More Wars?

GOPSeal Three weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, former U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions.

Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, ‘War and Decision’, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W. Bush on Sep. 30, 2001 calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing ‘new regimes’ in a series of states by ‘aiding local peoples to rid themselves of terrorists and to free themselves of regimes that support terrorism.’

In quoting from that document, Feith deletes the names of all of the states to be targeted except Afghanistan, inserting the phrase ‘some other states’ in brackets. In a facsimile of a page from a related Pentagon ‘campaign plan’ document, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes are listed as ‘state regimes’ against which ‘plans and operations’ might be mounted, but the names of four other states are blacked out ‘for security reasons’.

Gen. Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO bombing campaign in the Kosovo War, recalls in his 2003 book ‘Winning Modern Wars’ being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia.

Clark writes that the list also included Lebanon. Feith reveals that Rumsfeld’s paper called for getting ‘Syria out of Lebanon’ as a major goal of U.S. policy.

When this writer asked Feith after a recent public appearance which countries’ names were deleted from the documents, he cited security reasons for the deletion. But when he was asked which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, ‘All of them.’… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <IPS>

This is confirmation of a story I posted here in March, 2007. That story was the video of a statement by Gen. Clark, which I am reposting here:

McCain-redphoneNow we have confirmation from within the inner circle of the GOP Reich that Iraq was only part of a plan for world domination through military force. They made the US a rogue state, and all involved in their attempt to implement this plan should be tried as war criminals.

On the campaign trail, McBoomBoom has promised more wars. I submit to you that these are the wars.


All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

Advertisements

No Evidence of Iranian Support for Militias

Bush-Iran Iraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no “hard evidence” of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country.

Asked about reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: “We don’t have that kind of evidence… If there is hard evidence we will defend the country.”

Dabbagh said an Iraqi parliamentary delegation which visited Iran last week had useful discussions with authorities there and secured assurances of support and understanding of the crisis… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Yahoo News>

Bush, McBoomBoom and the GOP are fixing the intelligence around the policy, again.  They are trying to deceive the US public around the war.  Iran’s recent Nobel Laureate has a great take on this:

5Shirin Ebadi Shirin Ebadi wants Americans to do what they can to stop the Bush administration’s threats to bomb Iran as punishment for presumably making nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear weapons are not a daily concern of the people,” said Ebadi. “They want jobs; they want houses; they want health; they want more freedom.”

However, she predicted that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would whip up nationalistic support if Iran were forced into a face-off with the United States, just as it did when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. The invasion resulted in an eight-year war between the two countries.

Iranians may criticize their government, but if there is a military attack on Iran, they will defend their own country,” she said. “A government that is in danger from the outside will take any chance to accelerate nationalism inside the country.”

The lawyer, writer, teacher and former judge, became the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Iran… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

She makes an excellent point.  The more militant the US position on Iran, the less likelihood that more progressive Iranians can effect reforms within their country.  The McBoomBoom policy is McSame as the Bush policy: Bomb, bomb Iran.

Iran to Offer Proposals on Nuclear Program

29Irannuclear Iran discussed with Russia on Monday its proposals to defuse a nuclear row with the West, which accuses Tehran of seeking to build atomic bombs.

Iran said earlier this month it would unveil ideas to help end the dispute over its nuclear ambitions, which have prompted three rounds of U.N. sanctions since 2006 for its refusal to heed U.N. demands to halt sensitive uranium enrichment work.

But a senior Iranian official said Tehran would never negotiate over its right to nuclear technology, suggesting Iran is not willing to rein in its work in line with U.N. demands.

“Iran … has serious proposals regarding the nuclear issue, about what to do to minimize the nuclear threat around the world,” Jalili said without giving specifics about the package.

The proposals were discussed with Valentin Sobolev, acting secretary of Russia’s National Security Council, an Iranian official said. Further talks would be held on Tuesday, he added.

Jalili said the ideas addressed security and political issues and would underpin “talks among influential and major powers, and Iran as a major power in the region can play an important role.”

A senior diplomat in Europe said Iran had earlier proposed turning its Natanz enrichment complex into a multilateral operation to counter foreign fears of diversions to bombmaking there, and that this might be among Iran’s proposals… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Reuters>

While nothing Iran can say will be acceptable to Bush or stop McBoomBoom from singing Bomb Bomb Iran,  see this as a positive development.  I can understand Iran’s reluctance to choose technology that makes them dependent on the US for nuclear fuel, considering that out nation overthrew a democratically elected government in their nation and installed a cruel dictatorship, and considering the extreme extent of Crawford Caligula’s saber rattling.  I can also understand the West’s concern about nuclear proliferation.  If Iran’s proposals allay that concern, I will be pleased to see it.

McCain: “It’s Psychological”

20recession The Corporate Media spent a week attacking Obama for saying some rural voters might be “bitter” over the loss of economic opportunities.

By that measure, it certainly is worth a month of TV time to analyze John McCain’s claim that the recession is “psychological,” and the cure is a summer holiday from the $.18 federal gasoline tax.

I’m very concerned about it, Neil. And obviously the way it’s been going up is just terrible. But I think psychologically — and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological — the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. This might give them a little psychological boost. Let’s have some straight talk, it’s not a huge amount of money.

According to the latest ABC/WaPo poll, 90% of Americans think the economy is going south. Did 90% of Americans suddenly lose their minds, or did the economy … turn south?… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Democrats.com>

mccain3 OK, McConJob!  Lets have some straight talk.

That the distribution of income in the US is the most inequitable it has been since 1928, and the distribution of wealth, the most inequitable it has ever been is NOT psychological.  That more Americans are homeless, unemployed, without health care and/or without enough to eat than ever before is NOT psychological.  That we cringe every time we see huge price increases for our food, fuel and medicine is NOT psychological.  That our currency is falling to record lows is NOT psychological.

In contrast, that you have placed yourself on both sides of virtually every issue IS psychological.  That you cannot learn basic facts IS psychological.  That you voted for torture IS psychological. That you gleefully sang “Bomb Bomb Iran” in a public meeting IS psychological.  That you cannot hold your temper IS psychological.

That’s straight talk, McNutCase!

Bush: Stay the Course

bushmilitarydolt President Bush ordered an indefinite suspension yesterday of troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer but promised that the war “is not endless” as he braced for a new election-year showdown with Congress over the conflict’s economic cost and long-term future.

With Bush effectively freezing troop levels at 140,000 in August, Congress moved to challenge him on two fronts. Democratic leaders prepared to amend war-funding legislation to limit his options and to direct money to domestic priorities, while lawmakers from both parties took on his plan to sign a strategic agreement with Iraq that would outlast his presidency.

The decision to accept Army Gen. David H. Petraeus’s plan to halt withdrawals after the extra combat brigades that were sent last year depart in July means that Bush probably will bequeath his successor a force about as large as it has been for most of the past five years. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he has given up hope of scaling back to 100,000 troops in Iraq by the end of 2008, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker indicated that he expects the war to last several more years

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Gee! What a surprise that Bush is adopting the plan he gave his his sycophant toy general to parrot for him! If this sounds like a broken record, here’s why.

bush-missionaccomplished This morning, speaking from the White House, the president boasted, “American and Iraqi forces have made significant progress” in Iraq. It got me thinking, haven’t we heard that phrase before in relation to Iraq?

  • White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on October 27, 2003: “In the north and south [of Iraq], we have made significant progress.”
  • President Bush on November 13, 2004: “Fighting together, our forces have made significant progress in the last several days.”
  • President Bush on June 28, 2005: “In the past year, we have made significant progress.”
  • Vice President Cheney on October 19, 2006: “[W]e’ve made significant progress.”
  • President Bush on February 23, 2007: ” I think we have made significant progress in Iraq.”

Indeed, it’s a phrase the White House has used to describe events in Iraq several hundred times over the last five years. I can’t imagine why anyone would be skeptical about the claim now…[emphasis original]

Inserted from <The Carpetbagger Report>

I suppose you can say a car is making progress, even if it is never shifted out of reverse. But there is a far greater concern, one that the MSM has failed to mention.

In his speech on Thursday, Bush wasted little time before getting to the ominous subject of Iran.

Bush-Iran Time and time again, he lumped the alleged threat from Iran in the same breadth [sic] as the one from Al Qaeda, once again fusing enemies in the minds of the American people.

“Serious and complex challenges remain in Iraq, from the presence of Al Qaeda to the destructive influence of Iran,” he said, even before declaring that the surge has “renewed and revived the prospect of success.”

A little later, he said, “Iraq is the convergence point for two of the greatest threats to America in this new century: Al Qaeda and Iran.” (Bush has now elevated Iran over China as the looming threat of the century!)

