« Bush On Health Insurance | Main | Arar update »

January 22, 2007

Comments

What does Glenn teach anyway? Sophistry? Hand-waiving? Misdirection?

The Shia Question ...Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) or an apparently snowballing anti-Shia/Iran fervor in many Sunni nations.

"The other day I reported from Egypt my surprise at the remarkable rise of the "Shia question" there. Since then, it's only gotten more prominent."

Uhh, since like several days ago, Marc?

I, being enthusiastically irresponsible, wonder if one could quantify anti-Shia propaganda, graph and project, and know the date of the bombing campaign. Heck, al-Arabiya probably knows it.

Or it just might be an effort to build acceptance for the Surge:Smash Sadr episode. But that Bush has so many indirect or covert allies of a sudden feels strange.

"Even to give Reynolds the benefit of the doubt..."

Just for the record, publius, why on earth would you even want to? Since 9/11/01, Glenn Reynolds has been an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader for virtually any and all military actions - the more violent the better - which have been taken (or could be taken, or should be taken, or might have been taken) against any Middle Eastern "enemies" - and especially with regards to Iraq. He has long been flogging the simplistic "win-win-win" line for Iraq WAY after the occupation has panned out as a debacle: and most of his "analyses" of the conflict have proved consistently wrong. There are a lot of commentators in the blogosphere a lot more sage about the ME and its problems than Prof. InstaHack - unless you're just looking for a low-hanging target, I wouldn't bother.

Glenn Reynolds has been an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader for virtually any and all militaryadministration actions

Fixed. You have to question self-professed Libertarians who seem to like nothing more than expanding the National Surveillance State

Damnit, sorry. Tag closed.

bad bold, bad!

Iraq as a proxy war for Iran? Reynolds -- another right winger with an agenda to foment war with Iran -- so what if they have to make up the "facts" again.

What is even more absurd is that our most prominent partner in Iraq at the moment, Hakim and the Badr Brigade, are probably the Shiite faction most closely allied with Iran. Publius has already pointed out how the Sadrites are probably the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Iraq.

"Publius has already pointed out how the Sadrites are probably the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Iraq."

When Bush met Hakim at the White House everything became much clearer for me. Class war knows no borders, respects no nationalism, patriotism, and rarely morality.

And the poor people of Sadr City will always lose any war.

Just saw this on the SCotUS decision:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/washington/21cnd-scotus.html?ei=5094&en=10c80c6934410a96&hp=&ex=1169528400&adxnnl=1&partner=homepage&adxnnlx=1169511928-TylSPx3N1G9HetdOpdH4Cg
. . .which is so much Greek to the non-legally-minded among us. Can we look forward to a post?

What Abu Aardvark said about Egypt matches exactly what I'm seeing here in Algeria. I don't know how many Algerians, in the past couple of weeks alone, have mentioned the evils of the Shia to me. Saddam's execution really took this up a level. This is stoked, or at least abetted, by the clerical and political establishment, who know a good scapegoat for public discontent when they see one. The Shia are the new Jews, it's really quite extraordinary, and I think it's here to last.

Another minor birth-pang of the new Mideast. Keep pushing honey, I'm justing changing the battery on the camcorder!

Joe Thomas,

In light of Blakely, this decision is almost inevitable. Without reading the opinion, I'm going to guess they found that "aggrevating" factors have to be proven beyond as reasonable doubt to be applied

s/b "aggravating", but you got that, I'm sure.

All snark aside.

After 9-11, Bush practically ignored Bin Laden for Hussein. Why the bait-and-switch?

And now in Iraq, it seems most of the Sunni insurgency are getting support (financial?) from the Arab states run by Monarchs (Saudi Arabia, Jordan) yet we only hear about mischief from Syria and Iran.

And all the while our ally in Pakistan is housing the man who killed thousands of Americans on 9-11.

Something does not compute. It’s as if our foreign policy is being run, at best by total idiots and at worse the Saudi Foreign Offices.

It’s as if our foreign policy is being run, at best by total idiots and at worse the Saudi Foreign Offices

and they're teaching other people how to do foreign policy their way.

(ok, ok, it's Bush the elder)

OT: Sheriff Andy Taylor hates America. pass it on.

Byrninngham, just out of curiousity, where do you live so that lots of Algerians can talk to you? The only Muslim of my acquaintance is a Malaysan-American.

cleek, that is so pre 9-11. That show couldn't even make it out of the pitch session today :^)

IJWTS that I remember when ObWi believed in open threads; there hasn't been one since the current front page exists, or in more than a week.

I was going to say something about down with the oppression of the rich over the week, as exemplified by those who can afford cable tv flaunting it over those who can't, with neo-BSG posts, and asking for a Heroes thread that would be democratically open to all the people, but, frankly, after noting the lack of open threads here in modern times, I've not the heart.

Die, cable people, die. (Until you send me discs the next day.)

(Woe, the kid is a Talking Heads fan.)

For "Andy Taylor" read Andy Griffith. Here in North Carolina the man is much revered.

Nice clip, though!

Heroes is available online at the NBC website, Gary. I don't remember if your internet connection is sufficient though.

Coming to the conclusion that the ‘Sadrites are probably the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Iraq” is like pronouncing that Hezbollah is the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Lebanon.

Or did I miss something when al-Sadr promised to use his army to help defend Iran if the US attacks them ("The Mahdi Army is beyond the Iraqi army,” he said. “It was established to defend Islam." Or that his main source for ‘spiritual’ advice is the Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri, an Iranian cleric; or that the Iranian system of government formulated by his hero, Ayatollah Khomeini, is the one he intends to install in Iraq. He’s not a nationalist: he’s religious nut-cake with delusions of grandeur who believes he has a right to rule Iraq because his Shiite blood-line can be traced back to Mohammad.

Religion is like a fever: at low temperatures the body can tolerate it; but high levels of fever leads to delirium… That’s what you’re seeing in Iraq now (and spreading to other parts of the Middle East as well) … the delirium of religious idiocy running amuck. Think Catholic/Protestant conflicts in the 1500s, and multiply it by a factor of ten. Think the House of Tudor, and monarchs in crowns who believe they have been divinely chosen to sit on their thrones.

"Heroes is available online at the NBC website, Gary. I don't remember if your internet connection is sufficient though."

Um, setting aside the whole 56k thing, I -- actually I have no idea what your point was. Sorry.

Neo-BSG is available on the "Sci-fi Channel." There's a thread about it, anyway.

For "Andy Taylor" read Andy Griffith

the actor is Andy G, but the character is Andy T. i don't know if Andy G has ever spoken out against unlawful surveillance.

Um, setting aside the whole 56k thing, I -- actually I have no idea what your point was. Sorry.

I took your post to imply you weren't able to watch Heroes either.

Neo-BSG is available on the "Sci-fi Channel." There's a thread about it, anyway.

