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Acts of War

Posted on Jul 29, 2008
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Members of the Iranian resistance group Mujahadeen-e Khalk, or MEK, guard a road leading to the group’s main training camp, watched over by a U.S. Army Abrams tank in background, near Baqubah in north-central Iraq.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 3)

This, of course, is the crux of the issue: Iran’s ongoing enrichment program. Not because it is illegal; Iran is permitted to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Not again because Iran’s centrifuge program is operating in an undeclared, unmonitored fashion; the IAEA had stated it has a full understanding of the scope and work of the Iranian centrifuge enrichment program and that all associated nuclear material is accounted for and safeguarded. The problem has never been, and will never be, Iran’s enrichment program. The problem is American policy objectives of regime change in Iran, pushed by a combination of American desires for global hegemony and an activist Israeli agenda which seeks regional security, in perpetuity, through military and economic supremacy. The specter of nuclear enrichment is simply a vehicle for facilitating the larger policy objectives. Olli Heinonen, and those who support and sustain his work, must be aware of the larger geopolitical context of his actions, which makes them all the more puzzling and contemptible.

A major culprit in this entire sordid affair is the mainstream media. Displaying an almost uncanny inability to connect the dots, the editors who run America’s largest newspapers, and the producers who put together America’s biggest television news programs, have collectively facilitated the most simplistic, inane and factually unfounded story lines coming out of the Bush White House. The most recent fairy tale was one of “diplomacy,” on the part of one William Burns, the No. 3 diplomat in the State Department.

I have studied the minutes of meetings involving John McCloy, an American official who served numerous administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, in the decades following the end of the Second World War. His diplomacy with the Soviets, conducted with senior Soviet negotiator Valerein Zorin and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev himself, was real, genuine, direct and designed to resolve differences. The transcripts of the diplomacy conducted between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho to bring an end to the Vietnam conflict is likewise a study in the give and take required to achieve the status of real diplomacy.

Sending a relatively obscure official like Burns to “observe” a meeting between the European Union and Iran, with instructions not to interact, not to initiate, not to discuss, cannot under any circumstances be construed as diplomacy. Any student of diplomatic history could tell you this. And yet the esteemed editors and news producers used the term diplomacy, without challenge or clarification, to describe Burns’ mission to Geneva on July 19. The decision to send him there was hailed as a “significant concession” on the part of the Bush administration, a step away from war and an indication of a new desire within the White House to resolve the Iranian impasse through diplomacy. How this was going to happen with a diplomat hobbled and muzzled to the degree Burns was apparently skipped the attention of these writers and their bosses. Diplomacy, America was told, was the new policy option of choice for the Bush administration.


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Of course, the Geneva talks produced nothing. The United States had made sure Europe, through its foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, had no maneuvering room when it came to the core issue of uranium enrichment: Iran must suspend all enrichment before any movement could be made on any other issue. Furthermore, the American-backed program of investigation concerning the MEK-supplied laptop computer further poisoned the diplomatic waters. Iran, predictably, refused to suspend its enrichment program, and rejected the Heinonen-led investigation into nuclear weaponization, refusing to cooperate further with the IAEA on that matter, noting that it fell outside the scope of the IAEA’s mandate in Iran.

Condoleezza Rice was quick to respond. After a debriefing from Burns, who flew to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where Rice was holding closed-door meetings with the foreign ministers of six Arab nations on the issue of Iran, Rice told the media that Iran “was not serious” about resolving the standoff. Having played the diplomacy card, Rice moved on with the real agenda: If Iran did not fully cooperate with the international community (i.e., suspend its enrichment program), then it would face a new round of economic sanctions and undisclosed punitive measures, both unilaterally on the part of the United States and Europe, as well as in the form of even broader sanctions from the United Nations Security Council (although it is doubtful that Russia and China would go along with such a plan).

The issue of unilateral U.S. sanctions is most worrisome. Both the House of Representatives, through HR 362, and the Senate, through SR 580, are preparing legislation that would call for an air, ground and sea blockade of Iran. Back in October 1962, President John F. Kennedy, when considering the imposition of a naval blockade against Cuba in response to the presence of Soviet missiles in that nation, opined that “a blockade is a major military operation, too. It’s an act of war.” Which, of course, it is. The false diplomacy waged by the White House in Geneva simply pre-empted any congressional call for a diplomatic outreach. Now the president can move on with the mission of facilitating a larger war with Iran by legitimizing yet another act of aggression.

One day, in the not-so-distant future, Americans will awake to the reality that American military forces are engaged in a shooting war with Iran. Many will scratch their heads and wonder, “How did that happen?” The answer is simple: We all let it happen. We are at war with Iran right now. We just don’t have the moral courage to admit it.

Scott Ritter is a former U.N. weapons inspector and Marine intelligence officer who has written extensively about Iran.

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By Jack, November 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The zionist grip over us media and us gov must take an end. STOP ISRAELI LIES AND AGGRESSION!

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By estebanfolsom, August 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i’m going up on the roof to see what i might see
it could be i’ll see a city , a diamond under sea
or maybe i’ll see a moon and a heaven filled with stars
and i’ll wonder what this might mean
  in the face of wars
in the face of war
i stand stone cold dead
i didn’t get a chance to thank you
before the bullet hit my head
i’m going round to all my friends
going to whisper in thier ear
saying thanks for coming closer
cause you knew the end was near
you knew the end was near
looked in my eye said goodbye
you won’t be round no more
and i to you
i said it too
we will not meet again
and so it must be
for ever more
we shall part as friends
we shall part as friends
i’m sure that’s what you said
but then again we might never know
now that we’re off to war
we soon just might be dead

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By cann4ing, August 5, 2008 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Marshall your effort to continue to defend the dissembler-in-chief is exceedingly feeble, at best, though more likely a reflection of intellectual dishonesty on your part.  It is one thing to say that Bush did not believe Saddam when he said that Iraq had no WMD but that has no application here.  Mr. Habbush was indeed Saddam’s Chief of Intelligence, but the CIA had turned him.  He was funneling info to our intelligence agencies about a host of Iraqi secrets but when questioned by British intelligence, Habbush told them, truthfully, that Iraq had no WMD.

Suskind has lengthy tapes of his interviews with the CIA officers.  They said that Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq almost from the moment he was sworn in as President; that when George Tenet was informed of this, he said “they’re not going to like this downtown” (meaning the WH); that when Bush was told of Habbash’s revelation there were no WMD, he grew perturbed, stating, “Why don’t they give us something we can use to make our case?”

This account ties in with the massive evidence of deliberate deception documented by Vince Bugliosi in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” which including the Manning memo which exposed a Jan. 2003 WH meeting where Bush, concerned that the inspectors would blow the WMD smokescreen, advocated flying US/UK aircraft over Baghdad painted in UN colors in the hopes that he could provoke the Iraqis in firing on them, providing an excuse for the invasion.  It ties in with Bush’s ordering the inspectors to leave at a time when they had been given full and unfettered access to all sites and Hans Blix had stated that full confirmation that Iraq had disarmed, yet Bush ordered the invasion and then had the temerity to claim he did so “reluctantly.”

Give it up Marshall.  You can’t polish a turd.

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By cann4ing, August 5, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

By the way Marshall, I noticed how you chose to ignore Ron Suskind’s revelation about how Cheney ordered the CIA to forge a document in an attempt to link Saddam to 9/11 and al Qaeda.  Any at Truthdig who want a more detailed account might want to check out Suskind’s appearance on the 8/5/08 Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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By cann4ing, August 5, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Marshall, the purpose of the NPT is to persuade non-nuclear nations that it is unnecessary for them to acquire nuclear weapons, which purpose was undercut every time the Bush regime threatened to use nuclear arms to attack Iran—a fact first revealed by Seymour Hersh.  Indeed, one of the things other nations learned from the Iraq invasion is that the absence of WMD places a nation at risk of being invaded by the U.S.

Unlike the unholy trio, Bush, Cheney & McSame, Obama did “not” threaten to bomb Iran, though he did say “no options are off the table.”  But unlike the unholy trio, Obama has made it clear that his preference is to sit down with the Iranians, engage in multi-lateral talks to resolve concerns.  The unholy trio bombs first, and sits down to talk only after they have their adversaries chained, hooded and in a stress position in some dark dungeon.

As the links provided by Cyrena confirm, the U.S. violated the NPT when it assisted in the transfer of nuclear weapons technology to Israel; again when Bush offered such a transfer to India.  So, Marshall, if a violation provides justification for regime change, why are you not urging regime change in Washington?

Also, while we are on the subject of UN sanctions, the State of Israel has been in violation of U.N. Resolution 242 for nearly forty years.  Why have there been no sanctions against that nation?  Because the U.S. has as veto in the Security Council and will prevent any sanction against Israel irrespective of the human rights violations that nation commits.  But then the U.S., under the Bush regime, is one of history’s most abominable violator of human rights, and so long as the amoral neocons remain in power, while other nations may fear us, no one respects us or looks to us for moral guidance.

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By cyrena, August 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

•  “Iran *IS* in violation of Safeguards protocol - it was ruled in violation by UN Security Council.”

Marshall, can you direct us to the citation for this? Must be somewhere in the paperwork. I’ve discovered that’s the only way to find the ‘blanks’ in the trajectory of the harassment. If in fact this is the case, (and I’m not questioning you, since they’ve obviously been able to sustain sanctions against Iran) can you direct us to the ‘proof’ that Iran is in fact in violation of the Safeguards protocol? I’m interested in how this was determined, since it’s equally provable that Iran has *not* disallowed safety inspections.

(Check Elbaradei on this)

As for this…

“…The whole purpose of NPT is to prevent non-nuclear nations from getting nukes.  It even uses the word “prevent”, which you seem to be allergic to; but that’s the whole point.  Whose toes are you worried about stepping on with your PC language?  Iran’s?”..

You’re wrong, since this is NOT the ‘whole purpose’ of the NPT, and maybe you should read the thing. Nor is it about ‘PC” language. Rather, it’s about the LANGUAGE of the Treaty. The whole purpose of ANY treaty, is to make the LANGUAGE very clear. It is the LANGUAGE that the signatories agree to when they sign on.

So the *equally* important part of the NPT requires those states that are already in possession of nuclear WEAPONRY to reduce and eliminate their arsenals, and also requires them to ASSIST those non-nuclear states in the ACQUISITION of technology that provides for peaceful civilian programs.

Here’s some of the legal language, which is the *only* thing appropriate in discussing any of this.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT]
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), obligates the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China) not to transfer nuclear weapons, other nuclear explosive devices, or their technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state. Nuclear weapon States Parties are also obligated, under Article VI, to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. They are required also to accept safeguards to detect diversions of nuclear materials from peaceful activities, such as power generation, to the production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This must be done in accordance with an individual safeguards agreement, concluded between each non-nuclear-weapon State Party and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Under these agreements, all nuclear materials in peaceful civil facilities under the jurisdiction of the state must be declared to the IAEA, whose inspectors have routine access to the facilities for periodic monitoring and inspections. If information from routine inspections is not sufficient to fulfill its responsibilities, the IAEA may consult with the state regarding special inspections within or outside declared facilities.

Have another glance at the entire treaty, as published by the UN/IAEA

And while you’re at it, consider why you and your buddies are so obsessed with Iran’s program, and at the same time gungho anxious to provide INDIA with all the nuke stuff they could ever want or need.

Stepping on toes, or kissing them?

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By Marshall, August 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

“the fact that Iran may have been in violation of the NEP provisions regarding…”

Iran *IS* in violation of Safeguards protocol - it was ruled in violation by UN Security Council.

“neither establishes that Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons”

Our intelligence community has established this in its NIE.  Iran had an active nuke program till 2003 when it was put on hold, and intends to acquire them one way or another.  Read the NIE if you’re not clear on this.

“...or that we have to engage in an effort to “prevent” a non-existent Iranian effort to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

The whole purpose of NPT is to prevent non-nuclear nations from getting nukes.  It even uses the word “prevent”, which you seem to be allergic to;  but that’s the whole point.  Whose toes are you worried about stepping on with your PC language?  Iran’s?

“Iran has not funded a radical Marxist group of terrorists, like the MEK, to attack targets inside Israel or the U.S.”

It funds radical terrorist groups, like Hezbollah and Hamas, to attack targets inside Israel, to hold Lebanon and Gaza hostage and to assassinate opposition.

“Why are you not concerned with the fact that (a) Israel violated the NPT…(c) U.S. does not allow IAEA inspectors into U.S. sites ...”

Israel is not a signature to NPT so it hasn’t violated anything.  And no one has ruled that the U.S. has violated NPT - that’s your opinion.  The first goal of NPT is to prevent non-nuclear states from obtaining nuclear weapons.  This is why the focus is on Iran.

“...Bush regime and McCain, threatening to bomb bomb bomb Iran”

And I’m sure you meant to mention Obama too, who has also threatened to bomb Iran.  All these people understand the negotiating importance of retaining a military option.

“the nation that responded to the Israeli invitation was Pakistan, which has already acquired the bomb”

Pakistan developed nukes back in the early 70s because of its neighbor India with whom it has disputed territory.

The bottom line is that we’d all prefer that no one have nukes - particularly not in the ideological hot-bed that is the ME - but that’s not the case.  So the real priority is on PREVENTING new countries from getting them.

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By mrmb, August 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A member of the civilized world, an outstanding member of the international community, a beacon of human rights and democracy, the heart of europe, was accused of genocide by Rwanda.

I am so glad that at least someone is trying to bring criminals to justice.

Does anyone think that there amy actually be a UN security council resolution against Rwanda?
Maybe these Rwandan officials get assassinated one by one to make sure everyone gets the message.

Does Rwanda have a civilian nuclear program thats actually geared towards weaponization?

Do we wanna send in bonker bolton to clean things up?

Maybe one day it will happen here in good old USA and the criminals in the white house, and congress get prosecuted for their crimes.

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By mrmb, August 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ali Mostofi,

Why dont you explain and educate us about the seyyeds:

1- Are they from Mars, Moon, are they aliens from a diferent planet or a country?

2- Where were they born?

3- Are they non-Iranian? Or you consider them non-Iranian?

4- Do you adhere to the idea of a pure race?

This would be a good start if you could just answer the above questions.

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By cann4ing, August 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Here’s the last for true believers to chew on.

