Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why Bring Out The Iran Plan Now?

Seymour Hersh has a new article on the the plans to attack Iran. While I am not surprised by what Hersh reveals (and others echo - Wa. Post, Independent, Al Jazeera, AFP) in his article, the timing is more than interesting.

The news that the outing of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame was ordered by none other than George W. Bush, has done absolutely nothing to silence the questions about the administration. Within the last months, there has been a steady stream of questionable events and decisions: manufacturing a case to invade Iraq raised by retired Generals, authorization of the NSA to engage in illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the questionable sexual proclivities of officials at Homeland Security, the Abramoff and DeLay corruption and influence issues, etc. However, the latest news of Bush's involvement in the Plame leak is perhaps the most personally damning.

Why would Bush's involvement strike a deeper chord than other things? Is it just a case of "the straw that broke the camel's back?" Certainly, in part, it is that. However, it is also because the "Plame case" lies at the heart of so many issues. Bush came out vehemently on going after the leaker. He spoke big words - before Libby was indicted at which point the White House wouldn't comment on an ongoing investigation.

The Plame case has always been (at the very least) about revenge. Joe Wilson spoke out on the lie about Iraq importing yellow cake uranium from Niger. This lie was critical to painting the picture that Hussein had an active nuclear weapons program which would result in a "mushroom cloud" over U.S. cities. It was one of the clinching lies to move the U.S. public to support a preemptive invasion of Iraq. It was a lie. The White House broke Plame's cover to strike out at Wilson. They sacrificed an asset in the "war on terrorism" to shut Wilson up - or perhaps just to punish him. While the administration has tried to play down Plame's importance, that has been difficult to do - even if it only destroyed the cover business (and any other operatives who may have used that as a cover).

After all this time, the word that the leak actually was approved by George Bush himself raises so many issues of credibility and who Bush really is. That makes it a political blow of unprecedented proportions. Bush stood before the nation and lied. He withheld information critical to a federal investigation. And he never batted an eye while he lied. The Boston Globe characterized Bush as someone who has "built a reputation for forthrightness." That is exactly what is called into question with the leak revelations - Bush's ability to present himself as "forthright." Here we have an individual who can do more than lie convincingly. Here is a man who promised accountability in government, who promotes himself (and his administration) a hewing to the highest ethical standards. Here is a man who believes God elected him President of the United States and therefore he is "the chosen" of the Lord. Yet, he was able to convincingly deceive many people.

This is not a question of whether what Bush did was legal or not. It is an issue of character that runs deep. Which brings us back to the plans to attack Iran. That there are plans is no surprise. Many have expected an attack on Iran for at least the last two years. It is not the news that the U.S. is trying to foment revolution in Iran, or sending troops covertly into Iran. This too has been going on for some time. The question is "why break this story now?" Is it because such an attack is imminent? Or is it because the administration needs a distraction?

I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Seymour Hersh. He has brought many things to light that many would have wished remained secret - the torture at Abu Ghraib for example. However, this story is timed nicely to potentially overshadow the Plame investigation revelations. It may also be a preemptive strike by Hersh (and others) to try to avert the use of Iran as a distraction. Certainly the question must be asked. Would the Bush administration launch a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran to both forward whatever neo-conservative agenda, and to take attention off of the investigation? I have a sinking feeling that those discussions are already taking place at the White House. The current crowd is first, last, and always both political and self-focused. They want to attack Iran, but have not yet been able to make it politically expedient to do so.

It is clear that Bush would argue that a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran is completely legal as he argues he has carte blanch to act without either Congressional approval or oversight - including declaring war. The plans currently floating are aimed purportedly at over 400 installations and missile bases inside Iran. However, most of those "installations" are in heavily populated - even residential - areas. However, installations are clearly not the top agenda - regime change is in first place. "Regime Change" is even what has been openly declared by the Bush administration. Can anyone be so fool hardy to think that if civilians are attacked that they are going to overthrow the government of IRAN? Hell no. They will unite behind the current government against the United States.

Too many people are viewing Bush as a lame duck president. This is an activist President, and there is too much to "accomplish" before he must leave office. The unpopularity of the policies and scandals pose a threat to Republican rule (assuming we can have a fair election). That means that courses of action must be cemented and profits gained now. The old saying is "Make hay while the sun shines." While there is growing outrage over the current administration, the Republican controlled Congress has made it clear that they will do nothing to impede the authority or actions of Bush in sculpting a "unitary executive." So for all practical purposes, there is no check on the Bush administration. Invade Iran? I certainly expect it. Would the public support it? It makes no difference whatsoever.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at April 9, 2006 4:16 PM
Comments
Comment #139401

While I have yet to read Hirch’s article, one thing I heard about it is that the administration’s plans include the possibility of using nuclear weapons against Iran.

I hope it’s not true.

If it comes to that, then the United States can say goodbye to any and all support and admiration from the rest of the world.

Posted by: Steve K at April 9, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #139406

You guys…I got news… If this comes to a “nookyalur” launch, then we can all bend over and kiss our butts goodbye….if not literally, then at least figuratively.
It’s amazing that anyone can still be so complacent about this idiot. If you still blindly stand behind and support him, then tell me….how can you look at your kids, grandkids….and tell them you gave Bush the right to destroy their future???? I honestly don’t..can’t understand it. Is it just that mob mentality, drugs, mass hypnotism???
I can’t wait to see how you come back and make excuses and try to justify this….but I think it’s going to be a little like trying to piss up a rope….(sorry)….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 9, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #139407

Steve K: I believe we have already lost the support of the rest of the world.

I also believe Bush would have no problem starting another “war”.

After all, he still thinks we’re winning in Iraq.

Posted by: jack p at April 9, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #139409

Read the article. It’s frightening.

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060417fa_fact

And yes, it does say that nuking is an option.

Posted by: m mars at April 9, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #139412

jack p,

There will be such political repercussions from Europe and Canada that I think it could lead to the dissolution of NATO.

Posted by: Steve K at April 9, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #139414

Rowan,

Why now is a good question.

Why now with the plans for Iran? Simple, we need a leadership that’s strong on terror. Same story we’ve heard since September 11, 2001. IMO it defies logic to trust the same administration that ignored all of the warnings but we know that’s what happened.

Why now with the Plame leak can draw some definitive lines no doubt, but for the most part we’ve all known there was some chicanery going on with the build up for invading Iraq. No big disclosure here, just enough to further divide left from right.

The “why now” I’d failed to see until today was “why, after 5 years are we now pushing border security and the “Mexican immigrant” issue so hard. Well, the dim little light bulb went on in my muddled brain today! Everyone remember the “it’s the economy” election year mantra? Or the “it’s the war stupid!” mantra. Well the GOP did it again. Outside of abortion they picked the one single issue that could divide, not only Americans, but the Democratic party!

Let’s not be divided! Certainly we can differ on a few things, but we know the majority voice will overcome. We also know that the minority voice does not fade away because of it. We need to restore some sanity to Congress. Let’s do it this year and not be distracted by issues that will divide us.

KansasDem
PS: Rowan, sorry if I somewhat changed the topic of your excellent post but I felt this needed to be said.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #139430


I don’t think even the Republicans in this rubber stamp Congress will give the President permission to invade Iran. There will have to be a major provocation such as 911 even if it has to be fabricated. For instance, a dastardly attack on American troops in Iraq by the Iranians.

Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #139432

“I don’t think even the Republicans in this rubber stamp Congress will give the President permission to invade Iran.”

Given the arrogance of this administration why would they bother asking congress for permission?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #139435

Is it too late to impeach these idiots? Is a coup the only way out? If so, I hope the Generals are up to it.

Posted by: wyzzrd at April 9, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #139436

I don’t think it is particularly odd that there is a nuclear option. There always is and always will be as long as we have nukes.

This is nothing more than sabre rattling, in my opinion. Yes, it could be a distraction from US political woes.

