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A New Year, A New War
December 31, 2005 1:40 AM   Subscribe

And isn't it about time? As a charter member of the Axis of Evil, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been repeatedly branded by U.S. President George W. Bush as “a real threat." State supporter of the terrorist organisation Hezballah, Iran's president has suggested that "a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska" would be a more appropriate location for the Jewish state of Israel than on land taken from innocent Palestinians. In addition to its well-publicised nuclear ambitions, "Iran is now the only regional military power that poses a significant conventional military threat to Gulf stability." Compared to the fiction of the "growing threat" that was Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the facts in Iran appear largely undisputed. Under the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption, should the US or its allies be threatened by terrorists or by rogue states that are engaged in the production of weapons of mass destruction" unilateral military action - "a policy of pre-emptive war" - is called for. The buildup to war has been going on for a long time. Recent reports in the German media suggest that the United States may be preparing its allies for an imminent military strike against Iran. Al Jazerra says the war has already begun.
posted by three blind mice (93 comments total)

 
Another playground for George
posted by cassbrown1 at 1:50 AM on December 31, 2005


Happy New Year from Planet Motherfucker.
posted by loquacious at 2:21 AM on December 31, 2005


Wait, huh? You referred to "recent reports in the German media"--but the last link goes to Common Dreams, and the Al-Jazeera story is from June 2005. Is a link missing?
posted by fandango_matt at 2:25 AM on December 31, 2005


And the CNN article is almost a year old.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:26 AM on December 31, 2005


Oh, wait. Never mind.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:28 AM on December 31, 2005


Iran's president is a figurehead, he doesn't have that much real power. It's fucked up that he is saying this stuff, but that doesn't mean that Iran is actually going to act on what he says.
posted by afu at 2:41 AM on December 31, 2005 [1 favorite]


afu: that doesn't mean that Iran is actually going to act on what he says.

I am sure that will come as a relief to the millions of Israelis he has threatened with extinction. Of course, a little later he updated that threat to relocation, so maybe he does have a soft spot for that zionist entity thing there after all.

Also, what's with the obsession of Iran with Israel? The two countries don't even have a common border. Is he trying to impress all the good Muslims in Iran by showing that he hates teh Jews?
posted by sour cream at 3:09 AM on December 31, 2005


if i remember right he was quoting one of the past Ayatollahs when he called for the destruction of Israel. I'm too drunk to google it up. not that that was not a bad thing, but Iran has been doing it for awhile.

Anyway, my point was only that Iran's president is a blowhard who doesn't have much power. The ruling clerics are the cocksuckers we really have to worry about, but they don't seem to be too set on starting stupid wars. It is scary that the population elected a leader that seems to actually be to the right of the clerics.

Hopefully, the fact that Iran has so much to gain from a stable Iraq with a Shia majority, which is nominally what the U.S. wants as well will lead them to not fuck with the persian gulf region too much. Not that I put it past Bush to egg them on.
posted by afu at 3:46 AM on December 31, 2005 [1 favorite]


"I am sure that will come as a relief to the millions of Israelis he has threatened with extinction."

Wanna quote that?

I do recall a certain politician running on a platform of bombing Iran if elected.

Okay...whatever....but that certain politician, and his country, is on it's own if it does.

No Nebraska boys for that.

No New York boys for that.
posted by rougy at 4:02 AM on December 31, 2005


"I am sure that will come as a relief to the millions of Israelis he has threatened with extinction."

Wanna quote that?

I do recall a certain politician running on a platform of bombing Iran if elected.

Okay...whatever....but that certain politician, and his country, is on it's own if it does.

No Nebraska boys for that.

No New York boys for that.
posted by rougy at 4:02 AM on December 31, 2005


...how the hell would we pay for that?

Actually, Canada would be a more appropriate location for the Jewish state of Israel.

See, the promised land was supposed to be "Caanan," but we all know Moses had a speech impediment so....
*joke collapses*

I don't know about manpower. I think we could kick Iran over, it's the pacification part that troubles me. That means paying for it. Of course I hear many Iranians are pro-American. I could just be something I hear though. I didn't hear that any Iraqis liked us before the invasion except from the administration.

Still, I'd rather entrench than attack and I'd much rather not spread out no matter how much real estate we get out of it.

- These points devoid of other worthy considerations of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:41 AM on December 31, 2005


Hurry up China and eclipse the US...
posted by A189Nut at 4:46 AM on December 31, 2005


I don't know about manpower. I think we could kick Iran over, it's the pacification part that troubles me. That means paying for it. Of course I hear many Iranians are pro-American. I could just be something I hear though.
What of Iran's nuclear program? That was not a pressing concern for the young people I met. None of them raised the issue in conversation with me. When I asked them about it, they fell into two groups... Yet both insisted with equal vehemence that an American or Israeli bombing of nuclear installations, let alone an Iraq-style invasion, would be a wholly unacceptable response to Iran's nuclear ambitions... A perceptive local analyst reinforced the point. Who or what, he asked, could give this regime renewed popular support, especially among the young? "Only the United States!"
Soldiers of The Hidden Iman
...What about a pre-emptive strike of our own, like the Osirak raid? The problem is that Iran's nuclear program is now much more advanced than Iraq's was at the time of the raid. Already the U.S. government has no way of knowing exactly how many sites Iran has, or how many it would be able to destroy, or how much time it would buy in doing so. Worse, it would have no way of predicting the long-term strategic impact of such a strike. A strike might delay by three years Iran's attainment of its goal-but at the cost of further embittering the regime and its people. Iran's intentions when it did get the bomb would be all the more hostile...

One of our panelists thought that a strike would help the United States, simply by buying time. The rest disagreed. Iran would rebuild after a strike, and from that point on it would be much more reluctant to be talked or bargained out of pursuing its goals-and it would have far more reason, once armed, to use nuclear weapons to America's detriment.

Most of our panelists felt that the case against a U.S. strike was all the more powerful against an Israeli strike. With its much smaller air force and much more limited freedom to use airspace, Israel would probably do even less "helpful" damage to Iranian sites. The hostile reaction-against both Israel and the United States-would be potentially more lethal to both Israel and its strongest backer.
Will Iran Be Next ?
posted by y2karl at 5:23 AM on December 31, 2005


Forget Iran -- I want the Americans back in Korea.

Bring back M*A*S*H! Now that was quality television.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 5:37 AM on December 31, 2005


Given how completely Iraq was bollocked up, I don't really see Americans getting behind this when there's no evidence at all that any new military adventures would have the benefit of any better planning than the one it's involved in now. The political capacity isn't there, nor (frankly) is the military capacity. Or is the US lining itself up to do something on the order of Afghanistan (liberate a couple of cities, plant a couple of bases and declare victory when the rest of the country is largely run by the same people as before)?
posted by clevershark at 6:12 AM on December 31, 2005


clevershark, I don't see Americans as being given a choice.

The next terror attack, when it comes, will undoubtedly be traced to Iran. Maybe there will be something to that - maybe there won't. But it's pretty clear the neocon fuckwits who got us into this mess never intended to stop with Iraq; Iraq was to be but the beginning.

But I don't think even Bush, hell, even Cheney, would have the balls to march on Tehran right now unless they had a reason that the American public would buy - and after the fiasco in Iraq, WMDs ain't gonna do it. But you know, if Iran was indisputably behind that grenade that went off in a suburban shopping mall in Somewhere, USA, that might.
posted by kgasmart at 6:34 AM on December 31, 2005


CIA expert : Sir, we have indisputable evidence that there will be a terrorist outrage on US soil in February.
Bush : Good lord! Well, I could do with a ratings boost ...
CIA expert : Uh ... yes, sir.
Bush : Well, who's behind it? Saddam?
CIA expert : Uh ... we have him in custody, sir.
Bush : Right, right. Course we do. Silly me. So ... who's behind it?
CIA expert : Al Qaeda, sir.
Bush : Sure it's not Iran?
CIA expert : No, sir. It's Al Qaeda.
Bush : And you're sure about that?
CIA expert : Yes, sir.
Bush : That's your final answer?
CIA expert : ... yes.
Bush : Sure you don't want to phone a friend?
CIA expert : No, sir. It's Al Qaeda.
Bush : And you're sure about that?
CIA expert : Yes, sir.
Bush : Positive?
CIA expert : 100%, sir.
Bush : OK, well thanks for letting me know. You're fired.
CIA expert : Thank you, sir .... wait, what?
Bush : Send the next expert in, please.
CIA expert 2 : Good morning, Mr. President. Sir, we have incontrovertible evidence there'll be a terrorist attack in February.
Bush : Good lord, really?! Who's behind it?
CIA expert 2 : Al Qaeda, sir.
Bush : ...... really?
(CIA expert 2 sees original expert still sobbing in corner)
CIA expert 2 : Well .... maybe in conjunction with .... Iraqi insurgents?
Bush : Seems unlikely. Maybe somebody else?
CIA expert 2 : ..... Iran?
Bush : There ya go.
posted by kaemaril at 7:10 AM on December 31, 2005


Iraq was always about Iran.
posted by four panels at 7:22 AM on December 31, 2005


How does one become a 'charter member' of the Axis of Evil? If I wanted to become a member, would two members-in-good-standing have to sponsor me?
posted by fixedgear at 7:24 AM on December 31, 2005


kaemaril, did you get that from SNL or is it original?
posted by alumshubby at 7:24 AM on December 31, 2005


I'm thoroughly amused by the complaints that Iran is trying to get nukes. Of course they're going to get nukes!

The United States demonstrated, with the invasion of Iraq, that if you obey WMD demands, that the neo-conservative "Republicans" will lie and invade you anyway. As such, any country that's in PNAC's crosshairs would be incredibly foolish if they didn't do their best to obtain nuclear weapons, and make clear and public statements that they're willing to use them (even if they are not).

Iran's only hope is that they actually get nuclear weapons in a form that is capable of attacking Israel or a target in the United States, and then convince the world that they're willing to do it.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:38 AM on December 31, 2005


clevershark, I don't see Americans as being given a choice.

The point, kgasmart, is that I don't see Bush having much of a choice either. If it was right to invade Iraq - which Bush insists it was - then by the criteria he himself established it must be double plus right to invade Iran.

The question is, has Bush lost his nerve or has he repudiated his own doctrine? I suspect it is a little of both.
posted by three blind mice at 7:51 AM on December 31, 2005


clevershark, I don't see Americans as being given a choice.

The point, kgasmart, is that I don't see Bush having much of a choice either. If it was right to invade Iraq - which Bush insists it was - then by the criteria he himself established it must be double plus right to invade Iran.

The question is, has Bush lost his nerve or has he repudiated his own doctrine? I suspect it is a little of both.
posted by three blind mice at 7:54 AM on December 31, 2005


ayatolla we'd get even for that hostage thing eventually.
posted by quonsar at 7:55 AM on December 31, 2005


I love the fact the Europeans are finally being forced to admit that Iran is run by madmen. It's very satisfying; now they'll have to redouble, no, triple their efforts to make President Bush look bad.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:24 AM on December 31, 2005


I love the fact the Europeans are finally being forced to admit that Iran is run by madmen. It's very satisfying; now they'll have to redouble, no, triple their efforts to make President Bush look bad.

¿que?
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 8:46 AM on December 31, 2005


In light of recent developments, Bush hardly needs any European efforts to make himself look bad. He's been doing an adequate job of that on his own.
posted by alumshubby at 8:46 AM on December 31, 2005



The question is, has Bush lost his nerve or has he repudiated his own doctrine? I suspect it is a little of both.


Wait, I'm confused. I thought BushCo knew there weren't any WMDs in Iraq - they just used that as an excuse to set up their little democracy experiment. In their la-la land vision, while the Iraqis were tossing flowered garlands around our necks, and lending us some cheap oil, the rest of the Mideast would catch Democracy Fever too.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:52 AM on December 31, 2005


Oh Paris,
I love your attemts to lighten the mood..
You're like a sugar rose on a cake of shit.
posted by isopraxis at 9:13 AM on December 31, 2005


The Al-Jazeera article is rubbish. The incendiary headline is backed up by nothing more than conjecture and exaggeration.

"The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase."

No, it is not. It may be an act of espionage. Espionage is not war.

The article further states that the CIA is backing terrorist groups within the country, without citing any evidence for the allegations.

The other "evidence" cited as proof that the US is at war with Iran are the development of military installations near the Iran frontier and the possiblity of the existence of US plans to invade the country. If this indicates that the US is at war with Iran then by that reasoning the US is also at war with Cananda.
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:23 AM on December 31, 2005


now they'll have to redouble, no, triple their efforts to make President Bush look bad.

To whom? You? Your ilk? They won't even bother.

