If you don't think Bush is planning to start a war with Iran, you don't know Junior. According to a Time cover story, which is greasing the skids for another subscription boostin' war, duking it out with the Iranians "is no longer unthinkable." With breathless excitement, the lapdogs tell us that minesweepers have been put on ready to be sent to the Straits of Hormuz. Folks, before you even have a chance to punish Bush's party in November, the little man is about to let fly. The eagle is about to soar again. So, in the spirit of angry punk impotence which was the only possible political posture in the nightmare Reagan years, I offer this video of Lance Blisters on MIDI guitar, with visuals by Ilan Katin, re-performing John Ashcroft's version of that ridiculous "eagle" song: [15 MB Quicktime .mov]

- tom moody 9-18-2006 6:59 pm

I half-expect a "false-flag" terror attack before the election... look for it to be blamed on Iran, of course. With all the noise coming out of Israel right now about how Iran is like a month away from nukes, (total lie, unless they bought some black-market nukes from fmr. Soviet Union years ago, in which case it is too late already), and Bibi Netanyahu touring the US beating the war-drum, I expect Dubya will heed the call of his masters and launch a war after a convenient incident. Actually, I more than "half-expect" it... maybe more like 80% chance unless something really changes. I wouldn't be surprised if the war party "dumps" Dubya in the process of the "attack" since he is such a liability now, make him a martyr / hero / saint and at the same time be rid of his bumbling. The neo-cons have no loyalty to Bush or the USA.
- Abraham Kalashnikov (guest) 9-18-2006 10:39 pm

The false flag is something we should all be prepared for. The US media has been laying the groundwork, making the Iranians look like "nuclear nuts."
- tom moody 9-18-2006 10:59 pm

Perhaps it will be a "Gulf of Tonkin" type (read : fake) attack on those minesweepers.
- Abraham Kalashnikov (guest) 9-18-2006 11:19 pm

I see metastability in the situation. (I mean metastability in the EE geek connotation. Think of a ball balanced on a narrow peak.) Small incidents could have greatly amplified results. The media has already show that they are unwilling to look at the root causes when there's so much cheerleading to be done.

There is no proven defense to Iran's Chinese supersonic antiship missiles. Iran could easily take out Saudi Arabia's production capability. There a lot of blood and money that could be spilled, and the US has a lot to lose. With the only relatively sane voice (Powell) on the outside, what retraints are on these guys?

I'm not sure they would start an all out war prior to the election. How does the question "Would the bloody shirt trump oil shock?" figure into their calculus? Even if they only intend limited instances of conflict, metastability is a bitch.
- mark 9-19-2006 12:20 am

While we are on the subject of "Chinese" missiles :



Israel says its dispute with the United States over its sales of military technology China will soon be worked out. The statement from senior Israeli officials is the first acknowledgment of a major disagreement between Israel and the United States over the issue.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Israel has, "a responsibility to be sensitive" to American concerns. She said U.S. officials have had what she characterized as "difficult" discussions with the Israelis over the technology sales to China. But she said she believes the Israelis now understand the seriousness of the matter.

According to Israeli media reports, the United States has imposed a series of sanctions on the Israeli arms industry in recent months because of it sales to China. Washington has also suspended cooperation on several projects, frozen delivery of some equipment, and is even refusing to answer telephone calls from Israeli defense officials.

The dispute stems from the Israeli sale of unmanned aircraft technology to China. Israel Aircraft Industries, which is state-owned, sold the aircraft to China in the early 1990s. American officials say some of the parts were shipped back to Israel last year for an upgrade

end exerpts of VOA news story



China Scolds U.S. for Blocking Israeli Arms Sale

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; Page A08


BEIJING, June 27 -- Accusing the Bush administration of "carping" and "outside interference," China issued a sharp complaint Monday after Israel cancelled a controversial Israeli-Chinese arms deal under pressure from the United States.

The Israeli decision halted the sale of drone aircraft capable of seeking out radar installations. It was the result of a U.S. campaign to block China from obtaining advanced military technology that could be used against Taiwan and U.S. forces supporting the island in any confrontation.

Israel Set to End China Arms Deal Under U.S. Pressure

As part of the campaign, the Bush administration also pressured European countries against lifting their arms embargo on China, winning at least a delay in a decision to do so. The Israeli government's decision is similar to its cancellation in 2000 of a $1 billion deal to sell Phalcon early warning radar planes to China.

end exerpt

- Abraham Kalashnikov (guest) 9-19-2006 12:41 am

"Imagine That" Deptartment:



MI knew about Hezbollah kidnap plans
Military Intelligence had clear information about an impending kidnap attempt by Hezbollah shortly before the Lebanese group carried out its cross-border raid on July 12, according to an internal inquiry conducted by the Israel Defense Forces..

The information - which could, if properly handled, have prevented the kidnapping of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser - was not analyzed and passed on to the troops in time, the report indicated.

end exerpt
- Thor Johnson 9-19-2006 2:00 am

Well some things are for sure. Whatever their intentions Iran can play us and EU like a fiddle as the (a)moral highground and much practical ability to prosecute a campaign there are well past.
Wouldn't expect more than puffery from any direction. Their nuke campaign is bs beyond diplomatic eyepokes they are delivering via global media - wouldn't you? It's a later date (and frankly, when they have them, who now really knows the rules of this club?). As most prob know, Iran, through much of its history, and still, has had some deep affinity with the West/US, or at least NOT with the various stripes of retro-islam ruling since '79. Its a shame that there don't seem to be as many people around anymore, here especially, who recognize the power of just being good and otherwise staying the hell out of other peoples business unless vitally threatened.
- SHM (guest) 9-19-2006 3:56 am

PS... a more interesting question at least to me of late - suppose the U.S. et al (Costa Rica?) al did launch some kind of attack on Iran or (an)other "foe," presumably under the usual stretched or prefab pretenses - who the fuck is doing anything about it? Where are the kids? Where are the streetfighters? Where are the people (in diminishing order) who vote, give a shit, have a brain tuned to this? Do we all secretly feel that it will take a much larger or more visceral/closely known bloodbath?
- SHM (guest) 9-19-2006 4:17 am

That video was incredibly awesome!!!! It got me in the mood for the next war!!!! I'm pumped now!!!!
- Thor Johnson 9-19-2006 5:23 am

These idiots will keep having wars until enough Americans "feel it"--either at the gas pump or by sending a loved one off to be slaughtered. Right now it's all being done on credit and the bill hasn't come due (for the ign'ant majority).
- tom moody 9-19-2006 5:41 am

IGNINT McNUGGET, de breakfast o' champiums! - Thing-Fish
- Thor Johnson 9-19-2006 6:04 am

The US public turned against the American War in Vietnam for several reasons, including the shock of seeing the cost of war in videography and in print photography, the mounting loss of life, and the draft.

The shock of imagery doesn't sting in part because people have become habituated to violent images, and in part because the US media (unlike the European media) won't show pictures for reasons of "taste". (Aaron Brown's word in an interview with Amy Goodman.) The administration is doing it's best to avoid having the other two factors (loss of life and the draft) play a role. While thousands of Americans have died, and many thousands have life-altering injuries, these come in a slow trickle that American's have, again, become habituated to. The draft is something that only happens to active duty soldiers, reservists and the IRR, so the vast majority of the pro-war crowd can remain spectators. Not having to put their own flesh on the line, they can be sanquine about the violence.

There was a thread on DKos the other day about a video from al Qaeda in Mesopotamia showing a long series of IEDs blowing the fuck out of Americans. It's just awful. Several Kossacks opined that this video would be effective in turning Americans against the war. Those Kossacks, evidently, did not grow up in Texas. Seeing that cost of war, and knowing they wouldn't have to pay it, would cause many of the pro-war types to start screaming for the blood of ragheads.

In response to SMH's question on a different thread, I don't know what it would take for Americans to turn away from violence, except perhaps the draft. Any other "burden" on Americans could just as easily be used by the war constituency to justify further violence.
- mark 9-19-2006 6:16 am

I guess that's right. It takes a great inflation/stagflation, draft, major singular bloodbath, or attrition until somehow the numbers compete with those of other 'great' conflicts as seen on the History Channel. 3000 dead soldiers, 20,000 or whatever wounded, and god knows how many civilian dead just doesn't do it. So, it's a cliche but homo economicus really has ascended through the atomized mass market anomie, de-rezzing generational roles and even politics - or at least notions of individual political responsibility. At the same time, those that actually have an agenda grab most of what they want. Amazing how thorough the process has been. I wouldn't have thought it possible to such a degree or the idea even quaint were it not for the past few years.
- SHM (guest) 9-19-2006 5:48 pm

"If you don't think Bush is planning to start a war with Iran, you don't know Junior."