And in the next paragraph, he said, “If we succeed in Iraq after all that Al Qaeda and Iran have invested there, it would be a historic blow to the global terrorist movement and a severe setback for Iran.”

Al Qaeda-Iran, Al Qaeda-Iran, Al Qaeda-Iran. That is the chant emanating from the White House.

But Bush was not content to be subtle about his belligerence toward Iran.

Listen to the saber rattle:

“The regime in Tehran also has a choice to make,” Bush said. “It can live in peace with its neighbor, enjoy strong economic and cultural and religious ties. Or it can continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups, which are terrorizing the Iraqi people and turning them against Iran. If Iran makes the right choice, America will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq. Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests, and our troops, and our Iraqi partners.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Progressive>

Bush is itching to start another war, and McBoomBoom is his chief cheerleader.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

The Toy General and the Crock

9betcrock Gen. David Petraeus dashed hopes Tuesday that the U.S. could start significant troop withdrawals from Iraq any time soon, drawing the ire of legislators as he suggested that there would still be 100,000 troops there until the end of the Bush administration.

Seven months after telling Congress that he would offer a plan for reducing the troop presence, the general instead recommended a halt in troop withdrawals after roughly 30,000 troops sent as part of a buildup leave this summer, followed by at least 45 days to consider any further pullbacks. The situation, he said, was too tenuous to do more than that.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was among the Democrats who decried Petraeus’ recommendation as an open-ended commitment. Meanwhile, many Republican senators countered that a precipitous drawdown would undercut the gains from the U.S. troop buildup…

…Under questioning, Petraeus said there was “no mathematical equation” for withdrawing troops, and he repeatedly called the situation “fragile and reversible.”…

But they also were forced to acknowledge that the flawed Iraqi-led offensive in the mostly Shiite city of Basra showed that the Shiite-dominated south is on the precipice of an intra-sectarian war.

The Iraqi military all but collapsed within days of fighting rebel groups there, quashing hopes that the forces could soon take over security of their communities.

Moreover, violence has been rising in the capital. Twelve U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since Sunday, most of them in Baghdad province. And civilian deaths in Baghdad are rising, from 172 in February to 211 in March, according to statistics compiled by McClatchy… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Seattle Times>

In a nutshell, the position put forward by Petraeus and Crocker is that they could not predict when we could withdraw troops and they could not even define a set of conditions under which troops could be withdrawn. It was a statement that they don’t know what it is, but they will know it when they see it. I think they were afraid to set parameters, because every time they have, they’ve had to return with a new line of BS.

They claimed that our most powerful enemy in Iraq is Al Qaeda and also claimed to have cut AQI’s resources in Iraq by nearly 90%. That is pure bull. When we invaded there was no AQI. A handful of local Sunni insurgents declared allegiance and receives support from some foreign fighters. At their strongest AQI never had more that 3,000 to 5,000 fighters. Their strength remains about the same today. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument only, that AQI is 90% wiped out. If that is true, the betrayer and the crock are claiming that a force of 300 – 500 guys is the most powerful enemy we face there. BEEP! BEEP!! BEEP!!! Listen to the sound of the Ka-shit detector going off.

They also claimed that Maliki was going after armed criminal groups when he struck Basra. I documented thoroughly HERE that Maliki was really going after Al Sadr because of the upcoming elections. They downplayed the failure and tried to paint it as a political success. They also tried to connect it to Iran. While it is true that all the Shia militia’s receive support from Iran, they failed to note that the one that receives the most Iranian support is the Badr Brigade, the militia connected to Maliki’s party. It was completely disingenuous for the betrayer and the crock to try to identify Al Sadr with Iranian influence, when Al Sadr is a nationalist, and Iran has more influence on Maliki.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were more low key that I would have liked. Both stated support for a responsible, not precipitous, withdrawal. Both asked relevant questions. Neither really went after Petraeus and Crocker. Senator Feingold and McCaskill did much better.

Representing the Reich, Joe LIEberman was the most extreme.

9liebermanworships …But Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) thinks that all too much emphasis has been put on the caveats. Clearly criticizing the questioning by Democrats today, Lieberman said that “there’s a kind of hear no progress in Iraq, see no progress in Iraq, and most of all, speak of no progress in Iraq.”

Lieberman, at least, sees no harm in overstating the progress in Iraq: “The Iraqi political leadership has achieved a lot more political reconciliation and progress since September than the American political leadership has.”

Finally, he seemed to indicate that if only Democrats would accept the clear success of the surge, we “can move to more success so we can bring more of our troops home.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <TPM>

Has he been drinking the Kool-Aid or what? Note the picture of LIEberman at worship.

Then there was McBoomBoom. Here’s part of what he had to say:

mccain2 …Because the U.S. did not “choose to retreat,” we now have a successful strategy in Iraq, the surge. And although “much more needs to be done… today it is possible to talk with real hope and optimism about the future of Iraq…. Success is within reach.”

If we pull out, he said, Iraq might descend into genocide and become a haven for terrorists and even “draw us into a far more costly war” as a result. “Congress must not choose to lose in Iraq,” he concluded, we “should choose instead to succeed.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <TPM>

As usual, McBoomBoom remained clueless about what is going on there.

mccain3 During today’s hearing with Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) questioned Petraeus on what he called “the major threat” of al Qaeda in Iraq. Coming on the heels of his recent confusion over the nature of al Qaeda, McCain today seemed to refer to al Qaeda as a “sect of Shi’ites”:

MCCAIN: Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?

PETRAEUS: It is still a major threat, though it is certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago.

MCCAIN: Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shi’ites overall?

PETREAUS: No.

… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Earth to McBoomBoom! Hello? Is anyone home? Al Qaeda is still Sunni!!

All in all, this was quite a show. Someone else did an excellent review of this BS session and I’ll close by sharing that with you. Here is Keith Olbermann.

And here is part 2:

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Maliki’s New Power Grab

7sadr Iraq’s prime minister raised the stakes in his showdown with followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, saying in an interview broadcast on Monday they would be barred from elections unless their militia disbands.

The comments followed an offensive by government forces into the cleric’s Baghdad stronghold, the Shi’ite slum of Sadr City, in which heavy fighting returned to the capital after a week of relative calm when Sadr called his militiamen off the streets.

“A decision was taken … that they no longer have a right to participate in the political process or take part in the upcoming elections unless they end the Mehdi Army,” Maliki said in an interview with CNN, according to a report posted on the U.S. television network’s Web site.

Maliki’s threat to drive Sadr’s millions of supporters out of the political process heightens tensions in a conflict that has divided Iraq’s Shi’ite majority and led to the worst fighting since extra U.S. troops arrived last year.

Sadr’s followers are due this year to participate for the first time in elections for powerful provincial government posts that control the southern half of the country — and are widely expected to oust less-popular Shi’ite parties that back Maliki… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Yahoo News>

On March 30, I posted the following HERE., about Maliki’s failed attack in Basra:

This has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or sectarian violence. It’s a struggle between Shia militia’s, the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigade. Maliki is trying to consolidate then power of his faction over that of Al Sadr.

Despite support from US troops the attack failed, partially because over 1,000 Iraqi troops deserted.

This confirms what I said. Maliki cannot defeat Al Sadr in the upcoming provincial elections, so he is doing whatever he can to hang onto power, with GOP support, because with Maliki out of power, Bush, McConJob and the GOP will probably not be able to grab either the oil or the permanent bases they crave.

Meanwhile, on the McConJob front:

McCain-redphone Appearing on Fox News Sunday this morning Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeated the false claim that Muqtada al-Sadr declared the ceasefire in Basra last week, which he pointed to as proof that Sadr didn’t “think he was winning” the battle in Basra. He also said that the Iraqi army performed “pretty well”:

It was al-Sadr that declared the ceasefire, not Maliki. … With respect, I don’t think Sadr would have declared the ceasefire if he thought he was winning. Most times in history, military engagements, the winning side doesn’t declare the ceasefire. The second point is, overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. … The military is functioning very effectively.

Watch it:

[YouTube=”http://www.youtube.com/v/gEF3Ld84CP0&hl=en”]

In fact, it was members of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government who brokered the ceasefire, to which Sadr agreed. Experts agree that Sadr’s influence was strengthened — rather than diminished — by the Basra battle

Inserted from <Think Progress>

As with all things pertaining to this war, not to mention virtually everything else, McBoomBoom is completely clueless.

It will be interesting to watch Bush’s toy general spin this failure and Maliki’s threat to disenfranchise millions of his fellow Shia as progress toward reconciliation.

Of this we can be certain. If Maliki follows through on his threat, there is no way Al Sadr will put up with it.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus