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June 17, 2003 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack' British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme.
posted by kablam (74 comments total)

 
And this should come as a surprise to who, exactly?

ObComplaining: (mmm, NewsFilter goodness.)

posted by keswick at 4:37 PM on June 17, 2003


Jebus on a popsicle stick.
Someone nuke us, please.
Stop us before we kill again.
posted by Dillenger69 at 4:38 PM on June 17, 2003


Where can I get the 'Merica Rolls tour T-shirt?
posted by solistrato at 4:43 PM on June 17, 2003


...and people will continue to not care that this is pre-scripted (self-link) bullshit (not self-link).

What do you bet we are all about to learn a new synonym for "imminent?"
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2003


I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Terrorism is a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.
posted by Addiction at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2003


Make that "alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that the now-usual pathetic, groundless propaganda begins to hint without actually having the guts to come out and claim that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme".
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction:
"Terrorism" is malleable political bullshit (to borrow a term from Colin Powell). Real extra-state, or supranational, if you will, threats to American security exist, no doubt. But do not confuse the new demands of national security with Ashcroft and Perle's "Total War," which is a fallacious attempt to round up such resilient groups as Al Qaeda and the Taliban into states, and destroy those, as if somehow the metaphors of good and evil can mainfest into geographical reality.

The "War on Terror" was a pre-conceived and radical re-tooling of the way the US interacts with the rest of the world. It got grafted on to Americans' fears following 9/11, and dressed up in so much teet-sucklin'/flag-wavin'. Feel safe in our new national religion of Kevlar illogic if you want. I wish I could.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:13 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction - I can't tell if you're being serious... are you?
posted by jonson at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction - I can't tell if you're being serious... are you?

Shit. I meant to say that, too. Only before all the other stuff.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:20 PM on June 17, 2003


I, for one, welcome our warmongering overlords. And so should you, citizen!
(If you know what's good for you.)
posted by keswick at 5:21 PM on June 17, 2003


I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Drugs are a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.

I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Liberalism is a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.

I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Ecological activism is a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.

I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Homosexuality is a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.

I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our children's futures. Failure to use purchase-tracking discount cards is a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.
posted by quonsar at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2003


In a time when it is the "cool" thing to do when you blindly follow the trash thrown on your TV, radio, or newspaper, I instead go from first hand experience.

I am an active duty U.S. Marine. I was recently honored by being able to very actively participate in our war in Iraq. The mothers crying in joy at your arrival, knowing the oppression of dictatorship is over, knowing their children can look forward to better days then she had known were enough alone. Let alone the tons of other positive reactions, sheer joy of the people at being set free, that I first hand received in Iraq, were more then enough to convince me that what I was doing, what we were doing, was right.

It may be the popular thing to do, hopping on the left wing bandwagon of propaganda, but I can assure you, when you see firsthand the conditions these people live in, all to support their government's ability to wage wars of terror across the globe, you will hop right off that bandwagon.

If you think that you are seeing through the propaganda by touting opposite propaganda instead, you are greatly mislead.
posted by Addiction at 5:45 PM on June 17, 2003


I'm not surprised. Fall would be a good time with the campaigning warming up. By then at least 1/3rd of Americans will believe that Tehran had something to do with 9.11.
posted by birdherder at 5:46 PM on June 17, 2003


Jebus, this country needs to cut it out, now. The last time a country tried to take over the world, the rest of the powers that be stepped in took them out.

Read: World War II.
posted by tomorama at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2003


Wow. It would be so exciting to be an Iranian nuclear scientist right now. A race against the clock. A real high stakes seat-of-your-pants engineering challenge. Gambling on which corners to cut, risking life and limb to save your nation from certain disaster....

I mean, of course nuclear weapons are horrible, and hopefully they're never used again except as a silent deterrent, and as an American I wish for our glorious military to triumph over the Evil Ones, but man.... That would be exciting work.

