I see we are suddenly pounding the war drums

All of a suddenly we face a Crisis. Be afraid! Be very afraid! Drudge is doing due diligence to gin things up.

WAR DRUMS: KERRY WARNS IRAN ON BRINK... 'Challenging moment with great risks'... Obama 'not bluffing' over military threat... Netanyahu: 'Red line'... TOP GENERAL: Nuclear Iran will trigger arms race in Middle East... Kissinger: Nuke crisis close... Clock Runs...

Message:  Look at those Scary Swarthy People in a Picture of Unknown Origin and Context!  We must all panic about Iran now. We have a patriotic *duty* to panic about Iran and back Our President, the one who just last month was Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot *put together*! But now the War Machine is ginning up again and so all that is forgotten and we must unite to throw more trillions we don’t have at another war of dubious provenance.  To doubt for one second that it is, yet again, 1938 is to take the part of Chamberlain at Munich before ADOLF HITLER!!!!

Mhm.   Speaking of Hitler:

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering

  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    Why do you hate America, Mark? And Sarah Palin? And puppies? And the Latin Mass?

    • Mark Shea

      I hate them because I am evil. It’s impossible to even try to understand why I would oppose yet another stupid war we cannot afford that will kill more innocents and hasten the evolution of the US into a postmodern totalitarian police state. Only an enemy of Liberty, Mom, the Flag, Our Troops, and Apple Pie would oppose that.

      • Stu

        Just to be accurate, I don’t think anyone is talking about invading Iran or anything even remotely along those lines. I believe what you will see, if anything even happens, is action aimed at taking down their IADS and attack on their nuclear infrastructure. The last time we tangled with them we destroyed half of their Navy in about 6 hours. I would expect similar results.

        • jacobus

          Attacking a country unprovoked, even if it doesn’t mean invasion, is still evil.

          Countries around the world are quickly learning that the best way NOT to get attacked by the US is to acquire nuclear weaponry.

          • Stu

            The debate will center on whether an attack is “unprovoked.” I don’t claim to have the answer to that one in this case but if my neighbor repeatedly told me that he was going to lob large stones at my house and then proceeded to stockpile rocks and position a catapult on my fence line, I might take action if I believe him to be a man of his word. I don’t think such would necessarily be evil.

            • Cinlef

              At the risk of being a jerk (and indulging in the kinda irritatingly obnoxious self-righteous lecturing that Canadians are prone to), considering all the open speculation in the USA about attacking Iran, and the fact the USA has invaded countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) that border Iran on either side in the last 10 years …..why is it that IRAN is the aggressive neighbor in your analogy?

              • Jmac
              • Stu

                Even agreeing with your overall point in terms of recent history, I will return your snark and point out that as Canadians you have been riding the coattails of the US military for the last 50 years.

                Now you might want to go back to my original comment and key on the phrase, “I don’t claim to have the answer to that one in this case” and then realize my follow-on comment was a generalization regarding the need to sometime attack based upon credible intelligence. Now we can certainly discuss whether such was needed in Iraq and Afghanistan but even if such choices were imprudent, it doesn’t take away from the overall point.

              • Kenneth

                Well you have to understand the American philosophy of war. Sure, technically speaking, we COULD learn something about the history and cultures of places we occupy and enmesh ourselves in, but that’s dull work, and the whole point of being American, and ruling class, is that you’re not beholden to history or the inconvenient details of intelligence assessments. If you want to get inside this thinking, read any of the Chuck Norris jokes out there. “He doesn’t wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.” You can’t get into the empire business without a certain sense of exceptionalism.

                Second, war, like poverty, is functional. The best way for a politician to distract the voter from the fact that they are sliding toward third world standards of living is to kick the crap out of a third world country worse off than you. It turns out that “pre-emptive defense” aka offense, is much more profitable than real defense. Many zeroes more profitable.

                Finally, in our philosophy of war, persistence beats precision. If you kill enough foreigners who look like your enemy, you’re bound to get the real enemy, sooner or later. And if you create more enemies than your baseline, that’s a pity, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a few hundred billion in new weapons platforms or upgrades.

                • Stu

                  “Chuck Norris Jokes”
                  —————–
                  And all along I just thought they were jokes. Who knew they were the key to American psychoanalysis?

                • ivan_the_mad

                  Bang on the mark, Kenneth.

              • ivan_the_mad

                We say they’re the aggressor because we say so. Tautologies are the closest thing to critical analysis in which our government indulges.

                • Cinlef

                  And never forget the first rule of tautology club, which is the first rule of tautology club

            • jacobus

              Your argument is pretty much the same as that of the Japanese in 1941.

      • The Next to Last Samurai

        Well, you ARE an Evil Overlord…

      • Brian

        But Mark, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Kyle N.S.D.G.

    Oh no! Easterlings marching through the black gate you say? It’s a good thing Lord Obamathor is watching over us.

  • ivan_the_mad

    “Your kind will never understand war, hobbit. This is WAR!”

    But at least Thorin had the decency to put himself in the very thick of it. For our leaders, war is an excuse to have a pizza party in comfy chairs.

  • Stu

    The heightening of the rhetoric by the Administration is the wrong course of action. If I were in charge (relax, it will never happen), I would quietly let Iran know than any use of nuclear arms by them would be met in kind with force to include nuclear attacks on their soil. I would also let them know that we will evaluate any potential threat as a justification to take action to cripple their nuclear arms program.

    After that, any questions by the media on such matters would be met with a statement along the lines of “Iran is very aware of our stance on this and any potential actions we would take.” And that is all I would ever say. The continued rhetoric about “red lines” and “being serious” only make you out to be anything but. Doers simply do.

    That being said, I actually believe they are pursuing nuclear arms not to go after Israel but rather to exert their will on their neighbors. I watched an Iranian propaganda film years ago and it stressed their ability to conduct amphibious operations. That wasn’t for our consumption or that of Israel. That was aimed at their neighbors.

    • S. Murphy

      As for why they’re pursuing nuclear arms, although they haveambitions as a regional power, I think there’s also an element of “Oh, look – the Americans invaded our neighbor Afghanistan, and when Al Qaeda ran away into Pakistan, America invaded our neighbor Iraq. What does Pakistan have that Afghanistan and Iraq don’t? and shouldn’twe step up our efforts to get some?”

      • jacobus

        Indeed, given how many dozens of Israeli warheads are targeting at Iran, not to mention US weapons in Turkey, and in submarines in the Gulf and Arabian Seas, it’d be foolish for Iran not to want to find a deterrent.
        The just thing to do would be to call for a Nuclear Weapon Free zone in the Mideast.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      I doubt they would worry too much. 15 years ago, most people probably assumed that any attempt to hijack planes and destroy iconic American buildings with thousands of innocent people inside would be met with devastating consequences. As it is, we’ve been everything that Japan had hoped we would be in 1941 but weren’t: a country of losers. A country whose unifying principle is that our country sucks, but it’s everyone else’s fault. A country whose motto is ‘why accomplish anything when we can bitch instead.’ Nope. The fear factor of America has long passed. The world knows what it’s dealing with when it looks at us, which is why all of this rhetoric will go unheeded. And worse, it won’t be until we plunge into it again that there is even close to concern about our actual opinions on a subject. And that will be, of course, after a nuclear device is detonated and the requisite tens of thousands killed. That this is something we’re willing to let happen before we concede the concern is enough to say why most of the developing world no longer cares about what America says should happen.

      • Kenneth

        9/11 was met with “devastating consequences.” Unfortunately, virtually none of those devastated were in any way responsible for the hijackings. The great majority had no more to do with militant Islam than Iceland or the Dakotas. The nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran show that they do take us very seriously and that the “fear factor” you speak of is very much intact. Far from projecting Chamberlain-like pacifism or naivete, we have shown the world in no uncertain terms that we are as forceful as any thugocracy on Earth and still the most capable one despite our looming economic decay. The mullahs in Iran would have to be absolute fools not to pursue nuclear capability.

        The developing world no longer cares what America says should happen because we have abandoned all pretense at moral leadership through action, and because they no longer need us. Places like India and China are pursuing innovation and economic growth, the things that produce REAL national security.

        We, in common with Iran and North Korea, have largely given up on those things and instead tried to define our strength and identity by force of arms. We have forgone defense for aggression, and real strength for bravado. That is why we suck. Nobody else did this to us. We chose it, and the fact that liberal or foreign gloating about it is irritating, it does not diminish the reality of it. If misguided pacifism, isolationism, or lack of military resolve were ever our primary problems, it was before or between the world wars or in the wake of Vietnam, not now or within the lifetimes of most of the people doing the actual fighting and dying for us.

        • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

          Our response to 9/11 was a doomed response from a country already incapable of accomplishing anything meaningful. By then, you already had two whole generations raised under the teachings of America’s eternal suckness. Countries, like people, who dwell too much on their failings will likely end up being failures. The results are clear and obvious. We were everything that the terrorists who struck on 9/11 hoped we would be. Which is why they won and we continue to lose. Our current stumbling and bumbling toward a conflict with Iran is simply the latest evidence of a country well past it’s prime, just as it was 12 years ago. We just didn’t admit it.

          • Cinlef

            You genuinely believe that the problem with the USA’s foreign policy is rooted in the fact that typical Americans have too negative a view of the USA and its role in the world?

            I don’t even know where to begin in addressing that…….

            • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

              Yep. To think Americans don’t have too negative a view of the USA is to think that a person on suicide watch has too chipper of a disposition. That impacts things. How, when you are seriously threatened, do you mobilize a people whose overarching attitude is ‘ah, screw it’? How do you convince people what needs to be done in the right way when a third of them think whatever bad happens is better than the country deserves? How do you accomplish anything when the only thing Americans agree on is that America sucks, but it’s everyone else’s fault? I mean, really? Did we seriously believe our reaction to 9/11 wouldn’t be a disaster? What about our country suggested anything else? Of course that’s not the only problem. I never said it was the *only* problem. Just one of main ones for this particular point in history.

              • Jmac

                That’s funny, considering that it’s specifically BECAUSE of our jingoistic, shock-and-awe response to 9/11 that I have such a dim view of American policy these days.

          • Kenneth

            I would argue that what went wrong over those two generations was not that we lost our spine, but that we lost our sense. After the end of WW II, we didn’t just accept gratitude for doing the right thing. We crafted a myth which said we were the only ones left in the world capable of discerning and enforcing what the right thing was, and that therefore anything we did was the right thing and in the common world interest.

            Like all megalomaniacs must, we fell for our own spin. The problem is not that we dwelled too much on our mistakes, but that we didn’t dwell at them at all. We didn’t make mistakes, just actions that evil and small minded peoples couldn’t accept the wisdom of. The Cold War, which was a big deal, had the unfortunate effect of feeding this idea that we could not afford to be held to normal notions of accountability. When we won the Cold War, we lost all sense of reality. We had become history’s final, un-perfectable product.

            The lesson of Vietnam was not self-recrimination, for long, or a fundamental re-think of open-ended war. The lesson we ultimately took was that we did nothing wrong, we just needed more force, more efficient killing technology, more secrecy and more sophisticated manipulation of public opinion. We did all of those things and got the same thing we got for previous strategy-free wars: zilch. Dollar-wise, we spent something close to WW II layouts to do that.

            Iran and Islamic extremism are not some alien comets that came out of the sun and caught us by surprise. We created them through our policies of reckless expedience. They simply would not exist in their present form but for us. In the case of the Taliban, that’s not allegorical at all. When they were killing the Soviets, they were “freedom fighters.” We gave them money, weapons, everything but an MOS and veteran’s benefits.

            • ED

              Glad to see this very reasonable and *mature* response of yours Kenneth. Here’s hoping that *good* people like Dave G. will finally begin to understand…

  • GaryB

    We supposedly can’t afford the sequestor, but we can always afford to go to war…

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      That’s because the sequester and war really only affect the poor and middle class. The elite always find a way to get out of these things, because they are the ones who buy the politicians.

    • S. Murphy

      War is *magic*. It makes money fall out of the sky, and grow on trees, too.

      “You do not mean to say there is a danger of peace?” cried Jack, turning quick. “That is to say, I mean, the blessings of peace are very capital, nothing finer – but one likes to be warned.”
      Patrick O’Brien, *The Far Side of the World*

  • deiseach

    For all I can tell from that photo, they could be holding hands during the “Our Father”.

    • CJ

      Holding hands during the Our Father?!?! That just proves they’re evil!

      • http://thecrawfordfamily.net/blog Ken Crawford

        HA! That cracked me up.
        Somebody is pounding the liturgy war drums again! :)

      • deiseach

        No, CJ, we can’t go in until credible evidence is produced of liturgical dance being engaged in. Then it fulfils Just War criteria (confronting a real and certain danger)!

        • S. Murphy

          What about puppets? Can we attack them if they have puppets?

  • Scott W.

    Will never happen because Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize.

    • S. Murphy

      Better give him another one, just to be sure. Make him feel like he has to live up to it.

  • Steve S

    Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” just about sums it up.

    • j. blum

      Especially when Ozzy (or Geezer?) Rhyme “masses” with “masses.”. Heavy metal chiliasm, love it!

  • J Jaeger

    Well you can’t have a day without fear, loathing and the end of the world. It’s true because it was on tee vee AND the internet.

  • http://mondayevening.wordpress.com/ Marcel

    I think the real message is to Israel, and that message is “We take this seriously. Really! Nothing is off the table! We’ll say, er, I mean do whatever it takes to convince you we care. I mean, we’ll do whatever it takes to stop Iran getting the bomb. Really! So no need for you to do anything.”

    Iran should worry about what Israel does, not about what Vice President Biden says.

  • S. Murphy

    Well, that’s as bad as Man-love Thursday and bacha boys, isn’t it?

    Seriously, where’s the ‘like’ button?

    • S. Murphy

      Sorry, meant that tasteless comment as a tastelessly humorous reply to Deiseach

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    I would take this situation most seriously. It’s highly doubtful that anyone *intends* to use nuclear weapons. It’s what happens that no one intends that has caused catastrophes in the past.

    • S. Murphy

      Yes. On the other hand, if the “we” in question is mostly Drudge, the sword of Damocles is still hanging by a decently well-tied piece of 550 cord.

      • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

        It should be taken seriously, at least by those who may possibly have some influence over events. From time to time, the illusion of control over events may slip away, and we would then be confronted with a monstrous reality that no one had ever anticipated.

        But now, the consequences of loss of control could approach the level of finality. Kissinger is right.

        • S. Murphy

          The ongoing cold war between us and Iran should be taken seriously; Drudge, maybe not.

          • Stu

            Drudge is a good source for headlines. But like all website owners, one must always remember that ultimately he too aims to sell beer and shampoo.

            • Mark Shea

              But he aims to sell it to a particular demographic, the war party of neocons, talk radio consumers and people who take FOX for “balanced” and who have learned nothing from a decade of feckless incompetence and lies about our stupid wars on behalf the New American Century.

              • Stu

                And ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC do the same with the other side of the political coin. But at the end of the day, a CPM count is a CPM count regardless of who makes the hit.

          • Stu

            I have to also confess that my favorite thing that Drudge ever latched onto like a dog with a chew toy was the Howard Dean, “Yeeeaaahhhhh!”

            • S. Murphy

              Drudge kind of lost me when he outed Prince Harry, and the Brits had to recall him from Afghanistan.

              • Stu

                Indeed. That definitely was not cool by any means. I like his page as a good collection of headlines but with anything it can’t be your sole source.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Again, there is no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Even the head of Israeli intelligence concedes this and expresses amazement that Iran is “diverting” its enriched uranium to use as reactor fuel and for medical research, which of course is exactly what the Iranians said they wanted the fuel for. But I am more optimistic than I have been in years that there will not be an attack on Iran. For one thing, the Israeli electoral stalemate may force new elections and Netanyahu and his gang may be thrown out in favor of more reasonable factions. And hopefully, the sequester really will hamper the US ability to wage aggressive war throughout the world. The evil emperor may even have to cut back on fueling the warfare in Syria, Yemen, and Saharan Africa.

    • Stu

      One wonders if Iran is making the same mistake as Hussein.

      While Hussein had taken steps to dismantle his WMD program, he was simultaneously putting out signals that it still existed as a hedge against Iran and his neighbors. In many instances, he was too successful as he convinced others that such was the case. As a nation we were all too eager to believe his own hype. In the end, he did in fact have WMD, but nothing of a significant level.

      • Elmwood

        Weren’t the alleged WMD leftovers from before 1st Gulf War? I thought the 2nd Gulf War was based on misinformation and lies.

        • Stu

          I think we are saying the same thing.

          There was WMD found in Iraq after war. But it was not of the significance of that purported in the build-up to the war. The biggest source of misinformation on that was actually Saddam Hussein who was attempting to convince his neighbors that he still packed a punch in that regard.

          • Dan C

            That is untrue. No WMD were found at all. There was evidence these were destroyed after Gulf War I. It is not the same thing at all that you are saying. No WMD means the pretext for war was incorrect. No WMD meant that Blixt was correct and those who villified him incorrect to the point of evil intent. No WMD present in Iraq for close to 7 years meant: Clinton policies against Iraq worked, the war beginning in 2003 was founded on unjust principles, and all the folks labeled as European weenies, like villified France were not only correct, but on moral high ground.

            Americans supporting the war participated in grave sin. That is what that no WMD means.

            • Stu

              Not untrue. Not only did I see intelligence briefings on what was found and being removed, wikileaks revealed such information.

              Again, as I have said, it was not of a significant nature and you can certainly make the case that it did not justify the buildup and follow-on military action, but it was there to some extent.

              The other part you are ignoring is the fact that Hussein was putting forth a ruse to make it look like he still possessed such materials. Now admittedly the US was all to happy to believe him and push ahead with military action (for some other reasons as well), but to hole to simplistic mantras like “Bush lied, people died” just isn’t reality. It’s a bit more complex and interesting.

  • Tom

    If we do attack Iran (whether it is for the right or wrong reasons) we need to be ready for their counter-attacks. I would expect an increase in terrorism, an increase support to anti-Israeli elements and possibly attacks against countries in their region. We lack a real strategy and we will suffer war for a long(er) time which will further bankrupt the USA.

    • S. Murphy

      A US-Iran war would require massive stupidity on the part of both parties. That criterion is easy to fill, but there’s still time for key personnel to have occasional episodes of ‘smart.’
      Pray the rosary.

  • Mark Gordon

    Stu, did you serve in uniform? If not, perhaps you too have been “riding the coattails of the US military” for the last however-many years. That is certainly true for the legion of Neocon chickenhawks who are actively promoting another war in the Middle East.

    • Stu

      20 year retired Naval Officer (aviator) with plenty of green ink in my log book. Thanks for asking.

      BTW, I’m not promoting another war.

    • S. Murphy

      Per previous comments here and elsewhere, yes, Stu just recently retired from the Navy. Not a chickenhawk. If you’re reading his comments as pushing for another war in the Middle East, you could read a little more closely.

      • Stu

        Murph,

        Thanks for riding my wing. And you read me correctly.

        Semper Fi.

  • Too Early

    With the stock market doing well, unemployment bad but not a disaster, and the Eurozone not totally falling apart, there’s no real need to go to war with Iran (or other bogeyman).

    Once we get the eventual market crash (FED money printing can’t go on forever), or the Eurozone falls apart (after Germany makes it’s bed or prints enough Deutschmarks) or some other threat to ruling class (50%+ youth unemployment) THEN war will be the only option to divert the masses away from their dire existance (assuming American Idol isn’t working anymore either) and soak up the millions of young men without jobs and futures.

    Until then, enjoy your eTrade account and American Idol.


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