Wishful Thinking

Von at Obsidian Wings has noble and timely sentiments about Iran:

Iran is the next great challenge, and it is (and should remain) a nonpartisan one.

Then he links to a Q-and-O post which sniffs indignantly at lefty bloggers who’ve done some prognosticating about how the Iran imbroglio will pan out. In a classic example of rhetorical dishonesty Jim Jon Henke identifies a single blogger as ‘the Democratic base’ and one Atrios post becomes ‘the Democratic strategy.’ Not that I want to single out Von personally, but this empty rhetorical gimmick is depressingly typical. Since when was Ward Churchill a ‘darling of the left,’ since never. Neither is the Democratic Party the ‘party of Cindy Sheehan.’ Is the GOP ‘the party of Pat Robertson?’ No, it’s not. People who concern themselves with precise language should pay attention to rhetorical flourishes that weaken their overall point.

[Update] To be more clear, the point is that every day I hear some iteration of, ‘the Democrats are the party of X,’ where X is some convenient bugbear du jour. You could describe that sort of guilt-by-association as a variant of the logical fallacy of composition. When I said that I wasn’t trying to single Von out it’s because I’m using Von’s example as a jumping-off point to illustrate a larger issue. [/Update]

Perhaps the Democrats will demagogue the Iran issue. And perhaps the upcoming midterms and the affair Abramoff will make it impossible for the Republicans to resist dusting off the language of treason and being on the side of terrorists and wanting America to lose and so forth. We don’t know because, unfortunately in my opinion, nobody in Washington has said a damned thing about Iran (that’s not completely true, but it hasn’t become an ‘issue’ in any meaningful sense of the word). Finding a coherent policy towards Iran is imperative in ways that Iraq never was.

TEHRAN, Jan. 14 — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pushed back at President Bush and European leaders on Saturday, insisting Iran will press ahead with its nuclear program despite the threat of economic sanctions because “ultimately they need us more than we need them.”

At a news conference that lasted more than two hours, a confident Ahmadinejad posed a question to Western governments: “So why do you strike a mighty pose? I advise you to understand the Iranian nation and revolution in a better way. A time might come that you would become regretful, and then there would be no benefits in regretting.”

We don’t need any hysteria about Iraq sharing nuclear weapons with terrorists, which they won’t, when the real problem is serious enough.

Iran has every incentive to develop a deterrent force of nuclear weapons. Living at the dangerous intersection of despotism, oil wealth, anti-American and anti-Israel Islamic fundamentalism and WMD proliferation, the Bush Doctrine basically guarantees that America will eventually attack Iran unless the Iranians give us a very good reason not to. Iraq showed that negotiating and inspections are no guarantor when you’ve got a president hot for invasion and Europe’s opposition means basically nothing. That leaves a functioning nuclear arsenal as the only reliable dissuasive factor. In other words, in theory and particularly in practice the Bush Doctrine makes it absolutely imperative for targeted states to arm themselves as rapidly as possible.

What to do about Iran is a question for better-informed pundits than myself. Invasion is simply off the table. We don’t have the army for it and we can’t afford to alienate Iran’s friends in Iraq, who also happen to be our best friends in Iraq right now. Bombing would have worked when Iran needed centralized facilities to enrich its fissile material, but that time has passed.

Like Von I think that we had better find an answer before the crisis becomes a question of negotiating with a fully nuclear-armed Iran. Whether we’ll succeed in doing that in the midst of scandal and election I don’t know. It’s not encouraging the the biggest bullshit artist in DC remains in charge of government policy.

***Update***

Both Von and Jon Henke have sensible responses to my post.

Von points out that as long as Democrats won’t put forward ideas (which, by the way, is a huge point. If it’s an issue and particularly if it’s going to become a major football, get ahead of it already), Atrios will have to do:

If Defendants want to play the foreign policy game, they need to get in it. Sniping from the sidelines — no matter how trenchant that sniping may be — will get them nothing. And our nation will be poorer for it.

Yes the Democrats need ideas, but that wasn’t my point. Regardless of what the Democrats do or don’t do Atrios simply doesn’t represent anybody but Atrios. The only blogger who reliably gets his calls returned is Markos Zuniga, who found the Democratic establishment so hostile and unresponsive to the netroots that he wrote a book about it. Reid and Dean have set change in motion but you can’t pull a handbrake 180 with an aircraft carrier. The ‘base’ and the netroots remain extremely different things; two years ago you could call it the difference between John Kerry and Howard Dean.

Jon Henke writes,

What’s more, far from “sniffing indignantly”, I called his sarcasm “trenchant”. I just pointed out that it’s not a foreign policy or particularly useful in the discussion of what should be done.

That is fair. Forgive any inaccurate accusations of sniffing. Another version of the above point is that online, policy wonkery loses to hackdom because wonkery is boring. Duncan Black gets more hits than RAND or Brookings because with Atrios you can count on your hourly dose of partisan red meat. It’s what he does. Rather than hold that against him, I’d simply point out that in the internet ecosystem that’s his niche. Black does wonkery fine but meat pays the bills. Sooner or later Kevin Drum will write a long wonkish post about Iran options, which the Dems will also ignore, and balance will be restored to the universe.

Both writers incorrectly assume that I’m making an accusation of unfair partisanship when that’s mostly beside my point. Neither writer is in my opinion anywhere near the extreme end of the ideological spectrum. I don’t respond to Hewitt because there’s no point. Rather the entire basis of my disagreement is the ubiquitous use of the composition fallacy in political discourse. Call it a jihad on my part to get people to be clear about exactly who their bugbear (right or left) does and does not represent.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






217 replies
  1. 1
    KCinDC says:

    “Dusting off the language of treason”? When have they ever abandoned it long enough for it to become dusty? The president was using it just a few days ago.

    Like you, I await ideas from better-informed pundits about how to solve this problem when Bush has thrown away most of the necessary tools (foremost among them the US government’s credibility, both within the country and throughout the world). For now, all I have is a bit more snark.

  2. 2
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Do you really believe an invasion of Iran is off the table? You 100% sure on that one? I’m not so certain that is the case.

    With the pro-Iran bias of the newly elected Iraqi Parliament pretty much an accepted fact everywhere (except amongst our domestic Limboterati, of course), what other option is available to Bush’s Neo-Con handlers?

    Someday we’ll pull our troops out. And to leave Iraq open to Iranian domination would afford Bush’s critics the world over the pleasure of interpreting the results of our efforts there as being a fairly devastating defeat. Not to mention the judgement of history.

    And with the 2006 elections coming up, the political pressure to pull at least some of our troops out does bring some urgency to the matter of Iran.

    I’m not certain the Bushies have any other option.

  3. 3
    battlepanda says:

    Seems like Iran has really made out like a bandit over our Iraqi adventure. More influence in Iraq AND a weakened and distracted U.S.

  4. 4
    demimondian says:

    The problem with all this is straightforward: Iran’s posture is totally empty, and all the major players know it. It’s really trivial for the Unites States to crush the Iranian program, and the Iranian president knows it.

    The reason is geography. The US controls two of Iran’s land borders (Iraq and Afghanistan), and Turkey controls a third. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia control Sharm Al-Shaik. Iran’s air supply is ite oil exports, and those can be shut off for as long as it takes to bring Iran’s government down.

  5. 5
    nemov says:

    If the Republicans are the party of Robertson the Democrats are the party of Belafonte. Both are equally true and depressing. Politics aside, the good news about Iran is the US has surrounded Iran with Iraq and Afghanistan. Troops aren’t the issue here, it’s political will. The world won’t do anything about the problem until the guy in Iran kills a few thousand people.

    I also love the Abramoff affair. I’d like to see a poll of how many Americans even know anything about this story. I’d be stunned if it’s over 30%. I attribute the Congress and corruption kind of like the Pope and Catholicism, in other words… unless the districts get redrawn all over the country the House is staying the same.

  6. 6
    Charles Bird says:

    Ward Churchill is a darling of the loony left, so we’re in basic agreement there, but I take issue with you on Cindy Sheehan. She gets front-page treatment at dKos, which is a firmly entrenched and influential wing of the Democratic Party. A whole host of Democrats embraced her during her vigil in Crawford. It’s not much of a stretch at all to say that the Democrats are the Party of Cindy Sheehan, especially when Democratic leaders such as Murtha and Pelosi are advocating the exact same things as Sheehan, i.e., bring the troops home right now.

    Pat Robertson is the cross that Republicans bear because he is a Republican. I don’t know of any Republicans who support or have defended his stupid and ludicrous statements, and there are multitudes of Christians who will say that Robertson is a Christian leader but he doesn’t speak for me, but he does represent a wing of Christian Republicans that I’d rather not hang around with. Quite frankly, I wish someone had the cojones to kick him out of the party or take him off the 700 Club or both.

    We don’t need any hysteria about Iraq sharing nuclear weapons with terrorists, which they won’t…

    How do you know that, John? When Ahmadinejad says Israel should be wiped off the map AND when Iran sends $100 million a year to Hezbollah (which also happens to believe that Israel should be wiped off the map), don’t you think it would be wise to err on the side of caution?

    As for invasion, I agree, we can’t do it. But I wouldn’t take off the table a massive strike at all of their known or suspected atomic bomb-making facilities and laying them to rubble.

  7. 7
    Brian says:

    Invasion cannot be off the table. From what I’ve read, here are the options, as unrealistic or dreaded as they are:

    1) Head in the sand.
    2) Let the int’l community take the lead in applying pressure and condemnation, with ot without the U.N.
    3) Let Israel handle the attack, as it did with Iraq (problem because of the dispersed aspect of Iran’s program).
    4) U.S. air strikes, likely covering a sustained period of time, with all of the inherent risks and casualties.

    If Bush tried to make this an issue, would the Left, or the World, listen? I doubt it, but I can’t say that I blame them for not listening.

    So much for Bush’s political capital, even though I wish it weren’t the case. If he can’t get us taking this threat seriously, and with a single voice, we’re at a disadvantage with Iran.

  8. 8
    scs says:

    Bombing would have worked when Iran needed centralized facilities to enrich its fissile material, but that time has passed.

    So why won’t bombing work exactly? Can we bomb in a decentralized way?

  9. 9
    M.A. says:

    The problem is — and the reason Atrios is right — is that there is no reason to believe that the Bush administration won’t play politics with the Iran issue. They exploited the War on Terror for partisan gain, they used the Iraq war as an election tool (and by so doing made decisions that made it less successful than it might have been); why wouldn’t they adopt a similarly unserious Iran policy for electoral gain?

    Iran is a serious problem, but the Bush administration has dealt with serious problems before and treated them all in an unserious way: they base everything on political considerations. If Bush wants to unite the country around a serious Iran policy, the onus is on him to prove that he’s not playing politics. There’s no reason to trust him on anything now.

  10. 10
    demimondian says:

    So why won’t bombing work exactly? Can we bomb in a decentralized way?

    Absolutely not. First, the production systems are now mobile, unlike gas centrifugres. Second, Iran can now place their assembly sites inside heavily populated regions, making them effectively dirty bombs: hit the site, and the neighborhood gets a bath in radioisotopes.

    That opportunity is gone now that Iran has enough U235.

  11. 11
    Tim F. says:

    How do you know that, John?

    I’m John’s loony-left coblogger.

    Iran is run by smart, conservative people. I know this because they’re still in power despite any number of reasons why they shouldn’t be. That kind of leader would never hand the weapons of their own destruction to an organization as inherently unstable as your average terrorist group.

    Further, if Iran allowed a nuclear attack on America or Israel they would absolutely guarantee their own fiery death. They don’t love America, but they love their own life even more than they hate us.

  12. 12
    scs says:

    First, the production systems are now mobile, unlike gas centrifugres.

    How large are these systems. I thought they were large factory type things?

    Second, Iran can now place their assembly sites inside heavily populated regions

    Have they done this already? Better bomb now if they haven’t yet.

  13. 13
    scs says:

    That kind of leader would never hand the weapons of their own destruction to an organization as inherently unstable as your average terrorist group

    Well they have the kind of leader that’s so smart that he’s the kind of leader that would say the Holocaust never existed, or Israel should be wiped off that map publicly. Oh wait- never mind…

  14. 14
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    The “Bush playing politics with Iran” issue is a serious consideration. Just about everything is politics for this administration, and it is not like they haven’t used our military for such narrow purposes before.

    Let’s put this into a larger perspective. Despite all the blog blather to the contrary, Bush is in serious trouble here. There are several maturing scandals (Snoopgate, Abramoff and Plame) that will become full blown political catastrophes for Bush and the GOP in 2006.

    Couple that with what will be another year of bloody sacrifice with no perceptible gains in Iraq, and you have a rather volatile political mixture.

    Here is an example of what Bush is up against:

    Zogby Poll: Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping (conducted 1/9/06 thru 1/12/06)

    “If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachemnt?”

    52% Agreed with the statement
    43% Disagreed
    06% Just couldn’t say one way or the other

    http://www.democrats.com/bush-impeachment-poll-2

    War with Iran? I’d say the chances are very good.

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    scs, please don’t tell me you think that smart politics never involves ugly rhetoric.

  16. 16
    scs says:

    Well Tim, it doesn’t usually involve insane politics.

  17. 17
    Steve S says:

    I don’t know of any Republicans who support or have defended his stupid and ludicrous statements

    I do. I know a lot of them.

    I was at the 1988 Republican caucus in Iowa when he came in 2nd place with 25% support. And when you look at the national debate, with issues relating to Israel, Schiavo, etc., that support is much stronger now, probably closer to 50%. It’s not about the man per se, it’s about the attitude.

  18. 18
    scs says:

    Tim I never knew you were such an admirer of the cleverness of the Iranian regime.

  19. 19
    demimondian says:

    How large are these systems. I thought they were large factory type things?

    How big is a lathe? Uranium is a hard, highly refractory, dense metal much like platinum. Yeah, you don’t want to breathe in the filings, but that’s true of any number of commonly used metals. Making an implosion bomb isn’t rocket science once you have the raw materials.

    (Well, that’s not strictly true — manufacturing the actual implosion mechanism is, quite literally, rocket science, since it uses the same technology as a solid rocket engine. Again, though, that’s casting, polishing, and machining, all quite small.)

  20. 20
    Gary Sugar says:

    Iran is surrounded by American military bases and warships. It’s also surrounded by other nuclear-armed neighbors. I’ve heard several experts say that nuclear technology can always be traced to its source; so Iran could not give nukes to terrorists without the whole world knowing. As I see it, the only real consequence of a nuclear Iran is that Israel loses part of its first strike threat. I personally can live with that.

    OTOH an attack on Iran would send the price of oil skywards. I have no idea how deep or long the resulting global recession would be, but it would suck. Moreover, there would be 90% anti-American sentiment in almost every country in the world. What would their governments do to contain us? Would they say enough already and stop buying our bonds? Would they go further than that and actively oppose us? The risks are gigantic.

  21. 21
    Steve S says:

    Iran is the next great challenge, and it is (and should remain) a nonpartisan one.

    I agree with this.

    Unfortunately as Tim notes from some of the other quotes, that isn’t the intention of the Republican party. Which I think frankly is a big fucking mistake not just on their part, but for the country.

    Politics ends at the borders. That’s the rule. You turn foreign policy into a political battle, and you will lose majority support.

    Especially when GW Bush has been Iran’s bitch for the past 5 years, doing their will.

  22. 22
    demimondian says:

    I never knew you were such an admirer of the cleverness of the Iranian regime.

    I didn’t realize that McCarthy’s heirs still lived.

    Scs, you should be achamed of yourself. Knowing that evil people are clever…well, maybe forgetting that is the core of the current success of the freak-show right over the rest of the Republican party.

  23. 23
    ppGaz says:

    Invasion cannot be off the table.

    Using what force? Will you support a draft, and a complete surrender of the American engine to an all-out posture of war in the Middle East?

    One thing is for sure. We are not going to sit still for another one of these boiled-frog experiences like Iraq. We are going to have to see the plan, and the numbers, and the invoices, and the end strategy, and the measures for success so that we’ll know when we’re done. And we are not going to sit still for another adventure cooked up by these incompetant shitheads in the admiistration now.

    Another, even larger war run by Rumsfeld and cheered on by Cheney? Another gigantic clusterfuck?

    What the hell are you smoking over there on the right? On the basis of what credibility will this government ask this country to go to yet another large war?

    There is a price to be paid for supporting incompetance and mendacity, and this is it: You aren’t going to get a blank check to have another war.

    What I think is going on is that Iran is being prepped for the 2006-2008 election strategies in this country. I don’t trust the lying cocksuckers running our government any farther than I can throw them, and I certainly do not trust the judgment of anyone in blogville who supports them in any fashion whatsoever.

  24. 24
    CaseyL says:

    Oh, just bloody wonderful.

    The Right wants the Democrats to be engaged in a debate about Iran – just as long as the Right gets to frame the debate, and just as long as the Right gets to offer the only “serious” suggestions, and just as long as Democrats agree to debate on the Right’s terms, and just as long as everyone understands those are the only legitimate terms, and just as long as everyone understands deviating from those terms is objectively pro-terrorist, surrender-monkeyist, and tantamount to treason.

    Just like it was with Iraq. And, boy, that went really well, didn’t it?

    I wish to God the Right would indulge its masturbatory fantasies of WWIII in private, and not insist on making the self-wank a spectator sport to be played out in the real world.

  25. 25
    scs says:

    Well Demi, I don’t completely understand this manufacturing process. Why did we ever talk about bombing then? Doesn’t sound like there is much to bomb. Was there a step prior that we COULD have bombed and didn’t?

  26. 26
    tb says:

    Ward Churchill is a darling of the loony left

    Churchill is not the “darling” of anybody except maybe his mother. Nobody I know even heard of him before the right wing dug him up as some kind of Goldstein-like official object of hatred.

  27. 27
    demimondian says:

    Why did we ever talk about bombing then? Doesn’t sound like there is much to bomb. Was there a step prior that we COULD have bombed and didn’t?

    Yes, there was. Two and three years ago, when the centrifuges were first found, we could have bombed those.

  28. 28
    scs says:

    Knowing that evil people are clever

    So now you think George Bush is clever? Wow.

  29. 29
    scs says:

    when the centrifuges were first found,

    Okay how big are these centrifuges? What do they do? And why didn’t we bomb them then?

  30. 30
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    ppGaz: Bush is backed into a corner, a place where even the tamest of rats turn nasty. And Bush is one rat that knows how to bite.

    And really, do you honestly believe these people are incapable of trotting out “treason” talk as part of their sales pitch for military action against Iran?

  31. 31
    demimondian says:

    So now you think George Bush is clever?

    Yes, actually, I do. I don’t think he’s very smart, but I think he’s very clever. Worse, I think he’s surrounded himself with people who are both clever and smart — and I fear those people greatly.

  32. 32
    scs says:

    Yes, actually, I do.

    Okay, that’s a first from the non-right. I appreciate your candidness.

  33. 33
    demimondian says:

    Okay how big are these centrifuges?

    It isn’t the centrifuges themselves which are so large, but rather the support mechanism for them.

    A gas centrifuge uses a gaseous uranium coumpond as a feedstock for separation. The process of constructing that gas requires a large facility. (The United States has several, the most famous of which is the CITY of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The process has shrunk since then, but separation still takes a lot of space.)

    And why didn’t we bomb them then?

    Well, there was this military operation in Iraq…

  34. 34
    p.lukasiak says:

    There are two possible Iran strategies….

    1) Win Congress in the 2006 elections, then impeach Bush and Cheney and putting a Democrat in the White House. This will go a long way toward convincing Iran (and the rest of the world) that the people of the USA will not tolerate insane leadership, and that there is no need for Iran to build a bomb.

    2) Let Iran build their bomb, and when the US gets sane leadership again, negotiate Iranian nuclear disarmament.

    Personally, I’m less concerned with the possibility that Iran might get a nuke, than the fact that Pakistan has nukes, and its looking like Pakistan will become the radical islamic version of Cambodia if we keep bombing Pakistani villages because The Taliban has friends in that area….

  35. 35
    scs says:

    Damn. Too bad we didn’t bomb before. I say the motto should have been, when in doubt, bomb. I think those softie Euro’s and their ideas of carrots not sticks may have had a little to do with it, too.

    So are you SURE there is not any way now to bomb without scattering the uranium to the public. Can we send in special ops and steal the uranium? Just trying to think of creative ideas here.

  36. 36
    demimondian says:

    This will go a long way toward convincing Iran (and the rest of the world) that the people of the USA will not tolerate insane leadership, and that there is no need for Iran to build a bomb.

    Bullshit, Paul.

    Iran wants a bomb so that it can leverage geopolitcal power on a global scale. The whole context of this debate is that, right now, the US could fight Iran if we decided we really, really needed to do so. It would require a draft and it would require putting the economy of a real war footing, but we could do it. The one thing that makes that irrelevant would be the explosion of a nuke.

  37. 37
    scs says:

    Demi, let me clarify. The centrifuges did what exactly? Process the uranium? Are these facilites still existing? After all, if we bomb whatever they have now, they can always make more right? So I guess it couldn’t hurt to bomb the centrifuges now any way.

  38. 38
    OCSteve says:

    Prediction: There won’t be a ground invasion. There will be a 3-4 day bombing campaign focusing on the nuclear sites, military targets, and the mullahs themselves. Probably some special ops against more hardened targets.

    It will be a tightrope walk. We’ll avoid civilian casualties at all costs. While doing what we have to, the focus will be on preventing the population from uniting behind the mullahs in a fit of nationalistic spirit.

    Primary goals will be:
    -Set their nuke program back to the stone age.
    -Take away enough of their shiny new toys and military infrastructure to significantly reduce the threat to Iraq. We can’t reduce our own troop strength in Iraq significantly without doing that. The current situation would have Iran fomenting civil war in Iraq, then invading to “protect” their brothers shortly after significant US withdrawal.
    -Regime change. Propaganda and special ops to encourage the populace to revolt after we hopefully take out the current leadership.

    BTW – American airmen will likely die in any engagement due to Russian AA and anti-missile missiles sold to Iran on the basis (Russia’s excuse, not my assertion) of the Gore-Chernomyrdin protocol.

    Timeframe – 6-8 months.

    Flame on – but note that what I have offered here is
    prediction
    – not justification or endorsement.

  39. 39
    scs says:

    I think I need a primer on nuke building. Tim should write up a Nukes 101 for us so that we can better understand what is physically happening on the ground there.

  40. 40
    Jay C says:

    Wow, a comment from Bird Dog! Where ya been, man? We’ve missed your disingenuous Dem-bashing over at Tacitus and ObWings!
    Oh, well: Balloon Juice is just as good a place as any, I guess – John and Tim should be flattered.
    Just for the record, though: unless I am quite mistaken; whatever Cindy Sheehan’s views on “bring[ing] the troops home now” might be, Rep. Murtha’s plan was just a tad more complex than this simplistic cliche; even it doesn’t make for a simple soundbite.

  41. 41
    scs says:

    Set their nuke program back to the stone age.

    According to Tim and Demi, it is too late for that now.

  42. 42
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    In the end it will be our predicament in Iraq that will cause us to invade Iran. Bush cannot afford to leave Iraq in the hands of people who are pro-Iranian. The only way to bring a positive result to our incredible sacrifice in Iraq is to take out the present Islamist leadership in Tehran. Otherwise upon our departure from Iraq vast portions of the country will fall under the sway of Iran.

    Something that will be rightfully interpreted the world over as a defeat for the United States and its leadership under George W. Bush.

    All this yapping about Iran building nukes is very similar to the “Saddam has WMD” talk we heard in 2002. And we all know where that bullshit got us.

    The rationale for war in Iran is coming into place. And doing quite nicely judging by what I’m seeing here.

  43. 43
    tb says:

    Can we send in special ops and steal the uranium?

    Sure, one of them could put it under his hat and tiptoe out with it, past the sleeping guard.

  44. 44
    scs says:

    Hey, I imagine the radioactive stuff is pretty small. I’m guessing you don’t need much for a devastating nuke reaction. I’m picturing an amount that fits into a briefcase. But again, I confess my ignorance on this subject. I need to start googling on this.

  45. 45
    skip says:

    Quite apart from the inherent logistal problems of hitting Iran at this late date, there are geopolitical problems as well. To wit: Muslims can be forgiven for beginning to see a pattern in who we target (.e., them); and our ever-dwindling allies can be forgiven if they regard our nuke/WM intel with a grain of salt.

    These, as much as lives and money, are real casualties of our misbegotten adventure in Iraq. And, from what I am hearing around the watering holes near the Naval Academy, Afghanistan isn’t going so well either.

  46. 46
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Gosh John, I feel your pain on this issue. Not to piliticze the issue, but we told you so.

    You know, back during the elction between Bush and the French looking guy. That Bush’s policies were misguided and his execution incompetent.

    But you voted for him anyway, cause who wants a flip-flopping fake Purple Heart wearing, French speaking, intellectual snob running things.

    My sympathy meter is at absolute fucking zero. Why? because knowing all what has gone before and everything thing that will likely come you and the rest of the Republicans who brough us this mess will never, ever vote against your party.

    That;s significant, because while I’ll see hell frozen over before I vote Republican myself, my party doesn’t happen to run congress or the White Hose.

    I’d say go boo-hoo somewhwre else, but this is your blog so you have the right. As for it making a difference though, it won’t. It will be just like an episode of the Outer Limits of people stuck in a time loop doing the same thing over, and over again.

    So I expect we Democrats will be the traitors soon and the “inept” Decorats who can only say Bush is wrong will have only themselves to blame for say… er Bush iswrong.

    You may continue crying your river.

  47. 47
    scs says:

    Afghanistan isn’t going so well either.

    No Afghanistan is going very well, according to the economy, governmental progress, and the attitude of the people, as evidenced by several opinion polls. The morale of US troops in Af. is also very high now. This was all listed in newspapers recently, specifically in a New York Times articles about a month or two ago. The only downside is that the terrorists are resurging in groups in the south and are trying to adopt the more lethal tactics of Iraq insurgents. But this effect, although it has serious consequences to the troops fighting them in that area, is small compared to the overall progress in the whole country.

  48. 48
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Skip: You are making rational points, but are you really all that certain that we are being led by rational people?

    If we were would we now be in Iraq?

  49. 49
    Nell says:

    dusting off the language of treason and being on the side of terrorists and wanting America to lose and so forth

    dusting off? That language is fresh and sparkly, having used within the last ten days by the President and Vice President, and echoed down the chain of columnists, talk-show hosts, and bloggers.

  50. 50
    Nell says:

    Apologies for duplicating KCinDC’s post.

  51. 51
    Richard Bottoms says:

    No Afghanistan is going very well, according to the economy, governmental progress, and the attitude of the people, as evidenced by several opinion polls.

    Should I laugh or cry?

  52. 52
    scs says:

    Should I laugh or cry?

    You know better than the New York Times? I’d love to hear your sources.

  53. 53
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The missiles were deadly accurate. In the pitch dark of a night in Pakistan’s sparsely populated North West Frontier Province, they not only located the three targeted houses on the outskirts of the village of Damadola Burkanday but squarely struck their hujra, the large rooms traditionally used by Pashtun tribesmen to accommodate guests.

    Yesterday some of the results of the strike were very clear: three ruined houses, mud-brick rubble scattered across the steeply terraced fields, the bodies of livestock lying where thrown by the airblast, a row of newly dug graves in the village cemetery and torn green and red embroidered blankets flapping in the chilly wind. Four children were among the 18 villagers who died in the brutally sudden attack on their homes.

    Yet evidence emerging appeared to indicate that, though the technology that guided the missiles to their targets at 3am on Friday was faultless, the intelligence that had selected those targets was not. Even as American military and intelligence sources spoke of the possible death of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command of al-Qaeda and the man considered to be the brains behind the militant group’s strategy, Pakistani officials said that there was no evidence any ‘foreigners’, shorthand locally for al-Qaeda fighters, were among the 18 victims, though they said that ‘according to preliminary investigations there was foreign presence in the area’.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk.....18,00.html

    Want proof that the Iran adventure will end badly? See how well were carrying out our current war.

  54. 54
    OCSteve says:

    Further, if Iran allowed a nuclear attack on America or Israel they would absolutely guarantee their own fiery death. They don’t love America, but they love their own life even more than they hate us.

    Can’t agree with you there. This is what we are dealing with. Ahmadinejad apparently believes he is the:

    “rightly-guided one,” a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world.”

    If that Pipes piece and the linked Scott Peterson piece don’t scare the bejesus out of you nothing will.

    The extreme right-wing has been (laughingly) accused of politics based on the coming rapture. This guy is the real deal. Trading Tehran for the country of Israel is a good deal in his book.

  55. 55
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    scs: No attribution to any publication w/o an accompanying cite or cites can ever be expected to be taken seriously.

  56. 56
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Should I laugh or cry?

    You know better than the New York Times? I’d love to hear your sources.

    The fact that the administration pumps out happy talk and nevr admits to its mistakesis not reason enough to know that Afghanistan is a mess?

    The fact that we don’t control the entire country, have enough troops there to do so, and that the rebellion there is growing as well inciates we’ll be up to our asses in an insurgency in Afghanistan soo enough.

    It’s not like the jihadists are smart enough to learn from the succes of the Iraq fighting or anything. They’re just a bunch of stupid wogs and we’ll wear them down eventually.

  57. 57
    scs says:

    Just google it paddy/Doug. First of all, NYT articles are pay per view after about a week or so anyway, so that’s why I don’t cite it. I am just citing that one because I read it and it was thorough. But I’m sure the story has been reported elsewhere in the mainstream media as well. That the Afg. economy is on fire is undisputed though, and is a fact.

  58. 58
    scs says:

    Richard, you are obviously not that familiar with what is going on in Afghanistan. I suggest you read up on what is actually happening in the country first before you make assumptions about it based on your personal opinion of Bush. Afghanistan Bush you know.

  59. 59
    Jason says:

    Afghan poll results:

    http://65.109.167.118/pipa/art.....8;lb=hmpg1

    Large majorities in all areas, across all tribes support US forces and reject the Taliban and Al Qaeda. 83% have a favorable view of the U.S. Military, and 39% very favorable.

    So, Richard…you should probably cry.

  60. 60
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Translation: SCS is dropping names again, but can’t back up his claims.

  61. 61
    Richard Bottoms says:

    To paraphrase: Charlie don’t surf.

    The insurgents don’t read polls and don’t consult the citizens of the country they fight in. We will face a grwoing insurgency because of two simple facts:

    – It’s working next door in Iraq.

    – We don’t have enough troops to stop it

    On a side note. I am highly comforted by the poll that says a large majority of Afghanis oppose Opium production.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion......38;lb=hmpg

    I expect herion availability in the US will be drying up any day now.

    (That’s sarcasm in case you missed it)

  62. 62
    scs says:

    We don’t have enough troops to stop it

    Did you ever hear about something called NATO? Who do you think has their troops in there now? Also, and as to controlling the whole country, Afg is split into about 3 ethnic parts, like Iraq. The north and west is stable. The main problems are in the south east, where the Taliban stronghold used to be. There are a good amount of troops in that area, doing what they can. The trick is to keep these problems out of Kabul, which is being done pretty successfully now.

  63. 63
    demimondian says:

    Scs, the actual uranium core of a device is quite small, but is very heavy. The core of a plutonium device is even smaller, and weighs rather less.

    Roughly, the volume of a critical mass of U235 (in spherical form, etc, etc) is between 500 and 750 cc’s — about the volume of a bottle of wine. The actual figure is classified…and, no, I don’t know it. If I did, I assure you I wouldn’t be posting any of this. That said, it still weighs between 10 and 15 kilograms, as uranium is quite dense.

    Pure natural uranium is a dense purplish metal containing measurable quantities of two uranium isotopes, Uranium 238 and Uranium 235. U238 is a very long-lived isotope, with a half life of approximately 5 billion years. U235 is a relatively long lived isotope, with a half life of roughly 250K years. U235 exists in natural uranium only because it is a daughter product of the decay of U238; in steady state, it makes up about .25% of natural uranium metal.

    For the purposes of this discussion, U235 is fissionable and U238 is not. (That statement is not, in fact, competely true, but the falsehood only matters in thermonuclear devices, not in fission or boosted fission devices.) Making a first-generation nuclear bomb requires a pure mass of fissionable material — so, to make a bomb, you need to tease the tiny needle of 235 out of the naystack of 238.

    Unfortunately, there’s no chemical way to separate the two isotopes from one another; separation must be performed physically, on the basis of the mass difference between the two. This can be done in any of several ways, but the only mechanism which obtains a sufficient level of purity involves a final stage in which a gas is formed which contains exactly one atom of uranium in each molecule. Molecules of different mass are then separated.

    Modern separation is typically by extremely high-speed centrifugation of uranium hexaflouride — the lighter 235 is left in the supernatant, and the heavier U238 is discarded. It won’t come as surprise that the centrifuges required are extremely delicate devices, and they require a huge chemical plant

    After you have your pure 235, though, you’re in like Flynn. 235 can be used in what is called a “gun bomb”, in which a small slug is shot through a hole in a larger mass, making the whole mass go supercritical. Anyone who can build a cannon can build such a bomb.

  64. 64
    Kimmitt says:

    Iran wants a bomb so that it can leverage geopolitcal power on a global scale.

    Iran wants a bomb, first and foremost, in order to present a strategic deterrent to invasion. This was an absolute inevitability when we invaded Iraq, and only the extraordinary stupidity of the war’s planners and supporters kept it from being discussed at the time.

  65. 65
    Kimmitt says:

    Anyways, Atrios is right. We have always been at war with Eurasia, and anyone who says differently is a traitor.

  66. 66
    Jon Henke says:

    First, it’s “Jon Henke”, not “Jim Henke”.

    Second, the “one blogger” I identified was Atrios. His post was referenced approvingly by Kevin Drum, John Aravosis, Matt Yglesias and many others. Maybe you don’t think widespread approval among top Dem bloggers is any marker of the feelings of the Democratic base, but I think it’s a reasonable inference. It’s quite unreasonable to pretend that I was citing some obscure nutjob.

    What’s more, far from “sniffing indignantly”, I called his sarcasm “trenchant”. I just pointed out that it’s not a foreign policy or particularly useful in the discussion of what should be done.

    You might also note that I go on to criticize the Bush administration, “whose diplomatic and Intel reputation is pretty well shot to hell, but which nonetheless seems committed to Diplomacy-by-Force-of-Will.”

    Look, criticize a fact I referenced or a conclusion I drew in the post if you like, but don’t pretend I was being unfairly partisan.

  67. 67
    demimondian says:

    This was an absolute inevitability when we invaded Iraq, and only the extraordinary stupidity of the war’s planners and supporters kept it from being discussed at the time.

    Kimmitt, I hate to point this out…but Iran did the hard part of its nuclear research before we invaded Iraq. They must have been working on the this project for considerably more than a decade to pull it off at all.

    Sorry, but blaming Iraq for anything other than our impotence to act against Iran and North Korea is self-defeating.

  68. 68
    Jay C says:

    It will be a tightrope walk. We’ll avoid civilian casualties at all costs. While doing what we have to, the focus will be on preventing the population from uniting behind the mullahs in a fit of nationalistic spirit.

    Nice trick, if you can pull it off, Steve. Not that I am an expert on Iranian affairs, or anything: but I think it’s a safe bet to assume that most people in most countries around the world would view a unilateral military airstrike against them as a pretty unfriendly act – so how do you propose we deal with any unfortunate backlash against an Iranian “Osirak” scenario (or those “avoidable” civilian casualties)?
    Maybe we should drop millions of leaflets over Tehran explaining that President Bush has authorized said attack because Iran is a member of the “Axis of Evil”? Yeah, that’s the ticket: “Evil” – something simple so they’ll understand better.

  69. 69
    scs says:

    Wow, thanks Demi. That was a good explanation. That’s why I like the science posts on here, always a good opportunity to learn. So after you have the pure 235, how can you transport it? Is it stable? Can you just put it under your hat and carry it out like another commentor posed? (well joking, but you know what I mean) After all, if it is as small as a wine bottle, why CAN”T we just steal it? And how many of them do you think the Iranians have produced?

  70. 70
    StupidityRules says:

    The axis of Evil(tm), Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

    Iraq got attacked.
    Iran is probably going to be attacked.
    North Korea… no plans for any attack.

    Iraq – no nukes.
    North Korea – nukes.
    Iran – planning to build some. Wonder why?

  71. 71
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Look, criticize a fact I referenced or a conclusion I drew in the post if you like, but don’t pretend I was being unfairly partisan.

    No, just uselessly non-partisan.

    The Swift-boating on Iran will be commencing shortly. Any wrinkled brows or mild criticism of the Bsuhites will have as much effect as a fart in a whirlwind.

    You party will crew it up because they have screwed up in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and the latest just days ago in Pakistan, droping bombs on 22 innocent civilians.

    (They of course died knowing that it was a US plane engaged in a war killing them and not some evil jihadist, which makes it all better)

    Iran, Iraq and the current state of the Middle East is a giant mess made worse by the incompetent fools in charge of all three branches of governemnt.

    Democrats may have no choice but to lay back and let disaster fall because we clearly don’t have the votes or clout to change the direction Genralisimo and President for Life Bush is taking us.

  72. 72
    demimondian says:

    Truth is, you don’t have to steal all of it — which is a good thing, since putting a supercritical mass of any fissionable material in one place is not generally an act conducive to the long term health of the actor. However, since the volume of the core is so small, it’s not only easy to steal, but also extrememly easy to protect. As a result, trying to steal it is unlikely to succeed.

  73. 73
    Andrew says:

    Prediction: There won’t be a ground invasion. There will be a 3-4 day bombing campaign focusing on the nuclear sites, military targets, and the mullahs themselves. Probably some special ops against more hardened targets.

    It will be a tightrope walk. We’ll avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

    I think this is a reasonable prediction but you should note that the Iranians have put as much of their nuclear infrastructure in, under, and around civilian/urban structures.

    There are still large sites that could be taken out with minimal civilian casualties, but there are many more sites that would necessarily require hundreds or thousands of deaths to destroy with air-delivered weapons. Inserting special operations forces to take out these sites would probably result in Somalia times 1000.

  74. 74
    Richard Bottoms says:

    It will be a tightrope walk. We’ll avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

    We’re doing a heck of a job in Pakistan, so I have every faith that we’ll be as accurate in Iran.

    The call for Sunday’s day of protest came from an alliance of religious parties but all opposition political parties took part in the rallies where protesters chanted slogans against the United States and Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf.

    Strict security measures were in force and the roads around all U.S. diplomatic missions in the country were blocked by paramilitary forces.

    “There has been protest in every big city and the government understands why so many people are angry,” said Sheik Rashid Ahmad, Pakistan’s information minister.

    On Saturday, tens of thousands of Pakistanis staged an angry anti-American protest near the remote village of Damadola, about 120 miles northwest of Islamabad, where Friday’s attack took place. According to witnesses, the demonstrators shouted, “Death to America!” and “Death to Musharraf!” — referring to Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf — and the offices of at least one U.S.-backed aid organization were ransacked and set ablaze.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....00371.html

    Can you say Phyrric Victory anyone?

  75. 75
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    More Enlisted Personnel Leaving Armed Services

    Documents released to the Associated Press under the Freedom Of Information Act indicated the number of enlisted personnel leaving the military each year has increased from 8.7% in 2002 to 10.5% last year.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/n.....sses_x.htm

    So much for the claims made by “scs” regarding the morale of our military …

  76. 76
    scs says:

    As a result, trying to steal it is unlikely to succeed

    Darn. Oh well. It could make a good Hollywood movie starring George Clooney anyway.

  77. 77
    demimondian says:

    The Iranians have put as much of their nuclear infrastructure in, under, and around civilian/urban structures.

    I haven’t seen any citations of that. I assume it’s true, but I don’t know for sure.

    However, the point here is that Iran is vulnerable to a different, but equally devastating attack: blockade. Iran has a one crop economy, and transports for that crop are distinctive and easy to find…they’re called “supertankers” and “pipelines”.

  78. 78
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Boston Globe 1/13/06

    There is a striking antidote to worsening security in Ahghanistan, where suicide bombing and convoy ambushes now occur every day. Increasingly, these Taliban and al-Qaeda-sponsored attacks are linked to opium and heroin trafficking. Afghanistan supplies 80 percent of Europe’s heroin and is the largest grower of poppies in the world.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/20.....otberg.php

    SCS claims things are getting better in Afghanistan. Perhaps he is consuming its #1 export?

  79. 79
    Richard Bottoms says:

    However, the point here is that Iran is vulnerable to a different, but equally devastating attack: blockade. Iran has a one crop economy, and transports for that crop are distinctive and easy to find…they’re called “supertankers” and “pipelines”.

    Wait, wait I know this one! It’s called… containment.

  80. 80
    Richard Bottoms says:

    SCS claims things are getting better in Afghanistan. Perhaps he is consuming its #1 export?

    Now, now polls indicate the population is against opium trafficing, just as they are against the jihadists.

    So ipso facto, there is no heroin.

    There is no insurgency.

    There is no spoon.

  81. 81
    Once-ler says:

    No Afghanistan is going very well, according to the economy,…

    Yes, opium production is up, representing anywhere from 30% to 60% (depending on who you believe) of Afghanistan’s GDP. This is up from approximately 0% in the years preceding 2001. Afghanistan now accounts for 87% of the world’s opium supply. That’s got to be a boost to the economy. Still, I doubt that’s what the Bush administration wanted. Or maybe it is.

    Large majorities in all areas, across all tribes support US forces and reject the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    An economy dominated by opium production is, after all, a return to normalcy for Afghanistan. But in the late 90’s, the Taliban decided to ban opium production, and they were very successful in doing so. This depressed the economy, causing a lot of poverty and suffering. It was very unpopular.
    Maybe an opium economy is the best we can do for Afghanistan. At least the people have more money. Maybe I should just be happy about that. I’m having a hard time feeling very cheery about it, though.

  82. 82
    scs says:

    Paddy, crime and violence occur in every country. Did you read John’s recent post on New Orleans? Like I said, the violence in the southeast is there. But that violence is less in the capital and the rest of the country. The question is, is the country progressing in spite of the violence? The answer for now is yes.

  83. 83
    scs says:

    It is not just the opium economy. It is all kind of economic progress. Read up on it first.

  84. 84
    Andrew says:

    On Dec. 11,The London Times reported:

    ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.

    The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.

    Comprehensive Iran nuke site information:
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/.....index.html
    Look at the Esfahan site, in particular.

  85. 85
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    scs: Unless you can provide some relevant back-up for your claims about Afghanistan (and John’s comments about violence in New Orleans do not quite do the trick) I’m just going to have to assume you’re talking out of your ass.

  86. 86
    OCSteve says:

    so how do you propose we deal with any unfortunate backlash against an Iranian “Osirak” scenario

    I don’t – remember my post said prediction – not justification or endorsement.

    I think we are in a nasty position no matter what we do. I’m not too worried about backlash if we do it though. Most of the world (Arab states included) will condemn us with one side of their mouth while they breathe a sigh of relief out the other.

  87. 87
    scs says:

    Unless you can provide some relevant back-up for your claims about Afghanistan

    Sorry, I don’t have the web names of articles I read months ago in my head and I don’t feel like googling it now. Have to go soon anyway. But maybe later I will. Try searching for it in The Economist. I’m sure they’ll have something there on it.

  88. 88
    Pb says:

    StupidityRules,

    Yeah, I wrote about that at around the beginning of the Iraq adventure. Couldn’t have been more obvious. :(

  89. 89
    Once-ler says:

    It is not just the opium economy. It is all kind of economic progress.

    Sure, there are ripple effects. People make money on opium, and they spend it on other stuff. Just like here, where when someone builds an auto factory, the employees support all kinds of other businesses. And there is foreign aid, that’s a big boost.

  90. 90
    von says:

    Tim F.:

    Response posted at Obsidian Wings.

    von

  91. 91
    Pb says:

    Tim F.,

    Looks like everybody’s talking about it now — but yes, a bit late, I’d say.

    Of course, the entire WMD argument/justification is bullshit anyhow. Riddle me this, folks: which country in the Middle East has the largest undisclosed nuclear weapons program, and why aren’t we (or, for that matter, someone else) bombing them? Additionally, see above, re: North Korea.

  92. 92
    Pooh says:

    Jon Henke,

    Excellent post on QandO. Tim, I think you might be overreacting go a pretty mild criticism of Atrios.

  93. 93

    […] American Footprints — ElBaradei losing patience? American Thinker — Underestimating the Iranian Threat Atlas Shrugs — Iran: Cycle of Appeasement Balloon Juice — Wishful Thinking Belmont Club — Grappling with the ayatollahs Bloggledygook — The Little ‘Ol Warmonger, Me Captain’s Quarter’s — Have We Given Up on Iran? Democracy Arsenal — Hope Springs Eternal from Annan on Iran Dr. Sanity — Is It War Then? Duck of Minerva — Europe and Iran’s Nuclear Program Editor: Myself — The West should change its focus regarding Iran Eschaton — How It Goes Frontpagemag — Next Steps on Iran Glittering Eye — Options on Iran II Huffington Post — Iranian Psycho? In the Bullpen — Ahmadinejad speaks, again Left I on the News — Hands off Iran! neo-neocon — Iran’s dirty little weapon no oil for pacifists — What If They Gave a War and Europe Never Noticed? Obsidian Wings — You wanna know why? Political Animal — Dems on Iran QandO — Iran: The Nuclear Messiah Regime Change Iran — When the Soft Talk Has to Stop ShrinkWrapped — It’s Not Fair! Compare and Contrast Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006 — On a Nuclear Iran Thomas P.M. Barnett — They Confront Us and Deal with Us . . . Washington Realist — Unity on Iran? […]

  94. 94
    demimondian says:

    It’s called… containment.

    Yup.

    And it worked, too, in the end.

  95. 95

    […] Von and Jon Henke have sensible responses to mypost. […]

  96. 96
    ppGaz says:

    And really, do you honestly believe these people are incapable of trotting out “treason” talk as part of their sales pitch for military action against Iran?

    Of course they will trot it out, but it won’t stick this time.

    What will help them most is the soft, unthinking compliance of what I will call the scs-John Cole approach to this stuff, which is that “hot air” is what counts, while we treat the earth as some sort of large green and blue video game for the amusement of bloggers. Seriously. To blahmeisters and people who sit around asking cute little-girl dumb questions, none of this is really serious. We won’t be in favor of showing the planeloads of caskets coming home, you know, because that would be “negative.” And when a mother who loses her son in the Iran war takes a stand, we’ll be right there to ridicule her.

    That’s what it’s all about, Pad.

  97. 97
    Alexandra says:

    All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Rules Of Engagement

  98. 98
    Sojourner says:

    Well said, ppG

  99. 99
    Theseus says:

    Iran has every incentive to develop a deterrent force of nuclear weapons. Living at the dangerous intersection of despotism, oil wealth, anti-American and anti-Israel Islamic fundamentalism and WMD proliferation, the Bush Doctrine basically guarantees that America will eventually attack Iran unless the Iranians give us a very good reason not to. Iraq showed that negotiating and inspections are no guarantor when you’ve got a president hot for invasion and Europe’s opposition means basically nothing. That leaves a functioning nuclear arsenal as the only reliable dissuasive factor. In other words, in theory and particularly in practice the Bush Doctrine makes it absolutely imperative for targeted states to arm themselves as rapidly as possible.

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, BUT, essentially, what I’m reading from this is that Iran wants nukes in order to protect itself against the big, bad Bush aka “The Great Satan”. In other words, Iran is perfectly justified in acquiring nukes, for self-defense purposes…because of the Bush doctrine. I suppose, when they were pursuing their research in the 90s, they knew, just knew that, eventually, Bush would be elected, so they had to prepare in advance…for the Bush doctrine. They musta used some kind of Sufi-Shia mystic or some Zoroastrian seer perhaps capable of peering into the future. BUT, if I’ve misintepreted you, please correct me and accept my apologies. In either case, just a small reminder, perhaps you should consider the “unorthodox” possibility or umm, I guess the non-self-absorbed, non-narcissistic, non-self-centered “view” that not everything that happens in the world revolves solely around America’s actions, not everything is motivated by what America, much less His Imperial Highness, the quasi-demonic evil-incarnate, Mephistolian-worshipping Lord ChimpyMcBushitlerburton does or does not do and sometimes, nations have their own reasons for doing what they’re doing irrespective of what America does or does not do. Including Iran. Just a teeny tiny little thought.

    That said, after this “non-partisan” analysis of Iran’s nuclear motivations, you wonder why many people, either right of center, moderates, independents or whatever tend to lump all Dems, whether fairly or not, together. The one thing that seems to unite you all is the tendency it seems to blame everything that goes wrong are is bad in the world, to President George W. Bush, regardless of whether it is justified or not.

    You’d better hope and pray that the ’06 and ’08 elections are NOT centered around foreign policy, because if the above is a preview of what passes for Dem analysis…good luck!

  100. 100
    ppGaz says:

    The one thing that seems to unite you all is the tendency it seems to blame everything that goes wrong are is bad in the world, to President George W. Bush, regardless of whether it is justified or not.

    Someday, when the question is asked, how did they defend this, the worst government in the history of the country, one will be able to point to blurbs like the one I blockquoted here.

    That’s how you do it. You flip the world the finger and laugh about it.

  101. 101
    Sock Puppet says:

    Well, since nobody asked, I will be more than happy to supply my opinion.

    President George W. Bush will launch his war against Iran (“Operation Only Us Eagles”) just as the kickoff to this year’s Super Bowl takes place. Then, at halftime, President Bush, accompanied my Mike Ditka, Don Shula and Arnold Schwarzenegger, will appear to lead this nation of freedom-loving millions in prayer as a tribute to both our love of God and our hopes for a quick and relatively inexpensive victory. The crowd at the Super Bowl will rise to its feet as one, and U-S-A, U-S-A will be chanted by all. Tears of joy will be shed as each and every one there contemplates just how very special it is to live in a time of such courage and personal sacrifice by others.

    Then the game will resume and nobody will give it another thought for the rest of the day.

    Later, too drunk and bloated to care, a pizza and hot dog filled nation will finish off its last Miller Lite and head to bed to sleep it all off. After all, Monday is a work day.

    Chances are that at first they won’t even notice as satchels of nuclear explosives are set off that night in 7 major American and Canadian cities. Nor later, as the dazed survivors search in vain for any form of reliable communication to fill them in on the extent of the disaster, will they be aware of the millions of Chinese and North Korean troops as they sweep through N.E. Asia and across the Bering Straits to Alaska, and then south.

    And ceratainly they will have no knowledge of the summary arrests and executions of the Arab royal families that have long ruled over the world’s major petroleum states.

    Europe will then capitulate to an alliance of Russian, Islamist and Asian nations rather than risk the nuclear conflagration that will be the clearly understood alternative to surrender.

    Meanwhile, the remaining living posters at Balloon Juice will continue to debate whether or not all of this was (the now former) American President George W. Bush’s fault. And though the consesus will be that Bill Clinton must share at least some of the blame, the inevitable few will disagree.

    And then, mercifully, the internet will be turned off.

  102. 102
    Perry Como says:

    Two things I rarely see discussed regarding Iran:

    – Iran is opening an oil bourse in March that will be run on Euros. This will be the only place where oil is not based on the US dollar.

    – Russia has offered to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil. Good luck performing precision bombing on Russian soil.

  103. 103
    Eural says:

    Ok – my “analysis” seems to point at two mutually re-inforcing motivations for Iran’s program.

    1) Iran began its nuclear research and development program a while back because thats what countries do in the interest of regional and global influence and protection. (See Israel, Pakistan, India and Iraq for further evidence).

    2) Iran is now accelerating this program and defying the world over its activation because the actions of the Bush administration have demonstrated that is the best course for self-preservation. (See the Iraq vs. N.Korea example)

    The funny thing is that this situation, like the crap-fest in Iraq, was all predicted long ago (2002) by critics of this administration. Yet, still anybody who questions Bush is told to get a grip on reality and face the facts. Why would anyone (especially Republicans) still support an administration which has been proven wrong almost every single time its made a foreign policy decision? As an example – has Rumsfeld ever, ever been right in his entire career (dating back to the old “Plan B” days in the 70’s)?

  104. 104
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The funny thing is that this situation, like the crap-fest in Iraq, was all predicted long ago (2002) by critics of this administration.

    I love discussions like this.

    It usually comes down to: “Until you darn Democrats get your act together we have choice but to let the Bush administration do any stupid thing it wants no matter how sure we are they will bungle it. Because as Republicans we sure don’t have any leverage to stop him.”

    Damn you Democrats, it all you fault.

  105. 105
    demimondian says:

    Russia has offered to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil.

    The point of letting the Russians do the enrichment would be to make Iran less likely to be able to build a bomb, though.

    Most civilian reactors run on mildly enriched uranium which is about 2.5% U235. That’s actually the preference of the anti-nuclear proliferation crowd — natural uraniumn piles are so vastly larger that it’s easy to generate significant amounts of plutonium, which is also an atomic bomb component. Enriched piles are so much smaller than the amount of plutonium in the fuel rods is never a significant proliferation risk.

  106. 106
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Russia has offered to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil.

    Which would matter if Iran’s objectve wasn’t to get the bomb before Bush invades. See, here’s a surprise: so of us liberals not only know what Iran is up to be we think it’s a bad idea.

    What we also think is president shithead has neither the manpower nor ability to do shit about it because he’s pissed it away in Iraq.

    Fuck George Bush and his adminsitration.

  107. 107
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Speaking of pissed away:

    BAGHDAD — After more than 2 1/2 years of sputtering reconstruction work, the United States’ “Marshall Plan” to rebuild this war-torn country is drawing to a close this year with much of its promise unmet and no plans to extend its funding.

    The $18.6 billion approved by Congress in 2003 will be spent by the end of this year, officials here say. Foreign governments have given only a fraction of the billions they pledged two years ago.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....-headlines

    Screw you Iraqi’s. You’re on your own.

  108. 108
    delf says:

    It would seem that by saying the Democrats have never put forth any ideas it means they did not get out the vote with either:

    a. The Homophobe Card
    b. Any other Race Card
    c. The What is an American Marriage Really Card
    d. The NO SEX for you Card
    e. The Boogeyman Under Your Bed Card

    Maybe it is time to stop talking about one Party or the Other and start listening to each other as Americans.

    Or maybe changing the channel. Look it’s a commercial!

  109. 109
    skip says:

    “Most of the world (Arab states included) will condemn us with one side of their mouth while they breathe a sigh of relief out the other.”

    If they are breathing at all, given the fallout.
    But then I always assumed, on the basis of our trusty press and MEMRI, that the weapons were to be aimed at you-know-who.

  110. 110
    demimondian says:

    Oh, and by the way — remember all those lefty predictions that if we got any closer to actually having Congressional hearings on the wiretaps, or to actual investigation of Abu Ghraib, then Iran would suddenly become an “important issue”, with “critical national security implications” in the right-wing blahsphere?

    Looky, looky at what happened. Michelle Malkin and the rest of the PJM crowd suddenly and conveniently start trying to pose for photos pointing to the lefties who aren’t saying anything. That we’ve been talking for years…nah, that doesn’t matter.

  111. 111
    ppGaz says:

    Damn you Democrats, it all you fault.

    On the day that three BJ righties, who must be regular posters here, and must include Darrell, state that George Bush (43) is accountable for at least three failures of leadership in the last 5 years, to include items like ..

    a) Acting on wrong, incompetant intelligence vis-a-vis Iraq
    b) Failing to control, or even attempting to control, Federal spending
    c) Failure to create a FEMA agency capable of handling serious disasters without embarassing the country
    d) Continuing a demonstrably wrong series of foreign policy decisions going back four Republican administrations vis-a-vis the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular
    e) Failing to plan the Iraq occupation so as to minimize our risk, minimize the impact of an insurgency, minimize cost and minimize the rate of casualties
    f) The Miers nomination
    g) Brownie
    h) Failure to listen to the Secretary of State before invading Iraq
    i) Creating a Medicare prescription plan that is basically a boon to corporate interests and a betrayal of dependent seniors
    j) Playing gotcha politics with matters of war and peace
    k) Failing to lead staff to be forthright with investigators looking into the Plame matter
    l) Saying “Mission Accomplished”
    m) Saying “Dead or Alive” and then
    n) Saying “I am really not that concerned with (OBL)”
    o) Failing to rebuke the VP for saying that the isurgency was in its “last throes”
    p) Saying “Bring it on”
    q) Making an insulting movie about looking for WMDs under the sofa in the White House
    r) Supporting Tom Delay in the midst of an ugly scandal scenario
    s) Pandering to pseudo-Christian thugs in the Schiavo case

    When accountability for these failures and gaffes is shouldered by the righties here, dinner for everyone is on me. Open bar, valet parking.

  112. 112
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Want to know why Iran will be a disaster. Because we are THIS shorthanded:

    When Lance Cpl. Edward Voumard, 20, signs off after his shift early Sunday morning guarding an entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy, he will be one of a handful of Marines who close the book on a 155-year tradition.

    Voumard, who has been stationed at the academy since completing initial training after enlistment, said he would miss Annapolis very much. As for the shift:

    “It’s just another day,” he said yesterday.

    Since just a few years after the Naval Academy’s founding in 1845, Marines have guarded the military college and performed ceremonial duties. They were initially quartered on ships stationed at the sea wall off the Severn River.

    One hundred and sixty years of tradtion.

    Fuck you George Bush.

  113. 113
    Pooh says:

    You guard the Naval academy with the army you have…

  114. 114
    Tim F. says:

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, BUT, essentially, what I’m reading from this is that Iran wants nukes in order to protect itself against the big, bad Bush aka “The Great Satan”. In other words, Iran is perfectly justified in acquiring nukes, for self-defense purposes…because of the Bush doctrine.

    I’m constantly amazed at how people read value judgments into every bleeping analysis. Scs did the same thing earlier when I called the mullahs ‘smart,’ as if calling them ‘stupid’ will somehow make America safer.

    Iran has potent incentives to arm themselves, provided in large part by the Bush administration. That doesn’t seem like a debatable point. Bush implemented a doctrine of preemptive war, folks like you cheered him on, and now you want to deny the obvious and predictable outcome of said doctrine. Fine, whatever. It’s your credibility. Regardless, stating Iran’s incentives doesn’t make a nuclear Iran good. If that statement exists somewhere in my post I’d be grateful for you to point it out. Rather, stating the incentives makes a nuclear-armed Iran comprehensible.

    As GI Joe once said, knowing is half the battle.

  115. 115
    ppGaz says:

    Scs did the same thing earlier when I called the mullahs ‘smart,’ as if calling them ‘stupid’ will somehow make America safer.

    That’s because she thinks this is about an argument, and not about wars and death and destruction and history.

    It’s what happens when you let kids sit at the adult table.

  116. 116
    scs says:

    ppGaz, I know this obsession with what you think is my “little girl” voice is some sort of strange sexual type obsession from you. Again this wording seems to me to have something in common with a child molester or common element of a man who abuses women. BTK again comes to mind- a man who seemed normal in his real life but had an abnormal undercurrent, intent on abusing women, including “little girls” whose pictures he used to cut out of local ads to fuel his obsession. It was since you guessed I was “female” and thought that I was a young female that you started harrassing me with this intensity. You are on shaky ground here man, and I think you should be careful. I am feeling very uncomfortable by your posts and am sure it is only a matter of time before I don’t have to deal with it here anymore. But I suppose you can’t help yourself.

  117. 117
    scs says:

    Scs did the same thing earlier when I called the mullahs ‘smart,’

    TimF, I inserted no value judgement in there. I just thought it was humorous that you saw fit to call “smart” people whose leadership questions the Holocuast and vow in public to wipe Isreal off the mapwhile they insist they don’t want to make ‘the bomb’. Also a leadership who keeps their people in repression and large unneccessary poverty does not seem “smart” to me. But if you want to consider the mullahs of Iran “smart”, and George Bush is usually “stupid” in your writings, feel free. It’s a free country.

  118. 118
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz, I know this obsession with what you think is my “little girl” voice is some sort of strange sexual type obsession from you.

    These remarks are inappropriate and I will not tolerate this kind of crap from you. My remarks are aimed at the childish nature of your posts. If you can’t argue with adults, then get the hell out of here.

    I’m serious. I will not tolerate this kind of shit from you, or anybody.

  119. 119
    scs says:

    Iran would suddenly become an “important issue”,

    I think the leader of Iran did that himself with his recent troubling statements.

  120. 120
    scs says:

    ppGaz, do NOT address me anymore! Just fuck off you bitter nasty old bully.

  121. 121
    ppGaz says:

    If you are going to post here, then I am going to comment on your posts, which today, as usual, are childish crap.

    If you can’t defend your posts, then you don’t have a right to make them. Your most recent remarks are and indication that you don’t know how to do this.

    This is a thread about a possible war, in case you hadn’t noticed. Grow up.

  122. 122
    ppGaz says:

    You are on shaky ground here man, and I think you should be careful

    Im on “shaky ground” because I say that your posts are childish?

    What the hell do you think is going on here? And who do you think you are?

  123. 123
    scs says:

    ppGaz, make a fucking logical critism for once in your life. I was merely asking Demi about the physical science of building nuclear bombs. If you think that is “childish” then I am sorry for you. And sorry for your pathetic existence in general that you have to haunt this blog 24 hours a day and feel the need to harrass people who come here infrequently. I am just curious, do you have a criminal record? I am starting to feel very harrassed by you. After all, I don’t know what kind of person I am dealing with on here.

  124. 124
    radish says:

    Gosh thanks demimondian, I plumb forgot about that. Hey maybe we should start paying more attention to these lefty bloggers. They seem to have been right about an awful lot these past few years…

    ppGaz, that’s a helpful list and kind offer, (even if you are a serial-killing, bitter, nasty, old bully). BTW perhaps someone would also care to tackle d-squared’s challenge? If we can get that one out of the way then I’ll pitch in too and bring enough Laphroaig to make everybiddy hoppy.

    er, Pooh, that was damn funny in a sad sort of way, which is good, because, uh, well, just be careful about calling Marines “Army” okay? And heaven help you if you ever dis the Coast Guard — they’ve got no sense of humour ;-)

  125. 125
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz, make a fucking logical critism for once in your life. I was merely asking Demi about the physical science of building nuclear bombs. If you think that is “childish” then I am sorry for you. And sorry for your pathetic existence in general that you have to haunt this blog 24 hours a day and feel the need to harrass people who come here infrequently. I am just curious, do you have a criminal record? I am starting to feel very harrassed by you. After all, I don’t know what kind of person I am dealing with on here.

    That’s bull. My comment on your childish post had nothing to do with the science of “building bombs.” It had to do with Demi’s reference to your retort to him and his comment in reply. His reference was pretty clear to me.

    You’re a liar, and you are apparently a child trying to play here with the grown-ups, which by itself is no crime, except that you insist on special treatment. Noone dares to actually criticize you.

    Your manipulative references to criminal and sexual issues here is disgusting and inappropriate, and I am quite serious, I’m not putting up with it. There’s no call for it whatever.

    As far as I am concerned, you owe me an apology and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  126. 126
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz, make a fucking logical critism

    Brash talk for a little girl who pretends to be sensitive to such language, isn’t it?

  127. 127
    Sock Puppet says:

    pp and scs sitting in a tree
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G
    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes Darrell in the baby carriage.

  128. 128
    scs says:

    Noone dares to actually criticize you

    .

    Believe me, people criticize me all the time on here, but they do it without saying I have a “little girl voice” each time. That brings an element of creepy sexual harrassment on here. I believe it is you who ought to apologize.

    It had to do with Demi’s reference to your retort to him and his comment in reply

    And what the hell are you talking about here?

  129. 129
    ppGaz says:

    but they do it without saying I have a “little girl voice” each time.

    How old are you? AFAIC, you talk and act like a little girl. Little girls are fine, but not when they insist on interrupting adult conversations and then crying when the talk gets loud.

    And what the hell are you talking about here?

    If you didn’t know what I was talkng about, then why didn’t you seek to find out before you started stamping your feet and crying “sexual harassment?”

  130. 130
    scs says:

    Face it ppGaz, no one wants to read the shit you bring up with me on here and read about us going back and forth on here. That is extremely boring. But if you insist on harrassing me on here for each and every post I make, calling it a “little girl” post, that’s how it’s going to be. In the end, John may have to pick one of us to continue on here. And who do you think that’s going to be? We’ll find out I guess. Look, I have things to do now than argue with a sexual harrasser. Have fun.

  131. 131
    Sock Puppet says:

    You two really do need to get a room.

    But if I were pp I’d be prepared for the possibility that this self-identified little girl is really some old dude who is feeling very pretty right now.

  132. 132
    scs says:

    It had to do with Demi’s reference to your retort to him and his comment in reply

    You are delusional. Demi spent some time discussing the physical manufacturing of nukes with me and what is possible to do to stop them. He/She was more than nice to me, and informative as well.

  133. 133
    scs says:

    By the way, you didn’t answer the question about whether you have a criminal record. I’ll volunteer the lack of mine.

  134. 134
    srv says:

    TimF, I inserted no value judgement in there. I just thought it was humorous that you saw fit to call “smart”

    If they’re making nuclear weapons, they’re way smarter than you are, scs. I suppose you think it is a bad thing to call smart people smart because they don’t fit into your moral worldview, but Marx, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Tito, Ho Chi Minh and many others probably had very high IQ’s. You must think everyone you don’t admire is stupid. It’s like you have a comic-book view of the world sometimes.

  135. 135
    ppGaz says:

    But if you insist on harrassing me on here for each and every post I make, calling it a “little girl” post

    Another of your damned lies. I think it’s this thread to which you have posted 24 questions today. I said nothing until just a little while ago. Can you ever get anything right?

    Nobody bothers you for “each and every post you make” you little twit. Not even close.

  136. 136
    scs says:

    But if I were pp I’d be prepared for the possibility that this self-identified little girl is really some old dude who is feeling very pretty right now.

    Exactly. I never once said my age on here. He is in some delusional fantasy that I am a “little girl”. It is wishful thinking on his part and very odd. That’s why I think he may be a pervert.

  137. 137
    ppGaz says:

    you didn’t answer the question about whether you have a criminal record

    The question is inappropriate, and uncalled for. You have no reason to ask it and I have no obligation to answer it.

  138. 138
    ppGaz says:

    Exactly. I never once said my age on here. He is in some delusional fantasy that I am a “little girl”. It is wishful thinking on his part

    Again, you lie. My only wish ever stated to you is that you would go away.

  139. 139
    scs says:

    said nothing until just a little while ago

    Every SINGLE DAMN time I post something you have to harrass me for being a “little girl”, whether you are present or not. Sometimes, when I think I had a few blessed hours without you on here, I will come back hours later and see that you dug back HOURS to highlight some comment of mine and bring up the “little girl” thing. That’s why I cannot tolerate you anymore.

  140. 140
    ppGaz says:

    Every SINGLE DAMN time I post something you have to harrass me

    You posted all day here, more articles that I did, and asked — when I counted last — about 24 questions. I said nothing.

    What the FUCK are you talking about?

  141. 141
    scs says:

    I lie? I ever said or even implied my age on here? You don’t bring up my “little girl” voice practically everytime? Where is the lie ppGaz? My only wish is that you go away. Unfurtunately you seem to have a thrill in seeking me out. Why is that I wonder?

  142. 142
    srv says:

    Maybe the thread isn’t completely spoiled, but do we have any idea who the Iranian physicists are? Seems like that’s not something you hide very well. They’d be educated in the west, would attend conferences, etc.

    You’d think we’d just go snatch a few and start waterboarding?

  143. 143
    scs says:

    The question is inappropriate, and uncalled for. You have no reason to ask it and I have no obligation to answer it.

    I do when I feel threatened by you. And your lack of answer is an answer to me.

  144. 144
    Sock Puppet says:

    Either one of you two love birds ever date a sock puppet before? We’re ambisexual you know, and fully capable of being whatvever it is you want us to be.

  145. 145
    scs says:

    I’m sorry SRV, that is why I don’t want ppGaz to address me on here. I don’t really post that frequently on here, going in spurts sometimes though, but even though I try very hard to avoid him, everytime he has to start something with me. And one of the reasons why I don’t want him to start shit with me is that I don’t want the other writers to have to read this shit again and again. There are better things to write about.

  146. 146
    Eural says:

    I think everyone else has left the room now. You two have at it.

  147. 147
    demimondian says:

    I think the leader of Iran did that himself with his recent troubling statements.

    Yes and no.

    Were his statements the particularly loathesome spew of a particularly vile chunk of elected dung? Yes — and I’m really glad to see that the right-wing has really started waking up to the threat that Iran’s current government poses. Were they surprising? No, not in the least.

    Look at it through my eyes for a second, OK? I’m a die-hard Iran-o-phobe, if you will, and I’ve been very vocal about the threat the mullahs pose for quite a while. I’m not alone — Richard Bottoms, for instance, who’s quite a ways left of me, has taken much the same pose.

    Iran has been the real source of much of the most violent anti-American terrorism for twenty-plus years. Iraq? Sure, Hussein talked a big game, but it’s been Iran and Saudi Arabia that funded the big organizations. Still, we’ve who said that have been called all sorts of names, up to and including “traitor”, for pointing that out.

    Now, if you go chase the links that have shown up in this story, you see an emerging fake story line that includes such gems as this quote from the original Henke article

    On the one side, we have the base of the Democratic Party, still smarting from the Iraq war, preemptively mocking anybody who argues that maybe Iran really is a problem. Unfortunately, as trenchant as sarcasm may be, it’s not a foreign policy.

    (Be aware that I’m picking on Henke for his politics, not his content. His analysis is really quite sound.)

    Now wait — there’s a well-understood process for handling situations like this; it’s called “containment”. A lot of us on the left have said that for a while.

    But, no, it’s the right which needs to bring us to enlightenment.

    This looks like either ignorance or conspiracy to me. I would love to believe ignorance — but I don’t see a lot of evidence in the last few years to support the idea.

  148. 148
    W.B. Reeves says:

    ppGaz, I know this obsession with what you think is my “little girl” voice is some sort of strange sexual type obsession from you. Again this wording seems to me to have something in common with a child molester or common element of a man who abuses women. BTK again comes to mind- a man who seemed normal in his real life but had an abnormal undercurrent, intent on abusing women, including “little girls” whose pictures he used to cut out of local ads to fuel his obsession.

    Or it could just be the wide-eyed, simpering persona that your questions to Demi re: centrifuges so vividly display. (Oh Demi, you’re so smart! I could just read your posts for hours!) While this sort thing probably works wonders with middle-aged males, it has its limits.

    BTW, it’s a bit late to be be embracing your victimhood as an immature female beset by the big, bad old man at the keyboard. Particularly since the best you can come up with is suggesting that Ppgaz is on par with sadistic serial killers such as BTK. That you would think this tact either clever or effective evidences the essentially adolescent character of your outlook.

    Grow up.

  149. 149
    ppGaz says:

    I do when I feel threatened by you. And your lack of answer is an answer to me.

    The idea (not fact, because I don’t believe you) that you “feel threatened” is not my responsibility, number one, and number two, it serves to support my contention that you are a kid. An adult certainly would not “feel threatened” by anything we say in here. I don’t know of any adults participating in these food fights who “feel threatened” by this stuff.

    And my lack of an answer means exactly what I said it means, which is that AFAIC, your question is not approriate, or called for, so you can take a flying leap.

  150. 150
    scs says:

    Good points again Demi. I agree Iran’s threat has been falling through the cracks for a while now. I’d reply more to you now but I have to get to the public library before it closes. Take care.

  151. 151
    demimondian says:

    [The Iranian bomb designers] would be educated in the west, would attend conferences, etc.

    Umm…no. Some of their mentors might be, but Teheran University is perfectly capable of training gifted theoreticians without foreign help these days.

    Damn it, people, Iran was the heart of the second flowering of the Muslim rennaissance! This is not some back-water country which has only been literate for a few centuries; this is a country with a recorded history as long as China’s. Iran was a beautiful and civilized land when the early Europeans were still trying to figure out how to make woad in order to steal bronze tools!

  152. 152
    ppGaz says:

    And one of the reasons why I don’t want him to start shit with me is that I don’t want the other writers to have to read this shit again and again

    Again, you lie. You’re the one who “started” something. All I did was point out, after a day of your nonsense, that your response to demi was childish.

    Rather than just address that point, you started this storm of crap over nothing but your hurt feelings.

    Which is why I think you are not ready for adult blogging.

  153. 153
    demimondian says:

    it could just be the wide-eyed, simpering persona that your questions to Demi re: centrifuges so vividly display.You could be right, W. B. I’m an old academic, and I’ve always been a sucker for answering good questions — and, whether scs is playing me for a fool or not, he or she has been asking questions the way a good student would.

    But I’m willing to be convinced that I’m a sucker instead of a teacher.

  154. 154
    ppGaz says:

    suggesting that Ppgaz is on par with sadistic serial killers such as BTK.

    That’s right, first I lure my victims into political arguments, and then, WHAMMO!

    Diabolique!

  155. 155
    scs says:

    wide-eyed, simpering persona that your questions to Demi re: centrifuges so vividly display…. BTW, it’s a bit late to be be embracing your victimhood as an immature female beset by the big, bad old man at the keyboard

    Not really. Not when a grown man feels the need to castigate me by calling me a “little girl” over and over. And my appreciation of Demi’s post was sincere. He took the time out to write a long post for me and everyone on here that was informative and topical. More than I can say for many others on here. I’m sorry if my appreciation of his writings rubbed you the wrong way. WB Reeves, who are you anyway? I think you are an alternate persona of someone on here. But anyway, I have to go. I hate getting dragged into this shit by the losers on here.

  156. 156
    ppGaz says:

    Not when a grown man feels the need to castigate me by calling me a “little girl”

    Why would that make you feel castigated? I didn’t say there was anything wrong with being a little girl. I just said that they shouldn’t be interrupting the adults and then crying “victim” when told to hush up for sounding like …. little girls.

    That’s not castigation, scs. That’s just supervision.

  157. 157
    Sock Puppet says:

    See how the world
    Its veterans rewards
    A youth of frolics
    An old age of cards
    Fair to no purpose
    Artful to no end
    Young without lovers
    And old without a friend
    A fop your passion
    Your prize a sot
    Alive ridiculous
    And dead forgot.

  158. 158
    scs says:

    Anyway, ppgaz. I’m done with you. And I think you are done with me too from now on. I wish you much luck in your life.

  159. 159
    demimondian says:

    SP — Ouch. Doubly ouch.

  160. 160
    ppGaz says:

    Anyway, ppgaz. I’m done with you

    If only it were true? What is this, the tenth time you’ve said that now? No, you are lying again.

    Let me tell what will happen. Some day soon, you will post a bunch of nonsense, and I’ll tire of it and say something, and then you will go ballistic and throw another one of these foot-stamping, poor-me, you’re an ogre tantrums of yours because you cannot stand to be criticized.

    And then you’ll thrash around for a little while, and then announce that you are “done with me” again.

    Grow up, or go away. Really. You’re awful.

  161. 161
    W.B. Reeves says:

    You could be right, W. B. I’m an old academic, and I’ve always been a sucker for answering good questions—and, whether scs is playing me for a fool or not, he or she has been asking questions the way a good student would.

    Judging by the quality of your responses you must have been a damn fine teacher. Regardless of whether SCS engaged in undergrad coquettery or not, I found them useful and enlightening. One of the things that argues for youth and inexperience on SCS part is how such an obviously intelligent person could be so ignorant of the subject.

  162. 162
    CaseyL says:

    I seem to recall, back when war with Iraq was being debated, some folks on the left pointing out that Iran presented more of a threat to the US than Iraq, so whyinhell were we invading Iraq?

    Anyone here remember what the GOP/RW response to that question was?

  163. 163
    Zifnab says:

    Maybe the thread isn’t completely spoiled, but do we have any idea who the Iranian physicists are? Seems like that’s not something you hide very well. They’d be educated in the west, would attend conferences, etc.

    You’d think we’d just go snatch a few and start waterboarding?

    For the former, I think ex-Iranian and ex-Iraqi scientists pop up every now and then on 60-minutes or 20/20. You just have to watch for them.

    For the latter, I’d be very surprised if we haven’t already.

  164. 164
    Zifnab says:

    I seem to recall, back when war with Iraq was being debated, some folks on the left pointing out that Iran presented more of a threat to the US than Iraq, so whyinhell were we invading Iraq?

    Anyone here remember what the GOP/RW response to that question was?

    \

    I seem to remember N.Korea detonating nuclear weapons in an underground test about the same time we invaded Iraq, and people asking that same question again.

    But if I recall – beyond the political undercurrents of China backing N.Korea and the Saudis backing Iran – there was a great, grave concern that Iraq was another Al Queda hotbed like Afganistan and if we didn’t run in quick there’d be more planes pointed at our tall buildings.

  165. 165
    W.B. Reeves says:

    See how the world
    Its veterans rewards
    A youth of frolics
    An old age of cards
    Fair to no purpose
    Artful to no end
    Young without lovers
    And old without a friend
    A fop your passion
    Your prize a sot
    Alive ridiculous
    And dead forgot.

    Sockpuppet that is good stuff. Who wrote it? Here’s a favorite of mine:

    Time
    that is intolerant
    of the brave and innocent
    And indifferent in a week
    to a beautiful physique,
    worships language and forgives
    everyone by whom it lives.
    Pardons cowardice, conceit,
    lays its honors at their feet.
    Time, that with this strange excuse,
    pardoned Kipling
    and his views
    and will pardon Paul Claudel,
    pardons him for writing well.

  166. 166
    srv says:

    Umm…no. Some of their mentors might be, but Teheran University is perfectly capable of training gifted theoreticians without foreign help these days.

    Damn it, people, Iran was the heart of the second flowering of the Muslim rennaissance!

    Well, I’m the one who agreed they’re smart – I wasn’t trying to cast aspersions on the Persian race. But do you really know if there is a cadre of gifted younger physicists, educated under the theocracy? Are they out there, now, publishing?

    I mean, let’s say there are a handfull of gray haired physicists teaching at TU, educated and/or well-known to the west. How big is their progam? Where are their students? Seems like a limited pool of people to look for. You grab one of those profs, and he could probably tell you every student who’s been in the system for the last 30 years…

    I’m sure the clerics are smart enough to keep them off somewhere, but you’d think a large majority of TU’s graduates would be “unaccountable” if there’s a big enrichment program going on.

    That said, supposing they have a handfull of Soviet expats working with them. If they have plans for a boosted or thermo, how much more work is it to build one?

  167. 167
    W.B. Reeves says:

    And my appreciation of Demi’s post was sincere.

    Fair enough but someone as smart as you should be aware of how they’re coming across, especially if it’s unintentional. You don’t need that sort of blindspot.

    WB Reeves, who are you anyway? I think you are an alternate persona of someone on here.

    As you suggested earlier, Google is a wonderful thing. Try W.B.Reeves or Walter B. Reeves and you’ll get some answers. That’s my name. That’s why it’s on my posts.

  168. 168
    demimondian says:

    I don’t know how big the Teheran program is, but I’m quite sure that there are young people being drained out of it to the core work center. Those folks won’t be publishing. I’m also quite confident that it’s not just physicists and/or engineers who are being pulled out — the Teheran program in petrochemical engineering, for instance, used to be quite solid. At the end of the day, smarts is smarts. It the Mahattan Project or its Soviet couterpart are any model, there are a few brilliant stars in the Iranian bomb cadre, and the rest have self-organized around them.

    I worry about Soviet expats, particularly Chechen or Uzbek expats, but only as catalysts for other work. I don’t worry about a second-gen fission device or true Teller-Ulam mechanism: they need a source of tritium as a trigger. Native tritium is only obtainable in that kind of quantity using a fast flux reactor, and those can be bombed. (Does anyone know if Iran has significant deposits of lithium, though? That’s another route they could use.)

  169. 169
    Pb says:

    After reading the rest of this thread, I have a few general comments and suggestions.

    scs, shut the fuck up. You aren’t an ‘infrequent’ commenter, no one cares about you on the internet, and ppGaz is not BTK–he was a conservative nutjob, get it straight. And yes, the thread is ruined now.

    ppGaz, chill the fuck out. You are under no obligation to reply to every stupid thing scs says twice or whatever. Don’t start counting posts, it’s entirely not worth it. He’s a moron, you’re a moron for speaking to him, and I’m a moron for speaking to both of you.

    Tim F. and/or John Cole: you’ve got twenty-odd posts to delete, at least, including this one.

    Now, what was the topic? Invading and/or nuking Iran vs. Iran getting nukes and/or nuclear power?

    Incidentally, I hear that Bush’s exit strategy for Iraq is also going to be “I ran”…

  170. 170
    demimondian says:

    By the way, W.B., SP used a quotation from Alexander Pope’s _Epistle II: to a Lady_, subtitled “On the characters of women” beginning at l 243. You can find the full text here if you’re interested.

  171. 171
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz, chill the fuck out. You are under no obligation to reply to every stupid thing scs says twice or whatever. Don’t start counting posts, it’s entirely not worth it. He’s a moron

    Hmm, not sure what point you think you are making, but no.

    I dinged one of her posts, and she goes ballistic. I am not putting up with being charged with sexual harassment and a criminal because I ding her stupid post. I fight back. Grr, ppGaz angry!! Get it?

    And he’s a she, as far as I know. And likes to play the victim card whenever challenged. Me no likeee.

  172. 172
    Sock Puppet says:

    W.B. Reeves: That would be your Alexander Pope.

  173. 173
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    My, looks like you’ve all had a very busy day!

    Speaking of things that will need to be deleted, the new Zogby Poll results are in, and it appears that Der Shrubbins has slid back down into the 30s again. Even worse, Bush’s approval number for his handling (so to speak) of the Iraq debacle falls from 38% to a remarkably low 34%.

    Guess Bush’s recent speeches disputing the patriotism of those who believe him to be an incompetent idiot aren’t quite having the hoped for effect.

    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1056

  174. 174
    ppGaz says:

    Guess Bush’s recent speeches disputing the patriotism of those who believe him to be an incompetent idiot aren’t quite having the hoped for effect.

    Apparently, we are becoming less patriotic with each passing day.

  175. 175
    W.B. Reeves says:

    Demi, SP,

    Thanks for the link. I feel shamed for having skipped over Pope.

  176. 176
    Theseus says:

    I’m constantly amazed at how people read value judgments into every bleeping analysis. Scs did the same thing earlier when I called the mullahs ‘smart,’ as if calling them ‘stupid’ will somehow make America safer.

    Well, you said

    Iran is run by smart, conservative people. I know this because they’re still in power despite any number of reasons why they shouldn’t be.

    They’re still in power…when you have absolute control of the army, the police, the paramilitary and any number of organizations ready to do your bidding, using the people’s faith and beliefs as the prime justification and/or form of punishment, not too mention complete and utter cold-blooded ruthlessness to any and all opposition, with the added bonus of having the world’s second largest gas reserves and third or fourth largest oil reserves…yeah, the Mullahs are genuises.

    That kind of leader would never hand the weapons of their own destruction to an organization as inherently unstable as your average terrorist group.

    Yeah and they’d never let a lunatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad become president and be their representative to the world…oh wait. Because Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs themselves are NOT unstable crackpots. Wow…just wow! But hey, your belief in the rationality, logic and good faith of Iran’s leaders is touching. You can take confort in that a few years down the line when perhaps a Democratic president has to deal with a nuclear Iran, nuclear Turkey, nuclear Syria, nuclear Egypt and nuclear Saudia Arabia.

    Iran has potent incentives to arm themselves, provided in large part by the Bush administration. That doesn’t seem like a debatable point. Bush implemented a doctrine of preemptive war, folks like you cheered him on, and now you want to deny the obvious and predictable outcome of said doctrine. Fine, whatever. It’s your credibility. Regardless, stating Iran’s incentives doesn’t make a nuclear Iran good. If that statement exists somewhere in my post I’d be grateful for you to point it out. Rather, stating the incentives makes a nuclear-armed Iran comprehensible.

    Iran HAD very potent incentives to arm themselves prior to Bush, unless history begins with President Bush’s election. It’s own neighborhood for one thing, even without the US presence there. Iranian pride, another and perhaps the more powerful domestic reason. The prestige in having an Islamic bomb another, and a government and ideology worthy of its possession, unlike Pakistan under American puppet Musharraf. As a means to control its own domestic opposition and further suppress its own people, even more so than before. As a means to blackmail and extort other countries, directly or indirectly, through direct or indirect means. As a means to further propagate and spread the Mullocracy’s ideology of hate. To destroy Israel…etc. It’s a little more complicated and complexe than saying it’s all Bush’s fault. But hey, that’s the easy AND lazy way out, not to mention emotionally satisfying as well. Seriously, you guys ought to have a calendar, like the Christians or even Muslims and start basing your years on Bush’s election starting with 2000 as O, 2001 as 1 AB (AfterBush), etc, etc, you know the countdown to the end of the world brought about by evil Chimpy. But I digress.

    I’m not saying America’s policies under Bush haven’t changed some of the dynamics, in good ways AND in bad ways. But to state, so authoritavely that Iran’s behaviour is motivated primarily by the actions of the US under Bush, after having said, to your credit, that “What to do about Iran is a question for better-informed pundits than myself.”, please! You’re not expert enough to comment on what to do about Iran other than eliminating, from the beginning, America’s largest stick, ie. the threat of force, BUT you’re a geopolitical foreign policy wonk when it comes to explaining the motivations behind Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. And naturally, it’s all Bush’s fault and coincidentally enough, another way in which to profit, politically, from the perceived problems of the president. BUT, it’s only Rebublicans that resort to trying to profit politically from important and major foreign policy issues. The Dems, never, their intentions are always in good faith, unlike the Siths, err, I mean the GOP. Of course yours is also a completely “non-partisan” analysis on which to begin to deal with such a major issue, in a “bi-partisan” manner to be sure, as long as everyone agrees that it’s Bush’s fault.

    Gotcha, hope the Dems run with that…really I do. Blaming the lunatic Mullacracy’s behaviour on the actions of the United States, because prior to US actions, the Mullah’s intentions were pure, benign, peaceful and full of love and compassion for their fellow human beings a la Michael Moore’s pre-invasion Iraq. That’s like blaming and punishing the police when they’re forced to act because of, and pay attention, the criminals break the law or behave in a manner that is detrimental to the rest of society.

    As GI Joe once said, knowing is half the battle.

    Yoooo Joe! Although I suppose from your perspective I ought to be shouting “Cooobraaaaaaaa” or is it “Cobraaaalalalalalalalalala”…ah Serpentor…or was it Golabula?…oh well, good times! ;)

  177. 177
    W.B. Reeves says:

    Resistance to tyranny is the highest form of patriotism.

  178. 178
    Pb says:

    CaseyL,

    There was an excellent e-mail floating around back then that detailed a ton of the arguments and blame-shifting–I believe it was supposed to be an argument between a liberal and a conservative on the subject, with the liberal asking questions and the conservative continually shifting the justifications for war, in a similar fashion to how that unfolded in the media and from the White House. I wish I could find it. Anyhow, this is the best I could do for now–different e-mail, but perhaps more amusing.

  179. 179
    W.B. Reeves says:

    Yoooo Joe! Although I suppose from your perspective I ought to be shouting “Cooobraaaaaaaa” or is it “Cobraaaalalalalalalalalala”…ah Serpentor…or was it Golabula?…oh well, good times!

    Resistance to stupidity runs a close second though.

  180. 180
    Sojourner says:

    ppGaz, I know this obsession with what you think is my “little girl” voice is some sort of strange sexual type obsession from you.

    Um, no. Actually, I was the first to point out that you are a young girl. And, as a straight woman for 51 years, there is nothing sexual about my observation.

    Somehow, you have this need to hide your obvious intellectual flaws behind claims about AP courses in high school and you flatter yourself that PPG has a sexual obsession for you.

    The answer is much simpler. You make idiotic arguments and cry like a girl when you get stepped on.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

  181. 181
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    I get it, I have the same reaction when people start spewing baseless lies, slander, libel, and what have you. For, like, a post or two. But if they continue being disingenuous assholes who refuse to apologize, after that, they’re dead to me–entirely not worth my time, just another waste of flesh.

    As to scs’ alleged gender, I couldn’t care less, but the usual internet standard applies–presumed male until proven female. :)

  182. 182
    CaseyL says:

    But if I recall – beyond the political undercurrents of China backing N.Korea and the Saudis backing Iran – there was a great, grave concern that Iraq was another Al Queda hotbed like Afganistan and if we didn’t run in quick there’d be more planes pointed at our tall buildings.

    Yup: that accords with my memories of the runup, too. The pro-war faction kept repeating that “AQ is in Iraq” confabulation, along with the WMD and yellowcake charges – as an excuse why we had to go to war PDQ, not wait for the weapons inspectors to complete their job.

    I mostly wanted verification that the pro-war faction – which is about to run the same damned script all over again, only substituting “Iran” for “Iraq” – wasn’t all that worried about Iran back when they were panting to devote the greater share of our military resources to Iraq.

  183. 183
    ppGaz says:

    Thanks, pb and soj, I appreciate it.

  184. 184
    Pooh says:

    Theseus, if they’re all madmen and idiots, what does it say that we haven’t defeated them yet? Wait, it’s all the Dems fault, since we have so much power right now.

    We underestimate the intelligence and/or cleverness of our opponents at our own peril – their logic may seem alien to us, but so does their situation as it appears to them. Understanding that perspective is not a moral judgment, it’s an imperative for predicting their actions. Which is a good thing to have a handle on before we do anything.

  185. 185
    demimondian says:

    Wait, it’s all the Dems fault, since we have so much power right now.

    Da?n, Pooh, it took you long enough, guy. If we were only completely behind the president’s plan for the middle east, we wouldn’t be worried about Iran. We’d know it was just fine, all fine.

    Oh, and Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

  186. 186
    Theseus says:

    Theseus, if they’re all madmen and idiots, what does it say that we haven’t defeated them yet? Wait, it’s all the Dems fault, since we have so much power right now.

    I didn’t say the were idiots, I just laid out the context within which they operate and I wouldn’t, for one second, underestimate them or what they are capable of. History is replete with madmen, lunatics and even idiots that have ruled for a very long time. Sometimes the bureaucracy, entrenched interests and what not that have been put in place are more difficult to defeat than the men who presume to command it.

    I never said it was the Dems fault…nor do I believe that. I just think that everybody would be better served, Repubs AND Dems alike, if the opposition’s alternatives contained a little more depth beyond the “it’s all Bush’s fault” and hence more choices, more discussion and greater debate. Look, I believe President Clinton did the best he could with the cards he was dealt with. My point is that the Mullahs are going to get or want to get nuclear weapons REGARDLESS of Bush. If he was kissing their lunatic asses and bowing to their every wish, they would STILL want the nuclear weapons and they would STILL go after them.

    We underestimate the intelligence and/or cleverness of our opponents at our own peril – their logic may seem alien to us, but so does their situation as it appears to them. Understanding that perspective is not a moral judgment, it’s an imperative for predicting their actions. Which is a good thing to have a handle on before we do anything.

    As I said, I do not underestimate the ruthlessness of the Iranian regime. Expect the worst, hope for the best is what my dad always tells me. But do I trust the rationality, the logic of their decision making abilities, judgement or wisdom? ABSOLUTELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY NOT for a split second. Do I believe they would cooperate with AQ if they thought it served their purposes? ABSOLUTELY.

  187. 187
    The Other Steve says:

    Ok, having missed most of the discussion, I’m just adding onto what I wrote earlier.

    Frankly, I think the way you prevent Republicans from attempting to use Iran politically against Democrats, is to John F. Kennedy the bastards.

    That is, you run to their right.

    You point out that Iran is the real threat and has been for years. They have been supporting terrorists, they are responsible for the Beirut bombing of ’83, the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, and numerous other actions. They likely do fund Al Qaeda, they definately fund Hezbollah which is responsible for destabilizing Lebanon and Israel.

    Then you point out that GW Bush is a fucking incompetent n00b, and the primary reason he invaded Iraq, is because Iran wanted to and fed him disinformation to encourage it.

    It’s not hard to run to the Republican right on this topic, because they’ve been so bloody fucking incompetent about everything. Nobody will even take them seriously when they try to defend being Iran’s bitch by taking us into Iraq.

    I’m not advocating invasion. I’m advocating making the GOP look like fools.

  188. 188
    Pooh says:

    Theseus, thanks for the clarification. My mistake in the reading your post.

  189. 189
    The Other Steve says:

    My point is that the Mullahs are going to get or want to get nuclear weapons REGARDLESS of Bush. If he was kissing their lunatic asses and bowing to their every wish, they would STILL want the nuclear weapons and they would STILL go after them.

    Definately.

    But it’s up to the Republicans to stop playing politics with foreign policy.

    It’s not the Democrats who caused this problem by hyping up an invasion of Iraq for the sole purpose of winning US elections.

  190. 190
    Pb says:

    Theseus,

    I just think that everybody would be better served, Repubs AND Dems alike, if the opposition’s alternatives contained a little more depth beyond the “it’s all Bush’s fault” and hence more choices, more discussion and greater debate.

    You can hear what you want to, I suppose. Before and during the swift run-up to war in Iraq, many of us explained in great detail why and how it could be a huge boondoggle. Bush and friends didn’t listen–they slandered us instead. They’re the reason why you didn’t have your discussion or greater debate–they purposely smothered it. They’re the crowd who shouts treason whenever anyone comes close to questioning Dear Leader, going so far as to slime anyone at all important or influential who tries to do so–I could give you a long list. I’d hope that you don’t find that to be at all useful or productive either–however at the moment you seem to be ignoring or implicitly supporting such behavior. I, for one, find it to be far more reprehensible than your (false) characterizations.

  191. 191
    srv says:

    Yeah and they’d never let a lunatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad become president and be their representative to the world…oh wait. Because Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs themselves are NOT unstable crackpots. Wow…just wow!

    I don’t know a single person who said Iran would become “less” radical after we invaded Iraq. I remember alot of people saying the clerics would use the invasion to throw out the “reformers” (not that I believe they were, but the Iranians showed the clerics the middle-finger by electing them). Seems like that’s what happened.

    You seem to have Mahmoud all figured out. Read a couple of quotes, and that’s all you need to know. I suppose you believe he really believes everything he says, and take that as the gospel. Or that what he’s really doing doesn’t matter…

    IMHO, he’s playing to his base and he holds much better cards than Saddam does. I’d give pretty good odds that the Iranian “crackpots” are going to win in the long run, not because they’re geniuses, but because our dear leaders have shown they’re quite ideologically blind over the past few years.

  192. 192
    srv says:

    I don’t know a single person who said Iran would become “less” radical after we invaded Iraq.

    Oh, actually, I’m reminded that they’re were a few who thought the invasion would help “reform” Iran. Some of those neo-cons thought so.

    Man, are those guys geniuses, or what?

  193. 193
    srv says:

    Demi,

    How much lithium-6 would they need? I don’t find anything about natural deposits in Iran, but it appears lithium was available on the black market after the USSR collapsed.

    On 25 July 1994, the B.L.K.A. (Bavarian State Criminal Agency) was provided with a sample of nuclear material weighing approximately half a gram of which 240 mg was plutonium-239. This operation led to the arrest, on 10 August 1994, of a businessman as he alighted on a Lufthansa flight from Moscow. His suitcase was found to contain 363 grams of 87.2 per cent plutonium 239 mixed with 152 grams uranium oxide and 1 kg of lithium-6 (used as a precursor for thermonuclear bombs).

  194. 194
    demimondian says:

    1 kg of lithium-6

    It would certainly permit one to make a quite juicy alarm-clock bomb. I don’t know whether it would suffice to fuel a true T-U device.

    Now that I think about it, though, Lithium is a quite broadly prevalent element on the universal scale. As such, I don’t doubt that the Iranians have sources of it, and can separate Li-6 from Li-7 using a mass spectrometer. So I’d have to conclude that they could manufacture a T-U device if they really wanted to do so.

  195. 195
    Theseus says:

    You can hear what you want to, I suppose.

    Incidentally, so can you.

    Before and during the swift run-up to war in Iraq, many of us explained in great detail why and how it could be a huge boondoggle. Bush and friends didn’t listen—they slandered us instead. They’re the reason why you didn’t have your discussion or greater debate—they purposely smothered it.

    I didn’t hear much opposition from the Dems. Most of the opposition I heard came from factions of the GOP or the far left, which as far as I’m concerned has little to no credibility, for the most part, when it comes to foreign policy. Although, I have much more respect for those, including those on the left, who have consistently said, from the beginning that they disagree with the reasons for the Iraq war or the war itself. More so than those who claimed they were duped by the president and his nefarious neocons after having supported the Iraq War when the political winds were blowing that way.

    As for the reasons or arguments against themselves, I knew them, being a bit of a history buff and having grown up with many Middle Eastern folk, I knew a bit of the history of the region, etc. I knew how difficult it was bound to be. I supported it then and I continue to support it now. But pricks like Adelman made me fume and, much as it hurts the war effort, the administration deserves some of that heat for not being more forthright, for exagerations, and for not trusting enough the wisdom and judgement of the American people and shutting up those morons in the first place. They deserve, no they earned the political heat, much as I disagree with it or believe it hurts the war. That and their complete incompetance in getting out their message. Does that mean I believe the president lied or any such other accusations levelled at him. No. As I said, I believe Clinton did the best he could with the cards he was given and so has Bush. Both have made mistakes or errors of judgement during their presidencies, but nothing that justifies, in my mind, the level of vitiol and demonization that has been/is levelled at them by their respective political opponents. Make of that whatever you want. In their own way, they’ve done what they believe to be in their country’s best interests. So, I reject all those “arguments” and mischaracterizations, as I see them anyways.

    They’re the crowd who shouts treason whenever anyone comes close to questioning Dear Leader, going so far as to slime anyone at all important or influential who tries to do so—I could give you a long list. I’d hope that you don’t find that to be at all useful or productive either—however at the moment you seem to be ignoring or implicitly supporting such behavior. I, for one, find it to be far more reprehensible than your (false) characterizations.

    In my mind, those who shout treason are no better than those who shout “Bush lied” or any other such catchy slogans. Again, make of that whatever you wish. Both believe they’re advancing their sides righteous and worthy causes, which is the most important thing. Politics is a ruthless endeavor, because so much is at stake, and the Dems can be as ruthless and bloodthirsty as the GOP can. Anyone who says otherwise is full of shit. Does it make it right? No…but it’s better than shooting or killing each other. That said, each side ascribes bad faith in their political opponent’s decisions or positions when really it’s either philosophical differences, differences of perspective or generally a slighter different way in seeing or interpreting the world. For the moment, in terms of foreign policy, I side much more with the right or hawkish left of center folks like Blair, Hitchens, etc and if that upsets some of you here, well so be it…c’est la vie.

  196. 196
    ppGaz says:

    Although, I have much more respect for those, including those on the left, who have consistently said, from the beginning that they disagree with the reasons for the Iraq war or the war itself.

    Well that would be me, and my opposition is unchanged going back 15 years to the first Gulf War.

    Both have made mistakes or errors of judgement during their presidencies, but nothing that justifies, in my mind, the level of vitiol and demonization that has been/is levelled at them by their respective political opponents. Make of that whatever you want. In their own way, they’ve done what they believe to be in their country’s best interests.

    The latter is an unsupportable assertion. If you can presume to speak for the motives of other people, then you have no standing to criticize others for doing the same just because they disagree with you. I do not believe that Bush has done the best he could do. I think he did the best he thought he had to do. Big difference. The best he could do would have been to wait and find out, by further ispection, what he ended up finding out by simple inspection anyway — that the putative WMD threat did not actually exist. A discovery that he found so profound that he was able to JOKE ABOUT IT LATER as if it were a matter of deciding who gets the best parking spaces at the Executive Office Building. No, that’s not the best a president can do, and your say-so doesn’t puff it up to that lofty extent.

    In my mind, those who shout treason are no better than those who shout “Bush lied” or any other such catchy slogans

    Too bad you can’t make those kinds of distinctions. “Treason” is a smear, and is purely subjective, since no actual treason has been committed by critics. But did Bush lie? There’s an objective truth there, and you don’t know that truth because you weren’t in the meetings and can’t read the minds. The treason smear is a political ploy. The accusation of a lie is an assertion of fact which may, in fact, be true. The two things are hardly comparable. Your inability to understand that rules out any possibility that you’ll be taken seriously in this argument.

    That said, each side ascribes bad faith in their political opponent’s decisions or positions when really it’s either philosophical

    Nope. The intelligence was objectively wrong, and it was acted on by people who could have ascertained that without having a war. That’s not philosophy, that’s a fact.

  197. 197
    srv says:

    Most of the opposition I heard came from factions of the GOP or the far left, which as far as I’m concerned has little to no credibility, for the most part, when it comes to foreign policy.

    Obviously, you measure credibility in terms other than being accurate. I understand why we have no power (those of us who said it was a lie before the war even started), because we’re at those “fringes”. We aren’t (mostly) “republicans” and we aren’t (mostly) “dems”.

    While it was very late in coming (the “lie” meme), I think alot of people were duped. If you watched TV, and read the NYT, and trusted your leader, you really didn’t have any clue what the folks out marching in the street were saying. It’s not like any of those people got air-time.

  198. 198
    HH says:

    When your argument hinges on the propostion that Kos isn’t influential to the Dems, you’ve lost the argument.

  199. 199
    srv says:

    So I’d have to conclude that they could manufacture a T-U device if they really wanted to do so.

    Given their wealth, intelligence, nationalism and the threat Saddam’s program would have posed in the 80’s, I’m about 90% sure Iran has had the bomb for years. I’ve never believed all those weapons tested simultaneously by the Pakistani’s were all indigenous.

    Assuming that’s true, and our heroic leaders know it, then this really is just a big political circus. And it’s in Mahmouds best interest to play along.

  200. 200
    Theseus says:

    Well that would be me, and my opposition is unchanged going back 15 years to the first Gulf War.

    Even if that includes you, ppGaz, I stand by what I said. Disagree with it, but respect it nonetheless.

    The latter is an unsupportable assertion. If you can presume to speak for the motives of other people, then you have no standing to criticize others for doing the same just because they disagree with you. I do not believe that Bush has done the best he could do. I think he did the best he thought he had to do. Big difference.

    Fair enough. I think he did the best he thought he had to do. And I support that decision and judgement.

    Too bad you can’t make those kinds of distinctions. “Treason” is a smear, and is purely subjective, since no actual treason has been committed by critics. But did Bush lie? There’s an objective truth there, and you don’t know that truth because you weren’t in the meetings and can’t read the minds. The treason smear is a political ploy. The accusation of a lie is an assertion of fact which may, in fact, be true. The two things are hardly comparable. Your inability to understand that rules out any possibility that you’ll be taken seriously in this argument.

    OK. I apologize, I meant it more as a debating tactic and in retrospect, you’re right. Bad comparison then. Thoughtful criticism or even just criticism or opposition to certain policies does not equal “treason”. But let me try and explain how I meant it. Both “tactics” are used by either side as a rhetorical ploy in order to discredit any and all arguments that could serve to invalidate the points or positions of their opponents. I include the “chickenhawk” rhetoric here as well. But, I’ve had the “Bush lied” argument thrown in my face many times, stated as “fact” when as you say “The accusation of a lie is an assertion of fact which may, in fact, be true.”, though you leave out that it may in fact be false as well, unless the person using that argument was himself in those meetings or is a mindreader. So, it’s a statement of belief that cannot be proven, one way or the other, with the information we currently have, but is nevertheless used as a “fact”, in order to discredit whatever argument one who disagrees with that “fact” wants to make. Is it comparable to the treason smear? I concede that it is not, and that anyone who cries “treason” is playing really really dirty politics, as well as being a coward for not having the integrity to defend his arguments on their strengths and merits, Bush included. But the “Bush lied” is itself intellectually dishonest and in its own way, a political ploy.

  201. 201
    Zifnab says:

    … my opposition is unchanged going back 15 years to the first Gulf War

    I’ll admit that I was a kid back in ’92, so if there were reasons for not going into the Gulf War in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, they were never brought to my attention. From what I’ve learned, Kuwait was slant drilling into Iraq (or at least tapping Iraqi oil wells from the Kuwaiti side of the border) so Saddam had every reason to be pissed off. At the same time, Saddam wasn’t within his rights to invade the nation like he did. One of those two wrongs situations that certainly prompted the US to step in and defend its ally.

    The second Gulf War is a shame for all the reasons ppGaz has listed above and more. Whether or not Bush knowingly tricked America or simply made a very foolish decision on poor evidence, he’s failed as a leader more than once for this country. You can run the numbers on that if you like. Soldiers killed. Days between roadside bombs. Percentage of Iraqis who support the US occupation. Political climate of the region. Current and projected cost of the war. The facts are solid and speak for themselves. Whether or not the NYT has disgraced our nation with its reporting practices, the paper tends to be filled with less “truthiness” and more “facts” than the average Bush memo or White House press conference.

  202. 202
    srv says:

    I’ll admit that I was a kid back in ‘92, so if there were reasons for not going into the Gulf War in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, they were never brought to my attention.

    The no-blood-for-oil meme started then, there were protests, but not on the scale of GW II. George Sr. had pretty much lowered the Just War bar so low after “Operation Just Cause”, people would believe anything.

  203. 203
  204. 204
    Kimmitt says:

    Politics is a ruthless endeavor, because so much is at stake, and the Dems can be as ruthless and bloodthirsty as the GOP can.

    With all due respect, this is false equivalency “pox on both houses” bullshit. It makes the poster feel superior to people who actually make judgements and absolves him or her of the responsibility of making decisions and acting on them.

    But the “Bush lied” is itself intellectually dishonest and in its own way, a political ploy.

    Look, either the President lied about Iraq to get a foreign policy goal he was interested in enacted, or he’s a paranoid psychotic. Occam’s Razor kicks in at some point.

  205. 205
    Pb says:

    Theseus,

    Bush lies. Frequently. Anyone who says different is woefully uninformed.

    Incidentally, I greatly prefer “Bush lies” to the alternative–“Bush is so grossly misinformed that he actually believes that everything he’s been coached to say is true, or so trusting and complacent that he doesn’t worry about its veracity at all”. And really, that one just boils down to “Bush’s administration lies, and Bush is responsible for those lies and their repercussions whether or not he knows it”.

  206. 206
    Richard Bottoms says:

    OK. I apologize, I meant it more as a debating tactic and in retrospect, you’re right. Bad comparison then.

    That’s the thing. We know that most of the fag bashing, religious pandering, and treason smearing is only a tactic, a means to an end that is part and parcel of the Republican playbook.

    Yet somehow Democrats are considered devoid of ideas and overly partisan because we haven’t yet come up with a good way to counter what we know to be complete bullshit.

  207. 207
    Tim F. says:

    Theseus,

    Iran HAD very potent incentives to arm themselves prior to Bush, unless history begins with President Bush’s election. It’s own neighborhood for one thing, even without the US presence there. Iranian pride, another and perhaps the more powerful domestic reason. The prestige in having an Islamic bomb another, and a government and ideology worthy of its possession, unlike Pakistan under American puppet Musharraf. As a means to control its own domestic opposition and further suppress its own people, even more so than before. As a means to blackmail and extort other countries, directly or indirectly, through direct or indirect means. As a means to further propagate and spread the Mullocracy’s ideology of hate. To destroy Israel…etc.

    The point apparently wasn’t clear, so let me shave it down a bit. You have listed reasons why Iran would like to have the bomb. After 1991 the threat from Iraq certainly didn’t force Iran’s hand. Those incentives, alone or in aggregate, can be negotiated away because none of them constitutes a requirement for the survival of the state. Yes, Iran proceeded with production insofar as it was able, but it also responded to international pressure and welcomed inspectors. There’s no evidence that their recently defiant posture was preordained.

    The first incentive which could be called compulsory is the Bush Doctrine. Unlike the threat from its western neighbor (Iraq was a wreck and Iran had more than enough intelligence to know it) the threat of a US invasion is an immediate danger to regime survival. Think about it this way: Bush declared an ‘axis of evil’ and then invaded the AOE cardholder with the weakest WMD program. Iranians have a perfectly good idea what ‘evil’ means and it doesn’t include much chance for redemption. With adversaries you can reach an understaning, you eradicate evil. Intentions don’t come much more telegraphed than that. If you support the Bush Doctrine then take responsibility for its geopolitical consequences.

    As I said, I do not underestimate the ruthlessness of the Iranian regime. Expect the worst, hope for the best is what my dad always tells me. But do I trust the rationality, the logic of their decision making abilities, judgement or wisdom? ABSOLUTELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY NOT for a split second. Do I believe they would cooperate with AQ if they thought it served their purposes? ABSOLUTELY.

    Of course Iran works with al Qaeda. It’s increasingly clear that Iran has contributed to a good fraction of global anti-American terrorism over the last twenty years. That doesn’t make it certain, or even likely, that Iran would share with them a nuclear bomb. Call them insane or irrational if it makes you feel good, but don’t assume that the Iranians trust their terrorist friends enough to hand them a bomb capable of leveling Teheran.

  208. 208
    skip says:

    “Of course Iran works with al Qaeda”

    This is patently false. Iran even cooperated with the US against AlQ in Afghanistan.

    Next we’ll be hearing about Iran’s close ties with Manuel Noriega. It is nice to see that the Office of Strategic Information is keeping busy.

  209. 209
    Tim F. says:

    This is patently false. Iran even cooperated with the US against AlQ in Afghanistan.

    It is unrealistic to claim that Iran never cooperated with al Qaeda. It is very likely that whatever ties they had, which likely amounted to more than was revealed by the 9/11 commission, ended after 9/11 out of a basic interest in self preservation. The Commission also concluded that pre-2001 Iran wanted more extensive ties with the group but bin Laded did not want to alienate his Saudi backers.

    Again, I’m the first person to argue that Iran will categorically never share atomic weapons with terrorists, but I think it’s also important to acknowledge that their reasoning doesn’t come from any general reluctance to support terrorism.

  210. 210
    ppGaz says:

    But the “Bush lied” is itself intellectually dishonest and in its own way, a political ploy.

    No, sorry. This administration has long ago forfeited the right to get that kind of pass. Bush’s behavior going back to the 2000 campaign, and his treatment of John McCain, and his loyalty to the trickster Karl Rove, and probably worst of all, his inclusion of the trickster in his governing staff at a high level, and the attitude of these guys toward the day-to-day tings, have earned him the collapse of trust that led to a majority of polled Americans stating that they believed they were misled by this administration in the runup to war. In the specific case of the war and the WMDs, this much is clear: They either lied about it, or were incompetant to the point of criminal negligence. There isn’t an option in which we can decide that they were just “misled” and goofed. Not being misled, using war as a last and then last and the last again resort to find out their gross error, and when the error was discovered, owning up to it fully and completely to the citizens and demanding accountability from the intelligence community … those are the actions of non-liars, and those are the actions that they are hired to carry out and that we pay them for. They owe us that behavior, and we didn’t get it. What we got were JOKES ABOUT WMDs … the kind of behavior you’d expect fro petulant frat boys caught doing something naughty.

    That’s not something you can blame on the likes of DKos, whose blog-leading page views still make up only about one third of one percent of the population …. or on the media, whose viewership-leading FoxNews is essentially an extension of the White House’s information offices …. or on Democrats, who remained relatively quiet about this topic until recently and who even now are not really pressing the point. No, you have to blame it on the inability of Bush and his cabinet and staff of liars themselves. They’ve created this lack of trust, they’ve earned it, and they are stuck with it.

    You can argue otherwise all day, but all you’ll manage to do is marginalize yourself here. If you want to get into the center here, you have to take, by proxy, some responsibility for the amazingly bad job these guys have done in this area, and be reasonable about it. Just repeating that “Bush lied is dishonest” is not going to get very far … for the simple reason that it’s plainly wrong, and pretty much everyone oustide of his base of support knows it.

  211. 211
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    This Theseus character has an add argument here. Extremely wordy (perhaps he’s unaware of the adage “brevity is the soul of wit?”), but odd nonetheless.

    He claims that anyone who would make the argument that Bush lies is being dishonest. And that those who would claim that the events that have occured on Bush’s watch are his responsibility are engaged in sophistry and partisan political behavior.

    1) Implying that someone is a liar for calling Bush a liar is simply ridiculous. Sort of like calling someone a pig for calling a pig a pig. But we could assume that Bush is not a liar, and that all the patently false things that have tumbled from his mouth these last 5 years were put there by other people. And if that were true, wouldn’t that make him a fool?

    2) Bush is the Commander in Chief, and by definition responsible for everything that goes on during his watch. To blame underlings and employees for the disasters that have occured during Bush’s time in office only denegrates the dignity of the presidency while making this particular CIC look evasive and weak.

    Hardly the kinds of things this blathering nitwit of an apologist Theseus had in mind when he posted his seeming endless apologias here I’ll betcha.

    But maybe I am being harsh. Perhaps he is merely trolling for participants to his sparkling observations on his nearly vacant blog.

  212. 212
    ppGaz says:

    Perhaps he is merely trolling for participants to his sparkling observations on his nearly vacant blog.

    This is known as the TallDave strategy.

  213. 213
    The Other Steve says:

    But the “Bush lied” is itself intellectually dishonest and in its own way, a political ploy.

    So what’s the intellectually honest way to qualify what Bush has done?

    It seems to me that this comes down to one point. Is Bush fully aware of his actions, or is he being played? Certainly if Bush was fully aware of what he was doing and why, then he Lied. If he’s not, and he’s simply incompetent and being played for a fool, then you are right. Claiming he lied is dishonest.

    I guess I don’t understand why you feel the incompetent line is better for Bush.

  214. 214
    The Other Steve says:

    Zifnab wrote:

    I’ll admit that I was a kid back in ‘92, so if there were reasons for not going into the Gulf War in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, they were never brought to my attention.

    Actually it was ’91. I was a senior in college.

    I recall at the time I was simply confused over the whole deal. Didn’t understand why we were there, etc. Obviously it had to do with our concern over supplies of oil from Saudi Arabia.

    The thing I remember most was that we were supposedly liberating Kuwait, and I recall media photage of the Kuwaiti Royalty who had escaped and were now in Egypt partying it up. None of them deigned to lift their hand and pick up a gun to go back and defend their own country.

    I was not necessarily opposed to Gulf War I, but I certainly wasn’t impressed by the Kuwaitis.

  215. 215
    The Other Steve says:

    BTW, has anybody noticed how Iran’s new call for a discussion about the validity of the Holocaust, sounds an awful lot like Republican calls for Intelligent Design or the validity of Racism?

    Just interesting… The Passive Aggressive asshat way of making your point. The “I’m just trying to find the truth!” defense at it’s best. :-)

  216. 216
    Theseus says:

    Yes, Iran proceeded with production insofar as it was able, but it also responded to international pressure and welcomed inspectors. There’s no evidence that their recently defiant posture was preordained.

    Iran responds to “international pressure” whenever it suits their purpose, just like North Korea, just like China or any number of other states. Otherwise, they will do what almost every other country on this planet does when the “international community” throws a hissy fit and/or goes against what they believe their interests to be; ignore it or flip them the bird, to whatever extent they can or play them for fools, which Iran has become very good at. Also, has it occured to you that Iran’s research into nuclear armament has advanced to the point where it is deemed a threat only just recently? It is also possible that they no longer really give a shit what the “international community” does or does not do, especially if they believe they’re holding a winning hand. Certainly, the Europeans won’t do anything; the Russians and Chinese, in their pockets. Which leaves the US, as usual, alone in having to make the tough decisions and dealing with the consequences.

    The first incentive which could be called compulsory is the Bush Doctrine. Unlike the threat from its western neighbor (Iraq was a wreck and Iran had more than enough intelligence to know it) the threat of a US invasion is an immediate danger to regime survival. Think about it this way: Bush declared an ‘axis of evil’ and then invaded the AOE cardholder with the weakest WMD program. Iranians have a perfectly good idea what ‘evil’ means and it doesn’t include much chance for redemption. With adversaries you can reach an understaning, you eradicate evil. Intentions don’t come much more telegraphed than that. If you support the Bush Doctrine then take responsibility for its geopolitical consequences.

    Previously you said: “Invasion is simply off the table. We don’t have the army for it and we can’t afford to alienate Iran’s friends in Iraq”. You also say that, presumably, Iran has excellent intelligence vis-a-vis the situation in Iraq and so would be in an excellent position to know the extent to which America is or is not “bogged down” in Iraq. Furthermore, the mantra of much of the antiwar crowd has been that the Shias of Iraq and Iran are virtually interchangeable (ignoring the inconveniant fact that one is Arab, the other Persian, but why quible?) and the Iraqi Shiites, fundamentalist shameless sheep that they are, will do Teheran’s bidding and reflexively turn on the US. If this is all true, then what does Iran have to fear from the US? If the geopolitical situation has improved post-Saddam and post-Taliban, in their favor as is claimed so often, why would they need nukes? After all, in two years, Bush is gone and in the meantime, politically handicapped (so says the “conventional wisdom”) and Iraq will, presumably be in worse shape and/or on its way to an Iran-like theocracy.

    But Bush makes a speech that calls Iran “evil” and puts them on notice that their reckless behaviour will no longer be tolerated, and THAT’S the trigger that sets them off. I’m sure it was also Bush that eradicated the so-called “moderate” Iranian mullahs and clerics like Khatami for instance, practically destroyed the reform mouvement, crushed all opposition and forced the Mullahs’ hands, not the hardliner’s themselves…no, no, no, impossible. Bush made them do it. Wow, that Bush, he’s got some tremendous powers. Presumably, those “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, “Great Satan” slogans, all that was purely in jest after all, friendly banter between infidel and Islamic holy warriors, perhaps even an appeal for more “votes” (forgetting the inconveniant fact that the overwhelming population of Iran despises and hates the Mullahs). A nuclear India, nuclear China, nuclear Pakistan, an unfriendly Saddam-led Iraq, unfriendly Saudi Arabia, insane Taliban, etc, all these played a minor role in their decision-making process compared to the Bush doctrine. I can list more reasons and motivations, but whatever…it’s all Bush’s fault.

    Run with it…”Vote for the Dems, cause the world will end and it’s all Bush’s fault”. Iran will see the error of its way and cease its nuclear activities, as will North Korea, AQ will reform itself into an Islamic army of Dr Phils (after some stern lectures and discussions from more “understanding” Americans and Europeans), China will assume the role of the “friendly giant” and cease any imperialistic or chauvistic intentions as will Russia, Hugo will embrace the US and spurn Castro, the Saudis will stop spreading their hatred and spread a “embrace your infidel, love him, show him the way” message, oil prices will drop, global warming will cease, Americans will be loved and admired again all over the world, the sun will shine, spring will come and volcanoes will not devour the Earth.

    That doesn’t make it certain, or even likely, that Iran would share with them a nuclear bomb.

    If you were president, and had the responsibility of safeguarding the United States, not too mention many of your fellow allies, by default, what would you do? What kind of chances are you willing to take? How much are you willing to risk on the Mullahs’ rationality, logic, sanity and common sense?

  217. 217
    Theseus says:

    You can argue otherwise all day, but all you’ll manage to do is marginalize yourself here. If you want to get into the center here, you have to take, by proxy, some responsibility for the amazingly bad job these guys have done in this area, and be reasonable about it. Just repeating that “Bush lied is dishonest” is not going to get very far … for the simple reason that it’s plainly wrong, and pretty much everyone oustide of his base of support knows it.

    I’m sorry but I never claimed mistakes were not made or that they’ve been completely competant. I never said that. They’re politicians and imperfect human beings…and it’s war and mistakes and fuckupos happen all the time. So yeah, they’ve fucked up many things, to be sure, intelligence (CIA included), pre-war, post-war, reconstruction, their communications, traitor smears, the cakewalk crap…but not to the extent that you want to take it and not to where my support of the war ceases or collapses. I’m loyal to the policies, not the man that happens to represent them at the moment, so if everything you claim is true, then so be it, let them face the consequences of their actions and let the chips fall where they may. Good riddance then.

    That said, there’s not much I can really say to endear myself to most posters here, at least politically, and that’s fine. As for your claim that you guys represent the center, well the fact is you’ll only know that come Nov ’06.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Von and Jon Henke have sensible responses to mypost. […]

  2. […] American Footprints — ElBaradei losing patience? American Thinker — Underestimating the Iranian Threat Atlas Shrugs — Iran: Cycle of Appeasement Balloon Juice — Wishful Thinking Belmont Club — Grappling with the ayatollahs Bloggledygook — The Little ‘Ol Warmonger, Me Captain’s Quarter’s — Have We Given Up on Iran? Democracy Arsenal — Hope Springs Eternal from Annan on Iran Dr. Sanity — Is It War Then? Duck of Minerva — Europe and Iran’s Nuclear Program Editor: Myself — The West should change its focus regarding Iran Eschaton — How It Goes Frontpagemag — Next Steps on Iran Glittering Eye — Options on Iran II Huffington Post — Iranian Psycho? In the Bullpen — Ahmadinejad speaks, again Left I on the News — Hands off Iran! neo-neocon — Iran’s dirty little weapon no oil for pacifists — What If They Gave a War and Europe Never Noticed? Obsidian Wings — You wanna know why? Political Animal — Dems on Iran QandO — Iran: The Nuclear Messiah Regime Change Iran — When the Soft Talk Has to Stop ShrinkWrapped — It’s Not Fair! Compare and Contrast Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006 — On a Nuclear Iran Thomas P.M. Barnett — They Confront Us and Deal with Us . . . Washington Realist — Unity on Iran? […]

Comments are closed.