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Ever hear of Khuzestan?  Well you're about to hear a lot more about it soon, because that appears to be the only province of Iran that we're actually going to take control of in the up-coming war with Iran.

It's the province where 90% of the currently producing oil fields are located (see maps above).  And it's right next to all our forces in Iraq, so--with an indigenous Arab rebellion--we can easily take Khuzestan on the tired old WMD and democracy excuses.  All without the 600,000 troops estimated for a full conquest of all Iran.

And this is all going to happen sooner rather than later.  The Iranians plan to open their own oil "bourse" in March, which will be the first oil state to sell oil for Euros.  This will have the effect of driving the dollar down, so Bush and Cheney have great incentive to act now.

Khuzestan has a population of 3 million plus, Arabs who will be offered a share of the oil their northern Persian masters now control. The Zagros Mountains to the north and east and the Gulf to the south make Khuzestan a natural fortress

So the old medieval state of Khuzestan will be reinstated by the petrolist fascists.  Iran won't have enough oil to sell to drive the dollar down with the Bourse--and their military and society will soon be running on fumes.

This is officilaly called by global strategists "The Khuzestan Gambit", a risky move to get to Oil Checkmate quickly on "The Grand Chessboard", the regions we usually call the Mideast and Central Asia.

Khuzestan is actually the province Saddam tried to conquer in the Iraq-Iran War.

Those who doubt that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team will attack Iran, while so conspicuously overextended in Iraq, are ignoring the subtleties of the administration’s Middle East strategy.


Bush has no intention of occupying Iran. Rather, the goal is to destroy major weapons-sites, destabilize the regime, and occupy a sliver of land on the Iraqi border that contains 90% of Iran’s oil wealth. Ultimately, Washington will aim to replace the Mullahs with American-friendly clients who can police their own people and
fabricate the appearance of representative government. But, that will have to wait. For now, the administration must prevent the incipient Iran bourse (oil-exchange) from opening in March and precipitating a global sell-off of the debt-ridden dollar. There have many fine articles written about the proposed “euro-based” bourse and the devastating effects it will have on the greenback.
The best of these are “Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar” by William R. Clark, and “The Proposed Oil Bourse” by Krassimir Petrov, Ph.D.


The bottom line on the bourse is this; the dollar is underwritten by a national debt that now exceeds $8 trillion dollars and trade deficits that surpass $600 billion per year. That means that the
greenback is the greatest swindle in the history of mankind. It's utterly worthless. The only thing that keeps the dollar afloat is that oil is traded exclusively in greenbacks rather than some other currency. If Iran is able to smash that monopoly by trading in petro-euros then the world’s central banks will dump the greenback overnight, sending markets crashing and the US economy into a downward spiral.

The Bush administration has no intention of allowing that to take place. In fact, as the tax-cuts and the budget deficits indicate, the Bush cabal fully intends to perpetuate the system that trades worthless dollars for valuable commodities, labor, and resources. As long as the oil market is married to the dollar, this system of global indentured servitude will continue.


Battle Plans


The Bush administration’s attention has shifted to a small province in southwestern Iran that is unknown to most Americans. Never the less, Khuzestan will become the next front in the war on terror and the lynchpin for prevailing in the global resource war. If the Bush administration can sweep into the region (under the pretext disarming Iran’s nuclear weapons programs) and put Iran’s prodigious oil wealth under US control, the dream of monopolizing Middle East oil will have been achieved.


Not surprisingly, this was Saddam Hussein’s strategy in 1980 when initiated hostilities against Iran in a war that would last for eight years. Saddam was an American client at the time, so it is likely that he got the green-light for the invasion from the Reagan White House. Many of Reagan’s high-ranking officials currently serve in the Bush administration; notably Rumsfeld and Cheney.


Khuzestan represents 90% of Iran's oil production. The control over these massive fields will force the oil-dependent nations of China, Japan and India to continue to stockpile greenbacks despite the currency’s dubious value. The annexing of Khuzestan will prevent Iran’s bourse from opening, thereby guaranteeing that the dollar
will maintain its dominant position as the world’s reserve currency.

As long as the dollar reigns supreme and western elites have their hands on the Middle East oil-spigot, the current system of exploitation through debt will continue into perpetuity. The administration can confidently prolong its colossal deficits without fear of a plummeting dollar. (In fact, the American war-machine and all its various appendages, from Guantanamo to Abrams Tanks, are paid for by the myriad nations who willingly hold reserves of
American currency)


This extortion-scheme is typically referred to as the global economic system. In reality, it has nothing to do with either free markets or capitalism. That is just philosophical mumbo-jumbo. This is the dollar-system; predicated entirely on the ongoing monopoly of the oil trade in dollars.


Invading Khuzestan


In a recent article by Zolton Grossman, “Khuzestan; the First Front in the War on Iran?”, Grossman cites the Beirut Daily Star which predicts that the “"first step taken by an invading force would be to occupy Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province, securing the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and cutting off the Iranian military's oil supply, forcing it to depend on its limited stocks."


This strategy has been called the  “Khuzestan Gambit”, and we can expect that some variant of this plan will be executed following the aerial bombardment of Iranian military installations and weapons
sites. If Iran retaliates, then there is every reason to believe that either the United States or Israel will respond with low-yield, bunker-busting nuclear weapons. In fact, the Pentagon may want to demonstrate its eagerness to use nuclear weapons do deter future adversaries and to maintain current levels of troop deployments without a draft.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/...

Originally posted to Sherlock Google on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:09 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kick Their Ass, Take Their Gas Tip Jar (3.92)
    No Draft Needed to invade the part of Iran where all the oil is:  Little Old Khuzestan!
    •  Sherlock, do you see any connection . . . (4.00)
      between this upcoming war with Iran and the UAE port fiasco.

      Is there some sort of Iran quid pro quo going on here.  Is the UAE going to allow us to use their country for staging, bases?

      What the hell is going on?

      •  UAE sits in the Strait of Hormuz (4.00)
        very possible that US wants a peaceful country from which to protect that precious passage.
        •  Or a base in battle for control of the strait. (4.00)
          If we attack Iran, they will likely attempt to shut down passage of the strait, through which flows much of the world's oil. I presume that critical supplies for our forces in Iraq pass through there as well. Iran is reported to have mobile antiship missiles based on the Chinese Silkworm that could play havoc with shipping. An invasion of Khuzestan would have to be done in conjunction with operations to protect the strait. Dubai would be a good forward base because it is closer to the strait than the 5th Fleet's base at Bahrain.

          "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

          by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:57:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now THAT is interesting . . . (none)
            thank you for making that connection for me.  Wow.

            "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

            by LithiumCola on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:07:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dubai as a base (4.00)
            Doubtful that the power brokers and financiers in Dubai want to have anything to do with a war with their missle-range neighbors Iran.  They have been trying to build the area up as a major tourist hotspot and really have to military to speak of so their complicity with the US would make them a nice soft target to strike.  I don't think they want to see Iranian missles raining down on their shiny new buildings.
          •  UAE Ports-Iran Attack Connection (none)
            I've been suggesting this in thread comments on the last several diaries posted on the UAE ports imbroglio.  Full support from the UAE will give us airbases and naval facilities within 100 miles of the Straits, and less than that from the Iranian-owned islands in the Straits.  Iraqi airbases, on the other hand, are 500 miles away, and those in Qatar are 300 miles distant.  Aircraft carriers are at a disadvantage in the confined waters of the Gulf and the Bay of Bengal, can only operate 100 aircraft, at a much higher unit cost than a land base with less duration on station, and make tempting targets for Iranian counterstrikes (loss or major damage to a single US carrier would be tantamount to US defeat in the war).

            As to Khuzestan:  The problem that BushCorp will face comes not in occupying the region, but rather in holding it. The frontier of Khuzestan with interior Iran extends 200+ miles, all of it mountainous, ranges up to 14,000 feet high.  If BushCorp put 20,000 to 30,000 US troops in there, there's no way that they can control the entire frontier, which means that the Iranians can infiltrate around American/British positions at will.  There are 60 million+ Iranians, the majority of whom are under 30, with a military-age male population of perhaps 15 million.  That means the Iranians can field forces vastly superior in numbers, even if not in equipment, to ours.  Eventually, the numbers will tell.  This will be a very different war than the one that BushCorp fought, and blew, in Iraq.  This will be a debacle, potentially a Stalingrad.

            •  Fisk covered the Iraq-Iran War (none)
              as was astounded that even years later he could find no Iranian who regarded the sacrifices they made as anything other than a good and necessary thing. I remember, during some phase of the Iraq occupation, where 40,000 signed up to be suicide bombers in just one city alone. This is a people who had kids ride bicycles through minefields against Saddam.
              •  From what I have seen (none)
                Iranians are an ancient and proud people and a strong belief in Iranian/Aryan cultural importance is ingrained.  Resistance would be strong, but the conventional military could be defeated without much trouble.  The post-war occupation would be the problem as much or more than Iraq.
            •  They will not be able to assemble any sizable (none)
              force in those mountains just as the Taliban cannot in Afghanistan.

              Air-Land devastates any large third world force.

              IT's as simple as that.

              •  Yes... (none)
                we learned that lesson in Vietnam didn't we?  Won every major battle too.  Think about that.

                We will never invade Iran.  The best we can do is try to influence elections and gin up subversion of the Mullahs.  Yet even the old "lets put in a new King" trick is probably out of the question.  Most of the older Iranians probably still harbor a bit of resentment from the last time that was done, and the younger ones study it in their history books.

                It is bad foreign policy to make enemies faster than you can kill them.

                by Paulie200 on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 12:13:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  The Iranians (none)
                Used human wave attacks, ala the Chinese in the Korean war at great cost in lives to throw the Iraqis out of Iran. Iraq had gotten within shelling distance of Tehran early in the war.

                Granted we do not have a third world military but just like in Korea where we had military equipment and training superiority it all came down to whether or not there was enough ammunition, shells, bombs, etc or guns didn't jam before they got to you.

                There is no telling how the Iranians would play it but were they to pull off a successful human wave assault the U.S. casualties would be higher than the public would accept.

                That all aside. I would expect that Iran learned quite a bit through our debacle in Iraq and how to tie us down using guerilla tactics.

                Lastly, there is always the possibility that Iran would not wait to be attacked and could push across the Faw peninsula and cut the supply lines out of Kuwait. Their opportunity to do so would only be before we have moved large forces to the south of Iraq. We can't do this without it being known to the Iranians who have agents all over the south of Iraq.

                If something like that were to happen - even if the Iranians couldn't hold that advance - it would disrupt supplies to our soldiers that remain in Mosul, Anbar, Diyala and that could result in disasters all over Iraq.

                There are a lot of ifs but some things to keep in mind.

              •  Beware the claims of air power enthusiasts (none)
                Air power enthusiasts have been arguing since Douhet in the 1920s that massive air power can win wars on its own.  So far, that hasn't occurred, unless that air power was employing atomic or nuclear weaponry, against targets like cities.  Air power is effective only in conjunction with active ground operations.  The mountain terrain of Afghanistan bears comparison with the Zagros, but I wonder whether the natural environment in the two places differs.  The Pamirs of Afghanistan show little vegetation; if the Zagros are wooded, that complicates reconnaissance and targeting.  Besides, even in the bare Pamirs, the Soviets had both absolute air superiority during their war in Afghanistan, and no moral scruples about its use, and still failed.  And mountains, wooded mountains in particular, make it much easier to infiltrate enemy positions, as we discovered in Vietnam and earlier in Korea (before a continuous front was established).  

                Another problem we will face, which we did not in Afghanistan (but the Soviets did) is that the Iranians facing us in Khuzestan will have a large base area in their rear which we will not be able to conquer and occupy.  That base area will be vulnerable to air attack, it's true, but air attack didn't prove particularly effective at halting the movement of supplies through mountains in Vietnam, in Korea, or in Italy during WW2.  Since we won't have the manpower for a continuous front on the model of Italy or Korea, the outposts we establish in the mountains above Khuzestan will become like "fire bases" Vietnam, always under a low level of siege, the troops inside them vulnerable to ambush whenever they venture out, and the mountains will in turn provide cover for infiltration into the oil fields that lie at their feet.  It is the scenario for a war that draws in a large number of troops, drags on endlessly, and produces casulaties in a steady stream, not the current trickle.

              •  meh (none)
                You seem to ignore the fact that there is a pretty sizeable Iranian security presence in Khuzestan already. You know army, airforce and navy, internal security, intelligence - the whole fucking shebang - and if you think that infiltration of territory by the people who own it and know it intimately could be forestalled, then you're in the severely delusional category.

                Iran is not the Taliban - it's a complex and united country, there's no civil war going on, and they have shed-loads of cash, weaponry, and will to do what is necessary to protect themselves from external aggression.

                You go to war against the Iranians that you have, not the Iranians that you'd like to have...

              •  Sherlock, do you really think it would all be (none)
                confined to Khuzestan?  Look at the entire border with Iraq, and any other country that we use to stage an attack from is going to get hit in the first day by CBW warheads.  It's a foregone conclusion that Iran would send scores of missiles at Israel, particularly its nuclear sites.  The Israelis will retaliate, likely with nuclear strikes on Iranian strategic targets.  Hundreds of thousands of people will die on all sides.  Iraqi Shi'a will rise up en masse.  Pakistan might get into it, as well.

                Then, there's the impact on the US economy.  $10/gal gas is quite possible.  Then there are the very real longterm consequences of surviving Iranian scientists cobbling together radiological dirty bombs and finding a way to ship them into the Ports of NY, Phil., Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco . . .

                Do you really think the Joint Chiefs are going to do this ?  For what, so the same treasonous GOP politicians and neocons who got us into the Iraq morrass can get reelected?  

      •  Perhaps Dubai Port World will be asked (4.00)
        to take over the big Iranian ports in Khuzestan like Bandar e-Khomeni...

        We're simply securing the Gulf for Bushco.  Include the UAE.

        Khuzestan is just the final piece in making the world safe for HALLIBURTON.

        •  Include Kuwait (4.00)
          Baker, who helped forced Iraq into debt after Gulf 1, is involved in both attempting to expunge Iraq debts to the world (on behalf of US taxpayers) AND secure repayment of debt to Kuwait.  You can bet the US taxpayers get screwed as a result of his conflict of interest.  If Kuwait accepts, the Carlyle Group gets a billion dollar portfolio, 5% of all recovered debt, and the chance to privatize state owned companies in Iraq.  

          These guys work long and hard for their money.

          •  Meaning... (none)
            the strategy with Kuwait and UAE appears to be appeasement and mutual profit.  Offer to ultimately get reparations to Kuwait by using the Carlyle Group as a holding/investment company for privatizing Iraq from which Kuwait eventually gets paid.  Offer control over US ports to UAE in exchange for a military base to secure the Strait of Hormuz.

            Everyone else gets BANGED!

      •  The US Fifth Fleet (none)
        for the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea is headquartered and principally berthed in Manama, Bahrain and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates UAE.

        The US Fifth fleet is tasked to keep open the Straits of Hormuz (20 miles wide - bottleneck into the Persian Gulf), which is heavily  targeted by a forest of modern Iranian missles purchased from Russia and China and located in areas adjacent to the Gulf and the Strait (Khuzestan).

        [Commenter makes no claim that the second link here has any credibility, but the pics and stats are worth a look.]

        "pay any price, bear any burden"

        by JimPortlandOR on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:27:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong on one detail (3.33)
      Iraq would be the SECOND oil producer to Euro denominate.

      The first was Saddam's Iraq, and they got a 20% bump in profits from doing so.

      It would make a good Merkin so angry, he might invade.

      6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

      by LunkHead on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:22:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know people scoff at Wayne Madsen, but.... (4.00)
      .. he had a long article about just this topic last August 10.

      Apparently the province is supposed to declare independence as the nationstate of "Ahwaz".

      •  Wayne (3.50)
        Personally, I find Wayne way more convincing than this article, which is posted on an obscure Website, with an unknown author, then quoted 17 days later here by Sherlock as if it were real information about something. Look, it says "Information" in the URL!

        Then (yes I've read down through the comments) everyone treats this like we've really just gotten a top secret briefing from a top aid to Rumsfeld. Damn it people, we can stay with the stuff we really know, and it's totally damning of Bush & Co. When we go off into this fantasyland — where we pat someone on the back for finding a couple of maps and a totally bogus speculative, ungrounded article — then we marginalize ourselves, and set ourselves up for political failure.

        Because, when it comes around to it, you'd just about have to be in the Bush administration to believe "intelligence" this bad. That doesn't qualify our side to replace these fools, if our discernment is as wishful as theirs.

      •  Information Clearinghouse (none)
        I've been getting stuff from that website for years now, it's no more or less reliable than the sources it uses. Information Clearinghouse is just a news aggregator, like the Drudge Retort.

        Check out The Flypaper Theory, a group blog in Memphis, Tennessee

        by autoegocrat on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:56:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your Source Sucks (4.00)
      Not surprisingly, this was Saddam Hussein's strategy in 1980 when initiated hostilities against Iran in a war that would last for eight years. Saddam was an American client at the time, so it is likely that he got the green-light for the invasion from the Reagan White House.

      That's fucking ridiculous.  You know why?  

      Reagan wasn't President in September 1980 when the war began, Carter was, and he was polling several points above Reagan, who didn't become President until four months after the war began.

      Anybody who can't get such as simple fact like that correct isn't a credible source.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:51:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sherlock (none)
      "Google"?  Now I know why you use that name.  It's an interesting technique to google up a bunch of information, present it in a thought-provoking manner and convince everyone of something that is really highly speculative.

      Here's where the analysis is flawed:

      (1)  If the US had designs on Khuzestan they would not be dissing the Iraqi Shia' the way they are.  The US has done everything possible to weaken Abdulaziz al-Hakim, who is the most important politician along the Iranian border (except for Maysan province, which is Sadr).  al-Hakim has the intelligence networks and Iraqi exiles in that part of Iran, and the US would be working with SCIRI not against them.  The US needs at least some fig leaf and they would not be able to claim "Arab liberation" unless they could convince Iraq's Shia' Arabs that their bretheren in Iran needed liberating.  

      (2)  There is not a significant separatist movement in Khuzestan.  There is some unrest, but nothing like Iranian Kurdistan or the sort of sectarian unrest Saddam faced in Shia' areas of Iraq, for that matter.  If the US was really determined, they would be doing a lot more to encourage separatism in Khuzestan.  The recent State Department RFP for "human rights programs" in Iraq makes no mention whatsoever of programs to support minority rights in Iran. I think the plight of the Iranian Arabs is not high on the Administration's agenda.

      (3)  Do you seriously think Bush has the support here in the US to even contemplate this?  

      (4)  There's the old adage.  Change in Iraq could only have come from without and change in Iran can only come from within.  The UK knows this, and they are virtually the only potential partner we have left for such an adventure.  Who is going to go in on this with Bush?

      Less half-baked analysis, please.  I do wonder if you have actual experience in the region, or academic background in this.  It's a nice way of drumming up outrage at the Bush administration (which I share) but it isn't particularly helpful to buy into conspiracy theories at a time when our relations with the Shia' community in Iraq are disintegrating.

      •  Correction... (none)
        In point (2) make that human rights programs in Iran, not Iraq.

        Also, I think the Bush Administration would like to set the stage for invading Iran.  I don't think they will be able to do it, and I don't think Khuzestan is either the strategy or the rationale.  Instead, the nuclear issue is the only handle the Bush Administration has.  Given IAEA studies and the failures of US intelligence, I don't think Bush has the capacity to stampede the Security Council or the US public the way he did last time.  

        I could be wrong though, because plenty of people in these parts get a little hysterical about Iran, too!

  •  CENSORED COMMENT (4.00)

    but you can't help but wonder if this Administration's leaders had to face their OWN mortality and put their own lives on the line they might seriously reconsider things..... it's too easy for these people to get others killed.
    •  And if you thought Iraq was bad (4.00)
      just WAIT until you see what happens in Iran.....

      Iran is far better prepared and has SUPPORTERS that are NOT going to be happy.....

      We go into Iran and we WILL have a REAL never-ending war that makes Iraq look like a training exercise....  and hint - the training exercise showed pretty clearly that we're in NO shape to handle this.....

      •  Invasion of Iraq=World War III (4.00)
        Possibly Japan and Europe, but almost certainly China, Will NOT stand for a US monopoly on middle eastern Oil.  If we Invade Iran, expect China to give serious military aid to Iran, and threaten missile launches, Treasury Bill dumps, and Export restrictions if necessary.  We'd be threatening China's Lifeblood, along with Europe and Japan.

        We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

        by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:28:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! (none)
          Pearl Harbor was triggered by an oil embargo. We attack Iran and our fingers are placed on China's jugular. China cannot permit that.
        •  Japan is going along with us. (none)
          they are already allied, have long-running disputes with China, and current offshore oil disputes with China.  They are re-militarizing for joint US-Japan operations.  Their public is not keen on it, but neither is ours.  
        •  Screwy, the Chines have no Navy (none)
          or long-range Air Force.  Are they going to have 1 million Red Army soldiers WALK to Iran?

          The Russians and Chinese are jsut making noise.  They are not even rattling sabers because they don't have any sabers to rattle.

          No one can stop Bushco, believe me.

          •  true (none)
            Thgat doesn't stop them from embargoing export goods to the US, selling off Teasury Bills, or launching an ICBM towards our navy in the Arabian Gulf.

            We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

            by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:03:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Chinese have time on their side... (none)
            ...because of demographics and the tailspin of our foreign policy and economy.  They would not dare challege the US directly at this point.  However, they may take the opportunity to reassert control over Taiwan while the US is busy with Iran.  The Europeans will be with the US if they think the war will be successful.  They opposed the Iraq war not because of dignified moral reighteousness but because they had dealings with Hussein and mostly thought the US was bringing on its own downfall as the sole super-power.  This of course would open up a whole new multipolar world, in which both France and Germany (still) hope to lead the European pole.  If the US successfully took control of such a large portion of oil supplies though, Chirac and co would not want to be left on the sidelines.  If they make the determination that the war will not succeed, they will not join in and wait for the US to continue to weaken itself.  Of course everyone will say they are "trying to stop Iran's nuclear program" or that they are "opposed to unilateral action until inspections have been completed".  Anyway, trying to think of all the factors involved just makes my head spin so I'll stop now.
        •  I think you mean Iran... (none)
          but you are right, I can see a nuke lobbing match between the US and China. I hope cooler minds IMPEACH this crowd before that could ever play out.
          Sad thing is, I know there are some of neo-con mind, that would like nothing more than to see it happen.

          When does 1984 end? [-4.75/-4.21]

          by weelzup on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:13:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Plus, We Can't Afford It (none)
          We've already committed $700 billion to $1 trillion for the Iraq adventure.  We just don't have another trillion dollars to spare right now.
      •  ayupper EOM (none)

        life is not a dress rehearsal

        by johnfire on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:46:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  we ARE in no shape to handle this... (none)
        which is what makes the nuclear option so realistic and frightening. As soon as we use nukes (even "tactical ones"), the Pandora's box is open. And at very least, millions will die.
        •  This is what Scott Ritter said would happen (none)
          Several weeks ago, the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus had a panel discussion that included Scott Ritter. At the time he said war with Iran was 100% likely unless the Democrats do something. He said Bolton's speech to the UN was already written. And he said that it was likely we'd end up using those bunker busting nukes Bush had developed.
  •  Straits of Hormuz (4.00)
    We do this and oil goes to $200 per barrel. How do we get oil tankers through the Straits?
    •  We will likely take the tip of the Straits (4.00)
      Which have a very low population.  The US could easily control it with Special Forces bases and the Air Force and Coast Guard Sea-Land blitz.

      Holding it will be bloody, but the Iranians can be held off and prevented from blocking the Straits.

      We will no doubt lose a couple of tankers, but for Cheney well worth that $200 a barrel for oil.

      •  Ever heard of Waterborne IEDs? (4.00)
        Tankers would make a big oil slick, and would be prime targets. Oil prices would increase dramatically because the cost of insurance for the tankers would become prohibitive.

        Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann

        by Kayakbiker on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:36:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exact-a-mundo (none)
          We try to grab one province and declare "game over" and Iran says "bring on the 2nd quarter"

          I betcha the Iranians have been planning for exactly this scenario.

          •  Supplied by (4.00)
            Russia and China, which may partly explain why we are trying to re-militarize Japan.
          •  All of their planning will be destroyed (none)
            in 3 weeks of 2000 sorties of air strikes and then Special Forces takeover.

            We may lose a couple of tankers every now and then but we lose a couple to storms every now then anyhow.

            Cost of stealing business.  Negligible.

            •  3 weeks of 2000 sorties? (none)
              Okay, give me links that large numbers of F-15s are on their way to the Gulf, along with a few extra aircraft carriers and we can talk.
              •  Sorry Bill, we have plenty of planes already there (none)
                even B-52s that can strike from the US with refueling.

                Believe me, we can mount 2000 sorties easily in 3 weeks and you must agree there would be little left after that.

                We've been building bases surrounding Iran for years.

                You did know that?  Plus the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Force just entered the Gulf and is there.

                They would move in some extra forces from our bases already in the Gulf.  Plus Diego Garcia and Germany are within flight range.

                •  Desert Storm saw six US carriers (none)
                  participate. Six!

                  It appears that today we have one in the Gulf. One! Okay it is the Ronald Reagan (heh!) but still that will not permit the massive crushing attack we accomplished as part of Desert Storm.

                  •  Bill, how long does it take to get to the Gulf? (none)
                    From the Mediterranean?  How long from the States?  Plus as I said, we could pound anything into the ground with B-52s and not have any carriers there!

                    Plus we are only taking little old Khuzestan, remember, and bombing the nuke sites.

                    We don't need 6 carriers to take a place that's only 100 miles wide and 150 miles long and has more oil than all of Iraq!  We only need the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Force.

                    You do realize what a US carrier strike force contains and what it can do, don't you?  It can easily help the Arab rebels and Special Forces take Khuzestan and then more carrier groups are brought in to help patrol the coast.

                    No Problemo!

                    •  First we need to neutralize (none)
                      the Iranian air force. And their large stash of conventional missiles. And for that we need total air superiority. One carrier isn't enough to launch an offensive air war against Iran and guard the tankers and bust the missile sites.

                      = = =

                      Four weeks without oil and its a global depression. Especially since Iran's missiles can hit Saudi terminals.

                    •  One carrier cannot give air cover (none)
                      to our minesweepers.

                      But, tell me 75% of our operational minesweepers are rapidly steaming towards Hormuz and that's a factoid in your favor. Without the sweepers the oil cannot flow and without air cover AND several few thousand troops deployed around Hormuz we cannot secure our minesweepers.

                      We are the greatest military power in human history but we do not have super-hero powers.

                      •  All the Iranians would have to do is... (4.00)
                        dump a few mines and a bunch of empty beer kegs (oops -- goatsmilk kegs?) into the Strait of Hormuz, and our naval operations would be brought to a standstill. Our countermine capabilities are not good, and Navy ships are too expensive to risk losing to a mine.

                        "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

                        by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:03:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Sounds like a cakewalk! Will we be greeted as (4.00)
                      liberators? Cool, that! And then the Iranian oil will pay for the whole undertaking? Schweet!

                      Wetmachine for your daily dose of technoparanoia.

                      by j sundman on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:44:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I was on the Midway in the Gulf War (none)
                  we did 4000 sorties between 01 Nov and 01 Mar.  That is 800 sorties a month.  Granted, Midway was a small carrier with only two catapults.  Still, 2000 sorties in three weeks would be tough.

                  Maynard G Muskievote

                  by calipygian on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:12:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Dems was the old days (none)
                    Look how many sorties were flown before the first Gulf War.  A small Jet Sortie is a lot less time than a prop plane sortie, don't forget.

                    Jets go faster.

                    •  Sorry thought you meant WWII (none)
                      Still you make my point I think.

                      If you think about it, though 200 sorties would just make the rubble bounce in little old Khuzestan.

                      I'll reduce it to 1000 sorties and we still romp.

                      Later we bleed to death, I agree--but the point is we take the gas and it goes to $200 a barrel and the Iranian Bourse has to close.

                  •  CVA 41? (none)
                    I was on the USS Midway during the Vietnam war. I hear it's in mouthballs now.

                    I wasted a lot of time on that ship where I witnessed race riots and all the problems one would expect to find in a city of about 4000 men (no women in old Navy).

                    Most of us counted the days, looking forward to becoming a two-digit midget (99 days left to serve in our contracts).

                    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann

                    by Kayakbiker on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:39:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  When I was on board in the early 90's (none)
                      it was CV-41.  And the guys on board were extraordinarily well behaved.  I dont think there were any arrests of  guys on liberty the entire time I was on board (Aug 90 - Mar 91) if you can believe that.  Only three guys died during the deployment, which is pretty good.  They died over Christmas 1990 in Abu Dhabi during a port call in which they took a desert safari and died when their dune buggy flipped over.  No women on board when I was on board.  In fact, as late as 1995, when I was on board the USS Wasp, the only woman on board was a young Lieutenant in the Intel shop.  When I was on board the Midway, I was in Frame 15, one deck below the flight deck.  The channel for the catapult ran right through my spaces and whenever a plane catted off the deck, it would throw my equipment off.  Every hour or so, I would have to quit what I was doing and recalibrate my gear.  During the Gulf War, I had a really scarey experience on board.  We were cruising around the Gulf north of Bahrain.  Iraq shot a Scud toward Bahrain and it fell short, right in the middle of the Midway battle group.  The guys on the Leyte Gulf, who was our plane guard at the time, called over on our circuit.  I couldn't  understand what they were saying because they were in full MOPP gear after the Scud had impacted and their chem alarms were going off.  That Scud had impacted between them and us, and since they were our plane guard, it meant that the Scud had impacted between them and us, less than a mile from the carrier.  Whatever had come from the impact had drifted over the Leyte Gulf and set off their chem alarms.  Another time, a couple of Iraqi planes took off and  made it over the Gulf.  We were the northern most carrier battle group and they were headed for us.  We went to General Quarters, but, I was too tired so I dragged my ass up to my space and found a nice warm spot under my gear and went to sleep.  A Saudi F-15 pilot shot down two of our potential attackers and chased off the third guy.  Ah, Midway, I am so glad I'm off you, but I miss you none the less...

                      Maynard G Muskievote

                      by calipygian on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:59:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  We can't defeat a nation of 80 million..., (none)
                  through air strikes alone. This whole idea is nightmarish and would be a colossal blunder, just the sort of thing Bush would do.

                  "Just think, next time I shoot someone I could be arrested." Lt Frank Drebin

                  by irate on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:18:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  mobile targets (none)
                  We had a hell of time knocking out Iraqi mobile scud launchers.  We couldn't find them to stop them firing.

                  In Serbia, we had a hell of time hitting mobile targets.

                  Sure the USAF can knock out fixed, identified targets but it is a different story when trying to knock out mobile launchers.  If some of those mobile launchers have a anti-ship capability, we could have some real problems in terms of suppling the army in Iraq as well as getting oil out.

                  Another point, does Iran have a self destruct policy in place for oil wells as Iraq had in the first Gulf War?  It took a long time to get those wells back into operation.  

          •  There was a dry run (4.00)
            according to Robert Fisk's new book, during the Iraq-Iran War. At a later stage, they both tried to destroy each other's shipping business, and the US jumped into the frey on the Iraq side, doing such things as registering Kuwaiti tankers under the US flag. The Iranians for their part, tried to avoid direct confrontation with the US, but did develop a lot of no- to low-tech means to hurt ships dealing with Iraq. Now, with tens of thousands of suicide-bomber volunteers it would not take a lot to physically close the Straits.

            Fisk describes how the Iranians had set up missiles to pound the Straits if they decided to, as well as hit Kuwait, et. al., and how they so thoroughly mined some parts of the gulf, US Warship Admirals simply refused to sail into some parts. They have better missiles now, including some of the newer Russian ones.

            And remember the fixed war game before the Attack on Iraq?

            War game was fixed to ensure American victory, claims general

            Wednesday August 21, 2002 The Guardian

            The biggest war game in US military history, staged this month at a cost of £165m with 13,000 troops, was rigged to ensure that the Americans beat their "Middle Eastern" adversaries, according to one of the main participants.

            General Paul Van Riper, ...told the Army Times that the .... exercises, were "almost entirely scripted to ensure a [US] win".

            When Gen Van Riper agreed to command the forces of an unnamed Middle Eastern state - which bore a strong re semblance to Iraq, but could have been Iran - he thought he would be given a free rein to probe US weaknesses. But when the game began, he was told to deploy his forces to make life easier for US forces.

            The Army Times reported that, as commander of a low-tech, third-world army, Gen Van Riper appeared to have repeatedly outwitted US forces.

            ...When the US fleet sailed into the Gulf, he instructed his small boats and planes to move around in apparently aimless circles before launching a surprise attack which sank a substantial part of the US navy. The war game had to be stopped and the American ships "refloated" so that the US forces stood a chance.

            There's little doubt Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rice are totally convinced their genius will guide us to more successes.

        •  Iran has state of the art cruise missles (none)
          never mind air to ground or ground to ground...

          remember the Falklands?  

          These PNAC guys REALLY should have taken some military history courses.... they are WAAAAY to focused on "politics".......

          Seriously, a fist trumps intellectual arguments.

          And if Rove, Bush or Cheney ever had to deal directly with consequences in their lives, things would be very different

      •  Mines are a problem. (4.00)
        And if Russia decides to smuggle Sunburns, game over. We might even lose an aircraft carrier.

        Iran has had 20 years to prepare and the coast line is most likely dotted with Silkworm and Exocet sites. We CANNOT grab one province and declare stalemate. We CANNOT grab one province and the entire region around the straits. We need to secure the whole freakin' coastline.

        = = =

        Recall that war-game where Marine General Ripper (true name) played the Red-Team (Iran) and kicked butt. They had to change the rules mid-stream because the US of A was losing.

        •  Actually if you look at a map (none)
          There are no major towns for almost the entire coastline.  It's the wasteland that wiped out Alexander the Great on his way back from India.

          THere is no one to defeat there, no insurgent towns because there are no towns.

          Understand that and you will see how the war planners are looking at Khuzestan and the uninhabited coastline to the east, all the way to the Straits and beyond.  Excepting the town of Bushehr--which will no doubt be conquered just because it contains the name "Bush" within it--there is absolutely NOTHING there.

        •  SS-N-22 is over-rated (4.00)
          mines are a real threat though.  If Serbia had gotten serious about mining the Straits of Otranto during the  Kosovo Campaign, things would have gotten ugly real quick.  Not to mention the damage that Iraq did just sowing a couple of mines in the Northern Persian/Arabian Gulf during Desert Storm (USS Princeton and USS Iwo Jima both hitting mines).  Iran could very easily cause several hundred casualties and do several hundred million dollars worth of physical damage as well as several tens of billions in psychological damage with a couple dozen $100,000 mines.  Not to mention just the "fleet in being" threat that the three Kilo class subs that they have which are, in effect, mobile mines.  Just the mere fact that they are at sea, whether or not they are employed effectively would be enough to close the Straits of Hormuz.  And  if the   rumors are true and the Iranians bought a squadron of TU-22M3 bombers with the associated cruise missile...forget it.

          Maynard G Muskievote

          by calipygian on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:07:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sunburns (none)
          are already in the Persian arsenal -- and have been for a good ten years according to a Senate speech on 27 June 1996 by Senator D'Amato.  D'Amato Statement

          The money quote:

          "...The ship self-defense systems fall into two general categories. The first are sensors, missiles and guns which are designed to locate and shoot down the attacking missile. The idea is to hit a bullet with a bullet. I believe that there can be no disagreement that this is a difficult task. Because of the size of the Persian Gulf, ships are always relatively close to shore. When an antiship missile is fired from a land-based site as it could be in Iran, ground clutter can conceal the missile from ship or

          aircraft radar until it reaches open water, which reduces the reaction time of our ships and makes the interception much more difficult. With an anti-ship missile like the SUNBURN, traveling at mach 2.5, the time from its appearance over the horizon until it impacts on its target is only approximately 30 seconds. Further, sophisticated missiles which engage in corkscrew and serpentine maneuvers as they enter their final phase make them very difficult to engage."

          As for coutermeasures, from what reports i've read, the US military possesses nothing that can counter a supersonic cruise missile.

          Better circle the wagons, guys...  

          -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

          by GulfExpat on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:31:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What makes oil prices go up (none)
        is not actual deliveries but future demand and future supply.

        The perception of danger in the flows will drive prices because Insurance companies will not take the risk or will demand astronomical premiums.

        "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." Voltaire

        by Euroliberal on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:12:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We already have 3 Aircraft carrier strike forces (none)
      in the Gulf and the whole Fifth Fleet!

      February 19, 2006

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Reagan Carrier Strike Group Enters Fifth Fleet

      Aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76 ), At Sea - The Navy's newest aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), along with embarked Commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG 7) and Carrier Air Wing One Four (CVW-14) arrived in the 5 th Fleet Area of Operations Feb. 18 as part of a routine rotation of U.S. maritime forces.

      While in the region, Reagan will support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO). More than 6,000 Sailors are currently assigned to the Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

      "The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is ready on arrival," said Rear Adm. Michael H. Miller, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven.

      "Our past nine months of training have been in preparation to support our troops on the ground in Iraq and carry out Maritime Security Operations. It is an honor to serve with them and to once again prove President Reagan's motto "Peace through Strength" really works. With the speed, agility and persistence of the modern carrier strike group, we intend to make a difference in helping to set the conditions for security and stability," said Miller.

      MSO help preserve the free and secure use of the world's oceans by legitimate mariners and prevent terrorists from attempting to use the maritime environment as a venue for attack or as a medium to transport personnel, weapons or other material that could support their efforts.

      According to Reagan's Commanding Officer Capt. Terry B. Kraft, the ship was made ready for the Western Pacific deployment through the hard work and dedication of crew.

      "We have spent months of training preparing us for the types of real-world operations we are now conducting," said Kraft.  "I know this particular crew and air wing are ready to carry out any mission that will be asked of us during this deployment. This theater is where the rubber meets the road."

      The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is comprised of CVW-14, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Reagan, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), the fast combat support ship USS Rainer (T-AOE 7), and Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15.

      The squadrons of CVW-14 include the "Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Eagles" of VFA-115, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.

      Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet's area of responsibility encompasses about 7.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 25 countries, includes three critical chokepoints at the Suez Canal, the Straits of Hormuz, and the Straits of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen .

      http://www.cusnc.navy.mil/...

      Now three aircraft carrier groups are enough to take little old Khuzestan (150 miles long) and patrol the Gulf, no?

      •  No.... (4.00)
        that is still just one carrier.  Commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG 7) is the guy who commands the Group that comprises the carrier and the escorts.  Carrier Air Wing One Four (CVW-14) is the guy who commands the planes that are embarked on board the carrier.  The guy who commands the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is the guy who runs the ship that carries CCSG 7 and CVW-14. CCSG-7 is probably embarked aboard CVN-76, and CVW-14 is definitely embarked aboard CVN-76.  CVW-14 consists of a mixed wing of  8 squadrons.  The Reagan is only one strike force...

        Maynard G Muskievote

        by calipygian on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:11:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok thanks for correcting me on that (none)
          Since you are a carrier expert, could not the Ronald Reagan be all you need to take Khuzestan with say an Arab rebellion and 15,000 marines and Special Forces fighting a Land-Sea-Air operation?

          Khuzestan is about the size of Massachusetts and Connecticutt combined.

          •  delusions, mate, delusions (none)
            Yeah, baby, sweets and flowers, sweets and flowers! There's no Arab rebellion to start with, there's zero prospect of the US being able to foment one,  and there's absolutely no US military force sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to do.

            You really imagine that Iranian Arabs, having watched the US military do their best imitation of the Mongol Horde of 1258 next door, are going to entertain the prospect of the US invading their homes as a positive?

  •  Iran retaliation (4.00)
    Conventional missiles rain down on the Green Zone in Baghdad. And oil terminals in Saudi Arabia. The straits of Hormuz get mined. We cannot limit this to one region and unlike Saddam, Iran won't play "fish in a barrel"

    Besides, the Shia Arabs depicted on that map as the yellow region are the same folks who have terminated relations with the British military in Basra. Bottom line? This would be an unmitigated military disaster for the US within weeks.

    Bush is indeed Bush but no way I see the Pentagon going along with this plan.

    •  Mercifully (none)
      missiles rain down on Baghdad, but hitting the green zone is pushing things.

      However, as things start to warm up one can readily imagine the Chinese becoming a larger scale arms supplier to Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and other such places. They might also given the land border supply the Taliban.

      If they get really annoyed, they start selling dollars in large quantities.

      •  Missile (none)
        Why would aiming at the Green Zone be pushing things?  Iran has a buttload of missiles, some of which can reach all the way to Iceland (according to a recent issue of Time or Newsweek, I forget which), and all of which can cover the entire Middle East.  

        If Dorkemada does his coked up cowboy routine and invades Iran, I see no reason why that country would feel a need for restraint.  Green Zone, Hormuz, US ships in port, etc.--all are likely targets.

        What scares me spitless about this situation is just how incredibly unpredictable it is.  Bush is a moron with no more sense than a bag of rocks, and Iran is a much more formidable military opponent than Iraq, and it's surrounded by juicy targets and sitting on top of vast oil and natural gas reserves that have EVERYONE'S attention.

        You could make up a scarier and more complicated scenario than this, but you'd have to try pretty hard.

        •  CEP (none)
          If you shoot a missile at point A, how far out from point A will it come down?

          The reported Iranian missiles that I have heard about will on a good day hit Baghdad consistently.  Anything much smaller as a target is just asking too much.  

    •  How about... (none)
      Iranian irregulars & small units swarming into Iraq to attack our troops & especially our supply lines? We don't have enough troops to hold our own against the Iraqi insurgents. Our supply lines are probably our greatest vulnerability.

      "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

      by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:13:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  6 major roads into/ through Iraq (none)
        What if Sistani orders 15 million Shia' to sit on the roads and let nothing in. A mighty mighty army without food, ammo, or relief eventually becomes a sitting duck, even if the enemy only had swords.
      •  Exactly, in my opinion (none)
        Truck convoys from Kuwait are essential for re-supply of our army. Where else can logistics come from? From Jordan across the desert? Turkey?

        Airlift?

        Without truck convoys from Kuwait our army runs out of food, fuel and bullets mighty quick.

  •  Sorry to dump more rain (none)
    but ponder this scenario:

    If the Shia militia seize Basra and prevent truck traffic from passing through, Baghdad is cut off from overland supply. Find me a truck route to central Iraq from Kuwait that does not pass through Basra.

    Our soldiers become targets, not occupiers.

    Our ability to pound Iran into the Stone Age assures me Iran and the Basra Shia won't start this. But they will finish it.

    •  Sorry to dry up your rain (none)
      But the Basra Shia already have their oil payoff and if we need to destroy Basra to drive through, well we've already done that twice in the last 14 years.  

      Took a few days.

      They'll let their Shia Arab brothers have their oil payoff too.  It will be the Basra Shia that help support the Khuzestan Arab takeover.

      Don't forget the Arab Shia in Iran right now are persecuted by the Persians to the north.

      The Basra Shia and the US will free Arab Shia Khuzestan from their oppression.

      Look at the map (see the Yellow?) and please read your history before stating things that are plumb backwards.

      •  If the plan is to create Sumer (none)
        (Juan Cole has used the term Sumer for a Shia super-state) Saudi Arabia goes ballistic.

        Those Shia are also Hamas and Hezbollah and might very well say thank you Uncle Sam, now leave. They will listent to Sadr and Sistani before Condi Rice.
         

        •  The Saudis and what army? (none)
          Remember, the US is the Saudi Army.

          Your point in this thread make no sense.  You state things as if Bushco conspiracies with the Arabs aren't real.  

          You act as though the Saudis and the Shia care more about religion than they do about money and raw power.

          That's simply not true.

          You have to realize what's going on in the area.

          Arabs against the Persians is a much bigger grudge match than Arab Shia against Arab Sunni.

          If you read some history you'll realize the Khuzestan Gambit can work.  I agree it will be a bloody, bloody mess but the Oil Wars are nothing but a bloody, bloody mess.

          You see, they've come this far, and Khuzestan is the last piece of the PNAC Plan.

          You HAVE heard of the PNAC Plan and read it I hope...

          •  Well, if the PNAC-ers try it (none)
            in March 2006 at least we will lose quickly.
          •  Central Asia? (none)
            what about the "stans?"
          •  The Tehran euro-based oil bourse... (none)
            is nothing more than a politically motivated paper tiger according to some petropolicy hack (Axel Busch, of Energy Intelligence), interviewed on America Public Media®'s Marketplace®.

            The ending statement of the program was "where would you prefer to do it (buy/arbitrage for oil), New York, London, or Rotterdam?".

            The Iranians will create an inviting Xanadu-like infrastructure for those that will by euro-denominated petroluem. They will create a mullah-edict-free zone pleasuredome for the world's infidels to buy and sell.

            What side will the Chinese fall on, the Russians, the French, the Indians, the Japanese, if presented another option...sampling will happen at the beginning and a record and reckoning of those that partake of what Washington and London consider the "forbidden fruit" of a euro-denominated oil bourse in one the the Axii of Evil.

            Washington and London always hold grudges...and their memories are long...

            People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

            by rgilly on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:25:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Go ballistic? (none)
          More like go go nuclear
          In September 2003, an article in The Guardian alleged serious efforts on the part of the Saudis to acquire nuclear weapons.[1] The Guardian referred to a strategy paper, supposedly considered at the highest levels in Riyadh, that set out three options for maintaining national security:
          1. acquiring a nuclear capability as a deterrent;
          2. maintaining or entering into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection; and
          3. trying to reach a regional agreement for a nuclear-free Middle East.[1]

          The Saudis have already acquired the delivery system They can easily pay for a Pakistani payload...

          Maynard G Muskievote

          by calipygian on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:22:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Just about anything... (none)
          ..that pisses the Saudi government off, makes me happy.  Not only are a primary source of ideology and funding for radical Islam, but they have also been makes gestures to the Chinese lately that future cooperation is not off the table.
          •  The US threatens their stability (none)
            all they want is to make a lot of money.  Despite the fact that the US has betrayed their trust in the past, the Saudis continued as a fairly steady supplier (except briefly in the 70s when US backed Israel), because the US was seen as both a fabulous market and a stabilizing force, because we wouldn't let anything get between ourselves and steady oil.  Now, our addiction is out of control, and we are destabilizing the region.
      •  If this happens (none)
        It will be the Basra Shia that help support the Khuzestan Arab takeover.

        Then you may be right. But I very much doubt it.

        If you are correct, I still predict those Basra Shia play us for fools straight-away and turn on us within weeks or months.

      •  National strategy for victory in Iraq (none)
        now, let's see, what stage are we in now?

        Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

        Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

        Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

        (tip to Americablog)

        An election does not make a democracy.

        by seesdifferent on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:20:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  meh (none)
        I'm sorry Sherlock, but you're a delusional fool who is poorly acquainted with the facts and are logically challenged.

        For some reason you seem to think that the Bush administration appeared from the Q continuum and can re-order reality with a casual wave of the hand. I think any reasonable obvserver of the whole Iraq misadventure would conclude that the US is in a world of trouble, with 130,000 plus troops tied down fighting a minority community based insurgency, whilst in the schizophrenic position of having to bolster a democratically-elected Iraqi government that is comprised of religious Shia with very close ties to Iran. The situation on the provincial level in the Shia South is even more tilted towards Teheran as local militias with very close operational ties to Iranian security forces control the ground ( and the US logistics chain from Kuwait into the bargain ). Quite why you imagine that Basra Shia will support such an endeavour escapes me - they're still shooting at your troops there from time to time, and there's a regular drumbeat of UK casualties as well.

        When Saddam invaded Ahvaz he foolishly thought that the Arab population there would support him: silly, silly man - they fought for their country instead. Quite why you think that the Ahvaz population would behave any differently if the US were to try to put forces on the ground there mystifies me - they're not muslim, they don't understand the language and culture, and they're not welcome ( Saddam was at least an Arab ). Few actual people in the ME believe what the US says - they've had decades of watching what the US does, understand that Washington politics is fickle, opportunist and devoid of principle, and are not going to be suckered like the Iraqi Shia in 1991 into believing a word that the son of a man of dishonourable promises utters.

        Quite how the US could mount an invasion of Ahvaz escapes me. Do you expect them to teleport clone warriors in from bases in the US? In case you hadn't noticed, the US military is bogged down in 2 theatres already and simply has no troops available to occupy anywhere else. I doubt that there are 150,000 or so troops that can be mustered to occupy Ahvaz in the first place - or do you think that a couple of hundred special forces can do the job? Occupying Ahvaz is one thing - but if you're planning to grab the oil, then you also have to grab the Straits of Hormuz so it can be shipped out - that's some 500 miles away at the head of the Gulf - which would involve another invasion force. And you still have the endless problems of doing all this with not one jot of support from anyone whilst borrowing every red cent from abroad at a time when oil prices will be going through the roof. Not. Gonna. Happen.

        You ask people to read their history, but Ahvaz has been part of Persia for much, much longer than you can imagine.

  •  You know...Sherlock Google... (none)
    every time I see one of your diaries I get nervous...

    this is one of the most nerve-wracking diaries...

    I won't be surprised when it happens now...at least I've got that...

  •  Cheney (none)
    Dick Cheney wasn't a high ranking reagan administration official. He pissed off ron when he worked for the re-election of Gerry Ford. He was in congress during the reagan administration. Rumsfeld only represented the reagan administration as middle east special envoy where he met with saddam. That doesn't negate what you found but it's still not a high ranking position.  He undoubtedly learned what he wanted to do in that position, however it was only from november of 83 to april of 84. The rest of the time he was in the private sector, not in the administration.  

    "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." Twain

    by dougymi on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:03:25 PM PST

  •  I want to recommend (none)
    but there is no recommend area on my screen, just the diary.  This is really interesting.  thanks.
  •  Someone please tell me (none)
    How much have we spent so far in our post 9/11 overseas fuckup?

    Could that money have been used for something else like, oh I dono... An Apollo Program for energy independence?
    Wouldn't it be liberating to look over at the middle east and be able to say...
    "hey, you guys are crazy.  Yeah, we'll stay out of your affairs, no need to blow up our cities and stuff.  Not to worry, we won't go anywhere near you guys.  You enjoy your little tribal wars and that other crazy shit that you do.  We'll just keep to ourselves over here.  Have a nice day.

  •  Excellent... (none)
    That's all I can say. I will be completely suprised if something like this does not come to pass. I especially like the way nuclear weapons could be used to demonstrate our superiority(seeing how we are superior at absolutely nothing else). This makes sense. And Americans will go along because they will be able to continue to purchase imported goods with debt thereby providing the illusion the American Dream still exist.

    What about a Sunni strong-man needed in Iraq to keep the Shia in Iraq and Iran under control?

    The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements. - Senator James W. Fulbright

    by american pastoral on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:17:31 PM PST

  •  Sherlock, you're a gem (4.00)
    All I can say is, it's about time we eliminated WMDs brought democracy fought them over there instead of over here did not distinguish between terrorists and those who harbor them freed the Khuzestanis Khuzestanians Khuzestakis Khuzestanifarians those poor oppressed people from their nefarious oppressors whomever whoever they are.

    God Bless America.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

    by The Crusty Bunker on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:24:31 PM PST

  •  not in March (4.00)
    I'm not buying the currency angle. I've heard it before and it has never made sense to me. You don't have to "stockpile" dollars to buy oil -- dollars trade by the trillions every day.

    If the price of oil were fixed, then it would matter which currency it was fixed in. But it floats, so the currency doesn't matter. Switching to euros is like switching to the metric system. It doesn't  change anything economically.

    So maybe we will invade Iran and maybe we will occupy Khuzestan for its oil. But there's no urgency to do it in March, because the euro-trading bourse is not a threat.

    •  Stirling (none)
      made a similar argument some months ago.  He predicted Fall 2006.
      •  His economic arguments (none)
        are also extremely weak and way out in the wingnut fringe of economic thought.  

        The thing keeping the dollar strong is the foreign purchase of treasuries (because they WANT to keep their currency weak because they sell so much stuff to us), not anything to do with oil whatsoever.

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:32:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's correct (none)
          the oil angle is bunk.

          Saddam didn't get any extra kick from selling in Euros.  Especially as the Oil for Food pgm immediately recycled the cash into food etc.

          this oil bourse stuff is the wingnuttyness.

          It's not important what currency oil trades in.  What's important is what currency the creditor nations choose to hold.  The oil boys have been diversifying away from the dollar for yonks.  Our creditors are China X 2 + Japan for the most part and they do want our currency strong to keep their economies humming.

          Japan may well be the first to turn on us.  They are finally dragging their asses out of deflation and beginning to offer real returns on the Yen.  If the Japanese begin to return their assets home, we are well and truly hosed.

    •  It's the "Float" (none)
      If dollars are the only thing that buys oil, then essentially every barrel of oil in storage or transit somewhere is propping up the dollar.  It's as if that commodity is part of the US economy, even when it's being shipped from Iran to China.

      What I want to know is, if one believes this war will not happen, and Iran's bourse will put pressure on the greenback, where should I be investing?

      •  That's easy (none)
        Whether or not you think this war will happen, if you're talking investing within the US: Nuclear power and renewable energy companies.  If you want to speculate, look into R&D for new energy technologies but have a long view.  If Bush is making jokes about being a Texas oil man promoting alternative energy, it's much worse than any of us are imagining.  The days of oil and roses are over.

        Nature never breaks her own laws. --da Vinci

        by lale on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:11:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not accurate (none)
        oil often comes with long dated payment terms or at least X days after delivery.  So there may not be any significant "residence time" in dollars.  The Saudis may only hold greenbacks a few minutes if they wish.  As soon as the wire transfer hits their bank, they can flip to Euros or Yen or gold or whatever in one phone call.  A VLCC of crude is only worth about $100 million.  That's a fart in the windstorm of the currency markets.

        The real question is why are so many so gullible re the IOB?  Can you find any source identifying when it will actually start up, what will trade, delivery terms etc??  I sure can't.

    •  Yes, the dollar-collapse argument is confused (none)
      Money can serve as a unit of account, as a medium of exchange, or as a store of value, but these functions can be separated. A country might price its oil in dollars (as a unit of account), accept payment in euros (as a medium of exchange), and then buy gold (as a store of value).

      What matters most is whether other countries keep buying U.S. dollar bonds as a store of value. By comparison dollars zip around as payments matters little, and whether price tags are marked in dollars matters almost not at all.

      A bourse is about prices and exchange. Banks are about storing value. These functions are radically different.

  •  Bush was bombing Iraq before the war (none)
    and supposedly Congress didn't know.
    How do we know he's not bombing Iran now?

    It's time to be a Democrat!

    by annefrank on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:30:55 PM PST

  •  The Leading U.S. Export: (4.00)
    Protection--just like the Mob. The world has to keep pretending dollars are worth something or we'll just go nuts on someone and break their shit down.

    "Nice country you have, Mr. Prime Minister. Be a shame if something happened to it. Oh, is that where you sleep? Nice. Real nice."

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

    by The Crusty Bunker on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:36:02 PM PST

    •  Yeah, I bet they're trembling... (none)
      After the joke our military has been exposed as being in Iraq, I really think all the other countries are totally terrified of our military "might".  We can't even control Iraq, I bet China and Europe are really worried.  Maybe Japan has reason to be concerned, and Jamaica, or any other country the size of a postage stamp that we could actually occupy effectively.  

      In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

      by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:30:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (none)
        The intialy miliary operations in Iraq are generally regarded as a success.  The ridiculous intelligence estimates and post-war planning have been the real issue.  Against conventional army, even the moderately stronger Iranian army, the US forces would not have much problem.  Controlling the whole of Iran, especially the Persian north and Tehran would be almost impossible.
  •  October Surprise (none)
    "The Iranians plan to open their own oil "bourse" in March, which will be the first oil state to sell oil for Euros.  This will have the effect of driving the dollar down, so Bush and Cheney have great incentive to act now."

    Will they really attack in the next month? Even if it means they can't use the war to boost them in November? Also, wouldn't we be seeing some sort of military build up right now?

    •  We're just taking Khuzestan (none)
      It's like invading a small Northeast state.

      You go where 90% of the oil is.  150 miles long and 100 miles wide.

      Plus the Arab rebels there will do some of the killing for us!

      •  I really doubt it would be quite that easy. (none)
        Our troops are not deployed for such an operation, as far as I know. Much of the border is protected by the marshes and a sandy desert, and the British are holding Basra. It seems to me we would have to come in through the north by way of Dezful, a relatively constricted invasion route. The road network looks pretty thin there, though my maps are old & I could be wrong.

        The Iranians have plenty of allies in the Shiite part of Iraq. It would be hard for us to deploy without the Iranians -- and the whole world -- knowing.

        "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

        by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:26:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't understand. (none)
          The BRitish are starting this.  British intelligence is ALREADY inside Khuzestan and rousing up the Arab al-Ahwaz separatists.  Marine intelligence contractors are right there with the British taking risks and helping out.

          ALREADY.

          The British will go in with us.  

          You know there's a company called British Petroleum.  The Khuzestan oil fields are probably already divided up between BP, Chevron, Texaco, etc.

          •  Links? (none)
            Evidence?

            "Be kind" - is that a religion?

            by ThatBritGuy on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:04:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This would be the equivalent... (none)
            of the Ardennes Salient (aka "Battle of the Bulge") for US and UK forces...every wellhead is wired for demolition the moment the inertia of an invasion goes the way of a Western armed force. But in the monds of the Halliburtonites, this is desirable, as the rebuilding contracts alone are golden.

            Besides, Iran's military is as fresh as a daisy and has garnered technical training and materiel from the Chinese for years...and you end up pissing off the Kurds who have been railing for self-determination. I don't think the Mosulfolk would greatly appreciate the rallying clarion call of "Khuzestan for the Khuzestani Bakhtiari Shi'i".

            Hormuz chokepoint gets obliterated with scuttled transports and the Persian Gulf becomes a Sunburn missile test proving ground.

            The neocon playbook is pie-in-the-sky...they really, really do not want what would be the aftermath of this campaign.

            People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

            by rgilly on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:41:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Makes sense (none)
    to me.

    Bush Jr. is going after what his Daddy didn't get to win.

    Sucking war. I hate it.

    I hope this Does Not come to pass.

    But the hawkish ones talk about this Iran War all the time. If Iraq weren't such a mess, I am sure we would already by there promoting our freedom and democracy song.

    Question to Ponder. They are promoting the UAE as being so wonderful, a mecca of business and free enterpirse, yet it is NOT a democracy. Doesn't that fly in the face of their freedom deficeit theory.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:39:27 PM PST

  •  Bush is a fool, but not that big a fool (none)
    the current fools in Washington aren't smart enough to pull this off. Your plan requires a serious deployment of gray matter, not whatza matter? Bush has gutted the joint chiefs and replaced them with yes men, he should watch his back or the troops in Iraq will leave like it was Dunkirk.
    we backed Saddam in the Iran/Iraq war because we were afraid the Iranians would roll over Basra and right into Sauda Arabia, which under the cover of bad weather is a real possibility. once the Iranian troops are inside Iraq or anywhere else air power is useless. would our admirals take their carriers into the Persian Gulf under these circumstances. (the navy is not as pliable) i don't think these guys have the logistics to run the number of air strikes they ran during Nam. with Halliburton covering your back, things get pretty dicey in a hurry.
    bush is smart enough to know he sold America down the river, and the Chinese, and the Russians, and the Iranians are smart enough to know it too, check check mate.

    "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

    by agent double o soul on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:40:12 PM PST

    •  If you think this is a "smart" plan (none)
      Then I'd hate to see what you'd classify as a dumb one.  This has more holes in it than swiss cheese, and they're big enough to float the Titanic through.  