“The White House ordered the CIA in 2003 to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein in an attempt to portray a false link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. The fake letter was backdated July 1, 2001, and it stated that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta was trained for his mission in Iraq. Those are the claims of the explosive new book, The Way of the World, by journalist Ron Suskind. He reports the Bush administration then used the forged letter to show there was an operational link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing the CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. On NBC’s The Today Show, Suskind said then-CIA Director George Tenet received orders directly from the White House to forge the letter.”

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By Ali Mostofi, August 5, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

The Seyyeds are very “deceptive”.  They acts under the guise of Hamas and Hezbollah violently for the sake of the Mahdi.

The Iranians are not deceptive.  Our roots are non-violent.

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By cann4ing, August 4, 2008 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Right, Patrick Henry, but I would add that Iran is not 1% as bellicose or deceptive as the Bush regime.  Iran has not funded a radical Marxist group of terrorists, like the MEK, to attack targets inside Israel or the U.S.

Marshall, the fact that Iran may have been in violation of the NEP provisions regarding openness of nuclear programs—part of what the IAEA is working to resolve, neither establishes that Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or that we have to engage in an effort to “prevent” a non-existent Iranian effort to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Why are you not concerned with the fact that (a) Israel violated the NPT when it secretly developed its own nuclear arsenal; (2) that the U.S. is in violation of the NPT because (a) it continues to develop new generations of nuclear weapons, (b) threatens to make such weaponry “space-based,” (c) does not allow IAEA inspectors into U.S. sites to verify compliance with the IAEA, and (d) offered nuclear weapons to India.

As to bellicosity, none exceed the statements emanating from both the Bush regime and McCain, threatening to bomb bomb bomb Iran, similar statements made by Israel, the presence of a U.S. naval armada in the Straits of Hormuz, or the Israeli exercise designed to demonstrate its capability to strike targets in Iran.  The Iranian missile exercise and corresponding statements were defensive in nature.  Unlike Israel & the U.S., Iran did “not” threaten to launch a preemptive strike against either Israel or the U.S.  It merely pointed out that if the Israeli’s strike Iran, Iran has the capability of striking back—a statement that is well within the UN Charter while the threats from the Bush regime, McSame and Israel amount to violations of the UN Charter.

Quit equating the Bush regime with the United States.  The so-called “level of alarm” over Iran is a carbon copy of the pre-war “level of alarm” in the run up to the imperial conquest of Iraq—an effort to manufacture a crisis by fixing the intelligence around the policy of regime change—Only this time, the American people aren’t buying the neocon load of crap.

Finally, the nation that responded to the Israeli invitation was Pakistan, which has already acquired the bomb, a nation which was responsible for bringing the Taliban to power in Afghanistan and whose intelligence services are still linked to the Taliban—a nation the Bush regime continues to refer to as its “ally” in the so-called “war on terror.”

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By PatrickHenry, August 4, 2008 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

By Marshall, August 3 at 10:48 pm

Iran isn’t 1% as deceptive as Israel.

We have no legitimate business meddling in their affairs, neither does Israel.

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By Marshall, August 3, 2008 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 2 at 2:24 pm #

You are correct that the IAEA has not officially ruled Iran in violation of NPT, though the U.S. disagrees.  The problem with Iran is it’s history of outright deception, it’s clear attempts to skirt NPT as much as possible, and its apparent regional policy goals.

The IAEA did find that Iran violated its NPT Safeguards Agreement, which included conducting Uranium enrichment in secret and lying about for years.  The UN Security Council then passed a resolution ordering Iran to suspend its enrichment activity.  As we know, Iran ignored this and resumed enrichment as of 2006 and has rejected all offers from UN Nations, including its ally Russia, to allow it to continue its civilian nuclear program while assuring the world that it does not have a military nuclear program.

Couple this deceptive behavior with Iran’s modern history; its bellicose statements regarding the destruction of Israel, it’s periodic hostage taking, it’s support of attacks on Western troops in Iraq through training and arms provision, its support of terrorist groups which attack Israel on a daily basis, and the extremist ideology of its Mullah leaders… it’s not surprising that even you support the NPT whose overriding goal, visa-vi Iran, is to “prevent” it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

You speak of an arms race in the region, but make the mistake of putting Israel on one side, and all other ME countries including Iran on the other.  The real trigger for a regional arms race would come if Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons.  Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, even Iraq would all consider a nuclear Iran to be a grave threat.

The Unites States’ level of alarm is even higher because the collective opinion of its intelligence community is that Iran had been, until 2003, attempting to develop nuclear weapons; which would be a definitive violation of NPT and reveal a far deeper level of deception and malevolence.  Furthermore, it’s program was not dismantled, but simply paused.  Iran has absolutely no interest in alternative forms of energy (as wonderful as they sound to its progressive sympathizers in the U.S.) because they would provide no cover for a nuclear weapons program that our intelligence believes it wants, whether it is active at this moment or not.

There may come a time when Iran’s nuclear weapons intentions become public.  I do wonder what those like you will say then, because we’ll be faced with few good options at that point, and you’ll be forced to decide whether preventing Iran from obtaining these weapons is really important to you or not.  In the meantime, the U.N. continues to attempt to convince Iran to halt enrichment so that a negotiated solution can be found.  But Iran knows that it needn’t comply, especially if the military option were taken off the table.

Regime change in Iran?  Well it’s not our official policy, but the current regime has a proven record of deception and expansionist policy goals.  So I for one would love to see a more moderate regime take power there, and believe the U.S. and its allies should do everything within their legal power to promote that.  There’s absolutely nothing undemocratic, illegal, or even unethical about supporting a change of government in another country - whether it’s a democracy or not.

“Israel, whose nuclear stockpile is an invitation to all other nations in the Middle East to respond in kind by developing their own.”

So do you believe Iran has responded to this “invitation”?  If not, then what other countries have?

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By cann4ing, August 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, as usual, I am in agreement with your post—except that I agree somewhat with Marshall that the Clinton administration’s policy with respect to Iraq was “regime change”—as it was of the Bush I administration after the end of Gulf War I.  Indeed, if you read Scott Ritter’s “Iraq Confidential” you will see that the tension between the CIA and UNSCOM throughout his tenure was that where UNSCOM’s goal was to verify that Iraq had disarmed.  The CIA was following the policy of regime change.

The fundamental difference between the Bush II administration and the two preceding administrations is that W was willing, indeed anxious, to take this nation to war.  Bush I & Clinton sought to accomplish regime change through the UN sanctions regime.  This in no way absolves either Bush I or Clinton for the sanctions regime was brutal.  During the thirteen years it was in place, it brought about the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five per the UN’s own statistics.  When confronted about this, Madeleine Albright, then the Secretary of State, said, “It was worth it.”

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By cann4ing, August 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Marshall—I support what is embodied in the NPT—this not only would prevent nations like Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but would require those that do possess them to drastically reduce their stockpiles.  I favor a drastic reduction of the nuclear arsenals in the US, UK, France, Russia and other relevant nations from the former U.S.S.R., and, most especially, Israel, whose nuclear stockpile is an invitation to all other nations in the Middle East to respond in kind by developing their own.

Frankly, there is no evidence that Iran is in violation of the NPT and has not enriched uranium beyond the level used in civilian nuclear power plants.  That said, I think Iran and every other nation that buys into civilian nuclear power plants is making a mistake of major proportions not only because of safety factors, but nuclear power is inordinately expensive and certainly poses a greater risk than other forms of alternative energy—wind, solar, geothermal & wave technologies.

I have a problem with the word “prevent” as used by you and your neocon heroes (1) because it is not necessary to “prevent” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons unless it is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, and all the relevant data reveals it is not doing so, and (2) like the bogus claims erecting fears of ominous mushroom clouds, because the “claim” of a need for such prevention is being utilized to shield a policy of regime change through yet another unilateral war of aggression.

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

Re: By cann4ing, August 1 at 7:48 pm
Part 1 of 2

•  “Cyrena, what would truly be the icing on the cake would be the complete records from the 2001 Cheney energy task force which we know produced maps of Iraq’s oil fields and untapped oil deposits.”
Indeed Ernest, this would be the icing on the cake. But as we also know, Cheney fought as long and hard to keep that secret as he did to keep torture on tap for the CIA.

“After nine months of shilly-shallying, the Vice President and his operatives have failed to bluff the General Account Office. The issues are being ratcheted up a few quantum notches. On January 30, 2002, GAO informed Congress, the President, and the Vice President that it was going to court. GAO noted that this will be the first time it “has filed suit to enforce our access rights against a federal official” in its fourscore history.”

And…he won…. AS ALWAYS. Here we are, 6 ½ years later, and we’ll never see those records or the records that connect him to Enron and those crimes. Or, the countless others…, including 9/11. It is nothing short of totally amazing (at least for me) that a single person has been able to do this much damage, and still not be contained. Even Hitler didn’t get away with his crimes for this long. And by ‘single person’, I honestly do mean that. Granted he’s had a secret staff of assistant brains, specifically David Addington and others who remain TOTALLY secret. (at least we know Addington exists, and is the source of nearly everything written into the legalese that has turned the nation into a totalitarian dictatorship). But still…could only be directed and carried out by Dick Cheney.

•  “…Marshall deliberately ignores the fact that most members of Congress only saw a White Paper whose systematic deletions of dissents and caveats lead to but one conclusion—willful deception—we find that in the weeks leading to the invasion of Iraq, Bush shifted the goal posts.  At that point it was no longer enough that Iraq “disarm.” Saddam and his sons had to leave; a point that underscored the fact that the concern was never about a supposed “threat” but an unchanged goal of “regime change”—the same goal Bush/Cheney now have for Iran”

And…marshall is still dissembling, even on this. According to his latest post, it was really CLINTON that called for regime change. There was a time when this BS would make me gag. I’m used to it now.
The scariest part of it that I continue to run into, (at least in the classrooms and lecture halls) are the number of people who still believe so much of the same BS you’ve covered here, like…”Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors in”. It’s mostly students, and not their fault, because the press has backed up all of these lies for all of these years.

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

Re By cann4ing, August 1 at 7:48 pm
Part 2 of 2

We know the Hans Blix and his inspectors had full access as early as October, 2002, if I remember correctly from some other IAEA documentation. I also don’t think it’s all that much of a secret that he (Hans Blix) was prepared to offer a full report on the NON-existence of ANY WMD, when Bush ordered the team out of Iraq for ‘their own protection’. What is less known, (and now I have to check the exact date), is that KBR was ALREADY standing by at the Kuwait/Iraq, with all of their fire-fighting equipment, in preparation for what Saddam was expected to do…set some or many of those oil fields on fire, knowing that he was being closed in on, regardless of what the team reported. But, he didn’t do it. And, I only mention that because I’ll never forget when I read, (and then verified) that seemingly unconnected piece of news on the same day that Bush ordered Hans Blix’s team out of Iraq.

Meantime, no matter how much Marshall or anybody else may throw up the straw arguments of how the Congress had access (that they didn’t) to the full information, the bottom line is that Dick Cheney et al were already in motion for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and there’s absolutely NO difference with Iran. ZERO difference, aside from the fact that they’ve run this identical scheme with Iraq first, so we’re all wise to it now. Iran was as much a part of the original plan as was Iraq.

Clearly it didn’t go off as quickly or efficiently as planned, first because Iraq balked at those oil profit sharing agreements that would have sealed their doomed fate for life. But, even that has finally succeeded, as best I can tell. I’ve not tried to examine any of the details of the theft by the Big Four of the Western Oil Industry that have finally forced their way back in, after the 30 year exile by Saddam. But, when I have time, I’ll check to see if Antonia has an update.

Meantime, I’m anxious to read Bugliosi’s book. I’ve only read a chapter or so that’s been available on line, waiting to see if I could manage a way to acquire one of those nifty Kindle’s that I’ve been ogling for several months. The price is slightly down, but not quite enough for my budget yet, and I’m having to limit the number of books (or anything else for that matter) that I pile up. The Kindle gadget would be the epitome of a dream for a soon to be homeless but still voracious reader. Kinda hard to lug a traditional library in a knapsack.

So, maybe I’ll splurge on a lottery ticket. wink

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By Ali Mostofi, August 2, 2008 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

mrmb you state:

“Now the non muslims and part of the secular nationalist muslims can put forth a historical argument as you do, that before Islam arrived in Iran due to Arab conquest of the country Iran was a Zorastrian nation and so on and so forth. Thats recounting history that is not in dispute by anyone including the muslims.

How you intend to use that historical fact to undermine the legitimacy of Islam and the Islamic republic is in serious doubt.”


That’s plainly wrong.

I will put it here in two ways: the simple, and the detail.


1.1 Past history
Iran’s philosophical roots are from the Zend-Avesta, dated over 10,000 years ago.  Iran actually was not Muslim for many centuries after the Mogul attack.  The people breathed again.  Many books were re-written, and Iran found its old soul.  The same happened in some respects to other nations that were under the Christian Inquisitions.

1.2 Recent history
Back to present, you need to look at the mass abstention of Iranians from the so called Seyyed selection process.  But look at our national festivals at the beginning of each season, and see the participation.  It is incomparable.  Iran then is not like Pakistan, where they have totally severed their past, and have been swallowed up by Islam.

1.3 Conscience
Iranian now know for certain what their philosophy is, and this new tolerance is ignoring the alien within with a clear conscience.


2 Iranian v Seyyed
2.1 Iranian tolerance
I am not here to go into all the non-Islamic culture of Iran.  But just in case you do not know, the Iranian culture is rich and so overwhelming for even Islam, that the Seyyeds are pretty much ignored, and live in their offices.  We have a special attitude to Life.  We believe in Free Will.  It is taught in our own book The Zend Avesta, and later in Shahnameh, and in many other philosophical works.

2.2 Non-Iranian or Seyyeds’ Cause
They are different from your real Iranians.  Iranians do not believe in the Mahdi Cause.  This ethnic group needs to have its own land or country.  They have their own legitimate reasons, just like the Jews.

They believe to be direct descendants of Abraham, via his second wife, or first son, and Halabi Qureshi (aka Mohammed).  Salman Parsi was Iran’s first apostate and wiped out all our philosophy for the sake of this family.  Later Al- Hilli brought it back and converted the last Mongul Prince.

3. Conscience

3.1 Family quarrel
So our problem in the Middle East is actually a family quarrel, an old family quarrel.  You will not get Islamic or Jewish “Scholars” telling you that.  Speak to older souls and they will.  We know, and have lost many heads over the years, if we mentioned it.  So be careful.

3.2 Iranians are winning
We in Iran have been allowed these Seyyeds to float to the top, as it were.  We know who they are, and what they want to do to push forward their agenda, and it has nothing to do with peaceful attitude of Iranians.  We are at peace with each other, and our national festival unite the whole of Iran.  We just wish the world media did not misrepresent us, and helped us to use non-violence general strikes as a tool to get rid of the alien Seyyed rulers.

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By Marshall, August 2, 2008 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 1 at 7:48 pm #

Keeping the Iran and Iraq discussions in separate threads, I’d like to respond to a few points you’ve made about the NIE, White Paper, etc…

The still classified White Paper you refer to was prepared by the intelligence community for President Bush.  Bush did not edit the White Paper; it was a piece of intelligence he and Congress were given to help them formulate policy.  You appear to mistakenly believe he manipulated the White Paper, subsequently misrepresenting it to Congress.

For something as important as a vote on authorizing war against Iraq, there is no excuse for those in Congress who voted but chose not to read the NIE.  Furthermore, Bush did not add any restrictions to their review process as you seem to imply.

Your post states that Bush “shifted the goal posts” by changing the requirement that Iraq disarm to a policy of regime change.  In fact, President Clinton instituted the official U.S. policy of regime change for Iraq and that policy remained in place up to the removal of Saddam.  Nor did the U.S. believe Saddam had “disarmed”, thus neither condition was met.  The reason Clinton adopted a policy of regime change was precisely because he believed Iraq was a threat, which is what he very clearly stated on numerous occasions.

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By Marshall, August 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 1 at 7:22 pm #

So once again Canning - do you support a U.S. policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

I don’t pretend to know what Bush believes vs. what he says he believes any more than I’d pretend to know that about anyone, but you seem to be willing to make that leap.

So I you once again: do you support a U.S. policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

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By cann4ing, August 1, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, what would truly be the icing on the cake would be the complete records from the 2001 Cheney energy task force which we know produced maps of Iraq’s oil fields and untapped oil deposits.

Moving beyond the very lengthy classified NIE that Marshall correctly states was “available” to Congress but conveniently ignores was read by very few because its classified nature and length, which required members to go to a separate room and prevented note taking.  Marshall deliberately ignores the fact that most members of Congress only saw a White Paper whose systematic deletions of dissents and caveats lead to but one conclusion—willful deception—we find that in the weeks leading to the invasion of Iraq, Bush shifted the goal posts.  At that point it was no longer enough that Iraq “disarm.”  Saddam and his sons had to leave; a point that underscored the fact that the concern was never about a supposed “threat” but an unchanged goal of “regime change”—the same goal Bush/Cheney now have for Iran.

As Bugliosi points out, between 11/27/02 & March 2003, there were “over 100 UN inspectors swarming all over Iraq…after 731 inspections they had not found anything…”  On 3/7/03, less than three weeks prior to the invasion, Hans Blix said “we are able to perform professional, no-notice inspections all over Iraq…”  The Iraqis were giving full cooperation (no doubt in part because Scott Ritter told them how dire the consequences would be if they failed to do so) and Blix estimated that the UN inspectors could confirm that Iraq was disarmed in a span of months.

Bugliosi notes, “To anyone who did not want to go to war in Iraq unless necessary, this report…could not have been better news.”  So what did Marshall’s hero, the reluctant warrior who never had to face enemy fire, do.  Why he order the inspectors to leave, ordered the invasion and then had the audacity to claim that “our nation entered this conflict reluctantly.”  And now, 4,100 working class Americans in uniform lie in their graves!  Wonder why Vince wants to try this jerk for murder?

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By cann4ing, August 1, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Wrong again, Marshall the dissembler.  We “know” that Cheney specifically asked that the Iran NIE not be released.  We “know” that during the time that the Iran NIE was being withheld from the public Bush and Cheney made public statements that were 180 degrees from the content of that report, just as they did with respect to the 10/1/02 NIE. 

There is absolutely “no reason” to accept your statement that Bush “believes” that Iran is a threat, but we do know that Bush “claims” he holds such a belief. 

The question is, Marshall, whether one should accept Bush’s “claim” that he actually “believes” Iran poses a threat.  For that, we have a jury instruction here in California that helps, the gist of which is that if a witness has been willfully false in one matter, his testimony is to be distrusted in all other matters. 

There are so many lies your hero told in the run up to Iraq that it took Vince Bugliosi an entire book to set them out—and these did not begin to tell all.

So sell your BS to someone stupid enough to actually swallow it.  I doubt you will find many takers from the usually knowledgeable posters at TD.

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By cyrena, August 1, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Marshall lies/parses words/splits hairs 18 ways to Sunday/whatever you wanna call it –AGAIN- here:

-  “Nor did Bush ever state that Iraq was an “imminent threat” - in Ohio or anywhere.”

But, we can see below, that’s exactly what he’s doing:

In Their Own Words: Iraq’s “Imminent” Threat
The Bush Administration is now saying it never told the public that Iraq was an “imminent” threat, and therefore it should be absolved for overstating the case for war and misleading the American people about Iraq’s WMD. Just this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at critics saying “Some in the media have chosen to use the word ‘imminent’. Those were not words we used.” But a closer look at the record shows that McClellan himself and others did use the phrase “imminent threat” – while also using the synonymous phrases “mortal threat,” “urgent threat,” “immediate threat”, “serious and mounting threat”, “unique threat,” and claiming that Iraq was actively seeking to “strike the United States with weapons of mass destruction” – all just months after Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that Iraq was “contained” and “threatens not the United States.” While Iraq was certainly a dangerous country, the Administration’s efforts to claim it never hyped the threat in the lead-up to war is belied by its statements.”

“There’s no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States.”
-  White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03

“We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.”
President Bush, 7/17/03

Iraq was “the most dangerous threat of our time.”
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03

“Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat…He was a threat. He’s not a threat now.”
- President Bush, 7/2/03

- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an “imminent threat,” 5/7/03

“We gave our word that the threat from Iraq would be ended.”
- President Bush 4/24/03

“The threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction will be removed.”
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/03

“It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi regime is destroyed and its threat to the region and the world is ended.”
- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 3/22/03

“The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”
- President Bush, 3/19/03

“The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations.”
- President Bush, 3/16/03

“This is about imminent threat.”
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

Iraq is “a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies.”
- Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03

Iraq poses “terrible threats to the civilized world.”
- Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03

Iraq “threatens the United States of America.”
- Vice President Cheney, 1/30/03

I didn’t find any mention of Condi’s Mushroom Cloud here, but she did mention it.

Marshall also says this:

-  “…Congress had full access to the unclassified NIE, not just the White Paper as you state.  There’s no disputing this fact.  When you get these little facts wrong, it reduces your overall credibility so I’d become more detail oriented if I were you…”

Bigger problem is that Marshall lies on LARGE details like the constant refrain from the bushies in the leadup to war, about Iraq being an ‘imminent threat’. But, since his ‘credibility’ was long ago destroyed, (never had any with me to begin with) becoming more ‘detail oriented’ obviously won’t help it/him.

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By Marshall, August 1, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 1 at 6:45 am #

Unfortunately Canning, the accusation that Bush/Cheney held up the NIE for political reasons is speculation.  There’s no proof of that but you’re free to believe what you want.

What ISN’T speculation is that Bush still believes Iran is a threat - as is his right.  You may disagree, as is yours.  There are aspects of the NIE that support him; like its consensus that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon by 2015 because it’s foreign policy goals demand it.  The report has only moderate confidence that Iran hasn’t already restarted its nuke program, and makes clear that it can pick up where it left off easily.  Nothing’s been moth-balled.

Your comparison to the Oct. 02 Iraq weapons NIE is rather humorous since that NIE could not have been more clear in its belief that Iraq had active chem/bio and nuke programs - despite the caveats buried within.  Nor did Bush ever state that Iraq was an “imminent threat” -  in Ohio or anywhere.  And we’ve been down the “White Paper” road before but I’ll say it once again: Congress had full access to the unclassified NIE, not just the White Paper as you state.  There’s no disputing this fact.  When you get these little facts wrong, it reduces your overall credibility so I’d become more detail oriented if I were you.

But we digress.  The issue at hand is Iran and its nuclear intentions.  So I ask you once again: Do you support a policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or don’t you?

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By mrmb, August 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ali Mostofi,

I read ur other threads a few times and tried to make sense of what you are saying.

What you say has to make sense. You sorta do. I did a search to double check my facts about Iran. 98% of the population is Muslim (Shiite). The other 2% is divided between various other religons (Suni Muslims, Jews, Christians, Zorastrians).

As we all know the Muslims that disagree with the Islamic Republic’s model of governance are broken down into secular and religeous, with their own particular agendas.

Now the non muslims and part of the secular nationalist muslims can put forth a historical argument as you do, that before Islam arrived in Iran due to Arab conquest of the country Iran was a Zorastrian nation and so on and so forth. Thats recounting history that is not in dispute by anyone including the muslims.

How you intend to use that historical fact to undermine the legitimacy of Islam and the Islamic republic is in serious doubt.

Numerous non muslims and a few muslim born scholars have tried that path since the birth of Islam and up to now they have not had any success. That will continue well into the future just as it does with Christianity and other faiths or ideologies.

You may prove to be the sole exclusion to that historical trend.

However, I suggest you get a grip on reality and stop living in the past. The Persian society of 3000 years ago is part of human heritage and civilization and you can read about it in the books. The cultural contributions of the persians to poetry, mathematics, science, philosophy, art, agriculture, governance and etc…. is beyond any doubts.

The question here is not regime change in Iran by the Iranian people. Im sure if thats what the people of Iran really want they will find the way to do it in time. Just the way they got rid of the Shah and his American, British and Israeli supporters.

The question here before us is the duplicitous, hypocritical, criminal policy advocated and implemented by successive American administrations to interefer in the internal afairs of Iran to the detriment of the Iranian people. That needs to stop before we start a war that could potentially lead to WWIII with unforeseen catastrophic consequences for all.

So, having said that, I guess you can preach your religon here or in Iran for as long you wish till you get the results you like. However with all due respect I dont see how Zorastranism can be a force on this planet or for that matter in Iran any time soon.

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By Ali Mostofi, August 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

The Iranian people know better than anyone how to deal with the enemy within.  We do not need the US to get so worked up and get into a frenzy.  And you do not need to worry Scott.

Now the question everyone asks me is, why don’t you all take care of these Seyyeds, if you all do not like them?  A couple of reasons.

The first answer is that, the Iranian diaspora has been censored by the world media.  That is the real war we are dealing with.  If the war that the people of Iran are waging on a cultural level, is reported, then you would not see the Seyyeds around for long.

The second answer is that, if the US did not deal with the Seyyeds, but instead dealt with the real Iranians, that put Iran first and other ideologies second, then we would be able to broadcast our thoughts through the mass media, and get regime change.

The war we have then, is the media war.  We cannot get the world press to write about non-violent general strikes, as a tool to influence the Seyyed regime.  The fact that this does not happen leads us to suspect collusion between the US administration and the Seyyed administration.

1. Give us some media space.
2. Make provocative questions about the stability of the Seyyeds, in light of a general strike, as opposed to an air strike.
3. Don’t legitimize the Seyyeds, when real Iranians abstained from their “Seyyed selection” process en-masse.

But instead what do you do Scott? You give the Seyyeds the benefit of the doubt.  What doubt is there, when we all know that they have a clear Mahdi agenda.

You might not like the Republicans, but don’t use Iran as your tool to criticize them.  It makes the Seyyeds look great.

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By cyrena, August 1, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 1 at 6:45 am

Marshall—Give it up!  Bush & Cheney were in possession of the NIE—the assessment of our nation’s 16 intelligence agencies—which expressly stated that Iran was not actively seeking a nuclear weapon, yet sought to suppress it for over a year.  Publicly, Bush & Cheney made repeated statements during that one year that Iran was actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability.


And Ernest, there’s even more to this..something akin to the white papers that you have so clearly described in reference to Iraq. It began with the original agreement that Iran made with the EU3, VOLUTARILY agreeing to suspend their enrichment activities as part of a ‘confidence building’ agreement, as far back as 2003. Thing is, the US and the EU3 decided it should be open-ended. In other words, ‘they’ would determine how long it would take for Iran to prove the peaceful nature of their program, and for the US and the EU3, that would simply be FOREVER, since that’s how long it takes to prove a negative. So, in 2006, Iran decided that it had been long enough, specifically since by that time, the IAEA had full access to EVERYTHING, and could find NO indications that Iran was in pursuit of nuclear weaponry. Obviously, the SIXTEEN US INTELLIGENCE agencies concluded the same.

After reading this latest piece of BS from Marshall, I was tempted to dig up the work that I did myself, tracing this all the way back (or at least 2 decades back), concentrating primarily on the time since 2000, and specifically Iran’s dealings with the IAEA. (since that’s what I was focused on, but still needed to provide the background leading up to it). But alas, that work went by the way of this now reformatted hard-drive, so it would mean digging it out of the university archives. (with the hope that Prof. Falk stored it there). And then I wouldn’t matter to the apologists anyway. On the other hand, it made me realize that I actually DO need to get about the business of tracking a whole bunch of that work down, if only for my own reference. My own organic hard drive relies on those prompts.

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By cann4ing, August 1, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Marshall—Give it up!  Bush & Cheney were in possession of the NIE—the assessment of our nation’s 16 intelligence agencies—which expressly stated that Iran was not actively seeking a nuclear weapon, yet sought to suppress it for over a year.  Publicly, Bush & Cheney made repeated statements during that one year that Iran was actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

This is precisely the same thing that they did in the run up to the war in Iraq.  Bush received an NIE on 10/1/02 which revealed that Iraq was not a threat to the U.S.; would not be a threat unless Saddam thought we were about to attack.  on 10/7/02 Bush gave a nationally televised speech in Ohio in which he claimed that Iraq was an imminent threat, stating that we could be attacked “on any given day.” 

