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Sy Hersh is UP in The New Yorker… 25 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Seymour Hersh.
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   photo from Common Dreams 

A snip from The New Yorker [thanks to Madman for the email!]

[I]n the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction. At least four main elements were involved, the U.S. government consultant told me. First, Israel would be assured that its security was paramount and that Washington and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states shared its concern about Iran.

Second, the Saudis would urge Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian party that has received support from Iran, to curtail its anti-Israeli aggression and to begin serious talks about sharing leadership with Fatah, the more secular Palestinian group. (In February, the Saudis brokered a deal at Mecca between the two factions. However, Israel and the U.S. have expressed dissatisfaction with the terms.)

The third component was that the Bush Administration would work directly with Sunni nations to counteract Shiite ascendance in the region.

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah. The Saudi government is also at odds with the Syrians over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, in Beirut in 2005, for which it believes the Assad government was responsible. Hariri, a billionaire Sunni, was closely associated with the Saudi regime and with Prince Bandar. (A U.N. inquiry strongly suggested that the Syrians were involved, but offered no direct evidence; there are plans for another investigation, by an international tribunal.) [snip]

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UPDATE, 12:10 pm

The CNN/Late Edition interview iwth Hersh is up in transcripts… You have to wade thru al Rubaie, then Madeleine Albright (shiver) and Kissinger (double shiver) to get to Hersh, here is a snip:

[S]o I think if it goes, and one doesn’t know, it is going to — you know, I have been writing the same story for a year, sort of like I would call up my friends and say, it is Chicken Little, you know, the sky is falling, in the last year. And now, obviously, it seems to be much more serious. It is much more intent.

My own instinct is, Wolf, that this president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran. And he could always negotiate, it’s always on the table. And he keeps on refusing to negotiate. He keeps on saying he will not. And he keeps on talking tough.

And maybe we just have to really listen to what he is saying. And I don’t know what can stop him because he is president. [snip]

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Comments»

1. outofwater - 25 February 2007

Tags in the Bob Johnson tell the story, for now:

Tags: socialist, urban legend (all tags)

2. earth to meg - 25 February 2007

LOL. I just went over and took a look at that diary. The word “socialist” was removed from the tags. It’s now “urban legend” and “urban myth.”

He was out of his league in that diary. The last posts by ?Spit and ?vlabor took him down, essentially. Johnson belongs to a union, my ass. He didn’t know what he was talking about. This guy is anti-union to the core.

3. Sabrina Ballerina - 25 February 2007

Funny, that’s what it sounded like Earth to Meg, an urban myth. I’m surprised that a bevy of FPers weren’t in that diary demanding ‘links’ and ‘back-up’ and calling it ‘nonsense’ – lol! But then we know that the diary rules, made up as they go along, only apply to the ‘others’.

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.

Great, more assassinations and violence. As if it has worked so far.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 February 2007
5. tipsymcstagger - 25 February 2007

Strange goings on. Back in December, WaPost ran an article claiming that Cheney was the driving force behind an effort to tilt the US strategy in Iraq in favor of the Shiites. Now, from Hersh, we are essentially being told that Cheney is leading the clandestine wing of an operation to support Sunni interests across the region as a counterbalance to the growing power of Shiites engendered by the power shift in Iraq.

I guess I could see someone having a fundamental change of opinion in three months, but only so long as that someone was not Dick Cheney. It could also be argued that Cheney is shooting for separate strategies in and outside of Iraq, but the Hersh piece emphasizes the implications of this “sea change” for the dynamics within Iraq, suggesting that there is not such a neat division.

Not sure what to believe here.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 February 2007

Found this link via Real History Lisa at BMT:

“An American Strike on Iran is Essential for Our Existence”
AIPAC Demands “Action” on Iran

The American people are now inclined to distrust claims made by nameless officials about Quds Force-provisioned IEDs and EFPs, etc., supposedly smuggled by “meddling” Iranians into Iraq. Unfortunately the Congress dominated by Democrats elected in a popular expression of antiwar sentiment has not taken a firm stance against an attack on Iran based on lies. Maybe given the nature of the power structure it simply can’t.

