Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hope Springs Internal

Remember how inviting Ahmadinejad to Columbia University was supposed to impress the Iranian president with the power of American freedom and the courage of American academia? Well according to Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Ahmadinejad has just called the US a "dictatorship" whose citizens are not allowed to know the facts and described the Columbia invitation as a "Zionist plot".

Referring to his speech at Columbia University, President Ahmadinejad said, "The Zionists wanted to turn the event into a trial of the Isalmic Republic of Iran, but with help from the Almighty God, the plot turned into a scene in which nations could express their hatred with the rulers in the White House. The behavior of the government and media in the US shows that there is dictatorship in that country and people are not allowed to know the facts," said the president.



Despite the implacability of Ahmadinejad's remarks, there will be those will persist in attempting "dialogue" and bending over backward in the belief that American goodwill towards "the Iranian people" has simply been misunderstood or misrepresented by the Bush-Hitler administration. In each case their overtures will receive exactly the same rebuff; and in each case they will draw exactly the same lesson from their rejection: that they must try harder and bend over further the next time around. Talleyrand said of the Bourbons as they were making a hash of their Restoration, squandering their rare historical second chance, "they have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing." But to those whose repeatedly hope that a regime which declares itself hostile is really their friend one should turn to Sergeant Schultz: "I see nothing, nothing, nothing."

51 Comments:

Blogger RWE said...

You describe an argument that has the same basis as the frequent Democratic complaint that the Bush Administration is not using “diplomacy” enough. Or well enough. Or something.

Given that the best known definition of “diplomacy” is “The art of saying ‘Nice doggie…’ while looking for a suitable rock to throw”, then what is not using “enough diplomacy?” Is it not saying “Nice doggie…” loud enough? Or being too obvious while looking for the rock? Or is it not being obvious enough that while you are saying “Nice Doggie” you also have lots of really big rocks and an arm like Robert Redford in “The Natural”?

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the U.S. State Department was in the midst of diplomatic discussions with Japan. Would anyone assert that if those discussions had been better conducted that the attack would not have happened - and if so, what would that have required?

10/03/2007 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Duck said...

what would that have required?

Ending the oil and metal embargoes.

10/03/2007 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It's now being reported that Jimmy Carter yelled at Sudanese security men who barred him from meeting some refugees. "I'll tell President Bashir about this," Carter said, referring to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

But what if President Bashir ordered it himself? What are the odds that a junior Sudanese functionary took it on himself to make the decision to stop ex-President Carter and his "traveling companions, billionaire businessman Richard Branson and Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela"? I think it's better than even money that Bashir will know all about it before Carter blurts out his complaint. As a matter of fact it's conceivable Bashir knew about it even before it happened.

Now the question is: does Carter understand the concept of being played for a fool? I'm sure he does. How can one become an officer in the Navy, a governor of Georgia and a President of the United States without knowing when you are being taken for a ride?

These were some of the things people puzzled over when studying the Men of Munich. None of them were stupid. All of them were experienced men of affairs. And yet they displayed a kind of unaccountable blindness. They simply couldn't see Hitler. Couldn't see him at all.

10/03/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Well, the cat's out of the bag. Now that the nut job has been over here to see for himself, he knows how trammeled and victimized we poor Americans are.

Maybe he will come back and rescue us.

Maybe the 12th imam will turn out to be Rage Boy, who is really the Missing Link. Yeah, that's it: Rage Boy will save us from Bushitler and places like Columbia University, where the students are tied to their chairs and beaten with canes.

I guess he saw how the police force women to walk around in skimpy clothing. Anyone under the age of 60 has to wear six inch skirts and 3 inch heels.

I knew we never should have let him in.

What a big mouth.

10/03/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Wretchard asks concerning Jimmy Carter, "How can one become an officer in the Navy, a governor of Georgia and a President of the United States without knowing when you are being taken for a ride?"

Jimmy Carter destroyed the US Nuclear industry because the biggest concern he had was the fear of nuclear proliferation. He later forced Bill Clinton to sign an unverifiable treaty with North Korea that was the key to their ability both to stay in power and to build their bomb.

Jimmy Carter turned Iran from the strongest US ally in the Arab world into a charter member of the terrorist Axis of Evil. He withdrew his support of the Shah of Iran because the Shah had about 400 political prisoners. The Ayatollah Khomeini (whom Carter called "a good and holy man") murdered 20,000 pro-Western Iranians in his first year in power.

When the Cuban economy was strained and Castro's grip on power was weakening, Carter propped him up by letting him empty the Cuban prisons onto the streets of Miami during the Mariel Boatlift.

They invented the word "stagflation" to describe the results of Carter's economic policies.

Congress should pass a law that whenever presented with a political decision we shpuld ask "What would Carter do?" and then do the opposite.

10/03/2007 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: How can one become an officer in the Navy, a governor of Georgia and a President of the United States without knowing when you are being taken for a ride?

By taking voters for a ride? Carter defeated Ford by two percent in the popular vote.

10/03/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Quick comment:

Seeing how we weren't getting out of this situation without giving Ahmadinejad a propaganda victory, I'm not so sure that this particular manifestation is any worse than the alternative.

