Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 08, 2015

Wars Are Always Short ... Until They Are Fought

November 15, 2002 - Rumsfeld: It Would Be A Short War

There will be no World War III starting with Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared Thursday, and rejected concerns that a war would be a quagmire.

"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program.

He said the U.S. military is stronger than it was during the Persian Gulf War, while Iraq's armed forces are weaker.

"Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that," he said. "It won't be a World War III."

April 8, 2015 - Tom Cotton: Bombing Iran Would Take “Several Days,” Be Nothing Like Iraq War

Sen. Tom Cotton says bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would take several days and be nothing like Iraq War.
Cotton said any military action against Iran would not be like the Iraq War and would instead be similar to 1999’s Operation Desert Fox, a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq ordered by President Bill Clinton.
“It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. ..."

Posted by b on April 8, 2015 at 15:10 UTC | Permalink


Just another abombanation. (Count the puns!)

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 8 2015 15:13 utc | 1

these buffoons who say these things - take it from where it comes..lairs or con men, all of them..

Posted by: james | Apr 8 2015 15:45 utc | 2

b disregards the experience from Grenada, Haiti and Panama. And Rumsfield was right about Iraq not being WWII. If anything, it could start WWIII, but never, never WWII (to historically challenged, WWII was already in the past when Rumsfeld was speaking).

OTOH, Cotton gives an impression of (not necessarily) capable platoon leader who thinks of himself as a strategist.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 8 2015 16:00 utc | 3

We could just shoot Iran in the back and then plant some enriched uranium on it...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 8 2015 16:02 utc | 4

Has anyone ever heard a high level Russian politicians ever talk in such a cavalier manner about bombing another country? Do the Chinese ever do?

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 8 2015 16:17 utc | 5

@5 No. Idiots are celebrated in the U.S. The boast before the War of 1812 was that a 1000 Kentucky rifleman could conquer Canada. Nothing has changed.

The British army proceeded to beat the brains out of the U.S. army in every major land engagement which didn't involve American war crimes or the Battle of New Orleans.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 8 2015 16:32 utc | 6

The crooks in the District of Criminals will always sell War as if it's some easy thing that'll last a few days and no more. Most citizens, no matter which branch of the UniParty they identify with, are more and more willing to go along with this crap, so why not? Hey, there's no downside for the politicians. In fact, they're handsomely rewarded for standing up on their hind legs and braying out this nonsense.

I have a ton of friends/acquaintances, who laud these buffoons for "keeping us safe" for ISIS/terrorists... I hear it a lot. Ergo, why not bomb bomb bomb Iran? Truly: why not? Most USians won't turn a hair, and many of them will heartily agree with it and believe that it makes them "safer."

Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 8 2015 17:17 utc | 7

LOL Tom Cotton, the latest GOP shitstain with his lips eagerly wrapped around the Neocon POV, spooge towel in hand. He understands well the fastest way to prominence and recognition and money in AmeriKan politics nowadays is to say something dumb as shit that Israel/Adelson/Netanyahu/MIC warmongers approve of. Everything's a cakewalk in the minds of these assholes, while others are doing the fighting and dying and retaliation is eventually experienced, then quick! We need a solution to the dumb fuck of a problem we needlessly created, while our President was making a peace deal!
Just who the fuck is Tom Cotton anyway, where was he shat from, and why is he suddenly relevant?

Posted by: farflungstar | Apr 8 2015 17:47 utc | 8

No offense to Harvard grads, but one of the simplest of minds; a man who I worked with, graduated from that highly esteemed Ivy League school. He was as dumb as a lizard.

I live in Arkansas. I didn't vote for either Mark Pryor or Tom Cotton. Cotton has the mouth of Bill O'Rilley and the political prowess of Joe Biden. What an embarrassment to our state. But Arkansans got what they deserved. Now many of those people who voted for him, spend a lot of energy defending his stupidity.

