Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Desperately Seeking Provocation

Reuel Marc Gerecht in Newsweek: "The mullahs don't want peace in Iraq—just the opposite. War may come, but not because negotiations break down. The likely trigger is an Iranian provocation."

And if Iran doesn't provide a provocation? See bullet point #6 on this list.

How would this White House justify both an attack on Iran and its timing? It's an important question. The latter poses a more formidable obstacle than the former. We know that as of 2005, the U.S. intelligence community's estimate was that Iran was about a decade away from the ability to produce a nuclear weapon. Over the past two years, predictably, that timeline's been whittled down, but it's still at least 3-5 years according to most credible observers. So how would the president justify the specific timing of a strike? Perhaps a more realistic question: Does he even think he needs to? Of course, a "Persian Provocation" would solve the problem nicely. Even after the WMD fabrication, I wonder whether the public would have the presence of mind to view a latter-day Tonkin with appropriate skepticism. If an "incident" happens, there probably won't be much time for discussion.

If you're wondering what's behind the spike in this sort of chatter, events in the global financial markets -- related in part to the subprime fiasco -- have important geopolitical implications that, in my opinion, have made military action against Iran more likely. You didn't think it was all about nukes, did you? More on this soon if time permits.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the iranians are accepting payment for oil in euros and yen now.dissing the almighty dollar. that's the real reason, and so.... if an iranian sneezes in iraq, that will be provocation enough.

9/05/2007 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Wake up.
2. Urinate.
3. Search headlines for "Powell", "suicide", "remorse", "confession".
4. Scope out the overseas markets like it's the Matrix on twenty screens. Too much effort to pick through some dork's third-order harmonic in hemi-semi-bar graph form. Just the numbers, please and damn it. Contemplate.
5. Powell hasn't done away with himself yet? Really? Try to compose white-guy rap about My Lai cover-up by ambitious young officer, yawn hugely, fail yet again to rhyme English sentence with "DJ Rusty emptied his magazine at the enemies of democracy".
6. Shower and shave.
7. ...Another day in paradise...

9/05/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Never been a big fan of Powell...I thought he was savy and well polished for public consumption. Usually guys like that are very protective of their image. I can't believe he went through with it (just out of self interest). His staff has all said he was not happy about the content of the UN speech...he knew it was all bunk. So why do it? Why send your political career down in a ball of flames for a group of people who have ignored all your advice and only pull you out of the closet as a useful presentation tool? You being the only person in the administration the American public trusted. Still doesn't make sense to me. He must have believed that they would find a large stash of leftovers from the Iraq/Iran war...and he could use his UN speech in future political campaigns. He wouldn't have done it for nothing.

9/05/2007 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Gus said...

I'd love to see the economic analysis you hint at, CR. When it comes to global economics, I'm illiterate, so you'll have to spell it out.

9/05/2007 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

I've said it before and will say it as many times as necessary: TCR's linking of USA/World finance with geopolitics is always a fascinating read. So please, please, please, make time to write that analysis. Haven't seen one of those in some time.

9/05/2007 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BAGHDAD (AP) -- A car bomb killed at least 13 people Wednesday in a Shiite part of Baghdad, and the U.S. command announced the deaths of eight more American soldiers -- some victims of a weapon the American command believes comes from Iran."

Arm the Sunnis, attack the Shi'ite militias and you are guaranteed headlines like this. Not the final provocation but the steady drip drip that makes war more and more likely

9/05/2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Small Axe said...

I'm with Gus and Thomas Daulton. Don't leave us hanging.

9/06/2007 1:53 AM  

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