Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Instahoglets 25th Jan 06

A bumper crop today.

  • Let's start with my pet peeve - the unseemly rush to war with Iran. The Heritage Foundation's warmongers are at it again - this time it's Peter Brookes rolling out the lies and misdirections including a new one:

    Iran now harbors at least 25 senior Al Qaeda operatives, including senior military commander Saif al Adel and three of Osama bin Laden's sons. If we come to blows, would Tehran help al Qaeda hit the U.S. homeland? (The offices of Iran's U.N. mission might facilitate such an attack. . .)

    Not a shred of evidence is provided for this claim that will soon be wingnut "received wisdom." Iran doesn't harbor these people - they are in Iran fighting the curent regime there! As for the bit about the UN mission...have you ever seen such sensationalist scaremongering? (Thanks to Kirk for the link.)

  • You have to wonder at the contradictory signals the incompetents are sending. While Bush is telling everyone that the US will defend Israel, a much softer voice, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, is in Pakistan telling Musharraf that the US will not use military force against Iran. Who to believe? How do they ever expect diplomacy to work if they can't even get their story straight?

  • Mind you, the Israelis are as bad. While their own warmongering wingnut politicians are rattling sabres, their Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, is summarized by Haaretz newspaper as saying:

    The Iranian threat is existential, but not urgent, nor will it be so in 2006; fears of renewed hostilities coming from the Palestinians or the Lebanese border are far more immediate, even if their implications are less serious.

    Haaretz also says the Israeli politicians are being coached by the Bush administration on what to say.

  • The Asian Times has an interesting op-ed that says the US will attack Iran - and that for both nations it's all about oil, not nukes. Meanwhile, for an additional antidote to the neocon narrative, click on over to The Washington Note, where Steve Clemons comments on an article by national security guro Chris Nelson in a post entitled "On Iran: "Rewarding the Hysterical at the Expense of the Calm." Great stuff and some great comments too.

  • Lastly, and idiotically, the neocons have managed to sell some conservative Europeans with an incapacity to use Google on the idea of unleashing the MEK on Iran. How many times do I have to say that the last thing anyone wants to do is replace the current Iran regime with the ex-Saddam bullyboy minions of a nutcase who not only believes in the 12th Prophet but thinks he is that very prophet!

  • OK, now to Iraq..the taste of things Iranian to come if Bush gets his way. A place where reconstruction has been "badly hobbled" by by "gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting, secrecy and constantly increasing security costs" - in other words, utter and gross incompetence just as progressives have been saying all along - according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

  • It's also the place where incompetence has almost broken the "thin green line" of the U.S. Army. And no, it isn't Murtha and progressive pundits saying so this time - it's Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract!

  • If the rightwing were really interested in supporting the troops instead of supporting the administrations incompetence, they would be clamoring for military innovators like Col. H.R. McMaster, the commander of the 3rd ACR in Tal Afar, to be given promotions and a free hand in Iraq. McMaster's tactics get the job done while holding "hearts and minds" as a primary operational concern. That's why fewer of his troops get killed, fewer Iraqis get killed and the Sunni Mayor of Tal Afar has written to President Bush and Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, begging them to extend the regiment's tour of duty until it's finished the job.

    But McMaster is one of the "mavericks" who doesn't fit well with the Bush cronyism at the top of the Pentagon and looks to preserve as many lives as possible even if they are Iraqi lives, so the rightwingers say nary a word about his successes. It's left to people like me - and very glad I am to do so.

  • E. J. Dionne agrees that vote-chasing Democrat leaders are missing the point on national security issues, often playing the Republican game for them by trying to look "tough" the Republican way. The Heretic has far more, wonderfully written as always.

    Here's a thought for those follow-the-leader Dems: the right continually frames the debate by saying Dems "don't realise that it's a post-9/11 world". Switch it on the warmongering fuckers. Because for sure none of the Republicans have realised the further reality that we are now living in a post-Iraqi Occupation world. A world where international confidence in America's truthfulness and competence is at a 65 year low; the Army is nearly broken, the treasury is bare, the international condemnation of torture is loud and civil rights are endangered - and Osama is still walking free! Stick that in their tailpipes when they start their warmongering over Iran.

  • Then rub salt into their wounds - remind them of the incompetence of their beloved administration and it's leader when Katrina hit. Here's a sure sign of their weakness - even Joe Lieberman, the brownnoser-in-cheif for Demlicans on the Hill, has accused administration officials of failing to cooperate and trying to run out the clock on the congressional probe investigating the government's botched response to Hurricane Katrina. Would Rove pass up blood in the water to this extent if the roles were reversed? Hell no.

  • last thing...just in case you might have dreamed that Rupet Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and more, had an ounce of integrity in his body...

    He's announced that he would ditch his media empire's support for Tony Blair - who his minions have so lauded for sticking by Bush in Iraq - in a New York second if the new Conservative leader would just promise to line Murdoch's pockets with some nice tax cuts.

    Unlike Blair, Cameron, the new Conservative leader, was against the Iraq war from word one and wants to pull the UK's troops out.

    "Rupert Murdoch...traitor to America". Want to bet you don't see that headline from any US rightwing pundit anytime ever?
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