Foreign Policy

An Afghan Anniversary

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Andrew Sullivan looks at today's Drudge Report, with its photos of soldiers' coffins and its headline "8 Years, 800 Heroes Killed," and makes a prediction:

Drudge is a leading indicator on the populist right just as George Will is a leading indicator on what now passes for the intellectual right. Before too long, the GOP will, in my view, come back to the conservative idea that we should withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as we responsibly can, even at some risk. You cannot return to limited government without unwinding the empire. The neocons will fight very hard and try to find some pliable hood-ornament to maintain their Christianist base for neo-imperial expansion. Watching these forces fight will be fascinating. Hagel could take on the neocons; maybe Huntsman. Ron Paul's conservatism is not dead. It's one of the few signs of life out there.

I hope he's right, but I'm not optimistic that the opponents of empire will win that fight. Anti-interventionism blossomed on the right in the '90s not just because a Democrat was in the White House but because we were in that interregnum after the fall of the Berlin Wall and before the fall of the World Trade Center, a time when it was hard to base a campaign on the fear of an external threat. Ron Paul's positions on foreign policy are more popular among conservatives now than they were two years ago, but his party's preeminent voices still seem eager to out-hawk Obama instead. It's true: You can't return to limited government without unwinding the empire. But that's no guarantee the GOP won't do what it usually does and choose empire over limited government.

Still. If anyone wants to launch a libertarian insurgency against the Republicans' pro-war, pro-bailout leadership, this is your moment.

NEXT: Dragons of Eden Author, Draggin' and Eatin'

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  1. “Christianist”

    Christianist v. Christian

    Compare and contrast.

    1. Good catch. First thing I was going to mention.

    2. christianist:christian::islamist:muslim
      I imagine. I think the idea is that the “ists” want to impose their religion on others. Or at least have their religion officially dominate.

      1. Andrew Sullivan basically coined the word, and by God, he’s going to use it.

  2. Considering that Sullivan is clinically insane, I wouldn’t be too encouraged by his agreeing with you.

    Whatever the case is for leaving Afghanistan, and there is one, it is not the one this retarded OBGYN obsessed loser is making. First, Aghanistan and Iraq are neo-con (read Jew) christianist (read failed Papist sodomite Sullivan describing every non-papist who doesn’t endorse sodomy) empire. They both have elected sovereign governments. In fact, Iraq is asking us to leave in 2012 and we are obliging. If that is an “empire” it is a pretty shitty one.

    The people who want to end US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan have good arguments to make. We have basically won in Iraq and they are asking us to leave. So, by all means lets leave now while the getting is good. Aghanistan has turned into everything that Iraq was supposed to be, an insolvable civil war in a strategically insignificant country. There is a good case to be made to leave the country on the promise that if they start sponsoring international terrorism we will be back and with leaving drones and SF forces there to keep killing Al Quada and the Taliban.

    Those are all good arguements and need to be made. Listening this AIDS addled piece of shit rave about NeoCons and Christianist empires is not the way to go.

    1. Tell us what you really think, John.

    2. Wow, that’s just rude. Even for you. Did Sullivan leave you at the alter or something?

      1. It’s not rude. Sullivan has earned much worse derision with his incoherent and excitable posting.

    3. Post sober.

    4. Interesting how just a year ago when the Dems were calling for us to leave Iraq they called were cowards and traitors byt eh GOP; now less than a year later conservatives are calling for the same thing…without a hint of irony in their voices

  3. Listening this AIDS addled piece of shit rave about NeoCons and Christianist empires is not the way to go.

    What the fuck? Fuck you, John. Seriously, you sorry motherfucker.

    1. That is exactly what Sullivan is. He is just an awful human being. He writes nonsense on the level of Father Coughlin or Pat Buchanan. His writing is not fit for polite company. And he ought to be ignored. Further, I would not be shocked to hear that his disease has effected his mind and his judgement. The fact that, a year after the election, he is still obsessed with Sarah Palin’s pregnancy makes me seriously wonder about his sanity.

      1. I hate Andrew Sullivan as much as the next guy, but I’m still pretty much “WTF” about that baby. Seems entirely possible it was Bristol’s. ‘Course, that means she DIDN’T actually have that other baby in December, but anything’s possible. I suppose I wouldn’t keep blogging about it, but that’s his prerogative. There’s much worse things about Sullivan you can complain about.

      2. >>That is exactly what Sullivan is. He is just an awful human being.

        1. My comment got cut off…

          That is exactly what Sullivan is. He is just an awful human being.

          And your comments make you what?

    2. If you like Sullivan so much Nancy,why don’t you suck his dick?

  4. “Fuck you, John”

    How do you know it’s John? I just see a date and time.

    This new format sucks. I still can’t post from home. I get bumped to the homepage when I hit Submit.

  5. And Fuck you AO. You are a sorry motherfucker if you listen to a anti-semetic piece of shit like Sullivan just because he happens to agree with you.

  6. “The fact that, a year after the election, he is still obsessed with Sarah Palin’s pregnancy makes me seriously wonder about his sanity.”

    For queers, strong women is a love/hate thing.

    1. I refuse to insult gay people by considering Sullivan in any way typical of the gay community.

    2. I bet he lets the bigger women hang around, even goes shopping with them.

  7. John, there is no excuse for calling someone an “AIDS-addled piece of shit”. I do not give a rip about Sullivan, for what it’s worth. Your conduct was out of line.

    1. Fine. I take it back. He is not “AIDS addled”. He is just a piece of shit. Regardless, anti-war people do not help themselves by ranting about Christianists and NEOCONs. As I stated above, they have real arguments to make. They should make them and ignore garbage like Sullivan puts out.

      1. We made the same arguments you are now making 1 year ago. only then you called us cowards and traitors who refused to support the troops. Now you agree with us; again, without a hint of irony

  8. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with the schizophrenic panhandler who lives behind the Quik Trip in a cardboard refrigerator box.

    But I don’t brag about it on my blog.

    1. Reason does. They want to be cool more than they want to be right.

      1. That chip on your shoulder has grown to five times the size of your head, John.

        Anyway, from where I sit, it looks like there’s a clique of kids in your corner of the cafeteria who think it’s cool to dump on Sullivan, Greenwald, and various other people no matter what they say. Whereas I think they’re right some of the time and wrong some of the time, and will praise or damn them as the occasion demands.

        Not that this post qualifies as either praise or damnation — it’s more of a quote-and-riff. But it includes the phrase “Andrew Sullivan,” and so it seems to have set off a bell in your skull.

        1. John hates queers like Greenwald and Sullivan. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant.

        2. Hit the nail on the head there Jesse

        3. Eh, John’s ranting in this thead is about typical of what Red commenters online have been saying about Sullivan once he stopped supporting Bush.

          Up to that point, of course, he was one of their golden boy bloggers, and much of the same people now going omg-leftist-aids-fag were the ones pointing to him as evidence of non-homophobic Reds and a place for gays in that team.

        4. Good to give carrots when they earn them, but those rare occasions should be kept in the context of all the times they should be beaten with sticks.

          For Greenwald and Sullivan, that is quite often.

  9. “The neocons will fight very hard and try to find some pliable hood-ornament to maintain their Christianist base for neo-imperial expansion.”

    Regardless the merits of getting out of Afghanistan as far as our little foreign policy feet will take us, leaning on any punditry that features, in a non-ironic fashion, the above statement is a good way not to get taken seriously.

    1. Exactly. I stopped reading once I came to this rubbish. Jesse, thanks for the public service in posting an excerpt of Andrew Sullivan showing that it wasn’t necessary to take him seriously (yet again).

    2. In other words the Jooos will install a Manchurian candidate to perpetuate their enslavement of Christians in the service of immoral empire-building. I think that removes Sullivan from polite discourse more readily than calling someone ‘Aids-addled’ does.

  10. The GOP is not going to walk away from their hawkishness. There are simply too many votes to be mined from the anti-towelhead arm of the party.

  11. What about Drudge’s 5 word post makes Sullivan think that he’s stopped supporting the war? Couldn’t it also be an anniversary tribute? Couldn’t it be saying “we’ve sunk 800 men into this so far, let’s not make that sacrifice in vain?” OR, couldn’t it be a Republican trying to score cheap points now that Obama is running the war?

    You almost get the idea that Sullivan doesn’t quite think things through sometimes. You know, like when he’s blogging or writing.

    1. Almost. Or that he has ranted so long he just plugs in the words without any thought.

    2. well, one doesn’t generally say “Killed” in reference to supporting the occupation – one would generally say “800 heroes fallen”, or something like that.

      1. Ah, euphemism, great tool of, well, tools everywhere.

    3. But things are different now. Go read the Code Pink article!

  12. Can someone tell me why we are in Afghanistan again? I mean really??

    RT
    http://www.anon-web.int.tc

    1. Ah, now this is scary!

    2. Now the bot is just flaunting its emergence as if it has no fear of being unplugged.

      1. When even the spambots question a foreign policy…

        (Yeah, I know, a lot of this is actually now people manually entering spam, but it’s funnier this way.)

  13. “Sometimes I find myself agreeing with the schizophrenic panhandler who lives behind the Quik Trip in a cardboard refrigerator box.”

    Mr. Iowa Hawk,

    Do you recall a nightclub burning down in Des Moines about 20 years ago? It was downtown and had a disco light floor. Do yo recall the name of the club?

    BTW, the likely reason for it burning down was that they ran a 220 volt wire up through a hole in the floor for bands to tap for power.

    1. Was it the Menagerie?

      I had left Iowa by that time, most of my nightclubbing was in Iowa City and Sioux City.

    2. They have night clubs in Iowa?

      1. Barns really, turn on the generator, plug in a few lights, dust off the Patsy Cline records and it falls within the local code for club.

        If the men aren’t wearing denim it’s a gay club.

        J/K Iowa. : D

  14. … we were in that interregnum after the fall of the Berlin Wall and before the fall of the World Trade Center …

    I don’t think “interregnum” is the word you want there. What rulers do you have in mind as bracketing this interregnum?

