Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Who Will Stop World War III?

by goinsouth Thu May 11th, 2006 at 10:38:42 AM EST

Originally posted at dKos

Since Seymour Hersh exposed the Bush administration's plans to attack Iran, the dKos community has recognized the gravity of this threat and responded more than 500 times with information, analysis and calls to action (since 4/08, 527 diaries and 6 articles where the words "Iran" and "nuclear" appear).  The level of interest and concern is more than justified by both the evidence that the Bush administration is determined to expand their "World War III" and also the disastrous consequences that would result for Americans, Iranians and the rest of the world.

In FAQs form below the fold, here are where things stand now:

[editor's note, by Jerome a Paris] Back from Front Page. See the full text of the letter from Ahmadinejab to Bush here as well as a first analysis by FarEasterner here


Is stopping the Bush administration's plan to attack Iran really the most important issue facing the U. S. and the world right now?

Many people in the U. S. are feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day problems like the gas prices and interest rates that are moving up at the same time as the value of their homes and the few dollars left in their pockets is dropping.  Another Bush adventure on the other side of the world may not seem seem as critical as making the next mortgage payment, but the experts tell us that a war against Iran would not be like the "shop while you support the troops" experience of Iraq where the military and their families bear most of the burden of the war.  Here are some of the consequences we've been warned about:



  • skyrocketing energy prices and crashing financial markets as Iranian production is interrupted

Jerome a Paris diaried a terrifying scenario last week about what would happen if a friendly nation like Norway merely threatened to disrupt its production for a day to "make a point."  In the comments, he was asked if his fictional narrative was meant as a metaphor for what would happen if Iran were attacked, for example, in September.  "Same volume, same stakes," he responded.  Read that dairy to understand how an attack on Iran would affect your life almost immediately, and read Hersh and this to better understand how Iran could cut off, at least temporarily, as much as 40% of the world's oil supply.

There is additional cause for concern about what China, being all but shoved by Washington into allying with Iran, would do about the U. S. debt it holds.

  • terrorists attacks against the U. S. and Israel

Richard Clarke and Steven Simon wrote in the New York Times:

Iran has forces at its command that are far superior to anything al-Qaeda was ever able to field. The Lebanese terrorist organization Hizbullah has a global reach, and has served in the past as an instrument of Iran.

  • a disaster for U. S. troops currently in Iraq and Afghanistan

Clarke and Simon also believe that Iran could respond to an attack by calling on allied forces like tha Badr Brigade to step up attacks on American troops in Iran, thus turning them into, as Riverbend put it, 150,000 hostages in Iraq.

Tin hat mafia has pointed to the Physicians for Social Responsibility study that warned that the 20,000 American troops in Afghanistan would be exposed to radiation from any use of nuclear "bunker buster" weapons that Hersh says are "on the table" for use in the attack on Iran.

  • a cataclysm for the people of Iran and beyond

STOP George has documented the horrifying effects that the use of so-called "tactical" nuclear weapons would have on the Iranian people and those in the downwind fallout areas.

Considering the warnings of these experts, is Iran not the most important issue facing the world right now?

Is the Bush administration really this crazy, or are they just beating the war drum to force Iran to back down or for the domestic consumption of their political base here in the U. S.?

Respected journalists and analysts don't think this is a bluff.  Hersh writes about Bush's state of "mind":

the President believes that he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do," and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.

Clarke and Simon claim that:

the current level of activity in the Pentagon suggests more than just standard contingency planning or tactical saber-rattling.

Colonel Sam Gardiner, an active war game planner, says:

The issue is not whether the military option would be used but who approved the start of operations already.

The Bush administration's behavior indicates planning is well advanced and that there is nothing that would deter them from launching an attack.  Secretary of State Rice has been busy trying to persuade Turkey and Bulgaria to allow U. S. bombers to use airbases and airspace for an attack.  All U S. sources today dismissed out of hand a letter from Ahmadinejad that could have been used as opening to pursue negotations.  Vice President Cheney, instead of trying to win Russian support for the U. N. sanctions that the administration ostensibly wants, is doing his best to insult and threaten the Putin government.

Bush himself has been in Germany, and he is apparently having some success in convincing Germans that he's changed.  Der Spiegel writes:

Bush is running out of time, and not just because the end of his term is approaching. He knows it as well as anyone. Sometimes he speaks like an old man mellowed by the passage of time, pointing out not every problem in the world can be solved immediately. Is this still the same Bush that Old Europe feared as a crazy cowboy?

What the Germans don't realize is that the lower Bush's approval ratings sink, the more dangerous he becomes as long as he remains in office.

Will the international community be able to head off war?

Many breathed a sigh of relief a few weeks ago when British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called an attack on Iran, especially a nuclear attack, "nuts."  His statement fit with Hersh's assessment that Blair and the British were refusing to support Bush's new venture, thus raising hopes that the Americans would be reluctant to attack with backing from its staunchest ally in the "war on terror."

Straw is gone now, and smintheus has written here about how his statements about Iran and the Bush adminstration's "influence" over the Blair government are the reason.  Do not look for Britain to be anything but supportive of the march to war.

What about France and Germany who had the nerve to oppose Bush's Iraq adventure?  France has joined the U. S. in drafting a resolution under Chapter 7 of the U. N. Charter, the same chapter that the Bush administration claims authorized its attack on Iraq.  Gerhardt Schroeder, the most outspoken critic of the Iraq war, is gone and replaced by the conservative Angela Merkel, whom Bush calls "Angela" and praises in the same terms as he once did Putin.

Russia and China will oppose the U. N. proposal, but that will hasten war, not halt it.  It's likely that UN Ambassador John Bolton already has his "the UN has failed" speech written in anticipation of the completion of the administration's next step to war with Iran.

As for the rest of a world tired of U. S. bullying, it may just stand by and let America commit what amounts to suicide.

Surely the press won't be used again the way it was used in the run-up to Iraq?

There were some early cautionary editorials and opeds in major newspapers within the first week or two of Hersh's article, but since then, the Murdoch press and the rest of the SCLM have been doing the Bush administration's bidding.  There was the "16 days to Iranian bomb" headline.  Joe Klein was ready to "nuke" Iran until Alterman called him on it.  The WSJ is ready to go to all-out war.

And just like four years ago, it's working.  The recent LA Times poll showed the main uncertainty among the American people was whether we should just bomb or go in with ground troops.  Only 20% opposed military action.

The military will refuse to carry out Bush's order, won't they?

One mark of how desperate things have become is that this has become a major argument of those who discount the risk of war against Iran.  Quicklund's diary of a few weeks ago expanded on Hersh's suggestion that some in the military were resisting Bush, especially on the use of nuclear weapons.  As scary as the proposition is that we must rely on women and men trained to take orders to resist policy set by the President, even Quicklund suggests that members of the military cannot carry the entire burden by themselves without Congressional and public support at some point.

Won't the Congress stand up to Bush this time?

That's still up for grabs.  Diane Feinstein did write an oped published in the LA Times in mid-April standing firmly against another use of pre-emptive war and especially the use of nuclear weapons, but since then, things have been mostly downhill.  You read here about the House voting 397=21 on April 28 for the Iran Freedom Support Act that Kucinich called a "stepping stone to war."  You read here about the 20 current Democratic Senators listed as cosponsors of the similar Senate version of that bill.  Since that diary was posted, Santorum attempted unsuccessfully to attach some version of it as a rider to an emergency appropriations bill.  I have been looking in vain for a diary or front-page article from some of the people far more expert than I detailing for us the current status of legislative efforts in the House and Senate related to Iran.

Raw Story has reported"

As the Bush Administration ups rhetoric and news reports signal the Pentagon has developed detailed plans for a possible military strike, the opposition party's leading lights have remained silent. Democratic insiders say they don't want to rush to judgment without getting the facts, but the issue has received scant attention from Democrats in Congress.

Most Democratic offices declined to comment for this story. Many said they couldn't comment because their congressperson was away for Easter recess, though they were eager to talk about other issues or criticize the Bush Administration's approach. Aides said they weren't able to speak on the record or on background, and even some who have often commented anonymously in RAW STORY articles did not return calls for comment.

There is no formal consensus among Democrats on Iran. One Democrat - Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) - has endorsed the possibility of using airstrikes to "delay" Iran's nuclear program, though most are more vague, saying they won't take "any options" off the table. And they appear to be serious: Not even the Democrats' liberal heavyweight in the House, Nancy Pelosi, has ruled out the possibility of using nuclear weapons, keeping "all options" on the table, an aide said.

It seems that Welshman and epluribusmedia met with the same stonewalling response as Raw Story.

Here's how Billmon summed it up:

Profiles in Chicken Shit

The congressional Dems show us what they're made of. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go scrape the rest of it off my shoes.

But some Democrats are taking action.  Congressman DeFazio, one of the 21 who voted against the Iran Freedom Support Act, has introduced HRC 391, a joint resolution making clear that Bush must come to the Congress for authorization before attacking Iran.  This has also been diaried at dKos with a call for action by readers to call Congressional offices.

Is it time to head to the streets for non-violent protest?

Juan Cole has pleaded with U. S. students to take to the streets to stop the war, but there is remarkably some disagreement within the ranks of the "peace movement" about how to address the Iran situation.  With college campuses emptying soon, the Bush administration will be more free to act, as Nixon learned in May, 1970.

Can't all this wait until we win back the House and/or Senate in the fall?

It would certainly make things simpler if we could wait.  Democrats wouldn't be forced to stand up to donors and voters who support action against Iran, but the timing isn't up to those Democrats or to us--it's up to Bush and to some extent, the Iranians.

Here are four reasons I think the question may be moot by November:

  • If Hersh is right about Bush's determination to go to war, will it be easier for him before or after a possible Democratic takeover of one or both houses of Congress?

If this line of thinking is correct, then the worse Bush's and the Republicans' poll numbers get, the sooner the new war will come.

  • Blair's situation is precarious, and the support of Britain can't be counted on indefinitely.

Blair may face a revolt by more leftist members of Labour in Parliament.  At least one option for them is to join with the Tories in a "no confidence" vote that would put Blair out and force new elections.

  • Attacking Iran may be part of the Republican strategy for holding on to the Congress.

John Dean has been around an Oval Office out of control.  He is certain that Bush and Co. will try something to hold on to power and avoid the Congressional investigations that would follow a Democratic victory.  One possibility:

Bush may mount a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities - hoping to rev up his popularity. (It's a risky strategy: A unilateral hit on Iran may both trigger devastating Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks in Iraq, with high death tolls, and increase international dislike of Bush for his bypass of the U.N. But as an active/negative President, Bush hardly shies away from risk.)

  • The chance for another "Gulf of Tonkin" incident.

Remember how Bush and Blair were ready to paint airplanes to draw Iraqi fire and produce a pretext for war?  There are plenty of opportunities for the same thing now with Iran:

{May 1)The HMS Bulwark, Her Majesty Elizabeth II's most state-of-the-art warship, has been bobbing at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab River for days. With its crew of more than 600 men, the amphibious ship, outfitted with landing craft and the latest technology, has a mission in fragile spots in the Persian Gulf -- but nothing happens. The coasts of Kuwait, Iraq and Iran are dimly visible on the horizon. The sea is calm as a dozen fishing boats crisscross the waters around the ship. Sometimes the calm lasts for days.

And then, suddenly, after weeks of monotony, something does happen. Four Iranian patrol boats traveling at high speeds -- 45 knots, or about 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) -- approach the Bulwark from the East. They're manned by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards -- not regular navy personnel. It's considered an ominous sign.

It's all about timing.  dwahzon wrote an important but not widely read diary about a Ray McGovern speech just after the Hersh article appeared.  McGovern urged his listeners to take action now, especially pressuring members of Congress, because the time was short.  dwahzon notes and links McGovern's citation of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking about time:

"A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam...These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest...We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

Those who continually counsel "wait until we win the next election" may find that the world as they know it comes to an end even as they tally the contributions and canvass the neighborhoods.  In another generation, courageous people like Martin Luther King, George McGovern, and Gloria Steinem knew they could not wait until some ideal time to stand up against an unjust war because "there is such a thing as being too late."

What then must we do?

Pressure Congress.  HRC 391 is on the table and dKos has the information here about how you can help.  Get Senators to make it absolutely unambiguous that they do not support military action against Iran by taking their names off any Republican-sponsored bills that smack of regime change.

Do everything possible to make this the most talked about issue in the progressive community, in your neighborhood, in your state, in America and in the world.  The glare of public attention will increase the cost for the warmakers.

Organize protests.

Be creative.

We have no real influence over the Bush administration, international leaders or our own military commanders, but the time is now to influence public opinion and Congress, the last, best hopes for avoiding World War III.  Let it not be written of the efforts to stop another escalation of the madness, "Too late."

Display:
In case you don't think that a society can commit suicide you might want to study Easter Island. There have been several popular books about this recently, but my little essay gives the short version:

Easter Island and the Arms Race

One could also argue that Germany tried twice (and almost succeeded) to commit suicide in the 20th Century. Whoever in Germany thought they would come out ahead by starting two world wars was proved wrong. (Maybe Krupp did alright).

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:40:38 PM EST
"the President believes that [having the courage to save] Iran is going to be his legacy".
I want to climb under a rock.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:47:01 PM EST
Make sure it's at least 300 meters thick.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As discussed in detail here...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The recent LA Times poll showed the main uncertainty among the American people was whether we should just bomb or go in with ground troops.  Only 20% opposed military action.
The way the question was phrased, the poll showed 20% of Americans would oppose military action if Bush decided to attack Iran. The LA Times did not ask people whether Bush should make that decision or not:
Suppose George W. Bush decides to order military action against Iran, which action would you support:
Talk about leading questions.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:57:20 PM EST
You're absolutely right.  The poll was done in a way so as to confirm the military option.

But it sadly revealing of the U. S. populace's likelihood to actively oppose anything done by The Decider.

by goinsouth (imgoinsouth@gmail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On such an issue, I don't accept ill-worded questions as an excuse. Politicians' propaganda will make sure that questions are ill-posed in most people's heads anyway. If some people can't figure out the slant in a poll question, then they won't seee through the media campaign for war either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is certain that Bush and Co. will try something to hold on to power and avoid the Congressional investigations that would follow a Democratic victory.
I'll go off the deep end here and state my belief that there's no way, given the criminal nature of this administration, that Bush and Cheney will relinquish power voluntarily. They simply can't afford it, they have too many skeletons in the White House's closet.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:08:26 PM EST
Question is, who can stop it?

Let's assume for a moment that we as activists and citizens have no real political capital over BushCo.  I hate to be so cynical, but we failed to sway his opinion the fist time around, and let's face it, he hasn't needed our votes in the past, and he doesn't need them now.

Ok, who does have the power, position, influence to prevent WWIII?

We know he is solidly for it.  So are his cabal, and the Congress has yet to seriously challenge him on "national security" issues.  

Moving along, I reall don't think this guy wants WWIII, but he's willing to play a game of chicken with Bush, so he can't be counted on to have a cool head.

Blair might have needed to come out strongly against it for political reasons given the British backlash after getting them involved in Iraq, but alas, his political future is kaput.

And this guy did perhaps the best job of trying to talk Bush down from the ledge last time around, but he's now mired in his own problems and Chirac along with the EU3 seem to be taking their own damn time putting Bush in his place, if they have any intention of doing so...

And what's her problem?