Errrr... trust me, I'm intimately familiar with that fact.

And now another good example of why there's no room for dissent at ObWi brought to you by your very own... JayC:

Glenn Reynolds has been an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader for virtually any and all military actions"

It seems to me that JayC didn't even bother to read the article Publius linked to at Instapundit.

Glenn says:

"On the other hand, I've been disappointed a number of times by the Bush Administration's inexplicable unwillingness to deal with Iran 's fomenting of insurgency "

Am I the only one that hears, at the very least a critical cheerleader?

Same post:

"The additional troops, such as they are, won't make a difference in that; only a change in approach will. I don't have a clear sense of whether we'll follow through."

Glenn's enthusiasm is slightly underwhelming to say the least. I can just see the email George is going to send Glenn about that comment.

Dear Glenn,

I thought you were an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader. What the heck kind of cheerleading is that. If you need any tips on cheerleading I used to be good one.

Call me sometime!

George

PS: Keep that up and I will stop working on that nickname I promised you.

Same post:

"I'm not as disappointed in Bush as, say, Bill Quick, but I'm disappointed."

Another email from George to Glenn...

Dear Glenn,

Now that just hurts my feelings. I hate to disappoint you. I was only joking about not giving you a nickname. How about "Glenn the Fin"? You know like... a shark's fin?

Let me know what you think.

Your pal,

George

Yawn... same post.

"This impatience is perhaps unfortunate, but it's a well-known characteristic in the Pentagon (where people were talking about the "three year rule" on support for wars back in 2003) and the Bush Administration doesn't seem to have had a strategy for dealing with it."

Glenn the Fin,

Our strategery is in place. Thanks for your input.

BFA,

George

PS: What do you think of your nickname?

Zzzzz... oh we're back already? Same post from Instapundit.

"Even if so, the Bush Administration has not paid adequate attention to the problem of maintaining political support at home."

Glenn,

I haven't heard back from you about the nickname. The pressure of not knowing if you like it is killing me. I guess you are not taking to it like a fish takes to water. Get it? See fish live in water. I called you Glenn the Fin. Fin's are on fish. Ha Ha, good stuff.

Btw, I was surfing the web at ObWi and saw that everyone agrees you are an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader. I guess they don't read Instapundit. You might want to do something to increase traffic at your site.

Maybe you could declare war on some innocent blog. That get's you alot of attention.

Dinner?

George

How can we have a real debate with so much dishonesty? We just can't unite and be more politically productive until people are more honest about words used by those they disagree with.

Publius says:

"One last point -- if Reynolds had said "sectarian violence" rather than "insurgency," that's at least in the ballpark. But the problem with using sloppy language like this is that it gives the impression that Iranian parties (rather than Sunni militants) are the "insurgency" responsible for killing American troops."

Any idea where those shaped charges the "Sunni" insurgents are using in Iraq came from?

Here let me help...

August 2005

Shipment of high explosives intercepted in Iraq

Most sophisticated of roadside bombs reportedly coming from Iran

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8829929

October 2005

An armour-piercing version of the bomb - blamed for the deaths of eight British soldiers this year - marks the latest advance in the insurgents' arsenal.

The UK has accused Iran of supplying the new weapon to militants in southern Iraq, via the Lebanese Hezbollah militia group, although Tehran has denied this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4320818.stm

And from the always truthful and impartial NY Times...

The spread of the new weapons seems to suggest a new and unusual area of cooperation between Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis to drive American forces out - a possibility that the commanders said they could make little sense of given the increasing violence between the sects in Iraq.


Iran... check

Insurgents... check

Dead Americans... check

Fomentation... check

So I guess if we are counting fomentation points that makes:

Instapundit 1
Publius 0

I agree that sloppy language is bad, but to be overly critical and mistaken is probably worse.

For whatever reason it wouldn't let me post with links to the articles

How can we have a real debate with so much dishonesty?

i ask myself that question, every time you post here.

I saw 'xbril' and thought there was a change of heart on the road to Damascus, but was disappointed to find the x meaning extreme, I guess. Just to tackle the first point, JayC said

Glenn Reynolds has been an enthusiastic and generally uncritical cheerleader for virtually any and all military actions

Now, since we haven't had a military action against Iran, and Insty's complaint is that we haven't taken action against Iran, I just have to echo Cleek's question.

XBril makes a valid point. Reynolds has been wrong on a number of things, but he has not been an uncritical supporter of either the "Administration" or "virtually any and all military actions". As XBril notes, this very fact is confirmed in the linked post, which demonstrates that Glenn is fairly critical of the Iraq war.

Now, closer to the mark would be the comment that Reynolds has been an uncritical hawk, in that he tends towards hawkishness without really thinking the matter through first. And Publius is dead-on that Reynolds has been trying to push the idea that a war against Iran would be a good thing at this point in time. But XBril has a good point regarding JayC's overgeneralization.

Well, I had a long response to bril's (assuming it was his) point composed - but it was eaten by the keyboard. Darn!
But I will admit he's right about one thing. My comment about Glenn Reynolds' "cheerleading" was an overbroad characterization: he (InstaPundit)has been critical of the occasional Bush Adminstration policy here and there - although, as von points out, usually on the bellicose side. Scarcely, IMO, a scathing dissension.

Oh, and to echo cleek's comment: I find it just a bit raw of xbril to snark about a lack of "room for dissent at ObWi" - in a lengthy comment that is, basically, one long dissent (albeit extended by snark).

xbril,

"gives the impression that Iranian parties (rather than Sunni militants) are the "insurgency" responsible for killing American troops."

Any idea where those shaped charges the "Sunni" insurgents are using in Iraq came from?"

A modest suggestion on why the Iranians should not be suspected of supporting the Sunnis, courtesy of The Onion.

JayC,

"But I will admit he's right about one thing. My comment about Glenn Reynolds' "cheerleading" was an overbroad characterization: "

When I say that there is no room for dissent I am poking fun at the fact that many here have spoken of all the lost freedoms under Bush... dissent just being one of the many that comes up, while at the same time when someone has a dissenting opinion at ObWi they get swarmed. Sebastian and others have talked about this behavior in the past.

I applaud you for having the inclination to and taking the time to sincerely respond to my post.

I would love to join in on more reasonable and honest debate at ObWi, but I am looking for those on the left who are willing to listen and not just swarm. Often times, someone will make a comment either here or a public figure and their words are intentionally distorted.

I don't know Publius very well, but I can easily see how he had an honest interpretation of Reynold's words.

I'm still open to Publius postings... I hope he will be able to see that Reynolds use of the word fomentation was pretty accurate and that someone making a case agaisnt Iran has justifiable reasons to do so.

I'd be interested to know if xbril thinks that the support Iran might give to Sunni insurgents exceeds, by any measure, the support it gives to our allies in Iraq. The idea that Hakim is going to form the nucleus of an anti-Iran coalition within Iraq, or Talabani, suggests (to me) more than a little wishful thinking.

