[Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Tue Oct 19 17:19:54 UTC 2004

I don't see why you think the market devalues labor. Employee compensation 
runs about 80% of GDP. Profits run only about 4% of sales. I'd have to go 
through the Economic Report of the President to be sure how this all 
breaks out and to avoid double counting and omitting things. I used to use 
ERP fairly regularly, but no for quite a while.

On 2004-10-18, Steve Hovland opined [message unchanged below]:

> I have done some work with artificial intelligence programming.
> It suffers from something called combinatorial explosion.
> When you try to build a rule based system that does a real
> task, as opposed to a narrow-concept demonstration or an
> artificial problem, the difficulty of doing it increased very
> quickly to the point of being almost impossible.
> Similarly, industrial robots have been around for many years,
> and do some things very well.  But nothing is so flexible or
> easily trained as a human, so they haven't taken over jobs
> in nearly the numbers that some predicted.
> I think we live in an insane economy that devalues labor.
> The Buddhists talk about Right Livelihood, and perhaps we
> should listen to them.
> Steve Hovland
> www.stevehovland.net
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Premise Checker [SMTP:checker at panix.com]
> Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 6:26 PM
> To:	The new improved paleopsych list
> Subject:	RE: [Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
> Well, maybe you can come up with a better suggestion about what to do with
> the useless eaters. They will be increasing in the population as
> artificial intelligence, robots, and so on replaces more and more jobs.
> Just wait till machines at last can pick strawberries, one of the few
> fruits that have eluded machines so far. No doubt, these migrant farm
> worker immigrants can do something else, but each time a job is automated,
> workers have to take lower paid jobs (presuming, more or less accurately,
> that workers tend to seek out the most renumerative job).
> So they can either be put on the "high tech equivalent of the Indian
> reservation," in Charles Murray's famous phrase, be given affirmative
> action jobs and do nothing, or be given fake jobs and do nothing useful.
> On 2004-10-18, Steve Hovland opined [message unchanged below]:
>> I'm glad we have a shared vision of our wonderful future :-)
>> Steve Hovland
>> www.stevehovland.net
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:	Premise Checker [SMTP:checker at panix.com]
>> Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 3:02 PM
>> To:	The new improved paleopsych list
>> Subject:	RE: [Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
>> It would not reduce the population of useless eaters very much, since not
>> many of them would get killed, fewer than if they stayed at home and
>> engaged in hot rodding. But it would give them jobs and a sense of
>> accomplishment.
>> Or we could create U.S. Department of Reorganization, where half the
>> employees would be reorganizing the other half. THe usual competition over
>> perks and office space would continue, though nothing would be produced.
>> This is very much like the U.S. Department of Education, where I work,
>> except that cash does get dispersed, to the tune of $63 billion a year,
>> most of it going to educrats outside of E.D. but none of it benefiting
>> students. In fact it harms them.
>> On 2004-10-18, Steve Hovland opined [message unchanged below]:
>>> Concentrating the draft on the lower classes
>>> would be a good way to reduce the population
>>> of "useless eaters."
>>> Steve Hovland
>>> www.stevehovland.net
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From:	Premise Checker [SMTP:checker at panix.com]
>>> Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 2:37 PM
>>> To:	The new improved paleopsych list
>>> Subject:	RE: [Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
>>> You again are not paying attention. The student deferments will by and
>>> large go to those who can compete with the Chinese and Japanese. Those
>>> that can should not only get derements but should not be drafted at all.
>>> Only those that are in what the Marxoids called the reserve army of the
>>> unemployed should be drafted.
>>> On 2004-10-18, Steve Hovland opined [message unchanged below]:
>>>> If they do a draft, I hope that there won't be any
>>>> student deferments :-)
>>>> Steve Hovland
>>>> www.stevehovland.net
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From:	Premise Checker [SMTP:checker at panix.com]
>>>> Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 2:08 PM
>>>> To:	The new improved paleopsych list
>>>> Subject:	RE: [Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
>>>> There wouldn't be much political fallout if those who can complete with
>>>> the Chinese and Indians don't get drafted. Those who can't will be glad to
>>>> have jobs.
>>>> On 2004-10-18, Steve Hovland opined [message unchanged below]:
>>>>> Going to war against Iran would be a good way to
>>>>> employ all of those useless young Americans who
>>>>> can't compete with Chinese who make 37 cents
>>>>> per hour, not to mention Indian PhD's who think
>>>>> $6,000 a year is a lot of money.
>>>>> Since we won't be able to continue the war in Iraq
>>>>> without using conscription, we will be able to get
>>>>> a two-fer-one by attacking Iran as well.  What I
>>>>> mean is that the political consequences of starting
>>>>> a draft will be so high that any President who does
>>>>> it may as well knock out all of them at once, including
>>>>> Korea.
