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Preview: Comments on: TIGHTENING THE GORDIAN KNOT OF WAR

Comments on: TIGHTENING THE GORDIAN KNOT OF WAR



Politics served up with a smile... And a stilletto.



Published: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:00:37 +0000

 



By: Mike Devx

Fri, 17 Aug 2007 12:46:24 +0000

Rick, such defeatism... If we do nothing, we look weak, and Iran gets ever more aggressive across the Middle East, and especially so in Iraq. If we resist Iranian escalations in Iraq by attacking along the border and even into Iranian terroritory, then we provoke a response far worse than anything we should imagine. This means that there is no recourse, no action to be taken, no hope. We are entirely at the mercy of other people, and merely hope that the Iranian civilian population can save us, Save Us, SAVE US, from ourselves! (Please SAVE US!!!) There is something very wrong with the picture.



By: Pro Cynic

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:25:42 +0000

busboy33 said: "#3)'Sanctions did nothing to force Hussein (who was much more pragmatic than the Mad Mullahs) to comply with what we wanted, why should much weaker sanctions get us what we want with Iran?” Depends on what you thought the sanctions were supposed to do. If you were expecting Saddam to renounce his dictatorship and give all Iraqis a free Hersheys Bar, then no, they didn’t work. If they were to keep him from developing WMDs and/or nukes and/or re-invading his neighbors, then they worked perfectly.'" Um, not exactly. Even the Iraq Survey Group said his weapons development programs were in place, and that was while ignoring all the thousands of gallons of pesticide (WMD precursors) he had hidden in camouflaged, guarded bunkers in the desert. In addition, sanctions were being evaded by Saddam and his allies in France and Russia. "5 – 'Although you don’t come out and say it straightaway, your belief that our troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan somehow prevent us from taking on Iran. If we were to list the three (Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan) in order of the threat to America, how can you (or anyone) not put keeping Iran from getting nukes at the top of the list? ' Kinda why us hippies were wondering why they hell we invaded Iraq. Afganistan made sense—Bin Laden was(is) there, and we want his head on a stick in Times Square. Saddam was a contained threat (we were still flying fighter jets in his airspace and bombing him at will). "You suggest abandoning Afganistan. Putting aside the moral consequnces of creating a giantic turd pile then leaving someone else to deal with the smell, what makes you think the small force we have in Afganistsan would be enough to invade Iran (and not get slaughtered?). We’d have to bail on Iraq as well to even come close to an effective force. You willing to walk away from there? Remeber, if you do, the terrorists win." Wrong again on your history of the invasion of Iraq. Saddam was not contained by sanctions. He was contained by the presence of 150,000 US troops in Kuwait, whose presence could not be maintained indefinitely. Again, the sanctions were ineffective. Ever heard of "Oil-for-Food"? And don't get me started on Saddam's connections to terrorists, including al Qaida, which were confirmed by the Senate Committee on Intelligence. What I would suggest, however, is that you look at a map. Assume we, as you seem to wish, had no presence in Iraq. From where exactly, would we strike Iran (a proposition in which I must disagree with your esteemed host in supporting)? We cannot strike from Afghanistan. We do not have enough manpower there to do the trick, nor can we ever -- Afghanistan is landlocked, so we are dependent on its neighbors for deployment there, guaranteeing a small presence at best. Nor could we strike from Kuwait -- Kuwait shares no border with Iran; it is separated from Iran by the strip of Iraq that borders the Shatt al-Arab waterway. That strip is a limited area, which could be easily sealed off by Iran. So special forces operations would be severely limited, if not impossible. We could strike from carriers, but that limits our hopes to air strikes, and puts the carriers in harms way. Teh loss of even one, a very real possibility given Iran's missile capabilities, gravely impacts our power projection capabilities and hurts the US on the world stage. Note that all this would be takling place with Saddam still in Iraq and trying to complicate any action against Iran as much as he could. He hates us more than he hates them. In other words, if not for our presence in Iraq, our ability to take any military action against Iran would be severely limited. That's probably what you want, but it is not a good prescription for protecting our security. Because we are in Iraq, Iran is just as vulnerable as we are in Iraq. BTW -- don't get me started on how we can walk and chew gum at the same time, too. We'd be better able to handle Iran with our Iraq and Afghan commitments if Donald Rumsfeld hadn[...]



By: ajacksonian

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:07:03 +0000

Ah, the blessed sinecure of 'competence'! As we have shown zero competence in responding to anything that has been done to the US by Iran and its Foreign Legion, plus its agents, lets just give up to them, shall we? We did nothing in reprisal to 1979 and couldn't even stage a rescue with competence. We did nothing after their Foreign Legion called Hezbollah led by Imad Mugniyah bombed our Beirut Embassy in 1983... well, we gave them a bunch of Marines to get blown up by those same folks, Mugniyah and Hezbollah, and then we ran in less than 6 months. Then, in 1984, they bombed our Embassy again. No competence there on our part, tons on that of Iran, Mugniyah and Co. Then the Khobar Towers attack, well we were so blessedly incompetent after the OPM-SANG attack that we really did deserve to have US soldiers die. Yes, rank incompetence all the way around. Let us not forget that Imad Mugniyah has actually run terror support operations in the US, with the NC to Detroit cigarette smuggling ring to help finance Hezbollah. In fact we have run across multiple funding operations using credit card fraud, gray/black market goods sales and the movement of pseudoephedrine to Mexico to have it made into Meth by, yes, Hezbollah's operatives here in the US. So, since we can't really figure out the extend of their operations for support and INTEL *here*, well, we must be damned incompetent, to say the least. Time to close up shop, the US is done for... not a speck of competence to be found. Remember that letting competent terrorists and pirates attack us is far preferable to incompetent warfare waged by us. Until we are PERFECT at it, we should not do one damned thing, anywhere, ever. Because we are the height of incompetence. Don't mind the death toll that comes with our incompetence. And, unless you have a much better way to competently and perfectly *stop it*, then you, too, are incompetent. America the Incompetent! Unless, of course, you believe in the incompetence that our Founders did when they put forth that we must make a MORE PERFECT UNION. They recognized our inability to do things well, so we set high goal and fail to meet them, but do try to do them BETTER. We will never reach perfect competence, but we can strive to do things BETTER. And calling for Americans to be killed and not respond, which is what asking for things to be done competently *is*, is not making a more perfect union or providing for the common defence or getting us domestic tranquility and is damned sure not passing on the blessings of liberty to our posterity. Lessening it by quite some amount, in fact. Remember that we always have the worst record for school children in the world. And we always get the most productive and capable citizens in the world, because we learn from our mistakes and do things ever better. America is built on mistakes, learning from them, then continuing on towards our goals in a better fashion. The death toll of incompetence is bad enough. The loss of liberty by stopping in our opposition to tyranny and despotism is fatal. We did not start this conflict, did not ask for it and do not want it. But it has been handed to us. And we will damned well win it or die trying, because not doing so is on the road to losing liberty and freedom forever. That decision was made in 1776 and we must fight in large ways and small each and every day to maintain that revolution. And, strange to say, it is opposed, this revolution in human affairs, and is damned well still revolutionary to this day. And the incompetence of the Founders was manifest with 10% of America dead and nearly losing the Nation under the Articles to internal revolt. They failed and picked themselves up to try *again*. America is ALWAYS failing... it never stops... until it succeeds. The moment we stop failing, then we stop succeeding. You want 'competence'? Offer a damned well better way forward to end this with sustaining our goals of freedom and liberty which are Universal. Because the [...]



