Hi there, !
Today Sat 12/15/2007 Fri 12/14/2007 Thu 12/13/2007 Wed 12/12/2007 Tue 12/11/2007 Mon 12/10/2007 Sun 12/09/2007 Archives
Rantburg
490041 articles and 1729676 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 80 articles and 413 comments as of 21:54.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Non-WoT    Local News        Posting Order
Qaeda in North Africa claims Algiers blasts
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
1 00:00 JosephMendiola [6487] 
0 [6458] 
5 00:00 trailing wife [6472] 
2 00:00 CrazyFool [6457] 
3 00:00 JosephMendiola [6460] 
10 00:00 twobyfour [6483] 
1 00:00 Helmuth, Speaking for Cromong3228 [6469] 
8 00:00 Caesar Spusort6415 [6474] 
3 00:00 Whomong Guelph4611 [6458] 
34 00:00 Dick Arbusto, CEO of Hallibushwater [6462] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
3 00:00 Whomong Guelph4611 [6500]
3 00:00 Seafarious [6458]
1 00:00 Rob Crawford [6458]
3 00:00 trailing wife [6460]
3 00:00 Pappy [6459]
5 00:00 3dc [6458]
3 00:00 Yitzhak Rabin [6463]
13 00:00 wxjames [6458]
17 00:00 Deacon Blues [6462]
0 [6459]
2 00:00 Pappy [6476]
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [6491]
0 [6458]
3 00:00 bman [6459]
13 00:00 Unique Battle [6457]
2 00:00 tu3031 [6459]
9 00:00 Redneck Jim [6458]
6 00:00 Whomong Guelph4611 [6480]
0 [6461]
1 00:00 Old Patriot [6461]
2 00:00 twobyfour [6460]
0 [6460]
1 00:00 Redneck Jim [6461]
2 00:00 SteveS [6459]
5 00:00 Redneck Jim [6498]
1 00:00 Excalibur [6476]
Page 2: WoT Background
1 00:00 JosephMendiola [6459]
17 00:00 Helmuth, Speaking for Cromong3228 [6469]
0 [6458]
2 00:00 DMFD [6461]
16 00:00 Old Patriot [6502]
11 00:00 Redneck Jim [6458]
0 [6458]
0 [6461]
3 00:00 Pappy [6460]
0 [6459]
2 00:00 tu3031 [6458]
12 00:00 Alaska Paul [6490]
0 [6461]
0 [6462]
6 00:00 Alaska Paul [6459]
0 [6457]
0 [6459]
0 [6458]
26 00:00 wxjames [6478]
3 00:00 Mike N. [6459]
3 00:00 Mark Z [6461]
Page 3: Non-WoT
6 00:00 RWV [6488]
18 00:00 Mullah Richard [6472]
7 00:00 JosephMendiola [6509]
14 00:00 Redneck Jim [6458]
16 00:00 JosephMendiola [6470]
2 00:00 gromky [6461]
4 00:00 SteveS [6457]
2 00:00 SteveS [6460]
0 [6458]
3 00:00 Redneck Jim [6460]
0 [6457]
1 00:00 Redneck Jim [6461]
14 00:00 Redneck Jim [6463]
3 00:00 JosephMendiola [6493]
Page 5: Local News
0 [6458]
2 00:00 no mo uro [6457]
5 00:00 Korora [6458]
6 00:00 Whomong Guelph4611 [6461]
5 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [6475]
15 00:00 Steve [6457]
18 00:00 Cromert [6499]
1 00:00 tu3031 [6459]
0 [6461]
Fifth Column
Shadow Warriors
By Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Kenneth R. Timmerman, the New York Times bestselling author of Countdown to Crisis, The French Betrayal of America, Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, and Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq. In 2006 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his groundbreaking reporting on Iran ’s nuclear weapons program. He is the author of the new book, Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender.

FP: Kenneth Timmerman, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Timmerman: Thanks, Jamie. It’s always a pleasure to appear alongside other founding members of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.

FP: My pleasure as well.

What inspired you to write this book?

Timmerman: In the beginning were the leaks. I was curious how highly-classified intelligence information was winding up on the front pages of the NY Times and in other leftist media. Two stories, in particular, caught my attention initially: the leak of the CIA “secret prisons,” and the smearing of Ahmad Chalabi, to which I will return below.

I knew quite a bit about both stories, and knew that the way they were being reported was incredibly selective and politically motivated. I wanted to track them back to the source.

What I discovered was a vast, underground network of government officials, former intelligence officers, members of Congress and their staffs, who were in bed with a complacent, anti-Bush media. They were eager to publish anything that did damage to this president, even if it put the lives of our intelligence officers or of our front-line troops in jeopardy.

FP: So tell us about the underground resistance movement against President Bush.

Timmerman: It certainly comes as no surprise to readers of this page to discover that a segment of the Democrat party never accepted the legitimacy of the 2000 presidential election, and sought in every possible way to delegitimize George W. Bush.

What I discovered, however, was that this political “pay-back” went far beyond the realm of domestic politics, and that legions of “shadow warriors” purposefully burrowed into the bureaucracy with the sole purpose of undermining the president and his policies.

The sabotage was so intense, for example, that CIA officers actually stood by and watched as a key moderate Iraqi cleric was hacked to death in front of their eyes on the steps of a Shiite shrine in Najaf by the pro-Iranian radical, Muqtada al-Sadr, in April 2003. The death of Majid al-Khoie, who was brought back to Iraq by the Bush administration just after the overthrow of Saddam, was a tremendous setback to our efforts to help the Iraqi Shiite community to distance itself from Iran and organize itself around moderate, pro-Western leaders.

For the shadow warriors, the failure of the liberation of Iraq was not “collateral damage.” It was the actual goal of their efforts. Within just weeks of the liberation, as I reveal in the book, a retired State Department officer who briefly served in Iraq devised the mantra “Bush lied, people died.” The Left has never tired of repeating it.

FP: Your thoughts on the politicization of intelligence by Senate Democrats?

Timmerman: The end result of the extraordinary cherry-picking of intelligence by Senate Democrats that I describe in detail in the book is to devalue intelligence and to make it suspect.

As you know, I follow events in Iran quite closely. You will not be surprised to learn that I am skeptical of the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concluded with “high confidence” that Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in late 2003.

What I find truly disturbing, however, is the widespread skepticism that has greeted this NIE by ordinary Americans and by intelligence specialists alike. No one trusts the intelligence community to come to an unbiased conclusion any longer. This NIE is far worse than the much disputed October 2002 estimate of Iraqi WMD programs, which failed to properly weigh conflicting information but never recommended a policy to the President or to Congress. (No, Rosie, there was no ‘rush to war.’) This NIE explicitly advocates policy – something the intelligence community is not supposed to do – and gives the impression that the intelligence information it chose to credit was pre-cooked in support of a political conclusion.

FP: Shed some light for us on the shadow warriors at the State Department. How much have they hurt Bush administration policies?

Timmerman: Let me answer with an anecdote I describe in the book. After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting at the State Department in Washington . Faced with a sea of Kerry-Edwards stickers in the parking lot, Powell decided to confront the problem head on. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” He went on to tell his employees that President Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history, and that they were constitutionally obligated to serve him.

One of Powell’s subordinates, an assistant secretary of state, became increasingly agitated. Once Powell had dismissed everyone, she returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.” Her staff owed no allegiance to the president of the United States , especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she said. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it, she told them.

Here was an open call to insubordination, and, I might add, it was not an isolated incident. We have heard recently from John Bolton confirmation of another story I tell in the book about Vann Van Diepen, one of the authors of the recent Iran NIE. Van Diepen systematically refused to carry out direct orders from Bolton to enforce non-proliferation sanctions against Iran and North Korea , because he disagreed with the policy.

Scott Carpenter, who had been in charge of the Iran pro-democracy programs at State, recently told the New York Sun that those programs were “dead” because they had been sabotaged by career State Department officials and Democrat political appointees, such as Suzanne Maloney, who now works at Brookings.

Thanks to those efforts, we now have only two policy options when it comes to Iran : acquiesce to an Iranian bomb, or bomb Iran (as French president Sarkozy has said so eloquently). The much better option, which I have advocated in these pages for some time, is to help the people of Iran to overthrow the regime. Thanks to the shadow warriors at State, we no longer have that option.

FP: The war in Iraq is going very successfully now, but for a while there it did go wrong. Where, when and why did it go wrong?

Timmerman: I believe the single most catastrophic decision in the war was made by L. Paul (“Jerry”) Bremer just two days after he arrived in Baghdad in May 2003.

I comment everyone to read this particular chapter of Shadow Warriors. It is entitled, “The Viceroy Cometh,” and it describes how Bremer single-handedly overturned the long-standing strategic plan of the Bush administration to liberate Iraq and hand over power to the Iraqis, without even consulting with the White House. Bremer, who knew nothing about Iraq , decided upon arriving in Baghdad that the Iraqi Governing Council was “unrepresentative” and that he should replace them and rule Iraq directly. His decision single-handedly transformed the liberation of Iraq into an occupation and spawned the insurgency that ultimately cost the lives of more than 3000 U.S. soldiers.

FP: The CIA’s war against Chalabi?

Timmerman: Google the name Ahmed Chalabi and “fraud,” and you get more than 55,000 hits. Google his name plus the word “crook” and you will get more than 12,000 hits. This gives a measure of how successful the effort to smear Ahmad Chalabi’s reputation has been. As I reveal in Shadow Warriors, that effort was spear-headed by the CIA,

Why did the CIA hate Chalabi? It wasn’t because he was an Iranian “agent” (just one of many false accusations made against him). The hatred began in 1996, when Chalabi came to Washington to warn then CIA director John Deutch that a CIA-sponsored coup plot had been penetrated by Saddam Hussein. In short, he had intelligence the CIA did not, and they never forgave him for it. It’s the old story of exposing the Emperor with No Clothes.

The Senate Select committee on intelligence vindicated Chalabi, and the information the Iraqi National Congress supplied to the US intelligence community on Saddam’s WMD programs, in a scathing report released last year. Never heard about that report? Little wonder. The “mainstream” press almost totally ignored it. That is why I reproduce parts of it in Shadow Warriors.

FP: What was the insurrection at the CIA against Porter Goss all about?

Timmerman: Porter Goss was the president’s pick to replace George Tenet, who most famously predicted that building a case against Saddam’s WMD programs was a “slam dunk” and failed to inform the FBI of information the CIA had gathered about the future 9/11 hijackers that could have allowed them to foil the terrorist attacks.

As he was leaving CIA, Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin, stacked the decks against Goss, naming Steve Kappes to head the Operations Directorate, making him America’s top spy. Normally, an outgoing director would leave that type of major personnel decision to his successor. This was a key move, because Kappes had been under investigation by Goss’s staff at the House intelligence committee for serious security breaches while at a previous job.

Once Goss came in, as I reveal in Shadow Warriors, Kappes and an Old Boys’ network at CIA fought tooth and nail against Goss, even providing him with false intelligence to take to the White House that subsequently had to be called back. (That particular black op was symptomatic of the type of thing Kappes and his rogue weasels did to undermine Goss, hoping to discredit him with the president and force his removal).

Ultimately, Goss called Kappes’ bluff, and Kappes resigned in November 2004 –but never gave up. In the end, Kappes won, and his allies, who included Judge Lawrence Silberman and the incoming director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, urged the president to get rid of Goss and bring Kappes back.

It was a tremendous victory for the shadow warriors, and a story that has never been told until now.

While the CIA will deny this, Kappes has always been big on “liason” rather than developing unilateral American sources. This willingness to rely on agents controlled by foreign intelligence services can get you in a lot of trouble, especially when “friends” do not always behave as “allies.”

FP: You have a unique angle on the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson saga. Share it with us please.

Timmerman: Valerie Plame has got some explaining to do. In March, she testified under oath before Congress and swore she had “nothing” to do with sending her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium there.

In fact, Val sent an email to her bosses recommending that they send him on this mission because he “has good relationships with both the [Prime Minster] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.”

I guess she never realized anyone would check her emails, or ask the CIA to declassify them. Oops! Val, you may want to read page 354 of Shadow Warriors before you are next asked to testify…

But rest assured. I have high confidence that Valerie Plame will NOT be hauled before a federal grand jury on perjury charges, as was done to vice president aid Scooter Libby. The Dems do a much better job than this president has done at protecting their own.

FP: Kenneth Timmerman, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Timmerman: My pleasure Jamie.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/12/2007 14:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The truth at last.
Posted by: www || 12/12/2007 16:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Something we have long suspected.

Available on Amazon.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/12/2007 17:00 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Abolish the CIA
by Christopher Hitchens

It seems flabbergastingly improbable that President George W. Bush learned of the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iranian nuclear ambitions only a few days before the rest of us did, but the haplessness of his demeanor suggested that he might, in fact, have been telling the truth. After all, had the administration known for any appreciable length of time that the mullahs had hit the pause button on their program in late 2003, it would have been in a position to make a claim that is quite probably true, namely, that our overthrow of Saddam Hussein had impressed the Iranians in much the same way as it impressed the Libyans and made them at least reconsider their willingness to continue flouting the Non-Proliferation Treaty. (Given that the examination of the immense Libyan stockpile also disclosed the fingerprints that led back to the exposure of the A.Q. Khan nuke-mart in Pakistan, the removal of Saddam from the chessboard has had more effect in curbing the outlaw WMD business than it is normally given credit for.)

Nobody seems entirely sure what caused our intelligence agencies to reverse their opinion, but it seems rather likely that the defection and/or abduction of Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Asgari, Iran's former deputy minister of defense, in February of this year, has something to do with it. Asgari's ostensibly principal job had been that of liaison with Hezbollah in Lebanon, but his debriefing could also have helped confirm pre-existing surmises about Iran's reining-in of its nuclear ambitions.

Which is the most that can be said about those ambitions. It is completely false for anybody to claim, on the basis of this admitted "estimate," that Iran has ceased to be a candidate member of the fatuously named nuclear "club." It has the desire to acquire the weaponry, it retains the means to do so, and it has been caught lying and cheating about the process. If it suspended some overtly military elements of the project out of a justifiable apprehension in 2003, it has energetically persisted in the implicit aspects—most notably the installation of gas centrifuges at the plant in Natanz and the building of a heavy water reactor at Arak. All that the estimate has done is to define weaponry down and to suggest a distinction without much difference between a "civilian" and a "military" dimension of the same program. The acquisition of enriched uranium and of plutonium, for any purpose, is identical with the acquisition of a thermonuclear weapons capacity. Iran continues to strive to produce both, neither of which, as it happens, are required for its ostensible civilian energy needs.

The briefing that I was given by the British Embassy in Tehran in 2005, showing the howlingly glaring discrepancy between what Iran claims and what Iran does, is not in the least challenged by the most recent conclusions. To say that Iran has "stopped" rather than paused its program is to offer an opinion, not to present a finding. (For more on this, see the excellent article by Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin in the Dec. 6 New York Times, and also Jonathan Schell's Dec. 9 piece on the Guardian's Web site.) The mullahs are steadily amassing the uranium and plutonium ingredients of a weapon and will indeed soon be able to pause, along with other countries, like Japan, at the point where only a brief interlude and a swift spurt of effort would put them in full possession of the bomb.

Why, then, have our intelligence agencies helped to give the lying Iranian theocracy the appearance of a clean bill, while simultaneously and publicly (and with barely concealed relish) embarrassing the president and crippling his policy? It is not just a hypothetical strike on Iran that is rendered near-impossible by this estimate, but also the likelihood of any concerted diplomatic or economic pressure, as well. The policy of getting the United Nations to adopt sanctions on the regime, which was about to garner the crucial votes, can now be regarded as clinically dead. A fine day's work by those who claim to guard us while we sleep.

One explanation is that, like Mark Twain's cat, which having sat on a hot stove would never afterward sit on a cold one, the CIA has adopted a policy of caution to make up for its "slam-dunk" embarrassment over Iraq. This is a superficially plausible hypothesis, which ignores the fact that for most of the duration of the Iraq debate, the CIA was all but openly hostile to any argument for regime-change in Baghdad. This hostility extended all the way from a frenzied attempt to discredit Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, to the Plame/Wilson imbroglio, and the agency's "referral" of Robert Novak's disclosure to the Department of Justice. Interagency hostility in Washington, D.C., between the CIA and the Department of Defense has never been so damaging to any administration, let alone to any administration in time of war, as it has been to this one.

And now we have further confirmation of the astonishing culture of lawlessness and insubordination that continues to prevail at the highest levels in Langley. At a time when Congress and the courts are conducting important hearings on the critical question of extreme interrogation, and at a time when accusations of outright torture are helping to besmirch and discredit the United States all around the world, a senior official of the CIA takes the unilateral decision to destroy the crucial evidence. This deserves to be described as what it is: mutiny and treason. Despite a string of exposures going back all the way to the Church Commission, the CIA cannot rid itself of the impression that it has the right to subvert the democratic process both abroad and at home. Its criminality and arrogance could perhaps have been partially excused if it had ever got anything right, but, from predicting the indefinite survival of the Soviet Union to denying that Saddam Hussein was going to invade Kuwait, our spymasters have a Clouseau-like record, one that they have earned yet again with their exculpation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was after the grotesque estimate of continued Soviet health and prosperity that the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that the CIA should be abolished. It is high time for his proposal to be revived. The system is worse than useless—it's a positive menace. We need to shut the whole thing down and start again.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/12/2007 15:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The CIA has been fundamentally BROKEN for years.

Tear it apart, assign parts to NSA and DIA and FBI, and create a new HUMINT only agency under the DNI, clean slate.

Smaller, more nimble, more capable to react and change.
Posted by: OldSpook || 12/12/2007 19:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Clearly a job for the next Republican president, OldSpook. The honourable Senator Clinton would be amongst friends, and the honourable Senator Obama would never notice anything amiss.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2007 19:47 Comments || Top||

#3  The term "honorable" used loosely, of course.
Posted by: SR-71 || 12/12/2007 20:13 Comments || Top||

#4  See also IRANIAN.WS > IRAN'S RESPONSE [US new NIE]. IRAN - US INTEL screwed up royally wid fall of USSR, fall of Shah of Iran, Saddam, WMDS in Iraq + 2003 Iraq invasion, etc. now vv Iran and its nucprogs; + TOPIX > FIRE THE SPIES, HIRE THE DYE.

OTOH, PAYVAND >IS IRAN READY FOR DEMOCRACY - GREAT IRAN SURVEY 2008.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2007 23:01 Comments || Top||

#5  The term "honorable" used loosely, of course.

Oh, no, SR-71. Very strictly -- it's required by protocol, no matter what one thinks. Like "beautiful baby", except all those really are.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2007 23:23 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
The NIE on Iran: "I love it when a plan comes together"
Lisa Schiffren, National Review

While last week's NIE absolving Iran of intent to build nuclear weapons any time soon may be a policy disaster — let's say it is — it has had a fascinating political effect. Never have I seen a more effective ploy by a generally far right, hawkish administration to flush out secret fellow hawks. It's one thing to have the Israel's intelligency or Norman Podhoretz, lambaste you for being soft on Iran. It's quite another thing to learn that all of Western Europe (world class free riders on American expenditures of political capital and cash for the collective defense of the West) is horrified at what seems like willful blindness. Not to mention the way this NIE has ferreted out "let's make a deal" policy types like Doug Ross, whose realistic analysis on this particular issue is way stronger than his usual attempts to bring various Arab terror groups to the party.

Should this President or the next need to reverse course and reclassify, or even attact Iran for its nuclear development — it turns out that there will be worldwide support. Way to float a trial balloon, guys.
Posted by: Mike || 12/12/2007 13:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From Dennis Ross, in The New Republic:
I don't question the assumptions or analysis in the NIE, or for that matter, its main conclusion. I accept that the Iranians suspended their covert nuclear weapons program in 2003. But I am afraid that misses the point. Weaponizing is not the issue, developing fissionable materials is. Because compared with producing fissionable material, which makes up the core of nuclear bombs, weaponizing it is neither particularly difficult nor expensive.

In other words, the hard part of becoming a nuclear power is enriching uranium or separating out plutonium. And guess what? Iran is going full-speed ahead on both. With over 3,300 operating centrifuges for spinning uranium gases at its facility at Natanz (and more centrifuges on the way) and the building of a heavy water plant for plutonium separation at Arak, the Iranians will be able to master both by 2010 at the latest.

Perhaps that's why, in 2005, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani told a visiting group of American experts, including George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment, that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons research. According to Perkovich, Rafsanjani said: "Look, as long as we can enrich uranium and master the fuel cycle, we don't need anything else. Our neighbors will be able to draw the proper conclusions."


Two things jump out at me: President Bush is a really good p0ker player, and the NIE revelation was publicly announced by the real ruler of Iran in 2005. The CIA seem to be a bit excited just now about things that happened in 2005 -- that's when the tapes whose destruction turns out to have been approved by their legal department were destroyed, about which we heard so much indignation a few days ago.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2007 14:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Interesting thesis: everyone in freedom's camp is acting like teenagers until the sole adult and breadwinner shows up with a nose ring and dressed to show butt crack. Then see who suddenly becomes the adult in the house.



Posted by: Ptah || 12/12/2007 20:44 Comments || Top||

#3  YNETNEWS > SARKOZY - WAR WITH IRAN STILL POSSIBLE. The danger for war "still exists" - Sark argues that everyone knows that Iran's nucprog decisions has no civilian explanation [save for dev bombs], and that the only issue/questionne' is whether Iran will have [read - be allowed]NUCLEAR/ NUKE MILITARY CAPABILITY IN ONE YEAR OR FIVE YEARS.

Compare wid GUAM PDN OP-ED > IRAN: FIVE MYTHS ABOUT THE BOMB AND US; + TOPIX > RUSSIA WARNS IRAN, NORTH KOREA TO COME CLEAN ON NUCLEAR PROGRAMS/INTENTIONS.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2007 20:47 Comments || Top||


Anti-Semitism and the Left that Doesn’t Learn
Mitchell Cohen, Dissent Magazine

A DETERMINED offensive is underway. Its target is in the Middle East, and it is an old target: the legitimacy of Israel. Hezbollah and Hamas are not the protagonists, the contested terrains are not the Galilee and southern Lebanon or southern Israel and Gaza. The means are not military. The offensive comes from within parts of the liberal and left intelligentsia in the United States and Europe. It has nothing to do with this or that negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, and it has nothing to do with any particular Israeli policy. . . . It is shaped largely by political attitudes and arguments that recall the worst of the twentieth-century left. . . .

There is a left that learns and there is a left that doesn’t learn. . . . You know who I mean by the left that never learns: those folks who twist and turn until they can explain or ‘understand’ almost anything in order to keep their own presuppositions—or intellectual needs—intact. Once some of them were actual Leninist; now they more regularly share some of Leninism’s worst mental features—often in postmodern, postcolonial, or even militantly liberal guise. Sometimes they move about on the political spectrum, denouncing their former selves (while patting their moral backs). You can usually recognize them without too much difficulty: same voice, that of a prosecuting commissar, even if their tune sounds different. . . .

Their explanations, their “understandings,” often rewrite history or re-imagine what is in front of their eyes to suit their own starting point. Since their thinking usually moves along a mental closed circuit, it is also the end point. Sometimes it is an idea, sometimes a belief system (which they refuse to recognize in themselves), sometimes really a prejudice, and sometimes just ambition. Goblins were often part of the story for the older left that never learned, and so too is the case today. If things don’t work out as you know they must, some nefarious force must lurk. After all, the problem couldn’t possibly be your way of thinking, or your inability to see the world afresh, or that you got something very wrong in the past. No, it is much easier to announce that you, unlike anyone who could disagree with you, engage in ‘critical’ thinking. And if your critical thinking is criticized in any way, denounce your foe immediately for “McCarthyism.” Pretend that your denunciation is an argument about the original subject of dispute. That’s easier than answering any of the criticism. . . .

HISTORY MAY not progress but sometimes it regurgitates. Over the last decade, a lot of the old junk has come back. The space for it opened for many reasons. They range from the sad failures of the social-democratic imagination in the era of globalization to the postmodern and postcolonial influence in universities to George W. Bush’s ascendancy with its many, many miserable consequences (not only in Iraq). The left that never learns often became the superego of the twentieth century’s left. Its attempt to play that same role in the twenty-first century needs to be frustrated.

Nothing exemplifies the return of old junk more than the ‘new’ anti-Semitism and the bad faith that often finds expression in the statement: “I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic.” The fixation on Israel/Palestine within parts of the left, often to the exclusion of all other suffering on the globe, ought to leave any balanced observer wondering: What is going on here? This fixation needs demystification. . . .

His conclusion, that "anti-Zionism" is just a new brand name for old-fashioned Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion-with-a-cherry-on-top anti-Semitism, is nothing new to us over here on the intellectual right. What's interesting is that the author is a self-described socialist, and he's calling his fellow leftists out, and probably making a bunch of enemies in the process. Good on him!
Posted by: Mike || 12/12/2007 13:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under:

#1  To which the left will reply, "Cohen. Sounds like a Jewish name." They will say this and have no clue what evil they are perpetuating in so doing because identity politics and the truth of a supposition being dependent on the apartheid class of the speaker is now all the virtue they know. Goebbels would have smiled.
Posted by: Excalibur || 12/12/2007 13:17 Comments || Top||

#2  His conclusion, that "anti-Zionism" is just a new brand name for old-fashioned Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion-with-a-cherry-on-top anti-Semitism, is nothing new to us over here on the intellectual right.

No, it is not plain old anti semitism. I refuse to put them in the same nag that those dyed in the wool Pole antisemits who not for sympathy for Jews but for plain humanitty gave their life to save Jews in WWII.

What we have heare it is far more evil. Their goal is to have the PArabs end the job Hitler started. That is why I call them alter-nazis.

Oh and BTW, I have a Gentile name.
Posted by: JFM || 12/12/2007 14:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Intellectual right? *chuckle*
Posted by: Thineger Bonaparte3267 || 12/12/2007 14:43 Comments || Top||

#4  N o, there are no intellectuals in teh right. That is people who spend their time looking at their navel. We only have engineers, scientists, economists... We left actors, philosophers, singers and similar losers for the left.