And I know I'm in no position to be passing judgement, but if I see another Munich or coalition of the willing come out of the EU, I am going to have to seriously question all those pretty words about peace and justice on their website...

Could this man stop WWIII?  He's pretty solidly in opposition to a war with Iran and the US can't really afford to reignite the Cold War.  But, er, well ... they haven't gotten that message yet.  Or, like all PDB's, they are ignoring it.

Can we place our hopes in our creditors?

Who am I leaving out?  Kofi Annan is full of beautiful thoughts, but countless attrocities continue to occur despite the existence of the UN.  Anyone else?  Or are we in the hands of Communists and exKGB men here?  doesn't help me rest easy.

And now let's assume that only we the people can prevent this (disregarding the fact that revolutions usually have some kind of backing from other governments).  What do we do?  Calling our Senators and marching in the streets seems good for asking for the right to vote.  Isn't there a more effective route for dealing with imminent threats to global security?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:02:45 PM EST
And now let's assume that only we the people can prevent this (disregarding the fact that revolutions usually have some kind of backing from other governments).  What do we do?  Calling our Senators and marching in the streets seems good for asking for the right to vote.  Isn't there a more effective route for dealing with imminent threats to global security?

Well, of course: strikes, blocking military bases, sabotage, masses storming the Capitol or the White House. That both of us know that 99.9% of us against the war won't be willing to do even the least violent or risky of this is a testimony to how much comfortable our generations have become in contrast to earlier ones - and how impotent democracy became even where manufactured consent didn't prevail.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:17:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how much comfortable our generations have become in contrast to earlier ones
Guilty as charged...

But there's also another element: the increasing individualism and the erosion of social fabric and community means that people feel they have to take the risk of civil disobedience pretty much on their own. I know I do: I have no family or [essentially] friends in London. If I joined a general strike I'd be on the street  in about two months.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No trade union at your workplace?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:35:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is finance, DoDo. I sold my soul to the devil.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least you got a good rate.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can talk about it in Paris ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have no real influence over the Bush administration

That statement is the beginning and the end of this discussion. You've all watched Why We Fight, you've all read Chomsky, you've all been into left wing politics, and thus you all know that the US military industrial complex will not be stopped by anything until it burns itself out.

It's been talked about here before: the emergence of the US as the sole world superpower has shifted the entire west to the right politically. In the US, that means someone like Bush gets elected. If it wasn't him, it was going to be someone else. The democrats understood this shift to the right, of course it has led them to choke themselves to death. They do not provide the desperately needed counterweight to the republican party. The world is politically unbalanced and only the US (inevitably) undoing itself will restore some sort of balance. It will happen, but it will be ugly and painful for everyone. I see no other way. Whether it's Iran, China, or whoever, it's going to happen, and it has been inevitable since the early 1950's.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 10:47:00 PM EST
I hear what you're saying, but why do you single out the U.S. for collapse? Aren't France, Germany, Britain, etc. also led by parties on the right? Hasn't there always been a swinging back and forth between the two sides? Why would it take a collapse of the U.S. to solve the problems of the world? Why not a collapse of Europe, say, because of her reliance on imported Middle Eastern oil? Or a collapse of China, say, because of her reliance on scarce educated labor?

"Something" will happen, that's for sure, but one of the possible somethings is a continuing of the muddling along that people have been doing for a centuries...

by asdf on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 12:34:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I'm just thinking the US will be first country to drive off the cliff is all. Most humans are in big trouble for more reasons that US foreign policy. In fact that is why anti-American attitudes piss me off - it's not so much offensive as laughable that other countries are pursuing something significantly better.

As far as what will happen, you are right, there are many possibilities, I just have a very dark outlook.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 12:51:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess is that you weren't around when Nixon was running things. That was, frankly, a lot scarier...
by asdf on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:14:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you ever get the impression that Nixon would use nukes? Maybe I just got spooked by that recent article on American nuclear supremacy in Foreign Policy magazine. Whether it was placed or not it doesn't stop me from saying "doomed" a lot.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:46:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh and no I was not around then. From what I do know I'm sure that having a very paranoid president in office is about as worrisome as having a president in office who is not connected to the material world in a meaningful way.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was around then and never thought things would get scarier, but they have.

The forces that countered Nixon in Congress, the federal courts and in the press were much stronger than those that oppose Bush.

by goinsouth (imgoinsouth@gmail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 04:34:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The forces that countered Nixon in Congress, the federal courts and in the press were much stronger than those that oppose Bush.

Dunno. I'm currently (finally) reading The Great Shark Hunt, which includes some of HST's Watergate dispatches. He analyzes how (and why) virtually all the MSM ignored the greatest story of the 70's for the longest time, playing lapdog to the powers that be.

Ultimately, only 2 reporters and 1 judge prevented Nixon from getting away with it.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, Nixon delivered (i) SALT I (ii) the Paris peace accord and (iii) the reconciliation with China. I was more scared of LBJ at the time of the Khe Sanh offensive. Of course, the scariest of all time was JFK during the Cuban missile crisis.

Still, I agree that Bush is not scary for you. That is not because he is better than any of these presidents, but because the cold war has ended and this time nobody will retaliate against America with nukes during the next 30 minutes.

For the rest of the world....

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 07:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush believes this is World War III which started on 9/11/01 (no major American media covered this, though, as far as I know). So, it is already on. What difference would it make if Bush attacks Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, or anybody else? It's all part of World War III, you know, they are spreading freedom to the entire globe.  

So, the question is what can end the entire World War III, unlike the way the previous World Wars ended in total devastation of certain belligerents. If the World War III ends that way, all human civilization will end in total devastation, except a few who can fly his personal jet to a safe location (Antarctica? Chile?).  I have an answer: A miracle will.

I believe Bush critics and the media are making a serious mistake of thinking he is a little, ah, academically challenged.  He is not. Bush is determined, far-sighted, has a clear vision of where he wants to lead us, unshakable in conviction and committed to his goal. He is not stupid. He is insane.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 11:40:01 PM EST
I agree that Bush is not as much of a dope as he is frequently portrayed, but that doesn't make him a genius, either. The U.S. obviously stumbled into a pretty bad situation when it invaded Iraq, and there is some movement to compounding the error further by getting involved in Iran. But that's quite a ways from WW-III. To have a world war, there have to be two sides with at least some semblance of parity. Who are you nominating as the opposing side? The Russians? The Chinese? The French?

I think you overestimate the compliance that would be required by Congress to get an invasion--or bombing, or nuking--of Iran. Bush would have a revolt not only of Democrats but of many Republicans if he tried it...

by asdf on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 12:44:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are the opposing side? You should ask Bush about that. (I guess he meant those are not with him.)

As for the revolt thing, other than those who were awkwardly silent at Colbert's performance, I think this person may end up supporting the nuke option:

But let's be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime's pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not -- must not -- permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations. And we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran -- that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

The logic is appealing to many, isn't it? Why not nuke them before they nuke us?  Last time somebody was nuked, the country re-emerged as a democracy. That nuke saved more lives than killed, didn't it? ...I'm afraid we are half way there already.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's quite a ways from WW-III. To have a world war, there have to be two sides with at least some semblance of parity. Who are you nominating as the opposing side?

The terrists. I repeat tuasfait's point: Dubya himself declared that WWIII is on.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A central pillar of the war propaganda is that Ahmadinejad has threatened to destroy Israel. Unless Juan Cole is uncharacteristically confused, this is false.

And according to Juan Cole:

Ahmadinejad...actually quoted Khomeini as saying, "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time...."

Ahmadinejad, however, has condemned mass killing of any sort and was not threatening military action (he is in any case not in command of the Iranian military). He compares his hope for an end to any Zionist regime in geographical Palestine to Khomeini's prediction that the Soviet Union would one day vanish. It wasn't a hope to kill Soviet citizens, but a desire for regime change.

Informed Comment, Tuesday, May 09, 2006

According to European Tribune's STA:

Cole's translation of the Persian passage is indeed much closer to the target. I re-read the Persian and Cole is right.

From what I can see, the claim that Ahmadinejad threatened to destroy Israel is one of the most dangerous falsehoods in the world today. Please feel free to repost these quotes.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 12:40:24 AM EST
Seymour's insight:
The level of interest and concern is more than justified by both the evidence (Seymour Hirsh's "expose") that the Bush administration is determined to expand their "World War III" and also the disastrous consequences that would result for Americans, Iranians and the rest of the world.
France and Germany leaders fold, heaven forbid they might be doing what they think is right.
What about France and Germany who had the nerve to oppose Bush's Iraq adventure?  France has joined the U. S. in drafting a resolution under Chapter 7 of the U. N. Charter, the same chapter that the Bush administration claims authorized its attack on Iraq.  Gerhardt Schroeder, the most outspoken critic of the Iraq war, is gone and replaced by the conservative Angela Merkel, whom Bush calls "Angela" and praises in the same terms as he once did Putin.
Ahhh, the press, always a supporter of Bush, is now on board,,,,led by,,,,,Murdoch,,,,who they all follow.
but since then, the Murdoch press and the rest of the SCLM have been doing the Bush administration's bidding.  There was the "16 days to Iranian bomb" headline.  Joe Klein was ready to "nuke" Iran until Alterman called him on it.  The WSJ is ready to go to all-out war.
Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been co-opted by the madman Bush
You read here about the House voting 397=21 on April 28 for the Iran Freedom Support Act that Kucinich called a "stepping stone to war."  You read here about the 20 current Democratic Senators listed as cosponsors of the similar Senate version of that bill.
Reporters and others with proven track records clarify the situation for us, the ignorant public:
It seems that Welshman and epluribusmedia met with the same stonewalling response as Raw Story.

Here's how Billmon summed it up:

Profiles in Chicken Shit
The congressional Dems show us what they're made of. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go scrape the rest of it off my shoes.

Hat's off to Welshman,epluribusmedia,Raw Story, Billmon and Oliver Stone.

Yes, and another great parallel to Vietnam,,,,college campuses have reacted in such a similar vein--just like Vietnam!  That clever Bush, timing all of this with summer vacation.

With college campuses emptying soon, the Bush administration will be more free to act, as Nixon learned in May, 1970.
And let's remember this prediction on November 15, because it will show the wisdom of our views, our insights,,,
Here are four reasons I think the question may be moot by November:

If Hersh is right about Bush's determination to go to war, will it be easier for him before or after a possible Democratic takeover of one or both houses of Congress?

