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The Redirection
February 25, 2007 9:22 AM   Subscribe

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus (40 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just saw Hersh on Late Edition. The thing about quasi-American funding of Jihadist groups to curb a Shia crescent is breathtaking.
posted by gsb at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2007


Hersh notes that we have "empowered" Iran. But we did this the moment we decided to topple Saddam, the only country and leader in the region that was a counterveiling force to Iran. Clearly Saddam was a bad guy, a killer, but how many people in his country did he kill; and how many have been killed because of our invasion?
posted by Postroad at 9:57 AM on February 25, 2007


I love Seymore Hersch's work. But it's long and I can't focus on this :-( -- what's the capsule summary?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:01 AM on February 25, 2007


But it's long and I can't focus on this :-( -- what's the capsule summary?

anna nicole smith dropped dead and britney is in rehab for the third time in a week. oh, and there's a war somewhere.
posted by quonsar at 10:06 AM on February 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Damn reality - so complicated.
posted by homodigitalis at 10:13 AM on February 25, 2007


Hey, give yonderboy a break. It's Sunday. Major portions of the population are dealing with mental meltdowns due to either (a) partying Saturday Night, (b) going to church Sunday Morning, (c) the Sunday Times Crossword Puzzle or any combination of the above.
posted by wendell at 10:19 AM on February 25, 2007


what's the capsule summary?
Here you go:
In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
Long middle part middle cut out.
Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, a Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee, told me, “The Bush Administration has frequently failed to meet its legal obligation to keep the Intelligence Committee fully and currently informed. Time and again, the answer has been ‘Trust us.’ ” Wyden said, “It is hard for me to trust the Administration.”
The End.
posted by ScreechingEyeballStupidShitboxClownshoes at 10:20 AM on February 25, 2007


"The Surge" (New York Review of Books. March 15) by Peter W. Galbraith is saying the same thing as Hersch.
posted by stbalbach at 10:23 AM on February 25, 2007


Hersh on "Late Edition" today. (links to video and transcript at C&L)
posted by Space Coyote at 10:34 AM on February 25, 2007


This is the best single link op/ed post we've had in days.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:48 AM on February 25, 2007


what's the capsule summary?

Here you go:


And this:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on February 25, 2007


I can't wait for the first Bin Laden photo-op on the south lawn.
posted by The Straightener at 10:58 AM on February 25, 2007


anna nicole smith dropped dead and britney is in rehab for the third time in a week. oh, and there's a war somewhere.

And someone got a tax cut.
posted by homunculus at 11:01 AM on February 25, 2007


The reality of the situation is that the region is out of control. All the more reason to get us off of oil pronto. Alternative energy reduces our vested interests, and lets us keep our fingers our of a very very messy pie.
posted by redbeard at 11:05 AM on February 25, 2007


Anna Nicole Smith is DEAD?!?!?
posted by swell at 11:17 AM on February 25, 2007


“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” The Times Online is reporting. That gives me some sort of hope that not everyone has gone insane.
posted by octothorpe at 11:23 AM on February 25, 2007


I can't wait for the first Bin Laden photo-op on the south lawn.

Reminds me of President Wayne Palmer's meeting with Al-Assad on 24. Art immitating life.
posted by Xurando at 11:25 AM on February 25, 2007


Thank you. Thought-provoking, especially the really chilling part for me if I may quote:
As to what the [Iran-Contra] experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found:
“One, you can’t trust our friends.
Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it.
Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military,
and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office...
This goes back to Iran-Contra,” a former National Security Council aide told me. “And much of what they’re doing is to keep the agency out of it...The C.I.A. is asking, ‘What’s going on?’ They’re concerned, because they think it’s amateur hour.”

posted by nj_subgenius at 11:36 AM on February 25, 2007


Thanks for the summaries. I'm not even hung over -- I just have too many things to think about -- I tried a couple of times but couldn't keep track of all the people and places.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:46 AM on February 25, 2007


That gives me some sort of hope that not everyone has gone insane.

It doesn't for me. They'll be gone, and Bush/Gates will then get to pick five new Gen. Rippers to take their place.

I'm really down to thinking that our only hope -- and boy, is it a lousy one -- is an outright military coup. At least we'll be honestly repressed, as opposed to this "we had to destroy your freedoms to save them" bullshit.

So, if Bush orders the attack, I want these generals to walk in, shoot him dead, shoot Cheney dead, then shoot every SOB in Congress who gave Bush the AUMF dead, then shoot every fucking judge he's appointed dead.

Then, maybe, if we're lucky -- if we get the right guy as the top general -- we can actually sort this country out. Of course, what's more likely to happen is that they'll keep shooting people until they're satisfied that they control the country completely and utterly, and we'll be screwed.

But, you know, I think we've got a better chance that what's happening now -- Bush will do whatever the fuck he wants to, and this joke of a Congress will do nothing to stop them.
posted by eriko at 11:58 AM on February 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,”

I guess that, consitutionally speaking, that's all they can do if they oppose the President's decisions. However that doesn't give me much comfort that the Bush Administration will not be able find more jerks like Tommy Franks and Richard Myers to do its bidding from the general officers that remain.
posted by psmealey at 12:00 PM on February 25, 2007


psmealey wrote: [T]hat doesn't give me much comfort that the Bush Administration will not be able find more jerks like Tommy Franks and Richard Myers to do its bidding from the general officers that remain.