Had we -- those who advocated non-invitation and/or rescission -- won the day, Ahmadinejad would've almost certainly proclaimed, proof! that the US government was too frightened by what he was going to say, proof! that Bush was a dictator who imposed his will on Universities, etc.

So it's kind of a wash if you look at it like that. That's why I advised re-raising by demanding reciprocal access to an Iranian University for Lee Bollinger to give a speech (which would have placed both principals in unenviable but ultimately positive-for-us predicaments). But anyway.

More interesting was the performance given by Bollinger which recalled the puffed-up Carl Denham, standing before his New York Audience, showcasing a monster and reveling in its beastliness, smug and righteous and loud -- unafraid of Kong, sure the chains would hold.

10/03/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Duck said::::::

Ending the oil and metal embargoes.

Yes, and Japan could have stopped its bloody expansionism which included the "Rape of Nanking" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre in which THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND CHINESE were killed. Oh, and by the way, the killing was upclose and personal; rifles, bayonets and extended sexual assault.

So.....was America the bad guy. Duck thinks so because he has no knowledge of history and no moral compass.

10/03/2007 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Sloat said...

George: I think he was asserting that ending the embargoes would have staved off Pearl Harbor, not that doing so would have been morally defensible. Merely a cause and effect relationship, and one that is probably true - if we'd caved in, they wouldn't have attacked.

10/03/2007 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

It is worthy of note that President Bollinger has not invited Harun Yahya to speak at Columbia University. Harun Yahya is a Muslim crank, but he hasn't threatened Americans with death, he doesn't finance terrorist activities, he doesn't run any secret police, he doesn't torture diplomats, and he doesn't tyrannize an entire nation. And Harun Yahya desires dialogue. He gives away a masterpiece of Islamic creationist propaganda to hundreds (if not thousands) of libraries, and only sixteen libraries in the entire world have added this compendium to their collections. No library at Columbia University has accepted The Atlas of Creation into its collection.

Instead, President Bollinger invites a Muslim crank who is armed and dangerous. The moral of the story appears to be that you will be invited to speak at Columbia University if you are a Muslim crank, but only if you are armed and dangerous. Harmless cranks will be ignored.

10/03/2007 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Obviously Dinner Jacket was going to spin things his own way. No surprise there. I suppose there may be some naifs in the US, like Bollinger, who thought that if DJ came off badly in the appearance it would have a beneficial effect. I will say though that DJ's remarks re gays in Iran will be remembered forever in the US. I watched the video of that part of the talk and ol Dinner Jacket didn't like being laughed at and booed one little bit.

This blog suggests some better questions that Bollinger should have asked: The Persian Abyss: Mahmoud the Rock Star.

Curiously, a university in Iran invited GWB to speak there. He said no. Don't look for Bush at Iran university anytime soon.

10/03/2007 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The strategic decision which precipitated the attack on Pearl Harbor may have been determined by the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. Prior to this debacle the Japanese High Command had yet to determine whether to seek expansion overland to Siberia or South towards Asia.

The Japanese lost a large battle against soon-to-be-famous Georgi Zhukov. They were badly defeated by a Soviet armored force.

The defeat convinced the Imperial General Staff in Tokyo that the policy of the North Strike Group, favored by the army, which wanted to seize Siberia as far as Lake Baikal for its resources, was untenable. Instead the South Strike Group, favored by the navy, which wanted to seize the resources of Southeast Asia, especially the petroleum and mineral-rich Dutch East Indies, gained the ascendancy, leading directly to the attack on Pearl Harbor two and a half years later in December 1941. The Japanese would never make an offensive movement towards Russia again.

Japan was willing to war on whatever stood in the path of its expansion. The question was which was the softer target. To them the depression-shrunken US forces and the tottering British Empire seemed a weaker target then the inhumanly brutal Soviet Empire.

Carter and Columbia's Bollinger are examples of those with a heightened sense of their own prestige who think that there are certain things others "wouldn't dare" try. They've lived too long away from the jungle to understand its brutality. They are fundamentally decent men -- civilized men -- therein lies the problem, and therefore believe that a clever phrase or an unanswerable argument will put menace in its place. That the monster in the forest can be faced down. But in reality certain primeval, slimy things care nothing for prestige, what you wear, where you studied; care not a fig for rights or wrongs. They operate, not in any moral universe but in a predatory one. In their reckoning you are a bag of flesh to be consumed if it s not too much trouble. Hitler saw Chamberlain, however Chamberlain saw himself, not as the "Prime Minister of His Majesty's Government", but as stalker might coldly size up his prey. What he saw was something old and weak; and therefore it would die. The more Chamberlain conceded the more surely he was marked for death in Hitler's eyes. And though it may come as a shock to us, the Imperial Japanese militarists judged America as decadent, depression-wracked and unwilling to fight as compared to Stalin's Empire. Therefore it too was marked for destruction. It's interesting that Osama Bin Laden, in explaining why America should be attacked, asserts that America is really the "weaker" of the two Satans. Russia, in his eyes, was inestimably more formidable than America, which ran from Mogadishu at the first sign of trouble. And if no wide-body airplanes slam into Moscow or the Kremlin, then maybe that's why.

Some Japanese commanders disagreed with this estimate of America. Yamamoto famously predicted that after "six months of running wild", Japan would face the reckoning of American fleets that hadn't been launched, armies that hadn't been raised and weapons that hadn't even been imagined; that the wide Pacific, fortified by impregnable garrisons would be prove no barrier to the force that would come and hang them all.

Japan was wrong in it's estimate of 1941 America. Was Osama wrong about America in 2001? Looking at Jimmy Carter one wonders.

History is funny that way. You never know who's right until it all plays out.

10/03/2007 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Another possible interpretation of Carter's recent hissy fit in Darfur is that maybe it was all staged. Carter gave his seal of approval to crooked elections in Venezuela, even in the face of strong evidence of corruption. Is it beyond the pale to speculate that the Wrong-Way Corragin of foreign policy is boosting his street cred by staging a phony confrontation?

Will he investigate and then announce there is no genocide going on over there? Events bear watching.

10/04/2007 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: History is funny that way. You never know who's right until it all plays out.

Yeah, almost 4,000 US lives later, we find out Saddam was right when he said he had no WMDs.

Fast forward to 2010, 40,000 US lives later, will we find out Ahmedinejad was right when he said his nuclear program is for power generation only?

10/04/2007 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Teresita...Fast forward to 2010, 40,000 US lives later, will we find out Ahmedinejad was right when he said his nuclear program is for power generation only?

The real question is, Teresita, are you willing to take that chance? Are you willing to risk Tel Aviv or London or New York?

I am not willing to give Ahmadinejad that chance. From his words and from his deeds he has proven that he is not a man of peace. Are we, against all reason, to assume that he is simply bluffing?

Yeah, almost 4,000 US lives later, we find out Saddam was right when he said he had no WMDs.


With all evidence to the contrary, Teresita, why should we have believed anything Saddam said? After all, we KNOW that he had WMDs because he USED them both on his own people - the Kurds - and on the Iranians.

It must be nice to live in your La-La Land where everybody tells the truth. What is your solution to Ahmadinejad - to give him a timeout so that he recognizes that he is not playing nice with the other kids?

10/04/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger El Jefe Maximo said...

Since we've veered on the subject of the outbreak of war in 1941, I have often wondered what would have happened if the Japanese, when they made their "Go South" determination after Khalkhin Gol -- had ignored the United States.

Suppose the Japanese had bypassed the US in the Philippines and ignored the Pacific Fleet...and gone to war only with Britain and seized the Dutch East Indies ? Remember, the Japanese engaged the US because they made the calculation that the US would not sit still for such an aggression, and they felt they couldn't afford the Pacific Fleet on their flank.

Maybe they were right about that, I don't know. Presumably the Japanese campaigns in the "Southern Area" would have proceeded as they did, possibly faster -- because 14th Army and associated air and naval elements don't go to the Philippines.

But what of the US reaction ? Probably the Admirals and Generals, (MacArthur and Kimmel certainly) would have been chafing at the bit to fight...but I just keep coming back to the US Congress, in August 1941, with the Germans in Smolensk on the verge of conquering Russia -- extending the application of the Selective Service Act by a majority of one vote in the House. The Axis was looting the whole world, and Congress was so out of it they kept the draft by only one vote.

My question is, what would have been the political implications of a Pacific War breaking out without a direct attack on the US ? I wonder if the Roosevelt administration could have involved the US in that particular case ? Even assuming that such was politically possible, it would have been under far from optimum circumstances -- without the surprise attack that politically finished the isolationists. If the Americans had gone to war under such conditions, the Japanese bet about the US might well have applied.

Moreover, even if the US entered the war, the operational circumstances would have been less favorable than they were, even in 1941. Presumably the Pacific Fleet would have moved west, at least to the Mandates. Given the state of US carrier air in late 41 (fewer decks, old aircraft, squadrons broken up for expansion) -- the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor likely would have been lost in deeper water, along with some carriers, and far graver strategic consequences.

Finally, the other interesting "what if" is what if Hitler had ignored the Axis pact, on 11 Dec. 1941, and declared war on Japan instead. . .but that's for another time.

10/04/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

As to the rich man/peanut farmer's son and most failed President in the history of the United States:

Grinnin' fools is grinnin' fools. His election was the greatest electoral mistake in American history and may never be eclipsed.

10/04/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA GAMER:The real question is, Teresita, are you willing to take that chance? Are you willing to risk Tel Aviv or London or New York?

By the same token, are we willing to risk Seoul or Tokyo to another madman who has done more than talk, but has actually fired rockets over Japan and has detonated a nuke underground? Your standard could be used to justify eternal warfare against anyone who makes "We Will Bury You" type rhetoric.

After all, we KNOW that he had WMDs because he USED them both on his own people - the Kurds - and on the Iranians.

Granted. But that was in 1988. Shall we go against Libya who has given up nuclear ambitions, simply because we KNOW they had nuclear ambitions in 1988?

What is your solution to Ahmadinejad - to give him a timeout so that he recognizes that he is not playing nice with the other kids?

My solution is AD. Assured Destruction, without the Mutual part.

10/04/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Teresita...Your standard could be used to justify eternal warfare against anyone who makes "We Will Bury You" type rhetoric.

The reason that U.S. diplomacy will work with the Iranians better than European diplomacy is that he have something to back up our words. When we say, for instance, that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, Ahmadinejad must consider that we might be serious. After all, we successfully overthrew the governments of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Europe, on the other hand, has no teeth. Ahmadinejad knows that Europe cannot back up its words with action. In fact, Europe is so divided that France, Germany, or others might even continue trading with Iran.

Consider Libya. It was not until Bush finished with Afghanistan and Iraq that Qaddafi capitulated and offered to end his WMD program. You might argue that this negotiation was in the works for years, but it was not until the U.S. proved that it is willing to act that he willingly gave up his WMD program.

Teresita...My solution is AD. Assured Destruction, without the Mutual part.

This means that you are willing to accept a nuclear Iran. You think that the nutjob president of Iran will not act because we promise to destroy him if he does.

What do you think we will do if a terrorist nuclear weapon destroys Tel Aviv? Especially if Ahmadinejad immediately claims that he was not involved and offers massive aid to Israel? Do you think this nation will destroy Iran in that case?

Another scenario, the leaders of the Middle East know that Iran wants to be hegemon of the M.E. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, they will succeed in dominating UNLESS they too develop nuclear weapons. Do you think the world will be safer with a nuclear armed M.E.?

Would it not save more lives by confronting the monster before he has access to these weapons? Would it not save more money? We need not attack Iran to stop the program. We just need to persuade them that we are willing to attack. That might just be enough (unless Russia decides that it is in its interest to support Iran at the risk of confronting us...but that is a post for another day).

10/04/2007 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Well folks, now you know why the Bush administration doesn't spend a lot of time and energy talking to Mr.INeedANewJob. I'm sooooo thankful that GWB is president.

The LL's(Liberal Loons) at universities are always going to get played by the bad guys. But then nobody would put an LL in a position of real power, would they?

10/04/2007 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA GAMER:

When we say, for instance, that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, Ahmadinejad must consider that we might be serious. After all, we successfully overthrew the governments of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ahmedinejad knows that the US Army and Marines are stretched to the breaking point, with some troops on their fourth deployment. He knows that Bush will veto Jack Murtha's bill to fund the war with a tax increase like we did all the way from the Civil War to Vietnam. America has been borrowing money like a lush running up a bar tab and we're about to be cut off as China moves their billions into the EU or India. The GOP is not prepared to ask Americans to actually sacrifice anything like their tax cuts or another two bucks tacked onto each gallon of gas. All we're holding a pair of Jacks and we're about to be called on it.

This means that you are willing to accept a nuclear Iran. You think that the nutjob president of Iran will not act because we promise to destroy him if he does.

The Bush Administration said a nuclear North Korea was "unacceptable" and then proceeded to accept it. Now they say a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but Iran is going nuclear, and the Bush team is going to accept it. I'm just being honest before the fact.

10/04/2007 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Teresita:

We believed that Saddam was years away from a nuclear weapon before Gulf War One. When the inspectors inspected, we found that he was very close...maybe a year away.

When the inspectors got cracking, they thought they had located all of Saddam's weapons programs. But then Saddam's son-in-law defected and told us about a huge bio weapons program still ongoing.

Saddam fessed up!

Saddam was not your garden variety mouth-off. He was an unusually determined and menacing dictator who had insanely set all the Kuwaiti oil fields afire after being specifically warned that he would be removed from power if he did so.

We had not CONCLUDED a war with him. We had fought him; offered him truce terms; he had continually violated the truce terms; and we were in a never ending, low grade conflict with him ever since. We were finishing a war that had never ended. We weren't starting a new one.

As for weapons of mass destruction:

1. We were pretty darned sure on some pretty good evidence and the behavior that he had exhibited in the past that Saddam had them.

2. Now were are pretty darned sure on some pretty good evidence that he didn't, at least in the latter phase of his rule.

It was unlikely that we were wrong about 1, but it seems we may well have been. That is now the received wisdom and the judgment of the best minds.

Such judgment and such minds can be wrong. It's about as possible now that Saddam really did still have weapons of mass destruction that he shipped to Syria or something as it was initially that he didn't have any.

10/04/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think everyone can agree that Imperial Japan was imperialist in every sense of the word. Ending our embargoes and our whining about Japan’s actions in China and even dangerously provocative actions such as allowing the American Volunteer Group to be formed, might – might – have prevented the 7 Dec 41 attack but most probably would have resulted in IJN Vals and Kates over not only Pearl Harbor but San Diego and Long Beach as well a bit later.

Now, of course, later would have meant that the U.S. would have been better prepared as well. The U.S. leadership had assumed that formal declaration of war with Germany would occur around July of 1942. In fact, the USN and Kriegsmarine were virtually at war in the Atlantic from mid-1941 on, since both had stated a “”shoot on sight” policy relative to the other. Whether not losing our forces at Pearl Harbor – and the Philippines would have made us significantly stronger is not clear – but it sure as hell would have hurt our learning curve.

There was a real possibility that the 7 Dec 41 attack could have resulted in the U.S. declaring war on Japan only. In fact, Germany and Italy declared war on us first, so a U.S. desire to emphasize what appeared to be the greater danger in the Pacific could well have led us to stay out of the war in Europe. Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen explored this in their alternate history novel “1945.”

But was defeating Japan or Germany the more urgent task? Roosevelt and Churchill agreed that Germany was the priority, but given what we know now, we know that we can’t really say.

10/04/2007 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA GAMER: What do you think we will do if a terrorist nuclear weapon destroys Tel Aviv?

It was the style of both sides, in World War II, to annihilate cities. Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Manila, Nanking. Sometimes the justification was as simple as wanting to take out a railroad depot. The American innovation was to reduce the number of attacking planes by three orders of magnitude. In the intervening sixty years, the idea of taking out cities has fallen into disuse, but the ability to make pinpoint strikes against military and industrial targets with a large number of conventional bombs has been perfected. In the event Tel Aviv is destroyed, the US will probably resort to an intermediate tactic, pinpoint strikes against Iranian military and industrial targets with many fewer nuclear warheads.

10/04/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I wish Teresita would take her royal "we" and anti-American stretched-to-the-limit loser-isms back to KosKidz and/or MoveOn.org where she found them, and quit trying to infect Belmont with that trite, uninformed snark.

As for whether or not Carter realizes he's being played, my guess is not. He played along with the Iranians for over 400 days while they held Americans hostage and never, ever, realized he was being played then, when he had the full might of the American military to back him up. For people who insist that Bush is the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, they obviously have never taken a good look at Carter's presidency.

10/04/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Teresita...All we're holding a pair of Jacks and we're about to be called on it.

I think the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy count for a helluva lot more than a pair of Jacks. All we would have to do is take out the refineries to cripple their already weak economy, but that is putting the cart before the horse. Nobody wants another war. We want diplomacy to work.

Bush had to accept a nuclear North Korea because it was a fait accompli. You might remember that Carter forced Clinton to give away the shop in negotiations with the diminutive dictator. The U.S. gave fuel and other incentives to NK in exchange for unverifiable promises.

You liberals never surprise. Your first impulse with any problem is to increase taxes and to increase government intrusion into one's life. However, this is off-topic and unrelated to how we should deal with Iran.

10/04/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA GAMER: Bush had to accept a nuclear North Korea because it was a fait accompli.

The NK nuke test was on October 9, 2006. Are we given understand that things occuring nearly two years into a president's second term are fait accompli or is that an attempt to shift blame to earlier presidents? If there's an economic depression in 2014 shall we assign blame to Bush, or does this only work against Democrats?

You liberals never surprise. Your first impulse with any problem is to increase taxes and to increase government intrusion into one's life.

US outlays as a percent of GDP are about 20%, but revenues are 15%. The difference is being borrowed without permission from our children and grandchildren. After the 1993 tax hike, we had three years of budget surpluses. As for government intrusion into one's life, which party intervened in the Terry Schialvo affair? It wasn't the donks.

10/04/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA GAMER: All we would have to do is take out the refineries to cripple their already weak economy, but that is putting the cart before the horse.

The Japanese thought all they had to do was disable our ships at Pearl Harbor to cripple our Pacific war machine and bring us to the negotiating table, but all it really did was serve as a focal point for American indignation that paid them back in spades several years later. Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it.

10/04/2007 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

I just read something on the Multi-National Force website that they caught an al Qaeda financier who had funneled $100 million into Iraq for terrorist activity. Assuming the number is correct, where did this money come from? It's hard to imagine even a Saudi financier coming up with that sort of money. This is much more than simply writing a check. The money trail would have to be hidden and pass through many hands to get to Iraq. Occam's razor tells me that another government is providing this money. Which government? Is it the Iranians, the Saudis, the Chinese, the Russians or maybe all of the above?

10/04/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Leiko said...

Compared to Iran, Israel already has a huge arsenal of nuclear bombs to use in defense. If Iran is stupid and reckless enough to launch an attack on Israel, say goodbye to Iran. Hopefully Ahmadinejad is smart enough to know this (fingers crossed), so Iran will never attack. Unless they were sure they could get away with it and place the blame on someone else. But even then, I say to Israel, attack Iran anyway, because we all know they'll be behind it somehow pulling the strings.

Of course, I'm not serious about Israel launching nuclear bombs. The consequences of that would be too terrible to imagine. And I don't think Iran will ever use nuclear weapons on another country in their neighborhood.

What Iran really wants to achieve with nuclear weapons is hegemony in the Middle East. It wants to be top dog and dominate the whole region. If that happens, I think Israel should destroy the nuclear facilities. I'm pretty sure all the Arabic states, including Syria, will be thankful.

10/04/2007 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Teresita...The NK nuke test was on October 9, 2006. Are we given understand that things occuring nearly two years into a president's second term are fait accompli or is that an attempt to shift blame to earlier presidents?

Nukes do not develop themselves overnight. It is a process of many years. An incoming president must live with the agreements worked out by his predecessors. Bush was handcuffed by Clinton's NK agreement.

