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War Games
December 8, 2007 1:03 PM   Subscribe

What Mahmoud Ahmadinejad needs to survive politically is possibly a War. However the possibility that plans for military action have been torpedoed have brought 'howls' from the neocons.
posted by adamvasco (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Don't believe the hype.
posted by furtive at 1:06 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


War is often the best thing that can happen to a politician. 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani.
Ahmadinejad shouldn't be too worried about the intelligence report eliminating the possibility of a U.S. military strike against his country. Intelligence reports are read and considered very selectively by our president. If his mind is made up, his mind is made up.
posted by HotPatatta at 1:10 PM on December 8, 2007


Even a National Intelligence Estimate, published on Monday, that downplayed Iran's nuclear weapons intentions does not really matter to the hawks - they are ready to go.

I don't care too much about Ahmadinejad's political career: the guy is a troll in a tailored suit. I worry about the United States' future as a democracy.

If BushCheney attempted to push an illegal war with Iran at this point, I suspect the higher ranks in the military would mutiny, and the resulting coup would in the long term be worse for a free United States than any terrorist act on an urban center.

Watching Bush scramble to explain his sabre rattling for the last three years is telling, but not for the obvious reason that he's just a clueless twit — it should now be clearer than ever that he doesn't really run the country, but that the neocon elite have been flying blind and use his gosh-n-shucks cult of personality to sell those decisions to the populace.

The oil business ties between Bush/Cheney and Saudi Arabia will have made them the worst possible president and vice president pairing for this democracy since its inception. After 9/11, we should have attacked those responsible in the power elite of Saudi Arabia — but instead, Bush/Cheney tied the United States' hands for generations to come, with fruitless, debt-ridden colonial excursions.

Iran might matter for Israel, but if America itself is to survive as a democracy, it needs to survive the next year — possibly five years, if Hillary is elected.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on December 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think I heard a whimper from Sy Hersch's direction, too.
posted by The Straightener at 1:30 PM on December 8, 2007


Sy Hersh: We Pay Bush to Know These Things - What Did He Know When?

Hersh's article from last year was discussed in this post.
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on December 8, 2007


That first link is the best piece about Iran I've read in a while; it shows a good understanding of both politics and religion. Thanks, adamvasco.
posted by languagehat at 1:36 PM on December 8, 2007


I just want to say one word to you - just one word.
Are you listening?


China.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:37 PM on December 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


So an authoritarian masquerading as a man of faith has overreached in his attempts to consolidate power. Kinda rings a bell.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:48 PM on December 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is WHY nations want nuclear weapons. We are a lot more circumspect with nations that have them (N. Korea anyone, Pakistan anyone?). Ahmadinejad is just a little bit wacky (*cough cough*), but KIm? Musharraf? Bush?
posted by edgeways at 1:48 PM on December 8, 2007


Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett: Despite recent claims otherwise, the White House has rebuffed negotiations with Iran at every turn -- a major strategic blunder.

The Leveretts were recently discussed in this post.
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on December 8, 2007


The Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM on December 8, 2007


GWB is a Cancer (July 6, 1946). The cosmos really called that one.
posted by srboisvert at 2:10 PM on December 8, 2007


Neocons Down, Not Out
posted by homunculus at 2:50 PM on December 8, 2007


Is this a fucking joke? What is it with the goddamn Guardian - do they just have to pump out two stories a month about how the U.S. is going to attack Iran regardless of whether they have evidence? Does their readership get restless if its vision of a war-crazed Bush administration isn't regularly reaffirmed?

It's over. The U.S. might have been planning to attack Iran - plans were certainly being prepared - but that's done now. The new intelligence estimate has ruled that out definitively for 2008. There's no way Congress will grant authorization, and if Bush tries, for some reason, to do it anyway, he'll be opposed by all the moderates in the administration (getting lonely, eh Cheney?) and the military. Sure, he has the constitutional authority, but the question, for now, is settled. He'll leave office without having attacked Iran. Pathetic leftist limey fulminations notwithstanding.
posted by Dasein at 2:59 PM on December 8, 2007


Sure, he has the constitutional authority

That's debatable. But that just reinforces the point: there's virtually no chance we're going to attack Iran now. The question now is, what is Israel going to do?
posted by homunculus at 3:17 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Having managed thus far to survive, mostly, despte a terrible bunch of GOP folks in Congress, all taking care of the wealthy, and perhaps the worst president this nation has ever had, we get a comment above that we will not survive Hillary. Dumb. In fact, though you may dislike her, she is bright, has leadership abilities, can use her native language, cares for those in need throughout the nation--education, health coverage, etc, and in fact Hillary or any of the Democratic candidates
will be immeasurely better than Bush and his cronies.
posted by Postroad at 3:18 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


heaard today that Bolton is trying to discredit the NIE report, which makes me laugh, here is a fellow that couldn't get confirmed to the UN post by a republican controlled congress, yet he thinks people are going to actually listen to his opinions on the intelligence community, I'm more then a little surprised this is the best the admin could trot out, guess Powell has had enough, and won't do it any more.
posted by edgeways at 3:41 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Spengler's been going on in this vein for some time. His arguments for Iran taking up arms are demographic, if that grabs you. (Failing that, the link should provide other pieces you also won't like.)
posted by IndigoJones at 3:55 PM on December 8, 2007


OK i have a question, pardon my naiveté if it is an elementary school-level question:

If the Iranian government did make overtures to negotiations back whenever, why would they not have let the world know about it? Could they not have made some kind of announcement at the UN, hold a news conference, or contact the BBC or those lovely ladies at the View, or some other country and say "this is what we have to offer".

Ahmadinejad was at Columbia a few months ago; could he not have said something then?

Or am I missing something here - perhaps things are not done "this way".

Please educate me on why a g*ddam overture to peace was ignored in the era of the Internet, CNN, satellite news, YouTube, Madonna "adopting" a kid and the Spice Girls reunion tour?
posted by bitteroldman at 3:59 PM on December 8, 2007


This footage of Hannity and Bolton agreeing with each other about the NIE is like watching a dog lick himself - it's not pleasant to see but at least the dog is enjoying it.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:00 PM on December 8, 2007


Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have any political power? No. Case closed.

Except for the fact that the US is run by a bunch of mad dogs.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:04 PM on December 8, 2007


There were no homosexuals in Iran, he said (without explaining this was because they were forced to undergo sex-change operations at the government's expense).

Not to distract y'all from ranting, but does anyone know more about this?
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:05 PM on December 8, 2007


One word. China.
GWB is a Cancer
the US is run by a bunch of mad dogs

Bush is a dog in Chinese astrology. A dog demands and expects loyalty from his pack, above all else. You are either with him, or against him.
posted by stbalbach at 7:17 PM on December 8, 2007


"Having managed thus far to survive, mostly, despte a terrible bunch of GOP folks in Congress, all taking care of the wealthy, and perhaps the worst president this nation has ever had, we get a comment above that we will not survive Hillary. Dumb. In fact, though you may dislike her, she is bright, has leadership abilities, can use her native language, cares for those in need throughout the nation--education, health coverage, etc, and in fact Hillary or any of the Democratic candidates will be immeasurely better than Bush and his cronies."

I would like to believe this. But, when I look at her record, and listen to her talk, I see more of the same. We don't need 'more of the same'. This pathetic, useless Congress has proven that. We need radical change. Hillary ain't it.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:43 PM on December 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ouch! I'm a dog in Chinese astrology. Loyalty can be a positive or negative trait depending.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:46 PM on December 8, 2007


Not to distract y'all from ranting, but does anyone know more about this?

This article is called "Change Sex or Die."</a

"While a positive and progressive attitude toward sex-change surgery is liberating for genuinely transgendered people, it can have an enormously deleterious effect when deformed to be used as a supposed "treatment," or even as punishment, to "normalize" homosexual desire."

