Monday, June 16, 2008

Keystone Kondi's Kwazy Kwestions


As the End of Bush Days draws near, the desperation and insanity of the administration and its neoconservative policies become more and more apparent. One of the most recent examples is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on June 3, where she once and for all crossed over to the dark side and swore fealty to Lord Cheney's quest to start a shooting war with Iran.

With Horse's Caboose Condi hitched onto the Cheney train, can Armageddon be far behind?

Smart Girl

Condi was never part of the administration's policy team. She was the smart professor gal from Stanford who Cheney and Don Rumsfeld brought aboard to tutor the Bush kid in things like geography and history that he should have learned before he graduated from Yale and Harvard but didn't. Making her National Security Adviser gave her an excuse to be in meetings where she could whisper answers in Bush's ear (which is how he graduated from Yale and Harvard). Sticking Condi in the job also guaranteed Dick and Don wouldn't have to put up with a pesky NSA who actually wanted to influence foreign policy. When the time came to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Condi was the perfect choice. They wouldn't have to cut her out of the decision loop they way they cut Powell out. Condi was never in the loop to begin with.

The Goebbels Brigade tried to make her seem like a real player on the world stage for a time. There was talk at one point of putting Condi up for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Rice 2008 urges John McCain to pick Condi as his running mate. At the "Run Condi Run" web site (moonfruit.com, really) you can donate to the organization and buy McCain/Rice 2008 bumper stickers and even order a Condi bobble head doll.

Rumors surfaced in summer of 2007 that suggested Condi and Cheney were locking horns over Iran policy. By October of that year though, when she told Congress that Iran was America's "single greatest challenge," it was clear that she was still Uncle Dick's good little girl.

Good Girl

In her June 3, 2008 speech to AIPAC, Condi began her verbal assault on Iran with the standard neoconservative misquote of a remark made by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Then she launched into a fabulist speculation on Iran's nuclear intentions.
Now, we hear Iran’s rulers say that they do not seek a nuclear weapon, only peaceful nuclear energy. Well, then why have they rejected the past offers from the international community for incentives, even cooperation on light water reactors? Why has Iran rejected, thus far, Russia’s offer of uranium enrichment in Russia? Why, as the IAEA’s most recent report shows, is Iran continuing to enrich uranium, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions? Why, as the IAEA also suggests, are parts of Iran’s nuclear program under the control of the Iranian military? And why is Iran continuing to deny international experts full access to its nuclear facilities? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s just hard to imagine that there are innocent answers to these questions. (Applause.)

It's even harder to imagine that we could have a Secretary of State who possesses the intellectual sophistication of a slow child, and yet we do. Ms. Rice seems wholly oblivious to the nature of the competition among today's political entities; the struggle for control of the kind of power it takes to run industries and to transport goods and to transform entire regions of the world.

The international maneuvering revolves around who will control how fast the last of the planet's oil gets used, and how much the rest of us have to pay for it, and who gets to direct the world's transition to alternate energy sources. Hence, the real political leverage Iran has to gain from its nuclear program will come from a viable energy industry, not nuclear weapons. Possessing nuclear weapons would amount to little more than painting a bull's eye on its back. Using one would be tantamount to self-genocide; the retaliation would be the virtual end of the Persian race.

The "past offers from the international community for incentives" regarding cooperation on light water reactors or uranium enrichment performed in another country all involve making Iran dependent on other nations—nations the U.S. can control—in order for its energy industry to function. That's like telling the Iranians they can have a farm as long as they grows their crops in Iowa and use John Deere tractors and American labor and let us keep the seeds for next year, and if they're good little sand tics we'll let them buy some of their own food from us.

We don’t need the IAEA report to "suggest" that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium. Iran isn't keeping it a secret; it has flat out told the whole world it's continuing to enrich uranium. As a party to the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an "inalienable right" to pursue production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. For the UN Security Council to have passed a resolution denying Iran of an inalienable right makes the Security Council in violation of the NPT and the resolution itself illegal, so someone please explain to me how Iran is "in violation" of an illegal resolution.

The IAEA report does not suggest that "parts of Iran’s nuclear program [are] under the control of the Iranian military." It says that Iran needs to "clarify procurement and R&D activities of military related institutes and companies that could be nuclear related." (Italics mine.) The distance between those two statements you could drive an armored division through. Military related industries are ideal for providing certain precision components for nuclear fuel refinery. Remember how those aluminum tubes Iraq was supposedly using for a uranium centrifuge turned out to be parts for artillery rockets?

The IAEA report states that in early April the Agency recently "requested Iran to provide, as a transparency measure, access to additional locations related, inter alia, to the manufacturing of centrifuges, R&D on uranium enrichment, and uranium mining and milling." That's all pretty innocent stuff related to the kind of uranium enrichment we already know Iran is doing. Less than two months later, when the report was released, Iran hadn't gotten back to the Agency about taking it to those additional locations. That's not surprising; this was hardly a pressing matter.

A first semester political science student at the most obscure community college in America has sufficient imagination to arrive at these "innocent" conclusions. Why doesn’t our Secretary of State?

Doctor Ditz

Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. is part of a diplomacy machine that's designed not to work. Demanding Iran give up its uranium enrichment program as a precondition to direct diplomatic talks was a head fake. Cheney's neocons made Iran an offer it couldn't accept; that way they could say they tried diplomacy even though they really didn't.

The goal of the Bush regime's foreign policy is to promote conflict, not avoid it. The neoconservatives desire nothing more ardently than to create a second Cold War with our old adversaries Russia and China, whose client state Iran is assuming the role of Eastern Europe. Rounding out the lineup for round two, Venezuela is stepping in for Cuba and Iraq is substituting for West Germany.

The neo-communists won't engage us in an arms race this time around. They'll let us be the ones who pour national treasure down a sand dune on fantastic weapons that can't win the kinds of wars we fight until we're bankrupt. One commonly hears these days that we're playing checkers and the Russians and Chinese are playing chess. A more ironically apt analogy is that they have graduated to duplicate bridge while we continue to play war.

Even more ironic is that we won the first Cold War because our economic model was superior, but in the second Cold War we're likely to find that the neocoms have become better capitalists than we are.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books) is on sale now.

32 comments:

  1. EEngineer1:57 PM

    Clear and concise. What I notice by it's absence is posturing by he Russians and Chinese. I interpret that as cool customers who see things going according to to plan. It makes me shiver.

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  2. Excellent point about the cool customers, EE. Yes, they're playing this about as well as it can be played.

    Jeff

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  3. Excellent article and yes I second that thought. Pushing back on the crazy NATO expansion and patently absurd missile defense (unless it is really missile offense) is about right but they are playing it long.

    I have written a review of Trita Parsi's Treacherous Alliance and an essay on what I think Ahmadinejad has been up to with his presidency. In it I speculate that Rice might be making a grab for some kind of legacy memento in supporting the recent EU olive branch, which the Iranians for a change have declined to stick up the nether regions of the bearers, despite the proposals asking them them to stop enriching uranium (pretty please).

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  4. Good job with both the review and the essay, Chris.

    Jeff

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  5. She looks positively feral in that photo. Was it taken during a full moon? Or was she out shopping for shoes?

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  6. Anonymous2:11 AM

    In Condi's short attention span world, its never mentioned that Iran did suspend its enrichment, while the EU tried to cut a deal. Only one small problem, Iran wanted US security guarantees and normalization, which Bush wouldn't consider then, and won't consider now. The neo-cons know this is a deal-killer and are only going through the motions, 'til they can get our brain-damaged President to launch an attack.

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  7. JP,

    Feral indeed. I think she was putting on makeup.