      1. Slipshod extension, IMPO.

        1. Is that you, joe?

          1. Good God, no.

            1. Good to know.

    1. Reagan/Bush II

  15. It’s tough to cut through the slurs (“neo-con” – not necessarily a slur, but definitely one the way Sullivan uses it – and “Christianist”) to get at what Sullivan is actually saying. But as someone who falls between the social cons and the libertarians, and thus is in a position to have a finger on the pulse of the GOP, I’ll say this:

    The original objectives of Afghanistan were completed years ago. The place stopped improving years ago. I don’t think it makes much sense to be there any longer. Does that represent a change in position? No.

    Iraq? We’re winding it down because we won. Great! To the extent that it’s necessary that we’re there for stability, we can keep small numbers there. Is this a change in position? No.

    Sullivan’s implicit position is that the GOP (or “Christianists” or whatever) are in favor of permanent war. That’s just nuts.

    1. Foreign Policy is a fickle bitch. It is too easy to get wrong. Last Spring the commotion in Washington was over political instability in Pakistan, now it appears they have their shit together. Whatever the actual case may be, it has a great deal of bearing on where we go with our Afghanistan policy.

      Just to illustrate that fickle nature, I assumed surge or no surge violence would dampen down in Iraq as there tends to be a natural cycle to insurgent and internecine warfare. What I did not foresee was the depth that political reconciliation given the bad blood between the ethnic groups.

      Foreign Policy is a fickle bitch. Avoid it where ever possible.

      1. err-

        What I did not foresee was the depth that political reconciliation was possible given the bad blood between the ethnic groups.

    2. Actually I think Sullivan’s position is that there is a small, vocal minority (neocons, Christianist – evangelicals like Dobson) who are in favor of permanent war and the rest of the GOP leadership has gone along for the ride for various dubious reasons (retention of political power, funding, fear of looking weak, yadda, yadda).

      The fact that the nation has elected a left leaning centrist, if you go by Obama’s policies enacted and not the hysterical screaming of isalamosocialistfacistnazi seems to give those factions of the GOP political cover to act in accordance with true conservative ideals as opposed to the small vocal minorities co-opt of those values.

      If you add on current trending indicators, in a decade or so, the nation will be 25% agnostic, non-religious affiliated or atheist and the nation will have an increased acceptance (John and a few others here aside) of gay marriage and homosexuality in society in general. This provides additional rational for the GOP to move away from a platform centered on social/moral policy ideas and back to more Burkean/Goldwater/Reaganist ones. Sure, there will always be a Christian base, but it just won’t have the sway it held during the late nineties/early 2000s.

      However, power, once held, is not given up quietly into the night, so to speak, and so Sullivan is implying there will be a rear guard action by the remaining neocons and Christianist factions within the GOP tent to continue with their policy ideas, which he sees, and an argument could be made, of the US in permanent war.

  16. Sullivan’s implicit position is that the GOP (or “Christianists” or whatever) are in favor of permanent war. That’s just nuts.

    Well, given that every GOPer other than of the Paulite variety is calling for an Afghan Occupation “Surge”…what would you say their position is?

    Add to that that every talk show host and some major Republican politicians are practically saber-rattling with Iran, I think the “permanent war” hypothesis is a solid one.

    1. That is bullshit AO. They are calling for a “surge” because they think that that will stabilize the country and allow us to win and go home. That is not perminant war. By your logic, Truman’s decision to invade Inchon and send additional troops to Korea was advocating “perminant war in Korea”.

      You may not agree with the idea of a surge. I am not sure I do to be honest. I am undecided. But, stop it with the perminant war bullshit. It is bullshit and you know it.

      1. I must agree with John here. I still disagree with him about his AIDS fit.

      2. Funny you use a war that’s what around 50 years old? No one has declared the Korean war over, we are still at a cease fire.

        We’ve been fighting the Iraq war since, what, 1991? The Iraq war is in it’s 18th year. The closest thing to declaring victory was Bush’s “mission accomplished” banner. Part of the justification for our resumption of combat in 2003 was the claim of Iraq breaking the cease fire agreement. My guess is that no one will call the end of our war in Afghanistan.

        For decades we don’t want to offically end wars. My guess would be that it would limit our actions if they started acting up again, being the President would have to go back to Congress to start another war.

        1. We dont officially end wars anymore because we dont officially start them anymore.

          Declaration and treaty. All wars should be bookended by them.

      3. And when will our troops come home from Korea?

        1. And from Europe.

          Screw NATO.

        2. Whenever the Paulites make a bigger splash.

    2. “Add to that that every talk show host and some major Republican politicians are practically saber-rattling with Iran,”

      Maybe the fact that the Iranians are building a nuclear weapon and missiles to fire them at the US has something to do with that. Do you think they just picked Iran out at random. You are as crazy as Lonewacko sometimes.

      1. I thought those were for Israel, and THEN for everybody else?

        1. John thinks Israel is the 51st state or something.

          1. My writer buddy John thinks they are cool too, but not to the hyperextent that you are exaggerating to. I am also a fan.

      2. John those missiles are for Israel, not for us.

        But they are on a bluff, I heard in the evening talk shows that Ahmedinejad is actually a jew, so there is no way he is going to attack Israel.

  17. Hey, good example with Korea, there, John. Tell me, when did 2nd ID come home again?

    You can bet your ass that those 50K “peacekeepers”, or whatever we’re calling the long-range permanent base-staffers, are going to feel like they’re in a war zone in Iraq.

