Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Challenge to Administration Insiders

President George W. Bush talked at the UN of diplomacy in the Middle East, but it appears that he is still building the case for military action against Iran. His actions today are strikingly similar to his actions in the months preceding the American invasion of Iraq. We deplore the horrible conditions in Iraq today, but they are insignificant compared to the cataclysm we may produce if we invade Iran. How can Bush be stopped?

Daniel Ellsberg, the fellow responsible for the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971, that showed the Tonkin Gulf episode to be a hoax, writes a very interesting article, "The Next War," in the October, 2006 issue of Harpers Magazine. He shows how Bush may be deterred from his militaristic schemes.

Ellsberg, at the time an administration insider, released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, a gutsy move that soon wound down the Vietnam War. Great. But Ellsberg tells us how upset he was when Senator Wayne Morse told him he should have done this deed 7 years earlier when the Tonkin Gulf resolution was being debated in 1964. Unhappily, Ellsberg realized that had he done that he could have saved 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese.

During Bush's build-up to the Iraq war, Richard Clarke was an administration insider who knew what was happening. Instead of publishing a book later, Ellsberg thinks he could have been more effective in preventing the Iraq cataclysm if he had told us what was going on at the time.

Now, we are faced with a similar situation. The administration is building the case for military action against Iran. Bush says he wants to negotiate, but only if Iran freezes uranium enrichment first. In other words, Bush wants Ahmadinejad to throw away his main chip before talking. Nobody in his right mind would do such a thing. Obviously, Bush does not want to talk. He is methodically throwing away all alternate possibilities until only military action is left.

Ellsberg offers a challenge to a Bush administration insider that knows the score and is afraid of the consequences of rash military action against Iran to Iran, U.S and the world. He urges such individual or individuals to come forward and expose internal documents now. Here are Ellsberg's own words:

I hope that one or more such persons will make the sober decision - accepting sacrifice of clearance and career, and risk of prison - to disclose comprehensive files that convey, irrefutably, official, secret estimates of costs and prospects and dangers of the military plans being considered. What needs disclosure is the full internal controversy, the secret critiques as well as the arguments and claims of advocates of war and nuclear "options" - the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East.

Who will release the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East? Whoever does is a hero, a patriot beyond compare, and an outstanding American. Who will meet Ellsberg's challenge?

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 20, 2006 6:00 PM
Comments
Comment #182928

Paul

“Bush says he wants to negotiate, but only if Iran freezes uranium enrichment first. In other words, Bush wants Ahmadinejad to throw away his main chip before talking”

You seem to forget that it is a U.N. Security Council demand that Iran freezes its uranium enrichment program before any talks resume.

As far as any “Pentagon Papers” for Iran. This is pure speculation. What are you smoking???

keith

Posted by: keith at September 20, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #182931

Keith:

“You seem to forget that it is a U.N. Security Council demand that Iran freezes its uranium enrichment program before any talks resume.”

Since when has the Right given a damn what the U.N. demands? Your duplicity is showing again.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #182934

Tim Crow

So basically what you are saying is it doesn’t matter what he says or does.

And personally I agree, why should we care what the most corrupt organization in the world has to say.

Posted by: KeithG at September 20, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #182937

KeithG:

“And personally I agree, why should we care what the most corrupt organization in the world has to say.”

You just made my point.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #182938

Withdraw from the UN immediately! The US should then form a “Super Democratic League of Naions” or something like that. Include all civilized nations—exclude Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, and other shit-bird nations. Put Russia and China on probation “watch” list.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 20, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #182939

Wow, it didn’t take long for this to go off topic. I agree with Paul, somehow Bush has to be stopped. It’s like he and Cheney are completely out of control. Wait, they are—Congress certainly is abdicating its responsibility to assert itself. All the more reason to throw out the incumbents. Come November, repubs will vote republican and dems will vote democratic. My fear is that the dems haven’t given the Independents something to hang their hat on. I still don’t see a concerted effort by the dems to come up with a platform. Gore and a few others talk about global warming—just wait til the “nucular” bombs go off—we’ll all be nice and toasty.
Steve

Posted by: Steve at September 20, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #182940

Then we could call it the league nation. I doin’t think any other countrys would want to join your little party.

Posted by: Jeff at September 20, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #182941

If Iran verifiably froze it’s uranium enrichment process, who says that would be throwing “away his main chip before talking”? As Iran has already done, so could they do again. That is, if they froze the enrichment and then had talks with the world powers that didn’t go anywhere, they could simply restart the enrichment process. In other words, Ahmadinejad does not lose his chip!

Hopefully, though, in that time, the U.S. and the U.N. would find a diplomatic answer to the Iranian desire to enrich uranium for nuclear energy and the U.S. desire to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Posted by: DSM at September 20, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #182942

“Who will release the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East? Whoever does is a hero, a patriot beyond compare, and an outstanding American. “

I wonder if it would make any difference at this point. The MSM is crippled by greed and monopoly, we have a compliant Congress devoid of any real opposing voices to this criminal administration, and a drowsy, uninformed and desultory electorate. Even if a knight in shining armour were to show up, a vociferous Right Wing Echo Chamber would shout it down inside of forty-eight hours.

What a difference 35 years can make.

I have said this before and I will say it again. Iran is not Iraq. As Mark Twain once said, “Holding a cat by the tail teaches you things you can’t learn in any other way.” If the United States attacks Iran, the world will learn some things it couldn’t have learned in any other way.

It will be a very expensive lesson, one our children and our grandchildren will be partaking of.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #182946

I find it interesting that the left feels virtually everything the US administration says is either a half truth or an outright lie but they don’t feel that the crazy third world dictators of this world would ever lie to us about their weapons plans.
I suspect that the left here in the US will fight for Irans right to do as they please long enough to allow them to develope some nuclear weapons at which time it will effectively be too late to stop them. At that point Israel will have to keep one hand on the launch button at all times as Iran rattles its sabre and demands a major say in regional and international affairs. I suspect that many on the left probably don’t see any problem with this scenario since in your mind America has no business telling these other countries what to do.

Posted by: Carnak at September 20, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #182949

So playings this out, the letters come out, we see evidence they are planning an attack again Iran, if needed. Additionally, in that plan they outline what triggers will necesitate implementing the plan. In these letters they outline their support, their rationale, their beliefs. All of which we would each humbly admit will be spun to the others advantage.

But at the surface don’t we want any administration planning? They probably could have done better with their planning for natural disasters. I for one would be dissapointed if our government, any administration did not plan.

Have we not be (1) working the UN angle harder than Iraq? (2) using allies, China, and Russia to put pressure on through ongoing dialog? Seems we are following the process that was not followed with Iraq.

Besides, Chiraq is about to step in and take a swing himself.

Posted by: Edge at September 20, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #182950

America has no buisness telling other countries what they can and can not do. What would America do if some other country tried telling us what to do. Wait that did happen, it’s funny history books never seem to get read these days. I bet if you read a British history book from the period of time after the American Revolution that we were refered to as terrorists.

Posted by: Jeremiah at September 20, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #182952

The “how can we stop Bush” nonsense seems very Ahmadinejad-ish and Chavez-ish. (Is that you you Hugo?)

Indeed, which author did Hugo Chavez cite time and time again in his “I hate America” speech? Answer: A liberal American.

Ahhh, sweet clarity.

Assuming the same person who wants to wipe Israel off the map & caliphate the entire world will talk sensibly in negotiations is just plain ignorant. What, would we gleefully wave some documentation like Chamberlain did with the Nazis? Or how about when the Clinton Admin (giggle)”stopped” (chuckle) North Korea from getting Nuclear Weapons.

Liberals, put down the illicit drugs and walk away from the table! Hopefully you wouldn’t argue with a 12 year old, so don’t argue with Ahmadinejad!

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 20, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #182953

Or Hell, Jeremiah says “just let them do what they want, no matter how outrageous”.

Talk about not knowing history!

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 20, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #182962

Withdraw from the UN immediately! The US should then form a “Super Democratic League of Naions” or something like that. Include all civilized nations—exclude Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, and other shit-bird nations. Put Russia and China on probation “watch” list.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 20, 2006 07:24 PM

With a population of people who know nothing more than what they have gathered by spending entirely too much time in the mindless ten foot square if front of television, a list of shit-bird nations should also include the USA….or at least USA, Inc. - the patho-wingnuts version of same.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at September 20, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #182963

Is nuclear non-proliferation still a realistic policy?

In retrospect, I believe the Pakistani development of the bomb spelled the end of non-proliferation as a policy. We can still discourage countries from developing nukes, but that genie escaped the bottle with Pakistan. Their scientist not only led their successful effort, but sold the know-how to other countries as well.

I am not sure North Korea even has a working nuke. Until they prove it with a test, there is a good chance they are bluffing. In the meantime, Bush will continue to pursue a policy very similar to previous administrations. There are very few options.

Best estimates put Iran 10 years away from creating a working nuclear weapon.

As recently as 2003, Iranian moderates offered to help hunt Al Qaida, cease funding terrorist organizations, and more, in exchange for better relations with the US. Bush rebuffed the Iranian moderates. They lost the elections, and the hard-liners took power, led by a very capable politician, Ahmedinejad.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700727.html

Given 10 years, both the US and the Iranians should see several administrations come and go. Considering the abysmal results of Bush foreign policy, there is no reason to do anything other than wait.

Mutual Assured Destruction, MAD, is a nerve wracking policy, but a realistic one. It seems to have worked, after a fashion, for Pakistan and India. We need to rethink the way we engage other countries. MAD works much better when relations are amicable.

In a MAD world (sorry, Tears for Fears!), Israel and Iran will also need to rethink their approach to the world. A Jewish State and an Islamic State armed with nuclear weapons will find themselves looking into a mirror.

Carnak,
I have no problem with that whatsoever. It is unnatural for the US to back religious states or theocratic democracies. It is a powerful testament to the wisdom of our 1st Amendment Establishment clause, and the Jeffersonian concept for separation of Church & State.

Ken,
Will Chavez succeed in Venezuela? Will he make the country more democractic, relieve the poverty, end the corruption, and break the lopsided distribution of wealth? That is up to the Venezuelans.

Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #182968

If the US were in the habit of not “telling other countries what to do,” India and Pakistan would have probably already duked it with nukes in 2002. The fact is that we stepped in and put pressure on both sides.

If we entirely stopped trying to influence foreign countries—if, for example, we left Iran to its own devices and did the same with Israel—then Israel would likely be only too happy to end their Iran problem once and for all.

So be careful what you ask for.

Will Chavez succeed in Venezuela? Will he make the country more democractic, relieve the poverty, end the corruption, and break the lopsided distribution of wealth? That is up to the Venezuelans.

I can’t think of an autocratic dictator in modern history who has ended poverty and corruption—much less made things more democratic. If Chavez spent a tenth as much time working on his country’s problems as he does globetrotting, schmoozing with Castro and other dictators and making clowinish speeches before anti-American audiences, normal and average Venezuelans would be a lot better off.

Venezuala used to be a place which attracted Western dollars, but let’s see how far they manage to get alienating and threatening those who would otherwise do business with them. You might laugh at a clown, but you won’t invest your cash with him.

Yes, they’ll still have their oil dollars, but if all they aspire to be is another third world state with a government-run economy and oppressive undemocratic ruling class, they’ll eventually be as backwards as Cuba and the Arab states.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 20, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #182969

“The US should then form a “Super Democratic League of Naions” or something like that.”

nikkolai,

Uh, duh, huh! I think that’s what Hitler and Mussolini had in mind when they partnered up with Japan. I think they were called the Axis powers.

Only this time we can attempt to rid the world of Islam. Oh……….and the Mexican’s!

Did I leave anyone out?

KansasDem

PS: keep rockin’ on Tim Crow! I’ve not been able to post much because of tremors.

Posted by: KansasDem at September 20, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #182971

KansasDem:

“PS: keep rockin’ on Tim Crow! I’ve not been able to post much because of tremors.”


Gee, I’m sorry to hear that, KD. Funny, (actually, not so funny), I ended up in the emergency room over the weekend with the worst back spasms I’ve ever experienced—typing isn’t my stong suit at this point, either. (I knew I shouldn’t have read the paper Saturday!:-))

I hope your on the road to rosy health—we need you in keeping the barbarians from the gates.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #182980

Pilsner,
Our world is defined by interdependence. We benefit greatly from this interdependence. The US is the most economically & militarily powerful country in the world, with an economy representing 1/4 of the world total, defense spending which equals the rest of the world combined, and arms exports which equal the next 14 largest arms exporters combined. Our currency is the cornerstone of the world economy, and our concept of law dominates international relations.

(Imagine just how much incompentency it takes to lose in Iraq, which is the size of Texas and has an economy the size of Idaho!).

Bush & Rice really should take more credit for their role in the Pakistan/India dispute.