If this line of thinking is correct, then the worse Bush's and the Republicans' poll numbers get, the sooner the new war will come.
Blair's situation is precarious, and the support of Britain can't be counted on indefinitely.
Blair may face a revolt by more leftist members of Labour in Parliament.  At least one option for them is to join with the Tories in a "no confidence" vote that would put Blair out and force new elections.
Attacking Iran may be part of the Republican strategy for holding on to the Congress.

Remember how Bush and Blair were ready to paint airplanes to draw Iraqi fire and produce a pretext for war?
Ahhh,,,,yes--I had almost forgotten that one.

And here is the lying Bush, and his minions again,,,,,,we can't be fooled by this rubbish,,,,after all of the previousl lies!!

US Continues to Seek Diplomatic Solution to Iran Nuclear Issue
Ambassador Schulte says President Bush is not seeking a military solution to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the goal is to achieve a diplomatic settlement.
He says the United States does not want the U.N. Security Council to apply sanctions against Iran right now.  He says sanctions might come into play in a few months if Iran fails to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

He says the United States and Europe are united in their determination to stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.  He says Russia and China also support that objective.

"There is a strong consensus that Iran is going down a path that is not acceptable, that Iran needs to get off this path and that we need to achieve a diplomatic solution," he added.  "So, I think actually that the engagement of Russia and China on this has been absolutely key in demonstrating to Iran that they are isolating themselves and that the course they are taking is not a course they should continue to pursue."

It's really wonderful to see the thoughtful and insightful comments of Daily Koz over here, and seeing how much we agree with them.
by wchurchill on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:01:05 AM EST
You do think you're funny, don't you?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:26:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France and Germany leaders fold, heaven forbid they might be doing what they think is right.

I don't know about France (except that Villepin hopes that some diplomatic grandstanding on Iran will give him a comeback), but German media repeatedly reported that Merkel & co are rather uneasy behind the scenes, pressing Bush for direct talks with Iran (without success), and hoping they can keep the US trudge along in the UN (which boils down to appeasement).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 06:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe this is addressed up-thread...but what can we do here in Europe to try and fight this off?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:19:55 AM EST
Like I said regarding the Basque Peace Process, "it is all carefully choreographed", by which I meant [and mean] not that it has all been agreed beforehand, but that none of what happens, nor the sequence in which it happens, is really surprising. Everyone is acting in character.

There is no way Turkey is going to allow the US to use it as a staging ground. Back in 2003 the Turkish military was all rah-rah for war but the parliament opposed it. Today, with Turkey and Iran needing each other to stem the influence of the self-ruling Iraqi Kurdistan, even the military establishment will oppose helping the US, and the government has even refused to be bribed with a nuclear reactor.

Apparently Bulgaria has also been approached by the Bush administration. I don't know what they'll do: they have completely withdrawn from the "coalition of the willing", which I suppose makes them unlikely to cooperate with an Iranian adventure.

That leaves the UK, and there it all boils down to Blair. Taking part in an operation against Iran would be political suicide, but he's a political walking corpse anyway. It's all up to Brown or the rebellious backbenchers to unseat Blair sooner rather than later. Don't hold your breath.

What does not bode well is France and Germany's willingness to invoke Chapter 7. The presidential and parliamentary elections in France are scheduled for next year, which is too late to make a difference. The Clearstream case looks set to destroy Villepin and replace him with Sarkozy, who [from my Spanish point of view] is an Aznarite which gives me the creeps. Things could get really interesting if Clearstream took down Chirac as well.

As for We the People of Europe, like I said there are no elections in the EU3 before the November elections in the US unless either Blair or Chirac screw up which, you have to give them that, they are unlikely to do because they are very good at what they do. So, nothing should come out of that. Unless someone comes out with uncontrovertible evidence to bring down a government or two over the CIA flights, for instance, nothing will happen. Maybe the new Prodi government can make some noise about the CIA balck-ops in Italy over the last few years.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But on the positive side none of the bad guys are in a secure position. Burlesconi (sic) is out of the international game, Blair is only going to survive for as long as it takes the Brownites to realise that he's lying about a transfer of power, and Bush is facing a crumbling base at home. In France Clearstream looks set to damage or even bring down the government.

So - it's not a done deal. If Bush starts lobbbing the nukes gas prices will go to $5 or $7/gallon in the US - where it's affordable at all - and that would immediately wipe out any jingoistic warrr on terrraaa advantage that Bush may be planning for the elections.

Because he's an idiot he'll likely still go ahead. But there will be as much political fall-out, even in the US, as there will be physical fall-out in Iran. Neither is going to be pretty.

And all Russia and China have to do is sit back and watch the show. They won't need to get actively involved because the whole house of cards is so unstable already it's not going to take much to bring it down.

After that - who knows? I don't think the Iranians particularly want to stop shipping oil, so if there were some return to stability after Bush and the rest have gone, things might even return to an expensive but not wholly unworkable state.

