Amendment No. 3017 – A step toward war with Iran

Iranmap "“What do we do with terrorist organizations if they are involved against us?” Mr. Webb asked in a speech on Tuesday. “We attack them.”

Even with the two paragraphs deleted, Mr. Webb voted against the resolution. So did a number of other Democrats who are among the harshest critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war. The measure passed by a vote of 76 to 22.

Among those voting against it was Senator Joseoh F. Biden, Jr., Democrat of Delaware, and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who said he feared that the administration could use the measure to justify military action against Iran. NY Times


Iraq is becoming a "side show."  Iran is the thing.  It was a good idea to take the two offending paragraphs out of the draft resolution but the designation of the IRGC, a major agency of the Iranian governent as a terrorist and therefore criminal organization is clearly a step on the road to war. 

Governments which willfuly maintain and harbor within them criminal groups must inevitably be seen as criminal themselves.

As Senator Webb asked in floor debate, "What do we do with terrorist organizations?"

Reid and Clinton voted for this?  Bush/Cheney and the Flatheads can now justify any action against Iran, and they can do it without further resort to Congress.

How is this effectively different from the resolutions passed in 2002 which gave Bush the authorities which he is still using?"  pl

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51 Responses to Amendment No. 3017 – A step toward war with Iran

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This is akin to the declaration, by some other power, that US Marines or the US Army Rangers are a terrorist organization.
    It is funny.

  2. kim says:

    reid was disappointing. clinton was disappointing but not surprising. this nation needs a presidential candidate. and a legislative backbone too, of course, but chances of that are what?
    if my advocated choice won’t run, maybe webb could be web drafted. i think i wide spectrum might jump on that. specially after we see how bad this is gonna be.

  3. David Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    There is really nothing surprising about this. The Democrats are really no different than the Republicans .
    They are all warmongers and tools of the corporations.

  4. Mad Dogs says:

    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, a Democrat and the majority leader, voted for the proposal after initially urging caution. “We certainly don’t want to be led down the path, slowly but surely, until we wind up with the situation like we have in Iraq today,” he said Tuesday. “So I am going to be very, very cautious.”
    As Senator Harry Reid gets lead down that very path.
    With legislators like this, who needs enemies?

  5. Fred says:

    Okay, that’s it.
    I have to ask you straight up: what is the probability we’re going to launch a war against Iran within the next year?
    What signs should we be looking for that hostilities are becoming more or less likely from:
    – The President and Congress
    – Other Administration officials
    – The media
    – Foreign governments
    – Any other sources
    I won’t ask you what we can do to stop it, because I’m guessing if or when the decision is made nothing will halt it. But if we have enough warning time, at least maybe some of us can find a good place to hunker down until the smoke clears. 🙁

  6. Jose says:

    He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue… In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
    -Sun Tzu, the Art of War

  7. zanzibar says:

    Now that it seems that Cheney has received his clearance from Congress we might as well start the office pool to determine the date of the attacks!
    I am afraid that what goes around comes around and today’s hubris will come at a price.
    The air attacks and cruise missile strikes may destroy Iran’s military and civilian infrastructure but it will also cause innumerable innocent civilian casualties and extraordinary hardships for the Iranian people. For a people with a long history this will be a passing event but never forgotten.
    We the American people have failed because our leadership will once again attack another country that poses no existential threat to us. Like an earlier generation in Germany who could not claim that they were just following orders in a senseless brutality, we the current generation of Americans are culpable for the loss of innocent life and the destruction of property done in our name.
    PL, its time to dust off your old reports and get ahead of the curve since I am certain your analysis will be exactly the outcome.
    How long before we should be afraid of the knock in the dark as Americans get hauled into the Gulag?