If you are interested, there is a relatively unbiased article on Chavez in Wikipedia. It is unfair at this point to call him an autocratic dictator. He may very well go that direction, but his reign has observed the democratic process, and he has won @ 60% or more or national votes/referendums.

By almost any measure, his government has greatly improved the Venezuelan economy since 2003. It is, of course, greatly influenced by oil prices, and whether the growth can be maintained remains to be seen, but any fair person would have to give his government credit. In addition, he has at least tried to improve the lot of the Venezuelan poor.

My personal opionion is that this kind of model offers the best hope for South America. We will have to wait until Bush is gone, because backing that coup attempt poisoned relations, but why not see if backing this model helps?

Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #182981

Kansas Dem,
Best wishes! I read your comments everytime, and hope your health allows you to make many many more!

Posted by: phx8 at September 21, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #182983

“I hope your on the road to rosy health—we need you in keeping the barbarians from the gates.:-)”

Tim Crow,

Not so good. I’ve used Dragon Naturally Speaking for a couple of years but at times the tremors effect my voice so badly that doesn’t even work.

Oddly I can still use a “thumb-ball” mouse pretty well. But, this is not about me, it’s about America and the world. I want my children and grandchildren to still have an America to call home.

I don’t want them embroiled in a needless world war, and I don’t want them to be stumbling over dozens of dead and dieing bodies on their way to work every day.

Remember the Chicago Boys when you think of Chavez: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Boys

You can easily search more and learn that one of the CATO Institutes lead men on Social Security Privatization is José Piñera.

That same José Piñera is one of Bush’s advisers on Social Security Privatization in America. When you think of Venezuala think of “South America”. Look at Chile today.

Well, I’m having trouble, but it’s important that you and everyone else keep getting the message out. My silence is not a sign of weakness, but rather illness.

Oh, and Israel say’s Iran will have nukes within 4 months. I say, “BULLSHIT”! I’ve always been pro Israeli but I see a major push towards war right now.

I think there is still time to negotiate and moderate before we all start blowing each other to hell and gone.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 21, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #182985

Paul,
Your persistenly present the world as thus: Bush is the real enemy and peace and love would reign without him. How about asking the REAL question here, which is how can Iran be stopped. Or are you comfortable with a country, Iran, that is ruled by a holocaust-denying president, which has sponsored terrorists for years and which is now openly pursuing nuclear weapons? And before you ascribe said pursuit to a fear of Bush, please recall that their program proceeded for 18 years in secret. Are you also comfortable that they have missiles that can reach Israel and are developing ones with longer ranges?

Bush, along with our allies I hasten to add, has aggressively pursued diplomacy throughout this issue. Time and again it has failed because if Iranian intransigence. The IAEA has declared the Iranians as noncompliant and it could legitinately have gone to the Security Council for sanctions in August. If Bush is full of it, why are France and Germany playing ball with him?Are we to believe they are Bush’s puppets in what you paint as a latter day Tonkin? Are you saying the Iranian nuclear program is a fabrication? Has your reflexive Bush hating driven you that far off kilter?

Uranium enrichment is not a “bargaining chip” for the Iranians, it is a precursor to what they really want, which is actual weapons. They are simply stalling for time to make it a fait accompli.

Of course Bush is contemplating military options, ANY president would. How you can claim that is a secret is utterly beyond me. If diplomacy fails, what else should he contemplate? Are you saying that if diplomacy fails we should do nothing? Or that Bush should abjure his ultimate bargaining chip?

It is a sick measure of how far the Bush hating left has gone that they are willing to countenance nukes in Iran and excoriate Bush for trying to prevent it.

Posted by: boojum at September 21, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #182986

An addendum to my remarks: if anyone is interested in a more adult discussion of this issue than Paul Siegel presents, see the transcript of a symposium on Iran’s nuclear weapons program at the Council on Foreign Relations web site:
http://www.cfr.org/publication/10392/irans_nuclear_program_symposium.html

Posted by: boojum at September 21, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #182987

1)Iran will have nuclear weapons if we do nothing, until then it is only a matter of time.
2)Diplomacy does not work so great with Iran. They don’t fear our military a whole lot-Iraq has us pretty much tied down without a draft. Our military is our only bargaining chip, we have no economic leverage.
3)Iran will just pursue bombs in secret if we make a deal. Or they will refuse to completely give up their program.
4)In absence of diplomacy war is about our only option. This is bad news.