Long term there would still be serious problems, but I'd be surprised if this leads directly to a major nuclear confrontation between the bigger players. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but it doesn't seem like that would be necessary for anyone. (Although since Bush secretly has a death wish he might want it to happen anyway.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 07:58:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I love the Burlesconi bit. I wish I had thought of it first.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 08:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it was de Gondi who used it first. I only borrowed it without permission. :)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, according to the site search, it was me, but I only modified melo's "Burlesquoni" - so the credit belongs to him/her.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So - it's not a done deal. If Bush starts lobbbing the nukes
Er... I was addressing the prospects that something could be done to prevent that.
gas prices will go to $5 or $7/gallon in the US - where it's affordable at all - and that would immediately wipe out any jingoistic warrr on terrraaa advantage that Bush may be planning for the elections.
Bush will use the 60-day strategic reserve to strike a deal with the oil majors to keep the price of gas below $4 until after the elections.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 08:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If anyone thinks that gas prices will remain in the signle digits after a nuclear strike on a Muslim country, they are delusional.

Nuke Iran = half of the oil supply disappears = economic chaos, strict rationing, state of emergency, breakdown of trade between countries.

If anybody thinks life will go on in the West as if almost nothing had happened, they are FUCKING DELUSIONAL.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 11:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously, Bush probably thinks he can pull it off and "subdue" Iran before his strategic reserve of oil and gas runs out. If he needs to declare the state of emergency to force the oil companies to sell gas at $5, so be it.

You're saying I think he's delusional. I'm ok with that.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 11:57:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuke Iran = half of the oil supply disappears = economic chaos, strict rationing, state of emergency, breakdown of trade between countries.

If I were really paranoid, I'd point out that for Bush, these would all be good things, not bad ones.

Not least because State of Emergency -> 'postponed' elections and massive imposition of state control over everyone's lives.

If you're Bush - what's not to like?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 01:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that this is something Bush would want. Gas prices hurt them and Jerome is absolutely right, attacking Iran would make it worse for a long while. Even an invasion of the country would not guarantee the production. (See Iraq.)

I believe Bush is honestly worried about a nuclear Iran. But even more so, I believe that people do not appreciate how much the nuclear issue is a domestic one -- for Bush, but especially Ahmadinejad. They both need their people to be tense and on the edge for now. But war is not either one's realistic goal. Ahmadinejad may even want -- he probably does -- aerial attacks, so that the country unites behind him, but he would not want an all out war either. In my opinion.

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 02:27:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But you could have made similar arguments about Iraq. And you could also make similar arguments about the suicidal effects of tax cuts for the rich, massive military spending and various other initiatives that Bush has been responsible for.

Bush is not a rational man. Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest don't seem to be rational either. And the GOP crew - Delay, Frist, Team Abramoff and pretty much all of the rats in that sinking ship - have proven that not only are they not rational people, but they won't let nothing get in the way of power and money. Not ethics, not religion, and certainly not the possibility of a disaster of their own making. Even if it eventually falls on them from a great height.

They don't believe in disasters because they don't believe the rules apply to them. Sweat shops, drug cartels, prostitution rackets, criminal diversion of funds into their own pockets as they bleat about supporting the troops while making sure those troops are badly trained and poorly supplied - it's all the same to them. They cover it up with a thin veneer of deep south piety so they can sell their snake oil to the stupid, but behind that there's one of the nastiest and most foetid political brews to appear in the West since the end of WWII.

So I don't see any evidence that Bush cares all that much if everything falls apart. It won't affect him personally, it won't affect his immediate circle, and if he can use it as an excuse to finally kill off the constitution and make himself Supreme Preznit of Everything and Everybody in the Whole World Forever - that wouldn't be a bad thing in BushVille. (At least until he gets bored and decides to go fishing again.)

Remember - this guy doesn't care about anything except his own image. Substantial parts of New Orleans are still ruined and uninhabitable, but there's no sign he's interested any more. A president who can lose a city without missing any sleep isn't going to miss any sleep over the economy tanking, rationing being introduced and elections that he knows are sure to go badly being postponed indefinitely.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for your reply. I think we can agree on this:

they won't let nothing get in the way of power and money. Not ethics, not religion, and certainly not the possibility of a disaster of their own making. Even if it eventually falls on them from a great height.

We agree not because you call them irrational. I am not sure rat8ionalisty is the right paradigm here. At least, they have what is sometimes called instrumental rationality; they have goals and they would do whatever it takes to get them.

But I don't quite agree with this:

So I don't see any evidence that Bush cares all that much if everything falls apart. It won't affect him personally, it won't affect his immediate circle

Two things about this:

First, I am not a Bush fan but I don't think that this characterization is accurate. It is widespread across the world, including in the United States. I think he genuinely believes in his goals. He genuinely believes that freedom=democracy=capitalism. I wish this administration's only concern was money. Had this been the case, the war would have been better conducted. Greed is actually fairly lucid, though unethical. These guys are ideological. They mean what they say; they believed that they would be welcomed with roses in Iraq. Who wouldn't want freedom, money and autonomy, they imagined? I think that they feel the shock of the Iraq war. Had Iraq gone smoothly, or even like Afghanistan, there'd troops in Iran today. In a moment of desperation, or provocation as I have been saying, they may attack Iran. But I stand by my view that he does not want a war right now. He does need domestic distraction; so does the Iranian president.  

Second, in that narrow sense, he does care. He wants happy free-market countries all around. I am more and more convinced of that. More broadly, the polls are taking a toll on him. Because it is an ideology, and not a personal autocracy, legacy matters. I read the right wing sites as often - if not more often - than progressive sites and they are furious. Conservatism is taking a toll with Bush. He knows it too.

Bottom line, I would never defend his policies. Far from it. Living in Washington DC does not make it easy. But I think that it is worthwhile to understand the depth - and failures - of an ideology in play, and not the free play of imagination of one man.

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 05:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He genuinely believes that freedom=democracy=capitalism.

I agree, absolutely. And that makes me all the more worried. This guy truly believes in something, which, according to his opinion, is worth hundreds of thousands of human lives, and he simply doesn't have any clue about how to realize those goodies, other than going to a war and raze the territory. He gunuinely thought destruction of Fallujah was for the benefit of the people there.

Believing in goodies doesn't make anyone worthy of anything. You shouldn't give him any credit for that. He is not an idiot, he is just insane.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 03:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is very hard to resist letting the philosopher in me talk in these forums. I try to stay away from philosophical jargon and vocabulary. It is alienating, in many ways. Quoting philosophers is even worse. But, in this case, there is a passage from a philosopher - Zizek - who is unique; he combines philosophy with everyday language and history. This thread reminded me of this passage, quoted at length.

With the global American ideological offensive, the fundamental insight of Graham Greene's The Quiet American is more relevant than ever: We witness the resurgence of the figure of the "quiet American," a naive, benevolent agent who sincerely wants to bring democracy and Western freedom. It is just that his intentions totally misfire, or, as Greene put it: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused."

The underlying presupposition is that under our skin, if we scratch the surface, we are all Americans. That is our true desire-all that is needed is just to give people a chance, liberate them from their imposed constraints and they will join us in our ideological dream. It's fitting that in February 2003 the right-wing journalist Stephen Schwartz used the phrase "capitalist revolution" to describe what Americans are now doing: exporting their revolution around the entire world. No wonder they moved from "containing" the enemy to a more aggressive stance.

It is the United States that is now, as the defunct USSR was decades ago, the subversive agent of a world revolution. When Bush said, "Freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in the world," his apparent modesty nonetheless concealed, in the best totalitarian fashion, its very opposite.

...

When Bush celebrated the explosive and irrepressible thirst for freedom as a "fire in the minds of men," the unintended irony was that he used a phrase from Dostoevsky's The Possessed. Dostoevsky used the phrase to describe the ruthless activity of radical anarchists who burned a village: "The fire is in the minds of men, not on the roofs of houses." Today, we already see-and smell-the smoke of this fire.

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 11:34:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zizek? Now I have an idea where you found yourself on the ET political compass :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 11:37:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not say I line up behind Zizek on everything :)
I did post my numbers for the ET compass, though.

By the way, I am still not sure where that expression (cottonpicking minute) comes from. This is a fascinating language.

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 11:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The compass is in the breakfast.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 11:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See..breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I had missed it!
by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 12:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At a guess the phrase says something about how long it takes to pick cotton by hand, which as I understand it was quite a labour intensive business before modern machinery.
by Gary J on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 04:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I didn't know Zizek and appreciate the quote. I am a bit sceptical about Bush=quiet American but introducing a Russian analogy makes sense to me. It is because I think Bush is more like V.I.Lenin, who was not benevolent or compassionate but was idealistic and no good at anything constructive.

I also think Bush's influence is not confined within the Republicans. Trying to upstage Bush, the Democratic leadership openly call for "no option off the table for Iran" (Hillary 06) or "enough troops in Iraq" (Obama 04). I never thought I would hear a serious call for nuking somebody because the country is enriching uranium, or for sending troops (which don't exist) to pacify a foreign country (i.e. killing more).

I would submit these outrageous statements would not have been acceptable as a serious political speech, but for Bush. Maybe Bush is a true revolutionary.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 01:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At some point, though, you have to figure out where the line between reason and irrationality is. For example, plenty of Democrats have said that we must continue in Iraq while few support quick withdrawal. And like it or not there are some important countries (Britain, France, Germany) who are on the U.S. side of the argument with Iran at the U.N. Are they also crazy?

When it gets to the point where you have classified practically everybody as crazy, perhaps it's time to reset your definition of craziness.

by asdf on Thu May 11th, 2006 at 08:14:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU3 are supposedly putting together a pagackage of sanctions and incentives for Iran in an attempt to get them to halt their nuclear development.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said if Iran cooperated with the international community it could be rewarded with an "ambitious package -- in the domain of civilian nuclear energy, in the domain of trade, in the domain of technology and -- why not-- in the security domain."

I haven't seen much mention of this in the American press.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 10:07:10 AM EST
I'm becoming slightly more optimistic that it won't happen, possibly for no good reason.  It's only because if they truly think a fast bombing gets them regime change, they should have done it already.  Every month they wait makes it harder, from new Iranian AA, to gas prices hitting $5/gal if the U.S. has a reprise of last year's hurricanes, to what happens if Bush gets into the 20's.  Also if the Russians fuel Bushehr then it essentially becomes unbombable.

I'm sure they want to do it, but somebody or something may have stopped them.

by tjbuff (timhess@adelphia.net) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 11:05:37 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]