    Anon,

    Yep, thanks for bringing this very important aspect of the overall Iran narrative.

    Jeff

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  8. Danny Li8:04 AM

    That foto of a 'Puffed Rice' is almost as good as the one where she held up 2 fingers(purportedly to show what a short fuse she has with the mullahs?)at a recent Congressional hearing. But I wouldn't trust anyone in the NeoConned regime who once had an oil tanker named after her(that history alone should tell you where her real loyalty lies!) Anyway, good job debunking the (il)logic of Ms "Mushroom Cloud"!

    Peace, DL(midPac Peacenik)

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  9. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Shaul Mofaz, one of Olmert's leading deputies makes a statement that Israel may find it necessary to strike Iran..Oil prices spike!''''What will happen if Israel/U.S. DO strike Iran?? They seem to have EMPIRE"S latest lapDOG, Brown onboard....though his addition of ?? two hundred?? was it really two hundred?? more troops in Afghanistan? How to please the Yanks and keep his numbers just above the privy-pit... Its all obviously an incredible balancing act with the neocon cabal and their wealthy Jewish-enablers/wealthy oil/ fundamentalists on one side and ever restive publics on the other side....as..she...they..zigzag like a clown on an unicycle...across the world stage....a comic ending to their third reich arrival?? It wasn't SUPPOSED to be this way... Their opening gambit (911) and their Enabling act (patriot act) which opened the way for their "Blitzkreig" (shock and awe) their putsch of AMERICAN governance....To bring their 1000 tear reich.......Bush the conquerer! The Neocon Cabal ASTRIDE THE WORLD vanquishing EVIL!!!.....Not using the B-2 to bomb the ragtag Talliban in Pakistan!! Its really a CLOWN show...

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  10. Keystone Kondi's Kwazy Kwestions helps to confirm that the current administration possesses infinite incompetence enabled by a largely complicit mainstream media in a country that decries socialism/communism while mimicing it with Pravda and Ivestia-like U.S. media compounded by massive government subsidies (direct and indirect) for many industries. One example is the federal government's ownership of Amtrack which is a chronic financial loss with erratic and expensive service.

    How much inefficienty and incompetence can the nation stand with the continued failure of a two party system that is looking more like a one party state with minor differences usually. Majorities or near majorities in both parties authorized the Iraq war. The country needs a major third party to promote real debate to solve the country's problems in the Congress headed by someone like Ralph Nader or some as yet unheralded person who has actually made major contributions to the nation without being in government!

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  11. wkmaier11:34 AM

    And Condi has gave thumbs up to the power-sharing agreement that includes Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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  12. Isn't she just the best?

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  13. vladimirhrycenko1:34 PM

    Off all the examples available for ridicule of Washingtonian incompetence Unisky selects Amtrack for his incisive derision. That's sort of like pointing to the bird-shit on the windshield when all the tires are flat and the engine has seized.

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  14. "Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. is part of a diplomacy machine that's designed not to work."

    You have a way of making the big issues go down easy, Commander.

    Meanwhile, maybe Rice traded Iran to Cheney for concessions on Israel-Palestine.

    Once again, want to remind Jeff's readers of a five-part series I did last week on him and his new novel, starting here:
    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/06/09/politicians-play-general-generals-play-politics-part-1/

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  15. To illustrate just how far over the deap end (and plunging to crush depth!) Condi, Cheney, "W" and all the rest are:

    "There are few nations in the world with which the United States has less reason to quarrel or more compatible interests than Iran."

    Who said it? Henry Kissinger in his book Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century.

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  16. Good call, John. The neocons, of course, would argue that he wrote the book pre-9-11, but, uh, Iran wasn't involved in 9-11. Iraq wasn't either, though, so go figure.

    Jeff

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  17. Anonymous6:57 PM

    You Hit It, I'm just have a HS back ground but even I knew that she was really not in the same league as the real players in the world. The played her and the blind cons like the cheap instrument that they are.
    Thanks Jeff
    jo6pac
    Everything is on schedule, please move along.

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  18. The only way the world should have changed was in our tolerance for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Regrettably, in total disregard of appropriate military and geopolitical theory, we have failed to destroy the Taliban, we have diluted our efforts everywhere on a whim, and we have changed places with the Taliban as the most disliked rogue state. The only way we could magnify our failure is to spread this war farther. And so, onward we march to infamy . . .

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  19. Jo6,

    The smartest people I know all have a high school diploma. Some of the dumbest people I know are PhDs. I have a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees in basket weaving, so I figure that puts me somewhere in between.

    John,

    As you say, we've diluted our efforts. In operational art terms, we violated the economy of force principle by throwing the main body of our force against what should have been at most a tertiary sector of effort (Iraq) while we let the primary sector (Taliban in Afghanistan) languish and squandered all our gains there.

    Jeff

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  20. Anonymous10:07 PM

    A sensible and logical appraisal of the situation, however, in the world of logic, and reason, there is little room for unreason, emotion, and dogma, hence the crazy world that somehow seems to be devoid of sense, and reason, more akin to episodes of mass schizophrenia, with sufferers having great difficulties to relate to nodes of reality and time.

    However, the fact that current crisis were brought on just after the turn of millennium. Further fact that core malaise that precipitated the unfolding crisis have not been addressed are self evident.

    When Smedley Butler was writing his “war is a racket”, he was reliant on markets, and these markets' sustainability. However, the current bunch of latter-day racketeers engaging the bent and broken markets, whilst aiming for war profiteering have in fact undermined these bent markets further, and the results are there for all to see, and live with.

    Notwithstanding the above, a cursory study of the warmongering factions, can lead to the following classification;
    A- Market providers (masters of universe),
    B- War Profiteers,
    C- Zionists bent on implementing “defense of the realm”.

    Fact that paucity of thought, and bankruptcy of ideas having been held as imperatives to aspire for, in gaining membership of the anointed tripartite group. Hence, it should come as no surprise that their dogma has yielded the monumental, and biblical disaster that we have the misfortune of living out.

    However this tripartite faction, through their construct of the echo chamber of the media have managed to unleash their plans, and the subsequent resulting mess, by the perception management that Goebbles would have died for, and implemented so comprehensively, have moved the reference of debate from disastrous results of their policies, on a shock and awe scale, to the discussions on their next war, albeit cold, or hot.

    Therefore to find the rest of the world tacking a different course, and moving on and away from the current constructs of international relations, is an elegant consequence of the divorced from reality policies that are being promoted in the other occupied territories namely the Capitol Hill.

    Further, considering the latent potential of the markets in Asia, along with the relevant consumers, dwarf the current and relevant constructs, doggedly pushed by the US, UK, at times Germany, and occasionally France block, solely based on fire power, smacks of primitive conduct, that has been noted as checkers versus chess game. China, Russia, Iran, and India somehow have only to ride out the wave of aggression unleashed (within predetermined, finite, and tolerable limits, not precipitating an all out strike) for this “Western block” to run out of money, oil, and steam.

    Evidently their calculus is well thought out, and argued, they have obtained that the motto of stupidity is virtue so adhered to in the current US administration will achieve the desired outcomes, and somehow their assumption have not proved false.

    passerby

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  21. "Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. is part of a diplomacy machine that's designed not to work." I always got a kick out of the frequent reference to 'Dr.' Rice in the early Administration years as if she needed a title of gravitas to get a good table reservation in George Town eateries.

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  22. wkmaier2:24 PM

    Jeff,

    Great interview at Russ Wellen's place (I bkmkd their site).

    P. O Neill predicts neocon head explosions:

    France's top presidential aide says the leaders of Israel and Syria could meet next month in Paris.

    Claude Gueant says Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has recommended that he and Syrian President Bashar Assad hold "direct contacts" at a July 13 summit.

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  23. Anon,

    I'd say your abc algebra works as good as anyone's.

    MandT,

    Where I come from, unless you're on a college campus, a doctor is an MD, a dentist or a veterinarian.

    WK,

    Cats and dogs living together in Paris, eh? Ah, those French!

    Jeff

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  24. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Jeff, off the subject, but I just read a post where it is stated that McCain was responsible for starting the 1967 fire aboard the USS Forestal when he did a 'wet-start' on his A4E. This blog also stated that he had crashed a couple of a/c while training. definitely the son and grandson of admirals if he got by with all of this!

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  25. We're going to hear all kinds of things about what a slob McCain was in the Navy. About half of them will be true.

    Jeff

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  26. I think vladimirhrycenko misunderstood the point that the U.S. government in decrying communism/socialism now owns industries such as Amtrack and subsides many American industries, which mimics in part the communist/socialist system of government.

    Flat tires and shit on windshield are not examples of government failures and it would be informative to provide some insightful examples.

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  27. Anonymous6:21 AM

    I would like to point out that you are essentially arguing that the highest organ of the United Nations isn't allowed to interpret how United Nations treaties apply. That's something the Security Council does all the time.

    In this case the line of argument seems to be that the possibility of weapons development is enough to make Iran's domestic production of fuel an issue of proliferation. The argument is further spun as halting development (non-proliferation) trumps the third pillar (peaceful energy).

    This has allowed the SC to split hairs, arguing that Iran's right to nuclear fuel can be guaranteed through trade, rather than their supposed inalienable right to try domestic production instead. Local production will simply remain an issue of proliferation for as long the Security Council so desires.

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  28. Well, Anonymous, saying the SC gets to decide what all treaties say or don't say is like saying the DOD is in charge of interpreting the Constitution.

    Jeff

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  29. Anonymous11:51 PM

    No, I didn't say all treaties. I said United Nations treaties. More specifically UN treaties that don't set up a tribunal for resolving disputes about treaty issues. If the SC could adjudicate all treaties then George Bush wouldn't have to worry about the International Criminal Court indicting Americans (such as himself).

    The Security Council can't on its own amend or rewrite UN treaties but it can decide how those treaties are applied in specific instances. From time to time the arguments are specious but as long as the other members buy it, then that's the decision they go with. There just isn't anything above the SC in the UN.

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  30. Senator McCain was stationed on two aircraft carriers that had serious fires while in a combat zone: the USS Forrestal and the USS Oriskni.

    Much commentary, both pro and con, has been made about McCain's involvement in the USS Forrestal fire. What is undisputed is that LtCmdr McCain was starting his A-4E in preparation for take off on a mission when a Zuni rocket on an F-4 located further down the deck launched striking a drop tank on the A-4E and dislodging a 1,000lb bomb. The fuel flowing from the drop tank ignited and very quickly, several aircraft became involved in the fire. Soon after LtCmdr McCain jumped off the nose of his aircraft, the 1,000lb bomb cooked off blowing a hole in the deck and allowing the fire to further spread to the lower decks. Ultimately, 132 died, 62 were injured, and 2 were missing and presumed dead. These are the agreed facts.

    Where there is some dispute: 1) did LtCmdr McCain engage in a wet start of his A-4E? 2) did this event directly trigger the Zuni rocket launch? 3) did LtCmdr McCain panic and drop his ordinance load on the deck before leaving his aircraft? 4) was there some sort of conspiracy theory about using Composition B bombs instead of H6 and 1,000lb instead of 500lb ordinance involving McCain? 5) was there a cover up?

    Probably irrelevant: even if LtCmdr McCain had done everything perfectly, it is just as likely (as the official story reports) that an electrical fault caused the Zuni to launch--after which physics largely take over; and, 134 men would still be dead with 62 injured.

    Win, lose, or draw--he still gets to live with that.

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