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Does history repeat itself?

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/06/29/us.iran/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration has launched a "significant escalation" of covert operations in Iran, sending U.S. commandos to spy on the country's nuclear facilities and undermine the Islamic republic's government, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday.

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White House, CIA and State Department officials declined comment on Hersh's report, which appears in this week's issue of The New Yorker.

Hersh told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that Congress has authorized up to $400 million to fund the secret campaign, which involves U.S. special operations troops and Iranian dissidents.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have rejected findings from U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran has halted a clandestine effort to build a nuclear bomb and "do not want to leave Iran in place with a nuclear program," Hersh said.

"They believe that their mission is to make sure that before they get out of office next year, either Iran is attacked or it stops its weapons program," Hersh said.

The new article, "Preparing the Battlefield," is the latest in a series of articles accusing the Bush administration of preparing for war with Iran.

He based the report on accounts from current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.

"As usual with his quarterly pieces, we'll decline to comment," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told CNN.

"The CIA, as a rule, does not comment on allegations regarding covert operations," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, denied U.S. raids were being launched from Iraq, where American commanders believe Iran is stoking sectarian warfare and fomenting attacks on U.S. troops.

"I can tell you flatly that U.S. forces are not operating across the Iraqi border into Iran, in the south or anywhere else," Crocker said.

Hersh said U.S. efforts were staged from Afghanistan, which also shares a border with Iran.

He said the program resulted in "a dramatic increase in kinetic events and chaos" inside Iran, including attacks by Kurdish separatists in the country's north and a May attack on a mosque in Shiraz that killed 13 people.

The United States has said it is trying to isolate Iran diplomatically in order to get it to come clean about its nuclear ambitions. But Bush has said "all options" are open in dealing with the issue.

Iran insists its nuclear program is aimed at providing civilian electric power, and refuses to comply with U.N. Security Council demands that it halt uranium enrichment work.

U.N. nuclear inspectors say Tehran held back critical information that could determine whether it is trying to make nuclear weapons.

Israel, which is believed to have its own nuclear arsenal, conducted a military exercise in the eastern Mediterranean in early June involving dozens of warplanes and aerial tankers.

The distance involved in the exercise was roughly the same as would be involved in a possible strike on the Iranian nuclear fuel plant at Natanz, Iran, a U.S. military official said.

In 1981, Israeli warplanes destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, warned other countries against moves that would "cost them heavily." In comments that appeared in the semi-official Mehr news agency Sunday, an Iranian general said his troops were digging more than 320,000 graves to bury troops from any invading force with "the respect they deserve."

"Under the law of war and armed conflict, necessary preparations must be made for the burial of soldiers of aggressor nations," said Maj. Gen. Mirfaisal Baqerzadeh, an Iranian officer in charge of identifying soldiers missing in action.

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There doesn't seem to be much substantial evidence to back up Hersh's claim. Interesting and possible, but not necessarily likely.

 

What's more, I think most people would likely be against an invasion of Iran. It would be very harmful to Republican chances in November, and there isn't immediate impetus for war.

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He's about to make yet another mistake, as Matt Drudge is reporting the New York Times is planning on disclosing a "highly classified pentagon order" to have US forces hunt for Bin Laden in Pakistan.

 

Translation: Bush is going to have invaded 4 countries in some way shape or form since 2000, and will have ended none of them, nor will he have ended or left any of these conflicts even reasonably completed.

 

My report card for Dubya's presidency:

 

Foreign Policy: F-

 

4 military operations, finishes none of them will be completed. Even if he doesn't invade Iran, he'll have left a nuclear powerhouse (Israel) and a near nuclear if not nuclear nation (Iran) at the point that if they don't go to war before the election, they'll go to war shortly after.

 

A genocide will have begun in the term with no real action being taken in response.

 

Minus Britain, who was ruled primarily by the ass-kissing Tony Blair, he will have moved alliances backwards with Europe and at best, no significant changes in Asia.

 

After declaring North Korea a terror-sponsoring nation, he eventually comes around and ends the stupid dispute between the two nations.

 

In the one war he had foreign support, he couldn't make it a safe nation. He could raise this to a D if he thinks of some genius strategy that gets Mugabe out of office safely and gives democracy to Zimbabwae.

 

Domestic Policies: F-

 

Economically, he turned the biggest surplus in our nation's history into the biggest deficit. 'nuff said.

 

In the area of civil rights, he installs the PATRIOT Act, which appears to simply be a plagiarized excerpt from 1984 with political jargon and modernized with enough word changes to make it not appear to be plargiarism.

 

He refuses to grant the most sacred right in Criminal Law to Gitmo detainees, despites 3 Supreme Court Rulings mandating he do so.

 

Energy Policies: N/A

 

I'm not going to give him a grade here because it's hard to tell exactly how much of this energy crisis is his fault. It's been awful, no doubt, but it's still uncertain how much of it is Bush's fault.

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Poneill - how does Bush's stance on Pakistan vary from St. Obama's - who (St. O) has already said he'd invade Pakistan to do the very same thing...If anything Bush is simply taking a cue from St. Obama here.

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Poneill - how does Bush's stance on Pakistan vary from St. Obama's - who (St. O) has already said he'd invade Pakistan to do the very same thing...If anything Bush is simply taking a cue from St. Obama here.

 

Simple:

 

Obama hasn't gotten us stuck in two wars, and when the entire friggen world minus Osama's supporters is on his side, he still can't figure out a way to win a war. Obama has yet to do so.

 

EDIT: Neg Rep for this? Jesus, some people are blinded by the truth I guess.

Edited by Poneill
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The real proof of how we are doomed to repeat history is how we have completely misunderstood the people of Iraq and Afghanistan (and Iran). Our military policies are based on assumptions that simply are not true - the struggle in Iraq is not against islamic extremists. We are fighting nationalists who want an invading country off their soil that they might govern themselves. The same is true in Afghanistan. While Islamic extremists do exist in both struggles, their main strength is the ability to use the presence of US forces as an example of American imperialism. This allows them to build sympathy for their position and recruit personnel.

 

The reason this is an example of history repeating itself: The basis for the war in Vietnam was equally as fucked up. We approached it as a cold war action, when the people of Vietnam saw it as a civil war.

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Another history repeat and one I think we'll see over and over again:

 

"Our superpower technologically advanced forces can crush any backwards rebel force anywhere in the world"

 

SIGH

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Poneill - concentrate - I asked you very specificially how Bush's stance on Pakistan differed from Obama's...not any other question.......Obama was the first person to mention invading Pakistan...all Bush is doing is running with it. Also, under Obama we'll still be in Iraq (in some form or another, it's not like he's pulling us out of there on day one, or even year one of his term) and, under Obama will still be in Afghanistan...so your analysis is hardly on the mark.

 

As for your contention that Bush started both wars - I would argue that Bin Laden started the first war, the one we should have stayed on top of. I'll agree that Bush started the second one.

 

And, as for history repeating itself...we're about to get four years of the second coming of Jimmy Carter..so yeah..it does, rather it will - high taxes, high prices, can't hardly wait.

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Poneill - concentrate - I asked you very specificially how Bush's stance on Pakistan differed from Obama's...not any other question.......Obama was the first person to mention invading Pakistan...all Bush is doing is running with it. Also, under Obama we'll still be in Iraq (in some form or another, it's not like he's pulling us out of there on day one, or even year one of his term) and, under Obama will still be in Afghanistan...so your analysis is hardly on the mark.

 

As for your contention that Bush started both wars - I would argue that Bin Laden started the first war, the one we should have stayed on top of. I'll agree that Bush started the second one.

 

And, as for history repeating itself...we're about to get four years of the second coming of Jimmy Carter..so yeah..it does, rather it will - high taxes, high prices, can't hardly wait.

 

If you read the IHT article I just posted, you'll see that this administration has a huge policy difference. Musharraf. Obama will at least demand more from Musharraf and stop kissing his ass. Obama didn't Iraq, and favors getting out of there ASAP to make sure we can secure Afghanistan, where we were supposed to be fighting.

 

I'll take Jimmy Carter for 20 years over 4 more years of Bush. Anyone who has a Nobel Peace Prize for making one of the biggest gains in history on one of the worlds oldest and most frustrating conflicts. He turned egypt from enemy to regional power that we can rely on in some capacity to help us secure whatever the compromise will become between the Israelis and palestinians.

 

High taxes: If spent right, a plus. People are dumb like this. They hate taxes, even though taxes pay for virtually everything.

 

High Prices: Nonunique, high prices now. Maybe a president who isn't being funded by the Oil industry will at least make american oil companies more honest. There's no reason they should be jacking up the price when they earn record profits.

 

The Jimmy Carter analogy is probably one not to be making, imo. Dems say McCain is going to be like the president who turned the biggest surplus into the biggest deficit. How does the GOP respond? "Well, Obama would be like a Nobel Peace Prize winner...so take that!"

 

Remind me again why this is bad, especially compared to right now?

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http://www.newsweek.com/id/151731/page/4

 

This is a decent article on why the next President should be too set on reversing ALL of Bush's policies - as those policies will have to be examined in the context of January, 2009, not in the context of time before that month...the author makes it clear they hate Bush, and think he's a total failure - but it does a good job of talking about how policies have changed over time, and why it's reckless to come into office and simply reverse everything the last President did.

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