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Hermit
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #15 on: 2006-09-19 04:17:35 »
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I keep hoping the wing-nuts are planning to hold off until spring, as that is the only time when a Persian campaign of any kind makes sense - and of course, even then it won't - but trying to remain optimistic (and this takes optimism because the outlook is nowhere near clear-cut) - the pressure to kill lots of inoffensive Iranians in the vague belief that the consequences might be good for Israel, might be somewhat reduced by the appointment of a different set of liars, even though even more thoroughly owned by AIPAC, in Washington (you can see why I think that projecting this outcome takes an act of desperate optimism).

I am fairly sure that like Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad has way too much faith in innate human reasonableness, goodwill, honesty and reason, and has completely underestimated how much the US wants to take down Iran or to what lengths of browbeating, cajolery, arm-twisting and bribery we will stoop to and bring to bear on members of the UN in order to ensure that Our Dear Misleadertm & Co gets their wicked way. Which means that the only real constraint is the perceived cost to Europe and the US of a "short" attack on Iran on the same lines as Israel's "quick" (but nonetheless murderous) attack on the Lebanon, or America's "rapid victories" (but nonetheless ever more doubtful) in Afghanistan and Iraq were all meant to be. Recognizing that this might be as delusional as the assertions that "WE" have, or will, ever win anything worth having, requires a modicum of common sense, something which I would not rely upon to keep me safe at night, if I were wearing Ahmadinejad's pajamas.

That is because I'm becoming less and less convinced that there is any method to Our Dear Misleadertm and his henchmen, particularly Cheney's, quite blatant madness. It seems more and more as if the US is as delusional as the Israelis, and with much the same madness. In the case of Israel it was "If we destroy the Lebanon they will blame Hezbollah and disarm them" rather than "blame us and thank-them." In the US' case, it seems to be, "If we destroy hundreds of targets, undoubtedly killing thousands of Iranians, and almost certainly causing massive nuclear contamination of the region, in order to get rid of the nuclear material that everyone who has investigated has certified is not for weapons purposes, then the Iranians will overthrow the Mullahs who have repeatedly asserted that all nuclear weapons programs are evil and replace them with a US friendly government that will stop seeking viable non-fossil fuel based energy sources - and which will pay as much attention to Peak Oil as America so that Iran collapses even more badly as America is going to when the oil - and thus desalinated water - runs out for them."

Meantime the temptation for Our Dear Misleadertm and his henchmen to do what they really want to do - which is to nuke Iran - must be chasing almost all other thoughts from their heads (if I'm not crediting them too much capability in granting them the ability to have thoughts) - especially as they are probably convinced that they can fabricate a plausible diversion in time for the elections - and I'm convinced that they are quite certain (probably with reason) that America of today would never vote for the Democrats if they were in the middle of a nuclear war - or at worst, they could nudge the voting machines again and the US would accept another Republican "victory" at the polls as possibly plausible even if not completely credible. On the basis of the Republican's recent delusional history, and the alleged fact that a full 77% of American voters are supposed to have so short a memory that they are unable to discern that they are being sold the same fraudulent bill of goods as they were over Iraq, I fear Our Dear Misleadertm's pathetic tendency to substitute desire for thought and deed for defensibility may just prove irresistible to the ethically bereft fuck-wits actually running this country.

In which case a "police action" (not a war - wars are complicated while in this myth the police are the good guys) supposed to start in October and end in November is probably unavoidable. And we all get an opportunity to prove that it is still possible to be an atheist in a foxhole unless Cheney gets to where he wants to be and locks us up for being morally equivalent to terrorists - or desperately needing medication by not sufficiently supporting the Republicans - or even pulls the plug on most of us so as to avoid being caught out.

Fun indulging in late-at-night-with-too-much-to-do kind of thinking. Let me get back to doing what I ought to be engaged in, instead of engaging in spreading thoughts of joy.

Kind Regards

Hermit
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #16 on: 2006-09-22 09:18:43 »
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Senior intel official: Pentagon moves to second-stage planning for Iran strike option

Source:Raw Story
Authors: Larisa Alexandrovna
Published: 2006-09-21

Larisa Alexandrovna is managing investigative news editor for Raw Story and regularly reports on intelligence and national security matters.

The Pentagon's top brass has moved into second-stage contingency planning for a potential military strike on Iran, one senior intelligence official familiar with the plans tells RAW STORY.

The official, who is close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking officials of each branch of the US military, says the Chiefs have started what is called "branches and sequels" contingency planning.

"The JCS has accepted the inevitable," the intelligence official said, "and is engaged in serious contingency planning to deal with the worst case scenarios that the intelligence community has been painting."

A second military official, although unfamiliar with these latest scenarios, said there is a difference between contingency planning -- which he described as "what if, then what" planning -- and "branches and sequels," which takes place after an initial plan has been decided upon.

Adding to the concern of both military and intelligence officials alike is the nuclear option, the possibility of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons targeting alleged WMD facilities in Iran.


An April New Yorker report by Sy Hersh alleged that the nuclear option was on the table, and that some officers of the Joint Chiefs had threatened resignation.

"The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning," Hersh wrote. "Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran without success, the former intelligence official said."

