Iranian Drumbeat

Steve Clemons is warning about the drumbeat to invade Iran, and pointing out that there are good ways to stop the Iranian nuclear program without a military strike.  And his statements are coming from discussions with Israeli national security specialists, so this isn't a peacenik movement talking here.  Coincidentally, this morning I had a conversation with Eric Massa, one of the candidates just added to the netroots fundraising page.  Massa is a 24 year Navy veteran who was in Gulf War I and Kosovo, so I asked him about Iran.  

Roughly, here's what he said.  The way to guarantee that Iran gets a nuclear weapon is to go in with F-15s and bomb them.  If we go in we have to have a 100% kill ratio for nuclear sites, or else the one we didn't hit will come back to bite us.  The way to stop nuclear proliferation is, as Clemons says, to work with institutions in the country by actually opening up a dialogue.

In other words, if we attack Iran like we did Iraq, Iran will get nuclear weapons.  But that's not all.  I'll just quote from the Cunning Realist:

As someone who works in the global financial markets, I can state confidently that military action against Iran will have profound financial consequences for any American who relies on more than a log cabin, a bicycle, and barter.

Tags: Eric Massa, Iran, Israel, Steve Clemons (all tags)

Comments

56 Comments

Re: Iranian Drumbeat

According to the Pakistan daily news, Bush will take the sites out before his term ends.

http://www.rawstory.com

by liebermanlives 2006-04-05 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

dubya won't try it on his own - he'll ask Joe Lieberman for some enabling assistance.

by Michael Bersin 2006-04-05 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

H'mmmm. Here's Ws decision function: Send over 2 B2s and set back Iran's nuclear ambitions for decades; or engage in uncertain and difficult diplomacy. What do you think he'll do?

by noname 2006-04-05 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Straw man.

Who says this would set back Iran's ambitions  decades? Assumes two things:

1) We could actually get them all;
2) They couldn't simply use their already acquired know-how to reconstruct facilities that are more bunkered down and efficient.

Both assumptions are at best debatable.

Refer to Blix's comments on the matter. He has a defendable track record when it comes to WMD threat assessments. Bush, the GOP and their Iraq War Democratic fan club? Not so much.

Sounds like a GOP talking point you've just set up there though, I'm sure I'd hear more of it in coming months on the M$M, if I still consumed it.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

"As someone who works in the global financial markets, I can state confidently that military action against Iran will have profound financial consequences for any American who relies on more than a log cabin, a bicycle, and barter."

And naturally, that fact will dissuade Bush from doing anything rash. LOL

by drlimerick 2006-04-05 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat
Sometimes you got to wonder, who is snookering whom? Bush and his adminstration isn't to bright, being completely enamored by their own infalibility. Iran's very public nuclear plans practically invite attack. They must know this so why are they doing it?
Iranian land forces are not trivial ( http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/w orld/iran/army.htm ). Iran has a long hatred of the US, a strong interest in Iraq, very short supply lines... We, OTOH, have an exhausted force in the middle of a civil war clustered around the Sunni triangle half a world away. While we are cetainly capable of beating Iran, would we have the will if they held 30,000+ POWs?
by shirt 2006-04-05 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Our forces our Exhausted, but they are still MUCH better than Iran, so 30K POWs is not happening.  However, Bush would find another way to Fuck it up.  My prediction, if we manage to take over the House and Senate in November, Bush pushes to Invade and tries to strong arm a draft before the new Congress is sworn in.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-05 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Iranians are also intensely nationalistic, unlike Iraqis.  Not saying you are making this mistake, but people seem to be equating the military might and resolve of Iran with Iraq.  

Iran may not be as sectarian, but it would execute a much, much stiffer conventional military fight than the Iraqi's did.  This would not be a sitatuion where you would see 100,000 troops dropping to their knees, waiving white flags.    

by Eric11 2006-04-05 11:50AM | 0 recs
Iran is going to get worse

Because Iran's policies are similar to those of Germany in the 30s: do everything you can to militarize and use all the world's outrage to distract your public.

Iran is bad.

Face it: we attacked the wrong country.

by jcjcjc 2006-04-05 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Iran is going to get worse

You are right.  We should have invaded Germany again.  

