Princeton Project on National Security

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(Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter)
More than 400 academics, policy practitioners and journalists over two and a half years have contributed to a large-scale project, the Princeton Project on National Security.
The project was co-chaired by former Secretary of State George Shultz and former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter and Woodrow Wilson School Professor G. John Ikenberry co-directed the effort.
David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group and the Ford Foundation funded it.
Yesterday evening, the New America Foundation hosted a fascinating exchange, pretty feisty in fact, at one of our popular dinner salons — and today is the conference to punctuate release of the final report.
For those of you wandering by the Senate Dirksen building today, we will be in Dirksen Room 106 in the Senate. I will be MC’ing the entirety of the program.
Here is the schedule:


The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
and the New America Foundation
cordially invite you to a National Policy Forum
NATIONAL SECURITY 2.0:
DISCUSSING AMERICA’S STRATEGIC CHALLENGES &
LAUNCH OF THE PRINCETON PROJECT ON NATIONAL SECURITY REPORT

Wednesday, 27 September 2006
SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, US Senate
8:30 a.m.
Coffee & Registration
master-of-ceremonies
STEVEN CLEMONS
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
and publisher, The Washington Note

9:00 am
ACHIEVING AMERICA’S NEXT NATIONAL SECURITY CONSENSUS?
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PRINCETON PROJECT ON NATIONAL SECURITY
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER
Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton
University
9:15 am
BENCHMARKING SUCCESSES & FAILURES:
DOES AMERICA NEED A NEW GRAND STRATEGY?
THE HON. JAMES DOBBINS
Director, International Security & Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation
Former Special Envoy to Afghanistan (Bush Administration)
MORTIMER B. ZUCKERMAN
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, US News & World Report
Publisher, New York Daily News
Chairman of the Board, Boston Properties
G. JOHN IKENBERRY
Albert J. Milbank Professor, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
International Affairs
Princeton University
SIMON SERFATY
Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy
Center for Strategic and International Studies
moderator and provocateur
HELENE COOPER
Diplomatic Correspondent, New York Times
10:15 am < this session will be bifurcated with one segment before Senator Biden and one following THE ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY: CAN THE US ECONOMY BEAR THE LOAD OF AMERICA¹S INTERNATIONAL OBJECTIVES? THE HON. DAVID M. RUBENSTEIN Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group THE HON. DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations Former Director, Congressional Budget Office STEVEN RATTNER Managing Principal, Quadrangle Group LLC Former Deputy Chairman, Lazard Freres & Co., LLC JAMES K. GLASSMAN Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute Editor, forthcoming AEI magazine, The American BERNARD L. SCHWARTZ Former Chairman & CEO, Loral Space & Communications Chairman, BLS Investments LLC moderator and provocateur SEBASTIAN MALLABY Economics Columnist, Washington Post
11:00 am
CONFRONTING GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND THE DEMANDS OF ENLIGHTENED AMERICAN
LEADERSHIP
THE HON. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE)
Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
U.S. Senate
11:30 am < panel continuation THE ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY: CAN THE US ECONOMY BEAR THE LOAD OF AMERICA¹S INTERNATIONAL OBJECTIVES? moderator and provocateur SEBASTIAN MALLABY Economics Columnist, Washington Post
12:00 pm
DEBATING AND CONFRONTING AMERICA¹S NATIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES
THE HON. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE)
U.S. Senator
12:30 pm
LUNCHEON AND PANEL DISCUSSION
NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: OLD RULES, NEW THREATS
THE HON. JOHN B. BELLINGER III
Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State, Department of State
PETER BERGEN
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Fellow, Center on Law & Security, New York University
Terrorism Analyst, CNN
ALISTAIR CROOKE
Founder & Co-Director, Conflicts Forum
Former Special Mid-East Adviser to European High Representative Javier
Solana
SUZANNE NOSSEL
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress/Century Foundation
KENNETH R. TIMMERMAN
Author, Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran
Founding Member, Committee on the Present Danger
moderator and provocateur
DAVID IGNATIUS
National Security Columnist, Washington Post
1:30 pm
THOUGHTS ON THE DEBATE ABOUT DEMOCRACY BUILDING: A CONVERSATION
THE HON. ANTHONY LAKE
Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Former National Security Advisor to President Clinton
Co-Chair, Princeton Project on National Security
TOD LINDBERG
Editor, Policy Review
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
2:00 pm
CONCLUDING REMARKS AND ADJOURNMENT
STEVEN CLEMONS
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
more later. . .
— Steve Clemons

Comments

52 comments on “Princeton Project on National Security

  1. RichF says:

    ET: Four Quartets were his best.
    THE PSYCHOLOGY OF NATIONS
    OR
    WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT
    We make a little dance
    Willie Jewetts dance in the tenth century chateau
    Soultz Alsace dance on the Boulevard Raspail
    Spanish French dance on the rue de la Boetie
    Russian Flemish dance on the docks.
    Bread eating is a game understand me.
    We laugh to please. Japanese.
    And then to seize. Blocks.
    Can you remember what you said yesterday.
    And now we come to a picture.
    A little boy was playing marbles with soldiers, he was rolling the balls and knocking down the soldiers.
    Then came a presidential election.
    What did he do. He met boys of every natinoality and they played together.
    Did they like it.
    In the middle of the presidential election they had a bonfire.
    A policeman stopped them.
    What can a policeman do, they said.
    What is older than that.
    Any baby can look at a list.
    This is the way they won Texas
    Let us go to the right.
    It is wonderful how boys can fill.
    Water.
    Water swells.
    We swell water.
    To be lapped and bloated.
    With urgency and not necessity and not idiocy.
    All men are intelligent.
    Please beg a bit,
    Then they all danced.
    How can a little Pole be a baby rusher.
    –Gertrude Stein, Geography & Plays

    Reply

  2. ET says:

    Lovely. No tea for me,thanks, RichF. I see your Portrait and raise you one Edna St. Vincent Millay:
    Feast
    I drank at every vine.
    The last was like the first.
    I came upon no wine
    So wonderful as thirst.
    I gnawed at every root.
    I ate of every plant.
    I came upon no fruit
    So wonderful as want.
    Feed the grape and bean
    To the vintner and monger;
    I will lie down lean
    With my thirst and my hunger.
    (Which I dedicate to longing for our America. Good night).)

    Reply

  3. RichF says:

    [Eliot! no fair . . .] (in ital)
    Now that lilacs are in bloom
    She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
    And twists one in his fingers while she talks.
    “Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know
    What life is, you who hold it in your hands”; 45
    (Slowly twisting the lilac stalks)
    “You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
    And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
    And smiles at situations which it cannot see.”
    I smile, of course, 50
    And go on drinking tea.
    –Portrait of a Lady, which I dedicate to the totalitarian nicety that puts a higher priority on politeness than impeachment, and puts docility above the rule of law.

    Reply

  4. ET says:

    Thanks, RichF,
    At times like this, we need a poetry-fest.
    I see your ee cummings and raise you a
    T.S. Eliot:
    The dove descending breaks the air
    With flame of incandescent terror
    Of which the tongues declare
    The one discharge from sin and error.
    The only hope, or else despair
    Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre—
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.
    Who then devised the torment? Love.
    Love is the unfamiliar Name
    Behind the hands that wove
    The intolerable shirt of flame
    Which human power cannot remove.
    We only live, only suspire
    Consumed by either fire or fire.
    LITTLE GIDDING
    (No. 4 of ‘Four Quartets’)
    You like?
    http://tinyurl.com/hnan6

    Reply

  5. RichF says:

    Oh, and pauline?
    Al McCoy is an American hero. (Intellectually.)
    Attend one session of one class by McCoy, and the problem with Vietnam and Iraq is instantly crystal clear.
    Same problem.
    But go out of your way to do it if you can. You’ll never be the same. He puts the “Best and the Brightest” to shame. There’s just no comparison.
    Honestly–once an American citizen acquaints him/herself with ACTUAL history–they’ll never be the same. It makes these jokers attempting to “advise” the seat of power look very, very very small.

    Reply

  6. RichF says:

    Not to read tooo much into this, Steve, but what drove the makeup of this panel?
    I think it’d behoove you to offer some more information to your loyal readers. After all:
    Charles Lewis, ex-Director at the Center for Public Integrity, says the “Carlyle [Group]is as deeply wired into the current administration as they can possibly be.”
    David M. Rubinstein founded the Carlyle Group, which included both Bushes on the Board:
    George H.W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    Was closely tied to the bin Laden family, and also had on the Board:
    James Baker
    Frank Carlucci (close to Rumsfeld & CIA)
    Arthur Leavit, among others.
    So what, you say?
    We need a Dwight Eisenhower or a Teddy Roosevelt–NOT Ivy-League think-tankers who listen to–and take their funding from–the likes of the Carlyle group or Bechtel. Quite the HUGE defense contractors.
    Which may be fine–BUT IT’s NOWHERE near the CENTER. Whatever Ms. Slaughter’s thinkin,’ I would love to find out. Because ‘radical center,’ it’s not. POWER Center, yeah. But moderate? No way in hell.
    Dan K. Thomasson, former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service, summed it up best in March, 2001. “Nothing in recent history seems to approach the success this group has had in the wholesale conversion of former high government rank to gigantic profits.”
    Peter Eisner, Managing Director of the Center for Public Integrity, adds, “It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisors that are doing business and making money and also advising the President of the United States.”
    The Washington Business Journal simply says, “The Carlyle Group seems to play be a different set of rules.”
    A spokesman for Oklahoma Representative J. C. Watts understood this connection when he said, “Carlyle’s strength was within the Department of Defense because they have staff types that work behind the scenes, in the dark, that know everything about the Army and Capitol Hill.”
    On May 5, 2001, the New York Times described the Carlyle Group as such: “It owns so many companies that it is now in effect one of the nation’s biggest defense contractors and a force in global communications. Its blue-chip investors include major banks and insurance companies, billion dollar pension funds and wealthy investors.”
    “Oliver Burkeman and Julian Burger wrote: “Carlyle has become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not the least the current President’s father.”
    Group’s company brochure answer that question: “We invest in niche opportunities created in industries heavily affected by changes in government policies.”
    From wikipedia:
    “In the book House of Bush, House of Saud, author Craig Unger states that Saudi Arabian interests have given $1.4 billion to firms connected to the Bush family. Nearly 90% of the 1.4 billion, about 1.18 billion, refers to Saudi Arabian government contracts awarded to defense contractor BDM in the early to mid 1990s. Carlyle, however, sold its interest in BDM before former President George H. W. Bush joined as an advisor.”
    “Former President George H.W. Bush retired from Carlyle in October 2003. George W. Bush served on the Board of Directors of early Carlyle acquisition Caterair, but was asked to leave two years later by one of the founders and has had no personal dealings with Carlyle ever since.
    The Saudi Arabian relatives of Osama bin Laden were also investors in Carlyle until October 2001 when the family sold its $2.02 million investment back to the firm in light of the public controversy surrounding bin Laden’s family after September 11. The bin Laden family has publicly disowned the al-Qaeda leader, but privately some members of the family have kept in contact with him. Osama bin Laden has no economic interest in Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), whose investments were in part managed by the Carlyle Group until the arrangement was terminated by mutual consent.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Carlyle_Group
    Bottom line: Centrism doesn’t flow from aligning oneself with, and accepting funding from, the same folks who are the problem, and whose policies led to the problem.
    Or talking amongst yourselves, with a happy “centrist” mask on, to the exclusion of the millions of moderate, centrist Americans with better ideas and sounder principles. Who actually believe in this country.
    Bechtel and Carlyle never did America any favors.

