I think M. J. Rosenberg (my favorite TPM cafe person) is onto something here:
I guess the reports that Jeff Goldberg is about to publish a neocon magnum opus calling for bombing Iran are true.[…..]
Following the Iraq pattern (Goldberg was lead boy in the Iraq pro-war chorus) his piece won’t come out until the fall. As Karl Rove said last time, you don’t roll out a new product (in this case, war) in August.
Rosenberg thinks Obama may go along with it. I’m skeptical about that, but I wonder if the very liberal New Yorker magazine will publish another Goldberg piece like this one from 2002:
Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction clearly are not meant solely for domestic use. Several years ago in Baghdad, Richard Butler, who was then the chairman of UNSCOM, fell into conversation with Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s confidant and Iraq’s deputy Prime Minister. Butler asked Aziz to explain the rationale for Iraq’s biological-weapons project, and he recalled Aziz’s answer: “He said, ‘We made bioweapons in order to deal with the Persians and the Jews.’ “
Iraqi dissidents agree that Iraq’s programs to build weapons of mass destruction are focussed on Israel. “Israel is the whole game,” Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, told me. “Saddam is always saying publicly, ‘Who is going to fire the fortieth missile?’ “—a reference to the thirty-nine Scud missiles he fired at Israel during the Gulf War. “He thinks he can kill one hundred thousand Israelis in a day with biological weapons.” Chalabi added, “This is the only way he can be Saladin”—the Muslim hero who defeated the Crusaders. Students of Iraq and its government generally agree that Saddam would like to project himself as a leader of all the Arabs, and that the one sure way to do that is by confronting Israel.
In the Gulf War, when Saddam attacked Israel, he was hoping to provoke an Israeli response, which would drive America’s Arab friends out of the allied coalition. Today, the experts say, Saddam’s desire is to expel the Jews from history.
The experts do say interesting things, don’t they?
if Obama does it, i will never vote for another Democrat again.
mostly because i’ll have renounced my citizenship.
I’ll get a tattoo of Jane Hamsher on one arm, Peter Daou on the other.
Unfortunately, it’ll leave very few pickings for folks who want to vote on principles, considering it’ll mean that the Dems have caved in to some of the based bullshit peddled by Republicans.
And it won’t keep them from calling Obama a soshulist commie nut with Islamist symapthies, either.
I would really like to think that they’d never be able to pull that sort of thing off. It hasn’t been that long since the last time they suckered us into an unnecessary war in the Middle East, has it?
Oh, who am I kidding — all the Serious People will get behind it and ignore anyone who says it’ll end in disaster…
Technically it was chief of staff Andy Card who said that you “don’t roll out a new product in August,” in reference to making the case for an invasion of Iraq.
(adjusts pedant glasses)
Mickey Kaus hasn’t influenced my thinking in too many ways, but I remember his argument as to why Jeff Goldberg is the worst person in the media was compelling enough that it made me strike Goldberg’s feed from my RSS reader. I don’t want to find it (think it was on Bloggingheads some years back), but he essentially cited that article as evidence that Goldberg is obnoxious in his attempts to leverage the natural sympathy people have for the historical plight for the Jews into support for military action that has nothing to do with Jewish people. I have to admit that the fat prick has really surpassed himself these last few months with this tactic.
I guess my point is that Goldberg is so bad that not even Mickey Kaus wants a piece of that shit.
No more wars until you finish the other two you started!
Seriously, I’m no military expert, but I’m pretty sure Iran would be much worse than Iraq or Afghanistan. This would be fucking insane.
Does Mickey still blow goats? Inquiring minds want to know.
From your lips to the FSM’s ears, Sparky.
Oh, and by the way, Jeff Goldberg is generally a pretty awful writer. I remember his Slate coverage of The Wire (with David Plotz, I think) was some of the worst writing about television I’ve ever read. Then again, it was the classic Slate formula of having media eminences write ignorantly about something they don’t understand, usually from a poorly conceived contrarian viewpoint that still somehow conforms to the conventional wisdom.
In retrospect, that last season of The Wire wasn’t too bad. Some flaws, but there is still lots of great stuff there. You wouldn’t know that from the endless bitching by Goldberg and Plotz about how the show treated the media.
Too bad experts didn’t say that Saddam’s desire was to make the Jews turn into gullible fools who’ll do your bidding simply by playing the Opposites Game.
Seconded, I hear Canada is very nice this time of year..
But seriously, if W wasn’t dumb enough to start a 3rd front of warfare, why would anyone think Obama would be up for it?
