make a good point about the value of non-intervention.
    In precious few areas since WWII has US intervention resulted in a good outcome, at least as far as I can see. The trouble is that we can’t always tell where our non-intervention would have been better. Surely, non-intervention in Viet Nam, but perhaps a wooing of Ho Chi Minh when he was shopping for help for his country–would have been a better choice. We are still feeling the aftershocks of this terrible escapade and Iraq will be the same. Intervention in North Korea no doubt did more good than bad.

    Reply

  28. MP says:

    Dear Steve: Here is an interesting point brought up by a poster that could be the basis of an interesting conversation:
    “I wonder if anyone can really point to a source showing exactly what strategic factors are salient to Israel as an ally. I am willing to imagine that strategic factors may not even be that significant and that what we have is a reductio; Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally.”
    The question would be “what constitues ‘an ally'”? Is it that they have resources we need–even if they, otherwise, don’t share our values? Are values too “soft” a reason to call someone an ally? Is the enemy of our enemies due consideration as an ally? Is any country with institutions and values that parallel or dovetail with our own, even if they aren’t the same and sometimes are very different, an ally? Is it their willingness to “help out” when we need help? Does it matter if the help we need is for a misguided, even an immoral, adventure? Or should the help only be for humanitarian or moral purposes? Must an ally show a willingness to help us in times of a domestic crisis? Is an ally a country that has signed certain treaties with us that stipulate mutual obligations? Should a country be considered an ally because of significant help rendered in the past–and which past? If a country doesn’t meet all the criteria for being “an ally,” which criteria are most important? And, if a country is NOT an ally, how should it become one and how should we “help” it become one–or should we?
    And last, but not least, is it the case that the US should only help countries whom we consider to be “allies”?
    Steve, this question is similar to the one I’ve asked a couple of times: “What are the US’s national interests?” Much of the back and forth on these threads ASSUMES we know the answers to these questions–or that the answers have been determined– when, in fact, they have not. We are constantly putting the cart before the horse and wonder why we aren’t moving forward. In any event, this is how I see it.

    Reply

  29. Kathleen says:

    An excellent piece in support of the process of impeachment and the reason for not setting the bar so low for what is considered “impeachable”.
    http://afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/25977

    Reply

  30. Kathleen says:

    News Flash:
    Bob Moe has a monopoly on insulting others here. Ever heard of The Anonymous Army? It’a a bunch of paid trolls. Proper grammarians need not apply. You are overqualified.
    Deee. you go girl!!!
    POA.. BM doesn’t need the oil to justify his hate… he needs it to think of himslef as good, smart and a winner. Projection is an unconsicous process, a defense mechanism, by which we preserve our preferred self image. BM is desperate to justify his aggressiviness because deep down he knows the truth. He’d rather think of himself as a patriot, than a pirate, plunderer.

    Reply

  31. dee says:

    We can get specific in the finger pointing name calling and reasons why countries go to war. The conflict in the middle east goes back to biblical times. I’m my opion there are terrorists everywhere especially in the White House. What happened to the oath they all took to serve and protect the citizens of american and abide by the constitution? It would be ignorant to think that other countries don’t sabatoge their own to make it look like it was another country who did the attack. The United States government has done this as well. I don’t trust anything I read from the media. Everyday they tell you who is your enemy of the day and why you should hate them. It is a mind set poison over the airwaves. I’m a Christian I don’t see Isralies or Iranians I see good and bad. Evil isn’t partial to any religion region or race. It devours who it can. I believe it is good to protest or voice your opinion in bloggs but the botton line is stand up vote exercise your first amendement and let your voices be heard Remember there is power in numbers. Were the elected placed in position by us for us? Isn’t our tax dollars what pays their wages? We have the right to put them in office and we have the right to take them out! stand up and be heard not just in here (the computer) but in pititions, letters to your congressmen. Start a collilition …join forces and be heard!
    A pissed off american too

    Reply

  32. Dee says:

    We can get specific in the finger pointing name calling and reasons why countries go to war. The conflict in the middle east goes back to biblical times. I’m my opion there are terrorists everywhere especially in the White House. What happened to the oath they all took to serve and protect the citizens of american and abide by the constitution? It would be ignorant to think that other countries don’t sabatoge their own to make it look like it was another country who did the attack. The United States government has done this as well. I don’t trust anything I read from the media. Everyday they tell you who is your enemy of the day and why you should hate them. It is a mind set poison over the airwaves. I’m a Christian I don’t see Isralies or Iranians I see good and bad. Evil isn’t partial to any religion region or race. It devours who it can. I believe it is good to protest or voice your opinion in bloggs but the botton line is stand up vote exercise your first amendement and let your voices be heard Remember there is power in numbers. Were the elected placed in position by us for us? Isn’t our tax dollars what pays their wages? We have the right to put them in office and we have the right to take them out! stand up and be heard not just in here (the computer) but in pititions, letters to your congressmen. Start a collilition …join forces and be heard!
    A pissed off american too

    Reply

  33. Sarah says:

    Now that Netanyahu is on his way baaack…. withIran is in his sights, here is a little reminder of what’s to come, plus what was: including the 7 degrees (or less) of separation, between Netanyahu, Ledeen, Lieberman, and even Ronald Lauder, who has just graduated to the Presidency of the World Jewish Congress…. So keep watching Iran, that’s where the action is going to be, if the boys have their way.
    http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2002/2916bibi_in_us.html

    Reply

  34. blogbob says:

    To evaluate the wisdumb of NeoConservatism, one must only review the comments of NeoCon Water Carrier Paul Wolfowitz, when, as AsstSecDef for Don Rumsfeld, he testified before Congress that the rebuilding of Iraq would cost only $1.5 billion, all paid for by Iraqi oil revenue. Here we are four years after H-Hour, and Iraqi oil revenue hans’t paid for anything. The cost of rebuilding Iraq is into the several hundreds of billions, and thanks to Chimpy’s tax cuts, we’ll be paying for it until our great-grandchildren are old and gray.
    It’s amazing to me that the brokers of power rely on the ilk of Wolfi and Perle (Ivory Tower Elitists) to decide what to do. Better to ask folks who have actually worked a day in their lives and who know the fear of what happens if they lose their jobs for your advice.
    Impeach Gonzales, Cheney, and Bush in that order.

    Reply

  35. Carroll says:

    Another interesting article in the Forward.
    There are forty democrats visiting in Israel right now for 10 days led by Hoyer and including all the new dem freshmen in congress. You would think these freshmen dems would be in their home districts, but never mind. I wonder if Hoyer is discussing Iraq with the Israelis. I personally don’t doubt for a second that Hoyer and some others in congress would keep letting American boys and girls die in Iraq to accomadate Israel’s concerns.
    Israel Owes the U.S. a Blunt Word or Two on Iraq
    Opinion
    Yossi Alpher | Thu. Aug 09, 2007
    Sometime in the next two years, the United States will begin removing its armed forces from Iraq. Whether next month’s anticipated Petraeus report hastens or delays that departure, the rhetoric of virtually all leading presidential candidates appears to ensure the ultimate outcome.
    Israel, located barely 300 miles from Iraqi’s border with Jordan, is certain to be affected by an American pullout at the most profound strategic level. So, of course, will other Middle East states, both Arab and non-Arab.
    Indeed, this could well be a formative event with far-reaching ramifications for most of the Middle East — far more than the original American occupation of Iraq. In its decision-making regarding withdrawal, Washington is unlikely to assign highest priority to Israeli and Arab interests, as it will look out first for America’s own. Israel, therefore, has to take stock of the ramifications of a withdrawal and, as a friend of the United States, has both a need and an obligation to communicate its concerns to American policy planners and to Israel’s friends and supporters in the United States.
    Israeli strategic analysts must first examine how extensive America’s anticipated withdrawal from Iraq will be. If, for example, the United States leaves tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of aircraft in three or four “permanent” bases now being readied in Iraq, this might reduce the damage withdrawal would cause to America’s force projection and deterrent profile.
    Israel has every reason to encourage an American withdrawal plan that reduces the impression that America’s backing for its friends in the Middle East is eroding. Not only would a diminished American deterrent profile encourage Iranian and Arab Islamist aggression, it could further constrain the already-limited readiness among moderate Sunni states to coordinate defensive efforts with Israel.
    One could, of course, argue that the more quickly and completely the United States withdraws and ends its failed mission in Iraq, the sooner it can begin restoring a positive superpower image in the region and patching up relations with the Middle East’s large Sunni Arab majority, both of which would presumably be to Israel’s benefit. But if the speed and comprehensiveness of the American departure from Iraq are debatable from Israel’s standpoint, the remaining ramifications appear to be far more straightforward, and worrisome, in terms of Israel’s vital security interests.
    To begin with, a withdrawal of the United States and its allies is almost certain to enable Iran to expand its influence and presence in Iraq’s Shi’ite south. This brings Iran, with its hegemonic ambitions, closer to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria — and hence closer to Israel.
    Jordan in particular is liable to be adversely affected by additional waves of refugees and possible subversion and destabilization. Bordering on Iraq’s Anbar province — where militant Sunni Islamists have made their base and where chaos will likely spread following a withdrawal — the Hashemite Kingdom is Israel’s only strategic depth looking to the east.
    The departure of the American enemy is liable to send Al Qaeda militants in Iraq westward toward Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Israel itself, in much the way the Soviet departure from Afghanistan nearly two decades ago sent Arab Islamist fighters back to their home countries to foment unrest.
    Meanwhile Syria, ever fearful of militant Sunni Islamists despite having abetted them in Iraq, could be drawn even deeper into the Iranian orbit. Already Syria and Iran are reportedly considering heating up the Syrian-Israeli border in the coming months as a means of diverting American pressure away from them both.
    Alongside the threat to Jordan, the American departure, if not carefully managed, is liable to pit against one another two other nations friendly to Israel, the Turks and the Kurds of northern Iraq. Israel, with so few friends in the region, should not have to choose between them.
    It is a fairly simple exercise to move from this outline survey of the dangers to Israel projected by an American withdrawal, to ask what Israel needs in terms of preventive American policy in Iraq prior to withdrawal in order to secure its interests. Not coincidentally, these are essentially the same requirements that American diplomats have been hearing lately from the leaders of the moderate Sunni Arab states bordering on Iraq.
    First and foremost, the United States should leave behind a stable, moderate regime, meaning it should replace the current failed regime before it leaves. An alternative Iraqi leadership doesn’t have to be “democratic” in the Bush-reformist sense of empowering militant Islamists at the ballot box. A regime led by a moderate but tough Shi’ite autocrat will do nicely from the standpoint of all of Iraq’s worried neighbors, except for Iran.
    At the regional strategic level, that regime has to be capable of blocking the expansion of Iranian power westward and overcoming extremist Sunni elements. Meanwhile, the United States has to provide backing and encouragement for security cooperation between Israel and the moderate Sunni Arab regimes against Iran and militant Sunnis.
    The Olmert government knows it will have to pay a price for this in the form of an accelerated peace process. It seems prepared to do so as long as its Arab peace partner, whether Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah or Bashar Assad in Damascus, is stable and reliable.
    Right now Israel is being asked to deliver on a process with Abbas, but without any significant dialogue with Washington about its concerns in Iraq. Some Israeli policy planners feel that the United States is not interested in Israel’s opinion about a withdrawal from Iraq, just as it shut Israel out of its planning for the 2003 invasion of that country. It is, for example, quite instructive to witness repeated American-sponsored meetings about Iraq held in the Sinai resort of Sharm al-Sheikh and involving all interested parties except Israel, which is a stone’s throw away.
    Should Israel make its Iraq-related concerns better known in Washington? Some Israelis voluntarily made their views about Iraq known to the Americans prior to the invasion; there were both public expressions of encouragement and public and private admonitions, including by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, regarding the dangers Washington would encounter in Baghdad. This mixed bag did not prevent Israel’s detractors from blaming it and its neoconservative cheerleaders for the entire abortive Iraq war effort.
    Today, beyond a clumsy endorsement by Ehud Olmert of President Bush’s refusal a few months ago to withdraw, Israel is not sharing its concerns. As a friend and ally of the United States, and in view of the possible far-reaching negative consequences of a poorly executed withdrawal from Iraq, Israel owes a blunt word or two to its American partners — even if Jerusalem’s vital interests collide with the demands of some American presidential candidates.
    Yossi Alpher, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, is co-editor of the bitterlemons family of online publications.
    >>>>>>>
    I wonder if these guys ever use a “contridiction checker” before they publish their stuff. Whine about the US Lukid neo’s causing the invasion of Iraq and Israel getting the blame,then whine that that Israel should have some say so in when and how the US gets out of Iraq.

    Reply

  36. shaketheworld says:

    There is one way iran can destroy us..
    If cheney and bush bomb iran, we’ll be totally screwed.
    1. another million innocents killed by the american war machine, causing all muslims to start fighting the imperialists, us. narrow minded people say they already hate us. There is a difference. I hope we never see this difference.
    2. oil not coming out of iran, or out of the strait of hormuz The price goes sky high, crushing the dollar.
    3. China responds with putting into action what they have already threatened to do, stop propping up our currency by buying our bonds.
    4. With the dollar crushed, oil companies make a killing, how fortunate for haliburton, and bush and cheneys other friends.
    5. after iran is bombed just a little, like being just a little pregnant, those whale like aircraft carriers we have posted right off their shore get pounded by a supersonic missile. Now we have the causus belli to finish the job… unfortunately the country is much bigger than iraq, and war will make iraq look like a picnic. cheney’s wet dream is just to control Khuzestan aa few hundred square miles of iran that has 90% of its energy and water reserves. Too bad, it won’t be his ass on the line facing ieds and sleeping on the sand in iran.
    6. The lemmings are already convinced. everyones ready for just a little bombing, iran is allways being paired with bombings in iraq, and the generals who didn’t toe the party line about all iraqi troubles emanating from iran have been sacked. the latest Robert Baer story in Time on casmii’s website is particularly telling. It’s hard to find an intelligance official with more bonafides than Robert Baer. http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/2764
    well, good luck!! thanks for listening!!
    -stw

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    Very interesting…….editoral in the Forward:
    “Mortgages and the Jewish Question”
    Wed. Aug 15, 2007
    For most of us, the current crisis in America’s housing market is a distant echo, a barely understood series of headlines that might as well be in Greek, in a section of the newspaper often left unread. But the crisis is real. It threatens hundreds of thousands of American families who are in danger of losing their homes, and it threatens America’s status as a superpower on the world stage. It is the first payment for George Bush’s other mismanagement, the fiscal and financial wrong-headedness that so many, including this page, have warned about for years.
    Although this crisis consists of a complicated series of events, each leading to the next, it is not hard to understand. Thanks partly to the decline of America’s manufacturing-based economy, partly to the deregulation of banking and finance two decades ago, and partly to tax “reforms,” there’s been a tremendous growth in financial services — borrowing and lending for profit — as a share of our economy in recent years.
    To the naked eye, this surge is most visible in a constant barrage of advertising, telemarketing and junk mail urging us to borrow — to acquire new credit cards, to apply for easy mortgages, to refinance our personal debt and then roll it over again. Financial institutions, under constant pressure for growth, have continually lowered the requirements for consumer credit, extending loans to people who may not be able to repay. Most insidious are “balloon” mortgages that start cheap, with higher payments promised somewhere down the road. Based largely on the availability of easy money, the housing industry has experienced a frenzy of building. It is the era of the McMansion.
    Now we have arrived at that place somewhere down the road. Throughout the country, families are finding their mortgages ballooning — or their incomes declining, as factories flee — and cannot make payments. Lending institutions are finding themselves short of cash, and cannot pay their investors. Investment funds based on buying up debt — promising their investors great profits when the borrowers repay — are simply failing. The housing industry itself, one of the main engines of American economic growth in recent years, is slowing down. Not surprisingly, the economy’s growth in 2007 has been the slowest in four years, according to the Commerce Department. Slow growth lowers the value of the dollar on world markets, and so Americans — consumers and Uncle Sam alike — can buy less. Retail sales were alarmingly slow in July.
    And now comes the big bomb: the failure of foreign funds that had invested in American credit, especially mortgages. Two big German institutions shut down trading in July to prevent a panicked sell-off. Last week, one of France’s biggest banks shut down three of its funds for the same reason. The European Central Bank stepped in by injecting $130 billion in new cash to prop up banks that are low on cash — because their American-based investments aren’t paying.
    With the American economy in distress, foreign investors are shying away from the dollar and putting their money in other currencies. That pushes the value of the dollar further down. It also raises the price our federal government must pay to feed its constant appetite for borrowing instead of taxing. Reassuringly — or frighteningly, depending on where you stand — the overall world economy is not yet threatened by America’s crisis. As the respected British newsweekly The Economist noted recently, “Today, the world economy is growing strongly, despite the weakness in America.”
    President Bush assured us last week that things are under control. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” Bush told a press conference August 9, the day after the three French banks shut their mortgage funds, sending the New York stock market tumbling in response.
    “I am told there is enough liquidity in the system to enable markets to correct,” the president added. That is, Bush believes there’s enough cash to cover the current failures. The market is saying there isn’t.
    Not coincidentally, the big news in Israel last week was the announcement that the Jewish state’s defense budget had to be slashed by a shocking 10%, suddenly and unexpectedly. The reason: Washington told Jerusalem it was not going to deliver an expected infusion of military aid, because Uncle Sam doesn’t have the money. The world economy may not be troubled by the weakness in America, but there’s one little corner of the world that’s terrified.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Israel need not worry, our corrupt US congress will give every penny of our money to Israel no matter what..they will shut down the schools and hospitals and social security and medicare for old folks before they deny Israel a penny.

    Reply

  38. Pollard says:

    The assertation that israel attacked the USS Liberty deliberately originates from the USS Liberty-survivors, themselves. Not some “stormfront’ web presence.
    What repulsive disregard for our Vets.
    This is nothing new among their ilk.
    Slanderous anti-American vomit would indicate that the israel loyalists have no remorse for the death of our USS Liberty Vets.
    Who then is suprised by ANYTHING they say? Are you willing to buy their shtick and send our servicemen and women to die fighting who they hate?
    Same old same old.
    Jewish supremacists and zionist America-haters must be confronted.
    The next USS Liberty could be a mushroom cloud over a major American city,
    And with the apparent callous disregard for the lives of Americans, this could be all too close to being a reality.
    No more Rachel Corries! No more spit-in-our-face menacing espionage by that ingrate welfare state! No more USS Liberties, Pollards, Rosenbergs, AIPAC scandals!
    “israels” just ANOTHER middle eastern problem we must deal with NOW if we are to survive.
    …..Who would disagree?

    Reply

  39. arthurdecco says:

    I responded to posts that no longer exist! Turning my response to gibberish. That will teach me to “refresh” before I hit “Post”. LOL

    Reply

  40. arthurdecco says:

    Being described as an Asshole rates higher on an American’s Scale of Insults than being labeled a Sociopath? I had no idea!
    I suppose that’s how you all ended up in this fine mess – by downplaying madness because madness is so…so… terrifyingly banal in America.

