Archive for the ‘iran’ Category

Watch this clip of John Lennon being chastised by some arrogant bitch from the establishment media and you’ll see with perfect clarity how not a goddamned thing has changed in this country. Power to the powerful has been the motto of this nation for a long time. God help you if you if you actually believe that the people who make up this country should be afforded a voice in our own destiny.

[UPDATE]: Apparently the snobbish interviewer in this clip is Gloria Emerson. A quick glance over her resume and I have to admit that she has an impressive body of work and I’m sure was a valuable asset to the antiwar community. Unfortunately, this clip of her demonstrates the dismissive, patronizing attitude that seems to infect most elite journalists, regardless of their ideological stripe. It’s the same shit today, just listen to Dick Gregory attacking the blogosphere:

The message I hear from both clips is “leave it to the professional, you have no place expressing your opinion on such big important topics you ignorant proles”.

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After seeing an interview with Chalmer Johnson on Democracy Now last night, I dug up a pretty good clip of him on YouTube explaining in a fairly simple way how the mess in Iraq came to be. The fact that this sort of analysis has never been seen on a mainstream news outlet is the most obvious evidence that it has failed us in every possible way. You want to know the truth? You want to hear actual experts and bona fide historians discuss our current political context? Well then you probaby want YouTube, not CNN, MSNBC, or god forbid Faux News.

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I rarely just swipe posts wholesale, but this needs as much exposure as possible Via Dailykos:

US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack

Some of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented.

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I noticed a smear starting to emerge in the right wing blogosphere about Edwards and Israel. As per usual there appears to be an incestuous twisting of a single story in to a larger, twisted narrative. Let’s map this sucker out.

It all begins with this piece from Variety:

There are other emerging fissures, as well. The aggressively photogenic John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the “I” word — Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.

Support for Israel in the U.S. has lately become bafflingly multi-cultural, representing an alliance between diaspora Jews, traditional Zionists and evangelicals. Support from Christian zealots, who now represent about one third of Israel’s tourist business, is welcomed even though, according to evangelical doctrine, Judgment Day will bring the ultimate destruction of Israel and death to most of its residents.

The Economist observed this week that “knee jerk defensiveness” of Israel ultimately will erode support for that country around the world, even among Jews. Only 17% of American Jews today regard themselves as “pro-Zionist,” the magazine points out, and only 57% say that “caring about Israel is a very important part of being Jewish.” And Jimmy Carter only exacerbates these mixed signals with his recent perorations that Israel must “give back” territories to the Palestinians.

So according to the Economist, nobody is fond of the Israel taking a reactionary stance, including Jews. Which says to me that IF Edwards denounced the notion of Israel attacking Iran that he wouldn’t be alone in holding such an opinion. This, however won’t shield him from the right wing attacks on him for daring to criticize Israel. If you plug your nose and wade thru the right-wing blogosphere, you’ll find an incestuous circle of sites all linking to this NRO piece:

Really? Israel is the biggest threat? Not Ahmedinijad? Not al-Qaeda? Not a coup attempt in Pakistan? Not a complete breakdown in Iraq drawing in the Saudis, Turks, and Iranians?

But then I read this:

WASHINGTON John Edwards’ presidential campaign wants to make it clear that he doesn’t consider Israel a threat to world peace.

A spokesman for the 2008 Democratic candidate issued a statement today denying such a report on Variety.com.
Columnist Peter Bart reports that Edwards told a Hollywood fundraiser last month that the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities is perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace.

Edwards’ spokesman Jonathan Prince says the article is erroneous. He says Edwards says one of the greatest short-term threats to world peace is Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

So if this article is correct, then the Edwards campaign is actually fueling the bullshit tough talk on Iran now. I really don’t know what to think here, but I’m either very unhappy with John Edwards’ talk on Iran or how the media is portraying his position on Iran. Some clarity is needed, as I agree with democracy arsenal:

With that said, it is tough sometimes to interpret Iran quotes, as we found out yesterday. Let’s say, for example, if someone says: “any type of military action against Iran should be an absolute last resort and every effort should be made to avoid confrontation,” or “we have no intention of attacking Iran” and then they say something like “all options should be left on the table,” then those two statements, while different in tone, are not necessarily contradictory. The argument could be made that its possible to believe both things simultaneously.

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From an article in The New Statesman via this diary over at Daily Kos:

American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day. They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran’s military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons.

Here’s where I find the possibility of an imminent attack to be very real. Consider the following, China is heavily involved with Iran in terms of oil. Now consider that any attack on Iran will rely heavily on the navy to conduct bombings of this expanded set of military targets. Bearing those two facts in mind, here’s what troubles me from the about this:

The admiral picked by President Bush to oversee his new strategy for Iraq testified yesterday that he does not know much about the plan that the administration says will determine whether the U.S. wins the war.

“I have not gotten into the detail of these plans,” Adm. William J. Fallon told the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that he has been concentrating on his current job as head of the U.S. Pacific Command…

The admiral, whose expertise centers on sea power and diplomacy in dealing with China, said he will leave the Iraq battle decisions to Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who leaves for Baghdad this week as the top U.S. commander in Iraq. The admiral appeared before the panel for confirmation hearings on his appointment to lead the U.S. Central Command.

So to summarize, the admiral chosen by Bush to oversee Iraq has very little to say about Iraq, but he seems like just the man you’d want in charge if you were going to be attacking Iran. Hmmmm.

UPDATE: More on Admiral Fallon & the China connnectionhere and here.

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Read Glenn

[The New York Times] has published a lengthy, prominent front-page article by Michael Gordon that does nothing, literally, but mindlessly recite administration claims about Iran’s weapons-supplying activities without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence. The entire article is nothing more than one accusatory claim about Iran after the next, all emanating from the mouths of anonymous military and “intelligence officials” without the slightest verified evidence, and Gordon just mindlessly repeats what he has been told in one provocative paragraph after the next.

And the proof that the NYT got it wrong?

Every one of Gordon’s sources are officials in the Bush administration, and all of them are completely anonymous, so one has no way to assess their interest, perspective, bias, or independence. And Gordon himself does not offer the slightest information to enable the reader to make such determinations, and he himself appears blissfully uninterested in any of that.

Welcome to September 9, 2002.

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