>>>>> And once Baby Boomers start dying from the
>>>>> fallout from the Korean bomb, the problem with
>>>>> Social Security will be solved as well.
>>>>> Great days lie ahead!
>>>>> Steve Hovland
>>>>> www.stevehovland.net
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From:	Premise Checker [SMTP:checker at panix.com]
>>>>> Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 1:30 PM
>>>>> To:	paleopsych at paleopsych.org
>>>>> Subject:	[Paleopsych] Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
>>>>> Stephen J. Sniegoski: Next Stop, Iran
>>>>> http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future.htm
>>>>> 4.10.14
>>>>> [The author is quite biased against neocons and American empire policy,
>>>>> but read it anyhow. It warns of the impossible quagmire the United States
>>>>> is heading toward. But remember this may be a blessing in disguise if we
>>>>> can somehow rope 30 surplus MegaChinese males into it instead of attacking
>>>>> us.]
>>>>>      Editor's note.  Dr. Sniegoski presented an earlier version of this
>>>>>      article as a paper at the 12th [2]Mut zur Ethik Conference held
>>>>>      September 3-5, 2004, in Feldkirch/Vorarlberg, Austria. The
>>>>>      conference theme was "Giving Inner Courage: democracy, values,
>>>>>      education, and dialogue."
>>>>>      That version is to be published by [3]Zeit-Fragen ([4]Current
>>>>>      Concerns). Zeit-Fragen/Current Concerns is published in Zurich,
>>>>>      Switzerland.
>>>>>                                                      -- Nicholas Strakon
>>>>>                     ___________________________________
>>>>>                   The future of the global War on Terror:
>>>>>                               Next stop, Iran
>>>>>                           By STEPHEN J. SNIEGOSKI
>>>>>    If you find this column of value, please send a donation of $4 to TLD.
>>>>>    More information appears below.
>>>>>    What will be the next front in the war on terror? I don't claim to be
>>>>>    Nostradamus and I don't have a crystal ball, but I can confidently say
>>>>>    that the current situation points to a wider war in the Middle East.
>>>>>    That result has been sought and planned for by the American
>>>>>    neoconservatives; it is what they have referred to as World War IV. It
>>>>>    is all in the published record; no conspiracy-theorizing is necessary
>>>>>    to see it.
>>>>>    Also on the record, but receiving much less attention, is the fact
>>>>>    that the drive toward World War IV reflects the long-held Israeli
>>>>>    Likudnik goal of destabilizing and fragmenting Israel's Middle Eastern
>>>>>    enemies in order to ultimately facilitate the elimination of the
>>>>>    single greatest danger to the Jewish state -- its large and
>>>>>    ever-growing Palestinian population. (I will not repeat here all of
>>>>>    [5]what I have written elsewhere about the neocon/Likudnik background
>>>>>    for the war in the Middle East -- how the neocons were the driving
>>>>>    force for the war on Iraq and how the war plans were conceived in
>>>>>    Israel.)
>>>>>    Neoconservatives do not control American policy to the extent that
>>>>>    they can lead the country directly into the wider war in the Middle
>>>>>    East. Other U.S. elites, especially the financial elite, do not want
>>>>>    such a wider war. Instead, it seems likely that the neocons will use
>>>>>    the momentum of their invasion and occupation of Iraq to thrust the
>>>>>    United States into the wider war, and it seems likely that it will
>>>>>    begin with an attack on Iran.
>>>>>    The neocons have been focusing on the danger of Iran for some time,
>>>>>    and it now appears that much of what they have said about that country
>>>>>    may actually be true. Numerous experts now report that the Islamic
>>>>>    Republic of Iran possesses an extensive and intensive nuclear program
>>>>>    that could develop weapons. Moreover, Iran has developed substantial
>>>>>    ballistic-missile capabilities; it can probably hit targets throughout
>>>>>    the Middle East, including Israel. An interesting point, however, is
>>>>>    that Iran does not seem to be violating any international laws in
>>>>>    importing materials for its suspected nuclear-weapons program. That
>>>>>    program uses the same basic technology involved in a civilian
>>>>>    nuclear-energy program, which Iran is permitted to have under the 1968
>>>>>    Non-Proliferation Treaty. [6][1]
>>>>>    [future_qt1.gif] If Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, that
>>>>>    would fit with its declared strategy of "deterrent defense," as
>>>>>    opposed to an offensive threat to Israel or, certainly, to the United
>>>>>    States. Iran wants to be a regional power able to defend itself
>>>>>    against Israel and the United States, which it apparently believes are
>>>>>    more apt to attack weak countries unable to fight back. As Middle East
>>>>>    news commentator Youssef Ibrahim writes: "I have little doubt Iran is
>>>>>    pursuing nuclear weapon systems. Its officials privately assert it is
>>>>>    so because they view Israel as a real menace to them and the region
>>>>>    with its 200 nuclear warheads.... The United States completely ignores
>>>>>    that double standard, which resonates widely among Arabs and Muslims.