    Reply

  41. Steve Clemons says:

    You guys — desist.
    thanks, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  42. MarinatingPol says:

    Greetings all, what a wild and raucous set of comments. I just wanted to say that I’ve spent the last couple of days reading through this blog, The Washington Note by Steven Clemons.
    It’s pretty damned impressive what this guy does and what he’s posted. And to top it off, you have this wild debates in the commentary.
    I just thought SOMEONE should tip it to Steve, who clearly works his ass off digging up stuff that the Cheney-Bush landers must get major headaches over. I used to blog a bit, and I know how hard it is to do this.
    Clemons is a master, clearly, and is now an indispensable part of my blogrun.
    Thanks Steven!

    Reply

  43. downtown says:

    linking to freerepublic is grounds for disqualification. Sayonara……

    Reply

  44. Jeff says:

    On August 18 at 2:28 PM
    “Joe” just posted one of the biggest collections of lies I have ever read.
    Joe…..you are a fool and a liar.
    And one does not have to hate Jews to hate the policies of the state of Israel.
    I agree with “pissed off” Joe……..
    Go fuck yourself….
    better yet go over to Iran, like you suggested, and get your stupid ass killed………

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    who finds these retards, let alone give them some power? ledeen is a freak… probably works for the arms industry, or is getting paid a lot from them for his bullshit.. what a horrible way to make a living – being a first class sleaze ball.

    Reply

  46. MarkL says:

    Bob Moe,
    thanks for the response. I note that you refer to factual events from the past, while from the present you refer only to the very much disputed claim that Iranians are supplying the IEDs that are killing US soldiers.
    I’m sure you will agree with me that a reference to anonymous members of the military has no evidentiary value whatsoever. Moreover, it is well known that members of the military are often ordered to lie by their superiors. I value their service highly; there pronouncements on the provenance of IEDS, not so much. What are the facts behind the claim that Iran is supplying the IEDs? Not much. Several specific claims have been completely discredited; also pertinent is the strategic implausibility of Shiite Iran supplying Sunni guerillas with IEDs.
    Lastly, were the Bush administration to get another 4 years at the helm, I don’t think gas prices will go down.
    In fact, gas prices are bound to go up, no matter what: we are near Peak Oil, at least with respect to the easily obtainable product; also, worldwide demand is skyrocketing.
    In fact, gas prices should be $6/ gal or more in this country, causing greater pain now to forestall a worse crash in the future.
    Even more lastly, I find your paranoia about a nuclear attack from Iran charmingly naive.
    What you say makes no sense. Did you realize that you contradicted yourself? On the one hand, you state that if Iran obtains even one nuclear weapon, they will blackmail the world. How they are expected to accomplish this, when the mere threat of a nuclear attack may cause the immediate incineration of Teheran, is beyond my comprehension. Let’s agree that scenario is not even worthy of Tom Clancy.
    Now let’s examine the scenario of Iran handing off a nuclear bomb to terrorists. Well, this is more realistic, in part. Terrorists may well try to use a nuclear weapon, but again, you have to question the rationale. One often hears the argument that terrorists, being stateless, are not subject to reprisal, but I don’t think this takes into account the possibility of nuclear reprisal. I aver that any terrorist group which detonates a nuclear weapon and then claims credit for it, will see the country or cause which they champion suffer a devastating attack.
    Still, in the end, I heartily agree that nukes should be kept from the hands of terrorists. This is why I am so appalled at the non-proliferation failures of this administration. North Korea is the most egregious failure—by the way, if anyone were likely to sell a nuke, Kim Jong Il would be my first suspect. Let’s not forget Pakistan, and the slap on the wrist that A.Q. Khan received. Worst of all, perhaps, is the failure to adequately fund and support the Nunn-Lugar program for securing nukes in the FSU.
    Perhaps no greater threat to world nuclear security exists than the lax security of nuclear materials in the former Soviet state.
    By the way, I have a Ph.D. Do you?
    I get the feeling that you might not.

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    I wonder if anyone can really point to a source showing exactly what strategic factors are salient to Israel as an ally. I am willing to imagine that strategic factors may not even be that significant and that what we have is a reductio; Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally.
    Maybe Steve acknowledges his own discomfort with the formulation by putting quotation marks around “‘help’ defend”.
    Posted by DonS at August 19, 2007 01:41 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I know I have said this before but when the US-Isr came into my interest realm I looked for evidence of Israel’s value to the US as a way to try and understand or figure out our support of it and how it ties into the ME situtation. I have never been able to find one shred of evidence that Israel is a “stragetic asset” to the US. Not one.
    Every single document and memo I have been thru in all the presidential libaries, congressional mandated studies and a host of State Department and other government documents related to Israel refers to Israel as a “problem” for US policy in the ME and as a “domestic political” concern in the US.
    I would like to believe that our 3 billion a year does go toward something worthwhile and that our baised policy does have some rhyme or logical reason other than the Lobby or political corruption but the facts don’t support that.

    Reply

  48. Guy from Jersey says:

    “…Israel — a nation whose security I believe America should be worried about and committed to ‘help’ defend.”
    Why? Please explain.

    Reply

  49. bob moe says:

    Funny how the jew-hating trash cannot seem to separate in their tiny brains any event in the world from israel. If there is a hurricane in the Gulf of mexico – its because the IDF is killing iran-funded terrorists posing for the liberal chimps as “freedom fighters.”
    MarkL is the only one here worth responding to, and I will do so now. Pissed-off idiot serves no purpose on this earth, so she might as well kill herself. Anyway:
    1)You’ve made several serious charges against the government of Iran, without any specifics or evidence.
    All claims I have made are factual. If there is a claim you would like links to/for, please ask, and I will list them here for you.
    2) As I said before, I would like to know exactly what you mean when you say Iran is behind the suicide bombers?
    American citizens have been killed in Lebanon and israel by iran-funded and backed suicide bombers, and Louis Freeh (FBI DR. during the liberal clinton administration) stated they were also behind the khobar attack. In Argetnina, they killed Argentinian civilians, and recently raped and murdered a canadian female journalist in iran. See:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1375114/posts
    2) Are you talking about Iraq? If so, show me the evidence.
    The legion of US soldiers in iraq who are stating that iran is behind the IED attacks, EFP attacks, and highly organized attacks such as the one in January killing several US soldiers, is increasing. The ones making this claim go from the lowest private to the highest ranks, and anyone who speaks with those serving today, including the media, understand this.
    3) If you’re talking about Israel, didn’t you just say that you don’t care a fig about Israel? Israel and Iran have their own problems, but those do not have to concern us, right?
    Of course they concern us, because iran is fomenting wars all over the middle east, or are you an american who only cares about what is on TV tonite?
    Does it occur to you that if the other arab regimes like SA and jordan, beside lebanon, iraq and Syria, fall under the iran control – like the soviet satellites from the past – the price of oil will quadruple? Do you have any idea what that would do to the world economy?
    Or do you have an alternative energy source right now that is totally operational, inexpensive to implement, and is non-polluting?
    (anyone else who insults me will be ignored, so dont bother)

    Reply

  50. Carroll says:

    A look at the advisers behind the candidates by Philip Giraldi.
    Not much hope for a return to more sane US policy is this bunch. He doesn’t see Edwards as among the frontrunners, but as I pointed out in a previous info post, Edwards seems to be the “least” dangerous on the ME issue.
    Disclaimer: I am not campaigning for Edwards, just pointing this out.
    >>>>>>>>>
    “The key to understanding the direction that candidates will take is to examine their foreign policy advisers. The candidates themselves, with one or two exceptions, know little about the world and its problems. They operate on a basis of packaged responses to set questions and are essentially looking for quick, soundbite solutions that will enable them to be characterized as strong on national security.
    Apart from that, most would be quite willing to leave the subject alone. How they think is processed and filtered by their advisers, most of whom appear to believe that the American public has an unending appetite for overseas adventures in spite of the fact that such policies have brought nothing but grief for the past 15 years.
    The two leading Democratic candidates for president are undeniably Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary is regarded as by far the more conservative candidate in that she has carefully triangulated her potential supporters and is unwilling to say that her vote in the Senate in support of the Iraq war was a mistake. She has also positioned herself with the Israel lobby through her pledge to disarm Iran by whatever means necessary and her threat to use nuclear weapons on terrorists. Her foreign policy advisers are a who’s who of neoliberal hawks, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who famously believed that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to sanctions was “worth it.” Clinton is also being advised by Richard Holbrooke, who is reported to be close to Paul Wolfowitz. Holbrooke is a possible candidate for secretary of state if Clinton is elected president. Holbrooke has been a supporter of the Iraq war, and he was an architect of the 1999 bombing of Serbia. Strobe Talbott, who advised Bill Clinton and was also involved with the bombing of Serbia, is reported to be another Hillary adviser.
    Barack Obama is somewhat more enigmatic, but his recent ill-advised pledge to attack Pakistan if Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf does not do something about the Taliban and al-Qaeda shows that he is working hard to catch up. Obama’s key advisers who speak for him on foreign policy include Gregory Craig, Anthony Lake, and Samantha Power. Craig is a leading Washington lawyer who was a White House special counsel under Bill Clinton and defended the president in his impeachment trial. Lake was also a Bill Clinton adviser who was involved in the Bosnian conflict. Power is an Irish-born Harvard professor from the Kennedy School who is regarded as an expert on Third World issues. None of the three is considered to be particularly partisan on any foreign policy issues but genocide, which Power has written a book about, but Obama is also accelerating his efforts to woo Jewish donors and to improve his standing with AIPAC, which has been suspicious of him because of youthful indiscretions that included expressions of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. He recently appointed Eric Lynn to develop an aggressive program of outreach to the Jewish community on his record of support for Israel, which he claims is unwavering. Obama fully endorsed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon last year, and he has also cited his more recent sponsorship of the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of May 2007, another irresponsible piece of legislation by Congress that will increase the suffering of the Iranian people while doing nothing to change the country’s leadership. He has pledged that Iran will not be allowed to threaten Israel through its nuclear program, but he is vague on exactly what he would do to stop it.
    Giuliani heads the pack of Republicans in terms of sheer neocon manpower. His appointment of Norman Podhoretz to his team of foreign policy advisers might be a shrewd bid to compete with the Democrats for Jewish money for his campaign, but it might also be reflective of a genuine inclination toward a policy of all aggression, all the time. Giuliani has endorsed the use of force to disarm Iran, including using nuclear weapons. Podhoretz has called for a World War IV against Islamofascism, which presumably means a war against all Muslim countries until they surrender. Giuliani is also being advised by Martin Kramer, a leading neocon who is associated with the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
    The other two serious Republican contenders, John McCain and Mitt Romney, are also being advised on foreign policy by neoconservatives.
    McCain is supported by Robert Kagan, a noted American Enterprise Institute chickenhawk and the author of the surge policy, and former CIA director Jim Woolsey, who, like Podhoretz, has called for a World War against Islam. Leading neocon lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, who headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and was on the board of the Project for the New American Century, completes the McCain foreign policy and security team. There are reports that McCain will lose some of his advisers as his campaign is in trouble and that they might gravitate to Romney and Giuliani. McCain also had considerable interaction with neocon elder statesman Richard Perle in the early days of his campaign, but Perle has decided that McCain cannot win the nomination. Perle is deferring judgment on where he should go next. Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard and Henry Kissinger are also reported to be giving McCain advice.
    Mitt Romney is being advised by Dan Senor, former AIPAC staffer who graduated to the post of official spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He is also relying on J. Cofer Black, former chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and now head of Total Intel, a Beltway bandit that provides security services to the government.
    Dark horse and undeclared Republican candidate Fred Thompson is being advised by Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of the vice president, and Mark Esper, a Lebanese Christian who is one of the few neocons from an Arab background.
    All of the Republican and Democratic presidential aspirants appear to believe that a hard line on foreign policy makes them less vulnerable to attack in their run for the nomination.
    It is very discouraging to note that the advocates of the Iraq war, which is almost universally seen as Washington’s greatest foreign policy blunder of the past hundred years, are continuing to play a major role in the shaping of policy for the next generation of political leaders of both parties.”
    >>>>>>>
    I would also like to add to fellower worriers who think we should play within the system to change politicans and the parties on issues “After” we put them in office…. If they are rewarded and elected “despite” their policy they have no reason to change it.

    Reply

  51. DonS says:

    Dude says “Who cares if Iran is a threat to Isreal? Seriously? The protection of Isreal isn’t our problem.”
    VS
    Steve says “. . . Bombing Iran may also lead to the creation of a terrorist superhighway to the edge of Israel — a nation whose security I believe America should be worried about and committed to ‘help’ defend. . .
    . . . And lastly Israel would suffer and be plunged into a dramatically blurred security mess. Israel does matter and is an ally of ours in the region, and its best long-term hopes are to become allied, at least “in spirit”, with moderate Sunni Arab regimes in its neighborhood. . . .”
    As I recall, there is no formal defense treaty between the US and Israel. And yet Israel is near or at the top of foreign aid, way at the top per capita, recently bolstered by the most generous military aid package in the history of the relationship, over $3 bn per year for 10 years. And we all know how the “loan guarantee” charade goes, and the contingency funding,and the emergency aid, etc. etc.
    So, to Steve’s wish about being committed to defend Israel, obviously the devil is in the details as, for all intents and purposes, it seems the US – even to the exclusion of all the other countries of the world — does defends Israel against all reason.
    Now one can dismiss Steve’s language as simple boilerplate, but I give Steve far more credit than just mouthing clichés. So, aside from emotional attachment to the notion of Israel, and disregarding for a moment the undue influence of AIPAC on the US political process – both huge and interrelated factors I think — I wonder if anyone can really point to a source showing exactly what strategic factors are salient to Israel as an ally. I am willing to imagine that strategic factors may not even be that significant and that what we have is a reductio; Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally.
    Maybe Steve acknowledges his own discomfort with the formulation by putting quotation marks around “‘help’ defend”.

    Reply

  52. easy e says:

    regarding JINSA, go to right-web http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ and search under organizations (jewish institute for national security affairs)
    also see http://www.jinsa.org/home/home.html
    regarding rudy, he and his neocon team will be even crazier than bushco.

    Reply

  53. easy e says:

    as a founding member of JINSA, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1508,
    is there any doubt whose interest ledeen is serving in his quest to destroy iran?

    Reply

  54. Brigitte N. says:

    We should talk day-in and day-out about Rudy Giuliani’s decision to embrace Norman Podhoretz as advisor and, presumably, Mr. P.’s hawkish stand on Iran, Iraq, and who-knows-what-else. Voters should know that the so-called hero of 9/11 and, as far as I can tell, the other viable Republicans in the race and likely late-comer Thompson have similar positions on Iraq and Iran as Giuliani.

    Reply

  55. easy e says:

    it’s time to ignore any further nonsense from the troll “bob moe”. he’s nothing more than an aipac/likudnik inspired fascist whose loyalties lie elsewhere. he obviously has much in common with michael ledeen…..not to mention meyer kahanne.

    Reply

  56. the Dude says:

    Who cares if Iran is a threat to Isreal? Seriously? The protection of Isreal isn’t our problem.

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You’ve made several serious charges against the government of Iran, without any specifics or evidence. As I said before, I would like to know exactly what you mean when you say Iran is behind the suicide bombers? Are you talking about Iraq? If so, show me the evidence.”
    It has been pointed out, repeatedly, that the majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudis. Further, the majority of the suicide attacks are aimed at Iraqis, not at American troops.
    Facts are unimportant to this Moe asshole, as long as whatever he presents results in dead Muslims. Thats his goal, and no claim is too outrageous in the pursuit of that goal.

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You are projecting your own aggression on to Iranians to justify your willingness to steal their oil.”
    Don’t under-sell Bob Moe’s depravity and that of his ilk. Their abominable motivations run far deeper than mere criminality and greed. Remember, he initially engaged us with accusations of “jew-hating”. Then, just a few short comments later, he is advocating the wholesale extermination of the Iranian people. He is obviously unable to sense his own rabid bigotry, and someone so unaware of self poses a danger to any that dare enter his realm. Bob Moe doesn’t need the oil for justification, hatred alone is enough.

    Reply

  59. MarkL says:

    Bob Moe,
    We are not accustomed to hanging out in your forums, but in this place, people who make outlandish claims and then offer no evidence are treated roughly.
    You’ve made several serious charges against the government of Iran, without any specifics or evidence. As I said before, I would like to know exactly what you mean when you say Iran is behind the suicide bombers? Are you talking about Iraq? If so, show me the evidence. If you’re talking about Israel, didn’t you just say that you don’t care a fig about Israel? Israel and Iran have their own problems, but those do not have to concern us, right?

    Reply

  60. Kathleen says:

    Bob Moe..
    You are projecting your own aggression on to Iranians to justify your willingness to steal their oil. If in your “mind” you can think they are the “bad guys”, it then becomes “okay” for you to profit from their resources.
    Nice. Is your Bible well thumbed? Do you druel on cue too?
    Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch quotes Dopey as saying that he doesn’t mind a dictatorship, as long as he’s the dictator,
    A truer word was never uttered by our Demander-In-Chief.
    Lurker… yummmmm.

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If there is any one group of people that have immigrated here, and seem to truly want to assimilate into American society, it is the Iranians. Yet here we have this asshole Bob Moe advocating the wholesale slaughter of the Iranian people because of the alleged actions of their leaders. Bob Moe is actually more dangerous to America than radical Islam is, because those of Bob Moe’s ilk actually nurture and support the growth of radical Islam.
    He is part of the problem, not part of the solution. This nation would be far better off if the Bob Moes, from his inconsequential station all the way up to the asshole “Bob Moe” we have in the White House, were simply irradicated. Unfortunately, we citizens, unlike our leaders, are bound by the rule of law, and cannot undertake such a program of irradication. And its obvious our “representatives” have no intention of irradicating these monsters from Washington either.
    It disgusts me that obvious monsters like this asshole Bob Moe seem to be the driving force behind Washington politics these days, while the majority of Americans turn a blind eye to such dangerous fanaticism, oblivious to the danger posed by these maniacs.
    And we are powerless to do anything about it. When logic demands we rid society of these vermin like Bob Moe, all I can do is tell him to go screw himself. Talk about impotence. And meanwhile, those with the connections and the resources to begin to institute change are largely unengaged, prefering instead to natter on incessantly about irrelevant policy presentations, and attempting to sell us the very purveyors of the status quo that landed us in this mess in the first place.
    Fuck the Bob Moes. They are a blight on mankind. But unfortunately, they are also holding the reins of power.
    God help us.

    Reply

  62. bakho says:

    Does Bob Moe think Iranians are not human? What would happen in the aftermath of a war with Iran? Would we be an occupation greeted with flowers and free love? Would Iran still be pumping oil? Would the Straits of Hormuz remain open? Could we prevent the sabotage of shipping?
    How does bombing countries that have never attacked us get us where we want to be? Were it not for all the bad blood over US support of the Shah and taking of American embassy hostages, Iran and the US would be strategic allies. That was almost 30 years ago before many of us were born. Get over it.

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If anyone is interested, I will list them here.”
    Go for it. But, I must say, your rhetoric and your manner belies any claims you may have about sharing “intelligent” conversations at those blogs. You’re an obvious asshole, and, as such, you more than likely have a kindred with other obvious assholes. My bet is that your blog interactions more closely resemble circle jerks than they do “intelligent conversations”.

