Monday, January 15, 2007

Closer to War Against Iran?

Even after George W. Bush on Wednesday night rattled his saber at Iran while defending his escalation in Iraq, I've been wondering whether the Bush gang is really willing to (and capable of) taking on Tehran in a military fashion. Aren't their hands full (and bloody enough) in Iraq? Perhaps. But my friend, retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, believes the White House is moving closer to an attack against Iran. Gardiner, an expert on military strategy who has taught at the National War College, has been reading tea leaves longer and closer than I have. For months, he has warned that the clues point to war against Iran. Here's his latest analysis:

Pieces in Place for Escalation Against Iran
by Sam Gardiner

The pieces are moving. They'll be in place by the end of February. The United States will be able to escalate military operations against Iran.

The second carrier strike group leaves the US west coast on Tuesday. It will be joined by naval mine clearing assets from both the United States and the UK. Patriot missile defense systems have also been ordered to deploy to the Gulf. A squadron of F-16's arrived in Turkey on Friday, the first deployment there in three years.

Maybe as a guard against North Korea seeing operations focused on Iran as a chance to be aggressive, a squadron of F-117 stealth fighters has just been deployed to Korea.

This has to be called escalation. We have to remind ourselves, just as Iran is supporting groups inside Iraq, the United States is supporting groups inside Iran. Just as Iran has special operations troops operating inside Iraq, we've read the United States has special operations troops operating inside Iran.

Just as Iran is supporting Hamas, two weeks ago we found out the United States is supporting arms for Abbas. Just as Iran and Syria are supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon we're now learning the White House has approved a finding to allow the CIA to support opposition groups inside Lebanon. Just as Iran is supporting Syria, we've learned recently that the United States is going to fund Syrian opposition groups.

We learned this week the President authorized an attack on the Iranian liaison office in Irbil.

The White House keeps saying there are no plans to attack Iran. Obviously, the facts suggest otherwise. Equally as clear, the Iranians will read what the Administration is doing not what it is saying.

It is possible the White House strategy is just implementing a strategy to put pressure on Iran on a number of fronts, and this will never amount to anything. On the other hand, if the White House is on a path to strike Iran, we'll see a few more steps unfold.

First, we know there is a National Security Council staff-led group whose mission is to create outrage in the world against Iran. Just like before Gulf II, this media group will begin to release stories to sell a strike against Iran. Watch for the outrage stuff.

The Patriot missiles going to the GCC states are only part of the missile defense assets. I would expect to see the deployment of some of the European-based missile defense assets to Israel, just as they were before Gulf II.

I would expect deployment of additional USAF fighters into the bases in Iraq, maybe some into Afghanistan.

I think we will read about the deployment of some of the newly arriving Army brigades going into Iraq being deployed to the border with Iran. Their mission will be to guard against any Iranian movements into Iraq.

As one of the last steps before a strike, we'll see USAF tankers moved to unusual places, like Bulgaria. These will be used to refuel the US-based B-2 bombers on their strike missions into Iran. When that happens, we'll only be days away from a strike.

The White House could be telling the truth. Maybe there are no plans to take Iran to the next level. The fuel for a fire is in place, however. All we need is a spark. The danger is that we have created conditions that could lead to a Greater Middle East War.

If it is truly just a matter of a spark, then the conflagration will probably be started eventually. This administration does not practice fire safety.

Posted by David Corn at January 15, 2007 09:58 PM


Saladin said...

Gulf of Tonkin part 2 anyone?

O'Reilly said...

Firedoglake is live blogging the Scooter Libby tril. Here's an entry:

Pachacutec says

January 16th, 2007 at 8:09 am*

No action at the moment. Court in a break. I’ve been chatting with David Corn and David Schuster. The later likes us. The former, not so much.

Firedoglake link

capt said...


It will be another coincidence. It will further convince the true believers that coincidence is commonplace - happens all the time.

Just what the warmongers need to justify DEFENDING themselves into another war.

It will happen - that much is a given.


Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

~ Hermann Goering (1893 - 1946), From a conversation with psychologist Gustave Gilbert while jailed at Nuremburg on the evening of 18 April 1946, documented in Gilbert's book "Nuremburg Diary."


capt said...

Democratic presidential candidate Kucinich warns, 'If Bush attacks Iran, all bets are off'

On impeachment and Iran

Bloggers pressed Kucinich about the impeachment issue. While agreeing that the administration should ultimately be held accountable under international law, Kucinich opposed immediate impeachment proceedings. "We must keep the focus on our troops, Kucinich said. "The minute impeachment is on the table, this President will accelerate the war even more."

But he added, "if Bush attacks Iran, all bets are off." Later he added, "We need to safeguard our Constitution." If the President takes steps towards another war, Kucinich warned, Congress could make "an active effort" toward impeachment.

"The President is clearly trying to provoke Iran," he said, adding that the Bush administration is "treading on the thinnest ice it has ever been on."

Last week, in a press release sent out after Bush's speech on his "new strategy," Kucinich said that Congress should not "follow the President's path of war."


*****end of clip*****

I agree getting the troops home has to be priority number one but Rep. Kucinich doesn't address what (other than impeachment) can stop Bush? Congress could not stop a president under co-equal powers what makes anybody think they can stop a self-empowered dictator, er . . um . . . unitary president?

Cheney has already said they will just ignore any action by congress or the courts. Done deal.


capt said...

Parallel Universes

One of the books in the backdrop of the White House Library must have been on quantum physics. As President George W. Bush stood awkwardly at his podium Wednesday night, nervously drawing breaths at each sentence as he began his long-awaited speech on Iraq, Washington’s parallel universes seemed to crowd the room.

I used to go to that library often, fleeing the commotion of another stationary policy. It was 1969. My universe was the National Security Council staff under then-President Richard Nixon and his advisor Henry Kissinger. We were fresh from another election in which America voted to end a war. Yet in another abhorrence of defeat, the familiar lure of some redeeming if only cosmetic victory, we met in secret to plan another escalation. "I can’t believe," Kissinger told us, "that a fourth-rate power like North Vietnam doesn’t have a breaking point." As we plotted a massive blow – the carpet bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong that happened three years later – the war America voted to end was only half over, with only half the dead whose names would fill the long black wall of Washington’s Vietnam Memorial.

There were other universes then, too. I sat across from the angry deflecting bravado of another military unable to admit defeat, impotence and its own ample share in the common disaster, officers who became mentors of our puerile power point generals of Mesopotamia. After I resigned from the White House over the invasion of Cambodia, I saw another universe of careerism, of craven equivocation in a Democratic opposition ever cowed by Republican chauvinism. I sat then across from maimed Vietnam veterans come to Capitol Hill to scream and murmur for peace, their bodies shaking in rage yet legs and arms strangely still, frozen in paralysis. Iraq is not Vietnam. Not just in the far wider geo-political ruin, but in sheer blind repetition of behavior expecting a different result, a mark of madness in nations as in individuals, it is worse.


*****end of clip*****

Too many parallels and too much of the same old song and dance.


capt said...

A brief history of the criminalization of cannabis

Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.

The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You'll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.


*****end of clip*****

A well written and easy to understand history. It seems to be fairly accurate too.


capt said...

Lawmakers considering ban on expensive sports tickets

WASHINGTON — The Senate is moving this week to ban members from accepting free tickets to sporting events to cut ties between Congress and the special interests that provide the seats.

Lawmakers have long enjoyed seats in luxury skyboxes paid for by lobbyists and corporations, despite a $50 limit on the gifts they can accept. That's because the tickets often bore no prices or were valued at below the gift limit.

The House adopted a ban on expensive sports tickets earlier this month. Melanie Sloan of the liberal-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said it was "crazy" that lawmakers "could say a ticket worth thousands was worth $50."

Abe Pollin, who owns the Washington Wizards basketball team and a majority stake in the arena where the Wizards and the Washington Capitals hockey team play, opposes the ban. "Our teams count business from lobbyists as a contributing factor to our bottom line," his spokesman Matt Williams said.