That NIE contained numerous dissents and caveats.  The Bush administration then submitted a summary of the NIE to Congress which would be labeled the “White Paper.”  That unclassified summary, presented to Congress just one week before the Congressional authorization vote, deleted all dissents, caveats and the conclusion that Saddam was not an imminent threat.  The deletions included language that revealed the speculative nature of the assessment.  For example, where the NIE said “although we have little specific information on Iraq’s CW [chemical weapons] stockpile [in fact they had no information] Saddam probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons…of CW agents…”  The White Paper deleted the words “although we have little specific information on Iraqis CW stockpile,” then simply stated “Saddam probably has…”

The recent Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearings disclosed that the White Paper had deleted a footnote containing a dissent from the U.S.A.F. director for Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance which disputed the pre-war claim that Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver biological agents—thereby deleting the assessment from “the agency with primary responsibility for technological analysis on UAV programs.”

The White Paper falsely stated that “all intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons” when, in truth, the State Department’s Intelligence and Research Bureau expressly disagreed.

Frankly, Marshall, after the willful prevarications that led us into one war—killing 4,100 Americans and counting and more than one million Iraqis, the maiming and disfigurement of tens of thousands more, along with the displacement of an estimated 6 million Iraqis, 2 million into exile—I have lost all tolerance not only for this administration’s dissembling but for the hair-splitting, word parsing perfidy of the administration’s apologists—meaning you!

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By PatrickHenry, August 1, 2008 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

I hope Iran is able to affect a quid pro quo with Israel.  The Iranians have been more than accommodating to the International inspectors, whereas Israel hasn’t.

The saber rattling and provocative banter Israel is providing now is only good until Jan 20.

We need to bring the fleets home, cut off military aid to the Mid-east and sort this out with the other power brokers of that region.

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By Marshall, August 1, 2008 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

By cann4ing, July 31 at 9:25 pm #

“The reports I read show that there is no evidence that Iran was seeking a nuclear weapons capability after 2003—whether they were doing so prior to that time is disputed not only by the Iranians but by the IAEA.”

But not by the NIE, which you used to substantiate your statements.  That is entirely selective, whereas I’m not referring to parts of reports that agree with me and ignoring those same reports when they don’t.

Bush has not been “discredited” for believing that Iran had an active nuclear program; the issue is precisely why he requested the NIE to begin with. Best intelligence up until the NIE indicated that Iran had such a program.  And indeed it did, until 2003.  The NIE is clear that such a program can be restarted quickly, that Iran likely has purchased fissile material and will likely be able to produce its own within the decade.

You and I can trade quotes and speculate about whether Iran has/wants nukes all day, but the fact is that Iran has been offered many concessions and multiple opportunities to set the global community’s mind at ease by improving the transparency of its nuclear program, and it has balked at every turn.  Now unless you support an Iranian nuclear program, I find it difficult to understand how you can find fault with U.S. pressure on Iran to disclose.  It is just such pressure that NIE you quote credits with having halted Iran’s nuke program in 2003, indicating that it is more sensitive to such pressure than we judged.  I see no rush to war with Iran, but instead a clear statement that a nuclear Iran will not be tolerated and we’ll do whatever it takes to accommodate Iran’s civilian nuclear program while making sure it doesn’t develop a military version.  You think this is bad policy?

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By cann4ing, July 31, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

mrmb, as lengthy as your list of the military actions by imperial America are, it is far too short.  It leaves off the many covert operations, such as the CIA’s role in the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadeqh, the democratically elected, secular leader of Iran and its replacement with the murderous regime of the Shah and its infamous SAVAK—all to the benefit of US/UK oil companies—an act that produced unintended consequences of the Iranian Revolution, the hostage crisis and the Shah’s replacement by a dictatorial theocracy.

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By cann4ing, July 31, 2008 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Marshall:  I suggest you re-read your July 31 post which includes: “Whereas Dr. Knowitall can’t see past his hatred for the U.S….”

Your reading of the NIE is just as selective.  The reports I read show that there is no evidence that Iran was seeking a nuclear weapons capability after 2003—whether they were doing so prior to that time is disputed not only by the Iranians but by the IAEA.  Your statement: “The NIE also concludes that Iran does likely intend to develop nukes in the future” only serves to underscore the point I made, albeit not in the same “precise” words, while thoroughly discrediting every thing the Bush/Cheney regime has claimed for the past five years; everything that John McSame & Israel are saying now.

Finally, as reported by Seymour Hersh, recounted tonight by Keith Olbermann on “Countdown,” our cunning VP has brainstormed ways to “provoke” an incident that could be used as an excuse to invade Iran, including remaking boats to look like Iranian patrol boats, filling them with U.S. special forces disguised as Iranians and then having them fire on our own forces.  Apparently, in this instance, someone had the good sense to tell Darth Cheney that it would not be a very good idea to have U.S. special forces fire weapons at other U.S. service personnel.

If true, this tracks similar comments made by Bush and documented in the Manning memo, where Bush, concerned that there would be no WMD found by inspectors, suggested to Tony Blair that they repaint U.S. aircraft in UN colors; fly it over Iraqi air space in the hopes that the Iraqis would fire on it so as to provide an excuse to invade.  See, Vincent Bugliosi, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” (2008).

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By Marshall, July 31, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, July 31 at 7:14 am #

“Marshall conflates opposition to the neoconservative and Zionist agenda of the Bush regime into “hatred for the U.S.””

I never mentioned hatred for the U.S.. Are you referring to someone else’s post?

“the NIE released last year that concluded Iran was not seeking to create a nuclear weapons capacity”

Perhaps you should read the NIE before making false statements.  The NIE concluded that Iran had an active nuke program (which they continue to deny) through 2003, and “halted” (not dismantled) it as the result of global pressure.  Here’s the link:

The NIE also concludes that Iran does likely intend to develop nukes in the future due to its “key national security and foreign policy objectives”.

By mrmb, July 31 at 8:23 am #

The points you make about my post are certainly your opinion (and we obviously disagree), but nowhere have you shown that I’m “wrong”.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1985 Honduras Military Aid;
Training Communism To destabilise elected government of Nicaragua.
1986 Nicaragua Military Aid Communism To destabilise elected government.
1986 Libya Bombing Terrorism To destabilise the country.
1987 Iran Provocation Terrorism To destabilise the country.
1988 Iran Provocation Terrorism To destabilise the country.
1988 Iraq Military Aid Islamic Iran Support for Iraq in its war against Iran.
1988 Colombia Military Aid Drugs Support for pro-USA government.
1988 El Salvador Military Aid Communism Support for pro-USA government.
1988 Turkey Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1989 El Salvador Military Aid Communism Support for pro-USA government.
1989 Panama Invasion;
Diplomatic Violation Drugs To ensure control over the Panama Canal.
1989 Cambodia Military Aid None To destabilise Vietnamese backed government and to please China.
1989 Libya Provocation Terrorism To destabilise the country because it is anti-USA and pro-Palestinian.
1990 Nicaragua Election Finance Communism To ensure that a pro-USA government was elected.
1990 El Salvador Military Training Communism Support of the pro-USA government.
1990 Guatemala Military Aid Communism Support for the pro-USA government.
1990 Bulgaria Election Finance Communism Did not want a socialist government in power.
1990 Germany Document Theft None Unknown.
1991 Iraq Invasion;
UN Violation;
Sanctions Free Kuwait To ensure that Iraq became less powerful.
1991 Philippines Disinformation None Military bases.
1992 Somalia Invasion Humanitarian To ensure that a pro-West government took control.
1992 Colombia Military Aid Drugs To remove anti-USA elements.
1992 Albania Election Finance Communism Did not want a socialist government in power.
1992 Angola Military Aid Communism Wanted access to oil and diamonds.
1993 Iraq Bombing UN Violations To ensure that Iraq does not flood the oil market, lowering the price.
1993 Cuba Trade Embargo Communism Country using its resources for its own people.
1994 Haiti Troops;
Document Theft Democracy To ensure that a pro-west government is elected.
1994 Jordan Financial Aid Humanitarian To obtain agreement with Israel’s view that Palestinian refugees do not have a right of return.
1994 Colombia Military Aid Drug Trafficking To suppress opposition to pro-USA government.
1995 Turkey Military Aid None To keep a pro-USA government happy while it attacks Kurds.
1995 Iraq Sanctions;
Bombing UN Violations To ensure that Iraq does not flood the oil market, lowering the price.
1995 Mexico Military Aid Drug Trafficking To crush opposition to USA business interests.
1995 Iran Sanctions Terrorism Country using its resources for its own people.
1996 Iraq Sanctions;
Bombing UN Violations To keep the country weak and to destabilise the government.
1996 Mongolia Election Finance Communism To help elect a pro-USA government that would allow electronic monitoring of China.
1997 Rwanda Military Aid None Support for pro-West government.
1997 Iraq Sanctions UN Violations To replace the government with one that is more pro-West.
1998 Afghanistan Bombing Terrorism To destroy terror camps built by the USA to fight the USSR and now suspected of being used against the USA.
1998 Iraq Sanctions;
Bombing UN Violations To replace the government with one that is more pro-West.
1998 Sudan Bombing Terrorism Unknown.
1998 Turkey Military Aid None Support for pro-USA NATO country.
1998 Guatemala Military Aid None Suppression of opposition to pro-USA government.
1998 South Korea Food Aid Humanitarian To make the country dependent on USA produced food.
1999 Yugoslavia Bombing Humanitarian European business interests.
1999 Iraq Bombing UN Violations To destabilise independent Arab regime.
1999 Guatemala Military Aid None Suppression of opposition to pro-USA government.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Year Country Action Reason Given Actual Reason

1970 North Vietnam Bombing None Control of country.
1970 Uruguay Torture Training None To keep opposition from taking power.
1970 Oman Military Assistance None Unknown.
1971 Laos Invasion None Control of country.
1971 Vietnam Military Action None Control of country.
1972 North Vietnam Blockade;
Bombing None Control of country.
1972 Nicaragua Troops Business interests Support for business and pro-USA government.
1972 Australia Election Finance None Did not like Labour Party foreign policy.
1972 Iraq Aid to Kurds Humanitarian To destabilise Iraq as it had a quarrel with USA ally, Iran.
1973 Cambodia Bombing None Control of country.
1974 Vietnam Trade Embargo Communism The Vietnamese were winning against the USA.
1974 Zaire Military Aid None Control of resources.
1974 Portugal Election Finance None Did not want socialist government to take power.
1975 Vietnam Economic Attack Communism To stop country developing as a model for the region.
1975 East Timor Support of Invasion None Did not want a new independent state; oil.
1975 Iraq Change of Support None Kurdish rebels no longer of use.
1975 Morocco Support of Invasion None Morocco grants use of military bases in return.
1976 Indonesia Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1976 Philippines Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1977 Pakistan Military Aid None Support for unelected pro-USA government.
1977 Egypt Economic Coersion None To remove Egypt from the anti-Israel camp.
1977 Zaire Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1977 Indonesia Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1978 Guatemala Military Aid;
Economic Aid None Support for unelected pro-USA government.
1979 Iran Habouring Dictator None New government wants control of its resources, especially oil.
1979 Central Africa Economic Aid None Support for pro-business government.
1979 Afghanistan Military Aid Repel USSR To repel USSR and break their economy.
1979 Cambodia Aid to Khmer Rouge None To please new ally China; to antagonise Vietnam.
1979 Vietnam Economic Blockade Communism To stop country developing as a model for the region.
1979 Yemen Military Aid None To please ally, Saudi Arabia.
1980 El Salvador Military Aid Communism Stop opposition to pro-USA government.
1980 Honduras Troops Communism Protect resources and create anti-Nicaragua bases.
1980 Iraq Military Aid Islamic Iran Wanted to destabilise new anti-USA government of Iran.
1980 Cambodia Military Aid None To destabilise Vietnamese backed government and to please new ally, China.
1980 Italy Terrorism None To discredit socialist election candidates and to heighten fear of the USSR.
1980 South Korea Military Aid;
Political Support None Suppress opposition to pro-USA government.
1981 Tanzania Economic Coersion Communism Wanted the country to change its economy to suit USA companies.
1981 El Salvador Military Aid Communism Stop opposition to pro-USA government.
1981 Libya Provocation Terrorism To destabilise an anti-West government.
1981 Indo-China Economic Coersion Communism To stop the independent development of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
1982 Lebanon Troops Humanitarian To help Israel remove Palestinians.
1982 Guatemala Military Aid None To suppress opposition to pro-USA government.
1982 South Africa Financial Aid Terrorism To help South Africa destabilise the region.
1982 Afghanistan Military Aid Communism To replace USSR backed government by the USA backed government.
1982 Iraq Military Aid Islamic Iran To support Iraq’s war against the anti-USA government of Iran.
1983 Lebanon Troops;
Bombing Peace Keeping To ensure pro-USA factions won the civil war.
1983 Nicaragua Blockade;
Arming Rebels Communism To replace government with pro-USA regime.
1983 Zimbabwe Economic Coersion None Government had too independent foreign policy.
1984 Mozambique Economic Coersion Communism To stop support for democracy in South Africa.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Year Country Action Reason Given Actual Reason

1947 France Election Finance;
Economic Coersion Communism Wanted pro-USA government and French recolonisation of Vietnam.
1947 Italy Election Finance;
Economic Coersion Communism Wanted pro-USA and pro-business government.
1947 Greece Military Backing Communism Wanted pro-USA government and military bases.
1947 Philippines Election Finance None Military bases.
1948 Peru Military Backing None Control of government.
1948 Vietnam Military Backing Communism Support for French recolonisation. Fear of independent Vietnam.
1948 Nicaragua Military Backing None Pro-USA government and access to plantations.
1949 China Arms Sales;
Bombing Communism Access to a pro-USA and pro-business government.
1950 Colombia Food Aid Humanitarian Destruction of an agricultural rival.
1950 Korea Killing Civilians None Unknown.
1950 Puerto Rico Military Action None To crush independence movement.
1953 Philippines Election Finance None Wanted pro-USA government and military bases.
1954 Vietnam Military Backing Communism Fear of united and powerful independent country.
1955 Europe Election Finance None Wanted united pro-USA, pro-NATO and anti-socialist Europe.
1956 Egypt Sanctions Communism Country took ownership of its Suez Canal and opposed USA Middle East policy.
1957 Jordan Military Training None Wanted strong pro-USA government.
1958 Lebanon Military Action None Removal of anti-West dissidents.
1958 Indonesia Election Finance None Government is against USA business interests.
1958 Japan Election Finance None To keep pro-USA governments in power.
1959 Haiti Military Action None To crush rebellion against pro-USA government.
1959 Nepal Covert Action None To help pro-USA government win power.
1960 Congo Assassination None Wanted to remove popular and nationalist leader; access to minerals.
1960 Cuba Trade Embargo Communism Country using its resources for its own people.
1960 Iraq Destabilisation None Leader founds and supports OPEC.
1961 Cuba Secret Invasion None Country using its resources for its own people.
1961 Dominican Republic Assassination None Unknown.
1962 Vietnam Military Action Communism Country wanted unity and independence.
1962 Cuba Economic Sabotage None Country using its resources for its own people.
1962 Brazil Election Finance None Wanted pro-business government.
1962 Dominican Republic Political Coersion None Unknown.
1963 Iraq Assassination;
Intelligence Communism Previous government against USA oil interests; removal of dissidents.
1963 El Salvador Advisors Communism Removal of anti-USA dissidents.
1964 North Vietnam Bombing None Removal of independent government.
1964 South Vietnam Torture Training Communism Suppression of independence movements.
1964 Panama Military Action Law and Order Suppression of movement demanding return of canal.
1965 Vietnam Military Action Communism To keep the country from uniting.
1965 Dominican Republic Intervention Communism To keep elected leader from returning to power.
1965 Indonesia Intelligence Communism Removal of dissidents. Helping a pro-business regime.
1965 Laos Destabilisation;
Bombing Communism Denial of support for Vietnam.
1965 Thailand Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government; military bases.
1965 Peru Military Aid None Support for pro-USA government.
1966 Vietnam Village Clearing;
Bombing Communism Political control of the country.
1966 Laos Bombing None Denial of support for Vietnam.
1966 Central Africa Finance None Access to uranium.
1966 Bolivia Election Finance None Access to minerals and oil.
1967 Vietnam Military Action Communism Political control of the country.
1967 Cuba Assassination None Removal of popular leader.
1968 Vietnam Village Clearing;
Bombing Communism Political control of country.
1969 Cambodia Secret Bombing None Denial of support for Vietnam.
1969 Vietnam Military Action Communism Political control of country.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look at the Quotes at the bottom of the page.

Richard Perle, USA Pentagon advisor:
“I do not believe that the United States should be bound by the same rules as the smallest African nation. Life isn’t like that.”
As footenote, he has decided to get in the oil business!!!!!

Madeleine Albright, former USA Secretary of State to the United Nations:

“[The USA will] behave, with others, multilaterally when we can and unilaterally as we must.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, USA ambassador to the United Nations writing in his book, A Dangerous Place:

“The [USA] Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success.”

George Bush, USA president during the bombing of Iraq:

“What we say goes.”

Der Spiegal, news magazine from Germany (1 September 1997):

“Never before in modern history has a country dominated the earth so totally as the United States does today… America is now the Schwarzenegger of international politics: showing off muscles, obtrusive, intimidating… The Americans, in the absence of limits put to them by anybody or anything, act as if they own a kind of blank cheque in their ‘McWorld’”.

NoControllingLegalAuthority, from a post on a forum about the USA’s role in the United Nations:

“The UN is headed for the dust bin of history. It has no moral authority. It is dominated by cowards, scoundrels and thieves. It’s participants do not even obey the laws of the city of New York. Many of us are ready to help UN personnel pack and to drive them to the airport for a one-way trip out of our country. Today would not be soon enough. Good riddance to the self-serving human debris.”

Reuel Marc, former (USA) CIA covert operator in February 2003:

“The tougher Sharon becomes, the stronger our image will be in the Middle East”.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Well said. But they also have a different set of problems.

1- Moral self rightheousness (they wouldnt know morality if it hit them on the head)

2- Dogmatic

3- Ignorant

4- Arrogant

5- Delusional

6- Mental disease that renders them impotent to distinguish between fact and fiction

Should say anymore?

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By cann4ing, July 31, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

mrmb—Like so many true-believers, Marshall operates in a “fact-free” environment.

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By mrmb, July 31, 2008 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Your commentary is absolutely mind boggling as it makes certain assumptions that are wrong.

1- The first assumption is that our interests in the ME supercedes the interests of the locals. WRONG. Thats an imperial mindset.

2- Second assumption is that Israel is a benevolent state and is there to love and be loved. WRONG. Israel is an imperialist colonialist extension for the control of the ME resources.

3- Third assumption is that you and your neo crazy buddies seem to know for certainty that Iran has a nuclear weapons program where there is no evidence to prove it and Iran does not have to prove a negative.

Iran does not know an explanation to us or to anyone else and as long as they are operating within the legal boundaries of the NPT they are fine. Its actually us and our civilized allies that are a threat to others and who are in violation of the NPT.

4- The fourth assumption is that you and your neo crazy buddies think that the US, Britain, France and Israel constitute the planet, the world, the civilized world, the international community or whatever else you like to use. WRONG.
We are not a spokesman for the planet. We may think we are and we may contantly say it in the media but that doesnt make it so. Far from it we represent imperial domination, war, destruction, and thievery of other peoples resources. Its sad but true.

5- Its not Iran that has battleships, submarines, aircraft carriers off the coast of NY, or CA or in the Gulf of Mexico. Its not Iran that has invaded Canada or Mexico on lies and has destroyed numerous other peoples by acts of aggression. Its actually us Marshall. If you open your eyes you may actually see it.

6- You assume Iran has imperial ambitions and there is no shred of evidence to support that. Your problem is that you are oblivious to historical facts and realities and have no regard for other peoples culture, customs, independence and life style.
You and your neo crazy buddies seem to just gloss over the historical fact that the people of the ME have suffered from colonialism and imperilalism and until they get rid of both there will be no peace.

There is more but this should suffice.

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By cann4ing, July 31, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Interesting how Marshall conflates opposition to the neoconservative and Zionist agenda of the Bush regime into “hatred for the U.S.”

Lost in his usual rant is the NIE released last year that concluded Iran was not seeking to create a nuclear weapons capacity or the science emerging from the IAEA revealing that the level of enrichment of Iran’s uranium is nowhere near that required for use in nuclear weapons.  Marshall is intent on repeating the Bush regime’s propaganda in a fact-free environment just as he sought to defend the regime’s “fixed intelligence” for many years after it was exposed as fraudulent.

While I know I will incur the wrath of the many proponents of nuclear power posting elsewhere at TD (most of whom have acknowledged personal financial gain), I, for one, believe that not merely Iran but the world would be better served by abandoning all efforts at developing nuclear power, looking instead to new and developing technologies—wind, solar, geothermal, wave—and by the dismantling of “all” nuclear arsenals, including those maintained by the U.S. and Israel.

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By Sonnydee1945x, July 31, 2008 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

I hear people complaining all the time about the government doing this or that in their name. Now we are going to start another war, this time with Iran. Supposedly to stop them from making a nuclear weapon, and because they are a threat to Israel.
The Israeli people have been subject to prejudice for centuries so you think they would have gained some compassion and understanding for suppressed people. Instead they have become some of the most prejudice people in the world. They have created the threats they are facing and so has the government of the United States. You can only push people around for so long until they retaliate. That’s just the way it is. Instead of trying to make peace in the world we act like spoiled children and create more conflict for selfish reasons. The United States government/military corporation, the Israeli government, and almost every other government on this planet are only interested in making money. That is what is important to them. They don’t care about anyone when it comes to money, not you or I, not our children or grandchildren. Life is all about money to them and they have transferred and continue to transfer that attitude to the rest of us.
If you want someone to listen to you, you find what they are interested in and you use it to open their eyes and ears. If you want the government of this nation to stop this war mongering in your name then you must stop funding it. Stop giving them your money. You don’t think for a minute that Bush, Cheney or any one of these morons will pay for these wars they are starting with there own money, do you? We wouldn’t be involved in these wars if it were not for our tax dollars. We had a surplus of money when Bush came into office. A surplus that could have been used to eliminate our dependence on oil. But Bush and his friends are oil people. Their wealth comes from oil so they are not interested in alternate forms of energy. They started these wars to gain access to the oil in the Mid-East and no one can convince me otherwise. The same thing is behind the attitude of war against Iran.
It is madness, you know, to cause one’s own destruction and that is where we are heading if we do not stop them. No matter what other illusions they create to justify their aggression, it is about oil and the money they will make from it.
If you want to stop them in their tracks you will not do it by complaining, we can complain all we want, they will never listen or care. You will not do it through politics or religion. You will do it by not funding their self promoting agenda.
We the people have the power in the fact that we give them our money to use. That money is not to be used for their profit. It is to be used for the betterment of this nation. For real education, not this ridiculous illusion of education that turns our children into nothing more than mass consumers. It is to be used to reduce the homeless population, to lift up the poor, to fund solar and wind energy, even solar and wind vehicles. The list goes on but does not include self indulgence on the part of our elected officials.
Stop giving them your money and they will start to listen, and they will be forced to change their ways.

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By Ed Harges, July 31, 2008 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

By Marshall, July 31 at 3:40 am:

Classic case of projection. Israel is the only country in the region that has demonstrated — repeatedly, explicitly, highly destructively, and mass-murderously — its “imperialistic goals”.

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By Marshall, July 31, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

To Dara,

I think you and I take a differing view on Iran’s geo-political status; you see Iran as a beleaguered state simply trying to prevent itself from being overrun by the U.S. and Israel, and I see Iran as having ideologically driven, imperialistic goals in that region that extend outward through its ever growing weapons programs and its control of external military forces.  Please correct me if I’ve mis-characterized your position.

If I’m right, then Iran’s nuclear weapons intentions are of paramount importance because its history, rhetoric and actions in the region are not those of a country with ultimately peaceful or benevolent intentions.  It has failed to accept generous UN terms for nuclear disclosure which could allay global concerns (and I do say “global” because the U.S. is simply one of many countries with these suspicions).

If diplomacy can bring change to Iran’s nuclear posture then I’m all for it, and we’ve begun to see some movement in that area.  But it’s clear that our focus is on it’s nuclear intentions as this is the one issue that cannot be sidelined.  I do not support military action against Iran unless we’ve exhausted diplomacy, but neither do I rule it out, as doing so would completely de-fang and render useless any serious diplomatic effort.

The truth is that Iran is in danger from the West or from Israel only if it fails to disclose and allow international monitoring of its nuclear programs, which it has so far refused to do.  The region and our interests there, however, are in danger from a weaponized Iran, which has demonstrated its ability to acquire not only nuclear technology, but the delivery systems needed to project that power well beyond its borders.

The reasons you hate the current regime - it’s human rights abuses, it’s lack of real democracy, its treatment of its own people, and its role as a destabilizing force in the region are the symptoms of an expansionistic regime with regional designs and with the intention to challenge U.S. power and presence.  And if it’s rhetoric is to be believed, the ultimate removal of Israel from the map.  These goals can only be accomplished if Iran has a nuclear weapons capability, which is why our intelligence indicates it has every intention of developing one, despite any temporary pause.

Iran could respond to any of a number of enrichment options it has been presented, but insists on building its own, expensive Uranium enrichment program.  Enriching Plutonium is not needed for a civilian nuclear program, but Iran is intent on this as well and has admitted to lying to the IAEA about its plutonium use.  Our intelligence was clear that, though it may have paused in 2003, Iran had and still had an undisclosed nuclear weapons program.  So you intelligence believers out there ought not to sugar-coat the findings and act as though Iran doesn’t have such a program.

Whereas Dr. Knowitall can’t see past his hatred for the U.S. by using our possession of nukes as a perfectly good excuse to allow the Iranians to go nuclear (non-proliferation be damned I guess), critical thinkers know that the nuclear club cannot be allowed to grow, and it can only shrink by preventing new members and ultimately disarming the remaining ones in the end. 

For now, we must keep our eye on the ball, which is Iran’s nuclear intentions, by allowing the UN the room to negotiate.  But it must show progress quickly as delaying only allows Iran to perfect its technology and step that much closer to a functional nuclear weapons capability.

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By cann4ing, July 30, 2008 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Given the extensive past revelations by the likes of Seymour Hersh as well as Scott Ritter himself, there is nothing really new here.  What troubles me most is that the anti-war movement, which came out in record numbers to oppose the invasion of Iraq, has been strangely silent in letting members of Congress know that progressives will work tirelessly to make them “former” members of Congress if they continue, during these last six months, to cave into the Bush agenda.

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By KPinSEA, July 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Thanks so much for printing Mr. Ritter’s analysis of this situation.  I’ve always found his writing on the topic of war with Iran to be informative.

It’s nearly inconceivable to me that stopping the headlong rush of this Administration toward another mistake, that might eclipse the Iraq Mistake in scale, is not the number one issue before Congress, the number one issue in the Presidential campaign, and the number one topic of discussion between American citizens.

We needlessly killed tens of thousands of people with the Iraq Mistake .... how many more must pay with their lives for the irresponsibility of our Executive Branch and the fecklessness of the Congress that enables it?

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By American Patriot, July 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So we the American People find ourselves prisoners of the economic agenda of corporate interests and their undue influence of our own Country and that of one of our allies. The redress process under the rule of law has done nothing to stem the continuing crimes. This leaves us one option, in fact the powers that be are daring us to. We must now show ourselves to be worthy of the legacy of those who died for our way of life. We must now throw ourselves into the gears of the machine, and die in as many numbers as are needed until the gears stop turning. Damn the martial law, damn the bullets, the prison sentences. We must create a critical mass of direct opposition we must shut down access to congress, to the White house,to Washington DC if necessary. We must do so non-violentently, but with a willingness to die if they try to cart us away or blockade us, literally throwing our bodies on on the machine until there are too many bodies to clean up too many bodies to be imprisoned

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By mrmb, July 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just to make sure the point gets across.
My question is why is this allowed and then tolerated?

The point is if zionists control the finances of the sole superpower through the Fed and other agencies and institutions then one should slowly begin to undertand the magnitude of the problem facing us.

Didnt king george put war criminal paul wolfy as the president of the world bank?

Should I mention other leading international financial institutions all over the western world that control the purse strings of the planet? Or you can all figure it out on your own?

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By PatrickHenry, July 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Lets try again, strange the link fails.


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By cyrena, July 30, 2008 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

By voice of truth, July 30 at 8:48 am

“Give me a break.  The price of oil has fallen because demand has fallen.  It is a fact.  The amount of miles driven last month by US consumers fell for the first time in over 20 years.”
There’s a word for people like you VOT, (surely several) but the one I’m searching for now escapes me. Maybe somebody else can come up with it.

