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Iraq was just the beginning.
October 14, 2007 12:43 AM   Subscribe

Iraq was just the beginning. According to retired General Wesley Clark, a top-secret memo detailed a plan for “taking out” seven countries in five years, ending with Iran.

Wesley Clark: I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” -- meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office -- “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.”
posted by FeldBum (129 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cheers to being fucked.
posted by null terminated at 1:04 AM on October 14, 2007


My first response was what?

After I looked at a couple of links I realized I wasn't really surprised at all, and besides that, he's going to get screwed by various commentators for revealing classified information.

Cynicism is great!
posted by blacklite at 1:11 AM on October 14, 2007


Scary stuff, and I don't doubt that the plan exists. In fact I bet there are dozens of other 'plans' for even more hair-raising scenarii - strategies for half a dozen different pre-emptive nuclear wars for a start, and contingency plans for armed intervention in every neutral and friendly country in the world.

I do doubt, though that anyone except a few wild-eyed backroom staff actually imagine these 'plans' are ever going to be used.
posted by Phanx at 1:14 AM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well they planned for it, that doesn't mean they are actually going to do it. It's no secret that the PNAC wanted to do all kinds of crazy shit, including "confronting" China.

Also, the fact that Iraq has gone so poorly might have upset their plans a bit. Plus 2007-2003 = 5, so they've got what, a couple more months to hit the rest of those countries?

That said, given how fucking pathetic the democrats have been, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we ended up bombing Iran.
posted by delmoi at 1:16 AM on October 14, 2007


2007 - 2003 = 5?
posted by claudius at 1:28 AM on October 14, 2007


Wonder why?
posted by nickyskye at 1:30 AM on October 14, 2007


And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids!
posted by Dead Man at 1:35 AM on October 14, 2007 [7 favorites]


that's delmoi math, claudius. don't ask questions.
posted by blacklite at 1:36 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with delmoi, except for the math.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:39 AM on October 14, 2007


Small difference between planning and contingency planning, no? I have no doubt that this will be framed as the latter. Of course that doesn't necessarily make it so. And for people who thought they'd be welcomed into Iraq with open arms... this seems about on par with their level of optimism. (if a string of invasions can possibly be termed optimistic)
posted by dreamsign at 1:44 AM on October 14, 2007


"I like to to tell people when the final history is written on Iran Iraq, it will look like just a comma." - GWB
posted by Poolio at 1:49 AM on October 14, 2007


The period 2003-2007 inclusive is 5 years.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 1:53 AM on October 14, 2007


I agree with delmoi, except for the math.

You're entitled to your math, but delmoi has the math.
posted by rokusan at 1:56 AM on October 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Er, 2007 - 2003 = 4, but what I was thinking was that we are almost five years years from the start of the Iraq war. Only 6 months to go, including this one.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to our country if Bush had succeeded in Iraq. He, presumably, would have been able to take this country much farther down the path to totalitarianism.

On the other hand, he probably would have invaded Iran, and then we'd really be fucked.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 AM on October 14, 2007


I think this plan was contingent on unparalleled success in Iraq, which didn't happen. The plan was probably written by the 'greeted as liberators' crowd.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:10 AM on October 14, 2007


Folks, are you aware that the US has a well-developed plan for invading Canada?

A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:14 AM on October 14, 2007 [5 favorites]


At least they have a plan for the other 6 countries.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:24 AM on October 14, 2007 [11 favorites]


A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military.

I sure hope Clark and the unnamed General he was talking to understand what "planning" means in the military.
posted by chrominance at 3:26 AM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'd like to read the Canada plan, that sounds fun.
posted by blacklite at 3:38 AM on October 14, 2007


"A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen."

I'm too stupid and politically unsavvy to make some sort of funny, snarky, Iraq/KatrinaFilter related response to this comment, but I'm pretty sure that someone here can pick up the slack for me.
posted by melorama at 3:52 AM on October 14, 2007


Scenarii?
posted by fairmettle at 3:52 AM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


He, presumably, would have been able to take this country much farther down the path to totalitarianism.

Thought experiment: how much more could he have done? I mean, zero resistance is zero resistance.
posted by rokusan at 4:14 AM on October 14, 2007


"A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen."

I read a lot of fucking idiots on the Right making this same utterly asinine statement, they all have similar lack of comprehension, lack of military experience, lack of historical knowledge or insight, and they all fail to supply any kind of evidence whatsoever for the assertion. It's conjecture. Wishful thinking, in fact.

It's always some blowhard trying to justify batshit crazy plans that have come out, revealing more of the insanity from the extremist civilians currently at the helm of the Pentagon, "oh, of course they have plans to attack London! Naturally they make plans for yap yap yap blah blah"

look, just shut the fuck up, ok? It's clear you don't have a fucking clue what the Pentagon plans for.

Normal, sane human beings do not plan such things. Fact.

The idea that you would plan for something you don't expect to happen is so fucking stupid a statement that I wish I could embed a soundfile of my foghorn guffaws into this post, just to drive home how utterly imbecilic it is.

You plan for eventualities which may, just may, occur contingent on events that will conceivably transpire. You don't plan some fucking grandiose insane shit and write it off as something to cover all possibilities, that is called being a nutcase.

It's just a stupid fucking excuse made by keyboard commandos trying to shore up their flaccid faith in the bunch of militaristic fucktards on the Right Wing.

Please don't ever vote or breed, you are too fucking stupid.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 4:20 AM on October 14, 2007 [23 favorites]


I can believe back in the day of Rumsfeld's streamlined, hyper-mobile attacking paradigm such a plan being conceived. In fact, it makes perfect sense if you have certain preconceived notions about attitudes towards US force being a Good Thing ™

I just fail to see how this is relevant at all today. Yes, they had some ambitious goals. They are nowhere near to realising any of them. Their main ally (Britain) seems to have given up on the big part of the plan (Iraq) and is fighting hard not to lose the starting point (Afghanistan).
posted by monkeyx-uk at 5:08 AM on October 14, 2007


Previously on metafilter: Plans for the invasion of Canada.
posted by Luddite at 5:24 AM on October 14, 2007


Mabuse, I think you are the one showing ignorance.
posted by caddis at 6:06 AM on October 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


Previously on metafilter: Plans for the invasion of Canada.

I would like to be a military planner just for the sheer mental masturbation involved.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:20 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


> The idea that you would plan for something you don't expect to happen is so
> fucking stupid a statement that I wish I could embed a soundfile of my foghorn
> guffaws into this post, just to drive home how utterly imbecilic it is.

Nobody has clued Henry in to the existence of the National War College wikipedia; homepage I see, so he rages on in comical ignorance. Henry, let me introduce you to the Army Strategic Studies Institute. It's in their charter to plan for any eventuality, likely or unlikely. Check the list of countries and regions analyzed in detail in their publication list. You may be absolutely certain there are detailed plans for military action in every one of these areas. In fact there are plans, in some level of finish and detail, for military action in every location on Earth--Canada, Wales, Leichtenstein, the Galapagos--and also in near-Earth space, against Chinese, Russians, and several kinds of plausible aliens.


> It's just a stupid fucking excuse made by keyboard commandos trying to shore
> up their flaccid faith in the bunch of militaristic fucktards on the Right
> Wing. Please don't ever vote or breed, you are too fucking stupid.

Well rrrrowr! Can we please have a better demo of why Henry's sort of person is exactly as repellant as his stereoisomers on the Little Green Footballs end? I don't think so! Henry, a mad dog like that could get a job working for Michael Vick.
posted by jfuller at 6:27 AM on October 14, 2007 [5 favorites]


Mabuse, I think you are the one showing ignorance.
posted by caddis


I don't think Mabuse is showing ignorance.
I think he is showing frustration.
posted by notreally at 6:30 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's much question that the neoconservatives want a widespread war in the middle east. It wasn't a secret plan, it was just a plan. You can read all about their nefarious schemes right here on their website: Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Here, for example, is an article (pdf) from 2001 fantasizing about how such a war might start. If Iraq had gone better, it would be happening right now.

It also surprises me every time I see people coming out with smoking-gun type evidence showing that members of the Bush Administration were pushing for war in Iraq long before 9/11. They weren't exactly doing it in secret. Here's a PNAC piece published in the New York Times in 1998 called Bombing Iraq Isn't Enough.

Admittedly the PNAC isn't officially the same thing as the Bush Administration, but people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz have signed their Statement of Principals, and there is a lot of overlap between the administration and PNAC.
posted by jiiota at 6:35 AM on October 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Canada already started their invasion of America long ago.
posted by srboisvert at 6:39 AM on October 14, 2007


If the pentagon has written so many plans, why did it not plan for a scenario where we were not treated as liberators in Iraq. Its a zero sum game. Time you spend on planning for attacks on Canada is time you didn't spend on planning for all of the different scenarios that could have arisen in Iraq.
posted by mach at 6:40 AM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


It doesn't bother me that such plans exist, it bothers me that they were being read and discussed by people as important as Rumsfeld and Clark. Of course we plan such things, if by 'we' you mean academic military theorists and interns whose supervisors need to give them makework. But when those idyllic fantasies start being distributed and read by the military's leaders, someone has requested it from the civilian side and valuable resources are being wasted pursuing a pipe dream.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:40 AM on October 14, 2007


Also, previously on metafilter from 2003: WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Also from 2003: Regime change in Iran, anyone?
posted by jiiota at 6:42 AM on October 14, 2007


Wing attack, plan R.
posted by flabdablet at 6:45 AM on October 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.

Since they're always planning, planning, planning, for every contingency, possibility and scenario, because, you know, that's just what they do all the time, since they're some plan-crazy sumbitches, can you pretty please explain to me what happenned to the plan for occupying Iraq?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:47 AM on October 14, 2007 [7 favorites]


[Parker and Longbaugh are looking at the cash out in the open]
Longbaugh: What do you think?
Parker: I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2007


...let me introduce you to the Army Strategic Studies Institute. It's in their charter to plan for any eventuality

well, ALMOST any eventuality...
posted by horsemuth at 7:12 AM on October 14, 2007


It's clear you don't have a fucking clue what the Pentagon plans for.

I think you might want to subject yourself to the same level of criticism you're so eager to toss around here. Do you have any means of backing up anything you said, or are you content to just come in here and fling shit? It's widely known that every major military power has these kinds of plans.

Please don't ever vote or breed, you are too fucking stupid.

I'm actually more interesting in hearing your back up your position that unintelligent people should be disenfranchised and prohibited from having children. Care to elaborate?
posted by mkultra at 7:30 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Haha, Henry C. Mabuse just made a fool of himself.
posted by Jase_B at 7:40 AM on October 14, 2007


Since they're always planning, planning, planning, for every contingency, possibility and scenario, because, you know, that's just what they do all the time, since they're some plan-crazy sumbitches, can you pretty please explain to me what happenned to the plan for occupying Iraq?
It had to be scrapped after "Step One - Graciously Accept Flowers" went slightly awry.
posted by Flunkie at 7:53 AM on October 14, 2007 [9 favorites]


Can you pretty please explain to me what happenned to the plan for occupying Iraq?

Hey, I could manufacture an impressive-sounding Strategic Plan for Turning My Whole Neighborhood into a Large Dog Park, but that doesn't mean it has a snowball's chance of working in real-world conditions, especially if my planning process makes a point of ignoring inconvenient contingencies. We are, after all, talking about people who have been known to rig their own wargames to insure the outcomes they want -- rather than using adverse outcomes to improve strategies and tactics.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2007


Devils Rancher, I suspect it went something like this, you know, just like everything else in this administration:

Bush Administration: Well, what have you got for us?
Army Think Tank Guy: It doesn't look too good...
BA: That just won't do.
ATTG: But...
BA: Get another report that says everything we do is sunshine and light, or we'll find someone else who will.
posted by kimota at 8:12 AM on October 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


I would like to be a military planner just for the sheer mental masturbation involved.

And here I am all this time using my penis like a fool.
posted by chemoboy at 8:26 AM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Folks, are you aware that the US has a well-developed plan for invading Canada?

A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.


If you really can't see the difference between contingency plans regarding a country that's literally right next door and invasion plans on countries on the other side of the planet, I feel sorry for you.

I like Kool-Aid too, but I turn it down on occasion.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:30 AM on October 14, 2007


Er, 2007 - 2003 = 4, but what I was thinking was that we are almost five years years from the start of the Iraq war.

considering that the administration was already talking about getting iraq in the days since 9/11, i'd say we're at 6 years and counting

A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military.

yes, the invasion of iraq made that quite clear

but seriously, steven, the "planning" in question has gone outside of the file cabinets in the pentagon and out into the real world

iraq, in fact was invaded
syria and iran are being put under increasing pressure
lebanon was in fact invaded with the tacit support of the u s
somalia has in fact seen u s action against it
sudan is now under pressure
and libya was put under enough pressure that they, in fact, gave up the game

so your attempt to pass this off as just another pentagon daydream doesn't quite wash, as it bears an interesting similarity to what's actually been happening

and don't complain that the plan isn't identical to what's actually happened - you know as well as i do that no plan survives contact with the enemy
posted by pyramid termite at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2007


considering that the administration was already talking about getting iraq in the days since 9/11
You mean "before".
posted by Flunkie at 8:40 AM on October 14, 2007


can you pretty please explain to me what happenned to the plan for occupying Iraq?

Maybe the dog ate it:
In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."
Canada already started their invasion of America long ago.
The first wave consisted of comedians, science fiction stars, and power trios.

posted by kirkaracha at 8:42 AM on October 14, 2007


then we'd really be fucked.

so what you're saying is, we're not already really fucked. I am so relieved.
posted by nax at 8:43 AM on October 14, 2007


It's been my understanding for many years that the Pentagon has detailed plans to airstrike, invade, and occupy every country in the world. They try to identify key sections of infrastructure everywhere, both in terms of media and in terms of warfighting ability, and have regularly-updated plans ready to go, with long lists of prioritized targets based on the objectives. I don't have links handy, but it's been 'just a fact' in my head for a long time. Interestingly, I'm not sure I knew that before Bush took power, so it's possible this was a deliberate leak of some kind.

We were doing this kind of planning as far back as WW2. In that war, for instance, we correctly determined that ball bearings were a major choke point for the manufacture of Axis armor, and we regularly attacked ball-bearing plants. This was less successful than we'd hoped, because the machines were very tough and hard to destroy, but we were trying. Modern plans try to recognize the current equivalent of ball bearings, the things that a hostile economy must have to function.... the idea in the airstrike section of these plans is often to cripple the enemy economy and media with the fewest possible strike missions, and then later to invade and take control of the country with the minimum number of troops to succeed thoroughly.

It's known that we had a long, involved occupation plan ready to go for Iraq, which wasn't followed. My assumption is that it drew conclusions that the current administration didn't like -- that it would be expensive, difficult, and take a lot of troops. So they threw all that careful planning out the door and decided to wing it instead.

Would it have been better if we'd followed the plan? I have no idea, but I don't see how it could have been any worse.
posted by Malor at 8:46 AM on October 14, 2007


Note also, that this kind of planning is very different from the actual operational planning that the link is talking about; when you get to the point of scheduling the invasions, that's different from the hypotheticals the Pentagon is always doing.
posted by Malor at 8:50 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.

Absolutely true. And many of those plans will be just as effective as the plan to "take out" Iraq.
posted by psmealey at 8:56 AM on October 14, 2007


I"d say the Iraq war has been a success from the perspective of certain people. I'm sure the pentagon has all sorts of plans for several countries around the globe. As a matter of fact, contingency plans to invade Vatican City included a free concert by 'N Sync and a battalion of boy scouts.
posted by Sailormom at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2007


They had plans for a big, big meal, but they choked on the first bite.
posted by jamjam at 9:08 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's been my understanding for many years that the Pentagon has detailed plans to airstrike, invade, and occupy every country in the world.

I'm sorry, you say this so matter-of-factly: do you really think this? If so, do you believe it's just what the military is supposed to do, you know, just in case they have to invade the whole fucking world?

Contingency planning is for something you are afraid might happen. This is about a plan for something you *want* to happen.

It's like saying "Mein Kampf" was, you know, a just in case scenario: if the Jews try to destroy us from within, and the Slavic monkeys occupy greater Germany, then we will have to conquer all of Europe and exterminate the lot of 'em.

The fact is that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was by any reasonable standard a "war of aggression." It's 1939 time, whether we like it or not. Or rather, 2003 was 1939 and right now is just the long "false war."

Onward to France!
posted by geos at 9:22 AM on October 14, 2007


The plan to "take out" Iraq—as in, defeat the Iraqi army and overthrow Saddam—was actually quite effective, as are most of the Army's traditional-warfare ventures. The U.S. military has proved that it's very good at what it was designed to do: win a set-piece war against a nation state's standing army. There is little doubt in my mind that we would defeat Iran, Syria, North Korea and even Russia or China in a traditional war.

Of course, as has been shown time and again—Vietnam, Lebanon, the occupation of Iraq—the U.S. military is not designed for or very good at "fourth-generation" warfare. Main battle tanks and $20 million strike fighters are pretty much useless against opponents who don't play by the same rules.
posted by stargell at 9:28 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I should add that the U.S. military is also not designed or trained to be an occupying force. Hence the need for strong, canny political and diplomatic leadership once those traditional wars are won. Hence the mess in Iraq and the increasingly worrisome situation in Afghanistan.
posted by stargell at 9:32 AM on October 14, 2007


I like the plan! while we outsource all things in manufacturing and globalize, miitarily we globalize the world so we can then enforce prices! Neat. Can an older guy sign up for military duty? count me in...hope the lefties don't raise their usual wimpish silly remarks about our great nation.
posted by Postroad at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2007


All said, I think there is a big difference between having for attacking a country and having a plan to attack a country, and this list seems to fall firmly in the latter category.
posted by FeldBum at 9:38 AM on October 14, 2007


Actually I can think of one very important country that the Pentagon didn't have a plan to invade: Afghanistan. That's why the CIA ran that invasion. They had a plan. Rumsfeld and Cheney didn't want to play nice with the CIA and so it ended up as a clusterfuck just like everything else.
posted by Eekacat at 9:40 AM on October 14, 2007


Previously on metafilter: Plans for the invasion of Canada.

Well shucks, I want the Tim Hortons and the poutine, then. Y'all can divy the rest.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:51 AM on October 14, 2007


Next stop: Luxembourg! Surprise those motherfuckers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2007


The man who stands between US and new war: Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, has taken charge of the forces in the American government opposed to a US military attack on Iran, writes Tim Ship
posted by homunculus at 9:53 AM on October 14, 2007


Juan Williams: Kristol Is Pushing For ‘The Next World War’
posted by homunculus at 9:56 AM on October 14, 2007


Well shucks, I want the Tim Hortons and the poutine, then.

That's 80% of the country!!!
posted by Krrrlson at 9:57 AM on October 14, 2007


I am amazed by how many people don't seem to understand that a four star general knows that contingency plans are made as a matter of course, and wouldn't be concerned if this were merely such a contingency plan.
posted by Flunkie at 9:59 AM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack. He knows such things are contingency plans, but he also knows that others don't know that, and knows that talking about it is effective rabble rousing.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:07 AM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack.

Why is anyone with a public party affiliation automatically a 'partisan hack'? What in Clark's public comments have given any indication that he is a dogmatic shill on the order of, say, Malkin, Limbaugh or Coulter? Those are partisan hacks, because they will defend the party line no matter how odious or erroneous. Clark, at least every time I've seen him, has spoken from fact and reasonable perspective. (I may or may not agree with his perspective, but it's always been rooted in actual fact as far as I've seen.)

So, please provide some evidence for your assertion of partisan hackery on the part of Wesley Clark.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:23 AM on October 14, 2007


1) The U.S. is planning to "take out" seven countries.


2) A retired United States General suddenly becomes a "partisan hack".


Hmmm- which one is more believable.....??
posted by wfc123 at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2007


there are even military plans to attack the centipedes in britney's vagina.
posted by quonsar at 10:40 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wesley Clark:

-Valedictorian at West Point
-Rhodes Scholar
-Defense Distinguished Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
-Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
-Silver Star
-Bronze Star Medal with an oak leaf cluster
-Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
-Grand Cross of the Medal of Military Merit from Portugal
-Presidential Medal of Freedom
-street named after him by citizens in ?akovica, Kosovo for his role in helping their city and country.




-Partisan hack
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2007 [7 favorites]


General Clark has earned his place at the microphone.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2007


How do you make God laugh? Make a plan.

- Chet the bartender
posted by mrgrimm at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2007


which one is more believable.....??

#1
posted by mrgrimm at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2007


as repellant as his stereoisomers on the Little Green Footballs

had to go to the dictionary for "stereoisomers." Well played.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2007


by the way:

During the Blitzer interview, Clark backed off slightly, conceding that the memo "wasn't [necessarily] a plan. Maybe it was a think piece. Maybe it was a sort of notional concept, but what it was, was the kind of indication of dialogue around this town in official circles ... that has poisoned the atmosphere and made it very difficult for this administration to achieve any success in the region."
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack. He knows such things are contingency plans, but he also knows that others don't know that, and knows that talking about it is effective rabble rousing.

You are disgusting, or you have a deep, rich bed of irony to mine. General Clark has done more for this country and the former Yugoslavia than anything you or any of your plaster saints have ever done, and actually knows something about the proper allocation of military force. You have the gall to call someone a partisan hack, (when the term was almost invented for you,) and for what reason? He thinks understands that the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is a bad idea. That's it.

You and others have rationalized every goddamn blunder and self-serving excuse coming out of the administration, and you have the balls to say that a General who no one could accuse of being incompetent, is somehow willfully ignoring the truth set before him in an attempt to manipulate people. You say this with no evidence, just the evidence that he disagrees with you, you, who lectures us with your deep military insight and your unwavering loyalty to the Bush administration, accuses a general with a distinguished career and a record of military success, of being a rabble rouser, manipulator, and partisan hack because you disagree with a General on his area of fucking expertise? Fine, disagree with him all you want, being a General does not give you received wisdom or beyond criticism, but your sheer fuckery in your insults, are laughable, especially coming from you.
posted by Snyder at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2007 [11 favorites]


Devils Rancher: ... can you pretty please explain to me what happenned to the plan for occupying Iraq?

Well, there are military plans and then there is what happens. From what I can tell, the military had fairly well developed plans for the invasion of Iraq (though possibly a little out of date) that involved putting a lot more boots on the ground and an acknowledgment that it would take a while to pacify the country. That was in their plans.

Their plans would be a pretty hard sell to the US public. In addition, a couple of idiots at the top (especially Rummy and Dick) had other notions about the use and projection of power and the reaction of people who have been invaded. So, to sell it better and to satisfy their new ideas on the new way to conduct a war (what hubris! But re-enforced by Gulf War I, which was an odd situation but they don't seem to have noticed), they pushed ahead with a lot less troops and an idiotic post-invasion plan. Some generals objected and they were canned. Some played along. Some sort-of agreed (it was part of Powell's shtick).

But make not mistake the military had a plan. But the military doesn't make the decision.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2007


Israel has the ability to launch unilateral strikes on Iran, and this would likely escalate, drawing the US into some form of conflict. So, one interesting possibility which gives the Bush administration a lot more credit than they deserve, is that ongoing rumors of an attack on Iran is just an elaborate attempt to fake out the Israelis.. Avoiding conflict.

Also important to remember, the invasion of Iraq really started a year earlier than the 'official' date. Or, at least, in August of 2002.
But from May to August, that increased to 10 tons a month.
But these initial "spikes of activity" didn't have the desired effect. The Iraqis didn't retaliate. They didn't provide the excuse Bush and Blair needed. So at the end of August, the allies dramatically intensified the bombing into what was effectively the initial air war. The number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq by allied aircraft shot up to 54.6 tons in September alone, with the increased rates continuing into 2003.
In other words, Bush and Blair began their war not in March 2003, as everyone believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Congress approved military action against Iraq.
I have to think that the dangers of this particular blunder were a lot higher back in 2005 when real shit was happening on the ground in Iran..
In Basra on September 19, British troops clashed with Iraqi police and Shi'ite militia, who had ironically welcomed the toppling of Saddam two years ago. The police had arrested two British undercover commandos who possessed suspicious bomb-making materials. British troops launched an armored raid on the jail to free their agents, fighting the same Iraqi police they had earlier trained. Iraqis had thought it strange that British agents would be caught with the types of bombs associated with insurgents attacking "Coalition" troops, and some assumed that the agents were trying to pit Iraqi religious groups against each other.

Yet at the same time, bombs were going off across the border in Khuzestan. In June, a series of car bombings in Ahvaz (75 miles from Basra) killed 6 people. In August, Iran arrested a group of Arab separatist rebels, and accused them of links to British intelligence in Basra. In September, explosions hit Khuzestani cities, halting crude oil transfers from onshore wells. On October 15, two major bomb explosions in an Ahvaz market killed 4 and injured 95. A November 3 analysis in Asia Times blames Iraqi Sunni insurgents for the bombings.

Iranian officials accused Britain of backing the attacks, and tied the rebel bombs to the British commando incident in Basra. The Daily Star of Beirut reported on October 17 that Iranian officials "point to Western collusion in the sudden spike this year in ethnic unrest in the strategic, oil-producing province of Khuzestan and describe it as proof of a shadowy war that is receiving far less coverage in the international press than events in Iraq. Since the beginning of 2005, riots and a bombing campaign timed to coincide with the June presidential elections rocked Khuzestan's major cities."
Of course that stuff might still be going on, and the attacks on Syria and Lebanon are pretty scary signs, so..
posted by Chuckles at 11:40 AM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


The idea that you would plan for something you don't expect to happen is so fucking stupid a statement

I got another one for you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:27 PM on October 14, 2007


What, you're gonna make another post?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 12:56 PM on October 14, 2007


Heh, maybe if you took your head out of your ass you'd have time to make one of your own.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack. He knows such things are contingency plans, but he also knows that others don't know that, and knows that talking about it is effective rabble rousing.

Sounds to me like you're arguing:

(1) Contingency plans for many invasion scenarios exist
(2) Therefore, the plan Clark speaks of must be a contingency plan

I shouldn't have to point out that's a tenuous conclusion. It's a possibility, of course, and if we were just talking about plans to invade one, maybe even two specific countries that have not committed acts of war within a five year period, I might be willing to give it the balance of credibility.

But seven countries in five years? "Just in case"? Having a contingency plan for that strikes me as about as pragmatic as the average person having a "contingency" plan for getting six undergraduate degrees inside of four years -- probaly doable with sufficient resources and determination, but the enterprise is certainly near ridiculous, something you'd only choose to do either under the hold of some kind of mania or under the duress of such a compelling reason that it's really not a "contingency" at all.

I'd consider the possibility that Clark is exagerrating the actual plan (contingency or not) or outright lying before I'd buy the "well, we have lots of plans" line of reasoning.
posted by namespan at 1:22 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Heh, maybe if you took your head out of your ass you'd have time to make one of your own."