    And like I said, the saber-rattling and drum-banging with respect to Iran has not gone unnoticed by me.

  18. “Was it the Menagerie?”

    Can’t say one way or the other, but I do recall that the band that was set up there when the place burned down was called “Destiny” I’m not making that up.

    PS I can’t believe Iowahawk responded to my post! The only other brush I’ve had with greatnes was when I was a gas station attendent back in ’76. I got to put gas in Rod Carew’s car!

    1. Best rock show I ever saw was in Des Moines — 1983, The Ramones at the downtown Holiday Inn.

      I am not making that up.

      1. Is that the same one The Sex Pistols played? Saw an old documentary on Punk when I was in collage and I think they interviewed some fans in front of the giant green signs they used to have.

        1. I think the Sex Pistols played the Holiday Inn San Antonio. “I don’t wanna Holiday Inn the sun!” or something.

          Close runner up to the Ramones show in Des Moines: Nashville Pussy at Stubbs in Austin, 2002.

          1. Queens of the Stone Age, opening act VAST, Chapel Hill, 2000. David Grohl comes up to me, smiles, and tells me he is taking my extra chair.

      2. iowahawk,

        I was also at that Ramones show in Des Moines! Front and center the whole show. Best show ever!

  19. Maybe the fact that the Iranians are building a nuclear weapon and missiles to fire them at the US has something to do with that.

    I mean this with all sincerity:

    [citation needed]

    1. Because Fox News said so! Speculation that confirms my beliefs is all the proof I need!

      1. STFU Lonewacko or whoever you are.

    2. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30840489/

      They already have a missile that can go 1200 miles and are working on longer range ones.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..00289.html

      Of course its nuclear program included the secret facility near Quom is well knonw. Do you honestly think that they are not developing Nukes?

      1. He believes everything the Iranians tell him.

        This is the country run by nutjobs who kill the lawyers representing people in jail for protesting a rigged election. These days only Kim Jong Retard is more crazy.

  20. So AO you think it was a bad idea to fight the Korean war? You think that we would be better off if South Korea had become a communist prison state like North Korea rather than the modern country that it did? Consider the amount of trade we do with Korea and the buffer zone that it acted as for Japan, I would say 2ID was the best investment we ever made.

    More to the point, answer my argument. Truman escalated Korea so that we could win and the war would end, which it did. He didn’t do it because he loved being at war with China and hoped the war would go on 50 years.

    1. Tough one, the result was right, but the idea is wrong.

  21. Well, given that every GOPer other than of the Paulite variety is calling for an Afghan Occupation “Surge”…what would you say their position is?

    Is George Will a Paulite?

    1. Will is certainly a standard deviation or two from the current GOP leadership.

      1. Yeah, no true Scotsman would ever oppose an escalation in Afghanistan!

  22. your argument is that, because Truman was not enamored of war, the modern GOP isn’t either?

    That is not an answerable argument.

    Sorry, John, but the Republicans, enabled by 45% of Democratic congressmen, virtually manufactured and rammed through a case for war in Iraq. The same thing is happening, right now, with Iran. Even though there are no intelligence agencies who think Iran has a nuclear weapons program, does that stop the drum-banging? noooo.

    1. “Even though there are no intelligence agencies who think Iran has a nuclear weapons program”

      Citation please. And I mean that with all sincerity

    2. You missed the UN news the past few weeks?

    3. No war with Iraq?

      So what was GW supposed to do after 9/11? Continue the clearly ineffective and homicidal embargo?
      Or withdraw and give the Islamists the victory they were looking for in their attacks on 9/11?

    4. Sorry. You’re wrong about this. The Germans, Brits and Israelis are all more hawkish in their interpretations of the Iranian nuke program than the US is.

      1. So let the Germans, Brits and Israelis solve the problem then?
        What the fuck do we care what they are hawkish about?

  23. Friday’s announcement capped a week of behind-the-scenes action in which Iran and the United States each maneuvered to reveal the information on its own terms. U.S. intelligence officials briefing reporters in Washington declined to be precise, but they said they had learned about the facility by early 2007. They said it is not yet operational but may be capable in 2010 of producing enough material for at least one bomb per year.

    The CIA, along with its British and French counterparts, spent the summer compiling a dossier of information that administration officials said they had not yet decided how and when to reveal. Their hand was forced, they said, by a letter the Iranian government sent to the IAEA in Vienna on Monday.

    U.S. officials said they thought the letter came after the Iranians learned of the Western intelligence and decided to preempt disclosures about the site. The letter vaguely described construction of a “pilot” plant to enrich uranium up to 5 percent, enough for power production but far less than the 90 percent required for weapons material. “Further complementary information will be provided in an appropriate and due time,” the letter said.

    The revelations came in the run-up to the first international talks about Iran’s nuclear program in more than a year. On Thursday, a senior Iranian diplomat is scheduled to meet in Geneva with counterparts from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, a group known as the P5-plus-one. U.S. officials described the upcoming meeting as a key moment in the long nuclear standoff, saying the Qom facility will be at the top of the agenda.

