Democrats & Liberals Archives

Warmongering at It's Finest and Most Troublesome

Oh sugar. It looks like we’re not on the verge of WWIII after all. While most sensible people are not going to mark Iran off the list of worrisome countries for obvious reasons, this certainly punches a hole in the notion that Iran is on the verge of inflicting nuclear annihilation on its neighbors.

While some accept the collective opinion of the Intelligence community here, others are so intent on war with Iran and sure that its right that they've even taken to accusing our intelligence analysts of treason.

People talk about Bush hatred, in terms of criticism of the war and Bush's policies, but I think the far more real problem, the one that's threatening to compromise our overall defense, is hatred of those who do not kowtow the the GOP's radical Right-Wing line.

It's got us fighting a war in Iraq we didn't need, which has allowed our real enemies the opportunity to regroup, spread their message, and recruit off of the hatred the invasion inspired on the Arab street. The Republicans have built their foreign policy, though, on the strength of their convictions, having blasted everybody full force for not being as hawkish as them, having built themselves up as Those Willing to Confront Threats When No One Else Has The Guts To. Nice reputation, if you can get it, certainly a lot better than Nervous Nellie, or Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. But if you start jumping at the shadows, seeing threats where there are none, you could very easily end up applying our nation's resources to non-existent problems and your solution to that problem becomes a problem in and of itself, having no troubles to cancel out.

I mean, it's not as if America hasn't already charged in before, invading a country on the pretext of pre-emptive self-defense, without confirmed evidence, relying on intelligence that fell apart when examined with greater care. Oh wait, yes we did. But why would we do that? And why would a previous intelligence report tell us there was a threat? Probably for the same reason: the folks in charge want suspicions confirmed, more than they want to examine real-world intelligence to find out the truth. And being the bold souls they are, they've already gone and shot their mouths off. I would expect the chefs in their favorite restaurants would have black feathers on the floor of their kitchens anticipating the future meal of a certain bird, but observation of our friends in the White House and Congress has lead me to believe that such a meal would end up cold if served.

These guys are under the illusion that if you stonewall forever, you can avoid most of the political damage from having overextended one's assumptions. Or they take comfort in the paranoid assumption that people are out to sabotage them politically for being such bold soothsayers of the real situation, or stepping on institutional toes.

While I have little overall respect for the politicians of my party in Washington, at the very least, most have allowed themselves to learn the lessons of Vietnam and Iraq. Unfortunately for the Republicans, they have committed themselves to what would properly be described as Dick Cheney's One Percent Doctrine.

That is, if an attack has an even one-percent chance of happening, we should treat it as if it's going to happen and act accordingly. As the linked book would argue, though, such an approach has problems.

More or less, it boils down to the quality of the information, and the quality of the actions that can be taken from that information. If you let such a low likelihood of occurence become your guiding principle, there's a hell of a lot you have to take seriously, and every report you act upon consumes resources and creates an opportunity cost. Plus, like I always say, Paranoia is a waste of good suspicion. The problem on 9/11 wasn't that somebody didn't act on a report, it's that information, good information, was unavailable to them, or they weren't looking for it properly.

Let's be straight on something: the worth of good information and bad information is not equal. Good information makes your use of resources more efficient, improves the bang you get for your buck. While the care you take slows you down, it also prevents you from being slowed down and sidetrack by the consequences of getting information wrong. Sloppy information practices create inefficient defenses against the threats they are intended to confront, even if one's intentions are the best.

The Republicans, for the most part, have bought into a philosophy of constant emergency, care and caution thrown to the wind in the name of expedience in protecting America from danger. You can't blame them for the impulse, of course, or deny the seductive siren call of being a Jack Bauer who disregards the niceties of law and order to defend the country, but there's a small problem with that.

Namely, fear is a flight or fight reaction, and many decisions made in haste will be repented in leisure. Of course we do what we think we have to, when we have to, but it's hardly true that anybody is magically afforded infallibility in these situations. It's just what we want to believe. It's just our natural impulse to move as a herd and work together when we find ourselves in collective trouble. And its not meritless, as long as you understand that its an impulse that doesn't always get us out of trouble.

Good security isn't dependent on maintaining the panic of the moment, and for good reason. Long term stress and fear degrades judgment, undermines vigilance, and exhausts ones reserves of energy. It doesn't get better for folks if they sense their leaders are cynically exploiting the emergency, or using the unaccountable power given them to screw things up. Long terms security relies on measures that can be maintained calmly, willingly, and efficiently long after most people have allowed the absence of a true, immediate emergency to soothe them into complacency.

Even now, though, even after the fiasco of Iraq, even with our military readiness in the toilet, there are still those, like Norman Podhoretz, who are trying to lead a charge into the country next door, still those peddling fear of that country's WMDs. Bush and others, for political reasons, will still defend their positions, and will not easily back down from their strong statements. They will, it seems, keep trying to justify this war by saying the trains are heading for the front.

Vindication seems the constant object of their efforts, and that is one of the most serious problems with the politics of the Republicans nowadays. They have something to prove, and they don't necessarily care whether they can get others to agree.

The trouble is that none of us bear the burden of omniscience, the ability to see all and know all. We have to derive our information from imperfect sources. The challenge is to not let what we think we know divert us from putting our assumptions to the test. Reality does not exist to vindicate the bold and the confident, it simply exists. Those who insist on being right, who brook no disagreement or possibility of being wrong will inevitably find themselves humbled by reality. The wise accept this, accept the possiblity of error. The foolish, though, will continue to do damage to themselves and others by continuing in their error, continually trying to push the situation they misread into the shape they want through sheer will.

Policy, especially foreign policy, is like butchering an animal. You can dull your blade against the bone, trying to impose your cuts on the animal's form, or you can keep your edge by working around the obstacles, and working with the real form to your benefit. It won't always be easy or quick to do things this way, but if done right it will be easier and more productive than the alternative.

The Republican politicians are scrambling over one another to please the base that Bush and his people cling to, all criticizing the Democrats for being soft on all kinds of issues. Their language, especially in the wake of certain improvements in conditions in Iraq, is that of cowardice, softness, and ineffectualism in policy. They are once again trying to trade on their confidence, their boldness, their commitment and perserverence. As hard as these people keep their line, though, their blades are dull and the cuts they make are poor. Their approach is sapping America's strength, without yielding many benefits in return. The Democrats, at this point, are much sharper, much more willing to learn the ways to smoothly and efficiently cut through the issues to their heart. They have the freedom and the mandate to do things the right way, and the support in the public to deal with the difficulties rather than take the easy way out.

In the upcoming elections, voters should ask themselves, who is more likely to be an agent of positive change for our foreign policy: those still pushing for wars we don't need for reasons they can't back with good evidence, according to doctrines nobody much trusts anymore, or those who are willing and able to take a more moderate track, having not committed themselves to an ideology incapable of properly judging the threats to our country.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 4, 2007 6:06 PM
Comments
Comment #239996

Xenophobia has always been a good tactic for hiding a failing and corporatist domestic agenda.
Whether it be Nuclear Persians, Mexican Hordes, Evil Chinese or Russian global domination.

If you’re Karl Rove, you can blame MSM or even Democrats for invading Iraq. Truth has little to do with it.

I’m hoping that those who paying a little attention here will get it and Republican strategy for what it is- a power grab based on deception. Pure politics without concern for the consequences.

Stephen, good post, but the “Oh sugar” and “Nervous Nellies” juxtaposed with butchering meat gave me the willies. Don’t let grandma near the butcher knife. :)

Posted by: googlumpugus at December 4, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #239997

I think this new revelation makes it all too apparent that the neo-cons fear mongering has amounted to nothing more than setting the stage for a permanent occupation in Iraq. This latest deception must surely be the straw that breaks the camels back. They can claim that Iran was and is still a menace. But they can not with any validity claim that it is a threat that is of imminent concern or capable of apocalyptic damages. Or for that matter a major and imminent threat to the well being of its neighbors. It was almost comical watching Bush try to justify the fear mongering and try to convince us that Iran is still a threat which necessitates a high level of concern. If the Bush administration had any credibility left at all it is surely devoid of any now. After this huge, huge revelation I wonder how the American people or the rest of the world can put any faith in any claims they make.

