Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
"I missed this when it first appeared. So, the imagery primarily came from Israel and Hadley blocked access to it from US Intelligence Community analysts and imagery interpreters? Why would that be? How about this? The Israelis wanted it to be that way and it was their information.
I will let that thought hang in the air for comment. Remember UHTTFY! pl "
"... But I was merely raising the issue that why there's such a fundamental issue around the Iraq war is that there is oil under the sands. And I'm just saying, without getting into the other issues you raised, which I frankly don't exactly disagree with you on. If oil did not happen to exist in Iraq, the issues of Iraq and the Iraq war would have come about wholly differently. And I don't think there would be a war, frankly. I think that Saddam would not be a crucial player in the world..."
Podhoretz walked out of the meeting neither deterred nor assured the president would attack the Persian state.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Bush insider to CNN :"Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly"
"...The bottom line is nobody in this government talks to me. I've been around for 40 years -- in Bush I, in the Reagan years, certainly in Democratic regimes, but even in Republican regimes where I am more of a pain -- I've always had tremendous relationships with people. This is the first government in which in order to get my stories checked out to make sure I'm not going to kill some American, I have to go to peoples' mailboxes at night, people I talk to and know, and put it in their mailbox before turning it into The New Yorker..."
Friday, September 21, 2007
"CIA analysts: Syrian-North Korean connection was based entirely on chemical and missile supply and was in the process of being wound down"
prowess, down played the possibility that North Korea was engaged in a serious effort to help Syria develop a nuclear capability. According to reliable sources, as recently as the beginning of September, CIA analysts were arguing that the Syrian-North Korean connection was based entirely on chemical and missile supply and, in fact, was in the process of being wound down. "We were told that there had been a falling out between North Korea and Syria just days before the Israeli raid," said one well-informed source..."
".. While the Israeli concern about Syria's role in Lebanon hasbeen mostly confined to its support of Hezbollah, senior Israeli officials fear that, as one expert put it this week, "We willwake up one morning and find [the current pro-western LebanesePrime Minister Fouad) Siniora gone." It is a fear also shared in Washington, as this week yet another pro-government legislatorwas assassinated in Beirut..."
"... President Bush, together with French President Sarkozy, is expected to issue a statement next week calling on all parties involved to allow free and fair elections, without intimidation and foreign interference, the latter, a code word for Syrian intervention.."
Saber rattling from the Cheney-Store:"Someone is serious about planting some disinformation about a Syria-North Korea nuclear connection in the press"
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Gates: "We have made human rights the centerpiece of our national strategy even as we did business with some of the worst violators of human rights"
Galbraith's article (here) on Iran was originally published in the New York Review of Books and then here in the Asia Times. It is so important that it is worth reproducing here for discussion.
There is much that could be argued with in the aricle, but, in the main it seems to capture the situation well.
IMO, the US has refused to accept the idea of sharing power in the Middle East with the Iranians. That lies at the heart of our problem with them. All other issues are more sympton than anything else. As Galbraith observes we have ignored efforts on their part to draw us into a serious discussion of what are really bi-lateral issues.
We talk about Iran being a strategic threat (life-threatening to the nation) to the United States. This is nonsense. Unless the Shihab series of guided missile developments results in an ICBM with a six-thousand mile range fitted with warheads of city destroying yields, Iran will never be an existential threat to the US.
If it were not for the undeniable fact that an Iran equipped with their present Shihab 3 and nuclear warheads would be an existential threat to Israel, our concern over their future nuclear weapons would be no greater than our present concern over Pakistan's weapons. Pat Lang
Estimated Range of Shihab3 Missile
"...Clemons' discussion of the ongoing argument within policy circles over whether or not Bush will give that order is reasonably accurate... It is also irrelevant. Only the decider will decide. He will decide with the help and advice of his pal, "just plain Dick," and after the "Italian Letter" crowd have done their worst..."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
"... Imagine the public outcry that would occur in the United States if after Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush undertook highly visible development projects in Republican strongholds that were left untouched by Katrina - that's how the situation looks to Lebanon's large Shiite community, the key source of support for Hizbullah..."