Posted by: Skip | Apr 8 2015 18:04 utc | 9

The entire MO of the Republican party is a frothing at the mouth, insane, Neanderthal hatred of President Obama. If Romney had achieved this agreement with Iran, he would be hailed as the Second Coming of Reagan. It's only natural that the Neocon wing of the US Elite would be flinging deranged threats like this when there's a possibility that their Glorious Crusade against Iran looks like it's been thwarted.

Posted by: Almand | Apr 8 2015 18:16 utc | 10

Rummie and Tommie, sitting in a tree,
Always getting' ready to shit on you and me….

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 8 2015 18:31 utc | 11

farflungstar says:

Just who the fuck is Tom Cotton anyway, where was he shat from, and why is he suddenly relevant?

thanks for the million laughs

Skip says:

Now many of those people who voted for him, spend a lot of energy defending his stupidity.

well, it's true...idiocy is renewed with every generation

Posted by: john | Apr 8 2015 18:36 utc | 12

I guess Cotton didn't get the memo about Iran's promise to close the Straits of Hormuz if attacked (well within their capabilities), not to mention the memo about no nation ever having surrendered because of aerial bombing.  

Posted by: Paul E. "Marbux" Merrell | Apr 8 2015 18:44 utc | 13

I believe Rumsfeld is an intelligent man - devious and evil albeit - and therefore his statement from November 2002 can be understood as a calculated lie designed to sell a product. Whereas Tom Cotton, from what I can gather, is a lot less intelligent and is therefore ultimately much less dangerous. The linked article basically spells it out ... Cotton derides Obama for offering a false choice, and then all he can offer is one side of that derided choice. Also, to claim as he does that diplomacy is always best engaged with a military threat waved about at the same time, that is disingenuous, counter to international law, and subject to debate. The BS detector is flashing when Cotton speaks because he either contradicts himself or else makes sweeping claims that do not add up.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 8 2015 19:06 utc | 14

Some more insanity from the extreme right to illustrate my point. All this is for domestic consumption. There is a great profit to be made by whipping the American public into a blood frenzy. More extreme Russian Duma members have made threats along these lines before, and every time it's presented as proof of Putin's plans for world domination, instead of what it really is, the empty threats of a low-level MP. When an American says it, it's angling for a shot at the Presidency!

Posted by: Almand | Apr 8 2015 19:19 utc | 15

@10 An Iran deal would be off the table for many GOP voters even if it was put together by Mittens. An Iran deal would be like raising taxes or having a pro-choice position. It violates the "conservative" commandments, and conservatives will dump a conservative who violates one of the sacred principles which are taxes on the rich, foreign policy enemies, defense spending, war porn, and abortion. There would have been a challenge.

Romney was elected by Mormons, a lack of a united opposition, and GOP blue blood despite, and he still almost blew the race to Santorum. Romney would never have enjoyed the loyalty Dubya enjoyed to being an evangelical drunk and thus one of the conservative tribe in a way 41 and Jeb can't be. The Iran deal would be attacked by every Republican knowing full well that the party is such a mess Ricky Santorum ran a good race for the nomination. The KKKhristians would go nuts because an Iran deal would violate their end of time prophecies.

Romney wouldn't act because he would lose a reelection campaign if he wasn't ousted for the GOP nod.

The reason GOP voters don't give Obama credit for GOP ideas is a two fold reason: Democrats aren't in the "conservative" tribe. They can never be accepted. Two, GOP policies suck and produce bad results reinforcing their opinion of Obama and the Democratic weasels when they enact GOP ideas.

This loyalty to the conservative tribe is above even kicking pregnant rape victims. It's not hypocrisy in the classic sense. You just don't understand the importance of each value.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 8 2015 19:38 utc | 16

"What President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities"? December 1998!? But Hussein Kamel told CNN that "Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction," in 1995! Do people forget that?
Remember how dishonestly Powell cited Kamel to make the case for war while omitting the fact that Kamel had said all the WMD had been destroyed!

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Apr 8 2015 21:00 utc | 17

These are the real people. Being given the "Hitler treatment" without any of the rich country do anything to protect them.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 8 2015 21:34 utc | 18

Da'esh does the dirty job for (Western sponsored) Nusra
"What I understand from being inside the camp is that Islamic State says that once they've finished with the Beit al-Maqdis they will hand over those positions to [the rival jihadist al-Qaeda-affiliated group] al-Nusra Front."

Posted by: Mina | Apr 8 2015 21:39 utc | 19

#8 asks: Just who the fuck is Tom Cotton anyway, where was he shat from, and why is he suddenly relevant?

He is considered a war hero, apparently some special forces guy who who killed Iraqis and was an easy sell to brain dead southern voters. He was promoted by neocons and Bill Kristol is his mentor. Those credentials give him a national platform. Need we say more.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 8 2015 22:31 utc | 20

GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson

Cotton’s rise to prominence didn’t come cheap and required friends with very deep pockets. His Senate campaign cost $13.9 million, and some of his biggest campaign contributions came from far outside his home state of Arkansas.

I'm sure that a lot of this cash is sent by the Congress to Israel in the form of 'aid' and then sent back to 'our' representatives and senators in the form of campaign contributions. Keeps the imperial death machine oiled and turning.

G.O.P.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift

The Emergency Committee for Israel, led by William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, spent $960,000 to support Mr. Cotton. In that same race, Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire from New York and a leading donor to pro-Israel causes, contributed $250,000 to Arkansas Horizon, another independent expenditure group supporting Mr. Cotton. Seth Klarman, a Boston-based pro-Israel billionaire, contributed $100,000.

The political action committee run by John Bolton, the United Nations ambassador under President George W. Bush and an outspoken supporter of Israel, spent at least $825,000 to support Mr. Cotton. That PAC is in part financed by other major pro-Israel donors, including Irving and Cherna Moskowitz of Miami, who contributed 99 percent of their $1.1 million in 2012 races to Republican candidates and causes.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group, said this relatively small group of very wealthy Jewish-Americans distorted the views among Jews nationwide who remain supportive of the Democratic Party and a more nuanced relationship with Israel.

“The very, very limited set of people who do their politics simply through the lens of Israel — that small group is tilting more heavily Republican now,” he said, adding, “But it is dangerous for American politics as too many people do not understand that of the six million American Jews, this is only a handful.”

960,000 + 250,000 + 100,000 + 825,000 = $2,135,000 from just 4 contributor's. All Israel Firsters.

The NYTimes prefers the more 'nuanced' Demoblicans.

I am amazed that the patriotic rednecks go for the traitors. Ted Cruz in TX is another example.

Goes to show how shallow 'patriots' really are.

The zombified cogs on the wheel of 'go along to get along' keep the imperial death machine turning.

These people are all beneath contempt. Mina@18,19 focuses on the people we need to be concerned with.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 8 2015 22:59 utc | 21

But the arms manufacturers don't want a short war !!!!!

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 9 2015 0:01 utc | 22

Another reprise of the "Short, Victorious War" theme of governance.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Apr 9 2015 0:04 utc | 23

#21 jfl.

I stand corrected, $14 million for an Arkansas senate seat is not considered an easy sell. But in any case he has national prominence today because there was some heavy backers that decided he might be the one.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 9 2015 5:14 utc | 24

Another dangerous U.S. politician! And yet the provincial, aka ignorant, U.S. citizenry just keep electing these psychopaths...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 9 2015 6:43 utc | 25

I also remember that one John Kerry said that the war against Syria would be "incredible short". Kerry wanted war but he never got his war. But the simple fact that US politicians emphasize a "Short war" also means they know the US citizens don't like war (anymore).

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 9 2015 6:52 utc | 26

Kerry said that in august/ september 2013. And he used different words.

See this link:

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 9 2015 6:54 utc | 27

it would be a mistake to underestimate obama,s resolve.i personally believe he is committed to peace but i heard word fatalistic mentioned in relation to israeli mindset and that worries me.

Posted by: mcohen | Apr 9 2015 9:59 utc | 28

Ralphieboy has the American POV down pat: "Shoot Iran in the back and plant some uranium on them".

