One more Iran post

We haven’t had enough over the past few days. And as far as I’m concerned if people can’t tell each other to fuck off over a third possible war in the Middle East, then the Villagers have won.

This is from the comments, because commenter Surly Duff put it a lot better than I have:

One of the main issues of the article, in my mind, is that there is no opposing viewpoint presented regarding Iran’s nuclear programs, only those convinced that it is being used to attain weaponry. Goldberg provides Netanyahu’s position – “framed the Iranian program as a threat not only to Israel but to all of Western civilization”;

an ambassador of the United Arab Emirates – “There are many countries in the region who, if they lack the assurance the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran,” ;

more Israeli officials – If the Israelis reach the firm conclusion that Obama will not, under any circumstances, launch a strike on Iran, then the countdown will begin for a unilateral Israeli attack ;

Rahm Emmanuel – “The expression ‘All options are on the table’ means that all options are on the table,” Emanuel told me before the meeting, in a tone meant to suggest both resolve and irritation at those who believe the president lacks such resolve. ;

The point is that the entire premise of the article is what will be done about the growing threat Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity, and will the United States be involved in military action? But there is never any question about the actual capacity or timeframe of Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and never discussion the negotiations and involvement of the IAEA. It does not appear that he ever asked the question or reviewed any sources to ask, what if Iran is not even pursuing the weapons? Never once addressed Israel’s refusal to join the nonproliferation treaty.

All Greenwald and others are trying to show is that this was the same approach taken by Goldberg in the run up to Iraq war. Take the position that an armed Iran/Iraq exists, and then what the world and U.S. will do to stop it.

72 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    Gruber has an excellent idea that DougJ should implement here in a future redesign. Use the category tags to provide warning labels for media critiques. From the page Gruber links:

    It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there’s no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content.

  2. 2
    Rick Taylor says:

    Yup, that nails it.

    It annoys me that the Obama administration also seems to be taking it for granted that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and needs to be stopped. I trust the Obama administration to not do something insane, like launch a war against Iran, but they won’t always be in power, and their stance gives people like Goldberg an in to say we’re reasonable, we support the administrations attempt to resolve this non-militarily, but if it fails we have to be ready to strike.

  3. 3
    PaulW says:

    Here’s a way to frame the “let’s not bomb Iran so fuck off” argument.

    Ask the pro-bombers “How are we gonna pay for a third war?”

    We’re still paying for Afghanistan.

    We’re still paying for Iraq.

    How the hell are we gonna pay for a war with Iran? Because if we do bomb Iran, or Israel does, that’s another war right there. Another war WE CAN’T AFFORD.

  4. 4
    Svensker says:

    @PaulW:

    Ask the pro-bombers “How are we gonna pay for a third war?”

    Tax cuts. Duh.

    DougJ — are you related to Ernie Anastos?

  5. 5
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    No, Doug. My point is that accusing someone of not caring if there is another war based solely upon an difference of interpretation about what a different author means is disgraceful. Oppose the war all you want; I’m with you. Question Jeffrey Goldberg’s motives all you want; I’m with you, though less convinced that it’s that simple. Argue that the other writers at The Atlantic are engaged in disgraceful group interest thinking all you want; I’m mostly with you, though I don’t throw them out of my reading list as entirely.

    Hell, get into obscenity laced arguments with eemom all you want; I’m not with you, but don’t care that much. It’s when you accuse someone of being complicit in mass murder, as you did, based upon such thin (well, non-existent, really) evidence, and I’m going to tell you that you need to shut the fuck up.

    You have gotten yourself so wound up with righteous indignation, in a just cause, that you have become completely irrational.

  6. 6
    srv says:

    But, he’s shrill, dammit. Even you and your fan-boys always say-so.

    You can only be serious if the premises of the “open-minded” folks are accepted before debate even begins. It doesn’t matter what Goldberg, Klein, Kristol and what-not say – what is important is disparaging those who question these deep thinkers (who, you know, have been demonstrably wrong dozens of times, but we’d be arrogant to think that mattered!)

    Off for some beer, best luck with the sociopaths.

  7. 7
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @Rick Taylor: Look, Iran is definitely in violation of its obligations under the NPT, and so whether they really are trying to build a bomb is both unknown and somewhat irrelevant. At this point, we have an administration that is, in fact, working to keep our commitments under the same treaty.

    To simply ignore what Iran is doing would be basically to concede that the NPT is dead. As a practical matter, it probably is. However, I’m not so crazy about just admitting that. Where does that lead us?

    I’m not sure that the administration is pursuing the most successful strategy here, but I’m also not sure what would be more effective. Too many of the nuclear powers are basically saying that they have no intention of enforcing the treaty.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    It annoys me that the Obama administration also seems to be taking it for granted that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and needs to be stopped.

    So long as Iran continues to violate UN restrictions on enrichment, build secret enrichment plants, and declare publicly that they are violating the security council restrictions, there’s no other conclusion you can take. Iran is not a sufficiently stable government that should be trusted with a nuclear program.

    This is not a problem out of Iran’s control, but they have the same paranoid conspiracies about the UN that the GOP does, and rather than work with them they feel they need to oppose them. That’s just not going to work.

    Now, I’m a supporter of Iran having a nuclear power program, and I support their desire to have one, but they’re going about this all wrong.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    Where did I accuse anyone of being complicit in mass murder? Why is not reasonable to say that the big issue — a possible war in Iran — is not a tempest in a teapot?

    I just don’t know what point you’re trying to make or if you just enjoy lecturing people on the basis of things they didn’t say.

    EDIT: Also, where I did use obscenity with eemom? This would be easier if you referred to things that actually happened.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    i have no doubts Iran is trying to build a bomb. why wouldn’t they ?

    i also don’t care.

    Iran would be incinerated within a hour of an aggressive nuclear strike. they know this. and no country would spend decades and billions of dollars building something just to hand it off to “terrorists”. it’s completely irrational.

    Obama isn’t Bush. he’s not Cheney. he’s not Feith. nobody in his cabinet is a neo-con PNAC knuckle-head. so what if some douchebag fucking journalist wants to wax incendiary over an attack? it’s not reality.

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    @cleek: I’ve long thought the best solution would be to plant a nuke in the middle of Iran’s test range, give them a date and time, and let them issue a press release saying they built and tested a bomb.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    All Greenwald and others are trying to show is that this was the same approach taken by Goldberg in the run up to Iraq war. Take the position that an armed Iran/Iraq exists, and then what the world and U.S. will do to stop it.

    This is typical wingnut M.O. Start with an unproven assertion as if it’s fact and set the parameters of the discussion from there. Liberals work from facts. Wingnuts work from beliefs.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    It does not appear that he ever asked the question or reviewed any sources to ask, what if Iran is not even pursuing the weapons?

    Of course not. No True Serious Person would ever ask such a question. No True Serious Person seriously believes that Iran is not building atomic bombs. It’s ridiculous! Only dirty fucking hippies with their snark and their laughter and their non-violence-loving, non-warmongering, non-urging-death-and-destruction-in-the-Middle-East ways would ever entertain such a fundamentally non-serious concept!

    .

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    @MikeJ:
    i like that.

  15. 15
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Again, there was no real evidence Saddam had any sort of current nuclear program after the 91 war and years of wmd inspectors. The Iraq war was a lie from the beginning, from a foregone conclusion of wanting to topple Saddam.

    Iran has a confirmed robust nuclear program, and anyone who thinks they don’t want a weapon, I got bridges to sell you. I mean really, that is bullshit. Goldberb proffered lie upon lie on Iraq and is complicit in that clusterfuck. And I understand, though I would never even read anything he writes about anything except when it is brought up on this blog, why people want to hammer the guy.

    But this particular article is really a poor choice to unload general angst on neo cons and Goldberg, if you don’t want to look like raving libtards out for a hunt. There is just no there there with what you claim Dougj. Other than it’s Goldberg and he helped lie us into Iraq, so he deserves whatever he gets. But teasing out war drum banging on this piece doesn’t quite measure up in the facts department.

    I mean if we are going to have ritual wingnut sacrifices, I want to feel good about it being for a legitimate complaint. I just don’t see it here.

  16. 16
    TomG says:

    I’m in agreement with cleek. I don’t hate the U.S., but I’m certainly no “exceptionalist”, and it infuriates me that our government thinks we have the right to tell other countries whether they can have a nuclear bomb. India’s got them, Israel most likely does, Britain does, probably Pakistan…we aren’t trying to get them to dismantle any.
    If Iran gets a nuclear bomb, it will not be a catastrophe. There’s no evidence that Iran is going to act irrationally once they get the bomb. Hell, maybe they’d be LESS on the defensive. We need to encourage Iran’s moderates and not feed the flames of “let’s isolate and stifle Iran” talk. They have a right to exist – at least their citizens do.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @cleek:

    Obama isn’t Bush. he’s not Cheney. he’s not Feith. nobody in his cabinet is a neo-con PNAC knuckle-head. so what if some douchebag fucking journalist wants to wax incendiary over an attack? it’s not reality.

    No, but President Palin or President Huckabee or President Romney would not have the same cabinet nor follow the same set of beliefs. The point of the hawks beating the war drums is not to encourage Obama to bomb Iran (although that would be a bonus!). It’s to get the discussion out there. It will be batted around on the Sunday shows, Very Serious People will write columns about it. It seeps into the general discussion of political and foreign affairs and eventually the average person will remember hearing something about it. At which point it’s not hypothetical, it’s real.

    I applaud DougJ for taking this on now and comparing the run up to the Iraq War with what’s being done now. Do we really want the war-mongering rightwing to get us into yet another war in the Middle East? Because it could happen unless people stand up against it. And standing up against it starts now.

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    Cripes, what are “we” or Israel or anybody supposed to do to alter Iran’s actions? Sanctions are working splendidly, I’m sure. Historically, bombing hardens regimes’ and populations’ resolve, it does not reverse them. And there’s no tactical way to take out their nuke facilities, unless they’ve developed some sort of giant exploding mole I haven’t read about.

    Invasion? Of a country with more than twice the population of Iraq? Right.

    Why are the Usual Suspects even having this conversation, other than to gin up a “soft on Iran” talking point for 2012?

  19. 19
    Cat Lady says:

    Not caring about whether Iran does or doesn’t get a bomb isn’t an option, because the people who do care are mobilizing. This is serious. Those of us who knew way before Iraq was invaded that it was all a bunch of bullshit and didn’t actually think it could happen because it was all so fucking retarded and would be clusterfuck of epic proportions can’t afford to not take this Iran scaremongering bullshit seriously. You can be sure that congresspeople are being buttonholed about this, and the media drumbeat will commence just in time for the election – starting after Labor Day, watch McCain and Lieberman on every Sunday show criticizing and provoking the Obama administration, and the puke funnel going on about this 24/7. I’m going to notify my congressmen that I’m aware of what’s going on, and I’m paying close attention. Especially that nitwit Scott Brown. Ugh.

    Tim F. did such a great job on HCR here – mobilizing against this insanity is more important.

    The professional left, the manic progressives and the obots need to get behind Obama’s plan, put their butt-hurt aside, and fucking pull together. If not now, then when?

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: ITYM Tom Scott.

  21. 21
    Cermet says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal: From all the sources I have read Iran has followed the letter of the NPT – we have imposed new requirements (through the UN) which they have refused to follow and why should they? We looked the other way when a middle east country refused the NPT AND made many nukes.

    The NPT allows them to process fuel and enrich it (but not to weapons grade level which they have as yet not done (and maybe never will) but yes, they easily could given a few more years and no one looking over their shoulder … . Yet that does not give us the right to attack them – unless we have proof of their program.

