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Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
October 25, 2007 8:01 AM   Subscribe

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know [print version] profiles former NSC Middle East policy experts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann and how the Bush administration turned down a March 2003 peace offer from Iran. posted by kirkaracha (88 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know how "secret" all this is. It's all seemed pretty above-board what the administration's plan is.
War is good food.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:14 AM on October 25, 2007


Well hopefully the US implodes on itself before they start launching nukes every which way. The Esquire article is great. They have been putting out some solid stuff recently.
posted by chunking express at 8:17 AM on October 25, 2007


The picture on the abc news "Bomb Iran?" link is wonderful.
posted by peeedro at 8:18 AM on October 25, 2007


Well, that's that I guess. Maybe I can move to Nicaragua fast enough?
posted by aramaic at 8:23 AM on October 25, 2007


...the Bush administration turned down a March 2003 peace offer from Iran.

Good ol' Bush Administration. Just when you think there isn't anything left they could screw up they keep the ball rolling. Keep up the malcompetence!
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Go Flynt! I knew him back in the days when he was trying to choose between going into the priesthood or into the CIA. He chose a little of both. We both attended the worst sermon I ever heard in my life. New Year's Day, a Princeton Catholic Church. The priest was built like a football player and had a Joisey drawl. The sermon's title: Peace is an Interesting Verb.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:29 AM on October 25, 2007


I can't wait for the Bush administration to attempt to attack Iran. Since I can't change the situation, I have decided to look forward to it.

The outcome will be an horrendous disaster for everyone, resulting in thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths and the potential annexing of Kirkuk to Basrah by Iran & a new Stalingrad there, with the US forces as losers, as the Iranian forces cut off the overland supply route from Kuwait (thanks, Rumsfeld, great thinking). But there's nothing I can do about that. No, what I look forward to is the inevitable war crime charges against Bush & Cheney. Because the attempt will be a colossal failure, and these lunatics have even less resources available to them to patch that up. And, I'm hoping, that OPEC, China & others dump the petrodollar in retaliation as threatened, sending the US economy into freefall.

This, hopefully, would be enough to get the fat, lazy bunch of ignorant fuckwads that inhabit North America off their pustulent asses and down to Washington to lynch and skullfuck every last one of the GOP warmongering assclowns that have the temerity not to high-tail it outa there. If not, then to hell with them.

/fumes
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:29 AM on October 25, 2007 [14 favorites]


Also the US comes of a real ogre in that esquire article. It's like reading a Greek tragedy, full of hubris and all that good stuff.
posted by chunking express at 8:30 AM on October 25, 2007


Surely, th. . . . . .oh fuck it.
posted by Danf at 8:33 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yawn, just more administrative criminality.

The real paradox is: How to bring Bush and Cheney to justice for their actions while in office without having a chilling effect on all subsequent presidents.All of Bush/Cheney's criminal tactics pale in comparison to exploiting weaknesses in the power sharing arrangement bewteen the 4 branches of gov't.


And how do you fix that??
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:34 AM on October 25, 2007


>And how do you fix that??

Have a Constitutional Convention
posted by gsb at 8:43 AM on October 25, 2007


... without having a chilling effect on all subsequent presidents

I think you need to prosecute them because it'll have a chilling effect on subsequent presidents. US presidents need to understand they aren't kings of the world.
posted by chunking express at 8:45 AM on October 25, 2007 [20 favorites]


Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

The Taliban were prepared to give Bin Laden and his lieutenants to the U.S. in the fall of 2001.

Milosevic was prepared to agree to reasonable demands re: Kosovo, but instead was presented with an accord at Rambouillet that he could not possibly agree to (allow NATO to deploy and operate anywhere within Serbia).

"They need a little bombing."
posted by kowalski at 8:58 AM on October 25, 2007


The Taliban were prepared to give Bin Laden and his lieutenants to the U.S. in the fall of 2001.

Whoa, what?
posted by DU at 9:02 AM on October 25, 2007


The real chilling effect on future administrations would appear to be that a number of vital states are going to find it hard to take US diplomacy seriously. What a catalogue of bad faith.
posted by Abiezer at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2007


without having a chilling effect on all subsequent presidents

The reasons for prosecuting Bush and Cheney are indicative of why a chilling effect is needed.

On preview, what chunking express said.
posted by Curry at 9:06 AM on October 25, 2007



The Taliban were prepared to give Bin Laden and his lieutenants to the U.S. in the fall of 2001.

