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War footing

by Jerome a Paris Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:47:45 AM EST

Just in, via the Wall Street Journal:

In an ambitious bid to cripple Iran's military-industrial complex, the Bush administration imposed a sweeping array of new sanctions against banks, companies, officials and agencies affiliated with the country's weapons programs and support for foreign armed forces.

(...)

U.S. officials are making their strongest efforts to date to depict Iran as a rogue nation on a war footing, stirring up trouble in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories with a well-organized bureaucracy which funds terrorism, distributes weapons, and conducts advanced weapons research.

The Treasury and State departments are announcing the new measures jointly today in a well-coordinated public relations effort.

I had begun to hope that the prospects of war with Iran had receded. We've had so many warnings that it was forthcoming, and nothing happening, that I've been musing that 'someone' (Russia or China, presumably) had made it clear to the White House that an attack would not be tolerated. But with the resignation of the Iranian diplomat in charge of nuclear negotiations , Ali Larijani, and his replacement with a hardliner, and the steady ratchet of sanctions and threats from Washington, El Baradei's words that Iran is not a threat seem increasingly dismissed as those of a shrill partisan...

One major item is that France is now seen as being on board for war. Insiders suggest that Sarkozy is much less aggressive in private, but this is essentially irrelevant as the perception is now set amongst the pundits that France will support war - and the absence of that potential obstacle is enough to create the perception of momentum towards, and justification for, war ("even the French support it this time!").

I'm worried again. (Well, I'm scared to death, given how I fail to see how an attack on Iran would not end up in a nuclear exchange, if Iran tries to disrupt oil flows, which is highly likely).


Display:
nuclear exchange

implies two way nuclear traffic.

I guess you mean one way nuclear use?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 10:01:58 AM EST
If US goes tacnukes against Iranian bunkers, there is a possibility that China et al. would attempt to clear the Straits for their tankers of Iranian oil with a few tacnukes against the noisy US fleets. It would becomes a multi-party nuclear shuffle. Iran could at most blow up whatever fuel it has amassed in an attempt at dirty bombing the area. They still have no rods in Bushehr. Putin is still procrastinating the delivery. Once it is loaded and start up, it cannot be bombed without a new chernobyl.

Pierre
by Pierre on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 10:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Iran is nuked, it's within the realm of possibility that Pakistan would retaliate as punishment for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

This is all very speculative, but, notwithstanding the intense rivalry between Iran and Arab nations, I see it as unlikely that a US nuclear attack on Iran would not have major geopolitical repercussions with other nuclear powers.


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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A nuclear attack anywhere would have major repercussions.

Sane people try to avoid using nukes, by definition, especially in a first strike. Even with exceptional provocation, it's impossible not to consider first use a war crime.

In Bush's case it's just one more to add to the list. And this most supine of so-called Democratic Congresses will very likely stand idly by.

A nuke attack on US soil would be a godsend for Bush. Suddenly it's a real war, which means he gets to suspend the constitution, and the rest.

There's no real down side for him. At worse he gets to blow some shit up. At best he gets to be Dictator in Chief.

Unless someone from the Pentagon marches into the Oval Office with a gun and drags him out, he has nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure some Democrat somewhere will apologize for pointing this out.

Ah, there might be hope if there actually was an opposition party in the US.

Alas, there isn't.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not entirely true.

When Congress was controlled by the Republicans Bush got to do everything he wanted as soon as he wanted.  Now that Democrats have the majority they will fret and talk and quibble and then let Bush do what he wants.

The difference is crucial.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Pakistan want to get wiped off the map?
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of all the nasty conceivable consequences, I have to say this is the least likely to my mind. The Pakistanis are neither Shia nor Persian. I expect they would be horrified by an attack, but I can't imagine them getting involved.

Also, while they are a nuclear power, they only have an estimated 30-80 warheads. I don't think that is sufficient overkill capacity to let them divert a warhead targeted at, say, Mumbai to park in a U-Store in Long Beach.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

Rather a lot, actually. Unless intended for pretty much immediate use, I would tend to think that such bombs would be more risk than it's worth, due to the risk of them being found. If they are found, the political fallout - you should pardon the expression - will be profound. Thus, if they are to be used as an effective deterrent, the Pakistani government would have to count on them remaining undetected indefinitely. I don't believe that's realistic. Of course, it's possible that the Pakistani government disagrees with some aspect of my assessment...

As for the risk that they might be able to smuggle nukes into the US after the commencement of hostilities, OTOH... Well, unless the US wants to shut off all container-ship imports from the general part of the world, I don't see how it could be prevented.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still maintain that if the US attacks Iran, with or without nuclear weapons, it will be the last mistake Bush will get to make.

Every militant group in Iraq will see this as a direct threat, every civilian in Iraq will understand that they will never be allowed their freedom. Within hours the larger proportion of the American forces in Iraq will find themselves taken hostage. Yes there will be firefights, but irrespective of whether we say it's 140k or 200k or even 350k armed personnel in iraq, they are outnumbered. Massively.

Equally, the only way the US seems able to win at sea on paper is by cheating. Any analysis of probable Iranian resistance, as opposed to the one the americans want, shows the US losing one or even two of their carriers. A devastating humiliation.

Of course, I could be imagining things, I had ideas about how Saddam could succesfully resist that never happened, so I could be totally misinterpreting how iraqis would respond to the bombing of Iran. Of course, we don't have to say, "he'd have to be mad to do this..." cos we that he is mad enough.

But in my opinion, this is a high-risk strategy with little to be gained. And yea, if I was the iranians I'd have some nasty (conventional) surprises parked in various sites around the US too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But wouldn't these consequences create opportunities for even greater mistakes?

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If either of these things happened, there'd be another revolution. Politically, the President could not survive, even till next november. If he wan't removed by Congress, he'd run a serious risk of finding himself facing a wet-detail of aggreived citizens behind the WH who'd deliver more summary justice.

It's why I genuinely think the American Empire will fall if they cross the Euphrates into Iran.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're dreaming. Most Americans would rather blame the Iranians for fighting back rather than put the blame on the President.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:33:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as evidenced by his approval rating?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you think it might change if US forces were badly damaged by the dastardly Iranians? Sure, it could go either way, but if you've got nothing to lose and everything to win ...

And don't start getting all defensive about it: it's not as if it's unique to USians - look at the crap Europe is taking from its leaders.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can just see 24 hours a day the legend "The new 9/11" streaming across the bottom of tv screens, with all the blame being put upon the revolutionary guard.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sort of nationalism will play, yes, but will be countered by the American public's current distaste for war, which started ratcheting up after the 04 election, and was definitely on display in last fall's election.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not going to lead to impeachment or mobs with pitchforks though, which is where this started. Americans may be most peeved, but they won't do anything.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That comes during the next depression. I don't know who is going to get pitchforked, though. We live in dangerous times.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so going back to the Hitler comparisons in the other discussion, if he crosses the Euphrates, then Baghdad becmoes bushes Stalingrad?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:34:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there's noone about to invade Berlin.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My moneys on Canada and Mexico

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:36:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh.  Where are the Soviets when you need them?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How true.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politically, the President could not survive, even till next november. If he wan't removed by Congress, he'd run a serious risk of finding himself facing a wet-detail of aggreived citizens behind the WH who'd deliver more summary justice.

OMG, have you found our System of Checks and Balances in your couch cushions or something?  I've been looking for those for alomst 7 years now.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think she's been reading historical novels again. That sounds like the famous bodice-ripper "The Constitution of the United States of America".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes we have, but you're going to need new batteries.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Map.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oooops

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:03:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With Bush at the helm and his outstanding geographical knowledge, you may be accurate, and the biggest thing keeping us safe is him arranging an attack over the wrong river.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Bridge Not Far Enough.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is it called Euphrates or Tigris down there close to Basra where they meet and form the Iraq-Iran border?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked the map properly, Shatt al-Arab is apparently what you cross charging from Iraq to Iran.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US troops can be withdrawn into heavily defended bases quickly enough. They have been building them for years now. Supply lines can be sustained through the air until troops complete an organised retreat to the south east, where the main oil fields are. Bar a rapid incursion of the Iranian military, the Iraqis don't have the means to cut off the army in the middle of Iraq. They would have the means if the Americans were out on the street, but I'd expect that most forces will be withdrawn to the bases in the case of an attack.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be the plan, but reality rarely cooperates on this sort of thing ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. The current ineptitude of the US forces is due to fighting an urban guerilla war. Once they are in a simple mode of 'defend, blast your way through everything, retreat' it's hard to see what IEDs and civilians with mortars, machine guns and car bombs can do against them. They got to Baghdad fast enough. I expect they can get out just as quick.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're confusing the movement of the spear with the movement of a baggage train.

Armour and mechanised infantry are one thing: the support infrastructure of the entrenched US army is a different animal entirely.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't have to dash back to Saudi Arabia in 2 weeks. A month or two would work well.

And remember, if need be the Air Force and carrier avaition can do most of the real fighting, at least if enemy civilian casualties don't matter. The Army can just motor out, trucks and all.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they want to leave all of their supplies and equipment behind they can, but if they want to remove all of their equipment out the figures I've seen run closer to three months at a minimum, and that is assuming that they have the fuel and amunition to move all of their equipment out.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Driving out of Iraq has to be one of the most unlikely escape ideas in history.

Even assuming everything is left behind, it would be trivially easy for Iran to lob a few missiles at any convoy. And IEDs can be fantastically destructive - you don't just take out a truck or two, you block the escape route, which slows everything and everyone down, creates useful ambush opportunities, and generally plays hell with any concept of orderly evacuation.

Air cover is useless unless you try to eliminate all traffic on the roads and in a wide corridor around them, permanently, for the duration of the retreat.

There's also the small point that if there's a retreat Iraq will have been handed over, at least in part, to Iran - which might not be popular politically.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Air cover is useless unless you try to eliminate all traffic on the roads and in a wide corridor around them, permanently, for the duration of the retreat.

That would be the idea, I guess.
There's also the small point that if there's a retreat Iraq will have been handed over, at least in part, to Iran - which might not be popular politically.

Of course. But if the US decides to strike Iran, their situation in Iraq will soon become untenable. The discussion was on whether and how they can make it out.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shooting up roads can make it difficult for your forces to drive on them, so it's not quite that simple.

Also, unless you're planning to patrol the entire length of the convoy, which will be many, many miles long and unlikely to be practical, there will always be people wandering into your restricted area and leaving presents behind.

And if you're abandoing a whole load of ammunition and materiel to make a quick getaway, you've just armed your opponents with your own equipment.

There is no good here. However you look at it, any forced retreat is going to be a disaster of epic dimensions.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you leave stuff around, you blow it up instead of handing it over to the enemy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting of the roads and out of inhabited areas might be one idea. Drinving out throgh the desert the same way they got in.

Ammunition or other things left behind is not handed over to the enemy - it is blown up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This assumes you have time to blow it up.

As for the desert route - with what trucks, exactly?

The big airports will be the first missile targets, and as soon as those are gone - and it's wonderfully easy to crater a runaway - the supply lines are cut and the clock is ticking.

Best of luck with a quick getaway after that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's also the issue that the current US regime is very possibly unable to make the decision to withdraw: I have a funny feeling that Bush will not, under any circumstances, issue that order. So all this academic: there may be no planned retreat because it will never be needed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:49:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite possible. But then you have the issue of this bloated army sitting in the middle of Iraq with its supply lines cut. There will be a breaking point.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. They may have to break with whatever plans local commanders have come to  among themselves: there may be no grand co-ordinated withdrawal. That would be consistent with the refusal of this crowd to plan for downsides because downsides are inconceivable.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it is that attitude that provides situations like Stalingrad.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 6th army would have had no problems getting out of Stalingrad if they had been up against a bunch of ragtag civilians with guns and mines.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting out? The whole point was that the they were not to get out, they were to hold Stalingrad.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, staying around there while bombing Iran and turning Iraq into an utter hornet's nest would constitute a Very Bad Idea.

That is, beyond the Very Bad Idea of bombing Iran in the first place.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:48:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty much the point here.

The bottom line is that after a serious attack on Iran, most of the US army ceases to exist as a viable fighting force. The best that can happen is some kind of semi-successful retreat - which would be a military fiasco and a political disaster, castrating forever the fond image that the US has of itself as a paragon of force projection machismo.

The worst is very much worse.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus at some point, if you're going for very much worse, a decision would have to be made if the losses to be had in attempting a rescue are too big a risk. The remainig troops in the army may be seen as the necessary seedcorn for rebuilding the army after the disaster.

after all the Marine corps appears to already see the looming disaster and are maneuvering to find themselves somewhere else

Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From Iraq - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 -- The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials.

The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but it was the 6th Army, not the US army or USMC. And there is a world of difference. The Germans were very good at war. The US is not and never has been. By 'war', I mean having to fight seriously armed and determined opponents, not Third World countries (which the US has fought on several occasions, and notably lost or 'drew' its major engagements against such). The Germans could fight virtually all the major Western powers of their time serially and/or at once, and still come dangerously close to victory. The US has never managed such a thing ... and never will, unless it just decides to wipe the slate clean and nuke the world.

Besides which, you underestimate the dangers posed by determined irregular resistance. Ask the Germans who fought Tito.

Finally, William Lind, a US conservative and military freak, is much less sanguine about the US position in Iraq than you are, and thinks that Iran could roll up US forces in short order. US supply lines are very exposed. But this has already been pointed out here.

Do not fall for Hollywood BS. The US military fights really well on the silver screen, but not in real life. Check out Stan Goff's report about the death of Pat Tillman. Goff is an ex-Ranger himself, and yet his account completely strips US 'elite' units of any combat mystique. These were people who got stressed over a broken-down vehicle and one rocket fired by a couple of teenagers that blew up 500 metres away ... so they shot one of their own three times in the face when he came back to investigate. That's the sort of fire discipline that came from an elite unit. Go crazy and shoot one of your own mates.

With talent like that, massive failure is assured as soon as determined resistance is met.

by wing26 on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 09:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The relevant analogy to US fighting force (including, especially, its relationship to the US populace) is the army of France under Napoleon III.

Middle class largely out of it, working class obviously the backbone, high bourgeoisie occupying officers roles, not a citizen army but in name only.  Just waiting to get their asses kicked by a real citizen army. In this light, Iraq might be seen as a Sebastopol, a relatively long conflict with no real winners which served mostly to piss off France's most important ally, Russia.

We can only hope that when Sedan comes, the aftermath will be equally as bloodless. Though I can't imagine Bush (or his successor) in exile in England. Where oh where would such a man go?

Walk around the US a bit, take a look at bellies which recall images, at least for me, of the excesses of Rome, and ask yourself if the US could in fact field more than just a small force of elite citizen soldiers. No, without technology, there's no there there. All the rot of Rome, with none of the glory.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloodless aftermath ?

You're talking about the army that did the repression of the Paris Commune...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That happened a bit later.

Initially, the republic was restored, but they made the mistake of fighting on. If they had sued for peace, things may have been different, but, being the type of men of a certain class that they were, they didn't. That's the logic of these things.

But the coup that removed the monarchy was itself almost entirely bloodless.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean, the end of the empire ?

I'm afraid we won't get to see Dubya wandering in a Hummer, on the battlefield of the Najrah defeat, in desperation over his lost war and legacy... That's what helped the creation of the republic after the Sedan defeat. And don't forget that the third republic was initially monarchist...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't forget it at all. Just like the Democrats are hardly on the side of the people, either.

It's a nice though to imagine such Bush wanderings, but I imagine him more somewhere in Uruguay, far away from horses though, he's afraid of them. They might bite.

Monarchy, empire, six of one, demi-dozen of the other by that point in French history. In fact, Nap III needed that war in order to ensure ascension of his descendance, which is why many refer to the period as the imperial monarchy.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the US is not up against a citizen army.

Look, guerillas are fine. They win as long as they don't lose. That is, as long as they hang around, the enemy will leave and they will win.

But they can't beat conventional forces on the battlefield. That's just what the conventional forces want to, as the result is utter carnage.

They have to go conventional themselves at that point, like at Dien Bien Phu or the last offensive against South Vietnam.

This will obviously not happen in Iraq at this juncture.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq's isn't.

But Iran's is.

And if it isn't Iran, there will eventually be another. That's the logic of what the US has found itself in, and eventually it will play out, as it always has.

Hopefully not on a battlefield, but here again, it's hard to see how this is avoidable.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Iranians couldn't even beat the Iraqis when the Iraqis had an Army.

If the Iranians are mad enough to fight a conventional war against the Americans, they will be ground to dust. That's it.

If they fight unconventional (read Hizb Allah, and google Paul van Ripen and Millenium Challenge 2002) there will be huge problems for the Americans, but not huge enough to make retreat impossible.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We shall see.

It's one thing to fight your neighbor who has the advantage of knowing the terrain as well as you, and whose supply lines are at the very least not exposed and primarily within controlled, sovereign territory.

It is quite another to fight an isolated and demoralized expeditionary force whose supply lines are very exposed and primarily passing through increasingly hostile territory.

I think if you are suggesting that US troops in Iraq and, importantly, allied civilian personel, will be anything but sitting ducks, you are sadly mistaken. I mean, I saw Rambo in Afghanistan also, but the reality is something different...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
links to the goff and lind bits?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google is your friend...

Stan Goff: The Fog of Fame

The first of three parts on the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death.

In 1979, after a break in my Army service and having recouped my sergeant's stripes as a mechanized cavalry scout in Fort Carson, I volunteered for the Rangers. Off to Ranger School I went, and upon completion I was assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company A (Alpha Company), 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Each of the three rifle platoons (organizations of around 40 light infantrymen) had nicknames, in this case, First to Fight, the Blacksheep, and Third Herd. A Company, known for its iron discipline, was called the Alpha-bots. When I left there in 1981 to become a tactics instructor at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama, I never had a notion that I might somehow be entangled with Alpha Company again ... two-and-a-half decades later.

Brothers Pat and Kevin Tillman were Alpha-bots, assigned to the Blacksheep (2nd Platoon), when Pat was killed by friendly fire on April 22, 2004 near a tiny village called Manah in Paktia Province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. When I was a member of the adjacent platoon in the same building, Pat was a baby.

Stan Goff: How Pat Tillman Died

This is the second in a three-part series on the death of Pat Tillman. Click here to read the first installment: Pat Tillman Everyone's Political Football.

This is where there are conflicting stories, partly because of the "fog of war," but more importantly to evade possible prosecutions... and the Pandora's box of counter-accusation a recrimination that might be opened by prosecutions.

I won't belabor the minutiae.

Stan Goff: The Cover-Up of Pat Tillman's Death

Part 3 (concluding) of The Fog of Fame: the Death of Pat Tillman.

There is the cover-up (of the fratricide). There is the original lie (that Pat was killed in an intense combat engagement). There is the layering of plausible denial in case the stories unravel.

The motives of the spin-meisters were to pin a recruiting poster to Pat's coffin. The motive of the cover-up (at least one of them) was to preserve the mystique of the US Army Rangers -- the elite of the infantry -- as flawless, disciplined, steely-eyed commandos.

The Lind piece is left as an exercise for the reader ;-)

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I;#'m reading through a stack of Lind stuff as we speak.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lind piece is left as an exercise for the reader ;-)
Unsystematic as I am, that left me reading the Lind on War archive for an hour or so. Very interesting. But here's the piece:

Operation Anabasis

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Wehrmacht was an excellent fighting force, probably the best the world has seen since the Mongols.

Still, the Americans defeated them on the western front, due to the American superior numbers and superior firepower.

If the US Army of '44 could beat the Wehrmacht, the US Army of '07 can beat some ragtag Iraqis. I have no doubt whatsoever about that.

Sure, the US Armed forces are still stuck in the French second generation mentality (infantry advance, artillery conquers!), but that won't matter much here as they are not up against, well, the Wehrmacht (or the Bundesmacht, as an op-ed in the IHT which demanded a more aggressive role for the Bundesheer in Afghanistan called it).

The individual courage and skill of American soldiers and Marines should not be underestimated. Reports I've read for example from the second battle of Fallujah shows that. The Americans are great at urban warfare, as long as they are allowed to leave only ruins behind.

Anyway, it will boil down to supply. And no one does supply better than the Americans.

By the way, I'm a great fan of William Lind. And I think he has a very good point. The US force in Iraq could indeed be lost if they are not given free hands, which will mean lots of civilian death and destruction.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Americans did not beat the Wehrmacht on the West Front. The Wehrmacht had ceased to exist as an effective fighting force by 1944. By the time of D-Day, the Germans were in full retreat on the Eastern front, as fast as their crippled logistics could carry them. (OK, this is somewhat overstating things - to be sure, the Germans still had a sting, but hey, it's a two-paragraph post...)

Witness the fact that the American expeditionary force took fewer casualties on their trip to Berlin than the French army did during the German trip to Paris four years earlier. This does not speak to me of a smash-until-something-gives approach. It speaks to me of a pushover.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 04:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree. They gamed war with Iran a lot of times already and never liked what came out of it. See Laura Rozen, excerpting Newsweek here.

Relevant quote:

But America certainly could do it--and has given the idea some serious thought. "The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is formidable," says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. "The question is, what then?" NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, "The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.

So if they attack Iran anyway, that's a sure sign of delusion.

And if the conflict escalates, it can quickly become possible that the US will use tactical nukes, if they don't do it on first strike already.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.

Hmmm there's several meanings in that phrase.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm the Stalingrad paralells grow and grow...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pentagon has been making continegency plans for a retreat for at least a few months.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Source?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was sure I had read it somewhere, but I googled and didn't fint what I was looking for. I did found some articles urging the Pentagon to do this kind of planning. Then I found this.

A spat between Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman over Mrs. Clinton's inquiries about Pentagon plans for the future withdrawal of troops in Iraq -- and whether talk of such plans was emboldening the enemy -- drew a response from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In a letter to Mrs. Clinton sent yesterday, Mr. Gates offered his assurance that contingency planning "is indeed taking place with my active involvement as well as that of senior military and civilian officials and our commanders in the field." Mr. Gates added that he considers such planning "to be a priority for this Department."


http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/26/pentagon-responds-to-clinton/

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moving all equipment seems problematic, especially things which are not strictly military equipment.

I doubt the entire US presence in Iraq could retreat to Saudi Arabia or whatever with the current fuel supplies, even if this is speculation.

Supply lines must be reopened and kept open to maintain operations. This should not be too much of a hassle if enough force is allowed to be applied.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mother Jones has a feature up about leaving Iraq:

U.S. Out How?

It includes a section on logistics. But it assumes more or less peaceful circumstances.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:32:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A berlin airlift style support would be impractical. Largely because the airfields aren't where the troops would be.

Right now they only survive using huge lorry convoys across the desert. Such things oculd not survive a widespread insurrection involving most of the population.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:05:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, the US would have to withdraw sooner rather than later. The question is if the army can do this intact.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:44:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin airlift style support would have  consequences, firstly it would mean abandoning the forces in Afghanistan, secondly it would mean tying the US forces more closely to the airports and make them easier to isolate from each other.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
The US troops can be withdrawn into heavily defended bases quickly enough.

The heavily armed bases can be pounded by medium range missiles easily enough.

Militarily, this can only be a disaster.

You have a poorly equipped and significantly demoralised army with very fragile supply lines in the middle of hostile territory, surrounded by guerillas, next to a hostile state with long-range force projection opportunities, which also has the potential to control one of the most significant resource supply choke points on the planet.

I'm guessing, on some wild speculation, that a resounding victory seems unlikely.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:57:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes there will be firefights, but irrespective of whether we say it's 140k or 200k or even 350k armed personnel in iraq, they are outnumbered. Massively.

Which won't matter in the least.

Even if their supply lines are cut (which they most likely would be), the Americans can blast themselves out of Iraq and into Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. The US Navy and Air Force can make sure there is not a single living thing within 20 km of the retreating columns. With tactical nukes if need be. Just button down the tanks and turn the overpressure systems on.

And then we have air supply. Sure, it doesn't have the best of reputations, but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

Even if all these things wouldn't be enough, a relief force (Der Manstein kommt!) can quickly be assembled in Kuwait, sent in with working supply lines and connect with the main force, holding a corridor open.

Sure, they would have to leave massive amounts of stuff behind, but hostages? Never.

Hey, this does sound pretty exciting. At least it'll be great TV...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They won't be in tanks. They'll be in soft-sided trucks and unarmoured buses.

You're dreaming the same dreams of overwhelming force that led the arrogant fools in the White House into this situation. You're playing the wrong video game.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Overwhelming force works if you don't care about the civilans.

Just ask Genghiz Khan.

And well, too bad if the non-tankers will have to have some fallout land on them, but war is dangerous. They knew that when they joined up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. Leaving wouldn't be much more difficult that the arrival.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, because shipping out thousands of accountants is just like rolling in a couple of thousand grunts. Exactly the same process.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an actual military operation, as opposed to the "stand around and dodge the bullets" operation currently underway.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very difficult military operation, much more difficult than the drive into Iraq. Running escort to lots of vulnerable convoys is much harder than a nice clean strike action.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial invasion also had to escort lots of vulnerable supply convoys.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it had to escort enough to keep itself going, no more.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing now. I don't advocate dismantling all the bases, putting them on trucks and driving them out.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial escort was driving through a population that wasn't entirely hostile, and fighting a toy army - to the extent that it was fighting at all, which wasn't much. With complete air cover.

Iran has an air force. It might not have an air force for long, but I doubt it's the pushover it might be supposed to be.

Iran also has missiles, is more than happy to use them.

Zip. Bang. No more convoy. Insurgents have fun picking over the pieces. Game over.

We're talking about a quarter of a million people or so, who not only have to be moved, but also require food and water.

You don't need to be a military genius to understand that the best possible outcome would be one of the most humiliating retreats in the long list of humiliating US retreats in recent history.

The middling outcome. would be Stalingrad, only with sunblock. (If they can find any.)

The worst is a friendly nuclear exchange between irritated superpowers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

The Iranian Air Force will be destroyed within hours.

Convoys might well be hit by Iranian rockets, but that's war for you.

As long as no care is taken to spare Iraqi civilians (fire at anything that moves reasonably close to a convoy), the operation is very doable. Especially if there is some reasonable preparation, but consdiering the Bushies, we shouldn't count reasonableness.

Anyway, this is what the US armed forces are good at. No counter-insurgency, no fancy blitzkrieg maneuovering, just excellent logistics work while driving straight ahead blowing everything up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

Mogadishu, anyone?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mogadishu doesn't really have anything to do with this situation. Even so, the casualty rates were something like 100 to 1 back there.

The kind of firepower available in this operation is immense in comparison. The question is not if there is enough firepower but if the American soldiers are allowed to use it, as doing that will entail big civilian casualties. But what will a few more tens or hundreds of thousands of dead civilians mean as this war has already killed 1-1.5 million?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If an operation like that was to be run, why shouldn't the rest of the world demand sanctions against the US? If the populace sets up these sanctions out of reach of the government, the US can hardly come round the rest of the world and demand that we all buy American Goods.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

No counter-insurgency,

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

That's because you can't fight insurgents in a conventional way. It's much more like police work. And when you actually do fight them, you just kill lots of civvies and create more insurgents. Now, that won't matter if you're leaving.

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

No, they will be killing everyone in their way. Far easier than finding out who the bad guys are.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree with you in this thread. The US will go genocidal on the Iraqis if they have to in order to evacuate. If they don't, they're toast.

It's not like the WSJ hasn't editorialised on the need to get genocidal in order to beat the insurgency.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I wouldn't say genocidal. That would imply intent.

I'm thinking more like in "collateral damage and we just don't care".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though of course, if they want to beat the insurgency, instead of just getting out, genocide is not a bad policy. It might be the only policy that works.

Bribe'em, nuke'em or leave'em the Hell alone.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put them on planes and fly them out. Moving people is quick and easy, moving stuff isn't.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do know that you're way into the Donald Rumsfeld mind-set, don't you? None of the military types that I've read on this matter are anywhere near as optimistic as you.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because they are thinking in a political (or you might say, reality-based) mind-set.

I'm here in the Genghiz Khan no restraint mindset.

The rest of the world would protest immensely against this kind of WW2/Vietnam blow everything up style, but since has worldwide protests fazed the Americans?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where are the planes going to land if there are big craters in the runway of Baghdad airport?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Repairing runways is SOP.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is getting the crap blown out of you while you're waiting for a runway repair.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's war for you.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you heard or read any news reports on the topic of Iraq lately?

We have no troops (no draft), no supplies, no game plan, no idea who is on first, and we're basically getting our asses kicked.  

Sadly, directors of Hollywood movies come up with better strategery than our current Administration.

Wait. I am onto something here.   Put Clint Eastwood in the role of Sec. of Defense, and instead of a draft, hold a casting call for extras.  Get some producers to put up the money for the war.  Then and only then does America win in Iraq or Iran or anywhere, really at this point.  


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if the straights have been cut, how do you form up the relief force?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Use reserve forces in Kuwait. Or tell the Turks to let you through. Or land in Saud Arabia or in Oman and motor through (that's bound to be popular...).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apart from the popularness of the operation, you're going to need to ship in about twice as many trucks as are already in theatre, just to deal with the extended lengthy of the supply lines, on top of that you're going to need extra to cope with increased  losses. (this will be equally true going through Turkey

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
popularness????

lets try poularity instead.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you operate out of Kuwait the supply lines won't be lengthened. And the Kuwaiti Army has 218 M1 tanks which might very well be leaseable...

I guess there are large supply depots in Kuwait anyway, and it's not like fuel is going to be a problem...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well half of the supply is supposedly coming through Um-Quasar, so the lengthening of supply lines is real. It depends wether you can opperate out of Kuwait. If the Iranians have managed to shut the straits, that may be something that is of little help.

The big problem would be the military supplies. on a war footing just for the real troops you're going to need in the region of 20,000 tons of supplies per day then you have to supply the contractors on top of that. (so probably in the region of twice as much)

Getting the right sorts of fuel to the right places will be a problem. Fuels one of the biggest supply headaches. Without that the US militarys combat capability drops away very sharply.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forces operating out of Kuwait should be well supplied and could hold a corridor open northwards to supply the main forces in Iraq.

That is after all what they do today (or well, from Umm Qassr, byt the difference should not be big). This new situation with mugh greater insurgent activity could be countered with indiscrimante firepower.

Of course, there will be convoy losses, but that is not of great importance.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
depends how big those losses are

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The casualties are not likely to be relevant from a military perspective, but from a political perspective a few thousand casualties over a few weeks might be problematic.

I would worry a lot more over naval casualties. Losing an aircraft carrier is not at all unimaginable.

Still, that would not be a critical blow either. From a military perspective.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

The entire US military airlift capacity, if you withdraw it from everywhere else (Afghanistan, Korea)  has about enough capacity to supply about third of the US forces in Iraq if it is being used in combat and movement operations. This capacity is only reached by activiating the emergency measures that allow the US to take over a range of comercial transport aircraft.

The US airforces transport abilities are at nowhere near the level they were at after the second world war which allowed the Berlin airlift to happen.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it will help a lot. Especially as the aircraft can lift stuff out on the return journey, leaving less soft units for the ground retreat.

And remember, you don't have to move all the forces out at the same time.

Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

I think "At leisure" is going to be a different order of problem all together.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the real question is: at whose leisure?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sometimes it looks like a choice between the seige  of ostende, and the retreat from Kabul.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The irony of is that nuclear weapons, specifically bunker-busters, would probably not be capable of destroying hardened underground (or even deep-underground) facilities. This animation by the Union of Concerned Scientists might be taken as the "for dummies" explanation.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sometimes accidents happen

If a Russian city was accidentally hit by nukes from a US aircraft heading to Iran from a UK base, what country would Russia hit back? Both - first UK then US (just because all military minds all over the world don't believe in accidents). And if a Russian strike just as well accidentally hit, say, the 16th arrondissement of one European city instead of Kensington you'd find a 3-4-etc way nukes' use

by lana on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am resigned to this happening, and I think the use of tactical nukes is highly likely. And do you know what will happen?

Nothing. There might be some condemnation and hard-wringing and perhaps even a few harsh-sounding words ... but nothing else. No Chinese sell-off of USD or bonds (why bother? how would that profit China's elites?), nothing from Putin, nothing from anyone. No one will do a damn thing.

Of course, if the US were dumb enough to use conventional forces or attempt any actual fighting, it would get whupped in short order, because you need a functional military to do fighting, as opposed to just blowing up people from a safe distance.

That's why it will be tactical nukes.

And no one will do a damn thing about it.

If you all thought the invasion of Iraq and subsequent whoring by organizations such as the BBC was completely unbelievable, and I certainly did, wait until you see this.

by wing26 on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:15:28 AM EST
I tend to think you're right, in the short term. The medium term effect is lowering the bar for nuclear use by other people and making it more likely that Islamists will consider using nuclear weapons against "Western" civilian targets morally justifiable.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah. As I said in "empire 2", there is a huge need to get tactical nukes on the table and made usable, since there aint much left. They need to push the window out to include the big bangers.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure it'll be tactical nukes. It looks more like the Bush Admin is setting up to usebig, bad conventional weapons, as evidenced in their latest DoD appropriations request.

Gotta remember that Bush is a classic narcissist, at the end of his term, big Napoleonic complex, worried about his "legacy" one hundred years from now. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing using nukes, unprovoked, couldn't be spun, even in this moron's self-absorbed mind, as being the stuff of a positive historical review for posterity.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure it'll be tactical nukes.

I share your view (see my comment below)

Also, they must know that from this study that Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons would not be very effective and would in any case produce huge radioactive fallouts (which, besides killing thousands of civilians, could affect American troops in the area).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:02:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I sadly agree. No one will do a thing.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from the dKos thread as to why they would go to war with Iran:

:: ::

Amongst the theories:

  • oil players thriving on high prices. An attack on Iran guarantees skyrocketing prices, however it turns out. Even the current drumbeat of threats and tensions nicely supports prices;

  • they care more than they should as Americans for the situation of Israel. I understand Israelis feeling threatened by Iran (I disagree that it's a real threat, but I understand not wanting to take the chance when you're on the first row), but how much this concern should drive US policy is worth asking;

  • they are bullies and anybody that stickes out needs to be brought down to its proper position. Iran, the Iran of the 1979 embassy hostages humiliation, is the ultimate assault to the goal of this administration not to tolerate any opposition:

  • more than anything, this administration is run by people who genuinely think that force (and favorable balance of power) can solve everything - that's how they function, and they cannot imagine that anybody else would function differently. So they see Iran as a potential threat, and are dealing with it the only way they know.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:20:40 AM EST
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/10/25/94819/599

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
God knows, the Iranian government has "poured oil" on that fire (sorry), but it seems radiantly clear that we are in Iraq, and we aint leaving, and the whole plan stands or falls on Iran now.

Is oil theft at the point of a gun an illustration of a viable strategy to allocate natural resources? The Neocons have gambled it all on the answer being yes. All strategy will be subordinate to and applicable to the validation of this strategy, therefore.

What does this suggest for the future, vis. the inevitable need to "allocate" (steal) the rest of the galaxy of soon-to-be-scarce stuff?

Granted, history suggests that in the end, only an intensely totalitarian state can manage an empire,first, (read Hannah Arendt, Chalmers Johnson)and that even that "management" will have an endpoint that is not too hard to discern, since most of the same problems tend to recur.

Still, ---they choose to delete this equation from their math.
A truly postmodern sort of world there.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:13:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...what in recent US foreign policy could be considered beneficial to Israel (or indeed anyone in the Middle East)? And I don't mean that as a rhetorical question. Sure, on the surface, I could see why taking out your enemies would be considered beneficial, but the devil you know... Is Israel safer with Iraq in its current state than with Iraq and a neutered Saddam? And as far as Iran goes, are we to assume that the Ayatollahs are suicidal maniacs? Seems to me they've been in charge of the country a bit too long to be suicidal, at least...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beneficial to the vision of Israel that is held by their friends.

The view that the effect of those policies is to preclude the development of a stable Israel that has a long-term future is not one available to them ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the US attacks Iran, there will be a lot of rockets fired unto northern Israel. Israel has shown complete tactical ineptitude in its last exchange with Hezbollah. Wonder if that has changed.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:58:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see why the oil companies would prefer high oil prices. If the price of crude rises then the retail price rises, but that doesn't mean that their profit increases. Their profit is tied to their acceptable return on investment.  
by asdf on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 04:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That depends on what the "oil companies"/"Big Oil" refer to. Are they:

a) pumping up crude and selling it
b) buying crude and refining it
c) buying refined fuels and selling it wholesale
d) buying wholesale and selling at the pumps
e) something else

Or rather what combinations of the above are they? This is in no way a rethorical question, I do not know the structure of the oil market.

Companies that does A profits from higher prices (as long as it is not their pumps offline), B-D can profit if they can pass on price hikes and then some.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've just realised that Bush and co believe what they're saying about Iran.

It feeds directly into the narrative in their heads that only nation states are important actors and that therefore Iran must be responsible for resistance in Iraq, violence in Israel and so on. Since only state actors matter in politics there must be state actors responsible for anything that matters.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:22:31 AM EST
Look at their reaction to 9/11: identify the states responsible and punish them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fifteen of the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.

We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I should have typed "identify".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IN the same way that they have "identified" Iran as being responsible for their failures in Iraq and the violence against Israel in Gaza and thereabouts.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:04:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the same way a homocidal maniac sits on a park bench and "identifies" the people he plans to follow home and hack to bits.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:39:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the one.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:40:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coleman, they believe nothing that they are saying.
Words are tools.

Thay want Iran.

Look at the map.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:26:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe the genius-supervillain narrative of these people.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:21:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone is suggesting they are genius at this point.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:24:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of people are: anyone who thinks that this is all going to some big plan by "Monied Interests", "Big Oil" or whatever.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No one's suggesting that plan == really good and intelligent plan.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:20:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe ANY genius-supervillain narrative.

I do believe a lot of people (very bright people) make all kinds of plans which, as they say - do not survive the first contact with the enemy/ reality.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:36:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But actions do tend to have a motive or purpose, and if anyone can tell me a better one for Iraq ( tobe followed by Iran) than energy security (and a sub-text of vast private profit is a given) then I'd like to know.

I have always subscribed to cock-up theories as opposed to conspiracy theories.

Iraq is simply the Cock Up to End all Cock Ups.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I list of reasons - pushed by different lobbies - to go into Iraq

  • Implement mad PNAC plans to take over the world.
  • Money to be spent with the military crowd.
  • Regain US dignity after 9/11
  • Make some of the Israel lobby happy
  • Put in place a sympathetic government in control of the oil and strategic position
  • "He tried to kill my Daddy"
  • Put the frighteners on the rest of the world
  • Demonstrate the validity of the high-tech, small force theories of Rumsfeld and co
  • Gain the political advantages of being a War President for Bush and the Republicans

There are lots of reasons for attacking Iraq.

The problem is that the fools completely underestimated the difficulties because they create their own realities.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:49:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
* Get bases in Iraq so they could get out of Saudi Arabia.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And don't forget Gog.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:24:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah, they're lyin' and they know they're lyin'.
by Truong Son Traveler (meoden at truemail dot co dot th) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm scared to death, given how I fail to see how an attack on Iran would not end up in a nuclear exchange, if Iran tries to disrupt oil flows, which is highly likely

This is why there should be complete nuclear disarmament, incl. the U.S., Europe, Russia...  Mutually assured destruction is only a deterrent when people don't have Rapture death wishes or strive for jihadist martyrdom.  (Oh, I know not all Christians and Muslims are nuts.  But it's the nuts who are running the countries ...)

So, what if anything can we do to stop this?  I feel like the guy in Groundhog Day who keeps waking up to the same chain of events, unable to do anything abut it.  Are we all really so helpless?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:15:51 PM EST
So, what if anything can we do to stop this?  I feel like the guy in Groundhog Day who keeps waking up to the same chain of events, unable to do anything abut it.  Are we all really so helpless?

You say you don't get Science Fiction. Read A Canticle for Leibowitz.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they bomb Iran nuclear facilities, they will use this:

U.S. Tests 15-Ton Bunker Buster

Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON -- In a tunnel under the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the U.S. military this month conducted the first test detonation of a massive bomb designed to crack hardened bunkers.

At the helm of the $30 million project to develop what the Defense Department calls the Massive Ordnance Penetrator is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Pentagon branch devoted to countering threats from weapons of mass destruction.

The 30,000-pound bomb could be deployed against the type of underground facilities in which Iran is engaged in uranium-enrichment work...

Test drops from a B-52 long-range bomber are planned to start late in 2007.  The Air Force is also proceeding with work to shoehorn the enormous bomb into the B-2 stealth bomber.

