Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 08, 2008

Petraeus' Iran Bashing

According to the London Times Petraeus will highlight "Iranian involvement" in the recent fighting in Basra.

IRANIAN forces were involved in the recent battle for Basra, General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, is expected to tell Congress this week.

Military and intelligence sources believe Iranians were operating at a tactical command level with the Shi’ite militias fighting Iraqi security forces; some were directing operations on the ground, they think.

One wonders how Petraeus will be able to claim such nonsense when in reality Iran signals backing for Iraqi PM in crackdown

Iran voiced support on Monday for Iraq's prime minister in a crackdown on a Shi'ite militia but blamed U.S. forces for civilian deaths in the fighting.
...
[Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali] Hosseini, whose comments were translated by Iran's state Press TV satellite station, said Maliki's action was aimed at "confronting illegal armed groups" and this was in the interest of Iraq and its neighbors.

The Wall Street Journal notes, that a renewed "blame Iran" campaign is to a great part election propaganda pushed by the Bush/Cheney/McCain camp:

Iran is emerging as a hot-button campaign issue, with the candidates differing sharply on what approach to take toward Tehran and its hard-line leadership. Likely Republican nominee John McCain, who has been delivering warnings on Iran, told reporters ahead of the hearing, "I think you're going to hear more about the Iranian influence, the arms they've provided, the money, the training, particularly the extent of their influence in southern Iraq. It's pretty extensive, and I think he's going to be talking about that."

"... as he has been ordered to do," McCain should have added.

McCain will certainly also welcome the news that Iran plans to double the number of centrifuges to enrich Uranium.

Internationally the U.S. is pushed to come to a deal with Iran on the nuclear issues and the U.S. itself asked for renewed talks with Iran about Iraq. Both issues limit the range of the Iran-blame Petraeus can deliver.

If he pushes too hard the international 'solidarity' for sanctions will dissolve and new talks with Iran about Iraq will not take place.

Posted by b on April 8, 2008 at 08:03 AM | Permalink

Comments

It has to be somebody's fault, and it can't possibly be ours...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 8, 2008 8:08:13 AM | 1

The US can't exist, it seems, without dialectical us vs them rhetoric. Without, that is, the ideal that it sees itself embody as a solution to this problem. But can you be both part of the problem and the solution?


In the meantime, Iran will do just fine, thank you.

Posted by: L'Akratique | Apr 8, 2008 8:35:28 AM | 2

In the "how to make friends" category, ADL is as busy as usual bashing anyone who doesn't think Iran is the Great Satan.
I guess someone should tell Abe Foxman that Israel itself is dealing with the Axis of Evil, since according to Mittelland Zeitung - link provided by johnf in previous thread -, Israel bought Iranian oil.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 8, 2008 9:50:11 AM | 3

The trigger will either be pulled on Iran this year, or the trigger will fail to be pulled.

America will either succeed in militarily forcing itself into a position of control over the oil spigots of the Middle East and Caspian Basin, or it will fail to do so, and win only ashes.

It is so simple.

All that needs to happen is for Iran's government to fall, and their new government to seek very close relations with America. Long term basing agreements, oil production contracts, arms sales from Lockheed and Boeing, and all will be forgiven. We can put the Shah's son in charge, or Allawi, or Maliki's sister's nephew, whomever we choose.

And then we can base a lot of troops in the far north of Iran, and start pressuring Azerbaijan to see things our way. Accept some bases, buy some planes, do some business.

And then Turkmenistan. And then Georgia. And then Uzbekistan.

And then Russia will be staring straight down the barrel of our forward missile bases right on their southern border, and have no choice but to follow us around on the world stage.

And China and India will have to buy oil through us, and on our terms, and using our dollar, and in amounts we think are appropriate for stability in our empire.

It is so simple.

Just pull the trigger, and things will get better, by stages.

Posted by: Hobson | Apr 8, 2008 10:24:36 AM | 4

L'Akratique - can't pretend to be a superpower/superhero w/o an endless supply of pretend supervillians

Posted by: b real | Apr 8, 2008 10:51:34 AM | 5

Watching on CSPAN2 -

Levin opening was bashing Iraqis. "Why don't they pay for reconstruction?" "We must put more pressure on them ..."