Kansasdem and Tim Crow
Hope you two get better. Best of health to both of you. Also Kansas I appreciate your concern for my generation. I don’t like the idea of fighting a world war. But then, war is old men talking and young men dying…sigh…

On the Chavez thing the guys a blowhard. Democratically elected sure but Castro rode in on a popular revolt, just like the bolshevics. Hitler was democratically elected. Given he intimidated his enemies or just killed them, but he still had the support of the German people. Just because the people of a country elect some guy doesn’t mean he’s right. Just look at GWB.

Posted by: Silima at September 21, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #182989

Paul,

You do realize that the pentagon has scenarios developed to attack or defend against just about any possibilty from Iran to Lichtenstein.

phx8

Wow you got through I think 2 posts without villifying Israel.

Posted by: Keith at September 21, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #182993


It’s all about Iraq! We would not be having this discussion if this Republican Adminstration had not fabricated a not so brilliant strategy to topple Saddam Hussein. The United States is embroiled in a massive screw up in the middle east and Iraq and cannot get out of it without severe embarrassment to this Republican Administration.
The answer: Start a war with Iraq that will obfuscate and confuse the entire mess.

Posted by: John at September 21, 2006 6:25 AM
Comment #183004

Paul, interesting post. I certainly agree with your position that war shoul dbe avoided if at all possible, and negotiation and other diplomatic measures should be exhausted. But wht happens when Iran, just says NO to stopping development of nuclear weapons? At what point must we take more direct action? Or would you say if diplomacy fails, and it sometimes does, then we let Iran have nukes and go from there? I am no great lover of the Bush Administration, and disagree with most every policy they expouse, but to a certain extent Bush has a point about Iran….They cannot be allowed to have nukes. Period. And if they verifiably and admitted have them, what next? I admit I am at a loss of what to do other than some type of military action. Though I suspect that the Israelis will take action before we do since they have the far greater risk if Iran has nukes.

Posted by: Steve Kl at September 21, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #183019

boojum asked Paul: “How about asking the REAL question here, which is how can Iran be stopped.”

Draw down our troops in Iraq so we can back up our diplomacy would be a good start. Of course, some immense losses at the helm of GW Bush, can’t be undone, like the disdain the international community holds for Bush, hampering Bush’s and Rices efforts to assemble an international effort to demand a halt to uranium enrichment.

Then again, having used our one time “gothcha” preemptory war option on Saddam, preemptory war is now off the table as it would make much of the rest of the world our outspoken enemies were we to try that again. Sen. Larry Craig (R) sees the writing on the wall, that is why he was calling the American stupid and asleep this morning on the Senate Floor regarding all the NO DRILL zones, and demanding they wake up from their stupor and call their Congress and demand energy independence. Without energy independence, we cannot afford “go it alone” preemptory wars.

Just got off the phone with my representatives demanding they keep the oil company’s rigs off our Wildlife Reserves and beautiful E and W coast scenic view areas. In my family we depend on each other, and so fighting amongst ourselves is rare and very shortlived when it does occur, and without malice.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #183025

Kansas Dem….don’t like seeing you not “up to snuff”, but I’ve watched several of the posters on here gain strength and confindence in their convictions. I think we have a good contingency to keep spreading our opinions and (common sense). Rest…recoup…stick around to read and enjoy, then come back with a vengeance !!!! Good luck……..Sandi

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 21, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #183026

Paul,

That’s (actually) a good thing that our President won’t deal with Iran until they “freeze” unranium enrichment. Man, this is America; don’t you want us to keep Iran from going nuclear? Don’t you care that Iran is lying about their nuke program and defying the world?! If you have a better way (than Bush), then (for godsakes!) tell us.

Posted by: rahdigly at September 21, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #183044

rahdigly-

Why are you so scared of Iran having a nuke? If they ever used one, they’d be effectively stone-aged. Their extreme rhetoric is scary to us, yes. But honestly, I’ve heard this rhetoric from the middle east my whole life…it is just how politics work in that region. People are still generally the same otherwise. There are risks in everything.

It especially risky to confront a hungry underdog in an uncalculated and half-assed attempt to arbitrarily (via value judgement - “You’re evil!”) and pre-emptively impede their abilities to do something that so obviously important to national security. If you want to essentially tell Iran they are not “good” enough to be on a level playing field, then you’d better have a world mandate (and no, rahdigly, the whole world is not with us on this one; see Russia and China for starters). Not just a general concern based on extreme talk. Not just some scared people in your nation like rahdigly, who frame everything in a good v. evil way…and invariably see any islamic viewpoint as merely an attampt at doing evil.

