Iran! Tally-ho!

August 22, 2007 by susan
map, Iraq/Iran

Turns out what I thought last week was a hangover was something else and I got sicker and sicker and finally resorted to a doctor and ultimately to heavy narcotics. Well, that'd be nice. Actually, just nasty antibiotics.

I've been too pooped to hang any linen on the line, and so am posting an email sent to me by friend ddruth from CA. You'll notice a familiar C-Line theme here: How can it be that our government is running (or has run) amok, and that we can't seem to stop them? (I don't know, but please read on anyway.)

It reminded me of how I used to ponder the magic of the semiphore when I was very little. How could it be that everyone obeyed them? I knew the ratio of police to drivers was slim, so what if everyone just kept driving through the red and yellow lights? Who could stop them? "Well," my mother would say, "we just don't operate that way."

But now we do. It's as if the Bushies figured it out. If they just kept driving through the stoplights -- election rules, the constitution, and 200+ years of trust -- no one could really stop them.

So here we are, flailing our arms and yelling "Stop! Stop!" but our arms have gone all to jelly and our voices come out like dry rasping wheezes, like trying to scream in a nightmare and they keep rolling right over us.

So ddruth, a measured and quiet sort of person, writes:

"These questions are, of course, rhetorical, but I ask 'em anyway: Isn't there anybody in the entire United States of America -- government or non-government -- who can stop this crazed, demented, dangerous, assinine, idiotic, self-deluded, self-serving bunch of neo-cons from fucking up AGAIN? And probably even worse this time? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WAKE THIS COUNTRY -- AND ITS MAINSTREAM MEDIA -- UP? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO OPPOSE THESE DISASTROUS MOVES BY THE BASTARDS IN THE WHITE HOUSE?"

And she was referring to the article below: (I know you all knew this, but I didn't hear anyone screaming. We do that in CAPS, because we're mute.)

Prelude to an Attack on Iran
by Robert Baer Time Magazine Saturday 18 August 2007

Reports that the Bush Administration will put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on the terrorism list can be read in one of two ways: it's either more bluster or, ominously, a wind-up for a strike on Iran. Officials I talk to in Washington vote for a hit on the IRGC, maybe within the next six months. And they think that as long as we have bombers and missiles in the air, we will hit Iran's nuclear facilities. An awe and shock campaign, lite, if you will. But frankly they're guessing; after Iraq the White House trusts no one, especially the bureaucracy.
As with Saddam and his imagined WMD, the Administration's case against the IRGC is circumstantial. The U.S. military suspects but cannot prove that the IRGC is the main supplier of sophisticated improvised explosive devices to insurgents killing our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most sophisticated version, explosive formed projectiles or shape charges, are capable of penetrating the armor of an Abrams tank, disabling the tank and killing the crew.
A former CIA explosives expert who still works in Iraq told me: "The Iranians are making them. End of story." His argument is only a state is capable of manufacturing the EFP's, which involves a complicated annealing process. Incidentally, he also is convinced the IRGC is helping Iraqi Shia militias sight in their mortars on the Green Zone. "The way they're dropping them in, in neat grids, tells me all I need to know that the Shia are getting help. And there's no doubt it's Iranian, the IRGC's," he said.
A second part of the Administration's case against the IRGC is that the IRGC has had a long, established history of killing Americans, starting with the attack on the Marines in Beirut in 1983. And that's not to mention it was the IRGC that backed Hizballah in its thirty-four day war against Israel last year. The feeling in the Administration is that we should have taken care of the IRGC a long, long time ago.
Strengthening the Administration's case for a strike on Iran, there's a belief among neo-cons that the IRGC is the one obstacle to democratic and a friendly Iran. They believe that if we were to get rid of the IRGC, the clerics would fall, and our thirty-years war with Iran over. It's another neo-con delusion, but still it informs White House thinking.
And what do we do if just the opposite happens -- a strike on Iran unifies Iranians behind the regime? An Administration official told me it's not even a consideration. "IRGC IED's are a casus belli for this administration. There will be an attack on Iran."
--------
Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, is TIME.com's intelligence columnist and the author of See No Evil and, most recently, the novel Blow the House Down.

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Comments

Anonymous (not verified) | August 22, 2007 - 7:22am

Did anyone see Larry Summers on Charlie Rose last night? He told of visiting China several months ago, or more, when the new Congress was debating Nancy Pelosi's preferred majority leader, John Murtha to Stenny Hoyer. Again and again, the Chinese business leaders and financial people that LS spoke with asked about the ramifications of this choice.
LS asks, can you imagine anyone in America being aware of such machinations going on in China? To which I add, "can you imagine more than a handful of Americans being aware of what's going on right here at home, let alone questioning what the ramifications might be?"
We're undereducated, misdirected, fat, lazy; a nation of whiners and finger pointers. A civilization in decline?

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Poet (not verified) | August 22, 2007 - 11:40am

Susan--I'm glad to hear you are feeling better--Stay aqay from anything stromnger than 4oz of red wine each day! 8<))

DDRuth exclaims:

These questions are, of course, rhetorical, but I ask 'em anyway: Isn't there anybody in the entire United States of America -- government or non-government -- who can stop this crazed, demented, dangerous, assinine, idiotic, self-deluded, self-serving bunch of neo-cons from fucking up AGAIN? And probably even worse this time? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WAKE THIS COUNTRY -- AND ITS MAINSTREAM MEDIA -- UP? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO OPPOSE THESE DISASTROUS MOVES BY THE BASTARDS IN THE WHITE HOUSE?"

************

DD I am of the growing conviction that this attrocity of an administration is not the fault of neocons. To plagerize Edward R. Murrow's famous analysis of Joseph McCarthy., Neocons did lnot invent this situation the merely exploited it while the moderate to progressive voices of society remained mute and offerd no meaniongful rebuttal.

If you want proof recall any of the Democratic presidential debates so far and try real hard to find anything that would distinguish the likes of Hillary, Barak O, Richardson, Dodd, or Biden from the prevailing war philosophy of the current adminstration.

When and where did her royal highness Ms. Nancy Pelosi or Senator Harry Reid declare, "hell no we won't go along with tihs crap and let there be blood in the streets before we roll over and play dead to the mad men and women in the White House and their administration!

They are all like so many bought and paid for ladies of the night whose pmps are the well-endowed corporate interests and think-tank academics who firmly hold their rhinestone- studded leashes.

What we have is a ruling elite with a vested interest in the growing despair and hopelessness of even greater segments of the American population because desperate people isolated from any sense of community are easy targets for being sold the poisonous nostrums of intolerant scapegoating and are willing to believe any magical rhetorical crap spewed fortjh by their maximum leaders. (See any Bush administratiion press conference or briefing).

It is how Mussolini and Hitler got their start in post WWI Italy and Germany and uless we start turning off the TV and start reaching out to one another in moderate dialog it is how those 80 million or so brown shirts already part of the Christo-Fascinst evangelical movement will be swollen to tens of millions of more voting age people.

First rule of a totalitarian dictatorship:

Believe no official statement unless it is a denial and then believe what is being denied.

Second Rule of a totalitarian dictatorship:

What they will do to gays, lesbians, abortion providers, and femninists they will do to anyone else--it's just a matter of how far down on their "to do" list you are.

Third rule of a totalitarian dictatorship:

The most effective way t ooppose their activities is to form alternative commuity that support, inform, and defend one another--communities united by that on which they agree and not divided by that on which they diasagree.

How many of your neighbors do you know?

When was the last time you spoke ro any of them?

How often dlo you get together socially?

Do you have any ideas of how they feel about neighborhood, city, state or national matters?

Even if they are the cultural, racial, social, political, and/or ethnic oposite of you can you find something, anything to respect about them?

Until all of us can answer these questions and act on them we are just sitting ducks either waiting to come under the thrall and sway of authnoritarian movememnts or (in the alternative) to put a bulseye on our backside to be picked off one at a time when it is the time.to do so.

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paul miller (not verified) | August 23, 2007 - 7:53am

"are willing to believe any magical rhetorical crap spewed forth by their maximum leaders" -

it's not bad enough that we have an imbecile for a president and his loyal henchman IGOR (eyeGor) for vp but we have to hear Bush try and play intellectual to the VFW crowd by talking about a Graham Greene novel and mispronouncing Laos as he recounts the history of the Viet Nam War. Bush seems to think if he gets agitated enough and adament enough his bullshit won't stink (it does)

meanwhile a 15 million ad campaign is set to seek to accomplish same

like John Lennon sang, "all I want is the truth, just give me some truth"

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retired1 (not verified) | August 23, 2007 - 9:16am

While it's comforting? to know someone else is screaming "Why doesn't somebody do something about this administration running amok?", it's a helpless feeling to know that whatever we do, it doesn't make a difference.
I'm calling, e-mailing, writing postcards -- And now - look at me!- I'm blogging!!
In school, I learned the 3 branches of government - executive, legislative, judicial - and that they were created to provide a balance. And now, I don't trust any of them.

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susan | August 23, 2007 - 9:44am

I'm with you retired one. Blogging? Moi? Jeebus, I am burnt out, frustrated, despairing.
Went to dinner last night with filthy rich Republicans -- don't ask -- and when I brought up the fact that our northern Great Lakes are testing way over the limit for e coli, and in fact swimming beaches along the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan are being closed, one woman who lives in the worst offending town of all said, "It's those damn poor people who think because they've lived here forever they don't have to put in a septic tank, they just let it all run into the lake." Earlier this shank of sinew with a diamond cueball on her tanned paw had told me she "hated" Gov. Granholm. Why? I asked. "Because I've been trying to sell a house for a year and a half." "Oh, are you moving?" "No, I'm a realtor, and no one will buy this house because of her damn taxes." Ah.
So it's the poor people who've been here forever damaging the lakes, and not the unchecked development of the last decade and relaxed EPA standards and McMansions that she's selling that have anything to do with it. And Diamond Nell's husband had already complained that there aren't any "wells" big enough here for his boat, so he has to drive xx miles to find a big enough well. Huh? Wells, for all you rubes, are boat slips. Such hardships!
It got worse, but I'll spare you. Except this one. When I defended the role of government in our lives, GOOD government, Boat Well man told me I was nuts, that government doesn't work. So I asked whose job it is to make sure our bridges don't collapse, and he told me that it was OUR fault in MN because we got $50 million from the feds xxx years ago and instead of spending it on bridges and highways, "you chose to educate your pooooor" and other lamebrain liberal things, and yes, he said pooor like that, all mocking.
Hateful people, and they, not the poooor, are what's wrong with America. One of the things.

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Anonymous (not verified) | August 23, 2007 - 10:29am

I would be willing to bet none of those conversations ever happened. Makes for good lambaste marinade however.

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susan | August 23, 2007 - 10:51am

Well, that's where you'd be wrong. I later figured out that the man with the sewer breath and big "wells" was totally drunk from the way he staggered up to give me a big hug as I left. And his wife said, "He's worse than Rush Limbaugh, and he always has to write apology notes to his dinner partners in the morning." Which I thought was nice of her. And the host said, "He doesn't mean any of it, he just likes to sit next to pretty women." I guess that was to make me feel better, because I probably looked like a horse had just kicked me in the face.

I could tell you more. I left a lot out. How she asked us locals where we got our dry cleaning done, and we said, "Well, we sort of don't wear any of that stuff here." and she said, "Well, what about your sheets?" And then told us she afforded herself the "one" luxury of sending her sheets out to be laundered, because she grew up with ironed sheets and just couldn't do without.
How when someone asked why the flags on the island were at half mast she said, "Because Jennifer Granholm is against the war, so her little politcal stunt is to fly the flag at half mast every time a Michigan soldier is killed." (Support the troops!)

And I know that these people were extremes, like caricatures, and that he was baiting me all night long, and as my husband said, "view them as if you're an anthropologist" and I am trying to do that. But I did NOT make any of it up.
As for lambaste marinade, where do you come up with this stuff?

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B (not verified) | August 23, 2007 - 8:38pm

Talking with neighbors?
Last time I checked, the United States of America and Iran had diplomatic relations. One which appeared to be beneficial to the world. Iran is NOT "all the way over there," they are NOT "a world apart," they are our neighbors in the world, in the grand scheme of things............ and yes, just a short few years ago I had 2 family members working side by side, embassy to embassy, promoting diplomatic relations, sharing technology, teaching one another.
After the embassy siege, anger ensued, diplomatic relations expired, and tensions have risen.
In my children's lifetimes, Iran has been a difficult reality.
How quickly we can forget that neighbors can get along, have differences, and .............. now it looks like good neighbors are trying to destroy each other.
How history is cyclical.
What next?

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Anonymous (not verified) | August 24, 2007 - 6:39pm

Creative writers school. They tried to tell me that you don't needs facts or common sense to be a "creative writer", just overblown emotion and a side dish of liberal. I did not believe them so I quit the school.

And you?

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