Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Al Qaeda has become the catch-all phrase

* larisa on the bombing of somalia:
"Aside from all of that, Al Qaeda has become the catch-all phrase for every terrorist organization, when the actual Al Qaeda organization was hardly ever that large to begin with. Let's be clear, there are organizations that are far more dangerous, far more ingrained, far bigger in numbers, far better funded, and far better capable of carrying out massive murder. Al Qaeda is not the same thing as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nazi Muslims as they are known because of their close ties to Hitler. Nor is Al Qaeda the same thing as Gray Wolves, the Turkish neo-fascist terrorist organization that should be also of concern. Why are they not? Perhaps because both groups get their support and funding from our "friends." Yet all terrorist organization, no matter who they are or who is sponsoring them are being called Al Qaeda.

But even if we are actually hunting Al Qaeda, that particular organization, and if this administration is actually serious, then why did it take six years to bomb a country that may have some Al Qaeda elements? Why now? And why Somalia and not Pakistan? Why Iraq and not the UAE?"
* wsj:
"An internal Pentagon review of offices under former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, an official close to the investigation said.

Senate Democrats are awaiting the Defense Department’s report, which is being conducted by the Inspector General, to buttress their efforts to revive probes into the Bush administration’s use of pre-Iraq war intelligence. Some former U.S. officials have alleged that Feith’s Office of Special Plans oversold links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda in the run up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Democrats have also sought to examine allegations that members of Feith’s office had gone outside legal channels in conducting intelligence operations in Europe and Middle East. Lawrence Franklin, a Middle East expert who worked for Feith, pleaded guilty in 2005 to illegally provided intelligence to members of AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group, as well as to an Israeli diplomat."

* apparently the ISG asked everyone if they thought an escalation surge was a good idea. nobody did.

* Drum:
".According to the Baltimore Sun, "a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq." Apparently this battalion is about to become a key part of President Bush's surge strategy. However, the results in Afghanistan could be dire"

* clemons:
"Serious Israeli strategists know that the best way to hinder Iran is to (1) work to reduce the price of oil to undermine the economic basis of Iran's growing pretensions; (2) to work covertly to "stir up trouble" inside Iran among its own interest groups -- much like Iran is doing to the U.S. inside Iraq; and (3) to find ways to tacitly work with and recognize other power centers inside Iran rather than the relatively weak but hyperbolic President Ahmadinejad.

What Shtauber and other recent Israeli advocates of a strike against Iran are not discussing is that such a military strike is NOT against concrete and mortar facilities and warehouses storing centrifuges.

The strike would attempt to kill 5,000 to 6,000 of Iran's top tier nuclear engineer talent. To kill those approximately 6,000 people, many more will be injured and killed -- and that human nightmare will agitate huge cross sections of Iranian society far beyond any of the limited groups that have thus far supported Ahmadinejad.

A military strike of this sort would allow a total consolidation of power behind Ahmadinejad and rip power away from all other power centers inside Iraq.

What it would also do is create a massive "terrorist super-highway" stretching from Iran through Iraq, into Syria and permeating Jordan, overrunning Lebanon -- up to the edge of Israel.

Israel has smart people with substantial intelligence resources inside Iran. American and Israeli officials need to listen to them and think this through.

Bombing Iran could easily trigger the worst potential outcomes. There are other choices. The Saudis and Gulf states have suggested some ways to bring Iran down a notch.

The binary choice on Iran simply is not good enough -- but Bush & Co. don't seem to be doing anything substantial to generate an option other than acquiescing to Iran or bombing it."


«—U®Anu§—» said...
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«—U®Anu§—» said...

I screwed up,'s what it should say:

I've been interested in how Amerisrael planned to attack Iran. Chilling words from Robert Parry:

Most Washington observers have treated Bush's shake-up as either routine or part of his desire for a new team to handle his planned "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq. But intelligence sources say the personnel changes also fit with a scenario for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities and seeking violent regime change in Syria.
Bush's personnel changes also come as Israel is reported stepping up preparations for air strikes, possibly including tactical nuclear bombs, to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, such as the reactor at Anton, south of Tehran, where enriched uranium is produced.

The Sunday Times of London reported on Jan. 7 that two Israeli air squadrons are training for the mission and "if things go according to plan, a pilot will first launch a conventional laser-guided bomb to blow a shaft down through the layers of hardened concrete [at Natanz]. Other pilots will then be ready to drop low-yield one kiloton nuclear weapons into the hole."

I wonder just how many of these "low-yield one kiloton nuclear weapons" they're planning to "drop...into the hole." Remember, we were talking about 400 targets. And, I can't be the only person who finds this attack strategy cartoon-like; that is, so technically difficult as to have a high probability of failure, sort of like threading a needle with a cannon.

The Sunday Times wrote that Israel also would hit two other facilities - at Isfahan and Arak - with conventional bombs. But the possible use of a nuclear bomb at Natanz would represent the first nuclear attack since the United States destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of World War II six decades ago.
Negroponte's departure should give Bush a freer hand if he decides to support attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities. Bush's neocon advisers fear that if Bush doesn't act decisively in his remaining two years in office, his successor may lack the political will to launch a preemptive strike against Iran.

Bush reportedly has been weighing his military options for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities since early 2006. But he has encountered resistance from the top U.S. military brass, much as he has with his plans to escalate U.S. troop levels in Iraq.

As investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker, a number of senior U.S. military officers were troubled by administration war planners who believed "bunker-busting" tactical nuclear weapons, known as B61-11s, were the only way to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities buried deep underground.

A former senior intelligence official told Hersh that the White House refused to remove the nuclear option from the plans despite objections from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Whenever anybody tries to get it out, they're shouted down," the ex-official said. [New Yorker, April 17, 2006]

By late April 2006, however, the Joint Chiefs finally got the White House to agree that using nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, less than 200 miles south of Tehran, was politically unacceptable, Hersh reported.

"Bush and [Vice President Dick] Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning," one former senior intelligence official said. [New Yorker, July 10, 2006]

But one way to get around the opposition of the Joint Chiefs would be to delegate the bombing operation to the Israelis. Given Israel's powerful lobbying operation in Washington and its strong ties to leading Democrats, an Israeli-led attack might be more politically palatable with the Congress.

Great. I'd hoped they'd given up the insane idea of a nuclear attack, but apparently they haven't. I've developed a considerable kink in my back holding my body in the requisite position to kiss my ass goodbye.

noise said...

IMO, it isn't about nukes and Bush and Cheney aren't making the decision.

Conspiracy speculation...population reduction plan.

I remember reading articles that suggest Russia and China get drawn into the conflict. Throw in a possible economic collapse, martial law and terrrorist attacks.

lukery said...

uranus - thanks. frightening.

hope your back is ok.

Noise - i'm not sure who wins by 'population reduction' - mind you, i wouldn't mind some population reduction meself

noise said...

Too many lies. Too much secrecy. Maybe it's about the petrodollar.

I do know that our leaders have their bunkers (Continuity of Government) when the shit hits the fan (due to their policies). I'm sure the Rendon Group has their own suite as well.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I also liked reading this one by Chris Floyd; that is, I guess I liked it--all this cynical blood for oil stuff is a little depressing:

The reason that George W. Bush insists that "victory" is achievable in Iraq is not that he is deluded or isolated or ignorant or detached from reality or ill-advised. No, it's that his definition of "victory" is different from those bruited about in his own rhetoric and in the ever-earnest disquisitions of the chattering classes in print and online. For Bush, victory is indeed at hand. It could come at any moment now, could already have been achieved by the time you read this. And the driving force behind his planned "surge" of American troops is the need to preserve those fruits of victory that are now ripening in his hand.

At any time within the next few days, the Iraqi Council of Ministers is expected to approve a new "hydrocarbon law" essentially drawn up by the Bush administration and its UK lackey, the Independent on Sunday reported. The new bill will "radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors to the third-largest oil reserves in the world," says the paper, whose reporters have seen a draft of the new law. "It would allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil companies in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972." If the government's parliamentary majority prevails, the law should take effect in March.

As the paper notes, the law will give Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and other carbon cronies of the White House unprecedented sweetheart deals, allowing them to pump gargantuan profits from Iraq's nominally state-owned oilfields for decades to come. This law has been in the works since the very beginning of the invasion - indeed, since months before the invasion, when the Bush administration brought in Phillip Carroll, former CEO of both Shell and Fluor, the politically-wired oil servicing firm, to devise "contingency plans" for divvying up Iraq's oil after the attack. Once the deed was done, Carroll was made head of the American "advisory committee" overseeing the oil industry of the conquered land, as Joshua Holland of has chronicled in two remarkable reports on the backroom maneuvering over Iraq's oil: Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil and "The US Takeover of Iraqi Oil."

Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy says it's time for Congress to assert itself in limiting Bush's Middle East war effort.