Monday, August 23, 2004

Thanks Chomsky, Now We Know

Did you know that America was planning on invading Iran and Syria? But the only reason that they didn’t was because the war in Iraq was a complete disaster. Well according to Chomsky,

If the Iraq invasion hadn't been such a remarkable failure, by now the US would probably have gone forward with plans to subordinate the region more fully to its interests, which would mean actions against the more independent states, Iran and Syria.
Did you know that the ‘real’ reason why Israel receives military aid is "to rattle the leadership [of Syria and Iran] to contribute to internal repression, disaffection, [and] disruption".

Thank G-d we have Chomksy with his extraordinary investigative skills, or else we would never have know what was really going on in the Middle East and US intentions there.

32 Comments:

At August 23, 2004 at 1:35 AM, Blogger benjamin said...

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At August 23, 2004 at 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, talk of the US invading Syria was all the rage last year in American "libertarian" circles; William Hughes wrote an article for rense.com [www.rense.com/general50/syria.html] on the subject, while Antiwar.com founder/columnist Justin Raimondo wrote a guest column for USAtoday.com (3-17-03) denouncing such invasion plans. And Raimondo is still at it, check out his latest pro-Buchanan screed on www.antiwar.com. You have to get out more.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 23, 2004 at 4:35 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Just for those who don’t know Jeff Rense is a wacko conspiracy nut who believes in UFO’s and frequents Holocaust Denier on his radio show. I guess Chomsky is in good company. And you claim I have got to out more.

 
At August 24, 2004 at 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good attempt at a dodge, but not good enough. Those articles I listed were at the top of a Google seach for "Raimondo, Syria" because I remember reading Raimondo spouting off about a possible invasion. (I read him for laughs, much as I do you and Adam Yoshida.) I looked for right-wing sources so you would not accuse me of bias. Anyway, I did another Google search for "invasion, Syria" and got an article from the left-wing Common Dreams website [www.commondreams.org] which is a reprint of an Agence France Presse piece titled "Sen. Bird: US Syria Bill Could Lead to an Invasion" from Nov. 12, 2003. So the idea that the US was going to knock over Syria after Iraq just isn't a "Chomsky mirage"; it's common knowledge.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 24, 2004 at 9:13 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Common knowledge? Among who? Wacko conspiracy theorists and leftwing nuts (one of whom, Senator Byrd, use to be part of the Ku Klux Klan, you got a thing about picking nazis don't you). Until you or Chomsky produce US war plans to invade Iran and Syria the supposed rumor is nothing more than conspiracy theory garbage, there is a reason why you found articles about it on a website that claims UFOs landed in Roswell. One more thing a search on yahoo isn’t evidence that there is an impending war and articles by wackos and morons don’t make a conspiracy work. There isn’t much else to say on this topic, Chomsky was wrong just like the rest of those weirdoes who claim we never landed on the moon.

Again friendships come in many forms.

 
At August 25, 2004 at 3:09 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Heh. I thought you were trying to be sarcastic above - that what Chomsky said is common knowledge and you were scorning him for pointing the obvious out. Silly me.

The plans surely exist, the US army has plans for just about any contingency (including the invasion of Israel - not that they would ever act on it) from what I read.

Here's and article by a 'liberal hawk' Josh Marshall who is as mainstream center as you can find (though he is a democrat). It was written over a year ago and is a bit outdated but illuminating nevertheless.

Give it a go: Practice to deceive.

 
At August 25, 2004 at 8:32 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

The article says the following:

"In February, Undersecretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq, the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria, and North Korea."

To 'deal with' does not necessarily mean go to war. Take what President Bush has said regarding Iran:

Different threats require different strategies. In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny--and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom.

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/bushstun2003.html

So much for the war on Iran. The Syria claim is equally ridicules go do your own research, you have yet to produce anything but conspiracy theories that have been proven wrong because they never happen. You know its funny Chomsky claims American officials about terrorism to energize the country into going to war but Chomsky talks about phony US aggression to rally the anti-US sentiment.