      In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

      by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:28:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, he IS that big a fool... (none)
      He lives in his own bubble that no reality can penetrate, even though I agree with you that the more intelligent people around him (or at least the ones more subtle about their ruthlessness and menace) can't pull this off. They don't have a f---ing clue about how people in the Arab world think if they were to try this.

      Domestically, he doesn't have a clue that he's sold us all down the river, because his family is so secure that he doesn't have to care. It's the Chinese and Russians who best understand, not to mention Iran (I don't care for Ahmadinejad one little bit, and I'd be thrilled if the Iranians got rid of him on their own, but he's a marginally smarter whack-job than our own whack-job Preznit) how much Bushco have financially f--ked us. Especially with China holding so much US debt, as much as I don't care for the regime there, they might be the only ones who can stop this madness by financial means. I'm not sure enough Americans will wake up in time to stop it (like by electing a Democratic Congress?).

      •  The Next Guy (none)
        If Bush leaves our boys high and dry in the Middle East, defeat or retreat, either way, what will Americans do in the next election? They will have to elect someone who will restore our military parity to meet the Communist threat.  

        I'm not sure enough Americans will wake up in time to stop it (like by electing a Democratic Congress?).

        we all agree Bush is a big asshole, but have you seen the next guy?. The Democrats can't answer six years (and counting) of baneful neglect by pulling back on our military committment. Because of Bush the next guy has to be really tough, and that sends us down a road we don't want to travel. This is why Hillary is already Hawking Iran, and why the reasonable minds on the fringe of the party oppose her.

        "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

        by agent double o soul on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:56:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Jesus Fricking Christ (none)
    I didn't know about this at all.  This is some majorly scary shit--I used to laugh at the idea that they would try to wage war with Iran at this point.

    No longer.

    Thank you, and highly recommended.

  •  Bush (none)
    "The evil that men do lives long after them, the good is oft interred with their bones," so let it be with Bush.  

    "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country..." - Thomas Paine

    by elveta on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:44:07 PM PST

  •  Pretty much... (none)
    ...what I have been saying for a while.  If a ground war is going to happen, this would be a pretty likely scenario.  I'm still pretty sure there won't be a ground assault anytime soon, but I'm not willing to bet on anything logical with old George behind the wheel.
  •  Nonsense. Any attack on Iran will have ... (4.00)
    ...nothing to do with petro-euros (which isn't to say that an attack won't have anything to do with trying to gain control of oil).

    I'd be a little suspicious of sources that make claims like:

    Not surprisingly, this was Saddam Hussein's strategy in 1980 when initiated hostilities against Iran in a war that would last for eight years. Saddam was an American client at the time, so it is likely that he got the green-light for the invasion from the Reagan White House.

    Nobody anywhere got a greenlight from "the Reagan White House" in 1980, because there wasn't a Reagan White House in 1980. Saddam's invasion started before the election.

    While this "Khuzestan gambit" may seem to make sense geopolitically, notice that none of the cited authors actually describes the complex military aspects of such an invasion nor tells us how many troops Washington and London would need to hang onto that territory (tens of thousands) or how exactly they could offer "a share of the oil their northern Persian masters now control" to the Shiite Arabs there given that heavy sabotage - Iraqi-style - could be expected.

    There's a good chance Iran will be attacked, perhaps this year. But it won't be because of any switch to petro-euros by Tehran.
     

    •  Saddam's attack on Iran... (none)
      ...also had a lot to do with creating a strong nationalistic tide so that he could maintain power, having lived to see several coups where weak leaders were overthrown upon taking power.
      •  Could there be more to Saddam's attack on Iran (none)
        Dozens of countries sold arms to both Iran and Iraq during the conflict and he attacked a nation who had recently overthrown our puppet.  His attack also constricted the world's oil supply and drove prices through the ceiling giving a huge windfall to big oil.  Since Saddam had been a CIA asset of sorts since the 60's, I wonder if Saddam had anyone whispering in his ear, encouraging him to attack.        
    •  I say only Arab rebels, Special Forces (none)
      and the three carrier strike groups plus the Fifth Fleet are more than enough to take Khuzestan and patrol the Gulf.  You might need 15,000 MArines and Army to patrol what will be the new state of Ahwaz with local Arab Shia militia.

      Remember MB, there are only Arab Shia there, no Sunnis or Persians.  Air-Land operations over the Zagros Mountains will keep any major force from getting through from the north.

      It's a very doable military plan with all the airpower and sea power we already have there.

      I say 15,000 or less to invade and take over 100 billion barrels of oil.

      Man, that looks so profitable on paper!!

      How could any neo-con resist??

      I ask you.

      •  It's hard to imagine that ... (4.00)
        ...there's anything beyond the stupidity of the NeoCons and NeoImps, I'll agree. But you're buying three things that I don't buy: 1) that the Bourse is a big worry; 2) that slicing off Khuzestan would constitute the primary attack against Iran; 3) that this would be sooooooo easy.

        Everybody since Jimmy Doolittle and Curtis LeMay has argued that air power with a little help on the ground can do the job. And yet we have repeated historical examples - starting with the Strategic Bombing Survey of World War II and running right up to Tora Bora - about how air power didn't do the job. Heavy bombing with planes and cruise missiles could, of course, pound the oil infrastructure in Khuzestan into dust. But that would hardly fit the scenario laid out by your sources.

      •  What about the other 500,000 (4.00)
        That need to man the borders of Iraq to fend off the Iranian counter attack.  Taking a piece of Iran will not be any easier than invading the whole thing, because they're not just going to sit back and let it happen.  

        The only reason this is even slightly believable is this is exactly the sort of stupid plan the neocons would come up with.  Other than that the plan is so dumb that I would classify it as absurd.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:26:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  15,000? Bah! (none)
        It will take 2,000 max, and cost about $5 million, all of which we will get back in oil revenues in under six weeks.

        Oh yeah, and the inhabitants will welcome us with open arms.

        When can we start?

        "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

        by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:31:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget this MB! (none)
      The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

      They are about to act agaion and create their own reality: Ahwaz, come hell or high water.

      Maybe not in March or April, but certainly a conquest over the summer for the election.

      Rove has no possible major national strategy left to keep the House and Senate in the face of the Culture of Corruption and the Iraq debacle.

    •  Hmmm (none)
      no one has answered this very obvious point. The sources are bunk if they claim Reagan greenlighted Iraq's invasion of Iran before he was even elected president.
    •  Hallelujah (none)
      Right on target.
  •  An Alternate Scenario.... (none)
    I wonder what people think would happen if...
    • Iraq descends into full-scale civil war.
    • The Sunni & Shia begin reprisal attacks & seek control of strategic positions.
    • The Iraqi government loses total cohesion when the Kurds declare independence in the north.
    • The United States & United Kingdom takes a neutral public position, while working with the UN to calm all sides.
    • In response, the Shia ask Iran for assistance against the Sunnis.
    Would Iran dare enter an Iraqi civil war on the Shia's side? If that happened, would the United States defend the Sunnis & attack Iranian forces?
    •  Woah! The US plan all along has been to split (none)
      Iraq in 3 and defend the oil-rich Kurds and Shia from the no-oil Sunnis.

      That's Plan A.  We want 3 states in Iraq and 1 in Iran.  Ahwaz (Khuzestan in IRan) will just be another US puppet Shia state.

      No problemo.

      •  What a load of crap (none)
        If Bush really wanted to divide Iraq, then why hasn't he?  Dividing Iraq would actually make a lot of sense, but it's precisely what these dumbasses don't want.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:23:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you followed anything the (none)
          Shia, Kurd dominated government did in Iraq by grabbing the oil, making autonoumous regions and leaving the SUnnis out of power and out of oil, while the US let all the militias, including al Sadr arm themselves to the teeth!

          You will see the stage has been set to split Iraq in three, informally already and eventually formally.

          •  In spite of and not because of (none)
            what Bush wanted.
            •  NO (none)
              Sherlock has it right.  The entire concept was to split Iraq up.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen this same thing come up in conversations about Iraq...I should do a diary on it.

              so to be very clear:

              IRAQ is NOT imploding because of INCOMPETENCE and STUPIDITY.  It is collapsing by DESIGN.

              I am pleading to this community to STOP propogating the myth that BUSH administration is stupid.  It just lets them off the hook for their WILLFUL malice.  These guys are fucking smart.  STOP pushing that bullshit incompetence crap.  for FUCKS sake!  STOP buying that crap.  They hide behind Bush's perceived "simpleness" to excuse their mistakes.  They use ignorance as a way to avoid punishment.  It is their M.O..  STOP BUYING their ignorant and incompetent smokescreens.  They PLAY STUPID to avoid scrutiny.  Just look at today's UAE response:  Bush didn't know, Snow didn't know.  Its always the same: when you're caught, act stupid, your enemies will think you're incompetent, which is much better than your enemies thinking that you are evil.

              Why does this work?

              Because most people WANT to believe that people are well intended.  It is the classic assumption leveraged in the classic con.  It is the hallmark of Rove, and the operating mentality of the entire Bush brotherhood.  People are more likely to believe that the failure in Iraq is do to incompetence than they are to believe that the failure was by design.  "I forgot about the utility bill!  I'm sorry, it was hidden under my mail...I'll get it in the mailbox today!"  It is classic tactics that any 4 year old understands.  

              Why is this?  Why do people here on Dailykos think that the Neo-cons aren't getting exactly what they wanted?  The neo-con dream of democracy in the middle east is a cover story.  Their faux idealism is just a cover for their real intent:  Maintaining strategic hegemony.  The neo-cons (the real ones, like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perl, etc.) don't give a shit about democracy.  The only thing they care about is power by the elites.  Their only concern for the citizens is for them to remain a stupid obedient public that complies with their masters' wishes.

              So can we please, please, please stop repeating the incompetence meme?  IRAQ is not in Civil war because of a mistake.  They KNEW that they couldn't secure Iraq with these small deployments.  They knew it and did it anyway, which demonstrates to all that they didn't give a shit about security in Iraq.  And if they didn't give a shit about security, then they don't give a shit about civil war.  In fact, they went out of their way to worsen the security situation in Iraq.  You only do that if your intent is for civil war.  That is what they wanted.  Now they can come in with arms sales to the Shias and Kurds as they raise up a new ruling elite in the south and north of Iraq to operate as US surrogates in the energy trade.

              Let me ask some questions to all of those that think that the Bush admin failed in Iraq because of Incompetence:

              Did Bush win in 2000 because his election policy was accidentally competent (i.e. LUCKY?), or because his team gamed the system intentionally, with malice and forethought?

              Did Bush fail on 911 because his policies were accidentally incompetent, or because his team gamed the system intentionally, with malice and forethought? (yes...I now what I am emplying)

              Did Bush fail in Iraq because his policies were accidentally incompetent, or because his team gamed the system intentionally, with malice and forethought?

              Did Bush fail in Katrina because his policies were accidentally incompetent, or because his team gamed the system intentionally, with malice and forethought?

              Did Bush get his supreme court picks appointed due to accidental competence; ie. he got lucky?.  Or because his team gamed the system intentionally, with malice and forethought?

              Did Dick Cheney's stock in Haliburton go up because he was lucky or because his team intentionally gamed the system, with malice and forethought?

              How smart are they?

              An election is stolen in 2000 using many different forms of vote supression taking years of coordination.  The stolen election installs a presidency soaked in oil.  You have Neo-cons backed by wingnut christains, celebrating the installation of a Republican regime that heralds from the days of Nixon.  The head of the regime is the son of the ex-CIA chief, ex VP and ex President of the USA.  This same father figure helps run the Carlyle group with friend Baker.  Baker, Bush and Cheney are all oil guys with close contacts in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.

              On the eve of their inaugruation, Peak Oil is approaching.  They call an energy policy summit in 2001 after they are sworn in, inviting all of the big energy execs to discuss the future.  They hide the information from those meetings from the congress.  They simultaneously start up the march to war with Iraq.  Installing the White House Iraq group and the Office of Special Plans in the defense intelligence department to provide the White House with stovepiped fake intel to propogandize the US public into supporting a war with Iraq.

              The Bush admin trots out three major justifications for invading Iraq:

              That Iraq supports Al Queda and was indireclty (direclty) involved in 911.  

              That Iraq has access to WMD, either biological, chemical, or potentially nuclear (i.e. yellow cake)

              That Iraq wants to destroy the US.

              These justifications changed as time went by, in a very scripted fashion, as though the new reasons had been waiting on deck for the right moment to be moved into the lineup.  These justifications included:

              Sadam was mass murderer and we went into Iraq for humanitarian reasons.

              Iraqis wanted to be liberated and we needed to bring democracy to the middle east.

              The US is still in Iraq because we can't "cut and run".

              So...given all of these LIES about their real intent, how do we discern what the intent really was?

              Look at how they organized the Iraq invasion.  Their actions speak WAY the F*(K louder than their empty words.  So what were their actions?

              1.  REFUSED to listen to top military brass about the troop levels required to invade and STABILIZE Iraq (google Gen. Shinseki).  They went so far as to force he and his deputy into early retirement.

              2.  CIRCUMVENTED UN authorization (or more realistically, repudiation) of their invasion plans by forcing inspector's out of the country before they had a chance to finish their inspections.

              3.  BYPASSED official international treaties (namely the UN Charter) in organizing their own "coaltion of the willing" that was hopelessly inadequate at providing security in Iraq.

              4.  DISMANTLED the Iraq army upon seizing Baghdad, thus immediately removing the primary native security force.

              5.  SIEZED the oil fields early in the campaign, while weapons depots were not similarly guarded or secured.

              6.  BALKANIZED the country into zones, sowing inter-ethnic and religios hatred, and carving up oil rich areas and granting their control the the previously powerless populations in the north (Kurds) and south (Shia).

              7.  HAMSTRUNG our forces by failing to provide enough troops on the ground to realistically stabilize the country.

              8.  PRIVATIZED their national industries (in particular OIL).

              9.  APPOINTED negroponte to start up death squads in Iran using Shia militia.

              10.  TARGETED the Sunni minority using Shia Iraqi national gaurdsmen (see Fallujah).

              We could go on and on.

              Needless to say, their actions go beyond incompetent, they demonstrate an extreme, willful, disregard of their artificial pretexts, we interpret the failure of their cover story to be the failure of their policy.  And therein lies the rub, their policy is hidden, cloaked behind shiny paint, but rotten to the core.

              •  the problem with your theory (4.00)
                is that it begs the question; that is, it presumes what it purports to conclude.

                your argument, in short, claims that the results of the invasion are evidence of their real plan for the invasion. why? because if the results of the invasion weren't their real plan for the invasion, that would mean the planners were ... well, stupid! since these folks are not stupid, everything is obviously going according to plan!

                even if they are smart, which i'm not yet willing to concede, and even if they are evil, which i will concede, smart evil people are just as susceptible to miscalculation and bad luck as the rest of us. i really don't think everything that's happened has been according to plan. what i do think is that what has happened occurred mainly as a result of arrogance more than anything else.

                your theory simply points at what has happened and ascribes that to their plan, which makes it impossible to disprove without being privy to that plan, which is of course secret ... unless you look at what has happened!

                •  No (none)
                  But did you read the whole post?