Maybe if the US government didnt spend the 60's and 70's supporting a ruthless vicious dictator like the Shah, the Iranians would not hate us.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Iran is going to get worse

The April 7 card on the America (by John Stewart) Day to day calendar brings this up:

"In Many democracies, citizens sometimes shake their heads in frustration and sigh, "I've never seen the country in such bad shape."  That does not happen in Germany."

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-05 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Iran is going to get worse

Funny one about Germany.  I'm sure it would have confused the hell out of the Soviets.

As to the Shah, yes, it is an issue that swallows much of the problem whole.

In general, I am an isolationist.  But, Iran is in a race to the extremes.

Now, I suspect that Iran is a gigantic social disaster waiting to happen.  Too many young males, high unemployment, major cities sitting in earthquake zones, etc.

BUT . . . that doesn't preclude them doing something dumb before that social disaster occurs.

by jcjcjc 2006-04-06 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Iran is going to get worse

> we attacked the wrong country.

Well, as Jon Stewart said, Bush was only one letter off.

by schroeder 2006-04-05 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

"...military action against Iran will have profound financial consequences for any American who relies on more than a log cabin, a bicycle, and barter."

That's what will be refered to as "sacrifices we all make to win the war on terra (tm)"

I'd add the following to "...a log cabin, a bicycle and barter...": an American passport.

It is truly in reading the aftermath of the Irak debacle, and the strategic pickle the US finds itself in right now because of it, that the utter cravenness of the Democratic leadership, the leadership that underwrote Dubya's war nearly to a man (and many of whom still continue to fool themselves on the issue), is best underscored in my mind.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Many of you have heard about the massive conventional bomb test scheduled for the Nevada Test Site on June 2.  This test is clearly directed to make a point to Iran.  This is scarey stuff.

by howardpark 2006-04-05 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Wes Clark has been saying the same thing for a while. Every time he's asked if we could attack Iran, he always responds "Sure! But then what?"

Clark has been pushing for a dialogue with Iran all year.

Of course we know, whatever Bush does....he'll f*ck it up.

We're doomed.

by pelican 2006-04-05 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Which is why this is going to be so difficult for Bush to do politically.  Most people know he is going to screw it up, or at the very least, have little faith in his ability to handle another war.

by Eric11 2006-04-05 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Both Bu$hCo and the Iranian leadership play off of each other's belligerent attitude for political purposes. The Bu$h admin. knows it has few military options at this juncture having squandered it's resources in Iraq. The Iranians know this as well and feel safe taunting Bu$h and company. Will anything happen? I doubt it. During the Cold War this kind of saber rattling was done by both sides for their own political purposes at home. Bu$h has BIG problems politically as does the Iranian hardliner so getting everyone focused on the "external" threat real or imagined is the age old formula used by weak leaders against their own political opposition.

by Blutodog 2006-04-05 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Attacking Iran would be sheer insanity but we have a wingnut administration. Its possible that career officers in the military will blow the whistle if it gets beyond bluster. And this time the Dems may get a spine but they don't have a track record of cojones.

by ab initio 2006-04-05 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I agree. I think the Generals though have had it with the neo-cons and the mess they've led them into. Plus, they're sick and tired of literally dying for these ass klowns delusions. They can bark all they want about Iran but it's a no go. Unless, of course Binny and the boys do Bu$hCo another favor. We have to always remember Binny is Bu$hCo's ace card and he's never let his friend down yet has he?

by Blutodog 2006-04-07 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

What Juan Cole says about Kerry's plan:

...

The problem with Kerry's and Greif's exit plans is that they are only that-- exit plans. It isn't hard to get a US exit. We just pull up stakes and go home. What is hard is not to leave chaos behind us, of a sort that will throw the whole Oil Gulf region into war....

Juan Cole

by pelican 2006-04-05 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Juan Cole is both right and wrong.  He's right: leaving will leave behind a disaster.  However, he's wrong because this is not a reasonable criticism of the plan.  Every course of action at this point leaves behind a disaster, it's up to us to responsibly choose the smallest disaster, which exit probably is.  (Note to future Adminstrations: when your policy lands you in a situation where you have to find the smallest disaster, it's a bad policy.)

At first, I thought all this talk about Iran was merely sabre rattling.  Even to an Administration as mendacious and incompetent as this one, I always thought it obvious on its face that an Iranian attack would make us pine for the days of spending $100B and a few thousand lives per year.

But I'm slowly coming to think that they actually mean it.  And I can't imagine what would stop them if they do.

by Professor Foland 2006-04-05 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I agree with you 100% on the first paragraph.  

As for the rest, there is no actual threat of war with Iran.  See my other comment.  The reason that we are sabre-rattling is that Bush needs to.  When we pre-emptively invaded Iraq, the neo-cons actually believed that this would teach the rest of the world to not threaten or challenge the US.  This is the "Dont Mess With Texas" philosophy of diplomacy.  

Because of the pre-emptive and unnecessary war with Iraq, the Bush neo-cons think they have some diplomatic capital to spend.  Hence the sabre-rattling.  What is the use of a made-up war if you are not willing to threaten other countries with the same fate?  

Unfortunately for Bush, the Iranians see through the posturing, and are not intimidated.  Same goes for North Korea and Latin America.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I have said this on MYDD for as long as Iran has been an issue.  THERE WILL BE NO WAR WITH IRAN OR MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST IRAN.  How do I know?

1.  The US does not have the military capacity.  It is difficult to sustain the occupation of Iraq without instituting  a draft.  Iran is far larger, with a more capable and dedicated military than Iraq, and is not having its airspace controlled by US no-fly zones.  Nor will they disarm before any invasions (as did Hussein in 2003.)

2.  The international community will not tolerate it.  Just losing Venezuelan oil, alone, would cripple the US, and since Chavez has said that any US action would result in immediate embargo, there can be no invasion of Iran, without simultaneous invasion of Venezuela.  

3.  Bush does not care about threats.  The invasion of Iraq was not about neutralizing threats.  It was about an easy, winnable war with little cost to the US, and with the support, at least tacitly, of the international community.  Plus a lot of no-bid contracts.  Any actions against Iran will result in an ACTUAL WAR, and considering how badly the make-believe war has gone, the chicken-hawk cabal that passes for a government in this country will not start a real war.  

There are a lot of other reasons why the US CAN NOT AND WILL NOT START A WAR WITH IRAN, but I dont have the patience to go through them right now.  

Iran can do anything they want, include openly finance and support an Iraqi insurgency and build a nuclear weapon.  Bush has left this country so compromised and vulnerable that there is not a godamned thing we can do about it.  

So lets stop pretending war with Iran is even a possibility.  It isnt.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

You're assuming that policy makers are rational in your assessment.

Given their track record, in this case I'm not sure you can safely make that assumption.

To see how "faith-based" folks deal with such war and peace issues in the real-world, please refer to the actions of the Iranian army in the Iran-Irak war, once the mullahs took over control of the Iranian military.

And to this casual observer of the Dubya administration, there's a lot a faith-based policy making, including as regards war and peace, in our halls of power as well.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

That was my first response to Winston's comment as well.  However, he does make a lot of sense.  North Korea was and is a bigger threat than Iraq or Iran are or were.  Yet the possibility of an invasion hasn't been broached by anyone.  There is a lot of posturing by the WH, but we and the North Koreans know that the Bushies don't have the balls to do it.  WOuld an invasion of Iran shock me?  No... the Bushies are idiots.  But I think Winston is right, it won't happen.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-05 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Again, goes back to the rational actor issue at the bottom of this argument.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Dubya is animated by the sorts of policy logic that only a fan of the "Left Behind" series could follow. And all that sabre-rattling viz. Israel only gets the "Left Behind" crowd even more in a sacerdotal frenzy.

North Koreans may quite rationally be seen as a more serious and direct threat to the US. But this isn't what's animating the policy makers. Otherwise I'd agree with your (and 1984's) assessment.

Problem is, if that assessment had been a predictive one, Dubya & co. never would've invaded Iraq. But they did. And they would have pulled out at the very least when Saddam was captured. But they didn't. And so forth...

by redstar66 2006-04-05 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Well, at the very least I think we both agree that if an IRAN invasion happens, Bush and RUmmy will A)fuck it up and b) it will hurt this country in one of the worst ways it has been hurt in sometime... Of course maybe that is the goal... Get his legacy up as the Pres who hurt the US the most, since Greatest Pres is out of the question... Even greatest of the 21st century isn't a possibility... Clinton gets that role, even if his time here was limited.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-05 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

North Korea being the "bigger threat" is lefty propaganda kool-aid.  Why?  because it is SAFE to say, because everyone knows we won't and CAN'T attack NK.

by jgarcia 2006-04-05 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

<<-----scratching his head...