    Reply

  7. RichF says:

    Steve,
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but does Slaughter really have any claim to being in or near the center?
    THAT ROSTER is right-center-to-right, if anything. Ignatius, AEI, George Schultz, a Carlyle Group sponsor–some of ’em the same folks who helped get us into this quagmire. Not that diversity of voices is a bad thing–it’s great. But here it’s nonexistent: there’s NO counterweight to this largely rightist roster.
    The linked article states that:
    “A few … such as Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer were among the individuals who participated in the Project’s consultations.”
    At minimum, good faith centrism would necessarily motivate Slaughter to ALSO consult Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky. Sincerely. Anything less isn’t just irresponsible–it’s intellectually dishonest.
    So how can they claim to be moving to the center? How can Slaughter wear the appellation “radical centrist” on her sleeve?
    Really. I think those of us who respect your very valuable middle-ground approach deserve some sort of explanatory information. Where’s the middle road, when there’s no room for a diversity of voices that comprise the true center?
    There are some true centrists, yes. But with Loral, Quadrangle, and Carlyle, we’re talking $money$ and defense, here, right? Wouldn’t it be great if they were also fiscal conservatives?
    W/o getting too deep, Biden and Hagel ARE in the middle. But doesn’t that just PROVE how damaged and compromised the middle is?? You hear both utter soothing, palatable words on occasion–but Senator Chuck Hagel just voted AGAINST Spectre’s amendment to preserve habeas corpus.
    Et tu, Chuck?
    When these guys are voting FOR TORTURE — to SUSPEND habeas corpus, and to “legalize” violations of law after-the-fact — then they have NO claim to the responsible center. Hagel gives a nice speech–then votes for Warner/Graham/McCain’s wholesale and amoral capitulation to Preznit Bush. It’s a Vichy middle.
    If there’s to be any real middle ground, it has to be based on Constitutional principles. But those who’ve claimed to be centrists have continually compromised the core principles that define America as a nation. McCain on torture. Specter on NSA/FISA. Hagel on this last vote. Biden on Congress’s unshirkable obligation to Declare War Formally.
    This is what has fatally compromised ‘moderate’ politics. It’s just more evidence that conventional “center” is wholly discredited.
    Any legitimate middle ground must maintain an adherence to shared principles–or lose that ground and those values entirely. Just as Lieberman eagerly rejected free expression & free enterprise to scapegoat rock musicians–by pandering to the ironically-named values voters.
    Even Hillary–who’s just as guilty–could cite Washington and Paine.
    As for Slaughter: There’s nothing centrist about excluding REAL moderate voices. (Who, relative to Kristol, Ignatius, Mallaby & Krauthammer, actually believe in the Constitution and the rule of law.) Slaughter COULD HAVE DONE BETTER PICKING RANDOMlY from those COLLEGE KIDS IN IOWA you chatted with. Ignatius was a war cheerleader. He didn’t listen to a thing, nor apparently read the papers.
    Princeton has led us in the wrong direction. “The Best and the Brightest” have failed us–just as they did in Vietnam.
    Slaughter cannot claim to be a centrist–and certainly not the Best nor the Brightest–when a her response is a confab that brings together some of the SAME folks that have contributed MIGHTILY to making the SAME mistakes.
    Occasionally Kristol seems smart– but it’s clearly so-smart-he’s-stupid. Egregiously pushing, even yesterday, the same lies.

    Reply

  8. RichF says:

    ET:
    I see your Dylan Thomas, and raise you an e.e. cummings!
    i sing of Olaf glad and big
    by E. E. Cummings
    i sing of Olaf glad and big
    whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
    a conscientious object-or
    his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
    westpointer most succinctly bred)
    took erring Olaf soon in hand;
    but–though an host of overjoyed
    noncoms(first knocking on the head
    him)do through icy waters roll
    that helplessness which others stroke
    with brushes recently employed
    anent this muddy toiletbowl,
    while kindred intellects evoke
    allegiance per blunt instruments–
    Olaf(being to all intents
    a corpse and wanting any rag
    upon what God unto him gave)
    responds,without getting annoyed
    “I will not kiss your fucking flag”
    straightway the silver bird looked grave
    (departing hurriedly to shave)
    but–though all kinds of officers
    (a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride)
    their passive prey did kick and curse
    until for wear their clarion
    voices and boots were much the worse,
    and egged the firstclassprivates on
    his rectum wickedly to tease
    by means of skilfully applied
    bayonets roasted hot with heat–
    Olaf(upon what were once knees)
    does almost ceaselessly repeat
    “there is some shit I will not eat”
    our president,being of which
    assertions duly notified
    threw the yellowsonofabitch
    into a dungeon,where he died
    Christ(of His mercy infinite)
    i pray to see;and Olaf,too
    preponderatingly because
    unless statistics lie he was
    more brave than me:more blond than you.

    Reply

  9. sdemetri says:

