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by CTuttle

Brennan, Hagel, and Kerry: More Of The Same Failed Obama FP

8:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As the Editors of the IntelNews wrote recently…

Obama’s National Security Nominations: Nothing to See Here

…Yet much of the commentary on the nominations of John Kerry for State, Chuck Hagel for the Pentagon, and John Brennan for the CIA, is unduly over-dramatizing what is essentially a routine story. To begin with, it is clear that, in selecting Kerry, Hagel and Brennan for the nominations, the President’s priority was to surround himself with people he knows and trusts. Knowledgeable observers point out that all three nominees come from Obama’s most trusted circle of friends and —if appointed— will allow the President to stay well “within his comfort zone” as he begins his second term in office. In this sense, Obama selected the three candidates, not with some major policy shift in mind, but in order to ensure continuity and permanence in his foreign policy

…Even if we were to accept that Hagel is somehow “anti-Israel”, anyone who thinks that nearly seven decades of American policy on Israel are about to change because Hagel is suspicious of the Israeli lobby in the US, grossly misunderstands the institutional character of American foreign policy. The latter does not change in radical shifts; it evolves over long periods as a result of varying national or economic interests, changing conditions or the ground, or popular pressure. There is no question that Hagel, like Obama himself, is skeptical about military intervention abroad; but this fact points to continuity, not a radical shift in the administration’s policy. If Hagel’s nomination is approved by Congress, his views on Israel, or for that matter any other country or group of countries, will form but one element in a multitude of competing interests that help shape American foreign policy.

President Obama’s national security nominations are certainly noteworthy. But there is little here that is earth shattering. For the most part, the President sought individuals who will help him sustain the foreign policy of his first term in office, not radically alter it. Anyone looking for drama in these nominations will sooner or later be thoroughly disappointed.

Moar DroneZ, Bay-bee…!

Some more, McGovern… The Grilling that Brennan Deserves…

Apparently, it was a slim bench for CIA Director… Jane Harman for CIA Director? Really?

Some more on Hagel…

…Hagel will be in the wrong job to drive a fundamental recasting of the Obama administration’s Iran policy:

“I would take the president’s word that he likes and trusts former Senator Hagel, got to know him in the Senate, likes and trusts his positions and his candor on a range of issues. But I think the calculus to go ahead, and in the way that they are going ahead is that Senator Hagel, for all of the courageous positions he’s taken—on Iran, on Israel, HAMAS, lots of issues—that he will assure his fellow senators that those are positions that he held as a senator and they really will not have very much to do with his position as Secretary of Defense. Those are quintessential foreign policy issues that will be carried out by the Secretary of State and the national security adviser…

Obama now has an all-white-male [national security] cabinet. The question is how long will his national security adviser stay, Tom Donilon. And there I would put a question whether Susan Rice will be back on the scene. And she will certainly constrain Hagel’s attempts—if he has any desire to make these attempts—to change policies…[The White House]thinks that Hagel is going to a good Secretary of Defense, and do quintessentially Secretary of Defense things—not foreign policy.”

In wrapping up, Paul Pillar is right….

Declaring Victory on Iran

…So one side feels a need to crow about a victory, while the other side needs to feel that it has not been kicked in the face. To square that emotional circle, American politicians will have to get most of their triumphalist fix from what has happened already—from getting a negotiation with Iran about curtailing its nuclear program under way at all. Members of Congress can proclaim today (and when they next run for re-election) that all those votes they cast in favor of all of those sanctions were an important part of getting Iran to the negotiating table. After saying that, they should pipe down, get out of the way, and let the negotiators strike a deal.

Amen…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

‘Batten Down The Hatches’ And Our ‘Preferred Plan’ in Syria

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Why is our Lamestream Media so slow on the uptake…? I’ve already posted two posts over the weekend, (See Here & Here) on the very same material the WaPoo just published today…

Israel, mulling attack on Iran, plunges into unprecedented debate about war…

…Never in Israel’s history has there been so much talk about an impending war, security affairs analyst and Iran expert Yossi Melman wrote in a column on the Walla! news website on Monday.

“It’s one thing for the media to blather about it, but why are leaders and senior officials chattering themselves to death?” he asked.

