ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
The Poorman figures it out:

This morning it hit me: the one thing Karl Rove cares about, when it comes his buddy Dubya, is influence. When he runs the poll numbers he wants them to be important, maybe the single most important factor in the President’s decision making. The Iraq War? Immigration? Social Security? Sure, these were major policy disasters, but you could at least make a plausible case that they’d help Bush and the GOP win over somebody or other. But what if Bush, on the advice of other, creepier members of his inner circle, was about to do something that was not only cataclysmically stupid, but wildly unpopular? What if Bush was about to completely torpedo the GOP for the next fifty years in pursuit of a frankly loopy goal, and Karl Rove not only knew it, but had been loudly complaining about it for months? What if Gee Dub simply wouldn’t listen to Karl, his most trusted advisor (armed, as ever, with copious polls), warning his old friend that he held a noose, not a lifeline, begging him not to cinch it quite so snugly about the frail, tubercular neck of their once proud, once shared dream of permanent Republican majority? Maybe then Turd Blossom would pack it in. So what could Bush be planning to do? What’s so much dumber than all the dumb things these dumbshits have done? Who in his administration could be giving Bush even worse advice on how to run the country than Rove was? Oh, right:

"If you’re wondering what the administration is up to in declaring a large part of Iran’s military a terrorist organization, there’s some pretty convincing analysis here that it’s a way to make an attack on Iran seem authorized by the Authorizations to Use Military Force passed by congress in ‘01 and ‘02 for attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. The linked post also argues that this is a sign that the war-mongering Cheney faction is once again ascendant."
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
The evidence the RudePundit demands before serious discussions about bombing Iran take place:

If they wanna bomb Iran (a notion that's soooo 1980), then here's the evidence the Rude Pundit wants to see: he wants to see the Mullahs dry-humping nuclear warheads that read, "Hey, infidels, suck on this"; he wants to see a video of motherfuckin' Ahmadinejad actually shoving an IED into a drugged, tied down Dick Cheney's asshole, saying, "We're gonna blow up Dick Cheney's ass, America, if you don't back the fuck up on our nukes," with the President of Iran ordering his guards to fuck Condoleezza Rice's disembodied head. And even then, there should be a referendum in this country on whether or not we actually care if Dick Cheney's ass gets exploded. Hell, they'd probably just give the Vice President a mechanical sphincter and let him keep on lying and sending people to die for him.

ebonlock: (Monarch)
Kristol then:

We are tempted to comment, in these last days before the war, on the U.N., and the French, and the Democrats. But the war itself will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. It will reveal the aspirations of the people of Iraq, and expose the truth about Saddam’s regime. … History and reality are about to weigh in, and we are inclined simply to let them render their verdicts.

Kristol now:

KRISTOL: It is, but also the Iranian people dislike their regime. I think they would be – the right use of targeted military force — but especially if political pressure before we use military force – could cause them to reconsider whether they really want to have this regime in power. There are even moderates – they are not wonderful people — but people in the government itself who are probably nervous about Ahmadinejad’s recklessness.

This is why standing up to Iran right now is so important. They’re overreached. They and Hezbollah have recklessly overreached. They got cocky. This is the moment to set them back. I think a setback to Hezbollah could trigger changes in Iran. People can say, wait a second, what is Ahmadinejad doing to us. We’re alone. The Arab world is even against us. The Muslim world is against us. Let’s reconsider this reckless path that we’re on.

I sometimes wonder what it's like to be so completely, unrepentantly and obviously wrong and at the same time, blissfully unaware of it. I suspect in order to achieve such a state of mind I'd require some serious hallucinogens or a very sharp blow to the head, however. One wonders which path Kristol has chosen. I'll be charitable and guess drugs in this case.


May. 4th, 2006 09:55 am
ebonlock: (Monarch)
I forgot to link to this yesterday, but I highly recommend taking a look at Professor Juan Cole beating Christopher Hitchen like a red headed stepchild while simultaneously producing one of the most intelligent anti-war pieces in ages. Wow, a guy who actually understands both the Arabic language and culture actually commenting intelligently on our run up to yet another pointless, wasteful, stupid war with Iran...wasn't there a time when such folks would be called upon to offer their opinions in the mainstream media, and perhaps even on presidential committees of some sort? Those were the good old days...

We are not going to let you have a war against Iran. So sit down and shut up, American Enterprise Institute, and Hudson Institute, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and American Heritage Institute, and this institute and that institute, and cable "news", and government "spokesmen", and all the pundit-ferrets you pay millions to make business for the American military-industrial complex and Big Oil. We don't give a rat's ass what Ahmadinejad thinks about European history or what pissant speech the little shit gives.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
Sadly, No! brings us what has to be the most bug-fuck psychotic screed purporting to be sound, rational foreign policy advice ever typed between bouts of electroshock therapy:
Adam Yoshida's Masterpiece, "Nuke Iran"

Favorite line:
"Of course, once the decision to use nuclear weapons in any capacity has been taken, there’s no real reason to limit their use."

I keep seeing Adam in black and white astride a nuclear bomb, cowboy hat in one hand screaming, "Yeeeeehaaa! YEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAWWW!" I get the feeling this poor, sick individual saw Dr. Strangelove and thought it was a gripping drama about men with "the right stuff" making the tough choices...a utopian vision of the future.

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

President Merkin Muffley: You're talking about mass murder, General, not war!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

I think one of the commentors sums it up best with:

It took him two months to write this because his keepers kept retightening the bindings of his straitjacket and knocking the crayon out from between his toes.

Posted by: Thorlac
ebonlock: (women's rights)
How long before some wingnut starts screaming "Sedition!"? Possibly faster than you can say "Swift Boat":

Former National Security Agency Director Lt. General William Odom dissected the strategic folly of the Iraq invasion and Bush Administration policies in a major policy speech at Brown University for the Watson Institute- America’s Strategic Paralysis . "The Iraq War may turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in American history. In a mere 18 months we went from unprecedented levels of support after 9-11..to being one of the most hated countries…Turkey used to be one of strongest pro-US regimes, now we’re so unpopular, there’s a movie playing there- Metal Storm, about a war between US and Turkey. In addition to producing faulty intel and ties to Al Qaida, Bush made preposterous claim that toppling Saddam would open the way for liberal democracy in a very short time... Misunderstanding the character of American power, he dismissed the allies as a nuisance and failed to get the UN Security Council’s sanction… We must reinforce international law, not reject and ridicule it."

Odom, now a Yale professor and Hudson Institute senior fellow, was director of the sprawling NSA (which monitors all communications) from 1985-88 under Reagan, and previously was Zbigniew Brzezinski's assistant under Carter. His latest 2004 book is America's Inadvertent Empire.

Even if the invasion had gone well, Odom says it wouldn't have mattered: "The invasion wasn't in our interests, it was in Iran's interest, Al Qaida's interest. Seeing America invade must have made Iranian leaders ecstatic. Iran's hostility to Saddam was hard to exaggerate.. Iraq is now open to Al Qaida, which it never was before - it's easier for terrorists to kill Americans there than in the US.. Neither our leaders or the mainstream media recognize the perversity of key US policies now begetting outcomes they were designed to prevent… 3 years later the US is bogged down in Iraq, pretending a Constitution has been put in place, while the civil war rages, Iran meddles, and Al Qaida swells its ranks with new recruits.. We have lost our capacity to lead and are in a state of crisis - diplomatic and military."

You know a part of me wishes I could feel good about this, smug and gloating about the voices of reason finally speaking out about what was glaringly obvious to me all the way back in 2001. Fuck, the minute Bush uttered the word "crusade" after 9/11 I knew that's precisely what he was going to give us, that he was seeing himself as Richard the Lionheart riding off to vanquish the Saracen infidels. It was as plain as day that this was going to end badly, but even I couldn't have forseen just how badly. I don't feel pleased about being proven right, not in the slightest, instead I feel a little ill, very sad, and mostly pissed.

Where were these voices in 2004? Did these specialists and military men only recognize the futility, barbarity and stupidity of this grand clusterfuck this year? Or was it that they needed to retire from their positions before finding their backbones again? It's nice that he and the retired generals are finally speaking out about what is patently, glaringly, and oh so pianfully obvious, and maybe, just maybe it will halt the even grander clusterfuck looming in Iran...but somehow I doubt it. It's too little too late. I hope these public declarations ease their conscience a little, but it won't begin to wash away the blood on their hands.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
This about sums it up:

Trouble is, the Bushies don't seem to know how to orchestrate the mix of diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, military threats and -- but only finally -- force. For example, they seem hell-bent on repeating the mistake they made in Iraq of not waiting for the International Atomic Energy Agency to reach a judgment on Iran's nuclear capacities and intentions.

It may be seen as surprising that the voices of reason and restraint in this Iran question, as Hersh reports it, are the generals. But it shouldn't be. After all, it was George Washington who warned against the dangers of a standing peacetime army, and Dwight Eisenhower who alerted us to the danger of the military-industrial complex. Having seen it, they know the horror of war.

And what about the neocons, our home-front heroes -- Cheney, Rumsfeld, the civilians they've recruited like Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley -- who orchestrated the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war and foreign regime change?

They should never again be allowed anywhere near the instruments and agencies of the American government.

My only quibble would be that it's not that the Bushies don't know how to use diplomatic approaches, simply that they don't feel they should need to. Diplomacy, discussion, concession, is beneath them, they're in charge of the last superpower, dammit, and as far as they're concerned it's all about getting what they want when they want it. Consequences, of course, be damned, they're untouchable...on top of the world, ma, and all that.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
If you read just one thing today, make it this from Billmon on the prospect of yet another pre-emptive war, this time with Iran:

I've been trying to picture what the world might look like the day after a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran, but I'm essentially drawing a blank. There simply isn't a precedent for the world's dominant superpower turning into a rogue state – much less a rogue state willing to wage nuclear war against potential, even hypothetical, security threats. At that point, we’d truly be through the looking glass.
...the current hegemony of American influence and ideas (backed by overwhelming military force) would be replaced by an overt dictatorship based – more or less explicitly – on fear of nuclear annihilation. U.S. foreign policy would become nothing more than a variation on the ancient Roman warning: For every one of our dead; 100 of yours. Never again would American rulers (or their foreign counterparts) be able to hide behind the comfortable fiction that the United States is just primus inter pares – first among equals. A country that nukes other countries merely on the suspicion that they may pose a future security threat isn't the equal of anybody. America would stand completely alone: hated by many, feared by all, admired only by the world’s other tyrants. To call that a watershed event seems a ridiculous understatement.
Why should anyone or anything change? When a culture is as historically clueless and morally desensitized as this one appears to be, I don’t think it’s absurd to suppose that even an enormous war crime – the worst imaginable, short of outright genocide – could get lost in the endless babble of the talking heads. When everything is just a matter of opinion, anything – literally anything – can be justified. It’s only a matter of framing things so people can believe what they want to believe.
The bottom line is that most of the world’s powers – and nearly all of its weak countries – have a vested interest in sucking up to the hegemon, or at least in not antagonizing it. And this would still be true even if the hegemon turns out to be a full-fledged nuclear war criminal. If the realists are correct (and their batting average has been pretty high lately) neither morality nor democracy are likely to change that fact. States run by religious lunatics and self-appointed messiahs are still the exception, not the rule, in the global cockpit. Most states are as single-minded and relentless in the pursuit of their interests as your average Renaissance pope – like sharks, in other words, although not as warm and cuddly.

There's a lot more there to read and digest, but it got me to thinking. What will I do if this comes to pass? Can I settle this time for going to anti-war marches, blogging, and making donations to politicians and groups working to stop this kind of madness? Or would I be required to take some further steps, get into politics myself, pack my bags and head north of the border...or something more. I don't know that I can answer that question yet, and it terrifies me that I have to face it at all, but if America goes through with these threats, if we cross that line into genocide and hegemony, what will my response be? And you, what will you do?


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