Heh, you first.

See how this goes?

Human sacrifice is not at question here, it is the scale we are talking about.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:33 PM on October 14, 2007


I just have to say as well that the "stereoisomer" comment was a direct hit. And I am fully with Malor that it should be no surprise that we have plans in place for attacking any country in the world. Of course, the plans for countries adjacent to the current conflict would be updated and in far more detail because of the relatively high likelihood that we'd have to deal with them. Luxembourg? Probably just a map of assets and a few troop arrows. Syria? Probably they asked for a plan saying "if Syria allied with Iran right now and attempted to re-take Iraq, how would we counterattack?" And so you have timetables, actual locations, actual troop movements based on current data, and so on. This should come as no surprise to anyone who is not A: hopelessly naive or B: cynical about USA foriegn policy.

Not that I support the war in Iraq, but I would consider it irresponsible, now that we're over there stirring shit up, if our huge military complex didn't have plans ready for engaging and reducing the neighboring countries.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:34 PM on October 14, 2007


anyone who is not A: hopelessly naive or B: cynical about USA foriegn policy
oops. I meant A: not hopelessly naive
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:38 PM on October 14, 2007


>>What, you're gonna make another post?
>Heh, maybe if you took your head out of your ass you'd have time to make one of your own.
>>Heh, you first.


I've made 14 FPPs - granted, of varying quality and limited appeal. You've made 0. Scared folks'll treat your interests and opinions with the same level of respect you give, I'm guessing.

See how this goes?

Yeah, your proficiency at innerets arguin' is about on par with your stunning grasp of geopolitical history and military theory. Apologies for the derail, folks. If you want to continue feel free to head over to the Grey or shoot me an e-mail, Henry C.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2007


a couple of idiots at the top (especially Rummy and Dick) had other notions about the use and projection of power and the reaction of people who have been invaded. So, to sell it better and to satisfy their new ideas on the new way to conduct a war (what hubris! But re-enforced by Gulf War I, which was an odd situation but they don't seem to have noticed), they pushed ahead with a lot less troops and an idiotic post-invasion plan. Some generals objected and they were canned. Some played along. Some sort-of agreed (it was part of Powell's shtick).

Yes, except that Dick Cheney knew exactly what would happen if we invaded Iraq. The question in this regard remains: why did Cheney, in spite of what he knew to be true in 1994, push so hard for the invasion of Iraq (and beyond)? Possible answers:

--He's a completely morally bankrupt son of a bitch.
Two sub-scenarios: He knew he was right in 1994, but it was also politically expedient to put forth that view (supported his boss); he was only being politically expedient in wanting to parrot his boss' decision, and had no idea what would happen. I favor the former in this scenario, because Cheney has never appeared dumb to me (just plain dumb, that is, like George Allen or Fred Thompson).

If he is in fact a morally bankrupt son of a bitch, most of the reasons one could conjecture for his wanting ongoing war in the middle east boil down to power (hegemony, oil, money, etc.).
--He really drank the Neocon kool aid and believes all the shit in the PNAC position papers.
This would be really sad, because all of those neocon think tanks have always seemed to me like collections of the mostly smart kids who succeeded because they worked really hard to get all As, be valedictorians, go to the right schools and major in the right things (law, business), but really aren't the truly smartest kids in class. The really brilliant people were off misbehaving, or dropping out and thinking stuff up, etc., and these dolts still have a fucking chip on their shoulders about it. So they mercilessly and amorally make tons of money, and use some of it to fund "think" tanks where other wonky nerds like themselves get together and write lots of essays and articles and convince themselves that they really Have It All Figured Out, despite a complete lack of relevant real-world experience among the lot and piles and piles of actual evidence to the contrary. It just seems like a sad pseudo-intellectual circle jerk with terrifying real-world consequences now that they've had such direct avenues to power (and a facile president to manipulate).
--Actually has what he views as America's best interests in mind. (That they coincide with the vastly increased wealth of himself and his friends only proves that, in addition to being the Guardian of Freedom, he continues to be quite the savvy businessman.)
This would mean that all the oil and regional-hegemony-as-assurance-of-continued-national-security stuff is truly valid. Which is the only option that to me makes any sort of sane sense, but is completely unsatisfying nonetheless because it raises several obvious questions: why didn't they frame their arguments in these terms? Is it impossible to be that naked about how the balance of global power works? Is all this (global war on terror, hit em there so they don't hit us here, etc.) really just the euphemistic ways that global power is presented and exercised? Or do they really think so little of the American public that we must be babied and told convenient lies so that we don't fret our pretty little heads about the real truths?
Of the scenarios I can see, and given my experience with people, I think it's most likely that these assholes really are just those not-quite-the-smartest-kids-in-class wonky nerd types. They've concocted this alternate reality, articulated it quite well, and figured out how to implement it, and are too busy talking to and congratulating themselves to notice what a nightmare they're making of the world. But they really should know better.

Also, on preview: Not that I support the war in Iraq, but I would consider it irresponsible, now that we're over there stirring shit up, if our huge military complex didn't have plans ready for engaging and reducing the neighboring countries.

I agree, definitely. What's troubling to me, though, is that Clark--among others--is asserting that these multi-country plans were drawn up before 9/11; with the serious intent to implement them (as evinced by many other reports about intentions to invade Iraq as early as Bush's very first cabinet meeting); and that the plans assume a unified strategy, rather than contingency responses to what may happen if we invade Iraq.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:52 PM on October 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Reading comprehension seems to be at an all time low. Making plans for something you don't expect to happen. Think about that for a minute. If anyone honestly thinks the National War College or the Army Strategic Studies Institute plans for things they don't think will happen, then perhaps a course of heavy anti-psychotics would be in order.

They plan for many eventualities that may be extremely unlikely. They do not plan for things that they don't think will happen. This is why 9/11 occurred. Plenty of people imagined a scenario where people used jetliners as missiles, but nobody thought it would happen. If there were plans in place, what happened to them? QED. Unless you want to embrace the tinfoil hat theories that these plans were deliberately stymied or something.

Do they have plans for an alien invasion? Do they have plans for Stay Puft Marshmallow Man attack? No. Please keep a grip on reality and understand that time is money & you don't pay people to sit around making complex plans on things that you don't think will happen.

"we have plans in place for attacking any country in the world"

There is zero evidence that this is the case. You would have to have a high level clearance to know whether this is true. Nobody here has such a clearance and if they did, they couldn't spill such info anyway. All other commentary is therefore conjecture. Wishful thinking. Irrespective of the claims of such agencies.

Whether Americans are on the Right or the Left, they all want to believe that their government agencies have a high degree of competence, it's like the childish need to believe that your parents love you and always want to protect you, and will always be there for you. A cursory glance thru recent history pretty much destroys this illusion.

