Posts Tagged ‘War’

Just in case Bush and his Israeli followers start attacking Iran in the name of preemptively preventing a nuclear war, we should turn them in the direction of this NIE study (that’s National Intelligence Estimate, for the uninitiated). It’s not the full study, but it has all of the important conclusions.

The study says that:

We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were
working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.

• We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because of
intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC
assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt
to Iran’s entire nuclear weapons program.)

• We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons
program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop
nuclear weapons.

• We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently
have a nuclear weapon.
• Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined
to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment
that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure
suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged
previously…

• We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be
technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon is late 2009, but that this
is very unlikely.

• We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of
producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame.
(INR judges Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of
foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.) All agencies recognize the
possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.

D. Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could
be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example,
Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high
confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development
projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would
also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.

E. We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing
to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its
options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt
it to restart the program.

Now, while this is only an estimate, the assumptions based therein are surely enough for us, the public, to seriously question any assertion (or military action derived from said assertion) that Iran has nuclear weapons, for now. Now we have the power to cry fowl when the government tells us that Iran has the a-bomb, unlike the situation in Iraq.

Iran is certainly an interesting player on the world stage – but it doesn’t have the nuke yet.

And, after all, who are we to decide who gets and who doesn’t get the A-bomb? Isn’t it in Iran’s best interest to acquire the A-bomb for purely defensive purposes? Yes, I know their regime is crazy, but hasn’t it occurred to anyone that the a-bomb is the ultimate deterrent; no one would be crazy enough to attack them once they got a nuke under their control. As paradoxical as it may sound, they’re willing to risk invasion from Israel and the United States in order to acquire a bomb that would prevent these countries from invading them at all, assuming that they’re actually pursuing a nuke in the first place.

What do you think about Iran?


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Well, it’s official: according the MSNBC, all US forces will be out of Iraq by the time 2012 rolls around.

(from the BBC)

Under the deal, US troops will withdraw from the streets of Iraqi towns next year, leaving Iraq by the end of 2011.

The decision will need to go before Iraq’s parliament for a final vote.

America’s National Security Council welcomed the cabinet’s vote, saying it was “an important and positive step” towards stability and security.

The pact is necessary to determine the role of US military forces in Iraq after their UN mandate expires on 31 December 2008.

In October, Iraq sent a new round of suggested changes to the draft Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), to which the US responded.

Washington had previously said the pact was “final” and could not be amended.

The UK government, which has 4,100 troops in Iraq, is waiting for the US-Iraqi pact to be approved so they can use it as a template for their own bi-lateral deal.

Well, we had to take out our troops sometime, and 2012 seems reasonable, though I’d prefer that we pulled them out earlier. Still, I think this gives the Iraqi government more than enough time to clean up its act and prepare its troops to actually defend against terrorism.

At the same time, I’m not so sure I like this, considering that we have been using Iraq as a launching pad for attacks against Syria, in addition to using our bases in Afghanistan to conduct strikes in Pakistan. Keeping troops in Iraq for any longer amount of time means that it’s possible that we can conduct cross-border strikes into Syria again, and possibly Iran.

There’s no question that we need our troops out, but it looks like Iraq is an eternal damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don’t situation. The truth is, we really don’t know what kind of hell we’ll unleash once all of our troops leave the country, and we won’t know for sure until January 1st, 2012.


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In the wake of the financial crisis that’s engulfing the world right now, there have been many on the Left that proclaim that capitalism will cease to exist, since it alone (in their deluded eyes) has caused this collapse.

I’m astonished at their ignorance and lack of gratitude for the monetary system that has, singlehandedly (well, along with the establishment of the United States), lifted much of the world out of poverty and into a culture of freedom, free from the monarchs and Communists.

These Leftists spout useless drivel about how it’s capitalism’s fault that people are losing their jobs, that it’s capitalism’s fault that the banks did ill-advised lending, that it’s capitalism’s fault that people are in poverty in undeveloped countries, that it’s capitalism’s fault for somehow putting a gun to the head of our legislators and “making” them institute a $700 billion bailout for these banks. It’s not capitalism’s fault, and I can guarantee that those people who lost jobs wouldn’t have had them in the first place without it, that the banks would commit more fraud without it, and there would be more government intervention without it.

And then they say that capitalism is not moral; that it doesn’t give people living wages and it makes them poor. Except, naturally, they forget that capitalism has lifted hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and into work, that it allowed people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to make millions with a vision for the future and the drive needed to make that dream a reality. Capitalism has let people make money with their work and their skill. It allows the individual to pursue the course that they want (economically), and they are rewarded for their competence – nothing more, nothing less.

It is these hypocrites that do not know what they’re saying when they say, “Capitalism must go!”, because they, truly, don’t have an idea of what capitalism is. They scream that the capitalist system must go, but they have no idea what economic system to put in its place; it is this fact that makes these people ignorant and nothing more than sheep. They don’t understand that, in eliminating capitalism, you must erect something with the structure of socialism (perhaps even Communism) in its place, which would surely destroy the framework of this country and all the worlds’ economies. Surely, if we’re going to remove capitalism, where capital is held and moved primarily by the private sector, we must consolidate it within the public sector – giving more control of the economy to the state.

It is this that reveals the true hypocrisy of these fools. These are probably the same people who (correctly) say that our government has grossly mishandled and misled us into two wars, the government that is putting most of its money into feeding the military-industrial complex in doing so, and is corrupt to the core. But, in destroying capitalism, these people are advocating letting the very same government run our economy, giving out handouts as they wish. How does that make any sense? Our main legislative body has a single-digit approval rating, and these imbeciles think that we should give them more control over the country?

This is why capitalism cannot and will not fall: the citizenry will wake up and realize that more (bad) government isn’t the remedy to the situation. In fact, it’s more poison.


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The BBC reports that Russia is willing to move the Iskander missiles it placed on its western border as long as the US removes the plans to build a missile shield in Poland.

Was there ever any doubt?

Russia’s foreign minister has said it will abandon plans to station missiles in Kaliningrad if the US does not base part of a missile shield in Europe.

Sergei Lavrov said short-range Iskander missiles would only be deployed in the western enclave, which borders Poland, to neutralise any perceived US threat.

President Dmitri Medvedev unveiled the planned counter-measure a week ago.

The US insists the planned shield is designed solely to guard against attack by “rogue states”, such as Iran.

At present, the system will include a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland. Moscow says they could threaten its own defences.

These would be in addition to radars and interceptors in Alaska and California in the US, and another radar at Fylingdales in the UK.

Another move in an ongoing game. It appears that the two sides have stalemated, with Russia trying to get the US to remove its missile shield by putting missiles of its own to disrupt said shield. Wouldn’t it be counterintuitive for the US to even keep its shield there if the Russians got jam it with their own ballistics?


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Whatever happened to “An enemy of an enemy is a friend”?

According to the BBC,, Al-Jazeera has acquired a tape featuring Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in celebration of their 7th anniversary of the 9/11 bombings (why seven anyways? why not five or ten?). Said the BBC Article:

In the 90-minute tape obtained by Qatar’s al-Jazeera TV, deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri denounces Iran and the “Crusader” threat to Islam.

The latest tape refers to last month’s war over South Ossetia between Russia and Georgia as well as the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, suggesting it was made as recently as mid-August.

Zawahiri is shown accusing Iran of “co-operating with the Americans in occupying Iran and Afghanistan”.

The deputy leader of al-Qaeda, which draws its support from Sunni Muslims, also condemns Shia Muslims for not calling for a holy war in Iraq against Western forces there.

Are you kidding me? What about the 9/11 Commission’s report that Iran had ties to al-Qaeda? As recently as last year, the New York Post reported that Iran still had ties to al-Qaeda, so what gives?

Perhaps… Perhaps Iran isn’t an enemy — our government has fabricated things before, especially concerning Iran. Like the whole Ahmadinejad threatening to wipe Israel off the map deal. Not true. Still, though, John McCain and his ilk like to make their stupid ditties about “Bomb Eye-RAN” and how Iran is most definitely evil and so forth. But, perhaps, if the kind people from al-Qaeda (who we KNOW are our enemy) tell us that Iran has betrayed them and “supported the US”, we know that Iran isn’t what the hawkish government officials would like you to think.

I think this should let us know for sure that Iran’s not an enemy. However… the media continues to misquote and misjudge Iran and the Middle East as a whole. After all, we’ve labeled HAMAS a terrorist organization when they were actually elected head of the Palestinian parliament. So much for us loving democracy.

[Stay tuned for a massive Project Atlas announcement tomorrow!]

Original Article

Apparently, according to Bob Woodward, the US Big Brother has turned its Thought Police away from the American people, and to keep them occupied, had them spy on senior officials of the Iraqi government instead. Of course, with Iraqi officials hearing about what was in the book, they are itching to ask Bush and Co. whether they really were getting spied on by America. That’s nonsense, as we all know! Saying that America would spy on Iraqi government officials is like saying they’d spy on their own people!

Oh, wait…

But, hey, at least this guy Woodward doesn’t have a history of uncovering anything notable — he’s just another stupid journalist with zero credibility.

Oh…

Said the article:

Iraq is to ask US officials for an explanation after a new book suggested the United States had been spying on senior members of the Iraqi government.

The claims are made by US journalist Bob Woodward in The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008.

“If it is true… it reflects that there is no trust,” Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

Woodward’s book quotes a US source as saying the US knows “everything” said by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

“If it is true it casts a shadow on the future relations with such institutions,” a statement from Mr al-Dabbagh added, referring to the Central Intelligence Agency and other US agencies.

Okay, so our government just surveils the officials, no big deal, right? Nothing about the surge working…

The book also claims that the US “surge” in 2007, in which nearly 30,000 extra troops were sent to Iraq, was not the primary reason for the steep drop in violence seen over the last year.

Mr Woodward says new covert techniques have been used successfully by US military and intelligence officials to find, target and kill insurgents.

He does not go into detail about them, saying the White House asked him to withhold specifics in the interests of national security.

The book quotes from interviews given by Mr Bush himself, and looks at the how the decision-making of the war evolved and the internal clashes it caused.

Oh. So the surge wasn’t the real reason that we’ve won in Iraq? Amazing!

Will Rhodes is a blogger who has volunteered to write a couple of stories for my blog while I’m on vacation. His excellent blog is at http://willrhodesportmanteau.com/. Check it out!

What will happen after George Bush leaves office?

Odd question – but a valid one methinks. He hasn’t been in the news much recently, he has two other people playing president so he can go off to the Olympics to enjoy himself. But he will leave office and a new president will be sworn in, so what will happen?

What won’t keep happening is:

When one group of Muslims explodes bombs underneath the school buses of another group of Muslims in Baghdad or cuts the heads off humanitarian workers in Anbar, blame George Bush.

When the Earth’s atmosphere gets a little more clogged with the output of power plants in China, India and elsewhere, blame George Bush.

Over simplistic – but will the term, “Blame George Bush” transfer into “Blame the USA”?

So it is something we have to think about, not only because of the past, that is a given, but what about the future – how will the USA been seen the morning after, the very day that someone else takes the reigns.

How will the US make amends, if it needs to make amends, with her allies and friends that Bush has pushed to one side? It’s a world question, for so long we have been able to blame one man, George Bush – but once that goes we have to think about do we blame someone or do we take ownership of our own problems?

Oh George, what will we do when you’re gone? | Gerard Baker – Times Online.

I saw this interview on the net, and highly reccommend that everybody checks it out. The man is Andrew Bacevich, a retired U.S. Army Colonel who contends that we are spread too thin and America needs to wake up and see that our power is limited. Check out his interview with Bill Moyers:

Bacevich Interview

Earlier this year, I read Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day, a massive tome of 1085 pages, and while it was at times boring with Pynchon’s digressive nature, it was very much worth all the time put into it: not only is it a rollickingly good read, but it has some extraordinary revelations about our time, should we look into the past.

