Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

While we're on the subject of national security, Sy Hersh writes in The New Yorker that the Bush administration is increasing "clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack" -- a charge the White House is trying to "dampen." Below the fold: Do you believe military force is required to confront Iran at this juncture?

Consider this an open thread...

Tags: Iran, Open Thread (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

I heard Gen Wes Clark openly be concerned about an Administration Nuke strike against Iran in May or June. That was Feb 4. He was calling for talks with all parties immediately.

I expect to see him again at the end of this month. I'll see what he thinks now. But it sure looks like we're headed in that direction. What a disaster.

by BigDog 2006-04-09 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Item on Iran shooting down a U.S. drone. Can't vouch for the source, but it looks interesting:

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleVie w/Default.asp?NewsCode=41886&NewsKin d=Current%20Affairs

by Bush Bites 2006-04-09 03:04PM | 0 recs
Contact the Washington Post on Today's Editorial

Feedback has an effect. Remember how a couple of thousand Freepers sent emails in March 2003 and got Peter Arnett fired by NBC and National Geographic because they didn't like his comments on the American invasion of Iraq? Comments and feedback have some effect (not as much now as back then, but some still).
Let's see if a couple of thousand of us can share our thoughts with the Washington Post on this editorial.

Here is how to do so:

1. There is a web based contact form for Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt. Share some of your thoughts with him at:
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff email/fred+hiatt

2. The Deputy Editorial Page Editors Colbert King and Jackson Diehl should also be contacted.
There is a web-based contact form for each:
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff email/colbert+i.+king
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff email/jackson+diehl

3. Comment at the web based contact form for Executive Editor Len Downie:
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff email/leonard+downie+jr.

4. Then write some other thoughts (don't just copy and paste) the content from your web form submission to Len Downie at
executive.editor@washingtonpost.com
I figure that we might as well use both ways of contacting him if we can, and maybe if we don't just duplicate our thoughts in both he might get an idea of our thoughts on this editorial.

5. Next, remembering to write a nice, friendly letter (the kind of letter that wouldn't give a school marm the vapors), send a note to the Ombudsman Deborah Howell at ombudsman@washpost.com

6. A letter to the editor at
letters@washpost.com
would be most useful.

7. Then if you just want to leave a phone message the number to ask for Fred Hiatt is 202.334.6000. The operator will put you into his voice mail. Be polite but express your disappointment with their arguments.

by denniswine 2006-04-09 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Contact the Washington Post on Today's Editori

I'm confused -- what is the Post editorial you're referring to?  I can't find one on Iran.

by keshini 2006-04-09 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

No.  No military intervention is required.

by illinois062006 2006-04-09 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Unfortunately, I think the Iraq Debacle has taken military action against Iran off the table. We're in an enormously weakened position both militarily and politically. Military intervention against Iran, whether necessary or not, is not even an option.

by LiberalFromPA 2006-04-09 05:03PM | 0 recs
Mission Statement

Mission statement for this set of Yahoo discussion Groups.

The naming convention shown below should tell you a lot about what the mission statement of the groups will be.

This is not about political theory. This is not about imposing your political views on others and it is not about an effort to convince people about the value of one political ideology over another beyond some simple common-ground views which will be in accordance with our existing political history and its evolution (not its current de-evolution).

Some of the basic tenants;

1) The United States is very much headed in the wrong direction at this point, and this is the current majority view within our entire polity.

2) Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for this state of affairs, and we will enumerate on this topic in our discussions. But the more important purpose is to identify and act on a set of solutions.

3) We need to re-establish the electoral balance in our political system, which has been destroyed by a number of factors, among them;

a) the complete FAILURE of the Democratic Party to act as an opposition party

b) the complete DEMISE of the Republican Party and its take over by greed driven, corrupt, hypocritical, pseudo-religious, lying politicians

c) the dangerous situation we have now with the Patriot Act II, which negates much of the vital first Ten Amendments to the US Constitution and the resulting fact that we are moving ever closer to martial law and a dictatorship.