Teresita...Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it.

Yes, Teresita, you are correct. I might remind you that Europe and the U.S. were dragged into a devastating war because some misguided leaders thought that they could appease a power-hungry, megalomaniacal dictator. Had France and England confronted Hitler earlier, the world might have been spared the destruction of WWII. Do you not see the similarites? Do you not remember history?

10/04/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

VA Gamer: An incoming president must live with the agreements worked out by his predecessors. Bush was handcuffed by Clinton's NK agreement.

Negative. Bush bailed us out of the ABM treaty with the Soviets, and a treaty has much more force of law than a memorandum of agreement.

10/04/2007 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

With all this talk about nuclear Iran, the apparentl helplessness of Israel to defend itself, and what the Bush administration might do about it, I thought it would be interesting to bring into this discussion the words of one of Israel's (and the world's) greatest experts on military history and strategic thinking.

Martin van Creveld has been a professor of military history at Hebrew University since 1971. According to Wikipedia, "[He} has lectured or taught at virtually every strategic institute, military or civilian, in the Western world, including the U.S. Naval War College." His book, "The Tranformation of War" is included on the list of required reading for United States Army officers, and the only non-American entry on the list.

About OIF and Iraq, Creveld notes:
"The U.S. will lose, in fact already has lost, the War. The Americans will leave the country in the same way as the Soviets left Afghanistan; that, is, with the Iraqi guerrillas jeering at them. The only question is how long it will take and how much prestige can still be saved from the ruins. That, and that alone, is the issue that still faces Mr. Bush ."

"the greatest beneficiary is likely to be Iran which, without having to lift a finger, has seen its most dangerous enemy ground into the dust. Even before President Bush launched his war against Iraq, the Iranians, feeling surrounded by nuclear-capable American forces on three sides (Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics, the Persian Gulf), were working as hard as they could to acquire nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles to match. Now that the U.S. has proved it is prepared to fight anybody for no reason at all, they should be forgiven if they redouble their efforts."

Source: http://www.d-n-i.net/creveld/into_the_abyss.htm


"And behind Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stands President Bush — the same President Bush who four years ago needed no reason at all to take on Iran’s neighbor to the west and demolish it to the point where it may never rise again."

"Both Olmert and Bush have repeatedly signaled their determination to prevent Iran from going nuclear, using force if necessary, and they may very well carry out their threats. Should they do so, then Iran — so often presented as some kind of regional juggernaut — will have little to put in their way."

"Iran, in fact, spends a smaller percentage of its resources on defense than any of its neighbors except the United Arab Emirates."


"In case Bush does decide to attack Iran, it is questionable whether Iran’s large, well-dispersed and well-camouflaged nuclear program can really be knocked out. This is all the more doubtful because, in contrast to the Israeli attacks on Iraq back in 1981 and on Syria three weeks ago, the element of surprise will be lacking. And even if it can be done, whether doing so will serve a useful purpose is also questionable.

Since 1945 hardly one year has gone by in which some voices — mainly American ones concerned about preserving Washington’s monopoly over nuclear weapons to the greatest extent possible — did not decry the terrible consequences that would follow if additional countries went nuclear. So far, not one of those warnings has come true. To the contrary: in every place where nuclear weapons were introduced, large-scale wars between their owners have disappeared.

General John Abizaid, the former commander of United States Central Command, is only the latest in a long list of experts to argue that the world can live with a nuclear Iran. Their views deserve to be carefully considered, lest Ahmadinejad’s fear-driven posturing cause anybody to do something stupid."

Source: http://www.forward.com/articles/11673/

10/04/2007 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

An additional thought from van Creveld:

""We Israelis have what it takes to deter an Iranian attack. We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons ... thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."

Source: http://www.upi.com/International_Intelligence/Analysis/2007/05/21/commentary_islamic_deja_vu/2407/

10/04/2007 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

It is really quite amazing that with so many experts, so many in the military, cautioning against attacking Iran that we still have a large number of arm chair generals spewing forth how we must launch an attack; the sooner the better.

10/04/2007 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

It is interesting to read "what if" scenarios of the past and then the future.

The work of van Creveld and other writers on D-N-I.net has scrambled my brain, changed my mind and given insight.

Besides this blog, D-N-I is my favorite education source.

It is also interesting how conservatives posting on D-N-I have better arguments and seem to agree with the liberal platform of Iraq being a bad move. They certainly have made me think and made me understand I was once under the spell of the "Neocons".

One writer in particular who uses the pseudonym Fabius Maximus, seem so pessimistic. When I looked in his/her archive I found the predictions to be more on the mark than any. He/She really got my attention.

Attacking Iran would definitely be a bad move in my book. For the price of one B-2 run we could be broadcasting, infiltrating and fomenting a revolution for years. Wouldn't that be a better investment?

Salaam eleikum, Y'all!

10/04/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It's hard to imagine even a Saudi financier coming up with that sort of money.