See also : Independent Online Edition > Americas

The Pentagon wants to upgrade its fleet of stealth bombers so that they can deliver 30-tonne, satellite-guided bombs. The planes would be based on the British Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia where hangars are being specially upgraded. These "bunker-buster" bombs are six times bigger than anything used by the air force and designed to destroy weapons of mass destruction facilities underground. Diego Garcia is also much closer to Iran than Missouri, where the bombers are based.

I think they write 30-tonne when it is 30,000 lbs (almost 15 ton). The biggest existing bunker-buster, the GBU-28 weighs 5,000 lbs, so six times this is 30,000 lbs .

However if the Iranians manage to sink an American aircraft carrier in retalitation, then everything is possible, including nukes.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:19:32 PM EST
The other follow-on effects will likely be an Iranian attack in Iraq, with Iran supported by their many allies in the Iraqi government and among the militias. 160K US soldiers, essentially hostage to the whims of a man with a messianic complex.

Not that there's any real effective political power base in the US concerned with getting those 160K men and women out of there before the shit hits the fans.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in the latest supplemental 'defense' budget there is some $80 million designated to "upgrade" the B-1s to handle these super-bunker-busters (be they 30 ton or 15 ton, I don't know, but 30 tons would be a helluva payload for anything like a B-1).

And, as stated in several comments above, if the U.S. Navy takes severe damage, tactical nukes will be used to cover their retreat. Same goes for a drastic change in the security situation for the U.S. troops in Iraq. Then it won't be "first use", however much it will still be outrageous and, long term, self-defeating.

However, I don't think that we're quite there yet. It's possible that the Condi faction is running delaying tactics in a sense. Make it seem like they're applying pressure, which will take some amount of time to be deemed inadequate.

And here's an even greater leap into the hypothetical, based on a question: What does China use to pay Iran for oil? If it's U.S. dollars, which they have in great abundance, then blocking financial deals back into the Western financial world might create quite an obstacle to use of those dollars. I don't know about you, but, if I'm a farmer in South Africa, selling grain to Iran, I'm not particularly interested in dollars as payment nowadays. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are not likely to launder dollars for Iran, either. Maybe these new sanctions are actually based on RealPolitik calculations, rather than the adolescent dreams of our supreme Narcissist-in-chief.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, they plan to "upgrade" B2 stealth bombers to carry these bunker-busters (see redstar's comment). In that case, that could mean they have shifted their plans from a massive bombing campaign to a limited strike made by stealth bombers.

But it is also possible that they haven't got the right weapons yet...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once again, I agree with you. Condi's ploys could also be seen as delaying tactics in the sense of keeping the action going on that front, while preparations are made for this new bombing strategy.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: Sarko, I think we have to remember what makes the man really tick. I know certain hereabout have expressed the prospect that Sarkozy's overtures to Bush may be a calculated ploy to not corner a desperate, mentally unstable and isolated man and thereby back him off the cliff of confrontation with Iran.

Personally, I think we have to remember Sarkozy's promotion of French commercial interests.

Think along the lines of the Putin model. Putin, of course, loves all the turmoil this shit kicks up, because of what it does to the price of oil and gas. And when oil and gas prices are high, Russia wins, and so does Putin.

As for Sarko? The first time there was a severe supply shock, in the 1970's, France took the lead in pioneering alternative energy, in the form of nuclear, and now has a world-beater in nuclear engineering in Areva, which all of us Frenchmen happen to own (its a public company). So, France could also been seen to potentially stand to gain from such unrest. And it's not like Sarko hasn't already shown a certain proclivity in this regard. And it's a fact that Russia already has the Iranian nuke deals sewn up, so it's not like France has anything to gain by siding with the Iranians.

Those that see the cynicism in what I'm saying? I agree. It's contemptible. But that's the way the economic system works. And if you don't like it, change the system, which is more effective than getting indignant about the symptoms of the system...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:35:58 PM EST
Whatever I else I happen to think of Sarko, I don't think he's batshit insane. One of these days it has to work in our favour ;-)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Giselle is in grade CM1-- fourth grade in US schools. Today at her school on Ile. St. Louis they had a pair of visitors. One was from the Gendarmerie and the other was an Avocat- a lawyer. These gentlemen spoke to the assembled classes of the 8 and 9 year old children. They told the children that there would soon be a new law in France, and a new prison. The law was that any child over the age of ten who did really bad things could be sent to the "child's prison".
Giselle's words:

"They said that if the thing you did was not extremely bad, like putting fire on your school or a car or something like that, that you would have to stay for three months. But if you did something extremely bad- like really putting fire on your school, or attacking your teacher, you would have to stay for a year, without your parents."

"Richard, I said--Richard, you think you're immune- go look at your eyes-- they're full of moon--


Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:41:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, rg.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:50:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I told you, some are intent on destroying the French education system.

My mother was instructed to accept that a cop would come during her lesson, essentially giving up the maths lesson she was to make, to let the cop speak for two hours. She couldn't refuse, so just didn't show up for that lesson...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:54:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to want to be a fly in the ointment on this, but there is in fact, in many parts of France, a security issue in schools. It's not propaganda that there is violence against teachers, and that delinquency in schools of a small minority of students gets in the way of learning for all their classmates.

Curiously enough, the places of highest insecurity happen to be places where the working class live, making it harder to obtain that education which is the ticket to equality in this economic system (and likely, alternatives to it as well).

As a parent who will be having children in the same system next year, and as a friend of about half dozen teachers in the system, I'm actually not displeased by this. It's not my first choice in terms of meeting the challenge, but I recognize that it does in fact respond to an actual challenge, and would suggest that unless we start continue to be serious about this, both rhetorically and substantively, we will continue to lose the battle of ideas re: security.

Personally, I think M.-G. Buffet's proposals on this were the most serious and probably the best for children, but it is clear that there was no public will for this approach (look at her score) because it costs money. So, if you want security, and you want it on the cheap (incidentally, I think that's Sarko's unwritten motto) you get what we are getting now.

Not optimal, but imho better than doing nothing at all. Instead of decrying it, we need to present the alternative.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a school on Ile Saint Louis. I don't think any of these kids will ever end up in jail, or insult a teacher, except if in the future France toughens up of white collar crime...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I understand this, but if you do it in one place, you do it everywhere, that's only fair. The better thing would be to have enough funding of school establishments to put enough assistants/surveillants in place to ensure security, and modularise the staffing levels based on need, but that costs money.

So, if you are going to go the cheap route and instead scare the spit out of impressionable young children, there's no reason the impressionable young children of the bourgeoisie should be exempted.

Plus, I'm sure the establishment is not far from Nos ancêtres les gauloises, a place known for much public disorder due to the all-you-can-drink wine. Is that place even still there? Overpriced crappy food, but the all you can drink wine made it all worth it.

(And we all know the ill effects such disorder can have on impressionable minds....)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don't buy Bush as a messianic madman any more than I buy Ahmadinejad as one.

For Cheney Inc and the Bush subsidiary it's never been anything more than rolling the dice in the oil crap game. For President A, standing up to the Great Satan is his chance of staying in power, because his economic competence isn't going to keep him there.

Cheney and Bush were given the green light for Big Oil to take over Iraq, followed smoothly by Iran. It would have been a goldmine for the people who really run the US aka Big Money.

But it didn't happen, of course.

What we are seeing here is the last roll of the dice IMHO. Big Oil wants to come out of the Presidency with the Iraqi Oil law in place, at least, and its just possible, they think, that Iran might be able to help them swing it.

I reckon all this current ballyhoo is just more noise: I don't believe that Big Money would let Bush pull the trigger because of the market consequences.

Despite all the pessimism and paranoia "They", whether Bush, Cheney or whoever comes after just do not have what it takes to lock down a US in financial/social meltdown, never mind anywhere else.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:14:12 PM EST
In fact, it just struck me that a major "financial"/ "money laundering" etc etc offensive is the best route the US now has.

ie use the initiative to get a lock on the Iranian elite's overseas assets and then make them an offer they can't refuse.

It's common knowledge in Iran that it's companies controlled by the Revolutionary Guard that have the monopoly on shipping in booze from Turkey, for instance....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree. I believe Bush has gone way south of delusional, and I suspect Cheney is arrogant to the point of pathology. (I also have a sneaking suspicion that we would see Ahmadinejad as a conventional, if inflexible moderately talented politician if we understood his context better).

