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Old 12-10-2007, 10:18 PM  
Taco John Taco John is offline
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Neocons losing their grip on power - and reality

This is an amusing article... It's a nice triumph for the good guys in this country to see the evil ones (especially Podhoretz, who I definitely view as an evil, putrid man) have to go into over drive spinning this thing. The American people must remain vigilant, however. These terrorist don't want to lose their grip on power, and will manufacture the opportunity to strike Iran if need be.


No Iran Attack? Don't be so sure...
by Justin Raimondo

Global Research, December 8, 2007
Antiwar.com - 2007-12-05


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The release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program has everyone breathing a sigh of relief. According to our best intelligence, the Iranians stopped their weapons program in 2003. The liberal pundits and the more reasonable Sullivanesque conservatives are shouting "Hallelujah!" War has been averted! My response: not so fast.

Before we segue into all the reasons why we shouldn't be letting our guard down, however, let's take a moment or three to savor the War Party's distress. This morning's edition of National Review Online is a veritable cornucopia of spittle-on-the-screen invective. There's a whole section devoted to debunking the debunkers, and each and every article is a study in sophistry elevated almost to an art form.

Michael Ledeen avers that since "you can't prove a negative," the NIE is wrong. Thus, there is no need for any empirical evidence, since, after all, you can't be 100 percent certain, so Iran is guilty as a given. And weren't these the same guys who thought Iraq had WMD? What Ledeen fails to mention is that he and his gang agreed with that assessment, but in the solipsistic universe of the neocons, a different set of rules applies.

Victor Davis Hanson is uncharacteristically laconic. Instead of the usual 1,200 words detailing why the failure to strike Iran yesterday will lead to the Decline of the West and the Victory of Islamofascism, we get little more than 200 words of self-contradicting evasions: the NIE report, taken at face value, proves the Iraq war was a success – after all, it succeeded in deterring the Iranians, who would have gone nuclear had they not witnessed the wrath of the Americans up close. He then turns around, however, and refutes himself by smugly asking us to "expect a variety of rebuttals to this assurance that for 4 years the Iranians haven't gotten much closer to producing weapons grade materials." So, then, the Iraq war did not sufficiently impress the Iranians to divert them from going down the nuclear road? Which is it?

On a scale of one to 10 – one meaning Ledeenian incoherence and 10 meaning a chameleon-like ability to mimic rationality – I give Michael Rubin a nine. He's a clever boy who can think of six different reasons why "no" means "yes."

What about "the Syrian episode," Rubin asks: doesn't that prove the Iranians are going after nukes without having to produce one themselves? But it proves nothing of the kind. "The Syrian episode" is an elaborate hoax carried out by the one country that has everything to gain by provoking war between the U.S. and Iran. The best analysis I've seen describes the Dair-el-Zor strike as an attack on a giant underground weapons depot, where medium- and long-range missiles bought from North Korea and Iran are stored. My best guess is that Israel's amen corner in the national security bureaucracy saw the NIE coming and engineered the Israeli strike to raise the possibility of imported nukes.

Forgetting that the NIE is supposed to be entirely wrong, Rubin avers that it proves "pressure works" and that it's time "for another round of sanctions" on Tehran. If they do what we want, punish them. And if they don't, punish them some more. This is the neocon prescription: torture the world, and don't let up when they scream – and never take yes for an answer.

Rubin has all the talking points laid out like pearls on a string: if they stopped in 2003, then weren't they talking about the "dialogue of civilizations" in somewhat less than good faith? Except we don't know how advanced that program was, or how seriously they took it, and, in any case, as things now stand, they won't have an operable nuke for at least a decade. Evading this vital piece of information is the whole point of Rubin's Olympic-level display of verbal gymnastics.

The best defense being a good offense, Rubin comes up with this: "Will the analysts who agreed with Iran come clean and explain how they got it wrong?" Who are these "analysts," and how, exactly, did they "get it wrong"? No one said the Iranians didn't have nuclear aspirations. What the analysts inside the government and in the non-neocon think-tanks were saying, and continue to say, is that the Iranians aren't even close to going nuclear, that they've had technical difficulties and just don't have the capacity at present. There is no imminent threat, no need to act, no reason to put a military strike against Iran "on the table," as have all the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates except Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

According to Rubin, it wasn't the alarmists like himself who got it wrong: the Iranians are inveterate liars and can't be trusted under any circumstances. What's difficult for the neocons at this point is to transfer the liar-liar-pants-on-fire epithet to our own government. Are they now saying we can't trust the CIA, the DIA, and the rest any more than we trust the Iranian mullahs? Has the American intelligence community been infiltrated by the Revolutionary Guards? Good luck with that one, guys…