The problem with America isn't that its the world's policeman, of course.... the problem with America is that it's the World's Ferguson Policeman.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 9 2015 12:55 utc | 29

@27 Obama is committed to Obama and subsequently his legacy. We aren't running guns to the Saudis because Obama is secretly good. Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, ISIS, Syria, trying to stay in Iraq, Ukraine, and now Yemen again are clear examples of what is in Obama's heart. A couple of generic and over-hyped speeches from 2004 and 2008 aren't no matter how much you might have projected onto Obama.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 9 2015 13:16 utc | 30

I meant to reply to mccohen@28.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 9 2015 13:44 utc | 31

@guest77 | Apr 9, 2015 8:55:55 AM | 29

The problem with America isn't that its the world's policeman, of course.... the problem with America is that it's the World's Ferguson Policeman.

Brilliant line.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 9 2015 14:37 utc | 32

In the next major war the US initiates, all the US soldiers MUST demand that their generals enlist their kids first on the front lines before any of them can take part..

As for Tom Cotton's statement, one has to look at it in context. His target audience is those that put him in his position - nothing more!

Posted by: Zico | Apr 9 2015 14:55 utc | 33

Obama is arriving or has arrived in Jamaica, first to meet with Caricom leaders and to strongarm them into no longer using PETROCARIBE, the mechanism that allowed Chavez to distribute oil for low prices and excellent terms amongst the poor disadavangted islands of the Caribbean.
PETROCARIBE is also a commerce enabler allowing the islands to enhance their trade.
These island nations also favor Venezuela when voting in the United Nations.
The USA has been trying to isolate Venezuela and has been slowly imposing a trader war and embargo.
Now the tension was ratcheted up when the Obama administration declared the democratically elected government of Maduro a "threat" to the USA.
Most of LatAm and many other countries around the Globe reacted in a very unpleasant way to this latest USA escalation.
The USA then changed it's mind and now Maduro is not really a threat after all, ho hum.
So Obama goes to Jamaica to throw money, honey and oil at the CARICOM leaders.
Drop Venezuelan oil, use our nasty and dirty oil shale instead.
Obama has been negotiating with Cuba to normalize relations.
The USA has been indirectly pushing Haitians to immigrate illegally into Dominican Republic, destablizing both countries.
The USA president will then go to Panama for the IberoAmerican Summit to meet with all of LatAm.
At this summit Obama wants to get a BIG HUG from Raul, a condemnation of Maduro, an threat of admonishment for Dominican Republic, plus more aid for Haiti in order to bring in big mining interests and steal the riches under the soil of the land.
It's a nice shiny day, great for a selfie with all those current heads of state!

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 9 2015 15:11 utc | 34

@guest77, comment 29:

I concur with MRW. You touch it with a needle.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Apr 9 2015 15:21 utc | 35

The short war - 1914.

return before the autumn leaves fall (germany)

all over by christmas (britain)

non c’est pas possible (france)

non è il nostro problema (italy, for a good while..)

-- I’m no historian --

Ta Ra Ta, trumpets blast, priests pontificate, widows weep, children are hungry and silent, the graves are mud, flesh, bones, left over shoes, clothes, bodies impaled, mud, destruction, ruin, young men stunned, gassed, shot, blasted, bombed, etc. septicemia, and even the Spanish flu at the end..

16 million dead and 20 million seriously wounded (wiki.)

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 9 2015 19:47 utc | 36


Glen Ford reminds of the 'short war' waged over the past 50 years inside the USA.

Cleveland cop Michael Brelo distinguished himself as the most murderous member of a mob of 104 cops on a chase-and-shoot spree in Cleveland, Ohio, back in November, 2012. Mistaking a car engine backfire for a gunshot, the crazy cop caravan careened through Cleveland at speeds reaching 100 miles an hour, cornering Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, in a school parking lot. Russell and Williams, unarmed, died in a hail of 137 bullets – 49 of them fired by Officer Brelo, now on trial for voluntary manslaughter. Brelo and his partner fired 15 bullets through their own windshield at the Black victims’ car. Then, at a point when, according to the prosecutor, no cop’s life was in danger (except from other officers), Brelo jumped on the hood of the victims’ car and fired 15 more shots at the mortally wounded man and woman. Today, the cop says he has no recollection of the entire episode.

A good many of the 'Ferguson cops' are literally psychopaths. Will they soon be door gunners in 'surplus, anti-terror' helicopters flying over American cites like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago? Seems likely to me. Why not?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 10 2015 1:32 utc | 37

To quote commenter (elsewhere) Antifa,

"Actually, Tom Cotton is right. A war with Iran would only last a few days. From the moment it starts, the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf would completely cease, and Western economies would be in a state of collapse in a few days. So the war would end.

The supertankers plying the Persian Gulf are heavily insured for each voyage. During a shooting war in that narrow body of water, no one could afford insurance for supertankers headed in harm’s way, no one would issue insurance, no one could guarantee their safety, and why bother? The onshore oil loading terminals would be in flames from Iranian missiles from the first hour.

And don’t start talking nukes. Iran has a solid friend in the big Russian bear. Moscow can inform Israel and America that and America will receive exactly as many nukes as they drop on Iran. Mutually Assured Destruction — the only sure cure for nuclear war.

Or Russia could rapidly deploy troops into Iran and warn the West not to touch them. Or flood Iran’s nuclear sites with Russian technicians as a means of protecting those locations from attack. Russia could also immediately cut off all natural gas to Western Europe, bringing tremendous pressure from them for the war to cease immediately.

Pentagon war planners have run multiple war games with Iran. We’ve never won without Iran mysteriously failing to use its missiles against our ships, and against oil tankers.

It is Israel and the Saudi royal family who want war with Iran. It is not in America’s corporate or military interest, nor in Europe’s, nor in Russia’s. The Saudis are in a tizzy because of what Yemen’s turmoil represents to them — the beginning of the dissolution of Saudi Arabia into similar turmoil. It’s inevitable, of course, but they want to put it off for at least as long as the oil lasts. So they are bombing Yemen in hopes of forcing them to accept a ‘strong leader’ chosen by the Saudis.

Master Tom Cotton is still young enough to enlist. If he truly wants war with Iran, he should sign up and hop to it. After it’s all over, he can run for President.

Of Yemen."

Posted by: ohmyheck | Apr 10 2015 15:44 utc | 38

One can quibble about ohmycheck scenarios, but the principal fact is that WWIII is NOT UNTHINKABLE. Wise people who need to justify strategic armament were thinking about plausible scenarios. And which scenario is MOST PLAUSIBLE? A conflict involving Iran. If Russia does not want any nukes dropped on Iran, it can inform how they would retaliate, my guess, by obliterating Diego Garcia. A clean target, with only military personal, and enough military hardware and ammo to make it painful, also, after the threat announcement the island would have to be evacuated, there would be a pandemonium in American press and there is a potential of the ruling party of that moment not surviving the experience. To a politician, that can be as bad as it can get, but of course WIII can get worse.

Eurasian politics is very patchy, there is a lot of cooperation, trade and backstabbing, but it is not in the interest of any major country in the region (Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran) to let USA imposing its will by force. There were various signals that to both China and Russia an attack on Iran would cross a red line. And what is on the other side of the red line? At best, mutually assured economic destruction. If I had my guess, Iran would declare closing of waters in its proximity to any traffic, with an exception of the cargo to sufficiently supportive countries, so most major countries in Asia would get oil. Even Japan and Korea if they would decide to condemn the attack. And there is a funny tidbit: it is much easier to destroy a warship than a supertanker.

The important constrain on Iran's behavior is that it has to trade with someone, and most other countries want to trade with USA. So USA can do a lot as long as the red lines are not crossed. The game was clearly to tighten and extend the sanctions indefinitely, because the "danger" does not stem from Iranian nukes but from Iranian funds, provided that Iran does have a cash to spare. For example, in the aftermath of Israel-Lebanon war, representatives of Iran were visiting damaged communities and dispensing cash for reconstruction. This pretty much cemented the popularity of Hezbollah in Lebanese Shia community.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 11 2015 2:08 utc | 39

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