Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's Iran, Stupid!

While the extremists on the right will see it as another call to rally 'round the flag, and the extremists on the left as justification for their continuing call for Bush's head on a platter, last night's presidential speech to the nation, which I read in full, but caught on TV when he was half way through, will likely go down in history as George W. Bush's first attempt to sell his already planned attack on Iran to the American people. The mumblings throughout the blogosphere about the mounting "evidence" that we're preparing to do so is reaching a deafening pitch (see here, here, and here,...and then there's today's news that US troops stormed an Iranian consulate in Northern Iraq and have taken computers and detained 6 [or 5, depending on who you read] Iranians), and although I constantly have to keep in check my tendency to automatically believe any conspiracy theory that comes along, it is getting difficult to ignore the indications that they're right.

A few years ago, a good friend of ours, with several PhDs and a very good track record at reading between the lines and sensing what the administration is really up to, said that all of this (meaning Afghanistan and Iraq) were really about Iran. He said that's why the administration never cared how well those fledgling democracies developed...that it's not about spreading democracy in the Middle's about creating just enough chaos to let the oil companies take what they can and keep the new state governments occupied while we positioned our troops to take down the Iranian government.

That struck me as rather far fetched...until he told me to look at a map:

Then there's the recent
build-up of our Naval forces in the Persian Gulf, including two aircraft carriers (is there room in there for two???)...which the US says is merely a deterrent, not indications of a pending attack on Iran, but then there's the rather ominous (or at least nebulous) mention in Bush's speech about sending Patriot Missles to Iraq:
We will expand intelligence sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.

As a diarist on Kos noted:

You don't use a 17 foot long surface launched missile with large radars and other trucks that tracks incoming aircraft, helicopters and long range missiles in an urban street battles. You would use it to defend against incoming Iranian aircraft and Scud missiles.

And note that even when talking about the diplomatic aspect of resolving the conflict in Iraq, the President, despite the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and countless other informed folks that they be included, isolates Iran and Syria and frames our dealing with them as hostile, first and foremost:

These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

I'm no fan of Iran, mind you, but given that peace in Iraq is unlikely to come without their participation, this poking-them-in-the-eye rhetoric makes the rest of his argument that we actually want peace for Iraq ring false.

I'll end this with a sobering thought about the difference between attacking Iran and invading Iraq, as provided by a diarist on Kos:

Five days ago I had dinner with one of the officers on a ship in one the carrier groups heading to the Gulf. He is an officer who has served at the Pentagon and spent time training at the War College. He is not a gung-ho type, rather he is the type of considered, intelligent officer who gives you hope for the military and pride in our country. ... But during converstaion, the subject of casualties in Iraq came up and his wife began looking nervous so I said, "Well, at least Iraq has no Air Force." The officer turned to me with a look that suggested I was the dumbest person on the planet and said, very slowly and clearly, "Yes, but Iran does."

I truly hope I'm just being paranoid, but it doesn't look like it.


Blogger Mark said...

I really don't like this guy, I want my country back.

1/11/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Jason L. said...

Yikes, scary stuff e_; that map looks especially ominous. But I really got the impression last night that I was watching a President whose power has been seriously wounded. Unfortunately, this probably only means that he'll have to provoke Iran into attacking the U.S. first (which is well underway) in order to justify a new front in the war.

Or, maybe an assault on Iran will be the final straw that awakens the American people to demand accountability for this madness. It's worth hoping anyway.

1/11/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

that map looks especially ominous

I know...I'm guilty of the same visual propagandizing I so often chide the administration for (think color-coded terror alert charts, and giant posters of suspected terrorists who turn out to be run-of-the-mill thugs).

I suspect Iran has been on Bush's radar from day one, and he's waited until his final two years to launch it. Think about it. The blank check he got Congress to sign, giving him carte blanche to do whatever he sees fit in the War on Terror. I suspect we'll hear that the computers confiscated today reveal acts of war against the US troops in Iraq on the part of Iran, as well.

As with the WMD excuse, obviously, real evidence doesn't matter to this administration, either.

I wonder if congress can rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force?

1/11/2007 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

a good friend of ours... said that all of this (meaning Afghanistan and Iraq) were really about Iran.

I doubt that all of it has been about Iran, but it does seem as if they're next on the list. The main Republican strategy for staying in power seems to be keeping the country in a perpetual state of war.

But wouldn't it make more sense to attack Dubai? I understand they've been conspiring with the French :)

1/11/2007 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I doubt that all of it has been about Iran,

As I noted, it seems a stretch, but the history of military conquests is remarkably short on convenient coincidences.

1/11/2007 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I think Iran's always been part of the picture, but if that's all we ever wanted I'm sure we could have just allied w/ Saddam against them. It wouldn't have been the first time he's been on the payroll. He probably even has a Social Security number.

In addition to their strategic locations next to Iran, Afghanistan was also about 9/11, and Iraq was about Papa Bush.

But what W really needs now is another popular war. And Iran seems to be next in line.

1/11/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous ml said...

W's comments about oil are the only truth. If all previous actions have been about anything, it's securing 30 year contracts for oil. If Iran had no oil, it would not be on the radar.