Yeah, I made that mistake in 2002-2003. Invading Iraq was such an obviously idiotic thing to do that I was convinced it was all a big bluff on the part of Bushco. I mean, it HAD to be; no one could be that stupid....

As our fearless leader says, "Fool me once, shame on--shame on you. Fool me twice...err...ummm...you can't get fooled again."
- jcaswell (guest) 9-19-2006 6:16 pm

On Democracy Now! this AM I heard a speaker, Phyllis Bennis, suggest how a pre-text for war could be constructed.

... the U.S. may be in the process of giving up a focus on the United Nations as the key venue for working out their escalating attacks on Iran, if they feel that they are simply not going to get the support they want, do what they did regarding Iraq, which was to deem the Security Council and the UN as a whole, in general, to be what they called irrelevant and go ahead on a unilateral basis.

That would be reflected in the new stories that have come out in the last couple of days in Time magazine and elsewhere, indicating that there have in fact been orders preparing to deploy U.S. Navy warships towards Iran with the goal being not necessarily a direct military strike, but rather a naval blockade of Iranian oil ports, which, of course, constitute an act of war. In that situation, the danger, of course, is that if there was, for example, imagine, a week or so of a U.S. blockade of Iranís ports, Iran knows, its government and its people know, that that's an act of war. Most Americans don't know that a blockade is considered an act of war. And if Iran responded militarily, which unfortunately would be their right under Article 51 of the UN Charter calling for self-defense rights, the Bush administration would very likely call that an unprovoked attack on peaceful U.S. ships and would respond militarily, claiming to be responding in self-defense. That's, I think, a very serious danger that we face right now. And seeing Bush at the United Nations choosing not to use that rostrum as a podium for escalating threats, direct threats, against Iran, it makes the danger of a unilateral military move right now all the greater.

- mark 9-20-2006 9:25 pm

War Signals

As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have issued orders for a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast.

- mark 9-22-2006 6:09 am

He's gonna do it.
- tom moody 9-22-2006 6:34 am

Are you saying our glorious subservient party will be outmanoeuvred again? Pshaw!
- mark 9-22-2006 6:45 am

Yeah, we can just sit back quietly and let straight-talk McCain protect us from the President's worst excesses. The Daily Howler connected the dots that the press doesn't seem to be able to: the CIA didn't stop the secret prisons because they had a sudden attack of conscience, or because "Powell spoke up"; they did it because they didn't have a statute to protect their asses after that Supreme Court decision. McCain, Warner and Huckleberry made sure "the program" is legal.
- tom moody 9-22-2006 8:40 am

But on the other hand, Gilliard thinks it was all a Rovian trap for the Dems.
- tom moody 9-22-2006 10:26 am

dems taking back seat allow repubs to look like their still the only ones who can get anything done. shores up repubs as viable in november elections.
- bill 9-22-2006 4:36 pm

Part two of the Rovian trap is if the Dems speak up, they become the lightning rods for "soft on terror" accusations before the electiion. It's a trap because they're fucked either way. In any case, the White House forced the issue--it was all about politics, as usual.
- tom moody 9-22-2006 8:06 pm

Compasionate Torturism v. Irrelevent and (Subservient or Objectively Pro-terrorist)

The WSJ had an opinion piece about the Canadian kidnapped by the U.S. to be tortured in Syria. Even when faced with a concrete example, the WSJ put the word "rights" in quotations. Fuckers.

Take the case of Maher Arar, an apparently innocent Canadian citizen who was arrested at JFK airport in September 2002 and turned over to Syria -- a process known as "rendition" -- where he actually appears to have been tortured. According to some of our media colleagues, this shows that CIA officials can't be trusted with the authority they're seeking under the proposed new Detainee Act to use a number of "stress techniques" against high level al Qaeda detainees.

But Mr. Arar's case proves exactly the opposite. For starters, it was the Canadian government that supplied what appears to have been bad information about Mr. Arar's alleged al Qaeda ties. More to the point, the temptation to get vital information by "rendering" such suspects for interrogation by governments that have little respect for human rights will only increase if the CIA's own al Qaeda interrogation program is shut down. This may make some in Congress feel better about themselves, but it won't do much for the "rights" of those interrogated.

- mark 9-22-2006 8:55 pm

Please Mr. Bush, if you don't mind, we would prefer if you didn't act like a homicidal maniac.

- mark 9-23-2006 9:11 am

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