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Gelb writes: "I'm giving away the deepest, darkest secret of the foreign policy clan: even though we sound like we know everything, we know very little, especially about the intentions of bad guys and the consequences of war. But since the media keeps treating us like sages and keeps ignoring our horrendous mistakes, we carry on with our game, and do a lot of damage."

Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. (photo: The Conservative Treehouse)
Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. (photo: The Conservative Treehouse)



Dangerous, Ignorant Warmongers

By Leslie H. Gelb, The Daily Beast

09 March 12

 

'm not supposed to tell you this. I'm violating the code. I'm giving away the deepest, darkest secret of the foreign policy clan: even though we sound like we know everything, we know very little, especially about the intentions of bad guys and the consequences of war. But since the media keeps treating us like sages and keeps ignoring our horrendous mistakes, we carry on with our game, and do a lot of damage. Let me give you of few of the more recent examples of how ignorant and dangerous we are, and why you should be wary of any flat out “truths” and certainties uttered by my clanspeople.

Take Iran. Those who can't wait to start a war with Iran tell us that Tehran is within three seconds, three months, or a year of developing a nuclear weapon. I promise you they don't know this for anything near a fact. They're trying to push Israel and the United States into a military attack against Iran.

Here's all we do know for sure: Iran is enriching uranium and has the capacity to enrich enough of it to a level of purity sufficient to make nukes - maybe, perhaps, in a year or two or more. Iran may have or may be developing related capacities to place this uranium into explosive form in a bomb or missile warhead. We have suspicions about the latter based on various kinds of imaging and listening intelligence.

Now, are these activities something to worry about? Absolutely! But it is not a basis for going to war now or soon. It is a basis for Americans, Israelis, and others to find out more as quickly as possible through better intelligence and diplomacy. Yes, diplomacy, because we can argue forever about exactly what the Iranians have and intend, but making diplomatic proposals allows us to test our hypotheses. If Tehran rejects reasonable proposals, then there are grounds for raising suspicions and waving the war wand.

By the way, this isn't just my view. It is the consensus position of U.S. intelligence agencies. Equally telling, it is what retired senior Israeli intelligence chiefs and military officers have been shouting from the rooftops publicly, totally contrary to the code of silence on these matters.

Israeli and American hawks are also proclaiming that we need not worry about the consequences of an attack on Iran, that the Iranians could not or would not do anything that should trouble us deeply. Hold on to your wallet here. How do they know if Tehran will strike back at, say, Saudi or Iraqi oil fields and drive oil prices into the stratosphere, or launch terrorist attacks against American, Israelis, and others worldwide? Of course, I don't know either. But these are real risks that we must accept and reckon with before attacking Iran.

Take Syria. The war twins, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, along with the usual cohort of neoconservatives and humanitarian interventionists, are urging military action. They want airstrikes and arms for the Syrian rebels, no-fly zones, and so forth. They can't stand President Bashar al-Assad killing his people. None of us can. But why are the neocons so riled up about several thousand Syrian deaths, when they are practically mum about the millions killed and being killed in Africa? Why don't they advocate arming the Tibetans? Well, we know why they don't want war with China. For the time being, all they desire is to beef up U.S. military spending and presence in Asia. Then, we'll see.

So, one might suspect that their passion for Washington "to lead" on Syria and get into another war there turns on something other than saving lives. Try Iran. They want to weaken Iran's position in the Arab world, with its great Syrian ally, and with Iranian-backed extremists like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. It is a noble goal.

But again what of the consequences, or better, the risks? The interventionists, for example, plead to arm Syrian rebels. But who are those rebels exactly? Oh, former Syrian soldiers. Oh, people fighting against Assad's tyranny. That's fine. But who else are they? Are there major al Qaeda elements among them, or other Muslim extremists? Would they be a bigger threat to Israel and to Arab neighbors like Jordan than Assad himself? The warmongers say not to worry, but they don't know the answers to any of these questions. Nor do they have any idea what these "freedom fighters" would do with Assad's chemical weapons. Nor have the interventionists begun to explain how they would conduct air operations over Syria, and what more they'd be prepared to do if those air attacks failed to stop Assad's killings.

There's an even longer list of questions that the war humanitarians should be made to answer before any president lifts his sword. Americans need protection from these snake-oil salesmen, and that protection depends almost entirely on Congress and the media. They have got to be much tougher with the experts, pin them down on what they know and don't know and what facts their views are based on. They've got to demand real answers, and not let the experts escape with slogans like "lead" and "take action," or "that will all work out." But it is the rarest of occasions when legislators or journalists bear down on the experts. If the questioners don't do their job once again, as with Iraq and Afghanistan, then we'll be in wars once again. And once again, we'll be very sorry. But the interventionists won't be. They never are. They'll just want to keep fighting every war forever until we "win."

 

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-13 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 14:29
Leslie Gelb makes a good argument, but then devolves into an attack against Warmongers, tied only to Republican fascists. Even worse new Wiki leaks evidence EXPOSES THE LIES of the democrats, like their counterparts, republicans, when they give AGGRESSIVE BUNKER BUSTER MILITARY HARDWARE to carry out such aggression:

Evidence of War Lies Public Pre-War This Time

http://warisacrime.org/content/evidence-war-lies-public-pre-war-time

excerpt:

"When President George W. Bush was pretending to want to avoid a war on Iraq while constantly pushing laughably bad propaganda to get that war going, we had a feeling he was lying... Now President Barack Obama is pretending to want to avoid a war on Iran and to want Israel not to start one, while constantly pushing laughably bad propaganda to get that war going. ....

given the ongoing protection of Israel at the U.N. from any accountability for crimes, given the embrace of sanctions highly unlikely to lead to anything other than greater prospects of war, and given Obama's refusal to take openly illegal war "off the table."

However, we now have Wikileaks cables and comments from anonymous officials that served as the basis for a report from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"..the United States approve the sale of advanced refueling aircraft as well as GBU-28 bunker-piercing bombs to Israel
 
 
+26 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-09 17:26
Out of curiosity, is globalcitizen getting all these negative votes because you challenge the accuracy or because you don't like the way it's said?

I can't find anything factually wrong in this post.
 
 
-15 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 20:38
Stephanie Remington:

It doesn't matter whether it is factually correct or a new social language which a HIDDEN COALITION of oppositionists show up for a NEGATIVE VOTE, but too cowardly to reveal who they are or what their counter arguments are about.

Go on my site: A SOCIAL MANIFESTO AND THEORY OF HISTORY.....http://asocialmanifestoagainstclasshistory.com.
And you will discover on the HOME PAGE, that there was an, or several organized, totalitarian groups who drove out social thinkers from social sites like NEWSVINE.

There are so many strange totalitarian bedfellows who have their own deformed class/Empire agenda. My own hunch is that the Zionist Christian and Jewish Fascists are at the top of the list, followed by U.S. military propaganda secret outfits and last the class whoring Obama community, mostly sell out African Americans who want a Fascist African leader because he is black.


This combined hierarchical corrupt reactionalry coalition of strange bedfellows will never reveal who they are or what moral arguments they have, because they HAVE NONE.
 
 
+9 # mjc 2012-03-10 10:19
Or, Stephanie, unwilling to believe that an attack from Israel on Iran would be a complete disaster, not just for Iranians but for the entire planet. There may be many pro-Israelis posting on this site. As you noted, the factual information is not in doubt nor considered invalid...unles s you really believe that Israel is threatened with attack from Iran and wouldn't be able to handle that.
 
 
+5 # liz4peace 2012-03-11 05:26
I don't think Obama is "pretending" to want to avoid war. I think he has no intention of bombing Iran, but needs to sound tough for negotiating purposes. What propaganda does global citizen think he's been pushing. Sure, there's lots of stuff hawkish stuff out there, but I don't think it's coming from the White House.
 
 
+6 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-11 16:00
He may be opposed to the U.S. initiating the attack, but if, as the Israeli paper Maariv reported a couple of days ago, Obama sold Israel the same bunker buster bombs that Bush refused to sell them and demanded that the sale be under the condition that Israel hold off on attacking Iran until after the 2013 elections, then he is at least facilitating it.
 
 
+5 # Jerry 2012-03-09 20:27
Here is a comprehensive article on the Iran issue: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril_2012/features/we_can_live_with_a_nuclear_ira035772.php?page=2
 
 
+9 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-09 22:53
Excellent article.

I disagree with his support (albeit unenthusiastic) for sanctions because they harm people, and don't affect the government as much.
 
 
+19 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-09 21:34
We sell to anyone, no different than any other Nation. I do not believe we should be killing people thru sales or actual war. However, we have been doing this for century and will continue to do so, In God's Name.

GW likes his father always wants War. World is a Risk Game...only this time I believe the GOP/TP Kids should be the ones only to go. They want to Kill...let them go to War. If they are witnin the age of being drafted and hold Public Office, than they must be drafted there is not allowance for not going into War. When all their kids go, than the moral majority must be drafted also.
I am tired of the Have's not going to War. No exemptions for Koch Bros, Exxon, or any Political Ties. Draft means Adios
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2012-03-10 10:41
By "war humanitarians" Gelb means liberal imperialists like Clinton and Obama. They are just as bad as the neo-conservativ e imperialists.

But even worse, Gelb accepts the premise of both imperialists about the problem of not knowing what Assad or Achmadinejad or other "bad people" so-called might do. They are not the problem. The imperialists of both liberal and neo-conservativ e camps are the problem. And we know exactly what they will do -- they will start as many wars as they possibly can. As Bush said, some of these wars you will see and some you will not see.

The US has been involved in 183 military conflicts in its 225 years of existence. And this includes only the overt wars fought by US troops in uniform. It does not include the 1000s of covert wars fought by mercenaries, surrogate armies, CIA assassinations, and covert ops.

We know exactly what the imperialists in the US will do because they always do the same things. They will invade Syria and Iran and destroy both nations, just as they did in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and hundreds more.

By being "tough" on experts, Gelb should have said we need to prosecute our imperialists in the International Criminal Court. Some should be executed and some should spend a very long time in jail.
 