The only way to truly unite Americans is to criticise something about their country, then they come together en masse to blither and quake, shaking their beads and feathers at their perceived enemy. It's quite the display.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:54 PM on October 14, 2007


"I've made 14 FPPs - granted, of varying quality and limited appeal. You've made 0. "
- penis measuring contest

Scared folks'll treat your interests and opinions with the same level of respect you give, I'm guessing.

- continue to guess away. I generally wait until I have something worth posting before I actually do. As for your comments here, it seems that even with your stellar posting record, you can still be a basic internet troll.

"Yeah, your proficiency at innerets arguin' is about on par with your stunning grasp of geopolitical history and military theory. Apologies for the derail, folks. If you want to continue feel free to head over to the Grey or shoot me an e-mail, Henry C."
- your comebacks are predictable and it appears your ego drives your need to insult me. So you use a lame post measuring vs content jibe then a piss poor assumption about my level of education. Shit, man, try something real. Perhaps you should be charging me rent for the headspace I am taking up? As for the derail, hey, it's yours. Email? Why would I want to engage a troll in private?

I'm words on a screen.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:01 PM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack. He knows such things are contingency plans, but he also knows that others don't know that, and knows that talking about it is effective rabble rousing.

You are disgusting, or you have a deep, rich bed of irony to mine. General Clark has done more for this country and the former Yugoslavia than anything you or any of your plaster saints have ever done, and actually knows something about the proper allocation of military force. You have the gall to call someone a partisan hack, (when the term was almost invented for you,) and for what reason? He thinks understands that the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is a bad idea. That's it.

You and others have rationalized every goddamn blunder and self-serving excuse coming out of the administration, and you have the balls to say that a General who no one could accuse of being incompetent, is somehow willfully ignoring the truth set before him in an attempt to manipulate people. You say this with no evidence, just the evidence that he disagrees with you, you, who lectures us with your deep military insight and your unwavering loyalty to the Bush administration, accuses a general with a distinguished career and a record of military success, of being a rabble rouser, manipulator, and partisan hack because you disagree with a General on his area of fucking expertise? Fine, disagree with him all you want, being a General does not give you received wisdom or beyond criticism, but your sheer fuckery in your insults, are laughable, especially coming from you.
posted by Snyder


Just in case anyone missed it, really. This can't be overstated.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:03 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


A lot of people don't understand what 'planning' means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.

This reminds me of supporters of intelligent design who either ignorantly confuse or deliberately blur the lay and scientific meanings of "theory."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:08 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Making plans for something you don't expect to happen. Think about that for a minute.

I think you're missing something here. You don't expect them to happen. But what if they do happen? Expectations are wrong sometimes. So you want a plan, in case your assumptions are wrong.

For instance, the military expected Iraq to go much better. But shouldn't they have had a plan in case it didn't?
posted by smackfu at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2007


What's with the disinformation in this thread? Wes Clark, as a former NATO commander, obviously knows what he is talking about. Also, this isn't really a secret to those that have been following this for a while.

Here is one 2002-era article on these ideas:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0910-01.htm
posted by bhouston at 2:23 PM on October 14, 2007


"For instance, the military expected Iraq to go much better. But shouldn't they have had a plan in case it didn't?"

Well, in this case, the military *did* have plans in case it didn't go better, but these plans were ignored and pushed aside by the incompetent civilians in charge of the Pentagon (Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al). Rumsfeld, apparently, even changed the rules of the war game projections that he lost, based on the Iraq invasion, to push the scenario in his favor, in line with the 'neocon' expectations. This is the kind of mind we are dealing with, here. They think they can rearrange reality to suit their delusions.

But if I was seriously driven to be devil's advocate at this point, I'd posit that the fact that it appears they did not have such a plan in place for Iraq itself proves that in fact these military institutes do not plan for every eventuality and "things they don't think will happen" (snicker). However, 9/11 is a better argument for that, I think (unless you invoke tinfoil hat theories, etc).

In fact this contradiction has already been pointed out by others in this thread, studiously ignored by those who think these guys really do plan for everything.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:35 PM on October 14, 2007


Henry, then just why do we have an invasion plan for Canada?
posted by Malor at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2007


DoctorFedora:
Just in case anyone missed it, really. This can't be overstated.
Uh, just in case anyone missed it, really:

The fact that DoctorFedora's first quoted paragraph is explicitly directed at me ("Flunkie, ..."), plus the fact that DoctorFedora's second and further quoted paragraphs ("You are disgusting", "your sheer fuckery", "you have the gall") give no indication (by differing typeface, indentation, explicit label, or anything like that) that they are directed at someone other than me, do not imply that the second and further quoted paragraphs were directed at me.
posted by Flunkie at 2:50 PM on October 14, 2007


Henry, then just why do we have an invasion plan for Canada?

Oil?
posted by srboisvert at 3:11 PM on October 14, 2007


Anybody really interested in the runup to the war should definitely read Fiasco by Tom Ricks. If you can get through it without suffering a rage-induced stroke, that is.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:36 PM on October 14, 2007


The plan for Canada hasn't been updated since 1935, and it was declassified in 1974.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that we have a more current plan. But some of the people in this thread seem to be acting as if the Canada plan that we know about is a current and actively updated plan, evincing that Clark is merely a "partisan hack" for being concerned about this Bush "Conquer the Middle East in Seven Easy Steps".

The Canada plan that we know about probably includes thoughts on how to handle Canadian cavalry.
posted by Flunkie at 3:39 PM on October 14, 2007


Adm. Painter: What's his plan?
Jack Ryan: His plan?
Adm. Painter: Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.
Adm. Painter is played by Reagan reincarnate/future president Fred Thompson, proving he's tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the Russkies.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:46 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reading comprehension seems to be at an all time low. Making plans for something you don't expect to happen. Think about that for a minute.

There's a difference between "I don't think that will happen" and "I think that won't happen". Since we're talking about reading comprehension and all.
posted by spaltavian at 3:59 PM on October 14, 2007


Jesus christ. You think that if we suddenly had to send forces to, say, the Congo, or Chile, or Japan, we'd get everyone together and say, "let's start planning this thing!"

No, they have teams intelligence experts who keep running tabs on places depending on the likelihood of having to "intervene" or the threat level of whatever dictator. It's not that hard to do, and it saves a lot of time when those contingencies or sudden emergencies take place; you don't have to say "oh my god! our maps of the power grid are 20 years old!"

And no, I don't have "high-level clearance," it would just makea lot of sense if this were the case - it requires very little manpower and the benefit is great if these contingencies do come up. People want to deny we have a current plan to invade Canada? Come on.

Basically, what you people getting all uppity about is the political equivalent of TIME writing obituaries of celebrities before they die, so they can run them the day after. That is exactly what these plans are. You'd do it if you were the editor of TIME, and you'd do it if you were the leader of the world's premier military presence.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:04 PM on October 14, 2007


Henry, then just why do we have an invasion plan for Canada?

Because planners have to practice by drawing up war plans about *somewhere*, so it might as well be real places as Orange Land or Freedonia. After all, the probability of going to war with Canada is, even now, infinitely higher than the probability of going to war with Fictional Country A or Opponent.

In 1935 it wouldn't have even been stupid; war with the British Empire, which could conceivably have happened absent things like the Washington Naval Treaty, would have involved war in Canada as a matter of course.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:44 PM on October 14, 2007


BlackLeotardFront, are you willfully misinterpreting me, or is it unintentional?

What part of "I wouldn't be surprised to find out that we have a more current plan" did you miss?
posted by Flunkie at 4:55 PM on October 14, 2007


I would just like everyone to keep in mind that, yes, there were plans for Iraq, yes, there were contingencies and postwar occupation planning, and the Pentagon was told, "yeah, that's great, it sucks, we don't need that many troops."

They went through war planner after war planner until they found a dumb flunkie who thought he knew the secret to conducting war with a tenth of the troops you really need.

Hence the Rumsfeldian "you go to war with the army you have", blah blah blah.
"As the United States prepared to respond to the attacks of September 11, Rumsfeld pushed a reluctant military to think unconventionally about going to war in Afghanistan. Dissatisfied with the plan for a large-scale invasion that he received from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Rumsfeld turned to the Pentagon's Special Operations forces."
"When the president's attention turned towards Iraq, Rumsfeld pushed his war planners to think outside the box. Emboldened by his success in Afghanistan, the secretary once again pushed aside Pentagon critics and demanded an unconventional war plan." (Rumsfeld's War)
The fact that it went to shit isn't the fault of the guys who sit around drafting war plan after war plan, it's the fault of the people at the top who told them to shove their war plans up their asses.

This is why civilians need to stay the fuck out of military planning. Generals are generals for a reason.
posted by blacklite at 5:02 PM on October 14, 2007


I am surprised at the number of people who think this war with Iraq has gone so poorly. Maybe from the layman's perspective. But a lot of people are making a lot of money off of this war.
And just for the record I've always been against this war. But I understand that some people measure success in dollars and cents. And to those people this war has been a smashing success.
posted by Sailormom at 5:31 PM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack.

posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:07 AM on October 14


Hello pot. Meet kettle.
posted by Eekacat at 5:32 PM on October 14, 2007


Hello pot. Meet kettle

I never claimed otherwise. The difference is that no one is citing me in an FPP as an unbiased source for scandalous information. (As if.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:34 PM on October 14, 2007


No, the difference is that you (by your own admission just now) are a partisan hack, and Wesley Clark is not. That you have asserted he is a partisan hack does not make it so, and such claims require proof. My experience listening to/reading Clark is that he knows whereof he speaks.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:10 PM on October 14, 2007


Flunkie, Clark is now a partisan hack.

Why is anyone with a public party affiliation automatically a 'partisan hack'? What in Clark's public comments have given any indication that he is a dogmatic shill on the order of, say, Malkin, Limbaugh or Coulter?


Why is everyone feeding the troll?
posted by homunculus at 7:44 PM on October 14, 2007


Not to mention the blatant personal attacks, which sadly got favorite'd a whole lot of times.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2007


Henry, then just why do we have an invasion plan for Canada?

that's in case they object too much to us draining the great lakes to water the rest of the country
posted by pyramid termite at 8:35 PM on October 14, 2007


The US is 0-1-1 vs. Canada, so an invasion plan is prudent.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


svdb: Folks, are you aware that the US has a well-developed plan for invading Canada?

A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen.
Did you even read the article? This has nothing to do with "eventualities that they don't expect to happen":

"'Oh, it's worse than that,' he said, holding up a memo on his desk. 'Here's the paper from the Office of the Secretary of Defense [then Donald Rumsfeld] outlining the strategy. We're going to take out seven countries in five years.' And he named them, starting with Iraq and Syria and ending with Iran."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:58 AM on October 15, 2007


Is it a game... or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?
posted by robot at 1:11 AM on October 15, 2007


It's strange that people think of the neo-cons as "right-wing" extremists, when their ideology is just Troskyite spread-the-"democratic"-revolution globalist internationalism (which in turn is just colonialist spread-civilization-to-the-uncivilized for lefties), repackaged for an American audience. Look at Christopher Hitchens, Norm Podhoretz and William Kristol's backgrounds. They aren't right-wing conservatives. Michael Ledeen wants "creative destruction": i.e. revolution. America is just the base from which to spread it, like Russia was for the Communists.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 4:19 AM on October 15, 2007


I wouldn't say Clark is a partisan hack, but he certainly has a political motive to tell people what they want to hear. Just like when he was in the military -- you don't get that high up in the military without being able to play the game. It's just that he now has a different audience.
posted by smackfu at 5:46 AM on October 15, 2007


I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bush and Co are getting exactly what they wanted. Oil closing in at $90 a barrel. Israel looks like the rational, calm, nice guys in the region as one by one the rest of the countries fall into sectarian bloodshed. Lebanon has ousted the Syrians (at least symbolically). Hamas is impotent (mainly). Al qaeda is too busy fighting Shia insurgents to work on major terror plots. Even Pakistan is set to make a full on purge of the warlords and yellow-bellied left-leaners.

Next up: In Iran, the tenuous hold that the 30- 40% Persian Shia population have on the 60-70% other various population groups will dissolve and Syria's dictatorship will collapse due to a wave of urban secularist vs. rural Islamist violence.

Ugly (but neccessary under the plan) consequences: Near genocide (but after all what's a couple million A-rabs anyway?). A few thousand American troops killed. SUV sales plummet in areas of the US not living large from massive oil profits (I'm looking at you Midland). Uighur seperatists in China get all support, protection and right to exist from the US dumped by the US in the name of "fighting terrorism" and so the Chinese don't get pissy over our encroachment into Central Asia.

Unintended negatives (in the eyes of the administration): Egypt's dictatorship goes down just like Syria's. Saudi Wahabists make money like never before due to $100 a barrel oil giving them even more disposable incomes with which to fund extremism. Commie Pinko Hippy Pussies take over American Government because the American people get pissy about the few thousand American troops dead and the cost of gas (and sadly little else).
posted by Pollomacho at 5:51 AM on October 15, 2007


"A lot of people don't understand what "planning" means in the military. They routinely create all kinds of plans for eventualities they don't expect to happen."

I read a lot of fucking idiots on the Right making this same utterly asinine statement, they all have similar lack of comprehension, lack of military experience, lack of historical knowledge or insight, and they all fail to supply any kind of evidence whatsoever for the assertion. It's conjecture. Wishful thinking, in fact.