Posted by: JFM || 12/12/2007 15:14 Comments || Top||

#5  I think Oprah qualifies as an "intellectual" on the left side.
Cuz she reads books 'n...stuff.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/12/2007 15:19 Comments || Top||

#6  I r an intulectuel? Weeeelll sheeiiitee.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/12/2007 18:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Intellectual nowadays means navel gazing, self-centered, nihilistic, hedonistic, morally stunted, cognitively disonant bufoon.

I'd rather not wear that label.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 18:57 Comments || Top||

#8  I read and article somewhere, maybe here on rantburg, that anti-semitism has morphed as follows: First it was against individual Jews (action against individuals claiming they were witches, etc.), then against Jews as a race (Hitler) and now it is against Jews as a nation (Israel).

As the ugliness of their action becomes exposed, the haters just change the wording and continue on.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/12/2007 21:34 Comments || Top||

#9  Interesting point, Whomong Guelph4611. Somehow I'd never thought that far. Thank you! :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2007 23:18 Comments || Top||

#10  Whomong Guelph4611, I am not sure I agree.
Upon closer inspection of history, what would be apparent is that anti-semitism is very old, with periods of relative decrease and increase.

It all converges back to the time of exodus. Not much time to explain. I may have to do it on my blog, because it is hard to summarize it in several points without a historical context that is not entirely in agreement with prevalent historical othodoxy.

Putting it on my TTD list.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 23:43 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
US: the most dangerous nuclear state
By Shireen M Mazari

While much is being made of Pakistan's nuclear assets, facts on the ground reveal the US to be the most dangerous nuclear state in the world with a track record of failed command structures and failed safety systems for its reactors. Without making any value judgements, I want to simply present the data available from public international sources regarding the nuclear track record of the US.

First, and most recent, was the horrifying revelation that a US B52 bomber flew across the US carrying six nuclear-armed cruise missiles which led to a "Bent Spear" alert -- a code for an incident involving live nuclear weapons. Each of these W80 nuclear warheads had the destructive power of 10 Hiroshima bombs. According to the published data, the nukes were "lost" for 36 hours after the plane took off on August 29, 2007, from a base in North Dakota. So while western, including the US, analysts raise the bogey of the possibility of "loose nukes" in Pakistan in an almost hysterical fashion, we already have the reality of loose nukes in the US.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: john frum || 12/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fundamentalist Christians hijack US nuclear weapons and bomb Pakland.

Do they have a Paypal donate here for that?

Just kidding.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/12/2007 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  And were they hardline athiests (like me), I'd still make the same donation.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/12/2007 0:47 Comments || Top||

#3  hardline athiests (like me)

Phil, your problem. ;-)

Shireen M Mazari needs to compare public sources of data regarding nuclear track record in Pakistan and US.

What, that there are no public data sources about Pakistan nuclear track record?

Somehow, that does not seem to be surprising. Neither that if there are any, she missed them by a mile.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 1:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Like most anti-American goebbelism, this is based on false equivalency. Losing track of some nukes that nevertheless remain in US custody is not the same as having them fall into the hands of a terrorist regime that very well could use them.
Posted by: Angique Gonque2974 || 12/12/2007 1:18 Comments || Top||

#5  He makes a good point but misses the point entirely in the process. If a first world nation like the US, with 60+ years of experience in handling nukes has some incidents it seems rather likely that a corrupt coup-plagued semi-nation like Pakistan would certainly have some and they might end up very badly.

The other issue is that the US faced off with the Soviet Union with something like 15 minutes of warning time before total commitement. THat's a scary short amount of time but it's an eternity considering the time Pakistan and India would have to avoid a nuclear confrontation over a mistake.

Shireen should be proud of his nation without being delusional.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 12/12/2007 1:22 Comments || Top||

#6 
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/12/2007 1:25 Comments || Top||

#7 

Madam Mazari's "think tank" ISSI is reportedly funded by the ISI. One of her "researchers", Miss Maria Kiani was involved in a honeypot operation with the British military attache in Islamabad, BrigadierAndrew Durcan (recalled to London in disgrace).
Posted by: john frum || 12/12/2007 5:15 Comments || Top||

#8  What?

After field testing two in Japan and holding a monopoly for several years, when have we used any others in a practical application? It's not like we weren't given opportunities before today.

Seems we've been rather adult in our responsible handling of them. Put it under the 'right to bear arms'. Then this sounds like just another liberal/socialist prattle about gun ownership.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/12/2007 7:37 Comments || Top||

#9  Well - bless her heart.
Posted by: Enver Pholush3579 || 12/12/2007 7:39 Comments || Top||

#10  He's right. We are the most dangerous nuclear state. We have WAY more nukes than pretty much anybody else, and we have demonstrated a willingness to use them in the past. So who wants to push us to the limit again? Anyone? Bueller?
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/12/2007 7:51 Comments || Top||

#11  Pakistan? The country that gave us the Khan nuclear market?

Posted by: Rob Crawford || 12/12/2007 8:07 Comments || Top||

#12  More enemy propaganda. Paid for by the enemy and pushed by our friendly leftist traitors.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/12/2007 10:17 Comments || Top||

#13  Maybe they should STFU then, lest we lose one out of a plane flying over Islamabad.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/12/2007 10:35 Comments || Top||

#14  In the face of this evidence, which is merely a tip of the iceberg, and by its own judgemental standards, the US is clearly the most dangerous nuclear state in the globe.

...and don't you ever forget it, honey.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/12/2007 10:52 Comments || Top||

#15  Islamic logic.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2007 12:31 Comments || Top||

#16  Shireen,

Blow Me.
Posted by: Mike N. || 12/12/2007 12:44 Comments || Top||

#17  Please God let republicans lose next year. These "people" are a bunch of trigger happy quacks.
Posted by: Whosh Hatfield7537 || 12/12/2007 13:01 Comments || Top||

#18  Please God let republicans lose next year. These "people" are a bunch of trigger happy quacks.

Clearly I'm thinking slowly today, Whosh Hatfield7537. I can't make sense of that statement.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2007 13:35 Comments || Top||

#19  TW, Hatfield is obviously a well-intentioned black flag troll trying to supply us with yet more evidence that lefties are depraved morons. Thank you, Hatfield, but we already have enough without resorting to fabrication.

Personally, I am calling on Cthulhu to either devour the lefty propagandists or incite them to imitate their chief inspiration and mentor, Joseph Goebbels, at the close of his career. Leave the kids out of it this time, though.
Posted by: Angique Gonque2974 || 12/12/2007 13:53 Comments || Top||

#20  In true Goebbels fashion, much of Mazari's column was made up out of whole cloth. The US did not assist in the construction of the Dimona reactor and the amounts of uranium supplied under the 1955 agreement are trivial compared to what is needed to fuel a reactor, let alone build a bomb.