Your point being...?

What, you think a nuclear armed country with missiles that can possibly hit the US Pacific coast is not a threat?

And as a lefty, I can tell you it doesn't take kool-aid to see that.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I just finished reading "The Utility of Force:  The Art of War in the Modern World," written by General Rupert Smith, Ret. of the British Royal Army.  His book is the most sensical book in warfare I have ever read (and I have read a lot).  He is a moderate and heavily criticized the war in Iraq.  But he does chronicle how once a nation achieves nukes, it's over with.  

In other words, dangerous or not there's nothing to fucking do about NK.  But if you are comfortable with Iranian Mullahs having missiles within the distance of Paris, and, soon, London, with warheads, that's on you.

It'll never happen, because even the Euros ain't gonna accept a nuclear and long-range missile armed Iran.  

Btw, I am an extreme lefty.  Soemthing like -7s.  However, on shit like this, I am so left I lose my sanity.  And the book is brand-new, very British and can only be found on UK Amazon

Oh, and I am FOR attacking Iran.  But under a Democratic administration, not under a sociopath like W.

by jgarcia 2006-04-05 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Well, from one lefty to the next, I think we can agree on one thing: mullahs suck, whether they are of the rapture-believing protestant type (as in here) or the enlightenment-despising shiite type found in Iran.

I trust Blix more than I trust the Americans on this one. And we've got time, way more time than Bush has to further fuck up the strategic position of the West.

If France and the UK start rattling sabres (and they will do this subtlely, unlike what we are accustomed to from Washington), then I'm with you.

But not before.

I wouldn't trust the rhetoric of an administration in Washington on this subject, GOP or Democrat (after the display these latter put on in '02-'03 and even today).  

I'll check out that book you cite. Thanks for the reference.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

cool.  thanks.  it's really a great read if you can deal with all the "whilsts".  haha, and did you notice i put the quote INSIDE the period?

btw, we are in TOTAL agreement here.  I do not trust Bush about Iran or anything else.  If a Democratic administration (along with the rest of the west) says we have a deadly serious problem with Iran, then yep, I am for it.  Not til then.  Sorry, Bush, but Bush fucking squandered any and all trust in him from Americans and the world.

by jgarcia 2006-04-05 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

The difference between North Korea and Iran is obvious.  Oil.  Although perhaps naive, I never actually thought the war with Iraq was strickly about oil.  In the beginning, I thought it was about political opportunity, payback, military control, and perhaps a little about oil.  

Boy, was I wrong.  It was really has been about black gold all along.    

by Eric11 2006-04-05 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

These neo-cons chicken-hawks may be war-mongers, but they are also political cowards.  On paper the invasion of Iraq was easy, as was the actual progress of phase one.  In 2003,  the US was not war-weary, but thirsting for revenge.  Plus we had a huge military that wasn't doing anything else (as in, looking for Osama, for instance) and we had the sympathies of the international community.  And low gas prices.  

Consider 2006.  The US is war-weary, and ready for disengagement, not a new war.  The military is stretched to capacity.  Our government can not rely on a sympathetic world to support, or at least not actively oppose a new war.  And voters are tired of high gas prices.  

Will Iran be "easy" like Iraq was?  What will be the response to the bombing of Iran.  Well, first, Venezuela cuts off almost 20% of our oil supply.  Protests break out all over the world, including in the US.  Gas prices soar.  The Iranians respond to this declaration of war by openly supporting an Iraqi insurgency and destabilizing the borders of both Iraq and Afganistan.  Plus they start fighting back and killing more US soldiers.  The Iraqi Shia allign with Iran and we have a militarized insurgency.  

Of course the muslim world, after the US invasion of a third muslim nation, decides that the US hates all muslims, and broad protests spread that make the cartoon riots look like cartoons of riots.  The US is forced from Pakistan and the gulf emirates.  

Gas prices top five dollars a gallon.  

And all of this during a congressional election year?  These neo-cons may be war-mongers, but they are also lazy and are political cowards.  THE US WILL NOT TAKE ANY MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAN.  Bush has left the US too weak and politically compromised the take any actions even if they were in the national interests.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

The funny thing is (and I agree with you assessment) if it was ANY other president... Nixon, Clinton, Reagan, Bush I, etc all the things you mentioned would make it an impossibility.  But with W and the current GOP congress, that little trickle of doubt... of them saying The Rapture is here, lets fight God's war... that makes it seem possible.  If i heard this saber rattling during Bush I or Reagan, I'd dismiss it.  During W, there is that lingerign doubt... THe man has already done things I never thouight I'd see in my life (and that is NOT a compliment as you probably guessed) so who knows.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-05 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Armagedon is a good point, and I would be worried if we were talking about Bush alone.  I do think in the fundamentalist christian world that Bush lives in, Jesus will be stopping by to visit soon, and there is no such thing as long term consequences (deficits, climate change, global destabiliation.)  But I have faith that Cheney and Rove are still making the big calls, and even if they were lusting after all the money they would earn in another attack, they are too politically cautious to risk the consequences.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Are we sure Rove and Cheney still call the shots?

by redstar66 2006-04-05 11:49AM | 0 recs
The missiles are flying. God bless America.

After 2000, I started seeing bumper stickers reading, "Martin Sheen is my President."  They referred to The West Wing, of course, but Bush reminds me of no one more than Martin Sheen as President, not on TV, but in The Dead Zone.  A meglomaniac who starts WWIII because he thought God told him to.  That's who we're dealing with in Bush.

by schroeder 2006-04-05 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I sure hope Winston is right.

Got a nagging doubt though, if any rapture-believers are capable of doing it, these guys are the ones.

And hell, it's not a slam dunk that these guys don't think this is an electoral winner in Ocober-surprise terms. Pat Buchanan hismelf has already put out the canard that attacking Iran would be good, electorally, for the GOP, and like him or not, when it comes to measuring public response to these sorts of things (go back to what he was saying in the spring of '03), Buchanan's usually on to something, as big of a whacked out loon he can be on social issues.

And before anyone flames me for the Buchanan reference, please note he was as dead-set against the war in Iraq as we were. Well, at least those of us on the left with any sense.

by redstar66 2006-04-05 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

American has a monopsony possition vs Venezuela. Her crude is so thick and sour effectively no other refineries can take it.

No matter who accepts their exports, the stuff will head straight for Texas, being traded on the water.

by Scoop Jackson 2006-04-07 12:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

1. We have plenty of air power.  Nobody is proposing an Iraq style invasion of Iran.

2. Does anyone really President Cheney and George W. Bush care about what the International community thinks.  C'mon...

3. I sort of agree with Mr. Smith here but it is beside the point -- the same rosy scenaro types that brought us the last war are still around.  Accountability is a non-existand concept in this administration.

I wish I was wrong.  I fear I'm not.  A sustained bombing campaign against Iran is a very real possibility, late October 2006 anybody?

by howardpark 2006-04-05 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Use of "air power" is another way of saying "declare war."  Again, remember that on paper Iraq was easy, Hussein was contained, his airspace was being patrolled, and the US was largely successful in isolating him politically.  Iran is completely different.  

"Air power" or declaring war against Iran will be unimaginably difficult.  I am sure there are contigency plans being worked out, but the inevitable train of events will lead to the same conclusions, even in the Bush White House.  

One possibility is using Israel to bomb Iran, as they did to Iraq, and Bush providing political coverage.  But I doubt Israel would agree to this, considering what a low chance of success a few sorties would have, and the possible consequences in the current diplomatic climate.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

I think Winston is right. There is no stomach in the US for even an air campaign against Iran. Although the wingnuts will cheer and the traditional media will carry water there will be serious opposition. And many career military officers will not take this lying down.

The consequences are too severe. We could bomb s**t out of Iran but they will retaliate in many ways. Note they also have missiles that could be fired into Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar and even Israel to make the whole Middle East go up in flames. And the Shia in all the Gulf countries could also go nuts. It wont be $5 gas but $10 when all the Saudi oil can't get out of Hormuz.

by ab initio 2006-04-05 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Plus, there is still no way around the Venezuela factor.  Without that oil we are fucked, and considering that Chavez calls Bush "Capt Danger!" I take his threats to cut off our oil supply as real.  

Nice world we live in - the president of Venezuela has to be relied on to be the stabilizing factor in the western hemisphere.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-05 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Chavez has no other market for his ultra-sour ultra-heavy crude.