McCain, Petraeus and Crocker agree that all is fine ...

Kennedy is wondering about AlQaeda in Basra(!)

bloviaters ..

Posted by: b | Apr 8, 2008 11:11:40 AM | 6

On time:

Sadr postpones march, threatens to lift ceasefire

Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened on Tuesday to lift a ceasefire of his Mehdi Army militia while indefinitely postponing a mass anti-U.S. demonstration.

Despite the ceasefire which Sadr called last August, his followers have clashed with Iraqi government troops and U.S. forces in the south of the country and Baghdad in recent weeks, leading to Iraq's worst violence since the first half of 2007.

"If it is required to lift the freeze (ceasefire) in order to carry out our goals, objectives, doctrines and religious principles and patriotism, we will do that later and in a separate statement," he said in a statement on his Web site.
...
"I call those beloved Iraqi people who wish to demonstrate against the occupation to postpone their march, out of my fear for them and my concern to spare their blood," Sadr said.

"I fear that Iraqi hands will be lifted against you, although I would be honoured if the Americans were to lift their hands against you," he said.

Posted by: b | Apr 8, 2008 11:15:42 AM | 7

Lieberman wants to take on Iran over what Petraeus named "Iranian backed rouge militia" ...

Gareth Porter has a good one on those in ATOL: Iraqi rogues and a false proxy war

The idea of Iranian-backed "rogue" Shi'ite militia groups undermining Muqtada's efforts to pursue a more moderate course was introduced by the US military command in early 2007. These alleged Iranian proxies were called "special groups" - a term that came not from Iran or the Shi'ites themselves but from the Bush administration.
...
The interest of the Bush administration in keeping the proxy war line alive has nothing to do with Iraqi realities, however. As a strategic weapon for justifying the administration's policies toward both Iraq and Iran, the theme of Iranian interference through "special groups" is bound to be a central thread in the testimony by both Petraeus and Crocker.

Posted by: b | Apr 8, 2008 11:19:51 AM | 8

Hobson: That's why I've always felt that a real threat of US taking control of Iran, notably Iranian oil, could well end up with open war with China, and possibly Russia as well. They just won't let the oil go away like that.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 8, 2008 11:22:50 AM | 9

O Bearded Friend In The Sky;

When you gaze down upon our great nation in its current state of disrepair and discouragement, and see that we have discarded our manufacturing base in favor of a top heavy society based on consumer excess, finance, real estate, insurance, and armaments will it not be immediately clear that we must either go forth and conquer the lesser nations, or perish by Overdraft at the bank?

If you will not shower us with gold and diamonds directly from the heavens, at least bid godspeed to the printing presses over at the Treasury Building so they can provide fresh pallets of the mighty paper dollars in abundance. Let the fleet of armored cars be fleet in moving those greenbacks to the Federal Reserve, and let there be no delay in moving that money to Wall Street to save us from having to pay for our excesses. Such punishment is for lesser peoples, Argentinians, Poles, and Ugandans. Not for Americans.

Do not let us descend, O Spirit In The Sky, into a nation among equal nations, working for our daily bread instead of taking it or making deals to get it. Let us not turn to caring for our citizens, nor being good stewards of the land and air, nor become dispensers of medicine unto all who apply. Spare us from pursuing domestic pursuits, and let us live large upon the world stage, first among nations, without equal, for we have no equal while we possess weapons and the will to use them ruthlessly in your name. Amen.

Posted by: Hobson | Apr 8, 2008 11:43:20 AM | 10

@ b:

One wonders how Petraeus will be able to claim such nonsense when in reality Iran signals backing for Iraqi PM in crackdown

Yes, one wonders...... how to make such a leap of logic???

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities..."

It's so simple.....

Posted by: montysano | Apr 8, 2008 12:00:27 PM | 11

Listening, with interruptions -
London Times is wrong in emphasis, it seems. Yes, both mention Iran's role, without mentioning actions and interests of any other neighbors. Crocker, not Petraus, refers to an Iranian strategy of "Lebanization" akin to Hezbollah activities. (Oh, that was Iran that broke up Lebanon and keeps it divided and under siege?) Still I'd be hard-pressed to describe their presentation of Iran as "highlighting." Too many diverse and unrelated elements also presented.

On the other hand, some Republican senators (Inhofe comes to mind) ask outrageous, leading questions, full of official, administration spin.

Porter forecast about the "rogue militia" analysis was exact. Now, evidently, called "special groups". Still, it was interesting to hear Crocker say, openly, that US is talking with Iran. Has that been officially acknowledged before?

Also interesting to hear Petraus characterize "Sadr's organization" as one which is designed to supply welfare and social needs for people, but which has, in some cases, been plagued by elements who take up arms. Curious.


@b - I understood Kennedy's question as a way of hammering out, for the public, the point that, while the US ostensibly went to Iraq to fight AQ, not even the lead general will claim that AQ is in Basra. In other words, the US is in the middle of Iraqi and other conflicts, having nothing to do with AQ. Kennedy wanted it to come from Petraus lips. And Petraus obliged.

Despite the resourcefulness of different senators, approaching from various angles, Petraus steadfastly dodges any assessment regarding what level of forces he thinks would be needed in Iraq and for how long, following that "pause" in July. Not even a likely range. In fact, someone (Kennedy?) pointed out that P's statement indicates a hold on forces to July, THEN assessing, after July, what the needs would be. "How long would you need after July, before you would know what forces you would recommend?" Petraus ducked that question too.

Back to listening.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 8, 2008 12:40:25 PM | 12

sorry for not posting this last week - health has crashed a little

tho i'm sufficiently conscious to see the petraeus/crocker show for the indencent repertoire it is - the congress sucking their cocks - the media as always bent over & suppliant

meanwhile the murder by u s forces has been substantially expanded this week to fullfill the meaning, any meaning of genocide

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 8, 2008 2:15:13 PM | 13

Crocker had mentioned the rocket attacks on the Green Zone by "militia backed by Iranian Qods forces"

Iran condemns Iraq Green Zone attacks

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned for the first time rocket and mortar attacks against the U.S.-controlled Green Zone in Baghdad by supporters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini also denounced raids by U.S. forces against Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad that al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia has been using to launch the attacks.

Posted by: b | Apr 8, 2008 2:21:16 PM | 14

@4 above, Hobson's Choice?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Apr 8, 2008 3:16:00 PM | 15

Hobson @10

... we have discarded our manufacturing base in favor of a top heavy society based on consumer excess, finance, real estate, insurance, and armaments ...

... and pornography...?

Seems I read that about 4,000 new films/week come out of the San Fernando valley. Somebody's got to supply those big hotel chains, who hide this revenue stream from the accounts/shareholders.

Would love to get the stats on that % of GDP/export. Anybody know?
I never hear anything about this profit source on CNBC, dunno why.

Posted by: Hamburger | Apr 8, 2008 4:44:32 PM | 16

small coke Still, it was interesting to hear Crocker say, openly, that US is talking with Iran. Has that been officially acknowledged before?

i haven't read anything about it in the western press but i have in the arab press and posted it earlier

You know what is not very widely reported? This very brief news: “Iran to set strict conditions and ignores all the American calls for new negotiation rounds about Iraq’s security unless the requests come directly from Baghdad”, for sure this was a direct answer to the U.S. Gates call for meetings and talks with Iran, and a good opportunity for revenge.

not sure what to make of it. if it is true and iran is communicating w/the US, but only thru iraq gov, then both of them are right. pet can say he is 'talking w/iran' iran can say they are 'talking w/maliki"

source: roads to iraq (includes link to arab press)

new RTI post. Source denies Iran involvement in Basra fights

did not offer a single bullet to support Mahdi Army, there is a strong possibility of secret agreement with the United States that Iran stops supporting Mahdi Army”.

He also revealed one of the many reasons of the fights against the Sadrists:

[The Sadrists] stand against “Federalism” …..

you don't say! could it be that iran has an interest to see a federalized iraq too? i suppose if US/Iran are going to duke it out over iraq, they may as well limit themselves to the part they both want. in other words, divide it first and then square off.