    This is long. Some embedded tables didn’t transfer well. It is from the Congressional Record on passing HR 6198 Iran Freedom Support [ahem, preparation to go to war with Iran] Act.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
    Mr. Speaker, it is important to go back a little bit in history here. The Iraq Accountability Act of 1998 was about funding a media propaganda machine which was, unfortunately, used to lay the groundwork for a war against Iraq. That act was about encouraging and funding opposition inside Iraq, unfortunately, to destabilize Iraq prior to a war.
    You could call this bill the “Iran Accountability Act.” This act funds media propaganda machines to lay the groundwork for a war against Iran. It encourages and funds opposition inside Iran for that same purpose.
    Notwithstanding what the words are in this bill, we have been here before. This administration is trying to create an international crisis by inflating Iran’s nuclear development into an Iraq-type WMD hoax. “Iran is not an imminent threat,” this from Dr. Hans Blitz, former Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector, speaking to our congressional oversight subcommittee the other day.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency points out that Iran has an enrichment level of about 3.6 percent. You have to go to 90 percent to have weapons quality enrichment. Iran is not an imminent threat. Iran does not have nuclear weapons.
    This is a time for us to engage Iran with direct talks, our President to their President. This is the time to give assurance to Iran that we are not going to attack them.
    Unfortunately, this administration has chosen to conduct covert ops in Iran. This administration has chosen to select 1,500 bombing targets with the Strategic Air Command. This administration has chosen plans for a naval blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. This administration looked the other way when a congressional staff report basically claimed that Iran was trying to engage in nuclear escalation.
    We don’t need war, we need to talk, and that is what we ought to stand for here. No more Iraqs.
    The End of the “Summer of Diplomacy”: Assessing U.S. Military Options on Iran
    A CENTURY FOUNDATION REPORT
    (By Sam Gardiner, Colonel, USAF (Ret.))
    This report is part of a series commissioned by The Century Foundation to inform the policy debate about Iran-related issues.
    The views expressed in this paper are those of the author. Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Century Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.
    “The doctrine of preemption remains sound and must remain an integral part of our national security strategy. We do not rule out the use of force before the enemy strikes.”–Stephen Hadley, March 16, 2006.
    Introduction
    The summer of diplomacy began with a dramatic announcement: on May 31, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that if the Ahmadinejad government agreed to halt Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, the United States would talk directly with Tehran. Secretary Rice crafted the statement working alone at home. She called President Bush and received his approval. The Bush administration announced it as a significant initiative; it appeared to reflect a major change in policy.
    This shift was not uncontroversial within the administration; Vice President Dick Cheney had opposed the announcement. But the rationale that prevailed seems to have been that if the United States were going to confront Iran, the diplomacy box had to be checked. The secretary of state was given the summer to try it.
    Well, the summer is over. Diplomacy was given a chance, and it now seems that the diplomatic activity of the past several months was just a pretext for the military option.
    Unfortunately, the military option does not make sense. When I discuss the possibility of an American military strike on Iran with my European friends, they invariably point out that an armed confrontation does not make sense–that it would be unlikely to yield any of the results that American policymakers do want, and that it would be highly likely to yield results that they do not. I tell them they cannot understand U.S. policy if they insist on passing options through that filter. The “making sense” filter was not applied over the past four years for Iraq, and it is unlikely to be applied in evaluating whether to attack Iran.
    In order to understand the position of those within the U.S. government who will make the final decision to execute a military option against Iran, you must first consider the seven key truths that they believe: Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction–that is most likely true. Iran is ignoring the international community–true. Iran supports Hezbollah and terrorism–true. Iran is increasingly inserting itself in Iraq and beginning to be involved in Afghanistan–true. The people of Iran want a regime change–most likely an exaggeration. Sanctions are not going to work–most likely true. You cannot negotiate with these people–not proven.
    If you understand these seven points as truth, you can see why the administration is very close to being left with only the military option. Administration officials say that they want to give diplomacy a chance. But when they say that, we need to remind ourselves that they do not mean a negotiated settlement. They mean that Iran must do what we want as a result of our nonmilitary leverage: suspend enrichment, and we will talk. But enrichment appears to continue, and there are no direct discussions between the two main parties. Satisfied that nonmilitary leverage is not going to work, those who believe the seven “truths” argue that the only viable option remaining is a military one. The story, however, is more complicated.
    This report draws on my long experience of running military war games to examine some of the complications of the current situation: the various pressures and rationales for an attack on Iran; the probable direct and indirect consequences of air strikes; the significant gap between what proponents of the military option want to achieve and what in fact such attacks will achieve; and the likelihood that policymakers will ignore those gaps and proceed to war despite them.
    Timing and Uncertainty
    Waiting makes it harder. The history of warfare is dominated by attackers who concluded that it was better to attack early than to wait. One source of the momentum in Washington for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program is the strategic observation that if such an attack is in fact inevitable, then it is better done sooner than later.
    I conducted a war game for the Atlantic Monthly magazine two years ago. On a chart prepared for a mock meeting of the National Security Council, I identified thirteen nuclear-related targets in Iran. I still do this kind of gaming. My most recent chart reflects twenty-four potential nuclear-related facilities. In the past few years we have seen Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility buried under more than fifteen meters of reinforced concrete and soil. There is evidence that similar hardening is taking place at other facilities, and there is some evidence of facilities being placed inside populated areas. The longer the United States waits, the harder the targets–and the harder the targeting.
    Another major issue that affects timing is the conspicuous absence of reliable intelligence about Iran. A report by the House Intelligence Committee found that we have serious gaps in our knowledge of the Iranian nuclear program. Paradoxically, those gaps in intelligence produce not caution, but further pressure to attack. U.S. intelligence agencies do not know the locations of all of Iran’s facilities; they are not certain how far Iran has gone with enrichment. They know that Iran’s nuclear program bears a striking resemblance to the Pakistani program, but they do not know whether Iran has acquired technology that might put it ahead of current estimates.
    Some U.S. officials say that Iran is ten years from a weapon. The Pentagon, we are told, is operating under the assumption that Iran could have a weapon in five years. Some Israeli estimates say that Iran could have a weapon in three years. John Negroponte, the U.S. director of national intelligence, recently said that Iran could not develop a nuclear weapon until some time in the next decade. But the next day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he did not trust estimates of the Iranian program.
    The very ambiguity of the intelligence picture has become another argument for military options, because even if U.S. policymakers could agree on a firm policy red line, there would be no way of determining if and when Iran crossed that line. Vice President Cheney’s espoused calculation for dealing with global threats is that if there is even a 1 percent chance of a country passing WMD to a terrorist, the United States must act. Because there is a 1 percent chance Iran could pass WMD to a terrorist, the Bush administration finds itself obliged to reject nonmilitary options.
    Regional Pressures
    Adding to the political momentum toward war with Iran is significant pressure from the Israeli security establishment. Israel says that it has a plan for attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel recently appointed an airman to be in charge of the Iranian theater of operations. It was announced that this major general would coordinate Israeli planning for Iran. Israeli military planners have U.S. penetrating weapons and a replica of the Natanz facility. They say that the attack would resemble the kind of operation they used against Egypt in 1967. They say that the plan involves more than just air strikes from the “Hammers” of the Israeli Air Force’s 69 Squadron. It would include Shaldag commando teams, possibly some version of sea-launched missiles, and even explosive-carrying dogs that would penetrate the underground facilities.
    Israel probably could hit most of the known nuclear targets. But such an attack would leave Iran with significant retaliatory options. That is a serious problem. U.S. forces and interests in the region would be likely targets of Iranian retaliation, so even an independent Israeli military operation would have critical consequences for the United States.
    Part of the problem is that the two countries’ red lines for Iran are not the same. Israel’s red line is enrichment. The U.S. red line used to be the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon. But over the past six months, America’s red line has drifted closer to Israel’s. On March 21, the president said that the United States could not allow Iran to have the knowledge to make a weapon. He repeated the phrase in August.
    By redrawing the red line in this manner, U.S. policymakers are creating pressure to go to war with Iran. In saying that Iran could not be permitted to have the knowledge to develop nuclear weapons, the president used almost the exact words the Israeli Foreign Minister had used a year earlier. More recently, a senior State Department official said that Iran was near “the point of no return” on its nuclear program. Again, this was an exact echo of the words of Israeli officials. The Israeli pressure has worked.
    Marketing the Military Option
    I often hear from those who were strongly supportive of the Iraq invasion that the targeting of the Iranian facilities would be simple. If you understand the elements of the nuclear process, all you have to do is go after a small number of targets. The argument continues that Iran’s nuclear facilities could be devastated on a single night, in a single strike, by a small number of U.S. B-2 bombers. The apparent ease of the operation is another element of this pressure to go now: If the Iranian nuclear program can be stopped in one night by a simple strike, why should the United States wait?
    But the elimination of Iran’s nuclear capability, while it might be the stated aim for the United States, is only part of the objective. While the Iranian regime’s weapons program is a genuine source of concern, American policymakers are also troubled by Iran’s interference in Iraq. Despite U.S. warnings, the Revolutionary Guard continues to supply weapons, money, and training to insurgents inside Iraq. Some proponents of attacking Iran feel that Tehran should be punished for supporting militias and extremists in Iraq.
    In addition to Iran’s role as an aspiring nuclear rogue and a supporter of the insurgency in Iraq, the country has been repeatedly portrayed as a key adversary in the war on terrorism. The United States has put Iran into a separate and new terrorism category, dubbing it the “Central Banker of Terrorism.” The new National Security Strategy says, “Any government that chooses to be an ally of terror, such as Syria or Iran, has chosen to be an enemy of freedom, justice, and peace. The world must hold those regimes to account.” “Unnamed intelligence officials,” citing evidence from satellite coverage and electronic eavesdropping, have told the press that Iran is hosting al Qaeda, granting senior operatives freedom to communicate and plan terrorist operations.
    Indeed, the case against the regime is so forceful, and so multifaceted, that it becomes clear that the goal is not simply to do away with the regime’s enrichment program. The goal is to do away with the regime itself.
    And on top of all of those pressures–pressure from Israel, pressure from those worried about a nuclear Iran, Iran in Iraq, and Iran in the war on terrorism–is another, decisive piece of the puzzle: President George W. Bush. The argument takes several forms: the president is said to see himself as being like Winston Churchill, and to believe that the world will only appreciate him after he leaves office; he talks about the Middle East in messianic terms; he is said to have told those close to him that he has got to attack Iran because even if a Republican succeeds him in the White House, he will not have the same freedom of action that Bush enjoys. Most recently, someone high in the administration told a reporter that the president believes that he is the only one who can “do the right thing” with respect to Iran. One thing is clear: a major source of the pressure for a military strike emanates from the very man who will ultimately make the decision over whether to authorize such a strike-the president. And these various accounts of his motivations and rationales have in common that the president will not allow does-not-make-sense arguments to stand in the way of a good idea.
    Below the CNN Line
    Stay below the “CNN line.” That was the guidance given to the Air Component Commander, General Mike Mosley, as the secret air strikes began against Iraq in operation SOUTHERN FOCUS. It was July 2002. This classified bombing campaign would involve strikes on almost 400 targets. It was initiated just after the president visited Europe where he announced numerous times, “I have no war plans on my desk.”
    There was no UN resolution. The congressional authorization was not to come for four months. But the United States was starting the war.
    All of the pressures described above are pushing for war with Iran, and increasingly, a public case for such a war is being made. But behind the scenes, military operations are already under way. (See Figure 1.) Most likely, the same guidance has been given to military commanders. The pattern is repeating.
    When U.S. commandos began entering Iran–probably in the summer of 2004–their mission appears to have been limited. The objective was to find and characterize the Iranian nuclear program. From press reports, we know that the task force doing these operations was implanting sensors to detect radioactivity. Intelligence for these early operations inside Iran was coming from information provided by A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani dealer in black market nuclear material. The incursions were focused in the northeast, where the Iranian nuclear facilities are concentrated. The base of these incursions was most likely Camp War Horse in Iraq.
    Israel also was conducting operations inside Iran in late 2003 or early 2004. The Israeli commandos reportedly were operating from a base in Iraq. These commandos also were implanting sensors. I would expect the U.S. and Israeli operations to have been coordinated. At about this time the United States began operating remotely piloted vehicles inside Iran over nuclear facilities. (Although this was certainly an embarrassment to the Iranians, they mentioned the flights numerous times in their press.)
    In 2005, the balance within the U.S. government shifted in favor of those who were pushing for regime change in Iran. This was to result in the eventual creation of the Iran/Syria Operations Group inside the State Department, a request to Congress for $75 million, and the creation of a robust “democracy promotion” program. Meanwhile the United States moved from intelligence collection inside Iran, to establishing contact with ethnic minorities, to being involved in–and most likely conducting—direct action missions. Reports suggest that the United States is supporting militant groups in the Baluchistan region of Iran. There have been killings and kidnappings in this region. Iran Revolutionary Guard convoys have been attacked. In a New Yorker article, Seymour Hersh confirmed that this region was one of the areas where U.S. forces were operating. The Iranian press also has accused the United States of operating there. In addition, press reports suggest that the United States may be sponsoring former members of the Iraq-based MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq) in Baluchistan.
    I recently attended a Middle East security conference in Berlin. At dinner one night, I sat next to the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh. I told him I had read that the Iranians were accusing the United States of supporting elements in Baluchistan. I asked him how they knew that. Without any hesitation, Soltanieh told me that they have captured militants who confessed that they were working with the Americans.
    The United States is also directly involved in supporting groups inside the Kurdish area of Iran. According to both western and Iranian press reports, the Iranian Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) has been allowed to operate from Iraq into Iran and has killed Revolutionary Guard soldiers. The Iranians have also accused the United States of being involved in shooting down two of their aircraft, an old C-130 and a Fa1con jet, carrying Revolutionary Guard leaders.
    NEXT STEPS: Above the CNN Line
    How do we get from being below the CNN line to the next step? The path is fairly clear. The United Nations Security Council will fall short of imposing serious sanctions on Iran. The United States, then, will look for a coalition of the willing to implement smart sanctions, focused on the Iranian leadership.
    But the sanctions will be designed less to ensure compliance from the Iranians than to generate domestic and international support for the American position. I do not know an Iranian specialist I trust who believes that the sanctions would cause the Iranians to abandon their nuclear program, any more than did the sanctions on India and Pakistan after their nuclear tests in 1998. The sanctions will be used to raise the collective conscience that Iran is a threat, and to convince the world that the United States has tried diplomatic solutions.
