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Bits and pieces from an article published today in
Aljazeera...

I'm curious whether Bush's idea of an Iran- occupying force will consist solely of American draftees, Iraqi conscripts or another "coalition"
as yet defined....scary stuff from Mr. Ritter..

Sunday 19 June 2005 - Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.

On 16 October 2002, President Bush told the American people that "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m12776&l=i&size=1&hd=0

"We know now that this statement was itself a lie, that the president, by late August 2002, had, in fact, signed off on the 'execute' orders authorising the US military to begin active military operations inside Iraq, and that these orders were being implemented as early as September 2002, when the US Air Force, assisted by the British Royal Air Force, began expanding its bombardment of targets inside and outside the so-called no-fly zone in Iraq.

These operations were designed to degrade Iraqi air defence and command and control capabilities. They also paved the way for the insertion of US Special Operations units, who were conducting strategic reconnaissance, and later direct action, operations against specific targets inside Iraq, prior to the 19 March 2003 commencement of hostilities.

President Bush had signed a covert finding in late spring 2002, which authorised the CIA and US Special Operations forces to dispatch clandestine units into Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein from power."...

"....But the facts speak of another agenda, that of war and the forceful removal of the theocratic regime, currently wielding the reigns of power in Tehran.

As with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an "axis of evil" (together with the newly "liberated" Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of "democracy" to the Iranian people...

...By the intensity of the "liberation/democracy" rhetoric alone, Americans should be put on notice that Iran is well-fixed in the cross-hairs as the next target for the illegal policy of regime change being implemented by the Bush administration.

But Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran....

...To the north, in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran.

Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld's interest in Azerbaijan may have escaped the blinkered Western media, but Russia and the Caucasus nations understand only too well that the die has been cast regarding Azerbaijan's role in the upcoming war with Iran.

The ethnic links between the Azeri of northern Iran and Azerbaijan were long exploited by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and this vehicle for internal manipulation has been seized upon by CIA paramilitary operatives and US Special Operations units who are training with Azerbaijan forces to form special units capable of operating inside Iran for the purpose of intelligence gathering, direct action, and mobilising indigenous opposition to the Mullahs in Tehran....

...Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003.

We now know that the war had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran.
...

Update [2005-6-20 9:15:39 by route66]:

I'm was very relieved to wake up and see the comments and rec's on my diary, I had crashed last night after it fell off the front page. My posting was sloppy after a busy Father's Day; the intention as always was to alert Kossites to a situation I found troubling. Ritter has his critics but has been proven correct in many of his claims over time.

The WAPO's background today on Bolton's role in the Iran nuclear negotiations is helpful:

"The shift in Bolton's role occurred shortly after Bush named Rice as his second-term secretary of state. As the administration's point man confronting Iran's nuclear program, Bolton had blocked U.S. support for a European bid to negotiate a settlement with Tehran, arguing that such talks would legitimize Iran's clerical regime without stopping any secret weapons development.

But Bolton was shut out of Iran after Rice's ascension, according to two U.S. officials, and his policy was reversed. In early January, officials from France, Britain and Germany flew secretly to Washington for a brainstorming session on Iran. Bolton was not invited, European diplomats said. Instead, they met with Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/19/AR2005061900697.html

The question of last night still stands for debate: with what army?...Remember, every comment and argument being made on this diary is formulated using what we like to call realistic thought processes....no such reality exists in this White House...they make their own up as they go along in their predetermined destiny...

so are we to tag along blindly? not after Iraq. ...we must continue to watch their every move and openly debate every nuance.

Update [2005-6-20 18:7:36 by route66]: More on Ritter, he gave a speech this weekend in Washington, reiterating his claim that Bush has signed off on an air offensive to begin this month, ostensibly to knock off nuclear targets but with a larger goal of regime change in Tehran. link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8130.htm

Originally posted to route66 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  what scares me (4.00)
    He was right about Iraq.  Chances are that he is right about this too.

    Tired of the corporate DLC suck ups?WE'VE GOT DEANS BACK

    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:11:23 PM PDT

    •  Not to mention... (4.00)
      that Seymour Hersh has been making simular things.

      If you can't laugh at yourself, I sure as hell will - me

      by blueyedace2 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:51:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this New Yorker Hersh article from January (4.00)
        is worth a re-read....
          •  The Bush pattern: (none)
            Earlier this month, Jeremy Scahill wrote a powerful piece on the Web site of the Nation, describing a huge air assault in September 2002. "Approximately 100 U.S. and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace," Scahill writes.

            "At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including U.S. F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan.

            "Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist."

            As Scahill points out, this was a month before the congressional vote and two months before the U.N. resolution. The United States hadn't declared war. Bush had no authorization, not even a fig leaf. This pre-emptive war pre- empted Congress and international law.

            Most Americans don't know about these prewar attacks. The bombings that destroyed Iraq's air defenses were under the radar for both the American media and American citizens.


            http://tinyurl.com/aacx4

            How can he get away with this?

            To thine own self be true - W.S.

            by Agathena on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:29:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How? (4.00)
              You know the answer: supine Congress, cowed media and government propaganda.

              When we outlaw free speech, only outlaws will speak freely. - DaveOinSF

              by Bob Love on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:59:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  More like PAID media (none)
                Armstrong Williams anyone?

                "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

                by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:40:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it isn't just the paid media (4.00)
                  Williams and others are not usual cases, as far as I'm aware.

                  Why did the media buy into the idea that Nicaragua was a real and immediate threat to the U.S. back in the eighties?  Why did the media buy the ridiculous notion that Noriega was a threat to the U.S. (the crimes we claimed we wanted him for were crimes he committed while on our payroll)?  Why did the media go apeshit over the Gulf War of 1991, despite overwhelming evidence that military action might have been avoidable (see Blum's Killing Hope, among others)?

                  Were all these journalists secretly paid off by the administration?  Or is it easier to get work as a mainstream journalist if you accept as fundamental the concept that the U.S. has the right to use its military power for whatever reason, whenever it wants?  I think the latter.

                  "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

                  by matthewc on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  What about the millions of American people (none)
                who should be protesting these crimes from the rooftops?

                To thine own self be true - W.S.

                by Agathena on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:00:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  what "Attacks" are you refering to ??? (none)
          the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran.

          links or sources ???

          •  If you have links and sources... (none)
            ... please let us know.

            My heart is in the pit of my stomach after reading this diary... tell me this isn't really happening... please, no.

            •  One more (none)
              All sorts of good info here

              Air Attack: The First Phase of the War
              To some extent, the air war over Iraq began when the United States and the United Kingdom enforced "no-fly zones" over the north and the south of the country. The zones were imposed to prevent the Iraqi military from launching helicopter or aircraft strikes on Shi'a Muslim regions of the south, as Iraq did immediately after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north of the country. The Iraqi government stated that the imposition of these zones is a violation of national sovereignty. Iraqi anti-aircraft units fired on U.S. and British aircraft; these two nations, in turn, responded with attacks on Iraqi defense sites.

              When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

              by Closet VB Coder on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:12:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I meant info on the possible attack on Iran... (none)
                ... but thanks for the response! Sadly, we here at downingstreetmemo.com are all to familiar with the bogus crap leading up to the debacle in Iraq :-(

                You are correct in equating the two, as is the diarist. I just don't want it to be happening again. I smell the smoke, but I admit my exhausted emotional side doesn't want to find out about the fire...

                •  it's being reported as (none)
                  terrorist and dissident attacks in Iran.

                  I remember discussing this here about a week ago and we all knew it was the CIA.   Pretty obvious.

                  •  This is a (none)
                    typical CIA strategy, used in Iran in the 70's as well as Latin America during the same period. However it was mainly used to distabilize the counrty and as a way to legitimize further repression. What they do is to place the bombs, and then start crying "such and such group put the bomb. NOw we have to militarize the hole country"

                    Also to note is that this comes at the time of the elections there (guess they did not use Diebold machines!). So the question is who is seen as the likely winner there.

                    As for the US going to war there, GOOD LUCK IN CONVINCING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE TO GO TO ANOTHER WAR AT THE ORDERS OF THE DECIEVER IN CHIEF. HE CRIED WOLVES ONE TOO MANY TIMES.

                    If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your corporations to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                    by cruz del sur on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:22:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  and at home... (none)
                      ...it was mainly used to distabilize the counrty and as a way to legitimize further repression. What they do is to place the bombs, and then start crying "such and such group put the bomb. NOw we have to militarize the hole country"

                      Gee, pretty much describes the US today, doesn't it?

                      We should be expecting another "terror attack" in the country soon.

                      The natives are restless.

                      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                      by BuckMulligan on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:47:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  perhaps he's referring to this (none)
              Car bombs kill nine, last week...

              There ought to be a science of discontent.

              by dreamsign on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:59:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Recent bombings (none)
              in Iran here from the Washington Post. There has been speculation that these were carried out by the MEK, an Iranian terrorist organization supported by Saddam.
            •  Ritter has been saying June 2005 (none)
              for a year now.  It looks like it's not going to happen.  I suspect he's grabbing onto the terrorist activities in Iran (which may be supported by the U.S.) so as not to lose credibility.

              Right now, the US couldn't invade Grenada, much less Iran, which is mountainous and hasn't been decimated like Iraq was.  There will be no full-scale invasion of Iran.  We may bomb their facilities, which could draw them into Iraq.  If Iran is stupid enough to respond to an attack,  it would be like the first round of the Chechan war.  Lots of bombing without much controlled territory.

              The only way we invade Iran is with a draft.  That will require a major terrorist hit here in the US.  And by major, I mean equal to or greater than 911.

          •  Here is one I found (none)
            Christian Science Moniter (opens in new window)

            This article posted before actual war began detailing increased attacks on Iraq.

            When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

            by Closet VB Coder on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:05:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, poor reading (none)
              I thought you were looking for info showing we were attacking Iraq before war was declared.  Too much sun today.

              When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

              by Closet VB Coder on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:20:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If I'm reading this right (none)
            I would say that it wouldn't be news if there were links and sources.

            Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

            by rogun on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:31:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whaaaaa ??? (none)
              I would say that it wouldn't be news if there were links and sources.

              would links and sources disqualify it somehow ???

              as to the links provided, nonstrategic bombing:

              two separate bombs blew up inside the toilets of the city's housing department and planning department. The fourth bomb, planted in a handbag on the street, exploded as experts tried to defuse it. The fourth site was near the home of the head of the provincial radio and television station.

              if somebody did this at our bidding, they sure didn't help much

              when the Iranian State telephone exchange blows up for no apparent reasons, call me

              this doesn't resemble our pre-war war against iraq at all

              •  Are you looking for links that verify some sort (4.00)
                of bombing of Iran? If so, this wouldn't be news if they existed. The point is that, according to Ritter, bombing operations have begun. If you need a link to verify that then you have a lot more trust in the MSM than I do.

                Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

                by rogun on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:32:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  WTF ??? (4.00)
                  I knew Colin Powell"s lies before he told them dude

                  Yellowcake, uranium tubes, mobile labs, I knew it all, in real time

                  you might have spent the past two years learning that from the MSM, but I knew it in real time

                  if you read enough, and you know how to gleen bullshit from the golden nuggets, you could be as well informed as I am

                  there are bombs going off in SEVERAL mideastern countries, but how many are destroying strategic targets, like telephone exchanges, and electrical transmission facilities

                  the simple fact that things are blowing up isn't an indication of a CIA plot, ask WHAT is being blowing up, that is how to track CIA plots

                  the bombings listed in the above links hit nothing strategic or even "targetable" from a militaryu standpoint

                  who gives a shit about exploding toilets

                  when strategic infastructure starts blowing up, call me

                  I knew why flight 800 crashed, 24 hours after it happened. I learned it from the msm that you deride. The MSM didn't know the importance of the report they showed, but I did. 2 years later, the NTSB confirmed what I already knew, the wings blew off. Happened to another 747 over Spain in 1972, just like the report said

                  •  Well we can't all be as smart as you (4.00)
                    One thing that I'll never forget is watching Colin Powell lie to the UN and then watching the press shower him with praise for making a "convincing" case afterwards. To me this was the defining moment when I realized just how screwed we were, because it was precisely at that moment when I realized the MSM was definitely working for the Government. How could it not have been?

                    But I'm not sure what any of that has to do with this discussion? I haven't read any links, so that may be a source of confusion for me, but I don't know what they have to do with your request for a link to verfiy that bombs are being dropped on Iran?

                    I may still be misunderstanding your question, but you've yet to explain it if I am. But one thing that I'm certain about is that if you knew half as much as you claim to know then you wouldn't need to ask for a link for verification.

                    Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

                    by rogun on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:18:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I never said I was smart (4.00)
                      I said I know things

                      there is a difference

                      The MSM doesn't know what it is saying, so a lot of stuff gets through that nobody pays any attention to

                      The uranium stuff, and the aluminum tubes WERE reported in october of 2002, the dtories were drowned out by other stories, and breying commentators

                      I have to sift through a lot of bullshit to find one little golden nugget, but i know the nugget when i see it. In reference to the uranium tubes, an oak Ridge technician was quoted as saying the tubes were unsuitable for refining uranium, and three spooks from DIA said they WERE for refining urainium. So who are you going to believe, three spooks who never worked in a nuclear lab in their lives, or a guy who is actually paid to refine uranium ???

                      I chose the Oak Ridge guy, Chicken Noodle Network chose the three spooks

                      There was a plane that crashed in Far Rockaway in November of 2001, I saw the Tail section floating in Jamacia Bay north of Far Rockaway, between the airport and the crash site, about 30 minutes after the crash

                      My on the spot reasonable deduction of why it crashed; the fucking tail fell off

                      two years later, from the NTSB again, the Tail fell off

                      like I said, I know things. I aint smart, I've just got really strong powers of deductive reasoning and a rabid appetite for news

                      I stole the moniker from Susan Sarandon's intro monologue in Bull Durham

                      I've worshipped Buddah, Vishnu, Siva, Allah trees, mushrooms, ... and Isadora Duncan, I know things

                      •  Well, if that constitutes knowing things (none)
                        then I guess that I know things also. You don't have to convince me of the lying of the MSM (and yes I think they do know what they're saying, but that doesn't mean they're going to worry about a few people who can see through the cracks like youself. Most people don't have the time or, unfortunately, the interest to read papers all day and it's most people they care about most.) I sincerely believe the MSM is the biggest problem we face today.

                        As someone with a degree in physics, I took a special interest in the aluminum tubes and Niger yellowcake stories. I, too, remember when the Oak Ridge expert claimed the aluminum tubes were unworthy for enriching uranium. I think 60 Minutes even did an expose of it well in advance of the war, although it was some time after the story first broke. Needless to say, there was never any doubt in my mind who was telling the truth here.

                        But I still don't know what you're problem is with my answer to your question or why you need a link to verify that bombs are being dropped. I have no idea if Ritter is right, but I'm not going to assume he isn't because I can't find a link to verify it. Does bombing Iran automatically necessitate the need for a media story? It should, but I highly doubt that it does.

                        Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

                        by rogun on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:31:42 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  cause mattman wants to know (4.00)
                          when the bombs start dropping

                          we're having a competition to see who tells the other about it first

                          I read EVERYTHING I can find, gleening facts

                          when the shit hits the fan, I want to know

                          so when somebody says the shit hit the fan, I ask if the shit really hit the fan

                          you could make an impressive diary out of the comments mattman and I have posted in other people's diaries discussing this very topic. we're actually kinda rude about it, in my opinion. we've been over this a lot in the past two months, exchanging links and such

                          links are the source of my mighty powers. If you know something that I don't, share the data man

                          how many words a day is a lot, 1 million, 2 million, I might be reading that many words per day, I never counted them

                          •  Gonna Jump On In Here (4.00)
                            because I see my name being bandied about (smiley face to KT).

                            In the months that "knowthings" and I have been hashing this over,  I have come not only to respect him greatly, but also learned that we do our research and homework pretty much the same way.

                            Read, read,  read and then read some more.  Read from as many sources you can get yer hands on.  Then when yer eyeballs are burning from reading, grab some Visine and push on with more reading.

                            So when he asks for links,  I really get why.  We don't always agree on certain things BUT challenging each other makes us much clearer.  At least that works for me.

                            I now firmly believe that the attack on Iran is coming - SOON.  Full stop.  And I believe that the sequelae of that attack is gonna be much worse than I can describe here.

                            One of my resources is a site (to which I will NOT link) that is top heavy with military folk both ex and presently serving.  If you think things get a bit rudish HERE, all I can say is THERE, it's knives, guns and nukes 24/7.

                            They slash and burn, take no prisoners.  But they now generally agree - the moron is getting his new war on.

                            The Iranians are very smart, tough folks and I can promise you they will not be taken by surprise.  Their response will blow the doors off.

                            So while the asshole in the WH, yammers on and on about their election not being valid - those Sunburn missles are pointed where the devastation will be agonizing to US.  They can and will kill thousands of our troops in Iraq. And that's just for starters.

                            I can't think of any country that will stand with us this time.  The world's response will be a giant "Oh well, pass the butter, please."  Those who are not yawning will be outright laughing.

                            I firmly believe that the assholery neocons are just waiting for Bolton to slime on over to the U.N.  He's as crazy as a shithouse rat, but that works fine for them.  He's just exactly what they need.

                            Can these cataclysm be stopped?  Maybe.  Stopping Bolton should be our priority.  Call every senator you know today.  Every one of them you can. There is nothing more important you can be doing today.

                            One last point I'd like to make:  FWIW,  I strongly believe Iran has nukes - already.  They'd be crazy not to have them.  I think they've already filled their shopping cart when Dr. Kahn of Pakistan was having a firesale.

                            (Note to Asshole in the WH and Pentagon: If you were gonna bomb anybody, it shoulda been Pakistan, schmucks.)

                            But today, make calls - and pray.

                            Oops, one last note,  I promise.  Check out the foam and spittle appearence on TDS by Kenneth Timmerman of last week.  I was originally outraged that Jon Stewart had him on.  Now I completely understand.  Sly, smart Jon.

                            You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

                            by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:21:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Iranian Response (4.00)
                            So while the asshole in the WH, yammers on and on about their election not being valid - those Sunburn missles are pointed where the devastation will be agonizing to US.  They can and will kill thousands of our troops in Iraq. And that's just for starters.

                            I have written a diary on the Iranian response that I suggest you read (Your opinions would be appreciated). I do not at all thing that Iran will be flying missiles over Israel or Iraq for that matter but you are correct in your assumption that there response can be a heavy one.

                          •  For Purposes Of THIS Dicusssion (4.00)
                            I would be very interested why you would think Iran would not use those Sunburn missles in response to an attack by US/Israel.

                            I cannot imagine why they would withhold them if an Act of War occured.  Can't think of a better rainy day scenario.

                            And I'll up the ante here: I predict that Syria will join the Iranians in responding to US aggression - with those shiny new missles they just got handed by Russia.  Here's why: They KNOW they're next on the list of targert and why would they not think 'it's better to fight along with the Iranians now than wait til our turn comes'.

                            This is only one more reason that an attack on Iran just crazy.  Our troops in Iraq are sitting ducks.  

                            On the site I read that has a lot of military folks on it, our troops had been called "bullet stoppers"  but now, by those who believe an attack on Iran by the US is coming soon, they're called "missile meat".

                            You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

                            by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:46:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Iran's Goal (none)
                            As I mentioned in the Iranian Response the stated goal of Iran is to be a counter balance to western might both militarily and economically under the veil of Islam. Such a power requires more than just Iranian intellect & nationalism it requires the unification of certain Arab & Islamic nations. The pieces are not yet in place (as far as I can tell) and that is why, I believe, the US seems to think this as the best time to strike.

                            Fully expected should be a United States Of the Middle East lead by Iran with the support of their new ally but this goal cannot be accomplished if they decide to overtly attack America; as I have said before, no matter how weak the US military seems they are still the greatest military power in the world and could quickly OVERTHROW any government(although that doesn't account for keeping the peace). For now the Mullahs have to be content with survival.

                            Assuming the US does not invade with ground troups (which is the likely approach given current military levels) Iran will be better served by destabilizing the region through a series of covert military ops. They can hurt the American economy without outright war.

                          •  Uh, point of Order (none)
                            the Iranians are not Arabs, they're Persians

                            you didn't actually say that Iranians were Arabs, but you kinda imply that this is an ARAB problem

                            Arabs and Persians hate each other MOST DAYS

                            Such a power requires more than just Iranian intellect & nationalism it requires the unification of certain Arab & Islamic nations.

                            this is entirely correct, but it doesn't examine the Persian-Arab tensions, or the Shia-Sunni tensions, that have so far prevented the unification you mention

                          •  Understood (none)
                            First in defence of my non-existent statement I never said that this was an Arab problem and I don't even think I implied that but if it was taken that way please be assured that I am aware that most Iranians are not Arabs.


                            this is entirely correct, but it doesn't examine the Persian-Arab tensions, or the Shia-Sunni tensions, that have so far prevented the unification you mention

                            I absolutely agree with you that the statement did not deal with the issue and I really wasn't trying to deal with the issue(although I think it is vital to the plan of the Mullahs)

                            I am not sure how they plan to unite but I would assume it to be, as I have said before, under the banner of a need for Islamic unity, as the Supreme Leader has called for many times. The current American policy for the greater Middle East may actually play a helping role to the end goal of the Islamic Republic

                          •  I agree with your nuke theory, Mattman (4.00)
                            I think Iran picked up some rogue nukes from a Soviet bloc country or the Russians~ maybe even China, some time ago but has been playing close to the vest...

                            Just a hunch.

                            "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                            by quartzite on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:29:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And A Very Good Hunch (none)
                            that is you have there. I agree completely that the Iranians being very intelligent, would have made there purchases some time back.  If they didn't do it well before our Iraq invasion - which I am sure they did, they heard Monkeyboy speech calling them part of the Axis of Evil - they sure as hell closed the deal soon after.

                            And for anyone to assume they were not in the market for Dr. Kahn's helpful tech work, please give me a call because I've got a gizmo in my pocket which turns dog turds into 24kt. solid gold.

                            You won't want to miss out buying one from me.

                            You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

                            by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:10:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think I've transcended into the twilight zone (none)
                            Well, I'm getting closer to understanding why I feel like I'm in some dark transitional state with no sightline. I still don't understand, but I'm obviously out of the loop with the discussion between you guys, so I've stopped trying.

                            So forgive me for intruding. Your discussion is interesting, nonetheless, and I'll just follow along from afar.

                            Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

                            by rogun on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:42:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  what it would take to convince me ??? (4.00)
                      show me evidence of STRATEGIC TARGETS being blown up

                      you fail to understand me

                      if you knew half as much as you claim to know then you wouldn't need to ask for a link for verification.

                      without the links, I wouldn't KNOW anything

                      I'm here searching for data, actual evidence of an attack, and this isn't evidence

                      what is blowing up in Iran (SO FAR) isn't causing any strategic damage, so why would we bother ???

                      to ask why I need the links is to suppose I am omniscient, I get my data the old fashioned way, via the internets

                      so relax, I'm human, I just wanna be a super computer when i grow up, If I ever decide to grow up

                      •  not all targets are military (4.00)
                        These may very well be political targets.  Keep in mind that the neocons really believed that "greeted as liberators" crap in Iraq.  These bombings may very well be to create unrest.  An exploding toilet wedge issue if you will.
              •  Destibalizing The Regime (4.00)
                These bombings are meant to cause fear to the Iranian people and as a consequence show that this regime can't protect the country. Much like the insurgency is currently doing in Iraq.

                It is not to take down the regime but to soften support among moderates. These attacks were no coincidence. These "terrorist" attacks were caused by the United States of America.

                Also, there has been unrest in Arab majority areas. This unrest is another tactic by American Special Ops to further cause discomfort to the regime and weaken nationalism.

                All this is happening while the EU is trying to resolve the problems through negotiations which makes this all the more unfortunate.

                I am not one to suggest that the media is being controlled by the government but it should be mentioned that many stories focusing on Iranians has been flooding the news outlets of late including a recent CNN story discussing how women in Iran have no rights (Although they have more votes than the women in Iraq & Saudi Arabia to name but two American allies).

                The world is impotent and if America wants to go to war there is little the rest of the world will do (hopefully I am proven wrong on this point)

                •  Isn't It Possible That (none)
                  threat of an attack would have the effect of stiffening Iran's resolve and increase nationalism by the populace.

                  I give in support of what I've just posited, the SURPISE showing of the pro-nuke hardline mayor who made the runnoff.

                  He wasn't expected to do well at all - but he sure did.

                  You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

                  by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:54:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  the diarist.... (4.00)
            ...is still quoting scott ritter (and should probably go in and fix the quote marks, or better yet, put the whole cited piece into a grey box).

            you could probably track down an email addy for mr. ritter and ask him your question.

            i have friends in the military who insist iran is targeted this month....

            There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

            by FemiNazi on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:18:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know all about Ritter's predictions (none)
              Ray McGovern and Sy Hersh said the same thing, at about the same time, and at that time, I posted on the strange fact that three experts came to the same conclusion

              I've been hashing this out with mattman since then, for about two months now, and we both believe the Iran Attack to be a valid threat for different reasons

              But this diary just doesn't make any sense in accordance with those previous conversations

              it presupposes a bassackwards attack against a city with NO STRATEGIC importance, and an ill concieved set of consequences from that attack, and has no supporting evidence, and nothing to show that any "attack" has begun

              I trust Scott Ritter, but he could just be covering his ass on this one

              I've been watching for warning signs on this topic for two months, and this diary didn't barely came close to triggering my alarm systems

              It's just worthless speculation wrapped in a healthy dose of truthful suspicions

              I could be wrong, but it don't happen often. especially on stuff like this

    •  Scott Ritter (4.00)
      was right about Iraq, & he's been saying that Bush would launch a war on Iran for months.  He predicted it would start this summer.  I think I have to believe him.

      Dear God. I wish I could die now.  I don't want to live thru this.

      Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

      by x on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:53:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know how you feel. (none)
        I really do.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm gonna start (4.00)
          bawling again.  I was so distraught the other day, & couldn't understand why.  Maybe it was a foreboding.  People are just oblivious about this stuff.  That's the sad part.  They just care about TV, celebrities & stuff.  The banality of evil.

          & now there are rumors that  Bush will just nuke North Korea.  

          Meanwhile he's best buddies with all kinds of evil, torturing dictators.

          He really is the devil.

          Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

          by x on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:39:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Will the money ever be cut off? (none)
        it only stops if Bush boy goes broke.  But the Saudi's and China are the biggest holders of debt to this country.

        "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

        by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:44:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you but... (none)
        don't die.  Generations before us have struggled against the same and worse in order to save this country and keep it moving in a progressive direction.  It's our turn to step up.  That's all. Look at John Conyers.  He's a senior citizen and yet he marched up to the gates of hell to confront this administration with our demands for accountability.  Don't lay down for these horrible people.  Resist.  We may not be able to save this Republic.  But the next time there is a republic, and there will be a next time, there is hope that the people will learn from our struggle.
      •  I don't know... (none)
        I believe he's delusional enough to try, but how in the real world could he possibly pull it off with things going so far south for him.

        I think another "war" would just break any support he has from people who don't want their children to die in an avoidable war.

        Stage a terrorist attack so people will rally around him?  How could he possibly defelect blame that he allowed ANOTHER attach on US soil?  How could he demonstrate that he's made us safer?  How could that possibly demonstrate anything but how his policies are failing americans?

        Sorry, I have nothing else to add to this conversation.

        by DawnG on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:28:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  invade from Azerbaijan? (none)
      To the north, in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran.

      This part seems unlikely - look at the maps, first here and then here.

      Note the mountain ranges separating the Azeri plains from anyplace interesting in Iran. Note the proximity of existing positions in Iraq to the oil fields.

      Also, why go to Tehran? There is nothing there but millions of pissed-off Iranians.

      •  No strategy in this arguement (4.00)
        Nobody has even mentioned the Strait of Hormuz, the only strategically important piece of Iran

        when you look at THAT map, understand that ships can only move on the BLUE parts

        see that narrow point in the Persian Gulf, along the west coast of Iran, about 50% of our oil imports travel through that tiny passage, and iran controls it

        Iran has quite the impressive stockpile of surface to surface missiles too. Somebody recently posted an inventory

        if they can bomb Tel Aviv, the Iranians can sink every ship in the gulf too

        invest in Euro based securities folks

      •  Looks like (none)
        we have them surrounded.

        Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

        by x on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:11:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  General Custer ??? Is that you ??? (4.00)
          /snark
          •  Heh. (3.75)
            You're not thinking like a neocon.  If you put on your Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheney or Rummy mask, you'll see.  

            I believe Ritter. He was right before, he's right now.  The Iran war is on.  If Scott says we'll nuke NK on 1/1/06, I'll believe him

            Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

            by x on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:35:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and if we haven't attacked by July 1st ??? (4.00)
              will you throw Scott Ritter to the wolves ???

              this isn't about protecting America, it's about protecting George Bush. Keep that in mind

              politics have changed since Scott Ritter wrote the first article

              The Bolton nomination was derailed, the DSM has grown legs

              don't hold George to a hard and fast schedule just because Scott Ritter says so

              Sy Hersh and Ray McGovern were a part of that choir too, and I don't hear them singing yet

              Scott Ritter is a WMD expert, not a military or political stratagist, McGovern and Hersh have more credibility in this field

              not that Scott Ritter is wrong, but he could be wrong, and I wouldn't hold it against him

              and I doubt the bombs described in the links were CIA instigated, they didn't hit anything we would want destroyed

              •  As I said (none)
                It is not necessary for the U.S to hit military targets right now. It is more important to weaken support for the regime and these types of attacks help to do just that.

                The fact that no military installations were attacked is not enough to claim the innocence of the US Government in this case.

              •  There is no history in politics. (none)
                I firmly believe that no item is placed on the political agenda unless it has some immediately current relevance.

                The fact that nobody except us was interested in the Downing Street Minutes until approximately 10 days ago leads me to believe that a current issue facing the county is that the Administration can not be trusted to give us the facts prior to going to war.

                Sure the media coverage may be about who knew what and when two years ago, but the media doesn't ever give us the whole srory, they simply report things that allow us to make analogies with current events.

                Iran is now where Iraq was at the time the DSM were written.  Where is Deepthroat?

                "If we outlaw everything some people find offensive, there wouldn't even be a Texas in the first place." - Cindy Campos, Lifeguard

                by jandrewmorrison on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:16:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  hard to answer cause its a strange analogy (none)
                  Where is Deepthroat?

                  deepthroat COULD be a collection of people, most notably Richard Clarke

                  if I did a quick cut and paste on the circumstances, I would say we have another deepthroat working somewhere in Downing street

                  but deepthroat didn't do Nixon in, It was the guy who revealed the taping system

                  anyway, you earned you tinfoil for this gem:

                  I firmly believe that no item is placed on the political agenda unless it has some immediately current relevance.

                  If I could say it myself, I might add that nothing happens without profit for SOMEBODY

                  you've got to  find out who said it, and WHY he said it, before you can properly evaluate the statment

      •  in addition (none)
        There's also the small matter of Iran and Azerbaijan having, you know, normalised and standard state-to-state relations. It has a lot to do with Iran's assistance in the Azeri-Armenian war. I don't know what agreements the US has with Azerbaijan, but I doubt that the Azeri government has signed off on permission for the US to use the facility for aggression against its cooperative neighbour.

        It's also entirely straightforward for the Iranians to have special ops forces on the ground in Azerbaijan to counter the possibility of the US using its airbase there as a staging post.

      •  oil pipeline (none)
        azerbaijan is where the new oil pipeline is...it just opened last month.
    •  well if people weren't so scared about (4.00)
      beliving that the tin foil crowd could actually have something, our side could mobilize in the ways necessary to change the course of our current trajectory.

      Alas, everybody still lives in their nice little snug reality ignoring the bad shit thats going down in our name all over the world.

      suckers.

    •  Please Recommend This Diary Back Up (none)
      I hope it doesn't fall off the rec list.  It might be the most important subject today.

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

      by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:41:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, it must be... (none)
    ...shock and awe only. We don't have the ground troops anymore to fight two wars at the same time. Three, if you still count Afganistan.
    •  Could there be something (none)
      we don't know about?
      To bring a nation from 60% against Iraq war to majority supporting Iraq and Iran war would take something drastic. Hmmmm.....

      Common sense isn't that common - Voltaire

      by obgynlover on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:36:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The price of such a conversion (none)
        Nuking an American city, and linking it to an Iranian-backed, Iraqi Shi'a faction.

        But it would entitle the Bushies to obliterate both countries in their entirety.

        It's a morbid way to liberate the Middle East, but only different from the existing Bush policy in how long it takes to implement.

        Torture is bad, even when Republicans do it.

        by cskendrick on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:46:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A big bill. (none)
          Would've been nice if they could've found a way to secure our ports or watch our borders a little better. We all know how much those evildoers want to destroy our freedom. What if one somehow gets past our government and... well... yes,it would sure piss us off.

          In Your Face From Outer Space

          by mike101 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:15:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  terrorists (none)
            mike...as paranoid as our leaders are...if there really were terrorists, don't you think they would have someone guarding the borders and nukes?

            Our Gov ...is the terrorist org. they "use" scaring people with terrorism to get the people to agree to their wars. No, I'm not kidding. No, I'm not nuts.

            search on the internet for  "the power of nightmares"  watch it.

        •  The price and the lie (none)
          "Nuking an American city, and linking it to an Iranian-backed, Iraqi Shi'a faction." And conveniently overlooking the fact that all the participants were Saudi's and non-Shia.
        •  What's really sobering (4.00)
          is to think your way around the globe and consider who has an interest in nuking an American city to draw the US into a never-ending mid-east war.

          1. The neocons:  Fear has worked best for them so far.  The casualties will be disproportionately Democrats in cities and might scare some more Dems into supporting them.

          2. The Russians: A long term way to grind our ass up while they re-build.  They get cover to crush any bothersome Moslems on their southern border.

          3. The Israelis:  Get us to fight their war.

          4. The Indians:  Would probably give them cover to crush Pakistan once and for all.

          5. The Pakistanis:  Would give them cover to crush India once and for all.

          6. The Chinese:  Same motive as the Russians except their western border.

          7.  Al Queda:  Same old-Same Old, just bigger.  

          8.  Europe:  Tired of US arrogance....set up a quagmire that will teach the Americans some humility.

          9.  Any other crazy fuck who just wants to see some serious fireworks.  

          Probably left a few out.......This is not good.
          •  I submit it's the exact opposite (4.00)
            The entire litany of countries you describe want Republican, er, American forces out of the Middle East.

            1. China is disinterested in paying a premium for dollar-denominated petroleum exports.

            2. Russia seeks to proft from arms sales and nuclear technology to a region that it is no longer interested in, now that it has plenty of oil of its own.

            3. India is interested in commercial relations with Iran and the wider Islamic world, via its vast homegrown Muslim population.

            4. Pakistan is interested in setting itself up as the Islamic military go-to peacekeeper; there's plenty of warts on Pakistan's face, but they are hardly alone in the reverse-beauty pageant that is the court of world public opinion. They are trying to go legit on many fronts; being seen as a lackey of the Americans is problematic. NOT finding Osama is in my opinion their version of the Brecht's "The Good Soldier"  (Sorry -- We tried but he just got away, again!)

            5. Israel is coming to realize what Europe did for fifty years -- having American presidents dominate the regional security agenda means getting a lot less sleep at night. Further, Gaza and free elections (possibly of a Hamas government!) in Palsetine may be only the beginning; what happens when the US decides that it is no longer necessary to give Israel billions in grant aid and low-interest loans, or insists on a nuclear-free Middle East, Israel included? Oops.

            6. Divergence between European and American policy objectives in the Middle East has turned the (Bush) Americans into active meddlers in European domestic politics, bent on disintegrating the EU before it becomes a threat. Most of the energy behind this vendetta is derived from the split on war policy; the Europeans would as soon the Americans leave and return to their unconcern for Europolitics.

            Torture is bad, even when Republicans do it.

            by cskendrick on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:50:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  hey, why not Venezuela? (4.00)
            Then they'd hold all the accessible oil, plus they just really don't like us at all.
      •  Terra Attack, Pandemic (3.50)

        US legislation and sweeping delegation of powers to World Health Organization will permit virtual martial law scenario in case of avian flu pandemic -- which, conveniently for BushCo (an AmeriKills[TM] Company) -- may be impending.

        In another of those whacky, whacky coincidences favoring BushCo plans for world domination, literally scores of leading scientists in the field of microbiology and other fields related to fighting pandemics, bioterror etc. have met untimely ends, many of them murdered, since 9-11.  the better to make a pandemic unstoppable.

        Failing a convenient pandemic, the Boys Who Brought You 9-11 -- and I DON'T mean bin Laden -- no doubt have their Special Effects Department hard at work on a terra strike that will make 9-11 look like Woodstock.

        The Merkan people are stirring about Iraq, but remain in their deep slumber about 9-11.  BushCo controls the Executive Branch, Gestapo and SS (Homeland Security, FEMA Death Camp Network, FBI, Secret Service, etc.), both houses of Congress, most of the federal judiciary that matters, the military, virtually all major media, the secret international gulag, and God knows what other horrors.

        I think we will soon have a cataclysm, the internet will be shut down as a way for opponents of the regime to communicate, and known dissidents will start disappearing.  Only the military has the clout to stop this from coming to pass.

        "I'm happy tonight. I'm not fearing any man." (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 4/3/1968).

        by proudtinfoilhat on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:05:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's run through the possible options - (none)
        a) a draft for more US troops?

        This would require turning Iran into more of an enemy, in Joe Six-pack's eyes

        b) Israel provides troops, via proxy?

        This would require near insanity among the Bushites, to think this wouldn't turn into MidEast war.

        c) another eurasian nation, such as azer or kyrgiszstan or another 'stan, providing troops?

        This is the only way to invade that has a remote chance of working.

        d) the Bushites want to just bomb and hope that destabilizing the current regime will be enough to bring about a popular revolt?

        This is insanity again, but it's an insanity that's slightly more likely to fit the Bushites' worldview, than (a)

        e) Turkey provides troops??

        Other possibilities I ain't thought of here?

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:35:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  honestly, other than China (none)
          What country has troops to spare?

          It ain't the US!

          Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

          by Fabian on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:59:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Air war (none)
            They don't want to "own" Iran.  They just want to destroy it.  

            In the 21st century, that can be done from the air.  

            Bush will bomb Iran claiming he is wiping out their nuclear capability.  Invading and occupying has been a disaster in Iraq.  Why would they do it again?  

            He is just that stupid.  Especially the more his ratings drop, the more he will be convinced that bombing Iran is a way to pull them back up.

            Air war, bitches. It won't be pretty.

            The Republican Party: Redefining Oppression for the 21st Century

            by daveriegel on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Another Benefit To "Destroying" Iran (none)
              is that much needed oil is kept out of Chinese hands.

              And, if,  as many suspect, China is the ultimate target of the US neocrappers, it can only be seen as a good thing.

              This will make the Chinese very cross.

              So as you might expect, China will be very clearly and actively in Iran's corner.

              This is not a good omen for the US' plan. But we know if they got any stupider they'd be algae.

              You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

              by mattman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been toying with this idea (none)
                For a while and I hope I'm wrong.  It may be that the neoconmen are actually trying to start WWIII.  The "thinking" that would motivate them being the idea that the US is basically an oil-fed leviathan, and with Peak Oil looming and perhaps already here we are at our peak of usable military and economic power.  So we need to use that power now to crush China, India, Iran, and any other threats to our dominance or we will have to actually make like the rest of the world and live within some limits.  In public they may deny things like Peak Oil but it would be no surprise if their geopolitical strategies were secretly based on it.
    •  yep (none)
      Somebody needs to screen "A Bridge to Far" for Bush.  

      Normally when you are bogged down and undermanned, you don't open a new front against a fresh enemy.  Shades of Korea all over again.

  •  Only one problem (none)
    The Iranians, not quite capable of making their own nuclear missiles, did the next best thing:

    There was a rumor that the Iranians bought a clutch of long-range nuclear cruise missiles from Ukraine a few months ago.

    That's why the rhetoric out of Washington toned down drastically.

    But perhaps that was just a rumor, ergo the Bushies are feeling brave all over again.

    The only question is: What happens if the Iranians buy more on the lend-lease nuclear proliferation plan...

    ...or already have?

    The Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis and Indians don't seem to have a problem with a nuclear Iran...at least in comparison to American occupation of Asia.

    Torture is bad, even when Republicans do it.

    by cskendrick on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:44:23 PM PDT

  •  Get ready to have your socks rocked! (4.00)
    Billmon suggests it is quite possible let him explain in : Going to Tehran

    One of the biggest changes in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal
      -  Bill Moyers

    •  thanks for that link (none)
      Billmon is usually right on target too..
    •  As I have stated before (none)
      My worst nightmare involves another "event" occurring on American soil. I don't put it past this crowd. Their lust for power is insatiable. If they think the American public will turn out their majority the "event" will occur. Maybe before the midterms or possibly after the midterms and the majority has been turned out. Martial Law is declared, Congress is suspended (for their own safety). Done.

      It shouldn't work, I would hope the Country is smarter/better than that. However that's my nightmare.

      If the children ask you why so many died, tell them, because their fathers lied." Rudyard Kipling

      by TexDem on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:13:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as i have posted above ;-) (none)
        July 6 is a new moon this year.

        Is there any idea how long a 'last throe' lasts for?

        by subtropolis on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:21:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  during this next "event" (none)
        will people be suckered, or will atleast half of us realize what's going on and not extend such patriotism and blind trust to an asshole who deserves none of it.  Who will cry foul?

        "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

        by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:52:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We, will shout foul (none)
          All thinking Americans will be shouting BS, BS, BS, but the question is who will be listening. Fifty-nine million(?) people voted for these assholes last year because they were not listening to what was already being said about this crowd. If there is another "event" will they be willing to listen or will they be cowering in their suburbans/escalades?

          People have to realize this crowd is not only bad for their economic self interest, but they are putting our personal safety at greater and greater risk for generations to come. Bushco not only wants us to have our children fight and die for him now, they are willing to put the next generation at risk for profit and personal agenda.  

          If the children ask you why so many died, tell them, because their fathers lied." Rudyard Kipling

          by TexDem on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:35:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  mine too (none)
        that's why the DSM is so important.  We need to get the facts of BushCo.'s lies before the American people coupled with the fact that we are less safe because of BushCo.'s lies.

        Truth - our doctrine of preemption.

  •  Keep in mind (4.00)
    the recent Boston Globe article by Gelb, talking about the 10 divisions of the Iraqi Army, and where they are being positioned...

    The US army is not going to invade Iran, the Iraqi Army is.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:54:58 PM PDT

    •  oh MAN (none)
      say it ain't so... you could be right...
    •  Can They DO That? (none)
      Not "may," but literally, are they physically able to do this?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:27:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not yet... (none)
        But it is certainly something that could well be in the works...

        Remember that the Iran Iraq war was characterized by WWI style fighting and tactics...and you really don't need that much to get that kind of capability on line, just a lot of bodies, enough guns, and a means of ensuring obedience.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:32:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If they get Iraq to invade Iran (4.00)
      Then these are the most ingenious bastards to ever soil the White House.

      DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

      by DWCG on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:42:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how? (none)
      Doesn't Iran have something like three times the population of Iraq? And the so-called Iraqi Army doesn't even control most of Iraqi territory.
      •  The point of what the US (none)
        is trying to do, as is outlined by Leslie Gelb at the Committee on Foreign Relations (hardly a "progressive" or "anti-war" organization, by any means), is to train up, equip, and position a 10 division (2 mechanized) Iraqi Army...and use it to attack Iran.

        Again, they are trying...whether they will succeed is a different story.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:25:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are they really that stoopid? (none)
          ... That they believe that the Shi'ite majority, and al'Sistani in particular would allow themselves to be used like that - regardless of the provocation?

           The only way you could provoke that kind of attack would be to drop a nuke from Iran on Najaf.

            Oh shit... That's a really scary thought, and kills way too many neocon birds with one boom for my comfort. I'll just take my tinfoil hat and retreat into my batcave, now...

        •  Correction: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (none)
          Dr. Leslie H. Gelb is the President Emeritus.
          If anyone (and I suck on links) has some links to post on CFR, I think that they would be very helpful to this discussion.
    •  Well, that should work well (4.00)
      Because the Iraqi Army did so well trying to invade Iran last time around.

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:37:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh SNAP (none)
      I hadn't thought of that.

      So. IRAQ by proxy, against IRAN.

      Hypothetical scenario - Bombs go off in Iraq, killing some Iraqis, and maybe a US contractor or bureaucrat or two. This attack is traced via some rationale, real or imagined, to Iran.

      Scott McClellan: "Iraq, the fledgling nation, has decided it must defend itself against the horrible aggression of Iran. We must support our new little nation, with all the bombs we can bring, as Iraq invades another country that just happens to have several fuckloads of oil."

      That could be it.

      I hope to God it is not.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:42:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One small problem (none)
        The Iraqis won't fall for it.  At least not enough of them.

        Fuck, we can't get more than a handful of them to stop blowing us up.  They know how suicidal a war with Iran would be (they remember the last one).

        If they're going to kill themselves, I suspect 8 out of 10 Iraqis would rather do it by strapping an IED to his belly and taking out a falafil stand filled with US contractors than march off to get blown up by the Iranians.

      •  Rethink the proxy (none)
        Perhaps it's Israel-Iran, with the US as Israel's proxy, using Iraqis as their sub-proxy.

        Could explain the recent agreement by Israel to destroy 8000 settlement homes in Gaza...who's really zooming who?

    •  Here Is A Link (none)
      To that BoGlo article with the Gelb quote:

      A former Pentagon official, journalist, and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie Gelb, a man with considerable political and military knowledge, came back from a fact-finding trip in Iraq talking about the "gap between those who work there, who were really careful of every word they uttered of prediction or analysis, and the expansive, sometimes, I think, totally unrealistic optimism you hear from people back in Washington."

      In a report to the council, Gelb was scathing about America efforts to train an Iraqi army. "If you ask any Iraqi leader, they will tell you these people can't fight. They just aren't trained. And yet we're cranking them out like rabbits." As for plans to train a 10 division Iraqi army by next year, Gelb was scathing. "It became very apparent to me that these 10 divisions were to fight some future war against Iran. It had nothing to do, nothing to do," with taking Iraq over from the Americans and fighting the insurgents.

      I guess nothing should amaze me anymore, but I am amazed that this quote, from a story now three days old in a prominent newspaper, hasn't gotten more attention.  If Gelb is correct, the Bush administration plans to launch an invasion of Iran from a staging area (Iraq) in which a guerrilla war is raging.  Nothing like complicating an already failing enterprise by opening a new front utilizing a poorly trained army with severe morale problems against a well-supplied enemy fighting on its home turf.

      "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

      by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:14:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck! (none)
    I can't believe how fast this important diary fell off the front...grrrrrrrrr
  •  Goddammit! (none)
    Pardon my French...  Our kids are being killed trying to get their society up & running, and they are sending their troops to invade another country???!!!  There MUST be a way to stop this!  This is just OUTRAGEOUS!!  We need to get to the bottom of this IN A HURRY!
    •  You need a quick check (4.00)
      on the real power player in this game.

      Who is training that Army? Who is paying for its supplies and equipment? Who is "advising" its generals and commanders? Who is really determining the nature and location of its deployment?

      Big hint: it is NOT they, our kids are not being killed "trying to get their society up and running" and "they" are not sending "their" troops anywhere except with our government's explicity permission and approval (perhaps commands).

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:54:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Believe me, (none)
        It did not escape my notice that "they" are "we".  That's why "we" should be able to do something about it.  That's also why it is particularly outrageous.  An "end around" the requirement to declare war by the Congress.

        My outrage is not mitigated.

        •  feh (none)
          "An "end around" the requirement to declare war by the Congress."

          Hell Reagan did it all the time (greneda, Lebanon, Iran/Contra), or was that Poppy since we don't know when Reagan's Alzheimers kicked in.

          "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

          by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:56:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  My friend caught this comment today... (4.00)
    on CNN Late Edition:


    BLITZER: Do you have an excellent idea of where Osama Bin Laden is?

    REP. CURT WELDON (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, Wolf, not right now I don't. But I have given three specific instances to the CIA, two to Porter Goss and one to George Tenet over the past two years. I'm confident that I know for sure he's been in and out of Iran, where Ayatollah Khomenei has been protecting him with his Revolutionary Guard.

    Two years ago, he was in the southern town of Ladis (ph), ten kilometers inside the Pakistan border. I also know that earlier this year, he had a meeting with al-Zarqawi in Tehran. His whereabouts right now, no, I do not know.

    BLITZER: How can you be so confident of that when the CIA says they're not confident of that? They dismiss it.

    WELDON: Two years ago, the CIA was totally dismissing that bin Laden would be in Iran. But if you look at the recent comments coming out of both the CIA and some of our military generals in theater, they're now acknowledging the same thing that I've been saying -- that in fact, he's been in and out of Iran. No one can prove it exactly until we capture him.

    But you asked my opinion. My opinion is he's been in and out of Iran several times over the past several years.

    What could garner more support for an Iran invasion than "Osama Bin Missin"....and this corresponds with the Porter Goss allusions in Time.

  •  THIS is one of the reasons why the (4.00)
    DSM isn't "old news", and why it's way too relevant to the current situation--the MSM fell asleep at the wheel during the entire lead up to Iraq.  We now know (although most of us knew this on our own) that Bush lied the entire time before, after, and during this war--so why in the world should any single news outlet believe one more word out of his mouth regarding Iran? If the media doesn't question ANOTHER war, then I give up.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:36:23 PM PDT

  •  Iran (none)
    Iraqi troops are not capable of invading Iran.  The US cannot invade Iran without a draft.  

    Bush can stir up a lot of trouble with the hopes of provoking the Iranians in openly striking back.  

    Bush can provoke by funding and inserting guerillas into Iran as cited by Ritter.  Bush can also allow an Israeli strike into Iran with the hopes that Iran will strike back at US troops in Iraq.  Bush can launch US airstrikes into Iran with the primary intention of instigating a Iranian response.  

    If the Iranians, in any way, strike back against US troops in Iraq or against shipping in the Gulf of Hormez, Bush can claim the US troops or vital interests are under attack and institute the draft.  Which means a ground invasion and destruction of Iran... and probably Syria shortly afterwards.

    Provocation failed against Iraq but may work against the Iranians.  But without a significant reaction by Iran, no draft.  Without a draft, Iran is safe, IMO.

    Or we could have another 9/11 type event and blame it on the Iranians.

    •  Bush could be doing something else (none)
      I think that he also might be doing this to create the perception that they may go to war in order to create leverage against Iran.
      •  Iran (none)
        Possibly.  But the Iranians know we don't have the troops to invade Iran.

        The US can still fight another war as long as it isn't a ground war.  We can bomb the hell out of them.  

        But the Iranians can threaten to attack us on the ground or attempt to turn the Iraqi southern Shias to action against the US in Iraq.  A massive coordinated Shia uprising would be a disaster for US troops.  They haven't even been able to put down the northern Sunni uprising.  Imagine if the Sunnis were joined by the Shias against the US.  

        If Bush goes the air campaign route, he will be playing with fire.  If Iran openly attacks us back, we have a real war going.  

        If Iran is able to launch the southern Shias against us, we could possibly be kicked out of Iraq forceably.  If smart, the Iranians would go the Shia uprising route, IMO.

        •  I would have to think the (none)
          odds of an eventual US nuclear strike on Iran would be very high if we attack them in any way.

          I for one will not sleep well tonight.

          George Bush prancing on the aircraft carrier: one of America's worst moments

          by grushka on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:10:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nuclear Brakes (4.00)
            The U.S. Removes the Nuclear Brakes

            Under the cloak of secrecy imparted by use of military code names, the American administration has been taking a big - and dangerous - step that will lead to the transformation of the nuclear bomb into a legitimate weapon for waging war.

            Ever since the terror attack of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration has gradually done away with all the nuclear brakes that characterized American policy during the Cold War. No longer are nuclear bombs considered "the weapon of last resort." No longer is the nuclear bomb the ultimate means of deterrence against nuclear powers, which the United States would never be the first to employ.

            In the era of a single, ruthless superpower, whose leadership intends to shape the world according to its own forceful world view, nuclear weapons have become a attractive instrument for waging wars, even against enemies that do not possess nuclear arms.

            Remember the code name "CONPLAN 8022." Last week, the Washington Post reported that this unintelligible nickname masks a military program whose implementation could drag the world into nuclear war.

            Sell your cleverness; buy bewilderment.

            by lapin on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:14:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  mobilizing for iran (4.00)
              Unbelievable. It's f%*king World War III, nuclear Jonestown; it's so completely sick and twisted -- if these sick, greedy, fanatical, delusional ultrahawk bible thumping bastards are ignorantly pushing to provoke armageddon so they can nuke the planet and check out the promised land ahead of schedule they are sorely mistaken. What in hell are they smoking. This corrupt shit needs to be stopped at once. Good, God, someone with any sense of ethical sensibility, courage and sanity needs to stop these sick, corrupt murderous bastards.
            •  No mas! (none)
              A "4" just for your tagline.
            •  If Bush used nukes (none)
              There would be anarchy.  We're talking 2, 3 million in the streets of DC, and pissed.  

              Bush has to know this, doesn't he?  I don't think he could survive it.  The US would revolt.  

              The Republican Party: Redefining Oppression for the 21st Century

              by daveriegel on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:00:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  and (none)
          all these sick f*$ks have been calling for a draft--are they all driven, funded and pressured by Exxon and the oil lobbyists? It's really, really sick.
        •  The Response (none)
          The smartest response for Iran does not lie with rushing into Iraq. They will only be the author of their own demise if they do that.

          The Iranian Response

    •  we've already begun laying the groundwork (none)
      literally - we're bombing the hell out of the border area near syria - allegedly to "kill insurgents" - but we are "allowing" the residents to leave before we level the border towns.  

      why would we do this?  to better have a demilitarized zone when we go after syria.

      look for similar actions on the iranian border sometime in the near future...

      the troops already believe we are going there - they must have reason, no?

      america has rolled over and played dead for the neocons - and it may be too late to stop them now.

      i am afraid, very afraid!

      War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

      by edrie on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:25:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  forgive my cluelessness (none)
        but even assuming all of this is true with regard to Iran and Syria

        What is the endgame or point? To occupy the entire Middle East? How can Bush & Co.possibly think they can control three countries when they can't recruit anyone? Start a draft in order to occupy the Middle East? Destroy the leadership in order to control the oil? Convert everyone to Christianity.

        What?

        •  The point? (4.00)
          First off,

          yes
          yes
          yes
          yes
          yes

          And the point?  

          Power, greed, control.  Control, control, control.  It may seem simplistic.  But simple things are all it takes to drive people who are insane-with-power.  Add in religious delusion--and you've got a poisonous mix.  And "we the people" are the ones drinking it down.

          This administration no longer surprises me with the depths of their audacity.    

          What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding? - Elvis Costello

          by trinityX127 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:19:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (none)
          n/t

          Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

          by rogun on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:46:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  George got his ass in a crack (none)
          ever seen how Nixon tried to get out of Vietnam, by bombing Cambodia and Laos ???

          it's called escalatation, and it's about all that george has left in his little bag of war tricks

          we lost iraq, and we're losing Afghanistan, so if everybody retreats in the right direction, george just might escape a lynching

          they still hang people in texas, especially LOSERS

        •  The point might actually be (none)
          that there is no point.

          As Bush said himself recently, "it's too late to withdraw from Iraq".

          Think of it, the entire Bush cabal knows they've fucked up. But the dice has been thrown. Bush has to much of an ego not to back off his grandious plans. Bush doesn't want to be portraid in the history books as the imbecile clown he is. Better then those history books has no chance of ever seeing the light of day.

          Restore Democracy!

          by high5 on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:32:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  for the clueless to become clued, you must (4.00)
          read - you must research.

          a good place to begin is with Project for the New American Century, written in the mid 90's and laying out the neocon agenda and written BY the neocons. it has been in the news for several years now, it was written and put forward by cheney, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, and more, with jeb bush being a signatory.

          this document outlines the plans to build a new american empire in the middle east.

          it is 90 pages of unqualified terror for the rest of the world.

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

          by edrie on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:18:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Post modern slavery (none)
          As I hinted in my post above the neoconmen may want to destroy most of the world so we can have the remaining oil for ourselves (and a few favored client states).  The fate of the people in the ME in this scenario is that they would be our little oil slaves.  They will work 60+ hour weeks extracting our oil for us while never seeing the benefits of it themselves.  If they don't like it and stage protests and riots we'll just kill them.

          It's the schoolyard bully policy: "there's not enough for everyone so I'm taking it all".  It won't work, every pipeline will be blown up, every tanker set ablaze before the rest of the world will let us live our suburban fantasy while they starve and freeze but the neocons may be too deluded to realize that.

    •  Any Casus Beli (none)
      Would have to be absolutely air tight to get a draft reinstituted.  None of this "you're probably lying, but hey, it's not my kid's war, where's my ribbon."  Absolutely every rock would be upturned to find out what actually happened.  I think it would literally take a nuclear strike on US forces or civilians to get people to get behind a draft in anywhere near the numbers required.

      After all(and watch as I say this like I had any clue about how war is waged), if it was just an attack on shipping or a few missiles lobbed at US positions, we could still take out the Iranian command and control, air force, armor and navy without a conquest force two hundred thousand strong using air and naval forces.  And US citizens as well as Congress would fully support that in liu of a draft.  Also, with support for the Iraq war so low, everyone would be fine with pulling troops out of Iraq to supply whatever ground force is needed to destroy Iran's capability to wage war.

      I don't think Bush can manufacture the conditions needed if he wants a draft.

    •  Or we could have another 9/11 type event... (none)
      and who would trump that up for sick 'political capital' so they could justify, perpetuate, capitalize and benefit from a hyped up fear campaign
  •  election fraud and Bush--again (4.00)
    Current Yahoo article here on suspicions of vote-rigging in the Iranian elections. Next up: Bush will come out with a statement about fraudulent elections and the need to help the Iranian people, who have shown that they want democracy.
  •  Hey WaPo...sketch this !!! (4.00)
    I have a devilish little idea...
    From Wapo-

    ""   Suggest a Sketch
    What scenes of Washington politics would you like Dana Milbank to write about? E-mail your suggestions of people, places or events -- along with your name and hometown to-

    Sketch@washpost.com   ""

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR2005061601570.html?nav=hcmodule

    Here's a first foray:

    Sketch this...

    --Why the publicly discredited, humiliated, and scorned Shama Milbank threw himself off of your L Street Building this weekend...

    --Or why the WhiteWash Post lost a huge swath of readership/ subscriptions over their abysmal, juvenile coverage of the DSM...

    --Or how many journalists at your hallowed whitewashing outfit are cashing clandestine bonuses for serving as this sorry Administration's stenographers and useful idiots...