>>>>>    Added to that is the suspicion the Bush administration is still bent
>>>>>    on, or addicted to, more American-induced regime changes." [7][2]
>>>>>    Commentator Edward S. Herman aptly observes: "Iran is the next U.S.
>>>>>    and Israeli target, so the mainstream U.S. media are once again
>>>>>    serving the state agenda by focusing on Iran's alleged menace and
>>>>>    refusing to provide context that would show the menace to be pure
>>>>>    Orwell -- that is, while Iran is seriously threatened by the U.S. and
>>>>>    its aggressively ethnic-cleansing client, Iran only threatens the
>>>>>    possibility of self-defense." [8][3]
>>>>>    Iran's very effort to develop strategic weapons prompts Israel and the
>>>>>    United States to press for a pre-emptive attack. It might be also
>>>>>    argued that while the rulers of Iran certainly want to avoid a
>>>>>    destructive American or Israeli attack, at the same time they can use
>>>>>    a war atmosphere to unify their country, now divided between religious
>>>>>    militants and moderates.
>>>>>    Israel is especially concerned -- it is obsessed, even -- about Iran's
>>>>>    developing nuclear weapons because it regards its regional nuclear
>>>>>    monopoly as a fundamental pillar of its security. We might recall that
>>>>>    Israel bombed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981 when it feared
>>>>>    that Iraq was trying to develop nuclear weapons there. Iran is, of
>>>>>    course, an active enemy of Israel, providing support to Hezbollah in
>>>>>    Lebanon and to a number of Palestinian resistance groups. In the past
>>>>>    couple of years numerous Israeli officials have sounded grave warnings
>>>>>    about the potential Iranian nuclear threat. For example, in November
>>>>>    2003 testimony before the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and
>>>>>    Defense Committee, Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned that Iran's nuclear
>>>>>    program posed "the biggest threat to Israel's existence since its
>>>>>    creation" in 1948. [9][4]
>>>>>    And addressing a conference on national security in December 2003, Avi
>>>>>    Dichter, the head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal-security agency, said
>>>>>    that Iran was sponsoring terrorism and developing non-conventional
>>>>>    weapons, which posed "a strategic threat to Israel." Dichter declared
>>>>>    that "Iran is the No. 1 terror nation in the world." [10][5]
>>>>>    Israeli leaders emphasized concern about Iran before the U.S. attack
>>>>>    on Iraq. In January 2002, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, a leading
>>>>>    member of the Labor Party and a former prime minister, claimed that
>>>>>    Iran posed a grave missile threat to Israel: "The ayatollah leadership
>>>>>    in Iran is also threatening to destroy Israel ... inflicting genocide
>>>>>    through the use of missiles." [11][6]
>>>>>    And in an interview with the New York Post in November 2002, Prime
>>>>>    Minister Ariel Sharon said that as soon as Iraq had been dealt with,
>>>>>    he would "push for Iran to be at the top of the 'to do' list." Sharon
>>>>>    called Iran the "center of world terror" and declared that "Iran makes
>>>>>    every effort to possess weapons of mass destruction ... and ballistic
>>>>>    missiles.... That is a danger to the Middle East, and a danger to
>>>>>    Europe." [12][7]
>>>>>    As usual, neoconservatives acted in tandem with Israel. The point man
>>>>>    here would seem to be veteran neoconservative Michael A. Ledeen. On
>>>>>    April 30, 2003, in an address titled "Time to Focus on Iran -- the
>>>>>    Mother of Modern Terrorism" at a policy forum of the Jewish
>>>>>    Institutite for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Ledeen declared:
>>>>>    "The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free
>>>>>    Syria and free Lebanon." [13][8]
>>>>>    Elsewhere Ledeen would write: "We are now engaged in a regional
>>>>>    struggle in the Middle East, and the Iranian tyrants are the keystone
>>>>>    of the terror network. Far more than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein,
>>>>>    the defeat of the mullahcracy and the triumph of freedom in Tehran
>>>>>    would be a truly historic event and an enormous blow to the
>>>>>    terrorists." [14][9] Ledeen actually argued that the United States
>>>>>    should first attack Iran, which he portrayed as the "keystone of the
>>>>>    terror network," even while the Bush administration was preparing its
>>>>>    attack on Iraq. "I have long argued that it would be better to
>>>>>    liberate Iran before Iraq," he wrote in November 2002, "and events may
>>>>>    soon give us that opportunity." [15][10]
>>>>>    In early 2002 Ledeen set up the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI),
>>>>>    an action group focusing on producing regime change in Iran. His
>>>>>    principal collaborator is Morris Amitay, vice chairman of JINSA and a
>>>>>    former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs
>>>>>    Committee (AIPAC), Israel's ultra-powerful lobby in the United States.
>>>>>    CDI also includes members of key neoconservative policy institutes and
>>>>>    think tanks, including Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for
>>>>>    Near East Affairs (WINEA) -- an off-shoot of AIPAC -- Frank Gaffney,
>>>>>    president of the Center for Security Policy, American Enterprise
>>>>>    Institute (AEI) scholars Joshua Muravchik and Danielle Pletka, and
>>>>>    former CIA director James Woolsey. The organization proclaims that
>>>>>    diplomatic engagement with Iran has proved to be an utter failure, and
>>>>>    that the only way to end the reign of Iran's "terror masters" is to
>>>>>    actively support opponents of the regime in their efforts to topple
>>>>>    the reigning mullahs. [16][11]
>>>>>    [future_qt2.gif] The move on Iran enlisted broad support among
>>>>>    neocons. On May 6, 2003, AEI hosted an all-day conference titled "The
>>>>>    Future of Iran: Mullahcracy, Democracy, and the War on Terror," whose
>>>>>    speakers included Ledeen, Amitay, and Uri Lubrani from the Israeli
>>>>>    Defense Ministry. The convenor, Hudson Institute Middle East
>>>>>    specialist Meyrav Wurmser (whose husband David worked as her AEI
>>>>>    counterpart until joining the Bush administration), set the tone. "Our
>>>>>    fight against Iraq was only one battle in a long war," she said. "It
>>>>>    would be ill-conceived to think that we can deal with Iraq alone....
>>>>>    We must move on, and faster." [17][12]
>>>>>    As Marc Perelman pointed out in the Jewish newspaper Forward in May
>>>>>    2003, "A budding coalition of conservative hawks, Jewish
>>>>>    organizations, and Iranian monarchists is pressing the White House to
>>>>>    step up American efforts to bring about regime change in Iran."
>>>>>    [18][13]
>>>>>    It is worth noting that despite their reputation as advocates of
>>>>>    global democracy, the neoconservatives have proposed restoring the
>>>>>    monarchy in Iran, in the person of Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the
>>>>>    former shah. Perelman wrote: "The emerging coalition is reminiscent of
>>>>>    the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, with Pahlavi possibly assuming
>>>>>    the role of Iraqi exile opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi, a favorite of
>>>>>    neoconservatives. Like Chalabi, Pahlavi has good relations with
>>>>>    several Jewish groups. He has addressed the board of the hawkish
>>>>>    Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and gave a public
>>>>>    speech at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los
>>>>>    Angeles, and met with Jewish communal leaders." [19][14]
>>>>>    A strong Israeli connection was apparent here. According to Perelman,
>>>>>    Pahlavi has had direct contacts with the Israeli leadership: "During
>>>>>    the last two years ... [Pahlavi] has met privately with Prime Minister
>>>>>    Sharon and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as
>>>>>    Israel's Iranian-born president, Moshe Katsav." [20][15]
>>>>>    Another writer, Iraj Pakravan, maintained that the neocon and overall
>>>>>    Zionist support for Pahlavi was to be reciprocated by his support for
>>>>>    Israel, should he ever take power. Pahlavi and his supporters must
>>>>>    "give guarantees that they will conduct a policy that supports
>>>>>    Israel's position against the Palestinians and abide by the U.S.'s
>>>>>    energy needs. Furthermore, and most importantly, the opposition group
>>>>>    must accept that Israel will be the leading state in the hierarchy of
>>>>>    the regional system, a position that many states in the Middle East
>>>>>    covet." [21][16]
>>>>>    Indicating the seriousness of the American move to destabilize Iran
>>>>>    was the fact that preparations were being made by the Defense
>>>>>    Department's Office of Special Plans (OSP), which played such a key
>>>>>    role in the U.S. attack on Iraq. Perelman wrote in May 2003: "Iran
>>>>>    expert Michael Rubin is now working for the Pentagon's 'special plans'
>>>>>    office, a small unit set up to gather intelligence on Iraq, but
>>>>>    apparently also working on Iran. Previously a researcher at the
>>>>>    Washington Institute for Near East policy, Rubin has vocally advocated
>>>>>    regime change in Tehran." [22][17]
>>>>>    As a result of a leaked FBI probe in the late summer of 2004, it has
>>>>>    come out that Israel might have had direct contacts with members of
>>>>>    the OSP on the Iran issue. The implication is not simply that
>>>>>    individuals involved were pro-Israel but that some of them might be
>>>>>    conspirators in a clandestine operation launched by Sharon's Likud
>>>>>    Party. Robert Dreyfuss, writing in the Nation, has called them "agents
>>>>>    of influence" for a foreign government.
>>>>>    Dreyfuss reports that "the point of the FBI probe, sources believe, is
>>>>>    not to examine the push to war but rather to ascertain whether Sharon
>>>>>    recruited or helped place in office people who knowingly, and
>>>>>    secretly, worked with him to affect the direction of U.S. policy in
>>>>>    the Middle East." Tom Barry of In These Times writes that, unbeknownst
>>>>>    to the CIA or the State Department, the office of Douglas Feith
>>>>>    (assistant secretary of defense for policy) engaged in "back-channel
>>>>>    operations" and over the past three years participated in clandestine
>>>>>    meetings in Washington, Rome, and Paris "to discuss regime change in
>>>>>    Iraq, Iran, and Syria." Attending the meetings, Barry writes, were
>>>>>    "Office of Policy officials and consultants ... [Lawrence] Franklin,
>>>>>    Harold Rhode, and Michael Ledeen..., an expatriate Iranian arms dealer
>>>>>    (Manichur Ghorbanifar), AIPAC lobbyists, Ahmed Chalabi, and Italian
>>>>>    and Israeli intelligence officers, among others." The direct link to
>>>>>    Sharon's government was most obvious in the plan for regime change in
>>>>>    Iran, which Barry says would most likely involve "a combination of
>>>>>    preemptive military strikes (either by the United States or Israel)
>>>>>    and support for a coalition of Iranian dissidents." [23][18]
>>>>>    [future_qt3.gif] It was not just the neoconservatives in the Bush
>>>>>    administration who were moving to attack Iran: President George W.
>>>>>    Bush himself identified Iran as a member of the "Axis of Evil" in his
>>>>>    first State of the Union Address in January 2002. And National
>>>>>    Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice made this aspect of U.S. policy
>>>>>    clear in her August 8, 2004, appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press": "We
>>>>>    cannot allow the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon." [24][19]
>>>>>    The next day, while campaigning for re-election, Bush asserted that
>>>>>    Iran "must abandon her nuclear ambitions," and he vowed to stand with
>>>>>    U.S. allies to pressure Tehran to do so. [25][20]
>>>>>    Ominously, on May 6, 2004, a U.S. House of Representatives resolution
>>>>>    authorized "all appropriate means" to put an end to Iranian
>>>>>    nuclear-weapons development; the administration could use that
>>>>>    resolution as legal justification to launch an attack. [26][21]
>>>>>    There are strong rumors floating that Israel plans to attack Iran's
>>>>>    nuclear installations, as it attacked Iraq's reactor in 1981. "For
>>>>>    Israel it's quite clear, that we're not going to wait for a threat to
>>>>>    be realized," says Ephraim Inbar, head of the Jaffee Center for
>>>>>    Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. "For self-defense we have to
>>>>>    act in a preemptive mode." [27][22]
>>>>>    But some Israeli authorities believe that destroying Iran's nuclear
>>>>>    capabilities would be a far more difficult mission than the 1981
>>>>>    attack. "I don't think there's an option for a pre-emptive act because
>>>>>    we're talking about a different sort of a nuclear program," maintained
>>>>>    Shmuel Bar, a fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the
>>>>>    Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. "A hit-and-run
>>>>>    preemptive attack can't guarantee much success." [28][23]
>>>>>    In late September 2004, however, Israel announced that it would
>>>>>    purchase 500 "bunker-busting" bombs from the United States (paid for
>>>>>    by U.S. military aid) -- weapons that could destroy Iran's underground
>>>>>    nuclear stores and laboratories. [29][24]
>>>>>    [future_qt4.gif] In the event of any Israeli strike on its nuclear
>>>>>    installations, Iran has threatened to unleash its forces in an all-out
>>>>>    retaliation, including long-range missile attacks and terror attacks
>>>>>    from Lebanon. Iran's claim to be able to wreak great damage on Israel
>>>>>    may just be bluster to ward off an attack, but defense experts do
>>>>>    report that the latest version of Iran's Shahab-3 medium-range
>>>>>    ballistic missile can reach Israel.
>>>>>    Threats of an Israeli attack, which could ignite an all-out Middle
>>>>>    East war, might induce the United States to move on Iran. Moreover,
>>>>>    American attacks on Iranian missile sites would probably be more
>>>>>    effective than anything Israel could carry out and would make it less
>>>>>    likely that Israel would suffer from Iranian retaliation. Thus, the
>>>>>    safety of Israel would likely motivate those influential Americans who
>>>>>    identify with Israel to push for an American attack.
>>>>>    Ironically, by eliminating the hostile regimes bordering Iran --
>>>>>    Afghanistan and Iraq -- the United States provided Tehran with
>>>>>    opportunities to greatly expand its power in the region. At the same
>>>>>    time, however, the presence of American forces in those bordering
>>>>>    countries puts considerable geopolitical pressure on Iran. The
>>>>>    stabilization of those neighbors under American domination would
>>>>>    seriously endanger Iran, especially since the United States already
>>>>>    controls the Persian Gulf. Historian Juan Cole describes the situation
>>>>>    this way: "The Iranians are very afraid that the United States will
>>>>>    find a way to maneuver an anti-Iranian government into power" in Iraq.
>>>>>    [30][25]
>>>>>    The current Iraqi government of Iyad Allawi definitely seems
>>>>>    anti-Iranian; thus it is in Iran's interest to work against stability
>>>>>    for the existing Iraqi government.
>>>>>    With American occupation forces in neighboring Iraq, the situation
>>>>>    with Iran is a veritable powder keg. American officials and Prime
>>>>>    Minister Allawi have claimed that Iran is aiding the violent Shi'ite
>>>>>    resistance in Iraq led by the radical cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr. [31][26]
>>>>>    The situation is ripe for incidents leading to conflict. Iranian
>>>>>    Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV on August 18, 2004,
>>>>>    that Iran might even launch a preemptive strike against U.S. forces in
>>>>>    the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities. "We will
>>>>>    not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some
>>>>>    military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations
>>>>>    which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly." Shamkhani
>>>>>    continued: "The U.S. military presence (in Iraq) will not become an
>>>>>    element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is
>>>>>    true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in the event of
>>>>>    an attack. [32][27]
>>>>>    In light of the American public's disenchantment with the bloody
>>>>>    quagmire in Iraq, it is highly unlikely that the Bush administration
>>>>>    would dare to attack Iran before the November election. But what could
>>>>>    the United States do after the election? Although the Iranian military
>>>>>    is not in any way comparable to that of the United States, it is
>>>>>    larger and better equipped than the Iraqi forces that the United
>>>>>    States faced in 2003. The Iranians also have the benefit of having
>>>>>    learned from U.S. military operations in Iraq. And Iran's military
>>>>>    power has not been sapped by a decade of bombing, as Iraq's had been.
>>>>>    The occupation of Iraq has stretched the U.S. Army so thin that a
>>>>>    large-scale ground invasion of Iran, followed by a comparable military
>>>>>    occupation, seems to be out of the question. But bombing of Iran's
>>>>>    nuclear sites and military infrastructure is highly likely. After all,
>>>>>    neither the Air Force nor the Navy, with its cruise missiles, is mired
>>>>>    in Iraq. However, since many Iranian facilities are located in urban
>>>>>    areas, even "precision" bombing would cause extensive civilian
>>>>>    casualties. Furthermore, precision bombing alone might not knock out
>>>>>    Iran's nuclear installations, many of which are said to be built
>>>>>    underground. [33][28]
>>>>>    [future_qt5.gif] Neocons would undoubtedly press for the severest
>>>>>    attack possible, not just to set back Iran's nuclear program but also
>>>>>    to weaken its military and economic potential. That would dramatically
>>>>>    set the stage for regime change in Iran. Hence, a limited ground
>>>>>    invasion of Iran with air support would not be out of the question;
>>>>>    the aim would be not to occupy Iran but rather to destroy Iranian
>>>>>    forces. A ground invasion could oblige Iran to position its military
>>>>>    forces in defensive positions that American airpower could then
>>>>>    destroy.
>>>>>    What would be the impact of such an American attack on Iran? A war
>>>>>    against Iran is liable to set off a tidal wave of terror in the rest
>>>>>    of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, already shaken by terror, could fall
>>>>>    into chaos. The concomitant danger to the Saudi oil supply would
>>>>>    threaten the economy of the world. A call would arise in the United
>>>>>    States to militarily occupy the Saudi oil-producing regions; that is a
>>>>>    move for which Washington is reported to have had contingency plans
>>>>>    for a long time, and it has been publicly advocated by the neocons.
>>>>>    Since anti-Saudi feeling is high in the United States, such a move
>>>>>    might enjoy considerable support here even among those who identify
>>>>>    with the anti-war American Left (i.e., the moderate Left). It is worth
>>>>>    noting that Michael Moore's popular anti-war movie "Fahrenheit 9/11"
>>>>>    blames the Saudi government for the 9/11 attacks and the war on Iraq.
>>>>>    While the U.S. military could manage to occupy Saudi Arabia's Eastern
>>>>>    Province, maintaining the oil supply would not necessarily be easy.
>>>>>    The pipelines would also have to be secured, including, presumably,
>>>>>    the vitally important pipeline that stretches across the country to
>>>>>    the Red Sea. Such an undertaking would further stretch the depleted
>>>>>    military and financial resources of the United States.
>>>>>    Any aggression directed against Saudi Arabia, the center of the
>>>>>    Islamic religion, would undoubtedly have a galvanizing effect on the
>>>>>    peoples of the entire Muslim world. Thousands of fanatical Muslim
>>>>>    fighters would not only pour into Saudi Arabia but would also attack
>>>>>    American and Western interests throughout the world. The pro-American
>>>>>    regimes in Jordan and Egypt would face destabilization.
>>>>>    [future_qt6.gif] The turmoil would cause oil prices to skyrocket,
>>>>>    which would have dire economic consequences around the world,
>>>>>    provoking social and political upheavals far beyond the Middle East.
>>>>>    Obviously, important American economic interests -- Big Oil,
>>>>>    international finance -- as well as the foreign-policy elite would not
>>>>>    want that nightmare scenario to develop. But those groups have
>>>>>    generally opposed the American war in the Middle East all along, with
>>>>>    little success. They are currently pushing for negotiation with Iran;
>>>>>    Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example, headed a recent study for the
>>>>>    Council on Foreign Relations that recommended the diplomatic approach.
>>>>>    But the war skeptics among the elites -- defenders of the imperialist
>>>>>    status quo -- have been overtaken by events. Things have slipped
>>>>>    beyond their control. As the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson
>>>>>    exclaimed during the American Civil War: "Events are in the saddle and
>>>>>    ride mankind."
>>>>>    As long as the United States stays in Iraq, the widening of the war is
>>>>>    very likely. Earlier I referred to the U.S. occupation of Iraq as a
>>>>>    powder keg; it is now ready to explode. And a couple of crucial actors
>>>>>    threaten to light the fuse. The Islamic regime in Iran believes its
>>>>>    survival depends on keeping Iraq unstable and on developing a powerful
>>>>>    military deterrent, probably including nuclear weapons. Militant
>>>>>    Islamic terrorists -- al Qaeda -- see an all-out war between the
>>>>>    United States and Islam as a chance to overthrow the existing Arab
>>>>>    regimes and gain power. Sharon and the American neocons realize that
>>>>>    destabilizing the Middle East can save the Jewish state by
>>>>>    facilitating a final solution to the Palestinian demographic threat,
>>>>>    which if ignored will soon overwhelm the Jewish population in the
>>>>>    areas controlled by Israel. Consequently, Israel and its influential
>>>>>    American supporters push for a U.S. hard line -- to bring about the
>>>>>    neoconservatives' World War IV.
>>>>>    It is probably beyond the power of the Bush administration to pull out
>>>>>    of Iraq, given the influence of the neocons and the fact that its
>>>>>    prestige is on the line. In fact, its justification for attacking Iraq
>>>>>    is even more applicable to attacking Iran, as many have pointed out.
>>>>>    The Bush administration is just not willing to throw in the sponge and
>>>>>    walk away from Iraq; to do so would be to admit that its whole policy
>>>>>    had been a failure.
>>>>>    Although John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for president, has the
>>>>>    support of most of the substantial anti-war vote, he is likely to
>>>>>    pursue a policy in the Middle East similar to Bush's. [34][29]
>>>>>    Kerry, in fact, doesn't even promise much change; some of his critics
>>>>>    have styled the Kerry program on the Middle East "an echo, not a
>>>>>    choice." [35][30] Kerry has said he would retain American troops in
>>>>>    the Middle East. Only recently, finding himself behind in the polls,
>>>>>    has he begun to actually admit that the invasion of Iraq was a
>>>>>    mistake. As late as August 2004, Kerry was saying that he would have
>>>>>    voted in the Senate to give the president the power to wage war on
>>>>>    Iraq even if he had known that the WMD danger was non-existent. In
>>>>>    regard to his plan for Iraq, Kerry differs with Bush only in respect
>>>>>    to the former's much-touted internationalism, though it is doubtful
>>>>>    that Kerry could attract much international support to occupy Iraq.
>>>>>    [future_qt7.gif] It should be added that Kerry's major organizational
>>>>>    backers -- the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive
>>>>>    Policy Institute -- are peopled by liberals who supported the war on
>>>>>    Iraq. Moreover, like the neocons, they identify closely with Israel.
>>>>>    Kerry himself has said that the "cause of Israel must be the cause of
>>>>>    America" -- at a time when the actual "cause" of the Sharon government
>>>>>    is to destabilize the Middle East in the interests of Israel. [36][31]
>>>>>    It also should be noted, however, that Kerry, under the guise of
>>>>>    progressive internationalism, could more effectively intensify and
>>>>>    widen the war in the Middle East than could the Bush administration,
>>>>>    whose credibility is much tarnished by lies, torture, and corruption.
>>>>>    The fact is that even if the neoconservatives themselves should lose
>>>>>    their grip on the reins of government power, the war policy that they
>>>>>    initiated in the Middle East has taken on a life of its own. And that
>>>>>    holds true despite the influence of the Establishment figures who,
>>>>>    unlike Kerry, opposed the American attack on Iraq. In large measure,
>>>>>    the neoconservatives have placed their Establishment adversaries in a
>>>>>    position where they cannot undo what the neocons have done. That is
>>>>>    because the American foreign-policy elite believes that withdrawing
>>>>>    from Iraq would destroy America's image as a world superpower. As
>>>>>    columnist Paul Krugman writes: "Even among harsh critics of the
>>>>>    administration's Iraq policy, the usual view is that we have to finish
>>>>>    the job. You've heard the arguments: We broke it; we bought it. We
>>>>>    can't cut and run. We have to stay the course." [37][32]
>>>>>    According to this line of thinking, if the United States looked like a
>>>>>    paper tiger in Iraq, it would not have the credibility to exercise its
>>>>>    necessary role of world leadership.
>>>>>    For the United States to pull out would put it on the defensive in the
>>>>>    rest of the world. That demonstration of weakness would invite attacks
>>>>>    on other parts of the American empire. Elite opinion on this issue is
>>>>>    supported by much of the general populace, who see American honor at
>>>>>    stake in staying the course and not giving in.
>>>>>    In stipulating that the United States must not retreat, the
>>>>>    foreign-policy elite inadvertently reveals the genius of
>>>>>    neoconservative foreign policy on Iraq. The neocons have driven
>>>>>    American policy into a position that their foreign-policy adversaries
>>>>>    -- insofar as they support the American global empire -- must accept.
>>>>>    Essentially, the neocons tied the interests of the American empire to
>>>>>    those of Israel, which the non-neoconservative foreign-policy elite
>>>>>    believes it cannot now abandon without undermining its own globalist
>>>>>    agenda.
>>>>>    But why can't the United States jettison its empire? Some say American
>>>>>    wealth depends on its military empire -- an economic view I reject.
>>>>>    Arnaud de Borchgrave, a critic of the attack on Iraq, presents the
>>>>>    non-economic rationale for global militarism: "Not to see this mission
>>>>>    [the Iraq business] through to a successful conclusion would relegate
>>>>>    the United States to the role of Sweden or Switzerland in a world
>>>>>    increasingly populated by pariah states. A new world disorder would be
>>>>>    well-nigh inevitable." [38][33]
>>>>>    But Sweden and Switzerland do quite well without a military empire.
>>>>>    And it seems unlikely that the United States could be the country
>>>>>    indispensable for maintaining prosperity for the rest of the world.
>>>>>    All producers have a vital self-interest in trade, as opposed to
>>>>>    self-sacrificing embargoes. If there arose [39][comment.gif] some
>>>>>    terrible threat to cut off vital resources to the industrial world,
>>>>>    other countries would undoubtedly intervene in some manner -- even by
>>>>>    bribing dictators, as the dastardly French are supposed to do on
>>>>>    occasion.
>>>>>    The standard of living in the United States does not depend on the
>>>>>    regime's global military empire. Unfortunately, the necessity of such
>>>>>    an empire is ingrained in the thinking of the foreign-policy elite and
>>>>>    of most educated Americans. Therefore it is hardly likely that the
>>>>>    United States will pull out of Iraq. And that means there is a global
>>>>>    debacle in the making.
>>>>> References
>>>>>    1. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/reprint.htm
>>>>>    2. http://www.mut-zur-ethik.ch/index_en.html
>>>>>    3. http://www.zeit-fragen.ch/
>>>>>    4. http://currentconcerns.ch/
>>>>>    5. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/conc_toc.htm
>>>>>    6. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note1
>>>>>    7. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note2
>>>>>    8. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note3
>>>>>    9. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note4
>>>>>   10. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note5
>>>>>   11. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note6
>>>>>   12. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note7
>>>>>   13. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note8
>>>>>   14. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note9
>>>>>   15. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note10
>>>>>   16. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note11
>>>>>   17. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note12
>>>>>   18. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note13
>>>>>   19. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note14
>>>>>   20. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note15
>>>>>   21. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note16
>>>>>   22. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note17
>>>>>   23. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note18
>>>>>   24. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note19
>>>>>   25. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note20
>>>>>   26. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note21
>>>>>   27. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note22
>>>>>   28. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note23
>>>>>   29. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note24
>>>>>   30. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note25
>>>>>   31. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note26
>>>>>   32. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note27
>>>>>   33. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note28
>>>>>   34. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note29
>>>>>   35. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note30
>>>>>   36. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note31
>>>>>   37. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note32
>>>>>   38. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_future_notes.htm#note33
>>>>>   39. mailto:ditch at thornwalker.com?subject=StephenJ.Sniegoski--NEXTSTOP,IRAN
>>>>>   40. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/donor_update_info.htm
>>>>>   41. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/subscribe_tld.htm
>>>>>   42. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/index.html

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