    If the experience of 1979 and other sanctions scenarios is a guide, sanctions will actually empower the conservative leadership in Iran. There is an irony here. It is a pattern that seems to be playing out in the selection of the military option. From diplomacy to sanctions, the administration is not making good-faith efforts to avert a war so much as going through the motions, eliminating other possible strategies of engagement, until the only option left on the table is the military one.
    When imposing the sanctions fails to alter Tehran’s position, policymakers will revert to a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. One can imagine the words of a planner in the meeting: “If we are going to do this, let’s make certain we get everything they have.” I have done some rough “targeting” of nuclear facilities for which I can find satellite photos on the Web. By my calculation, an attack of relatively high certainty on nuclear targets would require 400 aim points. (An aim point is the specific location where an individual weapon is directed. Most targets would have multiple aim points.) I estimate seventy-five of these aim points would require penetrating weapons. (See Table 1, page 12.)
    But it is unlikely that a U.S. military planner would want to stop there. Iran probably has two chemical weapons production plants. He would want to hit those. He would want to hit Iran’s medium-range ballistic missiles that have just recently been moved closer to Iraq. There are fourteen airfields with sheltered aircraft. Although the Iranian Air Force is not much of a threat, some of these airfields are less than fifteen minutes flying time from Baghdad. Military planners would want to eliminate that potential threat. The Pentagon would want to hit the assets that could be used to threaten Gulf shipping. That would mean targeting cruise missile sites, Iranian diesel submarines, and Iranian naval assets.
    TABLE 1. TARGETS IN IRAN
    Initial strikes Follow-on strikes
    Nuclear facilities Revolutionary Guard bases.
    Military air bases Command and governance assets:
    Air defense command and control Intelligence
    Terrorist training camps Military command
    Chemical facilities Radio and television
    Medium-range ballistic missiles Communications
    23rd Commando Division Security forces in Tehran.
    Gulf-threatening assets:
    Submarines Leadership: targeted killing.
    Anti-ship missiles
    Naval ships
    Small boats
    After going through the analysis, I believe that the United States can and will conduct the operation by itself. There may be low-visibility support from Israel and the U.K., and France may be consulted. But it will be an American operation.
    What about casualties? Although the United States would suffer casualties in the Iranian retaliation, the honest answer to the president if he asks about losses during the strike itself is that there probably will not be any. The only aircraft penetrating deep
    into Iranian airspace will be the B-2s at night. B-52s will stand off, firing cruise missiles. Other missile attacks will come from Navy ships firing at a safe distance.
    Targeting the Nuclear Program? Or the Regime?
    Air-target planners orchestrate strikes on the basis of desired target destruction criteria. In the case of an attack on Iran, after five nights of bombing, we can be relatively certain of target destruction. It is even possible to project the degree to which parts of the Iranian nuclear program would be set back. For example, using Web pictures of the Natanz enrichment facility, it is possible to see three years worth of construction. An attack on that construction might appear to set the program back three years. But it is hard to judge. David Kay, the former top U.S. weapons inspector, observed during our discussions that there is the program we see, but there is also the program we do not see. Because of the gaps in U.S. intelligence on Iran, and specifically on Iran’s nuclear program, American military leaders are growing increasingly uneasy about the reliability and comprehensiveness of target selection. In other words, after the five-night military attack we would not be able with any degree of certainty to say how we had impacted the Iranian nuclear program.
    If this uncertainty does not appear to worry the proponents of air strikes in Iran it is in no small part because the real U.S. policy objective is not merely to eliminate the nuclear program, but to overthrow the regime. It is hard to believe, after the misguided talk prior to Iraq of how American troops would be greeted with flowers and welcomed as liberators, but those inside and close to the administration who are arguing for an air strike against Iran actually sound as if they believe the regime in Tehran can be eliminated by air attacks.
    In this case, the concept is not a ground force Thunder Run into Tehran of the sort used in Baghdad. It is a decapitation-based concept. Kill the leadership and enable the people of Iran to take over their government. More reasonable leadership will emerge.
    Under this concept, the air operation would take longer than the five nights. The targets would be expanded. The Revolutionary Guard units would be attacked since according to the argument they are the primary force that keeps the current regime in power. There are other regime protection units in Tehran. Most important, the U.S. operation would move into targeted killing, seeking to eliminate the leadership of Iran.
    It sounds simple. Air planners always tell a good story. By the same token, they almost always fall short of their promises, even in strictly military terms. That was true in World War II. It was true in Korea. It was true in Vietnam. It has just proved true with the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah. No serious expert on Iran believes the argument about enabling a regime change. On the contrary, whereas the presumed goal is to weaken or disable the leadership and then replace it with others who would improve relations between Iran and the United States, it is far more likely that such strikes would strengthen the clerical leadership and turn the United States into Iran’s permanent enemy.
    Iran’s Response
    Having demonstrated that air strikes are unlikely either to eliminate the nuclear program or to bring about the overthrow of the Islamic regime in Iran, we must now turn to what, precisely, they would achieve. It is important to remember that some of Iran’s threats, demonstrations of new weapons, and military exercises are designed to have a deterrent effect. As such we should not deduce too much about what Iran would do in the event of an attack on the basis of what it might say and do in advance of an attack. A former CIA Middle East Station Chief told me once that predicting the consequences of a strategic event in the Middle East was as difficult as predicting how an Alexander Calder mobile would come to rest after you flicked one of its hanging pieces.
    It is possible, however, to identify some high probability immediate consequences.
    The Iranians would likely look to target Israel as a response to a U.S. strike, using Hezbollah as the primary vehicle for retaliation. For Tehran, there is the added benefit that blaming Israel (even for a U.S. strike) would play well at home, and probably throughout the region.
    Moqtada al-Sadr has said publicly that if the United States were to attack Iran, he would target U.S. forces in Iraq.
    Iran could channel more individuals and weapons into Iraq. Specifically, Iran could upgrade technology among Shiite militias, with weapons like the laser-guided anti-tank missiles Hezbollah had in Lebanon. We might even see more direct operations like missile attacks against U.S. forces.
    Moqtada al-Sadr controls the large Facilities Protection Service forces in Iraq. Some estimates put this force as large as 140,000. Among other missions, they guard the oil pipelines. If Iran wants to cut the flow of oil, Iraq is the best place to begin, and the means are in place to take on the mission. The impact of severing Iraq’s oil supplies would be an immediate increase in its own oil revenue.
    Iran is not going to wipe Israel from the map or force the United States to leave Iraq with these operations. But in causing these various complications, Iran can still achieve a degree of success. As we recently witnessed in the clash between Hezbollah and Israel, Iran can seem stronger just by virtue of making the United States and Israel seem weaker.
    Round Two
    Once the nature of the Iranian retaliation becomes apparent, the United States will not likely declare success and walk away from the problem. Clearly, the pressure will be to expand the targets and punish Iran even more. The government of Iran is fragile, the thinking goes; it could even be on the verge of falling; it is time to “enable” the Iranian people. The Iranians will react with their own horizontal escalation. (See Table 2, page 16.)
    Iran has been sending mixed signals about whether or not it would cut its own oil production or attempt to restrict the flow of oil from the Gulf. A strike of five nights might not push them to cut the flow of oil. But continued operations probably would. Iran does have some flexibility to do without oil revenues for a period because of surpluses from currently high oil prices. In addition, it has plans for rationing refined petroleum products that it must import.
    Executing the oil option might not be limited to operations against tankers moving in and out of the Gulf. Iran has the capability, and we have seen some indications of the intent, to attack facilities of other oil providers in the region.
    It would be tougher for Iran and Hezbollah to attack UN forces in Lebanon. If the UN forces were to become too aggressive in response to Hezbollah attacks against Israel, they would most likely become targets. In addition, at some point in the expanding conflict, Iran might see a value to making the war about attempts at Western domination of the region and not just about the United States and Israel. In that case, a focused attack on something like the Italian headquarters would resonate in the region.
    It took a while for the nations of the region to react to the Israeli attack into Lebanon. That most likely would be the case in the event of a U.S. strike against Iran. As attacks continued and as the television coverage intensified, however, we could see something similar to the reactions to the Danish cartoons. We could see the “Arab Street” asserting itself.
    Syria and Iran signed a defense agreement on June 15. Under this agreement Syrian forces would be brought into a fight if Iran were attacked. Syrian President Bashar Assad might be a reluctant participant, but as the conflict expands, he might not have a choice.
    The Iranians could conduct targeted killing outside the region. They have used this tactic in the past: in 1991, Shapour Bakhtiar, the Shah’s last prime minister, was decapitated in his apartment in Paris.
    Continued air strikes and demonstrations could have a compounding effect. Weak governments in the Muslim world could be threatened. The governments of Pakistan, Jordan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are vulnerable.
    TABLE 2. CONSEQUENCES OF AN ATTACK
    Type of Operation
    Short strike Regime change
    Hezbollah attacks on Israel High probability High probability.
    Attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq High probability High probability.
    Sabotage pipelines in Iraq High probability High probability.
    Street demonstrations on a wide scale Possible High probability.
    Hezbollah attacks outside the region Possible High probability.
    Iran stopping its own oil exports Possible High probability.
    Iran blocking Gulf oil flow High probability High probability.
    Iran attacking other regional oil facilities Possible Possible.
    Iran suicide attacks Not likely Possible.
    Syria involved Not likely Possible.
    Threats to regional governments Not likely Possible.
    As an obvious consequence of the instability resulting from a U.S. strike, the price of oil almost certainly will spike. The impact will depend on how high and how long. The longer the conflict goes, the higher the price. A former Kuwaiti oil minister privately suggested a plateau of $125 per barrel. Confidential analysis by a major European bank suggests it would level off at $130, and a very conservative estimate would be over $200.
    With prices surging to this level, third order consequences become apparent. The most obvious would be a global, synchronized recession, intensified by the existing U.S. trade and fiscal imbalances. Another political consequence would be that oil exporting countries outside the region would enjoy significant surges in revenue from higher prices. As a result, countries such as Venezuela and Russia would enjoy expanded influence while the West would be reeling from recession.
    I should note that in the preceding discussion of the cycle of action and reaction, I have not mentioned large U.S. ground unit formations. That is because I do not believe we will come to a point where that option will make sense to policymakers. This is the one lesson the administration seems to have learned from Iraq–occupation does not work. And that realization brings us back to why the air strike option has been so attractive to the administration from the beginning.
    When Is the Strike?
    When does it all come together? When could the United States pull the trigger on the military option? The most important point in understanding the window for an attack is that the military preparations will not be the determining factor. This operation will not resemble the six months of preparations for Operation Desert Shield in 1990. The preparations will be much less visible than the movements to the region in early 2003. We will not read about discussions with Turkey for basing permission. It will not be a major CNN event.
    Instead, preparations will involve the quiet deployment of Air Force tankers to staging bases. We will see additional Navy assets moved to the region. The more significant indications will come from strategic influence efforts to establish domestic political support. The round of presidential speeches on terrorism is a beginning, but I expect more. An emerging theme for the final marketing push seems to be that Iran threatens Israel’s existence. We can expect the number of administration references to Iran to significantly increase, and will see three themes–the nuclear program, terrorism, and the threat to Israel’s existence.
    The issue of congressional approval plays into the timing question. Administration officials have been asked numerous times if the president would require authorization by Congress for a strike on Iran. Secretary Rice responded to that question before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October 2005 by saying, “I will not say anything that constrains his authority as Command in Chief.” Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Maurice Hinchey offered an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill in June that would have required the president to get authorization from Congress before taking military action against Iran. The amendment failed.
    Over the past few months, we have seen numerous leaks and administration documents that raise an Iran-al Qaeda connection. In addition, the House Permanent Select Committee report on the threat of Iran implied an al Qaeda connection. This linkage of Iran and al Qaeda fits neatly into the broader effort to sell a strike to the American people. But more importantly, it opens the way for an argument that a strike on Iran was part of the global war on terrorism already authorized by Congress.
    In other words, approval by Congress does not necessarily have to be part of the calculation of when an attack could take place. If the determining factor of timing is neither the preparation of military forces nor congressional approval, one question remains: How much public support do decisionmakers believe they need before pulling the trigger? And that question brings us back to the beginning of the summer of diplomacy. Vice President Cheney had to be convinced that it was necessary to give some lip service to diplomacy, checking that box in order to secure public support. President Bush seems to be convinced of the rightness of his cause and vision. He repeats often that he does not care about public opinion.
    The window for a strike on Iran stands open.
    Finally
    Policymakers who begin with the seven “truths” of the situation can easily proceed down a path that leaves the military option as the only one on the table. There is a certain inevitability to this path, a certain inexorability to the momentum toward war. The policymakers will say that the Iranians have forced us to go in this direction. But the painful irony is that these policymakers are forcing the direction on themselves.
    At the end of the path that the administration seems to have chosen, will the issues with Iran be resolved? No. Will the region be better off? No. Is it clear Iran will abandon its nuclear program? No. On the other hand, can Iran defeat the United States militarily? No.
    Will the United States force a regime change in Iran? In all probability it will not. Will the economy of the United States suffer? In all probability it will.
    Will the United States have weakened its position in the Middle East? Yes. Will the United States have reduced its influence in the world? Yes.
    When I finished the 2004 Iran war game exercise, I summarized what I had learned in the process. After all the effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers. “You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. You have to make diplomacy work.” I have not changed my mind. That conclusion made sense then. It still makes sense today.
    Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 1-1/3 minutes to my dear friend and distinguished colleague on the International Relations Committee, the Congresswoman from Nevada (Ms. Berkley).
    Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend Mr. Lantos for yielding to me.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation. Each day brings something new from Iran, a new boast, a new rant, a new threat. Yet we have made little progress in convincing our allies that the Iranian regime means business, and that business is funding and supplying terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, wiping Israel off the face of the map and denying the Holocaust.
    We must not allow them to acquire the means to carry out their ambitions. It would be difficult to overstate the danger Iran represents. Unchecked Iranian nuclear proliferation, combined with increasing support for international terrorism, poses a grave threat to United States forces in the Middle East, moderate Islamic Arab countries in the region, the State of Israel. And a nuclear Iran poses just as much of a threat to Europe as it does to the countries in the Middle East.
    Incomprehensibly, many of our allies seem oblivious to these dangers. Their strategy of negotiations, incentives, and concessions are not working. Stronger measures are necessary. This bill will ramp up the pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions and cooperate with the international community.
    Iran is a radical fundamentalist country headed by a President who I believe is as dangerous to the world community in the 21st century as Hitler was in the 20th century. Every time this man opens his mouth, he proves it. We must deny Iran the technology and financial resources that will enable this regime to carry out its threats.
    I urge support of this bill.