  22. 22
    Dave says:

    The bottom line here is that everyone is asking the wrong question. It’s not “How do we keep Iran from getting the bomb?” It’s “How do we respond AFTER Iran gets the bomb?”

    Because it is going to happen. As sure as the sun sets in the West and water is wet, the day will come when Iran goes nuclear.

    And when it does, the world isn’t going to explode and Israel isn’t going to be vaporized. Just like the world didn’t go to hell when the North Koreans went nuclear.

    And Iran will discover something; that having a nuclear capacity makes things a lot more complicated. Because when you have a nuke, you become a legit target to be nuked if you cross the line and use it. Or you arm a terrorist organization that uses one.

    Maybe someone in Iran will do the math and realize that before it’s too late. I doubt they will, but it may happen.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Cermet:

    We looked the other way when a middle east country refused the NPT AND made many nukes.

    And tried to sell nukes to apartheid South Africa.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Not caring about whether Iran does or doesn’t get a bomb isn’t an option, because the people who do care are mobilizing.

    how many divisions do these people command ?

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Israel is never going to bomb Iran. The US is never going to bomb Iran. This is nothing but professional wanking by our journalistic betters. Bombing Iran, and therefore driving up the price of oil, is not in anyone’s best interest, except for the bigots that run the neo-con wing of the GOP.

    Bibi can talk all the bluster that her wants, but when push comes to shove, he won’t bomb Iran either. There is no way that Obama will allow Israel to do anything militarily against Iran. Because we cannot assist Israel in any meaningful way against the shit-storm that would erupt if they lived out their wet dream. Because about ten minutes after the bombs have theoretically been dropped, every single member of the US military in the Middle East will be drowned in a world of shit when the locals discover what Israel (or the US) did to Muslims in Iran. Want to prove Bin Laden right, and commit an act that could be easily seen as proof that the US is at war with Islam? This would do it. The only ones who want this are the bigoted neo-conservatives.

    There are no neo-cons in the WH. This isn’t going to happen under an Obama administration. Can’t say the same for any future GOPer administration. It would just mean more dead brown people, which would please their base.

  26. 26
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Dave:

    “How do we respond AFTER Iran gets the bomb?”

    I agree with this. They are going to get a bomb(s) and we need a strategy to prevent proliferation of more countries getting them cause they’re afraid. This is the real negative consequence of a nuclear Iran. I don’t think they are stupid enough to use one as a first strike, though religious fanatics of all religions can be unpredictable and fairly insane in there calculations about life and death.

    But fear begets fear and in the long run, this is not a good thing for anyone.

  27. 27
    Cat Lady says:

    @cleek:

    76.

  28. 28

    Iran has oil. We need oil. We will bomb Iran eventually.

  29. 29
    morzer says:

    @TomG:

    Actually, we know Pakistan has them. The Islamic bomb, AQ Khan etc etc.

  30. 30
    Bob L says:

    They are just saying if we preemptively attack enough countries we are sooner or later going to find one with a nuclear weapons program.

  31. 31
    j low says:

    Comments here are always much more interesting when the formatting is fucked up. All that bullshit in the middle just ends up waaaaaay off to the right where it can’t annoy me.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @j low: Here’s a nickle kid. Get yourself a real browser.

    Or just turn off javascript/put balloon-juice.com in the high security zone in your current browser.

  33. 33
    Svensker says:

    @cleek:

    how many divisions do these people command ?

    Seriously? They have Fox, they have the Washington Post, they have part of CNN, they have the National Review, they have a great deal of the Atlantic, they have think tanks, they have a great deal of Congress.

    There was not one reason to attack Iraq. Yet we did it, killing thousands of our own kids, bankrupting our country and killing thousands of Iraqis in the process. How many divisions did “these people” command then?

    Like DougJ and CatLady and some others have said: this time, over my dead body.

  34. 34
    ksmiami says:

    I just wrote a letter to Goldberg on his insane wankery. I suggest other fellow BJers do too. And I linked it to my former support for Israel. The neocons need to be driven off the podium – their vision is utter madness for America and the world. Copy below:

    “Dear Sir:

    Invading Persia is utter madness. Iran will collapse under its own weight in enough time. I believe that an attack will have the precise opposite effect of what is intended and we will rightly be labeled an aggressor nation – AGAIN. Funny how similar your case for attacking Iran is to attacking Iraq. Please remember that you are an American and consider the far reaching effect even one bomb will have on this nation. I used to be a loyal supporter of Israel, now not so much because they are proving a bad ally and Netanyahu is a danger to the USA.

    I hope people rightly laugh off the neocons – right off the world’s stage.”

  35. 35
    kdaug says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    Iran is not a signatory to the NPT

  36. 36
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    But this particular article is really a poor choice to unload general angst on neo cons and Goldberg, if you don’t want to look like raving libtards out for a hunt. There is just no there there with what you claim Dougj. Other than it’s Goldberg and he helped lie us into Iraq, so he deserves whatever he gets. But teasing out war drum banging on this piece doesn’t quite measure up in the facts department.

    Me and eemom have given up trying to point that out.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    Take the position that an armed Iran/Iraq exists, and then what the world and U.S. will do to stop it.

    Not just that. “What the world and U.S. will do” is largely restricted to military options. Goldberg considers and drops the idea of sanctions within a few sentences, and he never even considers negotiations. The only reason considered for why Iran might want nuclear weapons is that they’re interested in blowing Israel off the map.

    The worst part about this is that it tends to feed what likely to be Iran’s primary reason for wanting nukes: fears about U.S. aggression against them. Nor are those fears unrealistic, since we have a history of antagonism and helping their enemies and currently have armies in two neighboring countries. Talking about attacking them again (much less actually doing so) seems guaranteed to get their backs up, which undermines any hope for a peaceful solution.

  38. 38
    morzer says:

    @kdaug:

    And nor is our devoted ally, Pakistan. They refuse to sign-up until India has done so.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Goldberg considers and drops the idea of sanctions within a few sentences, and he never even considers negotiations.

    Probably because he isn’t the policy maker. He is telling us what policy makers he talks to are thinking about…which the point of the article to begin with.

  41. 41
    HyperIon says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    To simply ignore what Iran is doing would be basically to concede that the NPT is dead. As a practical matter, it probably is. However, I’m not so crazy about just admitting that. Where does that lead us?

    Closer to the truth.

    How can we figure out hard stuff if we keep deluding ourselves? Or keep pretending that the world is the way we want it to be when it really is NOT.

    NPT worked…until nuclear weapons began to proliferate.
    We need something else now.
    And it should be based on reality.

  42. 42
    Hugin & Munin says:

    C’mon, what’s a few more dead wogs matter?

    And how did all these imperialist Brits end up in America?

  43. 43
    Cat Lady says:

    @ksmiami:

    Copy that to your congresspeople. Let them know that their constituents are paying attention, and if they’re a “deficit hawk”, point out that they’re full of shit if they’re warmongers. Also.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    @TomG:

    India’s got them, Israel most likely does, Britain does, probably Pakistan…we aren’t trying to get them to dismantle any.

    We know Pakistan has them because they tested them. And we have been trying to get Pakistan and India to dismantle them. Pakistan’s nukes are effectively in our control right now anyway.

    And it’s not our call on Iran – it’s been the UNs call, just as it was the UNs call on Iraq right up to the moment Bush lied to them and then told them to fuck off when they pushed back against our shitty evidence. But these are UN sanctions on Iran, not US sanctions.

    What Goldberg is arguing isn’t so much what to do with Iran but whether or not the US should cut itself loose of the UN in a further effort to weaken the UN. That’s the case he’s making here and it’s the case he was making 8 years ago. It’s just another wingnut UN conspiracy theory wrapped up in polite words and what appears at first glance to be reason.

  45. 45
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    What Goldberg is arguing isn’t so much what to do with Iran but whether or not the US should cut itself loose of the UN in a further effort to weaken the UN. That’s the case he’s making here and it’s the case he was making 8 years ago. It’s just another wingnut UN conspiracy theory wrapped up in polite words and what appears at first glance to be reason.

    Yep.

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    @Susan of Texas:

    Read the article.

  47. 47
    Stillwater says:

    @celticdragonchick: Me and eemom have given up trying to point that out.</em?

    I've read your comments on these many Goldberg-Iran threads, and here's what I don't get about your (and eemom's) argument: even in the best-case, most charitable, Golberg-friendly interpretation you can give, his article evaluates costs, predicts consequences and tries to resolve some logistical and political difficulties if the Israelis (or some other country) were to strike Iranian nuclear sites. Now, however nuanced, thoughtful and careful his presentation of this case is, it is clearly meant for us (the reader) to view the issue – striking Iranian nuke sites – as plausible and worth considering.

    I don’t know how one could refrain from characterizing that view, in the current political environment, as anything but a pro strike-Iran position.

    Btw, my view of GOldberg’s piece isn’t based on his prior writing – I didn’t read that in real time and don’t particularly care (wrt to this issue) what he may have written in the past. My view of his piece derives from the internal inconsistency of his propositions (he’s not stupid, therefore he must be up to something to write such asininities) coupled with the glaring moral, political and evidential omissions.

  48. 48
    liberal says:

    @Martin:

    So long as Iran continues to violate UN restrictions on enrichment…

    LOL. Iran is fully within their rights as a signatory to the NPT to enrich. The other powers that are attempting to restrict their right are, as NPT signatories, in violation, because part of the NPT requires them to help, not hinder, efforts by signatory states to develop nuclear power.

  49. 49
    liberal says:

    @TomG:

    …Israel most likely does…

    Most likely? IMHO “certainly.”

  50. 50
    liberal says:

    @kdaug:

    Iran is not a signatory to the NPT

    False.

  51. 51
    cleek says:

    @Svensker:

    Seriously? They have Fox, they have the Washington Post, they have part of CNN, they have the National Review, they have a great deal of the Atlantic, they have think tanks, they have a great deal of Congress.

    CNN ? do they have armored divisions ? infantry ? mounted cavalry ?

    Fox ? are they going to muster a militia and send a bunch of Freedom Fighters off to invade a country of 72 million ? The First Teabaggers Brigade takes Tehran! Glorious victory!

    and “a good deal of Congress” isn’t enough. they don’t control the armed forces.

    besides, if the Obama wants to go to war, he’ll go to war whether we like it or not. and when has he shown even the slightest bit of concern about the pacifist left (besides happy talk during the primaries, of course) ? examples please.

    ultimately, when it comes to war, we don’t count. not one fucking little tiny bit. that’s just the way it is.

    but, i don’t think it’s in the cards. we ain’t got the manpower nor the cash to handle a country of that size. and our allies won’t be interested.

  52. 52
    Rambo says:

    That is very easy, raise the gas prices again. See the Arabs and Persians are still committed to some old contracts they signed years ago, selling barrels of oil in their 20s or 40s maybe even less.

    Raising the oil prices to around 150 and that will not only pay for the war with Iran, it will also covers BP’s loss from that little spill in the south. Left overs will be sent to cover NATO in Afghanistan.

    When are we shutting down the refineries to convert the gas to winter version?

  53. 53
    liberal says:

    @MikeJ:
    This.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    @trollhattan:

    Invasion? Of a country with more than twice the population of Iraq? Right.

    With a notably less forgiving terrain, to boot.

    Which is why the nutjobs in Israel and possibly the US probably just plan on bombing.

  55. 55
    jwb says:

    @liberal: Yes, and Iran, which does not have stupid people running it, has to know this, which is why I’m sure they put their most valuable assets very deep in the mountains where even our biggest bunker busters will have a hard time reaching.

  56. 56
    Uloborus says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    Obama’s position is not that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and needs to be stopped. I thought his speeches on the subject were rather clear, as were the negotiation deals he has reached so far in this constant wrangling mess. He believes that Iran is completely within their rights to have nuclear power plants, but that their rhetoric and the way they’re hiding what they’re doing is making it impossible to be sure they’re only after electricity. So he’s tightening the economic screws a bit.

    He does add occasionally that he really does think it would be bad if Iran got a nuke and wants to prevent that, and I’m afraid that’s all the media likes to report.

  57. 57

    @kdaug: @kdaug:

    And after I was kind enough to give you a link.

  58. 58
    Xanthippas says:

    All Greenwald and others are trying to show is that this was the same approach taken by Goldberg in the run up to Iraq war. Take the position that an armed Iran/Iraq exists, and then what the world and U.S. will do to stop it.

    Yeah, you think people would keep that in mind reading Goldberg’s article. But I see a lot of people treating Goldberg’s article completely at face value. Why the hell didn’t we learn?

  59. 59
    Honus says:

    @Martin: “Iran is not a sufficiently stable government that should be trusted with a nuclear program.”

    Yeah, not like say, our great ally Pakistan.

  60. 60
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Honus: Or that notoriously stable North Korea.

  61. 61
    Honus says:

    @Susan of Texas: That was the flaw in the Iraq scenario. We don’t need to bomb them to get their oil. They are already selling us their oil. Any fool can look at the Iraq war and see that it is cheaper to just buy the oil than to invade the country to get it.
    What we went to war for to get Dick Cheney the right to sell us their oil. (or to sell their oil to the Chinese)

  62. 62
    Up in Canada says:

    Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, three wars and the US hasn’t got it right yet. Vietnam, the proxies of the PRC, except this turned out to be not true. Iraq, toadstools and poison gas, again not true. Afghanistan, home of Bennie, but he moved to Pakistan. We still don’t know he moved.

    Why should we have a sound reason to attack Iran? When did we in the last fifty years have a rational reason for any of these wars. Bring on Iran!

  63. 63
    mclaren says:

    It should be entirely evident that Iran has zero nuclear capacity. None. Dick. Squat. Nada. Bupkiss.

    We know this because the CIA claims they do have it or are attempting to get it. That means of course that the opposite must be true. We could permanently solve the Peak Oil problem merely by getting the CIA to publicly announce that Peak OIl is a problem, because that would instantly mean it’s no longer true.

    The reason America doesn’t put warning labels for shoddy journalism on U.S. TV shows and newspapers is that they’d have to put a warning label on every single TV sound bite and every single newspaper story. You wouldn’t be able to read the paper or watch TV, it’d be nothing but WARNING: THE SURGEON GENERAL HAS DETERMINED THAT THIS PIECE OF MEDIA HAS SHODDY JOURNALISM WHICH MAY PROVE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SANITY.

  64. 64
    eemom says:

    That’s right Dougie — except it’s not quite right to say that Surly Duff “put it better than” you.

    He did what you, and John, and your hero Glenn, with all your flailing hyperbole, utterly failed to do: articulate a simple, fair, and coherent argument against the Goldberg article.

  65. 65
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Because powerful people’s careers depend on their not learning?

  66. 66
    tomvox1 says:

    Jeff Goldberg was a big proponent of invading Iraq, as I was not — and those who disagreed with him about that war have in many cases taken the leap of assuming he’s making the case for another assault. I think this is mainly response to byline rather than argument.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....ine/61408/

    Jesus H Christmas, did Fallows disappoint me here. This is such a stupid fucking statement I feel like weeping. One less commentator* to trust…

    *BTW, it must be asked: Where do these paunchy middle age white men get off arguing the case (pro & con) for sending thousands to war?

  67. 67
    tomvox1 says:

    Also, too, Goldberg seems to admit something in the guise of sarcasm in trying to deflect accusations:

    I mean, I’m a well-known neoconservative Zionist fifth-columnist warmonger: How could I believe otherwise?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....ons/61392/

    But I’d bet the million dollars I don’t have that Jeff Goldberg is in fact a Zionist Fifth Columnist being paid by the Atlantic but also the Israeli government/military to engage in Hasbara to further Israel’s foreign policy aims, whether they are beneficial to those of the United States or not. Do I have any takers?

  68. 68
    Acharn says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    Well, given how fast Obama backtracked when Bibi threw a hissy fit over Joe Biden’s reaction to being blindsided by the announcement of more building in Palestinian areas, I don’t see any reason NOT to believe he has been completely captured by the neocons/Likudniks. Although an attack on Iran would clearly be madness, I don’t think it’s “unimaginable.” We have a lot of irrationality floating around these days, the Netanyahu/Lividgor axis is very scary, and I keep thinking about Rahm’s allegiance to Isreal.

  69. 69
    benjoya says:

    Iran is definitely in violation of its obligations under the NPT

    cite, please, cause as i understand it, what iran is in violation of is an side agreement they made (NOT a treaty) that goes beyond the NPT. The NPT allows uranium enrichment. Iran is not in violation of the NPT. (neither is israel, since they never signed it)

  70. 70
    Blaine says:

    The thing that REALLY kills me is the fact that people just assume Iran is pursuing a nuke, and will have one soon. These predictions have been ongoing since AT LEAST 1984 via “Israeli and US Intelligence Officials.” And every single time these dire predictions crumble under the weight of reality, they simply move the goal posts further back. So I ask, what reason do I have to trust ANY of their analysis or intelligence estimates on this issue? I’m not one to believe I should take everything the Iranians say at face value, but I also don’t believe one should jump to unfounded conclusions, especially in a situation as serious as this. We’re talking about thousands of lives potentially lost and millions affected by ridiculous sanctions at the behest of OUR Government. And yet these same people who are so certain Iran is chasing down a nuke and will be there oh so soon have been demonstratively wrong for over two decades. You’ll have to excuse me if I give their positions little credibility.

    As for whether or not Obama will okay and attack on Iran, or allow Israel to attack them. I’m not so sure why people think it’s entirely out of the question. Yes, his administration isn’t stacked with neo-cons, but last I checked they weren’t the only ones in favor of pretty drastic (and sometimes downright stupid) interventionism (CNAS anyone?). And my memory might be a little shaky, but I believe there was a majority of supposed liberals who were in favor of invading Iraq as the case was being made (and certainly there were “liberals” who were aiding the cause). So I would hesitate to say it will *never* happen.

  71. 71
    progtex says:

    RE: liberal:

    You are either uninformed or lying to claim Israel has signed the NPT. There IS a country in this situation developing nuclear weapons outside of international law or inspection and which is making wild claims of war – Israel. Iran, however, has not militarily aggressively attacked another nation in over a century, and of course Ahmadinejad has never said anything about wiping anybody off the map, that this was a mistranslation has been known for some time.

    The Supreme Leader (who actually runs the political/military/judicial life in Iran, not the President) has actually issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons, calling them abhorrent to Islam. If Iran were found to actually be making nukes, there would be a religious civil war. It’s sad that these true facts somehow never make it into the debate over whether or not to ramp up America’s war machine yet again.

  72. 72
    Patrick Cummins says:

    “There are many countries in the region who, if they lack the assurance the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran”

    This statement by an ambassdor of the United Arab Emirates lays bare the central problem for the US, and it is a dilemma that exists even if Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.

    An Iran that is a rising power is one that is bound to enjoy more regional influence. Mastering the nuclear fuel cycle and thereby become a latent nuclear power will cement their rising influence. That influence will be felt in the world’s most important oil producing region. And it will come at the expense of US influence, particularly with the littoral states in the Gulf.

    The US wants hegemony in the Gulf. Iran is a threat to that hegemony. At bottom, that’s what this conflict is about.

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