Saturday, September 15, 2007
"...This story is nonsense. The Washington Post story should have been headlined "White House Officials Try to Push North Korea-Syria Connection." This is a political story, not a threat story. The mainstream media seems to have learned nothing from the run-up to war in Iraq. It is a sad commentary on how selective leaks from administration officials who have repeatedly misled the press are still treated as if they were absolute truth..."
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
IraqObserver comments the following on WarAndPiece:
"... There are now two scenarios unfolding in Washington. The most likely one is that Bush will go full-steam ahead until the end of his term, keeping the maximum sustainable military presence on the ground in Iraq while portraying incremental reductions forced by structural constraints as “conditions-based withdrawals rooted in success.” However, in the absence of a political breakthrough at the national level in Iraq, which seems unlikely, this is a pathway to strategic and political exhaustion in the United States by late 2008, increasing the odds that the next President will pull the plug altogether. A second scenario would be a real bipartisan middle way emanating from Congress and forced on the administration that would reconceptualize and narrow American interests in Iraq, and begin a transition to a new approach intended to advance these more limited objectives. This is strategically and politically wise, but, to succeed, it would require substantial planning and preparation by the administration and the military now. This isn’t happening and isn’t likely to happen. Given the administration’s twisted interpretation of “middle way” and the organized attacks by surge cheerleaders on realistic bipartisan positions, the administration is on course to leave the next President a mess and no viable plan for smoothly transitioning out of Iraq. Well, at least they will help “end” the war the way it began!"
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Internal Pentagon report is expected to "differ substantially" from Petraeus' recommendations on withdrawal from Iraq
Monday, September 10, 2007
... and afterwards, it all "depends"!
Do you think your old buddy W. hopes he's Harry Truman in fifty years?
"I. Don't. Know."
Do you miss him?
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
"...Preparing a judicious withdrawal from Iraq will demand the integrated effort of the whole government, not just under this President but under the next one as well. “You just cannot pretend that the Iraq war never happened and everything can go back to how it was before,” the former Embassy official told me. “The status quo before 2003 no longer exists. We have introduced fundamental new disequilibriums into one of the most sensitive parts of the globe. How do you contain it?” He added, “People have to start thinking about these things—small study groups with military, State, and intelligence people sketching out what are the core interests on a regional level, and working back from that to discuss some options. If that’s been done, I don’t know about it.”"
Thursday, September 6, 2007
A September rollout for Iran war? Two "hawkish" priorities: Sustain "surge" well into next year and rally American behind an attack on Iran
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Then he told me something I had not heard before.
Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?
His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else..."
Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates: "the threats of money laundering and terrorism financing are particularly acute"
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Baghdad's New Owners: "Shiites now dominate the once mixed capital, and there is little chance of reversing the process"
Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”...But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.
If there is an indicator for a war with Iran, it would be the movement of Patriot/Arrow/whatever SAMs/ABMs to the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar
Most old North Korea hands have been of the opinion that the country was determined to build a war fighting capability with which to intimidate and dominate its neighbors.
A minority believed that this was not so and that the Korean program was largely designed as a bargaining chip in a larger diplomatic game. Looks like the second group were correct.
This should be an lesson to those who insist that diplomatic means will not be effective in dealing with Iran.
It should be a lesson but it will not be a lesson. The reason for that is that the lesson is not wanted.
In November or December of 2002, I took part in a town meeting in Lexington, Virginia on the subject of whether or not there would be war with Iraq. General Zinni and the dean of VMI were the other panelists. In that college town the audience was overwhelmingly anti-war.
At one point a panelist remarked that the discussion of this issue was enlightening but unproductive because on the issue, "the train had left the station."
I fear that a similar train has left the same station. My estimated time of arrival is...