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July 26, 2006 3:25 PM   Subscribe

US plotted to invade Iran: explosive report, Rolling Stone adds new fuel to fire over possible Iran strike. Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran. BY JAMES BAMFORD
posted by Unregistered User (100 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't read the article yet, but the military is always planning to fight folks that seem likely to want to fight. That is the nature of the military.
posted by bigmusic at 3:32 PM on July 26, 2006


Thanks for this. BY KESWICK
posted by keswick at 3:34 PM on July 26, 2006 [3 favorites]


Surely THIS wi-- aaaaahh, who the fuck am I kidding.
posted by John of Michigan at 3:34 PM on July 26, 2006


Snip:

Over the past six months, the administration has adopted almost all of the hard-line stance advocated by the war cabal in the Pentagon. In May, Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, appeared before AIPAC's annual conference and warned that Iran "must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences." To back up the tough talk, the State Department is spending $66 million to promote political change inside Iran—funding the same kind of dissident groups that helped drive the U.S. to war in Iraq. "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared.

In addition, the State Department recently beefed up its Iran Desk from two people to ten, hired more Farsi speakers and set up eight intelligence units in foreign countries to focus on Iran. The administration's National Security Strategy—the official policy document that sets out U.S. strategic priorities—now calls Iran the "single country" that most threatens U.S. interests.

The shift in official policy has thrilled former members of the cabal. To them, the war in Lebanon represents the final step in their plan to turn Iran into the next Iraq.
posted by Unregistered User at 3:37 PM on July 26, 2006


Okay, okay, seriously, though. Considering the target demographic of Rolling Stone (what, 18-25 perhaps?), do you think someone, possibly considering enlistment, might change their minds?

Christ, I hope so.
posted by John of Michigan at 3:39 PM on July 26, 2006


This is my surprised face. Do you like it?
posted by zoogleplex at 3:41 PM on July 26, 2006


That is actually my surprised face.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 3:49 PM on July 26, 2006


Bolton: No "Inhibition" Supporting Some Terrorists

Bolton freely conceded that the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) “qualified as a terrorist organization” according to State Department criteria.

Here’s where it gets weird. Bolton declared that MEK were a valuable source of information, and that he didn’t feel “any inhibition about getting information about what’s going on in Iran” from them.

So we do support terrorists...

Oh, and according to Scot Ritter, The US war with Iran has already begun

Snip:

But Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran....


Snip:

...Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003.
posted by Unregistered User at 3:51 PM on July 26, 2006


Hasn't The New Yorker published various articles on this same subject over the past ~4 years?
posted by unmake at 3:58 PM on July 26, 2006


Eh, not much of a suprize.
posted by delmoi at 4:03 PM on July 26, 2006


Clarity
I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.

And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.
—Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing
posted by Unregistered User at 4:10 PM on July 26, 2006


Hopefully these same intelligence sources briefed Condoleeza that loudly farting after a meal is the greatest compliment one can offer an arab host. ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2006


The real story would be who's lined up after Iran.
posted by walrus at 4:13 PM on July 26, 2006


Yikes, Chalabi alerted the Iranians that we had their diplomatic codes, with that kind of timing? Phew...

He's in prison for espionage, right? Huh?

What a multi-clustered mess.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:13 PM on July 26, 2006


The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense briefing.

Happenings
You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.

It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't—
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things happen.
They never happened.

Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.

All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.
-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing.
posted by ericb at 4:17 PM on July 26, 2006 [3 favorites]


Donald Rumsfeld makes TS Eliot seem like a piker.
posted by blucevalo at 4:19 PM on July 26, 2006


This is about as surprising as Lance Bass coming out.
posted by loquacious at 4:28 PM on July 26, 2006


"There was no point in fighting -- on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Baghdad and look East, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- the place where the wave of democracy finally broke and rolled back."

Rolling Stone Breaks the BIG STORY
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:36 PM on July 26, 2006


Yeah right. Looks like the US is taking a page from the North Korean playbook. Act as if you just are a bit more crazy then what is rational (an Iranian war would be a certain public suicide given the current lack of support of the Iraqi quagmire). I have no doubt there are some in the administration who would gladly go to war with Iran, as they would any country, but the GOP needs to win the upcoming election more than they need to validate their manhood in Iran.
posted by geoff. at 4:45 PM on July 26, 2006



The real story would be who's lined up after Iran.


France?
Cambridge, MA?
posted by PenguinBukkake at 4:52 PM on July 26, 2006


The War on the Amish.
Then, The War on Hugs.
posted by Brak at 4:55 PM on July 26, 2006


Iraq -> Iran -> China

It's a land war in Asia.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:05 PM on July 26, 2006


<tangent>
The target demographic of Rolling Stone is 18-25? Maybe 30 years ago it was. Now, the only person I know who reads it is my dad.
<tangent/>
posted by dvdgee at 5:07 PM on July 26, 2006


Ledeen, writing in the National Review on July 13th, could hardly restrain himself. "Faster, please," he urged the White House, arguing that the war should now be taken over by the U.S. military and expanded across the entire region. "The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it," he concluded. "There is no other way."

Yeah, good luck with that, you fucking psycho. Didn't you learn anything when Russia bankrupted itself fighting expensive wars of attrition and spending too much on defence in general?

None of this will happen without nukes, or a draft.
posted by you just lost the game at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2006


"It's a land war in Asia."

And we all know how well those work out. Even better, this time the supply line is more than 10,000 miles long!

Are they forgetting just how many young Chinese men who have a poor chance at getting laid there are?

More seriously, we're probably not going to attack China in their back yard. But we are going to try to control the oil that they want.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:13 PM on July 26, 2006


1. Iran
2. Syria
3. China
4. Cuba
5. Libya
6. Russia
[...]
242: Canada
243. The United Kingdom
244. Antartica.

Don't forget Mars...
posted by Firas at 5:21 PM on July 26, 2006


I think, somewhere along the line some of these guys forgot that the only reason the world isn't cut into new ribbons every morning is that the prospect of war is a deterrent. You know, nobody likes the Way Things Are™. You have to learn to deal with it.
posted by Firas at 5:24 PM on July 26, 2006


The Decider doesn't, Firas.
posted by you just lost the game at 5:25 PM on July 26, 2006


He forgot Poland.

(aaugh)
posted by zoogleplex at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2006


The most glaring unindicted co-conspirator is Ahmed Chalabi. Even top-ranking Republicans suspect him of double dealing: "I wouldn't be surprised if he told Iranians facts, issues, whatever, that we did not want them to know," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., who chairs the House subcommittee on national security. Yet the FBI has been unable to so much as question Chalabi as part of its ongoing espionage case.

Freedom marches on.
posted by languagehat at 5:29 PM on July 26, 2006


He forgot Poland.

(aaugh)


Indirect Godwin? Well-played.
posted by thedaniel at 5:46 PM on July 26, 2006


It's kind of cute how people can still be surprised by this stuff.
posted by nightchrome at 5:51 PM on July 26, 2006


> And we all know how well those work out. Even better, this time the supply line is more than
> 10,000 miles long!

Worked just fine for Genghis Khan, dinnit?

posted by jfuller at 5:51 PM on July 26, 2006


Let the freedom ring ! (except at my door by the hand of a recruiter)
Let the tyrans die ! ( but I am not doing the killing)
Let a just war begin ! ( yet don't ask me to do more then wearing ribbons)
posted by elpapacito at 5:53 PM on July 26, 2006


Don't be distracted by the fact that this was published in Rolling Stone. Bamford knows as much about the U.S. intelligence apparatus as any working journalist. His history of the NSA, Body of Secrets, was exhaustive, and its description of how the NSA gradually came to quietly overshadow the CIA in size and importance really anticipated later criticisms by the 9/11 commission and others of our lost aptitude for human intelligence.
posted by gsteff at 6:07 PM on July 26, 2006


Ledeen, writing in the National Review on July 13th, could hardly restrain himself. "Faster, please," he urged the White House, arguing that the war should now be taken over by the U.S. military and expanded across the entire region. "The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it," he concluded. "There is no other way."

You know who else expanded war across an entire region?

(....Oh, the hell with it, this has been Godwined anyway.)

*teeters on thin edge of despair and hysteria*
posted by jokeefe at 6:16 PM on July 26, 2006


I cannot believe that anyone in the administration thinks it can win any kind of war in Iran. This was an old plan that was never intended to be implemented.

What's funny (not so much) about Ledeen is that he's been in Iran since 9/11, ending most of his IRan articles with "Faster, please." You have to figure he's being paid to keep pushing that issue.

Any takers on $100/bbl oil? By January? In one year? Hurricane season is coming up...then winter...

Buy your shares of VDE, USO, HAL, VLO, and XOM while the getting's good...
posted by Pastabagel at 6:36 PM on July 26, 2006


he's been in Iran since 9/11

*he's been ON Iran.. I don't know what happened there. He's an idiot is my point.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:36 PM on July 26, 2006


gsteff is mostly right about Bamford, though that writer has an nti-Israel perspective from time to time. He may or may not be right but he is convinced that Israel purposely bombed the Liberty and that has been shown to be a false view of what took place.

The NSA has always been bigger than CIA. It is just that few knew what that marvy organization was all about, or, as Bamford notes in one of his works: you can read what their business is by reading their mission statement except you are not allowed to read their mission statement. It is secret. But they do have one!

Bamford is usually correct time after time, mostly.
posted by Postroad at 6:40 PM on July 26, 2006


Are you folks not aware that the Pentagon has prepared plans for fighting nearly everywhere?

The Pentagon has, for instance, prepared a plan for the invasion of Canada. There are plans in place for invading Ireland, for invading France, for invading Botwsana, and for invading Sri Lanka.

It is normal, a part of their job, to do this. These plans are kept on file and revisited periodically to make sure they're up to date.

If there had been no plan in place for an invasion of Iran, then it means someone would have been seriously derelict in their duty.

But the fact that there is such a plan is not noteworthy. It is not "plotting"; it's just the normal state of affairs. Likely when things in that region got exciting, they decided it was time to pull the Iran plan out of the file and update it. That's just prudence.

And that's all that it is.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:41 PM on July 26, 2006


yep, nothing to see here, no danger of yet another collossal military blunder from the junta in charge.

their record is spotless!
posted by Hat Maui at 6:45 PM on July 26, 2006


"Worked just fine for Genghis Khan, dinnit?"

