Tuesday Morning News

 Yesterday was a good day for me, but today?  I'm not so sure.  I returned from walking the dogs this AM to watch Joe Scarborough interview Ray Odierno remotely from Baghdad. Scarborough served up a variety of adulatory "questions" and elicited from the general a testimonial to the efficacy of his own leadership in advocating the increase in troop strength in Iraq in 2007 that, according to him and Scarborough, transformed the security situation and "brought home the bacon" for GW Bush's heritage.  This conversation was the result of a recent successful operation in Iraq that killed two more of AQI's chief leaders in that country.   Bravo!  That talk quickly mutated into a paean of praise from Joe S. about "the surge,"  and Odierno's role in bringing that to be, largely through the medium of behind the scenes conversations with Cheney's people.  That, incidentally, was behind the back of his commander in Iraq, the present Chief of Staff of the Army. If this is not so, I would be pleased to be corrected.  In fact, the increase in American troops on the ground was very useful in many ways, but I continue to think that the essential development that "turned the tide" for a while was the serendipitous realization on the part of Iraqi Sunni Arabs and an emerging number of US military that the insurgents had little in common with AQI and that cooperation was possible.  From that, all else flowed even unto the death of these two fanatics.  Will that last?  Look to the outcome of the recount in Baghdad for an answer.  Is there an esoteric meaning to this talking "bidness" of the "Surge?"  I do not know, but if the COIN campaign in south Afghanistan does not go well, will there be an appeal in the media and the WH (in that order) for more troops?  Will Obama accept that apparent defiance of his orders?

And then there is the leading editorial in the Washington Post in which Hiatt says that "they" are not advocating military action against Iran.  IM experience, when someone tells you that they are not doing or advocating something, then you should know that they are doing or advocating that.  The WP editorial is part of the ongoing "full court press" by Israeli/AIPAC information ops designed to move American public opinion to acceptance of an AMERICAN air war against Iran.  The Israelis know that they themselves lack the ability to punch this much above their weight.  All that nonsense about Osirak and Syria is just that.  Mowing your lawn and mowing the grass at Arlington National Cemetery are both grass cutting. but…

And then, today, there was Bruce Riedel (Reidel?) a once upon a time colleague.  He was on the tube today to "answer for" Gates' leaked memo about Iran strategy.  I wonder who leaked that? (irony)  Riedel insisted that Iran will inevitably attain some kind of nuclear weapon capability and that what Gates (and he) believe is that the US must begin to plan for the long term methods to be employed in managing that phenomenon.  The well programmed and probably fearful anchors (Todd and Guthrie) produced all the usual objections; Israeli unilateral attacks, "don't give up the ship," etc.  In spite of this, Bruce, in his usual humorless, stolid way, persisted in defending the truth of American interest and Israel's limited capability.  God bless, Bruce.  pl 

This entry was posted in Current Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Tuesday Morning News

  1. Matthew says:

    “Mowing your lawn and mowing the grass at Arlington National Cemetery are both grass cutting. but…”

  2. Matthew says:

    Col: I attended a dinner about two years ago with Bruce Reidel. I found him a nice change from the Neo-Con-men who take their Barnum & Bailey show on the road. His concern then (and probaby now): Pakistan.

  3. b says:

    Maliki’s announcement of those “Al Qaida” killed was only to divert attention from the secret torture prisons that were exposed a few days ago.
    Someone should ask Oderno how much he knew about these: Secret prison revealed in Baghdad
    Forces under the office of Prime Minister Maliki held hundreds of Sunni men at the facility. The U.S. fears that the news will stoke instability.

    He knew nothing? Then he isn’t up to his job.
    The killed “Al Qaeda” were killed before or did never exist: Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Re-Captured, Now Killed Again

  4. Allen Thomson says:

    “All that nonsense about Osirak and Syria is just that.”
    I’ve been trying to follow the story of the Israeli raid on what is said to have been a reactor in Syria since it happened in September 2007. As far as I can tell, senior officials of the Bush and Obama administrations really do believe that it was a plutonium production reactor.
    But the whole story is really weird and I’d much like to hear your take on it.
    BTW, for the latest see today’s Foreign Policy article;

  5. Jim Montgomery says:

    Every time I hear someone preen about the surge, I am reminded of the surgeon who was so pleased that he stopped a gangrene infection on the stump of a leg he amputated—except the patient had come in for an appendectomy.
    Jim Montgomery

  6. EL says:

    I can only guess, But my guess is that, if Iran is thought to possess a nuclear bomb by 2012, then this moment will be Obama’s hostage crisis moment and he will be a one term President like Carter. In 2012, a candidate who would pledge to end Iran’s nuclear capability by military means would be elected President… and he or maybe she in the person of Palin will be stuck with that campaign promise and all that probably would flow from a military strike.
    What would be the short and long term effect on our relationship with Iraq, Eastern Afghanistan, China, Russia and most of the European nations? After such a strike, could an American President even travel overseas, except, of course, to Israel?
    Or is Bibi just going to force the issue before 2012?
    And, finally, one question that has always intrigued me. Would Iran think that being the “victims” of a US strike would be internationally advantageous to themselves in the long run, because, in fact having a nuclear weapon is practically useless except for prestige, but playing the “victim of US imperial aggression” would win them allies in a world that had once lived through colonial occupation?
    Who would be the real winner if the US struck Iran?