To everyone else on the planet, those who can sum simple integers? He's doing just fine on his own.
posted by loquacious at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2005


Iran's president has suggested that "a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska" would be a more appropriate location for the Jewish state of Israel than on land taken from innocent Palestinians.

That wasn't really the controversial part. The President stated the holocaust was a piece of fiction. I don't support Israel as a Zionist state either, however, the horrors of the Holocaust are indisputable. The US was weary after WWII to allow Jews into the country because of our own anti-semitism, although I believe that the US should have actually allowed Jews to come into the country rather than create an Israel which has oppressed the Palestinians in what is apartheid.

As far as attacking Iran, I doubt it will happen. If it does then the United States is in trouble. Iran would be much more difficult to attack and there is no way US troops could control it, Iraq, and Afghanistan at the same time. The only way I see the US attacking Iran is by bombing the crap out of it and its people, although this would further alienate the US from the international community. The chances of any alliance against Iran after Iraq are zilch to begin with. The US has lost a lot of credibility.
posted by j-urb at 10:03 AM on December 31, 2005


I immediately thought of Iran when Sharon went into the hospital.

Iraq is already becoming an Iran-adjunct, so we've lost even if we do invade. It's a distraction they need tho, so i'm betting it'll happen.
posted by amberglow at 10:12 AM on December 31, 2005


The question is, has Bush lost his nerve or has he repudiated his own doctrine? I suspect it is a little of both.

I wouldn't call it nerve, but rather 'certainty'. In two ways: does he still believe himself to be both 100% right and in the right.

The latter comes from 911 which was such an offense to the national psyche as to permit just about any response, just about any action directed toward anyone. Iraq was not about Iran, it was about 911. The whole thing, the whole 'war on terror', the very notion of pre-emptive war is about 911. Take that event away and none of this is happening. So, he still has that, he's still 'in the right', still has justification because 911 still happened.

However, is he still certain about what to do about 911? This is a great question. What's the thinking now given the mess-opotamia? I'll guess this: Iran will not be invaded the same way. If they have any brains at all, BushCo will be doing something else, something covert, something much more CIA-ish from now on.
posted by scheptech at 10:23 AM on December 31, 2005


If it was right to invade Iraq - which Bush insists it was - then by the criteria he himself established it must be double plus right to invade Iran.

Well, that's the thing. It's double plus right for the ol' US of A to invade whatever country it likes - because we're the old US of A and that makes us morally justified, unequivocally, all of the time.

I don't know that Bush has "lost his nerve," I think he may actually realize that he only just convinced the country to go along the first time, and second time around - in Iran, a larger nation where there are bound to be more U.S. casualties during the actual state-on-state fighting even before an insurgency can begin - it would be even harder to push it through, WMD or no.
posted by kgasmart at 10:24 AM on December 31, 2005


The neocons don't have a choice but to invade Iran, or admit they were wrong, and republicans never admit mistakes.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:29 AM on December 31, 2005


Another invasion would be impossible without instituting a draft, which, at this moment, would be political suicide. And the Republican party cares more about maintaining power than anything else.

They won't invade. It won't even be a discussion.
posted by maxsparber at 10:39 AM on December 31, 2005


I threw together some simple stats about Iran about a year ago when this issue was being discussed.

Such an action doesn't seem very promising for the Home Team.
posted by chasing at 11:17 AM on December 31, 2005


What maxsparber said. There aren't enough troops for Iraq as it is.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:21 AM on December 31, 2005


DRTFA, but I did read one in the Washington Post on 14 September 2005. A quote: "The problem, acknowledged one U.S. official, is that the evidence is not definitive. Briefers "say you can't draw any other conclusion, and of course you can draw other conclusions," said the official. I can't link to the article, which is "U.S. Deploys Slide Show to Press Case Against Iran"
By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 14, 2005; A07
posted by neuron at 11:34 AM on December 31, 2005


If it's just tons of air strikes (maybe to force Iran to respond?) then we can easily do it. Haven't we already stepped up airstrikes daily in Iraq?
posted by amberglow at 11:36 AM on December 31, 2005


Since WWII, which democratically-elected countries have engaged in offensive wars?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:44 AM on December 31, 2005


the US, fff, quite a few times.
posted by amberglow at 11:50 AM on December 31, 2005


Obviously. Also Britain (Falklands) and perhaps post-USSR Russia.

There are innumberable countries with internal conflict, and there are a number of despotic countries that keep trying to expand their borders. Plus the entire mid-East, which fault can be largely laid at the feet of Britain, for their cockups in re-drawing the borders.

But as for actual stable democracies, where the borders have been well-defined for a good long time and the citizens are entirely used to electing their own governments -- can't think of too many that continue to act militarily outside their own defense.

Something is wrong with the USA that it can't get along well with others on this world.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:03 PM on December 31, 2005


Different FPP, same conjecture.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:04 PM on December 31, 2005


What maxsparber said. There aren't enough troops for Iraq as it is.

well there you have it. no choice then but to sit back on all your collective merry overstuffed arses and enjoy the rest of the show. it's always disheartening to read here your typical yanks propensity to still believe that reason and logic have anything at all to do with neocon foreign policy.

it also says fairly loudly that there will likely be absolutely no change of perception in this respect for the coming year.
posted by rodney stewart at 12:17 PM on December 31, 2005


Bush is a pussy. The US won't invade Iran, now that he knows war isn't just a toy and that he's not god.
posted by delmoi at 12:21 PM on December 31, 2005


It's not Bush but Cheney who is behind all this.
posted by stbalbach at 12:28 PM on December 31, 2005


I only consider myself a typical yank in that I think Bush is doing a terrible job, I believe he lied to us about Iraq, which I consider an unmitigated disaster, which I further believe has absolutely nothing to do with the attack on the Twin Towers.

Six years ago, when I argued these things, I was a decidely untypical American.
posted by maxsparber at 12:33 PM on December 31, 2005


Or, perhaps, atypical.
posted by maxsparber at 12:34 PM on December 31, 2005


Even if Iran is an enormous threat to world peace, forcefeeding lit firecrackers to kittens etc, the credibility of Uncle Slam is so low right now no one in the world would support it. It would further fuel Islamic backlash, and put New York or Washington one step closer to glass bowl status.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:52 PM on December 31, 2005


The USA behaves as a common school-yard bully. It only picks on the nations that can't defend themselves.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:25 PM on December 31, 2005


fuck Mahmud, we're taking him out
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:28 PM on December 31, 2005


the credibility of Uncle Slam is so low right now no one in the world would support it.

Yep, exactly.
And this may well prove the biggest damage that the current administration has done to itself. The next time the US government says "we have the intelligence to prove that XYZ", the world is just going to laugh its ass off.
posted by sour cream at 3:27 PM on December 31, 2005


We will not be going to war in Iran in the forseeable future.

Why? Because the body-count would be far too high, and the consequences for commerce too great.

And that last is the most important part: War with Iran would be bad for business. So it's not going to happen.

As for the "Bush doctrine", it's just a heap of cynical nonsense. The fact that Bush happens to believe in it is an unfortunate but not surprising complication -- the man believes a half a dozen contradictory things every half hour.

And as for "kicking over" Iran: What would that even mean? Iran is largely mountainous, it has a patriotic populace who don't have a critical mass of resentment toward their government. Their armies are well-trained and well-equipped (Sunburn missiles, anyone?), and they've been trained to hate Americans for a generation. They are the very paradigm of the "tough nut."

That said, if we did invade Iran, it would essentially be the end of American democracy as we now know it. Bush would be forced to institute even greater security measures, and if we're lucky, those would backfire on him and he'd lose the support of his own bureaucracy.
posted by lodurr at 3:29 PM on December 31, 2005


fuck Mahmud, we're taking him out

No, first you take him out, and then you get to fuck him. But only if you take him somewhere nice, not MacDonald's or Pizza Hut. And for God's sake wear a tie.
posted by Grangousier at 3:41 PM on December 31, 2005


fuck Mahmud, we're taking him out

No, first you take him out, and then you get to fuck him. But only if you take him somewhere nice, not MacDonald's or Pizza Hut. And for God's sake wear a tie.
posted by Grangousier at 3:41 PM on December 31, 2005


We killed them, then we fucked them, then we ate them.
posted by maxsparber at 3:50 PM on December 31, 2005


Ah. So I'm that drunk person who insists on repeating a joke over and over until someone laughs, even though no one's going to laugh because the joke's not funny. But I'm not drunk...
posted by Grangousier at 3:54 PM on December 31, 2005


That's the least of your problem...
posted by five fresh fish at 4:27 PM on December 31, 2005


alumshubby:kaemaril, did you get that from SNL or is it original?
I don't get SNL ... though if I remember correctly Sky One briefly broadcast it here in the UK around nine or ten years ago. All my own work, though I'd hesitate to call it original, per se :)
posted by kaemaril at 5:04 PM on December 31, 2005


five fresh fish : Since WWII, which democratically-elected countries have engaged in offensive wars? ... Also Britain (Falklands)

Wait ... what? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. Would you mind explaining how retaking the Falklands from Argentinian occupation was Britain "engaging in an offensive war", please?
posted by kaemaril at 5:22 PM on December 31, 2005


kaemaril, the Argentinians were liberating the Malvinas from British imperialist occupation. Britain's invasion was an unjustified act of aggression and could thus be seen as an offensive war.
posted by soiled cowboy at 5:41 PM on December 31, 2005


Q. What is the downside of letting Iran develop nuclear weapons? Is the downside big enough to go to war over?
posted by Meridian at 6:43 PM on December 31, 2005


What is the downside of letting Iran develop nuclear weapons?

Israel might actually have to withdraw to the 1967 borders and return all the land they annexed.
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:56 PM on December 31, 2005


Hezbollah a terrorist organization ?? pfff
posted by zouhair at 6:58 PM on December 31, 2005


soiled cowboy : Were you typing that with a straight face? Your take on the situation seems to be radically different to that of the inhabitants of the Falklands, who you will note have yet to start resisting the harsh yoke of their tyrannical British overlords.... that, of course, might have something to do with the fact that the population of the Falklands have considered themselves British for quite some time. Since the 1830s, iirc.
posted by kaemaril at 7:16 PM on December 31, 2005


The Al-Jazeera article is rubbish. The incendiary headline is backed up by nothing more than conjecture and exaggeration.

Sure it is. Absolutely.

However, it's also very typical of the kind of thinking and positions that appears to be currently dominant among your middle-of-the-road, educated, non-fundamentalist inhabitant of the middle east.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:21 PM on December 31, 2005


kaemaril, the Argentinians were liberating the Malvinas from British imperialist occupation.

Heh. Presumably in the same way that Saddam was 'liberating' the Kuwatis from their oppressive government, until the US military went in there to prop up the illegitimate Kuwati regime?

Britain's invasion was an unjustified act of aggression and could thus be seen as an offensive war.

It isn't an invasion if we already occupy it and have sovereignty over the place to begin with. It's a defence of our territories against an invading army -- and the invading army of a military dictatorship at that.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:34 PM on December 31, 2005


"Forget Iran -- I want the Americans back in Korea."

They never left. In fact, over 50+ years after the end of that war, the South Korean gov't STILL must seek U.S. approval for military action. Anyone think we're leaving Iraq? hmmm?

"Iraq was not about Iran, it was about 911. The whole thing, the whole 'war on terror', the very notion of pre-emptive war is about 911."

You couldn't be more wrong I'm sad to say. 9/11 was the spark that ignited the Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld/Cheney agenda in the middle east. These plans have been in the works since the Gulf War. It was painfully obvious when we basically gave up on Bin Laden - clearly and obviously connected to 9/11 - and focused on Iraq, whom the administration itself says was not connected (of course they made countless, dubious, connections to support their drive to war. flip/flop, what's new).

This notion of a WOT™ fought on one front defies logic. An enemy that is all over the globe yet we chose to attack a country with a dictator that was no friend of terrorists (they rarely are). Only in the far northern regions of Iraq were there any 'training camps' and these were Kurdish camps.

Iran has a painfully obvious history of terrorism and links to terrorist cells. Our own State Department considered them one of our biggest threats back in 01 (Iraq made a passing mention in the report as I recall). Bush pounded his war drum over Iraq and ignored the elephant in the room. Iraq was never about 9/11.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:59 AM on January 1, 2006


You just have to wait until someone gets nuked.

Then all the whiners will get to cry the crock-tears they always need before they can ever friggn DO anything.
posted by HTuttle at 8:37 AM on January 1, 2006


Did anyone else notice that the al-jazeera article in common dreams was written by scott ritter? Surely I'm not the only one who remembers that guy.
posted by Edgewise at 8:55 AM on January 1, 2006


go on, who's scott ritter
posted by snortlebort at 3:56 PM on January 1, 2006


I'll take the lazy route:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Ritter

Wikipedia is getting like google for me.

Scott Ritter has quite a history in Iraq.
posted by Edgewise at 10:11 PM on January 1, 2006


These articles were lame. The same Scott Ritter histercal bullshit we heard last year and the year before that.

We will NOT invade Iran during this presidency. Ok. It will not happen. Not even through the Isrealis. No way. Right now we would get our assees kicked. The Pentagon knows this.

Will we go to war with Iran? Sure. Eventually. Unless some miracle occures. A miracle in Iraq... called a Secular U.S.-Friendly Strong Central Government. That is not likely given the power share structure of Iraq and the dominance of the Iran allied Shia. So Bush has guaranteed some kind of eventual conflict with Iran.

The other miracle would be an Iranian revolution. Hahahhah. That won't happen anytime soon. Lot's of these old Mullahs will have to die off and the second generation of US haters after that.

By the time the US is ready to take on Iran, Iran will have nukes. So a direct confrontation would be unlikely. Some form of proxy war most liekely? But no time soon. Isreal couldn't handle it (unless they invade Syria first... or maybe nuke Ryad or something crazy shit like that).

I do predict a war in Iran before 2020. 2012 maybe?

AS for the Iranian leadership being "madmen"? Oh Shut up. We should BE so lucky. They are smart motherfuckers and they have played Bush like the $2 fiddle he is...
posted by tkchrist at 6:03 PM on January 2, 2006


New Axis of Evil Member: The Dirty Jews Control the World and Killed Christ
posted by ParisParamus at 6:32 PM on January 2, 2006


tkchrist:
Every leader "we" don't like is a madman. Saddam was recently the madman before Iran's leadership. Miloservic briefly wrested the title from Saddam before that.

It's like tag. When you get tagged, you become "it". :)
posted by -harlequin- at 6:33 PM on January 2, 2006


The problem is, I'm not sure we can bomb Iran. We may be getting to them too late. Does anyone have any creative suggestions on what to do? Maybe Israel having some hydrogen bombs targeted on Tehran from a submarine are all we can hope for...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:37 PM on January 2, 2006


(or a promise of nukes on Tehran from our own subs? or both?)
posted by ParisParamus at 6:38 PM on January 2, 2006


ParisParamus:

Some of the problem is to do with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran is currently quite possibly in compliance with and the US is quite clearly not, and the treaty clearly isn't working. (Not meaning to finger-point here - the point is more that the NPT is failing, rather than the reasons for that, though much of the nationalistic ferver in Iran backing and driving the nuclear program is being spurred by the USA stepping on Iran's sovereign rights supposedly guarenteed by the same treaty that the US is largely ignoring it's own reponsibilities upon which it's own rights supposedly rest, while Iran is undertaking its duties under the treaty over and above pretty much all other nations, most visibly in the form of unusually invasive inspections)

So something that could get around this is a new treaty, one which puts ALL nuclear capabilities under international control or invasive international observation. Iran would sign it if the US would, as it would be both a promising form of security and end of what is (ostensibly) the reason for US hostilities, but I don't think the US would ever sign such a thing, so the idea, while vaguely creative, is also utopian pie in the sky, and would have to be reworked.

Basically, the US could solve this in the long term by allowing more clout to international law, but the US, historically and currently, opposes anything that gives teeth to international law, because (until recently) international law was the only "threat" that the US military wasn't the best equipped defense/deterrant in the world against the worst case scenario.

I'm betting that Iran is actually legally in the right here - they're under too much scrutiney with too high a stakes to risk working on developing nukes right now. They'll be suspending anything like that and working hard to make sure that every legal T is crossed and every I is dotted under international law. To get nukes, what they'll be doing is getting all the necessary non-military infrastructure and homegrown expertise in place so that at some time in the future, someone can say "start a nuke program... NOW!", and it will go from zero to nuke in as short a time as possible.

What that means is that Iran is currently in the right, under international law, so the US can only change things by breaking the law, or by changing the law. And it's unlikely to change the law, because the international community has little patience for the traditional "this law applies to all countries except the USA" bullshit.

So, yeah, it's quite a pickle.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:20 PM on January 2, 2006


isn't all we'd have to do is lie (which happens daily out of our leader's mouths) and say they tried to invade Iraq, so that we could move in, or bomb the shit out of them?

and since when does the Pentagon's leaders listen to the Generals anyway?
posted by amberglow at 7:31 PM on January 2, 2006


Harlequin, I agree. However, it looks like even the Euro-weasels may have realized that Iran has gone to far (those pesky Holocaust comments).

