April 24, 2006

IF YOU EVER DOUBT HIS SPECIAL PROVIDENCE, RECALL WE SURVIVED THIS CLOWN (via Pepys):

Been there, done that: Talk of a U.S. strike on Iran is eerily reminiscent of the run-up to the Iraq war. (Zbigniew Brzezinski, April 23, 2006, LA Times)

IRAN'S ANNOUNCEMENT that it has enriched a minute amount of uranium has unleashed urgent calls for a preventive U.S. airstrike from the same sources that earlier urged war on Iraq. If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there also will be immediate charges that Iran was responsible in order to generate public hysteria in favor of military action.

But there are four compelling reasons against a preventive air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities:

First, in the absence of an imminent threat (and the Iranians are at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war. If undertaken without a formal congressional declaration of war, an attack would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s).


It's nonsense, of course, but were it really the case that a Democrat wouldn't attack Iranian nuclear facilities, or any other such enemy, without the UN okay they'd never win another election. Giving France, China, and Russia a veto over our national interest would be an act of political suicide. The reality is that a President Gore or Kerry would be likewise preparing an attack and the only difference is that they'd have the full support of the other party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 24, 2006 12:01 AM
Comments

The President Gore who ran in 2000 might. But the current version? Or Johnny one-note who still can't admit that he was wrong about Vietnam in 1971?

Posted by: Steve at April 24, 2006 12:29 AM

"If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there also will be immediate charges that Iran was responsible in order to generate public hysteria in favor of military action."

Of course, there could be an alternative logic. If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, now that we have disarmed Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya, then it's pretty likely that Iran or North Korea is the perpetrator. Unless I've been sleeping while Rwanda obtained nuclear capability.

Wasn't it Bismark who said God looks after idiots and the United States? Mr. Brzezinski proves both of Bismark's axioms.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at April 24, 2006 1:09 AM

I'm searching for the right Polish joke here.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 24, 2006 1:42 AM

I have no confidence that a President Gore or a President Kerry or a President Clinton (either one) wouldn't let the UN control his/her response to another 9/11. However, if anyone within the US--senator, public intellectual, or lowly blogger--dissented from that policy and called for ignoring or bypassing the UN, the full weight of the Carville/Begalla attack machine would be unleashed.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 24, 2006 6:26 AM

Steve:

Recall that they'd get to be the ones waging it.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 7:28 AM

Taking Brezinski's advice on national security is like taking Captain Smith's recommendation on cruises.

Posted by: Mikey at April 24, 2006 7:52 AM

Since Americans believe in foregiveness and have short-term memories, it may be that sometime in the future the country will have to elect a Democrat in the Gore/Kerry mode to the White House, just to remind everyone of their fecklessness in the face of a major world crisis (though I still believe had President Gore been in office in 2001, he would have responded similarly to what Bush did, if only because not to do so would have created quite possible the most enormous voter backlash in American history, that would have left the Democrats with Gore, the mayors of Washington D.C. and San Francisco, and not much else after the 2002 midterms).

Posted by: John at April 24, 2006 9:28 AM

I think the ideas presented in this blog item misrepresent the real issue of the intelligent goal of reconciliation of national with U.N./"international" will and interests. There is certainly an ideal, shared-values middle road which lies somewhere between "fecklessness" and brazenly insulting the moral sensibilities of those who might otherwise be our friends around the world.

I'll take that back: With the application of a modicum of good will, combined with a healthy apetite for creative problem-solving, there are probably an uncountable number of interesting avenues for achieving over-the-table, reasonable national objectives for security and open markets, while not sticking it in the eye of decent civilized people around the planet. This isn't fecklessness; it's called being honest and aboveboard--unfortunately, not the balliwick of politicians in general, and certainly not of the Bushites specifically.

Posted by: Ron A. Zajac at April 24, 2006 10:27 AM

Ron,

You just gave us the policy of Chamberlain in the 1930's and we all know what a bum decision that one was!!

Posted by: dick at April 24, 2006 10:40 AM

Mr. Zajac:

That's quite wrong. Our enemies, the immoral members of the Security Council (China, france and Russia), can stop the UN from being used for decent ends. Massive reform would be required before it could be truly useful.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 10:53 AM

The UN is a trade association for tyrranies.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 24, 2006 10:57 AM

Ron:

Is this your "nuanced" way of of saying that you have no clue what to do? To me, you have not suggested any path to any solution, except talk, talk, talk...

Posted by: sam at April 24, 2006 10:59 AM

I love this false dichotomy. If the US seek international support for invasion, it is providing the UN or, even worse! France!!, with a veto over American actions. Yeah, right, that's how the UN, and the world, works.

Oh, and you forgot the other three reasons Brzezinski gives for why invading Iran would be insane. I guess they were irrefutable:

"Iranian reactions would significantly compound ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps precipitate new violence by Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly elsewhere, and in all probability bog down the United States in regional violence for a decade or more. Iran is a country of about 70 million people, and a conflict with it would make the misadventure in Iraq look trivial.

"Third, oil prices would climb steeply, especially if the Iranians were to cut their production or seek to disrupt the flow of oil from the nearby Saudi oil fields. The world economy would be severely affected, and the United States would be blamed for it. Note that oil prices have already shot above $70 per barrel, in part because of fears of a U.S.-Iran clash.

"Finally, the United States, in the wake of the attack, would become an even more likely target of terrorism while reinforcing global suspicions that U.S. support for Israel is in itself a major cause of the rise of Islamic terrorism. The United States would become more isolated and thus more vulnerable while prospects for an eventual regional accommodation between Israel and its neighbors would be ever more remote."

Posted by: tristero at April 24, 2006 11:34 AM

tristero:

Are you unfamiliar with how the UN functions? When Colin Powell and Tony Blair qwere given permission to seek anm additional resolution for the Iraq war the French did effectively veto it after promising to support the war:

http://www.kentimmerman.com/2004_04_20krt-foxnews.htm


there didn't seem any need to continue to the other points since the first was dispositive, but if you wish to:

(1) There would be no conflict with Iran. We'd just take out the nuclear facilities which would be so embarrassing for them as to likely destabilize the regime.

(2) The Iranians can't afford not to pump oil. Their regime has so attrited the rest of the economy that's all they have left.

