Friday, January 13, 2006

In contact

The Transatlantic Intelligencer describes an interview given by Susan Osthoff on German public television. (Hat tip: Pajamas Media). Apart from the atmospherics (Osthoff gave the TV appearance in a burka) the interview was devoid of additional detail. Osthoff said what she feared most was being mistaken for a "Jewish intelligence officer"; what she desired most was to see Iraq "like it was", that is to say, as it was under Saddam. Nothing much was said about whether Osthoff was ever a  BND (German intelligence) officer as earlier reported by UPI. In a related development ABC said that "German spies in Baghdad helped U.S. warplanes strike at least one target during the 2003 Iraq war despite Berlin's statements it was not involved in the conflict". On that occasion, the information provided by German intelligence led to less than perfect results. "He cited a April 7, 2003 air raid on a Baghdad suburb where Saddam Hussein was thought to be staying that had been conducted after a BND officer confirmed limousines were parked outside a building. At least 12 civilians were killed in the attack."

That was then. The question is whether Western intelligence will do better now. A blog called In From the Cold, authored by a person who describes himself as a former professional intelligence analyst, lays out his assessment of whether or not Israel will strike Iran.

From Tuesday's edition of the Glasgow, Scotland, Herald. The paper's defense correspondent, Ian Bruce, has details on Israeli plans to launch a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Sources tell Mr. Bruce that the raid could be carried out by early March--before the Israeli elections.

This story has made the rounds repeatedly in recent months. But Mr. Bruce's account appears more credible than other stories on the subject, most notably a recent report in the Jerusalem Post. For one thing, the Herald story doesn't appear to be based on second and third-hand information. Additionally, Mr. Bruce's report contains a key detail that mirrors recent intelligence reporting on the subject. And no, I won't say what that detail is.

However, I still believe the chances of an Israeli strike (over the near term) are slight, unless Tel Aviv receives clear, unambiguous evidence that Iran has--or is about to acquire--working nuclear weapons. The consequences of an Israeli attack would be monumental--for Israel, the U.S. and the entire region. An Israeli strike on Tehran's nuclear sites could well be followed by an Iranian strike on Israel's population centers, using a SHAHAB-3 missile carrying biological or chemical weapons. Assuming that an Iranian warhead gets through Israel's missile defenses (and inflicts heavy casualties), the Israelis would likely respond in kind, or up the ante and go nuclear. The pressure on an Israeli Prime Minister to respond to an Iranian missile attack would be overwhelming, and quite likely, irresistible.

(Belmont Club readers are invited to speculate on what detail in the Herald account lends credence to the report). One other item, which indirectly bears on the subject of intelligence and Iran is this snippet from the Confederate Yankee.

The NY Times notes more friction in the Iraqi insurgency between local insurgents and those loyal to al Qaeda:

The discussion dragged on for seven hours, he said, but did not go well. The local insurgents demanded that the foreigners from Al Qaeda leave Iraq.

"They said, 'Jihad needs its victims,' " Abu Lil said. " 'Iraqis should be willing to pay the price.' "

"We said, 'It's very expensive.' "

The meeting ended abruptly, and Abu Lil and his associates walked out, feeling powerless and angry.

"I wished I had a nuclear bomb to attack them," he said. "We told them, 'You are not Iraqis. Who gave you the power to do this?' "

The difference between the anecdote related by the Confederate Yankee and the information related by the Herald is the difference between post-war and pre-war Iraqi intelligence. What principally accounts for the difference is access. With large numbers of American personnel in Iraq and in contact with the enemy, even ordinary journalists are able to acquire information which allows them to reconstruct verbatim discussions, which prior to OIF would had to be provided by agencies like the CIA or the BND courtesy of agents like Susan Osthoff (if indeed she were an agent). Here's another anecdote, care of Blackfive, which again illustrates the level of resolution that results from own forces being in contact on the ground.

We had captured a weapons cache in Afghani, a BIG one and as we piled the weapons up the next door neighbor tribal leader showed up and “told” me he was taking those weapons from the feuding tribe we just confiscated them from. Being surrounded by 2 infantry Platoons he had these two girlie men (no kidding they were out of a very bad B movie) charge their AK’s as in an act to threaten us. I told my terp to translate to them “you just made a very bad mistake and you could have been killed “  as my Marines drew in on them as they charged their weapons. So after detaining him and his two girlfriends we sat them in a safe distance away from the pile of weapons on an adjacent hill but high enough for them to watch the fireworks show.

But unlike Iraq, where there is a wide footprint along which to gather information, US contact with Iran occurs along slender and relatively secret channels. We glean what is possible from reading tea-leaves. For example Ace of Spades reports on the deployment of the 122nd Fighter Wing to 'Southwest Asia'.

Where could they mean? Southwest Asia? That's sorta between Iraq and Afghanistan, I guess.

Members of the Fort Wayne-based 122nd Fighter Wing are scheduled to leave for Southwest Asia about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday from the unit’s headquarters on Ferguson Road. It represents the wing’s largest single deployment since it was called to Chambley, France, in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis. This deployment is in support of ongoing operations in the U.S. Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) area of responsibility, which includes Southwest Asia. The unit will deploy fighter pilots, as well as maintenance and support personnel.

Ace of Spades to its credit refuses to speculate on the destination of the 122nd's F-16s, though a fair number of readers might guess this deployment was related to Iran. But would anyone bet a potential nuclear war on intelligence at this level of resolution, given the experience in Iraq?


My own guess is that US -- and Israeli --policy towards Iran is constrained by the knowledge that the only lasting way to keep the Bomb from extremist Mullahs isn't an air strike, but regime change. If the objective is to keep Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, air strikes, however effective, can only delay the process of acquisition. But only regime change, either through an internal upheaval or an outright invasion, can put an end to the ambitions of the Mullahcracy in Teheran. In from the Cold rightly observes in his comments section that even air strikes aren't likely because diplomacy is not dead.

Unfortunately, diplomacy in this matter is not dead. I still expect the Russians will try to resurrect their deal, with support from the Europeans and the United States. Iran will use this period to "study" the offer, while continuing enrichment activities at Natanz, Esfahan and clandestine locations.

Will this matter get referred to the U.N. Security Council. Probably--but I don't see that happening until later this year, and then, there's the little matter of getting the UNSC to develop a consensus, let alone a course of action. Meanwhile, the Iranians keep chugging along with their nuclear program. And, if the UN does act, I don't expect much more than mild economic sanctions; afterall, the Russians and Chinese are making billions in deals with Tehran, and they don't support anything that will jeopardize those deals.

And diplomacy will continue, not because it has any prospect of success, but from want of an alternative. Iran knows better than anyone that Israeli lacks the ability and the US probably lacks the will to mount a regime change. In this context diplomacy acquires a different significance. It's playing for time, hoping that the regime in Teheran will slip up somehow and provide an opportunity for effective action. That slip-up, if it occurs, can only be induced by taking Iran to the brink. The objective of diplomacy is probably to stress Iran to the max, such as by staging wargames on its margin, threatening to refer the matter to the UN Security Council (which means to the United States, which alone provides the teeth to the Security Council), etc, not in the expectation that Teheran will crack, but in the hope that exploitable fractures will occur.

The unknown factor in all of this is the extent to which US assets in Iraq have been useful in penetrating Iran. It is well known that Iran has been sending agents into Iraq; it is also well known that intelligence operations are two-way streets. I have long believed that the US went into Iraq hoping to find the key to Iran. We'll find out when we try to turn the lock.


Blogger Huan said...

Also interesting to note this piece from Strategy Page:
The Baluchis are rising. No, it isn’t a recipe for some new puff pastry, but yet another ethnic group that, like the Kurds, would like a homeland of their own. In this case, the homeland would be carved out of southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. None of these countries is eager to give up any of their territory to help form a new state of Baluchistan. But that hasn’t stopped the Baluchis from trying. And they appear to be trying.

On December 15th, there was an attempt to assassinate Iranian president Muhammad Ahmadinejad. The Iranian government has said little about the incident, which resulted in the deaths of several of Ahmadinejad’s security team. This has led to considerable speculation about the attack. Some conspiracy-mavens have been asserting that it was a deliberately staged incident, like Hitler’s “Reichstag Fire,” which would result in the accrual of even greater power to Ahmadinejad and the religious extremists who run Iran. Others have pointed to Israel’s Mossad, the CIA, or perhaps even Iranian liberal dissidents. Then the real story began to come out.

Near the end of December, Notani, one of the leaders of the Baloch (Baluchi) Liberation Army (BLA), announced that the BLA had been behind the attempt on Ahmadinejad’s life. First heard of around the end of 2003, the BLA (sometimes known as the Baloch Liberation Movement, BLM), has been primarily active in Pakistan, where it has been linked to about two dozen bombings. It is one of several groups fighting for an independent Baluchistan.

There is a Baluchi minority in Iran, about two percent of the population, and Notani did not cite Baluchi independence as the justification for the attack. Instead, he said the attempt on Ahmadinejad’s life was in revenge for the death of his brother at the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) some time back. The legitimacy of Notani’s claim cannot as yet be established, but it is worth noting that on January 9th, the Commander of the IRGC and several other senior IRGC officers were killed in the crash of a military transport, which may – or may not – be connected. Most of the ten million Baluchis in the region live in Pakistan.

Could there be grounds for mutual cooperation as with the Kurds in Iraq? Remember too that there are Kurds in Turkey, a tentative regionally ally that too previously "had" to put down a Kurds uprising. Interesting similarities.

we learn from the battle of brittain and the air interdiction of iraq in the 90s will not produce durable strategic results. thus i agree with your assessment that airstrike against iran won't either. regime change is necessary but i don't think we will do it militarily as we did with iraq. the opportunities for alternatives are so much better with iran.

1/13/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger Chester said...


The Herald piece contains the following:

"Sources say one, possibly two airfields in Kurdish northern Iraq have been earmarked as launch-points to reduce flying time over Iran."

This is new.

I make absolutely no guesses about the 122nd Fighter Wing's destination, except to say that its departure is probably not a secret to any intelligence service.

You are absolutely correct about regime change. This is the problem I but up against with airstrikes: after the strike, what comes next?

And you say, "the US went into Iraq hoping to find the key to Iran". Yes. And Saudi Arabia and Syria. Iraq is the geostrategic pivot of the Middle East.

1/13/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Iran's people are not arabs..

Iran's people are over whelmingly young

Iran people are the only people (besides israeli) that had a 9/11 vigil...

Iran's mullahs has just made western music illegal...

Persians shall over throw the Mullahs soon, we must help them some how..

1/13/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the unfirtunate thing is that those opportunities have been available to US for a number of years, and have been left to rot in the field, so to speak.

The Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis are all disenchanted Iranians. There are disrnchanted Persians, as well. If our "Black Operators" were operating we would hear the repurcussions of their actions.

Except for the ocassional plane falling down there is not much activity reported, and it would be.

The pertinent information needed is in regards the Iranians timeline to nuclear weapons availability.
On this there seem three positions
1. The CIA leaked, this past summer, a ten year to capacity schedule.
2. The IAEA and it's Nobel winner noted three months from the start of large scale reprocessing.
3. The Iranian President reportedly told a local newspaper that three Nuclear Weapons had been acquired from the Ukraine.

This #3 is the most interesting. If they do have those weapons, MAD Policies COULD be effective. They have not attacked anyone in an insane rage, yet. Which, while not proving the Iranians totally rational, does indicate they are not as crazy as some suspect.

If either 1 or 2 are true, there is still plenty of time for Polictical & Covert methods.
If #3 is true the jig is up, and there will be no stopping the Iranians from further developments, short of War,

One that would make Iraq seem like A Walk in the Sun.


1/13/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In regards #2 above. The thought was two or three years before large scale reprocessing could begin.

1/13/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Bravo Romeo Delta said...

Among other things, one actor to watch in Iran is the Muhajdeen-E-Kahlk. Those folks are the ones who, in late 2003, dropped the dime on the Iranian nuclear program and kicked this whole process off. What makes them a bit problematic is that they're considered terrorists by the US. I also seem to recall strong ties with Saddam-era Iraq, so it remains to be seen if they're still in operation and whose interests they're acting.

In any case, some months after exposing the site at Natanz and others, they made another play to see if they could continue to play this card the same way. It didn't meet with nearly the same level of success, but has kept the IAEA detective work ongoing.

Since they've established an interesting precedent vis a vis the role of proliferation and anti-government activities, they may try barking up this tree again. If they have an ace in the hole, expect it to be played in the near future in a bit to weaken the mullah's hand.



1/13/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And when a Subject is brought to the attention of the UN, of course Action will follow...

" ... UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations is considering a tough mobile force to police Sudan's Darfur region and hopes the United States and European military will help stop the bloodshed, rape and plunder, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday.

But Annan said that first the Sudan government, the 15-member Security Council and the African Union, which has sent the only foreign troops to Darfur, had to agree to a U.N. operation.

"We need to get the (Sudan) government to work with us in bringing in an expanded force with troops from outside Africa, because until recently it has maintained that it will only accept African troops," Annan told reporters. "But I think we have gone beyond that now." ... "

So now, to end the GENOCIDE in Darfur, the UN must gain the permission of the Mohhammedans in Khartum that are organizing the GENOCIDE.

That fellow Club members is insanity exemplified.

The UN, in regards to Iran, is political window dressing and a Public Awarenwss campaign, at best.
It is also fraught with Political Risks. As we learned during the run up to Iraq's forced reorganization.

1/13/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Interesting post.

I think the way to interrupt Iran’s nuclear plans now is through the EU and UN. I think the Bush administration is playing its cards about right. The EU and UN should be seen as useful elements that may be shepherded and managed by the US to the detriment of Iran. Careful diplomacy coupled with overt and covert military dispositions by the US, and a lesser extent Israel, could have a delaying effect on Iran’s nuclear program. International political pressure applied by the EU and UN with the backing of US power could result in political upheaval in Iran, notwithstanding that countries authoritarian government. Brinksmanship by Iran likely hurts Iran more than any other party. I think this is true because of Iran’s relatively sophisticated population and western-friendly cultural elements.