Against the Day is a fictional account of the interconnected lives of Pynchon’s characters from the Chicago World Fair of 1893 to the end of the Great War. At this time, anarchism is shown to be widely prevalent in the United States, with anarchists committing acts of terrorism against the state. The anarchists bombed railroad tracks and other things controlled by the state. It’s easy, from here, to infer that the anarchists then are extremely similar to the radical Islamic terrorists that we’ve declared war on; both use bombs to try and change the capitalist establishment, and both have failed thus far.

Throughout the book, there is a creeping sense of an apocalyptic crisis casting its shadow on the world. With massive technological advances, people became uneasy about the advances and where technology was headed — both heralding the improvements and worrying about whether they would contribute to their downfall. They are also confused about the blurring line with what is fact and what is fiction, as evidenced by the lengthy discussions about Aether and the double-refractive qualities of Iceland Spar. Combine the two, and you have a recipe for paranoia, and, potentially, innovation. Again, the tension builds very slowly and heavily throughout the story, with a sense that the new technology would bring disaster and wipe out civilization as we know it.

We face a very similar situation right now, especially with tensions between the U.S. and Russia (which creates a cold-war esque situation), it seems like the same sense of impending doom has taken over me, at least, and a few others in the blogosphere who think that the Russo-Georgian conflict is the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of our time. And the parallels to World War I are there: it seems like, with what has been dubbed as World War III, the alliance system exists. This time around, people envision the alliances being for America, or against them (presumably Russia, Iran, China?). There are terrorists attempting to undermine the West, much like the anarchists did. But is the War on Terror just to become a footnote in the history books like anarchism? Maybe. Is our impending doom that of a third World War, in which mankind fights massive battles against itself, possibly with the use of a nuclear bomb? Maybe.

The good news is that the characters in Against the Day realize that, although the Great War claimed all too many lives, it didn’t entirely wipe out human civilization as they knew it in an apocalyptic fashion. Let’s hope, if this is indeed the beginning of World War III, that our civilization isn’t squelched by nuclear warfare.

From Randy Scheunmann to John McCain:

John,

Some people don’t exactly know what your foreign policy is. In fact, right now, your foreign policy is in as much doubt as Obama’s religion. In a week, if you adopt this policy, everyone will know that you’re a force to be reckoned with even though you’ve got stubby arms.

Emphasize these three points:

  • We’re America, so we can invade any country we please, as long as they’re not Christian. In fact, tell the people that we’re gonna invade anyone who disagrees with us at the UN or any other of those fake international conferences. Why don’t they let us (America) talk the entire time? Why should we let that bastard Putin or Chavez talk when we’re America and we’re the best? We know we’ve got the best ideas.
  • If your name is Iran or Russia, watch the hell out. Keep alluding to these invasions as “more wars” in  the future. Everyone will know what you’re talking about. Oh, and since you’ve already tried the Bomb-Iran song, why not open one of your town hall meetings with the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR”? It will be perfect after they conquered Georgia, raped the children, and turned Georgia into a godless, Communist state.
  • We’re at war right now. Shove this down everyone’s throats. We’re at war right now, and we’re always going to be at war with somebody, whether it’s the Islamofascist terrorists who are trying to bomb our troops in Iraq, or the Soviets that are trying to conquer the world again. Make it clear that we’re going to call on the brave men and women of America MULTIPLE times (as in 4-5 tours of duty) so we can win these wars. If they ask what the wars are about, just say that it’s for national security and that if we didn’t fight the wars, we’d have another 9/11 happen.
So, John, that sums it up. If you reiterate your three-pronged attack of invasion, invasion, and more invasion, people will get to know (and like!) your foreign policy.
Remember, we need to take Georgia back, or I’ll go bankrupt!
Randy