 
-14 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 14:44
Obama is just as much a warmonger as Republican thugs:

Does it Matter Whether Obama "Wants" War on Iran?

http://warisacrime.org/content/does-it-matter-whether-obama-wants-war-iran

excerpt:

I've been hearing, since Obama's remarks this week that, "The one thing we have not done is we have not launched a war" on Iran, that Barack Obama doesn't "want" a war. That could be true.

But every speech he has given on about Iran shows the one thing he won't give up on: domination of Iran, and the whole region. If that takes war, then, Obama says, he will wage it. He said to the AIPAC meeting a few days ago,

"Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."

Larry Everest...writes,

This narrative is built on lies, half-truths, innuendos, and distortions. In reality, top Western politicians know there's no proof that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, and that there is no definitive evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program..."
 
 
+2 # Jerry 2012-03-09 20:05
Since Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, they have nothing to fear from what Obama is saying. It may be just tough talk to counter the warmongers.
 
 
+8 # Susan W 2012-03-09 22:25
I question why he feels compelled to answer the warmongers with tough talk. How does that counter what they are saying? Seems to me it only makes him one of them. To counter them he would have to talk peace and tell Israel to go it alone. I know for a fact his tough guy talk does not win me over.
 
 
+8 # Jerry 2012-03-09 23:48
Me either, but we don't control the noice machine, and Americans are too stupid for a democracy. Time and again they are fooled by sweet talkers, fear mongers, and other pitch men. It looks like there will be tuns of money against him to drown out reality. He takes you and I for granted, and pitches to the right.
 
 
+4 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-10 02:43
I agree. Aside from that, threatening other nations gets referred to as "tough talk," but it's actually illegal under international law.
 
 
+3 # mjc 2012-03-10 10:27
Susan, Obama basically made it ambiguously clear that he would not stand in Israel's way in the several speeches he made, one to AIPAC and one in a joint news conference with Netanyahu. It seems this is an election year issue and he doesn't want to disagree openly with Netanyahu...and he may not be disagreeing at all in private. We just don't know.
 
 
+3 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-09 23:00
According to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, Obama just sold weapons to Israel to facilitate an attack on Iran, on condition that they delay an attack on Iran until 2013, after the November U.S. election.
 
 
+1 # mjc 2012-03-10 10:28
Those wee the bunker busters that we have but Israel didn't until that deal....
 
 
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-10 23:16
Apparently, Israel asked Bush for them, too, but he said no.
 
 
+8 # Ralph Averill 2012-03-10 08:07
Diplomacy is useless without power behind it. Economic power; sanctions, and military; threat of attack/invasion . One must demonstrate the willingness to use both if diplomacy is going to work.
If Iran is not pursuing weapons grade nuclear material, why are they going to such lengths to hide their activities? Why not be above board, and above ground, and let any inspector who wants come and take a look? Why is Iran pursuing nuclear electrical generating capacity when they sit on an ocean of oil? I think concern for global warming is unlikely.
I for one believe Iran is developing a nuclear weapons capability. Not to blow up Israel, that would be suicide, but, taking a lesson from North Korea, to use as a big stick to manipulate the West. That is what the West cannot tolerate; a powerful oil-rich nation among other oil-rich nations, that is not subject to their control. A nuclear armed Iran would be the dominant nation in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, more precisely the Saudi royal family, is more terrified of a nuclear armed Iran than Israel is.
This is the realpolitik of the real world, and Obama is following the most sensible course of action.
That, globalcitizen, is the reasoning behind my negative vote on your rant.
 
 
-23 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 14:51
Can we get another 150 plus votes for Obama's warmongering, fascist enabling of War criminals both within Israel and America. Delusions, willing ignorance rule both corporate, imperial parties.
 
 
+43 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-09 15:44
For that many red marks you might have leave Swanson behind and quote Glen Greenwald, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, or Howard Zinn....

There's a lot of cognitive dissonance in the US, especially around election time.
 
 
+14 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 17:03
David Swanson, Glen Greenwald, Parenti, former Zinn, often expose the the hypocrisy of Democrats, nationalists, Neo cons, Zionists and sell out Black mis leaders, all of whom serve Empire, Wall Street and make strange alliances with REACTION.

I feel good about these red marks, negative votes, who never come up with counter arguments, except to hide their disproval, leaving no trace of any arguments for discussion, or who they might be. Confidence about one's position requires engagement and testing of one's logic and moral stance.
 
 
+2 # Susan W 2012-03-09 22:26
Correct you are!
 
 
+4 # lcarrier 2012-03-11 15:44
Dear globalcitizen, you should not feel good about "these red marks." What they mean is that you're not getting your message across and are just pissing off those who are looking from a rational argument from you, not just ranting.
 
 
+112 # Barbara K 2012-03-09 15:14
If those morons want a war, let them take their families and fight it themselves and leave the rest of us out of it. Our kids have fought enough already just to line their greedy pockets. The deaths of all our kids for the past 10 years are on the shoulders of these warmongers. Not to mention all those whose limbs were lost fighting their damn wars. Enough is enough. Fight your own battles.
 
 
+57 # maddave 2012-03-09 15:49
Quote:
Israeli and American hawks are also proclaiming that we need not worry about the consequences of an attack on Iran, that the Iranians could not or would not do anything that should trouble us deeply.
Unquote

Only one word fits in here: HORSESHIT!
At this moment 90+% of our mine-sweeping capability is focused on the Straights of Hormuz. This is common knowledge!
With little or no risk, ANY foreign organization (Hezbolla, for instance) with a access to a commercial fleet has only to CLAIM that they just mined all of our major harbors on both coasts. Within minutes of that announcement, all harbors will be locked down and all shipping into and out of the USA will shut down until the USN declares all harbors free of mines again.

An even worse scenario would be "someone's" kicking surplus Russian time delay, counter, multiple influence mines off of the fantail of cargo ships in various strategic ports here and abroad. . . and keeping their actions secret until the explosions begin. That would stop all shipping everywhere: oil, grain, everything.

The fact is that we CAN be hit hard in many ways, and the very idea - especially coming from the likes of McCain Lieberman & Lindsey - that "Iran can't hurt us" is ludicrous, insane. irresponsible . . . and ought to be grounds for impeachment.
 
 
+12 # Doubter 2012-03-09 18:40
"we need not worry about the consequences"
Does this mean they would have us attack EVERYONE who can't strike back?
 
 
+9 # maddave 2012-03-10 00:59
Doubter -

We get militarily involved overseas only if there is oil or some other strategic material to be gained by such attacks---but we're talking, primarily, about oil right now/. ;
 
 
+68 # riverhouse 2012-03-09 16:02
In a recent Jerusalem Post poll only 19% of Israelis want to attack Iran and the vast majority of Israelis say they trust Obama more than Netanyahu on this issue. Not even 19% of Americans want to attack Iran. That we have Members of Congress who are actively promoting war that neither Americans or Israelis want tells us how unpatriotic and unAmerican these Members of Congress actually are.
 
 
+40 # gdp1 2012-03-09 16:16
We've been at war for twenty years...back off already and let the natives work it out...
 
 
+23 # cordleycoit 2012-03-09 16:20
War advocates don't have to do the fighting be on the shrap end, so they can blather about the national honor or the amout of badness that some small nasty country can be. Syria is not a nice place Iran too so what. The Middle East is rife with bad countries with worse rulers.Its like Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Balkans all places wher you can go on vacation quite cheaply and watch the local police torure people for your amusement. You can get the same show in Berkeley with needing a passport. Beware of chicken hawk rolling war dice.
 
 
+8 # jcdav 2012-03-10 07:46
Yeah, we have a bad habit of letting the chicken hawks play "lets you and him fight" and we get damaged and they get rich.
 
 
+17 # LeeBlack 2012-03-09 16:25
It's akin to Monday morning quarterbacking - easy to say what should be done when you don't have to bear any responsibility.
 
 
+34 # Buddha 2012-03-09 16:29
As Jon Stewart pointed out, it is the silly season of an election year here in the US, and they are having what passes for an election in Iran as well, and Netanyahu is also calling for elections this year. So, triple whammy of demagoguing and hyperbole and saber-rattling.
 
 
+3 # Jerry 2012-03-09 20:16
Iran's Supreme Leader gained more power, and is expected to eliminate the office of President, and go to a Prime Minister arraingment after the current Iranian President finishes his term. So the big mouth will be gone, but the supression of decent will continue, just as it is in the U.S.
 
 
+33 # lcarrier 2012-03-09 16:38
Simply put, Graham and McCain are simply trying to make political points with their warmongering. The former is the one who led impeachment efforts against Clinton for lying about sex. He thought it was just shocking, and yet he doesn't think it's shocking to send our troops to get killed in wars of choice. The latter is a tired old has-been who should listen to his wife and stop foaming at the mouth. We know the story on him--molly-codd led in Vietnam because he ratten on his buddies.
 
 
+29 # James Marcus 2012-03-09 16:48
Well spake, Leslie.
Unfortunately, this unbelievable degree of Ignorance, Dooms-Day Folly, Dream-like, in the worst way, is somehow truly upon us.
Our Mainstream Morons, Republicans, Democrats and Most Media Outlets, alike, are marching In Step. Angry Children with Lethal Toys.
Time For Intervention, if this planet is to be preserved for any Future Life (as we know it).
 
 
+13 # John Briggs 2012-03-09 17:35
Good for you, RSN, for pointing out the coarsening dialogue here.
It's a frightening time, with demagogues ascendant. We're all quick to suspect perfidy and anger easily.
It'd be nice to keep this park civilized.
 
 
+22 # Jane Gilgun 2012-03-09 17:45
If the US pays any attention to these people and goes to war in Iran, then we have can conclude that this adminstration is more stupid that those who want yet another war. Anyone who wants this war has no common sense and does not learn from mistakes. Worse, those who want the war may stand to benefit enormously in terms of wealth accumulation and self-aggrandiza tion. Think Dick Cheney the war profiteer and Haliburton. The money Dick and his pals received could have been used for education, health care, job development, and roads and bridges. THINK. Whose country is this anyway?
 
 
+25 # America 2012-03-09 18:11
In Agreement with GELB.

Pre-emptive WAR is never the answer.

What can you expect from a one-track minded bone-head like McCain. He lost his voice when Obama shut down Iraq, .. ending soon Afghanistan.