Wow. I didn't believe it until I read the article. I think it's a little bit inflammatory and, uh, wrong, to say that Ahmadinejad's claim that there were no gay people was in reference to the practice of giving them sex change operations to "normalize" their "deviant" behavior. So, it's, like, propaganda city. But, uh, that's pretty nuts, that a trans activist successfully petitioning the religious leadership to have sex change surgery declared legal (because it wasn't strictly on the Koran's "banned" list) would inadvertently result in the practice being seen as a way to correct other types of "deviance".

posted by Embryo at 8:02 PM on December 8, 2007


oh, balls.
posted by Embryo at 8:03 PM on December 8, 2007


When the current craziness settles, you can expect the political setup of the Middle East to look nothing like Bush, Ahmadinejad Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah and Israel planned it to look like.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:58 PM on December 8, 2007


[W]e get a comment above that we will not survive Hillary. Dumb.

She seems almost as eager as Bush to pick a fight with Iran. It would be dumb to vote for her on that basis alone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 AM on December 9, 2007


Iran completely stops selling oil in U.S. dollars
posted by afu at 3:07 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gary Brecher, the "war nerd" over at the eXile, has written a few really insightful pieces talking about how Iran relates to the Iraq situation.
Who won Iraq?
If it ain't fixed, break it all up.

and the slightly older, but still interesting
Super-War Preview.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 5:41 AM on December 9, 2007


If BushCheney attempted to push an illegal war with Iran at this point, I suspect the higher ranks in the military would mutiny, and the resulting coup would in the long term be worse for a free United States than any terrorist act on an urban center.

Don't get me wrong here -- an attack on Iran would be bad news -- but I don't share your thoughts on the mutinous tendencies of the U.S. military. I think at best you'd see a massive round of resignations, perhaps essentially decapitating the command structure, but mutiny seems a little far. If we were BSing about a movie plot, I could maybe see my way into believing that you could get an assassination plot together if things got really out of hand, but even then only after several drinks.

This isn't marching into Russia we're talking about. A botched Iran invasion isn't going to result in them burning the Capitol. What's the realistic outcome? We kill a ton of people, which we're doing already, and we see if we can push our standing in the world even lower, which honestly doesn't strike me as the kind of thing professional soldiers get all Claus Schenk over. The kind of people who would mutiny over pointless death on the other side of the globe -- either theirs, their comrades, or a bunch of civilians -- tend not to join the military, much less rise to very high ranks in it (a process which does not emphasize a lot of outside-the-box thinking).

Furthermore, it's not going to be an "illegal" war if the President orders it, at least in the eyes of anyone currently sitting with their finger on the trigger. If you want to argue that every military action ever taken by the United States that's occurred without a formal Declaration of War being passed by Congress is illegal, I'll be right there with you, but the military has put the hammer down quite unreservedly without that particular piece of paper several times now. If the Commander in Chief orders up bombs over Tehran tomorrow, the bombs are going to fall.

About the only thing I think could ever conceivably cause a mutiny of the U.S. military would be its direct, non-peacekeeping, non-"police" use against the civilian population of the United States in widespread counterinsurgency warfare by an obvious despotic government. Anything else, up to and including nuclear (or heck, even chem/bio) first strikes on non-hostile nations, would probably get you a bunch of resignations and perhaps a few hiccups in the chain of command, but the orders would be carried out.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:22 AM on December 10, 2007


White House press secretary admits she didn't know what Cuban Missile Crisis was
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on December 10, 2007


The GOP's Iran option is off the table: Rudy Giuliani was counting on Iran as a weapon of mass distraction in the '08 race. But the flailing Republican right has just been disarmed.
posted by homunculus at 10:37 PM on December 10, 2007


The intelligence is misguided - the danger that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons is real. What's missing is the policy to address it
posted by homunculus at 12:49 AM on December 11, 2007


From the US Military Review last july/august; a 20 pg pdf. file The World from Iran's point of view.
posted by adamvasco at 6:07 AM on December 11, 2007


Anxious Nations Don't Compromise: What the Israeli reaction to the NIE report means for the peace process.
posted by homunculus at 7:48 PM on December 12, 2007


Bombs
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on December 13, 2007


Did Bush Get New Iran Intel Last Winter?
posted by homunculus at 6:37 PM on December 17, 2007


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