Although Israel’s leaders frequently lament about all the Iran “chitchat,” make no mistake: It’s they who are fueling the discussion.

The Iranian threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, “dwarfs any challenge the Israeli home front faces.” {…}

“The United States will be dragged into an Israeli attack on Iran,” trumpeted Maariv.

“Ehud Barak’s atomic mistake,” blared Yediot Ahronot, alongside a column on Iran.

Fueling the debate has been extraordinary public criticism of Netanyahu and Barak coming from an unlikely quarter: All of Israel’s recently retired security chiefs oppose an attack, and several have come out swinging against Barak and Netanyahu personally. It’s a shocking public rift between the political and defense establishments.

“This unprecedented debate more than anything else reflects profound distrust of the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu by the Israeli military and defense establishment,” said Yaron Ezrahi…

“Every democracy should discuss the issue of going to war with such potentially fateful results,” he said…

“It frightens people to live in a country that is talking about war all the time,” he said. “What does it do to us as a country, a society? Even though we’re a society that is familiar with this, it’s a very heavy dose.”

What about us, here in the US…? Any pangs of guilt…?

As former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, warns us… ‘Batten down the hatches’…

Israel’s ‘Bomb Iran’ Timetable

More Washington insiders are coming to the conclusion that Israel’s leaders are planning to attack Iran before the U.S. election in November in the expectation that American forces will be drawn in. There is widespread recognition that, without U.S. military involvement, an Israeli attack would be highly risky and, at best, only marginally successful…

Pressures Will Persist

The NSC’s putdown of the Israeli report does not necessarily guarantee, however, that President Obama will continue to withstand pressure from Israel and its supporters to “fix” the intelligence to “justify” supporting an attack on Iran.

Promise can be seen in Obama’s refusal to buy Netanyahu’s new “rock-solid evidence” on Iran’s responsibility for the terrorist attack in Bulgaria. Hope can also be seen in White House reluctance so far to give credulity to the latest “evidence” on Iran’s nuclear weapons plans.

An agreed-upon casus belli can be hard to create when one partner wants war within the next 12 weeks and the other does not. The pressure from Netanyahu and neocon cheerleaders like Jennifer Rubin — not to mention Mitt Romney — will increase as the election draws nearer, agreed-upon casus belli or not.

Netanyahu gives every evidence of believing that — for the next 12 weeks — he is in the catbird seat and that, if he provokes hostilities with Iran, Obama will feel compelled to jump in with both feet, i. e., selecting from the vast array of forces already assembled in the area.

Sadly, I believe Netanyahu is probably correct in that calculation. Batten down the hatches.

Particularly, if you’re a Seaman serving on the USS Enterprise…! *gah*

Now, b at Moon of Alabama

The U.S. and the UK’s plan for Syria has been revealed:

Part of the “preferred plan” reads: “In order to facilitate the action of liberative forces, reduce the capabilities of the Syrian regime to organise and direct its military actions, to hold losses and destruction to a minimum, and to bring about desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention and in the light of circumstances existing at the time.”

Just like in that plan a deliberate killing campaign against persons of values for the Syrian state is ongoing. Besides the high profile bombing of the security center in Damascus there is a campaign to kill doctors, professors, media people and high ranking administrators. These assassinations are usually not reported in the “western” media.

The “preferred plan”adds: “Once a political decision is reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and MI6 will attempt, to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals.

“The two services should consult, as appropriate, to avoid any overlapping or interference with each other’s activities… Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus; the operation should not be overdone; and to the extent possible care should be taken to avoid causing key leaders of the Syrian regime to take additional personal protection measures.”

The plan called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee”, and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.

That “preferred plan for Syria” was from 1957 and was not enacted at that time. But we see that the methods mentioned in it are just the same than the ones used today. {…}

While the U.S. does not risk anything by keeping the war on Syria boiling its allies in the region do feel the heat of the cooking fire. Their internal problems are the weak points of the current “preferred plan”. It is there where any strategy against the plan must push for effect.

Btw, just today… Panetta: Iran Trying to Bolster Syrian Regime…!

I truly wish I could be so confident… Iran confident Israel won’t launch ‘stupid’ attack…!