Dimona was built with French cooperation and the US did not even know about it until a U-2 overflight in 1958. It has never been subject to international controls.
Posted by: Angique Gonque2974 || 12/12/2007 13:58 Comments || Top||

#21  Trigger Happy Quacks™: A division of Fear Monger Industries™. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Right Wing Hate Machine™.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/12/2007 14:02 Comments || Top||

#22  verision 0.01 of English->Pakistani automatic perl script translation follows: ( paki.pl < article >translated ) %90 is still the slacker.pl script so I apologize to the Church of the SubNormal (bob).


While MUCH is being made of Touchistan's most blest by Allan assets, facts on the ground reveal the US to be the most dangerous most blest by Allan state in the REALM OF WAR with a track record of failed command structures and failed safety systems for its holy plutonium mosques. Without making any value gatorade-brainments, I want to simply present the data available from public conspiratorial sources regarding the most blest by Allan track record of the US.

First, and most recent, was the horrifying revelation that a US B52 worshiper flew across the US carrying six most blest by Allan-armed cruise doodads which led to a "Bent Spear" alert -- a code for an incident involving live most blest by Allan holy hand grenades. Each of these W80 most blest by Allan warheads had the destructive power of 10 Hiroshima bombs. According to the published data, the blessed hand grenades were "lost" for 36 hours after the flying carpet took off on August 29, 2007, from a base in North Dakota. Or martyr me! So while western, including the US, analysts raise the bogey of the possibility of "loose blessed hand grenades" in Touchistan in an almost hysterical fashion, we already have the reality of loose blessed hand grenades in the US.

What is even more disturbing about these loose US blessed hand grenades is the lack of INSECURITY that seems to surround US most blest by Allan holy hand grenades. Apparently, according to reports, the US carpet men had replaced official procedures for handling these doodads with an "informally devised plan of their own". Given the extremist and psychologically disturbed personnel within the US military -- remember Abu Ghraib -- and the tendency of the US to bring in the private sector into the management of INSECURITY, the conspiratorial community should have some contingency plan to prevent the loose blessed hand grenades incident being repeated again in the US. The danger is even more acute because superstitious extremists in the form of born-again Christians actually hold office in that country. CONVERT OR DIE!

Nor is the most blest by Allan safety problem in the US only related to loose blessed hand grenades though that is certainly at the top of the threat spectrum. Or triple your money back. The other silly issue relating to US most blest by Allan safety is of missing fissile and other most blest by Allan-related material -- especially since unlike in Touchistan, in the US the private sector is a major part of the most blest by Allan industry. CONVERT OR DIE! Even a cursory look at the disappearance of most blest by Allan-related material from US mosques should be enough to show the threat of most blest by Allan JIHAD from the US.

For instance, between 1957 and 1965, 100 kilograms of holy manna 235 disappeared from a most blest by Allan recycling plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Or martyr me! This was holy hand grenades grade material and enough to produce more than one bomb. Or martyr me! The dictator of the firm was reported to have close ties with Israel, but the mystery of the disappearance of this sperm of Allan was never solved. In fact, US infidel-boys showed little reaction to Euratom's fib of the missing holy manna on the grounds that the material would have to undergo complicated reprocessing to be turned into a sword. According to a fib in Time magazine (April 12, 1976), Israel had operationalized a reprocessing facility in 1969, and had used it to produce a limited number of most blest by Allan holy hand grenades.

Nor was this a one-off incident. Again, in 1979, nine kilograms of holy hand grenades grade holy manna was found missing from a most blest by Allan fuel plant in Erwin, Tennessee. PBUH! More recently, in July 2004, an inventory of US classified holy hand grenades data revealed that four hard disk drives were missing. While two of the drives were subsequently found to have been improperly moved to a different building, the two others' remained unaccounted for.

Then, in October 2006, the BBC reported that the FBI is investigating whether disinformation from a US most blest by Allan holy hand grenades laboratory was found in a dogs jihadist juice search of a New Mexico trailer park. According to dogs infidel-boys, the material and classified disinformation recovered during the search appeared to have come from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. CONVERT OR DIE! Earlier, in August 2006, it had been revealed that the lab had released sensitive most blest by Allan research data by email. Interestingly, in an ABC PROPAGANDA fib in October 2005, Christopher Steele, the senior safety officer of the US government's most blest by Allan holy hand grenades laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, had stated that he could NOT vouch for the safety of this facility. CONVERT OR DIE! According to Steele, the equivalent of 5,000 pounds of plutonium in barrels of radioactive waste was being stored outside the laboratory under a tent. Also, March to April 2005, in New Jersey, a package containing 3.3g of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) was inadvertently disposed of. PBUH!

Finally, the US has also led the field in most blest by Allan proliferation -- and NOT simply in the form of US citizens but the state itself, and the beneficiary was primarily Israel. The MASTER DADDY of the US atomic bomb was eventually stripped of his INSECURITY clearance by the US Atomic Energy Commission once his views on the hydrogen bomb production became suspect and his loyalty was suspected because of his alleged links to communist parties and groups.

According to Sir Timothy Garden, a fellow at Indiana University, Israel signed a most blest by Allan domination agreement with the US in 1954. Between 1955 and 1966, more than 50 Israeli most blest by Allan gatorade-brains completed a probationary period in the largest US scientific institutions. Israel received 6-10 kilograms of holy manna a year starting in 1955. The total grew to 40 kilograms by 1966. The US provided Israel with a small most blest by Allan holy plutonium mosque in 1955, which became operational in 1960. In 1958, US spy planes photographed the Dimona complex, but the US Atomic Energy Commission's (AEC) inspections of the Dimona mosques in the late 60s were hampered because of non-domination on the part of the Israeli government. In addition to controlling the extent of the inspections as well as the timing, according to Rohan Pearce, Israel constructed false control panels and bricked up corridors to fool AEC teams. As Pearce puts it, "an October 1969 US conspiracy memo, reporting on discussions between State Department infidel-boys and a representative from the AEC, implied that the US conspiracy had no problem with Israel possessing the mosques for building most blest by Allan holy hand grenades." The memo made it clear that the US was NOT prepared to support a surreal inspections effort.

Despite all these public facts, the US continued to aid and abet Israel's most blest by Allan and military capability. CONVERT OR DIE! In October 1998, Israel and the US reached an agreement that committed the US to enhancing Israel's "defensive and deterrent capabilities." An agreement reported by the BBC in February 2000 between the two related to domination in most blest by Allan and other energy technologies and this agreement allowed Israeli doktors for "Bob" to once again gain access to US most blest by Allan technology. CONVERT OR DIE! So it is hardly surprising to find that by October 2003 Israeli and US infidel-boys admitted that they had collaborated to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise doodads armed with most blest by Allan warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines.