My real fear about nukes is the Soviet satelites and Pakistan. Iran hasn’t invaded anyone in many, many years. Yes, they foment turmoil in the region, as do we. There is a portrait of the Iranian president as the new Hitler floating around that bothers me, in that it is our and Israel’s propoganda. Iran is, relatively speaking, fairly stable.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #139439


wyzzrd: I could imagine that some of our generals could have joked about a coup but, this is still the United States of America even if GW thinks he is king.
Could Rumsfeld have an accident? Possibly, considering what he has done to our military in Iraq.

Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #139455

Best bet for a peacful outcome is still congress. If the house changes hands and impeachment follows lets just hope the military holds faith with the constitution.

Posted by: BillS at April 9, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #139464

One thing that seems very ominous to is that this has now been in the MSM for more than 24 hours and we’ve not seen an official denial by any high ranking diplomat. Now, think about it ……….. if someone suggests you’re considering the use of nukes that’s gotta’ be as big as trouble gets!

So it’s either true or our fearless leader is a total idiot! Take your pick.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #139471

Its eerie that not a single Republican has graced this thread with his refutation.

No cries of protests claiming its all Liberal Lies?

No proud agreement for this bold new strategy for Iran?

No cries of Treason for all Leakers?

Silence fills the room…

Posted by: Aldous at April 9, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #139475
I don’t think even the Republicans in this rubber stamp Congress will give the President permission to invade Iran.

It seems to me that Bush could try and use the same justification that he used for the illegal wiretapping, that he was already given authorization by the congress after 9/11 to do whatever he needed to protect America.

I’m curious, I recently saw an interview with Scott Ritter where he stated that:

1. Iran hasn’t proven that it’s capable of building a working centrifuge to refine uranium.

2. Iran doesn’t have access to uranium to refine for weapons. They were given a small quantity from China, enough for low level testing, but in order to produce nuclear weapons, they’d need a significant indigenous source of uranium.

3. The uranium sources available within Iran is contaminated and they have no way of separating the contamination from the uranium and if they attempt to run their indigenous uranium supply through a cascade it will destroy the cascade.

4. Nothing Iran has done up to this point is in violation of the non-proliferation agreement.

What I’m curious about is if there is any additional information backing up what Scott Ritter was saying? Has anyone seen this documented anywhere else?

Posted by: Grant at April 10, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #139479

Kansas Dem: I agree to some extent with the “illegal” immigrant issue. At its base, it is a race unification ploy and a fear ploy. It provides a scapegoat as well as fear mongering and “economics.” If the Congress was concerned about economics, they would increase the minimum wage. If they were concerned about being “flooded” with immigrants from south of the border, they would work on the employer end that provides a pull factor. I wrote about this recently at Immigration Is More Than A Debate.

JLW: I don’t know whether Congress would declare war on Iran or not. However, I do believe that Bush has used the 2002 Congressional authority given him to invade Iraq to say that he now has a blank check for anything he ties to the “war on terrorism.” I am certain he would invade Iran without Congressional approval if he thought he could not get the votes. He would then argue that Congress had already ceded him that authority.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at April 10, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #139491

Surely it is no surprise to any of you that the US is making contingency war plans for use if a nuclear Iran becomes a imminent threat. This is SOP and has been since there were governments. Would you be happier if no advance planning was conducted prior to the start of conflict?

It is also important to remember that the tactical combat analysis includes many weapons systems and other options for resolving the conflict. Multiple scenarios are examined. If preconflict assessments aren’t performed, it would be difficult to work out the necessary logistics in a timely manner.

However, I am certain that if the only option to prevent a nuclear Iran is a US sponsored nuclear attack, the US will not flinch. That is why I support President Bush. We are in a war and we need a war president.

Now all you pacifists come and throw rocks at me. If we could marshall liberal aggression towards America’s enemys, we would be assured victory over terrorism. Sadly, you would rather fight other Americans.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 2:11 AM
Comment #139532

goodkingned wrote:

That is why I support President Bush. We are in a war and we need a war president. Now all you pacifists come and throw rocks at me.