If in fact the Democrats cannot effectively cut funds for the escalation of the war in Iraq, I suggest cutting funds for the White House. Reduce the President's pay and that of his staff to $1 per month. Cut funds for heat, electricity, water. Only fund security. Do unto him what he is doing to the country.

Do I sound angry?

1/11/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Reduce the President's pay and that of his staff to $1 per month

ML, I agree in spirit, but I think we have to pay them at least $7 an hour. Or at least the ones who are here legally. Not right away of course, but you know, increasing to that over the next two years.

1/11/2007 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous ml said...

Actually, David, I agree that all Americans deserve at least minimum wage. But he should have to pay for housing, utilities, and food out of his own pay.

1/11/2007 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

he should have to pay for housing, utilities, and food out of his own pay.

Absolutely! Anything else would be un-American. And that White House is gonna cost him a bundle at the going rate. I guess if he can't afford it he could look for an apartment, or move in with his parents.

As far as the minimum wage, it's not like he deserves it, but, you know, there's the new law...

1/11/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Karl Zipser said...

Ed, here is another blogger that I find very good on Iran/Iraq issues:

1/11/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

"My gut tells me that this speech was, in fact, a serious military warning to Syria and Iran." - Andrew Sullivan

1/11/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Maybe it's been forgotten already that Bush explicitly called out Iran along with Iraq and North Korea in his widely-reported and much-maligned "Axis of Evil" speech, almost exactly four years ago. After the invasion of Afghanistan, there was a theory that Bin Laden may have escaped to Iran. After the invasion of Iraq, some close observers started adding it all up to theorize that Iran was the next target. Historically Iraq has been a buffer between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The US knew full well that after removing Saddam, Iran and the Saudis would lead the two competing sides. Pay close attention by the way to recent events in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ambassador to the US just resigned a couple of weeks ago. Dick Cheney visited Saudi Arabia last month. Some think it was to discuss miltary matters. We're lining up the ducks.

1/11/2007 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger ondine-nyc said...

We just attacked the Iranian Consulate in Iraq today.;=a90DLQrWr.YY&refer;=us

1/11/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous christo Johnpherson said...

I am reminded of a statement of W's that always has stayed with me, "the American way of life is not negotiable." I mention this because I've always placed everything this administration does within the context of the Petroleum Based Economy and the PBE has every thing to do with Iraq, Iran, etc. and this too has everything to with "american way of life." These guys will not allow any slackening in the churning of the gears of our world here stateside (at least not for two years) and are preparing for longer term stability.
The question for me sometimes though is, who's really calling the shots? Dick Cheney was apparently suddenly summoned all the way to Saudi Arabia Thankgiving, I wonder why?;=view&id;=586&Itemid;=33
Are they our proxy (along with Israel) in the region or are we, meaning our government and military, the Saudi Royals (and Israel's) proxy?
If we are doing the bidding of the Saudi's why would their boy James Baker head up a "Commission" that would recommend what in full was a bit of a reconciliation with their enemy Iran? It does appear that all the rumors that the Baker Commission was Poppy Bush bailing out the never do well son went up in smoke after Cheney's trip and Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal sudden resignation. Why wasn't timing of this examined much? Speaking of timing, the hanging of Saddam and the holidays in general sure buried the story of the death of Saparmurat Niyazov supreme leader and president for life of Turkmenistan (see upper right of the map, talk). Now there could very well be nothing to it but still what a coincidence huh?
The idea brought up by Ed's friend as far as chaos providing cover for stealing seems reasonable considering recent news that western oil companies are first in line to reap the rewards when Iraq oil reserves become privatized.
Hey, as long as the american way of life doesn't change...

1/11/2007 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

...a statement of W's that always has stayed with me, "the American way of life is not negotiable."

I thought "the American way of life" meant going to an Ivy League school, doing a lot of drugs, and graduating without getting an education. Oh, and of course living a life of privilege despite (or maybe because of) failing miserably at everything you do. When you have a way of life like that, why negotiate?!

1/11/2007 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Christo Johnpherson said...

Some live it, some live off of those who live it. If i keep going i'll sound like one those gems that used to come out of Rummy's pie hole... I'll be brief this time. Right on David!

1/11/2007 04:38:00 PM  
Anonymous ml said...

If a country invades an embassy, isn't that normally considered an act of war?

1/11/2007 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Angela Ferreira said...

ml is not the embassy , its the inocent people who will have to pay for it afterwards!
I am so glad everyone is opening their eyes now.. my husband is been telling me about the Iran target for way over a year now.
It's just scary, most countries of the world are affected by W not only US.

1/12/2007 05:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look! All we are trying to do is make the area a peaceful place for the oil to flow, build a few exotic hotels, make it a place where everyone will come off ahead, the nation to make something off it.
Who knows the local folk who are there now may just want to move on. They have options, and our goal is to facilitate the exercising of freedoms for a people who currently have none. Many may wish to move here. We will help them do that! Choice and assistance is part of the overall campaign strategy.
At the moment we are just going with our choice to clean up what already has gone on for too long. We were advised to take the advice of the people. It didn't work out.
Now we work for the people, in our better judgment, perhaps against the wishes of a good many.

1/14/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opening Salvos of a greater Middle East War

A war involving the US, Israel, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda…..

1/15/2007 09:05:00 AM  

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