When I said produce war plans (as in a plan to go to war), I was speaking about an official stating that ‘if Iran doesn't do X Y and Z we are going to invade,’ a little more diplomatic of course. Obviously any nation that leaks their plans of war (actual strategy which you where alluding to) is beyond stupid because they are telling the enemy what they would be doing.

 
At August 25, 2004 at 1:05 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

First, what does this sentence mean?:
"You know its funny Chomsky claims American officials about terrorism to energize the country into going to war but Chomsky talks about phony US aggression to rally the anti-US sentiment."

Second, if we continue with the quote from Josh's article where you left off:
"Meanwhile, neoconservative journalists have been channeling the administration's thinking. Late last month, The Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Bell reported that the administration has in mind a "world war between the United States and a political wing of Islamic fundamentalism ... a war of such reach and magnitude [that] the invasion of Iraq, or the capture of top al Qaeda commanders, should be seen as tactical events in a series of moves and countermoves stretching well into the future."

In short, the administration is trying to roll the table--to use U.S. military force, or the threat of it, to reform or topple virtually every regime in the region, from foes like Syria to friends like Egypt, on the theory that it is the undemocratic nature of these regimes that ultimately breeds terrorism."

This is pure speculation, of course, as it is based on "neoconservative journalists [that] have been channeling the administration's thinking".

But your original claim was that this was not common knowledge apart from 'wacko conspiracy theorists and leftwing nuts'. You made this claim either because you are ignorant (watching too much Fox can do that to you I hear though I can't back it up) or dishonest. I'll go with the first one on this topic.

Take it back if you have a spine.

[If you need aditional evidence, I can provide links to articles by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, Stanley Kurtz (in the National Review), Jonah Golberg (of National Review also) and others discussing this]

 
At August 25, 2004 at 1:09 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

And I tried but can't resist...
Quoting Bush was a daring move. Do you actually believe he said what is written above? I mean, he did read it but did he say it?

If the answer is yes, here's another quote:
"They [the terrorists] never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and
neither do we."

This is what happenes when he strays too far from the script. This one rivals Reagan's "Trees cause more
pollution than automobiles do."

 
At August 25, 2004 at 4:48 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 25, 2004 at 4:59 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

First off neo-cons, which I am no great admirer of, have a utopian ideal of what the world can and can’t be. I agree with some of their foreign and domestic ideas but some of their other ideas aren’t feasible. Second there’s something that you are missing here. Chomsky said we have a desire to go to war with Iran and Syria (by the way so far you have only addressed the Syria part, do you really believe Iran was next on the list?). Next you pointed out that neo-cons WANTED to invade Syria. The difference is one was expressing an opinion on what America should do the, other was a bizarre belief, held by Chomsky and wacko friends, that policy which neo-cons were discussing in the media was actually being implemented. And as we have seen the conspiracy nuts, that would be Chomsky and the rest, were wrong. There was only a discussion of policy never any action. And just for the record I reaffirm what I said before only wackos and conspiracy nuts believed we were going to war with Syria and Iran, the rest were actually discussing it. Apparently Chomsky and the thought police feel that thoughts equal action. That’s what happens when you read too much Chomsky reality and make believe get blurred in to a conspiratorial mess of nonsense. And another thing however bad you think FOX News is and however much you think I am ignorant for watching it you should triple that and then you will have what it’s like to solely watch Al-Jazeera who according to Chomsky has “an enormous audience throughout the Arab-speaking world.” That’s a conservative estimate by the way.

What I meant to write before, in the part you did not understand, was the following:

Chomsky frequently states that terrorism is used as a justification to invade another country. For example from the article above Chomsky says, “Perhaps the purpose of all of these initiatives is to evoke some action by Iran or Syria that can be interpreted by Washington-media as justification for military action.” The message is clear America abuses terrorism, or invokes it, so that it can justify what it wants. Leaving aside the sheer nonsense of the statement, I was claiming that a similar pattern of abusing human suffering, or a fore seeable event of suffering, is done by Chomsky himself. For example Chomsky’s claim America was going to invade Syria and Iran, this, as I explained above, was never the plan Chomsky abuses the fear some people have against intervention in Iran and Syria to rally anti-American support. If he did not speak in such absolute terms, “If the Iraq invasion hadn't been such a remarkable failure, by now the US would probably have gone forward with plans to subordinate the region more fully to its interests, which would mean actions against the more independent states, Iran and Syria.” Then maybe people could have taken him seriously but he mixes conspiracy to conger up a fake reality to make his point which is no less repugnant than the idea that governments miss use the fear people have of terrorism.

 
At August 26, 2004 at 4:02 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

First, the neocons...

Can you honestly say that if things went better for the US in Iraq (and the neocons were not consequently discredited) that we wouldn't be hearing Pearle, Wolfowitz, Libby, Cheney et al talking about Al Qaeada connections to Iran right now?

And they did form the foreign policy of the US until the Iraq debacle. (Check out Steve Clemons blog a few days ago to see how the battle between 'realist' and neoconservatives was carried out.)

So it is safe to assume that if they were proven correct in Iraq (by their reasoning of course) they would have continued with their doctrine.

And you said debating is not the same as planning.
In the debate, the people advocating an attack were the people running the government. And one assumes that if you are advocating attacking Iran or Syria in public, you are also planning to do so if you have the means availabe (which they did).
Or do you believe that they would just say, 'well, we were only talking about it, we don't have any plans' even if things had gone according to (their) expectations in Iraq?




But after rereading the quote, that is irrelevant.
Chomsky said: "... which would mean actions against the more independent states, Iran and Syria." (my emphasys)

Now, using your standards (Bolton saying the US would 'deal with' Iran not neccecarily meaning going to war), Chomsky saying that the US would take 'actions against' Syria and Iran does not neccecarily mean going to war either.

[full disclosure: I think by actions Chomsky meant going to war but I also thing that by 'dealing with' Bolton meant going to war too - You can't have it both ways]

 
At August 26, 2004 at 9:38 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 26, 2004 at 9:44 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Lets assume for arguments sake that the Iraq war was a debacle or as Chomsky likes to say, "a remarkable failure." However, assuming this, you have to prove that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld all believe that it was a failure. By no stretch of the imagination do they believe that. So the claim "if the Iraq invasion hadn't been such a remarkable failure, by now the US would probably" doesn't work at all because you have to prove that the government thinks it was a failure so that they would act differently.

Second the neo-con business, sorry I have to be the one that is telling you this but there are not as many neo-cons out there as you or the wild conspiracy nuts out there think there are. You should note that "no one was calling Don Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft, or even Dick Cheney 'neocons' prior to 9/11" maybe they had a brain transplant. They are not. And no sorry the neo-cons don't run the country. Pearle doesn't have all that power you think he does (by the way you know his expertise is not the Middle East and that’s not what he advises on?). Your problem is you haven't really defined what a neo-con is. As Jonah Goldberg says, "If neoconservatives are hawks who favor democracy, then most conservatives and Republicans are neocons and therefore the term is too broad to be useful. If neocons are Jews, then stop calling Max Boot, Dick Cheney, and Newt Gingrich neocons. If neocons are ex-liberals stop calling Bill Kristol a neocon and start calling the founders of National Review neocons. And so on and so on. If you mean "hawk" say hawk. If you mean "Wilsonian" say Wilsonian. If you mean "Bill Kristol" say Bill Kristol. And, if you mean "Jew," for goodness sake, say Jew." You see Steve Clemons making a mish mash of this.

see the following:
http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg052103.asp

Also from the a neo-con himself, Max Boot, whos books I just love, states:

