May 24, 2007

Blame It On Cheney, And Those Evil, Evil Joos

At least when Andrew Sullivan spins off into the more paranoid recesses of his mind, he retains the minimal sense to claim he's just "airing a theory."

Not so with Steve Clemons, who wants full credit for his recent meltdown:

Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an "end run strategy" around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument.

The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

This strategy would sidestep controversies over bomber aircraft and overflight rights over other Middle East nations and could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf -- which just became significantly larger -- as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.

A fascinating hypothesis, isn't it?

Unfortunately, the "logic" of Clemons claim has a few small—almost imperceptible, so tiny that you wouldn't hardly notice—flaws.

One of those infinitesimal flaws is the theory that Israel would have spent 6.5 billion dollars to procure 25 F-15I "Ra'am" and 102 F-16I "Sufa" long range strike fighters and easily another couple of billion on munitions, training, maintenance, etc, in beginning to prepare for strike on Iran's nuclear program in the past decade, only to decide to lob a few anemic cruise missiles instead.

I get the mental image of Baseball Bugs winding up in a frenetic and convoluted windup only to deliver an impossibly slow slowball against the Gashouse Gorillas.

Does Clemons honestly think that Israel has been preparing for this possibility for well over a decade—well in advance of their decade-long procurement and training operations—just to launch an attack that would almost certainly fail to seriously disrupt Natanz, and would not even touch the other underground sites where Iranian nuclear weapon development is thought to be occurring? Obviously, he does.

He is also flatly wrong about cruise missiles not needing overflight rights—the need to acquire overflight rights exists as much for missiles as they do for aircraft, and ours were suspended by both Saudi Arabia and Turkey in March of 2003, just as an example—and conducting such an overflight without permission could be viewed as an act of war by Israel's neighbors.

Israel will also obviously be bombarded by Hezbollah (And possibly Iran and Syria) for any strike on Iran, so to set themselves up to suffer massive rocket attacks like those of less than a year ago hoping that Iran would target U.S. forces in Iraq for retaliation is, well, a bit daft.

Why, precisely, would Iran choose to attack formidable American forces in Iraq in retaliation for an Israeli attack? American Air Force, Marine, and naval airpower completely own air superiority in the Persian Gulf and over Iraq, and so any attempt of Iran to physically venture into Iraq would amount to a rewrite of the Highway of Death on an epic scale, leaving the Iranian mullacracy in a severely weakened state. What would Iran have to gain?

Or is Clemons implying—merely "floating a theory"—that Cheney, the Joos, and Ahmadinejad are all in cahoots, and want a war in which all sides suffer losses for no real gain? Who benefits from such lunacy?


Of course.

Sniff: I should leave the snark to Ace. The man is a master.

Update: I should have seen this coming, huh?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 24, 2007 03:45 PM

"Why, precisely, would Iran choose to attack formidable American forces in Iraq in retaliation for an Israeli attack"

Gee, I dunno, maybe because our forces in Iraq are sitting ducks for them? It won't be highway of death redux. All they have to do is give the signal to their proxies in Iraq, the Badr corps, the Mehdi Army, who have been basically sitting on their hands these last few years. If those guys start moving against us en masse it will not be a pretty picture.

Posted by: Arbotreeist at May 24, 2007 05:54 PM

Look CY we can put this off and pretend Iran is buddy or we can suck it up and GIT ER DONE. Maybe you need to show some SPINE

Posted by: Karl at May 24, 2007 06:04 PM

Clemons is delusional. Cheney plotting against Bush?

By the way, the largest stockholder in Halliburton was Lady Bird Johnson. Probaly her heirs now.

Posted by: Roy Lofquist at May 25, 2007 01:10 AM

If those guys start moving against us en masse it will not be a pretty picture.
Posted by: Arbotreeist at May 24, 2007 05:54 PM

Yeah for them, recall the battle of An Najaf? Lets see a Company of Marines wiped out 5000 Mahdi Army amauters in a few days. Right now the kill ratio in Iraq is up around 200 terrorists to one of ours it is even higher if all you look at is squad level fire fights. It would be a dream come true if they actually exposed themselves in a in company size fights instead of being the cowards they are and using IED's.

Posted by: Oldcrow at May 25, 2007 03:59 AM

Clemons and the Democratic foreign policy elite paint the Iranians as ten feet tall. They are manifestly not. Iran did reasonably well to push Saddam's army back to the frontier in the 1980's, but then resorted to human wave stuff that the Iraqis were able to throw back. Now they are firing off antiquated missiles and producing new fighters based on the old Northrop F-5 Tigershark. And yes, there's the Quds force. But it's not as if the Revolutionary Guards are the Werhmacht, okay?

I mean, they'd have trouble keeping up with the Hitlerjugend Panzerdivision. They're good, but in a stand up fight, trained U.S. infantry will slaughter them.

State and Defense are ramping up the two-sided diplomacy to encourage the Mullahs to negotiate. They won't. They'll do something stupid over the summer and attack us by way of Israel. I can almost guarantee this. It's what fascists do. Clemons and the Democrats can't accept this because they've psychologically bought into the notion of Puppemaster Cheney, Chimpy, and Hapless Condi conspiring to start a war with the innocent Iranian Nazis.

It's really quite funny. It's akin to blaming Hitler's march into the Sudetenland over bad feelings left over from the Versailles Treaty. But that's the kind of high wierdness you get over at the Reality Based Community.

Posted by: section9 at May 25, 2007 09:38 AM

Oh, shoot, I almost forgot. Clemons didn't mention the Worldwide Zionist Banking Conspiracy with their Hooked Noses. So I will.





Actually, you should try the chocolate ruggalah, especially around Purim. And I speak as a good Gentile. Goes great with your worldwide Jewish Konspiracy.

Posted by: section9 at May 25, 2007 09:41 AM