Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saber-Rattling and Iran

The White House secretly stepped up covert operations
inside Iran to destabilize its leadership.

Is he trying to start a war as an "October surprise?" It's no secret that he doesn't like either Obama or McCain. Is he trying to stick them with a fait accompli?

(And what is the Democratically-controlled Congress doing giving him this money? Didn't Iraq demonstrate that he can't be trusted? What a bunch of wimps.)

I'm not quite sure what to make of Iran's nuclear ambitions. I halfway think that they looked at the nifty deal that North Korea got and are looking to see how they can cash in.

Seymour Hersh's frightening article demonstrates just how little backbone the Democrats have. Find a backbone, guys. Bush seems to be a nut job who thinks that God wants him to start Armageddon in the Middle East.

some members of the Democratic leadership—Congress has been under Democratic control since the 2006 elections—were willing, in secret, to go along with the Administration in expanding covert activities directed at Iran, while the Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has said that he favors direct talks and diplomacy.
The request for funding came in the same period in which the Administration was coming to terms with a National Intelligence Estimate, released in December, that concluded that Iran had halted its work on nuclear weapons in 2003. The Administration downplayed the significance of the N.I.E., and, while saying that it was committed to diplomacy, continued to emphasize that urgent action was essential to counter the Iranian nuclear threat.

Once again, Bush is saying that he knows more than the Intelligence professionals. I wonder how many times Cheney sent the NIE back for re-work? At least this time they stood up to him.

Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preĆ«mptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.”

Bush seems to think that we should also ignore the advice being given us by the military professionals. That would pretty much be in character.

In March, Fallon resigned under pressure, after giving a series of interviews stating his reservations about an armed attack on Iran. For example, late last year he told the Financial Times that the “real objective” of U.S. policy was to change the Iranians’ behavior, and that “attacking them as a means to get to that spot strikes me as being not the first choice.”

If you can't get the generals to go along, fire them.

The White House believes that one size fits all, but the legal issues surrounding extrajudicial killings in Waziristan are less of a problem because Al Qaeda and the Taliban cross the border into Afghanistan and back again, often with U.S. and NATO forces in hot pursuit. The situation is not nearly as clear in the Iranian case. All the considerations—judicial, strategic, and political—are different in Iran.”

He added, “There is huge opposition inside the intelligence community to the idea of waging a covert war inside Iran, and using Baluchis and Ahwazis as surrogates. The leaders of our Special Operations community all have remarkable physical courage, but they are less likely to voice their opposition to policy. Iran is not Waziristan.”