More and Better Wars

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Did anyone else notice that the president, in his presser, said several times that Iran "wants Israel wiped off the map"? That's more than he usually drops the phrase when he's talking about Iraq, right? In a complete coincidence, yesterday the Senate held a 97-0 vote approving this amendment from Joe Lieberman:

It is the sense of Congress that–

(1) the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable and unacceptable act of hostility against the United States by the foreign government in question; and

(2) the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran must take immediate action to end all training, arming, equipping, funding, advising, and any other forms of support that it or its agents are providing, and have provided, to Iraqi militias and insurgents, who are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and are responsible for the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces.

(1) Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 60 days thereafter, the Commander, Multi-National Forces Iraq and the United States Ambassador to Iraq shall jointly submit to Congress a report describing and assessing in detail–

(A) the external support or direction provided to anti-coalition forces by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran or its agents;

(B) the strategy and ambitions in Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; and

(C) any counter-strategy or efforts by the United States Government to counter the activities of agents of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq.

So sometime in September, before or after we've had our cute, useless debate over whether to keep surging in Iraq, we'll get a report on how Iran is propping up the insurgents. I'm sure nothing will come of that.

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  1. The statement kind of assumes the thing it demands be studied, huh?

  2. Weigel’s snark aside, its pleasing to see that even the anti-war folks in the senate agree that giving Iran a free hand to participate or support the killing of American troops in iraq is unacceptable.

    So what is your point Dave? That we shouldn’t care this is occurring or that it’s all a fabrication?

  3. we blame the mullahs

    destruction will bring us peace

    I D F needs us

  4. Perhaps, Semm, the headline “More and Better Wars” can give you a hint of what Mr. Weigel’s point was.

  5. I’m going to go ahead and say this: I’m always a little wary when a major Jewish politician or talking head starts to sabber-raddle against any nation “unfriendly to Israel.” I don’t think I have an anti-Semitic bone in my body. I can think of a very long list of Jewish thinkers and artists whom I admire. In fact, I think it is plainly evident that, no matter what your academic, political or artistic viewpoint, Jewish thinker have had a dramatically disporportionate effect. The sheer intellectual effort and skill of that people is, in my opinion, unprecedented (Sowell writes about the the Chinese in Malaysia and other places to the same effect, but certainly not to the same extent). It strikes me that this is an inevitable consequence of a culture that was forced to rally around its intellectual community members after its military might was crushed by the Romans.
    The reason I am wary of their warnings is that it strikes me as completely understandable and reasonable. If I am Leo Strauss, Sharon, the Kristols, or Joe Lieberman, it would seem crazy to not think about the fact that many times in history groups have tried, for the basest of reasons, to wipe my people out. And as it is natural for one to have an attachment to one’s “people”, and double natural in the case of such a persecuted minority, it seems natural for these intellectuals to be somewhat obsessed with Israel’s well being to the point of conflating it with America’s.
    Having said that, I see little reason why anyone else should share their obsession or comflation…

  6. Mmmmm… Smell that? Smells like a build-up to a war with Iran…

    Now all they need it Colin Powell to hold up vials of nondescript fluid in front of the UN and viola! Evidence for War!

    Yeah!

  7. The problem with bluster is sometimes you have to back it up
    or risk looking stupid and, well, blustery.

  8. More and Better Wars

    Yeah? You and whose army?

  9. Remember when people were complaining about the build-up to the war with Iraq? “Iran and North Korea are bigger threats” – remember that one? Well, they get their wish now. And now maybe they will also finally understand why the U.S. invaded Iraq. It shouldn’t have been that hard to figure it out in the first place. Just look at the map, showing were the forces already were (Afghanistan), where they are going now (Iraq), and where they ultimately “should” be (Iran).

  10. destijl –

    just me. Two hits. Five steps.

    Me hit Mullah.
    Mullah hits floor.
    Mullah mulls new mullet.
    ???.
    Profit.

  11. Well, bigbigslacker, as someone who argued that Iran was not only a bigger threat than Iraq, but they also had more definite ties to terrorism aimed at the US, I guess I want to ask your type how the debacle in Iraq has helped us to effectively confront Iran now that we may need to? Our chances of a coalition of the willing will be much smaller, our public unity back home will be hopeless…I agree with you that many people who said “well, Iran is a bigger threat” really did not want us to address ANY threat. Point well taken. But I think we are in a worse position to stand up to Iran now with nothing to show for it from our intervention in Iraq, AND the only real “threat” to us that Iran poses has to do with the fact that we are in, er, Iraq (they can’t touch us here).
    As to your “look at the map” comment, why didn’t Bush et al say in the lead up to war with Iraq, “hey, we are looking at Iraq not because they are a big threat, not because they are behind terrorism against us, but because it makes geographical sense to start there.”