I have to believe that US military planners have already studied the problem of potential operations against Iran. I would be surprised if we had not already made certain dispositions to improve our situation in case such an operation becomes necessary. I would also be surprised if Iran was not aware of some of these dispositions at least in general outline. The scariest part for me is the significant potential for Iranian miscalculation of US intent and power.

The problem analyzing the situation is that we know so little about important factors that may drive decisions in Israel, Washington, and Iran.

Anyway, good post.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

1/13/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Sources say one, possibly two airfields in Kurdish northern Iraq have been earmarked as launch-points to reduce flying time over Iran.

This refers to the basing of Israeli assets, correct? Would be big news if it turns out to be true. Would indicate a US and Israeli alliance, as well as Kurdish acquiesence/participation. What are the implications/possible repercussions for Iraq? Interesting stuff here.

1/13/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"And diplomacy will continue, not because it has any prospect of success, but from want of an alternative. Iran knows better than anyone that Israeli lacks the ability and the US probably lacks the will to mount a regime change. In this context diplomacy acquires a different significance. It's playing for time, hoping that the regime in Teheran will slip up somehow and provide an opportunity for effective action."

I don't think near term regime change in Iran is possible. We're talking about a totalitarian theocracy in Iran. That's the toughest nut to crack (read the "Prince" by Machiavelli concerning theocracy).

In the context of protecting their nuclear assets, the Iranians are not stupid. They have the example of the Israeli raid against the Iraqi Osiris reactor. Some of the Iranian nuclear facilities are vulnerable to air attack (the unimportant ones) but many of the military sites are underground. The situation is not unlike the Germans during WW-II building their V-2 factories deep underground at Nordhausen after Peenemunde was bombed flat.

I suspect we're looking at the front end of Iran's nuclear annihilation. Sometime in the next 2 to 5 years, an Israeli city is going to disappear due to an Iranian nuke. The Israelis will immediately respond with their German made Dolphin class submarines carrying American made Tomahawk cruise missiles armed with Israeli made thermonuclear warheads (this capability exists right now). Iran has a population of 68 million people. I guess about a third of that population (20 million) will disappear in about 48 hours after the Iranians launch their opening attack. The total deaths in WW-II were 61 million so the Iranian loses will be a third of WW-II's total.

We're walking into this one with our eyes wide open.

If you have family in Israel or Iran, you should tell them to get out fast. This situation is similar to being a jew in Germany before the Kristallnacht (last chance to get out with your family and possessions intact).

Maybe this nightmare will lead to a worldwide ban against weapons of mass destruction??

It's amazing that people can be so stupid.

1/13/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Breathe into the paper bag. Now, explain who among China, Russia, the US, Europe, Pakistan, and India is going to lead the charge to throw away WMD and their, at least regional, MAD insurance. We already have a ban on WMD proliferation signed by something like 150 countries (including Iran). It's working great, ain't it?

Also, never leave out the human factor. The mullahs have to have a nuke-safe hidey-hole before they start lobbing nukes at others or they have to be willing to be part of the "cost of jihad". They have never yet been willing to pay the cost personally. Doesn't mean they won't, but egos that big make actions with high probability of death unlikely. One fear is that these men are not rational actors, but state action by Iran shouldn't be our worst fear.

Far more likely is the chance that Iranian nukes or materials go "missing". It's far harder to justify nuking Iranian cities if Tel Aviv gets destroyed by a bomb in a shipping container versus on the tip of a MRBM. Yes, we could probably determine from forensics that the material came from Iran, but (as with 9-11) every day lost and every chance for equivocation and delay gives the enemy time to prepare, whilst counterattacking in the sphere of public opinion.

1/13/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Our only hope is the young people of Iran that are fed up with the Mullahs and their form of the S/S. I believe that they are fed up with the Theocracy thing (they were the first); but, the thugs intimidate them to accept the status quo.
The wild card, similar to Chavez in Venezuela, is how long a regime can prop itself up if it has enough money (during times of high oil prices), with all the corrupt, willing accomplices out there.
The Americans need to weaken the Mullahs and let the younger generation join the world wide economy...all the while, not letting Israel do anything rash...

1/13/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Taumarunui said...

Three things stand out in the Herald report.

1. The use of airports in Kurdish territory for Israeli jets

2.The mention of (submarine-launched) cruise missiles

3. The targetting of the above-ground support infrastructure of underground sites.

1/13/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Well I for one hope to heck that President Bush dithers long enough to allow the Iranians to bury, hide, destroy, ship to terrorists all the WMD's they might have available. That would be just peachy keen eh? Lets go back and do the two step with the United Nations since we have so much to show for our last attempt with that august body.

Whatever we do, lets not make sure we eliminate the WMD's. Lets make sure we don't do that...after all thats what we did in Iraq.

Before everyone jumps down my throat consider that I believe Iraq had WMD's. I believe that by our dithering we allowed those WMD's to be dispersed with terrible implications for the rest of the ME. Witness the attempt in fun fun. Dither some more President Bush lets let them REALLY give us a reason to do what we should be doing now. Lets continue to act like the Useless Nations makes a whit of difference to OUR national security.

And please pretty please President Bush dont, whatever you do raise our spending on the Military so that we can actually afford the sort of forces we need in this our most desperate fight.

After all just because the Nazis and Communists were unable to attack our main city and national military headquarters doesnt mean we should respect our current foe who managed both.

Yea I am upset...

Pierre Legrand

1/13/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, there is another form of "regime change", one different from the technique we used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

One alternative to replacing a regime you have problems to one more to your liking is replacing it with .... nothing.

Given the numbers of disaffected people in Iran, given what we have learned about insurgencies in that area of the world, given our utter and total superiority in air, it would be quite easy to turn Iran into a place in which utter chaos looked good in comparison.

They are going to make nukes? Easy fix. No electricity in the whole country. No bridges left standing. No functional rail or road network. No..., no...., no... no..... Fill in the blanks.

Add in some IEDs. Or rather ED's, and very much not improvised. And add in some crazy guys with AK's who are quite P.O.ed.

Think Afghanistan if both sides had lost. Not pretty. But unstoppable.

1/13/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is no "Kurdish" territory. The is Turkey, Syria, Iran, and US Occupied Iraq.

One would assume the Kurdish territory in question is in US Occupied Iraq, wouldn't one. Or perhaps Turkey, with Mr Goss visiting there last week or so.

All these things are the hallmarks of the start of a real War, not an air strike or two and resume discussions.
The Mullahs will not go for that, any time soon.

1/13/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wrt the possibility of near-term regime change in Iran, who knows? The hardcore fundamentalists who are driving the pursuit of nuclear weapons are not wildly popular in Iran. By some estimates up to 80% of the population opposes the goals, precepts, and rhetoric of the likes of Ahmadinejad. At the same time, the people of Iran feel they have the right to develop and use nuclear technology.