To clarify, I think that if we approach Iraqi politics with two rebuttable assumptions, we'll make many fewer analytical mistakes:

1. No faction within Iraq is pro-American. This does not prevent anyone from accepting money/weaponry/assistance from the US that can be used against rival factions within Iraq.

2. No faction within Iraq is pro-Iran. This does not prevent anyone from accepting money/weaponry/assistance from Iran that can be used against rival factions within Iraq.

I am not particularly concerned about Iraq becoming an Iranian satellite, but I think there is a valid question as to the appropriate response to Iran's (perfectly logical, from their standpoint) support to various groups in Iraq. Iran appears to be helping to keep Iraq destabilized, presumably not to extend their control over Iraq as much to keep the U.S. occupied in Iraq and unable to respond fully to Iranian nuclear developments.

To be very clear, I do not believe that expanding the war to Iran would be in the U.S.'s interests. However, I do believe that we need to address Iranian assistance to those we are fighting in Iraq in some way, as it makes no sense whatsoever to allow Iran to continue to wage proxy war against our forces in Iraq. It's a complex question, and one I don't have a good answer to at the moment. But it is worth considering.

Yes, and the way to respond to overbroad characterizations is to characterize them as dishonest, von. So I'll point to xbril's overwhelming tendency to take one quote and apply it to the entire site and let you draw your own conclusions.

xbril -- i think you are addressing I didn't make. The point of hte post was that Reynolds was mischaracterizing the nature of Iran's r-ship with the insurgency, largely b/c he wants to fight Iran. The secondary point is that he doesn't know much about the Middle East (but was a strong supporter of the war).

Yes, Reynolds post is down on Bush, as I think the blockquote I used indicated. But that's not what I was arguing, so I"m not sure I understand your point.

the one point you made above that did address my argument is that Iran has been supplying arms to the Sunnis. Now, maybe the sunni insurgents have gotten their hands on some of that, but there's simply no way that the Sunnis (who fought a 10-yr war with Iran) see them as anything but a mortal enemy. And vice-versa.

that should be "addressing AN ARGUMENT" -- sorry

Andrew, I'm not sure that the primary purpose of Iran's support of various factions in Iraq has to do with us. We have to keep in mind that Iran's strategic interests in how Iraq is governed -- and in how the war turns out -- dwarf ours. This was true 2,000 years ago, it was true in the 1980s, it was true in 2002-03, and it's true now.

I'm sure that no tears are shed in Teheran when US goals are frustrated, but I think we risk going the wrong way when we over-identify ourselves with Iraqi stability.

(I think one can contrast Iran's involvement in Iraq with its involvement in Afghanistan -- in 2001-02 and now -- to see that they're focused on their own goals rather than ours.)

So, what does Iran want? A weak Iraq, if a friendly Iraq can't be had. It doesn't have to be a satellite for the policy of 2002-03 to have been a great success, just not neo-Baathist and US aligned. Obviously, though, it'll be good for them is whoever wins the war is in Iran's debt.

Publius, I'm not sure I'm ready to completely discount the notion that Iran is staying open to Sunni insurgents. Either by encouraging/not discouraging Syrian support, or directly.

That is to say that if we think about the kind of Iraq that Iran wants, the kind of Iraq that we want (within reason), and the kind of Iraq that most Iraqis want, there may well be sufficient overlap that a deal could be made.

Everyone concerned would have to decide, though, that getting half a loaf is better than depriving the other of any bread at all. (No one can get a whole loaf . . .)

Yes, but the Syrian ruling part is Shiite. The tricky part is that Syria is 60% Sunni, I think, and so the sectarian divide is less of an issue (thanks in part to years of brutal repression). But the mere fact that Syria is helping Iran doesn't mean that Iran is helping the Sunnis (note too that Hezbollah is Shiite).

I'm not sure I'm ready to completely discount the notion that Iran is staying open to Sunni insurgents

I dunno. The ISG said that Saudi money is going to Sunni insurgents, so to me, that reduces the possibility of Iran or Syria are going to try and find a way to outbid Saudi generosity.

Regarding Iranian support for Sunni insurgents, the 'evidence' linked to, apart from the obvious fact that news reports are next to useless for figuring out obscure covert ops in a war zone, doesn't even support that argument if taken at face value. 1 out of the 3 articles is discussing Iranian support for groups in the South. 1 is about two years old, when Tehran may have supported multiple factions in case a unified, anti-US nationalist front emerged. None of them make any account for the obvious fact that Iranian explosives are probably available to whoever is willing to pay, regardless of the original destination. it's anarchy for gawd's sake.

it's also worth noting that the Sunni-Shia categorization is hardly foolproof for every armed faction in Iraq. generally speaking, publius' analysis seems correct without far more substantial counter-evidence (which would be a minor earthquake BTW).

"goal is not to reflect objective reality"

I should have emphasized this point. I think that is an unfair assessment of Reynold's comments. He seems to imply that Reynold's is not interested in reflecting objective reality.

Does Publius really want to defend the position that Iran does not see it as a benefit to support the Sunni Insurgents and the Shia at the same time. And is it not the Sunni Insurgents with Iranian support that is inflicting the most damage on the U.S. troops?

Does anyone really think that Iran is not doing exactly that?

If Iran is... then I would argue that Reynold's comment is reflecting objective reality and and it is Publius that is not.

Now it may be true that Reynold's could have worded things differently and he may chose to do so. But for Publius to say that Reynolds is not trying to reflect an objective reality is unfair.

Meanwhile, tick tick tick:

A second U.S. aircraft carrier strike group now steaming toward the Middle East is Washington’s way of warning Iran to back down in its attempts to dominate the region, a top U.S. diplomat said here Tuesday.

Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ruled out direct negotiations with Iran and said a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was “not possible” until Iran halts uranium enrichment.

Steve Clemons says not to worry unless a third carrier group heads there, but still not very reassuring this.

Just as a cry of general frustration, wasn't there a time when Republicans said they didn't want the U.S. to be the world's policemen? While I'm not overly thrilled at the notion of Iran as a regional superpower in the Persian Gulf, I am far less thrilled at the idea of using force to prevent it without a lot better reason than anyone has been able to give me thus far.

Does Publius really want to defend the position that Iran does not see it as a benefit to support the Sunni Insurgents and the Shia at the same time. And is it not the Sunni Insurgents with Iranian support that is inflicting the most damage on the U.S. troops?

Does anyone really think that Iran is not doing exactly that?

Respectfully, I answer no on all these. The second question -- "with Iranian support" -- is particularly unsupported and is inconsistent with the sectarian breakdown we're seeing. I mean, Iran is the enemy of these people (they fought a war against these people), they're not going to give them guns.

I guess that's the crux of our dispute. If you think Iran is supporting Sunni insurgents, then my post is 100% wrong. If they're not, it's not.

Does anyone really think that Iran is not doing exactly that?

um, yup. and since that is the collective informed wisdom, you're the one who needs to make a case.

look, obviously reality on the ground is extremely messy, with a lot of autonomous opportunism. the broad outlines seem pretty clear however. pretty much every arab state is lining up behind the Sunni faction, crudely defined, while Iran and the USA are the main backers of the Shia factions, and both seem rather alarmed to find themselves in that unholy ménage à trois.

i would say though, that Iran's second best-case scenario is a destabilized Iraq, so it's possible it supported any bloodthirsty crew in the early days, and may do so again should the new US offensive succeed in creating some stability (which is unlikely, since the 'government' the US is reliant on is far more beholden to Tehran that to Washington).

About Iranian support for Sunni insurgents: here's a completely unsupported alternate possibility: they supported them early on, when the main goal of the Sunni insurgents (not counting al Qaeda in Iraq) was to hit American troops. At that point, it was very much in Iran's interests to keep us preoccupied in Iraq; and before the sectarian violence had become the massive problem is has been for the past couple of years, supporting the Sunni insurgents (again, excepting AQ in Iraq) would not have been supporting people whose goal was to attack Shi'a. When the sectarian violence overtook everything, they stopped.

For an actual consideration of evidence, here's the LATimes not finding much of a link.

What byrnie and hilzoy said. That, IMO, is about as close to accurate as you can get.

It also reveals the intellectual dishonesty of those that claim that Iran is behind the insurgency at this point in time.

Come on. Iraqi Sunnis are more than capable of conducting insurgent operations without Iran. It's not like they're in need of wealthy benefactors, or caches of arms.

When Bush met Hakim at the White House everything became much clearer for me. Class war knows no borders, respects no nationalism, patriotism, and rarely morality.

And the poor people of Sadr City will always lose any war.

Excellent point bob. I've long maintained that Maliki and Hakim would love to rid themselves of this rabble rousing commoner in their midst.

The fact that Maliki relies on Sadr politically has complicated things, but that was the purpose of all those high level meetings and related intrigue:

Figuring out a way to knock Sadr down a peg or two. Problem, thus far, has been that Sistani flinched at the divide and conquer potential therein.

That being said, Sistani himself is also not 100% pleased with the upstart cleric whose influence exceeds his experience, and has circumvented the normal process for clerical advancement.

I’d also submit that it is unfair to characterize Glenn’s post as calling for military action against Iran. He says “putting the screws to Iran”, “unwillingness to deal with Iran's fomenting of insurgency”, “only a change in approach”, “putting pressure on Iran and Syria”, etc. While I guess you can interpret these statements as advocating military action, if you read him on a regular basis you would know this is not the case. Most of his posts touching on the subject (as I recall) advocate diplomatic pressure, sanctions, advocating/supporting revolution to overthrow the mullahs, using oil as a weapon against them, etc. He may link to someone discussing the need for military action, but I do not recall him advocating it and I read him daily.

In any case, it is a little unfair to pick at “sloppy language”, infer from there that he knows little about the ME so he must support war there, therefore his intent is “to rally support for military action against Iran”. Instead of all those hoops, why not just read his site, search his archives etc. It’s possible I missed him beating the war drums regarding Iran, but I do not recall it.

But the problem with using sloppy language like this is that it gives the impression that Iranian parties (rather than Sunni militants) are the "insurgency" responsible for killing American troops.

If an Iranian trained insurgent (of any stripe) plants an Iranian manufactured bomb that kills American troops, I call that “Iranian parties … responsible for killing American troops”. Unequivocally.

If an Iranian trained insurgent (of any stripe) plants an Iranian manufactured bomb that kills American troops, I call that “Iranian parties … responsible for killing American troops”. Unequivocally.

Are you now saying that Iranians are training Sunni insurgents, or that SCIRI has been planting IEDs? Or that Mahdi Army trained by Iran (itself not 100% certain) planted IEDs that killed Americans?

As for Glenn Reynolds and Iran, I think he has been mostly hawkish, with some bones thrown in the direction of alternatives.

Lately, he has taken to speculating that the only reason we haven't attacked Iran is that they have a nuke already. After all, what other good reason could we have?

I think it’s time for Bush’s buddy, Bin Laden, to attack the U.S. again, so this way he has an excuse to go after Iran.

Here's a recent Reynolds post that anticipates the possible occurrence of the desired cassus belli:

http://instapundit.com/archives2/2006/12/post_1267.php

Or, as he says, something else to be swept under the rug. A lumpy rug. Not the words of a dove.

Here's a recent Reynolds post that anticipates the possible occurrence of the desired cassus belli:
...
Or, as he says, something else to be swept under the rug. A lumpy rug. Not the words of a dove.

I didn’t say he was a dove. I said it was unfair to characterize the linked post as a call to arms, or his writings in general. If we assume that this story and others are true, then we appear to be ignoring multiple provocations. Swept under the rug is a good description. At least that is the public perception. Are we doing anything to address them if true? Anything includes diplomacy, sanctions, sternly worded letters from the UNSC, etc. We keep hearing about Iranian involvement, yet publicly we see no response of any kind. From that I can only surmise a few possibilities:

1. The stories are not true, even though they have been confirmed by government officials, senior officers on the ground, etc.
2. The stories are true, and we are doing something about it in secret. This could be diplomacy, working behind closed doors at the UN, or preparing to take a military response.
3. The stories are true but we are choosing to do absolutely nothing about it.

A couple of those yield a lumpy rug. I think most people would hope it is 1 or 2, and most would hope it is not 3. In any case it leads to legitimate questions about what is going on.


Are you now saying that Iranians are training Sunni insurgents, or that SCIRI has been planting IEDs? Or that Mahdi Army trained by Iran (itself not 100% certain) planted IEDs that killed Americans?

All I can do here is to repeat what you quoted – I said exactly that and nothing more. We have reports of Iranians training insurgents. We have reports of Iranians providing said insurgents with sophisticated bombs (nothing improvised about them) capable of taking out armor. Which leads me to state:
If an Iranian trained insurgent (of any stripe) plants an Iranian manufactured bomb that kills American troops, I call that “Iranian parties … responsible for killing American troops”. Unequivocally.

Nothing about sect or Mahdi.

According the logic of Instapundit/Right-Wing Warmonger, we should be placing “pressure” on Jordan.

Foreign financing of the Iraqi insurgency

Iraqi leaders have recently accused neighboring Arab states, especially Jordan and Syria, of abetting the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq by allowing Baathist sympathizers to finance insurgent activity from abroad. In Jordan, for instance, many of these finances flow from relatives of Saddam Hussein, who “have huge sums of money.” They “are supporting political and media activities and other efforts to revive the Baath Party,” Laith Kubba, a spokesman for Iraq ’s prime minister, told the New York Times August 22.

More:
http://www.cfr.org/publication/8842/iraq.html?breadcrumb=%2Fregion%2F407%2Fjordan

Do you disagree? If so, why?

Is Iran more responsible for Iranian-trained gunmen killing American troops than America is responsible for American-trained gunmen killing American troops?

Which insurgents do we have reports of Iranians training?

That is why I asked about Mahdi and SCIRI. I have not seen reports of Iranians training Sunni insurgents. SCIRI was trained and housed in Iran during the 1990s. That is well known. SCIRI is also in the ruling Iraqi government, and has been courted by the White House as an ally vis-a-vis Sadr.

There are some reports of Iran training certain of Sadr's Mahdi Army cadres, but those reports haven't been confirmed and are still mostly speculative.

That being said, we generally do not consider Mahdi and SCIRI (Badr) to be insurgent groups, but rather militias. Please provide links to reports of Iranians training Sunni insurgents if you have them. I would be very interested to check that out.

I didn’t say he was a dove. I said it was unfair to characterize the linked post as a call to arms, or his writings in general.

Regardless of the value of the linked post, Glenn Reynolds has linked to and supported, repeatedly, writers espousing a hawkish view on Iran. To the extent that he writes anything, such writings have been consistent with the hawk's perspective.

Are we doing anything to address them if true? Anything includes diplomacy, sanctions, sternly worded letters from the UNSC, etc.

There are sanctions already, new sanctions on the way and there could be diplomatic action but the Bush team won't talk to Iran.

But Glenn didn't ask: Diplomacy? Cassus Sanctions? or Cassus Letter? He didn't seem to think the article he linked to should be seen as motivation to act on any of these fronts.

He asked: Cassus Belli? And then acknowledged that it might just be ignored like so many other potential causes for war.

It is a stretch to somehow craft a non-hawkish position out of that.

It would be interesting to know how much the financial assistance from Jordan/Syria/Sunnis outside Iraq is prompted by the administration's (very likely overblown) "Iran is meddling in Iraq!!1!!" rhetoric?

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria and Syria have had citizens giving material and financial support to the Sunni insurgency. This was bound to happen and was predicted by many anti-war folks. I suspect many warmongers in the administration suspected this would happen, as well, and thought it would be a great excuse to finally get “the true evil”—Tehran.

The Shia of Iraq (any of the many sects and militias) are as beholden to Iran as American Protestants were beholden to British Protestants before WW1 and WW2. The cultural relationships between Southern Iraq and Iran are deeper than many warmongers care to admit or they ignore this because war is their priority.


Saudi politics certainly have demonstrated that there are more radical Islamists that are pro-Al Queda and anti-American, in positions of power and influence, causing trouble all over the region, yet it is Iran and Iraq, which are accused of threatening our existence.

Something is not right.

Glenn Reynolds on war with Iran (and Syria!):

ONE OF MY QUESTIONS about the war effort in Iraq is why we lost momentum -- as I noted before, the old saying is that you can do anything with bayonets except sit on them, and we've been sitting on them in Iraq instead of taking the war effort to our enemies, many of whom are outside of Iraq. Mohammed of Iraq the Model has a lengthy discussion of that very topic. Excerpt: "The insurgents, terrorists and militias operating in Iraq depend on foreign support for money, training, technology and in some cases men. Moreover the influence of foreign interference is clear even in the political arena in Iraq through the numerous political crises the country had faced. Thus, this war will not see an end unless America revives the preemptive war strategy and start chasing the enemies and striking their bases in the region, especially in Syria and Iran."

That seems right to me, and I don't understand why the Bush Administration has let the momentum grind to a halt. (Does Iran already have nukes, and has it successfully threatened us with them? Possible, I suppose, but how likely?)

Later on, reacting to claims that there is insufficient political will in America to expand the war to Iran and Syria, Reynolds laments:

Yes, it's hard to do with our current political situation

http://instapundit.com/archives/033024.php

Would it be fair to characterize that as a call to arms? Why not?

Reynolds has zero insight on anything. He just repeats what others have said. Why is he being discussed?

Now, Glenn points to Iranian backed and financed Hezbollah making trouble in Lebanon

Would it be fair to characterize that as a call to arms?

Yes. Much more so than the original front page post we were discussing. As I suggested originally (to publius) – just find the explicit posts if they exist rather than (IMO) mischaracterizing that bit above. You did, so I’ll concede he is apparently more hawkish on the matter than I believed.

yup. Wasn't previously familiar with Reynolds, but he seems like just another puerile blowhard brazenly rabble-rousing on a subject that he clearly doesn't know anything at all about.

OCSteve: I was going to try to find those Reynolds posts, but Eric Martin spared me the trouble. So I'll just say: you are a mensch.

Oops: I forgot. I don't tolerate dissent. So, OCSteve, please replace that last message with this:

Yeah, but have you denounced PowerLine? Or RedState? Or the Weekly Standard and the Corner and NRO? Huh? Have you?

Yeah, but have you denounced PowerLine? Or RedState? Or the Weekly Standard and the Corner and NRO? Huh? Have you?

I think I have to protest the stereotyping here – i.e. I read Insty so I must read those others :)

Even Insty doesn’t link RedState (OK – in his 5+ years of archives someone is bound to find a link somewhere so I proactively retract that).

Oh – and I have a quibble with your comment on the LATimes piece so you can squash my dissent some more in a bit. Have to walk the dog first.

Agnostic Gnome:

Coming to the conclusion that the ‘Sadrites are probably the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Iraq” is like pronouncing that Hezbollah is the Shiite faction most hostile to Iranian influence in Lebanon.

It should first be stressed that all Shiite factions are to some degree friendly with Iran -- I have not read of any who are hostile to it, nor was I trying to suggest that Sadr is not friendly with Iran.

SICRI is probably the closest to Iran, and was an advocate for the southern Shiite super-province that would be very autonomous from the Iraqi central government and close to Iran. Sadr was identified as against it, and has been described as more of a nationalist about Iraqi sovereignty vis-a-vis Iran -- hence his objection to the SICRI proposal. Here's an article by Juan Cole on the topic. It seems that Sadr sees his path to power by asserting Iraqi indepedence from Iranian influence, which makes him hostile to Iraqi factions that promote greater Iranian influence in Iraq.

Andrew:

However, I do believe that we need to address Iranian assistance to those we are fighting in Iraq in some way, as it makes no sense whatsoever to allow Iran to continue to wage proxy war against our forces in Iraq.

Who is Iran supporting that is waging this proxy war? Iran may be supporting various factions, but its seems that their primary support is for the factions that are not presently fighting us (SICRI for example).

I don't see the plausability of the argument that Iran is supporting the Baathist Sunni insurgents nor any outside Sunni terrorists that have migrated into Iraq (not that you are making that argument, though others above have).

It is probable that Iran is providing some support to Mahdi Army types, and some of those seem to be taking pot shots at the US as part of their general effort to get the US out of Iraq. But that is a far cry from calling it a proxy war.

I think others above have got it right that Iran's primary interest is in a friendly Iraq, and if it can't get that, a weak powerless Iraq. Right now with so many top Shiite politicians in Iraq making trips to Iran, it seems that they are likely to get an Iran-friendly government in Iraq. Its not in their interest to undermine the existing Shiite government. One of the oddest things about that recent picture of Bush meeting with Hakim was that he represents the face of Iranian influence in Iraq -- love the comment above about the discomfort of finding ourselves in this menage a trois.

Iran will get what it wants by supporting the current Shiite government, and waiting for the US withdrawal. It will not get it by undermining the current government by supporting insurgency.

Any specifics on how Iran is allegedly waging this proxy war?

I do not have the article handy, however I do remember that there are assorted Iranian Islamists supporting assorted Iraqi Islamists. Sadr’s support had come primarily from factions that are not “totally/partially” [?] aliened with the current Iranian government. SCIRI and the Badr brigades are a total extension of the Iranian establishment.

Even the Quietist with the Persian accent finds more BROTHERS in Shia Islam Iran than he would ever find in Western Christian America.

I’ve noticed that too many Americans lump many of these cultures as one amalgamated whole, while they reserve complexity and difference for themselves.

Publius,

Does anyone really think that Iran is not doing exactly that?

Respectfully, I answer no on all these. The second question -- "with Iranian support" -- is particularly unsupported and is inconsistent with the sectarian breakdown we're seeing. I mean, Iran is the enemy of these people (they fought a war against these people), they're not going to give them guns.

So are the Brits wrong about Iran, too?

LONDON - British authorities are telling Iran to better secure its border against weapons reportedly being smuggled into Iraq.

They've lodged a complaint to the Iranian government, after a stash of bomb-making supplies was found in southern Iraq. A senior official says it included timers, detonators and other devices.

He says it's believed the materials are linked to the militant group Hezbollah and Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

The official says Britain has told Tehran that it is completely unacceptable to allow arms to cross over the border.


From the NY Times:

Since they first began appearing about two months ago, some of these devices have been seized, including one large shipment that was captured last week in northeast Iraq coming from Iran. But one senior military officer said "tens" of the devices had been smuggled in and used against allied forces, killing or wounding several Americans throughout Iraq in the past several weeks.

.....

Pentagon and intelligence officials say that some shipments of the new explosives have contained both components and fully manufactured devices, and may have been spirited into Iraq along the porous Iranian border by the Iranian-backed, anti-Israeli terrorist group Hezbollah, or by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. American commanders say these bombs closely matched those that Hezbollah has used against Israel.

"The devices we're seeing now have been machined," said a military official who has access to classified reporting on the insurgents' bomb-making abilities. "There is evidence of some sophistication."

Publius... okay, then I guess we can agree to disagree. I am always surprised that so many here give our self-proclaimed enemies so much benefit of the doubt.

But pick one of the following scenarios that you think benefit Iran the most... just an exercise. Please feel free to add your own scenarios.

1) Provide munitions to your fellow Shia's. Strengthen and support them in ridding Iraq and the Middle East of the Great Satan and reduce the Sunni influence in Iraq to zero.

But don't strengthen them enough so that they don't need you. Try to keep them dependant and make them a satellite state.

2) Provide munition to your fellow Shia's. Support them in ridding Iraq and the Middle East of the Great Satan.

Provide munitions to your Sunni enemies and use them to help rid Iraq and the Middle East of the Great Satan and to keep the Shia in check or else the Shia might become too independant. Continue to foment insurgent and sectatarian violence in Iraq weakening all parties involved. Sunni, Shia and the morale on U.S. homefront.

Wait patiently for the great Great Satan to finally turn tail and run. Then on the floor of the UN you can blame all the violence on the Great Satan and claim that you had no choice but to invade Iraq and save them from themselves. (Meanwhile, stop the flow of weapons to both sides.)

Then violently put down any civil unrest.

I know which path I would chose if I wanted to take control of Iraq. Maybe you trust in the good faith of the Iranian mullahs? Do you believe they have no desires for Iraq's wealth? That they would never consider taking advantage of the Iraqis?

Please explain how you view the Iranians intentions in Iraq. Good neighbor, nosey neighbor or neighbor who likes your gulf front property and those pretty oil wells?

The first path is too risky. The Shia might get uppity and not need me anymore. But with the 2nd strategy I empower the parties enough to wear down the morale on the U.S. homefront, but still keep the parties weak by setting them on each other.

I don't think one is being non-objective to see the 2nd option as just as likely as any other outcome.

So do you still stand by the statement...

Of course, if your goal is not to reflect objective reality but to rally support for military action against Iran, it's a good argument.

Do you think Glenn's comments aren't based on an objective reality of the situation in Iraq?

Are his concerns unfounded or just not your concerns?

Btw, pretend for a minute that Iran is being a naughty neihbor. Any recommendations?

xbril,

Who do you think the average Iraqi Shia believes is the “nosey neighbor”? Especially if the lens with which they view the United States is colored with this:

What follows is an accurate chronology of United States involvement in the arming of Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war 1980-88. It is a powerful indictment of the president Bush administration attempt to sell war as a component of his war on terrorism. It reveals US ambitions in Iraq to be just another chapter in the attempt to regain a foothold in the Mideast following the fall of the Shah of Iran.

From
Arming Iraq: A Chronology of U.S. Involvement


Whatever his complexes, Khomeini had no qualms about sending his followers, including young boys, off to their deaths for his greater glory. This callous disregard for human life was no less characteristic of Saddam Hussein. And, for that matter, it was also no less characteristic of much of the world community, which not only couldn't be bothered by a few hundred thousand Third World corpses, but tried to profit from the conflict.

From:
The United States and Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988

The fact that America's Right-Wing is obsessed with Iraq and Iran after a gang of Sunni extremists, primarily from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, hiding in Afghanistan...this is scary.

Btw, pretend for a minute that Iran is being a naughty neihbor. Any recommendations?

Well, the best recommendation would have been to not put yourself in the untenable position whereby Iran can pin you to the mat with such relative ease. One more reason why the invasion of Iraq was such a colossal strategic blunder.

Now that we're there, overstretched, vulnerable and relatively depleted, and assuming Iran is bloodying our nose a bit, the only thing we can do really is try to negotiate a cease fire of sorts.

Negotiations, carrots, sticks and all that. Or get out under the realization that Iran will always be able to play this game on their turf better than us. Get out with the knowledge that the Shiite factions in Iraq (and Talabani's Kurdish wing to boot) will almost always side with Iran over us in these matters. That our only counterbalance to Iran are the Sunnis who we just smashed up and aren't feeling to friendly toward us regardless (also comprised, in part, of ex-Saddamists, al-Qaeda types and other extremists).

BTW: One of the reasons I don't consider the Iran interference story outlandish is because it's what any rational state should do.

Think about it. We invaded and toppled two regimes in nations whose borders touch Iran's in the East and West. We proceeded to threaten Iran with regime change, making it abundantly clear that they were likely next. We even went as far as to reject their overtures for diplomatic detente despite a relatively sweet deal.

If you were Iran, would you rather have seen us succeed in Iraq such that our military, intelligence and financial assets would be freed up quickly so they could be applied in Iran?

I wouldn't. The regime in Iran is not as prone to strategic blunder as the Bush team. Sadly.

BTW: One of the reasons I don't consider the Iran interference story outlandish is because it's what any rational state should do.

Harumph. Why is that not a factor in discussions about Middle East policy?

Letting smuggling occur is not the same thing as actively supporting an insurgency. To claim that is dishonest. Why don't you (or Glenn, that razor of heh-logical thinking) apply that standard to Saudi Arabia? Or Pakistan?

Hilzoy: For an actual consideration of evidence, here's the LATimes not finding much of a link.

I agree that the article does try hard to minimize the links, yet all the way at the end (i.e. B12 below the fold):

A second high-ranking U.S. intelligence official in Washington acknowledged that only a "small percentage" of explosions in Iraq could be linked to shaped charges coming from Iran.

"But in terms of American casualties, they are significant," he said, because they are much more lethal than standard roadside bombs.

A senior U.S. military intelligence official said coalition forces in Iraq had also found shaped charges "in the presence of Iranians captured in the country."

So a small percentage is still significant in terms of American casualties. I can’t reconcile that with their headline:

Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link
U.S. warnings of advanced weaponry crossing the border are overstated, critics say.

I wonder how many soldiers who died riding in what should have been armor adequate to protect them would agree with that headline. If we can prove beyond doubt that one single American soldier died due to a shaped charge provided by Iran it should be considered "way too many" rather than "overstated".

Something has to be done. No I don't know what...

How much of this is traceable to governmental work, how much to private-but-governmental-nudge-nudge-wink-wink-not-involved work and how much to private entirely? Is that not relevant?

ocSteve,

Why don't you apply that same standard to Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Yemen?

xbril:

I have no doubt that Iran is supplying arms to various Shiite factions in Iraq, and that some of those factions are responsible for some of the violence against US forces. That would be because nearly all factions in Iraq want the US out, and are involved in various degrees with violence against the US. It is also likely that some of that weaponry gets sold and ends up in anyone's hands. Heck, US weaponry is being used on occassion to kill US soldiers because Iraqi army personnel sell it on the black market to insurgents.

The presence of Iranian sourced weaponry does not support a conclusion that Iran has anything to do with the Sunni factions that make up most of the insurgency, and are behind most of the violence against US troops.

As for your theory that Iran wants to invade Iraq, there is no evidence of that.

From day one, the US invasion of Iraq benefitted Iran because of the high degree of likelihood that the successor government of Iraq would be Shiite and Iran friendly. That was one of the profound reasons not to invade in the first instance. Heck, even the initial plan to stick in Chalabi as a puppet would have put someone Iran friendly in charge.

Iran only has to wait us out and support its allies in Iraq to get what it wants. In the meantime, it can watch us bleed killing the Iranian blood enemies -- the Baathist Sunni. Iran does not need to provide support to the Baathist Sunnis to insure that they are as big of a pain as possible to the US -- our erstwhile Sunni allies, such as the Saudis, are already doing that.

How much of this is traceable to governmental work, how much to private-but-governmental-nudge-nudge-wink-wink-not-involved work and how much to private entirely? Is that not relevant?

Sure it is. Some reports have indicated the devices were of recent manufacture, as in not enough time to have gone any black market route. I’m sure most of it comes via deniable sources. However if it pans out that those captured Iranian military commanders had them in their position…

Why don't you apply that same standard to Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Yemen?

I’m not sure where I said I didn’t. We were discussing Iran on this thread. If it is incumbent on me to do that proactively for some reason, OK – here goes.

Close the damned border. Troop surge, aircraft carriers, whatever it takes. Declare valid crossing points, set up custom stations there, and immediately destroy any man, truck, or beast attempting to cross anywhere else. Zero second chances.

Saudi Arabia – directly responsible for most of this entire mess. Double the price of gas to reduce consumption. Embark on an emergency program to develop alternate fuels. Open up Alaska and the gulf for drilling to get us through the interim. Tell SA to stick their oil. They will implode in a year.

Jordan - $459 million in US foreign aid. Yemen – I think we already cut them off. Close the spigot in any case. Egypt and Pakistan as well. Total cooperation in these matters or zero help of any kind. All your citizens working here and sending money home – gone. All students - gone. With us or against us for real.

I’m not talking about military action necessarily, though I assume most folks here would think I am. We have carrots and sticks with all these countries. But it has been free carrot and little to no stick for years too long now.

You asked :)

if your goal is not to reflect objective reality but to rally support for military action against Iran, it's a good argument.

And it's being thrown around all over the place. I assume it'll appear in the State of the Union speech, too.

Letting smuggling occur is not the same thing as actively supporting an insurgency. To claim that is dishonest. Why don't you (or Glenn, that razor of heh-logical thinking) apply that standard to Saudi Arabia? Or Pakistan?

Posted by: liberal japonicus | January 23, 2007 at 06:48 PM

Well, LJ: OCSteve can answer for himself: but might I suggest that the reason why comparable standards of behavior aren't applied to the states you mentioned is they both are nominally American "allies" - while Iran has made vocal anti-Americanism a central feature of its domestic and foreign policy for the last 27 years?

It's all about Bush's (and the neocons') monomaniacal focus on the "Axis of Evil", and maintaining a semblance of policy coherence by simply demonizing the designated Rogue State (Iran, in this case), and hoping that the American public will keep falling for the scapegoat-of-the-month routine; and ignore the fact that American failings in the MidEast are in fact, the Administration's fault - not due solely (or even mainly) to the machinations of the Mad Mullahs of Tehran.

State of the Union

Forgot about that. OK – that’s enough warmongering for me today. I have to watch to keep up with tomorrow’s state of the union bashing thread :)

Cheer up guys - 2nd to the last one.

Hey JayC, I should make it clear that I was addressing xbril's 6:22, not OCSteve. Especially since he (xbril) is fond of the 'you are hypocritical because you are talking about X but not Y'. In fact, bril/xbril held OCSteve up as an example of the dishonesty of this commentariat, iirc.

Sorry, LJ: an unfortunately combination of reading (in)comprehension and my (atrociously slow) typing skills.

Eh: typical of "bril" - one of the few articulate righties here, and he jumps right on him.