Both parties have a mutual dependency.

by Scoop Jackson 2006-04-07 12:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Ok Winston once again how many fingers? ;)

by Blutodog 2006-04-07 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

So, the next logical question of course is... what can be done to discourage/prevent the president from launching a strike within Iran?

by citizenKane 2006-04-05 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

"In other words, if we attack Iran like we did Iraq, Iran will get nuclear weapons."

Oh Gawd, this is bullshit.  What planet are you on dude?  The invasion of Iraq was not a success and will NEVER be simply because there were no WMDs.  And nation/democracy building are not going to work on a people who are not FULLY behind it.

Quite the contrary, where an opening act like Iraq would have been successful would have been on Iran.  Fuck the democracy building, we'd have just gone in to take out all the nuclear facilities.  It would take YEARS for them to try and rebuild and then we would be able to try and block other countries from selling them parts and know-how.  Yes, not likely, but we could try and convince them.

It's arguments like these that makes lefty Dems on defense issues unelectable.  People give me shit about supporting the ostensibly "unelectable' Hillary Clinton everyday.  But you can take THIS to the bank:  no huge dove will be elected EVER in the United States.  Ever.  Even if 9/11 hadn't happened.

by jgarcia 2006-04-05 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

> no huge dove will be elected EVER in the United States

Funny, I seem to remember both Woodrow Wilson and FDR being re-elected with the slogan "He Kept Us Out Of the War."  Of course, as slogans go, that didn't last much longer than "Read My Lips," but that's what the voters wanted at the time.

by schroeder 2006-04-05 01:52PM | 0 recs
Reason is hard work -- reflex is easy

Another mid-term election, another war.

We're not dealing with very bright people, or very imaginative people. All they are going to think of is 'It worked last time'.

by Davis X Machina 2006-04-05 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Listen to Wes Clarks concern about the possibility of military action before the summer.

I don't have it recorded. But I've personally heard it twice. That's why he's beating the drum for personal highlevel meeting with Iraq right now.

by BigDog 2006-04-05 11:58AM | 0 recs
The problem with people here

is that too many think Iraq=Iran.  That's VERY intellectually and politically unsophisticated.

What may turn out to be Armageddon is the tragic mistake of actually invading the wrong fucking country and destroying the WILL to attack the really important one.  George W. Bush's boy who cried wolf act on Iraq (just to enrich buddies) may perhaps be what precipitates a future nuclear confrontation.

This reality if you're liberal, democrat, repug, conservative, or even not involved in politics at all.  Sad.

by jgarcia 2006-04-05 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Let's see; it's now April 5. Those new Russian anti-aircraft systems are probably in place in Iraq. If that is so... We can probably just forget about what "2 B2s" could do.

Of course, with the folks who are in charge of this madhouse...

by blues 2006-04-05 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Scuze, not Iraq, Iran. It really looks like they may be able to see the formerly stealth aircraft now. That could become very expensive.

by blues 2006-04-05 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Iranian Drumbeat

Relax folks: the mullahs ALREADY have the bomb -- and have done everything possible to announce it, except pop one off.

As for Wes Clark, he's getting intel from his old network in the Pentagon.

The mullahs shot down the European diplomatic effort back in January.

China is the reason that record crude inventories in America, Japan and elsewhere have not abated OPEC prices. She's the one big player who's in the hot seat. She's short: less than 100 days on hand.

She torpedoed the UNSC resolution, making it absolutely anodyne. She is frantically increasing crude imports in the teeth of impending events. If she were to lose access to the Gulf, she'd have to go hat in hand to Japan and America: unthinkable.

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The black ops have already begun. Iran is screaming about ours. Of course, she is operating her commandos all over Iraq... and they're getting caught. They do sing like canaries.

Why did all of the former Sec of Def and Sec of State meet in January? Iraq was the proffered reason. What if the confab was really about Iran?

Why did Rice and Straw just visit Baghdad? That's a pretty impressive sales call.

Why have the bulk of forward American forces retired to Iraqi barracks?

Why are the minor coalition partners lining up to leave?

Why are the Iranians running their missile batteries at DefCon2... for months?

Why does Iran parade new military wares that are not battle ready?

Simply put: most of your conjectures are moot. The game's afoot. When and how it pops wide open depends upon secret intelligences and a serious gut check for the parties involved.

by Scoop Jackson 2006-04-07 12:52AM | 0 recs

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