Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why people should read a frickin book every once in a while

Tim at Balloon Juice:
Convinced that the student revolution left Iran’s oil fields undefended, Saddam Hussein tried and failed to make a quick grab for the border provinces. After some skirmishing Hussein essentially pulled back and hoped that the Mullahs would let bygones be bygones. They didn’t. Iran sent everything it had after Iraq, with or without equipment and training, over and over again....

Anyhow, just a random thought on a Thursday afternoon. I’m sure that Iran will prove perfectly pliable to American intimidation, especially if we throw in a bombing raid or two. If that doesn’t work, well, bygones.
Rob at MyBlahg:
All that remains is the casus belli to whip the warhawks into another war fever; which for America can either come in the form of a justifiable one such as Pearl Harbour or a bogus one such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Ah, Tonkin. It's now well-established that the Tonkin gulf was, at best, a collossal fuckup by the US Navy, and at worst a deliberate falsification (though the evidence for deliberate lies is pretty thin these days.) What's less understood is that, in fact, the US had been launching covert attacks from US naval assets against North Vietnam for years before the Tonkin Gulf incident. So the North Vietnamese had plenty of reasons to assume the Maddox was hostile in 1964.

Back in the US, where the public and most of Congress had been kept ignorant of the CIA and Pentagon's work in Indochina, the Tonkin Gulf was seen as an unprovoked attack -- it was nothing of the sort. Meanwhile in the present, there's been constant rumours that the US has covert forces in Iran since last summer.

And, also via Robert, this at Glenn Greenwald's place makes me feel like I'm not paranoid enough:
  • Israel's Prime Minister "accidentally" ending decades of nuclear ambiguity by unambiguously acknowledging Israel's nuclear arsenal;

  • New Defense Secretary Robert Gates's extraordinary departure -- the very same week -- from long-standing protocol by explicitly describing Israel as a nuclear power;

  • The arrest by the U.S. military of senior Iranian military officials in Iraq;

  • The announced build-up of forces in the Persian Gulf back in December, the purpose of which -- according to Bush officials -- "is to make clear that the focus on ground troops in Iraq has not made it impossible for the United States and its allies to maintain a military watch on Iran" (UPDATE: As well as this incident revealing the placement of a nuclear-powered submarine in the Straits of Hormuz);

  • The leaking by the Israeli military that Israel was developing plans for an attack on Iran using small-grade, limited tactical nuclear weapons. Though the leak was done in such a way as to create plausible deniability as to its significance -- the leak was to a discredited newspaper and leaks that a country has "planned" for a certain type of attack are commonplace and do not mean they are actually going to attack -- the leak was nonetheless deliberate and caused the phrases "Israeli nuclear attack" and "Iran" to be placed into the public dialogue, at exactly the time that tensions have been deliberately heightened between the U.S./Israel and Iran -- the purpose of which is almost certainly not a planned nuclear attack by Israel on Iran, but a ratchering up of the war rhetoric;

  • Increasingly explicit advocacy by neoconservatives in the U.S. for a war with Iran, as reflected by the recent Washington Post Op-Ed by Joe Lieberman in which he really did declare that the U.S. is already at war with Iran ("While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran");

  • in the later stages of 2006, the President's most prominent neoconservative supporters becoming increasingly explicit about their advocacy of war with Iran;

  • The transparent and deliberate use by the President throughout the last several months of 2006 of highly threatening and accusatory language towards Iran that is identical in content and tone to the language he used towards Iraq in the months immediately preceding the U.S. invasion -- often verbatim identical.

No comments: