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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do they think we are this dumb?

The White House is saying that Blair’s decision to pull almost a quarter of his force out of Iraq shows what a success everything has been and how swimmingly well it’s all turned out.


Blair, his Prime Ministership destroyed forever by his decision to go to war, so desperate to redeem himself begins the tail between legs pull out and America champions it as a ‘success’? If it’s been such a bloody success how come casualties for British troops have increased by 4 times in the last 4 months? If it was such a success, how come some British positions were pulled out from in case they were over run? If this is such a bloody success, how come a subtle ethnic cleansing has occurred in Basra under the British?

This pull out is the beginning of the end of this dreadful adventure, to have the US even attempt to write it up as any type of victory just shows how far removed the US has become from reality – Iraq is a screaming abortion of a disaster that we will feel the effects of for the remainder of our lives.

Which as always brings me to my favorite subject of what happens now – will the US be dumb enough to strike Iran? Will they use the IAEA report to push for harsh new deadlines with the threat of military action? Or will the US simply hold up the report, say “Iran ain’t complying, we must defend America from nuclear Muslims, ye-ha” and launch?

If we can learn anything from Iraq and the US build up to war there, it was that despite official denials, they were always intent on war, so we should look at some of the warning signs, a massive air strike ability building up, 12 stealth fighters flown to Japan, sam rockets sent to allies, I point to Condi Rice and her shitting all over the unity Government of Palestine as an example of an Administration that has no intention of talking nice when they know they will be bombing Iran in a couple of months, and look at Cheney the Dark Lord visiting John Howard and the Japanese to have a private word in the ears of allies so there isn’t any surprise if America suddenly launch.

‘Nonesense’ the defenders of America will cry, but let’s remember – America has been made well aware that they need to find peace in Palestine, yet America willingly isolates the Palestinians even after they create a national unity Government and as for Cheney, when does the Dark Lord of the Sith ever leave America? The fact someone so powerful is traveling for private one on one talks is ominous.

My staring at goat livers aside, the strongest counter regarding Iran is that such a strike would be pointless and serve no benefit whatsoever – and in fact could create such an enormous backlash by Muslims all over the planet that we would be plunged into a serious cultural clas, global crisis unlike anything we have witnessed. And I agree attacking Iran makes no sense whatsoever – but then again I said the exact same thing about Iraq, after reading Bob Woodward’s book, ‘State of Denial’ you suddenly appreciate how the way Bush sees the world is totally bubble wrapped, so much so he was convinced after Saddam was found that America was winning the war in Iraq. You realize he is an intellectually simple man with strong views on what is right and wrong and somehow seems to see himself as Winston Churchill facing the forces of evil alone. He registers the abuse as a sign that he is facing the full force of that evil and that wavering is not an option, something Kissinger is constantly reminding him whenever he visits the White House.

My real fear is that I know attacking Iran would be catastrophic, you all know attacking Iran would be catastrophic, but does George Bush, surrounded by vested interests from the Israeli’s through to corporate war mongers, know that attacking Iran would be catastrophic, I honestly have to tell you that I don’t think he does.

US undaunted by UK exit from Iraq
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq as thousands more US soldiers were arriving to restore order in Baghdad.
The UK has long been the most prominent US ally in Iraq, but the US expressed no dismay at the British withdrawal. Vice-President Dick Cheney put a positive spin on Mr Blair's action, saying it reflects success in bringing stability to some areas of Iraq. It was "an affirmation that in parts of Iraq things are going pretty well." "I talked to a friend the other day who had driven from Baghdad to Basra in seven hours and found the situation dramatically improved compared to where it was a year or so ago," he told ABC News from Japan.


At 22/2/07 6:06 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

I had a conversation with someone I respect today, and they suggested that the UK pulling out of Basra is a sign that Iran wont happen.

If a war was to be staged from Iraq into Iran, Basra would be an obvious staging point (or target for Iranian retaliation.

As I have discussed extensively before, the US can not pull off additional military adventures. Its alliances with it allies is falling apart, so logistically how could they pull it off?

I think those opposed to a conflict with Iran should applaud the British withdrawl

At 22/2/07 6:48 pm, Blogger bomber said...

Hold on scott - we are talking about the strike on Iran being an air strike - there won't be any ground troops - and in that regard the US has massive military air resources that they are not using that could be directed at Iran for a period of a 3 weeks extensive bombing campaign. Couldn't it also be suggested that if the British realise (as they did with Iraq) that America is going after Iran, wouldn't they want to start jumping clear now?

At 22/2/07 9:29 pm, Anonymous Peter Vegas said...