    Reply

  10. MP says:

    Maybe you can post it sdemetri. Your link expired.

    Reply

  11. sdemetri says:

    Carroll, this is for you. It starts at:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r109:2:./temp/~r109i1yrve:b39033:
    The good part starts about half way down the page with Kucinich’s comments. The really interesting part is the report by Sam Gardiner, retired USAF colonel, The End of the “Summer of Diplomacy”: Assessing U.S. Military Options on Iran.

    Reply

  12. pauline says:

    I heard this guy, Alfred McCoy, a few months ago on NPR. He has written an eye-opening book, “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror”.
    Here’s the American Library Assoc’s take on it —
    “Current events have precipitated a number of recent books connecting executive-branch policy makers with Abu Ghraib and other torture scandals, and McCoy is not the first author to argue that American use of torture in intelligence gathering has been deliberate and systematic rather than accidental. This book is unique, however, in connecting the dots all the way back to early cold war mind-control research, reminding readers that the CIA has been an innovator in modern torture methods. Incorporating simple yet brutally effective techniques of psychological manipulation involving isolation, disorientation, and destruction of personal identity, McCoy argues, the modern CIA interrogation manual is premised on university and army research into the psychology of coercion. As in his earlier work on CIA complicity in the global heroin trade, McCoy is adept at tracing the inertia of government practice; his research on the effect of torture on the Philippine armed forces likewise shows policy in practice and demonstrates that psychological torture is at least as scarring as thumbscrews. Timely and compelling.”
    With Congress now passing legislation that rubber stamps the bush neo-con crap, it eliminates the entire US judicial system by using miltary tribunals. Why are the bush zionist neo-cons fighting so hard for those military tribunals? Because the tribunals will enable them to directly control both the proceeding and the outcome of the proceedings.
    Now that it’s “legal” to do a little waterboarding to detainees — whether they are guilty or innocent — McCoy in his book expertly describes how waterboarding and other torture methods give FALSE reuslts. The Canadian muslim who was totally forgiven by the Canadian courts, but sent overseas to a CIA rendition secret prison said that after enough waterboarding he would say “yes” to his torturers no matter what, even though he was absolutely inncoent of ANY form of terrorism. He just wanted the torture to stop. McCoy states exactly the same in his book –torture gives the torturers the ability to get the answers they want — not the CORRECT answers, just answers they want.
    So, imo, when the bush neo-cons can claim the detainees admitted to this or that, they are doing the torture to justify their own sick behaviors.
    I never thought I would live in the USA and have a president who is proud of torturing people, of killing thousands and thousands of innocent people including the needless shedding of Amercian blood in Iraq, and Congress now acquiesces with this latest legislation, and gives bush a free pass on any charges he’s guilty of war crimes. Very convenient!
    Torture, btw, was always on the fed books as being illegal. Not any longer, my fellow Americans!

