Re: More War

1

This is just crazy. What do you say other than that during WWII, we treated the SS as a legitimate arm of the state in terms of international law, and that worked just fine. What makes the Iranian Revolutionary Guard so much worse than the SS that it's a legally entirely different thing?

This is the same shit as that Taliban post of mine from a month or so ago -- you can't say that we need special legal freedom to go after non-state actors, and then use them against states for no reason at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:56 AM
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Was there any question that that's what they're doing?

Remember how the story about Ashcroft's hospital room actually made you realize that Ashcroft was the *sane* one? It occurred to me yesterday reading this that Karl Rove's departure only mean more power for Cheney, and I actually found myself regretting the loss of Rove.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:57 AM
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Presumably it also means that, short of outright war, any skirmishes with Special Forces or whoever that result in prisoners mean "people we can lock up and torture rather than treat as POWs."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:59 AM
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the war-mongering Cheney faction is once again ascendant

As opposed to when, exactly?

And where would our Democratic candidates be, then?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:59 AM
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4: I'm sure that's the idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:00 AM
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I think 3 is right, yeah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:02 AM
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I hate living in McManus World.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:02 AM
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5 was meant to be to 3, and to 7, what's that line of Teresa Nielsen Hayden's? Something like "The thing I resent the most about this administration is the way they've turned me into a nutbar conspiracy theorist."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:03 AM
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7:Me too.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:26 AM
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Yeah, I may have called you a nut the other day, but that doesn't mean I think you're wrong about everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:27 AM
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Ogged is the first I have seen come up with this, what I have seen was a means to attack the finances and put the Guards under Gitmo rules for interrogation and intelligence.

I think Bushco has decided they need a real event, not a trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin, in order to go to war. They want Iran or its proxies to overtly and seriously attack and kill a bunch of Americans, without apparent just cause or provocation. They will engineer it subtly or brutally, depending on opportunities. Arming the Sunnis in Anbar or installing Chalabi when Maliki falls, I think Bush hopes to lose a brigade. A sacrifice.

And when 2500 Americans die in a week in Baghdad, it will be harder to say:"Now, let's surrender and split." It will be impossible for a Democratic President to say it.

Or it just may be brinkmanship, and Iran may be able to hold things under control until it makes a deal in 2009.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:41 AM
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The thing I resent the most about this administration

What I resent most is that it has made me so disgusted with the half of the country that voted for these goddamned lunatics in 2004, when we had four years of solid evidence that the administration was composed of nothing but goddamned lunatics.

A whole lot of America deserves a swift kick in the nuts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:45 AM
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"The thing I resent the most about this administration is the way they've turned me into a nutbar conspiracy theorist."

You know, that line is sort of grimly amusing, but it also - looking at it now - has an awful lot of "don't make me into a dirty fucking hippie." I fucking hate that sentiment. Think what you think, and worry about who it associates you with later.

Also: brinksmanship, yes. I don't actually think that unprovoked war is likely by 01/20/09 (someone recently pointed out the vastly greater anti-Saddam propoganda apparatus in action for over a year before the invasion). But I do think that a majority of this government would love to have an excuse.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:51 AM
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A whole lot of America deserves a swift kick in the nuts.

You know, the fucking Pirates switched radio stations this season, and are now on the all-asshole, all-the-time Clear Channel station. Which means that things happen like me turning on the kitchen radio and hearing some asshole (I have no idea which one, but neither Limbaugh nor Hannity) ranting against HIllary for her anti-Bush ad. And he's fucking talking as if it goes without saying that A. Bush cares about Americans; B. Bush cares about US troops specifically, and C. Hillary is anti-American and anti-troop because she doesn't support Bush's anti-Constitutional power grabs. And it just fucking blows me away that so many people still bleet along in agreement to this.

This isn't "nobody I know voted for him;" I know they're still out there. But Christ, people, think for yourself for once. Stop writing thank-you notes to the Captain as you go down with his ship.