                  I wasn't basing my conclusion that they wanted civil war because they got civil war.  I base my conclusion that they wanted civil war by examining their actions before the civil war ever occured (see items 1-10 above).  I then extrapolated that either all of those 10 issues were grave miscalculations (which is to say that they didn't know any better), or that they really didn't give a shit if Iraq blew up.  I think its obvious that they didn't care, and that its highly likely that they wanted it to blow up

                  Its like this:

                  Premise 1:  They wanted a secure Iraq
                  Premise 2:  They were informed that they could not secure Iraq with 140,000 troops
                  Premise 3:  They invaded with only 140,000 troops
                  Premise 4:  Iraq was not secured.

                  Conclusion:  Either Premise 1 is a lie, or they are incompetent (i.e. they chose a policy that did not meet the criteria necessary to meet their goal)

                  I find i incredibly difficult to believe, for reason stated in 1-10 above, that the same group that rigged elections in 2000, made BOATLOADS of cash off of no-bid contracts for Haliburton, set up an incredible network of donors, lobbyists, and propagandists, rigged the Texas redistricting and then silenced DOJ objections, maintained incredible party discipline through many crisis can be considered incompetent.  These guys are CROOKS yes!  But they are really, really good at it.  They are top rate crooks.  They know how to game the system.  They took a solid Democratic presidential nominee and made him into swiftboated weakling.  These guys are not stupid.  Cheney is not stupid, bush...well ok, mayble Bush, but Wolfowitz?  Perl?  My friend know the son  of Perl, and he says that Perl is very, very keen.  

                  I mean...one more set of examples:

                  Did the US want democracy in Haiti?

                  Did it want democracy in Honduras?
                  El Salvador?
                  Guatemala?

                  The US is hostile to democracies in third world countries because they are too unpredictable.  What the US prefers are balkanized nations where they can play one side off of the other while the exert control through local war lords (Afghanistan) or dictatorships run by compliant elites (Saud family, Suharto, Pinochet) who are propped up by US military and arms.

                  The divide and conquer strategy is colonialism crystalized.  I don't see what is so unbelievable that the US is using the same strategy here, in a resource rich country, with already strong tendencies towards fracturing.  It makes logical sense that the US would prop up the Kurds in the north and use them as managers for the northern oilfields, and use a Sistani-esque led Shia segment in the south to manage the oilfields in the south.

                  The US will provide the Shia and the Kurds with the "independence" they sought from Sadam in exchange for providing Oil to the US.  There will be a shift over the next couple of months as the US presumes to throw its hands in the air over the sectarian violence, but secretly, the US will be backing the Shia death squads.  Want a model example?

                  try wikipedia for Negroponte:


                  Ambassador to Honduras (1981 - 1985)

                  From 1981 to 1985 Negroponte was the U.S. ambassador to Honduras. During his tenure, he oversaw the growth of military aid to Honduras from $4 million to $77.4 million a year. Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic.
                  The previous U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Jack Binns, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, made numerous complaints about human rights abuses by the Honduran military and claimed he fully briefed Negroponte on the situation before leaving the post. When the Reagan administration came to power, Binns was replaced by Negroponte, who has consistently denied having knowledge of any wrongdoing. Later, the Honduras Commission on Human Rights accused Negroponte himself of human rights violations.
                  Negroponte supervised the construction of the El Aguacate air base where Nicaraguan Contras were trained by the U.S., and which some critics say was used as a secret detention and torture center during the 1980s. In August 2001, excavations at the base discovered 185 corpses, including two Americans, who are thought to have been killed and buried at the site.
                  Negroponte is said to have known of human rights abuses carried out by CIA-trained operatives in Honduras in the 1980s. According to The New York Times, Negroponte carried out "the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinistas government in Nicaragua."
                  Records also show that a special intelligence unit (commonly referred to as a "death squad") of the Honduran armed forces, Battalion 3-16, trained by the CIA and the Argentine 601st Intelligence Battalion and Army Intelligence Service, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people, including U.S. missionaries. Critics charge that Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with the Honduran military while lying to Congress.
                  In May 1982, a nun, Sister Laetitia Bordes, who had worked for ten years in El Salvador, went on a fact-finding delegation to Honduras to investigate the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns and women of faith who fled to Honduras in 1981 after Archbishop Óscar Romero's assassination. Negroponte claimed the embassy knew nothing about the nuns. However, in a 1996 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Negroponte's predecessor, Jack Binns, said that a group of Salvadorans, among whom were the women Bordes had been looking for, were captured on April 22, 1981, and savagely tortured by the DNI, the Honduran Secret Police, and then later thrown out of helicopters alive.
                  In early 1984, two American mercenaries, Thomas Posey and Dana Parker, contacted Negroponte, stating they wanted to supply arms to the Contras after the U.S. Congress had banned further military aid. Documents show that Negroponte brought the two together with a contact in the Honduran armed forces. The operation was exposed nine months later, at which point the Reagan administration denied any U.S. involvement, despite Negroponte's introductions of some of the individuals. Other documents detailed a plan of Negroponte and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush to funnel Contra aid money through the Honduran government.

                  Guess who is ambassador to Iraq...

                  I'm sorry to keep harping on it.  But these guys have been ANTI-democratic, coniving, evil bastards for years.  They are also very wily, very sneaky, and have been smart enough to stay out of prison.  They are not ordinary stupid incompetents.  They are highly intelligent criminals that habitually lie with idealistic platitudes to cover their truly evil intents.  Its late, and I'm really having a hard time being clear here, but really, these guys have been running the show for a long time, behind the scenes, in and out of government.  From black ops, Iran Contra, to Carlyle, BCCI and the rest.  These guys know what they are doing.  Christ, I don't see how that is so hard to see.

                  •  your response leaves a lot to chew on (none)
                    so i'll keep mine brief and focused by highlighting just a few points.

                    i repeat, smart people can often do really stupid things, especially if they're arrogant enough.

                    balkanization is an time-honored political tactic and an art form when practiced by experts, but if that's what the bushCo is supposedly engineering in iraq, then they're bungling it horribly. yes, you're supposed to play each side against one another, but what bushCo has done is unleash uncontrollable mayhem with no forseeable end. you're supposed to ally yourself with the strongest faction (presumably the one in control), while maintaining their loyalty by keeping their weaker foes on a leash, but what bushCo has done is thoroughly alienate all the factions. and you're not supposed introduce your own forces as a major player, a mistake that was made in vietnam. bushCo's control over events in iraq has all but completely evaporated. i see only stupidity here.

                    i never suggested that building a democracy was ever part of their master-plan, nor have i ever believed it, so much of your dissertation is unnecessary. my own theory regarding their original master-plan goes like this: 1) overthrow saddam; 2) quickly install secular capitalist (chalabi) as titular president; 3) cut sweetheart deals regarding oil, money, security and military bases; rinse and repeat with iran. all relatively painless and very attractive to someone arrogant enough to try it, but not very realistic. my question to you therefore is: how is the present chaos a better plan for bushCo than the one i've outlined?

                    bushCo is not monolithic; it is a composite entity comprised of many competing interests big and small (including neocons, big oil, private investors, ambitious politicians, coalition members, etc., etc., even including, in a sense, a vengeful american public) who, as all shady players do, would readily abandon the plan or even double-cross any of the other interests as soon as they thought it either more profitable or too costly. that makes formulating, agreeing on, implementing and sticking to any kind of plan very difficult. such plans tend to be very inefficient and can morph quickly from their original shape as each interest continually reappraises their own investment, especially if each interest hides or camoflages part or all of their objectives from the others. it's much more likely for plans to veer off course than hold together.

                    a crucial element of the plan requires remaining in a position to control it. a key component of that plan, the american voter (who i don't see as only a passive pawn but an active participant), is poised to remove bushCo from the action if they don't see some kind of profit very quickly over the coming election cycles and i don't think they'll be able to prevent it.

          •  And you think (none)
            This was all a plan?

            I get it.  The sectarian and ethnic divisions in Iraq are mere creations of the United States, who has decided to spark animosity and divide up the country.  <snark>

            This is conspiracy theory, nothing more. It's damaging in fact.

            The Kurds have longed for independence since the Ottoman Empire.  The US has done everything it can to force them to remain part of Iraq except attack the peshmerga - which it can't do for PR reasons and because they are the only military force on the ground with real strength and organization other than the insurgents.

            If the US wanted to divide Iraq, they would pull back and tell the Shia' Badr Brigades and Mehdi militia to take their revenge.  Instead, the US is serious about forcing the Shia' to accept a Sunni Minister of Interior or Defense.  Why on earth would the Shia-led government do this?  The Ba'athists killed hundreds of thousands of Shia' and the Sunni political parties are linked directly or indirectly to an insurgency that wants to subjugate the Shia' once again.  The US would not be desperately trying to form a unity government if they wanted Iraq to split.  

            Personally, i think a split-up of Iraq is probably inevitable and perhaps better in the long run.  But I am convinced that it is not US policy.  Instead diaries like this divert attention from the real issues - which are whether or not the Shia' and Sunnis in Iraq can form any sort of compromise, whether Kurdistan goes free or stays part of Iraq, and how moderates in Iran can be supported in a way that might actually lead to their recovery of power.

      •  They don't want a divided Iraq... (none)
        ...but they may get it anyway. The US has gone to great lengths to try to avoid a civil war for several reasons:

        1. The Shia southeastern part of Iraq would become a satellite state of Iran--the last thing the Bushies want.
        2. A Kurdish state in the north would compel the Kurd majority in our so-called secular and democratic ally Turkey to rebel.  The Turks would then face the tough choice of cracking down on the Kurds and losing any chance of EU membership or letting the area become an autonomous or semi-autonomous region.  Either way, it is lose-lose for our relations with Turkey.  
        3. As if oil output isn't bad enough now, a full-scale civil war would put a huge dent in oil output, which is the reason we are there to begin with.
        •  No, they wanted it divided (none)
          1.  The Shia are being given their own state, and they would not turn it over to the Persian rulers in Tehran.  The Shia will break off from both Iraq and Iran, and have themselves a little empire in the north of the persian gulf from which to pump oil and buy escalades.

          2.  Turkey is already on the skids with the US and EU.  After Turkey refused US use of its airspace in invading Iraq, I don't think there is any love lost by the States.  Further, I can't see why the neo-cons would give a rats ass about whether Turkey gets invited to the EU party.  

          3.  Oil output is indeed going to get hammered, I agree with you here.  But in the long run, if Peak Oil is in fact here, the US will be in a much more advantageous postition sitting smug on top of 15% of the world's oil supply.  The US would rather have the oil stuck underground but under our thumb, than flowing freely but under the control of a government hostile to US dominance.
      •  Bullshit (none)
        Hiving off a Kurdish state means Turkey attacks to prevent an oil wealthy state that wants to take the Kurdish areas of Turkey.  

        This is a nightmare and even the neocons can see it.

  •  Marines Already In Khuzestan (4.00)
    Reported in the Financial Times today, the Marines are conducting secret missions in Khuzestan to judge "the depth and nature of grievances against the Islamic government, and appeared to be studying whether Iran would be prone to a violent fragmentation along the same kind of fault lines that are splitting Iraq".

    http://news.ft.com/...

    US intelligence experts suggested the marines' effort could indicate early stages of contingency plans for a ground assault on Iran. Or it could be an attempt to evaluate the implications of the unrest in Iranian border regions for marines stationed in Iraq, as well as Iranian infiltration.

    Other experts affiliated to the Pentagon suggest the investigation merely underlines that diverse intelligence wings of the US military were seeking to justify their existence at a time of plentiful funding.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Rick Long, a marines spokesman, confirmed that the marines had commissioned Hicks and Associates, a defence contractor, to conduct two research projects into Iraqi and Iranian ethnic groups.

    The purpose was "so that we and our troops would have a better understanding of and respect for the various aspects of culture in those countries", he said. He would not provide details, saying the projects were for official use only.

    Ummm, yeah. Because we're doing such a wonderful job in the "hearts and minds" department.
    Karim Abdian, head of the Ahvaz Human Rights Organisation which campaigns on behalf of Iranian Arabs in the south-west, said his meeting with SAIC was video-taped. He was told the report would be made public.

    Questions put to him were wide-ranging -- on the ethnic breakdown of Khuzestan province on the Iraq border, populations in cities, the level of discontent, the percentage of Arabs working in the oil industry, how they were represented in the central government, and their relations and kinship with Iraqi Arabs next door.

    Mr Abdian said he did not know the motives behind the survey, whether the Marines were seeking a better understanding of the region that directly affects them, or were forming a contingency plan in case they had to "enter" Iran. They were learning from the lessons of Iraq where they had not understood the ethnic dynamics, he suggested.

    And the coup de grace:
    A former intelligence officer said the Marines' probe reflected the "contingency planning" mindset of the US military. Nonetheless, he said, it was important to note that the ultimate purpose of the intelligence wing was "to support effective ground military operations by the Marine Corps".

    Sherlock, I'm afraid you are spot on.

     

    "The way out is via the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?" - Confucius

    by Blue Intrigue on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:10:12 PM PST

  •  My main problem with (4.00)
    Sherlock Google's analysis is that is it assumes a military operation in a vacuum. In 2006, military operations no longer occur in a vacuum. Every television on earth will broadcast nosthing else.

    Now, I think that the article is good, and I don't doubt that the Bush administration is thinking things along these lines.  But I don't think we could pull it off any more than we have pulled off a conquest of Iraq.

    In the first place, our army is tired. Our people are tired of war. Support for this war would be much much less than there was for Shock and Awe. Young men will not be flocking to the recruiting stations to replenish the ranks.  Moqtada al Sadr has already said that he will consider an attack on Iran to be an attack on him, and that he will give the order to rise up.  Sure, his is a rag-tag army. Kind of like the colonials in Lexington and Concord were a rag-tag army.  Rag-tag armies can make a lot of trouble.  In Viet Nam our Army was nearly destroyed.  Not by bullets and ordnance, but by rot and exhuastion. How close are we to that again?  I'm not a military person so I don't know, but I certainly worry about it.

    Second, US embassies around the world will burn to the ground, and Americans will be plucked off the streets and killed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, etc.  This will have a less than salutary effect on US commercial interests.

    And let's not forget the problems that Israel would face in this scenario, and where that might go.

    This little "gambit" could go horribly wrong.  I hope we never find out; that it remains a war-gamming conjecture.  But if our government does try it, I predict an outcome that will make us long for the good old days of 2005, when the war in Iraq only cost us a few tens of billions, and a few dozen killed sericemen and women every month.

    Wetmachine for your daily dose of technoparanoia.

    by j sundman on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:12:21 PM PST

    •  Replace could with would (none)
      No way Iran would just stand-by and let its most valuable oil reserves be chopped off.  They would fight to the end before letting that happen.  

      In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

      by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:21:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Futhermore (none)
        Even if the Iranian Arabs were to rise up in support of the invasion (I don't believe they are that stupid, but lets specify that they do) The rest of Iran would see that its major source of revenue has now disappeared into the American Maw.

        Now look at the rest of the Iran Iraq border and ask yourself how long it would take for 150,000 really, really pissed off Iranians, who would now, if temporarily, have common cause with the Sunnis and especially Saddam's army, which is the kkeystone of the resistance, to cross that broder and start wreaking havoc on the US.

        And lets not forget that the war between Iran and Iraq was across a Shiite border, its NOT going to go smoothly.

        There are also reports that Iran already has a significant force in Iraq and that would just be prudent. That force will not be amateurs and irregulars, it will be elite troops who can do the most damage for the least cost.

        It is there because Iran knows that its regular forces can't beat even a weakened, demoralised US. But it doesn't need to.

        With Al sadr's people (who are NOT ragtag, they damned near closed down US supply lines in late 2004) as shock troops, sabotuers and suicide bombers and the Iranian revolutionary guard with nothing to lose, they wont need body bags in iraq any more, just those vaci=uum drain cleaners will do.

        The Number of the Beast 72-25

        by Deep Dark on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:07:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  All these nukes (none)
        And we only used two. What a waste...

        I truly believe that we have at least some people in power that think along these lines. Insane - but in power nonetheless.

        yeah, yeah, tinfoil - flame away.

        Our economic strength is based on pretend money and we don't produce or innovate near as much as we did in our heyday. We have an amazing ability to destroy and kill though. We are "the leader of the free world" for the most part due to our military might.

        I give it better than even odds that some sort of  attack, invasion of iran and occupation complete with a brand new "coalition of the willing" is in the works by year's end, or at least before the current cabal is supposed to leave the White House. (I think that the carrier groups will  probably be kept out of harms way too...)

        I'd be ecstatic to be wrong. Nothing good could come from it.

    •  Don't misjudge the power of propaganda (none)
      I still doubt there will be ground operations against Iran, but you are making the assumption that Bush is just going to send a contigent of troops in tomorrow.  Doubtful...if there will be a war, there will first be a steady playing of the war drums, which has only just begun.  They will not just invade Iran without first making up a reason.  Almost certainly, the pretext would be to destroy the Bushehr reactor right along the coast to "prevent the Iranians from enriching uranium".  The administration is trying to align as much of the world as possible against Iran and as much as the Chinese and Russians are trying to keep the situation from escalating, Ahmadenijad is not helping by refusing all Russian offers and calling for things like the destruction of Isreael.  Also, we can add additional claims like Iran is interfering in the Basra area and funding Shiite death squads, as well as claiming interference in Afghanistan and possibly the Balochi areas of Pakistan, though the insurgency there is more likely supported by the US.
      •  You're expecting the foe to do the same thing (none)
        it did with the war on Iraq: a long, steady drumbeat that finally crescendos in shock and awe.  If Sherlock Google's frightening scenario does indeed come to pass, I'm not so sure the ramp-up will follow the same pattern.  Rove adapts, like a cockroach.  He knew he couldn't steal the 2004 elections by another razor-thin margin; that'd look suspicious.  Naw, he'd have to make it look like there were a couple of percentage points between Chimp and Kerry, and so he adapted.  It's easier to get 'em to believe one big lie than a bunch of small ones, a role model of Rove's once said.
        War with Iran is something we could all wake up to one morning - breathless reporters talking about news that's been breaking for the past six hours...
        About how a USAF fighter was engaged by the Iranian Air Force, or was shot down by Iranian air defense artillery...
        Or one of those hair-trigger naval "incidents" in which people play chicken with warships and somebody gets an itchy finger...
        Or, more likely, a "sizeable force" of "Iranian troops" are discovered "well inside sovereign Iraqi territory," and though "no photos are available," the Iraqi government will call for "swift retaliation" and we, as the only coherent military force at their disposal, will be obliged to retaliate on behalf of a "violated" Iraq...
        Or, most likely, a "cross-border raid" by "Iranian commandos" will result in the deaths of some Americans, Brits, or Iraqis.  American forces "in hot pursuit" will enter Iran, triggering their defenses, resulting in more deaths that must be avenged, and in we go.

        We already know the Preznit's a man of ax-shun.  To the wingnuts, an overnight retaliation to a manufactured affront would show strong, decisive leadership - "Dubya don't take no shit! Booo-yah!"  In fact, with dittohead spirits flagging over the neverending disaster this presidency has become, this sort of thing might actually look attractive to the foe's marketing boys as a good ole' rally-roun'-the-flag no-brainer.

        "he should bow to no authority and acknowledge no king" - Lucian

        by Unitary Moonbat on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:28:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And? (none)
      Oil prices go up. Exxon shareholders are happy.

      Billions are made on people's misery.

      End of story.

      How many coal miners have died while millionaire mine owners fought safetey regulations?

      I mentioned the movie Goldfinger to someone today about this subject. The whole purpose in that movie was to make the gold in Ft. Knox radioactive so the gold he had would be worth more.

      If you make Iraq into an instable civil war, make Iran a nuclear dump, just how much is the rest of the oil worth?

      Considering people are already paying double for gas because of the Iraq war and are not complaining, why not double it again?

      Hell, it's only ferner's lives and poor people we are fucking with. Not like anyone that matters.

  •  One of the most ridiculous ideas ever (4.00)
    I wouldn't put anything past the incompetence of this administration, but the idea we can just take over a piece of Iran-- not just a piece, but one of their most valued pieces-- and that will be that is just laughable.  This isn't so much a plan as a prayer (and no one up there is listening).  Iran shares a huge border with Iraq and if we take this piece of Iran then Iranian forces are going to be over the border for the entire length of Iraq.  

    Going to war with Iran will cause more of a selloff in dollars than their oil bourse ever will.  I disagree with that whole premise anyway as it is totally tin-foil hat and ignores how world economics really works.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:20:03 PM PST

    •  You are fighting the last war (none)
      Actually the war before the last war.

      The Iraq-IRan War to be exact.

      War is now way different.  Integrated Air-Land operations make it impossible for a third-world army to even assemble, much less stand up to US/UK attack.  That's why the Gulf War had only 100-some casualties and was so quick, like the Iraq Conquest in only a few weeks major combat was over.

      The Iranians won't be able to mount a major counter-attack.  They'll just go commando and sabotage.

      •  We don't have the ammo (4.00)
        We are already low on ammunition because of the operations in Iraq. Plus our supply of precision-guided munitions is not unlimited -- and Iran is the kind of place that would eat up PGMs.

        The more I think about this, the more skeptical I become -- but this diary is incredibly thought-provoking.

        "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

        by Shiborg on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:37:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like a good way... (none)
          ...to boost the lagging manufacturing sector.
        •  In a war game against a "Gulf State" (none)
          Carriers were sunk because the Aegis class ran out of air defense missiles before the Iranians ran out of anti-ship cruise missiles. If I were an Iranian general I'd have a few hundred (or thousand?) drone or dummy missiles (no warhead and crude guidance) and I'd launch them at a carrier battle group with a few Silkworms inside the cluster.

          Our Ticonderogas keep knocking 'em down until we run out of standard missiles. And then they launch the real stuff.

      •  Or, they might send a few ... (4.00)
        ...Shahab-3s toward Tel Aviv. Or they might carry out a few simultaneous terrorist actions in, say, 50 world capitals. Yes, the U.S. military has no peer at war-fighting. It's after the conquest that the problems arise. Those Arab Shiites aren't going to be our pals.
    •  Ridiculous, perhaps, but... (none)
      Iraq was ridiculous.
      Candies and flowers in the streets?
      Paid for with oil revenues?
      A democracy that yeilds anything other than a democratic theocracy?

      These were all obvious from before the war started and they didn't stop these knuckledraggers.

      If you think the whole world is about to start a really serious scramble for the last drops of the oil we're addicted to, this starts to look reasonable through a neocon lens.  Even if it doesn't go well and we can never get the oil out of there to our V8's, well at least the other guys don't get the oil.  If a few nukular bunker busters make other states think twice before opposing us, that's a bonus.  We're already in a war without end, so what if more US citizens die in retaliatory terror attacks?  That's the silly way these SOB's think, I'm aftraid.

      W - all boots & hat, no cattle

      by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:41:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Straits of Hormuz... (4.00)
    ...are a choke point for shipping, and you can be sure the Iranians have their side well lined with Silkworm missles and probably even newer varients.  

    The Iranians are actually quite wealthy, and have the full backing of the Russians, which means good russian-built weaponry.  And the silkworm missle alone is a nasty cruise missle.  

    Contrary to want all Western Navies want the public to think, the defense against modern cruise missles are very limited.  Our mine-clearing capability is essentially non-exsistent.  The few mine-clearing ships we have have been transferred to the Reserve Navy and being decommisioned.  There is just no glory in being a mine-sweep oficer, so our navy doesn't want them.

    Another reality check is that our ships actually have limited endurance - typically 90 days of slow speed cruising is tops without some type of replenishment.  which is why we (used to) have at sea replenishment ships for food and fuel oil, and why our ships need Dubai and other Mid-Eastern ports for stopovers.  And why having the Saudis provid almost all fuel for our coalition forces during Gulf War I was such a big deal.

    Without massive replenishment, 800 air sorties a month from a carrier air group is simply ridiculous.  It can;t happen without extensive logistics support.

    Between mines and cruise missles alone, the Iranians can probably keep replenishment forces out of the gulf, and keep any units inside the gulf bottled up until they run out of fuel (conventional ships) or food (all ships, including the carriers).  

    If other Mid-Eastern nations embargoed fuel oil and food to our units, we would be in big trouble in such an attack.

  •  nature abhors a vacuum (none)
    It is true that the world is different now, post-Katrina and with criticism of the Bushco thugs more on the radar than in the past few years (granted, that wasn't hard). And the tiredness of Americans, who still need to grasp their complicitness in "giving" Bushco a second term, may indeed play into it, if media outlets take this scenario and expose it for the flirting-with-disaster mess that it is.

    Unfortunately, having a whack-job like Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of other nations is a gift to the domestic bomb-Iran warmongers, and is someone easy to get even the most worn-out Americans worked up about. This is a little late for linking, but to gain some insight into him and how he could actually get into power, click here. (Oh wait, we have our own whack job President here.....the parallels are a shame on us, I forget.)

    If this comes to pass, it will be an absolute, unmitigated disaster. It's insane: three wars, on Afghanistan, Iraq, and then Iran. How else would Muslims view this trifecta as anything but an attack on Islam?

  •  won't work (4.00)
    Sherlock, I love your work man, but I'm pretty sure you're way off base about the Shrub's ability to pull this off.  Yeah, maybe the Bushies are dumb enough to try this, and maybe they think they'll be happy when oil hits $100, but if we try this we really will get creamed on numerous fronts the minute we start.  

    One, the US cannot secure the straits.  The Iranians are not idiots, and controlling threatening the strait by threatening it has been a core aspect of Iranian military strategy since, uh, well a long damn time anyway.  There don't have to be towns and people to be a military presence.  There have to be bunkers, artillery, weapons caches, missiles...  stuff like that.  That stuff is undoubtedly there.  

    Two, as somebody else mentioned, there are about 100k+ US troops in Iraq who are, logisticallty speaking, totally pinned down.  The folks that can actually move freely are the exception, not the rule, and it's gonna be hard work just to get people out of there...  

    Three Arabs v Iranians is not going to cut any ice in this context.  Arabs and Iranians are perfectly happy to bang away at each other but they are no more hostile toward each other than whites and blacks are in the US.  Imagine what kind of racial unity you'd get if China invaded the US and started torturing people.  The reason Iraqi Sunnis are attacking the Shia now is that they consider our eventual retreat into armed compounds to be a foregone conclusion.  

    Four, Special Forces could (maybe) seize Abadan, but then what?  It's a whole fucking city full of badass roughnecks.  Think Houston in the thirties.  Think Baku.  You expect SF to take that city, and secure it, and (unless we want the Chinese and Russians to do to us what we did to the Russians in Afghanistan) keep the refineries and oil fields working, all without destabilizing Kuwait and SA?  

    Five, the Chinese don't have much of a Navy.  Yet.  Nor do they have much of a space program.  Yet.  But they're not idiots either.  We're the idiots who are treating this like it was some kind of Schwarzenegger movie.  

    •  Your post would make sense except for one thing (none)
      Khuzestan is Arab.

      See, they don't want to be ruled by their Persian slave-masters up north who have taken the oil wealth and power for themselves.

      They want it back.  And the only way they can get it is through an unholy alliance with the US.  And who do those 3.7 million Arabs fight against?  The Persian overlord soldiers on their land.  

      Don't forget that Condi Rice just asked Congress last week for $85 million for democracy in Iran!

      WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a move to broaden pressure on Tehran's theocratic regime, asked Congress on Wednesday to sharply increase spending to promote democracy in Iran, from $10 million to $85 million this year.

      The money would be used to support political opposition and civil society groups in Iran, increase U.S. broadcasting into the country and underwrite more student study in the United States, Rice said.

       "No one wants to see a Middle East that is dominated by an Iranian hegemony, particularly one that has access to nuclear technology," Rice said, appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

      The move reflects the Bush administration's recognition that diplomatic efforts to halt Tehran's nuclear program face long odds and attempts to reform the regime from the inside may offer one of the best chances for keeping it free of nuclear weapons.

      But Iranian officials, who are highly sensitive to signs of foreign influence, are likely to point to the effort as another example of U.S. meddling and try to use it to foster anti-Americanism and build support for the regime, analysts said.

      The United Nations Security Council is considering a report by the world body's nuclear watchdog agency that Iran is in breach of agreements intended to provide safeguards on the country's nuclear program, which Tehran insists is peaceful but which the U.S. and European nations believe is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

      As outlined by Rice, $50 million of the new outlay would allow the United States to broadcast Farsi-language programs 24 hours a day. Another $15 million would be earmarked for increasing participation in the political process, including measures such as expanded Internet access. The administration hopes to spend $5 million to fund scholarships and fellowships for young Iranians, and the State Department said $5 million "would go to public diplomacy efforts aimed at Iran, including its Persian-language website."

      http://www.latimes.com/...

  •  Why does Stalingrad come to mind? (none)
    The whole thing hinges on a) the Arabs Shi'a will be inclined to gamble that they will do better with Americans present than in their current situation b) the Arab Shi'a will not see it as an issue of Crusaders and Martyrs c) Oil production can't be sabotaged and/or stopped (see Iraq), d) oil shipping can't be sabotaged and/or stopped, e) the Shi'a uprisings/civil wars sure to follow in the Gulf States are containable.

    I'd say the chances on this succeding range from abysmal to zilch. Of course, Bush hears god's voice in his gut saying "kill, kill" and Mammon guides everyone he knows, so that doesn't mean they won't try.

    We'll be an economic, military, and civil ruin in a short time after this. I so hope you're wrong, but I could see why they think "put it all on black" (oil that is) is their best move all things considered.