You might want to study his methods to realize why.

Hints: It took him more than 20 years and none of his supply lines crossed an ocean.

"Are you folks not aware that the Pentagon has prepared plans for fighting nearly everywhere?"

RTFA, Steve. This plan was made by a group specifically created by Douglas Feith to specifically create this and other PNAC-inspired plans. It was not made by the usual Pentagon planning office.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:48 PM on July 26, 2006


these plans are special
posted by edverb at 6:51 PM on July 26, 2006


Steven C. Den Beste is not a reliable source.
posted by EarBucket at 6:53 PM on July 26, 2006


Steven C. Den Beste is not a reliable source.

Well, let's hear from him.

Let me ask you a question, SCDB: Why do you trust that this is simply another contingency plan? After all the lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation in the past several years, and especially KNOWING that Bush started his presidency ready and raring to go to war with Iraq, how can you be so sure that there aren't more ulterior motives in this Iran adventure?

I'd like to hear your rationale.
posted by John of Michigan at 7:17 PM on July 26, 2006


This sure the fuck doesn't look like a contingency plan.
posted by Unregistered User at 7:29 PM on July 26, 2006


what's next? blowing up the moon!
posted by zenzizi at 7:32 PM on July 26, 2006


And now the Iranians are playing right into the conspirators' hands!
posted by paulsc at 7:47 PM on July 26, 2006


The New Yorker
THE IRAN PLANS
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Issue of 2006-04-17
Posted 2006-04-08
posted by taosbat at 8:54 PM on July 26, 2006


Postroad: The USS Liberty incident is still pretty controversial. The guys who were on board do not believe it was an accident. The view that there was some malice in the attack has not been 'shown to be false' by a disinterested investigation.
posted by sien at 9:02 PM on July 26, 2006


Bush would be more than happy to invade Iran. Hell, Hillary Clinton, if she were elected in 08, might be pretty tempted as well. If there's not too much public resistance to the move. I just can't emphasize this enough: those in power will always, always, always go as far as we let them. We let the Bushians invade Iraq. And now, every minute of every day, his people are asking themselves "What else will we be allowed to get away with?" The answer to that question isn't quite clear. If I had to bet money, I'd say that these We're-going-to-invade-Iran-at-any-moment stories (and I think this is the sixth or seventh one I've seen mentioned on Metafilter) were allowed to get out so that the whitehouse could gauge the public's reaction; see just what we will and will not permit. At the very least, I'm sure the administration would like Iran to believe that the US has every intention of marching on them.
posted by Clay201 at 9:05 PM on July 26, 2006



The War on the Amish.
Then, The War on Hugs.
posted by Brak


The new war will be the War on Excitement. Everybody Just Needs To Calm Down! Do you have an issue that will make you deviate from your normal, fully surveiled routine? That's the Government's Buisiness. Any subject that raises your blood pressure (according to the new Health Care/National Security law) should be regulated as to your intake by the Government.

Don't worry, Citizen, The Government will cure you of having to lift your fat fanny off your computer chair and actually attend a ralley. We've noticed that you Paypaled your membership to the ACLU, so you were already on our lists. We'll make sure the offending stories don't get print, (Wink-wink, Nod-nod).
Iran.. Look!! More Mexicans are mowing your lawn!

**P.S. I am totally against National Health Care because I'm sure it would be rotten to the core with corporate/political interests. Big Sugar would lobby to have sugar or corn syrup on the new, improved, Food Dodecohedreon. As would the Health industry penalize you for eating from said foods. The whole thing would end up balooning into a beaurocratic civil war lasting several years where numerous people suffer while big buisiness and "social medicine" iron out their indiferences, and then it all works as smooth as glass. Just after I die and am unable to reap the fruits of the system. I think that's going to be me throughout life. Born too late to be a hippy, and too young to be a disco king, but too old to be a GenXer, and you get wierd looks like you are the child molester when you go to the Warped Tour. You just want to see NoFX, 311, Misfits, and the Rev. Horton Heat. And that's why we shouldn't invade Iran**
posted by Balisong at 9:32 PM on July 26, 2006


Considering the target demographic of Rolling Stone (what, 18-25 perhaps?)...

Does anybody that age actually read non-music-related articles in RS? I know I rarely did at that age, and I was more interested in news and current events than most of my peers.
posted by pax digita at 9:56 PM on July 26, 2006


Let me ask you a question, SCDB: Why do you trust that this is simply another contingency plan? After all the lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation in the past several years, and especially KNOWING that Bush started his presidency ready and raring to go to war with Iraq, how can you be so sure that there aren't more ulterior motives in this Iran adventure?

I'd like to hear your rationale.

I think it's probably impossible for us to have a rational discussion of this, because we don't seem to live on the same planet. For instance, I don't "know" that "Bush started his presidency ready and raring to go etc." I don't believe that is the case. (And you believe it, but you don't know it.)

I do not believe that there were ulterior motives involved in invading Iraq. I don't believe that there have been an excessive and unacceptable amount of "lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation", because that kind of thing always happens in war, and it is necessary and proper that it happen.

But I'll never convince you of any of those things. Like believers in UFOs, and holocaust deniers, you are so sure that a conspiracy exists that nothing can talk you down from your paranoid obsession.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:13 PM on July 26, 2006


I don't believe that there have been an excessive and unacceptable amount of "lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation", because that kind of thing always happens in war, and it is necessary and proper that it happen.

But I'll never convince you of any of those things.


Boy, ain't that the truth. It is necessary and proper for people in a democracy to be fully and intentionally lied into a pointless and tragic quagmire of a war. Nope, not gettin' that "convinced" feeling just yet.
posted by soyjoy at 10:54 PM on July 26, 2006


I don't believe that there have been an excessive and unacceptable amount of "lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation"

there's been more than enough ... but the incompetence, lack of strategic foresight and hubris the president has shown far overshadows all that ... only an attack on the u s could have justified his invasion of iraq ... and i'm not talking about morals here, i'm talking about cold, hard national interest

why are we stymied by north korea's nuclear program?

why are we unable to persuade iran from their nuclear program?

because we got involved in the wrong damn fight, that's why ... our options are limited, our diplomatic influence is poor and iran and north korea have both decided that they're not going to end up like iraq did

and now, we are faced with a crisis in the middle east ... and instead of joining with the rest of the world in putting pressure on the parties for a ceasefire, we are standing by, looking impotent and uncaring

we are very close to major war ... not only did bush's actions help bring the world to this point, but his current inaction, his failure to realize that the terms of the middle east conflict have just changed for the worse could bring the world to disaster
posted by pyramid termite at 11:18 PM on July 26, 2006


one more thing ... if bush really was planning a war on iran ... it's too late now ... if there is a war, it's going to happen on someone else's plan, not his
posted by pyramid termite at 11:21 PM on July 26, 2006


I don't believe that there have been an excessive and unacceptable amount of "lies, deceit, misinformation, and disinformation", because that kind of thing always happens in war, and it is necessary and proper that it happen.

Your punishment for thinking this way will be... being the sort of person who thinks this way.
posted by Clay201 at 11:45 PM on July 26, 2006


I know this is hopeless, but I'll give it a try anyway. Here my post from three years ago explaining why lies and deceptions and secrets are necessary. (Here are a whole lot of Santayana's "lessons from history" to back that up.)

Y'all and me just don't live in the same planet: It is necessary and proper for people in a democracy to be fully and intentionally lied into a pointless and tragic quagmire of a war.

I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war; I don't think the invasion of Iraq was pointless; I think all war is tragic but this one no more so than any other; I don't think this is a "quagmire".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:47 PM on July 26, 2006


You are so hopeless. It's actually pretty sad that you're not just a troll, you believe this shit.
posted by blasdelf at 12:30 AM on July 27, 2006


I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war

just so we're clear, which reason you talkin' 'bout?
posted by Hat Maui at 1:07 AM on July 27, 2006


SCDB: The sad thing thing is that we really are living on the same planet, some people (you) just doesn't seem to care...
posted by Eirixon at 1:34 AM on July 27, 2006


The strategic situation in the Middle East is eerily similar to the events that led Europe into war in 1914. Everyone saw it coming; everyone knew better; no one could step back from the precipice.

The War to End All Wars could much better be described as The War That Had To Be.

How did LLoyd George put it afterwards --- "Every belligerent in 1914 took up arms, either to repel a direct invasion of its territory, or to fulfill a precise obligation which could not be abandoned without shattering consequences to national prestige, morale, and interests"

Wars are economic collisions and patriotic piracy, the kind of patriotism Mark Twain described as 'the need to keep multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries.'

If you have not yet read Terance Ward's presentation to the Association for Study of Peak Oil's Fifth Annual gathering last week, you will find the full text here:

link

He sees an American attack on Iran as all but inevitable, since the energy coalitions shaping up in opposition to the USA leave little choice.

It is a war that has to be.

He delineates the "no choice" choices for each of the State and ethnic actors in the Middle East in detail.

We are slipping into war in the Middle East on an obscene carpet of blood and oil. No one can afford to step back from the edge.

Here it comes.
posted by Unregistered User at 2:21 AM on July 27, 2006


Here's my suprised face:

:-o
posted by antifuse at 2:31 AM on July 27, 2006


> And we all know how well those work out. Even better, this time the supply line is more than
> 10,000 miles long!

Worked just fine for Genghis Khan, dinnit?


As long as you don't mind the US military raping and pillaging their way through every country on the way. That's how Chinngis got things done. Nowadays we consider the fine art of logistics to be slightly more than stealing everything that's not nailed down, forcing the locals into slavery and fucking anything that moves.
posted by longbaugh at 6:11 AM on July 27, 2006


I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war; I don't think the invasion of Iraq was pointless; I think all war is tragic but this one no more so than any other; I don't think this is a "quagmire".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste


Think again.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:06 AM on July 27, 2006


But I'll never convince you of any of those things.

Ah yes. So you don't even try to have an argument. That's why you should never ever be taken seriously in anything you say on here. But in case that wasn't enough...

I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war; I don't think the invasion of Iraq was pointless; I think all war is tragic but this one no more so than any other; I don't think this is a "quagmire".

You are willfully blind to the repeated tsunamis of evidence that have come out, that are public and verifiable, to the contrary. Citizens like you enable the destruction of a nation. Sorry, in this case multiple nations. You are the true American traitor.
posted by the_savage_mind at 7:08 AM on July 27, 2006


two things you never do ... never start a land war in Asia ...


(I don't remember the exact quote from "The Princess Bride." Does someone have that quote?)
posted by JKevinKing at 7:12 AM on July 27, 2006


I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war...
posted by Steven C. Den Beste


You don't believe it; and, you don't know it.
posted by taosbat at 7:15 AM on July 27, 2006


It seems incredible to me that anyone with an open, rational mind would not think we were decieved about Iraq, etc. It seems just like disagreeing that the sky, or Metafilter, is blue. People like that are deluded or so blinded by ideology as to be irrational and almost a little crazy. I feel a little sorry for them, and us for having to live with the consequences of their decisions.

I love America, and the Constitution, and it is very sad to me that it is easy to imagine early 21st Century America being portrayed as the "bad guys" in future history textbooks. Not bad guys as in Germany circa WWII, but bad guys circa Germany WWI.

If it is true that we are already at war with Iran, I am realizing more and more that this is indeed a world war, and we will be seen as the aggressor. In response to attacks from private parties (even if supported by states), we tried to topple several governments. We were provoked, but we will still be seen as the agressor. And we are fighting a multi-front war. (The only similarity to WWII, is that the Right captured the government and started the war with the consent of the general populace.)

I guess if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.

If this is similar to WWI, then we are playing the part of Germany.
posted by JKevinKing at 7:22 AM on July 27, 2006


JKevinKing - You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
posted by longbaugh at 7:23 AM on July 27, 2006


I know this is hopeless, but I'll give it a try anyway. Here my post from three years ago explaining why lies and deceptions and secrets are necessary. (Here are a whole lot of Santayana's "lessons from history" to back that up.)

Y'all and me just don't live in the same planet: It is necessary and proper for people in a democracy to be fully and intentionally lied into a pointless and tragic quagmire of a war.

I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war; I don't think the invasion of Iraq was pointless; I think all war is tragic but this one no more so than any other; I don't think this is a "quagmire".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:47 AM EST on July 27 [+fave] [!]


Steven:

I read your linked post, and some others, and I notice that you never actually get around to saying what the true purpose of the war is. All there is is this:

2. The large solution is to reform the Arab/Muslim world. This is the path we have chosen.

I sort of get the rhetorical point that you can't explain every single little detail to the public because they are often not in a position ot understand it, but the problem with this argument is that it assumes (a) that the electorate is dumb, and that the leaders are smarter, and (b) the dumb electorate has actually consented to being lied to by its government.

The two assumptions could be completely true but they are still invalid. The underlying assumption of American democracy is that the electorate knows what is best for itself and that the consent of the governed can only be given when the government acts in good faith. How can you consent to be governed by people who lie to you about how they will govern you?

Tangentially and indelicately, I would agree that the electorate is composed of idiots, but I would also suggest that those we elect are idiots too.

Secondly, and more importantly, there is no objective of this war that could not have been accomplished economically rather than militarily.

This is a disaster that has left the country weaker, and more vulnerable, both militarily and economically.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:29 AM on July 27, 2006


Here my post from three years ago explaining why lies and deceptions and secrets are necessary.

the greatest danger with lies, deceptions and secrets is that the originator can end up believing them himself ... sun tzu said it wasn't enough to know the enemy ... we have to know ourselves, too

I don't think we were deceived about the reason for this war

now, which is it? ... you link to an article you wrote saying that deceptions are necessary and then claim that we weren't deceived

that's incoherent

But I'll never convince you of any of those things.

not until you stop contradicting yourself
posted by pyramid termite at 7:29 AM on July 27, 2006


Al-Zawahri calls on Muslims to rise up in holy war against Israel, U.S.
Updated 7/27/2006 9:24 AM ET

CAIRO (AP) — Al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from "Spain to Iraq."

In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaeda now views "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us."

The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements."

"It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere." Spain was controlled by Arab Muslims for more than seven centuries until they were driven from power in 1492.

He said Arab regimes were accomplices to Israel. "My fellow Muslims, it is obvious that Arab and Islamic governments are not only impotent but also complicit ... and you are alone on the battlefield. Rely on God and fight your enemies ... make yourselves martyrs."

He also called for the "downtrodden" throughout the world, not just Muslims, to join the battle against "tyrannical Western civilization and its leader, America."

"Stand with Muslims in confronting this unprecedented oppression and tyranny. Stand with us as we stand with you against this injustice that was forbidden by God in his book (the Koran)," al-Zawahri said.

Kamal Habib, a former member of Egypt's Islamic Jihad militant group who was jailed from 1981 to 1991 along with al-Zawahri, said the al-Qaeda No. 2's outreach to Shiites and non-Muslims was unprecedented and reflected a major change in tactics.

"This is a transformation in the vision of al-Qaeda and its struggle with the United States. It is now trying to unite Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims and calling for non-Muslims to join the fight," he said.

...

"The shells and rockets ripping apart Muslim bodies in Gaza and Lebanon are not only Israeli (weapons), but are supplied by all the countries of the crusader coalition. Therefore, every participant in the crime will pay the price," al-Zawahri said.
posted by taosbat at 7:32 AM on July 27, 2006


No, TD Strange, it's about locking up oil before the Chinese do.

SCDB - there are two possibilities here - overwhelming evidence has shown that the Administration has been wrong ON EVERYTHING. Only twisted ideology and the ignoring of inconvenient truths and facts keeps them from realizing how wrong they are. It not civil war, it's sectarian violence. It's not a withdrawal, it's a redeployment.

Continuing to hitch your wagon to a falling star is unwise. The Bush Doctrine is a failure. At home and abroad. We will be paying for this our entire lives. We have hit the tipping point. The End of the Third Republic, and the start of the Fourth has Begun. And we are spectators, not participants. Our future has been defined for us.
Each Republic, then, has three important pillars - a monetary basis, a system of power arrangements to negotiate the working of that monetary basis in social and economic power, and a lens which ties the government to the fiscal discipline needed for maintaining the relationship between the two. When the monetary basis becomes unworkable, there is a economic crisis which, while perhaps no larger than others, is intractable to the old order, as political arrangements are unable to cope with the tension between what must be done and what can be done. The crisis is only resolved after there is over-reaching attempt which destroys the previous currency basis. Only when some means to take on the debt left behind by the older order, and the cost of repairing it, is assigned, does the process truly end, an a new Republic is born, and grows to maturity.
If you wish to joing the reality-based community, we'd love to have you. Only someone with a perspective filtered through ideology can still maintain that all is well.

Therefore, (collectively) you have one of two choices:

1. Acknowledge you were wrong.
2. Admit you were lied to.
posted by rzklkng at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2006


So we can add one more "country" to the list of 2 which currently don't support a ceasefire.
posted by cell divide at 7:37 AM on July 27, 2006


Here's my post from three years ago explaining why lies and deceptions and secrets are necessary.

And here's your post from four years ago laying out the need for the martial pacification of the Middle East and celebrating its speedy and efficient accomplishment through the very necessary invasion of Iraq.
Quote:

It's been a pretty bad year for leftists in general; too much has gone right for those the leftists oppose. They made immensely dire predictions about the consequences of war in Iraq, including millions of refugees, hundreds of thousands of civilian dead, a bloody stalemate, rise of the Arab street, a massive uptick in terrorist attacks against us, and a whole lot else – none of which actually happened. It's a real bummer.

And today, four subsequent years of ever-more idyllic harmony in the Middle East confirm the wisdom of destablising the nation that was the main check against Iranian ambition. Yep, Steven--everything's going according to plan.
posted by Iridic at 7:42 AM on July 27, 2006


we are very close to major war ... not only did bush's actions help bring the world to this point, but his current inaction, his failure to realize that the terms of the middle east conflict have just changed for the worse could bring the world to disaster
posted by pyramid termite at 2:18 AM EST on July 27 [+fave] [!]


And China is laughing. Their pegged currency and trade surplus with the US guarantees them a steady influx of dollars with which they can buy as much oil as they need, even as the price increases. Furthermore they have sweet petro deals with all the rogue states in Africa. They are going to eat our lunch while we worry about car bombs in baghdad.

The administration blew it. There's no other way to look at it. We owe too much money to too many unfriendly nations, we can't advance culturally or economically, and we're fighting wars that cost a billion dollars a week with a threadbare military against an enemy that operates on a shoestring budget with limitless soldiers and no borders.

That's not a quagmire, that's an abyss.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:45 AM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


After speaking to a Muslim taxi driver* last night about the situation I can't see that we can definitively reconcile the cultures of Islam and the (allegedly) secular West. It's a depressing situation to find ourselves in and one that we've had a hand in creating for a significantly long time. I wish I were smart enough to see a way out of this. I cannot abide the "nuke them all" theory and the idea of building a wall between us disgusts me also. I wish that a solution would make itself known to me. Something to cheer me the hell up. How can a culture that created so much (i.e. Islam) be seen as the enemy? How can our culture of freedom be sold to our Muslim friends when the very base of Islam (indeed it's etymology) is surrender?

*the standard British gauge of the "everyman" opinion.
posted by longbaugh at 7:51 AM on July 27, 2006


No, TD Strange, it's about locking up oil before the Chinese do.

rzklkng - I disagree with this part. I agree that this is probably part of a longer term resource war trend, but there is no locking up oil. Oil will always be sold on the market. You don't need to lock up oil if you have money and expect to continue to have it in the future.

The problem is that we don't have any money, and the guys in charge know we won't in the future, that's why they are chasing oil. Japan, for example, doesn't care about oil, because it's aslready developed, and it has money coming in from everywhere. If you can take raw materials, and add 160% additional value tothem by turning those materials into a plasma tv or a car, you don't really care what the raw materials cost.

By contrast the US takes raw materials and burns them because we can't make anything anyone wants to buy.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:53 AM on July 27, 2006


October 16, 2003


TO:  Gen. Dick Myers
       Paul Wolfowitz
       Gen. Pete Pace
       Doug Feith

FROM: Donald Rumsfeld

SUBJECT: Global War on Terrorism

The questions I posed to combatant commanders this week were: Are we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? Is DoD changing fast enough to deal with the new 21st century security environment? Can a big institution change fast enough? Is the USG changing fast enough?

DoD has been organized, trained and equipped to fight big armies, navies and air forces. It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere — one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem.

With respect to global terrorism, the record since Septermber 11th seems to be:
We are having mixed results with Al Qaida, although we have put considerable pressure on them — nonetheless, a great many remain at large.

USG has made reasonable progress in capturing or killing the top 55 Iraqis.

USG has made somewhat slower progress tracking down the Taliban — Omar, Hekmatyar, etc.

With respect to the Ansar Al-Islam, we are just getting started.
Have we fashioned the right mix of rewards, amnesty, protection and confidence in the US?

Does DoD need to think through new ways to organize, train, equip and focus to deal with the global war on terror?

Are the changes we have and are making too modest and incremental? My impression is that we have not yet made truly bold moves, although we have have made many sensible, logical moves in the right direction, but are they enough?

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?

Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions.
Do we need a new organization?

How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools?

Is our current situation such that "the harder we work, the behinder we get"?
It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.

Does CIA need a new finding?

Should we create a private foundation to entice radical madradssas to a more moderate course?

What else should we be considering?

Please be prepared to discuss this at our meeting on Saturday or Monday.

Thanks.
posted by taosbat at 8:23 AM on July 27, 2006

Um, I think you broke Metafilter.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2006


I don't know why the text is so small. I didn't use any small tags & it didn't look like that in the 'Live Preview.' That never happened to me before.
posted by taosbat at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2006


I ended my blockquote. I'm sorry.
posted by taosbat at 8:28 AM on July 27, 2006


I think it was this: div align="right"
posted by taosbat at 8:29 AM on July 27, 2006


Is it possible for someone to remove these tags from the linked date my comment?

div align="right"
/div
posted by taosbat at 8:38 AM on July 27, 2006


Pastabagel, I agree and I disagree. I know that some of the neocons view China's agreements with Nigeria and Iran as affronts to US supremacy, and should be taken as seriously as military posturing.

In my opinion, oil is to the global economy as slavery was to the South. The entire system is based on a cheap, infinite supply into the imaginable future. And we are desparate to maintain that reality, despite the fact that what's left is increasinly more expensive, and demand is outstripping supply. Just as removing slavery caused the civil war, removing cheap oil from the equation will cause World War 4.0 beta (best visualized with a Web 2.0 icon).
posted by rzklkng at 9:06 AM on July 27, 2006


Oil is $75 a barrel, right now. Is that still cheap oil?

The oil industry itself knows that oil isn't going to be cheap for much longer. See "Twilight in the Desert" written by a guy who couldn't be more of an industry insider.

This is why major oil companies are looking into Canadas tar sands, which become profitable only at price around $100 per barrel.

And we all know demand is increasing. Obviously China and India weren't going to remain third world countries forever. They are about 3 billion people together. They aren't stupid either, they know oil is getting expensive and that they have to build their economies in a $75 oil market. So waht do they do?

They do things to add value to the materials they consume. This is why China is so slow to build out its electric grid and why it rations gasoline to consumers by doesn't ration oil to maunfacturers. When ever you buy a product made in China, you paid for the oil china used to make it. They don't care about the price of oil in this context because ultimately YOU are paying for it, not the Chinese.

When they decide to get their domestic economy in shape, then they will care, but my guess is they are going to build out hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, etc, and not rely on fossil fuels for power.

What are we doing? Hoarding oil for the next 40 years, at best? Then what?
posted by Pastabagel at 10:33 AM on July 27, 2006


Thanks for posting Steven Den Beste.

Everyone please look at Steven's USS Clueless comments leading up to the war. Then see his comments above and you have a living working model of cognitive dissonance, the likes of which are at the root of our problems in US government.
posted by nofundy at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2006


nofundy, you forgot to include 'murican society as well.
I would like to think that americans will eventually figure this all out and do something about it, but then again I'm sure there were those in Jim Jone's cult who figured someone would figure it out, move against the cult and save everyone. Same with David Koresh. True believers stay the same all the way to the resting place. Even when the ship is sinking and they are treading water, they will still want to believe that the ship will somehow regain it's ability to float or that another ship will come to the rescue.
In the U.S. many americans still wish to hold onto the belief that their country is 'the best' when this war on terror has exposed the hypocrisy of that belief very clearly. Even as jobs move overseas, wages stagnate, education declines due to poor funding, standard of living decreases, infant mortality rates increase to the lowest standard amongst first world nations, while multinational corporate profits increase beyond all reasonable expectations, there is still the belief that capitalism will triumph and a 'rising tide will lift all boats'.

I've been watching this nation's progress since Reagan and the only place it's headed is down, down, down.
posted by mk1gti at 12:05 PM on July 27, 2006


Steven's writing is just gold. Here's the gist of it:

D. The large solution is to reform the Arab/Muslim world. This is the path we have chosen.

1. The true root cause of the war is their failure and their resentment and frustration and shame caused by that failure.

2. They fail because they are crippled by political, cultural and religious chains which their extremists refuse to give up.

3. If their governments can be reformed, and their people freed of the chains which bind them and cripple them, they will begin to achieve, and to become proud of their accomplishments. This will reduce and eventually eliminate their resentment.