It seems to me that a direct assault against Iranian nuclear facilities would not only be futile but counterproductive, inasmuch as it would likely coalesce support for the regime. Unless we are to commit fully to such an action no matter the cost, it is likely to backfire. It is likely such a course of action is actually more efficacious used as a threat and so we should retain this option as a last resort, and as a means of directing external pressure on the present leadership of Iran.

At the same time, opposition elements (possibly in conjunction with direct US and/or Israeli assistance) should be encouraged to overturn/eliminate the present fundamentalist Iranian leadership. The cummulative effect of such external and internal pressure on the regime might eventually be sufficient to destroy it.

Or not. It's possible we may one day have to resort to the last worst option. In which case the best defense is a swift, sure and overwhelmingly devastating offense.

1/13/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The key detail in the Herald story has to do with operational matters. One need only study Isreal's expeditionary forays - such as the raid on Entebbe or their rescue of the Ethiopeans to see what they need to do. Isreal is very capable at taking down an AD network - their operation in the Bekaa Valley was phenomenal. Iran has zero experience at AD work while Isreal has 40 plus years of it.

Iran's only source of strength is its Oil. The power of the Mullahs now comes from a barrel of oil, not the Mosque. How long would the Mullahs last if they had not pumped oil in a month?

Has anyone thought about the Turkey trip by administration officials? Looking at the ethnic landscape - what would Turkey agree to along these lines? A Kurdish insurgency in Iran?

1/13/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Regarding Iran, it is indeed a matter of will. And the more specific Iran gets about its intentions, the more hesitant Europe seems to become about reacting strongly. That doesn't seem to be an encouraging trend.

(In this context, "reacting strongly" seems to mean "doing something besides talking".)

1/13/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Brett L said:

"Also, never leave out the human factor. The mullahs have to have a nuke-safe hidey-hole before they start lobbing nukes at others or they have to be willing to be part of the "cost of jihad"... One fear is that these men are not rational actors, but state action by Iran shouldn't be our worst fear."

Brett, google: "Twelfth Imam". It's garden variety apocalyptic nonsense but unfortunately the corner stone of Shia theology. The mullah's belief in this garbage is central to their world view (they've been indoctrinated in it since childhood). They'll attack Israel even though it's an act of suicide because they believe Allah is on their side and guiding their actions.

1/13/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Regime change in Iran could be a lot easier than we think. All the infrastructure for a democracy is there: voters lists, parties, polling places and a reasonable tradition of democracy. BUT, the Mullahs, IRG and Secret Police have a monopoly on the use of force and only allow certain people to run in elections and hold they reins of real Power. Hitchens was there about a year ago and many Iranians were pressing the point, "why can't the Americans invade for about 3 weeks." He felt that once your removed Mullahs and their IRG supporters, things might sort themselves out rather quickly, you would have a situation almost exactly opposite the chaos in Iraq, which had the institutions of civil sciety stripped away over the last 25 years of depraved rule.

Overt military strikes may be real, but i suspect the leaks are a distraction from what will actually happen and that is covert ops within the Iranian border and within Tehran itself to destabilize the regime. I suspect that this was the first in a series of unfortunate "accidents" to keep the lunatics who run that place nervous.

1/13/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua Chamberlain said...

You assume America's national security bureaucracy and intelligence agencies know what they're doing. They don't - read anything by Angelo Codevilla.

1/13/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


I'm not saying these guys aren't irrational enough to pull the trigger, just that historical probabilities WRT madmen pushing suicidal ideologies weigh heavily towards the idea that suicidal attack is the preferrable method of death for the flock not the shepherd. Ref: Arafat, OBL, al-Zaqarwi.

The force of ego that drives these men to the edges pushes them to stay alive as well. It is why MAD has worked 100% since Russia got The Bomb. Non-state actors, however, upset this balance because it gives irrational rationalizers a chance to believe that they could deliver a nuke and survive the fallout.

If the Iranians are stupid enough to put a nuke on a missile and launch it, there's all sorts of things that can mitigate the attack: Iranian missiles are not likely to be as reliable or accurate as a US Minuteman II. In order to strike Israel rather than the Med or Jordan or the West Bank, they have to hit w/in 20 miles. The missile has to take off without blowing up, the nuke has to detonate efficiently enough to reach critical mass after being subjected to hi-g manuevering.

Also, it is unlikely that Iran would be able to deliver enough nukes accurately enough to stop an Israeli counterattack that the Iranians know will result in the death of everyone in the top tier of power.

Thus, I am far more afraid of delivery by truck from Gaza. It takes a lot of variables out of the attack and places more in the defenders' response.

1/13/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Joshua Chamberlain:

Ding ding ding...incompetence rules the day at the top. The number of failed major plays boggles the mind. Perhaps the best public one being when the CIA's super duper top secret communication gear was used by Saddam to call the CIA to let them know all the people the CIA had backed in a Coup attempt were captured and dead.


1/13/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Our intelligence agencies may get a morale boost in Feb., if you can believe this.

Of course, the tapes could go the other way, but somehow I doubt it.

I wonder how murky things really are in Iran. The US has assets all over the country (and covert ops, most likely), so even if we aren't actively causing events (plane crashes, or assassination attempts), we probably know who is, and why.

Iranian operational commanders dying in accidents affects the efficacy, if not the intent, of the ruling elite. It resembles, if anything, our strategy against the insurgency. This is not to say it was intentional, but one can't help but notice the similarities.

The explanations for the accident range from bad luck, to an Ahmadinejad power grab, to Baluchi revenge, and US action. As lay men working only with the public domain, we can't be sure. But I bet our intelligence agencies are.

I think all of the causal candidates represent positive developments in Iran, even if it was bad luck. For instance, to the extent Ahmadinejad wants to become the cheese who stands alone, he makes our job easier. A dictator in a bubble is easier to affect. If we are seeking a pretext for our military option, or for our regime change option (which might be the same thing), there is no better substrate to work with than the mind of an individual, especially, I would add, a paranoid, power hungry true believer.

If we were in some way involved in the accident, this indicates we have ceased reacting to events, and have started to manipulate them. The question is, of course, to what end.

One answer might be, as I mentioned above, informational (as in Psy-ops). We also have operational ends; our actions could simply be battlefield preparations. Or, most likely, they could be both.

Look at what constrains our ability to reach a desired outcome (regime change): Western political will, dictatorial control of the Iranians, and the competing interests of the international community. Newspaper articles, leaks, strategic movements, referrals to the Security Council: all of these data affect things, affect people, affect persons. Add to this the data being generated by covert operations within Iran proper, and I think a strategy emerges.

As Wretchard points out, there is one thing that can render all those constraints obsolete: a serious mistake by the Mullahs. Such a mistake would give us a pretext, a cover, and an opportunity for action to change the regime, and it would satisfy the political, emotional, and "legal" requirements of our various audiences. All we have to do is manufacture a line, and then force them to cross it.