Want security? Then secure yourself. Want nuclear nations to be afraid to attack? Build nukes and devise a failsafe plan. DONT run around trying to take away the rights of others…it is a recipe for only bad things, and demands only the respect that vigilantes typically recieve. After all, if the shoe fits…

I know, i know. I’m weak on security because I believe in security. I’m weak because I don’t like to run out and show everyone my many weaknesses. What ever hapenned to the Cold war tactics of not showing your hand? We broke Russia with hints of “star wars” and other programs. Now we can’t even secure Afghanistan or catch OBL despite a military swollen to at least 10 times that of any other nation and a blatent and public campaign.

If we were truly invulnerable, then I’d say lets go fight injustice whenever we could afford to. However, we are no where near invulnerable. So I say stop acting like it. Maybe try a little SECURITY before we pick fights to show how tough we can be.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 21, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #183055

I’ve been attacked - again! For hating Bush. I never said I hate Bush. I’ve been compared to Ahmadinejad and Chavez. This is ridiculous. I just want to stop a war. As a lefty. I’m not a lefty; I am a liberal. That I don’t care if Iran gets nukes. I care very much. However, we will not stop Iran with constant threats. We may stop Iran through talks.

I have no idea whether talks will work. It could very well be that Iran will develop nukes anyway. But it is stupid negligence to not try talks first.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 21, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #183059

Paul,
“We may stop Iran through talks. I have no idea whether talks will work. It could very well be that Iran will develop nukes anyway. But it is stupid negligence to not try talks first.”


Uh, did you go to the John Kerry school of debate?! We’ve been “talking” to Iran, along with other countries, and they still thumb their noses. They know that China and Russia will back them b/c they provide them with oil. That’s why those countries expressed concern with Iran a few months ago, yet they won’t agree to sanctions. This is (exactly) what diplomacy gets you; talks that go nowhere. Now that we’ve talked to them for over a year now, your response is to…TALK SOME MORE. Unbelieveable!

Posted by: rahdigly at September 21, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #183061

rahdigly-

We don’t recognize the Iranian government. Therefore we cannot have talked with them. Because we sought UN resoultions to try and curb their activities does not mean we EVER had ANY sort of arms length negotiation with them. Don’t get ahead of yourself in a foolhardy and haphazard attempt to convince those who know better that there is no other option than using force against a sovereign nation who, at the moment, poses no direct threat. The goal? To prevent our having to use force in the future? Does this not seem circular to you?

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 21, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #183068

Kevin,
“Don’t get ahead of yourself in a foolhardy and haphazard attempt to convince those who know better that there is no other option than using force against a sovereign nation who, at the moment, poses no direct threat.”


Oh, so you are one of the ones that “know better”?! Well, sorry o-be-one-kenknowbee, didn’t mean to express an opinion. The fact is that they (and everyone else Knows) are going to be invaded unless they drop their nuke program. They are forcing us to do something, even though it’s Israel that will do it. Enough with this “Sovereign” Nation crap, they are responsible for their actions and they choose to do something against the world bodies wishes. Besides, why would anybody try and talk to a madman? History is repeating itself, b/c that’s what people wanted to do with Hitler, now you want to do that with the mullahs. Nice.

Not to mention, anti-war groups have been badgering the current admin to use “diplomacy”, which they (certainly) have and (now) you see where that gets us: absolutely nowhere. So, how about enlightening us with possible solutions to this situation; other than “not worrying about it b/c Iran will be nuked to the stone age”, or “let’s talk to them”.

Posted by: rahdigly at September 21, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #183084

Rahdigly, first let me correct one assumption in your comments. Ahmadinejad is NOT a one man government. The Iranian government is very divided on this issue. The people of Iran are divided on this issue. Attack them, and you unite them! Pretty damn stupid strategy in my opinion.

Ahmadinejad is a very dangerous person, I listened to his interview with Brian Williams and I thought I was listening to Adolph Hitler. He is smart, he is educated, he is slick, and he is a master sophist as Hitler was capable of twisting truth and reason to his own evil ends.