Posted by: annie | Apr 8, 2008 4:58:00 PM | 17

@Hamburger #16:

One of the best sandwich shops in the Valley is dependent on that semi-clandestine industry. If not for Choda Boy's appetite, the shop would go under, and no more Don's Ultimate Chicken Sandwiches for me!

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 8, 2008 5:21:01 PM | 18

@ b real #5

How far is the American public prepared to take the "hollywoodification" of international relations? I mean, is there a breaking point where the whole narrative obviously breaks down?

Posted by: L'Akratique | Apr 8, 2008 7:12:37 PM | 19

Tony Karon on the Iran banking ban:

The beauty of this approach, from a neocon point of view, is that it completely skirts all those troublesome international diplomatic forums where the U.S. and its closest allies have failed to convince others to apply meaningful sanctions against Iran — most of the international community is skeptical over the claims being made by the U.S. of an imminent Iranian threat (as, of course, is the U.S. intel community, as last year’s NIE showed) and even more skeptical of the value of sanctions in resolving the issue, rather than in preparing the way for confrontation.

But by using the centrality of the U.S. to the international banking and financial system, the U.S. is quite literally able to “privatize” sanctions by going over the heads of governments that might oppose such measures to lean on foreign banks. The U.S. doesn’t even need to prove its case against Iran; it simply warns foreign banks that by continuing to do business — any business — with Iran, they run falling afoul of U.S. regulatory authorities. And which international bank would want to risk being shut out of the most lucrative market of all?

Posted by: L'Akratique | Apr 8, 2008 7:22:01 PM | 20

@annie 17 -
Thanks. And for link. There have been reports. US govt official saying so publicly might be a change.

As far as a centralized or "federalized" Iraq, the commonality of Iran-US interests might be simpler. Most of Iraq's neighbors, including Israel, Saudis, Iran, for various reasons, fear a strong, central Iraq. Maybe a little like European fears of a unified Germany, at the time the "wall came down"? b could say whether there is any analogy.

Some common interests in Afghanistan also.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 8, 2008 9:19:51 PM | 21

I don't think there's much doubt that the Iranians would like a federalized Shiite south, as a de-facto new province of Iran. Any more than they were against the first round of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad, or the Badr Brigade morphing into the Iraqi Army, or often act to discourage Iraqi nationalism. Except that while they would like all these things to happen - they do not want these things to happen if it means that the occupation of Iraq would continue to have an American face. Which is why they continue to support Muqtada al-Sadr. Despite his opposition to many of their initiatives, he also acts as "their ace in the hole regarding the prospects of the Maliki government continuing on with explicit U.S. assistance and dependency that may in the end cut them out of any final settlement. If you take the perspective that the 2006 operation "Forward Together" was in fact the ethnic cleansing (of Sunni resistance&support) in Baghdad, then the current Maliki operation "Knights' Assault" in Basra and Baghdad is in effect the initiation of a second phase of "civil war" whereby the Sadrists are branded "special groups" or aka Iranian al-Qadia - or as the Sunni resistance was similarly branded AQ mosque bombers in order to make ethnic cleansing happen under the cover of a "civil war" ruberic, then its pretty clear whats going on. And why the Iranians are against it, with regards to the Knights operation. Because if Maliki were to succeed in cleansing the Sadr trend from the political landscape then the U.S. might be seen as having cleared the last obstruction to a Maliki/ Badr consolidation of political power that cuts the Iranians out of the picture. So while the objectives of political consolidation is favorable to Iran, they would much rather it happen without the U.S. as part of the picture - which at this point is very dependent on keeping Mookie alive.

Posted by: anna missed | Apr 8, 2008 10:36:20 PM | 22

And its a double irony that in this respect petreaus & crocker are right about decrying Iranian influence, while at the same time busting their nuts to achieve essentially everything Iran wants in Iraq.