These kind of comments are just silly:

"Well, the best recommendation would have been to not put yourself in the untenable position whereby Iran can pin you to the mat with such relative ease."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time I checked the US Air Force wasn't doing that much. Iran is not capable of pinning us down. Only we can pin ourselves down. We could competely fight a war with Iran without setting one step in the country. We could have completely taken out Hussein without trying to build a democracy in Iraq, but Bush had a more grand vision.

Let's don't lose sight of the fact that the U.S. military accomplished its main objective in Iraq within a few weeks. Remember all the body bags that never got used?

If we want we can deal with Iran without trying too hard. Sure it would be more complicated if we try to build a democracy there also, but to say we are pinned down is just inaccurate.


lj,

"Letting smuggling occur is not the same thing as actively supporting an insurgency. To claim that is dishonest. Why don't you (or Glenn, that razor of heh-logical thinking) apply that standard to Saudi Arabia? Or Pakistan?"

It's only a dishonest representation if I believe that is all Iran is doing. But I don't believe that. I believe that there is some good data that indicates Iran is more proactive. I believe the Iranian goverment is implementing an effective strategery!

Interesting how many people here are more trusting of the intentions of the Iranian mullahs than the U.S. President.

"demonizing the designated Rogue State"

Anyone here believe that Iran is not a sponsor of terrorism?

Just checking...

lj,

FYI, good points have beem made above about Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but I thought we were talking about Iran.

Hopefully, the above comment indicates what an honest response to a point made by another looks like. It's a fair point to turn an eye to our "allies" in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and point out a certain flaw or contradiction in our approach. I think what seperates many lefties from some of the righties that come and go is the ability to accept others opinions. Typically, the righties will concede a point and not assume the worst in comments made by others. Many lefties that post here don't exhibit that behaviour often. I won't say never. But its sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack.

LJ: bril/xbril held OCSteve up as an example of the dishonesty of this commentariat, iirc.

Hmm... I don't recall doing that perhaps I did. I thought I made a comment about Jay C.

But don't worry maybe we can have a swarm anyway.

"Eh: typical of "bril" - one of the few articulate righties here, and he jumps right on him."


bril, just to refresh your memory, it was here.

You've been told that the blog doesn't really take kindly to notions of 'righties' and 'lefties' and I think that adding 'some' is simply a dodge. At any rate, the whole process of taking one person's comments and attributing them to the commentariat is, in my experience, disfavored on this blog and seems like another cheap rhetorical trick to have people on the other side start off wrongfooted.

I would also add that I really don't appreciate you calling people dishonest as you did JayC by starting off with the line that you don't believe he read the article. Your argument, that nothing is dishonest if you believe it only seems to hold for you, not for anyone else here. Funny, that. As for the moral preening you exhibit some notion of being able to concede points, it is not supported by anything you have written here.

This has nothing to do with Iran or Iraq, but it has everything to do with how we interact here. I would ask you to stop.

Bril, I'm bemused by your belief that 'not being a leftie' exempts you from make coherent arguments.

You started off theorizing about Iranian support for Sunni militias, then shifted instead into talking about Iranian support for Shia militias. You did not acknowledge that shift, nor give any indication that you even appreciate the distinction.

Foreign policy and national security policy aren't like playing risk. You must be one of those 'righties' for whom everything changed on 9/11 - changed in the sense that you noticed the outside world for the first time. Dear lord! There's all these countries out there that we have hostile relations with. They support terrorists who are opposed to the freedom fighters we support! We should darn well invade these hostile countries, I bet they even say mean things about us to other countries when we're not looking! These radicals who impede our foreign policy can only give bad ideas to the moderates who accomodate our foreign policy. At the very least we should Get Tough® with them, you know, sanctions...or...um...something.

Those silly Iranian mullahs.

Iran: Israel, US will soon die

Ahmadinejad: Be assured that the US and Israel will soon end lives

Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a meeting with Syria's foreign minister, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website said in a report.

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives," the Iranian president was quoted as saying.


Hmm... I guess I see Publius' point. Wanting to take military action against a country that assures everyone your destruction and death are near could is mostl likely a non-objective reality.


byrn,

"Bril, I'm bemused by your belief that 'not being a leftie' exempts you from make coherent arguments."

Why do you think I would have that belief? Did I say that somewhere?

This is one of the biggest issues with lefties that post here. I just gave LJ credit for making a good point about Saudi Arabia and Pakistan when I had left those out previously and this is what I get in return.

The point I made was about being willing to see anothers point of view. I don't feel that I am exempt from making a coherent argument. I've just found its not relevant. So you think I might be an idiot? Then why would Moe stop posting here, why Sebastian? Everyone was horrible to Charles, right up until the point he left.

I've been reading this site for along time. 90% of the time it doesn't matter whether the agrument is coherent. If you voice dissent you are attacked or ridiculed.

Hmmm... case in point.

Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed

no date, no context, no cite, no link ?

XBril: The point I made was about being willing to see anothers point of view.

Well, Bril, try to explain your point of view: do you feel that when you disagree about one of Hilzoy's posts, for example, no one should express any disagreement with your opinion? Isn't that what happened here? You posted dissent: you were neither attacked nor ridiculed.

Somehow I doubt that Iran will be shocked and awed into submission. More likely, we'll see Hez taking action against US targets.

OCS, that's what you'd do if you wanted a total war / clash of civilizations. If, on the other hand, one wanted to win with a minimum loss of life, one would be trying to divide and conquer. Say by courting President Saleh, of Yemen, who's been something of an ally in the struggle against AQ. [This is ongoing -- and when we don't do the courting directing, it gets done indirectly, e.g., through Pakistan.]

OCS, try an experiment: Stop thinking about the whole struggle as one between Western Civilization and Islam, and think about it instead as a civil war between factions of Islam. Think also about how it is that a vast majority of the Islamic world favors the same side we favor in that civil struggle. Suddenly, the strategy that makes sense is the one that allows the people we like to succeed, and a policy that leads to various factions within the Islamic world uniting against the US is not such a good idea.

The central front is and has always been in Afghanistan. The Iraq Delusion was Napoleon-to-Russia.

The central front is and has always been in Afghanistan.

Osama bin Laden seems to disagree with that assessment.

One can argue from now to doomsday that it was a mistake to go into Iraq, but unless someone here has access to a flux capacitor, that fact doesn't help much with dealing with the actual facts on the ground. I agree that Iraq shouldn't have become the main front for the war, but claiming that it isn't seems to substitute wishful thinking for facts.

I just gave LJ credit for making a good point about Saudi Arabia and Pakistan when I had left those out previously

bril, what you actually said was:
FYI, good points have beem made above about Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but I thought we were talking about Iran.

I see no credit given to me and the last phrase seeks to dismiss the point made. With such rank dishonesty, are you surprised that your opinions get the reception they do?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad