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      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Suicide or Self-defense?


It’s long been known that attacking Iran is a neoconservative wet-dream.  Many people believe that Dick Cheney was the “senior Bush administration official” who shortly after the invasion of Iraq uttered the statement “Anyone can go to Baghdad; real men go to Tehran and in February 2007 Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian reported that:

Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney.

The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (pdf) that came out later that year put the kibosh on Darth Cheney’s plans when it stated:

We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.

Jump forward to early this past January and then President-elect Barack Obama’s  interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:

Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges and as I said during the campaign we have a situation in which not only is Iran exporting terrorism through Hamas, through Hezbollah but they are pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race.

I guess Teh Precious was too busy running for President to read the NIE.  Now adding fuel to the fire is Benjamin Netanyahu as Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic reports:

In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

Oh great!  As if we didn’t have enough on our plates right now between Iraq, Afganistan and the financial meltdown.  Not to mention what Russia and China might do while we have our hands full.  MJ Rosenberg at TPM writes:

An Israeli attack on Iran would jeopardize a myriad of American interests in the region, starting with 130,000 US troops but Netanyahu talks as if he can call the shots without any regard for our interests. The fact is that, in the eyes of Iran (and the world), there is essentially no difference between an Israeli attack and one by us. Israel is viewed as our client. In other words, any blowback from an Israeli attack is as likely to be against us as against Israel. Americans in Iraq, or here at home, could pay the ultimate price.

Unless they use some of the nuclear weapons that they won’t admit they have I seriously doubt that Israel can do more than piss Iran off with air strikes.  I can think of several possible outcomes to an unprovoked attack, all of them bad.  Netanyahu reminds me of a little guy who picks fights at parties knowing that his bigger friends will back him up.


As Steve Hynd at Newshoggers points out:

Any strike by Israel on Iran would have to pass through US-controlled airspace (the Persian Gulf or Iraq) or through the airspace of America’s NATO ally Turkey (also patrolled by U.S. warplanes). An Israeli strike on Iran would either be contested by American air defenses or seen as carried out with American complicity if it was allowed to proceed unchallenged.

I just hope TOTUS doesn’t have the bright idea that a war would be good for the economy based on the myth that World War II ended the Great Depression.  Remember Joe Biden’s warning that Obama would be tested by an international crisis?  If President Hopenchange gets us in another war then every goddamn kossack and member of MoveOn that bashed Hillary for her AUMF vote should be handed a rifle and sent to fight.  The head Cheeto can lead them.


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42 Responses

  1. If President Hopenchange gets us in another war then every goddamn kossack and member of MoveOn that bashed Hillary for her AUMF vote should be handed a rifle and sent to fight. The head Cheeto can lead them.

    Right on! You know, Hillary was not perfect on every domestic issue that I care about. But I rightly saw that there were going to be two major challenges in the coming 4 years:

    1) The economic collapse

    2) The perilous state of our foreign relations

    Those are the two areas where for me, she shines. She knows her shit in both those areas, and is not a blind idealogue. in either one. She’s willing to piss off both the Left and the Right to achieve pragmatic solutions.

    I really, really hate being proved right.

  2. I am pretty sure the Cheezer brigade will be the first to sign up for Generalissimo Teleprompters war…

    • D.R.A.F.T.

      • If he ups the ante in Afghanistan, does not completely pull out of Iraq, makes noises at Pakistan, and we have major troubles on our southern border, then yes, we will be looking at a draft. There will be no choice – we DO NOT have the troops to do all that.

  3. Wait a minute. Those stories say that Israel is a U.S. “client state” and that if they attacked Iran it would be perceived that the U.S. had approved. That can’t be right. I recently learned right here at TC that the U.S. does nothing to support Israel.

  4. One small point: it’s also a lot cheaper for Israel if they can get the US to do the actual fighting for them. So why not see if you can’t bamboozle the US into stepping into it?

  5. I remember when I was a young teenager, my grandma told me tthat whenever we find ourselves in an economic mess, we declare war. She was talking about Republicans then but with Obama, I don’t see much difference.

    • I’ve always been worried that Obama would attack Iran. So far he has been trying to accomplish everything else Bush failed to do. And now the Neocons see him as their savior. Lord help us!

  6. If President Hopenchange gets us in another war then every goddamn kossack and member of MoveOn that bashed Hillary for her AUMF vote should be handed a rifle and sent to fight. The head Cheeto can lead them.

    Be sure to send Michael Moore too.

    • Has anyone heard from Michael Moore lately? I would love to see him coming off of the kook-aid.

      • Moore thinks its GRAND that Obama is destroying the auto industry and the unions with it.

  7. Did you see the neocons are reconstituting PNAC with something called the Foreign Policy Initiative?

  8. why do you say it’s a myth that World War II ended the Great Depression?

    • Because we were already well on our way out of the Great Depression anyway.

      • To back up myiq with real numbers, take a look at table 2 in the following Wikipedia article:


        From 1933 to 1937: US GNP increased by 51%, the index of industrial production increased by 62%, US exports *doubled*, and unemployment was very nearly cut i half.

        Yes, there was a recession in late ’37, mostly because FDR backed off of some of his New Deal policies, but returning to his original policies brought that under control inside of a year. The notion that the New Deal was a failure isn’t just a “myth”, it’s one one of the most pernicious of right-wing lies.

        Too bad we don’t have a real Democrat in the White House now.

        • If war stimulated the economy so well we could accomplish the same result simply by building and equipping a large army but not actually going to war.

          Nobody except the government buys all those ships, tanks, planes, weapons and munitions. They pay for it (and the troops) by taxes or borrowing.

          None of what they buy nor any of the troops are used to produce or sell anything else, unlike non-military production and a civilian workforce.

          Additionally, war destroys resources.

  9. OT: Be sure to check out gmail & google’s online gags today!
    (I love gmail’s new autopilot feature)

    Back to your regular blogramming.

  10. I think I have said this in other posts, but you all know that my son is in the iraqi sandbox right now and he swears that many of the equipment that is being moved out of Iraq is being moved to the Iranian border.

    My son has asked me numerous times it the media has reported this. Ihave, of course, told him that the media is still drooling orgasmically over our new Prez and has not time for real news.

    • If you look at the map you’ll see Iran is between Iraq and Afganistan.

      If you were gonna invade Iran where would you position troops and equipment?

      Where do we have troops and equipment?

      Do the math.

    • Yikes.

      (((hugs))) to you & good luck to your son, Kim.

  11. I am very well aware of that and it seems obvious to me that we are in preparation for whatever comes our way.

    We exit one stinking mess and enter into another.

  12. I can just see the hypocrisy coming. If the great all knowing O takes us into a war like this, the very people that trashed Hillary because they thought she’d take us into a war will be all up in arms against the administration.

    Oh, and worse, they’ll be like the crazy Bush 30%, they’ll say he had bad advice and that it was cabinet people doing it. Oh wait, silly me, of course, it will be all Hillary’s fault. After all, she is SoS.

  13. Oh for heaven’s sake, Obama will be justified for whatever he does. After all he is the omniscient, mighty, powerful, wizard . . .

    Just click your heels together and maybe that will get us back to reality.

    • hee hee. Good point. Now where are my ruby slippers to click together.

      And all the best to your son. That’s really tough. I hope he comes back soon and in good shape.

  14. Unless they use some of the nuclear weapons that they won’t admit they have I seriously doubt that Israel can do more than piss Iran off with air strikes.

    I know for a fact that they have them.

  15. Somebody explain why a nuclear Iran is a problem. Israel has nukes, and the deterrent effect of two nuclear powers is stabilizing. Hell, it’s arguably more stable than a nuclear monopoly.

  16. Somebody explain why a nuclear Iran is a problem.

    That’s the kicker. According to the IAEA, Iran is within the legal frameworks to do exactly what they’re doing. (Iran signed the non-proliferation treaty whereas India did not? IIRC)

    The “They’re Building A Bomb!!!!” talk for all intents and purposes is hearsay. (read: probably a flat out lie)

    Someone correct me on the facts if I’m wrong.

  17. Now I see why the Mayan calendar, and other prophecies end the world in 2012.

    • They don’t “end the world.” They see 2012 as the beginning of a new era of peace and understanding (you know, like “the age of Aquarious, which is also coming). Supposedly, before we get to the “new beginning” we have to go through a horrible, hellish ending. Although I don’t buy into prophecies, it is interesting that we are having this complete meltdown in the buildup to 2012.

      • There’s a prophecy somewhere every single year of the end of the world happening that year or the next. These are of course all based on very silly things like imaginary deities, planetary alignments, numerology, etc.

        Me personally, I make all my prophesies based on the yield of apples from my apple trees. Pray for gods sake that I never get 400 apples because that will mean the end of the world.

      • I’m getting worried that 2012 is Obama’s re-election year.
        I wouldn’t put it past him to start a War just to get re-elected.
        (He could justify it by saying the economy needs kick starting, or whatever)

  18. Myiq:

    Your airstrike illustration omits a few very important components of Israel’s capability:

    1) Ballistic missiles. The Jericho series is generally acknowledged to be the most reliable and most accurate IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) in existence. I don’t know what the CEP (Circular Error Probable – a measure of ballistic missile accuracy) of Israel’s currently deployed nuclear missiles might be, but I suspect they’d be quite effective for this sort of strike.

    2) Submarines. Israel has at least 3 submarines capable of launching cruise missiles.
    They may or may not have SLBM capability.

    3) Special operations units. Let’s not forget that Netanyahu and his two brothers served in the Israeli Special Forces (his older brother, Yonatan, led the famous raid on Entebbe and was killed in action there). Covert sabotage is always an option.

    • I don’t doubt that Israel can blow a few targets to smithereens, but Iran is a big country (18th largest in area, approximately 70 million people)

      • But that would be the point, right? I seriously doubt Israel would want to attempt to occupy Iran and somehow control its 70 million people. I’m guessing the goal would be disruption of its military goals and to make the citizenry as uncomfortable as possible. Precision bombing of nuclear power plants, regular power plants, oil fields, water plants, airfields, government buildings ect…

        • Israel won’t be able to do a sustained bombing campaign the way we did in the Gulf War and before the Iraq invasion. The most they will be able to do is strike a few specific targets.

          Iran’s not defenseless either.

          So what happens afterwards?

          • What happens afterwards? If you’re not old enough to remember the last time the Israelis took out the fledgling Iranian nuclear program, I am and I’ll tell you. Nothing.

            The air strike overflew Jordan, which made objections, and Iraq–don’t remember what Saddam’s reaction was, but I don’t imagine he was tickled pink.

          • What happens afterwards? If you’re not old enough to remember the last time the fledgling Iranian nuclear program was taken out by a bombing run, I am and I’ll tell you. Nothing.

            The air strike overflew Jordan, which made objections, and Iraq–don’t remember what Sadm’s reaction was, but I don’t imagine he was tickled pink.

  19. Fortunately, we have a smart person in charge of foreign policy.

    Saw a fascinating interview with the great, great, Seymour Hersh this a.m. on Morning Joe. I’ve admired Hersh for eons and this morning was no let-down.

    When Chris Matthews asked about Hillary, Hersh made it clear that ALL of the smart, good decisions were being made by HRC behind the scenes. Hersh said, “She’s a sleeper,” and said that in his opinion, her hawkish demeanour during the primary was a front, that in fact she is committed to peaceful negotiations and may well be the driving force behind the new approaches to Iran, the Middle East, and even Russia.

    Amazing!! Because in my attempt to be fair and give Obama credit where due, I had “good new foreign policy approach, thumbs up” on my list.

    Only to find that yet again, INDEED, it’s just more evidence that Hillary is the one! Yet again! (OK so I can give Obama credit for recognizing that she is smarter than he is and letting her run her own shop…how’s that?)

    • Uh oh, that can mean only one thing. All the crazy Obots will have to start a new campaign to tarnish Hillary all over again. Mark my words. She can’t be seen as better than his O’ness.

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