Eggplant, Google "Golden Chain". They're not financiers, they're Princes and Princesses of the Saud royal family with direct conduits to the oil money splashing into their country. I've also seen Interior Minister Prince Naif's name on that list, so the Saud contributors to terrorism go to the very tip-top of that country. And, what's more important, they're still doing it.

10/04/2007 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us.

Whatever other credentials the author of this remark may brandish this is an absurd statement on its face.

Only last year hundreds of missiles landed in Israeli population centers. Even if Israel has a state of the art anti-missle system, Hizbuallah and Hamas could fire thousands of missles simultaneously and overwhelm even the best defense system. Only one nuke has to get through. A numbers tactic well understood in the suicide bombing operations.

Military analysts and critics who speak in absolutes must like crow.

While it true that other countries have obtained nukes and have not used them (yet) what other country has publicly stated its intent to use nukes against a specific target at the first opportunity?

You can judge the quality of expert opinion by the simple fact that not a single so called expert was able to predict the emergence of global jihad.

Experts are very good at assuming that the world will continue on exactly the same path it has moved during their lifetimes, and of little use for anything else. Read the Black Swan.

10/04/2007 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

For the price of one B-2 run we could be broadcasting, infiltrating and fomenting a revolution for years. Wouldn't that be a better investment?

Investment in money or American blood. For one B-2 run, we can permanently solve the problem without having to send Americans overseas again to show a bunch of savages the error of their ways. I'm not thrilled about the idea of "infiltrating" because that means boots on the ground in Iran, and they're not worth the time or the effort, and certainly not the sacrifice of any more American lives.

10/04/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Nahncee wrote:
" For one B-2 run, we can permanently solve the problem "

Permanently? Really? What exactly do you think one B-2 run will accomplish, and how do you believe that the results of this accomplishment will be permanent?

10/04/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

One B-2 run? That better be one hell of an aspirin factory.

10/04/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Peterboston: While it true that other countries have obtained nukes and have not used them (yet) what other country has publicly stated its intent to use nukes against a specific target at the first opportunity?

Not Iran. You can't link to any quote where Iran says that. When Ahmedinejad says Israel should be "wiped off the map" he could be referring to the Zionists all packing their bags and moving to Boca Raton.

10/04/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Jefe Maximo,

If you watch this wonderful animated map of intial Japanese operations at the Australian War Museum unfold it will be readily apparent that Japanese success depended largely on an incredibly rapid tempo of operations. They actually attacked Malaya with half the number of troops the British had. The Japanese up until then had usually fought outnumbered, as in China. For them to slow down was to die. That tempo could only be sustained if they had a clear operational space within which to execute their plan to take Southern Asia.

The thrust south to Malaya and the Indies would have been vulnerable to a flank attack from the Philippines. Hence the Philippines had to be taken, and it was invaded just 2 days after Pearl Harbor. But since War Plan Orange envisioned a relief of the Philippines from Pearl Harbor, then Pearl Hhad to be taken out as well.

Interestingly enough, had Walter Krueger had his way while at the War Plans Division in the 1930s, the Philippines would have been militarily abandoned by 1940. He saw it as indefensible -- and he was right. Then War Plan Orange would have resolved to the Navy's cherished first option: the Central Pacific Campaign. The Japanese were probably well aware of the Central Pacific route. An intact Pacific Fleet would have remained a "fleet in being" against which their planners had to guard.

Your question of whether Roosevelt could have intervened to save Malaya absent an attack on Pearl Harbor is something we don't know the answer to. But neither did the Japanese know the answer in 1941. And they were evidently unwilling to take the risk that Roosevelt could. That's the key point. Therefore the Japanese accepted the price of America's entry into the war for the goal of sinking the fleet rather than endure the risk of having a powerful force on their flank. And we know the rest of the story.

10/04/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

teresita

Rafsanjani (former president) said it - more than once, as have other high ranking Iranian officials. Do your own homework.

10/04/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

Great reference to Black Swan, PeterBoston. They're going to ignore you, though.

And El Jefe Maximo, fantastic comment. We look back with certainty on the 1930's and 1940's -- Ken Burns has been doing it in the here and now -- and gloss over the surrender monkeys who had no clue (then) that they were doing the surrender monkey shuffle.

10/04/2007 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

James Kieland -- you are neither stupid nor unworldly. You know well that Creveld is an anti-American internationalist who is hostile to Western Civilization and is outright lying:

Iran's nuclear weapons program date to 1979 and Khomeni. Far beyond "Bushitler" or Iraqi Freedom or the Afghan War. Iran opens it's parliament and every other function with "Death to America." Iran's acts of outright war starting with the invasion of our embassy and torturing of our diplomats and people and ending with the killing of our men in Iraq AND Afghanistan.

[Iran has spent ALL it's money on nuclear weapons, going to considerable trouble. Conventional weapons offer huge problems for regimes -- credible militaries are a coup waiting to happen. While nukes offer command and control, the ability to kill the enemy without attribution through terrorist proxies. You are not stupid and know this well.]

Moreover, since the US removed two threats to Iran (Saddam and the Taliban) and yet Iran STILL cooperates with AQ despite serious issues with them to kill Americans in Afghanistan (and shelters AQ people including bin Laden's son and senior people) the question is WHY the irrational Iranian hostility?

