John Bolton (R-Coocoocachoo), the most hilariously ill-suited UN ambassador ever recess-appointed by a moron, wrote a NYT op-ed urging the Obama administration to just give up on all this diplomacy shit and bomb Iran already. Bolton says, “Even absent palpable proof, like a nuclear test, Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear weapons has long been evident.”
And that’s true: Iran has been on the brink of achieving a nuclear bomb for many Netanyahu Units, a measure of time in which “three to five years” can span decades. Sadly, Bolton concludes: “The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq” can stop Iran from getting a nuke.
Too bad Bolton didn’t inform his boss that Israel had already nipped Iraq’s WMD program in the bud in the only way possible back when Bush, Cheney, Bolton and the rest of the blood-gargling psychopaths in the neocon chorus where beating the war drums in aught-three. Oops.
Fuck that bloodthirsty bastard, and fuck the NYT for printing that.
Quick, someone ask Bolton about Israel’s nuclear weapons.
Ask if we should bomb Tel Aviv. Or Jerusalem, for that matter.
Have Bolton tried for collaborating with the frenemy.
Making the Iranians take over Baghdad and other parts of Iraq by fucking things up so badly may be the only genius move these guys made.
Now if we could just get them to invade Afghanistan.
He should have been tried a long time ago for the crime of that mustache.
In a weird way, this is reminding me of their hysteria over Obamacare — God forbid that Obama should show that diplomacy actually works, and works better than military action, because then Bolton and assholes like him would no longer be Very Important People that everyone listens to. This is Bolton desperately trying to hang onto his power and prestige, period.
Another loudmouth fucking chickenhawk asshole. Why our FAIL media can’t bring themselves to force these assholes to defend their choice to sit out Vietnam so that others could go and die in their place before they let them soil prime media real estate is something I’ll never understand, but hey, I’m just a hippie who needs to always be punched.
pseudonymous in nc
Perhaps the NYT can offer some of its precious op-ed space to that California lawyer who submitted the kill-all-the-gays ballot initiative, or do you have to be respectably crazy for that?
Bolton is a terrible person. He spent his entire time in charge of the Arms Control beat seeking out arms control agreements and undermining them.
I think you are correct when you note that Republicans and others relentlessly try to undermine Obama’s foreign policy initiatives. But people like Bolton are not trying to hold onto power. These warmongering cockroaches always crawl back into the light when a “tough-minded” Republican president is elected.
And for those Obama-hating liberals who think that he is just as bad as any Republican: drones.
I’ll ask again…
what about Iran that makes it so scary?
I’m far more suspicious of Saudi Arabia than I am Iran.
@raven: hahaha Yup the liberals made me a coward.
The inconvenient truth is that military action like airstrikes will do nothing but: a.) set Iran back a year or so, b.) convince the Iranians that the United States only respects force and move forward to build an actual nuclear weapon to prevent a US invasion, and c.) use irregular warfare to close the Straits of Hormuz and damage/cripple any US naval assets in the region.
But being a hawk means never letting reality stop you from advocating sending other people into the meat grinder so you can preen on camera and feel like a real ‘tough’ guy.
You have a point. Among right-wingers, there seems to a visceral, knee-jerk, militant reaction.
[Why is part of my brain playing “I Shot the Sheriff”? “Kill it before it grows”?]
You have to credit the
Bush 43 administrationCheney regency for a powerful sense of oppositeness: appointing an ambassador to the UN who didn’t believe (and still doesn’t) in either the UN or diplomacy.
Fortunately, a quick look through some of the comments tells me The New York Times’ readers are well aware that Bolton is full of, um, it.
In 1985, North Korea started trying to enrich uranium. By the time Clinton came into office, North Korea was on its way to getting a nuclear bomb.
Clinton and Co. hammered out a deal for North Korea to halt its nuclear program, in exchange for some assistance in other areas. North Korea complied with the agreement.
Then Bush, Jr. and the neo-cons, like Bolton, took over foreign policy. They told North Korea to fuck itself and they were not going to honor Clinton’s deal.
North Korea started its nuclear program back up in 2002.
By 2006 North Korea had detonated a nuclear device.
Bolton and his neo-con buddies failed miserably in preventing North Korea from getting the bomb.