Fucking hate-filled idiots.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:56 AM
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Bah. There's a pretty vast gulf between "dirty hippie" and "conspiracy theorist." And inasmuch as the two overlap, it's the conspiracy theorist part that makes one want to distance oneself from the dirty hippies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:56 AM
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Fair enough. TNH certainly has had more experience with conspiracy theorists than I, and so her objection to the type is likely more specific and visceral. As I said, I just reread that line for the first time in a year to two, and it sounded to me not unlike those who are always quick to assert that their objection to Bush/the War/whatever isn't grounded in some sort of DFHdom.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:14 PM
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13: The surreal nature of the Bush years makes the prospect of sliding from justified paranoia into la-la land a very real one. Case in point: last night I found myself talking politics with a guy about Iran and the whole Middle East situation (just sort of a generic whitey hipster dude), and we started out generally agreeing... until he segued out of nowhere into talking about how the Rothschilds and the Illuminati used Mossad commandos to carry out the 9/11 attacks. There but for the grace of Bob...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:20 PM
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I've said other places, and may as well repeat here, that I think this is more about rhetoric than the AUMF. With the stroke of a pen, 'they'll give nucular weapons to the terrorists' changes from bedwettery to near certainty. (Noting that the head of the Guards is on the Iranian equivalent of the NSC).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:34 PM
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I have written a post about these very matters, which ends in a clever turn of phrase that somehow doesn't make up for the fact that we're completely fucked.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:23 PM
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If clever turns of phrase can't save us, then we are all DOOMED.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:28 PM
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Although it is, indeed, a pretty clever turn of phrase.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:29 PM
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Didn't the commander of the guards go walkabout in Turkey a while ago? Whatever happened to him?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:32 PM
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A clever turn of phrase indeed. I have wondered since 9/12 how calculated this administration has been about erasing the distinction between states and terrorists. The architects of the strategy include breathtakingly brazen liars like Perle as well as idiots like Feith, and plenty of others who are both in varying degrees. It generally makes sense to think that it's completely calculated, but I'm still doing my best not to be a full-on nutbar conspiracy theorist.

the fucking Pirates switched radio stations this season

JRoth, have you tried mlb.tv? You can get radio streams for all games from both home and away stations. Especially if you have a laptop and wireless internet, it might be worth it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:45 PM
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JRoth, have you tried mlb.tv? You can get radio streams for all games from both home and away stations. Especially if you have a laptop and wireless internet, it might be worth it.

That seems like an awful lot of work as I move from car to kitchen to shower, etc. But if they keep running offensive station promos, I may have no choice.

Actually, the in-game stuff is generally harmless, limited to station ID stuff; but for pre- and post-game, they really start plugging Beck and Hannity and a local asshole. What I've learned that's interesting, though, is that Sean Hannity has a voice made for print. Say what you will about Rush, he's sonorous; this guy sounds like Colmes looks. Have his listeners noticed this?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:31 PM
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Is it illegal to call for the assassination of the vice-president? I know it's illegal in the case of the president, but does it also apply to any member of the executive (or quantum) branch?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:34 PM
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until he segued out of nowhere into talking about how the Rothschilds and the Illuminati

I had a similar experience with a GWHD just the other day. It was unsettling. And not long after that, someone I would've sworn knew better tried to convince me that there is no legal requirement to pay federal income taxes. I think the craziness is catching.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:36 PM
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I do wonder if the thinking in '04 was that you shouldn't change horses mid-apocalypse (to paraphrase. or something.)


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:39 PM
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GWHD?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:52 PM
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Golly Wilbur, that's Heavy Dope.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:54 PM
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About the current mood, of the craziness catching, I prefer to think of it as a radical foolishness

Bonhoeffer thought—the essay "After Ten Years," in Letters and Papers from Prison— that this folly was a much greater danger than evil, and he was dealing with the real thing there:

...If we look more closely, we see that any violent display of power, whether political or religious, produces an outburst of folly in a large part of mankind; indeed, this seems actually to be a psychological and sociological law: the power of some needs the folly of the others. It is not that certain human capacities, intellectual capacities for instance, become stunted or destroyed, but rather that the upsurge of power makes such an overwhelming impression that [people] are deprived of their independent judgment, and— more or less unconsciously—give up trying to assess the new state of affairs for themselves. The fact that the fool is often stubborn must not mislead us into thinking that he is independent. One feels, in fact, when talking to him, that one is dealing, not with the man himself, but with slogans, catchwords and the like, which have taken hold of him. He is under a spell, he is blinded, his very nature is being misused and exploited. Having thus become a passive instrument, the fool will be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. Here lies the danger of a diabolical exploitation that can do irreparable damage to human beings.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:27 PM
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What if Rove is leaving because he's certain they're going to invade Iran and he's certain it will be a military and political disaster and he's jumping ship before it can stain him?