  8. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Jose, enjoyed the Sun Tzu quote. Here is a similar one from Erasmus in his “On Starting War” in the “Education of a Christian Prince” (1516):
    “Although the prince will never make any decision hastily, he will never be more hesitant or more circumspect that in starting a war…the tide of war overflows with everything that is worst….the good prince will never start a war at all unless, after everything else has been tried, it cannot by any means be avoided….Finally, putting aside all emotion, let him apply just a little reason to the problem by counting up the true cost of the war and deciding whether the object he seeks to achieve by it is worth that much, even if he were certain of victory, which does not always favour even the best of causes….”
    From Isocrates (I know there is some irony mentioning him in this context but he wouldn’t support this war):
    From “On The Peace”
    “[142] But I have yet to touch upon the chief consideration of all–that upon which centers everything that I have said and in the light of which we should appraise the actions of the state. For if we really wish to clear away the prejudice in which we are held at the present time, we must cease from the wars which are waged to no purpose…we must abhor all despotic rule and imperial power, reflecting upon the disasters which have sprung from them; and we must emulate and imitate the position held by the kings of Lacedaemon.
    From “Areopagiticus”:
    For we neither have nor endeavour to find a policy which will conduct affairs aright. 13. And yet we are all aware that good fortune comes to and abides with those who manage their city in the best and most prudent manner, not with those who have surrounded themselves with the most splendid and most extensive walls, nor even with those who have gathered together in the same place in the greatest numbers. 14. For a city’s soul is nothing else but its political principle, which has as great influence as understanding in a man’s body. For this it is that counsels concerning everything, and, while preserving prosperity, avoids misfortune. It is this that laws, orators, and individuals must naturally resemble, and fare according to the principles they hold.”

  9. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    I’m afraid we’re for it, mates. There’ll be a division of labor – Iran to our ever-overconfident Air Force, and Syria to the Israelis. Here’s some other perspectives on matters.
    The neoconmen and the AIPAC 5th column want to get their war on while they’ve got their best chance, and by God, I think they’ll probably pull it off, at least insofar as getting the damn thing started.
    The spineless, and more importantly, brainless congress has handed Bush just about all of the cover he might conceivably need for the attack to commence. While proof of Iran’s provision of weaponry to attack our military has been pretty unconvincing, never fear, some pretext can be found. Gulf of Tonkin, Jenkin’s Ear, accusations of salacious ogling of Our Womenfolk by the brown people next in line for a beatdown who by some strange coincidence Pose An Existential Threat To Israel, whatever.
    Yeah, we can still remonstrate with our “representatives”, although frankly it seems as if it’s hollerin’ down a well anymore.

  10. Montag says:

    In 1921 the Greek armies were stalled in Anatolia, facing the Turkish Nationalists under Kemal Ataturk. When the Greek government offered the command to General Ioannis Metaxas, they got a refusal. Metaxas told them that the war couldn’t be won because the Turks had developed a national feeling: “And they mean to fight for their freedom and independence…They realize that Asia Minor is their country and that we are invaders. For them, for their national feelings, the historical rights on which we base our claims have no influence. Whether they are right or wrong is another question. What matters is how they feel.”
    But the politicians told Metaxas that it was now politically impossible to abandon the war. They threw caution to the winds with one last offensive–resulting in a complete rout for the Greek forces. Two Colonels and a Navy Captain staged a military coup, placed the ministers on trial and executed six of them. I guess you could call this the chickenhawks coming home to roost.

  11. Carol says:

    Let’s not forget that in addition to our special forces, that any US agency that supports a proxy group in attacks against another nation or its interests then also makes the US a supporter of terrorism. That is, should we for once apply to ourselves the standards by which we judge others.
    But this administration, like the Clinton/Democrat one before it, has never been concerned with the double standards they present to the world in the name of the American people. Many international political activists have written enough on this subject of US double standards so there’s no need to go down that discussion path here. The bottom line is the US was already despised for many of its double standard Middle East policies before 9/11. US policies have been the standing basis for “strategic communications/IO” by those (terrorists) trying to seize power in their countries. This ammendment and the further fiascos it can cause are just more fodder for individuals and groups who already call for violence against us and anxiously want to see the US step all over its private parts in the Middle East yet again. The US attacking yet another Muslim nation is exactly the kind of IO they need to gain more support for self-starter violence against the US. AQ and groups who claim to be AQ affiliates will jump for joy if the US conducts any military action against Iran. AQ will become Iran’s biggest supporter in a media campaign aimed at us. So aside from lining the pockets of defense contractors and certain other businesses, why not just cause a US recession and give UBL a really big victory smile? The ammendment can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. We’ve now just publicly told any terrorist group how to get the US to launch more folly — all they have to do is disguise the attack as “Iranian.” Any terrorist group (or perhaps some motivated country?) can conduct an attack with an Iranian signature, and then just sit back and watch the fireworks. This administration and its poor intel apparatus would be dupes for such a plot –they are overly anxious to find cassus belli when it comes to Iran.