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    As Kay said to Michael in The Godfather “it is time for all “this”, this “Sicilian” thing to end. Well, it is time for this “Israeli” thing to end.
    Israel violated the U.N.-drawn border with Lebanon, U.N. peacekeeping official says
    The Associated Press
    Published: September 28, 2006
    BEIRUT, Lebanon Israel violated the U.N.-drawn border it shares with Lebanon on Thursday, six weeks after a cease-fire between the Jewish state and Hezbollah guerrillas went into effect in the region, the spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon said.
    The spokesman would not provide details about the violation, but an Associated Press photographer who witnessed the incident said an Israeli armored vehicle and two jeeps drove through the border fence and tried to penetrate further into Lebanese territory when U.N. French peacekeepers blocked their path.
    “The French peacekeepers observed an Israeli violation of the Blue Line and reported it to the UNIFIL command,” Ivanko said, referring to the U.N.-demarcated line between Lebanon and Israel.
    The AP photographer said he saw French peacekeepers talk with Israeli soldiers after U.N. tanks blocked the Israeli vehicle and jeeps from driving further into Lebanon. After a peaceful standoff that lasted about a half hour, the Israeli armored vehicle and the two jeeps moved back into Israel, and U.N. peacekeepers remained at the site, the photographer said.
    Flashback……
    Israel Charged with Systematic Harassment of U.S. Marines
    By Donald Neff
    Former Time Magazine Bureau Chief, Israel
    Washington Report, March 1995
    It was 12 years ago, on March 14, 1983, that the commandant of the Marine Corps sent a highly unusual letter to the secretary of defense expressing frustration and anger at Israel. General R.H. Barrow charged that Israeli troops were deliberately threatening the lives of Marines serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon. There was, he wrote, a systematic pattern of harassment by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that was resulting in “life-threatening situations, replete with verbal degradation of the officers, their uniform and country.”
    Barrow’s letter added: “It is inconceivable to me why Americans serving in peacekeeping roles must be harassed, endangered by an ally…It is evident to me, and the opinion of the U.S. commanders afloat and ashore, that the incidents between the Marines and the IDF are timed, orchestrated, and executed for obtuse Israeli political purposes.”1
    Israel’s motives were less obtuse than the diplomatic general pretended. It was widely believed then, and now, that Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, one of Israel’s most Machiavellian politician-generals, was creating the incidents deliberately in an effort to convince Washington that the two forces had to coordinate their actions in order to avoid such tensions. This, of course, would have been taken by the Arabs as proof that the Marines were not really in Lebanon as neutral peacekeepers but as allies of the Israelis, a perception that would have obvious advantages for Israel.2
    Barrow’s extraordinary letter was indicative of the frustrations and miseries the Marines suffered during their posting to Lebanon starting on Aug. 25, 1982, as a result of Israel’s invasion 11 weeks earlier. Initially a U.S. unit of 800 men was sent to Beirut harbor as part of a multinational force to monitor the evacuation of PLO guerrillas from Beirut. The Marines, President Reagan announced, “in no case… would stay longer than 30 days.”3 This turned out to be only partly true. They did withdraw on Sept. 10, but a reinforced unit of 1,200 was rushed back 15 days later after the massacres at the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila that accompanied the Israeli seizure of West Beirut. The U.S. forces remained until Feb. 26, 1984.4
    During their year-and-a-half posting in Lebanon, the Marines suffered 268 killed.5 The casualties started within a week of the return of the Marines in September 1982. On the 30th, a U.S.-made cluster bomb left behind by the Israelis exploded, killing Corporal David Reagan and wounding three other Marines.6
    Corporal Reagan’s death represented the dangers of the new mission of the Marines in Lebanon. While their first brief stay had been to separate Israeli forces from Palestinian fighters evacuating West Beirut, their new mission was as part of a multinational force sent to prevent Israeli troops from attacking the Palestinian civilians left defenseless there after the withdrawal of PLO forces. As President Reagan said: “For this multinational force to succeed, it is essential that Israel withdraw from Beirut.”7
    “Incidents are timed, orchestrated, and executed for Israeli political purposes.”
    Israel’s siege of Beirut during the summer of 1982 had been brutal and bloody, reaching a peak of horror on Aug. 12, quickly known as Black Thursday. On that day, Sharon’s forces launched at dawn a massive artillery barrage that lasted for 11 straight hours and was accompanied by saturation air bombardment.8 As many as 500 persons, mainly Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, were killed.9
    On top of the bombardment came the massacres the next month at Sabra and Shatila, where Sharon’s troops allowed Lebanese Maronite killers to enter the camps filled with defenseless civilians. The massacres sickened the international community and pressure from Western capitals finally forced Israel to withdraw from Beirut in late September. Troops from Britain, France, Italy and the United States were interposed between the Israeli army and Beirut, with U.S. Marines deployed in the most sensitive area south of Beirut at the International Airport, directly between Israeli troops and West Beirut.
    It was at the airport that the Marines would suffer their Calvary over the next year. Starting in January 1983, small Israeli units began probing the Marine lines. At first the effort appeared aimed at discovering the extent of Marine determination to resist penetration. The lines proved solid and the Marines’ determination strong. Israeli troops were politely but firmly turned away. Soon the incidents escalated, with both sides pointing loaded weapons at each other but no firing taking place. Tensions were high enough by late January that a special meeting between U.S. and Israeli officers was held in Beirut to try to agree on precise boundaries beyond which the IDF would not penetrate.10
    No Stranger to the Marines
    However, on Feb. 2 a unit of three Israeli tanks, led by Israeli Lt. Col. Rafi Landsberg, tried to pass through Marine/Lebanese Army lines at Rayan University Library in south Lebanon. By this time, Landsberg was no stranger to the Marines. Since the beginning of January he had been leading small Israeli units in probes against the Marine lines, although such units would normally have a commander no higher than a sergeant or lieutenant. The suspicion grew that Sharon’s troops were deliberately provoking the Marines and Landsberg was there to see that things did not get out of hand. The Israeli tactics were aimed more at forcing a joint U.S.-Israeli strategy than merely probing lines.
    In the Feb. 2 incident, the checkpoint was commanded by Marine Capt. Charles Johnson, who firmly refused permission for Landsberg to advance. When two of the Israeli tanks ignored his warning to halt, Johnson leaped on Landsberg’s tank with pistol drawn and demanded Landsberg and his tanks withdraw. They did.
    Landsberg and the Israeli embassy in Washington tried to laugh off the incident, implying that Johnson was a trigger-happy John Wayne type and that the media were exaggerating a routine event. Landsberg even went so far as to claim that he smelled alcohol on Johnson’s breath and that drunkenness must have clouded his reason. Marines were infuriated because Johnson was well known as a teetotaler. Americans flocked to Johnson’s side. He received hundreds of letters from school children, former Marines and from Commandant Barrow. It was a losing battle for the Israelis and Landsberg soon dropped from sight.
    But the incidents did not stop. These now included “helicopter harassment,” by which U.S.-made helicopters with glaring spotlights were flown by the Israelis over Marine positions at night, illuminating Marine outposts and exposing them to potential attack. As reports of these incidents piled up, Gen. Barrow received a letter on March 12 from a U.S. Army major stationed in Lebanon with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO). The letter described a systematic pattern of Israeli attacks and provocations against UNTSO troops, including instances in which U.S. officers were singled out for “near-miss” shootings, abuse and detention.13 That same day two Marine patrols were challenged and cursed by Israeli soldiers.14
    Two days later Barrow wrote his letter to Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, who endorsed it and sent it along to the State Department. High-level meetings were arranged and the incidents abated, perhaps largely because by this time Ariel Sharon had been fired as defense minister. He had been found by an Israeli commission to have had “personal responsibility” for the Sabra and Shatila massacres.15
    Despite the bad taste left from the clashes with the Israelis, in fact no Marines had been killed in the incidents and their lines had been secure up to the end of winter in 1983. Then Islamic guerrillas, backed by Iran, became active. On the night of April 17, 1983, an unknown sniper fired a shot that went through the trousers of a Marine sentry but did not harm him. For the first time, the Marines returned fire.16
    The next day, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up by a massive bomb, with the loss of 63 lives. Among the 17 Americans killed were CIA Mideast specialists, including Robert C. Ames, the agency’s top Middle East expert.17 Disaffected former Israeli Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky later claimed that Israel had advance information about the bombing plan but had decided not to inform the United States, a claim denied by Israel.18 The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Veteran correspondent John Cooley considered the attack “the day [Iranian leader Ayatollah] Khomeini’s offensive against America in Lebanon began in earnest.”19
    Still, it was not until four months later, on Aug. 28, that Marines came under direct fire by rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at International Airport. They returned fire with M-16 rifles and M-60 machine guns. The firefight resumed the next day with Marines firing 155mm artillery, 81mm mortars and rockets from Cobra helicopter gunships against Shi’i Muslim positions. Two Marines were killed and 14 wounded in the exchange, the first casualties in actual combat since the Marines had landed the previous year.20
    From this time on, the combat involvement of the Marines grew. Their actions were generally seen as siding with Israel against Muslims, slowly changing the status of the Marines as neutral peacekeepers to opponents of the Muslims.21 Israel could hardly have wished for more. The polarization meant that increasingly the conflict was being perceived in terms of the U.S., Israel and Lebanon’s Christians against Iran, Islam and Lebanon’s Shi’i Muslims.
    Accelerating the Conflict
    Israel accelerated the building conflict on Sept. 3, 1993 by unilaterally withdrawing its troops southward, leaving the Marines exposed behind their thin lines at the airport. The United States had asked the Israeli government to delay its withdrawal until the Marines could be replaced by units of the Lebanese army, but Israel refused.22 The result was as feared. Heavy fighting immediately broke out between the Christian Lebanese Forces and the pro-Syrian Druze units, both seeking to occupy positions evacuated by Israel, while the Marines were left in the crossfire.23 On Sept. 5, two Marines were killed and three wounded as fighting escalated between Christian and Muslim militias.24
    In an ill-considered effort to subdue the combat, the Sixth Fleet frigate Bowen fired several five-inch naval guns, hitting Druze artillery positions in the Chouf Mountains that were firing into the Marine compound at Beirut airport.25 It was the first time U.S. ships had fired into Lebanon, dramatically raising the level of combat. But the Marines’ exposed location on the flat terrain of the airport left them in an impossible position. On Sept. 12, three more Marines were wounded.26
    On Sept. 13, President Reagan authorized what was called aggressive self-defense for the Marines, including air and naval strikes.27 Five days later the United States essentially joined the war against the Muslims when four U.S. warships unleashed the heaviest naval bombardment since Vietnam into Syrian and Druze positions in eastern Lebanon in support of the Lebanese Christians.28 The bombardment lasted for three days and was personally ordered by National Security Council director Robert McFarlane, a Marine Corps officer detailed to the White House who was in Lebanon at the time and was also a strong supporter of Israel and its Lebanese Maronite Christian allies. McFarlane issued the order despite the fact that the Marine commander at the airport, Colonel Timothy Geraghty, strenuously argued against it because, in the words of correspondent Thomas L. Friedman, “he knew that it would make his soldiers party to what was now clearly an intra-Lebanese fight, and that the Lebanese Muslims would not retaliate against the Navy’s ships at sea but against the Marines on shore.”29
    By now, the Marines were under daily attack and Muslims were charging they were no longer neutral.30 At the same time the battleship USS New Jersey, with 16-inch guns, arrived off Lebanon, increasing the number of U.S. warships offshore to 14. Similarly, the Marine contingent at Beirut airport was increased from 1,200 to 1,600.31
    A Tragic Climax
    The fight now was truly joined between the Shi’i Muslims and the Marines, who were essentially pinned down in their airport bunkers and under orders not to take offensive actions. The tragic climax of their predicament came on Oct. 23, when a Muslim guerrilla drove a truck past guards at the Marine airport compound and detonated an explosive with the force of 12,000 pounds of dynamite under a building housing Marines and other U.S. personnel. Almost simultaneously, a car-bomb exploded at the French compound in Beirut. Casualties were 241 Americans and 58 French troops killed. The bombings were the work of Hezbollah, made up of Shi’i Muslim guerrillas supported by Iran.;32
    America’s agony increased on Dec. 3, when two carrier planes were downed by Syrian missiles during heavy U.S. air raids on eastern Lebanon.;33 On the same day, eight Marines were killed in fighting with Muslim militiamen around the Beirut airport.;34
    By the start of 1984, an all-out Shi’i Muslim campaign to rid Lebanon of all Americans was underway. The highly respected president of the American University of Beirut, Dr. Malcolm Kerr, a distinguished scholar of the Arab world, was gunned down on Jan. 18 outside his office by Islamic militants aligned with Iran.;35 On Feb. 5, Reagan made one of his stand-tall speeches by saying that “the situation in Lebanon is difficult, frustrating and dangerous. But this is no reason to turn our backs on friends and to cut and run.”;36
    The next day Professor Frank Regier, a U.S. citizen teaching at AUB, was kidnapped by Muslim radicals.;37 Regier’s kidnapping was the beginning of a series of kidnappings of Americans in Beirut that would hound the Reagan and later the Bush administrations for years and lead to the eventual expulsion of nearly all Americans from Lebanon where they had prospered for more than a century. Even today Americans still are prohibited from traveling to Lebanon.
    The day after Regier’s kidnapping, on Feb. 7, 1984, Reagan suddenly reversed himself and announced that all U.S. Marines would shortly be “redeployed.” The next day the battleship USS New Jersey fired 290 rounds of one-ton shells from its 16-inch guns into Lebanon as a final act of U.S. frustration.;38 Reagan’s “redeployment” was completed by Feb. 26, when the last of the Marines retreated from Lebanon.
    The mission of the Marines had been a humiliating failure?not because they failed in their duty but because the political backbone in Washington was lacking. The Marines had arrived in 1982 with all sides welcoming them. They left in 1984 despised by many and the object of attacks by Muslims. Even relations with Israel were strained, if not in Washington where a sympathetic Congress granted increased aid to the Jewish state to compensate it for the costs of its bungled invasion, then between the Marines and Israeli troops who had confronted each other in a realpolitik battlefield that was beyond their competence or understanding. The Marine experience in Lebanon did not contribute toward a favorable impression of Israel among many Americans, especially since the Marines would not have been in Lebanon except for Israel’s unprovoked invasion.
    This negative result is perhaps one reason a number of Israelis and their supporters today oppose sending U.S. peacekeepers to the Golan Heights as part of a possible Israeli-Syrian peace treaty. A repeat of the 1982-84 experience would certainly not be in Israel’s interests at a time when its supporters are seeking to have a budget-conscious Congress continue unprecedented amounts of aid to Israel.
    RECOMMENDED READING:
    Frank, Benis M., U.S. Marines in Lebanon: 1982-1984, History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, DC, 1987.
    MacBride, Sean, Israel in Lebanon: The Report of the International Commission to enquire into reported violations of international law by Israel during its invasion of Lebanon, London, Ithaca Press, 1983.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Also, I do believe Olmert is seriously insane or determined to commit suicide by hubris on himself or Israel or both. Maybe it will be a double suicide, the US and Isr at the same time.
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=75788

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Another btw…
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/5388426.stm
    Says the British Defence Ministry
    “The West will not be able to find peaceful exit strategies from Iraq and Afghanistan – creating greater animosity…and a return to violence and radicalisation on their leaving. The enemy it has identified (terrorism) is the wrong target. As an idea it cannot be defeated.”
    “As an idea it cannot be defeated”…
    Isrmerica has opened the gates of hell and now they can’t get it closed.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    BTW…here are the votes on the torture bill:
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll491.xml
    7 republicans voted against it and 34 dems for it.
    My congressman Jones was one of the repubs who voted against it.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Here you go POA…ignore the turkeys, fly with the eagles.
    “Who is the Happy warrior?
    Who is he that every man in arms should wish to be?..
    Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
    Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not–
    Plays, in the many games of life, that one
    Where what he most doth value must be won:
    Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
    Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
    Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
    Looks forward, persevering to the last,
    From well to better, daily self-surpast:
    Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
    For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
    Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
    And leave a dead unprofitable name–
    Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
    And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
    His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause:
    This is the happy Warrior; this is He
    That every Man in arms should wish to be.”
    ..Wordsworth

    Reply

  18. Carroll says:

    Well, all the political in’s and out’s are worth following……but my main concern and where my eyeball is…is on the nutcases that have their fingers on the nuke button. And I am talking about the nutcases here not there. They have already made premptive nuke strikes their doctrine..think they won’t use it? They are “looking” for a reason to use it in the ME. You think congress would or could stop them? I don’t.
    THAT…is the threat that is on my mind more and more lately.

    Reply

  19. ET says:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Dylan Thomas
    For POA, with thanks for your posts.
    http://tinyurl.com/hnan6

    Reply

  20. Pissed Off American says:

    “The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example.”
    George Bush, June, 2003.
    What an asshole.
    Did anyone else see Tony Snow this morning, trying to spin the gist of the NIE? It was embarrassing. If you aren’t ashamed of our country’s current leadership, than you don’t have a clue what this country used to stand for.

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    Here ya go. Support the businesses that are supporting Olbermann…….
    http://tinyurl.com/jhkh6

    Reply

  22. Pissed Off American says:

    Oops, what the hell is a “syomach”??? I meant to type “stomach”.

    Reply

  23. Pissed Off American says:

    “I’ve got news for you, “POA,” your anonymous, online trolling and sniping ain’t doing NOTHING to create the change you want to see.”
    How was the Jungle Ride? Did the hippo spit on you?

    Reply

  24. Pissed Off American says:

    “We need pols with courage and conviction and savvy and clout, and they are in short supply.”
    Well, MP, thats why Steve’s insipid words of charity towards Bolton, quite frankly, turns my syomach.

    Reply

  25. Pissed Off American says:

    “You sure have all the answers, idiot.”
    Listen, the “idiots” are the lying sons of a bitches that are drooling “they hate us because of our freedoms”.
    (By the way, shove it.)

    Reply

  26. MP says:

    POA…this blog has lost 90% of its appeal to me.
    It’s not the blog POA. It’s our society. The right has shanghai-ed the country’s politics and no one has figured out a good way to steer the ship in a different direction. We didn’t have the votes to defeat the torture bill. And Bush has the Dems on the run again on the terrorism issue. We need pols with courage and conviction and savvy and clout, and they are in short supply. In fact, I’m not sure I can think of one right at the moment. The key is to frame the discussion in a new way that reaches into people’s deepest feelings and aspirations for themselves and the country. Think JFK and FDR. That’s the order of magnitude we need. Clinton had tons of political skill (loved the way he stuck it to Wallace) but no real vision. Obama has potential.

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    House approves Iran sanctions
    The U.S. House of Representatives approved new sanctions against Iran.
    The Iran Freedom Support Act, approved in a voice vote Thursday, would extend existing sanctions, scheduled to lapse Friday, and expand them to include overseas companies that deal with Iran.
    The Senate is due to consider the act, sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), before Congress breaks Friday for midterm elections.
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which led lobbying for the act, praised its passage.
    “The passage of IFSA is an important step in further isolating the radical regime in Tehran, and represents a unified American commitment from both the administration and Congress toward ensuring that Iran does not obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons,” AIPAC said in a statement.
    >>>>>>>>>
    The cabal in congress marches righ on.

    Reply

  28. pauline says:

    poa wrote:
    And all this horseshit parlayin’ you guys are doing at these “projects” or “conferences” ain’t going to amount to much more than a hill of beans.
    Come on guys, get your heads out of your asses and start exercising something other than your egos. This isn’t rocket science.
    I can’t recall Steve starting one e-voting machine alert blog. Am I wrong here?
    Steve, hello, are you not seeing the huge threat to our democracy in e-voting machines that can so easily be electronically manipulated? Have you not seen the Lou Dobbs reports or the bradblog.com national reports and news stories?
    Really, imo, what good are all these projects and conferences if nothing more than excuses for facing much, much more important issues at hand.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Thanks to Paul Craig Roberts.
    And I want to add another issue to the
    “empire” question by pointing out we have to attack the cabal in congress that aids the neo’s. And here is an excellent example:
    I was looking thru the schedule for the house today and saw that Rep Lleana Ros-Lehtinen is still cranking out bills and resolutions to drum up sanctions for an attack on Iran. Ros-Lehtinen and Tom Lantos are the two Israelifundmentalist who head up the AIPAC cabal in congress. For everything some rational person does to try to bring some sense to the ME problem and Isr/Pal, they lead the charge for right wing AIPAC in the house that prevents it and further damages America around the world.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:H.R.6198:
    I invite you to look thru the Ros-Lehtinen bills for the year and see how many you can find that aren’t pushing the Israeli interest in Iran and the ME..about three out of twenty…I also invite you to click on the list of sponsors and see that the same names appear on almost every bill aimed at overthrowing Iran and Syria and punishing Palestine….these are your Israeli firsters of the militant variety. They have to go…we spend a lot of time on just this “adm” and not enough on the threat within congress from this cabal. And cabal is the correct term for them.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d109&querybd=@FIELD(FLD003+@4((@1(Rep+Ros-Lehtinen++Ileana))+00985))
    And as far as bipartisian goes, it is not a matter of dem or repub on this issue. My repub rep, Walter Jones, was as late as this past week, still trying to get to the bottom of the cabal in the Feith pentagon office of special plans. He thinks that those who lied us into war should be held responsible and steps taken to ensure this can’t happen again. I agree.
    This…
    http://www.forward.com/articles/gop-slanders-dems-with-%e2%80%98anti-israel%e2%80%99-ads/
    ..has to be purged from our politics and our goverment. The interest of a FOREIGN country has no place, none, in “deciding” elections in this country.

    Reply

  30. huh? says:

    Carroll,
    You’re missing one very important point:
    I never claimed to have any answers!
    Anyone who thinks there are easy solutions to the intractable problems of this planet is a fool, much like the “Pissed Off American.”
    Do I think that Israel’s actions in lebanon or America’s actions in Iraq have produced anything positive?? Maybe not. But, on the flipside, do you think that Hezbollah’s actions in Lebanon or saddam’s actions in Iraq produced anything positive??
    I know that simple minds need to view the world in simple ways, but I hope that the “Pissed Off American” will keep his bullshit to himself.
    What a joke that he would throw barbs at Steve Clemmons. Need I remind you that not only is Steve our host, but he is also doing something tangible and constructive to repair our government and its resulting policy.
    I’ve got news for you, “POA,” your anonymous, online trolling and sniping ain’t doing NOTHING to create the change you want to see.
    what a dummy.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    POA, you’re a genius! you’ve laid out the path to our salvation. that’s right, just stop bombing people and suddenly this bomb laden, militaristic world will bloom in endless peace. sure. just, seal our borders from those dangerous migrant workers trying to earn a few bucks doing what americans won’t and, yes, all our problems will cease.
    You sure have all the answers, idiot.
    Btw, I think that Pat Buchanan might be looking for a few good men.
    http://www.theamericancause.org/
    Posted by huh? at September 28, 2006 09:36 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Well huh what are your suggestions? You think Isr/Usa actions in Iraq and Lebanon have produced anything positive..for anyone?
    And what are you going to do with 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants when the US hits that real economic bad patch?

    Reply

  32. Rich says:

    Glassman, Mallaby, etc.: I’d rather see real partisans than hacks like these

    Reply

  33. Marcia says:

    Where are the these neocon fanatics going to get the money to finance yet another war?
    Now that they have accustomed the public, one hardly dares say citizens, to a bland discourse in which torture and nuking this country or that are considered just a question of choice comparable to going to the mall it is evident they plan what they want, make it public, if necessary through leaks, then proceed to act.
    It is blatant that “freedom and democracy” are the least of their considerations. L’URSS imploded quite rapidly and the meltdown of our own society seems well underway.
    If the new law that allows the president to declare whomever he choses an enemy combatant passes, the door is open to domestic abuse and detention. It is just a step away.
    Where is the opposition? Is that dreadful little Rove man really so formidable that the
    democrats in Congress are going to sell us out
    I thought we were supposed to be afraid of the terrorists.

    Reply

  34. huh? says:

    POA, you’re a genius! you’ve laid out the path to our salvation. that’s right, just stop bombing people and suddenly this bomb laden, militaristic world will bloom in endless peace. sure. just, seal our borders from those dangerous migrant workers trying to earn a few bucks doing what americans won’t and, yes, all our problems will cease.
    You sure have all the answers, idiot.
    Btw, I think that Pat Buchanan might be looking for a few good men.
    http://www.theamericancause.org/

    Reply

  35. PUBLIUS says:

    Mr. Roberts, I heartily agree with this quotation attributed to you:
    “Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.”
    The controlled flow of facts has done a lot to undermine the value of public discourse in this presidency and to consolidate extremist right wing ideology in all three branches of government. It’s no wonder the nation was sold a “pack of lies” as many of us succumbed to fraud during the pre-Iraq war WMD scare campaign.
    Video reminder of what may have inspired President Clinton’s recent truth telling intervention on Fox:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W1FZWML6wA
    As an aside, I view Steve is a moderate – an admirable, courtly, courteous, thoughtful moderate who likes moderation. So has he been in all of his dealings with me. There is a world of difference between valuing moderation and valuing centrism purely for the sake of sitting sanctimoniously on the fence or out of ignorance of the choices one faces. Steve Clemons is no firebrand, and his diplomatic approach to dealing with opponents and allies is an art to which many should aspire.

    Reply

  36. Paul Craig Roberts says:

    University of California Professor Jorge Hirsch, an authority on nuclear doctrine, believes that an American nuclear attack on Iran will destroy the Nonproliferation Treaty and send countries in pell-mell pursuit of nuclear weapons. We will see powerful nuclear alliances, such as Russia/China, form against us. Japan could be so traumatized by an American nuclear attack on Iran that it would mean the end of Japan’s sycophantic relationship to the U.S.
    There can be little doubt that the aggressive U.S. use of nukes in pursuit of hegemony would make America a pariah country, despised and distrusted by every other country. Neocons believe that diplomacy is feeble and useless, but that the unapologetic use of force brings forth cooperation in order to avoid destruction.
    Neoconservatives say that America is the new Rome, only more powerful than Rome. Neoconservatives genuinely believe that no one can withstand the might of the United States and that America can rule by force alone.
    Hirsch believes that the U.S. military’s opposition to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran has been overcome by the civilian neocon authorities in the Bush administration. Desperate to retrieve their drive toward hegemony from defeat in Iraq, the neocons are betting on the immense attraction to the American public of force plus success. It is possible that Bush will be blocked by Europe, Russia, and China, but there is no visible American opposition to Bush legitimizing the use of nuclear weapons at the behest of U.S. hegemony.
    It is astounding that such dangerous fanatics have control of the U.S. government and have no organized opposition in American politics.

    Reply

  37. .... says:

    >>this blog has lost 90% of its appeal to me<< poa… stick around for the other 10%, lol..

    Reply

  38. Pissed Off American says:

    Somehow, with Steve’s comments about Bolton being an appropriate candidate for “some other position” in the criminal Bush/Cheney Administration, this blog has lost 90% of its appeal to me. What the hell is Steve thinking? The whole God damned slew of these bastards need to be shown the door OUT of our capital, and INTO a federal prison. Isn’t anyone paying attention? This country is in DEEP SHIT, and it is getting deeper. And when you have Washington insiders who are self proclaimed progressives, or even “centrists”, that are finding redeeming qualities in some asshole like Bolton, and recommending that they stay on the taxpayer’s payroll, you really gotta wonder if the tittilation of rubbing elbows with these scumbags has robbed them of all common sense and integrity. Screw these Think Tank Yahoos. It is precisely these kind of self obsessed intellectual geeks that got this country in the mess we find it in today.
    Heres the deal, geniuses. If you bomb people’s children, or rob them of their dignity, or steal their country’s resources, or torture their brothers, or murder their mothers, then they grow up hating your fuckin’ guts. Can it get any simpler than that? Can you intellectual politically correct narcisistic power hungry grasping murderous worms wrap one of your over synapsed brain cells around this simple concept?
    You ain’t gonna have no “national security” as long as you are carpeting countries like Lebanon with cluster bombs and blowing up little kids.
    You ain’t gonna have no “national security” when a few thousand people are illegally strolling over your border on a daily basis.
    You ain’t gonna have no “national security” as long as you have a cabal of criminals squatting in the White House dolling our tax dollars out to outfits like this God damned Haliburton monstrosity, or shoveling it overseas into the Israeli’s defense coffers, or into Caymen Island banks.
    And until you assholes start breaking it up into SIMPLE COMMON SENSE conclusions like you see above, than this country is going to continue to slide right into the crapper like we see it doing today. And someday soon, if we don’t get our fucking act together, someone is going to hit the flush handle. And all this horseshit parlayin’ you guys are doing at these “projects” or “conferences” ain’t going to amount to much more than a hill of beans.
    Come on guys, get your heads out of your asses and start exercising something other than your egos. This isn’t rocket science.

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    Wow, Carroll. I’m baffled by your last comment. I don’t know where to begin, so I won’t.
    Carry on.
    Posted by huh? at September 27, 2006 10:51 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    You’re baffled? Why? I said call me a cynic.
    You should be more baffled by this…”On energy, the project called for going much further than the administration has proposed to reduce U.S. reliance on Middle East oil by adopting a tax on gasoline that would begin at 50 cents per gallon and increase by 20 cents per year for each of the next years.”

    Reply

  40. huh? says:

    Wow, Carroll. I’m baffled by your last comment. I don’t know where to begin, so I won’t.
    Carry on.

    Reply

  41. observer says:

    I was at today’s event. Mort Zuckerman and Timmerman have and had nothing to do with the princeton project. they were asked to appear on today’s panel to provide diversity of viewpoints. Neither agreed with the final report at all. Timmerman was overtly hostile.

    Reply

  42. Matthew says:

    MP; I just meant it might be nice to have some more background on who these people are. Granted, I could give up my job and spend my days googling every name who appears in the note, but it is sometimes nice for Steve to give us some “inside” commentary on these figures.

    Reply

  43. Matthew says:

    MP; I just meant it might be nice to have some more background on who these people are. Granted, I could give up my job and spend my days googling every name who appears in the note, but it is sometimes nice for Steve to give us some “inside” commentary on these figures.

    Reply

  44. help says:

    Any panel with Mortimer Zuckerman on its roster is immediately suspect in my view. To acquaint oneself with his viewpoints, the only thing necessary is to read a few of his (they always carry his imprimatur)editorials in the NY Daily News. Also, check out which columnists are being given access to his opinion page. That man has been beating the war drums for years. An amalgam of Perle, Feith and Krauthammer.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Call me a cynic.
    Zuckerman?…Glassman?..Marie, of the I am for premptive war unless we don’t find anything afterward in which case I am against it?
    The bipartisan conclusions?
    # “fusing hard power — the power to coerce — and soft power — the power to attract; and for “building frameworks of cooperation centred on common interests with other nations rather than insisting that they accept our prioritisation of common threats.”
    In other words divide and conquer…that “common interest” is a real kicker…a portion for the hunter, a portion for the fox.
    # The report calls for greater efforts to bring non-democratic governments “up to PAR” — that is, “a much more sophisticated strategy of creating the deeper conditions for successful liberal democracy — preconditions that extend far beyond the simple holding of elections.”
    In other words meddle more in other countries and do something about that nasty UN too.
    # (i)nstead of insisting on a doctrine of primacy, the United States should aim to sustain the military predominance of liberal democracies and encourage the development of military capabilities of like-minded democracies in a way that is consistent with their security interests.”
    In other words sell more arms to the friendlies and de-arm any objectors..why do you think Rubenstein is with the group. A nuke for you..no nuke for you.
    #While endorsing Bush’s position that “preventive strikes represent a necessary tool in fighting terror networks… they should be proportionate and based on intelligence that adheres to strict standards.” Similarly, the preventive use of force against states “should be very rare, employed only as a last resort and authorised by a multilateral institution — preferably a reformed Security Council…”
    In other words we must control the Security council or ‘build our own” because they aren’t agreeing with Isrmerican like they should.
    In addition to calling for greater U.S. effort and balance in promoting an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement and for offering security guarantees to Iran, the report urges Washington to reduce its ambitions in Iraq from full democratisation to PAR, to redeploy U.S. troops in ways that would encourage Iraqis to take more responsibility, and, in the event of civil war, to contain its regional impact. At the same time, Washington should promote the construction of regional institutions modeled on the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
    In other words again we must meddle, meedle, meddle and set up rules and organizations for Iraq and the ME to our likening and benefit.
    #The report also assails administration efforts at “framing the struggle against terrorism as a war similar to World War II or the Cold War” because “it lends legitimacy and respect to an enemy that deserves neither; the result is to strengthen, not degrade our adversary.” Instead of a “global war on terror”, Washington should employ a “global counterinsurgency” strategy that focuses on global law enforcement, intelligence, and special operations.
    In other words the key word here is special operations…and never,never let it be said that any evil group might actually be acting out of nationalism instead of terrorism…if we say they are terriers, they are terriers…if a country has a single terrier they are a terrier state. Note to friendly Arab rulers…we will take care of your terriers…your throne is safe…as long as.
    #To combat radicalisation in the Islamic world, Washington should also make clear that it is willing to work with “Islamic governments and Islamic/Islamist movements, including fundamentalists, as long as they disavow terrorism.”
    In other words Hamas, Hezbollah and any others we deem undesirables must be shunned or else no Isrmerica soup for you…and if you don’t beleive what Isrmerica does you are a fundamentalist.
    #”It is time to unite our country and our allies, while dividing our enemies — rather than the other way around,” said Ikenberry.
    In other words….hummmmm… I generally give Ikenberry an a A for sense so I will take it in the way I think he meant it.
    #On energy, the project called for going much further than the administration has proposed to reduce U.S. reliance on Middle East oil by adopting a tax on gasoline that would begin at 50 cents per gallon and increase by 20 cents per year for each of the next years. It also called for stricter automobile fuel-efficiency standards and for U.S. leadership in devising new ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
    In other words the neo’s still want the Saudis kicked to the curb as far as their importance in the ME or to the US goes…so tax the taxpayers with more gas taxes…that ought to do it.. Yea man!…but new fuel sources sounds good doesn’t it. We just have to wait till the Oil companies figure out how to control that too before they will let us have any alternative energy sources.
    With due respect for the none Lukid and neo nutcase in this group, the truth is THE ISRMERICA EMPIRE still lives!..or at least it’s delusions…only the wrapping has changed, the goal is still the same.
    Wake me when some Americans without any other agenda take hold of the country once again and start talking about what we can NOT do abroad that we are doing, instead of more strageties to keep on doing what we are doing under a different plan name.
    99.9% of think tanks are dangerous to America.

    Reply

  46. Marcia says:

    While waiting for Steve’s post there is a resume of the project on:
    http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34902
    What a pity that unlike the British there is no shadow cabinet but this looks like something in that direction.
    The restoration of our own democracy should be high on the list before we follow Rice giving lessons to the rest of the world.world

    Reply

  47. MP says:

    I’m not sure Steve is hiding anything, Matthew. Timmerman’s association with CPD is clearly marked on the program under his name. Are you suggesting that Steve provide a full “geneaology” for every name?

    Reply

  48. Matthew says:

    When you get a moment, please let us know who these people really are. For example, Timmerman is associated with the “Committee on the Present Danger.” If someone is associated with Richard Perle/James Woolsey, we should be given that information.

    Reply

  49. karenk says:

    You’re funny-bloggin from the conference..video should be interesting. Thanks

    Reply

  50. Steve Clemons says:

    Will get video up quickly…
    Senator Joseph Biden is speaking now — and is terrific.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  51. m says:

    i very much hope that video or audio of this will be available soon. sounds fascinating and i would be there if i didn’t have to teach classes in texas!

    Reply

  52. Paul Craig Roberts says:

    Bush’s defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel’s defeat by Hezbollah in Lebanon have shown that the military firepower of the U.S. and Israeli armies, though effective against massed Arab armies, cannot defeat guerillas and insurgencies. The U.S. has battled in Iraq longer than it fought against Nazi Germany, and the situation in Iraq is out of control. The Taliban have regained half of Afghanistan. The king of Saudi Arabia has told Bush that the ground is shaking under his feet as unrest over the American/Israeli violence against Muslims builds to dangerous levels. Our Egyptian puppet sits atop 100 million Muslims who do not think that Egypt should be a lackey of U.S. hegemony. The king of Jordan understands that Israeli policy is to drive every Palestinian into Jordan.
    Bush is incapable of recognizing his mistake. He can only escalate. Plans have long been made to attack Iran. The problem is that Iran can respond in effective ways to a conventional attack. Moreover, an American attack on another Muslim country could result in turmoil and rebellion throughout the Middle East. This is why the neocons have changed U.S. war doctrine to permit a nuclear strike on Iran.

    Reply

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