Posted by: anna missed | Apr 8, 2008 10:49:59 PM | 23

anna mised, as usual excellnt perception.

small coke #21
Most of Iraq's neighbors, including Israel, Saudis, Iran, for various reasons, fear a strong, central Iraq

fear is a weird word. imho they don't fear it in the sense it threatens their safety, they fear it threatens their potential aspirations if iraq was able to rise to it's full potential. in reality iraq presently is fighting for its owm survival and is not a threat to anyone except those that wish to extinguish them (iraqi/human natural defense.)

Maybe a little like European fears of a unified Germany,

hmm, except that germany attempted to take over the region and committed large scale genocide based on ethnicicity, iraq/saddam didn't. either way w/saddam out of the pic and iraq in shatters i don't see how the similarity coincides.

fear is what drives our culture but there is nothing/no threat. only what can be driven by propaganda.

re SA, iraq represents competition, that is a different kind of threat. if ones goal is to dominate the landscape ie opec, one could perceive a competitor as a threat. naturally iraqis are going to dominate the landscape of iraq. as long as their oil was underground they pose no competition/threat. fighting for control of oil fields is a far cry from 'a unified Germany' threat.

actually a moot poin† since iraq has no army to speak of that aren't figh†ing for their own existence much less fighting a neighboring country.

iran does not fear a strong central government in iraq. that would be like fearing a ghost.all the parties you mention do not operate out of fear anymore than the US does. it's the ol' fight them here so we don't have to fight them alone scare tactic. here is what the US fears, they fear if they don't clutch before their last dying breath their 'easy access' means to control the world (iraqs oil) prior to the up coming dire recession they won't have any leverage w/china who holds all our debt. fear of not attaining your empire goals is a different kind of fear than feeling threats of take over. iraq can't take over anyone at this time.

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 1:36:38 AM | 24

All the side shows and manuipulations wont matter in the end. As long as there is occupation there will be resistance. Every time the US tries using its' massive military might it looks like a brutal thug killing women and children. Every time the resistance kills them they look idiots against a much weaker foe. So they'll plug along and keep bleeding all the while believing their trillion dollar shiny military can't lose. The fact that they can't win either just hasen't donned on them yet.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 1:56:08 AM | 25

Yeah annie they use the fear of - Al Queda will take over Iraq if we leave, or the fear of - Iran will take over Iraq if we leave. I say HELLO the most powerful army the planet has ever seen can't take over Iraq. The obvious doesn't seem to matter. It's like the we are in Iraq to bring them freedom and democracy meme. Nobody in the World beleives this except Americans.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 2:10:47 AM | 26

Nobody in the World beleives this except Americans.

nave you been living under a rock? americans don't think we are in iraq for democracy or freedom. that was circa 03

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 3:40:49 AM | 27

Every time the US tries using its' massive military might it looks like a brutal thug killing women and children.

looks like?

Every time the US uses its' massive military might it is a brutal thug killing women and children.

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 3:49:57 AM | 28

annie:

nave you been living under a rock? americans don't think we are in iraq for democracy or freedom. that was circa 03

Here are some Iraq polls

68% of Republicans think it was the right thing to do

Here are some McCain polls showing him leading or statistacally tied:

The leading cheerleader for the war

Try googling Operation Iraqi Freedom. Did you hear Hillory today during the Petreaus testimony? It's all the Iraqi's fault for not taking advantage or our valient efforts. Do you notice all the Vietnam era type demonstrations accross the country? Bush still has almost a third of the public fully behind him. Sure the war support has dropped but how much of that is because we aren't winning and the cost to the economy? Now you will excuse me while I go back under my rock.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 5:47:46 AM | 29

And just to add to my above post here is what the democrats are complaining about:

"Rather, we need to put continuous and increasing pressure on the Iraqis to settle their political differences, to pay for their own reconstruction with their oil windfalls, and to take the lead in conducting military operations," said Levin, D-Mich.

Dems want Iraqis to spend oil surplus

Oh and Senator Biden was on CNN this morning suggesting that since Iraq has lots of oil money that they should start paying for the $3 billion a week it costs to keep the US troops in Iraq. I mean fair is fair right? Let the Iraqis pay for their own occupation. Why should we pay to kill them.

annie:

looks like?

Try to think of it in the context of world public opinion and not my own personal observations. I know I didn't make that clear but that's becuase I'm not a writer and I have never had a desk job in my life. The battle is not just faught on the ground. Perception management is a major part of military operations. That's why Bush quickly ran to Al Jazeera for an exclusive interview right after Abu Graib even though they made it out to be the evil network. That's why they called off the first siege of Fallujah, kicked out Al Jazeera and waited until after the Presedential election for the second siege.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 8:31:32 AM | 30

While the hearings continue: this

Inciting discord and sedition among Shias are the main goal of Iraq’s enemies, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in a meeting with former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Jafari here on Sunday.
...
Jafari, who acts as the head of Dawa Party, highlighted the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role in solving his country’s problems and said, “Iran seeks to establish peace, security and stability in the region.”

Posted by: b | Apr 9, 2008 9:48:21 AM | 31

annie -
Agree about US primary objectives.

I did not intend to comment about whether or not neighbors' fears/ concerns are justified. These are certainly concerns (is that a better word?) about Iraq in the future, not now. Status quo in Iraq, at the present, certainly assures that Iraq poses no or little external threat in many ways - militarily, economically, as oil power. And furthermore, it ties up US forces so that their ability to interfere elsewhere is limited.

The problem arises when all the interested parties try to envision what will become of Iraq and the region, when the US troops leave (or are substantially reduced), as they must in the near to medium term.

As you say, it is Iraq's potential which raises those concerns. There neighboring interests diverge. Which accounts for much of the jostling, bargaining, lying, and fighting now. All proceeding, of course, from the initial invasion and subsequent intransigence and ineptitude of US schemes.

The ME has centuries of experience with wearing down and wearing out enemies and colonialists.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 9, 2008 11:26:41 AM | 32

$3 trillion may be too low

Spending so much on the war has economic consequences, even if you don't think there is any connection between the war and the economy's current woes.

In adding up the quantifiable costs of the war, it is hard not to come up with a number in excess of $3 trillion. In putting a $3 trillion price tag on the war, we believe we have been excessively conservative - a $4 or $5 trillion tag would be more reasonable. And remember - this is just the cost for America.

Posted by: b | Apr 9, 2008 11:36:55 AM | 33

Others here know much more than I about the history and rivalries of Europe.

It does seem that Americans think only of WWII, when we think of European wars. US history lessons focus on WWII, although there were, indeed, two major European wars just in 1st half of 20th century. Perhaps the visibility is low in US because WWI was a much less devastating experience for US than for Europe.

The US, with lend-lease, actually made the transition, during WWI, from a net debtor to a net creditor nation, a status which (I think) it has maintained until the past five years. (Can someone here check that?)


Posted by: small coke | Apr 9, 2008 11:45:43 AM | 34

http://tomdispatch.com/post/174916/patrick_cockburn_petraeus_s_ghost>Riding the Tiger
Patrick Cockburn on Muqtada al Sadr, posted at TomDispatch.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 9, 2008 1:00:37 PM | 35

to a net creditor nation, a status which (I think) it has maintained until the past five years. (Can someone here check that?)

the net international investment position of the U.S. is negative since the mid 1980s
source

Posted by: b | Apr 9, 2008 1:06:33 PM | 36

the more i think about the why of the timing of what is going on now in sadr city the more i think it is to gain the most diversion for their main goal.

how long have they known this treaty that's not a treaty was supposed to be finalized now? if the incursion going on in sadr city weren't happening what would be the most pressing news coming out of baghdad? what are the chances when they planned this event they gave no thought to this 'draft agreement'? this huge iran scream going on in the press , the focus on iran at the congressional sessions, all of it serves to create a fog over what is going on right under our noses.