  12. Edward Merkle says:

    That looks like fairly mountainous territory near the Straight of Hormuz. Good area for guerrilla activity?
    These are just egotistical pricks that don’t give a damn about anything else but their “Legacy”, or worse yet think that the “rapture” will happen in their lifetimes and are standing up to “pure evil”. Christ, didn’t Christ preach humility?
    Somebody please get the hook and snag these guys from this bad sideshow.

  13. Cieran says:

    Jim Webb should be President.
    I hope that Colonel Lang will reconsider his McClellan-esque run and defer to the junior senator from Virginia. Or perhaps a Webb/Lang ticket would be a suitable compromise.
    Webb is the only current political leader fit to lead this country out of the morass that more conventional politicians led it into.

  14. Walrus says:

    One word – AIPAC. They OWN the Democratic party.
    My guess (and I’ve been wrong before) is that an attack on Iran is coming very very soon.
    Debka reports Putin will be in Tehran October 16th. I would be extremely surprised if at this meeting he did not conclude some sort of mutual defence pact with Iran in exchange for Russian access to Iranian oil and gas.
    That is about the only move I can think of that will stop Bush in his tracks.
    Of course if Bush attacks before 16th October?
    As for the peace conference, I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell of it doing anything useful, it’s just keeping Condi busy while the big boys get ready to rumble.

  15. XER says:

    Col. Lang,
    What are the chances of Iran hitting Saudi Arabia with a devistating blow to their oil distribution facilities?

  16. Steve says:

    While it’s certainly plausible to speculate that much of the recent war noise might just be part of some diplomatic effort to intimidate Iran into an accommodation with the US, let’s assume that the US will in fact launch a strike against Iran.
    What then?
    I assume that the US will take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, as well as the Guard’s bases, and assorted other facilities capable of some military response.
    What next? Iran will surely retain some military capabilities either unknown or untouched by the air strikes.
    What about Hezbollah, strikes around the world, efforts to close the Straits and/or to strike the Gulf States, and attacks in Iraq?
    What sort of Iranian response do readers foresee?

  17. Edward Merkle says:

    I don’t think “very very soon”. Stretch it out till spring or summer to have the most impact on the presidential election, to continue the madness with a true neocon sycophant at the helm.
    Am I being too cynical? Is it possible with this crowd?

  18. different clue says:

    A fear I have is that Putin and the Chinese leadership would also like to see the Administration order an attack on Iran, because the blowback would weaken America so severely that China and Russia could build themselves a new hegemony on the rubble of the old. So I would not count on Putin to take any action which would dissuade Cheney from ordering the attack, not when Putin wants
    to see that attack take place. (In my totally uninformed lay-Kremlinology-buff’s opinion).
    So the question for us becomes, are there ways that
    the “don’t attack Iran” community within America can
    cause the System so much extreme pain, so swiftly, yet within the letter of the
    law; that we might actually be able to “torture” the ruling elites into calling off their attack? Do we simply have to accept their decision to attack as the die which has been cast? Is
    post-blowback survivalism the only thing we can plan for?

  19. DH says:

    “Debka reports Putin will be in Tehran October 16th. I would be extremely surprised if at this meeting he did not conclude some sort of mutual defence pact with Iran in exchange for Russian access to Iranian oil and gas.
    That is about the only move I can think of that will stop Bush in his tracks.
    Of course if Bush attacks before 16th October?”
    If Putin wants to form an alliance he could do it tomorrow. I think they’ll wait till after the primaries in hope that Ladyhawk will be nominated. Even if the Republican nominee loses, they can gamble on her being a hawk and a one-termer.

  20. Arun says:

    Mad Dogs: As Senator Harry Reid gets lead down that very path.
    With legislators like this, who needs enemies?

    Reid is the leader of the Whipped Dog Coalition of the Democratic Party.

  21. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Ray McGovern reminds us:
    “Just before the March 2003 attack, Chas Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for President George H.W. Bush, explained that the new policy was to maintain a lock on the world’s energy lifeline and be able to deny access to global competitors. Freeman said the new Bush administration “believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them” and that, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is uniquely able to shape global events – and would be remiss if it did not do so.
    “This could not be attempted in a world of two superpowers, but has been a longstanding goal of the people closest to George W. Bush. In 1975 in Harpers, then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger authored under a pseudonym an article, “Seizing Arab Oil.” Blissfully unaware that the author was his boss, the highly respected career ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, committed the mother of all faux pas when he told a TV audience that whoever wrote that article had to be a “madman.” Akins was right; he was also fired.”
    As I recall, the idea of grabbing the Eastern Province was refloated by Flathead Max Singer of the Hudson Institute in a commentary piece in the New York Sun about May of 2002 in the run up to that war. Which reminds me that perhaps my students should be given a “compare and contrast” exercise with the two documents.
    Per Kissinger, a leading Flathead and one godfather (with Leo Strauss and others, say Nietzsche) of the Neocon tribe of the Flathead Nation’s foreign policy, we can recall that he (and Zbig) were proteges of Harvard Professor William Yandell Elliott (1896-1979), for whom see:
    Context Elliott in the British “Liberal Imperialism” tradition noting his Rhodes-Oxford background and toss in some Fabian-Synarchism and I would say we have the ideological mix.

  22. jonst says:

    The question may be: “”What do we do with terrorist organizations?”
    But is will soon be, very soon: “”What do we do with terrorist organizations that actively seek to acquire nuclear weapons?” That’s how they are gonna frame it, no doubt. And it will sell. I fear.

  23. João Carlos says:

    Col Lang,
    can you try to analyse how the war coming will develop?
    I guess that US will bomb nuclear and military targets at Iran and after that Iran will answer. I too guess that there are a lot of targets and that a good deal of targets are hard and are well protected, so I think the bombing will not be tottally effective.
    What will be the Iran answer? They can really hit US carriers (I read that at some analyses, some people say they have sunburns and that sunburns are evil missiles)? They will send their troops inside Iraq? The Iraqis shias will fight against US troops? Iran will use their missiles against the US bases, the Saudi refineries or both? The US marines will try invade that islands near the strait for open it? What resistence they will find at that isles? Russia and China, what they will do? If I am not wrong, Putin is a few mad against US because NATO is expanding to east.
    Ok, I am scared.
    João Carlos

  24. Cold War Zoomie says:

    This latest news plus the willingness of Republicans to side with Bush’s refusal to expand health insurance for children tells me that the GOP congresscritters are willing to commit political suicide in the name of loyalty.
    More evidence that my theory about the GOP putting their own political hides first and stopping Bush is eroding fast.
    Time to put my head in the sand and echo Sergeant Schultz…”I know nothink!”

  25. dasher says:

    Our Air Force has been chomping at the bit to get into the action that they’ve been largely shut out of (at least comparatively) in Iraq. They’ll be urging Darth Vader and the Decider (hmmm. good name for a punk rock duo. do punk rockers ‘do’ duos?) to start the bombs dropping sooner rather than later, methinks.
    My estimate: after May ’08 and before October ’08. Time enough before the election to whip up the jingoistic “you’re with us or with the terrorists” fervor, but without enough time for any inconvenient truths to come out before election day.