Bomber, yes, the white house does think we are stupid. 'We' as in the masses. Must really irk politicans that every few years they have to go to the great unwashed and give them the illusion that they have a say in how things are done. Take the latest election or whatever it was in the US. The democrats did well based on the fact the majority of the US public have turned against the war. Has this had ANY effect on the way the war s going? Yes. Bush is sending more tropps. A big F you to the voters and the committe of wise old men who advised agaisnt it.
Saddam was a tyrrant, but at least with a dictator there is pretence of democracy. Evry played the drinking game where you watch an american news channel and everytime a politican to what they bvelieve 'the american people' want you haveto have a shot. Trust me, you get hammered really fast.


At 22/2/07 10:10 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

What does a 3 week bombing campaign achieve? Unless they use bunker busters (tactical nukes perhaps) they cant be certain to take out any nuclear programme. It wouldnt stop Shiite insurgency in Iraq, and would probably lead to actions against US/Israeli interests around the globe. I sincerely think that this is a bluff, designed to bring the Iranians to the table to negotiate a settlement in Iraq.

I do believe there are substantial limitations to airpower alone - Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah using it, and Hezbollah is a far weaker military actor than what Iran is. Politically, it would further damange the republican parties prospects - and with it the 'neocons' that are so often blogged about on this site.

At 23/2/07 9:02 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

With 2 Carrier Battle Groups bobbing in the Straits waiting for orders, and Israel all re-stocked and ready to go, this is either the worlds biggest bluff poker match, or the calm before the next big bang theory.
It doesn't surprise me that Britain is getting the hell out of the way in Basra. It might be a good staging point, but it works both ways, and there are one HELL of a lot more Iranian hornet's that will blow out of the nest in that direction than any measley alliance of the "used to be willing" can launch at them.

A ground invasion with standing army's is silly Scott, even for you.
I guess you just don't understand the massive firepower that the U.S. possess in their air command. A 3 week air campaign could virtually level Iran - Military, and Civilain populations centers, Nuke facilities, the lot. Iran could throw everything but the kitchen sink at them but they might have to resort to the kitchen sink in the end when their airforce is blown to hell on the ground, and their Navy is a joke.

I don't think the Iranian Navy is going to steam into NY Harbour with a bone in it's teeth anytime soon - do you?

They can expand sideway's into Iraq, and Israel, but the IDF defeated the entire Egyptian Army in 7 Day's remember? If the lid blows off the middle east the holocaust will look like a cake walk, but the U.S. Super-Neo's still figure they can contain it all long enough to bring Freedom, Democracy, and empty barrel's to refill to the region. It's not like you are dealing with sane people here on either side, or that logic might prevail. After all, who's logic would it be, yours?

At 23/2/07 9:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do the Saudi's and Israel have in common apart from the fact they are both good friends with the US?
Neither of them want to see Iran get nukes. Thats why Iran is goin to get got. Air stirkes work their bum off against infrastructure. A couple of dozen well aimed cruise missles is all the US need to send in to degrade Iran's nuclear capabilities and let the Saudis and the israelies breath easy and go back to hating each other. George ends up looking like a hero becasue he is taking action for the free world and whats the downside? Iran retaliate with somekind of terrorist attack against US interests somewhere?
That would be a republicans wet dream becasue that keeps the whole 'we must protect ourselves against the terrosit threat' fear going. Thats the only thing that will save the republicans in 2008 and that is regrettably why I think we are going to see large moon like craters being created in Iran in the next few months.


At 23/2/07 11:15 am, Anonymous sdm said...

"A ground invasion with standing army's is silly Scott, even for you."

You are a lovely chap arent you? Cut the personal insults.
BTW: ive watched the power of nightmares...anyway I wasnt advocating anything of the sort. My observation has been that airpower alone is limited, I believe in force integration.

"I guess you just don't understand the massive firepower that the U.S. possess in their air command. A 3 week air campaign could virtually level Iran - Military, and Civilain populations centers, Nuke facilities, the lot."

I think I have a moderate understanding of these things. How good is the intel on the targets? How was it obtained (TECHINT OR HUMINT)?

"Israel, but the IDF defeated the entire Egyptian Army in 7 Day's remember?"

Yes. Did Israeli air power destroy Hezbollah?

Yes American airstrikes would do significant damange to Iran. Yes the administration might do it. I just dont think its strategically smart.

At 23/2/07 12:00 pm, Blogger bomber said...

Sam - Scott is right - the air strike is strategic madness - it's not that they can't do it, its that beyond that what can the US do? It's an option that leaves them with no moves, the issue is whether or not Bush is so caught up in his 'moment of destiny' that he actually greenlights this insanity. The mindset must be, 'whatever Israel couldn't do, we can do' and they've studied the air campaign against Hezbollaah and have convinced themselves that they can succeed where Israel failed.

Is there some dark lord of the sith who in conjunction with powerful vested interests is pushing for a neo com agenda hidden away from the public? I absolutly think there is Sam, but are they as all powerful as they would like to think? No, they aren't and that is the danger, these idiots think they can win, because actual analysis of the air campaign strategy tells you they can't win it this way, and only someone as caught up in the aura of their own power could think otherwise. We shouldn't fear America because they are great puppet masters, we should fear them because they think they are great puppet masters, as it is that pompus belief that insulates their decision making process from things like reality.

At 23/2/07 12:00 pm, Blogger Nobody said...

Time to put in my predictions.

If they can possibly achieve it before the next election, Bush and co will try and stabilise Iraq to a point where they are able to remove the bulk of US troops. It's a difficult ask but not quite impossible. The payoff is that if they do get to that point, then the claim will come thundering out that the whole thing was a complete success and how dared you and why did you ever doubt us, and the (chiefly US) target market average Joe will swallow it ecstactically even though it's just complete spin.

In Iraq, the guerilla war will continue and continually threaten to become a civil war. Whether or not it actually happens will depend on how much the US government risks keeping the number of US troops there low (in order to claim believable success). The lower the number of troops the less stable the country will be but the higher the number the more recruits the opposition will gain as the US reputation continues to decline.

Meanwhile, Iran will continue to be threatened, chastised and assaulted with rhetoric, but I don't think that if things fall this way that it will actually come to war. Finally in the end their nuclear programme will come to fruition, probably removing the possibility of war because the window will have been missed - the US government's popularity at home has slid too low to accept a war with nuclear weapons involved. However it is unlikely that their nuclear programme will finish during the current presidential term, so it will be worth a lot of "we told you so" political ragging when it finally does happen.

Conversely, if it turns out that civil war in Iraq is imminent and cannot be prevented before the end of the presidential term, "evidence" will suddenly surface that the fault is entirely due to Syrian or Iranian influence (whichever seems to be the more desirable target - the seeds are being sown now, so take your pick). And you know what will happen next.

However if the Iraq situation just continues to simmer through to the end of the presidential term, not improving but not threatening civil war soon, then the Democrats will have the unenviable choice of either being in the same boat (even worse for them because they would disenchant all the anti-war voters on their side) or withdrawing, having Iraq descend (almost certainly - you can pray for a miracle if you're into that) into civil war, and being dealt lashings of "we told you so" from the Republican opposition. Of course they will try to walk the middle ground, withdrawing enough to troops to pacify their voters but leaving enough to prevent outright civil war, but it will be much harder for them.

And even more "we told you so"s when Iran's nuclear programme is up and ready.

So for those who skipped through to the end:

1. Civil war in Iraq means:
- a face-saving war with Syria or Iran
- Republicans suffer in the polls

2. Stability in Iraq means:
- no war with Iran
- many US troops are withdrawn
- Republicans claim complete success

3. No war or stability in Iraq until the end of the current presidential term means
- no war with Iran
- new Democrat government withdraws many troops from Iraq
- civil war in Iraq
- Democrats suffer, Republicans gain

So take your pick...

At 23/2/07 12:58 pm, Anonymous sdm said...


I agree with everything you said - the problem isnt US power, its how the US sees themselves. I do actually believe that often critics of the US overstate their power. When you look at it, despite all their technological superiority, the United States is in big trouble in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Using that as a backdrop, this notion that they are just this goliath who can do what they want when they want is misguided.

Your point about Air strikes limiting the US options thereafter is also a good one.


There is another possibility. Well it sort of links what option 2.

What if the Administration adopt the findings of the baker-hamilton and do a deal with Syria/Iran. If we work from the assumption that Tehran have some influence over Shiite insurgents in Iraq, then they have something to bargin with. It would prevent a third war, and no I dont think the republicans could afford that, and would be a way towards a political settlement in the region.

At 23/2/07 3:35 pm, Blogger Nobody said...

What if the Administration adopt the findings of the baker-hamilton and do a deal with Syria/Iran.

I guess I'm too cynical to think that that the ISG suggestions are mainstream enough to meet with (US) public approval. Despite their disenchantment with the current administration, I still think there are many who would be too hard to convince to accept such a deal with "the axis of evil". So far I haven't heard politicians on either side of the house actually go so far as to endorse the specifics of the report. Rather it has been used as just another tool to denigrate the current administration.

In short, it's something you could hope for but I wouldn't hold your breath.

At 23/2/07 4:17 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

But say you got the Iranians to give up their nuclear programme. It would be a second diplomatic success behind korea. It would also paint the administration as more moderate.

"We used diplomacy to achieve our goal of the Iranians getting rid of their nukes". Its political gold. You also move towards a political settlement in Iraq - because right now the quagmire of Irag is hurting the republican agenda.

Yes you would have to give the Iranians something in return, and it would be expensive. But politically, and in terms of how it plays out, that would be secondry to 1) getting out of iraq and 2) getting agreement from the iranians not to persue nuclear weapons.

At 24/2/07 9:45 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Hey Scott you're a little sensitive aren't you? You seemed to be standing a little further out on the limb with this quoted comment, that's why I said it was a bit much even for you. Take a couple deep breaths or something!
Sam Said;
"A ground invasion with standing army's is silly Scott, even for you."
Scott said;
You are a lovely chap arent you? Cut the personal insults."

I also commented on the IDF defeating Egypt in 7 days - which was a true statement. Your retort of - "then why could they not do it with Hesbollah in Lebanon", was again a silly one - Egypt sent a standing Army Scott, Hesbollah staged a Gorilla warfare campaign with the IDF standing army. You can't destroy what you can't find!

I think that's why Olmert used Cluster Bomb's out of frustration near the end.
Look guys (Scott, Bomber) this is ALL speculation anyway. I return to my original point. You are not dealing with people who have a sane outlook. You are dealing with Neoconservatives that have had a war plan in this region for decades, and they feel a need to complete it before they are run out of town in the next election. They have Zionist's Ally's in Israel that are equally insane, and have an acute need to continue their expansionism in the region.

Iran stands between them and their mutual goals. I don't think that Bush will even blink in attacking Iran if past indicators are considered. He used the same false rhetoric before he invaded Iraq.

Also, I think Bush feels he would rather crush Iran, than have to tangle with the dozen or so Sunni country's that are watching from the sidelines. After all he's got them working for him at the moment anyway.
The other side of the coin is that the U.S. have a one million man standing army, but it's scattered over the European and Asian Continent's - some could be deployed in a weeks time to the area if need require to support ground forces in Israel and Iraq. The end result of this if you really think hard about worst case scenarios is that it could turn into WW-III very easily. I really don't think it is too far fetched that the U.S. Defense Department has already considered this as a possibility. You are dealing with a bent and twisted bunch with a serious plan in mind - can you not fathom that?

Like I said, this is all speculation anyway. So don't try and smack me around for doing the same thing you both are doing anyway - thank you very much!

At 24/2/07 2:57 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

Well I dont think Hezbollah fought a guerrla war, but thats another issue

Keeping this positive, why do you refer to trhe actions of Isreal/US etc as being Insane? I would refer to them as imoral, but nevetheless rational and calculating.

Another question I have is, with the evolution of hte Bush foreign policy team, rumsfeld out, cheney marginalised, with Gates and Baker in, do you see (as I do) a more pragmatic approach rather than ideological?

I still think there is only a 30% chance of a US Iran war this year.

Again its all one mans opinion and i appreciate thee debate

At 24/2/07 11:13 pm, Blogger SamClemenz said...

I suppose I see folks with a passion to wage endless war as insane Scott. That's where I get it.
I view peace as a norm, that's all. Maybe I'm the eternal optimist in this regard.

I see these guys as working an agenda that goes for the throat of mankind, and looks to profit from misery and despair, and I resent that immensely! I am repulsed by asshole's that TAKE constantly, and expect more as they go.
Like the "P" pusher who loves the profit, and has no consideration of the lives they ruin along the way as long as they get what they want in material gain. Hopefully divine Kharma eventually catches up in equal measure to the havoc they reap.
As for your comment that Hesbollah didn't fight a Gorilla war, what would you call it, as it certainly wasn't a conventional standing operation!
I find you exceedingly hard to follow in this type of forum. You change like the wind Scott. This is getting quite boring frankly.

At 25/2/07 8:54 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

I guess I wonder what the contingency plans around an attack on Iran would be , Scott. Iraq has been so badly bungled that it leads me to believe after 3, almost 4 years of floundering that although some of the faces have changed, these folk still don't have a solid plan toward settling the wars they are starting. There are far too many gapping holes in the SPIN and rhetoric coming from Cheney, and Bush.
Iran is going to stand steady with their chin exposed and let the U.S. make the first move. Mamoud is expecting Bush will fold his cards and cave to pressure from home.

Scott, rational and calculating are not words would choose to describe Cheney and Bush. I would choose deceptive, immoral and corrosive.

At 25/2/07 10:56 am, Anonymous sdm said...

Lets get back onto Iran, because you are becomming bored.

Lookit part of the problem with Iraq was that the mission defination kept changing. What is the objective? I guess the same could be said of Iran, if a conflict occured.

"Iran is going to stand steady with their chin exposed and let the U.S. make the first move"

Yes. Absolutely

"Scott, rational and calculating are not words would choose to describe Cheney and Bush. I would choose deceptive, immoral and corrosive"

Rational and calculating arent compliments. Nor are they mutually exclusive of "deceptive, immoral and corrosive" I believe that political leaders are rational. I am a realist, theoretically, in international affairs.

Therefore my comment that about rational and calculating is not a moral judgement.


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