    --Or how Milbank's shoddy reporting has summoned the legacy of his look-alike Stephen Glass...

    --Or recent revelations that Milbank is in fact Glass...

    any other possible sketches out there Kossacks?

    'Tis better to Diebold...than to slink away quietly!

    by traitorbushchimp on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:03:12 PM PDT

  •  This would explain... (4.00)
    ...why Bush kept shooting his mouth off about Iran even though he (or at least his "Vulcan" advisors) must have known that each comment of his was yet another coffin nail in the cause of the Iranian reformists.
  •  There must be something we can do. . . (none)
    This scares me so much because I find it credible, especially in light of the recent Iranian primary election results and the "pro-b*** rally" in Azerbaijan. There must be something we can do besides wringing our hands. . .please tell me what!
    •  I would suggest (none)
      I would suggest to pressure the MSM to give Scott Ritter some air time. While many people don't consider Ritter credible, they can't deny that he's been right many times in the past. In fact, I can't think of anything controversial he ever said that was wrong.

      As weak as Bush is right now, it might scare people enough to do something.

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:49:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To quote Fight Club (none)
    because I am too tired and my head hurts too much to come up with something original.

    I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

    "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

    by indiemcemopants on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:13:57 PM PDT

  •  Infinite idiocy of the neocons (4.00)
    I've been saying for quite some time that I didn't think Bush would invade or even attack Iran--not enough troops, not enough hardware and supplies, oil market in utter chaos when Iran's 4 million barrels/day come off the table, and lots of instant friction between the US and countries that Iran sells oil and natural gas.

    But this supposed plan of using Iraqi forces to invade Iran is a military plan drawn up by Salvadore Dali on acid.  I just don't understand how the neocons can be delusional enough to think this is a good or even workable idea.

    If they launch this crackpot plan, it will take the U.S. 100 years to repair the damage we will have done ourselves.

    •  Neocons Idiots? Don't Think So (4.00)
      Exactly how many Israeli soldiers have died in this Iraq war?

      No, the neocons are total fvcking geniuses for getting the American military and taxpayer to shoulder the burden of preserving and extending Israel's position as the dominant power in the region.

      Now we're stuck there.  It's a "generational commitment", you see.

      Neocons idiots?  Nope.  The neocons are clearly geniuses.  It's the American public that are idiots.

      •  Confusing power (4.00)
        for genius.

        They aren't brilliant. They've just managed to gain an extraordinarily powerful hold on our government.

        Those are different things.

        They're like spiders, squirting poison into the body of our government. Nothing more, or less.

      •  Idiots Would Be Those Who Don't (none)
        know but could.

        The reasonable average American citizen doesn't have the means or opportunity to know much of anything without current events becoming their major pasttime.

        My candidates for idiots would be

        • the present enabler class who do have the means and opportunity to know but are deluded into believing they're going to share in the winnings and avoid the penalties; and
        • the thinking class of 10-30 years ago who should have been screaming bloody murder to the point of civil disobedience, over the systematic dismantling of the infrastructure of democracy, which should have been obvious to them if not to the mainstream.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:20:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Iran-Iraq War - Part Deux (4.00)
      Deux
      Neocons are nothing if not tediously enamored of reviving old wars.

      Hell, we've got reams and reams of US military analyses about the capabilities and effectiveness of both Iraq and Iran, gathered when we helped prop Iraq up during that war. Neocons, I gather, are planning to advise Iraqis on their failures to seize the  initiative and exploit Iran's known weaknesses on the battlefield, based on our observations at the time.

      This assumes that Iran isn't bright enough to see this game plan coming a mile and a half away and make adjustments accordingly. This, of course, is a possibility that Neocons will have invariably overlooked...

      If it didn't have such tragic consequences, one could almost - almost - pity Neocons for their pompous obtuseness.

  •  open invitation (none)
    Starting a new war against Iran would be an open invitation for North Korea to invade South Korea and China to take Taiwan.  I can't see any reason for them not to, unless they think we might use nukes.  And frankly, China could probably survive a nuclear attack.

    When we outlaw free speech, only outlaws will speak freely. - DaveOinSF

    by Bob Love on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:19:58 PM PDT

    •  Agree... (none)
      we wouldn't use nukes if China were to invade (try) Taiwan.  Bushco would just see it as a hostile takeover action where shareholders would have the possibility of making more money.  So, it's a win-win.

      "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

      by VA6thDem on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its Coming..... (4.00)
    I have noticed an uptick in anti-Iran planted stories in the media as well. I saw some tool GOP Congressman on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer today claiming Iran was harboring Bin Laden. You see a lot of recent claims in the media about their elections, weapons programs, etc. Its all planted. You'd have to be a braindead Freeper not to see it and not know you are being played.

    Fortunately, Iraq is such a clusterfuck, I think its going to harder for Bushco to pull another fraud war on the world again. We shall see. Scary stuff though.

    GDoyle

    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:31:54 PM PDT

    •  that's the problem, you see (none)
      You'd have to be a braindead Freeper not to see it and not know you are being played.

      So true.

      Is there any idea how long a 'last throe' lasts for?

      by subtropolis on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:04:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (none)
      I have noticed the uptick in Iranian stories in the "news". They recently had one discussing how hard women have it in Iran. Stories mentioning that Iranians are not really voted for anything, calls for boycotts. The media legimately seemed upset that there was no boycott in the elections.
    •  bomb the vote (none)
      I'm personally waiting for someone from the Bush administration to start pushing the line that Iranians voting constitutes a threat to US national security; and that the US will have to start bombing polling stations in Teheran to prevent Iranians from participating in a bogus election. We need to bomb now before they have exercised their democratic rights, and shown us up to be even bigger idiots than we already were!

      I don't think it's a coincidence that this rash of Iran stories comes the week that the first round of their election takes place. My guess is that they haven't prepared any for the second round (cos they really are quite stupid and didn't anticipate one ), so we'll see a drop-off in the imbecility this week.

      I'm just wondering if someone is going to come up with the counter-spin that administration officials were using reverse psychology in a big GOTV campaign.

  •  We will not attack IRAN (none)
    There is an ever-widening chasm vis-a-vis Iran between the "Rockefeller Set" (Bankers, Oil Men, Globalists) and the "Neoconservative Cabal" (Likudnik Israeli Firsters.)

    Oil Stability trumps Zionist desires in this case.

    Attacking Iran would be egregiously bad for Western Oil Men and their financiers.

    'Tis better to Diebold...than to slink away quietly!

    by traitorbushchimp on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 09:39:35 PM PDT

    •  what if Israel goes in first? (none)
      The US would follow. The "Rockefeller Set" could not move quick enough to keep the US out of it.

      Not that the Pentagon would necessarily be kept in the dark about an impending Israeli action. Watch for a carrier group in the Mediterranean.

      Is there any idea how long a 'last throe' lasts for?

      by subtropolis on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:12:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then Syria... (none)
        goes after Israel, massive uprising in the West Bank and Gaza, and there would be tremendous pressure for Egypt to come to the aid of her Arab brothers and sisters.

        "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

        by VA6thDem on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:13:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Attacking Poland was bad (none)
      for Germany's corporatocracy.  Happened anyway.

      It's the Neo-conjob, stupid.

      by nargel on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:13:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Germany's corporatocracy (none)
        Wasn't nearly as well repersented in the Nazi regime as our corporatocracy is repersented in the Bush admin. It also had a lot less to do with Hitler's rise to power then ours had to do with Bush's.

        Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

        by Goldfish on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:50:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cynical Devil's Advocate post here: (none)
      The whole concept of the Neocon MidEast takeover, is to control all that oil.

      So, the Oilies might conceive or become convinced that it's in their longer-term best interest, to go along with Bushite/Neocon plans to control it.

      After all, if there's a temporary oil shortage due to war - the price rockets up, and there's increased profits. And then, if we win, even more increased profits.

      And if we lose, all the expenses, money and lives, come from the taxpayers. So they can, in their worst case scenario, just go back to charging what they were before.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  IRAN WAR (2.83)
    I just hope the only people who die in this war are all those DUMB, RETARDED, RED STATE, NAZI, CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST who gave this monster a second term. They will love and follow bush no matter what, So i hope those RETARDED BASTARDS are the only people who suffer.
  •  Iran (none)
    In 2002, I was absolutely convinced we would not invade Iraq.  We were just saber rattling.

    I knew we wouldn't invade because it was so stupid.  There were very good reasons we didn't go to Bagdad after the First Gulf War.  And the very same reasons existed in 2002.  Seeing what we have today in Iraq, the reasons were valid.

    But in January 2003, it dawned on me that Bush was going to invade come hell or high water.  My revelation came when I realized just how many troops we had deployed into the Middle East.

    I was stunned.  

    Bush is no longer capable of totally surprising me.  His stupidity knows no boundaries.

    •  I agree (none)
      Nothing Bush does surprises me anymore. What scares me so much is that no matter how evil, cruel, psycopathic and stupid bush and the repugs are they still get support from those who claim the "moral high ground". But evangelicals supported hitler too, so i guess its not too bad to be hated by them.
    •  Funny (none)
      In 2002 I knew we'd go to war with Iraq. I thought it was so obvious. Yes, I thought it was a bad idea, but I didn't realize just how badly they'd screw up the execution. Although I had a glimmering when I first heard about "Freedom Fries."
      •  Same here (none)
        I could tell that Bush was psycho when he was running for President in 2000 (I'd also followed him as Governor some, so I already had a clue.) I was almost as disappointed that McCain lost the primary as I was that Gore lost the election and I don't even like McCain. I believed back then that his presidency would be chock full of radical events, so the idea of invading Iraq didn't surprise me a bit.

        Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

        by rogun on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:58:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You might be right (none)
    I am just feeling very paranoid lately.....
  •  adage (4.00)
    There is an adage I think about when I hear this sort of nonsense: The flame burns brightest just before it expires.

    Then again there is also, "the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train."

    Then again Sun Tzu said in the Art of War, "when you are strong appear as if you are weak, when weak appear as if you are strong."

    The neocon end game looks like its going to be a nail biter.

  •  HELL NO - I WON'T GO! (none)
    Draft this Bush!

    DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

    by DWCG on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:24:35 PM PDT

  •  In order to go to war with Iran (none)
    BushCo will need more troops.  The military needs a draft with recruitment so low.  And with the generals in the Pentagon whispering how they have to get out of Iraq soon because they don't have the troops.  But there's no way Americans will support a draft.  What with parents across the country running interference between their kids and recruiters.  And with BushCo waaaay down in popularity...  

    So what to do?

    Something will have to happen.  Something big.  Something devastating enough that war can be declared and a draft enacted too fast for anyone to object.  Forget going through Congress!  The "Prez-dint" will call it.  And of course, Osama Bin Laden will be behind it.  And he'll be in Iran.  

    Anybody up for a September Surprise?  Or will that be to distract from the Supreme Court?

    I'm beginning to believe you can't be too paranoid with BushCo.  

       

    What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding? - Elvis Costello

    by trinityX127 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:31:02 PM PDT

  •  What is so scary (none)
    is that Iraq had no response, Iran does. Iran can turn Iraq into an even worse hell for US forces overnight and we wouldn't know it until a company didn't come back from a patrol.

    Sadr City could blow up overnight and we'd have no warning> Iran and the mullahs have already sent their signal and the runoff has a Revolutionary Guard in the running.

  •  I just read a disturbing article today on Iran, (4.00)
    in, of all places, GQ magazine. "The Next War is Closer Than You Think." It's in the May issue so I don't know if it's posted online yet.

    But it was pretty convincing in its claims that the admin. has deliberately rebuffed nuclear agreements with Iran. They don't want to work something out. Never their intention.

    Michael Ledeen is quoted as saying "It's all one thing -- Iran, Iraq, the whole region. Revolution shouldn't be limited to one part of the Middle East..."

    According to the article, Iraq was just a warmup for the neocons. That's why they don't consider it a failure necessarily - they aren't finished yet.

    The writer goes on to cite "political maneuvering taking place today that is eerily familiar" to what was done prior to Iraq. Santorum introduced an "Iran Freedom and Support Act" which would give $10 million to Iranian dissidents. It's the first step.

    Also, the MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq) is already feeding our agencies the kind of crap that Chalabi sold us on Iraq.

    Something is underway.

    How the f**k they think they can afford another war, in either money or manpower, I have no clue -but reality doesn't seem to be a sticking point for them.

    •  They've Always Wanted Everything (none)
      to fail. They came in in 2001 antagonizing everyone they could, and watching the village idiot installing Cold Warriors throughout his cabinet and government, it was crystal clear that they were going to return us to eternal cold and simmering war.

      How the f**k they think they can afford another war, in either money or manpower, I have no clue -but reality doesn't seem to be a sticking point for them.

      Because first they don't pay their way--we do.

      Second, if we glance around throughout politics, culture and the economy, we'll see their reality in every direction and dimension.

      They had to have known for 30-40 years that a flicker of resistance might crop somewhere along the line. Only fools would doubt that they've long ago done the planning to get the reality they need when they need it.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:31:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iran (none)
    I just hope that all of bush's crusades do as much damage to the republican party as vietnam did to the democrats. In 2006 and 2008 we should lable the repugs as extremist. They want to wage war in the middle east to try to convert muslims to christianity. The Theo-con death cult needs to be stopped
    •  but (none)
      Iraq doesn't have a military, they have us, so article should be "US threatens Iran.."

      Ah, with Saudi's holding most of our debt, and Wolfowitz at the World Bank, Christmas is a commin for the oil industry.

      Anyone get a glancer at those Cheney Energy meeting minutes?

      "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

      by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:11:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have been racking my brain for that Gulf News (none)
      story of Friday that I read. Thanks.
      A link to it would add to discussion.
  •  Pithy (none)
    Iran = Liebensraum?
  •  If we do this thing (none)
    I would think seriously about leaving the USA. Two unprovoked illegal wars of aggression pretty much guarantees you a Hall of Fame spot as an "Evil Empire", doesn't it?
  •  I think all of you are missing the biggest point. (4.00)
    If you want to attack another country and you don't have the manpower, you would set up another terror attack...here is the caveot....the attack does not take place on U.S. soil but in Europe or Japan.

    This country or countries have no choice but to declare war on Iran.

    You have now just got what you so desperately needed.  More troops and a way to take out Iran.

    •  you're projecting (none)
      The only problem with this is that there is no credible motive that can be ascribed to Iran to do this - ie no one in Europe or Japan would fall for this kind of stupidity - the Iranians are not going to launch a terrorist attack on anyone becse they don't have to, and lack the motive to do so.

      Frankly, you can try to project America wherever you want, but the Bush administration pathology doesn't work outside the US. In Europe no one is worrying about Iran - we all know that trade and cultural relations are the issues to be negotiated - and that there is no actual point of contention that could provoke a military conflict or a terrorist attack.