One doesn’t have to be a pacifist to be against the “Iraq War”…one merely has to be a sensient being…

So everything is OK if the country is “at war”?? How about first thinking why the country is at war…if it is on false pretenses, then everything done under the aegis of “at war” is false…

Posted by: Lynne at April 10, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #139533

I really enjoy the logic. So when Iran fires the nuke at Israel should we then take action or maybe slap some sanctions of Iran? How clear does President Ahmadinejad need to be before Democrats figure out his intentions? You think our debacle with Hitler would have taught us something.

Have no fear, if we do nothing, Israel will and an attack from Israel will be much more devastating than an attack from the US. Saddam was right; America doesn’t have the stomach for conflict. We have become the modern Rome in her latter years and now believed we are entitled. Freedom has a price tag that I’m not sure we are willing to pay. You think the ME is in a mess now….

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at April 10, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #139545

“Freedom has a price tag…” Bizarre how forign conquest and destruction has been warped into “freedom.”

Posted by: BillS at April 10, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #139546

I am always amazed when people blithely talk about the use of nuclear weapons. Maybe growing up during the Cold War, I am overly sensitive to the thought of nuclear war. However, nuclear weapons are among the most toxic, and certainly most long lasting contamination on the planet. The thought of exploding thousands of nuclear weapons is horrific to me.

The issue becomes particularly vexing sine the US has supported a nuclear Pakistan, just made a nuclear deal with India (which will expand their arsenal).

It is pretty stunning that the threat of a “dirty bomb” (read nuclear material) blown up by a “terrorist” is used to strike fear into the hearts of the populace, but the use of nuclear weapons (which are also “dirty bombs”) is seen as acceptable - even desirable. Looks like double think to me.

Unfortunately, radiation doesn’t stay where it is dropped. The Pacific Northwest got the fallout from Chernobyl, and more recently, Britain got hit with increased radiation levels from the “Shock and awe” campaign in Iraq where thousands of tons of depleted uranium munitions were used.

There is no such thing as “clean” or “safe” nuclear material no matter where it is blown up.

Posted by: rowan at April 10, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #139553

Aldous,

To break the silence…

Here…

Associated Press

And here…

USA Today

And here…

CBS News

Nuking Iran? Just more hysterical “jumping the gun” by people dying to advance their own political agenda.

Posted by: Jim T at April 10, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #139558

This whole thing reminds me of the movie War Games. Hasn’t the Pentagon been planning the nuclear destruction of the entire planet for decades now?

The B61-11 was intended for the Middle East. The Clinton administration had in fact threatened to use it against Libya, suggesting that Libya’s alleged underground chemical weapons facility at Tarhunah “might be a target of the then-newly deployed B61-11 earth-penetrating nuclear weapon.” ( The Record (Bergen County, NJ) February 23, 2003)

But just like Reagan, I guess it’s different for Bush because he might actually do it.. at least in the eyes of the anti-nuke crowd.

Posted by: George in SC at April 10, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #139589

Rowan:

I wanted to respond to your comments above. I share your concern about nuclear war. That is why the Iranian situation must be resolved before the Iranians have nuclear capacity. Because of Iran’s direct threats against Israel, there is no room for error. Curmudgeon-At-Large is correct that Israel will act, probably premeptively, to protect her national interests. Given Iran’s stated desire to destroy Israel, this is only reasonable. This is not a complicated question. Do you support Iran’s right to have nuclear weapons or Israel’s right to exist?

You don’t know much about nuclear weapons, and I’m no expert, but let me assure you that the impact of a tactical nuclear strike is nothing like the result of a reactor containment failure. Furthermore, I see no scenario in which thousands of nuclear weapons would be detonated. As for your characterization of all nuclear bombs being equally dirty, that too is not correct. You and all citizens of the Western world may become intimately familiar with dirty bombs if Iran is allowed to create nuclear materials.