  26. Joe says:

    I really fail to see what that Iranians are doing is any different then what the Americans did during the Soviet Afghan war. We flooded that country with CIA trainers, money, and advance weapons.
    The question I rarely see asked or considered is if we do a limited air campaign on Iran what will the Iranians do in Iraq? Are they going to do nothing or will they strike back or at least use there proxy to strike back hard. Any gains this surge has made in Iraq can not only easily be rolled back but pushed so far backwards that success in Iraq might never happen.
    A lot of people are probably going to get killed with this decision on a fear that Iran will obtain nukes and give them to a terrorist group (one of the most laughable ideas I have ever heard)

  27. PL! I am curious. Does the current fascination with a President Bush/Iranian duet mask even greater national security problems? Do you have a top ten with or without Iran? Here is my list!
    1. China/Tawain/Japan/North Korean relationships; (2)Stability of Pakistan; (3)Stability of South-West Asian regimes generally; (4)Sub-Saharan Africa stability; (5)Reversal of democratic tide in Western Hemisphere; (6)Demographics of OECD countries and in particular Germany; (7)Refugee issues; (8)De Facto Political and Economic Control and exploitation of Siberia;
    (9)Strength of the dollar;(10)Currency arbitrage and daily international curreny flows.

  28. Binh says:

    This is a great piece responding the totally unfounded claims that Iran is supplying EFPs to Iraqis:
    Also, if Russia and China wanted war, they wouldn’t have voted for the two rounds of U.N. sanctions on Iran. They thought by doing so they’d keep Dubya on the diplomatic track and away from the guns, but in reality Bush turned to diplomacy to “give futility its chance” as neocon Robert Kagan put it.
    My bet is an attack after the Nov. 2008 elections and before Jan 20, 2009. That way when the war goes badly it won’t hurt the GOP at the polls and Hillary can get the blame for the mess. Anyone else agree?

  29. cletracsteve says:

    I will let the better students of history who contribute to these threads discuss the rise of nations – from the fierce battles for independence and terretorial definition where those who have a vested interest do the fighting to the stages of expansion of influence where the ‘mature and wise’ nation uses proxy wars and mercenaries to do its bidding. It seems Israel grew up quickly, perhaps too quickly even missing out on the joys of youth.

  30. eaken says:

    one likely scenario is that if an attack does take place, venezuela might turn off the spigot to the US.
    That would make the closing the straight of hormuz unnecessary to a certain extent.
    Iran would then only need to launch a couple missiles somewhere into the middle of the Arabian peninsula and oil prices will shoot through the roof.
    Risk is perceived and the financial markets will treat it the same in the short-term. That is the inefficiency of the markets and Iran will exploit it.

  31. Richard Whitman says:

    If we believe an attack on Iran will happen before Bush leaves office, we should be buying oil futures 18 months out. $120bbl oil anyone.

  32. Michael says:

    I am sure if the US does attack Iran that they will be greeted as liberators and….
    oh wait.. we said that last time.

  33. Mark K Logan says:

    Walrus, DH
    Won’t Brown want to have all his troops out of there?
    I suspect the window doesn’t open until then.

  34. Larry K says:

    What does anyone here, especially Col. Lang, think of the first two sentences of this response by Dana Priest of the Washington Post to a question during Priest’s on-line chat yesterday?
    West Chester, Pa.: History seems to be repeating it self as the drumbeat for war with Iran, based on accusations not backed up by any facts, intensifies. Do you think the Bush administration will launch a war (perhaps sending only the bombers) against Iran and if they do what are the likely consequences for the Middle East?
    Dana Priest: Frankly, I think the military would revolt and there would be no pilots to fly those missions. This is a little bit of hyberpole, but not much. Just look at what Gen. Casey, the Army chief, said yesterday. That the tempo of operations in Iraq would make it very hard for the military to respond to a major crisis elsewhere. Beside, it’s not the “war” or “bombing” part that’s difficult; it’s the morning after and all the days after that. Haven’t we learned that (again) from Iraq?

  35. Rob stormer says:

    While I have really no great love for the Iranian Regime or the IRGC and if both were over thrown I would lose no sleep.
    However, I actually believe that the real honest-to-goodness revolution (peaceful) that needs to happen is right here in the United States against those stupid people, WE THE STUPID PEOPLE, continue to put in federal office.
    I ask myself continually what the hell is wrong with us? We have the power almost every November to change stupidity but we don’t. So we reap what we sow…. Face it this is our, WE THE STUPID PEOPLEs, fault and only WE THE STUPID PEOPLE, can change the stupidity in Washington DC. So as Forest Gump would say, stupid is as stupid does…..
    One last thing for those STUPID PEOPLE who propose resolutions like this. Maybe they should add the CIA to the list of terror organizations? Since it was the CIA who overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in in its very first coup in 1953..
    For what and to protect who?

