Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
I'm not an expert on the Middle East or Islam, so I have to rely on experts when it comes to the common Shia connection. But my sense is that an unprovoked attack on Iran would go down much worse in the Middle East than the unprovoked attack on Iraq, since the Iranian government is viewed as legitimate, which it is of course.

You don't give reasons why you're not buying. The only reason you can have that I can think of is that they can't be that crazy. But we have plenty of evidence that they are that crazy. And there are plenty of examples in history of countries getting themselves into wars that everyone should have seen were crazy.

Clearly, Bush is making very threatening moves toward Iran. Either it's a bluff, or it's for real. As someone observed on the blogosphere, bluffing is not Bush's style. The Bushies are behaving now toward Iran exactly how they behaved toward Iraq in the run-up to the invasion.

Before Bush's speech, fears that the US would attack Iran could be fairly easily characterized as paranoid. But now two establishment, very high-profile correspondents are taking them seriously (the two people who work for NBC I quoted). That means we should, too.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Fri Jan 12th, 2007 at 05:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't give reasons why you're not buying. The only reason you can have that I can think of is that they can't be that crazy.

Crazy would have been doing this last fall in order to "bolster the election results for the republicans" as probably half the people on this site felt would occur, which couples nicely with the fantastically paranoid impression that the "republicans would not relinquish their control of congress peacefully." Given the track record of the left wing blogosphere on Iran, I don't think the onus is on Gringo to prove an attack won't happen. The onus is on you to prove that it will, and presenting op-ed pieces by politicians doesn't create a compelling case.

Along these lines, why won't this "second carrier group in the gulf proves an attack is imminent" idea go away? I haven't seen it presented in a military context once in the several months it has been out there, a nice demonstration of the collective lack of intellectual rigor among the public.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 12th, 2007 at 06:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You offer no argument at all, only rhetoric and a straw man. No one is arguing that it is proven that an attack is imminent. But clearly, the US is preparing for an attack: those carrier groups serve no useful role with respect to Iraq. Whether the US actually will attack is a mere possibility at this point: it is possible that the Bushies themselves aren't sure at this point whether they will do it or not. But that the US is preparing for an attack is not a possibility, but a reality, a fact. This is especially the case since Bush's speech was clearly making threats at Iran and Syria.

To be honest, what you said makes no sense at all, as far as I can tell. Are you denying that the Bushies are preparing for a (possible) attack on Iran?  It isn't "op-ed pieces by politicians" that are making threats to Iran: it is the Bushies themselves. And in Congressional testimony, Condi and/or Gates have explicitly refused to rule out military action against Iran, and stated that Bush needs no authorization from Congress to order it. How can you be so absolutely sure that this is just so much posturing?

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Fri Jan 12th, 2007 at 06:54:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No one is arguing that it is proven that an attack is imminent.

Then I suggest you change the title of this piece.

But clearly, the US is preparing for an attack: those carrier groups serve no useful role with respect to Iraq.

Let me repeat what I just said. You haven't placed this claim within a military context, only within the context of your political views. "A, therefore B" is not a worthy argument. Prove to me that the purpose of two carrier groups in the gulf could only be to attack Iran. Prove to me that this is unusual in a historical context of the US presence in the gulf. Prove to me that Bush's posturing is in indicator of attack when his "axis of evil" speech was given over five years ago.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 12th, 2007 at 07:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that there is grounds for scepticism.

But you are implying in your last sentence that the Bush administration has not indicated a willingess to attack Iran since Bush's "axis of evil" speech. This is clearly not true. All the web chatter over Iran is frankly more than understandable based on the threatening posture of the Bush administration vis a vis Iran.

And if Seymour Hersh is any indication, the chatter is not only limited to the web, it is also very evident amont the US military command.

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree there is a chance it will happen, but this particular piece was not well argued. That so many people are willing to uncritically accept "X means Y" arguments on topics they know very little about results in people like Jerome having to write stories like this. It's one of the biggest weaknesses of the world's political culture.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't tell me about "not well argued". I wrote a diary, not an essay, an article, much less a book. I placed the links for my quotations there for a reason: for the careful reader to follow them, to understand the background that formed the basis of my argument.

You have evidently made no effort to follow those links and read what is there. Thus, you are not a serious reader. Therefore, you have no right to make calls for better arguments.

You are evidently very lasy. Your posts have amounted to a child's mechanically asking "why?" to anything an adult asks them. Until you get your act together to make a more serious contribution, I will not bother replying to any posts of yours I might happen to run into.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:48:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ouch...

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/1/12/43819/5386

Althought I have to agree that this wasn't really YOUR argument, so attacking you for the strength of it is a bit disingenious.

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:59:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mill man expressed skepticism that it would happen, and he haspointed out, correctly, to the track record over the past year and more of predictions of crazy things that the Bush administration was about to do to Iran - which have, so far, and thankfully, not taken place.

That does not mean that they won't happen, of course, but it does mean that asking for more that "chatter" to use an intelligence term, is not unreasonable.

Your diary made good points, and so did Mill Man. We are in a realm of perceptions and interpretation, and we do not have enough information on either side of the debate to be conclusive.

So there is really no need to attack Mill Man personally like you did ("not serious" "lazy"). At this point, you can just agree to disagree on the significance of the carrier movements and other input you brought to us. That's fine. The ad hominems are not.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 06:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
William Lind, a knowledgeable man on military history, should know that military posturing (and that is what putting more carriers in the Gulf is) does not equal a runup to war. It does signify the threat of war.

If the new carrier group is actually deployed IN the Persian Gulf this is actually an indication that there will not be an attack, as the groups will be extremely vulnerable to Iranian anti-ship missiles and small attack craft. If the decision for war is taken, expect the big surface ships of the Gulf to steam out the straits of Hormuz at record speed.

As far as I see Bush mentioned another carrier group to "the region", not to the Gulf thought, so this do not really signify much.

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:55:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series