    •  Iran could do a reverse Schwartzkof (none)
      Looking at the maps above, Baghdad looks like a tantalizingly close target.  In Gulf I, Saddam's army was expecting us to put all our efforts into kicking them out of Kuwait but instead we hook around way to the West.  In Gulf III, the Iranians would have the Mahdi Army spreading chaos behind the Iranian Front (probably aided by lots of other Shiìtes)and the American Forces scattered and tied down every which way.  Instead of devoting all their forces to thwarting our attack itself, they could instead slam across the border in force to the north, quickly be close enough to Baghdad to accurately plaster the Green Zone, then roll up our scattered forces before they could concentrate.  Yeah, Stalingrad kind of does come to mind.
  •  Hmmm (none)
    This plan sounds pretty darned appealing on the surface.  Hobble a hostile regime, stablize our oil reserves, and send a message to other rogue nations that we will back up actions with words.  I don't see why we need a pretext to do it - it seems to make sense.  But I am sure someone will tell me why I am an idiot for thinking this way.
  •  Oppo research link via insta-pundit (4.00)
    Strategy Page:

    Signs That the United States is About to Bomb Iran

    Before any major military operation, there are always tell tale signs. With all the talk about Israel or the United States bombing Iran's nuclear weapons program, it would be wise to check for the signs before taking the pundit prattle too seriously.  

    1. - The U.S. Navy stages a "surge exercise" and moves six carrier battle groups into the Indian Ocean.

    2. - A "regularly scheduled exercise" moves Patriot Missile Batteies to Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. These exercises happen from time to time, but if they happen when other things are happening...

    3. -- Movement of B-52 and B1B bombers to the island of Diego Garcia (in the Indian Ocean).

    4. -- Deployment of F117 stealth bombers and F-22 fighters to anywhere in the Persian Gulf.

    5. -- Deployment of B-2 Stealth Bombers to Guam, where there are special facilities for maintaining these aircraft.

    6. -- Lockdown of  Whitman Air Force Base (where most B-2 bombers are stationed) in Missouri.

    7. -- Increased delivery of Pizza to Pentagon

    8. -Sudden loss of cell service near some air force bases (from which heavy bombers would depart). At the same time, there would be sightings of Middle Eastern looking guys around these bases, trying to get their cell phones to work, while being observed by what appears to be FBI agents.

    9. Deployment of KC-135/KC-10 aerial tankers to Diego Garcia, Guam and the Persian Gulf.  

    10. America asks nations neighboring Iran for basing and over flight rights.

    These warning signs are no secret, and intelligence officers regularly run down their check lists. As a result, nations will sometimes stage a false alert by deliberately performing many of the items on someone's check list, with no intention of following through.

    Call me when / if we can confirm these events.

    Otherwise, we need to find other reasons to bash Bush. Not a difficult task, however.

    •  You'll get the call by the summer, Bill (none)
      That's what it looks like now.  Alth9ough it may come earlier.

      Don't forget 100 billion barrels of oil.  Most of it already developed or easily tapped on the Khuzestan plain.  With pipelines and terminals and everything.

      We sure won't bomb those facilities, just the military bases.  How long would that take.

      The list above assumes a full invasion of all of Iran.  

      Read what I wrote.  We're only invading an area the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined, not all of Iran.

  •  We should hold a vote (none)
    On when/if the war will start.  I wonder what our prediction abilities are en masse.
  •  Here are more facts to consider folks (none)
    In June, a series of car bombings in Ahvaz (75 miles from Basra) killed 6 people. In August, Iran arrested a group of Arab separatist rebels, and accused them of links to British intelligence in Basra. In September, explosions hit Khuzestani cities, halting crude oil transfers from onshore wells. On October 15, two major bomb explosions in an Ahvaz market killed 4 and injured 95. A November 3 analysis in Asia Times blames Iraqi Sunni insurgents for the bombings.

    Iranian officials accused Britain of backing the attacks, and tied the rebel bombs to the British commando incident in Basra. The Daily Star of Beirut reported on October 17 that Iranian officials "point to Western collusion in the sudden spike this year in ethnic unrest in the strategic, oil-producing province of Khuzestan and describe it as proof of a shadowy war that is receiving far less coverage in the international press than events in Iraq. Since the beginning of 2005, riots and a bombing campaign timed to coincide with the June presidential elections rocked Khuzestan's major cities."

    Tony Blair and his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw denied the charges, and in turn accused Tehran of sending agents to stir up trouble in Basra and other Iraqi cities, by supporting Iraqi Shi'ite militias. A London-based Arab exile group claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are establishing an exclusive military-industrial zone along the Iraqi border to support infiltration into Basra, is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Arab farmers for this Free Zone project, and has conducted large exercises to practice quelling Arab unrest in Khuzestan.

    Has London tried to encourage Iranian Arab rebels in Khuzestan? In March, Secretary Straw had met with London-based Iranian Arab exiles. The following month, a letter allegedly from the Iranian Vice-President was read on Al-Ahwaz television (broadcast from the U.S. via satellite) supposedly advocating the removal of Arabs from Khuzestan and the importation of Persians to settle the strategic region. Though Tehran denounced the letter as a forgery, Arab youths took the streets of Ahvaz and clashed with police. Five were killed, and over 400 Arabs were arrested in a crackdown after the riots. A November 4 Eid protest of the continuing arrests of Arab activists reportedly ended with 2 protesters dead and 200 arrested, according to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society.

    The Arabs of Khuzestan have long resented Tehran for failing to alleviate chronic poverty and unemployment in the oil-rich province, and for neglecting postwar reconstruction of the bombed-out cities. But even if Arab minority grievances are real and legitimate (which they are), the timing of Western interest in their grievances coincides too neatly with the larger desire to pressure and isolate Iran. Both Washington and London have a long history of championing the rights of an ethnic minority against an "enemy" government, then abandoning or selling out the minority when it is no longer strategically useful.

    Early Warnings

    Watch the Western media for claims that Iran plans "ethnic cleansing" on the scale of Kosovo or Darfur, in propaganda designed to manipulate naïve liberals or human rights groups. Watch Fox News for the new neo-con warning of an emerging "Shi'ite bloc" of Iran, southern Iraq, Alawite-ruled Syria, and Lebanese Hezbollah (which incidentally has had training camps in Khuzestan). Neo-cons may even urge Bush to pull back support for Iraqi Shi'ite leaders, and to take a harder line on Iran's nuclear and human rights violations.

    Even if the truth of exaggerated claims and conspiracy theories can be easily challenged, their main purpose is to win public support in the West for a new war against Iran, just as false WMD claims were used to win congressional support for an Iraq invasion. Some Democrats may be gullible enough to again accept such claims, including those who criticized Bush for confronting Iraq rather than Iran on WMD (such as John Kerry, who wrote that "tougher measures" may be needed against Iran).

    Many of Khuzestan's Arabs may seek to regain their autonomy from Tehran. But it is not clear that they wish to secede from Iran, nor to join Iraq -- even if it is now ruled largely by fellow Arab Shi'ites. Iraqi Shi'ite leaders (many of whom recently returned from exile in Tehran), would not want to alienate their old friends by encouraging Khuzestan's Arabs, or allowing Iraqi territory to be used as a launching pad for a new invasion.

    http://www.mltoday.com/...

    •  Instead of Giving Us More Links... (none)

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:05:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In fact, the Reagan team with Bush (none)
        and Baker helping is known to stopped the Iranian hostage situation from resolving before the election.

        In a horrifying conspiracy, it was agreed with the Iranians that arms would be traded for the hostages, who would be released exactly at the moment Ronald Reagan was sworn in, which of course happened.

        At the same time, it is known that Iraq was given the green light by the REagan election team representatives to go ahead and attack, that Saddam would be supported in the war and even armed by Reagan and Bush.  We supported both sides Iran and Iraq.

        That you choose to ignore this simple truth of history is astounding.  The author simply meant incoming Reagan White House.  The conspiracy deal to arm Iran and Iraq and release the hostages before the election has been much discussed.

        How do you think we got in this mess in the first place?

        •  Now You're Just Makin' Shit Up (none)
          The hostage thing was after the election.  In September, most pundits and polls were suggesting that Carter would beat Reagan.  And just because you say "it is known" doesn't mean shit.  C'mon, if you're really the master of Google, you'd give me a link to a credible source and not hide behind the sophistry of "it is known."

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:26:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read Robert Parry (none)
            Try former Newsweek journalist, Robert Parry, as a jumping off point.  He broke the Iran/Contra story and was close to this October Surprise story.
            http://www.consortiumnews.com/...

            It IS commonly known to people who read books and do not simply rely on the Washington Cosensus to understand our world.  Several books have been written solely on the subject.   A more recent book, American Dynasty by conservative Kevin Phillips, has a couple of dozen pages dedicated to the topic and provides a nice summary as well, but start with Parry.  

        •  This "truth," as you call it ... (none)
          ...in regard to the so-called "October Surprise" conspiracy, is widely disputed by people who would have much to gain by supporting it. While it's possible something of the sort was going on, calling it "truth" when it is so strongly disputed by so many sources - and when many of those who promoted the theory have had their own credibility challenged - is, to be charitable, a stretch.

          The United States did support both sides in the Iraq-Iran War. But where is your evidence that Reagan's "team" gave Saddam the greenlight to invade?

          •  More likely than not (none)
            . . . is the verdict Kevin Phillips gave the October Surprise in American Dynasty.  Robert Parry's detailed writings on the topic should be revisited.    Much of the dust seems to have now settled, at least for me.

            Bring up the 2000 election or WMD in Iraq and many Dems would parrot the Washington Consensus.  Fear is not a new element to this game.

      •  He meant incoming Reagan White House (none)
        obviously.  It is well known that BEFORE THE ELECTION the Reagan election team met with Iranian officials and arranged arms for hostage releases on the moment of Reagan's inauguration.  At the same time, in September and October 1980, Saddam was promised by the same bastards that he would be armed for the war by REagan and Bush.

        Reagan played and armed BOTH sides.  So yes, Reagan gave Saddam the green light in September and Ocotber 1980.

        Do your homework next time so you don't reveal your own forgetfulness in posts that can't be deleted...

        Or maybe you just never heard of Iran Contra.

        •  An incoming administration (none)
          is still just a bunch of guys until Inauguration Day.  And as MB has noted several times, Saddam invaded a month and a half before the election, when the outcome was still up in the air.  We're being asked to believe that Saddam invaded Iran at the behest of a bunch of guys who

          A) were not in power, and

          B) might not gain power.

          To say nothing of the fact that Saddam didn't become our pal until 1982, when it looked like the Iranians might beat him.

          Admit it, Sherlock.  The article you cite is just sloppy hackwork, and your attempts to defend it detract from the plausibility of your argument.

      •  Fishy diaries lately (none)
        going around Daily Kos.

        Thank you John Kerry.

        by diplomatic on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 12:36:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  New options for weapons -- (none)
    Saw the post above about the Army and weapons stockpiles being so depleted that we could not sustain another war.
      What about alternative attack methods?   Avian flu -a whole unprepared country could be really weakened before the west comes riding in with vaccines and treatments as a condition of surrender -- IMHO the present management would not be squeamish about using such tactics in light of what they are now willing to do.  And the whole world has already been tuned up to expect some kind of terrible pandemic within the next few years -- if not of Avian flu, some other diseases --  
    •  This is a possibility (none)
      I saw a scientist on one of the news shows mention edthat not all of the outbreaks could be explained by bird migratory patterns. A quick search of the web didn't yield any results and I can't recall which show it was. It might have been a German news show.

      But I did find an interesting coincidence entry in a transcript from Lou Dobbs Tonight.

      DOBBS: The decision by the World Health Organization not to report entry dates into hospital for these victims of H5N1, what's the reason?

      PILGRIM: It's difficult. There is no stated reason given, and there is ...

      DOBBS: What is the suspected reason?

      PILGRIM: Well, the problem is that if the dates are staggered sufficiently, there would be human-to human transition. So that -- you have to see how it how these dates space out to determine whether there is human-to-human transmission.

      DOBBS: And we have no indication as to why they've chosen to do that?

      PILGRIM: There are no dates given and no explanation.

      ...some more talk and then goes on with...

      DOBBS: Let me ask you the same question I asked Kitty Pilgrim. The fact that the WHO has removed the requirement for entry dates on the victims of H5N1. What is the import of that to you, and why would the WHO do that?

      FAUCI: I don't know why they did it but, you know, I really am not sure there's as much importance as people are putting to it. If people come in staggered, it could be that are there sequential exposures to chickens.

      Obviously you are saying, well, maybe that's because one family member is giving it to another, is giving it to another. I doubt, Lou, really very seriously, whether there is any intrigue here with the WHO. That's just not the way they act.

      DOBBS: One would hope and with your assurance, I will accept your word ...

  •  Sherlock (none)
    What are you putting in that pipe?

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:17:29 PM PST

  •  No one's mentioned Israel yet (none)
    A credible war game would involve at least some discussion with them, no? If Iran has a Samson option, I'm sure that it's targetted on Israel. I think that any move like this one would need to be signed off on by Israel. Which is kind of hard to imagine, even if they would prefer to see Iran muzzled - this would unleash the mother of all Intifadahs...
  •  this is exactly why (none)
    no american president will ever allow the meaningful development of alternative energy technology. sure, they will pay lip service and throw token money at it, but if oil were ever worthless the whole castle of cards comes crashing down -- a junkie's withdrawel from "oil addiction". hopefully other governments will invest heavily in these technologies...

    "In fact, the President has a pre-1776 view of the world." -- Russ Feingold

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:08:37 AM PST

  •  I watched the battle for Khorramshar (none)
    from the military satellites, 12 million men back in the late 70s and early 80s.  Larger than Stalingrad, that battle.

    The Khuzestan Gambit is nonsense.  We already control the Gulf, in a huge way.  During the Iran-Iraq War, we captured offshore rigs, blew things up for the Iraqis, passed them intel, in every single way we could, we kept Iran in a bottle.  Iran's still in a bottle.  Every commander in the field at that time had his eye on the possibility of an end run to Bushehr.  Iran almost won in the Shatt-al-Arab, but Saddam gassed the invaders, and a great many of his own troops.  We're certainly not going to cross the Shatt-al-Arab with our tanks.  Send the Marines in some seaborne invasion?  look at the roadmap.  This is a fool's errand.  All it would take to stop the American advance is a few thousand tank mines.  

    Why is this nonsense?  First, consider Iraq:  we haven't exactly secured the oil we have under our thumb.  The pipelines have been bombed by both Kurdish forces and revanchist Sunnis.  Oil production hasn't ceased, but it's way down.  If you think we've got problems hanging onto Iraq, controlling Iran's oil will be a nightmare.  To properly secure it, we'll have to evict every living soul from the area and secure a perimeter.

    Armchair generalling of Zoltan Grossman's sort amuses me.   There must be a land invasion, and an occupation of Khuzestan, on a massive scale.  Tehran, unlike old Saddam's whipped and demoralized Iraqi Army, still has a formidable land army, and it's getting larger every day.

    People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

    by BlaiseP on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:34:03 AM PST

    •  One great thing about Mapquest (none)
      are the adds for the Khorramshar Applebees and motel deals.
      •  Heh, heh. (none)
        How many miles to Babylon?
        Three score and ten.
        Can I get there by candlelight?
        Aye, and back again.
        If your feet are nimble and light,
        You'll get there by candlelight.

        I love the wit of this place, God help me I do.  Even a nasty old soldier and ex-Repub can get along fine here.

        People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

        by BlaiseP on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:22:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sherlock Google (none)
    Where did you get that map?

    I love maps, and that one is great.

    To prove that, feel free to look at map linguistic map theory.

    Contetremps informazione piddly-diddly, but I'm sure you know whom to tell what.

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