The proposed ban comes in the wake of congressional corruption scandals. Imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff rented suites at several Washington-area arenas. Federal documents show his preferred venues included the Verizon Center, where the Wizards and the Capitals play; FedEx Field, home of the Redskins football team; and Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Former congressman Bob Ney, R-Ohio, is to be sentenced Friday for his role in the Abramoff affair. He has admitted trading congressional favors for travel, campaign money and gifts, including the use of Abramoff's arena seats.


*****end of clip*****

I thought this was satire. They cannot be serious. There are 65 lobbyists for every congresscritter.

Lobbyists spend a mountain of money buying influence and we are suppose to believe the sports tickets are an issue of substance? If they have the power and time to ban expensive sports tickets why not ban all financial lobbying efforts? Oh, they want some of the money and will insist on cheap tickets. Wow, I feel better knowing the politicians will be in the cheap seats with me. (not)

This is really too funny, it should be a SNL skit.


kathleen said...

Not only has Gardiner been reading tea leaves longer than Corn, his tea leaves are from the inside looking out.

Colonel Sam Gardiner was part of a congressional briefing that Congressman Kucinich put together several months ago about Iran. On that panel Un Weapons Inspectors Scott Ritter and David Kay took part. You can go to C-span to see this briefing.

The Bush administration has done their best at keeping Flynt Leverett and his insights about Iran out of the news.

If people feel so inclined they should contact the Diane Rehm show, Talk of the Nation and any other program they think might have Leverett on their program.

Leverett: Bush Administration ‘Not Serious’ About Dealing With Iran
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor
Interviewee: Flynt Leverett
March 31, 2006

Flynt L. Leverett, who served in senior posts at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, says that the United States has gotten itself into a diplomatic dilemma with Iran “because we essentially don’t have a strategy” for dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue. Asserting that the Bush administration rejected an invitation made by Iran in 2003 to open a strategic dialogue, Leverett says that Bush “is, on this issue, very, very resistant to the idea of doing a deal, even a deal that would solve the nuclear problem.”

Leverett, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, at the Brookings Institution, says President Bush considers the Iranian regime “fundamentally illegitimate.” As a result, he says, the administration is stuck with two choices—dealing within the UN Security Council, where Russia and China are effectively blocking serious punitive measures, and unilateral military action, which Washington is not in a position to undertake.

The Security Council has issued a document, criticizing Iran’s nuclear program, but there’s no teeth behind it and both Russia and China have indicated they’re opposed to any sanctions. So at the end of a month, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is supposed to report back to the Council, it does not look as if there is going to be any real incentive for Iran to comply. How did we get into this dilemma?

We got into this dilemma because we essentially don’t have a strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue. By “we” I mean the United States and the Bush administration. The Bush administration has deliberately ruled out direct negotiations with Iran either over the nuclear issue or over the broad range of strategic issues that you would need to talk to Iran about if you were going to get a real diplomatic settlement on the nuclear issue.

The administration has, literally for years, ruled out that kind of strategic dialogue with Iran. In the absence of that sort of approach, that sort of channel, the administration is left with two options, one of which is to try and get something done in the Security Council. It has been foreseeable literally for months, if not for longer, that Russia and China at a minimum were not going to be prepared to support serious multilateral sanctions or other serious multilateral punitive measures on Iran. This is not a surprise. As I said, it’s been foreseeable literally for months, but the administration, without a strategy, is going down this feckless road anyway.

The other option that the administration would have is unilateral military action. Right now the administration is not in a position to undertake that. The international outcry would, I think, be enormous. We would literally have no one on our side at this point supporting that kind of action. The administration certainly has many other challenges on its plate that it’s having to cope with right now. And frankly I don’t think a unilateral military strike would solve the problem any more than trying to deal with it through the Security Council. Because of the administration’s deliberate decision to rule out serious strategically grounded diplomacy with Iran on this issue, these are the only two options they’ve got, and neither is going to work.

Let’s go back a little bit in history. In an op-ed piece you wrote for the New York Times in January you referred to an offer made by the Iranian government—of course then headed by the reformist President Mohammed Khatami—to begin a sweeping diplomatic dialogue. Could you talk about that?

This was shortly before I left government, in the spring of 2003. The Swiss are our so-called “protecting power” in Iran; we, of course, have no diplomatic presence there. And the Swiss, in their role as our protecting power, also provided a channel through which the United States and Iran could communicate with one another. If the Iranians wanted to use this channel, they’d give a message or a document or some communication to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran. He would pass that through his foreign ministry, it would come to the Swiss embassy here inWashington, and then the Swiss embassy would send it to the State Department. We could, at least in theory, use that channel going the other direction. In the spring of 2003 we received through this Swiss channel a one-page document, which basically laid out an agenda for a diplomatic process that was intended to resolve on a comprehensive basis all of the bilateral differences between the United States and Iran.

What prompted that statement?

Well, that’s a very good question. What prompted it on the Iranian side?

This was right after the Iraq invasion, right? This is the same time period?

Yes, it was. It was of course relatively early after the U.S. military operation in Iraq . It was really later in the summer that it became clear that the insurgency and post-conflict challenges were going to be a real problem for us, and I think at that point we were looking relatively strong in Iraq and the Iranians in particular were interested in—for both tactical and strategic reasons—trying to strike some sort of deal with us. The Iranians wanted us to turn over the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) cadres that were in Iraq . The MEK, of course, is still listed by us as a foreign terrorist organization and we’d been pressing the Iranians over the presence of some al-Qaeda operatives in Iranian territory. And I think at the tactical level, the Iranians wanted to try and make a deal on the MEK for al-Qaeda. At a more strategic level, I think the Iranians were genuinely interested in trying to reach some sort of strategic understanding with the United States , particularly at a point when the U.S. strategic position in the region was looking relatively strong.

This wasn’t a new interest on the part of the Iranians; there was the whole experience after 9/11 of Iranian cooperation with us over Afghanistan, which I think at least some Iranian officials were hoping could get leveraged into a broader strategic dialogue, but that channel was effectively foreclosed when President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address labeled Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” But in a sense I think the Iranians were trying again to see if there was some possibility for a broader strategic conversation with us and here they were actually in a way putting their cards on the table: “this is what we want, we want a broad strategic conversation with you.”

At that time you were working in the National Security Council?

I had just left the National Security Council but I was still in government, getting ready to leave.

I see. So this document pops up on Secretary of State Colin Powell’s desk. It was a very top-secret document, I suppose.

It wasn’t a classified document. What’s so remarkable about it, it was sent over by the Swiss embassy as an unclassified fax.

I see. That’s why you can talk about it so easily.

Yes, the document was never classified.

So the United States had to make a decision on what it wanted to do. Was there a big debate about this?

By this point I am out of government and I don’t really know how this played out within the bowels of the administration. What I do know happened is that the formal response of the administration to this was to complain to the Swiss foreign ministry that the Swiss ambassador in Tehran was exceeding his brief by talking with Iranians about a paper like this and passing it on.

Let’s then go to the essence. Is this one of these clich├ęs that the neo-cons in the Bush administration wanted regime change and nothing else and didn’t want to talk to the Iranians?

I think you’re right. That’s the basic motivation, that you had a bunch of neo-cons, and even the president himself [against dialogue], it’s not just the neo-cons who wanted regime change and nothing else. Ultimately the president is, on this issue, very, very resistant to the idea of doing a deal, even a deal that would solve the nuclear problem. You don’t do a deal that would effectively legitimate this regime that he considers fundamentally illegitimate. I think that’s the real issue.

And he considers it illegitimate because of what? Because it overthrew the Shah in 1979?

No, in the president’s view you have this unelected set of clerical authorities, epitomized by the supreme leader, who are thwarting the clearly expressed will of the Iranian people for a more open, participatory political system, for more political, social, intellectual, and cultural freedom—all this kind of thing. And so it’s a system that in Bush’s mind is fundamentally illegitimate. It’s a system that needs to change, and he is not going to do a deal that lets this regime off the hook, even if that deal would solve our problem with them over the nuclear issue.

Now we have agreed to talk—I don’t know if the talks have taken place yet—on Iraq with the Iranians.

Yes. I think this is going to be probably an even less productive replay of the tactical dialogue we had with Iran over Afghanistan. I think Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s talking points are probably not going to go beyond [telling the Iranians] ”you need to stop supporting and maintaining ties to proxies in the Shiite community, like the Badr brigade and various other political actors. You need to stop trying to protect your own interests in Iraq.”

I don’t think it’s going to get very far because we don’t really have anything to put on the table to make it interesting for Iran. I am very, very doubtful that, to the extent we do have a conversation with them about Iraq, that it’s going to allow us to broaden the conversation into the nuclear issue and these more strategic problems. I think if nothing else you’re going to have the wrong people in the room to do that. And beyond that, I think you still run up against the structural problem in the administration, that the president and other very powerful actors in this administration simply don’t want to do a deal [with] the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In your op-ed piece you seized on a proposal made by the Saudis? It would have a Gulf Security Council dealing with this. I haven’t heard anything more about that. Is that sort of dead in the water?

Yes. I thought it was a very, very interesting departure from the traditional Saudi formulation on a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. And I thought it was worth highlighting, but the administration didn’t pick up on it and as far as I can tell there’s nothing being done to pursue the possibility of a nuclear weapons free zone in the Gulf.

Most of the press that you read from Iran says that the Iranian public is pretty strongly behind their nuclear program, and that any interference from the outside amounts to gross interference by foreign powers. On the other hand, I’ve interviewed other observers who say, no, most Iranians really are very uncomfortable with this whole nuclear program. Do you have any sense of it?

I think my own assessment is closer to the first position you laid out than to the second. My sense is that there is a very broad consensus in Iran supporting full development of Iran’s civil nuclear capabilities, including the full range of nuclear fuel cycle capabilities. I mean that’s the way this issue is being presented to the Iranian public. It’s not really being presented as “should Iran have nuclear weapons or not?” On that issue I think you would get a pretty wide range of opinion among Iranian elites and maybe even in the population as a whole. But it’s being presented as “should Iran be able to exercise its rights under international treaties, like the NPT [non-proliferation treaty], to develop the full range of civilian nuclear technology that all kinds of other countries have, including countries that don’t have nuclear weapons?” And if it’s presented to Iranians like that, I’d say there’s almost a consensus across the Iranian political spectrum, in support of that.

Even Bush has said on some occasions that he has no problem with Iran having a peaceful nuclear program.

Yes, and I think the administration tried earlier basically to redefine the non-proliferation treaty on this issue and say that somehow Iran no longer had a right to develop fuel cycle technologies. This was a kind of interesting legal argument which I don’t think got very far. I noticed in November of last year, when the president was in Moscow, Stephen Hadley, the White House national security adviser, expressed the administration’s public support for the Russian compromise initiative for getting Iran to process uranium in Russia instead of in Iran. He actually said that Iran did have the right to develop enrichment capabilities, but in the interest of international security, stability, and so forth, we would ask the Iranians to agree not to exercise that right. So I think even the administration is acknowledging now that there isn’t a purely legal basis on which to say Iran can’t have enrichment capabilities.
New CFR Books

capt said...

Trial may lift lid off White House

The trial of a former top White House official is expected to provide a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Bush administration as a key justification for the invasion of Iraq began to collapse.

Vice-President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is accused of obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name.

The prosecution will attempt to show he lied to investigators about his role in the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity.

His defence will claim he had no motive to do so - and is set to take the historic step of putting Mr Cheney on the stand.

There does not seem to be precedent for a sitting vice-president testifying in a criminal court.

Washington insiders are salivating at the thought of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald - a famously tough cross-examiner - harrying Mr Cheney, whose debating skills are legendary.


*****end of clip*****

It would be nice to have a real trial of the facts not just a processed record of Libby's lies.

I don't think the trial will lift the lid off of anything. Should be quick and simple to prove the slug lied to the Grand Jury and others - a matter of record.


David B. Benson said...

Unitary president?

Emmm, Peach!

kathleen said...

It is so fucking amazing that Richard Perle has the nerve (no conscience) to walk around the boots of American soldiers (video clip over at Huffington Post) and continue to lie about the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. I believe he put this video clip together himself

Christ he is one of the "main architects" of this shameless war of choice. He is one of the "main architects" of the "CLEAN (FUCKING BLOODY) BREAK: A NEW STRATEGY FOR SECURING THE REALM". The paper that set out a plan to protect Israel's strategic interest by reshaping the middle east with regime change in Iraq.

Christ this is the same guy who is linked to the UK intelligence Company (Guardian march 21, 2003) mining data company spying on the world for Israel and the U.s.

Someone should have sucker punched this guy or poured a bucked of blood over his head instead of listening to more of his repeated and shameless lies.


kathleen said...

Capt I have my fingers crossed that Fitz has Cheney in his cross hairs.

Gerald said...

Let me say to you in all my humility that whoever read my posts from Arianna to David Corn, as far back as 2002, has read my words that Hitler Bush would nuke Iran. That has been his entire premise. The delay has been because Iraq has not turned into a cakewalk.

Hitler Bush is a child who has reverted back to his Midland, Texas years where he blew up frogs by placing firecrackers in their mouth.

The neocons, the fundies, and the evans can now feel glorified at the sight of human Iranian body parts.

The glory of Hitler Bush is man fully and totally dead!!!!!

Gerald said...

The God at Dr. King's kitchen table

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush is not funny

Gerald said...

See Jane Write, See Jane's Printed Words

Gerald said...

How do you build yourself a madman? Well, first you flatter him, and then you try never to make him angry, and then you feed him ideas that flatter him even more by making him seem to himself sentimentally visionary and powerful and righteous. You appeal to his already evident mean streak and his hot temper by reminding him all the time that he has enemies, and you cultivate his religious side so that the sense of righteous victimization inherent in extreme religion comes out. If he were not already an ignorant, dependant, fragile, and rigid person, he would not be susceptible to this sort of conditioning, but by temperament and practice, he has nothing of his own to counter your efforts. Then you hire a few shyster-sycophants like John Yoo to tell him (ignorant as he is, with no actual understanding of the Constitution), that as president he can do whatever he wants.

Hitler Bush is not even an equivalent of a pimple on my behind.

Gerald said...

God strengthened King and in turn, King strengthens us. "Stand up for justice, stand up for truth, stand up for peace. And I will be at your side forever" -- the message spoken to King but a message intended, I believe, for all of us. King staked his life on it and we can too. We can confidently embrace it as God's leading of you and me toward prophetic work, a message uttered to all as to one.

This past November on our way to the School of America's protest, we swung by King's modest house in Montgomery, open now to the public. I moved gravely through the dining and living rooms, and then paused a few moments in King's study to examine his ancient record collection.

And then I entered the kitchen, the place of King's greatest spiritual experience. I lingered a good while and invoked the God of encouragement. And soon there descended a spirit of gratitude -- for King and for God's urging and care and support.

Let us take God's words to heart and, like King, speak out for justice and peace, come what may. If we do, one day, I believe, we shall celebrate the abolition of racism, poverty, war and nuclear weapons. And we will celebrate, with King, the God of peace and God's non-violent reign.

Gerald said...

A priest who stood up for peace will be on trial in Nazi America. If you have any doubt that we are a fascist state, then you are a fool!!!!!

Fr. John Dear will stand trial in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M. next week, Jan. 25, for his Sept. 26 protest against the Iraq war.

Let us all say a prayer for Fr. John Dear!!! Let God enter the courtroom as the Judge of Mercy!!!

Gerald said...

Did war with Iran commence on January 12, 2007?

kathleen said...

Last week I also heard Howard Dean wimp out on Chris Matthews when asked about the possibility of a pre-emtpive and illegal attack on Iran. It was disturbing. Only Kucinich has been willing to say 'THERE IS NO HARD EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THE CLAIMS BEING REPEATED ABOUR IRAN'S "ALLEGED NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM" DEJA FUCKING VU!

January 15, 2007
It's All About Iran
Washington wants war…
by Justin Raimondo
As American troops storm what is, or was, an Iranian consulate – at least that's what the Iraqi government calls it, in spite of American denials – and the president accuses Tehran of arming and aiding Iraqi insurgents, the answer to the question "Why are we in Iraq?" should begin to dawn on even the dullest. The answer: Iran. We're in Iraq so we can go after the mullahs in Tehran, and, perhaps, those other Ba'athists in Syria.

All indications point to a strike at the Iranians before Bush leaves office. The appointment of a Navy guy, Adm. William J. "Fox" Fallon, at present head of the U.S. Pacific Command, to oversee U.S. operations in the Middle East, is widely seen as a sign that war with Iran is on the table, if not yet a sure thing. A U.S. attack on Iran would be a naval and air operation, and Fallon, a former deputy director for operations with Joint Task Force Southwest Asia in Riyadh, is surely qualified for the job. As Pat Buchanan put it, "What Fallon does not know about securing streets, he does know about taking out targets from the air and keeping sea lanes open in a time of war."

Seymour Hersh reported on the gathering storm over Iran last year, and now we may have more concrete evidence that something big is afoot. Laura Rozen, writing in The American Prospect, says that a presidential "finding," or perhaps a secret White House directive may have been issued:

Justin RAimando, Pat Buchanan, Seymour Hersch and others have been saying Iran for a very long time.

kathleen said...

Aipac has recently added some new things to their agenda, that is besides regime change in the middle east:

Iran Ramping Up Nuclear Work
Iran said Monday that it is installing 3,000 centrifuges—machines used to enrich uranium, a key step toward developing atomic arms—at a nuclear installation in the city of Natanz, the Associated Press reported. The new centrifuges will allow Iran to move forward with large-scale enrichment. Their installation is the latest sign that Tehran intends to continue its defiance of the U.N. Security Council, which has unanimously imposed sanctions of the Islamic Republic to slow its pursuit of atomic weapons.

Lawmakers Urge Arrests in Hizballah Bombing
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) sent a letter to Interpol this week questioning the international police agency’s ongoing investigation into the terrorist army Hizballah’s 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Aid Association. The letter urged that arrests be made for the warrants issued by Argentina. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds wounded in the country’s worst terrorist attack. On Oct. 25, a team of Argentine prosecutors formally charged Iran and Hizballah with the bombing, accusing the Iranian authorities of directing Hizballah to carry it out and calling for the arrest of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and seven others.

House Members Call for U.N. Prosecution of Ahmadinejad
Members of the House of Representatives have introduced a resolution calling on the U.N. Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the U.N. Charter by calling for Israel’s destruction. The resolution notes that Ahmadinejad has similarly violated the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which 133 member states signed after World War II in an expression of collective determination to prosecute individuals who commit or incite to commit genocide. The resolution also condemns Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust and Iran’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons. Introduced by Reps. Steven Rothman (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), the measure has 24 co-sponsors to date.

Bush Endorses Magen David Adom’s Admission to Red Cross
President Bush has signed into law a bill implementing the agreement under which the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement admitted Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency medical service. The act extends U.S. legal protection to MDA’s Red Crystal symbol. It was introduced in the House by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and championed in the Senate by Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

Israeli Government to Include Arab Minister
Raleb Majadele, an Arab member of Israel’s Knesset, has been appointed science and technology minister, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported. Majadele said his promotion “expresses the integration and representation of the Arab community in the State of Israel,” which is alone among the nations of the Middle East in offering full political rights to all racial and religious minorities. An Arab parliamentarian also serves as the Knesset’s deputy speaker.

kathleen said...