I am sincerely hopeful that those are crazy thoughts.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:34 PM
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31: Bob said so on Monday, B up in 3, here. Not crazy at all.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:36 PM
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Robust, I was talking to somebody today about Rove resigning, and I almost outlined what you suggest as a joke. As I opened my mouth to say it, I thought "how do I know it isn't true?"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:36 PM
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Hey, Sifu, what you doing posting about Iran at the Poor Man? They don't get you the way we do. They can never understand you. We're the only audience you'll ever need...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:43 PM
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31:I am not so certain it would be a political disaster for Republicans, and I said Rove was leaving because his skills as a campaigner will be more useful outside the WH in 2008. We will see what he does.

A War with Iran could be a disaster for Democrats at the Presidential level, tho. I don't how much more the base can take before it gets 1968 ugly.

Which is another reason I think Bush might do it, and early enough to affect the primary season.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:45 PM
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re: 24

Sean Hannity has a voice made for print

JRoth, nearly 3 years ago I recorded a piece of (rock-ish) music [recorded in a morning, just for kicks] for a recording collective I'm part of that specifically used Hannity's voice because it i) annoyed the fuck out of me and ii) talked such total shite.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:48 PM
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36: What a turd. Nice instrumentals, tho.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:26 PM
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"GWHD" = "generic whitey hipster dude."

IDP, thanks. That's a perfect description of how things have felt to me for the last several years and more so lately. I'm reminded of a quote I've seen attributed to Voltaire: "If you can be made to believe absurdities, you can be made to commit atrocities." Just this evening on CNN, Lou Dobbs was trumpeting news about "Iranian meddling" (and captioning the story thus).


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:45 PM
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34: great minds, eh? Here I thought that was my original idea when I had it this morning, and I've been pwned by everyone short of Joe Klein.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:49 PM
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Being pwned by Joe Klein is one of those stories ex-cons tell schoolchildren when they give those "Scared Straight" talks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:09 PM
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The conspiracy loons turn up on Guardian comment pages a lot, suggesting that someone hid 100 tons of TNT in the towers the week before etc. There's a theory that they're paid provocateurs, commissioned to associate anti-war posters with all-round nutters.


Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 7:15 AM
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Carrierwatch; currently fewer than at any time this year. Only one ship on station.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 7:24 AM
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I recently discovered that I knew this guy 30 years ago - that is, I knew I'd known him of course, but I hadn't realised what he'd turned into.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 7:34 AM
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Carrierwatch; currently fewer than at any time this year

Great! Where do you find the primary information?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:09 AM
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And where would our Democratic candidates be, then?

Laying the political groundwork for the coming war. I grasped the AUMF rationale for this move by the administration without having read it anywhere else because I'd just written a whole post about the unlikelihood of there being a Congressional authorization for an attack on Iran before it happens.

I agree with bob about the politics. There will be two carriers in the Gulf from early November for the next several months, so December and January will be a dangerous period. Most Americans will not rise up in anger, even though many will.


Posted by: Nell | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:28 PM
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Re carrier information: I keep an eye on the "where are the carriers?" site and also google for news stories about each one (which gives more timely and predictive info). My s.o.'s nephew is on one of them.


Posted by: Nell | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:31 PM
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@JRoth # : the vastly greater anti-Saddam propoganda apparatus in action for over a year before the invasion

They have almost thirty years of hating on the Iranian government going for them.

The shifting rationales have been being worked off and on for over a year, just not nonstop:
- Axis of Evil state of the union Jan 2002;

- periodic "nuclear crisis" moments -- a particularly strong surge in March-April 2006;

- anti-Israel, holocaust denial, and anti-semitic furors -- some reality-based and some whipped out of nothing (the zonnar smear, e.g.)

- a steady drumbeat of the latest casus belli, Iranian supply/funding/direction of attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq for the last six months.

Congress has bought into all these: in the "whereas" sections of the various sanctions bills that passed by near-unanimous margins, and in the recent unanimous Senate request, sponsored by Lieberman and four Republicans, to be "briefed" every 60 days from here on out the Iranian support for killing U.S. troops. There's another sanctions bill that will be considered immediately when Congress comes back from recess.

The Democrats have all supported the administration's rationales; their only argument is "we'll attack more competently" or, among the most liberal, "we'll give diplomacy a real chance."

Not one of the major candidates has explicitly renounced the doctrine of preventive war, wars of aggression.


Posted by: Nell | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:52 PM
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There is a much more frequently updated source here.

Note that three carriers are about to drop off the map; Stennis and Nimitz are due in the dockyard, and Kitty is soon to finish her summer trip. Against that, Enterprise is on station (the only carrier currently on duty), with Truman the next up, and Eisenhower and Roosevelt further back down the stack.

Must be strange having a navy that reads like an Unfogged sex thread.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 5:53 AM
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