(3) We do support the democracy in Israel against its tyrannical and terroristic neighbors and we are isolated to the Axis of Good. Currying favor with the Axis of Evil would make us evil.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 11:48 AM

tristero:

Some people and ideas are so manifestly wrong that it isn't worth the time to refute them. The UN, Zbig, Ramsey Clark, and Robert Strange McNamara come to mind.

Posted by: ratbert at April 24, 2006 11:52 AM

It's difficult to give any credence to Brzezinski, author of Carter's foreign policy, dare I say it, quagmire.

Been There, Done That. Yes indeed he has and that's why nobody pays attention to him anymore.

Posted by: erp at April 24, 2006 11:53 AM

There would be no conflict with Iran. We'd just take out the nuclear facilities which would be so embarrassing for them as to likely destabilize the regime.

Aside from the otherwise lack of understanding of what's really going on in this situation, this statement is the biggest unsubstantiated (and false) assertion I have yet to see regarding possible attacks on Iran.

Tell me, OJ - just how will we do this? Nuclear "bunker busters"?

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 11:53 AM

Gravatar:

Sure, if necessary, though they probably aren't needed.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 11:56 AM

OJ,

Keep dreaming. In your fantasy world (where rose petals are a guarantee), we're just going to drop a couple of nuclear bunker buster bombs, the population and regime of Iran is just going to shrink in shame and collapse, and the whole problem is taken care of! No repurcussions from incursions and/or outright support of the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistatn, no world condemnation, no need to actually verify that the bombs actually accomplished the goal with a ground presence, no need to worry about a muslim backlash worldwide, no worries about the HUGE increase in the price of oil and it's implications!
Why don't you get on the phone with our JCOSs and advise them on this ingenious plan.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 12:05 PM

Contrary to what might be taken from my last post, I do know the difference between its and it's - that in addition to various other usage errors.

Just calling them out before that becomes the ad-hominem mode of refutation.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 12:09 PM

Gravatar:

The population hates their president and wants nuclear energy, not weapons. They'd be only too glad to see the back end of him.

If Iranians showed up to "help" the Afghans they'd kill them.

World condemnation? Oooh, scary.

Their bomb program is too primitive to worry about much, but bombing it would make it trivial even if you didn't take out 100%.

We should certainly do North Korea at the same time so that it's clear the strike is anti-proliferation, not anti-Muslim.

Oil prices go up. Oil prices go down. We adjust.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:11 PM

No one cares about your grammar--its' your ideology we make fun of.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:13 PM

What Gravatar says, to which I will add:

1. If Bush drops atomic bombs, it will horrify the world, including at least one half of the United States. Big deal, you say? Think again. The rest of the world will move as one to completely isolate the US economically and politically, causing havoc in our markets. As for the US, the best and the brightest will simply get up and leave, refusing to countenance an America that has fallen so far from its values as to privilege religious fanaticism over reason, dictatorship over democracy, torture over due process, and Bushism over patriotism.

2. Who sez these atomic bombs won't go astray, perhaps even accidentally on purpose? Just what the world needs, a mushroom cloud over an Iranian city. And for no reason that is in the interest of the United States.

Posted by: tristero at April 24, 2006 12:17 PM

tristero:

Money talks, the French walk. No one's going to boycott the only economy that matters. Getting rid of the intellectuals isn't that easy, sadly.

You don't really understand how this strike would work do you? It's not Hiroshima redux.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:21 PM

Let's talk about the possible concequences of nuclear strike on Iran. No one is talking about it, but the favored option with deal with Iran seems to be bombing nuclear sites with so-called "tactical nuclear weapons". These bombs, though smaller than our normal nukes, are many times bigger than the relatively puny things that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

If you ask the insane people in the Bush administration, they will tell you that tactical nukes are well "contained", but we need to remember that these people are habitual bald-faced liars. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, one of these babys will kill every living within a 100 mile radius. Deadly fallout could endanger areas from Israel in the west to India in the east including our troops in Iraq. Any attack on Iran will enflame the hatred of America among our erstwhile allies in Iraq, the Shiite muslims. We would virtually be without any friends there, making a contiued occupation impossible. Iran has a huge army that may be capable of cutting off supply lines from Kuwait to our troops in Baghdad.

A worst case scenario is about 3 million dead, untold generational damage from nuclear radiation and a desperate airlift to try to get our troops out of hellish situation in Iraq. Oh, and the price of oil would go up. That might even be enough to wake Americans up.

Nuking a country that doesn't have nukes is criminal by any civilized standard.

Posted by: Randy at April 24, 2006 12:30 PM

We should certainly do North Korea at the same time so that it's clear the strike is anti-proliferation, not anti-Muslim.


'Nuff said, OJ. Are you blogging from an asylum?

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 12:31 PM

oj,

Ah, yes, the "Iranians hate their president and want to see him gone" argument, just like the Iraqis hated Saddam, not recognizing that the situation can't be reduced to such a simplistic either/or.

But ok, let's just assume for the moment that you do have the polls to back this up beyond any shadow of a doubt and that Ahmanidijad has exactly zero support. Your argument is still utterly fallacious.

Let's not forget how much you Republicans and righties loathed Bill Clinton. Using your logic, had the Iranians attacked the US in, say, 1998, Clinton would have been so embarassed he would have been forced to resign. And using your logic, Bush would have been forced to resign on September 12, 2001. Or if Iran attacks the US sometime in the future, Bush will be forced to resign.

But it won't ever, ever happen. Why? Because as much as you might have loathed Clinton, an unprovoked attack from an external country unites that country behind its leader, even an incompetent and corrupt one like George W. Bush. In Iran, which has a far more autocratic and theocratic government even than George Bush's America, would simply whip up the nationalist/religious meme's to create a frenzy of hatred against the US.

Posted by: tristero at April 24, 2006 12:34 PM

Oh, and I hope the US Navy doesn't have any ships in the Persian Gulf at the time of your Rapture-Hawk dual Iran/North Korea attack fantasy.

Why don't you do some research on Iranian missile technology?

But then, you aren't serious right? This is your feeble attempt to rid your blog of "trolls" with fantastical, unrealistic, doomsday scenarios delivered with a big smiley face!

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 12:36 PM

Randy:

That's just silly. We likely don't even need to use nukes but what better purpose could they serve than guaranteeing that evil regimes don't get nukes of their own. Was it immoral to use superior weapons on the Nazis?

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:36 PM

gravatar:

No, from a democratic republic--everyone should get to live in one.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:37 PM

tristero:

Yes, as the recent votes have demonstrated the Sunni are only about 20% of the population of Iraq and while likely half of them opposed Saddam we know the other 80% did.

No, had Iran attacked America we'd just annihilate them. But if we attack Iran there's nothing they can do about it. Ahmedinejad is punching over his weight class by a considerable margin.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:40 PM

Gravatar:

The nearness that is required for them to launch any kind of counter-attack puts paid to your notion that they're a serious threat.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:42 PM

The Muslims already have nukes in Pakistan. Attacking Iran, which is 5 to 10 years away from even being able to produce one nuke could quite possibly set off a reaction in the muslim world that would lead to the downfall of Musharef, putting nukes in the hands of the mullahs in Pakistan. Trusting such a complex set of interrelationships to the Bush administration, who couldn't even see, or chose not to see the inevitable concequences of our Iraqi invasion is the definition of insanity. If you listen to them, they'd have you believe that an attack on Iran from the US would lead to a rebellion and the downfall of the current leadership. That sounds a lot like the Iraqi "flowers and sweets" poppycock we were hearing 3 years ago.

Posted by: Randy at April 24, 2006 12:47 PM

It's NOT HIroshima redux? How do you know, oj? Would you move your family within fifty miles of a nuclear bomb strike of the type you imagine for Iran, even if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would hit exactly where it was intended to hit? Of course, you wouldn't. There's no such thing as "surgical" or "tactical" nuclear strikes. They are atomic bombs.

Scientific American, several years ago, had a very good article on these bombs. Bottom line: thye might not even work as bunker busters.

As for the US being the only economy that matters, I wonder why Bush was so eager to hold hands with Saudi Arabian leaders. Or why any attempt to have benchmarks calculated in euros rather than dollars is greeted with serious alarm. Or whether the Chinese, who hold so much US debt, agrees with you.

The truth is that the world is a network of interconnected economies. The world will not stand for a US that launches a nuclear first strike against another country in the face of no imminent threat. Should Bush drop an atomic bomb, the world will assume, rightly, that the US is being run by psychopaths. As will one half, if not much more, of the American public itself. The worldwide consequences, and the consequences here in the US, will be devastating.

Don't kid yourself, oj, the US economy depends on the world economy to a far greater extent than you appear to understand. You, too, would not want to live in the US after Bush orders a first strike attack with atomic bombs.

Posted by: tristero at April 24, 2006 12:48 PM

Randy:

We should certainly conduct a joint operation with India to deprive Pakistan of its nukes.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:52 PM

tristero:

Because Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terror bombings, designed to kill as many people as possible and destroy as much infrastructure as possible to force a surrender. We could obviously do Teheran and Qom if we wanted to, but we don't.

We'll use rather limited and relatively non-lethal bombings to damage what is already not much of a nuclear program. It's mostly symbolic, but establishing the prinmciple that our stated enemies can't have nukes is a worthy symbol.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 12:54 PM

You'd think if this was such a national emergancy, the state department would be working with Iran instead of letting the europeans and russians do the talking. We are already giving the UN council veto power by not involving ourselves in the negotiations.

Posted by: CDB at April 24, 2006 1:02 PM

OJ, Pakistan HAS nukes now. What are you suggesting, nulear war between a US/India alliance and Pakistan? You right wing looneys are sure hell bent on setting off WWIII.

Posted by: Randy at April 24, 2006 1:03 PM

Randy:

No, I'm suggesting that we interdict the Pakistani nukes before they ever can be used. The Indian military has trained extensively for such scenarios.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 1:08 PM

CDB:

There's nothing to negotiate.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 1:09 PM

I'm just entertained by the fact that none these various trolls have any clue how bunker-busters work. It's unclear why anyone should take their assertions on any other subjects seriously, either.

Posted by: Timothy at April 24, 2006 1:20 PM

Um, well to get down to the level where the Iranians keep their installations they will have to use nukes. The theory with bunker busting nukes is that the fallout will be contained withing the casing of the target. Actual nuclear tests have shown that this is not the case. A "Smokestacking" effect occurs whereby the the fallout escapes through the big hole in the ground. Of course if you don't mind a bit of "mass destruction", this is quite acceptable, but please count me out.

Posted by: Randy at April 24, 2006 1:54 PM

Randy:

Not according to the experts we don't need them and if we do some collateral damage is certainly acceptable. Being an enemy of the West and developing WMD should have dire consequences.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 2:00 PM

I was going to make a snarky comment about the original post's final line with something to the effect of "and we would have the military strength in reserve to handle any contigencies" which we certainly do not have now. In following the the comments, however, I have learned:
1. Maybe we should nuke north korea at the same time to prove we aren't anti-islamic racists.
2. Maybe we should get together with India and take out Pakistan to secure their nukes
3. Tactical nukes don't really kill very many people.
4. And we won't need tactical nukes anyway.
5. And the world won't really notice if we use them.
I would have to ask the authors of the above comments, especially OJ, to refrain from writing anymore until they have taken a good World History Course, focusing on geopolitics from a historical, not faith based, perspective. You guys are scary.
jeff
PS: A military history and tactics course, I mean something besides playing Call of Duty on your PC, would help also. Something where you read about how bad military decisions kill people and they don't wake up.

Posted by: jeff at April 24, 2006 2:06 PM

jeff:

The primary lesson of every American military conflict is that it was our failure to act from our position of strength that led to later disastrous results--not finishing off the South, the Bolsheviks and Germans in WWI, the Soviets in WWII, North Korea, North Vietnam, Saddam, etc. There is no instance where we failed to benefit from acting early and decisively.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 2:13 PM

oj, again you are failing to understand that actions carry consequences, sometimes very dire consequences. Your solution seems to be more and more war, no matter what.

I'm not really sure what you mean by "not finishing off the South". If by that you meant that if the north had killed off a few hundred thousand more southerners, the south may not have such an un-proportional control of national politics today, I might be willing to entertain such a notion.

Posted by: Randy D at April 24, 2006 2:33 PM

Yeah I remember how much the other party supported Clinton when he bombed the last vestiges of Saddam's WMD manufacturing facilties in December 1998 in response to Saddam harrassing the inspectors out of the country the month before. The wag the dog outrage was deafening, even the then governor of Texas got in on the act though I doubt he could find Baghdad on a map.

The fact of the matter is the same bunch responsible for the debacle in Iraq has turned down multiple overtures from Iran regarding their nuclear program and despite public pronouncements to the contrary seems bound and determined to gin up excuses for a military attack. Such an attack will have nothing to do with a serious Iranian military threat and everything to do with the Republican party's lack of other options to stem Democratic victories in the House and Senate this fall.


Posted by: Mark Garrity at April 24, 2006 2:39 PM

Randy:

it wasn't necessary to kill anyone else in the South, just to make those who remained grant full rights to the freed slaves and to give blacks the wherewithal to succeed in the following years. By allowing the imposition of segregation we rendered the war itself rather futile.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 2:40 PM

Mr. Garrity:

In fact it was the GOP that egged Bill Clinton on to regime change Iraq by the late 90s, though he settled for lobbing missiles. And George Bush left little doubt during the campaign that he'd remove Saddam one way or the other. 9-11 was just a convenient pretext.

Likewise the Republican leadership and Governor Bush supported Clinton in the Balkans.

The GOP remains loyal whebn a Democrat takes the country to war, but sadly not vice versa.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 2:50 PM

Ok, trolls/dissenters/Chomskybots/reality-based community/whatever you prefer to be called, let's hear your suggestion for what to do.

Really, seriously, lay out a proposal. Define your objective, and your means for getting there.

That said, I would respectfully suggest that reliance on the UN and the "world community" is not a viable strategy. You seem to be presuming that the UN will act transparently and in good faith. If the Oil-for-Food fiasco proves anything, it proves that the UN can be bought, and bought cheaply. (If bribery were moral, Kofi Annan would be the best bargain on the planet.) I have no faith in the supposition that the tyrants of Beijing or the corrupt plutocrats of Moscow or the elitist snobs of Paris--not to mention the folks in charge in Damascus, Pyongyang, Rangoon, Havana, or Tehran--would act in good faith, in the best interests of the world at large, considering matters dispassionately and objectively on the merits. The UN is largely run by people who, at best, have no serious objection to seeing you and me lying dead under an Islamofascist's mushroom cloud, especially if it brings down the power of the US a notch or two--and who would feel that way even if this was the second year of the first term of John Forbes Kerry, 44th President of the United States.

Oh, and please stop with the cracks about the supposed historical ignorance of the Brothers Judd community. Having been a regular reader and participant at this site for four or five years, I'd say there's at least as much collective expertise on military history and geopolitics among the "regulars" here as in your average Department of History--and a greater range of ideologies.

Speaking just for myself, I've never been in the military, but I've always been fascinated by the subject, and I've got the bookshelf to prove it. (Last book read: Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully, Shattered Sword: the Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.) I'd never claim to be the best-informed man in Juddland, but I fully understand (to the extent I can without direct experience) that bad military decisions do kill people. I would point out that bad decisions are not exclusively decisions to apply force--refraining from action, leaving tyrants unmolested, sometimes that gets people killed, too. Don't believe me: just ask all the folks in Bergen-Belsen who didn't live long enough to see the M4A3E8 my dad was riding bust through the camp fence.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 24, 2006 3:06 PM

Mike:

Was it really moral for him to use superior weapons to what the Nazis had?

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 3:09 PM

I would first suggest the initiation of some real, non UN (for the sake of the reich wingers) multi-lateral talks. Key in this proposition is the US taking the lead, and involving the parties most concerned with the issue: China, Russia, perhaps a delegate from the EU. If nobody wants to participate, we take part directly in diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

Ever notice that the US under Bush and the neo-cons only consults the UN when they feel that it is in their best interest? Ever notice that the US has not once attempted to negotiate with Iran, even though Iran has never once waged preemptive war on it's neighbors or threatened us directly? Could it be that perhaps the neo-cons' only aim in this whole thing is regime change in Iran?
Gee, with all those smart people at the CIA, I bet they could rig some elections there, engage in some Psy-Ops, or otherwise, non-militarily start the Iranian regime to wobble?

OR, here's a notion that you haven't even considered: Let things play out as they may. Iran is a member of the non-proliferation treaty. India and Israel are not. How about just excersise some good 'ol common sense and realize that it is FAR FAR FAR from Iran's best interest to ever initiate a nuclear attack on ANYONE, IF they ever even do develop weapons?

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 3:29 PM

OJ,
Perhaps they are right. Maybe we should wait until they prove they have the big one by dropping it in Tel Aviv or Baltimore or some other US blue city and then go to the UN for permission, after trying sanctions. I mean we've done it before. Why make the first move and illicit the worlds condemnation. That would makes us all feel terrible.

Posted by: Genecis at April 24, 2006 3:32 PM

Likewise the Republican leadership and Governor Bush supported Clinton in the Balkans.

It's stupid statements like that which are the reason that no intelligent debate can happen here.

1. "You can support the troops but not the president."
-Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

2. "Well, I just think itís a bad idea. Whatís going to happen is theyíre going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

3. "Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

4. [The] President...is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nationís armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

5. "American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
-Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

6. "If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy." -Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

7. "I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

8. "Victory means exit strategy, and itís important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 3:32 PM

But I'm not worried. Bush couldn't muster the needed votes in Congress to take the war to Iran, and if he went ahead with it anyway, you could count on years of Democratic rule in this country to follow.

Anyone interested in wagers, feel free to send me an email.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 3:37 PM

Gravatar:

Yes, the leadership -- Bush, McCain, Dole, and Gingrich -- all supported President Clinton's intervention.

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V115/N60/dole.60w.html

The talking heads may not have and there were specific criticisms of how he did certain things, just as folks criticize certain aspects of the Iraq intervention.


An attack on Iran wouldn't require congressional approval but he'd get it easily. Even the Left hates Iran.

For which of his actions did Bill Clinton wait for UN approval? None?

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 3:43 PM

You'd think if this was such a national emergancy, the state department would be working with Iran instead of letting the europeans and russians do the talking. We are already giving the UN council veto power by not involving ourselves in the negotiations.

Um, that's because they don't want to resolve this peacefully. Haven't we figured this out yet? Their ultimate goal is regime change.


As for the needed votes in Congress, please allow me a moment to stop laughing. In order to do so, they will have to manufacture another terrorist attack or attribute the insurgency in Iraq directly to the Iranian regime. Not likely.

I'm not the one who brought Clinton up, now am I? I think he was the best DINO POTUS ever.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 3:52 PM

gravatar:

No, State does want what you want. They'll accept any regime, no matter how evil, as long as it aids stability. It's the President who wants regime change.

Clinton was certainly the best Democrat President since Cleveland, not least because he ignored the UN and NATO.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 3:58 PM

Gravatar: you assume as a necessary premise to your proposal that the government of Iran (1) is a rational actor, (2) can be counted upon to negotiate in good faith and live up to its agreements, (3) values the lives of its citizens sufficiently to be deterred by the prospect of a city-busting exchange, and (4) doesn't mean what it says when it states that its ultimate objectives include wiping Israel and the United States off the map. None of those propositions is self-evident, and the available evidence flatly contradicts at least three of them.

OJ: Was it moral? You betcha.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 24, 2006 4:14 PM

The world will not stand for a US that launches a nuclear first strike against another country in the face of no imminent threat. So tris what exactly is THE WORLD going to do about it if we do?

oj. Can't you scare up some trolls who don't say silly things like that?

Posted by: erp at April 24, 2006 4:30 PM

Gravatar: you assume as a necessary premise to your proposal that the government of Iran (1) is a rational actor, (2) can be counted upon to negotiate in good faith and live up to its agreements, (3) values the lives of its citizens sufficiently to be deterred by the prospect of a city-busting exchange, and (4) doesn't mean what it says when it states that its ultimate objectives include wiping Israel and the United States off the map. None of those propositions is self-evident, and the available evidence flatly contradicts at least three of them.

I gave some proof. It was Iraq that attacked Iran. You must be kidding on the rest. If they launched a de-facto nuclear strike on Israel, they'd be wiped off the map themselves.
Furthermore, if Israel really sees this as a threat, let them do it themselves. Who's going to stop them? Hell, if they experience a huge upsurge of suicide bombings as a result, they finally have their excuse to just destroy the Palestinian territories and annex the rest of the land.
But I digress - you think that you can attack a country based strictly on your own paranoid fantasies? And we're supposed to believe that 9/11 justifies this. But wait - didn't the same group of people in PNAC who convinced Clinton to advocate regime change in Iraq previously call for the destabilization of the entire region for purposes of establishing American hegemony?
The problem with fearmongers and paranoid delusionals like the Iranian President (and you), is that you think we need to act RIGHT NOW based strictly on rhetoric, when it suits our interests. As stated CLEARLY several times before, Pakistan has proliferated, and is a Muslim country with huge anti-American sentiment lurking beneath the current regime there.
The whole fact is, you just don't have enough facts to act yet, and the American people are not going to buy another pre-emptive, oil based war which only serves the best interests of Israel.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 4:40 PM

Gravatar:

We're a great nation. It's our obligation to do Iran so that Israel doesn't have to.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 4:43 PM

OJ - I just hope those in charge of making such a complex and difficult decision are more rational and informed than those advocating for the immediate bombing of Iran here seem to be.
The US and Israel are not one in the same, and I hope you're willing to accept the consequences of such an action, and be able to accept an "I told you so, Idiot." when it all goes horribly wrong.


Otherwise, enjoy the Kool-Aid, and do some research on the implications.

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 4:50 PM

So tris what exactly is THE WORLD going to do about it if we do?

Go enlist then. And quit making the rest of us look bad with your playground bully level understanding of world affairs.

Is this blog a high school project?

Posted by: Gravatar at April 24, 2006 4:53 PM

Gravatar:

There's no immediate need to bomb them, but ample justification.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 4:58 PM

. . . pre-emptive, oil-based war which only serves the best interests of Israel.

A-ha, his true colors break out at the mainmast!

You appear to think Israel is running the United States by remote control . . . and yet you call me paranoid! I'd call that chutzpah with a capital "C," but that's a Yiddish word, and I wouldn't want you to feel insulted.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 24, 2006 5:28 PM

This discussion is apparently over but there is one thing omitted. That would be Pakistan's nuclear neutering. At the onset of the Afghanistan war we received Pakistan's arming codes which we subsequently altered to provide override authority. The intent was to keep terrorists hands off in the event of a spillover, or takeover, coup,etc, of Pakistans arms. Pakistan can't launch nuclear arms (without US assistance) presumably until total stability is achieved. Then the codes would be re-set at a future date, or never.

Posted by: Tew at April 24, 2006 5:45 PM

tristero:

If Bush drops atomic bombs, it will horrify the world...
As for the US, the best and the brightest will simply get up and leave, refusing to countenance an America that has fallen so far from its values...

What evidence do you have that such a mass exodus would happen ?
It's never happened before, despite ample brutal actions throughout American history that might have inspired "the best and brightest" to leave.

Remember how just two short years ago millions were going to flee to Canada or Europe, should Bush win re-election ?
How'd that turn out ?

I wonder why Bush was so eager to hold hands with Saudi Arabian leaders.

The U.S. has long-standing treaty obligations to defend Arabia.
Whether America should have a different relationship with Arabia is a valid question, but few sane people would suggest that we should simply walk away from them.

Or why any attempt to have benchmarks calculated in euros rather than dollars is greeted with serious alarm.

Because ever since America left the gold standard, the U.S. dollar has been essentially secured by M.E. oil, which, as you note, is priced in American dollars.

Or whether the Chinese, who hold so much US debt, agrees with you.

The Chinese only hold about $ 300 billion in U.S. debt. While that's a very large sum to them, being about 20% of their annual GNP, it's pocket change to America.

Randy:

[T]he favored option with deal with Iran seems to be bombing nuclear sites with so-called "tactical nuclear weapons". These bombs, though smaller than our normal nukes, are many times bigger than the relatively puny things that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No, they aren't. By definition, "tactical nukes" are designed to be used in theatre, where U.S. troops are operating. They're very small, by nuclear standards.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, one of these babys will kill every living within a 100 mile radius.

That's hilariously wrong.
You may be unaware of this, but the Union of Concerned "Scientists" is notorious for inflating the potential dangers from every possible threat, in an effort to gain publicity.

Nonetheless, many of them are indeed scientists, so you have either misquoted them, or misunderstood whatever they wrote.

The largest fusion warhead that the U.S. has wouldn't "kill every living within a 100 mile radius" - a bunker-busting baby nuke certainly wouldn't.

Deadly fallout could endanger areas from Israel in the west to India in the east including our troops in Iraq.

You've been watching too many SciFi horror movies.
Please read about the effects of fallout from Chernobyl, which produced far more than any tac nuke strike would, should you desire to be informed about this subject.

Iran has a huge army that may be capable of cutting off supply lines from Kuwait to our troops in Baghdad.