  12. bigbigslacker,

    Noting that Iran and North Korea made Bush’s foreign policy indefensible even by its own standards is not the same thing as wanting to see wars with Iran and North Korea.

  13. “Remember when people were complaining about the build-up to the war with Iraq? ‘Iran and North Korea are bigger threats’ – remember that one? Well, they get their wish now.”

    This argument didn’t mean that we should invade North Korea. It meant that we were focusing our energies in the wrong places and diluting our military strength to the point of reducing our influence in other areas. Their wish was never to invade North Korea or Iran.

    My question is this: what could possibly be achieved with a military engagement against Iran? Regime change? More endless anti-insurgency operations? Before you decide to err on the side of killing more soldiers, define what “mission accomplished” means.

  14. “showing were the forces already were (Afghanistan), where they are going now (Iraq), and where they ultimately “should” be (Iran).”

    rrriiiiigggggghhhhhhttttt.

    since managing the peace is going oh so well in Iraq, and since we’re about to get the biggest shithead of all (OBL) in Tora Bora, we definitely have the secured areas and manpower to get the job done.

    fuck me. the ol’ double bluff gag. balls.

  15. I hope to god that we don’t go to war with Iran. Considering the last four years stuck in Iraq, i can only imagine what a clusterfuck a war with Iran would be.
    But…
    what the hell are we supposed to do? I mean that seriously. Everybody is fine with mocking our current strategy (which, i agree, sucks) But I haven’t heard much in the way of an alternative strategy. A few years ago I would have said the best strategy for peace would have been to actively trade with both Iraq and Iran, give them incentives to be nice. But we’ve fucked that option up. Now if we pull out of Iraq, there’s a good chance Iran will take control. And then what? We sit back and hope that crazy bastard in Iran doesn’t make good on his promises to kill us?

  16. A new president means a new start, Pinette.

  17. Joe, that would be reassuring if we had some decent candidates with a chance of winning.

  18. course the bullet points
    (1)
    (2)
    (1)
    (sub bullets follow)

    are written as to reflect the abso-fucking-brilliant planning by the executive branch (plus Penis Cheney) in this misadventure…

    but boy DUBYAH sher looked hawt in that flight soot, huh. Akomplishd. Yup. He managed to take a brilliant military victory and turn it into Detroit.

  19. I think we should have a report on how many troops have died from weapons that were stored in Iraq’s conventional weapons depots prior to our invasion. You know, the ones the war planners didn’t think were worth securing.

  20. Translation of Mr. Nice Guy’s (MNG) Long Paragraph:

    The Jews are very smart. The Jews aren’t trustworthy. Therefore MNG doesn’t trust Joe Lieberman’s amendment even though it sounds reasonable to him and thinks it is still reasonable to not trust him because Lieberman is clever enough to confuse less smart non-Jews like himself.

    Shorter translation: It’s probably a Jewish Conspiracy.

  21. “And then what? We sit back and hope that crazy bastard in Iran doesn’t make good on his promises to kill us?”
    I see your point (I am after all Mr. Nice Guy) but isn’t there a lot of nations and leaders that wish us ill? We can’t invade them all. If you’re the professional wrestling champ, 6’6′ 290, and the little wimp down the street has been said to say that you suck and he wishes you were dead, must you walk down the street and beat his wimpy ass?

  22. “”””Before you decide to err on the side of killing more soldiers, define what “mission accomplished” means.”””””

    Come on Lamar, they have given us at least 5 different definitons of mission accomplished. I’m sure they will give us another 2 before the end of next year. I think you mean for them to give us one definition and mean it.

  23. “Remember when people were complaining about the build-up to the war with Iraq? ‘Iran and North Korea are bigger threats’ – remember that one? Well, they get their wish now.”

    What would really help to keep Iran under control would be a neighboring country, with a really big military, whose ruler absolutely hated Iran, maybe even to the point of starting wars with them. Now, this ruler would probably not be a nice guy, and I wouldn’t want to live under him, but it would really be convenient for our national security, wouldn’t it? And, best thing of all would be that it wouldn’t cost us anything or require us to sustain any casualties.