So Bush's team is planning a war for campaign time? Nice. There's nothing even remotely subtle about that strategy.

ps. Addiction: find any weapons of mass destruction while you were over there?

posted by mr_roboto at 5:56 PM on June 17, 2003


So, er, when exactly are they going to declare that World War III, has officially started, then?
posted by Blue Stone at 6:04 PM on June 17, 2003


left wing bandwagon of propaganda

Who has said anything income distribution, the welfare state, reproductive rights, or anything else "left-wing?" The idea that opposing an ongoing war against an undefined WORD is "leftist" is absurd. Check out these guys, they're libertarians.

You are the one who spoke of ending oppression, improving poor people's lives, and a basic populist opposition to dictatorship. Just who's the lefty? Pinko.

Just kidding about the "pinko" bit, but for you to suggest that whether or not to go to war in any situation is strictly based on a left/right dichotomy really says more about how you see the right than how you see the left.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:08 PM on June 17, 2003


Wait, no, right...that's where the WMD are. Really. This time I'm not kidding. Plus, they've got oil too. But that has nothing to do with this.
posted by mygoditsbob at 6:09 PM on June 17, 2003


... all to support their government's ability to wage wars of terror across the globe ...

*GASP*

What wars of terror across the globe?! When did Iraq ever engage in a war outside of the Gulf region?
posted by ar0n at 6:37 PM on June 17, 2003


It may be the popular thing to do, hopping on the left wing bandwagon of propaganda, but I can assure you, when you see firsthand the conditions these people live in, all to support their government's ability to wage wars of terror across the globe, you will hop right off that bandwagon.

Good God. Apologies to quonsar:

I can assure you, when you see firsthand the conditions these people live in, all to support Nike's ability to rake in profits across the globe, you will hop right off that bandwagon

I can assure you, when you see firsthand the conditions these women and children live in, and what they have to do to support their families, you will hop right off that free trade bandwagon

ad nauseum

Addiction, been to Iraq lately? How's that happy freedom thing working out for you guys?
posted by jokeefe at 6:38 PM on June 17, 2003


This thread belongs on WarFilter...
posted by Mark Doner at 6:47 PM on June 17, 2003


Sigh, please don't attack India.
posted by riffola at 6:48 PM on June 17, 2003


In a time when it is the "cool" thing to do when you blindly follow the trash thrown on your TV, radio, or newspaper, I instead go from first hand experience.

then why do you sound exactly like my television?
posted by quonsar at 7:01 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction's description of his experience reeks of bullshit.
posted by substrate at 7:08 PM on June 17, 2003


Enough with the pile on.. Although I'm not in favor of a war with Iran, I'm not excited about an Iran with nuclear weapons. The scary thing now is what political leverage we might have had with the mullahs to settle this thing is evaporating with the current unrest.

However, I can safely predict there will be no ground war in Iran--we simply don't have the troops nor the equipment. If anything is done, it will be by an air strike. As Israel has a cruise missile equipped submarine, it is very likely this could be outsourced by default.

Addiction's remarks trouble--this trend of a military with a growing tilt toward right wing politics is a very troubling trend--the irony of the fact that career soliders tend to live on base in subsidized socialistic enclaves notwithstanding. An all volunteer military changing from an apolitical professional organization and now becoming isolated and alienated from the civilian population while increasingly tilted toward one side in partisan politics is a troubling trend. Be grateful that this is not as yet a universal mindset among the military and that we still have a force wherein true debate still occurs.
posted by y2karl at 7:19 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction's description of his experience reeks of bullshit.

Why do you say that? I find it consistent with what other military people are saying.
posted by Plunge at 7:44 PM on June 17, 2003


What reeks is the stale comments. The same Amerika (note the clever use of the letter k) is evil, Bush is an idiot, America is NAZI Germany replies.

At the the next WTO protest take a moment to do something mildly constructive and try to come up with some new stuff?
posted by Mick at 9:14 PM on June 17, 2003


please don't attack India.

Jokes aside, it seems that U.S. policies might be driving India closer to China.
posted by homunculus at 9:16 PM on June 17, 2003


Any attack (by air, sea, or Israel) would be a monstrous mistake. This news, now, reeks to me. An attack would cause a pro-liberalization Iranian public to tilt decisively anti-U.S. and close ranks. This would remain the case post-"liberation." The Bush Administration's thoughts are coming through loud and clear: "People's will to change their country in street. People in street accused of being U.S. puppets. Major problem: people in street are not U.S. puppets. Solution: be sure that we give them shock-and-awe followed by Shah redux, rather than smooth the way indirectly for popular reform." The political reforms we could see without intervening in Iran are epochal. If we do intervene, that is tainted and lost. This is the age old Middle Eastern policy of the U.S. (& going back to the colonial days): predictable dictators different only in their plumage.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2003


Why do you say that? I find it consistent with what other military people are saying.

Yes but point in fact, they all carry guns and are the only
organized force doings o--other reports from the ground differ:

One thing I can say for the Americans: This precision-targeting stuff works. Driving into Baghdad from the west, from Jordan, I saw a fair amount of destroyed stuff -- blown-up Iraqi tanks, derelict armored personnel carriers, even some demolished roadways and bridges. But I didn't see any destroyed civilian buildings, and certainly no damage to a mosque.

So this high-tech approach does the job -- the U.S. regime-changed Sadaam Hussein without a lot of damage to Iraq itself. That's not the same as "no damage" of course, but Baghdad 2003 is not Dresden 1945.

On the other hand, there's also not much of a visible American presence here now. I haven't seen a single American flag anywhere, except on the shoulder patches of the GI's I see. I saw three at the checkpoint at the Jordanian/Iraq border. That was it.


I thought that crack was out of line, plunge, but tell me--do you think the military personnel should think of themselves as a separate elite? Do you think that it's a good idea that there should only be right wingers in uniform? How do yoou feel about America becoming a one party state--would you like that? That'd be an ironic result of the repeated use of our armed forces as the bluntest of all blunt political instruments being used repeatedly to intervene overseas.

Be grateful that, for example, there are a few former marines who do not share this view. Or do you think all people who opposed this war--even decorated veterans--are somehow traitors?
posted by y2karl at 9:23 PM on June 17, 2003


Any attack (by air, sea, or Israel) would be a monstrous mistake. This news, now, reeks to me. An attack would cause a pro-liberalization Iranian public to tilt decisively anti-U.S. and close ranks. This would remain the case post-"liberation."

This is my fear--thanks for stopping in and sharing, Zurishaddai.
posted by y2karl at 9:26 PM on June 17, 2003


Before this totally spins out of contrl--I have a thought for all on the right. This is a tiiny little pond with its politics tilted left--so what? Do you want every community weblog to be Little Green Footballs or the Free Republic? They spout cartoon slogans, too, far more than here and far more in line with your feelings. Plus they outnumber us here. If the liberal predomination here so offends you, go there.

Very few voices in any number of places on the web or in the media come from anything more than lifestyle liberals. Do you really want the few voices of the left shut out entirely so the right may rampage unimpeded? Is that really the best thing for a democracy? This place has a tilt--get over it. Or join LGF. It's bad enough we shout past each other... do you really want to shout us down?
posted by y2karl at 9:37 PM on June 17, 2003


And thanks for the deep thoughts, mick--we can always count on you!
posted by y2karl at 9:44 PM on June 17, 2003


P.S. Even if the Bush Administration doesn't have any actual intention to launch an actual attack, the bluster still has the effect of creating paranoia in all the wrong parts of Iranian society and setting back hopes for the future. And I can't help but question the motives for that, when a kill-Iran-with-kindness campaign might accomplish so much. (I mean improving relations through empty symbolism to give a taste of normalization's rewards—not grand speeches about how the people need "Philadelphia Freedom" à la Bush.)
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:44 PM on June 17, 2003


I think that it is important at this point to interject by saying that what if Iran is not the goal, only a path to the goal?

In other words, being reactive whenever the US government does something accomplishes little. If you want to influence the government, don't try to do it now--on the subject of the moment, when they have already made up their mind--but project into the future.

Bluntly stated. Once Iran is conquered, by whatever means, then what? Do you seriously believe that Iran is the end? Iraq is almost a dead issue already, and my point is that Iran is almost over, as an argument, before a single shot has been fired. If you are still arguing about Iraq, and possibly Iran, you may have already lost the argument.

N.B.: it seems that the EU is already on board to this "made" decision about Iran. What debate?

Other nations involved in US-condemned nuclear proliferation might include North Korea, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and who knows who else?

And last but not least, what if the major reorganization and restructuring currently happening in the US Navy, Army, and Air Force, which would just coincidentally seem to fit preparations for a major land war in Asia, happened to be that way for a reason? What if the great goal is China, unthinkable as that might seem.

In other words, if the present scares the heck out of you, I highly suggest you ponder the future. Never assume "they wouldn't dare."
posted by kablam at 9:45 PM on June 17, 2003


Hang on, from what I read in the article it seems that this is far more than an American action, as it seemed to be in Iraq. The EU, Russia and Japan are in on this too. So please, continue the bashing of the people supporting action against Iran's nuclear program, just refrain from calling all those nations that are speaking up American. I'm sure the Europeans wouldn't appreciate it, to say nothing of the Russians and Japanese.
posted by dazed_one at 9:55 PM on June 17, 2003


I'm sure they're against the program but I don't see where that translates into support for the military option being exercised once again by the one hyperpower in the world. Iran hqas a nucllear armed Pakistan on one side, Muslim but not Shia and a nuclear armed Israel, the world's second most powerful nuclear state in terms of warheads, on the other--plus the belligerent hyperpower armed to the teeth already and arming even more. Do you wonder why they want to have the means to defend themselves?
posted by y2karl at 10:07 PM on June 17, 2003


Addiction, if you're still around this thread:

I'm sure I'll probably be piled on for this, but I for one want to thank you for your service for our country. (Assuming you are what you say you are, anyway. :) ) That's all. Just thank you for a job well done.
posted by jammer at 10:08 PM on June 17, 2003


What reeks is the stale comments. The same Amerika (note the clever use of the letter k) is evil, Bush is an idiot, America is NAZI Germany replies.

At the the next WTO protest take a moment to do something mildly constructive and try to come up with some new stuff?


You wanna know the only thing that's not stale, clever or any of the above? Read what I've italicized above. That is the real McCoy folks. We're (on the anti-Bush left) so useless, our ideas so warmed-over that, it would follow we're also useless and stale human beings, would it not?

You've gotta be a US Marine or a stockbroker somewhere in lower Manhattan who "was there" on 9-11 to fully comprehend the slovenly, ripe-for-dicatorial-tyrannical-takeover these underdeveloped societies, cultures and countries are. They need our Marines. It's true, us blue hued American liberal non Marines have about reached the threshold where we "learn real good" the lessons of this Swarming Islamic Pandemic (SIP) and never make eye contact again with the good American soldier who has seen "first hand" this horrible, goddamn squalor.

I always wondered what our soldiers pack in them unwieldy backpacks of theirs. See, I've played Counter Strike and I'm well aware that no soldier needs all that crap to pick off a few brownie Islamics. Therefore, I ask, what is hidden in those great backpacks you all wear?

I'm beginning to suspect, finally(!) that you've loaded up your packs with nothing but a back-breaking load of human compassion. Soon, we'll all be running around with huge US Miliary issue backpacks that we'll load full of Human Compassion Ready For Deployment (HCRDs), not because it will be a fashion statement, but because we've got so much flippin' compassion over here we need to put it in backpacks. We've simply outgrown our pants pockets and their ability to reliably seed the world with HCRDs is stunted.
posted by crasspastor at 10:12 PM on June 17, 2003


"This place has a tilt--get over it. Or join LGF. It's bad enough we shout past each other... do you really want to shout us down?"

y2karl, I find it amusing that your are worried about the righties shouting lefties down... seeing as it's mostly the lefties that do the shouting down around here.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a discussion that didn't involve 'shouting down' at all? You know, a nice civilized discussion without the bitching or jingoism/anti-jingoism/whatever? Must MeFi be solely a place for lefties to pat each other on the back?

sigh.
posted by Mark Doner at 10:18 PM on June 17, 2003


if "y'all" had any clue how big of a dick y'all sounded like when you refer to the mefi populace as those lefties etc, then you wouldn't do it. hopefully.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:41 PM on June 17, 2003


mcsweetie, I can only assume your comment was directed at me, since I'm the only person other than yourself to use the term "lefties" in this thread. Please read my comment again, without skimming, and look for any occurances of "y'all" or "those lefties". Please also note the occurance of "righties".

Furthermore, I would like to point out that you "sound like" a scurvy cur.

double sigh.
posted by Mark Doner at 10:56 PM on June 17, 2003


seeing as it's mostly the lefties that do the shouting down around here.

I suppose, but... Here and how many other places? It's hardly that strident--wait a minute: Hey, crassppastor? Put a sock init! Didn'ja click on the words former marines in my comment above? Throw something besides gasoline on this blaze!--here most of the time until people start write their Withering Comebacks... which we all have done on occasion. Just thank God you haven't had Bubbadude carrying the torch for your side so far.
posted by y2karl at 10:58 PM on June 17, 2003


Ah yes, the 'just trying to balance the internet' argument. So let's see, the lefties get metafilter, common dreams, etc, and the righties get their little green footballs and their foxnews, and everybody gets to feel all fuzzy and self-righteous. Wonderful, except it's completely narcissistic. And those of us that don't jerk our knees in either direction get left out in the cold.
posted by Mark Doner at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2003


I still don't know why war with Iran is about right and left. What if you oppose the war only because you don't want to pay more taxes? What if you support it for human rights reasons?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:09 PM on June 17, 2003


And those of us that don't jerk our knees in either direction get left out in the cold.

That knee of yours is jerking only right tonight, if I am not mistaken.
posted by y2karl at 11:28 PM on June 17, 2003


You know, a nice civilized discussion without the bitching or jingoism/anti-jingoism/whatever?

Wonderful, except it's completely narcissistic.

Having both ways are we? I see your point but MetaFilter is hardly Common Dreams. Anyway, as I noted elsewhere, it's always easy to see hypocrisy cow pies on the other side of the fence. This current polarization has been with us for long before 9/11. The democrats have the seven, eight or nine dwarves and the Presidency is occupied by a pillow who shows the shape of the head of the last person he talked to... Who usually is either Karl Rove or one or another luminary of the PNAC, unfortunately. Behold, my son,
with what little wisdom the world is ruled. - Count Oxenstierna

posted by y2karl at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2003


While this was completely expected and likely planned in advance, a part of me has to wonder if it's actually one of the unintended consequences that "leftwing lunatics" warned of before Iraq was invaded. It is just possible that not only is the war in Iraq not over (try telling that to a quote-unquote patriot), but all the dire predictions of those against the war are coming true.

dazed_one: Am operating strictly on psychic ability here, but I think other nations are stepping in early to get inspectors so that they can make sure inspectors stay on the ground. It won't work, but they'll try to stall any U.S. military action by pushing the inspections issue, until eventually some Iranian spouts off like a madman and it's broadcast all over the U.S. media. Then the American people will demand war, and no one will be able to stop it.

Conservatives: Sincerely hope you do not think I'm a lefty. May shout people down sometimes, but that's because I have the morality of a gangster, and the personality of Chick Young in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It has nothing to do with politics.
posted by son_of_minya at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2003


with what little wisdom the world is ruled. - Count Oxenstierna

Word.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:58 PM on June 17, 2003


y2karl: "That knee of yours is jerking only right tonight, if I am not mistaken."

You're mistaken. I defy you to site an example of anything "right wing" that I've posted tonight; simply knocking the behavior of some of the lefties on this site doesn't count. Further, I seriously doubt anything I've posted here could count as resulting from knee-jerk reactions, tonight or ever.

"Having both ways are we?"

Sorry, I don't quite see how those two sentiments you cited are in conflict in any way.
posted by Mark Doner at 12:21 AM on June 18, 2003


How do yoou feel about America becoming a one party state--would you like that?

America is a one party state, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This thread is a classic illustration of how everything is broken down into black and white, right and left. The lefties bash heads with the right and the right yells at the left. Meanwhile, both parties are acting like complete jackasses despite the fact that they probably have more similarities than differences, though they do not realize this because they're trained to focus on the differences. Why unite when dividing is so much easier? Turn the masses on each other.

How quick we on the left scream about war when Bush is in office. Afterall, Clinton bombed the hell out of Iraq in 1994, remember? This government was hijacked a long time ago and the 'right vs left' rhetoric or Republican versus Democrat facade is just that...an illusion. Make the people think they still have a choice when all the candidates are pretty much the same when you strip away all the bullshit. Examine foreign policy especially in the Middle East closely and you will see this illustrated quite well. Republicrats must love to see the way people fall for the right versus left dichotomy while they gain more power and make more money, all the while registered Republicans, right-wing talk show hosts and the left wing liberals bicker with each other. United We Stand is what they say but divided we fall is what's happening. Ahh the irony...
posted by GrooveJedi at 12:31 AM on June 18, 2003


This government was hijacked a long time ago and the 'right vs left' rhetoric or Republican versus Democrat facade is just that...an illusion.

Apart from two little words--Federal Judiciary--I would agree. Oh, there are the those tax cuts, too. In the matter of class war and culture wars, pandering to the base has real consequences for the rest of us. Corporate whores though they may be, the Democrats are less pernicious. There is a difference.
posted by y2karl at 12:57 AM on June 18, 2003


I was being ironic y2karl. I'm merely saying I don't need anybody telling me how compassion works. How to identify tyranny. How to go about life as a Good American. I've got that all covered.

I'm asking the rightwing warmongers, "do you have anything else?"

Where do you, as a Right Wing Warmonger go from here? What do those of us who are not warmongers do? Are we traitors in your eyes for not supporting the honorable George W Bush administration and their pack of necessary lies so that they could transform the world into a better place? Will unhappiness become a crime? Is there a race between Iraq and America to decide who's populace isn't happy with its leadership and who will say so first? Will the people of either country be listened to?

That is my point. And it is completely absurd like everything else about now.
posted by crasspastor at 1:27 AM on June 18, 2003


I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our terrorism's future. Children are a real and present danger, one which we must be quick to stomp out.
posted by spazzm at 1:29 AM on June 18, 2003


I don't think the US will launch an all out war against Iran. We are talking about a country (much of it mountainous) that is larger than Alaska with a population of over 60 million (many of them males of military age), that was prepared to lose tens of thousands of soldiers a week during its war with Iraq. Add to that the fact that Iran has been steadily building up its military since 1988, and you are looking at a poor invasion candidate. We only attack completely defenseless countries, remember?

What I do believe will happen is that the US will arm and train the Iraq based Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (which the US has treated with kid gloves, unlike other "terrorist" groups in Iraq) to be even more of a thorn in the Mullahs' collective side. Now that would give America some leverage and bargaining power.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:37 AM on June 18, 2003


I applaud America's continuing effort at protecting our future terrorism.
posted by dabitch at 3:15 AM on June 18, 2003


I feel sick.
posted by walrus at 3:47 AM on June 18, 2003


From Bush's "revisionist history" speech:
This government will use whatever technologies and skill is necessary to secure America by hunting down those who would harm us one person at a time.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:40 AM on June 18, 2003


IMHO, if this actually is the course the administration plans on following, then it is another strategic mistake in the War on Terror™. States can be deterred, terrorists cannot, and every war we distract ourselves with while ignoring the very real security holes we have on our own soil gives our real opponents more time to plan an execute an attack on our nation. This idiotic policy of 'reshaping the middle east through might' is not going to change opinions about the US and end terrorism any more than trying to make the American Left become Rush Limbaugh-supporting dittoheads by bombing them would work.
posted by moonbiter at 7:25 AM on June 18, 2003


Mark Doner, I was referring to you about a phenomena I see in threads all the time: right-wing partisan player gets fed up, and begins to rant along the lines, "oh but here on liberal metafilter, where I'm the poor oppressed outsider, the only one that truly knows what exactly the dilly is as opposed to all you typical lefties..." and I'm saying it makes the speaker look like a jackassus maximus. "y'all" was in parenthesis to denote said player(s), and "those lefties" to indicate generic rant.

and what's a scurvy cur?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:16 AM on June 18, 2003


Addiction, if you're still lurking about...

I have no doubt whatsoever that the people in Iraq were happy to see you, happy to be "liberated." But I'd point out that you and every other member of our armed forces could march into any one of two dozen countries and be greeted by a local poplace ecstatic to be free of whatever regime, strongman or mullah made their lives hell.

What I would like to know is what your commanders told you before the shooting began. How much of a factor was the humanitarian aspect of this, the freeing of the Iraqi people, or were you in fact told that Saddam Hussein posed a clear and present danger to the United States. And having been through the short (though ongoing) conflict, would you not agree that if your commanders emphasized the latter over the former, that they - that this nation - vastly overstated the capabilities of the armies you faced? And that while this may have been an honest mistake, isn't it also possible it wasn't an honest mistake?

I applaud your sacrifice, your ability and your mettle. But forgive me, I cannot subscribe to the notion that by going into Iraq, we - you - have somehow "made the world safe for democracy." I do not agree that taking out Iraq was necessary to "keep America free."

Nor do I agree that continued intervention in that part of the world is necessary to "keep America free."

I think, rather, that the Iraq war was designed as a show of American power designed to intimdate and demonstrate our resolve, in the wake of 9/11. Further wars in the region will not be to take out states that pose an imminent threat, but rather to take out those that might, at some point in the future, theoretically pose a threat.

That is a radical shift in American policy, and I simply cannot support it, regardless of how relieved the Iraqi citizens were to see you arrive.
posted by kgasmart at 8:43 AM on June 18, 2003


I should know better than to post in a thread like this, but...

Of those who don't believe that the country is on the wrong track, how are recent events explained as being consistent with traditional American jurisprudence/society/culture? I will narrow it down for ease in response:

1. Detentions of both citizens and non-citizens without charges, counsel, or chance to defend themselves, often on secret evidence.

2. The emergence of a pattern of offensive war, used to eliminate hostile regimes, in defiance of world opinion and international law (i.e., the UN charter).

3. Justification for the Iraq war based on phony or manufactured evidence, and a refusal to even investigate the charges of same by Congress, solely because of their support for the president.

I agree that those opposed to the president can seem hysterical, but there are at least a kernel or two of truth in the charges they level. How are these things explained? How is this excused? Why can't I get a better answer than "damn leftists, always bashing Bush?"
posted by norm at 8:57 AM on June 18, 2003


"This is not a question of crying Wolfowitz," a Washington defence insider said, referring to the calls to deal with the "axis of evil" of rogue states - which include Iran - by the hawkish deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "The threat is real."

Mmmm, good pun -- I'm envious!

I wish some SpecWar operators were members of the MeFi community and could be forthcoming on whether their "fun meters" are as pegged as the rest of the military's is. I'd recently heard something on the radio about how the Army is considering a plan to accelerate the selection and training pipeline for its Special Forces guys (the Green Berets) to try to produce them more quickly. (That fits with Rumsfeld's idea of a SpecWar-heavy military that can move quicker and slicker.)

If I ever see something online about accelerated SF training, I might just FPP it, because I can't imagine how they could shake 'n' bake highly specialized operators without compromising greatly on their quality. Hell, it used to take a while to get a Green Beanie: You'd have to make E-5, go through jump school, go through Ranger school (or at least a lot of SF guys have Ranger tabs too), go through extra weapons or medical or engineering training, speak two foreign languages fluently...geez, I think you also have to be able to run, clap your hands, and count to four.

Also, I seem to recall that the military and defense communities have a chronic shortage of Farsi speakers -- I guess they'll have to start running more classes at the school in Monterey.

Sorry to bring the thread back on topic. Y'all can go back to warmongering and peaceniking now.
posted by alumshubby at 9:29 AM on June 18, 2003


If only Bush would practice what he stupidly promotes publically, everything would be fine: if he really WAS

"hunting down those who would harm us one person at a time"

We'd still be working on Bin Laden, and not working on our third big-gulp helpin' of Evil Arabs.

Some folks do get hysterical when knocking on the anti-Bush drum. But it's to be expected - they were rational when they told you we had insufficient proof to steamroll through Iraq, and were told by the flatheaded, mushbrained Republi-zombies that they ought to move to Russia, Cuba, or to get with the program and come in for the Big Win.

It's hard not to get a bit edgy when you try to get the truth out and its drowned out by ignorance, willful deception, jingoism and xenophobia.

We weren't the ones who started this war. But we will put a stop to it, if its in our power to do so. And if that means the poor little power-mad superpatriots have to listen to louder voices, tough luck. They should have listened when we were talking... instead of accusing us of treason.
posted by Perigee at 9:37 AM on June 18, 2003


worth a thousand words...
posted by zekinskia at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2003


zekinskia, I think I've finally found the tattoo I want.
posted by alumshubby at 10:33 AM on June 18, 2003


Both the US right and left are involved in future mischief, mischief that takes a lot of planning. If not, then why is this the future US Navy:

carriers

destroyers

the littoral ships, sea slice, sea lance and streetfighter

the amphibious transport

Most likely, none of which will be ready in time for Iran. So why the complete refit? And why is it supported by both political parties, and has been despite who is president or which party runs congress?
posted by kablam at 11:36 AM on June 18, 2003


Y2Karl, Israel is not the second largest nuclear power in the world. US and Russia are numbers one and two. I believe Israel, France and the UK all have forces about the same size, followed by China, than India, than Pakistan. I could be wrong about this order, but US and Russia are most definitely one and two.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:14 PM on June 18, 2003


And why is it supported by both political parties, and has been despite who is president or which party runs congress?

Because they don't run the country and know it.[/sarcasm/but my only answer]
posted by thomcatspike at 2:27 PM on June 18, 2003


Here are the actual words of Bush's ham-handed "diplomacy" towards Iran. As I've said, this talk is a sure way to undermine all the goals of the Iranian reform movement & prevent anything that would really look like a Muslim and Middle Eastern democracy:

I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran. They need to know America stands squarely at their side. And I would urge the Iranian administration to treat them with the utmost respect.
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:03 PM on June 18, 2003


And to continue my harping about the Bushies' questionable motives in Iran: 60 Minutes II just rebroadcast this report and pointed out that the following situation still holds:

One would have thought that NITV’s success in Iran would make the Bush administration shiver with delight. But Washington has not responded to NITV’s requests for help.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:40 PM on June 18, 2003


Perigee: If only Bush would practice what he stupidly promotes publically, everything would be fine: if he really WAS "hunting down those who would harm us one person at a time"...We'd still be working on Bin Laden, and not working on our third big-gulp helpin' of Evil Arabs.

WTF? Why do you think that we are no longer searching for Bin Laden?
posted by davidmsc at 5:58 AM on June 19, 2003


Why do you think that we are no longer searching for Bin Laden?

We're certainly not giving it our all. Our lack of a coherent global diplomatic strategy has sorely compromised our ability to pull together the kind of resources & cooperation that would make for the most effective fight possible against Al Qaeda. Not to mention the question of using limited U.S. resources.
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:32 PM on June 19, 2003


bin Laden is on a beach somewhere, sipping on a 10 dollar Snapple paid for by our tax dollars. They'll never find him because he's not supposed to be found. Same with Saddam.
posted by GrooveJedi at 9:47 PM on June 19, 2003


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