Simple. Iran thinks it can "win." Winning defined as using nuclear weapons to destroy US cities (through deniable terrorist proxies) and force surrender to Islam. Osama thought the same thing. And that was just with widebody jets. Iran has every reason to think this is correct:

*Most Dems want the US to LOSE in Iraq and Afghanistan.
*Obama doesn't like the flag and what it stands for so he won't wear it.
*Tavis Smiley refused to allow an American Flag in the "Black Debate" he moderated.
*Katie Couric does not like the flag or America.

Iran has detected the struggle between patriots and nationalists who love their country and the internationalists who hate their own nations and want them abolished in favor of turning every place into something like Pakistan or Nigeria. Because what's the point of being rich (or wanting to be a rich man's flunky) if ordinary people have nice things too? [First said by uber-liberal Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy upon learning with horror that her servants owned cars.]

Neither yourself nor Teresita are stupid. You know full and well that "trusting" Iran is a recipe for the un-attributed nuking of American cities. That is PRECISELY the point. Objectively as part of the elites (or those who wish to join them) you want to destroy America as a nation (since it gives power to ordinary people who are a threat). This is why Bill Clinton (or for that matter camera-whore, "Maverick" and elitist McCain) said they'd not "order" torture but would "allow" some "rogue" to do it, get info that would save lives about terrorist plots to nuke America, then punish the "rogue." What this means is they don't want to defend America at the cost of international opinion/the press, because applause at Davos means more than US lives. But won't come out and say so. Neither McCain nor Clinton are stupid men. They know well that such a policy GUARANTEES the US will be nuked.

Because so many Americans hate the idea of America (particularly our elites) the better policy is to avoid the internal divisions (similar to the Bundist pro-Hitler isolationists on the Left and Right, Father Coughlin and Woody Guthrie, at least before June 1941). To strike at a place and time of our choosing and turn Iran into a place with no transport, electricity, at all. Sherman eventually left warehouses alone and simply destroyed the railroads. Iran can't make nuclear weapons if they have no power and transport (that's the downside of spreading out their production). Roads and powerlines/generators make easy targets and we owe Iran that anyway. For 1979. [Note: those who's primary loyalty is to the international jet set at Davos or yearn to be say, Bono's flunky, will feel differently.]

Teresita -- you are not a stupid person. You know well that Iran's leaders from Khomeni onwards have wanted to complete the Holocaust, a project well supported by the Left which is and always has been anti-Semitic. You also know well that Iran's one weakness is that they can't make nukes without working power and roads. Anymore than Lee could fight without food and ammo coming from Georgia's railroads. A limited air campaign ala Kosovo/Bosnia would destroy Iran's ability to make nukes and would be in Clinton's military policy of air strikes (Serbia, Iraq 1998-99 Desert Fox) to enforce US foreign policy. As I said, you are not stupid.

Instead my conclusion is that you actively wish for Israel's destruction and a second Holocaust. Most Leftists do, enraged that Israel as a Western nation exists as a modern society producing medical and technology advances, while Islam decays into barbaric darkness. My other conclusion is that like most Internationalists-Leftists you wish for America to be destroyed so that the "international" system may supplant it -- a few rich folks running things in global poverty.

10/04/2007 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Whiskey_199: Neither yourself nor Teresita are stupid. You know full and well that "trusting" Iran is a recipe for the un-attributed nuking of American cities.

Anyone who thinks the United States is going to heed "denials" from the Mullahs while a mushroom cloud rises over Miami is living in dreamland. Just two buildings falling down was enough to turn most Americans into bloodthirsty warmongers, even if our blood has cooled a bit since then.

10/04/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I'll add, why did the international community and internationalists here in the US applaud Bill Clinton's use of air power in Serbia and Iraq (Desert Fox)?

Because it was in explicit service to the "international system" and subordinated American interests and control to the super-national bodies.

Internationalists who loathe America in their heart recoil in horror at the limited bombing of Iran to stop nuclear threats to America. But applauded that in Serbia to preserve "the UN and EU."

10/04/2007 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Just two buildings falling down was enough to turn most Americans into bloodthirsty warmongers, even if our blood has cooled a bit since then.

Hard to believe people could get so upset over just a bit of real estate, eh, Ms. T? Of course to your comrades on the left, that particular real estate was already detested, and its destruction greatly admired.

10/04/2007 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

aAhhh, Internationalists, that is a good point to bring up. They are definately a force to consider. American Nationalists are definately under fire from them. The environmentalists/leftists/Cummunists/socialists/"educators" have steadily and incrementally chipped away at the mortar holding the American ediface together.

Look at who is on the opposite side of the illegal immigration issue for example. They are also on the opposite side of the War issue and trade.

Most Americans do not even know their Constitution, have never even read it but they seem to know all about their rights. Heck, since I began to really study the founders and their documents I found how ignorant I was and maybe still am.

Like a losing sports team, America needs to refocus on the fundamentals.

10/05/2007 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

James Kielland,

Hebrew University? LOL! You mean the place where all those left bank arab kossaks go to study their anti zionist lessons?

10/05/2007 08:55:00 AM  

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