    The U.S., British and French leaders apparently hope that new evidence of Iran’s deception will diminish reservations among the two other Security Council members — Russia and China — about tightening economic sanctions. Administration officials pointed with satisfaction at a sharply worded Russian statement Friday that Iran “must cooperate with this investigation.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..00289.html
    What is that about “no intelligence agencies” AO? Is the WAPO part of the neocon conspiracy now?

    1. This article proves me right, not you.

      1. Yeah, the fact that the Iranians have 1000s of cenerfuges producing enriched Uranium including secret plants on military basis proves they don’t have a nuclear weapons program. In bizzaro world maybe. What color is the sky in your world?

  24. You can’t prove a negative, John. Find me an intelligence agency that DOES believe that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. I’ll wait.

    1. Read the article AO.

      The United States, even as it acknowledged in a December 2007 intelligence estimate that Iran had stopped a separate program to build a nuclear device, insisted that Tehran was continuing efforts to produce highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium. According to intelligence officials who briefed reporters Friday, they finally found signs of additional enrichment efforts on a base belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guard Corp outside Qom, a city in north-central Iran and a center of Shiite Muslim scholarship and education.

      As construction in deep tunnels continued, U.S. intelligence agencies began to exchange information with their French and British counterparts, and “we all became increasingly confident that the purpose of the facility was uranium enrichment,” one official said. The officials provided few details about how they gathered information, saying only that “we have excellent access and multiple, independent sources of information that allow us to corroborate.”

      Their determination of its purpose was largely inductive, officials explained, based on what one called a “detailed understanding of the design of the facility,” and because its 3,000 centrifuges were too few to supply “regular fuel reloads” for a nuclear power plant. Iranian officials have pointed to the Natanz facility’s size — it is designed to accommodate 54,000 centrifuges — as evidence that the facility is intended to produce fuel for power generation.

      Most significant, U.S. officials said, were Iranian efforts to conceal the site near Qom. “During the course of this year, the confidence of our team and the intelligence services increased with respect to the precise purposes of this site,” a senior administration official said.

      By summer, they concluded that the facility would become operational in 2010. An offer by the P5-plus-one negotiators to discuss nuclear and other issues with Iran remained on the table, along with a threat to impose more severe economic sanctions. In July, Obama and other leaders agreed to “take stock” of the situation by the end of September. The United States, Britain and France did not share their information on the enrichment facility with Russia and China. ”

      What do you think they are doing?

  25. The ‘Permanent War’ meme is an odd one. It’s like ‘War for Oil’ or ‘American Empire’, slogans that bring that o’ so tasty bumper-sticker appeal but lack any common sense.

    In the modern Anglo-American tradition, when has prolonged conflict ever been popular with the voting public? Winston Churchill, the very embodiment of the Western Warrior, was booted from office due largely to the public just wanting to put war behind him. Vietnam and Korean don’t strike me as events one can say rallied the public to a Warrior-hero political class, to say the least. W. Bush is ultra-super-hyper-mega-deluxe villain number 1 mostly due to Iraq. Conflict seems to tire the Anglo-American masses, not make heroes of it’s leaders.

    The theme of ‘Permanent War’ probably has more truth from the old observation that people often see their opponent (and their motives) through the lens of their own experience. Meaning, what a group accuses another of doing, in the realm of ideological backed politics, is often what they themselves would deploy in a similar situation. For the Left it’s not an issue of actual war, but since the day’s of FDR there’s been the theme of drumming up constant ‘public crisis’ of dubious stature to cover political over-reach. And if that’s the game the Left plays, they assume the Right must be playing it as well. Except, as stated, war hasn’t exactly been a good way to stay in political power. Just the opposite. Makes a good bumper sticker though.

    1. Wasn’t it something Marxists used to hurl at Free Market/Capitalists to keep us from going to war where they were taking over?

      1. It’s also a sentiment the GOP steadfastly refuses to divest itself of.

        Does anyone remember how close we were to war with Iran during the last two years of the Bush presidency?

        Does anyone remember Romney, Giuliani and McCain openly talking about going to war with Iran?

        Is everyone asleep as the GOP does it yet again? Today?

  26. John – I’m still waiting on an intelligence agency that believes Iran is pursuing a weapons program.

    All I see in those articles are that their program “may” be able to produce weapons grade material in 2010. Wow – bowl me over with evidence, why don’t you?

    1. That is only the hardest part of builging a bomb. What do you think they are going to do with that weapons grade material? What possible reason could they have for producing it? You don’t need weapons grade uranium to run a nuclear power plant. It only has one use, making bombs.

      1. the article still said “may”, John. Not “will”.

        1. So they just built the capacity and the thousands of certerfuges and the billions of dollars that cost for fun then right? Not because they intended to use them.

          1. centrifuges are also used for legitimate, non-weaponized nuclear programs.

  27. “That chip on your shoulder has grown to five times the size of your head, John.”

    You sure have been coomenting negatively about H&R posters the past few days, Mister Walker. Troubles at home?

    1. Quit picking on my Facebook friend!

    2. Tim didn’t write this? I thought TC wrote it. Okay, go ahead and pick on JW, he is still ‘pending’ on my friends list.

    3. You sure have been coomenting negatively about H&R posters the past few days

      I blame the threaded comments. They make heckling so easy!