It's always some blowhard trying to justify batshit crazy plans that have come out, revealing more of the insanity from the extremist civilians currently at the helm of the Pentagon, "oh, of course they have plans to attack London! Naturally they make plans for yap yap yap blah blah"

look, just shut the fuck up, ok? It's clear you don't have a fucking clue what the Pentagon plans for.

Normal, sane human beings do not plan such things. Fact.

The idea that you would plan for something you don't expect to happen is so fucking stupid a statement that I wish I could embed a soundfile of my foghorn guffaws into this post, just to drive home how utterly imbecilic it is.

You plan for eventualities which may, just may, occur contingent on events that will conceivably transpire. You don't plan some fucking grandiose insane shit and write it off as something to cover all possibilities, that is called being a nutcase.

It's just a stupid fucking excuse made by keyboard commandos trying to shore up their flaccid faith in the bunch of militaristic fucktards on the Right Wing.

Please don't ever vote or breed, you are too fucking stupid."

Damn Henry.... Chill out dude. I would prefer we had the crazy batshit plans. Being prepared is a good thing. I don't like the fact that they have plans to invade nations but on the flip side.... WHAT IF? Now I could see where making plans to stop an alien invasion or fighting a zombie outbreak would be in the "We pay you to do this?" file but plans to invade are something these people just do. Im sure they got plans to invade every country in the world. And the same is true about us too. Pick a country and they got plans on us. Quit living in your liberal everyone should be a vegan and government is bad world. Note: I am quite liberal I just wanted to say that!

Mastercheddaar
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:54 AM on October 15, 2007


One more note on military planning, at the end of the cold war in the early 90's, military training scenarios and simulations shifted from planning for the beach invasion of a large, semi-tropical island in a warm, shallow sea to an overland invasion of an often craggy, desert environment. You put two and two together.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:10 AM on October 15, 2007


"Damn Henry.... Chill out dude. I would prefer we had the crazy batshit plans. Being prepared is a good thing."

Look, read the damned article! It's not "being prepared" -- they were intending to invade those seven countries in the first five years.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:46 AM on October 15, 2007


Intending? I expect "exploring as an option" is probably more accurate. When a decision needs to be made, many times someone will ask "give me my options". This was an option that was (or perhaps still is) being explored. That is not quite intent, and not quite harmless, either.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:26 AM on October 15, 2007


It doesn't necessarily bothers that we have some hypothetical plan for invading Canada. What bothers me is that the neoconservatives in the Pentagon are so culturally tone-deaf that they'd even fuck up an invasion of Canada ("That's funny. Viceroy Bremer's plan to replace all the Tim Horton's with Starbucks has appeared to fuel a violent insurgency in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.")
posted by jonp72 at 8:41 AM on October 15, 2007


Intending? I expect "exploring as an option" is probably more accurate. When a decision needs to be made, many times someone will ask "give me my options".

no, i think the point here is that it was more like the civilian leadership said, "hey, we'd like to invade these 7 countries in the next 5 years. can you draw up some plans?" and if you follow any of the PNAC angle to this, you'll see there's more than sufficient evidence for that version of events.

the admin actively wanted to invade these countries and looked to military planners to help accommodate those policy goals.

it would be ridiculous to think some military planners were just sitting around and for no particular reason decided, "hey let's draw up comprehensive plans for a scenario in which we decide to preemptively invade 7 countries around the world to achieve our national security priorities."

oh, and then after those plans were quietly drawn up, purely by coincidence, we suddenly found ourselves preemptively invading the first country originally targeted by the comprehensive plan--but for unrelated reasons?

if that passes the sniff test for you, great. but to me it smells like a hell of a lot of bull.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:03 AM on October 15, 2007


This latest piece of American propaganda about an Iranian assassination plot against Putin is almost certainly a clumsy attempt on the part of the US to create a wedge between Russia and Iran because, let's face it, the only reason we're not in Iran already is that the US knows Russia has privately committed to supporting Iran fully in the event of any American military action, and that possibility scares the hell out of our guys. I wouldn't be too surprised if the Iranian assassination plot noise is actually cover for an American-sponsored assassination plot against Putin. This last tin-foil hat scenario would be clumsy and incredibly risky, but I wouldn't rule it out, given the rank incompetence of the current civilian leadership.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:16 AM on October 15, 2007


I think you might be misunderestimating the current leadership.

I said exploring options. That term is certainly not "by coincidence" nor "for no particular reason". Leadership asks "What are our options in the region.". Some boys will outline some rough ones, then narrow them down and flesh them out. This was probably one of those. Then another cycle of leadership offering "input", etc. to those plans, possibly even polling, etc. Then some more fleshing out. Eventually comes down to one plan, which promptly gets defenestrated by some idiotic arrogant prick like Rummy.

As you can see, I certainly don't have a rosy view of those sorts of plans; they are dangerous and indicate that they were keeping some pretty "big" options on the table. But it still isn't proof, or even a super strong indication, that it was the plan that was underway. They seem fairly caught up in the "democracy will spread once we get Iraq clobbered and used as an example" angle..
posted by Bovine Love at 11:05 AM on October 15, 2007


no, i think the point here is that it was more like the civilian leadership said, "hey, we'd like to invade these 7 countries in the next 5 years. can you draw up some plans?" and if you follow any of the PNAC angle to this, you'll see there's more than sufficient evidence for that version of events.

That's almost certainly exactly what did happen, and why anyone finds this surprising at this late date is beyond me. Anyone who knew the PNAC and the fact that Defense Department bigwigs were involved with it was aware of this "vision" before 9/11 and many more learned about the PNAC's mission in the months after. I remember seeing lots of people discussing it during the run-up to the Iraq war. We have always known what Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld and their buddies were angling for, and it shouldn't shock anyone that they told the joint chiefs to go spitball it into a detailed plan.

Wes Clark is a great guy, but does he really think he's delivering a newsflash here? I suppose it may be to some parts of the American public, but those are largely the same people who Do. Not. Give. A. Shit. about any of this stuff.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:44 PM on October 15, 2007


Wes Clark is a great guy, but does he really think he's delivering a newsflash here? I suppose it may be to some parts of the American public, but those are largely the same people who Do. Not. Give. A. Shit. about any of this stuff.

No, I think Clark is reiterating important, basic information that needs to be more widely disseminated. I think a lot of this stuff is in fact finally filtering down--at lunch today, I had the great pleasure of sitting across from a table of 3 women, 2 in their 80s, one an adult granddaughter, who were having a very spirited conversation about how GWB appears to be on a campaign of global conquest, how "those people" have corrupted our country and turned us into a nation who tortures, starts wars when we don't have to, etc. etc. I say it was a pleasure, because I live in a very conservative, rural part of California, and this was a very different conversation than I'm used to hearing.

(Not that I try to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help but overhear in this case, as one of the older ladies was quite animated and saying things like "I just turned 80 and those people might think we're too old to care, but I have news for them: we're not happy about what's going on, and they're going to hear about it.")
posted by LooseFilter at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2007


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