Their approach did not work. It failed.
They should be laughed off out any room, when they talk about nuclear-non-proliferation because they had their chance and blew it.
Yet the media refuses to address this, as well as the fact Bolton and his neo-con buddies are the bulk of the Republican foreign policy brain-trust. Any would-be Republican hopeful for the Presidency, will have draw his foreign policy advisors from this pool of neo-cons. And clearly none of these idiots are willing to learn from mistakes.
An analogy to John Bolton is someone, who worked at Apple, in the 1990’s, who fought tooth and nail against Steve Jobs killing Apple printers , and stated publicly, even to this day, iTunes and iPods are mistakes, now being taken seriously for his understanding of Apple’s business and being retained as a top analyst at an investment brokerage for his keen understanding of what drives Apple’s success.
@rikyrah: Iran is the last power that counters Saudi Arabian and Israeli ambitions in the region which, given the Saudi’s support of radical Wahabbi Islam, sounds like we should be throwing money and weapons at them rather than talking about bombing them, but the folks advocating this seem intent on either ignoring radical Sunni Islam or assuming that drone strikes will keep it in check indefinitely.
1979 Hostage Crisis.
For those over 50, it was a big fucking deal, which it seems many have not gotten over.
@Comrade Dread: They were our client state and then they nationalized the oil business. The hostages were another public display of disrespect. How dare they! Reminds me of an abusive spouse who can’t get over being left. I really think a lot of it is about face.
Iran defied Iraq when Iraq was a US ally. Iran makes noises against Israel, and so they must be our enemy as well. And conservative (and other) dopes who know nothing about the Middle East figure that if Netanyahu hates Iran, then they should hate Iran.
And it could not be simply fear of Iran getting nukes. Pakistan has nukes and the average dope can’t keep this fact in his head for a second. “What? Pakistan has nukes? Wow? What?”
It’s a festival of foreign policy stupidity.
The notable thing about the Israeli strike on the Iraqi facility is how did Iraq respond? Well, they ramped up their nuclear program & did a much better job of hiding it. After the first Gulf War, when IAEA inspectors were allowed into Iraq, they were stunned by how much Iraq rebuilt the program, and they were further surprised by how much they had advanced since the 1981 strike.
Israel blows shit up, but they cannot attain their goals.
Villago Delenda Est
@rikyrah: There were ZERO Iranians on those planes back in September, 2001.
Villago Delenda Est
The neocons are under the impression that this is a successful approach.
I see it as a sort of… twisted reflection of both your points? He’s terrified, not that his personal power or the power of his group will be discredited, but that his philosophy of glorious warfare might be discredited. Like Cheney, he is a true believer. Cheney being one of the authors of a paper stating that all America had to do was conquer a middle eastern country (Iraq preferably!) and the rest of the world would beg to be cool and Western like us.
They act like a sovereign nation with its own interests, not like a good little colony. That’s very scary to neocon imperialists.
Iran has been on the brink of achieving a nuclear bomb for many Netanyahu Units, a measure of time in which “three to five years” can span decades.
Actually the Bibi can span anywhere from a year to 5 years – it is, of course, a practical measure of Real Soon Now.
oo bad Bolton didn’t inform his boss that Israel had already nipped Iraq’s WMD program in the bud in the only way possible
Which Reagan condemned! Anyways, I’m sure Bolton would tell you that was a fig leaf for getting rid of Saddam.
[‘Who was the source of all terrorism, which, inconveniently not disappeared. Obviously because Saddam hid the weapons in Syri and now ISIS has them, so we have to invade Iraq again, because it’s next to Iran which we will have to invade as well, and then there’s Assad and he’ll have to be invaded and gosh, so many invasions, so little time.’]
To which we responded by engineering the overthrow of their democratic government and installing a dictator, which worked out real well for us in the long run.
But I’m sure if we only keep intervening in the Middle East, something good will happen this time for sure.
I swear, I think conservative foreign policy is written by a thousand monkeys banging away on a thousand keyboards.
Sadly, there are many Americans who think that diplomacy is a lot of fussy nonsense that only sissies care about. Real men just look each other eye to eye and hammer out deals, or kick ass. And these dopes just love that Bush certified “with us or against us” line in the sand stuff.
And a special spittoon of disdain for libertarians, who believe that if you are isolationist, you never need diplomacy. You just refuse to acknowledge that any other country exists.
Villago Delenda Est
@Comrade Dread: Radical Sunni Islam can be seen, right now, in the form of ISIS/ISIL.
Complete with beheadings and suicide bombings (see Mosque attacks in Yemen) for not practicing Islam EXACTLY as they do…let alone not being a Muslim at all.
Swell people, they are. And John Bolton wants to help them.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Since they did not serve, that does not surprise me.
Neo-cons’ war on logic and language continues
@Comrade Dread: I didn’t actually mean the Mossadegh part, I was thinking more recently. They didn’t fully nationalize the oil until the 70’s. They made it so that the oil company employees had to be Iranian, and sent the foreigners home.
That only contain the letters W, A, R.
I have never seen Bolton or any of his cohorts ever, ever, ever (did I say ever?) admit that they were wrong about anything or reconsider any of their positions.
And during the Obama administration, they regularly take to Fox News, the New York Times and other friendly opinion pages to rail against Obama, and to note how naive Obama is about foreign policy, when they are not outright accusing Obama of being a Muslim agent provocateur secreted in the White House.
Bolton and company constantly preach to the choir, and simply wait for their chance to get back into power and to direct foreign policy.
And consider this: where are moderate conservatives? There may be a few, but they never get an opportunity to voice their opinions, and appear to have been purged from the Republican party and from the conservative movement. The closest you get are perhaps isolationist libertarians, but they are (with some reason) branded as the lunatic fringe.
Lastly, it is truly sad that few of the real journalists remaining, and practically no one one any of the TV political shows, will detail the failures, contradictions and outright stupidity of Bolton and his fellow-travelers.
Interesting to note that Pakistan is working with Saudi Arabia IIRC with airstrikes in Yemen. This is the first time I have heard of pakistan acting in the Arab Middle East. Now if you think about Iran being between Saudi Arabia (which hates them) and Pakistan
(which apparently is not friend, and also has Nuclear Weapons) then Iran seems more constrained by opponents than Bolton would have us believe.
It would take too long.
I’d ask if we could just drop John Bolton on Iran already, but that might be considered a war crime.
@philpm: Only if we don’t tell them where Bolton will be landing.
I think it’s more like a MadLib. “We must go to war with [Name of Country] because they [did/are about to do/might someday contemplate doing] [something horrible]. Their leader, [Leader of Country] is just like Adolf Hitler. Anything short of complete annihilation is worse than Munich.”
I believe this is a tell. It’s well known where, and how protected, the Iranian facilities are placed. There’s only one realistic way to guarantee knocking them out.
And that makes your average Neo-Con wet in the pants, because it will (in their minds) re-assert to the world about frakking with the US of A.
apparently the Peter Principle has never found an application in Republican politics, you can only fail upwards apparently.
they had the audacity to overthrow our CIA-installed puppet gubbermint. the nerve!
ah, the three letters that make up all republican DNA.
Pakistani troops have been helping to patrol the Saudi-Iraq border for nearly a year.
Pakistani troops took part in our 1991 invasion of Iraq.
@rikyrah: Like I said in the other thread: Iran is the Asian Cuba.
The current regime took power in an explicitly anti-American revolution. It caused a seemingly endless embassy-hostage crisis that was the United States’ primary foreign-policy disaster for more than a year, turned Ted Koppel into a news superstar, helped tank the Carter administration (though it was far from the only thing), and ended with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Never mind that Reagan was trading arms for hostages with them within a few years: the notion of Iran as America’s mortal-est enemy and a source of political humiliation is seared into the brains of a whole generation of Americans. The facts of the situation almost don’t matter.
@gene108: the US establishment seems unable to get over anything that reminds them of past disgrace. They still impose petty, spiteful, childish, mean-spirited sanctions on Nicaraguan politicians, for example.
@Rommie: Yeah, that too.
Not that I’m saying either of you is wrong but — look at how we relate to Vietnam.
I completely agree. I think the powers that be just need to always cast some other country as a scary menace to the US to justify our obscene defense spending.