Whoa, what?


How Bush Was Offered Bin Laden and Blew It

posted by ryoshu at 9:17 AM on October 25, 2007


>Have a Constitutional Convention

K Street is all you need to know about how wrong a remedy that would be.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Abiezer writes "The real chilling effect on future administrations would appear to be that a number of vital states are going to find it hard to take US diplomacy seriously."

Actually, I don't think that will carry over past Bush's term. I think there's a clear understanding that the US' problem with diplomacy is entirely contained within the current administration and is not an ongoing policy.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:27 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


... Its all broken.

The Supreme Court a packed house of partisan fools protecting corporate lobby $$$ as "protected free speach"

Congress unable to accomplish anything more than partisan pro wrestling

The Whitehouse occupied by brilliantly incompetent malfeasants

The Fourth Estate reduced to another $elf-interested corporate sector

Macro gerrymandering gone wild / Unreliable elections

And a population of citizens genrally clueless to this all...

Spain Britania Ottomans...

End of Empire.

pffft.

[fin]
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:30 AM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


ryoshu: In other words according to one specific personwe could have gotten bin laden before 9/11. But who knows how credible that person is?
posted by delmoi at 9:31 AM on October 25, 2007


Whoa, what?

Google is your friend:

"The third most powerful figure in the Taliban, Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir, said yesterday that the militia was willing to hand bin Laden over to a third nation if the United States offers evidence against him and halts the bombing. President Bush quickly rejected the offer."

'The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval, was that within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal. The court would decide whether to try him on the spot or hand him over to America.'

the aim was never to catch Bin laden. Never forget that.
posted by twistedonion at 9:32 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


one specific personwe

There were a few actually.
posted by twistedonion at 9:35 AM on October 25, 2007


the aim was never to catch Bin laden. Never forget that.

From MSNBC's Countdown [via C&L]:

KO: Why are these guys and the rest of the right so in love with the trappings of patriotism and at the same time, helping Al Qaeda by manufacturing these super-human powers that Al Qaeda supposedly has? [..]

RM: They have to come up with super-human powers for Al Qaeda because they want to use Al Qaeda to justify a super-extreme agenda for the United States of America. If you really, really want to radically transform our government and radically transform who we are as a country; if you want East German style policing, and people informing on their neighbors, and you want to get rid of the Fourth Amendment, and you want endless wars conducted for profit; if you want to completely get rid of the safety net function and the regulatory function of the government; if you have an agenda that radical, you better have a really radical justification for it. And so they have to elevate this band of death cults, fundamentalist criminals into a threat that is greater than the Soviet Union ever was when they not only had a military but they had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at our country. They have to make Al Qaeda even worse than that.

bin Laden is better alive than dead for this administration.
posted by NationalKato at 9:40 AM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


'The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval, was that within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal.

What does "within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law" mean?
posted by agregoli at 9:47 AM on October 25, 2007


That evidence given by women would be automatically suspect?
posted by athenian at 9:52 AM on October 25, 2007


Some form of stoning
posted by zemblamatic at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2007


ryoshu: In other words according to one specific personwe could have gotten bin laden before 9/11. But who knows how credible that person is?

Mohabbat's story was the first one that came to mind, but twistedonion provided more information. I also remember immediately following 9/11, the Taliban offered to give up bin Laden if the US would provide proof he was involved in the attacks.

Of course, much like Iran's offer for peace talks, this administration won't let anything get in the way of getting their war on. That includes thumbing its nose at a potential, new ally. It is much more important to live out the PNAC dream.
posted by ryoshu at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2007


'The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval...

Well by God, old Binny himself agreed to go live quietly in Switzerland, maybe start that chocolate making business he always dreamed of.

Good post though, lots of red meat.
posted by rockhopper at 10:01 AM on October 25, 2007


Can't remember what the source is (perhaps even the 9/11 Commission?) but I distinctly remember hearing that, before 9/11 - and perhaps even before Bush's inauguration - there were talks with the Taliban to hand over bin Laden. And the Taliban was prepared to cooperate, but at the last minute had a change of heart. In fact, iIrc, a high-up in the Saudi government was sent to Afghanistan after the Taliban's reversal, to try to salvage the deal - but to no avail. As I recall, this was presented as justification for going to war in Afghanistan after 9/11 - because clearly the Taliban were in cahoots with bin Laden, knew where he was, and were flagrantly unwilling to help us.

Now, I'm not disputing that bin Laden is a lot more useful to the administration while he's alive, but I do believe that the whole situation is enormously complicated and it's not utterly baseless to hold the Taliban partially responsible for bin Laden's ability to act and plot, at least in the late '90s/early Aughties.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2007


This week's Frontline addressed this same subject. It's worth a look.

Here's my question: what can be done to stop this? I've written my senator numerous times on this subject and get the Iran is bad form letter over and over. Bush Co. ignores anything that doesn't follow their talking points so influence through any type of direct democracy is pointless.

Is it time to burn DC to the ground and start over?
posted by photoslob at 10:34 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


It is time.
posted by Max Power at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


photoslob, if you ever find out please let me know. The sickest part of all this is how powerless us ordinary schmucks are in the face of all this.

(Or, failing that, someone point me towards a blanket with the Constitution printed on it so I can hide under it when the nightly news comes on.)
posted by cmyk at 10:42 AM on October 25, 2007


Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has condemned Bush's policy towards Iran, urging nuclear talks between the two countries.

The US' refusal to negotiate with Iran has only increased tension between the two countries, Powell told university students in Kiev, Ukraine.

"The disagreement that I've had with my government over Iran is that we should talk to Iranians, but they've chosen a different path, President Bush, Ms. Rice, not including me," Russia Today quoted him as saying.

The US strongly opposes Iran's access to peaceful nuclear technology despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Tehran's commitment to the Non-proliferation Treaty.
posted by hortense at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2007


Is it time to burn DC to the ground

I'll bring the condiments!

For the weiners!

The Burning Weiners.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2007


Almost makes you believe that Bush/Cheney are just hired agents of Bin Laden contracted to destroy the United States. Really they couldn't have been any more successful if that was their true objective. Bin Laden took down the Soviets now he is halfway done with the US.
posted by any major dude at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2007


The rhetoric coming from this administration against Iran far exceeds the loopy allegations hurked against the feckless Saddam Hussein. And it is IRAN as a country - not personified as an evil dictator - which is the enemy.

Bush: "I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

And again: "....And Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. And that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late."

Rice: "The Iranian government is pursuing policies which are detrimental to the long-term interests of its neighbors, of the region, and of the Iranian people themselves. It need not be this way,"

The explosives are set, all that remains is the trigger. An Iranian sunburst missile (fired by the Iranians or by someone else) into the side of a U.S. warship and Bush will dutifully execute the neo-con dream. And if not Bush, Clinton will do it - this is why she leads the polls and has wads of money.

The fuckers have learned nothing from Iraq.
posted by three blind mice at 10:58 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


The fuckers have learned nothing from Iraq.

Sure they have. They've learned how to loot the US treasury quite well.
posted by ryoshu at 11:02 AM on October 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


The sickest part of all this is how powerless us ordinary schmucks are in the face of all this.

Repeated for emphasis. That's why I think those in the current administration act so brazenly: they've cowed, bought, and/or disempowered any entity in place to stop them (congress, Justice, fourth estate, etc.), and asserted powers that--which I am confident will mostly not remain in the long-term--allow them to act even more audaciously.

We need another Joseph Welch moment, someone in the right position in the right forum to publically and stingingly rebuke Bush and/or Cheney, damn the consequences to his/her career. There must be a galvanizing moment, I think, for all of the nebulous discontent brewing throughout the country to take shape and have real influence, for us to be able to take back our country.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2007


The fuckers have learned nothing from Iraq.

There asses are still rich and they aren't dead. They haven't had to learn anything yet. Their lives are pretty sweet. That there isn't rioting in the streets tells me that Americans haven't learned anything.
posted by chunking express at 11:14 AM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I disagree tbm. I think they learned how far than can go, both legally and illegally, without the press or the nation raising an uproar.

I think that they learned that they can get away with it.

I'm beginning to agree with those upthread that are suggesting that it might be time to hit the reset button on Washington.
posted by quin at 11:15 AM on October 25, 2007


I think there's a clear understanding that the US' problem with diplomacy is entirely contained within the current administration and is not an ongoing policy.

Why do you think that? Have you seen any evidence whatsoever that such a clear understanding exists?
posted by stinkycheese at 11:35 AM on October 25, 2007


Frontline's Showdown with Iran is available online, as is their May 2005 Iran - Going Nuclear.

the 4 branches of gov't

Four branches? Counting Dick "Not in the Executive Branch" Cheney?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:50 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


After reading that Esquire article and seeing the edition of Frontline that photoslob mentioned, you can put me in the "lynch and skullfuck 'em" category.

No, wait. That's too good for this bunch of criminally short-sighted assclowns. Must leave thread before blinding white rage leads to finding nearest Bush voter and kicking him repeatedly in the nuts.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:50 AM on October 25, 2007


The War Rollout Keeps Rolling Along.....
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


President Declares Adminstration Federal Disaster Area.

Actually, that's not a link to anywhere. But it should be.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:19 PM on October 25, 2007


Must leave thread before blinding white rage leads to finding nearest Bush voter and kicking him repeatedly in the nuts.

Be careful, cortex keeps an eye out for nut/junk kickers.
posted by NationalKato at 12:21 PM on October 25, 2007


[forgive me if i missed this upthread...courtesy C&L]

Even FOXNews is complaining about our incompetence in trying to kill bin Laden two months ago.
posted by NationalKato at 12:26 PM on October 25, 2007


The United States may be laying the legal — however perceived — groundwork to start a war with Iran. From today's NYT article, U.S. Levels Sanctions Against Iran Military Unit:
The Bush administration announced a long-debated policy of new sanctions against Iran today, accusing the elite Quds division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps of supporting terrorism.

The administration also accused the entire Revolutionary Guard Corps, a part of Iran’s military, of proliferating weapons of mass destruction. While the United States has long labeled Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, the decision to single out the Guard reflects increased frustration in the administration with the slow pace of diplomatic negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The designations put into play unilateral sanctions intended to impede the Revolutionary Guard and those who do business with it. This is the first time that the United States has taken such steps against the armed forces of any sovereign government.
Don't forget what Israel may (or may not) do. From the Spring 2007 Parameters article, Israel’s Uncertain Strategic Future:
It is exceedingly unlikely, but not entirely inconceivable, that Israel would ever decide to preempt enemy state aggression with a nuclear defensive strike. While circumstances could surely arise where such a defensive strike would be rational and also acceptable under international law (such a policy has been embraced by the United States in Joint Publication 3-12, Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, dated 15 March 2005) [see link below], it is improbable that Israel would ever permit itself to reach such circumstances.

An Israeli nuclear preemption could be expected only if: Israel’s state enemies had unexpectedly acquired nuclear or other unconventional weapons presumed capable of destroying the Jewish State; these enemy states had made explicit that their intentions paralleled their capabilities; these states were authoritatively believed ready to begin a countdown-to-launch; and Israel believed that non-nuclear preemptions could not possibly achieve the minimum needed levels of damage-limitation, levels consistent with its own national survival.
All options remain on the table. From the March 2005 Joint Publication 3-12: Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations:
The US does not make positive statements defining the circumstances under which it would use nuclear weapons. Maintaining US ambiguity about when it would use nuclear weapons helps create doubt in the minds of potential adversaries, deterring them from taking hostile action. This calculated ambiguity helps reinforce deterrence. If the US clearly defined conditions under which it would use nuclear weapons, others might infer another set of circumstances in which the US would not use nuclear weapons. This perception would increase the chances that hostile leaders might not be deterred from taking actions they perceive as falling below that threshold.
Ambiguity abounds: fear, uncertainty, and doubt is a three-edged sword.
posted by cenoxo at 12:53 PM on October 25, 2007


HELLO THIS IS THE AUTOCOMMENT FEATURE FOR MEFI USER 14914, SKYGAZER.

DUE TO SENSORY AND LOGIC OVERLOAD CAUSING CHRONIC VOMITING, AND REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO STAB SELF IN THE HEAD TO MAKE IT STOP!! OH PLEASE PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!

THIS USER WILL BE OUT OF SERVICE UNTIL JAN. 2009 OR IMPEACHMENT AND CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS BEGIN AGAINST BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD ET AL.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN AT THAT TIME. THANK YOU!

posted by Skygazer at 1:05 PM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Fred Thompson calls the Iraqi insurgency "a bunch of kids with improvised explosive devices."

Sorry, Skygazer.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2007


Putin warns against sanctions on Iran: "Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on October 25, 2007


"Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation."

They're just practicing for when they can shank their fellow inmates.
posted by oaf at 1:33 PM on October 25, 2007


I think I meant "shiv."
posted by oaf at 1:33 PM on October 25, 2007


"Shank" is correct. "Shank" may be used as a noun or, more commonly, as a verb whereas "Shiv" is generally a noun.
posted by speug at 1:44 PM on October 25, 2007


There ought to be public beatings on the steps of the Capitol. Call a recess in Senate and march them all out and then select one Senator - doesn't matter from which party - and then beat them unmercifully. When it's over announce that unless Congress starts doing the work of the people it will happen again the next day.

I bet it would still take a few days for the message to set in but I bet after that the shenanigans would stop.
posted by photoslob at 2:09 PM on October 25, 2007


This is, bar none, the scariest thing I have read in a long, long time:

Then came the moment that would lead to an extraordinary battle with the Bush administration. It was an average morning in April, about four weeks into the war. Mann picked up her daily folder and sat down at her desk, glancing at a fax cover page. The fax was from the Swiss ambassador to Iran, which wasn't unusual -- since the U.S. had no formal relationship with Iran, the Swiss ambassador represented American interests there and often faxed over updates on what he was doing. This time he'd met with Sa-deq Kharrazi, a well-connected Iranian who was the nephew of the foreign minister and son-in-law to the supreme leader. Amazingly, Kharrazi had presented the ambassador with a detailed proposal for peace in the Middle East, approved at the highest levels in Tehran.

A two-page summary was attached. Scanning it, Mann was startled by one dramatic concession after another -- "decisive action" against all terrorists in Iran, an end of support for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, a promise to cease its nuclear program, and also an agreement to recognize Israel.

This was huge. Mann sat down and drafted a quick memo to her boss, Richard Haass. It was important to send a swift and positive response.

Then she heard that the White House had already made up its mind -- it was going to ignore the offer. Its only response was to lodge a formal complaint with the Swiss government about their ambassador's meddling.


Honestly, I feel as if the scales have just fallen from my eyes. Sy Hersh's pot-banging never seemed to have much oomph behind it. He's a partisan and an anti-militarist from the Vietnam days. But these people were there for chrissakes. They saw the possibilities and watched the bad choices.

If the Iranians made a full offer of normalized relations, giving more than we could ever have hoped to receive at the end of a war, and the White House turned it down...then war is a fait accompli and strategic victory is not this administration's goal.

Frankly, that scares the living shit out of me.
posted by felix betachat at 2:55 PM on October 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


"Shank" may be used as a noun or, more commonly, as a verb whereas "Shiv" is generally a noun.

While by no means a comprehensive resource, the urban dictionary disagrees:

Shived- To be stabbed by a Shiv

"I'ma shiv you, bitch!"


Though I do agree that 'shanked' seems a more appropriate term.
posted by quin at 2:59 PM on October 25, 2007


I just don't get this push towards war with Iran. It's pretty clear that the armed forces of the US and UK are already badly overstretched failing to win the two wars we've already started. Regardless of your ideological position on Iran, it just doesn't make logistical sense to try to start a war with them right now. And I don't think that even the neo-cons are that stupid.

It seems to me that the most obvious answer is that the neo-cons are trying to ensure that their interventionist policy in the Middle East cannot be effectively reversed in the short term should they be voted out. How better to achieve that than create a quagmire that will take forever to extricate yourself from?
posted by Jakey at 3:06 PM on October 25, 2007


You're either with us or against us

Seems I'm drifting towards option B

...passively, for now.
posted by Mick at 3:26 PM on October 25, 2007


The Esquire article is excellent, though infurriating. Thanks, kirkaracha.
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on October 25, 2007


what chunking express sed

“Actually, I don't think that will carry over past Bush's term.”

His term is going to end?

“it just doesn't make logistical sense to try to start a war with them right now. And I don't think that even the neo-cons are that stupid.”

There’s your problem right there.
I’ve been through this line of reasoning myself with the Iraq war. Pretty much all my sensors blaring at me telling me how it’s going to play out and me more or less ignoring them because (in part) it would be catastrophically stupid to execute in such a manner.
I also expected some sort of - justice? I suppose is the word. Or at least political retribution/ advantage taken by the Dems - for prosecuting a war on a completely illegitimate basis.
That, strangely, hasn’t happened either.

I have no idea why there’s no pushback. Even on the net there doesn’t seem to be an organized, cogent (so, cranks aside), form of resistance. Or even a plan. Everyone seems to be just reacting. Obviously there needs to be more involvement. And most certainly from non-traditional candidates. But I have yet to see a “Fuck this shit” type party arise (well, ahem, the greens did pretty well in Illinois - your welcome).
But still, I mean, y’all still seem to believe in the Dems. Like their going to do...something.
There has to be people on the inside of both parties who feel like their mouths are full of shit. I know a LOT of conservatives out here that feel the GOP has completely abandoned any semblence of values (and it’s tough to go Dem in Illinois - it’s pretty much a vote for corruption most places - with some obvious exceptions).
Plenty of times in history people have formed viable and targeted 3rd parties to make a point.

Looks like the option to me. Unless there’s an “emergency” declared and elections are suspended and it becomes time to break out the hardware.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:32 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Speaking of bombing, Slate's Fred Kaplan speculates that increased air strikes in Iraq explains the lower American casualties last month and this month. (American fatalities in Iraq are the lowest this month since March 2006.)
This is a political war, and it calls for the utmost discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing is a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The next best is a rifle. The worst is an airplane, and after that the worst is artillery. You have to know who you are killing.
-- John Paul Vann
posted by kirkaracha at 5:06 PM on October 25, 2007


ryoshu: "the Taliban offered to give up bin Laden if the US would provide proof he was involved in the attacks."

They did that because they knew we could not. Those 'responsible' for the attacks died on the plane. Those who told those people to do it made a point to have no evidence trace back to them or anyone living.

Here's something to pop your brain like a zit: Bin Laden may not have been the one to orchestrate it. He may simply be the one publically going before a camera claiming responsibility for it, but that's not proof. We have no idea how many guns behind the camera are pointed at his head. Do we?
posted by ZachsMind at 6:57 PM on October 25, 2007


felix wrote: "If the Iranians made a full offer of normalized relations, giving more than we could ever have hoped to receive at the end of a war, and the White House turned it down...then war is a fait accompli and strategic victory is not this administration's goal."

Remember Section 2.A of the Bush Doctrine? "We don't negotiate with terrorists, even when they offer to give us everything we want."

People in the Bush Administration believe that they are fighting the Final Crusade against Islamic terror. They refused the extremely generous peace offer from Iran because they believe that Iran will eventually be destroyed. They feel no need to negotiate with people whom they've already decided need killing.
posted by Avenger at 8:35 PM on October 25, 2007


I read "secret" and "war" in the FPP and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if Bush, Cheney, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden, etc. could be teleported to a far-off planet where they could fight all of this out amongst themselves?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:42 PM on October 25, 2007


Pre-9/11, Taliban leaders were flown out for a diplomatic meeting in Texas to discuss whether they would play ball with a US oil pipeline through Afghanistan. It was the failure to come to terms on that issue that started the US on the path to war in Afghanistan. Not Bin Laden (more's the pity), not poppy production (which the Taliban all but eliminated for a paltry sum), certainly not the mistreatment of women (which no-one will ever wage a war over in our lifetime). But hey, that's the first invasion, we're talking about the third.
posted by BinGregory at 9:19 PM on October 25, 2007


"Wouldn't it be nice if Bush, Cheney, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden, etc. could be teleported to a far-off planet where they could fight all of this out amongst themselves?"

My money is on Putin.
posted by homunculus at 9:23 PM on October 25, 2007


My fantasy is that world-wide pressure forces the US and Iran to make a fair trade - our murderous, whack-job politicians for theirs. Ahmedinajad (sp?) agrees to step down if Bush agrees to step down, and so on, all the way through the governments. Then we hold democratic elections in both countries and get on with this "by the people, for the people" business.

/idealism
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:11 PM on October 25, 2007


"Wouldn't it be nice if Bush, Cheney, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden, etc. could be teleported to a far-off planet where they could fight all of this out amongst themselves?"

Waters had the right idea. Send them all to the Fletcher memorial home for colonial wasters of life and limb...
posted by any major dude at 10:40 PM on October 25, 2007


That's why I think those in the current administration act so brazenly: they've cowed, bought, and/or disempowered any entity in place to stop them (congress, Justice, fourth estate, etc.), and asserted powers that--which I am confident will mostly not remain in the long-term--allow them to act even more audaciously. [emphasis mine]

Oh, you poor sweet child. You think Bush's successors will turn around and give it all back? You think they'll be able to give up all those nice shiny new toys and go back to doing things the hard way? That's not how this game is played. This upfuckage isn't going away even if we reanimate the dessicated corpse of Solomon himself and elect him to office.