Giraldi matter-of-factly sums up the unfortunate politics of situation.

“The recent formation of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus should. . . .be noted as well as AIPAC’s highlighting of the threat from Iran at its 2006 convention in Washington, an event that featured Vice President Dick Cheney as keynote speaker. More recently, Senator Hillary Clinton addressed an AIPAC gathering in New York City. Neither was shy about threatening Iran. AIPAC’s formulation that the option of force ‘must remain on the table’ when dealing with Iran has been repeated like a mantra by numerous politicians and government officials, not too surprisingly as AIPAC writes the briefings and position papers that many Congressmen unfortunately rely on.”

In other words, the American Israel Political Action Committee is the main political force urging—indeed, demanding—U.S. action. That’s the AIPAC already under scrutiny for receiving classified information about Iran from Lawrence Franklin, former Defense Department subordinate of Douglas Feith. (That’s the neocon Feith who supervised the Office of Special Plans—headed by Abram Shulsky, the neocon specialist on Leo Strauss who currently heads up the Iran Directorate at the Pentagon—that shamelessly cherry-picked intelligence to support the Iraq attack. That’s the Franklin who worked in the OSP, and was sentenced last month to 13 years in prison. Feith has not been indicted on any charge and continues to insist in defiance of reason and even a Pentagon internal investigation finding it “inappropriate” that his office’s disinformation project was “good government.” Small wonder Gen. Tommy Franks, formerly head of the U.S. Central Command, famously called Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.” Congressional investigations are just now getting underway into Feith’s role in facilitating the invasion of Iraq.)

That’s the AIPAC embarrassed by the indictment of its policy director Steven Rosen and senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman for illegally conspiring to pass on classified national security information to Israel. Despite the already intimate ties between Israeli and U.S. intelligence (documented by Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski among others) it seems the Israelis felt obliged to spy on the Pentagon to learn just how inclined the Americans were to oblige them by attacking Iran.

Now, as Israeli calls for a U.S. attack on Iran become more shrill by the day, AIPAC recognizes that the American people profoundly distrust Vice President Cheney and the nest of neocon liars he has sheltered. The Bush-Cheney war machine has been pretty well exposed, and that must worry the warmongers within the group. Israeli Defense Force chief artillery officer Gen. Oded Tira has griped that “President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran,” adding that since “an American strike in Iran is essential for [Israel's] existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iran issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.” Tira urges the Lobby to turn to “potential presidential candidates. . . so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran,” while Uri Lubrani, senior advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors that the US “does not understand the threat and has not done enough,” and therefore “must be shaken awake.”

7. missdevore - 25 February 2007

the pic with a cross to the left of Hersh–better preaching!

mctipsystagger–are you ambassador?

all: please czech out an entirely new writer to the b-sphere, Nuzorro, whose site “Bullpen” is on my blogroll at Je blague. Haven’t been able to explain the crosspost thang to him.

rain,sun,overcast in the South Bay.

8. NYCee - 25 February 2007

“AIPAC demands action on Iran”

Reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s response to a question as to whether or not he thinks a Democratic Congress will achieve peace in the middle east.

His answer was blunt.

“No.”

Was from a clip played by Stephanopoulis, today, from a panel Carter was on yesterday.

Carter then told Stephanopoulis that there may be a handful in Congress who will speak up for taking “a more balanced positon on the ME” but from what he sees there is nothing there to make the change, they are scared of being called antisemitic, as he has; it is political suicide even to call for the debate.

And there we have it … another slim installment eeked out from the extremely thin volume of Voices from the Third Rail, voiced on this occasion by Jimmy Carter.

Bravo, Jimmy Carter. Bravo.

9. arcturus1 - 25 February 2007

Foreign devils in the Iranian mountains, by M K Bhadrakumar:

Indeed, Tehran is used to the US stratagem. Sponsoring terrorist activities inside Iran has been a consistent feature of US regional policy over the past quarter-century. Tehran seems to have anticipated the current wave. Last May, in a nationwide television address, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad accused Iran’s “enemies” of stoking the fires of ethnic tensions within Iran. He vowed that the Iranian nation would “destroy the enemy plots”.