Electoral balance is an absolute necessity in our political system and this balance no longer exists.

4) The complete failure of the "Fourth Estate" in the form of our still dominant, but decaying corporate media, which is a major part of the problem. The corporate media now lies all of the time and carries the lies and propaganda for this totally lying corrupt inept GW Bush administration, believing that PERSONAL profit, greed and compliance with pure evil are higher goals than delivering the truth to the American public, especially when they are likely to get another special delivery ANTHRAX LETTER in the mail care of a still remarkably un-finable compromised insider at the biological weapons department at Fort Detrick. The White House Press Core have been reduced to nothing more than a stenography pool.

CHANGE MUST START WITH OURSELVES AS INDIVIDUALS

Our political system is broken, and there is a way to fix it but WE, as individuals will have to change direction and habits to make change happen at the level of our collective society.

What personal habits will we have to change?

Consider this, that one definition of insanity is when a person keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting the very next time that a different outcome will occur.

INSANITY CLEARLY ABOUNDS IN THE US NATIONAL POLITICAL SYSTEM

By that definition, the majority of people who now support BOTH the Democratic and Republican Parties ARE INSANE. Politically speaking, tens of millions of people in the United States are insane.

INSANE REPUBLICANS

GW Bush could disembowel an infant live on cable TV tonight, and eat its heart 2 inches away from the camera as its blood gushes out and 70% of the self identifying Republicans viewing that event will still say that GW Bush is a good Christian. They are just incapable of seeing this degenerate for what he actually is.

In fact, he is not a good Christian at all.

GW Bush is an inveterate liar who has little understanding or respect for the US Constitution of the United States and much less respect and consideration for the people of the United States, their well being, or their birthright to a functioning democracy and a stable progressive economy and to normal concepts of humane civil order. He wants to replace all that with a dictatorship, convenient for the rapists and thieves of our national wealth by the corrupt and degenerate elite he is a part of, and he has been very successful in bringing about that goal.

GW Bush believes it is HIS BIRTHRIGHT to take the office of the presidency of the US by ANY means and to take our laws and our rights and our collective wealth in the form of our national budget and treasury, our jobs, our incomes, our retirements and to do with them whatever he wants to do. No matter what the consequences of his acts are he clearly has no intention of relenting on these evil goals, in fact GW Bush is clearly unable to understand the moral and the practical consequences of his acts on other people. He is perfectly willing to send young people to a war based on lies, and for the benefit of his crony capitalist partners, for friends of his family clan, for their business operation the Carlyle Group, for the benefit of the owners and top level corporate managers of the Halliburton Corporation, for the benefit of the Saudi Royal family who have propped him up thru every personal failure he created in his own life as a businessman.

Today's example, Bush can say in the most self righteous tones that his administration will follow and obey the law and that he wants the leaker of the name of a covert CIA agent within his administration to be held to account for the illegal act, when all along it was he himself who authorized the leak and engineered the outing deliberately as a personal vendetta against his political enemies who by the way wanted the American public to know the truth about the matter, and in fact we know further that Bush was advised by the intelligence agencies that his intended pronouncement was not supported by the facts, yet Bush spoke those words in public because they suited his current goals. And what does our corporate media talk about in turn, not the hypocrisy by GW Bush, not the obvious lying by GW Bush, not the immorality of the act by GW Bush, not the breaking of his oath of office by GW Bush, but instead the corporate media merely in turn act as a mouthpiece for the Bush administration's Attorney General Gonzales who states over and over again that as president in war time nothing that GW Bush does can possibly be held as against the law if he does so under a claim of protecting the US from its war time enemies. Nothing, not interment camps, not the permanent suspension of habeas corpus, not indefinite imprisonment of helpless prisoners turned over by their rivaling clan or a jealous neighbor, not the torture of prisoners, not the rendering of prisoners to foreign agencies for the purpose of torture we would find objectionable, nothing, NO THING that GW Bush may decide to do can be held to be against the law. Not lying, or miss-representations by any degree or measure by GW Bush can be legally held as an act against the law according to Gonzales. And who are these enemies? Well they are undefined other than any one possibly, any citizen including US citizens who might possibly help or aid or side with someone GW Bush personally decides is an enemy is therefore an enemy by definition by GW Bush.

So GW Bush you see is ABOVE the law and cannot be held accountable under any circumstances or for any act that he may commit by authority given to him by congress under the enactment of the Patriot Act.

The NIGHTMARE has just begun.

GW Bush is planning an even larger and more consequential war against Iran today and this has been in the works from the beginning of his administration. He does not care how many die, he does not understand the consequences of filling the air with depleted uranium, he does not comprehend the likely reaction of 1.3 Billion Moslems around the world to such insanity. He believes that he is forever personally above their reach.

Bush you know talks directly to God and is guided, as he told us, by his heavenly fathers advice. Bush believes that no one has else, no other president in fact has or will have his courage and his insight into the affairs of nations and how to settle them. Do you not know that he himself has said this? Do you understand that these thoughts are his core beliefs and no one within his circle can question them, nor may they question the policy decisions Bush believes follows from them.

Bush is surrounded by nothing but YES MEN. Will the likes of Condoleezza Rice counter Bush's incurious and uninformed views and his personally prejudiced ideas with the more reasonable and researched programs of a functional Department of State about the consequential decision involving war today against Iran? He has already proven to us that he will not listen and will not be advised by  anyone who disagrees with his views or anyone who attempts to inform him of the deleterious consequences. Those who disagree will be fired, they will be the subject of a smear campaign aided by the corporate media, they will be denied justice by jurists and attorneys loyal to GW Bush.

INSANE DEMOCRATS

Just as insane are people who self identify as Democrats who now, today are making the argument that the way to restore sanity in our political system is to vote for Democrats. Why is this insane? Because the Democratic Caucus have failed utterly and entirely as an opposition party. Even as a minority for example, they could have voted en mass against the Patriot Act, but they did not and by doing so they created the impression in the minds of the public that the there was nothing to be greatly concerned about in the Patriot Act, while in true point of fact, the Patriot Act IS the entree to martial law and dictatorship within the United States, and I will back this up with more details about the Patriot Act. By the way did you know that Senators were not permitted to see the full drafts of the Patriot Act II in complete enough form to know its contents in a reasonable time prior to voting on it? This was the strategy engaged in by the White House and the Republican leadership, in part, the other part was to daily assure the public thru the lying corporate media that the Patriot Act would assuredly pass congress. Do you see the hand of Reich's Marshal Rove in this strategy? But this is not all the Democrats have been guilty of, they voted for and promoted the draconian Bankruptcy Bill written by the credit card industry, they voted for the Drug Care Benefit for Medicare Bill written by the pharmaceutical industry, They voted to authorize GW Bush to have the final and independent authority to carry out an endless war of aggression based on OBVIOUS LIES and deliberate propaganda, eschewing their own congressional responsibility and mandate to determine the bounds of war carried on by this nation. Democrats voted for US Supreme Court nominees, Alito and Roberts who clearly will further the interests of both corporations and the top political elites at the expense of a sane and reasonable view of our birthright as citizens and a balance of power within the governors and governed in our society. This is just the top level of treachery engaged in by Democratic Senators, individuals like Biden, Feinstein, Lieberman and many other have put their personal well being, including personal financial profits to say nothing of their own political security above the interests of the national citizenry. Even Senator Byrd voted for Patriot Act II and you can not tell me that vote did not negate his entire senatorial career and every principle he said he stood for.

Millions of people wrote to Democratic office holders and begged them not to vote for these GW Bush policies and nominees. We faxed them, we wrote messages into their web contact pages, we called them over and over again and they in turn told us our opinion did not matter and they were going for the personal profit, they were going to cave into undemocratic pressures to conform, they were going to spit in our faces and that it is just too bad we have no where else to turn, so they can do whatever they want in office.

Moreover, anyone who has taken responsibility of keeping themselves reasonably informed and anyone who is not a dupe of their propaganda knows now that the attacks of 9/11/01 were a self inflicted national wound designed to give the Bush administration the leverage desired by the PNAC Neocons to carry out wars of aggression in the middle east, or wherever else they desired.

What Democratic party office holder has had the personal integrity to speak one word of this forbidden but well known truth in public?

Not one of them.

I SAY NO MORE TO THIS !!!!!

I will not vote for one more compromised lying Democrat any more than I would ever vote for a Republican of the type we have seen infest government for the past twenty years.

We have a choice. We can give up and let them do to us whatever they will to do, and that will include a planned mass attack on the population of the US via a phony and internally created "avian flu virus" or some other covertly designed bio attack, by our degenerate elite class and its agents who we know are willing and able to kill millions, even their own families, if ordered to do so. Watch their agents in helicopters drop incendiaries on the WTC towers as people leaped out of them to their deaths in an attempt to avoid death by immolation, in 9/11 Eyewitness. Yes, their agents are willing and able to kill us by the millions.

OR we can ALL change our personal direction and our personal habits and bring this worsening nightmare to an end.

Which will it be for you?

The set of groups includes:

NewAmericanDemocrats@yahoogroups.com;
Ucpol@Yahoogroups.Com
NewAmericanCommunists@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanSocialists@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanRepublicans@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanNaturalawparty@yahoogroups.co m;
NewAmericanConservatives@yahoogroups.com ;
NewAmericanAnarchists@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanLiberals@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanReformers@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanGreens@yahoogroups.com;
NewAmericanLibertarians@yahoogroups.com;

Why have you started so many groups, and why a group for Republicans, Communists, etc.?

At this point in time the fine points of political philosophy do not matter. To succeed in this effort we are all going to have to change our political self concepts and our political self identity. We are going to need every non-self deluded individual to opt for the sort of change I have been defining here. This will of necessity include people who have previously self identified as Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Natural Law Party, etc., etc.

None of these existing political identifications can bring about the change needed in our national political life and most of all, the ranks of the independents and the disaffected continues to grow, and understandably so, with now more than 30% completely opting out of political involvement and with as many self identifying as one type of 3rd party participant rather than a Republican or Democrat.

This will not be about political theory mongering, or endless debates by Libertarians verses Greens as to what theorem of personal property ownership is the correct one now and for all future times to fully settle those issues as they see them.

NO!  this is about something more fundamental, more essential, more immediate and more concrete.

We must rid ourselves of the corrupt and dysfunctional political monstrosity that now infests the offices of government - the two headed corporate monster party called Democrats and Republicans and WE MUST RID OURSELVES OF THE INSANITY WITHIN OURSELVES THAT ALLOWS THIS CORRUPT DESTRUCTIVE POLITICAL DISORDER TO CONTINUE.

To re-establish political health in this nation we must re-establish a constructive political balance. In order to do this we must create a new united coalition political party, form the fractionalized 3rd party groups and the disaffected who are currently not aligned politically.

Ultimately the remnants of today's Democratic and Republican parties will unite in name as they have now in practice.

And those two elements, a united coalition party, by one name or another, and the DINO/RINO party will form the countervailing active political interests which will be needed to re-establish political balance in the affairs of our nation.

by leschwartz 2006-04-09 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

I believe that peaceful confrontation is warranted. Iran has been acting irresponsibly in the international arena for decades and it's recent activity doesn't improve the situation. They are a regional destablizer.

However, military intervention should not be considered a serious option at this point. We have other tools and options to process through before we  should even slightly consider using military force. And we should be clear that if we have to use force against Iran, it will be a defacto beginning of a longterm military engagement, not just a one-off. They won't let us off that easy.

It's funny how we understood the value of peaceful confrontation during the 50-year Cold War standoff with the Soviets, but in a little over a decade our nation's foreign policy leadership has forgotten it.

by blueflorida 2006-04-09 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Would you elaborate on those irresponsible actions of the Iranian gov't that you refer to, and contrast them with the apparently responsible way that our gov't has acted in the region, as well as those of some of our supposed allies, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?

by keshini 2006-04-09 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Who said that I think that the US or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia has behaved responsibly?