By: mannning

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:57:50 +0000

Opinion: Unless something happens this year to force our hand, we will not attack Iran until 2008, as I have predicted for some time. The probable month is February, and the latest is March. I look for the rhetoric to heat up significantly next month, with "revelations" coming fast and furiously about the Iranian activities in and for Iraq, and the progress of their nuclear efforts. By Feb 08 we will have replenished our precision and heavy bomb arsenal, built up our ammo supplies, furnished new vehicles to Iraq and Kuwait, moved troops from Baghdad and elsewhere to Kuwait and the border of Iran, and will have given sanctions a chance to work. The chance for Iranians to revolt will have either matured or not by Feb 08, and our diplomatic pressures will have succeeded or not to stop their nuclear weapons program. With no give on the part of Iran, we will see US action. As I have said before, any air attack will be a comprehensive one to knock out the Iranian air defenses, command and control and communications facilities, aircraft and missile sites, and then the many sites associated with their nuclear program. Since many of these sites are embedded in their civilian built up areas, there will be substantial collateral damage and civilian casualties in the raids, despite our use of precision weapons. Of course, the Iranians will report massive civilian casualties, on the order of tens of thousands, and offer up pictures of many horrible events as proof. It is the next scene that everyone worries about. Will the Iranians unite to meet the US threat? Or, will the revolutionaries seize the moment to strike for freedom? Will the Iranians move into Iraq to attack our forces? Will they try to close the Straits? Perhaps all of these possibilities and more. I suggest that these possible actions will have been gamed out in advance and counter actions defined and prepared. I do agree that at some point we will have to go into Iran to perform regime change. Yes, it will be a threesome: perhaps the kingpin is Iran. Are we living in interesting times yet?



By: busboy33

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 14:59:01 +0000

@Steve Sturm: #3)"Sanctions did nothing to force Hussein (who was much more pragmatic than the Mad Mullahs) to comply with what we wanted, why should much weaker sanctions get us what we want with Iran?" Depends on what you thought the sanctions were supposed to do. If you were expecting Saddam to renounce his dictatorship and give all Iraqis a free Hersheys Bar, then no, they didn't work. If they were to keep him from developing WMDs and/or nukes and/or re-invading his neighbors, then they worked perfectly. 5 – "Although you don’t come out and say it straightaway, your belief that our troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan somehow prevent us from taking on Iran. If we were to list the three (Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan) in order of the threat to America, how can you (or anyone) not put keeping Iran from getting nukes at the top of the list? " Kinda why us hippies were wondering why they hell we invaded Iraq. Afganistan made sense -- Bin Laden was(is) there, and we want his head on a stick in Times Square. Saddam was a contained threat (we were still flying fighter jets in his airspace and bombing him at will). You suggest abandoning Afganistan. Putting aside the moral consequnces of creating a giantic turd pile then leaving someone else to deal with the smell, what makes you think the small force we have in Afganistsan would be enough to invade Iran (and not get slaughtered?). We'd have to bail on Iraq as well to even come close to an effective force. You willing to walk away from there? Remeber, if you do, the terrorists win. 7) ". . . but if they’re [the Mad Mullahs] not rational, to the point of engaging in suicide, then why think they’d back off their pursuit of nukes because the likes of Russia and China ask them nicely to do so?" Because the Mullahs aren't the ones commiting suicide -- their followers are. The MM are power hungry sociopaths, and they tend not to risk their own lives. Now if your argument is "once they provoke us to invade, we'll line up the MMs and execute them." Then you may have a point. I don't think murdering relegious clerics will have the desired effect, but thats just my opinion.



By: B.Poster

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:58:38 +0000

There will be no attack by the US on Iran. Congress would never allow it and the American people would not be behind it. The Army can only maintain its troop level in Iraq for another year, at best. Based on most estimates the Army is nearing the breaking point. Without a significant increase in man power the Army cannot maintain the current level in Iraq. As it stands right now, the American people and Congress will not support an increase to the size of the Army. A small troop contingent as some people wish to leave behind will be worse than useless. It would be to small to actually do anything and it would be under constant attack. Given the current political and military realities, the US will begin completely withdrawing from Iraq within the next couple of months and the withdrawl will be complete by this time next year. In other words, by this time next year there will be no US or allied military personnel within Iraq. What we are seeing now is likely the final attempt to contain Iran through the use of economic sanctions. This is unlikely to be successful. As Rick points out the Iranian government seems to be very unpopular right now. Rick writes: "all of these problems disappear with the first bomb dropped on Iran by the United States." This is what the Iranian government needs to stay in power. They need a war to rally their citizens. The bomb will not be dropped by the United States. It will be delivered by Iran to the United States. Instead of thinking about an American attack on Iran that will not happen analyists need to be thinking about the coming attack on the United States by Iran or its terrorist proxies. The Iranian attack on the US may or may not involve Iranian military personnel. It could take the form of terrorist proxies operating on behalf of Iran. The analyists should be thinking about how they are going to thwart this attack and what will our response be. Also, what about Pakistan? What about Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the resurgent Taliban, Russia, China, and a host of other threats? The enemy is far larger and far more dangerous than most pundits and military planners seem willing to face up to. If these threats are to be handled militarily, the country will have to be placed on a war footing and it will have to be handled in much the same way we handled WWII. Even then we the Western Europeans and other allies would have to go on a war footing as well. It is unlikely we could handle all of this ourselves. The political will is lacking to place the country or the entire free world on a war foooting. As such, we must find some other way to defend the US. I suggest the following: 1.) withdraw all military forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, 2.)redeploy those troops the northern and southern borders, 3.)place a moratorium on immigration from muslim countries, 4.)develop all of our oil and natrual gas reserves and build more refineries. This should give us some leverage when negotiating with OPEC nations. These are policies we can implement. Military action against Iran or anyone else cannot be implemented right now.



By: El Hombre Viejo

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:26:36 +0000

Master Mo says “…first clarify terms…” Stupid: Doing the same thing over and over and over and hoping for a different result. While repetition has its uses in science (to verify results), repeating foreign policy blunders is useless –and threatens your survival as a nation. “The only bright spot in this entire mess is that we still have some time to pressure the Iranians to accept stringent international safeguards on their nuclear program – perhaps even convince them to forgo it altogether although that seems unlikely at this point. Sanctions have been in place only a few months. And despite China and Russia’s foot dragging, patient and insistent diplomacy can almost certainly win them over to the idea that it would be better if Iran did not achieve the capability to construct nuclear weapons and that therefore, even tougher sanctions are necessary.” The fact that Rick Moran wrote this demonstrates conclusively that he is delusional. What makes it stupid is the inclusion of: “…patient and insistent diplomacy can almost certainly win them over to the idea that it would be better if Iran did not achieve the capability to construct nuclear weapons and that therefore, even tougher sanctions are necessary.” I would argue that “patient and insistent” diplomacy with the Russians or the Chinese, or any other authoritarian government is “stupid.” Why? Because negotiating with tyrants doesn’t work --period. Need some examples? North Korea: 55 years of diplomacy and now we’re at war with an “alleged” nuclear power. Zimbabwe, and any other 12 African countries you can name. Iraq: We negotiated with Saddam Hussein for 12 years while he consistently skirted UN Sanctions. There are many more examples of course, look them up yourself. The North Korea example should stop any argument, in any context, for “more time for diplomacy and negotiation” dead in its tracks and scare reasonable people everywhere enough to demand decisive military action early when there is even the remote possibility of some whack-job like Amadinejad developing or obtaining nuclear weapons. Think I’m stupid? The UN and the IAEA have been negotiating with the Iranians since at least 2002 to stop their nuclear development activities. How’s that worked out so far? Rick needs to quit peeing down his leg and get angry enough to demand, or take, action.



By: steve sturm

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:05:01 +0000

Rick: so many points on which to take issue, where shall I start? 1 - How can you say that what Iran is doing in Iraq is not a 'real' problem? I sure consider it a real problem that they are helping (if not doing the work themselves) kill American soldiers? It may not be as big a problem as Iran's pursuit of nukes, but it sure as heck is a real problem. 2 - Your claim (belief?) that we can convince China and Russia to go along with our efforts to keep Iran from getting nukes. Do you have any evidence that, despite our inability to get Russia and China to go along with anything we've wanted (look at the big help they were with Iraq), we can get them in on this? Or are you just grasping at straws in hope of avoiding making the tough call on how to proceed once we admit that China and Russia will not play nice. 3 - I presume from your comment that 'sanctions have been in place for only a few months' that you believe that sanctions will yield the desired end result, if only we give them more time. Again, are you basing this on anything more than wishful thinking? Sanctions did nothing to force Hussein (who was much more pragmatic than the Mad Mullahs) to comply with what we wanted, why should much weaker sanctions get us what we want with Iran? 4 - your implication that the Mad Mullahs are all but set on losing power when the masses rise up in protest. But why assume the Mad Mullahs are going to go quietly? They hold power through terror and force and you expect (hope?) that a few student protests and some shortages of gas or food are going to make the Mad Mullahs decide to pack it in for retirement in France? Dictators don't give up power easily, especially when they are as fanatical as the Mad Mullahs. Sure, the good people of Iran could rise up, but so too could the sun rise in the west. And to the extent the good people of Iran would rise up, wouldn't it be over domestic issues, as opposed to their great unhappiness with the Mad Mullahs' foreign policy? Did I miss something or was there in fact no rioting over the Mad Mullahs support of the insurgency in Iraq? 5 - Although you don't come out and say it straightaway, your belief that our troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan somehow prevent us from taking on Iran. If we were to list the three (Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan) in order of the threat to America, how can you (or anyone) not put keeping Iran from getting nukes at the top of the list? Given my druthers, I'd let the Taliban have Afghanistan and I'd let the Iraqis carve each other up in order to have the military resources to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Do you disagree? 6 - your statement that we'd have to go in and effect regime change. yes, if our goal was to have in place an Iranian government that was peaceful and not interested in nukes, then, yes, you need regime change. But if our (short term) goal is to keep the Iranians from having nukes, then bombing and tactical strikes would accomplish that goal quite nicely. 7 - implicit in your writing is the premise that Iran's Mad Mullahs are rational people who can be made to go along with the much-vaunted 'international community'. Yet at the same time, you portray them as not only willing to get into a shooting match with the US, but to persist to the point where invasion and regime change takes place. The two don't seem to work together: if they're rational, then they saber-rattle a bit, get spanked and then back off (see: Milosevic). but if they're not rational, to the point of engaging in suicide, then why think they'd back off their pursuit of nukes because the likes of Russia and China ask them nicely to do so?



By: Drongo

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 11:12:03 +0000

I agree with you entirely, which should probably concern you :) Of course, the diplomatic tack is fruitless in the current configuration as well, primarily because it is set up to fail. It is obvious to all that accomodating and coming to terms with the Iranian regieme is simply not an option for the US. The Iranians can object until they are blue in the face that they are not developing nuclear weapons, they can protest until the cows come home that they need the electricity in order to provide power to their people in a world where oil is rapidly becoming too expensive to use at home. It makes no difference. They are developing nukes, and they are basically at war with the US already, in the eyes of the US administration. Possibly the alternative route to take would be to be more friendly with them rather than more opposed. Without the useful "Great Satan" whacking post the Iranian leadership would be even more distanced from their population. Hell, you want to monitor their nuclear facilities? Maybe you should help build them. You want to stop them interfering in Iraq? Maybe co-operate with them. Whack them with the best message that you have "If your leaders are so great, how come you haven't all got iPods and decent TV?". It isn't going to fix the world but at least it might not smash it up. Still, if things go the Cheney way, we'll get some more great guncam shots at least.



By: Iran: The Gordian Knot Tightens » The Moderate Voice

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:33:47 +0000

[...] Moran, writing at Rightwing Nuthouse in a post titled “Tightening The Gordian Knot of War,” says that the administration’s plan to name Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization should come as no surprise: “Does the Administration want to try for 3 straight? A perfect record of incompetence and futility? It simply boggles my mind the way many on the right are so cavalier about attacking Iran and getting ourselves embroiled in yet another conflict. As I said, it won’t stop with a bombing campaign. We will eventually be forced to go in and effect regime change. [...]