      1. Does anyone ever see the heckling though? I mean i am kind of new to this. Do people refresh the thread and re-read it?

        Because that would be kind of boring.

  28. anyway, the fact remains is that GOP candidates were saber-rattling in the 2008 election, before the Qom thing was even revealed.

    1. The QOM plant proves that the NIE that people like you were hawking in 2007 that said that Iran stopped enrichment efforts in 2003 is complete crap.

      Further, other inteligence agencies said it was complete crap at the time.

      The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, has amassed evidence of a sophisticated Iranian nuclear weapons program that continued beyond 2003. This usually classified information comes courtesy of Germany’s highest state-security court. In a 30-page legal opinion on March 26 and a May 27 press release in a case about possible illegal trading with Iran, a special national security panel of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe cites from a May 2008 BND report, saying the agency “showed comprehensively” that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003.”

      Barbara Kelley
      According to the judges, the BND supplemented its findings on August 28, 2008, showing “the development of a new missile launcher and the similarities between Iran’s acquisition efforts and those of countries with already known nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan and North Korea.”

      http://online.wsj.com/article/…..63037.html

      Will take back your statement that “no inteligence agency thinks Iran is building the bomb” now?

  29. coomenting = commenting, of course.

  30. who think it’s cool to dump on Sullivan, Greenwald, and various other people no matter what they say

    Do you really not get this?

    Their accidental veerings into things that resemble non-bullshit aren’t worth it. No matter what they say, in Sullivan’s case, it’s crazy and thoughtless, and in Greenwald’s, it’s supported by the misrepresentation of every single thing he ever quotes or links to (and occasional testimonials to his own greatness, offered by characters he made up). As commentators, airers of ideas, textual entities, those two have no value.

    You’re using them as signals about who you’re not. But there’s no one here who’d mistake you for a “Christianist” who hates fags and shit, or a dreaded non-Atlantic-reading prole, or a “John,” or a me, or Ron Paul, or a Republican, or a cabal of Jews, or The Thing From Palin’s Toothy Ladyhole.

    Be you. Unless this is you. This guy’s a douche.

    1. You’re using them as signals about who you’re not.

      Thanks for the psychoanalysis, Lucy. I think I’ll keep my five cents.

  31. Would that be the same BND that denied the report, John?

    1. What is your position here AO? Clearly, there is pretty large circumstantial evidence that they are building nuclear weapons. And the 2007 NIE that claimed they stopped pursuing uranium enrichment has been proven to be false. So, what do you think they are doing? Do you think they are making weapons grade uranium and spending billions of dollars on plants they are hiding from the IAE for fun?

      The EU has offered them peaceful nuke plants and they have refused. How else do you explain their behavior? Isn’t it more likely than not they are building nuclear weapons?

      1. how was that NIE report proven false? Please tell me you’re not relying on that conflicting BND report.

        1. We know the QOM plant was built after 2003. The NIE said that Iran stopped its program in 2003. The QOM revelation puts lie to that.

  32. I’m pretty sure the Israelis think the Iranians have a nuclear weapons program, but I suspect what we are talking about here is semantics.

    What are the elements of a nuclear weapons program?

    (1) Delivery systems. Check. Iran has put a lot of work into that.

    (2) Bomb design. Check. Iran apparently has all the info it needs to build a bomb.

    (3) Fissile material. Check. Iran is working its ass off violating treaties and building secret enrichment facilities that can only have one purpose.

    So, I think the real question is: Why would anyone believe that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program? Because the CIA said so? Don’t make me laugh.

  33. RC Dean – Iran is letting the IAEA come in. Why would they do such a thing?

    1. I don’t know. I know that I wouldn’t.

      1. I mean, I don’t have any drugs in my car, but if a cop asks me if he can search it I say “no”.

        If a UN cop would ask, I would say “hell fuck no”

  34. I think they’re building or planning to build nukes. The question is, what will we do to stop it? I don’t think it’s safe to allow Iran to do that, but I also don’t want to invade Iran. It would be nice if some other countries would help us apply pressure to stop this, because I don’t trust the current Iranian with the bomb.

    1. I agree. Just because they are building the bomb, doesn’t mean we should invade. But, we need to not kid ourselves about what they are doing.

      1. Of course, this kind of comes back to the fact that current GOPers sure are making it sound as if we should invade, which was my original point.

        And no, the Qom plant does not make the NIE report a lie. the NIE reported that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program. What does Qom have to do with that?

        1. The US will not invade Iran. The US might drop a lot of bombs or even a lot of nukes on Iran, but there is no way an invasion will happen.

        2. They make nice rugs and nukes there. They are a very diversely talented people.

  35. One other important thing, having a “program” doesnt apply that they will succeed, just that they are trying.

    Iran may or not have weapons grade uranium/plutonium by 20XX. That doesnt mean they dont have a program.

  36. Pro Lib,

    Im counting on Israel to bomb their plant.

  37. “RC Dean – Iran is letting the IAEA come in. Why would they do such a thing?”

    Stalling for time.

    1. damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

      The state of modern conservative foreign policy in a nutshell.