Iran is an open state-sponsor of terrorism.  We know that Iran is helping to undermine democracy in Iraq. We know that Iran has been actively engaged in a military build-up, including big spending on international weapons systems market, provocatively (as opposed to defensively) targeted towards Israel. This is enough to earn any nation pariah status. It doesn't mean we should invade, but it does mean that institutions of collective security ought to speak up and enforce international behavioral norms.

by blueflorida 2006-04-09 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

That can't be a serious question. A military strike on Iran will have cataclysmic consequences not only in the Middle East but around the world. Iran will rain down missiles on Israel and American bases in Iraq. The Shiites will turn on American troops. Isael will respond with nukes on Iranian cities. And Muslims around the world will respond with attacks on Americans and American interests everywhere. When Russian engineers are killed and Chinese interests damaged a military and economic confrontation will occur with those two major powers. Get real!

by cmpnwtr 2006-04-09 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Plus Chavez has already said that if any military action is taken against Iran, all Venezuelan oil will be cut off.  Military action against Iran is impossible, and the discussion that it is a real possibility plays into Bush's hands.

This is the neo-con strategy.  One pre-emptive war would prove to the rest of the world that the US will take such action.  Nations like Iran would therefore be so intimidated that they would capitulate to any US demands.  

Newsflash:  It didnt work.  The world has seen how the US is now militarily over-extended with one made-up war, and Iran knows that we cant wage another (airstrikes included.)  So the neo-cons leak info about plans to bomb, trying to use the neo-con advantage, while Iran laughs and knows that Bush has left the US impotent.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-09 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

I think we're all in danger of thinking like realists.  The man in the White House thinks in messianic terms (see Sy Hersh's piece, where he quotes an anonymous member of the House: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/ar ticles/060417fa_fact).

This is the same mistake we made before Iraq: assuming the Prez is rational.  What if he's nuts?

by keshini 2006-04-09 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

Nukes are not that hard to make. Just about any country can cobble one together given the will and a few years. The Pakistanis have nukes. The Indians have nukes. Even the world's basket case, North Korea, has nukes. There is simply no way, short of conquering and occupying a country that the US can stop a country from getting nukes.

Get used to the idea of nukes. Clinton was kind of lax on nuclear proliferation, but Bush just tossed the idea out the window. In fairness, though, even the toughest anti-proliferation policy was only going to delay the inevitable.

Military action against Iran is going to prick Iranian pride and harden their resolve to acquire nukes. Frankly, naming them a member of the Axis of Evil, invading 2 of Iran's neighbors (Afghanistan and Iraq), and blustering and threatening them all the while, probably gave them the idea they needed nukes.

What's worse is that they have the example of North Korea. Bush, like all neocons, is fundamentally a coward. Once a country acquires nukes, like North Korea, Bush will back off and handle them with kid gloves. Iran knows this (or believes it, which is the same in the end). All they need to do is get some nukes made, and it's a whole new ball game.

Bullies only know how to bully. What they never seem to realize is that people react poorly to bullying. The one thing a bully should never, ever do is let his victims know how weak he is. Bush has done this in two ways. First, by giving North Korea the free pass after it got nukes, and secondly by shattering the myth of invincible American military might through the Iraq debacle.

Bush has never learned from his mistakes in the past. He just keeps trying the same shit over and over again. He doesn't seem to understand that, after Iraq and 5 years of misrule, the jig is up. What failed with Iraq will fail even worse with Iran.

The most frustrating part of this is that the people of Iran had been growing ever more pro-American. There was a huge pro-American rally after 9/11, and there have been rallies in Tehran every year on the anniversary.

And we must remember that the Iranian president was democratically elected by a lot of those same people who had been increasingly pro-American. What turned them away from America and towards a religious extremist? Bush need only look in the mirror. Basically they elected a right-wing nut case to counter our right-wing nut case.

But that's what happens when people are bullied. Unfortunately, when the bully is George Bush, it is all he knows how to do.

by shargash 2006-04-09 08:22PM | 0 recs

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