    Reply

  64. cognate says:

    The fact is that WE are the aggressors in the Middle East.

    Reply

  65. Crimson Ghost says:

    Iran is not threat to the US but COULD some day be a threat to Israel if that nation continues its aggressive war mongering and almost daily killing of Palestinians year in and year out.
    Iran has not attacked anybody for 1000 years while Israel has launched repeated wars of aggression against its neighbors under the rubric of “self-defense”.
    The fact that virtually all the advocates of war with Iran are fanatical Israel partisans speaks volumes to anybody with half a brain.

    Reply

  66. arthurdecco says:

    Bob Moe said: “Joe – to stop the iranian fascists from getting a nuke-bomb, i would kill the entire country, hands down.”
    Kill the entire country, Bob? KILL THE ENTIRE COUNTRY?
    Spoken like a true Sociopath.
    You need to seek some immediate help for your dangerous levels of mis-directed hostility and your passionate avoidance of factual argument, Bob.
    Your hate doesn’t become you. And it embarrasses the reasonable amongst those of us reading you. I compare reading your blog opinions to being forced to share a small, windowless office with someone who never bathes, yet unendingly complains about the revolting stench in the room.

    Reply

  67. bob moe says:

    Sorry sweetie pissed off idiot, i am back. I dont come too often because the format sucks – flat blogs are unpleasant to read, forums are much better, and frankly 911truther imbeciles have nothing to offer. Only a few detractors of ledeen have offered much of value – and you’re not one of them. Hilarious, an abandoned skyscraper had a fire – but its still standing. I guess if a building near the WTC catches fire, no need to send the fire department eh? Its all a Bush plot to eradicate the fire departments of the world. .
    And guess what genius the US and NATO NEVER stopped flying bomber runs, so for you or any other Westerner to complain is a sign of further ignorance and stupidity. You should wear a sign saying “I am a liberal media victim.” I love angry liberal monkeys – all emotion and fury and no brains.
    As for the adults here, several silly claims were made:
    -1)”iran wont directly use a nuke”. Uhhhh, duh, of course they ownt, they NEVER use their own uniformed army. Do they directly attack US troops wearing uniforms in lebanon, Gaza, Afghan, or Iraq? Nooo, they use PROXIES. And since the uranium they are enriching is clandestine, there IS NO WAY to trace a rogue bomb back to them should they give it to a terror cell to use in a western city. The IAEA does not catalogue what it doesnt know of, and since 99% of the iran program is underground, and located at military sites where inspectors have been completely blocked from inspecting, they have no way to do so. Understand?
    Further, iran is a greater threat with a nuke than others because they have vast oil reserves to fund developing and storing one, and because the gov’t by definition is NON-ACCOUNTABLE. If a bomb goes off in the west killing thousands, and since it would not be possible to 100% prove (which is what liberals demand today) that iran was behind it, there will still be a plethora of useful idiots screaming then that the US shouldnt retalite by hitting iran. Not too hard to figure, huh?
    2) Hitting iran would “open a pandora’s box”. And what is occurring now? Iran is conducting wars in FOUR different countries, killing US citizens, paying for suicide bombings of other nations’ citizens, torturing and murdering journalists, and hanging teenagers for having sex, being gay, or wearing certain clothes. how much more can they do before the pacifists say, you know what, enough is enough?
    And to the next poster who claims that a war against iran is one for israel, fuck off. I couldnt care less about israel, this war would be for the US soldiers killed in 1983 in Beirut, 2003-2007 in iraq, and to stop these animals from getting a nuke.
    I am getting to the end of my interest at this blog, as the responses are not from the best and brightest, and the format sucks. I habitat other boards where the posters have masters or ph.ds in history, and make for much more intelligent conversations. Some are liberal, some are anarchsits, but they argue with far more IQ than garbage like “pissed off idiot”. This is not meant to be a personal attack against the others trying to discuss issues here, but frankly, the difference would be obvious once you check out the other boards. If anyone is interested, I will list them here.

    Reply

  68. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And gee, an abandoned skyscraper next to ground zero was gutted by fire today.
    Guess what?
    Its still standing.

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If you are one of the stormfront.org “liberty was a purposeful attack” proponents, this conversation just ended.”
    We should be so lucky.

    Reply

  70. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, after a fifteen year hiatus, Russia has resumed flying 24 hour patrols with nuclear armed bombers. Yet one more “legacy” for this asshole Bush and his satanic VP. We’ll be lucky if these two don’t incinerate the planet Earth.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, Bob Moe was a big hit, wasn’t he?
    I wonder where he went.
    Perhaps he’s busy seeing if he can fulfill my suggestion.
    Damned fool. I hope he doesn’t think that just because I’m a carpenter that I meant he should use a 2×4.

    Reply

  72. Ajaz Haque says:

    Michael Leeden is nut and should be locked up. Hitelarites like him would like to see another world war, they don’t give a damn that over 600,000 innocent civilians ahve died in Iraq and a country functioning fairly well before the war has been reduced to rubble. I am sure Hitler had many admirers like him around him. Now they are hovering aroung Bush.

    Reply

  73. DonS says:

    Bob Moes says: “Joe – to stop the iranian fascists from getting a nuke-bomb, i would kill the entire country, hands down. Once they have one, they will have the ability to blackmail the planet”
    Is gratuitous assuption and hyperbole your stock-in-trade and do you assume that the rest of us, whose intelligence you are all to willing to denigrate, are somehow impressed by bravado alone, albeit in the zionist cause???
    Why do you think anyone should be more afraid of a “nuke” in the hands of “the mullahs” than any other potential state or non-state user? Have you no understanding of the disproprotionate destruction that would be levied on Iran should they use a nuke . . . on anyone. Blackmail indeed.
    Your logic is just too much loose pully work to take seriously. It smacks of demagoguery at its worst. Not impressed.

    Reply

  74. jonathan says:

    Neoconservatism is the greatest threat the U.S. faces at the moment. It is a radical, aggressive, deeply delusional and fringe ideology, as or more dangerous than any fundamentalist religious movement.
    The struggle to contain neoconservatism, prevent further destructive activities, and fix the damage it has already done, will likely become the defining struggle of the next few generations.
    Make no mistake. The wounds the neocons have inflicted upon the U.S. are perhaps mortally deep, and even starting immediately will take many many years of very difficult work to set right.
    No other ideology poses such a total threat to U.S. interests, allies and security, and overall global stability.

    Reply

  75. johnf says:

    Bob Moe states:
    >It has gotten to the point of what FDR faced 65 years ago – there is no amount of useful idiots apologising for the nazi regime in thier mindless, all-out goal to avoid war at any costs.
    Hang on there, Moe. You’re calling us useful idiots for fascism. Look at the guy we’re discussing, Michael Ledeen. He is not only a useful idiot for fascism, he is an active apologist. This from the American Conservative Magazine:
    >On the antiwar Right, it has been customary to attack the warmongering neoconservative clique for its Trotskyite origins. Certainly, the founding father of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, wrote in 1983 that he was “proud” to have been a member of the Fourth International in 1940. Other future leading lights of the neocon movement were also initially Trotskyites, like James Burnham and Max Kampelman—the latter a conscientious objector during the war against Hitler, a status that Evron Kirkpatrick, husband of Jeane, used his influence to obtain for him. But there is at least one neoconservative commentator whose personal political odyssey began with a fascination not with Trotskyism, but instead with another famous political movement that grew up in the early decades of the 20th century: fascism. I refer to Michael Ledeen, leading neocon theoretician, expert on Machiavelli, holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, regular columnist for National Review—and the principal cheerleader today for an extension of the war on terror to include regime change in Iran…
    >…Ledeen’s conviction that the Right is as revolutionary as the Left derives from his youthful interest in Italian fascism. In 1975, Ledeen published an interview, in book form, with the Italian historian Renzo de Felice, a man he greatly admires. It caused a great controversy in Italy. Ledeen later made clear that he relished the ire of the left-wing establishment precisely because “De Felice was challenging the conventional wisdom of Italian Marxist historiography, which had always insisted that fascism was a reactionary movement.” What de Felice showed, by contrast, was that Italian fascism was both right-wing and revolutionary. Ledeen had himself argued this very point in his book, Universal Fascism, published in 1972. That work starts with the assertion that it is a mistake to explain the support of fascism by millions of Europeans “solely because they had been hypnotized by the rhetoric of gifted orators and manipulated by skilful propagandists.” “It seems more plausible,” Ledeen argued, “to attempt to explain their enthusiasm by treating them as believers in the rightness of the fascist cause, which had a coherent ideological appeal to a great many people.” For Ledeen, as for the lifelong fascist theoretician and practitioner, Giuseppe Bottai, that appeal lay in the fact that fascism was “the Revolution of the 20th century.”
    http://www.amconmag.com/06_30_03/feature.html

    Reply

  76. TonyForesta says:

    Scarespeak, propaganda, disinformation, and pathological lies aside – Iran’s leadership, and the Iranian people may not like America, – but they are not stupid. Iran is not threatening America. Iran is serving its best interests by throwing as many inventive wrenches as possible into the mechanics of the fascist Bush governments hypersuperior warmachine next door.
    No state, (including NK, Iran and any socalled axis of evildoers (excuse me while I laugh my ass off) is stupid enough to initiate an all out war with America. Even Saddam did not enter into wars with America. Under Bush 1, America in Desert Storm drew a line in the sand when Iraq massed forces on the Saudi border AFTER invading and occupying Kuwait. A true coalition the willing was formed, including other Arab states who joined America in attacking Iraq and Saddam. After 100 hrs of massive destruction, for some unknown unknown reason, the war was ended. The current costly, bloody, failing, noendinsight, horrorshow, debacle, and excuse for wanton profiteering in Iraq was – again not about Saddam attacking America, – but about the fascists in the Bush government, and by proxy America attacking Iraq and seeking to decapitate Saddam.
    Iran would defend itself of course, and they have far more capability in 2007 than Saddam’s old torn beaten rusted demoralized and thoroughly defeated military in 2003. The fascist in the Bush government have not won anything in Iraq yet. The mission is quite obviously not completed.
    Attacking Iran would uncork a Pandora’s box of furries against America, and with just cause. Preemptive war is snakeoil speak for imperialism piracy, and tyranny and has nothing to do with securing America, though it makes a more palatable sound bite.
    Our half a trillion dollar a year hypersuperior military, and $66bn private intelligence apparatus are rendered all but impotent by insurgents using AK’s, RPG’s, and IED’s. The math is awry. We do not win, and they do not loose. Both sides suffer grievous losses of blood and relative treasure, but niether can claim victory or admit defeat. History proves that occupations lacking the full support of the occupied populace are doomed to the horrorshow inevitability of costly, bloody, protracted FAILURE. No one gains anything, but the warmakers and profiteers.
    We (all of us because we lack the courage as a nation to throw the fascist bums out) and the fascists in the Bush government ARE the evil empire.
    Iran is no Disneyland, and the mullah’s are freaks and fascists in their own right, – but their current policies and ambitions have much to do with defending and securing Iran, – and nothing to do with attacking America.
    Iran also is keenly aware that any direct attack upon Israel would be prercieved as an attack on America with the same percussive results.
    Far easier and more effective if stateless militia’s like Hamas, Hesbollah, or al Quaida, blah, blah, blah strike at the great satan and our little demon brother on the Mediteranian.
    Riddle me this bloggers – Who on this diseased and violent earth could possibly benefit from war a with Iran except the fascist warmongers, craven chickhawks, wanton profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government?
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  77. PoliticalCritic says:

    If we go to war with Iran, say hello to the draft. The notion of a draft has been floated recently to MSM to gauge public reaction.

    Reply

  78. Carroll says:

    Posted by TonyForesta at August 18, 2007 05:51 PM
    >>>>>>>
    Sick little fellow isn’t he?
    I read some excerpts from his Machiavelli…one was about how women wern’t fit to be leaders because they lacked the “moral character” to be “warriors”.
    Men who make statements like that really have big, big inferiority complexes about their manhood. Maybe that is one of his mental problems.

    Reply

  79. TonyForesta says:

    Read this http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2005/site_packages/ledeen/3243ledeen-cheney_intro.html and weep!
    “In his book Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, Ledeen wrote: “To be an effective leader, the most prudent method is to ensure that your people are afraid of you. To instill that fear, you must demonstrate that those who attack you will not survive.””
    The Bush government is fascist. Denying this terrible truth is delusional and crippling America’s ability to remedy the horrors and epic wrongs wrought by the fascist in the Bush government.
    NEVERENDINGWAR is the future these craven chickenhawks intend to force upon America’s children. Not for any noble or stated reason either. The public statements and proclamations of securing America democratizing the ME are part of the snakeoil these fiends pimp through their mouthpieces in the socalled MSM to mesmerize or terrorize the America people into either supporting or somehow tolerating the costly, bloody, failing policies.
    No! NEVERENDINGWAR is the singular focus, intent, and design of the fascists in the Bush government for one EXCLUSIVE reason. PROFIT. All these draftdodging slaughterboyz and chickenhawks fascist PROFIT wantonly and personally from WAR, and NEVERENDINGWAR is all Ameria will no unless, and until justice is served, these fiends are impeached, held accountable, and sent to rot in shame in prisons.
    If not – high ho, high ho, – It’s off to neverendingwar we go!
    “Deliver us from evil!’

    Reply

  80. TonyForesta says:

    Read this http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2005/site_packages/ledeen/3243ledeen-cheney_intro.html and weep!
    “In his book Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, Ledeen wrote: “To be an effective leader, the most prudent method is to ensure that your people are afraid of you. To instill that fear, you must demonstrate that those who attack you will not survive.””
    The Bush government is fascist. Denying this terrible truth is delusional and crippling America’s ability to remedy the horrors and epic wrongs wrought by the fascist in the Bush government.
    NEVERENDINGWAR is the future these craven chickenhawks intend to force upon America’s children. Not for any noble or stated reason either. The public statements and proclamations of securing America democratizing the ME are part of the snakeoil these fiends pimp through their mouthpieces in the socalled MSM to mesmerize or terrorize the America people into either supporting or somehow tolerating the costly, bloody, failing policies.
    No! NEVERENDINGWAR is the singular focus, intent, and design of the fascists in the Bush government for one EXCLUSIVE reason. PROFIT. All these draftdodging slaughterboyz and chickenhawks fascist PROFIT wantonly and personally from WAR, and NEVERENDINGWAR is all Ameria will no unless, and until justice is served, these fiends are impeached, held accountable, and sent to rot in shame in prisons.
    If not – high ho, high ho, – It’s off to neverendingwar we go!
    “Deliver us from evil!’

    Reply

  81. Carroll says:

    From TPM…..
    Patrick Syring, Diplomat
    Last night we brought you the news of Patrick Syring, the 20-year career Foreign Service officer, who has been indicted for harassing the staff of the Arab Institute with a string of phone messages and emails saying among other things that the “only good Arab is a dead Arab”, that various members of the staff were “wicked evil Hezbollah-supporting Arabs [who] should burn in the fires of hell for eternity and beyond” and lauding the Israelis for “bombing Lebanon back to the Stone Age where it belongs.”
    Turns out the AP story left a fair amount of Syring’s tirades out of their story.
    Here’s the indictment with all the details.
    http://tinyurl.com/2rr4py
    Late Update: For the record, the folks at the Arab American Institute, the ones on the receiving end of Syring’s abuse, released this statement …
    Yesterday afternoon we were notified that the grand jury has returned two indictments charging a long-time State Department employee with Threatening Communication in Interstate Commerce and violating the civil rights of the employees of the Arab American Institute.
    James Zogby, the president of AAI, said, “We are pleased with word that the grand jury has returned two indictments. This has been a matter of concern to me and my entire office. The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has been responsive, and we feel protected. The threats were both intimidating and frightening – and the fact that the defendant was a 20-year career officer at the Department of State made it of even greater concern.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Hey bob moe, is this you?

    Reply

  82. Lurker says:

    I have actually spoken with a U.S. Navy admiral who was serving when Israel, using unmarked aircraft, attacked the U.S.S. Liberty.
    It was a deliberate attack on the part of Israel, and anyone who doubts that should talk to the many and very passionate survivors.
    The U.S.S. Liberty was an intelligence ship in international waters; it was collecting information about what was happening during the 1967 war.
    The attack on the Liberty was a shameless attempt on the part of Israel to draw us into that war — it was a classic false flag operation as evidenced by Israel’s use of unmarked aircraft.
    What was even more shameful was LB Johnson caving into the very powerful pro-Israel lobby, extremely influential even back then.
    Also shameful was Admiral Jack McCain, John McCain’s father, role in the affair — because of that alone I have to question whether Israel is blackmailing John McCain, a self-confessed Zionist, over the role his father played in the cover-up of Israel’s attack on the Liberty.

    Reply

  83. Hedley Lamarr says:

    Please justify a war with Iran. If it is to protect Israel, it would be better to resettle that unhappy nation. There are plenty of quiet places left.

    Reply

  84. Lurker says:

    Yesterday, I.N.N. World Report had on an award-winning Iranian journalist, Omid Memarian. He won the Human Rights Watch highest honor, the “Human Rights Defender” award.
    Anyway, Memarian said that a U.S. / Israeli attack on Iran will strengthen the hard-liners and stop Iran’s very real progress towards a true democracy.
    I TIVOed the interview and have to watch it again. I don’t think it’s up on I.N.N.’s site yet, but I would suggest (as usual) that everyone try to see it.
    The bottom line is this:
    *Iran may hold 5% of the world’s developed oil reserves. That’s it. So to say this about oil is ridiculous, it’s about Israel and war profiteers, who work hand-in-hand.
    * Iran does not have nuclear weapons, and is allowed under the NPT to develop nuclear energy, which it is doing because it does not have refining capability for its own oil.
    * As someone else on this site pointed out, Iran or any other predominantly Islamic country, would never “nuke” Israel because the third holiest site in Islam, the Dome of the Rock and Al Asqua mosque, is in Jerusalem, which they call Al Quds.
    I will report back when I watch the Memarian interview without distraction. In the meantime remember this:
    Simone Ledeen, Michael’s daughter, was prominent in the Coalition Provisional Authority when it lost track of billions of our tax dollars in Iraq.

    Reply

  85. the Dude says:

    The key is that “they” (the neocons, the Cheney-ites, many Bushies, most of the republican presidential candidates, some democrats in congress, and the foreign policy ‘experts,’) actually want this war.
    They also wanted the war in Iraq and see what that got us.
    But they’re going to get this one right. Not even going to repeat the “fool me” cliche Bush can’t even get right.
    These folks have been, and continue to be, WRONG. Iran poses no threat to us whatsover. None. As for getting the bomb? (a) they’ve been “5 to 10 years away” from getting one for the last 25 years… and even if they get it, how are they going to deliver it? And (b) so what if they do get one? They can’t use it and they can’t give it to anyone to use because we’ll turn that country into one be piece of irradiated glass so fast the Mullahs won’t even have time say “Death to…”
    The Iranians do, however, have good reasons to be angry with us: overthrowing Mosadeq, installing the Shah, supporting Iraq in their 8 year war with them, sanctions, etc., we’ve been screwing with them for over 50 years so they have a little right to be pissed. And the morons in charge are, but the people? The people of Iran want nothing more than to be friends with us and trade.
    And the establishment in this country is going to bomb them. >Sigh<

    Reply

  86. MarkL says:

    Is there one grain of truth in this paragraph of Bob Moe?
    “What I cannot fathom about several posters here, is that iran is an admitted destructive, monstrous force in the mideast – every fucking time there is a movement towards peace in the region, ones of its proxies conducts suicide bombings and attacks to throw things off track.”
    I can’t be sure without more detail from BM, but I think the answer is no. The last charge, that “proxies” of Iran are responsible for the suicide bombings in Iraq, is either simply false, or wildly misleading.
    I’m sure the next BM will add more detail…ahem.

    Reply

  87. bob moe says:

    To the pissed off idiot above: israel has conducted espionage, so has Britain, France, and others. Why dont you complain about them too? “False flag terrorism”? If you are one of the stormfront.org “liberty was a purposeful attack” proponents, this conversation just ended.
    What I cannot fathom about several posters here, is that iran is an admitted destructive, monstrous force in the mideast – every fucking time there is a movement towards peace in the region, ones of its proxies conducts suicide bombings and attacks to throw things off track.
    It is a fact that it is attacking US troop in iraq – and has killed many of them. And the claim that it was going along with the IAEA is absurd – it didnt even admit Arak existed – until the MEK exposed them, and has consistently blocked inspections at most sites, refused to answer questions about many program aspects, and refuses to explain why it needs a heavy water reactor at Natanz, when its aims are for “peaceful energy use only.” What crap.
    Joe – to stop the iranian fascists from getting a nuke-bomb, i would kill the entire country, hands down. Once they have one, they will have the ability to blackmail the planet, a scenario that is totally unacceptable. I am not sure why some people do not have the fundamental chess-playing skill of seeing to where certain steps will lead.
    They are fomenting wars in FOUR different countries now, and have admittedly killed US troops on foreign soil. They have conducted attacks against thousands of civilians all over the world, and have stated time and time again how they will rule the world, using force, if necessary. In an interview a few years back, when Hezbollah was negotiating with the EU, a European diplomat said what can we do that will end the violence, and the Hez operative said: “there is nothing you can do, our aim is to convert or kill all non-muslims.”
    I am not sure what red line you have in some of your pacifists’ minds that would be sufficient to engage in miliatary regime change, but how many more people must they kill?
    I do not take going to war lightly, i have young children and would STILL get on the first plane over today to kill the mullahs. They have so much blood on their hands its unimaginable. Yes the US has made many mistakes, but until the day arises where I see a net outflow of immigration, I will believe that the US has the best intentions.
    As for what missiles/capabilities the iranians have/dont have, what they have NOW is enough to reach europe, and can always trade oil for more tech with the chinese, who cannot seem to get enough oil these days.

    Reply

  88. Carroll says:

    I am puzzled by this:
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    “I’m not a pacifist. I have to admit that there might be circumstances in which war with Iran is our last and only option — but we are far, far away from that situation.
    I’m particularly worried that there are bad guys in Iran who so desperately want to consolidate their political positions inside Iran that they see a hot conflict with the U.S. and/or Israel as “helpful”. It’s also clear that Vice President Cheney as well as his followers inside the administration and his ideological following in Washington’s think tank sector want war to pump up their eroding political position.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Given there may be mad men in Iran who want a hot war.
    Already established that mad men in Israel want a hot war.
    Already established that mad men in the US want a hot war.
    So what’s the bottom line in pulling the trigger on Iran?
    Prempting their nuke possibilities?
    Protecting the US set up balance of power in the ME?
    Iran becoming the dominant ally of Iraq?
    Iran being a future threat to Israel or Saudi?
    Iran actually and officially attacking the US or it’s forces in the ME?
    Backing up Israel if they attack Iran?
    And when you get behind that decision due to some event, how are you really going to know what you think you know? In other words given all the “noble” lies, whose information are you going to believe when that time comes?
    Just asking, because short of an outright attack on the US or declared attack by Iran officially on our forces in Iraq..not everything is what it seems in this game even if you are watching it with your own eyes.

    Reply

  89. Kathleen says:

    Phil.. you are so right about the effects of cavalierly tossing about the war with Iran phrase. It has the effect of conditioning voters to expect war with Iran eventually.
    Carroll..heavy duty details.

    Reply

  90. Carroll says:

    Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the insanity that is Ledden…it is an ever widening ripple.
    Iran is a threat to us?..who does Ledden mean by us?
    Why do all the war hawks insist Iran is an imminent threat? Why is the US deliberately provoking Russia with our extended agression in the ME to enter this fray? Why have we set up a path to having China and Russia square off against the US and provide Iran with delivery systems ..that they don’t now have ….that really could reach the US? Look at the map to see the “interest” areas. Why would Russia allow a US installed regime in Iran? It wouldn’t. And last but not least who learned the most from Russia’s previous disaster in Afghanistan..Russia or the US? Who learned the most from the last cold war arms race…Russia or the US?
    Arms databank – Iran
    SRBM – Short Range Ballistic Missile < 1,000 km
    MRBM – Medium Range Ballistic Missile 1,000-2,500 km
    IRBM – Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile 2,500-3,500 km
    LRICBM – Limited Range Intercontinental Ballistic Missile 3,500-8,000 km
    FRICBM – Full Range Intercontinental Ballistic Missile 8,000-12,000 km
    Many of the ranges suggested for the yet-to-fly missile systems are based Many of the ranges suggested for the yet-to-fly missile systems are based on mathematical models relying on what little data has been made public. Typically, these studies put out by the intelligence community over-estimate the performance of the actual missile systems. These studies do, however, give a range of possibilities as to what to look for once they are flown. In addition, none of the above listed strategic systems achieve true FRICBM capability. They fall far short of that kind of performance. Those strategic systems are based on MRBM & IRBM technology. In order to achieve FRICBM capability, clustering these systems would be required (in a method similar to that used by the Soviets on the R-7/SS-6 ICBM) or an entirely new system design would have to be developed. Clustering these systems very difficult or impossible because of their design characteristics. As of this writing, there is no indication that such new long term development exists, but this does not mean that it will not appear in the future. Only the United States, Russia and China have missiles with this range capability.
    Continued…….
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/index.html

    Reply

  91. phil from new york says:

    Steve,
    I agree with your post regarding Ledeen and the insanity of bombing Iran. However, I was disturbed by your point that you could envision a scenario that would lead us to war with Iran as our last and only option, even though we’re nowhere near that yet. Is that like saying one can’t absolutely ever rule out the possibility of going to war with any country? Or do you have more specific grounds for a possible war? I’d like to hear your scenario that could eventually lead us to a war with Iran that wouldn’t also create the same foreign policy disaster for us, Israel and the rest of the world that you noted in your piece.
    I’m certainly not lumping you in with others, but under Bush/Cheney/Rove and post 9/11, there seems to be a lot of politicians and serious foreign policy types who are cavalierly throwing around the possibility of war, even using nuclear weapons, with other countries. I’m 58, and I have to tell you, I don’t remember that kind of reckless talk about going to war before Bush became president and before 9/11 happened. Our leaders were always very careful in their rhetoric with the Soviet Union to avoid having the other side take something the wrong way and cause a war. Seems to me we need to exercise the same care in dealing with an unstable regime in Iran.
    I’m not a pacifist either. I’m an Air Force veteran and I supported the action in Afghanistan to go after bin Laden.
    And by the way, I was very much impressed with what you told folks at YearlyKos — that you opposed the Iraq War but others you knew in the foreign policy community who also opposed the war lacked the courage to speak out and so they stayed quiet. I think that spoke volumes about your character and backbone.
    Steve, if I read too much into that one line in your post, I apologize. I don’t think for a minute you want a war with Iran, but I would respectfully ask that you be careful in what you say regarding going to war with Iran even if the possibility is remote. I think it only encourages the warmongers among us.
    Thanks for your post and thanks for listening.

    Reply

  92. dan says:

    Bob
    That the EU3-Iran track has accomplished little is hardly surprising; only Washington can deliver what Teheran is looking for as the current “crisis” is essentially a crisis of US-Iran relations ( or rather, the lack of them ).
    The Iranians suspended their programme, signed the additional protocols and allowed no-notice inspections for some 9 months; El Baradei stated that there was no evidence of a weapons programme. In return for doing so, the EU-3 was supposed to work out an acceptable formula for Iran’s nuclear programme – they made promises that they subsequently reneged on as the Bush administration wasn’t prepared for a deal to be done, and the final offer was described by El Baradei as derisory. It’s hardly surprising that the Iranians concluded that they were wasting their time.
    The reality is that there can be no progress on the nuclear issue with Iran until the US gets involved in a proper, across-the-spectrum, diplomatic process that involves direct talks at the Secretary of State/NSA level. The Baghdad track is a start – but it is going to be meaningless if additional tracks aren’t pursued simultaneously.
    This isn’t going to happen, unfortunately, whilst the Bush administration is in office as the policy objective remains regime change, and substantive diplomacy that actually delivered would require a significant walk-back from that position.

    Reply

  93. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Bob Moe:
    So we should kill a lot more Iranians just to overthrow the theocracy? That’s worked well in Iraq, hasn’t it? If you care so much about civilians, why haven’t we intervened in Rwanada? Darfur? One last point, Bob. Our government doesn’t have clean hands itself.