It is time to end the deceptions and stop this senseless neo-con sojourn in Iraq. We should immediately make plans to count our losses and get the hell out of Iraq before these idiots waste any more money and lives than necessary on an agenda that has changed course so many times that no one really knows for sure why we were or are still there.

Posted by: RickIL at December 4, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #240006

Intelligence estimates are not the truth. It is interesting that you all hail this one. The intelligence estimate on which was based our action in Iraq was the same sort of information.

Decisions always involve risk and uncertainty. Otherwise they would not be decisions. What if next year a different opinion comes out?

Re Iran - the only people who keep on talkng about the imminent invasion are you guys. You have been saying Bush is gonna do it for the last four years. He has not done so, or made any moves to do so. What he has done is employ diplomatic means to contain Iran and evidently done a good job.

I believe you are mistaking the president for your own conception of him.

I have written on many occasions not only do I think it would be a mistake to invade Iraq, but also that we were NOT planning to do it. This has been right despite your fevered fears to the contrary.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2007 4:41 AM
Comment #240014

Jack

Tell us, just what is the truth. Is it the manipulation of intelligence estimates to present a scenario of gloom and doom? To present a picture of a ruthless Iran nuking its neighbors? Painting a scene of an apocalyptic WW III if allowed to continue their nuclear arms program? This is the scenario that Bush has quite persistently been putting forth for some time now. It is a scenario that his supporters have relied on to justify the continued occupation of Iraq. It is a scenario that could easily lead one to believe that plans of invasion were in the making. Especially in light of this administrations track record. As it turns out that threat has not been there for four years now. Four years, yet this administration opted to use it as a means to validate what now seems to be an entirely circumspect agenda. Sorry Jack but there is no weaseling out of this one. The facts are there for all to see and they do not bode well for the credibility of your people. It all comes down to the “Boy who cried wold wolf” analogy. We simply can not trust them to be up front and honest with us.

Posted by: RickIL at December 5, 2007 8:26 AM
Comment #240015

Jack-
They are not the truth, but what’s your alternative, blind faith in the people who found did not find WMDs in Iraq?

The administration fought the release of this information, because they knew exactly what it would do: cool the support for action against Iran. And why shouldn’t it? They aren’t going to get a nuke anytime soon.

As for his Diplomatic means, I’ve seen those. When the president starts openly talking about preventing WWIII in regards to Iran, you really aren’t being so diplomatic. It wasn’t diplomatic of the administration to include Iran and North Korea among the “Axis of Evil”, just because they didn’t want Iraq to stick out like a sore thumb on its own (I’m not making that up).

I’ve seen your people publically make accusations against Iran, position additional aircraft carriers off the coast, and now making deals to make permanent bases in Iraq. You talk about not letting Iran have a nuclear weapon. Same kind of rhetoric you used when you talked about Iraq, and similarly toned. What would put us in a position to let or not let them do anything?

And what was with the Lieberman-Kyl Resolution? The original was much more belligerent, and the very act of labelling a part of the Iranian forces a terrorist group is by itself provocative, and only gets more provocative when we recall that this President’s authorization to go after terrorists.

Fevered fears? No. We have learned to our great dismay that we have a President in office, who is very insistent on doing what he says, and doing what he wants, regardless of the consequences. That we are now pulling back a brigade a month until next summer is great evidence of how far this president is willing to go to fulfill his agenda, and get his way.

The truth is, I wouldn’t think a rational person at this point would start a war. I also thought that a rational leaders would not attempt a Surge, when the country itself is bitterly opposed to the war. Even now, acknowledging improvements, the same fraction of the American people wants the war over. The rise of the Democratic Congress should have sent Bush the message that the war was basically over, that America had truly turned against it. Instead of doing the rational thing and announcing the Withdrawal most Americans wanted, he defied the people, and further stressed an already overstressed military to pursue a strategy that nobody expected to work, and which ultimately didn’t. And now, despite everything, he wants us to have a permanent presence, despite reassuring people that we would not make our presence open-ended.

You tell me, should I trust this man?

1)One who knowingly rides the army into the ground?

2)Who lies to the American people about what he will do, what limits he will observe?

3)Who’s positioning military assets, bases and aircraft carriers in the region?

4)Who doesn’t let negative public or world opinion deter him from trying to get his way?

5)Who uses and lets his diplomats use provocative language that does not serve to calm the situation?

6)And who now actively denies that the conclusions of this NIE means the threat is overhyped?

Should I trust this man, or the successors who dare not depart from his footsteps, who make jokes about bombing Iran, and so on and so forth, or the party all too willing to support this idiocy, to not invade Iran, given the way they dealt with Iraq, and continue to refuse to deal with its reality?

No, I should not. These people have shown themselves unworthy of trust. These elected officials won’t do what the American people want them to do, and won’t observe the limits placed upon them. To believe that they wouldn’t bomb Iran would be rational if this were any other president. But I have learned, painfully enough not to expect such things of this president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2007 8:33 AM
Comment #240020

The smirking chimp is working hard on his foreign policy plan to get what he wants!!!!!
With his drunken bar room bully swagger, he hopes by getting in every ones face with his disgusting drunken presents, sooner or later some one will kick him in the nuts!!!!!
This will be all he needs to start WWIII. Yaaaa bring em on!!!!!!

There is a lot off money to be maid for his buddies with the no bid contracts!!!!!!!
Look at the cash pouring in to those off shore bank accounts from Iraq and Afghanistan!!!!! Think of the cash flow if you bring Iran and North Korea into the picture!!!!

With all the hate for the U.S.A. generated by the smirking chimp we will have war long after he has done his last dirty deed!!!!! That is what he is counting on; the damage will be irreversible for generations to come!!!! The GOP can never wash the blood off of their hands from the innocent women, children and our patriotic soldiers they have murdered just to make a quick buck!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Outraged at December 5, 2007 9:38 AM
Comment #240024

Come on guys you know Rove wrote this NIE and not the CIA. This is just one big set-up done by the evil genius himself….

Posted by: George in SC at December 5, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #240025

Jack, the estimate is hardly an opinion. They state their findings with a high degree of confidence. Furthermore, this was certainly not news to the president. Clearly, he knew the case for action against Iran was much weaker than he made out. If you ask me, it’s criminal. He was either lying for who knows what reason or simply didn’t know what was going on. The only thing more unbelievable than that is that Republicans keep finding new ways to excuse him.

Posted by: Max at December 5, 2007 11:04 AM
Comment #240026

The estimate is an ESTIMATE. That implies aproximity, as in- “We don’t know, but…”

As I heard the other day another interesting thing happened in 2003. The Pakistani scientist in charge of nuclear weapons development was arrested for leaking his designs to other nations. Perhaps the reason Iran is (perhaps) not “developing” weapons an is now only enriching enough uranium to make a new weapon every ten months is because they don’t need to “develop” a weapon.

That would make much better sense of Iran’s nuclear saber-rattling since they supposedly stopped “developing”.

Other than that I certainly feel much better.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 5, 2007 11:30 AM
Comment #240028

It seems to me the future of our country is best served by an emphasis on security, intelligence, and diplomacy.
Part of diplomacy being understanding the motivations of others and maybe even giving them some taste of what they really want - Respect (It doesn’t even cost anything). It helps immensely to have a big stick. When everybody knows you have the stick, you don’t need to keep talking about it.

The security, intelligence, and belligerant swagger can’t work by definition. because even if it did result in complete capitulation, the creed does not allow acknowledgement of that.

Unfortunately, several of the leading republicans proudly advocate the belligerant swagger method, and thanks to Hillary, they will possibly be elected yet again.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 5, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #240030

Lee,
The NIE is an “estimate” that is given with “high confidence” through a process that includes 16 intelligence agencies.

It is different from “just making stuff up.”

The NIE also says Iran will not be able to manufacture a nuclear weapon any earlier than 2015, assuming they restarted their program today.

Bush has been lying about Iran. That, or no one is telling him about the conclusions reached by intelligence agencies, even as he pushed for international sanctions against Iran. And where were Rice and Hadley? What was their role?

It doesn’t get much worse.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #240037

Lee Jamison-
If it wasn’t an estimate, it wouldn’t be intelligence, it would be fact. Intelligence is always a guess, and the process is set up to weed out the stuff that is more likely to be true from that is not.

Unfortunately, the attitude of some towards intelligence is the attitude of lawyers towards evidence: they’re looking for what will help them win the case they’re choosing to make.

Going through information this way, though, puts the filter of the assumption on the information before good analytical methods have the chance to make an informed guess about the overall state of things.

Some of the same mistakes made by those working on the Iraq intelligence were also made on the 2005 assessment, and sometimes by the same people.

At the same time, they acknowledge that in retrospect, some of its conclusions appear to have been thinly sourced and were based on methods less rigorous than were ultimately required under an intelligence overhaul that did not begin in earnest until later.

It was also written by some of the same team that had produced key parts of the flawed Iraq estimate. Robert D. Walpole oversaw both reports as the national intelligence officer responsible for assessing illicit-weapons programs.

Robert Hutchings, who as head of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to early 2005 oversaw early production of the 2005 Iran assessment, said the quality of information about Iran’s nuclear program should have made American intelligence analysts wary of judging anything with “high confidence.” That was how the 2005 report described the basis for its assertion that Iran was determined to develop nuclear weapons, a conclusion that has been disavowed.

“The fact that we’ve reversed course two years later suggests that the high confidence back then wasn’t warranted,” said Mr. Hutchings, who had left the intelligence council by the time the intelligence estimate was produced in May 2005.

Emphasis is mine.

The refrain from the right is that there remains a possibility that another secret program is still ongoing, a possibility the NIE acknowledges by only expressing its view that a secret program is going on with moderate confidence.

But what the NIE also shows, though, is that the clerics are more pragmatic and concerned about the costs and benefits of such activities than those warning of fanatic Islamofascists looking to start WWIII.

Now could they be executing an elaborate hoax? Well, that remains a distant possibility, but the intelligence agencies also red-teamed this report, looking to find places where such deception could be present.

Finally a word of caution: you talk about estimates, but your War in Iraq and your push for military strikes against Iran were dependent on other NIE, other estimates. If you’re playing the uncertainty game, saying we can’t treat all this all as verified fact, but at the same time claiming the conclusions you liked were the truth and that we’d thank God when we realized it.

As with any investigational method, we still could be wrong, Iran could still be an imminent nuclear threat. But that is considered a very unlikely thing by those who know best how to derive this information, people who this time around were allowed to do their job more freely, with less pressure to consider less reliable information as authoritative.

I won’t argue that Iran is a big cuddly teddy bear that just wants a hug. What I will argue is thatin our best estimates, Iran is not an imminent threat, as of yet, that we need to sacrifice lives, treasure, and other resources to deal with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2007 1:12 PM
Comment #240039

A little twist…just for fun…

You tell me, should I trust this man?

1)One who knowingly road the army into the ground?

2)Who lied to the American people about what he did, and what limits he IS observing?

3)Who downsized military assets, and bases?

4)Who let public or world opinion sway him?

5)Who didn’t let his diplomats do anything?

6)And who now actively denies and approves conclusions that fit his wifes election strategies?

Posted by: Cliff at December 5, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #240041

I have written on many occasions not only do I think it would be a mistake to invade Iraq, but also that we were NOT planning to do it. This has been right despite your fevered fears to the contrary.

Jack

OK,I tried to overlook your typo but I can not hold out any longer.I do not recall your opposition to the Iraq invasion.

Iran has been surprisingling staid in their response to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Purhaps they believed that getting rid of Saddam was worth the indulgence. Iran had great and tragic reason to hate the Iragi regime. On the other hand they also have great reason to mis-trust the US.The CIA imposition of the brutal Shah at the behest of Anglo-American oil interest and our arming of both sides in the Iraq-Iran conflict are nothing to be proud of.
This report gives us the opportunity to change course in our relationship with Iran. They are key to our success in ending the “War on Terror.”
Alas this opportunity will not be taken by our current regime whose MO is to increase conflict.A real change in expansionist US policy is in order.The odds of Iran attacking the US do not even meet Cheny’s 1 percent threshold. The odds of Iran reacting to apparent US imperialist goals are near 100%. They will have no choice.
For my fellow Dems the choice is clear.If you believe we should continue our imperialist efforts to dominate the Mid-East and secure oil resources that at best harm the enviorment drastically. If you believe an endless war against the inevitable Muslum reaction to this is in our best interest,then you should support Hilary Clinton and the Clinton/Lieborman alliance in the primary. If you believe it is past time for a fundementally different US forign policy based of the rule of law and the best interest of the people of the US as opposed to what is best for the oligarchs consider other candidates with fresh vision. Hell,even Ron Paul has it right.

Posted by: bills at December 5, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #240045

http://www.iranchamber.com/index.php

Interesting link re; Iran and the historical viewpoint they operate from.
After 9/11 40,000 people marched in Iran to the abandoned US embassy and laid wearths of sympathy and condolance with the American people. One of the greatest failures of this administration is squandering the potential global alliance against Al Queada in order to pursue the expansionist neo-con agenda.

Posted by: Bills at December 5, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #240046

Cliff-
1) People carped about the readiness of our armies at the end of Clinton’s term, but then their question was whether we’d be able to fight a WWII-style two front war. But he hadn’t made it to where it would take half a decade from the end of his term to recover from the military actions.

2) Clinton had the good sense to limit how far he would take this country into a fiasco. He wasn’t trying to vindicate Vietnam, he was trying to avoid it. For all the hostility that some uniformed military had for him, he respected their advice.

3) Funny, last time I looked, Dick Cheney was involved with that, and with other elements of the transformation policy. Front and center as a matter of fact. It was a bipartisan affair, and appropriate most thought, to a time when we no longer had the Soviets as opponents.

4)Clinton did, obviously, but he also pushed for international pressure, and kept it up on Saddam Hussein for the better part of the 90’s. Clinton, perhaps too much the bargainer, nonetheless maintained respect in many quarters for America’s power. Because he had give and take, he was respected, and we were too.

5) Now this is a laughable point. Clinton’s people came up with the agreements that hold the Balkans together, free of the violence that once plagued them, without having to commit all too many troops for all too long. Clinton’s era was rich in diplomatic activity

6) Clinton never overextended himself quite as badly over intelligence as Bush has, nor operated in such a manner that these intelligence failures were a regular occurence.

Clinton-hate is sadly alive and well in this country.

The truth of the matter is, Bush made a point of reversing many Clinton policies. Only well into his second term, well after 9/11 sent a clear signal that we’d need more troops as a matter of course, only after years of a logistically crippling war has ne now reversed that policy. Bush never had to live with Clinton’s Armed forces. He could have built them up, once again.

I think the time has come to stop blaming Clinton for decisions that Bush clearly made for himself, and to quite justifying what Bush has done by what Clinton has done. You suppose wrongly that people supported Clinton’s every decision in my party. Truth is, his policies were always a mixed bag for us. True enough, he did defend our interests in many places, but in others he let us down. Clinton earned our admiration as a brilliant politician, but we got other ideas about the legacy of his policies. Of course, though he is a visible symbol of the Democratic party, and a hated symbol by the right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #240049

Stephen,

Lighten up…
Just for fun…remember…

Both of them screwed up…
One was just a little more obvious at it then the other…

Posted by: Cliff at December 5, 2007 3:01 PM
Comment #240059

Cliff-
Every President screws up. Not everybody does so at Bush’s catastrophic scale, nor has the hubris to continue screwing things up into the indefinite future.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2007 5:38 PM
Comment #240072

Let me recall all the warnings we had from our intelligence service about other nations developing nuclear weapons such as India, Pakistan, North Korea. Gosh, I can’t recall the warnings. Perhaps I was out of the country at the time.
For me, if the intelligence is accurate that’s just great. If not, when will we find out? Many writing here are all puffed-up with their gloating, I-told-you-so attitude, and great confidence in an intelligence community that not long ago they were disparaging. What gives?

Posted by: Jim at December 5, 2007 7:29 PM
Comment #240088

Jim

What you perceive as gloating is in reality expressions of disgust with an administration so inept and dishonest that nothing they say can any longer be accepted as truth. They are an embarrassment and have done great harm to the integrity and credibility of our nation in terms of foreign and domestic policy. They are not a leadership to be proud or supportive of. There is a huge difference between gloating and frustration with an administration that fails to admit or learn from its mistakes. Their road is one of perpetual denial of reality at whatever costs necessary to falsely justify their combative and most likely corrupt agenda. These are not good people. It is apparent that their direction is not in keeping with the best interests of the people. To be honest I find it sickening that such people can be allowed to remain in a position of power.

Posted by: RickIL at December 5, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #240091

Jim-
First, let’s get the right chronology: India first tested a nuclear device in 1974. The CIA expected this to happen, but failed to anticipate the exact timing of the test itself, a fact the declassified memo linked laments. The Shakti tests of 1998 were a sequel of sorts.

Pakistan was expected quite a long time in advance, and North Korea’s fizzled nuke was at the end of a long process of America trying to get North Korea not to make nukes.

We don’t always have warnings about the tests themselves, but the capabilities are often apparent long before. It’s just not that easy to move around the necessary materials and equipment to make these weapons without sending up alarm bells.

What makes the current intelligence report different is that we’re not using the Bush administration’s One-Percent Doctrine sensibilities to determine what’s likely and what’s not. They went for a much more careful approach in forming their conclusions. They had a lot more political independence, which you really need, because otherwise you’re simply going to get a justification for somebody’s agenda rather than intelligence that’ll properly orient policy.

I don’t think we hear about most successes on these matters. Most of the time, you get some diplomat given another diplomat a nudge on the matter, and it gets settled behind closed doors. Unfortunately, the Bush administration’s approach is to cut open the issue and spread its entrails all around, trying to publically intimidate everybody into a desired approach.

Human intelligence is part of what made the difference here in this latest report. It’s somebody who can go take a look at a facility and tell you if there are WMDs to find. Or its somebody who can tell you where they are hidden.

We lacked a lot of that in Iraq, and we only got a bad approximation of it at the last minute. The Administration mistook desperation and expedience for a workable long term ability to discern threats and get ahead of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #240110

Bush writes letter to North Korea leader!!!! (Yahoo News)

The smirking chimp is at it again today, this time he is using his drunken bar room bully swagger on North Korea!!!! Yesterday it was Iran!!!!! He knows that his time is coming to an end he must push harder to get WWIII under way so that the next occupant of the white house has an unstoppable disaster on their hands and all his buddies can continue to cash in on the no bid contracts for generations to come!!!!!!

What outrages me the most is no one has even made a tiny effort to try and shut the little chimp up!!!!! He makes us all look like fools!!!!!!!!!

How could we let this happen???????

Posted by: Outraged at December 6, 2007 10:49 AM
Comment #240116

This video is a great example of a war-mongering neo-con getting cornered in light of the NIE report. Check it out, its great stuff. Chris Matthews demands an answer.


VIDEO - Neo-Con Gets Cornered On Iran
http://test.redlasso.com/service/svc/clip/playClip?fid=9fcb21ca-effa-40b8-aa36-8856d7b71ea4

Posted by: PaulD at December 6, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #240149

David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo has a delicious point on the irony of the Bush defense that the NIE proved that Iran was secretly working on nukes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 6, 2007 7:27 PM
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