Civil War in Bushistan

Cheneybaby533 There is a race currently underway between different flanks of the administration to determine the future course of US-Iran policy.

On one flank are the diplomats, and on the other is Vice President Cheney’s team and acolytes — who populate quite a wide swath throughout the American national security bureaucracy.

The Pentagon and the Intelligence establishment are providing support to add muscle and nuance to the diplomatic effort led by Condi Rice, her deputy John Negroponte, Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns, and Legal Adviser John Bellinger. The support that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and CIA Director Michael Hayden are providing Rice’s efforts are a complete, 180 degree contrast to the dysfunction that characterized relations between these institutions before the recent reshuffle of top personnel.

However, the Department of Defense and national intelligence sector are also preparing for hot conflict. They believe that they need to in order to convince Iran’s various power centers that the military option does exist." 



And who is on the other side?  Continue on, gentle reader and you will see that the thread of information that we have been following here has been, well… Correct.

We salute those who struggle on the side of the angels.. pl

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46 Responses to Civil War in Bushistan

  1. ked says:

    narrowing choices for narrow minds. it appears that the argument is over who gets to hold the flag and when the balloon goes up. by the way, do those cruise missles magically avoid overflying sovereign Arab nations? does it matter?

  2. John Howley says:

    Apparently, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Conyers (Judiciary) both approve of Cheney’s highjinks because neither has taken action (like schedule hearings) on H.Res. 333 which calls for Dick’s impeachment.
    Indeed, that bill has only four co-sponsors and they are all left-wing Dem’s. And that’s a problem because who in his or her right mind wants to sign onto a bill introduced by perennial presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich?
    However, if you think Cheney will respond to anything else (like a think-tank White Paper or even a stern “No!” from GWB), then you are not being realistic.
    Sometimes, one must swallow one’s pride.

  3. peterp says:

    Fortunately, while Bush can’t control Cheney, Cheney no longer controls the Pentagon through his fellow Sith Lord, Rumfeld.
    If Gates is on board with the realist strategy — and he practicaly defines the type — then Cheney would appear to be checkmated. The Vice President’s office has no constitutional authority whatsoever over any cabinet departments. Sure, Cheney can continue to plot with the AEI and tie the NSC and the inter-agency process up in knots. But he can’t start a war, not without the Dauphin’s signature. And, with luck, Condi and company are in a position to keep that from happening for the next 20 months.

  4. Nicholas Weaver says:

    It’s hard to argue that there are some who want a hot war with Iran.
    I still don’t understand WHY?
    Even a well-educated private should be able to detail, in nice nifty bulletpoints on a powerpoint presentation, using suitably simple words, all the ways Iran could really REALLY mess us up should a hot war start.

  5. J says:

    we must not forget the ‘backdrop players’ right behind cheney’s shoulder — the likud who want american sons and daughters sacrificed instead of their own. there are many who ‘think’ based on cheney’s used to be personality and his today personality, that the israelis are blackmailing him in some form or fashion. again, that is what many think. and there is the mind set that cheney has become so rancid in his inner core that it has affected his humanity or what was left of it.
    it looks like another war of heaven brought down into earth’s atmosphere where the rebellious ones are working the strings over cheney and the likud.

  6. walrus says:

    I expect the tempo of the war drums is going to rise faster as a result of this article, if it has more than a grain of truth in it.
    Cheney must know that he, and Israel, have limited time to achieve their aims before the American public wake up.

  7. Charles says:

    One could hardly call what Rice has done to date diplomacy. Wheel spinning window dressing and risible cover for ongoing criminality is more like it. If Cheyney et al can all be given “garden view” offices, very good.
    But who in the end will constrain Israel, who never met a moment of calm reflection and diplomacy from its “existential threats” with anything but more settlements, more provocations, more extra-judicial murders and kidnapping, more collective punishment. Will the IDF one day say, “Enough”, we must force our diplomats to make real peace? Not because of our enemies, but because of ourselves, which one hopes is the context in Bushistan?
    The Democrat party is no better, of course. This is not going to stop until war engulfs the entire region, whatever restraint can be applied to the Cheyneyites.
    A few weeks back, Debkafile was reporting on how the IDF and the intelligence agencies would cover the lacunae that Olmert’s troubles opened up in the war and “defense” fronts with actions independant of any politically weakened or confused civil leadership.
    And here we are. Arming of Fatah, intervention in a manufactured civil war in Gaza, air strikes and chaos all around. Kidnapping of Palestinian government Ministers. Whatever it takes, so long as there is “no one to talk to”, no option but more destruction all around. And this is imagined as felicitous.

  8. TR Stone says:

    Perhaps Dennis Kucinich is a true Democrat, not a DLCer. HC, BO, JB, JE et al are nothing but a pale imitation of what the Democratic party needs to be to make a real difference is where America goes from here.
    AIPAC has the faux democrats by the shorts, they know and we know it!

  9. João Carlos says:

    VP Cheney need only one incident, maybe an attack inside US soil (from anyone, don’t need be Iran), maybe an US ship entering at Iran waters and being attacked, for start the war. These incident are easy to make, and with the help of complicit US media no one will know that the polonese soldiers were germans…
    You underestimate the Sith power. They are good at create Phantom Menaces.

  10. Will says:

    we must remember that “pumphead’s” personality has been changed by his numerous exposure to the heartlung machine making him reckless.
    what hypocrites, him and his wife, card carrying members of the neanderthal republican right, having a baby granddaugher born of a lesbian union!
    Courtesy of the guild ridden Deutsch, Israeli MarineKrieg has Diesel unterboats which carry the Kruise Missles, and thereby need no overfleug rights.

  11. Dave says:

    Maybe I’m naive or ‘unsophisticated’ when it comes to military strategy, but why wouldn’t collusion with another country to provoke an attack on US troops qualify as honest-to-god treason? That word has been tossed around so carelessly over the past few years, but wouldn’t it be accurate now if this story is correct? Lying us into war would be bad enough, but deliberately provoking the killing of Americans?
    And how could anyone call that ‘narrowing policy options’ as opposed to simply choosing the option of war for Bush? As if the response would be in doubt?

  12. ckrantz says:

    All it takes is another Tonkin incident and you have a shooting war. The danger with brinkmanship is that it can spiral out of control.
    The neocon against realists internal war is the same as always. But a cornered neocon is probably more dagerous. An obvious deadline is November 4.

  13. Mackie says:

    From the Clemons article:
    “This official [the aide doing the leaking] is beating the bush and doing what Joshua Muravchik has previously suggested–which is to help establish the policy and political pathway to bombing Iran.”
    Prompting Israel to bomb Iran sounds like a secret plan. How is broadcasting it to a public terrified of being sucked into another war going to further that agenda?

  14. VietnamVet says:

    The War in Iraq is already threatening the Suburbs and the SUVs with gasoline prices now topping what it cost in the 1980s. If Israel does cruise missile Iran, the suburbs will wither under gasoline lines and crashing housing prices. The only question to decide is whether the US will choose to take over all of the oil fields with millions of draftees and genocide or if America will choose isolation and energy independence. The legacy of the Bush 8 years is that the middle ground of diplomacy and strong man dictators in the Middle East has been blown apart.

  15. Steve says:

    I can’t but help to think that an attack on Iran will only end up in disaster for the US. The Navy will have a lot of trouble keeping 16MBD flowing out of the Gulf. If the stuff about Cheney is true, we have a government that is out of control. God help us.

  16. robt willmann says:

    1. Almost two months ago, the United Nations voted illegal requirements and sanctions against Iran regarding its nuclear program, about which the I.A.E.A. has found no diversion of nuclear material, to be checked in 60 days. Those 60 days will soon expire.
    2. The U.S. troop level in Iraq has been increasing, some think even higher than the advertised escalation.
    3. Meanwhile, the following article is entitled, “Neo-cons to Plot Iran Strategy Amid Carribean Luxury”. It describes a “workshop” called “Confronting the Iranian Threat: The Way Forward”. Among those invited include Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, and the Iran country director in the Pentagon, Ladan Archin, described as being formerly with the Defense Department’s Office of Special (Lying) Plans, of Douglas Feith fame.
    Also expected to attend is Uri Lubrani, Israel’s Iran advisor to Prime Minister Olmert. And the ubiquitous former member of the Project for the New American Century and now U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad may attend if his schedule allows, otherwise, his wife will attend.
    The above article was posted May 22, and says this meeting will be next week on Grand Bahama Island.
    4. An early version of the Iraq War funding bill contained a provision prohibiting an attack on Iran unless permission was first given by Congress. That is already constitutional law, but was good to have. It was stripped from the bill in conference committee. Today, the emasculated Congress is set to pass a $120 billion war funding bill with no restrictions. This will fund the war through September.
    In other words, there will be no change in the Iraq War.
    The most sinister aspect of this, which is noted in the Steve Clemons article cited by Col. Lang, is that Israel, with the assistance of Vice President Cheney and his group, can launch some type of attack against Iran to provoke it to hit back, thus creating drum beats for the U.S. to attack Iran.
    The approach of the Bush jr. administration for the last almost six and a half years is that it will do what it thinks it can get away with, regardless of the law, morals, or public sentiment.
    From the viewpoint of the White House, the neocons meeting in the Bahamas next week, and Israel, everything is in place. Congress has backed down this week and has proven to be gutless. Television, radio, and print media are on board with continuing the Iraq War and creating support for a military attack on Iran. Congress has fully funded the war through September. The U.N. 60-day review of Iran and the sanctions is coming up.
    What can stop a U.S. attack on Iran?
    A determination by enough business people that money-making will be significantly harmed by a strike. Or by blunt, private (or public) pressure by foreign governments. Or both.
    Perhaps such influence has been directed at Condi Rice and Robert Gates.
    A tough thing to know is the time frame in which the pushers of a war with Iran think an attack has to be launched. Would such an attack be politically impossible in 2008 during election season, or not? The question of available time politically in which to attack Iran is critical.

  17. Leila A. says:

    This may not even be offtopic, but let’s say it is: a professor at the American University of Beirut just went up to the camp neighboring the one under fire near Tripoli, Lebanon.
    Seems the Islamists were strangers in the camp; and they suddenly attacked LEbanese army positions at the edge of the camp, brutally murdering about 20 soldiers (decapitations etc.)
    Put this together with Seymour Hirsh’s reporting…
    I don’t know what it all adds up to, but I do know that once again, Palestinian refugees get beaten up and displaced due to mysterious machinations that are not their fault.
    Looks to me like somebody is trying to provoke all-out war in Lebanon. I still don’t think Syria is the only candidate for blame…

  18. Chris Marlowe says:

    So this is the end-game for American democracy?
    Choose your end: bang or whimper. Looks like the American people don’t even have that choice anymore; it’s all being fought in the corridors of power in DC…
    That’s freedom and democracy?

  19. I usually write my own verse, but this conversation — both enlightened and scary at the same time — leads me to think that Robert Frost has already said what needs saying:
    “Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.”
    So, caught between Israel’s “desire” for a postulated 2000-year-old “right of return” (for Jews) and its hatred of displaced Palestinians for demanding a fifty-year similar “right” (for Arab Muslims), I’d say that both Americans and Middle Eastern Muslims (neither of whom had anything to do with Nazi German persecution of European Jews in WWII) should stand by to either freeze or fry each other so that Israel can go on settling the West Bank, ripping off Gaza for its gas, and destabilizing any neighbors who don’t much like any of this extortionate divide-and-conquer Zionist stuff.
    Fry or freeze:
    What a “choice.”
    As offered up by those who please
    To tell us that their smallest sneeze
    Rings louder than
    Our mute collective voice.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I cannot take any of this at face-value.
    It reminds me of this:
    R.N.: “Henry, I want those Russians to think that there is a mad man in the White House with his finger on the button, ready to launch!”
    So, someone in USG divulges what essentially amounts to state secrets to Mr. Clemens who then obligingly posts them on the Internet for friends and foes alike.
    This just does not jive as reality; it is more like a planted story to try to scare Iranian into committing suicide – or more likely – another attempt at good-cop/bad-cop approach.
    And I think that some one is using Mr. Clemens.
    I also cannot understand why the Vice President of the United States could be so much against Iran, before his election to the office; Mr. Cheney was an advocate of dialogue with Iran. This leads me to believe that Mr. Cheney is following the President’s policy directives.
    Additionally, I cannot see what Israel can achieve from shooting a few cruise missiles at Iran. As far I have been able to surmise, the Government of Israel has been very careful about its statements in regards to Iran – that they do not want to make Iran to an active & direct enemy, in my opinion.
    This brings me to US, EU, and assorted Sunni Arab States. All these states have 2 and only 2 choices with respect to Iran: A hostile nuclear-capable Iran or a non-hostile nuclear capable Iran.

  21. swerv21 says:

    im going to go on a limb here and play chene…eh, I mean devils advocate.
    just for fun.
    first, i’m going to to assume the the U.S. government tends to act out of some sense of its own interest and that the only difference between a ‘neo-con’ and a ‘realist’ is in how they define those national interests.
    i know its weird.
    then, im going to assume something even crazier: namely that our government has NOT been hijacked by an evil, scheming cabal of blood sucking neo-con likudnik nazgul with phenomenal powers to control minds, change their outward form and single handedly influence the course of national history through their inhuman powers of telemetry and mind control.
    bear with me here, it gets wackier.
    then, just for kicks, im going to assume that dick cheney, the people around him and so on, are at least as smart as the SST readership. (for the record, being an SST reader myself, i like to think that we, as a group, are pretty far above average)
    furthermore, I’m going to pretend, in my fantasy world, that cheney, and those around him, think its really important that they enter any negotiation with the Iranians from a position of (what they percieve as) strength and that it is really important that they not telegraph what they will and won’t do to the Iranians in advance.
    Furthermore, I’m going to say that by playing this role, Cheney is actually doing us, the U.S. a favor- particularly if you happen to be on the state department negotiating team.
    they basically get to tell the iranians, “look, we can talk but we better get a good deal done here, otherwise cheney and his nut jobs are going to do something everybody is going to regret.”
    and frankly, in my fantasy world, i have a hard time understanding how you would ever go into negotiations NOT wanting that.