      The only actors that would like to see a conflict with Iran are Israel and Osama Bin Laden ( and some Washington neocons as well ).

  •  Don't you people watch the Daily Show? (4.00)
    Last week, Jon had a guest on who just released a book on Iran and how dangerous it is and how it's been hiding OBL. When I saw this propaganda pimp I knew this was the opening salvo. Of course, Jon never went after him directly for how much BS it was, just like Iraqi WMD's. Of course, it really isn't his job, that's the media's. Oh no, wait, the media's job is to sell attacking Iran just in time for the 2006 mid...er, to sell the American people some more Democrac...er, Iran has NUKES!!!!

    The greatest threat to American Democracy now occupies the executive branch of government. They've already begun to roll out the new "product." Watch them ratchet up the pressure to push Bolton through. They need their hatchet man in the UN to force them to comply with the Bush invasion agenda.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:55:57 PM PDT

  •  With what? (none)
    Where will Bush get this army to invade Iran?
       He doesn't have one without a draft. It's not going to happen.

    "The sun is not yellow, it's chicken." -Dylan

    by gjohnsit on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:59:34 PM PDT

  •  Bush is a war criminal (4.00)
    Plain and simple, not only does he start wars for no good reason, he doesn't even bother to inform Congress, a gross violation of the Constituion. He should be tried for treason.  
  •  You and what army? (none)
    I can't help asking the obvious question?

    How in hell does anyone - even the lunatics and morons running the country - plan to pull off a war with Iran (who, unlike Iraq, would not be a pushover - not by a long shot!).  There just ain't enough bodies to do it.  I still have yet to hear any scheme that's even remotely plausible.  Drafted Americans (yeah, fat chance that'll fly), drafted Iraqis (they're not eager for a rerun of the first Gulf War), Israelis, College Republicans, "private contracters".... there just ain't enough bodies available to even fail, letalone make a decent showing.  The military knows this.

    Now, I'm not sayin' that the nazis running the administration wouldn't like to do it, I just don't see how they could get the pentagon to go along with it.

    What am I missing?

    •  You're assuming (4.00)
      this administration's planning would reflect an awareness that Iranian troops would be much more formidable than Iraqi troops were.

      I wouldn't put any of your hard-earned money on that bet, if I were you.

      They don't respect the military prowess of any other country on the globe, much less in the middle east. They won't plan for a "long, hard slog" in Iran.

      Why would they? Everybody that might have stopped them  or urged a war plan that acknowledges the strength of Iran's capabilities at the Pentagon has already been canned, cowed or left. And Congress... Please.

      Neocons don't care how many people (American, Iraqi or any other nationality for that matter) get ground up in their grand scheme to conquer the mid-east.  They don't give a damn how much it costs you or your great, great grandchildren. They don't care about any of the consequences because they have every intention of continuing to propagandize this and every other public that will lend them an ear, and re-write history wherever they fail. They have subdued every lever of power in this country and they still have enough latitude in Iraq to arrange a crisis that will virtually guarantee a military clash with Iran.

      All they have to do is initialize this thing and engage the US - we're neck deep in their shit, whether we approve of it or not, for as long as it takes to win or extricate ourselves.

      •  It's not that the Iranians are so tough (none)
        It's just that there are plenty of them.  Even if you completely discount them as an effective fighting force, their forces are simply too numerous to be dismissed - even by the morons and lunatics.

        I'm just saying, I don't think the pentagon wuold go along with it.  

        •  Agreed (4.00)
          The Iranian forces would be too numerous for us to handle, even with Iraqis. And it makes no sense to want to engage that when our military is so vulnerable and this public is flagging it its support for the war in Iraq.

          But, again, I wouldn't bank on these guys doing anything that makes sense on the face of it. These guys are slippery.

          The Pentagon has been pacified. Our intelligence apparatuses have been pacified. I've seen no solid, consistent indicators that lead me to believe they won't all do as they're told. Anybody that balks will just be immediately replaced. The wheels keep turning, without so much as a hitch.

          Sometimes, I'm not even sure that the goal is to win, with these guys, if you can believe that. I know it seems crazy, but I can't get over the feeling they're deliberately trying to destroy our military sometimes.

          I know, believe me, I know what you're thinking... But hang in there with me. It looks to me like they want to replace a standing US military with 100% privatized armed forces. I think these bastards mean to control everything from American intel to GI boots.  And I think they're willing to enslave our nation to a handful of defense contractors, for the kind of power and  money a proposition like that entails.

          Crazy as it seems. I think that's what they're up to. If they fail, it's no big deal, they'll just profit from our wars for as long as they can. But if they pull it off, they've hit the Trotskyite jackpot - and they know it. Either way, things work out well for them.

          It's just a hunch tho.

        •  Think about Iranian tactics (none)
          I think you might be missing the fundamental point in this: the Iranians are not stupid and have had a very permissive environment in Iraq to organise a "forward defense" over the past 2 years. Bear in mind that the current Shia dominated government in Baghdad is closely allied with Teheran. The relatively stable southern Shia provinces are only lightly patrolled by non-US coalition forces and the security services there are dominated by religious Shia who have close ties with their brethren in Iran. Think this through a little more and you realise that the Iranians can probably activate many thousands of fighters in Iraq within a few hours of a US attack. There will almost certainly be armouries and quartermasters in place with access to the kinds of MANPADS and stand-off anti-armour weaponry that will tip the military balance.

          Consider that Iranian MI has had over 2 years in which to scope every US military installation in Iraq, observe the logistics chain from Kuwait and do detailed military tasking. Add to this the fact that, whilst the US can remote-view Iranian military installations, the Iranians have probably penetrated many, if not all, the major US installations in Iraq ( and Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain as well ). The Shia militias and personnel that comprise the bulk of the current Iraqi military are undoubtedly seeded with Iranian assets. Whilst the US can use stand-off precision munitions against Iranian installations, I would not be surprised if the Iranians couldn't deploy their own precision-guided suicide bombers to quite lethal effect as well.

          Then there's the small matter of the possibility of a large-scale Shia uprising that would result from a US attack on Iran that needs to be added to the above consideration. The US has 140,000 personnel struggling to cope with a parochial, minority-based resistance/insurgency in Iraq; if you quadruple this insurgency then the US military in Iraq simply gets killed off in about 90 days. Remember that the US is effectively SURROUNDED already.

          I don't think that the Bush administration could survive 10,000 casualties in Iraq. This could happen astonishingly quickly if the Iran attack scenario were to take place.

          Add the international opinion factor - I can assure you that global sentiment would be rooting for the Iranians in this case.

          The Pentagon knows all of this. I know it. The Iranians know it. An attack on Iran is a military suicide note.

          •  The Shia have learned (none)
            there doesn't need to be a large scale uprising.  They can slowly fight us the way they are doing now, and it seems quite successful.  targeted bombings, the iraqi's who are trained half of them abandon or fight US, and there are a lot of them who are found dead.

            I have a hard time with this Iraqi Army fighting Iran.  Unless they basically kidnapped these guys and moved them north, I don't see it happening.  It will be American's who will invade and die.

            "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

            by Yankee in exile on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:20:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  To clarify (none)
            my understanding of your comment, do I understand you correctly to be saying that there's no way the Pentagon would allow this administration to proceed with an attack on Iran?

            Or are we saying essentially the same thing, that the Pentagon will roll over, even knowing we may not even be able to evacuate our troops if Iranians have been as observant and prepared to engage US troops in Iraq as we both seem to think they'd be?

            •  hope this helps (none)
              To clarify: there would be immense friction in the system if the Bush administration decided to start bombing Iran and I think that the heat generated would start to manifest itself rapidly.

              You can only contemplate the bombing scenario if you assume that there will be no response. I think we can assume that there will be one from Iran - so bombing is one thing, but you have to plan for the consequences of the bombing too - and this is where the problems lie for the Pentagon.

              The friction would, in the first instance, come from the uniformed military that will have to cope with the consequences of such action on the ground in Iraq. They understand that their situation is not exactly peachy. Rumsfeld, the civilian leadership and the top brass might have their own ideas on this -  but there would be institutional resistance to the idea. I'd just note that I've not heard any Donsense on the subject of Iran of late.

              Now, Rumsfeld might transmit the order through the chain of command - but there would, I believe, be civil-war at the operational level. I could be wrong about this, but there is the small matter of US military doctrine to consider - if you're fighting a 2-front war, you don't open up an unrelated third front by choice.

              One should also note that, Israel apart, there is not one single ally that the US can call on in support of this - and Israel's support would be rhetorical rather than practical. There is simply nothing in it for anyone, as the downside consequences are essentially bottomless.

              So the US military would probably have to accomplish this without the third-party overflight and basing permissions that it would need. Turkey will not allow the use of its airspace and airbases to do this - what's in it for them?. The UK will not allow the use of Diego Garcia - Blair ends up kicking his heels at the Hague whilst awaiting trial. Kuwait would be in a difficult position, as it will not allow the use of its naval and airbase facilities for this, but at the same time would be allowing the US use for its occupation of Iraq - so what do they get out of it? It goes without saying that the current Iraqi government will say fuck off, and then tell the Iranians about the US request. Bahrain will not allow the use of its naval facilities - it doesn't want its majority Shiite population to get cussed over this and overthrow the government. Qatar has little interest in providing C'n'C facilities and the use of its airbase - legitimate targets once the bombing begins for Iranian missiles. The Saudis have enough problems on the domestic front as is, a Shiite rebellion in the Eastern provinces is not a pleasant prospect.

              •  US Has Bases in Iraq (none)
                You left out the 14 or so permanent bases that the US is building in Iraq that no one is talking about, at least not since Kerry tried to raise the subject during the campaign (and got ignored).

                The US has also made it very clear that it does not ask the "sovereign" Iraqi government for permission for any military action started on Iraqi soil. I suspect that if they had gotten the government they wanted (Chalabi or Allawi) they might have gone through the fig-leaf motions - in which case Chalabi might have proven a nasty surprise for them, given the likelihood that he has been an Iranian double agent all along.

                Complicated enough yet?

                •  more complicated still (none)
                  Well, in case you hadn't noticed, there would be some problems for the US with the friends of Teheran club who are currently in power in Baghdad. Using Iraq-based military assets against Iran is politically incompatible with a continued US presence in Iraq. You can't have both. Military operations against the Iraqi government's domestic enemies is one thing, military operations against their foreign friends is another.

                  A secondary problem would be the current inability of the US military to master the art of quantum deployment in which ground attack aircraft, for example, can be used to simultaneously do combat support for anti-insurgent operations in Iraq and bomb Iran. When someone can crack that one, I'll reconsider the position.

                  The US can build as many "permanent" bases it likes - they're just nice big concentrated targets that would result in logistics nightmares; they also don't actually exist yet, and given the current reconstruction nightmares may prove to be chimerical. It also doesn't change the fact that the Iraqi government and people want the US to leave and the occupation to end.

              •  Some Good Points (none)
                It must be realized that, as you point out, the US has to have some support in order to launch military strikes from bases in the region. I suspect at the very least this type of support doesn't exist as of yet. I do think that you are looking to simplistically at possible responses from Iran.

                If Iran were to send troops into Iraq to further destabilize Iraq that would be it for the regime. Remember that no matter how weak the US Military seems they are still, by far, the most powerful military in the world. To overtly attack such a force amounts to suicide. As I pointed out in my diary The Iranian Response the retaliation that fits in with the stated goals of the Islamic Republic is a series of covert operations not limited to Iraq.

                I strongly suggest that you read my diary regarding the response. Of course your comments are always welcomed.

                •  let me clarify (none)
                  In my opinion, Iran has already pre-positioned itself in Iraq - and they can easily infiltrate the very long border with manpower reinforcements without drawing much attention - but I'm not suggesting that the Iranian military will overtly cross into Iraq in mechanised columns; that would be stupid and a play to US strengths.

                  That said - no one has really any idea what kind of tactics Iran would employ. They've had ample opportunity to assess US strengths and weaknesses in 2 Gulf Wars, Kosovo, Somalia and the Iraq occupation. This gives them some advantages. We also have very little idea of what they actually have in the locker; we know that it is considerably more than Iraq in 1991, but that's all. Again, that gives them some advantages.

                  Bear in mind that the US does not operate along about 75% of the Iran-Iraq border as is - there are small coalition contingents in the Iran-friendly Shia South, from countries that all want their troops out. The only function of these contingents - they are not interfering in Iraq's politics and rarely conduct aggressive operations - is to guard the US logistics chain from Kuwait.

                  We also have no idea of the agreements that Iran has secured with the Shia clergy on what the Fatwa will be should the US attack Iran - but don't for one second assume that these issues have not been extensively discussed in the courts at Karbala and Najaf.

                  I'm not suggesting that they couldn't also act elsewhere - I'm only considering a narrow portion of their options. But the nub of the US problem comes down to the overwhelming lack of support for a US military attack on Iran - there is not one other country in the region, Israel apart, which likes the idea or will be willing to give permission for it. And Israel's support would likely be confined to the rhetorical.

                  Whilst the US military may be the most powerful in the world, there are other calculations to be made. The US will likely face diplomatic censure, and if they do face concerted Iranian retaliation, will be told to back down before things worsen. There won't be any ambiguity as to who was the aggressor, and global opinion is liable to favour Iran's legitimate rights of self-defence in this instance. Everyone is pretty pissed off with the Bush administration.

                  That said, I consider Iran's best options clearly lie in a quick escalation, via mostly Iraqi proxies, on the ground where the US is militarily vulnerable.

                  OK. will go read your diary now.

              •  I read you (none)
                Yes, it helps. Thank you.

                I completely concur with your assumption that any command to open up a "third front" could lead to operational discord that may very well abort the execution of it.  I don't have any trouble, however, imagining that it could be made to look like a response to Iranian interference and aggression, in which case, the discord dies in the benefit of doubt - under the sense of being snowed under by events out of control, especially at the troop level.

                I mean we're talking about the same Pentagon that planned, at one time, to attack American cities to drum up public sympathy for a war with Cuba. Now, I'll grant that this plan was most likely conceived in the interest of what they deemed a kind of greater good for America. But its nobility is, nonetheless, impossible for me to appreciate. I don't know that ideologues at the brass level are any less zealous today than they were in the fifties and sixties. I doubt it. As warped as it is, the bottom line is that it guarantees its own relevance - that provides a mighty potent motivation to judge the thing lamentable-but-wise.

                This kind of military despotism is nothing new around weakened democratic governments. In fact, it's a perpetual threat to them, healthy and otherwise. All other considerations in America have been steadily losing ground to the "sword and purse" for the last forty years, at least. That's why I think the Pentagon will, by in large, toe the line for people in this administration that mean to be holding the reigns when the dust settles. They probably all privately believe it's a forgone conclusion for the "racket" of war to overcome America's philosophy and function. They may even be right.  

                So, unless I miss my guess, the brass at the Pentagon will know they're violating sound military doctrine by drawing Iran into a "third front" scenario, yes, but they'll promote it to taxpayers as though it were a relatively straightforward development of the war in Iraq. And they'll get away with it.

