You just can’t keep (or put) those Evil NeoCons downPosted: September 16, 2012
Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisers are like the who is who of the Rummy/Cheney NeoCon War Club. They may have been driven underground by public opinion after the failed wars of Dubya Bush but they are hardly down and out.
Republicans lost their popularity on security issues for one reason: George W. Bush’s foreign policy was a disaster. And yet, the party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, has assembled a foreign-policy team composed almost exclusively of individuals with the same war-always mentality and ideology that served Bush — and the United States — so poorly. In some cases, the exact same men responsible for Bush’s catastrophic national security policies are advising Romney. The former Massachusetts governor could have included some of the pragmatists and realists from the George H.W. Bush administration. Instead, a Romney presidency seems like it would be Bush 43 all over again.
Richard Grenell, who served as United Nations spokesman under Bush, may be gone from the Romney campaign after an uproar over his sexuality, but there are plenty more former Bushies. First off, there are Romney’s “special advisors.” There’s Michael Chertoff, W.’s Homeland Security director. Chertoff oversaw DHS’s failures during Hurricane Katrina, and amassed unprecedented powers of secrecy. Next up is Eliot Cohen, counselor to the State Department for Bush’s last two years and on the Defense Policy Advisory Board for the president’s entire term. Cohen was an adamant supporter of the Iraq War and advised Bush directly on the issue. Or take Cofer Black, the man who infamously said to Bush in September 2011 about al-Qaida that “When we’re through with them they will have flies walking across their eyeballs.” Black went on to become chairman of Blackwater, where he resigned after the company illegally bribed Iraqi officials.
US Neocons and their Israeli counterparts have been beating drums every where for a US strike on Iran. There are headlines that suggest an Israeli strike on Iran may be forthcoming again. It’s no wonder there are all kinds of weird things happening–like massive anti-US protests suddenly popping up over a recent Arab translation of an Islamic hate film–that looks like contrived September/October Surprises. We have hints from Egypt’s PM that folks were paid to protest in Cairo and from Libya that the Libyan embassy attack may have been planned. So, where did the money come from? Is this really a last gasp from a nearly dead Al-Quaeda or possibly a set of false flag operations from people that want the US to strike Iran?
h/t to ralphb
So, what is with this massive movement of navy assets to the Gulf by British and US forces? Just what do they anticipate?
Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.
Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s petroleum traded by sea.
A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf.
The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most congested international waterways. It is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point and is bordered by the Iranian coast to the north and the United Arab Emirates to the south.
In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise.
If true, this is very, very bad. What exactly would the US do?
Washington is hoping and waiting for a positive outcome for its sanctions against Iran, and will not go along with Israel’s demands to attack the country, Iranian political scientist and professor Nasser Nadian-Jazy said in an interview with RT.
Nadian-Jazy believes that if President Obama is re-elected, he will be more willing to take a risk on diplomacy with Tehran and work out a plan to resolve tensions in a way that will be mutually beneficial for both America and Iran.
RT: Iran has just hosted a huge international event – the Non-Aligned Movement summit. There were 120 countries present, regardless of the US and Israel’s warnings not to do so. What message exactly is Iran sending out there?
Nasser Nadian-Jazy: Basically, Iran attempted to say that we’re not isolated the way the West attempted. Thus, the principal message for Iran was convincing the international community, particularly the West, that Iran is not isolated, let’s resolve our issues on the basis of negotiation rather than sanctions, political pressure and isolation.
RT: One could call it probably diplomatic power – you had 120 countries coming to you – regardless of America saying ‘don’t go.’ Does this immunize you from a possible strike [on Iran]?
NNJ: Of course not. Although, I’m not all that convinced that the Israelis would attack Iran, because that does not serve their interests. That would not help them to achieve their objectives. It would be costly for them, too. They can begin the strike, the war, but they are not sure how and when Iran is going to respond. In fact, no one can predict it.
RT: Do you have a guess how much the war with Iran would cost to the world economy?
NNJ: No doubt that as the first planes and missiles are flying over Iran, the price of oil is going to jump up – at least for a while. Considering the current economic problems now, I doubt it would be very helpful to the global economy.
RT: Since we’ve started talking about this possible strike, the US and Israel have different views on whether this strike should take place or not. What will happen, in your opinion, after the US presidential election?
NNJ: My guess is that if President Obama is re-elected, he would attempt to somehow work out a plan that would be beneficial for both America and Iran. Up to this point, America should basically consider the pressure. They cannot dismiss the presidential elections, they cannot dismiss the pressure from Israel. But after that, President Obama will be more willing to take risks with diplomatic efforts.
RT: You mentioned you don’t actually think that Israel would go ahead with the strike. But does it actually have the capability to fight the war?
NNJ: Up to this moment I’m almost convinced – though not totally convinced – that Israelis are putting pressure on the international community, particularly America with its presidential election. They want to get more; they want to make America accept their red line, which is zero [uranium] enrichment for Iran. They feel this is the best time to pressure America to accept that red line. America has not accepted that red line. For America, the red line is Iran having actual [nuclear] weapons.
But in case they decide to attack, they will not achieve their objectives. They do not have the capability to attack Iran. At most they can attack a few places by missiles and war planes. That would not convince Iran not to pursue its nuclear program.
If effectively put that way, it can bring out the radicals of Iran – those who are arguing for nuclear weapons. An Israeli attack is the best-case scenario for them. Basically, Israelis would strengthen the [Iranian] radicals who want them out. But the absolute majority of Iranian pundits and elites and officials – they don’t want this [nuclear] weapons. What they want is the capability [to make them]. I’ve been arguing that since 2003, Iran does not want [nuclear] weapons, Iran wants the capability
Then, there’s the Iranian response. What happens when two nations of basically well-educated, rational people are run by war mongering right wing nutters that have access to all kinds of technology because,well, we gave it to them because during the post WW2 era when were more concerned with containing the influence of the USSR than creating tempests in a bunch of little teapots around the globe. Blowback is a bitch, isn’t it?
The top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Sunday that his country’s missiles will ensure “nothing will remain” of Israel if it takes military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
Such warnings and references to Israel’s destruction have been made before by Iranian officials. But Gen. Jafari’s comments to a Tehran news conference were an unusually detailed, strongly worded and comprehensive listing of the means that Iran says it has to retaliate against a strike on its nuclear facilities.
The U.S. and Israel have left open the possibility of such a strike if Iran does not back down from what they say are a push to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
“Our response to Israel is clear: I think nothing will remain of Israel (should it attack Iran). Given Israel’s small land area and its vulnerability to a massive volume of Iran’s missiles, I don’t think any spot in Israel will remain safe,” he said.
He said Iran’s response to any attack will begin near the Israeli border.
The Islamic Republic has close ties with militants in Gaza and Lebanon, both of whom have rocket arsenals that could be used for cross-border strikes.
He said he did not believe however that Israel would attack on its own. Should the U.S. launch a strike, Jafari suggested that Iran could respond with missile salvos at U.S. bases in the Gulf.
“The US military bases sprawled around Iran are considered a big vulnerability. Even the missile shields that they have set up, based on information we have, could only work for a few missiles but when exposed to a massive volume of missiles, the shields will lose their efficiency and will not work,” he said.
He also said that Iran warned that oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz will be in jeopardy if a war breaks out between Iran and the United States. Iranian officials have previously threatened to close the waterway, the route for a fifth of the world’s oil, but less frequently in recent months.
“If a war breaks out where one side is Iran and the other side is the West and U.S., it’s natural that a problem should occur in the Strait of Hormuz. Export of energy will be harmed. It’s natural that this will happen,” he said.
I’m waiting to see what oil futures do when the European Markets begin to open. This will give us an indication of how seriously the money in the world is taking all of this.
This isn’t the first time that Benjamin Netanyahu’s NeoCon philosophy has jeopardized more things than all of us would like to consider. The British media considers his angry words to be putting a group of nations on alert. You’ll notice that we’re seeing less of this in the US media and that most of my links here go to overseas mainstream media with the exception of the SF Chronicle link.
A fortnight ago, the Israeli prime minister exploded in anger during a meeting with the American ambassador to Tel Aviv, furious at the Obama administration’s reluctance to state at what point he would authorise force to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear power.
A senior congressman who witnessed the encounter said that Mr Netanyahu was “agitated” and “worked up”, describing the meeting as the tensest he had ever attended with a foreign leader.
Last week, Mr Netanyahu publicly turned his wrath on Barack Obama himself, warning the American president that if he was unwilling to set fixed red lines that Iran could not cross, he had no “moral right” to prevent Israel taking military action of its own.
Ever since Mr Netanyahu came to power in 2009, Israel has regularly appeared to be on the brink of striking at Iran’s nuclear facilities, but never has the speculation been as fevered as it has in the past few months.
Many in Israel have predicted that the prime minister would order his air force into the skies, with or without Washington’s blessing, before Americans go to the polls in November.
Reinforcing the febrile atmosphere of expectation among the public, gas masks have been handed out and warning systems tested as Israel steps up home front preparations against possible retaliatory attacks in the aftermath of a strike against Iran.
Mr Netanyahu is prone to periodic bouts of bellicose rhetoric towards Iran, part of a double strategy to unnerve Tehran and step up pressure on the West to take Israel seriously.
He may again be bluffing, but his threats are being taken with the utmost seriousness in Western capitals. A phalanx of senior European and American officials, including Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, have been despatched to Jerusalem to plead for restraint.
Mr Netanyahu’s increasingly emotional diplomacy has caused irritation among some Democrats, who see his interventions as a ploy to influence the outcome of the election.
There is little doubt that the prime minister would rather see Mitt Romney, an old acquaintance who has made it a campaign pledge never to criticise Israel in public, in the White House.
There has been concern in Israel too that Mr Netanyahu’s abrasive language could harm the country’s special relationship with the United States, whose steadfast patronage has ensured the survival of the Jewish state.
I’m going to be following this story closely as I think we all should. Again, it could be that the Neocons in both Israel and the US are itching for ways to push for a Romney presidency. Thankfully, Romney is such a dolt that he’s been unable to get any advantage in this with any one other that the right wing nuts that already goose step around him. So, again, where’s the money coming from? Where did the money come from that funded that hateful film? Where did the money come from to pay the Cairo protesters and the Libyan organized assault? Are these people paying people to do similar things at embassies around the world? Why is all this being hyped so close to a US election? I’m looking for answers because I smell a bunch of neocon rats. I’m not the only one either. That link goes to Eliot Spitzer. This one goes to WAPO and Jason Horowitz.
His reaction this week made it clear that when it comes to Republican foreign policy, the neocons are still the only game in town.
“This is probably where most of the numbers are right now in the Republican foreign policy firmament and where most of the energy is,” one prominent realist who has advised several Republican presidents lamented. “It’s the path of least resistance as a Republican.”
Alex Wong, Romney’s foreign policy director, refused to utter the word “neoconservative” or to characterize the candidate as an adherent of neoconservatism, instead repeating only that Romney believes in “peace through strength.” But Romney and his advisers — Wong declined to say whether they were consulted before the candidate weighed in on the the embassy chaos — are tripling down on the clear contrasts offered by neoconservatism’s trumpeting of values, which lends itself nicely to campaign seasons but is more complicated in actual governance (see the war in Iraq).
We certainly do not need any more NeoCon lies leading us into more endless wars.