  36. isl says:

    Walrus, DH:
    It is possible that Russia could assent to the idea of international law and sign a mutual defense treaty with Iran in case they are attacked (without UN approval), as well as an invitation to join the SCO.
    My concern it that it is more in Russia’s long-term interest to support Iran AFTER an non-security council approved “preventive” US attack. This likely would be logistical support, weapons, missiles, etc.,for a long-term guerrilla war. A common land border helps. I am sure that China would help too (it was a silkworm that took out the Israeli Corvette). Meanwhile, such aid could help Russia with its restive Muslim populations, while further re-cementing its central Asian sphere.
    If China also decided to oppose the oil grab by the US, using its “nuclear dollar option”, my prediction is the US probably will sue for peace rather rapidly, or switch to non-democratic rule.
    Exaggeration? The US must raise $3 billion foreign per day for its economy to function. If China stopped buying dollars, or started selling T-Bills, expect gasoline to be $10/gal, minimum assuming no missiles against other Gulf states (expect the strategic reserve to be reserved for our very thirsty military), inflation could rapidly hit 30 – 50%, interest rates would jump accordingly, and the entire business community would want Bush’s head.
    Consider recent history: The dollar has fallen 50% vs the euro and gasoline prices are double a few years ago, yet there has been no improvement in the account deficit. And this fall has been largely to a shift of five to ten percent by a few key countries out of dollars. If China starts heading for the door, I don’t anticipate any friends to take a bath in support of the dollar by a “rogue state”.
    China tried out their dollar option a few years ago. Sold 2% or so of their reserves. US interest rates jumped several percent overnight, and the US backed off any threat of trade sanctions immediately. The situation is much much worse now, and it would not just be China.

  37. CSTAR says:

    Well my guess one plan is based on an idea something like this: There is a response threshold T such that any attack below T will not require anything other than token response from Iran. The official line on such an attack will be “the US wants to send a clear message to Iran” The strategic calculation is that the status of further continuation or escalation in the US/Iran conflict will be ambiguous.
    This kind of reasoning may have made sense (militarily – it is devoid of validity from any other perspective) in the context of a bifocal word. Each one of the foci could reliably control the behavior of client states. In the absence of a clear foci of political power, such a calculation is dangerous.
    But in any case, this spiralling conflict has strategic value within another (neo) context. The narrative here for the neos gets confused: destructive forces lead to resurgence of a new (decent, to use Friedman/Brooks terminology) political order, control of oil (oops I’m an oily), but also is a reaffirmation of political determination post vietnam (somos machos, de veras)
    One note on messages: If someone wants to send me a message, email is enough. I don’t respond to 1000 lb bombs.

  38. W. Patrick Lang says:

    To whoever it was who wrote about Harry Flashman.
    Harry is a “bad newz” version of Brigadier Girard. I would have welcomed Harry in my team in Special Forces so long as I could keep him where I could watch him.
    In re the “Bad Newz Kennel,” some oaf walking a pit bull remarked that “it’s not so bad, the dogs love it.” I’d like to throw his ass in there for the doggies to play with. Then, there is the question of kidnapped dogs used as “training” material for this “sport.”
    I served with a Catholic chaplain in SF who took a dim view of this crap. In Panama he assembled a number of us who liked him. We went out to a village where they enjoyed this kind of thing of a Sunday morning. He was a member of the “church militant” and had been an NFL lineman before the seminary.
    We made a dent in their cock and dog-fighting Sundays. It was their culture? Hah! pl

  39. Ian says:

    I’ll see your Sun Tzu and raise you Jesus Christ:
    Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.

