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April 19, 2006

Keeping Up on Iraq and Catching up on Iran: Get Your Scorecards
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

If you, like me, are a bit at sea trying to keep up with the government-forming (or malforming) machinations in Baghdad, here are two thought-provoking resources.  I don't know that I agree (or that I know enough to agree) but I feel my ignorance better-informed:

Eric Martin (via Kevin Drum) speculates, and adduces quite a bit of commentary, that the US actually hopes to stymie the formation of a government and re-introduce some of our favorite sons, like Iyaad Allawi and Adnan Pachachi.  Sounds like an interesting, centrist idea, if only it weren't so... anti-democratic.

Juan Cole sticks to reporting the latest maneuvers, which is in itself helpful -- and doesn't disprove the speculation above.

Speaking of speculation, I've finally read all of the Sy Hersh Iran war plans article and am struck by two things.  Hersh quotes a "Pentagon adviser" on the nuclear bunker-buster debate:

The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. “The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.”

Doesn't that make one wonder/hope about the timing of the retired generals' rebellion this past weekend?  Might it serve as a useful reminder/stiffener to the senior brass Hersh says are now opposed to the nuclear option?  Or will the orchestrated parade of Friends of Don have the opposite effect?

And one other thing.  Hersh quotes "a government consultant with close ties to civilians in the Pentagon" on intelligence operations inside Iran preparing the case for bombing.  This individual (might it be Shakespeare management guru and Friend of Cheney Ken Adelman?) quotes from Othello:   "Give me the ocular proof."

C'mon, I took my last English lit class two decades ago and I still remember that Othello is deceived, that the aforementioned "proof" is false and maliciously planted, and that innocent people make fools of themselves and die as a result.  You guys can't pull off an invasion and you can't even interpret what you read.  I'm with Tom Friedman:  turn in your foreign policy license, now, kids, and ride in the backseat.


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I feel PEACE is the only and the best option. No war-no use of nuclear weapons.

I concur with the fact that our foreign policy needs to be fixed-starting with the fulfillment of the Millennium Goals set by the UN, the greatest opportunity thus far to eradicate global poverty. The mere $5 billion supplied by the US will help foreign relations immensely. The Borgen Project is working to get these goals back on the agenda of the world's agenda-setter.

Check out two very interesting reports about Scott Ritter's latest commentary on Iran.

1)Video clip of him explaining that the Iran uranium enrichment issue is a red herring because their source uranium is contaminated with molybdenum and therefore *can't* be refined to bomb-usable levels.

2) Ritter interview re:Iraq fiasco and Iran, particularly with regard to the similar "big lie" tactics being used to whip up public opinion on Iraq and Iran.

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