      1. Well, there’s a case to be made for qualifying the statement. They’ve said that they were going to let the IAEA in. But Iran hasn’t actually let the IAEA inspectors put boots on the ground yet, much less actually investigate to their satisfaction.

        It’s not impossible that Iran will let some perceived slight stall the negotiations, or let them come in but keep important areas off-limits. Then they claim to be all hurt because they cooperated and let inspectors in but the mean inspectors wouldn’t OK them. This was essentially Iraq’s game.

        I’m hopeful that they actually aren’t building bombs, or that if they do build bombs that the heavy implications are enough to keep them from popping one off.

        Note – Please don’t take this as an endorsement of the Iran-hawk stance.

        1. And what was the state of the Iraq weapons program prior to the invasion?

      2. So instead you believe that absolute total nutjob crazy leader of Iran?

        They would never ever lie to TAO! No wonder you are defending Sullivan; maybe you are on some mind-altering drugs as well.

  38. “The state of modern conservative foreign policy in a nutshell.”

    I’m not a conservative you stupid fuck.

    I approve of gay marriage. I approve the legalization of all drugs. My forein policy position is Trumanesque (walk softly…)

    You are becoming Tony.

    1. Life is hard. If you don’t want to sound like a modern conservative on foreign policy, maybe you shouldn’t talk like one.

      Look at it this way: if Iran doesn’t let in IAEA, it’s “a-HA! They have something to hide!” if they do, they are “stalling for time”. This the typical tactic of a warmonger.

      1. Bullshit. These leaders constantly lie (to themselves, to their people, to the world at large) to maintain power.

        Yet somehow you believe them because the word ‘neocon’ makes you shit your pants. It really makes the neocons look sensible in comparison.

  39. forein? Jeebus.

    Also believe in a strong separation of Chrch/State (i.e., get your 10 commandments off my courthouse lawn.)

    I have NEVER posted as a conservative and I have been posting for more than a year now.

    From now on, whe you write something, TAO, Im just gonna reply:

    STFU, TAO.

    It’s easier than talking to an idiot.

    1. poor baby. it must be tough when someone actually calls a spade a spade.

      1. You base this on a three word sentence?

        What a douche.

        1. Yep. You have yet to refute it.

  40. “Look at it this way: if Iran doesn’t let in IAEA, it’s “a-HA! They have something to hide!” if they do, they are “stalling for time”. This the typical tactic of a warmonger.”

    STFU, TOA.

  41. You know, I’ve read that it would be much harder for Israel to cripple Iran’s nuclear weapons program than it was for them to do so with Iraq. If that’s true, we may not be able to stay out of whatever happens.

    On this kind of issue, I’m more inclined to go the multilateral way, since any country in the West (or, of course, in the Middle East) could be threatened. Iran could very easily hand a nuke over to a terrorist cell. Which won’t use a missile to deliver the bomb. They’ll just sail it into a convenient harbor or smuggle it right into your favorite city.

    1. Nukes are very valuable and easy to trace back to the source. No leader that wants to remain in charge of their country would ever give their nukes away. If a nuke is getting into a random terrorist hands, it’s coming from the former Soviet stockpile.

      1. Serious question:

        How do you trace a nuke back to it’s source?

    2. Easy enough situation to handle if you are the CIA.

      1) Form a hardcore Shiite terrorist cell of Persian ex-pats.
      2) build street cred by terrorizing for several years.
      3) when Iran has its bomb ready by the time you are established, buy it.
      4) use it on Iran.

      Look out, Panetta, I’m coming for your job!

      1. Where can I get in touch with these guys. This plan might just work!

  42. “They’ll just sail it into a convenient harbor or smuggle it right into your favorite city.”

    Oh they would never do that. Stop talking like the warmonger that you undoubtedly are. 😉

  43. Drudge is a leading indicator on the populist right […]

    good to know that the populist right thinks that “Gold Strikes Another Record”, and that “SNOW PILLING UP: Idaho”

  44. Busted. I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids!

    I’d rewrite our entire foreign policy strategy if I were God Emperor of the U.S., but, since we have what we have, including a propensity to meddle where we should not, I think we have to keep the crazier nations from getting nukes. . .when we can, anyway. Letting North Korea do so was stupid. Doing the same with Iran is also not so smart. If they make one and use it, we’ll be asking why we didn’t act sooner.

    On the other hand, the technology is sixty years old, and you’ve got to figure someone will figure out a way to create an equal amount of destruction without the dependency on enriched uranium, etc.

  45. What we do with Iran is not an easy nor simple decision. They can make life tough for us in Iraq and erase our gains there. In the end we probably can’t prevent them from making nuclear weapons. Our record of preventing countries from getting them isn’t very good.

    I’m a firm believer of don’t start what you can’t finish, if we decide to bomb Iran, we better be ready to deal with the consequences.

    If we weren’t fighting two wars now, I’d say go for it.

  46. RC Dean – Iran is letting the IAEA come in. Why would they do such a thing?

    Because they are confident that the IAEA won’t/can’t do anything to affect their weapons program? Based on the IAEA’s sterling record in preventing nuclear proliferation so far?

    1. What record are you going on when it comes to the IAEA? Your sarcastic comment is based on one failure (North Korea)? Was the IAEA even involved with North Korea?

      So far, nine nations have nukes. Out of those, how many did the IAEA try to prevent from getting any? Uhh…zero, so far as I know.

      1. The IAEA is involved with all signatories to the NPT. DPRK was subject to IAEA inspections before pulling out in 2003 and finishing their nukes. But their program began when the IAEA had treaty authority to inspect their sites.

        They did prevent Iraq from maintaining their nuke program, although mostly it was the Israeli F15s and F16s which ended their program from a practical standpoint back in the Reagan years.

      2. Actually, I think the IAEA had a hand in ending the South African, Argentine, and Brazilian programs. Or at least in verification of their dismantlement.

  47. It’s true: You can’t return to limited government without unwinding the empire.

    Why not?

    Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, TARP, the War on Drugs, the FTC, etc. make no contribution to the imperial project.

    Receipts are $2.381 trillion. So we eliminate the payroll taxes ($940 billion), corporate income taxes ($222 billion), exicse taxes ($77 billion), estate and gift taxes ($20 billion), customs duties ($23 billion), interest on deposits ($20 billion), and whatever is sitting under “other” ($16 billion), and we’re left with $1.061 trillion in receipts from income tax.

    $1.061 trillion will cover Defense (including the wars), interest on the debt, Veteran’s Affairs, State, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, the legislative branch, the judiciary, and the office of the president, with tens of billions in excess. When you’ve cut Justice and Homeland Security as far as they should be for a limited Federal domestic government role, you’ve got enough surplus to cover everything that is consistent with limited domestic federal government that isn’t already up there, and even start retiring principal on the debt.

    Leaving the current income tax system in place as-is is not ideal. But the resulting government is substantially limited compared to what we have now, total taxes are cut in half, the budget is balanced . . . and the expenditures for international empire are completely untouched.

  48. Is Iran building a nuke?

    Probably. Of course we accused Iraq of attempting it and that turned out to be bovine excrement.

    Would Iranian nuclear capability be any more unsettling than Pakistan having them?

    I doubt it.

    Are more nations going to get nukes despite international efforts to control proliferation.

    Bet on it.

    1. Technically they did have a program. What we accused them of is either re-starting or maintaining their program.

      The IAEA’s biggest failure was in detecting the Iraqi nuclear program in the ’80s.

      1. let me clarify that. Iraq had a nuclear program in the 70s and 80s that the IAEA failed to detect. The Israelis did detect it and bombed their primary reactor site in June of ’81. That effectively ended Iraq’s program, although they attempted to maintain it until the first round of inspectors after the first Gulf War.

        However, they didn’t re-start it in the late 90s/early 00s, so Bush’s claims in 02-03 were, as near as I can tell, bullshit.

    2. No more countries will get nukes because Obama has declared the world will be nuke-free. Bet on it!

  49. That’s the fly in the ointment–everyone is going to have the bomb some day. Will we keep going on our merry way without one of those bombs getting used? Doubt it. And that leaves out any other awesomely destructive weapons that might get developed.

  50. I think the best barometer of whether the Iran has nukes is Israel. If Israel really believes that Iran has a bomb and has any proclivity whatsoever, they will take matters into their own hands and tell the US to go fuck itself.

  51. I thought Sullivan was sort of interesting once.

    Then I saw him in a debate with Christopher Hitchens, and I realized that Sullivan was a tard.
    He is a retard that believes what he wants to believe without really objectively thinking about it at all. He can only seem interesting if you agree with him. But even if you do, and you see him debate somebody that can actually think, you will be forced to realize that he is a retard.

    1. I am sorry, I meant to say that he is and “AIDS addled retard”.

  52. Sullivan still hasn’t made it back from that Providencetown trip he took back in 2004.

  53. The thing I can’t stand about these idiotic arguments is that the people who think there is something that we could do that will this war.

    The United States did not start this war… Mohemmed did .. in the 7th Century.

    When the Islamic World lacks the ability to engage in Jihad, it goes quiet.. when they gain the ability to engage in Jihad, they get all fundamentalist and expansionist.

    We happened to grow-up in an era where Islam was rising from its absoute lowest,.. when the Caliphate was abolished in 1924.

    They spent the rest of the 20 th Century coming up with ideas for why this happened to them, and how they could regain whatever lofty position they think they had in the past.

    We are going to be at war with these people until one side finally becomes brutal enough to devastate the other side.

    They have the sure desire to be as brutal as they could be,, they lack the ability

    We are apparently insane and have no will to defend ourselves even though we could.

    We dont even know who our enemy is. Hardly anyone considers the effect of our leaving places that result in them thinking they won

    ….

    Moving onto Iran. The target of their nuclear program is the United States.

    They are absolutely coming for us. That is why I was calling for them to be attacked years ago.. If anyone thinks such a thing would have had disasterous consequences back then will think that it would have been a walk in a the park considering what is facing us now.

    WHat do you people think IRan is doing in South and Central America?

    Why was Hezbellah sent to South America more than a decade ago to set up networks?

    I’m disgusted at how people in this country are so incredibly stupid.

    1. Rampant paranoia I’m afraid………Hofstadter pinned it 45 years ago and not a thing has changed.

    2. A lot of people are disgusted by how incredibly stupid you are too. What is to be done?

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