The Bush administration has become a convert to hard Wilsonianism, as seen from the president's recent speeches calling for democratization in the Middle East. Is this the work of a neocon cabal that has infiltrated the government? Hardly. All the officials cited as neocons ­ such as National Security Council staffer Elliott Abrams and Wolfowitz ­ are second-tier policymakers. The most senior decision-makers are President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Not one of them is a neocon. They are mainly traditional, national-interest conservatives who in the past have been suspicious of mixing ideals into US foreign policy.
http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/1297

Lastly, Chomsky actually said "plans to subordinate the region more fully to its interests" then he clarified it by stating "which would mean actions against." There is really only one way to subordinate a region by using action against two states. Also Chomsky is saying war was a failure if we won the war there would be more wars. I really don't see Chomksy advocating here America is going to act differently against Iran and Syria as it did against Iraq. On the other hand Bush was more explicit.

 
At August 26, 2004 at 10:26 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Lets assume for arguments sake that the Iraq war was a debacle or as Chomsky likes to say, "a remarkable failure." However, assuming this, you have to prove that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld all believe that it was a failure. By no stretch of the imagination do they believe that."

Oh no, of course not.
Compare Wolfie's and Rummy's statements before the Iraq war and now. What is that you're saying? Wolfie is keeping quiet lately? Rummy too? I wonder why. Reread Josh's article if nothing else to see what the neocons and the rest of the incompetent administration were saying prior to the Iraq war and what they are saying now.
And compare how many TV interviews Rumsfeld and the rest had before the war (like after Afganistan) and now.
One would have to be shortsighted not to see the Iraq adventure as a failiure, at least within the context they provided for an invasion. We can debate the real aims and whether they were achieved or not, but that is for another post.

"So the claim "if the Iraq invasion hadn't been such a remarkable failure, by now the US would probably" doesn't work at all because you have to prove that the government thinks it was a failure so that they would act differently."

Again, compare statements before the war ('Iraqis will greet us with flowers' etc.) with the situation on the ground AND statement (or lack thereof) now.


"Second the neo-con business, sorry I have to be the one that is telling you this but there are not as many neo-cons out there as you or the wild conspiracy nuts out there think there are."

Yes, I know there aren't that many. Cheney slipped in by mistake. The others I named are. I won't repeat what Clemmons wrote, read this post.

But just so we don't get too entangled into who is and who is not a neocon (as it does not have much to do with our topic) and what that is, I'll change my above sentence from:

"Can you honestly say that if things went better for the US in Iraq (and the neocons were not consequently discredited) that we wouldn't be hearing Pearle, Wolfowitz, Libby, Cheney et al talking about Al Qaeada connections to Iran right now?"

To:
"Can you honestly say that if things went better for the US in Iraq (and the hawks were not consequently discredited) that we wouldn't be hearing Pearle, Wolfowitz, Libby, Cheney et al talking about Al Qaeada connections to Iran right now?"

"Lastly, Chomsky actually said "plans to subordinate the region more fully to its interests" then he clarified it by stating "which would mean actions against." There is really only one way to subordinate a region by using action against two states."

Dhimmy, we can play this game infinitely.

I can reply to that with either:
No there are other actions besides war that could subordinate Iran and Syria - from sancions on Syria (already implemented) to forcing allies to stop doing business with Iran, to naval blocades, to making internal trouble (Cuban style terrorism), to ...
[I'll repeat again, that I belive Chomsky had war in mind]

Or I can reply with:
As Josh noted, at the same time the Iraq invasion was being implemented, neoconservative, sorry, hawkish reporters were channeling the administration's view that they will democratise (read: subordinate) the wider Middle East. When you look at Bolton's statement in that context, there can be no doubt he meant war.
[or he could have meant sancions on Syria (already implemented) to forcing allies to stop doing business with Iran, to naval blocades, to making internal trouble (Cuban style terrorism), to ...]

Choose one or the other, you can't have both.

Both Chomsky and Bolton are talking about the war or they both are not.
[I think they both are.]

And by now it should be clear, there clearly was discussion about invading Iran and Syria with most of the administration advocating the invasion line (neocons plus Cheney&Rumsfeld being the most prominent in doing so) and if Iraqis did 'greet the US with flowers' it is very likely we'd be reading about Iranian connections to Al-Qaida and Iraqi WMDs hidden in Syria.

