Breaking News! – Israel Bombs Iran

The basics of the recent history of American-Iranian relations go something like this. In the 90s during Clinton’s Presidency and the Presidencies of Rafsanjani and Khatami, Iran was on the back burner for the US. Kosovo. Monica Lewinsky. Those were the important issues. This continued until 9/11. In early 2001, China was the issue. North Korea, too.

In 2002, as the US went into Afghanistan, the US had every reason to make Iran feel at ease. At the same time, Iran was probably a little frightened of the possibilities and also was no fan of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

In 2003 after the US went into Iraq, this non-situation intensified, if that makes any sense. As far as Iran’s nuclear program went – and this is extremely important – the US stayed almost completely out of the works until some point in 2006. They left it entirely to the Europeans. The US meanwhile concentrated on North Korea. There was a pretty obvious reason for this. US intelligence had really fucked it up in Iraq, so for it to lead the way in Iran would look silly to say the least. The Europeans who felt vindicated by their mostly opting out of the Iraq WMD mess took the opportunity to show some back bone and their worth.

Ahmadinejad took office in August of 2005. That’s when things really started to change. In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah provoked an Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon and the complete destruction of Hezbollah headquarters in Beirut. There is ample evidence to show Iranian material support for Hezbollah and it is widely believed that Nasrallah was taking his orders directly from Iran and Ahmadinejad.

Tipping, It’s a good thing you are familiar with Huffington Post, because it will give some of the things I say an anchor. Under that oil tag you showed me a few weeks ago I found an article by Michael T. Klare.

[article here]

[This next section somehow ended up here and I need to figure out where to move it to. It relates to Klare because I strted tracking the Intrade contracts around the time I read the first Klare Iran war prediction.]

[insert Max Keiser post]

My response to Max Keiser:

“The news is that that oil futures are up based on renewed chatter regarding stiikes on Iran. The ‘Strike Iran’ contract on InTrade is up today. Looks like my analysis on Press TV was pretty good. ”

No offense, but your analysis is horrible. I’m glad you are looking into this stuff and writing about it, but I’ve been following these “current event” Intrade bets for a long time, and what your analysis seems to miss is that many of these 3-month Airstrike Iran contracts have come and gone. All cashing out at ZERO. But at some point they all were trading at between 30-50 cents, or 30% “probability” as you call it.

Another point, often missed is that the liquidity on these contracts is about as bad as you can get. Look at the published ask-bids and the spread. Look at the volumes.

Based on the past performance of these contracts and the details I wouldn’t place much faith in them. Your conclusion of the chances rising to 30 percent in December is faulty. Most likely as we get closer to December that contract will fall to 10% Does that mean the chances are getting less?

Every day the financial press needs a new story about WHY the price of oil is what it is. One day it’s Nigeria, the next, speculators. Today it’s Iran. The bigger news pushing this fearmongering is the Seymour Hersh article.
– ZuluKilo 07/01/08

Klare is the “Blood For oil”/political goto guy for Peak-Oil. He’s a favorite at The Oil Drum and another one of these guys who knows very little about oil but has quite successfully used the topic to sell his books, theories, and stardom. He has to be the biggest warmonger I’m aware of, but teaches at an Eastern liberal arts college for a “Peace Studies” department. He fools pretty much everybody.

The timing is interesting. Do you think he would have included Iran in this piece if he had known about the hype that was to surround his favorite country in just one more day? Or maybe the editors said, you can write about oil, but just leave the nonsense about Iran out of it.

Here’s Klare in 2007 predicting war with Iran:

Bush’s Future Iran War Speech

“Sometime this spring or summer, barring an unexpected turnaround by Tehran, President Bush is likely to go on national television and announce that he has ordered American ships and aircraft to strike at military targets inside Iran.”

He wrote this is February 2007. I believe he has repeated the prediction several times since. I had been following the prediction markets since around the time of the Hezbollah/Israeli War the previous summer. I opined that if Klare was so sure of this outcome he could make himself rich on Intrade. I think I put the proposition to him directly on some blog I saw him post on, I can’t remember. Either way, he never got back to me :-)

Here’s another one. This “3 carriers in the region” thing created quite a fuss on places like the Oil Drum at the time. Everybody was sure it meant war.

Where is the USS Nimitz ?

Where is the USS Nimitz now? How many carriers are in the region in July 2008?

“Keep in mind that Israel does not have strategic bombers,” Oren said. “The Israeli Air Force is not the American Air Force. Israel can not eliminate Iran’s nuclear program.”

The U.S. with its stealth bombers and cruise missiles has a much greater capability. Vice President Cheney is said to favor a strike, but both Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates are opposed to an attack which could touch off a third war in the region.

U.S. intelligence estimates Iran won’t be able to build a weapon until sometime early in the next decade. But Israel is operating on a much shorter timetable.

“The Iranians, according to Israeli security sources, will have an operable nuclear weapon by 2009. That’s not a very long time,” Oren said.

For now, the Bush administration is counting on new economic sanctions which took effect Tuesday to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program. But nobody’s counting on it.”
– CBS News, June 24th

Look at the excellent website that Yarra posted –

www.campaigniran.org/casmii

[I’ve added this site to the blogroll on the right]

The link I provided takes you to the page with the very first post in August 2006 – 2 years ago. The first post starts like this:

The US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon has been the prelude to an imminent massive military attack against Iran. Urgent mass action by Iranian people in and outside the country and million strong protests by the antiwar movement around the world, in particular in the US and UK, are absolutely imperative to stop a US pre-emptive strike on Iran in the coming weeks and months.

a US pre-emptive strike on Iran in the coming weeks and months.  Sound familiar?
Now basically everything that is being said today about the Bush administration, Dick Cheney, the neocons, Israel, Iran, Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s nuclear weapon program, oil, peak-oil, Iraq, Afghanistan, you name it – was being said in 2006 (and before, but I have no inclination to look up references at this time).

With one important difference – Robert Gates. [See article by he and Brezezinski – campaigniran(fall2006?)].

Another thing that was happening back then and way, way before was Seymour Hersh’s articles in the New Yorker with a heavy critical/conspiratorial view of the Bush Administrations policies in the Middle-East/Southeast Asia. Always with accusations from unnamed sources. But rarely with anything that ended up happening. This isn’t to say that Hersh or his sources were wrong, just that it has to make you wonder what happened?

So the question I have to ask is – If all this stuff was in place 2 years ago, why did they wait until now? Basically, the last minute, before Obama becomes president. Remember, in 2006 it was far from clear who would be the new President. It can be argued that “those who will make this happen” viewed Clinton….. ( I lost my train of thought here, I’ll come back to it)

And this is exactly the “new” argument being made about why Bush and/or the Israelis are going to attack before January.

To me this is a story that has existed for a long, long time and goes through cycles. It seems to be pushed by the same people and the same types of people whenever it comes up and the media loves it. It sells papers and the talking heads love to scream about it. Very interesting stuff. How would such an attack take place? Do we have the troops? What if Iran blocks Hormuz ? Thousands of Iranian zodiacs destroying the US Navy. Sunburn missiles. SA-20 anti-aircraft missiles. Natanz. Bunker-busters. The Revolutionary Guard. Oil. Gas Prices. Centrifuges.

If you look at what is actually happening, violence is way down in Iraq. Violence is way up in Eastern Afghanistan/Pakistan. Ahmedinejad is not making any belligerent speeches. The tough-talk/bullshit is coming from the US and Israel. Iranian officials have simply been “reacting” to this with boilerplate – “we’re preparing graves for the infidels” – yada, yada. The feel of things is different from 2 years ago. Iran is very wary of provoking anything. Who do you think they want to get elected? McCain or Obama?

Now the Israelis and the neocons I’m sure are also aware of this dynamic and are now trying to be more provacative themselves – because they obviously want McCain but see the writing on the wall. Maybe they believe the fearmongering itself will be good enough to get McCain elected.

But will Cheney and Bush actually do this thing to get him elected ? And how much explaining will Gates have to do to make it happen and then afterwards ? What if it goes wrong (I can’t imagine it working out well, but hey, weirder things have happened) ?

Do you thing the Israelis could pull it off alone (whatever “it” is) ? Do you think the US would let Israel do it alone? If the US were to let Israel do it alone or if it were to decide to do it with Israel, this would mean that the US was allowing it, and accepting that it was going to happen. In this case, does it make any sense that we would want Israel along for the ride? Recall the Israeli mine-clearing equipment sent to Saudi Arabia for the First Gulf War. Therefore, why wouldn’t we just do it alone. But then if things went wrong the administration would stand accused of being Israeli puppets. Maybe we want Israel to do it so they can take the fall. But what purpose would that serve?

So many questions. Give it a few weeks, it’ll blow over, only to resurface later.

Just randomly flipping through the posts on the CASMII site, I found report in Feb 2007 (I think) where the scoop from the BBC at the time was that they had somehow uncovered the Iran attack plans and the two supposed triggers. One was an Iranian nuclear bomb and the other large-scale(death toll) attack in Iraq that could be traced back to Iran. Are there more triggers now? Is there an Iranian bomb? Do you think Iran is suddenly going to “reveal” one before January? I’m not seeing many large-scale attacks in Iraq period, even though Iran supposedly provides weapons and support to pretty much every “insurgent” group in the country. Hmm? Think they might be telling their surrogates to lay low til after the election?

I think war with Iran before January is unlikely. But I don’t rule anything out. The recent belligerency of Israel is troubling, but we need to look hard at why it might be happening rather than simply take it as evidence that bombs are going to start dropping. Why would you listen to me or put any faith in my analysis (or lack thereof)? Well … your other option is to go with the analysis of people like Michael T. Klare and the rest of these “experts” who have a proven track record of being wrong the last two years.

One thing I’m positive about is that you will never learn anything from the pundits and hysterical bloggers everytime Iran makes the headlines. Or even Hersh, who himself often creates the headlines. You’ll will learn things from reading the long articles in publications like the Atlantic over the years and from books about the countries involved and the history.

Good link, just throwing this in here for now –
Former Mossad chief: Israel must attack Iran

Next: Iran and Oil…Oh, and uhh Hersh, I’ll talk more about what he said.

60 Replies to “Breaking News! – Israel Bombs Iran”

  1. Fox News had a piece on this week telling their viewers that attacking Iran would perseve their freedumbs.

    Yes Iran is destroying our freedumbs by selling most of thier oil to China!

  2. Good summary, JR.

    I’ll admit that I thought an attack on Iran was likely, pretty much up to early 2007. After that, it was too late and Congress might actually find a backbone for something that important.

    As for Israel doing it… somehow I doubt it. World Nut Daily (a major pusher of the Y2K=apocalypse meme) is right down there with O’Reilly for truth & accuracy, but I’d say that even without the WND link. Neither the strategic nor the tactical situations work out in Israel’s favor.

    Strategically, the distance makes it pretty difficult. Any attack would have to be considered a suicide mission, and (as intimated in various news reports) Iran has dispersed and hardened their facilities. It would be very difficult to get the “right” facilities, let alone all of them. An unprovoked attack would be roundly & rightly condemned the world over, but for stony silence from US, and could start another Mideast war. Iran supposedly has missiles capable of reaching Israel, and who can say they haven’t gotten a Ramadan present from Pakistan already? But Iran could gain a lot of cred by not retaliating, and even gain some by not blocking Hormuz but launching missiles at Israel’s military assets.

    Tactically, it’s no better. Iran has Hezbollah and other assets on Israel’s doorstep that they could use to fight a proxy war, while Israel has only the US Navy as a hole card that might refuse to be played.

    In short: if the US doesn’t want to attack Iran, Iran is not likely to be attacked at all. Bush-league has no short- or long-term advantage to gain by doing it, and would face serious push-back by the military and even members of his own administration.

  3. Well written analysis and summary JR. One of your best. Very good.

    The geopolitical implications of all this are so complex I am at a loss for constructing a likely scenario or prediction (in my own mind). Invoking a ‘Friedman Unit’, and saying my prayers.

    Belated happy b-day Holmes.

    FYI. Get this. My sister has gone out of town and left me the keys to her Jaguar XK8. It’s black. Its just sitting there, I have never driven it, and I know that I must. Its inevitable. She trusts me though. If anything interesting happens I’ll let you know.

  4. JR-

    Thanks for the long perspective. I posted some stuff a while back on CFN on “war games” being conducted in the region by Israel and at the same time, the US quietly increasing its naval presence way before the media started this latest outburst of fear-mongering.

    You know, it’s all politics and greed.

    Wes Clark just fired the first big salvo for the Dems in the “credential wars” the other day–we’ll see which party wins the swift-boat action this go-around.

    There’s a black swan in the air… I can feel it.

  5. SB

    Had a boyfriend with a Jag when I was 19, leather seats, all teak interior, Alpine stereo system. I remember a moment when we were cruising 90 mph on a back road with Steely Dan’s “FM” playing on the sound system. “No static at all…”

  6. Attention Bottomliners: there’s an interesting post over on TOD on a megaprojects, bottom up projection being updated on Wiki. Ace, Khebab are major players. Memmel’s comments are good, as usual.

    Bottom line: we will start seeing serious, >5% oil production declines in 2 years. That’s mid-2010. Most are calling that date the practical end of our global economy. A few there brought up the probability of an expanding ME war over oil resources, i.e., Iran. If Iran’s oil comes off the table, then China and Japan will essentially be cut off. I doubt both countries will simply take that laying down.

    So, the odds we all go down and out in flames, with our hair on fire, are >50%. With McSame, it’s a sure thang, with Obamawama, it’s just 50:50.

    SB, drive that Jag, careful on the turns until you get the hang of it. I used to do unreal winding road manuvers in a little red BMW 2002 with a stick and sunroof back in the early 1970s, when I thought I’d live forever.

    Holmes, belated congrats on making it another year.

  7. JR, this is a really fantastic roadmap! The Iranians are clearly stalling for time, transmitting all the expected (or what should-by-now be expected) conciliatory countersignals to their standard “the streets will be flowing with the blood of the infidels” boilerplate as you call it, etc.

    More than ever, I stand by my long held view that nothing is going to happen. If I thought there was even a remote chance of Iran getting attacked before the year was out, I’d be loading up on “asoka options” right now.

    The Iranians aren’t that different from us. They know they are fucked. In their case, either sooner by provoking the self-appointed regional policeman, or later at least by virtue of demographics and various resource depletions, most probably IMHO a few years after they take the best deal that Obama and the international community offer them and then get double crossed and/or gang tackled for their oil. They’re just trying to figure out how to delay the unraveling and further gutting of their civilization for as long as possible.

  8. JR- I appreciate the time you took to respond. All of your points are logical and I realize the Iran fear factor is a card played often and well by the media.

    The truth is that, as I said initially, it causes me great personal anxiety. I do worry about peak oil, economics, and the overall global implications of a strike by either Israel or the US, but above all that, my fear is rooted in the reality that my husband is a military man and soon will be deployed overseas. (Surprised?) So, yes, my head says your most likely right, but until my husband retires, articles like Hersch’s will continue to give me agida.

  9. TP

    I’m glad you are here to give voice to this (I looked for a label and everything I could think of was trite). My husband is ex-military. He was a Russian translator posted in Germany during the cold war listening in on communications. A low level spy. Most of what he listened to was Russian soldiers talking about their girlfriends and insulting each other or giving each other tank coordinates. There were times they knew things because they over heard them and then read stories in the paper that did not match. He was under threat a few times, but got out before any real “danger” surfaced. I am proud of his service (7 years), even as I hate what it represents about us. The feelings must be so twisted for you, I won’t pretend I can empathize.

    We need to end all wars. TP needs her husband. Thanks for telling us.

  10. No, I’m not surprised at all. Although I have long had the personal view that Holmes described above, I have to admit that this latest uptick in the war of words combined with the Israeli exercise on June 6th and Israeli statements coming from former ministers and leaders have shaken my convictions some.

    But maybe it is only because the closer we get to January the more desperate the “predictors” are becoming.

    Believe me, what is actually the best policy towards Iran is another issue – but what scares the hell out of me is the Bush administration doing anything about anything anywhere.

    They just need to wrap things up, step aside, and hope nobody tries to put them in jail.

    I wish there was some way to invest in Washington D.C. area office supply distributors that carry heavy-duty paper shredders. Or tech outfits that specialize in killing emails and scrubbing hard-drives.

    December is going to look like April 1945 in Berlin.

    In my next installment, I’ll assign a little light reading to keep you busy while your husband is gone. Unless he’s an F-18 pilot or Delta Force I wouldn’t worry about it. Now, if I was an Israeli F-15 pilot, I’d be concerned about how much experience my re-fueling tanker pilots have and weighing the pros and cons of Iranian torture techniques vs. not pulling the ejection lever.

  11. Yeah MOU, I’m proud of my husband and his steadfast belief in honor and duty but it’s difficult to reconcile that with the insanity this administration is subjecting the troops and citizens to. I can only hope, for everyone’s sake, that it doesn’t get worse.

    I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July. Between burgers and beers, let’s all try to remember the ideals this country was founded on- we’re not dead yet.

  12. “.In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah provoked an Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon […] ”

    Accepting this without question undervalues the risk factor of Israel acting unilaterally against Iran.

    The intent is NOT to revisit the Israel-Hizbullah dust-up, but rather to suggest that the probabilities for an Israeli attack on Iran may be a wee bit higher. It STILL doesn’t make any more sense nor would it have any change on the outcome.

    However, the same people who believed the Iraqis would welcome the US with open arms as liberators are still in power , “creative chaos” still reigns supreme and “birth pangs of a new Middle East” are still being felt.

    Moral and reasonable men are not the ones making decisions these days.

  13. Totally agree, Remus. Those are excellent points

    I was waiting for it in regards to my characterization of the Israeli move into Lebanon. I appreciate you not “revisiting” it or “dusting it up.”

    The truth is, it is a controversial subject. I obviously have my opinion. But I know and respect the other side of this.

    Interestingly, all this news about Iran and Israel has blacked out the actual news of the Nasrallah-Israel prisoner exchange agreement. Israel is getting to people back in the swap. The ones that were the cause of the 2006 dustup. There seems to be some mystery over whether the bodies will be breathing. Nevertheless. It is interesting that it is happening now.

    Also there is news of some progress regarding Hammas/Gaza and the Israeli held there since about the same time.

    Again, excellent points. I don’t really know how to respond. I don’t know the probabilities or even how to calculate them. I just keep my fingers crossed (knowing that won’t affect anything except my fingers).

    Cryin’ won’t help you. Prayin’ won’t do you no good.

    Historically (I’m jus sayin), didn’t reasonable men always pray, at least?

  14. The levee breaking, just like hard drives dying, is a question of when, not if.

    No response is really needed, no calculus viable, just another unknown unknown. [shrug]

    Yes, prisoner exchange is interesting as is the whole truce thing with Hamas. Probably just parlor tricks, on both sides.

  15. Through the looking glass. Room full of mirrors. There was another one but I forget. That’s what you and thal are for. You remember those things.

    John Le Carre. God knows Mossad is pretty good and the CIA sucks. Before Safire retired he said Saudi intel was pretty good.

    No Calculus Viable.

  16. “heavy-duty paper shredders”

    “December is going to look like April 1945 in Berlin.”

    Boy that’s the truth. And the place is going to need a good thorough steam cleaning.

    Soon they’ll be passing the hat for construction of the G.W. Bush presidential library. What on earth will it contain?

  17. “[…] the G.W. Bush presidential library. What on earth will it contain?”

    His Howdy Doody TV show collection.

  18. Oh, jeez, it’s the 3rd. EE has probbaly left, dammit.

    EE, if you happen to see this –

    ask your Mobil friend specifically these questions:

    What do you think about peak oil?
    (If that registers) Who are the great thinkers when it comes to peak oil?
    (if that registers) What do you think about –
    Deffeyes
    Simmons

    (if that registers) Ask what books that they’ve written (this is a trick to see if he’s actually read them)

    (If none of this registered) Ask about Daniel Yergin and what book he wrote.

    Follow up (either way):

    Ask him why he thinks gasoline is $4 headed for $20 (yes, you need to phrase it that way).

  19. Anybody wanna bet who makes more money in the 8 years post-presidency? Clinton or Bush?

    If Bush does stock up on Howdy-Doody, I’ll bet they will sell like hotcakes. The 2-Disc extra-feature DVD kind for $49.95 a pop.

    Should we count Hillary in or out on the deal?

    Anybody read a book by a Clinton or Obama in the last decade? We’d like your comments first.

    I tried one by Obama after Hitchens mentioned a passage. I tried. I really did. I’ve talked about this before. It turned me off to reading.

    But apparently it did well in the money department for Barack. I have never met anyone that has ever read the book I talk about. I’ve met people who claim to. But it is obvious they couldn’t make it past the first page.

  20. Eight years is a long time these days to be betting on anything, JR.

    Just curious, do you have any plans to leave Boston when TSHTF? A Plan B or Plan C, perhaps? If you don’t want to answer or answer me publically, just send me an email, or not.

    I always loved the Howdy Doody show, and Sheriff John, and Captain Kangaroo, oh, and the Clutch Cargo and Crusader Rabbit cartoon series, CR was a distant relative of Bunn Bunn.

  21. Nudge and I have discussed possible plans about setting up defenses in lower Vermont. I have some land. She has a huge amount of contacts and has been studying farming techniques. I’ve got relatives with stockpiles of guns. Many automatic. Many Nam vets.

    The only problem is – I don’t know where Nudge is. We lost touch about four days ago. She switched to some stupid linux system, and I haven’t heard from her since. Maybe she hates me and just wants to part ways. Fine. If this is this the case, will somebody that knows her please verify this and pass it on.

    No hard feelings. She was and is the best. Just don’t fuck with me. Just say the word and we can be done.

    I will never be vindictive. You tought me things about myself I knew but didn’t have the balls to face. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I’m going to go kill myself now. I’m serious. WTF?

    I can’t live without you.

    WTF happened to you?

  22. “Eight years is a long time these days ”

    Ehh. Better see Choppa.

    ask Yarra.

    It’s not’s so bad.

  23. Doom – I understand what you are saying, I follow this stuff up.

    But please make sure you do the same.

    Read my latest conversation with “cjwirth” on the Europe Drumbeat thread.

    I’m about to toss Gail’s salad.

    If you can’t find my references, lemme know.

    I am the Gunslinger, Johnny Rico.

    aka Clint Eastwood.

    aka Just Another Statistic

  24. Eh, don’t panic JR, 4 days should be nothing to a guy that predicts out to eight years, or moron. I have her new email, and though I’m now staying at my mother’s McHacienda in fabulous Hemet con familia en total, in sunny, 109 F Cailfornia heat, I will tell her you’re looking for her.

    The best part of your plan is having Nudge in it. Vermont can get cold in the winter, but you knew that.

  25. Will check out the exchange on TOD.

    I’m enjoying the dry British humor over at TOD Europe as the Brits skewer their government “leaders”. It will be ugly there, as elsewhere, like here.

    What is “Choppa” to see?

    Yarra is an optimist, now?

  26. Hey Doom,

    The other weekend I was in Palm Springs (on an ill-advised mission on behalf of an inlaw) where we encountered 116 F in the shade coupled with strong winds creating a convection oven-like experience. Through the ripples, I could still see a wee bit of snow at the upper altitudes of Mt. San Jacinto.

    How’s your Plan B coming along?

  27. Plan B to New Zealand is DOA, but I’ve got some interesting Plan C stuff brewing. Will relate them to you in email, if interested.

  28. JR, I found and read your exchange with cjwirth. I completely agree with all of your points. It was fun realizing that you had him in a vise and were slowly turning the handle. Pitt the Elder would be proud.

  29. I’m just playing with cjwirth. I almost get the feeling he is one of us, so I’m holding back.

    Tipping’s notice to me that Prof. Goose exists was in certain ways a wake-up call. I have to be careful.

    “do you have any plans to leave Boston when TSHTF?”

    In all seriousness, I’m like Mao on the Long March. I’ll adapt. If it comes down to Boston, this will be my town.

    I’ve got too many friends, and everybody knows I was talking Peak-Oil before the rest of them. It won’t be just Boston. It”ll be New Hamshire and Vermont and Maine. I took a hint from WMBH.

    Autonomous Unit will join me and many others.

    Boston will once again be the Athens of the modern world.

    Holmes will take LA. You will take Hawaii. Dave and Tipping will take New York with agressive help from my forces.

    We will send Bif South with multiple battalions, where he will augment a rebel movement by FAR.

    It will be a new day, Clusterfuckers, a new Dawn.

  30. Pitt The Elder is my Hero. (you know that)

    Read cjwirth’s bio. He charges $100 an hour to talk about peak oil with him on the phone. Brilliant.

    Unfortunately (for him), I’m going to shove this up his ass and send him a bill.

    I didn’t mean to take up all of your sweet time, I’ll give it back one of these days.
    If I don’t see you in this world, I’ll see you in the next, and don’t be late.
    Cuz I’m a Voodoo Chile.
    Peace. and Happiness.
    -Jimi

  31. Awesome. Until Nudge gets back, consider yourself my favorite person.

    Read my reply on HuffPo ( probably not approved yet, or ever).

    I’m gonna kill that motherfucker.

    Thank You.

  32. Tipping, I cannot thank you enough.

    You provided me with the ultimate stage. I just shot cj in the head and am waiting for Prof Goose to kill me.

    I could never have in my wildest dreams imagined this opportunity. This is a Black Swan. You must be God. Or a Bif sockpuppet. WTF?

  33. And TOD blocks me from downrating his post. Big surprise. Try downrating his post if you don’t believe me.

  34. I aim to please. I don’t see your response on Huffpo- did you do your dirty work on TOD?

  35. I’m answering my page! But, am running to the beach to solicit young women, and read Che. I’ll be back…

    My inclination however is that bombing Iran will throw the election for the Republicans. Iraq is unpopular enough. And, would Iran toss a few well placed missiles into Saudi? Would they piss off the remainder of the world so badly, that rebuilding would be sans US? The result would be a ME without American influence, without massive intervention, and an isolated Israel. Just my thoughts, given the current strategic importance of the region’s resources.

  36. Dr. Paredes, thank you for responding so promptly… notwithstanding flesh pressing needs at the beach. I can almost hear “Moon River” playing in the background as I read this farewell letter from Che to Castro. Ahhh… but in the meantime, I have far less glamorous things to attend to including, inter alia, blasting Labrador retriever grime out of their palatial kennel with the trusty powerwasher, etc.

    http://www.ucc.ie/acad/appsoc/tmp_store/mia/Library/archive/guevara/1965/04/01.htm

  37. Tipping, that’s godess with one d or two d’s?

    JR, I like the idea that I chit-chat with a guy that cleans the clock of another guy that charges $100/hour to chit-chat about PO on the phone.

    Nicholas, you’ve got to learn to multitask, and run several high-tech gadgets at the same time as you pick up girls on the beach. You’ll look busy and sexy, if a bit distracted. Girls like that.

  38. I see you’ve nominated me for the toughest assignment. I’m you man. All I need is one armored division on steroids (1st Cav will do) and a couple heavy mechanized infantry BCTs. And fuel dammit. I need that fuel!! You’ll find me out front in the lead recon element in my Ghost Bradley (w/ Carlin as my patron). Don’t tell Jim but we’ve decided to embed Kris Can. A regular Louise Bryant that one. The march to the sea will be different this time; FAR says we’ll be greeted as liberators in Atlanta, but we need to bring our own water.

  39. Hi All,

    You are way to reasonable in your discussion here.

    I’m going to come at this issue from an emotional place rather than a logical one (how unlike me, eh?). We are going to bomb the shit out of Iran and hope to God we get it right this time because we have played out every other card in our deck. All we have left is the military option. We have conned the world into giving us their labor and resources, their faith and trust, and their money. We have squandered all of it so that we could live grandiose life styles and we are addicted to it. A junkie will steal from his/her mother, and smack her in the face if she objects. Most Americans are so addicted to the consumerist lifestyle that we will smack our Mommas and bomb Iran just to get a line on another fix. Do junkies think long term? The evidence says no:

    *The Fed is holding bad debt as security for the “loans” they have made to the investment houses. They have already had to write down the value of Bear Stearnes’s “collateral” from 30 billion to 29 billion. When were they bailed out? In April?

    *Subprime has already fucked us up, and the Alt A loans are getting ready to come on line to start going into default.

    *More debt exists than the value of everything on the globe added together thanks to the shadow banking/derivatives market.

    *Many banks (most?) are already walking dead, thanks to all of the above.

    *We can’t cant meet our obligations on the entitlements:
    SS-
    Medicare-
    Pension Plans-
    30+ states are running out of unemployment benefit funds.

    *The US Gov is over 9 trillion in debt ( this is what they admit to). Don’t know if the entitlements are included in that or not but I do not think so.

    *We are running out of oil/other sources of energy, food, PMs, water, phosphorus, (fill in your favorite resource here, it is probably running out).

    *The very planet itself, it matters not why, may be on the verge of a dynamic shift that will be too drastic for most of us to adapt to.

    Why not bomb Iran? Baby we are fucked, already descending a path straight to hell. Mr. and Ms. Honorable Congress Folk say “We can’t face the voters with this!” They know they should be strung up anyway for what they have done.

    Blow my dice and I’ll toss my bombs like so much jizz across the golden sand. And maybe the splatter will just feel gooood.

    No logic, no reasoning, no history required.

  40. Doom, did I have you in HS english? You can bust balls now, but typos are bound to happen, even to the prefect ;-) (yes I now I splet thet worng)

  41. MOU- where’s the love, baby? Fuck it…if you’ve got family and friends to depend on, you’re lucky. If you’re not so lucky, they all depend on you. You’re
    fucked if you have neither.

  42. TP

    I hope you get it that it is me interpreting their logic, not how I feel, not how I want this to go.

    I have people who depend on me. I have a lover I depend on.

    Let me get much more clear, because I thought that I was being a bit of a shit with you in this last post (but I will not soften if it I think this is true, to spare your feelings), I THINK THESE BASTARDS ARE CAPABLE OF BOMBING IRAN BECAUSE THEY ARE EMOTIONAL AND NOT LOGICAL. That is different than what I want to happen. I think they are mentally unhealthy, traumatized, or even delusional. If you are George Bush, you might even think it is part of God’s will and the start of the predictions in Revelations. Manifest destiny. If he is narcissistic, what is to stop him from telling himself that story? Particularly if he has others around him that support that story to manipulate him towards their own ends.

    Johnny and others were tracking history, being logical, maybe they are right. Hope so. But I think they are way too reasonable. If the folks in charge were reasonable, we would not be where we are.

    I want to be wrong. I think they are crazy. I think it takes crazy to get where they are. That is the error of our so called democracy. The only people who should be allowed to “represent” are folks who don’t want it.

    I am not trying to be hurtful. Just honest.

  43. It’s all good, MOU (you’re not being a ‘shit’ in any way). I told you once before you reminded me of my sister, it’s the highest compliment I could pay you. As she would remind me, what will happen, will happen. It’s not apathy, it’s acceptance. There is a maelstrom of shit that’s headed our way and no amount of wishing, praying or voting is gonna make a difference.

    That being said, I can’t imagine what, if anything, is going through GWB’s tiny little brain. This is one situation, though, that even a pea-brain could think through. Iran presents a lot of difficulties, none of which can be solved in the short-term. Assuming the objective is oil, there is no way in hell that the US can take control of the country or it’s oil fields. Israel could conceivably take matters into its own hands if they truly feel threatened by the possibilty of a nuclear weapon. JR would say something about Black Swans now- who the hell knows?

  44. Hey Nicholas!

    Glad to see you dropped by. I’ve had a bounty out for you for some time. I think it is Holmes that collects.

    I hope you come back again. I just wanted to say I really love your writing on CFN no matter what OEO says about you.

  45. “I don’t see your response on Huffpo”

    Yeah, it’s not there. They blocked it. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a comment blocked there.

    I wish I had saved a copy. I definitely didn’t use any foul language, I’m always on my best behavior at HuffPo.

    The comment was rude, but not as bad as what I said to him at TOD.

    I’m always fascinated by censorship policies at popular blogs. Typically ( I can only talk from my experience) comments on HuffPo don’t appear for up to 10 hours and HuffPo’s comment count updating software sucks bigtime.

    I post mainly on Learsy’s pieces, but it is really frustrating, because you can’t converse (or argue) with people because of this. As a result I don’t even bother commenting (I really need to get a life).

    So I guess the gist of this is that Arianna Huffington actually pays people to read most comments and judge them before releasing them.

    Which is good. My comment was a direct attack on another poster. That probably flagrantly violated some rule. It was not ad hominem. I certainly provided specific evidence backing up my observations. cjwirth had provided his own website where he clearly lays out his $100/hr fee structure for “consulting,” or chit-chat as Doom calls it.

  46. Bush-league is certainly capable of bombing Iran, but even a moronic sorry excuse for a “leader” needs a good reason for doing it. He doesn’t gain anything from it; he doesn’t have a re-election to win. I disagree with MOU that it would help the goplets… people are sick & tired of Iraq and people will see Iran as nothing but escalation.

  47. From CA Fitts’ blog at http://www.solari.com:

    “In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend – but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

    “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”

    -Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill.

  48. Dearest Far of the Fetched Variety,

    I think EEofDC’s post expressed well a sense I was trying to convey. They don’t think we matter. They have not been impeached yet. They are doing outrageous things and getting away with them with impunity. Bombing Iran would just be another one on that list. THEY DON’T NEED A REASON. THINGS ARE THAT FAR OUT OF CONTROL.

    I find this realization sobering.

    Wasn’t this new congress supposed to bring our troops home? Are they not failing on almost every count to block all the power grabs? The fix is in. Here comes my tin hat. I think the administration has access, because of advanced surveillance techniques and access, to all kinds of blackmail info on just about everyone. Including our representatives. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They do as they are told but given room to manipulate and look like they are not totally in Bush’s pocket. A little pork here, little favor there, but with the understanding that the plug (think Dune and the Harkonen) can be pulled at any time.

  49. Two seemingly unrelated posts…

    Rove’s Third Term
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Yet the Clark affair did reveal something important — not about General Clark, but about Mr. McCain. Now we know what a McCain administration would represent: namely, a third term for Karl Rove.

    It was predictable that the McCain campaign would go wild over the Clark remarks. Mr. McCain’s run for the White House has always been based on persona rather than policy: he doesn’t have ideas that voters agree with, but he does have an inspiring life story — which, contrary to the myth of the modest maverick, he talks about all the time. The suggestion that this life story isn’t relevant to his quest for office was bound to provoke a violent reaction.

    Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection

    “His mission is that he has to be put to death by the Romans to suffer so his blood will be the sign for redemption to come,” Mr. Knohl said. “This is the sign of the son of Joseph. This is the conscious view of Jesus himself. This gives the Last Supper an absolutely different meaning. To shed blood is not for the sins of people but to bring redemption to Israel.”

  50. MOU I hope you were not offended by my horrible spelling, grammar or comments the other night. I think Hell’s Belles rock!

    I agree with you that “we the people” do not matterright now. Lots of things have happened in the last few years that I could not have imagined before this administration. Here’s a tin foil hat alrert for you- I don’t think it makes sense, logistically, to attack Iran while Bush is in office if the people that are calling the shots are a part of this administration. There are too many variables they would be unable to control, including the incoming president and the Pentagon (people who DO matter). If there is a Wizard of Oz operating here, who knows what may happen as it would be impossible to discern the motives of such an “unseen hand.”

  51. “Hell’s Belles rock”… tipping point, I agree!

    Damn JR, you sure know how to throw the kind of party that attracts a truly tantalizing mix of male and female voices.

    That fool on the hill thal doesn’t know what he’s missing.

  52. «THEY DON’T NEED A REASON.»

    Sure they do — it has to benefit them somehow.

    Iraq isn’t working out the way they’d planned… they could well have believed in the candy and chocolates scenario, and perhaps even expected a grateful Iraqi populace to hand over the keys to the oil industry without a murmur. But even the puppet government refuses to pass a law de-nationalizing their oil, and I suspect that the small contracts they handed out last week are a token sop, intended to help the goplets declare victory.

    Certainly they’re capable and quite willing to invade Iran, and probably would have had Iraq gone the way they expected. Bush-league isn’t out of control: you have to remember that he’s just the facade. Cheney and his other handlers pull the strings, and they are looking at 1960 (or even 1932) all over again. The handlers know their best bet is to take some lumps, lay low for a little while, then start laying the groundwork for a future ascendency. The alternative is to perhaps go the way of the Whigs, slavery, free silver, and child labor.

  53. “The handlers know their best bet is to take some lumps, lay low for a little while, then start laying the groundwork for a future ascendency.” –FARfetched

    Heh, heh, heh…. yup, the “handlers”…. a very small group (mostly, if not wholly, male) running this show into the ground. You can bet they are not interested in “changing places” with JHK or his ilk, even with Chris Kan on the back deck and vinyl siding.

  54. Hi Far,

    I think we may be talking at cross purposes or cross understandings if you like.

    I do not advocate any of the logics I offer for what I think the admin might be up to. I hope that is clear.

    I think the economy falling apart could be a “reason” (which amounts to “no reason”). If nothing is going on anywhere else, we the people will actually get our ADHD attention focused on energy and the economy and start asking questions about all of that and why things are so fucked. We will blame them (even though we should blame us, we had fun at the party too).

    What I am saying is that I believe the administration would bomb Iran because the system is irredeemable by anyone, with any plan, a wreck, out of control. Not to mention a mythology (different rant).

    Admit that? Fu<k it! Never. Throw the dice, toss the bombs, let the people deal with the consequences.

    Who benefits? The folks who get away while the smokescreen is up and the entire thing descends into chaos. Hey Obama, sort out this shit motherfucker! And, if something actually good came of it, well hey, step up and take credit for it. But you would be doing it as a way to sort of push the “reset” or “hyperspace” button on the whole game. Bomb Iran well, and everything is different, adapt to what emerges, it will probably be better than the multifaceted, multilayered, fiscal and social policy failures currently under way. And we can blame the chaos, retrospectively, on the conflict with Iran (they bomb us, does not matter anymore if we are bankrupt).

    Janis said it best baby, “Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.’

    Far, I think they are crazy.

    Have you ever had a time in your life when things were so screwed that you made crazy, suicidal, risky choices just to shake the whole damn thing up because things were that out of control?

    Same thing. Just on a national scale.

    Remember the dude riding the bomb in Dr. Strangelove? Why do we love that scene so much?

    Same thing.

    Am I willing to put up money and predict they will do this? No.

  55. Hi TP,

    So much going on with this site hope you see this. I don’t offend easy. Quite frankly you could tell me to eat shit and die and I would not be offended. I feel like you are coming from a good place in all you post. Scary smart too!

    EEofDC never got back to us about a woman/grrrl gang, but she is engaged in heuristic, ontological, and epistemological feminist praxis with the Holmes (I do adore the dude, he is sharp, pithy, and thinks for himself) and Dave (who also does an excellent job of challenging any status quo). I may stick my nose in over there and join the foray. If you read this, as an aside, both sides are being suckered by a paradigm, IMHCFO.

    I went through a cock-rock ACDC phase so I like Hell’s Belles very well. We shall see if the grrl gang picks up any steam…

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