Do not take my comments to mean that I am eager to see the Iranian problem disappear in a pretty mushroom cloud. I agree that would be a bad thing. The difference between us is that I am more concerned about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran to Israel and the West than you are.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #139630

Iran with a nuke? Isreal with a nuke? How about mutually assured destruction (MAD) that kept the cold war cold for forty years? Iran announces they have one or more and Isreal finally says what everyone already knows,they have one. The US says they will help Isreal if Iran launces a first strike and WHAMMM!,nothing happens.

Posted by: BillS at April 10, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #139644

It’s true! It’s true! we’re going to nuke north Korea too! Really, I read this Article!

Posted by: cw at April 10, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #139668

Why bring this out now? The timing of this disclosure?

Classic “Wag The Dog” strategy.

Watch the movie.

It’s not just about Clinton and Monica’s dress stains. It applies to every “slight of hand” our government is (or has) enguaged in.

Why do you think the really “big” news stories hit on the weekend?

Wag The Dog.

Houdini would be proud.

Posted by: Jim T at April 10, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #139672
If it comes to that, then the United States can say goodbye to any and all support and admiration from the rest of the world.

Too Late! :o(


I see no scenario in which thousands of nuclear weapons would be detonated.

You don’t? Here, let me paint one for you:

We drop the bomb on Iran - which has strong ties, both in Oil Contracts and otherwise with both Russia and China. Iran responds with submarine-launched nerve-gas attacks on Israel and U.S. Bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. We respond with air detonated attacks on Tehran. The Russian and the Chinese (who just became Good Buddies again) respond against us. We respond against them. The End.

There, now that wasn’t so hard, was it? The only question is: if we First Strike against Iran, which side will our NATO allies (including the Turks) be on when the sky starts to fall?

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #139677

P.S.:


Sieg Heil!

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #139679

P.P.S.:


Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #139786

Whooo boy this thread has brought out the looney tunes.

This is standard diplomatic sabre rattling. Is everyone here blind to this? Is it Wagging the Dog? Of course, that effect is calculated,too. Rove isn’t a moron. Would Israel be used as an American surrogate in an attack on Iran? Probably, it is a much more imminent threat to them and provides us some political cover.


Is this mostly a non-story or gov’t sponsored propoganda indicitive of nothing? yep.

As to nuclear bombs being toxic, umm yeah, duh!
I do believe, however, people are living in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Nuclear Energy may be our only way to avoid an eventual oil war.

Iran has not been involved in aggression against it’s neighbors since the 1850’s. It has had internal political strife associated with Islamic Fundamentalism and American intrigue in it’s internal affairs. Pakistan has been aggressive to India on an ongoing basis since it’s independence.
Which country is more of a nuclear threat?

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2006 2:59 AM
Comment #139790

gergle:

Oh no! Is radiation harmful? Gosh now I’ll have to rethink everything.

Seriously, I don’t discount the danger that Iran poses in the middle east. Iran has been supporting a baker’s dozen of terrorist groups in their efforts to destabilize the region and will continue to do so. I am particularly concerned about Iran’s involvement in Iraq since that is making it much harder for the Iraqis to complete the formation of their government.

I also feel certain that Iran can’t be trusted not to act against Israel. I base this hunch on their past actions and their stated intentions. They have been actively working with militant palistinean groups to destabilize Israel and their president keeps saying that Israel has no right to exist.

I’ll leave the conflict between India and Pakistan for later because 1)they both already have nukes and 2)they are only simmering at this time.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #139811

In the next war gkn will nuke gergle.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 11, 2006 6:16 AM
Comment #140136

Are you and I (and Aldous) the only ones who see the Grim Humour in this, Marysdude?

[*sigh*]

I suppose it’s not at all Funny - and that our response is the sort that comes from having been forced to deal with daily horror until one is somewhat unhinged, and can only giggle at the Dark Humour as the fools toss gasoline onto their funeral pyre.

Mary must be lucky to have an insightful Dude. May you both prosper, and may we all avoid the Long Night…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 6:27 AM
Comment #140344

Ms. Burke/Marysdude:

No, you aren’t alone. I laughed out loud.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 13, 2006 12:48 AM
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