A Washington conference last year brought together representatives of Iranian Kurdish, Balochi, Ahvazi, Turkmen and Azeri organizations with the aim of forming a united front against the Tehran regime. An influential US think-tank, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), went a step further and prepared a report from the neo-conservative perspective on what a Yugoslavia-like federated Iran would look like.

John Bradley, an author on the Persian Gulf, has written in the current issue of The Washington Quarterly magazine that Balochistan province is “particularly crucial for Iran’s national security as it borders Sunni Pakistan and US-occupied Afghanistan … In fact, the Sunni Balochi resistance could prove valuable to Western intelligence agencies with an interest in destabilizing the hardline regime in Tehran.”

Bradley added, “The United States maintained close contacts with the Balochis till 2001, at which point it withdrew support when Tehran promised to repatriate any US airmen who had to land in Iran as a result of damage sustained in combat operations in Afghanistan. These contacts could be revived to sow turmoil in Iran’s southeastern province and work against the ruling regime.”

Bradley revealed that US policymakers are taking a great interest lately in Iran’s internal ethnic politics, “focusing on their possible impact on the Iranian regime’s long-term stability as well as impact on its short-term domestic and foreign policy choices”. He specifically cited a classified research project sponsored by the US Department of Defense that is examining the depth and nature of ethnic grievances in Iran’s plural society.

“The Pentagon is especially interested in whether Iran is prone to a violent fragmentation along the same kinds of faultlines that are splitting Iraq and that helped to tear apart the Soviet Union with the collapse of communism,” Bradley wrote.

CS (consistent strategy?) or CT?

10. NYCee - 25 February 2007

Iran+AIPAC+Dems. And what Sy is saying. And RealHistoryLisa.

Color me ill at ease.

11. js paine - 25 February 2007

sy
is grand but he hasn’t found much
concrete to add to his persian gulf alerts
in a year or so –as he suggests himself —-

this iran biz strikes me as a huge inflamed corn
on uncle’s ….imaginary third foot

not gonna get tended to folks…

sure I like the notion
white house walls are covered by motivational posters
saying :

‘ Iran or bust ‘

i just don’t buy it

and yet by 09
i suspect more then a few
do nothing peace fraudsters
among the congo dems
will be claiming
gladly :
” a catastrophe has been averted.”

and mostly because
they have been vigilent stalwart nyetski saying
stand up guyz

okay….
next diversion please

——————————–

—-out of iraq ….
NOW

out of the middle east….
TOMORROW —–

—————————-

12. missdevore - 25 February 2007

NYCee-interesting to hear that Carter thinks Gore is most qualified for the prezidency–does he think only a Dem presidency will do it, if the Congress won’t? Would like to know where Gore is on I/P.

Dems need to know how to run on 3 rails. It is insane to go business as usual on I/P. As insane as contemplating war with Iran.

13. NYCee - 25 February 2007

I guess it is time to crank out some more cranky emails to my sub paygrade senators and rep –

Dear Hill, Chuck, Carolyn:

NO Iran attack. NONE. We are not falling for it.

Sick and tired, still, of the AIPAC pandering. STOP IT.

And President (yes, I will say PRESIDENT) Carter is RIGHT about y/our behavior on the ME. Everyone in the world, and increasingly, the American populace knows this is true. You wrongly and dangerously support the imbalanced view, the AIPAC fed view, and it is hurting AMERICANS, as well as Israelis and, finally, the Palestinians. You are blundering in this regard, as all of you did with the IWR vote and support for preventive war.

STOP!

Sincerely,

NYCee

(Er, something to that effect.)

14. arcturus1 - 25 February 2007

carter & gore have already proven their incompetence haven’t they? I mean, who cares?

