Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bleier et al: Bush hints? declares? war against Iran

In his Feb 14, 2007 news conference, Bush repeated and emphasized the disinformation (read: lie) that EFP weaponry that he claims are killing Americans in Iraq are directly associated with Iranian Quds (military) forces which are part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which are part of the Iranian government.

Bush lies as he breathes so this was not surprising. The scary part was when after repeating this talking point, he concluded with: "And I intend to do something about it." (Actually this last should not be in quotes: I was interrupted for a few minutes before I could write it down and I haven't yet been able to get a transcript.)

It was as menacing as it sounds. No, in real life it was even more terrifying.

I was actually hoping there was some good news when General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, yesterday directly contradicted this talking point and Tony Snow had to acknowledge it. See Glenn Greenwald's discussion: "Gen. Pace repudiates administration's accusations against Iran"

But clearly facts don't even appear as speed bumps for Bush-Cheney when war is concerned.

Clearly they want to make it happen, and they don't see anything yet on the horizon that is stopping them. By some guesses (mine), if they're not stopped, we have a month, maybe two at the outside before war against Iran breaks out.

It would help a great deal if the NYT for one, and Hillary and Edwards and Obama got on this case.
It doesn't look good as far as Hillary is concerned: Here's a segment from Democracy Now (2.13.07)
Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Sen. Hillary Clinton Refuses to Acknowledge Making Mistake Over Voting for Iraq War & Says No Options Should Be Taken Off The Table on Iran


ANNE MILLER: Yeah, over the weekend Senator Clinton spoke in Berlin, Concord and Keene, and there were members of our community who were attending obviously all of those events. I went to hear Senator Clinton speak in Concord and was not called on during the meeting, but afterwards approached the Senator and asked her about the comments that she had made at the AIPAC meeting earlier in the week and asked her if she really would leave all options on the table and how could she threaten, in effect, other countries' children with nuclear genocide. She looked me right in the eye, and she said, “No options are off the table. We cannot abide by a nuclear-armed Iran. It would be an existential threat to the United States.” (my emphasis)

And what I found really interesting in that comment, in that use of the word “existential,” is that isn’t a word that’s used very much in US political discourse, but it is used in Israel's political discourse. And that’s of deep concern to me that we have a Democratic presidential candidate who is a militarist of this nature and that she isn’t coming out and saying we need strong diplomatic action with Iran, which is really the only answer. There are no military solutions with respect to Iran that I can see.

For the rest of the segment, click on:


Here is the much less breathless and much more mainstream Laura Rozen of coming from a different angle (did she watch the news conference?) but not much more optimistic.

Laura Rozen wrote:

I just got back from the Nick Burns talk at Brookings, and I got a different take away than some of my colleagues apparently. The real headline of the talk as far as I heard it is that the US has quietly reduced what it demands Iran do before it would join multilateral talks with them -- suspend uranium enrichment for the duration of negotations in exchange for suspension of international sanctions. "Suspension for suspension," Burns said at the end. He also emphasized that there is a lot more time for diplomacy, and that the P5+Germany offer from last June is still on the table and they'd like Iran to say yes. And yet, one can't discount the propagandistic nature of the administration including Burns overplaying Iran's badacting in Iraq as a chief factor for violence there, contrary to the judgment of the recently released NIE on Iraq. It's a concern especially as elements of the administration seem to be convincing themselves that Iran is more of a factor than it is. As I noted the other day, 170 coalition deaths from Iranian-originated material is about 5% of the estimated 3,400 coalition deaths in Iraq -- a small fraction. There's a genuinely propagandistic quality to the administration campaign to make Iran seem like it is causing say a third or half of the deaths of coalition forces in Iraq without quite saying as much, which would seem to undercut the credibility of administration officials such as Burns when they make the case that this is about aggressive multilateral diplomacy. If they are self-consciously misleading on point A, are they misleading on point B, that this is not leading to war? That's the element of doubt they seem to leave in their multiple audiences' minds, and perhaps deliberately so.

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