Had never read this article

April 24, 2006
Let the AIPAC Spy Trial Begin
Why prosecuting Weissman and Rosen matters
by Grant F. Smith
Judge T.S. Ellis III has offered a rare second opportunity to the Rosen and Weissman defense team. They again made their case that the indictment of the two former AIPAC lobbyists was "trampling on their 1st Amendment rights." Although Judge Ellis established an August 2006 trial date, he continues to consider a motion to dismiss charges altogether.

In a similar March 2006, hearing, the defense concentrated on portraying the 1917 Espionage Act as fundamentally flawed and unconstitutional. The indictment charges Rosen and Weissman with violating sections of the Act by having "unlawful possession" of "information relating to the national defense." Written in 1917 and never updated, the Espionage Act does not use the term "classified" when referring to national defense information. The law's musty antiquity offers the defendants abundant openings for attack.

The mainstream press has come to the aid of Rosen and Weissman by promulgating the "slippery slope" argument. The Washington Post has argued more than once that the charges leveled against two foreign lobbyists run amok could soon be

kathleen said...

Oh yeah Israel wants Peace...

Israel to expand key West Bank settlement despite 'road map' prohibition
Jan 15 9:22 AM US/Eastern
JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli government published plans Monday to build 44 homes in Israel's largest West Bank settlement, violating a pledge to the United States as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in the region on a peace-seeking mission.
A senior U.S. official, meanwhile, said Rice will attend a three-way summit with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the coming weeks.

The Housing Ministry published ads in Israeli newspapers asking developers to bid on the construction project in Maaleh Adumim, a community of more than 30,000 people outside Jerusalem.

Freezing settlement construction in the West Bank is a key element of the long-stalled "road map" plan for Mideast peace, which both Israel and Rice championed vigorously in public statements during her three- day visit.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, who was travelling with Rice, said he wasn't aware of the bid. But he added: "Our policy hasn't changed."

In a published interview, Rice expressed general U.S. displeasure with settlement expansion.

"We are very committed to the road map and to the obligations there, and I talk all the time to the Israelis about their activity that is prohibited by the road map," Rice told the Palestinian newspaper Al- Quds.

Palestinians, who are to gain independence under the peace plan, vehemently oppose any Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, claiming all of the territory as part of their future state.

"Building 44 new houses in the Maaleh Adumim settlement is one more Israeli violation of signed agreements with the Palestinians," said Khalil Tofakji, a former Palestinian negotiator, referring to accords signed over the years in Oslo and Cairo.

Kobi Bleich, the Israeli Housing Ministry spokesman, said the timing of the bid's publication was motivated by professional considerations, and had no connection to the visit of foreign dignitaries.

"As soon as the Housing Ministry gets legal authorization to issue a bid, it does," Bleich said.

While the U.S. officially remains opposed to all settlement construction, Bush has signalled his support for allowing Israel to keep major settlement blocs, including Maaleh Adumim, under a final peace settlement. Most of the 250,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank live in such blocs.

Under the road map, all Israeli construction was to have halted in the West Bank, including new construction to account for the natural growth of existing populations. But Israel has continued building in Maaleh Adumim and other settlements since the road map was presented in June 2003.

The work includes a 53-kilometre loop around Maaleh Adumim, now being built, that would virtually cut the West Bank in half.

Settlement expansion was one of the reasons the road map foundered soon after it was presented. The plan also calls on the Palestinians to dismantle militant groups, a step they have failed to take.

Also Monday, a senior U.S. official in Rice's delegation said the "trilateral meeting" will be aimed at "having a conversation about the political horizon leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state."

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters on the record.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, confirmed the Israeli leader had agreed "in principle" to attend the summit. But she said no date or place had been set.

The U.S. official said the meeting would likely take place in the next three or four weeks somewhere in the Middle East.

capt said...

New thread!

Saladin said...

Smoke and mirrors everywhere I look. Don't trust anyone.