July 29, 2007

Be Afraid: A "Green Curtain" Is Descending...

I don't know precisely when or how a middle-ranking power like Iran--rivaled in its immediate neighborhood alone by the likes of Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan--has somehow metamorphosed into America's mega-foe thereby presenting us with a full-blown "Cold War II" (I kid you not, do click through the link), but apparently among a certain bien pensant Beltway set this is what passes for foreign policy deep-think these days. I know I will be accused by some alienated or disgruntled readers for engaging in foreign policy analysis via resort to heaping doses of condescension, but apart from pleading time constraints (in terms of not spelling out in more detail the bill of particulars re: why this is so absurd), really, this is one of those res ipsa type things, no?

P.S. This said, we can almost imagine an AEI scrivener, can we not, re-jiggering Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton, Missouri to read: "From Gaza in the Mediterranean to Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf a green curtain has descended across the Middle East. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of the Levant and north Arabia. Beirut, Damascus, Jericho, Ramallah, Baghdad, Basra, Isfahan and Tabriz; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Iranian sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Iranian influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Teheran."

P.P.S. And then there is the irony of course, that here we are as the "Green Curtain" ominously descends (ribald fare, eh?), and we're busily helping prop up some of the key actors draping said terrifying curtain through the region. After all, who are Iran's major clients in Iraq, at the end of the day? Mahdi militia, you scream?!? Well no, more accurately, Abdelaziz al-Hakim's SCIRI and Maliki's Da'wa. Our friends of course. So even if this were Cold War II, a hilariously hyperbolic claim, we'd be botching the execution like naive imbeciles. Someone wake me up when this nightmare ends, please.


Posted by Gregory at July 29, 2007 02:19 AM
Comments

Greg,

Keep this in mind if you want to know when this nightmare will possibly end. It will be very interesting indeed to see what happens in the November 2008 elections.

I am troubled, however, that we may not get out of Iraq even with a Democratic president. Think about it, we're building the largest US embassy in the world there. Who is going to guard that investment? The Generals have been floating trial balloons about the occupation going on for another 10 years or so, and well, any good student of military history will tell you that an adventure like this is not short-term.

I feel that the only way we will actually end this nightmare is through an actual revolution. I know hardcore conservatives wouldn't mind a thorough change of how the system works. You can see it in what they don't say but imply. The system is so badly corrupted and cankered that really, I don't see even Democrats taking us away from the hellhole the Bush administration and its conservative allies have placed us in.

Posted by: Dan at July 29, 2007 03:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The most maddening thing about the American Right in this nonsense has been the insistence that the organization that spent close to two decades headquartered in Iran is our trustworthy ally and that al Sadr is obviously an Iranian pawn because he has fought the U.S.

Posted by: Andrew R. at July 29, 2007 04:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Gorbachev, via Think Progress (s'cuse my French)

“The Americans then gave birth to the idea of a new empire, world leadership by a single power, and what followed?” Gorbachev asked reporters at a news conference in Moscow.

“What has followed are unilateral actions, what has followed are wars, what has followed is ignoring the U.N. Security Council, ignoring international law and ignoring the will of the people, even the American people,” he said.

Posted by: AlanDownunder at July 29, 2007 12:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Andrew R hits a point that I've just never been able to get. Why on earth does anyone think we can drive a wedge between Maliki, SCIRI, Talabani (for God's sake) on the one hand, and their friends in Teheran in on the other? By ignoring their relationships!

Hey, I know: maybe we can get them to turn their back on the country with which theirs will share a border for the rest of all time, to help out a country who's interest in theirs is decidedly self-centered and now obviously short term. By arming the people within Iraq that are trying to kill them. That'll work.

Posted by: CharleyCarp at July 29, 2007 04:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Iran is certainly not the threat to the United States that the Soviet Union was. One does not imagine Iran wanting a war with the US fought on US soil, and one could imagine that with the USSR in the 40s, 50s and 60s. So I understand Greg's anger at the chronic scare tactics of our media.