With the moderate but steady gains in the economy the Republicans are slipping into irrelvance and they are at the brink of panic.

Obama may have slipped on a few things re foreign policy but not this one.

AMEN Leslie
 
 
-7 # Jerry 2012-03-09 20:22
He thinks he can lock us up, or murder us with impunity. Isn't that enough reason to deny him a second term, let alone all the innocent people he is murdering overseas with his drones. I hope the Dems controll the House and Senate, because I certainly can't vote for Obama.
 
 
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-12 03:24
It is very distressing to see negative votes with no commentary when a post expresses a view based on facts.

Can someone who is voting thumbs down please give a reason so that there can be some sort of discussion on the topic?
 
 
+11 # Douglas Jack 2012-03-09 18:14
Leslie Gelb is right to point out a need to tie down war-mongers on the exact nature of their supposed intelligence but he is wrong in giving them his sole attention. We know from the past 50 US, Canadian & NATO interventions or wars that war-mongers have no 'real' intelligence, only a gullibility to believe & paint others as 'bad' without listening to both sides.

There is a tool called 'dialectics' ('both-sides') or 'debate' (French 'de' = 'undo' + 'bate' = 'the fight'), which is a basic human obligation and right. With suspicion comes the obligation to approach the other party with concerns & give them the time to respond in an equal-time recorded and published dialogue. Why do we ignore this obligation?

Dwight Eisenhower identified the Military Industrial-Medi a Complex as having economic interest in war at all times. MIMC has a 2-dimensional linear self-imposed ignorance & inability to reach out. Mohandas Gandhi's 'Satya-graha' (Hindi = 'truth-search' grew from his dialectic training as a lawyer. Gandhi's understanding led him to always ask, even of the British beasts who were impoverishing & massacring Indian people, "What are your best intentions and how can we help you achieve these?" The following 'Both-Sides-Now , equal time recorded & published dialogues' is a tool which can be used by anyone anywhere with or without a mediator. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/1-both-sides-now-article
 
 
+5 # RMDC 2012-03-09 18:15
It is really wierd that the commenters on RSN are so much better informed than the foreign policy insider and former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie Gelb. He pretty much gives the cautious war monger line. He still calls the war hawk democrate "humanitbarians " and the leaders of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah the bad guys. The truth is the opposite. Netanyahoo, the neo-cons, Obama's CIA and Pentgon and the evil twins McCain, Graham, and Lieberman (I know that's triplets but they don't really even have enough brains for two) are the bad guys. They are the ones who have invaded many nations and are assassinating people in up to 100 nations where the Pentagon admits it has special ops positioned.
 
 
+16 # Billy Bob 2012-03-09 19:07
"So, one might suspect that their passion for Washington "to lead" on Syria and get into another war there turns on something other than saving lives"

IT'S CALLED OCEAN ACCESS.

The first part of the job was colonizing Iraq. That's useless unless that pillaged oil makes it to the shipping routes of the Mediteranian and Indian Ocean. Check out a map and tell me what two countries are now in the way of acces to the Indian Ocean and the Mediteranian Sea....

I'll wait....

Weird "coincidence" huh?
 
 
+4 # teineitalia 2012-03-10 16:41
IT'S CALLED OCEAN ACCESS.

"The first part of the job was colonizing Iraq. That's useless unless that pillaged oil makes it to the shipping routes of the Mediteranian and Indian Ocean. Check out a map and tell me what two countries are now in the way of access to the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranian Sea...."

Weird "coincidence" huh?

Billy Bob, not a weird coincidence at all. You are to the heart of the matter. Those countries you refer to are Syria and Iran. It's always been about the oil and control of finite resources. Everything else was smoke and mirrors.

The geopolitics of the Middle East has everything to do with shipping lanes and access to oil.

The "Dangerous, Ignorant Warmongers" know this. (perfect title btw)

And they are so beholding to Big Oil that they will gladly cut loose the dogs of war rather than pour money and brain power into research for alternative renewable energy. It's insane.
 
 
+9 # E-Mon 2012-03-09 19:28
What happened to the days of old when the kings or chiefs were seated on their horses leading their knights or braves into battle? Things would look quite a bit different if this were still the norm. These so called leaders could even be more civilized and set up a jousting match or a boxing match and duke it out between themselves on a world wide TV broadcast...... Dream on....
 
 
+13 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-09 21:40
Time is now, I believe Cain and Palin et al should be the first ones assigned to go.
Draft must be reimplemented and no exceptions, no job is good enough including Senator/Preside nt. You are under 45 you can be drafted. Law School, Med can all get their internships, credits by working in MASH Units, Triage, Legal can get some first hand learning in Liaison, other ICS posts.
No Kids left behind your are 18 to 45 (remember social security age went up so does service age). You are fit to serve and die for your Country, everyone else and their kids have
 
 
+4 # DoctorDemocracy 2012-03-09 21:14
What is not being said clearly and often enough, not even by Leslie Gelb, is that while Iran is enriching nuclear material...the IAEA knows all about it. IAEA repeatedly states in its reports that the QUANTITY and LEVEL of enrichment is consistent with Iran's stated declarations. Iran's intentions are energy generation and isotopes for medical imaging equipment. Iran is not enriching anything anywhere near the level required for nuclear weapons (95% or so) and does NOT even have the capacity for this at this time.

The IAEA does want to revisit a site they have visited at least twice in the past. For a reason I do not understand, IAEA does not want Iran producing heavy water (which is not required for nuclear weapons, but is required for nuclear power plants). And IAEA says it cannot confirm things it does not know about, which is an obvious declaration for all of us about virtually everything.

Please read the actual November 2011 and February 2012 Status Reports on Iran, available at the IAEA website. They are neither too long nor too technical (for the most part) to understand. Among things you will notice are that IAEA is not only visiting numerous sites and concluding that all is as Iran declares, but IAEA is also sampling the air in, apparently, many places.
 
 
+22 # Peace Anonymous 2012-03-09 22:33
If everybody just stopped for a month and focused on one question: What did we do in the realm of foreign policy in the course of the last 70 years to have anyone feel the need to protect themselves from us? Have anyone ever considered the possibility that Iran believes they are acting in self-defense? All they have to do is look at the results of our "liberation of Iraq" and our control of one of the largest oil fields in the world for things to fall into place. This really isn't that complicated.
 
 
+9 # DoctorDemocracy 2012-03-10 01:28
@Peace Anonymous. You are right. No one able to see reality can fail to recognize that the US has projected its will around the world militarily...an d often enough behind the flimsiest of excuses. It's not even necessary to go through the painful and confusing list of all the "real reasons" for all that warfare.

However, the reality is that many people are convinced by flimsy excuses tied to national pride. It is neither bad nor irrational for people to love their country. So, it does little good to challenge people's love of their country by imagining that the most obvious thing is for most everyone to recognize how wrong they have been.

In short, your being "right" and $1.50 will get you a pint of Coke.

It is more important to work early and often at challenging the flimsy excuses as they emerge...by learning and widely sharing the facts that counter flimsy excuse in the making.

Instead of focusing on how stupid everyone is, you can help inoculate people against flimsy excuses. And then you can make a real contribution to Peace.

Spread Facts. Create Peace.
 
 
+4 # Mermaid19 2012-03-09 23:19
Hi Folks, Looking for answers - all you have to do is watch the following movies - very insightful - "W" with Josh Bolen, it is an Oliver Stone movie and the second one is "Lord of War" with Nicolas Cage. Both of these movies have opened my eyes to many of the issues, what is so scary is how do we get out of this mess.
 
 
+9 # XXMD48 2012-03-10 01:05
Quoting DoctorDemocracy:
What is not being said clearly and often enough, not even by Leslie Gelb, is that while Iran is enriching nuclear material...the IAEA knows all about it. IAEA repeatedly states in its reports that the QUANTITY and LEVEL of enrichment is consistent with Iran's stated declarations. Iran's intentions are energy generation and isotopes for medical imaging equipment. Iran is not enriching anything anywhere near the level required for nuclear weapons (95% or so) and does NOT even have the capacity for this at this time.

The IAEA does want to revisit a site they have visited at least twice in the past. For a reason I do not understand, IAEA does not want Iran producing heavy water (which is not required for nuclear weapons, but is required for nuclear power plants). And IAEA says it cannot confirm things it does not know about, which is an obvious declaration for all of us about virtually everything.

Please read the actual November 2011 and February 2012 Status Reports on Iran, available at the IAEA website. They are neither too long nor too technical (for the most part) to understand. Among things you will notice that IAEA is not only visiting numerous sites and concluding that all is as Iran declares, but IAEA is also sampling the air in, apparently, many places.


Can anyone imagine that Israel would allow international inspections of their already well developed nuclear war arsenals?
 
 
+5 # handskhan 2012-03-10 02:14
If every country starts looking after its own interests and taking preemptive actions to safeguard them, what will happen to our good earth?

I wonder!!!
 
 
+13 # X Dane 2012-03-10 02:21
Peace Anonymous. They ARE acting in self defense. In 1952. Their democratically elected prime minister, Mossadeq, wanted to nationalize THEIR oil. We didn't like that so helped by CIA we got him out of there and installed Shah Rheza Palavi, who turned out to be a nasty tyrant.

Iran got rid of him in the revolution, (when they took our embassy and kept the people for a long time. Khomeni became the ruler.
and shortly after,.. Saddam attacked Iran,.. and since we hated Iran, WE HELPED Saddam, and supplied him with CHEMICAL weapons, which killed and maimed many thousands Iranians.

Iran was choked by the 9-11 attack, and through the Swiss embassy offered to help train the Afghan police, when we attacked Afghanistan. Not only did Rumsfeld not bother to answer Iran's letter. Bush shortly after called Iran, Iraq and North Korea the AXIS OF EVIL, and THEN attacked Iraq.

Knowing that N. Korea had Nukes and Iraq did not. The message was clear: If you want to be left in peace: GET NUKES IN A HURRY.

Are they acting in self defense: HELL YES.
The terrible part is that few Americans know history, so it is easy for war mongers, to whip up the hatred.

When I tell people this they are in total disbelief, and I make a point of telling these facts, for IT IS IMPORTANT.
 