The senior intelligence official who spoke to RAW STORY, along with several military intelligence sources, confirmed that the nuclear option remains on the table. In addition, the senior official added that the Joint Chiefs have "come around on to the administration's thinking."

"The Joint Chiefs have no longer imposed roadblocks on a possible bombing campaign against Iran's nuclear production facilities," the intelligence official said. "In the past, only the Air Force had endorsed the contingency, saying that it could carry out the mission of destroying, or at least significantly delaying, Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon." [Hermit: This is due to Israel's assessment that only a nuclear strike is able to "take-out" the hardened underground facilities which Iran has established.]

Preparation for such a strike would require contingency plans for securing oil transport lines and dealing with possible riots, as well as assessment of issues that arose during the Iran-Iraq war.

"Bahrain will be a battleground as it is majority Shi'a and has had Shi'a riots stimulated by Iran in the past," the official said. "The US Fifth Fleet is also based there. A system for [protection of] oil transport in the Gulf will have to be devised by the US Navy to protect against attacks."

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to repeated emails requesting comment. [Hermit: They can't. Once a plan goes operational the capital penalty applies to people divulging it, while lying to the US media requires authorization directly from the White house. Keep your eye on Cheney. If a strike is coming, he will vanish before the strike.]

Deployment orders

With allegations of a plan in place and contingency scenarios in play, several military and intelligence experts see this as proof of a secret White House order to proceed with military action.

Last week, a military intelligence official described to this reporter the movement of Naval submarines and a deployment order sent out to Naval assets of strategic import, such as minesweepers, that could indicate contingency planning is already under way to secure oil transport routes and supplies.

On Sunday, Time Magazine confirmed much of what the military intelligence source had described.


"The first message was routine enough: a 'Prepare to Deploy Order' sent through Naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters," Time's Michael Duffy wrote. "The orders didn't actually command the ships out of port; they just said be ready to move by October 1. A deployment of minesweepers to the east coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed, but until now largely theoretical, prospect has become real."

Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner also expressed concern about the deployment orders, but cautioned that these particular ships are slow-moving and would take "a month or so" to arrive in position.

"Minecountermeasures, the four ships mentioned, are generally not self-deploying," Gardiner said Wednesday. "When previously sent to the Gulf, they were transported on the decks of heavy lift ships. The earliest they would arrive would be around the first of November."

Although some claim the Defense Department has denied the deployment order, no official denial has been made. The Pentagon does not comment on operational plans, not even to issue a denial.

Lawmakers in the dark?

Attempts to contact members of the Senate Armed Services Committee provided little help in confirming allegations of the deployment order made to this reporter and Time. Senate offices that were available for comment would not do so on the record.

From all appearances, however, it would seem that at least some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have not been briefed on deployment orders or on any strike plans, even contingency plans. The Senate Intelligence Committee is attempting to get a grasp on what is and has been going on.

A source close to the Committee, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information, explained that a series of briefings will be going on this week and into next.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has "embarked on a much more aggressive review of what the intelligence community knows and is doing regarding Iran," the source said. [Hermit: The available information is that the intelligence community regards all of the stories alleging urgency to be made up entirely of hot-air. My analysis is the same. The White house is again fabricating smoke which they are blowing up one another's asses. This is Israel again attempting - and probably succeeding - in stampeding a White house which is terrified of bogeymen largely of its own creation into doing what is probably perceived of as being in its own interest, and attacking Iran, almost certainly with nukes, before the Republicans lose control of Congress. The idea being that by "going nuclear" the US will stop Iran from developing a nuclear capability, warn off other countries which might be thinking about this path, put Iran in its place (which includes the expectation of a local revolution throwing out the Mullah's in order to prevent a second attack), prove that America is tough on security and won't hesitate to "defend" itself with all the means at its command, cause the collapse of all resistance to American policies, and probably guarantee a Republican victory in the midterms. If the above is correct, and all indications are that it is an underestimation, then the crack available in the White house is indubitably superior to that available anywhere else on the planet. The only alternative is that this is deliberate disinformation intended to pressurize Iran into giving Bush what he wants before the mid-term elections to announce with appropriate fan-fare and achieve the local ends. Which, while possible, seems almost too sensible for this motley crew who are clearly quite happy playing brinkmanship with genocide.]


"In fact [the Committee has] a number of Iran related briefings this week and next before the senators leave town," the source added. They "will cover the full spectrum including various aspects of their nuclear program and all U.S. collection efforts."
Related Raw Story articles:

US military, intelligence officials raise concern about possible preparations for Iran strike

Intelligence officials doubt Iran uranium claims, say Cheney receiving suspect briefings

Spurious attempt to tie Iran, Iraq to nuclear arms plot bypassed U.S. intelligence channels

Cheney has tapped Iranian expatriate, arms dealer to surveil discussions with Iran, officials say
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #17 on: 2006-09-23 08:26:39 »
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[Blunderov] My take on this is that the USA is doing what chessplayers call "maintaining the tension". This is done when the position has complications but is basically even. The idea is to wait for a lucky shot without taking to much risk of losing or of killing the game stone dead.

I simply cannot believe that Bush would really attack Iran unless he is completely insane. Mind you, Cheney is probably certifiable and this sort of thing can be contagious. Misgivings certainly seem justified.

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=13610

Congressional Candidate Calls for Arrest of Bush & Cheney by U.S. Military

1 comment(s).

Former Army Lieutenant and a candidate for Congress in VT, Dennis Morrisseau of W. Pawlet, today called for the arrest of President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the American military "if necessary" to prevent an unauthorized attack upon the nation of Iran.

"American forces are apparently already active inside Iran, and Naval forces have received orders to deploy to that country," Morrisseau said. "The President has NO AUTHORITY to attack the nation of Iran whatsoever, in the absence of a full, formal Declaration of War on Iran by the sitting Congress," Morrisseau said. He said any order for an attack upon Iran or to deploy naval forces to its coastal waters is illegal, and called upon officers of the American military to "First, refuse to obey such an order. If the president persists and insists on ordering our forces into combat in or over Iran without a formal Declaration of War, then I call upon you, General Pace, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and upon such other military officers as clearly see their duty in these circumstances to detain both the President and Vice President, until such time as the Congress shall act."

Morrisseau, a Congressional candidate who was court-martialled for opposition to the Vietnam War in 1968, said he has written to General Pace to ask for the intervention of the military. "In spite of my opposition to the Vietnam War and the court-martial which we ultimately defeated, I was a good soldier who had the respect of my superior officers throughout the ordeal. And they had mine!" Morrisseau said. "There are many many, very, very decent people in the active duty military. I know this," he said "--- people who love their country and democracy too, and hate war."

Morrisseau wrote that "Iran is no present threat to us or anyone. Their right to enrich uranium under treaties signed by us for the production of nuclear power is clear: and that is all they have so far done. An attack upon that nation now by us, acting alone will constitute an illegal war of aggression under international law. It is illegal under our law as well. I urge you to so advise the President," Morrisseau wrote to Pace, "and urge that he take no such actions. In particular, he must not act in the absense of a full, formal, responsible War Declaration by Congress. That is the Constitutional requirement." If he and Cheney persist, Morrisseau wrote, "than the country must rely upon you, Sir, and our armed forces generally, to resist all illegal orders by Bush or Cheney, and take the gentlemen into custody if necessary.

http://2LTmorrisseau.com

The Lieutenant is a candidate for Congress in Vermont running under this ballot line: Impeach Bush Now. He has called for impeachment of both Bush & Cheney. He is recruiting other "decent and able Citizens" to run for Congress with him, without regard to political party. The goal is to remove all present incumbents from Congress, again without regard to party. He call’s this effort "Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion".

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dennis_m_060920_vt_cong_candidate_ca.htm

By : OpedNews
September Saturday 23rd 2006




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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #18 on: 2006-09-23 16:53:20 »
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[Blunderov] In spite of my incredulity, I still do not like the situation one little bit. The USA is already guilty of a gross provocation IMO.

I've read that the only way it can be done is by massive aerial attack including nuclear, and a threat to use more nuclear in the event of any retaliation.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have withdrawn their opposition to the nuclear option apparently.

Strange days.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060923/cm_huffpost/030086

Gary Hart: The October Surprise Gary Hart
2 hours, 32 minutes ago

It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.

Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times. And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.

The steps will be these: Air Force tankers will be deployed to fuel B-2 bombers, Navy cruise missile ships will be positioned at strategic points in the northern Indian Ocean and perhaps the Persian Gulf, unmanned drones will collect target data, and commando teams will refine those data. The latter two steps are already being taken.

Then the president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally        Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say: ...and besides, we need the oil.

Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region requires us to act. "Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....." In the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets.

But the authors of the war on        Iraq have "regime change" in mind in Iran. According to Colonel Sam Gardiner (author of "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options in Iran," The Century Foundation, 2006) to have any hope of success, such a policy would require attacking at least 400 targets, including the Revolutionary Guard. But even this presumes the Iranian people will respond to a massive U.S. attack on their country by overthrowing their government. Only an Administration inspired by pre-Enlightenment fantasy could believe a notion such as this.

Embracing this reverie requires believing in the Iranian Ahmed Chalabi, or perhaps even Mr. Chalabi himself since he has been working both sides of the street in both countries for some time.

It does not involve much imagination to understand the timing. The U.S. is poised to adopt a Congressional regime change of its own in November. A political strategy totally based on fear can offer few other options to prevent this. Besides, occupation by Democrats of even one house of Congress in January would make this scheme more difficult (one would certainly hope).

Further, time for super-power military conquest may be running short in the emerging age of fourth generation warfare. "...the age of Western military ascendancy is coming to an end." ("No Win," Andrew Bacevich, The Boston Globe, August 27, 2006).

The consequences? The sunny neoconservatives whose goal has been to become the neo-imperial Middle Eastern power all along will forcast few. But prudent leaders calculate all the risks, and they are historic.

These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of WWIII battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

In more rational times, including at the height of the Cold War, bizarre actions such as unilateral, unprovoked, preventive war are dismissed by thoughtful, seasoned, experienced men and women as mad. But those qualities do not characterize our current leadership.

For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences), and who professedly does not care about public opinion at home or abroad, anything is possible, and dwindling days in power may be seen as making the most apocalyptic actions necessary.


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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #19 on: 2006-09-24 00:30:13 »
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[Blunderov] Congressional Candidate Calls for Arrest of Bush & Cheney by U.S. Military

[Hermit]

How strange to contemplate how inversions might, can or should occur. This one though, near as I can see is a fantasy. America has nearly had a coup - or three. The most recent was probably in the 1950s and early 1960s, under Curtis Le May, a Grand Guignol who directed the, as reprehensible as they were illegal, fire bombings of Japan, who claimed to have killed "more persons in a six-hour period than at any time in the history of man", who claimed to have "killed off--what--twenty percent of the population of North Korea" representing more than two million civilians, who urged Kennedy to go to war in the Bay of Pigs and later argued that Kennedy was a coward and traitor, threatening the safety of the American people during the Cuban missile crisis.

Le May, as Chairman of the JCOS, was the foremost proponent of a nuclear first strike, saying that we should give the Russians the "Sunday punch" before they did it to us, talking openly about a preemptive attack in which over one hundred million people would have been killed by America. Yet even this brutal sadist, portrayed as the much milder ("more believable") than in real-life, "General Jack D. Ripper" in "Dr. Strangelove" did not actually rebel against his political masters, even when he had convinced himself that they were traitors - and as he held the nuclear keys and codes, with full (independent) release authority, it came very much closer than most Americans like to imagine.

Today a counter coup, is much less likely than a coup was then, even though it could probably be argued that a coup, however bloodless, has already been achieved by the White house. Not only because it wouldn't succeed (and it probably wouldn't, the USA is probably second only to China in its capability to repress internal dissent from any cause) but also because there is no basis for it.

Forgetting that Iran helped the USA to prosecute Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Americans seem now to have bought into not just a similar, but an identical, badly assembled portmanteau of ill assembled and worse fitting allegations against Iran as they previously purchased against Iraq, aggravated by the assumption that the country with the greatest nuclear arsenal, growing despite NPT obligations, and egged on by the largest nuclear arsenal held by a non-NPT signatory, has the right to attempt to prevent the development of peaceful nuclear technology by an NPT signatory, even to the extent of using nuclear weapons to do so. What an absolute ethical implosion. I suspect that the destruction of Iran, along with Iraq, the birthplace of modern civilization, is now as close to inevitable as the consequential toppling of the last remnants of the pretence to "Western Civilization" in Bush's version of Götterdämmerung will be.

I don't think that the military of the US, which has, by and large, been well weeded of competent and reasonable people in the last six years, should be or even can be, relied upon to do the constitutionally mandated job that the cowards and toadies lurking in Congress are clearly too scared of engaging, or too deluded to be doing, against an administration that is clearly beyond the pale and the constitution. No. To me it seems as if all of the institutions of the Government of the United States have not just surrendered the fight to preserve the constitution, but have declared war upon it. Americans and their institutions have apparently decided that their constitution and the things which flowed from it should and must be destroyed - each for different reasons and thinking of different bits of it perhaps, but nonetheless, the decision seems to have been made by society at large and having made this decision they are approaching the execution of it with unusual dispatch and efficiency. Given that the US military represents the will of the Israeli media state, I do not think it unfitting that it should be the instrument of the final dissolution of its own grounds for existence.

Let me try to illustrate. I think that Col Gardiner knows what he is talking about, his writing carries both the tone and immediacy of competence, read one of his analytic pieces at
http://www.tcf.org/publications/internationalaffairs/gardiner_summer_diplomacy.pdf. I think that in this work he has very probably captured the essence of the "destroy Iran for Israel and Jesus" program, particularly when he emphasises that we should not attempt to look for a benefit for the US - or even for a way of making sense of this mess - in what happens next. Washington today, arguably for years, is indubitably not driven by either sense or American interests.

Even as I say that he makes sense from a military perspective, and that this analysis and projection from what has already happened seems cogent and coherent, I also think that in today's massively interconnected world that he is far too optimistic about our ability to assault another nation which stands astride the world's oil supplies, with weapons universally abhorred, in an action manifestly illegitimate and illegal, and yet walk away from the damage without major consequences. I think that the nations which have supplied us and bankrolled us will reevaluate their role in enabling our tyrannical position. I think that the world that stood quietly as we tore up historic improvements in human relations, often introduced by the United States, and replaced the trend to the rule of law with brutality and savagery will at last respond as the global economy, including ours, is destroyed by and implodes under the weight of our collective insanity.

I do not think that Col Gardiner - or the White house, have put enough attention on the inevitable resurgence and ultimate supremacy of non-Gulf suppliers - like Russia and Venezuela; all already filled with a deep distrust, dislike and even disgust at what Bush's World represents. This opinion will be both justified and exacerbated should we act as anticipated against Iran. The massive boost in oil values this insanity will instigate will dramatically alter the roles of these nations in what will be left of the world, and even if the USA does not implode under the weight of her own stupidity, shortsightedness and cupidity (which I'm fairly sure will not be long delayed), I suspect that she would be dismantled as the ultimate consequences of a complete lack of the ethical capacity needed to operate a democracy - or a functional capital dependent economy.

Watching, powerless, as this train smash on steroids rolls into place, it is funny to think how the end of civilization as we know it started. Does anybody else remember the summer of 1999 and the assertions of the Naderites of how the eventual relicts of their triggering of a Bush victory would eventually lead to a better world? Despite their current campaign labelling of the "chronically no-fault White House and its no-fault President" they made just one serious error (if it was an error and not malevolence which motivated them), which they may be about to repeat (and they say that the third time is the charm). They assumed that there would still be a United States after Bush finished fucking with it - or at least, that the broken shards of a better tomorrow would still have some value to somebody, even if only to Ralph Nader. Please don't take this diatribe as blaming only the Republicans and Naderites. There is more than enough guilt to go around. Some of the guilt has to go to the Democrats who wasted their opportunities to improve things as thoroughly as any opportunity has been disparaged in recorded history, and who will, if there still is an American Republic, and an election and by some miscalculation on the part of the powers behind the throne, they attain a majority in the House, the Senate or both, will likely prove even more eager to do the bidding of Israel (the source of vast amounts of largesse and "guaranteed" votes, both critical to being elected in this farce of a system), and act more belligerently, presumably  to "prove" that they are not "softer", than the incumbents. The vast bulk of the guilt devolves on the "silent majority" of Americans who, although they have the numbers to do so, don't vote to throw all of the sleazebags and scum-balls which make up the American political class (and who not accidentally own almost all but the merest fraction of the wealth of this country) out of office and out of power - and who have not instituted a system which represents this complex world having more than two perspectives where a demagogic win by any one party gives them an absolute right to do exactly as they please for so long as they want.

However this game plays out, whenever this game plays out, it will not just be Bush who pulls the trigger, but almost all Americans. Those whose contributions have been expressed through inaction and apathy as much as those who conspired to appoint Bush president, who imagined that, to paraphrase Jefferson, Bush was an appropriate person to personify the best possible representation of the interests of the people of the United States. I say almost all, because a few Americans are participating in "civil disobedience" campaigns in an apparently almost futile attempt to draw attention to our ongoing and intended illegal campaigns. Futile say I, because these campaigns will achieve little or nothing without publicity. Interestingly, the privately owned, but status quo dependent, American media seems to be universally ignoring them. I'm sure that Orwell would be extremely impressed. So much for not being able to fool all of the people for all of the time. Barnum would be eating his heart out. The proud American heritage sold for a mess of pottage.

It may be a good thing that decent Americans as a whole (and individually Americans are decent, it is only when in a hole that they become holy indecent) are probably too ill-educated, despite the current barrage of clues, like the fashionable deployment of Nazi and fascist epithets, to realize that the feelings overwhelming them almost certainly parallel those which overwhelmed decent Germans in the 1930s. Even so, when the Second World War was over, those Germans could at least say that they and their institutions didn't choose Hitler to rule them (while Hitler, like Bush, was appointed rather than elected, there never was an election after Hitler's appointment)*. That's the trouble with democracy. Even if you can't make your government responsible to you, you remain responsible for your government.

What is most needed here is some "Political Viagra" to cure the worst case of persistent "voter impotence" I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing.

Regards

Hermit

PS Seeing Gary Hart's name caused me a momentary flashback. Does anyone else remember "While Republican women are giving their hearts to Bush, Democrat women are giving their bushes to Hart." :-)

*Other differences include that until very late in WW II, Hitler did much less damage to the planet - and very much less damage to his own country - than Bush has done to America. Of course, all in all, the records show that the Allies did much more direct damage to the non-combatant people of the World - their own as well as the Axis - than Hitler ever managed. But we don't talk about that. It might cause us to lose our respect for the propaganda we have chosen to substitute for history.
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #20 on: 2006-09-24 11:49:26 »
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #21 on: 2006-09-24 15:51:01 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-09-24 00:30:13   

... It might cause us to lose our respect for the propaganda we have chosen to substitute for history.

[Blunderov] last night I saw a troll at DU refer to the president of Iran as a "despot". One, as you might guess, who was strongly thought to be in need of "taking out". Pat Robertson said the same about Chavez although, IMS, he added the word "petty". (Apparently those are the ones you really have to watch out for.)

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=13620

"As if Iraq isn’t a big enough mess, the House of Representatives has just voted to ’hold Iran accountable and support a transition to democracy’. Sound Familiar? Only this time Iran is a democracy. They just held an election where their president was actually elected by the people. How refreshing."

[Bl.] There must be a new and interesting usage of the word democracy of which I was not previously aware. Or perhaps one man's democracy is another man's poison.

I could imagine that a fair-minded person might look for more in a democracy than just a tyranny of the mob. A statesmanlike intellect might well range further, perhaps questioning whether idiots with no money ought to have any part in the proceedings at all. A democracy might be a finer, better democracy if it truly reflected the views of those who had the most to lose, in this case, the ones with the most money.

It follows therefore, that persons who cause the rich to fret for their largesse are threatening democracy. A good democracy. The finest democracy that money can buy. So, no matter what sort of tribal rituals were performed, these threateners of our democracy and despisers of our cuisine could never be democrats.

They are therefore despots.

PS. I might be interested in joining another species quite soon. Any suggestions? I've gone off dolphins which are apparently even more stupid than goldfish. But even this would be an improvement I suppose.












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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #22 on: 2006-09-24 18:23:48 »
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[Blunderov? Somebody Blunderov quoted?] I might be interested in joining another species quite soon. Any suggestions? I've gone off dolphins which are apparently even more stupid than goldfish. But even this would be an improvement I suppose.

[Hermit] This comes as news to me. Any substantiation? If wrong, the shade of Douglas Adams will undoubtedly haunt the speaker to the very outer edge of the Universe's horns, and there leave them dangling like a neocon's participles, with no visible means of support.
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #23 on: 2006-09-24 19:14:48 »
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Blunderov? Somebody Blunderov quoted?] I might be interested in joining another species quite soon. Any suggestions? I've gone off dolphins which are apparently even more stupid than goldfish. But even this would be an improvement I suppose.

[Hermit] This comes as news to me. Any substantiation? If wrong, the shade of Douglas Adams will undoubtedly haunt the speaker to the very outer edge of the Universe's horns, and there leave them dangling like a neocon's participles, with no visible means of support.

[Blunderov] I saw something in a local newspaper. Someone had been doing research, and I kid you not, asserted that even goldfish would attempt to escape into the wild if they possibly could; something that the dolphins did not attempt. Therefore they were less intelligent than goldfish. It was further asserted that the large brain of the dolphin was mostly devoted to temperature regulation. I goggled, I admit. My jaw may even have dropped.

Douglas Adams though, must be spinning like a top.

I saw this report en passant so I don't have it. I'll give google a shot.

Best regards.

* Perhaps there has recently been declared an International-Day-of-the-Lying-Bastard that is not yet widely known? The Politburo, for one, is convinced that this must be the case.

** Here it is:

That leads me to this article: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&click_id=143&art_id=vn20060817031855765C442092

Dolphins are dumber than goldfish - professor
Nalisha Kalideen
August 17 2006 at 05:06AM

Dolphins are dumber than goldfish.

In fact, the brains of the adorable mammals of the deep are so poorly organised, they don't have the intelligence to jump out of enclosures - unlike goldfish.

Research by Wits University Professor Paul Manger shows that the dolphin is dumb. Its brain may be large, but only so that it can generate heat to keep warm.

Manger, a neuro-ethologist at the university's school of anatomical sciences, published his controversial seven-year research in the Cambridge Philosophical Society journal in March. He will present his findings at Wits' Health Sciences Research Day on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Manger said the misunderstanding about the dolphin's intelligence was because people equated the size of its brain with high intelligence.

He said it had been proved that a dolphin's brain was a poor processor of information.

"The problem is people assumed all brains are organised the same way, and they are not. The dolphin's brain is poorly organised."

Manger said that in aquariums, dolphins were usually kept in uncovered pools because they were not smart enough to think of jumping into a neighbouring enclosure.

"The dividers between their pools are only about 20cm above the water. But they don't try to get out and escape - a goldfish will do it."

"Even rats, if you put them in a shoe box, will try and climb over the wall."

Manager said it took up to five years to train a dolphin, and that was done through a stimulus response system - where the mammal was rewarded for what it did.

"Compare a dolphin to a sheep dog: the dog can be trained to control a flock of 30 sheep. But dolphins don't have that level of intelligence," Manger said.
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #24 on: 2006-09-24 20:29:31 »
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #25 on: 2006-09-25 06:06:05 »
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[Blunderov 1] I might be interested in joining another species quite soon. Any suggestions? I've gone off dolphins which are apparently even more stupid than goldfish. But even this would be an improvement I suppose.

[Hermit 2] This comes as news to me. Any substantiation? If wrong, the shade of Douglas Adams will undoubtedly haunt the speaker to the very outer edge of the Universe's horns, and there leave them dangling like a neocon's participles, with no visible means of support.

[Blunderov 3] I saw something in a local newspaper. Someone had been doing research, and I kid you not, asserted that even goldfish would attempt to escape into the wild if they possibly could; something that the dolphins did not attempt. Therefore they were less intelligent than goldfish. It was further asserted that the large brain of the dolphin was mostly devoted to temperature regulation. I goggled, I admit. My jaw may even have dropped.

[Hermit 4] Oh lawks. I hope the research has been misrepresented by a sensation seeking reporter. Perhaps the somebody didn't twig that dolphins prefer being in the water rather than flopping around competing with dying goldfish and the assorted methyl-alcohol drinkers one finds sleeping it off in the vicinity of the aquariums? Some balancing research might have determined exactly how long goldfish don't live when out of water. Some staring in a mirror (even without a marked face) might have shown them that dolphins enjoy attention and fish (probably in that order) and are quite likely amused by being able to observe the antics of humans desperate to provide these dolphinecessities. As for the "out-of-the-matrix" "brain-as-energy-source" notion, I have a phunny pheeling that a number of researchers have been building computerized tomography images of Dolphin brains and have determined that most of their capacity is dedicated to sonic processing. Even so, dolphins seem to still have enough capability left over to train their trainers.

[Blunderov 3] Douglas Adams though, must be spinning like a top.

[Hermit 4] Nods vigorously. And for good reason. If this really describes purportedly serious "research", then Wits seems to have gone down hill pretty rapidly of late :-(

[Blunderov 3] I saw this report en passant so I don't have it. I'll give google a shot.

[Hermit 4] Comparing your from-memory description with this report, all I can say is impressively "tightly remembered" there.

[Hermit 4] There is a quite a remarkable early short SciFi story, which if I remember correctly was titled, "All the cares of Earth". It was quite probably by Asimov. In it a computer (not named as such - Multivac perhaps?) is lumped with taking care of everything and everyone, wealth distribution, food production, crime prevention, health care, the lot. Everything. To accomplish this task it has, inter alia, to examine and characterise people and determine if, in future they are going to cause harm and if so, to prevent it. The computer eventually attempts to commit suicide in a novel way, but, in the nick of time, is prevented from doing so. The story ends with the proponents recognizing that their computer has learned the art of dissimulation and is going to keep doing the same thing until one day it succeeds. That nothing can bear all the burthens they have laid upon it. I sometimes worry that we are heading that way with Google.

[Blunderov 3] Perhaps there has recently been declared an International-Day-of-the-Lying-Bastard that is not yet widely known? The Politburo, for one, is convinced that this must be the case.

[Hermit 4] I haven't heard of such, so the politburo's instincts seem to me to be quite sound. This report is so far removed from everything else I have read on the topic, that I put the probability of it being even slightly close to correct as being near non-existent.

[Blunderov 3] ** Here it is:

[Blunderov 3] That leads me to this article:

Dolphins are dumber than goldfish - professor
Source: IOL SA
Authors: Nalisha Kalideen
Dated: 2006-08-17


Dolphins are dumber than goldfish.

In fact, the brains of the adorable mammals of the deep are so poorly organised, they don't have the intelligence to jump out of enclosures - unlike goldfish.

Research by Wits University Professor Paul Manger shows that the dolphin is dumb. Its brain may be large, but only so that it can generate heat to keep warm. [Hermit 4: Interesting. I wonder how he determined this? Did the white mice tell him? There could be dozens of reasons why a creature has a large brain. How did he decide that this, and this only, was the one-true-not-requiring-qualification reason?]

Manger, a neuro-ethologist at the university's school of anatomical sciences, published his controversial seven-year research in the Cambridge Philosophical Society journal in March. He will present his findings at Wits' Health Sciences Research Day on Wednesday. [Hermit: He has balls, I grant him that. "Controversial." Indeed.]

On Wednesday, Manger said the misunderstanding about the dolphin's intelligence was because people equated the size of its brain with high intelligence. [Hermit 4: To an extent it does. The inverse is even truer. Social structures may provide a better correlation so long as you don't look at ants. Then again, dolphins do live in complex societies, so let us not advance too weak of a straw man here; let us not.]

He said it had been proved that a dolphin's brain was a poor processor of information. [Hermit (clicking his tongue and noticing all the dolphins, above and below the water, turning their heads to watch him) 4: Really?]

"The problem is people assumed all brains are organised the same way, and they are not. The dolphin's brain is poorly organised." [Hermit 4: This is merely repetition. Presumably for emphasis? In "New-Wits" speech* does this mean that it is really, really proven?]

Manger said that in aquariums, dolphins were usually kept in uncovered pools because they were not smart enough to think of jumping into a neighbouring enclosure. [Hermit 4: No other reason is possible or plausible? How about the lesson involved in the human saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"? Did the researcher ask a dolphin for its opinion on this that he speaks with such certainty and authority?]

"The dividers between their pools are only about 20cm above the water. But they don't try to get out and escape - a goldfish will do it." [Hermit 4: A gold fish will do what? Try, or do it. To quote Yoda, "Do, or do not. There is no try." Do goldfish swear to succeed or die in the attempt?]

"Even rats, if you put them in a shoe box, will try and climb over the wall." [Hermit 4: This sounds extremely neoconish. All rats? Or just some rats? How about sloths? Or duck billed platypi? Does everything try to climb over the wall but dolphins? How about pet rocks? Or Wits researchers? What about a dolphin that behaves like a rat? Are there such things, or is that role left to humans? Turning the challenge around, how many dolphins has Manger photographed climbing anything? Are these photographs or other evidence included to prove that dolphins are capable of climbing anything other than society? Assuming that dolphins are even social climbers, something that should be clear from the research, else the conclusion as asserted does not necessarily follow from the conditional proposition as articulated.]

Manager said it took up to five years to train a dolphin, and that was done through a stimulus response system - where the mammal was rewarded for what it did. [Hermit 4: So the dolphins are guaranteed ***lots*** of fish for at least this long. See my story about the dolphins [supra]. Who exactly is being trained here?]

"Compare a dolphin to a sheep dog: the dog can be trained to control a flock of 30 sheep. But dolphins don't have that level of intelligence," Manger said.  [Hermit 4: I used to breed border collies - so I can state without fear of contradiction that good working sheep dogs are bred, not trained; and also that one border collie with a good eye can easily control a flock of 30 sheep even before training its owner, but that according to reports I have heard, a human, even one with extensive experience, can sometimes have difficulty persuading even one lonely ewe to stand still for long enough for him to have his way with it. Does this mean that "humans don't have that level of intelligence?" Does Manger really imagine that all border collies are 30 times smarter than humans? Or is he only speaking for himself? Curious minds would like to know. Or so I have heard.]


*[Hermit 4] And what is the difference between "new-wits" and "half-wits" which is how this "report" struck me.

The above discussion occured on the BBS of the Church of Virus (http://churchofvirus.org), a rational atheist religion. The right to copy and quote from this discussion piece is freely granted so long as this tag remains associated with it.
« Last Edit: 2006-09-25 09:57:20 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #26 on: 2006-09-25 06:46:17 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-09-25 06:06:05   


*And what is the difference between "new-wits" and "half-wits" which is how this "report" struck me.

[Blunderov] <still chortling> This may be a little or it may be a lot, but it does seem odd that a University which both 6000 feet above sea level and 700 km from the coast is researching dolphins. There seems to me to be something very fishy about that.

:)
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #27 on: 2006-09-25 09:32:07 »
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I have tossed google a few tasty goldfish in the edits above. Please note the few minor edits to the original, including the explicit copywrong tag, in case the politburo or others are tempted to share the joy :-)
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #28 on: 2006-09-26 12:50:17 »
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Re:Target Tehran
« Reply #29 on: 2006-09-27 15:34:55 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-09-24 00:30:13   

It may be a good thing that decent Americans as a whole (and individually Americans are decent, it is only when in a hole that they become holy indecent) are probably too ill-educated, despite the current barrage of clues, like the fashionable deployment of Nazi and fascist epithets, to realize that the feelings overwhelming them almost certainly parallel those which overwhelmed decent Germans in the 1930s. Even so, when the Second World War was over, those Germans could at least say that they and their institutions didn't choose Hitler to rule them (while Hitler, like Bush, was appointed rather than elected, there never was an election after Hitler's appointment)*. That's the trouble with democracy. Even if you can't make your government responsible to you, you remain responsible for your government.

[Blunderov] It might be meet to remember that when Berlin fell the allies forced citizens to tour the concentration camps to see what had been done in their names. The near universal response of the citizens was that they "didn't know" what was going on. The sad truth was that everybody had been pretending that they didn't know what was happening, something the citizens eventually had to concede.
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27 September 2006, 06:23:54 AM - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

OK, the General tried to address this, but he can't. Everything he wrote seemed too trite. Some things are just too horrific to approach from the General's perspective.

At this moment, Congress is working to institutionalize evil, and that, without a doubt, is what torture and indiscriminate imprisonment is. It's evil no matter how patriotically it's packaged. And as the Rude Pundit notes, we are just as guilty of committing this evil as our leaders if we do nothing to stop it:

Last night, on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann was right: we are led by moral cowards. But, to take it further, more evil has been committed by fearful people than by brave ones. Ask the Bosnians.

We have to accept that, whatever their intentions, whatever reasons they might have had for their actions, the ones that they give mighty speeches about before handpicked crowds and the ones that they only whisper in private to their reflections in the mirror, we are now being led by people who are doing evil. This doesn't mean that others around the world are not doing evil. Just because al-Qaeda members commit evil deeds doesn't mean that Donald Rumsfeld does not. A man who murdered someone in a drive-by shooting is not excused because he is put into a jail cell next to a serial killer.

If we dare accept to our horror and infinite shame that we have allowed ourselves to be represented by people who do evil, even in the name of good, then we can either be complicit - we can go about our daily lives while the stench of the concentration camp pollutes the air of the town - or we can reject evil.

Pastordan chimes in as well:

What is happening on Capitol Hill today is plainly evil.

[...]

The new interrogation policy, if ratified, will cause harm. Obviously, it will harm prisoners lost in some black hole in the second or third world, subject to tactics that haven't quite been made public for what should again be obvious reasons. It will deprive them of goods which are proper to them, namely liberty, dignity, due process, and the fundamental right not to have to have the shit kicked out of them on the authority of an unaccountable regime.

Less obviously, this policy harms us all. Aside from the damage it does to US moral authority abroad, and the danger to which it exposes captured American troops, it degrades our shared humanity. I am less of a person because of this shocking and disgraceful policy, and so are you.

What our elected officials intend to carry out is, in a word, evil. It is time for our leaders to say so.

They won't, of course, unless one of them has a sudden attack of conscience.

More likely, they will have to be dragged into finding their consciences, kicking and screaming. It is our responsibility to do the dragging. If necessary, we will need to raise the stakes to such a point that they cannot resist the pressure. Anyone - anyone - who accomodates torture takes part in evil. That might not make us all equally responsible, but it does make us all guilty. May God have mercy on me for what is being done in my name. I do not want to be safe at that price.

You need to contact your senators and congresspeople today. Original letters, faxes, and phone calls work best, but if you can't afford a stamp or long distance charges send them an email. If you can't write something yourself, send this postcard, but do so knowing that it won't be nearly as effective as a letter or a phone call.

Tell your senators and congressman, both Republican and Democratic, that this legislation is evil and goes against every value Americans have held since the birth of this nation. Tell them that it is time for them to show leadership by confronting those who promote this evil. Speak and write with the passion of our those who founded this great nation on the values Bush, McCain and the rest seek to destroy. Speak to them as Jefferson and Paine would have addressed them. America's soul is at stake.

And after you've contacted them, call the Obamas, the Clintons, and the others who've decried Democrats for not embracing the Christian left. Tell them that now is the time for them to stand up for people on the Christian left like pastordan and lead the fight to stop this evil. It might not hurt to send Amy Sullivan a note too. This is her opportunity to actually do something other than bitch about secular Democrats.

And please consider sending a few bucks to promising challengers like Peter and Darcy. We won't have to worry about this kind of crap if we take Bush's rubber stamp away from Congress.

Elsewhere: Another kind of evil.

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