But, as can happen with a blog post expressing disdain for the abuse of the language, I'm left scratchng my head at the significance of it all. Certainly Iran has aspirations beyond its borders. The purported leader of Iran does speak in apocalyptic terms at all times. If the Iranian leadership had its way, Isreal would not exist. Iran is -- while not an existential threat to the United States -- certainly a hostile party to it. We're talking exaggeration, gross exaggeration in a newspaper by the foreign policy correspondent. That's bad. It's not atypical. And it's not like there's really some golden age when media did not chronically get things pretty desperately worng.

The question really is US policy towards Iran, which is a hostile power with ambitions that may never be reconciled to our own. Calling that Cold War II overstates the power and threat of Iran. But I don't think it misstates how well we and Iraq get along or are likely to get along for the next few years.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 29, 2007 05:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm a little pressed for time myself, but wanted to mention one likely source of fretfulness about Iran, this being the Saudis and the Gulf Arab states.

This isn't a new thing, and American administrations before this one have been responsive to the fears of Gulf Arab governments that an unchecked Iran could make trouble for them. Up to a point, such fears are not unreasonable -- many Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have Shiite minorities, and sectarian tensions are now probably higher throughout the region than they have been in a while.

This is largely due to the war in Iraq, of course, but there is no guarantee the tensions will go away when the war does. Iran could conceivably exploit these to the detriment of Sunni Arab states, and under the venomously hostile Khomeini regime it probably would have tried were it not for its own preoccupation with Iraq at the time. This Iranian government, though, is not that one. It has more domestic problems demanding its attention, is engaged with the West in ways the Iranian government twenty years ago was not, and will struggle to manage its own relations with Iraqi Shiite factions -- probably more after the American army leaves than now.

So the regional situation has changed. But American officials confronting restiveness from Arab governments about the Iraq fiasco can still find common ground in shared suspicion of Tehran. It is logical to assume that at least some people within the administration see the massive planned arms sale to the Saudis announced yesterday in this context. Whether the sale is the appropriate response to Gulf Arab nervousness about Iran is another question.

Posted by: Zathras at July 29, 2007 07:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Appalled Moderate

The purported leader of Iran does speak in apocalyptic terms at all times.

If you mean calling for the end of Israel, I must point out that Israel is not the world, and the end of Israel would not be the end of the world.

If you mean something else, I'd be interested in examples.

Btw Ahmadinejad is 'purported' to be 'the' leader of Iran only by anti-Iranian propagandists. It's not like the Iranians themselves have been lying about their political system.

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 29, 2007 07:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Iran is certainly not the threat to the United States that the Soviet Union was. One does not imagine Iran wanting a war with the US fought on US soil, and one could imagine that with the USSR in the 40s, 50s and 60s. So I understand Greg's anger at the chronic scare tactics of our media."

The USSR was never a threat to the United States as a country. However socialism was a political threat to capitalism and corporate America could not allow that to continue.

The idea that the USSR would have invaded the United States should remain where it belongs, in the plots of crass films such as Red Dawn. After losing almost a fifth of its population and having most of its infrastructure destroyed in World War 2, it was never in a position to attack Western Europe let alone the United States.

Posted by: blowback at July 29, 2007 10:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why is it that possibilities regarding Iran never include the context of the two offers from Iran that would have put every current complaint on table. Why is it that when 1979 is invoked, 1953 isn't? Why is it never mentioned that is was the 'Axis of Evil' speech that made Ahmadinejad possible? One way to solve problems is to identify the causes of the problems, instead we get more war propaganda.

Posted by: racrecir at July 30, 2007 12:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

D. Tomlin:

I say "purported" because the spiritual leaders in Iran can veto the acts of elected officials.

As for examples of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic streak, here are a few examples:

The occupying state (Israel) is the bridgehead of the Oppressor World in the heart of the Islamic world. They have built a base to expand their domination to the entire Islamic world. There is no other raison d’etre for this entity without this objective.

The battle that is going on in Palestine today, therefore, is the frontline of the conflict between the Islamic world and the Oppressor World. It is a battle of destiny that will determine the fate of hundreds of years of conflict in Palestine.

Today, the Palestinian nation is fighting the Oppressor World on behalf of the Islamic umma (nation). Thank God, from the day the Palestinian nation moved towards an Islamic struggle with Islamic objectives and an Islamic environment, and made Islam the dominating force in its behaviour and orientation, we have been witnessing the progress and successes of the Palestinian nation every day.

I must say that you have chosen a very valuable title for your gathering [World Without Zionism]. Many are sowing the seeds of defeat and despair in this all-out war between the Islamic world and the Infidel Front, hoping to dishearten the Islamic world.

Such people are using words like “it’s not possible”. They say how could we have a world without America and Zionism? But you know well that this slogan and goal can be achieved and can definitely be realised”.

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4164

Also, click here for a briefer report of the disintegration of the West if Iran's ideas are not heeded.

Blowback -- I don't think Stalin would have attacked the US, but he might well have taken the rest of Europe given the chance. As for his successors, who really knows? Although it's hard to imagine, many really once thought Leninism was a valid way to run a government, and the USSR really believed it was the Rome of that movement.

Racecir: I don't disagree with you that we have more than a little fault on our side. I'm not sure that wearing the hairshirt on that gets us farther. Personally, I am a believer in talking, but am real skeptical our chats will get very far.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 30, 2007 12:45 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Appalled Moderate: Of course chats won't go anywhere if the only talking is paying lip-service to talking. Here's what I'm talking about:

If at the same time Iran was offered a dignified ladder to climb down—above all a credible promise of an historic reconciliation with the United States—the troubled leadership of a tired revolution might just grab it.
The article is titled "The riddle of Iran". Well, riddle me this: Iran was affirmatively trying to move exactly in that direction, so how is Iran the riddle? The riddle is how that diplomatic coup of the century didn't happen, how reformists were discredited, and how apocalyptic fanatics begot apocalyptic fanatics. The answer is easy: skepticism that chats will get very far. And the predisposition to promote confrontation and escalation framed and reported such that alternatives are politically risky, subject to recriminations or otherwise delegitimized and made unacceptable. All else is rationalization of a predetermined outcome. This is precisely the same dynamic, a mirror image response, at play in Iran. It leads in a predictable direction. And as it is predictable, it can be changed. All that is required is to make a choice to reject the rationalizations and inadequate reporting that reinforces that dynamic and, certainly, to stop justifying it.

Posted by: racrecir at July 30, 2007 03:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Appalled Moderate,

The U.S. Congress has passed legislation aimed at replacing the existing government of Iran. Would you call this 'apocalyptic'?

Would you apply 'apocalyptic' to such events as the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the re-unification of Germany?

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 30, 2007 09:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I suspect one of the main problems is that the US doesn't really seem to have a foreign policy -- just a domestic propaganda policy. Pretend the destruction of Iraq is a war against al Quaeda, pretend everyone the US doesn't like in the current month is in a global al Quaeda conspiracy...

This type of propaganda nonsense strengthens US domestic hate media.

Arm terrorists in Iran, while refusing to negotiate with Iran.

Ship billions of dollars of weapons to dictatorships, and try to overthrow the few democracies in the Middle East.


It only has the disadvantage of not making any sense outside US domestic fascist circles, so the US winds up, as present, with essentially no foreign policy. :(

Posted by: Steve Windemere at July 30, 2007 09:43 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hear hear!! I for one refuse to be manipulated into war by Jews and fellow-traveling warmongers just for the sake of an inconsequential runt of a country such as Czecho-Slovakia.

Czecho-Slovakia is not the world and the end of Czecho-Slovakia would not be the end of the world.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 30, 2007 12:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

DT:

We have one of those for Iran, too? I am not surprised, but I am dismayed. When was it passed? Would I call it apocalyptic? Well, if the debate were combined with discussions of the Book of Revelations or the "Left Behind" series, yes. As we know, Iran's leader (I don't feel like making an idiot of myself mispelling his name) has referred to the twelth Imam on a number of occasions (most famously in his frst UN address) in his speeches.

Racecir:

Fortunately, I am not a diplomat. For diplomats, talking is their business, and a belief in the efficacy of the same a necessary part of their self-worth.

Seriously, though, if we were to engage in talks with Iran, we need to go in with a sense of what we are willing to give up and what they are willing to give up and some enforcement mechanisms. If it were me, I'd let them have their nukes and an understanding that the use of a nuke by any Al Qaeda or Hezbollah or other Islamic extremeist organization will mean the end of Tehran as we know it. But the Bush Administration is not me, and I don't see that they are going to give up anything that Iran cares enough about to do any deals. Hence, yes talks are fine, but I don't see them going anywhere. At least, not until 2009.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 30, 2007 01:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

AM, surely the US bears more responsibility for al Qaeda than does Iran -- the US at least has funded and trained them. Admittedly, at this point, both the US and Iran are their hated targets, but, so far as I recall, it was the US that shipped all those guns to them, and sent those CIA advisors to train them in how to successfully wage terrorist war against a modern superpower with armor and air power.

Posted by: Joe Conner at July 30, 2007 01:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

" most maddening thing about the American Right in this nonsense has been the insistence that the organization that spent close to two decades headquartered in Iran is our trustworthy ally and that al Sadr is obviously an Iranian pawn because he has fought the U.S."

Posted by: Andrew R

I had noticed that - the most Iraqi nationalist faction among the major Shiite parties and militias is the one which the US didn't arm.

Posted by: Barry at July 30, 2007 02:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Joe Conner:

Even if I accept your premise, I don't get anything useful from it. We certainly helped out some Taliban types during the 80s. It was a different geopolitical situation then. So what? We certainly haven't been helping out Al Q since the demise of the Soviet Union (well, Bush has helped accidently, I guess) and we certainly did not give them nukes. Iran, in the meantime, might have been helping (for much the same reason we helped Al Q in the 80s...the enemy of my enemy, etc).

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 30, 2007 02:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

> So what?

Oh, sorry, let me try to spell it out more clearly:

It would make more sense for Iran to say, we'll nuke the US if al Qaeda sets off a nuke, because the US is known for backing "terrorist Sunni organizations" (even up to the present day, even in Iraq, while simultaneously fighting against other "terrorist Sunni organizations").

This kind of nonsense is reminiscent of the old joke, that if Bush Jr were in charge of the US in 41, the US would have attacked Mexico in retaliation for the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor :)

Posted by: Joe Conner at July 30, 2007 03:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Joe C:

It's still so wha?. We helped Al Q in the 80s. Iran helped after 9/11 and may still be helping.

Plus, a little fear in this situation is a good idea.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 30, 2007 04:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It really is true that history or at least historical blindness, to put it politily repeats itself.

David Tomlin: "If you mean calling for the end of Israel, I must point out that that Israel is not the world and the end of Israel would not be the end of the world."

I am horribly shocked that after the Holocaust that anybody with any sense of decency could write such an outrageous statement.
To write off the possible deaths of another six million Jews in such a cavalier manner is a mark of a person's inhumanity and his unfitness to be part of any civilized society.

As the father of murdered Wall Street Reporter Daniel Pearl who was brutally beheaded in Pakistan for the double "crime" of being both an American and a Jew, said at the end of the video, "I am Jewish" (Daniel's last words before his throat was cut):

"What happens to us, (the Jews) happens to civilization"
-Judea Pearl, Feb. 2007

Posted by: David All at July 30, 2007 05:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


We have one of those for Iran, too?

Text of the legislation:

http://mysite.verizon.net/lardil/id70.html

News report on the legislation being passed and signed in 2006, replacing an earlier law with similar provisions.

http://tinylink.com/?bZNAZxUpBp

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 30, 2007 08:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

> "What happens to us, (the Jews) happens to civilization"

Exactly.

Killing or starving hundreds of thousands or millions of Iraqis is ok, because they're not the chosen people.

But if you start killing or starving Jews, then God help you, because they ARE the chosen people, and must be protected before all others.

Posted by: Jason Goldberg at July 30, 2007 09:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

David All

David Tomlin: "If you mean calling for the end of Israel, I must point out that that Israel is not the world and the end of Israel would not be the end of the world."

I am horribly shocked that after the Holocaust that anybody with any sense of decency could write such an outrageous statement.

Whether or not I have a sense of decency is not something I care to discuss. Assume I do not if you like.

As for the statement, it is not only a truth but a banality. That you find it 'outrageous' just strikes me as odd.

To write off the possible deaths of another six million Jews in such a cavalier manner . . .

I did not 'write off' anything, cavalierly or otherwise. Or rather, I will say that I did not understand myself to be doing that when I typed the words that have outraged you. If you would have it that I did, we may agree to disagree. It is another point I have no taste for disputing.

As a point of curiosity, would you consider it acceptable to cavalierly write off the 'possible deaths' of six million people who were not Jews?

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 30, 2007 09:15 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

David Tomlin: I apologize that I did not add that I would find it equally outrageous to cavarlierly write off the deaths of six million human beings regardless of who they are. Otherwise I find your explanation to be as equally cold and inmoral as your original post.

Posted by: David All at July 30, 2007 10:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Jason Goldberg: Exactly when have hundreds of thousands let alone millions of Iraqis have been starved or killed? And please don't repeat those Chomskite lies about sanctions and the American occupation killing millions of Iraqis, etec.

And yes, how a society treats its minorities is a pretty good indication of how it will end up and the Jews have been a pretty good model minority to measure the majority society against.

Posted by: David All at July 30, 2007 10:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Exactly when have hundreds of thousands let alone millions of Iraqis have been starved or killed

According to the only reputable survey of death rates in Iraq, the Lancet study, hundreds of thousands more Iraqis have died during the American occupation of their country than did so in the years prior to the invasion. Most of these deaths resulted from violence.

Most epidemiologists find the study's results to be basically sound. Its authors used "best practices" under extremely difficult conditions for a health survey. As far as I know, no substantial criticisms of the study have passed even the minimal peer review necessary for publication in a low-quality scientific journal.

I don't know what Chomsky says about it, and I don't particularly care. Likewise for denialists on right-wing blogs, who have no particular qualifications and no real interest in finding out the truth.

Posted by: theo at July 31, 2007 12:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Czecho-Slovakia is not the world and the end of Czecho-Slovakia would not be the end of the world.

Clearly not, since Czechoslovakia has not existed since 1993.

In 1938 the partition of Czechoslovakia was part of a sequence of events that led to a cataclysmic global war. In 1993 the country was dissolved and the event was little noticed.

I conclude that the events of 1938 and after were the result of a complex set of circumstances, and that the existence of Czechoslovakia has no intrinsic power to prevent global cataclysms.

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 31, 2007 12:20 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


David All:

I find your explanation to be as equally cold and immoral as your original post.

So noted.

Although moral issues are important to foreign policy debates, the basics of moral philosophy aren't really on topic in a foreign policy thread. So, I suppose we must leave the discussion here.

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 31, 2007 12:46 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Is there a current foreign policy situation the is not directly corelated to central europe in the 1930s?....or the cold war for that matter! Tiresome!

Posted by: CENTRIST at July 31, 2007 01:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

David Tomlin:

The bill in your original link did not pass. This is the bill referred to in your second link, which did pass:

http://www.theorator.com/bills109/hr6198.html

It's a little less inflammatory that the Santorum bill in your first link. Nonetheless, the government of Iran would have reason to take offense. It should be noted, though, that folks like Henry Waxman and Steny Hoyer did support it. Nevertheless, neither rise to the level of lunacy as Senators Santorum and Coleman in their support of the thing.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 31, 2007 12:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

David Tomlin:

I had writen a rather link heavy reply to your post showing the Iran bill congress had passed in 2006, but greg's spam filter swallowed it. The bill shown in your first link did not ultimately pass. A somewhat milder version (mentioned in your second link) did pass by voice vote, and was supported in the Congressional Record by such folk as Henry Waxman and Steney Heyer.

The debate on the bill seemed to be rather light. The congressfolk agree that the regime in Tehran was rather awful, and we should support Democritization there. Messrs Santorum and Coleman, the bills sponsors in the Senate, used intemperate (though not overtly religiious) language to support the bill The Democrats were rather more measured.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate at July 31, 2007 01:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

David Tomlin: Is it not time for you to reintergrate with your fellow members of the Borg Collective?

Posted by: David All at July 31, 2007 02:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

PS: I do agree that the idea of a "Green Curtain" is total nonsense typical of the idiots who got us into this mess in Iraq in the first place.

Posted by: David All at July 31, 2007 02:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches." Ariel Sharon.


Do you think the Moolahs and the other paranoids of the ME believe there is a SAMSON OPTION?

Seymour M. Hersh, the reporter who broke the story of the U.S. soldiers massacring villagers at Mai Lai in Vietnam, published in 1991 the controversial book The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. The Biblical Samson, of course, brought down a temple that killed himself and his enemies. According to the namebase.org "The title of Hersh's book comes from Israel's notion that once they have the Bomb, they are in a position to bring it all down on everyone if ever they feel cornered. It's the ultimate in Israeli security as a nation-state, if not for the security of humankind. Israel used nuclear blackmail to force Kissinger and Nixon to airlift supplies during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and they passed U.S. secrets collected by Jonathan Pollard to the USSR when it served their interests. The Bomb has been a hidden factor in U.S.-Israeli relations ever since the Eisenhower administration, but this is the first book [to] deal with Israeli relations from this perspective."

The Federation of American Scientists site notes: Strategically, Israel uses its long-range missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft (and, some say, submarines with nuclear-armed cruise missiles) to deter both conventional and unconventional attacks, or to launch "the Samson Option", an all-out attack against an adversary should defenses fail and population centers be threatened. In addition, despite Israel's insistence that it "will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East," these systems represent an effective preemptive strike force.

Posted by: someotherdude at July 31, 2007 04:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I thought Zionism was supposed to protect Jews?

It seems to be holding them hostage.

Posted by: someotherdude at July 31, 2007 04:12 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"I don't know precisely when or how a middle-ranking power like Iran--rivaled in its immediate neighborhood alone by the likes of Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan--has somehow metamorphosed into America's mega-foe thereby presenting us with a full-blown 'Cold War II'"

If you don't get it, then you don't understand the strategic importance of the region, nor of the need to take all threats there seriously. Andrew linked through to an interesting analysis yesterday - http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/07/an-accidental-v.html

Posted by: W4LT at July 31, 2007 05:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Andrew linked through to an interesting analysis . . .

A moronic analysis.

'In retrospect, the idea that the Islamic world in total was going to flock to Osama bin Laden as a new caliph seems far-fetched. However, on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, that idea had to be taken seriously.'

Please.

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 31, 2007 08:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


David All:

I had writen a rather link heavy reply to your post showing the Iran bill congress had passed in 2006, but greg's spam filter swallowed it.

That's happened to me a few times. It would be good to know just how many links are allowed in one comment.

At least it will show up eventually. At Matt Yglesias's they just go down the memory hole.

Thanks for doing the research.

Is it not time for you to reintegrate with your fellow members of the Borg Collective?

I'm a libertarian. I don't do collectivism.

Posted by: David Tomlin at July 31, 2007 08:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

to deter both conventional and unconventional attacks...

How absolutely descipable!

Posted by: Barry Meislin at August 1, 2007 01:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Gregory Djerejian comments intermittently on global politics, finance & diplomacy at this site. The views expressed herein are solely his own and do not represent those of any organization.


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