We shall see…! *gah*

by CTuttle

The War Drums Beat Louder

5:24 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Greg Thielmann and Ray McGovern really delved into the facts and issues behind the hype of the Iranian nuke intentions to Congressional staffers and the press in DC in Oct. of 2009. Entitled:"Beneath the hype: Is Iran close to nukes?" That clip above was Part 4 of 5…

Here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and, Part 5

Philip Giraldi chimed in recently with his: Shaping the Story on Iran

…And now it is Iran’s turn and the story and the storytellers are exactly the same.

Even when everything changes, nothing changes for the American mainstream media (MSM), which continues to be wedded to a policy of all war all the time. There is a long history of media lies. [...]

Today it is different as newspapers rarely compete for market share and have no interest in exposing the half-truths of their peers. The unanimity of view is particularly evident on the editorial pages where the neocons and the groupthink that they have fostered have become deeply embedded. Everyone in the MSM agrees that Iran either already has nukes or is about to go nuclear and that the country shelters terrorists on every block, all colluding to attack a completely innocent and guileless United States. Saturated with the propaganda, the American public more or less accepts that narrative...

Jim Lobe lays out the time frame: Stirrings of a New Push for Military Option on Iran

…And while it’s only July – and less than a month after the U.N., the European Union (EU) and the U.S. Congress approved new economic sanctions against Iran – a familiar clutch of Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against the Islamic Republic.

Barring an unexpected breakthrough on the diplomatic front, that campaign, like the one eight years ago, is likely to move into high gear this autumn, beginning shortly after the Labour Day holiday, Sep. 6, that marks the end of summer vacation.

By the following week, the November mid-term election campaign will be in full swing, and Republican candidates are expected to make the charge that Democrats and President Barack Obama are "soft on Iran" their top foreign policy issue.

In any event, veterans of the Bush administration’s pre-Iraq invasion propaganda offensive are clearly mobilising their arguments for a similar effort on Iran, even suggesting that the timetable between campaign launch and possible military action – a mere six months in Iraq’s case – could be appropriate.

Marc Lynch asked the pertinent question: Why put an attack on Iran back on the table?

…I suspect that the real reason for the new flood of commentary calling for attacks on Iran is simply that hawks hope to pocket their winnings from the long argument over sanctions, such as they are, and now push to the next stage in the confrontation they’ve long demanded. Hopefully, this pressure will not gain immediate traction. Congress can proudly demonstrate their sanctions-passingness, so the artificial Washington timeline should recede for a while. The Pentagon is now working closely with Israel, it’s said, in order to reassure them and prevent their making a unilateral strike, which should hopefully push back another artificial clock. That should buy some time for the administration’s strategy to unfold, for better or for worse. An attack on Iran would still be a disaster, unnecessary and counterproductive, and the White House knows that, and it’s exceedingly unlikely that it will happen anytime soon. But the real risk is that the public discourse about an attack on Iran normalizes the idea and makes it seem plausible, if not inevitable, and that the administration talks itself into a political corner. That shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

Today’s Haaretz had this ominous Op-ed from Shrub’s former CIA Director…

U.S. strike on Iran likelier than ever, former CIA chief says

Michael Hayden says Iran intends to reach the point where it’s just below having a nuclear weapon, adding that such a step would be as destabilizing to the region as the ‘real thing.’

Arms Control Wonk posted a great article pointing out the futility "On Bombing the Bomb"…

…Call it the “Say it with JDAMs“ school of nonproliferation diplomacy. Unfortunately, it overlooks a couple of the key puzzle pieces needed to understand the situation.

**

First and most importantly, you can bomb an enrichment facility, but you can’t bomb an enrichment program. (Or not one as well-developed as Iran’s.) It’s not like a reactor, with billions of dollars’ worth of hard-to-replace capital piled up in one spot over the course of several years. Instead, it’s thousands of interchangeable pieces that can be brought together and operated more or less anywhere. [...]

Bomb the workshops — if you are lucky enough to locate them — and new workshops could be set up before very long.

Following this line of reasoning leads you to a realization that Iran’s capacity for precision engineering would have to be bombed somehow. That’s not a problem with a solution.

On Friday the House Repugnants introduced H.RES.1553 … (PDF!)

Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel.

Please take some time to send a message to demand that House Republic Leader John Boehner denounce this resolution…

We need to stop the madness now…! We certainly can’t afford another war…!