If you read what’s coming out of the Village, you will see they are lining up behind a strike on Iran. I think Leon Pinetta’s declaration about Iran’s alleged manufacture of fissionable material for more than one nuclear weapon is the most worrying.
If the Israeli government believes Iran it at the cusp of testing a nuclear bomb they will strike. Their whole defense strategy is based around Israel maintaining military hegemony in the region through nuclear weapons. Media reports from the Middle East have alleged that the Saudis gave Israel permission to transit Saudi airspace to do it and the UAE ambassador to the US is on board saying it’s a great idea.
Thank God I just cancelled my subscription to the Atlantic and cited Goldberg’s rage against Weigel (sp?) and the fact he is a propagandist as the reasons why (as well as hiring Ron Fornier (sp?) and Megan M being a know nothing knucklehead).
Well, let’s be clear that this isn’t going to be a ground war. If anything happens it’ll be targeted strikes against specific installations and little more. Neither the US nor NATO is in a position to engage in a ground war, nor would it make any sense to do.
I don’t see Obama going along with this, though he might look the other way while someone like Israel does it.
Goldberg and *Plotz?* Shirley, you jest. That’s straight outta S.J. Perleman.
Well, if Josh is employing people who say stupid shit like this, it’s no wonder the quality of that site has plummeted to such depths of garbage as it has lately.
There is no way that I can believe that Obama would be that stupid. No fucking way.
I think that you have to be fairly deluded to think that you have a choice to vote on principles in the two party system that exists in the US.
Because he hasn’t started a war yet. It’s important for credentials.
He’s obviously not getting the pats on the head for escalating Afghanistan into the endless future (according to the person he just put in charge of that mess) in order to oppose a few hundred former “freedom fighters” (when they bled the Soviets) who are now key to our existential condition.
Now, I don’t think Obama is going to bomb Iran, but it’ll provide a handy cudgel against him for our mortal enemies on the Right who need a new boogeyman anyway.
We’re currently a torture republic fighting two wars, pouring money into a pit called a “war on drugs”, largely denying global warming, with no meaningful energy policy and a ruined-in-the-name-of-deficits-economy, whose completely ignorant media slavishly reports illiterate Facebook posts by a half-term governor of a small state. We’re obviously stupid enough to fall for it again.
I like Rosenberg, but if his only reason for thinking the Obama administration may suddenly be supportive of an unprovoked bombing of Iran is that he was friendly to a visiting head of government from a nominal ally at the White House, I’d say there’s probably no there there.
Unless Iran invades one of their neighbors, we’re not even doing air/missile strikes against them.
Fuck, there was endless whining on this site just the other day when Feingold voted “on” his principles. Principles are just purity ponies that aggressively deny incremental change. People with principles are complete jokes. Why have any?
actually, it was andy card with that pithy little marketing statement.
Interestingly, the newest neo-con line on Iran appears to be that the US or Israel can deliver a series of devastating military air-strikes and the Iranians will rationally conclude that they have been taught a valuable lesson and will refrain from retaliation. Then the people throw over the government and then it is flowers and candy time.
They have the audacity to now argue that the nation they claimed was the most irrational and suicidal on the planet will now calmly submit to a massive military assault in order to save themselves.
I know it is stunning but they’ll convince the masses.
1. If Obama went along with this, the draft would have to be re-instated since we’re short on troops as it is. Not happening.
2. If this does happen, that will give me the last incentive I need to move to Canada and become a citizen. They didn’t get hit like we did, economy-wise because, unlike the US, they had rules in place that actually have teeth.
@Jay B.: My estimation of Feingold has gone way down in the past few weeks. I guess it’s still a net positive, but everything he says on finreg is all about him, and how he’s not been consulted, how he’s not going to vote for a bill that’s too timid, etc. What a selfish dick.
I’ll be right behind you. This country is the suck any more.
Loving the “David Brooks Giving A Seminar At The Aspen Institute” tag.
I can’t imagine a political climate in the near future in which anyone trustworthy could get us into another war in the Middle East, much less hacks like Goldberg. Then again, that last one was pretty astounding to me too.
I just saw Goldberg on TV w/Andrea Mitchell & they talked about this because Goldberg had an intv w/an ambassador from the United Emirates who said that Arabs want Iran attacked because if they aren’t controlled, the Arabs would be forced to join w/the strong country (Iran) in the area for self preservation. This is chilling because I have never heard Arabs complain about Iran before. I have seen rumors that Saudi Arabia felt this way, but I have never seen an Arab actually say it. Chilling.
I am convinced that either an Israeli or a US attack on Iran will unleash a cataclysm that only Pastor Hagee could love.
It will set dominoes falling that can’t be stopped.
Agreed on having little choice here. I thought that I was voting, for the first time in decades, for the better man in Obama.
Wrong and wrong. He is the better man, no doubt, but my vote once again was for the lesser of two evils. I would make the Obama choice again but I don’t think I will ever again feel like I am making any choice but the lesser of two evils in a voting booth.
Dude, though, that totally worked on Iraq under Clinton. Throw some sanctions in there and we’ll be rolling in liberal democracies!
Not even Bush was stupid enough to do this.
Not. Even. Bush.
This will be part of the GOP’s strategy in November:
“Vote Republican, kill brown people. You know you want to.”
Only an idiot neo-con could think that starting a 3rd war in the middle east is a good idea. I expect a twitter from Palin endorsing this any moment now.
@Chad S: No, this is strictly down the line of Iran’s continuing nuclear weapons programs. That’s the only bad behavior they’re directly focusing on (with whatever collateral political damage) and the only action they’d be able to get by the international community.
The problem with this situation is that it’s almost completely opaque to the public. Accusations against Iran are routinely overblown and Iran routinely lies about their capabilities. If there was a real threat developing there, we’d have no way of knowing through the smoke. If there was no threat, we also wouldn’t know.
I like Rosenberg. I think he’s wrong about that, but he’s a pretty sharp commentator in general.
We’ve been hearing about an Iran strike since the last days of the Cheney Empire.
This is going on what? The third year running where we or our willing proxy/provocateur Israel, is about to hit Iran hard?
I read an interesting article about robotic warfare recently (latest issue of Scientific American, I think), and it raised many interesting questions, like: We’ve conducted something like 200 robotic airstrikes within Pakistan – are we at war with Pakistan? That represents more air strikes than was performed in the Kosovo campaign in the 90’s.
So, will it be war if our drones do it instead of real pilots? Sure, but the the moral grey area here gives me great pause.
Another interesting fact: In the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, not a single robot or drone was involved. A couple of years later, several hundred; couple of years later, several thousand – and the numbers are increasing rapidly.
We’ll have our Droid Armies soon enough, and the ease of use will likely compel their use, around the world.
And no Jedi around to fight them. Fuck.
There would be no ground war, but they have new bombs that can penetrate the mountain where their latest nuke facility is per ABC. Gas prices would spike & O would be a one term prez because they think it would triple in price because Iran would block an important passage.
I think it could happen if the Arab countries in the area agree they want one……I think it depends on that.
What is it that you are unsure about?
Could one of you adopt an old fart and take me with you?
We have the permission of the Pakistani government to conduct those strikes.
Anyone who thinks Obama would do this is most definitely NOT a sharp commentator. Tool, maybe. But still not very sharp.
I don’t think Canada is going to let us all in. IIRC people have been beating on the door since at least 2004 and their immigration laws are pretty strict.
Guess we could move the “illegal immigrant” problem north, though.
Actually, the principle that Feingold voted “on” was the principle that passing legislation through the Senate should always require a supermajority of 60 votes.
If he was voting “on” his principle that it wasn’t good legislation he would have voted for cloture and then voted against the legislation. What he voted in favor of was allowing a minority to use Senate rules to create gridlock.
I wish I had the money to bet against air strikes on Intrade. I could’ve made a fortune by now.
@Corner Stone: How much easier it will be to “go to war”. In many – most – ways, the idea of “going to war” is gone anyways. We’ve not been in a war in America since, what? WW2? But now, with drones, American lives will be saved, of course, but this makes it all the easier to kill other people. Hence, the moral gray.
At this point, if Iran managed to somehow detonate a nuclear bomb as a pre-emptive strike in Tel Aviv, I don’t see how you could argue against it. Bush doctrine bitches.
Oh wait, that only applies to Israel, and it’s client state, the USA? Damn, should have read the fine print.
@Redshirt: Yea WWII, ask 58,000 on the Wall.
It would be a horrible tragedy if this event was to unfold without offering a shared sacrifice of nineteen ninety five in pay-per-view charges.
If nobody noticed, something else McChrsytal did right before he got sacked was a rant about the Taliban receiving training in Iran.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.
What makes Americans think the Canadians would let them in?
I heard that. Iran hates the Taliban and the fmr. general needed to get his facts straight.
Obama isn’t crazy. That was Bush. There is something very wrong with fools who say the US would bomb Iran.
The pot is being stirred.
The violent insanity is over the top and commentators have no idea what they are talking about. They are keyboard commandos and I’m fed up with them making stupid remarks.
This is dehumanizing and it does that to the Iranians and to us.
“I just saw Goldberg on TV w/Andrea Mitchell & they talked about this because Goldberg had an intv w/an ambassador from the United Emirates who said that Arabs want Iran attacked because if they aren’t controlled, the Arabs would be forced to join w/the strong country (Iran) in the area for self preservation. This is chilling because I have never heard Arabs complain about Iran before. I have seen rumors that Saudi Arabia felt this way, but I have never seen an Arab actually say it. Chilling. ”
Bill Clinton was outraged that Yasir Arafat lied to him to his face. The flip side was that Arafat would not lie to his public on the same issue. I like that approach much better than its opposite.
This may be the same thing. The ambassador was being polite to Goldberg in the interview, telling him what he might like to hear, but if he is not saying it to the public, it really does not count.
I did not see the interview and do not know if it was broadcast, so my opinion is (possibly) worth well over half of what you paid for it.
So what was it, cynicism?
If so, you got me. If not, your issue is with everyone else on this site who was bitching about his purity and assholish preening on “principle”.
I don’t care. It’s a band aid on an sucking wound. Good, bad, who really gives a flying fuck? Whatever the bill would do is decidedly at the margins of what really matters — the government should step on banks and financial institutions with two boots while dealing with the foreclosure mess and there’s no chance of that happening, so the festering problems get kicked down the road and we get a couple of measures and a consumer protection agency. Whoopie. Unlike health care, which is a once in a lifetime opportunity, Congress has done plenty with banking overhaul over the years in both directions. Something better could come along next session. Or not.
10% unemployment. THAT’S a problem. Until that gets addressed, this esoteric bullshit is nothing but political window-dressing.
While the neocons think all we have to do is bomb Iran and problem solved, we do have troops in two countries that border Iran. If Iran wants a ground war, they could have one.
Which problem was kicked down the road?
M.J. Rosenberg made two mistakes. They are:
“As Karl Rove said last time, you don’t roll out a new product (in this case, war) in August.”
Actually, it was Andy Card who said that. In BOTH CASES the product was war.
Small shit, but I don’t want to let a single atrocity committed by the Bush administration to ever be forgotten, not a single detail.
That quote is so…empirical…so Taxes Are For The Little People…it is one of those quotes that really had me scratching my head at the time, because here they are, pounding the drums for war, and making fun of the rest of us at the exact same time–including those who supported their mad adventure.
Such hubris only comes along once in a great while. As I said a million times at that time: They aren’t worried about us finding out their conspiracies. They’re shoving it in our faces because they don’t care what anyone else thinks, and they will have their way come hell or high water.
And they did.
This. IMHO there is no “principled” excuse for fucking your own party over on a cloture vote.
I don’t care what any of you think of Obama, he is not going to bomb Iran. I am not even going to be nice about this – this is the dumbest shit I’ve heard in a while. It makes no damn sense. And don’t point out a bunch of stuff that doesn’t make sense like Sarah Palin. This is pure and simple cynicism and not based in reality.
There must be something in the water as there seems to be mass hysteria running throughout the Internets the past couple of days.
Considering that Feingold decided to block a cloture vote, that’s what I’m going to have to assume it was. It’s not much of a “principle” to side with the Republicans in deciding that all votes in the Senate should require a supermajority of 60+.
I think some of our East Coasters need to sit down, have a nice cold lemonade (or beer) and fan themselves for a while. The heat really seems to be getting to them.
There’s no division between investment banking and commercial banking (which is a huge part of the problem). The banks are still “too big to fail” which means we’re on the hook when they collapse again. The hedge funds are still untaxed.
The first two, in particular, are kind of at the crux of the problem, don’t you think? They pretty much killed the economy, remember? By NOT fixing the underlying problem, they’ll surely kill it next time.
I don’t see the gray area here.
We’re indiscriminately murdering people by remote control. An extremely high tech IED if you will.
I don’t want our soldiers killed. I also do not wish death on people who’ve done nothing more than be within blast range when a drone strikes.
It’s morally reprehensible and completely unexplainable that this is an acceptable tactic as it is currently employed.
@cleek: @Crusty Dem: @Karen: @geg6:
I do not know if you are all kidding around or not, but I humbly request that sane Americans like you continue to vote in our elections. We need every sane vote we can get, so we need you.
This is Zionist paranoia, that’s all that it is. There’s next-Hitlers hiding under every chair!
Watch out, there’s another one! Any moronic douchebag– particulary a Muslim one– who mouths off with anti-semitic crap is automatically the next Hitler! Go take over his country, immediately! He’s obviously an existential threat to Israel!
Meanwhile, there are actual genocides going on right now in the Congo and elsewhere. Never hear about those, just the frantic jitters of imagined ones from the fevered paranoia of some writer who thinks “never again” applies only to one ethnic group. It shouldn’t. And Israel is hardly any kind of weak sister.
Seriously. Israel ALREADY HAS WORKING NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND MISSILES TO FIRE THEM. And one of the best-trained, best-equipped, most modern militaries in the world. They’re also some of the toughest motherfuckers around.
Come on, people. They can take care of themselves. We don’t have to wet our pants everytime some leader of some Muslim country or another starts talking bullshit about Salahadin or spouting hate about Jews. They’re idiots, and they present no threat to anyone.
The only point of this drivel would be to give conservative wingnuts more red meat to feed on as we head into the midterm elections. It would become part of the inevitable “Obama is weak” or “Obama loves Muslims more than he loves America” bullcrap. But it ain’t gonna be part of any “bomb Iran” campaign.
I don’t know…. Obama might “allow” Israel to reset Iran’s nuclear program by a few years, but nothing beyond that. It will be very tempting to do at least something, just in time for the midterm elections. I mean, if it pushes approval ratings by 5% or so, that will be golden. Maybe the neocons are going to start a campaign to pressure Obama at a vulnerable moment. And then Israel will react out of proportion and put him in a bind, or something like that….
Meh, not really. A problem perhaps, certainly not a “huge” problem.
Well the FDIC gets regulation authority over them, so if you count that as still being on the hook for them, there’s no point in worrying about it, as we’re on the hook for every bank in America regardless then. Also, size of the bank is kind of a red herring; a string of bank failures can cause as much shock to the system as one large bank failure. And there’s no inherent correlation between size and risk. See Canada’s banking system.
Hedge funds aren’t untaxed, hedge fund managers get to claim their whole income as captial gains, getting it taxed at a lower rate. Still, close enough, but voting against the bill doesn’t change this, does it?
Sure, but you didn’t identify the biggest problems. The lack of regulation regarding the amount of risk banks could take, a completely unregulated derivatives marke, not requiring them to keep enough capital in reserve, and the government having no authority to seize failed shadow banks and manage their failure in a controlled manner were the biggest problems.
@geg6: Don’t forget that Israel has to fly over either Turkey or Iraq to bomb Iran. Can’t see the Iraqis giving permission for that as they are pretty close to Khamenei (not Ahmabadinbed so much as to the ayatollahs in Iran). Turkey just stopped Israel from flying over their air space. So how will Israel bomb Iran without flying over some hostile countries?
@Allison W.: THIS. Applauded and co-signed. I think it must be the heat, but people have just gone nuts lately.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
Seriously, I’m no military expert, but I’m pretty sure Iran would be much worse than Iraq or Afghanistan. This would be fucking insane.
Oh no, you see it will only be a minor, surgical air-strike. It will all be over without fuss.
Except, of course, if the Iranians take umbrage and retaliate. but they should understand that the US bombing their country was a necessary thing. But, honestly, what could they do?
Hmm – but cutting the Straits of Hormuz or supplying arms to Hizbollah would be a totally unexpected reaction, and completely over-the-top. Why, the US would be forced into a war. It totally would be completely Iran’s fault – those Persians are just insane.
And it would be a small, simple incursion. Just a few troops on the ground to seize a couple of missile sites. Honestly, nothing could go wrong.
What the hell is the story with U.A.E. ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba?
I don’t know who he is, and why would the U.A.E let him say something like this? Is he the present ambassador, or the past one, and the man’s gettin’ paid?
Is Israel paying U.A.E.? Is Goldberg making it up? Is it true that U.A.E. wants Iran attacked?
Some fundamental questions are being ignored, and that’s probably because this is all part of Goldbergn’s schtick. Still, I’m curious.
@Jay B.: nicely put–
@Phoenician in a time of Romans:
umm, actually, i think the US–including the general public–would know if Iran had these.
edit: what’s up with the moderation? is it my breath?