"I really don't see Chomksy advocating here America is going to act differently against Iran and Syria as it did against Iraq."

Not in the long term, no. But in the short term, the US got burned, it pissed off its alies and further action in the near future is not very likely.

 
At August 26, 2004 at 9:55 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 26, 2004 at 9:56 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Another great article, by Bret Stephens over at the JPost, related to the neocon conspiracy theory. Best line, and pretty funny:

Presumably, if the neocons had been allowed to run the show in the Bush White House, the 82nd Airborne would now be stationed in Mecca selling tickets to the next Hajj.

 
At August 28, 2004 at 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In their dreams.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 28, 2004 at 4:05 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

Have you decided yet whether both Bolton are Chomsky are talking about the war or whether they both are not?

Either way, your post above is rebutted. You can make the necessary corrections.
Or not.

 
At August 29, 2004 at 4:37 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

And if you're really intrested whether elements withing the US government wanted war on Iraq, you have to read this analisys by Juan Cole:

http://www.juancole.com/2004_08_01_juancole_archive.html#109376785516786360

Kind of makes what you wrote above seem funny.

 
At August 29, 2004 at 11:50 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

1. Sourcing Juan Cole now that’s hilarious.
2. Bolton and Chomsky hardly made the same claim you know that. I have already gone over the Chomsky statement and am not going to repeat myself. (Which is something I have done with you on almost every single post) Next ten days ago Bolton clarified what he meant by dealing with Iran when he stated, "The path we are pursuing is the path of diplomacy" with regard to Iran. [1] Maybe diplomacy never entered your mind as another way of dealing with a country other than sanctions. Even more surprising is that it is Iran who is treating America.[1]
3. “And by now it should be clear, there clearly was discussion about invading Iran and Syria with most of the administration advocating the invasion line” funny how you never produced one official claiming so.
4. Only in your dreams have you debunked me.

[1] http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/8/19/182831.shtml by the way newsmax is a conservative news magazine.

 
At August 29, 2004 at 6:33 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

1. Sourcing Juan Cole now that’s hilarious.

You can learn a lot from reading his analisys of the Iraq conflict if nothing else. Even if you do not agree with him.
And if you check the link it's not Cole's only analisys, check the links to other articles so you can make your own picture of what is going on (if you don't accept Cole's view).

And you will be able to find information that the neocons (the 'Israeli spy' in particular) were talking about military action against Iran well before Chomsky ever mentioned it (that is the primary reason I linked it). So your claim above has another hole in it.

Cole:
So Franklin, Ledeen, and Rhode, all of them pro-Likud operatives, just happen to be meeting with SISMI (the proto-fascist purveyor of the false Niger uranium story about Iraq and the alleged Iran-Iraq plot against the rest of the world) and corrupt Iranian businessman and would-be revolutionary, Ghorbanifar, in Europe. The most reasonable conclusion is that they were conspiring together about the Next Campaign after Iraq, which they had already begun setting in train, which is to get Iran.

Now you may disagree with this assesment but the fact is that parts of the administration were plainning on attacking Iran. If the Iraqis had greeted the US army with flowers and the reconstruction had gone well, elections were held by now, the possibility of a US attack on Iran would be far greater as the hawks would have been vindicated and would hold an upper hand in the decision making.

Now, they are discredited and have to utter words like 'diplomacy' as they have no other option.


2. "Next ten days ago Bolton clarified what he meant by dealing with Iran when he stated, "The path we are pursuing is the path of diplomacy" with regard to Iran. Maybe diplomacy never entered your mind as another way of dealing with a country other than sanctions"

Well, it did not cross Bolton's mind either until AUGUST 2004.

Are you seriousely arguing that when Bolton told Israeli offcialy that after defeating Iraq, the US would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea he had diplomacy in mind??????????????????????????????????