  22. ikonoklast says:

    On first reaction to this, it would seem that Cheney and his cohorts have finally devolved into Strangelovian madness and possible treason. However, perhaps it’s a new narrative spun to provide them an edge in the latest round of Administration infighting.
    In that context, it’s not necessary that the US would actually collude with Israel to provide a pretext for war with Iran. It’s enough that the Condi/State faction along with the (allegedly) emerging reality based factions believe that the neocons are genuinely crazy enough to try it, and thus back away from their alternate agendas.
    The Jacobins have been losing influence, and fearmongering has worked successfully in manipulating the public. This would simply be applying the tactic at the “insider” level in order for them to continue to enjoy the fruits their influence has brought them.
    Or maybe they actually are, finally, insane. A dangerous game, regardless.

  23. Poicephalus says:

    “What kid of Democracy is this? When people speak out, and their voices are lost.?
    Andrew Bacevich

  24. PeterE says:

    Suppose that the U.S. or Israel attacks Iran– what will the consequences be? I forecast these: All Iranians and their Arab neighbors will be miffed. Russia, Europe, India, Pakistan, China and Japan will be almost as miffed. Because neither the U.S. nor Israel have the resources to occupy Iraq, the attack will look both brutal and frivolous. The net effect will be a reduction in U.S. miltary power and influence.

  25. walrus says:

    Col. Lang,
    This is off completely off topic but is about a military matter of exceedingly great concern to those of us who serve, or have served the Queen.
    A 90 year old Nepalese Gurkha, who won the Victoria Cross in WWII storming a Japanese machine gun post in Burma has been denied entry to, and medical care in, Britain “because he has no links to Britain”.
    This man was presented with his medal in about 1953 and used to have tea with the Queen Mother.
    I’d appreciate it if this story could be posted. There are other measures being taken to get this horrific decision reversed. This man should be a Chelsea Pensioner.
    I’ve served with Gurkhas in hot and rainy places and there are no finer men, as I’m sure you know.…in_page_id=1811
    Here is his citation:
    No. 10119 Rifleman Tullbahadur Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.
    In Burma on June 23rd, 1944, a Battalion of the 6th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to attack the Railway Bridge at Mogaung. Immediately the attack developed the enemy opened concentrated and sustained cross fire at close range from a position known as the Red House and from a strong bunker position two hundred yards to the left of it.
    So intense was this cross fire that both the leading platoons of ‘B’ Company, one of which was Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun’s, were pinned to the ground and the whole of his Section was wiped out with the exception of himself, the Section commander and one other man. The Section commander immediately led the remaining two men in a charge on the Red House but was at once badly wounded. Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun and his remaining companion continued the charge, but the latter too was immediately wounded.
    Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun then seized the Bren Gun, and firing from the hip as he went, continued the charge on this heavily bunkered position alone, in the face of the most shattering concentration of automatic fire, directed straight at him. With the dawn coming up behind him, he presented a perfect target to the Japanese. He had to move for thirty yards over open ground, ankle deep in mud, through shell holes and over fallen trees.
    Despite these overwhelming odds, he reached the Red House and closed with the Japanese occupations. He killed three and put five more to flight and captured two light machine guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire from the bunker to the remainder of his platoon which enabled them to reach their objective.
    His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring to all ranks and beyond praise.

  26. Biff Spaceman says:

    there is a lot of money in what these guys are up to, and they stand to benefit from whatever the outcome is. Cheney, the Bush family, and really most of the wealthy politicos know how they can shape the financial outcome of their political actions in a general way. Bartcop said to invest in crack, jack, and prozac, I believe, in 2000. More profitably, oil investments are paying well right about now, and going forward people with military/defense related company stocks will profit from our having to repair or replace broken weapons and equipment of a staggering range, really. Think about having stock in the MRE companies? Heavy-duty axle manufacturers? GPS makers? Lots of stuff goes into modern war, more than conceivable in prior conflicts. There is no downside for the investor class in the war no matter how it comes out. Cheney’s Halliburton stock I read has gone up 600% in a blind trust, totally legit. More people are watching the news channels, more people are escaping by going to the movies, and more people will buy papers if there is some blood and mayhem on the cover. Look at the current round of hooker/defense/crooked congressmen scandals, the kind that go right to Cheney through Foggo and Wilkes, and you will see that escalation means more money and if it goes all to hell it was the liberals’ fault for not believing hard enough.

  27. wisedup says:

    for swerv21
    your assumptions are rather suspect.
    Where is your proof that this administration ever really wanted to ‘negotiate’ with the Iranians?
    The treatment dished out to Saddam proves that this administration is completely irrational — there is no good cop in this bunch.
    There is no fun to be had in the current situation.
    Israel attacked Iraq’s reactor in 1981 when Saddam’s army was a full strength and America had no strong presence in the region.
    I would say that some AEI wonk felt that the action being pushed was far too attractive to Bibi — who is likely to replace Olmert — and decided that the plan (probably came from Bibi originally) had to die.
    Remember that Israel test fired cruise missiles from submarines in 2000. They can launch directly into Iran
    from the gulf without overflying any Arab State.