    Reply

  94. JohnH says:

    Unfortunately the problem is not Ledeen, Woolsey, Podhoretz et al. Lunatics exist. The problem is the eagerness of the corporate media to broadcast such views and to ignore people like Leverett, who propose more reasonable solutions.
    Regarding Leverett, I am amazed by statements like, “current [United States] policy does not take energy security seriously as a foreign policy issue or prioritize energy security in relation to other foreign policy goals.” Has he read Dick Cheney’s “National Energy Policy” which explicitly states that “Energy security must be a priority of U.S. trade and foreign policy,” and dedicates one quarter of the entire report to the foreign energy sources?
    What does Leverett think Iraq is about? Has he read Greg Palast or Antonia Juhasz on US post-war plans for Iraq? (Yes, there were plans and they involved oil.)
    Has Leverett read David Strahan’s “The Last Oil Shock,” (available at Amazon Canada) which begins by documenting the Bush administration’s obsession with oil? In one telling chapter, Stahan documents how a US delegation sought to secure an exclusive oil export relationship with Nigeria.
    Evidently Leverett has allowed the Bush administration and the neocons to pull wool over his eyes with their public statements, which studiously avoid any mention of oil in favor of more noble goals like promoting non-proliferation, stopping terrorism, and advancing freedom and democracy.
    Whatever they state publicly, Bush, Cheney and the neocons evidently concluded long ago that there was only way to get enough oil out of the ground to satisfy the world’s insatiable demand and to corner the market for us, our friends and corporations: direct occupation. Legitimate foreign leaders had to be avoided at all costs because they might turn into resource nationalists, like Chavez or Putin.
    The problem was that occupation proved self defeating. Years ago the Wall Street Journal noted that “the Iraqi invasion and aftermath rank as the third-largest cumulative oil disruption since World War II, right behind the nationalization of Iran’s oil fields in the early 1950s and the Iranian revolution in 1979.” The Iraqi oil disruption probably ranks higher now.
    Yet Ledeen, Woolsey, Podhoretz (and probably Cheney and Bush) want to take us down the same failed path under the pretenses of an Iranian nuclear bomb (perpetually 5-10 years away) or because of supposed interference in Iraq. Unfortunately, this time around the oil disruption may not be limited to a single country but could easily cripple the production capacity of the entire Persian Gulf.
    On the bright side, such an event would dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions for the forseeable future.

    Reply

  95. Kathleen says:

    Great post…. Ledeen’s hand was in the Niger Forgery caper, n’est pas?
    Why say Iran is bent on developing nuclear weapons? The UN Inspectors have not said this. Are we going to ignore the UN Inspectors again and gobble up the NeoNutzi spin AGAIN?
    Does Michael “Yellowcake” Ledeen have leftover Niger stationary?
    As for democracy in Iran, what about what we did to Iran when their gov’t proposed OPEC?
    NeoNutzis’ favorite tune is “We just wanna have War”.
    W stands for Wall to Wall War, folks.

    Reply

  96. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Jew-hating”, “mental weakling”, “ignorant garbage”, “clueless tool”.
    And you are judging the “intellect rigor” here?
    Like I said, go screw yourself.
    But before you do, please tell me which accusation about Israel I made you disagree with. Have they committed espionage against the United States? Have they committed false flag terrorist attacks against US interests? Have they exagerated the extent of the Iranian nuclear program, and actually LIED about it through their lobbying efforts, particularly at the AIPAC website?? Did they help LIE about Iraq’s possession of WMDs, and were they not instrumental in rattling the war drums against Iraq, using the same bullshit and propaganda Bush was using?
    I don’t hate jews. But I would would throw your ignorant ass to the sharks in a hot minute.

    Reply

  97. bob moe says:

    “Go screw yourself.”
    Is this the intellect rigor of this blog?
    Ok, mental weakling, go move to iran and visit evin prison, you arrogant garbage. Tell some local iranian families whose student children were murdered for participating in democracy protests that you support the rights of the current regime. See how long you live.
    Then ask Bill Clinton how “talking to the iranians” at the UN worked out for him. No wonder Hillary knows better than you, clueless tool.

    Reply

  98. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And it is of worthy note that the resident jew-hating anti-israel’ers here use….blahblahblahblah.”
    Go screw yourself.

    Reply

  99. Patricia Hartwell says:

    It is so critical at this time that you are drawing attention to the neoconservative push for war with Iran. Ledeen, his allies and their dangerous obsession have a limited window of opportunity, which provides immense incentive to accomplish their agenda now. I can’t imagine a worse time for war with Iran than now.

    Reply

  100. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Posted by Conservatives Hate America”
    Do they? How would you know, considering that they seem to be going extinct?
    There is nothing “conservative” about these wackjobs that are goosing Bush into insanity.

    Reply

  101. pauline says:

    This guy is more dangerous than a lying thief and murderer renting your extra room.
    “Ledeen’s ideas are quoted daily by such figures as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. His views virtually define the stark departure from American foreign policy philosophy that characterized United States actions since September 11, 2001…. Now Ledeen is calling for ‘regime change’ beyond Iraq. In an address titled ‘Time to Focus on Iran: The Mother of Modern Terrorism,’ for the policy forum of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) on April 30, he declared: “The time for diplomacy is at the end; it is time for a free Iran, a free Syria and free Lebanon.”
    William O. Beeman, “Michael Ledeen: Neoconservative Guru,” in The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, May 9, 2003
    This is the same Michael Ledeen, who, as a consultant to the Reagan-Bush Administration National Security Council in the mid-1980s, was a pivotal criminal figure in the Iran-Contra fiasco, covertly peddling weapons to the very Ayatollahs whom he is now plotting to overthrow. He is also the same Ledeen who now calls for the United States to wage war against Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya because, he alleges, they are all “masters of terror.” Yet in the 1980s, Ledeen was one of the biggest promoters in Washington of the so-called Afghansi mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden, whom he touted as “freedom fighters” and “champions of the democratic struggle against totalitarian communism.”

    Reply

  102. Bob moe says:

    Wrong, steve. It amazes me how the pacifists are so willing to overlook so many salient facts to create their arguments.
    Europe has spent FIVE YEARS talking to iran – and has acocmplished NOTHING.
    And it is of worthy note that the resident jew-hating anti-israel’ers here use whatever manufactured tripe to defend iran because of overblown, perceived slights from israel – as if israel has ANYTHING to do with the issue.
    That iranian people like the US is completely meaningless, they are NOT the ones directing attacks against the US in Bierut 1983/4, khobar, iraq, or afghanistan. Iran has probably the world’s WORST human rights records, has killed hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, and continues to murder journalists and students in its prisons.
    It has gotten to the point of what FDR faced 65 years ago – there is no amount of useful idiots apologising for the nazi regime in thier mindless, all-out goal to avoid war at any costs.
    Face it – as long as this criminal dictatorship of thugs and murderers exists, no peace is possible in the middle east.

    Reply

  103. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “OK, I need a cure for my ignorance. Just exactly how is Iran going to “dominate or destroy us”?
    By providing the excuse for our destruction and domination at the hands of Israel and its lobbies.
    I can think of a few dozen pressing domestic needs that supercede Israel’s continued sapping of our resources, can’t you?

    Reply

  104. PissedOffAmerican says:

    More saber rattling against Iran, of varying degrees. The only apparent difference between Steve’s fear-mongering in regards to Iran and Ledeen’s is the degree of paranoia they seek to instill in the American public. But at least Steve is willing to admit war with Iran is designed to protect Israel, an “ally” that regularly commits acts of espionage against the United States, has engaged in false flag terrorist attacks against US interests, and has launched a massive propaganda program in the United States through the efforts of its lobbies and a compliant media, seeking to exagerate and propagandize the threat Iran poses, legitimize their human rights abuses in Gaza and the West Bank, and enable further war crimes such as we saw them commit in Lebanon.
    With allies like Israel, who needs enemies?
    Besides, if we shake Iran up a bit, its that much easier to defend shipping Israel thirty billion dollar arms packages. After all, they will need to defend themselves against the threats of our own creation.

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  105. Sue says:

    OK, I need a cure for my ignorance. Just exactly how is Iran going to “dominate or destroy us”? Seems to me like they would need our help for both.

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  106. Frank N. Copeland says:

    Steve, just one objection. Ledeen is not “entitled” to his opinion. Ledeen pontificates mass murder, genocide, and global devastation. Ledeen and his ilk are psychopathic madmen that are hell bent on global conflagration. In the dark inner recesses of their insanity, they actually figure there is a profit to be made from human carnage. Perhaps “insanity” doesn’t cover the depths of their depravity sufficiently.

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  107. Conservatives Hate America says:

    Ledeen is a nutcase. Why anyone would listen to him is beyond me. He is an intellectual terrorist who should be sent to an insane asylum.

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  108. selise says:

    it seems to me that michael leeden is dangerous not only because of his desire to start a war with iran, but because he and his ideas are taken seriously. i don’t understand why that is so. steve, do you have any insights you could share with us outsiders?

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  109. bob h says:

    I credit the idea that Iran will be attacked in a Hail-Mary attempt to change the dynamic of the 2008 elections, which will otherwise be going badly for the Republicans. We already know that Bush and Cheney will start wars to affect elections.

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  110. Steve Clemons says:

    johnf – no apology needed. some day i will learn why it is doing that and get it fixed. i think the nuances you added the second time made your post even better. thanks for it, twice, steve

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  111. johnf says:

    Apologies for double post. Each time I was told internet connection had gone down and my post was lost.

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  112. johnf says:

    Good writing. Ledeen and his like are very dangerous, fanatical people. They’re like Osama bin Laden but they’ve got offices in Washington. Ledeen devoted his “academic” career to work praising Mussolini. And we all know what Mussolini thought of democracy.

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  113. johnf says:

    Good writing. These are very dangerous people. Academically, Ledeen devoted his “career” to praising Mussolini.

    Reply

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