It’s something like…The US is the only legitimate civilization on the globe, and so the *globally determined* price of oil has fallen because the US CONSUMERS demand has fallen. In other words, if the US doesn’t need or demand it, it becomes inconsequential. US demand has fallen, global prices are down. Never mind about China or any of the other spots on the globe that are *not* oil rich nations, and need to get theirs from somewhere. 

There’s a paradox in the fact that an imperial mindset is so small.

Marshall has the same outlook of course, as we’ve seen so many times…the arrogance of the those for whom no other nation or people exist, other than to provide for the enriching expansion of the US.

First he decides what’s best for the World, vis-à-vis Iran, and they he goes on to suggest what the US policy is and should be:

•  “..And I believe that is the primary goal of U.S. policy towards Iran (along with halting its support for groups that attack U.S. troops in Iraq, and reigning in its proxy war on Israel through Hamas and Hezbollah)…”

Never mind that US troops *in Iraq* wouldn’t BE under attack if they weren’t *IN* Iraq. For Marshall and his ilk of hubris, OF COURSE the US owns Iraq and the rest of the world. And somehow, it’s just a ‘given’ for Marshall that these Persian Muslims are crackpots and inherently dangerous ‘by nature’ (or could it be race/ethnicy/religion?) that THEY, (rather than say..Dick Bush) would blow up the world if they have access to nuclear technology.

DrKnow it all,

I don’t know if Isseywise is ‘putting us on’ on not. He speaks of reality only on his way to and from the rabbit hole it seems.

Thanks Dara, for the very clear-cut and precise explanation of the circumstances directing the mindset of the Iranian people. Even the average American can figure that out. The Natives among us know it even better. How much reason does a person need to understand that the constant attacks, bullying, intimidation, saber rattling, and all the rest would ONLY foster a greater sense of nationalism among the people of ANY state or region, despite how they may feel about a particular regime? For the Iranians, this isn’t *new*. Their citizens have frequently remarked on the fact that they didn’t like Ahmadinejad, and didn’t vote for Ahmadinejad, and have NO love for the Mullahs either. BUT, they ARE proud of their nuclear program, which International Treaties give them the right to ‘own and operate’.

Again, this isn’t some weird phenomena that people of any state will band together when under attack by a foreign entity. How else did Dick Bush manage to fool enough Americans into keeping them in office after the original Coup? They established themselves as the ‘warriors of the American people” to defend us against ‘terra’. The American people just didn’t get that the ‘terra’ was coming from them.

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By mrmb, July 30, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Thanks for the compliment. Its been such a long time that I barely remembered certain things. If we had this conversation 30 years ago I would have been able to give you a better and more detailed history.

Sucks getting old!!!

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By cyrena, July 30, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

By mrmb, July 30 at 10:34 am

Dear mrmb…

Thanks so very much for this superb account of the MEK. I don’t know about anybody else, but I really appreciate it.

History does matter…

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, et al

Of course, I want to believe Dara.  But we don’t know who Dara is, if Dara is real or if Dara is Iranian.  I tend to think that most Iranians are peace-loving people and resent radicals in their country distracting the rest of the world from the true Iranian picture.  That said:

Marshall, you obviously are a great student of history because we saw in ‘45 what happens when a highly expansionist nation gets nuclear weapons.

For an American to object to another nation getting nuclear capability is arrogant and, where there are religious conditions, self-righteous.

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By mrmb, July 30, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I think u miss the point. Every state has the right to keep an eye on the military, economic, and political developments of its friends and foes alike.

The US trying to figure out what that objective of the Iranian nuclear program is all fine and dandy.
They can and should use the tools of statecraft at their disposal and do their job.

The problem is that we are not talking about the US government pursuing policies that are in the national interest of the US.

Our polity is zionist occupied territory and hence the key problem we face.

Also, building a case on lies, exaggerations, half truths, deceptions and propaganda to initiate a war of aggression is only acceptable to the ignorant and the fool hardy.

We as citizens of a free country (I no longer ascribe to it as such) who are able to influence the course of actions our government takes have a responsibility to make sure our elected officials understand that we are sick and tired of a bunch of morons and liars (democrat and republican) making promises to us, the public, and then turn around and give us the finger while in power.

The problem is that these monkeys make pledges to us and they make a different pledge to AIPAC and zionists. Guess who is expendible? We the American public and the Iraqis and the Iranians and the Palestinians and ........

They can and will continue to break their pledges to the public but they will never break their pledge of allegiance to Israel and zionists. We the public get upset, frown a bit and then get busy with our daily lives and then turn around and vote for these monkeys again. While the Israelis and zionists get mad and destroy the people that break those pledges.

The influence of the public compared to the influence of the zionists is a joke at best.

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By yellowbird2525, July 30, 2008 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

My thoughts are different; I believe the USA coerced Isreal to go along with THEM, perhaps blackmailing them by the prices of oil; which is emminently sad as the original cars did not use oil; & many alternatives which are greener have always been available to be used but our Gov suppresses many of them with Classified to keep oil as the primary source due to the money factor; consider this: how would the USA car companies offer $2.99 a gallon gas for 36 months; IF they were unaware of the fact that the price is SET by the US Gov? HOW WOULD THEY KNOW AHEAD OF TIME TO DO SO? Why does the US Gov use hydrogen power in military vehicles & on bases in liew of electricity BUT force it’s citizens to PAY higher prices? WAKE UP AMERICANS! we ARE slaves; and the soon to come out Fed Id tags are the same as the #s tattoed on certain folks in WW11. IF they USA were “broke” how can they give heads of other countries such as France, etc, mega bucks & tell them they are the “powerful political elites” who can do whatever they want to do without thought of persecution because it has been done in the USA for so long? CHANGE your THINKING folks!

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By Alex, July 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as we ruled by the agents of Israel, American blood will be spilled to serve Israel’s interests. Israel is a country run by war criminals. Maybe we should bomb those bastards to help humanity.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 30, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Strange but Marshall believes that Iran has nuclear weapons aspirations despite the fact that our own intelligence reports that was abandoned several years ago. But this is understandable since our own President does not believe his own intelligence reports. Maybe intelligence doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with it.

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By yellowbird2525, July 30, 2008 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

tragic but true; both parties in the USA today (reps & dems) are 1; no need to unite; they “claim” differences to put on dog & pony show for “public”; the public is fed FALSE information including what is going on in Isreal per note on yahoogroups; Pakistanian said we are being fed “false pictures” on re Afghanistan & Al Quieda; who are tiny, & have few if any guns; no WMD, no links found in exhaustive search of Al Quieda in Iraq or with Suddam Hussain whom our Gov had decided in 1996 to take out; see Truth Rising on youtube; the media is censored with lies given out which is illegal as it was exactly what was done in Hitler’s day; much $ abound at both st & fed levels for ag workers but WE are told no $ & vets left without pay disabled with no $ even to replace limbs; yet ag workers get brand new cars, trucks, money, job preferences, while Corp’s running USA with Gov put out the lie all military vets have mental problems so working together they deny Americans the jobs; instead of worrying about war in Iran why not worry about the one in the USA? Congress, special interest groups & Pentagon have been waging war against citizens of USA for years now folks; wake up & smell the coffee!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Issy, I take it you’re calling me a dumbass, but why don’t you believe me.  I’m certainly far more believeable than Bush and you seem to put quite a bit of credence in what you see on the internet.

BTW, calling me a dumbass does not in any way change your character, whatever that might be.  I do have strong opinions and I don’t mind if people don’t agree with me.

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By Dara, July 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Marshall:
With all due respect, your post sounds like what you might hear on a ‘meet the press’ interview these days. Your references to ‘the best interest of the world’, and ‘an expansionist muslim state’ and ‘attacks on Americans and Israel’ are frankly a bit myopic and seem to have missed the point I was trying to make. Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my post.

Focusing on Iran’s nuclear program or its support of Hizbollah as the ‘main issues’ is like treating the symptoms, rather than the root problem. Iran’s support of Hizbollah or Hamas is so it can have leverage and be able to play the role of spoiler, since it is under constant pressure and threat from Israel and the US. If the US were to genuinely engage with Iran, and I bet you they’ll make concessions along these lines.

Now just to address a couple of your comments: Who is the ‘world’ you’re referencing? The UN Security Council (i.e., US and Western Europe)? There are hundreds of other developing countries that are fully supporting Iran’s right to nuclear technology and this is enlarging an already existing gulf between the haves and have nots and worsening the perceptions of bullying and hypocrisy by the US.

Again, I’m no fan of Iran’s regime, but to say it is expansionist is a stretch to say the least!! Who are they trying to invade?? The fact that Iran is trying to influence Iraq should not be a shock. You forget that a million Iranians died when Saddam invaded Iran. Naturally, they want to have influence in a neighbor country that attacked them.

I don’t want to see nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran’s mullahs either. But first, there is absolutely no evidence they are in fact going after ‘weapons’, and second, preventing weaponization can be achieved through stringent inspections. I believe Iran wants nuclear technology mostly so it can be taken seriously in the region which is what I was trying to convey in my earlier post.

One last personal comment. I was speaking last weekend to a childhood friend who lives in Iran. He absolutely detests Iran’s current government, but he was saying there is a palpable sense in the country of ‘rallying around the flag’ because of the ongoing threats from the US and Israel and he himself feels the same way. This is not a good sign.

There is no reason to start a disastrous war here. But for God’s sake, move beyond the Bush/Olmert/Ahmadinejad rhetoric and look beyond the pathetic media headlines.

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By Ed Harges, July 30, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

(1) Iran has the right to enrich uranium, just as the NPT says it does.

(2) Hezbollah receives support and sympathy from Iran, but Hezbollah is not a proxy for or puppet of Iran. Hezbollah is an indigenous Lebanese group formed in response to Israeli aggressions against southern Lebanon, because the Lebanese government proved inadequate to the task of defending the country against Israel. Hezbollah is Shiite only because the population of southern Lebanon, which has the misfortune of being first in line to endure Israeli’s assaults and land grabs, happens to be Shiite.

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By mrmb, July 30, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just a clarification on the MEK. At the time of the coup against premier Mossadegh there was no such organization as the MEK.

They were founded in 1965 by former yound and univerity educated members of premier Bazargan’s freedom movement of Iran.

From what I can recall they were of the belief that peaceful political activities and demonstrations against the Shah and his American, British and Israeli supporters were useless and it just led to torture and execution of Iranians at the hand of the regime and the consolidation of imperialist rule.

They found no such support for their advocacy of armed insurection amongst various nationalist (islamic and secular), social democrats, and religeous organizations.

They did however find commonality with the another communist guerilla organization that had advocated armed insurection, the Fedayeen.

Initially during the first several years they were busy building an organization, training their cadre, polishing their idealogy and establishing links all over the country in the underground movement against the Shah.

I think in the 70’s the MEK suffered two significant coups. One was staged by communists within the MEK ranks and they came up with a pamphlet advocating acceptance of marxism-lenninsm as their revolutionary idealogy in place of Islam and they became known as Peykar and the other coup was conducted by SAVAK and CIA within the organizations ranks. This group retained the name MEK.

The leader of the MEK, Massoud Rajavi was in jail during the revolution and he had already declared his outrigt hostility towards Khomeini. Their relationship was also based on a historical fact that has not been touched upon.

I believe in the late 60’s or early 70’s the MEK was lobbying the leading religeous ulema in Iran to provide a fatwa or a doctrinal approval of armed insurrection against the state. Armed insurrection was a key component of communist guerilla organizations battling imperialist dominated governments and hence it was very popular and considered the way to go.

Most leading ulema in Iran refused to do that and they told the MEK rep that the only person who can grant them their wish was Ayatollah Khomeini who was in exile in Iraq and under house arrest.

The MEK decides to send a team of 2 or 3 people with the approval of Ayatollah Taleghani to meet with Khomeini. They carried a letter from Taleghani granting them an audience with Khomeini.

After the MEK reps provided their view points and rational for armed insurection against the state, Khomeini told them he will review their position and get back to them in a few days.

I think in a few days time they meet again and Khomeini rejected the notion of armed insurection against the state and said point blank that he will not support such acts on religeous grounds.

That was the begining of the split between the MEK and Khomeini. From thereon the MEk and other communist organizations considered Khomeini a reactionary and put him on their list of enemies. However they could never directly challange him due to his immense popularity amongst that massess.

After the revolution the tactics used by the MEK, Peykar and others are a ..............................

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By Marshall, July 30, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, July 30 at 10:08 am #

I think it’s fair to say that it’s not in the World’s best interests to allow a highly expansionist Muslim nation with erratic tendencies to possess nuclear weapons.  And I believe that is the primary goal of U.S. policy towards Iran (along with halting its support for groups that attack U.S. troops in Iraq, and reigning in its proxy war on Israel through Hamas and Hezbollah).  Dara’s comments mention Iran’s abysmal human rights record and its regional power goals but fail to address the overriding issue of its nuclear weapons aspirations.

No, the U.S. priority is not the “Iranian people” - that should be (but apparently isn’t) the priority of its government.  Our priority is and should be Iran’s nuclear intentions.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 30, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Of particular interest on this thread is the comment of Dara on July 30 at 9:30. May I make the suggestion to scroll down and read it carefully. It has some important comments on the subject here.

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By Ed Harges, July 30, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

Just imagine what would happen to oil prices if Cheney, Olmert, McCain, and Obama were to announce today, publicly and unambiguously, that a war against Iran is absolutely off the table and out of the question, and that Iran has the right to enrich uranium, just as the NPT says it does.

“Speculators” would be powerless to keep oil prices at the current stratospheric levels. The price of oil per barrel would plummet like a lead balloon.

If you have any brains whatsoever, you can see that oil prices would fall very, very steeply, just as they fell by about one third after the end of Israel’s orgiastically destructive 2006 assault against non-oil-producing Lebanon — because of the fear that the war would expand to include Iran and the US, and therefore the Persian Gulf.

The supposedly omnipotent “speculators” and “oil barons” were powerless to prevent that precipitous drop in oil prices.

Anyone, such as “Voice of Truth”,  who claims not to understand and accept this is either too stupid or too dishonest to be taken seriously.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 30, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

re:re: Dr. Knowitall
I agree. Make beer not bombs, as they say at the Bear Republic Brewery in California.

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By Issywise, July 30, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Dr. Knowitall,

You finally answer: “Here’s your answer:  Yes, Iran does export terrorists, but they’re French who just happened to cross the border out of Iran.”

Finally, having your answer, I can only say that we vary in the factual foundations of our opinions to such a remarkable degree that it is clear that you and I will never be able to agree on anything save that the other is one major dumba@@.

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By Dara, July 30, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m an Iranian American who despises the current regime in Iran, but nonetheless, I can’t help but chuckle at the posts of Issywise and perhaps ‘voice of truth’ as well. You two seem to have made up your mind that Iran is inherently evil and must be confronted. If you look back historically, you’ll see that EVERYTHING the current regime in Iran is doing vis-a-vis the US and Israel is based not at all on their ‘crazed muslim idealogy’ as many noecons and their mouthpieces on Fox news want to portray, but rather on very pragmatic, sometimes ruthless, strategic considerations on all sides, including US, Israel, and regional Arab regimes.

Much of the Iranian government’s actions is based on lessons from past interactions with the US (e.g., 1953 CIA/MI6 coup, helping the US on Afghanistan only to be put into the ‘Axis of Evil, clandestine outreach rebuffed repeatedly…). They want to ensure that Iran is not forced into isolation by the US and Israel and they are using whatever means are at their disposal to make the point that Iran must treated and be given its rightful due as a major power in the Middle East. Interestingly, Iran and Israel were cooperating well into the 1980s (well AFTER the Islamic revolution in Iran) again for strategic reasons. The Israel lobby at the time still saw Iran as a potential ally and influenced the US government to tone down its approach to Iran a bit.

I would very highly suggest a book called “Treacherous Alliance” by Trita Parsi for those of you looking for a better understanding of the current dynamic in the Middle East.

There are no clear cut angels, satans/devils here, just human beings jockeying for dominance and power and hurting millions of innocents in the process. If Bush and his charlatans cared one iota about the ‘people’ of Iran, as they claim they do, they would stop using this nuclear issue and their clandestine operations to break Iran up along ethnic lines, all of which only strengthen the hands of the Iranian regime and rallies people around the external threat. Instead, it should engage Iran directly in real diplomacy and focus on the dismal human rights situation in Iran.

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By mrmb, July 30, 2008 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
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Nice article by Scott. Straight forward and to the point.

However for the diehard zionists that are so paranoid and upset at Iran, here are a few facts that they should ponder:

1- The US, Briatain and Israel have been at war with Iran and the Iranian people the moment it was decided to overthrow the Mossadegh government.

2- The US, Britain and Israel held Iran hostage for over 30 years. Plundering their resources, help create SAVAK to torture and execute Iranians, and turn Iran into a military base at the service of zionism and imeprialism.

3- The US, Britain and Israel supported the massacre of unarmed peaceful demonstartors during the revolution. The death toll for those violant acts of terror is over 70000 people.

4- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported and fomented armed rebelion inside of Iran after the revolution which led to death, and destruction of property and to instability of Iran for the purpose of overthrowing the revolution.

5- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported and fomented armed insurection by the MEK and other left leaning guerilla organizations against the Islamic revolutionaries resulting in large numbers of deaths, destruction of property and instability.

6- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported the terrorist campaign of massive bombings and assassinations by the MEK and affiliated organizations.

7- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported and instigated the initiation of war by Saddam Hussein against Iran.

8- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported the transfer of chemical, biological and nuclear technology to Iraq in the early 80’s for the sole purpose of their development and use against Iran.

9- The US, Britain and Israel actively supported the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein against Iran and the Iraqi Kurds.

As I posted previously if some of you that are interested and want to have a glimpse of some of our criminal policies during the Iran-Iraq war just look at Bob Woodward’s accounts of William Colby’s desceription of CIA activities in his book (Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987) it details as much as can be detailed by Colby in conversations he held with Bob Woodward.

The above is a list of criminal charges that should be brought against the US, Britain and Israel in international forums and the respective policy makers responsible should be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity and appropriately punished.

The notion that the Bush administartion is lying, fabricating evidence, using half truths, deceptions and exagerations to brain wash us and formulate a criminal foreign policy is neither new and nor is confined to the neo crazies and their supporters.

Both the democrats and republicans are guilty of such criminal conducts and to think that this is somehow the exclusive domain of the neo crazies and that the arrival of Obama is going to signal a new begining is wishful thinking at best and delusional.

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By voice of truth, July 30, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment


“Israel ...  with its hateful orgy of racist violence?”

I ignored your comment because it was ridiculous.  Of course any military activity in that region would incite a temporary increase in the cost of oil, or as you yourself put it, “Oil shot up”.  It is a recognition of potential disruption in supply.

You, however, have made a ridiculous assertion that the recent fall in the price of oil, from an historical high, was because the US opened a mission in Teheran, yet you totally ignore any other reasoning.

As for the ignorant comment about the “hateful orgy of racist violence” that Isreal purported on Lebanon, I would have a number of questions:

1) a sovereign nation can not defend itself?  If I remember correctly, this particular incident was started when Hezbollah militants, operating out of Lebanon, attacked an Isreali army outpost, killing some and kidnapping others.

2) racist?  You and your cadre use the word so much you probably don’t even know what it means.

3) are you not proof of the need for an intelligence test before one is allowed to vote?

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By Ed Harges, July 30, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Voice of truth ignores:

In the summer of 2006, when Israel assaulted Lebanon, there was fear that the war would spread to include Iran and force the US in on Israel’s side in a war against Iran. Oil shot up to $75 a barrel.

After it was over without having engulfed Iran or the US, oil went back down to $50 a barrel.

Mr. Voice of “Truth”: was there a sudden increase in oil consumption coincident with Israel’s vicious 2006 rape of Lebanon? Was there a sudden decrease in oil consumption when Israel was finished with its hateful orgy of racist violence?

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By voice of truth, July 30, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

As zymologist myself!

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By voice of truth, July 30, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Give me a break.  The price of oil has fallen because demand has fallen.  It is a fact.  The amount of miles driven last month by US consumers fell for the first time in over 20 years.

I seriously doubt it was due to “Just this little bit of hope ”

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

beerdoctor, thanks for the compliment, but I hope someday we can talk about beer, a subject I find far more to my liking than terrorism.

BTW, I think issy is putting us all on.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Issywise, I don’t follow your reasoning.  The only control the Bush administration has on my thinking is that they have conditioned me by their lying to regard everything they say as being yet another lie.  That’s all.

The sorry state of our nation under Bush’s administration despite his touting just the opposite is reason enough.  Of course, I hold out the slim possibility that things are not as I see them, but I doubt that’s the case. He say’s the economy is fine.  I hope he’s lying again.  I do see how the gov. uses its statistics to skew reality.  This has been an ongoing practice for many administrations.

Here’s your answer:  Yes, Iran does export terrorists, but they’re French who just happened to cross the border out of Iran.  If they had come from Syria, then Syria would be exporting terrorists.  The only other option would be to drop out of the sky. 

BTW, if I were Iranian, I’d really be pissed off at America’s constant bullying in the region and probably do whatever I could to get them out, including terrorism.  I suppose you’d welcome the invaders/occupiers.

All this discussion should be negated by an honest dialogue about our MidEast policies.  America put itself, especially the wealthy, in a horrible position by not becoming more energy effiient a couple decades ago.  Why the hell do you want to talk about exporting terrorists?  By doing so, you, you, you, have bought into Bush’s retoric/propaganda.

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By Ed Harges, July 30, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

On a side note: for those who blamed the oil price spike a month ago on “speculators”, please note: just in the last two or three weeks, oil’s price has fallen back down by over SIXTEEN PERCENT, or about one sixth.

Did it fall back down because speculators are suddenly less greedy or markets suddenly more regulated?


It fell because the US has announced that it’s reopening its Tehran embassy and is interested in talking to the Iranians. Just this little bit of hope that there might not be a full-out war has caused oil prices to fall substantially in a short time. Imagine how much prices would fall if America’s de facto President Cheney and America’s de facto Prime Minister Olmert were to publicly announce that war against Iran is absolutely off the table.

It’s not oil speculators that are causing these dramatic spikes in oil prices. It’s the near-term prospect of a full-scale US war against Iran - entirely for Israel’s benefit and nobody else’s - that’s causing the spikes.

Remember: in summer 2006, when Israel assaulted Lebanon, there was fear that the war would spread to include Iran and force the US in on Israel’s side in a war against Iran. Oil shot up to $75 a barrel.

After it was over without having engulfed Iran or the US, oil went back down to $50 a barrel.

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By Issywise, July 30, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage

You’ve got a wide perspective there—and one that is pretty much right on—at least as my dim self sees things. Though, the British and Dutch both also believed themselves the chosen of God. Pray we can turn out to be as wise as they were when our turn comes to recognize we are not able to sustain being the lords of the planet: we apparently don’t have the wisdom to change our ways while still on top, maybe we’ll be better when the peak is clearly visible in the rear view mirror.

Also, I wonder if those former world superpowers are worse off than we are, now that they’ve been knocked down as kings of the castle and we riding high? It cost so much to be the bully-boy on the block and to what long term avail?

Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD,

OK, so you don’t believe anything Bush says. Ignore him, answer the question independent of anything the morons and reprobates in the White House and Congress say: Does Iran export terrorist. Consider the other evidence.

If the only reason you don’t believe that is because our gormless president happens to say it, you’ve delegated too much of your intellect to him. He can dictate what you think just as surely as if you were a lock-step adherent.


As far as I can see there is nobody saying we should “give war a chance here.” If we invaded Iran, we’d win the invasion and start loosing the day the occupation started—as recent history has taught all but the craziest among us.  Also, some of us have understood for years that the military’s repeated statements to the public and to Congress that there isn’t enough Army to handle three wars at one time precludes an invasion of Iran.  Even Cheney, in his full self-assurance, can’t do what he doesn’t have the means to do. For the forseeable future, invasion of Iran is off the table—not because Bush says it is but because circumstances you can independently understand requires it be.

All we started out talking about here was supporting dissident groups within Iran as a way to lever better behavior from that regime.  You guys have taken this discussion all over the place and avoided discussing the merits of that specific discrete policy.

What’s the matter? Why so sweepingly conclusory without the effort to deal in details?  Can we call that ideology functioning over applied reason?

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By voice of truth, July 30, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment


Please stop using facts in your arguments and posts.  It drives the regulars crazy.  Also, having to circumnavigate around your facts means that it takes longer for the aggrieved poster to tie whatever the hell the topic is to Zionism and the hated Isreal.

Thanks for your understanding.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 30, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

re: Dr. Knowitall,
Your last comment was a strike, right down the middle of the lane, no need for a spare. Thank you.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Issywise, and you believe your government and don’t believe the Iranian gov. 

Lies run rampant, everywhere.  You must see that.

My being American and over 65 with lots and lots of experience with political lying makes me, what do you call it, a skeptic. 

I’m not fool enough to believe Bush saying Iran exports terrorists anymore than I am Bush saying alQaida is Iraqi.  He’s a proven fool, idiot and liar.  Had he not taken us into Iraq under false pretenses, I might be more apt to believe, but that’s a big “might” given that we’re talking Pentagon here.

One thing that’s true and evident is that Bush got us into a war we can’t or don’t want to get out of.  That, I believe, and can only ask why?  You go ahead and let people paid to spew garbage give you the answers.  They’ve failed miserably for most of my life.  I’m not buying your take simply because you click on and buy into propaganda you believe to be true. Those kinds of purchases are why we’re where we are today.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 30, 2008 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

re: Jackpinesavage
He is an American. He himself has said it.
I think that the pro-Israel folks go on and on about Hizbolah (sp.correct? no one seems to know) as a terrorist group is because that is the mean guerrilla army that defeated their invasion into Lebanon.
It is difficult for the true believers of America-Israeli empire to understand that there are plenty of parts of the world who simply do not buy into the terrorist name tag, and consider Hizbolah and Hamas as freedom fighters with legitimate political concerns. Mind you, not our concerns, their concerns.
I posted this link on another thread, put I will post it again here:

This seems to prove that Senator Obama’s AIPAC speech was indeed pandering to the Zionist choir, and nothing more.

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By Paolo, July 30, 2008 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

So apparently, the war has already begun. Observe, by the way, that we are outfitting and protecting TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS in Iraq—the MEK who are going into Iran to stir up trouble.

Is anyone or anything as hypocritical as the Bush Administration? The Bush Administration, which decries the alleged existence of TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS inside Iran, does the exact same thing it accuses the alleged enemy of doing.

Kind of like shrieking that Iran has a nuclear weapons “program” [an accusation for which they have produced exactly ZERO evidence], while the US possesses tens of thousands of nukes, and Israel at least a hundred.

“I am shocked—SHOCKED!—to learn that there is gambling going on in this restaurant!”

“Your winnings, sir.”

“Why, thank you.”

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By jackpine savage, July 30, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

G. Anderson,

Unfortunately, i don’t think that many people have noticed that we’re bankrupt.  The majority of us still prattle on like we’re the wealthiest country on the planet.  It proves that the big lie works; somewhere along the way, we became convinced that debt equals wealth.

When empires decline, they do so in two ways.  The Dutch and, to a lesser extent the British, read the writing on the wall and declined (mostly gracefully).  Declining by choice allowed them to stay healthy, post imperial nation states.  The other option is more of a splat like a bug against the windshield of history.

Of course things will be different for America because we’re special and God loves us more than other countries.  On the other hand, the belief in national exceptionalism tends to increase the closer a nation/empire gets to the bottom.

And as long as our leaders can keep most of the people focused on all the bad guys who are out to get us, we probably won’t notice that the real enemy is us (and our leaders).

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By Issywise, July 30, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

“A man sees what he wants to and disregards the rest.”
              —Paul Simon


Well, now we know the basis of our difference—you disbelieve your own government and believe the Iranian government.


I cannot prove, by my own assertions, any such facts. Facts should not be argued about. Facts should be researched. If you doubt Iran is supplying and funding Hizzbola in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Muslim Brotherhood in Eygpt, in spite of the years of news reports of such links and the capture of whole ships full of arms destined for terrorists, then I cannot open your eyes.  Go ahead and believe that your government alone is an evil actor in a world of nice guys.

I have to admit that GW Bush’s WMD and terrorist ties in Iraq lies tend to crediblize your viewpoint, but I think you are allowing that moron to turn you into a victim too.

I tend to think of our glorious and hugely expensive military as a hammer laying in presidents’ hand. If you carry around such a tool, eventually human nature says your gonna take a whack at something—even if it is something that will not be improved on by a hammer blow.  For that reason, I think we should look at the extent of military “preparedness” we as a nation maintain.

But, had anybody here gotten beyond flat denial and name-calling, I would have brought up a couple other circumstances that suggest the world is not as black and white as everybody here so ideologically assumes it to be.

During the Serbian genocide of Bosnians, the European powers failed to act. The UN failed to act. The genocide was ended when American special forces went in and coordinated with Bosnian irregulars and US submarines 800 miles away started throwing-in million dollar cruise missiles whenever a Serbian force showed its head above ground. Serbian infrastructure was bombed by explosive objects you help buy. The genocide was ended and peace keepers invited in. 

The same situation occurred with the more recent Darfur genocide. The African Union was unable to stop it, NATO refused to get involved, China and Russia blocked any action from the UN. As with Bosnia, American special forces worked with Ethiopians on the ground forcing a dilemma on Somalian forces facilitating or actually conducting the genocide: stand and be destroyed from the sky or hide and be captured piecemeal.  Again, offending the high-minded scruples expressed herein, you paid for that through your American tax dollar.

Before you go dismissing these as non-justification for imperialist use of force by an evil empire, search for “Darfur” on Google—pictures of some of the genocide victims come up.  Your damn scruples and ideology don’t justify condoning that by inaction.

If you think the destabilization of the Middle East is a good thing, or something the world deserves, or something we evil Americans deserve as payback for past evils, you are forgetting the more direct victims.  You are also ignoring the lessons of history. Revolutionary times where stability cannot be achieved always result in installation of extremist regimes—worse than anything you’ve experienced.

You guys are as misguided and blind as those who beat their chest and claim every problem in the world can be solved by America punching somebody in the nose.

YOU are responsible for YOUR attitudes.  They should be informed, not founded on purposeful ignorance and ideology.

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By goldman, July 30, 2008 at 4:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More than not I agree with thebeerdoctor. I suggest that you all google in illuminati and see the news behind the news and the story behind the story. Most of the news media is censored or pure disinfo. THEY own it all.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 30, 2008 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Issywise, I’ve been lied to so often and so long by the US government and the Pentagon that I take nothing from them at face value.

I doubt Iran, in the name of Ahmadinejad and his government is exporting terrorists, just the same as I doubt the US is not.

You go ahead and believe any and all propaganda that comes your way, like alQaida is in Iraq and we have to go in there and get them. 

I didn’t mean to condescend or hurt your feelings, but I’m no fool.

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By alex, July 30, 2008 at 2:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not even single Iranian or Iraqi was a terrorist at September 11 attack to justify invasion to Iraq Afghanistan now Iran.Most of them Egyptian & Saudy nationals.Why not invade Saudy & Egypt? These dictators is on USA side.So USA have to create a enemy state with a help of USA media to react to September 11.
With this invasion NUclear Prolifiration morally justified & so it is a new unwritten law to fallow not to be terrorised by USA or Israel.
If Pakistan not helping any middle eastern countries how to build nuclear bomb since September 11 I would be very suprised.

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By sy, July 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, the U.S. is grasping at straws to justify war,  using questionable groups as intel sources, and aligning with other countries (Israel) who have their own agendas in bombing Iran.  Ok, that’s established.  And I won’t disagree on these points.  But what about the obvious truths? (emphasis on OBVIOUS):
-Iran supports/funds Hezbollah;
-Iran (Ahmadinejad) openly desires for the destruction of Israel;
-Iran desires nuclear bombs and is working towards that goal;
-Last but not least, Iran continuously commits acts of unspeakable atrocities against the Iranian people.
I am no warmonger.  But Iran with nuclear weapons is an Iran with unspeakably dangerous intentions.  Why are we straining at gnats here?  The Islamic Republic of Iran is a menacing and threatening force, people.  The powers-that-be in the IRI will lie as a means to their own end.  They will succeed at gaining nuclear weapons.  Does that not incite fear within you?  If it doesn’t, you are extremely naive.

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By wang lee, July 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

400 milion dollar to fund terorists such as MKO and PJAK aka PKK and Al-quada foot soldiers in irans baluchsitan

PAJK leader saying american come in with bags of money

the money aproved by united states government senate

we funded Contra terorists and other death squads in latin america resulting in hundreds of thousand death , in Chile we removed a domcraticly regimes , resulting in thousands of death , in iran and elswhere too ..

bin laden and noriego were on CIA payroll , we give isreals cluer bomb for free to plant 180000 bombs in lebanon to maim kids

so who is the biggest sponsors of terorisem ?

its no us , its them !

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By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

by Issywise, July 29 at 6:00 am #
•  “Iran is a revolutionary regime that exports arms and violence to other nations—Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. It is working to undermine other Sunni regimes as well. …Does anybody here deny those facts? “
Here we go again Issywise…

How can you ask if anybody ‘denies these facts’ before you PROVE that they ARE ‘facts’?

You haven’t. You just keep saying, *IRAN* does this. Iran is a nation of 69 million people, and I know damn well that they aren’t all exporting terrorism. So, as long as you keep using these very broad terms, and, making all of these very broad accusations, then you aren’t accomplishing anything.

The article provides an excellent collection of information, and I’ve already asked you to tell us WHO you think is responsible for this. It SOUNDS very much like it is the MEK, based on whatever knowledge I already had, and what this piece from Scott has provided. (and yes, I’m far more inclined to believe Scott Ritter’s specifics than I am to believe your very broad “Iran is doing this” or “Iran is doing that”)

IRAN, hasn’t dropped a whole bunch of cluster bombs all over Lebanon as recently as the summer of 2006, and as far as the documented history goes, IRAN hasn’t engaged in any attacks on ANY other sovereign nation state since the time of Cyrus the Great. (we’ll exclude the decade long hostilities with Iraq that were always initiated by Saddam Hussein).
So, start naming some names Isseywise, because just blaming ‘Iran-at-Large’ ain’t gonna cut it.

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By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Well beerdoc..

We have something else in common: I’m a fan of Emma Goldman myself.

And IMAGINE…I TOO believe in possibilities. Oh yes..indeed I do. I also know that the exercise (considering possibilities) cannot be separated from reality.

Have you ever read the book, “Another World is Possible..If?” Can’t recall the author’s name right now. A female author though. I think you might enjoy it.

That said though, another world isn’t possible if one has no clue or understanding of the one that IS. Yeah, yeah, I know. Reality isn’t all that it’s often cracked up to be, but it’s really the only thing we’ve got.

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By sophrosyne, July 29, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another valuable essay by Ritter.  Where else could anyone find this information.  Even the so called “liberal” press will not cover it.  Sadly, our own citizens do not know the truth and our government hardly represents the American people.  Citizens are just fodder to be manipulated. Also, so sad to see Obama become a creature of the shadow government. His donors won’t let him really be what he might be.

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By foo, July 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MEK is a cult more than anything else. They at one point banned sex between their member (of course their leaders could do it). Their ideology is a mixture of Communism and radical Islam.
They have been involved in all sort of criminal acts both in Iraq and Iran. I don’t understand why our government should use our tax money to support a Communist group. The only reason that this group did not approve the Iranian constitution after the revolution was because the constitution recognized the right to own property. The members of this group are systematically being brainwashed in their camp in Iraq. Our government may get a short term benefit from these people which I doubt, but should consider the long term effect. I can only compare this mistake of our government with the 1953 over through of Mossadegh which we are still paying for.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, July 29, 2008 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Thank you cyrena (and I mean this) for explaining to Izzywise that is useless to discuss this stuff with me. You are absolutely correct on one important point, I am not concerned with reality, but rather, possibility. So in actual effect, the pieces I post here are calls to action. When it comes to philosophy I am somewhat a kindred spirit of the great Jewish woman anarchist, Emma Goldman. So it is quite natural that I refer to myself as a peasant, an internet peasant to be sure, but a peasant nevertheless.
On a personal note, despite sometimes getting angry, I have always enjoyed reading your comments, except when you call other posters derogatory names. One other note: you and I are the same age!
So it might be put best this way: Only The Doomed Argue With The Beer Doctor.
Peace on earth, still, is what I seek. My only prayer is thank you.

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By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

By Issywise, July 29 at 12:50 pm #
•  “..Doesn’t the fact that you continually abstract away from discussion of specifics suggest to you that you are meeting the world with an ideological predisposition rather than with open eyes?”

Very diplomatically noted, except it’s not gonna work with thebeerdoc, who is ideologically rooted in his own world, and it doesn’t involve reality or anything close. It only involves his ideology. For some, there really is *no* hope.

Meantime, when you suggest this..

•  “…but that doesn’t deny the REALITY that Iran is actively exporting terrorism to nations in the region and will continue to do so until it decides it is better policy to stop…”

..and in light of Scotts piece here, are you willing to ponder that if such terrorism is being exported, that it is apparently being exported by the MEK, which isn’t actually IRAN? Now I don’t honestly know, because this is the first time I’m connecting an actually ‘name’ with the internal dissenters in Iran, (my only previous knowledge of this group was in connection to Turkey). But, it would seem like if this is a group described this way:

•  “ The organization represents no state and can be found on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations,..”

It would be difficult to say that ‘Iran” is exporting terrorism. That is unless you think it’s really the Revolutionary Guard that is exporting terrorism. But, we really aren’t sure WHO is allegedly supporting terrorism. (I mean, besides US). So, I’m getting confused here. The US is supporting MEK, which is allegedly a ‘stateless’ terror group intent on undermining the theocratic regime in Tehran, and the SAME group is in Iraq, (previously acting under Saddam) doing the same thing, (also supported by the US). And, we’ve got the US supporting the INC (in Iraq) who are apparently, IN SUPPORT of the Islamic regime in Tehran.

So, I not kidding when I say I’m confused about who (beside the US) is actually exporting or importing terrorism, and I’m even less convinced that it is any brand of STATE terrorism.

Any thoughts?

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By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment


This should probably be obvious, but I’m confused on this..

•  “…The MEK traces its roots back to the CIA orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeg.”

Whose side was the MEK on then? Since the CIA is responsible for the overthrow of Mossadegh, and responsible for the installation of the Shah, it seems like they would have been in support of Mossadegh. Did they have ANY allegiance at their roots?

Yes, I know I should return to my printed sources on this, but I can’t get to them now, and it’s easier to ask you.

Thanks if you can explain.


•  “…This, in short, is what should be done with the IAEA’s ongoing probe into allegations that Iran
has pursued nuclear weapons. The evidence used by the IAEA is unable to withstand even the most rudimentary
crossexamination. It is speculative at best, and most probably fabricated. Iran has done the right thing in refusing to legitimize this illegitimate source of information…”

OK, I *didn’t know* that the IAEA was using ANYTHING other than their *own* information, in addition to the information that Iran has put on record with the UN. Those documents (declarations) are on public record; at least they were 2 ½ years ago when I first started working this up. At the time, my conclusion (correctly or incorrectly) was that the allegations against Iran were being made based on the fact Iran had failed, (over a lengthy period of time) to even submit any of the required documentation to the IAEA. That, added to the ‘tips’ by the expatriate groups who claimed that Iran had gained access to the bomb technology from Kahn. (apparently later disproved). Still, I’ve been under the impression for these past few years, that ElBaradei and his team have been acting independently in their assessment of the information. Am I naïve?

•  “…Every time ElBaradei releases the results of the IAEA probe of Iran, pointing out that the IAEA can find no evidence of any past or present nuclear weapons program, and that there is a full understanding of Iran’s controversial centrifuge-based enrichment program, Heinonen throws a monkey wrench into the works. Well publicized
briefings are given to IAEA based diplomats.”

Never mind. This explains it.  I should have read the entire piece before I started asking questions. So the question is, what’s up with Heinonen?

And, I’m still curious about how/what MEK began.

Thanks for another great piece. See how much I didn’t know?

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By Xntrk, July 29, 2008 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I read this article, I found myself transported to events in Ecuador last March. In the middle of the night, the Colombian Military raided a FARC camp across the border in Ecuador. An assortment of international visitors, including some Mexican students, were killed [This was when they were arranging the FARC hostage release].

The killings were actually the result of a ‘smart bomb’ probably dropped by a US crew and plane, as Colombia lacks that ability. Some deaths were murders committed after the fact. Autopsies showed they occurred from blows consistent with being hit by a rifle butt.

Nothing new so far, the US has been behaving like this in Latin America and the Caribbean for 50 years. What is new tho is that this raid resulted in Columbia gaining possession of the laptop computer belonging to the rebel leader.

Lo and behold, the laptop contained direct communication from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela with the FARC in Columbia. The implication of course was that Hugo and the FARC are plotting the overthrow of Urribe’s Drug Lord regime.

The laptop was in the possession of the Colombian Military and the CIA for three days. Then it was turned over to some European Union Specialists to verify the information was there. They were not however, asked to do a diagnosis of when, or by whom, the postings were made, or even whether the computer actually belonged to the FARC leader.

I am continually surprised by the limited imagination of our spy agencies. Although I suppose a gift laptop works in both instances - even when it arrives without provenance.
The raid, the bombings and the boycotts are everyday occurrences in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia. If you follow the money, the US is usually the source of the poison.

Why should Iran be treated differently just because we cannot claim we are simply enforcing the Monroe Doctrine?

Think about it…

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By Dar, July 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank,

You version is amusing at best.

“Iranian taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of the Iranian government, to fund activities that result in Iraqis and Americans being killed and wounded in Iraq, and Iraqi property destroyed.”

Says who? The same Bush administration and Neocons that want war against Iran?

“This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated (by Scott Ritter or Al Jazeera)”

What “sovereign nation” are we talking about? Iraq? Tha country currently occupied by the U.S., that’s a sovereign nation now? I wish you would clarify, because I don’t remember ever hearing of a “sovereign nation” that is also occupied by a 150,000 foreign troops.

Tell you what, Frank, why don’t you worry first about the Amercian troops in Iraq and the violence they commit, then we’ll worry about Iran’s supposed activites, agreed?

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