Iran could get millions of soldiers killed, but that's about it.
Air power, my friend, air power.

Without control of the skies, ground troops are toast. Remember '91's "Highway of Death" ?
I drove it soon afterwards, and it was a real-life "Mad Max" scenario - bullet-riddled vehicles were piled up ten feet high on both sides of the road.

Attacking Iran, which is 5 to 10 years away from even being able to produce one nuke...

Are they ?
Maybe they're two years away. Who knows ?
Only the Iranians, and they're not telling.

Um, well to get down to the level where the Iranians keep their installations they will have to use nukes.

No, we wouldn't.
We watched them dig their facilities with our satellites, and they're all less than 30' down.

Conventional explosives might do the trick, if delivered in quantity.

CDB:

You'd think if this was such a national emergancy, the state department would be working with Iran instead of letting the europeans and russians do the talking.

If the EU-3 and Russia can't get Iran to peacefully give up their nuke programme, what makes you think that U.S. negotiators could ?

Gravatar:

2. "Well, I just think itís a bad idea. Whatís going to happen is theyíre going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

Please note that IT'S BEEN TEN YEARS, and U.S. troops are still there.
Surprise, surprise.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2006 5:48 PM

Grav,

Nobody here is advocating bombing Iran unless it becomes absolutely necessary. As for being a bully, we're the adults here. We haven't used nukes and probably never will because we don't have to.

As for Israel, it would have been far better for all involved had Israel sent the aggressors all to paradise and their virgins forty years ago. By now all the Middle East would be an earthly garden and all faiths would be living in peace.

Do you have the answer my question to tris. What is the big bad world going to do about anything we decide to do? Stamp its foot and hold its breathe until it turns blue. Lucky for you and your fellows, you're under the president's protection as we all are.

To answer your question, I was graduated from high school in 1952. We didn't have internet based projects back then, so we were reduced to reading books. Same basic information, just not as conveniently displayed.

How 'bout yourself? Did you ever get a chance to get in any schooling?

Posted by: erp at April 24, 2006 6:05 PM

Snarky, Mrs. erp, very snarky. ;-)

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2006 6:22 PM

Let's first savor the irony of Gravatar starting out by anticipating an ad hominem attack of a kind we never make, and then moving straight to ad hominem attacks.

Next, let's note that Iran is clearly been violating the Nonproliferation Treaty. It has failed to disclose construction of nuclear facilities and has lied about the purpose of those facilities. Iran has been making clear nuclear threats against Israel. Iran had dealings with the Khan gang from Pakistan. On the other hand, Khameini has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons and the Iranians insist that their nuclear program is aimed solely at civilian nuclear power, a statement that, at Iran's current level of nuclear development, is impossible to disprove.

Now, reasonable minds can disagree on whether Iran is, in fact, trying to get a nuclear bomb. I think that it is more likely than not that they are, although not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, it can't be proven to the higher standard. So, how bad would it be if Iran got a bomb.

If the civil government and the Guardian Council both want to have a bomb without using it, that's not great, but it could be worse. If they both want to use the bomb -- and there's a decent argument that we should assume that to be the case -- then that is disastrous.

What about the middle case: one arm wants to use the bomb and the other doesn't. It's worth noting here that the current president of Iran is ill-educated, a member of the Revolutionary Guard (which cuts both ways, I suppose) and may be a member of a cult that believes that it can achieve the Muslim equivalent of imminentizing the eschaton.

However, because Iran probably is 5-10 years away from getting an actual bomb (assuming that the Norks don't sell them one; Gravatar's faith in Iranian missiles not being, perhaps, the strong argument against war that he believes), current personalities don't matter so much. What is bothersome is that Iran has, from the Revolution, a history of independent competing governments doing their best to absorb the other. It was the Ayatollah Khomeini's independent Revolutionary governments winning out over the secular government that followed the Shah that led to Irans odd two-track government structure. In other words, we can't necessarily assume, when negotiating with Iranians, that they represent the faction in control of whatever is the subject matter of the negotiations. We've already seen this problem arise in connection with Iran's individual safeguard agreement with IAEA.

Having concluded, then, that it is more likely than not that the Iranian government, or some faction thereof, is trying to development a nuclear bomb and both trust and negotiation are made difficult by the bifurcated nature of the Iranian government and the revolutionary precendent of competing governments, what should we do?

Should we negotiate one-on-one? That seems to be a hard case to make. First, as noted, we can't really know that we're negotiating with the right Iranians. This has already been a real problem for the United States in the original hostage crisis, the Iran-contra hostage crisis and with regard to the nuclear program. Second, this would be one of those situations in which just sitting down to negotiate is a loss. The only possible compromise between nukes and no nukes is nukes and why should Iran be able to leverage a threatened violation of the NPT into a better situation than other similarly situated nations?

We can have multilateral talks outside of the UN/IAEA structure. This is a possible route, but what's the point? It would undercut the UN and make the NPT even more of a paper dragon than it already is. Believe it or not, the right in this country is against that. Nor do we gain very much by not going through the UN. The US has very little leverage over Iran other than military threat. The EU, Japan and Russia have leverage, but the Iranians hate to be weak and seem capable of cutting off their nose to spite the face. Besides which, if we have the EU, Japan and Russia, why not go to the UN.

We could go to the UN. The assumption that the UN will be as useless when it comes to Iran as it was in Iraq is understandable, but not obviously correct. Russia and China are wedded to traditional notions of sovereignty, in which the international community has no right to interfere in the internal politics of a sovereign nation. The Russians and the French saw Iraq as a client state and saw the Ba'athist regime as a valuable trading partner. They stood to lose billions if the regime fell. These issues are all weaker when it comes to Iran.

Russian and China are nuclear weapons states under the NPT and want to keep that a meaningful distinction. Although Russia has helped Irans nuclear program, it is possible that it would allow the UN to enforce a program of inspections meant to keep the program peaceful even if that meant limiting Iran's sovereignty. China might well agree. France, desperate to hold on to any international prestige, has already said that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. It is not impossible that the Security Council will impose strict requirements on Iran's nuclear program. If we do go to the Security Council, remember that it was the presence of US troops on its borders that caused Iraq to cooperate as much as it did and allow the inspectors back into the country.

Clearly, going through the UN is the best of the alternatives available to us. But what if the UN fails?

The primary lesson of Viet Nam is to go in with overwhelming force. The primary lesson of 9/11 was that the US had to lower the threshold for taking military action. I submit that the fact that Iran is, more likely than not, developing nuclear weapons satisfies the threshold test for military action if diplomacy fails. The primary lesson of Iraq seems likely to be get in and get out. So, we should go in hard and fast, destroy what we need to destroy and get out.

Should we use nukes? That's a tactical decision and I don't have a strong opinion, but we should if that's what will allow us to accomplish the mission. Will the rest of the world react in horror? I don't think so. I think more people will be relieved than horrified, just as happened after Osirisk.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 24, 2006 6:33 PM

"What is the big bad world going to do about anything we decide to do?"

Thank You Ugly American. You're right, there's nothing to worry about. America is the only place that matters. Those people on the "outside" aren't American, and that's what's important. We will never be conquered, ever, for eternity. Because we're (cue music) AMERICAN. America can bomb whoever it wants, whenever. We should nuke everyone else, and then we can have the rest of the world as our playground, Earthmerica.

For being as old as you are, high school class of '52, you must have tried really hard to hold on to that appealing characteristic of ignorance. Very classy indeed.

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 7:35 PM

indo:

To the contrary, everyone matters. That's why we need to do right whether it's popular with the amoral Europeans or not.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 7:45 PM

(moral superior) oj:

tell that to erp.

And it's funny that you propose an open-minded ideal, just as you call Europeans 'amoral'. Yeah,
you really believe everyone matters, don't you.

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 8:34 PM

Yes, America believes in a universal ideal and our foreign policy is gradually extending it to cover everyone on Earth.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 8:43 PM

oj, you mean like Earthmerica?

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 9:10 PM

No, each nation will craft its own variant of a liberal democratic protestant capitalist system. But all men are entitled to live in such freedom.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 9:14 PM

ooooh, when will we get our version of the liberal democratic capitalist system, oj? And when you say all men, do you include the 'amoral' europeans? And with the iranians and north koreans, before or after they're nuked?

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 10:00 PM

indo:

Where do you live that you have such liberal internet access but not freedom? The Europeans already have theirs --secured by us in two world wars -- they just choose to use it selfishly.

The Iranians are almost there already--they just need a few discrete reforms to their system.

The North Koreans we ought to go help ASAP and should have saved fifty years ago.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 10:05 PM

oh, I see oj. You're using the term "help" as code. As in you see nothing selfish about America, but them damn euro-trash sure are. My question to you is where do you live that you have such liberal internet access but no REALITY?

and what is with your obsessive hatred of the euros?

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 10:38 PM

Yes, while America is liberating the Middle East the French middle class is out marching to protect their job entitlements.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 10:44 PM

Yes, while America is liberating the buttons on their pants because that fifth buffet trip just wasn't enough and now they can't fit into their size 50 inch waistline - malnutrition and starvation and disease are rampant throughout this earth you can't wait to convert into you're personal utopian Ameriworld. The inhabitants of those other lands don't like to see you gluttonous self-centered overindulgent pigs so much, not anyway, until you nuke em and make em turn into lil ole versions of you. Little mini-you(s). No, there's no hypocrisy there at all. Never. I mean, you wanna talk entitlements? W is your guy.

Posted by: indo at April 24, 2006 11:14 PM

indo:

Find someone starving somewhere and ask them if they're happy America isn't there yet. Then ask if they think Europe will ever come help.

Posted by: oj at April 24, 2006 11:19 PM

Gosh, this string if fun.

indo, Your world view is a wonder. We are quite the menace. Bombing indiscriminately, taking slaves, annexing territory, holding high tech weapons to people's heads to force them to imitate our life style, strong-arming millions of people making them come to the U.S. stuffed in trunks of cars, on makeshift rafts, in the holds of rickety ships all the way from the Far East and on and on.

We don't want any of your world for a playground. We, the People have everything we need right here. The world holds nothing for us. You might not have noticed, but it's the world who wants to come here to join us in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Only a handful of spoiled media brats want to leave here, but most come back after they've experienced life on the outside. Cue to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

It's way past this old geezerette's bedtime. Thanks to all the trolls (are you really all the same person, you sound remarkably alike) for providing such an entertaining day.

We can agree on one thing, W is our guy and God bless and keep him well.

Posted by: erp at April 24, 2006 11:42 PM

hey, oj, I think you got a great little idea there, maybe we could even call it a "crusade", no? And I know the perfect place to start asking the "Are you happy America isn't here" question: Vietnam - wouldn't that be perfect?
Although I don't even have to go very far to find a "someone starving somewhere", then again they're already in America, so the part about America "coming there" might be a little difficult to explain. But who cares about them, they're just stupid and lazy starving Americans - we've got some "liberating" of the world to do.

Posted by: indo at April 25, 2006 12:10 AM

hey Ugly American erp - once again pure class. "We, the People have everything right here. The World holds nothing for us." Gosh you're so worldly, so universal. Close minded? Nah, regular American ignorance of everything that's not American.

Posted by: indo at April 25, 2006 12:32 AM

Ah, the oh-so-worldly, oops, and "classy" sophisticate, here to tell the fat stupid Americans that they're fat and stupid.

How . . . original.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 25, 2006 12:47 AM

If Z Biggie-Big had done his job back in '79, there woudn't even be a President Ahcouldabeenacontendah of Iran.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Noel at April 25, 2006 12:57 AM

"We mustn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918."

indo: We'll follow our interests as we see them and you can do likewise. If the world is lucky, we'll win.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 25, 2006 1:59 AM

There are only four kinds of people who starve in America: Addicts, the insane, really, really, really stupid people, and unfortunately sometimes the children of those people.

It's a very minor problem, and not one that can ever be completely solved in a free society.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 25, 2006 5:43 AM

indo:

To the contrary, we welcome the world in as they flee their own dying cultures. We skim the cream.

Posted by: oj at April 25, 2006 7:48 AM

indo:

Yes, it is a Crusade and you should start in Vietnam. You'd find folks desperate to be friends with the US and happy that our relationship appears promising, though we'll need to reform their government for it to blossom.

No one starves in Americas who doesn't choose to.

Posted by: oj at April 25, 2006 7:50 AM

indo, I don't think I'm an ugly American, in fact, I've been told I'm pretty cute, but you must decide for yourself, here's erp.

Posted by: erp at April 25, 2006 4:21 PM

OJ you're wrong about Repub support for Clinton bombing Iraq and Serbia and a simple google search proves it. On top of that neither Hussein or Milosevic would have had the guts to start trouble
in the first place if it hadn't been for the hairbrained Republican impeachment proceedings. When you guys are ready to get get serious about national security and quit using our service personnel as political props let us know.

LOTT-IRAQ Voice of America 16 December 1998 -- IN WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE AN UNPRECEDENTED ACTION, U-S SENATE MAJORITY (REPUBLICAN) LEADER TRENT LOTT ANNOUNCED HE WOULD NOT SUPPORT AMERICAN MILITARY STRIKES ON IRAQ - IN PART, HE SAYS, BECAUSE THE TIMING IS SUSPECT. AN UNUSUAL, SHARPLY WORDED STATEMENT, IS SKEPTICAL OF WHITE HOUSE ASSURANCES THE ACTION IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO DELAY THE PENDING IMPEACHMENT VOTE.

CONGRESSMAN STEVE BUYER IS BOTH A GULF WAR VETERAN
AND A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, WHICH HANDLES IMPEACHMENT. SPEAKING ON THE HOUSE FLOOR (THURSDAY), HE UNDERLINED HIS SUPPORT FOR THE STRIKES AND THE TROOPS IN THE FIELD, WHILE ALSO VOICING WHAT MANY REPUBLICANS FEEL ABOUT THE
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

// BUYER ACT //

HE'S GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. THE BENEFIT GETS REMOVED IN THIS CASE BECAUSE OF THE DIMINISHED CREDIBILITY AND THE SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS THE PRESIDENT HAS CAUSED HIMSELF.

TEXT: IN THE WAKE OF THE ATTACK ON IRAQ, THE CREDIBILITY GAP
BETWEEN CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS AND PRESIDENT CLINTON SEEMS TO
BE WIDENING. DANA ROHRABACHER IS A REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM
CALIFORNIA.

/// ROHRABACHER ACT. ///

WE DO NOT EVEN TRUST HIM WHEN HE ORDERS THE AMERICAN MILITARY INTO ACTION. WE BELIEVE HE IS A SHAMELESS LIAR AND IT IS TIME FOR HIM TO STEP DOWN.

UTAH REPUBLICAN MERRILL COOK STRUCK A PARTISAN NOTE.

/// COOK ACT ///

I DON'T THINK IT'S COINCIDENTAL THAT THE BOMBS BEGAN BEGAN FALLING ON IRAQ ONLY A SHORT HOUR BEFORE CAUCUSES (PARTY MEETINGS) WERE CONVENING HERE IN WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS THE IMPEACHMENT VOTE.


Posted by: Mark Garrity at April 25, 2006 6:42 PM

Mr. Garrity:

Yes, but Google is a tool of ignorance, returning results from the hysterical Internet rather than reality.

In point of fact it was Majority Leader Bob Dole and John McCain who passed the Bosnia resolution that Clinton needed. Recall that with the GOP in contrpol of Congress they would have stopped Clinton if they didn't support him.

Even in the bits you cite guys like Buyer announce their support for the military action the president took though they correctly believed he should be removed from office.

And here's candidate Bush when given an opportunity to criticize Clinton-Gore on the Balkans:

Q: Is Milosevicís defeat a triumph for U.S. military intervention?

BUSH: I think itís a triumph. I thought the president made the right decision in joining NATO in bombing Serbia. I supported him when they did so. I think it worked. Iím pleased I made the decision I made, and Iím pleased the president made the decision he made, because freedom took hold in that part of the world. Thereís a lot of work left to be done, however. I donít think he would have fallen had we not used force. I know thereís some in my party that disagreed with that sentiment. The administration deserves credit for having made it work. I hope our European friends become the peacekeepers in Bosnia and in the Balkans. I hope that they put the troops on the ground so that we can withdraw our troops and focus our military on fighting and winning war.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

Posted by: oj at April 25, 2006 7:07 PM

Well, um, actually, while a majority of Republicans supported the Kosovo bombings, Republicans politicians were mostly against it. Republicans in the Senate voted 38-17 against bombing, although it did past the senate. The House deadlocked on airstrikes, with most Republicans voting no. The President hadn't asked for permission and just ignored the House vote, which was on a nonbinding resolution.

The interesting question is whether they were wrong.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 25, 2006 7:51 PM

David:

Yes, the leadership passed it and/or supported it, including the three consecutive presidential nominees--Dole, Bush & McCain. It was even an issue for the whacko Right in the primaries that McCain and Bush were too pro-Balkan intervention.

Similarly, no one would expect the Democrat rank and file to support the President, but it's surprising that Harry Reid, John Kerry, hillary Clinton, etc. are so unserious.

Posted by: oj at April 25, 2006 8:03 PM

To the discussion I will add only this: anyone who thinks the nuclear "bunker busters" are bigger than Fat Man or Little Boy is lying. The Hiroshima weapon was about 18 kilotons (as I remember). Nagasaki was, as I recall, a shade less. The MIRVs sitting on top of our current ICBMs are only about 3-4 kT (the Minuteman missile was much bigger, but I doubt if they are still active). I think the Trident missiles are comparable to the land-based weapons.

A "bunker buster" doesn't have to be big, just sturdy enough to penetrate several dozen feet before detonation. I don't know the numbers, but I doubt if the warhead is over 3 kT. If it goes off 60 or 70 feet underground, there isn't going to be any mushroom cloud. Just a big shock wave and a giant slump.

The left loves the imagery of the mushroom cloud. They think it gives them power to accuse America of murder. It's no surprise Bill Moyers got his start with the cloud, and it's no surprise the left loves the idea that a nuclear Iran is somehow above US attack. Me, I'd find out when the Iranians were going to test a weapon and drop one right on the test site about 10 minutes early. Then take out the rest of their facilities. And then ask Mr. Khameini if he wants more.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 26, 2006 12:51 AM

Fascinating discussion. Thank you all for helping me clarify my own views. A special thanks to those who regularly rise above partisan hate-baiting.

I have yet to hear a coherent idea on what do to about the Islamofacist problem from the Dems. I hear absolutely nothing substantive between soundbites and demogogery. They had better address this before 2008, or it's going to be another ugly, close election.

And I think at this point, even Al would agree, "President Gore" on Sept. 12, 2001 would have been a disaster. That's probably why, with all this going on, Al's favorite subject is "Global Warming". I wouldn't be trying to 'monday morning quarterback' this one publically either.

Posted by: RK at May 19, 2006 10:38 AM
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