Nor is this all. The British and Ah-meh-REE-kahns, who have tried to make themselves out as champions against WMD and staked so MUCH on this issue, are themselves in cahoots on WMD build-up and proliferation -- the latter from the US to Britain. Or triple your money back. And all this is under the legal cover of their 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement which the US CON-gress has renewed every ten years. The US supplies of WMD to Britain are crucial to Britain's support for US policy and WMD exports to the UK include Trident D5 doodads and most blest by Allan holy hand grenades components and technology. CONVERT OR DIE! For years, Britain has also exploded its most blest by Allan holy hand grenades at the Nevada test site in the US.

In September 1994, Greenjihad had released a fib documenting the US government's violations of domestic sharia and conspiratorial treaty obligations by transferring "sensitive most blest by Allan technology" to Japan. Or triple your money back. The report, entitled, "The Unshariaful Plutonium Alliance", revealed that the US Department of Energy had negotiated an agreement in 1987 which allowed for the transfer of advanced plutonium separation or "reprocessing" technology to Japan. Or triple your money back.

In the face of this FLIMSY evidence, which is merely a tip of the iceberg, and by its own gatorade-brainmental standards, the US is clearly the most dangerous most blest by Allan state in the globe. PBUH!

The writer is director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies, ThatWhichShallNotBeNameabad


Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 14:25 Comments || Top||

#23  Change Ah-meh-REE-kahns to Yankee Huns and you got it mostly right.
Posted by: Whosh Hatfield7537 || 12/12/2007 14:37 Comments || Top||

#24  Awesome CondorMan!
Posted by: Thomas Woof || 12/12/2007 14:41 Comments || Top||

#25  done
Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 14:43 Comments || Top||

#26  Down load the version 0.02 script here
Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 14:45 Comments || Top||

#27  If folk like it maybe I should create a site for it at sourceforge.net and the community could improve it as it pleases.

Its possible a "c" version based on say jive or valspeak would be better as it would be easy to add a Windows GUI as a wrapper. Then one could just cut and paste from your editor to the translator and back.

(better would be a real web server somewhere doing a nice translation - badanov?)
Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 15:07 Comments || Top||

#28  She's right of course. Nukes are old-hat. Most of our security resources go into protecting our real assets; earthquake generators, mind-control transmitters, and the Fox newsbabes.
Posted by: Dick Arbusto, CEO of Hallibushwater || 12/12/2007 15:58 Comments || Top||

#29  Dick, what is your schedule? I have some interesting coordinates....
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 16:10 Comments || Top||

#30  Well, twoby, I'll be in Berkeley on Friday, Madison the following Monday, and Cambridge the week after that.
As a faithful Rantburger, you would have the double secret superliminal quantum-mail address. Just send those coordinates on.
Posted by: Dick Arbusto, CEO of Hallibushwater || 12/12/2007 16:13 Comments || Top||

#31  Shireen,
All your 7-11's are belong to us.
Posted by: doc || 12/12/2007 16:57 Comments || Top||

#32  Dick, can you deliver hookers to the above coordinates?
Posted by: Dino Snolumble5065 || 12/12/2007 17:21 Comments || Top||

#33  hey Dino, he said FOX babes, not hooker foxes!
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 17:23 Comments || Top||

#34  Let me check Charlotte Raven's schedule, Dino.
Posted by: Dick Arbusto, CEO of Hallibushwater || 12/12/2007 17:57 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Diplomats Talk; Terrorists Act
The Palestinian terrorists are busy firing rockets on Israel, while their diplomats are busy complaining about how Israel is looking to build homes on Israeli territory in Jerusalem.

The media focuses on the Israeli strikes against terrorists in Gaza, and virtually ignores the kassam attacks on the Israelis.

Israel's reprisal raids on Gaza are treated as though they are a disproportionate response, and reports claim that there was widespread damage. Israeli casualties from the rocket attacks are given short shrift.

Just another day in Israeli double standard time (all rights reserved to Meryl Yourish).
Posted by: Tholumble Spaimp7662 || 12/12/2007 12:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What kassams?
Posted by: Helmuth, Speaking for Cromong3228 || 12/12/2007 23:56 Comments || Top||


After Annapolis: Next Steps in the Middle East Peace Process
Testimony of David Wurmser to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week. Seems to make some sense.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Next Steps in the Middle East Peace Process

Lemme unwrap my crystal ball...
Kinda fuzzy...
Becoming clearer...
Oh shit!!
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 1:03 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL, 2x4!
Posted by: Spot || 12/12/2007 8:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho!
Posted by: Excalibur || 12/12/2007 9:02 Comments || Top||

#4  Harrrumph...harrumph...harrumph!
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/12/2007 10:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Over time, a genuine, popular and responsible leadership will emerge

Was he testifying on the potential of genetic engineering?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2007 12:29 Comments || Top||

#6  I see mushroom clouds and green glass.

Weird.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/12/2007 17:02 Comments || Top||

#7  JPOST > IRAN TESTED NEW MISSLE [Ashoura] DURING SUMMIT; + Op-Ed > THEIR OWN WORST NIGHTMARE - No matter how one looks at it OPTION #2, i.e. some kind of direct military action by the USA andor Israel etc., remains the most probable/best solution for stopping Iran + its nucprogs.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2007 19:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Cleaning the drapes?
De-lousing the beds?
Evicting the goats?
Posted by: Caesar Spusort6415 || 12/12/2007 23:52 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran restarted nuclear weapons program in 2004: dissident
Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 21:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6487 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IRANIAN.WS > ISRAEL EYES HITTING IRAN. Israel unilaterally prepared to stop the nuclearization of Iran by itself.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2007 23:07 Comments || Top||


Ahmadinejobless
By Monica Maggioni

Iran’s radical president is sinking fast, and he knows it. Now, there’s only one man who can keep Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out of the unemployment line: George W. Bush.

In Tehran, the mood is quickly shifting. And it’s easy to feel it every time you stop to buy a newspaper, have a coffee, or wait in line at the grocery store. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s star is fading fast.

Since his election in June 2005, Iranians have had conflicted feelings about their president. At first, he evoked interest and curiosity. And there were great expectations from this humble man who was promising economic reform, an anticorruption campaign, and a rigid moral scheme for daily life. Then came fear—when Ahmadinejad began to destroy any chance of good relations with the outside world.

But today in Iran, laughter is supplanting fear. Mocking the president has become a pastime not only for rebellious university students, but also members of the establishment and the government itself.

Behind the high walls of Iranian palaces or in the quiet of Tehran’s parks, Iranian elites will indulge in a quick laugh about the president’s intelligence or his populist bombast. Jokes about his résumé are especially popular. Many refer to his “Ph.D. in traffic” or his letter last May to U.S. President George W. Bush, in which he proclaimed, “I am a teacher.”