  28. RB says:

    Well, do have them hold off for at least a week.. I’m in Tehran at the moment 😉

  29. Mackie says:

    swerv21 said:
    “then, just for kicks, im going to assume that dick cheney, the people around him and so on, are at least as smart as the SST readership.”
    Swerv, do you think that the Iranians are at least as smart as the Bush Administration?

  30. small axe says:

    I don’t even have to go out on a limb to say this: these are the people who brought us the triumph of Iraq.

  31. Chris Marlowe says:

    I know it’s hard to find humor in all this, but there are amusing points to think about.
    Everyone knows that Bush, the Great Decider, tends to think in binary terms. Everything is
    Furthermore, he does not reflect on things much because this potentially leads to doubt. (Most people call this “thinking” and “weighing the pros and cons”. Not the kind of stuff a “decisive” leader like George W. Bush wants to do; he’s too busy leading.)
    But even with all this, Cheney needs to “narrow Bush’s choices re Iran”. In other words, the VP has to limit Bush’s choices from attack/don’t attack to something even simpler, like attack with land invasion/attack with cruise missiles and bunker busters.
    When all this is over, I’d suggest that Tenet/Bush/Cheney/Franks/Powell and all the members of Congress from 2000-2008 get together and write a book “How to Destroy A Superpower in Eight Short Years Without Even Trying”

  32. In relation to this thread and the one below concerning “evidence of disintegration,” I can only see one (desperate) way out of this mess for the Dick Cheney Shogunate Regency. I plead insanity and total ignorance about the Middle East, but I think:
    (1) the United States will betray the Iraqi Shiites (we’ve done it before) and switch to backing the Sunnis who will win and take power back when we leave, in any event. Witness Dick Cheney’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni capitals to let them in on things and obtain their blessing. (2) The Shiites (and their patrons in Iran) have long suspected just this eventuality and — with the British pulling out of Basra — could cause trouble for our vulerable supply lines in areas they dominate. Witness Dick Cheney’s recent trip to an aircraft carrier attack squadron in the Persian Gulf to warn Iran about supporting its Iraqi Shiite clients militarily when we betray them to the Sunnis. (3) Dick Cheney’s sock-puppet propaganda-catapulter, Deputy Dubya Bush doesn’t know a Shiite from a Sunni in any case; Cheney will just tell him that “we won;” this will make the dipshit dauphin deleriously happy; and we will promise to lay off Sunni control of Iraqi oil if they just promise to leave the Kurds alone and rebuild their military solely with parts and products purchased from America’s corporate war profiteers. Everybody but the betrayed Iraqi Shiites and their patrons in Iran wins, but we never cared two hoots in Hades for them anyway.
    I expect no one to take me seriously — even I don’t — but I just thought I’d follow a certain train of thought in relation to what little I do know about the Dick Cheney Shogunate Regency and its desperate grasping at any possible straw that might save it from going down for the third and final time.
    The status quo ante bellum in Iraq may not have looked all that attractive from certain humanitarian angles, but it sure as hell looks infinitely better (and without Saddam Hussein, even) than what we’ve managed to ruin with our blundering bellicosity. So, can all the kings horses and all the kings men put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Just asking.

  33. Chris Marlowe says:

    I just finished reading the interview with several intelligence people on No Quarter.
    Col. Lang used the word “delusional” to describe Cheney. Four times.
    I thought to myself “Col. Lang is someone who meaures his words very carefully. (I know that from personal experience because he has killed a few of my comments to this blog for making overly broad statements or going off topic.) If he’s willing to go on the record and say this guy, someone he has briefed several times, is delusional, then I’m willing to take his word for it.”
    And he is trying to narrow the choices for a president whose personality has all the depth of Alfred E. Newman.
    And this president won two national elections for president of the US. Elected by a majority of American voters.
    I mean, you can’t make this shit up! All the lipstick in the world can’t make this pig presentable.

  34. jr786 says:

    Just to follow up on some of the comments on Iran I believe it’s worth noting that one seldom finds any analysis of Iranian strategy deeper than some ‘mad mullah’ scenario to nuke the region and bring on the Mahdi. I defer to people better informed than me but believe that one result of 9/11 has been to actually create a sense of a Muslim world, not just on the part of Western non-Muslims but on Muslims themselves, who have certainly come to be treated as a geo-political mass. Speaking as a less than stellar example of one but as a person eager to see more unity amongst Muslims I perceive in the Iranian leadership a desire to make Iran the leader of that incipient Muslim unity, a role perhaps better suited to Turkey but which must be wrenched from the nominal religio-political hands of the Arabs.
    IMO, the Iranians are looking for recognition from the Muslim world, and they’re getting it, in the same way that Hezbollah earned its own stripes. Bushco is scared that their Saudi princelings are losing influence to an emerging, re-acquired Muslim identity that takes priority of over shattered nationalisms and other secular projects.
    I don’t think that there’s anything the US can do to stop this. It can work together with the Iranians, who are hardly the fanatics that the Western press makes them out, or it can continue with another attack, something which would increase Iranian prestige amongst Muslims even more.

  35. swerv21 says:

    on iranian US/ negotiations.
    from pravda, today:
    Ambassador to Iraq to head Tehran team for direct U.S.-Iran talks
    Front page / World
    05/25/2007 14:43 Source: AP ©
    Iranian ambassador to Iraq will head the Tehran’s delegation for the talks between the U.S. and Iran in Baghdad next week, a foreign ministry spokesman announced Friday.
    Ambassador Hassan Kazemi was appointed to lead the Iranian delegation in the negotiations. (
    Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, the spokesman, told the state IRNA news agency that Ambassador Hassan Kazemi was appointed to lead the Iranian delegation in the negotiations. “The Iran-US talks on Iraq will start on Monday, May 28,” Hosseini said.
    Although Kazemi had been cast as the likely chief Iranian in the talks, Hosseini’s announcement was the first official statement on this.
    The talks in Baghdad between U.S. and Iranian diplomats on efforts to stabilize Iraq will offer a very rare one-on-one forum between the two countries, which broke off formal relations after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
    The agenda is expected to be limited to Iraqi affairs, without spilling over into the nuclear impasse between Iran and the West. However, that standoff is likely to hang over any interplay between Iran and the United States.
    On Thursday, Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed never to halt the country’s controversial uranium enrichment program. His salvo followed a report Wednesday by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that said Iran has expanded its enrichment in defiance of U.N. demands for a suspension. The finding could set the stage for a third round of Security Council sanctions.
    U.S. President George W. Bush said Thursday he would work with allies to strengthen sanctions on Iran and criticized Iran’s leaders who “continue to be defiant as to the demands of the free world.”
    U.S.-Iranian tensions have increased, despite the groundbreaking diplomatic overture. The Pentagon has moved two aircraft carriers and seven other ships into the Persian Gulf in a show of force. Iran, meanwhile, has detained at least two prominent American-Iranian citizens

  36. ndc says:

    If what Clemons writes is true then I suspect that the Fleet has moved into the Gulf in order to protect Iran from attack by Israel.

  37. swerv21 says:

    mackie, small axe, mm et al:
    with respect, proving what is in someone’s head, what they ‘want’ is pretty difficult.
    and frankly, i don’t know that the great decider thinks in binary terms. maybe he does. but its hard to imagine legions of poeple thinking in this way, and doing it to the extent that is parodied on the web.
    im sorry, but it doesn’t pass the smell test for me. and i don’t like these poeple or necessarily agree with their policy- but that doesn’t neccesarily make them insane- or morons.
    what i can look at are events and try to draw inferences. and im not an expert- the only background that i have on the middle east is that i happen to be from there.
    maybe they are crazy, maybe the only sane people left on earth are the ones that post comments on sst.
    but it is also within the realm of possibility that on mondday, may 28th- when our negotiating team is meeting with the iranians, they are going to be in the curious position of telling them that while they really are speaking for the president, there is also some scary person behind him who is prepared to pre-empt the president and start a war if this round is fruitless. the negotiators might have to sell the position to the iranians that they are their friends and that they do not want a war but that others do.
    this would mirror almost exactly what the iranian negotiators would be saying to them.

  38. João Carlos says:

    About the “negotiation” meme…
    The persians aren’t stupid. They know that US ocupation of Iraq will continue until 2009, when the next pres substitue Bush.
    So, there is nothing US can bargain with Iran, they can simply wait. There is no posible strong position for the US.
    And Iran problably is preparating for an US attack for some years now. If they have any brain cells, they are preparating themselves for retaliate any possible way and for survive any possible attack, including nuclear attack. And they show it at iranian’s propaganda, why you think they showned us that underwater missile? You think that is a weapon for destroy only oil tankers? That thing can sunk slow moving carriers too.
    The iraninas are problably preparating themselves for make the coust of any attack by USA be more expensive to USA than to Iran. They have a lot of options for make US pay expensivelly:
    1- first, close the strait, they really don’t need sunk any oil tanker, they simply need to say they will sunk any oil tanker trying to cross the strait and all the ensurance will be pull off, Loyds isn’t stupid to lose money, and any oil tanker owner isn’t stupid for try to cross the strait and get sunk without no insurance. The game will be how much time Iran can mantain the strait closed, they are preparating for mantain it closed for long time, so the economic damage will be astronomic. They know very well that US economy is not at the best health. The game is who survive more time to the economic damage? Iran or USA?
    2- The US fleet problably will try to open the strait, oil above U$100 and going up is not good for business, but the problem is that will be a lot costly for the US fleet: Iran problably have hardened defenses there and the terrain don’t help air bombing, they will know where the US fleet is, that place give low mobility for the US fleet, and they will send everything they have for sink the US ships, I think a war game at 2002 showed that this kind of tatic can sink 2 carriers (and this time the war game controlers cannot magically revive the US carriers).
    3- they will not only send the iraq’s shia against the US troops, they problably will send the Revolutionay Gaurds inside Iraq for fight the US army, we can guess how good that guys will be using guerrilla tatics, but they have better infantry equipment than Iraq army had and problably they can hit the copters and abrams and vehicles hard, while they problably cannot overrun the US bases they can cut the supply lines, they can put a lot of IEDs.
    4- by the way, Iran don’t need overrun the US bases at Iraq, they have lots of missiles and US bombing will need a lot of time for neutralize that missiles, so Iran have enough time for destroy the bases making the missiles rain over them, I guess the main target will be teh main bases and not teh Bagdah embassy like a lot of people think.
    5- there is a story from the last Lebannon war that the HA broke the Israel codes… I guess that, if that is true, it was Iran that broke that codes: and if true, they too can possibly broke the US army and navy codes, that is NOT GOOD!

  39. Montag says:

    perterp said, “without the Dauphin’s signature…” No doubt Cheney sees himself as Joan of Arc. Wasn’t she burned at the stake because she didn’t know when to quit?

  40. VietnamVet says:

    If Richard Nixon was alive roaming the White House, bourbon in hand, the madman argument to gain negotiating advantage would bear weight. But, the President is actually a fried ex-addict, who found God. The VP is the madman.
    The President believes NBC’s Dick Gregory’s kids are threatened by Muslims. Kill them there before they kill us here. With these two at the top, and David Addington, John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams and Benjamin Netanyahu lurking in the background, the threat of an Israeli strike on Iran is not unreasonable. It becomes frighteningly likely.
    The whole bunch is completely unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. David Halberstam’s “Best and Brightest” is just as applicable but the title would have be changed to the “Worst and Dumbest”:

    the truth of the war never entered the upper-level American calculations; that this was a revolutionary war, and that the other side held title to the revolution because of the colonial war which had just ended. This most simple fact … entered into the estimates of the American intelligence community and made them quite accurate. But it never entered into the calculations of the principals, for a variety of reasons; among other things to see the other side in terms of nationalism or as revolutionaries might mean a re-evaluation of whether the United States was even fighting on the right side. In contrast, the question of Communism and anti-Communism as opposed to revolution and antirevolution was far more convenient for American policy makers.

    Muslims are fighting for their religion, homes and pride; a fact that never enters the calculations of the current principals because it would mean a re-evaluation of whether the United States is even fighting on the right side.

  41. jedermann says:

    Dick Cheney has been carrying on an insurgency against constitutional American government for decades. (It seems strange that he seems so clueless about the Iraqi insurgency). Cheney has shown contempt for democratic processes throughout his public career. He and his coterie share some characteristics with other insurgencies around the world. They all depend upon the absolute need of the state to preserve its essential integrity. Insurgencies constitute a kind of parasitism that eventually kills the host. The host has means with which to fight the parasite, but in the case of constitutional democracies such as our own they are severely constrained by the need to adhere to the social contract upon which the whole enterprise depends. That contract requires individuals to submit to the authority of the state in exchange for the state’s submission to the authority of the constitution. The insurgencies have no such constraints and they adapt themselves to the predictability of their hosts. They use the particularities of the legal systems and the political folkways of the societies against them. When police and oversight entities do not play by the rules they risk gutting the raison d’etre of the state. We have seen the beginnings of the corruption and the compromising of these entities in this administration. (It would be ironic if in the end the weakening of constitutional constraints is turned against the perpetrators…satisfying and yet devastating.)
    The machinery exists for impeachment but those wheels turn slowly. Cheney is expert at playing the system against itself. How much time can he buy and how much space can he make for his schemes? It is still not clear to me what Cheney’s objective is. Starting a war with Iran does not seem likely to be an end in itself but rather part of the means to something else. I believe that it is in our vital interest to know what that ultimate end really is. We need to understand the urgency and the scale of the threat.

  42. pbrownlee says:

    The cabal of self-appointed patriots is having a love-fest:
    “Neo-Cons To Plot Iran Strategy Amid Caribbean Luxury
    “For those of you who may be visiting the Bahamas next week, you may want to check out a private, off-the-record meeting of Gulf and Middle East specialists of a rather narrow ideological bent at Westin’s luxurious Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island. The meeting takes place May 30 to June 1.
    “The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neo-conservative group created two days after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, is holding what it calls ‘a policy workshop’ during Congress’ Memorial Day recess, no doubt to plot strategy for moving U.S. policy toward Iran in a direction compatible with its confrontational views.
    “The workshop, entitled ‘Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward’, is to include “30 or so leading experts who will analyze the implications of Iran’s activities, the diplomatic challenges, military and intelligence capabilities, the spread of its ideology within and beyond its borders, and other issues, including the prospects for democratization in the Islamic world, energy security and other related issues that face policymakers in the United States, Europe and the Middle East,” according to the invitation letter from FDD’s president, Clifford May. The purpose will be “exploring policy options …and consider solutions to one of the most significant policy issues of our day.”
    “Among those experts who have been invited are several serving and former senior administration officials, including one of the diminishing number of neo-cons left in the Bush administration, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky; the hard-line Iran country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Office of Special Plans (OSP) alumna, Ladan Archin; the recently-departed State Department Coordinator of Counterterrorism, Amb. Henry Crumpton; the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Treasury Department, Matthew Levitt, who is now with the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). The administration’s new UN Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, has also been invited, although his duties as next month’s Security Council president may make it difficult for him to travel. In any case, his spouse, Cheryl Benard, who directs the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, is confirmed.
    “Uri Lubrani, the chief Iran advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is also expected to participate.
    “Bernard Lewis, the Princeton emeritus professor who just received the American Enterprise Institute’s annual award, presumably for having done so much to lay the intellectual foundation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent transformation of the Islamic world, is expected to open the proceedings by addressing Iran’s historic, as well as contemporary, ambitions in the region. Rob Sobhani, a Georgetown University adjunct professor and president of Caspian Energy Consulting, who helped found, along with Michael Ledeen and several other AEI fellows, the Coalition for Democracy in Iran in 2002, has also been invited, as has one of Lewis’ most devoted protégés, AEI fellow and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative, Reuel Marc Gerecht.” etc.
    Should be a grand time for yet more of the incestuous amplification adored by this shameless (but well funded) mob.
    We’ll see if the “way forward” involves a comprehensive plan for transforming defeat into catastrophe that will necessarily require great sacrifice by people who don’t get to the Bahamas all that often.
    These people are beneath contempt.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Bernard Lewis used to be a good historian of Arabs and Turkey. I do not think he knows anything original to contribute to AEI – he is their fig leaf.
    Savory, Bakhash, Bill, Amanat, Cole, and others know far more than him about Iran.

  44. JT Davis says:

    “ndc…If what Clemons writes is true then I suspect that the Fleet has moved into the Gulf in order to protect Iran from attack by Israel.”
    That was hilarious. Thanks for that. Would that it were true.

  45. Curious says:

    Incidentally, also
    observe this collection of event. And tell me Iraq war is not spilling over.
    Ebadi: Iran keeps lawyers from detainee
    Haleh Esfandiari — who holds dual citizenship and works for the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington — was arrested after her passport was stolen in Iran.
    TEHRAN, Iran: Iran says it has uncovered spy rings organized by the United States and its Western allies, claiming on state-run television that the espionage networks were made up of “infiltrating elements from the Iraqi occupiers.”
    Iran says it has uncovered spy networks of U.S. and its allies “infiltrating” from Iraq
    U.S. disbands group aimed at pressuring Iran, Syria.
    “The Bush administration has dismantled a special committee that was established last year to coordinate aggressive actions against Iran and Syria, State Department officials said this week.”
    US military sends 3 more planes loaded with aid for Lebanese army
    Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Israel of dire consequences in case it dares to stage any attack on Lebanon.
    Al-Sadr, 33, went underground, reportedly in Iran, at the start of a US-led security crackdown on Baghdad. He also had ordered his militia off the streets
    Mr Sadr’s demand for an end to the occupation is likely to resonate in Iraq where the Sunni community has favoured this since the invasion of 2003 and the majority Shia community has increasingly wanted a timetable for a withdrawal, according to opinion polls. The Sadrists have been meeting with anti-al-Qa’ida Sunni tribal leaders from Anbar to discuss forming a common front. Sectarian suspicions between Shia and Sunni are so deep and bitter, however, that differences will be difficult to bridge.

  46. With Cheney running on low batteries for his heart machine and wanting to take as many with him when he goes as possible, I am just imagining nightmare scenarios here.
    I have a basic question about the ability of subversive elements within the government to undermine and in some way bypass law and the constitution.
    Is it possible that the Cheneyites/neocons have burrowed so deeply and stealthily into the government infrastructure that they could carry out plans to bring on a war with Iran even without executive knowledge?
    I am imagining something along the lines of Syriana where you have these very powerful groups with huge amounts of money outside the govt but who have tentacles deep inside the military/intelligence community.
    I’ve sometimes thought how lucky America has been that it’s never had military style coup. I grew up during the days when such a coup seemed a live possibility. I was 8 years old when the film came out, but Seven Days in May made an impression so great that I still remember it.
    I know, it’s just a movie.

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