Stupid People Say Stupid Things

“And Iran declared war on us when they took hostages from our embassy in 1979. So they are indeed at war with us, for whatever that’s worth to you.” – Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.

Hmmm, then I guess that makes Reynolds’ hero and favored jerk off material (Reagan & Co.) guilty of treason. Nice. Think about that the next time your hand creeps down into your dirty tightie whities, Glenn!

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Bush Searching for His Own Gulf of Tonkin Incident?

As the Bush Administration is ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran, it seems
the President is desperately searching, and has been for some time, for a reason to instigate a war with Iran.

Whatever the justification: oil, beginning WWIII, or “bad intelligence,” the President needs a direct attack on US troops or America to be able to rally the support he needs for this new war.

This tactic was used to escalate the war in Vietnam, and has come to be known as the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident.” According to Wikipedia:

“The Gulf of Tonkin Incident was an alleged pair of attacks by naval forces of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam against two American destroyers, the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy. The attacks occurred on 2 and 4 August 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin. Later research, including a report released in 2005 by the National Security Agency, indicated that the second attack most likely did not occur…

The outcome of the incident was the passage of the Southeast Asia Resolution (better known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution), which granted Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose governments were jeopardized by communist aggression and which served as Johnson’s legal justification for escalating American involvement in the Vietnam Conflict.”

It looks like the Bush Administration has found what they think might increase support for their war:

“The Pentagon is investigating whether a recent attack on a military compound in Karbala was carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives, two officials from separate U.S. government agencies said…

The five soldiers were abducted and killed in the sophisticated attack by men wearing American-style uniforms, according to U.S. military reports.

Both officials stressed the Iranian-involvement theory is a preliminary view, and there is no final conclusion. They agreed this possibility is being looked at because of the sophistication of the attack and the level of coordination.”

So according to officials, there is absolutely no proof that Iran had anything to do with this attack – except that it seemed professional. But yet, the media is jumping all over this as though it were already proven, just as they did in the lead up to the Iraq war.

Will the US go to war again based on faulty evidence, unproven facts and simple conjecture from the White House?

Second Aircraft Carrier Heads to the Middle East

Just hours before the President is set to address the American people, Yahoo News (via Rawstory) is reporting the United States has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf furthering fears the United States is set to strike Iran.

“The American aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and several accompanying ships are heading toward the Gulf to join an aircraft carrier group already in the region, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Stennis is expected to arrive in late February.

The Stennis’s arrival in the Middle East will mark the first time since the U.S.-led Iraq invasion in 2003 that the United States has had two carrier battle groups in the region.”

US diplomats used harsh language to defend the move.

“The Middle East isn’t a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn’t a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That’s why we’ve seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region,” said Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Will President Bush address this move during tonight’s speech? Will this be another repeat of the 2003 State of the Union?

Darth Cheney Responsible for War With Iran

As we’ve been reporting since prior to Bush’s National Address last week, the Administration has upped the rhetoric against Iran a notch, and seems to be looking to pick another fight, and take the United States in another needless, unwarranted war.

The Administration claims the Iranian government is supporting terrorism, the insurgency in Iraq, and is attempting to build a nuclear weapon, as opposed to a civilian nuclear program as the Iranians claim.

If, in fact, the United States declares war on Iran, the responsibility of every single death of an American soldier or Iranian citizen will lay squarely on the shoulders of Vice President Darth Cheney.

According to the BBC, the State Department received a letter from the Iranian government shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to officials, the letter offered to cut off funding to terrorist groups (Hamas & Hezbollah), promised “full transparency” on their nuclear program, and offered to help provide stability in Iraq.

In return, the Iranians wanted an end to sanctions, and “repatriation of members of the Mujahedeen Khalq,” an Iranian “opposition group” that fought along Saddam Hussein during the Iran/Iraq war.

Sounds like a great deal, right? Not to Darth Cheney apparently. The article continues to explain that the State Department was initially positive on the offer, but once it was dead on arrival to the Veep’s office.

“As soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President’s office, the old mantra of ‘we don’t talk to evil’ … reasserted itself,” said former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson.

Apparently, Cheney will only talk and work with Iran as a representative of Halliburton.

As a matter of fact, not only did Cheney turn down the offer that could have avoided war and accomplished exactly what we’re trying to accomplish now, Cheney responded to the Swiss (who provided the US with the communication) and blasted them for even sending the proposal.

If, in fact, the United States does send our troops into battle with Iran, all responsibility will lay squarely on the shoulders of Darth Cheney for his refusal to attempt diplomacy, and his out right denial of everything we’ve been trying to accomplish.

US Storms Iranian Embassy in Abril, Iraq

During last night’s “speech of speeches”, President Bush laid out his “new way forward” in Iraq, which in a disturbing turn of events, included threatening the nations of Iran and Syria.

“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.”

These direct threats fall in line with a Power Point presentation released by the US government yesterday as a companion piece to Bush’s speech.

In the presentation, the White House explains the “new way forward”, and includes “Key strategy shifts.” These “shifts” include “increas[ing] operations against Iranian actors” and “Deployment of security assets to the Gulf region.” Conspicuously missing from these “shifts” is any sort of diplomatic plan to work with Iran and Syria (as the Iraq Study Group suggested), which according to senior administration officials, “was not accidental.”

With the revelation that diplomacy with Iran seems to be on the brink of coming to an end, arrives the news that United States forces raided the Iranian Embassy (considered to be Iranian soil) in Iraq last night.

“US forces accompanied by military helicopters on Thursday stormed the Iranian consulate in the Kurdish city of Arbil, arresting five Iranian employees, a Kurdish security source said. In addition to the arrests, US troops confiscated documents and computers, while Kurdish security authorities cordoned off all roads leading to the building.”

The whereabouts of the 5 arrested are currently unknown.

President Bush, in less than 8 hours, has positioned the United States on the brink of war with Iran without any Congressional or popular support, the necessary troops to engage in such action, nor the resources necessary to fight a nation with a conventional army that would surely respond with force.

If Bush is on national television admitting mistakes, and attempting to find a way in which we can win the war we’re already in – what makes him, or anyone else for that matter, believe the United States can handle another front.

If Bush really wants to make amends for mistakes already made, the first step is to not repeat them all over again.

Bush Speak: Subtly Threatening War With Iran and Syria

In what was hailed as one of the most important speeches of his presidency, George Bush almost declared he’d be sending more troops to Iraq, announced a new bipartisan commission led by Senator Joe Lieberman, and almost declared war on Iran and Syria.

As was predicted, Bush did commit a further 21,500 troops to Iraq, while basically giving away his play book to the insurgents, detailing where these troops will be used, and the new command structure.

“The vast majority of them – five brigades – will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.”

Bush also announced a new bipartisan panel that will advise the administration, and act as a channel to the Congress. The most prominent Democrat on this panel? Holy Joe:

“Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress.”

Also, Bush continued to show that he is “The Decider”, and backtracked on his promise to actually work with the new Congress:

“In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.”

In what may have been the most odd moment of the speech, it appeared Bush virtually declared war on Iran and Syria:

“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.”

The speech was mostly a rehashing of the same rhetoric we’ve heard for the past 4 years, with only a few slight differences.

There will be no bounce for Dubyah tomorrow, and this speech may have solidified his “lame duck” status.

Second U.S. carrier group to deploy to Gulf

Today, Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated the U.S. will send a second aircraft carrier group to the Gulf, “as a warning to Syria and Iran and to give commanders more flexibility in the region” (Comment: “flexibility” to do what??) .

Specifically, the USS John C. Stennis strike group would deploy this month to join the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier group. The move would put 5,000 more U.S. sailors in the region, bringing the total to 16,000.

Anyone else think this is a bit of a suspicious move? Rumors of this deployment have been circulating for the last few months even prior to Bush’s latest “surge”. We’ll see what “The Decider” has in store for our servicemen and -women at sea.

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