                They get away with it because Americans have been engineered through our media to be distrustful of the world around them as well as offended by the lack of global gratitude for America's virtue, and they are heavily propagandized at home to hold a myopic view of a world rife with potential attacks on them and everything they hold dear. American citizens don't have any resource, widely recognized as trustworthy among compatriots across the political spectrum, to hang their opposition on.  There's no way to propagate a message that we're being herded into another big lie. Path of least resistance thinking dictates that American citizens and soldiers will revert to a besieged mentality, that old standby: "Kill `em all, let God sort `em out," will follow hard upon.

                I've said it upthread, but I don't believe neocons are particularly concerned with military success, in the traditional sense. I believe their idea of success is that America is fully engaged in a perpetual stance of aggression because it's more profitable (and power-proliferating) to literally own and command military resources that need to be continually researched, developed, manufactured and re-supplied.  

                As near as I can tell, the worse the outlook for actual mission "success," the better it is for their financial and ideological bottom line.

                •  ouch (none)
                  The unfortunate rider to this is that you end up by uniting everyone else against you. And you also have some domestic opposition to deal with at the same time. I "marvel" at the poisonous level of political rhetoric in the US; in the UK, people who were against the Iraq war are not routinely characterised as hating Britain or traitors. They're now generally considered to have been right.

                  OK - the US can march down the path of neo-fascist militaristic republicanism, but the rest of the world will hate you and will be forced to cut you out of things. Now you can fester in the isolation - but there are a good many Americans who would kick against this. Frankly, I think that you might be headed for a civil war at home, before any bombing plans for Iran get acted on.

                  I don't see how there can be a successful domestic political sell of doing something to Iran in the current political climate. Condi and co dissing the legitimacy of Iran's elections is hardly a basis for military action - and it's interesting to note that there has been little overt complaint from the US about Iranian meddling in Iraq. Globally, the Iranians are generally acknowledged to have played a constructive role in emphasising the need for elections, and being critical of the Sadrists when they've resorted to violence. I get the impression that there's no coherent policy regarding Iran in Washington and that no decisions have been made. Some doubtless want to bomb - if they're going to do it, they have to do it soon, or delay until 2007.

                  Still, you have a very bleak view of things - I'm not saying you're wrong in your analysis - you know the pulse of America far better than I.

  •  One question... (none)
    keeps gringing on me: with what troups does the US attack Iran?
    •  uh... (none)
      <must review before posting...gringing? I meant 'grinding'>
      •  If I know Rumsfeld (none)
        He'll have us attacking with air campaign and special forces.

        These idiots still believe in their new generation warfare, and while they can certainly cause a lot of havoc with it, there is no way they can occupy Iran with the forces they have now in the region.

        What they can do is throw the entire region into chaos.  Guess when the call for the draft would start?

        It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

        by Steven D on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:04:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everybody seems to be thinking in a vacuum (none)
    Iran is not Iraq. They have over 500,000 troops and have been taking advantage of high oil prices to rearm. China and Russia have been only too happy to oblige.

     The Iranians have also not been weakened by 12 years of UN sanctions as Iraq was. Everybody seems to forget that in a post 911 environment, where the US has decided to more or less do whatever it pleases, that other big players have been negotiating strategic alliances. I would be very surprised if China and Russia, not to mention Europe, would be very much against an Iranian invasion. They may even covertly be arming the Iranians. Drawing a line in the sand so to speak.

    The Iranians already have many Chinese made SUNBURN anti ship missiles which the US has more or less agreed it has no defense against. These could esily stop all oil traffic along the Straits of Hormuz and are difficult to destroy because they are mobile. Lets not forget that the crappy Scuds were not prevented from hitting Israel in 1990. These missiles are part of an inventory that includes French made Exocet, already battle tested in the Gulf, that are starting to make people believe that Aircraft carriers are obselete against these new weapons. They travel at almost MACH 3 and at about 6 feet over the water!

    So what am I saying? That an attack against Iraq would be insane. China and Russia would be strategically inclined to aid the Iranians.  We would have to take very large losses, which of course may be the point in order to escalate to Nuclear options.

    Healthy, happy and liberal.

    by OAS on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:14:34 AM PDT

  •  Why are these people (none)
    so obsessed with Iran?

    It seems to me Iran has been the goal all along.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:20:21 AM PDT

  •  what (none)
    what are we going to invade with?  4 Boy scouts and a broken down Jeep?
  •  AMERICANS WOULDN`T ALLOW IT (none)
    the american people would not  allow bush to go into iran, not after the  debacle in iraq, the only way would be with iraqi troops doing it. in fact we do not have the troops available  for any ground action.if bush tries this he may be dragged out of the white house and lynched or at least lose congress!i`m sure he would love to do thgis but he has boxed himself into a corner with no way of justifying it and without the manpower to do it.
    •  We already pass the law (none)
      We already pass the law allowing Bush to do regime change.

      "Iran Freedom and Support Act 2005"

      Step 1 already begins.

      •  Introduced, not passed (none)
        The bill is S333 (also HR 282). Santorum (figures) introduced it in the Senate, with 26 cosponsors. In the House, Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced it, with 286 cosponsors. Huge numbers, but according to the Thomas.loc.gov, neither bill has made it out of committee.

        A quick scan of the text (meaning that I could easily have missed something) does not appear to provide any war triggers. Mainly it calls for increased sanctions against Iran and support for internal democratic opposition groups. Nothing that on its face sets up a causus belli.

        Not that Bush needs much excuse.

        •  2004 (none)
          I think the 2005 is slight revision of 2005, mainly regarding sanction.

          but supporting democratic movement / regime change is very broad. eg. that include propaganda, helping local group blowing up stuff, and of course assasination. (eg. venezuela, Uzbek, pre invasion Iraq, etc)

          there is no accountability to all those coverst activy. Bush also try to extent 'global war on terror' to everything and anything.

          that is why they try to say zarqawi/alqaeda have received Iranian/Syrian help.

  •  "Death to America" Not (none)
    From the March issue of Smithsonian Magazine. I was reading this the other day and couldn't help but realize (again) what utter fools the bushies are.
    Letter From Iran

    The regime may inflame Washington, but young Iranians say they admire, of all places, America

    Perhaps the most striking thing about anti-Americanism in Iran today is how little of it actually exists. Nearly three-fourths of the Iranians polled in a 2002 survey said they would like their government to restore dialogue with the United States. Though hard-line officials urge "Death to America" during Friday prayers, most Iranians seem to ignore the propaganda. "The paradox of Iran is that it just might be the most pro-American--or, perhaps, least anti-American--populace in the Muslim world," says Karim Sadjadpour, an analyst in Tehran for the International Crisis Group, an advocacy organization for conflict resolution based in Brussels.

    Traveling across Iran over the past five years, I've met many Iranians who said they welcomed the ouster of the American-backed Shah 26 years ago but who were now frustrated by the revolutionary regime's failure to make good on promised political freedoms and economic prosperity. More recently, I've seen Iranians who supported a newer reform movement grow disillusioned after its defeat by hard-liners. Government mismanagement, chronic inflation and unemployment have also contributed to mistrust of the regime and, with it, its anti-Americanism. "I struggle to make a living," a Tehran engineer told me. "The government stifles us, and they want us to believe it is America's fault. I'm not a fool."

    It's increasingly apparent that Iran's young are tuning out a preachy government for an alternative world of personal Web logs (Persian is the third most commonly used language on the Internet, after English and Chinese), private parties, movies, study, and dreams of emigrating to the West. These disenchanted "children of the revolution" make up the bulk of Iran's population, 70 percent of which is under 30. Too young to remember the anti-American sentiment of the '70s, they share little of their parents' ideology. While young Iranians of an earlier generation once revered Che Guevara and romanticized guerrilla movements, students on today's college campuses tend to shun politics and embrace practical goals such as getting a job or admission into a foreign graduate school. Some 150,000 Iranian professionals leave the country each year--one of the highest rates of brain drain in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Iranian intellectuals are quietly rediscovering American authors and embracing values familiar to any American civics student-separation of church and state, an independent judiciary and a strong presidency.

    But intellectuals are not running the show, and the government continues to clash with the United States. Either the Islamic revolution must mellow and embrace political change, or face a reckoning down the road when hard-line clerics come into conflict with the secular, democratic ideals of the younger generation.
    - Written by Afshin Molavi, an American journalist born in Iran
    Link

    Full text of article in PDF format.

    Flags don't kill people, governments do.
    Take back the flag, take back the government.

    by BOHICA on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:59:02 AM PDT

  •  memories, courtesy of the BBC (none)
    Timeline: US-Iran ties  
    A chronology of key events:
    1953 US and British intelligence services help Iranian military officers depose Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadeq, a leading exponent of nationalising the oil industry.

    1979 16 January - US-backed Shah of Iran forced to leave the country after widespread demonstrations and strikes.

    1979 1 February - Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile and takes effective power.

    1979 4 November - Iranian students seize 63 hostages at US embassy in Tehran, prompting drawn-out crisis leading to severing of diplomatic ties and sweeping US sanctions against Iran. Their initial demand is that the Shah return from the US to Iran to face trial. Later Iran also demands the US undertake not to interfere in its affairs.

    1980 25 April - Secret US military mission to rescue hostages ends in disaster in sandstorm in central Iranian desert.

    1980 27 July - Exiled Shah dies of cancer in Egypt, but hostage crisis continues.

    1980 22 September - Iraq invades, sparking a war with Iran which lasts the rest of the decade. While several Western countries provide support to Iraq during the war, Iran remains diplomatically isolated.

    1981 20 January - Last 52 US hostages freed in January after intense diplomatic activity. Their release comes a few hours after US President Jimmy Carter leaves office. They had been held for 444 days.

    1985/6 US holds secret talks with Iran and makes weapons shipments, allegedly in exchange for Iranian assistance in releasing US hostages in Lebanon. With revelations that profits were illegally channelled to Nicaraguan rebels, this creates the biggest crisis of Ronald Reagan's US presidency.

    1987/8 US forces engage in series of encounters with Iranian forces, including strikes on Gulf oil platforms.

    1983 July - US cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shoots down Iran Air Airbus over the Gulf, killing all 290 people on board.

    1989 3 June - Ayatollah Khomeini dies. President Khamenei is appointed supreme leader the following day.

    1989 17 August - Hashemi Rafsanjani sworn in as president, with apparent backing of both conservatives and reformers in the leadership.

    1990/91 Iran remains neutral in US-led intervention in Kuwait. Rapprochement with West hindered by Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 religious edict ordering that British author Salman Rushdie be killed for offending Islam in one of his novels.

    1992/3 Iran criticises perceived US regional interference in the wake of the Gulf War and the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

    1993 US President Bill Clinton takes office.

    1995 President Clinton imposes oil and trade sanctions on Iran for alleged sponsorship of "terrorism", seeking to acquire nuclear arms and hostility to the Middle East process. Iran denies the charges.

    1996 Mr Clinton stiffens sanctions with penalties against any firm that invests $40m or more a year in oil and gas projects in Iran and Libya.

    1997 23 May - Muhammad Khatami elected president of Iran.

    1998 President Khatami calls for a "dialogue with the American people" in American TV interview. But in a sermon a few weeks later he is sharply critical of US "oppressive policies".

    1999 Twentieth anniversary of US embassy siege. Hardliners celebrate the occasion, as reformists look to the future rather than the past.

    2000 18 February - Iranian reformists win landslide victory in general election. Shortly afterwards, President Clinton extends ban on US oil contracts with Iran, accusing it of continuing to support international terrorism.

    2000 March - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls for a new start in US-Iranian relations and announces lifting of sanctions on Iranian exports ranging from carpets to food products. Iranian foreign ministry initially welcomes the move, but Ayatollah Khamenei later describes it as deceitful and belated.

    2000 September - Mrs Albright meets Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi at UN in New York - the first such talks since diplomatic ties were severed in 1979.

    2001 June - The US alleges that elements within the Iranian Government were directly involved in the bombing of an American military base in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Tehran angrily rejects the allegations.

    2001 September - Report by Central Intelligence Agency accuses Iran of having one of the world's most active programmes to acquire nuclear weapons. The CIA report says Iran is seeking missile-related technology from a number of countries including Russia and China.

    2002 29 January - US President George W Bush, in his State of the Union address, describes Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil". He warns that the proliferation of long-range missiles being developed in these countries is as great a danger to the US as terrorism. The speech causes outrage in Iran and is condemned by reformists and conservatives alike.

    2002 September - Russian technicians begin construction of Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr despite strong objections from US.

    2002 December - The US accuses Iran of seeking to develop a secret nuclear weapons programme and publishes satellite images of two nuclear sites under construction at Natanz and Arak.

    2003 February-May - The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducts a series of inspections in Iran. The country confirms that there are sites at Natanz and Arak under construction, but insists that these, like Bushehr, are designed solely to provide fuel for future power plants.

    2003 June - White House refuses to rule out the "military option" in dealing with Iran after IAEA says Iran "failed to report certain nuclear materials and activities". But IAEA does not declare Iran in breach of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    2003 September - Washington says Iran is not complying with non-proliferation accords but agrees to support proposal from Britain, France and Germany to give Iran until end of October fully to disclose nuclear activities and allow surprise inspections.

    2003 October-November - Tehran agrees to suspend its uranium enrichment programme and allow tougher UN inspections of its nuclear facilities. An IAEA report says Iran has admitted producing plutonium but adds there is no evidence that it was trying to build an atomic bomb. However, US dismisses the report as "impossible to believe". The IAEA votes to censure Iran but stops short of imposing sanctions.

    2003 December - US sends humanitarian aid to Iran after earthquake kills up to 50,000 people in city of Bam. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Iran's permanent envoy to UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif, hold telephone talks in a rare direct contact.

    2004 January - President Bush denies that US has changed its policy towards Tehran and says moves to help Iran in the wake of earthquake do not indicate a thaw in relations.

    2004 March - A UN resolution condemns Iran for keeping some of its nuclear activities secret. Iran reacts by banning inspectors from its sites for several weeks.

    2004 September - The IAEA passes a resolution giving a November deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran rejects the call and begins converting raw uranium into gas.

    2004 November - Iran agrees to a European offer to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for trade concessions. At the last minute, Tehran backs down from its demand to exclude some centrifuges from the freeze. The US says it maintains its right to send Iran unilaterally to the UN Security Council if Tehran fails to fulfil its commitment.

    2005 January - Europe and Iran begin trade talks. The European trio, France, Germany and the UK, demand Iran stop its uranium enrichment programme permanently.

    2005 February - Iranian President Mohammed Khatami says his country will never give up nuclear technology, but stresses it is for peaceful purposes. Russia backs Tehran, and signs a deal to supply fuel to Iran's Bushehr reactor.

    New US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says attacking Iran is not on the US agenda "at this point in time".

    2005 March - President George W Bush signals a major change in policy towards Iran. He says the US will back the negotiation track led by the European trio - EU3 - and offer economic incentives for the Islamic state to give up its alleged nuclear ambitions.

    Mr Bush announces the US will lift a decade-long block on Iran's membership of the World Trade Organization, and objections to Tehran obtaining parts for commercial planes.

    •  About that 1953 Coup.... (none)
      It's worth remembering that Churchill tried to get Truman to overthrow Mussadegh and restore the Pahlavis, and Truman refused. (Churchill mainly wanted the Anglo-Iranian oil company to get its monopoly back.) But when Eisenhower took office, he agreed to send in the CIA to engineer the coup.

      That act set the scene for practically all of the Iranian responses to the US since, both as a fawning ally during the shah's reign, and as a fanatical enemy since. This is the sort of thing that gets me particularly upset at right-wing partisans like Ann Coulter (spit, spit), who mindlessly blasts all Democrats as foolish traitors and Republicans as the recipients of divine wisdom and authority. Truman was right; Eisenhower was wrong.

      </rant>

      •  Funny how wingnuts tend to dislike Ike, as well (none)
        Although Truman was a better president in a lot of ways, Eisenhower wasn't so bad, actually perhaps the best Republican president we've had this century...

        He knew and spoke out about the Military-Industrial Complex, as well. In fact, he may have coined the name, and certainly helped introduce it into the culture at large...

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:18:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about China? (none)
    If we want to sour our relations with China, I can't think of a better way than to declare war on its main oil supplier, Iran. Of course, we could start issuing calls for democracy there, too. I do think China and India and their growing thirst for oil is what is driving our Middle Eastern policy. America had better be careful, because with our debt as high as it is (thanks, Bush!) our flank is fully exposed economically.

    Invading Iran would be the height of recklessness, and with Bush's poll numbers tanking I have a hard time believing that the American public would buy any justification he offers for sending our troops in. And just as someone said above, what are we planning to invade with? The gears of our military are already clogged with sand in Iraq. An Azerbaijani army? Hmmm ... Nothing like being militarily involved in nearly all of southern Asia.

  •  War with Iran (none)
    I read the Billmon post about 10 Iraqi Infantry divisions, then I read the story about escalating tensions between Iraq and Iran. This certainly sounds like Bush and his (never) Right wing puppetmasters are working overtime. Since this thread if full of tinfiol hat theories, I may as well throw in one of my own.

    Perhaps a terror attack in Iraq, pinned on Iran? Or maybe another "Gulf of Tonkin" incident will be staged, to rile up the Iraqi people. At the same time, a Iranian supported terror plot is uncovered in the US. The public is outraged, and Congress is demanding a response. The US will have to support the fledging Iraqi government as it defends itself. So Iraq invads Iran with US satellite cover, US Special Forces, probably US cruise missles and air cover. Halliburton provides some "contractors", and the Carlyle Group sells lots of hardware. Iran suffers some set back (according to the official story), unleashes a nuke on Iraq. Many Iraqi's and quite a few Americans are killed. Since Iran has used a WMD on our ally and on us, we no have "no choise" and use nukes on Iran. Probably just "tactical" battlefield nukes at first, to thin down the Iranian forces. If Iran has any left, they will likely respond in kind, and use another nuke, possibly this time on a city. Of course, many women and children are killed, and lots of American soldiers, aids workers, and Halliburton employees. Maybe some biological and chemical attacks are thrown in for good measure. Now the gloves are off. Tactical, strategic nukes, everything is on option. All of Iran's leadership and infrastructure is wiped out,except of course for the oils fields, which are taken in a small scale amphibous assault from the Gulf after the nukes start flying.  So, now the (never) Right wing neoncons have total control of the two biggest midlle eastern countries and their oil fields. Halliburton, Carlye Group, ExxonMobile and BP all have record years.
    Then , Sryia shoots down an American Blackhawk patrolling on the border...

    Is story as crazy as it sounds? Of course it is. It is absolute lunacy. Never happen in a million years. No one is that crazy. Bush and his puppetmasters would never use nukes. There is no way they would start a second war, when we are having so much trouble with the first.

    Of course, you could argue that "combat operations" ended in Iraq almost two years ago. Didn't Bush proclaim "Mission Accomplished" from the deck of an aircraft carrier? Hasn't Bush been pushing for new, more powerful nukes?

    I have no idea what will happen. I hope that the story of Deepthroat and the release of the DSM will inspire someone to come forward to give proof of Bush and Cheney's crimes, and some obscure reporter looking to make a name will "follow the money" (or oil, or fascism, whatever). The (never) Right will lose its grip on the the Congress in 2006 and Bush will be impeached. Unfortunatly, the first story is much more likely than the second...

    •  fantasy (none)
      That's a great film script - the problem with real-world scenarios is that they never pan out that way or, in the case of the above, are so ludicrous as to have absolutely no relation to the real world - I dunno, maybe you slipped into our world from a parallel dimension.

      1. There are numerous terrorist attacks in Iraq on a daily basis - I've never heard of even one being ascribed to Iranian activity.

      2. The Iraqi people are mostly already riled up at the Americans and/or their opponents within the country.

      3. You can only uncover the plots that exist, not the plots you'd like to exist.

      4. The current Iraqi government has normalised relations with Iran and formally apologised for starting the Iran-Iraq war - it was the first thing of note that they did. This is a BIG clue about the nature of relations between Iran and Iraq - they're friends.

      5. Iraq's Shia dominated army is in no position to invade anyone - no equipment, no morale, no desire to do the bidding of the US. Iran is not worrying about the ragged army that Iraq could deploy. Iran is worried about that ragged army being unable to bring stability to Iraq and allowing the benefits of trade and cultural relations to unfold.

      6. The Iranians don't have nukes. They don't need them.

      7. There's no proven market for radioactive oil.
      •  Ludicrous (none)
        If you read the entire post, I said it was lunacy.  I said I have no idea what will happen.

        That said, I beleive Bush and his puppetmasters do lust for Iran. Facts will not stand in the way. You could have made a similar "fact based" argument for why we would not invade Iraq. None of it mattered. If they do in fact lust for Iran, they will manufacture any required facts to support their argument.

        Whatever the goal is for the (never) Right wing neo-cons, they obviously don't let inconvenient facts get in the way.

        •  rapprochement is the eventual outcome (none)
          The one thing that I knew beyond all doubt was that the US would invade Iraq - they had sufficient diplomatic, domestic and material support to enable it, as quite a few other people thought it was a good idea. It helped that Sadaam Hussein has been an international poster boy for all things bad for 15 years and was under restrictive UN sanctions; Ali Khamenei has zero face recognition in the US - would you recognise him - and is not similarly burdened by the past.

          There was little downside risk for the initial invasion as Iraq was a terminally weak state, diplomatically isolated,  which was unable to control its own territory and airspace, that had a totally degraded military that suffered from poor morale and was tactically incoherent. This was obvious - they were going to do it because Iraq was "easy meat". Iran is not Iraq, and you cannot replay the same scenario, no matter how stiff the erections for it get in Washington.

          The level of inconvenient facts that get in the way are about 1000 times greater with respect to Iran. Add to that there is absolutely no one outside of the US, Israel and Al Qaeda apart, who thinks its anything other than a disastrous idea. That's where the principal killer problem lies.

          That said, I thought invading Iraq was a terrible idea - for the obvious reasons that have subsequently reared their heads. That doesn't mean that I didn't recognise that it would be fairly easy for the US and the UK to do it.

    •  could be (none)
      I think more likely is that the Bush administration declares that Bin Laden is in Iran, therefore we have to invade.
  •  New Twist? (none)
    OK, how about if the "surprise" candidate in Iran, the more hard-line theocratic mayor I believe, gets elected.  There is a "nuclear event" in Iraq "directly linked" to the new Iranian government.  US/Israel/even Europe must rush into Iran to "save" the world from this nuclear terrorist regime.  And, if that doesn't provide a big enough push, then a similar small "nuclear event" occurs on US soil (preferably in Dem stronghold), so that millions of Merkins rush to sign up and obliterate the ragheads.

    Or am I completely out of line here?

    Hoping to move to New Zealand before it REALLY gets bad here...

    by whatsleft on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:05:22 AM PDT

  •  Nice wrap-up of last Iranian coup 1953 (none)
    Actually I'm not sure it WAS the LAST Iranian coup because having read Kate Millet's Going to Iran where she is on the ground with the LIBERAL forces that over-threw the Shah, and thinking that the country had to be teeming with US operatives as one of it's fav client's was being over-thrown, I've long held wild suspicions about who actually got the old guy back into the country and who organized the unemployed thugs who attacked the women of Tehran who were central in organizing the the anti-Shah demonstrations.  But that's another story.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/sasan08192003.html

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:28:02 AM PDT

  •  So let's see... (none)
    ...they lied about Iraq, are currently lying Iran, and lying about nearly anything we can come up with.  Hmmm...are there any major events in the past 4 years that they haven't lied about?  How about the events of 9/11.  Surely they can't lie about something that big.  Oh wait, yes they can! :-)

    Plans for global domination by an elite uber-wealthy ruling class sure are a lot easier when your journalists aren't allowed to conduct real journalism on the key issues of the day.  

  •  Iran doesn't need nuclear power (none)
    It has trillions of dollars of oil in the ground.

    It would be foolish for Iran to abandon oil worth trillions for a mushroom-shaped glow in the Iranian sky that will soon fade away along with the hopes of the Iranian people.

    The Russians and the Chinese are now friends with America. The North Koreans have nuclear bombs already. The only country America doesn't want to have nuclear weapons that can make them is Iran. Once Iran gets a nuclear weapon, what country is there left for the American government to fear?

    This is not to suggest that the United States should really fear a country run by men trying to serve God.

    Oil fields are being pumped dry in the United States. The United States either has to import even more oil it really can't afford or switch to nuclear power.

    The only thing holding America back from switching to nuclear is the fear of nuclear proliferation. However, once North Korea and Iran both have the bomb all American fears about nuclear proliferation will have come true. There will be no down side to an American switch to nuclear power.

    The prices in the oil market will rapidly collapse once America is free to switch to nuclear.

    Oil producers will dump as much oil as they can before the new American nuclear plants come online.

    The cheers of nuclear bomb proud Iranians will fall silent as Iranian oil revenues collapse and budget cutbacks are made throughout Iran.

    The American laser based enrichment system is far cheaper to run than the Iranian centifuge based enrichment system.

    This of course assumes Israel will just watch as Iran tries to build the third largest nuclear weapons stockpile on Earth. Israel is reputed to have 350 nuclear bombs. Does Israel need that many? Of course not. Does Israel even need 100 nuclear bombs? I'm sure that question has been debated in Israel.

    The Iranian leadership needs to get out a map of Iran and a red pen and scratch off 250 possible Israeli targets.

    At most, a little diplomacy, a free map and a red pen are all the situation in Iran requires.

     

  •  I Tell You Once, I Tell You Twice (none)
    This marks at least the second diary in three days on the question of a Bush invasion of Iran. I'd posted mine on Friday. (There might have been another before mine, but I can't seem to get the Kos search engine to find it. Oh, well.)

    I seem to remember an observation around here that if 3 Kos diaries pick up the same topic, then it starts to get national attention. Let's hope that's true.

    Couple of thoughts, by way of general comment on the responses here:

    1. Lack of troops to do the job didn't bother Bush/Rumsfeld in Iraq, and may not bother them in Iran. For one thing, they're looking at a combination of special ops forces and air power - and remember, they have those 14 bases in Iraq to use as forward staging areas. Also, as I and others have pointed out, Leslie Gelb reported that it looks to him (and he has an expert eye) that the Iraqis are being trained as invasion troops. Whether they would actually go fight another bloody war against Iran is a very good question, but one that can only be asked in a reality-based environment.

    2. Between Iraq and Iran, that's, what, 1/4 of the proven oil reserves in the world. Good motive for an oil-run presidency that would much rather seize control of the world's oil (which, not incidentally, would put them in a position to pressure China, Japan and India) than develop energy independence.

    3. Although the release of the original DSM can be tied to the timing of the UK election, the later releases cannot serve that purpose; Blair has already been reelected. And I find it suspicious that he has tacitly acknowledged the accuracy of the memos and is (apparently) making no effort to stop further leaks. I can think of several reasons for this, but the one that comes to mind now is that Blair knows Bush is planning an attack on Iran, and does not want to be swept along this time like he was in Iraq. By exposing Bush's manipulations in the runup to the Iraq war, he may be hoping to put a stop to this sequel.

    Unlike Churchill (see my previous post on the 1953 coup), Blair may have a better grasp on Middle East realities. Let's hope so, anywyay.
    •  I fear a "Bay of Pigs" scenario, too (none)
      One where our government attacks with vastly outnumbered forces, because they're so sure the Iranian people will join them once the Iranian gov't is threatened.

      This way of "thinking", if it can be dignified with that term, gets them around the slight problem of not having enough soldiers.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:22:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Forget Azerbaijan, Look to Uzbekistan (none)
    One overlooked aspect of the whole Iranian setup is Uzbekistan, where the US has a large, and very quiet, military presence for the "war on terror." (I originally typed "war of terror," an appropriately Freudian slip.) Recall the recent unrest in Uzbekistan and how the US only belatedly, grudgingly and minimally made any kind of noises at all about the government's heavy hand.

    Yes, it could be argued that the US needs the Uzbeki bases to hit the Taliban or Al-Qaeda (Uzbekistan being under more reliable control than Afghanistan and more accomodating than Pakistan). But a quick look at the map also shows Uzbekistan's usefulness for any invasion of Iran.

    Yes, Turkmenistan does lies in between. But Rumsfeld took care of that problem years ago. In May 2002, the Jamestown foundation reported that

    In Turkmenistan, Rumsfeld and President Saparmurat Niazov focused on the nonmilitary forms of support that the country provides to the U.S.-led coalition. Turkmenistan serves as the principal conduit for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. More than one-third of food aid to Afghanistan passes through Turkmenistan or is temporarily stored there, awaiting shipment. It now came to light that the U.S. stations a small group of military personnel in Turkmenistan who refuel the cargo planes that carry aid bound for Afghanistan. It also became known on this occasion that Turkmenistan allows not only humanitarian but also military overflights, though it had initially ruled out the latter. [Emphasis added]

    Again, look at the map:

    Uzbekistan shares a border with Afghanistan, so Turkmen overflight rights, while helpful, are not strictly necessary. But they are necessary for US forces in Uzbekistan to reach Iran.

    PS: The UTexas website, where I got this map from, keeps a list of maps of current interest on its front page. I don't when they last updated it, but Iran is on that list. Maybe they know something, too?

  •  US upset about rival pipeline.. (none)

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:17:40 PM PDT

  •  WRITE YOUR SENATORS (none)
    Make sure that one of your Senators gets testimony, on the record, on C-Span, before the end of the week!

    The MSM isn't gonna so much as ~peep~ about this.

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