    Well, I guess a solution like that is just too much to hope for.

  24. Translation of happyjuggler0:

    Unwillingness to fight Israel’s wars for them = anti-Semitism.

  25. What would really help to keep Iran under control would be a neighboring country, with a really big military, whose ruler absolutely hated Iran, maybe even to the point of starting wars with them. Now, this ruler would probably not be a nice guy, and I wouldn’t want to live under him, but it would really be convenient for our national security, wouldn’t it?

    That, or we could just call upon General Zod.

  26. Happy juggler-I agree with you that a lot of people, for the basest of reasons, will pooh-pooh Jews and anything they say. However, I think I took great pains to point out that I think that, for those Jews that take the position I criticize, that it is completely understandable and reasonable why they do so. Perhaps I should point out that many leading Jewish intellectuals are in the forefront of criticizing the very Jews I point out obsess about Israel’s well being and conflate it with ours. I can think of no other ethnic group which has such intellectual diversity (and I would argue objective honesty) when it comes to US foriegn policy. My main point is that this understandable obsession/conflation is, and probably should not, be persuasive to those who have no ‘ethnic heritage’ reason to believe it. If you look the world over certainly very few people other than those who share it give it much credence.

  27. Not a chance our dear allies the Saudis are funding any insurgents eh?

    I can’t imagine $200 oil would do wonders for the Republican party’s prospects in 2008, but I always thought Bush might go out Slim Pickens style.

  28. Ooh. I get to post a Dan T. like comment:

    If the Israelis don’t like the constant threat of being blown to smithereens, they should just move to a less hostile area of the world.

    yesssssss!

  29. Big-J Joe,

    We can only go up from here.

    And really, it’s not even a matter of “better,” just “different.” A different president can come into office without Bush’s baggage.

  30. What would really help to keep Iran under control would be a neighboring country, with a really big military, whose ruler absolutely hated Iran, maybe even to the point of starting wars with them. Now, this ruler would probably not be a nice guy, and I wouldn’t want to live under him, but it would really be convenient for our national security, wouldn’t it? And, best thing of all would be that it wouldn’t cost us anything or require us to sustain any casualties.

    We can’t do that! It would impose a humanitarian cost on the Iraqi peo- ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Ah, man, I almost got all the way to the end of that.

  31. “I point out obsess about Israel’s well being and conflate it with ours”

    I’d say that there’s a lot of truth in the closeness of our two nations and cultures. And Israel is our only friend in the world, and vice versa. I feel that the friendship (indeed, kinship) between our two nations is strong, important, and special.

    It doesn’t mean that we pick a political side there and advocate those politics (Likud or Labour); rather, we strongly support the nation and should stay out of micro-supporting specific parties’ platforms.

    We definitely do have a strong (cultural and political) interest in being the supportive big brother to Israel. However, our policy in Iraq (and potentially in Iran), I don’t think, serves that important need – it sabotages it, I feel.

  32. Canada is our friend.

    Your real friends at least try to take your keys away when you’re stumbling towards the car.

  33. Maybe next they can propose an amendment allowing presidents to serve more than 2 terms. Afterall, who would want to change Commanders in the middle of an f’ing war with Iran?

  34. VM,

    I’m just curious as to why our relationship with Israel is so important. Can you explain in basic terms? Am not ‘picking’ on your or anything…i just really don’t know why our relationship with them is so important…thanks.

  35. VM-I agree that there ar strong cultural affinities with Israel and the US. Shared ideas about government, shared religious ideas. Makes for a natural and reasonable affinity.
    However, I disagree that Israel is “our only friend in the world.” Israel has helped us how, exactly? History shows a string of Presidents exasperated by their behavior, but going along to make sure they win Florida or such. They quite naturally look after their own interests, not ours…For some reason, we sometimes fail to do the same in relation to them…

  36. Mr. Nice Guy,

    That was a far better response than I surely deserved. Are we on the same internets? Maybe I should use the Google to look up your posts, it has been a while since I followed threads at H&R and thus I have no idea what you are really like.

    I took my tone because I think we ought to be evaluating policy based on what’s good or bad for the US, and if it also helps “the Jews” then that is no reason for us to oppose it.

    Personally I think if Iran is on the verge of making a nuclear weapon ( I’ll cry/laugh/throw a fit if I hear someone else say they are two years away from a nuclear weapon) then we ought to take out all their nuclear facilities of any kind, and because of likely retaliation, we’d also have to take out the bulk of their military as well. But none of this requires an invasion as near as I can tell. Therefore the casualties to the US will be extremely minimal as a first order proposition, and what we’d have to worry about is terrorism. Of course we are already worried about terrorism….

  37. I say we pull out of Iraq (except a base in Kurdistan and one somewhere in the south)…to Saudi Arabia. And draw down forces in the region to 50,000. That’s a nucleus for a strike force against Iran if we want, it’s small enough that we can send our boys home for a rest first, it’s cheap enough that we’ll be bleeding cash out of the jugular only instead of the jugular and the carotid.

    Invading Iran would still be crazy, but the Bush Administration is crazy and the Guardian Council knows it. Give Bush another 100,000 rested and deployable troops, and he’s scary again.

    Plus, if Iran comes to dominate Iraq, the Saudis might be scared enough of them to allow us to launch attacks on Iran from their territory. An Iranian blockade of the Persian Gulf couldn’t long stand up to airstrikes from al-Hasa.

    It doesn’t take much to make us scary again.

    What we really need, however, is someone to go to Iran like Nixon went to China. In 1972 we negotiated with Mao, for frack’s sake. Will anyone seriously argue that Khamenei&co is crazier than Mao was?

  38. MNG

    I don’t understand “Israel has helped us how, exactly” – and of course each nation looks out for its own interests, and our political failing in that regard is annoying, because it leads not to cultural support, rather to micro-level/political party support, which can be disastrous.

    Instead of a political friendship (doing stuff for each other – a relationship that appears to be asymmetric), I was thinking of a cultural friendship.

    jimmydageek-

    an excellent question.

    Lemme think about how to express it a little better. Maybe cuz it’s both of our ancestors were kicked out of every decent country there is.

    maybe it’s some personal reasons coming out.

    But at any rate, I’ve never been a fan of eschewing our interests for the sake of another country’s specific political party’s interests. Cultural support – not micro-level party support.

    Sorry guys – those are excellent questions, and I’m sorry I really can’t get on with a good answer right now.

    respectfully,
    VM

  39. Happyjuggler-I will say the thought of Iran, which strikes me as a “juvenile” and irresponsible state, with a nuke, is frightening. I’m not sure it is unreasonable to take that out.
    Vm-I actually think we need to “do stuff” for Israel, since they are such cultural brothers to us. I think the same thing about Tawain, and I think if anyone suggest we do more for the former than the latter, I get mighty wary…Both embody cultural affinities. However, there has to be a line, and if supporting x when they do something unreasonable (like, I dunno, bomb the crap out of a democratic nation that we have held up as an example to the world because one of their soldiers were kidnapped by a rogue gang operating in that nation) means we are hated and threatened, we should be willing to back off a bit. Is that anti-Semitic? Jesus, I guess then despite my seeming admiration for nearly all things Semitic, then I must really be so. Because I can’t see myself coming to that…

  40. Does anyone know, are the muslims in European states mostly Sunni or Shia or an even split?

    I think Iran would be more interested in using an atomic weapon to change the policy of a nearby nation towards more freedom for Islamic minorities than in making a terrorist attack against the US which won’t really help them and would be a poor return on investment for their nuclear program.

    Since their rockets only go a thousand miles (I might be out of date here) using them to force concessions from EU nations would allow them to be the good guys of Islam without actaully killing anyone (unless their blackmail didn’t work).

    But would they do that for Sunnis or only for Shia?

  41. “””And draw down forces in the region to 50,000. That’s a nucleus for a strike force against Iran if we want, it’s small enough that we can send our boys home for a rest first, it’s cheap enough that we’ll be bleeding cash out of the jugular only instead of the jugular and the carotid. “”””

    I think would create some of the same errors with Iraq. You can’t go into a counrty on the cheap.

    If it’s worthy of war, it should be worthy of sacrafice. If it’s not worth the draft to have 500,000 troops to do battle, or whatever it takes to ensure victory, it’s probably not worth it at all.

    I haven’t consulted the history books, but I don’t think we have ever won a war by doing it half ass.

  42. I haven’t consulted the history books, but I don’t think we have ever won a war by doing it half ass.

    Serbia?

    Not all war has to be “I’m in yr squarez, topplin yr statuez!”

  43. Grenada

    Lamest. War. Evar.

