De Borchgrave on the Iran NIE

250pxmorganangelofdeath "Clearly, Bush did not wish to disappoint loyal supporters at home and Israeli allies abroad who saw an existential threat to the Jewish state. There was much talk in recent months to the imperative need "to save Israel from a second holocaust." Norman Podhoretz, godfather of the neocons and now foreign policy adviser to Rudi Giuliani’s presidential campaign, wrote in Commentary last June, "Please Mr. President, as an American Jew, I beg you, bomb Iran." For the neocons, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was another Hitler. (Late-night comedians who can’t pronounce his name call him I’m-a-dinner-jacket.) This was now World War IV; World War III was the one we won against the evil Soviet empire.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who says Darth Vader "is one of the nicer things I’ve been called recently," was clearly in the neocon camp and sent the NIE estimate back to the drawing board on several occasions in recent months. Star investigative reporter Seymour Hersh delivered one "scoop" after another in The New Yorker about a secret Pentagon unit planning a "shock and awe" aerial blitz designed to destroy not only nuclear installations, but also Iran’s military assets, from missile batteries to naval bases in the Gulf."  De Borchgrave for UPI


It is time for plain talk, time to call a spade a "f—–g shovel" as one of my old sergeants would have said.

The chimera of Iran as deadly menace is a product of Israeli paranoia and debilitating fear of the "other."  This fear saturates Israeli strategic thinking making impossible for them a rational contemplation of the odds against Iranian suicide attacks against Israel.  Israel rejects the concept of deterrence of nuclear attack through creation of MAD (mutual assured destruction).  I have described their reasoning elsewhere in these pages. Given the awful nature of Jewish history, such overwhelming fear of the return of the final "golem," or perhaps Azrael himself is comprehensible.

What is not comprehensible is that their fear somehow captured the "minds" of the present population of of the White House, the NSC staff and the office of the Vice President.  The tail has truly been wagging the dog.  The interests and attitudes of a small client state have been allowed to seize control of the policy of an ecumenical empire.   Was not this surrender and acceptance of capture an abandonment of the sacred oath sworn to the Constitution of the United States?  "Protect and Defend…."

It is said that this National Estimate survived repeated efforts by the administration to corrupt the judgments of the intelligence community.

If that is true, then someone should pay…  pl

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57 Responses to De Borchgrave on the Iran NIE

  1. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang wrote:
    “What is not comprehensible is that their fear somehow captured the “minds” of the present population of of the White House, the NSC staff and the office of the Vice President. The tail has truly been wagging the dog. The interests and attitudes of a small client state have been allowed to seize control of the policy of an ecumenical empire. Was not this surrender and acceptance of capture an abandonment of the sacred oath sworn to the Constitution of the United States?”
    Well now it seems I’ve got my Christmas present. This is the first ray of sunshine I’ve seen this whole year.
    What has been bleedin’ obvious for years is now in the mainstream media. Let’s just hope that the Neocons and AIPAC have run out of aces.
    Time will tell if America regains its senses and dismantles the Gulags and torture chambers, throws out the Patriot Act and FISA, and starts behaving somewhat according to the principles espoused in it’s Constitution.
    God knows there are enough real issues (like Global Warming, Health Care, the Economy)that could better occupy our time.
    Merry Christmas to all and peace to all men.

  2. chimneyswift says:

    Pay, Col.? And how should it happen? Should the Dems take up hearings? Could they be bipartisan at this point?
    It seems to me that if what we’re reading here is true, there is a good chance this could be viewed as treasonable offenses, no? Should there be a capital case made if so?
    I will say again that this is what comes from letting the policy makers responsible for Iran Contra go unpunished. There will be more unscrupulous men poised for power–there always are–and ignominy alone has proven an ineffective deterrent.
    And it was more than Iran-Contra, of course, but that was huge. This is about the shortsightedness and conceit of most all of the American elite, in one way or another, and it was “just agreed” (and acquiesced to) that the leaders of the country should not be punished. It may not have been predictable how far this particular group of demagogues would take things (at least not commonly), but it was predictable that it would be taken for carte blanche.
    Now we have a situation involving many of the same faces in politics, in the media, &c. where these men will be leaving office anyway or were not elected and hundreds of thousands at least have died already. And the profits of the few have been unmistakable.
    I agree, someone should pay. Thank you for leading the way on this, and for providing a forum for sane discussion. These are sad, hard times for patriots.

  3. arbogast says:

    It is unwise to isolate consideration of Iran from the rest of the recent events in the United States.
    Alan Greenspan produced the current economic crisis in the United States by keeping interest rates criminally low for many years. In addition, he encouraged the creation of the financial innovations that are now destroying America.
    Stupidity? Neglect?
    No. The neocons needed financial support for their colonialist adventures in the Middle East. Alan Greenspan provided it for them.
    What is happening today is a kind of rear-guard action by responsible elements in government to save what is left of the glory of the US.
    They are definitely the few. And they are definitely brave. God go with them.

  4. jon says:

    It may be that sanity has finally reared its head in Washington. Although I would consider the release of this NIE to be another move in a long game, rather than a game ending smash. It’s only faintly amusing to see the administration tap dancing to explain how Iran is, in fact, both ends as well as the middle: a logician’s triple-axel.
    Israel does have some genuine existential angst. Recently, it’s actions have served to compound its problems and to make any true and lasting settlement of their problems recede still further.
    Dispassionately considered, I fail to see how Iran has, or can be expected to pose, a life threatening capability regarding Israel. A strong national and regional competitor, certainly. Ability to make mischief and to provide support to palestinians and other regional governments, absolutely.
    Further UN sanctions have likely evaporated. France and germany may be just a little upset at being danced so far down the road. Russia and China have been strengthened.
    If Iran minds its manners, the IAEA may well facilitate the rest of its fuel cycle on a silver platter.
    And of course Ahmadinejad has just made his bones, staring down the US. He’s sure to have a few choice sound bites ready for the occasion.
    But Paul Wolfowitz is returning to State just in the nick of time. Heckuva job there, team.

  5. Charles I says:

    #If that is true, then someone should pay… pl”
    Someone is – your soldiers and citizens. And someone will – generations to come stripped of all government services but the military – their health care, pensions and domestic security in the hands of privateers, and treated to elections by Diebold, and taxed to pay the $10 TRILLION dollar debt forecast by next January.
    From where I sit, 43 abandoned the Constitution with the original diversion of $700M legislated by Congress to fund the Afghan war to his festering Iraq imperative just after 9/11

  6. Jose says:

    Finally a welcome dose of reality, pragmatism and humility from a man who thougt himself “Augustus” and “Princeps” of the world.
    Don’t worry about the Neocons and the Israelis they still reign in this administration especially with Elliot Cohen “supervising” the Middle East Peace process, Olmert making new demands everyday and the return of Wolfie.
    Oath to the Constitution, with these characters or this Congress?
    But someone will pay for this and her name is Hillary Clinton who will crucified by her Democratic opponents.
    “Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice, shame on me”
    The Republicans are actually helped by the facts coming out before we attacked another country based on lies.
    Our position in the Middle East is so bad that Robert Baer is writing that the Gulf States are observing the Zenith and Nadir with this administration:,8599,1690696,00.html

  7. eaken says:

    i sincerely hope people don’t think this movie has ended…

  8. JohnH says:

    Actually, the most damaging statement in the NIE is that “Tehran’s decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and
    military costs.”
    In other words, the Iranian leadership is not a bunch of “Mad Mullahs.” The implication is clear that if Iran had a nuke they would behave like other nuclear powers–they would not use it except if attacked. It also implies that they fully understand the consequences of trying to make Israel disappear via a nuke–mutually assured destruction.
    Furthermore, Trita Parsi has revealed that “most Israeli strategists recognize that Iran represents a strategic challenge to the favorable balance of power enjoyed by Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East over the past 15 years, but it is no existential threat to the Israel, the U.S. or the Arab regimes.”
    This is not about nukes, but about instituting US hegemony over the world’s oil suppliers and about Israel, in that order. If this is to be the foreign policy of the USA it deserves a thorough public debate, not a secret Oval Office mandate cheered on by the ‘defense’ industry and various and sundry fearmongers and warmongers.

  9. Matthew says:

    Col: I do not disagree with your analysis of the Israeli mind. Unfortunately, you don’t take it a step further: Israel is a threat to America. It’s hideous intervention in our politics, and the torn loyalities of the Israel-Firsters is a direct threat to Israel’s Muslim neighbors and a direct threat to lives of millions of Americans. It’s time to say to them in clear language: Stop trying to make your enemies our enemies. Look at the skewed morality examplified by Podhoretz the Elder: “…as an American Jew, I beg you, bomb Iran.” Well, as an American Christian, I say, “Don’t you friggin’ dare. And certainly not im my name.”

  10. Bobo says:

    It is a calming feeling to know we will now not be running off to a new war to spend our grandchildrens money and our sons blood.
    #43 will be OOO in a year or so, how much trouble can he get us in or leave us with in that time?? A bunch I figure. Hopefully someone takes over who can put the Neo Cons on the backest back burner of all .
    My bigger puzzle is, is Israel worth being our ally?? They seem to have caused us a number of large problems that will never be fully solved. They also seem to stir up a hornets nest at the drop of a hat plus they seem to have to much control over our decision making. Why not ponder about picking another ally over there??
    Sure would like to hear your opinions but leave your insults on the keyboard.

  11. meletius says:

    In our failed republic, this scandal of lying and further attempts to corrupt the decision-making process will be forgotten and glossed over by the MSM in around a week.
    We cannot reform ourselves any longer, despite the existence of a few honorable Intel analysts telling our clown prince emperor he has no clothes.
    Cheney will have the dogs of war back out on the moors in a month. But jolly good show anyway, pip, pip. The historians will certainly appreciate it.
    Being dead wrong has no consequences to the failed pundit class of BushAmerica. They never “pay” no matter how many times they’re wrong. Time, Newsweek, WaPo, all a cesspool of congenital error and falsehood—read at your own risk.
    And the lying, deceptive elected officials of Bushco? Pay? That’s a very bad joke indeed.
    The intelligentsia of Imperial Russia simply got drunk. Off to do the same, as we are as failed a state as Czarist Russia….

  12. zenpundit says:

    “the return of the final “gollum”
    Golem ?
    Admittedly, Gollum wouldn’t be too pretty either. :o)

  13. robt willmann says:

    Every once in a while, in an unguarded moment, the truth slips out. This often happens while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or during that most unguarded of all moments–pillow talk.
    But today, on 4 December 2007, it happened at a presidential press conference.
    The release of some small part of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran generates a psychological boost in those opposing a military attack on Iran, and I think will embolden some to take a stronger position against such an attack.
    Even the mild-mannered Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, managed a mild version of the Smiling Stiletto in the Ribs in an IAEA press release which said that he–
    “… received with great interest the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate about Iran´s nuclear program which concludes that there has been no on-going nuclear weapons program in Iran since the fall of 2003. He notes in particular that the Estimate tallies with the Agency´s consistent statements over the last few years that, although Iran still needs to clarify some important aspects of its past and present nuclear activities, the Agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.”
    But we should not rejoice too soon. For at the press conference, we hear this–
    “Question: Mr. President, thank you. Just to follow, I understand what you’re saying about when you were informed about the NIE. Are you saying at no point while the rhetoric was escalating, as ‘World War III’ was making it into conversation, at no point nobody from your intelligence team or your administration was saying, maybe you want to back it down a little bit?
    The President: No, nobody ever told me that. Having said — having laid that out, I still feel strongly that Iran is a danger. Nothing has changed in this NIE that says, okay, why don’t we just stop worrying about it. Quite the contrary. I think the NIE makes it clear that Iran needs to be taken seriously as a threat to peace. My opinion hasn’t changed.
    [snip a little out]
    Now, the Iranians — the most difficult aspect of developing a weapons program, or as some would say, the long pole in the tent, is enriching uranium. This is a nation — Iran is a nation that is testing ballistic missiles. And it is a nation that is trying to enrich uranium. The NIE says this is a country that had a covert nuclear weapons program, which, by the way, they have failed to disclose, even today. They have never admitted the program existed in the first place.
    The danger is, is that they can enrich, play like they got a civilian program — or have a civilian program, or claim it’s a civilian program — and pass the knowledge to a covert military program. And then the danger is, is at some point in the future, they show up with a weapon. And my comments are, now is the time to work together to prevent that scenario from taking place. It’s in our interests.”
    When asked how the rest of the world will react now that the NIE is saying the opposite from two years ago, the president says–
    “… And I think this is a — it’s a — to me, it’s a way for us to continue to rally our partners. That’s why I’m working the phones and Condi Rice is working the phones. All of us are calling our partners. And I appreciate many of the comments that have come out of the capitals.”
    I can imagine what some of the “comments” have been from “our partners” to Bush jr and Ms. Rice about this. Yet, as he said, his “opinion hasn’t changed” about Iran.
    But then a little of the truth comes out.
    “Question: The clarification is, are you saying that this NIE will not lead to a change in U.S. policy toward Iran, or shift in focus?
    The President: I’m saying that I believed before the NIE that Iran was dangerous, and I believe after the NIE that Iran is dangerous. And I believe now is the time for the world to do the hard work necessary to convince the Iranians there is a better way forward. And I say, hard work — here’s why it’s hard. One, many companies are fearful of losing market share in Iran to another company. It’s one thing to get governments to speak out; it’s another thing to convince private sector concerns that it’s in our collective interests to pressure the Iranian regime economically.
    So I spend a fair amount of time trying to convince our counterparts that they need to convince the private sector folks that it is in their interests and for the sake of peace that there be a common effort to convince the Iranians to change their ways, and that there’s a better way forward.
    So our policy remains the same. I see a danger. And many in the world see the same danger. This report is not a ‘okay, everybody needs to relax and quit’ report. This is a report that says what has happened in the past could be repeated, and that the policies used to cause the regime to halt are effective policies, and let’s keep them up, let’s continue to work together.”
    Now I get it. The NIE is not going to change the policy or the intentions of the Bush jr administration at all. It’s those foreign businessmen and women who don’t want to see their investments and money-making in Iran bombed to bits. And even though it’s easy to convince some cheesey foreign politicians to jump on the war wagon, it is “hard” to convince those foreign “private sector” folks, who don’t have the power to tax or create money out of thin air, to do so. They are “fearful of losing market share in Iran to another company”.
    That is the real lead paragraph for the news stories.
    Foreign businesses are slowing the war train down.
    The press conference can be found here–
    There is still an unanswered question: since the NIE makes the statement that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, what did the “program” consist of?
    Some, or all, of the answer could be in the IAEA reports. But going into that would make this comment too long.
    From what was said at that press conference, the possibility of war with Iran is still with us.

  14. TRStone says:

    I listened to “To The Point” on PRI today where there was a discussion an the NIE conclusions. The most strident voice in opposition to that conclusion was an Isreali pundit who reiterated the “fact” that was known to “everyone” that the Iranians are re-fitting their submarines to accept nuclear armed missles so they could destroy earth as we know it!
    That is quite an existential threat (too bad the Native Americans, Cambodians, and many other indigenous cultures who are aggrieved don’t have the support of the US Treasury to redress their fears).
    Either the will is there to solve problems or it isn’t. If it is, get to it, or if it isn’t, admit death and destruction to all is the answer and put humanity out of it’s misery (a truly GWB black or white moment).

  15. PeterE says:

    Could the Bush Administration have prevented or censored the NIE assessment? I suspect that the answer is “Yes”. If so, why was it published? I suspect (hope) that Bush actually wants to take a moderate approach to Iran and now he has a rationale– or at least a reason to avoid bombing, etc. (After making the obligatory noises to mollify the neocons.)

  16. Will says:

    Time for sober dispassionate analysis. Why does the tail wag the dog?
    I have often quoted James Petras’ socialogical data here- the gist of it being that 2.5% of the population :
    “represent 25-30% of U.S.’s wealthiest families (citing Forbes). He asserts that they weild their wealth effectively. As an example(citing Richard Cohen in the Washington Post) — supplying 60% and 35% of the total contributions respectively of the American Democratic and Republican political parties
    My own gleaning of the news is that there are 2 cabinet officers, 2 supreme court justices, 13 U.S. senators, and 34 congressmen who are Jewish. Why are the reasons for that percentage being higher that the 2.5%?
    Cultural factors that contribute toward ambitions, social cohesion, group help, but there is a factor seldom mentioned.
    The Ashkenazi (European Jewish) verbal and general IQ is higher than the general population as a whole, 125 & 115 respectively. The IQ distribution is the Gaussian or Bell shaped curve. On its right tail is the higher IQ. Less and less people in the higher ranges and diminishing quickly.
    Imagine a second bell curve but shifted to the right and centered on 115 instead of 100. Then the area under the curve between 115 and 140 is greatly increased for this second curve. This goes a long way to explaining why 30% of the student body of Harvard and Yale are Jewish. Education is ladder of success and influence.
    Unfortunately for the U.S., blind loyalty by the (so far) majority of American Jews for an expansionist Israel has embroiled American in never ending Mid East Wars.

  17. Andy says:

    Col. Lang,
    A little assumptions check here:
    A similar case to Iran is another axis of evil – North Korea. The aggressiveness of our policy with the DPRK is constrained when compared to Iran by several factors: China, an existential military threat to South Korea, and regional allies that do not want us to pursue military action.
    Now, suppose the DPRK didn’t have a NWS and UNSC-member patron, and it wasn’t an existential threat to its neighbors, and our regional allies (Japan mainly) were more amenable to the use of force. In such circumstances, would our policy be substantially different from Iran?
    I trust you see where I’m heading with this?
    Could not US and Israeli policy simply be aligned, as opposed to one dominating or overly influencing the other? How can one tell the difference?

  18. Paul Hartvigson, Denmark says:

    Comment from reader in Copenhagen, Denmark
    “The interests and attitudes of a small client state have been allowed to seize control of the policy of an ecumenical empire.”
    This is really bad wieved from another client state – Denmark. I suppose that’s what my country is in that parlance.
    In my own words, there is an irrationally strong identification with the US, on the right side of our political spectrum. So we’re in Afghanistan, and we were in Iraq – and for the latter the political centre was too cowed to resist.
    But if we’re following the US in for ideological / sentimantal reasons. And the US is led by an irrational identification with the most narrow and shortsighted Israeli interests. Then It’s no benefit to us to be another client state of your empire
    The rethoric has been ugly, and the pro Bush Danish rightists have been uncritically “pro-american”, just at vocal and dominant groups in the US are more pro-israeli than most of the israelis themselves.
    All this makes little sense from a rational pespective of an empiere or a client state. But this seems also about something benighted with using other countries as your political totem – thereby freeing you from the noisome liberty to chart your own course.

  19. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    The NIE is a small step on the long road ahead as was the publication of the Mearsheimer and Walt book on “The Lobby.”
    The issue is not Israel as such, IMO. It is not logical that Iran, even if it did have nuclear weapons, would use them against Israel which has a Muslim component, not to mention a Christian component, as part of its population. I suppose we will hear next that Iran has “smart nukes” that will kill only Jews and not Muslims (particularly those who do not want to be martyred).
    The issue is the political power of a transnational imperial elite network composed of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. In the United States, Bush and Cheney represent the Gentile faction and the Neocons represent one intellectual element of the “domestic” Jewish faction. In the Bush Administration, Elliot Abrams, Elliot Cohen, and now Wolfie again appear to dominate Middle East policy.
    The issue is NOT one of Jews corrupting Gentile leaders with weird strategic visions and foreign policy, IMO. The issue is that certain Gentile factions and certain Jewish factions in the US (and elsewhere) cooperate and collaborate for mutual benefit within an imperial policy. Israelis (Jews, Muslims, and Christians) are just as much victims as Americans (Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics and etc.) are one could argue.
    The model of the British Empire in the 1830s and 1840s comes to mind. Factions within the British Gentile elite aligned with elements of its Jewish elite (Montefiore’s, Rothschilds, etal.) to promote the creation of a Jewish entity in the Holy Land. This was Palmerston’s policy. It was a strategic policy designed to cut against Egypt and Russia in which he planned that wealthy international Jewish interests would support the Ottoman Empire in return for the establishment of a Jewish entity. This was NOT some “secret conspiracy” as it was in the newspapers of the day and well-known to all.
    In effect, the Jewish entity becomes a “marcher state” within an imperial policy…19th century Britain/late 20th and 21st century USA.
    “There exists at present among the Jews dispersed over Europe, a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine….It is well known that the Jews of Europe possess great wealth; and it is manifest that any country in which a considerable number of them might choose to settle, would derive great benefit from, the riches which they would bring to it….it would be of maniufest importance to the Sultan to encourage the Jews to return to, and to settle in Palestine, b ecause the wealth which they would bring with them would increase the resources of the Sultan’s dominions…” [Palmerston to Ponsonby, August 11, 1840 despatch, No. 134, August 11, 1840, P.O. 78/390]. See, Frederick Stanley Rodkey, “Lord Palmerston and the Rejuvenation of Turkey, 1830-1841,” The Journal of Modern History, Vol. II, No. 2, June 1930, pp. 193-225.
    The alignment of Christian Fundamentalists with Jews promoting a “restoration” in the Holy Land dates from the Palmerston period. There is nothing new about it at all. For which see, Jasper Ridley, Lord Palmerston (London: Constable, 1970).
    The American Conservative has an interesting review of the Mearsheimer and Walt book:
    …”But it should be noted that casual newspaper readers in Israel, in Britain, and soon in the rest of Europe, where the book is being translated into seven languages, are being treated to far more nuanced and serious discussion of The Israel Lobby than Americans have been…..”
    Mearsheimer and Walt do not effectively address the Christian Zionist issue nor the issue of imperial policy. Nonetheless these gaps have been, and are being, filled by other scholars.
    The US foreign policy establishment is, as the world can see very well, wholly decadent and incompetent. I should think “an agonizing reappraisal” of our foreign policy and national strategy is in order.

  20. swerv21 says:

    baer says that the NIE was greenlighted by POTUS. i tend to agree that the conventional story of the WH blindsided by it is naive and inaccurate.
    do you agree?
    if so, what might that tell us?
    many of the posters over at Syria Comment are suggesting that, as a result of the NIE, Syria stands to benefit ‘spectacularly’. they would point to a recent comment made by israeli MK Danny Yatom (given after a briefing by Defense Minister Barak)that israel should enter into negotiations with the syrians immediately and without preconditions.
    my question is this:
    if the U.S. intelligence community has now effectively called Iran’s bluff, with WH blessing, what does that do to the value of ‘flipping’ Syria?
    if the price of a syrian-israeli peace deal was being negotiated now, id say that the cost to syria just went up significantly. This is especially true when you consider the ‘restoration of isreali deterrance capablity’ we saw a few weeks ago.
    the silliest thing that supporters of israel can do right now is to continue to trumpet the ‘iranian’ threat- this just plays into the syrian hand in that it inflates the value of a ‘flip’.
    judging by the comments of the Yatom, I’d say that the Israelis recognize this.
    the NIE declassification is a strategic move- not a tactical one. while the goal of informing the public debate is laudable, id suggest that the intended audience was much further afield.
    and i wouldn’t worry too much, if it doesn’t work out for our vital interests this time around in two years we can have another ‘reassessment’ of the iranian threat.
    the result of the NIE is that prospects for a syria deal are much lower- barring a dramatic game-changer (for that i’d be looking at huzbullah right now). the isreali price will be too high.

  21. W. Patrick Lang says:

    TR Stone
    I would like to know in what Iranian shipyard the submarines are being modified by what Iranian or foreign company. pl
    I doubt if president Bush is capable of the complex “play” suggested by some here. pl

  22. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Thank you, Col. Lang, for your insights. Hope lives in the land of E Pluribus Unum.
    And the essay by Arnaud de Borchgrave was a 500 foot home run. Yes, sports analogies are frowned upon by some, but this does seem a particularly American moment, and there just hasn’t been many the past few years.
    “Walrus” summed it up perfectly in the first comment on this thread. Isn’t Walrus from Australia and wasn’t Arnauld de Borchgrave born in Belgium and later served in the Royal Navy? It looks like people from abroad are helping us immeasurably to get our act together.
    Of course Raimondo the Rothbardian in his latest screed goes out of his way to prevent any sense of overconfidence. Make what you will of Raimondo but he has taken on the neocons as few have. Talented writer he is.
    At another thread here at sst, “michael savoca” wrote, “My guess is that there are un-sung hero’s high up in our Military and Intelligence organizations who fought hard for the release of the truth that Iran…”
    I agree. Odds are high that some within the USG were willing to sacrifice their careers on behalf of the American people and our friends around the world. So I raise a mug of beer in honor of the unsung heroes.

  23. Will says:

    ” Could not US and Israeli policy simply be aligned, as opposed to one dominating or overly influencing the other? How can one tell the difference? ”
    The difference is told by trail of American U.N. vetoes on behalf of Israel and flouted & broken U.N. resolutions.

  24. Duncan Kinder says:

    For the longest time, my Mideast policy has been “Develop solar power and get the hell out of there!,” which as applied to the Arabs and the Israelis means, “A plague on both your houses.”
    But I am just one lonely fellow in Appalachian Ohio who utterly lacks the standing to effect any such policy. So what to do?
    One answer has appeared in today’s Oil Drum, a delightful article entitled “How Big is Your Bicycle.”
    It states:

    I think electric bicycles have a great future.
    Take a typical push-bike and modify it with an electric motor and a small battery pack and you have a vehicle which could get millions of people through their daily commute for an order of magnitude (or two) less than they currently need.
    Suddenly you have a vehicle that’s pretty frugal in the use of resources required to manufacture it, doesn’t require any particular level of fitness and is ready to plug into the electricity grid. I can also imagine manufacturer’s addding little ‘bubble’ cages around them soon, to provide weather protection so that the list of reasons not to ‘cycle to work’ reduces even further.

    I don’t need to lobby Congress for this; I can simply search Ebay.
    This sounds cute. By itself, it may be; but it is not by itself. It will be the sum of a lot of little things like this that will get us out of this mess ( if anything will.).
    Frankly, Bush has screwed things up so badly ( which were fundamentally shaky anyway ) that our policy objectives now simply should be damage control – holding things in line as best we can and hoping – like Micawber that “Something will turn up.”

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    TRStone is referring to the Dolphin class submarines given to Israel by Germany.
    I personally doubt the veracity of these reports both on technical and on strategic grounds.
    If Israel deploys a submarine-based nulcear missle system she will make hereself a target of Russia at the very least. They (Israel) have already been warned by Russia regarding the range of their missiles.
    I agree with Col. Lang that there are not that many smart people in the world that could be playing suhc a deep game.
    I think US and Iran have come to some sort of an agreement over Iraq.
    I think that Russia and Iran also have come to some sort of partnership agreement after US refused to budge on broader concerns of Russia (missile defense, space weapons, NATO expansion, etc.)
    Most likely US decided to remove the nuclear issue since that only ceded power to Russia, China, and others – there was no longer any milegae left in it.

  26. pbrownlee says:

    Perhaps it is time for a shave with Occam’s razor (or maybe Occam’s chainsaw) — “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate” — “plurality/complexity should not be posited without necessity”
    If it’s a choice between a cock-up (or a plethora of them) and a conspiracy that ties all the threads neatly together, choose the cock-up nearly every time.
    “The words are those of the medieval English philosopher and Franciscan monk William of Ockham (ca. 1285-1349). Like many Franciscans, William was a minimalist in this life, idealizing a life of poverty, and like St. Francis himself, battling with the Pope over the issue. William was excommunicated by Pope John XXII. He responded by writing a treatise demonstrating that Pope John was a heretic…
    “What is known as Occam’s razor was a common principle in medieval philosophy and was not originated by William, but because of his frequent usage of the principle, his name has become indelibly attached to it…
    “Occam’s razor is also called the principle of parsimony. These days it is usually interpreted to mean something like ‘the simpler the explanation, the better’ or ‘don’t multiply hypotheses unnecessarily’…
    “The original principle seems to have been invoked within the context of a belief in the notion that perfection is simplicity itself. This seems to be a metaphysical bias which we share with the medievals and the ancient Greeks. For, like them, most of our disputes are not about this principle but about what counts as necessary. To the materialist, dualists multiply pluralities unnecessarily. To the dualist, positing a mind as well as a body, is necessary. To atheists, positing God and a supernatural realm is to posit pluralities unnecessarily. To the theist, positing God is necessary. And so on. To von Daniken, perhaps, the facts make it necessary to posit extraterrestrials. To others, these aliens are unnecessary pluralities. In the end, maybe Occam’s razor says little more than that for atheists God is unnecessary but for theists that is not true. If so, the principle is not very useful. On the other hand, if Occam’s razor means that when confronted with two explanations, an implausible one and a probable one, a rational person should select the probable one, then the principle seems unnecessary because so obvious. But if the principle is truly a minimalist principle, then it seems to imply the more reductionism the better. If so, then the principle of parsimony might better have been called Occam’s Chainsaw, for its main use seems to be for clear-cutting ontology.
    “Today, we think of the principle of parsimony as a heuristic device. We don’t assume that the simpler theory is correct and the more complex one false. We know from experience that more often than not the theory that requires more complicated machinations is wrong. Until proved otherwise, the more complex theory competing with a simpler explanation should be put on the back burner, but not thrown thrown onto the trash heap of history until proven false.”
    When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

  27. Poicephalus says:

    Once again the loons in the regime are maneuvering us into nibbling around the edges.
    Where is the War Crimes Tribunal?
    Sadly, Yes that is a rhetorical question.

  28. Charles I says:

    “The NIE is a small step on the long road ahead as was the publication of the Mearsheimer and Walt book on “The Lobby.”
    Clifford I really appreciate the synthesis you’ve treated us to above, its very illuminating.
    Maybe the NIE represents a resurgence of instituional. . . . functionality? Or manifests institutional pushback, or civil war pending pending the chimerical regime change in ’08.
    I’ve heard Ed Luttwak call some of the work the “Enlightenment Project” in the context of religion, and I fear the end of the road is as far off as the rapture is ever imminent.
    I fear current and future crises about matters so existential, intractable, and unsolvable that are obviously going to be visited upon human society, civilization, and the planet this century, that enlightenment will be eclipsed by imperative exigencies of the most immediate nature..
    We are just at the very beginnings of what James Howard Kunstler calls “The Long Emergency”, in his engrossing synthesis of many disciplines. It limns the converging, synergistic catastrophes that will doom the oil-soaked consumerist “globalized” suburban dream civilization. Doom it to squabbling over fuel, food and water as global mononcultural agriculture collapses, as recurrent mutating pandemics borne by migrating hordes fleeing their inundated or dustbowl regions decimate nations and economies characterized by massive cities surrounded by a slum hinterland, expanding as the desperate are drawn from the barrens to the center that will not, in the end, hold.
    Say they solve nothing in the ME for 5-10 years. What if Hubbert’s peak suddenly, precipitously leaps into the rear-view mirror 40 years in the past, civilization careening downhill as the first safe cheap, Chinese made SUV’s start rolling off the assembly line? What if the conveyor system of ocean currents shuts down virtually overniight following a massive surge of salinity and temperature-reducing fresh water from a massive under-ice lake in the Greenland ice cap, which changes land based ecologies just as suddenly?
    Worse yet, what if the religious whackos have reality down correctly, God, as portrayed on the Simpsons, now turning to Revelations? I don’t see much difference in either plot, one text based the other on science.
    Atlanta, pop. 4M, is reported to have 90 days of water left. Africans reading that on the BBC on their few windup laptops might think this luxurious. Multiply that across all aspects of life on a planetary scale, an ordeal drawn out by the desperate ingenuity and perversity of man, barring the ultimate plague or asteroid.
    Worse yet, catastrophes and casuists of biblical proportions inflame religious and ideological sentiment to irrational extreme. Muhammad the teddy bear, indeed. And as I posted long ago, my bleeding heart liberalism will crash if my lifestyle does.
    Look at the pathetic discourse and blithe ignorance obtaining today. I can’t discern an overall positive trend that will counteract the entropy soon to ravage our civilization, having obviously already had its way with Washington. I’m writing a novel about how some Erik Prince-like guy, a conservative religious fellow traveller totally dialed into power actually manages to get a Pakistani, Chinese, or Saudi wmd as those states dissolve into revolution/civil war, sets it off at the Wailing Wall soon as the Pat Robertson Jr character gives the nod,. . . but Tom Clancy’s lawyers are telling me its been done. . .
    Babak I think you misapprehended TRStone he was commenting on putative IRANIAN submarines, which promted Pl’s query re:shipyards. I recently read an account of a considerable Israeli blue-water WMD/Cruise missle-armed sub fleet of some dozens in total, can’t recall where just now.

  29. Mark K Logan says:

    To Sid:
    If true, Fallon may be
    one of those “unsung heros”.
    If true, of course.

  30. Cloned Poster says:

    Wall street has stepped-in and put the foot on the gas, other things than blowing up Arabs, and possibly Persians, have made them “freeze” the war on terra until the Fed bails them out.

  31. Jim Schmidt says:

    General Wesley Clark (ret) was in town this morning, visiting with voters and giving personal testimony on behalf of Senator Clinton. I asked him why Iran attracted so much ire from us given that it is a smaller country, thousands of miles away, with little industrial base, minimal armed forces, deteriorating oil infrastructure, gas rationing and no recent history of invading neighbors.
    His answer was that Iran has been our enemy for thirty years. Iran killed our Marines in Lebanon, Airman in Khobar and they are killing our soldiers in Iraq today. In addition, they are threatening their neighbors, have called for the destruction of Israel, support Hamas, support Hezbolleh, other terrorist organization and Syria. Basic axis of evil stuff.
    The General was on a tight schedule, but I asked if Iran was the only culprit for both the Lebanon and Khobar bombings. My understanding is the suspect list in Lebanon includes the DAWA party of our current Iraqi ally, Nouri al-Maliki, and, in Khobar, Osama’s fledgling Al-Qaeda.
    Iran, also, has not called for the destruction of Israel.
    Regardless, the General said that Iran makes our gulf friends nervous, especially since Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons and the United States has a duty to protect our friends.
    Is this the conventional viewpoint of Iran among the political elite both in Washington and amongst the policy groups advising the campaigns? If so, this harsh assessment may explain the Kyl-Lieberman sense of the senate (3017) passing 76-22, with Senator Clinton in favor.
    Senator Jim Webb, voting against the resolution, had this to say:
    “Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good. … .. … We haven’t had one hearing on this. I’m on the Foreign Relations Committee, I’m on the Armed Services Committee. We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way the United States views the Iranian military and we haven’t had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It’s not the way to declare war”
    The recent NIE belies the claims and calms some of the rhetoric, but the ossified, inner circle wisdom dims the prospect for a positive change.
    Considering the vote and the President’s recent press prevarication, we are looking to spend some quality naptime over the next year in Procrustes’ bed. Maybe the best we can hope for is an occasional change of linen. Or, eventually, a wiser giant.

  32. arbogast says:

    I think the reason is very clear why Bush did not reveal his knowledge of the cessation of the Iranian nuclear arms program, now that the White House has admitted he knew.
    He was being directed to do so by the intelligence agencies themselves to protect their sources, which now apparently are capable of being protected.
    George, I believe, ever the opportunist, has put space between himself and Cheney so that after he leaves office there will be some people on earth who want to be within a country mile of him. The toadies will have moved on.

  33. Different Clue says:

    I wonder if a majority, or just a shrinking minority
    by now of American Jews support expansionist Israeli
    expansion. Certainly a lot of Jews felt hope and relief
    over the meetings and work between Rabin and Arafat, before Rabin’s assassination
    by an Israeli expansionist. Didn’t they think a Contractionist Israel was a fair trade-off for peace between Israel and Palestine? Tom Englehardt has carried an article about
    fading American Jewish support for Israeli Expansionism at his TomDispatch site. Here it is:
    It is titled, Tomgram: Tony Karon on Growing Dissent among American Jews.
    Someone should do a study to
    see what percent of Jews would agree with Podhoretz saying “as a Jew, for God’s sake bomb Iran.” As against how many would say, ” as a Jew, for God’s sake George don’t do it.”
    One hopes this NIE release is a start of rallying more pushbacks by more institutional power centers. If an order to attack Iran were clearly unlawful, would enough Military Commanders understand it to be so and would they prevent the unlawful order from being carried out?
    Chimneyswift makes a good
    point. Ford’s letting Nixon
    get off scot-free for his crimes encouraged a whole group of conspirators in the
    Reagan Administration to conduct Iranamok-Contragate.
    Bush 41’s letting the ringleaders get off scot-free encouraged further lawlessness in government. I
    would hope that “somebody must pay” becomes “all the highest perpetrators must pay”, though I am not sure how to make that happen. When Speaker of the House Pelosi, for example, betrays
    her oath to defend and protect the Constitution by taking impeachment “off the table” in order to shelter and protect an counter-Constitutional Administration in its actions, making the perpetrators pay to deter more crime in government will be hard to do.
    If the formal organs of government are becoming able
    to scrape out the neo-conservatives, one hopes they can go further and scrape out the petro-conservatives. Because as long as we have a policy of “defending access to Persian Gulf oil”, we will be embroiled in war after war in the Middle East quite
    irrespective of Israel.
    Hope is where we find it,and Duncan Kinder and Charles I have offered some threads of hope. Kunstler thinks the future will be bad but not hopeless. There
    are people and groups working on how to survive past the age of abundant oil. As an example, just one among hundreds, might I suggest a blog called Peak Energy?
    And as another example among
    those hundreds, I offer a website calling itself The Crazy Palestinian’s Permaculture Webpage.
    A return to economic and ecological sanity among us the population would make it
    more possible to impose diplomatic and war-avoiding sanity upon an unwilling government.

  34. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    <"Maybe the NIE represents a resurgence of instituional. . . . functionality? Or manifests institutional pushback, or civil war pending pending the chimerical regime change in '08.">
    Charles I,
    Yes, a glimmer of institutional functionality, which is to say US officials abiding by their oath of office to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. In my old fashioned interpretation, those of us who took/take the oath are not released from it even by death.
    History records past “pushbacks” against internal problems and subversion.
    When it begins to dawn on 300 million Americans just what has happened and is happening to them, and precisely who is responsible, it may well be that a pushback will begin to taken on some momentum. It may well be that a combination of the inexorable consequences of the Afghan and Iraq wars and an international financial crisis will focus some minds. 2008 and 2012 would seem a little soon so perhaps more on the order of 2016 or 2020 or so….
    It is unlikely, one might argue, that the concentrated US corporate media and its relatively small group of plutocratic (and “cosmopolitan”) owners will be able to prevent this anymore than AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, AJC, and all that crowd….or the Skull and Bones and Porcellians of the other crowd.
    I agree with Col. Lang that those guilty “should pay.” We can dust off treason statutes and other suitable legal remedies. We can require AIPAC and the Christian Zionist pro-Israel organizations to register with the Justice Department as foreign agents. And so forth. Some would reasonably suggest we have to rethink and greatly strengthen counterintelligence. The Pogo theory has merit and the real enemy, in fact, is within although it has foreign alignments.

  35. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Mark K Logan
    Thank you for the link. I agree…it looks like Admiral Fallon led the push-back from within the USG. From what I have read, he doesn’t seem to suffer fools lightly, especially when US security is at stake and troops are at risk.
    Joshua Marshall of “TPM” edited various remarks made by Bush, Cheney and Hadley. It is absolutely devastating. To put it mildly, Stephen J. Hadley looked ill at ease.
    One can only wonder what someone like Patrick “Bulldawg” Fitzgerald could do if our National Security Advisor and VP were placed under cross examination. Maybe Rep. Waxman will have the honors of cross-examining the two. Waxman looks like an All American to me.
    Perhaps the victory is a small one but, at least right now, the NIE appears to represent a seismic shift within the USG. In any event, it is one of those times that the US flag looks beautiful flying in the wind.

  36. condfusedponderer says:

    I agree with Walrus, the NIE is indeed a ray of light.
    The history of the NIE is telling: The analysts of the agencies had to defend their findings against a hostile Whitehouse and Vice President’s office. That at least went on for half a year. Which suggests something quite simple: Whitehouse and the Vice President’s office didn’t want to hear that Iran had no nukes because that allegation is the cornerstone on which their policy to isolate Iran has been built. They relied on the allegations against Iran on the nuclear issue to sell their, uhm, confrontational policy to the US audience and US allies alike.
    I do not think that neo-con claims that Iran would have nukes by end of 2008 merely coincided with Bush leaving office by end of 2008. What they most likely tried to do was to frame the issue to narrow down options to a false dual choice for the president to make him order the desired attack before leaving office:

    ‘Mr. President, either we attack now, or Iran will have nukes and will try wipe Israel off the map! Will you leave that to your successor?’

    That’s actually quite devious. And that wasn’t lost on the realists in the administration, who are (rightly) convinced that by attacking Iran the US would commit a(nother) monumental strategic blunder.
    The NIE findings undermine all that and allow for the first time in years to switch down the gears on Iran. When the US hawks now call for sanctions the realists and US allies can question that with reference to the NIE. Clever. And very sensible. It represents reality, I don’t think the NIE was guided by the goal to achieve this. The claim is pretty outrageous. That US intelligence is unwilling to determine and propose to confront real threats out of treasonous, liberal cowardice is a neo-con canard, and a quite vicious and defamatory one.
    It appears hard to fathom for many Americans still caught in the belief that America can do no harm, but what I see in Washington at work are people itching for a fight with Iran, asap, who are going to considerable lengths to have it. As America is a democratic republic that involves misleading the (anyway) benighted masses to do the right thing, but to lead is the calling of the enlightened avant garde the neo-cons consider themselves to be. Clearly, to lie for a noble cause is a virtuous act. Reminds me of an old East-German communist song: ‘… the party, the party is always right … because who fights for the right is always right…
    The Cheneyites don’t think war is a bad thing, and want the confrontation with Iran, militarily, and they won’t drop the issue only because of a setback like this treacherous NIE.

  37. Binh says:

    Colonel, in your view, does the NIE make a war with Iran before Bush leaves office any less likely? You’ve stated in more than a few places that you had the feeling that the “train has already left the station” a la Iraq fall 2002-spring 2003. Do you still believe that to be the case?

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Charles I:
    I am not aware of any Iranian submarines with that type of capability.
    I also think that James Howard Kunstler is exaggerating the scope of issues facing mankind.

  39. W. Patrick Lang says:

    This should make war with Iran less likely, since it will be difficult to supprt the decision, but I am concerned with the president’s apparent obliviousness to reality pl

  40. condfusedponderer says:

    The neo-cons have decided on how to attack the NIE: Denial. The NIE is false, and it was deliberately falsified by the leftist, liberal, elitist and/or treasonous Bush haters in the intelligence community who are out to get the president.
    To root out such treason, John Bolton wants a congressional hearing into anti-Bush ‘people in the intelligence community’.

    I think there is a risk here, and I raise this as a question, whether people in the intelligence community who had their own agenda on Iran for some time now have politicized this intelligence and politicized these judgments in a way contrary to where the administration was going. I think somebody needs to look at that.

    Repeat after me, slowly: ‘The earth is flat, the earth is …

  41. Eric Dönges says:

    according to Wikipedia (see, Iran operates three large Russian Kilo-class submarines that could probably carry nuclear-armed cruise missles fired from the torpedo tubes. However, I don’t think Iran will have the technology to fit a nuclear warhead on a submarine-launched cruise missle anytime soon, even if they had the technology to build a nuclear warhead in the first place.

  42. jonst says:

    I agree with the Col. I take no comfort in the fact that a deeply disturbed man, with an apparently tenuous hold on reality, is in charge of the most powerful military in the world.

  43. David W says:

    Watching Bush and his PR flacks’ desperate attempts to spin white into black tells me that there is no ‘strategery’ to the release of the NIE–if anything, it has kneecapped the ‘bomb, bomb Iran’ crowd’s credibility (not that this matters a whit to them, though).
    Also, let’s not forget the phony Syria ‘Nuke Plant’ raid; the release of the NIE would also seem to put the lie to that little propaganda mission. (Don’t forget that the Cheney cabal tried to keep this (mis)intel away from vetting by the US intel agencies.)
    I’m in total agreement with the argument that the neocon revolution was emboldened by the charade of the Iran-Contra hearings, which allowed the perpetrators to essentially skate free–and come back to haunt us.
    I think it’s high time to start planning the ‘Neocon Nuremburg’ trials!

  44. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang wrote:
    “I am concerned with the president’s apparent obliviousness to reality pl”
    As was said of Phillip II of Spain: “No experience of the failure of his policies could shake his belief in their essential excellence.”
    – quoted by Barbara Tuchman in “the March of Folly.”

  45. BeBe says:

    The simple explanation is that the joint chiefs with the backing of the officer corps told George and Dick that they will not commit war crimes for them if they persist with lying. The generals probably told them they would all have to resign rather than follow illegal orders. I do tend to see most things legalistically, so this may be the first step to a defense against insubordination or mutiny. It may have been much more humiliating to have all your ranking generals walk out than release the NIE and spin like a dervish. Saving our military as an intact institution seems rather more important at this time than what our erstwhile allies the Israelis want or think.

  46. Mark K Logan says:

    I think the “he told me
    he had new intelligence but didn’t tell me what it was.”
    is a “I didn’t inhale.”
    moment. Who is he kidding?
    On Charlie Rose last night
    Vali Nasr weighed in with
    an opinion that Bush is again misusing this NIE situation. Another splendid opportunity to change course
    is being lost. Vali said a lot of things worth hearing, IMO. Worth watching
    if you get a chance.
    He was on to discuss his recent piece for the Council
    on Foreign Affairs:
    Reminded me of the Concert.

  47. metni says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    Your wrote:
    “The chimera of Iran as deadly menace is a product of Israeli paranoia and debilitating fear of the “other.” This fear saturates Israeli strategic thinking making impossible for them a rational contemplation of the odds against Iranian suicide attacks against Israel. “…Given the awful nature of Jewish history, such overwhelming fear of the return of the final “golem,” or perhaps Azrael himself is comprehensible.”
    The implication of a state that suffers a grandiose fear of its own demise, however irrational, is offered as perhaps the prevailing mentality inherited from a horrific historical experience. Doesn’t this notion also, at least tacitly, also imply a tolerance for colonialist ambition that ended with a massive land-grab and further displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank, most notably in 1967? Seized in that campaign was Arab territory three times its original size; all under the pretext of survival. Dayan himself was later quoted admitting that Israel had initiated about 80% of military provocations with its neighbors before the outbreak of Israel’s blitzkrieg.
    It seems to me Israeli policy has been conducted with the aim of having it all. Perhaps we might also infer that the very fear of being victimized is also the very force which sustains Israel’s own persecution of Arabs under occupation?
    If the presumed premise is correct and its motives, however irrational they might be, are primarily survivalist in nature, then how does domination of another peoples’ land and denial of their basic human rights and dignity be reconciled? The schoolyard bully who menaces the weaker kids may also suffer from an inner fear, perhaps from having draconian parents, but does that create a case for exceptional treatment? The victimized kids may themselves be burdened with their own demons, in addition to the ill treatment by the bully.
    Like the untoward behavior of the school yard bully, Israel’s inveterate occupation and denial of equality to Palestinians neither provides an excuse from moral accountability nor exonerate it from those crimes.

  48. Richard Whitman says:

    I welcome the recent NIE on Iran but lets have a little bit of scepticism here. I seem to remember a speech given by a Deputy Director or an Assistant Director of the CIA about 18 months ago in which he stated that only 4 out of the last 14 NIE’s were accurate.

  49. J says:

    this latest only ‘temporarily postpones’ bush-cheney’s planned military attack on iran. there needs to be more roadblocks put up (by jcs, etc.) in order to thwart it. again this only is a temporary reprieve from cheney’s ‘pre-planned’ madness.

  50. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    As the dust settles some on this matter of White House lies and deception per Iran, is Washington going to reconsider and CHANGE its Iran policy?
    Just what is our policy now that the “nuclear threat” has been exposed as White House lies and propaganda?
    Is the US going to continue its global economic sanctions crusade against Iran led by Mr. Levey at the Treasury Department? Are we now going to tell the Euros and others that it is now ok for THEIR banks to loan money to Iran again and finance development projects of THEIR business organizations? Are we going to now stop pressuring Japan to limit or halt Iran projects? Are we going to stop the massive pressure on India and Pakistan concerning the Iran pipeline projects?
    Also, are the countries and financial and business institutions who have been under US pressure and sanctions going to now go about their business without reference to the apparently demented (early onset Alzheimer’s?) Emperor With No Clothes and his merry little band of Neocons and Neoconwannabees masquerading as so-called “realists” like Tinkerbelle at State.
    Foreign governments who acceded (bowed, scraped, and kowtowed) to White House demands to implement economic sanctions against Iran based on White House lies and propaganda would appear rather foolish to the world not to mention to their own people who need to ask hard questions. These governments trusted the White House over their own intelligence communities and the IAEA, etal.? Why so? And what about the future?
    Also, what about the Zionist led and dominated US Congress? Is it going to continue to rubberstamp bills by Tom Lantos and Gary Ackermann at the House Foreign Affairs Committee? Or is Congress now going to a rethink and revoke its unnecessary provocative sanctions legislation against Iran?

  51. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Mark K. Logan
    Last night I read the Nasr article at Foreign Affairs. Great read. His proposal definitely looks like an elaboration of Col. Lang’s “concert’.
    One quote jumped out, as it reminded me of one of the themes raised by Dr. Helms in her 1990 essay referenced at the Athenaeum. Dr. Helms goes into great detail about the distinctions between Arab Sunni-Iranian Shia. I was left with speculating if any events or policies could transcend the historical divide.
    As Nasr makes glaringly apparent, neoconservatives want to widen this breach by setting Sunni against Shia — an outmoded and self defeating approach if there ever was one — but Nasr goes on to intimate that this neoconservative policy may instead reconcile Arab Sunni — Iranian Shia. Such would be a truly monumental development in Islam, thus answering Dr. Helm’s inquiry as to the reality of the future. Nasr writes:
    “Even if the peace process can be successfully relaunched, the notion that Arabs see the rise of Iran as a bigger problem than the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict is misplaced. After years of enmity, the Arab masses and Arab opinion-makers continue to perceive Israel as a more acute threat.”
    Amazingly, Iran offered another path to follow. According to G. Porter (and confirmed by F. Leverett):
    “Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel’s 1967 borders…”
    This Iranian proposal seems to validate Martin Van Creveld’s thesis that the best hope for lasting Israeli security was a return to the 67 borders.
    It’s stunning that Bush and company refused to even consider this Iranian proposal. Once again, it must come down to the occupied territories beyond the 67 lines: the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock.
    The Bush/Bolton/Hadley rejectionist approach has and will only lead to regional chaos. Israel, like the rest of the world, will lose, and the neoconservatives have only themselves to blame for fanning the flames.
    Nonetheless (or perhaps “therefore”) the beat goes on: neoconservative supporters in Congress are pushing for a review of the NEI.

  52. eaken says:

    Why do people reference Wikipedia as an authoritative source? I’ve seen it here and in many other places.
    Given the fact that anybody can edit Wikipedia and reference a blatantly false article or research (I think the existence of that reality is ….reality), is it odd that I do not share the same level of appreciation for Wikipedia?
    Just a general rant…

  53. Eric Dönges says:

    I am well aware that Wikipedia is not an authoritative resource. However, it can be fairly accurate for a wide range of subjects, especially those of a more obscure nature that only interest a few people (and don’t draw out the trolls). While any article involving Iran is potential troll fodder, the edit history for the page I cited leads me to the conclusion that this particular page has so far escaped their attention; thus, its contents are probably as accurate as any other freely available resource. As usual, your mileage may vary …

  54. Charles I says:

    Sidney O. Smith, please, its NOT stunning, its trite, and this part of the the problem. America has been staunchly rejectionist the way married lovers are unfaithful. Say one thing, do the other, everyone gets screwed.
    Condi pipped up today (in like, the 4,000th example of this) “Oh no, you shouldn’t build there in East Jerusalem at this new dawn you insensitive clod(firmest language ever)!
    Ans: We annexed it, jurisdiction resolved.”
    Condi and America for forty year’s: ”
    . . . oh, yeah, and here’s your allowance and an upgrade, thanks for letting me drop by.”

  55. Mark K Logan says:

    Thank you for the references. Interesting and informative reading.
    The concept of the support
    for Hezb’allah and Hamas being on the table was very much in evidence in an interview Charle Rose did with the Iranian ambassador
    to the UN last night.

  56. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Charles I
    Not sure, but I probably wrote “stunning” because Bush’s rejection of the Iranian proposal all but guarantees that the US is not Sun Tzu’s “sovereign imbued with the moral law”. In other words, we’ll lose unless we change our ways.
    IDF will too. The IDF may have already lost by ignoring Creveld and listening to Sharansky instead. And no evidence exists, as far as I can tell, that the IDF, historically, followed America’s and the entire West’s winning military tactics. All is to the contrary. If the IDF had deferred to the USM, then back in 67, they would have started building schools and hospitals for the Palestinians in the West Bank. To win, the military and the people must emerge on the same side of the struggle. Out Hamas, Hamas.
    Aren’t you from Canada? You live in one beautiful country.
    Friendly request from the Holy Land — by that I mean the State of Georgia. Will you guys please take Dr. Krauthammer back. As a lagniappe (‘Nawlins term), take another Canadian as well — David Frum. They care nothing about E Pluribus Unum nor do they have any understanding of Fall’s “The Future of Revolutionary Warfare” and such is the American way. Canada’s too, at least from what I can tell.

  57. Charles I says:

    Yes, I am one of the blessed 30 million or so.
    We are currently hard at work despoiling Alberta in a frenzied effort to expatriate as much of the tar sands oil bounty as we can before all the natural gas and water required to wash them is exhausted in 10 years or so, leaving a landscape of filthy oily water reservoirs, pin-cushioned by sour gas wells. Though I’m currently incensed that our wannabe-43 PM Harper has refused to intervene to repatriate either our citizen criminals or enemy combatant according to longstanding usual practice, wrt to the Dr. and the Axis of Evil bloviator, I think and hope Canada is a signatory to some Convention about the international transport of toxic waste. . .I know our government just announced that if it is to join the new U.S. sponsored multilateral nuclear fuel regime, they are adamant that NO spent fuel rods or other toxic waste associated with any exported Canadian fuel will be repatriated. I’m hoping the two flatheads can be subsumed in this regime if in no other. . .
    Wrt to having to change,
    yesterday Debkafile was posting that the NIE was the fruit of a Saudi-brokered agreement between the Great Satan and the Mad Mullahs, one in place long before Annapolis. Today(in an item referring to Dec 12 as already in the past), Debkafile is bemoaning the $3bn claimed spent getting ready to attack Iran and defend against it – Dolphin class subs, aerial refueling capacity, ABM/Patriot batteries, etc., that must now be written off as Israel must now turn to the much more prosaic matter of defending against against Qassams launched in response to continued illegal annexation and settlement
    No word on how many clinics, schools and hospitals will be built and staffed, as opposed to starved of fuel and electricity, or prophylactically destroyed as potential launching sites or as collective punishment object lessons.
    I do agree that revolutionary warfare is very likely in our mutual futures, as the Religio-Plutocratic Party will have to be overthrown after the collapse of globalism forces them to set their sights a lot closer to home. . .

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