Well...at least we have a nice big land aircraft carrier, the USS Iraq...for a while...

Hey...Why isn't Euro-weasel in the spell check?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:32 PM on January 2, 2006


It seems, more and more that International Law is International BS--alas, it's one of the few courses I got an "A" in in law school......hmmm...
posted by ParisParamus at 8:05 PM on January 2, 2006


International Law, broken as it is, still saves an awful lot of lives, and working international law would be an incredibly powerful force for good, but right now, it's crippled because powerful countries (primarily the USA), want to ensure might=right, while the vast majority of countries who want law and order and justice, lack the might to make it happen.

Law of the jungle is bad for everyone in the long run, even the strongest, but unfortunately the strongest are blind to that.

In Iraq, one of the problems was that no-one could do buisiness with anyone, because there was no guantee that law would be binding - you couldn't buy a car from anyone who wasn't a close friend or relative, because they might take the money and split, and there was nothing you could do about it. You can't sell anything for the same reason, so you have no income. So everything grinds to a near-halt.

Here in the USA, I can get the most esoteric crap at a moments notice online, trading directly and confidently. People sell their old crap on ebay and spend the gains on things they want, directly improving their standard of living. World of difference.

The world is currently the bad old Iraq, unable to do very much at all between nations. Lacking a trusted or consistant process to resolve disputes, lacking the fundamental ability to even make contracts with binding costs for breaking them. Imagining the quality of life improvement ramifications of having that kind of law and order confidence across nations just blows my mind. International Law is far and away the only way to fly, but it ain't gonna happen any time soon :(
posted by -harlequin- at 8:38 AM on January 3, 2006


Harlequin, in all seriousness, please tell me when "International Law" wasn't broken; when it worked (and when it was not an after-the-fact rationalization for a given outcome); when it was "enforced" in a situation where the outcome really mattered.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:44 AM on January 3, 2006


If if it means that the nuke has to go off before we attack them, F it.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:53 AM on January 3, 2006


Paris: The world is full of (sometimes badly) "broken" things that nevertheless fulfill their primary purpose well enough to be much better than not having the thing. The Chicago Post Office in the 1970s-80s, many police forces, the FBI (arguably), centralized domain registration, Apple Computers, and International Law are all things that I'd put on that list.

Which is to say, it's foolish to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
posted by lodurr at 9:00 AM on January 3, 2006


lodurr, that's not what I asked. And again, I'm not pro- or anti-ILaw. I just want to know when things were different than they supposedly are now.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:12 AM on January 3, 2006


That's easy. International law works when the country doing the breaking isn't a) A member of the permanent security council or b) already in bed with a member of the permanent security council.
posted by kaemaril at 9:33 AM on January 3, 2006


In any case, International Law is premised on custom, and, assuming you "break the law" often enough, the custom is superceded bya new one (assuming you're not the only one who follows).
posted by ParisParamus at 9:37 AM on January 3, 2006


Well, that's good new! All the US has got to do is illegally invade and occupy another two or three countries and it can then take a pencil and cross out the word "illegal".
posted by kaemaril at 9:55 AM on January 3, 2006


Paris:

Did you get the impression I thought international law has ever been non-broken? Those that prefer might=right have been successfully opposing international law and order from the beginning. (Against that backdrop, the amount of progress that has been made despite this is somewhat surprising, broken and twisted though it is).
posted by -harlequin- at 10:28 AM on January 3, 2006


PP - can you point out to me the part in Chavez's speech where he accused the "dirty jews" of "controlling the world"? Someone might assume that you've just heard what you want to hear or read a bad translation. How is your Spanish by the way?

Perhaps he is speaking figuratively and is implying that the same people unwilling to hear Jesus' message of peace and love for all are the ones with the money and are in control of the world. Unless you can translate it yourself I'd probably be a bit suspcious (especially since that link goes to LGF which is hardly a bastion of Chavez-love).

Incidentally - I am not suggesting the above is factual - simply that the data you have has already been filtered so it's not necessarily going to be the truth. I don't have a horse in the pro-Chavez race but I do like to hear a balanced view and LGF is hardly the place for that.
posted by longbaugh at 11:02 AM on January 3, 2006


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