Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fix the President now

Republicans, please fix the President now
or else, get dumped in Novembe 2008
Mike Ghouse

We have the best system of governance in the world, yet, once we elect a wrong President, we are doomed for 4 years; there is something seriously wrong with this system.

To remedy this particular situation the newer democracies in UK, Israel, Australia, India, Canada and South Africa have chosen the safety valve; a no-confidence move.

To remove a belligerent leader, all it takes is 2/3rds of the good men and women on the hill to floor the no-confidence move against the leader. This option keeps the unilateralists from becoming bullies and fascists.

The obedient President played in the hands of his Neocons buddies, and now he is chasing it again while his bosses may be laughing at this sorry man. If he uses his intelligence and backs of the plans to butcher Iran, they may growl and fix him to go get Iran.

Before that happens, I hope we consider adopting the no confidence move or go with the impeachment proceedings to ensure our government remains the government of the people.

The reason evil exists in the world is not because of evil men, but because good people don’t do anything about it.

Our loyalty ought to be to our nation and our democratic system, and not the political party during a crises like this. I sincerely hope that the good Republican Representatives and Senators wake up and fix the President now, or public will dump them in November 2008.

God Bless the USA
Mike Ghouse

Also:Republicans are screwed -

Here are a few good pieces - we need to listen to them and not the neocons, who have done nothing but destruction at home and abroad.

1. US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack – Times on line -

2. Would Bush go to war to stop Tehran? – The New Yorker -

3. Bush's Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel – Patrick Buchanan -

4. Why Can’t Americans see it – Paul Craig -

5. Psych 101 and confirmation bias - Peter Cohan -

US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter, Washington

SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.
Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.
“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”
A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.
“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”
A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.
The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.
Iran ignored a United Nations deadline to suspend its uranium enrichment programme last week. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that his country “will not withdraw from its nuclear stances even one single step”.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran could soon produce enough enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs a year, although Tehran claims its programme is purely for civilian energy purposes.
Nicholas Burns, the top US negotiator, is to meet British, French, German, Chinese and Russian officials in London tomorrow to discuss additional penalties against Iran. But UN diplomats cautioned that further measures would take weeks to agree and would be mild at best.
A second US navy aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS John C Stennis arrived in the Gulf last week, doubling the US presence there. Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, the commander of the US Fifth Fleet, warned: “The US will take military action if ships are attacked or if countries in the region are targeted or US troops come under direct attack.”
But General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said recently there was “zero chance” of a war with Iran. He played down claims by US intelligence that the Iranian government was responsible for supplying insurgents in Iraq, forcing Bush on the defensive.
Pace’s view was backed up by British intelligence officials who said the extent of the Iranian government’s involvement in activities inside Iraq by a small number of Revolutionary Guards was “far from clear”.
Hillary Mann, the National Security Council’s main Iran expert until 2004, said Pace’s repudiation of the administration’s claims was a sign of grave discontent at the top.
“He is a very serious and a very loyal soldier,” she said. “It is extraordinary for him to have made these comments publicly, and it suggests there are serious problems between the White House, the National Security Council and the Pentagon.”
Mann fears the administration is seeking to provoke Iran into a reaction that could be used as an excuse for an attack. A British official said the US navy was well aware of the risks of confrontation and was being “seriously careful” in the Gulf.
The US air force is regarded as being more willing to attack Iran. General Michael Moseley, the head of the air force, cited Iran as the main likely target for American aircraft at a military conference earlier this month.
According to a report in The New Yorker magazine, the Pentagon has already set up a working group to plan airstrikes on Iran. The panel initially focused on destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and on regime change but has more recently been instructed to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq.
However, army chiefs fear an attack on Iran would backfire on American troops in Iraq and lead to more terrorist attacks, a rise in oil prices and the threat of a regional war.
Britain is concerned that its own troops in Iraq might be drawn into any American conflict with Iran, regardless of whether the government takes part in the attack.
One retired general who participated in the “generals’ revolt” against Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the Iraq war said he hoped his former colleagues would resign in the event of an order to attack. “We don’t want to take another initiative unless we’ve really thought through the consequences of our strategy,” he warned.

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
by Seymour M. Hersh April 17, 2006

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred.
There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. “That’s the name they’re using. They say, ‘Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?’ ”
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”
The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. “So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely,” Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. “The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?”
When I spoke to Clawson, he emphasized that “this Administration is putting a lot of effort into diplomacy.” However, he added, Iran had no choice other than to accede to America’s demands or face a military attack. Clawson said that he fears that Ahmadinejad “sees the West as wimps and thinks we will eventually cave in. We have to be ready to deal with Iran if the crisis escalates.” Clawson said that he would prefer to rely on sabotage and other clandestine activities, such as “industrial accidents.” But, he said, it would be prudent to prepare for a wider war, “given the way the Iranians are acting. This is not like planning to invade Quebec.”
One military planner told me that White House criticisms of Iran and the high tempo of planning and clandestine activities amount to a campaign of “coercion” aimed at Iran. “You have to be ready to go, and we’ll see how they respond,” the officer said. “You have to really show a threat in order to get Ahmadinejad to back down.” He added, “People think Bush has been focussed on Saddam Hussein since 9/11,” but, “in my view, if you had to name one nation that was his focus all the way along, it was Iran.” (In response to detailed requests for comment, the White House said that it would not comment on military planning but added, “As the President has indicated, we are pursuing a diplomatic solution”; the Defense Department also said that Iran was being dealt with through “diplomatic channels” but wouldn’t elaborate on that; the C.I.A. said that there were “inaccuracies” in this account but would not specify them.)
“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”
A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war,” he said. The danger, he said, was that “it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability.” A military conflict that destabilized the region could also increase the risk of terror: “Hezbollah comes into play,” the adviser said, referring to the terror group that is considered one of the world’s most successful, and which is now a Lebanese political party with strong ties to Iran. “And here comes Al Qaeda.”
Bush's Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel
by Patrick J. Buchanan

In the test of wills between the West and Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows no sign of backing down.
The Iranian president has said Israel should be "wiped off the map," called the Holocaust a "myth," and said Israelis should be given a province in Austria, but they should get out of Palestine. Whatever was done to the Jews, said Ahmadinejad, we didn't do it. Europeans did. Why should we pay the price?
This weekend, The New York Times provided supporting testimony for Ahmadinejad, citing secret Cabinet notes of Winston Churchill's in 1943:
"I'm committed to creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Let us go on with that; and at end of war we shall have plenty of force with which to compel the Arabs to acquiesce in our designs. Don't shirk our duties because of difficulties…"
This weekend, Ahmadinejad was in Damascus, Syria, winning the backing of President Assad for Iran's nuclear program, meeting with Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, and scoffing at Israeli threats. Iran has also reasserted its right to enrich uranium for nuclear power.
This has caused much threatening talk in Israel and here. This weekend, Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman were again speaking of "military options" being "on the table." And Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz went further, speaking directly to Iran's president:
"I address you as someone who leads his country with an ideology of hate, terror, and anti-Semitism. I suggest you look at history and see what happened to others who tried to wipe out the Jewish people. … Israel is not prepared to accept the nuclear arming of Iran, and it must prepare to defend itself, with all that implies."
But Ahmadinejad is not backing off. And his provocative rhetoric has paid off. He has strengthened his position at home and made himself the toast of the Muslim street. And panic over a possible war sent the Dow plunging 200 points last Friday, wiping out $200 billion in U.S. shareholders' equity, a loss almost equal to the cost of the Iraq war.
And with the price of a barrel of oil spiking $10 to near $70, Iran, which exports 2.5 million barrels daily, has seen revenues rise $25 million a day. Other oil-producing nations, like Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, also are reaping windfall profits.
The jolts to the Dow and NASDAQ, and Tehran's warnings that sanctions could be met with an oil embargo that could send prices to $100 a barrel, seem to have caused second thoughts in the Bush camp about the wisdom of a confrontation.
In a week, the International Atomic Energy Agency will decide whether to send Iran to the Security Council. But as there is no hard evidence Iran is building weapons or is even in noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Russia may oppose sanctions and China may veto them.
As for the military option, no one knows what U.S. air strikes might produce. Possibilities include tens of thousands of Iranian volunteers streaming into Iraq to attack U.S. troops, Iran's inciting of the Shia south to rise against us, an oil embargo, Silkworm missiles fired at tankers, the closing of the Straits of Hormuz with mines, and terror attacks on U.S. allies and installations across the Middle East – driving the price of oil to $200 a barrel.
With 160,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. strikes, which could kill hundreds of Iranians and silence the pro-American voices there, uniting Iran behind Ahmadinejad, would seem an option that could cost us everything. Can we really afford another war, against a nation three times as populous and four times as large as Iraq?
Bush and Cheney seem aware of the risks of the "military option." But if they rule it out, they will see a bad moon rising on the Right. Not only will the neoconservatives howl, Israelis will see themselves as the odd man out, if Bush should move to negotiations with Tehran, which is the only real alternative to confrontation.
If America does not strike, Mofaz is saying, Israel will. Yet, as that could produce the same results as an American attack, without the same assurance of success, Bush may have to restrain Israel, if he does not want a wider war.
In short, if Bush does not confront Iran on the nuclear issue with sanctions or air strikes, he may find himself confronted by Israelis and their U.S. auxiliaries. Hearken to Hillary Clinton:
"I don't believe you face threats like Iran and North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines. But let's be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond."
Hillary is saying that if George Bush does not confront Iran, he is open to the charge of leaving Israel to face a nuclear attack by a regime that has threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Political hardball.
Over to you, Mr. President.

Bush Is About to Attack Iran
Why Can't Americans See it?
by Paul Craig Roberts

The American public and the US Congress are getting their backs up about the Bush Regime's determination to escalate the war in Iraq. A massive protest demonstration is occurring in Washington DC today, and Congress is expressing its disagreement with Bush's decision to intensify the war in Iraq.
This is all to the good. However, it misses the real issue – the Bush Regime's looming attack on Iran.
Rather than winding down one war, Bush is starting another. The entire world knows this and is discussing Bush's planned attack on Iran in many forums. It is only Americans who haven't caught on. A few senators have said that Bush must not attack Iran without the approval of Congress, and postings on the Internet demonstrate world wide awareness that Iran is in the Bush Regime's cross hairs. But Congress and the Media – and the demonstration in Washington – are focused on Iraq.
What can be done to bring American awareness up to the standard of the rest of the world?
In Davos, Switzerland, the meeting of the World Economic Forum, a conference where economic globalism issues are discussed, opened January 24 with a discussion of Bush's planned attack on Iran. The Secretary General of the League of Arab States and bankers and businessmen from such US allies as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all warned of the coming attack and its catastrophic consequences for the Middle East and the world.
Writing for Global Research, General Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy on Geopolitical Affairs and former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armies, forecasted an American nuclear attack on Iran by the end of April. General Ivashov presented the neoconservative reasoning that is the basis for the attack and concluded that the world's protests cannot stop the US attack on Iran.
There will be shock and indignation, General Ivashov concludes, but the US will get away with it. He writes:
"Within weeks from now, we will see the informational warfare machine start working. The public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian militaristic hysteria, new information leaks, disinformation, etc.... The probability of a US aggression against Iran is extremely high. It does remain unclear, though, whether the US Congress is going to authorize the war. It may take a provocation to eliminate this obstacle (an attack on Israel or the US targets including military bases). The scale of the provocation may be comparable to the 9/11 attack in NY. Then the Congress will certainly say 'Yes' to the US president."
The Bush Regime has made it clear that it is convinced that Bush already has the authority to attack Iran. The Regime argues that the authority is part of Bush's commander-in-chief powers. Congress has authorized the war in Iraq, and Bush's recent public statements have shifted the responsibility for the Iraqi insurgency from al-Qaeda to Iran. Iran, Bush has declared, is killing US troops in Iraq. Thus, Iran is covered under the authorization for the war in Iraq.
Both Bush and Cheney have made it clear in public statements that they will ignore any congressional opposition to their war plans. For example, CBS News reported (Jan. 25) that Cheney said that a congressional resolution against escalating the war in Iraq "won't stop us." According to the Associated Press, Bush dismissed congressional disapproval with his statement, "I'm the decision-maker."
Everything is in place for an attack on Iran. Two aircraft carrier attack forces are deployed to the Persian Gulf, US attack aircraft have been moved to Turkey and other countries on Iran's borders, Patriot anti-missile defense systems are being moved to the Middle East to protect oil facilities and US bases from retaliation from Iranian missiles, and growing reams of disinformation alleging Iran's responsibility for the insurgency in Iraq are being fed to the gullible US media.
General Ivashof and everyone in the Middle East and at the Davos globalization conference in Europe understands the Bush Regime's agenda.
Why cannot Americans understand?
Why hasn't Congress told Bush and Cheney that they will both be instantly impeached if they initiate a wider war?

Maureen Dowd, Bush, Iran, Psych 101 and confirmation bias
Posted Dec 5th 2007 2:30PM by Peter Cohan

New York Times op-editorialiste Maureen Dowd has an interesting comment on George Bush's reaction to intelligence that contradicts his repeated claims that Iran is working on a "nucular" bomb. She harped on Bush's quip about "Psychology 101" in response to a question about his dispirited body language.

In fact, Bush was on to something but Dowd failed to pick it up -- Bush's attitude towards the Iran intelligence was a classic example of confirmation bias -- the tendency of decision-makers to lap up information consistent with their beliefs and to ignore that which contradicts them. The Economist recently summarized an article I wrote on the topic which was published in Business Strategy Review.

Ever since his "Axis of Evil" speech it seems that Bush has been looking for an excuse to attack Iran. So rather than admit that he was wrong for repeating over and over that Iran was working on a nuclear bomb, Bush used the report to justify his belligerent attitude. While he certainly comes off as a petulant child, he is still President.

And as his Iraq mis-adventure illustrates -- with its manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- confirmation bias in the hands of a powerful person can be lethal.

Peter Cohan is President of Peter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College and edits The Cohan Letter.

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