Not to mention that the man everyone's been holding up as a success story in Iraq due to what conditions looked like in Mosul under his command, Gen David Patraeus, has not aged well (from the NY Review of books article linked above):

Petraeus, on whom so much now rests, served two previous tours in Iraq. As the American commander in Mosul in 2003 and 2004, he earned adulatory press coverage—including a Newsweek cover story captioned "Can This Man Save Iraq?"—for taming the Sunni-majority city. Petraeus ignored warnings from America's Kurdish allies that he was appointing the wrong people to key positions in Mosul's local government and police. A few months after he left the city, the Petraeus-appointed local police commander defected to the insurgency while the Sunni Arab police handed their weapons and uniforms over en masse to the insurgents. Neither this episode nor the evident failure of the training programs for the Iraqi army and police which he ran in his next assignment seemed to have damaged the general's reputation.

The other potentially big news is that Kurdish President Jalal Talabani has had a stroke.

I think that we were ill served on when this article was released...I saw nothing mentioned on any of the Sunday morning gabfests. Hopefully this won't just sink...the notion that we're indirectly funneling money to Hezbollah is some of the biggest, craziest shit I've heard in a while. Is there anything these people can't fuck up?
posted by nevercalm at 12:17 PM on February 25, 2007


When are the Dems going to IMPEACH THESE BASTARDS????
posted by chance at 12:28 PM on February 25, 2007


Michael Barone's Our enemies the Saudis, from the May 26, 2002, U.S.News & World Report gives some background on Saudi Arabia's support for extremist groups. "Al Qaeda was supported by large contributions from Saudis, including members of the Saudi royal family. The Saudis' cooperation with our efforts to track down the financing of al Qaeda appears to be somewhere between minimal and zero." Seymour Hersh investigated in October 2002. This Salon piece from July 2004 details how the Bush administration "wasted a golden opportunity to pressure the Saudis to crack down on terrorism."

An August 2002 Rand Corporation briefing to the Defense Policy Board described Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of evil" and said: "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader."

The Bush administration classified a 28-page section of the 9/11 Report that described how "senior officials of Saudi Arabia have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable groups and other organizations that may have helped finance the September 2001 attacks." President Bush refused to declassify the section even though the Saudis asked him to.

More recently, Saudi Arabia has been actively backing Sunni insurgents in Iraq, including giving them the missiles that are responsible for the recent increase in shooting down of helicopters.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:44 PM on February 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Well, there's now a three step plan in place to make the Iraqis support the escalation surge:
1) We blow up their homes and families.
2) We send money to Ahmed Chalabi.
The plan is excerpted here. Step 3 is behind a paywall at the WSJ, but whatever it is, it can't be any dumber than step 2.
posted by swell at 1:45 PM on February 25, 2007


Al-Hakim Targeted with Car Bomb;
Thousands of Shiites Protest US in Najaf;
Enormous Bomb Hits Habaniya Mosque

posted by homunculus at 2:56 PM on February 25, 2007


Where Were You That Summer of 2001?
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2007


Awesome, thanks, I would never have heard of this site without your link!
posted by Eideteker at 6:29 PM on February 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the post, homunculus. And thank the gods for Seymour Hersh, although he largely plays the role of a Cassandra.

Maybe we won't attack Iran. Maybe we'll just get Israel to do it.

Meanwhile, I think we can all have confidence in the surge now that we know Chalabi has a role. Barf. This is beyond outrageous.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:31 PM on February 25, 2007


I find this theory of middle east partitioning interesting (and the human cost horrifying...)
posted by NewBornHippy at 9:28 PM on February 25, 2007


Wow.
posted by srboisvert at 5:14 AM on February 26, 2007


Two little boys sneaked into the candy shop at night after convincing their parents that each was sleeping at the other ones house. They gained entrance by placing a piece of tape across the doorlatch during the day. However, they didn't notice that when they entered that night the tape broke and now the door is locked from both sides and needs a key to open it. They have filled their stomachs and pockets with all the candy they could, and now seek to exit. Their stomachs are starting to ache, they are tired and scared, and the door won't budge. They hatch a plan. They seek to break into the doughnut shop next door to eat and steal all the doughnuts they can before their caught the next morning. However, there are no tools by which they can gain entry to the store next door, the pain in their stomachs is growing and they are growing increasingly anxious and frantic.

Why won't their plan work?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:08 PM on February 26, 2007


for comic relief we get Laura: Laura Bush, Iraq expert, just now on Larry King Live:
"Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone."
Yeah, it's such a great place that Iraq. So stable, well, except for that pesky "one bombing a day." ...

posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on February 26, 2007


The General explains The Bush Doctrine.
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on February 26, 2007


Watching Afghanistan fall: Stationed with a battle-scarred U.S. Army troop in the mountain region where Osama bin Laden supposedly hides, with the insurgency on the rise, I witnessed why the other war is going to hell
posted by homunculus at 9:55 PM on February 26, 2007


a comparison to Iraq with the same conclusion as in 2003: ... most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran...."Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."...
posted by amberglow at 7:11 PM on February 27, 2007


Interview with Hersh.
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2007


Awesome, thanks, I would never have heard of this site without your link!

Can negative favorite points be assigned for really unoriginal snark?
posted by psmealey at 1:19 PM on February 28, 2007


Only if they can be likewise assigned for really unimaginative, repetitive NewsFilter.

I save my A-shit for the really outré batshit stuff.
posted by Eideteker at 7:28 PM on February 28, 2007


The Seymour Hersh Mystery: A Journalist Writing Bloody Murder… And No One Notices
posted by homunculus at 9:52 PM on March 13, 2007


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