4. Their governments would then cease needing scapegoats.

5. Their extremists would no longer have fertile ground for recruitment.

6. This is a huge and unprecedented undertaking; it will require decades, but ultimately it is the only way to really eliminate the danger to us short of the "foot-and-mouth" solution (which is to say, nuclear genocide).

posted by solipse at 12:08 PM on July 27, 2006


Everyone please look at Steven's USS Clueless comments leading up to the war. Then see his comments above and you have a living working model of cognitive dissonance, the likes of which are at the root of our problems in US government.

Seriously, this is why I'm happy to see dissenting (read: "neo-conservative") opinions on this site, not just from Steven, but from dios and even ParisParamus before he got banninated.

I live in the Deep South, and believe it or not, these guys' opinions are far more reasonable than those that I see everyday:

"If you was in I-raq they'd cut yer head clean off. Hail, we outta nuke the en-tire Middle East. That'd solve that problem real quick!"

"They was dancin in the streets on 9-11. We outta nuke em till they glow, teach 'em a lesson!"

I'm not kidding.


It's helpful for me to see the more, um, rational (?) arguments deconstructed, to see exactly why they are full of shit.
posted by LordSludge at 12:10 PM on July 27, 2006


Pastabagel wrote: "That's not a quagmire, that's an abyss."

You said it, Pastabagel.

n some cases belial seems to mean "destruction", "ruin"; thus in Ps. xii, 9 (Heb.), the word is parallel to the thought of utter destruction and seems to mean the same. In Ps., sviii, 5, it is parallel to "death" and "Sheol"; some understand it as "destruction", Cheyne [or 'Cheney'?] as "the abyss".
posted by saulgoodman at 12:19 PM on July 27, 2006


You know, I think what Steven was trying to say could best be paraphrased below:

D. The large solution is to reform the Republican/Neocon world. This is the path we have chosen.

1. The true root cause of the war's failure is this administration's failure and their resentment and frustration and shame caused by that failure and that they are not mature and responsible enough to admit that failure.

2. They fail because they are crippled by political, cultural and religious chains which their extremists/right-wing christian zealots refuse to give up.

3. If the republican government can be reformed, and their right-wing zealots, freepers and bible-belt christians freed of the chains which bind them and cripple them, they will begin to achieve, and to become proud of their accomplishments. This will reduce and eventually eliminate their resentment.

4. Their governments would then cease needing scapegoats, such as democrats, 'liberals', homosexuals, the 'left-wing media', and anyone else who doesn't agree with their intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded viewpoints.

5. The right-wing extremists/republicans/neo-conservatives would no longer have fertile ground for recruitment.

6. This is a huge and unprecedented undertaking; it will require decades, but ultimately it is the only way to really eliminate the danger to us short of the "foot-and-mouth" solution (which is to say, nuclear genocide).
posted by mk1gti at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2006


I do not believe that there were ulterior motives involved in invading Iraq.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:13 PM PST


Then please state, for the record, what the motives were?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:50 PM on July 27, 2006


Anyone who doubts that we were lied & deceived into the Iraq war should read Truth from These Podia, Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II (pdf). It was written by Col. Sam Gardiner, USAF (Ret.), whose credentials are impeccable: he's taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College. He documents in exacting detail how both the military & the administration turned deceptive information warfare on the American people to influence us into supporting the war.
posted by scalefree at 2:57 PM on July 27, 2006


In related news --

House Report Criticizes US Intelligence on Threats
"U.S. intelligence has a poor understanding of threats against the United States, nearly five years after the September 11 attacks prompted the U.S. war on terrorism, according to a report released on Thursday.

The unclassified report on intelligence reform, issued by a House of Representatives intelligence oversight subcommittee, cited continued weakness in America's spying ability and warned that poor management had placed high-altitude espionage such as spy satellites at risk.

'Poor understanding of the threats and the changing environment in which our officers have to operate has resulted in an insufficient human intelligence capability that does not and will not meet the nation's needs,' said the 38-page bipartisan report.

...The House report said intelligence analysis was largely ignoring efforts to discover unknown adversaries such as home-grown cells or new information about known enemies including al Qaeda and other militant groups."

[Reuters | July 27, 2006]
posted by ericb at 4:17 PM on July 27, 2006


I thought I originally read this in the Hirsch piece but I can't find it there now, but apparently one plan of attack for Iran is to do commando raids on suspected black nuclear sites in order to gather the "smoking gun" evidence needed to convince the rest of the world that this time we really have the goods & an invasion is justified. It completely fits with their MO, taking on faith that they're right, trusting that once they get there they'll find all the proof they'll need & thinking that the only problem facing them is getting support for making it happen. I predict a Desert One-style disaster.
posted by scalefree at 4:20 PM on July 27, 2006


"I predict a Desert One-style disaster."

Which we'll probably never hear about, because it's covert ops.

Some wives and mothers of Ranger/Special Forces/SEAL troops will get The Letters, and that will be that.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:38 PM on July 27, 2006


You don't think Iran will get video of the aftermath put on al Jazeera the very same day, complete with denunciations of how we violated their sovereignty? We don't own all the world's media you know, & it's very much in Iran's interest to publicize such a thing if it happened.
posted by scalefree at 4:49 PM on July 27, 2006


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