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
“Mowing your lawn and mowing the grass at Arlington National Cemetery are both grass cutting. but…”
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.
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
“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;
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.
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?
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:
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.
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?
More on Scuds:
The same day I read this:
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.
Last article can be found here: