Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2008

Michael Gordon's New Beat: Bomb Iran

There is a fresh sign that an attack on Iran is in the cards. The New York Times has put Michael A. Gordon on the bomb-Iran beat. Gordon, you will remember, co-wrote with Judith Miller a bunch of the false Iraq-WMD pieces. But unlike Miller he was not fired and lately his task has been to write Petraeus schmooze pieces from Baghdad.

But now he writes about an attack on Iran and the NYT editors put the baloney on page A01:

Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
...
Shaul Mofaz, a former Israeli defense minister who is now a deputy prime minister, warned in a recent interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot that Israel might have no choice but to attack. “If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack,” Mr. Mofaz said in the interview published on June 6, the day after the unpublicized exercise ended. “Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable.”

Only nine paragraphs later does Gordon find the space to somewhat hint that Mofaz's assertions are wrong. Iran does not have a 'program for developing nuclear weapons'.

Gordon also has this false line:

In late May, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran’s suspected work on nuclear matters was a “matter of serious concern” and that the Iranians owed the agency “substantial explanations.”

The 'serious concern' the IAEA expressed (pdf) related to the false accusations the U.S. made towards Iran, not to Iran's work on nuclear matters.

The alleged studies on the green salt project, high explosives testing and the missile re-entry vehicle project remain a matter of serious concern.

The 'alleged studies' are a matter of concern for the IAEA, not 'Iran's suspected work'. A small but important difference.

Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner wrote a study about the propaganda build up towards the War on Iraq: Truth from These Podia Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II.

Gardiner is now writing at Spinwatch and recently put up this graph:

Gardiner notes:

The volume of English language articles on Iran has increased by over 50% in the past few months. The President has used his trips as a way to magnify the Iran message.

All of this looks and feels like we are being set up for military operations against Iran in the same way we were set up for the invasion of Iraq.

Recently Israel agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas, started negotiations with Syria through Turkey and even offered talks with Lebanon. Obviously Olmert wants to pull the teeth that might bite back in the case of an attack on Iran. These preperations, propaganda about Iran's involvement in attacks in Iraq, the general increased message volume on Iran and Michael Gordon's assignment to his new beat are signs that some campaign is likely to happen.

Posted by b on June 20, 2008 at 7:15 UTC | Permalink

Comments

It's a bluff, they are trying to keep the tension level high, mores the profit for US Oil. We don't have the soldiers to really do something, Iran has too many ways to retaliate, if Israel does it it is too obviously the US, repercussions for McCain, et cetera. Of course, they will want to take Iran's oil someday, so it is important to keep the meme going. It will be useful to have established a long standing fear of ahmadinejad, taught in churches across the US as a real, live satan, to keep any dem diplomats from allowing concession of nuke power program, treating them as real people with a need for megawatts (wrong answer, but no one's asking me)..

Posted by: bellgong | Jun 20 2008 8:04 utc | 1

Gardiner's graph could just as easily (although unwittingly) be an index of the U.S.'s deteriorating political position in Iraq, with the escalating threats representing inversely its loss of influence on the Iraqi government, and Iran's gain. The sad fact is that the U.S. is locked into the current Maliki/Badr agenda of rolling up internal (nationalist) dissent because it appears to to fulfill the propagated mission of achieving security and statehood - except that their chosen route to consolidated statehood also parallels Iran's chosen best case scenario. So in order to exert pressure on Maliki to distance himself from Iran, the U.S. has to make his alliance(s) with Iran of questionable future. Or in other words, Maliki, in order to accommodate his consolidation of power must reject Iranian influence and steer his ship toward U.S. client status (and the SOFA), all of which ironically undercuts the last standing internal support from his most basic, intimate, Iranian interlocutors of Hakim/Badr. In the final analysis the U.S. won't attack Iran until Maliki wanders the Green Zone on moonlight nights himself alone the sole surviving vestige of the Iraqi government, so tiny the crickets won't notice his presence. Only then will there be heat lightening visible on the eastern horizon.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 20 2008 9:34 utc | 2

From a geopolitical perspective, Israel is a territory of the United States, and of Britain. Israel is their permanent Westernized presence in the oil-rich Middle East, and Israel's ability to intimidate and defeat its Arab neighbors is its chief value to Washington and London.

All Israel has ever asked in return is to be allowed to expand its borders, by the rules or beyond them.

From a geopolitical perspective, the United States as it is currently organized and operated has no other option except militarily dominating the Middle East for its oil resources. Failing to do so, either by lack of political will or by military misadventure, leaves all that petroleum to China and India, and leaves the USA without reliable oil supplies in the coming critical decades. Critical decades when the world either succumbs to a superpower and its cabal, or moves to an entirely cooperative multi-polar economic and political milieu.

It cannot be stressed enough -- America has to get and hold control of Middle Eastern oil if it is to survive even ten more years in its present form. There is no serious discussion of alternatives in Washington, not yet.

Those discussions will come after we fail to conquer every oil-bearing acre between Beirut and Baku, and destroy America domestically in the trying.

That's what will get Washington's attention. "Who lost the Middle East?" the Sunday talk shows will cry.

Until that failure, the rules of domestic and international law are for whiners and rubes. It will be hand grenades in a phone booth, if that's what it takes. Until that failure, Washington will increasingly act to thwart its chief enemy, which is the American people. It's their fault. Their failure to be Spartans, their failure to embrace the vision of America ruling the other 190-some nations of the Earth is treason, and will be dealt with accordingly.

Internal passports, total information surveillance, runaway prison populations, and the general program of impoverishing the middle class so they haven't the money, time or education to protest will only get more intense as America's ruling class goes for the big brass ring of World Dominance or Bust.

There's even a decent chance they can pull it off . . .

. . . if you and your kids would just sign on, fer Chrissake, and come on in for the big win.

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 20 2008 11:57 utc | 3

I also doubt that an attack on Iran will come. I don't believe the Israelis are that stupid.

But what is clear is that some in the U.S. are pushing for this. Gordon being put up the front is already a sign that this is a propaganda effort. His sources are the ubique 'American officials'.

The account of some 100 Israeli jets traing over Greece is also very dubious. Nobody in the public realm would have noticed that? WHy would greece allow this?

Gordon also speaks of 900 miles distance between Israel and Iran and that the training covered such distance. Tel Aviv to Teheran is 993 miles and that would be flying in a straight line - i.e. impossible.

Could an Isreali bomber bomb one place in Iran and come back in one piece? Yes, possible.

Could Israel run a sustained bombing campaign to destroy the Iranian enrichment program. No, impossible.

But:
1. This is a U.S. public campaign against Iran run by the crowd and with the same methods than the campaign again Iraq.
2. This must be run out of some office like the Feith club that ran the Iraq campaign. Who is running this office and where is it? Does allow Gates this to be run out of the Pentagon? If not where are they? NSC?

Posted by: b | Jun 20 2008 13:22 utc | 4

Thanks B, and Antifa. Great analysis. I'm so grateful to be able to read here.

Posted by: Jake | Jun 20 2008 15:16 utc | 5

I wonder if this was a "heads-up" warning by Gates for Iran to get ready. Anyone here follow the movement of sitting, rather than lame, ducks in the Persian Gulf?

Posted by: | Jun 20 2008 17:07 utc | 6

Israel striking Iran is not stupid. It is cunning and clever, it is like throwing rocks at a bear, out in the woods. When the bear chases you, the rangers have no choice but to shoot it.

That's the scenario Israel has carefully created, and now they are just waiting for the right moment, keeping close counsel with Cheney and friends.

Next week, Congress will vote on setting up a naval blockade of Iranian shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. That alone is a declaration of war, in anyone's book. Under international law, Iran would be justified in firing upon, even destroying, any vessel interfering with its sovereign use of the seas.

Israel cannot do the job they want done in Iran. All they can do is get the bear riled up, and American will get the job done.

There is nothing to be gained in either the short or long term by rattling sabers. Iran can hold out for years, whereas America cannot.

Israel knows that America has to get on top of the entire oil supply in the Middle East, or go home and think up another way to live in this world. The rising demand for oil, the rising cost of occupying Iraq, the declining American economy, all point to a tipping point coming up soon where America shoots that bear, or enters a state of rapid economic decline.

The pressure to attack is existential -- without that oil, America loses its dollar status, its economy, its military dominance, and its high flying financial dominance.

Over at Cheney's office, they talk about making history, about how just 24 hours of air strikes would put America back on top of the planet with no one to say differently.

Israel is not stupid. Israel is clever enough to attack Iran, and get that bear shot.

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 20 2008 17:47 utc | 7

Excellent post. Here's the text of a letter I wrote yesterday to Clark Hoyt, the New York Times public editor, along the same lines:

Mr. Hoyt,

You never answer my letters, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering.

But I have to say: on your watch, Michael Gordon and the Times foreign policy team are letting the administration gin up a spurious case for war, or at least air strikes, against Iran, just as they did for war against Iraq.

Contrast the coverage of the recent IAEA report on Iran's alleged nuclear program in the Times with the same coverage in the Washington Post. The Times was spun, ran their story as the paper's lead story, and made it alarmist. They quoted an anonymous "official close to the agency" raising alarms about Iran's alleged nuclear program above the fold, neglecting to quote the actual IAEA report, which stopped far short of being so alarmist, until later. The entire premise of the Post piece was quite the opposite. Did that prompt any soul-searching at the Times? Did an editor notice the odd juxtaposition, and decide to read the report for his or herself?

And I see today Gordon has again raised alarms about allegations against Iran, letting stand unchallenged a bald statement by an Israeli official to the effect that Iran has a "program for developing nuclear weapons". Only far later in the article does Gordon mention our National Intelligence Estimate, which declared with high confidence that Iran had suspended its program in 2003. But he grossly mischaracterizes that as well. Nowhere does he mention that Iran is permitted to develop nuclear power under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nowhere does he quote Iranian officials' numerous contentions that that is all they are doing. Nowhere does he mention that Iran's Supreme Ayatollah has issued a religious edict declaring nuclear weapons unIslamic, due to ancient codes of chivalry in Islamic laws of war that prohibit the killing of innocents.

Through the tone of its coverage, assignment choices, story placement and the use of anonymous sources, the Times is paving the way for another war.

FJ

Posted by: frank | Jun 20 2008 18:08 utc | 8

@frank - a good one!

@Antifa - all point to a tipping point coming up soon where America shoots that bear, or enters a state of rapid economic decline.

It is not either-or. If it shoots the bear the (relative) decline will only come earlier.

Posted by: b | Jun 20 2008 18:24 utc | 9

Antifa, the only problem with your theory is that if there is a joint Israeli/U.S. attack on Iran (regardless of who starts it), the U.S. option in Iraq goes up in smoke. And it goes up in smoke just as the oil majors are finally getting their greasy little hands on the Iraqi spicket. An attack on Iran at this point would mean throwing all those gains away, for what? Not to mention that its taken them 5 years and trillions just to get to this point, why would they risk all that? To protect Israel from its imaginary enemy, I don't think so.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 20 2008 18:36 utc | 10

The Cheney Theory holds that Iraq does not go up in smoke. Like the rest of the nations of Earth, Iraq just watches Iran go down in flames, including nuclear flames, and perceives that there is no profit in provoking the Americans.

In Cheney's brave new world, all that happens when Iran is flattened by days to weeks of bombing is that their regime collapses. A friendly regime is appointed. A Shah. We will be greeted with flowers for the first time since 1979.

There will be no more negotiating and begging for oil contracts. They will be signed, and enforced, period.

The Cheney Theory holds that the continuing collapse of American power and hegemony can be stopped, and reversed, by the use of a few nukes in the right place at the right time. This has been the Cheney camp's hosanna since 1989. They are not going to be turned from their purpose now.

The Cheney Theory holds that the whole worlds can be brought to heel in 24 hours. All it takes is the will to conquer.

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 20 2008 19:46 utc | 11

Antifa's image of Iran as a bear in the woods, which simply responds to gut reactions, is about as far from the truth as one can imagine. Normally Iranians are described as subtle, untruthful, untrustworthy, clever, politicians. I would think that the latter description is more likely to be true of their dealings with the US.

Posted by: Alex | Jun 20 2008 20:58 utc | 12

Alex said it perfectly. Iran has outlasted empires far more powerful and clever than Israel. Time will swallow Israel like so many past follies in the region.

Posted by: Pabduba | Jun 20 2008 22:24 utc | 13

The analogy was not that Iran is dumb, like a bear. The analogy was to illustrate that Israel, though too weak to finish the job itself, can start the process by provoking an Iranian response to a preemptive attack.

Knowing that the Americans are just peeing their flight suits to bomb the crap out of Iran.

Iran has promised an overwhelming response to Israeli or American aggression. America offered to attack Iran when it kidnapped British sailors. Next week the American Congress is voting on whether to install a naval blockade on Iran's only shipping channel, the Strait of Hormuz.

Cheney will never have a finer opportunity to set match to powder. You can trust him to do it.

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 21 2008 0:08 utc | 14

I can't help but notice he way which alex's description of Iran seeks to demonise Iran's survival instinct with pejoratives, such as untruthful and untrustworthy next to clever and subtle thereby casting the type of racial aspersions which were once used against jews but are now only insinuated about jewish people in the world of "the holocaust was the greatest ever crime against humanity".

Iran has survived. An intact culture in an unstable region where many ancient cultures have been destroyed in the past couple of centuries. Iran's survival has been without waging a war of aggression against anyone.

Remember that Iran's war with Iraq was defensive after Cheney, Rumsfield and co cranked Hussein up to "have a go at Iran" when the Iranians objected to being amerika's reward from Russia for helping in WW2.
The amerikans had installed the son of a russian as shah in 1953 overthrowing the democratically elected government. The Shah's father (the original Shah) had been foisted on Iran by the Tsarist regime as a 'security advisor' ensuring Iran didn't upset russian interests. In 1925 after the Tsar and his evil mob and been dealt to by the russian people, this first Pahlavi took the throne for himself and began aligning Iran with USuk. WW2 changed all that and the people managed to get control of their country again. They reckoned without Stalin's booby trapped 'gift' to amerika.

Uncle Joe knew that the Iranians were more trouble than they were worth so he gifted Iran to amerika as if it were a loaf of bread. More like a poisoned chalice. (Yet it is the Iranians who are the untruthful, untrustworthy, clever, politicians?)

Amerika accepted the gift then staged a coup to put the nation under a dictatorship sympathetic to USuk interests. A chattel. The Iranians united to get rid of the murderous thieving and sacrilegious shah but have been subjected to unwarranted amerikan interference ever since. Despite all that alex describes the Iranians as being untruthful and untrustworthy?
Why? Because they don't like being treated as some possession by greedy and corrupt whitefellas?

Iran has successfully withstood the attempts by the major imperial powers of recent history to enslave them, their history goes back millennia to a time when they were corrupted by imperial fantasies. It is unlikely the Iranian people would fall for the lies of the greedy amongst them again and embark on any future colonial adventure.

However that experience has educated the Iranian people to the tricks of those other nations who still seek the hollow rewards of empire and they will withstand the naive greedy and simplistic attempts of amerika buttressed by the lies of the corrupt Israeli administration, to sequester their resources.

There won't be any attack on Iran this political cycle. Even if bush and cheney had the political capital to force this one through washington, amerika lacks the military wherewithal to invade Iran while oppressing Iraq. Iraqis will have to demonstrate that most (not just the Maliki sock-puppet) Iraqis accept amerikan hegemony before an attack on Iran becomes viable.

All of this drum beating is about inculcating amerikan culture with the belief that Iran is evil, a menace which must be confronted. The proximity of the amerikan prez and handmaiden elections means this message can be sent out from washington by the aipac owned pols without any queries however meek, from those who aren't on the aipac bandwagon.

They may not take money from aipac but they do understand that speaking out right now would likely cause a massive campaign against them in their district come this November causing the role as handmaiden to the rich to be lost along with attendant perks. (yet it is the Iranians who are untruthful, untrustworthy, clever, politicians).

Just as amerikans accepted Iraq was not only an 'enemy' it deserved to be invaded after years of threats backed with lies from amerikan politicians and israeli criminals (war & peace criminals. It is 'interesting' - isn't it. The way that control of Israel has passed from the war criminals who once slaughtered arabs in their thousands on to 'ordinary' criminals who will steal anything that isn't nailed down - yet it is the Iranians who are untruthful, untrustworthy, clever, politicians)

Iran is in the sights to suffer the same fate. I doubt it ever will. That won't stop amerikan pols chipping away - building their alternative reality in the hope that an opportunity will eventually present itself.

We know that bush and cheney had an invasion of iraq on their minds for a very long time but without the 911 action against amerika they may have struggled to win acceptance for an invasion. Remember that the shrub administration was not travelling well until that day. The same situation exists here, the neo-con neo-zi's will keep hammering away at iran hoping that there will be a fortuitous alignment of the planets, but the odds of that happening in the near future are getting slimmer by the day.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 21 2008 0:24 utc | 15

It is sometimes fun to play “armchair quarterback”, but things are sometimes not as simple or as real as we imagine. The drumbeat for attacking, invading and occupying Iraq was so loud that even the deaf and dumb knew it was going to happen long before March 19, 2003. The drumbeats against Iran are loud and numerous, but nowhere near as ominous as we experienced in 2002 and early 2003. I think Debs is correct in that the neo-con/neo-zi’s are hoping for a fortuitous alignment of circumstances but for the foreseeable future, the U.S. is not, even by any stretch in thinking, in a politically or militarily correct position to attack Iran. Yet Antifi’s point cannot be dismissed and is, in my opinion, a real possibility. I believe the NYT article about the Israeli warplanes exercise was furthering the Israeli cause by allowing Israel to test the political waters of an Israeli strike. That was probably the real mission of this military exercise.

UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s head, Mohammed ElBaradei, responded:
"A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible - it would turn the region into a fireball..."
, he told Al Arabiya television in an interview.

Russia’s Foreign minister, Lavrov responded today also: ”"I hope the actual actions would be based on international law, and international law clearly protects Iran's and anyone else's territorial integrity." Russia had asked both the United States and Israel to provide factual information to back their claims that Iran was working to build atomic weapons. "So far we have seen none, and the same conclusion was made by the International Atomic Energy Agency" Lavrov said.

Hannah K. O'Luthon recently pointed us to the Debka website for their emphasis on Iran. Today, Debka’s top story is all about the uproar over the Israeli exercise:

DEBKAfile’s political sources comment that if a reported air maneuver simulating an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities raised so much international, financial and military dust, how much more extreme would the world response be to a real attack.

Sometimes the information on Debka is worthy of thought. In this case, I believe it confirms that the main worry is the political impact of such a strike. The “crazies” don’t appear to be worried about “the fireball effect” as Lavrov stated. But by how much is showing such lack of worry actually a part of the propaganda. I don’t know.

Posted by: Rick | Jun 21 2008 3:14 utc | 16

I doubt theres going to be war against Iran. However my only tool for this assessment is logic. And there can be no doubt of the motive as laid out by Antifa. Add the caution : The typical mad-man or psychopath does not have a good reputation for "properly" weighing logic over motive.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 21 2008 4:37 utc | 17

Great post by b. And a lot of good points on this thread. The U.S and Israel are offering no factual information with regard to Iran's supposed pursuit of nuclear weapons. But if you posit that an outright attack on Iran (including nukes) is an exact expression of insanity, you have to ask yourself how the good people of the world will stand on the issue of such a supreme crime against peace and a historically galvanizing act of aggression. In such extremis, would Germany, France , Italy and the rest of Europe do the old soft-shoe-shuffling dance and continue to smile the collaborating smiles and say, "Well done O Uncle Sam, O whitewashing Imperitor of our Best Interests?--Well served, well met--continue as you were---Tally Ho!" (?)

It strikes me that such a fulmination of chaos and destruction would tend to tighten the oil spigot rather than loosen it, and drive speculation on oil futures ever higher. The uncertainty, unpredictability of escalated war only serves those whose mission it is to loot the US Treasury. It was proposed to me today that the US is now itself an occupied country, pushed under fiat by its own military, while the ostensible political figureheads are worked like puppets on wires.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 21 2008 5:36 utc | 18

I can't help but notice he way which alex's description of Iran seeks to demonise Iran's survival instinct with pejoratives, such as untruthful and untrustworthy next to clever and subtle thereby casting the type of racial aspersions which were once used against jews but are now only insinuated about jewish people in the world of "the holocaust was the greatest ever crime against humanity".

What I said about Iranians is not my personal opinion, but the way Iran is, or more, used to be, commonly portrayed. The Mullahs may be described as demons, but are not particularly represented as devious these days. Back in the last century, it was presented more as I said, untrustworthy foreigners.

But it is a more accurate description than what Antifa said. The Iranians are not going to fall for an Israel-US double whammy. They've had a long time to prepare a response.

Posted by: Alex | Jun 21 2008 8:49 utc | 19

The muttering, screaming, and drum-beating re. Iran comes and goes, rises and falls. The rise(s), I think, represent renewed force or vigor, created or found who knows how, of the pro-bomb-Iran faction; or, as possibly now, a relative weakness of the contra camp. The weaker the US / its Gvmt. becomes, the more space is created for war talk, not because the public goes along with it (though a small faction does) but because the conventional instituted forces are more in disarray than usual (elections, oil, dollar, recession, etc.)

That doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. The drum beating smells of empty, hopeful, propaganda - a kind of automatic tic, a habit. Lastly, as it is long lasting background noise with some peaks, counter reactions and arguments are given space to develop - such as exposing the “Israel Lobby”, noting the relative failure of the war in Iraq, etc. The absurdity of the bomb-bomb-bomb proposition is gradually revealed. The replication of the previous successful strategy (invade Iraq) that had a poor outcome, or in any case, not the projected or hoped for one, is actually a sign hopelessness, weakness, or a symptom of allies at odds.

Or so I prefer to think!

Posted by: Tangerine | Jun 21 2008 8:51 utc | 20

While it is heartening to hear that bombing Iran is not an act reasonable people would take, that has no bearing on the state of mind within the Cheney bubble. Cheney and Friends are logical and dedicated and skilled about their crazy ass plans. Cheney and Friends look at consequences like reasonable people do, in fact they look at consequences first and foremost, and all consequences come second to keeping America on top, period and permanently.

If the fall of America is to be the consequence, well then a whole lot of hell will have to go down on its enemies first.

The people who want to bomb the hell out of Iran are supremely logical about it, and have been since '79, and have been pushing American hegemony by military means since '89 in the halls of government, and have been actively planning it to the last nut and bolt since 2000.

They've drawn up the several thousands of targets, set a perfectly logical order for them, set aside the fuel and spare tires and chow for the sailors, and parked the carrier fleets on station in the Gulf and the Mediterranean. Ready to shoot. Tomorrow will do, or the next day, or the next. Ready.

Meanwhile, they keep the PR and diplomatic chaos and military position in place until any reasonable excuse arrives to pull the trigger. Any reasonable excuse will do. Polish troops attacking a German radio station will do just fine . . .

In 1941, President Roosevelt put an oil embargo in place against Japan to rein in their military adventurism. At that point, it became an absolute economic imperative for Japan to break that stranglehold. War or collapse were their options, and time was short.

America faces a similar stranglehold in the coming decade, yea even now. It was not put in place by an enemy nation, but by the relentless squeeze of peak demand for oil. If America is to keep its place atop the global economy, others have to accept that unipolar world.

Not a likely scenario, absent overwhelming force to put it in place. America is a great, debt-ridden, bloated, staggering economic powerhouse, "too big to fail" and yet it can collapse as quickly as the Soviet Union did. Just as fast, and just as thoroughly.

What would bring on that rapid collapse? Losing the petrodollar, the reserve currency status of the fiat dollar that has let America live way beyond its means for nearly half a century. We get to print endless money, with no apparent consequence to ourselves. Other nations that do that hit the canvas, real quick.

Cheney and Friends, Cheney and the amoral, apolitical elites who simply want to see this economic empire remain a going concern look at the Middle East as America's right, and property. The idea of sharing, or competing fairly for those resources, is beyond the pale. It is something sweet and reasonable people would discuss on a blog somewhere. Not the real world.

In Cheney's world, reality involves tactical nukes, and the will to use them. That act alone will send a message that will reverberate throughout this New American Century.

Like Japan in '41, the oil crunch impends. Either that Iraqi, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Iranian, and Caspian petro wealth all gets sold under the fiat dollar regime, or America has to start living within its means, all of a sudden like.

And America as it exists now, as it is currently owned and operated, simply cannot do that. The current political arrangements cannot survive that.

It was completely unreasonable of Japan to attack America in 1941, as in "What the hell were they thinking?" unreasonable. But they saw no other choice. Like Cheney and Friends now, the Japanese honchos sat around and said things like, "Just 24 hours of decisive action will change the whole world."

To the honchos atop our government and economy, America has no other choice but to defend its economic role in the world, even by nuclear means if necessary. So the rational option is . . . take our oil from whomever is in the way.

If the American people get in the way, that's their problem. Hence we see all the domestic impoverishment and repression coming rapidly into force at home. The American population needs to be under control.

Both political parties know this crunch is coming, long since, and both parties know the option is stark. If there was a gentle way down off this pole, the time to exercise it passed many years ago.

To the people atop our government and empire, there is only one reasonable course, and that is force.

The fact that other reasonable people find this option unlikely and irrational means precisely nothing. When 24 hours of decisive action will change the whole world, what reasonable honcho can resist it?

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 21 2008 12:13 utc | 21

Antifa@21,
to add, I think it would require some kind of false-flag operation to jump-start the attack process. Japan did not utilize a false-flag in 1941 because there just was'nt enough time for Japan to set up one. But as for an attack on Iran, the public, politicians, the military, the Iranians, .. everyone has had a whole lot of time (years) to think about this.

at the end of the day, even though we'll never know for sure but we may have cause to be thankful for the incompetence of this administration. A more competent administration may have put itself in a much better position to actually do it, without the endless hysteria, saber-rattling and telegraphing of intentions

also, the false-flag will have to be impeccable and thats very difficult. It would have to be a master-piece in order to fool the entire planet. It simply has to be the best ever, otherwise they're busted and war-crimes may be on the way.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 21 2008 13:54 utc | 22

johnny be cool #22--

It is good you mention the false flag.

Clearly we are see-sawing between pro-attack and cooler-head factions, but even with inside information it is doubtful one could know which way this is going to go.

Suppose the Israelis do launch their own attack. I think the Iranians will reply in a way that is unexpected. I mean really unexpected.

Shutting down Mid-East oil is obvious, and may well be chosen if the US becomes involved in an overt way. But there are more moves than the obvious ones, that should worry any strategic planner. And not just Israeli planners: The US simply cannot expect to survive this war, when even the obvious scenerios are fatal.

There is one point that is too seldom mentioned: Alhough the Iranians are serious about their uranium enrichment program, they understand it is a bogus issue, and that the real issue is their independence from US control. So while the US uses the issue in one way, building a pretext for the war it wants, the Iranians use it in another, making a show of yielding just before the matter gets too hot.

Tactically, the Iranians are buying time, which favors them strategically. Conversely, the US seeks decisive action tactically, even as--being post-functional--its strategy is one of buying time merely. As has been pointed out above, the US has no thought to any horizon beyond the War for Oil itself.

But back to the false-flag: The Israelis may do what they do, but the US will need a serious, high-emotion and visible incident on its own soil to provide the "Pearl Harbor" moment for attack on Iran to be saleable. That is, it will require a false-flag operation in the United States, and this "terrorist attack," will be the only sure sign that we will get that the War on Iran is a "go." After that, it is a matter of hours or days.

This is not a sign you will miss. If it happens, it will be all over the media to the exclusion of all else.

Posted by: Gaianne | Jun 23 2008 6:33 utc | 23

Tactically, the Iranians are buying time, which favors them strategically.

agreeed. The Iranians have done a masterful job of running doown the clock.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 23 2008 7:46 utc | 24

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