  40. Zeitgeist says:

    The Real War of G.W. Bush — Against the U.S. Military
    David Brin:
    “One of the key points I keep trying to raise is that our core problem is not the War in Iraq, per se.
    The real issue people should be talking about is what is being done to America. A nation that has been — and remains — historically vastly more important to the future of our descendants, and humanity in general. A country and civilization that is steadily being diminished, crippled, robbed and distracted. Not by a party or a movement, but by a bona fide criminal gang.
    We need to remember that the Iraq war is a horror, but its core effect has been to divide, corrupt, cheat, demoralize and steal from the people of the United States.
    This time, specifically, I want to aim at one aspect of the betrayal of America. One that I was among the very first (anywhere!) to point out, as long ago as 2004…
    … that the number one accomplishment of the Bush Administration has been the partial-destruction of the United States military. Accompanied by (in some ways even worse) a near-complete demolition of its hardwon reputation for overwhelming invincibility.
    This problem lies not only at the feet of the mad, neocon right, but also on some bad habits that Bush opponents have to break. It will be impossible for liberals to deal with the devastation of the Bush Era, if they nurse even a scintilla of simplistic hostility toward our men and women in uniform. That silly reflex is not only inaccurate and unjust — picking on the wrong target — but also self-defeating. We need these people. They are the Bushites’ worst victims.
    Moreover, they are a large part of our hope, for the restoration of a lawful, constitutional and confident American Republic.”

  41. David W says:

    imo, the key to the US ‘intervention’ in Iran is the role that the Israelis play–if they sit on the sidelines, I think it would neutralize much of the Arab state reaction; however, if they play a major role, then I foresee the opening of several fronts against Israel, and immediate responses from HA and Hamas. It would then be a free-for-all, pitting Israeli mil tech versus Arab numbers. I’m not up on what’s going on in Egypt and Jordan, but their security forces may not be able to keep down the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. if things get too hot…
    The ‘Clean Break’ crowd is way too overconfident that they can take the lid off the ME pot and stir it up, and it will magically all work out–kind of like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice; in over their heads with things that they neither understand nor can control.

  42. DH says:

    That’s a good point.
    “PM Brown has declined to set a deadline for withdrawal in spite of growing public UK dismay with the war and Liberal Democrat calls for a clear timetable. Brown is expected to outline plans for Iraq in a statement to the House of Commons in October. After the move from Basra Palace, UK troop numbers are expected to drop below 5,000.”
    My grasp of international markets is tenuous at best, so I can’t really say, other than to offer the well-worn, ‘we’re their best market.’ But I don’t understand how it is in their interests to do other than stave this off. China, Russia, and the rest of the SCO are trying to build something, and instablity in the region will interfere not only with that, but increase the odds of Pakistani nukes falling into undesirable hands.
    The question for me is if Russia and China said in no uncertain terms that they would back Iran, would the Administration be brazen enough to proceed?

  43. DH says:

    “And not so funny”
    The picture is absolutely bizarre, she looks like a Gestapo agent. It reminds me of CK’s post about business interests in Germany funding Hitler’s rise.

  44. rjj says:

    Who is that woman.

  45. michael savoca says:

    Zeitgeist, I agree with your point about the weakening or even destruction of our military forces by the Bush administration.
    The question is are they incompetent… or crazy like a fox. Too many have argued that this war in Iraq is a failure for the Bush administration, but maybe things are going just as planned. A long grinding war between regional and religious sects that weakens all…and the destruction of our citizen army in favor of a privatized military force no longer necessarily loyal to the country but loyal instead to a ruling corporate elite.
    You are right that as citizens we must remain loyal to our military personnel and realize that they don’t make U.S. geopolitical policy…they simply execute that policy as directed by civilian leadership.
    We are fast approaching a time where the People of America may need to participate in acts of peaceful, non violent, resistance in order to stop the neo-cons.

  46. eaken says:

    charming woman man _____ that Debra Cagan is.

  47. J says:

    you’re once again right on the mark when you said that iraq has become a side show and iran is the thing.
    the connected-at-the-hip bush admin. front group freedom’s watch, is now veering away from its original target iraq and is now putting iran front and center in its sights. see this morning’s nytimes:

  48. Binh says:

    The latest from Hersh:
    Notice that the Brits and France are onboard, depending on the Cheney admin goes about the war.

  49. John Shreffler says:

    Latest from Hersh confirming the drift to bombing the IRGC as a start.

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