Oh, this is truly a comedic situation, and I just can't help taking an inordinate amount of pleasure in listening to the chorus of outrage that has greeted the NIE in neocon-land. It's like music to my ears! Ah, but I'm saving the best – Norman Podhoretz, obviously – for last. For now, we'll just have to content ourselves with the second- and third-tier neocon hacks at NRO and the Weekly Standard. I'm just getting warmed up…

I had an especially good laugh over Frank Gaffney's contribution, which dismisses the NIE with the assertion that, since no one "outside a very small circle in Iran has certain knowledge about the current state of Iran's nuclear-weapons program," therefore "we had better be prepared to use military force." In Gaffney's world, life is risky: if you can't prove you aren't a terrorist, then get ready for Guantanamo. Countries have it worse. Washington must know for certain that a given country isn't about to nuke Washington, and they're guilty until proven innocent. If you're the leader of a Muslim nation in the Middle East with a long history of hostility to Israel, expect an attack at any moment.

Poor Seth Leibsohn is beside himself. He's so distraught by the NIE that he does us all a service by compiling a wide range of sources for the report's conclusions. The New York Times attributes the estimate to "new information obtained from covert sources over the summer," the Washington Post says it was "intercepted calls between Iranian military commanders, that steadily chipped away at the earlier assessment," the Washington Times points to the defection of "a senior Iranian official, Ali Rez Asgari," who "defected to the West during a visit to Turkey in February." USA Today, on the other hand, somewhat vaguely claims it was "news photos" that played a major role in turning the spooks around. "Maybe it's all of this," Leibsohn concludes, to which one can only add: Duh!

The Weekly Standard runs one Thomas Joscelyn, a blogger associated with fringe neocon David Horowitz and his David Horowitz Freedom Center. As a self-proclaimed "terrorism expert," Joscelyn had the honor of being cited by Rush Limbaugh recently for "proving" that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden really were in cahoots, in spite of the National Commission on 9/11's conclusion that no such links existed. He demands that the intelligence community immediately release to him the evidence for its conclusions – this in spite of his acknowledgment, in the beginning of his piece, that it can and should do no such thing.

The NIE seems to have unhinged the lesser neocons, who are reduced to the sort of noises a small mammal makes when cornered. Norman Podhoretz, however, is quite a different story: his contribution to the "debate" is a perfect gem of the purest nihilism, a textbook example of Bizarro World logic. According to Podhoretz, since the last NIE was wrong, this one cannot be right. They were wrong then, he wails, so how can we trust them now? This principle, applied to, say, the realm of science, would ensure that no progress, no advance on the road to truth, no technological or theoretical innovation would ever be possible, because, after all, scientists have been wrong before. But truth is not Podhoretz's concern: he's already determined, a priori, that the truth is whatever he says it is.

This kind of radical subjectivism leads naturally to an accusation that the whole thing is a political ploy by Bush-haters in the national security bureaucracy who are sabotaging the lovely war he thought he talked the president into. Podhoretz has "dark suspicions," he confides, that the intelligence community is "bending over backwards" to avoid the mistakes it made during the run-up to war with Iraq. Naturally, he avoids mentioning that he, Norman Podhoretz, was just as wrong as they were, if not more so – so why, given his own Bizarro World logic, should we believe anything he says?

According to Norm, it wasn't the Iranians who succumbed to pressure from the international community to end their nuclear weapons program, it was the intelligence community that caved in to pressure in producing this NIE. Intercepts, defectors, news photos, whatever – he isn't interested. The whole thing is a plot by the advocates of "appeasement" to undermine the sacred goal of killing thousands of Iranians and embroiling us in another war in the Middle East.

Okay, that was fun, now wasn't it? Yet there is a price to pay for all this glorious gloating – all pleasures, my Catholic conscience tells me, come with a price. A number of commentators are now certain that, as Fred Kaplan puts it, "If there was ever a possibility that President George W. Bush would drop bombs on Iran, the chances have now shrunk to nearly zero."

If only it were so.

The Iranian nuclear issue has always been a slow-burning fuse. It took the neocons a good decade to gin up the invasion of Iraq and frame the Ba'athist regime on charges of covert WMD: taking on the much more formidable Persians, in the face of a more skeptical public, naturally requires an even greater effort. Think of it as a long-term project, one that has been set back for the moment – but the damage isn't irreparable. This NIE can always be revised, although we can say with confidence that the thorough debunking undertaken by the intelligence community in this instance has thrown the War Party on the defensive. Hence the howls of rage coming from the peanut gallery.

However, the nuclear issue has never been the primary thrust of the neocons' case for war with Iran: far more important has been the accusation that we are already at war with Iran because they're supposedly funding, harboring, and directing "terrorist" activities against U.S. troops in Iraq. According to what the administration has been saying for many months, the Iranians are killing U.S. soldiers – so when are we going to take them out? Hillary Clinton, too, is asking this question: that's why she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to be an official "terrorist" organization, the only time a military component of a foreign regime has been so defined. Kyl-Lieberman will give the president full authority to engage in "hot pursuit" and precipitate a cross-border incident with Iran that could easily escalate into a full-scale military conflict.

It's a very long Iranian-Iraqi border that snakes through every enclave of ethno-religious tension in the region. Somewhere in that vast and volatile wilderness the first shots of what George W. Bush warns is going to be World War III will be fired: it's the most likely scenario, far more plausible and defensible than a strike at what the administration claims are nuclear facilities in or near heavily populated Iranian cities.

War with Iran is no less likely now than it was last week, last month, or last year. Indeed, it is conceivable that the chances of just such a provocation occurring sometime before we get a new president have increased, precisely because the War Party has been dealt such a devastating setback on the nuclear front. Desperation makes people do very odd things, and in this case I would reverse one of Victor Davis Hanson and Michael Rubin's arguments and apply it to those seemingly intent on taking us into yet another disastrous war, including the president.

Hanson and Rubin argue that the Iranians are not entirely of sound mind, that all that stuff about the Twelfth Imam returning indicates an irrational millennialism that can only end in a nuclear conflagration. In short, the Iranians are crazy.

I suggest Rubin, Podhoretz, et al., take a good, long look in the mirror. Unlike Iran's hardliners, ours are openly calling for war. As crazy as Ahmadinejad and his pals may be, Podhoretz and his pals are even wackier.

I'd sure like to believe that the relatively rational sectors of our government – the professional intelligence analysts, career diplomats, and assorted "realists" in the national security bureaucracy – have succeeded in putting a stake through the heart of the neocons and spiking the much-rumored war plans of this administration. Unfortunately, I owe it to my readers to tell it like it is: don't break out the champagne just yet. Oh, and keep your eye on the Iran-Iraq border, including the somewhat blurry line of demarcation in the Gulf. We aren't in the clear yet, not by a long shot, and we won't be until all U.S. troops are out of Iraq.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.p...xt=va&aid=7567

Last edited by Taco John; 12-10-2007 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:36 AM   #2
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The OP article
Victor Davis Hanson is uncharacteristically laconic. Instead of the usual 1,200 words detailing why the failure to strike Iran yesterday will lead to the Decline of the West and the Victory of Islamofascism, we get little more than 200 words of self-contradicting evasions: the NIE report, taken at face value, proves the Iraq war was a success – after all, it succeeded in deterring the Iranians, who would have gone nuclear had they not witnessed the wrath of the Americans up close. He then turns around, however, and refutes himself by smugly asking us to "expect a variety of rebuttals to this assurance that for 4 years the Iranians haven't gotten much closer to producing weapons grade materials." So, then, the Iraq war did not sufficiently impress the Iranians to divert them from going down the nuclear road? Which is it?
This is easy. Assuming the NIE is right that Iran suspended it's covert nuclear weapons program in 2003:
  • The impressiveness of the initial victory over Saddam's regime led the Iranian regime to suspend it's nuclear weapons program in 2003 because they believed that they could be next in line.
  • Subsequent difficulties in Iraq gave Iran some confidence that it could continue it's pursuit of nuclear weapons technology through it's overt enrichment program (at a minimum) and possibly through a restarted or parallel covert weapons program with less risk of reprisal.

And the corollary to these two points is that our success in Iraq is essential to re-implant the idea that the US means business in the minds of Iran's leaders. We also need less of this "no need for war now" talk to keep the threat of military force credible. With any luck, military force won't be required if we follow this path. If we step back and assure the Iranians that we aren't a threat to them, there's no reason for them to give up their ambitions for nuclear weapons.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:51 AM   #3
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Wow, I just finished reading that and it was little more than name calling and absurd characterization. But this sentence, in particular, struck me as odd:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The OP article
This NIE can always be revised, although we can say with confidence that the thorough debunking undertaken by the intelligence community in this instance has thrown the War Party on the defensive.
Thorough debunking? Did he even read the NIE? There is no thorough debunking. The NIE doesn't claim the Iranians have stopped their enrichment efforts. Instead, it ignores those efforts.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:36 AM   #4
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Using force on Iraq proves nothing. Sabre rattling like RReagan had done in the past would have done the same thing without all that blood, loss of American lives and treasure spent. RR ended the Cold War without starting an aggressive war...Bush coulda have achieved the same results. The Iranians offered to put everything on the table Israel, Hezbollah and questions about it's nuke program BEFORE we went into Iraq in 2003 as per the Swiss ambassador.
This is FACT. No blood-thirsty neo-con will ever admit it though. It's human nature to justify a crime.

Besides, there's more to this story. Iran may have never had such a program.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
Using force on Iraq proves nothing. Sabre rattling like RReagan had done in the past would have done the same thing without all that blood, loss of American lives and treasure spent. RR ended the Cold War without starting an aggressive war...Bush coulda have achieved the same results. The Iranians offered to put everything on the table Israel, Hezbollah and questions about it's nuke program BEFORE we went into Iraq in 2003 as per the Swiss ambassador.
This is FACT. No blood-thirsty neo-con will ever admit it though. It's human nature to justify a crime.

Besides, there's more to this story. Iran may have never had such a program.
Back on the koolaid I see.

Show us the link that proves the last statement.

Stand back all, this should be good!
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
Thorough debunking? Did he even read the NIE? There is no thorough debunking. The NIE doesn't claim the Iranians have stopped their enrichment efforts. Instead, it ignores those efforts.
Did everyone see what patteeu tried to do there?

He presents a false choice of sorts.

He asserts that there is "no thorough debunking" in the NIE. And "supports" that claim by speaking about the NIE and enrichment efforts.

As if the any debunking WRT to the NIE must involve debunking enrichment efforts.

That's completely false.

The NIE debunks the repeated assertions by the NeoCons that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program.


"Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve." - Bush, Feb 2005

"There is every reason to believe that they are seriously pursuing nuclear weapons. We're not the only ones who believe that. Obviously, the Europeans do, as well." - Cheney, Dec 2005


The NIE shows our best assessment is that it stopped that persuit in 2003.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea

Besides, there's more to this story. Iran may have never had such a program.
1)Make wild, unfounded accusation.

Check.

Time for #2:

2)Provide link to fringe website or pretend that accusation wasn't made.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
Using force on Iraq proves nothing. Sabre rattling like RReagan had done in the past would have done the same thing without all that blood, loss of American lives and treasure spent. RR ended the Cold War without starting an aggressive war...Bush coulda have achieved the same results. The Iranians offered to put everything on the table Israel, Hezbollah and questions about it's nuke program BEFORE we went into Iraq in 2003 as per the Swiss ambassador.
This is FACT. No blood-thirsty neo-con will ever admit it though. It's human nature to justify a crime.

Besides, there's more to this story. Iran may have never had such a program.


Thats alot of faith to have in one Middle Eastern nutjob that claims the
holocaust never happened. My family deseves better protection than
your faith in a loose cannon nutjob.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ
Did everyone see what patteeu tried to do there?

He presents a false choice of sorts.

He asserts that there is "no thorough debunking" in the NIE. And "supports" that claim by speaking about the NIE and enrichment efforts.

As if the any debunking WRT to the NIE must involve debunking enrichment efforts.

That's completely false.

The NIE debunks the repeated assertions by the NeoCons that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program.


"Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve." - Bush, Feb 2005

"There is every reason to believe that they are seriously pursuing nuclear weapons. We're not the only ones who believe that. Obviously, the Europeans do, as well." - Cheney, Dec 2005


The NIE shows our best assessment is that it stopped that persuit in 2003.
Had you posted some evidence of this “debunking” instead of a couple of quotes from Bush and Cheney, this post might hold some merit.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Henry
Thats alot of faith to have in one Middle Eastern nutjob that claims the
holocaust never happened. My family deseves better protection than
your faith in a loose cannon nutjob.


What does his believe of the holocaust have anything to do with the safety and security of your family? What a wierd couple of things to put together...
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:27 AM   #11
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Whether you believe in the 16 US agencies who put together this report or not, politically this is a knockout punch to bombing Iran. If Bush takes action against them without going to congress, he'll be impeached, charged and tried. The political reality is that this report effectively takes the issue out of Bush's hands and puts it back in the hands of congress, where it belongs.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John
What does his believe of the holocaust have anything to do with the safety and security of your family? What a wierd couple of things to put together...

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Old 12-11-2007, 10:18 AM   #13
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I have one small complaint about the thread title. While the neocons are losing their grip on power (and will hopefully lose it altogether next election), they aren't losing their grip on reality. To lose their grip on reality, they first have to have had a grip on reality, which they never did.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:19 AM   #14
Nightwish Nightwish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Henry
That's not much of an answer to a perfectly valid question. His primary beef is with Israel. Unless your family lives in Israel, how does he threaten their security? Care to attempt an actual answer?
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:57 AM   #15
Chief Henry Chief Henry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish
That's not much of an answer to a perfectly valid question. His primary beef is with Israel. Unless your family lives in Israel, how does he threaten their security? Care to attempt an actual answer?

I guess putting 1+1+1 is a difficult thing to comprehend for some of you.
It needs no explaining.
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Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.Chief Henry must have mowed badgirl's lawn.
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