The Big Money people were Bush I's backers, and we've seen what short shrift Baker & Co. get in Washington these days. Maybe the oil industry is still on board, but I would be surprised if a large part of the moneyed establishment isn't feeling just as helpless as we are right now.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:23:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thyssen, one of the biggest German industrialists and an avid political and financial supporter of Hitler, was eventually arrested and sent to a concentration camp.

Big Oil may have seen Junior as their creature, and Cheney as their creature's handler. But if so, they haven't been paying attention to their history.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:39:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
haven't been paying attention to their history.

Yep. That's kinda tough for people who've conditioned themselves not to consider anything longer than a 3-month timeframe.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:08:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you, but they might be tempted to do a remake of Operation Opera using B2 stealth bombers...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Big Oil wants to come out of the Presidency with the Iraqi Oil law in place

Big Oil does not care about the Iraqi Oil law. They're not investing in Iraq, and it's not because of the absence of that law, and any law put in place by anybody while the Americans are there will not change the situation on the ground (ie civil war), and any law can be repealed once the Americans finally leave.

Big Oil knows the Oil law is pointless.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not pointless. It offers public cover.

Gotta trot out a narrative that gives the American public a lie thy can use to cover their soul with, at least in the short term. Sarko will do the same.

Please read my post above --today's school lesson for Giselle.
What color will those kids in the over-ten prison be?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction.

Cheney & Bush want to have it in place before they leave office. Big Oil are indeed more pragmatic about its practical use.

But I do not see the US "finally leaving", any more than they "finally left" Cuba, unless they perceive security of access to Iraqi oil.

The Oil Law is about more than securing favourable access it is about securing favourable price.

And it may well be taking on a totemic significance because I do not believe that there was any other motive - for Cheney and Bush at least - for the invasion of Iraq.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:09:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. Bush and the republicans lite who will follow have no intention of leaving Iraq until that oil is mostly out of the ground. Leaving after an oil law is put in place would allow iraqis to ditch it as soon as we are gone. But having a boogeyman next door in Iran, that is said to be meddling in Iraq, is the best cover to attempt selling the idea of a permanent military presence in Iraq to the american public. This is IMO the simplest explanation for their apparent ignoring of the latest alliance of countries around the caspian sea (including Russia), as well as the outrageous consequences that a conflict with Iran would entail. Remember, they are desperate to justify continued military occupation with ~70% of americans against it.
by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again - as long as the US forces are there, no investment will take place in the Iraq oil sector (and no, the Norwegian DNO in Kurdistan does not count, it's a ridiculously small operation by any standard).

So it's pointless. Completely. Irredeemably.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You may well be right that it is irredeemably pointless and I agree there won't be any investing before Iraq is "pacified".

But many people said it was pointless before invasion began and they still did it. The signs point to long-term and intensive military presence. The generals seem to think so. They must think they will eventually pacify the place or at least part of it, as crazy as it may seem to us. Moreover, they have to pacify Iraq whether or not they attack Iran. I must say I have always thought they would end up balkanizing Iraq. They were well aware of the great probability of Iraq splitting up if they went in as Cheney said in 1994. The fall back position could be to make a deal with the kurds for a homeland while grabbing as much of the Kirkuk area for its oil. They'd end up controlling more or less half (?) of known reserves in Iraq. I hate to think of what the future has in store for Iraqis.

Attacking Iran seems extremely risky and I don't think they'd take the gamble. Unless they are nuts of course, but I have to acknowledge a more machiavelian view of the state than their allowing the crazies to run the asylum.

by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:33:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the vast majority of Iraqi oil is in the shiite south, but I might be wrong.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also a lot of oil around Kirkuk.

It is interesting that most of Saudi Arabia's oil is also under shiite territory, in Saudi Arabia's shiite North.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there is oil at Kirkuk. The field was actually found as early as 1927 IIRC, and the wells were immediatly plugged by the international oil companies to keep the price of oil up. Oh the irony.

But I think there is far more oil in the south. Maybe proprotions like 4 to 1, or something like that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The infrastructure in the North is a deal better, though - or less shot up, at least. As far as I've heard from our newsies, the oil is split roughly fifty-fifty between the North and South of Iraq. It's the centre that's out of luck.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is what I remembered as well but after reading Starvid's comment I looked it up and it appears the reserve distribution is 20% in the North and 70% in the South. I'll have to think about that because it may change my opinion on the need they have to deal with Iran in some fashion.
by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
71% of available reserves are in a relatively small area in the south west of Iraq (thought it was the south east, but I was wrong). See David Sinclair's diary An Answer for Iraq.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me interrupt the fear to digress into amurka's greatest weakness.  For those of you who were at the Paris meetup, this comment is old news.

This is not some internet secret, gained by going to T - erroristiness sites.  For decades drunken amurkans have been shooting out transformers, where it only takes a small while before the oil leaks out, the transformer shorts, and big sparks make quite a show.  A side effect is that whatever the transformer was transforming stops flowing.  When it happens at substation, the cascade effect takes out most of the buses and capacitors.

A Volkswagon vanagon with a sunroof and vietnam era mortars would do even more.  Coordinate on the most important substations across the land, say between six and sixty, and amurka has no electricity for months.  You don't just go to Home Depot to pick up a utility transformer.

Of course, that would also mean mar-tial law and susdension of the constidution, so they win again.  Roar.  (Typos intentional)

Wish i hadn't said this.  But if hundreds of energy activists have been talking about this for decades, could we be the only ones knowing this?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:51:38 PM EST
You think that counts as interrupting the fear?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Righto, Coleman.  In my defense, i'm living right now in fear, because i have to fly to amurka sunday, and i really, truly, want to be able to return to the relative sanity of Europe, and i'm just scared.  But i also want to be able to see what's really happening there, instead of emails.  i'll comment from the heart of the beast if i can.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
btw, the whole point of exposing the weakness was to underscore the need for an entire rethink about the grid.  What we wanted was a decentralized, renewable-based, load-following smart grid, and the only language to sell it was to talk about national security.  i've had this discussion in the white house itself, with the then-chief energy advisor.  They did not see the threat.

Cut:  late 90's.  the guys next to me in the posh San Fran bar seemed like government types.  We talked, they offered me a fine cigar.  (Smoking was against the law in SF then, but not in this connected bar.)  Turned out they were Clinton staffers.  I detailed the above scenario, their reaction was "the government would never allow that to hapen."

Three days later, i'm driving a truck w/ girlfriend's belongings down from Portland to SF.  When it's time to refuel, the first couple stations said they couldn't pump, so i finally turned on the radio, to find out the power was out from border to border, and wide into the west.  Winds got some lines swinging in NorCal, causing a short which blew safety buses and fried a transformer, setting up the cascade.

The fragility of the grid is worse now.  Only rebuilding it from the perspective of renewables can change it, until then the vulnerability remains.  But there's no money available, because it's all going into bunker-busters and their delivery systems.

Does anyone think the general strike on 6 November has a chance of stopping this steamroller.  i sure hope so.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:31:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flynt Leverett, a high level aide to Condoleeza Rice on the National Security Council, and his Hillary Mann, who was involved in secret negotiations with Iran when she was part of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, divulge some infuriating information about how the U.S. rejected unprecedented Iranian and Saudi-led Arab overtures after 9/11 to resolve relations and in particular to resolve the Palestinian issue.

I am skeptical that the U.S. would use nuclear weapons on Iran, but that would not be necessary to cause all hell to break loose.  In an article in October's Esquire magazine Leverett and Mann lay out a lot of high level behind the scenes information in an effort to sound the alert on the following scenario they see as more and more likely:

This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia's and China's geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. "If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of '08," says Leverett, "what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone."

This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran's resistance to the Great Satan. "As disastrous as Iraq has been," says Mann, "an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world."

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:27:54 PM EST
"meddling in Iraq"? Right.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the same article:

Months before September 11, Mann had been negotiating with the Iranian diplomat at the UN. After the attacks, the meetings continued, sometimes alone and sometimes with their Russian counterpart sitting in. Soon they traded the conference room for the Delegates' Lounge, an airy two-story bar with ashtrays for all the foreigners who were used to smoking indoors. One day, up on the second floor where the windows overlooked the East River, the diplomat told her that Iran was ready to cooperate unconditionally, a phrase that had seismic diplomatic implications. Unconditional talks are what the U.S. had been demanding as a precondition to any official diplomatic contact between the U.S. and Iran. And it would be the first chance since the Islamic revolution for any kind of rapprochement. "It was revolutionary," Mann says. "It could have changed the world."

<...>

By that time, Leverett and Mann had met and fallen in love. They got married in February 2003, went to Florida on their honeymoon, and got back just in time for the Shock and Awe bombing campaign. Leverett quit his NSC job in disgust. Mann rotated back to the State Department.

Then came the moment that would lead to an extraordinary battle with the Bush administration. It was an average morning in April, about four weeks into the war. Mann picked up her daily folder and sat down at her desk, glancing at a fax cover page. The fax was from the Swiss ambassador to Iran, which wasn't unusual -- since the U.S. had no formal relationship with Iran, the Swiss ambassador represented American interests there and often faxed over updates on what he was doing. This time he'd met with Sa-deq Kharrazi, a well-connected Iranian who was the nephew of the foreign minister and son-in-law to the supreme leader. Amazingly, Kharrazi had presented the ambassador with a detailed proposal for peace in the Middle East, approved at the highest levels in Tehran.

A two-page summary was attached. Scanning it, Mann was startled by one dramatic concession after another -- "decisive action" against all terrorists in Iran, an end of support for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, a promise to cease its nuclear program, and also an agreement to recognize Israel.

This was huge. Mann sat down and drafted a quick memo to her boss, Richard Haass. It was important to send a swift and positive response.

Then she heard that the White House had already made up its mind -- it was going to ignore the offer. Its only response was to lodge a formal complaint with the Swiss government about their ambassador's meddling.

A few days after that, a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia killed thirty-four people, including eight Americans, and an intelligence report said the bombers had been in phone contact with Al Qaeda members in Iran. Although it was unknown whether Tehran had anything to do with the bombing or if the terrorists were hiding out in the lawless areas near the border, Rumsfeld set the tone for the administration's response at his next press conference. "There's no question but that there have been and are today senior Al Qaeda leaders in Iran, and they are busy."

Colin Powell saw Mann's memo. A couple weeks later he approached her at a State Department reception and said, "It was a very good memo. I couldn't sell it at the White House."

In response to questions from Esquire, Colin Powell called Leverett "very able" and confirms much of what he says. Leverett's account of the clash between Bush and Crown Prince Abdullah was accurate, he said. "It was a very serious moment and no one wanted to see if the Saudis were bluffing." The same goes for the story about his speech in Israel in 2002. "I had major problems with the White House on what I wanted to say."

On the subject of the peace offer, though, Powell was defensive. "I talked to all of my key assistants since Flynt started talking about an Iranian grand bargain, but none of us recall seeing this initiative as a grand bargain."

On the general subject of negotiations with Iran, he responded with pointed politesse. "We talked to the Iranians quietly up until 2003. The president chose not to continue that channel."

That is putting it mildly. In May of 2003, when the U.S. was still in the triumphant "mission accomplished" phase of the Iraq war, word started filtering out of the White House about an aggressive new Iran policy that would include efforts to destabilize the Iranian government and even to promote a popular uprising. In his first public statement on Iran policy since leaving the NSC, Leverett told The Washington Post he thought the White House was making a dangerous mistake. "What it means is we will end up with an Iran that has nuclear weapons and no dialogue with the United States."



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Periodically, Mann interrupts herself. "This is off the record," she says. "This is going to have to be on background."

She's not allowed to talk about confidential documents or intelligence matters, but the topic of her negotiations with the Iranians is especially touchy.

"As far as they're concerned, the whole idea that there were talks is something I shouldn't even be talking about," she says.

All ranks and ranking are out. "They don't want there to be anything about the level of the talks or who was involved."

"They won't even let us say something like 'senior' or 'important,' 'high-ranking,' or 'high-level,' " Leverett says.

But the important thing is that the Iranians agreed to talk unconditionally, Mann says. "They specifically told me time and again that they were doing this because they understood the impact of this attack on the U.S., and they thought that if they helped us unconditionally, that would be the way to change the dynamic for the first time in twenty-five years."

She believed them.

But while Leverett was still moving into the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House, Mann was wrapped up in the crisis over a ship called the Karin A that left Iran loaded with fifty tons of weapons. According to the Israeli navy, which intercepted the Karin A in the Red Sea, it was headed for the PLO. In staff meetings at the White House, Mann argued for caution. The Iranian government probably didn't even know about the arms shipments. It was issuing official denials in the most passionate way, even sending its deputy foreign minister onto Fox News to say "categorically" that "all segments of the Iranian government" had nothing to do with the arms shipment, which meant the "total government, not simply President Khatami's administration."

Bush waited. Three weeks later, it was time for his 2002 State of the Union address. Mann spent the morning in a meeting with Condoleezza Rice and the new president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, who kept asking Rice for an expanded international peacekeeping force. Rice kept saying that the Afghans would have to solve their own problems. Then they went off to join the president's motorcade and Mann headed back to her office to watch the speech on TV.

That was the speech in which Bush linked Iran to Iraq and North Korea with a memorable phrase:

"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world."

The Iranians had been engaging in high-level diplomacy with the American government for more than a year, so the phrase was shocking and profound.

After that, the Iranian diplomats skipped the monthly meeting in Geneva. But they came again in March. And so did Mann. "They said they had put their necks out to talk to us and they were taking big risks with their careers and their families and their lives," Mann says.

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suddenly countries like Syria and Libya and Sudan and Iran were coming forward with offers of help, which raised a vital question -- should they stay on the same enemies list as North Korea and Iraq, or could there be a new slot for "friendly" sponsors of terror?

[...]

Hadley hated the idea. So did the representatives from Rumsfeld and Cheney. They thought that it was a reward for bad behavior, that the sponsors of terrorism should stop just because it's the right thing to do.


Now this is just great. The sole superpower is run by people with a sandbox mentality.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, but how is any of this news?

SyriaComment.com: Syria is being Set Up to Fail: A Leaked Letter from Washington (Joshua Landis, October 23, 2005)

For over a year Syria has been trying to cooperate with the West on the Iraq border, on the issue of terrorism finance, on the issue of stopping Jihadists from getting into Syria, on intelligence sharing, and on stabilizing Iraq.

Washington has consistently refused to take "Yes" as an answer. Why? The only credible reason is because Washington wants regime change in Syria. The US administration is sacrificing American soldiers in Iraq in order to carry out its program of "reforming the Greater Middle East." Two US policies are clashing head to head - the one is stabilizing Iraq and the other is the reform of the greater Middle East. President Bush is placing his democracy policy over his Iraq policy. This is costing American and Iraqi lives.

The world press has failed to get this story, although it has been staring them in the face for months. Human rights activists in Syria have documented for a long time how Syria is arresting Islamists, cracking down on Syrians who go to Iraq to fight by arresting their family members and jailing the fighters when they return from Iraq. Read Razan Zeitouneh's story about Syria's "Preemptive War" against Islamists here. The Syrian secret police have been terrorizing would be terrorists in Syria for many months now. The US has cut off all intelligence sharing with Syria despite repeated Syrian attempts to cooperate on this most important issue. Rumsfeld refused a Syria delegation of top border officials permission to meet with their Iraq and American counterparts just two months ago. Read the story here.
This was two years ago.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had never questioned the idea that the islamic revolution in Iran was against american interests and, consequently, had by opposed by the american government. However, the reading of Imperial playground and an excerpt of The last Shah of Iran reminded me of the first condition for the control of middle east, or any another region: make sure that regional powers do not emerge, or become subservient, or are destroyed (preferably by a proxy). In the middle east, the most powerful nation is Iran.
by findmeaDoorIntoSummer on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:56:30 PM EST
Let's hope the global nature of the banks and industries involved will be much faster and better at money laundering plus having a far lower regard for the US and that government's Satanic intentions.
by Lasthorseman on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:26:44 PM EST
dollar a stable investment; is immediately putting on the market $100 billion in U.S. Gov't bonds for immediate sale at the offer price.
There is panic in the financial markets. Dow Jones futures are down 1500 points in Asia. Interest rates on the ten year are now up to 6%. Recession in the US seems certain. The dollar is trading at .55 euros in Asia.
Iran? Who ever heard of Iran?
Get my point?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 01:19:43 AM EST
They'd do it anyway.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They would not IMHO, any more than the Brits stayed in Suez when the US read them their fortune.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 06:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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