@Cervantes: We worked through that by having wars with other countries. But I think the difference might have been that a lot of the people involved in reconciliation with Vietnam were actual veterans of the war on the ground there. They’d been there; they had horrific experiences but it wasn’t an abstraction.
Pierce is on it, too:
Read Charlie’s whole piece. It isn’t long, but it’s very pithy.
Does anyone else get the notion that Bolton is what used to be called “not quite right in the head”? I really do wonder if this is simply his mental illness being displayed, or if he’s just a garden-variety “blood-gargling psychopath.” Either way, the folks in charge of the NYT have some ‘splainin’ to do. That is one sick m-f.
I wonder if, for some hidden reason, the neo-cons take their marching orders from Saudi Arabia as well as Israel. The Saudis never get blamed for anything, and we seem to take up for them at interesting moments.
Pakistan has nothing against Iran and as far as I know Iran has nothing against Pakistan.
If not BFF’s, they have generally good relations.
There maybe some issues over a natural gas pipeline that was supposed to send Iranian natural gas to Pakistan and then to India that is still not completed, but otherwise Pakistan and Iran get along just fine.
Mike in NC
Next up, the NYT and WaPo will invite Von Rumsfeld and the Cheneys (Dick & Liz) to rationalize the invasion and occupation of Iran, since we’d be welcomed as liberators. The war would be over in a week and would pay for itself!
Whatever turd gets the 2016 GOP nomination, you can guarantee he’ll be getting terrible foreign policy advise from the usual suspects, and the media won’t even notice.
Big ole hound
Bolton, the chickenshit who avoided Vietnam by enlisting in the Maryland National Guard. Just another bloodthirsty asshole who has never actually accomplished anything and was appointed during a Congressional vacation.
@the Conster: Why? because our media is made of the same chickenhawk assholes, brothers under the skin.
Next up, the NYT and WaPo will invite Von Rumsfeld and the Cheneys (Dick & Liz) to rationalize the invasion and occupation of Iran, since we’d be welcomed as liberators. The war would be over in a week and would pay for itself!
Iran has twice the population of Iraq (and is more homogeneous). The Iranian opposition isn’t particularly pro-American (something Republicans conveniently forget) The neo-cons will finally get there unending war…
@gene108: Pakistan and Iran are not buddies. Pakistan is majority Sunni and Iran is Shia. Pakistan also does not like the overtures Iran periodically makes to India. One of the reasons for Pakistan’s meddling in Afghanistan and installing Taliban, was to install a friendly regime on their border. Since they feel hemmed in by Iran to their the north and India to their south.
@Epicurus: Bolton is like a cartoon villain, and I suspect he is unbalanced. As is Dick Cheney.
Both are far more dangerous than the Sarah Palins of the world, because the military-industrial complex takes them more seriously. And uses them, when helpful.
And the NYTimes, and other very serious corporate media outlets, treat them with gravitas. Which neither deserves. They are not “very serious persons.” They are “seriously compromised persons” who love to destroy things.
Wow, the Mustache of Understanding and the Mustache of Idiocy both writing NYT op/eds on Iran within a week of each other. Maybe we can have the Goatee of Woodchuck weigh in on Iran next week.
Villago Delenda Est
@rlrr: Unending because the terrain is ideal for modern guerrilla warfare, shitty for tanks.
The stupid. It burns.
I DISAGREE !
They shouldn’t be laughed out of the room, they should be chased out by an angry mob hurling rotten eggs and bags of bloody chicken guts.
see, I don’t grasp it.
Saudi Arabia funded, FULLY, the spread of ‘Death to the West’ Wahabbi-ism around the world.
The Saudis, own this, lock, stock, and barrell.
And this is never brought up by our MSM.
The Saudis have created/educated a large number of the terrorists that attack the West.
Like I said.. more suspicious of Saudi Arabia than Iran.
Villago Delenda Est
@cmorenc: On their way to the tumbrel park.
He’s not alone.
For example, not long ago, Sheldon Adelson made some remarks at Yeshiva University (in NYC) where he (literally) called for a nuclear strike on Tehran. He was applauded. The moderator, a rabbi, did nothing to challenge him. The president of the university, usually a moralist, was there accompanying his valuable if outspoken guest but did not question his call for the annihilation of a city. Academic freedom — which rightly allows us to observe, listen, analyze, and draw conclusions — that day was used merely as a smoke-screen for mass murder, if not genocide.
Iran was always the big prize the neocons had their eyes on.
With 4 times the geographic size, and more than 3 times the population of Iraq, an invasion and pacification would be much larger in scale and present a much greater profiteering opportunity.
Another thing to think about in 2016: If a GOPer wins, war with Iran is a certainty, and World War III becomes a possibility.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): IIRC he had the same complaints about Clinton vis a vis North Korea. To the neocons there’s no international situation a good carpet-bombing (or preemptive nuclear strike) won’t solve.
War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the GOP platform in 2015. Orwell was off by 31 years, otherwise he was spot on.
I’m always asking the following of neocon warmongers, spoiling for a fight with Iran:
Which country was the birthplace of Al qaeda? Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Which was the home country to 16 of 19 September 11th hijackers? Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Which country is funding ISIS? Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Which country is fighting ISIS? Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Now which one of the two countries is considered a US “ally”?
Ok – the obvious question since he was part of the Bush regime’s idiotic war on Iraq; what happens after you bombed Iran? Are you going to nation build as “well” as you did in Iraq?
How are you going to pay for the war? Are you going to be pay for it the same way as Bush did, ie supplemental funding every six months that doesn’t hit the official budget (so you can look good), yet our grandkids we still have to pay for it one day?
Finally, Bolton, you do realize that just like Cheney you have no credibility to talk about bombing anybody since your failure with bombing Iraq. It is utterly amazing that we in this country give so much opinion space for failures when we should instead give it to those folks who were right about the Iraq war.
@Cacti: Victory in Iran by conventional means is impossible. Between the much larger populace with a strong nationalist streak and the geography, a campaign there would take decades and radicalize the entire populace (including the ones presumably friendly and open to persuasion). The only solution possible is a border-to-border nuclear bombardment. Mind you, this will make the attacker a global pariah – but since Ahmurrcan Ecksepshunulism™ is paramount and global opinion only matters to Librul Soshulist squishes that’s probably acceptable to them.
Tree With Water
“The inconvenient truth is that only military action..”.
“Inconvenient”. A strange and telling word to choose in that context. The words “tragic”, “terrible; or “cruel” might also have been invoked, were Bolton in possession of even the barest shred of human feeling.
People should keep in mind this clown would definitely be confirmed by today’s republican controlled senate were he to be nominated.
Here’s a glimpse into our country’s past- the words of a genuine warrior. Compare & contrast. Somewhere in England during WW2:
Colonel Darr H. Alkire
CO, 100th Bombardment Group (H)
“Don’t get the notion that your job is going to be glorious or glamorous. You’ve got dirty work to do, and you might as well face the facts. You’re going to be baby killers and women killers..”.
(From the book by Edward Jablonski entitled Flying Fortresses; Echo Point Books & Media, LLC)
@Tree With Water:
One of the few instances where the filibuster still has real value.
The neocon answers, as I honestly understand them without hyperbole: After bombing Iran, they will surrender and give up their nuclear program, while the rest of the world applauds our strength. Possible alternative, ground troops must be sent in, but will easily defeat the bumbling primitives. Yes, nation building in Iraq was a complete success. All problems were caused by Obama abandoning a working strategy because he’s weak and unAmerican. The war will pay for itself. Budget amendments will be used if necessary, because obviously they’ll be temporary additions until the war pays for itself. Finally, we are important political people who know what the world needs, and you’re a childish, insignificant liberal.
Not only are those their answers, they actually believe it all. Yes, that’s fucked up.
EDIT – @Tree With Water:
He means ‘inconvenient’ as in, ‘the truth that liberals aren’t brave enough to admit’, or ‘the truth that reveals liberals don’t know what they’re doing’. These guys seriously live in a fantasy world.
I frankly think that its great that the NYT published this crazy talk. It is very important to read this from a person who apparently has little self-consciousness. This is the role of the press.
To contemplate any “victory” in Iran by any means is insane.
Part of all this is obviously to undermine the President. But I also think part of it is an understanding by neo-cons that politically only Obama “can go to Iran”. There is absolutely no way a Republican or Hillary Clinton could rally enough domestic support for a first strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, not after WMD Iraq.
Neo-Cons know that Obama might be their last chance to get the war they always wanted.
thought that said ‘goatse’. thought, what, they got donald ‘gaping asshole’ rumsfeld to write an op-ed also?
@gene108: It’s hard to forget the ’79 hostage crisis and that still — to a point — colors my views of Iran. But for God’s sake, it’s 2015. We tend to turn our enemies into friends (at at least trading partners — see Vietnam, Japan, Germany and coming soon, Cuba). There’s far more upside having respectful relations with Iran beyond any nuclear deal.
Say Wha’?? You think President Obama has, or could get, “enough domestic support” for this sh*t? SRSLY?
Actually, under the category of “Inapt Hitler Analogies”, a commenter in the NYT on Bolton’s Op-Ed drivel actually came up with a new (if somewhat obscure) one! The Iran nuclear flap is actually today’s Remilitarization Of The Rhineland ! It’s not, of course, but props for historical research….
@Brachiator: That’s kind of where I was going.
Bolton, when working in Eastern Europe somewhere, accosted a US-AID worker and chased her screaming down hotel halls. What a dick.
@jackmac: Not always, and not always by the otherwise-predictable players. A good number of pols were anti-UK as late as the 1930s; apparently there were some who still remembered revolution and press gangs from 150 years before. And while that works for (most) external enemies, it doesn’t do as well for internal ones: there aren’t many Sons of the Confederacy who feel all that kindly toward the Union even today, or we wouldn’t keep hearing about nullification and secession from (among other places) Texas and Louisiana.
@Archon: You’re overthinking it. They just want him to fail, and they want a war. These just happen to coincide here.
ok, I understand this. good point.
@Jay C: Color me skeptical of that claim too (that Obama or any Democrat could effectively rally the US population to another Middle East war).
Bolton is the living embodiment of the saying, “To a guy with a hammer, everything looks like an Iranian nail” Or something like that.
That was Melody Townsel in 1994, in Moscow.
She was not a US-AID worker. She worked for a more-or-less unsavory, and mostly Republican, lobbying firm (Black, Manafort), under contract to US-AID.
And like Cuba, I don’t give a shyt.
I really don’t. Iran is a largely educated populace, with a highly educated middle class, both here and in exile. They’ve already done the religious extremist thing, and so, whatever comes out of it, won’t look as bad as Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan. And, they have oil.
There is no reason to go to war with Iran.
And, if an unstable country like Pakistan can have nukes, then so can Iran.
I’ve said it before, I was never against going to war in the Middle East after 9/11.
But the country that made the most sense to me was Saudi Arabia.
The rest of it was just noise.
Even the Times is not above raw clickbait. That’s all this was.
That made sense to you? How?
I also believe that the neocons are feeling pretty desperate with the negative reaction to the whole Israeli/Netanyahu international apology tour. They know Israel has weakened its own credibility and authority and if a peace plan is successful with Iran, their power and influence will be greatly curtailed in influencing what can happen in the ME. They are not above sabotage, but it gets harder with an agreement — especially since it would be multilateral with many different countries, upping the ante for them should they want to stir stuff up…
Neo-Conservatism truly is an incurable disease, and there aren’t even any effective treatments
If you’re going to go to war because of 9/11
and 15 out of the 19 hijackers, as well as the masterminds were from Saudi Arabia..
and, Saudi Arabia was fully funding schools throughout the world where the main purpose of learning was ‘ Death to the West’….
the dots point to Saudi Arabia….
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I think and hope it was an emotional reaction to the torture-porn, but after the beheadings of the Egyptian Coptics in Libya, support for troops against ISIS jumped to (IIRC) almost 60%. I’m scared to think what would happen if something like the Charlie Hebdo attacks happened here, much less something bigger
That first line is doing a lot of work.
Plus imagine the response from the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims if we had attacked the land of Mecca and Medina.
They weren’t even our client state! It was British Petroleum that Mossedegh kicked out of the country. And then, British Petroleum went whining to the British government, which went whining to Eisenhower, who told the CIA to “handle it.”
OK. I was thrown off by your apparent initial consideration of a “conventional” victory.
This would be even more insane. The world can’t use radioactive oil.
Despite the damage and disruption caused by our war in Iraq, Bolton and a good number of the American people still seem to see war as some abstract video game. The saddest legacy of 911 is that it seems to have made some Americans incapable of actually looking at the world and seeing the real impact of our military and foreign policy blunders.
I wonder what it is about Saudi Arabia that might make people really interested in them…
To be clear, too many of us were no great shakes at it before 9/11, either.
And a Bolton Unit is the number of dead bodies that one is willing to pile up in order to feel like a Very Important Person. It’s closely related to the Rumsfeld Rate, which is Bolton Unit over time. That’s why the blood-garglers got so excited over Shock and Awe: it had the potential for a very high Rumsfeld Rate.
But you’re not gong to “win” that kind of war. You didn’t in Iraq. Say Zionism’s main global enabler does go in and put the House of Saud out of the royal business. What does the new country look like? Will it be a democratic, religiously plural, socially liberal, feminist, America-friendly republic? I doubt that. That’s not what they’re used to wanting. A more likely result would be a bunch of new Wahhabi warlords, and a long, bloody feudal death-match between them to decide a new Caliph.
Also, in such a situation it might well become too dangerous for Muslims to gather in Mecca for the Haj for years, maybe even decades. The entire Muslim world would be somewhat upset with America over this.
All of them, Katie.
so “welcomed as liberators” is what you’re saying.
And furthermore, there would be a hole in the region’s political-influence network where the Sauds used to be. Who would or could fill it?
More or less, yeah.
Return of the “neo-con”??
He never left.
@Amir Khalid: I don’t think Rikyrah really thinks there should have been a war in Saudi Arabia, just that if it was about 9-11 it would be a more logical choice than Iraq.
A war on Saudi Arabia would have been every bit as stupid as the actual war on Iraq.
Tree With Water
By SAHIL KAPURPublishedMARCH 26, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that President Barack Obama was an “anti-war president.”
Of course, he’s no such thing. No one entrusted with command of our nuclear arsenal possibly could be, and don’t get me started on drone warfare. But I believe the president has a sensible, deep rooted aversion to wage war, and I for one am grateful for it.
@Amir Khalid: Indeed. However the reasons given would have made slightly more sense.
A war would have been deeply stupid, but sanctions and taking away their various special statuses might have gone a long way towards incentivizing the house of Saud to get their nutjobs under control.
And I will say again that one of the biggest things I hold against Bush and his maladministration is that Iran made their first official diplomatic overture towards us in 30 years after 9/11, and we spit in their faces. Imagine how different things would be today if we had accepted that olive branch and resumed diplomatic relations with them 14 years ago.
Re the invasion of Iraq in 2003, those were not reasons we were given; they were pretexts.
@Tree With Water:
A pacifist POTUS — there’s never been such a person, and I doubt there will ever be. A POTUS opposed to war is actually a good thing; war is at best a clumsy tool of foreign policy, and in the wrong hands an expensive and bloody way to make any situation worse.
J R in WV
Because they were the country that attacked us in New York and Washington DC – well actually the Pentagon in is Virginia…
But we weren’t attacked by Iraq, or by Iran. We were attacked by people from Saudi Arabia, using funding provided by Saudi Arabia, under orders from Saudi Arabian leadership.
Then we attacked the country in the Middle East that had the least to do with the attack on our soil – Iraq. Crazy! Only G W Bush could have imagined that that made any sense at all. He was under Cheney’s thumb, and didn’t even think about what he was authorizing.
@J R in WV:
There’s a difference between being attacked by Saudi Arabians and being attacked by Saudi Arabia. You may be conflating the two.
@Tree With Water:
Funniest shit I’ve heard all week.
I don’t see Orange John Boehner getting Congress to declare war on Iran anytime soon.
J R in WV
Not that I am or was in favor of attacking Saudi Arabia, as mentioned about others, I just thought all the reasons for attacking Iraq applied more to the Saudis.
I have no idea how to fix the situation in the Middle East regarding the Wahabis and the out of control Zionists, nor the Shia / Sunni split.
And as long as the Pakistanis have an ample supply of nuclear bombs, I think attacking anyone in the Middle East using nuclear weapons would be the height of stupidity, which doesn’t put it out of bounds for a Republican administration.
I’m pretty much a pacifist internationally, with some exceptions for self-defence. But then I get all outraged and want to attack someone responsible for the outrage…
Bless my heart, I’m so not perfect today.
@boatboy_srq: Not that I think it’s a good idea, but I suspect the US probably could demolish the Iranian armed forces. US conventional forces are really, really good at their jobs, even if the terrain favours the defense.
Of course, the logistics would be a nightmare and they could never, ever, hold the place.
But all of that is irrelevant, because not even Bolton wants boots on the ground. He wants nukes in the air. This is a guy who’s wanted to nuke somebody, ANYBODY, for forty years in public service. He’s got to be feeling his approaching mortality by now. This may be his last chance.
I dunno. We overran Iraq so quickly in part because their armed forces weren’t enthused about fighting for Saddam, so they had a tendency to lay down their arms and surrender instead. In Iran, they have a well-trained and well-disciplined army and the Great Satan would be invading.
Iran’s army has over 500,000 active duty soldier and 350,000 reserves. That would not be a picnic.
It’s interesting that many of the same people who are properly critical of the bellicose paranoia expressed by neoconservatives like Bolton and Cheney concerning Iran become a good deal less skeptical with regard to Ukraine and the manipulation of American public opinion (similar to the pro-war propaganda we heard before the US attacked Iraq in both 1990 & 2003, Serbia, Panama, etc).
@Brachiator: EXACTLY. And as for…
– there ARE oil producers, including some in OPEC, who wouldn’t object overmuch to the near-perpetual sequestration of Iranian oil, so that isn’t necessarily a worthwhile deterrent if nukes are your weapon of choice. My point is that any attack is sanity-challenged at best, and the two scenarios would either chew up the entire DoD over a generation, or kill 80 million, irrevocably irradiate the entire nation, and turn the aggressor into a global pariah. Those are consequences only an amoral warmonger would find acceptable.
The only way for the US (or anyone) to halt a war in Iran is to turn the country into a lifeless glassy plain. The only people who would want this are a) neocon wingunts and b) oil producers who would welcome the near-perpetual sequestration of Iranian oil. Unless the attack is an all-out, total nuclear strike, there will be enough POd Iranians surviving that no matter how their army gets depleted there’ll always be somebody with a gun ready to resist the Evil Infidel Invaders.
@Lurking Canadian: @Mnemosyne (iPhone): The initial force comparisons are irrelevant. What matters is that the moment the US (or whoever) declares war, a good portion of the civilian populace will immediately enlist, and as the army gets depleted in the fight the ranks will be made up from the ever-growing ranks of volunteers. Iran fought Iraq to a standstill for ten years, taking far worse casualties than the Iraqis but without ever backing down or slowing their campaign (more than the ongoing need to train replacements would do). That was Iraq. Imagine what they’d do if they faced off against an overtly belligerent superpower.
@BobS: Let me know when the president urges the US to invade Ukraine, Congress debates an AUMF against Russia and Obama sends Kerry to the UN to drum up support for a war. I’ll be right there with you saying, “No fucking way, man.”
@Lurking Canadian: Afterthought: in Iran, the terrain doesn’t favor the defense – the terrain IS the defense. The army dug into the terrain is just added disincentive.
Is it of any significance to you that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (I know, not Kerry, but still pretty high up the administration food chain) allied herself (and the US) with coup leaders in Ukraine, or that she’s married to Robert Kagan, one of the more vocal proponents of the neoconservative foreign policy philosophy shared by Bolton, Cheney, et al? And while it’s not an AUMF, do you think it wise for the administration to be contributing military assistance to Ukraine (in the form of both equipment and ‘advisors’) and the congress voting to encourage the president to send even more military aid?
I refused to read that Op-Ed as I did not want my blood pressure to rise to unnhealthy levels. Why on earth did the NYT print this drivel?
@BobS: In general, I think the US meddles in the affairs of other countries way too damn much. But as long as Barack Obama is president, I am reasonably certain there will be no rush to war with Russia or any other country that hasn’t attacked us. The comparison with the run-up to the Iraq War is bogus, IMO.
@Betty Cracker: how is it bogus?