Monday, October 22, 2007

The War Rollout Keeps Rolling Along.....

Scott Horton at Harper's has an update on the fall product rollout for war with Iran. He analyzes the full text of Dick Cheney's speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which I discussed yesterday based only on press reports. Horton summarizes Cheney's discussion of Iran: "Is Cheney threatening war against Iran? Yes, that’s exactly what he is doing."

But that's not all there is to the speech. Horton:
And while I pulled out the passages of the speech that constitute the most undisguised saber-rattling against Iran, the entire speech is worthy of careful study. It shows a man who has disintegrated into a moral sewer. He regales his audience with the need to use torture techniques, which he tells us elsewhere he learned of from “our friends” in the Middle East (a phrase which, I am told, describes the brutal techniques used by the Egyptians.) And he then proceeds to cite a positively insane op-ed by Bernard Lewis, the subject of one of my prior columns, in which the Soviet Union is held up as a wonderful model for the United States. So there you have Dick Cheney wonderfully summed up: traditional U.S. values are for sissies. Real international strongmen torture their own citizens like the Egyptians and bully the neighborhood like the Soviets.
Meanwhile the blogification of the foreign policy elite continues apace. Last June the New York Review of Books published an essay entitled Bush's Amazing Achievement, in which Jonathan Freedland discussed books by Chalmers Johnson, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Dennis Ross:
One of the few foreign policy achievements of the Bush administration has been the creation of a near consensus among those who study international affairs, a shared view that stretches, however improbably, from Noam Chomsky to Brent Scowcroft, from the antiwar protesters on the streets of San Francisco to the well-upholstered office of former secretary of state James Baker. This new consensus holds that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a calamity, that the presidency of George W. Bush has reduced America's standing in the world and made the United States less, not more, secure, leaving its enemies emboldened and its friends alienated. Paid-up members of the nation's foreign policy establishment, those who have held some of the most senior offices in the land, speak in a language once confined to the T-shirts of placard-wielding demonstrators. They rail against deception and dishonesty, imperialism and corruption. The only dispute between them is over the size and depth of the hole into which Bush has led the country he pledged to serve.
The consensus has now spread beyond Iraq. In this week's Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria observes, "The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality." Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, is the former managing editor of Foreign Affairs and a Harvard Ph.D. (Yale B.A.), who studied under Samuel Huntington. He is the very image of the calm, intellectual realist (and he has written a wine column too). He's had it. Zakaria to Earth (come in, Earth):
Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?
Earth, over and out.

Zakaria too comes back to the sage of Princeton:
Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, "is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world" (my emphasis). This would all be funny if it weren't so dangerous.
When Fareed Zakaria is reduced to asking, "What planet are we on?" I have to wonder.... What planet ARE we on?


Mark Pyruz said...

Mr. Rubin:
To your last post concerning Iran, I presented a discussion on Iran's potential responses to a US attack. But lets not kid ourselves. In the spirit of realism, let's get real about it. The Gulf strike and air defenses of the Iranians are very limited. Air and naval wars are predominantly wars of technology, and as Iran has neither a technological edge or anywhere near an advantage in firepower, it would appear that a US-Iran conflict could resemble a repeat of the 1988 Americanization of the Iran-Iraq War, but this time on a grand scale. Or worse, it could be a humiliation similar to that inflicted on the Arabs during the 1967 War.

However, there is a big difference between then and now. This time around, American ground forces are committed nearby in Iraq, and have been engaged for over four years in a frustrating battle of attrition. And this is what really has the likes of Dick Cheney heated: the fact that the current conflict in Iraq has so far been sort of a remake of the Iran-Iraq War, but this time with the roles reversed between that of the US and Iran. This time around it's the US fighting primarily Sunni insurgents in a stalemated quagmire, while Iran sits on the sidelines, reaping the geopolitical benefits of the war.

Wars are difficult to predict, especially long ones. And if the Iran-Iraq War serves as any kind of gauge to an upcoming US-Iran War, the potential new conflict could conceivably be long and terrible. Fareed Zakaria is getting a first class lesson on the stupidity of all war, here on our planet Earth.

Anonymous said...

Bernard Lewis seems to be well into his Herodotage.

Rather like H. R. Trevor-Roper's falling for the "Hitler Diary".

Anonymous said...

"What planet are we on?

Why planet neo-con of course.

Anonymous said...

Bernard Lewis believes in the split between the Muslim world (Dar al-Islam) and the rest of the world ("the enemy," as he claims Muslims perceive it -- particularly the Christendom.) This, he says in the WSJ piece, explains Arab support for Nazi Germany.

As Mr. Lewis views history through the paradigm described above, he ignores the fact that the Arabs are quite practical. They supported Germany because most of their territory was occupied by the Allies. Thus, Germany provided some hope for ending colonialism.

Chris said...

It's possible some of Cheney's remarks are intended as propaganda toward the Sunni insurgents and especially their financiers. By saying Iran is trying to influence the Shiites and the US is fighting that influence, that makes the Sunni insurgents who are opposing the US military the ally of Iran - their enemy.

Anonymous said...

Where is the best fairest site to go to find evidence of iranian complicity or lack thereof in attacks on US GI's in Iraq, and in making weapons for Iraqi terrorists/separatists/whateverists ... ?

i don't like this warmongering and i know we blew every chance we had to get some kind of entente with iran. but i do want to know whether/how the've stirred things in iraq.

TEST said...

way to least someone is courageous enough to speak up for what is right.....

Chris said...

In response to a comment above, there is no single web-site for information on Iran's actions in Iraq. The primary public source of information on Iran's military influence in Iraq is occasional statements by US military commanders in Iraq. They have talked about a number of different types of evidence, none of which seem available to the media.

The tactics for dealing with this evidence are said to be the same as with al Qaeda cells. In the case of al Qaeda, military commanders have said they have tracked foreign operatives all they way back to their home country. Since the tactics are said to be the same for the so-called Special Groups, we can conjecture they have done the same for Iranian and Hezbollah operatives in Iraq.

However when you get to the key issue of Iran's intentions, the issue is really the CLC program - Concerned Local Citizens, which now covers about 45% of Iraq. The implementation of the CLC program in Diyala province is key because that's a mixed province where there was reportedly sectarian violence under Saddam. Some of the Iraq-Iran war was apparently fought there so it may have historical significance to Iran.

Most important the CLC program being implemented by the US military commander of Diyala seems to have the approval of Grand Ayatollah al Sistani, and the Shiites in Diyala now reportedly look mostly to al Sistani for clerical leadership. Al Sistani also sent a clerical representative to speak at a large gathering of tribal leaders in Diyala.

Therefore US military commanders have got to be wondering if the Supreme leader of Iran, also a Grand Ayatollah, is trying to undermine a CLC program in Diyala effectively sanctioned by al Sistani - the highest Shiite religious authority in Iraq? The great confusion on Iranian intentions means the US must be extremely cautious. It's not simply black-and-white what's happening, as the pro-Israel lobby would have us believe.

Mark Pyruz said...

Actually, Chris, it's more complicated than that. Iran has been assisting armed groups now in Iraq since the days of the Iran-Iraq War. One example is the Badr Brigade, which is currently integral to the Iraqi Army and security forces. Many Iranian supplied weapons still remaining on today's Iraqi battlefield are a legacy of those days, which lasted right up to the US invasion in 2003. Thus, examples of Iranian HK G3 rifles can still be found in Shia paramilitary arsenals, as well as US made LAWS rocket launchers leftover from the Shah days, which have over the years found their way into the hands of the Mehdi Army.

The main contentions today by certain US military commanders of new Iranian arms are identified as EFP's, explosively formed penetrators. Also identified are Iranian built mortars and TNT, as well as other odd assortments of weaponry. It should be quantified, however, that these identified weapons are tactically insignificant to the overall insurgency, which has been primarily Sunni, and unofficially backed by US allied countries such as Saudi Arabia.

So far, there hasn't been a large contribution of weapons from Iran. There hasn't been the need. The US provided quite generously to the army and security forces of the Iraqi government, which is predominantly Shia and allied to Iran. Also, the Iranians have held back for a couple more reasons. One, the Iranians have been playing a chess like game with the US, and an infusion of more sophisticated weapons, such as ATGM's and MANPADS, represent a potential for escalation, should Iran be attacked. Secondly, the Iranians have held back in the unlikely event that the US abruptly withdraws from Iraq, creating the need for direct Iranian military intervention in providing security to the people of Iraq. A relatively substantial Iranian security infrastructure has already been established in Iraq to deal with these potential contingencies.

Should Iran be attacked by the US, it is likely that battlefields in Iraq will more closely resemble that of southern Lebanon, during Israel's summer invasion of 2006.

Mark Pyruz said...

"Secondly, the Iranians have held back in the unlikely event that the US abruptly withdraws from Iraq, creating the need for direct Iranian military intervention in providing security to the people of Iraq."<--mark pyruz

Clarification: The Iranian military doesn't wish to possibly be confronted by these very same weapons, should Iran be required to enter Iraq in force. The risk being relatively high that such weapons could be disposed toward the regional arms black market.

Macs said...

Yea, Iran may not be able to end the world, but that doesn't change the fact that Israel will if they feel Iran may be able to aquire a nuke. So, by the twisted neocon logic, Iran is going to cause WWIII.

Anonymous said...

Sohbet Sitesi
Yangın Söndürme
yangın söndürme cihazları
yangın dolapları
yangın tüpü
yangın güvenlik
yangın söndürme sistemleri
yangın tüpü dolum
yangın merdiveni
yangın çıkış kapısı
Hava Soğutma
Hücreli Aspiratörler
Radyal Körükler
Toz Toplama
Soğutma Kulesi
Klima Santraller
Malzeme Nakil Vantilatörleri
iso 14001
iso 14001
iso 22000
iso 22000
haccp belgesi
haccp belgesi
ikamet tezkeresi
yabancı çalışma izni
yabancı personel çalışma izni
yabancı çalışma izni
yabancı personel çalışma izni
ohsas 18001
ohsas 18001
iso 9001
iso belgesi
iso 9001 belgesi
ohsas belgesi
ISO 9001
Teşvik Belgesi
Çocuk Bezi
Hasta Bezi
Makyaj Malzemeleri
Makyaj Temizleme Mendili
Kişisel Bakım
kolonyalı mendil
Islak mendil
Dudak Koruyucu
Temizlik Ürünleri
Göz Kalemi
Diyet Ürünleri
Süper Site
Güvenlik Kamerası
Islak Mendil
Kolonyalı Mendil
Kolonyalı Mendil
driver ara
web tasarım
Güvenlik Kamerası
Kamera Kurulum
Tatil Yerleri
Tatil Beldeleri
Perde Modelleri
Cilt Bakımı
jaluzi perde
stor perde
dikey perde
perde modelleri
jaluzi perde
stor perde
dikey perde
perde modelleri
spor haberleri

Anonymous said...

The blog is nice. I like it very much. Laptop batteries