  7. confusedponderer says:

    What do you make of the claim that Syria gave Scuds to Hezbollah? Is it just disinformation?
    I mean, reading the JINSA Newsletter I get the feeling that apparently the Likud crowd is just itching to get even with Hezbollah. Here an excerpt from a recent one, equating Lebanon with Hezbollah:

    Lebanons Double Game is Coming to an End

    There are those who consider Hezbollah to be the army of Lebanon, allowing Lebanon to be a confrontation state without taking the responsibility for being one. Lebanon claims victim status when it is convenient, but provides money, territory, and diplomatic and political support to terrorist groups the rest of the time. Hezbollah’s politicians are in the Lebanese parliament and hold a “blocking third” in the cabinet (enough to veto policies of the elected government). Hezbollah’s army operates with the express permission of the Lebanese government and a good case can be made-and Israelis have made it-that Hezbollah is actually the armed force of Lebanon.

    We have had out share of ‘heroes in error’ (telling their noble lies to goat others into doing ‘the right thing’) as far as allegations in the Middle East go.
    Also, any military action against Lebanon would leave any of Obama’s ‘imposed initiatives’ dead in the tracks. From a Likud point of view that would be attractive and kill two birds with one stone – getting back at Lebanon (in pursuit of re-establishing and demonstrating dominance) and getting rid of Obama’s pressure.
    If not that, it certainly undermines the planned rapprochement with Syria, which would be another incentive, as the Syrians will predictably ask the US to address the matter of the Golan vis a vis Israel. Israel is apparently unwilling to return the Golan (because of the wine and the skiing?), let alone talk about.

  8. Fred says:

    after such a strike oil would be above $100/barrel, which would effectively cripple the WORLD economy. The EU, Russia and China would have bigger recessions than ’09 to now, if not a depression. So would the US. What strategic gain is that offset by?

  9. confusedponderer says:

    More on Scuds:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Doubts are growing within the U.S. defense and intelligence community about allegations that long-range Scud missiles from Syria have been shipped to the Hezbollah guerrilla group in neighboring Lebanon, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
    Washington believes Syrian was moving toward transferring more sophisticated Scuds to Hezbollah, but U.S. intelligence agencies have not been able to confirm Israeli allegations that the missiles have changed hands, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
    While the United States suspects some kind of transfer may have occurred in Syria, two U.S. officials said there were “no indications” any Scud rockets were transported into Lebanon, which would sharply escalate the risk of a conflict.
    “We don’t think Scuds of any shape or size have been moved to Lebanon,” one of the officials said.

    The same day I read this:

    Al-Hayat newspaper says US secretary of state conveys message to Lebanese parliament speaker saying Washington cannot stop Israel from striking in Lebanon as long as arms smuggling to Hezbollah continues.

    Is this some carrots and stocks game in which Israel plays the madman (quite convincingly, with Lieberman on the loose) or is Israel seriously crazy enough to consider striking Lebanon and/or Syria?
    Or are they merely trying to press on with their efforts to paint Syria as a proxy of Iran (Hezbollah = Syria = Iran)? I understand that the Netanyahu crowd is not in favour of the US moving towards improved relations with Syria.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused arch-foe Iran on Thursday of misleading Syrian leaders with the “lie” that Syria could soon come under attack by Israel.
    The remarks appeared aimed at dousing war talk stoked by an April 10 Kuwaiti newspaper report, endorsed by some Israeli officials but denied by Damascus, that Syria had supplied Scud missiles to Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
    “In my estimate, there is Iranian agitation, both direct and indirect, via Hezbollah. With this agitation Iran is trying to persuade Syria, mainly, that Israel is about to attack Syria,” Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television in an interview.

    After Israeli President Shimon Peres, who does not wield executive powers, endorsed the Scud report on April 13, Syria and Lebanon accused Israel of seeking a pretext to attack them.

    “One thing I can say is that arms flow continuously from Syria, via the Lebanon-Syria border — both Iranian arms and Syrian arms,” Netanyahu told Channel Two.

    “I think that Syria understands there is fierce criticism — both by the United States, and by us, and from any peace-seeking country — over any such weapons transfer, though I won’t discuss any specific details,” Netanyahu said.

  10. confusedponderer says:

Comments are closed.