It's straight Gibbon from here on out.
posted by enn at 11:06 PM on October 25, 2007


Then we hold democratic elections in both countries and get on with this "by the people, for the people" business.

American's voted for Bush -- twice. I am sure they'd vote for another war mongering monkey candidate again. That's how they roll.
posted by chunking express at 4:44 AM on October 26, 2007


Please. Bush cheated - twice. I'm tired of people laying it at the foot of the American people. It's easy to win when you have loaded dice.
posted by agregoli at 6:59 AM on October 26, 2007


The American people (and the Democratic candidates' uninspiring campaigns) let the election get close enough that Bush could cheat. He was reelected after he invaded Iraq because of WMD, they didn't have any, and he joked about it [05:09].
posted by kirkaracha at 8:03 AM on October 26, 2007


agregoli, did I miss the part where, upon learning that the elections were rigged shams, the American people got off their asses and did something about it? It is on Americans to fix their problems. Who else is going to do it?
posted by chunking express at 8:50 AM on October 26, 2007


You think Bush's successors will turn around and give it all back?

No, certainly not. I idealistically look forward to a future when others are in positions of power (like, in Congress....hey, stop laughing!) and those people strip expanded executive powers away. Might be 10-15 years away, but it will happen.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:37 AM on October 26, 2007


the American people got off their asses and did something about it?

doesn't matter if they did anything about it or not. you'd still never see the story on the 6:00 news. to paraphrase the famous zen koan: what sound does an anti-war protest in a free-speech zone make if all the tv cameras are trained on paris hilton's shaved beaver?

in 2003, millions of people took to the streets all over the world with hundreds of thousands in NY city alone to protest the administration's policies.

the impact on the media coverage? barely discernible.

before the iraq war ever began, i personally took part in a protest that saw more than a hundred people turn out in downtown tallahassee, florida--not exactly a place known for having a huge population of liberal activists--to protest going to war with iraq. people from all segments of the population showed up--college kids, family people with their kids, etc.

how much local news coverage did we get? practically zilch.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:01 AM on October 26, 2007


Attack Iran and you attack Russia
posted by SBMike at 11:25 AM on October 26, 2007


I'm tired of people laying it at the foot of the American people.

I think you better pull and shades and go lie down then. You're going to be tired for a long, long time.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:31 PM on October 26, 2007


pull the shades
posted by stinkycheese at 4:32 PM on October 26, 2007


Death to extremists.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:22 PM on October 26, 2007


"It's easy to win when you have loaded dice."

Say...it IS easy to win with loaded dice.
Hmmm.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:02 PM on October 26, 2007


Yeah, it's really funny. I find it so hilarious when people spout of little jokes on the internet about these topics. Really cheers me up! Gag.
posted by agregoli at 6:08 PM on October 27, 2007


Perhaps you would be more cheerful were you more intelligent and could see beyond the little jokes to the substance the comment addresses. Perhaps those of us who make an effort to be insightful and entertaining get brought down by sarcastic comments made by halfwits who can only discern blunt banalities.
See, it is easy to use loaded dice != literally using loaded dice.
The allusion there is to not only using the loaded dice oneself but to keep a watchful eye on the use of such tactics. Or didn’t you get that far in school?
Of course “loaded dice” = the outcome of the 2000 United States presidential election concerning not only the supreme courts role but the irregularities in voting as well as the outcome of the 2004 election and irregularities there, most especially in Ohio which were challenged by (Green Party) David Cobb and (Libertarian Party) Michael Badnarik but, strangely, unchallenged by John Kerry, and where, in fact, recounters in Ohio were convicted of vote fraud by a jury and yet still nothing happened.

You think YOU’RE gagging?
You know what I have to put up with? People who either can’t connect any of this or people like you who think I’m fucking joking.
But go on with your bad self. Vote Democrat. That’ll show those bastards, right?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:21 PM on October 29, 2007


LOL, thanks for cheering me up!

Today was not the best day but that bizarre little rant really perked me up.
posted by agregoli at 2:40 PM on October 29, 2007


Remember, remember the fifth of November: Bush meeting with Erdogan
posted by homunculus at 10:58 AM on November 3, 2007


Burnt Offering: "How a 2003 secret overture from Tehran might have led to a deal on Iran's nuclear capacity -- if the Bush administration hadn't rebuffed it."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:22 PM on November 5, 2007


Chris Hedges: "I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. Neither should you."
posted by homunculus at 7:06 PM on November 22, 2007


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