Soon, now, I think, the complexion of the crisis will change, and we will get our pretext.

The greatest enemies of the Mullahs, now, are event and reaction, and I think we will start seeing both.

1/13/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

I just read "A New Nuclear Era Is at Hand", by Richard Halloran @ RCP.

Took me back to my childhood days growning up next to a SAC base during the cold war days of 50's & 60's. The fear of a first strike prevailed then as it now emerges for the gen-x & their children. All despite the strategists and talking heads talk of MAD.

Many here remember the elementary school drills we would undertake. Seems like another lifetime's back.

Halloran reminds us of those events and of the steps we could take to minimize our risk.

I'm not sure his suggestions could be implimented here given our cultural civil divide.

1/13/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger jake-the-peg said...

I would have thought it always pays to apply pressure to the weakest link, and that's Syria. It's very likely that there will be significant change in the regime there this year.
Having said that, it's hard not to see this air wing deployment as an example of Rice's coercive diplomacy doctrine.

1/13/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

Sorry but diplomacy IS dead.
Has always been dead.
Will always be dead.

Diplomacy assumes there is something which can be done to dissuade the 'others' from what they want to do.

There isn't. Nothing can dissuade the mullahs. Nothing can deter them.


Diplomacy is worthless with:
Pasdaran, Ulema, Guardian council and the rest of that branch of zealots r us.

They adhere perfectly to Abdullah Azzam's:
"Jihad and the rifle alone. NO negotiations, NO conferences and NO dialogue." Join the Caravan

Subtract the word rifle and substitute U235.

1/13/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A quick note about Osthoff. She is alleged to be an ‘agent’ of the BND. An agent is a functionary that acts for an agency. Agents are handled by ‘officers’ of the agency.

Israel has famously weathered chemical attacks before. Remember the SCUD threat in Gulf War I.

If Iran is attacked;

Attacks will largely be by air
Iran to invade Iraq to spoil
Disrupted gulf shipping
Syria to step up efforts in Iraq and Lebanon
Turkey will invade Northern Iraq
Jihadi’s in North Waziristan to assault Musharraf en mass
The Saud’s and others will profess neutrality
Hezbollah will up the pressure in Southern Lebanon
Hamas will up the pressure in Gaza
Russia to offer logistic support to Iran
China to offer military assistance to Iran
All of Europe to abstain, including Britain

Of course half of these things are already happening.

Last of the great non-nuclear wars will break on in the region
There will be an opportunity to settle issues with China militarily

“afterall, the Russians and Chinese are making billions in deals with Tehran, and they don't support anything that will jeopardize those deals.”

Let’s not forget our ‘friends’ the Germans.

I agree that most of this posturing, ‘leaks’, and insinuations are little more than kabuki theater. Too bad too because I would of like to have the inevitable world showdown happen while I was still relatively young. Perhaps this is where world opinion finally weighs in against the United States and we find ourselves isolated by the bad will that left wing agitprop, both domestic and abroad has wrought. These circumstances are most likely to play into the hands of terrorists, as Iran is wont to do.

I suspect only Israel can make the first move and if they do it will be suicidal.

In the end I agree with Wretchards’ assessment that we are in a maneuver and counter kind of diplomacy waiting for an opportunity to exploit. So far Iran has been playing its’ cards pretty brazenly as far as diplomacy is concerned but the denuded might of the Euro –community seems to play its’ options even more poorly.

1/13/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger ssr1 said...

Sharon laying in a hospital bed is a very tempting target for the Mullahs. They are crazy fools. Why not get frisky? I can see it: The "Great Satan" is currently tied up in Iraq and does not seem to be able to do anything to Iran directly. The leader of "pigs and monkeys" is coveniently struck down. They don't consider the EU to be any threat. They might be worried about the heathens in India but not enough to stay their Allah guided hand. It's like playing Civilization: I've got M1A2's and they got musketmen. What's the worse they can do?

1/13/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The underpinnings of those M1A2's are not as solid as one would hope.

While the infrastructure of Civilization can absorb natural disasters and most minor incidents.
A Country with a well dispersed Guerilla Force inplace through out Europe could cause a track to be thrown.
A country which has a working Nuclear relationship with the KGB ruled Russians could have more than a musket in the firing line.
A Country which supplies 4% of the Worlds oil production, second largest in the World or so I've read, can always find a friend.

With Iran it is an all or nothing strike against the Mullahs and the Presidency. There will be World wide Blowback, as annoy mouse says, but on, I think an even larger scale.

1/13/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

George W. Bush said, without a hint or trace of equivocation, "We will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons."

What this indicates to me is that George W. Bush is pretty well convinced by the information available that Iran will not have nuclear weapons before he leaves office.

The next president will have to decide whether he's willing and able to say the same thing.

The Israelis, unlike the US, have made it a matter of formal doctrine that no other Middle East nation shall possess nuclear weapons. Period. That's an unequivocal policy, and an unenforceable one in the long run.

1/13/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pierre Legrand - Whatever we do, lets not make sure we eliminate the WMD's. Lets make sure we don't do that...after all thats what we did in Iraq.
Before everyone jumps down my throat consider that I believe Iraq had WMD's. I believe that by our dithering we allowed those WMD's to be dispersed with terrible implications for the rest of the ME. Witness the attempt in fun fun.

Give it up. You sound like the last diehard "Bush was Right! Dear Leader said they exist. We must believe!"

Sound like a die hard long after Bush admitted no WMD that the global intelliegence communities booted it. Sound like a die hard when the "evildoers" you project hid those "vast stockpiles" have elected not to use a gram of this imaginary arsenal either on US soldiers or on Iraqi population. Despite using every other weapon they can get their hands on to kill occupiers or kill Iraqis not supporting their cause.

Persisting in your idiot theory after 3 years of ample evidence from documents to interviews to military commanders no longer bothering with NBC protection only makes you sound like an out of reality silly man.

Red River - The problem you don't mention with an Israeli conventional attack on Iran is that it depends on US complicity to allow them to cross Iraqi airspace and use of GPS and somehow keeping Israel's back if a global oil embargo happens against Israel and it's only "nation morally obligated to support it".


1. A Zionist attack would make a joke of Iraqi sovereignity and turn the Shiites who signed a mutual defense treaty with Iran violently against US perfidity and 1st loyalty to Zionism.

2. In the last 30 years, Israel has become a pariah nation. No other country would be with us as we tried cleaning up the mess of an Israeli attack we allowed to happen.

3. We would lose possibility of internal reform and regime change with the Iranian majority that kind of like the US, but that hate Zionists more than they hate the clerics.

4. The last time America suffered a devestating oil embargo due to an Israeli War, we were only dependent on imports for 30% of our oil and had certain US allies like Venezuela breaking the embargo. Now we are at 70% dependency and have no petroleum exporting nations that would break an embargo if we allowed an Israeli sneak attack without UN diplomacy being exhausted first.

5. And worst of all, a conventional attack by the small Israeli airforce would only delay the nuke program, get 100% of Iranians behind it if the Zionists left lots of Persian bodies in the rubble, and lead America in suffering a Oil-caused depression and cleaning up the mess of a Shiite uprising killing our troops and diplomatic distaster of allowing the Israeli attack to happen reconsidering our "special relationship" with them.

At one time Israel's nuclear monopoly over it's potential Muslim foes was a big advantage. But technology diffuses and it is inevitable that nuclear strategic parity will result. Unless the US continues to expend considerable lives and treasure and risks it's economic life to preserve that nuclear monopoly to keep the Final Borders of Palestine unresolved and the question of compensating the ethnically cleansed Jews, Christians, and Muslims related to the 1948 War unresolved.

Outside Israel's interests, it is still in America's interest to stop Iran from going nuclear. While part of the Iranian drive to get nukes is over Israel, it also has grounds in radical Islam. If we do take care of Iran, it should be done with a coalition that does not include our diplomatic albatross, Israel, so as to avoid the global stigma of warring alongside the Zionists. Same as in the Gulf War, Iraq - the best way Israel can be an ally of the USA is for them to keep a low profile and not be seen with us.

1/13/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

cedarford, you are talking logic. This is, so sorry, foolish.

The leaders of Iran really believe if they do their part to destroy the great shaitan (and cause the zionist entity to be crushed as a result), allah will provide a way, and the answer.

This is literally their faith.

You're in 1937 logic explaining why it would be disavantageous to many for war to break out. It would be, but so what?

They won't be deterred from making one. I don't believe they can be deterred from using one. Here or in Haifa. They have been saying what they have been saying since 1979, not just last month. I believe them. And I believe they're pretty smart.

1/13/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Again, Iranian nuclear weapons are not the problem. The character of the regime is the problem.

Change the regime, change the calculus.

It is the only way to avoid war, and the moment is ripe for it. It is time to collapse the wave function, and see what happens.

We are the most powerful, knowledgeable, and creative nation in the history of the world, we have had three years to prepare for this moment, and, by all indications, we are about to make our play.

I think the Mullahs are history. Call it a hunch.

1/13/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

The Mullah's house of cards will topple...
...their saber rattling lately reminds me of a possum caught in the shed...showing all those nasty teeth; but, actually scared to death, hoping that you'll just leave him alone!
The Mullahs are out of touch and paranoid, propped up in place by their secret police, and they know the populace must be controlled; therefore, they are doubly scared not just from forces without, but those within. How better to focus the theocracy than to rally against the boogeyman! which sells through 60% of the country; but, not in connected masses of Tehran.
Imagine a world where any contact with the outside world weakens your grip; imagine a world where you're one earthquake away from the the outside world rushing in to the out-stretched arms of a willing populace.
Their oil money props them up with other corrupt agendas eager to sell them technology, or eager to protect their closest source of oil.
The whole war on terror is a battle for the hearts and minds of the reasonable moderates in the world of all religions.
I'm no peace-nik isolationist; however, we need to assist the many reasonable, mod masses in Iran, not start a war just now.
The Mullahs are weaker than you give them credit for; their arrogance has them convinced of one thing beyond their fright - that the U.S. has no stomach for a lasting confrontation with them; therefore they have already won...our smartest move would be to play into this, let them focus on us, while letting their engaged populace oust them.

1/13/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

Those of us in Iraq are trained to preserve America. The New York Times and Demoncrats are trying their best to destroy America AND the Planet. They will DIE FIRST, in the end.

1/13/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

That last post was from another story. Sorry!

The Real Question here is:

Will the Iranian people EVER REBEL against the Mullahs that most despise?

1/13/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger ajveros said...

My partner and I are foreign policy specialists with a number of Western diplomats as contacts. Spoke with one at length today about Iran in preparation for this entry, The West vs. Iran - A Minute Closer to Midnight

We can still win in Iran. We have not yet begun to fight!!

1/13/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


Get a grip! And stop with the hysterics..

Iran's net oil export is about 2.5 million bbl/d. Post Saddam Iraq should be able compensate for that very soon, if not already. A short term interruption to Iranian oil supply while the Mullahs are deposed of, is not going to spell the end of the world. A well timed Iraqi announcement of their current oil production capacity, and I doubt that even the oil speculators will see opportunity for profit.

As for your assertion that in the last 30 years Israel has become a pariah nation, any objective look to see how many embassies Israel has had 30 years ago and how many it has today, how many Israeli designs and patents Israel had 30 years ago and how many today, how many world leading companies Israel had 30 years ago and how many today, how many countries Israel traded with 30 years ago and how many today, and on and on, any such objective criteria will tell you that contrary to the Jihadi stingers at the BBC et al, Israel is in a stronger diplomatic, economic, military position than it's ever been. BBC news on the other hand, it has seen its marketshare reduced to a subset audience of disaffected lefties and local taqiyya dissimulators. In other words, it's a sad joke of its former days.

1/13/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Spam turning UK into "pariah nation" warns MP

The government's failure to give businesses protection from unsolicited commercial email risks turning the UK into an internet outcast, according to one of its political opponents.,39025001,39121001,00.htm

Pariah Nation, a Journey through Afghanistan -'s Preston Mendenhall reports....

Taylor's Liberia becoming pariah nation

BHS students: ‘ambassadors’ to pariah nation

By William Inman Daily Planet Staff (08-16-00)

As many as 30 Berkeley High School students may get to spend two weeks as ambassadors to one of the United States’ most inveterate political foes. They’ll live in the homes and study the agrarian ways of their Cuban hosts.

the only mention that israel is a "pariah nation" was by the honest, fair and balanced

me thinks c4 is full of crap..... still

1/13/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

VDH has a nice piece in NRO re: the Iran showdown.

Not so sure Aj that banning the Iranian Soccer team will bring about a peaceful resolution with the mullahs. Name calling and trying to isolate a regime that has been in a pissing contest with the US for 30years isn't likely going to get anymore results than Carters' boycott of the Moscow olympics. The fact is now that europe has turned into a bunch of flaccid turds worried about their contacts and contracts with Iran, we are in this alone, which, if OFF is any indication, makes an embargo virtually impossible.

I on the otherhand am fully behind sticking it to the bastards if we can't get relief in the international diplomatic sphere. But I would expect no less than a region wide conflict and would be prepared for a global conflict. I think that would be the lessor of evils. Further down the line someone could be in the position to call "check-mate".

Consider that the possibility at any moment in time for a global thermal nuclear war is something greater than zero. What are the chances going to be with a nuclear armed mujahadeen?

1/13/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

This post is appropriate to yesterday's
EU Says Gay ‘Marriage’ Rights Should Over-ride Clergy

1/13/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Here is my idea...

quitely promote blow back...

trade is a 2 way street...

create and distribute western values into the arab world.....

Start with porn & drugs. Supply it to Iran via black market & internet distribution. Set up the cia to help supply the black markets with it.

The current issue about WMD & iran misses the point, its the CULTURE of Islam that must be altered, the band-aid of the nuke issue is not the larger issue.

We must provoke a CIVIL war within Islam, Islam must be "transformed", just as Christianity also lost it's "State Enforced Edicts" islam MUST be removed from politics by it's OWN peoples.

We need to figure out a way to cause Islam (in it's current lethal state) to turn thier daggers within.

We must allow the islamic world to fail.

Watching Gaza is the perfect senario. Wall off the palestinians from israel, they turn on each other and now, at the Egyptians (leaving 2 Egyptians DEAD , 30 wounded)

Watching Iraq, equally a pass the pork rinds situation......

Maybe, This too needs to happen in Iran

Maybe Iran needs some power plants breaking down, maybe take out ONE oil platform a day, after an initial jump, things would settle down, then daily several more a day could be plinked off.... why not PAY iraqis to sneak into iran and piss around...

Rather than being fearful of the arab street we need to laugh at them, humilate them, announce to the world stats that say:

• No Arab country spends more than 0.2 percent of its gross national product on scientific research, and most of that money goes toward salaries. By contrast, the United States spends more than 10 times that amount.

• Fewer than one in 20 Arab university students pursue scientific disciplines.

• There are only 18 computers per 1,000 people in the Arab world. The global average is 78 per 1,000.

• Only 370 industrial patents were issued to people in Arab countries between 1980 and 2000. In South Korea during that same period, 16,000 industrial patents were issued.

• No more than 10,000 books were translated into Arabic over the entire past millennium, equivalent to the number translated into Spanish each year.

Understand your enemy, they do not care if they have many that die, so, insult them, do not allow burial for suicide bombers. Do not return the remains of any suicide bombers

Emboss all western products for export to the islamic world with a cross, star of david, cresent, budda & ying & yang

We need to announce that RVO programs would be set up in every city & highway, this could REDUCE diesel demand by as much as 25%

Every week, except when it is below 8 degrees, when i fill up, i add PURE VEG OIL which i buy at the grocery store 1 gallon per 9 of diesel. Think of the amount of diesel that could be lessened if from the bully pulpit Pres Bush announced such an idea...

Followed by an angry statement about the need to use Compact Flouresent Bulbs instead conventional bulbs, followed by a strong statement that America should send a message to radical Islam, that America would turn it's heaters down 2 degrees for the next 60 days, costing them xxx in oil income

Followed by a flat rooftop solar installations in 5% of all commerical properties by 2011

Followed by a major Arbor Day budget increase providing 3000 cities with free trees

Raise CAFE standards.

Deport all NON-LEGAL ALIENS from all Islamic countries. (not talking about LEGAL)

Change US currency, declare all currency outside the usa after a certain date is void, after allowing for face value exchange, all amounts over $200,000 must have proof of ownership.
Why not provoke Iran to do something stupid? Make them play their hand BEFORE they are ready.

Make them scramble to protect thier fuel lines and plants...

just a few fun ideas to chew...

1/13/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...


So accusing President Bush of moving too slow and allowing the WMD's to be dispersed is to be a Bush apologist? Interesting to me it sounds like a much more effective criticism than trying to imagine that Saddam had none.

After all Saddam pursued them with a vengence from the moment he had any power at all. That the Intelligence agencies now say he destroyed them is not impressive since a mere 3 years ago they were sure they did exist.

Whether they are vast amounts is another question. How much Anthrax is considered VAST? Iraq was considered to be one of the most advanced producers of Anthrax. Doesnt seem to have been VAST amounts that managed to put some serious kinks in our country.

Considering that much of the Intelligence apparatus is in what appears to be open revolt spare me their opinion. Too many stories along these lines for us to be following a bunch of our intelligence analysts wild ass theories when they havent gotten anything right yet.

I will take James Woolsey's guess before your's. Btw I managed to respond without any sort of personal attack...imagine that!

1/14/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger John Schulien said...

For me, it is quite simple. George Bush has promised that he will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and I believe that he will keep his word.

Trish reads this "that George W. Bush is pretty well convinced by the information available that Iran will not have nuclear weapons before he leaves office." I read it as the exact opposite. That just isn't Bush's style. I believe that the only reason he has been making such statements is because he believes that Iran is on target to complete nuclear weapons during his administration and he is laying the groundwork for military action to prevent it from happening.

1/14/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Brett, Matt, Eggplant: This from an 'authorized, authoritative' source online re The 12th Imam:

1. Mahdi is going to come in the last days to make a universal Government,
2. Mahdi is from the Ahlul-Bayt of Prophet,
3. Mahdi is from the children of Fatimah (AS), the daughter of Prophet,
4. Mahdi is different than Jesus (the messiah),
5. Jesus will be one of the followers of Imam Mahdi and prays behind him.

When these preconditions were fulfilled May 23, 1844 when The Bab revealed His mission to humanity, it was clear that:
1)He established the Universal House of Justice in Israel; all nations flow unto it; and
2)He was of the Prophet's descendants; and
3)He was related through Fatima; and
4)He was not Jesus, although the Righteousness that is Christ is sensible in Him; and
5)Jesus sent Him, adores Him, consciously chose words (Matt 24:14, Luke 21:24, Matt 24:15) which would lead any Spirit-filled human wanting to see Christ (those who love His coming) to turn in adoration to the Holy One, Who prepared the way for the Lord of Hosts.

Amazingly, by publicly acknowledging the validity and pertinence of these Islamic prophecies, the West/USA could totally short-circuit the crazed-power-lusters and head-hackers around the world, in short order, by letting the PEOPLE know of the coming of their 12th Imam!

Ahmadi-nejad would be eclipsed, disempowered, and almost overnight we would witness 'entry by troops' into the Faith of God!

And that's a good thing, isn't it?

1/14/2006 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"(Bush) believes that Iran is on target to complete nuclear weapons during his administration and he is laying the groundwork for military action to prevent it from happening."

- john schulien

Mmmmmm, no. And no.

1/14/2006 01:42:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pierre, sorry if I got personal.

It is the existence of a last holdout element of "true believers" in any massively discredited cause or theory that gets my goat.

When those believers become a cult. Devoted to the "miracle cure" of laetrile. Assuring each other that live POWs still are imprisoned in a "secret hollow mountain" in N. Vietnam and that's why we should have no contact or visitors to VIetnam (certainly don't want to check on that mountain!). Why the invasion of Afghanistan is still "all about the secret Conoco pipeline", evidence to the contrary.

We have had 3 years looking. Examined documents. Interrogated 100% of the scientists involved. All top Iraqi leadership we took into custody. Not one fact or person once we were in pointed to any WMD in existence. More importantly, if this vast stockpile was allegedly hidden by the Saddam fanatics or the "evildoer terrorists" that are killing US troops and Iraqi civilians right and left, why haven't they used a gram of stuff from their vast, hidden stockpile? Terrorist scruples?

By summer of 2003, the US military packed away there NBC gear as some neocons and politicians grounded in ideology rather than practicality still scurried about saying the "smoking gun" discovery was imminent - or a terrible WMD attack on the "noble Iraqi people" or the "liberators" was imminent. THe military laughed.

Woolsey is a paid hack of JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs. Which nation is up to debate, but no debate that Woolsey was paid to hype the "Vast Stockpiles" threat to the media. He also went well beyond "slam-dunk" in his claims and is still trying to salvage some of his media credibility so he can resume as an "expert intelligence and terror analyst" and once again be feted by the media and the Right.

Haven't seen too much of Woolsey lately, have you? Supposedly, he was one of the "advisors" Judy Miller counted on. I'd call him medium-radioactive these days.

When you take the kids out on their first nightime snipe hunt, Pierre, most of the kids "get it" quickly that tasty snipe do not await them in the fields, and a 7-year old with a pillowcase makes for a poor birdhunter, once they reflect on it. What is worrisome, and it happens, is the kid that becomes convinced from the 1st tale It All Must Be True, puts a deathgrip on that idea, and won't let go despite all his peers and adults saying it was all a joke. Obsessive/compulsive behavior.

Is Hitler still alive?

True believers say evidence exists. He is in a secret hollow mountain in Bavaria, held by the CIA...

1/14/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4 : Woolsey is a paid hack of JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs.

is this a BAD thing?

JINSA is proud to announce that General Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be honored as the recipient of the 23rd Annual Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson Distinguished Service Award

On October 24, 2005, The Los Angeles Times ran a large article on the efforts of Det. Ralph Morten of the Los Angeles Police Department to educate U.S. Marines about defeating suicide bombers. Det. Morten’s knowledge comes from close study in Israel of the how the Israeli security services thwwart suicide bombers. JINSA proudly underwrote two of Det. Morten’s visits to Israel.

Sounds like we owe C4 a thank you for sharing with us a great american jewish organization aimed at freedom and american values....

1/14/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

C4 you are still attacking me personally though I don't believe you realize it. Comparing me to someone who believes that Hitler is still alive and the rest of your attempt to discredit me instead of my ideas. Attack the ideas and let your readers decide whether I am a snipe hunter or not. Not that it matters, consider it a FYI.

So you consider the Israeli General who declared that the Weapons were moved to Syria to be what? Snipe hunter? Reminding you that he was the equivalent to the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff for Israel. Do you think that he was duped by Cheney's shaping the Intelligence?

Do you honestly believe that Saddam destroyed what he spent all of his life building in the face of the fact that without the WMD's he would have lost to Iran? Quite apart from the threat of the United States his WMD program was intended to protect his regime from elements inside of his country and the threats that surrounded his country.

Whether there have been attempts to use those weapons is a interesting question. Perhaps you might wonder where that WMD came from that was used in the thwarted attack on Jordon.

Given your spitting out the word Zionist it seems like you might be one of those folks that thinks this whole war was fought to protect Israel. Your thoughts?


1/14/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Rules Of Engagement


1/14/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Crescendo said...

I think that the 'southeast' deployment was the attack that we later found out about on the village in Pakistan near the Afghan border-- the airstrike ordered by the CIA that might have killed Al Qaeda's #2. Anyone else have the same conjecture?

1/14/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

First, let me say, I'm a Strong Bush Supporter. I was all "In favor" of taking out Saddam, and, I still am. If Dubya wants to take out Assad, or Iran, I'm up for that, too. In fact, I'm "Strongly" in favor of it. I was surprised when they didn't find WMD's. Quite surprised.

I suppose, it might be possible that some were moved to Syria. Maybe. I mean, this "is" the Middle East. "Anything's" Possible.

But, someone inform that Phoney-Baloney Israeli General to keep his trap shut, and quit insulting us. There may have been WMD's in Iraq, but, "THERE WERE NEVER ANY WMD's WHERE HE SAID THERE WERE; and, he's becoming a bit annoying. Now he wants to tell us where the "Secret" Iranian Nukes are. Kind of a "Bonus," I guess.

Thanks, but, no thanks, Bub. We'll go on our own inaccurate, thoroughly unreliable intelligence(?). At least we won't wake up the next morning feeling used, and abused (not to mention, embarressed.)

1/14/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Crescendo, that was the work of 3 five hundred pound JDAMS which would be delivered by one F-117A, or (if the witness is to be believed regarding hearing 8 explosions,) 155 mm Artillary Rounds.

1/14/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...



I don't follow. If the Israeli General said the weapons were moved to Syria, then obviously the American Amy could not have been to where he says the weapons are/were. Anyway, I couldn't get the name of that Israeli General (the News site linked to needs a subscription). I Copied & Pasted the headline into Google hoping to find another site carrying the article not needing a subscription, and I came across this:

Here's an excerpt:

Saddam's WMD hidden in Syria, says Iraq survey chief
By Con Coughlin
(Filed: 25/01/2004)

David Kay, the former head of the coalition's hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, yesterday claimed that part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme was hidden in Syria.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay, who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before last year's war to overthrow Saddam.

"We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

1/14/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Ok, found that info regards the Israeli General. Turns out it's no other than Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, former Chief of Staff of the IDF.

1/14/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Mika, the Israeli's were all over TV touting the "Exact" locations of various WMD programs. The Survey Group never found "ANY EVIDENCE" that any of these locations ever supported any WMD programs. We were going to go, anyway. We didn't need the pushing and prodding.

Actually, I don't think George paid any attention to the Israeli's. "W" is thick-tongued, but he's got a certain amount of Political Street-Smarts. He grew up in the biz, ya know.

1/14/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


I follow the US media fairly closely, and I don't recall this that you're saying. (I'd love a link if you have one). I had the impression the bio/chem WMD labs were of a mobile nature. Saddam's nuclear WMD program is another issue of course. Rumor is that Saddam shipped it to Qaddafi. Though no one seems to want to talk about that.

1/14/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger PD111 said...

The whole song and dance with Iran- with US and Britain the hard guys, the French and Russians rushing to Iran to salvage a diplomatic way out, reminds me of the same game that was played prior to the start of Gulf War I. GWI was eventually precipated when Saddam made a blunder by setting the oil wells on fire. Even the French and the Russians then realised that there was no way out for their client Iraq. What emboldened Saddam in his arrogance was his confidence that the US, post-Vietnam, did not have the will, and France and Russia would continue to protect him. One could almost argue that this was a trap laid for him by France and Russia to committ the unforgivable.

One sees a similar situation now with Iran. Iran's intransigence is a product of its thinking that the US and the UK, post-Iraq, do not have the will, and France and Russia will protect it no matter what. This may well lead it to commit a blunder that will provide the necessary causus belli for the US and the UK.

I have no doubt that Iran's nuclear infrastructure will crumble under the weight of a sustained aerial onslaught. Nuclear infrastructure is a complex and delicate one, and is easily damaged.

If Iran retaliates against Israel just as Iraq did with Scuds in GWI, it is likely that Israel, given Iran's views of Israel, will not be restrained as it was in 1991 with Iraq.

The present state of play with Iran has a striking similarity with Iraq prior to GWI.

1/17/2006 04:10:00 PM  

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