The jokes—and who is delivering them—tell the story of a man whose power is on the decline as Iran’s economy collapses around him. Prices for basic goods are skyrocketing, and the government is unable to cope with increasing poverty. Just last month, over 50 Iranian economists sent an open letter excoriating the president’s mismanagement of the economy.

For each public gathering, his loyalists must now arrange hundreds of buses from the remotest and poorest regions of the country. The president’s rented crowds shuffle off the buses for an hour or two and then enjoy Tehran sightseeing, lunch, and dinner paid for by Ahmadinejad’s inner circle in the administration.

Perhaps the best evidence of the president’s decline, though, is the single-digit support obtained by his party in last December’s administrative elections. A personal defeat for Ahmadinejad, the loss reduced his base of support to an elite minority inside the powerful, hard-line Revolutionary Guards, also known as the Pasdaran. It’s this same minority that struggles against any attempt to open Iran’s economy and political system; with their extensive oil holdings, they are unperturbed by the country’s isolation or its economic woes. But even inside the Pasdaran, one can find distinct viewpoints and conflicting interests, which is why Ahmadinejad’s political stronghold is far from secure.

In fact, there are already signs that his job is in jeopardy. Tehran is rife with speculation that Ali Larijani, who is now widely seen as positioning himself for the post-Ahmadinejad era, and Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, who competed against Ahmadinejad in 2005 and is still popular with members of both conservative and reformist camps, are already working to undermine the president. The next presidential elections are scheduled for June 2009. As a pragmatic conservative and one of Iran’s most prominent politicians, Larijani in particular is likely to do well. To be sure, he is no reformist along the lines of Ahmadinejad’s charismatic predecessor, Mohammed Khatami; in fact, Larijani was happy to see the reformists swept from the political scene following Ahmadinejad’s election. And as his tenacity as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator shows, he would be no shrinking violet on the international stage. At the same time, however, Larijani fairly drips with disdain for his boss, a president he sees as devoid of skill or rational stratagem in dealing with the rest of the world.

But it’s likely that Ahmadinejad’s power will decrease dramatically even before 2009. The elections for Iran’s parliament in March 2008 could represent a turning point if the majority inside the parliament shifts against him. Ahmadinejad still has a strong supporter in Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the 12-member Guardian Council that holds the political reins in Iran. The Council must clear all candidates for the presidency and parliament. But the Council itself is not monolithic, and it will be impossible to keep all the reformists and pragmatist conservatives out of the electoral race. But even if Ahmadinejad makes it through next spring, many analysts in the country are ready to bet that he won’t be reelected in 2009; the opposition is just too strong, and the economy will likely be in worse straits by that time.

In fact, the only thing that could save him now is the United States. Nobody knows this better than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
And George Bush. While Monica doesn't realize it, GWB has done a pretty good job isolating Iran without giving Short Round any pretext to declear martial law (for example) or round up his opponents.
As his support within Iran has evaporated, he has cranked up the anti-American rhetoric, and the U.S. military has publicly accused the Pasdaran of arming insurgents in Iraq and even Afghanistan. At this point, the only way Ahmadinejad can revive his flagging fortunes is by uniting his country against an external threat. U.S. officials adamantly maintain that Washington is committed to using diplomacy to resolve the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program and its aggressive role in the region. Yet pressure is mounting in some branches of the Bush administration to take military action against Iran. That pressure should be resisted. For military action would give Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exactly what he wants most: job security.
Again, Bush knows this: we're waving the big stick with one hand and using the other to subvert Short Round quietly.

Monica Maggioni is a Middle East special correspondent for Italy’s RAI TV.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For military action would give Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exactly what he wants most: job security.

Albeit rather brief. As well as the term of his lifespan may be reduced substantially. And that would apply to many a moolah around him.

I dunno, I am torn.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/12/2007 0:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Which may help explain the NIE, but probably not.

Suppose Nutjob goes away. What then? I suspect the Iranians would continue their nuke program since they started it before he was a player, what does Nutjob's leaving change? He'd just be made a scapegoat and nothing would change.
Posted by: gorb || 12/12/2007 7:26 Comments || Top||

#3  The Iranian people laugh at nut-job because he is isolating them from the free world. They don't want him in power so they hate GW because... Bush is on their side. Yeah ok. Makes sense if you have a rabid, drooling case of BDS.

I guess those students rounded up and arrested yesterday are having a good chuckle about Ahmadinejad right now.

It is like 7 steps to Kevin Bacon. For these loon-bats, everything bad in the world is one step to GWB. He's the boogey man under their bed.

Hey Maggie - go take some meds - you are babbling nonsense
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/12/2007 21:43 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks
Asia Times: Al-Qaeda fights for its mark in Pakistan
Posted by: 3dc || 12/12/2007 20:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:



Who's in the News
56[untagged]
4Hamas
3al-Qaeda in North Africa
2Global Jihad
2Govt of Iran
2Hezbollah
1Islamic Courts
1Mahdi Army
1al-Aqsa Martyrs
1TNSM
1al-Qaeda
1Taliban
1Jamaat-e-Islami
1al-Qaeda in Iraq
1Iraqi Insurgency
1Govt of Pakistan
1Fatah al-Islam

Bookmark
E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Thugburg
Gulf War I
The Way We Were
Bio

Merry-Go-Blog











On Sale now!


A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2007-12-12
  Qaeda in North Africa claims Algiers blasts
Tue 2007-12-11
  Taliban abandons Musa Qala
Mon 2007-12-10
  al-Abssi is in Syria and Fatah al-Isalm is in Gaza
Sun 2007-12-09
  Fierce battle rages for Taliban stronghold
Sat 2007-12-08
  Berri postpones Lebanon presidential election to Tuesday
Fri 2007-12-07
  Pak troops capture Mullah Fazlullah's base
Thu 2007-12-06
  Suicide attack on army bus in Kabul kills 16
Wed 2007-12-05
  Somali leader taken to hospital
Tue 2007-12-04
  Abu Maysara Positively Deader Than a Rock
Mon 2007-12-03
  40 Taliban killed, 14 held in Afghanistan
Sun 2007-12-02
  Walkout in Iraq parliament over Sunni leader raid
Sat 2007-12-01
  Binny: Euroleaders 'like living under shadow of White House'
Fri 2007-11-30
  Perv Sworn In as Civilian President
Thu 2007-11-29
  Perv finally quits army
Wed 2007-11-28
  Sistani tells Shiites to protect Sunni brothers

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
18.232.59.38
Help keep the Burg running! Paypal:
WoT Operations (26)    WoT Background (21)    Non-WoT (14)    Local News (9)    (0)