A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq.......

i bet this is why they decided to go after sadr now instead of may or july or whatever.

sam, i'm not sure how thinking the invasion was the right thing to do translates into believing we are in iraq to bring them freedom and democracy. the last excuse i heard (doug feith) was they perceived iraq posed the most future threat. anyway, 68% of 40% (max) of the population ain't many americans.

also all these polls are meaningless. when they steal elections whether it is here or in africa or anywhere they don't just spring it on you when they announce the results. they have to create an environment where it becomes plausible. they will tell us for months mcCain is neck 'n neck and all the reasons why. it is inconceivable to me the majority of country that repeatedly says it wants out would turn around and vote for mcCain. no amount of racism of fear of a woman president or whatever is going to make that happen. yesterday i read some stupid poll about'how many americans aren't ready for a female president'. all this stupid stuff.

this is all propaganda for me. you might as well just hand it to mcCain now. it has nothing to do w/the majority of americans. if you think we are living in a democracy so be it. i don't.

just talk to people on the street, or interview soldiers in iraq after a mcCain visit (obama obama obama hillary hillary). most of the gop base doesn't even like him. neck 'n neck? pleeeease. polls polls polls.

small coke The ME has centuries of experience with wearing down and wearing out enemies and colonialists.

i have confidence they will do it again. the world doesn't need superpowers.

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 1:19:09 PM | 37

I doubt this will get any coverage state-side:

Six British soldiers have been picked off on the streets of Basra by an enemy sniper using the same rifle, an inquest heard today.

Between the months of March and June last year, six soldiers were shot using high velocity bullets fired from exactly the same gun.

The revelation, which was attested by forensics experts, raises the possibility of a single super-marksman stalking British troops on the streets of the southern Iraqi city.

Rifleman Aaron Lincoln, 18, of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was one of the victims. His inquest in Spennymoor, County Durham, today heard that he was killed in April 2007 by a single bullet to the head that smashed through his protective glasses and helmet.

Ann Kiernan of LGC Forensics told the court that it had been fired from the same gun than had killed several other soldiers in the Basra area last year.

“There had been six incidents from March to June where projectiles have all been discharged from the same rifle,” she said.

She added that the bullets were manufactured in America by Lake City Arsenal, an arms manufacturer.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Apr 9, 2008 1:38:26 PM | 38

annie -
SOFA agreement, which sounds like the treaty referred to above, came up in Senate hearings yesterday. One Senator (Jim Webb of Virginia?) complained that no one in Senate had seen the SOFA.

Crocker: Only in very early draft stages.
Senate: Would you get us a copy of the draft?
Crocker: premature
Crocker: The plan is to do this as an Executive agreement, which will not require Congressional review.
Senate: Please clarify what agreements require Congress' approval and what do not.
Crocker: I am not a lawyer.

Not even C-Span broadcast House Armed Services hearing in morning, but promises "shortly" a recording via internet. C-Span 3, internet, streaming House For Affairs now.

Sometimes listener can spot what has been changed from one day to the next. Sensitive points?

Posted by: small coke | Apr 9, 2008 1:47:09 PM | 39

@ annie- superpowers don't need superpowers. Bad for health.
cui bono?

Posted by: small coke | Apr 9, 2008 1:51:51 PM | 40

Army ethics inspector condemns Petraeus - then kills himself

What troubled Westhusing was not just the death and destruction all around him, the obvious looting of the country, and the human rights abuses, but the seeming lack of attention to the problem by his two of commanding officers, General Joseph Fil, and General David Petraeus. Yes, that David Petraeus. So focused was he on the destructive role of these two, that his suicide note was written to them. Westhusing's widow said that her husband's death should serve to bring out the truth of the corruption that her husband saw. Author and journalist, Robert Bryce was recently able to get documentation of interviews with Westhusing's wife and many other bits of correspondence and Investigation documents through the freedom of information act. They leave more questions open than they answer, especially in light of the media's blackout on information about Petraeus' part in this...even during a week that he is center stage at hearings being conducted on the war

Also, Death before dishonor...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 9, 2008 2:41:14 PM | 41

The Guardian's take :
Secret US plan for military future in Iraq

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 9, 2008 2:46:19 PM | 42

annie:

sam, i'm not sure how thinking the invasion was the right thing to do translates into believing we are in iraq to bring them freedom and democracy.

Let me ask you some questions. Do you think that no Americans will believe General Petreaus's testimony? That's his and Crocker's meme. Are you trying to say all Americans will think he is a liar?

Do you think that no Americans will believe Hillory when she says that we have been trying to help Iraqis and they failed to take advantage of our help?

Do you think that no Americans believe Bush when he says the troops are bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq?

How many Americans do you think believe Sadr is fighting to free his country?

After you answer them then ask yourself who is living under the rock.

if you think we are living in a democracy so be it. i don't.

Where did I say that? Oh you are projecting again right? By the way do you vote? As for the next election I think it will be decided on the basis of the economy not Iraq.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 5:45:45 PM | 43

small coke #39, thanks for the report. i find it illuminating the press (here) is saying nothing, shows they have a very tight lid on this.

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 6:41:35 PM | 44

43, when i get in the mood to argue strawmen i'll get back to you.

Posted by: annie | Apr 9, 2008 6:46:49 PM | 45

annie:

43, when i get in the mood to argue strawmen i'll get back to you.

First I live under a rock and now you call me names. Don't bother. Just don't respond to my posts and I won't respond to yours. Peace.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 9, 2008 8:06:15 PM | 46

Why do Liberals always think that the USA is the one who lies and the other side is always telling the truth. How naive and hipacritcal is that. It defies logic. I got news for everyone; both sides lie and I hope the side that supports freedom lies the best (that be US).

Posted by: Tony | Apr 9, 2008 11:25:40 PM | 47

sam, i didn't call you any names. i was referring to your questions.

don't respond to my posts and I won't respond to yours

my preference is to agree to disagree. we just see some things differently.

Posted by: annie | Apr 10, 2008 12:35:38 AM | 48

Tony:

Why do Liberals always think that the USA is the one who lies and the other side is always telling the truth. How naive and hipacritcal is that. It defies logic. I got news for everyone; both sides lie and I hope the side that supports freedom lies the best (that be US).

I don't recall reading anything on here that even suggests the other side doesn't lie. I got news for you; I don't think the present strategy is working. If liberals really wanted to live under china, Russia or Saudi Arabia they would move there. In case you haven't noticed their economies are growing while the US is shrinking. In fact the US is now only 21% of the World economy.

First they tranferred the manufacturing base of the country to China. They thought they would sit atop the World as bankers for the all the world's masses. Don't worry they said the service industry wil make America rich. Now China's bank is reporting a 50% increase in net profits in the first quarter while ours are bleeding. Nobody wants to borrow from the IMF anymore so now they are forced to sell their gold to prop up our government.

Then they said don't worry about oil prices, Iraq has lots and will pay for the invasion and Rupert Murdoch predicted $20 a barrel of oil and a world boom as a result. Now oil over $100 a barrel and Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela etc. are raking in the loot and investing it in their's and other countries. Africa is booming from ME oil profits not America.

They are also spending $3 billion a week in Iraq and grinding up the military both personnel and gear with no return on investment. In case you haven't noticed the vast majority of the people on the planet think it is evil and are increasingly shunnig American ties. Nobody wants to touch AFRICOM with a ten foot pole. China and the ME have moved in on traditional western markets. South America is creating its own banking and economic system and they all lined up against the US when Columbia bombed Ecuador. Did you notice who won the latest Pakistan elections and the effect it will have on the WOT?

Even Europe recognizes the disaster unfolding and are going their own way. they are not going to tow the American line. They refuse to cut interest rates to help out the US economy, they refuse to send troops to Iraq and they refuse to bolster the Afghan project significantly while US supplies more cops to New York than soldiers to Afghanistan.

Liberals didn't do that. In fact they had absolutely no say in the matter because none of them are in the WH. And don't give me that "supports freedom" crap your pals in the Wh believe in a Unitary Executive and have no qulms about spying on or arrestting anyone they even think is a threat. Now we are supposed to just shut up sit back and watch them piss away our standing in the World? They were allowed to do this because people like you support them.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 10, 2008 8:37:08 AM | 49

Should have read New York City not the entire State. (hat tip to Richard Clarke)

Posted by: Sam | Apr 10, 2008 8:40:43 AM | 50

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