But let's examine the quote you provided.
If you recheck above, we were discussing whether military action was discussed and planned in early 2003, when the failure (or 'failure' if you will) in Iraq was not as evident as it is now.

I could see just looking at the link that Bolton's statement you cited was from 2004, checking the article I see it's from ten days ago (got the impression from your 'next ten days' that the statement was within 10 days of the one you quoted above). Hardly 2003, is it? So this quote has no bearing on our discussion.
Now that the failure is evident it is no wonder the US will pursue diplomacy, it has no other option available.


"Even more surprising is that it is Iran who is treating America."

It's hardly surprising. They can afford to as the US can do nothing about it right now. And this is a result of an incompetent bunch carrying out a delusional plan.

3. “And by now it should be clear, there clearly was discussion about invading Iran and Syria with most of the administration advocating the invasion line” funny how you never produced one official claiming so.

You do seem naive sometimes. Officials are not going to be running around saying 'We plan to attack Iran next'. If your standard for proof is George Bush saying 'On 9/11 2004, we will attack Iran' or something to that effect, there never will be any evidence that will satisfy you.
But officials will be telling thier counterparts that Iran and Syria will be dealt with next.

4. Only in your dreams have you debunked me.

You have (still) not answered which option you chose... Either Chomsky and Bolton are both talking about war or they are not.

 
At August 30, 2004 at 5:55 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Read from the mouth of the author of the 'axis of evil' speech (well maybe not) David Frum,

"The Bush administration has opted since 2001 for a policy of engagement and attempted compromise with Iran"

http://nationalreview.com/frum/diary083004.asp

Kind of makes what Juan wrote seem funny. And exposes him as the frock he really is.

 
At August 31, 2004 at 7:28 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Oh and because Frum says so in August 2004, it must be so...

As far as Cole goes...

Whether his theory checks out or not is irrelevant. As I said above:

"[Y]ou will be able to find information that the neocons (the 'Israeli spy' in particular) were talking about military action against Iran well before Chomsky ever mentioned it (that is the primary reason I linked it). So your claim above has another hole in it.

[snip - Cole's assesment]

Now you may disagree with this assesment but the fact is that parts of the administration were plainning on attacking Iran. If the Iraqis had greeted the US army with flowers and the reconstruction had gone well, elections were held by now, the possibility of a US attack on Iran would be far greater as the hawks would have been vindicated and would hold an upper hand in the decision making
.

This still stands and doesn't have anything to do with Cole's analysis. I linked to it for info about 2003 discussion of actions agains Iran, not because I agreed with it (I don't).


You have (still) not answered which option you chose... Either Chomsky and Bolton are both talking about war or they are not.

 
At August 31, 2004 at 9:40 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 31, 2004 at 9:43 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Remember when you said you don’t read my links, well I still doubt that you do. From the article you don’t want to read,

The memo in question - a draft of a proposed presidential policy directive for Iran [suggesting that the US adopt a tougher policy] - was essentially rejected. The Bush administration has opted since 2001 for a policy of engagement and attempted compromise with Iran. For all practical purposes, the memo was an expression of something close to a purely personal opinion. [Emphasis in the original]

Listen this is the last time I will repeat myself. There was only a discussion about going to war. No actual policy was adopted. PERIOD. Get over it, no one was going to invade Iran or Syria, it was just a thought that was not taken into consideration. Now if you have a problem with people thinking about it then that’s another story (but I will say that it would be irresponsible for a country in a war on terror not to consider it at least once), but don’t sit there and claim that it was policy to attack Iran, it wasn’t and you haven’t produced evidence that it was, only conspiracy that is proven false.

Lastly Bolton’s remarks and Chomsky’s claims were not the same. Bolton has made numerous comments about Iran starting before the war and after. All of them make the same claim we will try to exhaust all diplomatic options until there are none left, and then take a harder stance, not necessarily war. This hardly is a declaration of war. So only in your imagination is there a statement that Bolton made which was similar in nature to Chomsky’s regarding Iran.

 
At September 1, 2004 at 3:40 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Dhimmy,

I reread what you wrote and this seems to be the core of your argument:

"[This] was only a discussion about going to war. No actual policy was adopted. PERIOD. Get over it, no one was going to invade Iran or Syria, it was just a thought that was not taken into consideration."

So I think a little explanation is in order.

1. You did not dispute the fact that plans for an invasion of Syria or Iran exist.
[But this does not mean anything as plans exist for the invasion of practically all countries.]

2. It is the very discussion that you are talking about that decides whether plans already made will be adopted, adapted and implemented and whether or not these plans will be put into action depends on the civilian leaders in Washington. And this discussion relys crucially on proponents of different approaches being vindicated by facts on the ground (i.e. what was predicted and what happened in Iraq).

3. The Neocons & Friends (AEI, PNAC - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, ...) had the reigns of US military and foreign policy in their hands upto the invasion of Iraq. And there was serious discussion of what to do after Iraq. Some advocated internal distruption (dovish hawks; mainly for Iran) some advocated invasion (ultra hawks; mainly for Syria).

4. Had the Iraq war gone to plans (flowers, democracy, milk and honey), the hawkish part (or I should say ultra hawkish) would still have the upper hands in forming policy and actions of the US government.


5. The result of this could have been an Invasion of Syria (more likely) or Iran (less likely).

6. The fact that the 'remarkable failure of Iraq' has discredited not only the ultra hawks but 'regular' hawks as well has resulted in the policies they advocated and planned not being carried out (yet).

7. You can of course ignore all of the above and keep believing that your government only plans wars and actions you can find in their official statements but that is your perogative.

8. Whatever you do, you cannot keep claiming that plans to take "actions against the more independent states, Iran and Syria", were something only "[w]hacko conspiracy theorists and leftwing nuts" discussed.
Here's a sample of the links I found after a quick search (with the disclaimer that I don't know the US media scene enough to know who is 'whacko' or who is 'discredited' or ... - but the general picture you get from the quotes should be fairly accurate. Also, some sites I use only as a source for quotes and don't agree with their content - I unfortunately don't have access to Nexis):


Michael Leeden in his book The War Against the Terror Masters:
First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.


Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. … [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission.


Josh Marshal on the Neocons and Iraq:
Among old lefties, there always used to be this line that you couldn't say socialism or communism had failed because it had never really been tried. I told a friend a few days ago, that for better or worse, after this is done, we're not going to be able to say the same thing about neo-conservatism. This is their show. If it all pans out great, they'll really be able to crow. If it doesn't, there will be nowhere to run.



Matthew Continetti, 12/01/2003:
"Wesley Clark's Conspiracy Theory:
Clark has made his charge a central plank of his presidential campaign. Clark writes in his book, "Winning Modern Wars," that in November 2001, during a visit to the Pentagon, he spoke with "a man with three stars who used to work for me," who told him a "five-year plan" existed for military action against not only Afghanistan and Iraq, but also "Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan." Clark has embellished this story on the campaign trail, going so far as to say, "There's a list of countries."
...
"In the gossip circles in Washington, among the neoconservative press, and in some of the statements that Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary Wolfowitz have made, there is an inclination to extend this into Syria and maybe Lebanon."



Paul Krugman, NYT, March 18, 2003:
It's a matter of public record that this war with Iraq is largely the brainchild of a group of neoconservative intellectuals, who view it as a pilot project. In August a British official close to the Bush team told Newsweek: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran." In February 2003, according to Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper, Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Will Iraq really be the first of many? It seems all too likely — and not only because the "Bush doctrine" seems to call for a series of wars.



Haaretz at the time of Bolton's visit:
Sharon reminds U.S. visitors that a victory in Iraq won't solve all the problems in the region and that Syria, Libya and Iran have to be dealt with. This week, Undersecretary of State John Bolton visited Jerusalem. He's an administration hawk. There was no sign of any difference of views in the conversations he had with his Jerusalem hosts.


The Boston Globe:
[link to the Boston Globe page does not work]

"As the Bush administration debates going to war against Iraq, its most hawkish members are pushing a sweeping vision for the Middle East that sees the overthrow of Saddam Hussein of Iraq as merely a first step in the region's transformation. The argument for reshaping the political landscape in the Mideast has been pushed for years by some Washington think tanks and in hawkish circles. It is now being considered as a possible US policy with the ascent of key hard-liners in the administration - from Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith in the Pentagon to John Hannah and Lewis Libby on the vice president's staff and John Bolton in the State Department... Iraq, the hawks argue, is just the first piece of the puzzle. After an ouster of Hussein, they say, the US will have more leverage to act against Syria and Iran, will be in a better position to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and will be able to rely less on Saudi oil."


Just the Beginning
Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?"
By Robert Dreyfuss of the American Prospect


Financial Times, March 22, 2003:

Billed as a "black coffee briefing on the war on Iraq", yesterday's breakfast for the influential hawks of the American Enterprise Institute was more of a victory celebration.

With a few words of caution - that the war to oust Saddam Hussein was not yet over - the panel of speakers, part of the Bush administration's ideological vanguard, set out their bold vision of the postwar agenda: radical reform of the UN, regime change in Iran and Syria, and "containment" of France and Germany.



Britain Must Not Be Suckered a Second Time By the White House by Robin Cook:

There is always a bigger problem in denying reality than in admitting the truth. The time has come when the British government needs to concede that we did not go to war because Saddam was a threat to our national interests. We went to war for reasons of US foreign policy and Republican domestic politics.

One advantage of such clarity is that it would help prevent us from being suckered a second time. Which brings us to Rumsfeld's latest sabre-rattling against Iran. It is consistent with the one-dimensional character of the Rumsfeld world view that he talks of Iran as if it were a single unified entity. In fact, Iran is deeply divided by a power struggle.



Veteran neo-con advisor moves on IranMichael A Ledeen, resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works closely with the better-known former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, has been a fixture of Washington's neo-conservative community for more than 20 years. But he is now out front, in a public campaign for the United States to confront Iran, warning that Tehran will cause Washington problems in both Iraq and Afghanistan and that "the mullahs are determined to obliterate Israel".

"We are now engaged in a regional struggle in the Middle East, and the Iranian tyrants are the keystone of the terror network," he wrote in Monday's Post. "Far more than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the defeat of the mullahcracy and the triumph of freedom in Tehran would be a truly historic event and an enormous blow to the terrorists."







Now I'll quote you again:
"[I]t was just a thought that was not taken into consideration."

But why wasn't it taken into consideration? That is the crucial question.

Chomsky saying that 'the remarkable failure' in Iraq is to blame for this sounds very credible not only to me but to most of the mainstream. And he is by far not the only one saying it.

It will not satisfy you, of course.

 
At April 7, 2005 at 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it won't satisfy dhimmi and others.

In their world, the U.S. can do no wrong. Period. Therefor it is impossible to discuss with them and everyone that is putting forth critisism or ideas that makes the U.S. look like the bad guy is a nut case.

To dhimmi I would like to ask:
Why is it so difficult to accept that is is quite likely that Washington had war plans against Syria and Iran and the intent to implement them when the same is true for Iraq?

 
At October 20, 2005 at 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this very recent mainstream news article would be suitable here. A short excerpt:

Rice won't rule out attack on Syria

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday would not rule out military action as an option for dealing with Iran's and Syria's meddling in Iraq.

She also made no promises to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the White House would seek congressional approval before directing a military attack on either of those countries.

"I'm not going to get into what the president's options might be. But the course on which we are now launched is a diplomatic course vis-a-vis Syria," Rice said.

Under further questioning, she went even further to suggest military action -- without congressional authorization -- is a possibility.

"I don't want to try and circumscribe presidential war powers, and I think you'll understand fully that the president retains those powers in the war on terrorism and in the war in Iraq," she said.


Link:
http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20051019-033738-7076r

- Bruno

 
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