  44. So Dave you are now to the left of the entire US Senate on foreign policy. Congratulations. You think we should ignore Iran engaging in acts of war against us. If that is how libertarians think, thank god your viewpoint is so marginalized that no one in the Senate agrees with you, not even the Socialist Bernie Sanders.

  45. “You think we should ignore Iran engaging in acts of war against us.”

    They wouldn’t be engaged in acts of war against us if we weren’t over there.

  46. I’m just curious as to why our relationship with Israel is so important.

    Lingering guilt?
    A tribal affinity of our Jews for their Jews?
    “The only stable democracy in the region.(tm)”?
    They’re civilized?

  47. “I say we pull out of Iraq (except a base in Kurdistan and one somewhere in the south)…to Saudi Arabia.

    “What we really need, however, is someone to go to Iran like Nixon went to China. In 1972 we negotiated with Mao, for frack’s sake. Will anyone seriously argue that Khamenei&co is crazier than Mao was?”

    Right!

  48. “They quite naturally look after their own interests, not ours”

    Israel certainly weren’t looking after our interests when they attacked the USS Liberty in 1967.

  49. As far as acts of war goes, leaked documents make it clear that the US is clandestinely trying to topple the government of Iran. I note that our government doesn’t even attempt to deny this.

    Now, toppling the government of Iran may be a good thing, and it may be a necessary thing. Or it may not be either. But taking measures to actually topple it would seem to be an act of war at least on par with Iran arming one side in a civil war happening on their border.

  50. “If the Israelis don’t like the constant threat of being blown to smithereens, they should just move to a less hostile area of the world.”

    I don’t think they have to worry about that, they have more nuclear weaponry than anybody else in the neighborhood.

  51. “As far as acts of war goes, leaked documents make it clear that the US is clandestinely trying to topple the government of Iran. I note that our government doesn’t even attempt to deny this.”

    We are currently involved in stirring up the Kurds in Iran against the Iranian government.

  52. “We sit back and hope that crazy bastard in Iran doesn’t make good on his promises to kill us?”

    That was Israel, not us. I don’t think he will attack us or Israel. He knows we can retaliate in kind. The ones we have to worry about are terrorists not tied to a specific country that we can retaliate against.

  53. “The problem with bluster is sometimes you have to back it up”

    That’s their intention

  54. I’d say that there’s a lot of truth in the closeness of our two nations and cultures. And Israel is our only friend in the world, and vice versa. I feel that the friendship (indeed, kinship) between our two nations is strong, important, and special.

    It’s special alright, but not in a good way. What other nation has the equivalent of AIPAC? Why is this supposed “friend” trying to entrap the U.S. in another ruinous Middle East war?

    The fact is, Israel is always going to look out for #1. As a small nation is a hostile region, they can’t be expected to behave any differently. They *must* ruthlessly persue their own narrow interests, which will often be contrary to U.S. interests.

  55. WE won Serbia? We? I don’t think so. We supplied a lot of airpower. Most of the real fighting wasn’t done by us. Besides, people would laugh really hard if you’re trying to say Bill Clinton won a war.

    Grenada wasn’t a war at all. That was a short bitch slap action. If I were to call it a war, we didn’t halfass it, we sent plenty of Marines to do the job quickly.
    2/8 Marines, ooooo raaa.

  56. “The problem with bluster is sometimes you have to back it up”

    That’s their intention

    Exactly. Right now the hawks are in the “keep all options on the table” stage, and soon enough will arrive the “backing down would be a sign of weakness” stage. And I think we all know what comes after that.

  57. TrickyVic,

    We won both Gulf Wars with a relatively small fighting force.

    Remember, the military objectives of the Iraq invasion were accomplished to the letter. What we’re witnessing now is simply the side-effect of that military success.

  58. “…training, arming, equipping, funding, advising, and any other forms of support that it or its agents are providing, and have provided, to Iraqi militias and insurgents, who are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and are responsible for the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces.”

    Aren’t we doing this ourselves with Sunni militias in Anbar Province?

    Just asking.

  59. Crimethink, I did say the wars we did half ass. I don’t think the first gulf war counts. It’s not the overall size of the force but the size relative to the operation.

    I disagree that the military objectives were accomplished, stablizing Iraq has been a military objective, has it not? It might not have been a inital objective, but it is one that our military has been tasked none the less. It was never an inital objective because we failed to listen to the CIA. It should have been and the proper level of troops should have been sent.

    The amount of troops Bush sent was half-ass. The inital request from Congress by Gen. Shiniski was a few hundred thousand and two hundred billion dollars. The Pentagon decided to remove Shiniski, and they called those numbers excessive. We didn’t have enough troops and we still don’t have enough troops and we are not going to send enough troops. That pretty much qualifies as half-ass.

  60. “Exactly. Right now the hawks are in the “keep all options on the table” stage, and soon enough will arrive the “backing down would be a sign of weakness” stage. And I think we all know what comes after that.”

    And the problem is that both major parties support this war. The Democrats are tied into AIPAC just as much as the Republicans. Underlying all this is for the purpose of protecting Israel. That’s why Lieberman is so hawkish on it.

  61. “””What we’re witnessing now is simply the side-effect of that military success.””””

    If sectarian strife, increase in terrorism, and economic instability are side-effects of military success, what are the side-effects of military defeat look like?

  62. We are currently involved in stirring up the Kurds in Iran against the Iranian government

    And that ought to work about as well as stirring up the Kurds against Saddam did, post Gulf War I.

    Whatever happened to our old foreign policy of letting the Israelis be the heavy in that part of the world? It didnt cost us a life or a dime; didn’t we make money by selling/giving them the arms that they used? If Iran’s that close to making a nuke, aren’t they far more likely to use it against Israel than the US? Let the Israelis bomb six kinds of crap out of the Iranians; it’s not like the Iranians can hate them any more than they already do.

    Agree strongly with the idea that someone needs to have a Nixon goes to China moment and start negotiating with Iran.

  63. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the U.S. is easily capable of invading Iran, removing the mullahs from power and basically setting up Iraq II in their place. I just think that it would be far too expensive in blood and money to achieve, and we’d have a counter-insurgency problem in Iran that would make our problems in Iraq look very minor.

    Not to mention that, unlike Iraq, Iran has been a sponsor/prime mover of terrorism for the last thirty or so years. I can easily see the mullahs greenlighting US domestic terrorism. That won’t be enough for them to win, but I’m not willing to pay the costs in blood and money that would entail. Not to mention that fighting a domestic terror campaign would deal a massive blow to civil liberties.

    “President Giuliani, your Star Chamber is ready….”

  64. And because I seem afflicted with verbal diarrhea this afternoon, let’s remember what was going on at the time Nixon was negotiating with Mao. We had fought within the previous 20 years, an open conventional war with China (in Korea). 23 years prior to the talks, Mao had overthrown a staunch US ally (a corrupt crapsack, but then again so was the Shah). At the time, China was involved in massive shipments of war material to an enemy with which we were engaged in a very prolonged conventional war. Consider also that China was five years removed from detonating an H-Bomb, and was just putting into service an IRBM. Lastly, China was a mortal enemy of the greatest threat to the US at the time, the Soviet Union.

    The similarities with the present Iranian situation is surprising. Despite all of the justifiable reasons we had to dislike Mao, we still talked to him. I don’t see why we can’t do the same with Iran.

  65. Grey Ghost,

    The best argument against normalizing diplomatic relations that I can think of is the difficulty of staffing a new embassy.

  66. Max – please adjust your bifocals a little (ha! just read that in a Len Deighton novel and was dying to try it out)

    getting involved in the interests of certain political parties isn’t a cultural closeness I was talking about.

    There was an IRA lobby, granted, nowhere as powerful as AIPAC, to be sure! There is APIAC/Likud kinship that is of the political and not cultural kind. And that makes me nervous, too – I too get nervous when hawks here in the US want to fuse Likud’s FP interests with our national-political interests. I too get nervous when one criticizes policies enacted or advocated by political hawks in israel and immediately gets branded “anti Semitic”

    (people do this to Rick B all the time when he denounces US big government military activist conservatives who seem to further Likud interests first and foremost)

    And that can lead to troubles. Staying out of other country’s wars is a good thing, but working from a “people to people” style approach differs from your take.

    The US/Brit relationship has had shenanigans on both sides. We have cozied up to other countries where it would serve our interests – does cozying up to the British in a political way undermine the cultural connection?

    etc. etc. etc

    Difference between cultural interaction and political.

  67. TrickyVic,

    We got what we came for i/r/t Serbia. Can’t beat that with a stick.

    Rattlesnake Jake,

    And the problem is that both major parties support this war.

    I guess you didn’t notice what just passed the House, and how the parties voted.

  68. Wait a minute. Are Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan considered a continent in the Middle East board for Risk? If so, invading Iran might be worth it, with all the extra armies you get at the beginning of each turn.

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