 
+18 # angelfish 2012-03-10 03:25
John McCain is severely mentally and emotionally handicapped from the torture he sustained in Viet-Namese War Camps so you can almost forgive his Hawkish stance on Iran... Lindsey Graham is an armchair Warrior who has NO idea of the consequences of starting a War with Iran, or, if he does, doesn't give a Big Rat's Patoot! It's not HIS sons or daughters who will have to pay the ultimate price for their addiction to Oil and it's by- products. A POX on ALL of the War Mongering Anal Termini who keep beating the drum for War! WHY won't they expend any energy on alternatives to Fossil Fuels? We all know it's because too many of their Mega-Gazilliona ire Handlers are invested up to their eyeballs in it and are too used to the easy money they have siphoned from American Taxpayers! We have a SURPLUS of gas and oil yet the prices are ALREADY over four (4) dollars a gallon in New York! This is an OUTRAGE! How much longer are we to be drained dry by the "haves" while the "have-NOTS" continue to go LITERALLY and FIGURATIVELY Begging?! John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their ilk need to, JUST ONCE, think of the consequences of starting ANOTHER unjust, un-called for War! Until THEIR blood kin have gone and shed BLOOD for INANE reasons, they should Sit down and Shut UP! Hopefully, if God is just, and I know he is, they will be given their walking papers in November! The People UNITED, will NEVER be defeated! NO MORE UNJUST WAR! Vote them OUT and save what's left of our young people!
 
 
+10 # Barbara K 2012-03-10 10:47
Angelfish, I'm with you. These warmongers make so much money off wars that they don't care whose kids have to die so they can get richer. Let it be their own kids, and themselves. We are tired of our kids fighting for the warmongers to get richer, and for what else? NOTHING else.
 
 
+9 # X Dane 2012-03-10 12:10
Hi angelfish, Barbara and seeuingoa, please read my post above angelfish. I now find ways to talk about what I wrote, even to strangers at home depot that market or wherever, and as I mentioned they are stunned...

I have some ability to persuade,... maybe they can see that I am dead serious in trying to do what I can to make people see the light before we end up in disaster?? You seem like such reasonable people......You MUST be women...ha, ha, just joking, but I am not joking when saying that we must talk to as many people as possible.

If you agree with me, please talk with other people, .....It ia the first day of spring let's make it a happy spring. (remember daylight savings time tonight)
 
 
+1 # Barbara K 2012-03-10 15:59
X Dane, we absolutely need to do some work to enlighten people about what is really happening. I have been an activist for several years now. I write, I sign 100-200 petitions a day, besides the ones on the sites I belong to. I campaign all I can online. I advocate for animal rights too, and to save this planet we live on, as if we destroy it, where will we live? Now if more people would just do that much, we could really make a difference. If one can do more, it's all the better. I live in Michigan and you have probably seen what is being done to us here by the Republibaggers who overtook us last election. I can proudly say I didn't vote for a one of them. However, we have more idiots than I thought in this state who did vote for them. We have to let people know that their votes make a difference. Maybe not just one vote, but when we add them all up, they do make a difference. We need to get them out to vote. VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC at all levels, our future is at stake and it will be even worse than now if the Republibaggers take over. So let's get to work. Thanks for what you already do. We have no time to waste. I don't even listen to the nasty ads from the Republibaggers, I figure that is what the MUTE button is for.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-03-15 23:13
Barbara, I am so glad to read about all the things you do. I also sign a lot of petitions and get letters from my senators, I am lucky to have two smart women Barbara Boxer especially and Diane Feinstein
I have read plenty about your miserable governor and his emergency managers.- Sickening.- Can you not try to recall him??

I think the Wisconsinites will be able to kick out their terrible governor, Walker, and some state senators too. It is good to know that there are committed people and "meet" some of you HERE.
 
 
0 # Barbara K 2012-03-17 13:59
XDane: We tried to recall him, but the vote counters and both houses all went Rs, even the AG, so I haven't heard anything about what happened to the petitions. I know I signed one for him and a couple for others. It is so important to VOTE DEMS to get these thieving thugs out of our congress. They are in lockstep with all that the Tbagging gov. wants. In the small city I live in, our little government had $200,000, and the governor took that away from us. That was OUR taxpayer money to fund our city. He just steals away anything he wants.
 
 
+6 # angelfish 2012-03-10 13:14
Quoting angelfish:
Lindsey Graham is an armchair Warrior who has NO idea of the consequences of starting a War with Iran, or, if he does, doesn't give a Big Rat's Patoot! It's not HIS sons or daughters who will have to pay the ultimate price for their addiction to Oil and it's by- products.
ADDENDUM: Graham has served in the Military but NOT in any combat capacity. If he's so hot for a War with Iran, let HIM lead the charge! I am SICK to death of him and other ReTHUGlican South Carolina Senators who disrespect women, ignore the poor of South Carolina as well as the rest of the Country and work ONLY for their Mega-Wealthy Masters! NO MORE WAR! We MUST rid ourselves of these soul killers who care NOTHING for their constituents yet slave tirelessly for the Wealthy! Justice WILL be served in November!
 
 
+7 # seeuingoa 2012-03-10 04:25
Average Americans are among the most stupid and immature people in the world.
They are as complacent as a seriously,
senile, elderly person.
And how can it be different,when there
are so few investigative journalists
writing mainly for alternative media,
that the average American never see.
 
 
+10 # Steve5551 2012-03-10 05:02
John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, could we find any three greater world class terrorists? Why have they not been arrested and subjected to their new legislation declaring that even American citizens can be arrested and detained indefinitely without a trial if they are involved in terrorist activities? Surely this new Obama approved and signed bill is custom designed for such as these three.
 
 
+2 # barbaratodish 2012-03-10 06:04
Perhaps for any hypothesis to BE truly diplomatic, by definition it would have to be one that would avoid making Tehran, or Iran, or any country DEFENSIVE. I doubt the US or Israel could come up with a truly diplomatic hypothesis involving ANY question involving enriching uranium, so why expect rationality from those who you place on the defensive?
 
 
+2 # Carolyn 2012-03-10 06:19
The left hemisphere of our brains is judgmental -- dualistic. the right hemisphere of the brain is holistic. We are capable of understanding.

Earth is creatiive. It nourishes us. As human beings, we are All totally dependent upon it for our every breath, for water, for food.

We, too, have the ability to be creative. We use our creativity not to nurture but to create thermonuclear weaponry for the destruction of life and earth -- our minds to divide.
 
 
+6 # mjc 2012-03-10 10:43
The wild-eyed notion that we can just bomb our way into Syria and remove Assad is a truly ignorant idea, based on thinking that the bombers won't be badly damaged and that Assad will just escape or surrender. Bombings would have to be executed on the cities in Syria, cities where most of the resistance to the Syrian army has taken place. Most importantly, it would kill even more civilians than Assad's army has. The latest from those who study this issue states that Assad is well-entrenched , not prone to any coup d'etat. Although simpletons suggest this, it is not going to be a simple solution.
 
 
+11 # Amir Mashay 2012-03-10 11:30
Only fools or cowards want "wars of choice": A fool if someone's like McCain, who'd send his son (who just graduated from Annapolis following family tradition) off to further unjustified aims, or a coward like Romney, who won't send his flock of sons but will risk someone else's children.
 
 
+2 # ganymede 2012-03-10 13:14
Lots of chaotic comments on this hottest of subjects. Global Citizen still sounds quite crazy even though he's cleaned up his grammar a bit. We all know that the Republicans are now a cult of warmongers and idiots, and most of the Democrats are no better especially the ones in the jockstraps of Aipac and the neo-con goons. I'm just surprised that many of you don't get the drift that Obama will do everything possible to avoid another stupid, totally immoral Middle East War. I think it's Noam Chomsky who said it: one has no choice but to choose between the lesser of two evils because the lesser is less evil.
 
 
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-10 23:42
I wish I had your confidence in Obama's intent to do everything possible to avoid another war. His track record, and his recent sale of bunker busters to Israel under the condition that they not use them until after the election, indicates otherwise.

I certainly don't have confidence in his avoiding war on any of the grounds you mentioned: that it’s 1) stupid, 2) immoral, or 3) located in the Middle East.

Regarding the lesser of two evils, it has gotten to the point where distinguishing which is the lesser has gotten too difficult. Obama is responsible for killing hundreds of children and innocent adults with drones, initiating aggressive wars – both covert and overt (even when Congress voted against going to war), sanctioning other war crimes such as torture by American leaders and other regimes, promoting indefinite detention and assassination by fiat and in secrecy, targeting whistleblowers while protecting the actual high-level corporate and government criminals… I could go on and on. Yes, the Republicans (except Ron Paul) are horrible on every conceivable issue that exists, but Obama is horrible on so many issues of vital importance to the future of Americans, people of the world, and the planet itself that I genuinely don’t see how distinctions among them are meaningful.
 
 
0 # Jane Gilgun 2012-03-25 14:49
There are many meaningful distinctions, such as health care, wonen's rights, job creation, gun control, safety of black men, tax the rich, education, build roads and bridges, and more. The far right are on the wrong side of these issues. Many call themselves Christians, but they have no idea what love they neighbor means.
 
 
+3 # 1984 2012-03-10 18:06
To add to X Dane's correct rendition of our history with Iran, Iran was instrumental in the successful outing of Taliban in Northern Afghanistan which happened very shortly before Bush's ill advised name calling of Iran. Also, Iran was very sympathetic when 9/11 happened holding candle vigils. And Americans think they were the ones celebrating 9/11 on the street.
Re: how easy it would be, according to the war mongers to attack Iran, remember when Jimmy Carter tried to rescue the hostages and all American soldiers landing in a remote place
in Iran were killed by the Iranians in their defense against the invasion. Very tragic since no hostage was killed. And remember how, just a few months ago, Iran was able to intercept one of our super secret drones with very little damage.
I think it would be suicide for our kids in the military if we get involved in any way in an attack on Iran.
 
 
+1 # FDEJ 2012-03-25 04:42
We all from West and East all together absolutely need to do some work to expose Ignorant Warmongers-I always wonder if war lovers are a kind of homicidal people Why so much pain to inflect on others. http://www.holyquranmiracles.com/ is against any war and sends kindest regards to honourable rsn and her supporters.

Dr F.Dejahang uk
 

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