BUT, we need to keep our eye on the prize - the prize is the people of Iran. Win them over and Iran ceases to be a threat. Threaten them, give credence to Ahmadinejad’s claims, and we lose the prize as well as stability in the Middle East which is the ultimate prize for a nation dependent upon the region’s oil.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #183088

Rah-

Yes, I do “know better” than to think we’ve gotten to the point where we need to go to war. War is a LAST resort. We’ve yet to scratch the surface…that would be to have direct talks. ANY direct talks.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 21, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #183091

And until Iran starts invading its neighbors, or presenting any sort of direct threat, lets cut the Hitler crap. No comparison except in the charisma of the leaders. Hitler yeilded real power though.

Iran IS a SOVEREIGN nation. Don’t pretend the US has a monopoly on world morality. Let The recognized world bodies do that (which they won’t in any meaningful way). If your really worried about nukes, donate some money to any one of a dozen or so former soviet republics so they can hire some guards. Otherwise, don’t waste people’s time repeating crap that makes no sense.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 21, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #183140

Kevin23, you obviously have not listened to Hitler’s speeches translated and to Brian William’s interview of the Ahmadinejad. The parallels in the ability to twist words and contradict oneself from audience to audience, are truly uncanny.

Ahmadinejad could sell an Ostrich to a Camel herder as a superior replacement in the Sahara Desert. He played his English audiences almost perfectly. He answered the question about ridding the continent of Israel in Palestinian terms that truly begged the question, “How did the Israeli’s get away with what they have”.

People who are quick to shut down the history of Hitler and denounce any comparisons are fools. We need to keep the history of Hitler very, very much current in our minds and comparisons to insure another generation is not lulled by eloquent sophistry that says one thing and does the opposite, and shrouds motive and intent in secrecy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #183152

David-

I disagree. I’m definitely not advocating denying that history can and does repeat itself. I’m just saying that being quick to make a comparison to the most notoriously ruthless dictator in recent history is self serving, irresponsible and shows a complete disrespect to history. I’m sure my grandfather who served in the south pacific during WWII (dead now) would scoff at the notion that this puppet “leader” in Iran does anything but speak similarly to Adolf Hitler…if that. But I admitted before: he’s got charisma.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 21, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #183176

nikkolai,

You said:
“Withdraw from the UN immediately! The US should then form a “Super Democratic League of Naions” or something like that. Include all civilized nations—exclude Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, and other shit-bird nations. Put Russia and China on probation “watch” list.”

…I’ve heard this kind of abject rediculousness before. Let me get this straight in YOUR mind: You believe the current U.N. should be abolished and replaced with an organization of nations that are “civilized.” Who determines that? The U.S.? Somehow, you think the new U.N. would be better if we EXCLUDED from any forum for dialogue the vary “Shit Bird” nations we are most likely to have disagreements with?

That sounds like it fits rather nicely into the point being made here. The Bush plan for the world is to remove ALL OTHER OPTIONS THAN WAR.
…and you actually support that.

Posted by: RGF at September 22, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #183181

Do we even KNOW that Iran is persuing WEAPONS?

The only time we know them to have taken significant direct steps toward developing weapons was when the Ford administration sold material and equipment to the Shah!

The only hint of Uraniun that was sufficiently enriched to serve for the purpose of weapons, was a trace amount found on a centrifuge that WAS IMPORTED!

What we DO know, is that Iran is in desparate need of power. They have a much larger population than most of their neighbors, including Iraq, and are currently enduing brown outs and rationed power use.

I have heard a lot of posturing and sabre ratling from the far-right. I have NOT heard any evidence or simple basic reasoning to convince me that Iran is violating the nuclear non-proliferation treaty they are a signatory nation of.

They are enriching Uranium to 3.5% which is insufficient for weapons purposes.

How many more lives?

Posted by: RGF at September 22, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #183591

Folks, there is still the possibility of sitting down and talking with Iran, Venezuela, and whomever might cause international problems…
If only we had someone in the Whitehouse to do just that, and a Secretary of Defense who could get us out of Iraq - (since we never should have gone there, in the first place)… much of our international problems would be resolved.
Fantasy, maybe. Hopeful, yes! Determined to resolve world issues diplomatically, absolutely! (I am the eternal optomist).
The whole ‘cowboy’ mentality and action has gotten us into more mess!!! I used to think Ronald Reagan was just a cowboy, but at least he strove for peaceable solutions. Oh, yes! He was an actor, acting like a cowboy… I forgot for a moment.

Posted by: RudeRo at September 24, 2006 8:03 AM
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