15. ms_xeno - 25 February 2007

Carter will always be a team player to the end. I suppose we should be grateful for his re-examination of the I/P situation and not expect any more miracles from him so far as breaking the bounds of a stifling political orthodoxy. :/

When I see that sort of attitude from folks half or a third his age, it’s much more troubling to me. And it’s everywhere. We lose over and over again in what they claim must forever be a “winner-take-all system,” and they are vicious to anyone who dares to try and change to course of the stream. A hundred times more vicious than the Republicans bother to be with their own “extreme” wing. The GOP buys off its “extremists,” throws them sops and compensations here and there. The DP tears its “extremists” to shreds, after picking their pockets and mining their votes– once it’s clear that hollow grandstanding doesn’t work for everyone on the ground the way that it used to. Then they whine about how they can’t get all the votes counted, and accept assistance from groups like the Green Party as their god-given right. But there is never any gratitude for the outsiders that try to help voters in the face of the DP’s self-inflicted wounds, only more contempt, more shakedowns, more abuse.

But Carter will have nothing to say about that. No point in waiting up.

16. arcturus1 - 25 February 2007

byup. be grateful for the openings carter & gore provide. but they’re not the answer.

17. NYCee - 25 February 2007

missdevore:

Well, here’s my take:massive people power is needed, first and foremost. Congress, leaders need a huge push, as they are stuck and where they are stuck is way way behind – and no pol will dare touch that third rail unless he/she feels the hot licks of massive popular support at his arse.

Gore has been pretty quiet on this front. Gore was along with Clinton, who wasnt too bad, but he certainly was too late. Now, AIPAC has had six plus years to get more emboldened and entrenched, with the neoconned majority in power, Im afraid. Congress, which doesnt fight them when weaker, can only be more cowed by them when they are stronger.

Given this, Gore, who hasnt done much third railing, will really need to get vocal, get smart and get tough on this issue (mastodon, center of nation, USA) if he does decide to jump in the race. Toute suite. If he were prez, he would just have to make his bud, Carter, an envoy, have to. That would be third rail in itself, of course, which means good for the peace process. (Even before Carter’s “inflammatory” book, he was forced off candidate Kerry’s list of possible brokers. A slight and swift pinky, not arm twist. Kerry folded like an envelope).

Again, they will need to be supported by massive emails, protests.

Think DK netrootzia inc will mobilize this? Have the forsight, get in the forefront? I dont think I even saw a mention of Carter’s book on the front page, but then, I dont check it out much. Just a feeling I have, backed up by prior (disappointing) experience.

It will have to come from other net and grass roots mass action. But it must happen, or I am afraid we are in for more of this miserable status quo.

18. marisacat - 25 February 2007

Well to be frank, people who give to the Democratic party without being aware, and all of the Dems who wnt to sleep during Clinton deserve to be taken. By now. The signs are unmistakable.

On some things Carter tried, from wtihin his world. Like the book. Frankly I think a lot about the towel snap that Conyers ran on the book from before it was published. Completely safe seat…. but he had to attack the title of the book. As he crumpled to Nancy’s whip. I mean, get real COnyers. Dealt himself out.

As far as I will go on Carter, on some things he tried.. And Roselynn knows more about health care, us and globally, then Hillary could ever be really bothered to learn.

Whoever is going to be elected is going to come from a already select group, even if they do navigate 73 – 76 as Carter did, running a quiet semi insurgency, going alone a lot of the way…. But of course he is within the mold.

I am sorry I jsut don’t see anything right now on the screen that is indicative of any real change. No real insurgent, no real independent. ALL of the rhetoric, including Nader, is old – or so long ago muted that it is not worth my lifting my head (even tho I pay attention). Endless retread work.

It will require someone who can break thru.

19. New Fake Name - 25 February 2007

Here’s a nice creepy part from that Hersh-Blitzer interview:

And in looking into that story — and I saw him in December — I found this. That we have been pumping money, a great deal of money, without Congressional authority, without any Congressional oversight — Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia is putting up some of this money — for covert operations in many areas of the Middle East where we think that the — we want to stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence.

They call it the “Shiite Crescent.” And a lot of this money, and I can’t tell you with absolute assurance how, exactly when and how, but this money has gotten into the hands, among other places, in Lebanon, into the hands of three, at least three jihadist groups.

There’s three Sunni jihadist groups whose main claim to fame inside Lebanon right now is that they are very tough. These are people connected to al Qaida who want to take on Hezbollah. So this government, at the minimum, we may not directly be funneling money to them, but we certainly know that these groups exist.

My government, which arrests al Qaida every place it can find them and sends — some of them are in Guantanamo and other places, is sitting back while the Lebanese government we support, the government of Prime Minister Siniora, is providing arms and sustenance to three jihadist groups whose sole function seems to me and to the people that talk to me in our government, to be there in case there is a real shoot-‘em-up with Hezbollah and we really get into some sort of serious major conflict between the Sunni government and Hezbollah, which is largely Shia, who are basically — as you know, there is a coalition headed by Hezbollah that is challenging the government right now, demonstrations, sit-ins. There has been some violence.

So America, my country, without telling Congress, using funds not appropriated, I don’t know where, but my sources believe much of the money obviously came from Iraq, where there’s all kinds of piles of loose money, pools of cash that could be used for covert operations.

All of this should be investigated by Congress, by the way, and I trust it will be. In my talking to the membership, members there, they are very upset that they know nothing about this. And they have great many suspicions.

We are simply in a situation where this president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11, and we should be arresting these people rather than looking the other way…

So let’s see if I understand what Hersh say’s is going on here: Cheney-Bush is covertly funding at least three Al Qaeda jihadi groups, thru Saudi middlemen, to attack Hezbullah in Lebanon.

Gee, it makes one wonder how many other Al Qaeda operations Cheney-Bush have set up thru Saudi middlemen and bankrolled in the Past 6.5 years??

20. ms_xeno - 25 February 2007

Mcat:

…It will require someone who can break thru.

Someone(s), damnit !! :D

21. NYCee - 25 February 2007

Alexander Cockburn alert, for those so inclined.

He will be the guest on Cspan’s Q & A at 8:00 PM tonight. Cspan 1. It gives, as topic, just “Rumsfeld” in my Time-Warner on-screen guide.

22. JJB - 25 February 2007

Just read that Bob Johnson diary. It’s a variation on a story I can remember hearing and reading for a very long time, 25 years or more. Sometimes it’s a bakery, sometimes a bookstore, any sort of establishment that can fall under the Mom and Pop label. In fact, I do remember reading about one such real incident in NYC in a Village Voice article, so this sort of thing actually does happen from time to time, but I don’t believe Johnson’s. It’s too pat and frankly, there’s no reason he can’t provide details like the name of the bakery, where it was located, etc. It reads like Astroturf of the sort that was constantly issued during the Reagan years, in fact I have a vague (possibly inaccurate) memory of RR relating just such a sad, no doubt bogus tale.

23. NYCee - 25 February 2007

Also, another TV view, clipped from the far fringe.

Cspan, Washington Journal, MANANA (that’s Monday) at 7:30 AM, guest will be the ultra scary peacenik Dem candidate for prez, Mike Gravel.

Im looking forward to hearing from him a bit more. I hope he articulates well the common sense and moral case for antiwarmongering.

Considering what we normally hear, this is NOT it. Done RARE. From his speech at the DNC winter mtg this month:

~snip~

History teaches us that nations fail when leaders fail their people. The decision to invade Iraq without provocation and fraudulently sold to the American people, by a President consumed with messianic purpose, sadly confirms this lesson of history.

The Democrats controlled the Senate on October 11, 2002 and provided political cover for George Bush to invade Iraq. The Senate leadership could have refused to even take up the resolution, or a few Senators who opposed it could have mounted a filibuster.

But the fear of opposing a popular warrior President on the eve of a mid-term election prevailed. Political calculations trumped morality, and the Middle East was set ablaze. The Democrats lost in the election anyway, but the American people lost even more. It was Politics as Usual.

Given the extreme importance of any decision to go to war, and I am anguished to say this, it’s my opinion that anyone who voted for the war on October 11––based on what President Bush represented––is not qualified to hold the office of President.

Political leaders must bring two qualities to any public office: political integrity and moral judgment.

If political calculations trump morality and occasion substantial loss of human life, it reveals the sense of moral responsibility these candidates are likely to bring to the office of President.

Saying “I would not have voted for the resolution if I had known the mess it would create”––or worse, saying “the decision was right but Bush botched the job”––is inadequate rationale for a person who may hold the most powerful political position in the world. Presidents have moral responsibility for the life and death of millions of people.

Politics as Usual is not acceptable for the presidency.

24. marisacat - 25 February 2007

paine, I would be a skeptic, but for Bush.

And it just stands to reason, he wants to use a nuclear bomb if he can before leaving office. For one, it has danced around in most if not all administrations.

He knows that his spot in history is hard wired, forever, if he does that. Right now he is set, but not as set in concrete for history…

So much of war, for America, is display. When Dayan went to Vietnam in the late sixties, that was his take, we waged war to remind the world… thsi is who we are. Don’t bother us.

I would guess that in their mind (not mine, but theirs) a similar time.

And of course they are all friggin’ nutters.

25. marisacat - 25 February 2007

I agree his rhetoric is very very good. For one thing Granny D would not be with him. (if you can believe it Granny D used to post diaries – not many, but a few – at Kos)

But how long can he carry it, right now the most select of select are hearing him.

All speed to him, and i Hope he can hold on for 6 months or more.

26. NYCee - 25 February 2007

Well, “someone/s” starts with social movements, the people en masse.

While that humongous pointillist (millions of people as points) painting is yet to hang a huge mural in the sky, I am only appreciative of Jimmy Carter willing to be there, virtually alone among elected officials present and past in speaking (third rail) truth to power on addressing (sanely) the mideast peace process. He was also involved in the Geneva Convention talks in 2004.

27. NYCee - 25 February 2007

that’s right, granny d was there for Gravel at the winter mtg, I believe. nice.

28. NYCee - 25 February 2007

Jesus Christ, Bob Johnson, thanks for the warning about union action killing small businesses. (So timely! So relevant!) It’s not small shops’ workers clamoring to get unionized that’s killing our mom n pops, its the big box chains that can afford the ever escalating obscene rents in Manhattan. A dose of SOCIALIST rent regulation would be a nice antidote, imo.

They are killing my view, too.

29. D. Throat - 25 February 2007

Did anyone see Kissinger on CNN today? The man is barely alive and breathing but he had just enough energy to point the finger regarding Iraq’s trouble at Clinton.

Too pathetic for words.

30. marisacat - 25 February 2007
31. marisacat - 25 February 2007

DT, the Kissinger transcript is in the smae link as Hersh.

32. D. Throat - 25 February 2007

Here it is:

BLITZER: All right. You agree with Biden and Reid, Dr. Kissinger?

KISSINGER: Of course, I believe what the country with respect to Vietnam needs a non-partisan objective analysis, because the picture that’s being created about Vietnam overlooks what was started in the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations for very good motives and for very good reasons, which then failed partly because of our domestic issues.

But with respect to Iraq, I supported the decision to go into Iraq. I did so for geostrategic reasons and because I thought it was necessary in the war against terror.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Was that a mistake, Dr. Kissinger?

KISSINGER: I believe it was a mistake to attempt to redo Iraqi society through the vehicle of military occupation. I believe that the regime change, which had been urged, incidentally, by the Congress under the Clinton administration and signed by President Clinton, the resolution, I think that was an appropriate objective.

We probably didn’t use enough forces, and we almost certainly set out some objectives which were beyond our capability. But that is not relevant today, because today the question is what are the implications of a collapse of the American position in Iraq, and will it reduce the risk to America? I believe it will greatly magnify the risk to America.

33. New Fake Name - 25 February 2007

Two stories in the news about Iraqi President Jalal Talabini:

Yesterday:

BAGHDAD (AFP) – US forces bombarded parts of southeast Baghdad after dark on Saturday, while a truck bomb attack outside a Sunni mosque in western Iraq killed at least 40 people.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, meanwhile, added his voice to those of thousands of street protesters in denouncing US forces after they arrested the son of one of the country’s top Shiite leaders.

Today:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani Falls Ill and is rushed to Jordan for medical treatment

[ Why go all the way to Jordan? Aren't there top-notch state of the art US medical treatment facilities right inside the Green Zone where President Talabani resides/works?]

34. New Fake Name - 25 February 2007

More from Juan Cole on US air forces bombing areas of SE Baghdad late last night:

Late Saturday, the US Air Force launched a series of bombing raids on southeast Baghdad. This is absolutely shameful, that the US is bombing from the air a civilian city that it militarily occupies. You can’t possibly do that without killing innocent civilians, as at Ramadi the other day. It is a war crime. US citizens should protest and write their congressional representatives. It is also the worst possible counter-insurgency tactic anyone could ever have imagined. You bomb people, they hate you. The bombing appears to have knocked out what little electricity some parts of Baghdad were still getting.

from a previous link:

“American aircraft are bombarding terrorist targets that have been chosen by US and Iraqi forces, as part of our Baghdad security plan,” said Brigadier General Qasim al-Mussawi, spokesman for the operation.

But a resident of the area told AFP that insurgents had fired mortar shells and that US troops appeared to have responded with artillery.

US spokesmen were not immediately willing to comment, but AFP reporters in downtown Baghdad heard the rumble of more than three dozen powerful blasts in rapid succession at around 10:00pm (1900 GMT).

A senior Iraqi interior ministry official told AFP the strikes were aimed at insurgent strongholds in Bo’aitha, a sparsely populated neighbourhood on the west bank of the Tigris, south of the city centre.

35. marisacat - 25 February 2007

hmm I just made it ot the end of the Hersh article. What a hoot! such mild owrds from Wyden.

sigh… probably thought it was a big deal when he voted against Negroponte for hmmm iirc it was Amb to Iraq. One of only two.

cannot rmemeber the vote for his big intel job. Lost in the sludge of connivance.

36. ms_xeno - 25 February 2007

Ewww… Wyden. Don’t rub it in.

Blumenauer did some bogus “meet-the-public” thing today. Didn’t go. OR Pwogs have nothing to threaten him with, and everyone knows it, all around. Bradbury has demonstrated his hostility to the GP and Indies more than once, toothless though they already were. Dems on the ground have no problem with it, so I don’t see any reason why I should drag my butt out of the house to kiss up to their lukewarm idea of savior.

37. New Fake Name - 25 February 2007

Negroponte comes off as as sort of a noble figure with a newfound conscience in Hersh’s telling.

Like Negroponte might have gotten roped into being the US bagman for death squads once or twice back in Nicaruagua (and Baghdad?), but he refused to do it a third time for Cheny-Bush’s excellent new AQ jihadi funding covert adventures.

38. marisacat - 25 February 2007

well Hersh is not without the weak points. He always pulls his punches on Israel. Over AG he said nothing like that could happen in the israeli prisons.

Geesh get real.

But … I got “reporting” off the Negroponte segments, but absolutely someone not aware could totally miss the whole…. Mysef, I think he is utterly craven.

and likely deeply involved along with Cambrone in the killing of Calipari.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 February 2007

Well, I read it more that Negroponte thinks they’re choosing the wrong side, and I think it’s no coincidence that there are so many more reports of Shi’a death squads beginning after his time there. Hell, I even agree with him if that’s the case. The Wahaabi/Sunni nutballs scare me more than the “leave us the fuck alone” Shi’a nutballs.

Of course, if we were smart we just stay the fuck away and start seriously working on getting off the petroleum teat.

40. New Fake Name - 25 February 2007

Marisacat:

Cambrone? or Cambone (Steve) the pentagon chief of intel/special ops?

Never heard much detail about a specific/possible link of C with the Segrina G/Calipari shooting incident. Please elaborate.

41. marisacat - 25 February 2007

Cambone.. sorry … a while ago.

Well it just should not hve happened. I thought it was done as a warning and a kill shot. Well on Dkos you could not even speculate that it was an assassination job/attempt.

A vietnam era special forces I used to correspond with felt very strongly that was the best explanation. But also that the “scene” had been very badly handled.

He thought the fact the car remained as evidence indicated a very messy take down. SHooting Calipari the way they did indicated great disrespect.

I never thought it was some stray bullet. And the story was as messy as the hideous Jessica Lynch produced lies that rolled out.. til bits of truth rolled out.

Sgrena knew too much about fallujah.


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